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

@jakedduck1

@falon
Most importantly, there is no guarantee someone won’t go through withdrawal even if they taper slowly. However the slower you taper the less likely you are to have withdrawal and they are much less severe and don’t last as long. Symptoms are often worse at the completion of the taper. Withdrawal can last for weeks to months and have lasted over a year. But it depends on your own physiology since people react so differently to medications. One person here is reducing her medication by less than one half of one percent. @falon, the half life of Klonopin is 30-40 hours whereas Effexor half life is about 5 hours. That should tell you which drug will be easier to discontinue. I wish you would post what your current dose is and what your dose decreases were. Really curious???
I really hope you have access to a Compounding Pharmacy to help with your taper.
Jake

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@jakedduck1 I don't have access to a compounding pharmacist. I was originally on 2 mg clonazepam. Tapered for the last 6 weeks by .125mg weekly. That is 1/4 of one tablet (0.5mg tablets). I am currently also on 150mg of Effexor that comes in a capsule the smallest of which is 37.5mg. Am not doing any tapering with the Effexor until after the clonazepam is done and I feel well enough. Thanks for your interest.

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@falon

@jakedduck1 I don't have access to a compounding pharmacist. I was originally on 2 mg clonazepam. Tapered for the last 6 weeks by .125mg weekly. That is 1/4 of one tablet (0.5mg tablets). I am currently also on 150mg of Effexor that comes in a capsule the smallest of which is 37.5mg. Am not doing any tapering with the Effexor until after the clonazepam is done and I feel well enough. Thanks for your interest.

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Fallon,do you have trouble with anxiety/panic attacks?

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I'm on day 6 or 7 of restarting my effexor. My anxiety and depression is getting worse it seems everyday since restarting. What is some people's opinions on this. This getting to be more than I can handle. The first 2 days back on effexor was good felt some what like my old self. But now everything is going down hill. Opinions are welcome. Thank you in advance, farmboy.

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@farmboy

Fallon,do you have trouble with anxiety/panic attacks?

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@farmboy Yes, I have terrible anxiety and nausea made much worse by the tapering of the clonazepam.

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@farmboy

I'm on day 6 or 7 of restarting my effexor. My anxiety and depression is getting worse it seems everyday since restarting. What is some people's opinions on this. This getting to be more than I can handle. The first 2 days back on effexor was good felt some what like my old self. But now everything is going down hill. Opinions are welcome. Thank you in advance, farmboy.

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@farmboy Personally, I'd try to wait it out until it has been 2-3 weeks. I've been there with initial side effects. Not sure if you're a cat person but what helps me is petting my cat. I prefer cats because they don't have to be walked. But any furry animal will do. Pets don't judge and just want to be with you.

Actually going through that now with Prozac. Apparently while it was very helpful in tapering off venlafaxine, I can't be on it long term. Chronic diarrhea sucks. I feel like all the life has been drained out of me. Effective bad way to lose weight though haha. No libido, almost no appetite, just kind of existing. It's… still an improvement over no medication sadly. Going to try yet another antidepressant next – duloxetine (Cymbalta).

So far I'm at 2 weeks after venlafaxine and I haven't been having the dizziness or heart pains. Some migraine but not bad enough to see a doctor about. I'm kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop but at least I know it can come back and that's better than being caught unaware.

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@notaround

@farmboy Personally, I'd try to wait it out until it has been 2-3 weeks. I've been there with initial side effects. Not sure if you're a cat person but what helps me is petting my cat. I prefer cats because they don't have to be walked. But any furry animal will do. Pets don't judge and just want to be with you.

Actually going through that now with Prozac. Apparently while it was very helpful in tapering off venlafaxine, I can't be on it long term. Chronic diarrhea sucks. I feel like all the life has been drained out of me. Effective bad way to lose weight though haha. No libido, almost no appetite, just kind of existing. It's… still an improvement over no medication sadly. Going to try yet another antidepressant next – duloxetine (Cymbalta).

So far I'm at 2 weeks after venlafaxine and I haven't been having the dizziness or heart pains. Some migraine but not bad enough to see a doctor about. I'm kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop but at least I know it can come back and that's better than being caught unaware.

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I have a red heeler cattle dog. He is very loyal. He can read me like a book. If I'm having a bad day he comes up and lays his head on my lap and just stays there. If I get tears running out of my eyes he just gently licks them of. He goes every with me. He even sleeps in bed with me. My worse problem right now is I'm all nerved up and irritated. I'm so tired of feeling this way. I'm sure I'm not the only one though.

