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FarmMom: any help is appreciated!


FarmMom

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I have browsed this site numerous times, but this is my first post. 

I was placed on Venlafaxine 75mg in 2007 for panic attacks. In 2014 I decided I wanted off and spoke with my MD, which dropped me to 37.5mg. I made it 4 days and reinstated to 75mg and remained. 

I found a facebook group and began a slow taper last February 2020. All was well until January this year. I made it to 20 mg, had a panic attack after vaccine which threw me into full withdraws (wish I hadn't taken the vaccine but can't retract that, so have moved past that, but I do feel it set this off). Insomnia, nausea, no appetite, anxiety, depression, significant weight loss since January. Increased to 22mg. Felt mild relief, had a one week window. Then in March I had a sudden loss of family member. Back into full blown withdrawals (even worse). Recently (6 days ago) increased 3 beads which got me to 23.625 mg. I am not getting any relief. I must be able to function, I am a professional and feel my work is suffering. I have to force eat and living off Boost/Ensure shakes. I know nutrition is part of healing, but it isn't possible right now. I wanted to see any recommendations for increasing again. I am willing to increase for relief and once stabilized go even slower than before, even if only removing 1 bead. I just need to be able to eat. 

I am supplementing with magnesium, fish oil, probiotics, Multi vitamin, and recently added in Vit D (hoping to help with depression). 

 

Please help!!

Effexor 75mg 2007

2014 dropped to 37.5mg per MD. Back to 75mg in 4 days. 

February 2020 began slow taper 7-10% monthly 75mg-12.20.20 23.75mg

1.7.21 22.45mg, 1.28 21.1 mg, Received COVID vaccine Pfizer- had increase heart rate which led to panic attack, nausea, lost appetite.

5 days of severe panic/anxiety after 

1.31.21 increased 22.9mg, 2.25.21 increased 23.25mg, 3.14.21 22.5mg

3.23.21 22.125mg, Had a sudden loss of family member. Loss of appetite, anxiety, nausea 

3.25.21 Increased 22.5mg, 4.8.21 increased 23.625 mg, 4.19.21 increase 24.75 mg

5.1.21 Increased 31mg (had a few good days and felt hungry) 5.15.21 Increased 37.5mg (emotional numbness set in) June 5.21 Increased 43.75mg June 15.21 Increased 50mg 

Since 2007 I have also had alprazolam 0.25mg prescribed, but use infrequently.

 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to FarmMom: any help is appreciated!
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello FarmMom and welcome to SA,

 

I am pleased that you found information about tapering but sorry to hear about what happened earlier this year.  Was the vaccine that only thing that was different at this time?  I am certainly not dismissing the vaccine as being the reason for the issues, but am wondering if there might be other factors that you have not considered, eg did you take an antibiotic, drink alcohol, job loss, relationship issues, bereavement (family, friend, pet).

 

It would seem from the dates and doses that you have tapered carefully.  However we do need to see the details of how you have tapered (doses and dates).  Please create your drug signature following these instructions and include all previous and current drugs and supplements.  Thank you.

 

Instructions:  Withdrawal History Signature

 

This is your own Introduction topic which is the best place to ask questions about your own situation and journal your progress.

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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 from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full 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.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

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Thank you for your reply. That was the only thing in January, I was fine until then. I don't think it was the vaccine itself per se, but it did elevate my heart rate which sent me into a panic attack. When I got home I was nausea and unable to eat. I did have a slight improvement with window, then did lose a family member sudden in March, when my symptoms worsened. I tried my coping skills. But just this past week increased 3 beads. 

Effexor 75mg 2007

2014 dropped to 37.5mg per MD. Back to 75mg in 4 days. 

February 2020 began slow taper 7-10% monthly 75mg-12.20.20 23.75mg

1.7.21 22.45mg, 1.28 21.1 mg, Received COVID vaccine Pfizer- had increase heart rate which led to panic attack, nausea, lost appetite.

5 days of severe panic/anxiety after 

1.31.21 increased 22.9mg, 2.25.21 increased 23.25mg, 3.14.21 22.5mg

3.23.21 22.125mg, Had a sudden loss of family member. Loss of appetite, anxiety, nausea 

3.25.21 Increased 22.5mg, 4.8.21 increased 23.625 mg, 4.19.21 increase 24.75 mg

5.1.21 Increased 31mg (had a few good days and felt hungry) 5.15.21 Increased 37.5mg (emotional numbness set in) June 5.21 Increased 43.75mg June 15.21 Increased 50mg 

Since 2007 I have also had alprazolam 0.25mg prescribed, but use infrequently.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

It sounds like you know what you are doing with your taper.  It also looks like you listen to your body and understand the cause of the panic attack.  When we experience new symptoms in our body we can become scared because we don't know what is happening.  You might have already been stressed about getting the vaccine and/or having a needle and/or the environment.

 

I'm sorry to hear you lost a family member.  It is not unusual for withdrawal symptoms to increase when the body is stressed.  Please be gentle with yourself and understand that grief and being upset are normal feelings.  If we bottle them up now, it might cause an "explosion" later.

 

Just a word of caution about increasing your dose.  What you are going through is normal.  Some people think that the AD will help so keep increasing the dose trying to "solve the problem" when it is not withdrawal but part of the grieving process.

 

You might consider seeing a grief counsellor to help you get through this time.

 

And for the AD WD SA strongly encourages members to learn and use non drug coping skills.  You might find something here that you don't know about:

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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 from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full 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.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

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Thank you so much. Any tips to get the nausea to subside and increase my appetite. I'm losing an unhealthy amount of weight. I am doing protein shakes but there's only so many of those you can drink a day. 

Effexor 75mg 2007

2014 dropped to 37.5mg per MD. Back to 75mg in 4 days. 

February 2020 began slow taper 7-10% monthly 75mg-12.20.20 23.75mg

1.7.21 22.45mg, 1.28 21.1 mg, Received COVID vaccine Pfizer- had increase heart rate which led to panic attack, nausea, lost appetite.

5 days of severe panic/anxiety after 

1.31.21 increased 22.9mg, 2.25.21 increased 23.25mg, 3.14.21 22.5mg

3.23.21 22.125mg, Had a sudden loss of family member. Loss of appetite, anxiety, nausea 

3.25.21 Increased 22.5mg, 4.8.21 increased 23.625 mg, 4.19.21 increase 24.75 mg

5.1.21 Increased 31mg (had a few good days and felt hungry) 5.15.21 Increased 37.5mg (emotional numbness set in) June 5.21 Increased 43.75mg June 15.21 Increased 50mg 

Since 2007 I have also had alprazolam 0.25mg prescribed, but use infrequently.

 

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So sorry. Which vaccine was it?

May 2019 started lexapro 2.5 mg; 2020 went to every other day; 2021 beginning of Mar, tried to stop but had insomnia; Mar 30, 2021 reinstated 1.25 ev other day, WD symptoms, not enough

April 19, 2021 started liquid, .85 mg/day

May 1, 2021 .8 mg/day

May 6, 2021 .75 mg/day

June 6, 2021 .7 mg/day, June 20, 2021 .65mg/day

June 30, 2021 .6mg/day

Jul 24 .55 mg/day

Oct 17 .5 mg/day

Dec 5- .45 mg/day

 

Magnesium, ALA, EPO, melatonin as needed (now meds for stomach ulcer)

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The Pfizer COVID 

Effexor 75mg 2007

2014 dropped to 37.5mg per MD. Back to 75mg in 4 days. 

February 2020 began slow taper 7-10% monthly 75mg-12.20.20 23.75mg

1.7.21 22.45mg, 1.28 21.1 mg, Received COVID vaccine Pfizer- had increase heart rate which led to panic attack, nausea, lost appetite.

