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HOW TO GET OFF EFFEXOR XR? I ONLY TOOK 5 PILLS!
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HOW TO GET OFF EFFEXOR XR? I ONLY TOOK 5 PILLS!

I"M 56 YEARS OLD AND I HAD A DOUBLE BYPASS ABOUT 2 MONTHS AGO.
(I NEVER MET A FRENCH FRY I DID"NT LIKE!)  BEING STUPID ABOUT FOOD GOT ME A BYPASS AT A YOUNG AGE. EVERY ONE SAID THAT IT IS NATURAL TO GET DEPRESSED AFTER THIS SURGERY, AND AFTER APX 6 WEEKS i DID.  WENT TO THE PILL PUSHER AND HE GAVE A CHOICE OF SOME MEDS AND TOOK EFFEXOR XR.  I TOOK THE PILLS FROM TUES TO SAT.  THIS STUFF IS HORRIBLE! WORSE THAN THE SURGERY IT SELF!
DIZZY,WEAK,HOT,FEEL LIKE I WILL PASS OUT IF I STAND TO LONG!EVEN MIND PROBLEMS!  I FEEL IT IS WEIRD TO HAVE THESE PROBLEMS AFTER ONLY 5 PILLS! I"VE BEEN OFF THEM ONLY 5 DAYS AND EVEN WENT TO THE HOSPITAL WITH NO HELP!(AS SOON AS THEY SEE YOUR MEDS, THEY THINK YOUR CRAZY!)  PLEASE TELL ME I"M NOT CRAZY AND
WHAT I CAN DO OR TAKE TO GET THIS **** OUT OF MY BODY!( MEDS WERE STATER PACK 37.5MG)
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242532_tn?1269553979
You should be over all of that very soon, maybe even by the time you read this.   YOu are still post op, and you may be having a compound of symptoms, which include the pills and the depression and rehab. for heart.  Ask your doctor for small doses of xanax, if anything at all.
10 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm so sorry to hear that Effexor XR has not been the right medication for you.  You are definately not crazy -- as I've seen a lot of patients who have had similar experiences to yours.  Effexor XR is a very potent medication that required titration to higher levels (usually 300mg/day or higher) and works on 2 Neurotransmitters (and as such is the only SNRI on the market).    

The long & short of it is --- you're not crazy, it's going to take a little while to get the medication out of your system.  I'd talk to your PCP about switching medications.  I've had a lot of success with patients on Lexapro (it only works on 1 neurotransmitter - Serotonin) ... but definately follow-up with your doctor to make a switch.

