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

@grandmar

@lisa0878
First off, Welcome!
I hope you have taken the time to read the variety of postings regarding this issue.
If you have, you will see that without exception, anyone who has gone cold turkey has had some sort of withdrawal symptoms.
These symptoms started immediately or after some time.
These symptoms were long lasting or lasted a shorter period of time.
These symptoms were livable or landed people in the hospital.
There is NO way of know HOW you will react to going cold turkey other than YOU WILL HAVE WITHDRAWALS!!!
Regardless of how long you have been on this drug, how much you have been taking or what you have done so far, YOU WILL STILL HAVE WITHDRAWALS!
By going VERY, VERY SLOWLY, you lessen the chance of having severe withdrawals, if any.

I reduced by 25% over almost 6 months!!!
I am not sure if I am having any withdrawal symptoms.
I have always been a horrible sleeper, but now it is worse.
Withdrawaly????
I don't know??!!??!!
Reduction of 25% was my first goal of reduction.
Since I've reached this goal, I've stopped reducing.
I want my body to get used to this dosage before I continue to make another 25% reduction.
(Beside, with summer here {I live in Florida}, trips are usually in the plans and I don't want to take a chance and be away JUST IN CASE I DO WITHDRAW).
In addition, I have had GREAT SUCCESS with Effexor, I have NO INTENTIONS of coming off of it completely.
My goal is to take what I consider to be a reasonable doage.
I was at 300 mg (2-75mg in the morning and evening) trying to get down to 150 mg.
Depending on how that works, I'll see if I'll go down further.

Good luck to you!
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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Guys, my problem wasn’t with the head spins and stuff. I feel depressed again. It’s not lifting. What is the bridge again? Prozac? I think I need something.

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@secretwhitepop

Guys, my problem wasn’t with the head spins and stuff. I feel depressed again. It’s not lifting. What is the bridge again? Prozac? I think I need something.

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@secretwhitepop
Susan, as I recall, you have a lot of stressors in your life right now–your mom's Alzheimers, dad's passing a year ago, you moved, etc. You got off Effexor because you wanted to see who your "baseline" self was. It IS possible that you do need to go on something, but you also said you really didn't want to do that. You mentioned taking positive steps such as gardening, moving your desk to face a view and natural light and taking sub-lingual Vitamin B. It can take us 2-3 years to get our brains back to functioning well without Effexor (you were on Effexor for 20 years). The good news is we're moving into summer (more light for longer and more opportunities to get out and walk, or just enjoy outdoor activities).

I don't subscribe to ayurvedic disciplines myself, but there are some commonsense suggestions in these two articles–
https://www.webmd.com/depression/features/finding-joy-mind-body-spirit-guide#1
https://medium.com/@ayurdhamahgurgaon/effective-and-safe-ayurvedic-cure-for-depression-4cbf4b09d056
Here's an article about natural supplements (https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/314421.php). I take l-methylfolate (a prescription B vitamin), L-tryptophan (Lidtk* brand), Solg*ar GABA, omega-3s and ashwaganda.

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@texasduchess

@secretwhitepop
Susan, as I recall, you have a lot of stressors in your life right now–your mom's Alzheimers, dad's passing a year ago, you moved, etc. You got off Effexor because you wanted to see who your "baseline" self was. It IS possible that you do need to go on something, but you also said you really didn't want to do that. You mentioned taking positive steps such as gardening, moving your desk to face a view and natural light and taking sub-lingual Vitamin B. It can take us 2-3 years to get our brains back to functioning well without Effexor (you were on Effexor for 20 years). The good news is we're moving into summer (more light for longer and more opportunities to get out and walk, or just enjoy outdoor activities).

I don't subscribe to ayurvedic disciplines myself, but there are some commonsense suggestions in these two articles–
https://www.webmd.com/depression/features/finding-joy-mind-body-spirit-guide#1
https://medium.com/@ayurdhamahgurgaon/effective-and-safe-ayurvedic-cure-for-depression-4cbf4b09d056
Here's an article about natural supplements (https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/314421.php). I take l-methylfolate (a prescription B vitamin), L-tryptophan (Lidtk* brand), Solg*ar GABA, omega-3s and ashwaganda.

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Thank you. Every day is a new day. And I suppose it’s one day at a time. I will read the articles you provided. Perhaps something in there will provide “lift”. In the past, I remember St John’s Wort helping. Is that still a thing? I will read the articles now. :). Again, thank you. I guess I just want to make it stop, you know?

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@texasduchess

@secretwhitepop
Susan, as I recall, you have a lot of stressors in your life right now–your mom's Alzheimers, dad's passing a year ago, you moved, etc. You got off Effexor because you wanted to see who your "baseline" self was. It IS possible that you do need to go on something, but you also said you really didn't want to do that. You mentioned taking positive steps such as gardening, moving your desk to face a view and natural light and taking sub-lingual Vitamin B. It can take us 2-3 years to get our brains back to functioning well without Effexor (you were on Effexor for 20 years). The good news is we're moving into summer (more light for longer and more opportunities to get out and walk, or just enjoy outdoor activities).

I don't subscribe to ayurvedic disciplines myself, but there are some commonsense suggestions in these two articles–
https://www.webmd.com/depression/features/finding-joy-mind-body-spirit-guide#1
https://medium.com/@ayurdhamahgurgaon/effective-and-safe-ayurvedic-cure-for-depression-4cbf4b09d056
Here's an article about natural supplements (https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/314421.php). I take l-methylfolate (a prescription B vitamin), L-tryptophan (Lidtk* brand), Solg*ar GABA, omega-3s and ashwaganda.

