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PRISONERofEVILpills Venlafaxine Extended-Release is EVIL, Trying to taper


PRISONERofEVILpills

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First, thank you so much to the creator and contributors to this website. I have felt crazy at times because the withdrawal symptoms of Venlafaxine ER have been so severe for me...even doctors have told me I was imagining it (although, finally one did acknowledge them).

 

 

I've been a prisoner of these pills for far too long. Venlafaxine ER was supposed to be a temporary fix for sudden bout of panic attacks. I was on them for a year, then I moved in 2010, have yet to find a permanent DR, and have been forced to get RXs refills from clinics and continue taking these drugs because of the unbearable withdrawal symptoms. Brain zaps, electrical shocks down my arms and body, sleep comas, horrible anxiety and mood swings, sweats, and more. It is clear this drug should NOT be something in my body, but I am a prisoner stuck in a never-ending cycle.

 

***Was on 225-300mg for 3 years, and my daily withdrawl symtoms each night as the pills wore off was torture in itself. I could feel down to the minute when I was passing 24 hours since last dose. Usually brain zaps, and electrical charges, and flu like feelings. Was able to self-reduce to 150mg about a year ago, which was horrible, but I just made the jump. I soon saw an immediate reduction in the nightly withdrawal symptoms (once I got through the rough period).

 

***HOWEVER, I had nothing going on at the time of my major reduction. Now, so many things have happened over the past year it never seems the right time to go down. I attempted to jump from 150mg to 75mg several times...but it just HURT too much, then I would always bail.

 

***In December 2012, I researched and found this website and began to taper as recommended. Also began supplementing Fish Oils, which helped with the "brain zaps"...but my constant tiredness and sleeping is still a serious problem,

 

------

 

 

I feel like this is TAKING FOREVER, and just want to be done with it, but I also dont want to experience the adverse effects associated with stopping too quickly. I am very afraid that the "rewiring" of my brain will be a long-term issue.

After another failed attempt at a jump from 150mg to 75mg of Venlafaxine ER, I found this site. I officially started "tapering" on Dec 18, 2012... going down from 150mg December 18, little by little.

----I've been taking two 75mg pills since trying to make the jump. The generic brand I've gotten from Costco has an average of 79-80 pellets in each 75mg pill. My original MATH:

 

135 = 150- 10% (15mg)

 

one capsule, 75mg has approx 80 pellets

 

75 divided by 80 = 0.9375 (approx mg per pellet)

 

Took one (full 75mg pill) + one (75mg pill -15 pellets)

 

-------

 

took out 15 pellets x 0.9375 mg = 14.0625 mg less

 

for a total of 135.9375

(150 mg reg - 14.0625 mg = 135.9375 mg )

 

-------

 

 

From there, I've periodically removed a couple more pellets, held that dosage for a bit, then removed more (sometimes too fast, at which point I would have to adjust, etc). I have tracked it each day. [FYI--I have still had to deal with many withdrawl symptoms, but anything major prompted me to adjust my dosage...still, there was definitely pain and effort on my part]

Not all my drops are listed, but basically to sum up:

 

(reduction in pellets, NOT mg)

 

Dec 18: -15 pellets

 

Jan 8: -25

 

Jan 12: -30

 

Jan 17/18: -37 (too fast!! horrible withdrawal symptoms... had to readjust)

 

Jan 19: back to -31 pellets

 

>>>> Overall 1-month progress: -31 pellets = Down 20%

 

 

----------------------

 

NOTE: I continued to spot check and count full pills every once in a while... especially whenever I refilled (each time at COSTCO). It was always 79-80 pellet average. ALSO, when removing pellets, I would choose only the Median AVERAGE SIZED pellets, ignoring the larger or smaller ones. (I realize this is not a perfect system, but it's been good enough for me)

 

 

----------------------

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  • Administrator

Welcome, PoEp.

 

Congratulations on getting this far with your taper.

 

You may wish to taper by a smaller amount, it sounds like you are pushing your tolerance to the limit -- that last bout of symptoms being a red flag -- and hold periodically to give your nervous system a chance to adapt.

 

The goal being not to get off the drug as soon as possible, but with the least stress on your nervous system.

 

(I deleted your duplicate post.)

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 prisoner, from another venlafaxine prisoner!

Welocme!

I agree with Alto - slow down - 20% in one month is too much - maximum 10%.

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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Hey there, I'm in the exact same boat. You can follow my progress in my posts, and see what's worked and not worked for me so far.

