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

Was wondering if anyone has taken Cymbalta with good results? I’m taking Prozac now(my bridge to getting off Effexor) however it does nothing for my anxiety! I’m tired of feeling this unfake fear of something bad is going on i happen.

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@babydoll

Was wondering if anyone has taken Cymbalta with good results? I’m taking Prozac now(my bridge to getting off Effexor) however it does nothing for my anxiety! I’m tired of feeling this unfake fear of something bad is going on i happen.

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I haven't taken Cymbalta, but I am taking generic Celexa (citalopram) 20 mg/day with very good results, and I'm taking it for anxiety. I tapered off Effexor with no bridge and things were fine for several months, but then anxiety returned and kept getting stronger. My doctor tried me on Wellbutrin, which made things worse because one possible side effect is increased anxiety, so he took me off that and started me on citalopram. (I have a couple of friends who take it and it works for them, too — they're both on a stronger dose, 40mg daily — which I haven't needed.) I also take a generic beta blocker — metaprolol, 25mg — so that I don't get the big rush of adrenaline that can increase anxiety and trigger panic attacks. You might want to ask your doctor about trying you on a different medication. Good luck!!

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@kbmayo

I haven't taken Cymbalta, but I am taking generic Celexa (citalopram) 20 mg/day with very good results, and I'm taking it for anxiety. I tapered off Effexor with no bridge and things were fine for several months, but then anxiety returned and kept getting stronger. My doctor tried me on Wellbutrin, which made things worse because one possible side effect is increased anxiety, so he took me off that and started me on citalopram. (I have a couple of friends who take it and it works for them, too — they're both on a stronger dose, 40mg daily — which I haven't needed.) I also take a generic beta blocker — metaprolol, 25mg — so that I don't get the big rush of adrenaline that can increase anxiety and trigger panic attacks. You might want to ask your doctor about trying you on a different medication. Good luck!!

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Yes, I get that feeling of impending doom and it’s concentrated in my stomach. It’s horrible! Meditation and exercise. I jog. Not in earnest, but to assuage the “fight or flight” instinct that manifests into anxiety. It really works. There are many apps and YouTube videos that can assist. Something called The Daily Calm has helped me tremendously, and I ended up subscribing. But you don’t need to. There are lots of freebies out there!

You’re not alone.

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@babydoll

Was wondering if anyone has taken Cymbalta with good results? I’m taking Prozac now(my bridge to getting off Effexor) however it does nothing for my anxiety! I’m tired of feeling this unfake fear of something bad is going on i happen.

Jump to this post

I was on 25mg Effexor for 18 years for hot flashes and never had anxiety/fear/akathisia until I was off Effexor and all body fat stores were gone (about 6.5 weeks after my last tapered dose). I knew this "fake" fear was a withdrawal symptom because I had a rather startling episode of this when I experienced serotonin syndrome while on Effexor.

I started taking a number of supplements. GABA, ashwaganda and l-methylfolate (a prescription B vitamin) have helped most. I also used kava and Ben*dryl (helps with that rush of adrenaline that @kbmayo mentioned and the fight/flight reaction described by @secretwhitepop; I get this as a shaky, "squiggly" feeling in my chest) quite a bit for 3-6 months. My doctor also prescribed 5mg Valium to take as needed–I track my use and I used 1/2 of a tablet for a day, or two every 2-3 weeks at first and about every 4-5 weeks now.

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Almost two months effexor free, my last pill was on April 17, 67 mg. I'm doing fine! I've pretty much stopped the benadryl and ibuprofen as my wd symptoms were minimal. Now I'm just sweating a lot, especially at night. Reminds me of when I stopped taking hormone replacement therapy a few years back (total hysterectomy about 10 years ago). To be expected, really, since an off label use of effexor is for hot flashes, and obviously was keeping them at bay. I've had some anxiety but I have always experienced that, regardless of effexor! Crazy how I took it for so long and it wasn't really providing me with too many benefits.
Anyway, just checking in to give a positive account, as it is surely needed. We can do this! I'm doing it!

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@sandij

Almost two months effexor free, my last pill was on April 17, 67 mg. I'm doing fine! I've pretty much stopped the benadryl and ibuprofen as my wd symptoms were minimal. Now I'm just sweating a lot, especially at night. Reminds me of when I stopped taking hormone replacement therapy a few years back (total hysterectomy about 10 years ago). To be expected, really, since an off label use of effexor is for hot flashes, and obviously was keeping them at bay. I've had some anxiety but I have always experienced that, regardless of effexor! Crazy how I took it for so long and it wasn't really providing me with too many benefits.
Anyway, just checking in to give a positive account, as it is surely needed. We can do this! I'm doing it!

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Thank you for inspiring confidence! I used to be a confident person and slowly but surely it’s coming back. Things take time and I think that’s something our modern society does not allow anymore. Everything is immediate gratification!

Keep up the good work!

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@sandij

Almost two months effexor free, my last pill was on April 17, 67 mg. I'm doing fine! I've pretty much stopped the benadryl and ibuprofen as my wd symptoms were minimal. Now I'm just sweating a lot, especially at night. Reminds me of when I stopped taking hormone replacement therapy a few years back (total hysterectomy about 10 years ago). To be expected, really, since an off label use of effexor is for hot flashes, and obviously was keeping them at bay. I've had some anxiety but I have always experienced that, regardless of effexor! Crazy how I took it for so long and it wasn't really providing me with too many benefits.
Anyway, just checking in to give a positive account, as it is surely needed. We can do this! I'm doing it!

