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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@9119

It is the hardest thing to do. I just want to feel better and normal again…any help out there?

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@9119 please read my story and responses…so much help on this site…you are not alone 🙂

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@lisalucier

Hello, @patjen – I wanted to add my welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. A few things you mentioned made me think of the following to recommend:

-You may want to check out and consider posting in our Healthy Living group, as you are working on diet, exercise and the like https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/healthy-living/

– You might want to take a look at and perhaps join in a discussion in the Connect Heart & Blood Health group, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/heart-blood-vessel-conditions/

Are the clear aligners (Invisalign) working okay with the chronic teeth grinding from the medication, then? I have taken bupropion (Wellbutrin) and learned about the possible teeth grinding side effect for the first time last winter when my dentist noted some hairline cracks in a couple of teeth and put together what might be happening. I am using a mouthguard from the dentist, and though it took awhile to get used to, it has helped very much. I no longer want to sleep without it.

You mentioned with your withdrawal, you sometimes deal with suicidal ideation. Do you have a doctor's office, suicide hotline or somewhere to turn to if that ever gets too bad?

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@lisalucier Thank you so much for your response and welcome:-)
Thank you for your recommendations…I will check them out…I think the invisalign does help somewhat ( I only have one for the top)…but I have discussed occlusal splints with my dentist and will pursue this. So glad your splint has helped. Do you have Amalgam fillings ? as those may have contributed to your cracks as well. I have a lot of cracks as well…but also have multiple Amalgam fillings in my molars which my dentist feels is the main issue.
I never have the suicidal ideation when I am on the Effexor…even with a reduced dose…but without it…and external triggers, I do…I don't think I would ever act on it…but I do think about it…about how peaceful it would be to just be asleep for good…and I listen to a lot of Elliot Smith when I am feeling down…I love his music but it doesn't help…and he had a very sad demise…atm I am feeling OK thanks Lisa..I do have a very supportive partner so that helps…
Also, libido (or the lack of it) is another issue with SSRI's and SNRI's…my libido went out the window with this drug many yrs ago…I initially thought it was menopause…actually tried topical HRT and Testosterone cream without effect…it was only later that I read about the link with these drugs and how many suffer from this issue….as I said…thank God I have such an understanding partner…but this issue must put a strain on many relationships…particularly if the physical side was good before the commencement of the drug.

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@shaker1956

Hi Ainsleigh. How are things. Yes its a little rough going through this. Seems you talk about it a lot. You run into people you know and they ask how ur feeling. Its all part of life I guess. I have been doing the CBD thing as well as having the odd puffof the medicinal junk. It does help with a variety of things. Especially appetite. I go for my third infusion next tuesday and wed. Three more to go after that. I’ll know more on monday when I go in for my consult. Fingers crossed!!!!! Have a great evening.

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@shaker1956– Hi shaker- Just want you to know that even when you may not feel like posting we are thinking about you and sending you good wishes. It must be so hard to go through the treatments even when you know it is in your best interests! Hang in there and let us know how it is going when you feel up to it,
Best…..
Ainsleigh

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@ainsleigh

@shaker1956– Hi shaker- Just want you to know that even when you may not feel like posting we are thinking about you and sending you good wishes. It must be so hard to go through the treatments even when you know it is in your best interests! Hang in there and let us know how it is going when you feel up to it,
Best…..
Ainsleigh

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Hi Ainsleigh and all. Well i funished my 3rd infusion of Chemo and the smart drug. It sure is a rough ride but one that I must take. The feeling of low energy and just feeling crappy is how this trip goes. I have not had any nausea so I’m very thankful for that. However the steroids that I take are really hard on the body in general. I just thank the good lord that they found this in time. Doc tells me theres no cure but they can manage it after my treatments and it will be like having diabetes. I hope he’s right. Enjoy your day people!!!!!