After about 4 months i have managed to go down 34%. It hasnt been perfect by any strech, but I'm feeling ok at this moment.

My biggest worry is when I get down to the last 10%. Thats where a lot of people have the most trouble. But keep in mind, it IS possible to get off this rotten stuff.

I have been on it for 12 and a half years. How long have you been taking it in total?

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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Sorry, just re-read your post, and it looks like you started in 2009.

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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Welcome, PoEp.

 

Congratulations on getting this far with your taper.

 

You may wish to taper by a smaller amount, it sounds like you are pushing your tolerance to the limit -- that last bout of symptoms being a red flag -- and hold periodically to give your nervous system a chance to adapt.

 

The goal being not to get off the drug as soon as possible, but with the least stress on your nervous system.

 

(I deleted your duplicate post.)

 

 

Thank you, Altostrata!

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Sorry, just re-read your post, and it looks like you started in 2009.

 

 

Flong-- Thanks! I will definitely follow your progress. Congrats on making it to 34%!

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Well I thought I was going super slow....hmmm. And if withdrawal symptoms ever seemed too severe, or to persist after more than two days, I adjusted. I must admit that I'm worthless when I don't have enough, or have ever missed a dose. I go into a "sleep coma" with CRAZY VIVID dreams, and that is only one of the insane side effects.

 

 

I think perhaps my high-milligram daily withdrawals were so bad that anything now seems less severe... maybe why I've been going at this rate. I've also run out enough times for a dose or two over the past few years that nothing seems to compare to that.

 

BUT I've definitely been going slower than the pharmacist or doctors say to go. I still feel like this poisonous stuff will never get out of my body and out of my system.

 

 

-------

ALSO:

 

(I do occasionally take xanax as needed for panic attacks, and was weaning myself off a different medicine (that I've been on for one year longer than Venla).––– It is Lamictal (since 07-08) and I reduced down to 200mg over a year ago when I also did my first jump down from the larger dose of Venlafaxine. I haven't adjusted the Lamictal since then, because I feel like that might be too much for my nervous system....ANY THOUGHTS ??)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi PoE

I would probably just do one drug at a time - i am not familiar with the effects of lamactil, but Alto will be along soon i am sure and she can advise you on that.

 

I think the most important thing to do is to avoid the withdrawal symptoms, not wait until you get them and then adjust. My understanding is that you can make your nervous system more sensitive to changes if you do that. I used to be able to reduce by much more than 10% and much faster than 3-4 weekly, but the more times that i experienced withdrawal, the less the trigger needed to be to induce those symptoms. I have learned through experience to slow down.. I wish this site had been around 10 years ago, the first time i tried to come off - although i probably would have thought it wouldn't happen to me!!!!!

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

If I were you, I'd hold off tapering lamotrigine until you're off venlafaxine.

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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  • 4 weeks later...

In the spirit of using this as a personal journal of my progress, I though I would share my tapering notes that I've been keeping track of.

 

I was stuck at the same dosage for a while, due to a variety of circumstances, but I'm back to tapering now. Hoping to make more progress. Taking a full 10% decrease at once instead of just doing a few beads at a time.

 

-------------

 

 

Taper track >>>

 

Started taper Dec 18:

 

-15 @ 2:00am (prob a week)

 

-24. @ 4:30am

(took omega 3 & chlorella late night)

 

<<<< Average time = 2am >>>>

 

Jan 1: -25. @2am

(2 omega 3s midday)

 

{there were a couple times I took 23-24... Omega3 really helps}

 

Jan 8: -25 @ 1:30am

(Two omega 3s midday)

 

Jan 12: -30 @ 3am (late)

Need to get more of both

 

Jan 14: -31 @2:30

(smaller half a bit later)

 

Jan 15: -35 @ 3:00am

 

Jan 17: -38 @ 5am

(Working on sorting mold boxes)

 

Jan 18: -37/38 @ 6am

(Not feeling well--slept all day)

Slept 24 hours, feel brain dead

Can't stay awake or hold info

***drop was too fast!

** had 8 more beads @11:30am

^^so total was -30

 

Jan 19th: (need to go back)

Only take -31 today! @ 2:30

**then hold at -31 for awhile

 

 

Overall 1-month progress:

at -31 = Down 20%

 

 

Jan 19: -31

Jan 20: -33

Jan 21: -33

Jan 22: -34

Jan 23: -34

 

 

Switched count direction:

Jan 29: -35 /// equals +45

 

