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SquirrellyGirl: Effexor withdrawal etc


SquirrellyGirl

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SquirrellyGirl

22 mounths out from my reinstatement of 37.5 mg Effexor on top of 37.5 mg Remeron, and I am now down to 12.4 mg Effexor and 5.9 mg Remeron!  Feeling pretty rocky today so time to hold again.  I'd been doing micro-tapering of both which has gone well, all said and told.  But, as Iook at my tapering in hind-sight given some emotional stresses I've been through, I see that I need to hold a bit.  It's very hard for me to hold still with the tapering.

 

I suffered from compassion burnout, really more anhedonia and inability to feel compassion for others' plights, so backed off from moderating.  Then, the election's results sent me into stress as everything that mattered to me felt threatened, the environment and concerns about climate change being at the top of the list since my college degree was in biology.  I have never felt so threatened by a new president - this wasn't about losing. I'm not trying to start a debate here, just stating that emotionally I was triggered back to a sense of fear of the future that I hadn't felt since I was in withdrawal from Effexor!

 

Then, on Dec.1, my beloved young dog was killed by a car in front of our homestead, and I went into a deep, dark despair, since I could have prevented it. He was the perfect partner here on the ranch, helping me with chores.  His place was always at my feet.  I miss him so much.  It was six weeks before I stopped crying every day, though in the last week or two the emotionality has come back and I am having visions of him and crying again.  When I see a dead dog on the road (and there are sadly many out here where I live), I completely lose it.  I was having PTSD going out our gate when I would venture to leave home.  

 

Late February, one of our cats disappeared after visitors were here, and he never came back.  We raised him from 10 days old and suspect he was taken by a coyote.  That was another trauma that I am still recovering from.

 

So, legitimate reasons to be in the dumps.  Still having trouble with low/no motivation.  I guess you could say I've got anhedonia.  I can't get excited about anything, and if I do, it's gone in 5 minutes.  Hard as it is to do, I think I need to hold for awhile.  I'm sleeping ok, which is good, and I have good days.  Heck, yesterday I was feeling pretty up, went for a herding lesson and had a good time.  Today, bleh!

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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Good to hear from you, SG.

 

So sorry to hear about your dog (as well as the cat).

 

I understand the burnout thing -- kind of been dealing with that myself.

 

Hang in there.  Hopefully, the good days will start to increase.

 

Best,

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

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primekittycat

Hey SG, I'm so sorry to hear about your pets. They have such short lives and it's even harder when they're taken too soon. :(

 

How small are the micro-cuts you're doing? Curious since I'm also tapering off Effexor and am at 16mg now. I do 5% cuts every 2 weeks and typically by the 4th or 5th cut in a row, need to hold for a month or a little more. Have you noticed your cuts getting harder since your dose has gotten lower? 

Began suffering from panic attacks when my father passed away in 2005. Been on and off SSRIs (Celexa, Lexapro, Effexor XR), and therapy since then.

2009 - Started Effexor XR 75mg. Consistent therapy starting Oct 2013

Feb 2014 - Therapist and I felt I was ready to come off Effexor - went to half dose (37.5mg) for a week and then off completely by advice of psychiatrist - bad w/d for a week then gone

May 2014 - bad protracted w/d came out of nowhere.. constant dizziness, agoraphobia(never had before), intense headaches, fatigue for 3 months, all tests (brain MRI, inner ear tests, blood tests, etc.) normal. could not drive, grocery shop, or live life.

Aug 2014 - back on Effexor XR 75mg as neurologist thought these symptoms were my anxiety coming back, all w/d symptoms disappear within 2 weeks. I should have went back on at a lower dose, but I hadn't discovered this site yet.

 

Tapering Effexor XR.. let's do this! Slow & steady:

Started tapering from 75mg in July 2015. 5% cuts every 3 weeks. From July 2015 - March 2016, reduced to 37.5mg (half dose). In March 2017, down to 18.3mg (quarter dose). April 2020 -  0.38mg. Finally med free as of Oct 31, 2020.

 

Supplements: meditation, daily exercise, clean diet, working from home (more sleep!)

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  • 1 month later...
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SquirrellyGirl

Sorry to not reply to your questions sooner, primekittycat!

 

My cutting got a little wild.  Even though I've been sneaking down on both meds, when I reviewed, I realized I'd been cutting overall a bit too steeply on both.  Weighing Effexor balls, I'd drop by 1 mg each week, so for instance 39 mg, 38, 37, 36...Liquid mirt, 6.8, 6.7. 6.6 mg etc.  I'd hold the mirt at a dose while dropping down each week on the Effexor, and then vice versa. Got into troubled water last month so held both.  Mostly anhedonia but a day here and there of negative thoughts about myself.  When things are going well, as they are now, I feel generally good but still have the anhedonia/low motivation.  Those are more insidious for me because as long as I'm not having the negativity I can sit with those and not feel too bad about it.  I do have a background sense of guilt that I am not contributing more and am just taking up space.  My one pre-occupation that consumes a lot of time is politics on twitter.  A waste of time, really, but at least I'm not engaged in feeling bad about myself!

