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

Hello fellow writers! I've been on Effexor for over 5 years now, and despite good results in the beginning, the emotional blunting. depersonalization, and malaise side effects have finally outweighed the benefits. I've started a tapering program this week, and am wondering if anyone can tell me what it is like to be completely off of this. Do emotions and connection and energy come back? I really hope I am doing the right thing…

Liked by cbreeze930

REPLY
@sae38424

Hello fellow writers! I've been on Effexor for over 5 years now, and despite good results in the beginning, the emotional blunting. depersonalization, and malaise side effects have finally outweighed the benefits. I've started a tapering program this week, and am wondering if anyone can tell me what it is like to be completely off of this. Do emotions and connection and energy come back? I really hope I am doing the right thing…

Jump to this post

You are tapering first the same reason as myself. First and foremost, taper EXTREMELY SLOWLY to be successful. As I’ve written several times over the years I’ve been in the forum, it took me (on purpose) 18 months to taper off the last 37.5 mg capsule. I did this by opening it up and slowly taking out more and more beads. I had zero negative effects of the withdrawal.

All that being said, I am a person who is bipolar. THOSE symptoms came back after 6 months of being completely off Effexor.

BUT, my libido came back and i feel more myself these days despite being back on antidepressants and other meds.

I do t like being on anything – period. But for my family and life, seroquel and zoloft are working for me and I DO like that combo better than Effexor.

REPLY

Hello, this is my first time posting, in a effort to gain some insight, as i'm suffering. I'm a father of 2 great boys and same common law spouse for 20years. I've been on anti depressant medication since my teens (i'm 42 now)for ocd/anxiety (pure O) first, anafranil,(and some benzo's) then zoloft, then celexa, then cipralex(didn't work), then effexor, which kindof half works.. finally in 2015,I had some elevated stress due to home renovations, and after they were finished i decided to see if i could fly on my own. I got very tired of the up's and downs by switching meds and the depersolization /derealization, which is scary on it's own!… I decided i would do whatever it takes to heal myself and not mask my symptoms anymore with a drug. (yes, that's what they do).. anyways, i got my hormones checked, i was very low in T, so now i do injections which i find is a piece of the puzzle and helps alot with concentration/focus. So for the past year, my focus has been on hormones/overall health, fitness, diet and i want to restart my mindfulness practice. I'm at a point now where i'm on a subclinical dose of effexor XR of 37.5. i did the drop from 75 to 37.5 a few months back(which i now know was too much), and got extremely angry and agitated. but it passed, and all was "ok" for the holidays.. then 2020 Jan 1st rolls around and ouch. i now deal with anxiety from the time i wake up sometimes, till i go to bed. with my ocd themes coming back, not to mention some new ones. i'm shaking all the time, and basically unable to function. it's quite terrifying. the anxiety and ocd is so intense at times, that it i roll up into a little ball and just "suffer".

My question is, i know OCD is it's own beast and i'm aware and doing ERP and therapy i have a psych etc. but..

is it possible to live without effexor or an anti depressant after having been on it for so long? especially when you have OCD?

is my current suffering still due to my taper from 75 to 37.5 2-3 months ago?

My battle here is that much more scary because i don't know if there's a light at the end of the tunnel or if i will need to go back on another antidepressant.. ie: if it's worth it at all (back to my original goal of being able to make it without the AD's) … also, if i have to go back i'm afraid perhaps the anti depressants will not work anymore because i've been on them for so long and built up a tolerance..

i feel like i'm missing out on my kids (youth) etc.. and other things.. also, the wife has her own issues.. not only in suporting me, but the kids can be very challenging. and dealing with them when you are a ball of anxiety yourself is very challenging. bottom line, it's affecting every aspect of my life and the climate at home has changed because of it..I can't support my spouse when SHE needs it…. very hard when anxiety won't let up at all.. she's' been carrying the family for some time now and it's starting to take it's toll. sorry, that last part is a little rant.

thanks for reading

REPLY

Yes! I do. I am 63 and on Venlafaxine for over 10 years!!! I did a sloooow taper off from150 to 75 to 1/2 a 75 to 1/4 of a 75. The first 2 weeks were horrid. Morning sickness, throwing up. Nauseated all the time, no appetite, lost weight. Chills, tremors, vertigo, ears ringing. Light headed and dizzy. Totally disoriented and felt disconnected to things around me. Bobble head syndrome when moving head or eyes. NO brain zaps! Thank goodness. Sour taste in mouth was soooo bad. MyND prescribes Zofran for nausea. A friend gave me a bottle of CBD tincture and a couple of edible gummies to try anD help me feel better. It helped immensely so I decided it was time to use my arthritis neck and thumb pain to get a Medical Marijuana card. Thank goodness. My chronic arthritis pain of neck and thumbs improved. I used CBD tincture 3-4 times a day and THC tincture 2 times a day. CBD – THC 2:1 ratio. I immediately felt better. Still required lottsa rest, but the MM has helped me get past the worst part and now I am a month without that NASTY 🤢 drug. I am not 100% yet but I am markedly improved from 2 weeks go whenever I addd in the CBD – THC. I am hoping over the next week I will begin to feel more of myself and less upset from the withdrawal symptoms. If I had only known to do this immediately Imwould have suffer d a lot less and probably felt better sooner.

