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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Good evening everyone. I'm on day 10 of starting effexor again. I started on 75mgs which that is the dose I was doing good on before tapering off. Question is should I be noticing any improvements. Right now I'm still feeling sick, anxiety/panic attacks come and go. I feel lost and confused.

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@farmboy

Good evening everyone. I'm on day 10 of starting effexor again. I started on 75mgs which that is the dose I was doing good on before tapering off. Question is should I be noticing any improvements. Right now I'm still feeling sick, anxiety/panic attacks come and go. I feel lost and confused.

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@farmboy
Good morning!
So sorry you are still having such a difficult time.
All I can tell you is what my psychiatrist told me…..
I was weaning off the Effexor on the advice of my PCP.
I now know it was too much, too soon and the anxiety came back in droves.
When I got home, my took my regular dosage and for a few days I continued with no success.
The doctor told me that once you start to wean off or you come off, you need to stay away from the med for about 6 months.
I tried other meds, but they did not help.
After about 6 months, I requested trying to go back on the Effexor.
Enough time had passed, so the psychiatrist told me I could.
Although it worked, it was NEVER as good as when I first started with it.
Don't get me wrong, it has kept my anxiety pretty much in toe, but I just don't feel the same way I did when I first was on it.

Good luck!
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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@farmboy

Good evening everyone. I'm on day 10 of starting effexor again. I started on 75mgs which that is the dose I was doing good on before tapering off. Question is should I be noticing any improvements. Right now I'm still feeling sick, anxiety/panic attacks come and go. I feel lost and confused.

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@farmboy– Good morning. Going back on an antidepressant after stopping it suddenly can be very tricky. My suggestion is to go to your doctor and let him/her figure out what you need now. I would also stop taking extra vitamins until you get some blood work done. as many others have told you already this drug alters the chemicals in your brain and the more we mess with them the more complicated your problems will be.

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@farmboy

Good evening everyone. I'm on day 10 of starting effexor again. I started on 75mgs which that is the dose I was doing good on before tapering off. Question is should I be noticing any improvements. Right now I'm still feeling sick, anxiety/panic attacks come and go. I feel lost and confused.

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@farmboy my heart goes out to you. The first time I quit Effexor it was horrible and they restarted me at a much higher dose. I felt fine after taking it again. Maybe they need to increase it a bit. I would definitely tell your doc how you are feeling. Good luck! Prayers for feeling better!

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Thank you ladies for your replies. I will talk to my Dr. and see what she has to say and tell her what I've read here. Thankyou

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@farmboy
I’m just thinking out loud but is it possible you titrated up to 75mg too quickly? I don’t know if that is an initial starting dose or not. But if you had been on 75mg only days before It’s curious why it’s making you sick now. When you first began Effexor did you start on 75mg or higher. Just ideas here but due to the extremely short half life I’m wondering if switching to 2-3 times a day dosing might help??? Perhaps you need to be on a higher dose. You did say you felt fine on 75mg at one time didn’t you? Definitely sounds like it’s time for medical intervention.
Best of luck buddy, hope you start feeling better soon,
Jake

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My doctor put me on Prozac for 10 days, while also taking the Effexor, and then I stopped the Effexor. Next, I was able to come off the Prozac pretty quickly – about two weeks. The Prozac has a long half life, so it remains in your system for a while after you stop taking it. The body slowly rids itself of the Prozac and this has the similar effect of a slow taper. I did experience some minor discontinuation symptoms which resolved themselves over a two week period.

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@jakedduck1

@farmboy
I’m just thinking out loud but is it possible you titrated up to 75mg too quickly? I don’t know if that is an initial starting dose or not. But if you had been on 75mg only days before It’s curious why it’s making you sick now. When you first began Effexor did you start on 75mg or higher. Just ideas here but due to the extremely short half life I’m wondering if switching to 2-3 times a day dosing might help??? Perhaps you need to be on a higher dose. You did say you felt fine on 75mg at one time didn’t you? Definitely sounds like it’s time for medical intervention.
Best of luck buddy, hope you start feeling better soon,
Jake

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I started on 75 mg the last time going on it. But like you said I'm wondering if I don't need to go to a higher dose.

