update. more help please

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Hi all.

Now into week 3 of coming off and this morning had the box in my hand ready to take a 37.5.

I can't describe this. Yesterday the worst head ever with terrible ringing in my ears, sleep did not help. Today i feel i have the worst hangover ever, my brain feels like its hitting my skull, my vision is blurred and i am exhausted. I thought i'd cracked it, obviously not. Anybody else had this?

Ian

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  • Posted

    Hi Ian, first of all, tell us how long you were on ven, what was the highest dose, and what was the dose before you stopped three weeks ago?

    I came off ven last summer after a very fast taper and didn't realize I was in withdrawal because everything unraveled in a way such that I didn't make the connection, and I was taking tryptophan to try to replace the ven.  I had cognitive issues first, confusion, horrible memory, unable to concentrate.  I was also having horrible hot flashes and sweats at night to where my sheets were soaked, but since I am also menopausal, I blamed it on that!  I also had heart palps and increased pulse, and burning skin sensations, but also blamed those on menopause.  Many months out, I started having anxiety like I had never had before in my life, feelings of doom, incredibly frightful insomnia, and depression.  This all culminated in my going on mirtazapine first, and when that didn't work, going back on ven.  Within one hour of taking that first 37.5 mg, I had a complete lifting of my symptoms!  I should have known that was because I was in WD, but even then I didn't figure it out!  It was only after I met someone who was in AD WD that I finally realized what had happened.

    So, the moral of the story is, the WD symptoms can keep changing and unfurling as the months go by, and your doc will try to convince you that you are relapsing and put you back on.

    So, I am now doing a very slow taper, 10%/month of the previous dose.  I would encourage you to reinstate 37.5 mg, stabilize, and then do the slow taper.  You will save yourself a whole lot of suffering by doing so.  There's nothing good about toughing this out. People end up with protracted WD that can last a couple of years, and be incredibly bad off, when they cold turkey; there really is no saving time by getting it over with fast and if anything you end up with a longer WD recovery than if you went slow.

    There's a lot of info and support on the web with people who have been in the trenches advising you as you go.  Do a search for surviving antidepressants and you will find what I mean.  You are not alone and will be well cared for there.  Hope to see you there!

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    • Posted

      Thank you. I was on 225 for 3 years then in April started a slow taper and after a couple of reinstatments i finally got to half of 37.5 a day. Did'nt feel great so decided to go for it. First few days ok but now gradually getting worse.
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    • Posted

      That was a huge dose you started reducing from, 225 down to 37.5, in about six months, averaging about 15% per month.  Problem is, you probably went by the pill size, which means you did larger drops than that!  And that's a pretty big jump, 17.25 to 0.  I read somewhere that the neuron receptor occupancy at the low dose, 37.5 mg, is 70-80%, quite a lot given that's the lowest dose they make in the US, so to go to half that is a big down-regulation for your nervous system.  It's no wonder these drops cause us such grief! I did a similar deal last year, where I broke the 75 mg immediate release tablets into half, and then one quarter, and then 0.  Too much. 

      Are you on the XR capsules with the little beads inside?  Though tedious, I recommend counting how many beads are in a few different capsules, taking the average, and then removing 10% of the beads.  Then, four weeks later, remove 10% of the 90%.  10% off the previous dose each month.

      I actually bought a jeweler's scale that weighs milligrams and weighed the beads from several different capsules, and then took an average weight and began from there, weighing out 90% etc. The capsules are surprisingly variable in their weights, which is why removing 10% of the beads can get dicey; each day your dosage may fluctuate a bit.  But, it's one way to start.

      It will get more dicey the lower you go.  The last five mgs can cause the biggest problems.  

      I know this sounds way too OCD, but the 10% method is what is advocated by the withdrawal groups to minimize suffering.  The idea is that hopefully your nervous system will hardly notice the change each time you cut. Venlafaxine is known to be one of the worst withdrawal syndrome p-drugs out there.