REPLY
@secretwhitepop

You are tapering first the same reason as myself. First and foremost, taper EXTREMELY SLOWLY to be successful. As I’ve written several times over the years I’ve been in the forum, it took me (on purpose) 18 months to taper off the last 37.5 mg capsule. I did this by opening it up and slowly taking out more and more beads. I had zero negative effects of the withdrawal.

All that being said, I am a person who is bipolar. THOSE symptoms came back after 6 months of being completely off Effexor.

BUT, my libido came back and i feel more myself these days despite being back on antidepressants and other meds.

I do t like being on anything – period. But for my family and life, seroquel and zoloft are working for me and I DO like that combo better than Effexor.

Jump to this post

Try homeopathic remedies for Bi-polar. Dr. Tara Peyman ND specialty is Bipolar disorder.

REPLY
@cp6401

Hello, this is my first time posting, in a effort to gain some insight, as i'm suffering. I'm a father of 2 great boys and same common law spouse for 20years. I've been on anti depressant medication since my teens (i'm 42 now)for ocd/anxiety (pure O) first, anafranil,(and some benzo's) then zoloft, then celexa, then cipralex(didn't work), then effexor, which kindof half works.. finally in 2015,I had some elevated stress due to home renovations, and after they were finished i decided to see if i could fly on my own. I got very tired of the up's and downs by switching meds and the depersolization /derealization, which is scary on it's own!… I decided i would do whatever it takes to heal myself and not mask my symptoms anymore with a drug. (yes, that's what they do).. anyways, i got my hormones checked, i was very low in T, so now i do injections which i find is a piece of the puzzle and helps alot with concentration/focus. So for the past year, my focus has been on hormones/overall health, fitness, diet and i want to restart my mindfulness practice. I'm at a point now where i'm on a subclinical dose of effexor XR of 37.5. i did the drop from 75 to 37.5 a few months back(which i now know was too much), and got extremely angry and agitated. but it passed, and all was "ok" for the holidays.. then 2020 Jan 1st rolls around and ouch. i now deal with anxiety from the time i wake up sometimes, till i go to bed. with my ocd themes coming back, not to mention some new ones. i'm shaking all the time, and basically unable to function. it's quite terrifying. the anxiety and ocd is so intense at times, that it i roll up into a little ball and just "suffer".

My question is, i know OCD is it's own beast and i'm aware and doing ERP and therapy i have a psych etc. but..

is it possible to live without effexor or an anti depressant after having been on it for so long? especially when you have OCD?

is my current suffering still due to my taper from 75 to 37.5 2-3 months ago?

My battle here is that much more scary because i don't know if there's a light at the end of the tunnel or if i will need to go back on another antidepressant.. ie: if it's worth it at all (back to my original goal of being able to make it without the AD's) … also, if i have to go back i'm afraid perhaps the anti depressants will not work anymore because i've been on them for so long and built up a tolerance..

i feel like i'm missing out on my kids (youth) etc.. and other things.. also, the wife has her own issues.. not only in suporting me, but the kids can be very challenging. and dealing with them when you are a ball of anxiety yourself is very challenging. bottom line, it's affecting every aspect of my life and the climate at home has changed because of it..I can't support my spouse when SHE needs it…. very hard when anxiety won't let up at all.. she's' been carrying the family for some time now and it's starting to take it's toll. sorry, that last part is a little rant.

thanks for reading

Jump to this post

Get a MM card. Cannabinoids are miraculous healers.

REPLY
@cbreeze930

Yes! I do. I am 63 and on Venlafaxine for over 10 years!!! I did a sloooow taper off from150 to 75 to 1/2 a 75 to 1/4 of a 75. The first 2 weeks were horrid. Morning sickness, throwing up. Nauseated all the time, no appetite, lost weight. Chills, tremors, vertigo, ears ringing. Light headed and dizzy. Totally disoriented and felt disconnected to things around me. Bobble head syndrome when moving head or eyes. NO brain zaps! Thank goodness. Sour taste in mouth was soooo bad. MyND prescribes Zofran for nausea. A friend gave me a bottle of CBD tincture and a couple of edible gummies to try anD help me feel better. It helped immensely so I decided it was time to use my arthritis neck and thumb pain to get a Medical Marijuana card. Thank goodness. My chronic arthritis pain of neck and thumbs improved. I used CBD tincture 3-4 times a day and THC tincture 2 times a day. CBD – THC 2:1 ratio. I immediately felt better. Still required lottsa rest, but the MM has helped me get past the worst part and now I am a month without that NASTY 🤢 drug. I am not 100% yet but I am markedly improved from 2 weeks go whenever I addd in the CBD – THC. I am hoping over the next week I will begin to feel more of myself and less upset from the withdrawal symptoms. If I had only known to do this immediately Imwould have suffer d a lot less and probably felt better sooner.

