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bigpoppa Scared


bigpoppa

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Hello everyone, I was referred to this website by a psychiatrist from the US whom I had a telephone consultation with today. I am looking forward to reviewing and contributing here.

 

I am a 32 year old man, and have been taking Effexor for approximately 7 or 8 years. I was originally given this medication as I went to the doc complaining about racing thoughts, worries, and having a tough time getting to sleep because there was always so much on my mind. I have been on 75mg for as long as I can remember (I believe there was a year or so I was on 150mg). 3 months ago, they added another 37.5mg to the mix thinking it would help some increased anxiety I was experiencing. For some reason or another, the drug has been making me feel weird over the passed 8 months. Almost as if its no longer working... just recently after trying the new increased dosage for the few months I went back to the doc telling him that it was making me feel even MORE symptomatic. Dizziness, horrid anxiety etc. Doc said pretty much "Looks like it isnt working anymore" and has prescribed me to taper off effexor while at the same time ramping up on something called Zoloft.

 

I don't want any drugs anymore.. I just want to be who I am. Im concerned about the long term implications of drugs like this. But Im also concerned that by tapering off, I may permanently destroy myself in some form. This is all incredibly scary.

 

Against the dr's prescription, I have not filled the order for Zoloft. Instead, I filled only the effexor. Immediately, I cut out the increased 37.5mg I have been on for the past 3 months. I am trying to get back to the 75mg to start, and then, who knows. I am only on day 3, and of course feel symptomatic, but no more symptomatic than I felt with the increase over the past 3 months.

 

Please, any help or advice would be the best thing right now. I would never admit this out loud in person, but I am really scared.

 

In return, if there is anything I CAN DO for anyone else, please do not hesitate to ask.

Effexor- 8 years

Been on 75mg for as long as I can remember

Recently upped dosage to 112.5mg

Now reduced by 37.5mg to go back to 75mg and get off this stuff!

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  • Mentor

Hello  and welcome to the group.

 

I was on effexor for 8 years,,,,,,,,,,  but on 375mg  (at dosages above 150mg, it becomes two drugs, and SRRI  and then an SRNI)...........   so so lucky you have never gone above 150mg, so only one drug, and one lot of receptors messed up, instead of two!  :)  I alos found the effexor didnt work after about 5 years,   I didnt know, then.............. I do now..............

 

Dont know why a doc would prescribe effexor, if you cant sleep, the nightmares are awful on that stuff, without a sedative as well. but we are all different, I guess.

 

Are you on other drugs?   Can you try and fill out your signature?  

 

Why add another drug, when you want to get off drugs?            Just reduce very slowy, take a year or two to reduce your effexor.  Stick to what you are on now dosage wise, for at least 6 months, then reduce as per the tapering recommended on this site.

 

I had no choice but to start up zoloft after a too quick taper off effexor, and a bad horrific reaction to valium...............    so my advice?  dont add new drugs, just slowly reduce what you are on.

 

Good luck!

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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  • Mentor

Also effexor gave me stage 3a kidney disease, stuffed liver, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.............. 6 months off the stuff, all levels were in healthy range..............    thats why I stopped the effexor, the doctor wanted to add more pills to my cocktail of pills,              and as a pathologist, something in my drug addled brain said NO!

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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  • Moderator

Hey Bigpoppa-- welcome to the group.  I think you found us just in time, before your doctor could cause you anymore trouble.  Very wise of you not to add the zoloft, all it would do is muddy the waters and probably make things worse.  Having only been on one drug puts you in an excellent position to taper off of this stuff and get your life back.  It can seem to be a pretty scary business, I know I sure was when I started to taper, but it doesn't have to be.  Before you get too far on your taper plans we have several threads you really should read:

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

What is withdrawal syndrome? 

 

Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

 

That will get you started.  Also if you would please add a signature block with your drug history, it would be really helpful.

 

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

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

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

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

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

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi bigpoppa , welcome.    

You've probably realized by now that going down by 33% of your dose is too fast , and it's very likely that withdrawal symptoms will start to set in soon.  

