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Jose 15 years is enough


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Hello everyone.

I'm glad to have joined the community.

I have suffered from depression for many years, most of which I have been on SSRIs. I have tried to go on without them on several occasions without success.

This time I have been on venlafaxine for around 1.5 years. Started on 150mg and have gradually come down to 37.5mg. I know very well how it feels to reduce the medication or come off from it.

Lately I am trying breathing techniques that induce vagus nerve stimulation and -less frequently- meditation, this seems to help considerably, but I still have not managed to turn it into a strong habit.

I am also becoming acquainted with the relationship between the digestive systems, eating habits and mood disorders.

I hope to provide my little grain of sand to the community by sharing experiences and thoughts and also learn from different views.

Best wishes,

Jose

1999-2004 citalopram 10 to 20mg with 2-3 withdrawal attempts.
2004 fluvoxamine for 4-5 months aprox. Changed to venlafaxine because of the headaches and dizziness.
2005-March 2014 venlafaxine usually starting on 150mg and coming down to 75 or 37.5. Several withdrawal attempts.
In March 2014 I stopped taking 37.5mg of venlafaxine without tapering.

Went through 5 months of confusion, anxiety, insomnia and desperation. From then I am very slowly recovering, on windows and waves.

Symptoms: muscle stiffness and aches, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, memory loss, inability to concentrate or think straight, difficulty to speak, difficulty to read (improving).

Taking omega3, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E and probiotics.

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Welcome! You have found a great community.

 

What withdrawal symptoms have you/are you experienced?

Started Fluoxetine Jan. 2010

Tried to go off of it in Sept. 2010

Weaned too fast and was back on it by Nov. 2010

Didn't work as good the second time around.

Started to wean again in Nov. 2011 and was off for good by April? 2012

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Thanks Dunerbug.

The main physical symptoms I have experienced when coming off SSRIs have been brain zaps, dizzyness and shortness of breath. The difficulty breathing I have eventually correlated with the vagus nerve, and I strongly believe in this connection because breathing techniques that are especially thought for vagus nerve stimulation do me good.

On the mental/behaviour side I went considerably irritable, even aggressive, and gradually introvert at the same time. Found it very difficult to concentrate and retrieve memories.

This has happened to me when reducing the dose, for example from 150mg to 75mg a day, or from 75mg to 37.5mg, but became particularly unbearable when coming off completely, from half a 37,5mg capsule to none.

Best,

Jose

1999-2004 citalopram 10 to 20mg with 2-3 withdrawal attempts.
2004 fluvoxamine for 4-5 months aprox. Changed to venlafaxine because of the headaches and dizziness.
2005-March 2014 venlafaxine usually starting on 150mg and coming down to 75 or 37.5. Several withdrawal attempts.
In March 2014 I stopped taking 37.5mg of venlafaxine without tapering.

Went through 5 months of confusion, anxiety, insomnia and desperation. From then I am very slowly recovering, on windows and waves.

Symptoms: muscle stiffness and aches, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, memory loss, inability to concentrate or think straight, difficulty to speak, difficulty to read (improving).

Taking omega3, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E and probiotics.

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  • 9 months later...

Hello everyone.

I've been intermittently but for long periods of time and in different levels of doses on cipramil, fluvoxamine and venlafaxine.

Next September it will be 15 years since my first prescription of cipramil. I can't believe I only realised it's already that long as I was reading some posts here tonight.

For the past 7 years I have been on and off Venlafaxine, from 37.5 to 300 mg. Before that I was on fluvoxamine for a few months but changed to venlafaxine because of the headaches and dizziness.

Many times withdrew with tapering, many times relapsed, many times came back and am still on Venlafaxine 37.5 after tapering from 150, again wondering if I can make it this time and actually not sure whether I am actually in or out of withdrawal symptoms.

I'm actually much better than I was a few years ago, but still have my days and weeks. Now I understand much better the condition of the problem, the complex but strong relationships between eating habits, breathing, behaviour, thoughts and emotions. The ripples, waves and tides.

Still doubts and feelings of insecurity come and go about myself, my condition, my surroundings, this and that, but one thing is clear to me: I want to stop taking this drug. Fifteen years is enough.

The more I think, the more I live, the more I research and the more stories I read from people like you and I, the clearer it becomes. These drugs are deceitful. They create dependency. They dettach us from the real thing. They help us look away from ourselves. It doesn't work.

I want myself back with all goods and bads, not two-thirds of it.

As far as I can I will share the struggle. I hope you peers can help me through, and I hope my struggle can also help others.

Thanks in advance.

