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  #1  
Old 11-17-2014, 12:13 PM
yeswehave8 yeswehave8 is offline
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Default Talk to me about getting off of ADs

I was on Cymbalta for a few years (off and on) for fibromyalgia. I decided to go off due to cost last year, and it.was.hell! I thought I was dying. Granted, I probably should have done it more slowly, which I eventually did, but it was still not pleasant. We ended up having to find a pharmacy in Maine on our vacation to fill a handful of pills to keep the withdrawal at bay. Just awful!! I don't think that ANYthing that makes you feel that bad when you miss a few is ultimately good for your body.

Fast forward to a few months ago... I was in a funk and having trouble shaking off the stress of MIL's lawsuit and all that it entailed, as well as the daily struggles of 2 SN kids and just being a mom to 8... you know? Life. I told my doc about the hell coming off of the Cymbalta and told him I wanted something for a little while to help me over the hump. I was very specific about my concerns with withdrawal and that I was looking for this to be a temporary help. Yeah, he gave me Effexor.

I should have read up on it first. That is my normal MO. But being crazy busy and just not thinking about it, and blindly trusting my doc... yeah, I should have known better. Of course, it helped a good bit, too. So I didn't read up on it until about 2 weeks in to taking it. It is notoriously one of the WORST to come off of due to withdrawal issues, even with short term use. Like MAJOR warnings and more personal stories across the web than I've ever seen with an AD before. WHY did my doc not know all this? What little faith I've had left in him is eroding, though there are so few choices around here as it is... disappointing.

Yep, I felt better, some days maybe too much. Apparently I am one of those who gains weight on Effexor. Like 25 lbs in a few months. No other explanations, either. I've finally got my thyroid straight, and I'm eating better than ever. I'm exercising regularly and it has been a SLOW & painful move on the scale. This med has got to go!

Anyway, I'm ready to do this, but frankly am scared because of all I've read. I've armed myself with as much knowledge as I can (ever read The Mood Cure?), and I've got several natural aids to try to help. Still, I'm very nervous about this. The last thing I want is more prescriptions for the symptoms, too.

Yesterday I skipped the dose completely and took the amino acids in it's place. Today I'll take my dose as usual. I've got it set up to be every other day. I had a little trouble falling asleep last night, despite my normal routine and I'm a little edgy this morning. BUT my ADHD kid is home for a doctor's appt, unmedicated and bouncing off the flippin walls, so....

HELP!! I cannot be the only one with this struggle!
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Grown/ gone: DD 25, DD 19, DD 18... who has lost her frickin mind!!

My beautiful firstborn son earned his wings on 12/11/16 just 6 weeks after his 23rd birthday. A drunk driver killed my child. Please, please, PLEASE don't drink and drive. I miss my son. :(
  #2  
Old 11-17-2014, 03:33 PM
CommieVegan CommieVegan is offline
"hot and tasty" sounds a little bit dirty to me.
 
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I went off it years ago and had a couple of bad weeks. I haven't ever been on Cymbalta but I have watched a family member go off that one and I'm inclined to say Cymbalta was worse than Effexor.

I opened up capsules and took half the beads, then half again, etc. and didn't have any trouble until I went from half the smallest dose (was it 37.5?) to zero. Then I started having the brain zaps and visual resets and felt pretty crummy emotionally.

Sometimes getting a temporary prescription for Prozac can get you through some of the worst, and Prozac is way easier to go off of.
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  #3  
Old 11-17-2014, 04:41 PM
yeswehave8 yeswehave8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CommieVegan View Post
I went off it years ago and had a couple of bad weeks. I haven't ever been on Cymbalta but I have watched a family member go off that one and I'm inclined to say Cymbalta was worse than Effexor.

I opened up capsules and took half the beads, then half again, etc. and didn't have any trouble until I went from half the smallest dose (was it 37.5?) to zero. Then I started having the brain zaps and visual resets and felt pretty crummy emotionally.