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His article was very good! Ok, onto the next. Incidentally, since I’ve been “Effexor free” I am no longer constipated while at the same time I crave meat! Interestingly, that’s how I used to be before I began. I remember telling my psychiatrist years ago that since being on Effexor, I crave bread and pasta. That didn’t used to be me. Now I’m back to craving meat. Just something I find interesting.

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32 days effexor free. I'm doing great. I have some weird physical sensations, which are not bothersome, just interesting to observe. It's like things inside of me are waking up. I'm not sure if that is due to the medication leaving my system, or if its the result of hard inner work that I have been doing. Either way, I'll take it!! Hope you all are having a great day.

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@secretwhitepop

His article was very good! Ok, onto the next. Incidentally, since I’ve been “Effexor free” I am no longer constipated while at the same time I crave meat! Interestingly, that’s how I used to be before I began. I remember telling my psychiatrist years ago that since being on Effexor, I crave bread and pasta. That didn’t used to be me. Now I’m back to craving meat. Just something I find interesting.

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@secretwhitepop
Our bodies tell us what we need–I vividly recall getting up one night after a chemo treatment and being desperate for salsa. I like salsa, but I ate an ENTIRE large-size jar and would have gone out into the night for more if I hadn't been too shaky to drive. If you need more protein, go for the steak and hamburger! Just not to the exclusion of other food groups.

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@sandij

32 days effexor free. I'm doing great. I have some weird physical sensations, which are not bothersome, just interesting to observe. It's like things inside of me are waking up. I'm not sure if that is due to the medication leaving my system, or if its the result of hard inner work that I have been doing. Either way, I'll take it!! Hope you all are having a great day.

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@sandij
Glad you are doing sp well.
I guess it doesn't matter why, asclong as you feel happy and healthy!
But my thought is the combination is probably the answer.
Keep on doing
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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@lisa0878

Hi everyone. I'm new here . Im needing some help. I have tapered myself down from 150mg of effexor to 37.5…I really wanna come off it. Should I just cold Turkey it now? I got a few klonopin left I was thinking that would help me get threw the hard times.

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Hi, @lisa0878 – I wanted to add my welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect and also ask how you've been doing over this weekend?

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I am having a horrible time tapering off Effexor. My head is fuzzy and its like I am hearing white noise extremely loud. Trouble walking and achy chest pains. I also feel like I want to cry all the time. My GP is trying to change my meds to Wellbutrin. He had me skip a dose every other day for a week then start the Wellbutrin. I had to take a sick day today to try and get through this feeling. I put a call into my GP but not looking for much from him. I have been reading the responses on this site and it makes me even more anxious.

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@mammy

I am having a horrible time tapering off Effexor. My head is fuzzy and its like I am hearing white noise extremely loud. Trouble walking and achy chest pains. I also feel like I want to cry all the time. My GP is trying to change my meds to Wellbutrin. He had me skip a dose every other day for a week then start the Wellbutrin. I had to take a sick day today to try and get through this feeling. I put a call into my GP but not looking for much from him. I have been reading the responses on this site and it makes me even more anxious.

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@mammy
Chest pains? Call 911. Go to the emergency room.

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@mammy

I am having a horrible time tapering off Effexor. My head is fuzzy and its like I am hearing white noise extremely loud. Trouble walking and achy chest pains. I also feel like I want to cry all the time. My GP is trying to change my meds to Wellbutrin. He had me skip a dose every other day for a week then start the Wellbutrin. I had to take a sick day today to try and get through this feeling. I put a call into my GP but not looking for much from him. I have been reading the responses on this site and it makes me even more anxious.

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@mammy
CALL 911.
GET TO THE ER!!!!!
NEVER fool around with chest pains!!!
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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@mammy

I am having a horrible time tapering off Effexor. My head is fuzzy and its like I am hearing white noise extremely loud. Trouble walking and achy chest pains. I also feel like I want to cry all the time. My GP is trying to change my meds to Wellbutrin. He had me skip a dose every other day for a week then start the Wellbutrin. I had to take a sick day today to try and get through this feeling. I put a call into my GP but not looking for much from him. I have been reading the responses on this site and it makes me even more anxious.

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I agree with the posters who told you to go to the ER for your chest pains. Better safe than sorry, plus if you find out your heart is ok, that's one less thing to worry about. I don't know how quickly you're tapering, but you may be trying to go faster than your body can handle. Slow . . . slow . . . slow . . . slow. There's plenty of time to get off it; no rush. Regarding the anxiety, if it's an issue for you, Wellbutrin may not be the best choice because one of its possible side effects is increased anxiety. After I'd been off Effexor for several months, the anxiety returned full force. My dr had me try Wellbutrin, which made it worse, so he had me try Celexa — I take its generic, citalopram, 20mg daily; started with 10mg and increased to 20 after a week — and it has definitely done the job. I feel better than I have in years! I also take 25mg daily of metoprolol, a generic beta blocker (at the suggestion of the ER doc, to slow any adrenaline rush. (BTW, one of my friends takes Wellbutrin for depression, but she also takes Celexa for anxiety and she says she can tell when she misses a Celexa dose because she starts feeling anxious again. Also, Lexapro — generic is s-citalopram — may be a good possibility for you.) Please try to be gentle with yourself and keep telling yourself that this will pass. I know it's much easier to say that than to do it — when I'm anxious, I get anxious about the anxiety and afraid, too. But you WILL find relief!!! Please keep us posted.

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