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SquirrellyGirl: Effexor withdrawal etc

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SquirrellyGirl

Hello, I am a 50 year old woman with a history of depression. Here is my story and it is a long one, be warned - if you aren't in the mood for a long history, skip this now LOL!   I'm one of those people whose family relations have also had histories of depression, and depression became an issue for me from maybe 10 years old and up, though no one really recognized it.  I became bulimic at 16 and remained so for much of my adult life until about eight years ago.  My adult-hood has been one of perfectionism, low self-esteem and under-performing, with all the self-hatred that that generates.

 

My first experience with medication came after a rough relationship where I ended up feeling suicidal.  I was put on Prozac.  I think back to that being the beginning of the rest of my adulthood with virtually no libido.

 

A major move after marriage led me to more depression, and at that time Wellbutrin was being marketed heavily, so I asked my GP to put me on it.  No tapering of the  Prozac, if I recall.  Wellbutrin didn't work, but now I realize it was probably in part because I was having withdrawal from the Prozac - not sure and I don't have a lot of memories about that period one way or another.

 

I forget if I continued the Wellbutrin up to the next change, but I had gotten the flu which turned into pneumonia for a month, and when I went to the doctor after that long of not getting better, he said "you are depressed."  Well, yes, I said, I am depressed because of being sick this long!  And he said, No, you are clearly a generally depressed person and you should see a p-doc.  So, I did, and that doc put me on Effexor.

 

This was somewhere back around 11 years ago.  I upped the dose as they directed.  I never felt like my depression was well-controlled because none of the therapy I had over the years was CBT - talk therapy would make me feel better for the moment but no change took place, so the low self-esteem and negative thinking remained.  I guess the Effexor somehow made my life more tolerable, but I never felt happy or satisfied with myself.

 

Somewhere along the line I began to taper down on the Effexor, and I have very few memories of when, how or why, other than that I hated needing ADs, and my libido sucked.  A move and the loss of an old dog sent me into another bad depression, but this well could have coincided with stepping down the Effexor.

 

Three years ago, I lost my job, and then my husband lost his, but then he got a new one which required relocating to a very hot climate where we were able to afford a home with acreage, the first time we were ever able to own, but it was very rural and the isolation quickly got to me, with anxiety increasing for various reasons.  Again, I don't remember the stepping down process, but two years ago a new GP refilled my Effexor but prescribed the non-extended release version.  Since these tablets were able to be broken, I began taking just half (37.5 mg).

 

Last summer I had a bought of shingles and became very depressed and stressed again from the pain.  I also was clearly in menopause and having severe hot flashes.  My whole adult life had been marred by low libido since going on Prozac way back when, and the shingles were actually on my private parts (tested positive for zoster, not herpes) and I became very concerned that I didn't want the rest of my life to be joyless where sex was concerned, so I decided to go off BCPs and Effexor.  In hind sight, that was madness!

 

I stepped down the Effexor, going to every other day with the 37.5 mg.  I wasn't aware of any severe symptoms, and this was last summer.  Well, meanwhile, I was going through some stresses regarding a health crisis with one of my dogs.  I found myself totally scatter-brained, forgetful, unable to concentrate, and also I had trouble articulating myself, unable to complete thoughts when talking with people, words hard to reach.  A friend told me he always thought I was ADD, and indeed at this time I was losing things, forgetting what I was doing halfway through doing it, easily distracted, etc.  I'm also a total clutter-bug who can't face doing the dishes or cleaning the house, though I've been that way for years.

 

I had started taking Sam-e and tryptophan as a way to up serotonin.  I was having a terrible time with insomnia.

 

So, I went to get tested for ADD.  I tested negative, but the psychologist doing the testing said I didn't have ADD, but that I did have OCD, depression, and GAD.  He said, the good news is that there are medications that can make you "normal!"

 

I bit, and went to a p-doc on a list he gave me.  She put me on Viibryd. I stopped the serotonergic supplements. The first week at 10 mg was ok, but when I went up to 20 mg as instructed, all hell broke loose!  My insomnia worsened, with the most severe anxiety I think I had ever experienced!  All night I was thrashing around with racing, troubling thoughts.  During the day, I would have squirts of adrenalin for no reason.  I had days where I was so distressed and troubled, I couldn't stand to exist.  I had global anxiety about climate change, getting old, my parents getting old losing them some day, the drought and how horrible life was!  I have never experienced anxiety like that in my life!  I stepped the Viibryd back down to 10 mg for about a week and then stopped it, and went back on the supplements.  

This time I was trying to follow the supplement plan laid out in the Mood Cure, adding GABA and some other stuff.  I'd do ok for awhile, but the insomnia was still bad, and the general feeling of being ill-at-ease was so disturbing, I just couldn't stand it.  So, I stopped the supplements and started taking 37.5 mg of Effexor again.  After three days, I was in serotonin syndrome almost to the point of having to go to the ER!

 

I stopped the Effexor and got an appointment with another p-doc who is a DO and actually not into psych meds.  He said I'd been through about 3 years' worth of med changes in a very short period of time and that my nerves were very sensitive and that I needed consistency.  He went through the meds and supplements I had a history with, and told me which supplements were safe to take (non-serotonergic).  Since I had not been able to eat and lost weight, and the insomnia was so bad, he put me on Remeron, saying it was a very gentle med that worked on a different part of the serotonin pathway, and that it would help with sleep and appetite.  He started me on 7.5 mg and said I could step it up as needed, that it was safe up to 60 mg.

 

Well, I felt much better and it was nice to sleep all through the night without anxiety again.  Yeah!  But after a week, I was feeling down again so started upping the dose.  Two weeks later I was at 37.5 mg, feeling totally apathetic and on the couch, unable to do anything I had previously enjoyed in life.  I couldn't understand why the med wasn't working anymore!

 

I was in a desperate way and called this p-doc's assistant, the fastest way to get to him, he said.  I left four messages and never heard back!  I suffered through to my next scheduled appointment with him two weeks later, and suffering it was!  My family members were greatly concerned.

 

The only thing that kept me going through this spell was the fact that a therapist I had recently seen told me about Emotional Brain Training, which I joined.  It was developed by Laurel Mellin at UCSF and is based on neuroplasticity and rewiring the brain.  It was perfect for me because I lived in the country, was isolated, and the city is 40 minutes away, so I was able to get support from home with weekly phone-in meetings with a coach and group members, daily work online, and daily phone-connections with group members.  I am not hawking this, but if you want to learn more about it, go to www.ebt.org.

