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buggedout: hi, early stages of my Effexor XR taper


buggedout

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Hey everyone,

 

This has been the most informative and useful website I have found thus far, so I was inclined to register. Kudos to the site Administrator and moderators for their hard work and time spent helping others while we collectively try to get through this nightmare.

 

I have been on 150mg of Effexor XR for about 7 years now, for anxiety. I am 28 years old and I would like to be fully weaned off by the time I am 30. I want children in a few years, and I refuse to have this poison in my body during pregnancy. This is the only anti-depressant I have ever been on, originally on a 75mg dose but that stopped working after a month and my dose was increased to the 150mg. I really don't feel like he drug has done anything to help me since then. It's been a series of ups and downs which I'm sure many can relate.

 

I began my taper just over a week ago. It's been a bit of a rough start, due to my own tardiness and ignorance, moving from Canada to the US. When I had my prescription filled here in the US for the first time, they gave me the generic brand Teva Venlafaxine. I did not foresee any issues, but it caused me panic attacks almost immediately. A permanent dizziness, headache, and heartburn, plus I was very irritable. After a week of that, and realizing the side effects weren't getting any better, I had my pharmacy order the brand name Effexor XR for me and they did so without hesitation or a Dr's note.

 

I want to make a suggestion to those who do not have insurance. You can get a free discount card from the manufacturer (Pfizer) and get it for $30/month at participating pharmacies. I was very nervous they wouldn't accept the card. It seemed to good to be true but I can confirm, it worked for me and I purchased my months prescription for just $30 instead of the $350+ full price. You can get your discount card here: https://www.effexorxr.com/choice-card

 

Anyways, I made a silly mistake when I received my first generic prescription. I was ready to start my taper and take some of the beads out. There were exactly 150 beads in each capsule, I started by removing 5. There were no withdrawal symptoms other than drowsiness, but the side effects I described above meant I couldn't stay on the generic brand. Since moving back to the brand name stuff, I notice there are way more beads, I stopped counting at 200 when I realized I wasn't even half way through them. Plus the beads are all different sizes. I got a really good jewelers scale from Amazon.com for just $20 which I would like to use for the remainder of my taper.

 

I calculated 3.3% was the reduction I made by taking 5 beads out of the generic capsule. An unfortunate number to work with, since I am no good with math and neither is my partner. But I would like to maintain that 3.3% for at least a week and then bump it up to either 5 or 10% and stabilize there for a month as Admin suggests.

 

My only concern stems from the fact that the brand name pill has an inconsistent weight, and number of beads. The number of beads don't really matter to me since I am doing it by weight anyways... but the weights vary slightly.

 

Should I do my % calculation based on the average pill weight? Or should I be removing the beads based on the weight of each individual capsule? This is pretty much the only area where I am stumped right now. Last night I based it on that pills weight... and I don't know what to do tonight. From what I've read here it looks like I should just go by the average weight? http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/272-tips-for-tapering-off-effexor-and-effexor-xr-venlafaxine/

 

Any suggestions or advice is appreciated.

 

I've no major withdrawal as of right now... just drowsiness. A bit of heartburn on and off and Tums do help with that. But when I focus too much on the heartburn, I begin to think I'm having a heart-attack and this causes me to (almost) panic! And frightens me when I am trying to sleep.

 

Has this medication/withdrawal been known to cause any major heart problems? Or am I just being silly by worrying about a little bit of heartburn.

 

Thank you in advance and I am very happy to be here. :)

Edited by scallywag
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Effexor XR:

July 2008: 150mg | June 24 2015: 145mg | July 28 2015: 130.5mg | Sept 4 2015: 117mg

Nov 10 2015: 105mg | Jan 24 2016: 94.5mg | Feb 28 2016: 85mg | Mar 27 2016: 76.5mg

Apr 28 2016: 69mg | Aug 14 2016: 62mg | Jan 19 2017: 56mg | Feb 21 2017: 50mg

Mar 30 2017: 36mg | Apr 2 2017: 45mg | Sep 1 2019: 27.5mg | April 9 2020: 25.2mg

Oct 30 2021 | 16.875mg

 

Vitamins & Supplements:

MegaFood Women's One Daily | Metagenix D3 5000 IU | Barlean's High Potency Omega 3 1500mg (Liquid)
Thorne Deproloft-HF (during weans)

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  • Administrator

Welcome, buggedout.

 

When using the digital scale method, at the beginning, for convenience, instead of weighing the contents of each capsule each day, I would take an average weight from several capsules and work with that. Empty one capsule at a time and weigh the beads.

 

Have large empty gelatin capsules handy into which to  put the beads.

 

The number of beads in a capsule varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and from dosage to dosage. There will even be a little variation in the number of beads among the capsules in one prescription vial.

 

Much later, when you're down to a low dose, you'll probably want to count beads instead. See Using a digital scale to measure doses

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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Sounds good to me, thanks!

Effexor XR:

July 2008: 150mg | June 24 2015: 145mg | July 28 2015: 130.5mg | Sept 4 2015: 117mg

Nov 10 2015: 105mg | Jan 24 2016: 94.5mg | Feb 28 2016: 85mg | Mar 27 2016: 76.5mg

Apr 28 2016: 69mg | Aug 14 2016: 62mg | Jan 19 2017: 56mg | Feb 21 2017: 50mg

Mar 30 2017: 36mg | Apr 2 2017: 45mg | Sep 1 2019: 27.5mg | April 9 2020: 25.2mg

Oct 30 2021 | 16.875mg

 

Vitamins & Supplements:

MegaFood Women's One Daily | Metagenix D3 5000 IU | Barlean's High Potency Omega 3 1500mg (Liquid)
Thorne Deproloft-HF (during weans)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

hi bugged out, and welcome!

 

I am also doing an effexor taper. You are right that there are LOTS of beads in brand effexor - i worked out that on average each bead has about .3mg effexor.  So, for 150mg that is about 500 beads. The first 10% reduction will be 15mg or 50 beads.

