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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@brightwings

@sandij
I just remembered 2 things that help me when I am feeling my worse.
1. Go run warm water over your hands. Oh, the comfort it brings is unbelievalbe. I know once I was there for 5 minutes. And it always helps me get back to the here and now…not in the past or future. It allowed me to stop dwelling on things and get my mind body and spirit back to right now. This second. I take back my control of MY LIFE that way…
.
Giggling, I forgot the second one. Those darn missing brain cells. If anybody sees them, kick them in the rear and send them home. I could get upset for not remembering BUT:
I have a policy…"I don't get my undies in a bunch"…
It steals my precious energy if I do.
So I am off to the senior center…my adoring fans are waiting. Oh, they love my singing as much as I love to sing.
I am singing the song: TODAY
Flying happily, Bright Wings

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Always great advise from you Brightwings!

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@brightwings

@sandij
I hear you loud and clear.
Well, good for you for being aware of all that and giving voice to your feelings. After reading it I was reminded of a tool I used to my benefit when feeling flooded like that.
I ALLOWED MYSELF to feel bad for a certain length of time. I CHOSE to allow myself to cry and whine and really wallow in my pain…
Why?
To Honor my feelings.
I validated my feelings because they were real.
.
When life comes flooding at us, certain chemical reactions happen in the body. They MAKE US feel bad.
By allowing myself to feel bad and cry over things that were out of control, I was basically taking back control of my life…..
AND I needed a time limit because I could wallow in my sad, tragic childhood, or my many illnesses, or my body breaking down because of the extreme pain buried in my body as a child up to young adulthood.
By crying, I was releasing toxins that I couldn't get rid of any other way.
Smiling at you darling, try it, it works. Bright Wings

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Honoring my feelings is essential! And my natural tendency is to fight them if they're unpleasant or uncomfortable or scary, because I don't like feeling those things. But fighting them intensifies them, and allowing myself to really feel them takes away a lot of their power, oddly enough. But I'm with you on setting a time limit, too. After a while, enough is enough. I've felt them and honored them and now it's time to try to set them aside and focus on other things, as hard as that may be at first. It helps me to remember, too, that feelings aren't facts. By their very nature, they're transitory, even though when I'm experiencing them, they feel like they're the only reality and will last forever. (BTW, if anyone tries to tell me this when I'm in the midst of panic or great fear or ever big depression, I want to slug them — if I have the energy!) Lately, I've been back into an old standby that I haven't read for years — “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway'' by Susan Jeffers. It's helping. I think I'll also go back to some books by Claire Weekes, an Australian physician whose works helped me immensely years ago in understanding and dealing with panic and anxiety. For a long time she was just about the only one who'd written books on this. Her writing was kind and illuminating at the same time. I highly recommend her.

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@sandij

@brightwings I had been on 75 mg for about 6 weeks before I attempted to wean down at all from there. But I started weaning from 225 mg in the beginning. I know that the weaning has to be extremely slow from here on out. I take out 6 beads from my 75 capsule which contains about 84 beads, So each bead is roughly .89 mg. So my calculation is that I am at 69 mg, not 66 yet. I guess that was like a 7% reduction? It just kills me that a few tiny beads can have SO much control over me. From reading information on a FB group I was astounded that people were having extreme reactions at the very end and jumping off of a single bead. Well, never say never, because it looks like that is what is in the future for me too! This whole experience has given me a great deal of compassion for drug addicts.
I did get my test results back from the CT scan. Apparently lesions on the liver are quite common, and their recommendation is to have an MRI in 3 months just to make sure nothing has changed. In the past I may have taken the news of the initial discovery in stride, but one of the effects of WD, for me, I think, is to catastrophize more than is normal.
I am 56 years old and had a total hysterectomy when I was 46, I stopped taking estrogen patches about 2 years ago. I realize now that the effexor was certainly helping stave off hot flashes since I am experiencing them a bit now, but nothing like the night sweats I had when I was going through neurontin withdrawal. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I got through that hell and I can get through this one. But the difference is, I went cold turkey with that. Even though my protracted WD lasted two years of windows and waves, I wasn't taking it anymore! With this, I'm still taking it and going through hell. SO the realization that I will have to go THIS slow and STILL experience years of hell is just discouraging.
I have my good days but right now I feel like I am in a dark hole and am losing patience the longer it goes on. Then I feel guilty that other people go through far worse than stupid effexor withdrawal…relative to many others out there, I should have gratitude, especially in light of this recent test, but I can't seem to snap out of it.
Ugh. Thanks for listening. I know it will get better but right now I am all kinds of crazy and full of self hate. And guilt. And self pity. Waiting for the tide to turn.
Hope everyone is having a good day!
Sandi

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Take it slow and if you have to stay steady at a dosage for longer.

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@andrewnielsen

That advice is no good. The withdrawal is from the last little bit of the Efexor being metabolised really quickly. So, tapering will not help. Instead, overlap your last three Efexor tablets (37.5 or 75 mg, which ever is the lowest you tolerate) And then stop them both, or stay on the Prozac if you prefer. No more withdrawal symptoms at al. The Prozac inhibits the metabolism of the Effexor, you see.

