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

kb mayo I have been taking epsom salt baths too. And buying flowers for myself! It seems we are on exactly the same path.Today is day 15 off, I think and I am feeling so so much better. On the negative side, I am being criticized by my son and daughter for not spendidng enough time with my very pregnant daughter in law. I have only been able to say that I am unwell. They just don't get it. If this were cancer or any other illness, they would get. It very much hurts my feelings to be criticized in the middle of a major crisis. The best news of all is that I think I will be fully functioning in another week

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No, correction. I am on day 16 with no effexor.

Am on 4 weeks yesterday!

@renwald

Well the beautiful thing about your soon to be x is that he doesn’t have to deal with psychoactive drugs. He might celebrate that fact and let you decide what is best for you. You can always just tell him that his advice is unsolicited. Anytime he brings it up in any way, shape or form just hold up your hand and say…ah ah Unsolicited.

It might infuriate him but be immensely satisfying for you.

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We are trying to diffuse the situation with humor…He isn't infuriated…just concerned…and misinformed…but that's one of his problems – not mine.

@renwald

The zaps are a mystery to me though everyone talks about them. I felt more like the insensibility and delirium one gets with fever.

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I haven't gotten any zaps over the course of an 8 week taper (off completely for last two weeks)….but I definitely have brain fog and a host of other issues….but nothing I can't get past – especially with my lifetime supply of icepacks to sleep with.

@shoshi

HI there. I have been tapering off slowly over the last few months & I found that the first two weeks on a lower dosage was the hardest time for me; after two weeks my brain/ body seemed to be conditoning itself; still have all the symptoms although not as severe. I have been on 37.5mgs for two weeks & intend to stay on this dose for another two weeks, then I will take this dosage on alternative days for a few more weeks. Then hopefully I will be drug free. Then the new process will begin; can I stay off antidepressants? ?????

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It will depend on what else is going on in your life. My therapist and psychiatrist don't actually agree on what my underlying problem is. As of last week the psychiatrist was suggesting lexapro (which I understand comes with its own titration issues – wheeeee) and then possibly wellbutrin. My therapist thinks ADD is the underlying problem – not depression. Tomorrow I'll know what they decided for the next try…or maybe I just stay drug free a bit longer.

@catamite

I am two weeks effexor free and still not feeling well,,. The dizziness and nausea persist. I am very very depressed. The only thing that helps is sleep. I am sure am grateful that I am retired. I couldn't do this otherwise. I can barely function.

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I'm completely off for two weeks and still having symptoms…I don't function particularly well and am self-employed – which makes it really easy to not get things done….but I am trying to be as patient as possible. It has cooled off here a lot (in NY)…and that has helped tremendously with the hot flashes.

@wishiwasme

Stopped Effexor 150 cold turkey 5 days ago…this is unreal…but I know I'm not alone

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Cold turkey is no bueno…emergency level side effects are rare (unlike the benzos) but don't stop cold turkey if you don't have to.

@catamite

I follow politics very closely, and this past Friday had me over the edge. I handled it by turning off the tv and deep breathing. I just finished reading Winds of War and War and Remembrance, which, as you know is a 2000 pager. Good books do help keep one's mind off one's self. I agree. kbmayo, I thought you had stopped. You can do it.

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You are not the only one. I made the mistake of watching Kavanaugh…too much for me…It seems like DC has affected a lot of people and not for the better.

@youngsally

It will depend on what else is going on in your life. My therapist and psychiatrist don't actually agree on what my underlying problem is. As of last week the psychiatrist was suggesting lexapro (which I understand comes with its own titration issues – wheeeee) and then possibly wellbutrin. My therapist thinks ADD is the underlying problem – not depression. Tomorrow I'll know what they decided for the next try…or maybe I just stay drug free a bit longer.

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@youngsally I will be very interested in hearing what your doctors decide is the source of your problems and if ADD is part of it. My daughter had ADD and is prone to depression, but never without a cause. My son has/had ADHD but seems great now and has been very successful. I think for him the key is staying busy to burn off that hyper-energy. He can be non-stop.
JK

@youngsally

You are not the only one. I made the mistake of watching Kavanaugh…too much for me…It seems like DC has affected a lot of people and not for the better.

