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NightWarrior: Prozac bridge from Venlafaxine


NightWarrior

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NightWarrior

Hello all,

first thank you for this really helpful forum.

I started taking Venlafaxine 150 back in 2016. Later in 2018 i started tapering it off with 5-10% rule. In 2020 I arrived finally at 50mg. At this point however I got strong withdrawal symptoms even with 5%. I learned then about the Prozac bridge method and i thought I give it a try. So i am now off the Venlafaxine for about 2 months and now i only take Fluoxetine 13mg.

However I still have some withdrawal problems from the venlafaxine 2 months later. It is not that bad, but mostly my brain is hurting headache and strange feelings and tingeling at my brain.

I think I will now stay on the Prozac 13mg until the problems go away and then see how fast i can taper the prozac. Or would you say it would be better to go back to the Venlafaxine after 2 months now already because of the symptoms, I am now afraid that those will last years as I have read on some other cold turkey cases.

 

Thanks 

NightWarrior

Edited by Gridley

Venlafaxine 150mg since 2016

2018-2020 start to reduce Venlafaxine in 10% steps to 50mg

August 2020 switch from Venlafaxine 50mg to Prozac 13mg cross taper switch over 2 weeks

 

Also taking Omega3 and Magnesium (not anymore)

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  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, NightWarrior.

 

To give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly.  Please include the date(s) of your Prozac bridge, whether it was a gradual bridge or a straight switch, and the dose of Prozac you switched to (13mg?).

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

It is often the case that replacing one drug with another doesn't eliminate withdrawal symptoms from the first drug. There's no way to predict how long withdrawal symptoms will last, but I would assume the best case rather than worst case scenario.  It's very encouraging that your symptoms are not that bad.

 

It's best to make as few changes as possible, and I would agree with you in your decision to stay on the 13mg Prozac.  I would, as you said, wait until the problems go away before tapering the Prozac.  This may take several months.

 

When you're ready to taper, we recommend tapering by no more than 10% of current dose every four weeks.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

This link is specifically about tapering Prozac, including how to get the non-standard doses you'll need for your 10% taper.  If liquid Prozac is available in Germany, this would be the easiest way to taper.  You would need to do a crossover from tablet to liquid by taking half your dose in tablet and half in liquid for one week. But, again, you need to stabilize on the Prozac before tapering.  


Tips for tapering off fluoxetine (Prozac)

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg 

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Sept 13: 9mg 

Taper is 52% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg and holding.  

Taper is 80% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, 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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NightWarrior

Hello Gridley,

thank you very much for your answer it helps a lot.

I did a slow cross taper switch over 2 weeks. Removing Venla on day 8 11 12 and 13 (4 pellets overall, on every day one) and on day 1 10mg Prozac and on day 10 13mg prozac.

I will stay then on the prozac and i hope it will not be that bad and that i did not screw up myself with the prozac switch. Future will tell. 

Thanks

NightWarrior

Venlafaxine 150mg since 2016

2018-2020 start to reduce Venlafaxine in 10% steps to 50mg

August 2020 switch from Venlafaxine 50mg to Prozac 13mg cross taper switch over 2 weeks

 

Also taking Omega3 and Magnesium (not anymore)

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NightWarrior

Hello,

 

small question: Does anybody know if Venlafaxine and Fluoxetine both act on the same type of serotonin receptors or are there just one type?

I know Venlafaxine also acts on norepinephrine which Fluoxetin does not, but does Fluoxetin act on the same serotonin receptors as Venlafaxine and carry over that function or are there like different kinds of serotonin receptors for different substances? Because if they are the same, that would calm me down a lot. 

 

Thanks 

NIghtWarrior

Venlafaxine 150mg since 2016

2018-2020 start to reduce Venlafaxine in 10% steps to 50mg

August 2020 switch from Venlafaxine 50mg to Prozac 13mg cross taper switch over 2 weeks

 

Also taking Omega3 and Magnesium (not anymore)

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  • 2 months later...

How are you doing? 

 

Im currently trying the same and im so scared . Tapering 8mg Venlafaxin with 5mg Fluoxetin.  

 

Would you say it was going ok?

I took Venlafaxin xr 225mg for the last 14 years (2005-2021) 

I also took Lithium but stopped it after 5 years (2005-2010).

Over the last 3 years i reduced my Venlafaxin dose graduelly.  

2018 down to 150mg no problems 

A couple of month later down to 112mg from there i taper no more than 10% every 4-8 weeks with a compound .

Im down to 15mg from here i taper 1mg every 4-8 weeks. 

