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

@sheffieldsmith

Exactly what withdrawal symptoms are you having? If it’s dizziness or nausea, have you cut out sugar and caffeine?

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Look up effexor/adderall drug interactions and serotonin syndrome. Everything that's listed there. Tremors is one thing. This is about a friend of mine he doesn't drink alot of caffiene.

Liked by Leonard

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Happy Friday!
Today, I am going to a medicine management pharmacist. She will go through ALL the meds I take. She will be looking to make sure:
1. None of the meds interact inappropriately with each other.
2. Which meds, including the Effexor, that might be impacting my memory (mind in general).
3. Which meds are contributing to my weight issues.
We will also discuss how to come off some of the meds I am currently taking that I really don't need anymore. I think I have the weaning process for Effexor down.
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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@1013leigh

Look up effexor/adderall drug interactions and serotonin syndrome. Everything that's listed there. Tremors is one thing. This is about a friend of mine he doesn't drink alot of caffiene.

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I haven't been on effexor since April 17

Liked by Leonard

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@grandmar

Happy Friday!
Today, I am going to a medicine management pharmacist. She will go through ALL the meds I take. She will be looking to make sure:
1. None of the meds interact inappropriately with each other.
2. Which meds, including the Effexor, that might be impacting my memory (mind in general).
3. Which meds are contributing to my weight issues.
We will also discuss how to come off some of the meds I am currently taking that I really don't need anymore. I think I have the weaning process for Effexor down.
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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I wondered the same thing about weight and memory. I lowered my dosage of Effexor from max to lowest but am leaving well enough alone with the last bit because of nasty withdrawals without it. I wanted to be at minimum dose in case I ever, for whatever unlikely reason got cut off from supply.

Weight and memory are tricky. I feel that such meds do fight the effort for weight loss and depending on which MD I ask, I’ll get modest support for that notion. I have, however dropped about 45lbs in 9 months from calorie counting and a trainer. Keeping it off and going from 220 to maybe 205 is a separate issue.

So here is what I am forced to acknowledge:

1. Calorie counting and a trainer overpowered the weight retention so it’s not as if the medicines are all powerful and you can’t win.

2. Given the lack of obesity, by comparison, in countries like Norway and Sweden and that have mental disorders there are insights to be found. (I say that have mental disorders because not all countries acknowledge that mental illness even exists)
The food quality, quantity and volume of consumption in the US is outrageous by comparison. We could have numerous threads on this but I’ll stick to my point. So given this reality, what factors for people with mental illness and weight are consistent and different? Among the many, the food and eating I argue is a big difference and aggravated the problem for Americans.

From an scientific and epidemiological aspect, I can’t prove a thing, I’ve no training. But, anyone can start making observational analysis, ask questions and draw reasonable conclusions. I do not know what medicines are used, the frequency, the disorders treated and a host of other factors. Intellectual honesty demands I acknowledge all this.

But it is safe to conclude that the food types, eating habits and quantity is such that the consequences for weight are inescapable for everyone. Medicines might indeed have an impact but I suspect that the more powerful factors are related to the way we fix and eat food.

3. As to memory, I have wondered that too. I do not have the Scandinavians to conveniently refer to here.

When I took full doses of Effexor I want to say that I did have memory issues. I also want to say they are better now that I’ve scaled down But let me hasten to say that’s what I WANT to believe. I also have ADD, and at age 51 am subject to the same slips of memory anyone else can get as I age. The eyes start needing and continue to need glasses at age 40 upwards for most of us, why not the brain and mind.

Like it does with weight, stress and the types of demands and environment can mediate a great deal regarding our physical and mental health. Stress alone can overpower memory so add that to mental disorders and you get all sorts of results with or without medicine. Since I’ve been on Effexor and Lamictal for so long, I cannot remember what it was like beforehand but when you consider the reasons one went on medicine in the first place, memory at that time may not have been as reliable.

So fast forward to now and ask, what part of memory or mental memory recall is suspect? That might be more useful. The older we get memory is naturally affected by all sorts of non-medical reasons.

I started memorizing poems and got up to about 100 including some three page poems. I know my memory works. But, I get told I forget things too and need lists.

Well so far that sounds about normal for most of us. We can remember when we focus and practice things of interest to us and need varying degrees of prompts when we get weaker.

Then we get to the murky questions. How do you determine what is a true change in memory that could be attributed to medicines of any type. There are indeed some that do this but I want to say that in those cases, the difference is noticeable by everyone. I know it can be more subtle than that.

The only thing I can think of doing to address this question is testing yourself. Can you memorize and retain, but some people are terrible with this anyway. How have perceived memory changes affected daily life and routine? The more we engage our minds in activities to keep it going the better chance of it being healthy and optimal. As we do this, any deficits that arise might be worth looking at. Chances are, it’s related to age, interest level, stress or all three.