If it's been 3 days since you cut 37.5mg , I would be inclined to go back up straight away to 75mg.   Tapering these drugs needs to be done slowly so that you don't become very sick.

 

It's very likely that you've reached oppositional tolerance (or "poop-out") and the drug isn't working any more.   I agree with the others who've encouraged you to taper rather than try a different antidepressant , for the reasons you've said.

 

Great to hear of a doctor who refers patients here.   You might want to share his details for anyone in your area.

 

It's okay to be scared - everyone on this site understands how scary these meds. can be.   You've landed in a wonderful place here , and will get lots of support and information to help you.

If you click FOLLOW at the top right , you'll receive an email each time someone posts.

 

Best wishes ,  Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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  • Mentor

Fresh, you said it all, yet again,,,,,,,,,,,, you have helped so many of us................ thankyou!

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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welome 'bigpoppa' you say you were refered by a psychiatrist excellent.

I wish you well

Sertraline 100mg amytrip 60mg diazepam 4mg (and when needed) since late 90's.Reduced all meds over 6 wks (too short) last doses 13 wks ago.Still having withdrawals.I would have done it differently

5th august 2015 reinstated 5mg amytripiline.increased to 10mg amtrip 9th sept 2015.

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  • Administrator

Welcome, bigpoppa.

 

I understand you reduced 37.5mg to 75mg, is that correct? How are you feeling now?

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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Hello  and welcome to the group.

 

I was on effexor for 8 years,,,,,,,,,,  but on 375mg  (at dosages above 150mg, it becomes two drugs, and SRRI  and then an SRNI)...........   so so lucky you have never gone above 150mg, so only one drug, and one lot of receptors messed up, instead of two!   :)  I alos found the effexor didnt work after about 5 years,   I didnt know, then.............. I do now..............

 

Dont know why a doc would prescribe effexor, if you cant sleep, the nightmares are awful on that stuff, without a sedative as well. but we are all different, I guess.

 

Are you on other drugs?   Can you try and fill out your signature?  

 

Why add another drug, when you want to get off drugs?            Just reduce very slowy, take a year or two to reduce your effexor.  Stick to what you are on now dosage wise, for at least 6 months, then reduce as per the tapering recommended on this site.

 

I had no choice but to start up zoloft after a too quick taper off effexor, and a bad horrific reaction to valium...............    so my advice?  dont add new drugs, just slowly reduce what you are on.

 

Good luck!

Thank you. I do consider myself lucky that I have always been on a relatively low dosage. However, I believe my nervous system has become incredibly reliant on it after so much time.

 

I am not on any other drugs right now. The doc wants me to transfer to Zoloft while weaning off the Effexor. Im choosing not to.

Effexor- 8 years

Been on 75mg for as long as I can remember

Recently upped dosage to 112.5mg

Now reduced by 37.5mg to go back to 75mg and get off this stuff!

Link to comment

Hey Bigpoppa-- welcome to the group.  I think you found us just in time, before your doctor could cause you anymore trouble.  Very wise of you not to add the zoloft, all it would do is muddy the waters and probably make things worse.  Having only been on one drug puts you in an excellent position to taper off of this stuff and get your life back.  It can seem to be a pretty scary business, I know I sure was when I started to taper, but it doesn't have to be.  Before you get too far on your taper plans we have several threads you really should read:

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

What is withdrawal syndrome? 

 

Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

 

That will get you started.  Also if you would please add a signature block with your drug history, it would be really helpful.

 

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

Thanks Funky Monkey ;)

 

I believe I updated the signature block properly now..

 

These links were very helpful. I am curious though, why do doctors and pharmacists say DO NOT OPEN THE CAPSULES...?

Effexor- 8 years

Been on 75mg for as long as I can remember

Recently upped dosage to 112.5mg

Now reduced by 37.5mg to go back to 75mg and get off this stuff!

Link to comment

Hi bigpoppa , welcome.    

You've probably realized by now that going down by 33% of your dose is too fast , and it's very likely that withdrawal symptoms will start to set in soon.  

