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kerry69021

kerry 69021:Three week taper off of Effexor after taking for 10 years--Very Scared

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kerry69021

Hello everyone.  I'm on day 6 of my prescribed three week taper off of Effexor XR.  I started out at 225 mg and the doctor instructed me to drop down to 150 mg for seven days and then to drop down to 75 mg for seven days and then discontinue use. 

 

Thus far, I've been doing okay, I guess,  I am currently taking 150 mg before bed.  I've been waking up at 5 a.m. like clockwork and am very drowsy at that time, as well as for the rest of the day.  I cannot go back to sleep at that time and it takes me two hours to wake up enough to be able to drive to my work.

 

As the days progress on the 150 mg dose, I've noticed an increase in forgetfulness, sleepiness, and a change in my emotions.  During the daytime, I feel as though I have no emotions.  I feel like a void.  It's just nothing but feeling tired.  No emotions.  However, when evening rolls around, I will feel intense sadness, anger, or joy within minutes of each feeling.  Last night, I felt absolutely intense sorrow for a friend's little boy who has leukemia.  I cried harder than I've cried in days after reading the update regarding his status.  Then, not even 15 minutes later, that feeling was over and I was laughing robustly at a joke my husband told the family.  I feel like an utter train wreck just waiting to happen. 

 

I am scheduled to drop down to 75 mg tomorrow night and wanted to share my story with everyone here in hopes of getting some feedback regarding such a fast taper.  I've been told by some caring folks in a support group on Facebook that I should post on this site as soon as possible in order to get that feedback.  I would appreciate any advice or stories from you so I can understand what is happening to me, what I can do about it, and how I should proceed. 

 

My doctor is staunch about staying with this taper even though I have told him that I am a very, very sensitive person.  I would and DO label myself as an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person), which makes me believe that I may indeed not fare so well on such a fast taper.  However, I should mention that the doctor is wanting me to start a sample pack of Viibryd tomorrow night, as well, to "bridge" medications.  I'm hoping that this goes seamlessly, but that hope is diminishing as I speak with more people who have experienced withdrawing from Effexor. 

 

Thanks for reading my story.  I hope that someone can identify with what I'm going through and be able to offer some advice.  I hate to say this, but I really don't think my doctor understands how to properly taper someone such as myself (or maybe even anyone, for that matter) off of this medication. 


Tapered down to 93.75 starting the night of 10/10/14.  Same intentions of starting Viibryd.

Tapered down to 112.50 starting the night of 10/1/14 still with intentions of starting Viibryd upon reaching 75 mg of Effexor.

Tapered down to 131.25 starting the night of 9/25/14 with intentions of starting Viibryd upon reaching 75 mg of Effexor.

Tapered down again (not sure when I started this dosage) to 150 mg.  Held there until 9/25/14.

Still tapering off of Effexor XR, but am trying to stabilize at 187.5 since 8/28/14.

Tapering off of Effexor XR 225 mg for depression after use for 10 years (2004-2014)  Now at 150 mg for 7 days as of 8/27/2014.

Abilify 5 mg once daily (Ongoing medication.  Still taking in 2014.)

Clonazepam 2 mg for panic attacks and anxiety once daily (Ongoing medication.  Still taking in 2014.)

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bubble

Hi kerry and welcome to Surviving Antidepressants.


 


I have to say immediately that from my own experience and everything I've seen here I'm concerned about your doctor's plan and happy for you that you came here to get more information. Unfortunately, however strange that may sound, psychiatrists have misconceptions about what happens when we too quickly come off the drugs which have become an integral part of our brain. Coming off such a high dose of Effexor in 3 weeks cannot be called taper.


 


All of us are here because we followed the advice of well meaning, but ill informed doctors.


 


We suggest reducing by no more than 10% of the current dose every 4 weeks, this reduces the risk of withdrawal symptoms arising.  Please read through this post which will explain why:


 


http://survivinganti...0-of-my-dosage/


 


How long have you been on 225 mg of Effexor? Were you taking any medication before? Putting a short version of your drug history in your signature helps people understand your context, it appears below each of your posts.  Here are instructions for how to do it:


 


http://survivinganti...your-signature/


Once you get back to us with more details about your drug history and situation, we will be in a better position to offer support and suggestions.


 


We didn't find that "bridging" with other drugs helps. Our nervous systems thrive on stability and tapering helps us to regrow a new brain. That's why it is so very important to go slow. I suffered badly following my doctor's advice for many years so I had no choice but to take things into my own hands with the help of this site. 


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


 


It's also important to say that the worst of withdrawal doesn't kick in immediately but after some time. 


 


Please don't drop any more. Maybe you will even have to go up a bit. Study the links here and be firm with your doctor. Is there any particular reasons he wants you off the drug so quickly?


 


We will be happy to help you with any questions you might have. Welcome once again.


bubble


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. 

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bubble

Sorry, I didn't notice earlier that you wrote you have been taking the drug for 10 years. That's quite a long time. You can come off successfully but it will be a matter of years and not weeks.

 

Here is a post by our moderator Rhi which explains basic neuroscience behind antidepressants and tapering. This might be quite a lot of information for the start but it's very important that we know that since our doctors are clueless;

 

A lot of people, including healthcare practitioners; in fact, I guess, most people-- are operating from entirely the wrong paradigm, or way of thinking, about these meds. They're thinking of them like aspirin--as something that has an effect when it's in your system, and then when it gets out of your system the effect goes away.

That's not what happens with medications that alter neurotransmitter function, we are learning.

What happens when you change the chemistry of the brain is, the brain adjusts its chemistry and structure to try to return to homeostasis, or biochemical and functional balance. It tries to restabilize the chemistry. 

For example: SSRI antidepressants work as "serotonin reuptake inhibitors." That is, they cause serotonin to remain in the space between neurons, rather than being taken back up into the cells to be re-used, like it would be in a normal healthy nondrugged brain.

So the brain, which wants to re-establish normal signaling and function, adapts to the higher level of serotonin between neurons (in the "synapse", the space between neurons where signals get passed along). It does this by removing serotonin receptors, so that the signal is reduced and changed to something closer to normal. It also decreases the amount of serotonin it produces overall. 

To do that, genes have to be turned on and off; new proteins have to be made; whole cascades of chemical reactions have to be changed, which means turning on and off OTHER genes; cells are destroyed, new cells are made; in other words, a complex physiologic remodeling takes place. This takes place over time. The brain does not grow and change rapidly. 

This is a vast oversimplification of the amount of adaptation that takes place in the brain when we change its normal chemistry, but that's the principle.

When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay.

When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse.

SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. 

It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. 

I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long. 

With multiple drugs and a history of drug changes and cold turkeys, all of this becomes even more complicated. And if a person is started on these kinds of drugs at an early age before the brain has ever completely established normal mature functioning--well, it can't be good. (All of which is why I recommend an extremely slow taper particularly to anyone with a multiple drug history, a history of many years on meds, a history of past cold turkeys or frequent med changes, and a history of being put on drugs at a young age.)