Even if something is identified, the physician may be hard pressed to pin it to medicine or do much about it (again unless so obvious and head injuries are ruled out). I would say constantly test yourself and even note discrepancies. Just don’t over do it because we can get anxious and create a whole new problem obsessing over what is normal.

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@renwald

I wondered the same thing about weight and memory. I lowered my dosage of Effexor from max to lowest but am leaving well enough alone with the last bit because of nasty withdrawals without it. I wanted to be at minimum dose in case I ever, for whatever unlikely reason got cut off from supply.

Weight and memory are tricky. I feel that such meds do fight the effort for weight loss and depending on which MD I ask, I’ll get modest support for that notion. I have, however dropped about 45lbs in 9 months from calorie counting and a trainer. Keeping it off and going from 220 to maybe 205 is a separate issue.

So here is what I am forced to acknowledge:

1. Calorie counting and a trainer overpowered the weight retention so it’s not as if the medicines are all powerful and you can’t win.

2. Given the lack of obesity, by comparison, in countries like Norway and Sweden and that have mental disorders there are insights to be found. (I say that have mental disorders because not all countries acknowledge that mental illness even exists)
The food quality, quantity and volume of consumption in the US is outrageous by comparison. We could have numerous threads on this but I’ll stick to my point. So given this reality, what factors for people with mental illness and weight are consistent and different? Among the many, the food and eating I argue is a big difference and aggravated the problem for Americans.

From an scientific and epidemiological aspect, I can’t prove a thing, I’ve no training. But, anyone can start making observational analysis, ask questions and draw reasonable conclusions. I do not know what medicines are used, the frequency, the disorders treated and a host of other factors. Intellectual honesty demands I acknowledge all this.

But it is safe to conclude that the food types, eating habits and quantity is such that the consequences for weight are inescapable for everyone. Medicines might indeed have an impact but I suspect that the more powerful factors are related to the way we fix and eat food.

3. As to memory, I have wondered that too. I do not have the Scandinavians to conveniently refer to here.

When I took full doses of Effexor I want to say that I did have memory issues. I also want to say they are better now that I’ve scaled down But let me hasten to say that’s what I WANT to believe. I also have ADD, and at age 51 am subject to the same slips of memory anyone else can get as I age. The eyes start needing and continue to need glasses at age 40 upwards for most of us, why not the brain and mind.

Like it does with weight, stress and the types of demands and environment can mediate a great deal regarding our physical and mental health. Stress alone can overpower memory so add that to mental disorders and you get all sorts of results with or without medicine. Since I’ve been on Effexor and Lamictal for so long, I cannot remember what it was like beforehand but when you consider the reasons one went on medicine in the first place, memory at that time may not have been as reliable.

So fast forward to now and ask, what part of memory or mental memory recall is suspect? That might be more useful. The older we get memory is naturally affected by all sorts of non-medical reasons.

I started memorizing poems and got up to about 100 including some three page poems. I know my memory works. But, I get told I forget things too and need lists.

Well so far that sounds about normal for most of us. We can remember when we focus and practice things of interest to us and need varying degrees of prompts when we get weaker.

Then we get to the murky questions. How do you determine what is a true change in memory that could be attributed to medicines of any type. There are indeed some that do this but I want to say that in those cases, the difference is noticeable by everyone. I know it can be more subtle than that.

The only thing I can think of doing to address this question is testing yourself. Can you memorize and retain, but some people are terrible with this anyway. How have perceived memory changes affected daily life and routine? The more we engage our minds in activities to keep it going the better chance of it being healthy and optimal. As we do this, any deficits that arise might be worth looking at. Chances are, it’s related to age, interest level, stress or all three.

Even if something is identified, the physician may be hard pressed to pin it to medicine or do much about it (again unless so obvious and head injuries are ruled out). I would say constantly test yourself and even note discrepancies. Just don’t over do it because we can get anxious and create a whole new problem obsessing over what is normal.

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That is great information!
Thanks for sharing!

I just went for a medicine management program.
Two of the many things we discussed were the affects of Effexor.
Yes, it is one of the meds for anxiety and depression that has a high percentage of patients who have memory loss and weight gain.
Wellburtrin had less than 1% of the patients with memory loss and most reported weight loss.

Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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@secretwhitepop

Wow! You truly summed it up! I appreciated that. Truly. I’m one of those folks that want desperately to be drug free. But wanna know what happened when I went off (well, very slowly weened – successfully, I might add, when it came to side effects). I moved my family from our home of 15 years, bought a house and two pieces of property and got another job. (About to leave the one I’ve had for over 20 years – all while on Effexor)

There’s no denying that I, personally, have a more stable life while on SSRI or SNRI’s. There’s no denying that my family suffers when I am drug-free (although I’ve only done this the one time).

