Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 1016

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Re: Effexor withdrawal - my approach John2222

Posted by KimberlyDi on December 1, 2003, at 10:37:21

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - my approach, posted by John2222 on November 26, 2003, at 17:56:44

Great advice John

Amazing how the staggering approach (or what I called 2 steps forward, 1 back) works! It really helps with the withdrawal symptoms. I no longer get sick and the dizziness lowered to a level I could tolerate and still work. I agree with the 37.5 limit decreases but I was more impatient with the length of time to stay on each level. I went 1 week. 2 weeks would definately make it easier.

Try it people!!! Why go through that agony?

Happy Late Turkey Day EVERYONE!!!
KDi in TX :)

> I was taking Effexor XR 112.5 each day for about a year. My approach to reducing with minimized agony was SLOW.
>
> 1. Reduce no more than 37.5 each time and stay at any new level for 2 weeks.
> 2. Or alternate 112.5 and 75 every other day for a week or two and then go to 75.
> 3. Then stay at 75 for a week or two.
> 4. Then reduce to 37.5 for two weeks (again alternating 75 and 37.5 if necessary)
> 5. Then go to heal food store and buy a bag of empty gel caps (they are cheap).
> 6. Put one half of the 37.5 in one gel cap and one half in the other.
> 7. Then reduce to 18.75 (approx) for two weeks.
> 8. Then alternate 18.75 one day and nothing the next day for two weeks.
> 9. Then either stop or alternate one day on and two days off for awhile.
>
> Seems like a long process, but the staggering really helped me.
>
> The reason I stopped taking Effexor was that I felt much better and the higher levels of Effexor just made me want to sleep/nap all the time, although I must say it really really helped with anxiety and depression together.
>
> Good luck. I personally think it is/was a good drug for me, but it is definately hard to tape off without discomfort.
>
> John
>

 

Re: why are u people going off effexor? Suzy

Posted by KimberlyDi on December 1, 2003, at 10:51:47

In reply to Re: why are u people going off effexor?, posted by Suzy on November 28, 2003, at 9:31:25

I'm going off only because it increased my blood pressure. I went through a period of hating Effexor because of withdrawal symptoms. Now, I've stumbled onto a withdrawal method that let's me control the withdrawal symptoms, instead of the withdrawal controlling my life.

Effexor is getting such a bad reputation because most doctor's do NOT warn anyone about what to expect when you quit. It's scary.

KDi in TX

> Thank you all. Am withdrawing and was scared that these symptoms might be TIA's or something. I have hard time putting into words what is happening to my brain. I am a very focused person and right now my office and house are a disaster as I go from one project to another. Thanks for the help, I was scared.

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by Mandy D on December 1, 2003, at 19:17:07

In reply to Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by janey on November 1, 1998, at 16:30:34

I am sitting here in tears reading these posts. I had been on Effexor,225mg for a year now. I am now on 8 days of quitting cold turkey. I am in hell. I have nausea,dizziness,light-headed, and what i call "slosh-brained" it is where it literally feels like my brain is moving and my eyes cant keep up. I hate these feelings, someone please please tell me how long before i feel "normal" again.

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by Blissful_Girl_NOT on December 1, 2003, at 19:25:36

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by Mandy D on December 1, 2003, at 19:17:07

Hi Janey,

I have just gone through exactly what you are going through. Right down to the dose of Effexor that I was on.

I quit 225mg cold turkey and yes, the withdrawal was horrible. It sounds as though I may have moved through slightly quicker than you have but I absolutely understand and extend a heartfelt virtual hug to you.

You will get through this.

I have two questions:

1.) Are you replacing the Effexor with a different AD?
2.) Have you spoken to your doctor since you ended your Effexor?

If you have not contacted your doctor since your wihdrawal symptoms began, please do. I have read many times on this board, and have talked to several people who have quit cold turkey. They all say ask your doctor for 1 (one) dose of Prozac. A single dose of Prozac can releave almost all of the withdrawal symptoms you are experiencing.

You've already made it 8 days, so I do not suggest you go back on to your Effexor and then taper off. Try the single dose of Prozac first. If that does not work, you may have to resume Effexor and use the tapering off method to stop taking it.

Again, you are not alone. If you like, e-mail me at twice_shy@hotmail.com with the subject babble-board and we can talk further.

Hang in there!!!

