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Hudgens

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Hello everyone, I'm a 55 year old male living in NE Pa. I began slowly tapering off of Effexor (XR originally, switching to generic for the actual tapering)in the middle of August 2010. At that time I'd been on Effexor XR

for about 11 years, with only one attempt to get off of it in 2008-tapering by counting beads from the capsule,

which went seemingly very well, and continued fine until exactly 2 months after completly stopping, when I suddendly had the feeling as if a large building had fallen down on me.

 

I immediately began taking the 75mg's of EffexorXR again, assuming the reaction was a return of the panic attacks for which I'd originally been placed on Effexor. (I should also mention that I was getting free samples of the Effexor XR from my Psychiatrist, and when these began to be more difficult for him to come by, he suggested I switch to Prestig, of which he still had free samples. So I switched for three months and was fine for most of that time. But things got bad almost overnight. I experienced overwhelming anxiety, and ended by going back on the Effexor XR.)

 

Getting back to my current tapering, around 2010 I decided to try getting off the Effexor again, after coming to the realization after 11 years that I was a different person since I was on the Effexor, and- without, at least for now, going into the details- I didn't like the person I'd become. Why it takes so long to come to that kind of an understanding, I don't know.

 

The first year of my current taper I reached the 37.5 mg mark with very very little trouble. The next 9 months were exactly the same, no real problems. The trouble began on August 20th 2012, one year and nine months in to the tapering. At that point I was down to 2 mgs. I was pretty suprised at this, of course. I was suddenly getting alot of anxiety and I couldn't sleep more than 2-4 hours each night. But I continued tapering anyway, wanting to just get it over with by November (the two year mark).

 

over the next month I made two more drops in dosage, each about 50%, and, of course, the withdrawal symptoms got worse. And in addition to the worsening symptoms, now for the first time in my life, I experienced depression. As I said, I was originally put on Effexor for panic attacks. I have a friend whose been telling me about his episodes of depression for years, but of course, although I always felt bad for his suffering, I never really knew what he was talking about until now. The depression is just one of half a dozen withdrawal symptoms I'm experiencing right now, and I only get it once in a while, but it's by far the worst of the bunch. Absolutely dreadful. This, and the others are I'm sure familiar to everyone on this site: flu-like symptoms; long-term, partial insomnia; general anxiety; irritability.

 

But getting back, when I'd had enough of all the withdrawal symptoms, I went back to the earlier dose of 2mgs and felt better in a few weeks. By the Christmas, I was doing alright again. I'd stopped obsessing about it in my journal all the time, and was getting back into my usual interests. The one symptom that didn't get better, and still hasn't, was the partial insomnia.

 

So I felt better-certainly functional, for the next few months. I slowed down the tapering alot.

 

Now I'm down to less than a 1/4 mg. It seems like a ridiculously small ammount, and very difficult to measure. I'm still planning on going one step smaller during April and into May to try and make the last step off the Effexor as little jarring as possible. the current problem is that it seems as though the symptoms are coming back at this tiny tiny dose. I did just reduce 6 days ago and it could be, and probably is, just a reaction to that. Still, the symptoms do seem unusually worse, even for a drop in dosage.

 

I don't have any specific questions right now. I think my situation is very typical of what I read on this and other sites dealing with this problem.

 

In addition, I'd like to remark on- as you've all noticed- the aparent lack of success

stories on the net. I find this a little chilling. It seems that every individually reported success always turns out to be due to having only taken an antidepressant for a very short while (a few weeks to a few months) or else the person making the report has only been off the drug for short while ( a few weeks to a few months). So I was very interested to see a response to a post on this site by a site member "Marmite" in which they claimed to be off their antidepressant for three years and that they had no more WD symptoms. That's something anyway. I'd really like to hear more about that, if Marmaite or anyone familiar with their story is reading this. Thanks, Jeff

Edited by Altostrata
added paragraph breaks for readibility

Sept 12th 1992-began taking Imipramine (50mgs) for panic attacks.

Stopped Imipramine after 4 months (cold turkey).

7 months later experienced "mysterious" bad flu-like symptoms, although, without upper respiratory problems or fever. Because of this and a day of panic attacks, was put on Prozac (20mgs?) for 2 months and then, when that didn't work-was put back on  Imipramine,  plus Xanax 1 mg (4Xdaily)-October 1993.

March 1999-switched from Imipramine (50mgs) to Celexa.

2008-switched to Pristiq for 3 months, then back to Effexor XR (after bad reaction to the Pristiq).

Sept 1st 2010-Switched from Effexor XR (75mgs) to Effexor Generic (solid form) in preparation for taper.

Nov 15th 2010-Began tapering from 75mgs Effexor Generic.

January 13th 2014-.06mgs

April 17th 2014-      .03mgs

May 11th 2014-       .02mgs

Ended taper October 31st 2014

Oct 4th 2015-11 months post taper and completely back to normal!

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Hi Jeff

 

Welcome to the forum. Sounds like you've had a journey and done well so far in listening to your body and that's what I'd do now in your current situation. Wait a couple more days to see if it settled but if it doesn't and it seems more than the drop in dose think about going back up a little bit and hold for a while

 

I know that's probably the last thing you want to do but you've come this far and you want to do this last bit right

 

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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  • Administrator

Welcome, Jeff.

