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QueenElisabeth: tapering Effexor / venlafaxine from Dec 2018 - how to get off


QueenElisabeth

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QueenElisabeth

HI to all of you who might read my story.

My brain is so bad I find it hard to do this, so it has taken me a few days. Also, this is not my mother language, so I  hope you forgive me for the mistakes I might make.
I tapered very slowly the whole year of 2019 after  using this SNRI for 1,5 years.  I didn't have enough energy, had a few migraines and had a harder PMS period before my menstrual period. In general I was very fine and feeling confident. I just made mistake. I was tapering 1 mg per week from the weight of the beads, using a scale and didn't  slow down when I was on 40 mg. I started to feel real bad on 25 mg of the beads, in May  2020. ( that was 11, .. mg of venlafaxine)  June 12th  I up-dosed to 60 beads , 15  mg of Venlafaxine and  I split  the  dose. It  helped  immediately,  but not enough  to  hold me for long. Second week  I got worse and it freaked me out again. Physically I lost 15 pounds of weight. I was a wreck.
After  2 weeks from my last change, I  updosed to 17  mg  , 66 beads. Terrified. My whole life crumbled in front of my eyes. It helped again and I got better. But I am not stabile.
Now here i am. Still stuck on 66 beads.  Still having waves. This week it will be October. It is  going on too long... my relationship is ruined as he can't cope seeing me suffer like this. So I live with my parents who are old. I have nothing left then my cloths and taper friends.
I  don't know what to do anymore.

I am on the fb group Effexor (Venlafaxine) should be illegal. The tell me to wait.  And I am waiting. But how long do you wait?   6 months? a year?  And wait for  what?  I need a  plan....  this is insane and I don't know how  to get out.

I try to  walk at least 30 minutes daily, but i hate winter  is coming. I  try  to do coherent breathing, to  help my access my prefrontal. I use essential oil which was recommended.  I  journal my day and symptoms since some time. I read and read  some more to find answers, but  mostly I  need  to hear how people got through this and how they healed. I  just need to see where the end of the tunnel will be. 

I hope you can support my journey. I can't see it anymore

 

30mg Celexa Jan 2012 - Dec 2016 Pooped out, withdrawal syndrom,  tapered in 4  weeks; 1,5mg Ativan from Dec-Apr, withdrawal from May to Dec 2017, servere withdrawal syndrom; 75mg Venlafaxine March 2017. Taper start Venlafaxine: Dec 2018. Scale method. Lowering 1 mg pw, of the weight. mistake after January 2020 reaching 40 mg and below!
May 2020 symtomps  of serious withdrawal, hold totally on 11 mg. June 2020 crashed on 11mg. Updosed to 15 mg, July 2020 updosed to 17 mg, 66 beads, trying to stabilize.
Supplements: Multivitamin, Curcurmin 180,  SaffraMed, Omega 3 high dose, Vit C 3000mg, Magnesium Bisglycinate if needed.

My story

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to QueenElisabeth: tapering Effexor / venlafaxine from Dec 2018 - how to get off
  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, QueenElisabeth.


As you probably know, we recommend tapering no faster than 10% of current dose every four weeks.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

We recommend tapering by a percentage of current dose rather than a a straight linear decrease like you did because with a percentage decease as you get lower the percentage of your cut gets lower.  With a straight cut like yours the percentage of the cut gets higher as you get lower in dose, which makes it harder on you.  So when you were at the higher doses 4mg a month wasn't more than 10% a month.  But when you down lower, for example 11mg, 4mg a month was close to a 50% decrease.  This explains why you had trouble as you got lower in dose..

 

I would hold where you are now at 17mg, 66 beads for several months until you stabilize.  Then I would taper 10% of current dose every four months weeks instead of the straight 1mg per week method you've been using.  This link is specifically about tapering Effexor.

 

Tips for tapering off venlafaxine (Effexor)

 

You can Google "SurvivingAntidepressants.org effexor success stories" to read how other people got off this drug.

 

We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker 

 

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) 

 

Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.

 

This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
corrected months to weeks

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 March 22: 14.4mgai.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (0.44mgpw).  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 Emeritus
3 hours ago, Gridley said:

Then I would taper 10% of current dose every four months

 

CORRECTION:  every four weeks

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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QueenElisabeth

HI guys,
I know. It was my mistake and I am not recovering since so many months.
When do you know you can taper again? I waited now for 3,5 months...

Waiting and not knowing, stuck at my parents house, bf is unsure about all of it.... I am going out of my mind last few days. I am 42 and my life is just nothing anymore. NO income, no health, no friends. I feel so crushed....
 

30mg Celexa Jan 2012 - Dec 2016 Pooped out, withdrawal syndrom,  tapered in 4  weeks; 1,5mg Ativan from Dec-Apr, withdrawal from May to Dec 2017, servere withdrawal syndrom; 75mg Venlafaxine March 2017. Taper start Venlafaxine: Dec 2018. Scale method. Lowering 1 mg pw, of the weight. mistake after January 2020 reaching 40 mg and below!
May 2020 symtomps  of serious withdrawal, hold totally on 11 mg. June 2020 crashed on 11mg. Updosed to 15 mg, July 2020 updosed to 17 mg, 66 beads, trying to stabilize.
Supplements: Multivitamin, Curcurmin 180,  SaffraMed, Omega 3 high dose, Vit C 3000mg, Magnesium Bisglycinate if needed.

