Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine)

Posted by richyrich @richyrich, Nov 2, 2016

I have been taking Effexor/Venlafaxine for years and tried to get off it a few times but each time I try to give up the chemical withdrawal symptoms are a horror story and I give up giving up. Anyone got any tips or tried and tested strategies? Thank you

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@catamite

Hi everyone. I think I may have to wait another week to reduce from 37.5mg to 25mg tablet. I am just really foggy. It is interesting to me how many of us are sleepers. I can easily sleep 12 hours a day and I have been doing this for years. Is this a side effect of effexor? I feel like I have slelpt my life away. Another interesting thing: my libido is starting to return. I actually have thought about sex for the first time in twenty years. Is there anyone else out there whose libido was absolutely killed by this drug?

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My libido was killed, but now I'm 74 and hope it doesn't return when my taper is over!! Much easier this way at my age!

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@texasduchess

I am four months off Effexor after tapering slowly down from 25 mg and been using supplements for two plus months which help tremendously. My biggest issue is akathisia (restlessness, rocking, pacing)–it is not every day (about once a week), but when it comes on, the supplements and Ben*dryl aren't enough and I use half of a 5 mg Valium. My doctor only gave me 15 to get through this withdrawal, so I use them sparingly. Walking it off isn't working right now as it's August in Texas and getting too hot makes the akathisia much worse. Any suggestions?

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@edziner
Thank you for letting me know that CBD oil is working for you and your friend. At the start of my symptoms back in June, I visited a couple of local head shops and bought a 500 mg bottle of Green Garden Gold Hemp Oil Supplement (Med Pac MCT Coconut Oil with naturally occurring CBD; hemp extract 16 mg). (Anyone know if this particular brand is any good?) Brightwings AKA Cute Susie was using CBD oil very successfully. Only tried it once as supplements, particularly L-tryptophan, were working for me.

It's just this Friday, Saturday and today that I am resorting to the Valium more than I want to–I have such a small supply and don't want to use it up if a worse episode occurs later and I have nothing. Not sure what's different about this weekend and why the akathisia/anxiety is so bad. I've pulled the Hemp Oil out and put two drops under my tongue (I believe Cute Susie said less was better and start slow although the bottle instructions say to use 1 to 2 droppers full twice daily).

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I have taken 300mg of Venlafaxine for years. 3 or 4 months ago I dropped down to 150mg. I think I was functioning acceptably, at 71 who knows, but this week I quit completely. Can't work, hot all the time, August of course, and wanting to vomit.

After reading the withdrawal problems here I see I am lucky. I just took another 150mg pill. I'm thinking of taking one pill every other day for a few months.

What are the downsides of that? Dan

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@jakedduck1

@shaker1956

So Shaker how are you getting along? Sounds like your symptoms are subsiding ? I hope so, I bet you feel like you’ve been dragged through a knothole backwards if not worse over the last 10 or so weeks. You must be a very strong person.
Please keep us informed as to how your progress.
Jake

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Best of luck Shaker-I am sending good thoughts your way!
Ainsleigh

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@texasduchess

I am four months off Effexor after tapering slowly down from 25 mg and been using supplements for two plus months which help tremendously. My biggest issue is akathisia (restlessness, rocking, pacing)–it is not every day (about once a week), but when it comes on, the supplements and Ben*dryl aren't enough and I use half of a 5 mg Valium. My doctor only gave me 15 to get through this withdrawal, so I use them sparingly. Walking it off isn't working right now as it's August in Texas and getting too hot makes the akathisia much worse. Any suggestions?