This isn't intended to scare people, but hopefully to give you some idea of what's happening, and to help you respect and understand the process so you can work with it; ALSO, because you are likely to encounter many, many people who still believe these drugs work kind of like aspirin, or a glass of wine, and all you need to do is stop and get it out of your system. 

Now you can explain to them that no, getting it out of your system is not the issue; the issue is, you need to regrow or at least remodel your brain. This is a long, slow, very poorly understood process, and it needs to be respected. 


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. 

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Rhiannon

Most doctors are clueless about tapering people off psychiatric drugs. They get their education about these drugs from the companies who make them, who have billions of dollars invested in making sure people don't know the drugs are problematic, and who also have no motivation for getting people OFF their highly profitable products.

 

I highly recommend stopping your taper where you are right now for a while, and reading our materials in the Tapering section, and also getting hold of Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker and reading that. You might want to look at the website "cepuk.org" and also at the Mad in America website, eventually. Please do not try to taper off any psych drug in three weeks after ten years of use, unless you want to be very sick for a very long time.


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 

 

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

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Rhiannon

If you decide to use the bridging approach, well, first, tell your doctor you need some time to think about it and learn more about the medications--it's a big choice, taking a new medication, and any doctor who will rush you, isn't worth paying. Second, the usual drug that's used for that is fluoxetine (Prozac); why Vibryd? What's the point, what's the advantage? 

 

We generally find people do better just tapering slowly off the drug their brains are already adapted to, rather than putting themselves through the secondary trauma of trying to adapt to a whole new medication (while withdrawing from the former one).

 

Again, I recommend you put on the brakes immediately, possibly go back up to something like 180-200 mg if you want but certainly no further reduction now, and take the time to educate yourself and prepare yourself. This may mean finding a medical provider who is less authoritarian and more collaborative in style. You have every right to do that.

 

Only you can protect yourself, and you must.

 

Take your time. Don't let anyone rush you. This is your body and your life and if you want to take some time and get second and third opinions, that is absolutely your right, and your doctor knows that, no matter how big his ego may be.


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 

 

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

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kerry69021

Thanks Rhi and Bubble for all of the insight and information.  I finally got the courage to call my doctor's office and ask to slow down the taper.  I am going to try to go up a little from the 150 mg by adding a 37.5 mg, if the doctor agrees to prescribe it.  Otherwise, I am going to stick at 150 mg and find another doctor. 

 

It is empowering to be reminded that this is MY body and MY life.  Thanks so much for the reminder.  I would say more, but I've just woken up from a long nap and cannot seem to get my thoughts together properly.  I hate the confusion I'm feeling right now, for sure.  I hate the fact that my brain and body are going through this at all. 

 

I will be reading through all of the information provided on this site and will update you as soon as possible.  Thanks SO MUCH for all you've done for me already!!  :)


Tapered down to 93.75 starting the night of 10/10/14.  Same intentions of starting Viibryd.

Tapered down to 112.50 starting the night of 10/1/14 still with intentions of starting Viibryd upon reaching 75 mg of Effexor.

Tapered down to 131.25 starting the night of 9/25/14 with intentions of starting Viibryd upon reaching 75 mg of Effexor.

Tapered down again (not sure when I started this dosage) to 150 mg.  Held there until 9/25/14.

Still tapering off of Effexor XR, but am trying to stabilize at 187.5 since 8/28/14.

Tapering off of Effexor XR 225 mg for depression after use for 10 years (2004-2014)  Now at 150 mg for 7 days as of 8/27/2014.

Abilify 5 mg once daily (Ongoing medication.  Still taking in 2014.)

Clonazepam 2 mg for panic attacks and anxiety once daily (Ongoing medication.  Still taking in 2014.)

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bubble

I'm so glad you followed your gut feeling and came here before making that next cut.

 

Your strategy is great: if your doctor doesn't want to cooperate, you will find the one who will respect your authority on this.

 

keep us posted.


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. 

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MrAnxious

You have awakened, through is the first step. Now be kind to yourself and welcome. So much useful information on here. You are right where you are supposed to be. Going up to 187.5mg is a must, see once you do the initial damage from withdrawal its really hard to stop the length And intensity when it does show but you are being proactive which will save you so much unwanted grief in the end. Good luck my friend.


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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kerry69021

You have awakened, through is the first step. Now be kind to yourself and welcome. So much useful information on here. You are right where you are supposed to be. Going up to 187.5mg is a must, see once you do the initial damage from withdrawal its really hard to stop the length And intensity when it does show but you are being proactive which will save you so much unwanted grief in the end. Good luck my friend.

Thank you, my friend!  I appreciate the support and kind words.  Today has been the roughest day by far, so I'm looking forward to going back up a little.  I feel pretty disoriented and apathetic right now, but the mood swings are coming.  I can feel it and I'm not looking forward to the evening because of it. 

 

However, it's great to know that there are wonderful people such as yourself here to listen and offer encouragement.  Thanks again.


Tapered down to 93.75 starting the night of 10/10/14.  Same intentions of starting Viibryd.

Tapered down to 112.50 starting the night of 10/1/14 still with intentions of starting Viibryd upon reaching 75 mg of Effexor.

Tapered down to 131.25 starting the night of 9/25/14 with intentions of starting Viibryd upon reaching 75 mg of Effexor.

Tapered down again (not sure when I started this dosage) to 150 mg.  Held there until 9/25/14.

Still tapering off of Effexor XR, but am trying to stabilize at 187.5 since 8/28/14.

Tapering off of Effexor XR 225 mg for depression after use for 10 years (2004-2014)  Now at 150 mg for 7 days as of 8/27/2014.

Abilify 5 mg once daily (Ongoing medication.  Still taking in 2014.)

Clonazepam 2 mg for panic attacks and anxiety once daily (Ongoing medication.  Still taking in 2014.)

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Rhiannon

Don't be alarmed if you still don't feel great even after updosing. Your nervous system will be clanging like a bell for a while, so to speak--it takes a bit of time to stabilize, the nervous system is complex. There will be a few ups and downs for a bit.

 

Things will eventually settle down, and while you're waiting for that, you can be getting your taper strategy and tools together and if necessary finding a more supportive, collaborative provider.


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 

 

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

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kerry69021

Don't be alarmed if you still don't feel great even after updosing. Your nervous system will be clanging like a bell for a while, so to speak--it takes a bit of time to stabilize, the nervous system is complex. There will be a few ups and downs for a bit.

 

Things will eventually settle down, and while you're waiting for that, you can be getting your taper strategy and tools together and if necessary finding a more supportive, collaborative provider.

