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Bananas: tapering Effexor XR 150 mg


bananas

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I was started on Effexor XR in December 2001.  Dose has been 150 mg since that time.  That was the first time I have ever been on medication for depression, even though I have suffered with it quite a bit in my adult life.

 

I tried to cold turkey off it in 2005.  That lasted 3 days, and I went back on the 150 mg.  The withdrawals were just too much.   In 2009 I started using the generic brand because the cost of the brand name was too expense.  When I started taking it I paid $81 a month.  When I switched to generic, it was over $250.  It is bad enough that we are held captive by a drug that is supposed to help us, but they make us pay through the nose for the torture too.  

 

I have had a lot more side effects since I started the generic. My life has just gone downhill since I started this med.  It long ago quit working regarding depression.  In fact, I feel like it has just added to it because of the way my life has deteriorated and my inability to function effectively.  It is the typical stuff that comes with taking this drug.  I can't think straight.  Memory is shot.  Job is in jeopardy because I am having problems making deadlines. My diet stinks.  Paralyzing apathy.  I feel like crap physically.  I can't remember what it was like to wake up refreshed from a good night's sleep.  

 

I have basically been pretty much reclusive since I began this poison.  I don't want to go anywhere, and I don't want anyone to bother me. That just isn't the me I was before the drug.  It is all I can do to handle the things I need to.  Forget about anything over that.  It is getting increasingly harder to function, and if I don't do something about it now, I am afraid there will be nothing left of me very soon.  

 

So, I finally started on the 24th.  I took 2 balls out of my capsule.  I did it again on the 25th.  I will be getting a scale to measure so I can know exactly where I am at.  

 

I have been on this drug for 12 years.  I am so hoping I can function through this without many problems with withdrawal. I am so afraid it will totally rob me of what last little bit I have left to try to function.  I am afraid that because I have been on it for so long, the mental damage has been done, and I will never get me back.  Like most of us, I wish I had never taken this drug.  Never, never, never!!!  

 

I am hoping that it doesn't take too long before I start getting some of myself back so I can function better.  The other day I couldn't comprehend what a sentence said.  I had to read it over several times.  I had to type each word out on my computer in order to finally get it in my head.  I can't go on like this.  It has stolen 12 years of my life and it is not getting a day past what it takes me to wean off it!

Edited by scallywag
Added paragraph breaks for readability.

12-2001 -- Started Effexor XR - 150 mg dose  2005 -- Tried to cold turkey off it.  Lasted 3 days and then went back on 150 mg.  2009 -- Went on generic Effexor due to cost.  Have had a lot more side effects on it.  09-24-13 -- Started tapering by taking 2 beads out of 150 mg capsule.  10-17-13 thru 07-17-14 -- Took 2 more beads out of capsule each month.  08-2014 -- Dropped by 8 beads.  Went into a HUGE depression.  05-03-15 -- Now taking 22 beads out of capsule.  Went to micro-taper of 2 beads every other week.  11-10-15 -- Taking 96 beads (About 54 out of capsule.  Reversed the way I was taking them since the amount in the capsule varies).  Can now drop 8 beads a month, 4 every other week, with no problem.  After a while switched to dropping 2 beads every Monday as 4 at a time was starting to affect me.  Have no problem with dropping 2 beads every Monday.  07-07-16 -- Now taking 43 beads with no problems. 09-27-16 -- Now taking 2 beads out every other Monday.  Am at 33 beads now.  12-11-17 -- I AM NOW OFF EFFEXOR!!!!!  

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Bananas,

 

Welcome to the forum and thank you for posting an introduction.

 

I'm sorry you have been having such a difficult time.  I relate to a lot of what you wrote, and have also lost many years from being on these medications.  I tried unsuccessfully to come off it several times  and wish I could go back in time and do something besides starting in the first place.

 

Its fortunate that you found this site and can begin a safe taper which will minimize withdrawal symptoms and save you from the possibility of experiencing worse effects.  I tapered much too fast over 2 years ago and still haven't recovered.  The changes made by these medications can last a while, but there is no proof that its permanent, so you will get yourself back.

 

Tapering by removing beads from Effexor XR can be tricky, you might want to read this topic for some helpful tips:

 

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

 

We generally recommend making a 10% cut and then holding for about a month to allow the nervous system to become stabilized.  Making reductions every day may be too fast.

 

Others should be able to offer further support, please look around the site, there is a lot of good information here.

 

Petu

 

 

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Banana, I've been tapering effexor for around 18 months now and am almost off. It is a very 

nasty drug to come off but take it slowly and you can do it without too much discomfort.  

I was on 37.5 when I started my taper, like you I had tried cold turkey and it was hell. I felt exactly

like you on it, you are describing my life !! I've been removing beads too but started with 5 balls

removed each day for a while, can't remember exactly how long now , about 3 weeks I think.

A few days after each drop I would get slight withdrawal symptoms, but they soon settled and weren't

disabling. Oce they settled I kept at that dose for a while, then removed 10 balls. As they went down

I actually felt better and better with each drop. Very gradual and one day realised that I was feeling better.

As I got down to taking about 20 beads I realised that to reduce that to 15 was too much so made it 18 and so on.

When I got to 5 beads I stopped, was absolutely fine by that time and felt normal again.  Unfortunately that

was too soon and I went into withdrawal. That's when I came here and reinstated on Alto's advice. 

I am still at 4 beads but ready now to reduce another 1. I am almost there and have to say that now I feel fine

and can look back on those lost years, they are gone but I am awake and alert. My memory is back ad I 

can hold a conversation, see friends and go out. 

 

I haven't had to wait till I'm off them to feel better, it happened on the way. I only wish I hadn't stopped at 5

beads because that was disastrous, I should have slowed it down. 

 

I am just telling you how it's been for me, listen to the staff, and most of all listen to your body.

I tried cold turkey, and also tried the doctors way too, which was much too fast and crippled me the very first day! 

You will feel the fog lifting along the way and the sun will come out  :)

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

 

 

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

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

2002  effexor. 

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

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

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

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

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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Thank you so much Petu and MammaP for your encouraging words!  I am so glad i found this site.  I checked many sites for a few months before I started and this is the one that looked like the best fit for me. I thank you so much for the support, and I am so happy to be able to help support others as they go through this too.   I am so looking forward to getting myself back.  

