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  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. Greetings I am a 49 year old male. I was prescribed Paxil 20mg 15 years ago. I was having panic attacks and originally prescribed Zoloft. I reacted badly to that med and immediately took my self off of it. Wasnt on it more than 3 days. Still suffering from gripping anxiety my PCP suggested I try another med in this class as everyone reacts differently to them. Initially I resisted but wanted relief. So I relented and took the sample starter pack of Paxil. Within 2 weeks I was feeling better. There was no question it had an affect. I had mild sexual side effects mainly muted orgasms. In the big picture it was a small price to pay for not living in constant fight or flight mode. I have tried numerous times to get off of this drug. Always failing. Being told that my symptoms where a return of what led me to go on the medication to begin with. I could get down to 10 mg but never any lower before experiencing significant discomfort. I would go into crises and return to my original dosage. I saw a psychiatrist and he prescribed prozac to substitute for the longer half life. That was a huge mistake. This summer I began a new quest feeling more determined than ever to rid myself of this poison. I got down to 10 mg and stayed there for months. I was stable. Using a pill cutter I got down to 5 mg and felt relatively stable. I convinced my PCP to prescribe Paxil in liquid form. This suspension was 10 mg per 5 ml. I started taking 2.5ml/ equivalent of 5 mg. I seemed ok. So I went down to 2 ml and seemed ok. Very little side effects. I was feeling strong so I did the very stupid thing and accelerated my taper. I went down to 1.5 ml. then 2 weeks later went down to 1.2 ml. All hell broke loose. Panic attacks. Flu symptoms. Anxiety. Crying. Anger. pain. Hypochondria. I researched supplements and tried Omega 3's, B Complex, vitamin D. researched tryptophan and 5-HTP but thought better than to try this. It seemingly came in waves. Everytime I hit a window I thought it was over and I was stabalizing just to hit an intense wave again. mornings seem better with waves in the afternoon. Im afraid I damaged my nervous system. Im struggling with what I should do next. I have become fearful I will always have these symptoms. Not sure if I should up my dose or stand pat and give myself more time to stabilize. I recently have had windows where I feel fantastic. Like my old self. Only to hit an intense wave of misery. Its brutal. I do not trust doctors. They are clueless. I have been told to skip doses etc....its unreal the disservice so many people have suffered at the hands of this poison. "Its not addictive" you might feel uncomfortable for a week or two. My god I want to shove this down their throats and let them feel it. Should I up my dose? Stand pat and stabilize? I have been on 1.2 ml for 4 weeks and still feeling symptoms. Maybe just a slight bit of improvement. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
  3. 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).
  4. LSS, I have been on some form of antidepressant/anti-anxiety med for 20 years. I was in a massive car accident with severe head trauma back then, and have had inexplicable panic attacks since. Without meds, I tend to randomly pass out 4-5x/week from a classic hyperventilation/anxiety attack. Only difference is that mine tends to come out of nowhere, without any trigger. They are super hard and fast, so I don't even see it coming sometimes. That's resulted in an additional 6 diagnosed concussions... For the last 15 years, I have been on Effexor XR, 150mg (name brand only). For the last 2 years, they added Celexa (generic), 20mg. The Effexor is killing me... I can't sleep. No more than 4 hours/night, interrupted, in the last few weeks. I literally have to pee at least every hour if not more often. I have had night sweats for 8 years. And my lymph nodes in my neck are so incredibly large (roughly 2 golf balls in size), that I've had some surgically removed. (obv. not cancerous). So, I've contacted my doctor, asking to ween off using Prozac as a bridge based on what I've read. I'd be happy to quit the Celexa too, I don't get withdrawal symptoms much from the Celexa, nor does it seem to help much. However, instead of doing that, she increased Celexa to 30mg/day, and cut the Effexor in half to 75mg for 2 weeks.... continuing to cut in half every two weeks until complete. I really don't see Celexa proven to be a good bridge. Experiences? Thoughts?? The withdrawal is pure hell, as I'm sure anyone reading this knows. I will, of course, try this... I just worry so much about the withdrawal.
