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

@careth2

Hi there! I am new to Connect, but hopefully can offer some insight. I DID go off 150 Effexor XR (name brand) COLD TURKEY on January 2016. I survived it, but will never in my life EVER go off ANY antidepressant cold turkey. I had taken Effexor for at least 8 years, Zoloft prior to that and and Imipramine (sp?) as the first antidepressant (in all 25+ years on antidepressants.) It all started with running out of meds over a long weekend and deciding it was time to try to get off antidepressants to see how I would do. Since I had recently retired from teaching, thought this would be an ideal time to give it a go. In addition, Effexor just wasn’t helping all that much anymore (I thought.) The first 3 days I felt like I was going to die! When I realized that I wasn’t dying, decided to keep going to get it all over with. In addition to the symptoms you have heard about, I had deep bone/joint pain that felt like I was being pinched with clamps. Also had skin sensations and peeling, and noticed a strange smell on my skin. Each day got a little better and by the 3rd week started to function a bit more normally. I was very emotional, however, which caused my family great concern. Well, to make a long story short, the depression crept back in full and I am still trying to get my life back. I did everything I could to stay stable, including herbal supplements and took a vacation where I hiked 6 miles daily for 9 days on hilly, rocky terrain. I finally had to accept that I’m a person who will need antidepressants for the rest of my life. With the help of a PCP and counselor, I am on my 3rd antidepressant & may need to resort to going back on Effexor, because nothing seems to be working. All in all, in my opinion, the chronic depression is worse than the withdrawal symptoms that do eventually end. If you are a person with situational depression, you may be successful weaning off Effexor gradually. If I were to do it again, that’s what I would do (while replacing Effexor with something else.) Here are the things that helped me with the physical withdrawal symptoms:
1. Get plenty of sleep/rest.
2. Eat a very well-balanced diet (this is not the time to worry about your weight.) Lots of soup & easy to digest foods the 1st few days.
3. Drink plenty of water, including coconut water.
4. Have a glass of wine in the evening (if advisable.)
5. Get outside and walk or other excersize (the warm sunshine will feel good!)
6. Hot yoga 3-4 times per week. Stay in class even if you feel nauseous & can only do a few postures.
7. Soak in a hot tub (with bath salts if available.)
8. Use a good moisturizer on face & body several times per day.
9. Get several professional massages.
10. Take Tylenol for muscle pain, if OK on your stomach.
11. A heating pad is also helpful at bedtime or during naps.
12. If you are single & live alone, make sure a few trusted friends/family members know what you are doing.
13. In general, be kind & gentle to yourself.
14. NEVER give up! Keep going, even when you don’t feel like it (which will be often.) YOU ARE WORTH IT!!!

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I want to go off venlafaxine. I hope I can just titrate down. I tried once before and failed. I want to take Prozac- it’s cheaper by $ 600 per year. And it feels like
Venlafaxine isn’t working any more. I’m concerned about withdrawal.

@lisalucier

Hi, @lalyfa. Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Sounds like quite a journey with this withdrawal. I moved your post over here to this existing discussion because I know there are many members here who have had similar experiences with coming off venlafaxine (Effexor). Hoping you can all meet up here and they will have some thoughts for you.

Do you perhaps have another friend or relative who could be a support for you in this withdrawal process?

Jump to this post

Thank you @lisalucier! Surprisingly my daughter has been support great for me! I say surprisingly because I never wanted my kids to know I was taking anti-depressants and have surprised myself that I even opened up to her. Anyway, she suggested I take Bonine motion sickness OTC to see if it helped with the dizziness & nausea. I was hesitant but figured it was worth the try! I must admit that it has helped somewhat with the dizziness and nausea for which I am thankful! I’m still struggling with the extreme emotions but hopefully that will get better in time. I see my primary care doctor next week so I’ll see what she says. I’m determined to see this through the withdrawals and hopefully be able to stay off these meds. I’m hoping to give it a few months and then decide if I need them.

@lisalucier

Hi, @lalyfa. Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Sounds like quite a journey with this withdrawal. I moved your post over here to this existing discussion because I know there are many members here who have had similar experiences with coming off venlafaxine (Effexor). Hoping you can all meet up here and they will have some thoughts for you.

Do you perhaps have another friend or relative who could be a support for you in this withdrawal process?

Jump to this post

@lindmissi

I was beginning to think less clearly, having a hard time finding words. I could feel it starting, and I didn't want it to get worse. The neurologist told me today to take 200mg at bedtime, none during the day, for a week or so, then I should be able to stop taking it.

Jim

@lisalucier

Hi, @lalyfa. Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Sounds like quite a journey with this withdrawal. I moved your post over here to this existing discussion because I know there are many members here who have had similar experiences with coming off venlafaxine (Effexor). Hoping you can all meet up here and they will have some thoughts for you.

Do you perhaps have another friend or relative who could be a support for you in this withdrawal process?

Jump to this post

Thanks for the reply: I didn’t reach a person at the doctors office yet. So I started by cutting my dose in half. I feel  okay so far. Thanks for the tip, I’m worried that I’ll feel disorganized and unable to make decisions. That happens with me. But. I really need to do this. I will replace it with Prozac- my plan so far.

