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How to taper when experiencing long-term adverse effects?


KarenB
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What are the guidelines or shared experiences about beginning a taper when a person is already experiencing long-term adverse effects of an anti-depressant, or protracted withdrawal symptoms from previous too-quick tapers?

 

Using myself as an example, I had been in protracted withdrawal for a couple of years due to a very fast taper, and also due to changes (in types and doses) of anti-depressants.  I also felt I was having adverse effects from Effexor for about a year prior to my planned taper which I started this May.

 

It therefore seemed pointless to wait for any kind of stability before beginning to taper - the issues were long-term and not settling at all.

 

So I planned then started a 10% taper.  After 6 weeks I can see it was too much for my nervous system.

 

Looking back, I wish I'd twigged that those compounding issues indicated a need for an even gentler taper, say 5% or even 1%.

 

I've searched but not found a topic on this.  If there isn't one, perhaps people who know more than me could turn this into one?  (And if I've missed the relevant topic, sorry, and could someone point me at it?)

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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Many of the people here are in similar situations. There are no specific topics about this because it is so common.

 

If you feel you are experiencing adverse effects from the drug you've been taking for months to compensate for withdrawal syndrome, you have no choice but to taper at the rate your nervous system permits.

 

Very severe, life-threatening adverse effects call for a faster taper, where withdrawal symptoms may be unavoidable.

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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Check out the forum "The Slowness of Slow Tapers" started by Rhiannon. 

Many of us can't handle 10% drops. I'm dropping 1% and still struggle with WD symptoms.

On 20 mg of Prozac for about ten years. Sept 2012 started reducing 10% a drop using gram scale, with average of one month holds.

When I'd reached the half way mark, taking 10 mg  powder out of the 20 mg capsules, I switched over to 10 mg capsules and cutting

down from those. Withdrawals got harder the lower I dropped.  May 2013 changed to 5% drops, holding until all withdrawal symptoms gone.

January 2015 changed to liquid prozac (concentration of 20MG per 5 mL) using a 1mL oral syringe.

Current dose of fluoxetine solution equivalent 3.4 mg. Any effort to drop below this has been disastrous so for the time being I'm staying at this level.
Adding 200 mg Tryptophan and 200 GABA a day has helped with anxiety.
Also take 1,300mg Omega- 3,  875mg  Magnesium, 1800mg Curcumin, 1000mg Vit C, 5000 Vit D.
 

 

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I have the same problem of being in a tsunami and knowing that at least part of the contributing factors are from the two a/d's I'm taking.  I'm trying now to once again try to lower incrementally one of the meds and yesterday went overboard again with waves.  Was it from the decrease a month ago?  Or is it from the toxicity of the two meds ?  "Listen to your body" seems almost nonsensical when like this.   Hoping that, if I just go slowly and hold when it is waaaaaaaaaay over the top, that in time with the removal of the meds that my brain can begin to resort itself.  What other hope can I have?  Not even certain if I'll be able to come completely off of the Zoloft that I have been taking every day for the past 25 years! 

1971-81  Valium 5mg c/t PAWS     1992- through now Zoloft 25mg    2003-05 Valium 12mg Slow Taper Off

2013 Afrin Exposure to CNS    2013 O/D Val 230mg    2013 Doxepin 50mg Clonidine 2mg Zoloft 25mg

3/15/16  Doxepin 49mg Micro Tapering  Zoloft 24.3mg Holding taper

3/15/16 Clonidine mg 0.1 1/2 -    Decreasing incrementally.  DISCONTINUED

10/9/16  Doxepin 48.9  Zoloft 24.3  Clonidine  01.10  Continuing micro taper on Doxepin.

11/16/16 Doxepin 48mg  Zoloft 24.3mg  Clonidine 1.30mg

5/4/17  Doxepin 45mg  Zoloft 24mg  Clonidine 1.20mg   Micro taper of Doxepin  , Clonidine

01/13/19  Doxepin 45mg   Zoloft 21mg   Will start Micro taper of Doxepin 2/19

12/21/21  Doxepin 20 mg ?  Reducing using water micro taper--Pulling 24ml from 75ml

12/2121   Zoloft .060 grams by weight--HOLDING (info from post added by CC: On 12/21/21 my dosage was .060grams by weight or 20mg. )

26 Apr 2022 - Zoloft at -0-

 

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Thanks Indigo,

 

I had read that, and it was very helpful.  I guess I just didn't feel I found my specific situation anywhere - which is not to criticise this site, I love it and am very thankful for all the experience here.  I suppose it's easy to just feel very confused while I'm in this head-space, and I understood the 10% guideline to be intended for most people as a good place to start, but now I wonder if for people already in a mess a lower starting percentage would be safer?

