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Hi all. I found this site while looking for some information to help me understand what is happening as I attempt to taper from a very high dose of Effexor XR. I've been on 450mg for over 9 years now and for the past year have been evaluating the necessity of continuing on such a high dose. When first prescribed, in combination with 200mg Geodon, it was a godsend. I was severaly depressed, anxious and suicidal. Thanks to great psychotherapy and faith I'm finally thriving for the first time in my life. Now I want to see what life is like sans meds or at least with fewer chemicals in my system.

 

Beginning about 6 weeks ago my PCP told me that I could cut my dose by 25-50% every 2-4 weeks. Thinking that a jump of that much might be too much to handle I opted for a 75mg cut. Everything went well so 3 weeks later I dropped another 75mg. Again no problems. When 2 weeks ago I made another 75mg drop, cutting my total dose from 450mg to 225mg things at first were fine. Five days after the last taper I began to experience withdrawal symptoms. Severe vertigo, nausea, headache and body aches. Unfortunately the help I was hoping to get from my PCP has withered and I find myself on my own dealing with all of this.

 

After finding this wonderful site I realized that my taper was moving too quickly so last night, before bed, I moved back to 300mg of Effexor XR. Still experiencing a significant amount of vertigo, but I'm not sure how long the adjusted dose will take to kick in.

 

I'm trying to find a psychiatrist to manage my meds and the taper for me but who knew that finding a good doctor could be such a challenge. The ones I find that patients seem to like are either not taking new patients or have at least a 3 month wait to get in. Still looking though and asking for referrals from previous therapists and friends.

 

I'm thankful to have found this site. It's the most up-to-date information that I've been able to find on what I'm dealing with. Really like that so much of the info is sourced.

 

P.

Edited by tezza
Added member name to title

On Effexor XR 450mg & Geodon 200mg since 2004

Tapered Geodon to 60mg in 2012

Began first Effexor XR taper in May 2013

Initial taper to 375mg - held for 3 weeks

Second taper to 300mg - held for 3 weeks

Third taper to 225mg - withdrawal symptoms began 5 days later.

Tried for 10 days to ride out withdrawal but after finding this site increased back to 300mg on 7/16/2013

 

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Beginning about 6 weeks ago my PCP told me that I could cut my dose by 25-50% every 2-4 weeks.  Thinking that a jump of that much might be too much to handle I opted for a 75mg cut.  Everything went well so 3 weeks later I dropped another 75mg.  Again no problems.  When 2 weeks ago I made another 75mg drop, cutting my total dose from 450mg to 225mg things at first were fine.  Five days after the last taper I began to experience withdrawal symptoms.  Severe vertigo, nausea, headache and body aches.  Unfortunately the help I was hoping to get from my PCP has withered and I find myself on my own dealing with all of this.

 

After finding this wonderful site I realized that my taper was moving too quickly so last night, before bed, I moved back to 300mg of Effexor XR.  Still experiencing a significant amount of vertigo, but I'm not sure how long the adjusted dose will take to kick in.

 

I'm trying to find a psychiatrist to manage my meds and the taper for me but who knew that finding a good doctor could be such a challenge.  The ones I find that patients seem to like are either not taking new patients or have at least a 3 month wait to get in.  Still looking though and asking for referrals from previous therapists and friends.

 

I'm thankful to have found this site.  It's the most up-to-date information that I've been able to find on what I'm dealing with.  Really like that so much of the info is sourced.

 

P.

 

Hi PMD and welcome to the forum. You have been acquainting yourself with some of the excellent resources on this site... good job!  You were right to go back to 300 mgs of Effexor and it may take a few days to restabilize at that dose (Alto and others will chime in here about whether this is the best dose).  I'm glad to hear you are doing a little better today.

 

This site recommends cutting 10% off each successive dose,then making adjustments (faster or slower) depending on how well you tolerate this pace. You would also be interested in tips for tapering off Effexor.

 

Finding a doc who will help you taper is a challenge, as many here know all too well.  Most docs know very little about tapering and the best scenario is often a doc who is willing to learn the ropes with you, and lets you taper at your own speed.

 

Please put a summary of your drug history in your sig line so we can better assist you. Again, nice to have you here.

 

Skyler

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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Thanks for the welcome and the suggestion about my signature.

 

Not really feeling much better since I increased the dose last night but I gathered from what I've read here that it may take some time.  Just trying to hang in there and allow my body to adjust to the recent changes.

 

I often hear people saying that if they knew how difficult it would be to discontinue a med they never would have agreed to take it to beging with.  But, honestly, as sick as I was I don't think this knowledge would have kept me from taking it.

 

Thanks again Skyler.

On Effexor XR 450mg & Geodon 200mg since 2004

Tapered Geodon to 60mg in 2012

Began first Effexor XR taper in May 2013

Initial taper to 375mg - held for 3 weeks

Second taper to 300mg - held for 3 weeks

Third taper to 225mg - withdrawal symptoms began 5 days later.