 

Last Thursday I went out of town to compete with my dog in a ranch trial dog competition.  Spent the night with a friend in her trailer on site and had a lot of fun.  Only four dogs competing but we won 1st place and I didn't have any brain farts like I did at the competition I was at in April!  I feel grateful that I am able to do that much and function well enough.

 

After my last post I went to a herding competition, saw the team my deceased dog and I had a run off with and won a year ago, and lost it.  Lots of crying.  I also had a major brain deletion during a farm trial that had multiple tasks to perform, simulating life on a ranch.  I did A,B,C, and D just fine, then next thing I know I'm doing G!  I had even been watching prior contestants and had E and F committed to memory, or so I thought, so I was horrified at what my brain had done when I realized the omission!  I was more upset about that than the fact that I didn't qualify because of it!

 

It's astonishing how horrible my memory is, really.  I tend to forgive and forget when people do me wrong because I simply forget about it!  Yesterday I was finally recalling the reason I had to dislike a certain individual, which blew my husband away because even he was really put off by what that person had done to me years ago!  These are the things that make me continue my commitment to come off these meds, not because I WANT to be someone who can't forgive, but because the memories I do finally recall don't even feel like I was the person living the memory, if that makes any sense!  I've always felt I had no real connection with who I was as a child, for instance, since my memories do not feel like they are mine, what ones I have!  Hard to explain.

 

Anyway, doing ok compared to last month.  

 

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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  • 7 months later...
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Squirrelly, how are you?

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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  • 2 weeks later...
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SquirrellyGirl

I haven't updated in a long time.  Life has just pulled me away for various reasons.  I am still tapering successfully for the most part.  I've been holding at 7.5 mg venlafaxine and 3.5 mg mirtazapine, with periodic irritability and short periods of  feeling generally low, with a chronic level of no motivation.  Still no sex drive!  Sorry to be explicit, but that's been an issue for many years, both on the meds and while coming off, pretty much since starting them 20 years ago.  That is discouraging and one of the reasons I decided to come off, along with mild anhedonia.  I don't feel joyful highs, don't get excited by much, but that's been true long before tapering, too.  Actually, that's in general, but I should back up and say that I have had occasions of joy that caused me to cry with emotion, certain musical pieces, dramatic shows I've been streaming that get me crying, things like that.  That's different!  

 

The lack of motivation is distressing.  I get into self-judgemental thinking that I'm not doing enough with my life, that I have no purpose. When I do get the gumption to do something, it lasts five minutes.  I'm lucky if I can get one thing done a day from my "to do" list, and this causes me anxiety since there is so much that needs doing around here.  I've always had trouble with procrastination but now....ugh!  Cognitive/memory issues abound as well. I can't tell you how many times I've thought "I need to flush the water line" this week, only to forget, and then rinse-repeat.

 

I have had some herding students coming out for lessons, which is good because it forces me to get up and going, but once done I am toast the rest of the day.  I've also had a couple of dog behavior/training clients.  I have a slight desire to restart my dog training career, but again, can't seem to get over some hurdles to get it up and going, like deciding on a business name (no creativity and decision-making is non-existent) so that I can have business cards made. I get hamstrung with indecision.  I feel like I'm on the verge of getting it done, but alas..."tomorrow."  The desire, spark, isn't there, yet.

 

Other than these things, I'm doing ok, no major bobbles.   I did forget to take my venlafaxine Christmas day, and though I don't notice major WD symptoms like many do when they miss a dose, I'll feel it the next day in terms of lower mood and irritability.  

 

I'm in menopause, fun fun, and the hot flashes have been stepping it up recently.  When I went off venlafaxine, I also went of the Pill and discovered I was menopausal, and the hot flashes then (three years ago) were horrific, drenching ones.  They subsided mostly when I reinstated, though I'd have mild ones mostly at night.  Now they are waking me up, having to throw the bedding off, and I notice them just sitting around during the day.  I know ven WD can cause hot flashes and burning skin, so I'm thinking both are at play.  There is a mild skin sensation with these flashes, though not burning like before.  Not on any HRT.

 

So, that's where I'm at.  On my good days I have no aching complaints other than wishing the low mo would go, but that's something I've sort of gotten used to.  Would just be nice to have some zip and zest for life.

 

Signing off for now...

 

SquirrellyGirl

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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Best wishes SGirl.

You have done brilliantly getting down to the dose you are at.

I went from a similar effexor level to you (225mg), now down to 75mg with the guidelines on SA.

So in comparison, you are cruising, as far as the medication goes.  Here's hoping for you feeling a bit better in 2018

I am a bit low today.  "Something she said", but everyone gets fed up at times.

Born 1945. 