Hi everyone. I tapered off Effexor, and I will share how I did it and how it went. The way I see it is that the main problem on why so many people need to talk about this online is that most doctors I have visited just don't know how to taper antidepressants well. They do it way too quickly and each person is different and it is a slow process, but the turtle wins this race! I am going to share my own personal experience so please take this with a grain of salt as it is not meant to be medical advice in any way. You should always consult your doctor first and exercise your own judgment on what level of tapering you need. I was on Venlafaxine SR the generic form of Effexor SR. I was on the SR (slow release) so it wasn't a tablet but a capsule full of granules. I tapered over about 6 months and was only on 75 mg. It took me that long to taper without going totally crazy, and I still experienced strong side effects so please pay attention to my advice. I am troubled there are people on this feed that went cold turkey off of an SSRI. It is dangerous and you will feel like you are dying – you could put your life, job and relationships in jeopardy doing that so please be careful. Here was my gameplan. I dropped 10 granules about every 2-3 weeks depending on how I was feeling. I did this process for about 6 months or so. I literally did this down to taking 2 granules! I'm not kidding. I would open up the capsule and remove the amount I didn't need in a bowl and set it aside in an old pill bottle or Ziplock bag (just for backup if I needed it). This was the only way I was able to taper off this drug, and I still had some rough days but I was able to function through them. During my second to last month, I had vertigo and experienced some nausea as well! I was in a Pilates class and the room wouldn't stop spinning, so that week I had to take it easy. I also had some crying fits (I was numb on the drug, couldn't shed a tear) and it felt like the floodgates opened when I got towards the last two months of tapering. I cried and had some depression and anxiety. I had to talk myself down off the anxiety. I found an app called Abide that had a talk on anxiety that gave me great tools. It was a psychotherapist teaching about worry and anxiety and how to target it. I worked on that through the process. I also prayed or called friends to process when I was feeling depressed. During the entire experience, I did notice I had some restless leg syndrome and achy muscles. I've read about this elsewhere with people having withdrawals from this drug. I'm hoping it goes away. I took my last dose of this about 4 weeks ago. I'm doing ok. I'm out of a job right now so that's a tad depressing BUT I am functioning. I'm journaling and targeting my anxiety by having talks with myself on what is really bothering me – my struggle with depression and anxiety, in general, are dramatically linked. Usually, when I target one the other one chills out more. For somebody who's been out of work as long as I have, I shouldn't even be functioning but I am. I don't believe I would be in such good shape had I gone cold turkey. I think I would have gone mad! I am trying to eat many vegetables each day, and I am trying to exercise. I also started probiotics about 6 months ago and did research on gut health and depression. I believe our diet and food are a huge part of our problem and exercise and stretching can really help you out. I will say that out of all the antidepressants I've been on, Effexor has given me the most side effects during regular dosage and tapering afterward. I had better experiences on Celexa. My main problem is that they all make me super tired, and I just want to sleep. When I was on Effexor, I took two-hour naps every day and it was the same when I was on Zoloft. I just would turn into a zombie, but not all people experience that and many people do very well on SSRIs and these drugs have saved lives. I originally went on Effexor after a major trauma happened in my life. Several years later, I felt it was time for me to try to taper so I did, and it worked so far. Slow slow slow – that's all I can say! And, if it doesn't work for you, there is no shame in taking antidepressants just make sure you are eating well, exercising and providing self-care tools too. Good luck!