 

In hindsight it seems obvious, but I just didn't figure it out at the time.         

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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I have the same problem of being in a tsunami and knowing that at least part of the contributing factors are from the two a/d's I'm taking.  I'm trying now to once again try to lower incrementally one of the meds and yesterday went overboard again with waves.  Was it from the decrease a month ago?  Or is it from the toxicity of the two meds ?  "Listen to your body" seems almost nonsensical when like this.   Hoping that, if I just go slowly and hold when it is waaaaaaaaaay over the top, that in time with the removal of the meds that my brain can begin to resort itself.  What other hope can I have?  Not even certain if I'll be able to come completely off of the Zoloft that I have been taking every day for the past 25 years! 

Hi SelmaLady,

Thanks for sharing - you know how it feels!  Though it would be better if neither of us knew...

Yes, nonsensical, especially when my brain seems to be working at half-capability.

I'll be going way slow from now on, after a long hold first.

Thanks again for taking time to post.

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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How can anyone make a 1% taper. The standard 10% is already very hard to measure even by weighing...

Partner suddenly died 2014. Severe depression AGAIN (had previous episode 10 years ago). I was given escitalopram but could not bear the side effects, so i ask for an ECT (not sure if this helped). During the treatment and my hospital stay I was given Depakote mood stabilizer.  PDOC says I need to take it for two years. After 4-5 months I have a hard time with the Depakote. Hard to get up in the morning. Depression again or Depakote effects? So stopped Depakote (did not know about tapering then)

 

Januray 21, 2015. Severe depression again, started Pristiq 50mg and clonazepam 0.5 mg nightly. Had confusion, suicidal thoughts, thoughts about death, and find it hard to understand the TV, much more type in a computer.

 

Had adverse reaction to most antidepressants: muscle pain/spasms, irritablity, restlessness. Also Tried Prozac, Zoloft, Escitalopram years ago.

Started to taper pristiq and clonazepam after four months:

5th month:

2 weeks - 3/4 tablet PRISTIQ   (deducting the clonazepam also, so hard to cut)

2 weeks - 1/2 tablet PRISTIQ   (crumbs of clonazepam nightly)

2 weeks - 1/8 or less (hard to cut really) (zero clonazepam)

Then jump off pristiq.

I just wonder why I was cured during the 10 year period (2004-2014) I have no depression symptoms and no meds either. Pdoc said I might be biploar 2 but it is a "grey" area. Aren't bipolars supposed to be on maintenance meds?! Damn this diagnosis. I am tapering Pristiq either way.

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Over two years I have tapered down to a very low dose.

To get 1% drops I use liquid prozac in a one mL syringe. 
Altostrata has put up whole forum on liquid tapering,
what syringes work best etc.

On 20 mg of Prozac for about ten years. Sept 2012 started reducing 10% a drop using gram scale, with average of one month holds.

When I'd reached the half way mark, taking 10 mg  powder out of the 20 mg capsules, I switched over to 10 mg capsules and cutting

down from those. Withdrawals got harder the lower I dropped.  May 2013 changed to 5% drops, holding until all withdrawal symptoms gone.

January 2015 changed to liquid prozac (concentration of 20MG per 5 mL) using a 1mL oral syringe.

Current dose of fluoxetine solution equivalent 3.4 mg. Any effort to drop below this has been disastrous so for the time being I'm staying at this level.
Adding 200 mg Tryptophan and 200 GABA a day has helped with anxiety.
Also take 1,300mg Omega- 3,  875mg  Magnesium, 1800mg Curcumin, 1000mg Vit C, 5000 Vit D.
 

 

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I am also tapering Effexor, but I have been on it long-term at this point. My sweet spot seems to be a 5% reduction held for 28 days before the next drop.  I have gone from a high of 375 mg of Effexor down to 7.5 mg of Effexor and continue the slow, but steady process of coming off of the drug.

