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

@missjill87

I have been on only 37.5 Effexor XR for about a year, it is a wonderful fix to my bi polar mood swings and anxiety. But I am not myself… I had no highs and no lows. I am very uncaring about much of anything, I am not my fun crazy loud eccentric self anymore. My son would say ‘mom youre just not fun anymore’. That made me feel horrible. My fiancé I feel takes it personal as I am just not sexually interested anymore. I cant be ‘satisfied’. I’m never in the mood. I just always want to sleep. I haven’t been able to get up at 5am anymore and go to the gym as I always did. I was always in the gym. I recently got engaged and have been planning our wedding. When I went dress shopping I wasn’t really excited especially when I found the most perfect dress. I was like ehh. As if id rather be in bed sleeping.

Three days ago I decided to go cold turkey. I didn’t think about a withdraw, at all. I just wanted to be done with the medication and be my old self even with by bi-polarness mood swings and anxiety. Today is day 3 of not being on that medication I have been having the worst body aches, head aches, dizziness, insomnia yet super fatigued, eye pain, stomach pains and just constantly in the bathroom as if I have food poisoning. I’m constantly drinking coffee, water and taking Imodium and Ibuprofen. But I am still in such a fog and I feel myself getting snappy with my fiancé. I’m praying I get through this because I just want to be myself again. But I am thinking I may have to just start taking them again 🙁

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Thank you @lisalucier. I would love to feel excited as every woman should planning a wedding. But I feel everything other and maybe its just more overwhelming, the planning aspect, but that shouldn’t matter. I feel the real me would be more excited, more into the planning, more into everything. I just wanted to be the real me even if i was a little bi polar and moody at times. Right now seeing as I have not taken my meds.. I feel almost out of my body, in a fog and not really wanting to do anything. I need to do something, take them again and ween myself off slowly because I feel awful. I have the extended release capsules. Can I just break them apart and empty half of the little beads inside?

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I also have brain delays (I ccant explain it) its like I do something and my brain cant process.. but that happened when I was on it too. I am extremely short tempered and feel like someone is sitting on my head, when I move my eyes I get a strange feeling in my head. My eyes feel like they are pushing out and when I touch them they hurt so bad and I just want to close my eyes and sleep.

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@mlbaier

There are very few antidepressants that do not cause dry mouth, which leads to dry eyes and constipation

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You were so right about the dry eyes and constipation. Can anyone comment on whether these symptoms, especially dry mouth, will go away after I stop the effexor?

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I’ve been taking Effexor for 14 years, initially prescribed for migraines but my PCP thought there were no reasons to stop it, I had 3 boys in 3 yrs, worked full time, etc. I have inadvertently ran out and had terrible symptoms, nausea, headaches, sweating, chills. At Thanksgiving I mentioned I wanted to wean off it and a friend (psychiatrist) offered to taper me off. It’s been 9 weeks and I just started having terrible vertigo. The only solution will make me sleepy. I am so frustrated and tired, I just want to be off this and feel better! I’m in Cincinnati too for the previous post!

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@lisalucier

Hi all, There has been a lot of discussion in this thread about tapering off and stopping Effexor and other antidepressants. We sought the input of a Mayo Clinic pharmacist and here what she had to say:

“Most antidepressants should be tapered before discontinuing. Patients should check with their healthcare provider for discontinuation recommendations. Taper directions can depend on the reason for discontinuation, the particular antidepressant being discontinued, the current dose and other patient-specific factors. Abrupt discontinuation of venlafaxine is more likely to cause withdrawal symptoms and relapse than many other antidepressants because of its short half-life. Likewise, strategies for switching between antidepressants require similar consideration from a care provider. Here at Mayo Clinic, we pharmacists work together with physicians to help determine the best strategies for each patient.

Patients may decide to discontinue their antidepressants for a variety of reasons. Some people feel better after taking an antidepressant and may feel they don’t need it anymore. The course of antidepressant therapy varies. Some people have lifelong mood symptoms that can be alleviated with antidepressants. Others may have difficult times in their lives where treatment is required while they work through the situation and/or find other mechanisms to alleviate symptoms. A clinician can help patients determine the appropriate treatment course based on patient history, symptom severity and other patient-specific factors.

Some patients may experience side effects. Management of side effects depends on their severity, expected duration, other options and patient-specific factors. For example, many patients experience stomach upset when starting antidepressants, but this is usually short-lived, and the benefits of continuing treatment usually outweigh the risk of stopping the antidepressant or having the same effects with another anti-depressant.