1999 - First Effexor/Venlafaxine

2016 Withdrawal research. Effexor.  13Jul - 212.5mg;  6Aug - 200.0mg;  24Aug - 187.5mg;  13Sep - 175.0mg;  3Oct - 162.5mg;  26Oct - 150mg 

2017  9Jan - 150.00mg;  23Mar - 137.50mg;  24Apr - 125.00mg;  31May - 112.50mg holding;  3Sep - 100.00mg;  20Sep - 93.75mg;  20Oct - 87.5mg;  12Nov - 81.25mg;  13 Dec - 75.00mg

2018  18Jan - 69.1mg; 16Feb - 62.5mg; 16March - 57.5mg (-8%); 22Apr - 56.3mg(-2%); CRASHED - Updose 29May - 62.5mg; Updose - 1Jul - 75.0mg. Updose - 2Aug - 87.5mg. Updose - 27Aug - 100.0mg. Updose - 11Oct 112.5mg. Updose - 6Nov 125.00mg

2019 Updoses 19 Jan - 150.0mg. 1April - 162.5mg. 24 April - Feeling better - doing tasks, getting outside.  7 May - usual depression questionnaire gives "probably no depression" result.

Supps/Vits  Omega 3;  Chelated Magnesium;  Prebiotics/Probiotics, Vit D3. 

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SquirrellyGirl

Thank you, peng.  It is kind of exciting to be at such a low dose now.  I am only able to drop 1 mg at a time, weighing beads.  Takes forever trying to find the right size beads to add up to 20 mg (GPW as Brass says) on my scale.  I figure when I get to 10 mg I will have to find a new way to cut less than 10%, switching to non-extended release Effexor and then making a liquid, or...?  I'd probably have to switch to 2X day dosing, too.  The mirtazapine taper using liquid has gone very well, dissolving the SolTabs in a bit of water and then bringing up to volume with OraPlus suspension vehicle.  I guess that will all be a ways off.

 

I'm happy for you that you are more than halfway there!  When I came down from 225mg, it wasn't consciously tapering, just wanted to be on less medication so dropped by whole pill increments.  Though I never experienced overt WD symptoms like brain zaps, I definitely experienced cognitive issues and waves of emotional lability, lost friends along the way due to blow-outs.  And I never equated all of that with the cuts. Glad that you didn't have to go through that kind of stuff by doing it properly!

 

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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SG, I just wanted to provide a bit of hope regarding both the low libido and lack of motivation. I was also on Remeron and suffered from both these things. I had zero sex drive while I was taking it and it was some time before that returned--about a year after stopping. Motivation started coming back while I was tapering and much more so once a lot of the physical WD effects lessened after I jumped off. I've been able to get to jobs I was putting off for literally years. Generally, I'm keeping up well with things...plus managing to tackle some really big tasks around the house and garden. It all takes time and a lot of patience, but healing keeps on happening. I think you've done so well getting to this point and I suspect you'll see more benefits as time goes on.

Remeron for depression. Started at 7.5 mg. in 2005. Gradual increases over 8 years, up to 45 mg. in 2012.Began tapering in June 2013. Went from 45 to 30 mg in the first 3-4 months. Held for a couple of months.Started tapering by 3.75 mg every month or 2, with some longer holding periods. Eventually went down to 3.75 mg. about April 2014. Stopped taking Remeron August 2014. Developed issues with histamine a week after stopping--symptoms reduced through diet and a.few supplements. Currently having issues with a few foods. Most of the histamine intolerance has resolved or is at least, in remission.

Current Medications: Natural Dessicated Thyroid 22.5 mg/day

Current Supplements: Vitamin C, D, K2, B12, Quercetin, CoQ10, Tart Cherry, Probiotic, Phytoplankton oil, magnesium lotion, oil, or epsom salts bath daily, CBD, and cannabis.What has helped me most: qi gong, exercise, healthy diet, meditation, IV vitamins, homeopathy, massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, music, and cuddling my cats..

My introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/8459-mirtazapine-withdrawal-freespirit/#entry144282

Please note: I am not a therapist or medical practitioner. Any suggestions offered come solely from my personal experience in recovering from childhood trauma, therapy, and AD use. Please seek appropriate care for yourself.

 

“After a cruel childhood, one must reinvent oneself. Then re-imagine the world.”
Mary Oliver
 

 

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SquirrellyGirl

Freespirit, thank you SO MUCH for that hope!  I am so happy for you that those things resolved that way, wonderful!  I'm just mourning the lost time, past and future, that these drugs have caused.

 

I have not been able to develop the discipline to do mindfulness meditation or things like qi gong, which I've noticed a lot of people find helpful.  Just have trouble sticking with anything.  But thanks for dropping in and giving me that positive message!

 

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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Hi SG. I don't do any meditation type things,  no yoga or qi gong. I have recovered in both libido and motivation as well. But still get frustrated with the lost years and moving forward.  You're fairly close by. I am just up I-5 a piece. So not far away. 

 

75 mcg levothyroxine 

10 mcg liothyronine

25 mg hydrochlorothiazide 

Nearly 30 years of benzos, antidepressants, antipsychotics, et. al. 

 

Drug free September 9, 2019

 

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17 hours ago, SquirrellyGirl said:

Freespirit, thank you SO MUCH for that hope!  I am so happy for you that those things resolved that way, wonderful!  I'm just mourning the lost time, past and future, that these drugs have caused.