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@farmboy

I'm on day 6 or 7 of restarting my effexor. My anxiety and depression is getting worse it seems everyday since restarting. What is some people's opinions on this. This getting to be more than I can handle. The first 2 days back on effexor was good felt some what like my old self. But now everything is going down hill. Opinions are welcome. Thank you in advance, farmboy.

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@farmboy
Sorry it's been rough. Here are my thoughts–remember we're all just guessing here; each of us has been our own guinea pig. You may have restarted at too low a dose. You didn't taper from 225 down to 75–you plummeted like a rock. Restarting at 75mg felt good at first because you were getting at least some of the Effexor you were used to (and some Hydroxyzine and Buspirone). The most successful way to get off Effexor is to go slow, but you are trying to go slow well into the race after starting off like a jack rabbit.

You had good rapport with the ER doc who intervened with your regular doc. Can you check back with her, let her know your initial improvement is morphing into something very unpleasant and see if she can help? Perhaps increase the Hydroxyzine and Buspirone, or a change to something else?

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@farmboy

I have a red heeler cattle dog. He is very loyal. He can read me like a book. If I'm having a bad day he comes up and lays his head on my lap and just stays there. If I get tears running out of my eyes he just gently licks them of. He goes every with me. He even sleeps in bed with me. My worse problem right now is I'm all nerved up and irritated. I'm so tired of feeling this way. I'm sure I'm not the only one though.

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You’re not the only one. I’m trying something simple now, but, I gave up sugar for Lent. It is having a good effect on me. But I specifically gave up eating those delicious belvitas and coffee every morning. (I love them!) but I try to start my morning with protein (or just coffee). Again, I didn’t go nuts, but I’m reading the sugar content in stuff now and was eating far too much. I’m limiting myself to 5 grams per serving if anything. Just a thought. It helps me. (Of course, I got so angry at work yesterday I kicked a huge roll of bubble wrap and it went flying! Still working on things. )

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@secretwhitepop

You’re not the only one. I’m trying something simple now, but, I gave up sugar for Lent. It is having a good effect on me. But I specifically gave up eating those delicious belvitas and coffee every morning. (I love them!) but I try to start my morning with protein (or just coffee). Again, I didn’t go nuts, but I’m reading the sugar content in stuff now and was eating far too much. I’m limiting myself to 5 grams per serving if anything. Just a thought. It helps me. (Of course, I got so angry at work yesterday I kicked a huge roll of bubble wrap and it went flying! Still working on things. )

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I have read many making comments on reducing sugar helps. I haven’t tried this, I’m such an addict to sugar, I’m worried about intensified mood swings. I’m working on week 3 with zero Effexor but taking Prozac to help. Still have anxiety and mood swings. Had a bad day yesterday. So may try reducing sugar if this helps.

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@babydoll

I have read many making comments on reducing sugar helps. I haven’t tried this, I’m such an addict to sugar, I’m worried about intensified mood swings. I’m working on week 3 with zero Effexor but taking Prozac to help. Still have anxiety and mood swings. Had a bad day yesterday. So may try reducing sugar if this helps.

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To be honest, it’s helping me. And helping with headaches, too. I’m sort of eating like an Atkins or Keto diet, but not hard core. Just more vegetables and proteins but not excluding carbs or fruit. Just focusing more on the former.

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@babydoll

I have read many making comments on reducing sugar helps. I haven’t tried this, I’m such an addict to sugar, I’m worried about intensified mood swings. I’m working on week 3 with zero Effexor but taking Prozac to help. Still have anxiety and mood swings. Had a bad day yesterday. So may try reducing sugar if this helps.

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Incidentally, cutting out the ridiculous amount of sugar typical in an American diet is actually pretty easy if you just look at the packaging. OJ for example boasts a whopping 22g or sugar! But anyway, once you start noticing it, and needing to a program (I try not to go higher than 5g for snacking purposes) you’ll feel the effects immediately. Good luck!

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@secretwhitepop

Incidentally, cutting out the ridiculous amount of sugar typical in an American diet is actually pretty easy if you just look at the packaging. OJ for example boasts a whopping 22g or sugar! But anyway, once you start noticing it, and needing to a program (I try not to go higher than 5g for snacking purposes) you’ll feel the effects immediately. Good luck!

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My worse problem is Pepsi and lemon aid. I don't keep any pop at home but get a bottle when I'm town. But I always have a pitcher of lemon aid in the fridge at home.

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