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Primekittycat: Hi! Was this protracted withdrawal? Will be tapering slowly soon..

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Altostrata

You may do better with 5% cuts, possibly more often than every month.

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primekittycat

Well, I've been feeling off today and woke up and almost fell over because I was dizzy, feeling slight withdrawal effects which didn't make sense since I've been stable for a few weeks now. I went back and weighed the last few days of leftover beads and I wasn't measuring carefully enough with these new tiny beads from the new manufacturer, I was supposed to be taking out .025mg from each pill but  what actually came out of the last 3 pills were .031, .034, and .036. I think each time I take a bead or two off of the scale, it's not registering and I'm taking out more than I need to. So I've basically already been doing a 4% cut the past few days, I might as well keep it going. Oyyyyyy I dislike this scale.

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primekittycat

5% cuts are my friend - feeling pretty great and happy that I can do this. Thanks for the advice.

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Altostrata

Excellent.

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primekittycat

Doing another 5% cut starting tonight (it's been about 2.5 weeks since the last one and I feel stable). Will be down to 61.7mg. Slowly but surely.

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buggedout

Well, I've been feeling off today and woke up and almost fell over because I was dizzy, feeling slight withdrawal effects which didn't make sense since I've been stable for a few weeks now. I went back and weighed the last few days of leftover beads and I wasn't measuring carefully enough with these new tiny beads from the new manufacturer, I was supposed to be taking out .025mg from each pill but  what actually came out of the last 3 pills were .031, .034, and .036. I think each time I take a bead or two off of the scale, it's not registering and I'm taking out more than I need to. So I've basically already been doing a 4% cut the past few days, I might as well keep it going. Oyyyyyy I dislike this scale.

 

I'm paranoid whenever I weigh my beads, I always jiggle the little plate that they sit on after I remove/add beads so it readjusts itself.

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buggedout

Doing another 5% cut starting tonight (it's been about 2.5 weeks since the last one and I feel stable). Will be down to 61.7mg. Slowly but surely.

 

Good luck, let us know how it works out! :)

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primekittycat

Thanks! :) My weighing has been going better, I not only weigh what I'm going to take but what I took out.. so it's double checking.

 

I've been having some withdrawal symptoms 2 weeks after my cut on 8/30 (where I only had a very small amount of symptoms for a few days), and I think it's because my pharmacy changed generic manufacturers on me about a week ago, even though I am taking the same dose. That's the only explanation I have for it. Needless to say, waiting until I've been feeling good for a couple weeks before cutting again. This is going to be a long journey.

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tgirl

Nice to see another from the mitten state.

I'm in Lake Orion.

Good luck with your tapper.

Tgirl

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primekittycat

You too! :)  Canton here. 

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primekittycat

I took a nice 6 week hold on 61.7mg and cut to 58.6 (5% cut) on Friday night. Doing good so far, the typical symptoms of being a little dizzy and off feeling. Does anyone else get super excited for each cut? Obviously I'm not excited for the symptoms, but excited to continue coming off this thing.

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primekittycat

Cut to 55.7mg yesterday (-5%). I moved my dose to the morning last weekend because around 5-6pm each night, I was getting dizzy and I think it's because I was taking it at night. I think my body can feel when the Effexor is out of my system for the day. It seems to have made a difference.

 

I also wanted to add that my boss' wife passed away on Friday. She was 37 and was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in February. I am so sad for him, I attended the visitation yesterday. Through her treatment and at the visitation yesterday, people kept saying how him and her are/were soulmates, meant for each other. I just can't imagine losing someone like that (well I can, I lost my dad but I feel like losing my husband now would be way worse).

 

I am doing ok, just have been thinking more about mortality lately and losing the ones I love. I got stuck in that pretty bad when my dad died in 05, and it continued for years. Working hard on not falling back into it.

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Altostrata

Hi, PrimeKC.

 

Sounds like your taper is going well.

 

Sadly, we are all mortal. There's no getting around it. Have you had grief counseling? Learning acceptance might take a huge burden off you.

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peggy

hey kittycat..