“Cold turkey” discontinuation of venlafaxine can cause agitation, sweating, fatigue, nausea, restlessness, tremor and relapse of depression. A slow taper is recommended, and tapering may need to be adjusted based on patient-specific factors listed above and for patient response to the taper.

Genetics play a major role in our response to venlafaxine. People with poor 2D6 metabolizer status may not respond to venlafaxine and thus may not be subject to the same withdrawal symptoms as those who were metabolizing the drug properly. Routine genotype testing is not routinely recommended but could explain lack of response to venlafaxine and certain other medications. Mayo Clinic offers this type of pharmacogenetics testing that can be ordered by our providers. For more information see: http://mayoresearch.mayo.edu/center-for-individualized-medicine/

The most important thing to remember is that each patient is different and may respond differently to the same treatment. We have to communicate openly with our healthcare providers to get the most from our medications. Sometimes this entails some trial and error, but it is worth getting the right therapy in the end.

You can read more about Pharmacogenomics in this article https://www.seattletimes.com/life/wellness/depressed-genetics-affect-how-drugs-work/.”

Has anyone had genetic testing that altered their treatment plan or improved their condition?

Jump to this post

I am new to commenting on this site and tomorrow I have an appointment with my GP and hope to go off of Effexor XR 150 mg. I have been on Effexor for 15 years so I am really afraid of starting to taper down. I have GAD and my anxiety and depression seem to be getting worse the older I become, but I don’t want to be on this medication for financial reasons and I don’t want to be on a medication that is so severe if you suddenly don’t have access to it. I have experienced the withdrawal a few times when I didn’t get my refill in time (kicks in after 2 days) and it is severe. So, I am worried. I have read about the individual treatment program recently in an article, and am wondering if it would be more helpful because I also am taking PPI for Barretts Esophagus, and have been told my system has trouble absorbing certain vitamins, so I am not sure what effect the PPI is having with the Effexor being on it and going off of it.

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@missjill87

I have been on only 37.5 Effexor XR for about a year, it is a wonderful fix to my bi polar mood swings and anxiety. But I am not myself… I had no highs and no lows. I am very uncaring about much of anything, I am not my fun crazy loud eccentric self anymore. My son would say ‘mom youre just not fun anymore’. That made me feel horrible. My fiancé I feel takes it personal as I am just not sexually interested anymore. I cant be ‘satisfied’. I’m never in the mood. I just always want to sleep. I haven’t been able to get up at 5am anymore and go to the gym as I always did. I was always in the gym. I recently got engaged and have been planning our wedding. When I went dress shopping I wasn’t really excited especially when I found the most perfect dress. I was like ehh. As if id rather be in bed sleeping.

Three days ago I decided to go cold turkey. I didn’t think about a withdraw, at all. I just wanted to be done with the medication and be my old self even with by bi-polarness mood swings and anxiety. Today is day 3 of not being on that medication I have been having the worst body aches, head aches, dizziness, insomnia yet super fatigued, eye pain, stomach pains and just constantly in the bathroom as if I have food poisoning. I’m constantly drinking coffee, water and taking Imodium and Ibuprofen. But I am still in such a fog and I feel myself getting snappy with my fiancé. I’m praying I get through this because I just want to be myself again. But I am thinking I may have to just start taking them again 🙁

Jump to this post

@missjill87

I suppose that dividing the granuals could work, but I’m not a doctor. I advise you to speak with the pharmacist about what you can do safely to reduce the Effexor. Extended release pills are very different from regular ones. Be careful.

