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

@brightwings

@secretwhitepop, Bubbles
Are you am empath? Do you know how others are feeling without them telling you?
I am asking cuz a friend of mine is an empath. Even though she knows better, she had a lot of drama going on with her family this weekend and she took on some of those challenges of others and took them into herself.
I am also an empath. I used to go to meetings with other survivors and listen to their stories and go home feeling like crap.
So…I developed a shield. It drops in a snap of the fingers. It is like a curved glass shield. Plenty of openings for air to enter but other peoples stuff is reflected back to them.
Try it next time you go to help mom. See if you feel different after.
The more clearly you can see the shield, the better it works.
Why not try drawing it or painting it so it will be a solid form in your mind.
Best of luck…sage mom's place too. You have no idea how many restless spirits there are…
Bright Wings,

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I am realizing more and more that I am an empath. Funny, when I was little, mom used to say that I would start to cry if the kid next to me got in trouble! So I guess I’ve been an empath for a long time. And I do feel physical pain of others. Right now as I sit at work, I know mom is home and alone. Ugh!

Shield time!

You offer very good advice!

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@grandmar

So sorry you aren't feeling well!
Sometimes it's hard to balance what you want to do and what you can do and if you do more, is it worth the payback???
I know that when I overdo, I pay for it in the end.
So, I have to think if what I am doing is really worth it?????
Rest and feel better!
Ronnie

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@grandmar So well stated!!! It is a challenge-truthfully it is a difficult thing and I no longer care what others think or how they think. Being a Hoosier I oft have a Vonnegut phrase come to mind when others are critical. They could learn a lot from my little 4 year old grandson who never questions and loves me just as I am. He is worth keeping up with my own self care.

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I have a 4 yr old and 2 1/2 year old grandson too. They love me just the way I am. I've also had several surgeries for different issues. They understand when grandmom isn't feeling well or can't pick them up. Best medicine ever

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For some reason I got the idea in my head to jump off of this drug from my dosage which is less than 75 mg. Actually I know the reason..I missed a dose Friday morning because I ran out of the house to spend the day with a friend after an acupuncture appointment. When I got home, I thought about something that happened several years ago when I was on both effexor 225 mg (3 75 mg capsules)and neurontin 300 mg(2 150 mg capsules). At the time I was filling up one of those pill boxes that hold 2 weeks of meds. I must have gotten distracted or confused and since the pill bottles were the same and the capsules almost identical, I made a med error as we call it in the medical profession, lol, and didnt realize that I was actually taking NO effexor at all and 5 capsules of neurontin, for at least a week. I remember feeling dizzy and shaky and thought I might have the flu or was overtired from the hours I was working. Then I told my sister I felt like "one of those old people who mixes up their medications" and the lightbulb went on! So I basically had cold turkeyed off of 225 mg, and guess what, I didn't die from it! Of course i immediately reinstated the effexor and decreased the neurontin back to my normal dose. Informed the doctor of what had occurred and was told that I should experience no ill effects since my dosages on both meds "werent enough to really make a difference anyway".

It was several months later that I was prescribed trazodone to help me fall asleep. I had taken ambien and wasn't comfortable with the hypnotic effects it has. It took only one dose of that to cause a severe drug interaction when combined with my other medications, all prescribed by her!! All I had to do was use the medication interaction tracker online to see what was wrong! I immediately stopped the trazodone and asked the doctor if it was possible that I had experienced serotonin syndrome. Oh no, I was told, that's so rare and you are not at risk. But I knew i needed to begin getting rid of these meds and began with discontinuing neurontin. Unfortunately there was no informational forum about discontinuing neurontin and the severe side effects it would cause, besides, I was on "too low of a dose to make a difference anyway". That landed me in the hospital getting a complete cardiac workup. The hospital staff refused to consider that my symptoms were being caused by anything other than a heart attack and refused to let me leave..oh I could have left AMA but with the threat that my insurance would not cover the thousands of dollars the hospital had already charged me. But I knew it was related to medication changes and asked for a medication review with the hospital pharmacist who confirmed that I most likely did experience serotonin syndrome and then discontinuation syndrome, and withdrawal from neurontin, and that I should not have been prescribed the combination of medications I was given.