 

I bought some gelatin capsules, a piece of black velvet and a then metal spatula type tool.  Every three weeks i would lay out the black velvet on a table and slowly pour a line of effexor beads out - i would then group them into lots of 5. Count the required groups out and then when you have 10 piles of 5  scoop them up into the gelatin capsule and scoop the remainder back into the original capsule. This capsule now has about 135mg.  On a sheet of paper record each time you add 50 bead (15mg) to the gelatine capsule. This first reduction it is nice a neat - you will need to do the removal 9 times and you will then have 135mg in your gelatin capsule so you can put that aside with your other 135 doses (you will now have 10) and then keep going with a new gelatin capsule.  

 

I try and do my reductions like this every 3 or 4 weeks (however much time i am leaving between tapers), that way i can get on with life in between without it dominating my actions every day. But that is just me, some people like to do it daily so they have more control - so if they feel like they have gone too far they can go back up a tad.

 

good luck and keep us posted!

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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hi bugged out, and welcome!

 

I am also doing an effexor taper. You are right that there are LOTS of beads in brand effexor - i worked out that on average each bead has about .3mg effexor.  So, for 150mg that is about 500 beads. The first 10% reduction will be 15mg or 50 beads.

 

I bought some gelatin capsules, a piece of black velvet and a then metal spatula type tool.  Every three weeks i would lay out the black velvet on a table and slowly pour a line of effexor beads out - i would then group them into lots of 5. Count the required groups out and then when you have 10 piles of 5  scoop them up into the gelatin capsule and scoop the remainder back into the original capsule. This capsule now has about 135mg.  On a sheet of paper record each time you add 50 bead (15mg) to the gelatine capsule. This first reduction it is nice a neat - you will need to do the removal 9 times and you will then have 135mg in your gelatin capsule so you can put that aside with your other 135 doses (you will now have 10) and then keep going with a new gelatin capsule.  

 

I try and do my reductions like this every 3 or 4 weeks (however much time i am leaving between tapers), that way i can get on with life in between without it dominating my actions every day. But that is just me, some people like to do it daily so they have more control - so if they feel like they have gone too far they can go back up a tad.

 

good luck and keep us posted!

 

Thanks Peggy, that's great info.

 

And I agree it's best to do several days/weeks worth at a time. I find myself getting frustrated each time I do it, either I drop beads or fight with my partner over the calculations... not something I want to go through every evening! I made up a weeks worth yesterday so I know I'm good until then. At that time, if I'm well, I'll do the 10% reduction for 3 weeks.

 

So far my body seems to be doing ok. Today was a very anxious day for me, and slightly depressing. But I am comfortable since I am familiar with feeling that way, and I know it's only temporary. Went to the Zoo and that lifted my spirits.

 

About a month ago I was bit by a black widow spider, and I was very sick for almost a couple weeks. I swear, that being on this medication has enhanced and prolonged the symptoms. Since I got back on the brand Effexor a few days ago, some of those symptoms from the spider bite had come back! I had left chest/shoulder/arm/jaw pain and of course you know what I was thinking -- heart attack! So I went to the clinic yesterday and they confirmed that my heart is perfectly healthy! I was bit on the left side of my neck... I think the venom is still in my system and affecting me. Today I was slightly light headed, but nothing too terrible.

 

I have yet to experience brain zaps or any of the familiar withdrawal symptoms... so I guess I can consider myself lucky... so far!

 

Thanks again, and I'll keep ya'll posted. :)

Effexor XR:

July 2008: 150mg | June 24 2015: 145mg | July 28 2015: 130.5mg | Sept 4 2015: 117mg

Nov 10 2015: 105mg | Jan 24 2016: 94.5mg | Feb 28 2016: 85mg | Mar 27 2016: 76.5mg

Apr 28 2016: 69mg | Aug 14 2016: 62mg | Jan 19 2017: 56mg | Feb 21 2017: 50mg

Mar 30 2017: 36mg | Apr 2 2017: 45mg | Sep 1 2019: 27.5mg | April 9 2020: 25.2mg

Oct 30 2021 | 16.875mg

 

Vitamins & Supplements:

MegaFood Women's One Daily | Metagenix D3 5000 IU | Barlean's High Potency Omega 3 1500mg (Liquid)
Thorne Deproloft-HF (during weans)

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  • Administrator

peggy, you are a bead-counting ninja! Please add your methods to 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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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, it's been about 3 weeks since my initial 5mg taper. The last several nights I've been experiencing sleep apnea. It's very difficult for me to fall asleep -- as soon as I feel myself about to sleep, I'm jolted awake with panic.

 

Once asleep I am waking up every half hour to hour. This is causing me to have very low energy during the day and napping every afternoon.

 

Also, last night around supper time I became dizzy and felt very heavy...  a common symptom for me when I forget to take the pill... I guess my body is still experiencing withdrawal from the lower dose. I don't think I'll be ready to lower it any more for a while.

 

It's going to be a long, hard road... and this is only the beginning. I'm feeling discouraged but I'll tough it out. :(

Effexor XR:

July 2008: 150mg | June 24 2015: 145mg | July 28 2015: 130.5mg | Sept 4 2015: 117mg

Nov 10 2015: 105mg | Jan 24 2016: 94.5mg | Feb 28 2016: 85mg | Mar 27 2016: 76.5mg

Apr 28 2016: 69mg | Aug 14 2016: 62mg | Jan 19 2017: 56mg | Feb 21 2017: 50mg

Mar 30 2017: 36mg | Apr 2 2017: 45mg | Sep 1 2019: 27.5mg | April 9 2020: 25.2mg

Oct 30 2021 | 16.875mg

 

Vitamins & Supplements:

MegaFood Women's One Daily | Metagenix D3 5000 IU | Barlean's High Potency Omega 3 1500mg (Liquid)
Thorne Deproloft-HF (during weans)

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  • Administrator

Sleep apnea involves interrupted breathing. Do you have that or are you just being jolted awake?