Thanks for the reply, Rhi.  I will be updosing starting tonight, but the new plan my doctor has me on to taper is just not going to work.  It sounds like he wants me off of it within 4 weeks or so.  I only got to talk to briefly talk to his nurse on the phone about the dosing, so I'm pretty unclear on what the plan is now.  Needless to say, I am very frustrated with the whole process right now.  I didn't actually think I would have to leave the doctor I have had since 2006 for a new one, but his lack of knowledge on something as important as tapering, Effexor, and withdrawals is alarming.  I am honestly just baffled at how a professional can prescribe these drugs and not know the important details about them.  

 

I guess I will stabilize myself at 187.5 and find another doctor.  I'm so confused now....I don't know what to do.  I don't want to make anyone mad at me, but I can't go on feeling this way.  I'm sure the doctor is going to think that I'm a lunatic for questioning his tapering schedule.  The nurse I talked to on the phone seemed peeved that my doctor would even have to adjust something he just ordered a week ago.  I feel like an idiot.  Sigh....  :-/


Tapered down to 93.75 starting the night of 10/10/14.  Same intentions of starting Viibryd.

Tapered down to 112.50 starting the night of 10/1/14 still with intentions of starting Viibryd upon reaching 75 mg of Effexor.

Tapered down to 131.25 starting the night of 9/25/14 with intentions of starting Viibryd upon reaching 75 mg of Effexor.

Tapered down again (not sure when I started this dosage) to 150 mg.  Held there until 9/25/14.

Still tapering off of Effexor XR, but am trying to stabilize at 187.5 since 8/28/14.

Tapering off of Effexor XR 225 mg for depression after use for 10 years (2004-2014)  Now at 150 mg for 7 days as of 8/27/2014.

Abilify 5 mg once daily (Ongoing medication.  Still taking in 2014.)

Clonazepam 2 mg for panic attacks and anxiety once daily (Ongoing medication.  Still taking in 2014.)

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Altostrata

Welcome, kerry.

 

Is your doctor a psychiatrist? If not, and if he is otherwise a good doctor, you might continue to see him for primary care but not take his advice about psychiatric drugs. PCPs are over-reaching in their use of these.

 

On the other hand, if he's also sloppy about other drugs, you need a new doctor.


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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kerry69021

Welcome, kerry.

 

Is your doctor a psychiatrist? If not, and if he is otherwise a good doctor, you might continue to see him for primary care but not take his advice about psychiatric drugs. PCPs are over-reaching in their use of these.

 

On the other hand, if he's also sloppy about other drugs, you need a new doctor.

Hello Altostrata,

 

My doctor is not a psychiatrist.  He is a family physician.  I will continue to see him for primary care, but I need to get in with someone else for this particular issue.  I'm already searching.

 

Thanks for the reply.  :)


Tapered down to 93.75 starting the night of 10/10/14.  Same intentions of starting Viibryd.

Tapered down to 112.50 starting the night of 10/1/14 still with intentions of starting Viibryd upon reaching 75 mg of Effexor.

Tapered down to 131.25 starting the night of 9/25/14 with intentions of starting Viibryd upon reaching 75 mg of Effexor.

Tapered down again (not sure when I started this dosage) to 150 mg.  Held there until 9/25/14.

Still tapering off of Effexor XR, but am trying to stabilize at 187.5 since 8/28/14.

Tapering off of Effexor XR 225 mg for depression after use for 10 years (2004-2014)  Now at 150 mg for 7 days as of 8/27/2014.

Abilify 5 mg once daily (Ongoing medication.  Still taking in 2014.)

Clonazepam 2 mg for panic attacks and anxiety once daily (Ongoing medication.  Still taking in 2014.)

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Altostrata

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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kerry69021

I just received this snippet via fax from my doctor's office.  My heart just sank when I saw it too.  I'm sure no one can see the picture worth a darn, so I apologize for that.  It reads:

 

"She can do 75 mg BID, with 37.5 mg tab either am or pm x 3-4 days.  Then 75 mg BID X 3-4 days.  Then 75 mg am, 37.5 mg pm X 3-4 days.  Then 37.5 mg for 3-4 days."

 

I asked my doctor to slow my taper down for me and I get this.  I just don't know what to do.  I feel so lost.

 

However, I called a local psychiatrist and made an appointment for the 17th of this month, in hopes that he can taper me off this medication safely.  When I made the call, I felt really empowered.  But now that I think about it, I feel like I am doing something wrong by going to another doctor.  I don't know if that is the medication withdrawals talking or what....

 

I feel as though I need to stay at my current 187.5 mg for another week or more.  When I feel ready, I will be willing to taper down to 168.75 mg for a few weeks, and so on and so forth. 

 

Any feedback is appreciated.  I already feel as though my doctor thinks I'm a lunatic, so I fear talking to him about it yet again.  Asking for an even slower taper feels like it would be reminiscent of pulling teeth. 

post-3491-0-40596700-1409761279_thumb.png


Tapered down to 93.75 starting the night of 10/10/14.  Same intentions of starting Viibryd.

Tapered down to 112.50 starting the night of 10/1/14 still with intentions of starting Viibryd upon reaching 75 mg of Effexor.

Tapered down to 131.25 starting the night of 9/25/14 with intentions of starting Viibryd upon reaching 75 mg of Effexor.

Tapered down again (not sure when I started this dosage) to 150 mg.  Held there until 9/25/14.

Still tapering off of Effexor XR, but am trying to stabilize at 187.5 since 8/28/14.

Tapering off of Effexor XR 225 mg for depression after use for 10 years (2004-2014)  Now at 150 mg for 7 days as of 8/27/2014.

Abilify 5 mg once daily (Ongoing medication.  Still taking in 2014.)

Clonazepam 2 mg for panic attacks and anxiety once daily (Ongoing medication.  Still taking in 2014.)

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missindy

Be done with this doctor. You are not being a "pain" and asking for unreasonable things. You need to find someone who will actually listen to you and follow the tapering scale that you want to do. 

Don't worry about being a pain in any doctors ass. They make a ton of money to do their jobs, and you have every right to be happy with the job they are doing. 

I'm in your same boat, I've been on citalopram for 7 years for anxiety/panic attacks and after dropping 50% (before finding this site) I am now going to drop 10% for as long as it takes to be rid of it in my system. When we are on something for so long, it takes a long time to be done with it. The doctors can't relate, they aren't us. 

Keep your head up and find yourself a new doc!


Paxil- 1999 to 2003 discontinued

Citalopram- 2007 to August 19th 2014 20 mgs

August 19th 2014 10 mgs 

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kerry69021

Be done with this doctor. You are not being a "pain" and asking for unreasonable things. You need to find someone who will actually listen to you and follow the tapering scale that you want to do. 

Don't worry about being a pain in any doctors ass. They make a ton of money to do their jobs, and you have every right to be happy with the job they are doing. 

I'm in your same boat, I've been on citalopram for 7 years for anxiety/panic attacks and after dropping 50% (before finding this site) I am now going to drop 10% for as long as it takes to be rid of it in my system. When we are on something for so long, it takes a long time to be done with it. The doctors can't relate, they aren't us. 

Keep your head up and find yourself a new doc!

