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

Liked by Bek, LynneB, kelly76, echams1 ... see all

@catamite

Actually, I had no good reason to go off it except that I felt 20 years of a drug was surely long enough. I also believed it would be kind of nice to be able to feel something again, to cry. I was beginning to feel heartless as I had little response to almost everything. I also thought maybe the drug was causing me to sleep so much of my life away. Well, now I cannot sleep at all and that's not working either. I am a zombie. The psychiatrist says maybe I should go on BUSPAR now? What is this drug? He says it has no withdrawal effects. I don't know. I am just goiing to see if I can work this out on my own. My regular doctor is very anal. She gave me 15 lorazapams, and said it they didn't last for 3 months I should go back on effexor. These doctors. I'm just not liking any of them.

Jump to this post

I work in medicine Doctors are not healers After 30 years you see most care only about their egos and bank accounts Wr are just cattle

REPLY
@nseidel

I have been off of it 3 weeks I still feel like shit My pharmacist friend told me that there are no real facts about seratonin deficiencies So I feel like shitno Doctor to trust and no one to tell How can so many people he so miserable Plus my pharmacist also said going back on this shit drug , that a psychiatric doctor put me on, won’t work the same. So yeah this blows

Jump to this post

@nseidel If you click on my name, you'll see my other posts. After I was off Effexor, I began a regimen of supplements that made me feel a whole lot better–particularly, L-tryptophan and GABA. You can look at my list to see if any of these supplements are helpful for your particular withdrawal symptoms. Taking all this stuff is not cheap, but these are not intended to be a permanent thing. It's been months, but I am finally feeling "normal" most of the time, so I will start tapering (slowly) off these in the coming week and see how it goes. I am not a doctor, so this is just my experience, not medical advice. Also, be sure to note the interactions of any supplement you might take with anything else you're on as well as with any medical condition you might have.

REPLY

Yup, it does blow. My original doctor retired and I have been stuck with two new ones who really seem to know little about serotonin deficiencies. The new one said to go on BUSPAR if I decide I need to go back on antidepressants. Not back to effexor. I am going to try and work this sleep thing out. The major stuff, like nausea, vertigo, diarrhea, vision weirdness….all that is gone now. So I'll keep at it. And evenutally I may go doctor shopping as well. I smoke 5 butts a day and was planning on quitting at the end of October, but I think I am going to delay that goal for a while.
Best of luck to you. kathryn

REPLY
@catamite

Yup, it does blow. My original doctor retired and I have been stuck with two new ones who really seem to know little about serotonin deficiencies. The new one said to go on BUSPAR if I decide I need to go back on antidepressants. Not back to effexor. I am going to try and work this sleep thing out. The major stuff, like nausea, vertigo, diarrhea, vision weirdness….all that is gone now. So I'll keep at it. And evenutally I may go doctor shopping as well. I smoke 5 butts a day and was planning on quitting at the end of October, but I think I am going to delay that goal for a while.
Best of luck to you. kathryn

Jump to this post

I think that Serotonin is still a mystery in the medical community. The problem is that you can't look inside someone's brain while they're alive and see everything that's going on in their bloodstream. 🙂 . I've been on every medication you can think of for Obssessive-Compulsive Disorder, Depression, and Anxiety, and it can literally take a lifetime to find the exact combination of the right medications in the right dosages to really feel perfect. And then, as you age, you can develop new psychiatric conditions that young people rarely have.

REPLY

Have you told the doctor who prescribes it for you, how bad the withdrawal symptoms are?

REPLY

@rschroeder
Were it me I’d switch to the tablets. I believe venlafaxine comes in an immediate release 37.5mg tablets, not sure if it comes in any other dosages.

Liked by Parus

REPLY
@jakedduck1

@rschroeder
Were it me I’d switch to the tablets. I believe venlafaxine comes in an immediate release 37.5mg tablets, not sure if it comes in any other dosages.

Jump to this post

@jakedduck1 thank you, I will look into that!

REPLY
@rschroeder

@jakedduck1 thank you, I will look into that!