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by Blissful_Girl_NOT on December 1, 2003, at 19:27:02

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by Blissful_Girl_NOT on December 1, 2003, at 19:25:36

OOops...I said "Hi Janey" I meant

Hi Mandy :-)

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by Mandy D on December 1, 2003, at 19:41:39

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by Blissful_Girl_NOT on December 1, 2003, at 19:25:36

I have talked to my doctor but he didnt mention a single dose of Prozac. I do have Prozac here from my daughter being on it. Im wondering if i should take a dose of it? And what dosage is normal. Thank you for the hug. Its been rough!

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by Blissful_Girl_NOT on December 1, 2003, at 20:01:32

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by Mandy D on December 1, 2003, at 19:41:39

I spoke with my doctor almost 2 weeks after discontinuing my 225mg of Effexor. She told me that had she realized I was going through withdrawal symptoms she would have given me 1 (one) 20 mg capsul of Prozac.

There are quite a few posts on this board that also indicate that was prescribed by their doctors to beat the withdrawal symptoms.

Don't take any medication without the advice of a physician, but I know how uncomfortable you are. If you can, get your doctor on the phone and let them know what is happening and what you'd like to do about it.

I really hope you can hang in there, I know how crummy I felt, I am sorry to hear of anyone else feeling that crummy too.

Tomorrow will be 14 days cold turkey for me, and honestly, I feel almost like me again. Still ocassional dizziness, and the odd brain shiver but it is so mild that it's almost unnoticable.

Hugs!!!

Del

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by Mandy D on December 1, 2003, at 21:15:28

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by Blissful_Girl_NOT on December 1, 2003, at 20:01:32

I count the days knowing that soon i will feel good again. Its nice to know that there are other people going through the same things that i am!

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by JESSsMom on December 2, 2003, at 12:38:37

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by Mandy D on December 1, 2003, at 19:17:07

Effexor is nasty--makes you sweat and then when you taper it makes you cry rivers.

It helped initally with early morning panic but at such a price!

Like I said, it helped in the beginning but SO much shaking, crying, calling people b/c you are so desperate when tapering. Ugh, God.
JM

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by Mandy D on December 2, 2003, at 16:30:54

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by JESSsMom on December 2, 2003, at 12:38:37

I also sweat ALOT! I finally got my doctor to prescribe a single dose of prozac. The withdrawal seems to be easier some. The major symptoms---the slosh-brain,dizzyness and so on have eased some. I managed to get some things done today. It seems that i am better in the morning but as the day wears on it gets worse.

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by pala on December 2, 2003, at 17:36:06

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by JESSsMom on December 2, 2003, at 12:38:37


A small dose of Prozac is a great idea to beat the withdrawal symptoms, believe the brain zaps will not lost long, my experience with this Prozac for beating the withdrawal symptoms was my temper reached roof, it was extremely jittery for good 4 hours then slowly situation used to improve
I gave up on Prozac and now absolutely no medication not even for headache, many of PDs don't know what they talk because of their shear inexperience with the medication, you always have to take their words with a grain of salt.


Good luck and hang in there.

pala

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by Enderkin on December 3, 2003, at 13:33:55

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by Mandy D on December 1, 2003, at 21:15:28

> I count the days knowing that soon i will feel good again. Its nice to know that there are other people going through the same things that i am!

God wants us to share with others the knowledge that things will get better. It's good to share hope and courage with others. You never know when they are just about to give up. > I count the days knowing that soon i will feel good again. ME TOO!!!!!

And I am so glad that I am not giving up. It's not worth it to just say you've had enough. Everyone goes through hard times. It's only TEMPORARY.

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by loni on December 3, 2003, at 14:41:44

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by Enderkin on December 3, 2003, at 13:33:55

Hang in there Effexor W/D'ers! It will pass! I promise!

I was on Effexor for 3 years. The first years was grand and then, ever so slowly, the drug began losing its effectiveness for me over two years. I gained 45 points (on my 135 frame, that is a lot) from self-medicating with carbs.

I tapered through Effexor W/D and my pDoc approved it. He couldn't believe what I was going through (no literature)...these boards and one other put me in touch with other W/D "Survivors". Try to cut back on work schedule and stress in life if you can for 4-5 weeks. Have doctor write you a note, anything. I don't know to how long you took Effex or at what dose, but my symptoms were severe. They mimicked MS or a small stroke. I was helpless and desperate. I couldn't speak on the phone because I couldn't follow the conversation. I couldn't concentrate or read for long periods of time. I had trouble walking sometimes or remaining steady on my feet. I went back and forth on digestive issues. I felt overwhelmingly tired and anxious at the same time. I had to sit on the floor of the shower while my husband helped me bathe. It was an extremely humbling experience for a newlywed and a terrifying one for him. Bless him, he did not give up.

