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

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SquirrellyGirl

That should be ok since you aren't noticing WD with the larger cuts. 

 

Are you weighing beads?  I have the Teva ven, and the big beads weigh about 2.67 mg.  I did a stupid thing on my last weigh session (I weigh 2 weeks' worth at a time).  I usually count the same number of large beads, weigh them, and then tweak things until I get the mg I am aiming for.  Well, on the last session, I got lazy and impatient and just scooped up whatever beads were there, including little bitty ones, and went for the weight only.  I suffered the consequences!  I started having the burning skin sensation again, a bit of anger/irritability, disrupted sleep, and a few pings of anxiety.  When I realized it was that, I went back and re-did those capsules using just the large beads as before.  I guess the little guys have less active ingredient and more coating (less volume to surface area).  I'm just that sensitive!

 

Happy Tapering!

SG

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primekittycat

Thanks SG! That is crazy and I've gotten lazy before too (not re-weighing, etc.) only to find out I had cut my dose without meaning to, lol. My pharmacy keeps switching back and forth between teva and greenstone. I kind of like the ones with the smaller beads (I think greenstone) so I can take out/add in little or big ones to get the precise measurement. The teva manufacturer has bigger beads so it's harder to add or cut without it being a dramatic mg difference.

 

Happy tapering to you too!

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buggedout

Hey PKC, just seeing how you're doing. Hope you had a good Christmas and New Year!

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primekittycat

Hey buggedout, thanks for checking on me :) Things are going well, I cut to 43mg about a week ago. I am still really itchy, pretty consistently since November. Earlier in the thread I mentioned it had to be because of fleas I was in contact with while volunteering at the animal shelter, but since I stopped doing that, that is not the reason anymore. I am using so many moisturizing, natural lotions and soaps with calamine, coconut oil, allergy pills, and I am still so itchy. My skin is in bad shape because of it. I am going to get some allergy tests done ASAP and if most of the stuff is ruled out, it has to be because of withdrawal. I haven't changed anything else... diet, soap, detergents, deodorants.. ugh.

 

Anyway, that is the worst withdrawal symptom I have had recently besides bad fatigue for about 4 days after a cut. Hope you are doing well too, I will check in on your intro post now :)

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SquirrellyGirl

Hi Prime, 

 

Have you tried quercetin for the itching?  I know these drugs provide a histamine block that when reduced, brings on the allergy symptoms.  Avoiding high histamine foods is one thing people do, and I'd actually tried quercetin for my old dog who had a lifetime of itchy skin.  Unfortunately for him, it didn't work and I had to resort to steroids now and again, something I hate to do.  But it might help you :-)  If you haven't tried it, buy from a reputable manufacturer.

 

SG

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primekittycat

Oh man, the more I learn about how this stuff impacts so much in your body makes me even more excited to come off. Just curious though, why quercetin instead of allergy meds? I don't seem to have any bad side effects from Allegra. The steroid shot I got when they thought this was a flea allergy really helped but of course I want to avoid those. Thank you so much for your advice on this, I do have a feeling it's part of the withdrawal.

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SquirrellyGirl

Well,  I will say that I have used Benedryl, which is discouraged because some have a paradoxical reaction to it.  You could start with a quarter tablet and see if that helps (Allegra).  Start small with these things to make sure you won't have a sensitivity.  That's what I've seen advised here. Here's a post from someone who couldn't take it:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3034-drugs-to-avoid-in-withdrawal/?p=33175

 

SG

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primekittycat

Thanks SG! Also do you know of any articles on the web or discussions here about SSRIs and its relation to histamines? I tried finding it in the forums and couldn't. Just want to find out more about it.

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SquirrellyGirl

Hi Prime, 

 

Here's something to start with: http://beyondmeds.com/2013/01/07/histamine-intolerance/

http://beyondmeds.com/2014/07/13/histamine-psych-drugs/

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3503-histamine-food-intolerance/

 

I haven't read these, yet, but since the first two are from Monica Cassini, I'm sure it's very good info.  And the third is from here :-)

 

SG

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buggedout

Hey buggedout, thanks for checking on me :) Things are going well, I cut to 43mg about a week ago. I am still really itchy, pretty consistently since November. Earlier in the thread I mentioned it had to be because of fleas I was in contact with while volunteering at the animal shelter, but since I stopped doing that, that is not the reason anymore. I am using so many moisturizing, natural lotions and soaps with calamine, coconut oil, allergy pills, and I am still so itchy. My skin is in bad shape because of it. I am going to get some allergy tests done ASAP and if most of the stuff is ruled out, it has to be because of withdrawal. I haven't changed anything else... diet, soap, detergents, deodorants.. ugh.