      I wish you luck no matter what you choose to do.  Some additional tips are to take magnesium glycinate, especially before bedtime to help with sleep, and to take fish oil, especially high in DHA for brain healing.

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  • Posted

    Hi Ian o came off them really slowly !

    It can take months .

    When I ever come of these drugs I take it so slowly my head and body would not notice .

    Then eventually you realise the drop in yr dosage is low with no side effects .

    Remember the higher the dose the longer to ween of them .

    Bare with it .

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  • Posted

    If using the reducing-beads withdrawal method I think it is accurate enough to sprinkle some out in your hand and spread them out in a crease a bit and from the length of the group you can estimate without counting. Your estimate might vary by 15% from day to day but that should be ok.  Wear your glasses if optically challenged :0)

    Know that the beads are all identical and the 150mg capsule just contains double the number of the 75mg capsule.  Also you should stick to the same BRAND as you cannot assume other brand beads are equivalent.

    I am not surprised that Betsy found variations when weighing. The maker tolerance could be +/- 15%. 

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    • Posted

      Actually, +/- 15% is 15 mg gross weight out of 100 mg, so that's a lot!  I have found my 37.5 mg to weigh anywhere from 93 to 104 mg, so not as bad as 15%.  When doing a 10% taper, such variation can cause mild WD symptoms, but not so much as to need reinstatement.

      The main thing is to be sure you are stable before doing another cut.  If you are aware of a lot of WD symptoms, even mild, then it would not be prudent to go ahead and cut since that would exasperate WD symptoms.

      When you think about the fact that your neurons have to make adjustments to a change in meds, by either adding or subtracting receptors, that takes time, doesn't happen in days but more like weeks, so give your body the time to adapt.

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    • Posted

      I believe there is a smoothing/averaging effect that helps the dose stay more or less constant as long as the doses are taken around the same times each day.

      Another way to get the number of beads right is to spread them evenly over paper with squares on it and use e.g. a knife blade to select the beads on a number of squares corresponding to the desired dose.

      Then fold the paper and funnel the excess back into the capsule for the same time next day. I don't think they should be left out in the air.

      You can also fold paper and lay beads singly side by side along the groove and take (say) a  centimetre.

      Don't sneeze doing this. Those beads are very light.

       

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    • Posted

      Interesting technique!  The generic brand I take has beads that are NOT consistently the same size; there are some very chunky ones, weighing about 2.6 mg each, down to some tiny ones that are 1 mg or less, so counting beads on these is haphazzard, unless you focus on taking only x # of chunky beads etc.  I have had weighing errors cause symptoms, so need to check and double check.
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    • Posted

      Whoops. Then my suggestion is no good in that case. One has to question here how the generic is truly equivalent to the originator brand. This is a good example of how people should be wary of generics.  My general philosophy is to go with the originator at first to establish if a drug is effective, then by all means try a generic if the saving is worthwhile and if no good you know to stick with the originator. 

      In the case of venlafaxine the Efexor brand beads are consistent and I have verified that by sight and with the maker.

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    • Posted

      On close inspection, it would be more accurate to say the Efexor beads look fairly consistent in size. In any case, the milligrams should average out .
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  • Posted

    I'm at week 6 Ian. Struggling last and this week. Brain zaps, tiredness. Ended up at the docs crying my eyes out. She's advised counselling to help. I don't want to start another anti dep. time will tell. Think we'll be withdrawing for a long time yet Ian.

    Best of luck 👍👍👍

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  • Posted

    It took me a good 5 weeks to start feeling a little better,but yes there are days that is better and days that you go back but every time you will start getting better lots of patience and naps ,I take DhA .
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    • Posted

      Does/did anyone have/ such horrendous head pain? No brain zaps or disorientation today but the pain has been the worst ever. Pain killers have'nt touched it and been in bed for 6 hours
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    • Posted

      I've suffered with migraine all my life but this is different. Its like having a huge crocodile clip digging in to my head. Not bothered about any thing serious cos it moves from side to side and my eye lids feel like they have weights on them
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