5 days of severe panic/anxiety after 

1.31.21 increased 22.9mg, 2.25.21 increased 23.25mg, 3.14.21 22.5mg

3.23.21 22.125mg, Had a sudden loss of family member. Loss of appetite, anxiety, nausea 

3.25.21 Increased 22.5mg, 4.8.21 increased 23.625 mg, 4.19.21 increase 24.75 mg

5.1.21 Increased 31mg (had a few good days and felt hungry) 5.15.21 Increased 37.5mg (emotional numbness set in) June 5.21 Increased 43.75mg June 15.21 Increased 50mg 

Since 2007 I have also had alprazolam 0.25mg prescribed, but use infrequently.

 

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Could someone advise. I feel I need to increase then stabilize for a bit. Since the last post I have increased 1 mg to 24.75mg after 11 days from a previous increase with no success. Would it be advised to continue small steps for 8-10 days until I get some relief? Once stable I plan to hold for A WHILE. 

 

 

Effexor 75mg 2007

2014 dropped to 37.5mg per MD. Back to 75mg in 4 days. 

February 2020 began slow taper 7-10% monthly 75mg-12.20.20 23.75mg

1.7.21 22.45mg, 1.28 21.1 mg, Received COVID vaccine Pfizer- had increase heart rate which led to panic attack, nausea, lost appetite.

5 days of severe panic/anxiety after 

1.31.21 increased 22.9mg, 2.25.21 increased 23.25mg, 3.14.21 22.5mg

3.23.21 22.125mg, Had a sudden loss of family member. Loss of appetite, anxiety, nausea 

3.25.21 Increased 22.5mg, 4.8.21 increased 23.625 mg, 4.19.21 increase 24.75 mg

5.1.21 Increased 31mg (had a few good days and felt hungry) 5.15.21 Increased 37.5mg (emotional numbness set in) June 5.21 Increased 43.75mg June 15.21 Increased 50mg 

Since 2007 I have also had alprazolam 0.25mg prescribed, but use infrequently.

 

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I have suffered for now 3 months, I have no appetite, hard to eat, down 26 pounds in 3 months, and terrible insomnia.  I saw my doc today and she is concerned with weight loss. Last month blood work normal, today she ordered inflammatory markers and wants to do a CT of abdomen and to see a GI doc. Could this all be related to withdraw?

I never had any problems tapering until January after receiving the COVID vaccine (Pfizer). Not sure if the stress of the vaccine threw me in withdrawal, but the suffering isn't improving. I wish I had never gotten it, but I can't change that. I really need my appetite to return. I am so weak and I must be able to work. I also want to sleep. Doc recommended mirtazapine for appetite and sleep, I said no. She did call in hydroxyzine for sleep. Benadryl isn't helping sleep anymore. Do you think I would improve to do small increments and get back to 37.5? I am so desperate, I am having a hard time to function, even though I must be able to function. I am doing several coping mechanisms and taking recommended supplements. Please, someone give advice or recommendations. 

Effexor 75mg 2007

2014 dropped to 37.5mg per MD. Back to 75mg in 4 days. 

February 2020 began slow taper 7-10% monthly 75mg-12.20.20 23.75mg

1.7.21 22.45mg, 1.28 21.1 mg, Received COVID vaccine Pfizer- had increase heart rate which led to panic attack, nausea, lost appetite.

5 days of severe panic/anxiety after 

1.31.21 increased 22.9mg, 2.25.21 increased 23.25mg, 3.14.21 22.5mg

3.23.21 22.125mg, Had a sudden loss of family member. Loss of appetite, anxiety, nausea 

3.25.21 Increased 22.5mg, 4.8.21 increased 23.625 mg, 4.19.21 increase 24.75 mg

5.1.21 Increased 31mg (had a few good days and felt hungry) 5.15.21 Increased 37.5mg (emotional numbness set in) June 5.21 Increased 43.75mg June 15.21 Increased 50mg 

Since 2007 I have also had alprazolam 0.25mg prescribed, but use infrequently.

 

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  • Mentor

Hi FarmMom,

Sorry to hear you are going through all of these symptoms :( Everything you are describing I went through as well. I actually CT from everything so my journey was def different from yours, but the nausea, insomnia, and weight loss I went through as well. I had the insomnia for a good 6-7 months after CT before my sleep started to return back to normal. The nausea went away for me around 4 or 5 months. It did seem like it took forever to go away, but eventually I started to feel better and now at 21ish months out I'm almost completely back to normal. Just have to give it lots and lots of time!! I truly can't advise you on the taper or reinstating, but as far as the symptoms go they will resolve given enough time!! Stay strong, you can do this!

 

2010-2011 - Tramadol - Can't remember dosage

2011 - CT Quit Tramadol

2011-2019 - St Johns Wart - Started out at 3 Pills a day (300 MG) and increased to 6 per day over the years

August 2019 - CT Quit St Johns (Told by Hospital Dr to Stop Taking due to increased BP)

September 2019 - Citalopram 10mg - Approx 2 weeks - CT Quit

September 2019 - October 2019 - Clonazepam .5mg - Approx 3 weeks - CT Quit

Drug Free Since October 5th 2019

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  • 3 weeks later...

@KenA Thank you for your response. Since the post I increased to 31mg on May 1st. I had to do something. After about 4 days I actually had 6 days where I felt like me, it was amazing. Then symptoms resumed.

On May 15th (5 days now) I increased to 37.5mg. The plan is to hopefully (and praying) that I stabilize here and stay for a while. The thing is, I feel worse now. The nausea has subsided for the most part, but every other symptom continues, anxiety and sleep worse, and now depression. I do not plan to make any more changes, but would like some insight if anyone has had success feeling so bad, reinstating, then feeling normal again :(

@Altostrata could you please weigh in? I wish i could go back and undo the vaccine. I was fine until then. i am now approaching 4 months of misery. 

 

@ChessieCat

 

Effexor 75mg 2007

2014 dropped to 37.5mg per MD. Back to 75mg in 4 days. 

February 2020 began slow taper 7-10% monthly 75mg-12.20.20 23.75mg

1.7.21 22.45mg, 1.28 21.1 mg, Received COVID vaccine Pfizer- had increase heart rate which led to panic attack, nausea, lost appetite.

5 days of severe panic/anxiety after 

1.31.21 increased 22.9mg, 2.25.21 increased 23.25mg, 3.14.21 22.5mg

3.23.21 22.125mg, Had a sudden loss of family member. Loss of appetite, anxiety, nausea 

3.25.21 Increased 22.5mg, 4.8.21 increased 23.625 mg, 4.19.21 increase 24.75 mg

5.1.21 Increased 31mg (had a few good days and felt hungry) 5.15.21 Increased 37.5mg (emotional numbness set in) June 5.21 Increased 43.75mg June 15.21 Increased 50mg 

Since 2007 I have also had alprazolam 0.25mg prescribed, but use infrequently.

 

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Wondering if your panic in relation to the vaccine is the culprit.

 

For me I was withdrawing carefully and had mild to moderate symptoms. I had a stressful event that triggered more symptoms it destabilized my nervous system and my withdrawal symptoms got significantly worse. Immediately had intense and acute symptoms that were not there prior to feeling panic from stressful event.

 

From what I have read it seems line when we are in withdrawal we are walking a thin line between stable and being destabilized. Sometimes an emotional response can throw us into severe destabilizion.

 

Just a theory - not sure if you feel this applies to your situation. Maybe it really was caused by the vaccine itself.

Hope you feel better fast. Remember be very careful in making changes to you drugs and supplements.

 

40 yo Male. Started Paxil about 15 years ago. 10 mg (pill weight .125 - .129 g). 5 yrs wanted less side effects, doctor took me off Paxil over couple week period and put me on Wellbutrin. Not good. Went back on Paxil. Relieved my symptoms, but didn't work as well and more side effects. Severe reaction between Paxil and Zomig Summer of 2012. Head was affected during warmer days (cloudiness, confusion, pressure). Began 10% withdrawal 10/24/12.

