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Annabel

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Hi, I have been on effexor xr 150mg for about 18 months and I am wanting to taper off. My doctor gave me a large pack of 37.5mg and told me to take just 3 a day for a few weeks and then decrease it to 2/day etc until I am done. I have only started 10m days ago but have decreased by 37.5mg as suggested. Over the last few days I have begun feeling a bit headachey and spacey and am wonder if this is too fast. Should i try opening one of those 37.5 capsules and increase my dose next time i take them?

March 2012 Fluoxetine 20mg

June 2012 change to Escitalopram 20mg

August 2012 change to Venlafaxine, Effexor XR 150mg

March 2013 add Ropinirole 0.5mg for restless legs syndrome seriously disturbing sleep

Feb 10th 2014 begin tapering off Effexor 150mg by 25% as per Dr.

Feb 19th 2014 Bad headaches..relief in finding SA site.

Feb 20th Increase Effexor to 131.25mg. Head improves over next few days.

March 28th decrease Effexor by 5 % to 125mg. Brain fog + depression after 10 days but passes by.

May 6th decrease Effexor to 118.75mg depression + brain fog lasting 10 days

June4th-112.5mg, July 21st-106mg,August 30th-101mg

2015 - 5% decrease as able, January 2016-50mg + struggling.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Annabel, welcome to SA.   You are absolutely ight, 37.5 secrease is too much

and your doctor is having you taper far too fast. They rarely know how to taper

properly and have people going too fast then put them back on it when withdrawal

starts, thinking it is a relapse!  We recommend no more than 10% reduction and 

holding there for a few weeks before another cut. 

I think I would take out half the beads from one capsule instead of cutting out a whole

one. That should have you feeling better quite quickly.  It is a good thing that you have

the 37.5 capsules because they are much easier for tapering. 

 

Here is the topic for tapering effexor 

 

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

 

It would help if you could put your meds history in your sig line so it appears at the bottom

of all your posts. You can update it as you cut and them we can see at a glance where you are at. 

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

It's good you found us now, most of us ended up here in withdrawal but you can avoid that by

tapering slowly now that you know fast tapering is not good! 

**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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Thanks for the welcome. I am relieved that I found you guys in time to taper off properly.It makes so much sense that the brain needs time to adjust to the chemical changes. I guess I thought the doctor would know these things!! I didn't know why I was feeling so headachey and just went online to see what I could find!!

 

This morning I opened a 37.5mg capsule and counted the beads into two halves. I will take the extra half for a few weeks or longer and hope my brain feels better soon.

 

I briefly put my meds history in my signature, thanks for the links!

March 2012 Fluoxetine 20mg

June 2012 change to Escitalopram 20mg

August 2012 change to Venlafaxine, Effexor XR 150mg

March 2013 add Ropinirole 0.5mg for restless legs syndrome seriously disturbing sleep

Feb 10th 2014 begin tapering off Effexor 150mg by 25% as per Dr.

Feb 19th 2014 Bad headaches..relief in finding SA site.

Feb 20th Increase Effexor to 131.25mg. Head improves over next few days.

March 28th decrease Effexor by 5 % to 125mg. Brain fog + depression after 10 days but passes by.

May 6th decrease Effexor to 118.75mg depression + brain fog lasting 10 days

June4th-112.5mg, July 21st-106mg,August 30th-101mg

2015 - 5% decrease as able, January 2016-50mg + struggling.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome Annabel,

 

I'm glad you found us when you did, so many of us ended up here after suffering for a long time from withdrawal symptoms from a too fast taper and not understanding what was happening.

 

It may take several weeks before you start to feel completely well again, but its good to give your brain/nervous system enough time to stabilize after this shock.  When you have felt fine for several weeks, its probably safe to then begin on a 10% taper as in the link MammaP provided.

 

If you have any problems or questions, you can ask here in your thread, this will be like your ongoing progress journal.  Do let us know how you are going from time to time.

 

You will find a lot of friendly help and support 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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Hi Annabel

 

I'm so glad you found this site before tapering. I wish I had done so before cutting my dose in half back in Oct 2012. I was only on Effexor for six weeks and have been tapering ever since.

This is the only place where I have received help.