Tried for 10 days to ride out withdrawal but after finding this site increased back to 300mg on 7/16/2013

 

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Hi PMD,

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

While it's great to find a psychiatrist who is knowledgeable about slow tapers, it's not absolutely necessary to get the job done. Many people here self-manage their tapers.

 

As Skyler said, the upose might take a while to bring some relief, so be patient. You will stabilise.

 

I wish you the best of luck with your taper.

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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Hi PMD, and welcome, I hope you get the support you want here. I'm a new member to this forum but write to tell my experience with reinstating and time lag to feeling better.

 

I went from 40 to zero mg/day citalopram over 2 weeks, then 1 -2 weeks later felt the w/d effects, and then went up to 20 mg/day, which is where I've been for 5 weeks. I felt relief straightaway and  carried on getting better, but it has been in diminishing returns, a sort of curve that plateaus, But still noticable now if I think about it hard, week by week.

 

From what you say, you're in early days. Hang on in there <<encouraging smiley>>

Started citalopram May 12, from 10 to 40 mg/d over 2 months

 

Wanted to come off in May 13 and did it too quickly: decrease from 40 to 0 mg/d over 2 weeks; WD from then onwards, increasing in intensity to be unbearable at 4 weeks later;  reinstated 10 mg/d for 2 days (WD severity halved); reinstated 20 mg/d (initial WD symptoms decreased but not gone entirely until after 8 weeks)

 

Started 5--7% taper: Aug 13: 19 mg/d, mild WD on day 3; thereafter none notable; Nov 13: 18 mg/d, no WD; Dec 13: 17 mg/day, no WD for 3 weeks, then (at Christmas) tearfulness; Jan 14: 16.7 mg/d, Apr 14: 15.7 mg/d, Jun 14: 14.5 mg/d; Jul 14: 13.5 mg/d (6.9% reduction), Aug 14: 12.5 mg/d (7.4% reduction)

 

Sharing experience makes a difference

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May I ask if anyone else has been cautioned about completely discontinuing their antidepressant because of the risk of recurrence of depression?  My first bout of depression was at th eage of 20 and lasted about 2 months.  No treatment of any kind.  Several minor blips on the radar through my twenties but nothing major.  Severe depression in my early 40's.  I'm now 48 and feel really great.  I don't want to sabatoge how well things are going just because of a desire to be med free, but I don't want to take meds that I no longer need.  It seems hard to find accurate information on this subject.

On Effexor XR 450mg & Geodon 200mg since 2004

Tapered Geodon to 60mg in 2012

Began first Effexor XR taper in May 2013

Initial taper to 375mg - held for 3 weeks

Second taper to 300mg - held for 3 weeks

Third taper to 225mg - withdrawal symptoms began 5 days later.

Tried for 10 days to ride out withdrawal but after finding this site increased back to 300mg on 7/16/2013

 

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Welcome to the forum, PMD.

 

It takes at least four days for an updose to take effect and for some people it's even longer, so give it a few more days.  It may be necessary to updose further so let us know how you're doing by say, the 19th.  If you're really suffering of course, speak up before then.

 

I'm concerned that you've tapered off Effexor so quickly.  It's really nasty drug, and sometimes the results of tapering too fast or--God forbid--going cold turkey don't show up for months.  Many people who taper off Effexor XR do so by taking a few beads out of the capsule rather than by jumping up and down by 75 mg. at a time.  Weighing the beads allows for even more accuracy.  Please do read the article on tapering Effexor that Skyler posted.

 

Most of us here have had to find our own way out of withdrawal with help, not from doctors, but from websites such a this one.  Most doctors get their drug information from Big Pharma reps, who assure them that side effects are minimal and getting off the drugs is a snap.  If you can find a doctor who will simply go along with what you want to do, a slow taper, that's good enough.  Most doctors don't even accept that there is such a thing as withdrawal.

 

Again, welcome.  You'll find lots of solid information and friendly support here.

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 all so much.  I must say that last night, after 9 days of withdrawal, it did not dawn on me to empty some of the beads out of my 75mg capsule.  All that I could think of was to return to the last dose where I experienced no withdrawal.  It's so helpful to have found this site and to know that things will even out if I'm just patient.  The only information that I was able to find prior to this site was from 2006/7.  That seemed a little far out for me.

 

I'm really encouraged reading the various threads.  Totally convinced that slow will be the way to go.  It may take me years to get off the dose I'm on but the possibility of living my life while I taper is worth the weight.

On Effexor XR 450mg & Geodon 200mg since 2004

Tapered Geodon to 60mg in 2012

Began first Effexor XR taper in May 2013

Initial taper to 375mg - held for 3 weeks

Second taper to 300mg - held for 3 weeks

Third taper to 225mg - withdrawal symptoms began 5 days later.

