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

@mkm

Hello,
With my Doctor’s help I’m completely withdrawing from Effexor. This is my second day completely off it. I’m achey like the flu, dizzy. I’m taking omega fish oil, ginger, vitamin B complex and allergy medicine as I read that could help. Anyone else have any advice?

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Hi @mkm you may have noticed I moved your post to this existing discussion on Effexor withdrawal. I did this so that your posts would be seen by others who have similar experiences. Simply click VIEW & REPLY in your email notification to get to your post.

Your aches must be frustrating. What has your doctor suggested to help with the withdrawal symptoms?

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@secretwhitepop

That must be a relief :). Yes, it’s something that happens. What I also had happen is smelling cigarette smoke and other bad smells that no one else smelled. That’s done too. That was really crazy! Hope you don’t get that. Take care and be as healthy as you can. Drink lots of water and keep positivity around you 🙂

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@secretwhitepop I can't tell you how relieved I felt when I read this post. I too had been smelling cigarette smoke and I live alone and don't smoke. I was starting to think I was being haunted by my grandmother who smoked!

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I just want to say thank you to the folks who have posted here. I have gone through many of the posts the last few days in an effort to help with my withdrawal. I have spent the last six months tapering from 112.5 to 75 to 37.5. then 37.5 every other day and stretching it to three days. I am now nine days since my last tablet and it was awful! I spent two days in bed feeling like I had the flu. If I wasn't self-employed, I don't know how I would have kept a job and gone through this.

Today is the first in 9 that I am starting to feel back to myself. I stopped with the worrying about what I ate [thanks for the weight gain venlaxafine] and just let myself eat whatever and whenever. Carbs, carbs carbs. Due to advice on here I started taking omega-3 a couple of times a day. So far today no dizzies although they usually were more prominent in the even so time will tell.

I am still angry with the doctor who prescribed this stupid drug for hot flashes four years ago. He is an endo and I went to him for my thyroid issue and mentioned my hot flashes – to this day I can hear him say "we'll have you feeling better in no time" Wrong. The last four years have not been great and I discovered most of my symptoms were side effects of this drug. Had I known how hard it would be to quit I would never have started. I am so grateful to have found this forum to help me through the difficult withdrawal.

those of you who have been on a higher dose than I was, I can't imagine what you are going through. I know from reading here 9 days is still early days in the withdrawal process but knowing that others got through it keeps me from breaking down and taking a pill. I'm not starting from scratch after having gone this long already.
Thank you

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@bookkie

I just want to say thank you to the folks who have posted here. I have gone through many of the posts the last few days in an effort to help with my withdrawal. I have spent the last six months tapering from 112.5 to 75 to 37.5. then 37.5 every other day and stretching it to three days. I am now nine days since my last tablet and it was awful! I spent two days in bed feeling like I had the flu. If I wasn't self-employed, I don't know how I would have kept a job and gone through this.

Today is the first in 9 that I am starting to feel back to myself. I stopped with the worrying about what I ate [thanks for the weight gain venlaxafine] and just let myself eat whatever and whenever. Carbs, carbs carbs. Due to advice on here I started taking omega-3 a couple of times a day. So far today no dizzies although they usually were more prominent in the even so time will tell.

I am still angry with the doctor who prescribed this stupid drug for hot flashes four years ago. He is an endo and I went to him for my thyroid issue and mentioned my hot flashes – to this day I can hear him say "we'll have you feeling better in no time" Wrong. The last four years have not been great and I discovered most of my symptoms were side effects of this drug. Had I known how hard it would be to quit I would never have started. I am so grateful to have found this forum to help me through the difficult withdrawal.

those of you who have been on a higher dose than I was, I can't imagine what you are going through. I know from reading here 9 days is still early days in the withdrawal process but knowing that others got through it keeps me from breaking down and taking a pill. I'm not starting from scratch after having gone this long already.
Thank you

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Wow, I had no idea Effexor was being prescribed for hot flashes until I got on this forum. How irresponsible! I question everything now! We’re you even plagued by depression or anxiety? The drug truly works for depression and anxiety, but not for everyone. I am grateful my psychiatrist was hesitant to prescribe it for me.

Ween slower if you can. I weened off fine and had very minimal side effects except for the anxiety and depression returning. So, I’m back on meds for those ailments and they are working. (It’s zoloft’s lowest dose and seroquel’s lowest dose).

Go easy on yourself. That’s the main thing. And try and enjoy all that life brings.

Take care and go slow!

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@secretwhitepop

Wow, I had no idea Effexor was being prescribed for hot flashes until I got on this forum. How irresponsible! I question everything now! We’re you even plagued by depression or anxiety? The drug truly works for depression and anxiety, but not for everyone. I am grateful my psychiatrist was hesitant to prescribe it for me.

Ween slower if you can. I weened off fine and had very minimal side effects except for the anxiety and depression returning. So, I’m back on meds for those ailments and they are working. (It’s zoloft’s lowest dose and seroquel’s lowest dose).

Go easy on yourself. That’s the main thing. And try and enjoy all that life brings.

Take care and go slow!

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No depression. Just hot flashes and hypothyroidism. I blindly started taking the pills because the doctor said he was going to make me feel better and I believed him. Why would I doubt him? that was then. after a year of taking it I decided to read the pamphlet that came with my refill and realized all the things I had been complaining about to my new doctor were symptoms of venlafaxine. So then I researched it more and found out what it was really for. but it never seemed like the right time to try and go off it – til this year. Day 10 and feeling good!