 

I have Effexor compounded.  I started out at 2 mg/1 mL and as I got lower in dose I had them compound it at 1 mg/1 mL.  For my next prescription I am going to ask for 1/2 mg to 1 mL to be able to better manage the small decrements.  I use a syringe to measure my dosage.

 

The guideline to start with no more than a 10% decrement is just that ... a guideline.  But as has been stated one needs to listen to her/his own body.

 

In order to listen to your body it is recommended that you keep a daily log of your symptoms.  This will help you gauge small improvements and small deterioration in symptoms.  Based on that you will be able to find what works for you.

 

Karma

2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & .625 mg Xanax

200 mg Gabapentin 2/27/21 - 194.5 mg, 5/28/21 - 183 mg, 8/2/21 - 170 mg, 11/28/21 - 150 mg, 4/19/22 - 122 mg; 8//7/22 - 100 mg
Xanax taper: 3/11/12 - 0.9375 mg, 3/25/12 - 0.875 mg, 4/6/12 - 0.8125 mg, 4/18/12 - 0.75 mg; 1/16 0.6875 mg; at some point 0.625 mg
Effexor taper: 1/29/12 - 40.625 mg, 4/29/12 - 39.875 mg, 5/11/12 - Switched to liquid Effexor, 5/25/12 - 38 mg, 7/6/12 - 35 mg, 8/17/12 - 32 mg, 9/14/12 - 30 mg, 10/19/12 - 28 mg, 11/9/12 - 26 mg, 11/30/12 - 24 mg, 01/14/13 - 22 mg. 02/25/13 - 20.8 mg, 03/18/13 - 19.2 mg, 4/15/13 - 17.6 mg, 8/10/13 - 16.4 mg, 9/7/13 - 15.2 mg, 10/19/13 - 14 mg, 1/15/14 - 13.2 mg, 3/1/2014 - 12.6 mg, 5/4/14 - 12 mg, 8/1/14 - 11.4 mg, 8/29/14 - 10.8 mg; 10/14/14 - 10.2 mg; 12/15/14 - 10 mg, 1/11/15 - 9.5 mg, 2/8/15 - 9 mg, 3/21/15 - 8.5 mg, 5/1/15 - 8 mg, 6/9/15 - 7.5 mg, 7/8/15 - 7 mg, 8/22/15 - 6.5 mg, 10/4/15 - 6 mg; 1/1/16 - 5.6 mg; 2/6/16 - 5.2 mg; 4/9 - 4.8 mg; 7/7 4.5 mg; 10/7 4.25 mg; 11/4 4.0 mg; 11/25 3.8 mg; 4/24 3.6 mg; 5/27 3.4 mg; 7/8 3.2 mg ... 10/18 2.8 mg; 1/18 2.6 mg; 4/7 2.4 mg; 5/26 2.15mg; 8/18 1.85 mg; 10/7 1.7 mg; 12/1 1.45 mg; 3/2 1.2 mg; 5/4 0.90 mg; 6/1 0.80 mg; 6/22 0.65 mg; 08/03 0.50 mg, 08/10 0.45 mg, 10/05 0.325 mg, 11/23 0.2 mg, 12/14 0.15 mg, 12/21 0.125 mg, 02/28 0.03125 mg, 2/15 0.015625 mg, 2/29/20 0.00 mg - OFF Effexor


I am not a medical professional - this is not medical advice. My suggestions are based on personal experience, reading, observation and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers

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I was having adverse side effects on 150mgs. My original anxiety went sky high 24/7. After 8 weeks couldn't take it and halved my dose to 75mgs. I held at 75mg for 3 months and then started tapering at 7-10mg until I reached about 45. I put a hold for couple months. Currently Im micro tapering at 5-7% monthly.

Everyone is different and sometimes one needs to make changes according to your symptoms, life stressors, and/or events, etc.

Started Effexor August 2012 Sept'12-150mg=extreme anxiety Oct'12 cut half-75mg severe wds

Feb 2013 68.5mg. Mar'13- 65mg. Apr'13-59mg. May'13-57mg. June '13-52mg Aug'13 49.75mg.