If it's been 3 days since you cut 37.5mg , I would be inclined to go back up straight away to 75mg.   Tapering these drugs needs to be done slowly so that you don't become very sick.

 

It's very likely that you've reached oppositional tolerance (or "poop-out") and the drug isn't working any more.   I agree with the others who've encouraged you to taper rather than try a different antidepressant , for the reasons you've said.

 

Great to hear of a doctor who refers patients here.   You might want to share his details for anyone in your area.

 

It's okay to be scared - everyone on this site understands how scary these meds. can be.   You've landed in a wonderful place here , and will get lots of support and information to help you.

If you click FOLLOW at the top right , you'll receive an email each time someone posts.

 

Best wishes ,  Fresh

Hey Fresh

 

Thank you. 

 

The benefit here is that I was on 75mg for years until 3 months ago. That is when I went up another 37.5mg. So... Im hoping because Ive only been on the increased dosage for 3 months, cutting it back by that same amount may not be too hard... Im debating this still. Im now on day 4 and there are definitely symptoms, but so far they arent as bad as the symptoms I had when I INCREASED the 3 months ago... that was shear terror for like 8 weeks straight.

 

For anyone whos interested- I am from Manitoba, Canada. However, the psychiatrist I got a second opinion from, and the one whom reffered me to this website is from California. I retained him for a telephone consultation. His name is Dr Stuart Shipko.

Effexor- 8 years

Been on 75mg for as long as I can remember

Recently upped dosage to 112.5mg

Now reduced by 37.5mg to go back to 75mg and get off this stuff!

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Welcome, bigpoppa.

 

I understand you reduced 37.5mg to 75mg, is that correct? How are you feeling now?

Hi Alto, thanks for the reply. I read you are quite knowledgeable when it comes to Effexor.

 

Yes, long story short- I have been on 75mg for years. 3 months ago, I felt more anxious than usual. The doc said "we better up the Effexor to 150mg". I negotiated with him as I was nervous about this. We settled on an increase of 37.5mg for a total of 112.5mg. 

 

The side effects of the increase for some reason were horrid. Crazy bad anxiety, panic, awful dizziness and the list goes on. at 2 months it started to finally settle a bit, but 4 days ago I said enough and stopped with the 37.5mg increase so now for the past 4 days have only been taking 75mg.

 

I feel weird in the morning.. almost like I missed a dose. I cant rush fast enough downstairs to take the 75mg dose first thing with breakfast. Then, I seem to start levelling off a bit, but then the lightheadedness starts and is off and on all day. Towards the evening it gets a little better. I get this odd numbness in my fingers and sometimes my legs. Feel a little anxious, and feel as though my system is stressed if that makes sense...

 

I will do what it takes to get through this, but one of my biggest concerns is, will I ever feel healthy and normal again...

Effexor- 8 years

Been on 75mg for as long as I can remember

Recently upped dosage to 112.5mg

Now reduced by 37.5mg to go back to 75mg and get off this stuff!

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  • Administrator

It sounds like reducing 37.5mg to 75mg was too big a jump for you. You may be experiencing withdrawal from that.

 

You might try adding 10 beads in the late afternoon for a week or so to see if this helps "bridge" the difference.

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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It sounds like reducing 37.5mg to 75mg was too big a jump for you. You may be experiencing withdrawal from that.

 

You might try adding 10 beads in the late afternoon for a week or so to see if this helps "bridge" the difference.

Thanks Alto

 

Do you know, if one were to just `deal with the symptoms`until they level back out, would it cause any harm..

 

Also, I am concerned- I have an appointment coming up with my MD in a few weeks. I fear he is not going to support my decision to taper this way.. IE- when I tell him I want to open the capsule and self regulate with the beads, he may not write me another prescription!! Im not sure what to tell him, and also am confused as to why the pharmacist would tell me doing this is dangerous.

Effexor- 8 years

Been on 75mg for as long as I can remember

Recently upped dosage to 112.5mg

Now reduced by 37.5mg to go back to 75mg and get off this stuff!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome Bigpoppa,

 

There are many of us here who don't tell our doctors everything.  If you know your doctor may not listen or prescribe, then it is perfectly reasonable for you to say or not say whatever is needed to get the prescription which will allow you to gently taper. 

