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Hi I'm Matt - working hard to taper off Effexor. :(


MattH

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Hi all,

 

So, there I was at day 8 of stopping Effexor and I woke up with a huge sense of impending doom, anxiety, I had slipped into a massive depression as a result of the fatigue and mood anxiety had given me. The brain zaps had all but subsided, but the anxiety was sending me down into a spiral of despair. I couldn't take it any more. Today I took 75mg of Effexor and I am hoping to anything that will hear my prayers that it will even me out soon because I can't go on like this, that's for sure.

 

Does anyone know how long you 'normal out' after retaking Effexor from a failed attempt at withdrawing?

 

I was on 150mg, went down to 75mg easily. Brain zaps, par for the course, no anxiety though. I went from 75mg to 37.5mg and that was fine, too. I ran out of 37.5mg and I didn't want to just stop cold turkey on that - so I went back to the 75mg and took out 3/4 of the beads, I did this for about a week until I decided to stop completely.

 

So, I think that was a bad move. I was crippled by the brain zaps for the first few days, and then anger came... uncontrollable anger - I've never been set off so easily before. And then the crying. I cried at the drop of a hat, sometimes for a reason, sometimes without a reason at all. Along with this the eventual anxiety came, and it came strong. It first started when I tried to brave the outside world and was at a checkout and I got a wave of panic, from there it just got stronger and stronger and I was becoming weaker and weaker.

 

Today, I woke up - I couldn't take it any more. The despair, nightmares, everything was too much. I was waking up to a world of doom. I caved and took 75mg of Effexor.

 

Now, I have two questions. Firstly please, please can someone tell me how long it will be until I even out again now that I'm back on Effexor? And secondly, are there any sites on the internet from proven, tapering methods that have had the highest success rates? As clearly I did it the wrong way. :(

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

 

Matt

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Welcome, Matt.

 

You should be okay. Although there's variability in response to reinstatement, it's most likely to work done right away.

 

Having had this bad withdrawal reaction, you should stabilize on 75mg for at least a month and give your nervous system a chance to recover.

 

Then you might slide off very gradually; we suggest trying a 10% taper for 2 months, then speed up or slow down according to your reaction. See this topic http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/272-tips-for-tapering-off-effexor-and-effexor-xr-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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Altostrata, thank you. After I made this post I did a search and you were always the reasonable angel on the shoulder of people trying to taper off. I will hold what you say very close to me and I feel extremely reassured that someone like you is here to help us through this.

 

It's been maybe an hour or so since I took the Effexor 75mg, so far it feels like the lessening of my symptoms are a result me thinking, "Oh, I am so glad to be back on them and know this will be over soon."

 

Do you think it will be a matter of hours, or days before I stabilise? After I do, I will most definitely take your advice and let it settle down for a month before I try anything else.

 

Thank you.

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Welcome. I'm new here too, but I know what you're going through.

I tapered quickly like you in my first time getting off of EffexorXR 75mgs, and I hit a wall, or it was more as though a wall fell on me. I went back on the Effexor immediately, scared to death at the time. I remember feeling a little better within hours, and quickly better and better every day after that. I hope you have the same experience, in which case the worst of it will be over for you soon.

 

Many people have to taper slowly. I'm on my 2nd taper now-2 yrs, 4months. I've still had some rough spots, especially when I got to 2mgs and below, but nothing like what you've just gone through. Most of what I've experienced is either a feeling of perfect mormality to withdrawal symptoms that were annoying but bearable.

 

Keep telling yourself you're going to be fine, because you are. Keep everyone posted as you reinstate and beyond. I'm very interested in anyone trying to get off of Effexor, so your posting when you can will be a big help to me an others. Hope you're feeling better soon, 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!

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Thank you for the encouraging words Benz.