31. Oktober 14mg Venlafaxin 

Since i am at 19mg i experience WD

Dec. 2020 / 12mg

 

21 . Dec. 2020 Psychistrist tried to bridge me with prozac ( i took 5mg for one week ) until 28.2020and during that week i tapered Venlafaxin down to 4 beads.

15.1 / 6mg Venlafaxin 

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Hello Holly26,

 

it got better so I don't regret the switch, but i am still waiting more before i taper the Prozac. The first months after the switch were a bit harder and the brain is working to adapt but really not that bad. So I don't regret it but you have to decide for yourself. If the tapering of Venlafaxine is working fine as well i wouldn't necessarily switch, only if you feel making progress with the venlafaxine is becoming too hard. Hope it helps!

Venlafaxine 150mg since 2016

2018-2020 start to reduce Venlafaxine in 10% steps to 50mg

August 2020 switch from Venlafaxine 50mg to Prozac 13mg cross taper switch over 2 weeks

 

Also taking Omega3 and Magnesium (not anymore)

Link to post

Thank you very much for your answer!

 

I took prozac for 6 days and got down to 3mg Effexor.  Not without symptoms but it did ease them a bit. I dont know if i should continue the prozac im scared im getting hocked on that 😳. Since Venlafaxin WD i am so so scared

I took Venlafaxin xr 225mg for the last 14 years (2005-2021) 

I also took Lithium but stopped it after 5 years (2005-2010).

Over the last 3 years i reduced my Venlafaxin dose graduelly.  

2018 down to 150mg no problems 

A couple of month later down to 112mg from there i taper no more than 10% every 4-8 weeks with a compound .

Im down to 15mg from here i taper 1mg every 4-8 weeks. 

31. Oktober 14mg Venlafaxin 

Since i am at 19mg i experience WD

Dec. 2020 / 12mg

 

21 . Dec. 2020 Psychistrist tried to bridge me with prozac ( i took 5mg for one week ) until 28.2020and during that week i tapered Venlafaxin down to 4 beads.

15.1 / 6mg Venlafaxin 

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Hello,

 

well you are now hooked on Effexor so if you swap the effexor against prozac in the worst case you are also just hooked to one substance.

But I understand I was also scared but for me it was the correct decision to swap I think. Everything will be fine it just might take some time. I wish you the very best!

Venlafaxine 150mg since 2016

2018-2020 start to reduce Venlafaxine in 10% steps to 50mg

August 2020 switch from Venlafaxine 50mg to Prozac 13mg cross taper switch over 2 weeks

 

Also taking Omega3 and Magnesium (not anymore)

Link to post

Hello Nightwarrior,

 

thank you for your answer!

Do you think i have to taper off Prozac after taking it for 6 days? 

Did you bridge with prozac and did get off of Effexor ok? After the horrific wd from Effexor im scared im hocked on Fluoxetin and start all over again. 

THANKS

I took Venlafaxin xr 225mg for the last 14 years (2005-2021) 

I also took Lithium but stopped it after 5 years (2005-2010).

Over the last 3 years i reduced my Venlafaxin dose graduelly.  

2018 down to 150mg no problems 

A couple of month later down to 112mg from there i taper no more than 10% every 4-8 weeks with a compound .

Im down to 15mg from here i taper 1mg every 4-8 weeks. 

31. Oktober 14mg Venlafaxin 

Since i am at 19mg i experience WD

Dec. 2020 / 12mg

 

21 . Dec. 2020 Psychistrist tried to bridge me with prozac ( i took 5mg for one week ) until 28.2020and during that week i tapered Venlafaxin down to 4 beads.

15.1 / 6mg Venlafaxin 

Link to post

Hi Holly26,

 

yes I did the switch over 2 weeks as described in this forum i was taking venlafaxine and over 2 weeks i reduced the venlafaxine to zero and the prozac to 13 mg. And now i am only on the prozac. But I wait still longer before i taper that. Of course there are some wd symptoms but it was not so bad. After you did the switch you will have to see how fast you can taper the prozac. Maybe you can only reduce by 5-10% anyways after you switched to prozac but maybe faster. Nobody can tell. Good luck!

 

Venlafaxine 150mg since 2016

2018-2020 start to reduce Venlafaxine in 10% steps to 50mg

August 2020 switch from Venlafaxine 50mg to Prozac 13mg cross taper switch over 2 weeks

 

Also taking Omega3 and Magnesium (not anymore)

Link to post

Thank you for your assistance. I stopped Fluoxetin after 6 days ( today) because im scared i will have to taper this for another year. Maybe its already too late. I dont know. Im down to 3mg Effexor. 

