im not liking effexor can anyone recommend a drug to replace it....i am seeing my doctor tommorrow a

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hi folks im currently taking effexor which i dont think are doing me any good...but by now im not sure about how im feeling in general or if it is the effexor ..i just know after taking them for 8 months they havent helped me.......friends are advising prozac but im clueless any help that could be given to me i would truly appreciate as seeing my doctor in the morning,,help

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    Hi Lesley, 

    If you come off ven, you've been on long enough that you will likely have withdrawal if you come off too fast, and that can include emotional symptoms that can come on months later, making everyone think you have relapsed and NEED to be on meds. Switching to another  med won't negate withdrawal from ven, so you still need to come off slowly even if you are going to try another med.  Ven withdrawal is notoriously bad, and I am proof of that, since I went through 10 months of protracted withdrawal after coming off too quickly over a year ago.

    These meds are not a cure but a band-aid, and should be used as such.  That band-aid allows time for you to do the emotional work that leads to real change.  Have you been in therapy of some kind?  

    I reinstated ven after 10 months of withdrawal, thinking I had relapsed.  37.5 mg caused a complete turn around of symptoms within an hour, a sure sign of my dependency, like a junkie getting a fix!  It was only after that that I learned about withdrawal.  I have been tapering since last July and am now on 25 mg, a sub-therapeutic dose as far as doctors are concerned, but I feel better now than I ever did on even 225 mg!

    Your doctor may try to convince you to up the dose, but after 8 months in, you'd be lucky to cut and run rather than invest more time on this drug, because it is so very hard to come off of, and the higher you go the longer it will take to get free of it.

    Withdrawal support groups advocate a 10% per month reduction method, and that is 10% of the previous  month's dosage.  Are you on the extended release capsules with the beads inside?  If so you can reduce by counting beads, removing 10% from the starting number.  What dosage are you on?  Take the average number between a few capsules and then calculate off the average.

    Whatever you decide to do, if you taper, NEVER make a cut when you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms!  WD symptoms occur because the cut created an imbalance that the nervous system must adjust to, and that process can take a few weeks, so cuts once a month allow for that adjustment before the next challenge.  Cutting when you are having WD symptoms is adding more instability onto instability, causing your nervous system to scramble to keep up.  This is why following a doctor's schedule of halving doses every two weeks can be disastrous, because the cuts are too big and too often, and the patient makes cuts while having symptoms.

    Good luck in whatever you end up doing!

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    • Posted

      thank you so i saw a doctor in the week and he s halved my dose from 150 per day to 75 per day in two doses..i have been halving them myself for a couple of weeks...iappreciate that they are a band aid only but want off ...friends have recommended prozac for next med.......who knows if they will work i appreciate your info as i know you are informative in this as have been reading your posts.....feel i just wanna try another they have recommended duloxetine but that sounds like frying pan into fire syndrome..i really wanna try the prozac thing but now clueless and very glum!  thank you for your help..dont know what to say to doctor even...its hard enough to get out of the door at this stage!!

       

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    • Posted

      It seems like once we are on these meds we are caught between a rock and hard place, just not easy to say "never mind."

      Some use Prozac as a bridge to come off ven because it has a longer half life and is supposedly easier for that reason.  It still may not cover the withdrawal from Effexor.  You can get away with halving your dose down to 37.5 mg. At that point your receptors are still 80% occupied, so dropping off from there can cause big destabilization, virtually a cold turkey.  If you have the one with beads, I'd still recommend dropping down more cautiously from 37.5 mg using the bead counting method if you can.  If you are on Prozac, you can hopefully go more quickly, 20%? When you start the Prozac, start at the low dose (1 think 10 is therapeutic but you might even start with 5.  Keep the Effexor the same, so that you can see if there are start-up side effects.  Keep notes.

      Good luck!

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    • Posted

      Hi Betsy thanks so for your input...well i have just returned from the quacks who has taken me off the ven and put me on 20mg of prozac....we know they know nothing about withdrawal so i am now stuck with giving it a try...hopefully i wont go insane but who knows....watch this space!!...oh gawd another roller coster!!
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