 

can i ask what scale you are using? I have the $30 gemini 20 but have stopped using it because of the inaccuracies you described - that is not always registering bead removal.. also - if i leave the beads on the scale for a while the weight ends up changing. I am calibrating frequently and using it in a room with no breeze.

 

I take the brand name effexor not a generic and there are about 270 beads in a 75mg capsule - and they seem to be electrically charged and jump around all over the place - getting them into and out of the capsules is difficult. I was thinking about investing in a more expensive laboratory scale - but they seem to be about $600.... totally worth it though if i can be confident in accurate weights

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primekittycat

hey kittycat..

 

can i ask what scale you are using? I have the $30 gemini 20 but have stopped using it because of the inaccuracies you described - that is not always registering bead removal.. also - if i leave the beads on the scale for a while the weight ends up changing. I am calibrating frequently and using it in a room with no breeze.

 

I take the brand name effexor not a generic and there are about 270 beads in a 75mg capsule - and they seem to be electrically charged and jump around all over the place - getting them into and out of the capsules is difficult. I was thinking about investing in a more expensive laboratory scale - but they seem to be about $600.... totally worth it though if i can be confident in accurate weights

 

Hi peggy,

 

I'm also using the gemini and I've used a few tricks to get it to work for me. First, I always leave the 10g weight in the scale (or whatever came with it, can't remember) because it apparently does better at the higher weights. I've been using 3 dixie cups - 1 to put my beads in, a 2nd to put the beads in that I'm removing, and then the 3rd to weigh the beads that I'm taking out (always resetting the scale since the dixie cups weigh differently too). So there's 3 weights that I care about - the weight of the total, the weight of what I'm taking, and the weight of what I removed. I find that picking up the dixie cup and setting it back down after I remove or add beads helps to 'check' the weight. This has made it a more reliable scale for me. Hope that helps!

 

 

Hi, PrimeKC.

 

Sounds like your taper is going well.

 

Sadly, we are all mortal. There's no getting around it. Have you had grief counseling? Learning acceptance might take a huge burden off you.

 

I was in therapy for 2 years (not specifically grief counseling) but he really helped me with acceptance. I'll get there, it just might take me a few days. Thank you for your concern!

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primekittycat

Will do :)

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peggy

thanks kittycat!

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primekittycat

Hey guys, since switching my effexor xr to morning, I literally had no withdrawal symptoms from my last 5% cut. Crazy but I'm not complaining! I'm still holding for the 2 weeks (until 11/17) then doing another 5%.

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buggedout

Glad to hear you are doing well :)

 

I too get excited about my next reduction. That wears off once the symptoms kick in lol but then after a few days I am eager again. Im down to 105mg as of last week and doing well.

 

As for being mortal... every sunday I talk to my nana and she is going to be 87 soon. She is my only living grandparent left and its really sad to think she wont be around forever. Frightening to think I will be in her shoes eventually. Well, unless this poison kills me first lol.

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primekittycat

Great job!! :) Just did another cut this morning down to 52.9 mg. Let's keep up our progress :)

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primekittycat

Ugh, having a symptom that I'm not sure is withdrawal related or not - I am itchy ALL over my body. Took Allegra, been using very hydrating natural lotions, no help. It laughs at the cortisone cream. This is horrible. Up at 430am with this. Haven't changed any supplements or soap or anything like that. Argh

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buggedout

That sounds awful :(

 

Its incredibly frustrating not knowing if the symptoms are from withdrawal.

 

Since you just cut two days ago, I would say it's very likely in this case. Im sure if you check the list of side effects, itching is listed somewhere on there. It seems to include pretty much any type of medical ailment. Stupid pills...

 

Hopefully that means it will pass soon too.

 

Is there a rash or bumps or anything?

 

Maybe a hot bath or shower will help.

 

Hope you feel better soon!

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JanCarol

Hey PrimeKittyCat - overall, it sounds like you're doing really well!

 

Slow and steady wins the race.

 

You've established a pattern in your tapers / withdrawals. You're  listening to your body, and being gentle with yourself.  Apparently, new pattern has emerged, as your dose gets lower:  the pattern of "not sure what's going to happen next, it could be anything."  Yes, itchiness is one of them.  I get this badly, a deep internal itchiness (I have it right now - stimulated by my mag oil tonight but persisting for HOURS after I wash it off and put on anti-itch creme, everything).  I reckon it's just a test run on my nerve endings.  Firing them up to see if I'm paying attention.

