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Tips for tapering off Effexor and Effexor XR (venlafaxine)


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#145 LovingSupport

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Posted 22 March 2015 - 07:06 AM

Thanks for your reply, Peggy.

 

To clarify, are you recommending staying at 3 week reduction intervals?

 

Or that one should do three complete intervals before reducing to a shorter interval time (i.e., my partner should consider doing 3 rounds of two week reduction intervals before dropping down to one-week reduction intervals)?


Please note that I am supporting my PARTNER'S withdrawal process:

No previous history of prescription drugs

Early 2014:  Prescribed Ativan 1.5mg/day (on first ER visit), then Effexor XR to stablize (first 75mg then upped to 150mg after 2 weeks)

Summer 2014:  Did a 3 month titration off of Ativan (going down 10% each week), finished early fall 2014

No withdrawal symptoms

Nov 2014:  About to start reduction-toward-elimination of the Effexor following the precise 10% method that this SA site suggests; started w/4 week intervals 2x, then 3 week intervals 2x, now sticking with 2 week intervals per reduction

April 2015:  Down to 58mg Effexor XR (From 150mg) using slow tapering method recommended in SA; progressing at 2-week 10% reduction intervals of current dose.

Aug 2015:  22.5 mg Effexor XR

Dec 2015:   9.7 mg Effexor XR Continuing the above 10% reduction schedule every 2 weeks (no withdrawal symptoms)

June 2016: switched to beads when weight of current dose was approx. equal to number of beads (10) and scale became inconsistent measuring at this low weight

Aug 2015: down to 4 beads, reducing by 1 bead every 2 weeks


#146 mammaP

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Posted 22 March 2015 - 07:34 AM

Peggy is right Poppy, we do not recommend reducing the time between cuts. I did just fine with my tapering of effexor but it caught up with me because I went too fast. I also had bad withdrawal and it took a long time to stabilise properly again.  No more than 10% cuts of the current dose with at LEAST 3 weeks between cuts. Any withdrawal symptoms that pop up are a sign that he is going too fast and needs to slow down. 


**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

See how to create a signature here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/12364-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

Many drugs for many years, prescribed diazepam first 1973, took occasionally. 3 or 4 tricyclics  for short periods.

1993 had a breakdown leading to 10 years of drug experiments with all classes of psych drugs.

2002  effexor. 

Tapered by counting beads from March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

 

Also tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg -hold- Feb2016 46mg  March 8 2016 45 April 44mg  May 11  43mg June 14 42mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, pro biotic.

 

My story http://survivinganti...king-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

Following every sunset is a brand new day


#147 Altostrata

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Posted 22 March 2015 - 11:07 AM

Generally, we advise reductions at intervals of a month. This is very conservative and accommodates most people except those at the extreme edge of the curve representing sensitivity to dosage reductions.

 

On the other hand, by listening to their bodies, many people might be able to taper faster. LovingSupport's partner is following a reasonable schedule adapted to a higher tolerance for dosage reductions.

 

However, even if you're highly tolerant of dosage cuts, I would not reduce any faster than every 2 weeks, to give your nervous system and the rest of your body a chance to adapt to the new drug levels.


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

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#148 LovingSupport

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 10:03 PM

Thank you, Altostrata, MammaP, and Peggy for your thoughtful consideration. We are going to stick with the current 2-week reduction schedule (10% of current dose, each time), based on your input.

 

If someone is going to have withdrawal issues while following the protocol, is s/he more likely to experience it down at the lower end of the titration process? (ie, when down to 25% of original dose rather than at 75%). If yes, as my partner gets down to lower dosages, we may consider going back up to 3 week intervals (he's at about 70mg of Effexor XR, down from 150mg).

 

Thank in advance for your help on this!


Please note that I am supporting my PARTNER'S withdrawal process:

No previous history of prescription drugs

Early 2014:  Prescribed Ativan 1.5mg/day (on first ER visit), then Effexor XR to stablize (first 75mg then upped to 150mg after 2 weeks)

Summer 2014:  Did a 3 month titration off of Ativan (going down 10% each week), finished early fall 2014

No withdrawal symptoms

Nov 2014:  About to start reduction-toward-elimination of the Effexor following the precise 10% method that this SA site suggests; started w/4 week intervals 2x, then 3 week intervals 2x, now sticking with 2 week intervals per reduction

April 2015:  Down to 58mg Effexor XR (From 150mg) using slow tapering method recommended in SA; progressing at 2-week 10% reduction intervals of current dose.