Sometimes getting a temporary prescription for Prozac can get you through some of the worst, and Prozac is way easier to go off of.
See, that is the part that scares me! Some say that they start within a few hours of missing a dose. I didn't have anything like that last night, so I'm hopeful. I took a dose today, and now I have a headache... I'm not sure the cause, but can't help but wonder if it is related. I was on 75 mg/ day and I've thought about trying to get the 37.5 mg, but my doc is so danged hard to reach.

Are they hard to decrease the beads? I haven't opened one yet.
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Grown/ gone: DD 25, DD 19, DD 18... who has lost her frickin mind!!

My beautiful firstborn son earned his wings on 12/11/16 just 6 weeks after his 23rd birthday. A drunk driver killed my child. Please, please, PLEASE don't drink and drive. I miss my son. :(
  #4  
Old 11-18-2014, 01:14 AM
randareena randareena is offline
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Oh no! Effexor was awful to come down from. I think I posted about it and took Catherine's advice.
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  #5  
Old 11-18-2014, 02:46 AM
CommieVegan CommieVegan is offline
"hot and tasty" sounds a little bit dirty to me.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randareena View Post
Oh no! Effexor was awful to come down from. I think I posted about it and took Catherine's advice.
Posted via Mobile Device
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Yes, that is me.

I did not find it difficult to split the capsules--I just eyeballed the amount and it seemed to work fine. It's not ideal, but it worked really well up until zero.

What I did was eyeball the amount of beads in my palm, then toss them back with some water and return the rest of the beads to the capsule and close it up. I'd take that capsule the next day. This worked when halving capsules; if I had been quartering them, it wouldn't have worked so well.

I think it was at least a whole day or more before I felt any of the brain zaps. The half life of Effexor is pretty short, though--that's why it's pretty unforgiving to miss a dose. The zaps and visual disturbances were more annoying than anything--I still went to work and muddled my way through. The emotional adjustment was harder.

Can you call and leave a message for the medical assistants at your doc's office? That is a lot faster for us. Then the MA runs the question by the doc on the run and calls/faxes in the prescription for you.
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  #6  
Old 11-18-2014, 11:51 AM
yeswehave8 yeswehave8 is offline
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I can try... I've had times where I've literally called and said "this is my ninth message"! I've made appointments with him just to get stuff like this addressed, because it is so hard to reach him otherwise. The office sold over to a new chain and they are even worse now. Apparently I'm not the only one, either. My neighbor recently quit there and said there were MANY who were upset about not having messages returned/ meds called in/ issues addressed.

That headache turned into a weird vertigo-ish feeling. I am thinking it was the resets. Like my head was swimming if I turned too fast, but not to the degree if I was in full blown vertigo (which I've dealt with a lot off and on in the past). The whole thing was disconcerting because it was AFTER I'd taken the dose for the last 2 days. This is not going to be fun, I already can tell it.

I have 5-HTP, tryptophan, tyrosine and another amino I can't think of right now. I've already been on GABA for awhile, as well as the B vitamins for my MTHFR, so that should be covered.
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Crissi, married to my best friend, making memories with the last 4 of our 8... DD 17, Hannah 11, Will 9 and our baby Benji who is 6!! :speechless:

Grown/ gone: DD 25, DD 19, DD 18... who has lost her frickin mind!!

My beautiful firstborn son earned his wings on 12/11/16 just 6 weeks after his 23rd birthday. A drunk driver killed my child. Please, please, PLEASE don't drink and drive. I miss my son. :(
  #7  
Old 11-18-2014, 04:11 PM
CommieVegan CommieVegan is offline
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That sounds like a terrible office.