 

Jolts shortly after falling asleep are a common withdrawal symptom. See Sleep problems - that awful withdrawal insomnia

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.

Link to comment

Buggedout, I'm also tapering off of Effexor so we can be tapering buddies, lol. I have been on it for 6 years and am 30 years old. However I'm on 75mg and just cut 10% (to 67.5) 3 days ago. I've been getting random bouts of dizziness/fatigue but within tolerable limits. Last summer I went off in a week by the advice of a psychiatrist and it was hell for a week, was fine for 3 months, then hell came back again for 3-4 months until I finally went back on Effexor and felt better. Finally found out that it was protracted withdrawal after finding this site. This tapering method is going to take a long time but anything is better than what I went through last year. Good luck with your taper! :)

History: 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. I finally did discover this site, and gave myself a year to stabilize.

July 2015 - Started tapering from 75mg. 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 - down to 0.38mg.

 

Now: Finally med free as of Oct 31, 2020 after 5.5 years of tapering. Still med and withdrawal free, January 2023. ☀️

Supplements during tapering and now: Meditation, daily exercise, fish oil, clean diet, working from home (more sleep!)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sleep apnea involves interrupted breathing. Do you have that or are you just being jolted awake?

 

Jolts shortly after falling asleep are a common withdrawal symptom. See Sleep problems - that awful withdrawal insomnia

 

I've always had sleep apnea (which I blame on my tonsils that cause me many issues) and I just assumed that's what was happening here.

 

I think you are correct, it is (was) insomnia. Just a minor case of it though, as I was able to fall asleep eventually, after some hours.

 

A couple weeks ago I started working out again. I used to be full time in the gym until about a year ago when my last boyfriend split from me and I was so devastated. I had gained almost 40 pounds since then, due to excessive drinking and eating fast food, and not caring.

 

Since I've been active, and quit drinking these last two weeks, I have no issues what-so-ever falling asleep. My boyfriend reads to me each night and I usually fall asleep before the chapter is even over. It's quite pleasant!

 

I've had a couple cases of minor dizziness, but I attribute that to allergies in the south. My mom has it too, and she experienced vertigo and dizziness until she started taking allergy pills. I just pop an allergy pill if I start to feel dizzy, and it really helps.

 

Overall, I feel great now.

Effexor XR:

July 2008: 150mg | June 24 2015: 145mg | July 28 2015: 130.5mg | Sept 4 2015: 117mg

Nov 10 2015: 105mg | Jan 24 2016: 94.5mg | Feb 28 2016: 85mg | Mar 27 2016: 76.5mg

Apr 28 2016: 69mg | Aug 14 2016: 62mg | Jan 19 2017: 56mg | Feb 21 2017: 50mg

Mar 30 2017: 36mg | Apr 2 2017: 45mg | Sep 1 2019: 27.5mg | April 9 2020: 25.2mg

Oct 30 2021 | 16.875mg

 

Vitamins & Supplements:

MegaFood Women's One Daily | Metagenix D3 5000 IU | Barlean's High Potency Omega 3 1500mg (Liquid)
Thorne Deproloft-HF (during weans)

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Buggedout, I'm also tapering off of Effexor so we can be tapering buddies, lol. I have been on it for 6 years and am 30 years old. However I'm on 75mg and just cut 10% (to 67.5) 3 days ago. I've been getting random bouts of dizziness/fatigue but within tolerable limits. Last summer I went off in a week by the advice of a psychiatrist and it was hell for a week, was fine for 3 months, then hell came back again for 3-4 months until I finally went back on Effexor and felt better. Finally found out that it was protracted withdrawal after finding this site. This tapering method is going to take a long time but anything is better than what I went through last year. Good luck with your taper! :)

 

Thanks PKC! :)

 

I don't understand these so called "doctors" and psychiatrists... they truly have no clue. They obviously have no one in their family who has ever been on one of these medications or else they would be singing a different tune. 

 

I'm very happy to have found this site as well, and quite impressed and thankful for all of the support and information. I have learned more than I would care to know about all this, but it's much better this way.

 

Apparently getting the brand name Effexor XR is difficult I've learned. No pharmacies in my area carry it, they all have to order it in upon request. They did this for me when I brought them my 6 month prescription. I assumed they would have ordered in all 6 months but they only ordered me the first 30 days. I went to pick up my next 30 day prescription yesterday which I have set to be filled automatically, and they told me it wouldn't be ready until Monday because they had to order it. Apparently they had set it up to auto-order but the computer cancelled the auto-order automatically because it's considered a "hot item" or some crap. I said do you have any idea how sick this is going to make me??? the pharmacist assistant was completely unsympathetic to me and basically said too bad you have to wait until Monday. I repeated, this is going to make me very sick. I realize there's nothing they could do but at least apologize and show some sympathy? Another clueless person in the industry.

 

I did not have enough beads yet to create a full capsule, but thankfully I still had my generic bottle. Even though it gives me side effects, it's better than going without my dose. I expected it to make me sick again, but I actually feel completely normal since taking it last night. I think it's because I've been eating properly/exercising and all that.

 

Good luck to you. I'll check out your welcome thread (if you've made one). Cheers. :)

Effexor XR:

July 2008: 150mg | June 24 2015: 145mg | July 28 2015: 130.5mg | Sept 4 2015: 117mg

Nov 10 2015: 105mg | Jan 24 2016: 94.5mg | Feb 28 2016: 85mg | Mar 27 2016: 76.5mg

Apr 28 2016: 69mg | Aug 14 2016: 62mg | Jan 19 2017: 56mg | Feb 21 2017: 50mg

Mar 30 2017: 36mg | Apr 2 2017: 45mg | Sep 1 2019: 27.5mg | April 9 2020: 25.2mg

Oct 30 2021 | 16.875mg

 

Vitamins & Supplements:

MegaFood Women's One Daily | Metagenix D3 5000 IU | Barlean's High Potency Omega 3 1500mg (Liquid)
Thorne Deproloft-HF (during weans)

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Ugh, that is so frustrating! Even the pharmacists do not understand.. I have learned not to wait until the day I need the pill, because something always ends up happening.. "We are out of it", etc. or I didn't notice that I was out of refills. I went to pick my Effexor up the day before my vacation last month and they said it wouldn't be in for 2 more days. I said, I'm going on vacation so I need it now and can't go without this medication. Suddenly the medication appeared like magic! I don't get it.

