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

@ainsleigh

@jakeduck1- Hi there Jake- Just want to say I think your quest to get people to understand the importance of slooooooooow withdrawals is so great! Keep up the good work! On another note I'm not sure that I agree with you that depression is a choice. What do our other friends on Connect have to say on that subject?
Best wishes
Ainsleigh

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@ainsleigh
“On another note I’m not sure I agree with you that depression is a choice.”
Perhaps your right. Maybe I am one of the lucky ones. It was definitely a choice in my case. I believe life is a series of choices. I believe these choices define who we are. Graham Brown said,
“Life is about choices. Some we regret, some we’re proud of. Some will haunt us forever. The message: we are what we chose to be.” I couldn’t stand the person I became. I wanted to be better than I was. I needed to be happier. I believe the most important thing is to love and accept yourself. We’re great at blaming others for our problems. Take another look and I think if we are honest with ourselves we will see we are to blame for our problems. People go to the doctor and get antidepressants, that’s a choice and they don’t cure. People could make other choices that do cure or at least cause remission. Many people refuse to think of how good they are and how valuable they are. You can’t always depend on others to make you feel good. We need to endure and persevere and enjoy life.
I have been severely criticized here for my beliefs and may be again. I look forward to reading others perspectives.
Jake

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@jakedduck1

@ainsleigh
“On another note I’m not sure I agree with you that depression is a choice.”
Perhaps your right. Maybe I am one of the lucky ones. It was definitely a choice in my case. I believe life is a series of choices. I believe these choices define who we are. Graham Brown said,
“Life is about choices. Some we regret, some we’re proud of. Some will haunt us forever. The message: we are what we chose to be.” I couldn’t stand the person I became. I wanted to be better than I was. I needed to be happier. I believe the most important thing is to love and accept yourself. We’re great at blaming others for our problems. Take another look and I think if we are honest with ourselves we will see we are to blame for our problems. People go to the doctor and get antidepressants, that’s a choice and they don’t cure. People could make other choices that do cure or at least cause remission. Many people refuse to think of how good they are and how valuable they are. You can’t always depend on others to make you feel good. We need to endure and persevere and enjoy life.
I have been severely criticized here for my beliefs and may be again. I look forward to reading others perspectives.
Jake

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@jakeduck1-Thanks for your response Jake-you have given me lots to think about and I appreciate that! You are a great contributor to our forum! Keeping an open mind I think is important if we want to learn and grow!
Best wishes
Ainsleigh

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@kgoller

I have been taking effexor for over a year and it stopped working, so i decided to taper off at the advice of my psychiatrist. I got down to 37.5 mg and now am feeling all of the withdrawal symptoms (brain zaps, nausea, vertigo, body aches etc.). I was preivously on 225 mg. I want to be off of this medication completely because the withdrawal is horrific. I just want it to be over. How long do the withdrawal symptoms last? I don't know if I can stick it out any longer. Should I check into a place where they can do medical detox? I'm in mental, emotional, and physical pain from this and cry and throw up every day and feel like utter crap. I just don't really know what to do or how long this is going to last. Please leave opinions and help on this discussion I can use all the information I can get.

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@kgoller
I was on 225 mg of Effexor for a long time, years actually and I felt it wasn’t working as well anymore so I asked my Psychiatrist and he said to quit taking it and would put me on something else. Oh my! The withdrawal was horrible! I couldn’t breathe and I would have anger episodes instantly for no reason. I put my self back on it and quit going to the Psychiatrist. I started just going to my family doctor for refills and explained that I had no emotions with Effexor and wanted to taper off. She was agreeable to this, but has never tapered anyone off of it before. I told her about my last attempt and knew I to taper slowly. I tapered slowly down in about 8 months. Then I just stopped. It was probably still too soon to stop, but by day 3 Effexor free, I thought I was going to die! Brain zaps, flu symptoms, dizzy, anger spells, anxiety, and so on. I managed to go a week, then asked my doctor for bridge to get me through. She gave me Prozac. It helped a bit, but had to up it 3 times. I am now 75 days Effexor free and starting to feel normal again. I still have anxiety and restless legs, but it is getting better every day. So hang in there, you can do it! This was the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but worth it now that I’m on the other side. Praying for you! Take care and good luck on your journey.

