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SugarDollMary

I found this site after beginning to taper off venlafaxine.

Effexor was prescribed for me ten or so years ago to help with fibromyalgia. Through the years doctors or nurse practitioners have upped my dose (usually due to situational depression and dysthymia). Somewhere I was switched from regular to XR and to the generic. My dose ended up at a high of 225 mg/day of venlafaxine XR.

 

The few times I forgot to take my dose, I had quite a set of discontinuation symptoms: wild dreams, nightmares, "acid flashbacks."

 

Because I have learned healthy ways of coping with fibro and dysthymia, I want to taper off the venlafaxine. My NP and I discussed and on Friday March 22, I started the taper as per what we figured out: 2-75 mg of XR + 1-37.5 nonXR, for a total of 187.5 mg/day. She told me to hold at this level for two months. What is that? 17%?

 

A couple days later I had one night of insomnia, and then when I finally slept, my dreams were really crazy. One week and one day after, I had the worst migraine of my life. Usually I just get the aura and a slight headache for about 20 mins., but this one lasted all day; I was sick to my stomach and felt bad for two days. I also noticed I am sort of trembly and mentally dim.

 

(What complicates this is that I also have had a nagging flu/cold for the last three weeks, and my head is still stuffed up, so I don't know what might be that and what might be the withdrawal.)

 

Anyhow, I'm able to function, but feel crappy. The insomnia ended after one night as did the dreams. No more headache but I feel real tired and achy and still sort of dull.

 

After reading about the 10% guideline, I'm wondering if I should go back up to 225, then drop 10% (I'd actually just split the 37.8 in half; it would be less than 10%), or if I should muddle through and reduce 10% the next time.

 

Looking forward to support on this site.

 

SugarDollMary

Venlafaxine for 10+ yrs. For fibromyalgia, situational depression and dysthymia.

Highest dose 225/day XR

Taper #1 = 187.5 mg/day (2-75mg XR + 1-37.5 regular)

 

SugarDollMary

Venlafaxine for 10+ yrs. For fibromyalgia, situational depression and dysthymia.

Highest dose 225/day XR

Taper #1 = 187.5 mg/day (2-75mg XR + 1-37.5 regular) Feb 2013?

Reverse taper#1 = back up to 206.25/day (splitting 37.5 regular) Approx April 1 2013

Retry Taper #1 = 187.5 mg/day (2-75mg XR = 1-37.5 regular) approx May 1 2013?

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Hello! As another person tapering off Effexor, I wish you the best of luck and health!

 

Here's the Effexor Tapering Tips thread, which you might find useful (I know I have!):

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/272-tips-for-tapering-off-effexor-and-effexor-xr-venlafaxine/

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to the forum, SDM. You've come to the right place for tapering help.

 

If I were you, I'd increase my dose by 18.75 mg. to 206.25 mg. and be prepared to increase back to the original dose, if necessary. The problem with Effexor of any variety seems to be that withdrawal symptoms are often delayed and then pile up on a person several months down the road. There are members of this forum who went off Effexor cold turkey (NOT recommended), felt fine for several months, and then got mowed down by very bad withdrawal symptoms. Since you're already having some symptoms, it would probably be best to increase your dosage and if increasing it by 18.75 mg. doesn't bring relief within a week or so, go back up to 225 mg., stabilize, and start over, tapering off by even smaller increments. Do be sure to read the topic that Finn posted.

 

If there's one thing I wish I could make everyone understand it's this: the drug makes changes in the brain. Those changes are what cause withdrawal when the drug is discontinued too fast. Your now modified brain is going to need the (very gradually decreasing) chemical support of the drug as it returns to normal function.

 

I'm glad that your nurse practitioner is aware of the need to taper off of antidepressants. That puts her ahead of a lot of psychiatrists, but tapering by 17% is going too fast. There is no reason whatever to try to rush the drug out of your system and be miserable in the meantime. The changes to your brain are a done deal and getting off the drug too fast will just make your taper a lot more painful and disabling than necessary.

 

I'm glad you found us. There is lots of solid information here and gentle, friendly support.

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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  • Administrator

Welcome, SugarDollMary.

 

It looks like you're well on the path to problem-solving in your taper! I'm sure you'll find a pace that you can tolerate with minimal withdrawal symptoms.

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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SugarDollMary

I did what Jemima recommended, so will hope that the dimness goes away with a more gradual tapering off. Thanks for the responses, everyone!