1999-2004 citalopram 10 to 20mg with 2-3 withdrawal attempts.
2004 fluvoxamine for 4-5 months aprox. Changed to venlafaxine because of the headaches and dizziness.
2005-March 2014 venlafaxine usually starting on 150mg and coming down to 75 or 37.5. Several withdrawal attempts.
In March 2014 I stopped taking 37.5mg of venlafaxine without tapering.

Went through 5 months of confusion, anxiety, insomnia and desperation. From then I am very slowly recovering, on windows and waves.

Symptoms: muscle stiffness and aches, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, memory loss, inability to concentrate or think straight, difficulty to speak, difficulty to read (improving).

Taking omega3, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E and probiotics.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Jose, welcome to SA. You have had a lot of changes and they will have destabilised your

central nervous system. How long have you been at 37.5?  

 

Here is the topic for tapering vanlafaxine.   It is a terrible drug to get off  as you know and needs

careful tapering. If I were in your shoes now, knowing what I know I would do a micro taper of

very tiny cuts, but that is just me and based on my own experience with venlafaxine. 

 

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

 

And another on the slowness of slow taper, or micro taper.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2364-the-slowness-of-slow-tapers/

 

Thank you for putting your history in your signature.  :)

**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 people for your explanations and support.

I'm going to try the liquid solution on the 37.5mg standard tablet to taper 10% every month.

1999-2004 citalopram 10 to 20mg with 2-3 withdrawal attempts.
2004 fluvoxamine for 4-5 months aprox. Changed to venlafaxine because of the headaches and dizziness.
2005-March 2014 venlafaxine usually starting on 150mg and coming down to 75 or 37.5. Several withdrawal attempts.
In March 2014 I stopped taking 37.5mg of venlafaxine without tapering.

Went through 5 months of confusion, anxiety, insomnia and desperation. From then I am very slowly recovering, on windows and waves.

Symptoms: muscle stiffness and aches, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, memory loss, inability to concentrate or think straight, difficulty to speak, difficulty to read (improving).

Taking omega3, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E and probiotics.

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Thank you MammaP.

I was not aware of the 10% rule, I'm going to try it.

I've been on 37.5 for around 4 months now, down from 75mg for 6-7 months before.

1999-2004 citalopram 10 to 20mg with 2-3 withdrawal attempts.
2004 fluvoxamine for 4-5 months aprox. Changed to venlafaxine because of the headaches and dizziness.
2005-March 2014 venlafaxine usually starting on 150mg and coming down to 75 or 37.5. Several withdrawal attempts.
In March 2014 I stopped taking 37.5mg of venlafaxine without tapering.

Went through 5 months of confusion, anxiety, insomnia and desperation. From then I am very slowly recovering, on windows and waves.

Symptoms: muscle stiffness and aches, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, memory loss, inability to concentrate or think straight, difficulty to speak, difficulty to read (improving).

Taking omega3, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E and probiotics.

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Hola Josè:welcome to SA, I am from Costa Rica.

If you want to contact me via email feel free to do it, and we can speak spanish.

 

Bienvenido.

4 years aprox. on 150mgs.Effexor for situational major depression.No AD before.
Tapered 150-0mgs in 3 months.

Tapered Quetiapine,Xanax in the last 18 months.NO med of any kind anymore.
First 3 months off acute w/d
Protracted w/d ever since.
Symptoms:Anxiety,anhedonia,insomnia,tinnitus,PSSD

04/13/2014 Awful Relapse.Recovered fairly fast.

3 years and 4 months off.

waves and windows.Very much recovered.

November 2015,health issue.Setback.
 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome Jose,

 

We're glad you've joined us! You've come to the best forum on the web to learn how to taper with the least possible harm.

 

You'll also find mods AND members very supportive, caring and helpful as can be.

 

Please browse through the sub-forums for much more insight.

 

Wish you the best!

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Thank you tezza and alex.

It's comforting to meet people who are going or have gone through similar pain.

I'm not sure whether it's your case, but one of my key obstacles is shame of my condition, the inability to share and speak openly about the issue, the stigma.

I have never spoken with my parents about depression for example.

Anyway it's great to join the community.

muchas gracias alex, encantado. Very encouraging to read you have been off for 19 months after being on venlafaxine quite long.

Best wishes.

1999-2004 citalopram 10 to 20mg with 2-3 withdrawal attempts.
2004 fluvoxamine for 4-5 months aprox. Changed to venlafaxine because of the headaches and dizziness.
2005-March 2014 venlafaxine usually starting on 150mg and coming down to 75 or 37.5. Several withdrawal attempts.
In March 2014 I stopped taking 37.5mg of venlafaxine without tapering.

Went through 5 months of confusion, anxiety, insomnia and desperation. From then I am very slowly recovering, on windows and waves.