hope this helps ... feel better!
-ckg
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Avatar_n_tn
I just stopped taking Effexor about 2 weeks ago after 6 months of use. I decreased my dose slowly over 2 weeks before completely stopping. At first my body reacted to the corresponding decrease in seritonin by giving me adrenaline rushes during the day, I would conk out when I'd come home from work and sleep until the next morning, then things started to stablize in terms of sleep. Lately I feel kind of anxious, but mostly because I am going back to school after taking a semester off and am moving into a new place. My suggestion to you is to turn inwards and really ask yourself what you really feel- in which case you can work it out through self-analysis, meditation, writing, talking to a close friend, etc. I know a lot of my anxiety/depression was brought on because of my over active mind and my lack of self-control. I have started studying Buddhism, Karate, and Yoga and they have inhanced my concentration and determination to beat this stuff without meds. Mental, spiritual, and physical excercise combined definitely helps. Good luck to you.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been off of Effexor Xr for about 5 days now. I asked my pharmacist and have been reading anything i can on the web and books to lesson the effect of the withdrawal syndrome. Fresh ginger has been working wonders! Here is a link to how to take the ginger. <a href=http://www.umm.edu/altmed/ConsHerbs/Gingerch.html#HowToTake>ginger for nausea and dizziness</a>
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Avatar_n_tn
I was on Effexor for about a month, and I was worse on the medication than I ever was. I was sooo sad that it got to the point that I was suicidal (never felt that way in life). So I quit cold turkey. I was only taking 75 mgs. That was the worst experience for me personally. Now I am back on Lexapro and feel almost back to myself.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been on Effexor for 2 years and finally decided to stop taking it.  It has been a horrible experience!  If I ever need to go on anything again it definitely won't be this stuff.  I have one more pill of 37.5 mg left and I'm afraid of what life is going to be like when this last one is gone.  I have been having tremors, dizziness, confusion, flu like symptoms.  Basically everything they say you'll have if you don't taper off.  Anyone have any advice as to how long this is going to last?
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Avatar_n_tn
Well now.......I've been Effexor XR for 7 months for social anxiety and depression.  I started with the 37.5 for the first week and it was not too bad... then the 75 mg now for 7 months... Some of the side effects I had were..nausea...so you take it with food...constipation...so I eat more of my home made Granola... insommia...so I took it eariler...dry mouth and in the begining my  
symptoms seem to get more intense but in time I didn't feel too bad except for the previous.  My doctor and I decided after my saying I still had the nauseau to cut back to 37.5.  Well now and it's a BIG well now... took the 37.5 at 4 pm and by midnight I had the worse headache I've ever had, nauseau and vomiting the rest of the night... The next day was spent in bed... don't even mention food!  
My doctor called and said keep on the 37.5 til next week...
Which I've taken it for 5 days now and all I have is ringing in my ears...  I do intend to completely get off Effexor XR... I'm thinking if the withdrawal symptoms are that bad..what is it really doing to my brain... body and health!  It was not good.... I'm surprised that some of the other users have had such a mild withdrawal...  Guess I'll try going back on 1.mg of Prozac that I
took for 5 years....I know the dosage is small but that's all I
need and all I had for a side effect was ringing in my ears!
Guess more exercise..yoga...time with my granddaughters and my  therapist is easier on my 55 year old body!  Getting over Effexor in Maine!
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Avatar_n_tn
I have taken Effexor and my highest dose was 150mg XR/once a day (extended release capsules) for 1 1/2 years; I have been tapering for 8 months and I'm now at 28.06mg/for the day (using tablets).  I have had minimal withdrawal to this point and I attribute that to the very slow tapering and cutting doseage's at a rate between 5-10% (and no more than that) each time.



Now for the how to's:



Instead of counting out granules (which really isn't accurate as granule capsule contents vary anywhere from 105 - 124 granules per capsule), use Effexor immediate release tablets (don't worry you won't feel any different than using the capsules---I know because I switched from the capsules to the tablets).  The only difference is that you will take one half of your tablet dose in the morning and twelve hours later take the second half of your dose.  



THE GOOD NEWS:  Effexor comes in tablets:  100mg, 75mg, 50mg, 37.50mg, and 25mg.  You can purchase a "pill splitter" from any pharmacy--the cost about $4.00 (american money) and split your pills in half, quarters, and even eigths--(with a little practice for the 1/8s).  Splitting tablets will enable you to have more control stepping done your medication.  When I got to a dose that is in between one of the tablet sizes listed above, I respectfully requested from my doctor a prescription of two different amounts of tablets (for example 37.50mg tablet and 25mg tablet).  When I was ready to step down from 37.50mg I did NOT want to go directly to 25mg--that is WAY TOO MUCH of a cut.  Instead this is what I did:



---I cut a 37.50mg tablet into eights = 4.66mg/per eight and then cut a 25mg tablet in half = 12.50 mg.  I would then take:  one 4.66mg plus one 12.50 mg =  17.16mg (morning dose) and then do the same thing 12 hours later.  17.16mg + 17.16mg = 34.32mg for the day.  I stayed at this new amount for a month.



Then I tapered to 31.24mg for the day. I got that by:  cutting a 37.50 in quarters = 9.37mg and cutting a 25mg into quarters = 6.25mg.  I then took 9.37mg + 6.25mg = 15.62mg in the morning and then same thing 12 hours later.  15.62mg + 15.62mg = 31.24mg for the day.  I stayed at this amount for a month.