Tried for 10 days to ride out withdrawal but after finding this site increased back to 300mg on 7/16/2013

 

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As for your question about depression recurring, there is little information available on the subject.  It seems that prior to the introduction of antidepressants, a person inclined to depression might have one or two episodes in a lifetime which were self-limited, usually lasting no more than six months.  What often happens now with antidepressants and doctors who don't understand withdrawal, is that a person goes off the antidepressant too quickly and does, in fact, become depressed as part of a whole cluster of withdrawal symptoms.  Most doctors will urge the person back onto the antidepressants, completely ignorant of what is really going on, rinse and repeat, and the depression eventually becomes chronic.  Quite a few people have also been misdiagnosed as bipolar due to overstimulation from antidepressants and/or antidepressant withdrawal.  In my opinion, all but the most severe cases of depression should be treated with counseling as a first resort, not medications.  Medication is certainly justified when a person's life is in danger, but many people with everyday dissatisfactions get put on this stuff.  It is also frequently prescribed for pain with no explanation to the patient that they are taking an antidepressant.  They find out when they try to stop and go into withdrawal.

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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Hi PMD,

 

Welcome to our community! I'm sorry you're suffering!

 

This is a great group, you'll find lots of good solid info and warm friendly support.

 

You can usually get by with a large drop or two in the beginning but it catches up with most people.

 

If you were feeling ok before you dropped from 300mg then you should stabilize at that dose again.

 

Only you can decide whether or not to continue the meds.

 

Wishing the best for you!

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It's interesting to me to look at my history.  There is trauma, abuse, perfectionistic behavior and many thinking styles that lend themselves to depression and anxiety.  As a result of some really good therapy I find that much of that history has been dealth with and my thinking and behavior have changed drastically.  What I find myself concerned about is the role that chemicals play in my depression.  Both the biochemical contribution to depression to begin with and then the use of meds throughout the past 9 years.  I'm a student pursuing a new career while at the same time continuing to raise my teenage child and be a wife.  I don't want to sabatoge any of my gains.  But, the flip side of that is that I notice just with the 150mg decrease I "feel" so much more than I have for the last decade.

 

I don't think that this is anyting that I'll determine over night but I would certainly welcome people insights into continuing some level of medication vs. living med free.

 

The depression that I experienced in my 40's was accompanied by constant suicidal ideation and a period of years where I couldn't function.  Where I am now is world's away from that and I want to stay where I am.

On Effexor XR 450mg & Geodon 200mg since 2004

Tapered Geodon to 60mg in 2012

Began first Effexor XR taper in May 2013

Initial taper to 375mg - held for 3 weeks

Second taper to 300mg - held for 3 weeks

Third taper to 225mg - withdrawal symptoms began 5 days later.

Tried for 10 days to ride out withdrawal but after finding this site increased back to 300mg on 7/16/2013

 

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There is no "biochemical contribution" to depression.  The whole chemical imbalance theory has never been proven, and has in fact been renounced by the American Psychiatric Association, although few people know this.  There may very well be medical reasons for feelings of depression, however, but doctors are all too quick to hand out the antidepressant prescriptions rather than dig deeper for the cause of those feelings.

 

One of the major ways that antidepressants affect mood is simply by dulling our responses.  You're very fortunate that you're starting to have normal feelings so soon.  Many people have experienced anhedonia, demotivation, and apathy both while on the drugs and during withdrawal.  Personally, I went off of Lexapro far too fast (although following my doctor's instructions) and am still having some emotional numbness nineteen months out.

 

Withdrawal has been tough, and I've sometimes pondered going back on a tiny dose of antidepressant.  What stops me is knowing that they increase the risk of diabetes and dementia and that "poop-out" can occur, meaning the drug ceases working and there you are in withdrawal despite taking the drug regularly, which can mean months of tapering, suffering all the way.  These drugs actually change the structure of the central nervous system (not necessarily permanently) and that alone tells me they're just too dangerous for most of us.

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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It's interesting that you mention the lack of motivation. My assumption, for years, has been that my lack of motivation to do anything - even basic self care- was due to my depression. While at the depths of my depression I'm sure some of that may be true, but honestly, even in the past 2 years when I was "feeling" better I still suffered from a lack of motivation that I had to continually push through. Only since I've started to taper my med have I noticed that I don't have to push as hard.

 

Did not know that the theory of chemical imbalance was not scientifically proven. For so many years that was presented as fact.

On Effexor XR 450mg & Geodon 200mg since 2004

Tapered Geodon to 60mg in 2012

Began first Effexor XR taper in May 2013

Initial taper to 375mg - held for 3 weeks

Second taper to 300mg - held for 3 weeks

Third taper to 225mg - withdrawal symptoms began 5 days later.

Tried for 10 days to ride out withdrawal but after finding this site increased back to 300mg on 7/16/2013

 

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May I ask if anyone else has been cautioned about completely discontinuing their antidepressant because of the risk of recurrence of depression?  My first bout of depression was at th eage of 20 and lasted about 2 months.  No treatment of any kind.  Several minor blips on the radar through my twenties but nothing major.  Severe depression in my early 40's.  I'm now 48 and feel really great.  I don't want to sabatoge how well things are going just because of a desire to be med free, but I don't want to take meds that I no longer need.  It seems hard to find accurate information on this subject.

