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Nova: How long to heal?


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I am currently tapering off clonazepam, which is hell in itself, and next I want to come off Effexor XR. I am currently at 75mg and want to get pregnant. My psychiatrist doesn't want me off Effexor completely because after 10 years he thinks I need it for the rest of my life. I disagree. I was wondering how many people have come of Effexor after long-term use? Also, how long does it take the brain to adjust without the medicine?

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Welcome, sb. I moved your first post here because it introduces your situation.

 

People can and do taper completely off Effexor XR.

 

Tapering slowly is protective for your nervous system, reducing the likelihood of severe withdrawal symptoms.

 

It's very hard to tell what will happen. Most people find it relatively easy to taper off. How is your benzo taper going?

 

There is no reason for you to have to be on Effexor for the rest of your life. These drugs were never intended to be taken permanently. And they're not good for the newborn.

 

How do you like your psychiatrist in general?

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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I do really like my psychiatrist I think he's just looking out for me. The clonazepam taper is going ok. It's a little rough in terms of sleep issues and I'm nervous about coming off completely. But I should be off at the end of the month.

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I've just heard that it can take your brain up to six months to recover from AD's. In terms of it producing serotonin, etc. is that true?

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You may wish to hold on your benzo taper, and taper Effexor first. Withdrawing from an antidepressant can cause sleep disruption, and the benzo may help.

 

It can take quite a while for your nervous system to recover from benzo withdrawal, too. This can make the Effexor taper more difficult.

 

If you're referring to the serotonin imbalance theory, it is a myth. It never existed. The drugs themselves set up an abnormal neurotransmitter situation. They downregulate serotonin receptors; it is the serotonin receptors that need to recover, not the amount of serotonin in the brain.

 

Effexor affects two neurotransmitters, serotonin and norepinephrine. It can take weeks or months for your nervous system to go back to normal after withdrawal. Everyone is different.

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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One last thing. I am currently on 0.25 clonazepam in the morning and at night. My doctor wants me to finish that taper before Effexor. He mentioned doing 2 days off, 1 day on. But I read on these forums that's like playing yoyo with your brain. What do you recommend?

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One last thing. I am currently on 0.25 clonazepam in the morning and at night. My doctor wants me to finish that taper before Effexor. He mentioned doing 2 days off, 1 day on. But I read on these forums that's like playing yoyo with your brain. What do you recommend?

Big time BAD. I was tapering on diazepam after crossing over from clonazepam to smooth the taper (longer half life). I was doing really well until I tried to take a huge, ill advised and uninformed cut in another psychotropic, Lyrica. Read my sig line. Also, I 'tapered' by taking different doses on alternate days, which caused uneven blood levels and made matters even worse.

 

Coming off the clon. safely would take about 8 months, this without any other tapers going on, and without the neuro sensitization you have been experiencing from Effexor. Taper the drug that is making you most symptomatic first, the Effexor. Tapering two drugs at once is much more tricky as withdrawal from one will bleed through to the other.

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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sb, in my opinion, that is a poor and misguided way to taper off a benzo.

 

If I were you, I'd hold on the benzo taper and do the Effexor taper first, for the reasons I gave before.

 

As for what you may expect, that's a big question. Please read 6 of the topics in this Intro section where people are talking about Effexor withdrawal.

 

What is your doctor telling you about Effexor withdrawal?

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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He tells me everything that people have said before. If I come off slowly enough that I should be ok. I've come off Effexor before and he's more worried about the clonazepam which is why he wants me off that first. What can I take to help with the residual anxiety? You had mentioned magnesium. Are there any other natural things I can take?

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Our Symptoms and What Helps section is full of suggestions to reduce withdrawal symptoms.

 

sb, I have to strongly disagree with your doctor's plan to taper you off clonazepam by alternating dosages. You may wish to visit benzobuddies.org for information about benzo tapering. We don't cover it here, it can be complicated.

 

As I said before, doing the benzo withdrawal first can make the Effexor taper more difficult. Are you experiencing adverse effects from the benzo?

 

Did you start taking the benzo after Effexor? For anxiety and insomnia, maybe?