I currently take 1/8 of a 37.50mg tablet = 4.66mg plus 1/4 of a 37.50mg tablet = 9.37mg.  4.66mg + 9.37mg = 14.03mg.  14.03mg + 14.03mg = 28.06mg for the day.



You can see this is MUCH EASIER on your system than going from 37.50mg to 25mg.



WHEN CUTTING YOUR PILLS  of differing milligrams, have some empty, clean, prescription bottles that are labeled (for example 4.66mg on one, 9.37mg on another, 6.25 mg on another, etc.) so that you don't get them mixed up.  As you cut smaller amounts it gets harder to distinguish what is what--the labeled bottles will keep you straight. Just be sure to put the correct amounts in the correct bottles!



BE SURE once you step down on a doseage that you remain at that amount for at least 3 weeks, preferably 4 weeks.  It will give your brain chemistry a time to adjust to the lower level of chemical serotonin.



DON'T BE SUPRISED as you get lower and lower on your dose that you may need more than 3-4 weeks to stablize; remember your brain is going through a HUGE change--give it the chance to even out.  It's not important how long it takes to taper from dose to dose, it matters that you take your time!



ALWAYS take Effexor with food in your stomach and drink plenty of water.



Do NOT eat or drink anything containing GRAPFRUIT, it can create a serious toxic reaction.



NEVER, EVER take St. John's Wort or 5-HTP--they have a serotonin in them.  Mixing them with an anti-depressant or taking then after you've been off of an anti-depressant for only a year of less can lead to SEROTONIN SYNDROME - a toxic and deadly condition.   Click on the following link to find out about it:  http://www.antidepressantsfacts.com/serotonin-syndrome-ADF.htm





Drugs that may induce serotonin syndrome when taken with antidepressants (not a complete list)
ecstasy
cocaine
lithium
St John's wort (Hypericum) - herbal antidepressant
diethylproprion - an amphetamine
dextromethorphan - found in many cough suppressants
Buspar (buspirone) - for anxiety
Selgene, Eldepryl (selegiline) - for Parkinson's Disease
anti-epileptics - Tegretol, Carbium, Teril (carbamazepine)
analgesics - pethidine, Fortral (pentazocine), Tramal (tramadol), fentanyl
anti-migraine drugs - Naramig (naratriptan), Imigran (sumatriptan), Zomig (zolmitriptan)
appetite suppressants - phentermine and fenfluramine
tryptophan - an amino acid



  

NEVER, EVER take Effexor or any anti-depressant every other day--withdrawal will start and you will never get back on an even keel.  I know, I know your doctor told you to do this, but MOST doctors are truely ignorant of the hell they are about to put you through doing this.  If you are currently on this program get back to taking your dose everyday and after you are stabilized you can start your tapering.



PLEASE TAKE THE TIME to visit these webpages; they have critical and very helpful information for tapering:  http://www.antidepressantsfacts.com/reaction.htm



http://www.antidepressantsfacts.com/taper.htm


OR

WATER TAPERING - makes possible tiny reductions in medication.







*CAUTION* This method can ONLY be done with tablets.    XR (extended release) versions of medications CANNOT use this method; it will lead to overdose.







Here is a better WATER TAPERING method than the previous one I had posted (which I have removed).



Equipment needed:
a tall lab cylinder that holds 250 ml

a small lab cylinder that holds 10 ml

a dropper or syringe
a mortar and pestle
a small battery-operated mixer
a continuing supply of the med. you are using


Process:
Grind the tablet in the mortar and pestle.



Fill the tall lab cylinder to a predetermined amount of water.  Use this same amount of water each time you make a reduction.  The amount you start with will determine  just  how small the cut is.  Another words the greater amount of water you use, the fewer medicine particles per ml will be suspended in it.  The less water you use the greater the amount of medicine particles per ml will be suspended in it.



How to determine the amount of cut you'll be making:

Divide your dose by the milliliters of water you intend to use to find the amount of drug per 1 ml of water.



Examples:

37.50mg Effexor tablet divided by 200ml of water = 0.1875mg per 1 ml of water.



37.50mg Effexor tablet divided by 150ml of water = 0.25mg per 1 ml of water.





