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Kristen Time to say goodbye to Effexor


Kristen

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Hi everyone,

 

I have just found this forum and it is great to read stories, both successful and unsuccessful on coming off antidepressants.

 

I am a 30 year old female living in Melbourne, Australia.

 

I have been on 300mg Effexor XR for the past 6 years for treatment of anxiety and major depressive disorder. It was my second episode of depression, I was treated for depression back in 2004, with a short stint on Avanza (hello weight gain!!)

 

After 6 years of the Effexor and feeling great the past two years I have decided that it is time to give my body a break and see how I go reducing my doses slowly - with consultation with my GP. I have only tried once before to come off my Effexor and that didn't go too well, and after a bit of research turns out that my experience was due to Effexor withdrawal and not a relapse!

 

The first experience was awful. I honestly can't remember how much I reduced my Effexor by as it is all a blur. But it was around 75 mg over 2 months. There was a lot of external stuff going on at the time. A friend from high school committed suicide and I knew things weren't right with me when I started wishing I could have swapped places with him. Around the same time, I was seeing a guy who was completely wrong for me, and manage to hit every emotional trigger I had. In hindsight it was helpful for me to learn boundaries and what I will and not put up with, but at the time it was awful. I had myself convinced I had Borderline Personality Disorder and that it was all my fault. And of course I was put back up on my 300 mg dose.

 

Now I can see, both through reflecting back on my own behaviour and the situations themselves that my extreme emotional reactions were due to the Effexor withdrawal.

 

So now, two years later with an increased knowledge about myself and the drug I have started the tapering process. I did my research and have a plan to reduce my dose each month by 37.5mg, and discussed this plan with my GP. She has absolutely no idea how severe Effexor withdrawal can be, and when she suggested I just take a capsule on alternate days I almost laughed at her. And she almost didn't believe me when I told her that many people experience severe discontinuation syndrome!

 

So in December I came down by first 37.5mg. I felt no difference whatsoever, it was perfectly fine. So after two weeks I came down another 37.5mg and this too was fine, no problem at all, except for one afternoon of extreme nausea. And I actually felt more 'switched on'.

 

Two weeks ago, I came down another 37.5mg as I had been doing so well, apart from a few headaches and awful night sweats things are fine. If anything, my digestive system has picked up and I have never been so regular since before I started Effexor!!

 

This past weekend I have started to notice some emotional side effects. Increased agitation (I went back home to visit my parents and usually experience mild anxiety around them anyway), and the past two days felt really flat. I have been aware of some negative thoughts creeping back in and anxiety, but I'm on top of them so far.

 

I plan on staying at 187.5mg for the next month at least to evaluate how I am going.

 

As part of my tapering process, I am taking 1500mg fish oil, a Vitamin B complex pill and Vitamin D each day which seems to be helping.

 

I am interested to hear other people's experiences with tapering off high doses of Effexor, and in particular how you went about distinguishing between a relapse and a withdrawal side effect.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

Kristen.

Initially prescribed for depression 

Currently prescribed for anxiety 

2003-2004: Avanza (mirtazapine)

2007- 2012: Effexor XR 300mg (venlafaxine)
Tapered off Effexor over 8 months

2013 Relapse 

2013 - 2017 Pristiq 100mg

2017 pre and post natal anxiety

2017 - current Pristiq increased to 150mg then 200mg
 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Kristen,

Welcome to another effexor withdrawer and another Aussie!

 

I am glad you have found these forums. You have reduced about 40% of your dose over a couple of months and you have done well to go this far without too many symptoms. As you are starting to feel some discomfort most of us here would suggest that you hold where you are until you have completely stabilised, and then, go down by 10% of each newly reduced dose with at least 4 weeks hold between reductions.

 

Are you taking generic or brand name effexor XR? Right now you are taking a 150mg and a 37.5mg capsule? You can open the capsules and remove some of the little beads. You will need to count the beads in a number of the capsules to get an average for each capsule. I take brand name effexor and there are between 120 and 135 beads in each capsule of 37.5 mg.