 

You've read a lot on the site, but I'll refer you to:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2390-dr-joseph-glenmullens-withdrawal-symptom-checklist/

 

Any of those symptoms are fair game.  Your pattern may be shifting a bit as you continue.

 

It's refreshing to see someone who understands the patience game of withdrawal.  And I might learn a scale trick or two from you!  (I don't use the scale for tapering, but for supplements)  Awesome, Kitty!

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primekittycat

Thank you both! This started about a week ago but seemed to have gotten worse last night. I've always taken hot showers but maybe I'll do warm tonight.

 

Yes, there are hives and redness with it. Chest, arms, and legs are the worst. I thought it was due to volunteering with cats that I do on Sundays now, but I've never reacted like this to cats and I always shower and wash my clothes right when I get home. Crazy that the symptoms can change as you get lower in dose. I'll be honest though, I'd rather have this than dizziness!

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Altostrata

Sounds like an allergic reaction rather than withdrawal.

 

Are you using a new soap, detergent, or lotion?

 

Suggest showering with water as cool as comfortable for you, maybe lukewarm, hot water aggravates itching.

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primekittycat

No, I'm not so that's the weird part. Allegra also didn't help. For the last week I've also been having nightly nightmares and just weird vivid dreams. 

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primekittycat

OK so maybe Allegra helped a little today. I took a cool shower with no soap. Still itchy.. Still not sure what it is but I'll keep ruling things out

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primekittycat

Well, I'm still dealing with this itchiness and have not been able to figure out what it is from. The only things that give me some relief are (sometimes) Allegra, though some days I feel fine even without taking it, and Aveeno Eczema moisturizing cream. My arms and legs are a mess from scratching in the middle of the night. If this is a withdrawal symptom, should it hold me back from cutting again? I am due for my next cut on Tuesday. Everything else is great. The crazy dreams have settled down and no other symptoms.

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primekittycat

I only got 2 hours of sleep last night from this itching so I went to the doctor today. Turns out, they are flea bites from volunteering at the shelter. :( She prescribed me oral steroids for 6 days (since the creams weren't working) and wants me to take benadryl at night. I was going to cut tomorrow, but because I'm throwing in another medication I'll wait another week.

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ChessieCat

Hi PrimeKittyCat,

 

Pleased you found out the cause.  Maybe wear a flea collar when you volunteer?

 

CC

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SquirrellyGirl

Hi Primekittycat, 

 

I just read up on your intro, and wanted to say hello, from a fellow venlafaxine taper-er!

 

I went through protracted venlafaxine WD last year and didn't realize it because the mental symptoms were delayed and I was also in menopause!  I tapered rather fast.  My memory is horrid from years of taking this poison so I don't remember when I did what, but I think I went down from 75 to 37.5 mg at some point earlier in 2014 and then did a fast taper off of 37.5 mg in the summer.  Mental fog, confusion, poor memory and poor concentration were all par for the course but since there was no acute onset, I just didn't put two and two together.  Then I started have incredible sweats night and day!  I would drench the sheets and then freeze in the wetness!  During the day, I would have rivulets of sweat pouring down my face and body.  I had heart palps, increased heart rate, and my blood pressure increased, too.  I also had a burning skin sensation that would sweep over me at night, especially when I would pull the sheets off from being too hot. I'm sure there are many more physical symptoms I can't remember now.  I did have virtigo at some point but I think that may have been when I had done a med cut, not during protracted withdrawal.  I'd never had virtigo in my life.

 

I had shingles last summer, and I wonder if WD didn't precipitate it.

 

Over six months out, I started having really bad anxiety, which culminated in horrible insomnia with terror in the night.  I had a sense of doom, and ruminated over the future, my parent's dying some day, fear of being alone in my old age, terror over what the world will be like with climate change getting worse, not wanting to be alive when it all goes down, etc. I remember one day the light of day just felt wrong; everything looked weird and I just couldn't stand being in my own skin.  Akathesia?

