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

@cp6401

@doorman , well based on my research I kept just splitting the dosages in half months in between. Everything was ok from 150 to 112 the I noticed a little derealism zombieness from 112 down to 75 but managed to get through that..but I think 75 to 37.5 may have been too much especially with you kids at home who are at their prime at testing your limits.. I feel little more stable now thought

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So you’re taking Effexor xr? Capsules? They have beads inside. Are you counting beads?.

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@doorman

So you’re taking Effexor xr? Capsules? They have beads inside. Are you counting beads?.

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Over the course of a week, yes, I lowered the amount of beads gradually but I was winging it taking out roughly the same amount each time but after a week it got old and I just figured what the hell

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@cp6401

@doorman , well based on my research I kept just splitting the dosages in half months in between. Everything was ok from 150 to 112 the I noticed a little derealism zombieness from 112 down to 75 but managed to get through that..but I think 75 to 37.5 may have been too much especially with you kids at home who are at their prime at testing your limits.. I feel little more stable now thought

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Hi, @cp6401 – how has it gone today with the side effects of the venlafaxine (Effexor) taper? Are you still experiencing the derealism zombieness like in your previous step down to a lower dose?

@brownikl1 – did you come to any conclusions about whether you have been experiencing vertigo?

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@lisalucier

Hi, @cp6401 – how has it gone today with the side effects of the venlafaxine (Effexor) taper? Are you still experiencing the derealism zombieness like in your previous step down to a lower dose?

@brownikl1 – did you come to any conclusions about whether you have been experiencing vertigo?

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Hi and thanks for inquiring..yes I’m much better.. obviously with ocd, I’m surrounded by triggers so it’s sometimes difficult. But overall better. The zombieness and dereaslism are the main reasons why I wanted to taper. Like watching a movie that’s happening 3feet in front of you.. I want to say also for the record (and this is possibly the wrong thread) feel like the trt helps with overall concentration and focus, not to mention recovery from anxiety induced post disthymia/depression. It’s been a long road (decided 3years ago that I had had it when celexa stopped working..) so I feel like trt is a part of the puzzle for sure.. to make a long story short lowering my dose of anti depressant this low is the almost the culminating point of a 3 year battle (been on antidepressants since my teens) .. is my plan going to work? I have no idea, but I’ll be damned if I don’t give it my best shot….

sorry for the long rant, I guess I had more to say than I thought..

Liked by Lisa Lucier

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@cp6401

Hi and thanks for inquiring..yes I’m much better.. obviously with ocd, I’m surrounded by triggers so it’s sometimes difficult. But overall better. The zombieness and dereaslism are the main reasons why I wanted to taper. Like watching a movie that’s happening 3feet in front of you.. I want to say also for the record (and this is possibly the wrong thread) feel like the trt helps with overall concentration and focus, not to mention recovery from anxiety induced post disthymia/depression. It’s been a long road (decided 3years ago that I had had it when celexa stopped working..) so I feel like trt is a part of the puzzle for sure.. to make a long story short lowering my dose of anti depressant this low is the almost the culminating point of a 3 year battle (been on antidepressants since my teens) .. is my plan going to work? I have no idea, but I’ll be damned if I don’t give it my best shot….

sorry for the long rant, I guess I had more to say than I thought..

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Hi, @cp6401 – good to hear you are much better.

A couple of other Connect threads you might want to check out include:

– Long-term depression https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/long-term-depression

– Best antidepressants for anxiety https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/antidepressants-and-benzo-taper

– Going off citalopram (Celexa) https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/going-off-citalopram

When you mention TRT, are you referring to testosterone therapy like that described in this Mayo Clinic article https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/sexual-health/in-depth/testosterone-therapy/art-20045728?

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Update, if anyone cares. Down to 24 mg. (beads) from 75mg. Anxiety is horrible. Should I just cut this short, and get off immediately? Suggestions welcome.

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@doorman

Update, if anyone cares. Down to 24 mg. (beads) from 75mg. Anxiety is horrible. Should I just cut this short, and get off immediately? Suggestions welcome.