Jump to this post

Hi cbreeze, glad the CBD is working. My sister is finding it relieves her jaw pain as well. Just a caveat – for those of us with glaucoma – it's not an option – ugh. CBD causes a 4 hour spike in pressures – so even though early research pointed to relieving glaucoma – now the research has swung the other way.

REPLY
@cp6401

Hello, this is my first time posting, in a effort to gain some insight, as i'm suffering. I'm a father of 2 great boys and same common law spouse for 20years. I've been on anti depressant medication since my teens (i'm 42 now)for ocd/anxiety (pure O) first, anafranil,(and some benzo's) then zoloft, then celexa, then cipralex(didn't work), then effexor, which kindof half works.. finally in 2015,I had some elevated stress due to home renovations, and after they were finished i decided to see if i could fly on my own. I got very tired of the up's and downs by switching meds and the depersolization /derealization, which is scary on it's own!… I decided i would do whatever it takes to heal myself and not mask my symptoms anymore with a drug. (yes, that's what they do).. anyways, i got my hormones checked, i was very low in T, so now i do injections which i find is a piece of the puzzle and helps alot with concentration/focus. So for the past year, my focus has been on hormones/overall health, fitness, diet and i want to restart my mindfulness practice. I'm at a point now where i'm on a subclinical dose of effexor XR of 37.5. i did the drop from 75 to 37.5 a few months back(which i now know was too much), and got extremely angry and agitated. but it passed, and all was "ok" for the holidays.. then 2020 Jan 1st rolls around and ouch. i now deal with anxiety from the time i wake up sometimes, till i go to bed. with my ocd themes coming back, not to mention some new ones. i'm shaking all the time, and basically unable to function. it's quite terrifying. the anxiety and ocd is so intense at times, that it i roll up into a little ball and just "suffer".

My question is, i know OCD is it's own beast and i'm aware and doing ERP and therapy i have a psych etc. but..

is it possible to live without effexor or an anti depressant after having been on it for so long? especially when you have OCD?

is my current suffering still due to my taper from 75 to 37.5 2-3 months ago?

My battle here is that much more scary because i don't know if there's a light at the end of the tunnel or if i will need to go back on another antidepressant.. ie: if it's worth it at all (back to my original goal of being able to make it without the AD's) … also, if i have to go back i'm afraid perhaps the anti depressants will not work anymore because i've been on them for so long and built up a tolerance..

i feel like i'm missing out on my kids (youth) etc.. and other things.. also, the wife has her own issues.. not only in suporting me, but the kids can be very challenging. and dealing with them when you are a ball of anxiety yourself is very challenging. bottom line, it's affecting every aspect of my life and the climate at home has changed because of it..I can't support my spouse when SHE needs it…. very hard when anxiety won't let up at all.. she's' been carrying the family for some time now and it's starting to take it's toll. sorry, that last part is a little rant.

thanks for reading

Jump to this post

I'm so sorry you and your family are going through all this. And yeah, it is easy to freak out, but take a deep breath and know that it is possible to move forward and rebuild your life. You are still so young. It seems you have been on meds most of your adult life and from everything I've read and experienced – it seems coming off them should be "low and slow." Small titrated amounts over long periods of time. (It took me two years to get off lamotrigine.) It is possible to taper off, but something has to replace the meds. For me it is eating clean (organic and vegan) and walking at least 3 and a half miles a day. Have to tell you – I'm starting to come "alive" again and it is amazing. There is light at the end of the tunnel (and it's not a train.) Hang in there! Prayed for you all.

REPLY
@rainer

Hi cbreeze, glad the CBD is working. My sister is finding it relieves her jaw pain as well. Just a caveat – for those of us with glaucoma – it's not an option – ugh. CBD causes a 4 hour spike in pressures – so even though early research pointed to relieving glaucoma – now the research has swung the other way.

Jump to this post

That is a total bummer ☹️

REPLY
@cbreeze930

Get a MM card. Cannabinoids are miraculous healers.

Jump to this post

thanks for the feedback cbreeze930

i'm concerned about that. i hear they can either exacerbate your condition or help it. I would LOVE to have an outlet.. something i can take that's not a benzo or AD but that can help with Anxiety, give me a break… When the anxiety is so bad, i feel helpless… and unable to support the wife in her challenges…so having said that, i'd be afraid of the cannabis making the ocd/anxiety worse..