  5. Hi all, I have been struggling off and on over the last 14 years with what I thought was anxiety the whole time, but am now realizing it was more likely withdrawal from stopping antidepressants too quickly. The first SSRI I was put on was Paxil. I tapered off after 7 months because I never really liked the idea of being on an antidepressant. I started having anxiety a few months later and was switched to 50 mg of Zoloft. I tried multiple times over the next 13 or so years to stop Zoloft, but the anxiety always returned, so back on I would go. In the fall of 2015 I had a return of anxiety after reducing the Zoloft to 25mg and tried to go back to 50, but it wasn't helping, so ended up going to 150mg before I felt relief. I again tried tapering last summer and got down to 25mg and experienced increased anxiety as well as insomnia. My doctor switched me to Lexapro last October, but it only made me more anxious, so after 10 weeks he switched me to Paxil. I got up to 20mg of Paxil for 3 weeks and wasn't feeling any better, so finally decided I had enough and wanted off the antidepressants. I started tapering at the end of January down to 15mg for 2 weeks, then 10 for 2 weeks, then to 7.5, and after about a week and a half at 7.5 started feeling really anxious again. I found this site and decided to go back up to 10mg of Paxil and stabilized for about 2 weeks and then started tapering 10%. Was doing pretty well for a couple of weeks at 9mg and then started feeling a little anxiety creep in. I talked to my doctor about switching to Prozac to make the tapering hopefully easier, so a week ago this Friday I started taking 4.5 mg each of Paxil and Prozac. I have experienced some ups and downs with anxiety since then, and am having a particularly difficult time right now. Feeling quite anxious and can't sleep. I took .5mg lorazepam tablet and am feeling a bit better, but not sure what to do now. I was going to switch to just 9mg of the Prozac and eliminate the Paxil tomorrow, but not sure if I should continue with the half and half mixture I have been doing or maybe even just go back to the Paxil alone? This just sucks so bad. I know I have probably screwed up my system so much with all of these changes and can only pray the damage is reversible. I was feeling pretty good earlier today, but then started feeling terrible as the evening went on. Haven't felt this bad in a while. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  6. To reduce the risk of withdrawal symptoms and post-discontinuation prolonged withdrawal syndrome, as with other psychiatric drugs we recommend reducing Pristiq by 10% per month, calculated on the last dosage. (The amount of the reduction gets progressively smaller.) See Why taper by 10% of my dosage? However, Pristiq is difficult to taper properly as it comes in only 3 dosages: low, average and excessive. Do not alternate doses of Pristiq to taper -- this will cause the levels of this medication in your brain to go up and down and is second only to cold-turkey in causing withdrawal symptoms. AND DON'T COLD-TURKEY EITHER!!!!!!!!! PLEASE READ THIS ENTIRE TOPIC BEFORE GOING OFF PRISTIQ. Pristiq is a drug made of Effexor's (venlafaxine) active metabolite, O-desvenlafaxine. Pristiq is to Effexor as Lexapro is to Celexa -- a tweaked and more powerful isomer molecule. In effect, Pristiq is concentrated Effexor. According to Pfizer http://labeling.pfizer.com/showlabeling.aspx?id=497, Pristiq is available in extended-release tablets of 25mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg; the most common dosage is 50mg. Unlike Effexor, which is metabolized primarily by liver enzyme P450 CYP2D6, Pristiq is metabolized via conjugation and liver enzyme P450 CYP3A4. It attains peak plasma concentrations in about 7.5 hours. According to this paper, the extended-release formulation releases desvenlafaxine over 24 hours. The mean half-life of desvenlafaxine, without the extended-release monolithic matrix formulation, is around 11 hours. The official prescribing information from the FDA contains this: Pristiq is difficult to taper "at a more gradual rate." The tablets come in only 3 dosages and, officially, they should not be cut up. See http://www.primarypsychiatry.com/aspx/articledetail.aspx?articleid=2464 In a phone conversation with Pfizer medical information (1-800-438-1985), I learned that the extended-release characteristic is incorporated into the tablet itself (Thank you, oaklily, for this information about the matrix formulation.) Rather than a timed-release coating, the coating on the Pristiq tablet is only protective. The extended-release mechanism is part of the tablet matrix, or the glue that holds the tablet together. This is called a monolithic matrix tablet. (If