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primekittycat

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

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primekittycat

@SG, that is so interesting. And also I had read somewhere that splitting bc pills isn't a good idea as the hormones aren't equally spread in the pill. I took my last bc pill last Tuesday night (a week and 2 days ago) and am doing fine so far. I'll continue to keep everyone updated. 

 

@BO, I am also super paranoid about any medicine now. Thank you for letting me know about that pill, I had no idea it even existed. Might be a good option if I decide that I want to go back on something without so many hormones.

 

I have very curly/coarse hair so I only wash my hair once a week (sounds gross but really I have been doing this my whole life so I don't get oily at all until maybe the 5th day when I use dry shampoo and keep it in a ponytail). I washed my hair last night and still SO much hair came out. I know it takes a while for the biotin to work and I've also read that it takes 3 months for your hair to react to a change. So technically my body is still in the 'mode' of being on the bc pill even though I stopped a week ago.

 

I'm also going through some stress with trying to find a new home. The market is crazy where I live right now so we have to look at new homes online every single day and make a choice (most of the time it's an easy one) but then also go to look at homes in person if we think we like something. We've made one offer so far and it was not accepted which we kind of guessed would happen.. we offered full asking price and people are offering above full asking price around here. Thankfully we love our current home and just want to downsize/downcost so we aren't in any rush and are being picky (which probably makes the process worse, lol). Still it's bringing enough stress to affect my sleep, so I am holding where I am now with Effexor regardless of going off the pill or not.

 

Thanks everyone for your advice and take care :)

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Altostrata

Good to hear from you, PKC. How are your withdrawal symptoms?

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primekittycat

Hi Alto! I don't seem to get much of any symptoms until I do 3 cuts in a row (5% every 2 weeks). The symptoms I do get are fatigue, slight headaches, head feels heavy and almost vibrating/buzzing, especially at night. I think the fish oil helps with it. Thanks for asking!

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ChessieCat

"I don't seem to get much of any symptoms until I do 3 cuts in a row (5% every 2 weeks)"

 

This might be an indication that you need to hold for a bit longer or reduce by less.  There are members who find that the lower their dose gets the slower they need to go.  Why taper paper: dose-occupancy curves

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primekittycat

Thanks, Chessie. I typically hold after 3 cuts for about a month. But maybe I should space out my cuts by 3 weeks instead.

 

I'm dealing with headaches since stopping the bc pill. It's really been my main and only symptom. Apparently it is pretty common. I'm not cutting Effexor again until the headaches are gone. It's been almost 3 weeks since I stopped the pill. Wonder how long they will last...

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primekittycat

Hoping this doesn't get lost in all of the other posts, but I accidentally took double the dose of effexor yesterday morning (30mg instead of 15mg) and was hoping it wouldn't affect me, but here I am lying awake at 2am and can't sleep due to insomnia and feeling very off, which is rare and only has come in the past when I was getting back on the drug or the time I tapered off very quickly. I really hope i haven't messed up my progress here and am obviously going right back to the 15mg dose this morning. I was feeling great and had meant to cut my dose by 5 percent yesterday morning but got my cups messed up and took double. :(

 

I am hoping the next few days won't be rocky, but any advice would be appreciated. This has opened my eyes again about how careful I need to be and how this drug affects me so much. Thank you!

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scallywag

Nothing you can do about it now, primekc. Best to forgive yourself and move on.  You may have a wave or, if you're lucky, only a few ripples. Put your energy into figuring out

  • how it came to pass that you took 2 doses yesterday, and
  • what you can do to prevent a similar error in the future.

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primekittycat
1 hour ago, scallywag said:

Nothing you can do about it now, primekc. Best to forgive yourself and move on.  You may have a wave or, if you're lucky, only a few ripples. Put your energy into figuring out

  • how it came to pass that you took 2 doses yesterday, and
  • what you can do to prevent a similar error in the future.

