My cat ate my Venlafixine and nearly died and help with cross tapering.

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My MaineCoons cat Kylie ate a 75 mg L 4 days ago and it has been such a scary time. Lucky she is nearly 8 kg and that saved her life. She is slowly coming back to herself but is still not right. Her pupils were highly dilated and she was just pyschotic not moving and looking at the ceiling. She did not eat or sleep for 2 days and her heart was pounding I have never been so scared. When you google cats and poisoning Venlafaxine comes up as 3 rd on the list. For some reason they are attracted to it. When I think it could have been a 225 mg which would have killed her straight away. It just shows you how poisonous this thing is. 

I have been on AD for 20 years but 4 years ago I went through a huge life changing traumatic event and was put on the venlafaxine 225 mg I would love to be able to not take anything but not sure if I am up to it.  I started to come down each month by 37.5 mg and last week hit 75mg and it has been awful so I think i will stay on this for 3 months before going on to 35 mg and will probably go on to Sertraline. Any advise on best way to do this much appreciated, when should I start the Sertraline and which dose. 

I am am crying writing this at the realisation that I could have lost my beautiful cat. I have 3 the other 2 much smaller and if it had of been one of them they would not be here to day. 


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  • Posted

    Hello I also have been on anti depressants for over 20 years.

    As I type this my cat is sitting next to the kjeyboard.  Oh so scary what happenednto your cat.  My cat adores catnip, but Venlafaxinem, who would have thought cats were attracted to it!!  Oh my!! 

    I withdrew from Venlafaxine (Effexor) last year over a 10 month period.  Did not get any withdrawals as took it so slow.  Very difficult to come off this medication without experiencing withdrawal symptoms.  You are wise to go slow.  Here in UK capsules only go to 37.5mg so I had to go on generic pills as they come in lower doses.  That way I could cut them with a pill cutter and reduce the dosage very slowly.  I got no withdrawals at all.  I have also tajken Sertraline in the past. 

    Oh I am so glad your lovely cat survived.  I know how awful it must have been for you both.  I love my rescue cat so much.  He is only a tabby moggy, but I would be so lonely without him. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Suki, I live in Dorset.  I know some people here are from other countries.

      I did not like beiung put on generic when I was taking Effexor, but when withdrawing knew it was the only way to reduce right down.  I had gone cold turkey once before with it so know how awful the withdrawals are.  Every time I stopped an anti depressant before the depression returned within a few months.  This is the longest time I have been without, and seem to be doing OK.  Ups and downs, but nothing like I was in the past.  Keeping my fingers crossed.

      I am not on any prescribed medication at all now.  Just take supplements.

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  • Posted

     Hello Sukiwarrior, I am sorry that it made your cat so ill, but also I am glad Kylie is now recovering.  In answer to you I had venlafaxine for my wife cliams 17 years though I thought it was only 10.  I was on 225mg and the same as you it helped me through the most difficult time of my life, and I have to admit at the time it was the right thing to do.

    From what you have written you are approaching a time where you feel Venlafaxine has done its job, same here.  It took me 5 months to finally stop venlafaxine, and I am just in my first week with none.  The same as you I thought reducing the dose each month would work, but in all honesty I held at the 75mg mark for 2 months rather than one because of withdrawl starting to appear.  I started to take citralopram and increase the dose by 10 mg a month, but my behavior and mood indicated the citralopram was having no effect.  I have to say that the way I weaned off lets just call it VF (I am a lazy typer lol) now I am at end of first week, I had very mild brain zaps on a few occasions it was only just noticeable.  Now onto the sertraline I have started doseage at 50mg for first week and am about to go up to 100mg on my doctors advice I started the same day I stopped 37.5 vf and so far all seems well I will keep you posted as to my progress as I will be making weekly entries here as to my experiences.  I do have another idea for you 2 months before stopping vf I started taking cod liver oil capsules every day as the omega 3 contained in it is beneficial to brain function, and maybe only maybe it has helped me wean off vf, possibly it can help some others too although we are all different, so sometimes what works for one may not work for another.  Remember that vf used to dumb you down from emotional problems and although you may come off if you were on high dose it may be beneficial to continue to take antidepressants in place of vf, that will much depend on how you start to feel when you are lowering your vf dose.  Sertraline seems to have a positive effect on myself, but I am still in the early stages of finding an alternative with less negative effects than vf.

    My personal advice is to be a little more patient with lowering the vf dose and, take your time, the light at the end of the vf tunnel is there and you are still going the right direction, and you will get there.  All my best wishes and a big meow to Kylie.

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    • Posted

      Hello Simon 

      Thank you for your reply it was very helpful. I shall do it slowly and see how I feel when I get down to the lowest dose and start on the Sertraline if necessary. 

      Warm wishes 

      Suki and Kylie. 

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    • Posted

      Hope you and Kylie doing well.  Howare you feeling?  I am managing without anti depressants.  Scary as been on them for such a long time. 

      Like Simon I take supplements.  Cod Liver oil is one of them, and Omega 3 and a couple of others.  Also taking Kalms herbal tablets and I think they are helping.  Keep us posted as to how you are doing.

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