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baroquep: Pristiq Taper Help - Advice Needed

introductions and udates tapering support desvenlafaxine Pristiq Pristiq to Effexor bridge

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#73 baroquep

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Posted 17 October 2016 - 01:54 PM

Had expected that I might wake up with anxiety today after lifting weights yesterday and pleasantly surprised when that wasn't the case.  Relatively quite day with the exception of about an hour where I felt that there was slight enveloping pressure at the back of my brain.  Was glad that it didn't last too long and tried to tell myself that my brain is healing and adjusting, though it was a bit of a disappointment to still be feeling strange sensations going into the fifth week after the switch.   Imagine that getting back to work after a stress-free weekend might have something to do with it.  Have become mindful of the importance of keeping track of symptoms relating to the switch so I will know when things are really settling down, not just wishful thinking.  Also finding it helpful to write a daily journal so that I have a record of how things are progressing and to be able to look back at where I was a month ago, very helpful.  While things have not yet completely settled, I am now seeing a lot of progress.  May stay on the 75mg for another month, rather than the additional two weeks, just to be safe.     


Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism

Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg 
November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 (holding until I stabilize)


#74 baroquep

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 03:05 PM

Woke up with a bit of a headache that didn't last very long into the day.  Wondering if it is related to the strange pressure I felt on my brain yesterday?  Is this just my brain adjusting to the switch/possible 25% reduction?   Have been reading a lot on the boards about what it means to stabilize so I can be sure to read the signals correctly.  In any event, have now had six consecutive days without anxiety so that is definitely a good sign.   


Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism

Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg 
November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 (holding until I stabilize)


#75 AliG

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 05:47 PM

Hi Baroquep.  You sound like you're managing well.  It will probably help if you can manage to do some exercise. I have found yoga and weight training to be helpful in the last couple of months but before that it was off limits, due to some bad experiences. I overdid it and suffered the consequences.  This can be something to watch out for in withdrawal as it can vary at certain times throughout the process.

 

 You might find these discussions helpful with regard to stabilizing :

http://survivinganti...does-that-mean/

 

The slowness of slow tapers 


Many SSRI's &SSNRI's over 20 years . Zoloft - 7 years .  Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and many more - on and off . No tapering. Cold turkey -  Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                            Drug free since May, 2014
.
             "Find a place inside where there's joy and the joy will burn out the pain" - Joseph Campbell


#76 baroquep

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 02:18 PM

Hi AliG, thanks for the links, much appreciated.  


Daily Journal

Had almost one complete day without any symptoms at all.  Very very slight pressure on my brain, not quite a headache, feeling a little queasy and a bit of that rubbery feeling again but it resolved itself rather quickly.  Exercised again yesterday with no ill effects today so it looks like I can get back into my exercise routine without incurring withdrawal symptoms which is a bonus.  Nice to know that one day I will be sane again and still have toned arms :)  One full week of few to no symptoms so it looks like I will be able to decrease the first 10% at the end of the month.   It still feels like a daunting task, the finish line seems so far away ... but best to be prepared and start this off with a peaceful mind and two feet on the ground.  Breaks my heart to read people's threads and hear that so many are suffering.  Perhaps one day the medical community will take their blinders off and make necessary changes to ensure that people are fully aware of what they are getting into when they choose to take an anti-depressant.  Had I know the struggles I would face when stopping this medication, I NEVER would have started.          
 


Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism

Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg 
November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 (holding until I stabilize)


#77 baroquep

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Posted 20 October 2016 - 02:02 PM

Today was another good day, no symptoms at all to speak of.  Finally feeling confident that the anxiety is gone and most of the other minor withdrawal symptoms are settling down.  Brain stabilization feels good.  Happy to have found this site as the support through the first couple of weeks was invaluable.  Not sure I would have survived if I didn't have a safe place to connect to.   Five full weeks since the switch and truly embracing the importance of stabilization and going slow.  I have decided to continue the additional month of 75mg that I picked up last week which will mean a total hold of two months before I start the taper.  In the big scheme of things, what's an extra week or two if it is going to help?  


Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism

Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg 
November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 (holding until I stabilize)


#78 ChessieCat

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Posted 20 October 2016 - 02:13 PM

"I have decided to continue the additional month of 75mg that I picked up last week which will mean a total hold of two months before I start the taper.  In the big scheme of things, what's an extra week or two if it is going to help?"

