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

Hi @elwooodsdad,

You may notice that I moved your message and combined it with this existing discussion as I thought it would be beneficial for you to be introduced to the many members who have discussed Trintellix.
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@kanaazpereira

Hello @alan5322,

This information – Getting Started on Connect https://connect.mayoclinic.org/get-started-on-connect/ – may be useful to you for posting your message on Mayo Clinic Connect.

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@kanaazpereira – I have copied and pasted this and put it in my notes so that I can advise the next time!! It's about time I think! lol Thank you

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@merpreb

@dickgray- Do you have interstitial lung disease (ILD) from the Effexor or another problem? I am glad that. Are you Australian by any chance? I'm guessing because you have a written accent, lol

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i am hoping it's not anything that serious. Lung issue seems to ebb and flow. Today and yesterday not great-day before just fine. I will have it looked into further when i return to the U.K ( sorry, not Aussie 🙂 )

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So, whats the deal with poxy withdrawal. One day not too bad, next day back to vague swimming head, feeling a bit generally like my body is being dragged into another dimension- then thinking better of it, emotionally messy and a pretty tight chest. Is this a normal response to go in and out of symptoms. Its only been a week since the last dose ( little bit of a too quick step down from 75 to 37.5 to nada ).
And, before i forget, because generally I try to give it a wide berth, happy holidays 🙂

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@sandij

Today let's celebrate our wins! It sounds like many of us are experiencing some great times, and this gives others hope!
I'm stable on 75 mg of effexor. I started tapering in September from a dosage of 225. I had decided to pursue an aggressive yet safe taper. I had the benefit of experiencing neurontin withdrawal for a solid year after a cold Turkey withdrawal (from 600 mg to 0 in a day, ignorant of the effects at the time). So I was fully aware and prepared for the symptoms of withdrawal from this drug when they would come. I have bad days that are mostly physical symptoms..headache, nausea, dizzy..all of them bearable. Sometimes crying jags, but that is no different from when I was on a higher dose! The same with spells of anxiety, it's no worse than it's ever been! I'm starting to think that this drug never really did anything positive for me. But, I'm still in the woods. I've heard the worst wd symptoms come at the tinier doses, so I'm prepared for that, should it happen. Every night, when my alarm sounds for me to take the capsule, I thank God and also tell myself how ..i dont want to say, proud, but maybe, give myself kudos for making this choice. We are ALL nothing but brave for taking this journey. Celebrate your own courage today and give thanks for the strength that comes from being a member of this community, I know I am going that today.

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So good to hear a positive post. Have been taking Effexor/Wellbutrin combo for migraines for ten plus years and have been on migraine medications for 36 years. Today was last day of taper for both meds and I’m feeling every conceivable effect from brain zaps to nightmares, sweats, disorientation and of course, headaches. What keeps me going is knowing that in the other side of this will be a healthier brain and liver, and no more drugs. I’m on 400 mg of Riboflavin and Magnesium, taking ginger and lots of walks. For those who are taking meds for migraines, there is a healthier and more effective solution: Cannibis. Here in New Mexico, I have my medical cannibis license. When I feel a headache coming on, I take one hit off my vape and the headache halts it’s growth towards a full blown migraine. After depending on narcotics, antidepressants and every drug ever made, I have something I know won’t end up making me feel like I feel today. I feel terrible, and plan to for a while. But knowing there’s a light at the other end of the tunnel is all I need to know.

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@twistdsis

So good to hear a positive post. Have been taking Effexor/Wellbutrin combo for migraines for ten plus years and have been on migraine medications for 36 years. Today was last day of taper for both meds and I’m feeling every conceivable effect from brain zaps to nightmares, sweats, disorientation and of course, headaches. What keeps me going is knowing that in the other side of this will be a healthier brain and liver, and no more drugs. I’m on 400 mg of Riboflavin and Magnesium, taking ginger and lots of walks. For those who are taking meds for migraines, there is a healthier and more effective solution: Cannibis. Here in New Mexico, I have my medical cannibis license. When I feel a headache coming on, I take one hit off my vape and the headache halts it’s growth towards a full blown migraine. After depending on narcotics, antidepressants and every drug ever made, I have something I know won’t end up making me feel like I feel today. I feel terrible, and plan to for a while. But knowing there’s a light at the other end of the tunnel is all I need to know.

