Tips on minimizing 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

@brightwings

To the new folks…Welcome, you are in the right place. My last pill was March 14. 5 months, wow. I did it the hard way. Found this site way to late.
Remember, just keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep going. Tell yourself THIS TOO SHALL PASS
.
I was reading to catch up on posts…
L Tryptophan really caught my eye. How much are you taking?
I am proud of all of us. Taking control of our lives, watch out world, here we come!
Smiling My beautiful smile, night all.
Bright Wings

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Hey C-mom. I have dealt with crappy military doctors also and crappy civilian ones as well. My present doctor does not beleive in pushing pills so I exercise a ton and watch what I eat. Just got
tostick this out and get on with life I guess…..

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@angelo

Been off ativan for5wks,stupidly cold turkey, at first I had some bad withdrawals, but little by little they are starting to go away. I try to take it day by day, try to watch my diet,exercise, think positive and pray. I know it,s a long road but I know someday I will see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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Attaboy Angelo. Ya gotta think positive. Keep putting ur best foot forward and dont look back!!!!!

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@brightwings

To the new folks…Welcome, you are in the right place. My last pill was March 14. 5 months, wow. I did it the hard way. Found this site way to late.
Remember, just keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep going. Tell yourself THIS TOO SHALL PASS
.
I was reading to catch up on posts…
L Tryptophan really caught my eye. How much are you taking?
I am proud of all of us. Taking control of our lives, watch out world, here we come!
Smiling My beautiful smile, night all.
Bright Wings

Jump to this post

@cherylannm. Welcome
How long have you been reducing your dosage. 5 weeks great.
What are your next step to get off it?

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@brightwings

To the new folks…Welcome, you are in the right place. My last pill was March 14. 5 months, wow. I did it the hard way. Found this site way to late.
Remember, just keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep going. Tell yourself THIS TOO SHALL PASS
.
I was reading to catch up on posts…
L Tryptophan really caught my eye. How much are you taking?
I am proud of all of us. Taking control of our lives, watch out world, here we come!
Smiling My beautiful smile, night all.
Bright Wings

Jump to this post

Am on 37.5 now and starting to night taking 2 pellets out a day .. some side effects but am going to get off this ASAP

REPLY
@brightwings

To the new folks…Welcome, you are in the right place. My last pill was March 14. 5 months, wow. I did it the hard way. Found this site way to late.
Remember, just keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep going. Tell yourself THIS TOO SHALL PASS
.
I was reading to catch up on posts…
L Tryptophan really caught my eye. How much are you taking?
I am proud of all of us. Taking control of our lives, watch out world, here we come!
Smiling My beautiful smile, night all.
Bright Wings

Jump to this post

@shaker1956
Oh my gosh girl, I didn't recognize you!!!! Oh my gosh I am so happy for you. You are back in charge of the world you live in, such as that is with your husband overseas. I am thrilled.
You feel wonderful to me. (Empath) I feel strength, smarts, even some happiness. Hipp hipp horray for you.
Oh you got me all excited girl. When you first got here you felt like a kicked wet dog, dragging yourself in here. I know you sounded like you were close to the end of your rope.
That is quite a turn around since the first of June. GOOD FOR YOU!
Now remember you still got some ways to go.
I think I started weaning a year ago. Don't do what I did. Just took no med until the symptoms got TOO BAD then took another 150 mg. I think I found this site 1 month after I quit. Click on my name and read my first post. I was miserable. I am kind of chuckling cuz that is such an understatement.
So shaker, GOOD FOR YOU.

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@brightwings

To the new folks…Welcome, you are in the right place. My last pill was March 14. 5 months, wow. I did it the hard way. Found this site way to late.
Remember, just keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep going. Tell yourself THIS TOO SHALL PASS
.
I was reading to catch up on posts…
L Tryptophan really caught my eye. How much are you taking?
I am proud of all of us. Taking control of our lives, watch out world, here we come!
Smiling My beautiful smile, night all.
Bright Wings

Jump to this post

Hahahaha. You got the wrong person there Brightwings.

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Holy crap–I'm just now realizing what I may be in for. Been taking 300 mg daily for over a year, and decided I couldn't take the overly intense, life-disrupting dreams or the buckets of sweat during hot weather anymore. Plus depression. I've seen different tapering regimens. Anyone who has one with a 300 mg starting dose and with good effect I'd love to know about it.
Or should I just try going cold Turkey? Brain already feels messed up. . . Thanks and all the best to y'all.

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@cean

Holy crap–I'm just now realizing what I may be in for. Been taking 300 mg daily for over a year, and decided I couldn't take the overly intense, life-disrupting dreams or the buckets of sweat during hot weather anymore. Plus depression. I've seen different tapering regimens. Anyone who has one with a 300 mg starting dose and with good effect I'd love to know about it.
Or should I just try going cold Turkey? Brain already feels messed up. . . Thanks and all the best to y'all.

