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

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@sharbare

I joined a group on facebook to help me get off of effexor. Over 5 weeks I have weened off down to 25 mg from 150. The group is saying this is too fast and I will feel awful in weeks to come. I am scared now and wonder should I go back on it. They say to cut back 10% every 3-4 weeks. They say I am in for a terrible time in the next weeks/ months. I am scared now.

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Please please stay off those websites! They are one horror story after the other. I think a lot of the comments are from bored mentally deranged people with nothing better to do and get kicks instilling fear to the users of these sites. Keep looking! There are professionals out there will help you. Trust me!

Liked by texasduchess

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@jh31251

I’m in your same boat, I am 69, on the highest dose of Paxil, 2 30mg tabs a day, I will NEVER get off of this! I’ve never felt better in my life, my memory goes back at least 63 yrs and I had anxiety issues all the way back to then. To me it is great there is a medication that frees me from that horrible anxiety, panic attacks, PTSD etc! Find what works for you, what your body can tolerate and enjoy the relief. I know the journey to finding that relief is long and not easy but it is worth seeking out.

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Amen. There is medication which works, some that doesn’t. Feeling good is the end game. Being medication free is difficult, and can be very risky. Find a good professional and work with that person. So pleased to hear from a kindred soul. Live fully! I’m 72, and my story is a reflection of yours. Stay strong.

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Finding a good professional is extremely difficult. Not impossible but that process takes more than what people who are sick have to give. How can that change?

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@ksad

Finding a good professional is extremely difficult. Not impossible but that process takes more than what people who are sick have to give. How can that change?

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I have been thru a few therapists, and got off effexor by myself. I am on no drugs, but feel i could use something. 2 psys prescribed without knowing much about me. I was refered by my therapist pf 2 yrs.

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@wandasophia
Welcome and please share a bit more.
What has you here looking for assistance.
Bright Wings

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@brightwings

@wandasophia
Welcome and please share a bit more.
What has you here looking for assistance.
Bright Wings

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Chronic depression & PTSD

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How long have you been off the medication.
Please share more fully. Or you can wait until others come to answer.
I have to shave energy.
We have lots of tips posted in the last 50 or so entries….
We tell everyone, get to reading..
It takes an action to feel better. Smiling at you.
Bright Wings

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@brightwings

How long have you been off the medication.
Please share more fully. Or you can wait until others come to answer.
I have to shave energy.
We have lots of tips posted in the last 50 or so entries….
We tell everyone, get to reading..
It takes an action to feel better. Smiling at you.
Bright Wings

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Off effexor 6 months.

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@sears

Please please stay off those websites! They are one horror story after the other. I think a lot of the comments are from bored mentally deranged people with nothing better to do and get kicks instilling fear to the users of these sites. Keep looking! There are professionals out there will help you. Trust me!

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Thank you for your comment. What I have done. 5/6 weeks ago I started tapering off, 25 mg at a time and I got down to the last 25mg on apr 20th. I posted in that group and everyone went nuts! and said it was to fast. I started to notice horrible side effects and brain zaps. So I started upping the dose and I am at 3 x 37.5 mg. I am planning to get fully back onto the 150 mg. Is this safe? What I am afraid of is months down the road and feeling worse if I tapper too fast now. I went through some terrible things with Lyrica in the past and getting off of that. I am so scared to get off of this. Now is not the time. Now during covid I feel like I need to be mentally and physically at 100% and weaning now can't let me do that. So my question is… Is it ok to go back onto 150mg/day. I am now at 112.5 mg/day. I just upped this morning 37.5 m to get to 112.5 mg/day. Maybe if I give this 2 weeks can I up again to the full dose.

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@sharbare

Thank you for your comment. What I have done. 5/6 weeks ago I started tapering off, 25 mg at a time and I got down to the last 25mg on apr 20th. I posted in that group and everyone went nuts! and said it was to fast. I started to notice horrible side effects and brain zaps. So I started upping the dose and I am at 3 x 37.5 mg. I am planning to get fully back onto the 150 mg. Is this safe? What I am afraid of is months down the road and feeling worse if I tapper too fast now. I went through some terrible things with Lyrica in the past and getting off of that. I am so scared to get off of this. Now is not the time. Now during covid I feel like I need to be mentally and physically at 100% and weaning now can't let me do that. So my question is… Is it ok to go back onto 150mg/day. I am now at 112.5 mg/day. I just upped this morning 37.5 m to get to 112.5 mg/day. Maybe if I give this 2 weeks can I up again to the full dose.