Thanks for the advice and encouraging words.  I'm definitely going to do what's right for ME and not for the doctor.  This is my body, my life, and I need to speak up for myself more often. 


Tapered down to 93.75 starting the night of 10/10/14.  Same intentions of starting Viibryd.

Tapered down to 112.50 starting the night of 10/1/14 still with intentions of starting Viibryd upon reaching 75 mg of Effexor.

Tapered down to 131.25 starting the night of 9/25/14 with intentions of starting Viibryd upon reaching 75 mg of Effexor.

Tapered down again (not sure when I started this dosage) to 150 mg.  Held there until 9/25/14.

Still tapering off of Effexor XR, but am trying to stabilize at 187.5 since 8/28/14.

Tapering off of Effexor XR 225 mg for depression after use for 10 years (2004-2014)  Now at 150 mg for 7 days as of 8/27/2014.

Abilify 5 mg once daily (Ongoing medication.  Still taking in 2014.)

Clonazepam 2 mg for panic attacks and anxiety once daily (Ongoing medication.  Still taking in 2014.)

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NewMe

Kerry

 

Your doctor should be embarrassed that he did not know the issues surrounding tapering a medication he prescribed you. YOU are the consumer. He is not your parent or teacher nor your bottom line. If anything he should feel like a dope for going head to head with you in what I consider a passive aggressive manner: ie: not speaking to you directly and passing on instructions w serious ramifications through his pissy pants nurse.: not only did he alienate you and lose a patient and opportunity to learn more himself, but set you up for seriously unnecessary side effects that often come with this rapid type of taper. 

 

I had one such psychiatrist who proposed the same plan along with dumping me as a patient if I did not adhere to rapid taper from over 15 yrs of Paxil use. I told him to shove it up his butt and I would report him. He apologized to me. 

 

You do not deserve to be treated less than human by a doctor with an unquestioning faith in his being right on all medical and rx issues. 


I'M A WEANER!  :D 
atavan PRN ,Paxil approx 20 yrs ago for major depression
Switched to Klonopin PRN through to current
Paxil wore out
Changed to Effexor 
Depakote added
enormous weight gain - flat affect - led to depression - dropped depakote
Dropped Effexor, changed to Paxil 
PDoc added mixed salts amphetamines for ADHD - took for 2 yrs - was ok at first but had to cut as symptoms too intense -  then the crash was too much. STOPPED
Vyvanse started in 2013 (APRIL) - more smooth than IR amphetamine tabs---Have not used vyvanse daily in full amt since May 2013 

Paxil CT withdrawal 10/2012  :wacko:  Klonopin CT WD

Switched Klonopin to Xanax prn  - too strong

WD CT from XANAX after taking for a while - it was awful but can be done if you hold on!

Back to Klonopin PRN - working very hard to avoid taking it at all. 

Effexor 37.5 started 02/2013, 75mg by 03/2013, 150mg by 05/2012 (approx)  :blush:

Effexor 150mg 3/10/2014 Microtaper -3beads  :unsure:

3/11/2014-4beads ,3/12/14 - 5, 3/13/14 -6, 3/15/14 - 7, 3/18 - 8, 3/22 - 10, 3/24 - 12, 4/6 - 13, 4/7 - 14, 4/11 - 16 - on 4/19 ran out of brand took generic. Bad move. Back on brand on 4/20 and updosed 2 beads. 5/1 - 15, 5/6 - 16, 5/9 -17, 55/10 -17, 5/15 -18, 5/21 -19, 5/24 -20, 6/3 - 21, 6/6 -23, 6/13 -24,6/19- 25, 6/21 -26, 6/25 -27

6/28 -28, 6/29 -30, 7/3 -34, 7/8 -35, 7/17 -36, 7/30 -41,7/31 -42, 8/2 -43, 8/3 -44, 8/5 -45, 8/14 -48, 8/26-50, 9/24 -53, 10/24 -55, 12/1 -57, (lost the tally sheet, thus taper info for some of it), 4/19-63, 4/26-64, 4/30-65 Switched to wt reduction - now @ -.068, 7/14 -.070, August 2015 -.074, between Sept & October 10 -.077, Nov. -.078(feeling great), -.090 as of 1/10/16, down to  -.101 since January 2016 (it is now 6/24/16), -.105 as of 8/13/16
 
 

Ladies, please don't underestimate the possibility of perimenopause. The symptoms can be similar to, may intensify & in some cases mimic protracted w/d from ssri's & benzo's. 

 

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kerry69021

Kerry

 

Your doctor should be embarrassed that he did not know the issues surrounding tapering a medication he prescribed you. YOU are the consumer. He is not your parent or teacher nor your bottom line. If anything he should feel like a dope for going head to head with you in what I consider a passive aggressive manner: ie: not speaking to you directly and passing on instructions w serious ramifications through his pissy pants nurse.: not only did he alienate you and lose a patient and opportunity to learn more himself, but set you up for seriously unnecessary side effects that often come with this rapid type of taper. 

 

I had one such psychiatrist who proposed the same plan along with dumping me as a patient if I did not adhere to rapid taper from over 15 yrs of Paxil use. I told him to shove it up his butt and I would report him. He apologized to me. 

 

You do not deserve to be treated less than human by a doctor with an unquestioning faith in his being right on all medical and rx issues. 

 

Hi NewMe!

 

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your words. 

 

After reading your post, I can't help but agree that he should be embarrassed.  And his nurse is a pissy pants.  They both seem like they have superiority complexes and that's hard to deal with. 

 

This evening I finally broke down and cried because I feel so damn misunderstood and unheard by my doctor.  This isn't a three week process or even a 4 week process, a he is trying to make it.  He tried to start me out tapering off in three weeks and now he's added something like a week to the taper.  BIG DEAL!!  When I asked for a slower taper, he didn't really listen to me at all and that makes me feel like I am crazy for even nicely asking to be tapered more slowly.

 

I decided that I have to be my own advocate on this one because no one else knows my body better than I do.  And if that requires me going to a psychiatrist, then so be it.  I just have to step up and demand that my voice be heard.  I'm working on that one as best I can.  I tend to be a people-pleaser, so this is a big step for me!


Tapered down to 93.75 starting the night of 10/10/14.  Same intentions of starting Viibryd.

Tapered down to 112.50 starting the night of 10/1/14 still with intentions of starting Viibryd upon reaching 75 mg of Effexor.

Tapered down to 131.25 starting the night of 9/25/14 with intentions of starting Viibryd upon reaching 75 mg of Effexor.

Tapered down again (not sure when I started this dosage) to 150 mg.  Held there until 9/25/14.

Still tapering off of Effexor XR, but am trying to stabilize at 187.5 since 8/28/14.

Tapering off of Effexor XR 225 mg for depression after use for 10 years (2004-2014)  Now at 150 mg for 7 days as of 8/27/2014.

Abilify 5 mg once daily (Ongoing medication.  Still taking in 2014.)

Clonazepam 2 mg for panic attacks and anxiety once daily (Ongoing medication.  Still taking in 2014.)

