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sparklekitty: Anxiety after coming off Venlafaxine


sparklekitty

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Hi guysI'm new here. I'm a 33 year old female from the UK.I was diagnosed with depression when I was 19, and went through a couple of different anti-depressants, before settling on Venlafaxine. I took 225mg per day. I've quite small (only 5'1) so I was told that was the highest I should go to. I also used to have social anxiety, mild OCD behavior, and was very 'snappy' and moody, but depression was the main problem. I'd had all these problems since about age 12.Around the same time as that diagnosis, I was diagnosed with Reactive Hypoglycaemia, which I now control through diet, but vastly affects my mood when my blood sugar levels get low. It's pretty much under control now through a strict diet and regular eating, except for about one day a month when my hormones affect it.14 years has passed and I started to think that maybe my problem had always mainly been the hypoglycaemia rather than true depression. I've seen a lot of doctors about the hypo and they all have very little knowledge about it - I would end up explaining it to them! - and they don't seem to understand how much it affects my mental state. I'd avoided attempting to come off the meds for a long time as I've heard horror stories, but I tapered them very slowly since the end of November last year, and stopped taking them around the end of May this year.My depression seemed fine, everything seemed fine. I was the same me as ever, and proud of myself.But the last few weeks...stupidly I didn't write down the exact date I stopped them - but maybe a week or two later, I'm not sure, I started feeling anxiety gradually building. It's so hard to know to what extent outside life affects it, but all I know is that I have a knot of anxiety in my stomach, and feeling so on edge is making me snap at my loved ones so much. I'm feeling really fragile, wanting to cry a lot, and this anxiety is driving me mad.So my questions are, is this my brain readjusting to living without chemicals, is this likely to get better?Or is this just how I am... do you think I need to go back on a low dose of the meds?I was so pleased with myself doing so well coming off them, but I'm finding life such a struggle right now. If I know there's an end to this anxiety I can struggle through, but how long do I want until I know if this is just how I am? I'm so tempted to just start them again, but it would be such a shame if this is just a withdrawal symptom.Advice really appreciated. Thanks for reading. :)

Edited by Karma
added member name to topic

1998-Nov 2012           Venlafaxine 225mg
Nov 2012-May 2013   Venlafaxine reduced then stopped
July 2013-Jan 2020   Venlafaxine 75mg
Jan 2020-Sep 2021    Venlafaxine 75mg plus Delmosart 18mg [ADHD diagnosed]
Sept 2021-Dec 2021   Delmosart 18mg. Venlafaxine reduced down to 12mg then stopped.
Jan 2022-now             Delmosart 18mg. Venlafaxine reinstated at 12mg.
 

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Yes, S, it seems that you are suffering from Venlafaxine withdrawal.

One of the classic symptoms is anxiety.

I really don't know if going back to the drug can help.

Some other members can give you better advice.

 

Hang on!

4 years aprox. on 150mgs.Effexor for situational major depression.No AD before.
Tapered 150-0mgs in 3 months.

Tapered Quetiapine,Xanax in the last 18 months.NO med of any kind anymore.
First 3 months off acute w/d
Protracted w/d ever since.
Symptoms:Anxiety,anhedonia,insomnia,tinnitus,PSSD

04/13/2014 Awful Relapse.Recovered fairly fast.

3 years and 4 months off.

waves and windows.Very much recovered.

November 2015,health issue.Setback.
 

 

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  • Administrator

Hi Sparklekitty,

 

I agree with Alex, you are suffering withdrawal symptoms from what appears to be a too fast taper.  A 6 month taper off of Effexor at 225 mg would have exceeded the guideline of only reducing by 10% per decrement.

 

I see you don't remember when you last took Effexor, but if we assume that you last took Effexor at the beginning of May you are within a 3 month window and a small reinstatment of the drug may help to minimize the withdrawal symptoms. When I say small I mean 2 mg, but it will depend on how much you were on when you stopped the drug.

 

What was the last dose of Effexor you were on?  Were you on XR or regular Effexor?  If on XR you can probably reinstated a number of the beads that make up the capsule, if on Effexor regular you may be able to make a liquid to reinstate at a small dose. We will recommend that you reinstate at a lower amount of the drug than you were last taking because you are correct, your system is adjusting to life without the drug. 