@rachelmfree

Hi everyone. I tapered off Effexor, and I will share how I did it and how it went. The way I see it is that the main problem on why so many people need to talk about this online is that most doctors I have visited just don't know how to taper antidepressants well. They do it way too quickly and each person is different and it is a slow process, but the turtle wins this race! I am going to share my own personal experience so please take this with a grain of salt as it is not meant to be medical advice in any way. You should always consult your doctor first and exercise your own judgment on what level of tapering you need. I was on Venlafaxine SR the generic form of Effexor SR. I was on the SR (slow release) so it wasn't a tablet but a capsule full of granules. I tapered over about 6 months and was only on 75 mg. It took me that long to taper without going totally crazy, and I still experienced strong side effects so please pay attention to my advice. I am troubled there are people on this feed that went cold turkey off of an SSRI. It is dangerous and you will feel like you are dying – you could put your life, job and relationships in jeopardy doing that so please be careful. Here was my gameplan. I dropped 10 granules about every 2-3 weeks depending on how I was feeling. I did this process for about 6 months or so. I literally did this down to taking 2 granules! I'm not kidding. I would open up the capsule and remove the amount I didn't need in a bowl and set it aside in an old pill bottle or Ziplock bag (just for backup if I needed it). This was the only way I was able to taper off this drug, and I still had some rough days but I was able to function through them. During my second to last month, I had vertigo and experienced some nausea as well! I was in a Pilates class and the room wouldn't stop spinning, so that week I had to take it easy. I also had some crying fits (I was numb on the drug, couldn't shed a tear) and it felt like the floodgates opened when I got towards the last two months of tapering. I cried and had some depression and anxiety. I had to talk myself down off the anxiety. I found an app called Abide that had a talk on anxiety that gave me great tools. It was a psychotherapist teaching about worry and anxiety and how to target it. I worked on that through the process. I also prayed or called friends to process when I was feeling depressed. During the entire experience, I did notice I had some restless leg syndrome and achy muscles. I've read about this elsewhere with people having withdrawals from this drug. I'm hoping it goes away. I took my last dose of this about 4 weeks ago. I'm doing ok. I'm out of a job right now so that's a tad depressing BUT I am functioning. I'm journaling and targeting my anxiety by having talks with myself on what is really bothering me – my struggle with depression and anxiety, in general, are dramatically linked. Usually, when I target one the other one chills out more. For somebody who's been out of work as long as I have, I shouldn't even be functioning but I am. I don't believe I would be in such good shape had I gone cold turkey. I think I would have gone mad! I am trying to eat many vegetables each day, and I am trying to exercise. I also started probiotics about 6 months ago and did research on gut health and depression. I believe our diet and food are a huge part of our problem and exercise and stretching can really help you out. I will say that out of all the antidepressants I've been on, Effexor has given me the most side effects during regular dosage and tapering afterward. I had better experiences on Celexa. My main problem is that they all make me super tired, and I just want to sleep. When I was on Effexor, I took two-hour naps every day and it was the same when I was on Zoloft. I just would turn into a zombie, but not all people experience that and many people do very well on SSRIs and these drugs have saved lives. I originally went on Effexor after a major trauma happened in my life. Several years later, I felt it was time for me to try to taper so I did, and it worked so far. Slow slow slow – that's all I can say! And, if it doesn't work for you, there is no shame in taking antidepressants just make sure you are eating well, exercising and providing self-care tools too. Good luck!

Jump to this post

@rachelmfree

Your post describing your withdrawal process was very helpful. I too think many doctors try to withdraw patients too quickly. Especially with antidepressants and opiates, the process must go very slowly. I want to offer the recommendation that if you live in a state where marijuana or medical marijuana is legal, that you try CBD Living Water to help with your muscle tremors and remaining anxiety. I used it during my withdrawal from Tramadol toward the end, and it worked great for me. CBD is the part of the plant that doesn't make you high, but is instead calming. The CBD Living Water is immediately available to your body and it calmed my withdrawal anxiety and muscle tremors very nicely. I don't use the CBD anymore.

I'm impressed that you have been able to taper off this antidepressant and have used the time as an opportunity to explore your internal emotional landscape and improve your eating patterns. Thanks for your post.

Gail B
Volunteer Mentor

@rachelmfree

Hi everyone. I tapered off Effexor, and I will share how I did it and how it went. The way I see it is that the main problem on why so many people need to talk about this online is that most doctors I have visited just don't know how to taper antidepressants well. They do it way too quickly and each person is different and it is a slow process, but the turtle wins this race! I am going to share my own personal experience so please take this with a grain of salt as it is not meant to be medical advice in any way. You should always consult your doctor first and exercise your own judgment on what level of tapering you need. I was on Venlafaxine SR the generic form of Effexor SR. I was on the SR (slow release) so it wasn't a tablet but a capsule full of granules. I tapered over about 6 months and was only on 75 mg. It took me that long to taper without going totally crazy, and I still experienced strong side effects so please pay attention to my advice. I am troubled there are people on this feed that went cold turkey off of an SSRI. It is dangerous and you will feel like you are dying – you could put your life, job and relationships in jeopardy doing that so please be careful. Here was my gameplan. I dropped 10 granules about every 2-3 weeks depending on how I was feeling. I did this process for about 6 months or so. I literally did this down to taking 2 granules! I'm not kidding. I would open up the capsule and remove the amount I didn't need in a bowl and set it aside in an old pill bottle or Ziplock bag (just for backup if I needed it). This was the only way I was able to taper off this drug, and I still had some rough days but I was able to function through them. During my second to last month, I had vertigo and experienced some nausea as well! I was in a Pilates class and the room wouldn't stop spinning, so that week I had to take it easy. I also had some crying fits (I was numb on the drug, couldn't shed a tear) and it felt like the floodgates opened when I got towards the last two months of tapering. I cried and had some depression and anxiety. I had to talk myself down off the anxiety. I found an app called Abide that had a talk on anxiety that gave me great tools. It was a psychotherapist teaching about worry and anxiety and how to target it. I worked on that through the process. I also prayed or called friends to process when I was feeling depressed. During the entire experience, I did notice I had some restless leg syndrome and achy muscles. I've read about this elsewhere with people having withdrawals from this drug. I'm hoping it goes away. I took my last dose of this about 4 weeks ago. I'm doing ok. I'm out of a job right now so that's a tad depressing BUT I am functioning. I'm journaling and targeting my anxiety by having talks with myself on what is really bothering me – my struggle with depression and anxiety, in general, are dramatically linked. Usually, when I target one the other one chills out more. For somebody who's been out of work as long as I have, I shouldn't even be functioning but I am. I don't believe I would be in such good shape had I gone cold turkey. I think I would have gone mad! I am trying to eat many vegetables each day, and I am trying to exercise. I also started probiotics about 6 months ago and did research on gut health and depression. I believe our diet and food are a huge part of our problem and exercise and stretching can really help you out. I will say that out of all the antidepressants I've been on, Effexor has given me the most side effects during regular dosage and tapering afterward. I had better experiences on Celexa. My main problem is that they all make me super tired, and I just want to sleep. When I was on Effexor, I took two-hour naps every day and it was the same when I was on Zoloft. I just would turn into a zombie, but not all people experience that and many people do very well on SSRIs and these drugs have saved lives. I originally went on Effexor after a major trauma happened in my life. Several years later, I felt it was time for me to try to taper so I did, and it worked so far. Slow slow slow – that's all I can say! And, if it doesn't work for you, there is no shame in taking antidepressants just make sure you are eating well, exercising and providing self-care tools too. Good luck!