 

Anyway, that is the worst withdrawal symptom I have had recently besides bad fatigue for about 4 days after a cut. Hope you are doing well too, I will check in on your intro post now :)

 

Sorry you are still dealing with the itch! So bizarre.  If I could recommend one thing for your skin it would be castor oil. I use that to remedy rashes that I get on my sensitive skin, from jewellery etc. For the most part it knocks the rash right out. Maybe it could help with your itch? Good luck in any case!

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primekittycat

Thank you! :) Got some more info today. I went and got allergy tested and showed the doctor my scars from itching and what my rash looks like in a pic. She said it's definitely eczema, which can be caused by many things (stress, allergies, hormones, etc.). I asked about Effexor being an anti-histamine and coming off of it and maybe that having to do with the itching. She said Effexor is not really an anti-histamine but I could be itchy because I'm feeling the physical effects of coming off, which means I probably need to stay on it because I've been on it so long. Uhhh, NO!! This itch has been manageable for a couple weeks now by using body wash and lotion with calamine in it. Not staying on this because I'm itchy..

 

One funny thing, I love love love cats and they are my #1 allergy, lol. 

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primekittycat

Just thought I'd give a quick update. I've been able to keep my eczema to a minimum by using natural body wash and lotion from Lush (aquamarine wash - has calamine powder in it to help with itch, and dream cream lotion). Hardly any itch at all and my scars/scabs are finally starting to heal. I just cut to 38.9mg on Friday and am feeling well, though I am on antibiotics as I had dental implant surgery on Thursday so I think the amoxicillin is making me a little dizzy. My next cut will be to 37.5mg (half of my original dose, so excited) and I will be staying there for a couple of months to stabilize even further. 

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buggedout

Just thought I'd give a quick update. I've been able to keep my eczema to a minimum by using natural body wash and lotion from Lush (aquamarine wash - has calamine powder in it to help with itch, and dream cream lotion). Hardly any itch at all and my scars/scabs are finally starting to heal. I just cut to 38.9mg on Friday and am feeling well, though I am on antibiotics as I had dental implant surgery on Thursday so I think the amoxicillin is making me a little dizzy. My next cut will be to 37.5mg (half of my original dose, so excited) and I will be staying there for a couple of months to stabilize even further. 

 

I'm happy to hear that you found something to help with the itch! Congrats on your progress. And I just realized by looking at my signature that I am already due for another cut!

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primekittycat

Thanks buggedout. Just want to announce that today I took my first HALF DOSE. Celebration needed!!!!  :D  :D  :D  :D

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buggedout

Congrats!! That certainly is cause for celebration. Hope you treated yourself to... something lol. I have a couple more cuts until Im under half.

 

Youre doing great!

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primekittycat

Well, couldn't treat myself to a nice glass of wine since I'm having withdrawal symptoms. First I have felt in a long time. Bouts of dizziness and extreme fatigue. Working from home today so I can take a nap during lunch. I took an extra bead with my 1/2 dose today which is probably about an additional mg. Hoping that helps

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ChessieCat

Hi primekittycat,

 

I've just been reading the topic Does your doctor know you are tapering? and found this that you had posted (Post #54)

 

"My therapist told me that 1000's of trials were done with antidepressants with bad results until one finally 'passed' so they could start selling them. I'm not sure how true that is, but I believe it. I don't care any way since I am done with them (well, mentally but not physically unfortunately)."

 

and thought you might be interested in this (I found it somewhere on SA but can't find it at the moment):

 

Antidepressants and the Placebo Effect by Irving Kirsch (link to full article)

Abstract:

Antidepressants are supposed to work by fixing a chemical imbalance, specifically, a lack of serotonin in the brain.  Indeed, their supposed effectiveness is the primary evidence for the chemical imbalance theory.  But analyses of the published data and the unpublished data that were hidden by drug companies reveals that most (if not all) of the benefits are due to the placebo effect.  Some antidepressants increase serotonin levels, some decrease it, and some have no effect at all on serotonin.  Nevertheless, they all show the same therapeutic benefit.  Even the small statistical difference between antidepressants and placebos may be an enhanced placebo effect, due to the fact that most patients and doctors in clinical trials successfully break blind.  The serotonin theory is as close as any theory in the history of science to having been proved wrong.  Instead of curing depression, popular antidepressants may induce a biological vulnerability making people more likely to become depressed in the future.