 

Unfortunately, Effexor is a tricky drug and your symptoms may get worse before they get better.  By reinstating a small amount of Effexor you should be able to minimize the anxiety, crying and feeling of being fragile; once stable you can taper off of the drug within the 10% guidance.  Here is our general FAQs for tapering: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/300-important-topics-in-the-tapering-forum-and-faq/ and specifically our thread on tapering off of Effexor: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/272-tapering-off-effexor-venlafaxine/

 

When you get a moment please add your relevant withdrawal history to your signature like so http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/  When you post your withdrawal history will appear in your signature so mods and members will be reminded of your current withdrawal history and can provide better suggestions.

 

Welcome to our community - you will lots of support here.

 

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; 12/17 - 75mg
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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Thank you, I feel a bit reassured.

 

I went right down to a crumb before I stopped completely...I was on the tablets as opposed to capsules, and found it quite difficult to divide them precisely, so as the amount got smaller it was almost guesswork on the exact amount I was getting, but I did my best. I was going on internet advice on how quickly to taper them.

 

I'm so reluctant to take any again...if I start taking such a small amount again, how long should I take that for, and how would I come off that without the same anxiety problem?

 

Really appreciate the help, thanks.

1998-Nov 2012           Venlafaxine 225mg
Nov 2012-May 2013   Venlafaxine reduced then stopped
July 2013-Jan 2020   Venlafaxine 75mg
Jan 2020-Sep 2021    Venlafaxine 75mg plus Delmosart 18mg [ADHD diagnosed]
Sept 2021-Dec 2021   Delmosart 18mg. Venlafaxine reduced down to 12mg then stopped.
Jan 2022-now             Delmosart 18mg. Venlafaxine reinstated at 12mg.
 

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I was dropping the dose by as small increments as I could manage, but every two weeks, which, having looked at your FAQ, seems faster than recommended. Oops! I wish I'd found this site when I was trying to find information on how fast to taper.

1998-Nov 2012           Venlafaxine 225mg
Nov 2012-May 2013   Venlafaxine reduced then stopped
July 2013-Jan 2020   Venlafaxine 75mg
Jan 2020-Sep 2021    Venlafaxine 75mg plus Delmosart 18mg [ADHD diagnosed]
Sept 2021-Dec 2021   Delmosart 18mg. Venlafaxine reduced down to 12mg then stopped.
Jan 2022-now             Delmosart 18mg. Venlafaxine reinstated at 12mg.
 

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You should read my thread sparkle, if you habe never felt this anxiety before the med than its withdrawal, are you taking al the necessary steps to minimize the anxiety? Walking 30mins everyday, getting a good sleep if u can...breathing exercises and meditation? Fish oil for ur brain? Give yourself time because you will learn so much on this site about taking care of yourself..ask questions and do research..its withdrawal uaually if you are questioning it and coming off drugs..feel free to msg me :)

2007-2012started Effexor xr 225mg -150mg- Varied2months of Taper,(March 22/2012 Off Med/in W/D)Currently No medicationMarch 22/2012- August 16/2012 - Totally Off Effexor( Rough Rough time) Reinstatement for a week(didn't work)****** New Doctor******* Very nice/helpful and in touch.Tried Zoloft- No successAUGUST 17/2012- STARTED 37.5 EFFEXOR FOR ONE WEEK - NOT GOOD < STOPPED.Started Buspar Oct 11th 2012----10 mg for the first 7 days and then 15mg a day---- Taking a new route----Racing thoughts - Gone.Oct 9th ( Done Zoloft,wellbutrin week project trial to feel better) - OFFICIALLY OFF ANTI DEPRESSANT !Oct 26 - Raised Buspar to 20mg a day- Tolerating wellJan 2nd 2013-

Reduce Buspar until full off march 20th 2015 Off all medication !

Tried natural supplements to no avail

Gluten/sugar free since december 2013

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Sparklekitty, yes, your brain is re-adjusting to live w/o the drug.