 

Anyway, EBT kept me from going down the tubes through all of this.  When I saw my p-doc, he said "let's add Effexor back to the remeron since you tolerated it well in the past."  I started on 37.5 mg.  The day I took it, I was having a non-functional couch day, and I would say within an hour of taking it, my mood lifted, like a light switch had been flipped!  It was miraculous!  Now, everyone knows that ADs are supposed to take weeks to start working.  I now realize that the reason it worked so fast was because I was in withdrawal and it was like a junkie getting a hit of the drug they are withdrawing from - instant fix!

 

Ok, I know my story is long but the final chapter is here:  I added the Effexor back about 12 days ago.  I actually had one day, about a week into it, where I was on the couch again.  The next day, I saw a third p-doc my therapist said I should see since I had such a bad experience with the last guy's non-responsiveness when I left those messages.  So, I saw this new guy on Wednesday.  I didn't yet realize that all of the craziness I had endured since last fall was because of the withdrawal.  I was convinced that genetically, I just had to be on ADs, that I had relapsed in a big way.  I did think that the Viibryd had damaged me, since I had never experienced anxiety to that degree before, nor had I had depression this debilitating.  This new guy said, "let's stick with this for now, since you haven't been on the Effexor long enough to see how it will work for you, but I want to up it to 75 mg (thanks to that couch day).  We may end up changing you to other meds, but let's see how this goes for now."  So, I began taking 75 mg Effexor ER on Thursday.

 

It just so happens that one of my EBT connection buddies is going through withdrawal from ADs that she was put on for post-partum depression 8 years ago.  She told me about this, and referred me to a neat video about neuroplasticity on beyondmeds.com.  Her point in doing so was to point out about how EBT is so dead-on about retraining the brain, but in fact I had locked on to concept of withdrawal, and I began to realize that this was so much of what I had and am still going through, and this is why the Effexor worked immediately!  So, I am faced with the fact that I am now back on the drug that I was hooked on.  For now, I need to be consistent and not change anything, though I am going back to 37.5 mg Effexor since I'd only been on the higher dose for a couple of days.  I will ride this out until my next appointment with the p-doc in five weeks.  I am worried that he will be one to poo-poo withdrawal.

 

I feel like, for the first time in my life, I am getting the cognitive help I need to eliminate the poor self-esteem and my negative black and white thinking that has ruined my life and got me started on ADs to begin with.  I feel this will be critical to getting off these drugs some day.  I feel so grateful to the universe for bringing me together with my connection buddy who brought this all to light for me.  And beyondmeds.com brought me here.


Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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clearday

Welcome, and thank you for your story -

 

I have similarities to your experience - Prozac was my first SSRI, I went off that and was in a few years of WD without knowing it was WD;

 

And years later, when I stopped Lexapro, my beloved dog died the same week, so I was in Lexapro WD and grief at the same time. Strangely, the crying bouts that came with my Lexapro WD coincided with processing my grief (I loved my dog!), so I got some good sob sessions in. For me, the brief crying bouts I've had over the last year were good, it is good to feel things, much better than the emotional numbness that often accompanies AD WD.

 

I agree with one of your docs who said you'd "been through about 3 years' worth of med changes in a very short period of time and that my nerves were very sensitive and that I needed consistency." That is a recurring theme on here.

 

I think most here agree with the principles of neuroplasticity, and that healing from these medications is largely due to the neuroplastic properties of our nervous system.

 

Sounds like you have a good handle on the overall picture of what has happened to you as a result of using powerful, nerve-altering ADs. There are plenty of stories on here of people going through protracted Effexor withdrawal.

 

Sadly, most docs "poo-poo" withdrawal, as you say; we all know how real, prolonged, and devastating withdrawal can be. It is shocking how much docs don't know about the drugs they prescribe; we just accept that fact, and figure out how to heal from the damage their drugs have done to us by using great forums such as this one.

 

When you can, please go to "My Settings" and fill out your Signature describing your drug history. Mine below is an example.

 

A moderator should be along to help you with your plan to move forward from here, re: finding the right dosage to stabilize on and eventual taper from there.

 

When the time comes, we recommend a 10% taper:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

 

Speaking of neuroplasticity, you may have seen this video from the website toxicantidepressants; I really enjoyed it:

 

 


Hell hath no fury as an SSRI scorned.....

 

Prozac:   20 mg 1996 – May 2003 CT to 0 mg; by Aug 03 CRASH then protracted WD 3 yrs

Zoloft:    2004 few weeks;, CT to 0 mg

Effexor:  2005 few months CT to 0 mg; bad withdrawal. 

Lexapro:  10 mg from 2009 – 2011; cut dose in half to:

Lexapro:    5 mg from 2011 – Feb. 2014; CT to 0 mg; 2 months of fatigue, followed by:
Aug - Oct 2014 Lexapro WD Insomnia Wave; sleeping very good from Nov 2014 - Nov 2015; broken sleep pattern Dec 2015 - Jan 2016

Dec 2014 - present: Brutal Lexapro WD ear ringing/head ringing/head pressure lasting for 14 months now.

 

24 months SSRI-free  

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Altostrata

Welcome, SquirrellyGirl.

 

How much Remeron and how much Effexor are you taking right now? Are you taking Effexor XR?

 

How long were you off Effexor before you recently went back on it? When did you go back on it?

 

This doctor actually has some insight into the risks of going on and off psychiatric drugs for years:

 

I stopped the Effexor and got an appointment with another p-doc who is a DO and actually not into psych meds.  He said I'd been through about 3 years' worth of med changes in a very short period of time and that my nerves were very sensitive and that I needed consistency.

 

 

Are you still seeing this doctor?

 

See About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms


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

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SquirrellyGirl

Welcome, SquirrellyGirl.

 

How much Remeron and how much Effexor are you taking right now? Are you taking Effexor XR?

 

How long were you off Effexor before you recently went back on it? When did you go back on it?

 

This doctor actually has some insight into the risks of going on and off psychiatric drugs for years:

 

I stopped the Effexor and got an appointment with another p-doc who is a DO and actually not into psych meds.  He said I'd been through about 3 years' worth of med changes in a very short period of time and that my nerves were very sensitive and that I needed consistency.

 

 

Are you still seeing this doctor?

 

See About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

Hello Altostrata,

 

I wish I had better documented what I was doing.  I think I quit the Effexor around August last year.  At that time, I was using the non-ER tablets and so could break them down to about 18 mg before quitting altogether.  So, from August until last week, about 10 months.  I think the Viibryd really damaged me, because it was when I moved up to 20 mg that I started having the worst anxiety of my life, and after stopping it, I still had the severe insomnia with anxiety.  I was having the insomnia after quitting the Effexor, and complained about that, but the horrific repetitive anxious thoughts hadn't started yet.

 

I am now on 30 mg Remeron PM and 37.5 mg Effexor ER AM.  

 

I will fill out my med history in my sig as best I can.

