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gogetter2014: wanting to get off Effexor XR


gogetter2014

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Hello,

I am gogetter2014 and am happy I found this informative site.  I am wanting to get off Effexor XR.  When I tried to come off four years ago, it was pretty bad by week 8.  When I started going off, I switched to immediate release Effexor and was cutting up tablets that were hexagon shaped - ugh!  Needless to say, my pill cutting didn't go very well and I didn't really know how much drug I was taking.  The bad withdrawal symptoms started by the time I was completely off.  I was anxious, depressed, cried all the time, didn't want to get out of bed & was achy all over.  This time, I want to make the liquid dose at home with the tablets and have read over the posts about this but am a little unsure about it (getting the right equipment mainly).  Will definitely go extra slow coming off this time.  Currently on Effexor XR 112.5 mg.  Would appreciate any feedback.

Thanks!

Been off and on meds for depression/anxiety since 1997.    

Tried Straterra briefly around 1999 for ADD.  Took Adderall late 2002 through 2004. 

Took Effexor XR 150 mg. from Nov. 2002 through September 2003.  Tried Serzone in September 2003 while going off Effexor XR -  bad withdrawal symptoms.  Briefly tried Buspar Nov '03.  Neurontin and Lyrica taken for pelvic neuralgia & nerve pain in leg/foot from '06-'09.  Mirapex and Requip taken for restless leg syndrome from Aug 2011 to May 2012.  Started Effexor XR again May '06.  Got up to 112.5 mg.  Tried going off beginning Oct. 2010 and was completely off by Dec. 2010 (8 weeks).  Began feeling awful by the beginning of Jan. 2011.  Tried Pristique (one dose) and later Wellbutrin (one dose) in Jan 2011.  Back on Effexor XR late Jan 2011.  Tried Ritalin and maybe one other ADD med March - April 2011.   

Currently on:

Effexor XR 112.5 mg (since May '06 except for when I went off briefly in late 2010)

Vitamin D3 2,000-3,000 IUs/day (since March 2012)

Zantac 150 mg. 2x/day (since Aug. 2013)

Fish oil supplement 2x/day (since Sept 2014)  

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome gogetter2014,
Thank you for filling out your signature. I'm sorry to hear you had problems coming off effexor the last time you tried, I'm sure you will be successful this time with good information and our support.
 
How are you feeling at the moment, are you having any side effects or symptoms?
 
Here are some links which should be helpful:
 
Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)
http://survivinganti...or-venlafaxine/
 
How to make a liquid from tablets or capsules
General instructions on making a homemade liquid suspension
 
Using an oral syringe and other tapering techniques
How to use oral syringes, gelatin capsules, powdered tablets, and do-it-yourself liquid solutions.
 
 

This time, I want to make the liquid dose at home with the tablets and have read over the posts about this but am a little unsure about it (getting the right equipment mainly).

If you could be more specific about what you are unsure about, someone could offer some ideas or where to get the equipment, if that's the problem.

 

I’m glad you found us, we’re here to support you.

 

You can use this thread as your ongoing journal to track progress, ask questions and communicate with the community, add to it whenever you want.

 

Petu.

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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Hi Petu,

Thanks so much for your quick reply.  I apologize for not replying sooner.  Thanks also for the helpful links you mentioned.  I feel more confidant now about making the liquid version of reg release Effexor at home.  I'm thinking I may reduce at 5% instead of 10%.  The thought of having any side effects like I did four years ago makes me want to go very slow.  When I went off four years ago, I took the reg release tab 3x/day.  Once at 9 a.m., again at 3 p.m. and then again at 9 p.m.  Will taking the liquid version twice a day (once at 9 a.m. & p.m.) be sufficient?  It will be more complicated if I have to divide the liquid dose 3x/day for sure.  Just wondering if others had experience going from Effexor XR to reg release XR being taken 2x/day.

 

I was also wondering about getting insurance to pay for the Rx I need.  I know not all insurance works the same.  Since I'll be taking 53.44 mg. of liquid reg release Effexor twice a day, I'll need an Rx for 25 mg. and take 5 tabs per day.  I currently pay 2 copays for the Effexor XR dose I take daily.  One copay for the 75 mg capsule and one copay for the 37.5 mg capsule.  I think the doc I'm seeing will write the Rx for whatever I need.  He's a reg fam doc.  I'm just concerned I may have an ordeal with insurance.  I may end up having to pay out of pocket. 