The head swimming does sound like the withdrawal symptoms.
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  #8  
Old 11-18-2014, 05:11 PM
N*I*K*K*I N*I*K*K*I is offline
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I have a post on here from when I went off of effexor. I can't search for it on my phone for some reason. I think it's titled effexor withdrawal. It was horrible, terrible, but luckily only lasted like 2 weeks. I'd been on it for years though at the time. Hang in there. It gets better every day.
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  #9  
Old 11-18-2014, 05:45 PM
yeswehave8 yeswehave8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N*I*K*K*I View Post
I have a post on here from when I went off of effexor. I can't search for it on my phone for some reason. I think it's titled effexor withdrawal. It was horrible, terrible, but luckily only lasted like 2 weeks. I'd been on it for years though at the time. Hang in there. It gets better every day.
Let me go look, thanks!

I did a second coffee enema today because of another headache. Seemed to help a little bit. I'm headachey, with the slight sensations, but not as much as yesterday. Maybe it's an improvement, or maybe it's the fact that I had some yesterday? I hate this process. I should have known better to even take anything without reading on it first. After my previous experience, you'd think I'd have learned.

I'm trying to decide if it may be easier to take half the way Catherine suggested, instead? It is a short half life, and I'm not of the extended relief.

Gym day today, hoping the slight swimming goes away.
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Crissi, married to my best friend, making memories with the last 4 of our 8... DD 17, Hannah 11, Will 9 and our baby Benji who is 6!! :speechless:

Grown/ gone: DD 25, DD 19, DD 18... who has lost her frickin mind!!

My beautiful firstborn son earned his wings on 12/11/16 just 6 weeks after his 23rd birthday. A drunk driver killed my child. Please, please, PLEASE don't drink and drive. I miss my son. :(
  #10  
Old 11-18-2014, 07:08 PM
oak_leaf oak_leaf is offline
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The half life of Effexor is very short, around 5 hours so it doesn't work well to take a dose every other day. The half life of fluoxetine (Prozac) on the other hand is 4 to 6 days, so it is often used as a bridge for those who are trying to come off Effexor. It leaves your body much more slowly. I think I remember hearing that you only need 1 or 2 doses of it.
~~~~~~~
I wanted to add that I often contact prescribers for my patients to get them new doses of medication. I am lucky in that I have chart access and can leave a direct note for them. I don't know if this a viable option for you, but you might have more success if you have your pharmacy contact the doctor for you.
~~~~~~~
http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsle...ntidepressants

Last edited by oak_leaf; 11-18-2014 at 07:13 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost by CDN
  #11  
Old 11-18-2014, 08:20 PM
yeswehave8 yeswehave8 is offline
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I *may* have a some of that around here... maybe just one or two. Seems like DD 15 was on it at some point, she's been on a lot of things.

The second coffee enema (don't laugh, they work for me) seems to have helped. I'm not as edgy or shaky as I was, and I'm not seeing the gray rain right now, either.

Yes, my pharmacy will contact the doc for refills. It's pretty much all done electronically though. Pharmacy faxes the refill request and the doc's office will put the new order in online.

Nikki, I found your thread, but won't link it here since it's in JBF. I almost put this one there, too. I actually replied to that one last year about coming off the Cymbalta. I should have known better.
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Grown/ gone: DD 25, DD 19, DD 18... who has lost her frickin mind!!

My beautiful firstborn son earned his wings on 12/11/16 just 6 weeks after his 23rd birthday. A drunk driver killed my child. Please, please, PLEASE don't drink and drive. I miss my son. :(
  #12  
Old 11-18-2014, 08:27 PM
yeswehave8 yeswehave8 is offline
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Thanks for the article! I bristle at the term "discontinuation syndrome", though. Why not call it what it is... withdrawal!

Now thinking this through, if the half life is 5 hours and the 99% mark is 1 day, shouldn't I just stop "cold turkey" at this point? I last had a dose yesterday at about 1 pm, theoretically I am without right now and taking it again tomorrow will reset the clock, so to speak. The thing is, though, most people seem to have the worst symptoms at zero... so I am around there, or will be soon.

Going to drive myself batty.
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Crissi, married to my best friend, making memories with the last 4 of our 8... DD 17, Hannah 11, Will 9 and our baby Benji who is 6!! :speechless:

Grown/ gone: DD 25, DD 19, DD 18... who has lost her frickin mind!!