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@lisabass

My doctor put me on Prozac for 10 days, while also taking the Effexor, and then I stopped the Effexor. Next, I was able to come off the Prozac pretty quickly – about two weeks. The Prozac has a long half life, so it remains in your system for a while after you stop taking it. The body slowly rids itself of the Prozac and this has the similar effect of a slow taper. I did experience some minor discontinuation symptoms which resolved themselves over a two week period.

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You sound really lucky compared to some of the stories I've read/heard. I'm glad it went well for you.

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@lisabass

My doctor put me on Prozac for 10 days, while also taking the Effexor, and then I stopped the Effexor. Next, I was able to come off the Prozac pretty quickly – about two weeks. The Prozac has a long half life, so it remains in your system for a while after you stop taking it. The body slowly rids itself of the Prozac and this has the similar effect of a slow taper. I did experience some minor discontinuation symptoms which resolved themselves over a two week period.

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@lisabass wow! That’s great! I have had a heck of a time coming off Effexor! I’m very happy you did not have withdrawal symptoms! Good for you.

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Like most of you know I restarted on 75 mg of effexor. I'm wondering if I should go to a higher dose for awhile. I feel like I'm going to lose my mind. I think I'm psyching myself out alot. My anxiety is getting worse again, I constantly feel like I'm in fog, little things alarm me, headaches,confusion and it's like I'm in a constant anxiety/panic attack.

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@farmboy

Like most of you know I restarted on 75 mg of effexor. I'm wondering if I should go to a higher dose for awhile. I feel like I'm going to lose my mind. I think I'm psyching myself out alot. My anxiety is getting worse again, I constantly feel like I'm in fog, little things alarm me, headaches,confusion and it's like I'm in a constant anxiety/panic attack.

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Hi @farmboy – I'd just encourage you to keep in touch with your doctor, daily if needed, for support through this and to see if they can explain your situation and recommend any changes to your venlafaxine (Effexor) dosing, prescribe another medication to accompany it, or suggest another therapy that might help you through this trying time.

Have you had the chance to connect with your doctor lately? Has anything else as far as self-care helped you through this time thus far?

Liked by texasduchess

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@lisalucier

Hi @farmboy – I'd just encourage you to keep in touch with your doctor, daily if needed, for support through this and to see if they can explain your situation and recommend any changes to your venlafaxine (Effexor) dosing, prescribe another medication to accompany it, or suggest another therapy that might help you through this trying time.

Have you had the chance to connect with your doctor lately? Has anything else as far as self-care helped you through this time thus far?

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@farmboy I agree that you should try to at least call if not ask if you can be seen soon. Also ask if you should get checked for low sodium. Sometimes antidepressants can cause it (it's one of the warning things on the med sheet that comes with the Rx), and while most people get too much rather than not enough salt, it can result in confusion and CRS (can't remember sh*t).

Honestly sounds like how I feel with low blood sugar more than a panic attack but everyone experiences them differently. Only constant is that it is awful.

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@notaround

@farmboy I agree that you should try to at least call if not ask if you can be seen soon. Also ask if you should get checked for low sodium. Sometimes antidepressants can cause it (it's one of the warning things on the med sheet that comes with the Rx), and while most people get too much rather than not enough salt, it can result in confusion and CRS (can't remember sh*t).

Honestly sounds like how I feel with low blood sugar more than a panic attack but everyone experiences them differently. Only constant is that it is awful.

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Relapse is hitting me hard. Right now I'm in limbo trying to determine what is depression, what is withdrawal, or if I'm otherwise sick.

(I'm 3 weeks out after my last dose of venlafaxine and since Prozac had bad stomach problems – enough to have to call a friend and see if they had food poisoning so I could figure out if I did, I'm switching again. In the meantime I am definitely not adequately medicated.)

The up and down of having a little energy for an hour or a few and then down for the rest of the day is frustrating. Just enough to decide I want to do something but without being able to. I sit on my bed sometimes mentally yelling at myself to get up and at least do dishes. Doesn't work. I know it's called executive dysfunction. Not that knowing that helps.

One long day at a time.

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@notaround I've woken up in a panic the last two days feeling so bad that I've cancelled my classes, putting myself in a worse financial situation and a precarious position with my company. I also cant determine if its withdrawal, depression, or just stressed out. I do the same as you, just yelling at myself to just do something, but I just can't. It's scary. I wish I had the answers for all of us. @farmboyfarmboy I hope you feel better soon too.

Liked by cristin1, effexor

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