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

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Depression & Anxiety group.

@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,

Jump to this post

@catamite
Just since I started the tapering.

REPLY
@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,

Jump to this post

@catamite

It’s an electrical type shock that usually occurs after you stop the medication. Claim is, stopping slowly doesn’t prevent them although I’m not convinced. So many people decrease their med by 50% and sometimes even more at a time. I wonder if someone stopped slowly enough say 5-10% at a time what the end result would be. I hope your one of the few who don’t have them.
Please keep us informed.
Jake

REPLY
@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,

Jump to this post

Good explanation there Jake. My zaps arent as bad as they have been. May be some light at the end if that there tunnel. Lol

REPLY
@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,

Jump to this post

I went from 225 mg to 150 for two weeks then 75 for two weeks now Monday will be two weeks on 37.5 but on the second week of 37.5 if been taking out one pellet more then yesterday weining the 37.5 till am down to none . Very very little brain zaps , nothing to talk about.

REPLY

@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

REPLY

I've been taking venlafaxine since November 2015 and I take 2 tablets 150mg each total 300mg a day. Mine are slow release. I take the 2 tablets together in the morning, as I found taking one tablet in the evenings would keep me awake. Towards the end of each day, I have started to get the brain zaps as people describe, even though I have taken the tablets. However, things that had driven me to the depression and suicidal thoughts have now thankfully settled down. I feel I should now start to come off the drug. I have tried previously but even just reducing by 25mg every other day (so taking 275mg and not the 300mg) was enough to make me feel so ill. I am not looking forward to the experience, but determined to do it. So any advice you can give me to keep me going I would really appreciate it.

My suggestion to the Dr wasn't taken seriously and he just laughed at me. I said, can't he put me in a deep sleep for 3 weeks, and not to be given the venlafaxine whilst asleep, then when woken up after the 3 weeks, I would hope to be over the worse. I thought that sound reasonable, but he just laughed at me. In a nice way not a mocking way.

REPLY
@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

Jump to this post

Hi Jake. Well I seem to be feeling a bit better. Still having issues with sleep. Personally I feel that if you can get a good nights sleep ur next day will be better. I had to go to the blood specialist this past week and give him another 5 vials as well as I had to take a whole bunch of xrays of the bones. I may have something unpleasant going on there. I will find out in the next few weeks. It was a shock to say the least. So the next few weeks will be trying times. Enjoy your day.

REPLY
@susiesue

I've been taking venlafaxine since November 2015 and I take 2 tablets 150mg each total 300mg a day. Mine are slow release. I take the 2 tablets together in the morning, as I found taking one tablet in the evenings would keep me awake. Towards the end of each day, I have started to get the brain zaps as people describe, even though I have taken the tablets. However, things that had driven me to the depression and suicidal thoughts have now thankfully settled down. I feel I should now start to come off the drug. I have tried previously but even just reducing by 25mg every other day (so taking 275mg and not the 300mg) was enough to make me feel so ill. I am not looking forward to the experience, but determined to do it. So any advice you can give me to keep me going I would really appreciate it.

My suggestion to the Dr wasn't taken seriously and he just laughed at me. I said, can't he put me in a deep sleep for 3 weeks, and not to be given the venlafaxine whilst asleep, then when woken up after the 3 weeks, I would hope to be over the worse. I thought that sound reasonable, but he just laughed at me. In a nice way not a mocking way.

Jump to this post

@susiesue
Although your doctor wasn't willing to put you into a coma, rest is advised in this article–https://www.wikihow.com/Deal-With-Effexor-Withdrawal–
"Get some rest. The best way to deal with an Effexor withdrawal is to sleep right through it. Do your best to clear your schedule and get as much sleep as you can. Even if you cannot fall asleep, simply taking it easy and getting some rest will enable your body to heal."

REPLY

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?

REPLY
@susiesue

I've been taking venlafaxine since November 2015 and I take 2 tablets 150mg each total 300mg a day. Mine are slow release. I take the 2 tablets together in the morning, as I found taking one tablet in the evenings would keep me awake. Towards the end of each day, I have started to get the brain zaps as people describe, even though I have taken the tablets. However, things that had driven me to the depression and suicidal thoughts have now thankfully settled down. I feel I should now start to come off the drug. I have tried previously but even just reducing by 25mg every other day (so taking 275mg and not the 300mg) was enough to make me feel so ill. I am not looking forward to the experience, but determined to do it. So any advice you can give me to keep me going I would really appreciate it.

My suggestion to the Dr wasn't taken seriously and he just laughed at me. I said, can't he put me in a deep sleep for 3 weeks, and not to be given the venlafaxine whilst asleep, then when woken up after the 3 weeks, I would hope to be over the worse. I thought that sound reasonable, but he just laughed at me. In a nice way not a mocking way.

Jump to this post

@texasduchess
Thank you for sharing the article web site, it is very informative.
Ronnie

REPLY

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?

REPLY

@catamite

If your taking pills could you cut it in half or remove half the beads if using capsules and go down a little slower. Slower is better anyway.
I unfortunately can relate to the libido problem not from Effexor but anti-seizure meds. I never gave sex a thought in 50 years. I still have problems but found someone I’m in love with and my sole mate doesn’t care. Bless her.
Wishing you the best of luck!!!
Jake

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.
  Request Appointment