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Intro: NVbar


NVbar

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Hey everyone,

 

First off I think it's really great that there's a community that supports each other in coming off of these horrible drugs. I don't really have that support in real life from friends, family or medical professionals who don't understand what it's like.

So I want to say thank you to everyone on the SA forum. Really.

 

Anyways a short history of my drug dependancy:

I've had brief stints with Paxil and Citalopram prior, but since 2004 I've been solely taking Effexor XR 37.5 mg for anxiety.
There have been a couple times when I dropped dosage too fast, and paid for it. But since finding some resources online like this one, I've been reducing by counting beads since 2013. As of today I'm down to 7 beads left. 

 

So far I was finding 1 bead a month reduction to be working ok, but since I've gotten to about 10 beads it's gotten more difficult, with anxiety and other side effects appearing the next day. At that point, I go back up to the previous dosage to hold for about a couple weeks, and try again. Worked so far until a few days ago I went from 7 to 6 beads, and got hit hard. Interestingly, in previous cases I would feel withdrawal symptoms the next day, but in this case it wasn't till about 3 days later I had nausea, headaches dizziness and the rest I'm sure your familiar with. I did notice increasingly vivid dreams up to that point however. 

 

Looks like I might be at that oh-oh threshold point I've read about on here. I should probably try to switch to regular Effexor tablets and make a solution, but because I've been reducing by beads I don't have an accurate measure of what mg dosage I actually am at. Ballpark average no. of beads in the Effexor brand I'm taking is about 100, so I'm guessing around 4mg?

Anyways, this is just supposed to be an intro, so I'll post my questions in the appropriate forums in a bit. Thank you!!!!!

2003 - Seroxat (Paxil) for 2 months

2004 - switched to Effexor XR 37.5mg

2008 - failed cold turkey attempt

2011 - failed accelerated taper.

2013 - started gradual taper, counting bead method

Jan 2015 - current dose 7 beads

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7955-intro-nvbar/

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi NVbar!

 

The first thing I noticed is that you say you were going down by one bead a month steadily. That works fine at higher doses but it looks like you've reached the point where one bead is too high a percentage of the total. 

 

If you do have the option of going to liquid, that's probably your best bet. You'll be able to control your increments and make them as small as you need to.

 

Meanwhile, it's time for a hold for at least two months, maybe more. You've probably gotten a bit ahead of your body's ability to adapt to reductions. Take a break and hold your dose until it can catch up. You can use that time to explore your options.

 

Congratulations on getting down so far so successfully, that's inspiring!

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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Thanks Rhi, but I've actually read quite a few of your posts and I think that you're actually the inspirational one here!!

 


 

2003 - Seroxat (Paxil) for 2 months

2004 - switched to Effexor XR 37.5mg

2008 - failed cold turkey attempt

2011 - failed accelerated taper.

2013 - started gradual taper, counting bead method

Jan 2015 - current dose 7 beads

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7955-intro-nvbar/

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi NVbar,

 

I second Rhi's advice.  It is  (more) difficult at the bottom end so finding a way to go at snails pace and manage the percentage of your drops is the way to go.   I also agree with Rhi on the hold.   Give yourself a holiday from tapering while you develop your strategy for the final push.

 

Glad you found us and well done on your achievements so far

 

Dalsaan

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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Thanks for your support dalsaan. Looks like I'll park where I'm at for a little bit more.
 

I noticed your getting a solution made at a chemist...is that expensive and how's that working for you?

2003 - Seroxat (Paxil) for 2 months

2004 - switched to Effexor XR 37.5mg

2008 - failed cold turkey attempt

2011 - failed accelerated taper.

2013 - started gradual taper, counting bead method

Jan 2015 - current dose 7 beads

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7955-intro-nvbar/

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Hi NVbar, and welcome. I joined last August and the site has been a tremendous help.

 

I cold-turkeyed Effexor without knowing what I was doing, a few times, and ended up on a three day psych hold, almost arrested twice, etc. Am building back my life as we speak.

 

I am glad you are able to taper, and hope the liquid idea works for you.