Jim

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Hi there, I took this drug for several years. During that time I occasionally went on “drug holidays”; a short period of time when I would “detox” from all medications. It may sound scary, depending on how many medications you use and your lifestyle, but it was something I decided to do to cleanse my organs (and brain!) of the toxic drugs used to help me. Once every seven years, I go on a four month “drug holiday” and while this might require a few days in hospital at first, it most often does not if done carefully at home and a friend stays a night or two in the event of a seizure. Depending on your employment/family situation (obligations) the very BEST cure for getting off of this type of medication is SLEEP! After that, light massage to the extremities and warm/hot baths (not showers) with Epsom, LOW LIGHTS, aromas that are pleasing to you, avoiding ALL STIMULANTS in diet (caffeine; in drinks and FOOD), and spending time with PETS (cats purring are nice). Avoid television if it affects your vision (blinking/blurring/dizziness) use instead soft music and radio. AVOID COMPUTER screens unless they are opaque and LOW LIGHT, avoid video/fast-moving images for a few days. After a week or so the “brain zaps” will slow, walls stop wabbling and hands stop shaking. A well-balanced moderately high carbohydrate diet during the first few days helps; pasta and potatoes with lots of vegetables, chicken, fish, TURKEY and some indulgent sauces salads and whole grain breads and a well-made slice of cake (but DO NOT overdo the refined sugar!). Walks, yoga and light dance (if you aren’t falling over with dizziness) are good but I found that distracting myself with mundane, simple household chores; laundry, cooking, ironing, polishing silverware, grooming pets, peeling vegetables for large soups and stews to share with the neighbours were the BEST therapies to get through those first long days of near agony when it seems every synapse is misfiring. I am in my mid-fifties and while I’ve enjoyed a variety of music, play the piano and sing, I found the “Trance” genre of music awfully soothing when I couldn’t sleep and was so nauseous I thought I’d toss every thirty seconds. I wish you the very best and hope something I’ve mentioned might offer a little relief. KL.

Liked by toomanycats

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@missjill87

I have been on only 37.5 Effexor XR for about a year, it is a wonderful fix to my bi polar mood swings and anxiety. But I am not myself… I had no highs and no lows. I am very uncaring about much of anything, I am not my fun crazy loud eccentric self anymore. My son would say ‘mom youre just not fun anymore’. That made me feel horrible. My fiancé I feel takes it personal as I am just not sexually interested anymore. I cant be ‘satisfied’. I’m never in the mood. I just always want to sleep. I haven’t been able to get up at 5am anymore and go to the gym as I always did. I was always in the gym. I recently got engaged and have been planning our wedding. When I went dress shopping I wasn’t really excited especially when I found the most perfect dress. I was like ehh. As if id rather be in bed sleeping.

Three days ago I decided to go cold turkey. I didn’t think about a withdraw, at all. I just wanted to be done with the medication and be my old self even with by bi-polarness mood swings and anxiety. Today is day 3 of not being on that medication I have been having the worst body aches, head aches, dizziness, insomnia yet super fatigued, eye pain, stomach pains and just constantly in the bathroom as if I have food poisoning. I’m constantly drinking coffee, water and taking Imodium and Ibuprofen. But I am still in such a fog and I feel myself getting snappy with my fiancé. I’m praying I get through this because I just want to be myself again. But I am thinking I may have to just start taking them again 🙁

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I talked with my doctor about reducing my dosage of Effexor xr (venlafaxine) from 150mg to 75mg. He told me it would take a few months to accomplish the reduction as planned. Remembering my bad experiences last time I tried to get off of Effexor, I decided to try my own method. Today is day 6. I have been opening the capsules and reducing the number of pellets by a few more each day. Today I removed 45 pellets. (There are approx. 115-125 pellets in a 75mg capsule and 60 pellets in a 37.5mg capsule). So far, so good. I’ve had a few body twitches and a slight headache, but I’m happy with that. By Saturday, I plan to have my overall dosage reduced by 37.5 mg. I’ll stay at 112.5 mg for a few weeks before I attempt the same process to reduce by another 37.5 mg. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. This is a day by day experiment.

Liked by Parus

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@missjill87

I have been on only 37.5 Effexor XR for about a year, it is a wonderful fix to my bi polar mood swings and anxiety. But I am not myself… I had no highs and no lows. I am very uncaring about much of anything, I am not my fun crazy loud eccentric self anymore. My son would say ‘mom youre just not fun anymore’. That made me feel horrible. My fiancé I feel takes it personal as I am just not sexually interested anymore. I cant be ‘satisfied’. I’m never in the mood. I just always want to sleep. I haven’t been able to get up at 5am anymore and go to the gym as I always did. I was always in the gym. I recently got engaged and have been planning our wedding. When I went dress shopping I wasn’t really excited especially when I found the most perfect dress. I was like ehh. As if id rather be in bed sleeping.

