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flong: Effexor XR Tapering


flong

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I'm here to share my experience as I attempt to get this horrible drug out of my system. I've been on Effexor XR since 2001, started on 75 mg, up to 150 mg in 2002, and have been there for 10 years. In about 2009 I realized it was no longer working properly, and at the suggestion of my doctor, I split it into 75 mg twice daily instead of 150 mg in the morning. It helped with the strange morning symptoms I was getting (I'll explain in another topic, or later in this one). However over the last two years it has become clear the drug is no longer working as it once did. So I have decided to begin the process of tapering off, hopefully down to nothing. It's so nice to meet all of you! So many posts to read through on this very topic! It's great not to feel so alone. Looking forward to learning more from everyone here, hope I can help somebody else out soon as well.

Edited by scallywag
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2001 september - Effexor XR 75 mg, Seroquel 250 mg
2001 november - Effexor XR 150 mg
2003 - Replaced Seroquel with 20 mg Nozinan
2005 - Discontinued anti-psycotic medications for good
2009 january - Started having panic attacks
2009 - split 150 mg Effexor XR into 75 mg twice daily
2010 - Occasionally Clonazapam and Adivan for panic attacks
2012 - Realization that Effexor no longer works, and may even be having adverse reactions to it.
2012 October 18 - Begin slow taper (1 bead removed from each morning and evening 75mg capsule), February 18, 2013 - 140 beads per pill (X2 per day) (About 65%), 2013 November 16 - 70 beads per pill (X2 per day) (32.5%), 2014 September - 27 beads per pill (X2 per day) (12.5%) November 2 2015 - 1 bead per day (0.23% of original dose) and SLOWLY spacing doses out 25 hours, then 26, 28, currently 29hrs
November 2014 at 200mg Welbutrin

February 21st, 2016 - Last dose of Effexor forever

Monday, March 7, 2016 - Started decreasing Wellbutrin, currently at >25mg once a day

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Hey Flong

 

Welcome to the forum. You'll find a substantial amount of information and personal experience here relating to Effexor. Venlafaxine is a tough drug for some to discontinue. But I'd not be fearful. The leading cause of difficult withdrawal syndromes is probably horrifically mismanaged tapers at far too rapid a rate.

 

I myself had a rough experience with Effexor a while back after following my doctors fartoorapid tapering schedule. I wish I knew then... But, I am happy to say that I have been Effexor free for over two years. I am not depressed or anxious to any unusual degree today. I sleep well these days. I do suffer from other issues unrelated to psychiatry but my relationship with psychiatry was horrific, the defining experience of my entire life. After taking 10+ prescription meds over fifteen years, including a hospitalization and a few trips to other institutions, I was able to get off Effexor and think you can too!

 

Again, welcome to the forum. Others will drop in to offer some words, I'm sure.

 

Cheers,

Alex

"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Flong

 

Welcome to the forums. You'll find some useful info on tapering Effexor here Tapering Effexor

 

Feel free to ask questions anytime

 

Dalsaan

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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Welcome to the community Flong

 

When you get a chance please add a signature that tells us what your med history is with Effexor http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/. That way when anyone responds to a question or update they will have your history readily available.

 

 

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
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;
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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Welcome Flong,

I am still new to this site. But wanted to let you know that 13 months after start Effexor WD I am completely off of it. I started with a 5% reduction. I'm unsure how much of my remaining symptoms are from the Effexor because I'm also WD from Remeron.

One thing I found very helpful for the buzzing in the head was to do jumping jacks for a couple of minutes. i stumbled on this kind of accidentally. One day I got angry with my husband and realized the buzzing was greatly reduced. Anger didn't seem like a good solution so I thought if I could get my heartrate up maybe I would get the same result. I worked.

15+ years on various ADs and combos. Spent 3 yrs tapering (off & on ) off 225mg Effexor venlafaxine) XR & Remeron (mirtazapine). Finished tapering Oct 2014.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Flong,

welcome to the forums. Another effexor WD'er here!

 

You will find lots of useful information about withdrawal and preventing/managing symptoms here

Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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  • Administrator

Rather than jumping jacks, which sound sort of strenuous, I suggest walking or maybe a little stationary bike, not too fast, to get circulation going and regulate blood pressure, etc.

 

Fish oil can be good for head symptoms.

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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Thanks so much for your responses!