 

Here's a topic about tapering Effexor, where you might find some tips for dealing with tiny dosages http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/272-tips-for-tapering-off-effexor-and-effexor-xr-venlafaxine/

 

You'll see more problems than successes on forums like this because when people are through with tapering, they tend not to come back and report how they are. Most people actually do pretty well going off the drugs gradually.

 

Withdrawal insomnia is grueling. Don't ignore that as a withdrawal symptom. Going from 2mg to .25mg in 3 months is not that slow a taper! If I were you, I'd go up slightly in dosage, maybe to .50mg, and hold for a while, maybe 2 months, to let your nervous system settle down for the last leg.

 

It's not a race, do what you can to preserve your neurological health.

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, It's been more like 5 months really since I stepped back in dosage, but I know I went faster than

the universally recomended 10%. Probably more like 20-25%. This worked so well for the first 3 or so months that I just kept going. Since I never had, or could figure out any exact way to measure reductions, I used a pair of callipers. That worked pretty well until I got down to very small ammounts about 4 months ago. Now I have to judge by eye. To help with this I crush the tiny piece of pill into powder and then seperate this powder into 12 inked out squares on a piece of paper. each square is the ammount for one day and each of these is seperated once more for am/pm dosage. To give you a better idea, the ammount of powder for one day stretched out into a line is about 3/4's the diameter of a pencil eraser. I cover the 12-day dosage setup with a large pot cover to keep it safe from accidents. Is there a way to send pictures to this site? I'd like to get others' oppinions on the ammounts I'm dealling with. They seem awfully slight. Is it possible I'm taking so little my body doesn't recognize I'm taking any at all, and, that is, am in full-blown withdrawal already?

I wish there were a cheap exact way to measure drug ammounts, but the scales on line can be inaccurate up to 1 or 2 mgs. That no good when you get down to ammounts smaller than 1 mg.

 

It still seems odd to me that there aren't more success stories. If I'd finished my taper and hadn't any withdrawal symptoms for a year, I'd sure tell about my success on every relevant site I could find. Wouldn't you? I've just got this awfull feeling that they're aren't any, or, at least very few. Do you know of anyone who's really succeeded? Thanks for responding, Jeff

Sept 12th 1992-began taking Imipramine (50mgs) for panic attacks.

Stopped Imipramine after 4 months (cold turkey).

7 months later experienced "mysterious" bad flu-like symptoms, although, without upper respiratory problems or fever. Because of this and a day of panic attacks, was put on Prozac (20mgs?) for 2 months and then, when that didn't work-was put back on  Imipramine,  plus Xanax 1 mg (4Xdaily)-October 1993.

March 1999-switched from Imipramine (50mgs) to Celexa.

2008-switched to Pristiq for 3 months, then back to Effexor XR (after bad reaction to the Pristiq).

Sept 1st 2010-Switched from Effexor XR (75mgs) to Effexor Generic (solid form) in preparation for taper.

Nov 15th 2010-Began tapering from 75mgs Effexor Generic.

January 13th 2014-.06mgs

April 17th 2014-      .03mgs

May 11th 2014-       .02mgs

Ended taper October 31st 2014

Oct 4th 2015-11 months post taper and completely back to normal!

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  • Administrator

Your body recognizes even very small amounts of the drug, and small changes in the dosage even at that level.

 

Please read the link about about tapering Effexor.

 

Believe me, once people are done with this, most don't look back. I have to beg them to post a success story.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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So, forgive me for not letting this go, you Do know people who have gotten through this and recovered completely?

Sept 12th 1992-began taking Imipramine (50mgs) for panic attacks.

Stopped Imipramine after 4 months (cold turkey).

7 months later experienced "mysterious" bad flu-like symptoms, although, without upper respiratory problems or fever. Because of this and a day of panic attacks, was put on Prozac (20mgs?) for 2 months and then, when that didn't work-was put back on  Imipramine,  plus Xanax 1 mg (4Xdaily)-October 1993.

March 1999-switched from Imipramine (50mgs) to Celexa.

2008-switched to Pristiq for 3 months, then back to Effexor XR (after bad reaction to the Pristiq).

Sept 1st 2010-Switched from Effexor XR (75mgs) to Effexor Generic (solid form) in preparation for taper.

Nov 15th 2010-Began tapering from 75mgs Effexor Generic.

January 13th 2014-.06mgs

April 17th 2014-      .03mgs

May 11th 2014-       .02mgs

Ended taper October 31st 2014

Oct 4th 2015-11 months post taper and completely back to normal!

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  • Administrator

Yes!

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.

Sept 12th 1992-began taking Imipramine (50mgs) for panic attacks.

Stopped Imipramine after 4 months (cold turkey).

7 months later experienced "mysterious" bad flu-like symptoms, although, without upper respiratory problems or fever. Because of this and a day of panic attacks, was put on Prozac (20mgs?) for 2 months and then, when that didn't work-was put back on  Imipramine,  plus Xanax 1 mg (4Xdaily)-October 1993.

March 1999-switched from Imipramine (50mgs) to Celexa.

2008-switched to Pristiq for 3 months, then back to Effexor XR (after bad reaction to the Pristiq).

Sept 1st 2010-Switched from Effexor XR (75mgs) to Effexor Generic (solid form) in preparation for taper.

Nov 15th 2010-Began tapering from 75mgs Effexor Generic.

January 13th 2014-.06mgs

April 17th 2014-      .03mgs

May 11th 2014-       .02mgs

Ended taper October 31st 2014

Oct 4th 2015-11 months post taper and completely back to normal!