Jump to this post

@rachelmfree, you were so wise in the way you tapered off the Effexor. My doctor had me taper off over a 4 week period (from 75 & 37.5 mg daily) and the withdrawals have been bad. I’ve been Effexor free for 11 days now and today’s the first day I actually smiled. The dizziness and being extremely emotional have been horrendous! I do see my doctor today and will talk to her about the possibility of using CBD oil or even niacin for the anxiety. My ultimate goal is that I won’t need anything in the future but that is doubtful to me.

@rachelmfree

Hi everyone. I tapered off Effexor, and I will share how I did it and how it went. The way I see it is that the main problem on why so many people need to talk about this online is that most doctors I have visited just don't know how to taper antidepressants well. They do it way too quickly and each person is different and it is a slow process, but the turtle wins this race! I am going to share my own personal experience so please take this with a grain of salt as it is not meant to be medical advice in any way. You should always consult your doctor first and exercise your own judgment on what level of tapering you need. I was on Venlafaxine SR the generic form of Effexor SR. I was on the SR (slow release) so it wasn't a tablet but a capsule full of granules. I tapered over about 6 months and was only on 75 mg. It took me that long to taper without going totally crazy, and I still experienced strong side effects so please pay attention to my advice. I am troubled there are people on this feed that went cold turkey off of an SSRI. It is dangerous and you will feel like you are dying – you could put your life, job and relationships in jeopardy doing that so please be careful. Here was my gameplan. I dropped 10 granules about every 2-3 weeks depending on how I was feeling. I did this process for about 6 months or so. I literally did this down to taking 2 granules! I'm not kidding. I would open up the capsule and remove the amount I didn't need in a bowl and set it aside in an old pill bottle or Ziplock bag (just for backup if I needed it). This was the only way I was able to taper off this drug, and I still had some rough days but I was able to function through them. During my second to last month, I had vertigo and experienced some nausea as well! I was in a Pilates class and the room wouldn't stop spinning, so that week I had to take it easy. I also had some crying fits (I was numb on the drug, couldn't shed a tear) and it felt like the floodgates opened when I got towards the last two months of tapering. I cried and had some depression and anxiety. I had to talk myself down off the anxiety. I found an app called Abide that had a talk on anxiety that gave me great tools. It was a psychotherapist teaching about worry and anxiety and how to target it. I worked on that through the process. I also prayed or called friends to process when I was feeling depressed. During the entire experience, I did notice I had some restless leg syndrome and achy muscles. I've read about this elsewhere with people having withdrawals from this drug. I'm hoping it goes away. I took my last dose of this about 4 weeks ago. I'm doing ok. I'm out of a job right now so that's a tad depressing BUT I am functioning. I'm journaling and targeting my anxiety by having talks with myself on what is really bothering me – my struggle with depression and anxiety, in general, are dramatically linked. Usually, when I target one the other one chills out more. For somebody who's been out of work as long as I have, I shouldn't even be functioning but I am. I don't believe I would be in such good shape had I gone cold turkey. I think I would have gone mad! I am trying to eat many vegetables each day, and I am trying to exercise. I also started probiotics about 6 months ago and did research on gut health and depression. I believe our diet and food are a huge part of our problem and exercise and stretching can really help you out. I will say that out of all the antidepressants I've been on, Effexor has given me the most side effects during regular dosage and tapering afterward. I had better experiences on Celexa. My main problem is that they all make me super tired, and I just want to sleep. When I was on Effexor, I took two-hour naps every day and it was the same when I was on Zoloft. I just would turn into a zombie, but not all people experience that and many people do very well on SSRIs and these drugs have saved lives. I originally went on Effexor after a major trauma happened in my life. Several years later, I felt it was time for me to try to taper so I did, and it worked so far. Slow slow slow – that's all I can say! And, if it doesn't work for you, there is no shame in taking antidepressants just make sure you are eating well, exercising and providing self-care tools too. Good luck!