 

I actually felt better today.  Went out and took care of a few errands without much trouble  Had a slight headache for a couple of days, but nothing that was debilitating.  Slept a lot yesterday and still didn't feel rested.  But, today I actually have energy.  Energy hasn't been in my vocabulary for a long while!  It was nice to be able to take care of things today though.  A glimpse of the old me!  Usually taking care of errands, etc., takes every ounce of energy and will power that I have.  It was so nice.  :)

12-2001 -- Started Effexor XR - 150 mg dose  2005 -- Tried to cold turkey off it.  Lasted 3 days and then went back on 150 mg.  2009 -- Went on generic Effexor due to cost.  Have had a lot more side effects on it.  09-24-13 -- Started tapering by taking 2 beads out of 150 mg capsule.  10-17-13 thru 07-17-14 -- Took 2 more beads out of capsule each month.  08-2014 -- Dropped by 8 beads.  Went into a HUGE depression.  05-03-15 -- Now taking 22 beads out of capsule.  Went to micro-taper of 2 beads every other week.  11-10-15 -- Taking 96 beads (About 54 out of capsule.  Reversed the way I was taking them since the amount in the capsule varies).  Can now drop 8 beads a month, 4 every other week, with no problem.  After a while switched to dropping 2 beads every Monday as 4 at a time was starting to affect me.  Have no problem with dropping 2 beads every Monday.  07-07-16 -- Now taking 43 beads with no problems. 09-27-16 -- Now taking 2 beads out every other Monday.  Am at 33 beads now.  12-11-17 -- I AM NOW OFF EFFEXOR!!!!!  

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Nine days in now.  Feeling tired for the last few days.  Feeling a bit anxious as I haven't gotten any work this week.  Also having moments of agitation.  As expected, I have been going between being able to handle things and not being able to.  Despite knowing I have my trials and tribulations coming up with my withdrawal, I am looking forward to my next drop in dosage.  Nine days down, ? to go! 

12-2001 -- Started Effexor XR - 150 mg dose  2005 -- Tried to cold turkey off it.  Lasted 3 days and then went back on 150 mg.  2009 -- Went on generic Effexor due to cost.  Have had a lot more side effects on it.  09-24-13 -- Started tapering by taking 2 beads out of 150 mg capsule.  10-17-13 thru 07-17-14 -- Took 2 more beads out of capsule each month.  08-2014 -- Dropped by 8 beads.  Went into a HUGE depression.  05-03-15 -- Now taking 22 beads out of capsule.  Went to micro-taper of 2 beads every other week.  11-10-15 -- Taking 96 beads (About 54 out of capsule.  Reversed the way I was taking them since the amount in the capsule varies).  Can now drop 8 beads a month, 4 every other week, with no problem.  After a while switched to dropping 2 beads every Monday as 4 at a time was starting to affect me.  Have no problem with dropping 2 beads every Monday.  07-07-16 -- Now taking 43 beads with no problems. 09-27-16 -- Now taking 2 beads out every other Monday.  Am at 33 beads now.  12-11-17 -- I AM NOW OFF EFFEXOR!!!!!  

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  • Administrator

Welcome, bananas.

 

Please read the Effexor tapering topic -- Petu gave you the link.

 

It's safer to reduce then hold for a bit to see how the reduction affects you. Taking beads out every day may be too fast for you. You'll have to do careful experiments to see how reduction affect you. Don't be anxious to go off too quickly, that might cause more problems.

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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Bananas,

 

Welcome to the forum. You will get a lot of good advice and support here.

 

I am also on effexor. I don't know if I started with generic or brand. They were tablets immediate release.

As doctor increased dose he put me on xr. After I cut my dose in half I took the immediate release again.

I think I was hit with withdrawals from the cut and going back on generic. I w as in bed for three months.

 

I keep getting headaches, do you think going on brand name will ease of headaches?

 

Remember to go slow, after taking Alto"s advice to hold on my taper my mood swings

Are getting better, headaches aren't as intense.

 

Please keep in touch with the forum there are a lot of great people on here willing to listen and help.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Bananas! Welcome. Hopefully you'll find the information and support you need here, to help you taper off safely and permanently.

 

Please don't be in a hurry. It's better to go slow at first while you're learning what your body can tolerate. Here's something I wrote about that: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4954-rhis-start-small-listen-to-your-body-taper-plan/

 

I had the same experience you describe on ADs, of becoming reclusive and not really wanting to do things much nor really being able to handle doing much. I also found that I lost my sense of connection to other people.  The great news is, I'm still tapering,but all of that has improved already. Every day I notice that I'm feeling more like my original self (to the extent that I can remember her, since it's been over 20 years on these drugs).

 

So I do understand the urge to get off the drugs as fast as you can, but rest assured that you will probably enjoy considerable improvement while you're still tapering, as long as you taper slowly enough to keep your nervous system healthy and healing and in balance.

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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  • 2 months later...

Thank you everyone for your support.  Haven't been on for a while. Thought it was time for an update.  A lot going on in my life these days.  Have found that every taper is followed by some depression.  The fog lifts a bit and then settles in again as well.  Have some very important decisions to make about my life and am having trouble getting clarity.  Arrrggg!  It can be so frustrating when you need your mind about you!  At any rate, have been waiting until the depression lifts before I make each drop in dosage.  I feel it is best to wait until I feel pretty good each time before doing another drop.  

12-2001 -- Started Effexor XR - 150 mg dose  2005 -- Tried to cold turkey off it.  Lasted 3 days and then went back on 150 mg.  2009 -- Went on generic Effexor due to cost.  Have had a lot more side effects on it.  09-24-13 -- Started tapering by taking 2 beads out of 150 mg capsule.  10-17-13 thru 07-17-14 -- Took 2 more beads out of capsule each month.  08-2014 -- Dropped by 8 beads.  Went into a HUGE depression.  05-03-15 -- Now taking 22 beads out of capsule.  Went to micro-taper of 2 beads every other week.  11-10-15 -- Taking 96 beads (About 54 out of capsule.  Reversed the way I was taking them since the amount in the capsule varies).  Can now drop 8 beads a month, 4 every other week, with no problem.  After a while switched to dropping 2 beads every Monday as 4 at a time was starting to affect me.  Have no problem with dropping 2 beads every Monday.  07-07-16 -- Now taking 43 beads with no problems. 09-27-16 -- Now taking 2 beads out every other Monday.  Am at 33 beads now.  12-11-17 -- I AM NOW OFF EFFEXOR!!!!!  