 

I'm about two or three hours into taking the Effexor and am still experiencing panic and anxiety, not as much but still enough to cripple my day. I had a wave of happiness that prompted me to get out and have a shower but I've been so fatigued (on top of loss of apetite( that it really took it out of me. I really hope they kick in soon, I'm starting to wonder if I've done irreversible damage. :(

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Dear MattH:

I have no experience with Effexor, but I have done a lot of research on w/d in connection with my son's many attempts to get off antipsychotics and think I have some general observations that might be helpful. First, this site has the best information currently available (If you spend many hours looking for "expert" medical advice, you won't find it. Those that you would expect to have conducted research into withdrawal, have not done so. We are left with "science in the wild": people who have made themselves the guinea pigs to figure out what does or doesn't work. Those are the people on this site). Second, don't expect precise timelines. When you ask how long it will take to recover from an overly aggressive reduction, try to accept that it will come and be patient. Third, as long as you have not gone too far down the rabbit hole, trust that your evaluation of how you are doing is the barometer. People get off this crap. You are not deffective. You are impaired, by the drugs. Don't criticize yourself for being impaired. Folks here have been where you are and know how much it takes to fight your way back. One of the most insidious effects of the drugs on my son that I have seen is that it makes him question if he lacks willpower. The drugs definitely interfere with the ability to translate the volition into action. Remember who you were before the drugs and know that you are still in there. Fourth, treat yourself as you would a friend who has had something done to them which they did not deserve. You are not alone.

All the best,

Ed

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It seems the initial relief of anxiety was from the relief of physically taking the pill again. Now it's back, and I can't control it - again. I hate this.

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MattH, After only being without the Effexor for 8 days you should be able to start taking it again and have it work for you again. It's only when your off an antidepressant for a few months or more when it might not work anymore. I was off Imipramine for 7 months once and reinstated fine. I was off Effexor twice, once for 2 months and once for 5 months. Both times I went back on I sarted feeling ok again within 24 hrs. That doesn't mean it will work that fast for you, but, as I said, after only being off for a little over a week, you should be fine, or at least into the managable range fairly soon. Odds are you will start feeling better soon. a few hours is a lot when you're suffering the way you are. I'm very sorry you're going through this. Maybe you could do some abdominal breathing while you wait for the withdrawal symptoms to ease. Do you know about abdominal breathing? It can take the edge off of a panic attack. Breth so as to make your stomach go up and down (not your chest). It's easier to do for the first time if you're laying down--easier, that is, to check if your stomach-and not your chest is rising and falling with every breath. The other important thing is to make sure you're taking slow deep breaths. This is difficult when you're full of anxiety, but you have to force yourself to keep the breaths slow. You can even hold a breath for a few seconds once you've inhaled.

Sometimes that helps too. Then keep telling yourself that the feelings will eventually pass. I sicerely doubt that you've damaged yourself after only being off the Effexor for 8 days. It's just the awfull feelings that are giving you thoughts like that. "What if...? And what if....?" Those type of thoughts don't lead to any helpful insights, they're just typical of withdrawal symptoms, especially anxiety.

 

Many others have gotten through a similar situation, and you will to. It's going to be ok soon, 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!

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It seems the initial relief of anxiety was from the relief of physically taking the pill again. Now it's back, and I can't control it - again. I hate this.

 

Hang on. There is no magic or instant cure that we're keeping from you. In answer to your two questions in your first post:

 

1) Firstly please, please can someone tell me how long it will be until I even out again now that I'm back on Effexor?

 

A. Sorry, but no one knows. There are just too many variables in each case: the drug taken, how much, and for how long; the tapering method; the effects on the particular person taking it; differences in physiology and metabolism; et cetera. Generally - but no promises - it usually takes several days to a week or more for reinstatement to work. You'll probably do better than most since you reinstated so quickly. Good move.

 

2) And secondly, are there any sites on the internet from proven, tapering methods that have had the highest success rates? As clearly I did it the wrong way.

