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aaa50 - withdrawal from effexor


aaa50

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Hi everyone,

I just joined your group today.

I have been on 37.5 mg of effexor for about 10 years.

The side effects, mainly weight gain by 25lbs and loss of libido plus a feeling I couldn't feel the range of emotions, made me want to come off.

My doctor's diagnosis 10 years ago was that of a mood disorder which I never quite believed.

I started seeing him after a very bad cold turkey withdrawal from Klonopin which was made public via a film and TV/radio interviews.

I was left with severe depersonalization and derealization and not having any info at the time, made all the wrong decisions.

One was probably going on to antidepressants.

 

I have tried to get off effexor several times over the years and always failed.

This time, and against all better knowing, I went off by going once every other day for 10 days and than off while going on 100mg of Wellbutrin...thinking it was better to make a switch and see if I can come off that one later on with less symptoms.

 

So far it has been 3 weeks after stopping Effexor and going on wellbutrin.

The 2nd day without effexor began with electric headshocks and soon followed by extreme skin burning ( face, mouth, neck, chest, arms) and a swooshing sensation inside my brain.

Nausea or more gagging followed too.

I also have a strange feeling in my brain which I still can't find words for..weird is what I can come up with..as if I am a different person but can't figure out if this is good or bad.

Head in a vise....headachy...but worse is the depression which is now here..lots of crying too..feel very guilty ands ashamed towards my family which fuels the depression

or which came first, the chicken or the egg.

And fear I am damaged goods.....

I have read Dr Peter Breggins books which are not hopeful for someone in any psych drug withdrawal.

 

Any advice for me or can anyone relate?

 

aaa50

Edited by Altostrata
added poster's name to Intro topic heading

10 yrs on 37.5 Effexor

came off too quicky June 2011+ at the same time put on 150mg Wellbutrin.

Things not working out and started to taper off Wellbutrin July 21.

Schedule is:

Week 1: 37.5mg 3 times a day ( total of 112.5 mg)

Week 2: 37.5 mg 2 times a day ( total of 75mg)

Week 3: 18.75mg 2 times a day ( total of 37.5mg)

Week 4: 18.75mg once day

Week 5: off

 

As of July 27th...reinstated on Effexor 37.5mg

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  • Administrator

aaa50, thank you for joining us and asking your questions here.

 

As you probably know, you are having antidepressant withdrawal symptoms. We call it "neuro-emotion" -- strong emotions arising from the neurological chaos. It does not mean you are having worse depression.

 

Alternating dosages is not a good way to provide your brain with a slow, gentle ramp off these drugs.

 

It sounds like you were using Effexor tablets. If I were you, to reduce the withdrawal symptoms, I would take a 37.5 mg tablet as soon as possible and halve the Wellbutrin dosage. (Basically, I would go back on Effexor and taper fairly quickly off Wellbutrin.)

 

Stay on 37.5mg Effexor for 2-3 weeks to get your system acclimated again, then start tapering by 10% every 3-4 weeks. To taper by 10%, you may need a pill cutter and an electronic scale to measure out those tiny amounts.

 

At some point, you can switch to cutting up 25mg tablets.

 

See Tapering techniques topic and Tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine) in our Tapering forum.

 

Now, I'm not a doctor, what you do is up to you. One thing that's important, try to stay as calm as possible. You may need to take control over your tapering and work with your doctor to get the prescriptions you need.

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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Hallo aaa50

 

Thank you for sharing your situTION!

 

It seems we both share a similar storry! Iwas ct off a Benzo as well and for that experience they put me on ADs!!! Like you I did not know they put the evil out off me to get me into hell!!!

 

Well.................I think what Alto said is verry clever and usefull!!! Stabilize and than wean slooooowly!!!

in my opinion dont switch to Welbutrin.....................just one more new toxic substanz for your brain, your body and the CNS!!!!

 

TWO are allready far enough!!!

 

Please share your story with us.............it is so similar to mine and...............................it is possible to get off this evildrug!!!

 

My best wishes to you!

 

Tramond

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Thank you Alto and Tramond.

 

I am glad Alto you shared with me the neuro emotions.

I found it elsewhere on this site.

Very helpful to know and to tell myself each time I am in such a moment.

 

I understand what you are saying re going back to effexor and stabilize.

It might have to come to that.

I truly can kick myself for letting my doctor dictate this fast taper against better knowing.

Some of my benzo friends are devastated I did this.

 

I had an extremely bad day yesterday and ended up in the office of a doctor friend of our family who told me to take immediately an anti seizure med.

My brain was in an electric storm and it was mayhem.

He beefed up my EPA in the Omega 3 supplement I have been on already for several years.

I see you are taking 3600mg....I am at 1500mg. Maybe worthwhile to take more..what do you think?

Somehow things died down and I felt much better.

it lasted 24 hours though.

 

Today, this morning, as I was walking the dog on the beach, the tides changed and all went south in a new york minute.

My brain froze and I dove into this depressiveness with many neuro emotions.

I could barely get off the beach on my own.

The dog felt it and stayed close to me.

 

has anyone had this sensation of a frozen over brain with pain around the head?

I felt as if I could not move or move in slow motion.

I did not see my face but I would imagine my eyes were staring or glazed over.

