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

I feel the same way about my husband. Most of the time he is super supportive no matter what kind of mood I'm in. I'm really glad you have your guy. It will be a positive thing throughout your process. Keep up the good work.

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@merpreb

@secretwhitepop– I'm with you on this. Mine came back again too, or started too. Then I realized that I hadn't been taking good care of myself-not enough rest, or eating the right foods or drinking enough water and not exercising. I started back on these goals today and I'm beginning to feel better. It's an awful feeling isn't it? But sometimes I do get feeling sad about something and confuse it with depression. Twenty years is a long time on one medicine that controls your moods. Do you think that it's time to change something or get an additional medication for a short time to see you through your stressful times?

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There’s a lot in my life that is huge right now. It seems everything happens at once and they are all those “major” stressors everyone talks about. Today is another day and it doesn’t feel as dark. I know what you mean about confusing a depressing or down day with Depression. It sort of snowballs and takes on a life of its own based on past experiences. Thank you for your helpful words!

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@sandij

@secretwhitepop it's the strangest thing. My husband looks at me with such worry and it's hard to explain that they arent "upset" tears. My guess is that it's our bodies way of discharging energy that's been spent up. The same way with the "angry" outbursts. I had the tears happen in the middle of teaching class..I'm online. The kid has nothing else to look at except me, and suddenly I'm bawling?? Try explaining that to a 9 year old Chinese boy who is wondering what he said wrong!

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That is too funny! Well, he’s got to learn at some point that women are nuts! Better to learn young. Ha ha! Thanks for the laugh.

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@searchgirl

Thank you. It’s so helpful to know I’m not on my own and help is there. I just journaled my day and realized I really need to practice more of my self soothing and grounding especially when a strong episodes comes on. Was also thinking the Valium thing and I already have cbds. If it wasn’t for my partner today, I might have done my run away stint lol! He wants to come with me to my next counselling session to find out what he can do for me during my wean. He unfortunately becomes my target yet somehow he still loves me when I make it through….bless him.

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@searchgirl– Hello. What a great question he's asking you. He's showing his love and wants to help. I know what you mean by having a target for your anger. That's not right, but very natural. You are right, bless his heart. Are you going to let him go with you to counseling?

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@sandij

@secretwhitepop I know the temptation of picking something up in the hopes it will make things easier. But I've found if I wait a day, an hour, a minute, that small amount of time puts me that much closer to my goal of living a life that is truly me. Hang in there. It gets better.

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@sandij– I agree with @sandij @secretwhitepop – After my first lung cancer operation I had to go home with craving nicotine as I only quit smoking a week before my surgery. My husband gave me a mantra because I was struggling with it so much. "if I smoke I'll die"
I must have said this thousands of times but it worked. What might be a goof mantra for you?
"If i go back on these pills I'll be addicted for life?"

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@merpreb

@searchgirl– Hello. What a great question he's asking you. He's showing his love and wants to help. I know what you mean by having a target for your anger. That's not right, but very natural. You are right, bless his heart. Are you going to let him go with you to counseling?

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Absolutely he’ll come with me, no question lol! My episodes have been particularly strong the past year and my counsellor said because I minimized my traumas, I kept living above that line to survive. I had a great life, good jobs, very creative so I never thought in a million years this would rear its ugly head. I’m finally able to talk about my trauma but with lots of shakiness inside my belly and very spent. Next weeks topic?….my mother. Long story but I know I’ll make it through. Thanks everyone, I feel like I’m getting hugs every time I come here..🤗

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To anyone taking the CBD oil: Can you tell me a recommended dosage? The bottle is not helpful, saying you can use any amount, including up to the entire dropper.

Also, my withdrawal symptoms – mainly the brain zap – still vary in intensity after about 6 weeks on the same reduced dose. Can I presume this is normal? I know everyone is different, but I would prefer the same reduced dosage over a period of time result in NO symptoms before I move on to the next reduced dosage.

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I use a dropperful.

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@betsyjane

To anyone taking the CBD oil: Can you tell me a recommended dosage? The bottle is not helpful, saying you can use any amount, including up to the entire dropper.

Also, my withdrawal symptoms – mainly the brain zap – still vary in intensity after about 6 weeks on the same reduced dose. Can I presume this is normal? I know everyone is different, but I would prefer the same reduced dosage over a period of time result in NO symptoms before I move on to the next reduced dosage.