 

Hard to believe Effexor is available from doctors. It did work for me in much the way speed would have. Only sadistic criminals would espouse such a substance, in my opinion. It elevated my mood and erased my worries over cancer treatment. I was cured of Stage 4 cancer, only to find myself a semi-psychotic wreck. The irony.

 

Anyway, glad you joined and hoping your taper goes smoothly! My way was for the birds.

2009: Cancer hospital said I had adjustment disorder because I thought they were doing it wrong. Their headshrinker prescribed Effexor, and my life set on a new course. I didn't know what was ahead, like a passenger on Disneyland's Matterhorn, smiling and waving as it climbs...clink, clink, clink.

2010: Post surgical accidental Effexor discontinuation by nurses, masked by intravenous Dilaudid. (The car is balanced at the top of the track.) I get home, pop a Vicodin, and ...

Whooosh...down, down, down, down, down...goes the trajectory of my life, up goes my mood and tendency to think everything is a good idea.
2012: After the bipolar jig was up, now a walking bag of unrelated symptoms, I went crazy on Daytrana (the Ritalin skin patch by Noven), because ADHD was a perfect fit for a bag of unrelated symptoms. I was prescribed Effexor for the nervousness of it, and things got neurological. An EEG showed enough activity to warrant an epilepsy diagnosis rather than non-epileptic ("psychogenic") seizures.

:o 2013-2014: Quit everything and got worse. I probably went through DAWS: dopamine agonist withdrawal syndrome. I drank to not feel, but I felt a lot: dread, fear, regret, grief: an utter sense of total loss of everything worth breathing about, for almost two years.

I was not suicidal but I wanted to be dead, at least dead to the experience of my own brain and body.

2015: I  began to recover after adding virgin coconut oil and organic grass-fed fed butter to a cup of instant coffee in the morning.

I did it hoping for mental acuity and better memory. After ten days of that, I was much better, mood-wise. Approximately neutral.

And, I experienced drowsiness. I could sleep. Not exactly happy, I did 30 days on Wellbutrin, because it had done me no harm in the past. 

I don't have the DAWS mood or state of mind. It never feel like doing anything if it means standing up.

In fact, I don't especially like moving. I'm a brain with a beanbag body.   :unsure:

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi NVbar, welcome from me too. I am tapering effexor and had the same problem with the last few beads.

I agree that holding for a few months would be a good idea right now. You almost have your brain back, and

holding will just give it a bit more time to renew and stabilise.  I developed my own method at 4 beads which 

works well for me but my capsules contain 400 beads per 75mg so twice as many as yours, which means my

cuts are half  yours and I still had problems!  Liquid would definitely be the best option if you can get it, or

tablets to make your own.  My own way of reducing the last couple of beads is this. 

 

The beads I have vary in size from a grain of sugar to about 0.5mm. The differences are barely visible but

I use a magnifying glass and started to take  4 of the largest beads.( I have them in a small black box and

empty a capsule into it  ). As I always take the largest they become smaller as time goes by, thus reducing

the dose. When they are done I open a new capsule and start to take 3 of the largest beads, then 2. Now I

have just gone down to 1 bead. You do need to make sure that the box is secure and the beads can't be

lost. Because you have gone down gradually you can't open a new one and start to take the largest again

because it is too high, I discovered that 'by accident' when mine were lost....twice! 

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

 

 

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

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

2002  effexor. 

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

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

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

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

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi NV ,    Welcome!

 

The problem with small amounts of beads is that some of them are "fillers"   and not active ingredients.    So if you accidentally get 3 fillers out of 6 , then you've halved your dose.

 

Making a liquid from a whole capsule can give you a more even reduction.

 

I also find your journey  inspiring . . . thankyou.

 

Fresh

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

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

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

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

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

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

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

March 2016 , 21mg

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Thanks for the support guys. Fresh, I'm not entirely sure that true, at least I hope not. You can't make a liquid from the XR capsule.

 

mammaP, I've been meaning to get a hold of you! I have questions for you.