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 Peggy

 

I'm on the brand name Effexor XR capsules. So I imagine I need to get some quality scales to measure how many beads I remove each time?

 

Thanks!

Initially prescribed for depression 

Currently prescribed for anxiety 

2003-2004: Avanza (mirtazapine)

2007- 2012: Effexor XR 300mg (venlafaxine)
Tapered off Effexor over 8 months

2013 Relapse 

2013 - 2017 Pristiq 100mg

2017 pre and post natal anxiety

2017 - current Pristiq increased to 150mg then 200mg
 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

well, you could get scales and weigh them, but you can probably get away with counting the beads.

 

I have been a really slow learner! I have tried to reduce quite a few times and always end up going too fast and having to updose. I am being very systematic this time and it is working.

 

I bought some empty gelatin capsules. I open the capsules and count them out on some black velvet with a flat knife in groups of 5. When i have the right number i scoop them up into the new capsule and then go again. I am down to about 12mg, so get about 3 doses out of each 37.5 mg capsule. I have printed out a table on the computer and i record the date and the number of beads/dosage. I have worked out there is an average of .28mg effexor in each bead.

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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That sounds like a really good system! I might give that a go.

Initially prescribed for depression 

Currently prescribed for anxiety 

2003-2004: Avanza (mirtazapine)

2007- 2012: Effexor XR 300mg (venlafaxine)
Tapered off Effexor over 8 months

2013 Relapse 

2013 - 2017 Pristiq 100mg

2017 pre and post natal anxiety

2017 - current Pristiq increased to 150mg then 200mg
 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Kristen!! Welcome!!! I am new to both realizing that these drugs to "help" might actually be "hurting" and thus new to tapering as well. Many of us are here in the same position.

 

I am in no place to give advice for your particular situation but I can give you a few things to think about before one of the more experienced forum members , including Peggy, join in the discussion.

 

1) Don't be surprised if the first advice you get is to reinstate or increase your dose back in the direction from where you started , stabilize and then continue to taper at a slower rate. It sounds , though, that you have done your home work and holding at where you are now may be just what is recommended.... you'll have to wait and see which seems to be a ( wise) theme around here! :)

 

2) I can't speak to effexor, being on a high dose etc., but have been on a high dose of lexapro and xanax & am having to taper at a slow rate as I have discovered I am very sensitive to dosage decreases. Everyone is different. Hopefully you will be able to tolerate a 10% cut per month which is the going rate ( sounds like currency huh?) but if you can't that is ok too!!!

 

Good luck and welcome!

 

RU

Fall 1995 xanax, zoloft. switched to Serzone

1996- spring 2003serzone/ xanax/ lightbox.

b]Fall 2003- Fall 2004? Lexapro 10 mg. Light box /4 mg. xanax.[/b]

2004 - Fall of 2009 10 mg Lex, 150 mg Wellbutrin XL % 4 mg xanax

November 2009- Sept. 2011 10 mg lex., 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax [/b

Sept.2012- July 2012 20 mg Lex 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax

My mantra " go slow & with the flow "

3/2/13.. Began equal dosing 5 Xs /day xanax, while simultaneously incorporating a 2.5 % drop ( from 3.5 mg/day to 3.4 mg/day)

4/6/13 dropped from 300 mg. Wellbutrin XL to 150 mg. Difficult but DONE! Down to 3.3 mg xanax/ day / 6/10/13 3 mg xanax/day; 7/15/2013 2.88mg xanax/day.

10/ 1/2013...... 2.5 mg xanax… ( switched to tablets again) WOO HOO!!!!!! Holding here… cont. with Lexapro.

1/ 2/2014.. tapered to 18mg ( by weight) of a 26 mg ( by weight) pill of 20 mg tab. lexapro. goal is 13mg (by weight OR 10 mg by ingredient content) and STOPPED. Feeling very down with unbalanced, unpredictable WD symptoms.