I have my history as my signature now.

Just wanted to report that I'm down 10% of total dose the last several days. WD is noticeably better today than yesterday even. Though I'm quite worried about what happens near the end of this taper D:

From what most people are saying, it seems the most trouble comes when there's only about 1-25mg left of the drug per day.

If the first 10% reduction goes as smoothly as the last 10%, I'm in heaven...though it looks like I may be in for somewhat of a shitstorm.

2001 september - Effexor XR 75 mg, Seroquel 250 mg
2001 november - Effexor XR 150 mg
2003 - Replaced Seroquel with 20 mg Nozinan
2005 - Discontinued anti-psycotic medications for good
2009 january - Started having panic attacks
2009 - split 150 mg Effexor XR into 75 mg twice daily
2010 - Occasionally Clonazapam and Adivan for panic attacks
2012 - Realization that Effexor no longer works, and may even be having adverse reactions to it.
2012 October 18 - Begin slow taper (1 bead removed from each morning and evening 75mg capsule), February 18, 2013 - 140 beads per pill (X2 per day) (About 65%), 2013 November 16 - 70 beads per pill (X2 per day) (32.5%), 2014 September - 27 beads per pill (X2 per day) (12.5%) November 2 2015 - 1 bead per day (0.23% of original dose) and SLOWLY spacing doses out 25 hours, then 26, 28, currently 29hrs
November 2014 at 200mg Welbutrin

February 21st, 2016 - Last dose of Effexor forever

Monday, March 7, 2016 - Started decreasing Wellbutrin, currently at >25mg once a day

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Don't worry, flong, you'll learn to control your taper. You don't have to go faster than your nervous system wants to.

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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Hi flong,

 

I just wanted to say welcome to the community and I wish you the best of luck with your taper.

 

Sonia

July 2001 prescribed 20mg citalopram for depression;
On and off meds from 2003-2006.
February 2006 back on 20mg citalopram and stayed on it until my last attempt at tapering in September 2011.
By far the worst withdrawal symptoms ever. Reinstated to 20mg citalopram
October 2012 - found this forum!
Nov 2012 to Feb 2013 did 10% taper, got doen to 11mg - was going great until stressful situation. Cortisol levels hit the roof, hideous insomnia forced me to updose to 20mg.
March 2016 - close to 100% back to normal!



****** I am not a medical practitioner, any advice I give comes from my own experience or reading and is only my perspective ******

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  • 4 weeks later...

Ok, i waited until this morning to do the next taper. I got a new generic brand and decided to count how many beads were in the new 75mg capsules. Good thing i did. One was 198 and the other was 195. The previous generic brand contained about 230 beads.

Its been about a month held steady at -10%. With the switch to the new brand, i am now at about -18% by taking 36 of about 197 beads out...unless my math is screwed up. (I am taking two doses per day currently, 75mg - 18% twice daily.)

Its about 19 hours after the reduction started, and out of the blue, for no apparent reason, i felt the first wave of anxiety. I wasnt even thinking about medication or anything at all. Is it possible I'm feeling the reduction already?? I dont know...because my initial taper was 2 beads a day for a few weeks and down to 10%.

Hope all my Yankee friends had a pleasant Thanksgiving!

2001 september - Effexor XR 75 mg, Seroquel 250 mg
2001 november - Effexor XR 150 mg
2003 - Replaced Seroquel with 20 mg Nozinan
2005 - Discontinued anti-psycotic medications for good
2009 january - Started having panic attacks
2009 - split 150 mg Effexor XR into 75 mg twice daily
2010 - Occasionally Clonazapam and Adivan for panic attacks
2012 - Realization that Effexor no longer works, and may even be having adverse reactions to it.
2012 October 18 - Begin slow taper (1 bead removed from each morning and evening 75mg capsule), February 18, 2013 - 140 beads per pill (X2 per day) (About 65%), 2013 November 16 - 70 beads per pill (X2 per day) (32.5%), 2014 September - 27 beads per pill (X2 per day) (12.5%) November 2 2015 - 1 bead per day (0.23% of original dose) and SLOWLY spacing doses out 25 hours, then 26, 28, currently 29hrs
November 2014 at 200mg Welbutrin

February 21st, 2016 - Last dose of Effexor forever

Monday, March 7, 2016 - Started decreasing Wellbutrin, currently at >25mg once a day

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God I am so scared right now.

