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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@lolita9

Just joined the conversation. I’ve only been on effexor for less than a year that my doctor and I decided to take me off. Side effects coming off when I do not take the 75 mg is horrendous. I haven’t told anyone in my family that I’m on this and now am alone in coming off. I’m so scared but I can only trust my doctor to help me through this. It help to read I’m not alone. I wish I never taken it.

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Today is day 4 without any effexor. Friday symptoms started and Saturday I was all day in bed. I did step out to buy some St. John’s Wort Inositol and 5htp to help with the crying. I was crying all day Saturday. I also drank alot of coconut water which helped keep me hydrated. Today I woke up feeling normal. But only for a short while that the dizziness came back. But I noticed that I had to keep taking the Omega 3 n St John’s Wort on a regular cycle that helped keep symptoms at Bay. I’ll keep everyone posted and in my prayers. I thank God for finding this blog and all the support.

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Hi, new.to Connect but not so new to.taking meds for.severe anxiety, major depressive disorder, ptsd. As an adult.child of an alcoholic father and addict mother, I think depression and trauma began very young. I always remained determined to be a “positive happy person”, not even realizing the depression I had. 2010, I had been divorced for 2 1/2 years, remarried for 1 1/2. We were expecting our my 4th son, he was stillborn five days before his due date. Since that day almost eight yrs ago, ive had extreme fear of loss and death, my husband got kidney cancer in 2013 and months after I began having nonepileptic seizures. Ive taken what felt like a pharmacy since and am FINALLY out of that dark.hole of hell! Thank the Lord and my determination to never give up hope! I began Remeron last June and it has saved my life in combo w effexor HOWEVER, now id love to wean off and the “zaps” and all the other hell of withdrawal are killing me! As a mom to 4 living boys and a disabled husband, my sanity is greatly needed! Lol ive just taken fish oil and have been doing yoga for about four months. Yoga has been a life saver as well as the remeron even is ive gained 30 lbs!!! I always have been tiny (100 lbs) so weight is fine but being a neurotic ranting lunatic is not going to work, GAAAAHHH! Sorry for the novel, just feeling frustrated!!!

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Hi, @queenbtrfly –welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Lovely username. I moved your post over to this thread, as here there are many members who’ve discussed withdrawal from Effexor/venlafaxine. You may find it useful to read some of the previous posts in this thread, as well. I’d also like to invite @amberpep, @johnbishop and @peach414144 to add their insights.

You mentioned feeling like a neurotic ranting lunatic sometimes. Wondering if you can tell us more about that? Is this something you attribute to the Remeron? If so, what has your doctor said about the side effects you are experiencing?

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@queenbtrfly

Hi, new.to Connect but not so new to.taking meds for.severe anxiety, major depressive disorder, ptsd. As an adult.child of an alcoholic father and addict mother, I think depression and trauma began very young. I always remained determined to be a “positive happy person”, not even realizing the depression I had. 2010, I had been divorced for 2 1/2 years, remarried for 1 1/2. We were expecting our my 4th son, he was stillborn five days before his due date. Since that day almost eight yrs ago, ive had extreme fear of loss and death, my husband got kidney cancer in 2013 and months after I began having nonepileptic seizures. Ive taken what felt like a pharmacy since and am FINALLY out of that dark.hole of hell! Thank the Lord and my determination to never give up hope! I began Remeron last June and it has saved my life in combo w effexor HOWEVER, now id love to wean off and the “zaps” and all the other hell of withdrawal are killing me! As a mom to 4 living boys and a disabled husband, my sanity is greatly needed! Lol ive just taken fish oil and have been doing yoga for about four months. Yoga has been a life saver as well as the remeron even is ive gained 30 lbs!!! I always have been tiny (100 lbs) so weight is fine but being a neurotic ranting lunatic is not going to work, GAAAAHHH! Sorry for the novel, just feeling frustrated!!!

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Hi, @queenbtrfly

As Lisa said, there’s been a lot of discussion about stopping Effexor, and I think you’ll find some of it helpful.

Having lived with depression and all the other stuff, I can understand how very difficult making changes in meds can be. You’ll find that you’re not alone in this. I won’t say more, as I couldn’t add anything new to what others have said about withdrawal from Effexor.

I wish you well. I invite you to go to the Mental Health group, where you can find a number of good conversations going on.

Jim

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@lisalucier

Hi, @footballref2. Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Did you taper down your dose of Effexor/venlafaxine, or did you stop right from the 450 mg dose?