After some time off the meds., reinstating may not work, or make things worse.

But there's people here who can give better advice.

I went off Effexor 150mgs almost 1 year ago, first months were pure hell; but I didn`t reinstate.Now,after 11 months, I'm seeing important improvement.

I repeat, anxiety is one of the main symptoms in this process. It gets better S, but it can take some time.

 

Sending you healing vibes.

 

P.S. You are young, that is good

4 years aprox. on 150mgs.Effexor for situational major depression.No AD before.
Tapered 150-0mgs in 3 months.

Tapered Quetiapine,Xanax in the last 18 months.NO med of any kind anymore.
First 3 months off acute w/d
Protracted w/d ever since.
Symptoms:Anxiety,anhedonia,insomnia,tinnitus,PSSD

04/13/2014 Awful Relapse.Recovered fairly fast.

3 years and 4 months off.

waves and windows.Very much recovered.

November 2015,health issue.Setback.
 

 

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  • Administrator

Hi Sparklekitty

 

What strength tablet were you taking a crumb from?  Were you able to reduce the size of the tablet by more than 1/4?  So, for example if you were on 25 mg Effexor and were able to get them down to about 1/8 th of the tablet then you would have been around 3.125 mg.  But if you were only able to quarter them, then you were at 6.25 mg.  If you were taking 37.5 mg or 75 mg then it is a whole different ball game.

 

I'm so glad you read our FAQs - yes, I believe what happened was that you didn't hold long enough between decrements and that tends to have a cumulative effect with this particular AD.  In 2011 I had gotten down to 18.75 mg and de-stablized myself ... I had been decrementing at 6.25 mg every 2-4 weeks.  I had to up-dose to about 43 mg to get comfortable and after I stablized I resumed my reduction at smaller amounts.  The idea behind our guidance is for you to be able to come off of the drug without disrupting your life or suffering severe withdrawal symptoms.

 

While Alex is correct that after 3 months of discontinuing an AD there is no guarantee that reinstating will resolve the symptoms, you are within that 3 month window and there is a good chance that reinstating about 2 mg could resolve your symptoms. You would start with 2 mg and monitor your symptoms ... you might have to increase slighly or 2 mg might be enough to stablize your system.

 

Check out the Effexor thread http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/272-tapering-off-effexor-venlafaxine/ - further down in the thread it describes making a liquid solution with your tablets - or you can have a compounding pharmacy make a solution for you - I have my effexor compounded at 2 mg/1 mL.  With a liquid you use a syringe to draw out your dose and can do very small increments until you can come off of the med comfortably.

 

You are within the window to reinstate at a small dose to minimize the withdrawal symptoms and come off comfortably.  There is no such thing as "toughing it out" with this AD.

 

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; 12/17 - 75mg
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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  • Administrator

Another thought - have you tried omega 3 fatty acids?  Also known as fish oil or krill oil?  When I got destabilized in the fall of 2011 I add Krill Oil to my supplement regimen.  I started out with a low dose and gradually raised it up to 1500 mg AM and 1500 mg PM.  It really helped me with anxiety.

 

Here is our thread on omega 3 fatty acids: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/

 

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; 12/17 - 75mg
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 think it was the end of may, so probably 5 or 6 weeks. I was on 75mg tabs, so the crumbs were probably still not as low a dose as I needed. I started taking as tiny amount as I could last night, and I'll ask my doctor if it's possible to get any lower dosage tablets.

 

I take flaxseed as I'm vegan, but it looks like it doesn't have everything I might need. At this point I don't really care if I end up taking fish oils, I just want to feel better. I'll look into that and get something.

 

I've started walking/ jogging recently so am getting exercise, and sleep fine. I'm awful at relaxing, but will try to force myself to try meditation.

 

Thanks for everyone's help. I haven't read all the FAQs in full as I've not had time, but will do when I get the chance.

