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Found 224 results

  1. My “ psychiatrist decided to get me off effexor by using the “Prozac bridge.” I got off it myself several years ago without much of a problem. I thought. Of course 5 months later I had a bad relapse and went back on it. Anyway she she got me down to 37 last week using 10 mg of Prozac. I went from 150 to 75 without any support. The 150 was making me hyper. I didn’t feel any major effects from that. As it so happens approval for tms ( trans magnetic stimulation) came through. This is 36 sessions of stimulating your brain with magnets. My insurance changed their minds when I appealed. I have feeling Prozac is going to be bad news for me since it’s already kept me up and made me hyper. I’m doing the tms because I want to get over the depression without medication. she said I could keep the 10 mg for the rest of the week or drop everything now. Would being on Prozac for one week at 10 mg cause a withdrawal.? And I have to worry about going off the Effexor without support.
  2. I am posting this on behalf of my husband who is quite unwell. I am in a very vunerable place watching my husband deteriorate so please be kind. We are in our 60's and have never experienced anything like this. My husband was administered antidepressants for depression over 30 years ago and has remained on antidepressants all this time. I cannot recall what they started him on but maybe 8 years ago he was moved to Effexor XR 75mg. When it was increased to 150mg - we noticed a lack of feeling and low libido. We discussed the idea of coming off the Effexor XR and did this with the aid of high quality supplements - tapering by reducing the beads over a year. There were horrible side effects - nausea, high anxiety and then the concentration started to be impacted. After six months of being off the Effexor XR he deteriorated very quickly to the point where he became Psychotic and he couldn't get his brain to think how to get himself into the shower. It was like his brain had frozen. He kept saying I am losing it! Unfortunately he was admitted to the Psychiatric Ward where they administered 10mg Olanzepine and 75mg Effexor XR then increased it up to 150mg. He was released after three weeks. He was on Olazepine for about three months and the Psychiatrist reduced him off that. Because he is still not stable the Psychiatrist was not sure whether to increase or reduce his medication. He has gone for the latter and we are administering 112mg every other day at around 10am this is our 3rd day (eg 150mg one day 112mg the next and so on). I am monitoring him closely and notice that he is so much more responsive in the morning and quite normal, although says he feels really tired. His memory and concentration has been affected. He has blurred vision. After his medication is given I notice he begins pacing, not as responsive to talking and becomes quite anxious. The Psychiatrist says he has had a relapse and has major depression. I don't know who to believe anymore but I just want my husband well again. Please help?
  3. Hi all I'm on day 3 of tapering off venlafaxine XL 37.5, only 2 beads out at a time,I will get a scales soon because It will only get harder the more I have to count out the beads .I am going to take it extremely slowly this time.I did a taper in march 2016 and it lasted till the june and i didn't go beyond 5 beads out each day before going back to 37,5. Its been a very tough time , I have extreme anxiety,extreme iratibillaty ,intrusive thoughts,. to name a few. What I have learned since that time is to have compassion for ones self and b very patient when doing the taper . My advice to everyone is don't ever believe u cant get through it .our nervous system and soul take time to heal Over the last 3 years I have learned and practice mindfulness ,it is amazing. It has helped me to calm down during a couple of flights to the UK when starting to panic. Today I had a bad anxiety attack but I was able to snap out of the attack fairly quickly because I have been practicing it and I recommend always getting out for a walk in the sun if u can and clear your mind. Please always keep your mind open to new ways to heal.We all now its hard but don't ever let anyone break your spirit. Total respect to everyone .
  4. Hello folks and sorry for my silly english! My antidepressants history starts at my teenage years (depression, social anxiety disorder) and after trying escitalopram and fuoxetine, I got prescribed venlafaxine ("the one that helps when others have failed", the gp said). It did help, and now that I have built the life I'm comfortable with and no major stress triggers on sight, I decided to go off venlafaxine. Reasons are that my emotional life had gone unnaturally smooth, like being "just ok" all the time. Also, my sexuality was non-existent. I tapered off waaay too quickly, I know it now. I took only 31 days to taper off completely. But I had no bad withdrawal symptoms, just the brain zaps and nausea, but I found cyclizine very helpful with that. Of course I started to get emotional symptoms too, I was very short tempered and had massive anger bursts. Some days I was feeling little low, but nothing massive. I couldn't dring any coffee for about three months, got so sick from it. After 4 months of being completely off venlafaxine, I got my first big bad wave. It lasted a week, when I was unable to go to work and just suffer in my bed. Symptoms were palpations and racing heart, nausea, anxiety, crying spells, insomnia, need to pee every 15 minutes, diarrhea, brethless feeling... Was that all? Anyhoo, I went to see physician and thankfully he somehow understood my condition and gave me one week off so I could rest at home. He also prescribed propranolol for my heart problems (which have helped alot) and said that if this episode of mine won't go away, I need to start taking venla's again with small doze. I refused, not going to give up yet! After that wave, I had almost two months of feeling completely normal. Like my own self! But then, the second bad wave hit. This time it was different. More difficult and scary. I had the same symptoms I had in the previous wave, but also these frightening episodes of de-personalization,feeling of losing my sanity and night terrors. In those episodes I have been very close to call an ambulance. Thank god my partner is a huge support for me and with his help I have been able to get through these attacks, that lasted sometimes few hours and sometimes about twenty minutes. Now I'm once again feeling normal, thank goodness. I wanted to share my progress here, because I felt I owe this to you, since I have got massive help from this forum. So thank you guys! I'll report if something comes up. This is a long journey.
