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

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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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@brightwings
Thanks for the birthday wishes! (P.S. I'm an Aries; my birthday is in April.)

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@texasduchess

@brightwings
Thanks for the birthday wishes! (P.S. I'm an Aries; my birthday is in April.)

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Well TexasDutches, forgive me for being a sheep and following the rest of the herd, grin. Didn’t we already celebrate this once this year. Bright Wings
PS, my birthday is coming the end of September. Hint hint, get ready…please.

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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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@jakedduck1
I think @brightwings misread the post by @grandmar saying, "Happy Sunday!" My birthday's in April … so y'all are either late, or very early! But thank you! I can tell you I remember watching the moon landing with the rest of the family.

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Checking in…
I am doing much better with my CBD on board. Anxiety handled.
No more signs of the wired brain either. How strange that I would again get withdrawal symptoms when my last dose was January 2018. But I did twice in the last 6 months. Bright Wings

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@grandmar

@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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@grandmar
I live in the DFW Metroplex–should be plenty of medical expertise here. Yet, despite using Compass and Best Doctors and asking my oncologist (who prescribed the Effexor), friends and pharmacists for any type of doctor familiar with Effexor withdrawal–I only came across one who had some experience, but she was a fill-in at CareNow and her practice is about 1.5 hrs away. As @jakedduck1 says, "If there is an expert on getting off Effexor, they are hiding very well."

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@texasduchess Haha, I jumped on the birthday bandwagon too! Mine is July 30 by the way!
@brightwings so good to hear from you and to hear your experiences at the reunion. Your new course sounds like an amazing opportunity. I'm so glad to hear you're taking care of yourself. I started taking my CBD oil again, seems like it caused some anxiety which it's never done in the past. However, I think right now, everything I seem to do causes anxiety, you know, that deep underlying belief "this won't work. I'm damaged forever. Life is ruined, there is nothing to help me". My God, do I hate to slip into that mindset so quickly and insidiously! I count my blessings that there aren't a million other health problems I could be having! Why is it difficult to be grateful? I think the answer to that is because this medicine was working on our brains! And our brains are where our thoughts arise, obviously, so if our brains are in the process of healing, our thoughts will not always be the best. At least, that's what I hope! I want to emerge from this a better, nicer, more positive person!!
Today the NP said for me to stay on the vistaril. He also said I could start taking prozac if I wanted. I filled the prescription and will pray about it. I've read that one dose of prozac will end effexor withdrawal symptoms. So I'm back to the "what if I try and it doesn't work?" thoughts. Goodness, to have a sound mind would be a lovely thing!
Starting therapy Wednesday mostly so my husband will get a break from my incessant talk about withdrawal, and hoping to pick up some techniques to help me through this.
You all are a godsend to me! Just wanted you to know that.

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I usd to write positive thoughts with a marker on 3×5 cards and post them on the wall with a circle of masking tape behind it.
That way I read it every time my eyes swept the room and I would get positive reinforcements every time I read them. Try it, it works!
Bright Wings

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Gosh, I realize I have been missing you guys….just saying

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@brightwings

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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@brightwings
I am so impressed by your willingness to put yourself out there (going to a family reunion very likely to have toxic relatives to possibly deal with and taking a cool shaman class to become a healer). Sorry to hear that your MS is acting up and some doors to the not so great past opening. Anne is a very good friend; you are so lucky to have her and her healing abilities. Can't wait to hear how your classes go.

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@sandij

@texasduchess Haha, I jumped on the birthday bandwagon too! Mine is July 30 by the way!
@brightwings so good to hear from you and to hear your experiences at the reunion. Your new course sounds like an amazing opportunity. I'm so glad to hear you're taking care of yourself. I started taking my CBD oil again, seems like it caused some anxiety which it's never done in the past. However, I think right now, everything I seem to do causes anxiety, you know, that deep underlying belief "this won't work. I'm damaged forever. Life is ruined, there is nothing to help me". My God, do I hate to slip into that mindset so quickly and insidiously! I count my blessings that there aren't a million other health problems I could be having! Why is it difficult to be grateful? I think the answer to that is because this medicine was working on our brains! And our brains are where our thoughts arise, obviously, so if our brains are in the process of healing, our thoughts will not always be the best. At least, that's what I hope! I want to emerge from this a better, nicer, more positive person!!
Today the NP said for me to stay on the vistaril. He also said I could start taking prozac if I wanted. I filled the prescription and will pray about it. I've read that one dose of prozac will end effexor withdrawal symptoms. So I'm back to the "what if I try and it doesn't work?" thoughts. Goodness, to have a sound mind would be a lovely thing!
Starting therapy Wednesday mostly so my husband will get a break from my incessant talk about withdrawal, and hoping to pick up some techniques to help me through this.
You all are a godsend to me! Just wanted you to know that.