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@betsyjane
Hi there,
Would you mind sharing your tapering schedule with us. To try and answer your question with limited information I’d say no, it’s not normal but there are variables that must be taken into account. Most people, in my opinion try stopping too quickly. I find that odd because some people take it for 10-30+ years, but want off it immediately or within a couple to a few months. So it depends on your original dose, the length of time you’ve been taking it and the rate of each taper. Doctors often suggest lowering by 50%. I haven’t yet heard of anyone getting off this medication using a 50% taper schedule. I personally believe it’s not only irresponsible but dangerous.
Wishing you luck,
Jake

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Remember we all have our own reasons for starting, continuing, and stopping effexor. Our circumstances are all different. For some the only choice has been to stop altogether or to do a quick taper, for example, if serotonin syndrome is an issue, or due to lack of access to the medication. For others, they feel that the medication is necessary and only want to decrease their dosage to what they see as more appropriate. Others want to take it as slow as possible. To me this forum is a safe place to share our experience, strength and hope. One of hopes is that we can all find support here, regardless of our individual circumstances and decisions, without judgment.

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@betsyjane

To anyone taking the CBD oil: Can you tell me a recommended dosage? The bottle is not helpful, saying you can use any amount, including up to the entire dropper.

Also, my withdrawal symptoms – mainly the brain zap – still vary in intensity after about 6 weeks on the same reduced dose. Can I presume this is normal? I know everyone is different, but I would prefer the same reduced dosage over a period of time result in NO symptoms before I move on to the next reduced dosage.

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@betsyjane
Looking back through some of these posts, folks who experienced brain zaps found relief by cutting back on caffeine and sugar, taking Ben*dryl and reducing stress. One person mentioned Disipal, an anticholinergic that prevents the activity of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. Others believe omega-3s will help the brain heal. While it is unclear how omega-3s help brain zaps, many people have documented significant reductions in the frequency and number of zaps they experience during withdrawal when they supplement with omega-3s.

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I have been so lucky not to experience brain zaps..or if I am, I don't realize it! I take omega 3 as part of my daily regime.
Today has been really good. 3 weeks out from coming off of a 67 mg dosage. I'm cautiously optimistic. I DO realize the probability of PAWS and I am prepared for this next few years to be a roller coaster ride. But then again, it may not be!
Happy Friday to everyone!

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Just found this site so I'm nor replying to anyone in particular but just hoping for some reassureance. I've only been taking venlafaxine for 25 days. Never felt so awful – chronic insomnia. I've been taking sleeping pills on alternate nights for a fortnight. I do not sleep AT ALL on the nights that I don't take a sleeping pill. I've seen my GP and he has agreed that I can stop it. But over two weeks? Currently reduced (3 days ago) from 150 to 75. (I only took the 150 for 13 days). So he wants me to take 75 for a week and then 37.5 for a week. Is this realistic?

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@sandij

I use a dropperful.

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@sandij– Hi. Tinctures usually come in a bottle with a dropper. But the dosage and amount of CBD in the oil can change with different companies and different grades of the oil.
@betsyjane– There is no standard as yet for CBD oil, no set dosage. The only advice that I can give you is to first read the posts here and see what others have done. The contact someone at the company you chose to answer questions.
I use CBD oil but I am going up in dosage and there is also a small amt of THC in it which will also increase.

When I first started my local dispensary suggested 10 mg CBD oil to start with. Take it once or twice a day at the same times and give it several weeks to work. You can google about how to use the drops.
Do you personally know anyone who takes it who you could ask how they make their decisions?

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@jakedduck1

@betsyjane
Hi there,
Would you mind sharing your tapering schedule with us. To try and answer your question with limited information I’d say no, it’s not normal but there are variables that must be taken into account. Most people, in my opinion try stopping too quickly. I find that odd because some people take it for 10-30+ years, but want off it immediately or within a couple to a few months. So it depends on your original dose, the length of time you’ve been taking it and the rate of each taper. Doctors often suggest lowering by 50%. I haven’t yet heard of anyone getting off this medication using a 50% taper schedule. I personally believe it’s not only irresponsible but dangerous.
Wishing you luck,
Jake

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A year ago I started taking my 75 mg Effexor every other day. I had no problems unless I forgot to take one. About 6 weeks ago, per doctor's suggestion, I began this schedule: 75 mg – none – 37.5 mg – none – then repeat.. So every 4th day – the evening of the second "none" or the morning following the second "none," I have the brain zap crap. Sometimes worse than others; even had a day when I had no symptoms at all. This is the primary withdrawal symptom I have. It's pretty annoying, feels like it wants to be debilitating, but I usually just push through and function, as little as possible!

Appreciate the suggestions re CBD Oil.

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