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

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@fallenangel13

I have been on effexor since 2015 . I was put on it without being informed of anything about it and have been trying to get off ever since. My doctor won't help me so I am fixing to go cold turkey. It's getting more depressing being on it than it's worth. I have read what everyone has posted and all great if you have a doctor willing to help. Good luck to you all.

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I know your post is about Effexor But I'd like to remind all , other meds are just as, or more dangerous such as Xanax. My pharmacist did but after I' had gotten very sick / I was taken to the ER with 300 BP & very sick ! Thought I was having a stroke. ER MD said' Xanax is only to be taken occasionally. I think lots of doctors have NO clue about how devastating these drugs can be to some folks. Now I fear them STill on Xanax sadly When I went off Prozac I had NO withdrawal … wish I had stayed on it. Hate being 'addicted' to Xanax .

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I know the answer is probably somewhere in this post but it's so long, I probably wouldn't find it. So I am taking extended release 150 capsules. How effective is dividing those capsules in half? Who has done this and how much did you take out of the capsule at a time?

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@tshere95

recently read a post where someone was removing 5 beads a day. It was working for her, at least for now but not to sure if it will continue to be as successful as she gets to the end.
Personally I would remove a a certain amount and take them for a certain period of time. I’m not sure how many to remove or how many are in a capsule. You probably should contact a pharmacist.
Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. Best of luck though.

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@tshere95

I know the answer is probably somewhere in this post but it's so long, I probably wouldn't find it. So I am taking extended release 150 capsules. How effective is dividing those capsules in half? Who has done this and how much did you take out of the capsule at a time?

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@tshere95, See this post from earlier in the discussion thread made by a Mayo Clinic pharmacist https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/tips-on-minimising-withdrawal-symptoms-from-effexor-aka-venlafaxine/?pg=87#comment-113801 followed by comments of members with their experiences.
Dividing the beads of a capsule is not recommended primarily because it can result in uneven doses. See this article about the pros and cons of pill and capsule splitting https://www.mdedge.com/psychiatry/article/62466/pros-and-cons-pill-splitting

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@tshere95

I know the answer is probably somewhere in this post but it's so long, I probably wouldn't find it. So I am taking extended release 150 capsules. How effective is dividing those capsules in half? Who has done this and how much did you take out of the capsule at a time?

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You can’t empty out the capsule you won’t get a exact dose each time side effects dangerous when abruptly changing dose of these medications always consult with prescribing physician about medications

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Just an fyi to those of you who are struggling….I started my withdrawal in October 2017. BAD time of year for me as I lost my son to PTSD on 1/3/12 and the holidays are a KILLER. I took Effexor for almost ten years (started after divorce after 31 years of marriage and my son was on his third deployment to Iraq). This medication was slowly killing me: kidney problems, 75 lb weight gain in 4 years, high pb, trigliceryds, (sp?), insomnia, and I generally slept 16 to 18 hours a day. I had to retire from a job that I DEARLY loved. The light bulb finally came on to me that I had to do something to get a hold of my life and start living again. In the past 10 months, I have lost 50 lbs, am Effexor free, but NOT without horrendous withdrawal effects. I was being seen by a gastro doctor for extreme conditions. Couldn't keep anything down and what did stay down was immediately passed creating a problem so horrible that I literally didn't leave my home for months. I resorted to adult diapers at the age of 58. I was devastated. After spending thousands of dollars and still no answers, I did a ton of research on the withdrawal effects of Effexor. There I found my answers. I am still losing weight as I am finding new and more active things to do with my life. I bought a bicycle! I ride 8 to 10 miles a day. It really helps curb the anxiety, which I still find a problem. I'm working with a therapist on how to learn to deal with the loss of my son….he was only 29 when he left this world and I will grieve for him until I die….I know that. My advice for anyone is 1) REFUSE to ingest this drug in any dosage, shape or form. Cymbalta is in the same classification, so I would steer clear of that as well. Besides, one of its worst side effects is chronic diarrhea. My "medication provider" as she called herself (I always thought a psychiatrist had to dispense these meds but that's what she called herself) refused to prescribe anything for anxiety as long as I wasn't taking an antidepressant. My pcp stepped up and LISTENED TO ME and is closely monitoring this medication. I have SWORN to never take any antidepressant drugs ever again. The withdrawal put me in the hospital twice with severe dehydration, hallucinations and I really thought I was going to die. There were days when I prayed I would to stop the hell. My advice is to take is SLOW. And I mean REALLY slow. If it takes you 6 or 9 months or longer to totally withdraw, then so be it. Your body will thank you for it. And so will your mind. In my opinion, it is only by the Grace of God that I am sitting here writing this…..these medications (poisons) are nothing to fool with.

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@121314

Yes D3. There are I believe 4 or 5 Different types of Vit D but Vit D2 & 3 are most used by our bodies. D2 is found in animals and D3 is found in plants. Salmon, tuna, liver (yuck) and fortified foods. D3 has close to 100% more But D that maintains and stores the vit D concentrations. If you take seizure meds, Thyroid or numerous other meds it may deplete your vet D. Ask your doctor if any of the meds you take depletes your vit D. He probably won’t know but it never hurts to ask, you might get lucky.

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@contentandwell

You ask regarding Effexor “why are so many people so anxious to get off of them” Please let me ask you a a question, why would anyone want to stay on them. A lot of people have gone through a lot to get off them only because they didn’t know any better. HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO SAY IT. YOU DON’T HAVE TO SUFFER THE WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS IF YOU REDUCE YOUR MEDICATION SLOWLY. WHAT DON’T PEOPLE UNDERSTAND. I just read a post of a lady who cut her dose in half then stopped cold turkey. WHY???????!!!!!!

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@jakedduck1

@contentandwell

You ask regarding Effexor “why are so many people so anxious to get off of them” Please let me ask you a a question, why would anyone want to stay on them. A lot of people have gone through a lot to get off them only because they didn’t know any better. HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO SAY IT. YOU DON’T HAVE TO SUFFER THE WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS IF YOU REDUCE YOUR MEDICATION SLOWLY. WHAT DON’T PEOPLE UNDERSTAND. I just read a post of a lady who cut her dose in half then stopped cold turkey. WHY???????!!!!!!

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The easiest (and it's NOT THAT EASY) to get off of Effexor is to do it over TIME….and a LOT OF IT. If I had to do over again, I would take at least 6-9 MONTHS to totally withdraw from this drug. As I wrote above, the gastric issues I had in the three months my doctor reduced my dosage damn near killed me. In my opinion, this drug as well as Cymbalta, should be banned from anything living to consume.

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