 

I am feeling guilty and not sure what to do because I have been switching doctors like crazy.  The DO who is more conservative about meds was the first one I saw, but when I told him about the ADD theory, he didn't think so and wasn't interested in testing me. So, I went to a psychologist who does the testing.  After telling me that I could feel "normal" on drugs, I didn't go back to the first one because I knew he wasn't pro drug.  He had talked about nutritional support.  So, that's why I went to p-doc #2 who prescribed the Viibryd.  I didn't like her in addition to the med making me go haywire, so I didn't go back to her.  I then made an appointment with p-doc #3 in the office where my therapist works, but the appointment was way in the future.  Meanwhile, I went into crisis with the serotonin syndrome after crashing on the supplements and feeling so horrible as to think maybe Effexor was the answer again. P-doc #1 was able to see me right away where-as p-doc #3 didn't have any openings for new patients, so I went back to p-doc #1 who put me on Remeron.  I figured he had my back so canceled the appointment with p-doc #3.  When the Remeron started failing and I was despondent and desperate, his assistant never called back after four attempts to reach p-doc #1 over several days,  I had a follow-up appointment scheduled with him but it was two weeks away.  My therapist said I really ought to give #3 a try so I made an appointment with him again, which once again was weeks in the future.  So, when the appointment with #1 came up, I kept it and he added the Effexor, said the combo was called California Rocket Fuel.  Because the office of #3 said that if I cancelled again I would not be allowed to reschedule, I decided to keep the appointment with him, and that was last week.  Now I feel guilty if I cancel the follow-up with him and continue with p-doc #1.  My follow-up with #1 is conflicting with some job training I'm going to do, so I figured I'd reschedule him for next month and discuss this withdrawal business with my therapist.  I'm a people pleaser and find myself not wanting disappoint my therapist by canceling with #3, which I know is ridiculous because it's really about what is best for me.  My inconsistency and indecisiveness I think is part of this.  I really liked #1 but hate the clinic he works for.  It is a chain of centers which are poorly run, and it was inexcusable that his assistant totally dropped the ball on me.  I feel like such a fool for playing back and forth between all these doctors.


Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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peggy

Hi Squirrellygirl..

 

wow, you have gotten yourself into a bit of a pickle.  I think you do realise though that it IS all about you and you really must not use the criterion of 'what pleases my therapist' when choosing a Dr.

 

I think most of us here were cheering for Doc #1, who seems more conservative medication wise and recognised that your system was sensitised.  We have all been damaged by medications, some more extensively than others and until we really 'own' that drugs won't 'cure' us, and may very well hurt us we remain on the drug merry-go-round

 

If I was you, I would choose a Doc that was going to help me get OFF drugs, not introduce more, but this is something that you have to decide upon.

 

Many of us have histories of familial depression - my grandmother used to disappear for months on end every so often, it was always hush hush and i have a lot of shame attached to my depression history.  Effexor worked well for me, it got me out of a desperate situation 15 years ago and since then  I have had so many attempts to get off, even slow reductions failed,  but I know I don't want to stay on effexor forever, so i am once again  navigating my way again through tapering and withdrawal.  


Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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SquirrellyGirl

Peggy, thank you for your reply.  I admire your courage to try to get off Effexor again.  Before I realized what was going on, I was of the mindset that my brain was just in need of ADs the way a diabetic needs insulin, and everyone said "Yes, that sounds right!"  So now, when I talk about the withdrawal scenario and that I'd like someday to taper off these drugs, everyone says, "But what about the diabetic analogy?!"  Yup, I'm all over the place!  But I truly do believe that was my situation, due to the extreme symptoms, to that degree which I had never experienced before in my life!  I long for the day that I could again enjoy sex the way I did in my 20's before ADs!  I have such regret that I have spent most of my adult life on ADs.  


Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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SquirrellyGirl

So, I posted my story in the intro section, but the quick summary is that, after 20 years of being on various ADs, with the last 10 being on Effexor, I tried to quit the Effexor last summer/fall and had a horrid winter/spring of withdrawal fallout.  Since I didn't realize what was going on, I thought I was relapsing and sought psychiatric care, with the result being that I was put on Remeron.  It helped me sleep, and it helped the anxiety, but by six weeks out, I was horribly depressed on 37.5 mg/day.  My psychiatrist added 37.5 mg Effexor XR AM to 30 mg Remeron/PM.  When I took the Effexor, my mood lifted within an hour! 

 

What I don't understand is why the Remeron worked initially but then failed to stave off depression?   I was apathetic and on the couch.  Was it because it worked on a different part of the serotonin pathway than the Effexor and so I was still withdrawing?

 

At any rate, I am going for consistency.  I had a bad day today after experiencing some severe stress yesterday evening (my cat was bitten by a rattlesnake for the third time in 2 1/2 years!) that caused me to crash, resulting in "I hate living here, I feel trapped and hopeless" mentation!  So, stressors like that can send me careening.

 

I like the fact that I can actually sleep with the Remeron, so fear reducing it and having the horrible insomnia.  

 

When I decide to start tapering off one, which one should it be?  Again, my nervous system is still sensitized and I am only on 37.5 mg.  Though I responded to it right away, will it still take a month for the Effexor to reach 80% occupancy?

 

 


Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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dalsaan

Hi Squirrellygirl,

 

I merge the above post with your intro thread, that's the best place to get feedback specific to you.  The tapering section is for more general questions that might be of use to other people as well.

 

I can't answer your question as to why remeron stopped working.  I don't think anyone can because they don't even know what antidepressants do in the brain.  It is speculation.

 

I think sleep is very important so I would be inclined to leave the remeron till later if you are sleeping with it.   

 

Im wondering how you are going at the moment  in terms of any symptoms you are experiencing from the many drug changes you have made and also with 1) your thoughts on the value of antidepressants to address how you feel and 2) your willingness to engage non-drug responses ?

 

Dalsaan


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

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

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

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

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

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

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

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

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Altostrata

SG, your confusion is not unusual. Most people come here with the belief the drugs are necessary like insulin is necessary for diabetes.

 

It could very well be that Remeron does not lighten your "depression" because you have withdrawal syndrome, not "depression." The two are entirely different.

 

Your nervous system has been through a lot of drug changes. It may take some time for it to settle down.

 

I'm glad to hear you stayed at 37.5mg Effexor as that seems to help reduce the withdrawal symptoms. You may wish to hold at this level for a month or more to stabilize your nervous system.

 

See Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?

 

Tips for tapering off Effexor (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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SquirrellyGirl

I posted my story in the Intro section but have some questions about eventually getting off these meds.  First of all, when I went off Effexor last summer/early fall, I was on the non-extended release version and went down to 18.25 mg before going off all-together.  I was not aware that I was in withdrawal, and was using 5-htp and Sam-e to make up for going off the Effexor. 