 

A. To the best of my knowledge, the guidelines on tapering on this websites are as good as it gets. See:

 

Tapering

 

Also,when you have a chance, please put your drug history in your signature like so:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/281-bts-please-remind-posters-about-signatures/

 

This will make it a lot easier for forum members to understand your situation and give advice accordingly.

 

Welcome aboard, Matt. You'll find lots of solid information and gentle, friendly support here. When you have more to add to your story, please add it here in your Intro thread. Thanks!

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

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


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

 

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

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

 

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I'm sorry if I seemed abrupt in my previous post - I think I was just gutted about the anxiety coming back. I really am thankful for the advice.

 

Since taking it the brain zaps have gone completely, but I have become lethargic (more than usual), eyes are heavy and just had to have a small sleep before. Not sure what is going on now, but I hope I even outs soon. :(

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It's promising that the brain zaps are gone. You should continue to see improvement, although maybe not as fast as you'd like. Withdrawal has a way of making all of us super-impatient.

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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Hello Matt, sorry you're struggling. Those days just after reinstating are absolutely nightmarish, I remember them vividly. As for how long it takes to stabilize from a withdrawal attempt, that varies hugely from person to person. I tried to go off Effexor about 6 months ago and I'm just now beginning to feel normalish again. I should mention that this was my second attempt to withdraw, and that I was also on Prozac at the time. Had someone told me early on that it would take this long to recover I never would have believed them. So, if I were you I would try to prepare psychologically for a long journey, that way you can be pleasantly surprised if you recover quickly. But really you'll just have to feel it out for yourself. Good luck.

3 Years 150 mgs Effexor

2 month taper down to zero

3 terrible weeks at zero

Back up to 75 mgs

2 months at 75

6 or so months back to regular dose of 150 - was able to restabilize fine.

3 month taper back to zero

1 HORRENDOUS week at zero

2 days back up to 37.5

3 days back up to 75

One week at 150 - unable to stabilize.

Back down to 75 mgs

At 75 mgs (half original dose) and suffering withdrawal symptoms since October 2012.

 

"It is a radical cure for all pessimism to become ill, to remain ill for a good while, and then grow well for a still longer period." - Nietzsche

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I guess I should've qualified what I said. That's what happens when someone unqualified tries to advise someone. I should have stressed that I never had much trouble with my reinstatements in the past. Still, I hope you're feeling better today, and that your reinstatement goes well and as quickly as my own. It's certainly a possibility.

 

How are you doing?

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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All the physical side effects are gone, but the anxiety is just swarming me in the mornings. I just have no energy to do anything because I dump adrenaline as soon as I wake up from fear and anxiety. :( I'm also getting hot flushes that I never got before. Ugh, I am regretting ever trying to stop Effexor.

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I think the morning anxiety and general rotten mood is related to the normal early morning rise of cortisol mixing with a highly sensitized nervous system. Knowing that, we can give it less significance, which makes it go away faster. At least at my house. Hope you feel soon!

1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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Would it be beneficial to go back onto my original dosage of 150mg? I found the taper from 150 - 37.5 very easy, so I am fine with doing that again. I just really want to stabilise ASAP because I really can't afford to take any more work off.

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Did you have side effects when you were originally going up in dose? When I increase Effexor, I get horrible headaches. You don't want to trigger side effects while attempting to stabilize...

Tapering Zoloft, Dec 2014

Started Lamictal

Re-started Zoloft mid-Oct 2014, 25-50mg

Stopped Zoloft end of Sept 2014

Started Zoloft July 2014, 50mg

Stopped Prozac from 3mg May 2014

Stopped Effexor Dec '13 Started 10mg Prozac

Reinstated Effexor 15mg on Nov 2013

Stopped from 21mg on Oct 2013
Effexor 112.5mg, since Dec 2012

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I moved from Citalopram straight to 150mg Effexor, just a straight switch as advised by my doctor (whether good advice or not!). I didn't notice anything abnormal in that time.