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NewMe

Maybe crying is a relief in knowing you are understood by people in this forum. It is frustrating to be treated badly by a physician. 

 

You are on the rd to doing better by taking the step of looking out for  yourself.  :)


I'M A WEANER!  :D 
atavan PRN ,Paxil approx 20 yrs ago for major depression
Switched to Klonopin PRN through to current
Paxil wore out
Changed to Effexor 
Depakote added
enormous weight gain - flat affect - led to depression - dropped depakote
Dropped Effexor, changed to Paxil 
PDoc added mixed salts amphetamines for ADHD - took for 2 yrs - was ok at first but had to cut as symptoms too intense -  then the crash was too much. STOPPED
Vyvanse started in 2013 (APRIL) - more smooth than IR amphetamine tabs---Have not used vyvanse daily in full amt since May 2013 

Paxil CT withdrawal 10/2012  :wacko:  Klonopin CT WD

Switched Klonopin to Xanax prn  - too strong

WD CT from XANAX after taking for a while - it was awful but can be done if you hold on!

Back to Klonopin PRN - working very hard to avoid taking it at all. 

Effexor 37.5 started 02/2013, 75mg by 03/2013, 150mg by 05/2012 (approx)  :blush:

Effexor 150mg 3/10/2014 Microtaper -3beads  :unsure:

3/11/2014-4beads ,3/12/14 - 5, 3/13/14 -6, 3/15/14 - 7, 3/18 - 8, 3/22 - 10, 3/24 - 12, 4/6 - 13, 4/7 - 14, 4/11 - 16 - on 4/19 ran out of brand took generic. Bad move. Back on brand on 4/20 and updosed 2 beads. 5/1 - 15, 5/6 - 16, 5/9 -17, 55/10 -17, 5/15 -18, 5/21 -19, 5/24 -20, 6/3 - 21, 6/6 -23, 6/13 -24,6/19- 25, 6/21 -26, 6/25 -27

6/28 -28, 6/29 -30, 7/3 -34, 7/8 -35, 7/17 -36, 7/30 -41,7/31 -42, 8/2 -43, 8/3 -44, 8/5 -45, 8/14 -48, 8/26-50, 9/24 -53, 10/24 -55, 12/1 -57, (lost the tally sheet, thus taper info for some of it), 4/19-63, 4/26-64, 4/30-65 Switched to wt reduction - now @ -.068, 7/14 -.070, August 2015 -.074, between Sept & October 10 -.077, Nov. -.078(feeling great), -.090 as of 1/10/16, down to  -.101 since January 2016 (it is now 6/24/16), -.105 as of 8/13/16
 
 

Ladies, please don't underestimate the possibility of perimenopause. The symptoms can be similar to, may intensify & in some cases mimic protracted w/d from ssri's & benzo's. 

 

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kerry69021

Today is a rough day.  I've decided to post on here more often so that I have a good record of how I feel on each drop in dosage.  It seems that the next morning following a drop in my dosage, I am experiencing withdrawal symptoms with regularity.  The worst of it only lasts a couple of days and then the rest of the time before I cut my dosage again, I feel foggy-headed and am unable to remember things very well. 

 

This morning I woke up early feeling extremely rough.  I was very nauseated and thought I was going to vomit, but did not end up getting sick.  Today I have been feeling very nauseated, dizzy, and tired.  Surprisingly, I have an appetite despite feeling nauseated.  I am also experiencing the usual extremely painful cramps from my monthly visitor, so this is definitely not helping the situation.

 

Overall, I feel like I'm in the middle of my own personal hell.  I know that this is a means to an end, but the end doesn't seem to be in sight, even though I logically know that this too shall pass. 

 

My emotions are raw and all over the place.  I'm easily agitated, overstimulated, or saddened.  I didn't know that I could "feel" with this ferocity.  I almost don't know how to control these emotions because they come on so quickly and they hit me extremely hard. 

 

Just feeling quite lost, anxious, and hopeless right now.  As I've said, I know this will pass, but right now it feels as though I cannot "see the forest for the trees."  Sigh..... 


Tapered down to 93.75 starting the night of 10/10/14.  Same intentions of starting Viibryd.

Tapered down to 112.50 starting the night of 10/1/14 still with intentions of starting Viibryd upon reaching 75 mg of Effexor.

Tapered down to 131.25 starting the night of 9/25/14 with intentions of starting Viibryd upon reaching 75 mg of Effexor.

Tapered down again (not sure when I started this dosage) to 150 mg.  Held there until 9/25/14.

Still tapering off of Effexor XR, but am trying to stabilize at 187.5 since 8/28/14.

Tapering off of Effexor XR 225 mg for depression after use for 10 years (2004-2014)  Now at 150 mg for 7 days as of 8/27/2014.

Abilify 5 mg once daily (Ongoing medication.  Still taking in 2014.)

Clonazepam 2 mg for panic attacks and anxiety once daily (Ongoing medication.  Still taking in 2014.)

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mammaP

Kerry you need to hold because you are suffering and need to stabilise. I am tapering effexor too and 

in the end stopped talking to my doctor because he didn't have a clue either. Psychiatrists were just as bad 

and didn't have a clue so I have done it myself with the help of this forum.  As long as you can collect your

scripts you can do this your way, One day they will all be educated but in the meantime you have to take care

of yourself and do what you know is best for your body. 

 

What dose are you on now? I wouldn't make any more cuts for a while, going too fast can lead to much 

needless suffering as I found out the hard way!


**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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Altostrata

kerry, what other drugs are you taking? Please put ALL the drugs you take in the Drug Interactions Checker http://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.html and post the results in this topic.
 


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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kerry69021

kerry, what other drugs are you taking? Please put ALL the drugs you take in the Drug Interactions Checker http://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.html and post the results in this topic.

 

Hi Altostrata,

 

I have attached my interactions, as you requested.  I take all medications prior to going to bed and sleep approximately 6 hours.

 

post-3491-0-74709100-1413060983_thumb.png


Tapered down to 93.75 starting the night of 10/10/14.  Same intentions of starting Viibryd.

Tapered down to 112.50 starting the night of 10/1/14 still with intentions of starting Viibryd upon reaching 75 mg of Effexor.

Tapered down to 131.25 starting the night of 9/25/14 with intentions of starting Viibryd upon reaching 75 mg of Effexor.

Tapered down again (not sure when I started this dosage) to 150 mg.  Held there until 9/25/14.

Still tapering off of Effexor XR, but am trying to stabilize at 187.5 since 8/28/14.

Tapering off of Effexor XR 225 mg for depression after use for 10 years (2004-2014)  Now at 150 mg for 7 days as of 8/27/2014.

Abilify 5 mg once daily (Ongoing medication.  Still taking in 2014.)

Clonazepam 2 mg for panic attacks and anxiety once daily (Ongoing medication.  Still taking in 2014.)

