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

@ghmcgran

Good luck. Worked for me.

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What gets me my doctor had to ask me if I was getting off the Prozac or what basically? He asked me if I wanted to stay on it. I guess some people just give up too easily and stay on it.

Liked by Leonard

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Yes they do just stay on it. It would be nice if the doctors who started us on the Benzos and antidepressants could help get us off. I don’t think they really care. It would be too much work for them having multiple patients trying to taper these drugs.

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@sears

Yes they do just stay on it. It would be nice if the doctors who started us on the Benzos and antidepressants could help get us off. I don’t think they really care. It would be too much work for them having multiple patients trying to taper these drugs.

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That's a sad state of affairs when these doctors would just rather have you stay on these drugs then to get you off of them. You have to really insist that you want off of them like I did. The one doctor I had a long time ago who got me off the benzos wan't at all like the current doctor I have now because he really wanted to get me off of the benzos and didn't question me at all to if I just wanted to stay on them. He knew they were bad. I guess these doctors just don't want to do anything because it's easier for them when they don't have to bother.

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@suzy31

That's a sad state of affairs when these doctors would just rather have you stay on these drugs then to get you off of them. You have to really insist that you want off of them like I did. The one doctor I had a long time ago who got me off the benzos wan't at all like the current doctor I have now because he really wanted to get me off of the benzos and didn't question me at all to if I just wanted to stay on them. He knew they were bad. I guess these doctors just don't want to do anything because it's easier for them when they don't have to bother.

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I do find though that these docs love love love the antidepressants. In my opinion they’re just as bad as Benzos.

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@sears

I do find though that these docs love love love the antidepressants. In my opinion they’re just as bad as Benzos.

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I so agree and my doctor put me on the Viibryd when it can have interactions with other meds I'm on.

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@sears

I do find though that these docs love love love the antidepressants. In my opinion they’re just as bad as Benzos.

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I always thought my psych doctor would always do the right thing but not so much anymore they would rather do the easiest thing as I've found out through this Effexor thing. He would rather just keep me on it if he could that would be the easiest. Since I'm complaining so much he has to get me off of it now. I'm rather disappointed in him. I don't know maybe they do want to help but they truly don't see what these drugs really do.

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1. Ego related. They get their panties in a wad over patients who do research. 2. They dismiss patient concerns because, after all, we are crazy enough to need a psychiatrist, so our concerns stem from our diagnosis. 3. Big pharm gives kickbacks. 4. Laziness to research new information unless it can help their financial situation. 5. They usually have their own, untreated diagnoses, which is why they chose that profession.

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@sandij

1. Ego related. They get their panties in a wad over patients who do research. 2. They dismiss patient concerns because, after all, we are crazy enough to need a psychiatrist, so our concerns stem from our diagnosis. 3. Big pharm gives kickbacks. 4. Laziness to research new information unless it can help their financial situation. 5. They usually have their own, untreated diagnoses, which is why they chose that profession.

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Yeah, I was telling my doctor to do the Prozac bridge and not the other way around isn't that kind of odd? I mean he should have known. Duh?

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I got off and said I would never go on it again no matter how bad withdrawal was. That someday withdrawal would be over. After six months if windows and waves I had to begin effexor again. I went on 75 and now to 150. At 75 I was begging for something else to add to take the edge off, because I did not want to increase again (because I want to be off of it someday). I got no relief and started taking half dose of 10 mg ambien at about 4 pm because I was ready to kill myself after a day of withdrawal. I never went over 10 mg of ambien a day but knew I was abusing it, using it as a benzo to treat the withdrawal. I begged so many doctors to give me something to help so I would not be abusing the ambien. I got no relief from buspar or hydroxizine. I finally have a psychiatric NP who gave me seroquel to sleep and is on board with a slow taper from effexor when I get stable. I mentioned my mood swings and that I felt maybe I could be bipolar. She thought not but handed me the questionaire and it turns out to be the case. I began taking vraylor which I'm sure will turn out to have its own set of side effects, but I feel my moods are stable now. Or else I'm just more aware of them. Either way its a win. I'm way more positive and clear headed. I also began taking adderall again ( not prescribed for adhd but for energy, however I see I am ADHD as well). I'm now slowly tapering by dumping some beads from the 150 mg capsules and changing my rx to 4 37.5 mg capsules daily to assist in the bead counting. I actually had no problems the first time I tapered effexor, going from 150 to 75, which I know is not recommended but it was fine for me. When i get my 37.5 capsules I may try a 37.5 decrease. We'll see. Anyway, thats my convoluted story for today and I hope it helps someone on this forum if only to help you realize you are not alone, crazy, or irresponsible in this quest.

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@suzy31

Yeah, I was telling my doctor to do the Prozac bridge and not the other way around isn't that kind of odd? I mean he should have known. Duh?

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They should know, especially if psychiatry is their specialty since they have less medications to keep up to date on (obviously they need to know contraindications with nonpsych meds, but thats just general info). But they don't. I'm a nurse and it offends me.

