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've had bad cramps from withdrawal seemingly from out of the blue, at times.

Liked by cristin1, teachols

REPLY
@teachols

I've been tapering for about 2 months now and I'm down to 3 x 37.5 mg capsules, minus 54 beads. I'm not sure what to think about this… last menstrual cycle I had pretty bad cramps, but today out of nowhere I had completely debilitating cramps. I have endometriosis and had surgery to have it excised a few years ago. I'm worried it's coming back. I feel like I remember reading somewhere this is a rare side effect. Anyone know much about this or have any personal experience?

Jump to this post

Weaning off of this drug really messed with my gastro system. Diarrhea and horrible cramps. I wonder if it may be your gastro system and not your reproductive system. Might be worth a trip to the gyno to be double sure.

REPLY
@sadiesmom

Weaning off of this drug really messed with my gastro system. Diarrhea and horrible cramps. I wonder if it may be your gastro system and not your reproductive system. Might be worth a trip to the gyno to be double sure.

Jump to this post

@sadiesmom My daughter has been being treated for gastro issues ever since she started the Effexor. We're to the point now where she's had every test and her specialist has told us that until she is fully weaned there isn't anything else we can do. Obviously, he suspects the Effexor is the major culprit, and I will say that her symptoms have dramatically improved as we have lessened her dosage over the past year. We had also taken her to a GYN to rule out endometriosis…

REPLY

@sandij I have developed cramps as I wean off Klonopin. Mine are always in my lower legs and feet. So annoying!

REPLY

Yes, stomach cramps and cramps in the back of my calves, as well as headaches. Fortunately not debilitating but pretty annoying!

REPLY
@mommapsych

I have been working with my 16 year old over the past year to taper off. What has worked for us is a VERY slow process. We get the capsules and literally count them out and take her down a couple every week. We started at 150 mg about a year ago and we are now at 50 mg. It's slow and tedious but when we tried to make a significant decrease it didn't go well. We've just kind of resigned ourselves to "slow and steady wins the race." She does not have a psychiatrist. Her pediatrician prescribes and we keep her informed as to how it's going. The only side effect so far is a headache the day after we do a decrease. Hope this helps!

Jump to this post

thank you so much for your input

REPLY
@sandij

I actually did go from 225 mg to 150 mg in one shot, stayed there for about six weeks, then from 150 to 75 about six weeks later. I started decreasing my dosage in September 2018. Its not recommended to go that fast. The wd symptoms can come and go for up to two years really no matter how slowly you go, in my opinion, and they are worse when you get down less than 75, in my experience.

Jump to this post

what bothers me is my doctor (in Canada) just prescribed it like it was nothing..
makes me so mad

REPLY
@dyan

what bothers me is my doctor (in Canada) just prescribed it like it was nothing..
makes me so mad

Jump to this post

Hi Dyan,
I think most of us were given the drug the same way.
I am NOT 100% sure when all the issues came to light.
I am curious, did you ask the doctor if there were any side effects you had to look for?
Don't be angry, it doesn't help.
I think we ALL learned a good lesson OR we were reminded that it is OUR obligation to ask the questions if we want to have them answered.
Don't forget, often doctors will prescribed the best medication for the situation without a discussion, unless asked.
Good luck!
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

Liked by cristin1, sharonlou

REPLY
@dyan

what bothers me is my doctor (in Canada) just prescribed it like it was nothing..
makes me so mad

Jump to this post

I’m in the same situation while hitting menopause….no questions asked.

Liked by cristin1

REPLY
@mommapsych

@sadiesmom My daughter has been being treated for gastro issues ever since she started the Effexor. We're to the point now where she's had every test and her specialist has told us that until she is fully weaned there isn't anything else we can do. Obviously, he suspects the Effexor is the major culprit, and I will say that her symptoms have dramatically improved as we have lessened her dosage over the past year. We had also taken her to a GYN to rule out endometriosis…

Jump to this post

Wow, I’ve been having horrible times with gastro being on this, hope she’s 100% back to herself

Liked by cristin1, sharonlou

REPLY

Wow, just found this place as I have decided today to finally wean myself off Effexor/venlafaxine. Taking 75 mg for over 10 years and now that I’m retired, I feel strongly that this doctor I had then pushed them on me without any questions or background of depression. I was going thru menopause and hormones were bouncing around me like a teenager. Fast forward to now at 64 I’m experiencing some ptsd from childhood trauma and I’m still on meds. I feel like my meds are not working anymore and expect my doc to recommend increasing the dosage but I can’t do this anymore. I’m in counselling for ptsd, trauma right now and I’m working of living thru it.