My beautiful firstborn son earned his wings on 12/11/16 just 6 weeks after his 23rd birthday. A drunk driver killed my child. Please, please, PLEASE don't drink and drive. I miss my son. :(
  #13  
Old 11-19-2014, 12:37 PM
Julie K Julie K is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CommieVegan View Post
Yes, that is me.

I did not find it difficult to split the capsules--I just eyeballed the amount and it seemed to work fine. It's not ideal, but it worked really well up until zero.

What I did was eyeball the amount of beads in my palm, then toss them back with some water and return the rest of the beads to the capsule and close it up. I'd take that capsule the next day. This worked when halving capsules; if I had been quartering them, it wouldn't have worked so well.

I think it was at least a whole day or more before I felt any of the brain zaps. The half life of Effexor is pretty short, though--that's why it's pretty unforgiving to miss a dose. The zaps and visual disturbances were more annoying than anything--I still went to work and muddled my way through. The emotional adjustment was harder.

Can you call and leave a message for the medical assistants at your doc's office? That is a lot faster for us. Then the MA runs the question by the doc on the run and calls/faxes in the prescription for you.
This sounds like good advice. I've been on several ADs and honestly even though I remember missing one dose of effexor not feeling great, I don't remember getting off of it being too dificult. Certainly not more difficult than when I got off of paxil (since my dr told me to quit cold turkey - bad advice!!)

I'd just try and do it as slowly as possible.
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  #14  
Old 11-19-2014, 06:15 PM
yeswehave8 yeswehave8 is offline
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I'm having mixed feelings, but so far today I have intentionally not taken the dose...if I feel crappy, I may take half the beads from one. I'm a little off, but not too bad. It's actually been a very busy day (buying some land!!! and DD15 got her braces this morning) so I think that helps a good bit.

I'm really hoping the relative low dose and short time on it (maybe 3-4 months, I'd have to look at the pharmacy to be sure) will mean I've gotten worried over nothing. Now if I can get the scale to move...
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Grown/ gone: DD 25, DD 19, DD 18... who has lost her frickin mind!!

My beautiful firstborn son earned his wings on 12/11/16 just 6 weeks after his 23rd birthday. A drunk driver killed my child. Please, please, PLEASE don't drink and drive. I miss my son. :(
  #15  
Old 11-22-2014, 02:49 PM
yeswehave8 yeswehave8 is offline
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So today is day 5. I am feeling less shaky, I slept better, and the headache has eased... well accept for the sinus crap that DH gave me. I think my biggest help was that I was not on it that long, coupled with the amino acids/ 5HTP I've been taking. And yeah, my coffee enemas probably sped the liver clearance along, too.

Now to get this weight off... I was trying to read WHAT the mechanism was that causes the weight gain on this med and got even more frustrated. Some people call Effexor "weight neutral" and yet almost 30% gain weight on this med. How is that neutral? Also, someone else, claiming to be a psych doctor, wrote that the med doesn't cause the weight gain... that it causes you to have cravings that make you eat more. I call BS on this, too. I have been actively eating healthier, no sugar (and I mean none on 9 days out of 10, not just not adding sugar), no processed, working out 5-6 days a week, etc... I have not been indulging and yet my weight was frozen. I've already dropped 6 lbs, but it is stuck there.

At this point I'm just grumbling. I know that sometimes these medications do amazing things for the right people at the right time. I get that they try to minimize the side effects so that others aren't afraid to try them, but I hate the level of deception or even ignorance of how badly these can effect some people.
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Crissi, married to my best friend, making memories with the last 4 of our 8... DD 17, Hannah 11, Will 9 and our baby Benji who is 6!! :speechless:

Grown/ gone: DD 25, DD 19, DD 18... who has lost her frickin mind!!

My beautiful firstborn son earned his wings on 12/11/16 just 6 weeks after his 23rd birthday. A drunk driver killed my child. Please, please, PLEASE don't drink and drive. I miss my son. :(
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