While I didn’t make completely irrational decisions and, being drug free “inspired” me to take chances I hadn’t previously taken – I can’t say I regret my decisions. Additionally, I am in the middle of family loss and menopause! Ha!

I am grateful for my family and friend who stuck around. And, I am slowly accepting that I am a happier and much more stable person with the assistance of meds.

Not sure I’ll go back on Effexor, but there’s a chance I will since I’m on two meds now and would prefer just one 🙂

Anyway – thanks.

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I am withdrawing from 37.5mg venlafaxine. I took them every other day for a couple weeks, then one a few days ago as the brain tingles came back. I have many 75mg capsules left that I can cut open on a mirror to make smaller doses, e.g. 10-15 mg. I will use these as necessary to finish the extended tapering. No way I'm going back on that stuff. I want some things to bother me.

CBD vapes handle acute anxiety for me now. trythecbdoil dot com has the best deals right I've found. Lab tested pure CBD for around $0.05/mg. or roughly half what other reputable stores are charging. (I'm neither affiliated nor compensated with them.) I got a 300mg disposable rechargeable unflavored vape pen for 28 clams, including postage. You can actually get so much CBD vapor you cough. Most definitely stronger than the fine Alternate Vape products.

The effects are annoying enough that I found you guys trying to find out more. Now it appears the tapering may take longer but is working. I'm glad I still have my 75mg stash (not to mention the 150mg-was on 300mg/day 2 years ago) and some single edge blades. Better buy a few empty capsules, too.

Liked by Leonard

REPLY
@daver

I am withdrawing from 37.5mg venlafaxine. I took them every other day for a couple weeks, then one a few days ago as the brain tingles came back. I have many 75mg capsules left that I can cut open on a mirror to make smaller doses, e.g. 10-15 mg. I will use these as necessary to finish the extended tapering. No way I'm going back on that stuff. I want some things to bother me.

CBD vapes handle acute anxiety for me now. trythecbdoil dot com has the best deals right I've found. Lab tested pure CBD for around $0.05/mg. or roughly half what other reputable stores are charging. (I'm neither affiliated nor compensated with them.) I got a 300mg disposable rechargeable unflavored vape pen for 28 clams, including postage. You can actually get so much CBD vapor you cough. Most definitely stronger than the fine Alternate Vape products.

The effects are annoying enough that I found you guys trying to find out more. Now it appears the tapering may take longer but is working. I'm glad I still have my 75mg stash (not to mention the 150mg-was on 300mg/day 2 years ago) and some single edge blades. Better buy a few empty capsules, too.

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@daver how long has it taken you to get to where you are? I'm asking because it's taken a year to get my daughter from 150mg to 37.5 mg without causing her too much discomfort but we seem to have hit a wall now and even taking her down 1 mg is causing headaches and dizziness.

Liked by Leonard

REPLY

I'm grateful I seem to be on the last edge of a wave, or have turned a corner, with the vistaril increased to 50 mg three times a day if needed, lots of prayer and meditation in a silent room to give my brain some breaks from stimulation, and making sure to keep warm. I go back to the NP to report on my progress on Monday and I'm hoping he doesn't press the idea to go back on 37.5, as I am opposed to that idea. What would be the point, and I've heard it's dangerous to reinstate after the 10 day window is over and I'm 3 months off now. I would consider a prozac bridge, anyone had success with that? Wouldn't really be a bridge, more like a new start.
Also starting therapy this week mostly to give me someone to vent to since I'm sure this situation is very wearing on those around me..it sure is wearing on me.
Great weekend, everyone!

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I am considering going back on. I take seroquel at night and I’m at the two week point for Zoloft. Still anxious. It really stinks. And, admittedly, I was fine on Effexor. I did t realize it could be dangerous to go back on?! I’ve been Effexor free since February.

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@secretwhitepop

I am considering going back on. I take seroquel at night and I’m at the two week point for Zoloft. Still anxious. It really stinks. And, admittedly, I was fine on Effexor. I did t realize it could be dangerous to go back on?! I’ve been Effexor free since February.

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Something about the brain returning to homeostasis. My NP doesnt believe that but I just don't want to do that, effexor never really even helped that much for me. I hope you're feeling better @secretwhitepop

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@mommapsych

@daver how long has it taken you to get to where you are? I'm asking because it's taken a year to get my daughter from 150mg to 37.5 mg without causing her too much discomfort but we seem to have hit a wall now and even taking her down 1 mg is causing headaches and dizziness.