History: 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. I finally did discover this site, and gave myself a year to stabilize.

July 2015 - Started tapering from 75mg. 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 - down to 0.38mg.

 

Now: Finally med free as of Oct 31, 2020 after 5.5 years of tapering. Still med and withdrawal free, January 2023. ☀️

Supplements during tapering and now: Meditation, daily exercise, fish oil, clean diet, working from home (more sleep!)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

PKC and bugged out - that is one reason I want off - i hate being so reliant on other people to do their job!

 

wish you both calm bead counting mojo

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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Ugh, that is so frustrating! Even the pharmacists do not understand.. I have learned not to wait until the day I need the pill, because something always ends up happening.. "We are out of it", etc. or I didn't notice that I was out of refills. I went to pick my Effexor up the day before my vacation last month and they said it wouldn't be in for 2 more days. I said, I'm going on vacation so I need it now and can't go without this medication. Suddenly the medication appeared like magic! I don't get it.

Yeah I will never make that mistake again. You just can't rely on anyone.

 

Thankfully, the generic brand I had in my drawer didn't make me feel too bad. Just heartburn and headaches, but it didn't restrict me from going about my life.

 

Today I am back on the Effexor (as of last night) and I feel fine just tired.

 

Tonight I will be reducing my dose again. Probably 10-15mg, not entirely certain how much yet, I'll have to do some calculations.

Effexor XR:

July 2008: 150mg | June 24 2015: 145mg | July 28 2015: 130.5mg | Sept 4 2015: 117mg

Nov 10 2015: 105mg | Jan 24 2016: 94.5mg | Feb 28 2016: 85mg | Mar 27 2016: 76.5mg

Apr 28 2016: 69mg | Aug 14 2016: 62mg | Jan 19 2017: 56mg | Feb 21 2017: 50mg

Mar 30 2017: 36mg | Apr 2 2017: 45mg | Sep 1 2019: 27.5mg | April 9 2020: 25.2mg

Oct 30 2021 | 16.875mg

 

Vitamins & Supplements:

MegaFood Women's One Daily | Metagenix D3 5000 IU | Barlean's High Potency Omega 3 1500mg (Liquid)
Thorne Deproloft-HF (during weans)

Link to comment

PKC and bugged out - that is one reason I want off - i hate being so reliant on other people to do their job!

 

wish you both calm bead counting mojo

 

Thanks peggy.

Effexor XR:

July 2008: 150mg | June 24 2015: 145mg | July 28 2015: 130.5mg | Sept 4 2015: 117mg

Nov 10 2015: 105mg | Jan 24 2016: 94.5mg | Feb 28 2016: 85mg | Mar 27 2016: 76.5mg

Apr 28 2016: 69mg | Aug 14 2016: 62mg | Jan 19 2017: 56mg | Feb 21 2017: 50mg

Mar 30 2017: 36mg | Apr 2 2017: 45mg | Sep 1 2019: 27.5mg | April 9 2020: 25.2mg

Oct 30 2021 | 16.875mg

 

Vitamins & Supplements:

MegaFood Women's One Daily | Metagenix D3 5000 IU | Barlean's High Potency Omega 3 1500mg (Liquid)
Thorne Deproloft-HF (during weans)

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Bugged, how much are you taking?

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

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.

Link to comment

Bugged, how much are you taking?

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Currently it's a 3.3%/5mg decrease. I wish I started at a higher % because now I'm dealing with an uneven number.

 

I'm going to do 10% decrease from my current 145mg dose and see how I do with that. That will make my new dose 130.5mg. 13% decrease from the original 150. An easier number to work with when weighing.

 

Tonight at 9pm I take my first 130.5mg pill... I will give an update tomorrow some time :)

Effexor XR:

July 2008: 150mg | June 24 2015: 145mg | July 28 2015: 130.5mg | Sept 4 2015: 117mg

Nov 10 2015: 105mg | Jan 24 2016: 94.5mg | Feb 28 2016: 85mg | Mar 27 2016: 76.5mg

Apr 28 2016: 69mg | Aug 14 2016: 62mg | Jan 19 2017: 56mg | Feb 21 2017: 50mg

Mar 30 2017: 36mg | Apr 2 2017: 45mg | Sep 1 2019: 27.5mg | April 9 2020: 25.2mg

Oct 30 2021 | 16.875mg

 

Vitamins & Supplements:

MegaFood Women's One Daily | Metagenix D3 5000 IU | Barlean's High Potency Omega 3 1500mg (Liquid)
Thorne Deproloft-HF (during weans)

Link to comment

Well I've counted out the next couple weeks. These pills averaged a weight of .585g. The last batch averaged .661. The gel capsule weighed less too. WTF Pfizer! :blink:

 

They REALLY intend to confuse people. But they won't fool me.

Effexor XR:

July 2008: 150mg | June 24 2015: 145mg | July 28 2015: 130.5mg | Sept 4 2015: 117mg

Nov 10 2015: 105mg | Jan 24 2016: 94.5mg | Feb 28 2016: 85mg | Mar 27 2016: 76.5mg

Apr 28 2016: 69mg | Aug 14 2016: 62mg | Jan 19 2017: 56mg | Feb 21 2017: 50mg

Mar 30 2017: 36mg | Apr 2 2017: 45mg | Sep 1 2019: 27.5mg | April 9 2020: 25.2mg

Oct 30 2021 | 16.875mg

 

Vitamins & Supplements:

MegaFood Women's One Daily | Metagenix D3 5000 IU | Barlean's High Potency Omega 3 1500mg (Liquid)
Thorne Deproloft-HF (during weans)

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  • Administrator

Good job, bugged.

