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BobLoblaw: Tapering off Effexor


BobLoblaw

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Hi, I'm new here. Just started a taper from Effexor on my own, starting by taking out one bead, then two the next day and so on. Not a good idea. Felt pretty anxious today. I've read that it's better to taper by 10 percent per month or so and that's it's better to count the beads in, not out. Is anyone else attempting this? Has anyone been successful this way? How about Prozac bridgeing with Effexor? I think I'm going to talk to my doctor about it.

Edited by Karma
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Welcome to the forum.  I moved your post into introductions.

 

Here is our thread on tapering Effexor: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/272-tapering-off-effexor-venlafaxine/

 

We recommend tapering no more than 10% of your previous dose every 4-6 weeks.  You should monitor your own symptoms and determine what percentage and duration of hold works best for you.  We have many people on the site who taper by counting beads and removing X number of beads every 4 weeks or so.  But it is an individual thing.

 

Here is information on the Prozac bridge: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1463-the-prozac-switch-or-bridging-with-prozac/.  In general we find that people are better off tapering the drug they are on - the drug they know.  The Prozac bridge isn't always successful and you would need to find a practitioner who was experienced in it to guide you.

 

When you get a chance, please add a signature that summarizes your withdrawal history.  Here is the link on how to add your signature: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

Karma

 

 

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

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


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

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Hi BobLobaw, I'm tapering Effexor too by counting beads. I started by taking out 5 beads, then waiting until any withdrawal symptoms 

settle down and then waited another 3 weeks or so before increasing the number removed. Counting them can be painstaking but is the best way to go. I managed to get venlafaxine liquid from my pharmacy here in the UK, I don't know if it is available in Canada. It is much easier with lower doses and can be used with a syringe so doses are accurate. Unfortunatley I had an allergic reaction to something in the liquid and had to go back to beads. I am almost at the end of my taper with just 3 beads remaining, it has been very slow but I felt better after each drop. I had severe side effects from it and now feel much much better  :)

**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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Another member, Sly, posted his method of MEASURING beads, wish I had seen this during my taper! 

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/5088-slys-method-for-measuring-beads-instead-of-counting-them/?hl=%2Bmeasure+%2Bbeads

**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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Well, I'm back to square one. 150 mg of ''side'' Effexor I tried tapering on my own, starting by taking out one bead on day one, two beads the next day and so on. Sometimes, because I wasn't feeling any withdrawl symptoms, I would take out more. After about three weeks I was up to 50 beads.

I started to notice some tinitus and feeling somewhat depressed. It's a good thing I saw my psychologist who said ''HEY! SLOW IT DOWN MAN!''

Because I've been doing a lot of meditation and MBSR stuff, I was feeling good. Almost no anxiety. That's why I thought ''alright, time to taper!'' My psychologist suggested I go back to 150 mg and wait until I've been feeling good for at least a few months. ''Grow some roots'', she says. I think this is good advice.

My friends, DO NOT TAPER WITHOUT PROFESSIONAL ADVICE! If you don't trust your drug pushing family doctor, find a good psychologist. How do you know if they're good? Ask around. If you don't have insurance, pay for it yourself. Ask them about MBSR-Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. It's changing me for the better and I know it will help me get off of this garbage called Effexor.

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Please note that Sly's method isn't necessarily the most accurate as beads can vary in size, so there won't necessarily be the same number of beads per inch each time they're measured and counted. Tedious as it is, counting out the beads in each capsule and reducing by a fixed percentage is the best way, especially at lower doses when people tend to be quite sensitive to changes.  Also please note that a 10% reduction is the maximum anyone should attempt but most people seem to be finding that 5%-7% is a lot more comfortable.

 

There have been a number of people on this forum who've attempted bridging with Prozac, mostly with poor results. This should be especially true of switching from Effexor to Prozac because they're different types of antidepressant.  Effexor is a Selective Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor and Prozac is a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor. In other words, the two drugs each affect different neurotransmitters and are not interchangeable. Your doctor probably doesn't understand this so please don't assume that his or her cooperation is any indication that this is a good thing to do. Many of us here have been deeply disillusioned by the medical profession's lack of knowledge with regard to antidepressants and antidepressant withdrawal. 

 

You might want to review this discussion before talking with your doctor:

 

The Prozac Switch or Bridging with Prozac

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 Bobloblaw,

I tapered from effexor in 2010, much too quickly and became ill though I am doing a bit better today though have other heath considerations. If I was going to re-taper w/ what I know now this is what I would do:

 

1. Taper directly from the drugs I am -- no crossovers, bridging

2. Taper 10% first month then adjust up if symptoms allow, but make cuts not more often than once every 3-4 weeks

3. Read perfecthealthdiet.com (or book preferably) and adjust intake of omega 6 polysaturated oils down and start eating food, vegetables, eggs and fresh animal parts. Don't smoke or drink caffeine/alcohol at all until more well.

4. Toss out incorrect diagnose of mental illness and find underlying causes getting specific eval for eukaryotic pathogen infection, heavy metals, dental cavitation, food allergy/leaky gut -- there is a reason I took effexor in the first place and it was never due to a chemical imbalance.

5. Go from there and reclaim my health

 

Also I recently started Arrested development for first time on netflix and I've watched the whole run. Great show!

"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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Wow, I wish I could refer people to psychologists for tapering advice. Most don't have any more understanding of it than doctors do.

 

Sounds like you've got a good one, BobL. (Do you have a law blog?)

 

You don't have to go back all the way to 150mg. You can add beads back in until you no longer have withdrawal symptoms. You might want to add 10 beads back in and see if that helps. Give each increase 4 days to assess the effect.

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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I agree, it would be wonderful if everyone had access to a decent doc or psychologist who understood about psych drug withdrawal. Unfortunately such professionals are rare. Most of us ended up where we are because of "professional help."

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

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

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

 

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

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I wish that also.

I've been on effexor for 15 months 13 of those trying to get OFF! It NEVER helped me and now dr thinks I'm a hypochondriac.

I hope you do better quickly.

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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