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@texasduchess
You might want to Google "what is the difference between hemp oil extract and cbd oil". I'm pretty sure I read that hemp oil (although it comes from the same plant species) is different from cbd oil. Think I remember that the hemp oil is a lighter version of the more medicinal type cbd. Not sure how well that would work w anxiety. My Hemp Bombs 1000mg cbd oil says "100% CBD oil" w other ingredients listed below that as "hemp oil, grape seed oil & mct oil" (whatever that is…). I will also check w my neighbor; she's gotten both her kids on cbd for anxiety & I think her son ordered hemp oil from Amazon.
I'm definitely not trying to sell HB products here but I have given several gummies to friends, hairdresser & pedicurist. It's an inexpensive way to see if it works for you. I 1st got HB gummies in a little 5 pack at the smoke store for $10. Took 1/2, then 1, then 1 1/2 on consecutive nights for sleep. I'm told they also sell the little packs in gas stations & convenience stores but I haven't seen them here in Tennessee.
During the day, i take 1/3 dropper x 3/day. Feels like it's working good right there for me. So that is about 30mgs per day.
Let me know if you have any questions. Hope the above helped. Just keep in mind it'll take several weeks usually to fully kick in but you should feel a little something right away.

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Hey you beautiful folks! Update from my new world! Yep, took the plung from approx 15mg to nothing. Saturday was a fuzzy day and ringing in the ears but NO headaches. NO brain zaps, took my supplements which include 2000 mg of Velarian Root at night to allow me to go into deep sleep cycles. No nightmares and slept through the night. I have more energy than I've had for 10 years. My 16 year old looked at me and said, "Mom, it's as if your personality woke up from a deep slumber.. I like this new you!" I have my flaky moments as I'm addressing my ADHD, but more than anything, I find my creativity awake and can not believe the amount of energy I wake up with and hold all day long. Appetite is different. I am not hungry but am making sure that I'm actually eating when I need to, even when I don't feel like I want to. Have dropped 4 lbs this week. My restless leg syndrome is gone, my crazy itching that was forcing me to take a antihistimine is gone. Damn! I think I was allergic to this med for the past 10 years and it was hurting me, not helping me! What did I put my liver through taking one med after another to counter side effects of something I was never supposed to be on in the first place! Yeah! Freedom! All I can say….take the advise of very wise folks and go in steps…cold turkey not worth it. Little ear buzzing…that's ok with me. If that is too much for you (and only you can judge that) then slow the progress down even further. Getting rid of the bottle of med I have….no turning back.

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OH, FYI….I gained LOTS of weight on Effexor XR.. I went from 160 to 252. I need to lose 100 lbs. I really think that it had a lot to do with my lack of energy and it was easier to eat in hopes of feeling better. Now, I feel like I might actually stand a chance.

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@kbmayo

Your funny. I laughed when I read it as did my 88 year old mother. I want my libido back, I have nearly 50 years to make up.
Jake

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@jakedduck1

@shaker1956

Hey buddy,
I’m with you in spirit although that doesn’t really help you out any.
Did you have any symptoms to indicate you may be having other problems? Did you have conventional X-Rays or a Bone or some other scan. Which bones are they looking at? Seems I always have more questions than answers. Hope all your tests are negative.
Always wishing you the best.
Jake

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Hey Jake. The only thing that was picked up on a physical as that my iron was a bit low. My Doc sent me to a blood specialist as a precaution. Ten vials of blood later and he needed 5 more plus xrays from the neck to my shins. He wants to check my bone marrow. So needless to say I’m a tad worried. Like he said to me that their are 3 scenarios. # 1 is we do nothing. # 2 is we observe and monitor and the last is chemo. I’m hoping the last one is not in play. I dont need that right now but if it hits that stage then I’ll deal with it. U are not the only one hoping for negative tests. Lol. I will know in a couple of weeks. Losing sleep over this which is normal I guess!!!!! Enjoy your evening.

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@jakedduck1

@shaker1956

So Shaker how are you getting along? Sounds like your symptoms are subsiding ? I hope so, I bet you feel like you’ve been dragged through a knothole backwards if not worse over the last 10 or so weeks. You must be a very strong person.
Please keep us informed as to how your progress.
Jake

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Thank you Ainsleigh. Everything will work out!!!!!!