My story

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  • Moderator Emeritus
9 minutes ago, QueenElisabeth said:

When do you know you can taper again?

 

14 hours ago, Gridley said:

I would hold where you are now at 17mg, 66 beads for several months until you stabilize.

 

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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  • 2 weeks later...
QueenElisabeth

Time to write about my window and track my progress.

I was super depressed writing you before. On the 1st of October I started tapping again to  lift the depression with  EFT.
It  made  a profound shift  so I  continued to do so daily. 5 days ago on Monday  I also  started  acupuncture  and  drinking a tea what  the  TCM doctor gave to me.

Woke up in the middle of the night unable to breath. It's not unusual for my , I had that all my life with asthma.
Today I have a very weird belly pain and I did not sleep well. Wonder if that is my window closing or not. Can't  tell yet.

I was in a window for at least 7, maybe even 9 days now. 

30mg Celexa Jan 2012 - Dec 2016 Pooped out, withdrawal syndrom,  tapered in 4  weeks; 1,5mg Ativan from Dec-Apr, withdrawal from May to Dec 2017, servere withdrawal syndrom; 75mg Venlafaxine March 2017. Taper start Venlafaxine: Dec 2018. Scale method. Lowering 1 mg pw, of the weight. mistake after January 2020 reaching 40 mg and below!
May 2020 symtomps  of serious withdrawal, hold totally on 11 mg. June 2020 crashed on 11mg. Updosed to 15 mg, July 2020 updosed to 17 mg, 66 beads, trying to stabilize.
Supplements: Multivitamin, Curcurmin 180,  SaffraMed, Omega 3 high dose, Vit C 3000mg, Magnesium Bisglycinate if needed.

My story

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Welcome, QueenElisabeth; you have found a resource with many valuable tips for getting through drug tapers, and specifically Effexor tapers.  (I am not talking about myself.)

The moderators are very helpful when you ask specific questions.  But also recognize that all your questions have been answered before, you just need to keep exploring this web site.

 

In answer to your question, I up-dosed when I recognized that the step(s) taken downward where not going smoothly.  As the moderators have said to others; you are the only one who will know yourself best and will need to make the decision to up-dose.  And you are the only one who will recognize when you are ready to try going downward again.  The worst that can happen in starting downward again is that you may then realize, maybe not yet.

 

Another individual on www.survivingantidepressants.org/ told me they had more difficulties going downward below 60 mg.  I agree.  We are both below that step.

 

We are all tempted to go faster than recommended, I am no exception.  But one of the big keys is to be very patient with the process.  I have been on this journey since June 6, 2018.

 

Also be aware that your pre-existing physical and mental conditions can make this process more difficult to pinpoint exactly what is occurring, related to the tapering process.

 

For instance, my pre-existing condition of daily fatigue can affect my scoring of anhedonia.  I find they are closely tied together.

 

For instance, my pre-existing arthritic daily back and neck pain can over-ride any recognition of other things going on in my body.

 

You are doing some good things for your pre-existing conditions.

 

Those who have gone before us, recognize that antidepressant drugs are only useful for a short duration.  The root causes must be addressed.

 

Please excuse me from answering further questions, due to my pre-existing conditions. 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
reduced font and added paragraph spacing

5/1999 to 6/7/2002 Celexa (Citalopram) 30 mg  3 years 1 month.  6/7/2002 to 6/26/2002 switch from Celexa to Zoloft then wean off.  8/2014 start Venlafaxine 225 mg.

Other Pharmaceuticals per day:  Amlodipine 5 mg

Vitamins per day:  C 2,000 mg; D3 1.25 mg; Probiotic 218 mg; Fish Oil 1,600 mg; Magnesium Glycinate 240 mg; CoQ10 100 mg; Saw Palmetto 320 mg;

Start Taper: 225 mg to 55 mg; June 5, 2018 to June 15, 2019

55 mg (10%) June 15, 2019;  49 mg (10%) July 16, 2019; 44 mg (10%) August  13, 2019; 49 mg (up 11%) Aug. 26, 2019: 44 mg (10%) Sept. 10, 2019; 40 mg (10%) Oct. 8, 2019;  37.5 mg (6%) Nov. 6, 2019; 49.5 mg (up 32%) Nov 18, 2019; 44.5 mg (10%) Dec. 30, 2019; 40 mg Jan. 27, 2020; 36 mg Feb. 24, 2020; 32.5 mg March 23, 2020; 29.2 mg April 20, 2020; 26.3 mg May 18, 2020; 23.7 mg June 15, 2020; 21.3 mg July 6, 2020; 19.2 mg Aug. 4, 2020; 17.3 mg Sept. 1, 2020; 15.5 mg Sept. 29, 2020; 14.0 mg Oct. 27, 2020; 12.6 mg Nov. 24, 2020; 11.3 mg Dec. 15, 2020; 10.2 mg Jan. 5, 2021; 9.2 mg Feb. 2, 2021; 8.3 mg March 9, 2021; 7.4 mg April 6, 2021;

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