Kay

Kay: 10 Years on Effexor & Beginning Taper

56 posts in this topic

Kay, I admire your willingness to go longer between cuts, something many here are short on.  

 

If the gut turbulence is the only symptom, try to hold on and ride it out rather than be hair-trigger and updose.  Slow and steady wins the race.  I've had the diarrhea issue when I was tapering mirtazapine at a higher dosage, but that seems to be behind me for now LOL!  I consider it one of the lesser of wd evils.  I'll take diarrhea over anxiety any day!  Neurons in the bowel are affected by the cuts so digestive symptoms are common.

 

Was it the digestive upset that left you scared, or were you having an anxiety wave?

 

SG

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Thanks Squirrellygirl. I'm scared about being ill, and having it be something that doesn't go away. I'm a bit scared. I lost a friend a few months ago, and I think she just never recovered from going off the med. Also have read others' stories, the symptoms continuing after they've been off for a while. Also I've been having bad sleep now for about a year. Just scared about how this is all going to work out for me. 

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If your wish is to come off the meds but you are frightened by poor outcome, then the way to go is to taper VERY slowly.  The alternative is to stay on meds the rest of your life, right?  So, to take as long as it takes to go very slowly is the better of the two options, because we know these drugs are neurotoxic and lead to treatment resistant depression, an increased risk for dementia, shortened life span...If it takes four years to come off but going that slowly keeps you feeling ok and allows your nervous system to slowly adapt back to life without the drug, that's a win, right?  There's no race, no prize for coming off faster.

 

Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable

 

I'm sorry about your friend.  Did she come off psych meds?  It is serious business coming off these meds because of the remodeling issue - it's our brain we are talking about, so all the more reason to take it nice and slow like you are.

 

SG

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Yes, Simple, Slow & Stable. Today is day 4 of the diarrhea. Can you give me any idea about how long this might last, based on others' experiences? Or has no one shared that. From your own experience? 

 

I also have this neck condition, which is horrid really, I suspect has all this time (seven years!) I've been suffering with this and it's been caused by the drug. I never even thought once it might be due to the drug, until last year. I started google searching Effexor and Spastic Torticollis, and finding connections. Shows how trusting I have been of drugs and medicine. 

 

My friend got off Effexor XR. She was ill for about a year and a half after getting off. She never wanted to try taking the drug again. She tried many, many things. Also was a nutritionist. So sad, and such a loss, she was a very special person, artist, wise woman. I suspect there have been many/will be more we will lose due to these drugs. 

 

Thank you so much!!  Kay

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i have loose bowels .Its been going on for a while now. And then there is the f word...flatulence. Im hoping it resolves soon.

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thx nz11. I know this is a subject that is somewhat "taboo" to discuss. Since it's a symptom of the antidepressants withdrawal (at least it clearly is for Effexor), it's important I think that we talk about it, so we all get a better idea what to expect.

 

I'm sorry about your loose bowel, and I expect you know that's not a healthy state. How long is a while? This is what I'm wondering. Also, because my friend who has died, she had long-term bowel problems, that was one of the symptoms she continued to have, after 1.5 years off Effexor. I'm wondering what peoples' experience has been, as far as how long this has lasted for them on a taper. 

 

I'm getting flatulence (I call it gas) also. 

 

I also have sometimes ginger root tea, which is supposed to be very good for digestion. I may have that again tomorrow. 

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It's unlikely that your GI symptoms are withdrawal related given their onset so long after a dose cut and that it's a new symptom for you (correct me if I missed it in scanning your thread). It's not impossible that it's a w/d symptom, just unlikely.

 

If I were you, I wouldn't make any changes to the venlafaxine dose. There's a risk of adding or worsening symptoms.

 

You may want to rehydrate and replace your electrolytes with Pedialyte or a version of child's rehydration fluid available in Ecuador. Another member here found that a day or two taking the Pedialyte eliminated the diarrhea she was experiencing.

 

Sometimes diarrhea and constipation are indications of an imbalance in the gut bacteria and can be resolved by supplementing with "good" bacteria or probiotics.  Have you tried probiotic bacteria?  If so, what was your reaction to them?

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Hi Kay,

 

Just stopped by to say hello, and tell you how much I applaud your courage for thinking about coming off your drugs even after the tragedy of your friend. The fact that your still considering the need come off even after all your friend went through means that you must feel there is something terribly wrong with theses drugs. I encourage you to follow that instinct.

 

I have not done this right at all, going way too fast based on the directions of a clueless doctor, and I have suffered for it. Even in my darkest moments, however, those closest to me continually see positive changes, and that has made all the difference.

 

I'm so sorry to hear about your friend, but I think you're making the right decision to come off these meds. If you can find someone who knows you well and can help you see the positive no matter what, it will be a big help.

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September 1 2016 today is Day 104 of my taper. I stayed on 65mg Venlafaxine for a total of 77 days. Today I am stepping down to 62mg, taking 31 in am and 31 in pm. 

