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workinitout234: Wondering if I should taper Effexor before Valium/Ambien


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Hi there,


I am a 45 year old female who has been on and off ADs in the past along with Xanax and Ambien without incident.


In Dec. I started taking Ambien again after about 6 months off.


In March I started having daytime anxiety which got worse and worse.


I went to my pdoc and got Rx for Prozac and Xanax, Prozac did not agree with me, kept taking Xanax as prescribed.


Conditions got worse - anxiety/depression


In May went to see a psychopharmacologist who said Xanax and Ambien were the problem and tried to detox me.


Went into horrible w/d, could not function at all, lost 20 lbs. in a month.


Found a new pdoc who agreed to Ashton taper and crossed from Xanax to Valium, still taking Ambien and he gave me Effexor (75mg).


I have just finished my cross to Valium and I am planning to cut out Ambien next since it is so similar to a benzo.


Then I was thinking maybe I should try to get off Effexor as well, since it stimulates norepinephrine which may exacerbate my benzo w/d.


Friends at benzobuddies recommended I post here to find out if that may be a good idea.


I've been on the Effexor for about 6 weeks, is it better for me to get off it now rather than wait? I believe it was the Valium that stabilized me and don't think the Effexor is necessary though I may be wrong...


Thanks in advance,



Edited by Karma
added member name to topic
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Hello W, you have been on Effexor for a very short time;that's good

I am not the expert here so my advice is to wait to other members to chime in and help you out.

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.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

It would be very helpful if you could post your drug history in your signature.  Here are directions:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/281-bts-please-remind-posters-about-signatures/  Without having a good idea of your background, it's very difficult to give appropriate advice.


In general, we recommend tapering off an antidepressant first, and then the benzo.  The benzo can help cushion withdrawal symptoms from the antidepressant.


It's best to taper only one drug at a time.  Although you've only been on Effexor a short time, your history of going on and off antidepressants may complicate the picture.  Often people are able to quit an antidepressant cold turkey the first time and possibly a second time, but after that prolonged withdrawal symptoms are a definite risk.  Effexor seems to be an especially difficult drug when it comes to tapering off comfortably.


Here's our topic on tapering Effexor to give you a general idea of what's involved:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/272-tips-for-tapering-off-effexor-and-effexor-xr-venlafaxine/

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, workinitout234.


If I were you, I'd go off the Effexor first. I agree that it might be activating and cause more problems with your benzo withdrawal. It was dumb of that doctor to prescribe it for you.


You might be able to go off rather quickly. I'd try a 10% reduction to begin with. If no problems after a couple of weeks, I'd try a 10% reduction per week. If you get withdrawal symptoms, updose immediately.

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

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