I only went down by 8% two nights ago and I am going through hell, presumably with another 2 weeks before it lifts.

My emotions are all over the place, I am afraid of everything, on the verge of panic all day.

No brain zaps (Thank God). But that "out of body" feeling is overwhelming. And I am positive within a couple days the headaches and the horrible hallucinations I get as I wake up will return...

I didn't start out nearly this messed up when I went on this drug. It's not fair that I am now :(

The good people at Pfizer are going to be receiving a bag of dog **** in the mail as soon as I am able to shake this one off.

2001 september - Effexor XR 75 mg, Seroquel 250 mg
2001 november - Effexor XR 150 mg
2003 - Replaced Seroquel with 20 mg Nozinan
2005 - Discontinued anti-psycotic medications for good
2009 january - Started having panic attacks
2009 - split 150 mg Effexor XR into 75 mg twice daily
2010 - Occasionally Clonazapam and Adivan for panic attacks
2012 - Realization that Effexor no longer works, and may even be having adverse reactions to it.
2012 October 18 - Begin slow taper (1 bead removed from each morning and evening 75mg capsule), February 18, 2013 - 140 beads per pill (X2 per day) (About 65%), 2013 November 16 - 70 beads per pill (X2 per day) (32.5%), 2014 September - 27 beads per pill (X2 per day) (12.5%) November 2 2015 - 1 bead per day (0.23% of original dose) and SLOWLY spacing doses out 25 hours, then 26, 28, currently 29hrs
November 2014 at 200mg Welbutrin

February 21st, 2016 - Last dose of Effexor forever

Monday, March 7, 2016 - Started decreasing Wellbutrin, currently at >25mg once a day

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flong, I moved your latest posts here. This topic is your journal.

 

Yes, you could be getting withdrawal symptoms that fast. Many people have trouble switching brands as well.

 

Try to adjust your dosage up a bit. It sounds like your drop was too big.

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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flong, why are you dosing twice a day with the XR? you should be able to dose once per day as the XR is time release. That could be a reason for your withdrawal symptoms

Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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In mid-2009 I began waking up feeling like I was on acid (which has started happening again since I began tapering off Effexor). This happened over the course of several months, and it became worse and worse.

My doctor advised me to begin splitting my 150mg Effexor XR dose in half, morning and evening, which I did. The very next morning the problem stopped.

I know it doesn't make sense, and I know why. But the doctor was right (not something that happens every day!)

So, Peggy, this is the story of why I dose twice daily with Effexor XR. And I know for a fact that the withdrawal symptoms I am having are because I am tapering down.

My doc is a psychoanalyst who treats his patients using a combination of medication, but mostly behavioural/cognitive therapy. He is 80 years old still practices because he absolutely loves it. I am thankful to live in Canada where, because it is free for me to see a doctor of this caliber, I am again able to be a productive member of society.

He is also seeing me as I come off Effexor. I have a prescription for Welbutrin ready to go in case I feel like I need to start replacing the Effexor with something else. But honestly, aside from the withdrawal symptoms, I am actually happier overall since I have less of this drug in my system! Which so far backs up my theory that the benefits of Effexor are long gone, while only the addiction remains.

2001 september - Effexor XR 75 mg, Seroquel 250 mg
2001 november - Effexor XR 150 mg
2003 - Replaced Seroquel with 20 mg Nozinan
2005 - Discontinued anti-psycotic medications for good
2009 january - Started having panic attacks
2009 - split 150 mg Effexor XR into 75 mg twice daily
2010 - Occasionally Clonazapam and Adivan for panic attacks
2012 - Realization that Effexor no longer works, and may even be having adverse reactions to it.
2012 October 18 - Begin slow taper (1 bead removed from each morning and evening 75mg capsule), February 18, 2013 - 140 beads per pill (X2 per day) (About 65%), 2013 November 16 - 70 beads per pill (X2 per day) (32.5%), 2014 September - 27 beads per pill (X2 per day) (12.5%) November 2 2015 - 1 bead per day (0.23% of original dose) and SLOWLY spacing doses out 25 hours, then 26, 28, currently 29hrs
November 2014 at 200mg Welbutrin

February 21st, 2016 - Last dose of Effexor forever

Monday, March 7, 2016 - Started decreasing Wellbutrin, currently at >25mg once a day

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Oh, and I just wanted to mention that when my pharmacy switched from Effexor XR to a generic back in about 2006, I about had a heart attack! With a drug this notorious for being sensitive, I was extremely worried.