Three days ago I decided to go cold turkey. I didn’t think about a withdraw, at all. I just wanted to be done with the medication and be my old self even with by bi-polarness mood swings and anxiety. Today is day 3 of not being on that medication I have been having the worst body aches, head aches, dizziness, insomnia yet super fatigued, eye pain, stomach pains and just constantly in the bathroom as if I have food poisoning. I’m constantly drinking coffee, water and taking Imodium and Ibuprofen. But I am still in such a fog and I feel myself getting snappy with my fiancé. I’m praying I get through this because I just want to be myself again. But I am thinking I may have to just start taking them again 🙁

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@arachel Even though it has been long ago I recall doing the same thing and how thankful I was the medication was in capsules. We all experience the “weaning” at a different pace. Good for you in listening to your body. Doing so too quickly can be traumatic.
Kudos and keep us posted. I suspect many have been here.

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@contentandwell

@mlbaier this seems to be true of many drugs. The dilaudid I was taking post knee replacement made my mouth terribly dry and also caused horrible constipation. I had to take miralax for relief.
JK

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That is exactly why I am trying to get off of effexor. The “horrible” constipation got so bad that I ended up in the ER. (Trust me, it is less painful to give birth than to go through that). I use miralax too, but I let it slide this time thinking my increase in fiber and veges would take care of the problem naturally. I was mistaken. Also the dry mouth has been horrendous. I’ve been sucking on cough drops every day for 2 years to get some relief. I recently discovered Biotene mouth rinse which helps. I am on day 6 of my dosage reduction and have been removing a few pellets from the capsules each day. I expect to be able to get down from 150 mg to 112.5 mg by Saturday.

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@missjill87

I have been on only 37.5 Effexor XR for about a year, it is a wonderful fix to my bi polar mood swings and anxiety. But I am not myself… I had no highs and no lows. I am very uncaring about much of anything, I am not my fun crazy loud eccentric self anymore. My son would say ‘mom youre just not fun anymore’. That made me feel horrible. My fiancé I feel takes it personal as I am just not sexually interested anymore. I cant be ‘satisfied’. I’m never in the mood. I just always want to sleep. I haven’t been able to get up at 5am anymore and go to the gym as I always did. I was always in the gym. I recently got engaged and have been planning our wedding. When I went dress shopping I wasn’t really excited especially when I found the most perfect dress. I was like ehh. As if id rather be in bed sleeping.

Three days ago I decided to go cold turkey. I didn’t think about a withdraw, at all. I just wanted to be done with the medication and be my old self even with by bi-polarness mood swings and anxiety. Today is day 3 of not being on that medication I have been having the worst body aches, head aches, dizziness, insomnia yet super fatigued, eye pain, stomach pains and just constantly in the bathroom as if I have food poisoning. I’m constantly drinking coffee, water and taking Imodium and Ibuprofen. But I am still in such a fog and I feel myself getting snappy with my fiancé. I’m praying I get through this because I just want to be myself again. But I am thinking I may have to just start taking them again 🙁

Jump to this post

Thank you for the vote of confidence. I appreciate the feed back. I’ll definitely keep posting as things progress.

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@missjill87

I have been on only 37.5 Effexor XR for about a year, it is a wonderful fix to my bi polar mood swings and anxiety. But I am not myself… I had no highs and no lows. I am very uncaring about much of anything, I am not my fun crazy loud eccentric self anymore. My son would say ‘mom youre just not fun anymore’. That made me feel horrible. My fiancé I feel takes it personal as I am just not sexually interested anymore. I cant be ‘satisfied’. I’m never in the mood. I just always want to sleep. I haven’t been able to get up at 5am anymore and go to the gym as I always did. I was always in the gym. I recently got engaged and have been planning our wedding. When I went dress shopping I wasn’t really excited especially when I found the most perfect dress. I was like ehh. As if id rather be in bed sleeping.

Three days ago I decided to go cold turkey. I didn’t think about a withdraw, at all. I just wanted to be done with the medication and be my old self even with by bi-polarness mood swings and anxiety. Today is day 3 of not being on that medication I have been having the worst body aches, head aches, dizziness, insomnia yet super fatigued, eye pain, stomach pains and just constantly in the bathroom as if I have food poisoning. I’m constantly drinking coffee, water and taking Imodium and Ibuprofen. But I am still in such a fog and I feel myself getting snappy with my fiancé. I’m praying I get through this because I just want to be myself again. But I am thinking I may have to just start taking them again 🙁

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Hi, @missjill87 — seems like you are very self-aware and cognizant that this is not the “real you” right at this moment with coming off the Effexor/venlafaxine cold turkey, and that seems like a healthy place to be mentally. For me personally, I was excited about my wedding, but honestly I can’t say event planning like is needed for a wedding is my favorite activity. I was pretty glad when all that planning/business part was over and we could get on with the fun of being married.