 

I am very pleased to hear this.  Woohoo!!!  You're a fast learner. ;)


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.


#79 baroquep

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Posted 20 October 2016 - 02:25 PM

or maybe just a chicken ... :D  


Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism

Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg 
November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 (holding until I stabilize)


#80 ChessieCat

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Posted 20 October 2016 - 02:33 PM

When I tried to drop my dose when I started tapering properly and experienced withdrawal symptoms the first couple of times and had to updose, that made me a bit scared to drop too soon or too much.  I just didn't want to experience bad symptoms again.  However, I think it was also beneficial in that it has made me cautious.

 

So we are both careful chickens :P


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.


#81 baroquep

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 06:17 PM

Think this is going to be my last journal update until I do my first taper next month (unless there is something to report).  Have managed to string together nine consecutive days of feeling better and have had absolutely no withdrawal symptoms for the last three days.  Am managing the stress at work, which is a relief, and getting back into my normal routine which has been a big help.  Wishing everyone a smooth, slow and uneventful taper back to stability.


Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism

Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg 
November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 (holding until I stabilize)


#82 baroquep

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Posted 26 October 2016 - 03:43 PM

Daily Journal

Tomorrow will be a full six weeks after the switch and it's been six days without any withdrawal symptoms at all.  The only thing I have noticed lately is that it is taking me a lot longer to fall asleep.  Am tired but feel a little wired when trying to fall asleep and it seems to be getting progressively worse.  Thinking that it might be the Effexor that is amping me up and have decided that I'm going to make my first 10% reduction on November 3rd.  Feeling stabilized and confident that I'm ready physically and mentally.  Hoping that it all goes smoothly but am prepared to hold and reduce the percentage of the taper to 5% if my system can't handle it.  The need to be safe and gentle has finally outweighed the intense desire to get this drug out of my system as quickly as possible and face potentially debilitating withdrawal symptoms.       


Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism

Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg 
November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 (holding until I stabilize)


#83 Altostrata

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Posted 26 October 2016 - 05:06 PM

This sounds good, bp.

 

What time of day do you take Effexor? If evening, you may wish to gradually move it by an hour or two every day until you're taking it in the morning. Then, it will be less likely to interfere with sleep.


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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#84 baroquep

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Posted 26 October 2016 - 05:16 PM

Hi Alto, I've always taken anti-depressants first thing in the morning.  Pristiq didn't interfere with my sleep but Effexor seems to amp me up, especially at night.  Was thinking that it might be related to doubling up on the Omega 3s or maybe the niacinamide I started about two weeks ago.  Am not going to take the niacinamide tomorrow and see if that helps.  Or could be related to cortisol spiking though this is a recent development as my sleep has been good up until about a week ago, when all the other withdrawal symptoms seemed to disappear.  


Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism

Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg 
November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 (holding until I stabilize)


#85 baroquep

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Posted 28 October 2016 - 07:08 PM

Daily Journal

Have decided to stick to my original schedule and won't start the taper until I finish off the additional month of Effexor.  Even though I am feeling ready, my CNS may not be ... still, it is excruciatingly painful to hold for so long.  If I'm to be really honest with myself, I haven't been able to completely shake the need to get off of this drug sooner rather than later, despite all I now know.  Have been waking up at 4:00 am every night for about a week now and think this may be a new withdrawal symptom.  Hopefully the insomnia and irritability will resolve itself over the next couple of weeks.  Feeling down today.


Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism

Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg 
November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 (holding until I stabilize)


#86 ChessieCat

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Posted 28 October 2016 - 07:31 PM

I can understand how you feel.

 

I reduced from 100mg (to 50mg) to 75mg in a 3 week period and had to stabilise after that.  You changed from Pristiq to Effexor and we "think" you also reduced a fairly large amount at the same time.  I was itching to get started on my taper proper, not realising that I had already done a 25% decrease.  I don't think it was just the side effects that were driving me to get off.  I've seen other members feeling the same way.

 

I think it is normal once we find out the truth about the drug/s that we want to get off them as quickly as possible.  And understanding that we can't just makes it downright frustrating.  I found that one I had done about 3 drops that it began to take a back seat and the months started flying past.

 

I've just realised that I've just had my 1 year anniversary here at SA (27 October).


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.