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crazykatie

Hi Kerry,

 

Welcome. I understand you when you say that you feel like you're doing something wrong by going behind your Pcp, but you have too. I had a terrible shrink. He put me on high doses of a ton of meds at one time. I finally realized that I did not want to live like this anymore. I couldn't have real emotions, I couldn't function properly n felt stupid actually.

I saw my shrink starting in 2000 for depression on n off for several years. I never experienced any wd those times. But I would only be on them for a couple months. Then boom I had like a stress breakdown within two minutes, I was bipolar. All he did was write script after script. I finally gave up as he had instilled the fear in me that I could not live without these meds ever n that if I went off them I would never function.

I found a new doc about three months ago. I went in, didn't even allow him to talk, I said firmly n collected that my intent to have his assistance in me getting off these drugs. Followed up with if you're not, then there is no point for me to see you again.

He was not happy I ct the invega. I then had cut my wellbutrin dose by 1/3. Then I was having hormonal issues on top of it. The second visit in an episode of full blown wd following four weeks off. He prescribed me seroquel. I told him I didn't want to take another drug. But I was so exhausted from the insomnia that I caved. One pill was enough to remind me that i want off these meds. The third visit on Friday. I stood up n said I'm not taking any more drugs in addition to what I'm currently taking. I reminded I came to see him to taper. He finally agreed to help without adding more meds.

It's really hard to do this bc we think they know everything. But they know nothing. No one knows anything about this wd until they have to experience it themselves.

I personally think that they should do these drug trials on shrinks, make them see the facts in how it changes you n getting off is not easy.

I hope you can find a doc that will do the 10% taper rule. I'm following the advice of the pros from now on. I'm fighting for myself n my body n brain. I wasn't prepared to do that. But the people on this board told me I had to do it myself.

You will find it very empowering I think bc you are finally taking control them that you are not willing to accept their irresponsible tapers. You are taking charge with your program n telling them how it works not them telling you!

Sorry I've rambled. Keep coming to this board. It is so great. The people on here give me hope!!

Hugs!


Was on antidepressants on and off from 2000-2007 dx with MDD n anxiety.

2009- had like a physical breakdown. Was exhausted n not functioning properly. Still have depression n had become suicidal. Shrink dx bipolar while I never had a single manic episode. I got at least 8-9 hours of sleep every night. I required that to function since a child. I was admitted to the psych ward immediately. Was then put on a cocktail.

Lithium, lamotrigine, wellbutrin, prozac, depakote, Xanax, trazadone and ritalin.

Went through over 50 shock treatments n put on Invega in addition

Spring 2014, made the decision to try to get off some meds.

11 weeks ago I qt quit invega

10/6 reinstated 150 mg of Wellbutrin

I currently take 40 mg of prozac, 300 mg of lamotrigine, 1 mg of Xanax, 150 mg of trazadone

I am down from three medications. The forementioned others that I was initially put on I stopped prior to 2014.

I am hoping to be med free one day. I do not have any intention of stopping the current ones right now. I'm going to give my body a little more time to adjust.

Progress not perfection!!

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kerry69021

Kerry you need to hold because you are suffering and need to stabilise. I am tapering effexor too and 

in the end stopped talking to my doctor because he didn't have a clue either. Psychiatrists were just as bad 

and didn't have a clue so I have done it myself with the help of this forum.  As long as you can collect your

scripts you can do this your way, One day they will all be educated but in the meantime you have to take care

of yourself and do what you know is best for your body. 

 

What dose are you on now? I wouldn't make any more cuts for a while, going too fast can lead to much 

needless suffering as I found out the hard way!

Hello and thank you.  I am going to hold and stabilize.  I too have stopped talking to my doctor and he told me that he will not prescribe me any more Effexor.  He really doesn't have a clue, or so I've discovered. 


Tapered down to 93.75 starting the night of 10/10/14.  Same intentions of starting Viibryd.

Tapered down to 112.50 starting the night of 10/1/14 still with intentions of starting Viibryd upon reaching 75 mg of Effexor.

Tapered down to 131.25 starting the night of 9/25/14 with intentions of starting Viibryd upon reaching 75 mg of Effexor.

Tapered down again (not sure when I started this dosage) to 150 mg.  Held there until 9/25/14.

Still tapering off of Effexor XR, but am trying to stabilize at 187.5 since 8/28/14.

Tapering off of Effexor XR 225 mg for depression after use for 10 years (2004-2014)  Now at 150 mg for 7 days as of 8/27/2014.

Abilify 5 mg once daily (Ongoing medication.  Still taking in 2014.)

Clonazepam 2 mg for panic attacks and anxiety once daily (Ongoing medication.  Still taking in 2014.)

Share this post


Link to post
kerry69021

Hi Kerry,

 

Welcome. I understand you when you say that you feel like you're doing something wrong by going behind your Pcp, but you have too. I had a terrible shrink. He put me on high doses of a ton of meds at one time. I finally realized that I did not want to live like this anymore. I couldn't have real emotions, I couldn't function properly n felt stupid actually.

I saw my shrink starting in 2000 for depression on n off for several years. I never experienced any wd those times. But I would only be on them for a couple months. Then boom I had like a stress breakdown within two minutes, I was bipolar. All he did was write script after script. I finally gave up as he had instilled the fear in me that I could not live without these meds ever n that if I went off them I would never function.

I found a new doc about three months ago. I went in, didn't even allow him to talk, I said firmly n collected that my intent to have his assistance in me getting off these drugs. Followed up with if you're not, then there is no point for me to see you again.

He was not happy I ct the invega. I then had cut my wellbutrin dose by 1/3. Then I was having hormonal issues on top of it. The second visit in an episode of full blown wd following four weeks off. He prescribed me seroquel. I told him I didn't want to take another drug. But I was so exhausted from the insomnia that I caved. One pill was enough to remind me that i want off these meds. The third visit on Friday. I stood up n said I'm not taking any more drugs in addition to what I'm currently taking. I reminded I came to see him to taper. He finally agreed to help without adding more meds.

It's really hard to do this bc we think they know everything. But they know nothing. No one knows anything about this wd until they have to experience it themselves.

I personally think that they should do these drug trials on shrinks, make them see the facts in how it changes you n getting off is not easy.

I hope you can find a doc that will do the 10% taper rule. I'm following the advice of the pros from now on. I'm fighting for myself n my body n brain. I wasn't prepared to do that. But the people on this board told me I had to do it myself.

You will find it very empowering I think bc you are finally taking control them that you are not willing to accept their irresponsible tapers. You are taking charge with your program n telling them how it works not them telling you!

Sorry I've rambled. Keep coming to this board. It is so great. The people on here give me hope!!

Hugs!

Hello Katie,

 

Thanks so much for the post.  I just woke up from a nap and am having a hard time expressing myself properly, so please forgive me if am not quite "all there yet" or am not quite sure how to say what I want to say.  ;)

 

I feel much better after my nap, which is great.  I haven't been sleeping well because of my monthly visitor being on its way and because of it actually arriving.  Tapering hasn't helped with my quality of sleep either.  Sometimes a nap does the trick for the worst of my symptoms.  I am going to read more posts and follow the advice of the pros. It is because of people like you that feel so welcomed into this community.  Thanks bunches and hugs to you too!


