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sharyn

sharyn: coming off Effexor XR

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sharyn

Hi there, I joined yesterday and have been on 75mg of Effexor for 9 years and epilim for 13 years before that. I have been sober from alcohol fro about 3 years and notice I get all dopey during the day and especially in the morning now. My mental health is better than it has ever been after a history of cross addictions and depression. I went to my doctor and he didn't want me to stop or change my medication. he i8s very old school. Then I went to a different doctor and he advised I go down to 37.5mg of Effexor xr every day fro 2 weeks. So tried that 2 days ago, the withdrawels were not too bad but I didn't sleep much. So, on the second day I nearly went crazy and I need to sleep fro my work so ended up taking a second 37.5 mg tablet of Effexor about 4pm. This morning, I opened up my 75 mg tablet of Effexor. It is two small tabs in a casing. I cut the second tablet in half to make about 50mg Effexor I have taken today. Any advice? I feel ok so far. It is 10.30am here in New Zealand.

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Altostrata

Welcome, sharyn.

 

Well, we can see that a 50% taper is not going to work for you. Cutting up that tablet was very creative, it amounts to a 25% taper. However, if you cut up an Effexor XR tablet, it might be released immediately rather than extended-release.

 

What's inside a 37.5mg Effexor XR capsule?

 

Our recommendation is to taper slower. Please read Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

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sharyn

Hi,  I'm Sharyn from New Zealand. I've suffered from depression and anxiety since I was 18 when my eating disorders started. Ive been on anti depressants since I was 30 or so. I started with prozac, then epilim. I have been on Effexor xr for 10 years. My mental health is so much better these days and I have a good period of sobriety from alcohol. I have feeling very dopey each day for quite a while so have just started tapering down my Effexor xr (venlafaxine) 75 mg 3 days ago. Its very difficult has I don't cope without sleep. I run a business and have two children.

 

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Altostrata

Hi, sharyn. I moved your earlier topic here to start your Introductions topic. You can post questions here and updates to track your progress.

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nz11

Welcome Sharyn to sa.

There is an amazing and bodacious  moderator Karenb from nz  here and she is tapering Effexor too. 

You might like to read her intro thread.

 

There is a nz members check in here thread that could be worthwile posting on to introduce yourself. There are about 10 kiwis i think that hang out here and heaps of west islanders as well. Well its good to have people that speak the same language eh.

 

When people join they are asked to do their drug signature. Are you able to do that. Ill see if i can find the excellent SW template instructions for it and post it here for you.

 

So glad you found sa 

And so glad you have decided to get off this drug. What an excellent decision.

 

nz11

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nz11

I give you some of ccs favourite links as well as the instructions for drug sig.

 

Here are the instructions for the drug signature,   This is the preferred format:

 

A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature - ALL drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly?

  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016.
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

 

Important topics in the Tapering forum and FAQ

 

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptoms

 

Brain Remodelling


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

.

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sharyn

I don't remember a lot from 10 to 20 years ago but here goes:

1997-2001 fluoxertine  and Aropax I think (can't remember how much)

2002 No medication

2003- January 2008 Epilim

February 2008 to January 2018 75 mg Venlafaxine (Effexor XR)

Janauary 24th 2018 started tapering 50 % and was too much.

January 25th 2018 started tapering 25% to 10% by cutting tablets.

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nz11

So what dose are you on now? You might like to put that in the drug sig.

Well done on doing a drug sig.

 

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sharyn

Hi, I am on Effexor XR and cutting a bit off one of the tablets in the gel skin doesn't really seem to be helping as I cant sleep. Even if I take a little bit off the tablet, I feel much worse. I don't know what to do apart from having to take sleeping tablets as well.

 

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nz11

I think you are going to have to find an accurate way to measure dose reductions and make smaller cuts to start with.

Have you had a read of that Effexor tapering link from Alto above.

 

If your taking sleeping tablets it would be awesome if you could name them and put them in the drug sig.

 

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sharyn

Thanks for your reply. I think this is too hard for me at the moment as my depression is really bad again since I started tapering and I am so tired.

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nz11
2 hours ago, sharyn said:

my depression is really bad again

Were you aware that depression is a withdrawal symptom of these drugs. 

Imo don't tell the doctor your depression is worse  tell him you have withdrawal symptoms. 'Discontinuation syndrome' as pharma like to call it.