That's because there is no accurate information on this subject, as far as I know. There's a lot of hot air from the pharmaceutical companies, but not a lot of actual data, you will find.

 

You may be able to find some older sources describing the typical course of depression in people who are not treated with drugs. Without ADs, before ADs, it was generally said that most episodes of depression self-resolved within six months or so (admittedly a nightmarish six months, I do get that) and did not recur or only recurred rarely.  However, the course of depression since the widespread adoption of ADs, in people treated with ADs, is now usually described as chronic and recurrent. (At least in any publication the pharmaceutical industry has a hand in, which is most of them.)

 

But "relapse" is a typical symptom of withdrawal, especially a too-fast withdrawal, or so a lot of us here working in the trenches have come to believe.  I don't know about other folks, but on my extremely slow taper I haven't found myself "relapsing" into the depressive symptoms I've had in the past. I do have to say that the only times I've experienced classic depressive symptoms have been post treatment with ADs, though, so I'm pretty sure it was iatrogenic in my case. 

 

As far as "original illness coming back," well I usually think that has about the same credibility as "Santa Claus is coming to town," but in your case with a history of a drug-naive onset of depression in the past I don't know. I do think if you taper carefully and slowly, and pause and hold your taper whenever withdrawal symptoms arise, and wait till you're doing well before you continue the taper further, you'll minimize your chance of a rebound "relapse."

 

And I think you're wise to wonder what it would be like to be off the meds. It seems to me that most people have the same experience I've had, feeling really glad to get themselves back, to get their full range of emotion and creativity and cognition back, as they come off the meds. Some people don't, though, a few of them. Personally I'd say it's worth trying.

 

If nothing else, if you find you want to stay on meds, you could probably stabilize and maintain on a much, much lower dose with many fewer side effects and health risks. Something else a lot of us have found is that the standard dosages are way higher than we really need.

 

Welcome! 

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

 

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

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It's interesting that you mention the lack of motivation. My assumption, for years, has been that my lack of motivation to do anything - even basic self care- was due to my depression. While at the depths of my depression I'm sure some of that may be true, but honestly, even in the past 2 years when I was "feeling" better I still suffered from a lack of motivation that I had to continually push through. Only since I've started to taper my med have I noticed that I don't have to push as hard.reDid not know that the theory of chemical imbalance was not scientifically proven. For so many years that was presented as fact.

Actually if you read the fine print, or force them to really get to the bottom of it, the actual sources describe it as an hypothesis. They say "we think this is what is happening." Turns out that any studies that could actually prove it one way or another are negative or equivocal.

 

I highly recommend the book Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker. Exhaustively researched, well written, and compassionate.

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

 

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

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Thanks Rhi for the response and information.  I'll definitely check out the book you recommended.

 

After my second night at the prior dose the world is spinning much less.  Definitely thinking that I made the right move.

 

May I just say how appreciative I am of the responses to my posts and how welcoming others have been.

 

Really great site.

On Effexor XR 450mg & Geodon 200mg since 2004

Tapered Geodon to 60mg in 2012

Began first Effexor XR taper in May 2013

Initial taper to 375mg - held for 3 weeks

Second taper to 300mg - held for 3 weeks

Third taper to 225mg - withdrawal symptoms began 5 days later.

Tried for 10 days to ride out withdrawal but after finding this site increased back to 300mg on 7/16/2013

 

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Hi PMD,

I have been on Effexor XR 150mg previously for years and I tried tapering off it, too. I did the counting method after reading on line that someone else had done it. This was about 8 years ago or so and there wasn't a whole lot of advice to be found on how to do it. My doctor's advice was "here are some 75mg and 37.5mg samples, just take the 75's til they're gone and then take the 37.5's til they're gone". He had no idea how bad the side effects were. All he knew was what the rep told him which, of course, was alllllll good. 

 

Anyway, I got down to a very tiny dose fairly quickly with a lot of vertigo & nausea all the way but the worst part was the irritability that set in so suddenly. I snapped at people ferociously and felt like a horrible person. If I had known then to do it so slowly then I feel confident I would have been successful then.

 

You're not alone. ;)

My intro link: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4644-whoami-i-hope-to-find-out/?p=57607

I've taken antidepressants since 1997. From 1997-1999~I tried wellbutrin, paxil, prozac, and maybe some others I can't remember. 1999-2009~Effexor XR 150mg. 2009-2010~Cymbalta 30mg. 2010-present~Cymbalta 60mg. (Dates are rough estimates.)

 

Began micro-taper Jul 13, 2013.

As of May 19, 2014 removing 94 beads from 60mg capsule, approx 31.8mg.

As of August 2014 removing 106 beads from 60mg capsule, approx 28.2mg.

