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Helga: Tapering Effexor by Switching to Prozac


Helga

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My 27 year old daugher started taking Effexor in high school for anxiety. It seemed to work quite well and now 10 years later she's still on it. About five years ago I noticed that her personality had taken a bit of a change and at times she could be quite harsh and moody. We live about two hours apart so it didn't affect me that often but recently her moods caused her to lose a relationship that was very important to her. It was the first time she really wanted to change herself. Included in that change she wants to get off the effexor and be drug free. Her doctor told her take the pill one day and not the next. Of course she tried that and after only one day without the effexor she didn't feel good. That's when I found your site and read about tapering...so we started with that strategy going from 225 to 202.5 mg approximately. We didn't expect it to be easy and it wasn't...she had a rough week at work and was in tears a few times. And she had shakiness, no appetite, nausea and pins and needles. I can see that the start of the 2nd week is much better. She went on a cleaning spree on Sunday and felt great. She had an appointment with the doctor today to ask about doing the Prozac Switch documented on this site. The doctor prescribed 10 mg of Prozac but said again don't take the pills apart and only take the effexor every second day. keep taking the prozac with the effexor and you should be able to get off the effexor in 6 to 7 weeks. I would rather see her take the prozac with the effexor this week then drop the effexor as document in the prey 2012 method. The thing is I haven't seen too many posts of people who are on 225 mg and doing this. I wonder is this because the people who have no problem don't post because they aren't consumed by this.

 

Since she is taking 200 mg now on Friday should she stay at the same level or drop down as she takes the prozac. I'm just trying to get a plan together to help her. Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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First of all, I moved your topic here to 'Introductions and updates' because it's your first post telling us about your problems with antidepressant withdrawal. Please continue to post updates on your situation in this topic.

 

I'm not an expert on Effexor, but if your daughter experienced withdrawal symptoms with the 10% reduction, she should stay at her current dose for a few weeks until those symptoms stop. Generally that's what people do anyway, reduce a small amount, often less than 10%, and stay there for two to four weeks or even longer. Symptoms indicate destabilization of the nervous system and slow tapering is meant to avoid that.

 

The advice the doctor gave about taking Effexor every other day is guaranteed to make your daughter miserable. It's standard medical advice, but most doctors don't recognize antidepressant withdrawal syndrome and haven't got a clue as to how to handle it.

 

As for switching to Prozac, I'd hold off on that for now. The more changes your daughter makes, the worse withdrawal will be. We have a number of people on this forum who are tapering off Effexor without switching. Please note that there is no guarantee that switching to Prozac will help anything. It's a shot in the dark.

 

One of our moderators is successfully tapering off Effexor very, very slowly and she should be along within a few hours. (She lives in Australia).

 

Welcome to the Forum, Helga. You'll find lots of good information and friendly support here.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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Welcome, Helga.

 

If counting out the Effexor beads is working, I would stay with that method rather than risking a switch to Prozac.

 

Sometimes the Prozac switch causes its own problems. It may be helpful as a last resort, but there's no reason to incur the risk of switching if the bead method is working.

 

Also, if you're going to do the Prozac switch, I strongly recommend consulting a doctor who's knowledgeable about this method, which your doctor obviously is not.

 

Your doctor is also not well-informed about tapering in general. Alternating doses is not a good idea, as your daughter has found.

 

Counting out Effexor beads should work well for her.

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 Helga,

I am also on Effexor and reducing slowly by opening the capsule and counting out the beads.

 

I purchased some empty gelatin capsules from a health food store. I was on 150 to start. I counted the beads in a number of the capsules and then averaged them out. There were about 500!!!! So, to start, you would take out 50 beads and put them in a new capsule and keep adding to the capsule until you have enough for another dose. I sit down with a piece of black velvet to count the beads on and NO distractions - i keep a note pad to keep track of the number in the new capsule. Counting them this way you can do a slow reduction quite easily. If your daughter gets too many symptoms from a 10% reduction, you can take it back to 7.5 or 5% quite easily. Hold it for at least one week after any withdrawal symptoms pass. I do my reductions no closer than 3 weeks even if i don't have any symptoms.

 

I personally would not want to make the switch to Prozac, especially not on such a high dose of effexor. It is not guaranteed that you will be trouble free and my motto has always been 'better the devil you know'!

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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Hi Helga,

 

welcome to the forum.

 

I agree with Peggy. I was considering switching from Citalopram to Prozac until I found this forum.

 

If tapering from Effexor is working stick with that.