1/2/2014- ??? Taking a brain-healing break from tapering anything after actively tapering something for 1.5 years. So… daily doses as of 2/2/2014: 18 mg by weight Lex, 150 mg Well. XL, 2.5 mg xanax, down from 26 mg by weight Lex., 300 mg well. XL, 4 mg xanax in August, 2012. I'll take it. :) 5/8/14 started equivalent dose liquid./ tabs. 5/13/14 1.5 % cut.

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Kristen.

 

A lot of people can get about half-way down on their antidepressant dosage before they start to feel withdrawal symptoms.

 

I agree that at this point, you might hold to stabilize your nervous system, then go down much more gradually, a 10% reduction per month. See this topic about tapering Effexor http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/272-tips-for-tapering-off-effexor-and-effexor-xr-venlafaxine/ and others in the Tapering forum about bead-counting, etc.

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

Hi Kristen,

 

Welcome to the forum and good to see another Aussie and Melbourne-ite.

 

There's lots of great advice on this forum.

 

Go slowly and be patient. 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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Thanks everyone for the advice, I'll definitely take it on board!

Initially prescribed for depression 

Currently prescribed for anxiety 

2003-2004: Avanza (mirtazapine)

2007- 2012: Effexor XR 300mg (venlafaxine)
Tapered off Effexor over 8 months

2013 Relapse 

2013 - 2017 Pristiq 100mg

2017 pre and post natal anxiety

2017 - current Pristiq increased to 150mg then 200mg
 

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Hi Kristen,

 

Thank you for popping by my thread, it is great to hear people are making progress- well done on how far you've come :)

 

I look forward to seeing your updates and sharing this journey!

 

Benny x

January 2010-June 2011 Citalopram up to 40mg.

June 2011-December 2012 Venlafaxine up to 75mg

January 2013 Venlafaxine reduction - currently down to 0mg, although concerned with reduction symptoms.

 

All things come to pass- thank goodness!

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Still holding steady at 187.5mg of Effexor XR.

 

My moods seem to have stabilised, however my sleep is completely shot and what is with the restless legs when trying to sleep!

 

So uncomfortable! My night sweats seem to have eased slightly - at least I don't wake up in the middle of the night feeling like I have wet myself, so bizarre that the sweating is only from the waist down. What the hell is with that?!

Initially prescribed for depression 

Currently prescribed for anxiety 

2003-2004: Avanza (mirtazapine)

2007- 2012: Effexor XR 300mg (venlafaxine)
Tapered off Effexor over 8 months

2013 Relapse 

2013 - 2017 Pristiq 100mg

2017 pre and post natal anxiety

2017 - current Pristiq increased to 150mg then 200mg
 

Link to comment
  • Administrator

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 Alto.

 

I currently take 3000mg Fish Oil per day so I will give magnesium a go too.

Initially prescribed for depression 

Currently prescribed for anxiety 

2003-2004: Avanza (mirtazapine)

2007- 2012: Effexor XR 300mg (venlafaxine)
Tapered off Effexor over 8 months

2013 Relapse 

2013 - 2017 Pristiq 100mg

2017 pre and post natal anxiety

2017 - current Pristiq increased to 150mg then 200mg
 

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  • 11 months later...

My doctor suggested this medication to me today and didn't seem to know a lot about it. I have suffered from severe depression in the past and have taken Avanza and Effexor XR, both of which I refuse to take again due to side effects such as weight gain, sweating etc.


I came off Effexor XR last September (reduced from 300mg over a 10 month period) with thankfully few withdrawal effects. I started a very stressful job in April last year and have experienced burn out, which has seen mild depression come back (fatigue, low mood, withdrawing, but thankfully no suicidal ideation this time).


So, I did my research and presented to my doctor that I'd like to try Wellbutrin, as I want to go outside the traditional SSRI, SNRI path, and as I'm not as bad as I have been in the past I feel I have the ability to try something different. No luck, she refused to prescribe, as in Australia treatment for depression is an 'off the label use' and that whilst she's never prescribed it to anyone, she doesn't think it works.