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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Thanks Alto!

 

Feeling just fine today. I was extra tired and slept heavy... bf had to make his own breakfast today lol. Other than that, I'm not dizzy or anything. Hopefully it sticks. I'll check in again if anything changes.

Effexor XR:

July 2008: 150mg | June 24 2015: 145mg | July 28 2015: 130.5mg | Sept 4 2015: 117mg

Nov 10 2015: 105mg | Jan 24 2016: 94.5mg | Feb 28 2016: 85mg | Mar 27 2016: 76.5mg

Apr 28 2016: 69mg | Aug 14 2016: 62mg | Jan 19 2017: 56mg | Feb 21 2017: 50mg

Mar 30 2017: 36mg | Apr 2 2017: 45mg | Sep 1 2019: 27.5mg | April 9 2020: 25.2mg

Oct 30 2021 | 16.875mg

 

Vitamins & Supplements:

MegaFood Women's One Daily | Metagenix D3 5000 IU | Barlean's High Potency Omega 3 1500mg (Liquid)
Thorne Deproloft-HF (during weans)

Link to comment

Still doing ok, aside from a minor headache that keeps coming and going.

 

I do have one concern. My period started this morning. It just ended less than a week ago. Are irregular periods normal for women who are weaning?

 

It's been regular up until now.

Effexor XR:

July 2008: 150mg | June 24 2015: 145mg | July 28 2015: 130.5mg | Sept 4 2015: 117mg

Nov 10 2015: 105mg | Jan 24 2016: 94.5mg | Feb 28 2016: 85mg | Mar 27 2016: 76.5mg

Apr 28 2016: 69mg | Aug 14 2016: 62mg | Jan 19 2017: 56mg | Feb 21 2017: 50mg

Mar 30 2017: 36mg | Apr 2 2017: 45mg | Sep 1 2019: 27.5mg | April 9 2020: 25.2mg

Oct 30 2021 | 16.875mg

 

Vitamins & Supplements:

MegaFood Women's One Daily | Metagenix D3 5000 IU | Barlean's High Potency Omega 3 1500mg (Liquid)
Thorne Deproloft-HF (during weans)

Link to comment

Good job on your new taper! Hope your symptoms stay tolerable. I didn't have any period issues last year when I pretty much went C/T (a week of 1/2 dose then off). I'm on birth control though and have been for like 15 years.

History: 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. I finally did discover this site, and gave myself a year to stabilize.

July 2015 - Started tapering from 75mg. 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 - down to 0.38mg.

 

Now: Finally med free as of Oct 31, 2020 after 5.5 years of tapering. Still med and withdrawal free, January 2023. ☀️

Supplements during tapering and now: Meditation, daily exercise, fish oil, clean diet, working from home (more sleep!)

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  • Mentor

Wow buggedout and everyone else on this thread doing a careful taper.......... Wow wish I had known all this stuff three years ago now!    I honestly believe brand name Effexor will become difficult to get, so make a stash, if you can.............   I dont have the brand name, only the generic (which I will never ever touch again).....       Zoloft is another one that is no longer available in Australia  (only the generic).

 

I have been on many, effexor is the worst to get off of..........   I am just so impressed that you are all going about it in such a careful way, well done!  Nice to read such a positive thread.......

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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  • 2 weeks later...

Buggedout, how are you doing? Any symptoms or have you figured out the period issues? (I feel weird asking but am curious, lol)

History: 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. I finally did discover this site, and gave myself a year to stabilize.

July 2015 - Started tapering from 75mg. 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 - down to 0.38mg.

 

Now: Finally med free as of Oct 31, 2020 after 5.5 years of tapering. Still med and withdrawal free, January 2023. ☀️

Supplements during tapering and now: Meditation, daily exercise, fish oil, clean diet, working from home (more sleep!)

Link to comment

Hi folks,

Doing well. Period stopped after a few (excruciating) days so I assume my cycle had just re-adjusted itself. I still have a couple more weeks to go on the 130.5 dose then I will be going down again to 117.5.

 

Enjoying how easy this is overall... but I expect it will become more difficult and slower as that number goes down.

 

It's nice to be taking out enough beads to make up several extra pills. That way I don't have to worry about running out in between prescriptions like what happened last time. I still have the generic as a backup.

Effexor XR:

July 2008: 150mg | June 24 2015: 145mg | July 28 2015: 130.5mg | Sept 4 2015: 117mg

Nov 10 2015: 105mg | Jan 24 2016: 94.5mg | Feb 28 2016: 85mg | Mar 27 2016: 76.5mg

Apr 28 2016: 69mg | Aug 14 2016: 62mg | Jan 19 2017: 56mg | Feb 21 2017: 50mg

Mar 30 2017: 36mg | Apr 2 2017: 45mg | Sep 1 2019: 27.5mg | April 9 2020: 25.2mg

Oct 30 2021 | 16.875mg

 

Vitamins & Supplements:

MegaFood Women's One Daily | Metagenix D3 5000 IU | Barlean's High Potency Omega 3 1500mg (Liquid)
Thorne Deproloft-HF (during weans)

Link to comment

You are lucky! :) I was going to decrease today since it's been a month and I've felt stable but feel slightly off today. I am not sure if it's because maybe my scale was off last night or new withdrawal. I'm going to go home and look at what I weighed. Last month my symptoms were bad for 3 days after the cut (dizzy, extremely tired, couldn't focus, 'buzzing' head) and didn't feel normal for about 10 days.

History: 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. I finally did discover this site, and gave myself a year to stabilize.

July 2015 - Started tapering from 75mg. 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 - down to 0.38mg.

 

Now: Finally med free as of Oct 31, 2020 after 5.5 years of tapering. Still med and withdrawal free, January 2023. ☀️

Supplements during tapering and now: Meditation, daily exercise, fish oil, clean diet, working from home (more sleep!)