Withdrawel helped many symptoms, but also added side effects: nausea, dizziness, tiredness. Hyper-anxiety started January 2014.

Went through a 2 year period of de-realization (2016-2018).  Rarely any windows.  
Current dose: 0.00 as of 4/10/21.  Made a lot of progress in my withdrawal symptoms the last 2 years of my taper.  I think doing a liquid taper helped stabilize things on the lower doses.  A lot of my symptoms have reduced significantly.  Hoping for even more improvement now that I am off.
My thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/8909-rusty1-paxil-withdrawal-help-and-advice-welcome/#entry150222

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@Rusty1 Did you finally stabilize after your stressful event? 

I have very well thought the panic could have caused it. Like you, I had been fine without problems prior to. I have tried to be patient with my increases, but when you're desperate to function, yet must carry on with your work, I had to make decisions. I am fairly new to SA, but I am in some FB groups. I have tried to search for successes of stabilizing. Do you feel I have worsened things by increasing? Will I stabilize. I plan to stay at this level for a while, as in months to years if needed. 

Effexor 75mg 2007

2014 dropped to 37.5mg per MD. Back to 75mg in 4 days. 

February 2020 began slow taper 7-10% monthly 75mg-12.20.20 23.75mg

1.7.21 22.45mg, 1.28 21.1 mg, Received COVID vaccine Pfizer- had increase heart rate which led to panic attack, nausea, lost appetite.

5 days of severe panic/anxiety after 

1.31.21 increased 22.9mg, 2.25.21 increased 23.25mg, 3.14.21 22.5mg

3.23.21 22.125mg, Had a sudden loss of family member. Loss of appetite, anxiety, nausea 

3.25.21 Increased 22.5mg, 4.8.21 increased 23.625 mg, 4.19.21 increase 24.75 mg

5.1.21 Increased 31mg (had a few good days and felt hungry) 5.15.21 Increased 37.5mg (emotional numbness set in) June 5.21 Increased 43.75mg June 15.21 Increased 50mg 

Since 2007 I have also had alprazolam 0.25mg prescribed, but use infrequently.

 

Link to comment
  • Mentor
5 hours ago, FarmMom said:

@KenA Thank you for your response. Since the post I increased to 31mg on May 1st. I had to do something. After about 4 days I actually had 6 days where I felt like me, it was amazing. Then symptoms resumed.

On May 15th (5 days now) I increased to 37.5mg. The plan is to hopefully (and praying) that I stabilize here and stay for a while. The thing is, I feel worse now. The nausea has subsided for the most part, but every other symptom continues, anxiety and sleep worse, and now depression. I do not plan to make any more changes, but would like some insight if anyone has had success feeling so bad, reinstating, then feeling normal again :(

@FarmMom I personally couldn't stand the thought of ever taking another pill again, so I toughed it out. It was hell on earth for a very very long time to be sure, but I kept telling myself that I was gonna get through this or die trying! It took a very long time for me to feel better, but I can tell you that for me, the symptoms eventually faded away and I feel back to my old self again minus the pills! I do wish you the very best with reinstating and hope that it works for you!! Just remember to take it easy on yourself and manage each day the best you can!! Never ever give up and remember that this process just takes time time and more time!! You can do it!

2010-2011 - Tramadol - Can't remember dosage

2011 - CT Quit Tramadol

2011-2019 - St Johns Wart - Started out at 3 Pills a day (300 MG) and increased to 6 per day over the years

August 2019 - CT Quit St Johns (Told by Hospital Dr to Stop Taking due to increased BP)

September 2019 - Citalopram 10mg - Approx 2 weeks - CT Quit

September 2019 - October 2019 - Clonazepam .5mg - Approx 3 weeks - CT Quit

Drug Free Since October 5th 2019

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3 hours ago, FarmMom said:

@Rusty1 Did you finally stabilize after your stressful event? 

I have very well thought the panic could have caused it. Like you, I had been fine without problems prior to. I have tried to be patient with my increases, but when you're desperate to function, yet must carry on with your work, I had to make decisions. I am fairly new to SA, but I am in some FB groups. I have tried to search for successes of stabilizing. Do you feel I have worsened things by increasing? Will I stabilize. I plan to stay at this level for a while, as in months to years if needed. 

For me my destabilizing event caused incredible anxiety that made it hard to function.  I quickly understood what people meant when they say our anxiety symptoms that put us on the medication are a scratch compared to withdrawal induced anxiety which feels like fully body trauma. 

 

By slowing down my taper I was able to make my symptoms more manageable.  Enough to function.  It did destabilize my nervous system enough that it took a long time before I was back to feeling as well as I did prior to the event.

 

But that is okay.  I think during withdrawal it is naïve to think we will always be operating in windows or only have short waves.  Tapering these meds is hard.  The lessons I have learned is patience and getting yourself to functional levels is the most important in the short term.  Over the long term our bodies will heal. It takes time, patience, and keeping hope.

 

What I did learn from my destabilizing event(s) is that I was able to become acutely aware of what was causing my symptoms.  I could tell how my body would react if I did too big of a drop, if I cut my pill wrong and took too much medication, if I did too much physical activity, etc.

I think learning that is very valuable.  It allowed me try to self correct without making major changes.  It is totally understandable that someone would get scared and try to overcorrect to ease the suffering.

 

I would start to ask yourself has increasing your dose made you feel better or worse?  If you feel worse since updosing it may be that your body is not tolerating the increase in medication. Some people have had updosing help.  I could not tolerate any amount of medication more than what my last dose was and an updose was out of the question.

Just remember when increasing or decreasing try to do small deliberate changes.  Every time we change our medication or entire body is put in the position to try and adjust.  By tapering we already have destabilized ourselves a little bit, so we don't want to add to it.

 

 

40 yo Male. Started Paxil about 15 years ago. 10 mg (pill weight .125 - .129 g). 5 yrs wanted less side effects, doctor took me off Paxil over couple week period and put me on Wellbutrin. Not good. Went back on Paxil. Relieved my symptoms, but didn't work as well and more side effects. Severe reaction between Paxil and Zomig Summer of 2012. Head was affected during warmer days (cloudiness, confusion, pressure). Began 10% withdrawal 10/24/12.

Withdrawel helped many symptoms, but also added side effects: nausea, dizziness, tiredness. Hyper-anxiety started January 2014.

Went through a 2 year period of de-realization (2016-2018).  Rarely any windows.  
Current dose: 0.00 as of 4/10/21.  Made a lot of progress in my withdrawal symptoms the last 2 years of my taper.  I think doing a liquid taper helped stabilize things on the lower doses.  A lot of my symptoms have reduced significantly.  Hoping for even more improvement now that I am off.
My thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/8909-rusty1-paxil-withdrawal-help-and-advice-welcome/#entry150222

Link to comment

@Rusty1 thank you so much. Your comment is very valuable. After the 2 small increases I felt nothing. After getting to 31mg I had some good days (where I felt better). Since increasing to 37.5 I honestly feel worse and wish I had stayed at 31mg. Have I completely ruined myself? I'm afraid to drop back down, but should I? I do not plan to make any more increases. 

Effexor 75mg 2007

2014 dropped to 37.5mg per MD. Back to 75mg in 4 days. 

February 2020 began slow taper 7-10% monthly 75mg-12.20.20 23.75mg

1.7.21 22.45mg, 1.28 21.1 mg, Received COVID vaccine Pfizer- had increase heart rate which led to panic attack, nausea, lost appetite.

