Big med taper

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ShodokanJenn

MyPTSD Pro
So, I've got three meds I've been on for quite a while, that I've been really wanting to get off. My old psych doc insisted that they were necessary, and I do my best to be compliant even when I disagree. My last appointment with her was in June. I saw my new psych for the first time yesterday. Among a ton of other stuff (the appointment lasted two solid hours), we discussed those meds. He agreed completely that I should come off them. The first is ziprasidone (Geodon). The only change I've noticed since being on it is that the anti-anxiety and sleepy effects of my old anti-psychotic are gone. And I can't lose the weight from the old one, and my cholesterol keeps climbing despite being on a statin and making significant dietary changes. So we're tapering off that, and not replacing it. The second is lamotrigine (Lamictal). We both agree that there's never been an indication for it. I've never had unstable moods, and that is what my old p-doc prescribed it for. So I'm tapering off that. Lastly, is the venlafaxine (Effexor). My first dose of it ever, was when I was inpatient three years ago. An hour after that first dose, the anxiety started climbing. I told the docs there, every day. And at EVERY appointment I've had since then with a psych doc, I've brought it up. And EVERY time, they have all said the same thing - Effexor HELPS anxiety, it doesn't cause it. The doc I saw yesterday? Said that for some people, it has a similar outcome as taking speed would have. He said it could even be the source of the insane insomnia I had going on for 6 weeks. So we're tapering off that, too. He said that the Effexor taper comes with a bunch of unpleasant effects, and that if at any point I want to stay at a plateau or even go back up a bit in dosage to manage the symptoms, we can. He also said that considering I had gone 3 years without a single dose of anti-anxiety medication prior to that hospitalization, and have since needed lorazepam pretty much daily, he is hopeful that once my body adjusts to not having the Effexor on board, I may not need the lorazepam anymore, either. AND he thinks that we'll be able to lower my eszopliclone again, too - I've taken 1mg for years, and it's always worked until the last few months. Now I'm on 3. But he's hopeful that without the Effexor-effects, I'll be able to go back down. Apparently in the mental health world, they often refer to Effexor as "Side-Effexor."

I'm following up with him in 4 weeks. I see my T weekly. And he wants me to see my GP bi-weekly. And now that I'm once again an active patient, if I have any questions or concerns or feel I need to be seen, I can call the nurse line and they'll get me in. So despite the big change, I'm confident in the plan and I feel like I'm being well cared for.

It feels good to see my med count going down, instead of the steady climb it's been over the last 3 years since that hospitalization. I'm sick of being a walking pharmacy.
 

Rain

Policy Enforcement
Please keep updating on your progress, currently I am long time use of Effexor and want to eventually taper off myself so I am very curious about your progress. Good for you, very inspiring.
 

EveHarrington

MyPTSD Pro
Good luck!

I hope that in the future you stand up for yourself when it comes to meds. My doc won't force anything on me. I think this "non med compliant" stuff of the psych world is a bunch of bullshit, as if we have zero say what goes into our bodies? I may have a mental disorder but I still have a right to decide what drugs I take! It's a harmful label only applied to those who do not take psych drugs as prescribed (not physical drugs like heart meds or stomach meds). Dont ever put anything in your body that you haven't researched first (psych ward visits aside). And yes, docs know crap about side effects. They will tell you that you can't possibly have side effects, when you do. The truth is that most drugs have many more side effects than are revealed in the drug trials necessary to get them on the market. Psychiatrists only pay attention to the side effects in the drug literature. Let's just say that docs are book smart, but common sense isn't a qualifying factor for med school (nor is compassion, bedside manor, etc).
 
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