the tablet is split, the matrix is damaged and may not reliably be extended-release, depending on the size of the fragments. Larger fragments are more likely to retain some extended-release capability. When the tablet is CRUSHED, the matrix is completely destroyed. The particles should be assumed to have NO extended-release capability.) According to Pubmed on Desvenlafaxine: "....The extended-release tablet does not dissolve in the stomach after swallowing. It slowly releases the medicine as it passes through your digestive system. You may notice the tablet coating in the stool...." There is a description of the similar matrix formulation for quetiapine XR (Seroquel XR) here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1707-tips-for-tapering-off-seroquel-quetiapine/page__view__findpost__p__33069 PROTEST THIS DANGEROUS DRUG Phone Pfizer, Pristiq's manufacturer, to make a complaint: (800) 438-1985 in the US Pfizer has not provided any specific information on how to taper from a dosage of 25mg Pristiq, the lowest available dosage. They may suggest alternating dosages to taper Pristiq. Don't do this -- it's like playing ping-pong with your brain. File a complaint about the difficulty of tapering off Pristiq -- the range of dosages is inadequate. Also complain to the FDA 1-800-FDA-1088 Mon–Fri between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. EST. OPTIONS FOR TAPERING PRISTIQ Since medicine knows nothing about tapering Pristiq, the following are all informal suggestions. Try any of them at your own risk. Please let us know how you do by posting in this topic. Cut up Pristiq tablets Despite the warnings not to cut it up, patients have cut up Pristiq tablets to taper. Now that the 25mg tablet is available, cutting it into quarters gives you the option to taper by 6.25mg per step. If you are taking 100mg Pristiq or 50mg Pristiq, you may wish to request part of your prescription be written for 25mg tablets. (For insurance coverage of multiple dosages, your doctor most likely will have to specify taking Pristiq in "divided doses.") Rather than a timed-release coating, the coating on the Pristiq tablet is only protective. The extended-release mechanism is part of the tablet matrix, or the glue that holds the tablet together. If the tablet is split, the matrix is damaged and may not reliably be extended-release, depending on the size of the fragments. Larger fragments are more likely to retain some extended-release capability. If the matrix is sufficiently broken, a Pristiq fragment becomes desvenlafaxine, with an 11-hour half life. If you cut up the tablet, you might take smaller divided doses of Pristiq, more than once a day, like immediate-release Effexor, to mimic an extended-release dose. From reports on the Web, cutting up tablets does seem to work for some but it makes others ill, possibly because of "dose dumping" (because the matrix is destroyed) when the entire dose is released at once, instead of being gradually released through the matrix formulation. It seems to sometimes cause stomach upset, which may be reduced by taking it with food. You may find you need a precise way to measure your tablet fragments. See Using a digital scale to measure doses As you get down to a low dose, you may wish to switch to Effexor to more precisely control dosage decreases, see below. Crush Pristiq tablets, weigh powder with a digital scale This is similar to cutting up tablets -- Pristiq is a "do not crush" medication, as it is a time-release drug. Conceivably, dividing the dose and taking a measured amount of powder more than once a day, like regular Effexor, may make this method feasible. Crushing the tablet and making sure the shell fragments are evenly distributed in the powder would be a more precise way of tapering than cutting up tablets. As Pristiq's extended-release mechanism is part of the tablet matrix, or the glue that holds the tablet together, when the tablet is crushed, the matrix is completely destroyed. The particles should be assumed to have NO extended-release capability. The Pristiq powder becomes desvenlafaxine, with an 11-hour half life. If you pulverize the tablet, you might take smaller divided doses of Pristiq, more than once a day, like immediate-release Effexor, to mimic an extended-release dose. Peer discussion of this method starts here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/876-tips-for-tapering-off-pristiq-desvenlafaxine/page__view__findpost__p__27417 Reducing from 100mg Pristiq to 50mg Pristiq Drug switches incur additional risk. Before trying a switch to Effexor or Prozac (fluoxetine) from 100mg Pristiq, it's probably wise to go down to 50mg Pristiq first, if possible. You might use a 50mg tablet plus a 25mg tablet plus 3/4 of a 25mg tablet (18.75mg) to make the first reduction to 93.75mg 2nd reduction: a 50mg tablet plus a 25mg tablet plus 2/4 of a 25mg tablet (12.5mg) to go to 87.5mg 3rd reduction: a 50mg tablet plus a 25mg tablet plus 1/4 of a 25mg tablet (6.25mg) to go to 81.25mg 4th reduction: a 50mg tablet plus a 25mg tablet to go to 75mg 5th reduction: a 50mg tablet plus 3/4 of a 25mg tablet (18.75mg) to go to 68.75mg 6th reduction: a 50mg tablet plus 2/4 of a 25mg tablet (12.5mg) to go to 62.5mg 7th reduction: a 50mg tablet plus 1/4 of a 25mg tablet (6.25mg) to go to 56.25mg 8th reduction: a 50mg tablet If withdrawal symptoms occur, some people have found taking an additional fragment of a tablet can smooth the transition from one dosage to another. Once at 50mg, stabilize for a month at least and consider your plan for the next stage of tapering. Use a combination of Pristiq tablets and Effexor liquid Pristiq cannot be made into a liquid, but its close relative immediate-release Effexor (not Effexor XR) can. You may be able to go off Pristiq by taking part of your dose in lower-dose tablets and part in liquid Effexor, gradually converting to all-liquid Effexor as you get to lower dosages. This may offer a convenient and gradual path off Pristiq. Only regular immediate-release Effexor can be made into a liquid (see Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine) ). As immediate-release Effexor has a short half-life and is usually dosed twice a day, you may wish to take the liquid portion of your dosage later in the day. For example, if you are taking 100mg Pristiq, you may wish to take your daily dose as one 50mg tablet and the rest in a liquid made from immediate-release Effexor. You can titrate the liquid by 10% of your daily dosage to taper until you get to 50mg. Then you can take a 25mg Pristiq tablet with the rest in a liquid made from immediate-release Effexor. When you get to 25mg Pristiq, you might switch to splitting the tablet and taking the rest in Effexor liquid and so on until you are taking only liquid Effexor. You will have to request a prescription for Effexor tablets as well as Pristiq from your doctor. Have Pristiq made into smaller dosage capsules by a compounding pharmacy Compounding pharmacies can crush the tablets and put the powder into smaller capsules by weight. Like cutting up tablets or crushing, this destroys the time-release quality, but the compounded method is much more exact. (According to my compounding pharmacy, they can put in a slow-release additive distributing absorption over 8-10 hours. This is not as long as the Pristiq time-release coating, but at least it's something. Check with your compounding pharmacy about this.) In your body, crushed Pristiq is similar to regular immediate-release Effexor, with an 11-hour half-life. You may wish to have your dose compounded to take twice a day. If you are taking 50mg Pristiq, for example, you would have 60 capsules compounded per month. Each capsule would be 1/2 of 45mg (a 10% reduction of 50mg) or 22.5mg. You would take two capsules per day, once in the morning, and once in the evening. The next month, you would have 60 capsules compounded, each capsule being 1/2 of 40.5mg (a 10% reduction of 45mg) or 20.25mg. And so forth, for each reduction. If this does not work, you may wish to switch to Effexor XR and use the bead-counting method. Regular Effexor probably wouldn't be an advantage over Pristiq compounded to custom dosages. Switch to Effexor or Effexor XR Note: If you've had an adverse reaction to Effexor before, do NOT switch from Pristiq to Effexor. "Desvenlafaxine (O-desmethylvenlafaxine) is the major active metabolite of venlafaxine." Since the relationship is so close, switching to regular Effexor tablets, which you can cut up or make into a liquid, this may be the best way to taper off Pristiq. Because it has a mean half-life of 5 hours, you'd have to take regular Effexor twice a day. According to FDA Prescribing Information for venlafaxine (Effexor), the usual dose of Effexor is 150mg per day. Like Pristiq, Effexor XR is released gradually and needs to be taken only once a day. Since 150mg Effexor and 50mg Pristiq are both "normal" dosages of their respective drugs, they may be roughly equivalent. (See discussion of Effexor and Pristiq dosage equivalency starting http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/876-tips-for-tapering-off-pristiq-desvenlafaxine/page__view__findpost__p__42249 ) You'd have the difficulty of tapering off Effexor or Effexor XR -- themselves notorious for withdrawal difficulties -- but at least you can do that gradually. See Tips for tapering off Effexor and Effexor XR (venlafaxine). The psychiatrist who writes the 1boringoldman.com blog reports success in switching one patient