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

I second that, please go slow, withdrawal on day 5-8 were bad for me. I’m still Effexor free, it will be 2 weeks tomorrow, but I had to add Prozac 20mg to get me through it. Still having withdrawals, but is getting better. Anxiety is what I feel mostly now, not sick to my stomach or dizzy with brain zaps any longer. I’m still very tired and no interest in anything, but I can tell I’m getting climbing out of this hole. You will not make it if you do not go slow. This was my second attempt after stopping cold turkey the first time and thought I was going to die! Please taper slowly, you will have less withdrawal and will be safer on your body. Good luck, prayers for you.

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@babydoll

I second that, please go slow, withdrawal on day 5-8 were bad for me. I’m still Effexor free, it will be 2 weeks tomorrow, but I had to add Prozac 20mg to get me through it. Still having withdrawals, but is getting better. Anxiety is what I feel mostly now, not sick to my stomach or dizzy with brain zaps any longer. I’m still very tired and no interest in anything, but I can tell I’m getting climbing out of this hole. You will not make it if you do not go slow. This was my second attempt after stopping cold turkey the first time and thought I was going to die! Please taper slowly, you will have less withdrawal and will be safer on your body. Good luck, prayers for you.

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@farmboy @babydoll Thanks to you both for the encouragement! I’m not going cold turkey, but I’m hoping to get off completely in a month. My doctor prescribed me Prozac as well, but I also have a lot of Benadryl at the ready bc that’s always helped me in the past. Were you guys able to work/function during your withdrawal?

Liked by Leonard, falon

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@mmesco

Hi there, I just joined Connect in preparation for my Effexor detox. I'm starting on Monday, and I'm pretty scared bc I've already experienced the withdrawal many times from missing doses. Been on 300 mg for about 8 years and really feel like I'm ready to come off. I'll be taking a leave from work, so I can taper aggressively and just focus on being healthy. Just hoping to find some support and solidarity 🙂

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@mmesco Welcome. I hope you find some hope and support being part of this group. I am, right now, tapering off the benzodiazepine clonazepam. When I am through with that, in about 3months, I will begin to taper from the Effexor as well. Right now I am on 150mg so I hope it takes less than three months. I wish you the best of luck on your taper. Please continue to let us know how you are doing!

Liked by Leonard

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@mmesco

@farmboy @babydoll Thanks to you both for the encouragement! I’m not going cold turkey, but I’m hoping to get off completely in a month. My doctor prescribed me Prozac as well, but I also have a lot of Benadryl at the ready bc that’s always helped me in the past. Were you guys able to work/function during your withdrawal?

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Unfortunately I've been off work for the last month and half. I don't want to discourage you but going from 300 to 0 in a month might be way to fast. Read some previous post on here about how some people has done it. Lots of good ideas. 300 to 0 might actually take months to do. Good luck and best wishes. Like I say the people on here won't lead you astray. They are here to help.

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@mmesco

Hi there, I just joined Connect in preparation for my Effexor detox. I'm starting on Monday, and I'm pretty scared bc I've already experienced the withdrawal many times from missing doses. Been on 300 mg for about 8 years and really feel like I'm ready to come off. I'll be taking a leave from work, so I can taper aggressively and just focus on being healthy. Just hoping to find some support and solidarity 🙂

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@mmesco
I hope your not serious about tapering “Aggressively.” You have been on a high dose for a long time and trying to get off it fast is something you’ll no doubt regret. After 8 years, what’s the hurry? Read back on this thread and see how many people successfully stopped taking this drug quickly, I doubt you will find anyone.
Jake

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@mmesco

Hi there, I just joined Connect in preparation for my Effexor detox. I'm starting on Monday, and I'm pretty scared bc I've already experienced the withdrawal many times from missing doses. Been on 300 mg for about 8 years and really feel like I'm ready to come off. I'll be taking a leave from work, so I can taper aggressively and just focus on being healthy. Just hoping to find some support and solidarity 🙂