 

I'd also hazzard a guess that the pharmacist told you 'opening capsules is dangerous' out of that arrogant mis-guided belief that the professional knows all and the 'little people' shouldn't question anything.  People here open capsules all the time, myself included.  Certainly much less dangerous than continuing to take a higher dosage.

 

I started tapering Effexor about 4 months ago, and am still finding my way.  However, the more I read on this forum, the more informed I get, the less scared I feel.  Learning to trust your instincts and body is vital.  I'm sure you'll get to grips with things, and start to find your way too.

 

Hang in there,

Karen

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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Bigpoppa!!!

 

Our stories are identical except I am on Paxil and I had a failed taper last year. After the failed taper I felt bad doc increased my medication/ actually she doubled it-

 

My increase did the SAME thing to me!!!! Made me feel horribly worse!!! And would not settle! This was almost 4 mos ago-

 

I have begun reducing and I feel so much better! However I am currently reducing by 2.5mg - and will reduce even less on my next step down- I don't know if this is a placebo effect but if it is I'm so happy about it! For almost 4 months I have felt horrid - worse than when I had my failed taper last year -

 

She wants to put me on lexapro but at this point I am not going to try it - not saying I never will - and I do think I may need meds forever since I was on Paxil for 9 years - I don't know if I will ever be able to be med free now -

 

I was so afraid to reduce my medication after I increased and so afraid of what was happening to me - if I had to do everything all over again I never would have increased my meds - I would have tried to stabilize at 10mg and continued to come off -

 

I hope your feeling ok! Your not alone :)

 

*Currently at 3.3mg off my 10mg pill of Paxil (they actually weigh 12.5mg) so I’m around 7.4 mg 

*No other supplements or vitamins 

*Taper schedule in the pdf 

Blank.pdf

 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-5vShtJtwAOGA30OxIP87steLmMdFzD29F0fzAPD564

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Bigpoppa!!!

 

Our stories are identical except I am on Paxil and I had a failed taper last year. After the failed taper I felt bad doc increased my medication/ actually she doubled it-

 

My increase did the SAME thing to me!!!! Made me feel horribly worse!!! And would not settle! This was almost 4 mos ago-

 

I have begun reducing and I feel so much better! However I am currently reducing by 2.5mg - and will reduce even less on my next step down- I don't know if this is a placebo effect but if it is I'm so happy about it! For almost 4 months I have felt horrid - worse than when I had my failed taper last year -

 

She wants to put me on lexapro but at this point I am not going to try it - not saying I never will - and I do think I may need meds forever since I was on Paxil for 9 years - I don't know if I will ever be able to be med free now -

 

I was so afraid to reduce my medication after I increased and so afraid of what was happening to me - if I had to do everything all over again I never would have increased my meds - I would have tried to stabilize at 10mg and continued to come off -

 

I hope your feeling ok! Your not alone :)

Hey junky ;)

 

It's very helpful knowing one is not alone.

 

I am now on what I believe is day 5 of my decrease. Today was a good day for the most part. So far I have found a couple of things helpful:

 

1. Keeping busy even if I feel awful

 

2. Thinking to myself "these awful side effects are a good thing, it means I'm flushing out the bad"

 

3. Reminding myself I have experienced worse

 

4. Drinking lots of water

 

It's not fun, but what's the worst that could happen? We won't die. And, I want to see what it will be like to be off meds as it has been so long.

 

Worst case, if after a year or two of being off meds I cannot function, I will put myself at the mercy of the system again.

Effexor- 8 years

Been on 75mg for as long as I can remember

Recently upped dosage to 112.5mg

Now reduced by 37.5mg to go back to 75mg and get off this stuff!

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  • Administrator

bigpoppa, if your doctor understood what you were doing to taper, he would be unusual. The reason this site exists is because patients can't get the support they need from their doctors.

 

Opening the capsules and counting beads is a very, very common way to taper. The reason you are told not to open the capsules is because doctors want you taking a consistent dose every day. They think patients will be irresponsible.

