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erialc: Eliminating Effexor


erialc

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I am saddened that so many people are experiencing these things, but I am so glad I found you.  I've been solo'ing the Effexor removal from my system, and while I haven't been exactly the most eloquent in my descriptions of what is happening to me, there is so much comfort in finding others who are having, or have had, similar experiences.


Effexor and I have gone from one HCL 25 MG tablet a day (first one: July 7, 2018), to four HCL ER 37.5 MG C a day.  I was last at one of each daily (Feb 13, 2020), as I have been planning to discontinue my usage but wasn't sure when the ideal time was to start.  As of Feb 19, I have stopped taking it entirely as I was hit with a nasty flu and so brightly decided that not keeping anything down for two days was the perfect time to cease the Effexor entirely.  I would say ill-advised, but nobody has advised me to do this (quite the opposite, my psychiatrist's solution to everything is to take more everything).


It is worth noting that I continue to take Wellbutrin ( HCL XL 450 MG daily) and Synthroid (50 MCG daily), both things to tackle at a later date (if at all).


I know that I am beyond lucky and I am grateful that I have two months off of work, during which I am staying with my sister and her family, in order to complete this detoxification process.  I have many other lofty goals to achieve while here, including the fine art of taking things one at a time (because ceasing all medications while starting a running program, changing my entire diet and determining my next career choice is a bit much at once).  This is not a luxury many have, a stable and supportive environment far away from home to be permitted to flail and cry and not have to make sense.  Thank goodness, because I am having one heck of a time with it. 


The zaps I first encountered when lowering my dosage, of my own volition, around a year ago - I dealt with it by throwing myself into work while overseas, with way too much coffee and way too much wine.  Healthy, no.  Done and in the past, not to be recommended, yes.  This is entirely different though; I cannot imagine going to work and interacting with the world at large while feeling this way.  

 

Many years back, I took myself off Paxil (do we see a pattern here?) and described the experience as having lemmings in my head telling me to throw myself off a cliff, all the while hearing the sound of sheet metal being shook (a la theatre productions, to create the sound of thunder).  This, however, is angry crystallised wasps in my head banging against my eyes, ears, teeth, any way out.  My ears are ringing at all times, my skin feels thick, it’s like I’m chewing on aluminium foil and the metallic taste in my mouth simply will not go away.  At 4 PM I will smash into the emotional wall when I start crying.  My neck is averse to moving much, so to look over my shoulder I need to twist my entire torso - which sets the wasps off, because blinking and moving is so not their favourite activity.  Everything smells peculiar and showering is a feat beyond imagination - closing my eyes to rinse out my hair, and not fall down, is something I am proud of on a daily basis.


Today is day five of no Effexor intake; while not back to myself, I am aeons beyond what even yesterday was like.  Derealization, rampant neuro-emotions and the genuine fear of resonance disaster.  I did not know if I would make it, but I had no idea of what ‘not making it’ would be.


I have successfully avoided coffee, as it just makes the taste in my mouth worse, and I am consuming a bottle of wine nightly because altering my mentality and perspective is how I am surviving my reality.  Again, not healthy, but there is the added bonus of not remembering my dreams because I can no longer take the collagen I usually take before bed to have bearable dreams (no idea why, but I’m okay with that - magnesium before sleep gave me horrible nightmares).  My throat has become so particular, taking pills or gargling mouthwash makes me visualise drowning.  

 

But, it is getting better.  I can and will do this.  I am doing this.  I am petrified that after the elimination, I will find I am still severely depressed, but the chance that I am not - that I do not need these particular pills - that is my motivation to continue.


Simply typing this (although, nothing about this effort was simple) has lifted such a burden off of my shoulders as I can almost definitively tell myself that I am not completely losing my marbles; I am not alone.


So, again, THANK YOU for sharing your reality.  While I have no experience other than my own, please consider me one of the many available as a sounding board for you.  You’ve helped save me, I know that.

 

Now, off for my 4 PM panic & crying.

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  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, aerialc.

 

Please clarify for me:

1.  What was your dosage before you started reducing your dose?  

2.  Were you taking two different types of Effexor?

3. When did you start reducing your dose and what was the dosage you reduced to?

4.  Did you start reducing  before Feb. 13? Tell me how fast you did this and the doses, please.

 

We never recommend cold-turkey (what you did) to go off these drugs.  It is not a matter of detoxification.  The Effexor has changed your brain, and it is very to important to taper very slowly off these drugs to avoid long-lasting withdrawal symptoms.

 

We recommend tapering by no more than 10% of current dose every four weeks.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

You definitely want to avoid withdrawal.  There is no way to predict how long withdrawal will last.  While some recover fairly quickly, others takes months or years.  As it says in the previous link, there is no way to predict what category you'll fall into, which is why we take a harm reduction approach to going off these drugs.

 

What is withdrawal syndrome.

 

Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms (PDF) 

 

Withdrawal symptoms are often delayed.  There can be a honeymoon period of few or no symptoms and then withdrawal can hit hard.  I don't want to scare you but I do want to make you aware of the potential dangers of cold turkey.

 

When we take psychiatric medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.   

   On 8/30/2011 at 2:28 PM,  Rhiannon said: 

When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay. When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse. SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long.

 

Once you've answered my questions, I'm going to suggest a dosage to reinstate.  Whether you choose to do this is your decision.  I know you want to be off the drug, but the way you have done it it is not what we would recommend.

 

This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions and connect with other members..

 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of July 13: 10.0mgai.  Taper is 46% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg.


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • Moderator

I'll pass your request to the administrators.

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of July 13: 10.0mgai.  Taper is 46% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg.


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • Moderator
11 minutes ago, erialc said:

Please delete my post and account.

 

I'll pass your request along to the administrators.

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of July 13: 10.0mgai.  Taper is 46% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg.


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • Administrator
16 hours ago, erialc said:

Please delete my post and account.

 

Please see:

 

If you wish to close or delete your account

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to erialc: Eliminating Effexor

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