People on this forum have said how important it is to tell the doctors when you are tapering off this or any other medication, but screw that, after what I went through I see just how much they listen to anything a patient has to say! I had given my doctors all of the information on what I was taking and how much, and ended up going through hell, relying on their opinions instead of forming my own. I have seen it time and time again as a nurse, but first hand experience is the best teacher.

Sorry to get on that long tangent!

I went through protracted withdrawals for 2 years. This is when I began searching for information on PAWS, and learned about windows and waves. It was a lifesaver for me to realize I was not actually going crazy and that others had experienced the same things I was going through.

I guess my whole point is that I know what I'm in for. Those two years were awful but I got through it because I focused on the windows and rode the waves. If I become a bead counter I feel like I am only prolonging the process. I'm going to be miserable during the waves, ok, I am prepared for that. But if I'm going to go through months of it after each taper, it's like 6 of one and half a dozen of another.

Do we tell heroin addicts to taper,? recommend smaller rocks of crack? I don' know the answer to this whole tapering thing but it is worth it to me to try jumping off from this dosage. If I am unsuccessful I'll be the first to admit it and tuck tail, and start back where I left off.

If you've read this far, thank you for listening to my story and to my plan. Please keep me in your thoughts the next few days during the acute withdrawal phase and wish me luck. Hoping I can report success. Thanks again and have a good day. Feel good for no reason!!

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@sandij

For some reason I got the idea in my head to jump off of this drug from my dosage which is less than 75 mg. Actually I know the reason..I missed a dose Friday morning because I ran out of the house to spend the day with a friend after an acupuncture appointment. When I got home, I thought about something that happened several years ago when I was on both effexor 225 mg (3 75 mg capsules)and neurontin 300 mg(2 150 mg capsules). At the time I was filling up one of those pill boxes that hold 2 weeks of meds. I must have gotten distracted or confused and since the pill bottles were the same and the capsules almost identical, I made a med error as we call it in the medical profession, lol, and didnt realize that I was actually taking NO effexor at all and 5 capsules of neurontin, for at least a week. I remember feeling dizzy and shaky and thought I might have the flu or was overtired from the hours I was working. Then I told my sister I felt like "one of those old people who mixes up their medications" and the lightbulb went on! So I basically had cold turkeyed off of 225 mg, and guess what, I didn't die from it! Of course i immediately reinstated the effexor and decreased the neurontin back to my normal dose. Informed the doctor of what had occurred and was told that I should experience no ill effects since my dosages on both meds "werent enough to really make a difference anyway".

It was several months later that I was prescribed trazodone to help me fall asleep. I had taken ambien and wasn't comfortable with the hypnotic effects it has. It took only one dose of that to cause a severe drug interaction when combined with my other medications, all prescribed by her!! All I had to do was use the medication interaction tracker online to see what was wrong! I immediately stopped the trazodone and asked the doctor if it was possible that I had experienced serotonin syndrome. Oh no, I was told, that's so rare and you are not at risk. But I knew i needed to begin getting rid of these meds and began with discontinuing neurontin. Unfortunately there was no informational forum about discontinuing neurontin and the severe side effects it would cause, besides, I was on "too low of a dose to make a difference anyway". That landed me in the hospital getting a complete cardiac workup. The hospital staff refused to consider that my symptoms were being caused by anything other than a heart attack and refused to let me leave..oh I could have left AMA but with the threat that my insurance would not cover the thousands of dollars the hospital had already charged me. But I knew it was related to medication changes and asked for a medication review with the hospital pharmacist who confirmed that I most likely did experience serotonin syndrome and then discontinuation syndrome, and withdrawal from neurontin, and that I should not have been prescribed the combination of medications I was given.

People on this forum have said how important it is to tell the doctors when you are tapering off this or any other medication, but screw that, after what I went through I see just how much they listen to anything a patient has to say! I had given my doctors all of the information on what I was taking and how much, and ended up going through hell, relying on their opinions instead of forming my own. I have seen it time and time again as a nurse, but first hand experience is the best teacher.

Sorry to get on that long tangent!

I went through protracted withdrawals for 2 years. This is when I began searching for information on PAWS, and learned about windows and waves. It was a lifesaver for me to realize I was not actually going crazy and that others had experienced the same things I was going through.