1998-Nov 2012           Venlafaxine 225mg
Nov 2012-May 2013   Venlafaxine reduced then stopped
July 2013-Jan 2020   Venlafaxine 75mg
Jan 2020-Sep 2021    Venlafaxine 75mg plus Delmosart 18mg [ADHD diagnosed]
Sept 2021-Dec 2021   Delmosart 18mg. Venlafaxine reduced down to 12mg then stopped.
Jan 2022-now             Delmosart 18mg. Venlafaxine reinstated at 12mg.
 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Sparkle--

 

It would not be unexpected for anyone who had been on an AD for as long as you were, and started as young as you did, to need at least a year to taper off. That's certainly what I would have recommended. These drugs cause our brains to change--to grow some cells and destroy others, to turn some genes on and others off, to add and remove receptors, and generally to adapt physiologically to the presence of the drug. So when you remove the drug, there's a lot of remodeling that needs to take place before the brain is ready to be without it.

 

Given that you're having withdrawal symptoms now, I too would recommend you try a small reinstatement, even just 2 mg as suggested. This can prevent the worst of withdrawal, and once you stabilize on that dosage you can taper off very slowly and in a way that will minimize or prevent further suffering.

 

Good luck to you luv!

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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  • Administrator

Hi SK

 

If you were able to 1/8 your 75 mg tablets you would have been around 9 mg.  Given the 5 to 6 weeks off you could go to 2 mg - 5 mg.  Since you will need to contact your provider anyway, please see if you can get a compounded liquid ... I have mine compounded in 2 mg/ 1 mL - ask the pharmacist for a small syringe and let them know you just need to measure 2 mg or less. 

 

If you can get yours compounded you would start with 2 mg and see how you feel.  If you have some relief, but need more you can bump it up a little bit, but 0.5 mg to 1 mg.  You may not need a lot to experience relief from your symptoms.

 

If your provider will only provide tablets you could get 25 mg tablets and make your own liquid. 

 

I used a jewelers scale to carve up my 25 mg tablets for awhile and was able to dose consistently by chopping up my tablets, literally using an exacto knife to shave down bits of the tablets to get to a consistent measurement. However, I can tell you it is much easier to use a liquid when dosing these small amounts.

 

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; 12/17 - 75mg
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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  • 2 months later...

Sparklekitty

Just wondering how you are doing now? I'm also on effexor venlafaxine.

Started Effexor August 2012 Sept'12-150mg=extreme anxiety Oct'12 cut half-75mg severe wds

Feb 2013 68.5mg. Mar'13- 65mg. Apr'13-59mg. May'13-57mg. June '13-52mg Aug'13 49.75mg.

Sep'13-48.75. Nov'13-47mg Dec'13-45..5mg

May 2014 42mg. Jun'14 40mg (depressive mood started). Aug'14 -40mg/ started brintellix 2.5mg

Oct '14 -39 Nov'14 36.89 Dec'14 34.45

Jan 2015- 31 Feb'15 29mg. Mar'15 26.72. Apr'15 24.48. May'15 22.31mg. Jun'15 20.30mg

Aug'15-18.89. Oct'15 16.96. Nov/16- 16.10. Dec/15- 15mg

Jan 2016-14.22. May'16 11.45. Aug'16-9.60. Sep/16- 8.88mg. Oct/16- 8.39mg. Nov/16- 8.13. Dec/16- 7.89

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  • 8 years later...

Venlafaxine Taping Advice

 

Hi all, I posted here in 2013 and got advice that was useful! Still struggling to get off Venlafaxine but having anxiety symptoms so need some more advice please. I'm 42 and female, originally suffered from depression and anxiety, started Ven age 18/19.

I was originally on 225mg for 15 years or so (my memory is bad). Got down to 75mg a day about 9 years ago, then gradually reduced since then. I was diagnosed with ADHD early 2020 and put on Delmosart for that, the consultant told me to stop Ven straight away which I refused to do (terrible advice!!), and started tapering. I went too quick (kept thinking in my head how she'd told me to just stop it, so tapering at all seems a bonus!). Things seemed ok, can't remember the starting dose, but I have a note that I went from 38mg down to 12mg per day from Sept-Dec last year, then stopped. This was a big mistake, January anxiety was hell, and I restarted at my 12mg dose after a month in January after a month of not taking it.