  5. Hi I am new to this forum and this is my first post . I am currently on 30mg mirtazapine and 200mg of pregablin , I have been on these mess for about 3 to 4 months . I have just cut my mirtazapine from 30mg to 15mg and in the space of 4 days I have have horrible side effects , anxiety through the roof , shaking , lack of appetite poor sleep crying spells and the general feeling of feeling crap . The reason I have started to withdraw from the mirtazapine is that after 3 months I feel no benefit only get awfull side effects . No help with my anxiety and depression if anything it's made me more depressed . I have gone through withdrawing from Effexor and that was really tough , however just the drop for a few days of the mirtazapine has left me crushed , my doctor told me that mirtazapine was a easy drug to withdraw from , but after 4 days it has left me house bound . Has anyone got any idea on how I get through this or any experience in mirtazapine withdrawals
  6. mmcdonald21: Intro

    Hey, I've been trying to get off medications for a while now, to no avail. I'm currently on 30mg Remeron, 300mg Effexor, and 10mg Abilify. I also take a lot of vitamins and fish oil with a high concentration of EPA. I don't feel very good right now, and I've had periods where I've felt good, but I'm pretty sure they were just times that were flukes. I think the things that really help me are exercise, meditation, and to some degree, my vitamins and fish oil, but I really do want to get off of the medications. For over four years I've been reliant on these medications, and still I haven't felt very good at all during the time. I started getting off of my medications by taking 75mg less of the Effexor XR (I was on 375mg). I will report back how that goes. Any tips or advice would be much appreciated.
  7. Hello folks, Wow I came across this website and it definitely helped my outlook on this horrid process of withdrawling from Anti- Depressants. Here is my story. Life was good I was 23 years old, sitting in my University Class seminar, participating with my class, when out of nowhere all these feelings came rushing over me, people started to go sideways, couldn't really talk. Long story short I dropped out of University and went home to parents. I Went to an emerg clinic and was diagnosed with Generalized anxiety disorder(Gad). Immediately I was giving a prescription for Effexor xr 150mg, followed up with my doctor and was up at 225mg for awhile and 150mg for awhile over a 6 year period. I am now 29 years old, about 4 months ago the effexor pooped out, well it may have pooped out a year before that, but we all know how addicting it is. Went through the stigma , perceived personality changes, felt brilliant and ability to talk, got lots of good jobs, was able to be social, felt at times like it was a miracle drug, then slowly over time I lost my jobs, gf's , starting smoking marijuana heavily, took up smoking cigarettes and had anger and frustration issues, never had this before the medication. My doctor just refilled my prescriptions and never really questioned how I was doing on this medication. If I missed a dose one day I would have horrible symptoms. Long story short I feel effexor got me through the first initial espisode I had, but eventually ruined my social life, career life etc. It's been a tough trip. So after this medication pooped out 5 months ago I figured lets try to go off this and tapered off during a two months period.150mg to 75mg to 37.5 then half of 37.5 and then half of that,then off. I quit Effexor on March 22/2012 after being on it since 2005. Wow Lets just say after I came off it I felt so amazing, I saw everything in a fresh new light- like this is what life is like off this? Colors are brighter, Smell is better, everything changed for the positive after coming off it. Rose colored glasses you should say came off. I quit my 2 addictions of Cigs and pot immediately, was so proud of myself, fixed up debts that I wouldn't have touched on effexor. I felt like I had total control of my life, except for how to deal with these raw emotions , felt like a brand new person. Until... The 3 month mark being off Effexor, wow. Anxiety, Insomnia( not sleeping til 730am), not being able to look at somebody and talk to them in a normal light( was never a issue all my life). One week ago I tried Wellbutrin for 5 days and then withdrawled off it 150mg xl. It was just making me more anxious etc. Now the biggest problem I face is feeling like my memory/words have disapeared, can't make sentences or think of what to say and this was never a problem in my life and it's bothering me big time and I don't know what to do, as I feel like my brain has been messed up by 6 years of effexor highest dose 225mg but mostly 150mg. How do I get this back? I need some good responses here because I feel like a complete dummie as my mind has been erased. Thank you for reading this extremely long post, but I didn't want to leave anything important out, and I really want to move on with a life that I can accept and enjoy. Where has my memory gone? Will it comeback? How long if so? My words and ability to talk to people and come up with things to say? Very scared, What can I do? Use to be so smart I am Martin and that is my story, Glad to be a part of this group (29 years old) ^6 years on effexor , now 3months off 2005-2012 , March 22/2012 Off Effexor