I smile at someone in a store but it is a forced one.

 

Tramond, I know a c/t off benzos only too well....hell on earth.

I am off Effexor now nearly 1 month and while it has not been as dramatic as the benzo withdrawal, it for sure has scared me.

I can't believe I have spend the last 25 years fighting some psych drug and honestly I am sad this has been my way of life.

Talk about regret....I guess this could qualify as another neuro emotion???

10 yrs on 37.5 Effexor

came off too quicky June 2011+ at the same time put on 150mg Wellbutrin.

Things not working out and started to taper off Wellbutrin July 21.

Schedule is:

Week 1: 37.5mg 3 times a day ( total of 112.5 mg)

Week 2: 37.5 mg 2 times a day ( total of 75mg)

Week 3: 18.75mg 2 times a day ( total of 37.5mg)

Week 4: 18.75mg once day

Week 5: off

 

As of July 27th...reinstated on Effexor 37.5mg

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  • Administrator

aaa, do not slide into regret. We've all done this, trusted our doctors, and thought we were taking care of ourselves. All of us are suffering from medical error far beyond our individual choices.

 

Effexor can be a very difficult drug to get off of. It's not a capitulation to go back on a 37.5mg or even half a tablet to see if it helps. Perhaps a slower taper will get you off completely in a few months.

 

You should do this fairly soon because the longer you wait, the less likely reinstatement will help the withdrawal symptoms.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi everyone,

Just a quick update....still off effexor, now at 5 weeks but still on 150mg Wellbutrin.

I could not get myself to return to effexor for all the tea in China.

Most of the withdrawal symptoms are gone ( burning, shocks, brain freeze) but horrible depression on and off.

5 HTP was added, higher EPA, higher DHEA, higher Vit D3.

I have exercised daily, whether in the pool or on my bike in the fresh air and found that it did help a bit.

At least it got rid of some of my dark thoughts while I peddled till my legs fell off.

In the process I lost 2 pounds of body fat and gained 5 pounds of muscle.

 

I am still divided in whether I do have an underlying mood disorder or not...

While I am depressed, past events of anything between now and 30+ years ago are haunting me and feel as if I never have dealt with them at all.

This fuels the depression even more and I can end up feeling pretty hopeless and anxious as to what do I do now.

My doctor fully believes in the mood disorder but will support me in everything else I want to do.....or not do.

My alternative doctor has suggested to use the Amen method...Dr Daniel Amen...to once and for all clear up my brain imbalance issues.

We have ordered the program and I will see what it is all about and take it from there.

Maybe even go as far as to do a SPECT scan and get their input.

10 yrs on 37.5 Effexor

came off too quicky June 2011+ at the same time put on 150mg Wellbutrin.

Things not working out and started to taper off Wellbutrin July 21.

Schedule is:

Week 1: 37.5mg 3 times a day ( total of 112.5 mg)

Week 2: 37.5 mg 2 times a day ( total of 75mg)

Week 3: 18.75mg 2 times a day ( total of 37.5mg)

Week 4: 18.75mg once day

Week 5: off

 

As of July 27th...reinstated on Effexor 37.5mg

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  • Administrator

aaa, unfortunately Dr. Amen's brain scans, diagnosis, and treatment methods are too good to be true. See this Wired Magazine article by psychiatrist Daniel Carlat: Brain Scans as Mind Readers? Don't Believe the Hype

 

Alternative doctors are no more knowledgeable about withdrawal than any other doctors; unfortunately many have drunk the Kool-Aid of serotonin deficiency, which is nonsense.

 

Waves of horrible depression are common withdrawal symptoms, as are negative memories and feelings. For example, some of us went through a period where we were reliving episodes where we felt intense shame -- over and over. Or intense regret. After a while, this abates, and it doesn't happen again.

 

You can go to those memories if you wish, but they lack that intrusive repetitiveness.

 

These are "neuro-emotions" emitted from an unstable nervous system. Yes, they're your memories, but it's not your "natural" depression.

 

If you are still experiencing withdrawal syndrome, you are not experiencing a "normal" neurological state or your "normal" emotional state.

 

It's very hard to make these distinctions, I know. Doctors very frequently diagnose withdrawal syndrome as relapse for this very reason -- the patient is experiencing something she calls depression, therefore she has relapsed (even if there never was a diagnosis of depression).

 

You may wish to restart Effexor again at perhaps a half-dose to dull the withdrawal symptoms, stabilize, and taper slowly from there.

 

Also, Wellbutrin is not a good drug for people how have brain zaps or insomnia. It is contraindicated in epilepsy and has sleeplessness and anxiety as a side effect. If I were you, I'd taper off Wellbutrin right away.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thanks Alto.

before my alternative doctor mentioned the Amen Solution, I had already heard some years ago similar to what you have said about it.

My brain doctor told me years ago that SPECT scans show nothing useful.

I have been told I do not have enough serotonin in the brain, or at least not enough that stays long enough within the synapses which then creates a depression.

I have been depressed since 1984 so it has been diagnosed long time ago.

it resurfaced once I got off Klonopin and worse.

 

I agree, it is very difficult at the moment to determine what is what.

I don't know if I am still experiencing withdrawal symptoms......as I said the burning, the shocks etc have all gone.