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

I've been off of Lexapro going on 16 months and consider myself a success story, although I don't have much of a life yet after retiring from a very draining job and immediately going into withdrawal syndrome for over a year due to a way too fast taper. I've been too busy coping with setting up a new computer system and some other (external) problems to write a success story just now, but I'll be getting around to it.

 

Effexor is a very strong drug and there seems to be something of a delay in experiencing withdrawal symptoms after taking a cut. There are some people here on the forum who've cold-turkeyed, thought they were doing fine, and then - BOOM! - about five months later they got mowed down by withdrawal symptoms. (Please take careful note that this is due to stopping the drug cold, not tapering as you are doing. Too fast or too large cuts may bring this sort of thing on to a much lesser degree. Just be aware that a delayed reaction to too much of a cut can happen, and too much cutting too fast can bring on withdrawal symptoms sort of like a multi-car pile-up on the expressway due to this delayed action Effexor seems to have).

 

There's one thing about these drugs that I wish everyone understood, and that's that they change a person's central nervous system, which includes the brain. This is not a permanent condition, but it does take quite a bit of time for the CNS to repair itself and get back to normal. In fact, it seems that a lot of what appear to be withdrawal symptoms are the CNS normalizing in what seems to be a rather random, unpredictable way. This is why just getting the drug out of one's system as fast as possible doesn't take care of the problem, but nearly always makes it worse. The CNS needs that gradual, gentle letdown instead of having the chemical support jerked away all at once.

 

The depression you're experiencing is likely due to this. Up until about a month ago I experienced waves of sadness and anxiety that seemed to come out of nowhere. We (here at the forum) call these neuro-emotions as they seem to be caused by neurons misfiring as they heal. Here's a topic you might want to read:

 

Neuro-emotion

 

Also, this one, which describes how good and bad days come and go during withdrawal:

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Recovery

 

Please do hang in there. People who want to recover from antidepressants DO.

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, Jemima. I had a good day today, but plan on taking the tapering a little slower after your, and others'

on this sites, advice. Maybe 2-3 months at current dose just to make sure before going on to a final dose reduction before stopping. Great to hear that for someone all the suffering might very well be over. Benz

Sept 12th 1992-began taking Imipramine (50mgs) for panic attacks.

Stopped Imipramine after 4 months (cold turkey).

7 months later experienced "mysterious" bad flu-like symptoms, although, without upper respiratory problems or fever. Because of this and a day of panic attacks, was put on Prozac (20mgs?) for 2 months and then, when that didn't work-was put back on  Imipramine,  plus Xanax 1 mg (4Xdaily)-October 1993.

March 1999-switched from Imipramine (50mgs) to Celexa.

2008-switched to Pristiq for 3 months, then back to Effexor XR (after bad reaction to the Pristiq).

Sept 1st 2010-Switched from Effexor XR (75mgs) to Effexor Generic (solid form) in preparation for taper.

Nov 15th 2010-Began tapering from 75mgs Effexor Generic.

January 13th 2014-.06mgs

April 17th 2014-      .03mgs

May 11th 2014-       .02mgs

Ended taper October 31st 2014

Oct 4th 2015-11 months post taper and completely back to normal!

Link to post

Woke up this morning after 7 hours of sleep feeling completely normal. I'm still feeling this way at 930pm.

I don't feel elated or manic or any sort of extreme feeling at all, just perfectly normal.

 

My withdrawal problems (symptoms) started 7 months ago soon after I reached 2mgs in my almost 2 year taper from Effexor.

 

During that time I've gone through true Hell, especially a particularly rough month and a half in the fall. I've experienced maybe a dozen of these complete windows over that same 7 months. When they come, it's as though you'd never felt bad at all. Why do these days happen? And, more importantly, why don't they stay. I mean to say, if your nervous system can find its way back to a completely normal state, why doesn't it just stay there?

 

I know that tomorrow, or in an hour, for that matter, I might be right back in the soup. I might even feel so bad as to think I've made no progress at all.

 

But I do feel pretty good today, not even like I did before the problems started, more like I always did before the antidepressants (I was on Imipramine for 7 years before the 11 years of Effexor). I was also on

4 mgs of xanax for 3 years, but strangely enough, got off of that after a 7 month taper with very little trouble.

 

I guess the old me (very different from the antidepressant me) has been in there right along, I get to spend a day with my old self every so often. Boy that sounds a little weird. Proves one thing to me, though, my old self is not lost, even on all the bad days and right through the antidepressant days, it's in there somewhere, and intact.

Sept 12th 1992-began taking Imipramine (50mgs) for panic attacks.

Stopped Imipramine after 4 months (cold turkey).

7 months later experienced "mysterious" bad flu-like symptoms, although, without upper respiratory problems or fever. Because of this and a day of panic attacks, was put on Prozac (20mgs?) for 2 months and then, when that didn't work-was put back on  Imipramine,  plus Xanax 1 mg (4Xdaily)-October 1993.

March 1999-switched from Imipramine (50mgs) to Celexa.

2008-switched to Pristiq for 3 months, then back to Effexor XR (after bad reaction to the Pristiq).

Sept 1st 2010-Switched from Effexor XR (75mgs) to Effexor Generic (solid form) in preparation for taper.

Nov 15th 2010-Began tapering from 75mgs Effexor Generic.