Pour a little of the water in the cylinder onto the powdered drug and grind it some more. Then rinse the mortar into the battery-operated mixer, using the water in the cylinder until all of the powder in the mortar and on the pestle has gone into the mixer, as well as the rest of the water in the cylinder. The mortar will become colored from the dye used in the pills, do not be concerned about that.

Hit the spin button on the battery-operated mixer. This puts the drug particles into suspension in the water. There is no need for the pills to dissolve or be water soluble; putting the particles into suspension is sufficient to insure random dispersal for long enough to adjust your dosage.

While the mixer is still ON, take the dropper and remove a small amount of the water. Use the small lab cylinder to measure this amount to 1 ml. Discard this amount and drink the water that remains in the mixer. Then add a little more water from a cup and hit spin again to get all the residue out of the mixer and drink that. The next dose, repeat the process but discard 2mls of water and drink the rest.

The advantage to this method is that as long as you have a sufficient supply of tablets, you can reduce at your own rate and make tiny reductions. The brain doesn't differentiate between very small reductions of dose over a few days, but the cumulative cuts do add up so if you feel withdrawal setting in, STOP and let your body adjust.

Now all you have do is find the equipment.  A Power Mixer can be obtained from www.bodybuilding.com.  It's called the Personal Power Mixer. Or just go to www.Google.com and type in the words "Power Mixer", I'm sure you'll find lots of places that sell them and then you can look for the best price. The same thing goes for graduated cylinders and mortars and pestles.  Here is website so you can at least see what they look like, www.pharmex.com.


I am not in anyway affiliated or profit from the above companies.


Sweettooth




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Avatar_n_tn
WELL IM RELEAVED IM IN THE SAME BOAT.THIS IS MY THIRD DAY OFF OF THIS Fn DRUG . I AM GOING TO PUT A SIGN ON THE BACK OF MY CAR .    AND PARK AT THE DOCS OFFICE.MAYBE BECOME A ACTIVIST FOR A  EFFEXOR FREE AMERICA. I THINK I CAN DEAL WITH A FEW PANIC Attacks i already feel better can tell you that this is pure hell. I'm not a small man. but I'm not stronger than this effexor right now. i had to stop because i lost my insurance . and it gave me high blood pressure. and my kidneys were in pain. now my blood pressure is better my kidneys feel better. and now hell has set in for while. can anyone tell me if this has happened to them.
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Avatar_n_tn
In an effort to find an easier way to taper, especially at the smaller doses of medication I came across the option of using a "Compounding Pharmacy"--a customized medication preparation by a pharmacist according to a doctor's specifications to meet a patient needs.

The compounding pharmacy said they can make a liquid form of Effexor using water, however it becomes less stable (could affect the potency) and has a very short shelf life (not half life); probably also needs to be refrigerated.

What they are going to do instead is crush the tablets and make up capsules in whatever dose amount I need.  For instance, I'm at 25mg, so for my next cut I will need 5% less.


25mg x 5% = 1.25

25mg - 1.25 = 23.75mg new dose for the day


She will then prepare capsules in doses of 11.875mg each so that I can take one in the morning and then one in the evening; 11.875mg + 11.875mg = 23.75mg for the day.  

I've also specified that I want the Effexor Brand and not the generic as I've read that generics can have as much as a 20% difference in potency (which is allowed by the FDA).

Now I just have to ask my doctor to write the prescriptions to the compounding pharmacy instead of my regular pharmacy.

The beauty of this approach is that you can have as very small or as large a cut as you need because these pharmacies have the sophisticated equipment to accurately do this.  

Here is a link to learn about compounding pharmacies:

Hudson's Guide:  Compounding Pharmacies

http://web.mit.edu/hudson/www/compounding.html



Here is a locator to find one in your area:

International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists Referral Service:

http://ist.intsoftec.com/iacp/referral_service/index.html

**The only draw back to this approach may be the financial aspect of it.  Most Compounding Pharmacies require paying upfront and not all insurance companies will reimburse for this service.

Sweettooth
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