Aug 2015:  22.5 mg Effexor XR

Dec 2015:   9.7 mg Effexor XR Continuing the above 10% reduction schedule every 2 weeks (no withdrawal symptoms)

June 2016: switched to beads when weight of current dose was approx. equal to number of beads (10) and scale became inconsistent measuring at this low weight

Aug 2015: down to 4 beads, reducing by 1 bead every 2 weeks


#149 Altostrata

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 12:28 PM

Yes, it seems the last leg of the taper can be more difficult.


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.

#150 LovingSupport

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 01:23 PM

We just did the math looking at the Dose Weights calculation chart from the SA site. At a two-week interval reduction schedule, it will be longer than a year to get down to 1.5mg of Effexor XR from today's 64.6 mg  downward. My partner has already be reducing for the last four months, so this whole schedule might take a full year and a half.

 

The emotional disappointment is strong realizing this.  We talked about working down slowly to 10 day intervals, so that the "jump off" point is not soooo far away (assuming all goes smoothly). Another full year feels like a very long time, considering he was on the AD for 13 1/2 months before starting titration--less time than the titration will potentially take.  

 

Any and all advice, wisdom, experience is greatly appreciated.


Please note that I am supporting my PARTNER'S withdrawal process:

No previous history of prescription drugs

Early 2014:  Prescribed Ativan 1.5mg/day (on first ER visit), then Effexor XR to stablize (first 75mg then upped to 150mg after 2 weeks)

Summer 2014:  Did a 3 month titration off of Ativan (going down 10% each week), finished early fall 2014

No withdrawal symptoms

Nov 2014:  About to start reduction-toward-elimination of the Effexor following the precise 10% method that this SA site suggests; started w/4 week intervals 2x, then 3 week intervals 2x, now sticking with 2 week intervals per reduction

April 2015:  Down to 58mg Effexor XR (From 150mg) using slow tapering method recommended in SA; progressing at 2-week 10% reduction intervals of current dose.

Aug 2015:  22.5 mg Effexor XR

Dec 2015:   9.7 mg Effexor XR Continuing the above 10% reduction schedule every 2 weeks (no withdrawal symptoms)

June 2016: switched to beads when weight of current dose was approx. equal to number of beads (10) and scale became inconsistent measuring at this low weight

Aug 2015: down to 4 beads, reducing by 1 bead every 2 weeks


#151 peggy

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 01:43 PM

well, from my past experience one and a half years is not long!  I used to think the same thing and would speed up (as i was feeling fine with no apparent withdrawal symptoms) until i went too far and got slammed with anxiety and depression.  Then i would have to updose and stabilise for a few months and then begin the process again - so i am now 3 years since i found this site and still almost back where i started - if i had stuck with a 10% plan i could be off now.  

 

As your partner reduces the side effects of the medication will also reduce; if you can go slow and avoid any potential problems a year and a half out of your life is nothing!


Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg


#152 Altostrata

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 04:20 PM

People vary in their tolerance for tapering. Some need to go slower and others can go faster.

 

Here's the thing: You cannot tell which you'll be, and once you develop withdrawal symptoms, it can be too late for an easy correction.

 

That is why we recommend these slow tapers, to stay out of trouble. Speeding up a taper is entirely at your own risk.


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.

#153 Lexy

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 05:24 PM

I know how you are feeling....I was only on effexor for 7-9 weeks egrb I cut my dose in half. I've been decreasing since jan 2013. You can risk getting wds. If he is tolerating the tapering at the rate this forum suggests, then he has a better chance of getting half as bad as some of us here are. May I suggest setting mini goals?
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

#154 Lexy

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 05:28 PM

Oops sorry typing from my phone and my vision is not as good as before effexor.
I meant if he following this forum's tapering advice then he will not be half as bad as some of us here are.
Good luck!
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

#155 LovingSupport

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Posted 04 April 2015 - 08:42 PM

Advice heeded. "Slow and steady wins the race", so to speak. Love the idea of "mini goals"; good reminder for us all to celebrate the micro-gains.

 

Thanks, everybody.


Please note that I am supporting my PARTNER'S withdrawal process:

No previous history of prescription drugs

Early 2014:  Prescribed Ativan 1.5mg/day (on first ER visit), then Effexor XR to stablize (first 75mg then upped to 150mg after 2 weeks)

Summer 2014:  Did a 3 month titration off of Ativan (going down 10% each week), finished early fall 2014

No withdrawal symptoms

Nov 2014:  About to start reduction-toward-elimination of the Effexor following the precise 10% method that this SA site suggests; started w/4 week intervals 2x, then 3 week intervals 2x, now sticking with 2 week intervals per reduction

April 2015:  Down to 58mg Effexor XR (From 150mg) using slow tapering method recommended in SA; progressing at 2-week 10% reduction intervals of current dose.