After the longest 4-5 weeks of my life, I just...felt...better. And then better. 1.5 years later, I still have small issues that I am rehabilitating from, but am functioning and happy.

It will pass. It will pass. It will pass.

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by jeenobeano on December 3, 2003, at 16:31:40

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by JESSsMom on December 2, 2003, at 12:38:37

I've been on Effexor XR at 75 mg for nearly 2 years now. Hubby and I have recently decided to try and have a baby, so I've decided to go off the medication. But I'm so scared! I've heard such horrible things about withdrawal, both here and from frirends that have experienced it.

Does EVERYONE suffer so horribly from the w/d symptoms?! I want to have a baby but I don't want to go thru agony....

Thanks in advance.

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by Mandy D on December 3, 2003, at 16:44:00

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by jeenobeano on December 3, 2003, at 16:31:40

Good Luck on having a baby!! I am currently on 10 days of withdrawal and i can truthfully say that days 4-8 were pure hell, but every day is getting a little better! So if you decide to go off of it it will turn out OK!!

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by pala on December 3, 2003, at 22:32:45

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by jeenobeano on December 3, 2003, at 16:31:40

Loni,

can you please let me know more details on the fact that you still have some issues that you are rehabilitating from,

Now I am on my 8th month on giving up all ADs including Klonopin and Effexor, I was curious to know what those problems that you are experiencing

thanks

pala

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by BillC on December 9, 2003, at 22:20:59

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by Mandy D on December 3, 2003, at 16:44:00

> Good Luck on having a baby!! I am currently on 10 days of withdrawal and i can truthfully say that days 4-8 were pure hell, but every day is getting a little better! So if you decide to go off of it it will turn out OK!!

What is the outlook now? I'm just starting my withdrawl and am into day 3 -- it sucks!

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by Blissful_Girl_NOT on December 10, 2003, at 0:45:51

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by BillC on December 9, 2003, at 22:20:59

Hey BillC...

Hang in there...I went cold turkey off of 225 mg of Effexor 17 days ago. I feel much better now. Days 3 through 6 were the worst for me, but virtually all of the withdrawal symptoms have disappeared now, or are barely noticable.

Try getting your dr. to prescribe a single dose of Prozac (20 mg) if the withdrawal becomes too difficult.

This too shall pass...

Bliss

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by jeenobeano on December 10, 2003, at 10:47:56

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by BillC on December 9, 2003, at 22:20:59

>
> What is the outlook now? I'm just starting my withdrawl and am into day 3 -- it sucks!

I tried tapering myself off by taking out 10 measly granules from the 75mg capsule, and it was horrible. I felt like someone had given me a hallucinogenic drug, then a hangover, then IV'd a bunch of anxiety directly into my heart, then given me a bunch of cold symptoms. :-P I decided that I couldn't do this on my own, and am meeting with my psychiatrist Friday morning to help me with this.

This is going to be ugly, I'm afraid. If removing 10 measly granules can do this to me what happens when it's all gone?!?!

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by jeenobeano on December 10, 2003, at 12:17:41

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by jeenobeano on December 10, 2003, at 10:47:56

Does anyone know if it's safe to open the capsules and take out a few grains of medicine the way I did? Or is the pharmacist that pours the drugs smarter than I'm thinking s/he is?

Impatient for my pdoc appt this Friday...

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal

Posted by Blissful_Girl_NOT on December 10, 2003, at 12:44:02

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by jeenobeano on December 10, 2003, at 12:17:41

It's never safe to self-medicate. And even worse with any drug that comes in a capsule form, because the grains themselves are not an exact measurement individually...it's the total amount of grains that make up the weight of the capsule...some grains weigh more, some less. Just please, don't do the self-medication thing.

Now for the good news. It really will get better. As I mentioned in previous posts, I went right off of 225 mg, no tapering. For others, tapering has had good results, but my dr. chose not to go that route. In hindsight, I wish that I would have at least taken the single 20 mg dose of Prozac to help with the withdrawal symptoms, but I did not.

Go back to taking your prescribed dose and try to prepare yourself for going off of this drug. If you go cold turkey like I did, you're going to want to take a few days off of work. Try for Day 3, 4 & 5 because if you read all the posts on here about Effexor (and I have), Day 3, 4 & 5 seem to be the worst for those who quit cold turkey. Things seem to improve for most fairly rapidly after that. For myself, I noticed big improvements every day from Day 6 - 11.

Now, on Day 18 I honestly do feel much better. Hang in there, don't self-medicate, ask your pdoc to work with you on getting off by providing the single 20 mg dose of Prozac for you to take as soon as the major withdrawal symptoms kick in and just know that this is going to take a little time, but it really will get better.