5 days of severe panic/anxiety after 

1.31.21 increased 22.9mg, 2.25.21 increased 23.25mg, 3.14.21 22.5mg

3.23.21 22.125mg, Had a sudden loss of family member. Loss of appetite, anxiety, nausea 

3.25.21 Increased 22.5mg, 4.8.21 increased 23.625 mg, 4.19.21 increase 24.75 mg

5.1.21 Increased 31mg (had a few good days and felt hungry) 5.15.21 Increased 37.5mg (emotional numbness set in) June 5.21 Increased 43.75mg June 15.21 Increased 50mg 

Since 2007 I have also had alprazolam 0.25mg prescribed, but use infrequently.

 

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1 hour ago, FarmMom said:

@Rusty1 thank you so much. Your comment is very valuable. After the 2 small increases I felt nothing. After getting to 31mg I had some good days (where I felt better). Since increasing to 37.5 I honestly feel worse and wish I had stayed at 31mg. Have I completely ruined myself? I'm afraid to drop back down, but should I? I do not plan to make any more increases. 

Hopefully a moderator can reach out to you and help provide recommendations about your dosage.  They are far more experienced in helping others.  At this point I have become good at understanding myself and maybe there is some knowledge to be shared. :P

 

You absolutely have not ruined yourself.  Have you made your symptoms worse and possibly your withdrawal more difficult?  Possibly...but you would be hard pressed to find anyone who has gone through what we have and not made any mistakes.  This is very difficult and by far the hardest thing I have dealt with in my life.  The good news is with stability I saw small improvements after being destabilized.  It certainly took longer than I hoped, but I am in a far better place than where I was even before the destabilizing event. 

I hope you can take comfort in that you will get better, but it will likely won't happen immediately.  Hopefully you can start to see some positive signs in the near future.

 

Remember when it comes to tapering you have made a fair amount of changes recently so it will take your body a while to settle down.  If you are feeling worse since moving to 37.5 I don't think it is absurd to try reducing a little to see if it brings any relief.  This is where a mod might be helpful and give you good advice.  Knowing how my body worked in withdrawal I probably would have tried dropping a small amount (not all the way to 31mg) to test the waters and see if it made you feel any better.  If it did you would know it was the right direction to head, but you wouldn't have made a big enough change to cause major destabilization.

40 yo Male. Started Paxil about 15 years ago. 10 mg (pill weight .125 - .129 g). 5 yrs wanted less side effects, doctor took me off Paxil over couple week period and put me on Wellbutrin. Not good. Went back on Paxil. Relieved my symptoms, but didn't work as well and more side effects. Severe reaction between Paxil and Zomig Summer of 2012. Head was affected during warmer days (cloudiness, confusion, pressure). Began 10% withdrawal 10/24/12.

Withdrawel helped many symptoms, but also added side effects: nausea, dizziness, tiredness. Hyper-anxiety started January 2014.

Went through a 2 year period of de-realization (2016-2018).  Rarely any windows.  
Current dose: 0.00 as of 4/10/21.  Made a lot of progress in my withdrawal symptoms the last 2 years of my taper.  I think doing a liquid taper helped stabilize things on the lower doses.  A lot of my symptoms have reduced significantly.  Hoping for even more improvement now that I am off.
My thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/8909-rusty1-paxil-withdrawal-help-and-advice-welcome/#entry150222

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I’m sorry you are feeling so terrible. I hope I can give you a bit of encouragement.

 

My dr abruptly took me from 37.5 to 0, after 20+ years of varied doses of Effexor. What transpired next was pure hell, but I eventually, 6 months later, reinstated a small amount ... something like 10 beads.

 

I then had to updose several times after that. I updosed  by no more than 1-4 tiny beads at a time (each bead is about .3mgai). The first couple of up doses brought rapid relief, then symptoms got worse days later. I updosed again, and same pattern. I tried to separate the updoses by 10-14 days or longer. Then, when I got to about 19-20 beads or so, the reaction I got to updosing changed. I took this as an indication that perhaps I had reached my max dose. Instead of getting relief for a few days, I started to feel worse for several days. After several weeks, those worse symptoms started to get better. I then tried 1 more bead, and the same pattern erupted, getting worse symptoms (especially nausea and anxiety, but muscle pains as well). I knew then to stop updosing and that the rest of my journey had to be one of stabilization. When all was said and done, my reinstatement + updose = about 9.5mg.

 

BTW, towards the end when symptoms got worse, the bad period usually lasted about 5-7 days, then I felt noticeable relief. I was so thankful, as it was a very scary time, worrying that I may have screwed things up. 
 

My suggestion to you is to give it a few more days. If your symptoms continue to escalate after that time, then I would seriously inquire about dropping a few beads. Otherwise, if they’re not getting worse, then I would be inclined to hold and stabilize. It took about 6 months after my last updose to stabilize enough to even consider another taper.

 

These are just my thoughts. I wish you the best. Hang in there. 

1988-1996  Various AD’s, all classifications.  

1996-2019  Effexor XR 37.5mg to 150mg. Jan 2017 onward, 37.5 mg.

2019  Apr 11: Latuda 20mg added to Effexor.  Apr 22: L to 40mg.  May 14: L to 20mg.  May 27: L to 10 mg for 3 days then ct (dr’s orders). Continue Effexor 37.5.  Jun 10: Rexulti .5 mg added. Incr to 1mg.  Jun 15: Rex to .5mg.  Jul 1-24: taper Rex to .25mg over couple of weeks then off.  Jul 24: CT Effexor (per dr’s orders)  Sep 9-19: Viibryd (low dose, not sure mg), CT (dr’s orders).  Sep 23-27: Trintellix (low dose). CT (dr’s orders).  Sep 28:  Prozac 10mg.  Oct 24:  Began rapid taper off Prozac (every other day for wk) began Pristiq 25mg for 10 days, then 50mg after that.  Dec 31-Jan 31, 2020:  Pristiq 25mg. 

2020  Feb 1: CT Pristiq due to serious side effects incl high BP w pre-existing heart condition.   Feb 1: Effexor XR (10 large beads from 37.5 capsule).  Feb 3: 14 L beads.  Feb 15: 14 L beads+2 med beads.  Feb 17: 15L + 5M beads (25mgbw or 7.56mgai).

Current: Mar 1, 2020: Effexor XR (15 large beads + 7 medium beads, 30mgbw or 9.072mgai)

 

Other current meds: Ambien 10mg nightly (2012), clonazepam .125mg nightly (May, 2019), omeprazole 20mg (alt w famotidine 20mg, since Oct 2019), Synthroid 125 mcg (1985), Premarin .625mg (2002), Miralax capful/day (2014), fluticasone nasal once/day (mid-2018), cetirizine 10mg nightly (late-2018) .  Supplements: D3 25mcg, probiotic

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@FindRest

Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. I have been telling myself to stop with the changes and allow for some stabilization now. I know there isn't a quick fix and when you're in the thick of it, it is hard to make rationale decisions. I am so thankful for an amazing husband to have a support through all of this. He knows my every change (and helps with counting) so I have told him to make me stay on this dose or to at least not increase for a minimum of 4 weeks (for when I feel terrible is when I want to start making changes). I will be glad to hold her for 6 months or longer if needed. 

 

Thank you again for your words of encouragement. 

Effexor 75mg 2007

2014 dropped to 37.5mg per MD. Back to 75mg in 4 days. 

February 2020 began slow taper 7-10% monthly 75mg-12.20.20 23.75mg

1.7.21 22.45mg, 1.28 21.1 mg, Received COVID vaccine Pfizer- had increase heart rate which led to panic attack, nausea, lost appetite.

5 days of severe panic/anxiety after 

1.31.21 increased 22.9mg, 2.25.21 increased 23.25mg, 3.14.21 22.5mg

3.23.21 22.125mg, Had a sudden loss of family member. Loss of appetite, anxiety, nausea 

3.25.21 Increased 22.5mg, 4.8.21 increased 23.625 mg, 4.19.21 increase 24.75 mg

5.1.21 Increased 31mg (had a few good days and felt hungry) 5.15.21 Increased 37.5mg (emotional numbness set in) June 5.21 Increased 43.75mg June 15.21 Increased 50mg 

Since 2007 I have also had alprazolam 0.25mg prescribed, but use infrequently.

