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

@sears

Unfortunately CBD does not work for everyone.

Jump to this post

I tried it…..NOTHING

Liked by sears

REPLY
@sears

Unfortunately CBD does not work for everyone.

Jump to this post

I tried sublingual CBD for about a week for the anxiety I have since quitting Effexor; I didn't think it was doing anything for me. When I mentioned trying this to my new oncologist, he suggested a longer trial period (a month to six weeks) might be a better test of whether, or not it could help. I admit I haven't given it another go.

Liked by sears

REPLY

I would think if was going to be helpful to you the effects would be noticed immediately.

Liked by texasduchess

REPLY
@texasduchess

I tried sublingual CBD for about a week for the anxiety I have since quitting Effexor; I didn't think it was doing anything for me. When I mentioned trying this to my new oncologist, he suggested a longer trial period (a month to six weeks) might be a better test of whether, or not it could help. I admit I haven't given it another go.

Jump to this post

I find Lexapro had worked the best for me. This is lilypaws. I have tried every other antidepressant

Liked by texasduchess

REPLY

Hi TexasDuchess. Glad you liked my reply. Are you on Lexapro too? I'm also on Lamictal and Klonopin also. I do fairly well and would be better, but I'm waiting to have a fushion surgery on my low back at Mayo Clinic. I'm looking forward to the surgery, I just want to get out of the pain I have now. I know all about the surgery and it's a big one, but at least I will then be able to take pain pills to help the surgical pain. Thanks for liking my reply.

REPLY
@lilypaws

Hi TexasDuchess. Glad you liked my reply. Are you on Lexapro too? I'm also on Lamictal and Klonopin also. I do fairly well and would be better, but I'm waiting to have a fushion surgery on my low back at Mayo Clinic. I'm looking forward to the surgery, I just want to get out of the pain I have now. I know all about the surgery and it's a big one, but at least I will then be able to take pain pills to help the surgical pain. Thanks for liking my reply.

Jump to this post

I just saw your reply. Do you have some kind of cancer? If so, it must be hard. What kind? Blessings to you.

Liked by texasduchess

REPLY
@lilypaws

Hi TexasDuchess. Glad you liked my reply. Are you on Lexapro too? I'm also on Lamictal and Klonopin also. I do fairly well and would be better, but I'm waiting to have a fushion surgery on my low back at Mayo Clinic. I'm looking forward to the surgery, I just want to get out of the pain I have now. I know all about the surgery and it's a big one, but at least I will then be able to take pain pills to help the surgical pain. Thanks for liking my reply.

Jump to this post

I am not on any anti-depressant; I tapered off Effexor April 2018 because I no longer needed it to control hot flashes. I liked that you didn't give up on finding an anti-depressant that worked for you.

REPLY
@lilypaws

I just saw your reply. Do you have some kind of cancer? If so, it must be hard. What kind? Blessings to you.

Jump to this post

I have had breast cancer twice. The first one diagnosed in 2000 was hormone-driven and I went on Effexor to control the hot flashes I developed when taking Tamoxifen (binds to estrogen and puts you into a chemically induced menopause). I was only ever on 25mg regular-release Effexor (about 18 years) and would have just stayed on Effexor if I had realized how much effect quitting Effexor would have. Even at a low dose, it has powerful effects on the brain.

Liked by Leonard, sears

REPLY
@careth2

So glad my insight helped! I hope you are doing better! Depression can be hell – we didn’t choose this, but are stuck with dealing with it! I wish you well! Let me know if you have any questions.

Jump to this post

@careth2 Thanks so much for all the tips you gave Nov3/2016 re withdrawing from Effexor XR. I went through a very similar situation as you did. I am curious to know if you now found a good replacement medication. Are you doing much better now? I am still struggling with finding a drug that works.

REPLY

I am giving this a go now. I did really well on Effexor and don’t want to get off it, but unfortunately this medication is causing issues with a newly discovered heart condition (long QT syndrome or elongated QT interval) which makes it dangerous for me to take.

It feels similar to an opiate withdrawal. My “brain zaps” happen when I move my head and I would describe them as the feeling of percussion coming from all angles. Like the physical feeling you get when you’re near a big bass drum or a gun going off, but it’s focused on your head and upper neck. There is pain in my joints and aching in my bones, my skin feels really strange, like superficial chills or that I am cold but only in the top few layers of my skin. I also have headaches, I feel hunger in my stomach but the rest of my body has no desire for food.

I was on 225 mg per day and once my QT interval abnormalities were caught on an ECG, I was advised to drop down by 1 75 mg capsule, leaving me at 150 mg. I have an appointment today with my provider and hope he has some sort of solution, I have missed the last 2 days of work because of the symptoms and as an essential staff this is a terrible time to miss work.
I don’t have any advice for anyone, I just appreciate reading your stories and knowing I’m not alone and that this is not forever. I have an “allergy” to the standard antidepressants, the SSRI class, I find myself thinking about or wishing I could just die and fantasizing about how good it would feel to have be relieved from the pressure and stress of life. I had these thoughts, along with “you should be dead” or “all the weight would be lifted and I could find peace, finally, if I were dead”, all day long every single waking second of my life. If I didn’t have beautiful children that desperately need me, SSRIs would have taken me out. I am worried that I will not find something that works as well as Effexor and I feel like I have been cursed, to find something that works and then realize that I can’t have it is really hard to digest, but I have a supportive family and a good psychiatrist, we will get through.