As of July 2015 down to approx. 23mg. (20mg capsule + 10 beads from a 60mg capsule) + .5mg Ativan as needed for anxiety/panic/generally crappy anxious no good feelings.

 

Also taking:  Omega3; Magnesium; Vitamins D, E, & B12; Calcium; Estrace 2mg.

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WhoAmI,  that's exactly how I feel right now.  Like I'm not alone.  Last week, when the withdrawal symptoms started I was really at a loss what to do.  My usually responsive PCP was literally no help at all.

 

Thank you for sharing your experience with me.

On Effexor XR 450mg & Geodon 200mg since 2004

Tapered Geodon to 60mg in 2012

Began first Effexor XR taper in May 2013

Initial taper to 375mg - held for 3 weeks

Second taper to 300mg - held for 3 weeks

Third taper to 225mg - withdrawal symptoms began 5 days later.

Tried for 10 days to ride out withdrawal but after finding this site increased back to 300mg on 7/16/2013

 

Link to comment

May I ask about multi-drug tapers?  I have no intentions of doing anything with meds until I'm stable for a period of time.  But, I would love to know if the 10% taper schedule applies to reducing just one med at a time or more.  Am interested in discontinuing the Geodon as I know it's not necessary any longer.  In previous reductions of that particular med I've not really noticed anything that I would consider withdrawal, except maybe a slight increase in some depressive symptoms.  Always fixed by returning to the previous dose.  Guess that might have been withdrawal?

On Effexor XR 450mg & Geodon 200mg since 2004

Tapered Geodon to 60mg in 2012

Began first Effexor XR taper in May 2013

Initial taper to 375mg - held for 3 weeks

Second taper to 300mg - held for 3 weeks

Third taper to 225mg - withdrawal symptoms began 5 days later.

Tried for 10 days to ride out withdrawal but after finding this site increased back to 300mg on 7/16/2013

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

May I ask about multi-drug tapers?  I have no intentions of doing anything with meds until I'm stable for a period of time.  But, I would love to know if the 10% taper schedule applies to reducing just one med at a time or more.  Am interested in discontinuing the Geodon as I know it's not necessary any longer.  In previous reductions of that particular med I've not really noticed anything that I would consider withdrawal, except maybe a slight increase in some depressive symptoms.  Always fixed by returning to the previous dose.  Guess that might have been withdrawal?

Hi PMD--

We've discussed multi drug tapers a little here:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1070-taper-more-than-one-drug-at-a-time/

and here:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4551-penstemon-simultaneous-polydrug-tapering/

 

Right now I think Tezza and I are the only people doing this, or at least talking about it, although I could be wrong.

 

The main thing people need to know is that it's not faster. You can't taper multiple drugs all at 10%. I can't even taper at a total of 10% of them all combined, myself, but I'm very sensitive, plus I do more of a microtaper-with-holds style of tapering.

 

Probably most of your questions will be answered in the threads above.

 

And yes, increase in depression when cutting the Geodon was probably withdrawal, makes sense to me that it would have been. 

 

Glad you found your way here. This IS a really excellent forum, I agree.

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

 

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

Link to comment

Rhi:  Thanks for the links.  Definitely food for thought as I consider next steps.

 

After an updose to manage withdrawal symptoms is the improvement usually a gradual improvement?  It's been 3 days since I increase from 225 to 300mg of the EffexorXr and I can honestly say that I'm noticing no improvement at all.  Things are as intense as ever and honestly today maybe worse.  Usually when I awaken in the morning and am still lying in bed I feel good.  This morning the room was spinning even before my feet hit the floor.  Seems that I'm going the wrong way.  Anyone had this experience or any thoughts on the subject?

 

I know Jemina indicated that it could take at least 4 days or longer.  Just trying to evaluate if I'm doing the right thing here.

On Effexor XR 450mg & Geodon 200mg since 2004

Tapered Geodon to 60mg in 2012

Began first Effexor XR taper in May 2013

Initial taper to 375mg - held for 3 weeks

Second taper to 300mg - held for 3 weeks

Third taper to 225mg - withdrawal symptoms began 5 days later.

Tried for 10 days to ride out withdrawal but after finding this site increased back to 300mg on 7/16/2013

 

Link to comment

Hi PMD,

 

Very thoughtful things you're writing-thank you. I have had drug-naive depression, and some sort of mental disorder, possibly Bipolar I and II, affects about 20% of my more-stable-than-typical extended family. My grandmother had a very serious postpartum illness of which the second bout lasted over a decade, no meds that I know of.

 

My current thinking, always subject to change, is that I am more sensitive to stress (actually, I think I'm more sensitive to everything in life--intense) than many people. Especially stress from poor sleep, bad food, lack of exercise, etc. www.mercola.com has some summaries of ways to heal depression naturally. Dr. Mercola says he has had loved ones with life-threatening depression. I think antidepressants are something of a jolt...might be a help once, short-term...but harmful long-term. I do believe I will have to manage myself carefully for the rest of my life.