Excerpt:

How Did These Drugs Get Approved?
....
The FDA requires two adequately conducted clinical trials showing a significant difference between drug and placebo. 
But there is a loophole:  there is no limit to the number of trials that can be conducted in search of these two significant trials.  Trials showing negative results simply do not count.  Furthermore, the clinical significance of the findings is not considered.  All that matters is that the results are statistically significant.
....

(NB:  emphasis in abstract and excerpt are mine)

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primekittycat

Wow... so he was right. Thank you so much for sharing, CC. I am feeling better today after adding 1 bead to my half dose. Maybe a couple weeks before I stop taking the additional bead.

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primekittycat

Thank you CC! Going to set time aside to watch this.

 

At what point do I add another bead to my dose. I started taking 37.5 mg on March 4, was feeling some bad withdrawal symptoms so added a bead starting on March 10. Last night I felt so out of it, barely slept because I was dizzy and head feels all buzzed. Thinking I should stabilize on 37.5 plus one bead since I can still function, just sucks. How long do you wait to see if you stabilize before updosing?

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AliG

PKC.     I would think about tapering versus updosing.  I would hold until  ... . symptoms start to recede.  Sometimes you have to wait the symptoms out .  In other words, you have to accept , in a way  that you are going to go through a period of instability . This is inevitable , and will be for a while , however , if you keep it slow  steady and stable , it will enable you to keep functioning  on a daily basis , whilst also tapering in an incremental fashion. This is the ideal scenario , in withdrawal .

It's more a case of stabilizing and then dropping , when you feel ready . Listen to your body . It will tell you when the right time is . You might want to look at at a  "Micro - Taper. "  Many , find this the way to go .  See what you think .

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6632-the-rule-of-3kis-keep-it-simple-keep-it-slow-keep-it-stable/

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2878-micro-taper-instead-of-10-or-5-decreases/

 

Ali

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primekittycat

Thank you Ali, I needed that. Bought some fish oil today and only going to take a small amount and move up from there after I see if I can tolerate it. I haven't felt symptoms in so long that I got frustrated when I did (and am still having them) but they are tolerable and I can function. Learned a lesson to keep close watch on any symptoms and not taper until I'm stabilized. I've been doing 5% cuts which were fine but now that I'm halfway done, may need to go slower now and do micro cuts. Thank you again.

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primekittycat

Haven't been on here in a while! I cut by 5% this morning to 35.6mg.. finally below half! I wanted to cut sooner, but had a kidney infection that I had to take 3 weeks of antibiotics for. I no longer have the infection but still have a trace amount of blood in my urine, so I have to see a urologist.

 

Has anyone experienced blood in their urine while on antidepressants? I'm also wondering if it's because I exercise about 5 days a week, an hour each time. It's a very strenuous exercise - I've read that can cause blood in the urine.

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primekittycat

Feeling good so cut 5% again, to 33.8mg. 

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apace41

Awesome, primekitty! Keep up the good work!

 

Best,

 

Andy

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primekittycat

Thanks Andy. Sorry, just seeing your message. Neuro emotions are bad today. Cut again on Thursday and pretty much annoyed at the world today. My grandfather (last living grandparent) is staying with us for a week and I could barely handle him this morning. Also I am VERY fatigued every time I cut (it seems to be lasting longer as I am now below half of my original dose) and I am just very annoyed with that. I could sleep all day. I can't seem to get to work on time, thankfully my company is flexible. Wish I could curl up in bed and not go anywhere :(

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buggedout

Hey PKC... let us know how you are doing when you can :)

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primekittycat

Hey! That is funny, I just signed on to see how you were doing! :) I'll respond to your latest post on your topic. I am doing well. I have been doing 5% cuts every 2 weeks and had a couple of longer holds over the last few months for vacations. I'm at 22.5mg now. Overall doing well, I still get very tired a few days after a cut and have to take naps, but usually fine a week after the cut. My emotions seem to be slowly coming back as well, as I get frustrated and angry much easier now. But no dizziness or panic attacks. I think the working out, eating well, managing stress, and taking fish oil helps with that. Lately I have been so tempted to just stop taking it altogether because I'm sick of this long process, but I won't as I know it is beneficial and the best choice. Just sooo long :(

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primekittycat

Continuing to come off of this drug has been 'fun'. I am finally beginning to feel things, and rage/anger/irritability are definitely emotions that have come back with a vengeance. I understand neuro-emotions and hope that I am better able to deal with them as time goes on. I get so angry for the most random reasons (husband chewing loudly (I also have misophonia), holding my cat and my husband made a loud noise which made him scratch me), among other things... I seriously wanted to punch something. I am not used to feeling things so intensely.