Symptoms: muscle stiffness and aches, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, memory loss, inability to concentrate or think straight, difficulty to speak, difficulty to read (improving).

Taking omega3, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E and probiotics.

Link to post

By the way, is there anyone who has been on Venlafaxine for years and managed to come off?

Would like to share experiences. Thank you.

1999-2004 citalopram 10 to 20mg with 2-3 withdrawal attempts.
2004 fluvoxamine for 4-5 months aprox. Changed to venlafaxine because of the headaches and dizziness.
2005-March 2014 venlafaxine usually starting on 150mg and coming down to 75 or 37.5. Several withdrawal attempts.
In March 2014 I stopped taking 37.5mg of venlafaxine without tapering.

Went through 5 months of confusion, anxiety, insomnia and desperation. From then I am very slowly recovering, on windows and waves.

Symptoms: muscle stiffness and aches, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, memory loss, inability to concentrate or think straight, difficulty to speak, difficulty to read (improving).

Taking omega3, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E and probiotics.

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  • Administrator

Jose, you might search in the Intro forum to find others tapering venlafaxine.

 

Yes, many people taper off and are fine. It can be difficult, though.

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 Jose,

 

I am at the beginning of tapering off venlafaxine. I have been taking 150mg Effexor Xr for 18months. Before that i was on escitalopram and before that I was fluoxetine (prozac). All of these have given me that far away feeling and headaches and effexor also messes with my heart rate. when I rush across the road or get into the shower and its a bit hot etc.. anything like that causes my heart to beat really fast so I have to stop and wait until it settles. I also feel  like I want myself back, drugs  help during times of desperation and ignorance but for me I am going to try and manage depression without drugs and see how it goes. Of course that won't be for a long time yet as I am realising getting off this drug is quite a long process. Like you I feel this isn't really me, everything is masked in a weird kind of way.

Good luck with your journey!! :)

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 Jose, I've been tapering 37.5  effexor for 2 years after taking it for 11 years.  I started taking beads from the capsule

but was not consistent enough, those beads are very difficult to count! I felt better with each drop then stopped at 5 

beads. Was ok for a few weeks then withdrawal hit me.  I had gone too fast. I reinstated and a year later I am now at

3 beads.  The last years after quitting and reinstating has been very hard at times with withdrawal. I have had some

good windows but some bad waves.  This is why I recommend a very slow taper. I know from experience that going

too fast causes problems that can be avoided. 

 

You can get off effexor safely , there are several of us here who have been tapering a long time and getting there!  :)

**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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Jose,

 

There are people that have come off all these drugs, somewhere. Certain drugs are difficult for certain individuals. Your rate of taper needs to be determined by you and your own personal experience. We suggest starting with a 10 % reduction. If after a few days you're feeling really bad with that, it can be adjusted back up. Then stabilize for several weeks if you had to re-adjust the dose.

 

If you did ok with the 10% cut then wait at least four weeks and make your next cut only 10% of the current dose. Adjust your cuts and hold times according to how you feel. Making very small cuts do the least harm and cause less discomfort. You can certainly do this if you go slowly as mP said.

 

Many of us have learned our lessons the hard way....be as gentle as possible on your nervous system.

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Thank you all for sharing advice.

I will also look in the forum.

The last two weeks I have felt weaker, emotionally and physically. I will probably wait for some time before I give it a go.

I'm on tablets so may try the dilution into water.

I have found great support in breathing techniques. Ever since I discovered them through yoga some 5 years ago they have been amazingly useful to me. Especially since last year when I learnt specific techniques at a course I have become a great supporter of breathing techniques for wellbeing.

I started doing 20 minute sessions evey morning just after waking up and before breakfast, and it makes such a difference thorughout the day, on the mood, the energy levels, the emotional endurance and enthusiasm.

In fact, whenever I stop doing this I feel the effect almost immediately. These past two weeks that I have felt worse, guess what, I have not been doing my exercises!!!

if anyone is interested I can share resources or explain how they work.

Habit, that's the only secret. My goal is to keep doing it every morning, every day. I'm sure it will be of great help throughout the tapering.

Thank you again sincerely for your advice and support. Best wishes to you in your personal paths.

J

1999-2004 citalopram 10 to 20mg with 2-3 withdrawal attempts.
2004 fluvoxamine for 4-5 months aprox. Changed to venlafaxine because of the headaches and dizziness.
2005-March 2014 venlafaxine usually starting on 150mg and coming down to 75 or 37.5. Several withdrawal attempts.
In March 2014 I stopped taking 37.5mg of venlafaxine without tapering.

Went through 5 months of confusion, anxiety, insomnia and desperation. From then I am very slowly recovering, on windows and waves.