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Hi there! Just FYI, I gave myself as long as it took to super slowly taper off of 37.5 MG. It took about 18 months with minimal side effects, but I still had them! Mostly tremendous head spins when I least expected it. Like bad! I had been in that low but necessary dose for almost 20 years. But since my hormones have changed (if you get my drift) I thought I was ready to try. Please go slow. And using the Prozac as a bridge is perfect! Just go easy on yourself. Sadly, I think the worst thing is to listen to some doctors who think you can just split the dose the. Split it then split it. All in a short period of time. Let your body tell you. And oh, okay in the dirt! Ha ha! (I had brought up the benefits of soil before…)

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@mmesco I was able to work, well didn’t have a choice really, but I did not function 100% and my mood swings were horrible! But I made it over the hump. It won’t be easy, but you can do it!

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@falon

@mmesco Welcome. I hope you find some hope and support being part of this group. I am, right now, tapering off the benzodiazepine clonazepam. When I am through with that, in about 3months, I will begin to taper from the Effexor as well. Right now I am on 150mg so I hope it takes less than three months. I wish you the best of luck on your taper. Please continue to let us know how you are doing!

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@falon
In my personal opinion I think your being to aggressive in your thinking about getting off Effexor in three months or less. I hope your tapering off Clonazepam slowly enough so your not having any side effects when you start on the Effexor.
Jake

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@jakedduck1

@falon
In my personal opinion I think your being to aggressive in your thinking about getting off Effexor in three months or less. I hope your tapering off Clonazepam slowly enough so your not having any side effects when you start on the Effexor.
Jake

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@jakedduck1 I have already been tapering off the clonazepam with horrendous side effects and I am not even close to half way there. I just hoped that the Effexor would be easier. Maybe not. Do the side effects tend to last for the duration of the taper as well as afterward? I've never done this before and I feel like I'm dying most days! I feel terrified.

Liked by Leonard, cristin1

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@falon

@mmesco Welcome. I hope you find some hope and support being part of this group. I am, right now, tapering off the benzodiazepine clonazepam. When I am through with that, in about 3months, I will begin to taper from the Effexor as well. Right now I am on 150mg so I hope it takes less than three months. I wish you the best of luck on your taper. Please continue to let us know how you are doing!

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I was in 75 of Effexor and I took a year to go off of it, and still had bad withdrawal. Please go slow

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@mmesco

Hi there, I just joined Connect in preparation for my Effexor detox. I'm starting on Monday, and I'm pretty scared bc I've already experienced the withdrawal many times from missing doses. Been on 300 mg for about 8 years and really feel like I'm ready to come off. I'll be taking a leave from work, so I can taper aggressively and just focus on being healthy. Just hoping to find some support and solidarity 🙂

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That's a high dose and I strongly recommend taking it slow. This is a very powerful drug and it takes our bodies and brains a while to adjust — and when I say “a while,'' I'm talking months. I know how much we want to be free of the drug once we decide to quit, but what we want and what our body needs can be very different!

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@falon

@jakedduck1 I have already been tapering off the clonazepam with horrendous side effects and I am not even close to half way there. I just hoped that the Effexor would be easier. Maybe not. Do the side effects tend to last for the duration of the taper as well as afterward? I've never done this before and I feel like I'm dying most days! I feel terrified.

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@falon
Most importantly, there is no guarantee someone won’t go through withdrawal even if they taper slowly. However the slower you taper the less likely you are to have withdrawal and they are much less severe and don’t last as long. Symptoms are often worse at the completion of the taper. Withdrawal can last for weeks to months and have lasted over a year. But it depends on your own physiology since people react so differently to medications. One person here is reducing her medication by less than one half of one percent. @falon, the half life of Klonopin is 30-40 hours whereas Effexor half life is about 5 hours. That should tell you which drug will be easier to discontinue. I wish you would post what your current dose is and what your dose decreases were. Really curious???
I really hope you have access to a Compounding Pharmacy to help with your taper.
Jake

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@saku

I was in 75 of Effexor and I took a year to go off of it, and still had bad withdrawal. Please go slow

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Hi everyone, I am new to this group and basically am not planning to get off of my venlafaxine yet, but having been on it for about 5 years at a 75mg daily dose after a left thalamus brain hemorrhage and experiencing the immediate withdrawal affects after only 2 days scares the heck out of me.

