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sonya effexor and an ED


sonya

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So I need some comfort.

 

I'm been on effexor since 2008. Going up and down on doses, never with any real purpose... it was prescribed for my anxiety which was mostly related to food/eating and sleep/insomnia. Since I've been on this horrible horrible drug I've been in active recovery with an Eating Disorder. (I actually went on it soon after a residency treatment program). So it's kind of tied up in my psychosis there.

 

My experience upping and downing doses from 250-75mg had very little effect on me, but whenever I've tried to go below 75mg it would get nasty. See: anxiety attacks/impulse control/etc. Eventually my doctor and I were able to find a sleeping medication that would work for me (after running the gamut with those lovely meds *rolls eyes*) and furthermore, it was discovered and diagnosed that I have Borderline Personality Disorder. Now, since there's no real drug for BPD, and now that I have something for my sleep, I began wondering why I was paying $80 a month for something that I figured had little to no effect on me.

 

So I started the taper at the beginning of April. 3-6 beads at a time.

From a 75mg capsule I counted around 230 beads... and I braced myself for the emotional recoil. It happened, but I'm in therapy and expected it.

 

What I did not expect was that 3 days before my final dose I would begin withdrawal. I thought I was in the clear! It started when I had about 18 beads left and that day I started to zone out. Nausea, chills, pressure headaches, those @#$$ brain zaps- it's driving me insane! but I also have the hunger. I'm starving! I was told that effexor was an appetite suppressant for some, but I was force feeding when I got onto it so I couldn't really tell.

 

I know that it's no big news that my body is probably starving from years of restriction, but I also have a history of binge eating and yadayadayada... It's incredibly antagonizing, as I've upped my meal plans and kicked up that part. But like, right now, I ate a meal 40 minutes ago and I can feel my stomach is full but my brain is screaming.

 

I'm beginning to wonder if I should go back to the 20 beads, hang on there for a while and then notch down one bead at a time...

 

I just really wonder how long this will all last. The zaps and whooshes. The hunger.

2004-2007 Zoloft for depression
2008 - 150mg effexor for anxiety
2011 - attempt to get off effexor from 150-75-37.5 . overwhelmed. effexor ends up being upped to 250
2012 - effexor 150 - 75 - no symptoms. BPD diagnosis
March 2013 - start of wean from 75mg. 5 beads a day
April 24 - end of wean but hit withdrawal at 20 beads left
May 26 2013 - reinstated 37.5mg and stabilized.

Feb 02 2014 - plan: 1 mg/week wean. but this time going slooow

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  • Administrator

Welcome, sonya.

 

You've tapered off almost 75mg within a month. This may be way too fast for your nervous system. Yes, I would updose a bit, and hold for quite a while to let things settle down.

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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Hello!

 

You'll find lots of good information and support here. I and many others are also tapering off Effexor.

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

Hi Sonya, from my own experience I'd say that is way too fast.

It has taken me almost a year to get down to 5 beads and then stopped only to be hit by withdrawal.

It is a terrible drug to come off, I tried several times before I found the forums and did it slowly.

I had to restart at 5 beads and will go down 1 bead a month now just to keep stable.

 

That is only my experience though, it is different for everyone and I wish you well with stopping.

It must be awful for you but you'll get there in the end. The people here are amazing and have helped me

loads just reading about all the experiences and advice before I posted so stick around and they'll hold you up

through the bad bits. x

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

 

 

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

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

2002  effexor. 

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

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

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

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

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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Thank you everyone for your feedback!

I think I will reinstate the dose I was taking one week before withdrawal hit.. see if I can level out. Then, hopefully, take it slower from there.

 

what a horrible horrible drug!

-and my doctor now is not the original prescribing doctor and doesn't know much about the withdrawal except that "it's a hard one, people go back"

2004-2007 Zoloft for depression
2008 - 150mg effexor for anxiety
2011 - attempt to get off effexor from 150-75-37.5 . overwhelmed. effexor ends up being upped to 250
2012 - effexor 150 - 75 - no symptoms. BPD diagnosis
March 2013 - start of wean from 75mg. 5 beads a day
April 24 - end of wean but hit withdrawal at 20 beads left
May 26 2013 - reinstated 37.5mg and stabilized.

Feb 02 2014 - plan: 1 mg/week wean. but this time going slooow

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log book: I stabilized!

 

I went back to 40 beads after reading the importance of having the uh... periodically... level thing.

I stabilized within 36 hours of reinstating and have just had the BEST weekend because of it. Even better than the 2 months of slow tapering.

Guess it takes a storm to help appreciate the calm.

 

So next week I'm going to try a 10% reduction for a week. and... then hopefully go on with that.

it was hard because I had my schedule all set, and I was so proud of doing it perfectly- but I'm glad I didn't go all the way back to the 75mg.

