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

@secretwhitepop

Thank you so much! I am a big supporter of acupuncture and it cured my back issues. You are right! I will try it. But I am also feeling, today, as I have in the past, that I am going to give in. It’s almost too exhausting all the stuff I have to go through just to be and feel normal.

My symptoms are the feeling of what I used to call “homesick” in my tummy. Now I know that as anxiety.

I’ve had it most of my life, looking back, and have been a snappy individual – as in always with a quick and sarcastic retort… irritable but funny. So I got by. It made people laugh.

Now I’m not doing so good. Since my dad died I truly don’t see a point in doing a lot of things. Not thinking “S” but definitely wondering what it’s all for.

Thinking of trying Lexipro. Just an easy SSRI to lift my mood. I’m on nothing now, so it won’t interfere with anything. I am truly at a loss and meanwhile it’s a beautiful day and I am, otherwise, healthy. There is truly no reason to feel this way.

And funnily, when it lifts, it just plain lifts. So strange! (But it doesn’t last!)

Just wondering if I should stay off the meds completely and the lifts will continue or throw in the towel.

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@bubbles, girl you certainly have given this a great try.
I hear you asking for advice as to wether you should go back on antidepressants…You are the only one who can answer that.
Remember, I call you bubbles cuz that's the goal….
Back in the day, I called myself Sparkling Susie…why? Cuz I was anything but!!! I was so depressed, many of my parts were depressed.
Fake it till you make it got me a long way…look at me now.
When I introduce myself to folks in this new town, I use Cute Susie…why? Cuz there are lots of Susies but only one me. It helps folks remember my name and makes them smile. Its a win win situation…
No, girl friend, you have to make this decision about medication yourself. We can and will support you what ever you decide.
I hear you about the dizzyness and wonder if it will leave even if you go back on the meds.
Please be sure to address this with Accupuncture. Like ASAP address it with Accupuncture.
Smiling at you, BW

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@sandij

I wanna be in the bestie club!! Please!

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@sandij
Now if I say, "Straighten up and fly right right", does that ring a bell? Folks, this is a private joke, she is doing great.
Honey you have been part of the bestie club since May 16th…you just never took advantage of it…BW

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Lost another long post…darn it…BW

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@secretwhitepop

Hi guys! Just not doing so good when it comes to stressful situations. It’s the best kind of stress, picking out stuff for a new home (because, after saving money and buying an old home to fix up, we can’t live in boxes anymore!). So, I’ve been off Effexor since February and have had ups and downs. Mostly downs. Which is to be expected. Under a lot of stress. Just landed a new job with the school system making less than half my current salary. My husband is now working for a seafood store. My current job requires a massive commute because – oh, when dad died last year, I sort of moved our whole family. Mom has dementia. I’ve lost interest in just about everything but I’m trying.

I’m thinking of going back on an SSRI. Lexipro works for my mom. I’m really miserable and anxious and keep making insane snap decisions and anxiety is through the roof. That being said, it’s my anxiousness that pushes me to get things done. (I’m happy I got my new job. It’s a better place.)

I don’t want to be on again off again with these medications. And I was in Effexor for more than 20 years!

Going to meditate now. That helps. But (like I’ve done in the past) I’m seriously thinking about calling my doctor and starting up again.

Any advice is helpful. I love this forum.

PS: this is mostly for my family and friends. They are noticing…

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@secretwhitepop
Hey, this blog isn't about not taking medication you need–it's just about minimizing withdrawal symptoms when quitting Effexor. Stress while reducing Effexor, or withdrawn from Effexor can definitely worsen your withdrawal symptoms (and these can last a looonnng time–I'm a year+ off Effexor and when my supplements aren't enough, I take my prescribed Valium). Only you know how you feel. There's no point in being miserable.

