Shortcake

Shortcake: Effexor withdrawal. When will it end?

220 posts in this topic

Hi Shortcake, Can't imagine dealing with withdrawal and having a little one at home ... thankfully you have your mom to help you through this.  Personally would have done just about anything to feel normal again ... at the beginning ... except stay on antidepressants.  From personal experience, I know these drugs cause long-term damage and over the years I noticed that my emotions had completely shut down and the cognitive decline was alarming.  Since I started tapering, this has changed dramatically.  My mind is a lot sharper, my emotions are closer to the surface and I'm amazed and hopeful that I'll eventually get the real me back.  The difference in my day-to-day functioning in life and at work has improved so much, I just wish I'd gotten off of this drug years ago.  

Ultimately it is your decision whether or not you start taking the drugs again but would like to encourage you to gather up as much strength as you possibly can given the circumstances, stay the course, and get off of the drugs safely.  In the long run, you will thank yourself.  A lot will change over the course of three months before you have to return to work and you will get to a point that you can manage the withdrawal.  It usually takes between five to seven days for the brain to register a change in dose and another week for the CNS to settle so you should have a better idea about your reinstatement next week.  Yes, the not knowing produces fear and is difficult to manage at times but it does fade into the background eventually.  Know it doesn't fell like it now, believe me I know, but it will get better.

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I DO want to get off them eventually, but safely and where it won't affect my ability to care for my daughter. She is the most important thing, so if going on them for now even a little bit will enable me to care for her and support her, then that is what I will do. I will focus on tapering at a later date. I just can't risk not being able to care for her again.

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I completely understand, no judgement here.  You have to do what is best for you and your family.  Hoping you feel a lot better soon.  Take good care of yourself.   

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Thank you Baroquep :) You as well! Thank you for being a friend.

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Hey Shortcake

 

are you still seeing improvement with the reinstatement?   the withdrawal stuff goes on and on and if you have a child to take care of you would want to stabilize again on the pill again so that you can function.  withdrawal is for people who live alone or may have others who take care of them.  You had asked if there were any stories of success from reinstatement and there are tons of them, probably more than the ones who stick it out for years in wd.  send me a message sometime if you want and I can link you to some.  Often people who reinstate are back to the way they felt within days to weeks.  I am not pro med, but once they have been in the body it's usually easier to put them back in to stabilize unless you have a couple years to sit around crying daily and losing your mind and wondering about suicide. 

 

derek

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PJ, definitely do not have time for that! With an almost 3 year old and being the sole provider, I barely have time to breathe lol. I did really well working down from 150mg to 10 ish, but beyond that... will have to wait.

 

Reinstatment atill going well. I'm starting to feel like my old self again and hoping its not just a window. I still have days where i feel a bit sick and anxious but its nothing compared to before I reinstated. I am at 2.2mg and after the 2 weeks i will see how i am but i may bring it up a bit higher. Tapering completely can happen at a later time. Maybe Ill get a husband eventually and will be able to take some time for myself. But right now it is just not possible.

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Good to hear that the reinstatement works so far.

Once you get into WD your nervous system could be far more sensitive than before. A very low dose might be enough and feeling "less bad" is often better than "awful". If the dose gets too high, it could backfire. If i were you, i would be very careful with updosing too fast. Better to play safe at this stage.

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Hey Shortcake

glad to hear the reinstatement took and you were able to get out of the wd hole quickly. a lot of people just end up sitting there in misery for a long time because they either don't know better or else are completely anti-med and almost willing to become martyr's or something. I am mostly anti-med but once you have been on them for a while, taking them again can help with recovering from wd. Since your child is young I would think it's better just to stay on low doses that you are comfortable at (or about what you had mentioned in your previous post) for a while and just take care of child rearing. Like you said, you can always try to taper at a later date, you know, when you are not as busy or as needed. I actually am part of a facebook page from this site (it's under "off topic" on the contents page if you are interested) and am about to get kicked out for suggesting reinstatement to a couple of members who were sitting around in wd with suicidal ideation for months. it's a hard one for people to understand who frequent this site and read the anti-psychiatry literature, that sometimes one's idealism needs to be sacrificed in order to really live and be happy again. I have been harmed more than most people on this site by the drugs, but at the same time once they are introduced into the body they become sort of a necessary evil in a way, at least if you want to function in society and in your case, raise a child. It's a different scenario when they have been forced on people against their will, but in most cases for people who were just feeling blue and trusted the doctor and took the meds for years and then quit them and went into wd, reinstatement often is the best option. I wish you luck in finding that husband down the road as you start feeling better. Sorry, about this long winded post, but I am just happy you are not suffering and beside yourself with worry anymore.