But thankfully I didn't notice one iota of difference.

Like I said though, last week I changed to a generic brand that had slightly bigger beads, thus I have to count differently now.

You can't be careful enough dealing with this stuff!

2001 september - Effexor XR 75 mg, Seroquel 250 mg
2001 november - Effexor XR 150 mg
2003 - Replaced Seroquel with 20 mg Nozinan
2005 - Discontinued anti-psycotic medications for good
2009 january - Started having panic attacks
2009 - split 150 mg Effexor XR into 75 mg twice daily
2010 - Occasionally Clonazapam and Adivan for panic attacks
2012 - Realization that Effexor no longer works, and may even be having adverse reactions to it.
2012 October 18 - Begin slow taper (1 bead removed from each morning and evening 75mg capsule), February 18, 2013 - 140 beads per pill (X2 per day) (About 65%), 2013 November 16 - 70 beads per pill (X2 per day) (32.5%), 2014 September - 27 beads per pill (X2 per day) (12.5%) November 2 2015 - 1 bead per day (0.23% of original dose) and SLOWLY spacing doses out 25 hours, then 26, 28, currently 29hrs
November 2014 at 200mg Welbutrin

February 21st, 2016 - Last dose of Effexor forever

Monday, March 7, 2016 - Started decreasing Wellbutrin, currently at >25mg once a day

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  • Administrator

You had that reaction to Effexor XR because it is excessively activating for you. No wonder you feel better reducing the dosage.

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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After about 10 days since my last taper, My withdrawal symptoms are finally beginning to alleviate. At least today they seem to be a bit better.

Now, here's the worrisome part... For the first time in a few months, definitely since I've started producing my dose, i am feeling that horrible despair that i know happens for no reason at all.

Of course, I'm going to give it a few days and hopefully it lifts. I am in the process of getting a prescription for Welbutrin filled as a backup. For obvious reasons, i really want to stay off pills altogether. However, It is possible I will have to be on antidepressant medications for the rest of my life, and i accept that.

Effexor saved my life in 2001. Now it feels like it's killing me just for fun.

2001 september - Effexor XR 75 mg, Seroquel 250 mg
2001 november - Effexor XR 150 mg
2003 - Replaced Seroquel with 20 mg Nozinan
2005 - Discontinued anti-psycotic medications for good
2009 january - Started having panic attacks
2009 - split 150 mg Effexor XR into 75 mg twice daily
2010 - Occasionally Clonazapam and Adivan for panic attacks
2012 - Realization that Effexor no longer works, and may even be having adverse reactions to it.
2012 October 18 - Begin slow taper (1 bead removed from each morning and evening 75mg capsule), February 18, 2013 - 140 beads per pill (X2 per day) (About 65%), 2013 November 16 - 70 beads per pill (X2 per day) (32.5%), 2014 September - 27 beads per pill (X2 per day) (12.5%) November 2 2015 - 1 bead per day (0.23% of original dose) and SLOWLY spacing doses out 25 hours, then 26, 28, currently 29hrs
November 2014 at 200mg Welbutrin

February 21st, 2016 - Last dose of Effexor forever

Monday, March 7, 2016 - Started decreasing Wellbutrin, currently at >25mg once a day

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  • Administrator

flong, that is neuro-despair, from withdrawal.

 

Wellbutrin is not good when you have withdrawal symptoms. Side effects are insomnia and anxiety.

 

Perhaps you should reduce the amount of your taper, as it takes 10 days for you to recover from a drop.

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 weeks later...

This particular increment down has been difficult. (From 90% to 80%)

There seems to be two distinctly different waves of withdrawal symptoms that hit at different times.

The first occurs a few days after the reduction in dose. It lasts maybe 4 days, then dissipates.

The second comes on about the third week. This is where the real fun begins.

This time, among the usual other things, I did something I haven't done in over 10 years. Not only have I been getting paranoid and delusional, but I have been acting on them. Scared the hell out of my girlfriend. She had to point out that I was doing it...and I am working on it. But it kinda scared the hell out of me once I realized what was happening.

Not a pleasant thing to have to endure at all.