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thank you for the update Bananas, it sounds like you are doing very well.  Maybe you could hold on your taper a little while so that you feel better and then make those important decisions with a clearer mind.  Then resume your taper.

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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Bananas, I'm new to tapering of my Lexapro and am afraid of WD depression. The one time I tried tapering down via my pdocs instruction, I was hit with heavy depression in the first week. It was a 25% drop to start. It scared me enough to get back on my full dose and forget it ever happened.

 

I'm hoping once I start my lexapro taper, by going much slower, the WD depression won't be so bad. I know everyone is different, but how long after you drop the dose does the depression show? And about how long does it take to go away?

-Lexapro (5 or 10mg, can't remember) 2 years age 17-19 for "light social anxiety" ended late 2006. No issues coming off.

- 2008 Effexor XR 75mg after health induced Panic Attack. 21yo. Upon first dose extreme adverse reaction (sadness, crying spells, extreme physical agitation/anxiety) did eventually stabilize. Stayed on 3 months then tapered off very fast but no issue WDing.

Lexapro 20mg 6/2009 - 2/2014 due to PPD and unsuccessful WD attempts.

-Sep. 2013 stable and still doing fine on Lexapro but lost insurance so Dr CT switch from Lex 20mg to Celexa 40mg (supposed equivalent) claiming it's the "same drug just cheaper". My body didn't like the switch almost instantly, and I felt acute WD from Lex within days of the switch. Was unaware it was WD and adverse affect from the switch. Gave it 2 weeks to settle and stabilize. By end of 2 weeks I was falling completely apart mentally and emotionally. Pharmacist said I could switch back to Lexapro 20mg safely. Again, "it's the same drug"

-Oct. 2.5 weeks after med switch, switched back to Lexapro 20mg thinking everything would go back to normal. Woke up next morning to instant cortisol overload anxiety, physical and mental agitation to extreme levels, could not think, feel, do anything normally. Akathisia. Knew it had to be some kind of adverse reaction to the switch, but had no idea what to do other than continue taking it and hoping to stabilize. Proceeded to experience the worst 3-4 weeks of my life before finally stabilizing slowly.

-Nov. despite stabilizing for the most part, could feel something wasn't right, was not returning to old self, had moments of emotional amnesia with things I love most. Life stressor occurred and I crashed. Total poop-out in a moment and instant panic and adverse effects, depression, anxiety, mental exhaustion, physical fatigue.

Saw a GP who told me Lex was struggling to handle stress in life, needed to augment with Seroquel 25mg. Energy began to return, but depression worsened, began having suicidal mood swings, feelings like life was unbearable.

-December found SA and began Seroquel taper after taking it for a month. Felt signs of relief after just few days.

-Jan. 15th 2014 took last seroquel and began Prozac bridge. Complete Feb. 25th. Felt a couple weeks of WD from Lex, but otherwise stabilized.

-April 9th began 10% Homemade liquid Prozac taper. 40mg down to 36mg.

-Aug. 5th now down to 27.5mg. Feeling better than I did at 40mg.

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Bananas - Glad to hear you are doing well. I'm also on generic effexor, have you experienced a lot of headaches on the generic? I see you are doing the bead method...how many mgs are decreasing by? I have the immediate release pill.

 

Sunnyday- Everyone is different, we all have our own unique pattern of withdrawals.

When I cut 50% off in Oct 2012, I was mostly bedridden but had not experienced mood swings (depression, irritability) until August 2013. I started getting these mood swings that would begin in the afternoon and last to the evening, about every other day. Currently they are coming about every 3 days and last for couple hours. Before that I did feel a little depressed because I was stuck at home most of the time.

 

Looking at my history I did start to taper much slower in June 2013, not sure why depression hit more than 6 months later. I have read other's posts and WD depression hits much sooner than 6 months. Maybe because I was only on 150mg for 6 weeks? I am grateful that I hadn't experienced wd depression in those 6 months, because I had all the other symptoms.

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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Sunnydays, I have had some pretty severe depression in my life and although the Effexor worked in the beginning, it has long since quit working.  I figured I was already depressed, so what was the difference?  I felt it wasn't helping the reason I was taking it, and the issues it was causing were much worse than any help it had ever given me.  I can't function in my life and it is falling apart around my ears on this medication.  I notice that the depression hits a week to two weeks after I make a drop. It lasts about 2 to 3 weeks.  I skipped November and I was feeling pretty good in December, so that is when I dropped again.  That time the depression was there the next day and is still present.  With it being the holidays and having had to put two pets down over the holidays, I figure a lot of the depression right now could be because of that, as well as needing to make some decisions about how to keep my life on track.  I will probably skip this month too because of the depression.  Don't be afraid of the WD depression.  It is there for a reason.  We are learning to live again and feeling our feelings is part of coming back to life after these horrid medications took us away from ourselves.  On this site there are tons of people who understand and can talk to us about it.  We don't have to try to get other people around us who have no idea what it has done to us to understand what we are feeling and going through on this process because we can talk about that part of it here.  With depression, it always passes or lifts up a bit at some point.  With this medication, it is day in and day out for years. Instead of taking the drugs to hide from the depression, we need to face it, heal any emotional issues that may be behind it, and learn other ways to deal with it that don't cause us to zone out of life like the meds do.  I hate what has happened to my life because of this drug.   The doctors just don't seem to have a handle on how to get us off it easily. Take your taper slowly and listen to your body and you will be okay.   We've got your back here.

