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How hard is it to wean off your medication? - August 15th 2017, 09:17 PM

My doctor won't let me see her once per year and instead wants me to see her every 6 months which I can't afford so I'm asking to be weaned off my medication. I know it's gonna mess me up because I haven't felt this good in a long time. Medication helped me but now I have to get off unless I can get Medicaid which I doubt I can.

So how hard is it to go through the weaning off process? I'm on venlafaxine if that helps.


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Re: How hard is it to wean off your medication? - August 16th 2017, 01:24 AM

Hi Dez,

You should really only wean off with your doctors approval and advice. I completely understand not being able to afford your meds as I pay a few hundred each month for mine (this is including benefits).

Usually how the doctors do it is to slowly lower the dose you take. Lets say you're on 10 mg (made up dosage). You should cut it down to like 7 mg, then 5 mg, then 3 mg, then stop completely. This is the best way to do it so you don't go through any type of withdrawal.

Feel free to reach out if you need more help.
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Re: How hard is it to wean off your medication? - August 16th 2017, 12:55 PM

Dez, I know this is a bit off topic but I'm wondering if there is someone you can work with to find you affordable care or medicaid. I know the Healthcare system is messy but medicaid would be ideal since you're already on meds. In my city, there are these Navigators and other professionals whose job it is to apply for insurance and it is usually very simple if elegible. But I understand income can be complicated and make a person not meet the criteria even if it is needed I can give you the info in a pm or something just in case.


What Brittany had said about weaning off is generally what happens but with the help of a doctor. Which is why it may mean more visits than once a year for weaning off meds at least for a while until you're off of them. Especially of you start having withdrawal symptoms of some sorts.
   
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Re: How hard is it to wean off your medication? - August 16th 2017, 05:04 PM

Brittany is correct. They will taper you down. However, even when they taper you down it's possible to have severe withdrawal symptoms. Also, for some people, weaning of the medication will mean that you have to go to the doctor more often until you are completely weaned.

I have been taken off quite a few medications and I have never had any withdrawal symptoms but I know that my experiences are usually a tad bit more uncommon.

I would suggest talking to your doctor about it and going from there.


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Re: How hard is it to wean off your medication? - August 17th 2017, 07:46 PM

Quote:
You should really only wean off with your doctors approval and advice.
Oh yeah I meant with my APRN I would do it, not that I'd just stop. The medication I am on is known for wicked withdrawal.


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Re: How hard is it to wean off your medication? - August 17th 2017, 11:05 PM

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Originally Posted by ~*Just Keep Swimming*~ View Post

Oh yeah I meant with my APRN I would do it, not that I'd just stop. The medication I am on is known for wicked withdrawal.


What are you on? I think it's either zoloft or effexor and both are known for withdrawal. That being said, just because a medication is known for causing withdrawal doesn't necessarily mean you will experience. I've had little to no withdrawals when I have had to wean off medications and I have been on some long term that are known for withdrawals. I might have gotten lucky but I know a number of others who have experienced that same thing.

It might be best to discuss with your APRN when you should start weaning. You are going to be going back to school soon and I know a few people who had such severe symptoms that they couldn't get to work...so you might want to see if you could wean at a time when you aren't going to be super busy and can afford to be sick and miss a few classes etc.


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Re: How hard is it to wean off your medication? - August 17th 2017, 11:08 PM

Quote:
What are you on? I think it's either zoloft or effexor and both are known for withdrawal.
I'm on Effexor, which is the worse one for withdrawal.

And yeah, I will definitely be making an appointment when school starts.


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Re: How hard is it to wean off your medication? - August 17th 2017, 11:20 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*Just Keep Swimming*~ View Post

I'm on Effexor, which is the worse one for withdrawal.

And yeah, I will definitely be making an appointment when school starts.
Yeah, I have heard that about effexor but I have come off it twice. Once I was on it for like 6-8 months and then the other time I was on it for 3 months. I didn't experience withdrawal symptoms either time.

That being said, I also tend to not really experience ANY type of results from the medication so that fact could easily contribute to the reason as to why I do not have withdrawal symptoms.

Your APRN should be able to help you work through it. I know my mom tapered off paxil over a six-eight week period and she struggled a bit in the beginning but it got better towards the end of the time period.


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Re: How hard is it to wean off your medication? - August 18th 2017, 08:44 AM

Any doctor can prescribe any medication.

Now that you've found the medication that works for you, can you just go to an inexpensive doctor, like your regular general purpose doctor, and have him prescribe it for you?

Let the doctor know it's because you can't afford it.

Or, take it for 6 months, and then tell the doctor you can't afford a visit. At least you'll get 6 months of it. The longer you're on it, the more likely you'll be OK if you later try to stop taking it. (No guarantees, but the likelihood increases a lot.)

I'd hate to see someone stop a medication that's benefiting them. I fear the consequences of not taking the medication would be much worse!

Possibly in 6 months someone will come along and pay for your doctor visit. You never know what nice person you might meet!
   
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