 

Clearly whatever % cut you are making its too much for you. Only just 3 days ago  you report your mental health is so much better and now today its all changed. That's the perilous situation these chemicals have obliviously put us in. Heaven one day tapering hell the next. This is why millions have been on these drug for so many years they cant get off as the wdl symptoms are so debilitating. A slow taper is the only way. We are defining slow often as years for many. NZ society has been completely fooled by this so called Mental Health concern campaign that's going on imo its got nothing to do with mental health or m.i. its all about the prescription drug harms yet no one is seeing it. 

 

If i were you i would not reduce until you can sort out how to do dose reductions spot on accurately and report the % decrease and exact weight of the new dose.

 

From memory Karenb was tapering at 1% . Not saying you have to taper at 1% but maybe that's a way to dip your cns in the tapering waters.

Many people are using a scale to weigh it and others are using liquid. You might like to check out how karenb is doing it. 

Oh i have just learnt a new trick maybe we can use this to call her up @KarenB

 

You have a long history of drug use. My guess is your cns is extremely sensitized to dose changes. I'm sorry but it looks like you are going to have to put aside years to taper off.

 

nz11

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

 

 

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sharyn

Thank you. Yes, my moods have been very up and down. I am wondering if I should swap to Effexor instead of Effexor XR. Will read Karenb's story. Its so hot here!!!

 

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sharyn

Hi, I went back to the Doctor today at last!! I said I am desperate to get off effexor XR and she said that I have to take sleeping tablets while I am reducing for three weeks. Then I will go back and see her. Once my dose of Effexor goes down again in three weeks, I can also reduce the sleeping tabs (diazapan). i am going to all this with the Docotors monitering and help. The last doctor was a locum and didnt help a lot!

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ChessieCat

Diazapam is a benzo and you can become addicted in as little as two weeks.  It will need to be tapered.  

 

Q:  Is there any reason why you are attempting to get off Effexor so quickly?

 

I think it would be better if you increased your Effexor dose by a small amount to bring your withdrawal symptoms to a bearable level, stabilise for several months and then do a slow taper off that.  Effexor is what your brain is physicologically dependent on.  Please read post #1 of this topic:  About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

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nz11
On ‎1‎/‎29‎/‎2018 at 5:37 PM, sharyn said:

I don't remember a lot from 10 to 20 years ago but here goes:

1997-2001 fluoxertine  and Aropax I think (can't remember how much)

2002 No medication

2003- January 2008 Epilim

 

Sharyn would you be so kind to put in the drug sig your dosages

eg (say):

February 2008 to January 2018 75 mg Venlafaxine (Effexor XR)

Janauary 24th 2018 37.mg venlafaxine.

January 25th 2018 56.25 mg venlafaxine.

 

2 hours ago, sharyn said:

i am going to all this with the Doctors monitering and help.

Sharyn as a fellow nz-er i can tell you that there is a total vacuum of knowledge by doctors in this country regarding how to get off these drugs. 

Doctors help and monitoring is like the Moa ...it doesn't exist.  This is what it amounts to ...a too fast taper then a cocktail of drugs to try to quell wdl symptoms. That is not 'help' getting off these drugs, it is 'harm' . You might or might not wish to look at what has happened to another nz-er by the name of Boomer. Your doctor is imo setting you up for a Boomer hospital pass.

You will need to put aside a minimum imo of 45 months to get from 75mg to 0.5mg of venlafaxine. If your doctor thinks you can short cut this to an 8 week taper. Then your doctor is in delusional-land, and is setting you up for a trip to hospital.

It is outrageous your doctor is giving you valium for sleep. And as cc says you will become dependant on this within 2 weeks. If your doctor thinks wdl symptoms are only mild and shortlived then he is misinformed. Withdrawal symptoms can last for years from a too fast taper. The doctor will then have to 'help' you by giving you a new drug or drugs to relieve the suffering.....maybe Lexapro and Seroquel.   And guess what, the doctor will not acknowledge this as wdl it will be due to you ..you will be labeled with words that rhyme with mymolar  or start with 'd'. 

Even though you are taking valium for sleep you are in fact taking the valium for withdrawal reactions. In other words your doctor is trying to cover wdl symptoms with another psych drug. This is not a good idea. Its a very slippery slope.  

We understand that you might well want off these poisons but you can only do this in a safe manner. 

 

 If you wish to follow your doctor then that's your choice. I really do hope that your doctor will monitor and help but even so it will be you that will have to cope with the wdl not the doctor.

It would be great if you could put up your current dosages of venlafaxine and valium. 

eg

1 Jan 18 200mg venlafaxine , 100mg valium (say)

 

Do you know what dose the doctor is going to drop you to in 3 weeks.