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Just stoped. From the 450. No tapper.

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@queenbtrfly

Hi, new.to Connect but not so new to.taking meds for.severe anxiety, major depressive disorder, ptsd. As an adult.child of an alcoholic father and addict mother, I think depression and trauma began very young. I always remained determined to be a “positive happy person”, not even realizing the depression I had. 2010, I had been divorced for 2 1/2 years, remarried for 1 1/2. We were expecting our my 4th son, he was stillborn five days before his due date. Since that day almost eight yrs ago, ive had extreme fear of loss and death, my husband got kidney cancer in 2013 and months after I began having nonepileptic seizures. Ive taken what felt like a pharmacy since and am FINALLY out of that dark.hole of hell! Thank the Lord and my determination to never give up hope! I began Remeron last June and it has saved my life in combo w effexor HOWEVER, now id love to wean off and the “zaps” and all the other hell of withdrawal are killing me! As a mom to 4 living boys and a disabled husband, my sanity is greatly needed! Lol ive just taken fish oil and have been doing yoga for about four months. Yoga has been a life saver as well as the remeron even is ive gained 30 lbs!!! I always have been tiny (100 lbs) so weight is fine but being a neurotic ranting lunatic is not going to work, GAAAAHHH! Sorry for the novel, just feeling frustrated!!!

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Hi, @queenbtrfly – I would like to add my welcome along with @lisalucier and @jimhd. Withdrawal symptoms from some drugs can sometimes be worse than what they were meant to fix. Each person can react differently when weaning off of the drugs. If you haven’t already discussed the problems you are having with your doctor it might be good to seek their help in coming up with a tapering plan to lessen the withdrawal symptoms. I’m struggling myself trying to get off of prednisone so I can understand the frustration.

Hoping you find some relief soon.

John

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@queenbtrfly

Hi, new.to Connect but not so new to.taking meds for.severe anxiety, major depressive disorder, ptsd. As an adult.child of an alcoholic father and addict mother, I think depression and trauma began very young. I always remained determined to be a “positive happy person”, not even realizing the depression I had. 2010, I had been divorced for 2 1/2 years, remarried for 1 1/2. We were expecting our my 4th son, he was stillborn five days before his due date. Since that day almost eight yrs ago, ive had extreme fear of loss and death, my husband got kidney cancer in 2013 and months after I began having nonepileptic seizures. Ive taken what felt like a pharmacy since and am FINALLY out of that dark.hole of hell! Thank the Lord and my determination to never give up hope! I began Remeron last June and it has saved my life in combo w effexor HOWEVER, now id love to wean off and the “zaps” and all the other hell of withdrawal are killing me! As a mom to 4 living boys and a disabled husband, my sanity is greatly needed! Lol ive just taken fish oil and have been doing yoga for about four months. Yoga has been a life saver as well as the remeron even is ive gained 30 lbs!!! I always have been tiny (100 lbs) so weight is fine but being a neurotic ranting lunatic is not going to work, GAAAAHHH! Sorry for the novel, just feeling frustrated!!!

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Hello @queenbtrfly

Let me also add my welcome to Mayo Connect. Here you will find a very supportive community of people who are caring and encouraging.

I certainly admire your desire to keep a positive attitude and I can understand your frustration. You have a lot going on in your life right now and you need the all the support you can get.

You indicated that the combo of Remeron and Effexor has been a lifesaver. May I ask why you are trying to wean off? Was it at your doctor’s recommendation or are you having some other problems as a result of the med(s)?

As Jim, @jimhd said there are a lot of discussions on Mayo Connect regarding withdrawing from meds and you might find them helpful.

We look forward to getting to know you. Will you please keep posting and let us know how you are doing?

Teresa

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@lisalucier @hopeful33250 @johnbishop @jimhd Thanks you so much! I am only wanting to get off because I am so proud to have escaped the xanax merry go round about six months ago. I just dont like being this dependent on a pill, especially if the remeron can keep my depression in check. My doctor has been through so much between me and my hubs health that it almost feels like he glazes over certain things. He basically does what we tell him, and ive found that he will put us in a new med without regard to the risks and side effects of certain interactions. I also have a rare blood disorder that I have been through blood thinner mess too. So I simply ran out of my effexor and the side effects immeditaely hit. I found this thread and it encouraged me sooo much to know even in this, im not alone. I justbing want to be the healthiest mom I can be, grief took several years of me away from my boys. They deserve all o f me. The ranting rreally isnt to o bad, simply from eff wd. I havent had any negative side effects from rem, just weight gain which im actually happy about! Lol. I also have had a total hysterectomy at 38, now at 40, I can use all the libido I can get!! I only recognized last night that my sex drive is nil, and I had hoped to gain it back. Thanks so much to all for replying and this thread is a huge help for many!!