 

Please feel free to ask any questions you have to assist you in your tapering. There are many knowledgeable people here.

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

Welcome, Annabelle.

 

If you are taking 150mg Effexor XR, you would take 4 37.5mg capsules for your full dose.

 

Taking 3 capsules gives you 112.5mg.

 

Are you now taking about 3.5 capsules, or 131.25mg?

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 to all for the welcome. I am now taking 3 and a half capsules of 37.5mg and my head is feeling less achey already, well for most of the day. When I get tired or a bit stressed it comes back again. But I am sure adding the extra half has been a good thing and I will stick with this now for awhile. Thanks for the support!!

March 2012 Fluoxetine 20mg

June 2012 change to Escitalopram 20mg

August 2012 change to Venlafaxine, Effexor XR 150mg

March 2013 add Ropinirole 0.5mg for restless legs syndrome seriously disturbing sleep

Feb 10th 2014 begin tapering off Effexor 150mg by 25% as per Dr.

Feb 19th 2014 Bad headaches..relief in finding SA site.

Feb 20th Increase Effexor to 131.25mg. Head improves over next few days.

March 28th decrease Effexor by 5 % to 125mg. Brain fog + depression after 10 days but passes by.

May 6th decrease Effexor to 118.75mg depression + brain fog lasting 10 days

June4th-112.5mg, July 21st-106mg,August 30th-101mg

2015 - 5% decrease as able, January 2016-50mg + struggling.

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The past few days have gone well, in fact the headaches have lessened quite a bit. But today I haven't been able to do anything much, my head feels spacey, my brain is in a fog and I struggled just to go to the shop to get milk. I don't think this is side effects of tapering but I don't know? 

March 2012 Fluoxetine 20mg

June 2012 change to Escitalopram 20mg

August 2012 change to Venlafaxine, Effexor XR 150mg

March 2013 add Ropinirole 0.5mg for restless legs syndrome seriously disturbing sleep

Feb 10th 2014 begin tapering off Effexor 150mg by 25% as per Dr.

Feb 19th 2014 Bad headaches..relief in finding SA site.

Feb 20th Increase Effexor to 131.25mg. Head improves over next few days.

March 28th decrease Effexor by 5 % to 125mg. Brain fog + depression after 10 days but passes by.

May 6th decrease Effexor to 118.75mg depression + brain fog lasting 10 days

June4th-112.5mg, July 21st-106mg,August 30th-101mg

2015 - 5% decrease as able, January 2016-50mg + struggling.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Annabel, Yes that could be caused by tapering. It will take a while for you to stabilise

and there will be some strange symptoms along the way..  There will be windows when

you feel fine and waves when you feel not as good. The waves are when the brain and

nervous system are healing and they pass.  It is early days yet and these symptoms

should settle down. Keep updating so we can keep track of your progress  :)

Here is a link to the windows and waves topic.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/82-the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-recovery/

**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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Hi mammaP, 

Thanks for the link, I have read and learned a lot from others experiences. I  had no idea about the journey this will most likely be and with support and patience I will be ok (just don't ask myself when?). It seems this, now could well be a trough. I have had a rather taxing week dealing with others. I didn't expect this I guess, I don't know what i was expecting but I crashed yesterday and couldn't go to work. My job is working with sick people and i can't afford to make a mistake so when my brain is that foggy I can't work. It is now Thursday morning here down under and the sun is out and despite my head feeling like a big watermelon i am going to spend time outside, maybe sleep in the afternoon. I learned from the link you gave me about taking care of ourselves when things get stressful as the nervous system takes time to adjusts itself. Right now my body is telling me to slow down and rest so that is what i will do. I love the courage and strength you send to others. Thanks so much for replying to my post yesterday.  :)

March 2012 Fluoxetine 20mg

June 2012 change to Escitalopram 20mg

August 2012 change to Venlafaxine, Effexor XR 150mg

March 2013 add Ropinirole 0.5mg for restless legs syndrome seriously disturbing sleep

Feb 10th 2014 begin tapering off Effexor 150mg by 25% as per Dr.

Feb 19th 2014 Bad headaches..relief in finding SA site.

Feb 20th Increase Effexor to 131.25mg. Head improves over next few days.

