Venlafaxine

Posted , 4 users are following.

I've been on this drug for close to 10 years.

I've manage to cut down to 75mg but have found it impossible to come off. I now feel like this drug might be causing my anxiety rather than curing it. I find it interacts with every other medication I take. Just the other day I was given b12 supplements by my doctor and after a week I was close to killing myself it was horrendous. I am now constantly feeling weak and dizzy and tired and all the doctors suggest is pumping you full of more drugs. I am tired of the constant battle against anxiety just to try and lead a normal life. I no longer want to socialise and finding it harder and harder to get into work. My wife is supportive but Iam finding she has also started to get fed up with my anxiety and the depression it brings. I am starting to think it would be easier to give up this constant battle that I feel I am no longer winning.

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  • Posted

    Westy, I am sorry you are feeling so low.  Don't give up!  I agree, the long term use of this drug causes a worse quality of life.  I'd been on other ADs before going on Effexor 14 years ago, and like the frog that doesn't realize the water is getting hotter, I didn't see how this drug was making me worse than my pre-drug years ever were.  I finally got fed up with the sexual side effects I'd put up with all the years on and came off too fast over two years ago.  At first it wasn't a problem, but as the months went by the WD built until finally I was a non-functional, suicidal mess.  It was only when I reinstated ven and an hour later all my symptoms disappeared that I realized it was withdrawal that had caused the nightmare, and I was sure then and there that I did not want to be on drugs that could do that to a person!

    These drugs cause modification of the nervous system because when we start them, neurotransmitter levels are artifically elevated and the body wants homeostasis.  When we removed too much drug too fast, we are left with the modifications un-opposed by the drug.  Think of a vine growing on a trellis with the drug being the trellis and the vine being neurons.  Take away the trellis and the vine collapses.  Instead, we must removed the trellis little by little... Not a perfect analogy but you get the point.

    I have been tapering ven for nearly two years.  I am down to about 13 mg which is far below the minimum therapeutic dosage.  I have done this by removing 10% of the previous month's dosage every four weeks.  I have the type of ven that has little beads inside the capsules.  

    I'm assuming you got down from a higher dose and have made it to 75 mg, but probably have been trying to drop by too large of increments.  If you do the 10% method, you will hardly notice the drops.   I am including a link that includes a link for the 10% taper.  The forum that it comes from is a support forum for those trying to come off their meds.  I can honestly say that I am more stable at this low dose than I ever was on higher.  Don't give up hope!

    http://patient.info/forums/discuss/depression-resources-298570

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    • Posted

      I wanted to add that it is a great accomplishment to have gotten down to 75 mg!  Your first cut would be to remove 10% from that capsule if you have the bead type, to make 67.5 mg.  You need to allow 3-4 weeks between cuts so that the nerves can modify and settle before the next challenge.  Follow that link...
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    • Posted

      Hi Betsy

      Thanks for the advice, unfortunately I take the tablet type without the beads. It's a horrible drug but it probably did save me all those years ago when I wouldn't even leave my parents house. My life has progressed but I now feel it's just getting worse again I never thought all those years ago I would be 30 + and still feel like this. Last week I was so low I told my doctor I was feeling suicidal. She was going to get a pcyhatrist to call me a week later still no call. I feel some don't have the grasp on what mental illness is or how to deal with it.

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    • Posted

      As far as I am aware all AD s do this to the brain. Not just ven it is just particularly potent. We are all different. I came off citalopram very easily when others don t and really struggle. I'm on 150 of ven and nervous about withdrawal especially as I am in 3 other meds. The best way is very slowely.

      All AD s change our brain chemistry and the withdrawals are this alteration trying to change back.

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  • Posted

    Hi Westy.  Keep the faith.  You're at 75mg.  You need to take your taper extremely slowly and not feel anxious about getting off.  So, for example, I've been on this drug for over 10 years as well.  As of 3-1/2 years ago, I've been reducing very gradually and as of 2 years ago I started at around 17mgs.  Over this time, I've been able to reduce beads until now and am only on 2 beads.  I'll be holding on that for 5-6 months, then drop to 1 and then follow that through until I'm off.  I've had no w/d symptoms and feel good.  You can do the same, you just need to recognize that it'll take time lots of it.  You'll easily be able to maintain a job, good home life and feel good if you follow what I'm doing.  Don't ever give up because this is definitely doable.  The other thing to consider is to get in and have some cognitive therapy to help you through this process.  Also, a supplement called ashwagandha is excellent as a buffer to anxiety.  Consider taking that.  You shouldhn't have an interaction with any other meds.  Vitamin B12 does for alot of people interact negatively with meds.  I tried the B12 and had an adverse reaction so quickly stopped.  You'll feel a calming effect almost immediately with the ashwagandha so I would definitely explore that as an option.  Most importantly, don't ever give up because this can be done quite comfortably and successfully.  All the best!

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  • Posted

    Also Westy, my taper of this med was by the reduction of beads method.  Others feel that you should rotate on and off a day but I don't agree with that approach.  Reducing beads for me has worked wonderfully.  So, for example, a year ago I was on 6 beads, then reduced 1 after several months and so on to where I am now at 2.  The idea is to start off with the 6 beads and after a while, look for a smaller bead within the 6 and then smaller and smaller until you're ready to move to 5.  My last drop was Feb. 1 and no issues, prior I was on 3 beads since last Aug.  

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