 

I find it strange, I know 'different people, different drugs' but I had an easy time coming off of Zoloft... and Paxil... and methamphetamine... I thought I was a born quitter :P

2004-2007 Zoloft for depression
2008 - 150mg effexor for anxiety
2011 - attempt to get off effexor from 150-75-37.5 . overwhelmed. effexor ends up being upped to 250
2012 - effexor 150 - 75 - no symptoms. BPD diagnosis
March 2013 - start of wean from 75mg. 5 beads a day
April 24 - end of wean but hit withdrawal at 20 beads left
May 26 2013 - reinstated 37.5mg and stabilized.

Feb 02 2014 - plan: 1 mg/week wean. but this time going slooow

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  • Administrator

What good news. How much Effexor are you taking now?

 

Don't rush tapering -- let your system stabilize for a month before you make any other changes. Although you're feeling a lot better now, it might have become sensitized to dosage changes. You need to treat it gently.

 

Think in terms of 10% reductions per MONTH -- see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

 

As many people have found, past experiences going off psychoactive drugs is no predictor of future ease of withdrawal. In fact, going off and on drugs may have made your nervous system more vulnerable. Please be careful -- you only have one nervous system.

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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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok ok, I get it- 'go slow'!!

 

My mood side effects haven't been bad at all-

in April I started taking Omega 3s and I honestly feel high-on-happy at least once a day (which is amazing considering I've been fighting mood my entire life).

I started taking B12s a week ago.

 

The lows are... well, they're still low; last week I spiraled so fast- but I have borderline personality... so I guess I have to learn not to let my guard down so much. But they're not as frequent since I started this whole thing.

and, other than a few down spells, I haven't felt like hurting myself- which is pretty miraculously intense; now I have to figure out who I am /without/ self-harm! but it's pretty amazing.

 

The thing that gets me most is the hunger oh maaaaan.

To eat and never be satisfied. I'm going to talk to my doc about it tomorrow because it's just crazy uncomfortable. At least I have all that food training under my belt from learning to eat mechanically in recovery.

So last I checked in I was at 40 beads- last Sunday I went to 36, and now with this hunger still eating my mind I promise (myself) I won't touch it again till it stabilizes.

 

I'm still trying to find other people who have had this voracious appetite when they quit. I've found one thing.

I'm trying to do research on hunger and hormones and if anyone has a good reference site, please spill!

Or Effexor and hormones...

 

I guess I'll add 'insatiable hunger' to my daily symptom tracker-

 

just the unanswerable question of "how much longer"??

...and I swear I'm not touching my dose till I get this figured out. Got that Alto? - I'm going to listen!! hehe :P

...and I'll let you guys know how it goes!

2004-2007 Zoloft for depression
2008 - 150mg effexor for anxiety
2011 - attempt to get off effexor from 150-75-37.5 . overwhelmed. effexor ends up being upped to 250
2012 - effexor 150 - 75 - no symptoms. BPD diagnosis
March 2013 - start of wean from 75mg. 5 beads a day
April 24 - end of wean but hit withdrawal at 20 beads left
May 26 2013 - reinstated 37.5mg and stabilized.

Feb 02 2014 - plan: 1 mg/week wean. but this time going slooow

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  • Administrator

Sounds good.

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 comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Sonya, I'm so glad you feel better, it's great isn't it? :D

I'm also feeling much better now. As for the hunger, I find

myself like that in the evening, somehow having dinner turns

ON the hunger and I'm constantly in and out of the kitchen!

Recently I started sucking mints, not to curb hunger but I

hate when mint spoils the taste of whatever I'm eating so

avoid eating because it's a waste of food when I don't

enjoy it!

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

 

 

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

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

2002  effexor. 

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

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

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

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

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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Yep. hormones.

So it's kind of been agreed that coming off the effexor left me a little more vulnerable to the effects of hormones.

And as the Time of Month came, the hunger subsided.

 

I hope the B12s make a difference for next month...

My doctor/psychiatrist/health-person ordered a general blood test checking various levels of nutrients and whatnot so maybe that will be helpful. I haven't had one in a couple years- since I was in an ED program with regular physicals- so it will be interesting to see if any of that has changed with the meds. I'll know in a couple weeks when I see her again.

 

Had a minor BPD 'episode' yesterday morning- but I got to a safe place in time... a few other symptoms are a little heightened.

So I'm just going to be as mindful as possible. Whip out the CBT and DBT skills I've acquired and trudge ever so gently through this hormonal week.

 

Either way, I'm going to be a lot better prepared for next month. Might even use the insatiable hunger as a tool for taking the next step out of my eating disorder - but I'll get there when I get there.

2004-2007 Zoloft for depression
2008 - 150mg effexor for anxiety
2011 - attempt to get off effexor from 150-75-37.5 . overwhelmed. effexor ends up being upped to 250
2012 - effexor 150 - 75 - no symptoms. BPD diagnosis
March 2013 - start of wean from 75mg. 5 beads a day
April 24 - end of wean but hit withdrawal at 20 beads left
May 26 2013 - reinstated 37.5mg and stabilized.

Feb 02 2014 - plan: 1 mg/week wean. but this time going slooow

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