 

Fast forward to nearly two months ago when my p-doc put me on 7.5 mg Remeron because I couldn't sleep or eat.  It helped with sleeping and I did feel better for about a week, but then felt it slipping and began increasing the dose.  By six weeks out, I was on 37.5 mg and unable to get off the couch.  When I finally saw my doc, he added Effexor XR because I had "tolerated" it well in the past. I was so desperate to have the depression end, I was happy to be able to go back on it!  Since my script wasn't filled that day, I took 37.5 mg of the non-XR version I had left, and within an hour my mood was lifting!  The next day I felt "normal!"

 

My question is, why did the Remeron work and then fail?  Was it because it works on a different part of the serotonin pathway?

 

Now that I know that I was not relapsing but having withdrawal, I am horrified at the idea of being on two meds rather than one!  My questions are, how long should I stabilize on the 37.5 mg Effexor XR AM and 30 mg Remeron PM before even daring to taper one of them?  Since I ended up doing horribly on the higher dose of Remeron, should I try to go off that one first?  

 

Also, when it is time to taper the Effexor, would it help to switch to the non-XR version at 37.5 mg first, maybe splitting it in half and taking half AM and half late afternoon?  Or should I break open the capsule and eliminate 10% of the beads?  I have a milligram scale so could measure that way.  Just wondering for the future.

 

So glad to have found this forum!


Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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Altostrata

SG, I moved your post here. The Tapering forum is for general information about tapering, not discussions of individual situations.

 

I previously answered your questions on June 17.

 

I don't think anyone can tell you why the Remeron worked initially and then failed. It could be that Effexor withdrawal syndrome was too much for it. One may have severe withdrawal syndrome even when taking another antidepressant.


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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SquirrellyGirl

Sorry for the redundancy!  I thought my post didn't go through when I didn't see it in the tapering section so posted again!

 

So, right now, at 17 days post addition of the 37.5 mg Effexor XR to 30 mg Remeron (down from 37.5 mg when I was on it alone), I am doing pretty well.  Sleeping well unless my danged cat wakes me up at 5 AM, but otherwise staying down.  I am having some situational anxiety since I am doing some job training.  I am also hypersensitive to big stressors.  We moved to this area, a very hot place in the summer, 2 1/2 years ago, and we have been having triple digit heat starting a couple of weeks ago, and that has upset me because I hate living here when it is so hot.  We also live where there are rattlesnakes, and on Monday, my cat was bit for the third time in 2 1/2 years.  On the heels of discovering this, I also discovered that one of my sheep was rejecting a new lamb, which meant having a bottle baby on my hands all of a sudden.  Combine all of these things on top of the heat and the bad foxtails we have that are plaguing my dogs, and I freaked out and went down the tubes, "the sky is falling" mentality.  I wanted out of here so bad, and all I could think of was how could we move away from this place?!!!  It took two days of vegging to come out of it.  I am doing the EBT stuff and getting a lot of support daily with that, and it has saved me.  I used to freak out under severe pressure before when I was just on Effexor, though I don't remember if it was relative to dropping dosages since I didn't keep track of such things back then.  I also don't remember if I ever freaked out like that before ADs.

 

I have had situations where I had big fallings out with "friends" because I began to get irritated with them and it escalated; granted, they were behaving poorly and I was always a weak type lacking confidence, so I'd finally get fed up and then everything would go sideways.  I'm wondering if the meds had something to do with this since it only ever happened after I was on ADs.  Hard to say.

 

Compared to how I was on just the Remeron, though, I am much better with the Effexor added back.  Almost back to where I was before ever going off of Effexor last year. I wouldn't say I never had problems - I still had the low self-esteem, black and white thinking, etc.  Maybe the Effexor had pooped out or as I dropped the dosage I was withdrawing?  

 

What I don't like is a side effect that I believe is from the combination of the two meds, since I read someone had a similar situation with Remeron and another drug.  My tongue and lips get numb/tingly, along with the roof of my mouth, sometimes, and the skin on my hands.  I mentioned this to my doctor and his response was for me to go to my GP and get blood work done for electrolytes, thyroid, etc.  I have been too busy this week to do that.

 

I will give the combo a solid month of stability before doing any tapering.  I agree that the sleeping is nice and I really don't look forward to that horrid insomnia, but on the flip side, I dread the apathy I had while on just Remeron returning when I taper the Effexor.  Hopefully, a proper 10% taper will prevent that.

 

Does it make any sense to taper one part way, keep it steady there and then taper the other part-way?  Or is it better to taper all the way off one and then work on the other?

 

So happy to have found this forum, thanks to an EBT buddy!


Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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Iamfine

I have read that it is best to rid yourself of antipsychotics first, but I am not doing it that way. They work for my depression so they will be the last to go (I take two). I took Effexor for a time and didn't have much trouble cross tapering to Lexapro. Isn't Effexor a SNRI? I don't remember for sure but the SSRI/SNRI's have been generally bad for me as a class, with one or two exceptions. I can't remember where I read about getting off antipsychotics first but I think it was in one of the pinned topics here. l'll have a look around and report back if I can find it.


My Story

In 2014-15 I tapered off Lithium 1200 mg (ct), Lexapro 40 mg, Lamictal 150 mg, Seroquel 500 mg, Klonopin 3 mg (ct), and had a short stint with Viibryd that lasted about 2 weeks. I also had about a month on Brintellix during this time.

Currently taking 60 mg prozac, 100 mg Seroquel (ri 8/4/16), 3 x 20 mg Ritalin, 2 x 0.5 Klonopin, and 120 mg Geodon. Will finish tapering off Geodon next.

Psych drugs tried: Prozac, Paxil, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Celexa, Lamictal, Lexapro, Viibryd, Brintellix, Pristiq, Zoloft, Seruquel, Zyprexa, Geodon, Abilify, Latuda, Ritalin, Adderall, Valium, Klonopin.

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Iamfine

My Story

In 2014-15 I tapered off Lithium 1200 mg (ct), Lexapro 40 mg, Lamictal 150 mg, Seroquel 500 mg, Klonopin 3 mg (ct), and had a short stint with Viibryd that lasted about 2 weeks. I also had about a month on Brintellix during this time.

Currently taking 60 mg prozac, 100 mg Seroquel (ri 8/4/16), 3 x 20 mg Ritalin, 2 x 0.5 Klonopin, and 120 mg Geodon. Will finish tapering off Geodon next.

Psych drugs tried: Prozac, Paxil, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Celexa, Lamictal, Lexapro, Viibryd, Brintellix, Pristiq, Zoloft, Seruquel, Zyprexa, Geodon, Abilify, Latuda, Ritalin, Adderall, Valium, Klonopin.

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ang

Hello and welcome............ you are amongst friends.. 