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I am just starting my day 2 of tapering down from 150 mg to 112.5 Effexor ER. I already have symptoms of sleepiness, problems with focus, and a tiny bit of anxiety. Any suggestions? I have an appointment to see a counselor this Friday and have started mindfulness meditation. Will go for a short walk on my morning break. I've been on this drug for well over 10 years. Was successful about 5 years ago to taper off from 300 mg to 0 then the side effects were so bad started back on 150 mg. Tried tapering off again a little over a year ago with no success. I'm trying a 3rd time and really want to do it! 3rd time's a charm?

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@ercoled57

I am just starting my day 2 of tapering down from 150 mg to 112.5 Effexor ER. I already have symptoms of sleepiness, problems with focus, and a tiny bit of anxiety. Any suggestions? I have an appointment to see a counselor this Friday and have started mindfulness meditation. Will go for a short walk on my morning break. I've been on this drug for well over 10 years. Was successful about 5 years ago to taper off from 300 mg to 0 then the side effects were so bad started back on 150 mg. Tried tapering off again a little over a year ago with no success. I'm trying a 3rd time and really want to do it! 3rd time's a charm?

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@ercoled57
Some people may be able to handle a 25% dosage reduction. I hope your one of them. If your having withdrawal symptoms your reducing to quickly. An uneventful taper is usually possible but needs to be done slowly.
I wish you the greatest success,
Jake

Liked by texasduchess

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@jakedduck1

@ercoled57
Some people may be able to handle a 25% dosage reduction. I hope your one of them. If your having withdrawal symptoms your reducing to quickly. An uneventful taper is usually possible but needs to be done slowly.
I wish you the greatest success,
Jake

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That's the smallest increment that can be done with Effexor XR.

Liked by Leonard

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@ercoled57

I am just starting my day 2 of tapering down from 150 mg to 112.5 Effexor ER. I already have symptoms of sleepiness, problems with focus, and a tiny bit of anxiety. Any suggestions? I have an appointment to see a counselor this Friday and have started mindfulness meditation. Will go for a short walk on my morning break. I've been on this drug for well over 10 years. Was successful about 5 years ago to taper off from 300 mg to 0 then the side effects were so bad started back on 150 mg. Tried tapering off again a little over a year ago with no success. I'm trying a 3rd time and really want to do it! 3rd time's a charm?

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@ercoled57
I forgot you have been taking it so long. Personally for that reason I’d taper more gradually. There is always the chance of delayed withdrawal. 3rd time is a charm if done slowly enough.
Good luck,
Jake

Liked by texasduchess

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@jakedduck1

@ercoled57
I forgot you have been taking it so long. Personally for that reason I’d taper more gradually. There is always the chance of delayed withdrawal. 3rd time is a charm if done slowly enough.
Good luck,
Jake

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I would like to do it by smaller increments however the EFFEXOR XR are in capsule form and the smallest capsule size is 37.5 mg. The doctors won't order the regular Effexor since I've been on Effexor XR for so long. They said that switching from one to the other can be as difficult as tapering down.

Liked by Leonard

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@ercoled57

I would like to do it by smaller increments however the EFFEXOR XR are in capsule form and the smallest capsule size is 37.5 mg. The doctors won't order the regular Effexor since I've been on Effexor XR for so long. They said that switching from one to the other can be as difficult as tapering down.

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Can you ask your doctor or pharmacist to prescribe the proper amount in multiple capsules – so you would start with 4 x 37.5mg at one time to make up 150 and then taper down with the number of pills you take each time?

Liked by Leonard

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@ercoled57

I would like to do it by smaller increments however the EFFEXOR XR are in capsule form and the smallest capsule size is 37.5 mg. The doctors won't order the regular Effexor since I've been on Effexor XR for so long. They said that switching from one to the other can be as difficult as tapering down.

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@ercoled57
So actually your cutting by a specific milligram which makes the situation even worse than I thought. What’s going to happen as you get farther along in your taper the percentage of what is 25% now will increase which may increase any withdrawal symptoms. I agree switching over to the regular Effexor may come with some challenges and may take a couple, maybe more, weeks to get regulated but it seems more logical to do that than to jump off Effexor at 37.5 and then go to zero. I have little doubt that you will suffer more when you quit than if you convert.
Some members have reduced the beads in the capsule while others have converted it to a suspension.
Jake

Liked by texasduchess

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@bookkie

Can you ask your doctor or pharmacist to prescribe the proper amount in multiple capsules – so you would start with 4 x 37.5mg at one time to make up 150 and then taper down with the number of pills you take each time?

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Was actually taking 150 mg (4 tabs) before tapering down to 112.5 (3 tabs).

Liked by Leonard

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@ercoled57

I would like to do it by smaller increments however the EFFEXOR XR are in capsule form and the smallest capsule size is 37.5 mg. The doctors won't order the regular Effexor since I've been on Effexor XR for so long. They said that switching from one to the other can be as difficult as tapering down.

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Another option and the best one is to use a Compounding Pharmacy.
Jake

Liked by texasduchess

REPLY
@jakedduck1

@ercoled57
So actually your cutting by a specific milligram which makes the situation even worse than I thought. What’s going to happen as you get farther along in your taper the percentage of what is 25% now will increase which may increase any withdrawal symptoms. I agree switching over to the regular Effexor may come with some challenges and may take a couple, maybe more, weeks to get regulated but it seems more logical to do that than to jump off Effexor at 37.5 and then go to zero. I have little doubt that you will suffer more when you quit than if you convert.
Some members have reduced the beads in the capsule while others have converted it to a suspension.
Jake

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It is also all dependent on what my doctor will prescribe and what my insurance will cover. At first the insurance wouldn't cover the smaller tablets so I could taper down because I had been taking the 150 mg for so long. It took a special note from the doctor for them to approve it.

Liked by Leonard

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