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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bigpoppa, if your doctor understood what you were doing to taper, he would be unusual. The reason this site exists is because patients can't get the support they need from their doctors.

 

Opening the capsules and counting beads is a very, very common way to taper. The reason you are told not to open the capsules is because doctors want you taking a consistent dose every day. They think patients will be irresponsible.

bloomin absolutely right!!!

1997 - 2001 Seroxat 10mg

2001 - 2013 Escitalopram 10mg

Gradual taper from 10mg to 5mg over 2.5 years (between 2011 - 2013)

Last taper from 5mg to 0 under advice from doctor done in 1 month (too damn fast!) - included missing out days.

Have been drug free since Oct 2013.  - Yep 5 years drugs free

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Glad you found the site! I had a similar issue with Effexor. I wish I had known and started to taper once the Effexor started making my anxiety worse but I allowed them to raise the dose, to a point I felt crazy and terrified, only to taper all of it in 3 months and then pile on more meds. So glad you found this site in time. You're doing the right thing, and 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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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello again everyone. I am starting to stabilize on my 75mg of Effexor. I dont feel 100% quite yet, but feel close. This means in likely a couple weeks, I will start to taper off of the 75mg. I have decided I am going to follow the advice of the 10% method. Believe it or not, it looks like my GP may actually be in support of this method. This will be the first time I have opened up a capsule. My question:

 

What is the easiest way to calculate the number of beads to remove? Should I get a scale and do it all by 10% of weight? Or, should I count out all beads, and do it by count? IE- if I have 100 beads, take out 10 for approx a month, then take out 9 for the next month, then 8 and so on.

 

Lastly, are there any tools I can purchase that will make this task more precise or easier/quicker to complete? 

 

Thanks in advance

Effexor- 8 years

Been on 75mg for as long as I can remember

Recently upped dosage to 112.5mg

Now reduced by 37.5mg to go back to 75mg and get off this stuff!

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  • Moderator

Counting beads is a recognized method of reducing.  The beads sometimes will vary in size and weight, and the dosage is calculated by weight, so using scales will the more accurate way of doing it.  Except for the scales you probably have everything you're going to need, it's a pretty simple operation.

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

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

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

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

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I purchased a micro-scale which was mentioned on this site, and it's been great.  It's called the Gemini-20, and all the info is here, including how to do the weighing, and other tips.  There's also a good link called Preparing to Taper in the Important Topics in the Tapering Forum.

 

So good to hear you are stabilising - feels brilliant huh?

 

Hugs,

Karen

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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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello friends

 

It's been about a month now since I've started getting off effexor. All in all I've noticed a decrease in symptoms. However, over the past couple of days, I've been experiencing these random dizzy spells. One today I almost fell over! They happen only a few times a day and last for a very brief period. Has anyone experienced something similar? ?

Effexor- 8 years

Been on 75mg for as long as I can remember

Recently upped dosage to 112.5mg

Now reduced by 37.5mg to go back to 75mg and get off this stuff!

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I've had similar experience.Felt like I was walking in a straight line but I wasnt , weird.Dont get it now tho.

Sertraline 100mg amytrip 60mg diazepam 4mg (and when needed) since late 90's.Reduced all meds over 6 wks (too short) last doses 13 wks ago.Still having withdrawals.I would have done it differently

5th august 2015 reinstated 5mg amytripiline.increased to 10mg amtrip 9th sept 2015.

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  • Administrator

Be sure to take your Effexor at the same time each day.

 

This could be a wave, they can come and go for a while. See The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

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 for the link Altostrata -- I guess one could compare it to the stock market!

 

On another note, if it helps anyone, I have found a big difference in my symptoms in relation to my water intake. At only my regular 2.5 liters per day, my symptoms are worse. With 4.5 liters a day, they are noticeably better.

Effexor- 8 years

Been on 75mg for as long as I can remember

Recently upped dosage to 112.5mg

Now reduced by 37.5mg to go back to 75mg and get off this stuff!

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  • Administrator

Interesting about the water. Well, that's fairly easy to come by.