 

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@Rusty1

Thank you. I am waiting and hoping a mod will reply with some expertise. I have tagged the two I know above. Any idea how to get a response?

 

Thanks again, 

Desperate

Effexor 75mg 2007

2014 dropped to 37.5mg per MD. Back to 75mg in 4 days. 

February 2020 began slow taper 7-10% monthly 75mg-12.20.20 23.75mg

1.7.21 22.45mg, 1.28 21.1 mg, Received COVID vaccine Pfizer- had increase heart rate which led to panic attack, nausea, lost appetite.

5 days of severe panic/anxiety after 

1.31.21 increased 22.9mg, 2.25.21 increased 23.25mg, 3.14.21 22.5mg

3.23.21 22.125mg, Had a sudden loss of family member. Loss of appetite, anxiety, nausea 

3.25.21 Increased 22.5mg, 4.8.21 increased 23.625 mg, 4.19.21 increase 24.75 mg

5.1.21 Increased 31mg (had a few good days and felt hungry) 5.15.21 Increased 37.5mg (emotional numbness set in) June 5.21 Increased 43.75mg June 15.21 Increased 50mg 

Since 2007 I have also had alprazolam 0.25mg prescribed, but use infrequently.

 

Link to comment
12 minutes ago, FarmMom said:

@Rusty1

Thank you. I am waiting and hoping a mod will reply with some expertise. I have tagged the two I know above. Any idea how to get a response?

 

Thanks again, 

Desperate

I think you did the right thing and tagged a couple mods.  Wait and see if they can help provide some advice.  I think you are correct in not increasing your dose. It sounded like you were doing okay enough until the anxiety/vaccine hit.

To me that shows it likely wasn't a dosing issue, but rather something upset your CNS.

In my taper I tended to be really cautious so I never jumped around in dose trying to find help.  When I accidentally updosed it made my sypmtoms 100x worse.  For me when I hit rough patches I always chose to just stay put until my CNS would calm down a bit.  When I accidentally updosed I could tell I wasn't going to adjust to the additional medication in my system so I decided to slowly taper.  It didn't get rid of the wave I was in, but did provide some relief.

That is what worked for me, but we are all different.  Hopefully someone more experienced can help provide some direction, but I agree you should try not to make any drastic changes.  From my time here the biggest mistake I see is to keep moving their dose around hoping it will fix it or start adding supplements or other meds into the mix to get immediate relief.

In withdrawal time and patience are the best cures as it allows our CNS to find a new operational baseline.  The more we make changes the harder it becomes for our CNS to find its balance.

 

Don't worry, it sounds like you are mentally getting a good handle on this, you just need to figure out your plan to properly dose the medication going forward.

40 yo Male. Started Paxil about 15 years ago. 10 mg (pill weight .125 - .129 g). 5 yrs wanted less side effects, doctor took me off Paxil over couple week period and put me on Wellbutrin. Not good. Went back on Paxil. Relieved my symptoms, but didn't work as well and more side effects. Severe reaction between Paxil and Zomig Summer of 2012. Head was affected during warmer days (cloudiness, confusion, pressure). Began 10% withdrawal 10/24/12.

Withdrawel helped many symptoms, but also added side effects: nausea, dizziness, tiredness. Hyper-anxiety started January 2014.

Went through a 2 year period of de-realization (2016-2018).  Rarely any windows.  
Current dose: 0.00 as of 4/10/21.  Made a lot of progress in my withdrawal symptoms the last 2 years of my taper.  I think doing a liquid taper helped stabilize things on the lower doses.  A lot of my symptoms have reduced significantly.  Hoping for even more improvement now that I am off.
My thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/8909-rusty1-paxil-withdrawal-help-and-advice-welcome/#entry150222

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@Rusty1

Thank you again for your soothing response. I feel somewhat restless (more internal than external). Also low mood, which is scary, because I have never experienced it. I pray soon I stabilize and some of this lifts. Really sad that next week I turn 40, a milestone. All I want is to be able to feel well and enjoy it :( I have no appetite, have to force eat (which have been for months) so I don't think I will even be able to have cake 

Meditation, tapping, and yoga have became my nightly routines and seem to help "some". Unfortunately there aren't places at work nor the time to practice these at work (which I am pushing through to do, because not working isn't an option). 

 

@Gridley

@brassmonkey

Any expertise ideas?

Effexor 75mg 2007

2014 dropped to 37.5mg per MD. Back to 75mg in 4 days. 

February 2020 began slow taper 7-10% monthly 75mg-12.20.20 23.75mg

1.7.21 22.45mg, 1.28 21.1 mg, Received COVID vaccine Pfizer- had increase heart rate which led to panic attack, nausea, lost appetite.

5 days of severe panic/anxiety after 

1.31.21 increased 22.9mg, 2.25.21 increased 23.25mg, 3.14.21 22.5mg

3.23.21 22.125mg, Had a sudden loss of family member. Loss of appetite, anxiety, nausea 

3.25.21 Increased 22.5mg, 4.8.21 increased 23.625 mg, 4.19.21 increase 24.75 mg

5.1.21 Increased 31mg (had a few good days and felt hungry) 5.15.21 Increased 37.5mg (emotional numbness set in) June 5.21 Increased 43.75mg June 15.21 Increased 50mg 

Since 2007 I have also had alprazolam 0.25mg prescribed, but use infrequently.

 

Link to comment
35 minutes ago, FarmMom said:

@Rusty1

Thank you again for your soothing response. I feel somewhat restless (more internal than external). Also low mood, which is scary, because I have never experienced it. I pray soon I stabilize and some of this lifts. Really sad that next week I turn 40, a milestone. All I want is to be able to feel well and enjoy it :( I have no appetite, have to force eat (which have been for months) so I don't think I will even be able to have cake 

Meditation, tapping, and yoga have became my nightly routines and seem to help "some". Unfortunately there aren't places at work nor the time to practice these at work (which I am pushing through to do, because not working isn't an option). 

 

@Gridley

@brassmonkey

Any expertise ideas?

The good thing is you are doing the relaxing activities.  Doing that helped me a lot.  I don't think it helped my withdrawal symptoms got better, but it certainly helped me respond to my withdrawal symptoms better.  They do say the more you practice meditation and similar calming activities the more you are able to channel it to your benefit when you are not actively practicing.  So keep at it!

I know it can be difficult with work.  What I would do is on a break go to my car and do 8-15 minutes of relaxing meditation.  Maybe you can find a place to even do it for a few minutes - there are some apps that have short meditations.

 

I am very sympathetic to your sadness over not enjoying life as you feel you should be.  Hopefully you can find happiness in other things.  Withdrawal made me look at my life differently and reevaluate my values.  I took a lot of things for granted as things I should come to expect from life. There will be moments when you feel like you aren't accomplishing anything in withdrawal or life.  Try not to focus only on that, but also make time to watch yourself grow.  Kind of like if you were in an accident and had to learn to walk again.  If we look at it from out past perspective it will be a frustrating path because we feel like we should be able to function normally (walk again).  But if we watch ourselves regrowing back into who we were than simple things like having cake mean so much more!

You have a supportive husband which is amazing and you seem to have a good attitude about trying to overcome this.  Like I said previously, now if you can get yourself on the right path with how to move forward with your medication dosage I think you will get yourself back on track.

 

40 yo Male. Started Paxil about 15 years ago. 10 mg (pill weight .125 - .129 g). 5 yrs wanted less side effects, doctor took me off Paxil over couple week period and put me on Wellbutrin. Not good. Went back on Paxil. Relieved my symptoms, but didn't work as well and more side effects. Severe reaction between Paxil and Zomig Summer of 2012. Head was affected during warmer days (cloudiness, confusion, pressure). Began 10% withdrawal 10/24/12.