#87 baroquep

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Posted 29 October 2016 - 06:09 AM

Hi CCat, congratulations on your one year anniversary!!!  I know logically everything that is written here about how to properly wean is right in front of me.  Just can't shake the intense desire to get off of these drugs pronto and know that is a common theme.  Wish I could stop being so obsessed with getting off of them ... hopefully I will eventually ease into the fact that it is going to take me at least four years to get off of this drug safely ... sigh.


Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism

Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg 
November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 (holding until I stabilize)


#88 baroquep

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Posted 30 October 2016 - 05:10 AM

Note to self - to be repeated everyday:  "In the long term, the goal becomes less about getting off the drug as fast as possible, and more about getting off the drug with as much quality of life as possible.  In a way, a good way, the coping tools you develop during withdrawal will serve you for the rest of your life." 

Quote from 
https://npanth.wordp...ategory/ssri-2/ [James Heaney]


Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism

Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg 
November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 (holding until I stabilize)


#89 baroquep

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Posted 04 November 2016 - 03:10 AM

It's been seven weeks since the switch and am feeling good.  Back to lifting weights three times a week without issue and find this especially helpful if I'm feeling a little low.  Sleep has been good since discontinuing the B12 about a week ago.  B12 obviously stimulated my already compromised CNS, so good to know.  No symptoms to speak of since October 15th and feeling that I'm very stabilized. Have a funny feeling that I won't know for sure until I make the first 10% cut next Thursday.   Judging from the initial switch, the withdrawal symptoms from the change didn't show up until four days later.  Will be better prepared this time to talk myself through it.  

The compounded dose is 67.5 which is a 10% reduction of the Effexor.  Guess there is no point in looking back, but kind of wish that I'd just stayed on the Pristiq and had it compounded to take twice a day.  Will never know if this would have been a better plan so might as well just accept it and move on.  Am over the hurdle of the switch now though imagine that my CNS didn't need that disruption at the very beginning of the taper.  Glad to have persevered with holding for two months with the gentle encouragement of Chessie Cat :) .  Even though I am still somewhat obsessed with getting off of this drug, I am closer to acceptance that it's going to take awhile and for the sake of my CNS, I need to taper slowly, keep doses steady, be careful with supplements and listen to my body.  


Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism

Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg 
November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 (holding until I stabilize)


#90 ChessieCat

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Posted 04 November 2016 - 01:15 PM

"taper slowly, keep doses steady, be careful with supplements and listen to my body."     And that's it in a nutshell

 

"Glad to have persevered with holding for two months"     I'm glad too and you've done really well.

 

"first 10% cut next Thursday"     Nearly there, not long now!!!
 

Keep up the good work!


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.


#91 scallywag

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Posted 04 November 2016 - 04:12 PM

Good job baroque & Chessie. Teamwork!


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results
Cymbalta (brand name), 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 20 mg to 7 mg in 2016, exact doses and dates in this post;
2017: 6.3 (58 beads) Feb. 1; 5.6 mg (52) Feb. 22; 5.4 mg (50) Mar. 15; 5.1 mg (47) Mar. 25; 4.9 mg (45) Apr. 5;
Current dose: 4.5 mg (42) 2017-Apr-14
+ Supplements: fish oil (1500 mg EPA/500 mg DHA), Vitamins: D3, K2, C; Minerals: Mg, Se, Cr, I, V
scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet


#92 baroquep

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Posted 10 November 2016 - 04:14 AM

Day One of my Taper - so excited to finally be able to make the first reduction in the long journey to tapering safely off of anti-depressants.  Have not had a withdrawal symptom in quite some time since the switch to Effexor, so that is encouraging.  Hoping this 10% reduction goes well and doesn't cause too much disruption to my poor brain!!! 


Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism

Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg 
November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 (holding until I stabilize)


#93 ChessieCat

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Posted 10 November 2016 - 03:02 PM

Well done!!!  You hung in there.  Give yourself a pat on the back :D


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.