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

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Absolutely on the water - lately I've been trying really hard to drink water regularly before I get thirsty (I know, I'm a bit slow ;)) and it's making a huge difference.  Less headaches, less tiredness. 

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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Hi All

 

I`ve been curious- it is painfully obvious that tapering very slowly off of Effexor (and other drugs) is the only way to stop it with the least amount of symptoms. If this is the case, does anyone know why they will only write and fill prescriptions for 37.5mg, 75mg, 150mg etc etc??? Perhaps there are other dose amounts I am unaware of?

 

I pay the pharmacist alot of money, they should be the one counting these damn beads!

Effexor- 8 years

Been on 75mg for as long as I can remember

Recently upped dosage to 112.5mg

Now reduced by 37.5mg to go back to 75mg and get off this stuff!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Bigpoppa,

I joined the new intro topic you started with your original thread, its one intro/update topic per member. You can use this thread as your ongoing journal to track progress, write about symptoms, ask questions and communicate with the community, add to it whenever you want. If it were up to me, I would have all the big Pharma execs locked in tiny rooms counting our beads for us :)

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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Gotcha thanks. I will post only here from now on. Makes sense!

 

I guess it doesn't really matter why they do what they do. I agree with Petunia, only difference is I would throw away the key!

Effexor- 8 years

Been on 75mg for as long as I can remember

Recently upped dosage to 112.5mg

Now reduced by 37.5mg to go back to 75mg and get off this stuff!

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Update:

 

I had an appointment this morning with my GP. Today was the day I told him I was weaning myself off and that I would be counting beads out. I then explained that I wanted to continue getting the prescription so that I could do this, and if that was not a possibility I would have to find a way to get them illegally so I am really hoping he can accommodate!

 

To my surprise, he listened intently and said "If you feel like this is the best way to approach it, I'll support it" and then wrote me a prescription for a 3 month supply, but wants to monitor me. I can live with that. He also said that there are many unknowns with this drug and that ultimately if I am willing to live without them it's not a bad idea.

 

I will continue tapering very slowly and am glad he is supportive.

Effexor- 8 years

Been on 75mg for as long as I can remember

Recently upped dosage to 112.5mg

Now reduced by 37.5mg to go back to 75mg and get off this stuff!

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Papa,

That's great news!

Hope it goes well,

Tgirl

April 2014 remeron 45mg.

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

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

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

Currently

Remeron 7.5

Vitamin d 5,000 iu taking for about 3 years

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

Levothyroxitine 100 10 years or so

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

August 2015 down to 0.1 mg

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

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Wow, today was not a fun day. Its weird. I almost feel as though I forgot to take my pill but I didnt. Groggy, dizziness, numbness in hands and arm, tense, increased anxiety, restless, low energy... Why do I feel like this all of a sudden? Anyone experience anything similar? It was going relatively well up until now.

Effexor- 8 years

Been on 75mg for as long as I can remember

Recently upped dosage to 112.5mg

Now reduced by 37.5mg to go back to 75mg and get off this stuff!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Wow, today was not a fun day. Its weird. I almost feel as though I forgot to take my pill but I didnt. Groggy, dizziness, numbness in hands and arm, tense, increased anxiety, restless, low energy... Why do I feel like this all of a sudden? Anyone experience anything similar? It was going relatively well up until now.

 

Poppa,

 

Let's hope that this is simply a wave, a small blip, something that was triggered by a food or an allergy or who knows?  There are so many possible triggers you can have when your nervous system has been sensitized by these drugs.  If it persists it could be an indication that your hope that going "right back to 75mg" did not work as smoothly as you had hoped.  In my case, I had the same thing with Zoloft.  I had been increased from 50mg to 100mg and decided to taper shortly thereafter so I figured I could drop down to 75mg quickly.  It wasn't as bad as many have it on this board but it wasn't great either!  It is very, very hard to predict how it will go with any move of this sort.  Just keep monitoring, taking care of yourself, and posting so you can benefit from the myriad experience on this board.

 

Hang in there.  Things will improve.

 

Andy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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