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pgartist: withdrawing from Klonopin and Effexor


pgartist

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I am just starting my withdrawal from 150mg of Effexor. 10% per week....so far so good. I've been on it for 8 or so years...

 

Any side effects I should expect.....?? At what point in the withdrawal will it be most challenging?

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I currently take 2mgs of Klonopin in the morning and 2mgs at night.

 

I intend to withdraw gradually starting in the fall. Is this amount relatively huge...I'm not sure and the decline 10% per week applicable to this particular medicine?

 

Any suggestions or support would help me prepare well for this endeavor.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Pgartist,

 

welcome to the forum.

 

I moved a previous post you made to this topic as this is your introduction topic. You should come back to this topic whenever you need to report on your progress or ask questions.

 

I'm not an expert on benzo tapering, however I believe a 10% per week reduction is way too fast. Same deal with Effexor.

 

Here is some information on tapering:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/300-important-topics-in-the-tapering-forum-and-faq/

 

And specifically, tapering off Effexor:

 

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

 

When you get a chance please add your drug history to your signature:

 

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

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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Thank you for your response. I am first going off 150mg of Effexor....will spend the entire summer doing so.

 

I will take extra precautions due to your warning. possibly 10% every two weeks?

 

Thank you.

 

I am also an artist and find creativity helps.

 

attached is my most recent work:post-1922-0-76414500-1369604757_thumb.jpg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

That is beautiful pg!

 

10% reduction every 2 weeks is still WAY too fast.

 

For antidepressant tapering, we recommend no more than 10% reduction every 4-6 weeks. When you read the information I sent you, you will see why.

 

For a benzo like klonopin the cut will be even less than 10%. How long have you been in the Klonopin?

 

Also, it might be a good idea to taper the antidepressant first and then tackle the benzo. The reason I say this is that you do a multi-taper, it can be difficult to ascertain where the symptoms are coming from and which specific dose alteration caused them.

 

Please do read the information I have sent you and when you have time, add your drug history so we can see exactly where you are.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

 

I am also an artist and find creativity helps.

 

attached is my most recent work:Veneto.jpg

 

What medium did you use for that? It looks like canvas and - what? Very intriguing. I'm surprised that you're still able to be creative after so many years on Effexor. It only took fifteen months of antidepressants and a too-fast taper to really dull and diminish my own creative spark. Now that I've been off the drugs for nearly eighteen months, I have windows when I can feel creative, but it's not present always, either in the foreground or background, as it used to be.

 

BTW, basildev's advice is right on. Taper the Effexor first and do so much more slowly than you had planned, then tackle the Klonopin. The Klonopin will help to smooth the rough edges of tapering off Effexor.

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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Thank you Jemina....the medium is canvas, pencil, white paint.

 

Both of you are great in your support of my going off meds, more carefully and slower than I had anticipated.

 

Stay creative.....it is great therapy! Another art work for your enjoyment!!post-1922-0-04371700-1369607586_thumb.jpg

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That's a portrait of me my husband took. Generally, I'm a happy person...just hope it's not because of the meds alone.

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  • Administrator

Hi pgartist, welcome to the forum!

 

Are you on Effexor XR or regular? I am also weaning off of Effexor, but I use regular Effexor. Now that I am down below 20 mg I am using a compounded liquid because it is easier to measure and manage than cutting up tablets. If you are using XR there are a number of members who have had success counting beads from the capsules.

 

Please read through the links that Basildev provided. I believe you will find this one in there: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1779-rate-symptoms-daily-to-catch-withdrawal-early/. With Effexor I've found that withdrawal symptoms can creep up on me so by logging my symptoms I can see them better and make adjustments before I become too uncomfortable.

 

You asked what point will be most challenging ... in my experience I had pretty good success with my reductions at higher dosages, but when I got down to lower dosages I had to go more slowly.

 

Feel free to ask questions and keep us posted on your progress.