Jump to this post

I was on 37.5mg for at least a year. I used my last few capsules every other day. Now I take a dozen or so of the little micro tablets from inside an old 75mg cap as required (works for 18 hours so far). I ordered some empty gel caps. Will divide 75 by 4 to get 18.75mg. (Those little balls are static sensitive, use glass plate and metal tools.) Basically 4 lines…

No one is sensitive enough to react physically to a 1 gram in 38 reduction of medication. That's a clue that someone still has issues. I use a cbd vape pen when my issues get acute. That and the little venlafaxine er balls, it seems.

I have plenty. Even at 18.75mg/day for a year. Are there pharmacists who do this? 75 to 37.5 to clear is too extreme.

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@sandij

Something about the brain returning to homeostasis. My NP doesnt believe that but I just don't want to do that, effexor never really even helped that much for me. I hope you're feeling better @secretwhitepop

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Thanks. I’m really not feeling better. It’s there anxiety. It’s incapacitating at times. But again, I have loads going on and I’m waiting for it all to pass. I’m changing jobs to add to everything. A job I’ve been at for 23 years! By choice. The commute was killing me. But it’s yet another anxiety ridden change, nonetheless.

I’ll talk to my doctor when I see her on the 29th. But this is precisely why I didn’t want to be on meds. They’re kind of unpredictable!

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@secretwhitepop

I am considering going back on. I take seroquel at night and I’m at the two week point for Zoloft. Still anxious. It really stinks. And, admittedly, I was fine on Effexor. I did t realize it could be dangerous to go back on?! I’ve been Effexor free since February.

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@sandij
Can you expand more on what you were told about it being dangerous? It's a tricky process weaning someone off one drug and onto another–you would definitely want an experienced and knowledgeable doctor.

@secretwhitepop
GrandmaR mentioned that Effexor didn't work for her as well when reinstated some months/years (?) as it did the first time she was on it.

By the time I realized that I was experiencing Effexor withdrawal effects, I had been off for over 6 weeks. I didn't reinstate Effexor because I read that doing so that far out was unlikely to quickly mitigate my very distressing withdrawal symptoms (1-2 weeks for sleep, energy or appetite to improve and 6-8 weeks for depressed mood and lack of interest in activities to fully improve) and I hoped those 1-8 weeks were better served moving further away from my Effexor use (I no longer needed it for hot flashes).

Could your doctor prescribe a short course of a faster-acting medication (Valium, clonazepam, or Xanax for example) for the anxiety to take along with the Zoloft until the Zoloft fully kicks in?

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@daver

I was on 37.5mg for at least a year. I used my last few capsules every other day. Now I take a dozen or so of the little micro tablets from inside an old 75mg cap as required (works for 18 hours so far). I ordered some empty gel caps. Will divide 75 by 4 to get 18.75mg. (Those little balls are static sensitive, use glass plate and metal tools.) Basically 4 lines…

No one is sensitive enough to react physically to a 1 gram in 38 reduction of medication. That's a clue that someone still has issues. I use a cbd vape pen when my issues get acute. That and the little venlafaxine er balls, it seems.

I have plenty. Even at 18.75mg/day for a year. Are there pharmacists who do this? 75 to 37.5 to clear is too extreme.

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@daver
Hi there,
I personally don’t think a 50% cut is wise. Some people can tolerate it, hope you are one. It has been proven time and again on this forum that 50% don’t work for most. Some have successfully reduced by 50% when they were beginning their taper. As a taper continues and someone is using a set percentage, that percentage does not remain constant.
Good luck whatever you decide.
Jake

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@texasduchess

@sandij
Can you expand more on what you were told about it being dangerous? It's a tricky process weaning someone off one drug and onto another–you would definitely want an experienced and knowledgeable doctor.

@secretwhitepop
GrandmaR mentioned that Effexor didn't work for her as well when reinstated some months/years (?) as it did the first time she was on it.

By the time I realized that I was experiencing Effexor withdrawal effects, I had been off for over 6 weeks. I didn't reinstate Effexor because I read that doing so that far out was unlikely to quickly mitigate my very distressing withdrawal symptoms (1-2 weeks for sleep, energy or appetite to improve and 6-8 weeks for depressed mood and lack of interest in activities to fully improve) and I hoped those 1-8 weeks were better served moving further away from my Effexor use (I no longer needed it for hot flashes).

Could your doctor prescribe a short course of a faster-acting medication (Valium, clonazepam, or Xanax for example) for the anxiety to take along with the Zoloft until the Zoloft fully kicks in?

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Well, it’s not nearly as bad as the anxiety I experienced on Lexapro, so, so far it’s manageable. And truly, we are having an extraordinary heat wave here in Delaware. It should break in Tuesday, and the heat really bothers me.

My husband reminded me to meditate. I’ve been slacking and depending on Zoloft. So, it’s been two weeks. I’ll be at three weeks then I’ll see the doctor and go from there.

I actually have some Xanax, but I’m taking things one day at a time. Hoping little by little things come around.

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