  8. Hello everyone, I am an Italian 25 year-old girl, who is experiencing WD syndrome from Effexor, sorry if my English is not so great. First of all, I have to say I am still taking medication. At the moment my doctor is Prof. Giovanni Andrea Fava (you may know him, I saw that you posted some of his research in the forum). He was the only one the understand the hell I was going through and when I first came to him saying that since taking ADs I wasn't feeling myself anymore and that especially Effexor gave me anxiety, racing thoughts, carelessness and hypomania, he immediately put me off of it and labeled it as "poison". After a 2 months tapering under his advice, I stopped in March of this year after over 1 year of Effexor (in the end I had switched from 75 mg to 150 mg after a romantic problem, back then I didn't know that my reaction could have been a drug tolerance episode) and 1 year of Zoloft before. My original issue was ROCD, Relationship-centered OCD. This exploded like a psychosis while I was taking an antibiotic for acne in November 2015, I don't know if there was any correlation between the two facts, of course I had problems with my boyfriend with whom I eventually broke up. I remember urging to the doctor and being put on Trilafon, Zoloft and Rivotril in a glimpse. While the obsession calmed down a little bit, the quality of my life worsened, so that I wasn't feeling myself anymore. I became really demotivated, I lost interest in university and I lost 1 year without taking exams. Now I am about to graduate after many efforts struggling with all of these bad feelings, but I am scared to death as with the new year I will have to seek a job as an engineer but I can't handle any stress right now. My "relapse" happened while I was in Germany working at my Master's thesis. Maybe it wasn't the best idea going for and exchange program after withdrawal (Fava knew, but didn't tell me to encourage me), I was doing quite but at some point I became suicidal without even being able to eat or get out of my room. I had to go back to Italy at the end of June in bad conditions and went to see Fava, who explained to me about the withdrawal syndrome and gave me 10 mg of Prozac and 0.5 mg of clonazepam to be taken daily to calm down the symptoms which are: -mood swings -terrible depression/hypomania -suicidal thoughts -exagerrated feelings of guilt, fear and low self-esteem -brain zaps occasionally -racing thoughts (got better though) -unexplainable anxiety -tingling -feeling like the brain is burning after some thoughts or events -low stress tolerance -nightmares and waking up in the morning in fear and confusion -demotivation -sensitivity to noise Oh, btw, I still have ROCD even if the partners changed. I've done CBT and it is way milder, it took me a lot, but the price to pay is this freakin syndrome and I think that life is such unfair, after all the sufferings I've been through since I was a child and this one is the worst for sure, because I don't know if it will end. I won't talk about the other ones, it is not an issue at the moment. I have to say that I am already better, I can have a living, but sometimes, as many people of you do I guess, I feel I will not get back to what I was. I want to experience sadness, like before, not despair. I don't want to live with that strange constant anxiety or uncomfortable feeling (it's hard to explain, I didn't have it before taking drugs) which I had had also while on Zoloft. It has not gone away, never, for almost 3 years. And I am not sure if its origin is psychological, because I have this also while doing crosswords or laughing with my sister or writing this post, even if I am focused and calm. The things that worry me the most are the aforementioned "feeling", the inability to hold a good position in the job world because I have to avoid any type of stress otherwise I feel like I am burning or I become very fearful and my blood freezes and... the sexual thing. One of the reasons why I developed this ROCD is that because I had sexual problems with my boyfriend. I couldn't get aroused with him, but with other stimuli I was functioning. Eventually we split up (best decision of my life, even if the depression had a role in this). Now I have a new boyfriend, who I love so much. The difference is that I want to have sex with him most of the times, but I can't get aroused, you know... wet, and feel no pleasure. And since this was my main concern even before taking the drugs, I am terrified that one wrong choice would have caused a permanent damage to my sexuality, the thing I was always craving for because I wasn't feeling satisfied. Dr. Fava says that WD Syndrome lasts 6 months on average. So the 6 months have passed but the improvement are really small, sexuality has not returned and here I see people struggling for YEARS. Should I trust him? Come on, he is one of the leading experts worldwide and one of the first to recognize the problem, but I still don't know. I just want to go back to the mess I was, stop obsessing about symptoms and tolerate adversities as I always did before. I can say that racing thoughts have got milder... but it's not enough for me. I've been feeling bad for three years and suffered all my life before, I am sick of this situation.
  9. Hello Nice to meet you all! I'm here for two reasons. 1) I've been on Venlafaxine 150 mg for 1.5 years and I want to taper it safely but still didn't figure out the best way to do it. Every time I forget to take my daily dose I get sick for more than one full day. It's scary! I've seen a recommendation to taper antidepressants at a rate of 10% per month but isn't that unreasonably slow? It would take me more than three years to taper a medication I've been taking for only 1.5 years! Furthermore, I use generic 150mg Venlafaxine capsules that have three large beads inside, and I know there are 75mg capsules available from the same brand. So, the smallest dose is a 25mg bead that I can take from these 75mg capsules. However, 25mg seems too big a cut. I'm afraid I'll have significant withdrawal symptoms and I really need to remain functional. I would appreciate some advice. 2) I have a teenage child that was a A student but now refuses to go to school. Doctors wanted to put her on antidepressants, but we chose to take her out of school instead. She's homeschooling but still not OK. She's well in almost every other aspect (social, etc.) but gets terribly anxious at the thought of having a simple one-on-one lesson with a tutor. We think she may have had a kind of burnout event (she's very dedicated and always wants to excel) and, as any adult in this kind of situation, needs time to recover rather than be put on ADs and sent back to school. But would like to hear your opinion. Thanks in advance PS - I'm currently tapering a benzodiazepine, Ativan. I took 1mg/day for 10 years but had already hit tolerance and it was causing me horrible symptoms like brain fog. I suspect the depressive issues that led to the Venlafaxine prescription were also in part caused by this benzo.
  10. Hi I took effaxor for 5 months 75mg. I stopped 4.5 months ago and still stuck with PSSD. How hopeful should I be, do people here recover substantially from PSSD?
