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Sliane: Hi! 3 Months Effexor XR Free


slianne

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I came to this site in hopes of finding some answers or a timeline for this awful withdrawal, but I'm going to take this chance to join a community of people who will understand how horrible what I'm going through actually is.  

 

I have been taking some form of anti-depressant for about 10 years, with Effexor XR being the last 8 years of that.  I was prescribed Celexa through my physician as a way of combating college anxiety issues, and my body took that and ran with it. After two years on Celexa I started to have problems with it and my life and through my physician again I was given Effexor XR. Over the next few years life was ok. It wasn't perfect, but Effexor gave me the ability to live without the crippling depression that I was starting to experience at that point.  Then I hit a wall. I spent the better part of 6 months laying in bed crying and depressed beyond anything I could have ever imagined.  I ended up checking myself into the psychiatric unit of our local hospital and my life of medication took a giant leap forward.  I was then given psychiatrists and therapists and any medication they thought could ease my blues. Disappointingly, the answer I was given was to increase my Effexor to a 150 mg and a 75 mg and then work some trial and error until I found something to combine with it. At this point I had zero health coverage and was using Wyeth, and then Pfizers, patient assistance programs. Years pass, my emotions calm down, life happens, and I'm ok.

 

In the last year of my Effexor use, I moved and lost any form of funding I had, I was no longer able to meet with my therapist or have prescriptions filled by my psychiatrist. Pfizer would no longer fill my prescription and I was unable to find a way to have my medications covered. *Insert sob story about the poor healthcare system and treatment of those with mental disabilities or addictions to prescription medications that were no fault of the party going through the struggle.* I decided, without the help of a doctor (I was pretty much told "too damn bad" by the doctor's office), I decided to use the medication I had left to taper off entirely.  I was, and still am, convinced that the Effexor was a crutch that I no longer need in my life.  

 

I tapered off of the medication over the course of 5 weeks.  I experienced no real problems until the last week of tapering and the 2-3 weeks after completely stopping the medication. I think anyone here is well aware of the hell coming off of one of these medications can be.  Brain zaps, nausea, roller coaster emotions--all the great things where my life for those couple of weeks.  Luckily most of those problems have since faded. 

 

Now, however, 3 months out, I've hit a wall, and this is why I'm here on this site.  I've read that at the three month mark people do tend to see some relapse, but I did not expect the emotional and physical pain that I'm experiencing.  I can't sleep, my body aches, and I cry and pick fights for no reason.  This issue is for another post entirely, but it's the main reason I'm here introducing myself now.  

 

I'm terribly sorry I've made this so long, but this is the first forum I've ever joined with the full intent of being an active member, so I figured a decent story should be thrown out there.  

 

 

 

 

Ok, in short:  

 

Hi, I took Effexor XR and now I'm angry that no one told me how much it would mess up my life. Hugs? 

Effexor XR 150 mg and 75 mg tapered off over a month in October of 2014 (after 8 years of use)

Wellbutrin stopped cold turkey in January 2013 (after 3 years of off and on use)

Previously tried Xanax, Klonopin, Ritalin, Citalopram...the list could go on for miles. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

HUGS for you slianne , welcome to SA.     You've found a wonderful community and a tonne of resources that will help you through this experience.

 

So sorry to hear you're having a rough time of it.    You're right to be angry.     No-one told any of us the difficulties these medications cause.

 

Lots of people seem to be okay for while after stopping ad's , but find symptoms of withdrawal start to increase after 3 or 6 months.  So you're not alone there.

 

Some of the American folk may have suggestions about Patient Assistant Programs , if you can include where you've moved to.

 

This is your thread and you can post any questions about your situation here.

 

Best wishes  ,  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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Sliane, welcome to SA. I am so sorry that you find yourself in this situation and am sending you a huge Mamma hug.  I empathise completely having tapered effexor too fast myself, although my taper was about a year I was still hit by terrible withdrawal. It is a nasty little drug that some call the devil's tic tacs and so hard to be free of.  Is there an emergency centre that you can go to get a supply of effexor? Now before you throw something at the screen I am not going to suggest that you reinstate a full dose and stay on it because you need the drug for your mental illness!  That is a huge lie that is told by the drugs companies,

and it is full blown withdrawal that you are suffering from.  Many people find that a very tiny dose will ease the withdrawal symptoms considerably, as little as 4 or 5 beads from a capsule can make a huge difference. At 3 months out it may not help but it could be worth a try if you can get hold of some. 

Reinstating is best done as soon as possible after quitting but I understand that you had little choice at the time. Maybe if the ER can see the state you are in they will give you some samples.  You could only need maybe one pack to reinstate and see you through tapering. Once you stabilise on the few beads you can then taper slowly from them. 

 

Here is the topic for reinstating to stabilise http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-stop-withdrawal-symptoms/

 

Many people find that magnesium and fish oil help with the withdrawal symptoms if you can get them.  