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@sandij
Well, happy birthday to you (early)!

I think thoughts going to the "dark side" is part of Effexor withdrawal; my husband has noticed that I tend to go all "doom and gloom" since quitting Effexor. It's been 13 months since my withdrawal began and I still do this, just not as much/as long.

Re the Prozac, don't be discouraged if one pill doesn't do the job–I read it may take two, or more doses. One source said you may need to take a second 20mg dose of Prozac; another said you take 10–20mg Prozac (fluoxetine) for a short period (weeks, a month) until your WD symptoms resolve, then taper off the Prozac over 2–3 weeks.

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@sandij

@texasduchess Haha, I jumped on the birthday bandwagon too! Mine is July 30 by the way!
@brightwings so good to hear from you and to hear your experiences at the reunion. Your new course sounds like an amazing opportunity. I'm so glad to hear you're taking care of yourself. I started taking my CBD oil again, seems like it caused some anxiety which it's never done in the past. However, I think right now, everything I seem to do causes anxiety, you know, that deep underlying belief "this won't work. I'm damaged forever. Life is ruined, there is nothing to help me". My God, do I hate to slip into that mindset so quickly and insidiously! I count my blessings that there aren't a million other health problems I could be having! Why is it difficult to be grateful? I think the answer to that is because this medicine was working on our brains! And our brains are where our thoughts arise, obviously, so if our brains are in the process of healing, our thoughts will not always be the best. At least, that's what I hope! I want to emerge from this a better, nicer, more positive person!!
Today the NP said for me to stay on the vistaril. He also said I could start taking prozac if I wanted. I filled the prescription and will pray about it. I've read that one dose of prozac will end effexor withdrawal symptoms. So I'm back to the "what if I try and it doesn't work?" thoughts. Goodness, to have a sound mind would be a lovely thing!
Starting therapy Wednesday mostly so my husband will get a break from my incessant talk about withdrawal, and hoping to pick up some techniques to help me through this.
You all are a godsend to me! Just wanted you to know that.

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@sandij
Hi Sandi,
I often look to Winston Churchill and how resilient and positive he was when faced with so much adversity, he certainly had reason to be negative but he chose to see the positive when he was surrounded in devastation.
“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” That is so true.
Sadly we are more negative than positive. There have been studies showing this. There is the
5-1 rule where it takes 5 positive thoughts to wipe out 1 negative thought. Always remember how much worse things could be. There are positive things even in the worst tragedies. It all depends on on how we choose to look at a situation.
Best of luck,
Jake

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@texasduchess

@jakedduck1
I think @brightwings misread the post by @grandmar saying, "Happy Sunday!" My birthday's in April … so y'all are either late, or very early! But thank you! I can tell you I remember watching the moon landing with the rest of the family.

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@texasduchess
Oops, well Happy belated
🎂Birthday🎁
Jake

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I posted this over in the gratitude group too.
Hope everyone had a great day, thank for being here!
I keep telling myself this situation is temporary and that there are FAR worse things to experience!! But I think that the fact that effexor affects the brain exacerbates the dark ruminations. Today the dr called with the news I have a UTI, so I started the antibiotic bactrim. Holy cow. I've never itched this badly since I was on a morphine drip post hysterectomy. And the gastric distress, muscle pain, weird feelings….it honestly made me want to be experiencing "only" the withdrawals symptoms! It's all relative. Actually it got so bad that I decided to take the prozac which is supposed to help the withdrawal ( God willing, one dose can have a positive effect). I had been resisting it but maybe this was the path I needed to take. In any case, no more bactrim for me. And an attitude of gratitude tonight.

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TIME give it time and you’ll be fine. Non of the remedies I tried helped. It took about a year and a half to feel myself again after being cut off of effexor by my md. btw I now have a new physician

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@texasduchess

@brightwings
I am so impressed by your willingness to put yourself out there (going to a family reunion very likely to have toxic relatives to possibly deal with and taking a cool shaman class to become a healer). Sorry to hear that your MS is acting up and some doors to the not so great past opening. Anne is a very good friend; you are so lucky to have her and her healing abilities. Can't wait to hear how your classes go.

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Thanks Duchess,
Unfortunately the class is filled before we got the money in. So I am looking at Jan or February.
I had a huge melt down yesterday. Why? Cuz I finally rejoined Facebook. In 6 days I have 116 friends. I have felt so lonely yet all these people love me, or most of them. Really messed with my head.
Bright wings

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