Withdrawel helped many symptoms, but also added side effects: nausea, dizziness, tiredness. Hyper-anxiety started January 2014.

Went through a 2 year period of de-realization (2016-2018).  Rarely any windows.  
Current dose: 0.00 as of 4/10/21.  Made a lot of progress in my withdrawal symptoms the last 2 years of my taper.  I think doing a liquid taper helped stabilize things on the lower doses.  A lot of my symptoms have reduced significantly.  Hoping for even more improvement now that I am off.
My thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/8909-rusty1-paxil-withdrawal-help-and-advice-welcome/#entry150222

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  • Moderator

@FarmMom

 

Taking more of the drug does not mean you will get more relief.  For future reference, it takes 4 does for an updose to reach full strength in your blood stream and a few days more for it to register in the brain.  So you've been updosing too fast.  But that's only for future reference.

 

Since you were doing better at 31mg, and since you've been at 37.5 for only a week, you can probably drop back down to 31.  But I would hold there and not make any further changes for at least three months, possibly more.

 

Many of us, myself included, have little appetite.  I'm afraid it often goes with the  territory.  Try to eat healthy food when you can.

 

If the tapping helps, perhaps you can do at least an abbreviated version in the restroom at work.

 

 

Edited by Gridley

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 Jan. 11, 2022: 5.4mg 

Taper is 71% 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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  • Moderator

Rusty and Gridley have some really good ideas.

 

Meditation is a state of mind, so it doesn't matter where you are there is a way of doing it. The object is to make the mind relaxed and then allow the body to follow. Just taking ten or fifteen seconds to stop everything, let your mind go blank and let everything drop out of your body can be a big help. Takes some practice but pretty easy to do.

 

When I started practicing meditation this was one of the first ones I learned and still use to this day.

 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/17647-tao-of-the-brassmonkey/page/6/?tab=comments#comment-423609

 

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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22 minutes ago, Gridley said:

@FarmMom

 

Taking more of the drug does not mean you will get more relief.  For future reference, it takes 4 does for an updose to reach full strength in your blood stream and a few days more for it to register in the brain.  So you've been updosing too fast.  But that's only for future reference.

 

Since you were doing better at 31mg, and since you've been at 37.5 for only a week, you can probably drop back down to 31.  But I would hold there and not make any further changes for at least three months, possibly more.

 

Many of us, myself included, have little appetite.  I'm afraid it often goes with the  territory.  Try to eat healthy food when you can.

 

If the tapping helps, perhaps you can do at least an abbreviated version in the restroom at work.

 

 

Thank you @gridley. I actually held two weeks between each updose, even though I had read on the site 8-10 days.  In your expertise, would you go back to 31mg now, or wait until two week? Or should I just hold it out where I am now? Will I stabilize and feel like myself again? This has been traumatic. I had a flawless taper with no withdrawal until the panic attack after a vaccine. It has been a downward spiral since. 

I truly appreciate your response and advice!

Thank you for not being condescending for my updose and being educational. Some FB support groups have not responded with such kindness :)

Effexor 75mg 2007

2014 dropped to 37.5mg per MD. Back to 75mg in 4 days. 

February 2020 began slow taper 7-10% monthly 75mg-12.20.20 23.75mg

1.7.21 22.45mg, 1.28 21.1 mg, Received COVID vaccine Pfizer- had increase heart rate which led to panic attack, nausea, lost appetite.

5 days of severe panic/anxiety after 

1.31.21 increased 22.9mg, 2.25.21 increased 23.25mg, 3.14.21 22.5mg

3.23.21 22.125mg, Had a sudden loss of family member. Loss of appetite, anxiety, nausea 

3.25.21 Increased 22.5mg, 4.8.21 increased 23.625 mg, 4.19.21 increase 24.75 mg

5.1.21 Increased 31mg (had a few good days and felt hungry) 5.15.21 Increased 37.5mg (emotional numbness set in) June 5.21 Increased 43.75mg June 15.21 Increased 50mg 

Since 2007 I have also had alprazolam 0.25mg prescribed, but use infrequently.

 

Link to comment
31 minutes ago, Rusty1 said:

The good thing is you are doing the relaxing activities.  Doing that helped me a lot.  I don't think it helped my withdrawal symptoms got better, but it certainly helped me respond to my withdrawal symptoms better.  They do say the more you practice meditation and similar calming activities the more you are able to channel it to your benefit when you are not actively practicing.  So keep at it!

I know it can be difficult with work.  What I would do is on a break go to my car and do 8-15 minutes of relaxing meditation.  Maybe you can find a place to even do it for a few minutes - there are some apps that have short meditations.

 

I am very sympathetic to your sadness over not enjoying life as you feel you should be.  Hopefully you can find happiness in other things.  Withdrawal made me look at my life differently and reevaluate my values.  I took a lot of things for granted as things I should come to expect from life. There will be moments when you feel like you aren't accomplishing anything in withdrawal or life.  Try not to focus only on that, but also make time to watch yourself grow.  Kind of like if you were in an accident and had to learn to walk again.  If we look at it from out past perspective it will be a frustrating path because we feel like we should be able to function normally (walk again).  But if we watch ourselves regrowing back into who we were than simple things like having cake mean so much more!

You have a supportive husband which is amazing and you seem to have a good attitude about trying to overcome this.  Like I said previously, now if you can get yourself on the right path with how to move forward with your medication dosage I think you will get yourself back on track.

 

Thank you @Rusty1 I am trying to remain positive and I am thankful for my supportive husband. He actually counts beads with me every Sunday. He is being my cheerleader through this, when I know I'm not being the upbeat, cheerful, social wife that he married. Time and patience seems to be the key.

The relaxation techniques do not resolve my symptoms either, they simply "relax me". I keep telling myself the brain is resilient and does heal!

Effexor 75mg 2007

2014 dropped to 37.5mg per MD. Back to 75mg in 4 days. 

February 2020 began slow taper 7-10% monthly 75mg-12.20.20 23.75mg

1.7.21 22.45mg, 1.28 21.1 mg, Received COVID vaccine Pfizer- had increase heart rate which led to panic attack, nausea, lost appetite.

5 days of severe panic/anxiety after 

1.31.21 increased 22.9mg, 2.25.21 increased 23.25mg, 3.14.21 22.5mg

3.23.21 22.125mg, Had a sudden loss of family member. Loss of appetite, anxiety, nausea 

3.25.21 Increased 22.5mg, 4.8.21 increased 23.625 mg, 4.19.21 increase 24.75 mg

5.1.21 Increased 31mg (had a few good days and felt hungry) 5.15.21 Increased 37.5mg (emotional numbness set in) June 5.21 Increased 43.75mg June 15.21 Increased 50mg 

Since 2007 I have also had alprazolam 0.25mg prescribed, but use infrequently.

 

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  • Moderator
1 hour ago, FarmMom said:

In your expertise, would you go back to 31mg now, or wait until two week? Or should I just hold it out where I am now?

If you're going to go back to 31, it would be better to do it now rather than wait.  There's less of a chance of your system becoming accustomed to the higher dose.  As to whether to stay at 37.5 or go back to 31, I don't have a definite answer.  I based my recommendation on your signature, which indicated that you were doing better at 31 than on other doses.  Going from 31 to 37.5 was a big jump and may have been too much for your system to handle.  With updoses (as with reinstatements from zero), the rule generally is less is better.  But it's your decision.

 

It's great that your husband is understanding and helpful.  That will go a long way toward helping you heal.  I know it's traumatic, but  you will heal.  The brain is remarkable that way, and the fact that your taper had been going well before this latest blip is a very encouraging sign.

 

Time and patience are definitely the keys.