Sep'13-48.75. Nov'13-47mg Dec'13-45..5mg

May 2014 42mg. Jun'14 40mg (depressive mood started). Aug'14 -40mg/ started brintellix 2.5mg

Oct '14 -39 Nov'14 36.89 Dec'14 34.45

Jan 2015- 31 Feb'15 29mg. Mar'15 26.72. Apr'15 24.48. May'15 22.31mg. Jun'15 20.30mg

Aug'15-18.89. Oct'15 16.96. Nov/16- 16.10. Dec/15- 15mg

Jan 2016-14.22. May'16 11.45. Aug'16-9.60. Sep/16- 8.88mg. Oct/16- 8.39mg. Nov/16- 8.13. Dec/16- 7.89

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I'll share my experience for what its worth. I was on 225mg of Effexor when things started going downhill. I had been on the med itself for 5 years at that point, and at that dose for a year, without much issue. I began to get  fatigue to the point I couldnt drive more than 15 min without dropping off at the wheel, slept through picking my kids up at school, it would just take over. I had sleep studies and was told I was not getting REM sleep and they blamed Effexor which I wasnt ready to hear. Few months later the anxiety began, so stupidly I updosed to 267.5mg and after a week it somewhat settled, only to come back in 3 months with a terrifying vegeance, I didnt know a human could even feel the things I went through mentally. Suicidal thoughts and obsessive fast death ideas, incredible disorientation (like coming out of Walmart and having no idea which city I was in (I live in a rural area and have about 3 walmarts I shop at depending where Im going) or how to get home until I slowly worked it out in my head like a trauma patient with a head injury

 

  I then started a cross taper off Effexor, 37.5mg every two weeks, and adding in Celexa. When that was done 3 months later, if it was possible, I was now doing even worse, and switched over to  Cipralex (Lexapro in US), and finally 3 months after that, Paxil. Needless to say by the time I started Paxil, after almost a year of utter torment, I was a mess.

 

By this time I had discovered paxil progress and this site and knew what was happening. I decided to "stabilize" so i could now taper the paxil. I waited months. After 4 months I had my first window, the symptoms leveled off to a point I recognized my old self again...my usual perceptions and thoughts and emotional responses were back, i felt like me again.I waited a little bit more and the window closed and a wave came down on me, and all the wd symptoms returned, slightly less intense as before (but not much). When this wave passed and I came into another window I decided to start my Paxil taper.

 

I have been almost religious about tapering 10% every 4-8 weeks. I always have dropped by 10%, but sometimes i add in a few extra weeks here and there between if I need to. I'm going to be honest and say, the symptoms i experienced throughout the last almost 4 years of this taper never seem to alter whether I wait or not. They dont seem to change no matter how I manage the taper, and since the same symptoms existed before I even began the taper, I know there's a possibility they have nothing to do with my taper at all and that 10% is fine. It's also possible that my prior experience was a blessing in disguise as the suffering was so out of this world that just about anything less is defined as "tolerable" to me...I dont know. I just know that for me, I wanted to stop poisoning myself as quickly as possible, and 10% worked, despite being in a terrible condition from previous long term effects.

 

 I'm now down to 1mg and the most constant symptom is ongoing anhedonia with intermiitent weeks here and there of increased anhedonia, DR, slight anxiety and sometimes a mild blah depression (nothing even close to what Ive known in the past). Over the years the waves have become shorter and milder, especially after about 2 years post Effexor, even while maintaining the 10% paxil taper. Maybe it would have resolved quicker had i tapered by 5% or 1% but i dont think so. What I went through before was so intense, Im honestly not surprised it would take 4-5 years to settle completely. I see that time frame a lot for people who have experienced an acute reaction. I say, if you can personally tolerate it, go ahead and taper however you can, Im not saying rush, or push through what is too much for you, but dont be afraid to feel poorly sometimes,you've already set that ball in motion from before your slow taper and its going to take a time to heal no matter what you do. If stabilizing means feeling 100% free of wd symptoms like you did before you had the adverse event, then you could be waiting for a very long time, especially if you may be reacting to the med you are on now. I have never felt completely wd symptom free to this day, but I am significantly improving via windows and waves, all the time not in a linear way necessarily, but in the big picture, I heal consistently.

 

Its a personal choice, but Im just offering a different perspective. I just feel for me, that if i waited for windows that felt like 100% non-wd, or even 90% I'd still be on 20mg of paxil waiting to start tapering it. Either way I believe we all heal and we'll all get there in our own time, and it will be amazing! What we have endured could make us better people. Good luck!