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Hey Twist. Keep smoking the herb. And check into CBD also. You can get some that has 1 to 1 ratio of CBD and THC. I also vape and do the CBD thing. I’m currently going through Chemo and other another treatment and it helps a ton. I smoke the Indica strain (hope I dont get into trouble for this!!!). Lol. I have read a lot about this. I know one thing. I know more about pot than my former Doctor knew about Effexor!!!!!!! The way I’m looking at life right now is “whatever makes you feel better. In that I mean feel better being off pharmaceuticals. Medical weed is amazing. I have only lost 10 lbs in 2 months. All in my legs. I had gone from playing hockey, cycling 20 Kms a day and also walking my dog for an hour a day to nothing!!!!!!!! Lost most of the muscle I had worked so hard to build. My wife has never ever smoked dope in her life and had encouraged me to go see my Dr for med marijuana. I dont regret it for one instant. She’s an awesome cook and encourages me to have a puff about 1/2 hour before we eat. What a doll!!!!! So one min I dont feel hungry and the next I have a plateful. Hahaha. So put one foot in front of the other there T and go for it. You will feel better in time!!!!!! Just look in the mirror, smile at yourself and TELL YOURSELF you will be allright!!!!!!’

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@nanke99

Hi! I was on Effexor XR for a few years and got off it several years ago. It was a very difficult process, so I fully sympathize. You MUST wean off
VERY SLOWLY. I don’t remember what my dosage was at the time (225mg?), but it took me about 9 months. Please do not let that long time scare you, it’s worth going slow, that will be your biggest help w/ withdrawal. At the time I had a very difficult time finding any doctor with experience getting people off it.
Luckily I was advised to to find one and luckily I did. It is considered harder to get off than heroine. Not trying to scare you, just want to make sure you go as slow as possible. Mostly, I was moody/angry, had headaches, and some brain “shivers”. The brain shivers I already had while on the meds.
I think we went down in 25mg increments over several weeks for each reduction. Keep us posted and good luck! Just give yourself some time and it will be over before you know it!

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Did you have an increase in your blood pressure with the headaches?

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@shaker1956

Hey Twist. Keep smoking the herb. And check into CBD also. You can get some that has 1 to 1 ratio of CBD and THC. I also vape and do the CBD thing. I’m currently going through Chemo and other another treatment and it helps a ton. I smoke the Indica strain (hope I dont get into trouble for this!!!). Lol. I have read a lot about this. I know one thing. I know more about pot than my former Doctor knew about Effexor!!!!!!! The way I’m looking at life right now is “whatever makes you feel better. In that I mean feel better being off pharmaceuticals. Medical weed is amazing. I have only lost 10 lbs in 2 months. All in my legs. I had gone from playing hockey, cycling 20 Kms a day and also walking my dog for an hour a day to nothing!!!!!!!! Lost most of the muscle I had worked so hard to build. My wife has never ever smoked dope in her life and had encouraged me to go see my Dr for med marijuana. I dont regret it for one instant. She’s an awesome cook and encourages me to have a puff about 1/2 hour before we eat. What a doll!!!!! So one min I dont feel hungry and the next I have a plateful. Hahaha. So put one foot in front of the other there T and go for it. You will feel better in time!!!!!! Just look in the mirror, smile at yourself and TELL YOURSELF you will be allright!!!!!!’

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You hang in there, too, Shaker! I’ll be 65 in April (4/20, I swear) and have been around weed for a long time. What’s out there now is nothing like what we had in the 70’s. The therapeutic benefits are huge for so many ailments now. I’m happy to hear what it’s doing for you, too. With the opioid crisis in full swing, I wish more people knew that there are alternatives for pain. At one time I had four prescriptions for opioids. The doctors just kept giving me more and my kidneys paid the price. I know about CBD, too. You can get it anywhere now, which is great! (I’m wondering if CBD will help brain zaps.) I’ll see you on the other side, Shaker. We’ll both be feeling great and walking our dogs. 🙂

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@terri672

Did you have an increase in your blood pressure with the headaches?

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I have very low blood pressure. Do you have migraines, too?

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@twistdsis

You hang in there, too, Shaker! I’ll be 65 in April (4/20, I swear) and have been around weed for a long time. What’s out there now is nothing like what we had in the 70’s. The therapeutic benefits are huge for so many ailments now. I’m happy to hear what it’s doing for you, too. With the opioid crisis in full swing, I wish more people knew that there are alternatives for pain. At one time I had four prescriptions for opioids. The doctors just kept giving me more and my kidneys paid the price. I know about CBD, too. You can get it anywhere now, which is great! (I’m wondering if CBD will help brain zaps.) I’ll see you on the other side, Shaker. We’ll both be feeling great and walking our dogs. 🙂

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Hahaha. Ok but not too soon. I have tried good omega3 pills that did help me. Never spoke to anyone who has used them. You keep smiling. Smiles confuse people and can be amuzing all at once. And out in the public wear a pair of headphone. Start laughing like crazy and watch the reaction on people walking towards you. Priceless and as you think about it for the rest of your day it will bring a smile to your face. Gaurenteed but laugh real hard!!!!!

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@twistdsis

I have very low blood pressure. Do you have migraines, too?

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I do get bad headaches from the Chemo and the Smart Drug. Goes away with either CBD or a vape. No meds!!!!

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@terri672

Did you have an increase in your blood pressure with the headaches?

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I dont think so. I have normal bp.

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