 

In case I want to reinstate, how am I to do this.

Can I take both the 37.5mg of effexor ( this is the lowest amount I can get here..it comes in a capsule with beads) and 150mg of wellbutrin together till I am more stable ( if that is even possible) and than taper the wellbutrin.

The wellbutrin is a little hard round pill which I am told can not be cut or crushed so how do I taper from that?

10 yrs on 37.5 Effexor

came off too quicky June 2011+ at the same time put on 150mg Wellbutrin.

Things not working out and started to taper off Wellbutrin July 21.

Schedule is:

Week 1: 37.5mg 3 times a day ( total of 112.5 mg)

Week 2: 37.5 mg 2 times a day ( total of 75mg)

Week 3: 18.75mg 2 times a day ( total of 37.5mg)

Week 4: 18.75mg once day

Week 5: off

 

As of July 27th...reinstated on Effexor 37.5mg

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  • Administrator

....

I have been told I do not have enough serotonin in the brain, or at least not enough that stays long enough within the synapses which then creates a depression.

I have been depressed since 1984 so it has been diagnosed long time ago.

it resurfaced once I got off Klonopin and worse.

 

....

In case I want to reinstate, how am I to do this.

Can I take both the 37.5mg of effexor ( this is the lowest amount I can get here..it comes in a capsule with beads) and 150mg of wellbutrin together till I am more stable ( if that is even possible) and than taper the wellbutrin.

The wellbutrin is a little hard round pill which I am told can not be cut or crushed so how do I taper from that?

 

I'm sorry, a., the serotonin deficiency theory is hogwash and always was. You never had such a deficiency, but now you have iatrogenic (drug-related) problems.

 

A side effect of benzos such as Klonopin is depression, and withdrawal from benzos can cause withdrawal symptoms including depression and anxiety.

 

If I were you, I'd taper off Wellbutrin, and definitely before adding Effexor. It will exacerbate the insomnia, etc. and other noradrenergic effects of Effexor.

 

Since you've been off 37.5mg Effexor XR only a few weeks, if I were you, I'd try a partial dose to start and go up to 37.5 in a few days. You can open the Effexor XR capsules and take a smaller amount of the pellets. http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/272-tips-for-tapering-off-effexor-and-effexor-xr-venlafaxine/

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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So if I understand it right..

first taper wellbutrin..but you didn't say how with the hard uncrushable pill

than go on effexor, first half dose then to full 37.5mg dose.

 

My fear with this is how am I going to fare with both withdrawals...one that still goes on from Effexor and the one wellbutrin could throw at me.

I am already in some horrible depressed state...anything more and I am ripe for the looneybin.

I will have to take that Wellbutrin taper slowly I would think.

With the type of pill it is, and there is no smaller one available, this could be impossible.

And how slow is slow enough?

10 yrs on 37.5 Effexor

came off too quicky June 2011+ at the same time put on 150mg Wellbutrin.

Things not working out and started to taper off Wellbutrin July 21.

Schedule is:

Week 1: 37.5mg 3 times a day ( total of 112.5 mg)

Week 2: 37.5 mg 2 times a day ( total of 75mg)

Week 3: 18.75mg 2 times a day ( total of 37.5mg)

Week 4: 18.75mg once day

Week 5: off

 

As of July 27th...reinstated on Effexor 37.5mg

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What kind of Wellbutrin are you taking? If this is regular Wellbutrin, you can just cut it up, with a pill cutter or razor cutter.

 

If it's one of the extended-release forms, you can get regular Wellbutrin, cut that up, and take twice a day.

 

Wellbutrin is a weaker medication, and you haven't been taking it long. Withdrawal problems are much less frequent. I would taper down over a week or so.

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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it is the XR form....150mg.

 

would this be an acceptable taper schedule from a regular Wellbutrin of 150mg:

week1: down to 75mg by taking it twice a day ( 37.5 in am...37.5 in pm)

week2: down to 37.5 mg by taking it twice a day ( 18.75 in am.....18.75 in pm)

week3: down to 18.75 in am

week 4: off.

 

Depending what happens, reinstate to half or 37.5mg of effexor.

 

You can see that I am extremely cautious by taking 3 weeks rather than a week or so.

10 yrs on 37.5 Effexor

came off too quicky June 2011+ at the same time put on 150mg Wellbutrin.

Things not working out and started to taper off Wellbutrin July 21.

Schedule is:

Week 1: 37.5mg 3 times a day ( total of 112.5 mg)

Week 2: 37.5 mg 2 times a day ( total of 75mg)

Week 3: 18.75mg 2 times a day ( total of 37.5mg)

Week 4: 18.75mg once day

Week 5: off

 

As of July 27th...reinstated on Effexor 37.5mg

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  • Administrator

it is the XR form....150mg.

 

would this be an acceptable taper schedule from a regular Wellbutrin of 150mg:

week1: down to 75mg by taking it twice a day ( 37.5 in am...37.5 in pm)

week2: down to 37.5 mg by taking it twice a day ( 18.75 in am.....18.75 in pm)

week3: down to 18.75 in am

week 4: off.

 

Depending what happens, reinstate to half or 37.5mg of effexor.

 

You can see that I am extremely cautious by taking 3 weeks rather than a week or so.