 

Thank you, scallywag. I was distracted by a work phone call while I weighed and took the dose. I realized it right after I took it and considered making myself throw it up, but I've never done that before and decided to deal with the repercussions. I need to be totally focused on weighing. Learning lessons here. I was up for a good 3 hours in the middle of the night. Now really tired, but made sure I took the accurate dose today and I didn't cut by 5% as I had planned. I'll wait until I feel better.

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primekittycat

Hi, wanted to update since this is a like a taper journal for me. I am pretty sick of making pills all of the time, and am looking forward to getting Effexor compounded at the pharmacy. That will need to start happening this spring based on how low my doses will go.  I found a compounding pharmacy near my home and am going to call my prescription company today to see how they are covered. Thankfully I can now get 2 doses out of one 37.5mg pill, so I only have to weigh every 2 days. I have been trying to make pills on the weekend for the whole week which seems to help. And actually soon, I'll be able to make 3 doses out of the 37.5mg pill so it will be even better. 

 

After accidentally taking 2 doses in one day on 7/11, I felt bad for about a week. Insomnia, buzzing heavy head, like I had when tapering too fast in 2014. I feel like Effexor has messed with my digestive system. I know that 70% of our serotonin receptors are in our gut. This is my only explanation for suddenly becoming lactose intolerant 6 years ago, and then it going away completely this year, and also having GERD. Over the last few years, I can't eat meat or anything super acidic close to bedtime, or I'll wake up with nausea and have super acidic vomit (sorry TMI). Tums have become my friend (or just eating more chicken :)).

 

My headaches from going off of the birth control pill finally ended after about 2 months, my cycle has been normal, and I also realized that there was a slight miscalculation on my doses in June, so that probably accounts for some of those headaches. My hair finally slowed down from falling out about 2 weeks ago. It was falling out pretty bad from coming off of the birth control pill for about 5 months. My hair is significantly thinner now, but I've finally stopped crying about it and am continuing to eat healthy which will only help it grow (as well as staying off the pill).

 

I just made a 5% cut to 13.4mg 2 days ago and am feeling fine. I have been sick with bronchitis and then a sinus infection for 3 1/2 weeks. Been to the doc twice and am on antibiotics now. Hoping to feel better in a couple of days. The doctor I saw at my Minute Clinic is very smart. She asked if I was taking dextromethorphan at night for my cough, common in cough syrup especially at nighttime. I was, and she mentioned that it interacts with SSRIs so to stop taking the cough medicine and gave me another cough suppressant. I had no idea and she was the first doctor to ever tell me that, and then looked it up and it is true. Not sure exactly what it does, but I'm not risking anything messing with my taper.

 

Long journal, thanks for reading if you stuck with it :) Looking forward to being in the single digit dose by the end of this year.

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primekittycat

Actually, I'm going to ask a question.. for those that tapered off of Effexor, at what dose did you start compounding? What is a good mixture to continue down to 0, 10mg in 10ml? Did you have any problems moving from Effexor XR to Effexor compounded?

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baroquep

Hi primekittycat, I am currently tapering off of Effexor XR after a switch from Pristiq as the pharmacy said Pristiq was going to be too difficult to compound.  I started having my prescription compounded from the very start because I didn't want to have to deal with weighing or counting beads.  May have done things differently if my insurance company didn't approve the compounded prescription.  Know that some people switch from XR to the regular version but am hoping to just stick with the XR as I'd prefer to only take it once a day.  Didn't want to complicate things and have to remember to take a second pill and one of the reasons for the switch from Pristiq to Effexor XR.  

 

Fantastic to see that you have gotten all the way down to 13.4mg, am looking forward to that milestone one of these days, but quite frankly, I am very nervous about continuing to taper as I have a feeling that it might start getting really rough.  How did you find things once you got below 37.5mg?  I'm also doing 5% cuts as the withdrawal symptoms at 10% were a little bit too pronounced.

 

Let me know how you are doing.    