 

Good luck:)

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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Hi Helga, I agree with the others - taper from Effexor. Maybe if your daughter was on say 75mg Effexor it might be worth considering, but making the jump from 200mg Effexor to 10mg Prozac is a huge risk. Good luck :)

2003-2011: Paroxetine,Citalopram,Effexor; Aug/Sept 2011: Effexor to Mirtazapine; Oct 2011: C/T Mirtazapine back to Effexor; Nov/Dec 2011: Fast Tapered Effexor - w/d hell; Feb 2012: Reinstated Effexor 37.5mg; June 2012: Dropped to 35.6mg; Jan 2016: Propranolol 2.5mg per day for general anxiety; Feb 2016: Finasteride 0.25mg per week to slow hair loss; 18th May - 8th June 2019: Started Vyvanse 7.5mg and increased by 7.5mg weekly to 30mg (lowest “therapeutic” dose for adults).; 21st June 2019 - 12th July: Cross tapered from venlafaxine brand Rodomel to Efexor (1/4 > 1/2 > 3/4 weekly before ditching Rodomel); 13th July 2019: Cut Vyvanse dose to 15mg; 15th July 2019: Akathisia returned after years of being free; 16th July 2019: Went back up to Vyvanse 30mg

Supplements: Omega-3, Vitamin D, Zinc, Phosphatidylserine 

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Hi Helga, I agree with the others - taper from Effexor. Maybe if your daughter was on say 75mg Effexor it might be worth considering, but making the jump from 200mg Effexor to 10mg Prozac is a huge risk. Good luck :)

 

Good point. If I'm not mistaken, 200 mg. Effexor is a much higher dose of antidepressant than 10 mg. Prozac. The drop in dose would likely put your daughter into severe withdrawal. Since she's got a job it's especially important for her to be able to function on a daily basis. I tapered off Lexapro too fast, and there's no way I would have been able to do my pre-retirement job feeling the way I did.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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Thanks everyone for your replies. She is going to be a bit disappointed when I tell her that I think maybe we hold off on the prozac. Today she got an appointment with a psychiatrist in Toronto and that will be Feb 5th. I looked at a doctor rating website and out of 8 people six thought he was great. Maybe it's best to continue on as she has been. Overall she seems to be doing pretty well with a few hiccups here and there. Yesterday she had to teach a small seminar and she got a bit panicky and nauseous before it. But she survived. Today she seemed to do okay until the afternoon where she started experiencing some dizzy spells.

 

She also started taking some other supplements when she started tapering. She is taking the fish oil that many talk about but she is also taking L-tyrosine and Rhodiola and Gaba with B6. These I researched in my Hormone Diet to help with some other symptoms she has like restless leg, irritability and sleeplessness.

 

I do wish there was someone who had tried the method below because i know she is so anxious to be done with medication and patience is not one of her finest qualities.

"Prey 2012 method for Prozac switch

Another knowledgeable doctor (whom I trust) explained his technique to me (this is the technique I personally would prefer if I had to do it, it seems much gentler):

•For a "normal" dose of Effexor (150mg per day or more) or Paxil or Cymbalta, he would switch to 10mg Prozac with a week of overlap. In other words, take both medications for a week and then drop the Effexor. Lower doses of Effexor or other antidepressant require lower doses of Prozac as a "bridge."

 

•The lower dose of Prozac reduces the risk of excess serotonin from the combination of the two antidepressants.

 

•Do not stay on the combination of the first antidepressant and Prozac for more than 2 weeks, or you run the risk of your nervous system accommodating to the combination and having difficulty tapering off both antidepressants.

 

•Later, taper off Prozac. He acknowledged Prozac can have its withdrawal problems, but given Prozac's long half-life, gradual tapering should be much easier than tapering off Effexor.

 

I did read about this lady who taper off Prozac

am a 31 year old teacher who has been on paxil for 2 years to treat my panic attacks. I tried to get off paxil 4 times and always experienced horrible side-effects that caused me to go back on my 30 mg daily dose of paxil. After gaining 60 pounds and getting rid of several doctors, I lucked out. I found a great doctor who, working with her psychiatrist friend, helped me get off paxil in just 9 days. Here's the plan:

 

Days 1-3: 30 mg paxil/ 10mg prozac

Day 4: 20mg paxil/ 20mg prozac

Day 5: 10mg paxil/ 20mg prozac

Days 6-9: 0mg paxil/ 20mg prozac

I then stopped taking prozac.