Jump to this post

@rschroeder
Opps, I didn’t know that posted. If I’m no smarter than that you better think twice before taking any advice I dish out.
I’d decrease the dose by approximately 10-15% or cut the 37.5 tabs in quarters (each quarter will contains approximately 9.375mg) then take 7,6,5,4,3,2,1 of the quarters for at least 2 weeks each. I’d even cut the last quarter in half. I’m probably overly cautious. It will take about 98 to 112 days to get off the venlafaxine. Remember, even if you reduce your dose slowly it’s no guarantee you will totally avoid some symptoms but it will definitely help.
I wish you well in whatever you decide. I hope you can get off this stuff.
Jake

Liked by Parus

REPLY
@jakedduck1

@rschroeder
Were it me I’d switch to the tablets. I believe venlafaxine comes in an immediate release 37.5mg tablets, not sure if it comes in any other dosages.

Jump to this post

@jakedduck1
It comes in 25 mg tabs. I took those for 2 weeks then cut in half for 12.5 for 2 weeks then cut those in half. It’s hard to cut them any smaller but that gets you to 6.75. So I went to zero after 2 weeks of 6.75.

REPLY
@usernameca

I think that Serotonin is still a mystery in the medical community. The problem is that you can't look inside someone's brain while they're alive and see everything that's going on in their bloodstream. 🙂 . I've been on every medication you can think of for Obssessive-Compulsive Disorder, Depression, and Anxiety, and it can literally take a lifetime to find the exact combination of the right medications in the right dosages to really feel perfect. And then, as you age, you can develop new psychiatric conditions that young people rarely have.

Jump to this post

@usernameca Ain’t it the truth?! I have conditions that are yet to be named!! 😬

REPLY

Pristiq is essentially the same medication as Effexor. It has a half life of 11 hours. I can only surmise that withdrawal from Pristiq might be just as difficult as withdrawal from Effexor. It has been nearly 1 year since completely stopped taking venlafaxine and I still have physical and emotional issues from withdrawal. ie anxiety, fatigue, problems maintaining blood sugar levels (too low), intermittent depression, problems sleeping. Some of these symptoms are probably related to my grief due to the loss of my daughter. It has been a night mare.

REPLY
@lilmac44

Pristiq is essentially the same medication as Effexor. It has a half life of 11 hours. I can only surmise that withdrawal from Pristiq might be just as difficult as withdrawal from Effexor. It has been nearly 1 year since completely stopped taking venlafaxine and I still have physical and emotional issues from withdrawal. ie anxiety, fatigue, problems maintaining blood sugar levels (too low), intermittent depression, problems sleeping. Some of these symptoms are probably related to my grief due to the loss of my daughter. It has been a night mare.

Jump to this post

@lilmac44
First, please accept my sincere condolences for the loss of your daughter.
When my mom passed away, many years ago, I had physical and psychological problems too. I did not take any meds those days. My doc told me that it could take 5 years for my mind and body to accept the losss
; not get over the loss since I probably wouldn't to some degree. He was right!
Take all the time you need for yoour body n soal acclimates.

REPLY
@jakedduck1

@rschroeder
Were it me I’d switch to the tablets. I believe venlafaxine comes in an immediate release 37.5mg tablets, not sure if it comes in any other dosages.

Jump to this post

@jakedduck1 @rschroeder I was on 25mg regular release Effexor and generic venlafaxine the whole time I was on this drug. Last dose was April 14, 2018, so it is definitely available in 25mg tablets (that can be cut; note: these are small pills!).

REPLY

Hold out hope. See your doctor or psychiatrist and advocate for what you want even if that means getting off this drug. This drug is the only one I've struggled to get off of and it's going to take months to do it. I've pissed about it as I wasn't informed about this issue but you're not alone and it can be done.

REPLY

@texasduchess &
Thank you for the info dutches.
@mdw123
I suppose patients aren’t told about the withdrawals since so many have no problems discontinuing Effexor. I wonder if more people would have problems if doctors did tell all Effexor patients about the potential withdrawal effects. The Behavioral Medicine field is very interesting. It has been proven if a placebo is given some peoples symptoms can improve. Who’s to say if some patients would react negatively if they were told of the negative withdrawal effects who ordinarily would have no problems discontinuing it.
Jake

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.