 

Be careful out there.

nz11

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ChessieCat

Just want to let you know that we are not trying to scare you.  nz11 has been a member of this forum and another (now closed) for many years and has followed many members' journeys.  Since becoming a member here I've also seen my fair share of members following bad suggestions by their doctors and ending up in a worse condition than they started in.  Some members have had to quit their job, some have had to move in with relatives and some have seen their relationship/marriage fall apart.  

 

This is the link to Boomer's topic.

 

I also want to suggest that if you do decide to follow the doctor's suggestion and it doesn't work your best option would be to reinstate your current drug as soon as withdrawal symptoms arise.  As previously mentioned you would probably need to taper the valium.

 

To try and help you understand how these drugs affect us I will relate my own story:

 

I was taking 100mg of Pristiq and because of side effects I reduced to 50mg (tablets are only available in 100mg and 50mg in Australia).  During my 3 weeks on 50mg I suffered extreme brain fog, feeling like a zombie and everything I did required my total concentration.  After 3 weeks I was not able to type.  I have been a typist for 40+ years so I know that something was not right.  I had joined SA a few days before this happened and it had been suggested that I increase my dose.  When I couldn't type I took extra Pristiq.  After only about 4 hours I was able to type again.  Because I had a benchmark I know that it was because of the drug.  After taking a higher dose for a couple of months I started tapering using SA's suggested taper method as a guide, getting my tablets compounded.  As my dose got lower the side effects started reducing.  I am now down to 13mg. During my taper I have had minimal withdrawal symptoms.  I have been taking an AD for at least 25 years.  I didn't realise how numbed my feelings had been all those years.

 

If you do decide that you want to updose please let us know and we can suggest a dose for you to start on.  These drugs are strong and we suggest starting with a small amount and increasing by a little bit more if needed, instead of starting with a higher dose and risking taking too much.

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sharyn

Wow, thanks for all your concern. I would like to reduce slower but effexor is only available in 37.5mg and 75mg in New Zealand. And also in tablets form not in the little beads like in the u.s. . Alsor I Tried cutting the tablets smaller when I took them out of the casing but it didn't work.i don't know what else to do as my original doctor wouldn't take me off anti depressants or put money on hormone therapy. I have been having shocking menopause symptoms so had to go on hormone therapy. I had had been dealing with my past intensively over past three years to deal with my past. It has been hard to do.

 

 

 

 

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sharyn

Sorry for spelling mistakes as my computer is very slow. 

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ihpsdm

Hi Sharyn,

 

You really need to taper at 10% or less and hold for a month. Like others have said, is there a reason you are trying to get off of this so quickly? If you are tapering then we understand that you want off the dug but it has to be done slowly and carefully otherwise it could lead to major problems down the road. Again, this isn't meant to scare you, just help you understand what you could be in for if you taper too quickly.

 

I have been on Effexor for 15 years. I have tapered and got down to 0 three times and had to reinstate within a month because the withdrawal symptoms got so bad. If you taper quickly then it will take longer for your Central Nervous System to adapt to the absence of Effexor and your withdrawal symptoms will last longer as a result.

 

http://reversepsychiatry.org/

 

Try using this calculator to determine what your reductions should be and how long it should take.

 

Just going from 75 mgs to 1 mg is 41 reductions. These reductions should be made every 3 - 4 weeks, but keep in mid it is just a guideline. Only you know how you feel and if there are problems while you are reducing then you need to slow down and hold in order to allow your body to adapt. This is the safest and most effective way known to mitigate the withdrawal symptoms a minimize the problems you will experience when you are off of the drug.

 

I wish I had known this when I was tapering. I followed the doctor's orders and just ended up back on the drug each time.

 

I would advice buying a scale and measuring the tablet in order to determine the correct weight/mgs. I bought this one off of Amazon:

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EPO9M2Y/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

See the tapering section of this site for additional help in tapering.

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mammaP

Hi Sharyn, I am an effexor survivor and it made me literally flinch when I read that your doctor wants you to take sleeping tablets for 3 weeks while you lower the dose. Sleeping pills are completely different drugs and although you might sleep they will do nothing to stop withdrawal. The ONLY way to get off it safely is a very slow taper. I tried several times and finally tapered right to the very last bead. I would go back to 75 as it's only been a few days, and wait to stabilise. It could take a week or two. Then give it a few months before starting to taper. In that time we can help you to work out a taper with what is available to you in NZ. 

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sharyn

Thank you MammaP. I will read your story too.

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Altostrata

Hello, sharyn. How are you doing now?

 

When you cut up an Effexor XR tablet, it probably is not extended-release anymore. Can you get immediate-release Effexor?

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