One FULL capsule + extra pellets

(was taking ~ 1.5 capsules)

Jan 30: { +45 }

 

Jan 31: + 44

 

 

Feb 3: full + 5

 

Feb 4: full + 4

Feb 5: full stacked

 

Counted all { just full @ 123 } - 3

 

Feb 6: { +120 }

 

-{{ +120 until new manufacturer}}-

 

 

----------

THEN GOT A NEW Rx SCRIPT:

 

**{Switched to 150 mg capsules, different manufacturer on Wednesday, Feb 13 (?).}

***New Rx pellets were all irregular shapes and sizes, impossible to track. (Like nerds candies)

***Night before new Rx only had 79 (Tues, Feb 12), but then had to guess on additional amount once I got new script that afternoon.

**tried counting but horribly hard to tell. Had to guess by looking.

 

***{Called pharmacy about manufacturer change for 150s, they had the manufacturer I was getting in 75s, agreed to switch out.}

**until then I had to guess by looking at amount in capsule...

 

{{ Feb 16, got more vitamins, including B-Complex, and it really snapped me out of the fog. Felt great. Started getting up early and having energy and being in better mood. Huge difference!}

 

**Got NEW script on Monday to replace different manufacturer. Wasn't reacting well to the new manufacturer, (Feb 18). Got sick with food poisoning and had to continue to gauge amount bcs hadn't counted to see if pellet #s matched the 75mg capsules. Pellets seemed larger?

 

**continued to go to bed really early and wake up with sweats to take medicine, tired, and kept guessing while sick until I recounted on Feb 20 (night after, so technically Feb 21, but I track based on day ending when I fall asleep).

**once I counted, realized they were approximately the same, (with about 79x2 =158 pellets total).

**decided to go back to 120# pellets. (Actually looked like how many I'd been estimating based on volume in capsule when guessing, which is good)

 

****Hoping I didn't loose progress. Regardless...Not intending to go backwards, so hopefully won't have any significant withdrawals after all that guessing, especially with the other manufctr, which felt different anyways. So, back to tracking:

 

Feb 20: {+120}

158# / 120# = 76%

{ So total of -24% since Dec 18}

 

Feb 21:

 

Now there only appear to be

approx 150 pellets, if sizes

are averaged.

 

150# x 76% = 114# count

= { - 36 }

 

------

 

Did another cross section. Counted third pill, got approx 150# pellets.

So... Go with 114# count.

 

Feb 21, final: took { +114}a I

 

@ 11:45 pm

 

(Wound up adding 5 next day)

 

 

Feb 23, took { + 115} @2:30am

 

Feb 26: Counted 152

Took out -38

{+ 114} = 75% @4am

 

Feb 27: counted 158

158 x 25% = 39.5

Took out -40

{+ 118 }= 75%

 

 

----------------

 

 

-40

March 2: -40

 

March 3: -43

 

March 6 (actually 7th) @8am: -41

March 7-(aka8) @9:45am: -42

 

March 8 @1:15am: -45

9: -48 @ 1:30

10: -48 @2

 

Should get a kitchen scale*

 

March 11 /12: -48 @ 7am

 

----

 

Mar12: took other pills (non-effexorXR) at 2:30a.

^^^

March 12/13: -48 @ __________

Counted remainder {+111}

48+ 111 = 159 (spot check)

 

150 / 159 = .9433mg pellet

{ +111 x 0.943mg} = 104.7mg

 

*approx -30% from original 150mg

-------

 

Have been taking 75% of 150mg for over a month now

= 112mg

 

112mg x -10% = 102mg

 

102mg / .9433 = 108 pellets

 

March 12 night / 13 morning /

 

{ subtract -3 more pellets }

{ total: #108 }

 

>>>try to take at 1-2 pm (push) on March 13 as a bridge

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi PoEp,

 

I'm very sorry for all who have to deal with those pellets in order to reduce. Peggy has recently learned that the number of pellets/beads varies to a great extent, so they obviously aren't equal in size. She didn't notice any big problem with it until she got to a small dosage.

 

Maybe she will see this and give her input.

 

Would it be possible for you to put your history in a signature?

 

Here is a link with instructions:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

Thanks and wish you the best.

 

Tezza

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi PoE,

 

In my effexor taper i ended up getting a small scale as yes, i discovered that the number of beads in each capsule are not equal. I also had to make sure that i stayed within the 10% per 3 week mark - any faster and it caught up with me. I have had to do a few updoses over the last 12 months when i have gotten ahead of myself.

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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