 

aaa, I would make the first drop a smaller drop than 50%, to see how you do. If the symptoms are mild, this will give you confidence for a larger second drop. For example:

 

week1: down to 112.5mg by taking it twice a day ( 75mg in am...37.5 in pm)

week2: down to 75 mg by taking it twice a day ( 37.5 in am.....37.5 in pm)

week3: down to 37.5 in am

week 4: off.

 

You can go faster if you have no withdrawal symptoms. I am basing this on my own experience with Wellbutrin. I had an adverse reaction after taking around 150mg for a year and had to get off it in a hurry.

 

If I were you, I would try adding a little Effexor in week 3.

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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this sounds good Alto..thank you.

10 yrs on 37.5 Effexor

came off too quicky June 2011+ at the same time put on 150mg Wellbutrin.

Things not working out and started to taper off Wellbutrin July 21.

Schedule is:

Week 1: 37.5mg 3 times a day ( total of 112.5 mg)

Week 2: 37.5 mg 2 times a day ( total of 75mg)

Week 3: 18.75mg 2 times a day ( total of 37.5mg)

Week 4: 18.75mg once day

Week 5: off

 

As of July 27th...reinstated on Effexor 37.5mg

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Hi Alto,

I actually used that method for a few tapers. when I was coming off larger doses. I would count them, but had some pretty ba side effects. Not sure if some of the granules are just fillers and they are different sizes, so I'm sort of hesitant to try this method for my next drop....

That's exactly the problem with this counting granules method, it's inexact, and if you are very sensitive -- which it seems you are -- it may not be a smooth enough taper.

 

I'm going to see this compound pharmacist again so he can explain to me how exactly he measures these granules and reconfigures them into 10mg, 5mg doses. Had some genetic tests done last year that determined I was missing an enzyme that helps metabolize this stuff. Have you come across this type of testing in your research ? It might be helpful for some as the testing let's you know what type of medications your body may have difficulty metabolizing.

 

When you get this info from the druggist, please post it in Tips for tapering off Effexor and Effexor XR (venlafaxine) Every factoid helps!!

 

Yes, we know about the liver enzyme issue. This is called the P450 cytochrome system. If you are a poor metabolizer via a liver enzyme used by these drugs, they can cause even worse problems for you. There are a lot of P450 cyp drug-drug conflict issues, too. This can go to liver damage. (This happened to me, with Paxil and oral Lamisil, an anti-fungal. It took my liver a year to recover.)

 

Oh, by the way, that little number at the bottom of posts is "reputation." You can give a thumbs-up to a member and add to their reputation. No harm done to aaa!

 

Hi ecsaow,

 

I am off Effexor now 6 weeks and on Wellbutrin for the same amount of time.

So I am really not off all medications.

Today is a bad day with a very high amount of anxiety....the first time since off Effexor have I felt this anxious.......probably induced by a lot of outside caused emotional stress yesterday.

I have had all the way through the night a lot of palpitations and got up at 1pm to go to the living room where I stayed till day light came in.

Now I am shaking, my heart rate is up and feel as if I no longer have any control over myself and my mind and thoughts and my life.

Very confused too..my nervous system has taken off in a bad way it seems.

very much the way I felt for 2 years prior to any drugs back in 1984.

I don't feel the wellbutrin is a good one for me..it does not seem to do much although if I did not have it, god only knows how much worse I possible could feel.

So all in all no good news to report.

yes, I did stop all coffee and anything that can arouse the nervous system..however, by the looks of it, with or without, it can revve up anyway.

 

Those symptoms can also be side effects of Wellbutrin. Wellbutrin is not a good medication for people to take when they have antidepressant withdrawal symptoms. Wellbutrin itself is a noradrenergic that can arouse the nervous system.

 

aaa, the Wellbutrin is likely making your symptoms worse.

 

Hi Alto,

I think you could be right.

I am in a very bad way at the moment and almost suicidal.

I feel my life is too much of a mess...I am way into over my head and feel there is no way out.

I hope this is the depression talking.

I am returning to effexor as soon as I can.

10 yrs on 37.5 Effexor

came off too quicky June 2011+ at the same time put on 150mg Wellbutrin.

Things not working out and started to taper off Wellbutrin July 21.

Schedule is:

Week 1: 37.5mg 3 times a day ( total of 112.5 mg)

Week 2: 37.5 mg 2 times a day ( total of 75mg)

Week 3: 18.75mg 2 times a day ( total of 37.5mg)

Week 4: 18.75mg once day

Week 5: off

 

As of July 27th...reinstated on Effexor 37.5mg

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  • Administrator

aaa, I moved your update here, to your own topic.

 

I believe that is withdrawal talking. It makes everything seem very, very bad. Hang in there.

 

Yes, you might want to go back on a half-dose of Effexor, and ditch the Wellbutrin.

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 Alto,

I have put a call in to my doctor this morning.

My head hurts, its in a terrible vise like a suction cup sitting on top, my skin tingles, my ears ring, sound hurts, my heart thumbs and my fear has taken over.

I am not very depressed I must say, just scared and worried.

I can't believe the mess this all has created and the fast loss of my confidence.

Its hard to figure out where the withdrawal ends and the side effects of wellbutrin start and everything in between.