12-2001 -- Started Effexor XR - 150 mg dose  2005 -- Tried to cold turkey off it.  Lasted 3 days and then went back on 150 mg.  2009 -- Went on generic Effexor due to cost.  Have had a lot more side effects on it.  09-24-13 -- Started tapering by taking 2 beads out of 150 mg capsule.  10-17-13 thru 07-17-14 -- Took 2 more beads out of capsule each month.  08-2014 -- Dropped by 8 beads.  Went into a HUGE depression.  05-03-15 -- Now taking 22 beads out of capsule.  Went to micro-taper of 2 beads every other week.  11-10-15 -- Taking 96 beads (About 54 out of capsule.  Reversed the way I was taking them since the amount in the capsule varies).  Can now drop 8 beads a month, 4 every other week, with no problem.  After a while switched to dropping 2 beads every Monday as 4 at a time was starting to affect me.  Have no problem with dropping 2 beads every Monday.  07-07-16 -- Now taking 43 beads with no problems. 09-27-16 -- Now taking 2 beads out every other Monday.  Am at 33 beads now.  12-11-17 -- I AM NOW OFF EFFEXOR!!!!!  

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Lexy, I did find that the generic gave me WAY more side effects while taking it than the brand name one.  Not much more in the way of headaches, but the stomach problems and mood swings have been worse.  Maybe the switch to generic is why I got depressed again.  Not sure about that though.  I started with the bead method because it was the quickest way to get started.  I do not plan on staying on that method, but it works for right now.  When I get further down into how many beads I am taking out, I will switch to weighing for mg. There are great links farther up in this line of posts about the bead method.  It is pretty hard to tell how many mg a bead is without weighing it.  I take 2 more beads out a day at each taper.  I am currently taking 6 beads out a day from the capsules.  I am on the extended release capsules.150 mg a day (minus the 6 beads a day now).

 

Petu, that is great advice.  Thanks!

12-2001 -- Started Effexor XR - 150 mg dose  2005 -- Tried to cold turkey off it.  Lasted 3 days and then went back on 150 mg.  2009 -- Went on generic Effexor due to cost.  Have had a lot more side effects on it.  09-24-13 -- Started tapering by taking 2 beads out of 150 mg capsule.  10-17-13 thru 07-17-14 -- Took 2 more beads out of capsule each month.  08-2014 -- Dropped by 8 beads.  Went into a HUGE depression.  05-03-15 -- Now taking 22 beads out of capsule.  Went to micro-taper of 2 beads every other week.  11-10-15 -- Taking 96 beads (About 54 out of capsule.  Reversed the way I was taking them since the amount in the capsule varies).  Can now drop 8 beads a month, 4 every other week, with no problem.  After a while switched to dropping 2 beads every Monday as 4 at a time was starting to affect me.  Have no problem with dropping 2 beads every Monday.  07-07-16 -- Now taking 43 beads with no problems. 09-27-16 -- Now taking 2 beads out every other Monday.  Am at 33 beads now.  12-11-17 -- I AM NOW OFF EFFEXOR!!!!!  

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  • 1 year later...

It has been a while since I have checked in here. It has been a difficult time.  Still not very far down on my taper, but have found that it is just better for me to taper very slowly.  Tried making a drop of an extra 8 beads (6 more than my usual 2 bead drop a month) as my doctor told me to try dropping a little more at a time.  That was a mistake.  It threw me into a huge depression and I did not drop again for several months.  Ugh, what a process this is.  But, I persevere like we all do to get off these horrible medications.  My life went into total chaos during those months.  The longer I am on this medication (14 years now), the worse my ability to function gets.  Don't get me wrong, I am better than I was when I started the taper, but I think that my ability to fight to function past the medication is wearing on me.  It is like climbing out of a muddy hole and your feet keep slipping.  Eventually you fatigue against the struggle to climb out against the mud.  I will never give up, but I think I need to accept that the stupid medication has had control and stop beating myself up for not being able to muscle myself out of it while I am tapering.   I am a very strong person and having this medication do this to me over the years has not set well with me and I have fought it all the way.  I also did not feel my family was totally understanding that it wasn't me who was losing it, but rather that it was the drug.  They frequently have launched into the do this do that zone which doesn't help because you can't do what they are suggesting.  Hell, sometimes I haven't even been able to brush my hair let alone get my life on track by doing the things they were suggesting.  So, I decided that I would send them a list of all of the side effects of Effexor and highlight all of the ones I had, as well as a list of what it does mentally, and 4 postings about the inertia it causes from another depression site so that they could see it in someone else and on paper rather than me just saying it.  I think that has helped a lot.  At any rate, I persist in my efforts, and I tell everyone I know to never go on this medication unless it is absolutely necessary and tell them what the side effects are so they know and are fully informed before they make that decision.  Even though I am not on here much, this site has been my lifeline and gave me the ability to do this.  Thank you all so much!

12-2001 -- Started Effexor XR - 150 mg dose  2005 -- Tried to cold turkey off it.  Lasted 3 days and then went back on 150 mg.  2009 -- Went on generic Effexor due to cost.  Have had a lot more side effects on it.  09-24-13 -- Started tapering by taking 2 beads out of 150 mg capsule.  10-17-13 thru 07-17-14 -- Took 2 more beads out of capsule each month.  08-2014 -- Dropped by 8 beads.  Went into a HUGE depression.  05-03-15 -- Now taking 22 beads out of capsule.  Went to micro-taper of 2 beads every other week.  11-10-15 -- Taking 96 beads (About 54 out of capsule.  Reversed the way I was taking them since the amount in the capsule varies).  Can now drop 8 beads a month, 4 every other week, with no problem.  After a while switched to dropping 2 beads every Monday as 4 at a time was starting to affect me.  Have no problem with dropping 2 beads every Monday.  07-07-16 -- Now taking 43 beads with no problems. 09-27-16 -- Now taking 2 beads out every other Monday.  Am at 33 beads now.  12-11-17 -- I AM NOW OFF EFFEXOR!!!!!  

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thank you for updating us Bananas. I am so sorry that you are having such a hard time tapering effexor. It really is an evil drug to quit with horrendous side effects. 

Have you tried tapering the 2 beads every 2 weeks? You might be ok doing it that way as it is still a very tiny reduction just more often.  You would need to slow it down when you get to the last few beads but you would get there a bit faster, not rushing you, but I know how bad the side effects are, and the nightmare when withdrawal is added to the side effects.  I'm glad that you managed to show your family the information, people just cannot imagine that a drug can cause so many problems.  

 

How many beads are in your capsule? Some makes have more than others, mine had 400 beads. Just curious. 