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Would it be beneficial to go back onto my original dosage of 150mg? I found the taper from 150 - 37.5 very easy, so I am fine with doing that again. I just really want to stabilise ASAP because I really can't afford to take any more work off.

 

It might be, and it might not. After I failed to get off Effexor I went very quickly back up to 150 and I found that this destabilized me even further, so I dropped to 75 where I am now.

 

You might try reinstating your full dose and see if it helps, and if it makes things worse drop back down and hold. It might make things worse, but it might help, and it will keep you from wondering later on whether you should have just reinstated. Keep in mind that the more jumping around you do the more you destabilize yourself. Personally, I would prefer to experiment while I was still extremely destabilized than later on when I'd already healed somewhat.

3 Years 150 mgs Effexor

2 month taper down to zero

3 terrible weeks at zero

Back up to 75 mgs

2 months at 75

6 or so months back to regular dose of 150 - was able to restabilize fine.

3 month taper back to zero

1 HORRENDOUS week at zero

2 days back up to 37.5

3 days back up to 75

One week at 150 - unable to stabilize.

Back down to 75 mgs

At 75 mgs (half original dose) and suffering withdrawal symptoms since October 2012.

 

"It is a radical cure for all pessimism to become ill, to remain ill for a good while, and then grow well for a still longer period." - Nietzsche

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Hi Matt

 

Although its difficult, I recommend you wait a couple more days. It can take a while to get a steady dose in your system. How long have you been at 75?

 

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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I think the ween from 150mg to 0mg was about three months. So I think probably two months ago, I was on 150mg. From 150 down to 37.5 I didn't notice any emotional differences, just brain zaps and that's it.

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I mean the reinstatement. Has it only been. 2 days? Sometimes we do need to experiment but we need to give the experiment time to work or fail so we know whether we are on the right track. I would give any trial 4-5 days minimum before trying something else

 

Record your symptoms, going or bad and note how they change over the trial period. Don't jump from one thing to the next without having given it some time to work or to fail. You will chase your tail doing that and can do damage. Our nervous systems don't like sudden drastic changes.

 

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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Matt, give the reinstatement off 37.5mg more time to work, 4-7 days at least.

 

If you feel you must increase the dosage, don't take any big dramatic jumps. Go up to perhaps 50mg.

 

More may not be better if your system is sensitized. Even with reinstatement, it may take some time for your system to settle down after the shock of withdrawal.

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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All the physical side effects are gone, but the anxiety is just swarming me in the mornings. I just have no energy to do anything because I dump adrenaline as soon as I wake up from fear and anxiety. :( I'm also getting hot flushes that I never got before. Ugh, I am regretting ever trying to stop Effexor.

 

Here's a topic on early morning anxiety, which has been a problem for many of us here:

 

Early Morning Awakening

 

Darkening my bedroom as much as possible, wearing a sleep mask, and even wearing sunglasses in the house on very bright days helped me immensely. I became able to sleep again and avoiding bright light also helped to reduce my extreme irritability.

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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Sorry guys, I went to 150mg - I didn't see the last few posts before I did unfortunately. :(

 

Nothing got worse but nothing got better either, I woke up with cripplingly bad anxiety, so bad that I had to call our country's crisis mental health line. As wary as I am of doctors I took their advice and took 1mg of Lorazepam which promptly knocked me out for 30 minutes or so. The anxiety has DEFINITELY lessened but I am groggy now (par for course for a benzo). I actually ate a banana which got some protein in me, so I can deal with feeling sluggish and groggy if the Lorazepam helps me to stabilise my anxiety to a point where I can manage it myself. What is everybody else's thoughts on this?

 

I am going back to my psychiatrist either tomorrow or Wednesday for an examination. I've never actually ever had a full review of my mental health (apart from Tourettes which I require no treatment from, I don't mind it).

 

My name psychiatrist, a Neuropsychiatrist is a really great guy. He is the only medical person I trust nowadays, so I hope I can see him and he can give me further advice on how to lessen the blow when next time comes around.