#94 baroquep

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Posted 10 November 2016 - 03:50 PM

Thanks Chessie, am happy that I waited.  Do have a question for you though ... Have been doing a lot of reading on the site since I came back and have read many many stories over the last couple of months.  One thing that is starting to worry me is I've been reading that some people still suffer from withdrawal once they are finally off the meds even after tapering for a long time.  It looks like it hits them around three to four months after their last dose.  Guess we are all different, but am now thinking that if withdrawal symptoms are inevitable regardless of whether or not a person does a long taper, isn't it just better to face the withdrawal sooner rather than later?  Didn't sleep well last night so maybe I'm just revving myself up but after reading more than a few threads where the person tapered over a number of years and still ended up in rough shape, it's making me a little nervous.  After having two really bad withdrawal experiences trying to get off of these drugs years ago (both times tapering too fast) though that was before finding SA, just really want to prepare myself by knowing what to expect.  Any thoughts or experience (hopefully reassurance) you have with this is most appreciated.  


Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism

Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg 
November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 (holding until I stabilize)


#95 ChessieCat

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Posted 10 November 2016 - 04:30 PM

We just don't know what is going to happen down the track.  Worrying about what might or might not happen just isn't worth the effort.  It's like anything in life, we do our best with the knowledge we have at the time.

 

Also, everyone is different.  We have different physical, emotional and mental makeups, as well as different external stressors, diet, supports.  We cannot predict the future.  We can only live in the now.

 

One thing that you might want to consider:  Our experiences are relative.  What you are experiencing today may be worse than what you experienced yesterday or last week, but they may be mild compared to what you experienced 6 months ago.  It could be that when people finally get off their drug that they may not have experienced many withdrawal symptoms for a while and then boom, all of a sudden they are experiencing "worse" symptoms.  As per my previous statement, compared to how they had felt at the start, what they are experiencing may be very mild, but because they haven't experienced symptoms for a while it can feel like they are worse than what they had previously experienced.

 

I had a regular cold during winter this year.  I hadn't had a cold for quite a few years, and I had forgotten how miserable and horrible you can feel.  When reading back over my own SA topic, I am surprised at how bad I felt for how long.  I don't think I realised it at the time because all I was trying to do was get through each day.  And since I've started feeling so much better since my dose is lower, I'm starting to realise how horrible I felt when I was on 100mg.  I'm also realising how numb I have been over the years of being on ADs.

 

My belief is that things will only get better ... but like life itself, there will most probably be hiccups and possibly some speed humps.

 

Maybe stop reading the negative things and concentrate on living your life with as much enjoyment as you can now.


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.


#96 baroquep

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Posted 10 November 2016 - 04:40 PM

S i g h ... kind of knew what the answer was going to be though was hoping for some magic, lol.  Still working on not being so obsessed with the process ... imagine that I will get into the grove of not thinking about it at some point soon (hopefully)  :blush:


Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism

Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg 
November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 (holding until I stabilize)


#97 ChessieCat

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Posted 10 November 2016 - 05:36 PM

Yes, that time will come.  I have an excel calendar and enter the dose on the date when I do a drop and then highlight a square for my "do not drop before this date" because I have recently tried to drop a bit too soon and had to updose that same day.  However this last drop I ended up forgetting and didn't drop until a week after my "do not drop before" date.  It does fade into the background ... if you let it!!!


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.


#98 scallywag

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Posted 11 November 2016 - 06:54 AM

Many of the people posting about extended symptoms discontinued medication in ways that were risky: cold-turkey, fast-taper, or some other malarkey that doctors think is ok.

 

You were lucky enough to learn of safe tapering methods before withdrawal symptoms set in. There are a few of us around and posting on this site.  The goal of making small gradual decreases in dose is to reduce the risk of destabilizing the CNS. Because you are being cautious, "sneaking" the drug away, your CNS has the opportunity to make many small adjustments and you are less likely to have post-tapering waves of symptoms.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results
Cymbalta (brand name), 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 20 mg to 7 mg in 2016, exact doses and dates in this post;
2017: 6.3 (58 beads) Feb. 1; 5.6 mg (52) Feb. 22; 5.4 mg (50) Mar. 15; 5.1 mg (47) Mar. 25; 4.9 mg (45) Apr. 5;
Current dose: 4.5 mg (42) 2017-Apr-14
+ Supplements: fish oil (1500 mg EPA/500 mg DHA), Vitamins: D3, K2, C; Minerals: Mg, Se, Cr, I, V
scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet


#99 baroquep

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Posted 11 November 2016 - 03:38 PM

Thanks Scallywag, your message makes me feel a lot better.  Yes, am very thankful to have found this site, especially after trying to taper twice before with awful results.  Don't want to go back there if I don't have to :) 

Daily Journal
Know it's a little soon to be feeling withdrawal symptoms seeing as I just made a cut yesterday, but want to keep track of every single day of this first taper so I can look at my notes to see how things have progressed.  Didn't sleep well the last couple of nights as work has been pretty stressful so am attributing my mood to lack of sleep rather than withdrawal ... so really nothing to report today.  


Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism

Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg 
November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 (holding until I stabilize)


#100 baroquep

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Posted 14 November 2016 - 03:23 PM

Am thrilled to report that five days since the 10% taper I have not felt any withdrawal symptoms at all.  I feel so lucky and grateful to all of the moderators who so selflessly help others through this withdrawal process.  Your assistance is invaluable and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Am planning on putting together an information package to give to my family doctor and hope that she will take a look at this website.  I am going to strongly urge her to recommend this site to her patients wanting to come off of anti-depressants. All of us need to spread the word about harm reduction so that the SA method becomes the standardized model of tapering for those unlucky souls that have trouble coming off these medications. 

I have tried to come off of these drugs a couple of times before finding Surviving Antidepressants resulting in horrible withdrawal symptoms and had to go back on the drugs because it appears that the vast majority of doctors simply don't know how to taper safely.  

Thank you again to all of the moderators on SA, in particular Chessie Cat, as I am so thankful to have found this site.  While it's early days and I know I'm not out of the woods yet, at least I feel confident that I will have a much safer landing off of these drugs.  

 


Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism

Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg 
November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 (holding until I stabilize)


#101 scallywag

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Posted 14 November 2016 - 05:18 PM

A couple of thoughts about your meeting with your doctor:
How do you talk to your doctor about tapering and withdrawal
What to expect from your doctor about withdrawal symptoms

If your doc is interested in what you have to say about tapering, a study on the relationship between 5HTT occupancy (serotonin receptors) and dose might be informative. You can download the paper from this topic:
Why taper paper: dose-occupancy curves

There are also books about tapering from antidepressants and other psychiatric medications written by doctors. The books were written for people taking medications so the writing isn't "scientific" but the information is still useful.

  • The Antidepressant Solution, Dr. Joseph Glenmullen, Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School
  • Your Drug May Be Your Problem, Dr. Peter Breggin, Psychiatrist in private practice in Ithaca NY, many peer-reviewed articles published in medical journals

Both books are available through the Toronto Public Library, and of course the usual online vendors.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results
Cymbalta (brand name), 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 20 mg to 7 mg in 2016, exact doses and dates in this post;
2017: 6.3 (58 beads) Feb. 1; 5.6 mg (52) Feb. 22; 5.4 mg (50) Mar. 15; 5.1 mg (47) Mar. 25; 4.9 mg (45) Apr. 5;
Current dose: 4.5 mg (42) 2017-Apr-14
+ Supplements: fish oil (1500 mg EPA/500 mg DHA), Vitamins: D3, K2, C; Minerals: Mg, Se, Cr, I, V
scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet


#102 baroquep

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Posted 15 November 2016 - 03:07 PM

Hi Scallywag, thanks for the links.  I will put as much information together for her to look at.  Am thinking that she'll be open to the suggestions of SA as when she switched me from Effexor to Pristiq years ago, she was concerned that I might have withdrawal effects switching between the two drugs.  Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on how you look at it) I didn't have any problems switching from Effexor to Pristiq.  Imagine it might be because Pristiq is stronger and chemically similar drug to Effexor, though that's only a guess.  Have a feeling that she has had a bad experience with another patient discontinuing Effexor and hopefully she will be open to trying a different method.  When she had me tapering Pristiq years ago, I was tapering 25% every two weeks which was obviously far too fast.  Also, this time my doctor is working closely with my pharmacist, who recommended a much slower taper, though the pharmacist recommended a taper over a year and now know that this would be too fast as well.  

