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

@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
Compounding pharmacists can make tailored dosages for medications. You need a prescription and this service can be pricey and may not be covered by insurance. A commenter on another site who was getting off Ativan used Johnson Compounding and Wellness in Waltham, MA.

Since 2014, a Dutch medical charity, called Cinderella Therapeutics, together with Maastricht University creates personalized "tapering kits,” with precisely weighed out tablets in labelled packets that gradually reduce over several months. There are tapering kits for 24 different medications so far. Most of these were for people in the Netherlands, but a few kits have been sent to other countries.
https://www.cinderella-tx.org/en/
http://www.taperingstrip.org/

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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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@texasduchess
Happy Sunday!
I think you hit the nail on the head when you said "you would definitely want an experienced and knowledgeable doctor".
As far as PCP goes, I don't think they work enought with psychotropic drugs.
They may re-new prescriptions and give something mild to 'take off the edge', but I don't think they really KNOW.
There are 2 professionals who SHOULD know very well how the drugs work; it is their job to know.
A psychiatrist, who should manage the medication(s) and a pharmacist who should be able to answer questions (especially with the data they have available via internet).

For me, it was ages ago and it was my PCP who was 'taking me off Effexor because I was doing so well."
Sure I was doing well, I was on the correct medication for ME.
She did not 'wean' me off slowly at all!
I only got to the first part when I went into withdrawals!!!!!!

The therapist I was going to suggested I see a psychiatrist to manage my medication(s).
I did, and she said it would take (I think) somewhere around 6 months before I would be able to go back on.
I waited and tried a couple of other meds the psychiatrist suggested, even one that was suppose to be similar to the Effexor.
NONE of the meds worked for ME!
At the 6 month point, I asked to go back onto the Effexor since it had worked so well.
The doctor agreed.
Although the Effexor helped me, it did not make me 'feel' the way I did before.
The HORRIBLE anxiety was gone, but still, just not the same.
I really don't know if I can explain it well other than I no longer 'felt like myself."
I felt like I was outside looking in.
It did not last, but again, I still just didn't feel the same.
However, I was SO very happy that all the anxiety attacks ended and I was able to get back to my life.
That was probably over 15 years ago.

Hope this helps…
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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@jakedduck1

@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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@jakedduck1
Hi!
I agree with you wholeheartedly!
A 50% reduction is a lot and might cause many issues!
We've had members wind up in the hospital.
It took me approximately 5 or 6 months to taper down 25%.
I have remained on that dosage since April in order for my body to have time to adjust before I begin again.

Yes, GOOD LUCK @daver
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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@texasduchess

@daver
Compounding pharmacists can make tailored dosages for medications. You need a prescription and this service can be pricey and may not be covered by insurance. A commenter on another site who was getting off Ativan used Johnson Compounding and Wellness in Waltham, MA.

Since 2014, a Dutch medical charity, called Cinderella Therapeutics, together with Maastricht University creates personalized "tapering kits,” with precisely weighed out tablets in labelled packets that gradually reduce over several months. There are tapering kits for 24 different medications so far. Most of these were for people in the Netherlands, but a few kits have been sent to other countries.
https://www.cinderella-tx.org/en/
http://www.taperingstrip.org/

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@texasduchess
Wow! Wouldn't that be fantastic if we COULD get it here!
My only concern would be the differences in the actual medication(s) since the processing is probably different as is their system of measurement.
But wow!
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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Just dangerous as in not helping the withdrawal and possibly making the symptoms worse, I guess?

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Wow, wow, wow…lots going on here.
Its too hot for me to use all the energy to go back and read all the posts. Sorry, but my MS is very active…
Ok, so we have someone wanting to do a 50%reduction. Hmmmm, I used to think like that…
.
In spite of my being an RN, I thought I will just get myself off this last drug of 16 I had weaned myself off of.
So I went cold turkey… Off of 125 mg daily…I only took another dose when the symptoms got to bad….from August to January or something like that.
.
NOT THE THING TO DO…DO NOT TRY THIS.
.
I ended up having a full on stroke, the drag your foot to the door, hand clenched tight, drooling kind of stroke…
.
So devers, if you want to go 50% reduction and ignore all the great advice my friends here are trying to pass on, that is on you. Be prepared for the consequences though.
Bright Wings

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TexasDuchess
Oh happy birthday my wonderful friend…I hope you have an absolutely wonderful day.
Smiling at you, Bright Wings.

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@brightwings

Wow, wow, wow…lots going on here.
Its too hot for me to use all the energy to go back and read all the posts. Sorry, but my MS is very active…
Ok, so we have someone wanting to do a 50%reduction. Hmmmm, I used to think like that…
.
In spite of my being an RN, I thought I will just get myself off this last drug of 16 I had weaned myself off of.
So I went cold turkey… Off of 125 mg daily…I only took another dose when the symptoms got to bad….from August to January or something like that.
.
NOT THE THING TO DO…DO NOT TRY THIS.
.
I ended up having a full on stroke, the drag your foot to the door, hand clenched tight, drooling kind of stroke…
.
So devers, if you want to go 50% reduction and ignore all the great advice my friends here are trying to pass on, that is on you. Be prepared for the consequences though.
Bright Wings

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You could have saved yourself the trouble and just have someone hit you with a sledgehammer. I tried the cold turkey from 200mg then twice at my own guesses for tapering. As you might expect, I was not entirely successful, sorry you went through that.

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@renwald

You could have saved yourself the trouble and just have someone hit you with a sledgehammer. I tried the cold turkey from 200mg then twice at my own guesses for tapering. As you might expect, I was not entirely successful, sorry you went through that.

