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

@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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😀😀😀

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@brightwings

@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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I’m still on low dose Effexor and Klonopin but CBD does not seem to be helping me. I take 1/2 dropper twice a day. I want to transition off the meds and onto CBD oil.
By the way, I’m a grandma too of 4 wonderful teenagers. I’m 75 years old. Lost my daughter to ovarian cancer 2 1:2 years ago thus the meds. 3 of my grandchildren are her children left with a single dad.
Then I lost my dog Rascal to cancer in October and, thus, my name here! It’s been rough!

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@brightwings

@rascal1
By the way, your name ALWAYS makes me giggle. Why? Cuz I love how you state who you are in your name as I do. Oh, I look like a sweet old granny but I too LOVE being a rascel.
Ok, I missed this before, you are getting both your shoulders replaced??? Oh my gosh girl!!! You do have some health challenges going on.
I am posting this for a few reasons. 1. I want you to know I recognize your pain. I recognize your valor. I recognize your drive to go on, no matter what.
My hat is off to you. I honor you and the struggles you are going thru.
Ok, a little personal info…
My mom died suddenly of a stroke Dec 14, 2010.
My husband fell and started bleeding in 3 places in his head, Feb 11, 2011. He died in 8 hours.
A month later, my knee blew out. I had to have it replaced.
Months later, the bank let me know they were taking my house…..I said, Oh no you are not. I put it up for sale and sold it 5 days before the bank took it.
With the $3,000 profit, not counting the $45,000 loss, I jumped on a plane and took off for Africa.
I was so tired of whining and feeling sorry for myself, I chose to go work with those less fortunate than I was….
Best thing I ever did too.
I remember, giggling at the memory, the mission I was working at was given a sheep by one of the Elders of a tribe the mission was serving.
Ok, so I heard all kind of stories about how this guy had donated a sheep before but never came across with it…
I chose to take an action and went to get that sheep…I walked the whole way, walking faster than a young male nurse from a big city. I walked with ease, miles and miles…I came back without our sheep to boot. That elder is probably still donating a sheep and not coming across with it! Grin
.
Hahaha, so anyways, if I can do it, you can too girlfriend.
That knee replacement was the best thing I ever did.
Have a great day cuz I know I am…remember, attitude is everything.
Bright Wings

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@rascal1
Ha, I say triumphantly, I finally remembered my second tip.
Go Play With Puppys and Kittens!
Some days I felt so bad, I mapped out all the places you could play with puppies and kittens. I went from place to place, pretending I was looking for a pet to buy.
After playing with many of them I would go out to the car to cry. The innocence of the animals, their trust, their wanting to be touched released feelings long buried in me.
I could see that as a child, I too was trusting people…but it was THEY that were the bad ones, not me. I had to stop believing the lies I was told and then and only then could I allow myself to see myself as the Inocent I was….
Playing with the puppies and kittens were just one step to me getting to where I am today…Happy
Bright Wings

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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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I don't know what Human Design is — never heard of it — but will definitely check it out. Thanks!

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@rascal1

I’m still on low dose Effexor and Klonopin but CBD does not seem to be helping me. I take 1/2 dropper twice a day. I want to transition off the meds and onto CBD oil.
By the way, I’m a grandma too of 4 wonderful teenagers. I’m 75 years old. Lost my daughter to ovarian cancer 2 1:2 years ago thus the meds. 3 of my grandchildren are her children left with a single dad.
Then I lost my dog Rascal to cancer in October and, thus, my name here! It’s been rough!

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@rascel1
What is the amount of mgs is in 1/2 dropperful? Have you tried increasing it? I use about 150 mg a day or more if I need it.
Are you a candidate for red clover tea? No cancer?
I didn't make time to drink any yesterday cuz I went out for breakfast, lunch AND supper! Yikes I was tired….
And I had difficulty falling asleep. So I made sure I drank some today.
I really enjoy laying down and being able to just fall asleep instead of my thoughts revolving ad nauseam.
Best to you, Bright Wings
I can feel my energy flagging. I will not use what I don't have…off to my son's house.
But like a bad penny, I will be back after I fill up again.
BTW: this is my camping weekend. This old Grannie is taking my tent and heading out to my so legal and so healing payote ceremony with my tribe.
I will come and share what my intention is as soon as I figure it out. The Sacred Plant Medicine helps me attain what my goal is.
This Sacred Plant Medicine helped me attain my goal of completely changing every effect of my abuse.
I am now washed clean of all of it. I am so proud of myself.
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
Please contact your doctor again.