from Pristiq to Effexor, then tapering Effexor, here (see comments) Another psychiatrist said when he tried this, the switch from Pristiq to Effexor was "seamless." Dr. Stuart Shipko posts here: Advice from a psychiatric pharmacist I have been corresponding with a professor at a prominent US university pharmacy department. Here is his best guess at how to taper Pristiq (he does not want his name published): Then taper off fluoxetine (Prozac). See Tips for Tapering Prozac Advice from Dr. Stephen Stahl, author of the manual Essential Psychopharmacology In his widely read psychopharmacology manual, eminent psychopharmacologist Stephen Stahl advises titration by crushing the tablets and mixing in fruit juice, see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/876-tips-for-tapering-off-pristiq-desvenlafaxine/page__view__findpost__p__14799 According to our member oaklily, Stahl is wrong. Making a liquid from Pristiq does not work, see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/876-tips-for-tapering-off-pristiq-desvenlafaxine/page__view__findpost__p__24822 Dr. Stahl intends to correct his book, according to this correspondence 09/15-9/16/13 with him: "Bridging" with Prozac or another antidepressant Any drug change incurs additional risk. A switch to Prozac from Pristiq may not work -- they are very different drugs -- or you might have adverse reactions to Prozac. Prozac is regularly used to "bridge" off Effexor. Given that Pristiq is a cousin of Effexor and Effexor XR, it is possible that one can, similarly, use Prozac to withdraw from Pristiq. Attributed to Joseph Glenmullen, the "bridging" technique is described by a doctor here http://www.bipolarworld.net/Phelps/ph_2005/ph1354.htm Read this entire topic before attempting a switch to Prozac: The Prozac switch or "bridging" with Prozac Later, taper off Prozac. At least Prozac comes in a liquid. To do this, consult a doctor knowledgeable about this technique.
  7. I have been on antidepressants 3 times in the last 14 years. Usually would take them for 6-8 months and then taper off with no problems. The last time I took them (2011), I needed the maximum dose of sertraline (200mg) to get an effect. After a year on it, I felt it was time to stop. The nurse insisted I had to keep taking or risked relapsing into severe depression. I tried several times to bring up the topic to no avail. After about 1.5 years on it, I cut the dose on my own to 150mg and felt ok for 2 weeks. But after I started having a dull headache that lasted hours, dizziness, serious cognitive difficulties and severe fatigue. I could not function and needed excessive sleep (12-14 hours/day). Tried increasing it again and the more severe symptoms got better, but the headache and flu-like malaise persisted for at least a week. I consulted with a psychiatrist. We tried effexor and cut on zoloft. Had no withdrawal symptoms, as I was cross-tapering. I was completely off the zoloft. Only took Effexor for about a month on a low dose (never past 150 mg) because it never helped with the symptoms of Atypical Depression I had. When I started tapering down the effexor, I got the dizziness and extreme fatigue again. When I would fall asleep, I found it extremely hard to get up. Literally felt pinned to the bed. Woke up more tired than I went to bed, even after 12 hours of sleep. Woke up dizzy and with a headache. I increased dose again and we're doing a slower taper over 21 days. The starting dose is 37.5mg. I experience dull headache that lasts hours, flu-like malaise, muscle tension, fatigue every day (with the occassional good day of no symptoms and the occassional day of much worse symptoms). I have learned to cope the best I can with these symptoms, but the fatigue gets unbearable at times. I sleep 12 hours at night and still feel tired and even drowsy during the day. I'm in grad school and it's hard and often impossible to study or even make it to class. I was supposed to decrease dose to 25 mg after 10 days on 37.5mg, but since I still have symptoms, I'll ask dr if I can postpone the decreasing... Im also concerned that the increasing apathy Ive had over the last 7 years might be due to antidepressant use. It could also be depression, but if it is SSRI use, its a very scary symptom that is not going away (has not gone away for more than 3 months in over 14 years since I started having depression/taking SSRIs). The only reason I can semi-function today is because I take nuvigil (a stimulant) 3 or 4 times/week. Without that, I can't do homework or clean or shower. Im extremely dysfunctional. I don't rely only on the stimulant though. I use it to give me energy and motivation and alertness that I use to do positive things, which improve my mood and further help with apathy.