 

effexor is a killer.......... caled the devils  tic tacs........

god I truly believe anyone who kicks an effexor habit needs a medal!!!

 

 Well done!!

 

Hugs, keep posting, and everyday,just go with the flow.........  some days will be horrific, other days passable....... ride it out, just like any other horrible recovery from any other horrible infection, of illness, or broken bones.............. 

"Your direct quote"

""

This time I was trying to follow the supplement plan laid out in the Mood Cure, adding GABA and some other stuff.  I'd do ok for awhile, but the insomnia was still bad, and the general feeling of being ill-at-ease was so disturbing, I just couldn't stand it.  So, I stopped the supplements and started taking 37.5 mg of Effexor again.  After three days, I was in serotonin syndrome almost to the point of having to go to the ER!  ""

 

So you got serotonin syndrome, from what exactly? 37.5 mg of effexor?  or what other drugs were you on?

 

 

Please please, tell us , what is helping you NOW???? 


1992 Dothiepin 375mg 8 weeks, exhaustion/depression.  Serotonin syndrome, oh yes!  seizures . Fell pregnant, 3rd baby, Nitrous Oxide, 3 weeks mental hospital pp psychosis. zoloft tegretol.

Feb 1996 ct tegretol, tapered Zoloft 8 weeks. as (unexpectedly)  pregnant. Steven died after 3 days.(Zolft HLHS baby).  98 had run in with Paxil, 2 tablets, 3 weeks taper, survived.
2005..menopause? exhausted again. Zyprexa, mad in three days, fallout....  Seroquel, Effexor, tegretol,   and 8 years of self destruction. Failed taper.
Damn 1/4 valium... nuts again! .fallout, zoloft 100mg  seroquol 400mg mirtazapine 45 mg  tegretol 400mg.  Mid 14 3 month taper. Nov 14 CRASH.
Mid 15 ....   75mg  seroquel,  3 x 1800mg SJW  2 week window end of December followed by 6 week wave
5/2 68mg seroquel, 2.5 x 1800mg SJW::::20/2 61mg seroquel, 2.5 x  SJW::: 26/2 54mg seroquel, 2 x SJW::::21/3 43mg seroquel, 1 x 2700SJW :::: 23/4 36mg seroquel 1 x 1800 SJW
15/5 33mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::   28/5 30mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::;  18/6 25mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::::, 11/7 21mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::, 26/7 18mg seroquel 1/2 SJW:::, 9/8 12mg seroquel :::, 16/8 6mg seroquel ;;;;, 12/9 0 jump.

23/9  3mg.....,  27/9 0mg.  Reinstated, 6mg, then 12mg.............  LIGHTBULB MOMENT,  I have  MTHFR 2x mutations.  CFS and issues with MOULD in my home. So I left home, and working 150km away during week, loving it.

Oh was hard, panic attacks first week, gone now, along with the mould issues.

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Altostrata

Yes, you can reduce the Effexor part-way and then the Remeron.

 

It sounds like you are unhappy in your situation. You will also need to come to grips with that. Your psyche may be telling you that you need to make another choice.


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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SquirrellyGirl

True, I am not happy in this environment but don't really have a choice at this time, so trying to improve my coping skills.  I fear I would find something to be unhappy about no matter where I end up.  For instance, we could move somewhere that has a "better" climate, but be that many more hours away from my elderly parents....So, looking for ways to feel fulfilled in this place.

 

So, I had been taking Sam-E in the morning and tryptophan at night, and my p-doc explained that the Sam-E has two peaks of activity, one of which coincided with when I was taking the tryptophan before bedtime.  Sometimes I took 5-htp rather than tryptophan.  If I recall, I had also started taking melatonin because my sleep was so bad even with the 5-htp/tryptophan.  The next day I stopped taking the supplements and took 18.25 mg of regular Effexor.  The day after, I took 37.5 mg and the third day I woke up feeling odd, took another 37.5 mg and later that day I had a fever, shakes, racing heart, digestive upset, disconnected...almost to the point of going to the ER.  Perhaps all those serotonergic supplements in my system caused the Effexor to put me over the top?  The next day I stopped taking anything and two days later saw my p-doc who then put me on the Remeron and told me to quit all serotonergic supplements along with GABA, which was in another supplement.  I am calling it SS for lack of any other explanation.  Let's just say I got myself in a lot of trouble trying to do things on my own!

 

I am feeling pretty stable right now, though I had dietary indiscretion today, eating too many Milano cookies, then feeling a wave of anxiety, not sure if it's the cookies' fault or not.


Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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SquirrellyGirl

I forgot to add that I also had some severe pain along the way back in March, after the Viibryd and before the Remeron.  I started doing some yoga poses to tighten up my butt and legs but quickly got into trouble, developed what I thought was tendonitis in my butt cheeks, but what my doctor thought was sciatica (in both cheeks!).  It was so bad that it additionally made it impossible to sleep.  I was having insomnia already and then that nagging pain just made night time hell.  I am someone who has been very physical in the past, doing serious weight training even a summer or two prior without such issues other than a little knee-cap tendonitis, so this was really odd that I'd have such a serious problem from doing a few yoga poses!  Now I realize it was likely from AD withdrawal.  I still have a touch of that pain.


Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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Altostrata

If I were you, I'd stop experimenting with the serotonergic supplements, they confuse things.

 

You might get physical therapy, chiropractic, or acupuncture for the pain.


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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SquirrellyGirl

I have begun tapering venlafaxine and mirtazapine.  I am on my first 10% drop, from 37.5 mg venlafaxine and 30 mg mirtazapine.   I am nearing the end of one month on this dosage, and feel I have done very well with it so far.  

 

However, I have been under a lot of stress as of Sunday, with my parents springing a surprise visit on me which meant trying to whip the house from disorder to order, and driving them for 7 hours today (long story).  When faced with having to scury to clean up and organize, I experienced bouts of anxiety which weren't as bad as I had this spring, but were still pretty uncomfortable.  Today while driving, I had a few cortisol squirts.  

 

I was getting ready to do the next 10% prior to this but wondered if this break-through anxiety means it is too soon, that I should hold.  I'm one of those people who gets impatient and wants to get off this stuff as quickly as possible, so the concept of holding is tough to swallow.  Just wondering if others have experienced this, where the taper was going well but then stress revealed that withdrawal was just under the surface.

 

I decided to taper both because I have been gaining weight on the mirtazapine and as a recovered bulimic, weight gain is a stressor.  The venlafaxine has killed my sex drive, what little I had before reinstating a couple of months ago.  I have read the thread on SLOW tapering and holding and intellectually I understand, but I am an impatient person!


Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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LoveandLight

I'm going through waves still after reinstating. I moved into a flat on my own two weeks ago..that produced the worst withdrawal effect.