1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Rhi:  Thanks for the links.  Definitely food for thought as I consider next steps.

 

After an updose to manage withdrawal symptoms is the improvement usually a gradual improvement?  It's been 3 days since I increase from 225 to 300mg of the EffexorXr and I can honestly say that I'm noticing no improvement at all.  Things are as intense as ever and honestly today maybe worse.  Usually when I awaken in the morning and am still lying in bed I feel good.  This morning the room was spinning even before my feet hit the floor.  Seems that I'm going the wrong way.  Anyone had this experience or any thoughts on the subject?

 

I know Jemina indicated that it could take at least 4 days or longer.  Just trying to evaluate if I'm doing the right thing here.

 

This is normal. It can actually take many weeks (or even, sometimes, months ) for a reinstatement to stabilize. It's pretty typical to have some improvement right away, followed by downs and ups. And you may not ever feel 100% good or back to how you were before your original too-rapid taper. The idea is to stabilize the withdrawal symptoms to where they plateau out eventually, where you feel well enough to at least function and have a life, and then you can do a slow, careful, safe taper.

 

It sounds like you felt better when you first reinstated. An odd but typical phenomenon in withdrawal is that when we're symptomatic, we can't seem cognitively to really grasp that we did have a period of feeling better for a while. Along with this is the thing where when we're in a symptom wave we feel like it's as bad as it's ever been (which it usually isn't) and this time it's never going to get better (which so far I have never seen happen, people always get better eventually if they take care of themselves, although it can take a while).

 

I would encourage you to use this time of feeling worse to read through the Symptoms and Self-Care section of this forum, to get some ideas of ways you can support yourself during the "waves" and build habits that will help bolster your strength during the withdrawal process.  This is also a good time to read recovery success stories, to help reinforce the reality that yes, you can get through this, many people have.

 

I also encourage you to begin a journal.  I recommend ranking your symptoms on a numerical scale (say 1 to 5 or something) every day, and keep a few notes about how you felt that day and what dosage you were taking and what time/s you took it. Also if you take a new supplement, or add a new habit (exercise, dietary changes, sunlight, etc.)

 

Because we can't really rely on our brains to keep accurate track of the ups and downs of withdrawal (unfortunately--I see this so much that I can say it with some confidence, don't believe what your brain is telling you about your ups and downs)--having this objective record can be really helpful for, over time, figuring out what the patterns are. Becoming an expert on yourself is really the best way to taper, by far.  You have to be your own guru.

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

 

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

Link to comment

Thank you Rhi for the feedback.  I've been trying to read the various threads on the forums but may I just say that it's all a little overwhelming.  There's so much to take in and digest and right now I find that I need to read things several times before they make sense.

 

I did increase the Effexor XR by 37.5mg today and it made a world of difference.  So, I'm farily certain that it was not just the last decrease that I was reacting to but the decrease before it as well.  With some relief from the constant vertigo it's a little easier to think more clearly.

 

A dear friend found a psychiatrist who's very intune with the difficulty of tapering from Effexor and I have an appt.  Through my friend she passed along that she would taper the med much more conservatively and that many of her patients have to resort to counting out beads.  I'm encouraged to find someone with knowledge to walk me through the taper.

 

Magnesium is not something that I can take at all.  I have severe hypotensive reactions to it so that's one supplement that I won't try.  Can anyone speak to whether Omega 369 from Chia oil is signigicantly different from what's derived from fish oil?  My husband was kind enough to pick some up for me but couldn't find anything other than the Chia oil.  I found no benefit from taking it although I don't think it was hurting.

 

Are the success stories interspursed throughout the forums or are they centrally located.  So far I've mostly come across the struggles that people are having but would love to read some stories of those who are doing well.

 

 

On Effexor XR 450mg & Geodon 200mg since 2004

Tapered Geodon to 60mg in 2012

Began first Effexor XR taper in May 2013

Initial taper to 375mg - held for 3 weeks

Second taper to 300mg - held for 3 weeks

Third taper to 225mg - withdrawal symptoms began 5 days later.

Tried for 10 days to ride out withdrawal but after finding this site increased back to 300mg on 7/16/2013

 

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hiya PMD

 

sending you my regards, I know only too well all you going through with this withdrawal.. ive been withdrawing from 150mg Effexor xr (capsule). ive been doing it by taking out the beads.  im now down to 103mg, its taken me from February to get down to this.. after my last reduction from 110mg to 103mg, I had a awful few days from last Friday, my mood was pretty low as well as other symptoms..

 

its strange this withdrawal, yesterday I felt horrible but today I felt much better. got a lot of stuff done and was able to get out and enjoy the sunshine...I still think im gonna hold at this amount for a week or two just to stabilise my body.. want to enjoy a couple of good days if I can..