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

**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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  • Administrator

Welcome, Sliane.

 

If you have no other way to get medications, you should go to your county health department. They should have resources to help you. See this list of health centers http://bewellpgh.org/category/freesliding-scale-clinics/

 

Any doctor can prescribe Effexor XR so you can reinstate. Like mammaP, my guess is you could open an Effexor XR capsules and try a very small number of beads to reduce your symptoms.

 

If your nervous system is sensitized by withdrawal, a larger dose might cause a bad reaction.

 

If you cannot get Effexor XR, you could get generic immediate-release venlafaxine and take a small amount twice a day by making a liquid from it. For information about this, see 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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Immediate release is quite potent in my experience! Be sure to monitor the dosing carefully if you go that route.

 

Sliane, you are a very good writer, and I am glad you posted here. Many of us are going through almost exactly what you describe.

I hope the tips above help you decide whether to reinstate, and find a way to get Effexor without spending any more money.

 

Please keep coming back. I hope to join you in full recovery.

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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Hi Slianne and welcome! I am quite new myself and have also have not participated in a forum like this, but have found it to be very helpful. Even more than that, the post are validating my own experience which helps me to stay positive and not be so hard on myself when I feel lousy and unmotivated. This process is SO difficult that we desperately need support from others that truly understand from personal experience, and everyone here seems to "get it". I hope you find lots that will give you hope and encouragement in your journey, hugs!

2005-2009, Lexapro 10 - 20 mg, CT WD w/severe depression and anxiety:  2010-2015, Paxil, 30 - 40 mg, tapered off at 10 mg/week, moderate anxiety and depression:  2010-2015, Clonozapam 0.25 mg, as needed for anxiety and sleep:  1/10/2015, Zoloft 25 mg, tried to increase to 50 and 75, but nausea and dizziness:  2/13/2015, Paxil 5 mg, added back after 2 weeks at zero to reduce WD:  2/28/2015, Paxil 10 mg, increased from 5 mg to reduce WD, HOLDING:  3/04/2015, Zoloft discontinued (reduced to ~12.5 mg on 2/19, ~6.25 mg on 2/26, then zero):  4/26/2015, Paxil starting 10% taper (no scale so was inadvertently at 20% taper, yikes!):  4/30/2015, Paxil 10 mg, reinstated (WD disappeared between August 2015 and May 2016)

5/02/2016, Started 10% taper, reinstated to 10 mg on 5/11/16:  4/29/2017, Last dose of Paxil (working with holistic psychiatrist, lots of supplements to aid WD):  Primary symptoms: apathy, demotivation, anhedonia, fatigue, stress intolerance, moderate social anxiety

7/1/2018 Finally feeling like myself again, success!!! Praise God! Even with the stress of relocating recently, I am feeling pretty good most of the time now. Granted, I eat healthy, I exercise, I don't drink caffeine or alcohol and I try hard find a healthy balance of quiet and social times. Hang in there and keep the faith, you can do it too!

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Welcome Prestorb. I hope Slianne comes back and updates us.

 

Happy President's Day to the US contingent :)

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 MorningHunter , welcome to SA.     This is Sliane's thread.     You need to start your own thread in Introductions and perhaps move your post there?  Your thread is where people can respond to you and your situation.

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

Beautiful humour :D

So here you go - big-warm-fat-very-huggy hugs coming at you all the way from New Zealand.

 

(And now I'm wondering if there could be a hug-emoticon thingy, since so many of us here like hugs...)

 

 


Ok, in short:  

 

Hi, I took Effexor XR and now I'm angry that no one told me how much it would mess up my life. Hugs? 

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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  • Moderator

Sliane?  You there?  I hope you come back and tell us how you are!

 

I'm in agreement with the others - you came off it way too fast.  But being an American, I understand how that can happen - I was on PAP in Indiana.  Now that I'm Australian, I don't need PAP.

 

It says something about drug companies, doesn't it, that they can afford to give PAP to so many people in the USA - where is all that money coming from?

 

I think your wisest advice here is from MammaP - just try 4-5 beads out of the capsule - for a week - to see if it eases your symptoms.  It's a bit of a crapshoot, and as soon as you have any reactions that make you feel extremely worse, then cut it to 2 beads.  If you still don't get relief in another week, then the reinstatement hasn't really done any good, and you're better off going without.

 

I understand being poor in the USA.  But there is some Magnesium Orotate (the best kind to take) from iHerb that costs less than $10 a bottle, and it might help.  And fish oil has been found to be helpful, too.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

Please keep us posted - you may find that you will come out on the other side of this better than ever before!  But it will take time, and patience - especially since you were on the drugs for so long - they rebuilt your brain in their image, and now your brain is trying to find its way without their interference.

 

Sorry you have been going through this.

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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