  11. Hi to everyone! A little about my story: -I was started on Effexor immediate release, 75 mg, about a year ago, in January of 2015. I wasn't even clinically depressed, I don't think - just a middle-aged lady dealing with life stuff, but coping fine, working, functioning. Had never had prior antidepressants . -Took Effexor 75 immediate release from 1/2015-5/2015, when the side effects (massive fatigue, weight gain, emotional numbness, among other issues) became intolerable. -Fast tapered 5/2015- 6/2015 over about 3-4 weeks. Did not receive adequate instructions from my therapist, just told to "taper slowly". -Terrible withdrawal symptoms for about a month, then settled down to: -daily brain zaps, usually dozens of times a day; comes on when I'm tired, haven't slept enough, about to fall asleep, or waking up. If I'm well-rested, the brain zaps are less frequent, but there hasn't been a day I haven't felt multiple, multiple zaps. -No improvement in this symptom (brain zaps) in the 8 months since I've been off Effexor -also feel continuation of the withdrawal symptom of vertigo/dizziness/mild "swishing" feeling in my head, especially when I'm not well-rested. I'm terrified that the brain zapping indicates permanent damage of some kind. I'm terrified that the damage will lead to unknown consequences in the future. I'm terrified that this will never go away. The symptoms aren't intolerable, in and of themselves; it's just the worry and the uncertainty that bother me. I'm happy to keep "waiting it out", but am losing hope. I really don't want to reinstate, but am considering doing so, in the XR formulation, as low of a dose as I can get away with, and then do a slooooooooooooowwwwww taper this time. However, I would only want to do this if there were NO WAY that these symptoms would go away without reinstatement of Effexor. So happy to have found this forum. If anyone has any experience with this situation or any advice for me, that would be awesome I'm especially wondering if anyone has had any luck with brain zaps going away after an Effexor fast taper - either waiting it out for a very long time, or success with reinstating/then slow tapering Effexor after such a long time with withdrawal symptoms. Thank you, and Happy New Year to all. Hopefully 2016 will be a better year for all of us!
  12. Hi, I just thought I'd introduce myself and let you all know my story and if it resonates with any of you. I was pretty low before starting antidepressants but they sent me down to a place I haven't experienced before. I was on Sertraline for a couple of weeks at its lowest dose (this caused me to have racing suicidal thoughts so I stopped), I was then put on Venlaflaxine which made me feel like I was a ghost, after I stopped I had extreme suicidal thoughts again, these thoughts have plagued me now for the past 5 months. initially I had these thoughts 24/7, now they come in waves. Hopefully I will be free of these thoughts one day, it's more the feeling I get when I have them, it's like it isn't me thinking them at all. Has anyone had something similar after stopping these drugs. All the best to you all Suttisan
  13. Hi everybody. My name is Gus from Australia. I think i may have found the right site here. I've been on effexor 150mg/day (most of the time. 200mg/day at worst times, 100/day at better times)for about 11 years, was on zoloft, aropax and citolopram for short times beforehand. I wish i'd found this site earlier as it has some great advice for tapering. Too late though as i've already done that with a set of ebay scales and a calculator. Tapered over about 4 months(yeah i know, too fast according to this site). Even still, a lot slower than the doctors would have me do it. I'd just got down to 75mg and a dr told me to go on 37.5 for 2 weeks then just stop. I took his precription to avoid an arguement and threw it in the bin once i got home. Once i got down to about 60mg/day i only dropped it by about 5mg/week. I've been on zero for just over 9 weeks. If my wife hadn't suggested i try her magnesium powder(as it may help with stress) i'd be a complete mess. This stuff really helps. Are there many people out there who can please tell me how long it took to get back to where you were before you started effexor? What kind of symptoms, waves and windows you had and how often did you have each and how long did they last each time you had them? Also, i've heard omega 3's are usefull. Can anyone please tell me how so? What do they relieve and how much to take? Any informed/positive replies are very welcome. Regards, Gus.
  14. Hello all! I am new here. Looking for people who are going through this as well. I was on 150mg of effexor xr for 17 years. 3 years ago I slowly started tapering down. I made it to about 20mg (I was taking 140 little balls out of the 37.5mg capsules). I had been super stressed and started drinking lemon balm tea, holy basil, chamomile, and taking l-theanine and all this apparently caused seratonin syndrome. I went to the ER and the ER doc stopped my effexor. I thought that's fine since i want off them anyway... The first 3 days I took 1 mg ativan morning and night to get through the worst. I have some great days where I feel better than I have in years and then some days I feel the withdrawal hard. Nausea, dizziness, headaches, light headed, feeling like I'm in a dream, anxiety constantly... I feel like I'm buzzing all day, panic attacks, insomnia. Tell me this gets better soon. I only have 3 more months off work... I'm getting so tired of fighting all day. I don't know how much longer I can do it.
