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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I’m 70 years old. I’ve been taking Effexor (venlafaxine) since 2003. I tried going off of it a few times and ended up right back on it. I’m taking 150mg right now and today will be my first day trying to weaning myself off again. I plan to take it very slow. My doctor suggests decreasing the dosage by 37.5 for a few months to see how that goes. I feel like that may even be too much too fast. I’m truly scared to death to do this knowing full well what I’m in for. My husband and I have our own business and its going pretty well. I hope that my withdrawal doesn’t interfere too much with my work day. I’ve been reading many of these posts and no one has expressed how the withdrawal affected their jobs. Would be very interested to hear about that aspect.

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I found another website that is helpful. It is: forums.webmd.com. There is information regarding taking Omega 3, ginger and eliminating sugar from your diet. I don’t know how Omega 3’s help in the withdrawal of effexor. I had a prescription renewal for venlafaxine. The pharmacy told me they had it ready for me and the cost for a 3 month’s supply was $141. I refused the prescription. I was surprised at the cost, so when I got home, I checked the formulary from the insurance company. Venlafaxine was moved to a tier 4 – non-preferred drug. This makes me wonder if some part of the medical world has finally become aware of how dangerous this drug really is. Continue to research this most serious problem. We must speak out about the dangers of anti-depressants and demand the medical community use effective alternative treatments in treating depression. More research needs to be done on this complex problem.

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@arachel

I’m 70 years old. I’ve been taking Effexor (venlafaxine) since 2003. I tried going off of it a few times and ended up right back on it. I’m taking 150mg right now and today will be my first day trying to weaning myself off again. I plan to take it very slow. My doctor suggests decreasing the dosage by 37.5 for a few months to see how that goes. I feel like that may even be too much too fast. I’m truly scared to death to do this knowing full well what I’m in for. My husband and I have our own business and its going pretty well. I hope that my withdrawal doesn’t interfere too much with my work day. I’ve been reading many of these posts and no one has expressed how the withdrawal affected their jobs. Would be very interested to hear about that aspect.

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Good luck

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@arachel

I’m 70 years old. I’ve been taking Effexor (venlafaxine) since 2003. I tried going off of it a few times and ended up right back on it. I’m taking 150mg right now and today will be my first day trying to weaning myself off again. I plan to take it very slow. My doctor suggests decreasing the dosage by 37.5 for a few months to see how that goes. I feel like that may even be too much too fast. I’m truly scared to death to do this knowing full well what I’m in for. My husband and I have our own business and its going pretty well. I hope that my withdrawal doesn’t interfere too much with my work day. I’ve been reading many of these posts and no one has expressed how the withdrawal affected their jobs. Would be very interested to hear about that aspect.

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I have been weaning off this med now for about 5 yrs. I too was on 150mg and I took it slow, slow, slow. if your not on the XR you should be able to cut your caplets into quarters. That worked for me to slowly wean down of over a longer period of time. As for it affecting my work, as I weaned so slowly, I didn’t notice any negatives from the weaning. As I have stated before, everyone’s body and needs differ, so only you can know how the dosing down is affecting your behavior, attitude, thoughts, memory, etc. I hope the best for you as you start this journey and hope you find more clarity and happiness 🙂

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I found this website to be very helpful and informative about the positive effects of Omega 3 for Effexor withdrawals http://www.theroadback.org/effexor.aspx

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This is a MUST read for anyone contemplating weening off of Effexor. I am going to share it with my psychiatrist in hopes that she better understand how truly difficult this drug is to escape from. Thank you for the valuable information.

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@lilmac44

I found another website that is helpful. It is: forums.webmd.com. There is information regarding taking Omega 3, ginger and eliminating sugar from your diet. I don’t know how Omega 3’s help in the withdrawal of effexor. I had a prescription renewal for venlafaxine. The pharmacy told me they had it ready for me and the cost for a 3 month’s supply was $141. I refused the prescription. I was surprised at the cost, so when I got home, I checked the formulary from the insurance company. Venlafaxine was moved to a tier 4 – non-preferred drug. This makes me wonder if some part of the medical world has finally become aware of how dangerous this drug really is. Continue to research this most serious problem. We must speak out about the dangers of anti-depressants and demand the medical community use effective alternative treatments in treating depression. More research needs to be done on this complex problem.

