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linlo99 going off Venlafaxine ER


linlo99

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I am very frightened as I want to get off Venlafaxine ER but I am on 225 mg a day! Most of the posts I have read show no one taking that much...that scares me even more.  Where do I start?

linlo

Prozac 15+ years

Effexor 3+ years

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Hi linlo99

 

Welcome! You will find very useful info from knowledgeable people here. Others will come in to help soon.

You should start your topic in the intro and updates section.

 

You are Being proactive already by coming here and researching the process of getting off venlafaxine.

Most importantly you should go slow not more than 10% of your current dose.

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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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Administrator

Welcome, linlo.

 

I moved your post here to start your Introductions topic.

 

You visited our Tips for tapering off Effexor and Effexor XR (venlafaxine) topic http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/272-tips-for-tapering-off-effexor-and-effexor-xr-venlafaxine/

 

There are many ways you can taper. Is your venlafaxine XR in the form of a tablet or a capsule with pellets inside?

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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Hi Admin:  my pill is a tablet; the clinic that prescribed it just advised this tapering:

 

Effexor XR 75mg 2 tabs for 1 week then

                         1 tab for 1 week then

Effexor XR 37.5mg for 1 to 2 weeks

 
I have started today by just breaking by solid tablet in half, not sure what I will do next....

linlo

Prozac 15+ years

Effexor 3+ years

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Omg please don't do it that quick. I was told this exactly on 225mg effexor and I had the worst withdrawal for 16months!!! I am just coming out of it now and that's after exercising everyday and pushing myself. You want to do 10% every 4 weeks minimum. This will take you 8-12 months to wean off but trust me its worth it. Please please take your time. Unless you want to go through hell and back and I mean that. Mental body and mind torture. They don't know anything about tapering.

 

Okay you have been warned. Please listen.

 

* take high doses of omega fish oil asap* it will prevent in most cases brain zaps.

 

Exercise everyday. So go from 225mg down to 205mg and hold for a month and then 10% of 205mg etc..

 

Mr.A - read my profile if you want to see the torture I went through up to the heavenly skies I am starting to see now 16 months later and I am still on buspar a drug I used to ease the withdrawal...so I am not out of the woods yet but feeling better :)

2007-2012started Effexor xr 225mg -150mg- Varied2months of Taper,(March 22/2012 Off Med/in W/D)Currently No medicationMarch 22/2012- August 16/2012 - Totally Off Effexor( Rough Rough time) Reinstatement for a week(didn't work)****** New Doctor******* Very nice/helpful and in touch.Tried Zoloft- No successAUGUST 17/2012- STARTED 37.5 EFFEXOR FOR ONE WEEK - NOT GOOD < STOPPED.Started Buspar Oct 11th 2012----10 mg for the first 7 days and then 15mg a day---- Taking a new route----Racing thoughts - Gone.Oct 9th ( Done Zoloft,wellbutrin week project trial to feel better) - OFFICIALLY OFF ANTI DEPRESSANT !Oct 26 - Raised Buspar to 20mg a day- Tolerating wellJan 2nd 2013-

Reduce Buspar until full off march 20th 2015 Off all medication !

Tried natural supplements to no avail

Gluten/sugar free since december 2013

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi linlo,

Welcome, its good that you found this site before beginning to taper.  Most doctors don't know that a lot of people have problems with withdrawal when trying to come off these meds, they also advise tapering programs which are much too fast, as you have just discovered.

 

Please carefully read through the link which Alto provided, it will give you the information you need in order to safely taper, this should minimize withdrawal symptoms.  We recommend reducing by 10% of your current dose every 4 - 6 weeks.

 

I'm a little confused, you have said you are on effexor XR, but that usually comes as a capsule, you have tablets, which would be the regular, instant release kind.  Please would you clarify that, I'm not an expert on effexor, so I may be wrong.

 

Please don't start tapering until we have been able to give you more accurate information, if I were you I would not go with the plan your clinic suggested, its too fast.

 

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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  • Administrator

In some countries, Effexor XR is available as a tablet.

 

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

 

At the very least, you might cut a 37.5mg tablet into quarters to taper.

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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Yes my 225mg is a tablet; I read about some supplements that can help; something that will give energy and athletes also take it.  Does anyone know of names, I believe they are sold online? Have already started taking 4 tabs of fish oil yesterday, and this is the 3rd day on 1/2 tablet, not feeling too bad yet.  

linlo

Prozac 15+ years

Effexor 3+ years

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  • Administrator

Please do not consider taking any stimulating supplements. See our Symptoms and Self-care forum for supplements that might help a bit.

 

Many people do well with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

But -- good nutrition with fresh vegetables, minimizing sugar and prepared packaged foods, getting good sleep, and getting gentle exercise each day are much more important than experimenting with supplements.