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Have you thought about taking anything else for the anxiety? Are you having any other withdrawal symptoms?

Liked by Lisa Lucier, doorman

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@sandij

Have you thought about taking anything else for the anxiety? Are you having any other withdrawal symptoms?

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The major symptom is anxiety. I do have Xanax, but VERY RARELY take it. Too scared of it.

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@doorman

The major symptom is anxiety. I do have Xanax, but VERY RARELY take it. Too scared of it.

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@doorman – did you have a negative experience before with taking alprazolam (Xanax)?

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@lisalucier

@doorman – did you have a negative experience before with taking alprazolam (Xanax)?

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Not really. It just seems that at the dosage prescribed (0.5mg. 2 times /day), it doesn’t help . And I’m afraid to go hIgher in dose. And it seems that after it’s done, the anxiety can come back worse. Sigh.

Liked by Lisa Lucier

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It has been 8 months since I began reading this thread due to the side effects I was having with Effexor XR. In that time I counted beads and reduced slowly. I would go back to a higher dose if the brain zaps, dizziness, nausea were too bad. I started at 150 mg and finally will be off of it completely as of January. I can handle the minor brain zaps that are worse in the morning for as long as they continue. Just glad to be finally off of this drug. My anxiety is very situational and now that I am no longer working and the stresses of a divorce have lessened, I don't think I will need anything for anxiety. A word of caution though: be sure to read the fine print on medications. I never should have been on this particular medication in the first place since I have glaucoma. Although the glaucoma specialist wanted me off of it as soon as possible, I had to educate him that it would take months after I discovered that lowering the dosage too quickly made me ill. My best to everyone here.

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@sandij

Have you thought about taking anything else for the anxiety? Are you having any other withdrawal symptoms?

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Perhaps you weened off too quickly. There no prize for torturing yourself. I had terrible anxiety once I weened off entirely and now I’m on Seroquel and zoloft. Seroquel is a mood stabilizer that works wonders for anxiety. I had lost 19 pounds all due to anxiety. Please see your doctor. Or find a new one. Again, anxiety is so rough on you, your life and your family. There is a light at the end and, possibly, you may need to supplement with medicine. I have a bottle of expired Xanax myself. I completely understand not wanting to take it. (I want to be entirely Med-free! But I do best on a low dose of my aforementioned meds. But I DID successfully ween off Effexor. Perhaps go up a bit in your dose, stay there, then ever so slowly ween down again.

People do care. 🙂

Liked by Leonard, doorman

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I have been weaning myself off of Effexor for the last six weeks. I have been taking it for 24 years. I had no idea how hard this would be. I decreased my dose every seven days and had headaches, dizziness, and zaps for a few days each time I decreased. I took my last dose on Saturday. I thought I would have only a few days of symptoms. I have had constant headaches, dizziness, and the zaps are almost constant. This is the first day I am going to try to get out. I am so glad I found this thread, just to know I’m not alone. I am very active and people have no idea what we go through when we try to gain some control over our lives. I had no idea how much this drug was controlling how I think, feel, and how numb I was to normal emotions. I normally don’t post on any sites, but the support each of you are giving others in sharing your most personal experiences is something I want to be a part of. So glad not to be as alone as I thought!

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@graygale

I have been weaning myself off of Effexor for the last six weeks. I have been taking it for 24 years. I had no idea how hard this would be. I decreased my dose every seven days and had headaches, dizziness, and zaps for a few days each time I decreased. I took my last dose on Saturday. I thought I would have only a few days of symptoms. I have had constant headaches, dizziness, and the zaps are almost constant. This is the first day I am going to try to get out. I am so glad I found this thread, just to know I’m not alone. I am very active and people have no idea what we go through when we try to gain some control over our lives. I had no idea how much this drug was controlling how I think, feel, and how numb I was to normal emotions. I normally don’t post on any sites, but the support each of you are giving others in sharing your most personal experiences is something I want to be a part of. So glad not to be as alone as I thought!

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You are NOT alone.

Liked by Leonard, cp6401

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You may be going way too fast. What was your original dosage?

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