I read that wellbutrin gives energy..well, yesterday in the pool at my aerobics class, it looked like I had energy for 2.

I am not tired at all.

 

I will be trying to get a prescription for regular wellbutrin and do a taper as we discussed before.

I am just a bit worried how my doctor will suggest the taper from Wellbutrin.

SInce his suggestion for the taper off effexor was way off, I doubt he knows what to do with the Wellbutrin.

I fear it will be off today and on effexor tomorrow.

Or on Effexor today and wean off wellbutrin at the same time.

 

My family and people around me all feel I should stick it out.

Going back to effexor is not an option they feel.

I have managed to stay off for 6 weeks they say and all a waste if I go back on.

Given that there were lots of side effects on it, which apart from the weight gain and loss of libido have disappeared, it is sad I might have to go back on.

And whether I will be succesfull next time is not guaranteed.

All this I feel too so I am really very confused and lost.

 

Taper off wellbutrin alone without anything else is also scaring me....so pretty much stuck between a hard place and a rock.

 

Maybe just finding a mid way...like starting to lower the dose of wellbutrin first for a week and see if that lessens whatever is caused by it.

There is no half dose of Effexor where I live...the lowest dose is 37.5 in a capsule which is time released.

I could take out half of the beads..but one site on the internet cautioned against this practice since no bead is alike.

I should call the pharmacy and ask if they have the regular one.

 

If you have time Alto, could you tell me some of your thoughts on the above.

Thank you.

10 yrs on 37.5 Effexor

came off too quicky June 2011+ at the same time put on 150mg Wellbutrin.

Things not working out and started to taper off Wellbutrin July 21.

Schedule is:

Week 1: 37.5mg 3 times a day ( total of 112.5 mg)

Week 2: 37.5 mg 2 times a day ( total of 75mg)

Week 3: 18.75mg 2 times a day ( total of 37.5mg)

Week 4: 18.75mg once day

Week 5: off

 

As of July 27th...reinstated on Effexor 37.5mg

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Time-released meds are a real problem!

'94-'08 On/off ADs. Mostly Zoloft & Wellbutrin, but also Prozac, Celexa, Effexor, etc.
6/08 quit Z & W after tapering, awful anxiety 3 mos. later, reinstated.
11/10 CTed. Severe anxiety 3 mos. later & @ 8 mos. much worse (set off by metronidazole). Anxiety, depression, anhedonia, DP, DR, dizziness, severe insomnia, high serum AM cortisol, flu-like feelings, muscle discomfort.
9/11-9/12 Waves and windows of recovery.
10/12 Awful relapse, DP/DR. Hydrocortisone?
11/12 Improved fairly quickly even though relapse was one of worst waves ever.

1/13 Best I've ever felt.

3/13 A bit of a relapse... then faster and shorter waves and windows.

4/14 Have to watch out for triggers, but feel completely normal about 80% of the time.

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....I will be trying to get a prescription for regular wellbutrin and do a taper as we discussed before.

I am just a bit worried how my doctor will suggest the taper from Wellbutrin.

SInce his suggestion for the taper off effexor was way off, I doubt he knows what to do with the Wellbutrin.

I fear it will be off today and on effexor tomorrow.

Or on Effexor today and wean off wellbutrin at the same time....

Few doctors understand proper tapering, aaa. This is why we share information here.

 

Whatever he says, do what you think is right for you.

 

I believe if you cut up Wellbutrin XR, what's inside is regular Wellbutrin. When you break the time-release coating, it becomes plain old Wellbutrin -- see http://public.gsk.com/products/wellbutrin-xr/further-information/

 

I took Wellbutrin for a year; when I had a bad reaction to it, I tapered off 50mg per week -- even faster, as I recall. I was pretty sick from it, but I felt much better once I was off it. My blood pressure went down 30-40 points.

 

My family and people around me all feel I should stick it out.

Going back to effexor is not an option they feel.

I have managed to stay off for 6 weeks they say and all a waste if I go back on.

I agree Effexor wasn't good for you.

 

While it's great your family is supporting your quitting, you are the one who has to deal with withdrawal symptoms. They wouldn't want you to be sick from withdrawal for a long time, would they?

 

Taper off wellbutrin alone without anything else is also scaring me....so pretty much stuck between a hard place and a rock.

 

Maybe just finding a mid way...like starting to lower the dose of wellbutrin first for a week and see if that lessens whatever is caused by it.

That's an excellent idea.

 

There is no half dose of Effexor where I live...the lowest dose is 37.5 in a capsule which is time released.

I could take out half of the beads..but one site on the internet cautioned against this practice since no bead is alike.

I should call the pharmacy and ask if they have the regular one.

Yes, taking out the beads is an approximate way to reduce Effexor XR, but if you're stuck on it, it's just about the only way to go, other than getting a compounding pharmacy to make up custom capsules of Effexor XR by weight or switching to Prozac.

 

Switching to regular Effexor might help, and you can cut up the tablets. But you may have to take it twice a day.

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

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well, there is no regular Wellbutrin either according to the pharmacist.

Only time released.

They suggested to crush the entire pill, take a razor blade and divide the powder.

That will be like russian roulette.....trying to figure out how much is 75mg and how much is 37.5mg.