 

I have not been able to develop the discipline to do mindfulness meditation or things like qi gong, which I've noticed a lot of people find helpful.  Just have trouble sticking with anything.  But thanks for dropping in and giving me that positive message!

 

SG

I believe it's necessary to feel the grief for what's been lost. But also in some way, hold the possibilities for a different way of life. I suspect the grieving over lost life from meds is a long-term process.

 

Maybe mindfulness and qi gong are not your things. For me, it has mostly been a joy to practice them....so not a lot of discipline is necessary, except just to get myself started with them. If we don't enjoy what we're doing, it's going to be difficult to maintain. There are many different ways of practicing.

 

I think more than anything, it helps to be compassionate for what we aren't able to do or feel. Recovering from drugs is a lot like having a chronic illness in many respects. There are limitations that we come up against over and over. It matters how we meet those, for what happens the next time. Some things we have little control over, but there's always the opportunity to work with the patterns that cause us suffering.

Remeron for depression. Started at 7.5 mg. in 2005. Gradual increases over 8 years, up to 45 mg. in 2012.Began tapering in June 2013. Went from 45 to 30 mg in the first 3-4 months. Held for a couple of months.Started tapering by 3.75 mg every month or 2, with some longer holding periods. Eventually went down to 3.75 mg. about April 2014. Stopped taking Remeron August 2014. Developed issues with histamine a week after stopping--symptoms reduced through diet and a.few supplements. Currently having issues with a few foods. Most of the histamine intolerance has resolved or is at least, in remission.

Current Medications: Natural Dessicated Thyroid 22.5 mg/day

Current Supplements: Vitamin C, D, K2, B12, Quercetin, CoQ10, Tart Cherry, Probiotic, Phytoplankton oil, magnesium lotion, oil, or epsom salts bath daily, CBD, and cannabis.What has helped me most: qi gong, exercise, healthy diet, meditation, IV vitamins, homeopathy, massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, music, and cuddling my cats..

My introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/8459-mirtazapine-withdrawal-freespirit/#entry144282

Please note: I am not a therapist or medical practitioner. Any suggestions offered come solely from my personal experience in recovering from childhood trauma, therapy, and AD use. Please seek appropriate care for yourself.

 

“After a cruel childhood, one must reinvent oneself. Then re-imagine the world.”
Mary Oliver
 

 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to SquirrellyGirl: Effexor withdrawal etc
  • 1 month later...
samanthaelizabeth

Hi @SquirrellyGirl I am desperately trying to find someone that has a similar drug history as me.  You seem to be doing very well.  I'm scared to taper but also afraid to stay on this drug for the rest of my life.  How are you doing? Are you happy?

  • Ativan Mid April 1999-to end of May 1999 ( COLD TURKEY and flushed them down the toilet) I went through hell for 3 months-I had no idea what was happening to me there was no information on the internet about this drug)
  • Zoloft 200mg 1999 to 2017
  • Wellbutrin 2015 6 months Started having exterme anxiety-quit taking switched back to Zoloft ( I have quit about 6 jobs from this time0  Klonopin .5-1.0 of and on for two months (tapered off in Dec-Jan)
  • 15 mg Remeron 2012-presnt
  • **Started tapering down Zoloft 12/?/17 12/09/17 down to 50mg; 12/12/17-12/14-17 Zoloft 100mg; 12/16/201712/19 -Zoloft 150mg; 12/20/17-01/06/18 Zoloft 200mg; 01/07/18-01//18/18 Zoloft 180mg
  • 01/18/18-present Zoloft 200mg
  • February 2018-Copaxone 40mg (3 times a week shots) (for Multiple Sclerosis)2/17/18 begin transition to liquid 200mg
  • magnesium, fish oil

 

 
   

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • Moderator Emeritus
SquirrellyGirl

Well, I'm sorry I didn't respond, samanthaelizabeth!  I just don't come around here very often anymore, not for any reason other than that I arrived at a place where I didn't need constant support.  That's a good thing!  I've allowed other obsessions in my life, LOL!

 

I'm doing ok.  Update:  Down to 2.9 mg MIrtazapine and 6 mg venlafaxine (Effexor). 

 

I am a bit different than most, it would seem.  Something about how I metabolize these drugs.  When I came off Effexor all too fast before coming here, it took quite awhile to start having severe withdrawal in terms of emotional fallout, months.  No up front brain zaps, headaches, nausea, stuff like that.  First came the cognitive issues.  Thought I had adult-onset ADD!  The hot flashes were insane day and night, but I had also come off the pill and thought it was hormonal - menopause.  Well yes,  was menopausal it turned out, but I think the Ven WD took it to a much higher level.  

 

I am finding that I must  be a slow metabolizer of mirtazapine as well.  I forgot to take it two nights in a row recently and only discovered my mistake because I found that I had two nights of supplements in my am/pm pill box that I missed (also very unobservant as I HAD taken the am pills and didn't notice) and I always take my Mirt at the same time as the pm supplements.  No WD that I could determine.  I simply resumed.  Meanwhile, others are at a similar dosage and suffering horribly.  I count myself very lucky and hope I didn't jinx myself.   Did I forget to say that cognitive issues are still a problem?  Forgetful, I am!