Link to comment
  • 4 weeks later...

I decreased another 10%... down to 117mg from 130.5 mg. Last night was my second dose at 117.

 

The first night and yesterday were totally fine, I did not notice any difference. Last night I fell asleep fine... but I woke up around 4am this morning and that was when I started to suffer from the insomnia.

 

It's absolutely treacherous. The problem is not that I am not tired or am anxious... both mind and body are tired, my mind reaches that state you know where you start to have weird thoughts and you know you are falling asleep. But then instead of actually falling asleep, my body is jolted awake and I feel a sudden rush of anxiety. This happens about 5-6 times, sometimes more, before I am finally able to actually sleep.

 

But the "sleep" is not like ordinary sleep at all. I am aware of my consciousness and aware that I am dreaming. The dream is vivid, and also happens in real time. So I may have what seems to be a very long dream, but then I wake up again (or in some cases wake myself up because the dream becomes too real and I become afraid) and find that only 10-15 minutes has passed.

 

By the time daylight hit today I decided I didn't even want to try going back to sleep. I found it takes more effort than to just stay awake. So I pestered my bf until he got up with me lol. I feel completely exhausted, as if I only slept for a couple hours the whole night. My mind is quite foggy, but other than that, no headache or any major discomfort.

 

The good news is that this only happens for a night or two each time I reduce, so I am familiar with it and I know it will pass. Sometimes I get tremors as well shortly after I take my pill, which just so happens to be an hour before bed time. When that happens I usually take an Ativan and it helps me to sleep.

 

There is bad news... lol... I've been really bad the last few weeks. I have been drinking almost every day. Not to the point of getting drunk, on average it's only about 1-3 drinks, but I know it's taking a toll on my body. And I have not been taking my vitamins every day either... more like every 3 days. I've fallen out of my exercise routine too lol. Well I may as well be honest with myself and you all since I have nothing to gain by lying.

 

Part of the problem is that I don't work. Currently working on my immigration to another country, which I am living in now, and I have not been granted a work visa yet. So basically I sit at home all day while my bf goes to work. He makes enough to support the both of us, but I get really bored so I start to drink around lunch time and then my diet falls apart completely. That has got to stop.

 

Anyways that's what I've been up to these days. No more menstrual issues.

 

Oh there's one more thing. Cysts. I've had two at two different times, I'm embarrassed to say where they were but I think you can guess. They were extremely painful, never had them ever in my life and I believe they are a side effect too? Anyways I just used some tea tree oil and they disappeared within a week!

Effexor XR:

July 2008: 150mg | June 24 2015: 145mg | July 28 2015: 130.5mg | Sept 4 2015: 117mg

Nov 10 2015: 105mg | Jan 24 2016: 94.5mg | Feb 28 2016: 85mg | Mar 27 2016: 76.5mg

Apr 28 2016: 69mg | Aug 14 2016: 62mg | Jan 19 2017: 56mg | Feb 21 2017: 50mg

Mar 30 2017: 36mg | Apr 2 2017: 45mg | Sep 1 2019: 27.5mg | April 9 2020: 25.2mg

Oct 30 2021 | 16.875mg

 

Vitamins & Supplements:

MegaFood Women's One Daily | Metagenix D3 5000 IU | Barlean's High Potency Omega 3 1500mg (Liquid)
Thorne Deproloft-HF (during weans)

Link to comment

I had a nap this afternoon and feel much better rested. I'll likely be up past my bed time tonight. Doesn't help I just had a coffee too.

 

My mind already feels less foggy and I feel like I'm adjusting quickly to the new dose.

 

I really hope it continues to be like this for me until the end. I can't imagine being sick for more than a couple days... it's nice being able to function.

Effexor XR:

July 2008: 150mg | June 24 2015: 145mg | July 28 2015: 130.5mg | Sept 4 2015: 117mg

Nov 10 2015: 105mg | Jan 24 2016: 94.5mg | Feb 28 2016: 85mg | Mar 27 2016: 76.5mg

Apr 28 2016: 69mg | Aug 14 2016: 62mg | Jan 19 2017: 56mg | Feb 21 2017: 50mg

Mar 30 2017: 36mg | Apr 2 2017: 45mg | Sep 1 2019: 27.5mg | April 9 2020: 25.2mg

Oct 30 2021 | 16.875mg

 

Vitamins & Supplements:

MegaFood Women's One Daily | Metagenix D3 5000 IU | Barlean's High Potency Omega 3 1500mg (Liquid)
Thorne Deproloft-HF (during weans)

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

Hey buggedout, I'm glad to hear that things are going smoothly. I have that same withdrawal symptom as you, where I feel so exhausted and am so close to drifting to sleep, then my body jolts and I have same anxious feelings. I find that talking myself down and breathing slowly, telling myself that it's just the withdrawal and nothing bad is going to happen, helps. The dreams are weird too, nightmares sometimes. But same as you where it's only for a couple of nights.

 

I try not to drink while I'm not stable and only have a couple of drinks a week (usually on Friday or Saturday). I find that eating healthier and working out helps me to feel 'normal' and gets some of my restlessness out, I swear some nights I have restless legs because of the withdrawal as well. But sometimes you gotta let go and eat some comfort foods and take a few days off - if I let it get away though, a few days can easily turn into a month or two, lol.

History: 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. I finally did discover this site, and gave myself a year to stabilize.

July 2015 - Started tapering from 75mg. 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 - down to 0.38mg.

 

Now: Finally med free as of Oct 31, 2020 after 5.5 years of tapering. Still med and withdrawal free, January 2023. ☀️

Supplements during tapering and now: Meditation, daily exercise, fish oil, clean diet, working from home (more sleep!)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi bugged,

I've just been reading through your thread and wanted to offer you some encouragement for your effexor taper. You have made a great start.

 

I like it when members are honest about everything, especially the 'bad' stuff, it makes it easier for us to troubleshoot any problems that may come up. In your case I can see a couple of things which could possibly cause issues in the future as you continue to taper down.