  15. On the advice of my wife (KarenB) I've been tapering Effexor by 10% monthly since Nov 2015 (sometimes with a longer hold) and am on 105mg (70% of original 150mg). . No w/d symptoms except very, very mild and occasional dizziness. I did become extremely tired at the start but started taking Cellgevity which dealt with that problem. (Cellgevity is sold via an appalling multilevel marketing system which is very offputting but in my case lives up to the hype). I have been on Effexor for over 5 years and had mild itchiness since about year 2. It was restricted mostly to my arms and occasionally torso but about September 2015 I noticed that my calf muscles and behind my knees would get very itchy after going for a walk (basically when my legs got warm). A good scratch always brought a very satisfying feeling of relief. The itchiness gradually moved to the inside of my elbow, between my eyes and the front of my neck, then, at the end of December when we had our first really hot week of summer (southern hemisphere) all hell broke loose. Whenever I got too hot the itchy areas would become extremely itchy and developed a burning sensation. I ended up scratching my arms raw for a bit. Luckily we live in a very cool house and I gradually worked out a system of managing the problem - it involves spending all day and night in front of a fan and using glass jars of food from our freezer on the hot spots when they get too hot. Glass transfers the cold very quickly and there isn't much time for condensation to form which is important because any moisture on the skin increases the itchiness like crazy as it evaporates. Over summer the itchy patches on my arms have spread up the arms to my shoulders and across the top of my chest. Lately the middle of my back gets hot and prickly if I lie on it for too long at night. I'm fairly certain the itchiness is not related to tapering but would like to know if there is something I can do other than manage the problem? Also, my doctor noticed that the itchy areas on my forearm have a visible edge to them so we tried an anti-fungal cream but aside from it's soothing qualities there hasn't been any reduction in symptoms. Extra Info: Skin problems seems to be my body's main way of expressing itself, having had various mild skin problems over the years and especially psoriasis since my 20s. This itchiness is different to the psoriasis and doesn't respond to treatment the same. I also developed asthma while on Effexor. Initially it was mild when I exercised or was cold but about May 2015 (our winter) it got a lot worse and I now use a Ventolin inhaler to cope. The Psoriasis increase and the asthma are both expressions of stress which I assume have come about because the anti-depressants are suppressing most of my emotional symptoms. I first used Prozac for 3 months in 2001, stopping C/T as soon as I felt better. I then used it again for maybe 6-9 months in 2002/3 after our first child was born but gave up on them when they didn't seem to be doing much.
  16. Hey everyone, This has been the most informative and useful website I have found thus far, so I was inclined to register. Kudos to the site Administrator and moderators for their hard work and time spent helping others while we collectively try to get through this nightmare. I have been on 150mg of Effexor XR for about 7 years now, for anxiety. I am 28 years old and I would like to be fully weaned off by the time I am 30. I want children in a few years, and I refuse to have this poison in my body during pregnancy. This is the only anti-depressant I have ever been on, originally on a 75mg dose but that stopped working after a month and my dose was increased to the 150mg. I really don't feel like he drug has done anything to help me since then. It's been a series of ups and downs which I'm sure many can relate. I began my taper just over a week ago. It's been a bit of a rough start, due to my own tardiness and ignorance, moving from Canada to the US. When I had my prescription filled here in the US for the first time, they gave me the generic brand Teva Venlafaxine. I did not foresee any issues, but it caused me panic attacks almost immediately. A permanent dizziness, headache, and heartburn, plus I was very irritable. After a week of that, and realizing the side effects weren't getting any better, I had my pharmacy order the brand name Effexor XR for me and they did so without hesitation or a Dr's note. I want to make a suggestion to those who do not have insurance. You can get a free discount card from the manufacturer (Pfizer) and get it for $30/month at participating pharmacies. I was very nervous they wouldn't accept the card. It seemed to good to be true but I can confirm, it worked for me and I purchased my months prescription for just $30 instead of the $350+ full price. You can get your discount card here: https://www.effexorxr.com/choice-card Anyways, I made a silly mistake when I received my first generic prescription. I was ready to start my taper and take some of the beads out. There were exactly 150 beads in each capsule, I started by removing 5. There were no withdrawal symptoms other than drowsiness, but the side effects I described above meant I couldn't stay on the generic brand. Since moving back to the brand name stuff, I notice there are way more beads, I stopped counting at 200 when I realized I wasn't even half way through them. Plus the beads are all different sizes. I got a really good jewelers scale from Amazon.com for just $20 which I would like to use for the remainder of my taper. I calculated 3.3% was the reduction I made by taking 5 beads out of the generic capsule. An unfortunate number to work with, since I am no good with math and neither is my partner. But I would like to maintain that 3.3% for at least a week and then bump it up to either 5 or 10% and stabilize there for a month as Admin suggests. My only concern stems from the fact that the brand name pill has an inconsistent weight, and number of beads. The number of beads don't really matter to me since I am doing it by weight anyways... but the weights vary slightly. Should I do my % calculation based on the average pill weight? Or should I be removing the beads based on the weight of each individual capsule? This is pretty much the only area where I am stumped right now. Last night I based it on that pills weight... and I don't know what to do tonight. From what I've read here it looks like I should just go by the average weight? http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/272-tips-for-tapering-off-effexor-and-effexor-xr-venlafaxine/ Any suggestions or advice is appreciated. I've no major withdrawal as of right now... just drowsiness. A bit of heartburn on and off and Tums do help with that. But when I focus too much on the heartburn, I begin to think I'm having a heart-attack and this causes me to (almost) panic! And frightens me when I am trying to sleep. Has this medication/withdrawal been known to cause any major heart problems? Or am I just being silly by worrying about a little bit of heartburn. Thank you in advance and I am very happy to be here.