2001 september - Effexor XR 75 mg, Seroquel 250 mg
2001 november - Effexor XR 150 mg
2003 - Replaced Seroquel with 20 mg Nozinan
2005 - Discontinued anti-psycotic medications for good
2009 january - Started having panic attacks
2009 - split 150 mg Effexor XR into 75 mg twice daily
2010 - Occasionally Clonazapam and Adivan for panic attacks
2012 - Realization that Effexor no longer works, and may even be having adverse reactions to it.
2012 October 18 - Begin slow taper (1 bead removed from each morning and evening 75mg capsule), February 18, 2013 - 140 beads per pill (X2 per day) (About 65%), 2013 November 16 - 70 beads per pill (X2 per day) (32.5%), 2014 September - 27 beads per pill (X2 per day) (12.5%) November 2 2015 - 1 bead per day (0.23% of original dose) and SLOWLY spacing doses out 25 hours, then 26, 28, currently 29hrs
November 2014 at 200mg Welbutrin

February 21st, 2016 - Last dose of Effexor forever

Monday, March 7, 2016 - Started decreasing Wellbutrin, currently at >25mg once a day

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I just wanted to pop in and say hi, i too discontinued effexor (too fast) and felt horrific, the same symptoms, out of the blue dread and fear would drop on me, I would get attacks of utter despair for no reason. Unfortunealty it would still be many months before I found out why and what was happening, so in those times I allowed my Dr's to add new meds, take meds away, try this try that...I thought my life as I knew it was over, i thought I'd had a breakdown. Turns out it was withdrawal..and it actually began long before I stopped the drug, it stopped working for me and that's when the symptoms started. I just want to offer you some hope, that was 21 months ago for me. I ended up stopping the madness at 20mg of Paxil and waiting out the storm. I started to get breaks in my symptoms, and so I began a SLOW taper to get off Paxil and will someday be med free. I'm down to 10mg of Paxil and feeling so much better, The only symptom I have lately is a flat blunted feeling, very little range of positive emotion/motivation, but no depression or anxiety so that's ok by me. In fact i'm wondering if the paxil is the culprit and not the effexor w/d at all...in which case, I have little to zero effects from that crazy effexor taper. You can do it!! I think you're doing great so far.

2 Timothy 1-7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Effexor 75mg to 262.5mg 2005-2010 for post partum depression

Started having poop out mid 2010, also switched generic brands, then crashed in Dec 2010 (anxiety/ "terror", intense DR, anhedonia, suicidal ideation, chills, insomnia, horrible intrusive thoughts, disorientation, ect)
Rapid "tapered" from 262.5mg Effexor in 3 months

Tried Celexa,Cipralex, then Paxil to deal with wd(this switching made things worse and added akathesia)

Found online support and started tapering Paxil 7 months after quitting Effexor (at this point was having small windows).

Paxil taper: dropped 10% every 4-8 weeks

Year 1 October 2011 to Nov 2012 20mg to 10mg

Year 2 March 2013 to Feb 2014 10mg to 4mg

Year 3 April 2014 to May 2015 4mg to 1.1mg

Year 4 June 2015 1.1mg , dropping by 10% until .5mg, after then dropped by 0.1mg every 5 weeks until 0.1mg.

Finished! Official last dose of 0.1mg on June 15/16

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  • Administrator

Yep, sound like you need to stabilize or maybe even updose a tad, and then figure on 5% decrements.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

flong, i would consider updosing to 85% of your original dose and then trying 5% dose reductions. It sounds like you are quite sensitive and you really want to try and avoid any withdrawal symptoms on your taper

Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Flong,

 

hang in there.

 

I had a similar experience (but completely different symptoms) too with my drop to 80%. A feeling of intense sadness and sulkiness on the second day, then nothing for several weeks. Thought I was cruising then about 3 weeks later some really yucky not quite right feelings and sensations that are disturbing but manageable.

 

I suppose we just have to keep being mindful and recognising that they ARE WD symptoms and that they will pass. That's when it's great to post on this forum - to keep yourself in check.

 

I hope your symptoms pass soon and that you feel better.