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@sandij

I got off and said I would never go on it again no matter how bad withdrawal was. That someday withdrawal would be over. After six months if windows and waves I had to begin effexor again. I went on 75 and now to 150. At 75 I was begging for something else to add to take the edge off, because I did not want to increase again (because I want to be off of it someday). I got no relief and started taking half dose of 10 mg ambien at about 4 pm because I was ready to kill myself after a day of withdrawal. I never went over 10 mg of ambien a day but knew I was abusing it, using it as a benzo to treat the withdrawal. I begged so many doctors to give me something to help so I would not be abusing the ambien. I got no relief from buspar or hydroxizine. I finally have a psychiatric NP who gave me seroquel to sleep and is on board with a slow taper from effexor when I get stable. I mentioned my mood swings and that I felt maybe I could be bipolar. She thought not but handed me the questionaire and it turns out to be the case. I began taking vraylor which I'm sure will turn out to have its own set of side effects, but I feel my moods are stable now. Or else I'm just more aware of them. Either way its a win. I'm way more positive and clear headed. I also began taking adderall again ( not prescribed for adhd but for energy, however I see I am ADHD as well). I'm now slowly tapering by dumping some beads from the 150 mg capsules and changing my rx to 4 37.5 mg capsules daily to assist in the bead counting. I actually had no problems the first time I tapered effexor, going from 150 to 75, which I know is not recommended but it was fine for me. When i get my 37.5 capsules I may try a 37.5 decrease. We'll see. Anyway, thats my convoluted story for today and I hope it helps someone on this forum if only to help you realize you are not alone, crazy, or irresponsible in this quest.

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Thank you for sharing. I feel I went through similar issues and ended up on seroquel and zoloft and so far so good. Yeah, it stinks having to be on meds to be happy. I’m so so jealous of people who can do it without. But I’m also so grateful that there was help available for me so I could get my s—- together again 🙂

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@secretwhitepop

Thank you for sharing. I feel I went through similar issues and ended up on seroquel and zoloft and so far so good. Yeah, it stinks having to be on meds to be happy. I’m so so jealous of people who can do it without. But I’m also so grateful that there was help available for me so I could get my s—- together again 🙂

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@secretwhitepop same. ❤

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I’m having crazy withdrawals, or at least that’s what I’m hoping it is. Went to the hospital last night and they gave me acid reflux medicine to take for a month. I’m weaning off of Effexor evil I start my Wellbutrin. I’m at 37.5 mg of Effexor a day and 150 of Wellbutrin. I started tapering down from 150 and was fine until I went to 75 and had to stop to start my Wellbutrin. I couldn’t make it through the second day of just Wellbutrin because I thought I wasn’t going to die. After discussing it with my doctor, I am now tapering down from 37.5 for a week, then taking it every other day the next week and every third day the following week. I just want this madness to end. I just want to love my cat and my boyfriend without getting angry or crying while shaking throughout my whole body. My withdrawal symptoms are: warm sensation in middle of chest, dizziness, blurry vision and aches in my calfs.

Went to the ER last night, the doctor told me it’s not covid 19.

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@stephee11

I’m having crazy withdrawals, or at least that’s what I’m hoping it is. Went to the hospital last night and they gave me acid reflux medicine to take for a month. I’m weaning off of Effexor evil I start my Wellbutrin. I’m at 37.5 mg of Effexor a day and 150 of Wellbutrin. I started tapering down from 150 and was fine until I went to 75 and had to stop to start my Wellbutrin. I couldn’t make it through the second day of just Wellbutrin because I thought I wasn’t going to die. After discussing it with my doctor, I am now tapering down from 37.5 for a week, then taking it every other day the next week and every third day the following week. I just want this madness to end. I just want to love my cat and my boyfriend without getting angry or crying while shaking throughout my whole body. My withdrawal symptoms are: warm sensation in middle of chest, dizziness, blurry vision and aches in my calfs.

Went to the ER last night, the doctor told me it’s not covid 19.

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@stephee11
Good afternoon,
I’m no doctor but I’m not a complete idiot like I believe your doctor is. Effexor has a very short half-life 5 to 7 hours and it wasn’t designed to be taken every other day or every third day. The best way to taper is by reducing between 5 to 10% every 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 weeks before another cut. Even the 5 to 10% method doesn’t guarantee a withdrawal free taper but it seems to work for most people. if your insurance is willing to pay for a compounding pharmacy that would be ideal.

Liked by texasduchess, sears

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@stephee11

I’m having crazy withdrawals, or at least that’s what I’m hoping it is. Went to the hospital last night and they gave me acid reflux medicine to take for a month. I’m weaning off of Effexor evil I start my Wellbutrin. I’m at 37.5 mg of Effexor a day and 150 of Wellbutrin. I started tapering down from 150 and was fine until I went to 75 and had to stop to start my Wellbutrin. I couldn’t make it through the second day of just Wellbutrin because I thought I wasn’t going to die. After discussing it with my doctor, I am now tapering down from 37.5 for a week, then taking it every other day the next week and every third day the following week. I just want this madness to end. I just want to love my cat and my boyfriend without getting angry or crying while shaking throughout my whole body. My withdrawal symptoms are: warm sensation in middle of chest, dizziness, blurry vision and aches in my calfs.

Went to the ER last night, the doctor told me it’s not covid 19.

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Hi @stephee11, welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. That must've been scary both to have such a strong withdrawal reaction and to have to go to ER. As you'll read by scrolling through past posts, the final steps of reducing the taper can be the most challenging. @texasduchess @secretwhitepop @sears have all gone slow as well as Jake. Everyone is different. Be sure to tell your doctor how you're feeling, so your taper can be adjusted to be right for you.

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