 

Karma

2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & .625 mg Xanax

200 mg Gabapentin 2/27/21 - 194.5 mg, 5/28/21 - 183 mg, 8/2/21 - 170 mg, 11/28/21 - 150 mg, 4/19/22 - 122 mg; 8//7/22 - 100 mg
Xanax taper: 3/11/12 - 0.9375 mg, 3/25/12 - 0.875 mg, 4/6/12 - 0.8125 mg, 4/18/12 - 0.75 mg; 1/16 0.6875 mg; at some point 0.625 mg
Effexor taper: 1/29/12 - 40.625 mg, 4/29/12 - 39.875 mg, 5/11/12 - Switched to liquid Effexor, 5/25/12 - 38 mg, 7/6/12 - 35 mg, 8/17/12 - 32 mg, 9/14/12 - 30 mg, 10/19/12 - 28 mg, 11/9/12 - 26 mg, 11/30/12 - 24 mg, 01/14/13 - 22 mg. 02/25/13 - 20.8 mg, 03/18/13 - 19.2 mg, 4/15/13 - 17.6 mg, 8/10/13 - 16.4 mg, 9/7/13 - 15.2 mg, 10/19/13 - 14 mg, 1/15/14 - 13.2 mg, 3/1/2014 - 12.6 mg, 5/4/14 - 12 mg, 8/1/14 - 11.4 mg, 8/29/14 - 10.8 mg; 10/14/14 - 10.2 mg; 12/15/14 - 10 mg, 1/11/15 - 9.5 mg, 2/8/15 - 9 mg, 3/21/15 - 8.5 mg, 5/1/15 - 8 mg, 6/9/15 - 7.5 mg, 7/8/15 - 7 mg, 8/22/15 - 6.5 mg, 10/4/15 - 6 mg; 1/1/16 - 5.6 mg; 2/6/16 - 5.2 mg; 4/9 - 4.8 mg; 7/7 4.5 mg; 10/7 4.25 mg; 11/4 4.0 mg; 11/25 3.8 mg; 4/24 3.6 mg; 5/27 3.4 mg; 7/8 3.2 mg ... 10/18 2.8 mg; 1/18 2.6 mg; 4/7 2.4 mg; 5/26 2.15mg; 8/18 1.85 mg; 10/7 1.7 mg; 12/1 1.45 mg; 3/2 1.2 mg; 5/4 0.90 mg; 6/1 0.80 mg; 6/22 0.65 mg; 08/03 0.50 mg, 08/10 0.45 mg, 10/05 0.325 mg, 11/23 0.2 mg, 12/14 0.15 mg, 12/21 0.125 mg, 02/28 0.03125 mg, 2/15 0.015625 mg, 2/29/20 0.00 mg - OFF Effexor


I am not a medical professional - this is not medical advice. My suggestions are based on personal experience, reading, observation and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers

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I actually take the generic Venlafaxine HCL. I started at 150mg and am down to 135mg with no noticeable side effects......every two weeks I will go down 10% so it should take about 4 months and then another 6-8 weeks to see how I am with it completely out of my system. I am doing this with the help of my psychiatrist who prescribed them. Thank you for warning me about the difficulties at lower doses when withdrawing. I love to paint, make bouquets and swim....I'm pretty optimistic about life and have good sustaining relationships.post-1922-0-36830700-1369622921_thumb.jpg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I would just like to add my concern about the rate of taper that you're planning. 10% every two weeks after 8 years sounds way too fast to me.

 

At the very least I would consider a longer hold of 4-6 weeks after every two or three cuts. And definitely don't start tapering the Klonopin until you've recovered from the Effexor taper--I think this autumn is probably not realistic, but time will tell. There's so much individual variation in how it goes.

 

If you want to taper more than one med at the same time you have to go MUCH MUCH more slowly than you are going.

 

It's better to start out going too slow, get used to your body's responses and get an idea of what symptoms kick in when and how long they take to resolve, et cetera, keeping careful track of cuts. Then once you actually KNOW what to expect (instead of guessing) you can then speed up your taper to the speed that works for your body, your symptoms, and your life.

 

Otherwise what generally happens is people go too fast, don't allow enough time for recovery and the "lag time" effect, and then hit the wall and get pretty sick and have to hold their taper for a long time (many months) or even increase their dose and hold, until they stabilize, before being able to start again. It seems to work better to start slow, be conservative, listen to your body, and stay stable throughout--less suffering and a smoother taper.

 

I think it's great that you're here at the beginning of your taper, rather than finding your way here once things have gone awry! Best of luck to you.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Please do post your drug history. I'm concerned about the amount of Klonopin you've been taking in particular, although we really need to have the whole picture to offer the best advice. Why did you start taking the drugs and why do you want off now?

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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