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

@texasduchess

@secretwhitepop
Susan, as I recall, you have a lot of stressors in your life right now–your mom's Alzheimers, dad's passing a year ago, you moved, etc. You got off Effexor because you wanted to see who your "baseline" self was. It IS possible that you do need to go on something, but you also said you really didn't want to do that. You mentioned taking positive steps such as gardening, moving your desk to face a view and natural light and taking sub-lingual Vitamin B. It can take us 2-3 years to get our brains back to functioning well without Effexor (you were on Effexor for 20 years). The good news is we're moving into summer (more light for longer and more opportunities to get out and walk, or just enjoy outdoor activities).

I don't subscribe to ayurvedic disciplines myself, but there are some commonsense suggestions in these two articles–
https://www.webmd.com/depression/features/finding-joy-mind-body-spirit-guide#1
https://medium.com/@ayurdhamahgurgaon/effective-and-safe-ayurvedic-cure-for-depression-4cbf4b09d056
Here's an article about natural supplements (https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/314421.php). I take l-methylfolate (a prescription B vitamin), L-tryptophan (Lidtk* brand), Solg*ar GABA, omega-3s and ashwaganda.

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His article was very good! Ok, onto the next. Incidentally, since I’ve been “Effexor free” I am no longer constipated while at the same time I crave meat! Interestingly, that’s how I used to be before I began. I remember telling my psychiatrist years ago that since being on Effexor, I crave bread and pasta. That didn’t used to be me. Now I’m back to craving meat. Just something I find interesting.

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32 days effexor free. I'm doing great. I have some weird physical sensations, which are not bothersome, just interesting to observe. It's like things inside of me are waking up. I'm not sure if that is due to the medication leaving my system, or if its the result of hard inner work that I have been doing. Either way, I'll take it!! Hope you all are having a great day.

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@secretwhitepop

His article was very good! Ok, onto the next. Incidentally, since I’ve been “Effexor free” I am no longer constipated while at the same time I crave meat! Interestingly, that’s how I used to be before I began. I remember telling my psychiatrist years ago that since being on Effexor, I crave bread and pasta. That didn’t used to be me. Now I’m back to craving meat. Just something I find interesting.

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@secretwhitepop
Our bodies tell us what we need–I vividly recall getting up one night after a chemo treatment and being desperate for salsa. I like salsa, but I ate an ENTIRE large-size jar and would have gone out into the night for more if I hadn't been too shaky to drive. If you need more protein, go for the steak and hamburger! Just not to the exclusion of other food groups.

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@sandij

32 days effexor free. I'm doing great. I have some weird physical sensations, which are not bothersome, just interesting to observe. It's like things inside of me are waking up. I'm not sure if that is due to the medication leaving my system, or if its the result of hard inner work that I have been doing. Either way, I'll take it!! Hope you all are having a great day.

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@sandij
Glad you are doing sp well.
I guess it doesn't matter why, asclong as you feel happy and healthy!
But my thought is the combination is probably the answer.
Keep on doing
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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@lisa0878

Hi everyone. I'm new here . Im needing some help. I have tapered myself down from 150mg of effexor to 37.5…I really wanna come off it. Should I just cold Turkey it now? I got a few klonopin left I was thinking that would help me get threw the hard times.

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Hi, @lisa0878 – I wanted to add my welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect and also ask how you've been doing over this weekend?

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I am having a horrible time tapering off Effexor. My head is fuzzy and its like I am hearing white noise extremely loud. Trouble walking and achy chest pains. I also feel like I want to cry all the time. My GP is trying to change my meds to Wellbutrin. He had me skip a dose every other day for a week then start the Wellbutrin. I had to take a sick day today to try and get through this feeling. I put a call into my GP but not looking for much from him. I have been reading the responses on this site and it makes me even more anxious.