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Hi, @queenbtrfly — I’m really glad this thread has been helpful to you. You aren’t alone–there are lots of members here who’ve gone through a situation similar to yours. We hope you will continue to let us know how things are going with you on this thread.

As you mentioned having a rare blood disorder, one other person I’d love for you to meet is Justin, @JustinMcClanahan, who serves as the moderator for our Blood Cancers and Disorders group on Mayo Clinic Connect, here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/blood-cancers-disorders/. You may find some good connections in that group, as well.

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Hi Lisa, @lisalucier i am sorry to say that the brain zaps and dizziness got to be too much after a short 6 days without any Effexor. When I spoke again with my Primary, he couldn’t offer any medication and referred me to seek the help of a psychiatrist that can do medication management. At first I was upset that he couldn’t help, but then I realize that this may be out of his league. I had to take 12.5 mg just to stop all the brain zaps and make me feel normal. I did not work today, and I needed to function again. I do have an appt tomorrow with behavioral health management services group for an initial consultation. I guess its back to the drawing board for me.

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@lolita9

Hi Lisa, @lisalucier i am sorry to say that the brain zaps and dizziness got to be too much after a short 6 days without any Effexor. When I spoke again with my Primary, he couldn’t offer any medication and referred me to seek the help of a psychiatrist that can do medication management. At first I was upset that he couldn’t help, but then I realize that this may be out of his league. I had to take 12.5 mg just to stop all the brain zaps and make me feel normal. I did not work today, and I needed to function again. I do have an appt tomorrow with behavioral health management services group for an initial consultation. I guess its back to the drawing board for me.

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Really sorry to hear that, @lolita9. Sounds frustrating with the brain zaps and then having to go back on the medication. Hopefully you were able to rest some today.

I hope the behavioral management group is helpful to you. This is a tough journey off Effexor/venlafaxine.

You may recall that @travy, @salela, @linxy, @coloradogirl have also talked about the brain zaps, and they may have some thoughts for going through that path and trying to get off the medication completely. @beconscious, @ontariobonnie, @mell_88, @diane72, @anni and @libbyroo have talked about the same brain zap symptom with tapering off Pristiq/desvenlafaxine, another antidepressant with a lot in common with Effexor/venlafaxine.

Will you let us know how your consult tomorrow goes?

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i would like to join the mental health group. and also the kidney bladder group thank you. peCH BARBARA

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Hi, @peach414144. That’s sounds great to have you join those groups. So, if you go to the Mayo Clinic Connect home page, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/, you will see “Groups” at the top. If you go into the dropdown menu from that, you will see “Group Directory.” Click on that, and you will see images for each of the groups with a “+Follow” underneath. If you click on that “Follow,” you will then be following that new group and get emails with new posts.

Let us know if you have any questions.

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@lolita9

Hi Lisa, @lisalucier i am sorry to say that the brain zaps and dizziness got to be too much after a short 6 days without any Effexor. When I spoke again with my Primary, he couldn’t offer any medication and referred me to seek the help of a psychiatrist that can do medication management. At first I was upset that he couldn’t help, but then I realize that this may be out of his league. I had to take 12.5 mg just to stop all the brain zaps and make me feel normal. I did not work today, and I needed to function again. I do have an appt tomorrow with behavioral health management services group for an initial consultation. I guess its back to the drawing board for me.

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Don’t give up hope. I needed a very slow taper because my body is more reactive to all kinds of medications. You might need that too, especially if you tried going off all at once. I hope your appointment goes well. You might discuss with them as well and see if they have advice. My daughter is bipolar and did poorly on SSRIs because they are the wrong meds for her. It was a psychiatric nurse practioner who helped her most, both in providing the support for getting off the wrong meds and onto the right ones.

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@peach414144

i would like to join the mental health group. and also the kidney bladder group thank you. peCH BARBARA

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@peach414144

Hi, Barbara. To join those groups, you can click on groups, then go through the list and follow the ones you want to join. I hope that’s enough information to get you to the groups.

Jim

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