 

Another thing I am dealing with is flight anxiety. I have always been a little uneasy flying, but on my most recent trip for work, I could not handle it. The flight was smooth and only 40 minutes long but I kept imagining something horrible happening and had to strike up a conversation with my seatmate to distract me. I tried breathing techniques, listening to music, etc... I was just in this state of panic that I could not rid. I kept telling myself on the plane that I won't fly any more but I can't do that. I love to travel and I will continue flying, even if it is torture. But I need to learn some techniques to make it bearable. In September I flew to Europe and took dramamine (overnight flight) and was mostly fine, but apparently the decreases in Effexor since then (about 7mg, from 27 to 20mg) are enough to make a difference in my anxiety levels. My brain is rebuilding itself and I need to rebuild my anxiety coping techniques.

 

Other than the random anger, I am doing great. My top 2 withdrawal easers are fish oil (calming, helps any small tinges of dizziness, etc.) as well as exercising, especially high intensity workouts.

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primekittycat

Wow, I haven't updated here in a while and this year has just been flying by. Just wanted to update as this is also like a personal withdrawal journey journal for myself.

 

My emotions have been much more controllable in the last couple of months (not that I want them to be totally predictable, having emotions is a good thing) but nothing like I was feeling before. I know it may happen again, the random anger, but know it is because of my withdrawal. Getting used to feeling feelings again, crying like a baby during movies (Beauty and the Beast), feeling super excited/nervous for things like my favorite workout class or an upcoming certification test that I'm taking for work.

 

We were watching a friend's dog about 6 weeks ago and it was a chore. I got SO angry at him because he escaped out of the room we were keeping him in and ate all of my cat's food, my cat that eats to live and doesn't live to eat, has IBS and is slender, and needs food available to him at all times. Thankfully my cat was fine as he lives with 2 other cats normally. UGH I was so angry. I am not used to feeling that way. I had to go into a room, lay down and cool down. My husband had to explain to me that what I was feeling was normal. I'm like, rage is normal sometimes? Haha. Just not used to such intensity.

 

Anyway, I did take a couple of longer breaks between a couple of cuts because of vacation. I don't drink until about a week after a cut because my main symptoms are dizziness and fatigue and drinking tends to exacerbate things. I usually hardly get any symptoms unless I do 4-5 cuts right in a row without a big break (5% every 2 weeks), which is the way I like it because I work in analytics and can't have my brain all foggy/dizzy all of the time.

 

My goal is to be off or really close to off by my brother's wedding, October 2018. That will be a 3.5 year cut of which I'm almost 2 years into right now. 

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primekittycat

Hi, I need help so I hope someone is able to reply to me.

 

I'm 32 and have been on birth control pills since I was about 15 (with about a 6 month break in there where I lost a lot of hair and went back on). For the last several years I was on Yaz which I never had any bad side effects on. Unfortunately when my insurance changed in October, I had to switch to Orsythia because Yaz and its generic equivalents were not covered. Well, starting around January I noticed that my hair was falling out. My hairstylist mentioned to me to look into the pill I'm taking. Come to find out, it is a pill with a high androgen index meaning it could make you have hair loss.

 

My initial reaction was to switch to Yasmin as it's covered by my insurance and is almost the same as Yaz. But now I'm thinking I want to totally come off to help rid my body of more chemicals and thinking maybe a switch isn't a great idea for my body anyways. However, I am somewhat afraid to do this while I'm tapering Effexor (and also afraid of losing more hair as I know that is common when stopping the pill altogether).

 

Has anyone stopped taking bc pills while tapering? I keep going back and forth on what to do... Thank you for any help.

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Dez

primekittycat,

 

I also feel the same way. I've been on birth control since I was around 19. When in high school I didn't have my period for sixth months due to all the stress I was going through, so I needed something to regulate myself. Now that I'm going through withdrawals, I'm starting to wonder what birth control pills can do to me too. Of course look up any medication online and the stories and you'll find horror ones, but I'm unsure as to what I should do. I just got back on them after being off them for a few months. When that happened it was around the same time I was going through withdrawals. It was absolutely horrible. I'm worried that I need these pills to help me regulate my hormones. My mother told me it sounded just like what women go through during menopause, with the depressed feeling and getting angry. I really don't want to be an angry or depressed person throughout my entire life. I'm also worried of actually talking with my doctor about it because, well, we all know how doctors can be.