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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Yes I started taking the benzo after for anxiety/insomnia. I'm not going to alternate days. I'm going to decrease it every two weeks.

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It seems likely to me that you are taking the benzo for side effects of Effexor, which include anxiety and insomnia.

 

I stress my suggestion that, if you are not having adverse effects from the benzo, you reduce the Effexor first, then the benzo.

 

All of the above should bring into question your doctor's judgment. He may be a nice man, but it looks like he has mismedicated you and doesn't know anything about tapering off psychiatric medications.

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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Are you saying those are the side effects from Effexor withdrawal? Anxiety/insomnia occurs frOm Effexor withdrawal? So you're saying to keep the clonazepam to help with those withdrawal symptoms?

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I think Alto was saying that Effexor itself can cause anxiety/insomnia..these are side effects.

 

When you taper off Effexor, the reducton in dosage can ALSO cause insomnia, vivid dreams, poor concentration, labile emotions, dizziness, ringing in the ears, impaired equilibrium.

 

Some people have no problems at all stopping antidepressants. I am not one of those and that is not unusual. A high percentage of people suffer w/d symptoms.

I experienced many physical symptoms and emotional instability when I c/t Effexor xr. When I reinstated, the symptoms mostly disappeared within 5-8 hours. Now I am tapering, but I still have some symptoms for a few days when I taper down 1 mg.

 

I agree with Alto. Hang onto a bit of your Benzo in order to cushion the withdrawal from Effexor. I am still on Xanax, and it helps take the edge off.

 

I am not an expert like Alto. I am just speaking from my own experience.

 

One last thing...I feel better physically since tapering. Emotionally I have periods of heightened sensitivity, but it does not linger long.

 

Take care,

Daisy

Effexor XL 2009-2012. CT 150mg Effexor XR  2012, Effexor XR  75mg  2012  then rapid taper to 0, Reinstated Effexor XR 13mg then updosed to 20mg, Tapered to 18mg Effexor XR 4/9/12, Off Effexor XL ?Reinstated  Effexor XL 150 mgs  August  2012, Crashed in November 2012, Prozac 40 mgs 2012 to Feb 2018, Buspar 60  mgs 2012-stopped 2015, Remeron 7.5 mgs as needed for sleep-stopped Feb 2017, Prozac 50 mgs Feb 2018 to March 2018, Lexapro 5 mgs March 18 2018 to May 17th 2018, Lexapro 2.5 mgs  May 18th to May 26th 2018, Prozac 10 mgs May 15th 2018, Prozac 5 mgs May 19th 2018 to current day May 28th 2018,  Xanax 0.25 mgs to 0.5 mgs daily for over 15 years. Increased Xanax to 1.5 mgs Sept 2012, Tapered Xanax to 0 mgs  May 2013.Reinstated Xanax Feb 2017 at 0.125 mgs as needed, Gradual increase of Xanax to 1.5 mgs daily till May 22nd 2018, Xanax 1.25 mgs daily. Holding

 

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Thanks Daisy!! I will hold on to the clonazepam in case I need it for tapering. I just bought some Magnesium too! So hope that helps!!

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I do not know how you are tapering your Benzo, but it may be 10 percent of your dose every 10 to 14 days. With the Effexor, the percentage is about the same, but hold the dose for 3-4 weeks between drops. Many people have to micro taper in order to not suffer w/d symptoms.

 

Best wishes,

Daisy

 

Again, I am not a expert, but what I posted above is what is stored in my memory.