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 Jan. 11, 2022: 5.4mg 

Taper is 71% 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.

Link to comment
19 minutes ago, Gridley said:

If you're going to go back to 31, it would be better to do it now rather than wait.  There's less of a chance of your system becoming accustomed to the higher dose.  As to whether to stay at 37.5 or go back to 31, I don't have a definite answer.  I based my recommendation on your signature, which indicated that you were doing better at 31 than on other doses.  Going from 31 to 37.5 was a big jump and may have been too much for your system to handle.  With updoses (as with reinstatements from zero), the rule generally is less is better.  But it's your decision.

 

It's great that your husband is understanding and helpful.  That will go a long way toward helping you heal.  I know it's traumatic, but  you will heal.  The brain is remarkable that way, and the fact that your taper had been going well before this latest blip is a very encouraging sign.

 

Time and patience are definitely the keys.

@Gridley Thank you, I had a few good days on 31mg then began to feel worse again, hence the increase. I know there is absolutely no way to know how anyone responds. I suppose my question is am I doing more harm staying at 37.5 or will I stabilize there everntually? My thoughts, since I want to stay for a minimum of 3 months (I've told myself 6 months minimum) that I could take a break from counting/measuring, for my GP has called in 37.5mg. Same brand as the 75mg I have been on. I have some life stressors, work, school, etc, so holding for a while is going to be necessary. 

Effexor 75mg 2007

2014 dropped to 37.5mg per MD. Back to 75mg in 4 days. 

February 2020 began slow taper 7-10% monthly 75mg-12.20.20 23.75mg

1.7.21 22.45mg, 1.28 21.1 mg, Received COVID vaccine Pfizer- had increase heart rate which led to panic attack, nausea, lost appetite.

5 days of severe panic/anxiety after 

1.31.21 increased 22.9mg, 2.25.21 increased 23.25mg, 3.14.21 22.5mg

3.23.21 22.125mg, Had a sudden loss of family member. Loss of appetite, anxiety, nausea 

3.25.21 Increased 22.5mg, 4.8.21 increased 23.625 mg, 4.19.21 increase 24.75 mg

5.1.21 Increased 31mg (had a few good days and felt hungry) 5.15.21 Increased 37.5mg (emotional numbness set in) June 5.21 Increased 43.75mg June 15.21 Increased 50mg 

Since 2007 I have also had alprazolam 0.25mg prescribed, but use infrequently.

 

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  • Moderator
13 minutes ago, FarmMom said:

I suppose my question is am I doing more harm staying at 37.5 or will I stabilize there everntually? 

I'm afraid there's no way I can predict.  There are so many factors involved.  I don't have an answer.  I would go with what feels right to you.

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 Jan. 11, 2022: 5.4mg 

Taper is 71% 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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Today is two weeks since my updose to 37.5mg. Anxiety has lessened, added magnesium glycinate to bedtime and seem to be sleeping some better. I actually saw a psychologist this week (wanted to avoid psychiatrist for I'm sure they would want to add meds). I was actually diagnosed with PTSD from the episode with the vaccine. She said it was a perfect perfect storm from tapering and the stressor/panic attack from the vaccine. I did go down a spiraled rabbit hole after, seeking side effects, what the vaccine could be doing to me. Etc. The session helped. She was very sympathetic in regards to how hard I had worked on the taper, doing it correctly, then this happened. She said it was best that I did increase, just to overcome this trying time. 

My question is, my anxiety has eased, nausea somewhat better, although appetite still non existent, but now I am flat/emotionless/maybe depressed. This is new to me, for I was placed on venlafaxine for anxiety. Always been an upbeat, life of the party. Is this due to the increase and my body adjusting? It is a terrible feeling. 

The psychologist told me to hold at least 6 months (actually said I may need to go to 75, but to wait and see) but then, once healed (she says I'm doing all the right things, thanks coping techniques) that there is no reason I shouldn't be able to taper off again. 

Please any insight and recommendations on the depression. 

Thank you 

@Gridley

@brassmonkey

@Rusty1

@Altostrata

Effexor 75mg 2007

2014 dropped to 37.5mg per MD. Back to 75mg in 4 days. 

February 2020 began slow taper 7-10% monthly 75mg-12.20.20 23.75mg

1.7.21 22.45mg, 1.28 21.1 mg, Received COVID vaccine Pfizer- had increase heart rate which led to panic attack, nausea, lost appetite.

5 days of severe panic/anxiety after 

1.31.21 increased 22.9mg, 2.25.21 increased 23.25mg, 3.14.21 22.5mg

3.23.21 22.125mg, Had a sudden loss of family member. Loss of appetite, anxiety, nausea 

3.25.21 Increased 22.5mg, 4.8.21 increased 23.625 mg, 4.19.21 increase 24.75 mg

5.1.21 Increased 31mg (had a few good days and felt hungry) 5.15.21 Increased 37.5mg (emotional numbness set in) June 5.21 Increased 43.75mg June 15.21 Increased 50mg 

Since 2007 I have also had alprazolam 0.25mg prescribed, but use infrequently.

 

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31 minutes ago, FarmMom said:

Today is two weeks since my updose to 37.5mg. Anxiety has lessened, added magnesium glycinate to bedtime and seem to be sleeping some better. I actually saw a psychologist this week (wanted to avoid psychiatrist for I'm sure they would want to add meds). I was actually diagnosed with PTSD from the episode with the vaccine. She said it was a perfect perfect storm from tapering and the stressor/panic attack from the vaccine. I did go down a spiraled rabbit hole after, seeking side effects, what the vaccine could be doing to me. Etc. The session helped. She was very sympathetic in regards to how hard I had worked on the taper, doing it correctly, then this happened. She said it was best that I did increase, just to overcome this trying time. 

My question is, my anxiety has eased, nausea somewhat better, although appetite still non existent, but now I am flat/emotionless/maybe depressed. This is new to me, for I was placed on venlafaxine for anxiety. Always been an upbeat, life of the party. Is this due to the increase and my body adjusting? It is a terrible feeling. 

The psychologist told me to hold at least 6 months (actually said I may need to go to 75, but to wait and see) but then, once healed (she says I'm doing all the right things, thanks coping techniques) that there is no reason I shouldn't be able to taper off again. 

Please any insight and recommendations on the depression. 

Thank you 

@Gridley

@brassmonkey

@Rusty1

@Altostrata

Sounds like you are doing a lot better from a week ago. Glad things have become more tolerable. If you are okay with how you are feeling and are able to function in your life than a hold isnt a bad idea.

 

I am glad you found someone to talk to. That can be very important. I still would be very careful with any recommendations she gives regarding your dosage or suggestions to add or decrease medications, even if she cannot actually prescribe. Almost all members find that while sympathetic and good emotional resources psychologists still dont have nearly the same understanding of withdrawal as the people here. I know I certainly experienced that. I saw a couple really nice psychologists who were understanding, but no clue how to properly taper from our situation.

 

I would strongly urge you to be cautious with any updose. That can be a major trigger for worse symptoms.  I see a lot of people who talk with a therapist and increase their dose (that would be doubling) or even increase above what they originally were prescribed and their symptoms become worse. Lookup kindling on this site. Sometimes increases can cause a paradoxical reaction. From now on it seems best whether you feel compelled to increase or decrease to continue your taper to do small changes slowly over time. That allows you body to tell you how it will react without making big changes that can be more unsettling to your CNS.

 

Regarding your emotionless and depressed feelings. Those are common responses to CNS sensitivity in withdrawal. An adverse reaction from an increase, decrease, or an anxiety episode could all be culprits. As we keep telling you do not expect a change in dose to suddenly lift those symptoms. But I would expect them to slowly get better with time if you take your hold, slow taper seriously and allow your CNS to settle.

 

Glad to hear you have made some progress since last hearing from you. There will be more to come!