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@shaker1956

Hi Ainsleigh and all. Well i funished my 3rd infusion of Chemo and the smart drug. It sure is a rough ride but one that I must take. The feeling of low energy and just feeling crappy is how this trip goes. I have not had any nausea so I’m very thankful for that. However the steroids that I take are really hard on the body in general. I just thank the good lord that they found this in time. Doc tells me theres no cure but they can manage it after my treatments and it will be like having diabetes. I hope he’s right. Enjoy your day people!!!!!

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Hey there Shaker buddy,
Thank you so much for letting us know how your getting along. I know others feel as I do and we have such great concern and admiration for all you have been through. You always accept whatever comes your way and also how you have helped so many of our friends here with such kindness, grace and dignity.
You take good care of yourself my friend.
You are very much loved here on Connect and our thoughts and prayers are always with you.
Hoping any future treatments will be easier.
Blessings, wishing you health and happiness,
Jake

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Hi Jake. Thanks for thise kind words. This is a process and time has to go by for me to get past this. Thank God I have a fantastic wife!!!!!! She’s the best!!! I will keep in touch. Hope all is well with you Jake and we’ll talk to you later. Enjoy your day!!!!!!

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@shaker1956

Hi Ainsleigh and all. Well i funished my 3rd infusion of Chemo and the smart drug. It sure is a rough ride but one that I must take. The feeling of low energy and just feeling crappy is how this trip goes. I have not had any nausea so I’m very thankful for that. However the steroids that I take are really hard on the body in general. I just thank the good lord that they found this in time. Doc tells me theres no cure but they can manage it after my treatments and it will be like having diabetes. I hope he’s right. Enjoy your day people!!!!!

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@shaker1956 – Hi Shaker
We are happy to hear back from you- just sorry the treatments are so difficult. Glad though that the situation can be dealt with ongoing! My husband has diabetes and what with insulin 4 times a day and a collection of meds is able to carry on quite well. Glad to know the outlook for you is like that! Is the smart drug a new thing?
Stay strong.
Best wishes
Ainsleigh

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Hi All…
Just wanted to check in.
I completed week 3 of my withdrawal from Effexor. I am doing this VERY SLOWLY!!
As a reminder, I am taking 300 mg of Effexor daily. I take it in the form of a pill, 2 75mg in the morning and 2 75mg at night. I can't take slow release because of my inability to absorb it properly.
Anyhow, as I said, I am taking my time with this process. I am in no hurry and will let my body and mind be a guiding force. I've been on Effexor for over 13 years (one dosage and/or one form at a timt).
To start, cut one 75 mg into 1/4s (evening dosage). I've been taking my 2 full pills in the morning and alternating between 1-3/4 and 2 wholes every other night. It's the end of my 3rd week tonight. Starting tomorrow night, I'll be taking 1-3/4 pills every night. My goal will be for another 3 weeks.
After that, 1-1/2 every other night for 3 weeks, etc.
I know it is a very small amount but I want to try to have the least amount of withdrawal symptoms as possible. Unless things are utterly GREAT, I have no intention of coming off 100%. My goal is 75mg in the am/pm.
Now I don't know if what I am feeling today is withdrawal or weather and barometric changes but I've been having what feels like restless hands/arms and feet/legs. More annoying than anything. I live in Florida so the temps are certainly better than up north. Today we went from the 50s to 80s. I know how many of you might be rolling your eyes wishing for temps like that, but when you live in a warm climate, even the 60s is cold. And as I said, barometer can impact, not just temperature changes.
Wow, that's a lot of writing for such a small med reduction. Lol!
Enjoy the rest of the weekend!
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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@grandmar