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@lindaellenfrelk

I too am in the process of coming off of a 30 year hate relationship With Effexor. As some of you did, I also tried to do it cold turkey and weening myself. I kept telling my doctor(s) that I was tired all the time and just plain blah. They answer was “take 2 instead of 1”. I look back now and think “really?”. Anyway, I found a doctor willing to send me to a psychiatrist in order to evaluate my state of mind and he agreed that 30 years was way to long since my reason for going on them had ended 29 years ago. He put me on a weening plan that we both agreed upon. During my 8 weeks of weening, I had no issues at all. 2 days after my last pill, the brain zaps began along with the demonic dreams. I have watched my diet and have been drinking plenty of fluids along with a lot of rest. The bad dreams have subsided although the dreams I do have are certainly weird. The brain zaps are still pretty intense but through this message board, I am encouraged. My psychiatrist said indeed, Effexor is the worst one to come off of. Best of luck to all of us in this effort to get back to living our best healthy lives,

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Brain zaps are difficult to describe but if you get them, you WILL know it. I used to describe them as a kind of swooshing dead air sensation. Like I said, hard to describe.

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@shaker1956

Hi shaker
I don’t think the doctor should have mentioned chemo yet. There are many possible causes of Anemia.
Wishing for the best.
Jake

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@clevermom50

Hey you beautiful folks! Update from my new world! Yep, took the plung from approx 15mg to nothing. Saturday was a fuzzy day and ringing in the ears but NO headaches. NO brain zaps, took my supplements which include 2000 mg of Velarian Root at night to allow me to go into deep sleep cycles. No nightmares and slept through the night. I have more energy than I've had for 10 years. My 16 year old looked at me and said, "Mom, it's as if your personality woke up from a deep slumber.. I like this new you!" I have my flaky moments as I'm addressing my ADHD, but more than anything, I find my creativity awake and can not believe the amount of energy I wake up with and hold all day long. Appetite is different. I am not hungry but am making sure that I'm actually eating when I need to, even when I don't feel like I want to. Have dropped 4 lbs this week. My restless leg syndrome is gone, my crazy itching that was forcing me to take a antihistimine is gone. Damn! I think I was allergic to this med for the past 10 years and it was hurting me, not helping me! What did I put my liver through taking one med after another to counter side effects of something I was never supposed to be on in the first place! Yeah! Freedom! All I can say….take the advise of very wise folks and go in steps…cold turkey not worth it. Little ear buzzing…that's ok with me. If that is too much for you (and only you can judge that) then slow the progress down even further. Getting rid of the bottle of med I have….no turning back.

Jump to this post

@clevermom50
Congratulations!!!
I want to take the plunge, too, but there are too many things going on in my life right now that I have to deal with.
Once those things are resolved (one way or the other), I will be the next to try to get off the Effexor.
I've been on it for about 15 years (at varying dosages) so I don't expect it to be easy.
At the advice of my PCP, I tried about 10 years ago with no success.
I only got as far as reducing my dosage by 1 pill (I was taking 2).
How long did it take you to go through the process of coming off?
How did you do it?
Did you do it on your own or with a doctor of some sort?
What will you do now for your anxiety or depression?
Only answer if these are not too personal.

Have a terrific Effexor free day…….
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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@texasduchess

I am four months off Effexor after tapering slowly down from 25 mg and been using supplements for two plus months which help tremendously. My biggest issue is akathisia (restlessness, rocking, pacing)–it is not every day (about once a week), but when it comes on, the supplements and Ben*dryl aren't enough and I use half of a 5 mg Valium. My doctor only gave me 15 to get through this withdrawal, so I use them sparingly. Walking it off isn't working right now as it's August in Texas and getting too hot makes the akathisia much worse. Any suggestions?

Jump to this post

@edziner
Hi!
OMG, you sound so much like my twin!
I am just a couple of years younger than you, but we are taking (or were taking) the same meds with he same dosages.
I had no idea that coming off Gabapentin was a big deal.
I started to come off it several months ago, basically, because I am just tired of taking so many meds and I am not sure it is working for me.
I know my brother takes it and it works wonders for him.
I want to come off of the Effexor, but I guess I'll continue with the Gabapentin, first.
I suppose it is easier than trying to come off of too many, too soon.
Congratulations of your success of coming off the Effexor!!!
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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@jakedduck1

@shaker1956

Hi shaker
I don’t think the doctor should have mentioned chemo yet. There are many possible causes of Anemia.
Wishing for the best.
Jake

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Lets just hope it doesnt get to that. Dam insomnia is worse right now. Meditation is not working anymore

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