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I was on 225 for about 21/2 years went down to 150 for 2 weeks then 75 mg for 2 weeks now starting 37.50 this week. Now am taking 2 pellets out a night till am down to none !! And then I guess deal with it . Good luck

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@cean

Holy crap–I'm just now realizing what I may be in for. Been taking 300 mg daily for over a year, and decided I couldn't take the overly intense, life-disrupting dreams or the buckets of sweat during hot weather anymore. Plus depression. I've seen different tapering regimens. Anyone who has one with a 300 mg starting dose and with good effect I'd love to know about it.
Or should I just try going cold Turkey? Brain already feels messed up. . . Thanks and all the best to y'all.

Jump to this post

Oh, don't go cold turkey!!! Good lord, no!!! Are you taking pills or capsules? (I presume they're XR.) I'm having good success in tapering off by opening my capsules and taking out 50 per week, but I warn you it's very tedious to count out those tiny balls, plus it definitely takes a while — several months at least — to get off that way. However, so far, no brain zaps, etc. I'd suggest talking with your doctor before you do anything. See if you can get your prescribed dosage down first, and try to get that dosage lowered a bit at a time. Good luck!

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@coloradogirl

So, I just finished this process with Zoloft (sertraline) and here are some things that worked for me. Your mileage may vary, but hopefully these are low risk for you to try.

1) You may need to ask your doctor for a slower tapering program than other patients. Some people are just more sensitive to dosage changes. Be aware that symptoms will get better, then may reappear each time you taper. AAFMA (practice group of family physicians) says that the symptoms typically last 1-2 weeks and as long as 4 weeks, so I just kept reminding myself that it was temporary.
2) Be watchful for things that make your symptoms worse. For example, caffeine seems to trigger the brain zaps for me (still, even after being off for several weeks), so I cut back my caffeine intake. I didn’t give it up completely (because I still need to function), but cut back on how much real coffee I was drinking, mixed decaf with regular, and switched to tea sometimes. In the end, I probably cut my daily caffeine intake in half, and it did help quite a lot.
3) Ibuprofen or other pain reliever can help with the flu-like body aches.
4) Benadryl helped with the brain zaps.
5) Exercise helped with both. Even if I wasn’t up to a run, a few blocks of walking would settle down the symptoms for a while at least. (Then, when they come back, just take another walk. We took a lot of walks for a while there).
6) Get enough sleep. As I came down off the meds, my normal sleeping patterns returned, which was great, but it did mean that I needed to plan time to let my body rest.
7) Pay attention to your diet. Your brain uses carbs to make seratonin, so now is not the time to go on the Atkins diet. Eat well and make sure you’re getting enough healthy carbs. You may crave sweets; I certainly did. I tried to counteract this by having bananas, graham crackers, and other healthy things I could snack on instead of sticking my head in a birthday cake like I seemed to want.

No lie – it’s a painful process, but this did really help make it easier. Also, at a certain point, when I was down the below the normal starter dose, I just ripped off the bandaid and went to zero. At that point, it felt like each taper was just prolonging the suffering. Don’t just go cold turkey from your current dose, though, as that can be dangerous. Also, don’t add any supplements or substitutes for the SSRI without talking to your doctor first (also dangerous).

And of course, watch for the return of depression / anxiety type symptoms. For a while it was hard to tell whether I was tired because of the change in meds or because my depression was returning. I figured as long as I felt okay enough to function and wasn’t thinking about being harmful to myself or anyone else, I could play it out and see. It turned out to be the meds and on the other side, I can see that I was more worried about it than I needed to be.

I wish you the best of luck and a healthy life.

Mardee

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@maryathome

Not sure if this will help you but my cousin switched from a cpap to a bipap machine and he likes it better. It makes exhalation easier. I tried it and didn’t notice any significant difference. Bipaps are more expensive too.
Jake

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@brightwings

To the new folks…Welcome, you are in the right place. My last pill was March 14. 5 months, wow. I did it the hard way. Found this site way to late.
Remember, just keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep going. Tell yourself THIS TOO SHALL PASS
.
I was reading to catch up on posts…
L Tryptophan really caught my eye. How much are you taking?
I am proud of all of us. Taking control of our lives, watch out world, here we come!
Smiling My beautiful smile, night all.
Bright Wings

Jump to this post

@clevermom50

It’s possible since your withdrawal symptoms appeared maybe you were reducing your dose to quickly. If I were you I’d try reducing your current 19mg into 5 doses to zero.
Best of luck.
Jake

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@catamite

OK. I called the doctor today. She told me 37.5mg to 0 is too much all at once. She said to get myself restabilized at 37.5, then take 25mg (she sent me an RX) and in two weeks, I should split the 25mg into two, and take only a half (12.5). Then in two more weeks go to 0. That's what I am going to do. If there is an easier way to end this misery that's what I will do. This has been one hellacious journey.

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@Sabrina I know, it's difficult, but sometimes to keep the peace we have to keep our mouths shut. Many of us are in positions like that. I was fortunate in having an absolutely wonderful mother-in-law and brother-in-law. but other family members can present a problem, and you do what you have to do.
jK

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