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

Hi All-
I'm off the venaflaxine (effexor) but Dr put me on Lezapro. I feel like a new person being off effexor. I'd like to not take anything but big life change and fee I need something. Having that been said, is anyone on Lexapro and if so how do you like or dislike it? I missed a day here and there intentionally to see how my body would react if I had to miss a dose or two and did fine, felt fine. But, I do realize it is a systemic drug so missing a day may not make that much difference. Thank to everyone for all the support, I hope I can be of some help to those wanting/trying to get off Effexor. I'm so very glad I did it! I don't ever want to take another drug like that one again.

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@efexnot

I am glad to see the recent posts on this very old thread. I would like to share a portion of my journey as well. I was on 375mg for about 8 years, and felt very emotionally blunted – not interested in pursuing intimate relationships and such. I am also in a much different place in my life now, and wanted to see what the 'real' me really felt like again.

I designed a very basic titration schedule where I would taper 37.5 milligrams/dose every week. This was working great for a few weeks, and until I got down to 187.50mg. THEN, the withdrawal effects hit me like a ton of bricks – every symptom mentioned – severe tinnitus, headaches, sweats, nausea, tremor, diarrhea, and overwhelming feeling of fear, and anxiety unlike anything I had ever experienced. This went on for nearly a week, and I made a very important decision: There was NO WAY that I wanted to spend another 5 weeks of titration feeling like this.

This is where I am now: 150 mg/day. After this week, I am speeding up the process, and cutting to 75mg for 4 days, then 37.5 for 4 days, then done. I understand that this will be absolutely miserable, but I simply don't have the patience or the time in my life to spend 5 weeks as miserable as I feel right now. I hope I am doing the right thing, and time will tell. Thanks to everyone for sharing your journeys! I will try to stay in touch here.

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@efexnot You sound very determined so I hope you can manage your withdrawal schedule. Effexor really sounds like a horrible drug to be on and withdraw from. I wish you success, and please keep us informed.
JK

Liked by Lisa Lucier, exeffex

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@efexnot

I am glad to see the recent posts on this very old thread. I would like to share a portion of my journey as well. I was on 375mg for about 8 years, and felt very emotionally blunted – not interested in pursuing intimate relationships and such. I am also in a much different place in my life now, and wanted to see what the 'real' me really felt like again.

I designed a very basic titration schedule where I would taper 37.5 milligrams/dose every week. This was working great for a few weeks, and until I got down to 187.50mg. THEN, the withdrawal effects hit me like a ton of bricks – every symptom mentioned – severe tinnitus, headaches, sweats, nausea, tremor, diarrhea, and overwhelming feeling of fear, and anxiety unlike anything I had ever experienced. This went on for nearly a week, and I made a very important decision: There was NO WAY that I wanted to spend another 5 weeks of titration feeling like this.

This is where I am now: 150 mg/day. After this week, I am speeding up the process, and cutting to 75mg for 4 days, then 37.5 for 4 days, then done. I understand that this will be absolutely miserable, but I simply don't have the patience or the time in my life to spend 5 weeks as miserable as I feel right now. I hope I am doing the right thing, and time will tell. Thanks to everyone for sharing your journeys! I will try to stay in touch here.

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I began the journey of weaning off of Effexor last October. The holidays are particularly hard for me since losing my son. It was a TERRIBLE time to start the withdrawal process but I was seriously afraid I wasn't going to be able to stay in this world much longer. My BEST advice to you is to take is SLOW. I wouldn't reduce the dosage for at least a month. Yes, it will take you longer but your withdrawal will be so much easier. My doctor weaned me off of the Effexor cutting the dosage by 1/4 each week and on to a low dose of Lexapro which keeps me so nauseated and tired. I got deathly ill and couldn't keep anything down. I was going from both ends and sweated like I have never sweated in my life. I ended up in the ER New Years Eve Day because I was so dehydrated. I have lost 35 lbs since January without even trying. If that doesn't tell you what Effexor does to your body, I don't know what does. I have been experiencing severe gastric problems and have seen a gastroenterologist, had a colonoscopy and endoscopy and he says everything is "fine". My next stop is an endocrinologist. I just can't beat this dang gone fatigue. I have to push myself to do anything. Thankfully, the weather broke today in Ohio and I worked in my yard all day. My butt is soooooooo dragging this evening but it's a fatigue from physical activity which I can take! I know that grief and depression play a huge role in our physical being, i.e. fatigue and flat emotions. I am now almost 6 months out from being off of the Effexor and still wonder if it is totally gone from my body. My next step is to get off of the Lexapro and see if my appetite and fatigue adjust themselves. I know that I have to change my sedentary life style to increase my energy levels, eat "clean" and keep busy. I told myself that my body was bigger than my brain and I was going to beat these horrendous pharmaceuticals. I am considering trying CBD oil (cannibis) soon if I can't get a hold of this anxiety. I wish everyone well who is taking this journey. It's not for the faint of heart but it can be done. Just take is long and slow….hugs to you all!

