Tips on minimizing 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

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Depression & Anxiety group.

Thank you @gailb! I have a strong feeling I will be going back on the anti-depressants soon. Finding the right one will be the trick. I’ve taken Citalopram in the past but made me feel too tired & ‘fuzzy’ in the brain. My doctor has mentioned lexapro but I know that causes sweating also and I had enough of that while on Venlaxafine. It feels like a constant battle. Wish there was something that could relieve depression symptoms but not make me feel so tired & fuzzy. Guess it will come down to me dealing with those side effects or making my family miserable. Well, it won’t be the later!

REPLY
@lalyfa

Thank you @gailb! I have a strong feeling I will be going back on the anti-depressants soon. Finding the right one will be the trick. I’ve taken Citalopram in the past but made me feel too tired & ‘fuzzy’ in the brain. My doctor has mentioned lexapro but I know that causes sweating also and I had enough of that while on Venlaxafine. It feels like a constant battle. Wish there was something that could relieve depression symptoms but not make me feel so tired & fuzzy. Guess it will come down to me dealing with those side effects or making my family miserable. Well, it won’t be the later!

Jump to this post

My husband took Effexor and when that didn’t work they switched him to Cymbalta and he is doing better. I have tried over 15 medications and finally found one that works. You will figure out something it just takes time and is hard on the family I agree. Try to keep communication open about how much you are trying to feel better and that your symptoms are not your fault. Wish you well!

REPLY
@lalyfa

Thank you @gailb! I have a strong feeling I will be going back on the anti-depressants soon. Finding the right one will be the trick. I’ve taken Citalopram in the past but made me feel too tired & ‘fuzzy’ in the brain. My doctor has mentioned lexapro but I know that causes sweating also and I had enough of that while on Venlaxafine. It feels like a constant battle. Wish there was something that could relieve depression symptoms but not make me feel so tired & fuzzy. Guess it will come down to me dealing with those side effects or making my family miserable. Well, it won’t be the later!

Jump to this post

thanks. i did wean off –sort of—had to start on lexapro but from my research it is much safer and easier to wean off of when the time comes for that. wish i did not have to take any of them but feel i need for my terrible anxiety (mother's longterm illness, i was caregiver to her and dad, no support from two siblings who live close by, i lost job (s) due to multiple foot surgeries – 5 surgeries in 9 mo to be exact- i know i need something as I am having difficulty handling all of this but i regret ever taking effexor.

REPLY
@lalyfa

Wow, tomorrow will be 4 weeks totally off Effexor. I feel like I take one step forward and two back. Yesterday was pretty bad for me and I almost caved in to calling my doctor to start me back up on something. But I took an ativan before bed, had a great nights sleep, & the world feels good again! Going on a trip today to visit family and I’m so afraid that I’ll spoil the trip with my irritableness, agitation, and ugly mouth. Trying really hard to keep that a bay! The Ativan helps a lot, sure wish is was safe and non-habit forming cuz it seems to work better for me than any of the anti-depresssnts have. Which leaves me in another quandary – do I really have depression or anxiety issues? Ugh, life is hard! Not sure how much longer hubby can handle me w/o meds but hoping to make it till my next dr appt April 4.

Oh when withdrawaubg from Effexor, have any of you experience shortness of breath? Seems like I’m always huffing & puffing these days. Can’t even walk up a flight of stairs without getting out of breath.

Jump to this post

@lalyfa Great going getting off of Effexor. I know someone who was only on it for a short time and even then it took four months to wean off of it. If you try to limit your ativan then hopefully it won't cause addiction. As I have mentioned before I generally take about one a month for a night when I am having a particularly time stopping my mind from whirling, but back in around 2005 I was taking it more frequently not knowing it was addictive and I was going through a tough time. Thankfully I did not get addicted to it.
JK

REPLY
@lalyfa

Thank you @gailb! I have a strong feeling I will be going back on the anti-depressants soon. Finding the right one will be the trick. I’ve taken Citalopram in the past but made me feel too tired & ‘fuzzy’ in the brain. My doctor has mentioned lexapro but I know that causes sweating also and I had enough of that while on Venlaxafine. It feels like a constant battle. Wish there was something that could relieve depression symptoms but not make me feel so tired & fuzzy. Guess it will come down to me dealing with those side effects or making my family miserable. Well, it won’t be the later!