 

My room is quite light in the morning, so I will need to fix that somehow.

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Neuropsychiatrists are often drug happy so be careful. My psychiatrist was a nice guy too, he just drugged me unnecessarily for 7 years and ruined my mental health.

 

I would not be adding more drugs into the mix if I were you, it will only create more problems later. It may help to quell your anxiety, but it will NOT help you stabilize.

 

Going all the way back to 150 from 37.5 is quite a jump, I didn't realize that's what you were doing.

 

What do people think he should do?

3 Years 150 mgs Effexor

2 month taper down to zero

3 terrible weeks at zero

Back up to 75 mgs

2 months at 75

6 or so months back to regular dose of 150 - was able to restabilize fine.

3 month taper back to zero

1 HORRENDOUS week at zero

2 days back up to 37.5

3 days back up to 75

One week at 150 - unable to stabilize.

Back down to 75 mgs

At 75 mgs (half original dose) and suffering withdrawal symptoms since October 2012.

 

"It is a radical cure for all pessimism to become ill, to remain ill for a good while, and then grow well for a still longer period." - Nietzsche

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Neuropsychiatrists are often drug happy so be careful. My psychiatrist was a nice guy too, he just drugged me unnecessarily for 7 years and ruined my mental health.

 

I'm not sure what else he could do for me, to be honest. Unless he refers me to a psychologist, but even then it could take weeks for me to gather myself and by then my job would be well gone. :(

 

Going back to 150mg hasn't had any adverse effects so far. My anxiety though, it got so bad today that I had to call the crisis helpline and they prescribed me (yet more) lorazepam. I didn't want to take it, but I felt I had no other choice - I was really at the end of my tether. It promptly put me to sleep and then I woke up less anxious but still anxious.

 

A friend came over today to see how I was doing, the support was really awesome and I perked up for about an hour or so, but near the end I went back down into my depressive slump. I honestly don't know what to do, at this rate I'm going to lose everything.

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Just wishing you courage and good luck, Matt! WD sucks bigtime.. Hope you balance out pretty soon. I'm not that experienced to give you any specific advice but I'd listen to the big guyz here. Hang in there!

2008 - started taking Risperidone.

In 2014 tried to taper it, taperred it to 1mg during several months then abruptly stopped, ended up in the hospital. 

2014-2015  -  been off meds 3 times, all 3 times ended in the hospital and was put back on them.

13 Jun 2016 - went  from 2 mg Risperidone to 1.5mg

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Matt, give the reinstatement off 37.5mg more time to work, 4-7 days at least.

 

If you feel you must increase the dosage, don't take any big dramatic jumps. Go up to perhaps 50mg.

 

More may not be better if your system is sensitized. Even with reinstatement, it may take some time for your system to settle down after the shock of withdrawal.

 

 

Hi Matt,

 

I included the quote because I think that's the best advice. It's not too late to try this. I'm so sorry you're feeling so bad. We tend to look for a way to 'fix' the problem quickly but it just can't be fixed immediately. It takes about four days for the medicine to reach a steady level in your system.

 

That's the amount of time it takes to tell if its going to help or not, that doesn't necessarily mean all your symptoms will be gone then. It takes time for your system to stabilize after the changes it's gone through.

 

Since you were able to go down to 37.5 with no problem, that's what I would try, if I were you. I sincerely hope you feel better soon!

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I think Tezza is right! And if symptoms are too bad to tolerate, it helped me to take a tiny dose of a benzo, esp. to help sleep or for severe anxiety. I believe the crisis center has also recommended that for you. However, some advise not to take it more frequently than once every 2-3 days as it can build up dependency.

2008 - started taking Risperidone.

In 2014 tried to taper it, taperred it to 1mg during several months then abruptly stopped, ended up in the hospital. 

2014-2015  -  been off meds 3 times, all 3 times ended in the hospital and was put back on them.