40 yo Male. Started Paxil about 15 years ago. 10 mg (pill weight .125 - .129 g). 5 yrs wanted less side effects, doctor took me off Paxil over couple week period and put me on Wellbutrin. Not good. Went back on Paxil. Relieved my symptoms, but didn't work as well and more side effects. Severe reaction between Paxil and Zomig Summer of 2012. Head was affected during warmer days (cloudiness, confusion, pressure). Began 10% withdrawal 10/24/12.

Withdrawel helped many symptoms, but also added side effects: nausea, dizziness, tiredness. Hyper-anxiety started January 2014.

Went through a 2 year period of de-realization (2016-2018).  Rarely any windows.  
Current dose: 0.00 as of 4/10/21.  Made a lot of progress in my withdrawal symptoms the last 2 years of my taper.  I think doing a liquid taper helped stabilize things on the lower doses.  A lot of my symptoms have reduced significantly.  Hoping for even more improvement now that I am off.
My thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/8909-rusty1-paxil-withdrawal-help-and-advice-welcome/#entry150222

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3 minutes ago, Rusty1 said:

Sounds like you are doing a lot better from a week ago. Glad things have become more tolerable. If you are okay with how you are feeling and are able to function in your life than a hold isnt a bad idea.

 

I am glad you found someone to talk to. That can be very important. I still would be very careful with any recommendations she gives regarding your dosage or suggestions to add or decrease medications, even if she cannot actually prescribe. Almost all members find that while sympathetic and good emotional resources psychologists still dont have nearly the same understanding of withdrawal as the people here. I know I certainly experienced that. I saw a couple really nice psychologists who were understanding, but no clue how to properly taper from our situation.

 

I would strongly urge you to be cautious with any updose. That can be a major trigger for worse symptoms.  I see a lot of people who talk with a therapist and increase their dose (that would be doubling) or even increase above what they originally were prescribed and their symptoms become worse. Lookup kindling on this site. Sometimes increases can cause a paradoxical reaction. From now on it seems best whether you feel compelled to increase or decrease to continue your taper to do small changes slowly over time. That allows you body to tell you how it will react without making big changes that can be more unsettling to your CNS.

 

Regarding your emotionless and depressed feelings. Those are common responses to CNS sensitivity in withdrawal. An adverse reaction from an increase, decrease, or an anxiety episode could all be culprits. As we keep telling you do not expect a change in dose to suddenly lift those symptoms. But I would expect them to slowly get better with time if you take your hold, slow taper seriously and allow your CNS to settle.

 

Glad to hear you have made some progress since last hearing from you. There will be more to come!

@Rusty1

Thank you once again for your compassionate and reassuring post. I do plan to hold here (just wanted to post her recommendations). I am holding on, praying and patiently waiting for an appetite to return and my mood to lift. It is very unpleasant, feeling emotionless. I see you say it is common with the changes. This is new to me (since my incident). I never experienced it during tapering.

Amazing how powerful and sensitive the brain is.

It has been a long 4 months. She said I was on the road to healing, but same, patience is key. I wish I had seen her sooner, to be validated, for I had said to myself I felt traumatized.

 

She said probably another good 6 months. I fear this is my new norm, but will hold on, for you say it isn't a sudden fix, it will be gradual. 

 

Thanks again ❤

Effexor 75mg 2007

2014 dropped to 37.5mg per MD. Back to 75mg in 4 days. 

February 2020 began slow taper 7-10% monthly 75mg-12.20.20 23.75mg

1.7.21 22.45mg, 1.28 21.1 mg, Received COVID vaccine Pfizer- had increase heart rate which led to panic attack, nausea, lost appetite.

5 days of severe panic/anxiety after 

1.31.21 increased 22.9mg, 2.25.21 increased 23.25mg, 3.14.21 22.5mg

3.23.21 22.125mg, Had a sudden loss of family member. Loss of appetite, anxiety, nausea 

3.25.21 Increased 22.5mg, 4.8.21 increased 23.625 mg, 4.19.21 increase 24.75 mg

5.1.21 Increased 31mg (had a few good days and felt hungry) 5.15.21 Increased 37.5mg (emotional numbness set in) June 5.21 Increased 43.75mg June 15.21 Increased 50mg 

Since 2007 I have also had alprazolam 0.25mg prescribed, but use infrequently.

 

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  • Administrator
On 5/29/2021 at 7:23 AM, FarmMom said:

My question is, my anxiety has eased, nausea somewhat better, although appetite still non existent, but now I am flat/emotionless/maybe depressed.

 

Hello, @FarmMom

 

It appears the updose is working, or the effects of the vaccination are wearing off.

 

That emotional flatness is a common effect of antidepressants that may have been unmasked by your reduction or emerged as a withdrawal symptom. If it is an adverse effect of the drug, you will continue to have it as long as you're taking it. If it's a withdrawal symptom, it will very gradually go away, like other withdrawal symptoms.

 

At any rate, it is not a "relapse" or intensification of "depression". Your therapist is incorrect in saying you will need to increase again to 75mg, she's thinking you've "relapsed".

 

See

 

What is withdrawal syndrome? 
 
About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms 
 
The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

After you stabilize, if you feel like it, you'll be able to taper at a much more gradual rate.

 

 

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I think I made a mistake and I feel worse. I sunk so low and went to my doctor who also said I should increase to 75mg, diagnosed me with anhedonia.  I took it upon myself to do slow increases instead of straight to 75mg and have decided to stop. I'm now at 50mg and suffering. So much I reached out to a psychiatrist who said it's probably not working this time around and wanted to add in Prozac or mitrazapine. Have I ruined myself? I was so desperate but now I have went into maybe a depression, I don't know. I can't be happy at all, no matter what I do. I called in to work one day last week and I have to work. Tried to float in my pool, for it was something I once loved and couldn't enjoy it. I'm so scared this is my new life now. No joy or pleasures at all. Sleep is terrible, still have to force myself to eat. I can't believe that 5 months ago I was normal and now my world is flipped upside down. The venlafaxine clearly left me vulnerable for a panic attack, then I went down a dark hole, thinking the vaccine was going to kill me and I have ruined my brain from the constant worry. Will I stabilize at 50mg and get some joy back? I'm a shell of myself. Can't focus at work, can't focus enough to watch a TV show. Thankfully I can read some, and listen to mediation videos. Any suggestions?

 

@Altostrata

@Rusty1

@Gridley

 

 

Effexor 75mg 2007

2014 dropped to 37.5mg per MD. Back to 75mg in 4 days. 

February 2020 began slow taper 7-10% monthly 75mg-12.20.20 23.75mg

1.7.21 22.45mg, 1.28 21.1 mg, Received COVID vaccine Pfizer- had increase heart rate which led to panic attack, nausea, lost appetite.

5 days of severe panic/anxiety after 

1.31.21 increased 22.9mg, 2.25.21 increased 23.25mg, 3.14.21 22.5mg

3.23.21 22.125mg, Had a sudden loss of family member. Loss of appetite, anxiety, nausea 

3.25.21 Increased 22.5mg, 4.8.21 increased 23.625 mg, 4.19.21 increase 24.75 mg

5.1.21 Increased 31mg (had a few good days and felt hungry) 5.15.21 Increased 37.5mg (emotional numbness set in) June 5.21 Increased 43.75mg June 15.21 Increased 50mg 

Since 2007 I have also had alprazolam 0.25mg prescribed, but use infrequently.

 

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  • Moderator

I would not increase your dose any further, and I would not add any new medications. Doing either will just set you back even further.

 

As Alto mentioned anhedonia or emotional blunting is one of the most commons side effects and WD symptoms associated with these drugs. Many people find it quite upsetting, when in fact it is quite harmless. Here is a good article talking about it:

 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/17647-tao-of-the-brassmonkey/?tab=comments#comment-351118

 

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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