 

Effexor can be a difficult drug to taper from, so the better you take care of yourself the easier it will be.

 

Please would you add your PRN use of Ativan to your signature. Just a friendly little warning about benzos, with regular use, its possible to become physically dependent on them in as little as 2 weeks, in a nervous system which is destabilized by withdrawal, it can happen sooner and also cause interdose/rebound withdrawal, so be careful. Taking it once or twice a week is probably fine at this stage.

 

But if you wanted to find some non-drug ways of managing sleep, on those few nights after you make a cut, this topic has some great ideas: Important topics about symptoms, including sleep problems

 

If you are going to take vitamins/supplements, take them regularly. The main thing which supports a successful taper is keeping the nervous system stable through the process, try and stick with regular routines as much as possible. Cutting down caffeine and alcohol will also help. Some people find they have to give them up completely, so cutting down now, and keeping your consumption low, may protect you from having to give them up completely.

 

If you start to get bored around lunch time, maybe you could go for a walk after lunch rather than start drinking, that way you will eliminate 2 problems with one activity.... or start a hobby or project or find some volunteer work.

 

This topic is a really good summary of how to support a successful taper: The rule of 3KIS: Keep it simple. Keep it slow. Keep it stable.

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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  • 1 month later...

Hi bugged,

I've just been reading through your thread and wanted to offer you some encouragement for your effexor taper. You have made a great start.

 

I like it when members are honest about everything, especially the 'bad' stuff, it makes it easier for us to troubleshoot any problems that may come up. In your case I can see a couple of things which could possibly cause issues in the future as you continue to taper down.

 

Effexor can be a difficult drug to taper from, so the better you take care of yourself the easier it will be.

 

Please would you add your PRN use of Ativan to your signature. Just a friendly little warning about benzos, with regular use, its possible to become physically dependent on them in as little as 2 weeks, in a nervous system which is destabilized by withdrawal, it can happen sooner and also cause interdose/rebound withdrawal, so be careful. Taking it once or twice a week is probably fine at this stage.

 

But if you wanted to find some non-drug ways of managing sleep, on those few nights after you make a cut, this topic has some great ideas: Important topics about symptoms, including sleep problems

 

If you are going to take vitamins/supplements, take them regularly. The main thing which supports a successful taper is keeping the nervous system stable through the process, try and stick with regular routines as much as possible. Cutting down caffeine and alcohol will also help. Some people find they have to give them up completely, so cutting down now, and keeping your consumption low, may protect you from having to give them up completely.

 

If you start to get bored around lunch time, maybe you could go for a walk after lunch rather than start drinking, that way you will eliminate 2 problems with one activity.... or start a hobby or project or find some volunteer work.

 

This topic is a really good summary of how to support a successful taper: The rule of 3KIS: Keep it simple. Keep it slow. Keep it stable.

Hi Petunia, thank you very much for your thoughtful and helpful input. I apologize for my delay in response but I did read and take into consideration everything you said.

 

About the ativan, I never actually realized it can become physically addictive. I am now afraid to take them lol. Even if I cant sleep I just tough it out now.

 

Ive been drinking waaaay less and even started hiking regularly about a month ago. My bf and I finally got out of my parents place and we are extremely happy living in a very nice appartment complex which actually feels like a resort. There are tennis courts we use regularly and hiking trails just off our back step. We often go out and bring back sea fossils we find - a new hobby that the bf has gotten me addicted to.

 

With all that said, Ive had very little trouble sleeping. And I dont feel a wave of anxiety upon waking. That has finally stopped altogether.

 

Last tuesday I reduced from 117.5 to 105. The insomnia was non existant this time and I credit that to my lifestyle, and the fact my vitamin intake has been steady and consistent :)

 

Sleeping was slightly restless, and some very strange/uncomfortable dreams, I wake up feeling foggy but once out of bed I feel fine and carry on my day. Saturday I guess I felt normal again except for one stupid thing, can you take a guess? I got a migraine and I only get those when my period is coming. Sure enough I woke up to it on Sunday. No fun, it literally just ended a week ago. But now I just have to just deal with these awful cramps for a week and ill be home free lol.

 

Overall id say this was the least difficult wean so far. I did wait about 2 months this time to reduce, just because my brother came to visit and we also went to Washington.

 

Im very happy with the progress I have made. Almost 1/3 of the way there. I know it will slow down as it goes down more but for now I will just enjoy looking back at how far I have come.

 

And I really couldnt have done it without all of the support and advice from you folks here. So thank you for that :)

Effexor XR:

July 2008: 150mg | June 24 2015: 145mg | July 28 2015: 130.5mg | Sept 4 2015: 117mg

Nov 10 2015: 105mg | Jan 24 2016: 94.5mg | Feb 28 2016: 85mg | Mar 27 2016: 76.5mg

Apr 28 2016: 69mg | Aug 14 2016: 62mg | Jan 19 2017: 56mg | Feb 21 2017: 50mg

Mar 30 2017: 36mg | Apr 2 2017: 45mg | Sep 1 2019: 27.5mg | April 9 2020: 25.2mg

Oct 30 2021 | 16.875mg

 

Vitamins & Supplements:

MegaFood Women's One Daily | Metagenix D3 5000 IU | Barlean's High Potency Omega 3 1500mg (Liquid)
Thorne Deproloft-HF (during weans)

Link to comment
  • Moderator

That's awesome Bugged!

 

Please update your signature to include your newest taper.

 

It's so good to see someone working on self care, support, and good habits with their taper. 

 

I hope you see the sun today!

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Buggedout,

 

I wanted to say hi from another Effexor taperer.  You are doing really well!  Warms my heart to read posts like that.  You are a bit further down the track than me - I'm on about 133mg.  Will be following your progress.  Awesome to have so much nature in your life.

 

Hugs,

KarenB

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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  • 4 weeks later...

That's awesome Bugged!

 

Please update your signature to include your newest taper.