Even though you have Trintellix on hand, mixing drugs willy-nilly is not a good idea. A quick web search showed that taking Trintellix with other medications can cause serotonin syndrome (I experienced that while on Effexor; not fun!) and a common Trintellix side effect is nausea (you've already got that).

It's not clear from your story just how long you've been taking Effexor; if you've been on Effexor some weeks, or months and just cut your daily dose in half, you definitely could be having headaches and nausea from such a drastic drop. I was only ever on 25mg regular release and if I forgot to take it, I KNEW it the next day because of the headache.

If you've been on Effexor for weeks, or months–
1) You would be well-advised to take it slow when discontinuing. A lot of us posting here have found out the hard way that you should taper off Effexor slooowwwly. When a taper is too fast (i.e., you experience withdrawal symptoms), the recommendation is to go back to the dose where you did NOT have the WD symptoms, stay there for weeks/months before attempting to taper again and when you do taper, to reduce your dose by a very small amount and take your time before reducing again.

2) Ask your doctor about a "Prozac bridge"–"The only way doctors know to soften the blow when withdrawing from short half-life drugs [Effexor is such] is to add fluoxetine (Prozac). You can add 20mg of Prozac to any other antidepressant and then get off the [original drug]. Once the [original drug] is gone, you can taper off the Prozac. This works because fluoxetine (Prozac) has a long half-life making it much easier to get off of than drugs like [Effexor].–https://natashatracy.com/treatment-issues/withdrawal/antidepressants-effexorpristiq-venlafaxinedesvenlafaxine/

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@brightwings

@rascal1
Ha, I say triumphantly, I finally remembered my second tip.
Go Play With Puppys and Kittens!
Some days I felt so bad, I mapped out all the places you could play with puppies and kittens. I went from place to place, pretending I was looking for a pet to buy.
After playing with many of them I would go out to the car to cry. The innocence of the animals, their trust, their wanting to be touched released feelings long buried in me.
I could see that as a child, I too was trusting people…but it was THEY that were the bad ones, not me. I had to stop believing the lies I was told and then and only then could I allow myself to see myself as the Inocent I was….
Playing with the puppies and kittens were just one step to me getting to where I am today…Happy
Bright Wings

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Yes ! Puppies and kittens are the best tranquilizers!

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@brightwings

@rascel1
What is the amount of mgs is in 1/2 dropperful? Have you tried increasing it? I use about 150 mg a day or more if I need it.
Are you a candidate for red clover tea? No cancer?
I didn't make time to drink any yesterday cuz I went out for breakfast, lunch AND supper! Yikes I was tired….
And I had difficulty falling asleep. So I made sure I drank some today.
I really enjoy laying down and being able to just fall asleep instead of my thoughts revolving ad nauseam.
Best to you, Bright Wings
I can feel my energy flagging. I will not use what I don't have…off to my son's house.
But like a bad penny, I will be back after I fill up again.
BTW: this is my camping weekend. This old Grannie is taking my tent and heading out to my so legal and so healing payote ceremony with my tribe.
I will come and share what my intention is as soon as I figure it out. The Sacred Plant Medicine helps me attain what my goal is.
This Sacred Plant Medicine helped me attain my goal of completely changing every effect of my abuse.
I am now washed clean of all of it. I am so proud of myself.
Bright Wings

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Is the secret plant medicine your CBD oil or red clover tea?! Enjoy your weekend!!

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@brightwings

@rascel1
What is the amount of mgs is in 1/2 dropperful? Have you tried increasing it? I use about 150 mg a day or more if I need it.
Are you a candidate for red clover tea? No cancer?
I didn't make time to drink any yesterday cuz I went out for breakfast, lunch AND supper! Yikes I was tired….
And I had difficulty falling asleep. So I made sure I drank some today.
I really enjoy laying down and being able to just fall asleep instead of my thoughts revolving ad nauseam.
Best to you, Bright Wings
I can feel my energy flagging. I will not use what I don't have…off to my son's house.
But like a bad penny, I will be back after I fill up again.
BTW: this is my camping weekend. This old Grannie is taking my tent and heading out to my so legal and so healing payote ceremony with my tribe.
I will come and share what my intention is as soon as I figure it out. The Sacred Plant Medicine helps me attain what my goal is.
This Sacred Plant Medicine helped me attain my goal of completely changing every effect of my abuse.
I am now washed clean of all of it. I am so proud of myself.
Bright Wings

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My SACRED Plant Medicine is Peyote. It is the legal sacrament of our native American church.
So healing.
I have been attending for 4 years come summer.
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

Good luck and be very aware!!
I am taking the slow and steady route!
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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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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Thank you.