Aug 2015:  22.5 mg Effexor XR

Dec 2015:   9.7 mg Effexor XR Continuing the above 10% reduction schedule every 2 weeks (no withdrawal symptoms)

June 2016: switched to beads when weight of current dose was approx. equal to number of beads (10) and scale became inconsistent measuring at this low weight

Aug 2015: down to 4 beads, reducing by 1 bead every 2 weeks


#156 LovingSupport

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 11:20 AM

My partner is on the "slow titration train" off of Effexor XR. He started at 150 mg, is now down to 27.8mg. At what mg amount might you recommend him migrating to either non-XR to make liquid form for more precise measuring? Or would you suggest staying as long a possible on the XR scale measuring? We weighed out what 1.5 mg would be, and it seems to be about 4 beads of the Effexor XR brand he is taking. (We have been ordering the same brand at an independent pharmacy from near the beginning of the titration, to stay consistent.)


Please note that I am supporting my PARTNER'S withdrawal process:

No previous history of prescription drugs

Early 2014:  Prescribed Ativan 1.5mg/day (on first ER visit), then Effexor XR to stablize (first 75mg then upped to 150mg after 2 weeks)

Summer 2014:  Did a 3 month titration off of Ativan (going down 10% each week), finished early fall 2014

No withdrawal symptoms

Nov 2014:  About to start reduction-toward-elimination of the Effexor following the precise 10% method that this SA site suggests; started w/4 week intervals 2x, then 3 week intervals 2x, now sticking with 2 week intervals per reduction

April 2015:  Down to 58mg Effexor XR (From 150mg) using slow tapering method recommended in SA; progressing at 2-week 10% reduction intervals of current dose.

Aug 2015:  22.5 mg Effexor XR

Dec 2015:   9.7 mg Effexor XR Continuing the above 10% reduction schedule every 2 weeks (no withdrawal symptoms)

June 2016: switched to beads when weight of current dose was approx. equal to number of beads (10) and scale became inconsistent measuring at this low weight

Aug 2015: down to 4 beads, reducing by 1 bead every 2 weeks


#157 LovingSupport

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Posted 08 August 2015 - 07:42 AM

Good to hear, LovingSupport.

 

Is your husband tapering by 1.5mg at a time?

 

At 27.8mg, a 10% reduction would be 2.78mg (you calculate the 10% based on the last dosage, not the initial dosage). A reduction of 1.5mg would be even more gradual -- that's fine.

 

Hi Altostrata, thanks for responding.

 

No, he is tapering at the 10% of last dosage each time, as SA recommends. The 1.5 mg is the lowest amount listed on the Excel spreadsheet y'all graciously provided on this site, called "Dose_weights_SA.xls".

 

(Side note to those who have not found/used this spreadsheet yet--it's amazing and will save you a big headache trying to calculate each reduction on your own).

 

I'm trying to assess whether he should simply stay on the scale method all the way down to the last 1.5mg dosage weight listed, or make the transitional switch to liquid at a higher weight to stay more exact. He's free of withdrawal symptoms at this rate, and I want to keep it that way as the reductions continue when possible.

 

I know that as the dosages get lower, the accuracy range of the scale's range of variance will get proportionally less accurate. (for example, a .001g or .skipping around a 003g variance in weight is more significant when one is measuring a total weight of .007g).

 

 

Thanks in advance for your input.


Please note that I am supporting my PARTNER'S withdrawal process:

No previous history of prescription drugs

Early 2014:  Prescribed Ativan 1.5mg/day (on first ER visit), then Effexor XR to stablize (first 75mg then upped to 150mg after 2 weeks)

Summer 2014:  Did a 3 month titration off of Ativan (going down 10% each week), finished early fall 2014

No withdrawal symptoms

Nov 2014:  About to start reduction-toward-elimination of the Effexor following the precise 10% method that this SA site suggests; started w/4 week intervals 2x, then 3 week intervals 2x, now sticking with 2 week intervals per reduction

April 2015:  Down to 58mg Effexor XR (From 150mg) using slow tapering method recommended in SA; progressing at 2-week 10% reduction intervals of current dose.

Aug 2015:  22.5 mg Effexor XR

Dec 2015:   9.7 mg Effexor XR Continuing the above 10% reduction schedule every 2 weeks (no withdrawal symptoms)

June 2016: switched to beads when weight of current dose was approx. equal to number of beads (10) and scale became inconsistent measuring at this low weight

Aug 2015: down to 4 beads, reducing by 1 bead every 2 weeks


#158 brassmonkey

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Posted 08 August 2015 - 08:50 AM

Hi LovingSupport--  Just because 1.5mg is the lowest dose on the spreadsheet doesn't make it the best place to jump off, it is still quite high.  If you haven't read this thread I would recommend that you do;

 

Tapering to zero -- when do you just drop off? 