 

It's so good to see someone working on self care, support, and good habits with their taper. 

 

I hope you see the sun today!

 

Done! Thank you for the kind words! :)

 

Hello Buggedout,

 

I wanted to say hi from another Effexor taperer.  You are doing really well!  Warms my heart to read posts like that.  You are a bit further down the track than me - I'm on about 133mg.  Will be following your progress.  Awesome to have so much nature in your life.

 

Hugs,

KarenB

 

Thanks, Karen! The interesting thing about being here is that there's always someone one step further, and also one step back. You'll catch up in no time. I am surprised with how quick the months have passed. I'm due for a reduction any time, but I'm waiting until after Christmas. Actually, I'm going to time it with my next period, since I seem to get it now every time I reduce. >:(

Effexor XR:

July 2008: 150mg | June 24 2015: 145mg | July 28 2015: 130.5mg | Sept 4 2015: 117mg

Nov 10 2015: 105mg | Jan 24 2016: 94.5mg | Feb 28 2016: 85mg | Mar 27 2016: 76.5mg

Apr 28 2016: 69mg | Aug 14 2016: 62mg | Jan 19 2017: 56mg | Feb 21 2017: 50mg

Mar 30 2017: 36mg | Apr 2 2017: 45mg | Sep 1 2019: 27.5mg | April 9 2020: 25.2mg

Oct 30 2021 | 16.875mg

 

Vitamins & Supplements:

MegaFood Women's One Daily | Metagenix D3 5000 IU | Barlean's High Potency Omega 3 1500mg (Liquid)
Thorne Deproloft-HF (during weans)

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Well Ii wish that I could say things are still going well for me. Lately I am an emotional wreck!

 

I know that a lot of it is menstrual. I get my period more often now, and it lasts for longer. I've literally had it three times since my last reduction on November 10th. It finally just ended a couple days ago, but it was almost two weeks! Every day was agony. Steady cramps. Normally the cramps come and go, but since I've been tapering, they've been very steady and painful for several days. My moods have been up and down like a rollar coaster.

 

Because of all this, it's really had a hard impact on my relationship. My BF is actually quite tolerable, and understanding. But he is beginning to lose his patience with me. We had a few nasty fights over the last week and it's very hurtful for me. I've been crying all night and day today. There are a couple underlying issues with the relationship and I just don't know if I am looking at things rationally, or if I only feel the way I do because of the medication or my period. One of the problems is his best friend. I've met his best friend a couple times, and let me tell you, he does NOT like me. I don't think his GF likes me either. I've been nice and tried to get to know them, but it's pretty obvious when people show no interest in you. I feel alienated around them and and my BF just says that it's normal and he completely refuses to see things from my point of view. "that's just how it is, you have to deal with it, i've known these people my whole life" etc. etc.

 

This causes me to get upset at my BF when he talks to his friend on the phone. I feel like he's picking his friend over me. It feels so childish and I've never had this problem ever in a relationship. My last BF had a friend like that too, who didn't like me, but it didn't cause any issues like fighting or anything.

 

So yesterday I waited all day for my BF to come home from work. I pick him up. I also drive him. He doesn't have a car. I make him breakfast, pack his lunch, and make dinner. I do all of the cleaning, laundry, dishes etc. Since I don't work, it keeps me busy and gives me purpose to take care of him. I quite enjoy it, I guess I'm old fashioned like that.

 

After anticipating him being home and us getting to spend time together, the first thing he does when he gets in the door, is answer a call from his friend lol. You can maybe see where this is going. Well I had a lot of stuff to discuss with him, I had to get dinner ready and figure out what our game plan was. He told me that the call was important and it was just too bad, I'd have to wait. I got upset and threw my gingerbread cookie at him. I said fine and I went for a half hour walk. Came back he was off the phone but we didn't speak at all until much later in the night.

 

Today I told him that I am just sick of feeling alienated and I feel disrespected because his friends are rude to me whenever we visit them. His only response was that he's known these people forever and they are like family.

 

So I said what the hell are we even doing together if your "family" doesn't accept me, or want me to be part of the group. I told him I feel merely like an accessory to him and it's clear that he will always think higher of his friends than he does me. I'm basically at the bottom of the totem pole. And for all I do for him, I find it very upsetting and hurtful that he holds me with such low regard. I like to feel like we are a team, but i only feel like that with him when we are alone. As soon as his friend(s) come along, I am no longer important.

 

It's beginning to leave a very bad taste in my mouth. His attitude is that if I don't like it, I can leave. But I don't want to do that. I love him. I just wish that he could understand how it is for me. And I wish he would stick up for me to his friends and maybe tell them about the good things I do instead of just accepting that they think I'm poison for him. I really don't understand why they don't like me. I think it's a small town mentality - they don't like newcomers or outsiders. Well I can't be happy in this relationship if that's how it's going to be.

 

He said we could talk about it when he gets home today. I'm sure that will turn into another fight. I feel sick to my stomach. I also can't sleep lately, my insomnia has come back, due to the stress I guess.

Effexor XR:

July 2008: 150mg | June 24 2015: 145mg | July 28 2015: 130.5mg | Sept 4 2015: 117mg

Nov 10 2015: 105mg | Jan 24 2016: 94.5mg | Feb 28 2016: 85mg | Mar 27 2016: 76.5mg

Apr 28 2016: 69mg | Aug 14 2016: 62mg | Jan 19 2017: 56mg | Feb 21 2017: 50mg

Mar 30 2017: 36mg | Apr 2 2017: 45mg | Sep 1 2019: 27.5mg | April 9 2020: 25.2mg

Oct 30 2021 | 16.875mg

 

Vitamins & Supplements:

MegaFood Women's One Daily | Metagenix D3 5000 IU | Barlean's High Potency Omega 3 1500mg (Liquid)
Thorne Deproloft-HF (during weans)

Link to comment
  • ChessieCat changed the title to buggedout: hi, early stages of my Effexor XR taper

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