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HI, I just received IV ketamine Infusions for chronic daily migraine pain and depression. I'm on Effexor ER 75 mg. twice a day. I started taking it once a day after the ketamine. I'm having frequent weird headaches that don't feel at all like my usual migraine, and lots of low grade annoying nausea that Zofran isn't really helping. The pain doc said he thought it was from the Ketamine on the phone. In his office he said I could come off Effexor now. I don't think he knows how hard that would be….So I came to this site to read other people's experiences. Your advice sounds logical. What do you mean by overlapping the last Effexor? I don't have Prozac in the house, but I do have Trintellix which is also a SSRI and works I believe on norepinephrine too. What do you think I should do? I also have ketamine lozenges which I've been blaming for the nausea, but it definitely could be from cutting the effexor dose in half. Help!

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@kbmayo

Honoring my feelings is essential! And my natural tendency is to fight them if they're unpleasant or uncomfortable or scary, because I don't like feeling those things. But fighting them intensifies them, and allowing myself to really feel them takes away a lot of their power, oddly enough. But I'm with you on setting a time limit, too. After a while, enough is enough. I've felt them and honored them and now it's time to try to set them aside and focus on other things, as hard as that may be at first. It helps me to remember, too, that feelings aren't facts. By their very nature, they're transitory, even though when I'm experiencing them, they feel like they're the only reality and will last forever. (BTW, if anyone tries to tell me this when I'm in the midst of panic or great fear or ever big depression, I want to slug them — if I have the energy!) Lately, I've been back into an old standby that I haven't read for years — “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway'' by Susan Jeffers. It's helping. I think I'll also go back to some books by Claire Weekes, an Australian physician whose works helped me immensely years ago in understanding and dealing with panic and anxiety. For a long time she was just about the only one who'd written books on this. Her writing was kind and illuminating at the same time. I highly recommend her.

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Great comments and resources. Thank you!

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I have really gotten a lot of info from this group on stopping Effexor. I have been on 225 for several years. I have decided to stop taking it and have been given a plan by my dr to wean off it. I was really surprised by what I read regarding the withdrawal symptoms. Scared really. I had no idea my body was so addicted to this medication. That said, I am an all or nothing kind of gal. I tried a few days of lower dose and have been having nausau, headache, brain fog and dizziness I thought to forget this, I am not going to feel like this for months. So, cold turkey! I decided if I am going to feel awful I am going to get it out of the way all at once. I read one of the posts on here to use ibuprofen, eat a few more carbs, rest and hydrate. I have to say, they are actually better on day 2 of cold turkey than they were on day 5 of a lower dose. YES, I know this is not recommended but I know my body and my mind and I just was not up to the months of this. Clearly, a person has to use their best judgement. I do want to thank all on here who have given lots of advice and things to watch for. I love this venue for discussion. I will post next week to let you know how I am managing.

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I am sometimes tempted to just RIP the bandaid off too now that I'm down as far as I am. At least I wont linger with it in my system. I know I'm probably in for a few years of this sh*t, whether its drawn out WD or PAWS, it's probably six of one half dozen of the other. But I dont think I would do it at 225. I know theres some info on discontinuation syndrome either on this thread or on the internet in general. It may have some dangers associated with it but honestly you'd have to research it. Whatever you decide to do we are here for your benefit.

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Well I also know that I will never escape myself and my emotions. I've gotten into studying Human Design and it completely makes sense for me, I will always experience life as waves…and have to wait through emotional waves before clarity comes. It was actually a relief to see that I'm not the only one who is made this way, although it would have saved me much grief if I'd been introduced to HDS years ago. No matter, the knowledge I have now is proving beneficial.
After I had a good cry today I'm feeling better.

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@rascal1

Such a fabulous attitude ! I need to stop looking back and march ahead!

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@rascal1
Ha, fabulous attitude, my rear end!!!!!
I used to be such a whiner…true story…all my friends left me. It got my attention, let me tell you.
I had to change or be lonely.
I chose to change.
.
It has taken me years to get where I am…thankfully I remember what I did and try to teach it. It"s always someone's choice to take advantage of what I teach or not.
I used to try to Re-lnvent the wheel until I realized I could just listen and try to use other skills folks were using cuz I could see they felt a lot better than I did.
Just saying, I wasn't always this happy person. Smiling at you, Bright Wings

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@kbmayo

Honoring my feelings is essential! And my natural tendency is to fight them if they're unpleasant or uncomfortable or scary, because I don't like feeling those things. But fighting them intensifies them, and allowing myself to really feel them takes away a lot of their power, oddly enough. But I'm with you on setting a time limit, too. After a while, enough is enough. I've felt them and honored them and now it's time to try to set them aside and focus on other things, as hard as that may be at first. It helps me to remember, too, that feelings aren't facts. By their very nature, they're transitory, even though when I'm experiencing them, they feel like they're the only reality and will last forever. (BTW, if anyone tries to tell me this when I'm in the midst of panic or great fear or ever big depression, I want to slug them — if I have the energy!) Lately, I've been back into an old standby that I haven't read for years — “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway'' by Susan Jeffers. It's helping. I think I'll also go back to some books by Claire Weekes, an Australian physician whose works helped me immensely years ago in understanding and dealing with panic and anxiety. For a long time she was just about the only one who'd written books on this. Her writing was kind and illuminating at the same time. I highly recommend her.