Best wishes to all of you, I hope you were able to kick the Effexor and were able to find something that works for you, depression is difficult to bear without the proper medication or other intensive supports.

REPLY

Hi medication girl.

I'll give my 2 cents worth as an effexor taker for 16 years who has whittled it down over the course of about three months–I have been completely without for just over a week. I know the feelings you have. I was just tired of sleeping all the time and being virtually impotent. I would slow down your tapering (just my opinion) to lessen the side effects. The anxiety caused by COVID quarantine does not help either. One thing I have tried, and works for me, to ease the side effects and help anxiety and depression, brain pings, etc–is meditation. I learned Transcendental meditation years ago and just started it up recently and it's great.

I hope that you feel much better.

REPLY

I’ve been at 37 mg for several months and I’ve started to go to 18.5 mg (1/2). When I cut back I immediately feel better and I know I’m ready to continue dosing down when the bad side effects take hold. I’m hoping that when I get to 0 the side effects never come back! Or the depression. I need to loose weight. Big time. I’ve never been so heavy. I’ve gained at least 40 pounds in the past year. Boggles my mind.

REPLY

Hi I am trying to get off Effexor. I have been on 37.5 capsules for 2 weeks. I was on 75 capsules and had no problem going to 37.5. Now on 37.5 and trying to get off. No go Too sick. I am working with a psychiatric nurse trying to find an antidepressant that works, without 1000 side effects for me. Effexor did not seem to be the right medication. My doctor (psychiatric nurse) who was a new provider for me did the Gene sight test on me, This is where a swap is taken from your mouth and sent to a lab. The tests is suppose to be helpful in identifying a medication that is most likely to help. Well test comes back and as I already knew, Effexor was not one of my bodies favorites. So, she puts me on Trintellix and tells me to take the Trintellix and the 37.5 effexor together for 2 weeks and then stop the effexor. The withdrawal from the 37.5 effexor stopped me cold. I am now going into my 4th week and I stay on the Effexor because I can not handle the withdrawal and even with both meds I am depressed with all the depression issues including anger, sadness, being angry at everyone and everything. (except my 3 year old great grandbaby and her Momma) I will have the computer version of an appointment with the doctor today and I guess come up with a new plan. I am thinking that Trintellix is not the medication for me. I don't care what the Gene test says. Please, and advise, encouragement will be helpful, I will let you know what the doc says today. Thank you.

REPLY

Hi I am 59 year old woman on Effexor for a long time maybe 15 years and prior to that prozac and whatever antidepressant was on the go at the time. My problem was principally anxiety. I took early retirement about 3 years ago and have tried several times to get off effexor. I feel lethargic. lacking energy and a strange symptom and interested in anyone else experiencing this.. A slow down in my breathing coupled with fatigue. It's as if metabolism has slowed down plus motility movement of food through the gut. My limbs feel heavy though I garden walk etc but my out breath seems to carry on forever! Any time I try to go off heartbeat and dreads crank up again though I have little to dread or be anxious about. I honestly think there is a hormonal connection here between menopause and effexor also. Can anyone relate to this experience. I would like to be healthier for the last few years of life.. Interested in perspectives. Thanks in advance

Liked by texasduchess

REPLY
@annie60

Hi I am 59 year old woman on Effexor for a long time maybe 15 years and prior to that prozac and whatever antidepressant was on the go at the time. My problem was principally anxiety. I took early retirement about 3 years ago and have tried several times to get off effexor. I feel lethargic. lacking energy and a strange symptom and interested in anyone else experiencing this.. A slow down in my breathing coupled with fatigue. It's as if metabolism has slowed down plus motility movement of food through the gut. My limbs feel heavy though I garden walk etc but my out breath seems to carry on forever! Any time I try to go off heartbeat and dreads crank up again though I have little to dread or be anxious about. I honestly think there is a hormonal connection here between menopause and effexor also. Can anyone relate to this experience. I would like to be healthier for the last few years of life.. Interested in perspectives. Thanks in advance

Jump to this post

Hi @annie60 and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. You'll notice that I moved your message to this existing discussion called "Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine)." It is one of the longest and most active discussion groups about Effexor. I moved your message here so the you can benefit from the knowledge and experience of many members who know just what you're going through like @texasduchess @summertime4 @shermananski @secretwhitepop @sandij @jh31251 @sears and many others.

Simply click VIEW & REPLY in the email notification to scroll through past posts.

Annie, what dosage of Effexor are you currently on? What is your taper plan?

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.