Colleen, can you provide a link to the original article @0616 is referring to re relieving stress? It does not come up in my searches.
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This is very old school—you could phone other shut-ins and chat.
An unmarried friend has a circle of other unmarried friends who are each sheltering-in-place on their own. They decided to call/text each other every morning in turn to check that they're all okay; if one of them comes down with COVID-19, it might be awhile otherwise before anyone knows they're ill.
Wed, Aug 26 4:16am · Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) in Depression & Anxiety
There's a lot of good information on this discussion board; I hope you'll start at the beginning and work your way through up to the present.
If your doctor suggests a tapering plan for you, please keep in mind that only you know how you feel. Many times doctors are more optimistic than their patients find comfortable regarding how quickly you drop and how steep the drops should be (based on the experiences related here and elsewhere on the web). Withdrawal symptoms are the big tip off that you are tapering too fast.
You don't mention how long you've been on venlafaxine—I was on it for 18 years for hot flashes (25mg regular-release, once-a-day) and found that it took about six weeks for me to use up the Effexor stored in my body tissues AFTER I tapered off; you really aren't off the drug until the stores are gone.
Let us hear from you and what your plan is. Much success.
Thu, Aug 20 1:38am · Effexor discontinuation symptoms: Missed 2 days (150 mg) in Depression & Anxiety
When I was on Effexor (I was on it for 17+ years for hot flashes) and missed a dose, I'd usually realize that I had missed a dose because I'd get a massive headache (the missed-a-dose headaches were quite different from a regular headache); I'd take an aspirin and be over the headache fairly soon although I would wait until my usual time to take my next Effexor.
From the experiences related by folks on the "Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine)" discussion group on this site, I would think your son would feel better fairly quickly (a few hours, or less) once he reinstated his Effexor.
Your son should take care not to let his prescription lapse, or his medication run out before getting a refill—as he's discovered just by missing two days, abrupt, or inadvertent discontinuation of Effexor can cause uncomfortable withdrawal effects—some are serious, but not usually life-threatening although one "Tips …" poster suffered a stroke.
Wed, Aug 19 9:36pm · Effexor discontinuation symptoms: Missed 2 days (150 mg) in Depression & Anxiety
I agree with @doorman about getting a short-term prescription of Valium, or Xanax to get past this temporary, but frightening episode. Both drugs work fairly quickly although Valium is slightly faster and stays in the body longer.
When I was regularly taking Effexor, if I missed a dose (I was on 25mg, regular-release, once a day), I would get a tremendous headache—a headache that was quite distinct from any others. Aspirin was my choice to deal with it, but your son can use whatever headache remedy he finds effective.
GABA supplements can improve sleep, ease anxiety, decrease muscle tension and boost mood. It is the brain’s main inhibitory neurotransmitter—it calms neurons (brain cells) and keeps the brain from getting overexcited.
Ben*dryl is an OTC antihistamine, but can be used as a sleep aid. I don't know if this is one of the OTC sleep aids your son found anxiety-inducing, but I took a 25mg Ben*dryl to ease the definite, shaky/"squiggly" feeling in my chest that I think was an adrenaline rush—that fight/flight reaction is quite bothersome and inexplicable when you know you're not in any danger.
Mon, Jun 29 7:56pm · Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) in Depression & Anxiety
Antidepressants are VERY powerful; Effexor affects your brain's neurotransmitters–serotonin and norepinephrine. While reducing, or after getting off Effexor, it takes your brain a while to figure out how to rebalance serotonin and norepinephrine. Some of us even experience extended withdrawal symptoms (PAWS). I have been off Effexor for two+ years; I STILL occasionally have episodes of anxiety and agitation, but my withdrawal effects have improved GREATLY. If it weren't for COVID-19 lockdown isolation and no longer having the distraction of work, I'd probably not even notice them.
My withdrawal symptoms didn't begin until about six weeks after my last tapered dose. I was prescribed Valium short-term by a Care Now doctor when my akathisia and anxiety became overwhelming. She had me take 5mg Valium twice a day for three days straight (I stayed home from work) to "get ahead of the anxiety." Her "get ahead of it" strategy was pretty effective, but she prescribed 15 more tablets to use as needed and I'll take a half for those occasional episodes if they seem to be building.
I did not want to rely on Valium and through trial-and-error came up with a number of OTC medications and supplements that help me and have listed the supplements I take in previous posts (click on my name to go back through and read). The most helpful are l-tryptophan (DO NOT take while still on Effexor) and GABA. Ben*dryl, Bon*ine, or other seasickness remedies can reduce/minimize the dizziness/vertigo. Fish oil may be more helpful than krill oil for brain zaps. Here's a good article re how to mitigate withdrawal effects with supplements–https://www.4mind4life.com/effexor-withdrawal-symptoms.
Back in December, @cp6401 used the term "stress fragile" to describe how so many of us are during the process of getting off/reducing Effexor and even, afterwards. Distraction helps—reading, hobbies, work, chores, gardening, exercise, etc. I am mindful of what I watch (nothing frenetic, violent, or disturbing), read (cozy mysteries, or romances), or listen to (no atonal, or dissonant music)–some things are just too agitating. Also, very important–I learned how beneficial getting natural light to my eyes is to lifting my mood and calming me. I'm not suggesting sunbathing, but getting out and seeing daylight–take a walk, or at least, get out of your house for 5–10 minutes, even if it's just stepping out onto a patio.
Thu, May 21 4:52pm · Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) in Depression & Anxiety
Dear tiff74–Whoops! I wanted to add more information, but took too long to edit my first reply.
Good job modifying your original tapering plan when you experienced uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms!
If you drop the same amount at every taper, that drop is a bigger percentage each time (75mg – 12.5mg to 62.5mg is a 16.7% drop; 62.5mg – 12.5mg to 50mg is a 20% drop; 50mg – 12.5mg to 37.5mg is a 25% drop, etc.).
You may want to make more gradual reductions than you have been to lessen withdrawal symptoms at each drop. Yes, this does mean that the tapering process slows down as you get further out, but in the long run, people more often have a successful exit from the drug.
Thu, May 21 3:55pm · Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) in Depression & Anxiety
Dear tiff74–Getting off Effexor is not a race often won by rushing the process; your plan is a very fast taper with steep drops. You have 25mg tablets than can be cut into small pieces to allow "mixing and matching" dosages so you can make more gradual reductions. Folks are usually more successful dropping no more than 5–10% at a time and staying at the new level for weeks (even months) AND stabilizing before dropping again. Withdrawal symptoms (headache, anxiety, digestive issues, brain zaps, dizziness, nausea, etc.) are the big tipoff that a taper is being done too aggressively. Effexor is a very powerful drug that affects your brain chemical balance and it takes a while for your body to recalibrate and start balancing on its own.