Fairly pissed off, so much for patient choice.


So she suggested Moclobemide, but couldn't offer any further information on it.


Anyone have any experience with it?


Thanks for your time.


Initially prescribed for depression 

Currently prescribed for anxiety 

2003-2004: Avanza (mirtazapine)

2007- 2012: Effexor XR 300mg (venlafaxine)
Tapered off Effexor over 8 months

2013 Relapse 

2013 - 2017 Pristiq 100mg

2017 pre and post natal anxiety

2017 - current Pristiq increased to 150mg then 200mg
 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Kristen, I've moved your new post to your intro thread, it is one thread per person in the introductions section.

I would not touch another anti depressant whatever happened! I've been on every class of them 

and am almost free of effexor myself after almost 2 years of tapering.   There were problems with all of them

and I spent 20 years bouncing around between side effects and withdrawal. 

 

I haven't heard of that one but did take an MAOI and ended up physically seriously ill and had to go into hospital

to come off it quickly. 

After reading your earlier posts it seems that you are possibly suffering some withdrawal symptoms, it isn't

uncommon to get withdrawal after a few months of being off ADs .  If that is the case then it will get better without 

any drugs to replace the effexor.  

Has your workload reduced now? Maybe all you need is some rest and recuperation, you did well to get off the effexor

and do a demanding job but probably just went too fast. 

 

I doubt very much you will get anyone here to give you any positive info on the new drug, we are about getting off anti

depressants and finding ways to cope without them. 

You might find the topic on withdrawal syndrome interesting, 

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/603-what-is-antidepressant-withdrawal-syndrome/

 

And one on non drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1112-non-drug-techniques-to-cope-with-emotional-symptoms/

 

I'm sorry that you are feeling the need for more anti depressants but glad you came here before starting them,

hopefully we will be able to persuade you to try other things first. Going back on a new one just means that you

will eventually have to start all over again with the tapering and withdrawal nightmare! 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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Hi thanks for your response,

 

I'm actually in the type of job where the workload won't decrease (i'm the equivalent of a parole and probation officer in Australia). I was feeling fine until a few months into the job, so I'm not convinced it was the Effexor withdrawal, as I did it over 10 months, very slowly and had no issues.

 

Moclobemide is apparently a new version of MAOI, and it is reversible, unlike the older MAOIs which are irreversible and come with the strict dietary restrictions.

 

Obviously, I'd prefer not to go on medication again, but I'm also aware of my limitations.

 

Any one else with experiences with this drug would be much appreciated.

 

Thanks! 

Initially prescribed for depression 

Currently prescribed for anxiety 

2003-2004: Avanza (mirtazapine)

2007- 2012: Effexor XR 300mg (venlafaxine)
Tapered off Effexor over 8 months

2013 Relapse 

2013 - 2017 Pristiq 100mg

2017 pre and post natal anxiety

2017 - current Pristiq increased to 150mg then 200mg
 

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  • Administrator

Sorry, Kristen. This is a site for going off drugs. We can't advise anyone about what psychiatric drug to try next.

 

All of them have withdrawal issues.

 

Most of us would never go near another psychiatric drug again.

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, I'm aware of that.

 

All I wanted was a gauge on people's experiences so I can make an informed decision on the drug.

 

I would have thought many people here could share that experience.

Initially prescribed for depression 

Currently prescribed for anxiety 

2003-2004: Avanza (mirtazapine)

2007- 2012: Effexor XR 300mg (venlafaxine)
Tapered off Effexor over 8 months

2013 Relapse 

2013 - 2017 Pristiq 100mg

2017 pre and post natal anxiety

2017 - current Pristiq increased to 150mg then 200mg
 

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  • Administrator

We encourage people who have gone through the dangers of withdrawal to consider non-drug treatments for their distress, not to jump back into the risks of psychiatric medication.