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@jakedduck1

@ainsleigh
“On another note I’m not sure I agree with you that depression is a choice.”
Perhaps your right. Maybe I am one of the lucky ones. It was definitely a choice in my case. I believe life is a series of choices. I believe these choices define who we are. Graham Brown said,
“Life is about choices. Some we regret, some we’re proud of. Some will haunt us forever. The message: we are what we chose to be.” I couldn’t stand the person I became. I wanted to be better than I was. I needed to be happier. I believe the most important thing is to love and accept yourself. We’re great at blaming others for our problems. Take another look and I think if we are honest with ourselves we will see we are to blame for our problems. People go to the doctor and get antidepressants, that’s a choice and they don’t cure. People could make other choices that do cure or at least cause remission. Many people refuse to think of how good they are and how valuable they are. You can’t always depend on others to make you feel good. We need to endure and persevere and enjoy life.
I have been severely criticized here for my beliefs and may be again. I look forward to reading others perspectives.
Jake

Jump to this post

@jakedduck1
Good morning!
Wow! This is an interesting conversation!
I think what you said was very powerful!
Our life IS full of choices, some good and some bad!!!!
Yes, it IS much easier to blame others for our problems and to look to others for our own happiness.
However, I respecfully disagree when it comes to TRUE mental illness.
For many of us, it is something genetic, in our DNA, that makes us the way we are.
We don't have a choice!
Of course, what we do about it, is a choice (that is if what needs to be done is within our reach medically, financially, etc.).
We can sit and cry about woe is me, or we can try to do something about it.
I do not believe that asking for medication, although technically IS a choice, is a bad thing.
Sadly, most of us here have been given a medication that can be harsh.
Sometimes, medication IS the only answer.
If, however, we don't want to take that route, then it is our choice to look for something else.
Anyway, nicely said, Jake.

Have a day of wonderful choices!
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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It's been 5 days and still have boat head, but not nausea or anything else. Remember I only took 37.5 mg/l for hot flashes for past year. BUUUUT…I have had a number of what I thought were slightly dizzy episodes from time to time last 3 or 4 months before stopping. DID ANYONE ELSE GET THIS WHILE TAKING IT (just not as bad)?

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Just wanted to say I've been venlafaxine free for about 2 months now. Prozac bridge worked for me: I started 20mg of Prozac while still on 37.5mg of venlafaxine, and after two weeks of both, stopped venlafaxine. And the first couple of days were rough but not nearly as bad as trying it before. I stayed on the Prozac for a month but couldn't stand the diarrhea it caused, so talked to my doctor and switched to Cymbalta. It seems to work…slightly. Had a dose increase starting a week ago and it might be helping. No noticeable side effects – yay.

I'm still very depressed but I have a tiny bit more energy when I'm not getting sucked into a depression vortex. So my bad days are just as bad, but my not-bad days are almost okay. It's an improvement, even if it isn't enough.

I think a big obstacle is my allergies. (synthetic scents, and as severe as people think of peanut allergies) The isolation (and almost daily getting pummeled by my immune system) hits me hard. I just got rejected for two jobs explicitly because of it. I have a lot of times I think I can't stand living like this. I'm still here though and haven't made an attempt in a year or so now.

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@grandmar

@jakedduck1
Good morning!
Wow! This is an interesting conversation!
I think what you said was very powerful!
Our life IS full of choices, some good and some bad!!!!
Yes, it IS much easier to blame others for our problems and to look to others for our own happiness.
However, I respecfully disagree when it comes to TRUE mental illness.
For many of us, it is something genetic, in our DNA, that makes us the way we are.
We don't have a choice!
Of course, what we do about it, is a choice (that is if what needs to be done is within our reach medically, financially, etc.).
We can sit and cry about woe is me, or we can try to do something about it.
I do not believe that asking for medication, although technically IS a choice, is a bad thing.
Sadly, most of us here have been given a medication that can be harsh.
Sometimes, medication IS the only answer.
If, however, we don't want to take that route, then it is our choice to look for something else.
Anyway, nicely said, Jake.

Have a day of wonderful choices!
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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Thank you for recognizing that there are barriers to treatment. That's something that I get blamed for a lot – not doing everything possible. But I'm contemplating taking out a loan to get treatment from a doctor who isn't covered by insurance, and apparently that is also bad. Can't win.

No one should have to contemplate financial ruin to save themselves from wanting to die.

"Of course, what we do about it, is a choice (that is if what needs to be done is within our reach medically, financially, etc.)."

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@ainsleigh

@jakeduck1- Hi there Jake- Just want to say I think your quest to get people to understand the importance of slooooooooow withdrawals is so great! Keep up the good work! On another note I'm not sure that I agree with you that depression is a choice. What do our other friends on Connect have to say on that subject?
Best wishes
Ainsleigh

Jump to this post

@ Ainsleigh
Hello, I agree with you on that…Depression is NOT A CHOICE.
And it can be controlled after withdrawal with adequate amounts of CBD.
I myself use 2400 mg a month. It keeps my anxiety at bay and helps with residual depression.
Bright Wings…who is back

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@jakedduck1

@ainsleigh
“On another note I’m not sure I agree with you that depression is a choice.”
Perhaps your right. Maybe I am one of the lucky ones. It was definitely a choice in my case. I believe life is a series of choices. I believe these choices define who we are. Graham Brown said,
“Life is about choices. Some we regret, some we’re proud of. Some will haunt us forever. The message: we are what we chose to be.” I couldn’t stand the person I became. I wanted to be better than I was. I needed to be happier. I believe the most important thing is to love and accept yourself. We’re great at blaming others for our problems. Take another look and I think if we are honest with ourselves we will see we are to blame for our problems. People go to the doctor and get antidepressants, that’s a choice and they don’t cure. People could make other choices that do cure or at least cause remission. Many people refuse to think of how good they are and how valuable they are. You can’t always depend on others to make you feel good. We need to endure and persevere and enjoy life.
I have been severely criticized here for my beliefs and may be again. I look forward to reading others perspectives.
Jake

