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softanimal

softanimal - hoping to be effexor free someday

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softanimal

hi everyone,

 

i love the vibe on this site; it seems incredibly friendly, warm, and welcoming. the following is an introduction i posted on another well-known AD withdrawal site:

 

i've been on effexor for 7.5 years (not remotely my choice - was forced on it in the psych ward). prior to that i was on paxil for 8 years, and was ripped off cold turkey by a psych ward psychiatrist in 2005. in 2007, when i was determined to stop this awful drug the first time, i was switched from xr to immediate release. needless to say i tapered nearly all the way off, became insane/extremely sick, and reinstated at 37.5mg (i now realize my taper was much too fast). i was on 37.5mg/day from 2007-2011, then last year very slowly decreased my dose crumb by crumb to 3/4 a 37.5mg pill (so about 28mg/day). due to difficult life circumstances i stayed on that dose until just recently. i'm now determined to get off this crap for good, and am tapering so slowly it's almost ridiculous -- 5-10 percent every 4-6 weeks. right now i'm sort-of eyeballing it which isn't working so well, so i'm anxious to receive the scale i recently purchased off ebay. at this rate it'll take me about two years to be off, but if it works then i'll just exercise patience and go for it. i have an extremely sensitive system and am dealing with chronic illness (late-stage/chronic lyme disease), so i don't want to shock my body by withdrawing too quickly. if anyone has withdrawn successfully using this extremely slow method, i'd love to hear about it! i'd also love to hear from anyone who has withdrawn from effexor immediate release (rather than the xr), taken twice per day.

 

thanks so much and good luck to everyone here.

 

 

additional thoughts/details: i've been drugged on this crap (anti-depressants) since i was 16 years old (i'm now nearly 32). i'm afraid i'll never be free of it, though i desperately want to experience life without the pharma drug veil and this is my first attempt to quit in earnest (i was always too frightened before). i'm also on .75mg klonopin/night for insomnia, as well as a more recent addition of a crumb of seroquel when the insomnia became debilitating last fall. i might stabilize on my current effexor dose and wean off the seroquel before resuming the effexor taper. the benzo taper will need to wait at least a few years, i'm guessing, until i'm completely off effexor and recovered from any withdrawal effects. i'm SO ANGRY i've been put through this, that i've lost years of my life to polypharmacology. i don't know who i am, really, without these drugs.

 

one last question: has anyone successfully tapered the last of effexor using prozac or another longer-acting SSRI? i know the other site recommends against this method, but i'm still really curious about it.

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Skyler

Hi softanimal.. glad to have you on board. I'm very sorry to hear of your AD journey, unfortunately you are not alone. Anger is a normal response. I'm not the person to offer you advice, but will reframe your question, you are looking for an opinion on tapering directly off the remainder of the effexor because you are concerned you could have a bad response to cross tapering to Prozac? Very understandable with all you have been through.

 

More informed feedback soon..~S

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softanimal

Hi softanimal.. glad to have you on board. I'm very sorry to hear of your AD journey, unfortunately you are not alone. Anger is a normal response. I'm not the person to offer you advice, but will reframe your question, you are looking for an opinion on tapering directly off the remainder of the effexor because you are concerned you could have a bad response to cross tapering to Prozac? Very understandable with all you have been through.

 

More informed feedback soon..~S

 

hi Shuyler, thanks so much for the welcome, and your kind thoughts. i guess i don't have a specific question, really. just looking for folks' experiences tapering off effexor, whether it was a direct slow taper or a cross-taper with another SSRI. i'm also wondering if people think it's possible to get off a multi-drug, years-long cocktail by slowly tapering one drug at a time. i've been on effexor since 2005, though have stayed at a relatively low dose (37.5mg) since my first taper attempt in fall 2007. i've been on klonopin (anywhere from .5-.75 mg) since 2007. the seroquel is rather recent and such a miniscule dose - 12.5mg or less - that i'm less concerned about it.

 

this is sort-of off topic, but strangely enough, when i was cold-turkeyed off paxil in 2005, i experienced no noticeable withdrawal symptoms whatsoever. i'm thinking this might be because i was so sick with lyme disease at the time (near death, really) that i just didn't notice any physical worsening. however, despite my barely-alive cognitive and physiological state then, i remember thinking it very bizarre that i wasn't experiencing the zaps. i'm wondering if the insane drugs they put me on in the psych ward - depakote and clozaril, in particular - somehow covered the paxil withdrawal? i guess i'll never know for sure. thankfully i was able to quickly wean off clozaril once i was out in the world; the depakote took another year or so, but wasn't a particularly problematic drug for me to quit. i was still left with this crappy effexor, however.

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Skyler

i'm thinking this might be because i was so sick with lyme disease at the time (near death, really) that i just didn't notice any physical worsening. however, despite my barely-alive cognitive and physiological state then, i remember thinking it very bizarre that i wasn't experiencing the zaps. i'm wondering if the insane drugs they put me on in the psych ward - depakote and clozaril, in particular - somehow covered the paxil withdrawal? i guess i'll never know for sure.

 

I think this is a reasonable guess about depakote and clozaril. Alto will weigh in shortly, but in the meantime, you might like to take a look at this thread.~S

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softanimal

just moving this up for more replies.. thank you so much in advance, everyone. <3

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Altostrata

Welcome, softanimal.

 

There's no question people have tapered off multiple drugs and done very well after.

 

As for crossing to Prozac to finish your taper, this is a recognized method used by many doctors to get people off difficult-to-quit drugs like Paxil, Effexor, Cymbalta, etc.

 

It has its own risks, however. If you find it impossible to reduce Effexor anymore, you might consider it.

 

As for your cold-turkey off Paxil -- it might have been back then your nervous system was less sensitive. After multiple drug exposures, your system might have gotten sensitized. Nobody can predict how well they'll do quitting a drug from previous experience. It's all the luck of the draw.

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