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

 

 

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

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

2002  effexor. 

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

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

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

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

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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  • Administrator

Some people need to taper even more gradually -- see Micro-taper instead of 10% or 5% decreases

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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Thanks for replying mammaP and Altostrata.  MammaP I think I have around 150 in the capsule.  I've counted it several times and don't seem to remember so I need to write it down somewhere where I can find it.  I haven't tried doing 2 beads every 2 weeks.  Maybe that will work.  I think if I stay around 4 or 5 beads a month, I might be okay.  I go through a level of depression with every drop, but then I am depressed all the time anyway on the medication.  Thanks Alto for the micro-taper.  I will check it out.

12-2001 -- Started Effexor XR - 150 mg dose  2005 -- Tried to cold turkey off it.  Lasted 3 days and then went back on 150 mg.  2009 -- Went on generic Effexor due to cost.  Have had a lot more side effects on it.  09-24-13 -- Started tapering by taking 2 beads out of 150 mg capsule.  10-17-13 thru 07-17-14 -- Took 2 more beads out of capsule each month.  08-2014 -- Dropped by 8 beads.  Went into a HUGE depression.  05-03-15 -- Now taking 22 beads out of capsule.  Went to micro-taper of 2 beads every other week.  11-10-15 -- Taking 96 beads (About 54 out of capsule.  Reversed the way I was taking them since the amount in the capsule varies).  Can now drop 8 beads a month, 4 every other week, with no problem.  After a while switched to dropping 2 beads every Monday as 4 at a time was starting to affect me.  Have no problem with dropping 2 beads every Monday.  07-07-16 -- Now taking 43 beads with no problems. 09-27-16 -- Now taking 2 beads out every other Monday.  Am at 33 beads now.  12-11-17 -- I AM NOW OFF EFFEXOR!!!!!  

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  • 1 month later...

Down to taking 28 beads out of the bottle now and will be dropping by another 2 at the beginning of the coming week.  Am doing the micro-taper of 2 beads every other week.  So far, so good.  I do feel a lot of agitation and emotional stuff, and I do note that my mind is not working very well.  I don't feel like I am tracking very well or very clear mentally in terms of keeping up with things and in absorbing and remembering what I am hearing.  I feel like I am one beat behind everyone else mentally and like I just can't quite figure out things going on around me or if I am perceiving things correctly.  Otherwise, I am not having any zaps or anything like that.  Don't feel very well when I first drop and may have a slight headache for a day or two, but it has been tolerable.  I do have to say I did have some heart stuff going on a few weeks ago.  Had a lot of palpitations, fluttering, and skipping beats, but that seems to have settled down.  Will be seeing a new doctor for a refill this next week and will be letting them know.  

12-2001 -- Started Effexor XR - 150 mg dose  2005 -- Tried to cold turkey off it.  Lasted 3 days and then went back on 150 mg.  2009 -- Went on generic Effexor due to cost.  Have had a lot more side effects on it.  09-24-13 -- Started tapering by taking 2 beads out of 150 mg capsule.  10-17-13 thru 07-17-14 -- Took 2 more beads out of capsule each month.  08-2014 -- Dropped by 8 beads.  Went into a HUGE depression.  05-03-15 -- Now taking 22 beads out of capsule.  Went to micro-taper of 2 beads every other week.  11-10-15 -- Taking 96 beads (About 54 out of capsule.  Reversed the way I was taking them since the amount in the capsule varies).  Can now drop 8 beads a month, 4 every other week, with no problem.  After a while switched to dropping 2 beads every Monday as 4 at a time was starting to affect me.  Have no problem with dropping 2 beads every Monday.  07-07-16 -- Now taking 43 beads with no problems. 09-27-16 -- Now taking 2 beads out every other Monday.  Am at 33 beads now.  12-11-17 -- I AM NOW OFF EFFEXOR!!!!!  

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am also micro tapering effexor.

Removing one bead a week vs two every two weeks seems to work better for me. I was removing 1bead every 4 days and as I've gotten lower I've added extra days. I hold for a week now in between drops. I hope for the best for you.

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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  • Administrator

Bananas -- How about reducing just one bead a week, like Lexy is?

 

It sounds like it might be a good idea to hold off tapering for a week or two, to let your nervous system settle down.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • 11 months later...

Update as to where I am now.  After finding out that part of my problem was low vitamin D and starting supplementation, I have been doing better.  Still have problems with depression, but at least can function better than I was.  Am down to taking 43 beads currently and am dropping 2 beads every Monday.  I know that taking beads out isn't the best method, but for right now it is working for me.  I make sure I get a mix of small beads and larger beads.  Occasionally, I will have a night of wacky dreams like you get if you miss a dose, but nothing bad otherwise.  I have no zaps and bowel issues are better.  Rarely dizziness anymore.  I am going to a new doctor now as my old doctor is in a new clinic out of town and charges too much.  New doctor will not prescribe any more Effexor since I am so far down on my taper, but I hopefully have enough saved beads from tapering that I can finish the taper.  If not, then I will be asking her for some to get through it.  She wants me to start Celexa, but I have no intention of doing so!  I am done with antidepressants forever!!!  I will just deal with my depression as I was before medication.  At least then I functioned!  

12-2001 -- Started Effexor XR - 150 mg dose  2005 -- Tried to cold turkey off it.  Lasted 3 days and then went back on 150 mg.  2009 -- Went on generic Effexor due to cost.  Have had a lot more side effects on it.  09-24-13 -- Started tapering by taking 2 beads out of 150 mg capsule.  10-17-13 thru 07-17-14 -- Took 2 more beads out of capsule each month.  08-2014 -- Dropped by 8 beads.  Went into a HUGE depression.  05-03-15 -- Now taking 22 beads out of capsule.  Went to micro-taper of 2 beads every other week.  11-10-15 -- Taking 96 beads (About 54 out of capsule.  Reversed the way I was taking them since the amount in the capsule varies).  Can now drop 8 beads a month, 4 every other week, with no problem.  After a while switched to dropping 2 beads every Monday as 4 at a time was starting to affect me.  Have no problem with dropping 2 beads every Monday.  07-07-16 -- Now taking 43 beads with no problems. 09-27-16 -- Now taking 2 beads out every other Monday.  Am at 33 beads now.  12-11-17 -- I AM NOW OFF EFFEXOR!!!!!  