 

I never thought this would work. I thought my doctor was being naive and I'd be back in ther in 2 days telling her to find another plan. I'd tried slow weaning before and was too sick to get out of bed at 25mg a day.

I'm not saying this was easy, but it was nothing like I'd gone through any other time I tried quitting. I had no panic and almost no head zaps. I did spend a lot of time asleep and I didn't drive for a couple of weeks (my choice not to due to lack of need and attention span.) I have been off paxil for 22 days and am now experiencing some panic and insomnia, but I also went off 2 allergy medications and birth control at the same time I did this so my body is a little unhappy right now for may reasons. If you have tried other ways to get off paxil and have been unsuccessful, go to your doctor and try this! Good Luck!

 

I know you are all saying she should go the slow route and not chance...is it possible to try the prozac with the effexor for a couple of days and start tapering a bit faster off the effexor like the lady above?

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No, that's the Prozac switch the lady is describing.

 

If your daughter is getting unusual anxiety symptoms, that may be a sign she needs to taper even slower.

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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Altostrata, sorry I meant paxil switch. She said that she tried taperin several times and couldn't get past 25mg of paxil but this approach worked. I'm just wondering if my daughter could try this too. She has let her boss know what she is doing so her workplace is aware. We were thinking of starting the switch on Thursday or Friday. I told her what everyone said but she still wants to try. I don't think there will be any stopping her now.

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She did the Prozac switch as a last resort, after tapering Paxil failed several times.

 

Making a medication switch of any type incurs a risk that the switch does not work and causes severe withdrawal symptoms. Only do this as a last resort.

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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There's something I think both you and your daughter need to understand and that is that getting off the medication as fast as possible is not going to make things better as fast as possible.

 

What happens during use of antidepressants is that the drug causes structural changes in the brain, killing off some neurons and growing some new ones. This is an abnormal state. Getting off the drugs in record time is going to leave the brain and nervous system in a destabilized state, without the chemical support to which they are accustomed, and withdrawal symptoms will occur as the brain tries to get back to normal. The idea of a slow taper is that this will support the brain as it normalizes and avoid at least the worst of the withdrawal symptoms.

 

The people on this forum who are doing the best are also going the slowest, even backing up and increasing a dose a tiny amount when they start getting withdrawal symptoms.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ok a bit of an update on my daughter's experience. She had a bit of a fight with her ex boyfriend who contacted me and suggested that she needed a week away from the city. I didn't think she would go for it but she did. Her dad took the whole week off work and I took half the week off. We picked her up last Saturday and she was very excited to spend the week in the country but scared to get through the taper and withdrawal. she was on 75mg of effexor and 10mg of prozac when she got home and very motivated to be off the effexor. So she halfed the effexor for a couple of days and other than some nausea, body aches and sleep problems she wasn't too bad. She had one episode where she got angry and she could tell that she shouldn't be mad. She finally got over it. Monday she stopped the effexor and just took the 10 mg of prozac. Tuesday we had a busy day and i was worried but it went well. We went out and she got her hair done and went shopping. She was really worried that Wednesday was going to be horrible but she was fine. She kept busy working on restoring an old bicycle she brought home with her. Wednesday was fine and so was Thursday. Friday we had another busy day out and about and she was okay. One thing I noticed is that while she was home I could get her to eat and the week before she was eating one small meal a day. She was getting a lot of headaches but she had run out of her fish oil. I noticed that she had less headaches when she got home and started taking it again. I think it really helped as well as having food on her stomach. I took her home yesterday and she went out with a friend last night and she had a good time. We are aware that she could be hit with more withdrawal symptoms but I'm hopeful that she will be lucky and this won't happen. She has an appointment with a therapist on Tuesday. I know she wants to get off the small dose of prozac soon and then stop smoking. Currently she feels happier than I've seen her in a long time. The people at work have been so great and her boss told she is part of their family and whatever it takes for her to get well they support her. I think her state of mind is way better than it used to be...she finally realizes there are people who actually care about her instead of feeling alone.

 

I do believe for her the effexor wasn't doing what it was supposed to do anymore...It was making her angry, agitated and moody. It's so nice to have her feeling better. Sure hope it keeps up.

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Overlapping the Effexor and Prozac a bit is the best way to achieve a switch.

 

It looks like maybe the switch worked for your daughter.

 

It's possible that Effexor dosage was too activating. Anxiety, agitation, sleep disturbance, even rage are common adverse effects of antidepressants, particularly when the dosage is too high.