I agree that talking to a pharmacist or your doctor would be wise in order to have a plan for tapering that has some experience/data behind it so that you can have the best chance of a smooth process of going off the medication. You deserve things to be smooth right now so you can enjoy this period of your life.

How are you feeling today?

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@lisalucier

Hi all, There has been a lot of discussion in this thread about tapering off and stopping Effexor and other antidepressants. We sought the input of a Mayo Clinic pharmacist and here what she had to say:

“Most antidepressants should be tapered before discontinuing. Patients should check with their healthcare provider for discontinuation recommendations. Taper directions can depend on the reason for discontinuation, the particular antidepressant being discontinued, the current dose and other patient-specific factors. Abrupt discontinuation of venlafaxine is more likely to cause withdrawal symptoms and relapse than many other antidepressants because of its short half-life. Likewise, strategies for switching between antidepressants require similar consideration from a care provider. Here at Mayo Clinic, we pharmacists work together with physicians to help determine the best strategies for each patient.

Patients may decide to discontinue their antidepressants for a variety of reasons. Some people feel better after taking an antidepressant and may feel they don’t need it anymore. The course of antidepressant therapy varies. Some people have lifelong mood symptoms that can be alleviated with antidepressants. Others may have difficult times in their lives where treatment is required while they work through the situation and/or find other mechanisms to alleviate symptoms. A clinician can help patients determine the appropriate treatment course based on patient history, symptom severity and other patient-specific factors.

Some patients may experience side effects. Management of side effects depends on their severity, expected duration, other options and patient-specific factors. For example, many patients experience stomach upset when starting antidepressants, but this is usually short-lived, and the benefits of continuing treatment usually outweigh the risk of stopping the antidepressant or having the same effects with another anti-depressant.

“Cold turkey” discontinuation of venlafaxine can cause agitation, sweating, fatigue, nausea, restlessness, tremor and relapse of depression. A slow taper is recommended, and tapering may need to be adjusted based on patient-specific factors listed above and for patient response to the taper.

Genetics play a major role in our response to venlafaxine. People with poor 2D6 metabolizer status may not respond to venlafaxine and thus may not be subject to the same withdrawal symptoms as those who were metabolizing the drug properly. Routine genotype testing is not routinely recommended but could explain lack of response to venlafaxine and certain other medications. Mayo Clinic offers this type of pharmacogenetics testing that can be ordered by our providers. For more information see: http://mayoresearch.mayo.edu/center-for-individualized-medicine/

The most important thing to remember is that each patient is different and may respond differently to the same treatment. We have to communicate openly with our healthcare providers to get the most from our medications. Sometimes this entails some trial and error, but it is worth getting the right therapy in the end.

You can read more about Pharmacogenomics in this article https://www.seattletimes.com/life/wellness/depressed-genetics-affect-how-drugs-work/.”

Has anyone had genetic testing that altered their treatment plan or improved their condition?

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HI, @clearview3. Glad you are posting and sharing about your situation as you hope to taper down off the Effexor XR 150. As you are looking at an individual treatment program for this, as well as wondering about the issue of your system’s vitamin absorption and any interaction with the PPI for Barrett’s Esophagus, three members on Connect who may have some insights for you come to mind: @kdubois, @johnbishop and @oldkarl. Hoping you can all meet up here in this discussion.

Would you be willing to share more about the individual treatment program you are considering for this taper off the Effexor?

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@lisalucier

Hi all, There has been a lot of discussion in this thread about tapering off and stopping Effexor and other antidepressants. We sought the input of a Mayo Clinic pharmacist and here what she had to say:

“Most antidepressants should be tapered before discontinuing. Patients should check with their healthcare provider for discontinuation recommendations. Taper directions can depend on the reason for discontinuation, the particular antidepressant being discontinued, the current dose and other patient-specific factors. Abrupt discontinuation of venlafaxine is more likely to cause withdrawal symptoms and relapse than many other antidepressants because of its short half-life. Likewise, strategies for switching between antidepressants require similar consideration from a care provider. Here at Mayo Clinic, we pharmacists work together with physicians to help determine the best strategies for each patient.

Patients may decide to discontinue their antidepressants for a variety of reasons. Some people feel better after taking an antidepressant and may feel they don’t need it anymore. The course of antidepressant therapy varies. Some people have lifelong mood symptoms that can be alleviated with antidepressants. Others may have difficult times in their lives where treatment is required while they work through the situation and/or find other mechanisms to alleviate symptoms. A clinician can help patients determine the appropriate treatment course based on patient history, symptom severity and other patient-specific factors.