 

Am I happy?  Well, as long as I have things going on in my life to make me feel like I'm not a total slacker, I'm ok.  Herding dogs are my thing and lately I've been feeling better about it.  I had lost my enthusiasm over the last couple of years.  I am taking a few students which helps pay my sheep feed bill, and that makes me feel better.  I still falter and feel bad when I start judging myself  that I'm not contributing more, not earning more money, not doing something really important and meaningful in life.  I have a real issue with comparing myself to others and usually finding myself lacking.  I have to remind myself that I'm actually doing a lot given my ongoing low-motivation issue, which is probably the biggest problem I have struggled with.  That and zero zip zilch libido.  I am extremely fortunate to have a husband who gets it, was there when I came apart at the seams, and doesn't want to see that happen again.  He gives me the space to do what I have to do and doesn't pressure me to get with it and earn more money.  That is pressure of my own making.  We are ok.  My heart breaks for folks dealing with this who don't have a supportive partner.

 

Energy is also an issue.  I get tired very easily.  I go out and do my physical chores with the dogs and animals and feel so wiped out that I have to recharge on the couch for awhile before doing more.  Same after I have students. Low energy/exhaustion feeds the low-mo.   I've seen glimmers of motivation popping up here and there, though.  Hopeful that the future will be better with regards to that,  though I worry because I've always been a procrastinator.

 

Recently I competed at a stock dog competition, and my dog was just an idiot, wouldn't listen, on her own program, really ticking me off.  When things go that way I loose focus, can't problem solve in the moment, can't stay calm and work through it.  It's been a problem for me in competition for a long time and I really want to change it to become a better handler who can stay calm and focused no matter what is happening. I've always choked and tanked!  So, a friend told me about  an audio book called Mental Toughness Training by Dr. James Loehr and Peter McLaughlin.  I actually found it helpful, though I haven't finished it, yet.  Talks about energy cycles and the need to recharge and so I could relate.  I think those of us tapering or in wd have a much larger requirement for recharging time, and that's ok.

 

Tapering has gone pretty well for me,.  It gets boring after awhile!  So, I do my Effexor beads once a week in my pill box, mix up a batch of mirtazapine with the SolTabs and OraPlus so it's all easy-peasy taking my meds without thinking about it too much.  

 

So that's it for now!

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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  • Moderator
brassmonkey

Hi SG-- such a wonderful update,  I'm so glad things are going well for the most part. There are always a few hic-ups getting in the way, but as long as you can work around them.

 

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

 

Brass

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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  • Moderator Emeritus
SquirrellyGirl

Thanks, Brass!  How are you doing?  Dang, has it been almost a year since you jumped off the Paxil?  Have there been any bobbles after the slow taper?  I hope all is well with you!

 

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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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Moderator Emeritus
SquirrellyGirl

Update:  I did something very stupid and have caused myself a lot of suffering!

 

I started taking CBD oil a week ago because my sleep was degrading, having early morning waking.  No anxiety with it but just wanted to be able to sleep through.  I failed to do my research:

 

 

I have been sitting at 6 mg venlafaxine and 2.9 mg mirtazapine for a couple of weeks with no problems other than the sleep.  Life was going pretty well.  Then I got the flu, which wasn't bad since I'd had the flu shot and it seemed to be a fairly mild case, for a few days, until it wasn't!  In the midst of this I started the CBD oil, about 5 mg.  I took it a couple of nights, skipped one night, and then took it another couple of nights and it did seem like it was helping my sleep.  But then things started to get weird.  I felt low, to start with.  I had to go to a memorial  last Tuesday and found myself feeling very glum.  I'd been watching the first season of Preacher and was loving it, but the beginning of season 2 got dark and I felt weird watching it.  

 

Wednesday was really rainy here and because I sort of work from home doing herding dog training, it was a sock-in kind of day with nothing but TV to keep me company, and I just couldn't settle and find anything that felt good to watch.  I felt lower and lower.  I began to have the kind of thinking that I had when in WD from Effexor a few years ago.

 

At this point it dawned on me that it might be the CBD oil so I quit taking it.  But symptoms kept building in intensity.  Anxiety building, fear/worry/depression.  No appetite.  Couldn't think of anything I wanted to eat.  I have lost four pounds!  Last night was hell.  I woke as usual but this time had the looping thoughts, fear/dread/worry about everything under the sun.  Through all of this I have felt incredibly alone and dreadfully aware of having no real friends, just my husband.  All my thinking is extreme.  This morning I just wanted my hubby to hold me and I wished I could climb inside of him to feel safe.  When we got up, I was extremely hungry.  He cooked me breakfast and then I almost couldn't eat it, nauseous.