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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Hi linlo99, I am also beginning to taper off this drug. My dose was 150mg capsules and I was given a plan by my doctor for tapering that was

 

way too fast. Reducing initially by 25% , I was headachey and spaced and v tired all the time. Thankfully I found this site while trying to find

 

out what was going on in my brain. I have increased my dose back up so its now 131.25mg, hopefully my head will feel better soon. I have

 

only done this for 3 days (since I found this site) so it may take a bit more time. I was 10 days into my doctors plan when I really started to feel

 

the effects of withdrawing, I am wondering if its a matter of putting up with a certain amount just to get off these drugs.....sigh!!

 

I really like the nutrition advice given above, I only tried fish oil once, the other evening I took 2000mg at dinner and when I went to bed I 

 

I was v agitated, couldn't settle and wondered if it was anything to do with the fish oil. I won't do that again. That's why I like the nutrition

 

advice, I will make more of an effort to get that right rather than try supplements. Hope it goes well for you!!

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 Annabel:  thanks for your reply.  Right now I have only increased my level of fish oil, as I was already taking fish oil, b-12, and vitamin d & c  on a daily basis.  I have been taking 1/2 dose of 225mg for about a week now and am doing okay. I think I will continue on this dosage for another week at least.  Brain zaps, slight headaches, muscle aches are all managed by sometimes just taking advil.  I am able to do my daily routines without problems now.  

 

I regularly do hot yoga so I do get my exercise.  I have read a lot of information on-line too; but my reasons are valid for discontinuing this medication as I have severe side effects of memory loss, unable to concentrate and just being very scatter-brained.  This is not me!  I may have to go back to prozac or something similar for depression, but I will never get on something like this again.  

linlo

Prozac 15+ years

Effexor 3+ years

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Linlo. brain zaps are withdrawal symptoms, please don't cut your dose while you are experiencing

withdrawal.  If I were in your situation now, after tapering effexor for 2 years, I would take 3/4 of the tablet.

A 50% cut is a lot, some people do well but others have withdrawal. Effexor/venlafaxine is one of the worst

for withdrawal!    

**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:  Appreciate your help.  I will not taper any further until I have no side effects with my current dosage.  I am also experience hot and cold sensitivity to my teeth all of a sudden.  That was yesterday for a short period of time.  I have had extreme pain in my upper arms, kind of like I lifted a lot of weight which I have not done!  It is better today.  I continue to wake up with an extreme headache.  Any suggestions on helping that...

linlo

Prozac 15+ years

Effexor 3+ years

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Hey Linlo-I tapered off effexor xr recently but I was only on it for a few months-so while i'm not in the same boat as you, I had a few mornings where i woke up and had headaches-and really really vivid nightmares-both are gone. I'd suggest right before bed and upon waking drink a TON of water-that can really help with the headaches. I think a lot of these AD's cause water retention (along with weight gain)

 

Good luck..sounds like you're going to be ok.

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Hi Linlo,

I was interested that you have side effects all the time on this drug. Me too, that's also why I want to get off it. I get the headaches mostly when things ramp up at work or with my son who has Aspergers. I also have episodes of racing heart beat which can happen when i hurry like a quick sprint across the road or get into the shower that's a tad hotter than usual. My heart beat goes crazy and i have to stop and breathe and let it settle before i move on. I haven't had this ever before and am pretty sure its the effexor..noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor doing its thing!!!!

I want taper off at 4 week intervals but the advice here is only taper when the side effects settle, i 'm afraid for me they never will and therefore I will never be able to taper down..... :(  I have read and wondered about the cross tapering with another AD maybe a straight SSRI but then again I had the headaches with that too when i tried it!!

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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  • 2 weeks later...

I am still on 1/2 tab (full tab is 225mg) of effexor; it's been 21 days and I am not having any more brain zaps (i take 1/2 tab between 1030am-1130am daily).

But if I don't take it I can start to feel very angry or intolerable of anything much.  However, now I am having terrible body pain, shoulders and upper arms are killing me.  Yesterday I felt just horrible, can't really explain the feeling.  Today is better.  Everyday is different!

 

Woke up a couple of days ago and was feeling just terrific, thought I was ready to move to a lower dose, but now I don't think so. I continue to take fish oil supplements and even ordered the neuro endure mini but I can't tell that neuro is helping at all.  I drink plenty of water, exercise at least 5 times a week and try to follow a good diet.  I have really been craving sugar, but that is not totally unusual for me since I have a bad sweet tooth but it seemed like it was out of control.  Yesterday and today have been a little better with the sweet tooth stuff. 

linlo

Prozac 15+ years

Effexor 3+ years

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  • Administrator

Be sure to take the Effexor at the same time every day. It sounds like you're very sensitive. Don't stress your nervous system more.

 

Try to eat healthy things for your sweet tooth, like raw carrots. Sugar can influence insulin and other hormones and add to destabilization.

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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  • 1 month later...