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Thank you for your note to all of us still tapering/weaning. It can be done, we just have to be patient! *`blessings~*

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Checking in…
I was just reflecting on what I am doing and how different it is from just one month ago.
.
Today I am feeling good, filled with the zest for living, baking 5 loves of bread and preparing to go camping…and kayaking.
.
One month ago I was preparing to go to my Tribal gathering, (I am 10% Indian) to say good bye to the Many sons and daughters of my heart.
.
I knew I was dying……
.
Yet God in his mercy, spared my life again. I am so humbly grateful.
.
I know I have both feet firmly rooted in life now. I have the skills, determination, drive and the DNA to live to be 105.
.
What a difference a month makes…
.
Bright Wings, who is so grateful
.
It was pain in my body from a misaligned spine that almost took me out. I am seeing a chiropractor and well, I am Definately feeling good and happy. Moving to a healthier house this week. Life feels sweet.
.
See, there is life after withdrawing from Venlafaxine.

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@brightwings

Checking in…
I was just reflecting on what I am doing and how different it is from just one month ago.
.
Today I am feeling good, filled with the zest for living, baking 5 loves of bread and preparing to go camping…and kayaking.
.
One month ago I was preparing to go to my Tribal gathering, (I am 10% Indian) to say good bye to the Many sons and daughters of my heart.
.
I knew I was dying……
.
Yet God in his mercy, spared my life again. I am so humbly grateful.
.
I know I have both feet firmly rooted in life now. I have the skills, determination, drive and the DNA to live to be 105.
.
What a difference a month makes…
.
Bright Wings, who is so grateful
.
It was pain in my body from a misaligned spine that almost took me out. I am seeing a chiropractor and well, I am Definately feeling good and happy. Moving to a healthier house this week. Life feels sweet.
.
See, there is life after withdrawing from Venlafaxine.

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I couldn't be more happy for you!
Have a FANTASTIC time at your camping trip!!
Ronnie

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Ronnie, thank you for rejoicing with me. I am so grateful…And ful of joy too. Each breathe is sweet.
.
My energy level is a bit low but have hired my favorite son and his friend to move me. I got rid of so much stuff when I thought I was dying.
.
Considering that the area of my lungs under my clavicles were the only parts of my lungs working when I moved into this house Dec 4th, I'd say I am doing pretty darn good.

Bright Wings

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@brightwings

Checking in…
I was just reflecting on what I am doing and how different it is from just one month ago.
.
Today I am feeling good, filled with the zest for living, baking 5 loves of bread and preparing to go camping…and kayaking.
.
One month ago I was preparing to go to my Tribal gathering, (I am 10% Indian) to say good bye to the Many sons and daughters of my heart.
.
I knew I was dying……
.
Yet God in his mercy, spared my life again. I am so humbly grateful.
.
I know I have both feet firmly rooted in life now. I have the skills, determination, drive and the DNA to live to be 105.
.
What a difference a month makes…
.
Bright Wings, who is so grateful
.
It was pain in my body from a misaligned spine that almost took me out. I am seeing a chiropractor and well, I am Definately feeling good and happy. Moving to a healthier house this week. Life feels sweet.
.
See, there is life after withdrawing from Venlafaxine.

Jump to this post

Thanks for the update! Yes, in everything, my motto is “this, too, shall pass”. There is a time for everything.

So happy you’re doing well!

REPLY
@brightwings

Ronnie, thank you for rejoicing with me. I am so grateful…And ful of joy too. Each breathe is sweet.
.
My energy level is a bit low but have hired my favorite son and his friend to move me. I got rid of so much stuff when I thought I was dying.
.
Considering that the area of my lungs under my clavicles were the only parts of my lungs working when I moved into this house Dec 4th, I'd say I am doing pretty darn good.

Bright Wings

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You sure are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ronnie

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@grandmar

You sure are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ronnie

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Headed out for camping and kayaking as soon as bread is finished baking. It is rising slow today.
I will be gone for the weekend.
BW

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@brightwings

Headed out for camping and kayaking as soon as bread is finished baking. It is rising slow today.
I will be gone for the weekend.
BW

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@brightwings
You didn’t have to make me that many loaves.
You take care and wear a life jacket. Take a compass and don’t wonder off alone. If your as bad with directions as I am stay home. I was coming home (north) from Los Angeles one time and stopped for gas got back on freeway going south. Next time I’ll look at the direction indicator or use the Navigation thingy. Don’t fall off a cliff.
Actually it sounds kinda boring compared to the thrills and fun of Antarctica, lol
Jake

REPLY
@brightwings

Checking in…
I was just reflecting on what I am doing and how different it is from just one month ago.
.
Today I am feeling good, filled with the zest for living, baking 5 loves of bread and preparing to go camping…and kayaking.
.
One month ago I was preparing to go to my Tribal gathering, (I am 10% Indian) to say good bye to the Many sons and daughters of my heart.
.
I knew I was dying……
.
Yet God in his mercy, spared my life again. I am so humbly grateful.
.
I know I have both feet firmly rooted in life now. I have the skills, determination, drive and the DNA to live to be 105.
.
What a difference a month makes…
.
Bright Wings, who is so grateful
.
It was pain in my body from a misaligned spine that almost took me out. I am seeing a chiropractor and well, I am Definately feeling good and happy. Moving to a healthier house this week. Life feels sweet.
.
See, there is life after withdrawing from Venlafaxine.

Jump to this post

@brightwings
So glad to hear that you are joyful again and heading out for a fun weekend. How wonderful that you are getting relief from your misaligned spine AND that you are moving to a new home! Was so worried about you; thanks for letting us know all this.

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