I understand weaning is long process and I’m here to learn real experiences from this group. I will be contacting my current new doctor to let her know I will be weaning myself off ASAP.

I read several posts here talking about weaning thru reducing the bits in the pill itself. Wondering what you would use to perform this daunting task! Or do pharmacists create lower dosage pills to essentially wean me off thru my drs prescriptions. Wish it was that easy.

I’ve lived reasonably well without meds until menopause so I feel strongly I was misdiagnosed and want my own creative life back. Tired of the zings in my head, ear ringing, vivid disturbing dreams, and gastro issues, etc etc… My goal is to finally “BE” without these meds.

Your help is greatly appreciated! ❤️

REPLY
@secretwhitepop

Hi there. I weened off 37.5 mg of Effexor over an 18 month period. First month I opened the capsules and took out five beads. Second month 10, and so on. There came a point where I took out about half and then a bit more. I was never extremely exact, but I did make sure I stretched it out over a very long period. And FYI, not until the very end did I suffer any dizziness or other symptoms. Do NOT skip any days. Be regimented. You will succeed.

Jump to this post

So did you cut X amount of beads over several months? Then keep tapering more beads in the next round? How many months did you stay on your first tapered dosage.

REPLY
@mommapsych

@sharonlou I can't see my earlier reply to you and I want to make sure you get it😄 We counted the little balls and discovered that one little ball roughly equals one mg. I say roughly because some of the balls are really tiny and some are a little larger. We started when she was on 150 mg and we would take her down 5 every couple of weeks. Once she came down under 100 we've had to slow down to 1-2 every couple of weeks. For us a long and slow taper has worked. We've had advice from medical professionals to to faster but that did not work. We tried to go from 150 to 75 on docs advice and it was immediately bad. I think that in the end it will take us a year and a half but it's worth the wait to not have the major withdraw symptoms. Gemma has had headaches and slight dizziness 1-2 days after a reduction but that's really been it. I slip an Advil in her pill sorter on the day of and day after a taper and she is fine. Anything we can do to support you just tag us!

Jump to this post

@mommapsych Thanks so much for your replies! I copied them as I tend to forget details and also I may show them to my new psychiatrist whom I'm hoping will be supportive in my efforts. I have read in other comments that some people are helped by an additional medication as they are weaning off of Effexor and I would need him to prescribe that. I'm also going to check with my pharmacist to see if he has any knowledge in this area with the hopes of having backup in case the PDr is resistant. I am so sensitive to even a short delay in taking this med that I'm pretty certain it will be a difficult process getting off of it. But I've learned so much here that I'm sure I can do it. So helpful to hear success stories such as yours.

Liked by cristin1, searchgirl

REPLY
@sandij

Now that I'm only taking one capsule a day it seems more manageable to be on this stupid crap, even though I'd much rather be off of it sooner than later, but I'm patiently counting my beads, lol. Since I have a good stock of capsules left, I'm pouring the beads I'm disposing of (10 at this last count!) into my palm instead of saving them, then dropping them under running water and saying "good riddance!" to them!

Jump to this post

@sandij I worry about psych medications in our water supply. I intend to put any leftover beads in a med container and hand it in at one of our prescription med disposal days in our city. Just a thought.

REPLY
@searchgirl

So did you cut X amount of beads over several months? Then keep tapering more beads in the next round? How many months did you stay on your first tapered dosage.

Jump to this post

Each time I pulled out more little beads (aka tapered my dose) I’d take that dose for three to four weeks. If I accidentally went a bit longer, that’s ok. If I got dizzy spells I made sure to take them at about the same time each day. This is also not the time to be pushing yourself. Stay as healthy as possible for best results. Get rest, exercise and watch your sugar and otherwise junk foods 🙂

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.