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hey Bananas, glad things are going okay for you.  If you can't get effexor from your new doc, maybe just find another doc?  Sometimes we just have to shop around to get what we need to taper safely. 

 

Keep an eye on symptoms etc because even two beads per week is fairly fast - about twice as fast as we'd recommend - and it can catch up with you.  What do you think about reducing by one bead per week? 

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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Hi KarenB!  Yes, I know it is faster than the 10% recommendation, but it has been working out fine.  I know the last part can get tough, so I will probably cut the rate I am tapering when I get into the 30s.  If it does hit me before then, I will go back up and taper more slowly again.  There have been weeks where I haven't dropped and just held for a few weeks if I felt I needed to.  

12-2001 -- Started Effexor XR - 150 mg dose  2005 -- Tried to cold turkey off it.  Lasted 3 days and then went back on 150 mg.  2009 -- Went on generic Effexor due to cost.  Have had a lot more side effects on it.  09-24-13 -- Started tapering by taking 2 beads out of 150 mg capsule.  10-17-13 thru 07-17-14 -- Took 2 more beads out of capsule each month.  08-2014 -- Dropped by 8 beads.  Went into a HUGE depression.  05-03-15 -- Now taking 22 beads out of capsule.  Went to micro-taper of 2 beads every other week.  11-10-15 -- Taking 96 beads (About 54 out of capsule.  Reversed the way I was taking them since the amount in the capsule varies).  Can now drop 8 beads a month, 4 every other week, with no problem.  After a while switched to dropping 2 beads every Monday as 4 at a time was starting to affect me.  Have no problem with dropping 2 beads every Monday.  07-07-16 -- Now taking 43 beads with no problems. 09-27-16 -- Now taking 2 beads out every other Monday.  Am at 33 beads now.  12-11-17 -- I AM NOW OFF EFFEXOR!!!!!  

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Okay, it sounds like you are aware of what you're doing - I just like to check in to make sure :).

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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I so appreciate that you do!  Reminders are always good.  It can be so seductive to push it, which I would say I probably am, but since I have been dropping by that much for a while and do hold if my body needs it, I figured I would leave it until I dropped past the 40 mark.  I think I worry most about the withdrawals that come once completely off the Effexor for a few months.  Those I will just have to ride through.  My new doctor wanted me to start citalopram (Celexa).  I said no way!!  I am not getting back on this roller-coaster again for anything!

12-2001 -- Started Effexor XR - 150 mg dose  2005 -- Tried to cold turkey off it.  Lasted 3 days and then went back on 150 mg.  2009 -- Went on generic Effexor due to cost.  Have had a lot more side effects on it.  09-24-13 -- Started tapering by taking 2 beads out of 150 mg capsule.  10-17-13 thru 07-17-14 -- Took 2 more beads out of capsule each month.  08-2014 -- Dropped by 8 beads.  Went into a HUGE depression.  05-03-15 -- Now taking 22 beads out of capsule.  Went to micro-taper of 2 beads every other week.  11-10-15 -- Taking 96 beads (About 54 out of capsule.  Reversed the way I was taking them since the amount in the capsule varies).  Can now drop 8 beads a month, 4 every other week, with no problem.  After a while switched to dropping 2 beads every Monday as 4 at a time was starting to affect me.  Have no problem with dropping 2 beads every Monday.  07-07-16 -- Now taking 43 beads with no problems. 09-27-16 -- Now taking 2 beads out every other Monday.  Am at 33 beads now.  12-11-17 -- I AM NOW OFF EFFEXOR!!!!!  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Bananas....I admire your diligence with the micro taper....just wondering when you say you are at 40 does that mean 40 mg or 40 beads?  If 40 beads what dosage of effexor do you estimate 40 beads to be?

 

Also, I too share your fear of what life will be like if I am ever able to stabilize, hold, slowly taper off, and then be off.....I guess there are no guarantees which I hate....I love guarantees, sure things....so I wonder if one has done a very slow taper and once they are off for a few months start having symptoms again if those symptoms are not so severe or if one would have to reinstate all over again?  What are your thoughts?

1995 - 2015 antidepressants and antianxiety medicine
Multiple failed attempts to quit/taper anti d/anti anxiety meds since 2008

June 17, 2016 began prozac bridge to get off of effexor xr, stopped effexor xr on June 24, 2016, could not tolerate prozac due to severe side effects so I had to stop it  Currently...300 mg ER of lithium, 1 mg of estradiol, 60 mg propranolol ER, Fish oil 2 x a day, Magnesium Glycinate,  zinc, vitamin c, vitamin d, NAC

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi Downtongirl,

 

Thank you.  It has definitely been a journey to get off this stuff, as you know yourself.  I am down to 41 beads out of the capsule.  I estimate that each bead is 1 mg, but that is not a true safe estimate.  Some of my capsules have had as much as 155 beads in them and some less than that.  I take a 150 mg dosage capsule, so it is a very loose estimate that I use for myself.  The best way to be sure is to measure them on a scale to get the mg dosage.  There are some people who have symptoms after they are completely off.  Some have them several months after they are off, but I wouldn't suggest going back on if it had been a while since being off.  If I had them right after I went off and I figured I went off too quickly, I might reinstate a small dosage, but otherwise, I would not reinstate after being off of them for a while or else you are just starting it all over again.    

 

I have to admit that it is scary re-finding myself by getting off this stuff.  I am having to relearn how I coped with things before the Effexor.  It definitely destroyed who I was.  Things are so much more intense.  The anxiety is back.  My ability to cope is getting better, but I still have those moments where I am paralyzed as to what to do next or how to figure something out.  Doing things around the house and taking care of things in my life is still a large task that requires a lot of energy to complete.  At my age, I am not sure I will ever get back to myself completely, but I am shooting for it anyway!  

 

We will make it and get off this stuff Downtongirl!  We will have ourselves back someday!