 

personally I found the fish oil good,, Ive been using an omega 3,6,9 fish oil with high epa, and includes vitamin d3 and e.. touch wood I don't seem to be getting the brainzaps which I did have the first time I tried to withdraw..  if you cant take magnesium supplements, you could try a magnesium body oil or try taking Epsom salt baths..

 

I agree with Rhi also with regards keeping a journal,, ive done this since February, its good when your having a bad day to look back to the days where you have written you felt good, and what things may have helped towards this..

I also find its good when seeing your gp or psychiatrist its a way of showing what you've been going through.. I have my update appointment with my psychiatrist on Monday and I will definitely take mine with me..  tho I will be taking his advice with a pinch of salt, ill be continuing my withdrawal my own way not what he says as he doesn't really understand...

 

I wish you all the best PMD

 

be kind to yourself

 

Kx

2010-withdrew from Effexor 150mg to zero over a period of 9 months

After six weeks became very ill

Doctor was adamant a reinstatement of 150mg was needed

I didn't know much of withdrawal symptoms at this time

 

February 2013- taking beads out of capsule 150mg

have taken out 112 beads equivalent to 30mg= 120mg taken

 

June 2013- Doctor visit- recommended given me 75mg capsules

take one in morning and one at night( take beads out of night one)

 

So am currently taking 75mg in morning and take beads out of 75mg night capsule to make up the other 45mg= 120mg

 

currently am down to taking 112.5mg..

 

 presently reduced down to 103mg

 

at 93mg

at 87mg

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The success stories are under the Current Events section which is under the Support section.

1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Thank you Rhi for the feedback.  I've been trying to read the various threads on the forums but may I just say that it's all a little overwhelming.  There's so much to take in and digest and right now I find that I need to read things several times before they make sense.

 

I did increase the Effexor XR by 37.5mg today and it made a world of difference.  So, I'm farily certain that it was not just the last decrease that I was reacting to but the decrease before it as well.  With some relief from the constant vertigo it's a little easier to think more clearly.

 

A dear friend found a psychiatrist who's very intune with the difficulty of tapering from Effexor and I have an appt.  Through my friend she passed along that she would taper the med much more conservatively and that many of her patients have to resort to counting out beads.  I'm encouraged to find someone with knowledge to walk me through the taper.

 

Magnesium is not something that I can take at all.  I have severe hypotensive reactions to it so that's one supplement that I won't try.  Can anyone speak to whether Omega 369 from Chia oil is signigicantly different from what's derived from fish oil?  My husband was kind enough to pick some up for me but couldn't find anything other than the Chia oil.  I found no benefit from taking it although I don't think it was hurting.

 

Are the success stories interspursed throughout the forums or are they centrally located.  So far I've mostly come across the struggles that people are having but would love to read some stories of those who are doing well.

If you like the psychiatrist, maybe you could add her to our list on the forum here:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/988-recommended-doctors-therapists-or-clinics/

 

And success stories are here:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/28-recovery-success-stories/

 

And I can totally relate to being forum-ed out and needing a break! There's a ton of stuff here. Take a break, we aren't going anywhere.

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

 

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

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So, I'm into my third week of withdrawal symptoms at this point.  The dizziness is lifting slightly, the headache is gone and the nausea is under control unless I have to ride in a car.  My med dose has been stable for about 10 days now.  I'm due to restart school in 3 weeks but in the present condition would be unable to do so.  My PCP has suggested considering vestibular therapy.  Am wondering if anyone else has ever tried that and if so did it help or not.

On Effexor XR 450mg & Geodon 200mg since 2004

Tapered Geodon to 60mg in 2012

Began first Effexor XR taper in May 2013

Initial taper to 375mg - held for 3 weeks

Second taper to 300mg - held for 3 weeks

Third taper to 225mg - withdrawal symptoms began 5 days later.

Tried for 10 days to ride out withdrawal but after finding this site increased back to 300mg on 7/16/2013

 

Link to comment

Wondering if anyone can address a question I have.  When I first get up in the morning I feel pretty good.  Dizziness is really not noticeable at all.  Within an hour it's back with a vengence and continues throughout the day.  If I lie down during the day I feel good.  Sitting, walking, turning my head, all increase the dizziness.  Is this the type of symptom that others have experienced.  It's been almost 4 weeks since the dizziness started.  While it's not any worse it's still preventing me from being able to drive or function normally.  In some regards I've adapted to it in terms of my being able to move around.

 

Is this typical of withdrawal symptoms?

 

Thanks

On Effexor XR 450mg & Geodon 200mg since 2004

Tapered Geodon to 60mg in 2012

Began first Effexor XR taper in May 2013

Initial taper to 375mg - held for 3 weeks

Second taper to 300mg - held for 3 weeks

Third taper to 225mg - withdrawal symptoms began 5 days later.

Tried for 10 days to ride out withdrawal but after finding this site increased back to 300mg on 7/16/2013

 

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  • Administrator

Yes, this could be a withdrawal symptom.

