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I've been posting pretty regularly here since I started my withdrawal from 150 mg back in January. This is my second attempt at getting completely off of Effexor. The first try came in 2013 at my then doctor's encouragement. He thought I had been on the drug too long and he was right. Ten years was too long. Unfortunately, this doctor was not very well versed in this drug and how to guide a patient through the wean down process. After a very bumpy road, and six months into trying to withdraw, I ended up in the emergency room in the throws of the worst panic attack of my life. Diagnosis was "withdrawal" and I was encouraged to get back on the drug and I did. In retrospect, that recommendation was wrong, wrong, wrong. I was down to 10mg and if I had a doctor who knew what the hell was happening I could have gotten past that downslide and off the drug instead of back where I started. Five years after that incident and still taking Effexor, I was back in another doctors office. He also encouraged me to wean off the drug. He, like the other guy, didn't have any better insight into how to do it except to try to put a day between dosages. No, no, no.....wrong again. You can't skip a day without adding some Effexor to your diet. This time I felt I would be my own best advocate and I started with this forum. Somewhere here (don't quite remember who it was) I read that people were opening the capsule and removing the little beads in slow degrees until you've reached the ultimate goal of zero. Now, that seemed logical to me. That's how I started to do it. I got myself down to 75mg and then down to 37.5 with very little consequence. By the way, my doctor was completely against my doing it this way, but his way was too painful, so I took things into my own hands. I continued to open the capsule decrease the beads until I had 10 little beads left in the capsule. This was two weeks ago. It's here where I started to have a few problems. I started to have horrific nightmares, some dizziness and nausea and weird feelings in my head . The nightmares are the worst part. Two days ago I quit completely, zip, zero, nothing. Today was a bit better than yesterday and I hope that the nightmares start to subside but as long as I have my husband beside me to hold me during the night I'm going to see it through. I'm sitting here now with a glass of wine at my side....definitely helps....and the feeling that no matter what happens I will get on the other side of this. It bothers me that the medical profession, full well knowing how powerful this drug is, does not know how to help their patients to a successful result. Why do we have to suffer to achieve this end.
P.S. I want to note that I read that Fish Oil supplements are helpful with this process. I do take fish oil and maybe that's why I've gotten this far, but it's just a guess and after all, it doesn't hurt to try.

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Replies to "I've been posting pretty regularly here since I started my withdrawal from 150 mg back in..."

Liked reading about your journey. It helps to read the sensations you have had while weaning yourself off this drug. I have not had any for six days. Being gentle with myself. Resting, resting and more resting. Lots of water and some simple food. Walked my dog only. No great heroics in the activity department. Getting on the drug was extremely helpful ten years ago. Now I am ready to try a different life without it.