 

Prozac comes in a liquid. When the time comes for your daughter to taper off it, using the liquid will make it easier.

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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She is going to ask the therapist how he thinks she should taper from the prozac...I've read taking it only every second day...it's a pretty small dose I think.

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Dosing every other day is very poor advice, although this is often what we hear from mainstream psychiatry. Every other day dosing is destabilizing and asking for trouble. A slow, gradual taper is best.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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I know it is the advice her GP gave her. I had her take some information in that I got off the internet and my daughter said her doctor rolled her eyes that I'd done research for her. We just didn't follow her advice on the effexor tapering at all. I do think that the psychiatrist will be better informed though.

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Not necessarily.

 

Your daughter's nervous system has to get used to the Prozac first, before you start reducing it. Give it at least a couple of weeks.

 

Prozac comes in a liquid, or you can make your own liquid. This makes tapering off easier, see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/759-tips-for-tapering-off-prozac-fluoxetine/

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 figured it was best to stay on the prozac to make sure she's over the worst of the withdrawal symptoms. We won't be doing anything too fast on that front. She forgot her fish oil today and didn't feel quite so good today. Plus she was out late at a superbowl party and had to get up early...Too much excitement I think.

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If she'll listen, you should ask her not to drink alcohol or take recreational drugs, her nervous system is fragile right 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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Thanks Altostrata. She has been drinking much less than she used to before all this started. I know I won't be able to get her to quit totally but I know she has reduced.

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The appointment with the therapist didn't go as well as my daughter hoped. They were pretty negative about her being off antidepressants and said that she is at high risk to relapse into depression. She originally was put on antidepressants when she was 17...she had anxiety and some depression but she was a 17 year old who had been through 4 major spine surgery for scoliosis. She was self conscious about how her back looked and because of that she didn't let too many people get to close. Now that she is 27 she realizes the back thing isn't that big of a deal. They believe she needs a four pronged treatment plan and are sending their assessment to her doctor.

 

How do others handle this kind of negativity? How do you handle it when you are feeling pretty good about the state of your life and someone tells you may relapse?

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Find another therapist.

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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The appointment with the therapist didn't go as well as my daughter hoped. They were pretty negative about her being off antidepressants and said that she is at high risk to relapse into depression. She originally was put on antidepressants when she was 17...she had anxiety and some depression but she was a 17 year old who had been through 4 major spine surgery for scoliosis. She was self conscious about how her back looked and because of that she didn't let too many people get to close. Now that she is 27 she realizes the back thing isn't that big of a deal. They believe she needs a four pronged treatment plan and are sending their assessment to her doctor.

 

How do others handle this kind of negativity? How do you handle it when you are feeling pretty good about the state of your life and someone tells you may relapse?

I strongly suggest you read Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker with your daughter. It will help you understand a great deal, and you will be glad you did. You will also feel more prepared to talk with your Doc.

 

Skyler

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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Thanks Altostrata. I think for now she will do just fine on her own. She doesn't seem to be bothered by it other than saying that it certainly wasn't as positive as she would of liked.

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Skyler, I clicked on the link and saw what the book was about. It's pretty scary. I will definitely pick that book up. I honestly think she shouldn't of been prescribed this medication...she should of had a professional to talk to at the time but at 17 she didn't want to do that. One thing I've noticed is that as she has aged she is better able to talk to others rather than hold it in. She has only been off the effexor 8 days now but I see a big chance since she started reducing. I know that she could experience problems but I will be on the look out for any behavioural changes.

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Skyler, I clicked on the link and saw what the book was about. It's pretty scary. I will definitely pick that book up. I honestly think she shouldn't of been prescribed this medication...she should of had a professional to talk to at the time but at 17 she didn't want to do that. One thing I've noticed is that as she has aged she is better able to talk to others rather than hold it in. She has only been off the effexor 8 days now but I see a big chance since she started reducing. I know that she could experience problems but I will be on the look out for any behavioral changes.

It is scary, but the book is also reassuring. It will validate what you have experienced, help you understand the 'relapse' issue, and empower you because you will be in a better position to advocate. You will be glad you read it.

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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  • 3 weeks later...