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Haha @brightwings yes!! Well I had never been told to straighten up, not even by my dad, I guess he knows me well enough to know better! @secretwhitepop I hear you loud and clear on the question of whether to go on another medication. I think it's just human nature to want everything fixed so that every day will be a good day. But we're old enough now to know that's not reality, not for anybody, no matter how much the world tries to make us think the majority of people walk around with rainbows and unicorns. We set up such high expectations, don't we? It hasn't been that long for you since these drugs have been affecting your body and brain. It's going to take time, and only time, for a lot of the physical and mental mechanisms to relearn what to do. Kind of like people who have had injuries or surgeries, or other major life changes like death of a loved one, getting sober, etc, the healing begins at the point of intervention (be it surgery, abstinence from a drugs or alcohol, casting a broken bone), but also that is only one point in time that can be measured from. The point of the beginning is not the end point. It's the start of a process, like the shot that begins a marathon. Those runners have a long journey ahead of them, sometimes they can't even see the finish line! But they have to keep the faith that it's there. And to cross it…wow! Worth all the hard work, blood, sweat and tears along the way. Many times during this marathon I've wanted to turn back, seems I'm closer to the starting line than the finish because I can still see it if I turn my head, can still hear the people back there cheering, can also still hear the people jeering! What would it hurt to go back from where I came and say the whole thing was just a huge mistake, that I never should have entered in the first place, what was I thinking, that I could accomplish something like this? Who needs it, anyway? Lots of people never run marathons and are perfectly happy not to! I could be one of those people! Unfortunately, that's not my truth. Yes, it's always a temptation to return to the comfort of being a bystander while others run, or better yet, just get back in my car and drive home. But, was it really comfortable there? It certainly wasn't comfortable enough to keep me there, so something inside of me wanted to enter this race, crazy as it may seem! I don't know if you've ever been in or seen a marathon, but I have. Yes, I walked a half marathon and it liked to have killed me, lol, or so I thought. I dont remember too much about it this many years later but I do remember all the little way stations that were set up along the way. Some had water, some, sports drinks, there were massage tables and oranges, just enough incentives and nourishment to keep us tired people going. But there weren't any pills at those tables. Just stuff to prop us up long enough to get to the next stop, and the next, and the next. Until finally the accomplishment of crossing the finish line, and the medal to go with it. I've still got that medal and I look at it often. It's a good reminder of the perseverance and determination I found inside of me that's not up for taking! No person, disease, drug, circumstance, will take that away from me, even if I'm laying half dead in the street begging for a stretcher to carry me away, I know it's just a temporary pause, just a glitch in my healing matrix, and eventually I'll right myself and keep headed toward that finish line. So, whatever you need at your way stations, find it! Acupuncture, massage, meditation, screaming!, sleeping, CBD, supplements, etc etc etc…and us! Cheering you, NOT jeering you! Telling you what you already know deep down inside even if you have lost the ability to hear it right now, that you CAN do it! Please give yourself time and space to complete this journey, no matter how long it takes, in spite of every obstacle that's thrown your way. We will help clear the path for you.

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@secretwhitepop

Thank you so much! I am a big supporter of acupuncture and it cured my back issues. You are right! I will try it. But I am also feeling, today, as I have in the past, that I am going to give in. It’s almost too exhausting all the stuff I have to go through just to be and feel normal.

My symptoms are the feeling of what I used to call “homesick” in my tummy. Now I know that as anxiety.

I’ve had it most of my life, looking back, and have been a snappy individual – as in always with a quick and sarcastic retort… irritable but funny. So I got by. It made people laugh.

Now I’m not doing so good. Since my dad died I truly don’t see a point in doing a lot of things. Not thinking “S” but definitely wondering what it’s all for.

Thinking of trying Lexipro. Just an easy SSRI to lift my mood. I’m on nothing now, so it won’t interfere with anything. I am truly at a loss and meanwhile it’s a beautiful day and I am, otherwise, healthy. There is truly no reason to feel this way.

And funnily, when it lifts, it just plain lifts. So strange! (But it doesn’t last!)

Just wondering if I should stay off the meds completely and the lifts will continue or throw in the towel.

Jump to this post

Just my opinion, but I suggest you try Lexapro. I take generic Celexa, which is very similar — my doc explained the difference between them — and it has definitely helped a lot.

REPLY

I am doing pretty good. I've been off effexor since may 16 and ues It was horrible but I'm doing fine now. I weened down to 37.5mg and I took that for a month then just stopped!!! I'm not at all saying it was easy it was like I said horrible but I got threw it. Why would you recommend lexapro or paxil or whatever antidepressant when your trying to come off them. It's just a vicious cycle.
All I take now is a klonopin for my anxiety and that helped me with my complications from comming off of effexor as well and like on day 4 and 5 when I thought I couldn't come off it cause I felt so bad I went and got an IV and they gave me a steroid and benadryl and something else for my headache. After the ER getting me straightened out I felt better. I mean i still take motrin for this headache that won't go away but I feel that if you wanna get off You can do it!!! Just get it over with and do it. Its gonna be uncomfortable for awhile but I def wouldn't be trying to take more depression meds to just have to end up having to come off those eventually.. I dont know this is just how I feel. IT is possible to come off effexor I did it and I feel alot better. I still take my klonopin and motrin but I've been on anxiety meds for over 10years and will probably never come off those. I dont want too either because I do need them. I have bad panic attacks and anxiety. Effexor should be banned it should be a scheduled drug like pain pills and heroin. I can't believe we all had to go threw this to come off. Its crazy but it can be done and if you are ready just Do it!!!! If I can do it anyone can.