Symptoms: muscle stiffness and aches, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, memory loss, inability to concentrate or think straight, difficulty to speak, difficulty to read (improving).

Taking omega3, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E and probiotics.

Link to post

Was ok for a few weeks then withdrawal hit me.  I had gone too fast. I reinstated and a year later I am now at

3 beads.

mammaP, what do you mean precisely by 'withdrawal hit me', if I may ask?

1999-2004 citalopram 10 to 20mg with 2-3 withdrawal attempts.
2004 fluvoxamine for 4-5 months aprox. Changed to venlafaxine because of the headaches and dizziness.
2005-March 2014 venlafaxine usually starting on 150mg and coming down to 75 or 37.5. Several withdrawal attempts.
In March 2014 I stopped taking 37.5mg of venlafaxine without tapering.

Went through 5 months of confusion, anxiety, insomnia and desperation. From then I am very slowly recovering, on windows and waves.

Symptoms: muscle stiffness and aches, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, memory loss, inability to concentrate or think straight, difficulty to speak, difficulty to read (improving).

Taking omega3, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E and probiotics.

Link to post

If you did ok with the 10% cut then wait at least four weeks and make your next cut only 10% of the current dose. Adjust your cuts and hold times according to how you feel..

tezza, do you mean 10% of the new dose, so the second cut would be 10% of the 90%, I.e. 9%?

This sounds like an 'asymptotic' tapering that somewhere near the smallest doses has to stop?

Thanks

1999-2004 citalopram 10 to 20mg with 2-3 withdrawal attempts.
2004 fluvoxamine for 4-5 months aprox. Changed to venlafaxine because of the headaches and dizziness.
2005-March 2014 venlafaxine usually starting on 150mg and coming down to 75 or 37.5. Several withdrawal attempts.
In March 2014 I stopped taking 37.5mg of venlafaxine without tapering.

Went through 5 months of confusion, anxiety, insomnia and desperation. From then I am very slowly recovering, on windows and waves.

Symptoms: muscle stiffness and aches, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, memory loss, inability to concentrate or think straight, difficulty to speak, difficulty to read (improving).

Taking omega3, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E and probiotics.

Link to post

HI Jose- Welcome- You have found a wonderful site. These people are  most knowledgeable about every aspect of drug issues.  I would love to hear about your breathing exercises. I know that I should be doing them, but always forget them. Please share your resources. 

 

Jan. 1994 Pamelor

2000 switched to Zoloft 

2011 Zoloft pooped out- Dr. switched me directly to Lexapro15mg -had a horrible 6mths

2013 upped Lexapro to 20 mgs-pooped out

June 2013 Dr. added 150 Wellbutrin to Lexapro.

July 2013 Switched back to Zoloft 100mgs.Was still taking Wellbutrin. Lots of anxiety from the Wellbutrin

July 2013 Started to wean Wellbutrin- off by Sept.

Oct. 2013 added 400 mgs of Neurotin to the Zoloft

Jan 2014 Tapered off of the Zoloft and onto Prozac 30 mgs. Also still taking 400 mgs Neurotin

Feb 2014 Reduced Prozac to 13 mgs. Still taking 400 mgs Neurotin

Aug. 2014 Prozac 13 mgs. Finished with Neurotin. .7 Risperadol

 

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Hello Zoe

There are many types of breathing, but this sequence works well for me:

 

Part 1 - Ujjayi: breathing making a gutural sound like trying to close your throat while you breath. Breathe in counting 4 in your mind, hold breath counting 4, breathe out counting 6, count 2 while no air in the lungs.

This is done in a 10+10+10 way: 10 times with your hands each side of the waist, then rest for a few seconds, 10 times with your thumbs under armpits and hands open, rest and 10 times with palms against your upper back, elbows pointing upward.

You are supposed to sit in the thunderbolt pose, which is on your knees, with bottom resting on the feet, in order to maintain a straight back. It's not so comfortable so you may want to use a cushion over your feet.

 

Part 2 - bhastrika: still thunderbolt pose, fists next to your shoulders, you breath in very rapidly (like a blow, but with care) while you lift your arms to the ceiling and open your hands, then bring the fists back down to the shoulders while releasing the air rapidly. All through the nostrils. Up and down should happen in around 1 second. You do three series of 20 ups and downs with a 20 second rest in between.

 

Part 3 - sit in the lotus position or similar, do a long ohm three times. This helps me focus and get a stiller mind.

 

Part 4 - breathing normally (no sounds, not taking full inhalations or exhalations), but without stops between inhaling and exhaling, lotus position or resting your back against something like a wall, etc. 20 times in and out at a slow pace (5 seconds per in+out), 40 times medium speed (1-2 seconds per in+out) and 40 times fast (double the medium speed). You do this 20+40+40 series three times without stops.