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primekittycat

Hi @baroquep! Looks like it took you about 10 months to get from 75mg to 37.5mg. It took me 9 months so we did it in about the same amount of time! That was a great idea to get it compounded from the start, it is a pain to weigh these beads and I have messed up with my calculations a couple of times which set me back a little. So you are able to get the XR compounded? That would be ideal for me too, so I don't have to switch to regular and also take it once a day. Do you mind if I ask how much it costs you for compounding and how often you have to refill (monthly)? I understand you're in Canada, I can just convert to USD :) If my insurance company approves it, maybe I'll just move to compounding now.

 

So from 75mg to 37.5mg, I went 21 days between cuts on average. My goal was always 2 weeks but I'd hold if I felt off. If I take out the 2 months that I held when I screwed up my calculations, I went 22 days on average between cuts from 37.5mg to where I am now, 13.4mg. Honestly the cuts haven't seemed harder, I think what's been harder is managing the emotions that showed up after going below 37.5mg. Around the 33mg mark, I realized I could actually feel things, like anger, sadness.. I had to keep asking my husband if my emotions seemed out of whack, and he said no, that's something normal to feel intense anger/sadness about.. and then I'd be like oh, ok! Haha. I also noticed that I have more flight anxiety now as well (or I feel it more). Maybe around April (16mg) is when I started to get a hold of my emotions, or maybe I just learned how to deal with the intensity.

 

Good luck to you in your tapering too, and let me know about the compounding costs if you can. I'll be sure to check out your posts :) 

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baroquep

Hi again, thanks so much for the info, I will make a point of reading your thread for pointers.  Maybe the apprehension going further down is normal, but do plan to do a good long hold now that I am at 37.5mg.  I tried going too quickly at the beginning, so I had a couple of set backs that could have been avoided if I'd listened to those that went before me with a little more caution.  I tend to err on the side of caution now after running into trouble, so am reducing by 5% every four weeks with a longer hold after two consecutive tapers just to be on the safe side.

Regarding compounding, I had my doctor submit all of the information to the insurance company before I started to get everything approved.   I insisted on using brand name Effexor XR because of reading about differences between the generics and didn't want to have any surprises.  I've just taken a look back in my records and the first compounded prescription was C$172.15.  As the dose went down, so did the monthly cost, the 37.5mg I just had compounded was C$116.45 and imagine it will get progressively cheaper as I continue down.  Am lucky not to have to worry about counting or weighing as it would have made an already difficult situation much more stressful.

Continued lucky on your journey to freedom, hoping everything continues to go well for you.

 

Best,

BaroqueP

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primekittycat

Thank you for that info! Yes, I was also worried about going under 37.5mg since that is the therapeutic dose and I know that serotonin occupancy drops significantly towards the lower end. But just keep doing what you've been doing to be successful, go slowly and listen to your body. 

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ChessieCat
14 minutes ago, primekittycat said:

therapeutic dose

 

From:  when-to-end-the-taper-and-jump-to-zero

 

"Therapeutic dose" means absolutely nothing. It's an arbitrary number from the drug companies.

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primekittycat
14 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

 

From:  when-to-end-the-taper-and-jump-to-zero

 

"Therapeutic dose" means absolutely nothing. It's an arbitrary number from the drug companies.

 

Thanks CC, of course another thing they (drug companies) know nothing about and just throw out there. Should have assumed that!

 

Adding a note since I just called my insurance company and the compounding pharmacy. They will make me capsules out of the immediate release formula, not liquid. Depending on how much this costs, I think I'll start compounding now.  I would have to take two 6.7mg doses instead of one 13.4mg dose but he also mentioned that because of the formulation and other things (insert big words here, lol), it may act differently in my body so I may have symptoms. Guessing I will be holding here at 13.4mg for some time then.  Thanks for all of your help!

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primekittycat

I am lucky! My compounded prescription is all set and I get to pick it up today. Originally $150 for a month's supply, but my insurance covers it so I only pay $40. Worth it for how much time I spend weighing. I will be taking the capsules (6.7mg) twice a day for a total of 13.4mg because it is immediate release instead of extended.

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primekittycat

Need advice :( So this is my third day of immediate release 2x/day, and I'm not liking it. Because the half life of this drug is so short, I feel like it's ping-ponging my brain around. I'm either high up on the dose or really low, it is not stable.