Poetjester

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Hello, Shortcake.

 

Sounds like 2.2mg is sufficient. You may have some ups and downs for a time, as your nervous system settles down.

 

Vitamin D is a daytime vitamin, I suggest you take that and your multivitamin (which probably contains B vitamins, too), in the morning rather than the evening.

 

How long have you been taking vitamin B12? How much and what kind do you take? Were you low in B12 when you started it?

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Hey Alto,

 

2.2mg seems to be working for me right now, yes. I am having a couple of side effects (headaches all day and fatigue, and of course the brain fog/memory issues) from it but it is better than the alternative withdrawal symptoms. I have 7 days of notes, how long do you giys want us to keep track? I will post the ones here that I havent posted yet.

 

My mom always told me to take vitamin d at night as it would help me sleep, so thats just what I've always done. It's supposed to be taken during the day? My multi I always took with supper as it says to take a few hours before or after other medication and I take me effexor xr in the mornings. I could take it with lunch I suppose but my pill holder only had am and om and i will forget otherwise lol.

The b12 i had only been taking on and off for a couple of months but find it kind of makes me anxious so have stopped it. I was taking 1000mcg of methylcobalamin. I wasnt low in it but a holistic nutritionist had a post about how it could benefit people who were stressed.

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Reinstatement Day 5:

 

630- up

645- guilty neuro emotions (i am still breastfeeding and worried my daughter is affected by the medication, i was on it while pregnant with her and she may be going through all this with me through my milk. I was told it wouldnt affect her but they also didnt think i would be affected by withdrawal)

7- agitated

730- decaf coffee

830- breakfast, fish oil, vit c, b complex

9- effexor xr 2.2mg

12- lunch

2-decaf tea, snack

230- headache

6- supper, dessert, fish oil, vit c, multi

930- magnesium, vit d, probiotic

11ish- asleep

 

*headaches most of the day (wondering if its from the effexor or because i cut out caffeine)

*fatigue all day

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Reinstatement day 6:

 

6- awake

730- decaf coffee, diahrea

910- breakfasy, fish oil, vit c, b complex, effexor 2.2mg

930- diahrea

945- ginger gravol

10-diahrea

130- decaf tea, headache

2- lunch

6- chamomile tea

615- restless

7- supper, dessert, fish oil, multi, vit c

12- asleep

 

*headaches most of the day.

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About Vitamin D, it's a hormone that we humans make from a reaction that starts when our skin is exposed to sunlight. Definitely a day time vitamin!

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Headaches normal when you reinstate? Not sure if it's that or because I cut out coffee

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Today is day 8 i believe... things are going well. I dont seem to be having anymore withdrawal symptoms, or at least not as bad. Though I am snapping at the littlest things, get restless a lot. The headaches were killer.

 

I am so thankful for you guys and suggesting reinstatement. I don't know what I would have done... So thank you, all of you, for being so supportive and helpful. I will keep updating as part of me is scared this may just be a window.

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Oh and I just learned what  "akithisia" means  and I have that too.

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8d82t0r433z2d386g.jpg

 

;)

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You're the best! Thanks for checking!

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so glad to hear that you are stabilizing at 2.25mg, that's very good news!!!  was a little worried that you'd go back to your original dose like I did a couple of years ago, when just a little would have sufficed.  