 

The whole sequence takes about 20 minutes. Try this for 3-4 weeks minimum to get effect. Best done just after waking up and before breakfast.

The science behind this seems to be the oxygenation of the body, the relaxing effect of conscious breathing and the stimulation of he nerves, especially the vagus nerve, which is the nexus between the brain and the guts.

1999-2004 citalopram 10 to 20mg with 2-3 withdrawal attempts.
2004 fluvoxamine for 4-5 months aprox. Changed to venlafaxine because of the headaches and dizziness.
2005-March 2014 venlafaxine usually starting on 150mg and coming down to 75 or 37.5. Several withdrawal attempts.
In March 2014 I stopped taking 37.5mg of venlafaxine without tapering.

Went through 5 months of confusion, anxiety, insomnia and desperation. From then I am very slowly recovering, on windows and waves.

Symptoms: muscle stiffness and aches, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, memory loss, inability to concentrate or think straight, difficulty to speak, difficulty to read (improving).

Taking omega3, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E and probiotics.

Link to post

Thanks Jose- I'll try it. :)

 

Jan. 1994 Pamelor

2000 switched to Zoloft 

2011 Zoloft pooped out- Dr. switched me directly to Lexapro15mg -had a horrible 6mths

2013 upped Lexapro to 20 mgs-pooped out

June 2013 Dr. added 150 Wellbutrin to Lexapro.

July 2013 Switched back to Zoloft 100mgs.Was still taking Wellbutrin. Lots of anxiety from the Wellbutrin

July 2013 Started to wean Wellbutrin- off by Sept.

Oct. 2013 added 400 mgs of Neurotin to the Zoloft

Jan 2014 Tapered off of the Zoloft and onto Prozac 30 mgs. Also still taking 400 mgs Neurotin

Feb 2014 Reduced Prozac to 13 mgs. Still taking 400 mgs Neurotin

Aug. 2014 Prozac 13 mgs. Finished with Neurotin. .7 Risperadol

 

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  • Administrator

Jose, please add the information about your breathing exercises to the Symptoms and Self-care forum. We have a few topics about Yoga breathing.

 

(I removed your avatar; the image file was broken. Please upload a new one.)

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

 

If you did ok with the 10% cut then wait at least four weeks and make your next cut only 10% of the current dose. Adjust your cuts and hold times according to how you feel..

tezza, do you mean 10% of the new dose, so the second cut would be 10% of the 90%, I.e. 9%?

This sounds like an 'asymptotic' tapering that somewhere near the smallest doses has to stop?

Thanks

You are correct, Jose, it never actually reaches zero. You are also correct about the second, I think, the second reduction would be .9 or 10% of 90.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

 

Was ok for a few weeks then withdrawal hit me.  I had gone too fast. I reinstated and a year later I am now at

3 beads.

mammaP, what do you mean precisely by 'withdrawal hit me', if I may ask?

 

After a few weeks off effexor I started to get withdrawal symptoms which subsided when I reinstated the effexor. 

I had tapered too fast and didn't use the 10% method, just removed the same number of beads each time and

didn't wait the 4 weeks  before cutting again. 

 

Some people are fine for a few months after quitting, before getting withdrawal symptoms. Sadly it can be too late

for reinstatement to work and they are suffering protracted withdrawal which can last a few years. 

I can't stress enough the importance of tapering slowly, especially with effexor. 

**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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Jose, please add the information about your breathing exercises to the Symptoms and Self-care forum. We have a few topics about Yoga breathing.(I removed your avatar; the image file was broken. Please upload a new one.)

ok will do, Alto, thanks

1999-2004 citalopram 10 to 20mg with 2-3 withdrawal attempts.
2004 fluvoxamine for 4-5 months aprox. Changed to venlafaxine because of the headaches and dizziness.
2005-March 2014 venlafaxine usually starting on 150mg and coming down to 75 or 37.5. Several withdrawal attempts.
In March 2014 I stopped taking 37.5mg of venlafaxine without tapering.

Went through 5 months of confusion, anxiety, insomnia and desperation. From then I am very slowly recovering, on windows and waves.

Symptoms: muscle stiffness and aches, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, memory loss, inability to concentrate or think straight, difficulty to speak, difficulty to read (improving).

Taking omega3, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E and probiotics.

Link to post

It never occurred to me that the mood changes and other sufferings in the past would be related to the dose reduction, always thought it was the condition itself.

a new perspective to assimilate and to learn from.