Tapered down to 93.75 starting the night of 10/10/14.  Same intentions of starting Viibryd.

Tapered down to 112.50 starting the night of 10/1/14 still with intentions of starting Viibryd upon reaching 75 mg of Effexor.

Tapered down to 131.25 starting the night of 9/25/14 with intentions of starting Viibryd upon reaching 75 mg of Effexor.

Tapered down again (not sure when I started this dosage) to 150 mg.  Held there until 9/25/14.

Still tapering off of Effexor XR, but am trying to stabilize at 187.5 since 8/28/14.

Tapering off of Effexor XR 225 mg for depression after use for 10 years (2004-2014)  Now at 150 mg for 7 days as of 8/27/2014.

Abilify 5 mg once daily (Ongoing medication.  Still taking in 2014.)

Clonazepam 2 mg for panic attacks and anxiety once daily (Ongoing medication.  Still taking in 2014.)

Share this post


Link to post
Petunia
 I am going to hold and stabilize.  I too have stopped talking to my doctor and he told me that he will not prescribe me any more Effexor.  He really doesn't have a clue, or so I've discovered. 

 

 

Do you mean that he expects you to just stop taking it?  Will you be looking for a new doctor, you will need to find someone to write your scripts while you continue tapering.


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

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
kerry69021

 

 I am going to hold and stabilize.  I too have stopped talking to my doctor and he told me that he will not prescribe me any more Effexor.  He really doesn't have a clue, or so I've discovered. 

 

 

Do you mean that he expects you to just stop taking it?  Will you be looking for a new doctor, you will need to find someone to write your scripts while you continue tapering.

 

Hi Petu,

 

He does expect me to stop taking the Effexor once I have tapered off of it.  I will then be on Viibryd.  I have 8 refills left of 75 mg XR capsules, so I will be counting beads in the future.  I am weaning myself without his help at this point.  He just told me that he wants to see me after I've been on Viibryd for three weeks.  It's going to be a while, actually quite a while, before he sees me again.  I am going to continue to taper safely and will indeed see him after I've been on Viibryd for three weeks. 


Tapered down to 93.75 starting the night of 10/10/14.  Same intentions of starting Viibryd.

Tapered down to 112.50 starting the night of 10/1/14 still with intentions of starting Viibryd upon reaching 75 mg of Effexor.

Tapered down to 131.25 starting the night of 9/25/14 with intentions of starting Viibryd upon reaching 75 mg of Effexor.

Tapered down again (not sure when I started this dosage) to 150 mg.  Held there until 9/25/14.

Still tapering off of Effexor XR, but am trying to stabilize at 187.5 since 8/28/14.

Tapering off of Effexor XR 225 mg for depression after use for 10 years (2004-2014)  Now at 150 mg for 7 days as of 8/27/2014.

Abilify 5 mg once daily (Ongoing medication.  Still taking in 2014.)

Clonazepam 2 mg for panic attacks and anxiety once daily (Ongoing medication.  Still taking in 2014.)

Share this post


Link to post
Petunia

Hi Kerry,

I just read through your thread and I have to say I'm confused.  I couldn't find any part of your thread where you are talking about what YOU want to do.  I also don't understand why you are switching to viibryd.

 

Are you trying to come off your medication completely?

 

 

If you decide to use the bridging approach, well, first, tell your doctor you need some time to think about it and learn more about the medications--it's a big choice, taking a new medication, and any doctor who will rush you, isn't worth paying. Second, the usual drug that's used for that is fluoxetine (Prozac); why Vibryd? What's the point, what's the advantage? 

 

We generally find people do better just tapering slowly off the drug their brains are already adapted to, rather than putting themselves through the secondary trauma of trying to adapt to a whole new medication (while withdrawing from the former one).

 

Why are you switching to Vibryd?  I'm sorry if you've mentioned this in your thread, but I couldn't find it.


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

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
kerry69021

Hi Kerry,

I just read through your thread and I have to say I'm confused.  I couldn't find any part of your thread where you are talking about what YOU want to do.  I also don't understand why you are switching to viibryd.

 

Are you trying to come off your medication completely?

 

 

If you decide to use the bridging approach, well, first, tell your doctor you need some time to think about it and learn more about the medications--it's a big choice, taking a new medication, and any doctor who will rush you, isn't worth paying. Second, the usual drug that's used for that is fluoxetine (Prozac); why Vibryd? What's the point, what's the advantage? 

 

We generally find people do better just tapering slowly off the drug their brains are already adapted to, rather than putting themselves through the secondary trauma of trying to adapt to a whole new medication (while withdrawing from the former one).

 

Why are you switching to Vibryd?  I'm sorry if you've mentioned this in your thread, but I couldn't find it.

I'm sorry.  I haven't mentioned why I'm switching to Viibryd.  I feel as though Effexor stopped working and am starting Viibryd because I want an antidepressant that works.  That is probably counter to what everyone else wants on these boards, and I'm sorry if I'm breaking the rules by wanting to switch to something different.  I just feel as though it's time to switch.  Is this the wrong thing to do?  Should I be trying to rid my body of antidepressants altogether?    Thanks for your input in advance.


Tapered down to 93.75 starting the night of 10/10/14.  Same intentions of starting Viibryd.

Tapered down to 112.50 starting the night of 10/1/14 still with intentions of starting Viibryd upon reaching 75 mg of Effexor.

Tapered down to 131.25 starting the night of 9/25/14 with intentions of starting Viibryd upon reaching 75 mg of Effexor.

Tapered down again (not sure when I started this dosage) to 150 mg.  Held there until 9/25/14.

Still tapering off of Effexor XR, but am trying to stabilize at 187.5 since 8/28/14.

Tapering off of Effexor XR 225 mg for depression after use for 10 years (2004-2014)  Now at 150 mg for 7 days as of 8/27/2014.

Abilify 5 mg once daily (Ongoing medication.  Still taking in 2014.)

Clonazepam 2 mg for panic attacks and anxiety once daily (Ongoing medication.  Still taking in 2014.)

Share this post


Link to post
Petunia

Hi Kerry,

Thank you for replying and for answering my question, I understand now.

 

 

I'm sorry.  I haven't mentioned why I'm switching to Viibryd.  I feel as though Effexor stopped working and am starting Viibryd because I want an antidepressant that works.  That is probably counter to what everyone else wants on these boards, and I'm sorry if I'm breaking the rules by wanting to switch to something different.  I just feel as though it's time to switch.  Is this the wrong thing to do?  Should I be trying to rid my body of antidepressants altogether?    Thanks for your input in advance.