  17. I can't remember ever being happy. I never felt like I fit in and relationships were hard to foster. I felt like an outcast, drawing on my musical and visual influences to drive home that point. Listening to Blind Melon I had my first suicide attempt. After that in 2008 I was put on 20mg of Prozac (medicine is right but dose could have been a little higher, it was a long time ago). From there I stayed on Prozac until 2010 and stayed medication free until my anxiety became so crippling that I couldn't walk in a gym around acquaintances in 2012. Then, I was put on Bupropion which was a huge failure and then Paxil, which I stuck with Until 2014 before it's effects dwindled. During that time my depression became unbearable and I couldn't be by myself without crying. I had to leave school my senior year for 3 months and reset everything, return to therapy and look for a new medication. Eventually mid-way through my freshman year of college at the I was given cymbalta at the end of 2014. i thought I finally found it. While there was ups and downs the cymbalta helped tremendously, I almost went off pills completely near the end of 2016, and then extra stresses forced me to try extra Wellbutrin with a cymbalta dose increase. This was a disaster and caused a breakdown and second suicide attempt which landed me in the hospital. The doctor switched me to 75 mg Effexor and it did ok for awhile but my anxiety was through the roof. After two months it was too much and my doc added 300mg gabapentin 3x a day. This is kind of worked for a month and a half before I started to lose my energy, have the racing beating down thoughts and the loss of interest again. Last month the doc tried upping my Effexor to 100 with disasterous results. Now I feel stuck. Its not normal to wake up with no energy and a loss of interest in anything. Have i I been on pills too long? Do I need to take SSRIs or Tricyclate? Tricyclate deal with atypical depression, which fits well due to my inconsistent mood and spiraling ups and downs. Im not bi polar, but one doc said I have characteristics of personality disorder, which would explain the "high" highs and "low" lows. I just need help. Im a semester away from graduating and I don't want to take a pause right before the finish line. I'm a leader in most of my major studies clubs and a well-liked person on campus living in one of the most popular houses at school. Why am I so sad? I just need advice. Get on new pills, get off pills, what pills worked well temporarily. At this point, I just want to get by. Please help me.
  18. On day 5 only of using 10mg of Prozac with 75mg of Effexor for first week, then 20mg of Prozac and 37.5mg of Effexor for week 2, then no more Effexor. Could it work? Who the hell knows? Been on antidepressants for 20 years and have had enough of withdrawal/activation syndromes/poop out. These are powerful analgesic drugs that should never be prescribed. Psychosocial support(cbt, exposure/desensitization therapy works and is much safer).
  19. Hi everyone, In November 2016 I took my last pill of effexor after a relatively fast taper. After one month of bad withdrawal symtoms I started to stabilize and feel remarkably better. On new years, however, I drank two glasses of champagne, not knowing what the consequences would be. One week after that, I started to feel worse again, slowly regressing back into severe withdrawal. 9 months has now passed and I am feeling worse than ever, with symtoms still getting worse by every day. So.. My question is, do people recover from "kindling" in withdrawal? - because that's what suppose those glasses of champagne did to me - or am I doomed? I would appreciate a straight and honest answer. I am in great agony and would like to know what I can expect from the future. Thank you all, Kindest regards / Imad
  20. Hi all, Thank you for letting me join this wonderful fountain of knowledge. I have been on Effexor since late 2008, when I was 20 years old. My first long term relationship had just ended and I was understandably an emotional mess. I was also alcoholic at the time and using a lot of recreational drugs, which didn't stop the doctor from providing me 75mg of Effexor XR. I loved it at first because I literally felt high. I had tried other antidepressants in the past but none had worked, whereas with Effexor I just seemed to have so much energy. Fast forward to 2011, I am in residential rehab for my alcohol and drug addiction problem. The counsellors there suggest it might be a good time to try coming off my meds- 300mg Effexor and I also taking 25mg Seroquel at this point, as I was unable to sleep on the Effexor. I am referred to a completely incompetent psychiatrist who gives me a taper programme which takes me from 300mg to nothing in a month. Not knowing any better, I complied with his insane schedule. Within a few weeks I was kicked out of rehab for out of character, rageful behaviour. Back home, I slowly lost my mind. Couldn't leave the house without feeling like I had a target sign painted on me- I felt everyone was looking at me and talking about me. I lost my temper at the drop of a hat over minuscule things. No one around me realised what was happening. My memory of this time is hazy, but I do remember being home alone one night and suddenly becoming obsessed that there was a government conspiracy to give people heart attacks by putting too much salt in food. I was walking around the kitchen in circles screaming, unable to stop. I considered the possibility of hanging myself to make it stop. Luckily I called my boyfriend instead and found another website which is no longer active, who advised me to go straight to a doctor and resume the Effexor at a maintenance dose. I did this and was put back on 75mg. The damage was already done and I fell into clinical depression. A month later I decided I couldn't be more miserable that I was and relapsed on alcohol. Luckily I got straight back into a 12 step programme and have been sober since that relapse. But I struggled with the after effects of that withdrawal for many months. i have been absolutely petrified to try coming off Effexor again since, despite many side effects including palpitations, mental confusion, dry mouth, bad breath, constant clenched jaw and every type of stomach complaint. I fell pregnant in 2014 and came down to a quarter of a 37.5mg tablet during pregnancy. I wanted to come off it entirely, but my relationship was very unstable and I was being constantly triggered (we have now split up). I was devastated to not be able to breastfeed my daughter, but I felt the Effexor presented too much of a risk to do so. I went back up to 37.5mg shortly after her birth. She is fine and healthy today, but the responsibilities of