  8. When do you say enough? that maybe i cant live without this drug,no matter how much i hate it? I am at that point now, this is my third attempt at getting off effexor,which i have been on for 15 years now. I am barely functioning right now,I cant get out of bed, I don't want to get up and face another day? hysterical crying and suicidal and constant thoughts of i cant do this anymore,i dont recognise myself at all and i feel like ive completly lost my self,and i'll never get me back. I started tapering 15 weeks ago, under pysch,s instruction , iwent from 75mg of effexor to 37.5mg plus 10 mg of prozac-the supposed prozac bridge? did that for 1 month, then stopped the effexor and continue 10mg of prozac for 6weeks, then 5mg of prozac for 6 weeks then 2.5mg. i was doing okay, not great and i felt the prozac was making me fuzzy and fatigued? (still do?) any way got to 2.5mgs and within 3 days, i was hysterically crying and overcome with suicidal thoughts. pysch said go back to 5mg of prozac and i started feeling much worse,again within 3 days i was bedridden with suicidal thoughts and this heavy blackness,that was 2 weeks ago now and i havent improved at all? i've also had terrifying moments of akathasia, where im walking the streets and crying hysterically because i cant stop moving? when i took the prozac back up to 5mg it reminded me of how i felt,when i reinstated effexor after 6 weeks of withdrawal a few years ago,it was horrendous and i dont know how i survived it? i live alone with my 19 yr old daughter and i feel like such a burden to her, i dont have any other family, i havent had a job for years now and only a couple of friends.my world has become so small and isolated and its getting worse. i went in to this withdrawal really believing that i could do this, i could finally be off effexor and be well, i thought i had learnt enough coping skills like mindfullness to get me through, but every skill has gone out the window,in the last few weeks and i am consumed with symptoms and thoughts of hang on for one more day and i cant take any more? i feel utterly hopeless and terrified of what my options are? if i tried to reinstate the effexor, it could go horribly wrong i have never been off it this long? i dont like how the prozac makes me feel, and i dont want to start playing russian roulette again with all the other antidepressants? my mind feels so broken and it hurts so much from all of this, i dont know what to do and i desperately need some help, if anyone can please.
  9. Hello. I have been on Effexor for 16 years of my life, 6 of those at 300mg and the rest at 37.5mg (I was able to taper off of it for a few months but started it back up) recently, After a horrible and stressful marriage coming to an end last November I began having problems with being tired. I assumed it was my depression tearing it's ugly head as it had before so my psychiatrist increased my Effexor from 37mg to 75mg, as I had done in the past with success. However, I did not note any improvement. She then, in the same week, increased it up to 112.5mg. I became overly emotional and unable to work. I cried all the time and could not function, not to mention I was suicidal! I immediately lowered the dose back down to 75mg then to 112.5mg over the course of a few days. I immediately began to feel better once it got out of my system after a few days. However, the fatigue crept back up. After trying to just stay on the 37.5mg i was still struggling daily. My pdoc decided to try Lexapro. After A month of hell and anxiety she then switched me to Zoloft. After being dizzy for a week I had to discontinue that as well. I was left with no guidance (my pdoc was on vacation) so I decided to just not take anything. I almost immediately went into horrible withdrawal. I'm not sure what exactly from but my symptoms tamed from insomnia to lethargy, with brain zaps and mental fogginess. I restarted taking 18.7g of Effexor after continuing to have worsening symptoms. That was 10 days ago. I felt normal at first, brain zaps are gone but in general I just don't feel right. My brain is foggy, anxious, red face in the afternoons. I don't feel good. Today I've been having some crazy suicidal thoughts too as I've been struggling for 6 months now. What should I do? Hang in there, increase Effexor, decrease it? I'm stuck in limbo feeling awful and cannot get back to feeling like a normal human being.