 

As far as side effects, I really don't feel like I have much energy in general.  I'm not motivated to do much.  If I don't get at least 7-8/hrs. sleep at night, I feel pretty terrible the next day.  I think my skin is dryer and my sinuses are definitely dryer.  I've gained over 40 lbs. since being on Effexor.  I crave sweets and carbs ALL the time.  I crave food in general all the time.  When I went off four years ago however, I began losing weight as I decreased the dose so I know Effexor has caused the weight gain.  I was once an in shape/fit person so it's been depressing being overweight.  Of course low libido has been a struggle as well.  I started Zantac last year (rx'd by a GI doc) & tried just taking it once a day but the burning in my stomach/throat got so bad I had to go to twice a day.  The doc wrote the original rx for 2x day.  I don't eat a lot of fried food and my cholesterol is good.  I had a colonoscopy in Aug 2013 and was dx'd with gastroenteritis.  The burning in my gut/throat had gotten pretty bad which is why I decided to go see a GI doc in the summer of 2013.  I didn't have tummy problems prior to being on Effexor.  I think taking Zantac has made things worse.  I've read on this website about getting off drugs like Zantac.  I do feel like I've had less energy since being on Zantac - especially over the last 6 or so months.  It's probably zapping all my vit. B12.  Around the end of May of this year, I started having bad pain on the right side of my rib cage.  It was like stabbing/cramping pain that would go through to my back and up to my right shoulder.  I thought it was due to the exercises I was doing.  It got pretty bad by July so I had an abdominal scan done and blood work.  The thought was I may be having gall stones.  The scan & blood work came back negative - no gall stones.  I saw the GI doc and he told me it sounded like I was having intestinal cramping.  He rx'd Levsin which is an antispasmotic.  I asked what the side effects were and he said maybe dry mouth.  Well, I don't need to be any dryer than I already am so I haven't taken it.  I'm not going to take another drug - it's ridiculous.  I'm still having the little cramps though.  Not quite as bad as July but more occasional.  They sort of occur all around.  On the left side, in the middle of my chest.  It's strange.  I really can't stand Effexor and the health problems people have because of it. 

 

Thanks!

Been off and on meds for depression/anxiety since 1997.    

Tried Straterra briefly around 1999 for ADD.  Took Adderall late 2002 through 2004. 

Took Effexor XR 150 mg. from Nov. 2002 through September 2003.  Tried Serzone in September 2003 while going off Effexor XR -  bad withdrawal symptoms.  Briefly tried Buspar Nov '03.  Neurontin and Lyrica taken for pelvic neuralgia & nerve pain in leg/foot from '06-'09.  Mirapex and Requip taken for restless leg syndrome from Aug 2011 to May 2012.  Started Effexor XR again May '06.  Got up to 112.5 mg.  Tried going off beginning Oct. 2010 and was completely off by Dec. 2010 (8 weeks).  Began feeling awful by the beginning of Jan. 2011.  Tried Pristique (one dose) and later Wellbutrin (one dose) in Jan 2011.  Back on Effexor XR late Jan 2011.  Tried Ritalin and maybe one other ADD med March - April 2011.   

Currently on:

Effexor XR 112.5 mg (since May '06 except for when I went off briefly in late 2010)

Vitamin D3 2,000-3,000 IUs/day (since March 2012)

Zantac 150 mg. 2x/day (since Aug. 2013)

Fish oil supplement 2x/day (since Sept 2014)  

 

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  • Administrator

Welcome, gogetter.

 

You may wish to reduce by counting out Effexor XR beads at the beginning of your taper. To take 112.5mg Effexor XR per day, you're taking a 37.5mg capsule plus a 75mg capsule, correct?

 

If I were you, I'd count out beads from the 75mg capsule until you get down to only the 37.5mg capsule, then consider if you want to use a liquid made from immediate-release Effexor to taper.

 

Make sure you get the same brand and dosage of Effexor XR capsules throughout your taper, as they can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

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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Altostrata,

Thanks so much for your reply.  You're right - I'm taking a 75 mg capsule and a 37.5 mg capsule.  I like your suggestion of counting the beads from the 75 mg. capsule until I get down to only the 37.5 mg capsule.  It will be much easier that way.  Then once I get down to 37.5 mg., I may switch to immediate release and make the liquid.  I do think I will purchase the Gemini scale and will make sure I get the same brand/dosage throughout taper. 

 

I really appreciate all the good information on this site.  It's very helpful.  Thanks to you and everyone else who help those wanting to get off these meds!

Been off and on meds for depression/anxiety since 1997.    

Tried Straterra briefly around 1999 for ADD.  Took Adderall late 2002 through 2004. 

Took Effexor XR 150 mg. from Nov. 2002 through September 2003.  Tried Serzone in September 2003 while going off Effexor XR -  bad withdrawal symptoms.  Briefly tried Buspar Nov '03.  Neurontin and Lyrica taken for pelvic neuralgia & nerve pain in leg/foot from '06-'09.  Mirapex and Requip taken for restless leg syndrome from Aug 2011 to May 2012.  Started Effexor XR again May '06.  Got up to 112.5 mg.  Tried going off beginning Oct. 2010 and was completely off by Dec. 2010 (8 weeks).  Began feeling awful by the beginning of Jan. 2011.  Tried Pristique (one dose) and later Wellbutrin (one dose) in Jan 2011.  Back on Effexor XR late Jan 2011.  Tried Ritalin and maybe one other ADD med March - April 2011.   