single motherhood have left me terrified to attempt withdrawal again. However, since giving birth I have found that the Effexor now has a sedative effect on me. I now have to take it at night time, or I am almost passing out during the day. Sometimes I forget (I'm insanely forgetful now, which fairly sure is a side effect of long term antidepressant use) and then I have a choice of spending the whole day "shocking" or being a half passed out zombie fighting to keep my eyes open. I realised I can't carry on my life like this, I want and need my energy back. I've become completely reliant on coffee to have any kind of energy, so I'm always up or crashing back down. My daughter needs me to be fully present in her life, which I don't feel like I am a lot of the time due to this horrid side effect. I found this website and have been reading up on safe tapering, and on June 14th began the 10% reduction method. At the moment it looks like it's going to take about 3 years in total. I'm in no rush after my last withdrawal experience, I can't risk ending up in such a bad way as I'm all my little girl has. I have been dissolving the 37.5mg tablet in 75ml water, making sure it's all evenly dispersed, then removing 7.5ml (equal to 3.75mg) with an oral syringe. In the UK they no longer prescribe the slow release Effexor so as I can't do the bead method, this is the only accurate way I can really do it. Yesterday I had tingling in both hands all day then at night I had some brain zaps when I was trying to sleep which went all down my left side, which has made me wonder if I should maybe hold this dose for longer that a month. If anyone could advise me on this, I would appreciate it. I find my daily meditation practice my most valuable asset in keeping me sane so I'm hoping it will aid me in my withdrawal. If you have made it this far in my mammoth post, you are truly amazing! Love and healing light to you all x L
  21. The way a lot of folks in the pro-psychiatry group talk you would think that coming off their drugs always happens like this. "Consumer" wakes up on a bright sunny morning. After stretching and yawning she says, "Gee, I feel so great today I think I'll just stop taking my 'meds.'" After 2 weeks this individual spends over $1,000,000 on trinkets, has numerous affairs, steals cars in order to have accidents, and tries to kill herself. Tut, tut. That is not how it happened for me. It took me well over five years to screw up the courage to come off these drugs. I had always been frightened by the dire warnings about "terrible things that would happen" if I went off the brain drugs. I read over a dozen books and hundreds of blog posts on the subject. This would baffle so-called experts because they think we're all alike and only have one paradigm for withdrawal. Thanks to a lot of online resources like MIA and BeyondMeds I learned what not to do in coming off psych drugs. Despite my bogus Bipolar label I have already succeeded on going off Lamictal (cold-turkeyed 2 days after leaving hospital) and Abilify. The Abilify took 3 months to taper off of after 7 years. I have reason to believe it was causing frequent, painful fistulas. Glad I'm off! I have no mania either; according to the shrinks I should. Ha! In your face psychiatry! Now for the "Biggy." Effexor. Ugh. Already overwhelmed by crazy-making withdrawal symptoms. Will describe the worst one in my next post Using a micro-taper over a period of fifteen months or more. Slow and steady wins the race.~Aesop
  22. Hello everyone, I'm not quite sure which topic the following issue and question belongs to .. so please let me know if I should post this in another topic / category. As described in my signature, I completely stopped ingesting venlafaxine after about 3 months of tapering - I know, too fast, I was never informed about withdrawals or the need of a slower taper by my physician. One week after the last pill, various withdrawal symtoms such as brain fog, blurred/limited or "constrained" vision, OCD, tiredness and vertigo all appeared at once. Everything lasted for about 1 month and then, like all of a sudden, the withdrawals just stopped or became much milder. This period, which I like to refer to as my withdrawal "honeymoon," lasted for about 2 weeks. After this, the withdrawal symtoms started to come back, yet this time much more severe. I don't know if it has to do with the 2-3 glasses of champagne I had in New Years (I doubt so), but ever since they came back, they have slowly gotten worse. In the beginning I could still work, see friends and do other things people do in the leisure time but now I am on the sick list since three months, I can barely go or stay outside very long because all my symtoms (especially my visual symtoms) gets worse and my body and brain gets tired really fast. I am home most of the time. I try to exercise and to go out but my symptoms allow me to do very little things before it gets too hard for me. Now I ask you people who know this better than me - is it common for the symptoms to get worse over a period of time (for several weeks/months) before things hopefully turns around and you start feeling better again? I know that I may be a little messy in my explanation and I have certainly posted this in the wrong topic, but please know that I am suffering from a bad brain fog and that I am trying my best. I have already visited an ophthalmologist and I did get my brain scanned and they could find nothing. Still, I'm worried that there may be something else that causes my symptoms, which in turn was caused by effexor. PS -I have tried several supplements and have found that soy protein powder and magnesium tables relieves some of my symtoms. Thank you all in advance, and sorry for the messy text!
  23. Hi, I am 55 and have had several episodes of major depression. Two of them were treated with Effexor XL. The first time (16 years ago), I came off without problems. I didn't even realize that there could be problems. About 2 years ago I went back on due to a very stressful time that I couldn't solve with my usual coping skills. I tried to wean off last summer and had significant neurological symptoms. I thought I was either going crazy or had a brain tumor. It took me almost a week to think that it might be withdrawal symptoms. (Thanks internet.) I went back on and the symptoms went away quickly. When I told my doctor, he said 'Why do you want to wean off? Why not just relax and be happy?' Sigh. I have been afraid to try again until I found this forum. I am also nervous to try at this time of year because my symptoms are always worse in the fall/winter which is approaching, but I realize this is going to have to be a very long, slow process. I have some hope now that I can do this.