March 28th decrease Effexor by 5 % to 125mg. Brain fog + depression after 10 days but passes by.

May 6th decrease Effexor to 118.75mg depression + brain fog lasting 10 days

June4th-112.5mg, July 21st-106mg,August 30th-101mg

2015 - 5% decrease as able, January 2016-50mg + struggling.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Annabel,

 

Welcome to the group! You'll find lots of support and good, solid information here. I'm very glad you found the site in time to do something better.

 

I just wanted to say hello and welcome from the other side of the world. It's 3:40 in the afternoon here.

 

Have a great day!!!

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Hi Tezza,

Thanks for the welcome. Sorry about my ignorance but what does GA stand for?  :blush:

I have been reading lots of good stuff here and like others am wanting off this effexor. This will be a BIG lesson for me in patience with myself, I am beginning to realise this will take time.....sigh!! My plan is to deal with depression without drugs if i can, through meditation and slowing life down.

Thank goodness I found this site, I don't feel so alone anymore.

March 2012 Fluoxetine 20mg

June 2012 change to Escitalopram 20mg

August 2012 change to Venlafaxine, Effexor XR 150mg

March 2013 add Ropinirole 0.5mg for restless legs syndrome seriously disturbing sleep

Feb 10th 2014 begin tapering off Effexor 150mg by 25% as per Dr.

Feb 19th 2014 Bad headaches..relief in finding SA site.

Feb 20th Increase Effexor to 131.25mg. Head improves over next few days.

March 28th decrease Effexor by 5 % to 125mg. Brain fog + depression after 10 days but passes by.

May 6th decrease Effexor to 118.75mg depression + brain fog lasting 10 days

June4th-112.5mg, July 21st-106mg,August 30th-101mg

2015 - 5% decrease as able, January 2016-50mg + struggling.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi, you are definitely not alone! You will make friends here, if you stay around. It will be friends that really care, believe it or not....this is the best group of people helping people you'll ever find.

 

You're not ignorant at all, I should have told you I was in the USA. It used to be there under my name, I think. GA. Is the abbreviation for the state that I live in - Georgia.

 

We are all learning lessons, here, too. We've all learned that patience and a good slow taper is the best way and usually more successful. You can do it!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

But today I haven't been able to do anything much, my head feels spacey, my brain is in a fog and I struggled just to go to the shop to get milk. I don't think this is side effects of tapering but I don't know? 

 

I sometimes struggle to go to the shop to get milk, then other times, I'm fine, its part of the windows and waves pattern of withdrawal and can be part of tapering.  Ideally, you taper slow enough so that symptoms are minimal and life isn't disrupted.

 

Welcome to the site, I'm also from 'down under', my daughter visited NZ not long ago, she said it was beautiful.

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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Hello!!

The wave of the other day did exactly as is described, it waved on by in about 2 days and I have felt fine since...until today. My head is foggy again but I don't feel scared anymore, Its just.. here we go again!! Another wave, so I will just look forward to the window around the corner!! Go for a walk, do a meditation and get on slowly with an assignment I am doing which is due in 2 weeks.

 

Counting out beads from my 37.5mg capsule varies so much, one day it divides into 2 piles of 55 beads and other times it divides into 2 piles of 67 beads...hmmm!  :o

Petu - thanks for the welcome, I think I am beginning to understand this strange roller coaster ride!! Yes NZ is very beautiful, just like many countries the mountains are lovely and peaceful, they are my favourite part. I have a daughter living in Perth, attending a musical theatre school. We visited last year and went south to Margaret River and beyond to southern most point. Very beautiful also!! 

March 2012 Fluoxetine 20mg

June 2012 change to Escitalopram 20mg

August 2012 change to Venlafaxine, Effexor XR 150mg

March 2013 add Ropinirole 0.5mg for restless legs syndrome seriously disturbing sleep

Feb 10th 2014 begin tapering off Effexor 150mg by 25% as per Dr.

Feb 19th 2014 Bad headaches..relief in finding SA site.

Feb 20th Increase Effexor to 131.25mg. Head improves over next few days.

March 28th decrease Effexor by 5 % to 125mg. Brain fog + depression after 10 days but passes by.