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I still feel like I could maybe go up a bit more, but am waiting to see. I need to be able to work and take care of my daughter on my own. If i am able to function on this amount, then ill stay but we shall see.

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Ugh... I think it's back again. Started my period yesterday and feeling nauseated all day, bad headaches all day, took 400mg advil, had shawarma for dinner, then diahrea and shaking and cold. Now im awake at 1230am shaky, hot, cold, nauseous, anxiety attack. I was hoping after reinstatement it wasnt just a window... but maybe it was. Or maybe my period triggered all this. Trying to meditate through it.

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Shortcake, periods do have an effect on w/d symptoms.  Many of our members experience this.  It's a pain, but it's also reassuring in a way, because you know things will settle down again in a few days.  Can you get something soothing like a hot-water-bottle for your tummy, or a cosy blanket to snuggle up in.  Maybe some soothing music.  Meditation can be easier with a guided meditation - just google.  Sipping at water can also help with anxiety. 

 

It will ease...

 

Hugs,

Karen

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Shortcake, just read your thread.

You did incredibly well getting down to a such a small dose of Effexor.  I am 71 and felt getting from 225 to 150 last year was a big deal!

Dont worry about the reinstatement, clearly the excellent advice - SA at its absolute best I would say, in your case - has got you back onto a more stable platform, from which you can start rebuilding again.  I am all too familiar with this pattern.

 

Thinking of you and your 3-year old.  Our daughter has one, too.  We look after her when both mum and dad are at work.  Daughter suffers from OCD but is in a really impressive job.  We know, too, that she feels better meeting its challenges, as you probably will, too, when the time comes.

 

You have youth and a great mind on your side.  I first became ill in 1977, but managed to hold down a very responsible job, help raise 3 children and support the household until I took slightly early retirement at 57 in 2001.

Hang in there, you are getting the best guidance and support on here, and I look forward to hearing of your progress.

 

Best wishes & love. Peng.

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KarenB,

 

Thank you for the advice :) I was cuddled in bed listening to my Jack Kornfield guided meditation, remembered your tip about sipping cold water. I ended up taking a .5mg ativan. I had an early morning appt with my ob/gyn and needed to sleep. Couldn't risk being up all night panicking.

 

Peng,

Thank you for your kind words :) I am trying my best! I have a very good job at a hospital and it gives me such confidence. Right now I am scared I may never be able to go back. I am hoping the cbt i am going to weekly will help with my panic towards that.

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I'm thinking I want to go up a bit more. Maybe to 3mg. My suggested reinstatement was 11-22 beads so 3mg would be 15 beads. I'm doing okay, but still feeling anxious most of the time. Still not able to take care of my daughter fully on my own, and still wouldnt be able to go back to work. My period has triggered another wave. Not as bad as last one but very discouraging. Maybe I should wait until my period ends to see if I should add a cew more beads.

 

What do you guys think?

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Menstruation can make withdrawal more profound.  It's good that you can see that is what is making this time worse.  I can tell a difference during this time too.  I hope that the anxiety comes down.  

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I would encourage you to wait till things settle down after your period.  Changing doses is for when nothing else is working, as each change brings with it the risk of further destabilisation. 

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Hey Shortcake,

 

I saw that your reinstatement hasn't really taken yet.  I am not one of the moderators, just someone who reads the threads on this site and a couple of facebook pages, but the reinstatement success stories I have read lately, the really encouraging ones, have been people going back on half doses of the drug, and not the micro doses that SA often espouses.  In one case, a young woman who had been on Zoloft for 18 years, from age 12 to age 30, had tapered down over a year and had then gone off the drug and had gone into a horrible wd for a year and was housebound and crying daily.  She had been on 100 mg of Zoloft before tapering and when she reinstated in October of last year she went back on 50 mg of Zoloft and had recovered in a matter of a couple weeks and had started a new job and felt like herself again.  the other story, I had read involved a younger guy in his early 30s who had also been on Zoloft, but for only 6 years and had stopped taking it thinking he would be ok and had gone into wd and was having cognitive issues and started having real problems on his job as a mechanic.  He reinstated in November of last year after 4 months in wd and within a month or so, was feeling great and was doing wonderfully at work.   He had reinstated with 37.5 mg of Effexor.  if you read both of their stories you would almost cry knowing how awful these wd's make us feel and how they were able to come back.  I should have said something sooner, but I am a bit leery of giving advice on here, and plus I am pretty much spent after 3 years of this wd crap and wasn't paying real close attention. 