Things seemed ok after restarting, I've stuck to the 12mg, but since then I've noticed depression and anxiety creeping in again. The anxiety is not like I've had before, heart keeps pounding even when I don't think I'm particularly mentally anxious. I have a blood sugar condition that affects mood too, ADHD, and the pandemic has made my circumstances difficult, but I feel I used to cope better, and this sort of anxiety doesn't feel like the sort I used to have.

Not sure what to do - my gut feeling is to up it again, as I'm not coping well, but not sure what dose to up it too. Don't want to go too high and ruin all my progress, but also just want to feel better. I'm not in a rush to come off (even tho it sounds like I was, that's just a lack of planning on my part as I have adhd and do dumb things sometimes!), was only coming off because I was told to.

Thanks for reading :)
 

Edited by ChessieCat
added Intro topic title before merging with intro topic

1998-Nov 2012           Venlafaxine 225mg
Nov 2012-May 2013   Venlafaxine reduced then stopped
July 2013-Jan 2020   Venlafaxine 75mg
Jan 2020-Sep 2021    Venlafaxine 75mg plus Delmosart 18mg [ADHD diagnosed]
Sept 2021-Dec 2021   Delmosart 18mg. Venlafaxine reduced down to 12mg then stopped.
Jan 2022-now             Delmosart 18mg. Venlafaxine reinstated at 12mg.
 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi sparklekitty and welcome back.

 

13 hours ago, sparklekitty said:

I was diagnosed with ADHD early 2020

 

Once you have taken/tried to get off a psychiatric drug, it might not be possible to label/diagnose a person with a new disorder simply because there is no way of knowing if taking/getting off the drug/s has caused it.

 

We need to know your drug history.  Please create your drug signature which was requested by Karma when you joined.  Follow these instructions:

 

Instructions:  Withdrawal History Signature

 

In a post, please list your current symptoms.

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • Administrator
On 6/2/2022 at 3:06 AM, sparklekitty said:

Things seemed ok after restarting, I've stuck to the 12mg, but since then I've noticed depression and anxiety creeping in again. The anxiety is not like I've had before, heart keeps pounding even when I don't think I'm particularly mentally anxious. I have a blood sugar condition that affects mood too, ADHD, and the pandemic has made my circumstances difficult, but I feel I used to cope better, and this sort of anxiety doesn't feel like the sort I used to have.

 

Please also post the times o'clock you take your drugs, with their dosages. When is the heart pounding worse and when less?

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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On 6/3/2022 at 12:43 AM, ChessieCat said:

Once you have taken/tried to get off a psychiatric drug, it might not be possible to label/diagnose a person with a new disorder simply because there is no way of knowing if taking/getting off the drug/s has caused it.


Altho I agree with this in theory, once I learnt about ADHD and how it presents in females (esp the inattentive sort) I realised this was something I'd had since childhood and the diagnosis had been missed (as has happened to MANY MANY people, esp females). I saw several consultants before being diagnosed. The ADHD meds have helped with those symptoms, which are unrelated to anxiety/depression.

I *think* I've added my drug history correctly :)
 

 

On 6/6/2022 at 11:38 PM, Altostrata said:

 

Please also post the times o'clock you take your drugs, with their dosages. When is the heart pounding worse and when less?


I take venlafaxine around 10am and midnight (when I wake up and go to sleep... having written those down I realise I should take the evening dose earlier!!), the heart pounding seems to start an hour or so after the morning dose. Delmosart is taken around 11am/midday, so the timing also coincides with this sometimes, but def sometimes begins before I've taken it. I'm experimenting with taking Delmosart later in the day (which is safe to do) to try to rule it out. Going to start logging the times and working out if any correlation... I'll report back!!

Anxiety has been getting worse lately, I'm usually ok until something starts it off, then it just won't seem to go. And I keep waking up with a feeling of dread/impending doom, got that this morning. Also I had a UTI that wouldn't shift a while back and now I seem to have health anxiety, something I've never had before, thinking about my own mortality more than ever (not in any way suicidal, just feel like life is short and my body could break any day, and I feel panicked about it).

I'm going on holiday tomorrow and just hope brain behaves whilst I'm away!