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Ok, I just realized I have chosen to NOT take my CBD today AND yesterday….
And yesterday I got up out of my chair and started doing things I couldn't do before…tasks just sitting there waiting for me to have energy….I thought I did not have energy cuz of my multiple sclerosis…..
However, I believe I was blaming my MS but it just maybe something else.
Now pay close attention.
.
2 days ago I was given another Gemstone…
Shungite. It's a simple oval of black stone. It is mined in Russia. I wear it on a simple black string, no metal for this pendant…
.
What does it do??? It blocks electro magnetic pulses, like the kind you get from your smart phones and also it protects from radiation…Google it…Shungite…
.
I can't believe how good I feel. No CBD for 2 days…I can't believe it…no tears, no anxiety either.
.
My kitchen is clean, old financial records burned in a beautiful bonfire yesterday afternoon, oh I could go on and on…
And the only difference is wearing this piece of shungite…
Just saying….
You can probably find some at your local gem shop in town or order it from the internet….
One of the children of my heart is a Gem hunter, his grandfather found a gold mine in Oregon in his 20s. 2 generations later, James is called to a mountain…he goes there and asks the mountain where he should sit…he goes there and quietly sits in the woods…somehow, he "hears" where to dig AND the crystals calling him are always 1 to 2 inches under the surface…always…
.
I trust him to give me quality stones for a good price. If anyone wants his contact info, message me.
I am so excited. I have been trapped on this chair for years….I am finally getting up and doing something….Bright Wings

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@brightwings

Ok, I just realized I have chosen to NOT take my CBD today AND yesterday….
And yesterday I got up out of my chair and started doing things I couldn't do before…tasks just sitting there waiting for me to have energy….I thought I did not have energy cuz of my multiple sclerosis…..
However, I believe I was blaming my MS but it just maybe something else.
Now pay close attention.
.
2 days ago I was given another Gemstone…
Shungite. It's a simple oval of black stone. It is mined in Russia. I wear it on a simple black string, no metal for this pendant…
.
What does it do??? It blocks electro magnetic pulses, like the kind you get from your smart phones and also it protects from radiation…Google it…Shungite…
.
I can't believe how good I feel. No CBD for 2 days…I can't believe it…no tears, no anxiety either.
.
My kitchen is clean, old financial records burned in a beautiful bonfire yesterday afternoon, oh I could go on and on…
And the only difference is wearing this piece of shungite…
Just saying….
You can probably find some at your local gem shop in town or order it from the internet….
One of the children of my heart is a Gem hunter, his grandfather found a gold mine in Oregon in his 20s. 2 generations later, James is called to a mountain…he goes there and asks the mountain where he should sit…he goes there and quietly sits in the woods…somehow, he "hears" where to dig AND the crystals calling him are always 1 to 2 inches under the surface…always…
.
I trust him to give me quality stones for a good price. If anyone wants his contact info, message me.
I am so excited. I have been trapped on this chair for years….I am finally getting up and doing something….Bright Wings

Jump to this post

Oh, and I am smiling so big as I read this…

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@lisa0878

I am doing pretty good. I've been off effexor since may 16 and ues It was horrible but I'm doing fine now. I weened down to 37.5mg and I took that for a month then just stopped!!! I'm not at all saying it was easy it was like I said horrible but I got threw it. Why would you recommend lexapro or paxil or whatever antidepressant when your trying to come off them. It's just a vicious cycle.
All I take now is a klonopin for my anxiety and that helped me with my complications from comming off of effexor as well and like on day 4 and 5 when I thought I couldn't come off it cause I felt so bad I went and got an IV and they gave me a steroid and benadryl and something else for my headache. After the ER getting me straightened out I felt better. I mean i still take motrin for this headache that won't go away but I feel that if you wanna get off You can do it!!! Just get it over with and do it. Its gonna be uncomfortable for awhile but I def wouldn't be trying to take more depression meds to just have to end up having to come off those eventually.. I dont know this is just how I feel. IT is possible to come off effexor I did it and I feel alot better. I still take my klonopin and motrin but I've been on anxiety meds for over 10years and will probably never come off those. I dont want too either because I do need them. I have bad panic attacks and anxiety. Effexor should be banned it should be a scheduled drug like pain pills and heroin. I can't believe we all had to go threw this to come off. Its crazy but it can be done and if you are ready just Do it!!!! If I can do it anyone can.