 

Poetjester

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The reason for up-dosing by smaller amounts is both to avoid adverse reactions, and to avoid giving a person's CNS another big jolt to deal with.  Such a jolt can really lengthen their recovery time.   

 

Some people may be able to successfully land back in at the half-way mark, but because it's so variable from person to person, we need to take people by the safer route. 

 

W/d is long and difficult, and I sense PJ that you deeply understand this and would like to help people avoid it.  In that regard you are in the same camp as SA.  We all wish there was a more reliable pathway for getting people the relief they need.   

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Actually, it sounds like Shortcake is doing well on 2.2mg.

 

Shortcake, I would definitely wait until your menstruation is over, see how you feel then, before increasing the Effexor.

 

I am concerned about the diarrhea. Do you still have it? If so, be sure to drink enough liquids, it can be dehydrating.

 

Also, if you still have it, perhaps you might try a non-irritating diet, basically plain cooked chicken, rice, and veggies, oatmeal, no spices, etc.

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Thanks everyone,

 

I will definitely be waiting before I updose. Things have definitely improved but I need to be able to care for my daughter on my own, and be able to work. Right now I can't. So if I'm not getting to that point, I need to do SOMETHING. I have weekly cbt appointments, reading cbt type books (From Panic to Power, and Feeling Good the new mood therapy), I also meditate.

 

When I went off Effexor I was at 8mg, I am at 2.2mg now. So half of my dose would still only be 4mg. I WILL be waiting though a couple of weeks.

 

Alto, I get diahrea when I have anxiety. It's normal for me. But I have realized during wd that heavily spiced foods also cause me to have diahrea, and then it triggers my anxiety. It's a vicious cycle. I drink lots of water.

When I was going through mild withdrawal in the fall, anytime I would get ready to go somewhere I would have diahrea. It was the anxiety of going out somewhere. It's horribly annoying. The first thing we are working on in cbt is ny anxiety attacks so hopefully it will subside.

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Just got home from my cbt appointment and we have decided to postpone it until my withdrawal is under control. Right now she says she cant tell if its anxiety caused by disorder or the withdrawal. They practice exposure therapy and she thinks I'm too sensitive for exposure therapy while feeling withdrawal symptoms.

 

I just need to get better. I need to get to the point of being able to function again. I understand the reason for going slow, and I agree with it. But at the same time, it's hard not to think 'maybe I should just go up and see if I improve', I won't know unless I try.

 

Like if 2.2mg has me at thia point, great, better than I was 2 weeks ago... but... not enough.

 

Is it possible to keep getting better or getting back to my functional self while staying here? Is that a thing? Do people go back to functional staying where they are? Do you slowly improve?

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Thank you for posting these.

 

I understand that I need to control my anxiety and techniques to lessen my anxiety. But BESIDES the anxiety, my head doesn't feel right. Even without the anxiety, I can't concentrate, I can't handle even little bits of stress. If going up on meds will help me for now... then thats what I want. I just need to get to a point that I can function to work or I will lose my home and have no way to support my daughter. I can learn the techniques after and use them to help me when I start tapering back down. Does that make sense?

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What I mean is... Right now my focus isn't on getting off of medication. My only goal at this moment is to get to a point where I can function and take care of my daughter and work to support her. If that means going up on my meds then that is what I will do (obviously slowly and only a few beads at a time). I can taper at a later date, slowly, safely.

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It's only been 10 days since you reinstated Effexor 2.25mg. Your nervous system is still getting used to it.

 

Please learn self-calming techniques such as meditation. You will need to be patient and calm your worrying.

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