  10. Hello Everybody! In December 2010 (I just turned 21) I started taking Paxil because I was having severe anxiety (Agoraphobia / Emetophobia). After intensive therapy I made a good recovery which allowed me to pick up daily life (the Anxiety is never completely gone, but it no longer has a big impact on my life). I tried to stop twice and twice this failed extremely hard. By then me and my psych/GP thought it was easy and with todays knowledge I can say that the failures were probably due to way to fast withdrawal schedules (first time I halved to 10mg and stopped the week after.. second time I reduced by 2mg each week). Early summer 2016 I was feeling better than ever on every aspect of my life, but in the second half of the summer suddenly I started feeling worse. Fatigued, unmotivated, tingling sensations and a somewhat drugged/absent feeling. Even though I did feel familiar (to Paxil symptoms, which I had a lot the first ~2-3 months when starting Paxil each time) I did not immediately link it to my medication due to no increase in anxiety. However after a thorough checkup (both physically and mentally) without any other possible finding the only remaining hypothesis was the sudden change in how my body responded to the medication. I decided to start tapering of paxil, but this time I would be prepared: I found out about the 5-10% in 3-6 weeks schedules and found a psychiatrist to help me with my tapering. I also switched to liquid Seroxat to make tapering easier. My plan was to start with tapering 10% each 4 weeks and only reduce dosage once I felt mainly stable/good during the last week. The first taper step went good with only minor/innocent side effect. The second step already became a bit heavier especially with the addition of headaches and eye floaters both of which reduced my daily productivity/concentration. However after 5 weeks I felt stable/better and decided to taper again. The first week on my new dosage (14.4mg) went surprisingly well. But after that suddenly everything changed: The anxiety came back in full force. In addition I felt hunted/restless, nauseous, vague/absent (like I'm a spectator in my own life), still had headaches, almost no energy, heart palpitations and sometimes hyperventilating. We are now three months further and I slowly/steadily start feeling better each week but still feel far from stable (more like a house without foundation which could collapse any moment). Besides all I remain positive and hope to feel better in a couple of weeks, but I am uncertain of what to do next: - I could continue tapering Paxil as if nothing happened, but given the insane symptoms I just recovered from I might consider a smaller step of 5%. - An alternative could be, due to the heavy symptoms in a this early stage of tapering to switch to an AD which is famous for being still-horrible-but-slightly-less-horrible-than-parox with regards to tapering and withdrawal symptoms. I found this topic on this site which states this and that Prozac is often used for this. I can not decide what to do.. hopefully this and other topics on this site will help me make this decision..
  11. 2-17-16 I was taking Effexor for 13 years (since I was 19y/o) up until a year ago then was weaned off with Prozac till September 2015. I experienced everything that everyone has talked about. October and November seemed to be going well and then December developed SEVERE stomach pain and burning with GERD/GI issues. I went to the doctor and have since been on Prilosec 2x a day which isn't doing sh*t for me. I am completely terrified. They ran the basic tests of ultrasounds and blood work and came back normal. I am terrified of having the scope although that is what's next when I go for a follow up in a few weeks. I know that's what's needed to get a better look but I've never been put under and it sounds terrifying. Not sure if these are delayed withdrawals??? I was tapered with Prozac till 5 months ago and now this horrible stomach pain and acid. Has anyone experienced this? Is it permanent? I lost 20lbs from being scared to eat normally and only drinking water. I just want to know I'm not alone in these symptoms. December to now can't be normal to have pain this long, right?