May 6th decrease Effexor to 118.75mg depression + brain fog lasting 10 days

June4th-112.5mg, July 21st-106mg,August 30th-101mg

2015 - 5% decrease as able, January 2016-50mg + struggling.

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  • 4 weeks later...

It has been 5 weeks since I have adjusted my Effexor dose. I have been taking 131.25mg in the form of 3 and a half capsules of 37.5mg. I haven't had a wave for 4 weeks and mostly I experience a bit of nausea each day at odd times, it lasts an hour or so. I am ready to decrease again but am unsure whether to drop down by the half capsule which would be 18.75mg or to stay as close to 10% as I can which would mean counting the capsule into thirds, making each third 12.5mg. Each time I count beads I can't help thinking the dose must be different every time but probably not by much.

 

I am keen to hear what advise people have for me.   :)

March 2012 Fluoxetine 20mg

June 2012 change to Escitalopram 20mg

August 2012 change to Venlafaxine, Effexor XR 150mg

March 2013 add Ropinirole 0.5mg for restless legs syndrome seriously disturbing sleep

Feb 10th 2014 begin tapering off Effexor 150mg by 25% as per Dr.

Feb 19th 2014 Bad headaches..relief in finding SA site.

Feb 20th Increase Effexor to 131.25mg. Head improves over next few days.

March 28th decrease Effexor by 5 % to 125mg. Brain fog + depression after 10 days but passes by.

May 6th decrease Effexor to 118.75mg depression + brain fog lasting 10 days

June4th-112.5mg, July 21st-106mg,August 30th-101mg

2015 - 5% decrease as able, January 2016-50mg + struggling.

Link to comment
  • Administrator

If I were you, I'd reduce by only 10%. Maybe even 5% to see how that goes.

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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Ok, I will try 5% then...I guess that means counting the beads from one capsule into 6 even piles? Then hold for 4 weeks and then try 10%??

March 2012 Fluoxetine 20mg

June 2012 change to Escitalopram 20mg

August 2012 change to Venlafaxine, Effexor XR 150mg

March 2013 add Ropinirole 0.5mg for restless legs syndrome seriously disturbing sleep

Feb 10th 2014 begin tapering off Effexor 150mg by 25% as per Dr.

Feb 19th 2014 Bad headaches..relief in finding SA site.

Feb 20th Increase Effexor to 131.25mg. Head improves over next few days.

March 28th decrease Effexor by 5 % to 125mg. Brain fog + depression after 10 days but passes by.

May 6th decrease Effexor to 118.75mg depression + brain fog lasting 10 days

June4th-112.5mg, July 21st-106mg,August 30th-101mg

2015 - 5% decrease as able, January 2016-50mg + struggling.

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Since you're already dividing a 37.5mg capsule, I would subtract the 6.5mg (5% of total dose) from that.

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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You are right the capsules do vary. You could try weighing the capsules, it's easier for me than counting little itty bitty beads.

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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You can use a digital scale, 0.001g precision (like Gemini-20). For me it was a life saver, I slowly tapered from 20 mg of Paxil to 1 mg now, it would have been impossible without it. (there are no beads in Paxil, and you cannot approximate by eye, when cutting the pill in 10...).

July 2011 - nasty anxiety crisis (lost job, became not functional, couldn't exit the house alone)

August 2011 - started 10mg Paxil  and October 2011 - 20mg (one month on 20mg)

November 2011 - starting slowly to decrease the dose at the pace my body supported. Down to 2.5 mg in January 2013 (17.5, 15, 12.5, 10, 7.5, 5, 3.7, 2.5) - at least one month at each step. Unpleasant, but functional, got a new job almost immediately

April 2013 - stopped completely, crashed after 2 weeks, and reinstalled 2.5mg, recovered fast.

September 2013 - started decreasing again, slower, down to 1 mg in December 2013

December 2013 - free of Paxil

March 2014 - another crash, exactly 3 months after stopping, after 2 weeks of horrors, reinstalled 1 mg - feeling better after one week.

March 2014 - July 2014: going slowly down: 1mg, 0.9mg, 0.77mg, 0.64mg

end of July 2014 - Paxil free, hopefully forever this time.

.