January 13th 2014-.06mgs

April 17th 2014-      .03mgs

May 11th 2014-       .02mgs

Ended taper October 31st 2014

Oct 4th 2015-11 months post taper and completely back to normal!

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

This is the "Windows and Waves" pattern of recovery that I referenced above. It is a shame that we can't stay at that pre-antidepressant state that appears from time to time, but it seems the central nervous system repairs itself in quite unpredictable ways. It may help to keep in mind that when you're feeling badly your CNS is busy healing another part of itself.

 

It's a very good sign that you've had a normal day and that you've had some previously. If your CNS can do that once it can heal completely, so hang in there and eventually you will get back to being your old self. I started having these windows of normalcy about three months after my too-fast taper off Lexapro.

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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Hi Benz,

 

Effexor was the last antidepressant I ever took. I took a whole bunch, switching around trying to find the 'one that worked for me'. I think I took, in order, Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa, Lexapro, Remeron, Wellbutrin, before settling into Effexor. I took my last dose about 3 years ago and I think I've recovered from the withdrawal episode caused by it, though it's tough to say as I took other meds and have other medical problems.

 

My main symptoms one discontinuation were insomnia, anxiety, hypersensitivity to foods/drugs/stimulants/supplements. These were severe. I'd regularly go 50 - 75 hours without sleep. Anxiety made social interaction pretty impossible. I was a huge mess. I am a lot better in that regard. I have some confounding medical problems and still take some benzodiazepines so I'm hesitant to hold myself as a recovery case, however my initial withdrawal symptoms are resolved to the point that I have to think back to that time and place to remember what they were.

 

I found that I didn't like myself while on psychiatric medication, specifically antidepressants. I was very much more impulsive, more disinhibited, made bad choices and associations ... My life was a confusing rollercoaster and finally I realized that possibly the medications were behind some of the problems or, at least, not helping them. Once I came to this realization, I've looked on life with a new pair of glasses.

 

Lastly, I know many, many people who took antidepressants for an extended period and have been fine without them for years.

 

Welcome to the board.

 

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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Thanks Jimima and Alexejice!

 

"impulsive and disinhibited" Exactly! I have real regrets and guilt from my 10+ yrs on Effexor, not as much from when I was on the Imipramine. I really don't want to get out of taking responsibility for myself, but I was different in a way I didn't like while I was on Effexor. This is one of several reasons I wanted to get off of the stuff, but I didn't truly start to feel regrets and guilt until I reached the 2mg mark in my taper. I'll never know, however, why it took me so long to understand how unhealthy this stuff is. Another regret.

 

But, it's midnight and I'm still feeling normal.

Sept 12th 1992-began taking Imipramine (50mgs) for panic attacks.

Stopped Imipramine after 4 months (cold turkey).

7 months later experienced "mysterious" bad flu-like symptoms, although, without upper respiratory problems or fever. Because of this and a day of panic attacks, was put on Prozac (20mgs?) for 2 months and then, when that didn't work-was put back on  Imipramine,  plus Xanax 1 mg (4Xdaily)-October 1993.

March 1999-switched from Imipramine (50mgs) to Celexa.

2008-switched to Pristiq for 3 months, then back to Effexor XR (after bad reaction to the Pristiq).

Sept 1st 2010-Switched from Effexor XR (75mgs) to Effexor Generic (solid form) in preparation for taper.

Nov 15th 2010-Began tapering from 75mgs Effexor Generic.

January 13th 2014-.06mgs

April 17th 2014-      .03mgs

May 11th 2014-       .02mgs

Ended taper October 31st 2014

Oct 4th 2015-11 months post taper and completely back to normal!

Link to post

Welcome Benz from another Pa resident. Glad you're feeling better. Get to know yourself for a while. You sure are in the right place for help.

C/T Celexa and Trazadone on Jan.29th 2014
Prescribed 1mg of Klonopin every 6 hours on Jan.29th
Began tapering Klonopin April 18th..stretching time between doses...at first one hour for 2 weeks then a half hour for app.10 days then another half hour 10days later.
Presently at .25 three times a day..6 2 and 10pm. Trying to stabilize.
Also still taking gabapentin 300mgs 2xs a day..

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Thanks, Flower. I didn't get as much sleep last night, only three hours, and there's some anxiety back, but not really feeling too bad today. Hope you're doing well. Benz

Sept 12th 1992-began taking Imipramine (50mgs) for panic attacks.

Stopped Imipramine after 4 months (cold turkey).

7 months later experienced "mysterious" bad flu-like symptoms, although, without upper respiratory problems or fever. Because of this and a day of panic attacks, was put on Prozac (20mgs?) for 2 months and then, when that didn't work-was put back on  Imipramine,  plus Xanax 1 mg (4Xdaily)-October 1993.

March 1999-switched from Imipramine (50mgs) to Celexa.

2008-switched to Pristiq for 3 months, then back to Effexor XR (after bad reaction to the Pristiq).

Sept 1st 2010-Switched from Effexor XR (75mgs) to Effexor Generic (solid form) in preparation for taper.

Nov 15th 2010-Began tapering from 75mgs Effexor Generic.

January 13th 2014-.06mgs

April 17th 2014-      .03mgs

May 11th 2014-       .02mgs

Ended taper October 31st 2014

Oct 4th 2015-11 months post taper and completely back to normal!