July 2001 prescribed 20mg citalopram for depression;
On and off meds from 2003-2006.
February 2006 back on 20mg citalopram and stayed on it until my last attempt at tapering in September 2011.
By far the worst withdrawal symptoms ever. Reinstated to 20mg citalopram
October 2012 - found this forum!
Nov 2012 to Feb 2013 did 10% taper, got doen to 11mg - was going great until stressful situation. Cortisol levels hit the roof, hideous insomnia forced me to updose to 20mg.
March 2016 - close to 100% back to normal!



****** I am not a medical practitioner, any advice I give comes from my own experience or reading and is only my perspective ******

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Thank you very kindly for the replies.

I just can't go up right now...no matter how I look at it, it goes against every bone in my body.

However, I am very open to the idea of a smaller reduction. It makes a lot of sense, especially seeing as I've been on it for so long (11.5 years now).

A good friend of mine went off cold turkey and survived...and when I told him I was thinking of doing the same he said "DON'T DO IT". And I know the consequences. My girlfriend went off Cipralex and a few others cold turkey at the same time last March. She completely lost her mind within a week, went missing, etc. My perception of reality is already fragile enough, thank you very much.

I'm still trying to figure out if maybe going down by 2 beads a day would be better than a reduction like this, whether it's 5% or 10%. I don't mind feeling a little bit crappy until I am off this stuff, but I'm really worried about the kinds of things happening that have been happening this week. So, at this point I'm thinking of trying the 2 beads per day reduction for a while to see if it isn't easier on my system. And of course, I'm going to wait until I have a good solid week of feeling fairly normal before reducing any more!

Thanks again everyone. Any input is SO much appreciated.

2001 september - Effexor XR 75 mg, Seroquel 250 mg
2001 november - Effexor XR 150 mg
2003 - Replaced Seroquel with 20 mg Nozinan
2005 - Discontinued anti-psycotic medications for good
2009 january - Started having panic attacks
2009 - split 150 mg Effexor XR into 75 mg twice daily
2010 - Occasionally Clonazapam and Adivan for panic attacks
2012 - Realization that Effexor no longer works, and may even be having adverse reactions to it.
2012 October 18 - Begin slow taper (1 bead removed from each morning and evening 75mg capsule), February 18, 2013 - 140 beads per pill (X2 per day) (About 65%), 2013 November 16 - 70 beads per pill (X2 per day) (32.5%), 2014 September - 27 beads per pill (X2 per day) (12.5%) November 2 2015 - 1 bead per day (0.23% of original dose) and SLOWLY spacing doses out 25 hours, then 26, 28, currently 29hrs
November 2014 at 200mg Welbutrin

February 21st, 2016 - Last dose of Effexor forever

Monday, March 7, 2016 - Started decreasing Wellbutrin, currently at >25mg once a day

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Aaaaaand then suddenly back to normal the last few days.

Everything is great, or relitavely. Even if there is lingering paranoia or delusions, I am not acting on it at all. My girlfriend isnt freaked out by me apparently. This is good news all around.

I am seriously considering the 2 beads per day method from this point on. Only time will tell if its the right way, but the 10% reduction seems too dangerous at this time.

I am starting to reduce tomorrow. I will be at -43/198 x 2. And ill go down one bead from each capsule every day.

As per the advice i was given, i tried going down 10% all at once. Though it proved too much, the good news is i actually feel ok the last few days.

Maybe its too soon...I dunno. Like most others here, I just can't wait to have this horrible stuff out of my system.

2001 september - Effexor XR 75 mg, Seroquel 250 mg
2001 november - Effexor XR 150 mg
2003 - Replaced Seroquel with 20 mg Nozinan
2005 - Discontinued anti-psycotic medications for good
2009 january - Started having panic attacks
2009 - split 150 mg Effexor XR into 75 mg twice daily
2010 - Occasionally Clonazapam and Adivan for panic attacks
2012 - Realization that Effexor no longer works, and may even be having adverse reactions to it.
2012 October 18 - Begin slow taper (1 bead removed from each morning and evening 75mg capsule), February 18, 2013 - 140 beads per pill (X2 per day) (About 65%), 2013 November 16 - 70 beads per pill (X2 per day) (32.5%), 2014 September - 27 beads per pill (X2 per day) (12.5%) November 2 2015 - 1 bead per day (0.23% of original dose) and SLOWLY spacing doses out 25 hours, then 26, 28, currently 29hrs
November 2014 at 200mg Welbutrin

February 21st, 2016 - Last dose of Effexor forever

Monday, March 7, 2016 - Started decreasing Wellbutrin, currently at >25mg once a day

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  • Administrator

Great, you stabilized.