Currently on:

Effexor XR 112.5 mg (since May '06 except for when I went off briefly in late 2010)

Vitamin D3 2,000-3,000 IUs/day (since March 2012)

Zantac 150 mg. 2x/day (since Aug. 2013)

Fish oil supplement 2x/day (since Sept 2014)  

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Gogetter, effexor made me very ill for years and I had abdominal problems that I was taking 

omeprazole for. It is similar to Zantac. As my dose of effexor got lower I started to feel better and 

eventually tapered off the omeprazole. I don't have the abdo problems now, not like I did, just 

heartburn or reflux occasionally if I don't stick to the healthy diet! 

 

I'm sure it will be the same for you too and you will feel better as you taper. Sadly I went too fast

and ended up with withdrawal so I am really glad that you found us before you started to taper.

Listen to your body and if you feel withdrawal symptoms hold your dose until they have settled

down.  You will soon know what your body needs and be able to go with it.  :)

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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Hi mammaP - thanks so much for your reply!  It's very encouraging that you were able to taper off omeprazole.  Thanks for sharing that - it gives me hope that I will be able to taper Zantac eventually!  I am so glad that I found this site because I had no idea as to how I was going to taper Effexor this time and not get the withdrawal symptoms.  This site is just great!  I'm really thankful that I found it.

 

I called the mail order pharmacy today that sends me the generic venlafaxine XR every three months.  This pharmacy is contracted with my insurance.  I spoke with a pharmacy tech and asked if they planned to stay with Greenstone (the manufacturer) or will they possibly be switching to another manufacturer in the future.  She said as it stands right now, Greenstone is who they will use for generic venlafaxine but there's always the chance they may have to switch to another manufacturer for some reason at any time.  She said if for some reason they switch to another manufacturer but I want to continue taking the med manufactured by Greenstone, the doctor would have to write on the prescription a medical reason as to why it's necessary that I take venlafaxine manufactured by Greenstone.  I have no idea what medical reason the doctor should write on the script.  Saying that it's necessary for tapering won't work because the insurance/pharmacy will question that.  Has anyone else had this issue come up?  The pharmacy tech did say that if I got a script filled today for venlafaxine XR, it would definitely be coming from Greenstone.  Since I plan to reduce by only 5% per month, I'll be reducing beads from the 112.5 mg dose for a long time - like more than 6 months.  I'm hoping the doc will be able to write the script with at least two refills on it so I don't have to call and/or go see him for a while just to get a new script.  I guess I may just have to check with the mail order pharmacy every three months to confirm they are using Greenstone and if something changes, I'll just cross that bridge when I get there.  

Would appreciate any feedback.

Thanks!

Been off and on meds for depression/anxiety since 1997.    

Tried Straterra briefly around 1999 for ADD.  Took Adderall late 2002 through 2004. 

Took Effexor XR 150 mg. from Nov. 2002 through September 2003.  Tried Serzone in September 2003 while going off Effexor XR -  bad withdrawal symptoms.  Briefly tried Buspar Nov '03.  Neurontin and Lyrica taken for pelvic neuralgia & nerve pain in leg/foot from '06-'09.  Mirapex and Requip taken for restless leg syndrome from Aug 2011 to May 2012.  Started Effexor XR again May '06.  Got up to 112.5 mg.  Tried going off beginning Oct. 2010 and was completely off by Dec. 2010 (8 weeks).  Began feeling awful by the beginning of Jan. 2011.  Tried Pristique (one dose) and later Wellbutrin (one dose) in Jan 2011.  Back on Effexor XR late Jan 2011.  Tried Ritalin and maybe one other ADD med March - April 2011.   

Currently on:

Effexor XR 112.5 mg (since May '06 except for when I went off briefly in late 2010)

Vitamin D3 2,000-3,000 IUs/day (since March 2012)

Zantac 150 mg. 2x/day (since Aug. 2013)

Fish oil supplement 2x/day (since Sept 2014)  

 

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  • Administrator

Cross that bridge when you get there.

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 Altostrata,

I figured I was worrying about something I didn't need to worry about right now and may never need to worry about!

Thanks! :)

Been off and on meds for depression/anxiety since 1997.    

Tried Straterra briefly around 1999 for ADD.  Took Adderall late 2002 through 2004. 

Took Effexor XR 150 mg. from Nov. 2002 through September 2003.  Tried Serzone in September 2003 while going off Effexor XR -  bad withdrawal symptoms.  Briefly tried Buspar Nov '03.  Neurontin and Lyrica taken for pelvic neuralgia & nerve pain in leg/foot from '06-'09.  Mirapex and Requip taken for restless leg syndrome from Aug 2011 to May 2012.  Started Effexor XR again May '06.  Got up to 112.5 mg.  Tried going off beginning Oct. 2010 and was completely off by Dec. 2010 (8 weeks).  Began feeling awful by the beginning of Jan. 2011.  Tried Pristique (one dose) and later Wellbutrin (one dose) in Jan 2011.  Back on Effexor XR late Jan 2011.  Tried Ritalin and maybe one other ADD med March - April 2011.   

Currently on:

Effexor XR 112.5 mg (since May '06 except for when I went off briefly in late 2010)

Vitamin D3 2,000-3,000 IUs/day (since March 2012)

Zantac 150 mg. 2x/day (since Aug. 2013)

Fish oil supplement 2x/day (since Sept 2014)  

 

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