  12. Hi there, I am new here. Been on different anti-depressants since 1995. Recently had been on Prestiq 100 mg and Abilify 10 mg. Due to procrastination, finances and major stress, depression and an addiction I ran out of the Abilify and only had 4 Prestiq left before I finally made a Dr appointment and paid 150.00 cash self-pay to see my long-time Dr. Due to very low income and no insurance he switched me from Prestiq to Prozac 40 mg which is much cheaper (Fluoxetine). First Prozac was 1/12/17...he said it will help but not prevent all the Prestiq withdrawals. I still feel the loss of the Prestiq with dizziness, brain zaps, major fatigue, unstable, confused and fearful. Is this normal? How long will it last? If you have been on Prozac did it work for you and are there any side effects like fatigue, weight gain, anxiety, etc)? Next month (Feb 2017) I am hoping to have health insurance again and can switch meds if need be but wanna give this Prozac a chance to work (how long does it take to start working?). Thanks for any feedback you can offer!
  13. I began taking a cocktail of psychiatric medications in 1995 and have tried twice to become med free only to fail and have to reinstate a month after tapering off all medicines. I always would taper with my psychiatrists help. I am very sensitive to the side effects of medicines and pray to become medicine free someday. My current psychiatrist says it is unrealistic that I will ever be able to not be on medications because I have been on them so long. I am looking for support and strategies to successfully become med free and stay med free. I successfully tapered off of Effexor xr in 2011 and in April of this year tapered off of klonopin. I am currently taking Cymbalta and trazadone.
  14. Can anyone share if while coming down off of Effexor XR and bridging and going to Prozac they had horrible panic and anxiety symptoms with numbness, tingling and weakness? I feel like I'm coming out of my skin and have a terrible dread, panic waking up. My feet feel cold at night, then on fire in the morning. I can't get any relief. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks.
  15. Until two days ago, I didn't know about anti-depressant withdrawal syndrome. I was on Paxil for 5 years and after that my Dr. switched to effexor 37.5mg for 6 months and 75 mg for a year and lowered it to 37.5 mg for 6 months till recently. In the past, I quit paxil 4 times and I had relapses (now I know those were withdrawal symptoms) and quickly I put paxil back on and got better each time. About two months ago I quit effxor (cold turkey way) again without knowing about the withdrawal symptoms. For a month and a half, I didn't notice a major physical problems. My case is that when I quit paxil and effexor, I didn't have a major noticeable symptoms until 1-2 months. Now I can think of slight symptoms but I didn't take it seriously before. And after 1-2 months, suddenly acute symptoms occur. About 10 days ago, I started to notice feeling depressed and my body was having strange sensations, shaking, my legs were numb and I felt very unstable. I thought my relapse was coming and I put the effexor 75 mg back on. And this time the symptoms didn't go away more than 5 days like the other times and I started to research about my symptoms online and finally found the "Withdrawal symptoms" which describes exactly my condition. "Withdrawal symptoms" are really terrible like most people here say. I was in bed shaking and having all sorts of sad negative thoughts. I feel like I would never get back on my own feet. Now my concern is what should I do now? I got 75mg of effexor back on from 10 days ago. My mental state is better from two days ago. I have insomnia and flu like symptoms but mentally more positive. Should I continue 75 mg? or should I reduce? And how?
  16. After 10 years of trying to stop Effexor (misdiagnosis - thyroid issues diagnosed as depression), I needed to be off for several days for allergy tests in July '13, so I started in early spring and slowly weaned myself down from 37.5 mg, where I'd lingered for 4-5 years. At first I was fine, but after a couple of weeks, the withdrawal started..with all the usual symptoms--dizziness, nausea, shock/chills, insomnia, irritability, balance issues, etc. After enduring this for almost 5 months, I discovered the Prozac bridge and asked my dr. today for a prozac prescription. She agreed, but after some more investigation, I see that perhaps this is not the best idea since I've been off Effexor for so long. I really don't want to take it again at all and start this trip over again, but I'm also ready to feel like myself again. Am I risking trouble by starting the prozac at this late date? mxd Effexor 10 years -- high dose 2005 (150 mg) Tapered to 37.5 in 2005-2006. Stuck until spring 2013. Began slow taper, stopped completely July 8 2013.
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