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I took Effexor for almost 2 years and the reason I stopped was the terrible side effects that are inevitable no matter how you taper off the drug. I was on 150 same as you and went down to 75 then I quit cold turkey. I would eat and it wouldn’t digest Id just throw it all up, weird things in my vision like flashing and yea the brain zaps. When you were on your lowest dosing you’re side effects wouldn’t have lasted longer than 2 to 3 weeks than maybe some side effects that don’t really leave you after taking Effexor. Biggest thing to keep in mind is that no matter How you come at this ur going to feel terrible for alittle bit and you’ll get better. After quitting cold on 75mg… everyone’s different but I would say it all completely went away after a month getting better and better as time went on. This drug has possibly damaged my stomach so anyone with weak stomach lining or weak intestinal walls I don’t think this is healthy for anyone. I got severe bronchitis after 1 and a Half months of being off it and I’m paranoid it has something to do with that as well. I’m scared for anyone taking this as it could damage them long term.

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@sharbare

Thank you for your comment. What I have done. 5/6 weeks ago I started tapering off, 25 mg at a time and I got down to the last 25mg on apr 20th. I posted in that group and everyone went nuts! and said it was to fast. I started to notice horrible side effects and brain zaps. So I started upping the dose and I am at 3 x 37.5 mg. I am planning to get fully back onto the 150 mg. Is this safe? What I am afraid of is months down the road and feeling worse if I tapper too fast now. I went through some terrible things with Lyrica in the past and getting off of that. I am so scared to get off of this. Now is not the time. Now during covid I feel like I need to be mentally and physically at 100% and weaning now can't let me do that. So my question is… Is it ok to go back onto 150mg/day. I am now at 112.5 mg/day. I just upped this morning 37.5 m to get to 112.5 mg/day. Maybe if I give this 2 weeks can I up again to the full dose.

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Please ask your provider if it’s okay to do this.

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I quit smoking last October then, this last February started weaning myself off effexor (which I have been taking since 2004). I've gone from 150 mg to about 25 mg since Feb. It's been okay–my only concern is mood swings. However, I feel smoking pangs all of a sudden. I wanted to be off both smoking and effexor. Now I feel like I should have done it the other way around. I feel like I should smoke until I'm off the effexor for a month or two then quit smoking again. What are your thoughts?

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I have a question for anyone who has been on effexor for a while (a few years at least) then went off it. How long after you quit did it take before you felt all side effects to go away?

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@2degrees
Best I can say, it's different for everyone. Read, read here, then read some more.
We get tired here…….
Bright Wings

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@2degrees

I quit smoking last October then, this last February started weaning myself off effexor (which I have been taking since 2004). I've gone from 150 mg to about 25 mg since Feb. It's been okay–my only concern is mood swings. However, I feel smoking pangs all of a sudden. I wanted to be off both smoking and effexor. Now I feel like I should have done it the other way around. I feel like I should smoke until I'm off the effexor for a month or two then quit smoking again. What are your thoughts?

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@2degrees, I agree with @brightwings. Everyone is different. You need to do what is right for you. That may mean tapering off Effexor and quitting smoking at the same time or one after the other. Only you know what you can handle.

If I read your message correctly you quit smoking October 2019 and have not started again. That's great. This is just my personal opinion, but I wouldn't start smoking again to support the Effexor taper. You've quit. Congratulate yourself for that. You can make it stick and stay quit. If you need support with staying quit, post in the Addictions & Recovery group here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/addiction-recovery/

Concentrate on the Effexor taper. You've gone from 150 to 25 mg in less than 3 months. If I've learned anything from this discussion group, it is GO SLOW. There's no rush or gold medal for tapering fast. If you mood swings are of concern, why don't you stay on 25 mg a little longer than planned until your body adjusts? What dosage were you taking prior to decreasing to 25?

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