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@imfu

Hi All-
I'm off the venaflaxine (effexor) but Dr put me on Lezapro. I feel like a new person being off effexor. I'd like to not take anything but big life change and fee I need something. Having that been said, is anyone on Lexapro and if so how do you like or dislike it? I missed a day here and there intentionally to see how my body would react if I had to miss a dose or two and did fine, felt fine. But, I do realize it is a systemic drug so missing a day may not make that much difference. Thank to everyone for all the support, I hope I can be of some help to those wanting/trying to get off Effexor. I'm so very glad I did it! I don't ever want to take another drug like that one again.

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I'm glad you aren't experiencing the fatigue and lack of appetite that I am. My dr. weaned me off of the Effexor and on to Lexapro but my fatigue is debilitating. Nausea is one of the common side effects of the Lexapro and lucky me, I have it I have lost a considerable amount of weight but losing 35 in 3 months is too fast. I'm so glad you are having success with the Lexapro….

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@efexnot

I am glad to see the recent posts on this very old thread. I would like to share a portion of my journey as well. I was on 375mg for about 8 years, and felt very emotionally blunted – not interested in pursuing intimate relationships and such. I am also in a much different place in my life now, and wanted to see what the 'real' me really felt like again.

I designed a very basic titration schedule where I would taper 37.5 milligrams/dose every week. This was working great for a few weeks, and until I got down to 187.50mg. THEN, the withdrawal effects hit me like a ton of bricks – every symptom mentioned – severe tinnitus, headaches, sweats, nausea, tremor, diarrhea, and overwhelming feeling of fear, and anxiety unlike anything I had ever experienced. This went on for nearly a week, and I made a very important decision: There was NO WAY that I wanted to spend another 5 weeks of titration feeling like this.

This is where I am now: 150 mg/day. After this week, I am speeding up the process, and cutting to 75mg for 4 days, then 37.5 for 4 days, then done. I understand that this will be absolutely miserable, but I simply don't have the patience or the time in my life to spend 5 weeks as miserable as I feel right now. I hope I am doing the right thing, and time will tell. Thanks to everyone for sharing your journeys! I will try to stay in touch here.

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@sadiesmom I applaud all of you working to get off of these drugs, they cannot possibly be good for you and if you can do without them that's the best thing. I do know some people cannot though.
Congratulations on your success so far, I hope it continues and that your fatigue will lessen.
JK

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@kamm

I have been taking 450MG once a day for several years now. It has taken away the anxiety issue that I had, however, I feel emotionally bland most of the time. Last night, I had a series of vivid, bizarre dreams. I woke my wife up at least 5 times by yelling out, and I wet the bed! I realized this morning that I missed by dose yesterday, and I thought this could have caused this horrid experience. Has anyone else ever experienced something like this? Thank you

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Hi
Yes, I have experienced the very vivid and bizarre dreams when I miss a day with my Effexor. I take 225 mg a day and am reducing it first by 37.5 twice a week. It’s been fine so far and I go see my doctor Friday so she’ll probably add a couple more of the 37.5 reduction days. It will go slow but I’m hoping to get through it without the horrible withdrawals I’ve read about here. You all are very strong and are an inspiration to me.