 

So, yes, unfortunately xx


2000 - sertraline for job anxiety low confidence (17 years old) ..which turned the next 16 years into nightmare!

 

On/off sertraline severe withdrawals every time. 2014 - felt better as reduced dose of sertraline no more inner restlessness. Doctor rushed off again. Hit severe withdrawal. Lost the little I had in life. Couldn't get stable again on 12.5mg. Was switched to prozac. Had severe reaction to prozac..came off in November 2015 at 6mg as felt more confused and damaged on it..Even more withdrawal ..rage, depression, dyphoria, near constant suicidal ideation, self harm impulses, doom, concrete block in head, unable to do much of anything with this feeling in head..went back on 6mg of sertraline to see if would alleviate anything. It didn't..reduced from December to June 2016 came off at 2.5mg sertraline as was hospitalised for the severe rage, suicidal impulses, and put on 50mg lofepramine which in 2nd week reduced all symptoms but gave insomnia which still have..psych stopped lofepramine cold turkey..no increased withdrawal symptoms new symptoms from lofepramine except persistant insomnia which has as side effect.

 

Taking Ativan for 8 months for the severe rage self harm impulses 1-3 times a week (mostly 2 times a week) at .5mg. Two months (I'm unsure exactly when the interdose started to happen) ago interdose withdrawal seemed to happen..2 days I think after the Ativan.

 

 

Nightmare that could have been avoided!

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brassmonkey

Hi Squirellygirl--  Situational stress can trigger anxiety and panic and from what you describe this sounds like your case.  It also sounds like you handled things pretty well.  Make sure to get a little "me" time to decompress and center yourself.

 

This would be a good time for you to learn patience.  Both of the drugs you are tapering have bad reputations for being hard to get off of.  Even doing a slow 10% taper is going to be too much if you try to do both at once.  We all want to get off of this stuff as quickly as possible, but the results of rushing things are just too disastrous and can cause you trouble for a lot longer than it would have taken if you had gone slowly and one at a time.

 

Also I am confused, your signature says your previous does of Effexor was 75mg and Remeron 37.5mg. If you dropped the Effexor to 37.5mg that would be a 50% drop not 10% and cutting  the Remeron  from 37.5mg to 30mg is more like 20% not 10%.  Would you please clarify this.


20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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Altostrata

SG, I moved your update into your Introductions and Updates topic.

 

Yes, you should not add the stress of tapering to your current life stress. I strongly suggest you hold on tapering for now.

 

As Brassmonkey asked, what has been your tapering schedule?


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

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SquirrellyGirl

Let me clarify.  I've had some insights.  

 

I got myself in to a whole lot of trouble going off Effexor too fast and taking serotonergic supplements hoping they would make up for the absence of the Effexor, operating on the assumption that mine is a depressive brain, end of story.  I didn't realize that the symptoms I was having were related to the Effexor withdrawal.  

 

My first p-doc is rather holistically minded and not pro-med, but when I saw him in desperate straights, he put me on Remeron, starting at 7.5 mg. He told me that it was a gentle antidepressant and that I could "play with it," increasing as needed!  Initially, I felt much better on it, but then I'd have couch days where I guessed that I needed to up the dose, so increased by 7.5 mg at a time until finally I was at 37.5 mg rather quickly, and in a desperate state!  I was wanted to go back on the Effexor, thinking if only I could feel the way I did before all of this.  

 

When the Effexor was reinstated, it was at 37.5 mg.  My p-doc dropped the Remeron from 37.5 mg to 30 mg when adding the Effexor.  I had what I thought was a side effect of the two drugs, numb/tingling tongue/lips/tops of hands, sometimes forearm skin as well.  I mentioned this to my p-doc on the next visit, and he said he wasn't too concerned about it.  He did not identify it as a W/D symptom!

 

Then I went ahead and saw the new P-doc that I had been trying to get in with throughout, and since I was scolded for canceling appointments with him before, I decided to keep the appointment.  He wanted to increase the Effexor to 75 mg, which I did for three days before learning about AD withdrawal.  When I realized that all I had been experiencing since last fall through the present was W/D, I immediately went back to 37.5 mg Effexor.  My hope was that three days at 75 mg wasn't long enough to cause problems dropping back to 37.5 mg.

 

The tingling sensations went away eventually, but then they recurred after I had done a 10% taper on the Remeron.  It finally dawned on me that what that was about was W/D from the Remeron.  I had a real d'Oh a-ha moment a couple of days ago on this!  Indeed, the first p-doc imposed a 20% taper on me!  I hadn't thought about that at all at the time!

 

I am furious that I am on two drugs now that are both notorious for being difficult to get off of!

 

As I mentioned, the weight gain is a real stressor for me, so I will focus on the Remeron for now since it is known for helping with sleep especially at the lower doses - I can at least continue benefitting from it's ability to help me sleep as I taper.

 

I guess the biggest issue for me right now is trying to heal, not only from the ADs but psychologically the issues that have plagued me all my life and brought me to the ADs to begin with.  One of my stressors is the guilt over not working; however, when presented with certain work opportunities, I find myself anxious and almost depressed.  I guess it has to do with control.

 

I worked as a professional dog trainer and behavior consultant for 15 years, my own business, and what I liked about it was the control I had to work as much or as little as I wanted, being it was my own business.  In 2007, I burned out and let the business go, and in hind-sight, I think that coincided with a large taper of my Effexor, my idea.  I then worked part time at a company my husband worked for, and it was a very nurturing environment where I was involved with very worthwhile work.  My husband and I were laid off in 2012, and we then moved out "here," where similar work was not readily available.  I haven't worked since.

 

With my husband surviving two lay-offs, and another wave imminent, I went really freaked out this spring, feeling I really ought to be working and contributing.  I was suffering such severe anxiety, the world and life seemed incredibly horrible!  Emotionally, there was no way I could have worked, yet I was having such guilt and anxiety about NOT working.

 

Once I stabilized with the reinstatement, I still felt bad for not working, but everyone including my husband and therapist agreed that my main job was to heal.  I have been working on the emotional issues that led me to bulimia in my teens and to ADs when I was about 30.  I still find myself losing focus on this job and find myself feeling guilty about not working.  A friend has presented me with three work opportunities, but I found myself conflicted and stressed when considering them.  I have been trying to develop a nurturing inner voice, but these situations have triggered my negative, harsh, black-and-white inner b**** to resurface, and so I feel at this point in time, I need to refocus on healing.  There is still that side of me that feels guilty that I'm not working and that I should be contributing....