 

The pharmacist has experience with helping patients taper (even compounds lexapro to 0.1mg for 1 patient) and suggested I take my first dose around 9-10am and then the second one around 5-6pm (instead of exactly 12 hours apart). That is what I've been doing, and wow do I feel the rush of this drug about 2 hours after taking it, especially in the morning as I'm going like 14 hours without a dose and then taking it again. I am contemplating stopping this and going back to weighing the XR. I feel dizzy, out of it.. I don't feel like this is good or that I will get used to it.

 

Does it take time for your body to get used to the immediate release dosing, or am I just messing with my brain at this point? Has anyone successfully went from Effexor XR to immediate release?

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ChessieCat

It takes 4 days for the drug to get to steady state in the blood and a bit longer for it to register in the brain.  Changing the form of the drug is also going to take some time.

 

Q:  Did you make a dose reduction at the same time as changing to immediate release?

 

Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable


Keep Notes on Paper

Rate Symptoms Daily to Check Patterns and Progress

 

Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

 

Edited by ChessieCat

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primekittycat

Hey cc, no, I stayed at 13.4mg. I've pretty much decided that I'm going back to XR tomorrow and weighing. I'll have to do the best I can not to switch to immediate release as I get low in my dosage. Today was not a good day and I can't see my brain getting used to these ups and downs.

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baroquep

Hi PKC, I looked around the site to see if there were other members that had success switching between the versions and didn't find much, with the exception of one member who dosed three times a day when they did the switch.  They didn't continue to post so not sure what the result was.  Is there a reason the compounding pharmacy can't prepare the XR for you?  I've been having the XR version compounded since the beginning.  Once my CNS stabilized from the switch from Pristiq to Effexor XR, I haven't had any issues.  Was wondering why you wanted to switch from the XR to IR?  I'm quite interested in how things progress for you.    

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ChessieCat
24 minutes ago, baroquep said:

one member who dosed three times a day when they did the switch

 

Yes, I was wondering if 3x daily would be better.

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primekittycat

Thanks to both of you. I didn't want to switch, the pharmacist said he was worried about crushing up the XR because there may be segments of beads or hot spots in some of the pills. I'm surprised that they can't either.. you'd think they could bring it down to a fine powder. :(

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primekittycat

Hi, thought I'd give an update (have I really not posted since September?).  Still working these doses down every 3 weeks and I'm on 7.26mg now.. less than 10% of my original dose!

 

I wanted to post as I've had an odd, what I consider to be a possible withdrawal symptom, over the last couple of weeks. Lying in bed at night and just as I'm dozing off to sleep, I've felt like my throat is closing up and I have a slight panic attack thinking it actually is and I have to clear my throat or cough. This may be related to bronchitis I had a year ago where I had laryngospasms at night (where your vocal cords close off your airway and you can't take in air for about 30 seconds or so). It feels similar as it's about to happen. But I'm not sick! I do have acid reflux so wondering if it's related to that or maybe allergies? The only thing I can do is reassure myself that my throat will not close off, I won't die and then I can finally fall asleep.

 

Other than that, I got my newest prescription and it is from the manufacturer that makes the larger beads so weighing has been harder. I think I accidentally weighed a little too much over the last week or so, so my withdrawal symptoms are worse than usual. I am seeing my doctor for an unrelated issue (wrist pain/carpal tunnel) and I am going to ask for a prescription for the manufacturer I like.

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buggedout

Hi PKC. It's nice to hear from you!

 

I have had two instances just like that with panic before falling asleep, keeping me awake.

 

The first time it happened was when I switched from brand name Effexor to generic brand (larger beads). It persisted every night until I went back to the brand name.

 

A couple years later it happened during an incredibly stressful period in my life.

 

I am not sure if either of these apply to you, but it is certainly possible that it is due to additional stress or a different brand of Effexor.

 

Sounds like you are making the right choice by going back to your preferred manufacturer. I think there is a good chance these insomnia/panic symptoms will stop when that happens.