Effexor XL 2009-2012. CT 150mg Effexor XR  2012, Effexor XR  75mg  2012  then rapid taper to 0, Reinstated Effexor XR 13mg then updosed to 20mg, Tapered to 18mg Effexor XR 4/9/12, Off Effexor XL ?Reinstated  Effexor XL 150 mgs  August  2012, Crashed in November 2012, Prozac 40 mgs 2012 to Feb 2018, Buspar 60  mgs 2012-stopped 2015, Remeron 7.5 mgs as needed for sleep-stopped Feb 2017, Prozac 50 mgs Feb 2018 to March 2018, Lexapro 5 mgs March 18 2018 to May 17th 2018, Lexapro 2.5 mgs  May 18th to May 26th 2018, Prozac 10 mgs May 15th 2018, Prozac 5 mgs May 19th 2018 to current day May 28th 2018,  Xanax 0.25 mgs to 0.5 mgs daily for over 15 years. Increased Xanax to 1.5 mgs Sept 2012, Tapered Xanax to 0 mgs  May 2013.Reinstated Xanax Feb 2017 at 0.125 mgs as needed, Gradual increase of Xanax to 1.5 mgs daily till May 22nd 2018, Xanax 1.25 mgs daily. Holding

 

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SB...

 

The side effects from Effexor are very potent. Many physician's misdiagnose the WD symptoms for a severe return to original symptoms which is not the case. It is WD.

 

Alto's advise is truly the better way to proceed...

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1902-nikki-hi-my-rundown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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Ok I agree I'm going to taper the Effexor first!! Two weeks ago I dropped from 150 to 75 by decreasing 20 balls every two days. I decreased within 1 week and was dong ok. Granted I was also on the clonazepam. Since that seemed effective can I do the same decrease, 20 balls every two days?

 

How long should I wait after I'm done with the tapering to then begin the clonazepam taper?

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Sorry one last thing! I also have a greater dependency on te clonazepam than the Effexor. I think the reason he wanted to taper me of clonazepam first was because he doesn't want me coming off the Effexor. He wants me to stay on it while I'm pregnant.

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sb, it seems the Effexor is the one causing the most symptoms (most symptomatic). It is probably too activating for you -- it caused anxiety and insomnia -- that's why you're taking the clonazepam.

 

If you take away the clonazepam, you will get the adverse reactions from Effexor again. That's another reason to taper the Effexor first.

 

If I were you, I would STOP TAPERING the clonazepam now. Stay on a low dose for a couple of weeks, to make sure you won't have withdrawal from the reductions you've already made. If all is okay, stay on that low dose. Don't make any changes in it until you are completely off Effexor with no withdrawal symptoms for at least a month.

 

Then, start tapering the Effexor. If you're taking 75mg, plan on a reduction of 7.5mg for at least 3 weeks. This is to see if you get withdrawal symptoms from the reductions you've already made.

 

If all goes well, you may be able to taper faster. Many people can. Read this http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/page__view__findpost__p__21288

 

Anxiety and insomnia are common Effexor withdrawal symptoms. Usually, it's much worse than any anxiety or insomnia you've ever experienced. If you get this, it's a sign you're tapering too quickly.

 

Please keep us posted about how you're doing.

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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Ok I agree I'm going to taper the Effexor first!! Two weeks ago I dropped from 150 to 75 by decreasing 20 balls every two days. I decreased within 1 week and was dong ok. Granted I was also on the clonazepam. Since that seemed effective can I do the same decrease, 20 balls every two days?

 

How long should I wait after I'm done with the tapering to then begin the clonazepam taper?

 

150 mg to 75 mg in two weeks is an incredibly rapid reduction! I highly recommend that you taper off of the rest of it more slowly - I would not continue decreasing 20 balls every two days.

 

Sorry one last thing! I also have a greater dependency on te clonazepam than the Effexor. I think the reason he wanted to taper me of clonazepam first was because he doesn't want me coming off the Effexor. He wants me to stay on it while I'm pregnant.

 

First, NO ... you do not want to stay on an AD while pregnant. ADs cause birth defects and the baby can be born dependent on the drug. I have serious doubts about your doctor.

 

I am on both Effexor regular (have been on it since 1999) and on Xanax. I tried tapering my Xanax just to see if I could have a little success with it and I am delighted to say that I did have success with it. I tapered 0.0625 mg every 10-14 days. In fact, I was tempted to keep going, but I need to get off of the Effexor first because it is the more stimulating drug. Chances are once I'm off of Effexor I won't need the Xanax.

 

Hope something here is helpful ...