 

It is very disheartening to have done a great taper and have it all go wrong at the very end.


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 3mg 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.

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


#159 Altostrata

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Posted 08 August 2015 - 01:00 PM

To taper further from 1.5mg, one might switch to making Effexor liquid from immediate-release Effexor and take a dose as beads plus liquid, such as 3 beads plus the remainder in liquid.

 

I would taper as long as feasible.


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.

#160 primekittycat

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Posted 18 September 2015 - 07:17 AM

Has anyone had any withdrawal symptoms occur when your Effexor XR generic manufacturer is changed, even though you're taking the same dose? My pharmacy keeps going back and forth between Teva and Wyeth, and I'm finding myself having some (manageable) symptoms 2.5 weeks after a 5% cut for which I hardly had any symptoms days after.


Began suffering from panic attacks when my father passed away in 2005. Been on and off SSRIs (Celexa, Lexapro, Effexor XR), and therapy since then.

2009 - Started Effexor XR 75mg. Therapy on and off since then, but consistent weekly starting Oct 2013

Feb 2014 - Therapist and I felt I was ready to come off Effexor - went to half dose (37.5mg) for a week and then off completely by advice of psychiatrist - bad w/d for a week then gone

May 2014 - bad protracted w/d came out of nowhere.. constant dizziness, agoraphobia(never had before), headaches, fatigue for 3 months, all tests (brain MRI, inner ear tests, blood tests, etc.) normal.

Aug 2014 - back on Effexor XR 75mg as neurologist thought these symptoms were my anxiety coming back, all w/d symptoms disappear within 2 weeks.

 

Tapering Effexor XR.. let's do this!:

Started on 75mg. 7/12/15 - 67.5 mg (10% cut - 5% cuts from here on out); 8/10/15 - 64.9 mg; 8/30/15 - 61.7 mg; 10/9/15 - 58.6 mg; 11/3/15 - 55.7 mg; 11/17/15 - 52.9 mg; 12/7/15 - 50.3mg; 12/21/15 - 47.7mg; 1/4/16 - 45.3mg; 1/22/16 - 43mg; 2/5/16 - 41mg; 2/19/16 - 38.9mg; 3/4/16 - 37.5mg (HALF DOSE)!! Added one bead on 3/10/16 due to bad withdrawal. 4/14/16 - 37.5mg; 5/27/16 - 35.6mg; 6/9/16 - 33.8mg; 7/14/16 - 32.1mg; 7/28/16 - 30.5mg; 8/11/16 - 29mg; 9/2/16 - 27.5mg; 10/20/16 - 26.1mg; 11/3/16 - 24.8mg; 11/17/16 - 23.6mg; 12/1/16 - 22.5mg; 12/15/16 - 21.3mg, 12/29/15 - 20.3mg; 2/9/17 - 19.2mg; 3/16/17 - 18.3mg (QUARTER DOSE!!); 3/30/17 - 17.4mg; 4/13/17 - 16.5mg

 

Supplements: Fish oil, spray on magnesium oil, yoga, daily exercise, clean diet


#161 brassmonkey

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Posted 18 September 2015 - 09:30 AM

Some people do have trouble switching between generics, but it usually shows up in a day or two.  If you aren't getting symptoms for two and a half weeks after a drop it is more than likely just regular old WD and not the change in brand.  Are you keeping records as to what brand you are using for which dose reduction and when the symptoms hit?


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 3mg 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.

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


#162 NotANutter

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 04:41 AM

Does anybody know if Im likely to experience withdrawal effects after only being on 75mg for 11 days? I absolutely hate feeling so drugged and want to stop asap but wondering whether I will still need to taper off? Has anyone else stopped suddenly after this time period and any effects?

#163 brassmonkey

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 10:24 AM

Hi NotANutter-- welcome to the group.  You'll get a lot more responses if you start a thread in the Introduction forum.  That is the best place for asking questions and keeping a journal. 

 

If there are no other factors involved, like other drugs, then just stop.  With only being on it for 11 days you shouldn't have too much trouble.  Effexor is a very powerful drug and because you are already feeling some side effects you will probably feel some when you stop.  They shouldn't last very long and should be pretty mild, nothing like you may read about on some of the other threads.  Don't let them panic you, they will pass.


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 3mg 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.

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


#164 Kris108

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 01:14 PM

Hello all!

 

Does anyone know if it is possible to turn XR (extended release) capsules of Venlafaxine into an instant release version of the drug. By dissolving it in warm water, for example? Where I live, the only available version is XR, and it would be much easier to manage if I could begin to reduce my evening dosage, which would among other things improve my sleep.