 

Now you know more about your symptom pattern, you can control your taper with the 2-bead microtaper you mentioned.

 

However, I suggest you start out reducing 2 beads every few days, rather than every day. Reducing everyday, you might get ahead of monitoring withdrawal symptoms and get walloped with them when you're 10-20 beads down the road or so.

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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Yep...all good advice. I think I may do a slower reduction of 2 beads every 2 days at first. If after 6 weeks or so everything seems OK I'll try going down by 2 beads every day. Guess there's no sense hurrying it right now. I know the kind of symptoms I get, and if I can avoid them while still reducing I've achieved my goal. Isn't that what we all want? :)

2001 september - Effexor XR 75 mg, Seroquel 250 mg
2001 november - Effexor XR 150 mg
2003 - Replaced Seroquel with 20 mg Nozinan
2005 - Discontinued anti-psycotic medications for good
2009 january - Started having panic attacks
2009 - split 150 mg Effexor XR into 75 mg twice daily
2010 - Occasionally Clonazapam and Adivan for panic attacks
2012 - Realization that Effexor no longer works, and may even be having adverse reactions to it.
2012 October 18 - Begin slow taper (1 bead removed from each morning and evening 75mg capsule), February 18, 2013 - 140 beads per pill (X2 per day) (About 65%), 2013 November 16 - 70 beads per pill (X2 per day) (32.5%), 2014 September - 27 beads per pill (X2 per day) (12.5%) November 2 2015 - 1 bead per day (0.23% of original dose) and SLOWLY spacing doses out 25 hours, then 26, 28, currently 29hrs
November 2014 at 200mg Welbutrin

February 21st, 2016 - Last dose of Effexor forever

Monday, March 7, 2016 - Started decreasing Wellbutrin, currently at >25mg once a day

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  • Administrator

Strongly suggest you go a little slower at first. It can take a number of days before withdrawal symptoms show up, and then you'll have to figure out whether to updose.

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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  • 1 month later...

After holding steady at -50 beads twice daily, I've reduced 1 twice per day for the last 11 days.

No initial withdrawal symptoms...however, I imagine the secondary symptoms will start up again this week. Just based on previous experience.

What I'm REALLY hoping for though, is that I don't notice anything at all.

Wishful thinking, I know.

Just like I wish this drug worked properly for the rest of my life :)

2001 september - Effexor XR 75 mg, Seroquel 250 mg
2001 november - Effexor XR 150 mg
2003 - Replaced Seroquel with 20 mg Nozinan
2005 - Discontinued anti-psycotic medications for good
2009 january - Started having panic attacks
2009 - split 150 mg Effexor XR into 75 mg twice daily
2010 - Occasionally Clonazapam and Adivan for panic attacks
2012 - Realization that Effexor no longer works, and may even be having adverse reactions to it.
2012 October 18 - Begin slow taper (1 bead removed from each morning and evening 75mg capsule), February 18, 2013 - 140 beads per pill (X2 per day) (About 65%), 2013 November 16 - 70 beads per pill (X2 per day) (32.5%), 2014 September - 27 beads per pill (X2 per day) (12.5%) November 2 2015 - 1 bead per day (0.23% of original dose) and SLOWLY spacing doses out 25 hours, then 26, 28, currently 29hrs
November 2014 at 200mg Welbutrin

February 21st, 2016 - Last dose of Effexor forever

Monday, March 7, 2016 - Started decreasing Wellbutrin, currently at >25mg once a day

Link to post

And I was wondering...is there anybody else here who is coming off Effexor XR the exact same way I am? (1 or 2 beads every day)

AAAND is there anybody else who takes the XR version twice daily like I do?