10 yrs on 37.5 Effexor

came off too quicky June 2011+ at the same time put on 150mg Wellbutrin.

Things not working out and started to taper off Wellbutrin July 21.

Schedule is:

Week 1: 37.5mg 3 times a day ( total of 112.5 mg)

Week 2: 37.5 mg 2 times a day ( total of 75mg)

Week 3: 18.75mg 2 times a day ( total of 37.5mg)

Week 4: 18.75mg once day

Week 5: off

 

As of July 27th...reinstated on Effexor 37.5mg

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Yes, regular Wellbutrin is still available from GSK and as a generic (buproprion).

 

If you cut the Wellbutrin XR pill up with a pill cutter, that will be precise enough. Wellbutrin is much milder than Pristiq. You can get a pill cutter for about $4.

 

But take it in divided doses, not all at once -- it's not time-released anymore.

 

Another option is to get Wellbutrin SR. You can cut it up, but need to use the pieces within 24 hours. The timed-release mechanism is mixed in with the drug.

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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Apparently not here in canada...called several pharmacists and a compounding one..none has the regular tablet.

The compounding one can make up all the different mg in batches as I like but need an order from the doctor.

They can not make it in a time released one so will indeed have to take it several times a day.

In case the doc does not agree, I can crush the entire pill and just with a blade eye the amount to take off.

It won't be accurate but if this wellbutrin is a mild one, it probably won't matter too much.

I have a pill cutter.

Every pharmacist I spoke with today is against the crushing of this tablet...some even suggested the once every other day routine.

I explained to them why that is not a good idea.

And I will never do that again.

10 yrs on 37.5 Effexor

came off too quicky June 2011+ at the same time put on 150mg Wellbutrin.

Things not working out and started to taper off Wellbutrin July 21.

Schedule is:

Week 1: 37.5mg 3 times a day ( total of 112.5 mg)

Week 2: 37.5 mg 2 times a day ( total of 75mg)

Week 3: 18.75mg 2 times a day ( total of 37.5mg)

Week 4: 18.75mg once day

Week 5: off

 

As of July 27th...reinstated on Effexor 37.5mg

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aaa, you would have to talk to a lot of doctors and pharmacists to find one who knows anything about tapering Wellbutrin.

 

I've tried to bring together all the Wellbutrin information in Tips for tapering off Wellbutrin, SR, XR, XL (buproprion)

 

Personally, I do not see the need to crush the tablets and divide the powder. You would need an electronic scale to precisely measure out the portions.

 

Cutting them up with your pill cutter is probably sufficiently precise and you get the same result: immediate-release bupropion. You will need to take a dose 3 times a day for the equivalent Wellbutrin XR dose.

 

But I can tell you are a very careful person -- whatever way you decide to do it will be fine! Please let us know how you do it and how it goes for you.

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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Great job Alto for the compiling of the wellbutrin info.

Thank you so much.

I have printed it out and will take to the doc tomorrow.

Not that his opinion will make a difference...I am not going to do it his way which will be without a doubt too fast.

I am sure he will be laughing at me for being so silly..just as he did when I explained the bead counting last year to him.

As we all have heard so many times from these clowns things like:" I have never seen this with any of my patients " etc.

This last experience has completely thrown me for a loop..like the rug yanked from underneath me.

And I have worked so hard for the last 10 years to recover from the benzo disaster..all to disappear in a New York minute.

 

My husband just cut up a pill in 4 quarters..just to see.

And no problemo.

 

Since the dosage is now going to be 3 times a day, this is what I have planned to do so far:

 

Week 1: 7 am: 37.5

3 pm: 37.5

11pm: 37.5

total per day of 112.5mg

 

Week 2: am: 37.5

pm: 37.5

total per day of 75mg

choose for now not to take it 3 times per day but could decide to cut both dosages in half again to take at noon depending how I fare.

 

Week 3: am: 1/2 of 37.5

pm: 1/2 of 37.5

total per day of 37.5mg

 

Week 4: am: 1/2 of 37.5

 

Week 5: off

 

I am very careful b/c this has scared me too much.

I can't believe what has happened.

My skin all over has been on fire today...and not the same burning I had earlier on right after I stopped the Effexor.

This felt different, like a toxic reaction.

It was stinging, like ice cold needles..up to my groin and armpits.

My face was beet red.

The only thing missing was a terrible rash...

With that came a royal sharp pain deep within my head which is still there but has lessened.

My ears have been extremely sensitive..the air floating around it is too loud.

 

Another thing I would like to pass by you is that once in a while I get a surge of fear of something I can only describe as a reaction to a vague feeling of my brain/mind not holding.

Not holding as in letting go of my sanity and falling into nothingness..

This does give me a jolt of panic each time it happens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I

10 yrs on 37.5 Effexor

came off too quicky June 2011+ at the same time put on 150mg Wellbutrin.

Things not working out and started to taper off Wellbutrin July 21.

Schedule is:

Week 1: 37.5mg 3 times a day ( total of 112.5 mg)

Week 2: 37.5 mg 2 times a day ( total of 75mg)

Week 3: 18.75mg 2 times a day ( total of 37.5mg)

Week 4: 18.75mg once day

Week 5: off

 

As of July 27th...reinstated on Effexor 37.5mg

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aaa, I believe those are withdrawal symptoms from the Effexor.