Hi All…
Just wanted to check in.
I completed week 3 of my withdrawal from Effexor. I am doing this VERY SLOWLY!!
As a reminder, I am taking 300 mg of Effexor daily. I take it in the form of a pill, 2 75mg in the morning and 2 75mg at night. I can't take slow release because of my inability to absorb it properly.
Anyhow, as I said, I am taking my time with this process. I am in no hurry and will let my body and mind be a guiding force. I've been on Effexor for over 13 years (one dosage and/or one form at a timt).
To start, cut one 75 mg into 1/4s (evening dosage). I've been taking my 2 full pills in the morning and alternating between 1-3/4 and 2 wholes every other night. It's the end of my 3rd week tonight. Starting tomorrow night, I'll be taking 1-3/4 pills every night. My goal will be for another 3 weeks.
After that, 1-1/2 every other night for 3 weeks, etc.
I know it is a very small amount but I want to try to have the least amount of withdrawal symptoms as possible. Unless things are utterly GREAT, I have no intention of coming off 100%. My goal is 75mg in the am/pm.
Now I don't know if what I am feeling today is withdrawal or weather and barometric changes but I've been having what feels like restless hands/arms and feet/legs. More annoying than anything. I live in Florida so the temps are certainly better than up north. Today we went from the 50s to 80s. I know how many of you might be rolling your eyes wishing for temps like that, but when you live in a warm climate, even the 60s is cold. And as I said, barometer can impact, not just temperature changes.
Wow, that's a lot of writing for such a small med reduction. Lol!
Enjoy the rest of the weekend!
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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@grandmar sounds you’re doing great, be proud of yourself.
I don’t recall if you have said before, I just drop in here so I can understand these drugs a little bit knowing people who take them, but what is causing you to want to reduce your dosage? It seems as if some people feel that these drugs have blunted their emotions, is that the reason generally that so many people want off?
JK

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@grandmar

Hi All…
Just wanted to check in.
I completed week 3 of my withdrawal from Effexor. I am doing this VERY SLOWLY!!
As a reminder, I am taking 300 mg of Effexor daily. I take it in the form of a pill, 2 75mg in the morning and 2 75mg at night. I can't take slow release because of my inability to absorb it properly.
Anyhow, as I said, I am taking my time with this process. I am in no hurry and will let my body and mind be a guiding force. I've been on Effexor for over 13 years (one dosage and/or one form at a timt).
To start, cut one 75 mg into 1/4s (evening dosage). I've been taking my 2 full pills in the morning and alternating between 1-3/4 and 2 wholes every other night. It's the end of my 3rd week tonight. Starting tomorrow night, I'll be taking 1-3/4 pills every night. My goal will be for another 3 weeks.
After that, 1-1/2 every other night for 3 weeks, etc.
I know it is a very small amount but I want to try to have the least amount of withdrawal symptoms as possible. Unless things are utterly GREAT, I have no intention of coming off 100%. My goal is 75mg in the am/pm.
Now I don't know if what I am feeling today is withdrawal or weather and barometric changes but I've been having what feels like restless hands/arms and feet/legs. More annoying than anything. I live in Florida so the temps are certainly better than up north. Today we went from the 50s to 80s. I know how many of you might be rolling your eyes wishing for temps like that, but when you live in a warm climate, even the 60s is cold. And as I said, barometer can impact, not just temperature changes.
Wow, that's a lot of writing for such a small med reduction. Lol!
Enjoy the rest of the weekend!
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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@grandmar are the side effects bad I,m not familiar with this

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@contentandwell

@grandmar sounds you’re doing great, be proud of yourself.
I don’t recall if you have said before, I just drop in here so I can understand these drugs a little bit knowing people who take them, but what is causing you to want to reduce your dosage? It seems as if some people feel that these drugs have blunted their emotions, is that the reason generally that so many people want off?
JK

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@contentandwell
Good morning,
The BIGGEST reason I want to significantly want to reduce my Effexor is because my memory is shot!! I am hoping I am not too late to counteract this side-effect.
In addition, I often feel like my head is 'cloudy' and last but not least I've not only put on weight, but losing is a lost cause no matter what I do.
Enjoy what is left of your weekend…
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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@lioness

@grandmar are the side effects bad I,m not familiar with this

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@lioness
I'm really not sure if it is from meds. The more I think of it, I think the restless legs and arms are from my arthritis. It does NOT hurt. It is more annoying. Think of trying to go to sleep and you toss n turn because you can't find a spit that feels comfortable; this is pretty much how it feels.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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