Link to post

I know all about that anxiety..It's awful..Some say fish oil helps if you tolerate it okay. It will pass. Time is certainly not on our side I guess. Not sleeping doesn't help the situation. I'm stabilizing on Celexa and at the same time giving up aspartame..Yuk! Not so stable right now..Please find some peace today..

C/T Celexa and Trazadone on Jan.29th 2014
Prescribed 1mg of Klonopin every 6 hours on Jan.29th
Began tapering Klonopin April 18th..stretching time between doses...at first one hour for 2 weeks then a half hour for app.10 days then another half hour 10days later.
Presently at .25 three times a day..6 2 and 10pm. Trying to stabilize.
Also still taking gabapentin 300mgs 2xs a day..

Link to post

Flower, I tried Fish oil and it made the depression go away but kind'a reved me up to the point to where I felt like I was about to lose it. Not manic but higher anxiety. I remember thinking, Good the depression's gone-and then I thought, But it feels like I'm go off the deep end here. In other words it made me feel very uncomfortable. It's funny though, Flaxseed doesn't do that to me, I use alot of that.

 

Anyway, despite only 4 hrs sleep, I'm having another window day today. Absolutely my old, cheerful self.

I've noticed that these days happen regardless of how much sleep I've gotten.

 

I've also noticed that the partial insomnia from WD isn't like the partial insomnia I've had either before or during AD usage. The insomnia I've been experiencing for the last 8 months (since I started noticing any WD problems) doesn't bother me as much as it did when it occasionally occurred before ADs. I've had nights of 1-2-3-4-5-6 hrs of sleep, my average being about 3.5 hrs-as I say, for the last 8 months (with the exception of maybe 10 nights of 7 hrs sleep) but once I get up and going, I don't really feel the missing sleep. Now back before tapering or even before ADs, I really felt it if I missed even an hour of sleep. I know it's not good to have partial insomnia for extended periods of time, but I'm constantly amazed that it doesn't bother me more. I keep thinking it's all going to catch up with me, but so far it hasn't. More evidence that WD symptoms are very different from their more usual, non-WD counterparts.

 

Hope you're feeling better today, Benz

Sept 12th 1992-began taking Imipramine (50mgs) for panic attacks.

Stopped Imipramine after 4 months (cold turkey).

7 months later experienced "mysterious" bad flu-like symptoms, although, without upper respiratory problems or fever. Because of this and a day of panic attacks, was put on Prozac (20mgs?) for 2 months and then, when that didn't work-was put back on  Imipramine,  plus Xanax 1 mg (4Xdaily)-October 1993.

March 1999-switched from Imipramine (50mgs) to Celexa.

2008-switched to Pristiq for 3 months, then back to Effexor XR (after bad reaction to the Pristiq).

Sept 1st 2010-Switched from Effexor XR (75mgs) to Effexor Generic (solid form) in preparation for taper.

Nov 15th 2010-Began tapering from 75mgs Effexor Generic.

January 13th 2014-.06mgs

April 17th 2014-      .03mgs

May 11th 2014-       .02mgs

Ended taper October 31st 2014

Oct 4th 2015-11 months post taper and completely back to normal!

Link to post

Last night was my second complete night's sleep in a week (7 hours). That's the first time that's happened in 8 months. I did free excercise yesterday and also walked about 20 minutes, that might have something to do with it.

 

Had some very short flashes of mild anxiety-depression while reading in bed last night. Always disappointing

especially after an otherwise complete window day-also the second in a week, although, even in the worst of it back in Sept 2012, I had as many as 5 symptom free days in a row.

 

This morning I'm feeling very mild depression. Bearable, but to me, any at all sucks.

 

I was thinking about my post yesterday. Specifically about my satement that WD insomnia is different from

the usually variety since-for me-I can almost always get up and function properly on the former. But I completely disregarded all of the personal stories I've recently read on this site of people who's experience is the opposite of this. Sorry about that to anyone suffering from missing sleep. I'm not thinking as clearly as I used to before all this. In fact, I've noticed this more and more. I make all kinds of simple and silly mistakes in my reasoning. So maybe the partial insomnia affects me more than I think it does.

 

Well, I'm going to take another walk today and see if it helps with the sleep angain tonight. As for my taper-I'm in a holding pattern until the end of April at a little less than 1/4 mgs.. I've been at this amount for 11 days now. Happy Easter to everyone. Benz

Sept 12th 1992-began taking Imipramine (50mgs) for panic attacks.

Stopped Imipramine after 4 months (cold turkey).

7 months later experienced "mysterious" bad flu-like symptoms, although, without upper respiratory problems or fever. Because of this and a day of panic attacks, was put on Prozac (20mgs?) for 2 months and then, when that didn't work-was put back on  Imipramine,  plus Xanax 1 mg (4Xdaily)-October 1993.

March 1999-switched from Imipramine (50mgs) to Celexa.

2008-switched to Pristiq for 3 months, then back to Effexor XR (after bad reaction to the Pristiq).

Sept 1st 2010-Switched from Effexor XR (75mgs) to Effexor Generic (solid form) in preparation for taper.

Nov 15th 2010-Began tapering from 75mgs Effexor Generic.

January 13th 2014-.06mgs

April 17th 2014-      .03mgs

May 11th 2014-       .02mgs

Ended taper October 31st 2014

Oct 4th 2015-11 months post taper and completely back to normal!

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Benz,

 

You seem like a very nice person, don't be too hard on yourself. Give yourself a break from the guilt complex and regrets. This is something I struggle with, as well. It is one of many withdrawal symptoms.