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@lilmac44

I never realized how fortunate I was that Effexor didn’t work for me. I hope that doctors are beginning to realize how terrible withdrawal is and that they’re becoming less inclined to prescribe it.

While it’s true that antidepressants carry risks, many of us are alive and functioning because of them. I hope that the opioid scare doesn’t morph into an antidepressant scare, and people who are greatly benefitted by them will have unreasonably limited access to them. I hope that, as long as Wellbutrin works for me, I won’t be forced by politics or public paranoia to cut back on my dosage. The same thing is true for the other psychotropics I take. As is true for opiates, we need to maintain a balanced approach to their use.

Jim

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Hi, I have been slowly withdrawing from effexor for months. I went from 200 down to 37.5 over three months. I was at 37.5 for a month and now I went completely off four days ago. I’m shaky, sweaty or cold and can’t sleep. How long will this last??

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Side effects are unique to each individual in what you experience, the intensity and duration.

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@lilmac44

I found another website that is helpful. It is: forums.webmd.com. There is information regarding taking Omega 3, ginger and eliminating sugar from your diet. I don’t know how Omega 3’s help in the withdrawal of effexor. I had a prescription renewal for venlafaxine. The pharmacy told me they had it ready for me and the cost for a 3 month’s supply was $141. I refused the prescription. I was surprised at the cost, so when I got home, I checked the formulary from the insurance company. Venlafaxine was moved to a tier 4 – non-preferred drug. This makes me wonder if some part of the medical world has finally become aware of how dangerous this drug really is. Continue to research this most serious problem. We must speak out about the dangers of anti-depressants and demand the medical community use effective alternative treatments in treating depression. More research needs to be done on this complex problem.

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Agreed Jim. My body needs whatever chemical is in the antidepressant to keep a chemical balance.

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@time2650

Hi, I have been slowly withdrawing from effexor for months. I went from 200 down to 37.5 over three months. I was at 37.5 for a month and now I went completely off four days ago. I’m shaky, sweaty or cold and can’t sleep. How long will this last??

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Were you weaning off the time release version or the regular one? 37.5 is too large a drop. If it doesn’t come in a smaller dose, switch to the regular non-time release version. I know they make a 25 mg tablet. Go down not more than 10% a month, which would be 3.75 mg. for your first drop. You would then be taking 33.8 mg. Then go down 10% of 33.8 mg. If you don’t have a mg. scale, a compounding pharmacist could show you about how much to break off. The drop to nothing is the hardest. I know because I came off my final dose of Pristiq too quickly. (Pristiq doesn’t come in a non-time release form.) The withdrawal wasn’t terrible because I was exercising and doing yoga about 2 hours a day, but it was bad enough. I was getting painful mood swings and a weird feeling of disorientation, like when you have a fever. It lasted for about 2 months. The withdrawal symptoms you’re getting could be protracted. If you decide to stick it out, keep an eye on your blood pressure, eat high-quality food and try to walk a half hour a day. (The exercise helped me tremendously.) Withdrawing too quickly stresses your body and mind. Try to be kind to yourself.

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I have been completely off Effexor for over 3 weeks but also started an HRT at same time so I’m not sure what is causing all my issues but the latest one is that I’ve lost my sense of taste. Everything taste awful and I know I need to lose weight but this is not the way I wanted to do it.

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@lukekee

I have been completely off Effexor for over 3 weeks but also started an HRT at same time so I’m not sure what is causing all my issues but the latest one is that I’ve lost my sense of taste. Everything taste awful and I know I need to lose weight but this is not the way I wanted to do it.

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I would look up the side effects of your HRT.

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Thanks and I just did and unbelievably loss of taste is a rare side effect of my HRT. Who would have thought.
I’m calling my doctor tomorrow

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