 

In addition to the stressors of last week that I wrote about, I also had two dog-training clients, the first time I have done this work in eight years!  I actually really enjoyed it, and though those appointments added stress to my week, I felt I did quite well with it and it reminded me of how much I once liked having my own business.  This is something I feel fairly safe adding to my life right now.  I do have to be careful, though, because when I started researching the competition in my area, it triggered "comparing," which is not good for me!  Kind of like how Facebook wasn't good for me and made me feel bad, because of the comparing to other people.

 

So, it's all still pretty complicated.  I will try to slow down.


Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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Altostrata

Those are great insights.

 

Remeron is well-known for causing weight gain. You may wish to reduce part-way on the Remeron, then work on the Effexor.

 

I am sorry your doctors got you into this pickle.


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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SquirrellyGirl

Having a hard time being patient with the Remeron WD.  I saw my new p-doc for the first time since I first saw him and didn't yet know that the hell I had experienced this year was due to Effexor WD!  So, I told him yesterday that I wanted off these meds, and that I was doing a slow taper.  He poo-poo'd the slow taper, said people usually break the tablets in two, going from 30 to 22.5 to 15 to 7.5 mg, each step every 2-3 weeks. I've noticed that's what a lot of people have done in their sigs.  

 

I so want off the Remeron because my weight keeps climbing and it is causing me a lot of stress as I mentioned before.  With the Effexor on board, would it be that horrible to go ahead and jump to 15 mg of the Remeron?  The worst WD symptoms I've noticed are the numb/tingling/burning sensations of the lips, tongue, skin on my arms/shoulders, sometimes diarrhea in the mornings, the occasional headache and mild waves of anxiety, all pretty tolerable.  


Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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leahy

Getting off remeron is difficult. It took a long time for me to budge from 30mg. When I tried using two 15 mg that didn't go well. So for now I am cutting the 30 mg tablets. First by shaving it. 5 shaves, then 10 shaves 16, 20, etc until I could cut off 1/4 th of the pill. Recently I made it down to half which is 15 mg. I am afraid to switch the medium so I stick with the 30 mg tablet and cut them.

 

I have never in my life been this FAT!!! it feels like wd has made me fatter and fatter. I am working on 7.5 mg now. I feel crappy but not as bad as I did in the beginning of wd...

 

BTW, you mentioned tingling. i do get tingling in my feet all the time.

 

Leahy


2001-2007 Rem 90 mg, xanax 2 mg synthroid 112mcg - 2007-2014 Rem 60 mg xanax 3-4 mg

2015   Feb Rem 45 mg xanax 2 mg, March Rem 30 xanax 2, April  Rem 22.5, May Rem 30  xanax .25x4 hrs, June Rem 26 xanax 2-3, July Rem 22.5 xanax 2, Aug Rem 15 xanax 2, Sept Rem 22 xanax 2, Oct Rem 18 mg xanax .25 mg /4 hrs, Nov Rem 23 mg xanax .5mg, Dec Rem 24 xanax 2 

2016  Jan Rem 20 xanax 2,  Feb Rem 18 mg xanax 1.5, Feb Rem 14 12 mg xanax 1 mg, March Rem 10 9 mg xanax 1-2 mg Rem 7.3 8 xanax 1-2, April Rem 10 12 mg xanax 2 mg, May Rem 11 xanax 1 .75mg Nov Rem 10mg Xanax 2mg 2017 May Rem 10.25 Xanax 1 mg, November Xanax 1mg

 

 

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Altostrata

Yes, you could make yourself very sick from going off Remeron too fast, even though you're taking Effexor.


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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SquirrellyGirl

Update:  I went through a wave over a week ago, even though I had been at 22 mg mirtazapine for two weeks and hadn't changed the venlafaxine dosage...or so I thought.  I had nights where I was waking up more ,sweating, and have wild dreams.  Also, when I'd pull the covers off from being hot, I'd have a "nervy" sensation spread across my torso, something that happened a lot with the Effexor WD I had been in before, when I didn't realize that was what it was.  I also felt a lot of anxiety during the day, random squirts, no motivation, feeling vulnerable.  

 

I have the little Gemini 20 scale and had been weighing beads.  The Monday before this "wave," I had weighed out a new batch and put the doses in empty gel caps.  I came to the realization that maybe that batch weighed differently than the prior batch.  I thought for sure this felt more like an Effexor WD wave than a mirtazapine wave, so expected that I was underdosed compared to the batch before.  To my surprise, though, this batch weighed HEAVIER than the prior batch, I think.  My husband works in a lab and took a capsule to weigh the beads.  To get the dosage I thought I was taking, I'd need about 31 beads, but my batch that I had weighed out contained around 36 beads, or about 10-12 mgs more than I thought I was taking!

 

Is it possible that a bump up in dose would cause side effects?  I'm so confused, and frustrated that my little scale is being unreliable!

 

So, I am going by the bead-count method for now, keeping it steady while only changing the mirtazapine.

 

I found the mirt WD symptoms to be more physical in nature while the Effexor causes a lot more trouble with anxiety, along with some dizziness, sweating, and floaty-feeling.

 

Happily, I am feeling better now that I am taking 31 beads.  I attended a dog competition yesterday, and felt pretty steady even though I was under stress, so grateful for that!

 

Has anyone else run into trouble with the Gemini 20 scale being inconsistent?


Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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tgirl

Hello sg,

How are you doing?

Tgirl


April 2014 remeron 45mg.

June 2014 abilify 2.5 remeron wasn't working so abilify was then added

September 2014 woke up with anxiety x 100!!!!

Pdoc then took me from 45 to 7.5 within a month and took abilify from 2.5 to 0

Currently

Remeron 7.5

Vitamin d 5,000 iu taking for about 3 years

October 2014 added fish oil/omega 3 1000 mg per day

Levothyroxitine 100 10 years or so

Dec 2014 started tapering 10% every 10 days-no problems.

August 2015 down to 0.1 mg

Woke up with severe anxiety-sleep issues-racing thoughts-depression. 9/9/15 up dose 1 mg.

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SquirrellyGirl

I am doing quite well, Tgirl - thanks for asking!  It has been awhile since I have updated.

 

I am now at 19 mg mirtazapine (50% from highest) and 30 mg venlafaxine (down 20% from when I reinstated).  I am focusing on the mirt because I have been gaining weight, and I am starting to get very distressed because I have gained back half the weight I gradually lost over the last two years.  Moving into my fatter pants, very frustrating.  I am impatient to be done with mirt and today felt like I wanted to hasten the process out of desperation.  I might be able to get away with that at the higher doses, but from what I've read, people have the most trouble going down from 15 mg.  I'm thinking of getting to 15 mg and then working on the venlafaxine for a bit.