2 Timothy 1-7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Effexor 75mg to 262.5mg 2005-2010 for post partum depression

Started having poop out mid 2010, also switched generic brands, then crashed in Dec 2010 (anxiety/ "terror", intense DR, anhedonia, suicidal ideation, chills, insomnia, horrible intrusive thoughts, disorientation, ect)
Rapid "tapered" from 262.5mg Effexor in 3 months

Tried Celexa,Cipralex, then Paxil to deal with wd(this switching made things worse and added akathesia)

Found online support and started tapering Paxil 7 months after quitting Effexor (at this point was having small windows).

Paxil taper: dropped 10% every 4-8 weeks

Year 1 October 2011 to Nov 2012 20mg to 10mg

Year 2 March 2013 to Feb 2014 10mg to 4mg

Year 3 April 2014 to May 2015 4mg to 1.1mg

Year 4 June 2015 1.1mg , dropping by 10% until .5mg, after then dropped by 0.1mg every 5 weeks until 0.1mg.

Finished! Official last dose of 0.1mg on June 15/16

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Wow, thanks Aberdeen, things have been pretty full-on for you.  I find it very helpful to hear how others have worked through the mess of 'what is caused by what.'  I am now at week 8 since my initial taper, and while w/d symptoms have got much better in intensity, I still pretty much have to stay home and not do too much in order to cope and not overload myself.  Can't drive more than 10 minutes, can read too much, can't do much physical activity or hold a long conversation.  Which isn't very functional - even if it's more settled.  One day, I want to be functional :blink:

 

Generally I think things will improve, but just very slowly.  Perhaps in another month I'll start gentler tapers.  I keep changing my mind :blush: .

 

What you wrote (quoted below) is especially helpful.  I also like it when I feel that something is really and truly me, not me+meds - I'm sure you know that feeling, and I'm sure it's a good sign of healing.

 

dont be afraid to feel poorly sometimes,you've already set that ball in motion from before your slow taper and its going to take a time to heal no matter what you do. If stabilizing means feeling 100% free of wd symptoms like you did before you had the adverse event, then you could be waiting for a very long time, especially if you may be reacting to the med you are on now.

 

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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Yes maybe wait and see if your windows start to feel stronger, then resume maybe? Like i said, I did wait a few months before I began my taper at all, just trying to cope with what had already happened, and frankly I was terrified to change ANYthing at all at that point. But Ive never returned to  that original level of horror, in over 3 years now, so my fear of triggering it is almost gone. Almost,lol...I am actually still scared of what going to 0mg might do, but not gonna cross that bridge yet. It IS a good sign of healing when the clouds part and we see or feel OURSELVES. Its like coming home from a long journey. It feels amazing and I like to think it means our final destination will be there, 100% again one day. It gets easier, it does. The stretches of driving, stimulating activities, shopping, whatever, they get longer and easier. Its been so gradual, but it does happen.

My guess is that you will have this window and wave pattern, like so many do, for a while yet, as you heal from all that prior chaos. Ive spent the last 4 years wondering if each wave was a "wave from prior chaos" or a blip from my most recent drop. The worse the wave, the more I blamed the taper. If i hadnt dropped, but was having a rough wave< I blamed "prior chaos". Truth is, its probably a little of both. However Ive read a lot f stories over the years and for people who did a fast taper to zero, or who straight out cold-turkeyed, and nver took anything else, they to had the windows and rough waves for quite some time, and they werent dropping a dose every few weeks or so. Its also hard for people in our situation to ever pinpoint a starting point for our issues, or even for our healing, did we start healing when we switched for the last time? Others say healing doesnt begin until we're off the med completely, however judging by how easily managed my waves are these days I would say a lot of healing has taken place while tapering. Hang in there and follow your gut. You are right to want off these drugs and you will start to feel better as time goes by. Its such a maze to work through, and kudos to you as a mom, that just adds to the urgency to get well so we can enjoy our kids as they grow.