I guess my whole point is that I know what I'm in for. Those two years were awful but I got through it because I focused on the windows and rode the waves. If I become a bead counter I feel like I am only prolonging the process. I'm going to be miserable during the waves, ok, I am prepared for that. But if I'm going to go through months of it after each taper, it's like 6 of one and half a dozen of another.

Do we tell heroin addicts to taper,? recommend smaller rocks of crack? I don' know the answer to this whole tapering thing but it is worth it to me to try jumping off from this dosage. If I am unsuccessful I'll be the first to admit it and tuck tail, and start back where I left off.

If you've read this far, thank you for listening to my story and to my plan. Please keep me in your thoughts the next few days during the acute withdrawal phase and wish me luck. Hoping I can report success. Thanks again and have a good day. Feel good for no reason!!

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Neurontin…the drug from he'll.
I sure hope you have CBD…
I used to be on 16 meds, 6 were sedating. I got myself off it all without my docs permission or knowledge. So glad I did.
Neurontin will be a challenge…just saying.
B W

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not in Iowa!!! maybe it's time to move back to CA

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Also, oncologist gave me Neurontin for neuropathy after chemo-did nothing so I quit

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@brightwings CBD is only a part of my arsenal. I won't allow myself to be beholden to any substance that I have to rely on outside sources, like the government, a drug company, or a specific manufacturer, to supply to me. That's one of my reasons for wanting to be effexor free! Fortunately, there is definitely no "one size fits all" or miracle cure, instead, a multi pronged approach works for me.
I can't remember if you've ever stated that you take vitamin D and Omega 3/fish oil, benadryl, ibuprofen, or other supplements? In the absence of cbd oil especially, maybe those will help you feel better in the interim. I also take a powdered CBD drink mix, its comes in different flavors like peach and strawberry. A good way to drink more water too and not very expensive. Feel better!

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@brightwings I've been completely off of neurontin since March 2016. I started tapering from 225 mg effexor in September 2018, six months after the waves (caused by the neurontin withdrawal) ended in March 2018. So I am six months into the effexor recovery journey, hopefully with my last dose of effexor being last week. Time will tell.

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@sandij

@brightwings I've been completely off of neurontin since March 2016. I started tapering from 225 mg effexor in September 2018, six months after the waves (caused by the neurontin withdrawal) ended in March 2018. So I am six months into the effexor recovery journey, hopefully with my last dose of effexor being last week. Time will tell.

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Good for you. Life with out the drugs is so much better.
BW

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@sandij

@brightwings CBD is only a part of my arsenal. I won't allow myself to be beholden to any substance that I have to rely on outside sources, like the government, a drug company, or a specific manufacturer, to supply to me. That's one of my reasons for wanting to be effexor free! Fortunately, there is definitely no "one size fits all" or miracle cure, instead, a multi pronged approach works for me.
I can't remember if you've ever stated that you take vitamin D and Omega 3/fish oil, benadryl, ibuprofen, or other supplements? In the absence of cbd oil especially, maybe those will help you feel better in the interim. I also take a powdered CBD drink mix, its comes in different flavors like peach and strawberry. A good way to drink more water too and not very expensive. Feel better!

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Brand, etc of CBD powder, please. Source or store?
BW

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@sandij, I took ibuprofen for 11 years. Screwed up my platelets. I have vitamin D, but getting myself to take it is hard after all those drugs for so long. I got a lot of natural vitamin D today and Saturday.
I am feeling punished, kind of…BORED is not my style but it is starting to creep in. I am looking inside but have no mottos or tips for bored. My puzzle is too hard for me right now. Eye sight kind of affected today also.
Zero appetite. Its part of the shivering cycle.
The real thing going on here is my music group on Monday night ends in minutes… Sad…
I am going to go to the veterans post in the am for breakfast…I need people!!!!!!
There is a veterans meeting tomorrow night…I will see if I feel like going.
I will have to find a balance….take care of my people needs and take care of my MS too….
I really want to be kayaking but no energy…I am going out to watch a stunning sunset…I feel like a kid that isn't being entertained…
I am NOT USED TO THIS…Bright Wings, being grounded sucks
I just realized I forgot my red clover tea. Drinking it now….
I am going to take care of a friend Friday. He is having 2 heart arteries rodded Friday morning. I will spend the night with him…I guess they don't keep folks overnight any more after a huge procedure like this…I did cardiac for 6 years…
Just babbling now…Netflix here I come, BW

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