 

1998-Nov 2012           Venlafaxine 225mg
Nov 2012-May 2013   Venlafaxine reduced then stopped
July 2013-Jan 2020   Venlafaxine 75mg
Jan 2020-Sep 2021    Venlafaxine 75mg plus Delmosart 18mg [ADHD diagnosed]
Sept 2021-Dec 2021   Delmosart 18mg. Venlafaxine reduced down to 12mg then stopped.
Jan 2022-now             Delmosart 18mg. Venlafaxine reinstated at 12mg.
 

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  • Administrator
On 6/2/2022 at 3:06 AM, sparklekitty said:

Things seemed ok after restarting, I've stuck to the 12mg, but since then I've noticed depression and anxiety creeping in again. The anxiety is not like I've had before, heart keeps pounding even when I don't think I'm particularly mentally anxious.

 

Have you carefully reviewed the potential adverse effects of all your drugs? I would enter ALL your drugs in this Interactions Checker and review potential interactions. Have you discussed the increase in heart rate with your consultant?

 

On 6/2/2022 at 3:06 AM, sparklekitty said:

Things seemed ok after restarting, I've stuck to the 12mg, but since then I've noticed depression and anxiety creeping in again. The anxiety is not like I've had before, heart keeps pounding even when I don't think I'm particularly mentally anxious.

 

I doubt we can help you with your current problem. Although you might have gone off venlafaxine prematurely and experienced withdrawal symptoms (and might still be), my guess is you are now having an extremely common adverse reaction to the stimulant drug you added in September 2021. Venlafaxine withdrawal at the same time may have sensitized you to adverse effects from either drug.

 

I don't think there's anything peer support here can do about your taking a drug or drug combination that's making you feel ill. Please discuss this with your prescriber.

 

 

 

 

 

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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  • Moderator Emeritus
On 6/2/2022 at 8:06 PM, sparklekitty said:

heart keeps pounding

 

Using the brand name I was not able to find anything.  I had to look up the common name for the drug which is methylphenidate hydrochloride.  Using the full name did not find anything, but using just methylphenidate did. 

 

From the two interaction checks I did there are not interactions between methylphenidate and venlafaxine.

 

From https://www.drugs.com/sfx/methylphenidate-side-effects.html

Side effects requiring immediate medical attention

Along with its needed effects, methylphenidate may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

 

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking methylphenidate:

 

More common

 

 

There are more listed on the page, but I posted this one because you mentioned that you have this particular symptom.

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for responses.
 

On 6/12/2022 at 1:40 AM, Altostrata said:

my guess is you are now having an extremely common adverse reaction to the stimulant drug you added in September 2021


Sorry if my signature is confusing, but it was Jan 2020 I started the stimulant, and never had any issues until the middle of this year.

Thank you for the info on interractions, I'll bookmark that page for future :)

I'm going to see my Dr tomorrow, but am sure the palpitations are anxiety, as I'm also getting lots of feelings of dread etc and really struggling with intrusive thoughts, and the palpitations seem to come when I start thinking too much. I'll of course get it checked by the dr though.

I don't think I should ever have been told to come off antidepressants (well, I'm on 14mg a day still, but almost off). I think my GP will ask how I want to proceed, and now I'm unsure if I should try upping the Venlafaxine again, since it worked well for 20 years and I'm struggling more than ever now, but it will undo all the progress I made coming off it; or if I should try to move onto something less addictive. My partner is on Sertraline and I've heard such good things about it, I wonder if there's something else like that would work for me but wouldn't be so hellish if I ever stop it. I'm not sure how I would go from the 14mg of Ven and another drug though, if it's likely to cause withdrawal still.

I've had such bad advice from consultants, I feel I can't trust them anymore. And I had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic last week that I'm still recovering from, so I'm feeling extra fragile in the body and brain. Just want to stop feeling this dread :(

1998-Nov 2012           Venlafaxine 225mg
Nov 2012-May 2013   Venlafaxine reduced then stopped
July 2013-Jan 2020   Venlafaxine 75mg
Jan 2020-Sep 2021    Venlafaxine 75mg plus Delmosart 18mg [ADHD diagnosed]
Sept 2021-Dec 2021   Delmosart 18mg. Venlafaxine reduced down to 12mg then stopped.
Jan 2022-now             Delmosart 18mg. Venlafaxine reinstated at 12mg.
 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
6 hours ago, sparklekitty said:

And I had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic last week that I'm still recovering from, so I'm feeling extra fragile in the body and brain.