 

In severe WD, I constantly had intrusive negative thoughts of past regrets. I replayed things I'd done or said in the past and it made me more depressed than I already was. It's been tough to 'change the channel' at times. In the beginning, nearly impossible. I would change the channel but it would quickly change back to those horrible thoughts of shame, embarrassment and guilt.

 

We have to intentionally 'think' good thoughts even when were not in WD. We are naturally programmed to remember negative experiences more than positive ones.

 

I give this example all the time: if someone loses $100 they will think about it much more than if they had gained $100. This is true for those NOT in WD; therefore, in WD, we have to work even harder to think good thoughts.

 

One thing that seemed to help me was playing games that I had to 'really focus' on. I've finally gotten to the point that I can watch movies again, sometimes.

 

I hope this helps you in some way! I do understand those feelings and I'm sure many others do, also.

Link to post

Thanks very much Tezza, All the guilt and regrets and dwelling on them much more than usual, is something I didn't expect to experience in getting off the Effexor. But there's a lot I didn't expect. When I began the slow taper 2 years and 4 months ago, all I thought was pushing through the kind of massive panic attack that instantly sent me back on the EffexorXR75mg when it occured 2 months after quitting the first time. I expected anxiety and maybe flu-like symptoms, nausea-but not depression, insomnia and sharp regrets, and certainly not any of it for months and months.

 

So what you're saying is that even though these things are not real depression symptoms, but only WD symptoms, that they can still be affected by the kind of techniques used by people with real depression symptoms? It was my experience in the worst part of this back in September that nothing really affected any of it except waiting it out. Now I'm not so sure. Maybe all these WD's have weakened, because I think these days that things like abdominal breathing and something as simple as eating a meal does have some positive effect on the anxiety and depression. I'm feeling a little depressed right now and am going to take a walk to see if that does anything for it.

 

Thanks again for writting, I think that actually has lifted my mood some in itself. Hope you're feeling good today, Benz

Sept 12th 1992-began taking Imipramine (50mgs) for panic attacks.

Stopped Imipramine after 4 months (cold turkey).

7 months later experienced "mysterious" bad flu-like symptoms, although, without upper respiratory problems or fever. Because of this and a day of panic attacks, was put on Prozac (20mgs?) for 2 months and then, when that didn't work-was put back on  Imipramine,  plus Xanax 1 mg (4Xdaily)-October 1993.

March 1999-switched from Imipramine (50mgs) to Celexa.

2008-switched to Pristiq for 3 months, then back to Effexor XR (after bad reaction to the Pristiq).

Sept 1st 2010-Switched from Effexor XR (75mgs) to Effexor Generic (solid form) in preparation for taper.

Nov 15th 2010-Began tapering from 75mgs Effexor Generic.

January 13th 2014-.06mgs

April 17th 2014-      .03mgs

May 11th 2014-       .02mgs

Ended taper October 31st 2014

Oct 4th 2015-11 months post taper and completely back to normal!

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Benz,

 

Yes, we have to do whatever we can to take our mind off the negative thinking, while still being as gentle with ourselves as we can. Withdrawal is one of the most difficult things I've ever dealt with and I totally did not expect it. I had always been able to leave off medicines with absolutely no problems at all.

 

I was taken very much by surprise when I started having WDs! I've learned to deal and cope with symptoms, much thanks to this forum. I've also learned to taper as slowly as my nervous system wants me to. This forum has been a life-saver for me. It helps to know there are people that can relate to what I'm going through/feeling. (although I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy)

 

I'm glad my writing to you may have helped some, thank you for telling me that! :) That makes it all worthwhile, makes me feel better, too, just to know I may have helped someone a bit.

 

I hope you have a nice walk!

Link to post

Yes, the walk was good. Still a little cold, but not bad. So far it hasn't affected the depression though, but your response really did. Now I'm going to try eating something, since luckily the bad feeling hasn't effected my appitite, as is often the case. In fact, an appitite has usually been a precurser to the bad feelings lifting.

Thanks once more, Benz

Sept 12th 1992-began taking Imipramine (50mgs) for panic attacks.

Stopped Imipramine after 4 months (cold turkey).

7 months later experienced "mysterious" bad flu-like symptoms, although, without upper respiratory problems or fever. Because of this and a day of panic attacks, was put on Prozac (20mgs?) for 2 months and then, when that didn't work-was put back on  Imipramine,  plus Xanax 1 mg (4Xdaily)-October 1993.

March 1999-switched from Imipramine (50mgs) to Celexa.

2008-switched to Pristiq for 3 months, then back to Effexor XR (after bad reaction to the Pristiq).

Sept 1st 2010-Switched from Effexor XR (75mgs) to Effexor Generic (solid form) in preparation for taper.

Nov 15th 2010-Began tapering from 75mgs Effexor Generic.

January 13th 2014-.06mgs

April 17th 2014-      .03mgs

May 11th 2014-       .02mgs

Ended taper October 31st 2014

Oct 4th 2015-11 months post taper and completely back to normal!

Link to post

Not so good night, anxiety, light-headedness, 3 hours sleep. Then this morning-another window! 3rd one this week. I want to think this is a good sign, but I see so many examples of people here doing better, even great, and then suddenly everything reverses. Of course, that never lasts foreever either.

 

Well, feeling well right now. Holding at a little less than 1/4 mgs Effexor, Benz

Sept 12th 1992-began taking Imipramine (50mgs) for panic attacks.