Bright wings here. Congratulations my friend. My hat is off to you for getting this far. I am some months off this drated drug.
I really do think that counting the beads is the best way to get off the drug. I wish I knew that way when I was getting off it. I was on 150 mg and just started taking less and less of the caps.
I think I have finished symptoms of withdrawal. Yeah!!!! Jumping with joy.
Now lets get you over the withdrawal symptoms. We can do this together. The reason EVERYONE has to go back on the drug is the pain of the withdrawal. I will share what worked for me.
1. CBD oil I wish I had discovered this earlier. I am a retired RN. I have been running around sharing (testing) it on everyone. These are the types of complaints it worked on: sleeplessness, ANXIETY, severe back pain, bad dreams, breathing problems, pain relief for a broken finger, severe back pain from a fall, sore muscles. I have been using it for 2 months, the most wonderful things are happening to my body. My skin feels so soft. No icky dry skin on feet. The biggest change is my nailbeds are changing and seem to be repairing the beds to repair the biting I did for 31 years. Gosh, I sound like I am being paid for these comments but I can only wish. Grin!
The CBD oil I use is: Lazarus Naturals, 225 mg. I take 3 drops under my tongue, 2 or 3 times a day. It costs about $20 and I have used it for 2 months and have about 1/2 bottle left. You can order this by mail from The Flippin Hippee, Mountain Home, Arkansas. It is made from hemp.
2. Eat something every few hours. Now be proactive here. I use: hummus on a warmed tortilla and add vegetables, avacados, what ever I see in the fridge. I also eat chobani yogurt. I eat fresh fruit almost everyday. I am trying to eat better everyday. I am succeeding too. It takes time and thought but I am worth it.
3 Dealing with the RUSHES OF EMOTIONS. I no longer feel depressed, however I do get rushes of emotions. They may be good memories or bad but I would get extremely teary. I learned to say out loud: RESETTING MY EMOTIONS... There is some chemical thing that happens when you give yourself a command out loud. It can be in a normal time. Anyway, saying it out loud is the first step to feeling better. Then LOOK UP. Again, another chemical reaction in your brain. LISTEN FOR WHAT YOU CAN HEAR. Again a chemical reaction if you can hear birds singing or happy nature sounds.
Now if you are still having rushes of emotion, go into the bathroom, being careful to keep your chin level. DO NOT DROP YOUR CHIN. That would give you chemicals in your brain that will contribute to feeling bad. So, in the bathroom, look in the mirror and SMILE!. It give you happy feelings and dumps good chemicals in your brain. I know once I had to keep smiling at myself for 20 minutes. Why do that for so long? I am worth what ever time or effort to feel better.
Now about the nightmares, do not stay lying down when you wake up. Why? Again, negative chemicals are dumped into your brain if you are upset and stay lying down. Get up, have a cup of sleepy time tea, chamomile tea or mint medley. It removes you from lying down, and making the tea makes the upset go away. Better living thru chemistry, tea and happier brain chemistry.
Get yourself a bottle of bubbles and blow them and in the breathe of air you blow to make the bubble, send a negative thought or upset into the bubble and feel better. Make time to play during this time. IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO PLAY again, better brain chemistry when you play.
Nausea was handled by keeping a bit of food in my tummy by eating every few hours.
Now the weird feelings in my head were helped by the CBD OIL. I know I was reading up on our moderator of this forum and put an extra F in her name making it read LUCIFER. I actually thought that was her real name but posted anyways. LOL
Ok I am getting tired. I am doing great getting off the Effexor but my MS is kicking my butt right now. Be back with more. Smiling at you gf
Feel free to private message me if you choose. I can teach you ways to handle emotions in a couple of minutes but it would take me 20 minutes to type.

Day 3: No Effexor
I feel awful. I woke up at 3:30 a.m. (no nightmares thankfully) but, instead, I've been running to the bathroom all morning with stomach cramps. My hands are shaking, my insides are rattling. I'm trying to swallow a small bowl of oatmeal just because I know I have to eat something but I don't really want it. I feel like I'm in a black box with no escape. I know that I'm going to cry any minute now but I'm trying to talk myself out of it. I plan to take a Xanax this morning after breakfast. I do hate having to do that, but I don't know how else to get through the day. I'm doing a lot of praying and I hope tomorrow will be a better.

@arachel I hope you are able to continue to move forward to stay off of Effexor. You sound very strong, and I am sure you will be victorious.

Thank you sooooo much for your encouraging words. I could not do this without the support of those who love me and without the support of this forum and people like you.


I am so sorry you are having such a horrible time of it.
I am no doctor but it sounds like you are going through withdrawals.
Keep doing self-talk.
Turn on the TV or try to do something that will occupy your mind.
I cannot find your original message.
I don't know why you are going off the Effexor or if you are doing it with the help of a doctor, preferably a psychiatrist .
I also don't know how you are doing it.

Sounds like a good idea to take your Xanax. How about a warm bath to settle your body down?

I am in awe of you doing this.

Send a warm hug.....

Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

How are you doing now? Its about 8 days later...please share with us again. Smiling at you, Bright Wings

I'm really not doing all that well. I've gone through some terrible days The withdrawal was more than I could take and the doctor feels that my brain is just not producing serotonin on its own. I did wean off very gradually and methodically but in the end it wasn't enough. I started taking Effexor again, but it will take a few weeks before I feel better. Thanks for asking.

Hi everyone! My psychiatrist says he weans people from Effexor by using Prozac as a transition drug during the tapering. Once off Effexor, the Prozac is easy to get off of as it stays in your system longer. I wonder if any of your docs suggested That? Along with CBD oil, it sounds promising. Hang in there everyone!