Best wishes

1999-2004 citalopram 10 to 20mg with 2-3 withdrawal attempts.
2004 fluvoxamine for 4-5 months aprox. Changed to venlafaxine because of the headaches and dizziness.
2005-March 2014 venlafaxine usually starting on 150mg and coming down to 75 or 37.5. Several withdrawal attempts.
In March 2014 I stopped taking 37.5mg of venlafaxine without tapering.

Went through 5 months of confusion, anxiety, insomnia and desperation. From then I am very slowly recovering, on windows and waves.

Symptoms: muscle stiffness and aches, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, memory loss, inability to concentrate or think straight, difficulty to speak, difficulty to read (improving).

Taking omega3, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E and probiotics.

Link to post

 

 

Was ok for a few weeks then withdrawal hit me.  I had gone too fast. I reinstated and a year later I am now at

3 beads.

mammaP, what do you mean precisely by 'withdrawal hit me', if I may ask?

 

After a few weeks off effexor I started to get withdrawal symptoms which subsided when I reinstated the effexor. 

I had tapered too fast and didn't use the 10% method, just removed the same number of beads each time and

didn't wait the 4 weeks  before cutting again. 

 

Some people are fine for a few months after quitting, before getting withdrawal symptoms. Sadly it can be too late

for reinstatement to work and they are suffering protracted withdrawal which can last a few years. 

I can't stress enough the importance of tapering slowly, especially with effexor. 

 

mammaP, I meant which withdrawal symptoms specifically.

Sorry if you have already explained previously, I have only joined the forums and am curious about what effects people have experienced when tapering, to try and correlate with my own experience. As I said above, I always thought these ups and downs and disturbing states of mind were because of my depressive condition, not because of having reduced the dosage too fast.

thank you

1999-2004 citalopram 10 to 20mg with 2-3 withdrawal attempts.
2004 fluvoxamine for 4-5 months aprox. Changed to venlafaxine because of the headaches and dizziness.
2005-March 2014 venlafaxine usually starting on 150mg and coming down to 75 or 37.5. Several withdrawal attempts.
In March 2014 I stopped taking 37.5mg of venlafaxine without tapering.

Went through 5 months of confusion, anxiety, insomnia and desperation. From then I am very slowly recovering, on windows and waves.

Symptoms: muscle stiffness and aches, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, memory loss, inability to concentrate or think straight, difficulty to speak, difficulty to read (improving).

Taking omega3, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E and probiotics.

Link to post

Hi Jose,

 

I am at the beginning of tapering off venlafaxine. I have been taking 150mg Effexor Xr for 18months. Before that i was on escitalopram and before that I was fluoxetine (prozac). All of these have given me that far away feeling and headaches and effexor also messes with my heart rate. when I rush across the road or get into the shower and its a bit hot etc.. anything like that causes my heart to beat really fast so I have to stop and wait until it settles. I also feel  like I want myself back, drugs  help during times of desperation and ignorance but for me I am going to try and manage depression without drugs and see how it goes. Of course that won't be for a long time yet as I am realising getting off this drug is quite a long process. Like you I feel this isn't really me, everything is masked in a weird kind of way.

Good luck with your journey!! :)

Annabel, sorry you are having trouble with your heart. Sometimes I get a sudden irregular heartbeat but this is infrequent and I don't give it too much importance. I suspected it might be related to the drug, but not the withdrawal. The condition of the vagus nerve has a lot to do with this. Breathing again helps improve it.

Talking about feeling masked in a weird way, I cannot stress sufficiently how much I understand you. What bothers me particularly is the sensation of being emotionally framed by the drug, capped on lows, but also on highs, like walking on straps that most of the time prevent me from falling down but also from running, or flying!

I wish you the best in your path to your drug free life. By the way, what is that animal on your avatar?

1999-2004 citalopram 10 to 20mg with 2-3 withdrawal attempts.
2004 fluvoxamine for 4-5 months aprox. Changed to venlafaxine because of the headaches and dizziness.
2005-March 2014 venlafaxine usually starting on 150mg and coming down to 75 or 37.5. Several withdrawal attempts.
In March 2014 I stopped taking 37.5mg of venlafaxine without tapering.

Went through 5 months of confusion, anxiety, insomnia and desperation. From then I am very slowly recovering, on windows and waves.

Symptoms: muscle stiffness and aches, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, memory loss, inability to concentrate or think straight, difficulty to speak, difficulty to read (improving).

Taking omega3, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E and probiotics.

Link to post

Hi Jose.

Welcome

 

I too experience the rapid heartbeat thing. I thought it was anxiety or panic, however there is no other symptom of anxiety.

I wish you the best in your taper.

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

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

It never occurred to me that the mood changes and other sufferings in the past would be related to the dose reduction, always thought it was the condition itself.

a new perspective to assimilate and to learn from.