 

This all reminded me of a slightly milder version of serotonin syndrome than what I experienced before coming here a few years ago,  I guess the Spring of 2015.  I was in WD from Effexor and didn't know it.  I'd been taking serotonergic supplements trying to substitute for the Effexor.  It wasn't working.   I quit the supplements one day and took 37.5 mg Effexor the next couple of days and had all the feelings I'm having now plus DP/DR, extreme insomnia with dread/doom, shaking, fever, nausea, and elevated bloop pressure.  I realized I was in serotonin syndrome but didn't feel bad enough to go to the ER (or so I thought).  I stopped the Effexor and got to my doctor within a couple of days, and he started me on Mirtazapine.

 

So, I never thought I'd feel so terrible again.  A true existential crisis with life and the future feeling quite terrifying.  I am glad I am not a Mod anymore because I'd be a terrible example!  I have always had a bent for trying things in hopes they'd make me feel better, what with the low energy and motivation.  The other supplement I added recently is EGCg but that has been for a month or so.

 

I am hoping that the CBD oil is what caused all of this and that I will emerge soon, back to where I was.  The other option is scarier, that I've reached a critical level of meds that has triggered the WD of the past, with the fear being that I will stay this way for who knows how long.  

 

It is strange that it took so many days to build to this level, but maybe it took that long of backing up the metabolism of the small amount of Effexor  to the point of causing mild SS.  And why would the SS build even though I quit the CBD oil a few nights ago (I think Wednesday was the last night) unless it sticks around like THC.  I have to admit I was afraid to take my Effexor this morning for fear it would continue the syndrome.

 

I think CBD oil can be beneficial but NOT while still taking meds!  Some day when I am off all meds I may revisit.

 

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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  • Moderator

SG,

 

Sorry you are going through this.  It's very hard to say whether it is or is not the CBD at the root of your setback, and there have been positive stories of CBD use by those on and off the medicine.  If this did cause SS in you I think it falls into the "each of us is different in so many ways" category and that what works for one may be a problem for another.

 

I am aware of at least one doctor in my area who is working with patients coming off meds and using CBD to great effect in that regard (based on a long conversation I had with her it is one of the key tools in her toolbox) so it is clearly effective for some people.  She is very knowledgeable about interactions and chemistry so it would appear she has not seen this as a major interaction.

 

I think your situation should serve as a reminder to all of us that the introduction of something new can have risks.  I don't think, however, that you should look at this as "something stupid."  It was a reasonable approach and I don't think the "research" you claim you failed to do is so clear in any event.  If CBD is the trigger here I'm glad you found it but it's not something that I would have suspected given the low levels involved.

 

Best,

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

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Oh, I'm so sorry, Squirrely!  Hugs!  I hope this clears quickly.

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/16629-rosetta-ct-may-2011-too-fast-taper-feb-2017/?page=25

2001-2011 Celexa 10 mg raised to 40 mg then 60 mg over this time period

May 2011 OB Doctor's Cold switch Celexa 60 mg to 10 mg Zoloft sertraline (baby born)

2012-2016 - Doctors raised dose of Zoloft up to 150 mg

2016 - Xanax prescribed - as needed - 0.5 mg about every 3 days (bad reaction)

2016 - Stopped Xanax

Late 2016- Began (too fast) taper of Zoloft

Early 2017 - Trazodone prescribed for bedtime (doseage unknown)

Feb 2017 - Completed taper/stopped Trazodone

Drug free since Feb 2017

2017 - Unisom otc very rarely for sleep

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  • Moderator Emeritus
SquirrellyGirl

Thanks, Andy - kind words.  It does seem odd to me, too, that this would be SS at those levels, but FeralUrban had mentioned having problems, though perhaps not as severe as mine, and he is on Effexor (or was?) so maybe it is something to do with this drug in particular.  Just proceed cautiously, folks!

 

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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  • Moderator Emeritus
SquirrellyGirl

Well, another update:

 

Emotional hell and insomnia continued accompanied by anorexia/repulsion of food with nausea if I did eat and intestinal cramping with some diarrhea.  Monday the intensity of the emotional stuff fell off a bit.  The day started off okay and I had a herding student come, which was good for me, but then the day fell apart when my puppy got into a bottle of doggy NSAIDS and I could not get him to vomit!  I had to take him to the vet under duress which didn't help my nervous system at all!  Later in the day I reached out to an acquaintence on Facebook, a woman who lives nearby who navigated her way off psych meds successfully and puts out healing messages on her wall.  I felt a need to connect directly with someone who had been there and understood.  

 

Tuesday morning I woke up to find a message from her that was just amazing, so caring and supportive, with some suggestions about therapists that really helped her and a Women's Circle for connecting with others, and more.  She offered to meet over coffee and so we are to do that tomorrow.  I cried and cried when I read her reply, and that seemed to knock loose the stubborn emotional fallout.  I felt better!  And then I had more students whose lessons went very well!

 

The appetite issue broke on Tuesday for the most part, though I still don't crave anything, don't look forward to eating, and I still have some diarrhea.  And the insomnia!