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@mammy

I am having a horrible time tapering off Effexor. My head is fuzzy and its like I am hearing white noise extremely loud. Trouble walking and achy chest pains. I also feel like I want to cry all the time. My GP is trying to change my meds to Wellbutrin. He had me skip a dose every other day for a week then start the Wellbutrin. I had to take a sick day today to try and get through this feeling. I put a call into my GP but not looking for much from him. I have been reading the responses on this site and it makes me even more anxious.

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@mammy
Chest pains? Call 911. Go to the emergency room.

Liked by sharonlou

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@mammy

I am having a horrible time tapering off Effexor. My head is fuzzy and its like I am hearing white noise extremely loud. Trouble walking and achy chest pains. I also feel like I want to cry all the time. My GP is trying to change my meds to Wellbutrin. He had me skip a dose every other day for a week then start the Wellbutrin. I had to take a sick day today to try and get through this feeling. I put a call into my GP but not looking for much from him. I have been reading the responses on this site and it makes me even more anxious.

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@mammy
CALL 911.
GET TO THE ER!!!!!
NEVER fool around with chest pains!!!
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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@mammy

I am having a horrible time tapering off Effexor. My head is fuzzy and its like I am hearing white noise extremely loud. Trouble walking and achy chest pains. I also feel like I want to cry all the time. My GP is trying to change my meds to Wellbutrin. He had me skip a dose every other day for a week then start the Wellbutrin. I had to take a sick day today to try and get through this feeling. I put a call into my GP but not looking for much from him. I have been reading the responses on this site and it makes me even more anxious.

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I agree with the posters who told you to go to the ER for your chest pains. Better safe than sorry, plus if you find out your heart is ok, that's one less thing to worry about. I don't know how quickly you're tapering, but you may be trying to go faster than your body can handle. Slow . . . slow . . . slow . . . slow. There's plenty of time to get off it; no rush. Regarding the anxiety, if it's an issue for you, Wellbutrin may not be the best choice because one of its possible side effects is increased anxiety. After I'd been off Effexor for several months, the anxiety returned full force. My dr had me try Wellbutrin, which made it worse, so he had me try Celexa — I take its generic, citalopram, 20mg daily; started with 10mg and increased to 20 after a week — and it has definitely done the job. I feel better than I have in years! I also take 25mg daily of metoprolol, a generic beta blocker (at the suggestion of the ER doc, to slow any adrenaline rush. (BTW, one of my friends takes Wellbutrin for depression, but she also takes Celexa for anxiety and she says she can tell when she misses a Celexa dose because she starts feeling anxious again. Also, Lexapro — generic is s-citalopram — may be a good possibility for you.) Please try to be gentle with yourself and keep telling yourself that this will pass. I know it's much easier to say that than to do it — when I'm anxious, I get anxious about the anxiety and afraid, too. But you WILL find relief!!! Please keep us posted.

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@mammy

I am having a horrible time tapering off Effexor. My head is fuzzy and its like I am hearing white noise extremely loud. Trouble walking and achy chest pains. I also feel like I want to cry all the time. My GP is trying to change my meds to Wellbutrin. He had me skip a dose every other day for a week then start the Wellbutrin. I had to take a sick day today to try and get through this feeling. I put a call into my GP but not looking for much from him. I have been reading the responses on this site and it makes me even more anxious.

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OMG skipping a dose immediately brings on all of the worst side effects for me: dizziness, brain "zaps", louder ringing in my ears, nausea. For me, I have been able to reduce under guidance from my psychiatrist by 20% with only a couple of brain zaps and stay at that for 2 weeks before reducing again. Early days yet, May have to reduce at a slower rate as I go along. Everyone is different. Listen to your body, you shouldn't be miserable while you go through this. Go as slow as you need to. You can do it.

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@mammy

I am having a horrible time tapering off Effexor. My head is fuzzy and its like I am hearing white noise extremely loud. Trouble walking and achy chest pains. I also feel like I want to cry all the time. My GP is trying to change my meds to Wellbutrin. He had me skip a dose every other day for a week then start the Wellbutrin. I had to take a sick day today to try and get through this feeling. I put a call into my GP but not looking for much from him. I have been reading the responses on this site and it makes me even more anxious.