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primekittycat

Oh wow, that must be it! I've been fine the last two nights, so my body must be getting used to it. My withdrawal symptoms also got better too. Now I'm not sure if I want to switch back (lol) but I will since those beads are smaller and will be easier for me to cut since I'm getting into the lower numbers.. the big beads aren't going to work.

 

I'll go check out your posts now! :)

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buggedout

I don't have a whole lot of updates on my thread lol. Personal drama and I haven't been reducing much at all though I am down to 39mg.  Need to update my sig...

 

 

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primekittycat

Wanted to make a quick post here before bed. It's definitely true that tapering gets harder as you get to these lower doses. I'm sitting here 3 weeks after a cut wondering how my withdrawal symptoms just suddenly got worse about a week ago. Must have been a build up from recent cuts. Needless to say, I'll be sitting here for a while. This really tests your patience, doesn't it? The symptoms aren't intolerable, just annoying, especially at bedtime when they seem to get worse. I know them well by now. Head feels heavy/buzzy, pressure in my head, slightly dizzy, and increased agoraphobia and anxiety while driving, something I never had until withdrawal. Maybe I'll use some magnesium tonight.. already took the fish oil.  Good night :) 

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primekittycat

Wow.. how has it been a year since I've posted here. I wanted to see if others have had the same experience as me.

 

I'm on a really low dose of Effexor now (less than 3mg) and over the last few months, have noticed being down a lot more than usual. I keep thinking about regretting the sale of my old home and buying the one I'm currently in. We downsized because it was too large for only 2 of us and was a lot to maintain and clean. Though, it was beautiful and unique. I thought I'd be happier in a smaller home (less to maintain, lower costs for heating etc.) but turns out there are things that I just like to have. I've accepted that about myself but we've put so much money into this house that it doesn't make sense to move anytime soon. I am very thankful that we were able to pay off our mortgage so that is not a worry.

 

I've also not been as close to many of my friends because, well, I'm 35 and childfree and all of my friends have children now. I signed up for Meetup the other day to try and meet some new people but haven't used it yet.

 

I guess, I feel down and then get down on myself for being down. I have worked hard for what I have, a loving husband, a nice (though smaller) home, a healthy cat, and my own health too. A good job. 

 

I thought that anxiety would be my main mental health issue coming back after coming off of this drug. I still have a phobia of driving on the highway, but otherwise, I have not had any panic attacks which was my issue before going on Effexor. I didn't know I'd be dealing with depression after coming off of this. It's new for me. :( But I will NEVER take an antidepressant again. I should get myself into therapy now while I recognize this early on.

 

Thanks for reading - appreciate any comments or if you've experienced something similar.

Lisa

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buggedout
3 hours ago, primekittycat said:

Wow.. how has it been a year since I've posted here. I wanted to see if others have had the same experience as me.

 

I'm on a really low dose of Effexor now (less than 3mg) and over the last few months, have noticed being down a lot more than usual. I keep thinking about regretting the sale of my old home and buying the one I'm currently in. We downsized because it was too large for only 2 of us and was a lot to maintain and clean. Though, it was beautiful and unique. I thought I'd be happier in a smaller home (less to maintain, lower costs for heating etc.) but turns out there are things that I just like to have. I've accepted that about myself but we've put so much money into this house that it doesn't make sense to move anytime soon. I am very thankful that we were able to pay off our mortgage so that is not a worry.

 

I've also not been as close to many of my friends because, well, I'm 35 and childfree and all of my friends have children now. I signed up for Meetup the other day to try and meet some new people but haven't used it yet.

 

I guess, I feel down and then get down on myself for being down. I have worked hard for what I have, a loving husband, a nice (though smaller) home, a healthy cat, and my own health too. A good job. 

 

I thought that anxiety would be my main mental health issue coming back after coming off of this drug. I still have a phobia of driving on the highway, but otherwise, I have not had any panic attacks which was my issue before going on Effexor. I didn't know I'd be dealing with depression after coming off of this. It's new for me. :( But I will NEVER take an antidepressant again. I should get myself into therapy now while I recognize this early on.