 

I can fall asleep ok, but I either pop awake at 4 AM or any little disturbance in the night will cause me to pop awake, and then I struggle to get back to sleep.  My husband gets up in the night to pee, and that will do it.  He doesn't even need to snore; his loud breathing is enough to rattle my nerves and keep me from being able to drift off.  Tapping used to work to help me fall back to sleep, but it has failed this time around.  I tried a sleep meditation with earphones last night, but hearing  the voice was enough to keep me from drifting off.  I ended up moving to the guest bedroom, and did eventually drift off, and then I had weird dreams and the sleep didn't feel restful at all.

 

I was having the sleep issue before all of this, which is why I tried the CBD oil, but it was less awful than this.  I'd ping awake but then some tapping would get me back down.  I guess these are cortisol surges, but I don't "startle" awake with adrenalin, just pop wide awake.   

 

I'm just grateful that the emotional nightmare has resolved for the most part!  Looking forward to meeting my new support partner.  I really wish that there were groups for people like us to get together for support.  The online support is awesome but I think many of us would benefit from a physical version of the same.

 

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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A big hug, Squirrely!  I have the same wake up issue that comes and goes.  I move to a bed by myself with a sleep mask and get more sleep than I would otherwise.

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/16629-rosetta-ct-may-2011-too-fast-taper-feb-2017/?page=25

2001-2011 Celexa 10 mg raised to 40 mg then 60 mg over this time period

May 2011 OB Doctor's Cold switch Celexa 60 mg to 10 mg Zoloft sertraline (baby born)

2012-2016 - Doctors raised dose of Zoloft up to 150 mg

2016 - Xanax prescribed - as needed - 0.5 mg about every 3 days (bad reaction)

2016 - Stopped Xanax

Late 2016- Began (too fast) taper of Zoloft

Early 2017 - Trazodone prescribed for bedtime (doseage unknown)

Feb 2017 - Completed taper/stopped Trazodone

Drug free since Feb 2017

2017 - Unisom otc very rarely for sleep

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  • Administrator

I agree, Squirrelly, I wish there were support groups, too. Very kind of your Facebook friend.

 

I used to take magnesium, glycine, and taurine capsules when I woke in the middle of the night. I still do this occasionally and it seems to help to get back to sleep.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus
SquirrellyGirl

Hi Alto!

 

I am taking magnesium, and was reading Rockingchaircat's thread because he found the taurine to be helpful for the cortisol surges.  Just wondering what dosage to try.  I actually have some taurine on hand for my cats for some reason, haven't used it in a long time, powder that I can weigh out.

 

Thanks for the support!  So grateful to be out of that emotional hell!  Life doesn't seem so overwhelming today!

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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Glad you are feeling better!  Enjoy your day. - R

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/16629-rosetta-ct-may-2011-too-fast-taper-feb-2017/?page=25

2001-2011 Celexa 10 mg raised to 40 mg then 60 mg over this time period

May 2011 OB Doctor's Cold switch Celexa 60 mg to 10 mg Zoloft sertraline (baby born)

2012-2016 - Doctors raised dose of Zoloft up to 150 mg

2016 - Xanax prescribed - as needed - 0.5 mg about every 3 days (bad reaction)

2016 - Stopped Xanax

Late 2016- Began (too fast) taper of Zoloft

Early 2017 - Trazodone prescribed for bedtime (doseage unknown)

Feb 2017 - Completed taper/stopped Trazodone

Drug free since Feb 2017

2017 - Unisom otc very rarely for sleep

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  • Administrator

I believe I've been taking 500mg taurine. I'd start out with maybe 100mg to see what it does.

 

Cats need taurine!

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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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for your note on another thread about a messy house.  It does cause a lot of stress.  I'll have to live with it until I don't have to any longer.  The fatigue is intense.  

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/16629-rosetta-ct-may-2011-too-fast-taper-feb-2017/?page=25

2001-2011 Celexa 10 mg raised to 40 mg then 60 mg over this time period

May 2011 OB Doctor's Cold switch Celexa 60 mg to 10 mg Zoloft sertraline (baby born)

2012-2016 - Doctors raised dose of Zoloft up to 150 mg

2016 - Xanax prescribed - as needed - 0.5 mg about every 3 days (bad reaction)

2016 - Stopped Xanax

Late 2016- Began (too fast) taper of Zoloft

Early 2017 - Trazodone prescribed for bedtime (doseage unknown)

Feb 2017 - Completed taper/stopped Trazodone

Drug free since Feb 2017

2017 - Unisom otc very rarely for sleep

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  • 2 months later...
  • Moderator Emeritus
SquirrellyGirl

Wow, hard to believe it has been a few days shy of three years since I first posted here!

 

Thankfully, my sleep has sorted out for the time being!

 

So, I am at 2.6 mg mirtazapine and 4.8 mg venlafaxine (Effexor).  I forgot to take my mirtazapine the night before last, took a fraction of the next morning with my Ven dose, then resumed regular dosing last night.  Just having a low spell today, maybe because of the bounce.  I'm not very sensitive to missed doses, just in vague ways, not obvious withdrawal symptoms.  I'm sure I'll get straightened out in the next few days.  It helps that I am busy-ish, have my herding students in the mornings several days a week.  Gives me something to focus on.