Some patients may experience side effects. Management of side effects depends on their severity, expected duration, other options and patient-specific factors. For example, many patients experience stomach upset when starting antidepressants, but this is usually short-lived, and the benefits of continuing treatment usually outweigh the risk of stopping the antidepressant or having the same effects with another anti-depressant.

“Cold turkey” discontinuation of venlafaxine can cause agitation, sweating, fatigue, nausea, restlessness, tremor and relapse of depression. A slow taper is recommended, and tapering may need to be adjusted based on patient-specific factors listed above and for patient response to the taper.

Genetics play a major role in our response to venlafaxine. People with poor 2D6 metabolizer status may not respond to venlafaxine and thus may not be subject to the same withdrawal symptoms as those who were metabolizing the drug properly. Routine genotype testing is not routinely recommended but could explain lack of response to venlafaxine and certain other medications. Mayo Clinic offers this type of pharmacogenetics testing that can be ordered by our providers. For more information see: http://mayoresearch.mayo.edu/center-for-individualized-medicine/

The most important thing to remember is that each patient is different and may respond differently to the same treatment. We have to communicate openly with our healthcare providers to get the most from our medications. Sometimes this entails some trial and error, but it is worth getting the right therapy in the end.

You can read more about Pharmacogenomics in this article https://www.seattletimes.com/life/wellness/depressed-genetics-affect-how-drugs-work/.”

Has anyone had genetic testing that altered their treatment plan or improved their condition?

Jump to this post

Hi @cleaview3, I would like to add my welcome to Connect along with @lisalucier and other members. I’ve never taken Effexor XR 150 but from what I understand you can’t just stop taking it and when you taper the dose to start getting off of the drug it’s baby steps and slow wins the race from what others have said. I would definitely discuss it with your doctor and come up with a plan to taper off.

I did find some information on the PPI for Barrett’s Esophagus on the National Institutes of Health site here…
— Proton Pump Inhibitors: The Culprit for Barrett’s Esophagus?: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4288325/

Hope this helps,
John

Liked by Lisa Lucier

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@lucah

Hi there, I took this drug for several years. During that time I occasionally went on “drug holidays”; a short period of time when I would “detox” from all medications. It may sound scary, depending on how many medications you use and your lifestyle, but it was something I decided to do to cleanse my organs (and brain!) of the toxic drugs used to help me. Once every seven years, I go on a four month “drug holiday” and while this might require a few days in hospital at first, it most often does not if done carefully at home and a friend stays a night or two in the event of a seizure. Depending on your employment/family situation (obligations) the very BEST cure for getting off of this type of medication is SLEEP! After that, light massage to the extremities and warm/hot baths (not showers) with Epsom, LOW LIGHTS, aromas that are pleasing to you, avoiding ALL STIMULANTS in diet (caffeine; in drinks and FOOD), and spending time with PETS (cats purring are nice). Avoid television if it affects your vision (blinking/blurring/dizziness) use instead soft music and radio. AVOID COMPUTER screens unless they are opaque and LOW LIGHT, avoid video/fast-moving images for a few days. After a week or so the “brain zaps” will slow, walls stop wabbling and hands stop shaking. A well-balanced moderately high carbohydrate diet during the first few days helps; pasta and potatoes with lots of vegetables, chicken, fish, TURKEY and some indulgent sauces salads and whole grain breads and a well-made slice of cake (but DO NOT overdo the refined sugar!). Walks, yoga and light dance (if you aren’t falling over with dizziness) are good but I found that distracting myself with mundane, simple household chores; laundry, cooking, ironing, polishing silverware, grooming pets, peeling vegetables for large soups and stews to share with the neighbours were the BEST therapies to get through those first long days of near agony when it seems every synapse is misfiring. I am in my mid-fifties and while I’ve enjoyed a variety of music, play the piano and sing, I found the “Trance” genre of music awfully soothing when I couldn’t sleep and was so nauseous I thought I’d toss every thirty seconds. I wish you the very best and hope something I’ve mentioned might offer a little relief. KL.

Jump to this post

A “drug holiday” sounds like no picnic and is extremely dangerous. Having a seizure due to going cold turkey of any drug is just not worth it because the consequences can be lifelong …I’ve seen it.

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