 

Karma

2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & .625 mg Xanax

200 mg Gabapentin 2/27/21 - 194.5 mg, 5/28/21 - 183 mg, 8/2/21 - 170 mg, 11/28/21 - 150 mg, 4/19/22 - 122 mg; 8//7/22 - 100 mg
Xanax taper: 3/11/12 - 0.9375 mg, 3/25/12 - 0.875 mg, 4/6/12 - 0.8125 mg, 4/18/12 - 0.75 mg; 1/16 0.6875 mg; at some point 0.625 mg
Effexor taper: 1/29/12 - 40.625 mg, 4/29/12 - 39.875 mg, 5/11/12 - Switched to liquid Effexor, 5/25/12 - 38 mg, 7/6/12 - 35 mg, 8/17/12 - 32 mg, 9/14/12 - 30 mg, 10/19/12 - 28 mg, 11/9/12 - 26 mg, 11/30/12 - 24 mg, 01/14/13 - 22 mg. 02/25/13 - 20.8 mg, 03/18/13 - 19.2 mg, 4/15/13 - 17.6 mg, 8/10/13 - 16.4 mg, 9/7/13 - 15.2 mg, 10/19/13 - 14 mg, 1/15/14 - 13.2 mg, 3/1/2014 - 12.6 mg, 5/4/14 - 12 mg, 8/1/14 - 11.4 mg, 8/29/14 - 10.8 mg; 10/14/14 - 10.2 mg; 12/15/14 - 10 mg, 1/11/15 - 9.5 mg, 2/8/15 - 9 mg, 3/21/15 - 8.5 mg, 5/1/15 - 8 mg, 6/9/15 - 7.5 mg, 7/8/15 - 7 mg, 8/22/15 - 6.5 mg, 10/4/15 - 6 mg; 1/1/16 - 5.6 mg; 2/6/16 - 5.2 mg; 4/9 - 4.8 mg; 7/7 4.5 mg; 10/7 4.25 mg; 11/4 4.0 mg; 11/25 3.8 mg; 4/24 3.6 mg; 5/27 3.4 mg; 7/8 3.2 mg ... 10/18 2.8 mg; 1/18 2.6 mg; 4/7 2.4 mg; 5/26 2.15mg; 8/18 1.85 mg; 10/7 1.7 mg; 12/1 1.45 mg; 3/2 1.2 mg; 5/4 0.90 mg; 6/1 0.80 mg; 6/22 0.65 mg; 08/03 0.50 mg, 08/10 0.45 mg, 10/05 0.325 mg, 11/23 0.2 mg, 12/14 0.15 mg, 12/21 0.125 mg, 02/28 0.03125 mg, 2/15 0.015625 mg, 2/29/20 0.00 mg - OFF Effexor


I am not a medical professional - this is not medical advice. My suggestions are based on personal experience, reading, observation and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers

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sb, Effexor is also dangerous to the developing baby. The newborn can have Effexor withdrawal, too.

 

Doctors like to think ADs are less of a risk than benzos for pregnant women, but that's just wishful thinking.

 

Optimally, you'll want to be off both drugs before you get pregnant.

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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sb****,

 

It sounds like you are on Effexor XR. That is the type I am tapering off of. I was on Effexor XR 150mgs. Due to circumstances, I started to taper real fast like you have been. I went from 150mgs to 0 mgs in 32 days. The second or third day of having no Effexor XR, I got on line and found this forum. I was experiencing horrible irritability, poor concentration and what I will call the weirdest dizziness I have ever had.

 

My suggestion to you is to slow down an let your system adjust. Otherwise you could end up like me and have to reinstate the medication. I still am going faster than recommended...but that is my choice. It may come back to bite me. I will let you all know if it does.

 

I hope we are not overwhelming you with all this information. This forum's intent is only to help and offer information.