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I’m so sorry you’re feeling like this. Anxiety is the absolute worst! Please make sure you’re not tapering too fast. This isn’t a race and withdrawal is real. Doctors tend to rush the taper, too! There are lots of things out there that can assuage some symptoms, too. I am on nothing by choice. But here are a couple things that help.

First, you are not alone. Not just us in the forum, but millions of us suffer from anxiety and depression. (That helps me k owing I’m not alone. ) Next, revel in your good moments. (Helps me realize it isn’t all bad!). Something I find interesting is LET YOURSELF CRY! It might seem a little “woo woo” but it really lets stuff out when you cry. And if you’re like me and others, it’s a different kind of crying. It just comes on! If it’s inappropriate, just excuse yourself and cry. I cried at a work conference, on the subway and on a commuter train. And that was just today! But I can honestly tell you it helped! And lastly, I just downloaded an app called The Daily Calm which is a meditation. There are many. And even sitting quietly for ten minutes a day will help.

Please be careful with your ween. Go slow. And I hope your symptoms improve.

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My friends, rejoice with me.
.
I am recovering. I see a future in front of me.
.
I have learned to wash my bone pain in a wash of gold speckled love. If dark shows thru, I throw another bucket of Love on myself. It covers my pain and it shrinks to non detectable. Healing is happening.
.
I also learned anger increases the pain unbelievably. I have been a warrior since I was 10. .
.
Time to learn Love as a way of life. I have fought long enough.
.
I would feel honored if you accept this bucket of Sparkly Love from me. It will Help heal what hurts you.
.
I give you the gift of a never ending bucket of Shimmering Love…you will have all you need. Share it as you will and watch miracles unfold before you.
.
I used to be Bright Wings. I am changing…evolving….

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@brightwings

My friends, rejoice with me.
.
I am recovering. I see a future in front of me.
.
I have learned to wash my bone pain in a wash of gold speckled love. If dark shows thru, I throw another bucket of Love on myself. It covers my pain and it shrinks to non detectable. Healing is happening.
.
I also learned anger increases the pain unbelievably. I have been a warrior since I was 10. .
.
Time to learn Love as a way of life. I have fought long enough.
.
I would feel honored if you accept this bucket of Sparkly Love from me. It will Help heal what hurts you.
.
I give you the gift of a never ending bucket of Shimmering Love…you will have all you need. Share it as you will and watch miracles unfold before you.
.
I used to be Bright Wings. I am changing…evolving….

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All is well

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Cute Suzie… So happy to hear your change in your outlook, the way your embracing life is wonderful!!

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@laylabug

Cute Suzie… So happy to hear your change in your outlook, the way your embracing life is wonderful!!

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I am so sorry as I am new to this and not sure how to ask a question. I am just after coming off Venlafaxine after 6 years of using it because I felt it was no longer effective and it was either increase it or finally get off it. i was not in anyway prepared for what has been happening over the pst three days. I reduced slowly to 37.5 and managed without any issues provided I took it at the same time daily. I feel it just prolonged the inevitable. I would give up smoking 10 times over again than face another day like this. I am bed bound today as talking or moving creates some sort of disconnection between my sight and my brain and senses. Hearing this shot in my ears and shock in my head but not painful? Anxiety out of control to the fact that yesterday I couldn't breath so took a few days off work to calm. I will never take one again and face going through this again so there is no going back but all I want to and need to know is how long this is going to last? My face is burning, cheeks raw red, and vertigo. I know this is not all in my head and very much a physical response and I'm honestly shocked that this was never on my radar of what might happen nor did my doctors. She has just said drink plenty of water. I am so sorry to hear all your stories as I know im not alone but how can I make this easier without being willing to take another tablet and how long should it feel like this?
Thanks so much to all you very brave people

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