2001 september - Effexor XR 75 mg, Seroquel 250 mg
2001 november - Effexor XR 150 mg
2003 - Replaced Seroquel with 20 mg Nozinan
2005 - Discontinued anti-psycotic medications for good
2009 january - Started having panic attacks
2009 - split 150 mg Effexor XR into 75 mg twice daily
2010 - Occasionally Clonazapam and Adivan for panic attacks
2012 - Realization that Effexor no longer works, and may even be having adverse reactions to it.
2012 October 18 - Begin slow taper (1 bead removed from each morning and evening 75mg capsule), February 18, 2013 - 140 beads per pill (X2 per day) (About 65%), 2013 November 16 - 70 beads per pill (X2 per day) (32.5%), 2014 September - 27 beads per pill (X2 per day) (12.5%) November 2 2015 - 1 bead per day (0.23% of original dose) and SLOWLY spacing doses out 25 hours, then 26, 28, currently 29hrs
November 2014 at 200mg Welbutrin

February 21st, 2016 - Last dose of Effexor forever

Monday, March 7, 2016 - Started decreasing Wellbutrin, currently at >25mg once a day

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi flong, i am reducing effexor, but not so quickly and i don't dose twice daily.

 

I would suggest you hold on your dose now for a few weeks - you have almost halved your dose over the last 11 days - it can catch up and you will then either need to updose or endure a period of uncomfortable instability. last year i reduced by 2 mg a week over about 6 weeks, was doing great and then BANG it caught up and i wasn't sure at which dose i would have been stable on, so i ended up updosing probably more than i needed to

Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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Oops!

Sorry, I totally didn't make it clear previously... There are about 198 beads in a 75mg Effexor XR of the generic brand I'm currently on.

I take two of these per day.

As of today, I am at 134 beads per pill (about 67%), and am reducing one bead per day, per pill.

I am DEFINITELY NOT reducing any faster than that. I tried reducing 10% all at once...bad news.

And yes Peggy, I know exactly what you mean by the delayed withdrawal that hits a couple weeks later. It's absolutely awful.

So I have been reducing one bead per pill per day as I feel comfortable to do so.

As much as I want to go down faster and get off this **** post haste, I'm really doing my best to have patience and do this safely.

2001 september - Effexor XR 75 mg, Seroquel 250 mg
2001 november - Effexor XR 150 mg
2003 - Replaced Seroquel with 20 mg Nozinan
2005 - Discontinued anti-psycotic medications for good
2009 january - Started having panic attacks
2009 - split 150 mg Effexor XR into 75 mg twice daily
2010 - Occasionally Clonazapam and Adivan for panic attacks
2012 - Realization that Effexor no longer works, and may even be having adverse reactions to it.
2012 October 18 - Begin slow taper (1 bead removed from each morning and evening 75mg capsule), February 18, 2013 - 140 beads per pill (X2 per day) (About 65%), 2013 November 16 - 70 beads per pill (X2 per day) (32.5%), 2014 September - 27 beads per pill (X2 per day) (12.5%) November 2 2015 - 1 bead per day (0.23% of original dose) and SLOWLY spacing doses out 25 hours, then 26, 28, currently 29hrs
November 2014 at 200mg Welbutrin

February 21st, 2016 - Last dose of Effexor forever

Monday, March 7, 2016 - Started decreasing Wellbutrin, currently at >25mg once a day

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  • Administrator

flong, you've become an expert at tapering Effexor XR.

 

Please keep this in mind:

 

Great, you stabilized.

 

Now you know more about your symptom pattern, you can control your taper with the 2-bead microtaper you mentioned.

 

However, I suggest you start out reducing 2 beads every few days, rather than every day. Reducing everyday, you might get ahead of monitoring withdrawal symptoms and get walloped with them when you're 10-20 beads down the road or so.

 

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Oh, I see - but, i still agree with Alto - you may get ahead of yourself.

 

If you have 198 beads per 75mg - then each bead has 0.37mg - so you are currently on about 50mg each capsule - or 100mg daily dose. You don't want to do more than 10% each month. However, if you are doing micro tapers more frequently, i think it is prudent to have an additional period on non reductions to allow any catchup. So, over the next 4 weeks you come down 10mg in total and then have a week or two of holding.

 

That would be 18 beads from each capsule over 28 days. Then hold for one or two weeks. You can see that if you continue to take out one bead from each capsule ever day then you will quickly go faster than the 10% recommended.

 

For your next reduction you would be starting at 90mg daily - which would be about 16 beads from each capsule over 28 days - then hold for one or two weeks.

 

Then you are down to 81mg and so on.

 

Multiply your dosage in mg by .37 and then divide it by 2 to get your twice daily dosage.

Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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  • Administrator

I agree with peggy, periodic holds would be prudent.

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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  • ChessieCat changed the title to flong: Effexor XR Tapering

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