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Reducing Effexor quickly-withdrawals?


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Hi all,

I've been hypomanic & starting to climb. I stopped my Provigil over the past 6 weeks on my own (my pdoc is fine with that--he calls it my rocket fuel). The Provigil was the first to go. I've been seeing my tdoc regularly trying to control my mood also.

So I saw my pdoc last Monday. He talked about starting me on Seroquel if needed but first he wanted to cut my Effexor in half. I was on 300mg/day. He gave me a weeks worth of 75mg so I am dropped to 225mg/day. By next Monday, I should drop to 150mg/day. I'm going back to see him in 4 weeks, but he told me to get myself in earlier if I need to.

I didn't think it would bother me since I wasn't coming off of it completely. But I went from being completely psycho at work to staying home & skipping work being miserable & moody.

Is this a drop enough to cause withdrawal symptoms?

By the way, I think this mood is work induced. We're having budget cuts, starting a new day program, & have had other managers out increasing all of our workloads. I seem to be more & more stress sensitive as I get older.

Feedback would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Oreo ;)

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I'm sorry that circumstances and meds have conspired against you to destabilize you...

I have no experience with bipolar, but when I took Effexor XR for "standard" depression (my maximim dose was 150 mg), I had no problem halving my doses weekly--or every other week, I don't remember which--until I had to go from 37.5 to nothing. The "nothing" was when I started getting some really annoying brain jolts (and arm and leg jolts, too). I ended up opening the capsules and and divvying up the granules.

I hear, though, that you can ask your prescriber to switch you over to the non-XR pills. Those can be cut up with a pill cutter (supposedly available in all drug stores). This would make your dosing more accurate. But I had no problems with my granule-counting method...

Not everyone suffers from withdrawal, though. I have a friend who took Effexor for social anxiety, and he quit it very easily.

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hi,

unless someone has a post-grad degree in chemistry or pharmacy - i dont think people should be opening capsules & counting granules.

there is a reason a medication is made that way for digestion. by opening (thus destroying) the capsule - the medication will affect the body differently than what it was meant for - even while tirating.

but thats just me - im sure there are people on CB who will support the "counting granules" idea.

db

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but thats just me - im sure there are people on CB who will support the "counting granules" idea.

db

It depends on what's been done to make the med "extended-release." IF the medication has been packaged as coated beads in a gelatin capsule, maybe you could eyeball a half-dose and not be too much more inaccurate than using a pill-splitter. But with some pills, the capsule is an intrinsic part of the release mechanism (e.g. Wellbutrin XL) or it's the only thing between the raw chemical and an ulcer - screwing around with those is a really bad idea.

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hi,

unless someone has a post-grad degree in chemistry or pharmacy - i dont think people should be opening capsules & counting granules.

there is a reason a medication is made that way for digestion. by opening (thus destroying) the capsule - the medication will affect the body differently than what it was meant for - even while tirating.

but thats just me - im sure there are people on CB who will support the "counting granules" idea.

db

Well, the FDA actually approved emptying the XR capsules and chasing them down with apple sauce. (Some people have great difficulties swallowing pills.) Chances are that some of the "extended release" benefits will be lost without the capsule, but the FDA said it's OK, and it worked for me. I can't complain. And my doctor--reluctantly at first--allowed me to divide them up. (She later saw that it worked for me.)

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but thats just me - im sure there are people on CB who will support the "counting granules" idea.

db

It depends on what's been done to make the med "extended-release." IF the medication has been packaged as coated beads in a gelatin capsule, maybe you could eyeball a half-dose and not be too much more inaccurate than using a pill-splitter. But with some pills, the capsule is an intrinsic part of the release mechanism (e.g. Wellbutrin XL) or it's the only thing between the raw chemical and an ulcer - screwing around with those is a really bad idea.

This could be just confirmation bias on my part, but the Effexor XR granules certainly look coated. That's probably why the FDA approved swallowing the granules without the capsule (with apple sauce, apparently)...

Also, I think weighing the granules would be somewhat more accurate than counting them. (And, yes, the most accurate thing to do would be to get the regular tablets and split them, except I couldn't split them accurately into small enough parts to keep the brain jolts at bay towards the very end.)

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Sunday was my last 225mg dose. Monday, I'm down to the 150mg/day dose. I am cranky and avoiding work. I'm making calls from home to coordinate work things & doing emails, etc on my home laptop (I have a flash drive that has all my work material on it). I feel like my brain is not working. It was highly mentally attuned & skilled, but not at the moment. Hopefully, it is just the withdrawal symptoms and it will pass. So much for the super worker. I'd at least like to be a functional worker.

Oreo

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