 

Thanks


Been on Tramadol, Duloxetine, Mirtazepine, Amitryptiline, Bupropion, Sulpiride, etc for chronic back pain, depression, insomnia, chronic fatigue...

Venlafaxine is the current drug of choice.


#165 Fresh

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 03:57 AM

Hi Kris , please start a thread for yourself in the Introductions forum.

Thanks , 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

#166 peggy

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 12:53 PM

Hello all!

 

Does anyone know if it is possible to turn XR (extended release) capsules of Venlafaxine into an instant release version of the drug. By dissolving it in warm water, for example? Where I live, the only available version is XR, and it would be much easier to manage if I could begin to reduce my evening dosage, which would among other things improve my sleep.

 

Thanks

 

I was unable to do it - maybe a compounding pharmacy might be able to crush them and mix with a solubiliser - we only have the XR version available here too


Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg


#167 Altostrata

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 10:44 AM

Kris, please read post #1 in this topic carefully.


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.

#168 mammaP

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Posted 25 April 2016 - 04:06 PM

Note for member  'Crossover' I moved your post to the introductions forum where you will get more replies and more people will see it. You can add to it there and ask questions about your taper. This forum is about general info on effexor tapering. Here is a link to your new thread. 

 

http://survivinganti...pering-effexor/


**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

See how to create a signature here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/12364-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

Many drugs for many years, prescribed diazepam first 1973, took occasionally. 3 or 4 tricyclics  for short periods.

1993 had a breakdown leading to 10 years of drug experiments with all classes of psych drugs.

2002  effexor. 

Tapered by counting beads from March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

 

Also tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg -hold- Feb2016 46mg  March 8 2016 45 April 44mg  May 11  43mg June 14 42mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, pro biotic.

 

My story http://survivinganti...king-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

Following every sunset is a brand new day


#169 Cicci

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 08:36 AM

The venlafaxine in a mini-tablet fragment may be released more quickly as it can be absorbed easier. If you take your venlafaxine in the morning, you may wish to take the mini-tablet fragment in the afternoon to avoid too much release of the drug at once.


I'm now on 175 mg of Venlafaxine gelatine capsules - one 150 mg capsule and two 12,5 mg mini-tablets.

Do you recommend me taking the capsule in the morning and the mini-tablets in the afternoon?


1988 - 2016 Different sorts antidepressants from Anafranile to Voxra. A couple of attempts to quit, but relapsed (?).

10/7 -16 From 225 mg Venlafaxin to 200 mg - No problems

31/7 -16 From 200 mg Venlafaxin to 175 mg - Minor panic attacks now and then

1/10 -16 Switched straight off from 175 mg Venlafaxin to 150 g Voxra on doctor's ordination (due to difficulties to cope with working as little as 25%)

-Bad withdrawal symptoms; dizzieness, nausea, insomnia, nighmares, heart pounding, panic attacks, malaise

4/10 -16 Continued with 150 mg Voxra and added 150 mg of Venlafaxine

5/10 -16 Removed Voxra on advice from SA, went back to 175 mg of Venlafaxine and will continue slowly tapering it out.

 


#170 peng

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 08:48 AM

Cicci's latest post promts a hopefully useful note at this point:

 

The Swedish pharma company BLUeFISH make "Venlablue XL 37.5mg prolonged release capsules, hard"

containing 3 hard mini pills of 12.5mg each.

 

These were the form of 37.5mg dose I got as prescribed here in the UK (Scotland).

They have proved most useful in tapering.  A lot better than all that counting beads palaver.


1977 - Collapse of health at 32 after 12 years of irregular and stressful shift work. 1977-84Ativan, then 1984-2002 Anafranil.  2002-13 – Effexor XL 150-187.5mg.

2014 Jan -2016 Jun. Had to raise Effexor to 225mg due external crisis.  Chronic fatigue, tiredness and low mood.  Felt I had reached a brick wall as far as medication went. 2016/6 - Blood tests, Folic acid.

2016 17Jun - Feeling better within a couple of days. 2016 13Jul  -  212.5mg Effexor. (-5.5%). 2016  6Aug  - 200.0mg Effexor. (-5.9%) 24Aug - 187.5mg Effexor. (-6.3%). 13Sep – 175.0mg Effexor (-6.7% .   Folic acid finished after 80 days.  Feeling best for a couple of years. 22Sep – GP Prescribed 5mg Folic Acid/day tfn.   3Oct   - 162.5mg Effexor (-7.1%)  7mg Omeprazole.   2016 15Oct -disappointing to hit extreme fatigue again after 3.5 months, by 23Oct not bad again, despite having cold and old familiar sinusitis. 26Oct - 150mg Effexor (-7.7%). 3mg Omeprazole. 31Oct - 2mg Omeprazole, off 5mg Folic Acid. 7Nov - ZERO Omeprazole.