I am Alaskan Native and have worked in rural Alaska health care for 35 years I never imagined having to suffer such withdrawals. Living in a rural location without a road system relying 100% on air transport to receive my medicines has placed me in situations where I run out and have no choice, no other options. My providers did not warn me of the withdrawals prior to starting the medication so I relied on information from the internet to help first identify then live thru those withdrawals. Honestly if I had known then what I know now, I would have asked for a different treatment medication.

But, since I now know that I get severe withdrawal sxs after only 2 days I have gained much insight from all of you on how to avoid triggers and decrease some of the worst symptoms.

The worst has been the absolute flood of emotional non stop crying, the uncomfortable random brain "glitches", the horrible nightmares, the twitching and skin itching is insane. My teens who act like teens startle me into tears accidentally, the agitation and instability in balance and coordination. My nausea and vomiting until I feel a tingling prickling sensation on my chest which I take a peek at to see what I felt only to find angry looking red itchy lines fanned out from a central location scares me so much. That's only after missing 2 days of this medication, for which my provider tells me that the medications effects outweigh the withdrawals.

Please people choose wisely when offered treatment. In retrospect I was not in any position to weigh in on my treatment options at the time of initial intervention, it was my providers decision as my psychological and physical health did not allow me to think clearly.

Since my brain Injury I have changed my employment status 7 times, I am so thankful to function as I am today and I know that the Venlafaxine has really helped but the withdrawal is the worst medical condition I have ever dealt with, even worse than the brain hemorrhage itself.

Living my entire 55 years in rural alaska depending on our subsistence lifestyle to make ends meet, providing healthcare services my whole adult life and knowing I depend on a medication like Venlafaxine is absolutely frightening.

I am blessed to read your posts, it allows me the security that I am not alone and before I ask my provider questions about this medication I like to read all of your experiences. This makes me feel like I can possibly live thru a tapering, with your ideas and recommendations. Quyana from this Inupiaq from Northwestern Alaska.

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Just a side note, prior to the brain hemorrhage I had never taken medications other than for acute strep pharyngitis, or birth control, or pregnancy related medications so I believe my own medication use inexperience and my reliance on my own bodies ability to heal itself placed me at a higher risk for the withdrawal symptoms once the medication was introduced into my system. Just my thoughts.

Liked by cristin1

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@mmesco

Hi there, I just joined Connect in preparation for my Effexor detox. I'm starting on Monday, and I'm pretty scared bc I've already experienced the withdrawal many times from missing doses. Been on 300 mg for about 8 years and really feel like I'm ready to come off. I'll be taking a leave from work, so I can taper aggressively and just focus on being healthy. Just hoping to find some support and solidarity 🙂

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@mmesco
Good Morning!
Welcome! I hope you have taken some time to read some of the posts about coming off of Effexor.
It's great that you are able to take time off of work to deal with the possible withdrawal.
We are here to support you, but it sounds like you are going to taper off quickly.
If there is one thing I think most of us can agree upon, SLOW, SLOW, SLOW tapering is the way to go.
There are some who reduced too quickly and wound up in the hospital very sick.

I am currently tapering off from the same dosage you are taking, 300 mg (2-75 mg in the morning and at night).
I began with my evening dosage. I reduce 1/4 of one pill at a time. First, I reduce 1/4 every other night for 3 weeks then I take the reduced dosage every night for 3 weeks. This week I am finishing the 3rd week of taking 1-1/4 pill every night. Next week I will be taking 1 pill every other night for 3 weeks, followed by taking 1 pill every night. (All this depends on how I feel. If I need to, I will extend each step). Once I am down to one 75 mg. pill at night, I will begin the same process with my monring pill.

Good luck to you! Please read about those who went down too quickly. You will see a response from @farmboy who tapered too quickly. Read the others.

Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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