 

The depression overtook me, along with the anxiety.  I had no motivation, couldn't feed myself, wouldn't get off the couch, had agoraphobia, etc etc.  I thought I was going mad.  I went to a new p-doc who put me on Remeron because I couldn't eat or sleep, had lost weight.  That worked initially, but rapidly quit working even though I was increasing the dosage rapidly.  I was sleeping great, but was totally apathetic and depressed and afraid.  I went back after 6 weeks of Remeron, and he reistated 37.5 mg of venlafaxine.  Within one hour my mood lifted 100%!  This was 10 or so months after I had come off of ven!  

 

You and I are lucky that reinstatement worked, though I wish it had been at a lower dose!  I only learned about protracted withdrawal after ending up on two meds, not one, believing that I had a chemical imbalance the way diabetics need insulin, that I'd need drugs for the rest of my life.  I was fortunate to meet someone else who was in lexapro WD and who pointed me here.  I am so grateful!

 

I am focusing on tapering Remeron because I have gained weight and being a recovering bulimic, that just doesn't sit well with me! I throw a 5% ven taper in now and again.  I'm at 76% of 37.5 mg and doing pretty well.  I feel better at this dose than I did at higher doses.  I am weighing beads.  I pull out the same number of beads each dose, try to pick similar sized ones, and weigh them to make sure they come to 76 mg.  Seems to have kept me pretty stable as far as ven WD symptoms go.

 

My p-doc thinks I have OCD for weighing out my beads and doing the 10% cuts of Remeron!  Grrrr!

 

Nice to meet you, and I hope the dizziness subsides/stays away.  That is one I have had fleetingly now and again but never to the degree that you have had!

 

SG

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primekittycat

Hi PrimeKittyCat,

 

Pleased you found out the cause.  Maybe wear a flea collar when you volunteer?

 

CC

Lol :)  I'm still itchy even after taking so many steroid pills last night (had to fit in 6 pills before bedtime). Ughhhh I'm not feeling any side effects from the drug though so maybe I'll do my Effexor 5% cut tomorrow.

 

 

SG, your story is crazy! I can't believe you had so many symptoms, and they are so different than mine. These drugs affect everybody so differently. I also wish I would have known about reinstating only a lower amount. I just (reluctantly) believed the doctors who told me I needed to go back on the 75mg because my 'anxiety was back'. Maybe I would have been fine on 37.5?

 

Sounds like you're doing a great job. I'm on 70% of the 75mg dose (52mg) so we can be tapering buddies :)

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JanCarol

Hey KittyCat - how have you gone on the steroids?  A lot of people have had difficulty with them - but maybe because you needed them - they will only help.

 

Chessie, you are behind the times.  I would put drops on the back of her neck!   :P  

 

Though it would be sad, you may have to forgo your shelter time for a spell, maybe help out in non-animal ways?  I know, it's got to be healing among the critters - but - well, it all depends on how you are going, right?

 

Let us know!

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primekittycat

Hey KittyCat - how have you gone on the steroids?  A lot of people have had difficulty with them - but maybe because you needed them - they will only help.

 

Chessie, you are behind the times.  I would put drops on the back of her neck!   :P

 

Though it would be sad, you may have to forgo your shelter time for a spell, maybe help out in non-animal ways?  I know, it's got to be healing among the critters - but - well, it all depends on how you are going, right?

 

Let us know!

 

Hi Jan! I did fine on the steroids. The itching went away after a few days. I haven't been back to the shelter and I asked them to take me off the schedule for now. I miss helping them, but I can still assist with special events and stuff, as long as I don't have to handle the cats. I have my own cat to cuddle at least :)

 

Important question for everyone about my tapering. Since I switched taking the Effexor to the morning instead of night on 10/29, I haven't felt any withdrawal effects through three 5% cuts. I have been doing the cuts every 2-3 weeks. Could I speed this up to every week or is that asking for trouble? Of course I'd take a longer break if I felt like I needed it. Thoughts?

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primekittycat

Bump - any thoughts on my last post? Maybe do 2.5% cuts every week instead which would be about a 10% cut each month?

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