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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Thank you all for your responses and support.  May I just say that I'm finally starting to have some easing of the dizziness.  Today was the first day that I had some time, while I sat, that things weren't in constant motion.  It's been about 4 1/2 weeks since the whole vertigo/dizziness thing started and may I just say that I've had times when I thought it would never, ever end.  My meds have been stable for a little over 3 weeks now and I believe that my CNS is finally settling down.

 

Just thought I'd give an update.

On Effexor XR 450mg & Geodon 200mg since 2004

Tapered Geodon to 60mg in 2012

Began first Effexor XR taper in May 2013

Initial taper to 375mg - held for 3 weeks

Second taper to 300mg - held for 3 weeks

Third taper to 225mg - withdrawal symptoms began 5 days later.

Tried for 10 days to ride out withdrawal but after finding this site increased back to 300mg on 7/16/2013

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thanks for the update!

 

Are you still liking your psychiatrist?

 

Also, don't worry if the improvements go away, it's temporary, they will come back. That's the typical pattern while stabilizing and recovering--kind of roller coaster, but with ongoing gradual improvement until the bad stuff is minimal or goes away completely (eventually).

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

 

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

Link to comment

Haven't seen the psychiatrist yet.  That's a little over a week away.  The last adjustment that I made to my meds, about 3 1/2 weeks ago, was based on the info that I got here and in consultation with my PCP.  She is just beside herself with what is happening as she has limited experience with Effexor.  In fact she sent me for an MRI which of course was completely fine.

 

One of the toughest things about this whole situation is that I can't drive.  It's been over a month since I've been behind the wheel and really only this week that I've been in a car as a passenger.  I don't like feeling so confined or dependent on other people.

 

 

On Effexor XR 450mg & Geodon 200mg since 2004

Tapered Geodon to 60mg in 2012

Began first Effexor XR taper in May 2013

Initial taper to 375mg - held for 3 weeks

Second taper to 300mg - held for 3 weeks

Third taper to 225mg - withdrawal symptoms began 5 days later.

Tried for 10 days to ride out withdrawal but after finding this site increased back to 300mg on 7/16/2013

 

Link to comment

Someone suggested that I provide information about the psychiatrist I was going to see but I'm not sure if that goes here or somewhere else.  I liked her but I'm not sure, from what I've read, that other's on this site will.

 

She definitely believes in withdrawal and laughs that they call it discontinuation syndrome.  When I asked her how long it could last she said months.  What I'm not sure that people here will like is that she cautioned me on completely discontinuing the medication as my personal and family histories are just full of depression and mood disorders.  Her belief is that given my history I will have another depressive episode without the med.

 

The dr. was shocked at the high dose I was put on with such a limited med history.  She was also surprised by the adjunct med I was given and also the dose of that.

 

She offered me Prozac to bridge the gap while my body adjusts to the lower dose of Effexor which I accepted.  I'm only 5 days away from needing to be completely functional and can't afford to just wait this out without completely disrupting my life.  I know some other people here have used Prozac although it's been a while since I've read much about them.  Many years ago I was on Prozac and it simply quit working for me so I'm not as concerned about withdrawal from it.

 

So, while the Prozac is making me somewhat drowsy I am slightly less dizzy.  Whether that's the effect of my body adjusting to the med dose or the Prozac I don't know.  And, I'm not sure I care as long as it goes away.

 

Let me know if I should post the dr.'s info somewhere.

 

 

On Effexor XR 450mg & Geodon 200mg since 2004

Tapered Geodon to 60mg in 2012

Began first Effexor XR taper in May 2013

Initial taper to 375mg - held for 3 weeks

Second taper to 300mg - held for 3 weeks

Third taper to 225mg - withdrawal symptoms began 5 days later.

Tried for 10 days to ride out withdrawal but after finding this site increased back to 300mg on 7/16/2013

 

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  • 2 months later...

It's been quite a while since I've posted but I thought I would provide and update.

 

My initial withdrawal symptoms lasted into September but for the most part have subsided.  For the most part I feel back to normal with some occasional dizziness and photophobia, particularly on a sunny day.  The P Doc that I began to see felt that once I was stable for a month I could resume my Effexor XR taper.  Present dose is 337.5mg.  I waited a month but was still too nervous to try the taper again.  I'm at a point in my life where I just can't afford to be sidelined by withdrawal.  So, after meeting with her again it was decided that I would complete the taper from the Geodon and leave the Effexor alone for right now.  As of today I'm down to 20mg of Geodon and will remain there for the next 3 weeks.  I'm hopeful at some point to be able to resume the Effexor taper, but for now I need to be physically stable.

On Effexor XR 450mg & Geodon 200mg since 2004

Tapered Geodon to 60mg in 2012

Began first Effexor XR taper in May 2013

Initial taper to 375mg - held for 3 weeks

Second taper to 300mg - held for 3 weeks

Third taper to 225mg - withdrawal symptoms began 5 days later.

Tried for 10 days to ride out withdrawal but after finding this site increased back to 300mg on 7/16/2013

 

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