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@kamm

I have been taking 450MG once a day for several years now. It has taken away the anxiety issue that I had, however, I feel emotionally bland most of the time. Last night, I had a series of vivid, bizarre dreams. I woke my wife up at least 5 times by yelling out, and I wet the bed! I realized this morning that I missed by dose yesterday, and I thought this could have caused this horrid experience. Has anyone else ever experienced something like this? Thank you

Jump to this post

Hi, I am new to this, but saw your post. I also take Effexor and want to get off of the drug. Did you happen to notice any weight gain while on the drug?

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@efexnot

I am glad to see the recent posts on this very old thread. I would like to share a portion of my journey as well. I was on 375mg for about 8 years, and felt very emotionally blunted – not interested in pursuing intimate relationships and such. I am also in a much different place in my life now, and wanted to see what the 'real' me really felt like again.

I designed a very basic titration schedule where I would taper 37.5 milligrams/dose every week. This was working great for a few weeks, and until I got down to 187.50mg. THEN, the withdrawal effects hit me like a ton of bricks – every symptom mentioned – severe tinnitus, headaches, sweats, nausea, tremor, diarrhea, and overwhelming feeling of fear, and anxiety unlike anything I had ever experienced. This went on for nearly a week, and I made a very important decision: There was NO WAY that I wanted to spend another 5 weeks of titration feeling like this.

This is where I am now: 150 mg/day. After this week, I am speeding up the process, and cutting to 75mg for 4 days, then 37.5 for 4 days, then done. I understand that this will be absolutely miserable, but I simply don't have the patience or the time in my life to spend 5 weeks as miserable as I feel right now. I hope I am doing the right thing, and time will tell. Thanks to everyone for sharing your journeys! I will try to stay in touch here.

Jump to this post

Hi @efexnot. I hope hope hope you are doing this along with a psych doctor's help or with a psych nurse as I have found near me who understood that when I said I wanted off, I meant I wanted off. As of the past few days I have still been having symptoms from the drug Effexor/lVenlafaxine time release withdrawal. I was physically sick this weekend. My husband and I planned a trip to an outdoor museum. I thought I was ok and then the nausea hit me…..I needed shade and water and then just needed air conditioning and finally went home. I have been off of the drug completely for going on three weeks now and still having symptoms. I was at 37.5 mg for a year. This is a bad drug all the way around. I have been healthy and athletic and active all of my life. This drug withdrawal has me on the sofa for long periods because of the withdrawal creating lethargy. The stomach and indigestion, acid problems and digestive problems are immense and I have NEVER had stomach problems in my life. They only occurred during tapering down of this drug and during the taper to o mg of Effexor. There are many accounts of people ending up in the ER withdrawing from this drug. It is not like ANY other drug nor should it EVER be compared to any. I have found this website helpful. http://www.theroadback.org I do not use their supplements. I am taking others although the site has a good list of the withdrawal symptoms of Effexor. It also dissects the "theory of venlafaxine's "half life" as well as the other components of venlafaxine which have different "half lifes" and different chemical withdrawal in a human body including the long term effects. I hope you are feeling better.

Liked by exeffex

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@efexnot

I am glad to see the recent posts on this very old thread. I would like to share a portion of my journey as well. I was on 375mg for about 8 years, and felt very emotionally blunted – not interested in pursuing intimate relationships and such. I am also in a much different place in my life now, and wanted to see what the 'real' me really felt like again.

I designed a very basic titration schedule where I would taper 37.5 milligrams/dose every week. This was working great for a few weeks, and until I got down to 187.50mg. THEN, the withdrawal effects hit me like a ton of bricks – every symptom mentioned – severe tinnitus, headaches, sweats, nausea, tremor, diarrhea, and overwhelming feeling of fear, and anxiety unlike anything I had ever experienced. This went on for nearly a week, and I made a very important decision: There was NO WAY that I wanted to spend another 5 weeks of titration feeling like this.

This is where I am now: 150 mg/day. After this week, I am speeding up the process, and cutting to 75mg for 4 days, then 37.5 for 4 days, then done. I understand that this will be absolutely miserable, but I simply don't have the patience or the time in my life to spend 5 weeks as miserable as I feel right now. I hope I am doing the right thing, and time will tell. Thanks to everyone for sharing your journeys! I will try to stay in touch here.