 

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Day 3 of my taper down and so far foggy brain times off and on, and some waves of depression lasting an hour or two during the day but somewhat restless at night, hope that improves as sleep is so vital to surviving all this stuff. Underneath all those comings and goings my mood is fine and its interesting how I am getting used to picking out a drug induced wave. Its so much less ...all encompassing, or maybe I'm lucky and my waves are not very aggressive at the moment. Different for each person I suppose.

Yes i agree the scales sounds much easier. So...when you open a 37.5mg capsule and tip the contents onto the scales does it come up as 37.5mg, presuming the scales are calibrated correctly of course. Is the capsule counted in the weight at all? i am thinking i might get a scale as i have so far to go still, it might save me some angst.

March 2012 Fluoxetine 20mg

June 2012 change to Escitalopram 20mg

August 2012 change to Venlafaxine, Effexor XR 150mg

March 2013 add Ropinirole 0.5mg for restless legs syndrome seriously disturbing sleep

Feb 10th 2014 begin tapering off Effexor 150mg by 25% as per Dr.

Feb 19th 2014 Bad headaches..relief in finding SA site.

Feb 20th Increase Effexor to 131.25mg. Head improves over next few days.

March 28th decrease Effexor by 5 % to 125mg. Brain fog + depression after 10 days but passes by.

May 6th decrease Effexor to 118.75mg depression + brain fog lasting 10 days

June4th-112.5mg, July 21st-106mg,August 30th-101mg

2015 - 5% decrease as able, January 2016-50mg + struggling.

Link to comment

I don't know for Effexor, but for Paxil the real weight of the pill is not the same as the active substance. There is a lot of filler. For instance, my 10 mg Paxil pill is 175-180 mg on the scale. So, when I cut my pill in 10, I get 1 mg of active substance weighting 17-18 mg (actually I cut it in 4, and then remove more then the half of each small piece, I find it simpler like that).

July 2011 - nasty anxiety crisis (lost job, became not functional, couldn't exit the house alone)

August 2011 - started 10mg Paxil  and October 2011 - 20mg (one month on 20mg)

November 2011 - starting slowly to decrease the dose at the pace my body supported. Down to 2.5 mg in January 2013 (17.5, 15, 12.5, 10, 7.5, 5, 3.7, 2.5) - at least one month at each step. Unpleasant, but functional, got a new job almost immediately

April 2013 - stopped completely, crashed after 2 weeks, and reinstalled 2.5mg, recovered fast.

September 2013 - started decreasing again, slower, down to 1 mg in December 2013

December 2013 - free of Paxil

March 2014 - another crash, exactly 3 months after stopping, after 2 weeks of horrors, reinstalled 1 mg - feeling better after one week.

March 2014 - July 2014: going slowly down: 1mg, 0.9mg, 0.77mg, 0.64mg

end of July 2014 - Paxil free, hopefully forever this time.

.

 

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You need to do some calculation to find what weight you need. Multiply the desired active substance weight (31 mg in your case) with the  weight of the whole pill (capsule content - whatever the scale measures when you put all the capsule content there, without the capsule itself) and divide by the pill/capsule active substance weight (37.5 in your case).

July 2011 - nasty anxiety crisis (lost job, became not functional, couldn't exit the house alone)

August 2011 - started 10mg Paxil  and October 2011 - 20mg (one month on 20mg)

November 2011 - starting slowly to decrease the dose at the pace my body supported. Down to 2.5 mg in January 2013 (17.5, 15, 12.5, 10, 7.5, 5, 3.7, 2.5) - at least one month at each step. Unpleasant, but functional, got a new job almost immediately

April 2013 - stopped completely, crashed after 2 weeks, and reinstalled 2.5mg, recovered fast.

September 2013 - started decreasing again, slower, down to 1 mg in December 2013

December 2013 - free of Paxil

March 2014 - another crash, exactly 3 months after stopping, after 2 weeks of horrors, reinstalled 1 mg - feeling better after one week.

March 2014 - July 2014: going slowly down: 1mg, 0.9mg, 0.77mg, 0.64mg

end of July 2014 - Paxil free, hopefully forever this time.

.