12-2001 -- Started Effexor XR - 150 mg dose  2005 -- Tried to cold turkey off it.  Lasted 3 days and then went back on 150 mg.  2009 -- Went on generic Effexor due to cost.  Have had a lot more side effects on it.  09-24-13 -- Started tapering by taking 2 beads out of 150 mg capsule.  10-17-13 thru 07-17-14 -- Took 2 more beads out of capsule each month.  08-2014 -- Dropped by 8 beads.  Went into a HUGE depression.  05-03-15 -- Now taking 22 beads out of capsule.  Went to micro-taper of 2 beads every other week.  11-10-15 -- Taking 96 beads (About 54 out of capsule.  Reversed the way I was taking them since the amount in the capsule varies).  Can now drop 8 beads a month, 4 every other week, with no problem.  After a while switched to dropping 2 beads every Monday as 4 at a time was starting to affect me.  Have no problem with dropping 2 beads every Monday.  07-07-16 -- Now taking 43 beads with no problems. 09-27-16 -- Now taking 2 beads out every other Monday.  Am at 33 beads now.  12-11-17 -- I AM NOW OFF EFFEXOR!!!!!  

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Wow....looking at your signature it looks like you have been tapering for about 3 years is that correct?  What do you say have been your most severe withdrawal symptoms?

 

I know what you mean about rediscovering my self....One thing I like is that I am learning not to put so much care into what other people think about me or my decisions and I am not concerned as much as I used to be in getting other peoples approval.  

 

The two symptoms that bother me the most are insomnia and these anxiety adrenalin surge hot flash things.

1995 - 2015 antidepressants and antianxiety medicine
Multiple failed attempts to quit/taper anti d/anti anxiety meds since 2008

June 17, 2016 began prozac bridge to get off of effexor xr, stopped effexor xr on June 24, 2016, could not tolerate prozac due to severe side effects so I had to stop it  Currently...300 mg ER of lithium, 1 mg of estradiol, 60 mg propranolol ER, Fish oil 2 x a day, Magnesium Glycinate,  zinc, vitamin c, vitamin d, NAC

 

 

 

 

 

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Yes, I have been tapering for 3 years.  Can't believe it myself.  I think the reason it has taken so long is that I had other health things going on that I wasn't aware of until I got tapered down enough to realize it wasn't all the pills.  I am also low on vitamin D, so some of the side effects I was having from the pills are also coincidentally the same side effects as having low vitamin D.  Once I got that taken care of, I was able to taper at a more normal level.

 

I think for me the insomnia and fatigue are definitely at the top of my list of biggest problem side effects.  The hot and cold flashes don't bother me too much except I find the agitation that comes with the hot flashes annoying.   I think the stomach and bowel issues are my 2nd highest thing I have an issue with.  The bowel issues have subsided a bit, but the reflux is an ongoing issue.  I also didn't like how being on the medication ruined my ability to function mentally.  That has gotten a bit better, but still far from optimal.  Things seem to still go in waves.  I will do somewhat okay for a few weeks and then have a week or two where I don't function well at all.

12-2001 -- Started Effexor XR - 150 mg dose  2005 -- Tried to cold turkey off it.  Lasted 3 days and then went back on 150 mg.  2009 -- Went on generic Effexor due to cost.  Have had a lot more side effects on it.  09-24-13 -- Started tapering by taking 2 beads out of 150 mg capsule.  10-17-13 thru 07-17-14 -- Took 2 more beads out of capsule each month.  08-2014 -- Dropped by 8 beads.  Went into a HUGE depression.  05-03-15 -- Now taking 22 beads out of capsule.  Went to micro-taper of 2 beads every other week.  11-10-15 -- Taking 96 beads (About 54 out of capsule.  Reversed the way I was taking them since the amount in the capsule varies).  Can now drop 8 beads a month, 4 every other week, with no problem.  After a while switched to dropping 2 beads every Monday as 4 at a time was starting to affect me.  Have no problem with dropping 2 beads every Monday.  07-07-16 -- Now taking 43 beads with no problems. 09-27-16 -- Now taking 2 beads out every other Monday.  Am at 33 beads now.  12-11-17 -- I AM NOW OFF EFFEXOR!!!!!  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow....looking at your signature it looks like you have been tapering for about 3 years is that correct?  What do you say have been your most severe withdrawal symptoms?

 

I know what you mean about rediscovering my self....One thing I like is that I am learning not to put so much care into what other people think about me or my decisions and I am not concerned as much as I used to be in getting other peoples approval.  

 

The two symptoms that bother me the most are insomnia and these anxiety adrenalin surge hot flash things.

That hit home for me...learning not to put so much care into what other people think about me, although some days I fail miserably at it! Bananas, what were your symptoms for low vitamin d?

May 12th 2016 took last bead of effexor. 8 month taper.  Bridge = prozac 5mg, 300mg Lithium

May 31st took last of prozac. Lithium 300 mg, estrogen patch 150, magnesium.

June 14th reinstated 1mg Prozac due to intolerable emotional distress. Cont with lithium 300mg, 150 magnesium, re added omega 3, cont estrogen patch. June 15-july 5th had marked improvement of emotional wd symptoms, likely due to the reinstatement. July 5th intense emotional symptoms returned.

July 15 decreased 50 mg of lithium to see if it improved low heart rate.

July 19th - increased prozac to 1.5mg.

July 22 marked improvement of emotional symptoms...again, likely due to increase of prozac. However sudden agitation developed so decreased back down to 1.25mg prozac. Realizing increasing dose is dangerous because of these adverse effects and also seeing that wave is inevitable regardless of reinstatement.

Continuing 250 lithium, 1.25mg prozac, estrogen.

Oct 31st - continued 250 lithium, 1 mg prozac, estrogen patch.

Jan 2018  - off of prozac (bridge) as of Dec 2017.  Starting to taper Lithium 250 mg.  Will do 10% per month. 

May 2018 - lithium 115mg.  Still having waves but they aren’t as bad.  However, I really struggle with emotional symptoms about 1 week after a cut.  Even this past micro taper of 1.5% was tough.  That was after holding for a month.

dec 2018- 80mg lithium.  Tapering 1 mg per week since last June.  Symptoms improving overall but still very sensitive to light, sound, social stimulation and I cry a lot.

March 2019 - 65 mg lithium.  Still tapering 1mg per week.  