Jump to this post

@gailb I am curious if you continue to use the CBD living water for anxiety/depression even after the withdrawal symptoms subsided. I am talking to my doctor about today and hoping I get the OK! BTW, today is 11 days Effexor free and the first day I’ve smiled in a while. Hopefully I’m over the bad bad withdrawal period!

@rachelmfree

Hi everyone. I tapered off Effexor, and I will share how I did it and how it went. The way I see it is that the main problem on why so many people need to talk about this online is that most doctors I have visited just don't know how to taper antidepressants well. They do it way too quickly and each person is different and it is a slow process, but the turtle wins this race! I am going to share my own personal experience so please take this with a grain of salt as it is not meant to be medical advice in any way. You should always consult your doctor first and exercise your own judgment on what level of tapering you need. I was on Venlafaxine SR the generic form of Effexor SR. I was on the SR (slow release) so it wasn't a tablet but a capsule full of granules. I tapered over about 6 months and was only on 75 mg. It took me that long to taper without going totally crazy, and I still experienced strong side effects so please pay attention to my advice. I am troubled there are people on this feed that went cold turkey off of an SSRI. It is dangerous and you will feel like you are dying – you could put your life, job and relationships in jeopardy doing that so please be careful. Here was my gameplan. I dropped 10 granules about every 2-3 weeks depending on how I was feeling. I did this process for about 6 months or so. I literally did this down to taking 2 granules! I'm not kidding. I would open up the capsule and remove the amount I didn't need in a bowl and set it aside in an old pill bottle or Ziplock bag (just for backup if I needed it). This was the only way I was able to taper off this drug, and I still had some rough days but I was able to function through them. During my second to last month, I had vertigo and experienced some nausea as well! I was in a Pilates class and the room wouldn't stop spinning, so that week I had to take it easy. I also had some crying fits (I was numb on the drug, couldn't shed a tear) and it felt like the floodgates opened when I got towards the last two months of tapering. I cried and had some depression and anxiety. I had to talk myself down off the anxiety. I found an app called Abide that had a talk on anxiety that gave me great tools. It was a psychotherapist teaching about worry and anxiety and how to target it. I worked on that through the process. I also prayed or called friends to process when I was feeling depressed. During the entire experience, I did notice I had some restless leg syndrome and achy muscles. I've read about this elsewhere with people having withdrawals from this drug. I'm hoping it goes away. I took my last dose of this about 4 weeks ago. I'm doing ok. I'm out of a job right now so that's a tad depressing BUT I am functioning. I'm journaling and targeting my anxiety by having talks with myself on what is really bothering me – my struggle with depression and anxiety, in general, are dramatically linked. Usually, when I target one the other one chills out more. For somebody who's been out of work as long as I have, I shouldn't even be functioning but I am. I don't believe I would be in such good shape had I gone cold turkey. I think I would have gone mad! I am trying to eat many vegetables each day, and I am trying to exercise. I also started probiotics about 6 months ago and did research on gut health and depression. I believe our diet and food are a huge part of our problem and exercise and stretching can really help you out. I will say that out of all the antidepressants I've been on, Effexor has given me the most side effects during regular dosage and tapering afterward. I had better experiences on Celexa. My main problem is that they all make me super tired, and I just want to sleep. When I was on Effexor, I took two-hour naps every day and it was the same when I was on Zoloft. I just would turn into a zombie, but not all people experience that and many people do very well on SSRIs and these drugs have saved lives. I originally went on Effexor after a major trauma happened in my life. Several years later, I felt it was time for me to try to taper so I did, and it worked so far. Slow slow slow – that's all I can say! And, if it doesn't work for you, there is no shame in taking antidepressants just make sure you are eating well, exercising and providing self-care tools too. Good luck!

Jump to this post

@lalyfa

I am no longer using CBD Living Water, but I had an anxiety attack this morning, so I asked my husband to get some for me. It's not an addictive kind of substance. It's been several weeks since I withdrew from the Tramadol and that was the last time I used the CBD Living Water. Good luck with your doctor this afternoon.