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@renwald
I can’t even imagine how awful that must have been. You’ve learned a valuable lesson, painful as it must have been. I’m sorry you went through that.
@brightwings
Susie, I still can’t believe such an intelligent lady did that. I’m glad you let people know how dangerous it is to do.
Jake

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@brightwings

TexasDuchess
Oh happy birthday my wonderful friend…I hope you have an absolutely wonderful day.
Smiling at you, Bright Wings.

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@texasduchess
Hey there Tex,
So it’s your birthday.
Your candles arrived
Care to share your age??? I thought not, lol.
I hope you had a wonderful day!!!
Jake

29509128-5ABC-4870-BAAD-0B9DF1C63A47

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Yes, well if you click on my name you will see I have been here on this site for a while…
I have had other things on my plate this year to write much here, I've been writing on other pages Mayo Clinic Connect.
My friends are entirely capable of holding down the fort here. I just jump in when we get someone who thinks they know how to do this weaning…their way….then I share what happened to me.
Listen and believe or not, it's your body and your life….and consequences.
.
I will give a brief update though….
The anxiety I have been feeling as a result of no Effexor is being handled by the CBD….when I have it. Still having trouble getting it from the company….can't remember my password….going to have to reset the whole account…oh well…
.
I went to my family reunion….I knew in advance I was taking a tremendous risk by going….well because it was MY family…and because of risking a tremendous flare/relapse of my MS.
The temps ranged just below 94….don't know about heat index…
We had 30 family members show up…16 did not.
It was extremely successful for recovering relationships…
We all had a great time…
.
And I took one of my healing friends with me, I didn't trust myself to drive from Missouri to Ohio, having had a TIA in March. I don't have a long attention span at times and I just didn't trust my ability…
So Anne had a great time finding fossils in the park and sharing them. She was also there to pray over my family and be a helper/healer.
She did a tremendous job.
We had great food, all coked over the biggest firepit I have ever seen. Oh, giggling, I had been wondering if I should bring my crockpot….then the night before we left we learned it was primitive camping. IE no water and no electricity. Yikes!
.
I was proactive, sharing with folks ahead of time, I didn't have much energy and having hosted the family for 25 years at our lake lot, and not feeling well, I would not be the one jumping up to do things…It was surprisingly effective.
.
On the way home, with Anne driving the 550 miles, about an hour from home, my brain became so messed up from my MS, I couldn't even understand the words Anne was saying….Then the colors started in my brain…NOT A GOOD SIGN.
.
Long story short, Anne reached out her hand, laid it on my neck and kept it there for a while…
Relapse ended!!!!!!!!
Gosh, I knew she was way more advanced than I am in healing skills and I am no slouch. But I never dreamed she could do anything like that…
.
She learned these skills at a class called Mesa…it teaches Pruvian Shamanship. So, long story short, I am now signed up for the first class in October. The classes are 6 months apart, a series of 3.
.
Anne got our medicine man of our tribe to agree to pay for the first class. $430. I will cover the next classes. These skills will be used to heal our tribe, that's why he is covering the class.
.
So, one more thing to add. I was also Leary of attending the reunion because of fear of past abuse issues popping up…well, that happened too.
.
So folks, I have more internal healing to do…it seems I am no longer alone, more personalities have emerged. For those of you that don't know me, I had tremendous abuse as a kid. Click on my name and read…
Big sigh, well I got all those other personalities healed…I will do this also. The class in October will rip me apart and put me together again in 4 days, Anne assures me…I trust her….She will attend with me…
.
While I am not thrilled to be doing this work again, I have the skills…I know how to heal all those littles that were created so long ago, I can do it again.
I am winning…Bright Wings

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@jakedduck1

@renwald
I can’t even imagine how awful that must have been. You’ve learned a valuable lesson, painful as it must have been. I’m sorry you went through that.
@brightwings
Susie, I still can’t believe such an intelligent lady did that. I’m glad you let people know how dangerous it is to do.
Jake

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@Jake
Remember, I didn't have any idea there would be withdrawal…any withdrawal…
I found this place about 3 months after my last dose…because I started researching withdrawal symptons for Effexor. Gosh, I took it for 33 years….
Bright Wings

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@jakedduck1

@texasduchess
Hey there Tex,
So it’s your birthday.
Your candles arrived
Care to share your age??? I thought not, lol.
I hope you had a wonderful day!!!
Jake

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Giggling
Jake, I am almost 69….how about you?

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@texasduchess happy birthday!!

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@texasduchess

@daver
Compounding pharmacists can make tailored dosages for medications. You need a prescription and this service can be pricey and may not be covered by insurance. A commenter on another site who was getting off Ativan used Johnson Compounding and Wellness in Waltham, MA.

Since 2014, a Dutch medical charity, called Cinderella Therapeutics, together with Maastricht University creates personalized "tapering kits,” with precisely weighed out tablets in labelled packets that gradually reduce over several months. There are tapering kits for 24 different medications so far. Most of these were for people in the Netherlands, but a few kits have been sent to other countries.
https://www.cinderella-tx.org/en/
http://www.taperingstrip.org/

Jump to this post

Neat! I ordered a jar of empty gel caps. The approximately 20mg I took Friday afternoon is just now wearing off. (The tinnitus gets louder and is occasionally stopped by a short muffled explosion). So tfn around 18-20mg every other day. Continue with cbd to kill acute psychological distress in its tracks. Great. Thanks.

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