As it stands now, it's less anxiety more intrusive thoughts.. non-stop…ie: i'll be playing minecraft with the kids on their tablets and think, my kids are on their tablets too much, my kids are on their tablets too much, my kids are on their tablets too much etc.. even though, it's only a weekend thing. and that thought will just ruin my experience of being with and having fun with the kids…

thanks for reading

Liked by texasduchess

REPLY
@rainer

I'm so sorry you and your family are going through all this. And yeah, it is easy to freak out, but take a deep breath and know that it is possible to move forward and rebuild your life. You are still so young. It seems you have been on meds most of your adult life and from everything I've read and experienced – it seems coming off them should be "low and slow." Small titrated amounts over long periods of time. (It took me two years to get off lamotrigine.) It is possible to taper off, but something has to replace the meds. For me it is eating clean (organic and vegan) and walking at least 3 and a half miles a day. Have to tell you – I'm starting to come "alive" again and it is amazing. There is light at the end of the tunnel (and it's not a train.) Hang in there! Prayed for you all.

Jump to this post

thanks for the motivating words rainer, i hear ya. doing my best to eat clean, exercise (cardio), live in the moment.. thinking about starting up meditation again. I recall a time where it really worked for me. but lately if i try it, i get more angry at first.. like super irritable.. i'm probably trying too hard 🙂 anyways, i may start a thread on that..

thanks for reading

Liked by texasduchess

REPLY
@cp6401

thanks for the motivating words rainer, i hear ya. doing my best to eat clean, exercise (cardio), live in the moment.. thinking about starting up meditation again. I recall a time where it really worked for me. but lately if i try it, i get more angry at first.. like super irritable.. i'm probably trying too hard 🙂 anyways, i may start a thread on that..

thanks for reading

Jump to this post

Meditation is nice. So is keeping busy and helping others. I work in a middle school and can manage my negative thoughts and feelings while at work pretty easily. I just increased my zoloft, too, and am waiting for it to kick in. I don’t cry as much and am less irritable, but can’t help feeling lost. My dad passed away almost two years ago and I think I’m still very much mourning the loss. I feel so bad because I have a little one who is also sad about losing her pop pop. I kind of want to just get into over drive again. Thanks for listening. I’m not sure what I’m trying to say here…

Liked by texasduchess

REPLY

Oh, something to add that’s simple… drink more water. That’s something I always forget!

REPLY
@cbreeze930

Yes! I do. I am 63 and on Venlafaxine for over 10 years!!! I did a sloooow taper off from150 to 75 to 1/2 a 75 to 1/4 of a 75. The first 2 weeks were horrid. Morning sickness, throwing up. Nauseated all the time, no appetite, lost weight. Chills, tremors, vertigo, ears ringing. Light headed and dizzy. Totally disoriented and felt disconnected to things around me. Bobble head syndrome when moving head or eyes. NO brain zaps! Thank goodness. Sour taste in mouth was soooo bad. MyND prescribes Zofran for nausea. A friend gave me a bottle of CBD tincture and a couple of edible gummies to try anD help me feel better. It helped immensely so I decided it was time to use my arthritis neck and thumb pain to get a Medical Marijuana card. Thank goodness. My chronic arthritis pain of neck and thumbs improved. I used CBD tincture 3-4 times a day and THC tincture 2 times a day. CBD – THC 2:1 ratio. I immediately felt better. Still required lottsa rest, but the MM has helped me get past the worst part and now I am a month without that NASTY 🤢 drug. I am not 100% yet but I am markedly improved from 2 weeks go whenever I addd in the CBD – THC. I am hoping over the next week I will begin to feel more of myself and less upset from the withdrawal symptoms. If I had only known to do this immediately Imwould have suffer d a lot less and probably felt better sooner.

Jump to this post

Just a question – has the ringing in your ears gone away. I came off the effexor too fast – got the ringing and it has never gone away. That was 15 years ago. Came off lamotrigine too fast (I'm a slow learner) and got an insane ringing in left ear – that was over two years ago and still have it. Thank heavens it "cycles" every couple of minutes and is not constant – still having problems sleeping (in addition to insomnia.) I've tried all the free stuff – white noise, fans, etc., so I'm thinking about trying a hearing device that matches the sound.

Liked by texasduchess

REPLY

There’s definitely something connected between going off Effexor and tinnitus. I developed pulsatile tinnitus as well as phantom smells of cigarette smoke. What’s more, I got vertigo and dizziness (they cal is PPPD) as well. It is not going away. It was suggested I go back on anti anxiety meds (which I have) as well as medicine for bipolar (a mood stabilizer). My mood has definitely improved but, sadly, this dizziness and vertigo and swimy headedness remains. I hope there is some research on Effexor and the vestibular system, because mine is shot.

Liked by texasduchess

REPLY
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