 

Take care,

 

Daisy

Effexor XL 2009-2012. CT 150mg Effexor XR  2012, Effexor XR  75mg  2012  then rapid taper to 0, Reinstated Effexor XR 13mg then updosed to 20mg, Tapered to 18mg Effexor XR 4/9/12, Off Effexor XL ?Reinstated  Effexor XL 150 mgs  August  2012, Crashed in November 2012, Prozac 40 mgs 2012 to Feb 2018, Buspar 60  mgs 2012-stopped 2015, Remeron 7.5 mgs as needed for sleep-stopped Feb 2017, Prozac 50 mgs Feb 2018 to March 2018, Lexapro 5 mgs March 18 2018 to May 17th 2018, Lexapro 2.5 mgs  May 18th to May 26th 2018, Prozac 10 mgs May 15th 2018, Prozac 5 mgs May 19th 2018 to current day May 28th 2018,  Xanax 0.25 mgs to 0.5 mgs daily for over 15 years. Increased Xanax to 1.5 mgs Sept 2012, Tapered Xanax to 0 mgs  May 2013.Reinstated Xanax Feb 2017 at 0.125 mgs as needed, Gradual increase of Xanax to 1.5 mgs daily till May 22nd 2018, Xanax 1.25 mgs daily. Holding

 

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  • 1 month later...

Hey everyone! I was on Paxil for 5 years and Effezor XR for 5 years. Yesterday was my one week mark of being off completely! Yay me! The first 5 days I had bad brain zaps, nausea and restlessness. Yesterday I had some heightened anxiety and the what-if thoughts. Do I need this medicine thoughts, can I do this thoughts? Needless to say my mind was racing last night and could not fall asleep. I am on a small dose of clonazepam to help through this. So I took 0.5k to finally sleep. Are these normal feelings? When does the increased anxiety lessen? Is the restless sleep common too? Will I get better?

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Hey, Nova (formerly sb). I merged your new post with your existing topic.

 

Those are withdrawal symptoms. Are you still having brain zaps? Are your symptoms getting better or worse?

 

How did you come off Effexor?

 

(Let's wait until you have no more withdrawal symptoms before publishing your Recovery Story.)

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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More than anything I just have increases nervousness and diarrhea. I think a lot ha to do with my thoughts and thinking I need to be on this. I am taking a small dose of clonazepam to help, 0.25-0.5 at night to help relax and sleep.

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More than anything I just have increases nervousness and diarrhea. I think a lot ha to do with my thoughts and thinking I need to be on this. I am taking a small dose of clonazepam to help, 0.25-0.5 at night to help relax and sleep.

 

Hi Nova.. how long have you been taking k. to sleep at night? It is highly addictive and you can fall into the benzo trap with every day dosing in as little as a week or two, then be into a long taper from this. Be very very careful not to get yourself in a bind? Better to go back on the AD and taper slowly then end up in a double bind because of benzos. If you are having trouble sleeping it's because you withdrew for the AD abruptly.

 

The symptoms you describe are not due to your fears of withdrawal, but are symptoms of withdrawal and you need to listen to your body. It's trying to give you an important warning.

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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So I'm figuring that once the anxiety lessens a little from coming of Effezor it will be easier to taper the clonazepam. Doc wants me to drop from the 0.25 to 0 next month.

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So I'm figuring that once the anxiety lessens a little from coming of Effezor it will be easier to taper the clonazepam. Doc wants me to drop from the 0.25 to 0 next month.

 

Not easier, not at all. Where did you get this idea from?? Big time wrong. Your doc is setting you up to be very very ill. Like most docs, he know's nothing about withdrawal. Read some of the stories on this site, and learn how to taper.

 

Your anxiety is only going to get worse, much much worse, and you are setting yourself up for protracted withdrawal.

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
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Nova, how are you doing now?

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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I'm doing fabulous! I am surrounding myself by positive people and wasn't find of some of the negative outlooks about recovery from some people :(

 

Thanks for checking in!

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How's your taper going?

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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  • 2 months later...

Hi everyone! I have been off Effexor for 3.5 months now! YAY! Like a few other people on here about 2 months in I got hit hard wtih insomnia and sleep anxiety. I was doing so great for like 2 months!! I'm still on 1mg clonazepam and 15mg Remeron to help sleep. I feel so different, better actually not being on Effexor. But I would like to know when things fully get better? I would like to taper off the clonazepam but just don't know when. I don't feel ready yet.

 

I would also be interested in any scientific research done on the healing brain after years of being on antidepressants...

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