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@youngsally I don't like to get political on a forum such as this but suffice it to say, this whole thing has been so divisive. No matter who you believe, and what you want to see happen, it has really been horrible.
JK

@catamite

kb mayo I have been taking epsom salt baths too. And buying flowers for myself! It seems we are on exactly the same path.Today is day 15 off, I think and I am feeling so so much better. On the negative side, I am being criticized by my son and daughter for not spendidng enough time with my very pregnant daughter in law. I have only been able to say that I am unwell. They just don't get it. If this were cancer or any other illness, they would get. It very much hurts my feelings to be criticized in the middle of a major crisis. The best news of all is that I think I will be fully functioning in another week

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Hello catbitess. Good on you girl! You have to think of yourself first . I am almost off effexor & have chosen not to discuss my process with family, they , like most people just don't get it! So I have kept to myself for three months. Shoshi

@catamite

kb mayo I have been taking epsom salt baths too. And buying flowers for myself! It seems we are on exactly the same path.Today is day 15 off, I think and I am feeling so so much better. On the negative side, I am being criticized by my son and daughter for not spendidng enough time with my very pregnant daughter in law. I have only been able to say that I am unwell. They just don't get it. If this were cancer or any other illness, they would get. It very much hurts my feelings to be criticized in the middle of a major crisis. The best news of all is that I think I will be fully functioning in another week

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We really are on the same path, aren't we! And more than 2 weeks off? Hooray for you!! I am very curious to see how I will think and feel — physically and emotionally — now that I won't be putting any of it into my system. I feel those little zaps even as I'm writing and I'm a little woozy, but so far, everything is bearable. I do have a couple of commitments tomorrow that I really, really regret having said “yes'' to, but I think it would be more stressful to try to get out of them than to just push on through. I keep reminding myself that neither of them has to be done perfectly and in fact it won't be the end of the world if I mess them up totally! After tomorrow, though, my week is open and I'm going to keep it that way! I'm really sorry you're getting criticism for not spending enough time with your pregnant daughter-in-law. What do they expect you to do anyway?? Rub her belly and tell her it's going to be ok?? Adult kids can be far more self-centered and demanding than they realize and it's often nearly impossible for them to view their parents as actual human beings, too. On the positive side, you'll be a much more helpful, loving granny once you get through all this — and you're so very close to that point! I'm sorry they're so caught up in their own situation that they can't spare any concern for you as well. I know it must really hurt you. Yet you're strong, you're a survivor and you have all of us on this blog in your corner and caring for you. One day at a time, we're all getting through this — together!!

@contentandwell

@youngsally I don't like to get political on a forum such as this but suffice it to say, this whole thing has been so divisive. No matter who you believe, and what you want to see happen, it has really been horrible.
JK

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No – never political. It's difficult regardless of where you stand.

@contentandwell

@youngsally I will be very interested in hearing what your doctors decide is the source of your problems and if ADD is part of it. My daughter had ADD and is prone to depression, but never without a cause. My son has/had ADHD but seems great now and has been very successful. I think for him the key is staying busy to burn off that hyper-energy. He can be non-stop.
JK

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ADD presents somewhat differently depending on age and gender…but depression and anxiety are common comorbidities. There are (as you may know) different types/mixes of ADD along three axis – inattentiveness, impulsivity and hyperactivity. Interestingly in women, the hyperactivity often shows as racing thoughts at night instead of the typical fidgety hyperactivity associated with boys.

@catamite

kb mayo I have been taking epsom salt baths too. And buying flowers for myself! It seems we are on exactly the same path.Today is day 15 off, I think and I am feeling so so much better. On the negative side, I am being criticized by my son and daughter for not spendidng enough time with my very pregnant daughter in law. I have only been able to say that I am unwell. They just don't get it. If this were cancer or any other illness, they would get. It very much hurts my feelings to be criticized in the middle of a major crisis. The best news of all is that I think I will be fully functioning in another week

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Regarding your statement on others not getting it, I have never fully understood why people just don’t get it. If the heart races too fast we sweat and act ‘off’. If the stomach is upset, we get ulcers. If areas of the body don’t get what they need, results in physiology and behavior occur.

Why the brain and neurochemistry should be any different boggles the mind. Sleep deprivation and sugar lows, hyper caffeine and alcohol all affect neurochemistry. It just makes zero sense that people have and continue to exclude disorders of the brain, especially given that it controls everything and without it we are nothing but biomass.

If you havent ever heard of the ‘god center’ of the brain, it’s fascinating. Volunteers allowing neurostimulstion of different sectors of the brain demonstrated astounding changes. Stimulate one way, the volunteer is a devoted saint, stimulated another they are a total atheist. Bio electric chemistry controls the brain. Malfunctions and variations occur across the board…yet somehow people waive their hand and just dismiss all of it as malingering, hysteria, character flaws, weakness, maladaptivity and anything but a bonafide medical issue of the brain.

Thankfully changed in attitude have been happening but they are at times slow as a Byzantine bureaucracy.

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