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

@texasduchess

@grandmar Oh, yes. It gets better for a while, then it starts again. When needed, I take 1-2 25mg Ben*dryls an hour, or less before bed. Kava kava and lemon balm are helpful, too.

Jump to this post

thank you

REPLY
@kbmayo

I've used 3 mg. timed-release melatonin whenever I had that problem. Worked well for me.

Jump to this post

Thank you. I was thinking about that.

REPLY
@contentandwell

Are these problems with Effexor common with other anti-depressants or drugs in the same class? The side-effects and difficulty weaning off of Effexor are frightening.
JK

Jump to this post

In my experience, only venlafaxine is this bad.

I've been on many other antidepressants and never had this bad a time. Bad side effects with sertraline (tinnitus, horrible diarrhea, and lactation in a MAN (it is very rare but some antidepressants can cause lactation in anyone of any sex) ), but not a withdrawal anything like this.

Funny thing is that I had taken venlafaxine before but it was replaced with something else. I can't remember what. But the first time I took it, many years ago, I didn't have a problem quitting after it had stopped working and I was on the max dose. I on maybe buproprion at the same time, and switched to something else and that was that.

REPLY
@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!

Jump to this post

Im weaning off Effexor too.. 225 down to 150 at the mo not too bad withdrawl wise thank god.
On it about a year seen no improvement.. made my anxiety and depression worse.. Also it raised my cholesterol level from 4.9 to 5 then from 5 to 5.4 even though Im on statins for my cholesterol?! So frustrated with this hell of a drug 👹👹

REPLY
@sadiesmom

You may have read my previous posts about my nightmare with Effexor withdrawal. It's a long and slow process and if you know that in the beginning, I think you will be much better in the journey. As of 2 weeks ago I am antidepressant free after the withdrawal of Effexor on to Lexapro. What I have read about these antidepressants truly opened my eyes as to how powerful and toxic they are. It doesn't take weeks to withdraw…..it takes MONTHS and maybe even a year. But don't let that scare you. Each day is a struggle but there is light at the end of the long, dark tunnel. I still struggle with anxiety due to life losses and have been doing research on CBD oil. I ordered a small bottle and haven't had the "nerve" to try it yet. I think I will start drop by drop at night until I figure out how it's going. I'm retired and having too much time on my hands is my demon….but only I can control how I spend my days. It's going to take a major lifestyle change to get me back into life again but I can do it. I'll keep you posted on the CBD oil usage. It's not a sure fix by any means. At all. But I truly want to be pharmaceutical free and am considering consulting with a holistic care provider. Life isn't easy for anyone and it's almost a living hell when you face tragedy after tragedy ….. don't be afraid to ask for help. That has been my biggest "stumbling block". Because those who don't face anxiety and depression don't have a clue. Communication is key to anything to be successful. I gave my family lots of material to READ about my situation because everyone kept telling me to "just get over it." That would be a magical moment for me but I know that some losses in life we just don't ever get over (child loss). As the saying goes, 'Birds of a feather flock together'. Find a great support group, make phone calls and ASK for visits when you are struggling. My friends have seen me at my worst….not showered for a week, in my pj's, house a wreck because I can't function, but that didn't matter to me like it once did. There was a time when I wouldn't have let ANYONE see me in the condition I have been in but I had to recognize that what I have is an illness….not a choice. So, if you have the flu, cancer, diabetes, or whatever, folks are going to accept your appearance and your situation as part of that illness. It's the same with mental issues….And for those who can't or won't accept you for what you are, you don't need them. I have met strangers who have uplifted me more than my own flesh and blood. But it's because I reached out and was truly rewarded by angels who "get me". In today's world, I feel like everyone is struggling with something….but many wear a good mask to cover it up….but you can only hide behind that mask for so long until all hell breaks loose….stay the course, have faith, seek help even when you don't want to, educate yourself on what you're putting in your body; good and bad. Get some exercise even if it's only walking up and down the stairs once or twice a day…..I have had days when that was my biggest accomplishment….doing a load of laundry or two and going up and down my 10 steps to and from the basement. My fatigue is debilitating….but it's not a place that I want to stay….I want to live my life….I want to be the best mom to my daughter that I can be. I want to be the best daughter, sibling and friend that I can be. I want to live the life my son didn't get to live…I just need a little help along the way….hugs to everyone who struggles ….