 

I've been struggling the last couple weeks since I dropped from 7 to 6 beads. Hit with panic attacks (haven't happened in years), brain fog, nausea and the works. Usually if I drop too fast I recover after updosing after a couple days, but this time I've been hurting since that first introductory post and it's really scary. I don't seem to be getting better and I'm not sure if this is my previous tapering catching up with me.

 

I think I understand what you are doing with sorting beads by size. But, there are only about 130 beads per capsule in a 37.5mg Teva Effexor XR. That means my taper until I drop by a bead will be shorter than yours...so I'll have to find someway around this. They also look pretty damn uniform size by eye.

 

I also wanted to ask you if longer holds worked for you or not?  It took you almost 2 years to go from 5 to 1 beads...amazing patience. I'm just worried I'll revisit 6 beads again in several months and have to go through this all over again.

 

Did you find WD effects more severe the lower the beads you went? I saw you had to updose to 4 beads in Feb 2012. What happened? Were you in wd for 3 months until you updosed??

2003 - Seroxat (Paxil) for 2 months

2004 - switched to Effexor XR 37.5mg

2008 - failed cold turkey attempt

2011 - failed accelerated taper.

2013 - started gradual taper, counting bead method

Jan 2015 - current dose 7 beads

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7955-intro-nvbar/

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  • Moderator Emeritus

My comment above is what my compounding pharmacist told me . . . he was compounding Cymbalta but I think the premis is the same.    ; )

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

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

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

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

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

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

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

March 2016 , 21mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

NV, MammaP has a lot going on in her life right now and she's having to spend more time in the world away from her computer. You might try sending her a PM asking her to check your thread as soon as she gets back.

 

As far as the ongoing WD symptoms that you're having, that aren't fading the way you expect and hope them to, I think you're right, it's likely due to you going too fast for a while and continuing to cut even though your symptoms were getting worse. Now your body is saying NO. I know it's scary, you've had some bad experiences in the past and you know it can get a lot worse. But you did taper this time and I don't think it's going to get as bad as you may fear.

 

And the sense of "it's never going to end" is really just another withdrawal symptom. It's going to end. Hang in there, hold, allow your body/brain some healing and regrowing and adapting time, as much as it needs.

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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  • Administrator

Welcome, NVbar.

 

I think we discussed this elsewhere -- your best bet might be to make a liquid from regular Effexor and take a tiny amount, perhaps 0.10mg, as a "booster" if you get withdrawal symptoms when you go down to 6 beads. You can do this when you feel the symptoms, more than once a day.

 

You may need to do this as you continue your reduction to 0 beads, then you'd be on the liquid only.

 

Fresh, you cannot make Cymbalta or Effexor XR into a liquid. Your pharmacist was mistaken.

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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Rhi, I didn't know that about mammaP, I sincerely hope she's doing alright.

 

Thanks for the reassurance though, today I'm feeling better. Last night, I was better except I had a manic episode with my Dad (new symptom?) and ended up telling my parents the whoolllle thing which was pretty difficult. I think sometimes when you read too much on the internet or even on some of these forums, you can get discouraged when you know how many people are suffering, especially with those (rare) cases of protracted wd for YEARS after which scares the hell outta me. 

 

I'm trying to find some medical professionals who will monitor me now, and maybe even assess if I'm ready to come off of meds. Dare I say entertaining thought of taking 7 beads indefinitely? Dunno.

 

 

Alto, I think I'm just nervous about switching to liquid and having a bad wd reaction. I found some interesting info on that, going to post in the Effexor thread.

 

You may need to do this as you continue your reduction to 0 beads, then you'd be on the liquid only.

 

You mean using these 'boosters' after dropping to 0 right?

2003 - Seroxat (Paxil) for 2 months

2004 - switched to Effexor XR 37.5mg

2008 - failed cold turkey attempt

2011 - failed accelerated taper.

2013 - started gradual taper, counting bead method

Jan 2015 - current dose 7 beads

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7955-intro-nvbar/

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  • Administrator

No, I mean taking a little booster of regular Effexor now and then while you're reducing the last batch of beads, and possibly afterwards if you get symptoms.

 

What do you mean by a "manic" talk with your dad?

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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