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My symptoms of low vitamin D are extreme fatigue, foggy memory and cognitive function, joint pain, weakness, depression, and I just flat did not feel good.  Sometimes I felt like I was going to need to go to the hospital because I felt so bad.  I knew after getting down enough on my taper that something else was wrong as I was feeling progressively sicker instead of better.  As you can see, the symptoms overlap some of the symptoms on the Effexor.

12-2001 -- Started Effexor XR - 150 mg dose  2005 -- Tried to cold turkey off it.  Lasted 3 days and then went back on 150 mg.  2009 -- Went on generic Effexor due to cost.  Have had a lot more side effects on it.  09-24-13 -- Started tapering by taking 2 beads out of 150 mg capsule.  10-17-13 thru 07-17-14 -- Took 2 more beads out of capsule each month.  08-2014 -- Dropped by 8 beads.  Went into a HUGE depression.  05-03-15 -- Now taking 22 beads out of capsule.  Went to micro-taper of 2 beads every other week.  11-10-15 -- Taking 96 beads (About 54 out of capsule.  Reversed the way I was taking them since the amount in the capsule varies).  Can now drop 8 beads a month, 4 every other week, with no problem.  After a while switched to dropping 2 beads every Monday as 4 at a time was starting to affect me.  Have no problem with dropping 2 beads every Monday.  07-07-16 -- Now taking 43 beads with no problems. 09-27-16 -- Now taking 2 beads out every other Monday.  Am at 33 beads now.  12-11-17 -- I AM NOW OFF EFFEXOR!!!!!  

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  • 1 year later...

As of 12-11-17, I AM FREE OF EFFEXOR!!!  As you can tell from my description, I started tapering in September 2013.  It has taken me 4 years to get off it.  It was not all due to withdrawal as the reason for taking so long, although in the beginning I thought it was.  Along the way I have been diagnosed with several issues, most of which have come down to being caused by an autoimmune thyroid disease.  I and my family have recently come to believe that this was triggered by using the Effexor because that was when my life began to deteriorate immensely and all symptoms started.  Research has confirmed our suspicions that it does in fact affect the immune system.  I have had virtually no symptoms of withdrawal due to the extremely slow taper over these 4 years.  I would have tapered quicker, but I thought what I was feeling was the Effexor withdrawal and so would slow down when I had symptoms.  Now, I am being sent to see a neurologist as some of the cognitive, memory, and brain-related issues I am having are out of the norm for the autoimmune disease.  I looked to see if Effexor also had implications in early dementia and I did find information that it may.  I did not find any studies on it at this point.  However, it is of note that my brother's doctor mentioned to him that I could have sustained brain damage from it.  A doctor who actually said that!  Will wonders never cease!  My life has been destroyed by this drug, just like the lives of everyone on here.  I have lost 16 years of my life so far to this and it looks like it will affect the remainder of my life as well if it truly caused the autoimmune response to flare up so horribly and if it has possibly damaged my brain.  It makes me so mad that it may do more than just damage our lives while taking it and tapering off it, but that it may also damage us beyond that.  I wonder what I would have accomplished during that time and who I would have become.  I am but a shell of who I used to be.  Although I am better since getting off the Effexor, I now have to deal with the fact that I am still not normal due to the autoimmune issue.  Like all of you, I rue the day I ever took that first capsule and always will.

 

This site has been so instrumental in my being able to get off this evil drug.  I tried to tell people that it was the drug that had caused me to no longer be able to function and people did not believe me.  I began to think I was crazy.  But, I found people here who knew it was true and who had experienced it.  I will always be eternally grateful for the sanity I found here and for the suggestions that helped along the way with tapering and support.  I have referred more than one person to this site and will continue to do so.

 

My best to all of you on your journey to wellness and wholeness.

12-2001 -- Started Effexor XR - 150 mg dose  2005 -- Tried to cold turkey off it.  Lasted 3 days and then went back on 150 mg.  2009 -- Went on generic Effexor due to cost.  Have had a lot more side effects on it.  09-24-13 -- Started tapering by taking 2 beads out of 150 mg capsule.  10-17-13 thru 07-17-14 -- Took 2 more beads out of capsule each month.  08-2014 -- Dropped by 8 beads.  Went into a HUGE depression.  05-03-15 -- Now taking 22 beads out of capsule.  Went to micro-taper of 2 beads every other week.  11-10-15 -- Taking 96 beads (About 54 out of capsule.  Reversed the way I was taking them since the amount in the capsule varies).  Can now drop 8 beads a month, 4 every other week, with no problem.  After a while switched to dropping 2 beads every Monday as 4 at a time was starting to affect me.  Have no problem with dropping 2 beads every Monday.  07-07-16 -- Now taking 43 beads with no problems. 09-27-16 -- Now taking 2 beads out every other Monday.  Am at 33 beads now.  12-11-17 -- I AM NOW OFF EFFEXOR!!!!!  

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How wonderful to be free of this stuff. Congratulations.

If your brothers doctor really means that then he has a moral obligation to speak a little louder to his work mates...who clearly don’t get it.

Hope current issues can see improvement in time.

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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  • 4 years later...

Hi, @bananas,

 

so much time has passed since You've posted, if it isn't too much of a hassle, do let us know how are You doing as we haven't forgotten about You :)

 

Wishing You a lifelong window!

V.

Duloxetine 2016/17 - 30/60mg/30mg, c/t, light WD.

Sertraline June 2019 50mg ADR

Clorazepate June 2019 20-15-10mg for 3 weeks then sparsely until 2022, 2 times per month max and very low dose (5mg)

Clorazepate Jan2022 10mg 5 days 2,5mg 2 days then off

Venlafaxine June 2019 75mg ADR, 17,5mg, titrated to 37,5mg

Venlafaxine Jan 2022 Covid, hard ADR on 37,5mg, reduced to 20mg ADR, tried ct, crash,

Venlafaxine 22Jan22 reinstated 9,4mg, too low/ 01Feb22- 12mg/ 12Feb- 11,25mg/ 16Feb- 11mg/ 20Feb- 10,8mg/ 24Feb22-10,575mg/ 16Mar22- 10,46mg/ 26Mar22- 10,35mg/ 26Apr22- 10mg

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Bananas: tapering Effexor XR 150 mg

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