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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@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.

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@jakedduck1 thank you, I will look into that!

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@rschroeder

@jakedduck1 thank you, I will look into that!

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@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

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@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.

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@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.

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@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.

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

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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.

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@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.

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@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.

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@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.

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@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!).

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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.

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@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

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Honestly, I don't think it's true that there's many people with no negative withdrawl effects from Effexor. There are waaay to many people with issues about it. France tried to ban it – I don't know if they actually did and a lawsuit was taken up against the pharmaceutical company for not providing accurate info on it's withdrawl effects and not providing low enough dosage to get off of it smoothly. I've had only minor effects getting off of 3 other antidepressants. There was nothing to write home about. I think that for some reason there's an attempt to downplay the withdrawl off this. I do think it's true that if told that things can be bad maybe there's some truth to the placebo effect but I would like to know what I'm being prescribed and the benefits/risks/effects. Then I choose what I"m willing to risk.

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I had been on Effexor Xr 37.5mg daily for approx 13 years…..I decided to wean myself off.
Had my provider change my xr capsules to the immediate release tablets… started cutting the tabs in quarters ( would take 1/2 in the AM and 1/4 in the PM.. continued to slowly cont tapering down… 1/2 tab per day but 1/4 in Am and 1/4 in pm.. I just completed my final taper a few days ago… slow is the answer…
I tapered over several months.. hope this helps

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@rschroeder

After reading through some of these posts, I am extremely nervous about trying to go off my venlafaxine. I want off and very discouraged about the withdrawal concerns. I tried to taper off slowly a couple of years ago and felt totally crazy and out of control!! It is sad to want to stay on a drug just so I don't have to deal with the withdrawal. I take a 75MG capsule, where do I start?

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Try to taper down slowly ( very) .. have your MD write an Rx for the 37.5mg caps first
(1 month supply)
Also, get a Rx for the tablets which is available in 37.5mg dosage form
U can cut the tablets in half … then quarters..
make a tapering schedule on your calendar.. make sure each reduction last several weeks.
When u are down to 1/4 tablet daily ..your final taper should be 1/4 tab every other day for several weeks.. take it slow

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