Stopped Imipramine after 4 months (cold turkey).

7 months later experienced "mysterious" bad flu-like symptoms, although, without upper respiratory problems or fever. Because of this and a day of panic attacks, was put on Prozac (20mgs?) for 2 months and then, when that didn't work-was put back on  Imipramine,  plus Xanax 1 mg (4Xdaily)-October 1993.

March 1999-switched from Imipramine (50mgs) to Celexa.

2008-switched to Pristiq for 3 months, then back to Effexor XR (after bad reaction to the Pristiq).

Sept 1st 2010-Switched from Effexor XR (75mgs) to Effexor Generic (solid form) in preparation for taper.

Nov 15th 2010-Began tapering from 75mgs Effexor Generic.

January 13th 2014-.06mgs

April 17th 2014-      .03mgs

May 11th 2014-       .02mgs

Ended taper October 31st 2014

Oct 4th 2015-11 months post taper and completely back to normal!

Link to post
  • Administrator

Benz, how are you measuring your dosage? You can make a liquid, see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/272-tips-for-tapering-off-effexor-and-effexor-xr-venlafaxine/

 

Holding on the taper right now sounds like the thing to do.

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.

Link to post

How accurate would you say the liquid preperation was?

Sept 12th 1992-began taking Imipramine (50mgs) for panic attacks.

Stopped Imipramine after 4 months (cold turkey).

7 months later experienced "mysterious" bad flu-like symptoms, although, without upper respiratory problems or fever. Because of this and a day of panic attacks, was put on Prozac (20mgs?) for 2 months and then, when that didn't work-was put back on  Imipramine,  plus Xanax 1 mg (4Xdaily)-October 1993.

March 1999-switched from Imipramine (50mgs) to Celexa.

2008-switched to Pristiq for 3 months, then back to Effexor XR (after bad reaction to the Pristiq).

Sept 1st 2010-Switched from Effexor XR (75mgs) to Effexor Generic (solid form) in preparation for taper.

Nov 15th 2010-Began tapering from 75mgs Effexor Generic.

January 13th 2014-.06mgs

April 17th 2014-      .03mgs

May 11th 2014-       .02mgs

Ended taper October 31st 2014

Oct 4th 2015-11 months post taper and completely back to normal!

Link to post

I looked at it and decided it's way too complicated to prepare. I was wondering about how I've been spacing my am/pm dosing, though. I've been on the regular Effexor for 2yrs and5mnths (spent 1 mnth getting used to it-no problems) I just sort of figured out taking the first dose at 10am and then the second dose at 4pm, 6 hours later. If I wake up late,say at 12noon, then I still wait 6 hours to take the second dose. I didn't know Effexor gets out of your system in 15 hours. Do you think if I waited maybe 8 hours before the 2nd dose I'd do better--get less WD's? Tomorrow I'm going to wait 8 hours between am and pm doses to see if I maybe do better.

 

For most of the 2yrs 4months that I've been tapering, I've used a kind of callipers that can be locked in place. I rubbed the edge of each pill on a piece of sandpaper until it fit the space the callipers were opened to. I also used markings on the pill for extra measuring guidance.

 

However, at a certain point the piece of a pill you end up with is just too small to use the callipers on. Mostly because you can only sand a pill down so much before it statrts crumbling up all the time. At that point, about Christmas, I started to crush the tiny, roundish shaped piece of pill into powder. I began by just dividing this into two equal piles (by eye) for an am and pm dose. When I was ready for the next reduction, I divided small piece of pill always of the same size as the previous piece (always modeled on the previous piece before that piece was crushed) and dived this pile into 4 equal piles, that is, for 2 days. And so on until I reached 12 days worth of am/pm doses. The last few reductions I've bgun with the usual pile of powder from the same (hopefully) sized piece of pill, but now before dividing it over the 12 days, I subtract what seems to me to be 10-20% of the original pile.

 

I'm guessing that the amount I'm at right now is about 1/4 or less of a mg. I base this guess on imagining wether a days worth of powder looks as though it were about the same size as one medium sized Effexor XR bead. The amount at the moment looks a little smaller than this to me.

 

So it's all measuring by eye mostly.

 

If you can understand my akward discription of my measuring method, please tell me what you think of it.

 

Also I don't think I can go down in dosage much more without becoming very inaccurate. I think maybe 2-3 more reductions and that's it. But we'll see. I want as soft a landing as possible.

Sept 12th 1992-began taking Imipramine (50mgs) for panic attacks.

Stopped Imipramine after 4 months (cold turkey).

7 months later experienced "mysterious" bad flu-like symptoms, although, without upper respiratory problems or fever. Because of this and a day of panic attacks, was put on Prozac (20mgs?) for 2 months and then, when that didn't work-was put back on  Imipramine,  plus Xanax 1 mg (4Xdaily)-October 1993.

March 1999-switched from Imipramine (50mgs) to Celexa.

2008-switched to Pristiq for 3 months, then back to Effexor XR (after bad reaction to the Pristiq).

Sept 1st 2010-Switched from Effexor XR (75mgs) to Effexor Generic (solid form) in preparation for taper.

Nov 15th 2010-Began tapering from 75mgs Effexor Generic.

January 13th 2014-.06mgs

April 17th 2014-      .03mgs

May 11th 2014-       .02mgs

Ended taper October 31st 2014

Oct 4th 2015-11 months post taper and completely back to normal!