 

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July 2011 - nasty anxiety crisis (lost job, became not functional, couldn't exit the house alone)

August 2011 - started 10mg Paxil  and October 2011 - 20mg (one month on 20mg)

November 2011 - starting slowly to decrease the dose at the pace my body supported. Down to 2.5 mg in January 2013 (17.5, 15, 12.5, 10, 7.5, 5, 3.7, 2.5) - at least one month at each step. Unpleasant, but functional, got a new job almost immediately

April 2013 - stopped completely, crashed after 2 weeks, and reinstalled 2.5mg, recovered fast.

September 2013 - started decreasing again, slower, down to 1 mg in December 2013

December 2013 - free of Paxil

March 2014 - another crash, exactly 3 months after stopping, after 2 weeks of horrors, reinstalled 1 mg - feeling better after one week.

March 2014 - July 2014: going slowly down: 1mg, 0.9mg, 0.77mg, 0.64mg

end of July 2014 - Paxil free, hopefully forever this time.

.

 

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Thanks for your help Arwen, have read the link, I get it, decreasing in percentage of the capsule to give the milligrams you want. I ordered my scales here in NZ (hope the quality is reasonable) and now I will go and count beads out to get me through til it arrives.  :unsure:

March 2012 Fluoxetine 20mg

June 2012 change to Escitalopram 20mg

August 2012 change to Venlafaxine, Effexor XR 150mg

March 2013 add Ropinirole 0.5mg for restless legs syndrome seriously disturbing sleep

Feb 10th 2014 begin tapering off Effexor 150mg by 25% as per Dr.

Feb 19th 2014 Bad headaches..relief in finding SA site.

Feb 20th Increase Effexor to 131.25mg. Head improves over next few days.

March 28th decrease Effexor by 5 % to 125mg. Brain fog + depression after 10 days but passes by.

May 6th decrease Effexor to 118.75mg depression + brain fog lasting 10 days

June4th-112.5mg, July 21st-106mg,August 30th-101mg

2015 - 5% decrease as able, January 2016-50mg + struggling.

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You're welcome.

July 2011 - nasty anxiety crisis (lost job, became not functional, couldn't exit the house alone)

August 2011 - started 10mg Paxil  and October 2011 - 20mg (one month on 20mg)

November 2011 - starting slowly to decrease the dose at the pace my body supported. Down to 2.5 mg in January 2013 (17.5, 15, 12.5, 10, 7.5, 5, 3.7, 2.5) - at least one month at each step. Unpleasant, but functional, got a new job almost immediately

April 2013 - stopped completely, crashed after 2 weeks, and reinstalled 2.5mg, recovered fast.

September 2013 - started decreasing again, slower, down to 1 mg in December 2013

December 2013 - free of Paxil

March 2014 - another crash, exactly 3 months after stopping, after 2 weeks of horrors, reinstalled 1 mg - feeling better after one week.

March 2014 - July 2014: going slowly down: 1mg, 0.9mg, 0.77mg, 0.64mg

end of July 2014 - Paxil free, hopefully forever this time.

.

 

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A week since my taper, thanks Alto for suggesting I try 5% drop first. Its taken a week to feel the drop, woke up with foggy head and have had it all day. Went to the pool to swim (something I do often as i had a spinal operation a year ago). It certainly requires me to wake and/or half drown!! Still felt foggy this afternoon so I went

for a 5km walk, making an effort to be mindful and in the moment but thoughts overtook my mind and I spent the second half wondering if this world is meant for me. How much easier it would be if i could stop all this, thoughts of death and ways to die swamped my mind. I feel really bad for having these thoughts and really bad for writing it. 

To change the subject, my scales arrived and i have weighed out those little blighters and I even have tweezers that came with them so i can pretend that I know what i'm doing. It is so much better than counting white specs!!

That's all.

March 2012 Fluoxetine 20mg

June 2012 change to Escitalopram 20mg

August 2012 change to Venlafaxine, Effexor XR 150mg

March 2013 add Ropinirole 0.5mg for restless legs syndrome seriously disturbing sleep

Feb 10th 2014 begin tapering off Effexor 150mg by 25% as per Dr.

Feb 19th 2014 Bad headaches..relief in finding SA site.

Feb 20th Increase Effexor to 131.25mg. Head improves over next few days.