 

Thanks for reading - appreciate any comments or if you've experienced something similar.

Lisa

 

 

Lisa,

 

It is so great to hear from you! Congrats on your progress. I haven't posted in forever either, and it's a good reminder to update my own thread.

 

Interesting timing however because I am presently going through a similar thing... we moved to a different state, things didn't go well, and although we have recovered and are now making a good living here, I find myself missing TN very much. I will post more about that in my own thread so I don't hijack yours!

 

Also, I will be 33 this month and am also childless. Though I too have a loving husband, job and good home.

 

I have no friends at all. So I can completely relate!

 

Would love to meet you sometime if you ever come to WA state. I think we have a lot in common!

 

As for your depression... it is good that you are able to recognize it and realize that it isn't the "normal" you. That makes it much easier to deal with.

 

If you ever need any supplement recommendations or access to the good ones, I work in a naturopathic doctors office and get them for a really good price. I can also make herbal tinctures. Let me know if you are ever interested in looking into any of that as alternative medicine, our pharmacy is quite large.

 

Also if you ever need someone to talk or vent to, please send me a PM.

 

Take care.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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primekittycat

Hey BO, thank you so much for responding. Crazy how we seem to go through the same things! I have been feeling a bit better, I am learning that most of the sadness I feel comes during my PMS week - I guess I had forgotten how that affects so many of us without the influence of SSRIs to help "dull" any feelings. So I'm becoming more aware of that now and have started a gratitude journal to help me recognize the good in my life.

 

Unfortunately now I'm dealing with pretty intense carpal tunnel pain. It started a couple of years ago and has come and gone, but it's back realllly bad right now. Even the fingers on my right hand are swollen from the tendonitis. I got a cortisone shot on 1/2 but it hasn't seemed to help very much. This is after months of resting it (aside from the fact that I HAVE to work and use it for 8-9 hours a day), icing it, splinting, stretching, went to physical therapy for 4 weeks. You mentioned alternative treatments, I would love to try CBD oil once I'm off Effexor and right now I am using the CBD cream. I would also like to try acupuncture. I am trying to avoid surgery, but I miss being able to do yoga and weightlifting. I can't even chop vegetables or cook right now, my husband does it all. Seriously grateful for him. Anyway, I had read that SSRIs can soothe nerve pain, so I do wonder if it has been covering up this issue for me for a while. 

 

I'm gonna go check on your post now - I would LOVE to meet if I'm ever in WA (I do plan on visiting one day, it's so beautiful) - same to you if you're ever in Michigan. :)

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Melissa5000

These meds of us can relieve nervepain. But they can rarely relieve all the nervepain of pain patients! Mostly it only relieves pain for 30%-40%.

 

So it is not very likely that you devellopped carpal tunnel syndrome without noticing it. 

 

I also have nervepain and musclepain in my arms/hands/fingers and it is from withdrawal. I never had this before. It started on my taper.

 

These meds suppress pain even in places where you don't have pain. It numbs normal feelings. When you taper you sometimes can experience normal feelings as painful. This is what my neurogist told me when I got these withdrawal symptoms. 

 

I would not do surgery. First I would give it lots of time! It will probably improve on its own. 

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primekittycat

Thank you @Melissa5000! I feel a bit more hope knowing that maybe this will go away with time as my body regulates. I am getting a second opinion tomorrow with a new doctor and I want to bring the withdrawal up around this.. one of those fun times where you don't know how they will react.

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Melissa5000

Ok, good luck tomorrow at the doctor!

 

I wonder what he thinks about withdrawal. Some doctors think all symptoms should be gone after only 2 weeks! My gp thinks this too but the neurologist seemed to underdstand me better. ;)

 

There are many videos on youtube about reversing carpale tunnel syndrome. Lots of people could avoid surgery this way.

But don't overdo the exercises like I did because my nervepains got worse.  :rolleyes: Rest and gentle movement are most helpfull. 

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