Well done for being completely off of Effexor!!! Thats quite an achievement!!! My WD started to get really bad at around 35mg. Even small reductions where , to say the least, difficult. 

I took Venlafaxin xr 225mg for the last 14 years (2005-2021) 

I also took Lithium but stopped it after 5 years (2005-2010).

Over the last 3 years i reduced my Venlafaxin dose graduelly.  

2018 down to 150mg no problems 

A couple of month later down to 112mg from there i taper no more than 10% every 4-8 weeks with a compound .

Im down to 15mg from here i taper 1mg every 4-8 weeks. 

31. Oktober 14mg Venlafaxin 

Since i am at 19mg i experience WD

Dec. 2020 / 12mg

 

21 . Dec. 2020 Psychistrist tried to bridge me with prozac ( i took 5mg for one week ) until 28.2020and during that week i tapered Venlafaxin down to 4 beads.

15.1 / 6mg Venlafaxin 

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  • 4 months later...

@Holly26 Effexor has a very short halflife. Fluoxetine has a long halflife. Tapering fluoxetine should compared to effexor be relatively easy.

  • I'm a 42 years old male
  • I've got a job in business and economics
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  • I started using 20 mg Paroxetine (Paxil) in 2004 for stressrelated anxiety
  • I attempted several times to stop using Paroxetine, starting a few years after 2004
  • I found out in 2015 about paxil withdrawal symptoms and the 5-10% taper
  • I started using liquid Seroxat suspension in 2015/2016
  • From 20 mg to 12 mg, I went down 5-10%
  • From 12 mg down I was forced to take smaller steps (0,2 ml/4-6 weeks)

 

Switch to suspension/fluid

  • 09/2018 at 11.2 mg (5,6 ml) of Seroxat suspension
  • 11/2018 Switch back to 5,7 ml (11,4 mg)
  • Started trying the brassmonkey micro-taper method end dec 2018
  • 07/2021 Current dose 5,6 ml (11.2 mg) after >1 year of withdrawal issues (several food sensitivities and conflicts with painkillers, caffein, grapefruit, chocolate etc.)
  • First goal is to reach 5ml (2022)
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  • 2 months later...
NightWarrior

Hello all,

 

I have a small question. It is now almost a year since i switched from Venlafaxine to prozac. I am still taking 13mg of prozac, so i did not reduce anything.

My question is, would it be possible now, to go back to the Venlafaxine or would this be too risky? And if I do, would this stop this withdrawal state I am still in? The symptomes are not bad, but I can't take supplements or they trigger symptoms. Also I have to be very careful with what i eat and need a lot of resting. So If I would go back now, are the chances that i return back to normal or not?

Thanks

Venlafaxine 150mg since 2016

2018-2020 start to reduce Venlafaxine in 10% steps to 50mg

August 2020 switch from Venlafaxine 50mg to Prozac 13mg cross taper switch over 2 weeks

 

Also taking Omega3 and Magnesium (not anymore)

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  • Moderator
Go2zero

I would be very careful in switching back to venlafaxine. Switching to other AD's and also reinstating, updosing may all worsen WD.

 

Furthermore venlafaxine is known te be extremely difficult to taper in the lower dosages, since the SERT level stays extremely high until 37,5mg. When you would go under the level of 37,5mg venlafaxine, the SERT drops so extremely fast with every minor dosage reduction that WD is often unbearable.

 

It might be the case that you still suffer from WD from venlafaxine. I had the same after I switched from escitalopram to prozac. Although one makes a cross over and switch, it happens more often that we still go through WD effect of the drug we stopped....

1993    Anafranil (Clomipramine) for a few months. Later in 1993 Paxil for a few months 1993- 2006      No medication

2006   Effexor, Cymbalta, some Benzo’s. All for short periods. Later in 2006 Lexapro (escitalopram) 10 mg and shortly after Wellbutrin XR 150mg, against side effects Lexapro 

Since 2006 until end of 2015: Several times on and off Lexapro and Wellbutrin and several slight dosage changes. Mostly taken dosages: 5mg Lexapro and 150mg Wellbutrin

2016  Dosage change Lexapro from 5mg to 2,5 mg. Wellbutrin stayed om 150mg

November 2016 – April 2017 Down from 2,5mg to 0,6mg Lexapro (in steps) without much problems. Wellbutrin down from 150mg to 66mg. Also without much problems.

April 2017 – March 2019       Lexapro 0,6 mg        April 2017 - August 2018       Wellbutrin in small steps down from 66mg in to 37,5 mg . Quite heavy WD after each step.