March 28th decrease Effexor by 5 % to 125mg. Brain fog + depression after 10 days but passes by.

May 6th decrease Effexor to 118.75mg depression + brain fog lasting 10 days

June4th-112.5mg, July 21st-106mg,August 30th-101mg

2015 - 5% decrease as able, January 2016-50mg + struggling.

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  • Administrator

Hang in there, Annabel. Sounds like you're coping with the symptoms.

 

When the withdrawal symptoms go away, it sounds like the smaller decreases are right for you. Slow but steady, you'll get there.

 

Having the scales for more precise dosing might help, too.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the support Alto, I have been taking each day as it comes. It is 2 weeks since i dropped by 5% and the waves of symptoms are less now. Some days are foggier than others and the depression comes and goes in intense waves but only lasts a couple of hours.  Sleep and quiet time seems to be a must for me, they help calm down my nervous system. 

Also I really enjoyed the post of Nadia's on the importance of happiness, under Symptoms and Self-care.

This is more of a journey than I realised it would be when I first decided to taper. I am slowly beginning to recognise my waves as things that will pass and realising that fighting to get out of a wave is not helpful and it doesn't work.

Peace and good wishes to others.

March 2012 Fluoxetine 20mg

June 2012 change to Escitalopram 20mg

August 2012 change to Venlafaxine, Effexor XR 150mg

March 2013 add Ropinirole 0.5mg for restless legs syndrome seriously disturbing sleep

Feb 10th 2014 begin tapering off Effexor 150mg by 25% as per Dr.

Feb 19th 2014 Bad headaches..relief in finding SA site.

Feb 20th Increase Effexor to 131.25mg. Head improves over next few days.

March 28th decrease Effexor by 5 % to 125mg. Brain fog + depression after 10 days but passes by.

May 6th decrease Effexor to 118.75mg depression + brain fog lasting 10 days

June4th-112.5mg, July 21st-106mg,August 30th-101mg

2015 - 5% decrease as able, January 2016-50mg + struggling.

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Hi 

I wish I could tell you it gets better but I can't lie.

THe farther you go down the more careful you have to be.  

 

Im here 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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Thanks Lexy, sometimes I feel so tired after a normal days work that I can barely function. Other times I feel like it might all actually be ok....eventually.

 

Today the music in the shopping mall and the crowd of people and the general activity was all too much. My head is fogged up and my thinking is very slow, not to mention trying to make any decisions. 

 

Looking forward to better days..... :(

March 2012 Fluoxetine 20mg

June 2012 change to Escitalopram 20mg

August 2012 change to Venlafaxine, Effexor XR 150mg

March 2013 add Ropinirole 0.5mg for restless legs syndrome seriously disturbing sleep

Feb 10th 2014 begin tapering off Effexor 150mg by 25% as per Dr.

Feb 19th 2014 Bad headaches..relief in finding SA site.

Feb 20th Increase Effexor to 131.25mg. Head improves over next few days.

March 28th decrease Effexor by 5 % to 125mg. Brain fog + depression after 10 days but passes by.

May 6th decrease Effexor to 118.75mg depression + brain fog lasting 10 days

June4th-112.5mg, July 21st-106mg,August 30th-101mg

2015 - 5% decrease as able, January 2016-50mg + struggling.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Not everyone experiences increased symptoms as they get lower in dose.  Sometimes, while tapering, people can feel worse for a few days for other reasons, like work stress or illness, so try not to worry and I'm sure those better days are coming.

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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Yes, you need to be more careful as you decrease the dose, stabilize long enough after each drop, make small drops (not more than 10%).

 

But that doesn't mean that it will be worse. As Petu said there can be stress and illness, there are so many other variables in all this. Everything we do and think has a big influence on how we feel, it is not only the "hardware" (the sensitive brain in withdrawal).

July 2011 - nasty anxiety crisis (lost job, became not functional, couldn't exit the house alone)

August 2011 - started 10mg Paxil  and October 2011 - 20mg (one month on 20mg)

November 2011 - starting slowly to decrease the dose at the pace my body supported. Down to 2.5 mg in January 2013 (17.5, 15, 12.5, 10, 7.5, 5, 3.7, 2.5) - at least one month at each step. Unpleasant, but functional, got a new job almost immediately

April 2013 - stopped completely, crashed after 2 weeks, and reinstalled 2.5mg, recovered fast.