Daily Journal

Well, guess it was wishful thinking yesterday (or I jinxed myself) as day six is here and I am starting to feel some minor discomfort which I know all too well is withdrawal :angry:. Had the beginnings of a headache that never happened and now have a very slight enveloping pressure on my brain.  My arms have that familiar rubbery feeling and it feels like my eyeballs are trying to bulge out.  These minor sensations are mostly just annoying because I thought it was going to be smooth sailing from here.  None of the symptoms are intense like they were two months ago and I would rate them about a 1 or 2 on a scale of 1-10, so definitely bearable.  Thankfully there is no anxiety, dare I say it out loud, and am hoping this is just a blip and these sensations will dissipate over the next three weeks and not gather up any intensity.  A major disappointment to be feeling withdrawal at this early stage ... sigh  :blink:  :wacko:


Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism

Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg 
November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 (holding until I stabilize)


#103 baroquep

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Posted 16 November 2016 - 03:27 PM

Daily Journal

Withdrawal symptoms from yesterday have calmed down though I still feel a slight pressure enveloping my brain that never turns into a headache (rubber arms gone, eyes don't feel as bulged out) ... so hoping this is a good sign. Have a metallic/iron taste in my mouth today but I'm not sure if it is a withdrawal symptom or the result of taking a different type of magnesium.  Ordered my regular magnesium online today so should have that in a few days.  All in all an uneventful day in the big scheme of things.  Wondering now if I should have waited a little longer after switching to Effexor and given my brain more time to recover.  Then again, given the uncertainty of these drugs and their effects on the CNS, I may have had the same result no matter how long I waited ... :wacko:   


Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism

Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg 
November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 (holding until I stabilize)


#104 baroquep

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 02:40 PM

Daily Journal

Thankfully the withdrawal symptoms are completely gone today and feel like myself again.  Was feeling a little nervous over the last couple of days that they were going gain momentum and intensity but instead they seem to have completely petered out.  Thank you.  If all stays the same over the next few weeks, I will make my second 10% cut ... yeah!!


Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism

Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg 
November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 (holding until I stabilize)


#105 baroquep

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 03:30 PM

Hi, I have a question for the moderators or anyone else that has had success tapering a little faster.  Can't seem to find the posting now but thought I'd read somewhere on this site that if you have made a couple of 10% cuts with few to no problems, you might be a candidate to taper 10% every three weeks or maybe even every two weeks.  When I plug my numbers into a chart that Scallywag has made available, it looks like I could shave a couple of years off of my six year taper and that definitely sounds appealing.  

Can appreciate that as I get lower on this drug, the tapers will have to get smaller and the holds much longer, though it would be nice to get a good chunk of it out of my system at the beginning of the taper ... even if it means adding those two years back at the end of it.  From past experience tapering off, I've never had trouble tapering at the beginning, it's at the end when I run into major trouble ... anyone with experience tapering a little faster at the beginning?  
 


Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism

Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg 
November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 (holding until I stabilize)


#106 scallywag

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 05:26 PM

baroque, the first post of Why taper by 10% of my dosage? discusses decreasing the hold time after a few symptom-less or symptom-light dose reductions.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results
Cymbalta (brand name), 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 20 mg to 7 mg in 2016, exact doses and dates in this post;
2017: 6.3 (58 beads) Feb. 1; 5.6 mg (52) Feb. 22; 5.4 mg (50) Mar. 15; 5.1 mg (47) Mar. 25; 4.9 mg (45) Apr. 5;
Current dose: 4.5 mg (42) 2017-Apr-14
+ Supplements: fish oil (1500 mg EPA/500 mg DHA), Vitamins: D3, K2, C; Minerals: Mg, Se, Cr, I, V
scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet


#107 baroquep

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 04:12 PM

Thanks Scallywag, knew that info was somewhere ... am going to do one or two more 10% cuts with a month hold and then try a three week hold.  If I can shave off a bit of time from this taper at the beginning, that will be good news as I have a feeling that I'm going to need to really slow it down at the end.  Thanks again.


Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism

Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg 
November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 (holding until I stabilize)


#108 scallywag

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 06:42 PM

I did exactly that, several 4-week holds, then several 3-week holds. I'm now testing 2-week holds. It seems to be okay for me.  Over the December holidays, I will do a 4 week hold after a handful of two-week cycles just to see if there's any "backlog" of CNS catch-up work.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results
Cymbalta (brand name), 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 20 mg to 7 mg in 2016, exact doses and dates in this post;
2017: 6.3 (58 beads) Feb. 1; 5.6 mg (52) Feb. 22; 5.4 mg (50) Mar. 15; 5.1 mg (47) Mar. 25; 4.9 mg (45) Apr. 5;
Current dose: 4.5 mg (42) 2017-Apr-14
+ Supplements: fish oil (1500 mg EPA/500 mg DHA), Vitamins: D3, K2, C; Minerals: Mg, Se, Cr, I, V
scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet






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