 

Many members report having an increase in symptoms after taking an antibiotic.  If you have had an allergic reaction then that will most probably put even more stress on your nervous system than just the taking of an antibiotic.  And if you had an infection then the body has also been busy trying to fight the infection.

 

cipro-levaquin-azithromycin-z-pack-and-other-antibiotics

 

When we are recovering from a set back like this (antibiotic) it is generally better to not make any changes until things stabilise.

 

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • Administrator

Yes, some of your current symptoms may be from the adverse effects of the antibiotic.

 

Are you taking any drugs for your "blood sugar condition"? Are you aware that psychiatric drugs can elevate blood sugar?

 

This is a site for going off drugs. You may be experiencing venlafaxine withdrawal AND adverse effects from some of the drugs in your cocktail. Is your objective to relieve your symptoms, which may mean reducing or going off other drugs, or is it to stay on your drug cocktail?

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 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

 

When we are recovering from a set back like this (antibiotic) it is generally better to not make any changes until things stabilise.

 

 
That's a fair point, but I've been feeling bad for quite a while now. I might at least wait at least until next week to make changes though, don't want to mess with my brain & body any more right now! Thanks for that. The terrible dread is starting to abate, but I still have the anxiety I've had the last few months.

 

2 hours ago, Altostrata said:

Are you taking any drugs for your "blood sugar condition"? Are you aware that psychiatric drugs can elevate blood sugar?

 


No, it is controlled through diet, it can't be controlled through medication, and is usually stable.
 

 

2 hours ago, Altostrata said:

...AND adverse effects from some of the drugs in your cocktail.

Is your objective to relieve your symptoms, which may mean reducing or going off other drugs, or is it to stay on your drug cocktail?


I don't have a 'cocktail' or drugs, I just take ADHD meds and a low dose of venlafaxine. I had zero issues with 'adverse reactions' until I was told to reduce the Venlafaxine.

I find this a very unhelpful attitide - surely this site is to help people survive and function, not just come off all meds no matter if they need them. Of course I want to relieve my symptoms, but as someone suffering from depression and anxiety, I don't think I should have ever been told to reduce the meds in the first place - I didn't have any of these symptoms on the meds, I was coping fine. I can't continue feeling this awful indefinitely, having panic attacks and intrusive thoughts. Of course I'd love to live drug-free, but unfortunately I haven't ever been able to function without meds, so I'm trying to navigate without useful professional advice, and right now I'll do whatever I can to feel better - if that means upping the Venlafaxine again because it was helping, then I'll do that. I don't really want to, but how I also want my life back, and can't just hope these feelings will go away magically when it was meds that helped in the first place. I've stayed 6 months on this low dose, and things have only gotten worse... I have no evidence that this is from withdrawal, and not just my natural brain state, since I had such bad depression and anxiety in the first place. Nobody can tell me that things will get better if I hold out. I need to feel better.

It sounds like you're saying this site is only for people who say to stop the meds no matter the consequences, which is a dangerous attitude to have, and I will stop using it, if that's the opinion you're pushing. I want to do whatever helps me the most, that's my only concern.

 

1998-Nov 2012           Venlafaxine 225mg
Nov 2012-May 2013   Venlafaxine reduced then stopped
July 2013-Jan 2020   Venlafaxine 75mg
Jan 2020-Sep 2021    Venlafaxine 75mg plus Delmosart 18mg [ADHD diagnosed]
Sept 2021-Dec 2021   Delmosart 18mg. Venlafaxine reduced down to 12mg then stopped.
Jan 2022-now             Delmosart 18mg. Venlafaxine reinstated at 12mg.
 