Best wishes

 

Hello Jose and welcome,

 

I liked many things you said, this especially. A very important insight for me as well.

 

I also discovered yoga some two years ago and we also did those breathing exercises you mention and I found them very beneficial. Unfortunately, in October last year I went for a kriya workshop while in the midst of a very bad withdrawal and had such a bad reaction that since then I'm awfully scared of breathing and meditating :(

 

but your experience will encourage me again :) 

Current: Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

Link to post

Hi Jose,

 

The little creature is a Kiwi. It is a flighltess bird native to New Zealand. The picture is of a baby one, not standing on its feet yet. You may have heard people refer to New Zealanders as Kiwis??

 

I am interested to read the breathing technique you have posted. I have learned a Mindfulness Meditation via a Jon Kabat-Zinn class and find it very calming and stabilising.

 

My heart racing is a side effect of Effexor that I have experienced ever since I started on it. That is one of the reasons I decided to try and taper off it. Also I feel capped on my emotions, never down hard but never up happy and loving life. In some ways it has done me a favour as I am feeling more decisive and in control of my own future. I have taken responsibility to do something about all this. I also feel like i can understand what is going on after finding this site and all these wonderful people who are so willing to share experiences.  :D

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 post

Hi Jose.

Welcome

 

I too experience the rapid heartbeat thing. I thought it was anxiety or panic, however there is no other symptom of anxiety.

I wish you the best in your taper.

Thank you Lexy.

Same here, it occurs randomly and without any association to anxious moments. 

It feels more like an instantaneous change of pace, like breaking the rhythm. 

I have seen your progress on your signature. How are you feeling with your latest steps?

1999-2004 citalopram 10 to 20mg with 2-3 withdrawal attempts.
2004 fluvoxamine for 4-5 months aprox. Changed to venlafaxine because of the headaches and dizziness.
2005-March 2014 venlafaxine usually starting on 150mg and coming down to 75 or 37.5. Several withdrawal attempts.
In March 2014 I stopped taking 37.5mg of venlafaxine without tapering.

Went through 5 months of confusion, anxiety, insomnia and desperation. From then I am very slowly recovering, on windows and waves.

Symptoms: muscle stiffness and aches, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, memory loss, inability to concentrate or think straight, difficulty to speak, difficulty to read (improving).

Taking omega3, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E and probiotics.

Link to post

 

 

It never occurred to me that the mood changes and other sufferings in the past would be related to the dose reduction, always thought it was the condition itself.

a new perspective to assimilate and to learn from.

Best wishes

Hello Jose and welcome,

 

I liked many things you said, this especially. A very important insight for me as well.

 

I also discovered yoga some two years ago and we also did those breathing exercises you mention and I found them very beneficial. Unfortunately, in October last year I went for a kriya workshop while in the midst of a very bad withdrawal and had such a bad reaction that since then I'm awfully scared of breathing and meditating :(

 

but your experience will encourage me again :)

Bubble, I'm sorry you had a bad experience with the kriya. Was this the long sudarshan kriya you were doing?

Did you get a panic attack? I've done it several times, probably 7 or 8 times over the course of one year, the first two at a course and then the rest by myself. I never had a problem with it, although he instructors did explain that sometimes people get a bad reaction. To be frank, the long kriya does feel a little extravagant and severe, which is why I don't do it often. I have done it at times when I felt blocked, but not when depressed. Apart from the dizziness and some strange sensation that I could actually feel my nerves activated, it made me very calm afterwards.

On the other hand, I am truly grateful to have discovered, little by little, the gem of mindful breathing. Either at practice or just breathing normal, it's the awareness of breath and the sensations that come with it. At work, at a meeting, while in the car, while I am typing this, just a gentle reminder that I am breathing and I can enjoy it. I would have pissed myself had I read these phrases a few years back, thinking they would probably come from some naturalistic fanatic who's high on his own thoughts (all respect to that), but hey, it's me writing this now.

Breathing is the fundamental sign that we are alive. To me it has become the way to grasp vitality. It's the true sign that I am far more than thoughts and feelings.

I can't believe they don't teach to breathe right in school.

Bubble, I really hope you find your breathing methods, trust yourself on this, you cannot go wrong.

1999-2004 citalopram 10 to 20mg with 2-3 withdrawal attempts.
2004 fluvoxamine for 4-5 months aprox. Changed to venlafaxine because of the headaches and dizziness.
2005-March 2014 venlafaxine usually starting on 150mg and coming down to 75 or 37.5. Several withdrawal attempts.
In March 2014 I stopped taking 37.5mg of venlafaxine without tapering.