Take Care!
Bliss

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal

Posted by jeenobeano on December 10, 2003, at 13:33:52

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal, posted by Blissful_Girl_NOT on December 10, 2003, at 12:44:02

> It's never safe to self-medicate. And even worse with any drug that comes in a capsule form, because the grains themselves are not an exact measurement individually...it's the total amount of grains that make up the weight of the capsule...some grains weigh more, some less. Just please, don't do the self-medication thing.
>
> Now for the good news. It really will get better. As I mentioned in previous posts, I went right off of 225 mg, no tapering. For others, tapering has had good results, but my dr. chose not to go that route. In hindsight, I wish that I would have at least taken the single 20 mg dose of Prozac to help with the withdrawal symptoms, but I did not.
>
> Go back to taking your prescribed dose and try to prepare yourself for going off of this drug. If you go cold turkey like I did, you're going to want to take a few days off of work. Try for Day 3, 4 & 5 because if you read all the posts on here about Effexor (and I have), Day 3, 4 & 5 seem to be the worst for those who quit cold turkey. Things seem to improve for most fairly rapidly after that. For myself, I noticed big improvements every day from Day 6 - 11.
>
> Now, on Day 18 I honestly do feel much better. Hang in there, don't self-medicate, ask your pdoc to work with you on getting off by providing the single 20 mg dose of Prozac for you to take as soon as the major withdrawal symptoms kick in and just know that this is going to take a little time, but it really will get better.
>
> Take Care!
> Bliss

Bliss, thanks for your informative post. Fortunately for me, I get 2 weeks vacation-time over Christmas. Since I don't celebrate Christmas perhaps this would be a good time to detox.

Again, thank you for calming me down. :-)

-- jeeno

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal

Posted by Blissful_Girl_NOT on December 10, 2003, at 14:01:18

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal, posted by jeenobeano on December 10, 2003, at 13:33:52

You are very welcome Jeeno!

There is no sugarcoating the withdrawal experience. It is hard, but you are so lucky that you will have some vacation time to deal with it. Try to be really good to yourself during that time...sleep as much as you can/want, eat well and eat what you want (this is not the time to worry about diet!), drink lots and lots of water and remember that no matter how weird or crappy you feel, it IS going to get better and there are lots of people (like me!) who will be happy to respond to your messages while you go through this process. You are not alone, and you will get through it. It is a little different for eveyone, but this board itself is proof that we all survive it ;-)

Take care and be well!
Bliss

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by John2222 on December 10, 2003, at 14:25:48

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by jeenobeano on December 10, 2003, at 12:17:41

It's not very scientific to open the capsule and dump out say approx one half of the beads, but I've done it successfully to make up capsules of 1/2 of 37.5 which is about 19 mg.

I bought a big bag for $5 or $6 of the empty gel caps from the health food store to split them up. But you can just dump half out if you aren't as thifty as I was.

I stayed on 19 for several weeks when tapering off and it helped.

The 3rd day of none was the worst, but it got better. And going from 19 to 0 is better than going from 37.5 to zero.

*john*
> Does anyone know if it's safe to open the capsules and take out a few grains of medicine the way I did? Or is the pharmacist that pours the drugs smarter than I'm thinking s/he is?
>
> Impatient for my pdoc appt this Friday...

 

Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news

Posted by jeenobeano on December 10, 2003, at 14:45:09

In reply to Re: Effexor withdrawal - very bad news, posted by John2222 on December 10, 2003, at 14:25:48

> It's not very scientific to open the capsule and dump out say approx one half of the beads, but I've done it successfully to make up capsules of 1/2 of 37.5 which is about 19 mg.
>
> I bought a big bag for $5 or $6 of the empty gel caps from the health food store to split them up. But you can just dump half out if you aren't as thifty as I was.
>
> I stayed on 19 for several weeks when tapering off and it helped.
>
> The 3rd day of none was the worst, but it got better. And going from 19 to 0 is better than going from 37.5 to zero.
>
> *john*
> > Does anyone know if it's safe to open the capsules and take out a few grains of medicine the way I did? Or is the pharmacist that pours the drugs smarter than I'm thinking s/he is?
> >
> > Impatient for my pdoc appt this Friday...
>
>

Thanks for your input, John.

I've been so anxious/obsessed about what may or may not happen to me when I go off Effexor that I'm starting to think perhaps I need to be on some kind of med, after all, when the Effexor is finally bye-bye. I'm going to speak w/my doctors about perhaps switching to something that has more understood effects on the fetus/breastfeeding babies. Ah, the joys of GAD...


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