 

There are many sites where people enthusiastically discuss their psychiatric diagnoses and drug cocktails. This is not one of them. Most of us feel strongly that we have been injured by psychiatric treatment.

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

I'm actually in the type of job where the workload won't decrease (i'm the equivalent of a parole and probation officer in Australia). I was feeling fine until a few months into the job, so I'm not convinced it was the Effexor withdrawal, as I did it over 10 months, very slowly and had no issues.

 

 

I'm sorry that the stress of your job has caused you to burn out.  Its a sad part of our culture that something which is supposed to support and enhance our individual lives ends up depleting us, causing illness and decreasing the quality of our life in general.

 

If you really love your job, but find the stress of it overwhelming, perhaps you could find something less damaging than a toxic drug to help you cope.  No job is worth poisoning yourself for, just so you can keep going.  Perhaps taking up meditation, exercise or a spiritual practice would help you learn how to let go of the job so you can recuperate after hours.

 

If not, maybe looking for a different kind of work, one that suits your personality better would be an alternative to think about.

 

These drugs only help people manage their difficult lives and emotions for a time, eventually they stop working or start causing more and more side effects until we are worse off than when we started, then we are left trying to withdraw from a drug which has caused long term changes in multiple body systems.  For some people, it can mean years of misery with nothing to bring relief.

 

You don't have to start down that path, please give it some thought, there are healthier ways to manage difficult life situations.

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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Thanks, i'll try to stick it out by natural means.

 

I also suspect that it is rebound depression from ceasing Effexor last September (tapered over 9-10 months)

Initially prescribed for depression 

Currently prescribed for anxiety 

2003-2004: Avanza (mirtazapine)

2007- 2012: Effexor XR 300mg (venlafaxine)
Tapered off Effexor over 8 months

2013 Relapse 

2013 - 2017 Pristiq 100mg

2017 pre and post natal anxiety

2017 - current Pristiq increased to 150mg then 200mg
 

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  • Administrator

Petu speaks truth. If you require drugs to tolerate your job, you're in the wrong job.

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

Kristen, I too suspect this is a delayed withdrawal reaction. That is extremely common with Effexor.  (And all ADs, actually, but it seems we hear it often here from Effexor users.)

 

People generally feel that they have recovered and then they are hit with a "relapse" at around three to six months out.

 

And your taper was not as slow as I would have recommended after multiple years of use. 

 

You may be able to get through this without ending up on another drug that will come with its own hell.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                   1

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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Hi Kristen

 

I agree with the rest. If you started at 300mg and finished within 10months it was too fast. Especially since you've been on ssri's for about 10 years.

I'm on venlafaxine and have been tapering for over a year, still getting wds that you mention and many more.

I'm glad you did not have as much trouble.

 

I'm only 19 but I do believe that sometimes one just needs to make a complete lifestyle change to better yourself, mentally, emotionally, and physically and job wise. I hope it gets better.

Started Effexor August 2012 Sept'12-150mg=extreme anxiety Oct'12 cut half-75mg severe wds

Feb 2013 68.5mg. Mar'13- 65mg. Apr'13-59mg. May'13-57mg. June '13-52mg Aug'13 49.75mg.

Sep'13-48.75. Nov'13-47mg Dec'13-45..5mg

May 2014 42mg. Jun'14 40mg (depressive mood started). Aug'14 -40mg/ started brintellix 2.5mg

Oct '14 -39 Nov'14 36.89 Dec'14 34.45

Jan 2015- 31 Feb'15 29mg. Mar'15 26.72. Apr'15 24.48. May'15 22.31mg. Jun'15 20.30mg

Aug'15-18.89. Oct'15 16.96. Nov/16- 16.10. Dec/15- 15mg

Jan 2016-14.22. May'16 11.45. Aug'16-9.60. Sep/16- 8.88mg. Oct/16- 8.39mg. Nov/16- 8.13. Dec/16- 7.89

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