2017 9Jan - 150mg Effexor. Stalled at this dose for >2 mo.  Will only resume later in year when mood lifts.  23Mar - 137.5mg Effexor.

 

Current other meds/Supps/Vits

540mg EPA /day - 280mg Magnesium Malate - Vit D, Probiotic. Honey instead of table sugar in tea and coffee, wef Oct16 and after taking sugar nearly all my life.

 


#171 Cicci

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 09:20 AM

Yes, it's really handy peng! They also come in 75 mg and 150 mg capsules with the same mini-tablets inside (12,5 mg).


1988 - 2016 Different sorts antidepressants from Anafranile to Voxra. A couple of attempts to quit, but relapsed (?).

10/7 -16 From 225 mg Venlafaxin to 200 mg - No problems

31/7 -16 From 200 mg Venlafaxin to 175 mg - Minor panic attacks now and then

1/10 -16 Switched straight off from 175 mg Venlafaxin to 150 g Voxra on doctor's ordination (due to difficulties to cope with working as little as 25%)

-Bad withdrawal symptoms; dizzieness, nausea, insomnia, nighmares, heart pounding, panic attacks, malaise

4/10 -16 Continued with 150 mg Voxra and added 150 mg of Venlafaxine

5/10 -16 Removed Voxra on advice from SA, went back to 175 mg of Venlafaxine and will continue slowly tapering it out.

 


#172 Altostrata

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 02:17 PM

 

The venlafaxine in a mini-tablet fragment may be released more quickly as it can be absorbed easier. If you take your venlafaxine in the morning, you may wish to take the mini-tablet fragment in the afternoon to avoid too much release of the drug at once.


I'm now on 175 mg of Venlafaxine gelatine capsules - one 150 mg capsule and two 12,5 mg mini-tablets.

Do you recommend me taking the capsule in the morning and the mini-tablets in the afternoon?

 

 

Cicci, a whole mini-tablet, intact, will not have the extended-release properties. When you cut up a mini-tablet, the extended-release quality may be destroyed.

 

Your mini-tablet can be taken at the same time you take the capsule.


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.

#173 alenka9

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Posted 09 October 2016 - 08:35 AM

I successfully went from venlafaxine 150mg to 75mg by eye-balling a 10% taper - worth trying if you're unwilling to count hundreds of beads every day.


On venlafaxine since 2001. Three cold turkey WD attempts unsuccessful.

In 2012 I slowly tapered from 75mg. Less than a year after taking the last grain I developed extreme anxiety and pseudo dementia.

After all clear neuro tests in 2013 I was put on Effexor 150mg. Instant improvement. 

In 2014 I tested positive for chronic mercury poisoning. I'm chelating using Andy Cutler's protocol, www.noamalgam.com.

Tapering Venlafaxine Actavis 150mg: Mar 10%, May 10%, Jun (eyeballing) 3 quarters of capsule, Sep slighlty over half of capsule. End Oct exactly half capsule. Feeling great when chelating and being very hopeful that this time I will succeed!

My intro & updates


#174 DragonButterfly

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Posted 14 October 2016 - 02:10 PM

Hi everyone,

My husband is on 150mg of venlafaxine (regular tablets not slower release capsules). He split the time for his dose going from 150mg in the morning now to 75mg (AM) and then 75 mg (PM) - about a week ago - with the aim of tapering according to the schedule we found here. Alas, he has already started to experience withdrawal symptoms. I'm wondering if this could be because of the difference between tablets and capsules? We were told making this change should really not change anything as he's still getting the same dose per day (no actual drop) but obviously that's not the case. I should add that he is also currently taking 15mg of mertazapine and 10mg of temazepam as well, right before bed.


Husband's history: Diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety and panic disorder in May 2015. Was put on antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications but saw no marked improvement. Doctors didn't realise this was due to excessive alcohol consumption. By the time they realised, he was already on venlafaxine 150mg, mirtazapine 15mg, temazepam 10mg and quetiapine (dose unknown). Husband was still in denial about alcohol problems at this point. Moved back to the UK in Sept 2015. Been through 5 GPs (all giving contradicting advice). Husband gave up drinking in January 2016 (mostly). Started smoking cannabis to cope with constant nausea, cramps etc. Weaned off of quetiapine in July 2016 (over 15 days) and went through major withdrawal for 4 straight weeks. Felt good after that until changing the times for his usual dose of venlafaxine in an attempt to prepare for new tapering schedule. Experienced mild withdrawal for 1 week. Symptoms did subside. 20th Oct 2016: Dropped from 150mg to 140mg of venlafaxine. Held for 1 week until mild symptoms subsided. 27th Oct 2016: Dropped to 131mg venlafaxine. Currently experiencing quite severe withdrawal symptoms: i.e: 'constant pings in the head', nausea, cramps, body aches, blurred vision, mild hallucinations, insomnia, loss of appetite, sensitivity to sound & light, flu-like symptoms, severe fatigue, etc. Current: venlafaxine 131mg; mirtazapine 15mg; temazepam 10mg.