 

If I were you, my primary goal right now would be to go back on a half-dose of Effexor. I would start the Wellbutrin taper ASAP and, by listening to my body, go just as fast as I can so I can get back on a bit of Effexor.

 

As you know, it would be a surprise if your doctor approved of your plan. I would not delay for his approval.

 

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature so we can follow what you're doing, instructions here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

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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i'm rooting for you aaa. keep plugging along :)

currently on 600mg of lamictal, while tapering from 150mg of effexor xr. currently on 50mg of effexor.

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Thank you Missdelaney and Alto.

 

Saw the doc today..

interesting enough he agreed with the taper schedule off Wellbutrin.

He said he always takes people off Wellbutrin within a month..why I asked than did you take me off effexor in 10days??

Effexor being the worst AD to drop..

he just looked at me.

I told him that I know this was the reason I failed at it once again......might as well have gone cold turkey.

 

I already started the taper this morning.

he wanted to know how I wanted to proceed with the taper...given that there is no 75mg out there.

No problem I said......a compounding pharmacy can make any dosage you want but its not necessary..I just cut the XL in quarters.

 

I will set up that signature line asap...

10 yrs on 37.5 Effexor

came off too quicky June 2011+ at the same time put on 150mg Wellbutrin.

Things not working out and started to taper off Wellbutrin July 21.

Schedule is:

Week 1: 37.5mg 3 times a day ( total of 112.5 mg)

Week 2: 37.5 mg 2 times a day ( total of 75mg)

Week 3: 18.75mg 2 times a day ( total of 37.5mg)

Week 4: 18.75mg once day

Week 5: off

 

As of July 27th...reinstated on Effexor 37.5mg

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  • Administrator

Ha! Sounds like you are educating your doctor. Congratulations, they're usually like stone walls.

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 Alto,

Stone walls indeed or they fire you as their patient..

he wants me to give him a call next week before he goes on holidays to let him know how I am doing.

By the time he is back, I am gone to Spain ......

Yes, I hear you thinking what the hell is she going to Spain for while she is in this state LOL

I can't believe it myself I choose to do this at this time..

The trip is paid for from beginning to end and no cancellation possible.

Hopefully the taper is bearable and maybe a change of scenery is good for me.

I am not too bad...have felt a bit better since late afternoon yesterday so fingers crossed.

 

A friend came by and while listening to my account of this latest blunder, he said:" you know that nobody is going to feel sorry for you.

Just look where you live and what you own......"

Its uncanny how few understand the predicament we are in with these medications and that nothing else matters when you fight for your life and your mental health.

They should be in your position for 5 minutes and the tune will change.

I have no time any more for these sort of people.

I can fill book volumes of the things I heard when I went through a nasty benzo withdrawal in the mid 90's..some I have not forgiven as of yet.

10 yrs on 37.5 Effexor

came off too quicky June 2011+ at the same time put on 150mg Wellbutrin.

Things not working out and started to taper off Wellbutrin July 21.

Schedule is:

Week 1: 37.5mg 3 times a day ( total of 112.5 mg)

Week 2: 37.5 mg 2 times a day ( total of 75mg)

Week 3: 18.75mg 2 times a day ( total of 37.5mg)

Week 4: 18.75mg once day

Week 5: off

 

As of July 27th...reinstated on Effexor 37.5mg

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Certainly what we go through in withdrawal, and what we go through with issues such as depression and anxiety, has NOTHING to do with how "good" our lives are. And yet so many people just keep coming back to that. I am thankful for what I have, so thankful that I'm not in worse health than I am as well, but that does not make any of this go away!

'94-'08 On/off ADs. Mostly Zoloft & Wellbutrin, but also Prozac, Celexa, Effexor, etc.
6/08 quit Z & W after tapering, awful anxiety 3 mos. later, reinstated.
11/10 CTed. Severe anxiety 3 mos. later & @ 8 mos. much worse (set off by metronidazole). Anxiety, depression, anhedonia, DP, DR, dizziness, severe insomnia, high serum AM cortisol, flu-like feelings, muscle discomfort.
9/11-9/12 Waves and windows of recovery.
10/12 Awful relapse, DP/DR. Hydrocortisone?
11/12 Improved fairly quickly even though relapse was one of worst waves ever.

1/13 Best I've ever felt.

3/13 A bit of a relapse... then faster and shorter waves and windows.

4/14 Have to watch out for triggers, but feel completely normal about 80% of the time.

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Hello aaa50,

I just want to wish you luck on your journey, it takes a lot of strength to stand up to the doctors, making that step to take back our minds! You mentioned your dog and how it sensed how you felt staying close to you. I've learned our animals can help us heal as they tend to know us better than we know ourselves and love us unconditionally. Always ready to listen, stay by our side, make us smile by how they are always so happy to see us and make it known we do mean a lot.

They are our best friend, child and protector all in one.

My Jack saved my life from depression years back, he passed away over 2 years ago, struggling to keep it together now, going through withdrawals from Pristiq, I wish for my precious Jack knowing he would always lift my spirits, lick my tears away, or just lay there with me and listen.