Jump to this post

Your message was very touching and helpful I wish u the best. Depression is so overwhelming you gave me courage thanks

REPLY

I've had a constant, strange feeling in my ears for about two weeks. At first I thought I was dizzy from withdrawal, then I felt like I had a sinus infection so I took some otc meds that took care of that. I have experienced fullness in my ears from fluid, and this isn't that feeling at all. It's like a buzzy feeling. The feeling you get when you're extremely tired (at least me), but more significant. It's not physical really it's more like an energetic feeling. Any thoughts on this? (Oh, and I'm not going to the doctor for it, so please dont suggest that)

REPLY

Good day everyone. I am Ndeshy from Namibia. I have been taking anti-deppresants and my doctor recently reduced the dosage to 37.5mg so I can get off the medication. My last dosage was on 23 January 2019, but right now I have diarrhoea, feeling tired and have a headache. How can I reduce these symptoms? How long does it take before everything goes back to normal?

REPLY
@ndeshy

Good day everyone. I am Ndeshy from Namibia. I have been taking anti-deppresants and my doctor recently reduced the dosage to 37.5mg so I can get off the medication. My last dosage was on 23 January 2019, but right now I have diarrhoea, feeling tired and have a headache. How can I reduce these symptoms? How long does it take before everything goes back to normal?

Jump to this post

Hi, @ndeshy, and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Since I understand that Venlor is the same as venlafaxine, I've moved your message here to where many members have been talking about tapering off this medication.

I'd like to invite @grandmar @jakedduck1 @breds1968 @kbmayo @texasduchess and others to add their thoughts about the diarrhea, tiredness and headache you've experienced since taking your last dose, how you might reduce these and how long you might experience them.

@ndeshy, will your doctor be putting you on a different antidepressant when you come off of the Venlor?

REPLY
@lisalucier

Hi, @ndeshy, and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Since I understand that Venlor is the same as venlafaxine, I've moved your message here to where many members have been talking about tapering off this medication.

I'd like to invite @grandmar @jakedduck1 @breds1968 @kbmayo @texasduchess and others to add their thoughts about the diarrhea, tiredness and headache you've experienced since taking your last dose, how you might reduce these and how long you might experience them.

@ndeshy, will your doctor be putting you on a different antidepressant when you come off of the Venlor?

Jump to this post

Hi I'm guessing he will.. hope my next AD works 😨

REPLY
@ndeshy

Good day everyone. I am Ndeshy from Namibia. I have been taking anti-deppresants and my doctor recently reduced the dosage to 37.5mg so I can get off the medication. My last dosage was on 23 January 2019, but right now I have diarrhoea, feeling tired and have a headache. How can I reduce these symptoms? How long does it take before everything goes back to normal?

Jump to this post

@ndeshy
Hello there and welcome to the Connect family.
First of all what dose were you on prior to your reduction?
How long have you had these symptoms?
You state “My last dosage was on January, 23” Did you miss taking a dose on the 24th? What about today, did you take any medication? I’m concerned your skipping doses. Are you currently taking 37.5mg? If so how often?
You state you have taken this medication for a year, have you had these symptoms before or are they new?
Jake

REPLY
@jakedduck1

@ndeshy
Hello there and welcome to the Connect family.
First of all what dose were you on prior to your reduction?
How long have you had these symptoms?
You state “My last dosage was on January, 23” Did you miss taking a dose on the 24th? What about today, did you take any medication? I’m concerned your skipping doses. Are you currently taking 37.5mg? If so how often?
You state you have taken this medication for a year, have you had these symptoms before or are they new?
Jake

Jump to this post

I was on venlor 150 mg for two years, towards the end of last year the doctor reduced it to 75mg and then to 37.5. I did not skip the doses, since I m getting off the medication, the tablets got finished and the doctor said I should not take anymore because he want to see my progress and if I can cope without them. Let me say,he feels I m recovered if I can put it that way, that's why he took me off the medication completely

REPLY
@ndeshy

I was on venlor 150 mg for two years, towards the end of last year the doctor reduced it to 75mg and then to 37.5. I did not skip the doses, since I m getting off the medication, the tablets got finished and the doctor said I should not take anymore because he want to see my progress and if I can cope without them. Let me say,he feels I m recovered if I can put it that way, that's why he took me off the medication completely

Jump to this post

I took 150mg in November,75mg in December and then 37.5mg in January which got finished on 23January, so since the 24 January I had not taken anything since they are finished and I m only going back to the doctor on the 04February

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.