September 2013 - started decreasing again, slower, down to 1 mg in December 2013

December 2013 - free of Paxil

March 2014 - another crash, exactly 3 months after stopping, after 2 weeks of horrors, reinstalled 1 mg - feeling better after one week.

March 2014 - July 2014: going slowly down: 1mg, 0.9mg, 0.77mg, 0.64mg

end of July 2014 - Paxil free, hopefully forever this time.

.

 

Link to comment

Coming up 4 weeks since my taper and I am coping much better.  :)

 

Petu- thanks for dropping by. I think I am getting WD symptoms about 2 weeks after a taper and it improves over the following few weeks. It caught me by surprise and came over me so intensely! I am going to hold for a few more weeks and let things settle before the next drop. I only dropped by 5% last time so I will follow this again as I am quite sensitive to the drops. Hopefully next drop I will recognise whats happening and be able to go with it knowing it wont last!!

 

Arwen - I think I am quite sensitive to the drops, even at 5% ! My sleeping also has a big influence on how foggy and achey my head is.Shift work doesn't help with this at all. Right now my mood is good but my head is foggy and aching. I can cope with that, I just tell myself its part of the whole deal. I am trying to keep the other parts of my life stable and take care of myself in hope it will all help. Certainly having the scales is great and so much easier.

 

Thanks for the support, it helps so much especially when things aren't going so well.

March 2012 Fluoxetine 20mg

June 2012 change to Escitalopram 20mg

August 2012 change to Venlafaxine, Effexor XR 150mg

March 2013 add Ropinirole 0.5mg for restless legs syndrome seriously disturbing sleep

Feb 10th 2014 begin tapering off Effexor 150mg by 25% as per Dr.

Feb 19th 2014 Bad headaches..relief in finding SA site.

Feb 20th Increase Effexor to 131.25mg. Head improves over next few days.

March 28th decrease Effexor by 5 % to 125mg. Brain fog + depression after 10 days but passes by.

May 6th decrease Effexor to 118.75mg depression + brain fog lasting 10 days

June4th-112.5mg, July 21st-106mg,August 30th-101mg

2015 - 5% decrease as able, January 2016-50mg + struggling.

Link to comment
I had a similar pattern for the tapering. A week after the drop I was going crazy (anxiety, trembling, dizziness, depression, anger), then slowly, very slowly, it was improving. I needed 4-6 weeks at each step (sometimes much longer). Also, if I had a stressful time at work, I had to postpone the next drop. 

 

I did it with 10%-20% drop most of the time (more at the beginning at higher doses, and lower later), but in retrospective I realize I would have suffered less with only 5%.

 

I also have the foggy/hurtful head. In the last 2.5 years, from the moment I started Paxil, there has been only one month with a clear head, January 2014, one month after the final 1mg drop, after the initial reactions subsided and before the escalating anxiety made me reinstate a tiny dose. Now the foggy brain is back. But at least I can function almost normally. I can stand it. I can sleep. There is also the hope that one day I will be entirely Paxil free, and the clear head will return!

 

I think you have a good plan, and you will be fine. Take it easy, one step at the time.

July 2011 - nasty anxiety crisis (lost job, became not functional, couldn't exit the house alone)

August 2011 - started 10mg Paxil  and October 2011 - 20mg (one month on 20mg)

November 2011 - starting slowly to decrease the dose at the pace my body supported. Down to 2.5 mg in January 2013 (17.5, 15, 12.5, 10, 7.5, 5, 3.7, 2.5) - at least one month at each step. Unpleasant, but functional, got a new job almost immediately

April 2013 - stopped completely, crashed after 2 weeks, and reinstalled 2.5mg, recovered fast.

September 2013 - started decreasing again, slower, down to 1 mg in December 2013

December 2013 - free of Paxil

March 2014 - another crash, exactly 3 months after stopping, after 2 weeks of horrors, reinstalled 1 mg - feeling better after one week.

March 2014 - July 2014: going slowly down: 1mg, 0.9mg, 0.77mg, 0.64mg

end of July 2014 - Paxil free, hopefully forever this time.

.

 

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