13 Jun 2016 - went  from 2 mg Risperidone to 1.5mg

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I did my first taper with no insight, and I went on a benzo for sleep that I am probably well addicted to. But I still have a job and family (I was SO angry, don't know how my husband did it...and SO couldn't sleep). I don't know what you should do, but I think if you keep learning and trying, you'll eventually reach your own goals. I really do feel for you. Just remember the tortoise...nothing fast!

1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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Anxiety can be a side effect of Effexor, Matt. That big jump in dosage may be causing your symptoms.

 

Please don't make those big jumps. You might take 50mg next time.

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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Hey Matt,

 

I just wanted to chime in here and let you know that one of the hardest things to do when we are waiting for an updose or reinstatement to stabilize our nervous system is doing just that....waiting!!

 

I understand how you're feeling. I want you to know that as the others have said, ANY change in dosage, whether going up or down, is going to be a shock to your system. The bigger the change in dosage (whether up or down), the more the shock.

 

I went up almost 50% in dosage on 27th February. I expected to feel better right away and it didn't happen. My symptoms actually got worse for a while and then evened out a bit. I'm still not stabilized.

 

My advice to you:

 

1) choose a dose and stick to that dose. Don't keep chopping and changing;

2) Wait, wait, wait. It takes as long as it takes. Stay put. Sit tight. Your nervous system needs consistency. Resist the temptation to try and 'fix' it. It will get better in its own time.

 

I hope you feel better soon.

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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Firstly thank you all for your opinions and advice.

 

I went to see a new doctor today, my wife's one. He also suggested 150mg was a pretty stupid move and that I should really go back down to 75mg, so that is what I am going to do. He told me to stay there for at the very least a month, maybe two. He did say another route was to introduce another anti-depressant that started with N, Nortriptyline maybe? But he said he was hesitant to put more drugs into the mix, god that was music to my ears. A doctor that doesn't just throw drugs at me like candy!

 

He also offered me Propranolol which is a beta blocker and apparently is meant to resist the flight or fight response of anxiety. I tried that one, I'm not sure if it worked or not - maybe a little, but the difference wasn't noticeable.

 

After calling the crisis line, a psychiatrist called me today and asked me questions, how's my appetite? "Half a banana today", my motivation? "Non existent", my energy? "I feel like my legs will give way at any moment." After those few questions he said I better come in for an assessment, so I'm heading there tomorrow at 10.00 am - will I return? Who knows! I could be shipped off to the crazy unit! ;) Just kidding. I had a Google of the place and it seems they have inpatient respite centres as well as in home respite so I think it will be good, just to get me through this patch.

 

The thing is that I've had these anxiety bouts before. They really crippled me, usually once a year. This one just feels like it's been amplified from the withdrawal so it's hard to know if it is *just* the withdrawals or what.

 

Again, thank you so much everyone for your support and words of wisdom.

 

Also - in the meantime, if anyone has any help for that 'lingering' feeling of anxiety in extremities I'm all ears. I'm big on guided meditations but even they don't seem to break through. :(

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Also - in the meantime, if anyone has any help for that 'lingering' feeling of anxiety in extremities I'm all ears. I'm big on guided meditations but even they don't seem to break through. :(

 

I'm generally well against drugs, but when my anxiety gets really severe, esp to the point that I can't sleep, I can take a tiny dose of a benzo (1/4 of the lowest dose). But like I said, you can't take it often as it can build dependency, so that's in extreme cases.

2008 - started taking Risperidone.

In 2014 tried to taper it, taperred it to 1mg during several months then abruptly stopped, ended up in the hospital. 

2014-2015  -  been off meds 3 times, all 3 times ended in the hospital and was put back on them.

13 Jun 2016 - went  from 2 mg Risperidone to 1.5mg

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  • Administrator

If I were you, I'd cut my dosage to 50mg immediately.

 

I'd take whatever that crisis line psychiatrist says with more than a dash of salt.

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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