 

SugarDollMary

Venlafaxine for 10+ yrs. For fibromyalgia, situational depression and dysthymia.

Highest dose 225/day XR

Taper #1 = 187.5 mg/day (2-75mg XR + 1-37.5 regular) Feb 2013?

Reverse taper#1 = back up to 206.25/day (splitting 37.5 regular) Approx April 1 2013

Retry Taper #1 = 187.5 mg/day (2-75mg XR = 1-37.5 regular) approx May 1 2013?

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi SDMARY,

 

I'm very glad you followed Jemima's words of wisdom! You've come to a very good place for advice and warm, encouraging support, IMHO! This is a wonderful group of people that care and can relate to the struggles, pains, agonies and outright horrors of withdrawal.

 

I'm so glad you've joined us. I look forward to getting to know you. Welcome!

 

Tezza

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  • 2 months later...
SugarDollMary

Well, things were going fine after my last taper to 2-75mg XR venlafaxine + 1-37.5 regular venla per day. Until about a couple weeks ago, when these symptoms occurred:

 

Parasthesias primarily in my lower legs, especially in feet. Numbness, tingling. (These are also symptoms of fibromyalgia.) Also some in my hands. And a general wobbly feeling.

 

Difficulty sleeping. Sleeping has rarely been a problem. One of my main fibromyalgia symptoms had been fatigue and sleeping. But now I have trouble falling asleep. My whole body feels caffeinated/alert, and I just can't seem to relax into sleep. I'm not sure if the parasthesias are bothering me-->sleep issues. I could deal with the rest, but not with losing sleep.

 

My brain is not functioning well at all.

 

Also, unusual for me, I've had TWO bad colds since April. Don't know if this could be connected.

 

I own my own business and work seven days/week. I am sorely tempted to go back up to my 225mg/day dosage for the rest of my life if I need to (I'm in my early 60s.). But I'd rather get off the drug. My fibromyalgia and depression were not ever real serious, so I didn't really need the Effexor--but that's hindsight.

 

Is this sort of setback normal?

Thanks for any feedback.

Mary

 

SugarDollMary

Venlafaxine for 10+ yrs. For fibromyalgia, situational depression and dysthymia.

Highest dose 225/day XR

Taper #1 = 187.5 mg/day (2-75mg XR + 1-37.5 regular) Feb 2013?

Reverse taper#1 = back up to 206.25/day (splitting 37.5 regular) Approx April 1 2013

Retry Taper #1 = 187.5 mg/day (2-75mg XR = 1-37.5 regular) approx May 1 2013?

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Mary,

I'm sorry you are not feeling well at the moment and are having problems sleeping, I know how difficult that can be, especially if you have to get things done the next day.

 

I'm fairly new here, but someone with more experience should be along soon to help you out. 

 

I would think what you're experiencing could be withdrawal, or a combination of of WD and the two bad colds you recently had.  Did you take any medications for your cold?

 

I hope you are feeling better soon.

 

Petu.

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

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

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

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

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

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

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

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

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

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



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

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
SugarDollMary

Replying to my own post:

I certainly don't mean to discourage anyone, but I am reporting my decision to resume my full Effexor dose (225 mg/day).

 

Whether it was discontinuation effects or resumption of fibromyalgia symptoms or a combination, I couldn't live that way anymore. I run my own business, work seven days/week, and am single, so must care for my house and yard and pets. I was losing too much time to feeling bad, and sleeping. The fibro symptoms came back with a vengeance. worse than at any time since the mid-80s.

 

So, my analysis is that Effexor WAS helping, after all, with the fibro symptoms. Today I am already feeling functional, for the first time in days.

 

So I'll be signing off and wishing everyone strength and good fortune.

SugarDollMary

 

SugarDollMary

Venlafaxine for 10+ yrs. For fibromyalgia, situational depression and dysthymia.

Highest dose 225/day XR

Taper #1 = 187.5 mg/day (2-75mg XR + 1-37.5 regular) Feb 2013?

Reverse taper#1 = back up to 206.25/day (splitting 37.5 regular) Approx April 1 2013

Retry Taper #1 = 187.5 mg/day (2-75mg XR = 1-37.5 regular) approx May 1 2013?

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  • Administrator

Good to hear you've found relief. Please keep us posted on how you're doing.

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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