 

 

If you mean you want to find a drug to 'work', as in cure something, that's not possible.  Antidepressants don't cure anything, they sometimes are able to suppress symptoms, or normal human emotions for a while, which can be helpful for some people.  But they don't cure illnesses and they don't solve problems.

 

Unfortunately, after a while, being on these drugs tends to cause increasing health problems for many people, but by then, the body has become dependent on them to function and trying to stop causes withdrawal symptoms, which often gets diagnosed as a recurrence of a previous illness, which never existed in the first place, or as a completely new illness, so that a different drug can be prescribed.

 

What was your original diagnosis?  Did you look for or were you offered natural treatments?

 

You might find that if you taper slowly enough, and combine it with learning healthier ways to manage uncomfortable emotions, you might not need to be on an antidepressant.

 

We are a support site for helping people safely come off their medications, or for tapering down to lower, less harmful doses. So we wont be encouraging you to switch drugs.  My hope is that you use this site to taper effexor slowly enough that you are able to come off completely and not need to take anything else.

 

 

I highly recommend stopping your taper where you are right now for a while, and reading our materials in the Tapering section, and also getting hold of Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker and reading that. You might want to look at the website "cepuk.org" and also at the Mad in America website, eventually.

 

Also, check out the youtube videos by psychiatrist Peter Breggin, here is number 2 in his series called 'Simple Truth's about Psychiatry'

 

Peter R. Breggin, MD: How Do Psychiatric Drugs Really Work?


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

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
kerry69021

Hi Kerry,

Thank you for replying and for answering my question, I understand now.

 

 

I'm sorry.  I haven't mentioned why I'm switching to Viibryd.  I feel as though Effexor stopped working and am starting Viibryd because I want an antidepressant that works.  That is probably counter to what everyone else wants on these boards, and I'm sorry if I'm breaking the rules by wanting to switch to something different.  I just feel as though it's time to switch.  Is this the wrong thing to do?  Should I be trying to rid my body of antidepressants altogether?    Thanks for your input in advance.

 

 

If you mean you want to find a drug to 'work', as in cure something, that's not possible.  Antidepressants don't cure anything, they sometimes are able to suppress symptoms, or normal human emotions for a while, which can be helpful for some people.  But they don't cure illnesses and they don't solve problems.

 

Unfortunately, after a while, being on these drugs tends to cause increasing health problems for many people, but by then, the body has become dependent on them to function and trying to stop causes withdrawal symptoms, which often gets diagnosed as a recurrence of a previous illness, which never existed in the first place, or as a completely new illness, so that a different drug can be prescribed.

 

What was your original diagnosis?  Did you look for or were you offered natural treatments?

 

You might find that if you taper slowly enough, and combine it with learning healthier ways to manage uncomfortable emotions, you might not need to be on an antidepressant.

 

We are a support site for helping people safely come off their medications, or for tapering down to lower, less harmful doses. So we wont be encouraging you to switch drugs.  My hope is that you use this site to taper effexor slowly enough that you are able to come off completely and not need to take anything else.

 

 

I highly recommend stopping your taper where you are right now for a while, and reading our materials in the Tapering section, and also getting hold of Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker and reading that. You might want to look at the website "cepuk.org" and also at the Mad in America website, eventually.

 

Also, check out the youtube videos by psychiatrist Peter Breggin, here is number 2 in his series called 'Simple Truth's about Psychiatry'

 

Peter R. Breggin, MD: How Do Psychiatric Drugs Really Work?

Thank you very much for your input and thoughts.  I apologize for misunderstanding the complete purpose of this site and for misunderstanding a lot of things.   I will start journaling on my own and appreciate the support I have received thus far. 


Tapered down to 93.75 starting the night of 10/10/14.  Same intentions of starting Viibryd.

Tapered down to 112.50 starting the night of 10/1/14 still with intentions of starting Viibryd upon reaching 75 mg of Effexor.

Tapered down to 131.25 starting the night of 9/25/14 with intentions of starting Viibryd upon reaching 75 mg of Effexor.

Tapered down again (not sure when I started this dosage) to 150 mg.  Held there until 9/25/14.

Still tapering off of Effexor XR, but am trying to stabilize at 187.5 since 8/28/14.

Tapering off of Effexor XR 225 mg for depression after use for 10 years (2004-2014)  Now at 150 mg for 7 days as of 8/27/2014.

Abilify 5 mg once daily (Ongoing medication.  Still taking in 2014.)

Clonazepam 2 mg for panic attacks and anxiety once daily (Ongoing medication.  Still taking in 2014.)

Share this post


Link to post
mammaP

No need to go it alone Kerry, we want to support you.  I was just the same as you, taking effexor for 10 years

but it wasn't working. I was very ill and almost bed ridden. Then I decided I would get off effexor and try something

else. I needed something because my doctors had all told me that I needed drugs for life but effexor wan't helping

any more. I had tried lots of others in addition to it but had nasty reactions so was stuck with it. I was not prepared

for what happened. When I tried to quit using the method the doctors advised, I was seriously sick with withdrawal

and had to go back within days. Then I read about slow tapers on another forum and started to remove beads from

the capsule. I was expecting the depression to get worse until I could start a new one but I felt better and better as

the dose got lower. I am sure it will be the same for you. Effexor is a nasty little drug to get off and the side effects

are horrendous but a slow taper will see you feeling much better and your depression will even get better without it. 

 

If you can get hold of it I suggest reading Anatomy of an epidemic by Robert Whittaker, it explains a lot of reasons

why we do what we can to help people get off these drugs.  If you read through the symptoms and self care topics

there is lots of info about non drug ways of treating depression. 


**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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kerry69021

Hello mammaP,

 

Thank you for the reply.  I appreciate it.  I am still slowly tapering off of Effexor, so no change in my signature, and am doing quite well today. 

 

Effexor is indeed a nasty drug to get off of and I wish I had never been on it, but I've come to realize that the past is the past and I'm moving forward with my life without Effexor.  Getting off of it will be the biggest blessing I could ask for, medicinally, anyway. 

 

I will try to get a copy of Anatomy of an Epidemic.  I am a voracious reader, so I think I will enjoy it immensely. 


Tapered down to 93.75 starting the night of 10/10/14.  Same intentions of starting Viibryd.

Tapered down to 112.50 starting the night of 10/1/14 still with intentions of starting Viibryd upon reaching 75 mg of Effexor.

Tapered down to 131.25 starting the night of 9/25/14 with intentions of starting Viibryd upon reaching 75 mg of Effexor.

Tapered down again (not sure when I started this dosage) to 150 mg.  Held there until 9/25/14.

Still tapering off of Effexor XR, but am trying to stabilize at 187.5 since 8/28/14.

Tapering off of Effexor XR 225 mg for depression after use for 10 years (2004-2014)  Now at 150 mg for 7 days as of 8/27/2014.

Abilify 5 mg once daily (Ongoing medication.  Still taking in 2014.)

Clonazepam 2 mg for panic attacks and anxiety once daily (Ongoing medication.  Still taking in 2014.)

Share this post


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