Link to post
  • Administrator

Measuring by eye is very inaccurate. The liquid preparation is accurate.

 

With a prescription, a compounding pharmacy can make the liquid for you.

 

You might gradually move your dosing an hour or two at a time over several days instead of making an 8-hour change all at once. No need to rock the boat.

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.

Link to post

Thanks, I'll change my 6 hrs between am pm dosages to 7 hours for a few weeks and see how that goes.

 

I'll take another look at the making you own liquid section. has anyone ever really analysed a suspended solution like this and determined how accurate each dose is?

 

What compounding pharmacie would you recomend?

 

I'd love to know exactly how much I'm giving myself each dose. That would be one less big question mark in the process. Benz

Sept 12th 1992-began taking Imipramine (50mgs) for panic attacks.

Stopped Imipramine after 4 months (cold turkey).

7 months later experienced "mysterious" bad flu-like symptoms, although, without upper respiratory problems or fever. Because of this and a day of panic attacks, was put on Prozac (20mgs?) for 2 months and then, when that didn't work-was put back on  Imipramine,  plus Xanax 1 mg (4Xdaily)-October 1993.

March 1999-switched from Imipramine (50mgs) to Celexa.

2008-switched to Pristiq for 3 months, then back to Effexor XR (after bad reaction to the Pristiq).

Sept 1st 2010-Switched from Effexor XR (75mgs) to Effexor Generic (solid form) in preparation for taper.

Nov 15th 2010-Began tapering from 75mgs Effexor Generic.

January 13th 2014-.06mgs

April 17th 2014-      .03mgs

May 11th 2014-       .02mgs

Ended taper October 31st 2014

Oct 4th 2015-11 months post taper and completely back to normal!

Link to post
  • Administrator

People make the DIY liquids all the time and taper successfully with them.

 

Use Search in the Tapering forum to find compounding pharmacies.

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.

Link to post

I've read the instructions about making the water solution several times and I'm just not sure exactly how to do this. Do you think someone fm this site could walk me through the process?

 

Also, how would I know what dose to start out with since I'm not really sure right now what I'm taking?

 

The compounding pharmacy sounds easier. For that all I'd need is a prescription from my Dr., or can I send am actual bottle of Effexor? After that would I just ask for the dosse I need at present, 1/4mgs? Would they give me capsules or liquid? What About when I'm ready to make a drop in dosage? Do I have to get another shipment from the pharmacy for 10% less than the last? Seems so complicated and possibly overwhelming probably because of the WD. I have the money to do it, though. I'd just like someone that's going this route to tell me in as much detail and as simply as possible how it's done. That would be a terrific help right now.

 

No giant rush though, since I'm doing fine at the moment--another reason why a change like this scares me.

Benz

Sept 12th 1992-began taking Imipramine (50mgs) for panic attacks.

Stopped Imipramine after 4 months (cold turkey).

7 months later experienced "mysterious" bad flu-like symptoms, although, without upper respiratory problems or fever. Because of this and a day of panic attacks, was put on Prozac (20mgs?) for 2 months and then, when that didn't work-was put back on  Imipramine,  plus Xanax 1 mg (4Xdaily)-October 1993.

March 1999-switched from Imipramine (50mgs) to Celexa.

2008-switched to Pristiq for 3 months, then back to Effexor XR (after bad reaction to the Pristiq).

Sept 1st 2010-Switched from Effexor XR (75mgs) to Effexor Generic (solid form) in preparation for taper.

Nov 15th 2010-Began tapering from 75mgs Effexor Generic.

January 13th 2014-.06mgs

April 17th 2014-      .03mgs

May 11th 2014-       .02mgs

Ended taper October 31st 2014

Oct 4th 2015-11 months post taper and completely back to normal!

Link to post
  • Administrator

How to make a liquid from tablets or capsules

 

You need a prescription from your doctor for a compounded liquid. Typically, it's something like "90mg Effexor in 90mL, take 3mg per day" (a month's supply).

 

With a liquid, you use an oral syringe to measure your dosage. Ex: If your liquid contains 1mg in 1mL and you want to take .5mg, you would take .5mL of the liquid. You can adjust the amount you take as you continue your taper.

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.

Link to post

But you could take whatever amount you wanted from the bottle, right. Do the syringes go down below 1mg?

Sept 12th 1992-began taking Imipramine (50mgs) for panic attacks.

Stopped Imipramine after 4 months (cold turkey).

7 months later experienced "mysterious" bad flu-like symptoms, although, without upper respiratory problems or fever. Because of this and a day of panic attacks, was put on Prozac (20mgs?) for 2 months and then, when that didn't work-was put back on  Imipramine,  plus Xanax 1 mg (4Xdaily)-October 1993.

March 1999-switched from Imipramine (50mgs) to Celexa.

2008-switched to Pristiq for 3 months, then back to Effexor XR (after bad reaction to the Pristiq).

Sept 1st 2010-Switched from Effexor XR (75mgs) to Effexor Generic (solid form) in preparation for taper.

Nov 15th 2010-Began tapering from 75mgs Effexor Generic.

January 13th 2014-.06mgs

April 17th 2014-      .03mgs

May 11th 2014-       .02mgs

Ended taper October 31st 2014

Oct 4th 2015-11 months post taper and completely back to normal!

Link to post
  • Administrator

Benz, please read the topics!

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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