Jump to this post

@jadedduck1
I sigh as I read this….I am not CRITIZING you my friend…and as I read that I wonder if you have ever been abused badly in your life….
Many of us have been. We were never allowed to grow up with love and light in our lives…
And the result IS DEPRESSION….
Bright Wings

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@brightwings

@jadedduck1
I sigh as I read this….I am not CRITIZING you my friend…and as I read that I wonder if you have ever been abused badly in your life….
Many of us have been. We were never allowed to grow up with love and light in our lives…
And the result IS DEPRESSION….
Bright Wings

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@brightwings
No, I was never abused. I had an idyllic childhood, at least that’s what my brother says. I have no memory of it. I couldn’t ask for a better family.
Jake

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@jakedduck1
I am so happy for you Jake. I truly am. I understand you can't remember because of your many seizures…
And I do remember your story about that ocean swim that almost took your life…you shared the story because I asked you if you liked kayaking…
That brought up the swim and your hesitation to be in water again…And your feelings about it…
.
Now what if you already went on that swim and it ended the same way, almost taking you out….AND IT WAS REPEATED DAY AND NIGHT FOR YEARS. How do you think you would be feeling then.
.
That's what it is like for us, both men and women who were Consistantly hurt by the ones who were supposed to love and nurture us…
We never got the base of love you enjoyed, what every child in the world should enjoy.
.
Without that love, depression fills the spaces love should have…
.
I hope this explains it…
.
I told you I was back! Grin
Bright Wings

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@brownikl1

It's been 5 days and still have boat head, but not nausea or anything else. Remember I only took 37.5 mg/l for hot flashes for past year. BUUUUT…I have had a number of what I thought were slightly dizzy episodes from time to time last 3 or 4 months before stopping. DID ANYONE ELSE GET THIS WHILE TAKING IT (just not as bad)?

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Oh my goodness yes! So, I took my time weening off and truly had minimal symptoms. (And it helped that, when they hit, like head spins etc, I knew exactly why it was happening. ). After over a YEAR of weening off 37.5 mg, I have been Effexor Free since 2/1/19. My dizzy spells are worse. Vertigo. I’ve been treated for something called “benign proximal … something “. Where the treatment is simple and it’s to move a crystal that got stuck in a wrong place in the inner ear. Seems reasonable enough and treatment is non invasive. But didn’t work in my situation :(. I haven’t been posting lately because of the nausea. Reading etc makes me want to puke. (And incidentally, so does boating! Haha). So now I’m worried I have meniere’s disease Like my dear dad had.

I am hopeful that it’s metely more symptoms of withdrawal and hope so. But when will it stop? It’s been four months!!!

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@secretwhitepop
Not bubbling now…I am so sorry.
I hear you how hard this is….I do hear you…
Now lets see if we can find an action that will help. Question, are you on CBD.
Keeping it short for you…
Bright Wings

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@brightwings

@secretwhitepop
Not bubbling now…I am so sorry.
I hear you how hard this is….I do hear you…
Now lets see if we can find an action that will help. Question, are you on CBD.
Keeping it short for you…
Bright Wings

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Hello BrightWings! Yes, I have CBD from when my dad was sick. I used it to quell anxiety. For me, mom and my dad. I do like it. Matter of fact, went to buy some more today for my brother who is taking most of the responsibility for my mom :). (But I need to buy it online because they’re a bit touchy around here!)

So this bout with vertigo is passing but boy is it debilitating! I wonder/hope that since it came on while I was tapering and continues, I’m hoping it’s due to the brain chemistry and will, eventually, pass.

Things are going pretty ok for me otherwise. For me, meditation is the trick! Truly life changing. (And I hear it’s brain changing too!)

Hoping to be bubble blowing soon!

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@bubbles
As I was reading your post yesterday my brain kept binging in that place that says its trying to remember something. Meineires or however you spell that, was one of my symptoms of withdrawal also.
.
So hang on, things will change.
.
My last dose was Jan 2018. Cold turkey.
.
DON'T ANYONE DO COLD TURKEY. ITS DANGEROUS.
.
I took it for 33 years. Last month I started withdrawal symptoms again. They stopped after a week or so. And now I have some head buzzing going on.
.
I know, the best thing I can do is take my CBD. If I"m getting symptoms I up the dose to help what ever is going on. Then I go back to my 25 mg three times a day.
.
Slow and steady gets us there.
.
Remember, I'm an empath…you look and feel so much better today. Our girl is coming back, even if it doesn't feel like it some time. You ARE much Brighter today. I am happy for you.
.
Keep coming back cuz we care.
.
Bright Wings

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