 

I guess my "withdrawal normal" while tapering is to have low motivation, low level anhedonia.

 

Way back I switched to liquid mirtazapine, and I am thinking it is time to do so with venlafaxine.  I am taking 5 beads which I weigh for a pill weight of 13 mg.  I use the 10G weight on the weigh pan to get it as accurate as possible.

 

I read the section on tapering venlafaxine and making a liquid.  I will be seeing my doctor this week and obtaining a script for the IR ven.  

 

My question is with regards to doing a cross-taper between the beads and the liquid.  Since the IR has to be taken twice a day, any idea on how to do the cross-taper?  Take 4 beads ER in the morning and the balance of IR liquid in the evening?

 

Thanks!

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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  • Moderator
23 minutes ago, SquirrellyGirl said:

My question is with regards to doing a cross-taper between the beads and the liquid.  Since the IR has to be taken twice a day, any idea on how to do the cross-taper?  Take 4 beads ER in the morning and the balance of IR liquid in the evening?

 

I've asked the other mods for their thoughts about what to do.

NEW!!!              INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder               NEW!!! 

 

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015  Current from 14 Nov 2020:  Pristiq 0.50 mg

My tapering program                                      My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

REMINDER TO SELF:  I don't need the drug now, but my still brain does.

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  • Moderator Emeritus
SquirrellyGirl

Thanks, Chessie!

 

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.

Link to post

Hi SquirrellyGirl.  I'm glad you seem to be doing well.  -Rosetta

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/16629-rosetta-ct-may-2011-too-fast-taper-feb-2017/?page=25

2001-2011 Celexa 10 mg raised to 40 mg then 60 mg over this time period

May 2011 OB Doctor's Cold switch Celexa 60 mg to 10 mg Zoloft sertraline (baby born)

2012-2016 - Doctors raised dose of Zoloft up to 150 mg

2016 - Xanax prescribed - as needed - 0.5 mg about every 3 days (bad reaction)

2016 - Stopped Xanax

Late 2016- Began (too fast) taper of Zoloft

Early 2017 - Trazodone prescribed for bedtime (doseage unknown)

Feb 2017 - Completed taper/stopped Trazodone

Drug free since Feb 2017

2017 - Unisom otc very rarely for sleep

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus
SquirrellyGirl

Thanks, Rosetta!  

 

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.

Link to post
  • Administrator
21 hours ago, SquirrellyGirl said:

I am taking 5 beads which I weigh for a pill weight of 13 mg.  I use the 10G weight on the weigh pan to get it as accurate as possible.

 

My question is with regards to doing a cross-taper between the beads and the liquid.  Since the IR has to be taken twice a day, any idea on how to do the cross-taper?  Take 4 beads ER in the morning and the balance of IR liquid in the evening?

 

Can you calculate the Effexor dosage in your 5 beads?

 

This would be the most gradual way: I might take 4 beads in the a.m. and the remaining dosage in liquid in the p.m., then 3 beads plus 2 beads' worth of dosage as liquid, then 2 beads plus 3 beads' worth in liquid.

 

If no problems that would cause you to hold on reduction, the next decrease would be in the evening liquid dose, keeping the morning dose at 2 beads for a while, until you're taking 2 beads' worth in liquid.

 

Then you have 4 beads' worth dosage a day. You can start substituting liquid for the morning 2 beads, one bead at a time, until you're taking half of your daily dose as liquid in the a.m. and half in the p.m.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus
SquirrellyGirl

Thanks, Alto.  That looks like a plan.  Yes, my average bead weight is 2.6 mg which is why now that I have gotten this low it is harder to cut by 10% or less.

 

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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  • Administrator

This bead thing is crazy!

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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Hi SquirellyGirl,

 

I'm also taking taking 6 beads of Effexor each day for almost 5 weeks. I had been off it for about 6 months and then bad anxiety kicked in and scared the hell out of me so i decided to restart it. 

I find that even the 6 beads has a profound effect - some good impacts and some unpleasant side effects like hot flushes and a clammy feeling. I get the calming effect so i dont feel like im going off a cliff. I find it a struggle to bring the dose up or down - have tried 8 beads but it feels really strong. I have bought a set of 0.001g scales just waiting on delivery. I noticed the beads are of varying sizes and just by looking at them could be anywhere between 1-3x the size of each other. I think i have been playing ping pong with my head due to not taking the exact same amount every day.

Are you using the Effexor XR brand or generic?

Paroxatine - 2004-2006

Effexor XR 75mg 2006 - 2016 (Discontinued Feb 2016) - Withdrawal for 6 months.

Effexor XR 75mg Re-instated June 2017 (Discontinued Dec 2017)

Effexor XR 2-3 mg Re-instated March 10 2018 - 1 day (Didn't work)

Effexor XR 2mg Reinstated (Again) May 11 2018. 6 Beads

July 2018 - 0.0mg of Effexor. Zilch

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