#175 ChessieCat

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Posted 14 October 2016 - 02:24 PM

Hi DragonButterfly,

 

Your question is being discussed in your Intro/Update topic here:  dragonbutterfly-husband-going-off-effexor


Podcasts:    Let's Talk Withdrawal

 

Antidepressants:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft; Cipramil CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks soon after)

Pristiq:  50mg mid 2012, 100mg beg 2014 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)     Current:  Pristiq 25mg (from 21 April 2017)

 

Tapering history & graph

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

 

I've still got a way to go ... but I've already come a long way!!!

 

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.


#176 John

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Posted 22 October 2016 - 07:02 PM

Can anyone tell me what the actual weight of a brand name Effexor XR 75mg pill is?


 

 
 

#177 RachelE

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Posted 23 October 2016 - 01:59 PM

A YouTube video from our friend Mixter showing his method for reducing Effexor XR (the number of beads in his 150mg Wyeth Effexor XR capsule may be different than the number of beads in yours):
 

How to remove 30 mg in pellets off 150 mg Effexor XR Wyeth, to get the desired dose 120 mg the fastest way for my taper! Remember 1 pellet equals 0.2757mg! One 150 mg Effexor Wyeth contains average of 544 pellets! So we get 109 pellets by calculating 30 divided with 0.2757! This is my 5 bunch 5 group method!


 

I'm very thankful my effexor beads are less tiny. 


I have been on so many medications since I was 20 and diagnosed as "mentally ill" that I have lost count.

Right now, however I have been taking:

Lamictal 25 mg: I went on it in March for only 13 days, then cold turkeyed off when I thought I was developing a rash because of it. Pretended to go back on it, but didn't. Not the best idea, but I had no way to reduce the dose. Anyhow I had no adverse withdrawal reactions, probably because I was on it for less than 2 weeks.

Abilify 20 mg:  I have been on this for several years. Actually at least half the time I have spent as a meds "consumer" I have been on this nasty pill. I finished tapering off it at the beginning of 2016. Was reinstated during the 4 days I spent in a psych ward in March. Tapered off it again in 10 weeks, from say March 15-June 30. Needless to say this is not exact, but I remember I was off it before July 4 (patriotic holiday in America!) I am doing fine, although I know I may have to wait till Christmas or later to know I am out of the danger zone for withdrawal psychosis. The main thing I notice about being off is that I no longer crave sweets all the time and am losing weight without trying. Good thing since I used to weigh 350 lbs.!

Effexor 150 mg: This is the real trouble-maker. Since I have no other way of tapering I do the best I can by bead counting. I unscrew the gel capsule and count out the tiny micro-capsules or beads inside. This works fairly well with the generic time release version. Only 120 beads to count of almost identical size. Lately I have been "holding" at 20 bead removal due to some major stress in my life. Moving hundreds of miles from my old home and a bout of strep throat that wouldn't respond to antibiotics.  I guess that means I'm on 120 mg of Effexor right now. On October 16 I am going to recommence my taper since I am safely moved and no longer have strep! 

I admit now that I did something stupid. I had trouble opening the extra strength gel capsules containing the beads so I reinstated at the original dose for a week. I know it's not good to play ping pong with my brain, but I could never open the capsules without spilling those microscopic balls all over so I was never sure what dosage I was taking! Thank the LORD that I finally have the old kind again and can safely count out the amount. I am now back on 135 mg and feel somewhat better.

October 30, 2016. I am down to 120 mg effexor. November 27, 2016. Down to 105 mg effexor. December 25, 2016. 90 mg effexor. January 15, 2017. 75 mg effexor. January 21. 82.5 mg effexor. January 23, 90 mg again. Feb. 14, 81.25 mg. Mar. 15, 72.5 mg. Mar. 27, 65 mg.  Apr. 9, 58.75 mg.


#178 peng

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Posted 26 October 2016 - 02:42 AM

DOSE - Effexor 150mg XL  -  

1 X 150mg capsule, or 2 X 75mg (XL).

 

Thanks to you guys, I am down to the magic, round number of 150mg/day.  Not been that low (??!) for 3 years.

 

I have plenty of 75mg.  In your personal opinions, mods, will taking two of them at once in the evening be OK, or is there not much to choose between that and one 150mg at that time, please?