Gail B
Volunteer Mentor

@rachelmfree

Hi everyone. I tapered off Effexor, and I will share how I did it and how it went. The way I see it is that the main problem on why so many people need to talk about this online is that most doctors I have visited just don't know how to taper antidepressants well. They do it way too quickly and each person is different and it is a slow process, but the turtle wins this race! I am going to share my own personal experience so please take this with a grain of salt as it is not meant to be medical advice in any way. You should always consult your doctor first and exercise your own judgment on what level of tapering you need. I was on Venlafaxine SR the generic form of Effexor SR. I was on the SR (slow release) so it wasn't a tablet but a capsule full of granules. I tapered over about 6 months and was only on 75 mg. It took me that long to taper without going totally crazy, and I still experienced strong side effects so please pay attention to my advice. I am troubled there are people on this feed that went cold turkey off of an SSRI. It is dangerous and you will feel like you are dying – you could put your life, job and relationships in jeopardy doing that so please be careful. Here was my gameplan. I dropped 10 granules about every 2-3 weeks depending on how I was feeling. I did this process for about 6 months or so. I literally did this down to taking 2 granules! I'm not kidding. I would open up the capsule and remove the amount I didn't need in a bowl and set it aside in an old pill bottle or Ziplock bag (just for backup if I needed it). This was the only way I was able to taper off this drug, and I still had some rough days but I was able to function through them. During my second to last month, I had vertigo and experienced some nausea as well! I was in a Pilates class and the room wouldn't stop spinning, so that week I had to take it easy. I also had some crying fits (I was numb on the drug, couldn't shed a tear) and it felt like the floodgates opened when I got towards the last two months of tapering. I cried and had some depression and anxiety. I had to talk myself down off the anxiety. I found an app called Abide that had a talk on anxiety that gave me great tools. It was a psychotherapist teaching about worry and anxiety and how to target it. I worked on that through the process. I also prayed or called friends to process when I was feeling depressed. During the entire experience, I did notice I had some restless leg syndrome and achy muscles. I've read about this elsewhere with people having withdrawals from this drug. I'm hoping it goes away. I took my last dose of this about 4 weeks ago. I'm doing ok. I'm out of a job right now so that's a tad depressing BUT I am functioning. I'm journaling and targeting my anxiety by having talks with myself on what is really bothering me – my struggle with depression and anxiety, in general, are dramatically linked. Usually, when I target one the other one chills out more. For somebody who's been out of work as long as I have, I shouldn't even be functioning but I am. I don't believe I would be in such good shape had I gone cold turkey. I think I would have gone mad! I am trying to eat many vegetables each day, and I am trying to exercise. I also started probiotics about 6 months ago and did research on gut health and depression. I believe our diet and food are a huge part of our problem and exercise and stretching can really help you out. I will say that out of all the antidepressants I've been on, Effexor has given me the most side effects during regular dosage and tapering afterward. I had better experiences on Celexa. My main problem is that they all make me super tired, and I just want to sleep. When I was on Effexor, I took two-hour naps every day and it was the same when I was on Zoloft. I just would turn into a zombie, but not all people experience that and many people do very well on SSRIs and these drugs have saved lives. I originally went on Effexor after a major trauma happened in my life. Several years later, I felt it was time for me to try to taper so I did, and it worked so far. Slow slow slow – that's all I can say! And, if it doesn't work for you, there is no shame in taking antidepressants just make sure you are eating well, exercising and providing self-care tools too. Good luck!

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Well my doctor didn’t have much to say about the CBD helping with anxiety. To her there’s not nearly enough medical testing on its effects but she’s not against it either. She gave me a prescription (which I haven’t filled yet) for Ativan to help with the withdrawals. I wasn’t real happy with that but it’s an “only if needed” thing and only for a couple weeks. I will only take it if I feel I’m having a bad anxiety issue. Ironically I’ve had a much better day today which I’m happy about! Not much dizziness or confusion at all so hopefully I’m beginning to get over the hard hump. I am definitely going to look to see if I can get the Living Water near me. I like that it’s somethibg I can use if needed and not constant!

Great, sounds like a good short-term measure. I may ask my Psychiatrist about that in the short-term for help reducing the 4 mg to 1 mg (or none) clonazepam. Wishing you (and me!) good health.

Liked by lalyfa

@rachelmfree

Hi everyone. I tapered off Effexor, and I will share how I did it and how it went. The way I see it is that the main problem on why so many people need to talk about this online is that most doctors I have visited just don't know how to taper antidepressants well. They do it way too quickly and each person is different and it is a slow process, but the turtle wins this race! I am going to share my own personal experience so please take this with a grain of salt as it is not meant to be medical advice in any way. You should always consult your doctor first and exercise your own judgment on what level of tapering you need. I was on Venlafaxine SR the generic form of Effexor SR. I was on the SR (slow release) so it wasn't a tablet but a capsule full of granules. I tapered over about 6 months and was only on 75 mg. It took me that long to taper without going totally crazy, and I still experienced strong side effects so please pay attention to my advice. I am troubled there are people on this feed that went cold turkey off of an SSRI. It is dangerous and you will feel like you are dying – you could put your life, job and relationships in jeopardy doing that so please be careful. Here was my gameplan. I dropped 10 granules about every 2-3 weeks depending on how I was feeling. I did this process for about 6 months or so. I literally did this down to taking 2 granules! I'm not kidding. I would open up the capsule and remove the amount I didn't need in a bowl and set it aside in an old pill bottle or Ziplock bag (just for backup if I needed it). This was the only way I was able to taper off this drug, and I still had some rough days but I was able to function through them. During my second to last month, I had vertigo and experienced some nausea as well! I was in a Pilates class and the room wouldn't stop spinning, so that week I had to take it easy. I also had some crying fits (I was numb on the drug, couldn't shed a tear) and it felt like the floodgates opened when I got towards the last two months of tapering. I cried and had some depression and anxiety. I had to talk myself down off the anxiety. I found an app called Abide that had a talk on anxiety that gave me great tools. It was a psychotherapist teaching about worry and anxiety and how to target it. I worked on that through the process. I also prayed or called friends to process when I was feeling depressed. During the entire experience, I did notice I had some restless leg syndrome and achy muscles. I've read about this elsewhere with people having withdrawals from this drug. I'm hoping it goes away. I took my last dose of this about 4 weeks ago. I'm doing ok. I'm out of a job right now so that's a tad depressing BUT I am functioning. I'm journaling and targeting my anxiety by having talks with myself on what is really bothering me – my struggle with depression and anxiety, in general, are dramatically linked. Usually, when I target one the other one chills out more. For somebody who's been out of work as long as I have, I shouldn't even be functioning but I am. I don't believe I would be in such good shape had I gone cold turkey. I think I would have gone mad! I am trying to eat many vegetables each day, and I am trying to exercise. I also started probiotics about 6 months ago and did research on gut health and depression. I believe our diet and food are a huge part of our problem and exercise and stretching can really help you out. I will say that out of all the antidepressants I've been on, Effexor has given me the most side effects during regular dosage and tapering afterward. I had better experiences on Celexa. My main problem is that they all make me super tired, and I just want to sleep. When I was on Effexor, I took two-hour naps every day and it was the same when I was on Zoloft. I just would turn into a zombie, but not all people experience that and many people do very well on SSRIs and these drugs have saved lives. I originally went on Effexor after a major trauma happened in my life. Several years later, I felt it was time for me to try to taper so I did, and it worked so far. Slow slow slow – that's all I can say! And, if it doesn't work for you, there is no shame in taking antidepressants just make sure you are eating well, exercising and providing self-care tools too. Good luck!