Just checking in; still on 1/2 tab of 225mg Effexor every day.  I would like to cut back further now that it has been 60 days on 1/2 of my regular dose (which I took for approximately 2 years.)  I have heard from some family members that I seem to be a little more decisive and not so scatterbrained.

 

I am no longer experiencing any brain zaps or major headaches.  But my mood is very unpredictable.  I take the 1/2 dose every day around 10 am but have cut back on the fish oil.  Some days I feel great, others I feel just terrible.  I am a little afraid of cutting back further just because i do feel the depression on those "terrible" days.  I am not under a doctor's care at this time and am thinking of seeing a regular psychiatrist to maybe help me through the next dosage downgrade.  

 

Any suggestions?  Thank you.

linlo

Prozac 15+ years

Effexor 3+ years

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  • Administrator

Why did you reduce fish oil?

 

When you were taking Effexor irregularly, you may have sensitized your system. Thus, while stabilizing your dosage has helped somewhat, your nervous system is still recovering. This may be contributing to your mood issues.

 

If you manage to find a psychiatrist near you who has the tiniest bit of a clue about tapering and what you're going through, please let us know. Most likely, a psychiatrist will add more drugs or tell you to increase your Effexor dose.

 

Any doctor can prescribe Effexor, it doesn't have to be a psychiatrist.

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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Actually I am hoping a psychiatrist can prescribe Prozac.  I am a depressed person so I know I will need medication to live the rest of my life somewhat normally but I am definitely not going to go back on full dosage of effexor for any reason.  

 

I think bridging with Prozac might help me get off this effexor for good.  I have taken Prozac in the past with some good results.  I think I will go back to it.  My regular physician really tried to discourage me from getting off of effexor and I don't feel comfortable talking about this with him so that is why I thought I might find a psychiatrist.  

 

As far as the fish oil, I just tapered off due to laziness.  I will get back to taking more of it as I was a month or so ago.  Thank you for your input; I will post what happens after I have an appointment and discuss this issue.  

linlo

Prozac 15+ years

Effexor 3+ years

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  • Administrator

If you've been on antidepressants for more than 18 years, how do you know you are a depressed person?

 

If you say that to a psychiatrist, you will surely be put on more psychiatric drugs.

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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How do I know I am not a depressed person?  

 

After explaining symptoms of "my depression" I was told a long time ago i had a chemical imbalance in the brain, so some people need meds.  I feel down, don't want to get out of bed, feel sorry for myself, felt and feel hopeless at times, wonder why I am here, scary anger issues (used to blame it on PMS, but can't blame it on that anymore), anxiety...isn't that enough to show depression issues?  Or does everyone feel this way?  Heck, I don't know.  

 

I do not want to be on more psychiatric drugs but guess I am afraid of life without.  It's a sad situation.  

linlo

Prozac 15+ years

Effexor 3+ years

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  • Administrator

The "chemical imbalance" theory has never, ever been true see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4291-again-chemical-imbalance-is-a-myth-stop-the-lies-please/

 

It does not apply to anyone, and it does not apply to you. It was promulgated by the pharmaceutical industry as a reason to keep people buying antidepressants -- which were intended for short-term use -- for many years.

 

After 18 years on drugs, you are a completely different person. If you wish to think of yourself as chronically and permanently depressed, you can -- but there is no evidence for that at all.

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...

I first wrote in Feb of 2014.  I am now completely off effexor which was 225mg at the time i first wrote.  Yea!! I am still on an anti depressant which is just 10mg of lexapro.  So it can be done!! Take heart and don't give up. 

linlo

Prozac 15+ years

Effexor 3+ years

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi  linlo ,   did you do some sort of cross-taper from Effexor to Lexapro?    Love to have more detail of what's gone on between Feb. 2014 and Now.

 

Happy to hear you feel a whole lot better ,  Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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When I first wrote in Feb 2014 I started immediately to taper off, first went to 1/2 tablet but that was too much of a taper.  So then I started to just taper in 1/4

til I got to 1/4 or maybe around 50mg but it took a long time.  I tapered 1/4 dosage every 2 or 3 months and had many side effects the same as others have explained.  Also depressed while having side effects.  Just a month or so ago started taking 20 mg of lexapro and am now down to 10mg a day.  I am feeling okay but am noticing more crankiness or just plain feeling mean than "depression".  Maybe this is just my personality.  Who knows.  

 

But I was determined to get off Effexor because of what it did to my memory.  I think it caused some permanent memory loss for me.  If I miss a dosage of Lexapro I do not have physical effects but I can tell I am crankier than usual.  Overall, I am very proud of myself because I did this without much assistance from professionals.

 

What does the future bring?  I don't know, right now I am fairly satisfied with how I feel and not sure what I will do going down the road.  One thing I know for sure is that I will not ever take Effexor or very similar drugs again.  

linlo

Prozac 15+ years

Effexor 3+ years

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