Jump to this post

@kbmayo
Yes, yes, yes, yes yes!
Good for you.
Bright wings…what she said….

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@saku

Take it slow and if you have to stay steady at a dosage for longer.

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@saku @sandij
I totally agree, hold steady at this dose for a bit till you drop again.
It feels like a wise move to me too.
Bright Wings

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@rainswuth

HI, I just received IV ketamine Infusions for chronic daily migraine pain and depression. I'm on Effexor ER 75 mg. twice a day. I started taking it once a day after the ketamine. I'm having frequent weird headaches that don't feel at all like my usual migraine, and lots of low grade annoying nausea that Zofran isn't really helping. The pain doc said he thought it was from the Ketamine on the phone. In his office he said I could come off Effexor now. I don't think he knows how hard that would be….So I came to this site to read other people's experiences. Your advice sounds logical. What do you mean by overlapping the last Effexor? I don't have Prozac in the house, but I do have Trintellix which is also a SSRI and works I believe on norepinephrine too. What do you think I should do? I also have ketamine lozenges which I've been blaming for the nausea, but it definitely could be from cutting the effexor dose in half. Help!

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@rainswuth
Yup, the nausea and other symptoms sound like withdrawal to me.
CBD will cut the nausea. And help the withdrawal symptoms. Anxiety, fear depression….
.
I can't tell you how to cut down cuz I went cold turkey…hard headed, dangerous way to get off the Effexor but I didn't find this site until months after my last dose.
Do not do what I did!!!!
Count the beads inside to reduce your intake of Effexor.
Get to reading here, no need to reinvent the wheel. Then see what you identify with and take that route. Trust your gut…
Peace to you, Bright Wings

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@rascal1

Great comments and resources. Thank you!

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@kbmayo
I commend you for making yourself a priority in your life. It sounds like your were listening and watching, then seeking the next step to help yourself.
You are wise indeed.
And welcome to this forum…Smiling at you, glad you are here.
Bright Wings
I eagerly ask what other tricks you have up your sleeve..cuz this old dog can learn new tricks, grin…

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@sandij

Well I also know that I will never escape myself and my emotions. I've gotten into studying Human Design and it completely makes sense for me, I will always experience life as waves…and have to wait through emotional waves before clarity comes. It was actually a relief to see that I'm not the only one who is made this way, although it would have saved me much grief if I'd been introduced to HDS years ago. No matter, the knowledge I have now is proving beneficial.
After I had a good cry today I'm feeling better.

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@sandij
Good for you for allowing yourself to cry.
Oh, how I hated it at first, but it really does help. I used to be happy or sad, I had no feeling in between. That was the only way I could survive my horrible childhood. Only, being sad was also dangerous, not exaggerating here…so I was only happy.
All that pain sadness, horror and wishing to die as a kid broke down my body cuz I stored every bit of any feeling that wasn't happy in my body.
No wonder I took Effexor for 33 years…
But look at me now, I say with a triumphant crow!

I would not let them win and in being so stubborn, I had to feel all those feelings I stuffed.
I feel like I have cried a galaxy of tears…why would I do that?
Cuz I am worth it.
Bright Wings

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@korntveds

I have really gotten a lot of info from this group on stopping Effexor. I have been on 225 for several years. I have decided to stop taking it and have been given a plan by my dr to wean off it. I was really surprised by what I read regarding the withdrawal symptoms. Scared really. I had no idea my body was so addicted to this medication. That said, I am an all or nothing kind of gal. I tried a few days of lower dose and have been having nausau, headache, brain fog and dizziness I thought to forget this, I am not going to feel like this for months. So, cold turkey! I decided if I am going to feel awful I am going to get it out of the way all at once. I read one of the posts on here to use ibuprofen, eat a few more carbs, rest and hydrate. I have to say, they are actually better on day 2 of cold turkey than they were on day 5 of a lower dose. YES, I know this is not recommended but I know my body and my mind and I just was not up to the months of this. Clearly, a person has to use their best judgement. I do want to thank all on here who have given lots of advice and things to watch for. I love this venue for discussion. I will post next week to let you know how I am managing.

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@korntveds
Hello and welcome, you are in the right place.
I felt alarmed inside when I read your post because I too went cold turkey from 125 mg of Effexor.
I did not find this site until months after my last dose.
Because of My decision, I decended into h ell. And that was only at 125 my. You take twice that.
Please click on my name and read what you are in for.
Please read more methods here to have more information under your belt.
Wishing you the best in your decisions.
Please come back before next week. We ARE here to support you in what ever decision you make. You are in charge of your life.
Bright Wings

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