 

I just did this last cut of mirt last Thursday night.  Over the weekend I felt demotivated, with pings of anxiety, mildly depressed.  Irritable and grumpy at times, too.  Today I got tearful.  I also have burning skin and feelings of "nerviness" across my body, occasional diarrhea and headaches, and odd dreams.  The other day I had a twitch under my eye.  Also, on Wednesday night, I jolted awake and had a zap down my leg, then a burst of cortisol and body tremor before I felt back asleep, but at least I did fall back asleep!  I was having more restless nights, but I started taking magnesium glycinate at bedtime as well as in the morning and that has helped greatly. 

 

I had been seeing a therapist about once a week over the summer, but I feel I've sort of run my course with her.  I'm reading a lot about withdrawal and maybe that perhaps digging up emotional stuff might not be the best thing to do due to hypersensitivity.   A friend of mine who has been involved with 4-H for years wants me to be their club's dog leader, and when I looked into what that entailed, I felt a bit anxious about it, and wonder if I should be careful about taking on big challenges (this one makes me anxious because it would require me to do a lot of studying up on what my role is and how to perform it).  Earlier in the summer I started a bus driver training program and passed all the tests to proceed to the behind the wheel training, but I thought better of being responsible for the safety of children when I am tapering and subject to WD symptoms that make me feel odd when driving sometimes, not to mention the neuro-emotions.  So, I'm sort of in limbo and feeling guilty that I am not contributing more, perhaps using WD as an excuse?

 

I feel strongly about getting off of meds for so many reasons and see it as my primary "job."  19 years of being on these meds has kept me from feeling true joy in my life, making me numb and staunching creativity and motivation.   Let's not even talk about the lack of sexual desire and enjoyment for all that time, too!  I don't want this to take any longer than it has to!


Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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Altostrata

Please slow down a little bit on the mirtazapine tapering. You're getting withdrawal symptoms.

 

Why did you go on mirtazapine originally?


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

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SquirrellyGirl

Thank you, Altostrata.  I will try.  I just want off of these evil drugs so badly!  I was put on mirt because I couldn't sleep or eat.  The long and the short of my story is that I went off venlafaxine way too fast last year, and because I was taking tryptophan and Sam-E right after jumping off, I guess they delayed the WD such that I didn't have bad symptoms from the get-go.  Over the first few months, I had cognitive issues that made me think I had ADD, and the heavy sweats I thought were due to menopause.  Over winter/spring, I had horrid anxiety, insomnia and depression, and inappetence with weight loss, causing me to try to reinstate venlafaxine on my own right after stopping the supplements.  I had a mild serotonin syndrome, almost went to the hospital.  I saw my p-doc a few days later and he put me on mirt.  I've read that it is sometimes used when a person has had serotonin syndrome.

 

Initially, the mirt helped.  He said it was gentle and I could play with it, increasing the dose as needed up to 40 mg.  Well, it quit working pretty quick and I kept raising the dose until finally, at 37.5 mg I was totally apathetic, depressed, agoraphobic, on the couch and knew going to 40 wouldn't make it any better.  I was having trouble getting in to see my doc, otherwise, I'd have gone in sooner.  So, 6 weeks out from starting mirt, he added back 37.5 mg venlafaxine, and my symptoms were alleviated within the hour.  It was about 8 months out from going off venlafaxine, yet reinstatement worked immediately.  I'd been on it for 12 years, and other AD's for eight or so years prior.

 

I still don't understand if the way I felt on mirt was mirt side effects, pooping out, or Venlafaxine WD bleeding through.

 

Today, I am just demotivated, no desire to go out and do anything, and in an irritable mood.  Tears pop up when I think about what I've done to my life being on ADs, and I want to be free of them so badly yet am afraid I will be one of the ones who's life doesn't improve off of them.  I guess I'll try to do a meditation now and get myself off of this line of thought.


Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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Petunia

Tears pop up when I think about what I've done to my life being on ADs, and I want to be free of them so badly yet am afraid I will be one of the ones who's life doesn't improve off of them.  I guess I'll try to do a meditation now and get myself off of this line of thought.

 

Don't blame yourself SG, all of us thought we were doing the right thing when we started taking these drugs, we have been mislead into believing they cure something. But instead, they just cover up symptoms and distract us from addressing what's really causing us to feel bad. If you manage your original problem through counseling or therapy, once you taper off your medications, there's a very good chance your life will improve.

 

You have a good attitude already with looking for ways to manage negative thinking.


I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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SquirrellyGirl

Thank you, Petunia - I'm sorry it has been a bit since I checked my thread, and I need to change the settings so I get notifications...

 

I am feeling pretty good the last several days, yea!  No emotional WD or upsets.  The other night I had a strange sequence of symptoms which didn't bother me but I thought they were odd.  I woke up and had to pee really bad, and that is not normal for me!  Then, when I closed my eyes, my eyeballs felt like they were jumping around in the sockets!  I opened my eyes, and it stopped, but when I closed my eyes, it started again!  Then I was aware of the internal vibration thing that I have read about.  I was able to go back to sleep, however, and thankfully I don't bet upset by the physical symptoms.  It's the emotional stuff that always gets me.

 

Yesterday, I pushed the envelop and survived!  We have sheep and horses, and had to buy a 90 bale stack of hay, 9,000 lb, and my husband and I had to move it by hand into our shop to protect it from the coming storm.  We moved and stacked about half of it before using the tractor loader to move it 2 bales at a time.  It was a lot of sweaty, physical labor.  Then, i had to go to a friend's to move some sheep shelters that were made of sheet metal.  I was pulling on one to get it onto a trailer, and the others were pushing...it got pushed into my leg and I got a deep gash since I was wearing shorts, stupidly LOL!  I told my friend I needed to sit down in the truck, and then next thing I know, I'm waking up lying face up on the ground with my friend holding my leg up and her husband holding my head off the ground!  I do get a bit squeamish over gore, and I guess I told her I was going down, which I don't remember.  She took me to an urgent care where it took 2 1/2 hours of waiting, during which I practiced mindfulness to keep centered and not get angry about the wait.  I received 8 stitches and antibiotics, and happily, I survived the whole day without triggering WD!  I slept well, too!

 

So, I am thinking another week to 10 days on this dose of mirtazapine and then another 10% cut.

 

I think the worst I have felt, emotionally, is when my little scale makes an error in weighing my venlafaxine beads and I end up making a small drop unknowingly when I have already made a mirt cut.  I ended up buying another scale, a good bit more expensive than the Gemini 20, in hopes that it would be more accurate.  I feel like a crazy OCD person when I weigh my doses three times each and double check against a constant.  But, it's necessary to prevent unnecessary issues.

 

I hope everyone is hanging in and being kind to themselves!

 

SG


Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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brassmonkey

Hi Squirrelly--  I'm so sorry to hear about you getting hurt. But have to say WAY TO GO!! on how you handled the whole situation.  Hope your leg gets better soon.

 

(((((((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))))))


20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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