1977 - Collapse of health at 32 after 12 years of irregular and stressful shift work. 1977-84Ativan, then 1984-2002 Anafranil.  2002-13 – Effexor XL 150-187.5mg.

2014 Jan -2016 Jun. Had to raise Effexor to 225mg due external crisis.  Chronic fatigue, tiredness and low mood.  Felt I had reached a brick wall as far as medication went. 2016/6 - Blood tests, Folic acid.

2016 17Jun - Feeling better within a couple of days. 2016 13Jul  -  212.5mg Effexor. (-5.5%). 2016  6Aug  - 200.0mg Effexor. (-5.9%) 24Aug - 187.5mg Effexor. (-6.3%). 13Sep – 175.0mg Effexor (-6.7% .   Folic acid finished after 80 days.  Feeling best for a couple of years. 22Sep – GP Prescribed 5mg Folic Acid/day tfn.   3Oct   - 162.5mg Effexor (-7.1%)  7mg Omeprazole.   2016 15Oct -disappointing to hit extreme fatigue again after 3.5 months, by 23Oct not bad again, despite having cold and old familiar sinusitis. 26Oct - 150mg Effexor (-7.7%). 3mg Omeprazole. 31Oct - 2mg Omeprazole, off 5mg Folic Acid. 7Nov - ZERO Omeprazole.

2017 9Jan - 150mg Effexor. Stalled at this dose for >2 mo.  Will only resume later in year when mood lifts.  23Mar - 137.5mg Effexor.

 

Current other meds/Supps/Vits

540mg EPA /day - 280mg Magnesium Malate - Vit D, Probiotic. Honey instead of table sugar in tea and coffee, wef Oct16 and after taking sugar nearly all my life.

 


#179 Altostrata

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 09:53 PM

DOSE - Effexor 150mg XL  -  
1 X 150mg capsule, or 2 X 75mg (XL).
 
Thanks to you guys, I am down to the magic, round number of 150mg/day.  Not been that low (??!) for 3 years.
 
I have plenty of 75mg.  In your personal opinions, mods, will taking two of them at once in the evening be OK, or is there not much to choose between that and one 150mg at that time, please?

 
Yes, you can take two 75mg capsules or tablets rather than one 150mg for your dose.
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.

#180 peng

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 01:27 AM

Thanks Altostrata!

 

A couple of days ago, now down to 125mg, thanks to ideas offered on your fine site.

 

(75mg capsule + 4 X the extremely useful 12.5mg minitablets in the Swedish "BLUeFISH Venlablue XL prolonged release capsules, hard - Venlafaxine" prescribed by our health centre here.)  

 

Generic versions of Effexor liable to change at any time, here, though, depending on cost to the local county Health Trust.

One of our GPs told me a few years ago that the drugs bill is so immense that they employed a person specially to examine current costs of all medications so that they could opt quickly for the most cost effective brand at any time.

 

Also, personally, I have not been aware of any markedly differing symptoms when changing from one version of Effexor to another as some people report.


1977 - Collapse of health at 32 after 12 years of irregular and stressful shift work. 1977-84Ativan, then 1984-2002 Anafranil.  2002-13 – Effexor XL 150-187.5mg.

2014 Jan -2016 Jun. Had to raise Effexor to 225mg due external crisis.  Chronic fatigue, tiredness and low mood.  Felt I had reached a brick wall as far as medication went. 2016/6 - Blood tests, Folic acid.

2016 17Jun - Feeling better within a couple of days. 2016 13Jul  -  212.5mg Effexor. (-5.5%). 2016  6Aug  - 200.0mg Effexor. (-5.9%) 24Aug - 187.5mg Effexor. (-6.3%). 13Sep – 175.0mg Effexor (-6.7% .   Folic acid finished after 80 days.  Feeling best for a couple of years. 22Sep – GP Prescribed 5mg Folic Acid/day tfn.   3Oct   - 162.5mg Effexor (-7.1%)  7mg Omeprazole.   2016 15Oct -disappointing to hit extreme fatigue again after 3.5 months, by 23Oct not bad again, despite having cold and old familiar sinusitis. 26Oct - 150mg Effexor (-7.7%). 3mg Omeprazole. 31Oct - 2mg Omeprazole, off 5mg Folic Acid. 7Nov - ZERO Omeprazole.

2017 9Jan - 150mg Effexor. Stalled at this dose for >2 mo.  Will only resume later in year when mood lifts.  23Mar - 137.5mg Effexor.

 

Current other meds/Supps/Vits

540mg EPA /day - 280mg Magnesium Malate - Vit D, Probiotic. Honey instead of table sugar in tea and coffee, wef Oct16 and after taking sugar nearly all my life.