  24. I'm thinking of reinstating, here's the story: A couple of years ago I took my last dose of Effexor. Weaned as per the doctor's instructions: went down from 150mg to 0mg in around 3 months. (Boy did she know what she was doing) Around the time I took my last quarter pill I got my very first withdrawal symptom: an overactive bladder! Then came the Insomnia, muscle tension, indigestion, nausea, diarrhoea, flu like symptoms and headaches, itching, tinnitus, mood swings, hyperarousal, constant anxiety, difficulty concentrating, hypomania (now imagine a hyped up voice announcing festively, AND MORE!) Now I'll just throw in a bit of history so you guys can see the mess my doctors and I have made with some very dangerous drugs. Age 20 - given Sertraline, switched after a couple of weeks to cipralex (I think) after about a year switched to Effexor (150 XR) and stuck with it until age 24, quit Effexor cold turkey for a few months then resumed imipramine, quit after a week and went on to take Cymbalta for a few months then switched to Effexor again until age 27, tapered for 2-3 months and been off any sort of psychiatric drug since. (am 29 now) As you can see Effexor is the main culprit here. So I've been trying to tough out the waves and squeeze every bit of energy I have in my hypomanic windows for the last two years which hasn't worked all that well, but still well enough for me to want to believe it'll be good eventually. Then about a month ago I started developing this extremely unnerving sleep pattern where I basically sleep every other night for around four hours (in chunks of two). Needless to say the anxiety that ensues is insufferable and I am currently pretty much disabled. Also, this worsening of symptoms may or may not have happened due to me experimenting with St Johns Wart (another bad call on my end) for about a month with this bad wave starting around three weeks in. I've tried Bendryl and Melatonin to aid with sleeping but they only seem to work every other night Now I'm pretty sure that a neurologist would want to put me on either a sleep medication or a benzo, and I figure, that another thing to withdraw from is just what I need, y'know? So I'm thinking that reinstating and doing a real slow wean may be the smartest option, but by now I'm pretty much scared shitless given the bad choices I've done in the past (If only I could manage to work for as long and hard as I do cry about the stupidity of ever touching an antidepressant to begin with) Anyway, I'd appreciate anything from an advice to just a hello. I've been lurking here for some time and I've learned a lot. Hoping that in due time I'll be able to share positive experiences and advice, for now I can certainly tell you what not to do Daniel
  25. Hi I've been on all manner of antidepressants for 29 years now. I started on Prothiaden in 1988 at age 15. I've been on citalopram, fluoxetine, paroxetine, amitriptyline and many more that I cannot recall because it's all one big drug haze. I am currently on venlafaxine. Fluoxetine made me terribly nauseas and I very nearly vomited on my MD at the time and our top supplier. Paroxetine was a trip and a half. I was on it for a long time and called it my "legal cocaine". It caused dipsomania where I craved, drank and suffered few side effects of drinking excessive volumes of alcohol. All the others I didn't last on for long as they caused undesirable side effects. I've been on venlafaxine for 8 years. I started on effexor capsules, then someone mistakenly prescribed the tablets which I found to be better for me. When they recently switched to a new genetic form off venlafaxine I didn't have a reaction to the change i thought I might and find it the same if not marginally better than the branded tablets. I've had the best results with venlafaxine depression wise but over the last couple years realised it wasn't working as I was severely fatigued, anxious, depressed with the attention span of a gold fish. Worse than this I've packed on 30kgs which has had devastating effect on my life and self esteem. If I wasn't depressed before I certainly am now! I decided to come of it and my objective is to get to nil medication. I accept I might not get that far or need to go back on some form of medication. Due to the horrendous withdrawals I'd experience if I even missed taking a dose by a couple of hours, I was convinced coming of this medication would require 24/7 intensive nursing in some kind of medical facility with a morphine drip or such like. In January 2017 a random locum GP I saw told me antidepressants won't work without magnesium and vit B6 supplementation. Well that's good to know. Better late than never!? Since January 2017 I have reduced my dosage off venlafaxine from 300mg per day to 150my per day via 4 x 37.5mg drops. How? VITAMINS. This is NOT an advertisement. I started taking BePure's One + Zinc Restore + Superboost C + Three. On day 2 I felt like a new person. I felt so good I felt confident I could start dropping my dosage as I noticed if I missed or was late with a dose I didn't suffer withdrawals. I did suffer some withdrawals over the 8 months but more of doing things which were not really like me than the physical and mental withdrawal pains. Late August I was feeling so good I got a personal trainer and started working out (gently) twice a week. Because I was so unfit and overweight I think this was overkill because I injured my knees and they're still not right. I had developed psoriasis I my back so I stopped all vitamins other than Superboost C to see if that helped. I am going back on all vitamins tomorrow. Without the vitamins the physical body and joint aches and agitation are unbearable. I've tried lots of vitamins over the years with no noticeable benefit. The BePure ones are different and so much more efficable. I swear they are the only answer to dropping/eliminating venlafaxine/antidepressants for me. So grateful I found them. Good luck.
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