March 2019 – May 2019 Lexapro down from 0,6 to 0,3mg then Prozac to 0,6 mg switch because severe discontinuation effects (may also have been from Wellbutrin..)    

Wellbutrin down from 37,5mg to 35,3mg 

October 2019        Seroquel 12,5 mg for 4 weeks because of extreme sleeping problems, then weaning off in 2 weeks       Prozac up dosage to 1,2 mg

March 2020     Wellbutrin in 2 steps down from 35,3mg to 33,3mg   Extreme withdrawal affects during 8 months. Stopped tapering Wellbutrin  until total off Prozac. February 2020 – November 2020   Prozac down in steps from 1,2mg to 0,57mg. 

Jan 2021 Prozac down to:  0,55> 0,53>0,51mg,   Feb 0,47mg ,  Mar 0,42mg,   Apr 0,37, longer hold because of WD symptoms July 0,36 and hold again

 

Supplements: Fish Oil (3000mg), Magnesium 100 mg, 2 drops of Lavender Oil when feeling anxiety. 50mg of L-Theanine when severe discontinuation effects caused by Wellbutrin

 

Please note this is NOT a medical advice. Discuss all your medical issues with a doctor who understands psychical drugs and really knows how to withdraw from them. I wish that you will find one.

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NightWarrior

Hello Go2zero,

 

thanks so much for your answer.

 

Yes I also think now it would be better not to go back, because nobody knows if I still tolarate the venlafaxine and it would stress my brain again.

I indeed still have some WD since the switch from the Venlafaxine but it is okay, nothing too bad. It is just sh*tty that I can't even take Omega 3 because it triggers symptoms. And fish I can not eat because i am vegetarian so i can only have ALA until the WD is gone and some studies say ALA alone is not enough but yeah...

 

Venlafaxine 150mg since 2016

2018-2020 start to reduce Venlafaxine in 10% steps to 50mg

August 2020 switch from Venlafaxine 50mg to Prozac 13mg cross taper switch over 2 weeks

 

Also taking Omega3 and Magnesium (not anymore)

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  • Moderator
getofflex
17 hours ago, NightWarrior said:

My question is, would it be possible now, to go back to the Venlafaxine or would this be too risky? And if I do, would this stop this withdrawal state I am still in?

We at SA generally do not suggest using drugs or switching drugs to deal with withdrawal.  These drugs are what got us into trouble in the first place. I agree with go2zero, it could very well make the WD worse.  Stability is very important for healing from WD.   In a few extreme cases we suggest switching drugs, but only rarely.  

 

1 hour ago, NightWarrior said:

I indeed still have some WD since the switch from the Venlafaxine but it is okay, nothing too bad.

In that case, it sounds like you are doing well for someone in WD.  

 

Keep it Simple, Slow, and Stable

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07 

Benadryl 50 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

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  • 5 weeks later...
NightWarrior
On 7/11/2021 at 2:40 PM, getofflex said:

In that case, it sounds like you are doing well for someone in WD.  

 

Keep it Simple, Slow, and Stable

Hello,

 

I know it sounds crazy but I would feel better If I had a little more symptomes because they are a sign of healing going on right.

My nervous system is still very sensible and broken, I can't take anything that is neuroactive like Omega 3 or Vitamin D and need a lot of resting.

And now I am very scared that this may be permanent exactly because I have little symptomes and I know how it feels If the brain is working to heal itself and that is not going on currently.

Still wondering if I should try to add a mini Dose Venlafaxine to see how i react, like 1 MG or so.

Venlafaxine 150mg since 2016

2018-2020 start to reduce Venlafaxine in 10% steps to 50mg

August 2020 switch from Venlafaxine 50mg to Prozac 13mg cross taper switch over 2 weeks

 

Also taking Omega3 and Magnesium (not anymore)

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  • Moderator
getofflex

I would not suggest that you add a mini dose of venlafaxine. You’ve been off this drug for a year. That’s likely to just confuse and throw your nervous system off even more. Your brain can be healing even if you don’t have many symptoms. Having lots of symptoms is not a sign of the brain healing as much as it is a sign of the nervous system being in disequilibrium.  The fact that your symptoms are gradually decreasing is a better sign of your brain healing.  

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07 

Benadryl 50 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

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NightWarrior

Thanks a lot getofflex, that helps me a lot. I think I just need to be more patient and worry a bit less.

Venlafaxine 150mg since 2016

2018-2020 start to reduce Venlafaxine in 10% steps to 50mg

August 2020 switch from Venlafaxine 50mg to Prozac 13mg cross taper switch over 2 weeks

 

Also taking Omega3 and Magnesium (not anymore)

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