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@lisa0878
Good for you girl…I am so proud of you.
And please remember we each get a personal choice to use an antidepressant if necessary.
Bright Wings

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@brightwings

@sandij
Now if I say, "Straighten up and fly right right", does that ring a bell? Folks, this is a private joke, she is doing great.
Honey you have been part of the bestie club since May 16th…you just never took advantage of it…BW

Jump to this post

Sandi, go read your personal messages…

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@texasduchess

@secretwhitepop
Hey, this blog isn't about not taking medication you need–it's just about minimizing withdrawal symptoms when quitting Effexor. Stress while reducing Effexor, or withdrawn from Effexor can definitely worsen your withdrawal symptoms (and these can last a looonnng time–I'm a year+ off Effexor and when my supplements aren't enough, I take my prescribed Valium). Only you know how you feel. There's no point in being miserable.

Jump to this post

Many thanks! Yes. My doctor put a prescription in already. And my husband is relieved. And I am relieved. Just knowing the Rx is waiting for me. And my daughter is amazing. I told her I worried about her and she says she is perfectly fine but doesn’t like it when I cry. Breaks my heart.

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@bubbles
Good for you for trusting your gut And Taking An Action.
.
How many times have you heard me say that. You are the only one who knows you and your needs.
.
I applaud you.
Bright Wings
.
You gave a valiant try. This is not a failure but a decision. Stand tall, my friend. You did good…..

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@kbmayo

Just my opinion, but I suggest you try Lexapro. I take generic Celexa, which is very similar — my doc explained the difference between them — and it has definitely helped a lot.

Jump to this post

As long as it’s not Effexor, I’ll give it a shot. Still mourning my dad, still moving, still trying to secure employment, and mom still has dementia. Right now I’m deciding to go easy on myself and family and try Lexipro. A pediatric dose has had a wonderful effect on me in the past. So at least that is comforting. But so does acupuncture. Which I will go back to. I just need to find one in my new area.

All of the changes I’ve made in my life are from the weening and I’m terrified to realize that I’m a bit bipolar. And the mania leads me to buy things and move and switch jobs and do all sorts of things that later stress me out. The Zoloft then Effexor helped me to plant roots, for which I am grateful. For my sake and for the sake of my family, I think roots should be planted again. If I was young and single, eh, I’d keep on keeping on.

I’ve had a couple suicides in my family (folks I never met) and anxiety and depression on both sides. So I come by this honestly.

I am so grateful for this site!

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@lisa0878

I am doing pretty good. I've been off effexor since may 16 and ues It was horrible but I'm doing fine now. I weened down to 37.5mg and I took that for a month then just stopped!!! I'm not at all saying it was easy it was like I said horrible but I got threw it. Why would you recommend lexapro or paxil or whatever antidepressant when your trying to come off them. It's just a vicious cycle.
All I take now is a klonopin for my anxiety and that helped me with my complications from comming off of effexor as well and like on day 4 and 5 when I thought I couldn't come off it cause I felt so bad I went and got an IV and they gave me a steroid and benadryl and something else for my headache. After the ER getting me straightened out I felt better. I mean i still take motrin for this headache that won't go away but I feel that if you wanna get off You can do it!!! Just get it over with and do it. Its gonna be uncomfortable for awhile but I def wouldn't be trying to take more depression meds to just have to end up having to come off those eventually.. I dont know this is just how I feel. IT is possible to come off effexor I did it and I feel alot better. I still take my klonopin and motrin but I've been on anxiety meds for over 10years and will probably never come off those. I dont want too either because I do need them. I have bad panic attacks and anxiety. Effexor should be banned it should be a scheduled drug like pain pills and heroin. I can't believe we all had to go threw this to come off. Its crazy but it can be done and if you are ready just Do it!!!! If I can do it anyone can.

Jump to this post

I understand your perspective and appreciate it. I have been completely Effexor and all medication free since February 1. And while I’ve had good and bad days, things just seem to be experienced through a filter. I’m sick of not enjoying my life – which ain’t half bad but that’s the half I always see. And the bad half is really stressful.

Just knowing the Rx is waiting for me helps. Kind of like having Xanax in the cabinet. It works, but I’d prefer something a bit less addictive!

Perhaps at a later time I’ll try again 🙂 but I plan on picking up my Lexipro this afternoon. And once it starts working, I’ll probably wonder why I was ever stressed about going back on an SSRI!

Ha!

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