Jump to this post

Ativan works but is very quickly addictive and very difficult to get off. It took me four months to get off a dose of only two mg a day but I reduced it very slowly cutting the pills with a very sharp cutter. I handled my anxiety eventually by exercise and mindfull meditation. Specifically i cycled on a recumbent tricycle on a nearbye bike trail ( roads are too dangerous.).

Liked by lalyfa

@rachelmfree

Hi everyone. I tapered off Effexor, and I will share how I did it and how it went. The way I see it is that the main problem on why so many people need to talk about this online is that most doctors I have visited just don't know how to taper antidepressants well. They do it way too quickly and each person is different and it is a slow process, but the turtle wins this race! I am going to share my own personal experience so please take this with a grain of salt as it is not meant to be medical advice in any way. You should always consult your doctor first and exercise your own judgment on what level of tapering you need. I was on Venlafaxine SR the generic form of Effexor SR. I was on the SR (slow release) so it wasn't a tablet but a capsule full of granules. I tapered over about 6 months and was only on 75 mg. It took me that long to taper without going totally crazy, and I still experienced strong side effects so please pay attention to my advice. I am troubled there are people on this feed that went cold turkey off of an SSRI. It is dangerous and you will feel like you are dying – you could put your life, job and relationships in jeopardy doing that so please be careful. Here was my gameplan. I dropped 10 granules about every 2-3 weeks depending on how I was feeling. I did this process for about 6 months or so. I literally did this down to taking 2 granules! I'm not kidding. I would open up the capsule and remove the amount I didn't need in a bowl and set it aside in an old pill bottle or Ziplock bag (just for backup if I needed it). This was the only way I was able to taper off this drug, and I still had some rough days but I was able to function through them. During my second to last month, I had vertigo and experienced some nausea as well! I was in a Pilates class and the room wouldn't stop spinning, so that week I had to take it easy. I also had some crying fits (I was numb on the drug, couldn't shed a tear) and it felt like the floodgates opened when I got towards the last two months of tapering. I cried and had some depression and anxiety. I had to talk myself down off the anxiety. I found an app called Abide that had a talk on anxiety that gave me great tools. It was a psychotherapist teaching about worry and anxiety and how to target it. I worked on that through the process. I also prayed or called friends to process when I was feeling depressed. During the entire experience, I did notice I had some restless leg syndrome and achy muscles. I've read about this elsewhere with people having withdrawals from this drug. I'm hoping it goes away. I took my last dose of this about 4 weeks ago. I'm doing ok. I'm out of a job right now so that's a tad depressing BUT I am functioning. I'm journaling and targeting my anxiety by having talks with myself on what is really bothering me – my struggle with depression and anxiety, in general, are dramatically linked. Usually, when I target one the other one chills out more. For somebody who's been out of work as long as I have, I shouldn't even be functioning but I am. I don't believe I would be in such good shape had I gone cold turkey. I think I would have gone mad! I am trying to eat many vegetables each day, and I am trying to exercise. I also started probiotics about 6 months ago and did research on gut health and depression. I believe our diet and food are a huge part of our problem and exercise and stretching can really help you out. I will say that out of all the antidepressants I've been on, Effexor has given me the most side effects during regular dosage and tapering afterward. I had better experiences on Celexa. My main problem is that they all make me super tired, and I just want to sleep. When I was on Effexor, I took two-hour naps every day and it was the same when I was on Zoloft. I just would turn into a zombie, but not all people experience that and many people do very well on SSRIs and these drugs have saved lives. I originally went on Effexor after a major trauma happened in my life. Several years later, I felt it was time for me to try to taper so I did, and it worked so far. Slow slow slow – that's all I can say! And, if it doesn't work for you, there is no shame in taking antidepressants just make sure you are eating well, exercising and providing self-care tools too. Good luck!