So no matter how bad it gets, you have support from an understanding group and the best healer you could ask for right next to you.

Best wishes

On Pristiq last month went down to 50mg, cut pills in half for a week did good, next week reduced to 1/4 withdrawals came. My body hurt so bad, running to the bathroom, couldn't eat, stomach in knots, anxiety so intense Ativan didn't help much, scared to be alone but couldn't be around anyone, so unattached to myself, didn't sleep for 2 or 3 nights. By day 3 I just didn't care, I wanted it done, no more Pristiq. Very fortunate I didn't get brain zaps, I think I would have lost it. I struggle with periods of intense aggression that has almost turned into violence when a lady smarted off, the thoughts that come with it scare me and are out of nowhere.

A week without still can't eat, got some sleep but back to not sleeping even with sleeping pills, still in and out, aggression, anxiety let up, running to bathroom, stomach in knots, overwhelming feelings something is wrong. Keeping hope as I have brief moments of clarity!

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Thank you Nadia and Kathy.

I just got home after a night and most of today in the mountain resort 1 hour away from here.

We celebrated our youngest daughter's 30' birthday amongst her friends.

I have been socializing, climbing hills and nothing was a problem.

I am almost too afraid to put it in black and white but since thursday afternoon I have been feeling pretty normal and it has been holding.

My thoughts are normal, no depression in sight, no withdrawal symptoms and still tapering as scheduled.

Maybe the drop in 25mg made a big difference plus maybe the switch from a time release to an instant release...who knows.

 

My 2 german shepherds, also passed away since, were very loyal to me when going through the benzo withdrawal and kept me company when everyone else had abandoned me.

Today I have my cat but he isn't that observant I think.

10 yrs on 37.5 Effexor

came off too quicky June 2011+ at the same time put on 150mg Wellbutrin.

Things not working out and started to taper off Wellbutrin July 21.

Schedule is:

Week 1: 37.5mg 3 times a day ( total of 112.5 mg)

Week 2: 37.5 mg 2 times a day ( total of 75mg)

Week 3: 18.75mg 2 times a day ( total of 37.5mg)

Week 4: 18.75mg once day

Week 5: off

 

As of July 27th...reinstated on Effexor 37.5mg

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What great news that you had a good day.

 

How long have you gone down 25mg?

 

Oh, one of those cats. Maybe you should get another dog?

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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Great news!

 

I am (normally) a huge dog fan and have wanted to get another dog since my last died (2005). But right now I can't really handle the responsibility. So I've been trying to get my animal fill with other people's dogs. It's not the same, but it does help to pet them and hug them!

'94-'08 On/off ADs. Mostly Zoloft & Wellbutrin, but also Prozac, Celexa, Effexor, etc.
6/08 quit Z & W after tapering, awful anxiety 3 mos. later, reinstated.
11/10 CTed. Severe anxiety 3 mos. later & @ 8 mos. much worse (set off by metronidazole). Anxiety, depression, anhedonia, DP, DR, dizziness, severe insomnia, high serum AM cortisol, flu-like feelings, muscle discomfort.
9/11-9/12 Waves and windows of recovery.
10/12 Awful relapse, DP/DR. Hydrocortisone?
11/12 Improved fairly quickly even though relapse was one of worst waves ever.

1/13 Best I've ever felt.

3/13 A bit of a relapse... then faster and shorter waves and windows.

4/14 Have to watch out for triggers, but feel completely normal about 80% of the time.

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Alto, I have been on a 25mg drop since last thursday..so my 4th day today.

Still feeling good.

Its tempting to go faster but I wouldn't like to unleash some withdrawal beast.

 

We have been thinking of getting another dog....however, my sister in laws little Havanese is a nice and just enough fill when we have him.

When his owners golf, I get to take him to the beach.

He also stays overnight once and while.

10 yrs on 37.5 Effexor

came off too quicky June 2011+ at the same time put on 150mg Wellbutrin.

Things not working out and started to taper off Wellbutrin July 21.

Schedule is:

Week 1: 37.5mg 3 times a day ( total of 112.5 mg)

Week 2: 37.5 mg 2 times a day ( total of 75mg)

Week 3: 18.75mg 2 times a day ( total of 37.5mg)

Week 4: 18.75mg once day

Week 5: off

 

As of July 27th...reinstated on Effexor 37.5mg

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Don't go fast! Go as sloooowly as possible! I wish I had!

'94-'08 On/off ADs. Mostly Zoloft & Wellbutrin, but also Prozac, Celexa, Effexor, etc.
6/08 quit Z & W after tapering, awful anxiety 3 mos. later, reinstated.
11/10 CTed. Severe anxiety 3 mos. later & @ 8 mos. much worse (set off by metronidazole). Anxiety, depression, anhedonia, DP, DR, dizziness, severe insomnia, high serum AM cortisol, flu-like feelings, muscle discomfort.
9/11-9/12 Waves and windows of recovery.
10/12 Awful relapse, DP/DR. Hydrocortisone?
11/12 Improved fairly quickly even though relapse was one of worst waves ever.

1/13 Best I've ever felt.

3/13 A bit of a relapse... then faster and shorter waves and windows.

4/14 Have to watch out for triggers, but feel completely normal about 80% of the time.

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