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What I want to know, is why is this even still on the market?? I know it’s been removed a couple of times but it keeps coming back. Bigpharma at our expense? Hope you all are making it through another day. Still nauseated. Still weird feeling. Still nightmares. Still funky vision/coordination, etc. Good luck. We will get through this!

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Hi, again you brave people. I feel like we are all going into battle against this hideous drug. I weaned down to 37.5 on the 4th and 3 days later I had to go back up to 75. I was so sick I couldn't hold my head up. The headaches and nausea, vomiting and vertigo were very severe. I called my P-Doc and she said to go back on the 75 for another week and try again. So today I started the 37.5 again. I weaned off of Buspirone with no problem at all and did well coming off of the Effexor too until I reached this 37.5 dose. We have been decreasing very slowly. I've been on Effexor for over 25 years and other psych drugs for Bi-Polar disorder and now I have kidney disease..coincidence? I don't know but my doctor said these drugs are hard on the kidneys. Strangely I haven't experienced any emotional problems at all. All physical. Anyway, here I go again. Wish me luck. I hope I won't be back in another week saying I couldn't do it again.xxoo

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@nanke99

Hi! I was on Effexor XR for a few years and got off it several years ago. It was a very difficult process, so I fully sympathize. You MUST wean off
VERY SLOWLY. I don’t remember what my dosage was at the time (225mg?), but it took me about 9 months. Please do not let that long time scare you, it’s worth going slow, that will be your biggest help w/ withdrawal. At the time I had a very difficult time finding any doctor with experience getting people off it.
Luckily I was advised to to find one and luckily I did. It is considered harder to get off than heroine. Not trying to scare you, just want to make sure you go as slow as possible. Mostly, I was moody/angry, had headaches, and some brain “shivers”. The brain shivers I already had while on the meds.
I think we went down in 25mg increments over several weeks for each reduction. Keep us posted and good luck! Just give yourself some time and it will be over before you know it!

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I have been taking Hempworx CBD oil and just weaned off my Effexor having withdraws but so happy I have my oil it has helped so much with my insomnia!

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Try CBD oil! I just bought some and it helps so much with the withdrawals! Just weaned off my Effexor having anxiety but I can sleep so much better

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Make sure you buy 100% pure CBD oil lots out there full of ingredients you don’t need!

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@poisonivy

Hi, again you brave people. I feel like we are all going into battle against this hideous drug. I weaned down to 37.5 on the 4th and 3 days later I had to go back up to 75. I was so sick I couldn't hold my head up. The headaches and nausea, vomiting and vertigo were very severe. I called my P-Doc and she said to go back on the 75 for another week and try again. So today I started the 37.5 again. I weaned off of Buspirone with no problem at all and did well coming off of the Effexor too until I reached this 37.5 dose. We have been decreasing very slowly. I've been on Effexor for over 25 years and other psych drugs for Bi-Polar disorder and now I have kidney disease..coincidence? I don't know but my doctor said these drugs are hard on the kidneys. Strangely I haven't experienced any emotional problems at all. All physical. Anyway, here I go again. Wish me luck. I hope I won't be back in another week saying I couldn't do it again.xxoo

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You’ve got this! We are ALL stronger than this poison! ALL of us. I refuse to let this define me. I want “me” back and I’m going to get me! 🙂

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@poisonivy

Hi, again you brave people. I feel like we are all going into battle against this hideous drug. I weaned down to 37.5 on the 4th and 3 days later I had to go back up to 75. I was so sick I couldn't hold my head up. The headaches and nausea, vomiting and vertigo were very severe. I called my P-Doc and she said to go back on the 75 for another week and try again. So today I started the 37.5 again. I weaned off of Buspirone with no problem at all and did well coming off of the Effexor too until I reached this 37.5 dose. We have been decreasing very slowly. I've been on Effexor for over 25 years and other psych drugs for Bi-Polar disorder and now I have kidney disease..coincidence? I don't know but my doctor said these drugs are hard on the kidneys. Strangely I haven't experienced any emotional problems at all. All physical. Anyway, here I go again. Wish me luck. I hope I won't be back in another week saying I couldn't do it again.xxoo

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@poisonivy Good luck this week, I hope things go better for you.
JK

Liked by poisonivy

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