 

I should add that I'm only 26, but withdrawals have made me feel so much older. I worry about my heart, having blood clots, scared about the headaches and the strange things I see. I can never tell if it's healing from withdrawals or medication that I'm still on. I'm finally off everything (can't update my signature for some reason, it says only 12 lines) but the only thing I'm on is Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo now. I'm forever going to be paranoid about medications from this. I hope someone can give us both an answer.

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primekittycat

Did some searching on the forums and found.. "the endocrine system (thyroid, adrenals, pituitary, ovaries/testes) and the CNS (central nervous system) are tightly interconnected -- they send signals back and forth chemically (hormones and neurotransmitters)."

 

Needless to say I'll be holding here for a while until I know I'm stable. Apparently the pill hormones are out of your system in only a few days but it takes a few months for your body to get back to normal and recover. "Some women will begin to ovulate in a couple of weeks, whereas it may take several months for other women to begin to ovulate. Generally speaking, your body should be back to "normal menstruation mode" within two to three months after stopping the pill."

 

I'll keep everyone updated on how this goes. I didn't take the bc pill last night. I really hope I don't lose more hair. I have barely been brushing it!

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buggedout

Hi ladies, I can relate to the same concerns about birth control. I have developed into somewhat of a hypochondriac over the last couple years and I am completely paranoid about putting anything in my body these days. Even allergy pills and painkillers. Anyways I have been on the BC pill for 10 or 15 years now... my period has been irregular since taking effexor, sometimes 3-6 months in between. When I discussed it with my doctor, she basically said that if I am not pregnant then don't worry it can't hurt me. I enjoyed having periods few and far between but I have taken so many pregnancy tests out of paranoia lol. All negative. Anyways the pill I take is called Micronor/ the mini pill. It doesn't have estrogen and therefore doesn't regulate my cycle. But it doesn't have any side effects that I am aware of... I would recommend it if you are looking for a minimalist pill with less hormones to mess with your system. Not sure if this is helpful to anyone but just wanted to share.

 

Hope all is well PKC. Sorry about your hair loss troubles.

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SquirrellyGirl

Hi PKC, I just happened to see your latest, and in reviewing, realized that we came on the forum close to the same time and have both been tapering nearly two years!  

 

I was on the pill my whole reproductive life, Yaz generics for the last I don't know how many years, but a lot!  I can't really help with your question, just share my story.  Women in my family go into menopause young, my mom being done at 42 and my sister being done at 50.  One of the reasons I decided to come off Effexor nearly 3 years ago was because my sex life had always been in the tank since going on ADs around age 30.  I was sick and tired of having no libido and such difficulty reaching orgasm.  I began to realize that I'd been in a slow-cook state of anhedonia due to the drugs for years, and so fast tapered off.  Crazy me, I also came off the pill at the same time because I figured I was probably menopausal anyway, hadn't seen much of a period on the weeks off for some time.  So, for all I know, I really gave myself a double whammy!

 

I didn't notice anything obvious from coming off, but slowly the mental issues came on, cog fog, severe memory issues, rumination.  Since these are withdrawal symptoms for ADs, I can't say if it was one or the other or both!  Severe sweats came on as well, and again, there's overlap so I thought it was menopause. Then the mood stuff began, severe anxiety and depression.  I blamed the mental stuff on menopause and pursued hormone testing to see about bio-identical hormone replacement.  When I started BIHR, nothing changed!!  I still didn't recognize this as withdrawal and ended up on mirtazapine because I couldn't sleep or eat at 8 months out and then reinstated Effexor at 10 months out.  Mirt only helped me sleep, I now know because it couldn't hold up to Effexor WD, and after taking the Effexor, BAM, I was good!  Sweats stopped, mood better, anxiety better, etc.  No periods to speak of so yes, menopausal.

 

Hot flashes have returned over the last couple of months as I started focusing more on the Effexor taper and less on the mirtazapine taper.  Moodiness, too.  Your post about taking care of the dog got me remembering that I've had some anger flashes, irritability recently.  I don't know what to tell you about the pill other than that I think the Effexor WD was the major player, though I will never know how coming off the pill truly contributed to all that.  That said, I'm wondering if you could do a trial taper of the pill, perhaps quartering it and removing 1/4 to see if you notice anything?  You can always add it back if you do see a change.

 

SG

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