2 Timothy 1-7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Effexor 75mg to 262.5mg 2005-2010 for post partum depression

Started having poop out mid 2010, also switched generic brands, then crashed in Dec 2010 (anxiety/ "terror", intense DR, anhedonia, suicidal ideation, chills, insomnia, horrible intrusive thoughts, disorientation, ect)
Rapid "tapered" from 262.5mg Effexor in 3 months

Tried Celexa,Cipralex, then Paxil to deal with wd(this switching made things worse and added akathesia)

Found online support and started tapering Paxil 7 months after quitting Effexor (at this point was having small windows).

Paxil taper: dropped 10% every 4-8 weeks

Year 1 October 2011 to Nov 2012 20mg to 10mg

Year 2 March 2013 to Feb 2014 10mg to 4mg

Year 3 April 2014 to May 2015 4mg to 1.1mg

Year 4 June 2015 1.1mg , dropping by 10% until .5mg, after then dropped by 0.1mg every 5 weeks until 0.1mg.

Finished! Official last dose of 0.1mg on June 15/16

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  • 2 weeks later...

aberdeen, how are you feeling nowadays? To what extent would you say you have healed?

 

I am also in a situation where I have to wait to heal from a previous (CT) withdrawal and taking other meds that I am determined to get rid of before they get a chance to harm me some more. I tend to support your claim that if I would wait to feel 100% well then who knows when and if ever I would get to reducing these meds.

  • 2,5 years of slowly tapering down Cymbalta from 60 mg. Then tried going from 8,44 mg to 1 mg in 8 days. (April 1st 2015). That's when the real hell started. Reinstated. Didn't help. I was added Ativan (2 mg 2 times a day for relentless akathisia that started with jumping Cymbalta). For years had been taking Zopitin 7,5 mg and Stilnox 10 mg for I had not been able to sleep naturally since the 1st day I started Cymbalta). Used to take Xanax occasionally.
  • All of the above were stopped cold turkey when I was hospitalized in the beginning of May 2015.
  • Prior to that I have been on and off the whole spectrum of different AD-s for 15 years (since I was 17).

My introduction.

 

Tapering:

  • Olanzapine (starting point 2,1 mg): Jan 2016  /---/ April 2018 0 mg. (From 2,1 mg to 0 mg in 1y 3mo).
  • Diazepam (starting at 5 mg) : switching to liquid May 2018;  4,6 mg (June 2018) /---/ 0 mg (Feb 2020) (From 10 to 5 - nobody knows, from 5 to 0 in 1 y 10 mo)
  • Valdoxan (starting at 25 mg): switching to liquid (Feb 2019) /---/ 0 mg (July 2020)

 

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I feel the same way erer. It's going to be a long time before we are totally symptom free, and also, you never know, maybe the meds you are on right now are causing side effects and its not even from the taper, or the stuff that happened beforehand. I think the trick is to keep tabs on yourself, if you can comfortably manage whatever symptoms you have, and tapering doesnt push it into a place you cant manage, then keep going. Sometimes I would notice things getting rougher, or some of my older symptoms returning, so i would add a couple of weeks to my waiting period, but that rarely happens, and I have never had to go back up in my dose.

As far as how healed I feel...when im in a window I feel about 90% healed (because 10% is this constant anhedonic blunted sense) and in waves, I still feel 75% healed (my waves are mild depression, increased neuro emotions/anxious thinking, brain fog, DR, or increased morning anxiety, not necessarily all together). You will get there!!

2 Timothy 1-7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Effexor 75mg to 262.5mg 2005-2010 for post partum depression

Started having poop out mid 2010, also switched generic brands, then crashed in Dec 2010 (anxiety/ "terror", intense DR, anhedonia, suicidal ideation, chills, insomnia, horrible intrusive thoughts, disorientation, ect)
Rapid "tapered" from 262.5mg Effexor in 3 months

Tried Celexa,Cipralex, then Paxil to deal with wd(this switching made things worse and added akathesia)

Found online support and started tapering Paxil 7 months after quitting Effexor (at this point was having small windows).

Paxil taper: dropped 10% every 4-8 weeks

Year 1 October 2011 to Nov 2012 20mg to 10mg

Year 2 March 2013 to Feb 2014 10mg to 4mg

Year 3 April 2014 to May 2015 4mg to 1.1mg

Year 4 June 2015 1.1mg , dropping by 10% until .5mg, after then dropped by 0.1mg every 5 weeks until 0.1mg.

Finished! Official last dose of 0.1mg on June 15/16

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