Jump to this post

@gailb Gail, is this CBD for anxiety or exactly what do people use it for? Is it used with other drugs or instead of other drugs? Frankly this being a topic that I am not very knowledgeable about I have not paid full attention to it, knowing I could not contribute, so if this has been discussed before I apologize for asking.

I was on tramdalol following my knee replacement and had no idea that some people have people withdrawing from it. I just stopped taking it, but maybe I had no problem because I only took it for about a month and a half.
JK

@rachelmfree

Hi everyone. I tapered off Effexor, and I will share how I did it and how it went. The way I see it is that the main problem on why so many people need to talk about this online is that most doctors I have visited just don't know how to taper antidepressants well. They do it way too quickly and each person is different and it is a slow process, but the turtle wins this race! I am going to share my own personal experience so please take this with a grain of salt as it is not meant to be medical advice in any way. You should always consult your doctor first and exercise your own judgment on what level of tapering you need. I was on Venlafaxine SR the generic form of Effexor SR. I was on the SR (slow release) so it wasn't a tablet but a capsule full of granules. I tapered over about 6 months and was only on 75 mg. It took me that long to taper without going totally crazy, and I still experienced strong side effects so please pay attention to my advice. I am troubled there are people on this feed that went cold turkey off of an SSRI. It is dangerous and you will feel like you are dying – you could put your life, job and relationships in jeopardy doing that so please be careful. Here was my gameplan. I dropped 10 granules about every 2-3 weeks depending on how I was feeling. I did this process for about 6 months or so. I literally did this down to taking 2 granules! I'm not kidding. I would open up the capsule and remove the amount I didn't need in a bowl and set it aside in an old pill bottle or Ziplock bag (just for backup if I needed it). This was the only way I was able to taper off this drug, and I still had some rough days but I was able to function through them. During my second to last month, I had vertigo and experienced some nausea as well! I was in a Pilates class and the room wouldn't stop spinning, so that week I had to take it easy. I also had some crying fits (I was numb on the drug, couldn't shed a tear) and it felt like the floodgates opened when I got towards the last two months of tapering. I cried and had some depression and anxiety. I had to talk myself down off the anxiety. I found an app called Abide that had a talk on anxiety that gave me great tools. It was a psychotherapist teaching about worry and anxiety and how to target it. I worked on that through the process. I also prayed or called friends to process when I was feeling depressed. During the entire experience, I did notice I had some restless leg syndrome and achy muscles. I've read about this elsewhere with people having withdrawals from this drug. I'm hoping it goes away. I took my last dose of this about 4 weeks ago. I'm doing ok. I'm out of a job right now so that's a tad depressing BUT I am functioning. I'm journaling and targeting my anxiety by having talks with myself on what is really bothering me – my struggle with depression and anxiety, in general, are dramatically linked. Usually, when I target one the other one chills out more. For somebody who's been out of work as long as I have, I shouldn't even be functioning but I am. I don't believe I would be in such good shape had I gone cold turkey. I think I would have gone mad! I am trying to eat many vegetables each day, and I am trying to exercise. I also started probiotics about 6 months ago and did research on gut health and depression. I believe our diet and food are a huge part of our problem and exercise and stretching can really help you out. I will say that out of all the antidepressants I've been on, Effexor has given me the most side effects during regular dosage and tapering afterward. I had better experiences on Celexa. My main problem is that they all make me super tired, and I just want to sleep. When I was on Effexor, I took two-hour naps every day and it was the same when I was on Zoloft. I just would turn into a zombie, but not all people experience that and many people do very well on SSRIs and these drugs have saved lives. I originally went on Effexor after a major trauma happened in my life. Several years later, I felt it was time for me to try to taper so I did, and it worked so far. Slow slow slow – that's all I can say! And, if it doesn't work for you, there is no shame in taking antidepressants just make sure you are eating well, exercising and providing self-care tools too. Good luck!

Jump to this post

@lalyfa I have used ativan for years, basically when I go to bed with my mind whirling around not allowing me to sleep. My usage of it is very infrequent. My doctor gave me a prescription for 10 pills and they lasted for over a year. If I have a couple of sleepless nights though I will take one because it calms my mind and allows me to fall asleep. I tried sleeping pills once but I hate that when I got up in the morning I felt like a slug.
JK

Liked by lalyfa

I was put on Venlafaxine to help with Menopause symptoms (hot flashes and irritability). I've been on 225mg for a couple of years now and want to be off of it, but am also scared of the withdrawal process, and wondering what more natural alternatives I might have for the irritability. I've gained 40 lbs while being on it (don't know if it's the venlafaxine or simply menopause), but have a histamine intolerance issue that I'm trying to get control of (this med makes the problem worse).

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