Went through 5 months of confusion, anxiety, insomnia and desperation. From then I am very slowly recovering, on windows and waves.

Symptoms: muscle stiffness and aches, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, memory loss, inability to concentrate or think straight, difficulty to speak, difficulty to read (improving).

Taking omega3, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E and probiotics.

Link to post

Hi Jose,

 

The little creature is a Kiwi. It is a flighltess bird native to New Zealand. The picture is of a baby one, not standing on its feet yet. You may have heard people refer to New Zealanders as Kiwis??

 

I am interested to read the breathing technique you have posted. I have learned a Mindfulness Meditation via a Jon Kabat-Zinn class and find it very calming and stabilising.

 

My heart racing is a side effect of Effexor that I have experienced ever since I started on it. That is one of the reasons I decided to try and taper off it. Also I feel capped on my emotions, never down hard but never up happy and loving life. In some ways it has done me a favour as I am feeling more decisive and in control of my own future. I have taken responsibility to do something about all this. I also feel like i can understand what is going on after finding this site and all these wonderful people who are so willing to share experiences. :D

Annabel, I knew about kiwis but I always thought it was the fruit! Now, how silly is that? Thanks for telling me, I will not forget this one.

Looking forward to my first encounter with a kiwi (the little animal). :)

I'm also glad that I have found this site and got myself to read stories like mine, stories of struggle and hope.

My best wishes to you and your journey.

1999-2004 citalopram 10 to 20mg with 2-3 withdrawal attempts.
2004 fluvoxamine for 4-5 months aprox. Changed to venlafaxine because of the headaches and dizziness.
2005-March 2014 venlafaxine usually starting on 150mg and coming down to 75 or 37.5. Several withdrawal attempts.
In March 2014 I stopped taking 37.5mg of venlafaxine without tapering.

Went through 5 months of confusion, anxiety, insomnia and desperation. From then I am very slowly recovering, on windows and waves.

Symptoms: muscle stiffness and aches, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, memory loss, inability to concentrate or think straight, difficulty to speak, difficulty to read (improving).

Taking omega3, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E and probiotics.

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

It never occurred to me that the mood changes and other sufferings in the past would be related to the dose reduction, always thought it was the condition itself.

Hi Jose--I highly recommend you read the book Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker. I'm pretty sure it's been translated into Spanish. It does a very good historical explanation of the development of the use of psychiatric drugs and the things we have been taught about them, which are mostly false.

 

It turns out that apparently psychiatric drugs often make the condition that they were given for worse than it was to begin with. Disability rates due to mental illness have skyrocketed since the use of psych drugs has become common. That was what inspired Whitaker to start the research that led to the book.

 

I think you might like it.

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

 

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

Link to post

 

It never occurred to me that the mood changes and other sufferings in the past would be related to the dose reduction, always thought it was the condition itself.

Hi Jose--I highly recommend you read the book Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker. I'm pretty sure it's been translated into Spanish. It does a very good historical explanation of the development of the use of psychiatric drugs and the things we have been taught about them, which are mostly false.

 

It turns out that apparently psychiatric drugs often make the condition that they were given for worse than it was to begin with. Disability rates due to mental illness have skyrocketed since the use of psych drugs has become common. That was what inspired Whitaker to start the research that led to the book.

 

I think you might like it.

 

Hello Rhi,

Thank you so much for the recommendation. I will surely read this book.

Always looking for resources to remove the veil of ignorance!

Rhi, I have read your signature and I am curious about something I have observed in many other people in this forum: the fact that you are using multiple drugs at the same time. How have you arrived to this combination? There was a time around 2005 where I went through a really hard time, coming out of a destructive relationship that forced me to increase my SSRI dose, but also got me on lorazepam and some sleeping pill whose name I cannot remember now. All by medical prescription from a psychiatrist that, in hindsight, was pretty easy on writing them. But his combination only went on for about 1-2 months, as far as I can remember. After that I remained only with the antidepressant.

Thank you again for the book reference. And my best thoughts to you on your recovery.

1999-2004 citalopram 10 to 20mg with 2-3 withdrawal attempts.
2004 fluvoxamine for 4-5 months aprox. Changed to venlafaxine because of the headaches and dizziness.
2005-March 2014 venlafaxine usually starting on 150mg and coming down to 75 or 37.5. Several withdrawal attempts.
In March 2014 I stopped taking 37.5mg of venlafaxine without tapering.

Went through 5 months of confusion, anxiety, insomnia and desperation. From then I am very slowly recovering, on windows and waves.

Symptoms: muscle stiffness and aches, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, memory loss, inability to concentrate or think straight, difficulty to speak, difficulty to read (improving).

Taking omega3, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E and probiotics.

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