I HAVE been crying a LOT! I guess this is a withdrawal symptom? But, it’s different. It’s not as controllable as it seems it should be and, after a few minutes of weeping terribly, it ends and I feel oh so much better! Have to laugh, after a full day of looking at memory care places for mom, I brought my 8 year old to the library. Front and center was a book for kids “she’s still my grandma” about Alzheimer’s. I broke down in tears. A couple ten year old boys were whispering and looking very uncomfortable! Ha! I have to laugh now. It was pretty funny.

Then, as providence would have it, I found a gorgeous and perfect book on Ecclesiastes (sp). There truly is a time and a purpose for everything. Including weeping.

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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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I have been following your story and am so grateful that your liver is normal! I have no doubt you will make it through this unscathed! And it will be sooner than you think. Breathe deeply and cry when you need to. Write as much as you need to, too. Your story helps others and I hope my story, such as it is, helps as well.

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@grandmar

@secretwhitepop

Good morning!
Wow! Congrates for getting yourself down so slowly. That is the way to do it!

I do ont know if it is the Effexor that is making you feel the way you do.
You are going through sooooooooooo much, perhaps THAT is what is cauing you to feel the way you do.
Anyone would feel so overwhelmed!
Give yourself a break and take things slowly.
You need time to morn your dad and morn the mother you once knew
Things will get better, but it will take time.

Have a peaceful day!
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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Thank you and everyone for being so kind. Guess what my dads name was? Ronny! Ha ha!

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@secretwhitepop

Thank you.

I HAVE been crying a LOT! I guess this is a withdrawal symptom? But, it’s different. It’s not as controllable as it seems it should be and, after a few minutes of weeping terribly, it ends and I feel oh so much better! Have to laugh, after a full day of looking at memory care places for mom, I brought my 8 year old to the library. Front and center was a book for kids “she’s still my grandma” about Alzheimer’s. I broke down in tears. A couple ten year old boys were whispering and looking very uncomfortable! Ha! I have to laugh now. It was pretty funny.

Then, as providence would have it, I found a gorgeous and perfect book on Ecclesiastes (sp). There truly is a time and a purpose for everything. Including weeping.

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@secretwhitepop
Oh, I know the verses you mean. So comforting! They have helped me so many times!
Yes, for me, this is the time to start living again. Time for me laugh, dance and sing.
After being invisible in the town I lived in since 2014, yes it was time to move away and start living again. I am so happy now. I wouldn't think I could be so happy and have sooo many friends when I just started getting out a month ago.
But I have blossomed and my singing has brought me to everyone's attention as well as my very outgoing personality.
I feel like I have finally become who I should have been, had I been loved and protected like I should have been, just for being the precious child I was.
Unfortunately, I was more than ill treated AND I had to become my own safe loving adult.
I never gave up on myself…I can't begin to tell you all how many times I was suicidal. 1000's would not be an exaggeration. BUT my brother committed suicide at age 25. I could and would not do this to my family again.
I believe my brother started to recover his memories at age 25. 1974 or so…Psychiatry was not yet ready to handle his memories. They were barely ready to handle mine in 1986…
Yes, there is a time for everything under heaven. I am Truely grateful.
Bright Wings

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@brightwings

@secretwhitepop
Oh, I know the verses you mean. So comforting! They have helped me so many times!
Yes, for me, this is the time to start living again. Time for me laugh, dance and sing.
After being invisible in the town I lived in since 2014, yes it was time to move away and start living again. I am so happy now. I wouldn't think I could be so happy and have sooo many friends when I just started getting out a month ago.
But I have blossomed and my singing has brought me to everyone's attention as well as my very outgoing personality.
I feel like I have finally become who I should have been, had I been loved and protected like I should have been, just for being the precious child I was.
Unfortunately, I was more than ill treated AND I had to become my own safe loving adult.
I never gave up on myself…I can't begin to tell you all how many times I was suicidal. 1000's would not be an exaggeration. BUT my brother committed suicide at age 25. I could and would not do this to my family again.
I believe my brother started to recover his memories at age 25. 1974 or so…Psychiatry was not yet ready to handle his memories. They were barely ready to handle mine in 1986…
Yes, there is a time for everything under heaven. I am Truely grateful.
Bright Wings

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A childhood to put behind you for sure! Glad you found your precious self and youre loving and living life as you so deserve!!

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