 

I wish I could say I'm feel well today, but last night was a bad night of sleep, and I even got up at 11:30pm and ate something, which I never do. And today feeling unstable emotionally, upset early in day, and neck pulling. I am feeling some stabilizing of mood after taking omega 3 supplements and having my morning smoothie. 
 
Going from 65 to 62mg is only a (approximately) 5% reduction, so I hope I won't experience many symptoms. We'll see.

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You are doing great!did you reinstate to 75 last year?I'm trying to stabilize on 75mgs after withdrawals from a too fast taper.75 is the usual dose.after a month,still feel w/d.

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Thanks ZazOA9. I did reinstate to 75mg last year. I have been on 65mg for 77 days. I'm thinking about 2 months for each reduction at this point.

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Today I went back to the pdoc here in Ecuador I've been going to for more prescriptions for my next med reduction. He said appt. was 1pm but as before waited over an hour, this time 1 hour 40 minutes for my 20 minute appointment. I get annoyed (venting). Patriarchal hierarchy at it's finest  :mellow:

 

I did get scripts and am ready very soon to reduce 3mg. I've been taking 62mg for 49 days. He asked me if I was ready to reduce to 31mg. Can I just get a reality check from the group, that's an insane move right?  ;) Yet that's what he said, then I told him there are many people who are sick from getting off this drug, and told him exactly what I wanted, and fortunately he just wrote up the scripts for me.

 

So I'll go pick them up next week: 10 weeks of 59mg, 10 weeks of 56mg, and 10 weeks of 53mg (each broken into two dosages per day).

 

The symptoms are cycling up and down daily, along with my neck spasm condition and related pain, and continuing lack of healthy sleep. Aside from the neck and related body pain, which tends to be worse in morning and tapers a bit toward evening, I have mental compromise and emotional surges that also cycle in harmony with the neck. There have been some rough spots, and at times the neck pain is quite bad, I would not want to risk any stronger symptoms than I am experiencing. Some of the time, aside from the neck condition, no other symptoms.

Edited by scallywag
white space/paragraph breaks added

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Stepping down to 53mg Venlafaxine today. 

 

Here are my main symptoms, summary of worst days/symptoms on last cycle 42 days on 56mg:

 

Stronger symptom Days: days 14, 18, 24, 33, 34, 36
Day 14 bad sleep, upset, slight dizziness. possibly due to non-organic beef eaten night before.
Day 18 bad sleep, feeling emotionally crazed and upset. Later in day feeling down.
Day 24 feeling mentally compromised.
Day 32 no bowel movement, bad mood and crying in evening. 
Day 33 more inclined to cry
Day 34 low mood on waking, easier to cry. Impatient.
Day 36 to bed late due to neighbor noise, feeling upset, drilling in street in am (Sunday), upset, feeling mentally challenged. 

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Thanks for posting an update.  It looks as if your hold for 42 days went reasonably well -- only 7 days with symptoms!

 

Hope the weeks after today's dose reduction go even more smoothly for you.

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Thank you scallywag. It did go fairly well. Though still with dystonia pain every day. I anticipate it will continue likewise, until getting down to 40mg or so. I understand it can get harder at lower dosages. 

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April 20 2017 Day 335 (50mg Venlafaxine)

 

Day 1 on 50mg.

 

Although I’ve continued in recent days to have some symptoms cycling: mood, mental and also bowel, I’ve been on 53mg for almost 10 weeks (total 67 days) so going to step down today to 50mg.

 

I got some more papaya to add to my morning smoothie (digestive enzymes) and tomorrow will get some kombucha (probiotics). This should help to further stabilize my digestive system. Also, in a couple of weeks I should get a very good quality liver supplement, which includes minerals and many other important supplements as well, from a top quality source, recommended by Dr. Brogan: Radiant Life.

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Just finished six weeks at 50mg and had some symptom cycling toward the end. But I did see the pdoc here yesterday and got more "scripts" to extend the next dosage 47mg for ten weeks. So I am stepping down today from 50mg after six weeks in spite of having some symptoms cycling two days ago. I hope my system will be able to stabilize during the coming ten weeks. This seemed the best solution since it takes the pharmacy a couple days to make the dosages (though I admit I'm still a bit too motivated to reduce).
Here's my current schedule:

53 > 50mg Apr.20. - May.31 2017 6 weeks
6% reduction

50 > 47mg June 1 - Aug 9 10 weeks
6% reduction

47 > 45mg Aug 10 - Sept. 20 6 weeks
4% reductrion

45 > 43mg Sept 21 - Nov.1 6 weeks
4% reduction

43 > 41mg Nov.2 - Jan.10.2018 10 weeks
5% reduction[/background]

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Hi Kay,

 

I think you're a champ for reducing so slowly and responsibly. You seem to have your symptoms under control.

I'm very inspired by your example.

Hope this drop goes well for you and you get relief from your neck pain soon.

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Thank you TikkiTikki, I'm glad it's inspiring for you. Good luck on your journey also! What is our motto here: something like Keep it Safe, Keep it Slow, Keep it Steady...slow and patient wins in this!

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