Just a quick update on my daughter's progress. Most of her discontinuation symptoms have been physical not pyschological. Monday will be four weeks off effexor totally. She is still taking the 10 mg of prozac but hopes to start reducing that soon. Thankfully her work has been totally supportive once she told them what she was going through. She seems to have missed at least one day of week of work because she was just too tired and she did come home the first full week of withdrawal. The symptoms she has had the most trouble with are headache, nausea, diarhhea and the shakes. We went up to visit her last weekend to celebrate her visit and had a nice time. The biggest thing I note is a significant change in her personality since stopping the effexor. She doesn't seem to be angry like she was. We always walked on eggsheels around her the last few years. And her sense of humour is back. She laughs at everything now. Just generally happier for the most part. The only real issue is that her ex boyfriend sent her a very unsettling message the morning after valentine's. Even though he is the one who broke off the relationship because of her moods, he doesn't want to let her move forward. The reason she didn't taper slowly was she was hoping to get him back. As soon as she starts to move forward, he rears his head and creates all this confusion and emotions in her life. We had a nice talk last night and she realizes that he has issues of his own and it's healthier to stay away from him. It's better to be alone than to be with someone who is not supportive. Thanks again for all the great advice. I got two copies of Anatomy of a Epidemic for myself and my daughter and I'm hoping soon my son who also takes an anti depressent will try to slowly taper off his. He's gone off several times cold turkey before just because he didn't have the money to pay for them. He's just finishing up college and once he has a good job and is stable I think a slow taper is in order.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Its been about two months since my daughter tapered off the effexor. She is also off the prozac and didn't seem to experience any problems getting off the 10 mg dose. The week before last she had a bit of an emotional week. She was feeling angry and hateful and I'm not sure if it was the withdrawal or just that she had some contact with her old boyfriend. This week she felt great and Thursday night she said I think I'm through the worst now and this will be the first week where I've made it into work everyday. However on the way to work a bird pooped in her hair and she had to call her boss and tell him what happened and she went home to shower again. We laughed about that one and I told her it was supposed to be good luck.

 

The one noticeable symptom she has is an electrical shock feeling in her limbs. We've read about the brain zaps but this isn't in her brain...anyone else hear of this. It's nothing she can't handle but I found it curious.

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That electrical sensation in her limbs is parathesia and it is a withdrawal symptom.

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

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Thanks Altostrata...she did have numbness tingling earlier on but it seems to be more shocklike now. I didn't realize it was the same thing.

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Withdrawal symptoms can get worse and last a long time.

 

I suggest she make a liquid from Prozac and take 1mg-2mg as soon as possible. This will help the withdrawal symptoms. She would stay at that low dose for a month or so, then taper off by very small amounts. You can make a liquid to take a small amount, see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/759-tips-for-tapering-off-prozac-fluoxetine/

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

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I just wanted to chime in and wish you guys the best. It's wonderful that she has someone in her corner who has taken the time to really support her.

That is very important during this time.

 

I also wanted to add that I too wanted off the med badly. Because of this I weaned too fast and too much at a time. I thought I was tapering slowly and being smart about it. But here I am almost a year off prozac and still struggling.

 

I'm not saying this to scare anyone. I'm sorry if it does.

I wish I had found this site when I started this whole process. I wish I did a slower/proper taper.

 

The general consensus on prozac is that it is much easier to wean off of....because of that thought, I was blindsided.

 

Maybe your daughter will be one of the ones that it will be easier for. But why take the chance?

Please encourage her to heed the advice here and reduce very small amounts and for the right amounts of time.

Started Fluoxetine Jan. 2010

Tried to go off of it in Sept. 2010

Weaned too fast and was back on it by Nov. 2010

Didn't work as good the second time around.

Started to wean again in Nov. 2011 and was off for good by April? 2012

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  • 5 months later...

It's been quite a while since I posted so I thought I would update plus I have a question. First of all my daughter continues to do quite well. I can see that she is able to handle her emotions without the antidepressants. She doesn't appear to be experiencing any major symptoms any more. One thing she does complain about is that she went off Effexor she suddenly has an acne problem. She also suffers with premenstrual cramps. She went to her doctor who prescribed birth control pills which seemed to help the cramps and clear up the acne but she put on about ten lbs in a very short period of time. She has decided it would be easier to deal with the acne and cramps rather than the weight gain so she stopped taking the birth control pills. Has anyone else experience acne after going off the pill. I can't imagine that this is the reason but she seems to think it's the reason. Such a little thing to deal with after all she has been through but I thought I would ask.

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  • Administrator

Thanks for letting us know the good news that your daughter is doing well.

 

Going off Effexor may have caused some upset in endocrines or digestion. These drugs affect the entire body.

 

Gaining weight is a very common side effect of birth control pills.

 

Perhaps she can look into some dietary changes that might help her complexion?

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

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