Tapering Off Of Effexor Xr -- Remove The Beads Slowly!

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BAZ Says:


I am an MD who was RX Effexor XR for depression over 10 years ago. I took 75mg for many years and felt fine for a long time, but then wanted to get off of it. I would be in a panic if I forgot to take my pill and would experience strange dizzy/buzzing sensation behind my eyes. I was able to taper down to the 37.5mg pretty easily by alternating daily between 75mg/37.5mg. Then I got stuck and tried taking the lower dose every other day or every 36 hours but the side effects were too great.

Then luckily, my new partner suggested opening up the capsules and tapering off with beads. I have been doing that now for about a year and a half. The original generic brand capsule had about 39 beads in and I was able to get down to 6 beads. When I tried to stop I couldn't function. I was shocked bc it was such a low dose. I had terrible brain "zaps" and lethargy. I went back up to about 12 beads to stabilize. Then my insurance company changed generics on me about 2 months ago and began sending me capsules with 95 beads inside. I am now down to 9 of these beads, which is 3 or 4mg and it's really hitting me. Now every bead I will drop is 10% and I generally drop every month. At this rate it will take me close to another year to be off completely.

Does anyone have any suggestions or been on this low a dose and been stuck too? How do you deal with the depression and feeling tired? Will I ever feel "normal" again? I'd like to hear success stories. Thank you.



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mydream Says:
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I'm praying for you :-)

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David Says:

Hi Baz,

Sorry to hear about your challenges with Effexor. Based on your description I get the sense that you're taking the best approach with this tapering process.

It may end up taking you a while to get off the medication, but at least you know that you have a goal to reach and you're in better control of the situation by taking out any excess amount of beads.

All you can really do from this point is try to listen to your body and really make an intuitive decision on when it might be best to lower yourself down to the next dosage again and so forth.

Have you tried looking into any natural/herbal remedies to help alleviate the withdrawal symptoms?

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Katie Says:
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I need to know if you are a real doctor cause my problem is not that I take depression medicine cause I take it my problem is that my oncologist called and sais she no longer woyld see me because my insurance would not pay I do not want them not to get paid but I am scared about not having a cancer dr and the way things are looking I Need an oncolgist and my breast hurts so bad.I had it taken of and also I had half my lung taken off on the opposide side no one knows how bad I an scared cause my kidneys have blood and sludge in them and I have chrohns disease ther is a tumor on top of my adrenal gland and a tumor where my duct comes out at where my intestines lets your bowls come out and I can not find a dr to help me with that probem either the dr told me face to face.I pray and wish I could find the drs. I need I live in Ky where there is one finest teaching hositals in the country wish one of them but do not know how to go about getting an oncologist and other drs I need I am so scared it isn't funny.If ther ate any drs out there please please help me.I am despirite

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shar Says:

I have never heard of weaning off of a med by opening a capsule.Have you tried another med?I switched from Effexor XR 150 Mg.to Cymbalta 60 Mg.because of pain relief as well as depression.I am doing ok with it.I would never consider opening a capsule, please be careful.

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Brenda Says:

Are you really sure you want to come off this medication? Depression doesnt usually just go away. It is a chemical imbalance and the medication helps produce the chemical that is needed.

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bogs Says:

google surviving antidepressant

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Ana Says:

Re: Brenda (# 5)

Don't be fooled Brenda....these meds are made to keep people on them.. its a horrible solution for depression and does not help at all....Good luck to all for coming off of this terrible recipe!

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Warren Says:
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Hi, personally I had no withdrawals from Effexor. I was taking 300 mg daily and felt like someone else so I just quit, no problem. Now for depression, I live in Oregon so I consume cannabis when depressed. Or I just deal with it, play my harmonica or something. Best of luck.

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Itstime Says:
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My history with Effexor is long long. Generic didn’t work or pristyque when it came out. I’m 49 and I swear perimenapause has been culprit but hormones always test normal. If I go 36 hrs I feel nauseas and dizzy. If I reduce beads - tiny suckers- by even a 1/4 like 20 of 100+, depression and anxiety are horrid. I used to be able to taper from 75 to 37.5 in two days. Now - no decrease. I’m about to just cold turkey and live through hell with some fish oil and a few other supplements. I’m so over meds. They help - but at what cost. Being unable to decrease is terrifying for real damage. Maybe adding cymbalta or something but it’s still the norepinephrine that is the issue in Effexor.

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Marie4290 Says:
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I had a lot of the tapering off symptoms you’ve listed. I was afraid to drive or even be around other people. The prescribing neurologist didn’t believe my symptoms and did not off to do anything beyond the lowest dose. I never thought to taper w beads. For me, I got to the lowest dose & most number of days in between doses and then just stopped taking it. I was mostly in bed for a month and then it took another few months for my body to adjust. A year to not feel the dark cloud of depression. I took for postpartum depression but stayed on Bc it was supposed to help w hormonal migraines. As it turns out it was causing my migraines to be worse! For my body, this was a horrible drug and an evil tapering experience.

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CityguyUSA Says:

Re: Brenda (# 5)
That was kind of my question. And since he's having such a problem eliminating it I wonder if he should be. But then I thought about how these medications affected me and everyone of them put me closer to a deeper depression I didn't realize how horribly I had been affected till I got off of them and can look back and think how horribly depressed I had gotten. I don't cry for days on end anymore in fact I rarely feel depressed at all of course they were never prescribed for depression but anxiety but after they had their affect I had gotten depressed, hopeless.

When I attempted to get off of them of course I was never told to taper them and so I just stopped. I went through months with what I called brain zaps where I'd get what felt like a jolt of electricity in my head. I was so bad it would leave me doubled over holding onto the wall or whatever was close. Of course no doctor could explain what I was going through they never heard of such a thing. It was an internet search that finally told me that it was a result of stopping the SSRI. I guess similar to what some call a serotonin storm only not from too much but maybe less than my system had been used to.

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john Says:

I have had similar problems coming off this drug. I have noticed that older people who are hospitalised and are taken off antidepressants because of failing kidneys etc. never sleep adequately again (not a good way to spend your last days)unless prescribed an alternative antidepressant . I tapered from Effexor to nil and occasionally took sleeping tablets to sleep for two years but had to resume the Effexor because I was just not getting enough sleep. I did not take sleepers continually as they lose their effect I also used L-tryptamine which helped for a while but lost its effect after a few months?

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Laura Says:

Did you first consult your doctor on how to taper off your medication? Never ever taper off any meds by yourself. Your MD should have a list of your meds. that you are presently on. He will evaluate tapering off your medication and the side effects that will alter the effectiveness with what you are on.
ASK YOUR MD BEFORE TAPERING OFF ANY MEDICATION AND THEN ASK YOUR PHARMACIST as he knows what are in the medications you are taking.

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