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  • Administrator

We help people taper drugs if they wish, at a rate that hopefully causes minimal disruption to their lives. We don't treat depression or psychiatric disorders. If you feel you need your drugs no matter what, stay on them. However, it was you who said:

 

6 hours ago, sparklekitty said:

I can't continue feeling this awful indefinitely, having panic attacks and intrusive thoughts.

 

As explained before, your taking methylphenidate (or the antibiotic, or both) may be the cause of some of your symptoms. If so, when you reduce venlafaxine, those symptoms will not diminish. It makes sense to examine whether your current symptom pattern is related to methylphenidate.

 

Generally, when people have withdrawal from too-fast reduction, we advise them to stop tapering and let their systems settle down. However your symptom pattern shows your "palpitations" start after you take 2 drugs in the morning. This indicates the symptom is caused by one or both drugs. Since you don't report this at night after you take venlafaxine, it's probably the methylphenidate.

 

"Palpitations" or "anxiety" at the same time each day indicates the cause is something else you do on a schedule, such as take a drug, not garden-variety anxiety.

 

(By the way, taking venlafaxine so late at night is unusual, as it can be stimulating and often interferes with sleep.) 

 

However, all you want to do is go off venlafaxine, read Tips for tapering off venlafaxine (Effexor) You should be able to taper without much staff input.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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1 hour ago, Altostrata said:

However your symptom pattern shows your "palpitations" start after you take 2 drugs in the morning. This indicates the symptom is caused by one or both drugs. Since you don't report this at night after you take venlafaxine, it's probably the methylphenidate.


Thanks for your response. At first I believed this might be the case too, although it was strange to me this had happened after over 2 years of no issues. However I do get the palpitations at night too, and now I'm getting them more frequently throughout the day - they seem to be some sort of anxiety/panic attack, as they come on whenever I start thinking about them or about stressful things. I'm waking up with this doom feeling and then the palpitations start as soon as my thoughts start. I believe they were coming at the same time each morning as it's when I was sitting and overthinking. On holiday I went a few days without them, so I definitely think this is anxiety-linked, possibly developing an anxiety disorder.

I think I may need to up my venlafaxine, but am unsure what is safe to do. I'll try to get GP advice.

Thanks for your advice so far.






 

1998-Nov 2012           Venlafaxine 225mg
Nov 2012-May 2013   Venlafaxine reduced then stopped
July 2013-Jan 2020   Venlafaxine 75mg
Jan 2020-Sep 2021    Venlafaxine 75mg plus Delmosart 18mg [ADHD diagnosed]
Sept 2021-Dec 2021   Delmosart 18mg. Venlafaxine reduced down to 12mg then stopped.
Jan 2022-now             Delmosart 18mg. Venlafaxine reinstated at 12mg.
 

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  • Administrator

You don't appear to be inclined to taper anything. Please let us know when you decide to go off your drugs.

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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On 6/24/2022 at 12:17 AM, Altostrata said:

You don't appear to be inclined to taper anything. Please let us know when you decide to go off your drugs.

 

I've spent 2 years and a half years tapering!!

I'm having massive several panic attacks each day, heart palpitations, and struggling to cope. Sorry, I thought this forum was 'surviving antidepressants' not 'come off them not matter what even if you feel like you're dying every day'. I won't be posting here again - others were helpful, but you're being incredibly unhelpful. Goodbye.

 

1998-Nov 2012           Venlafaxine 225mg
Nov 2012-May 2013   Venlafaxine reduced then stopped
July 2013-Jan 2020   Venlafaxine 75mg
Jan 2020-Sep 2021    Venlafaxine 75mg plus Delmosart 18mg [ADHD diagnosed]
Sept 2021-Dec 2021   Delmosart 18mg. Venlafaxine reduced down to 12mg then stopped.
Jan 2022-now             Delmosart 18mg. Venlafaxine reinstated at 12mg.
 

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  • Administrator
On 6/11/2022 at 5:40 PM, Altostrata said:

I doubt we can help you with your current problem. Although you might have gone off venlafaxine prematurely and experienced withdrawal symptoms (and might still be), my guess is you are now having an extremely common adverse reaction to the stimulant drug you added in September 2021. Venlafaxine withdrawal at the same time may have sensitized you to adverse effects from either drug.

 

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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