Jump to this post

@imfu From all I have seen on here and from what I heard from someone I know, Effexor seems to do more harm than good. There must be other pharmaceuticals that can provide relief without the troubles caused by Effexor.
JK

REPLY

20 years on this drug. I have quit cold turkey and oh my lord. This is hell, the feelings I would get if I just missed a dose. Wow. This IS HELL . I just want to die it hurts so bad. Everything is firing inside my head. Oh why did I ever allow this to happen.

REPLY
@tambra

20 years on this drug. I have quit cold turkey and oh my lord. This is hell, the feelings I would get if I just missed a dose. Wow. This IS HELL . I just want to die it hurts so bad. Everything is firing inside my head. Oh why did I ever allow this to happen.

Jump to this post

@tambra I'm a Volunteer Mentor and not a medical professional, but I recommend that you go back to taking your last pill. You can cause additional problems for yourself by trying to go cold turkey off medications. You need to get a schedule for withdrawal from your doctor or from your pharmacist. This very important to do. I also recommend that you read through the other comments posted here to find out what others have done to ease their withdrawal. If you continue to have the problems you described, go to an ER or Urgent Care for assistance.

Please let us know what you are doing, and if you are willing let us know more information about your medication, i.e., how much you have been taking, and why you want to get off it.

Gailb
Volunteer Mentor

REPLY

Hi, I have been on Effexor for over 20 years along with Buspirone and Lamictal. I have recently weaned off of Buspirone completely. My Doctor is now weaning me off of Effector. I was on 150 mg once a day and she reduced it to 75 mg. It has been 2 weeks and I have had no symptoms of withdrawal at all so far. I am nervous about what's to come when the drug is reduced more. I am so glad that I've found this site and can connect with others who are also weaning from Effexor.

REPLY
@tambra

20 years on this drug. I have quit cold turkey and oh my lord. This is hell, the feelings I would get if I just missed a dose. Wow. This IS HELL . I just want to die it hurts so bad. Everything is firing inside my head. Oh why did I ever allow this to happen.

Jump to this post

Welcome to Connect, @tambra.
I echo Mentor @gailb's message; if you scroll through posts in this discussion, you will read about the benefits of gradually weaning off Effexor, rather than stopping all at once. I'm confident that @arachel @lilmac44 @cwaudio @lukekee and others in this group will join in and share their insights as well.

REPLY

Welcome @poisonivy.
I'm so glad you've joined Connect, and shared great insights about weaning off Effexor. From personal experience, I can tell you that there are practically no significant side effects when you gradually wean off, under your doctor's supervision.
We look forward to getting to know you; may I ask what led to taking these medications?

REPLY
@tambra

20 years on this drug. I have quit cold turkey and oh my lord. This is hell, the feelings I would get if I just missed a dose. Wow. This IS HELL . I just want to die it hurts so bad. Everything is firing inside my head. Oh why did I ever allow this to happen.

Jump to this post

I totally agree about the weaning. I only took Effexor for around 3 month @ 75 mg.

When I knew it wasn’t going to help me I wanted to just stop but the side effects made me change my mind and I started weaning myself.

I can’t imagine just stopping cold turkey after 20 years on it. That sounds dangerous.

You definitely need to talk to your doctor but regardless of what he/she says you will feel much better if you go off it gradually.

I know it’s frustrating to have to take the time to wean off it but it will be to your benefit to do so and may prevent you from going to hospital from your withdrawal symptoms.

Good luck and remember there are many other people going through what you are on this forum that will do their best to help you.

REPLY
@kanaazpereira

Welcome @poisonivy.
I'm so glad you've joined Connect, and shared great insights about weaning off Effexor. From personal experience, I can tell you that there are practically no significant side effects when you gradually wean off, under your doctor's supervision.
We look forward to getting to know you; may I ask what led to taking these medications?

Jump to this post

Thank you! I was diagnosed with Bi-Polar 2. I was put on many types of medication but Effector was the first. I've had 12 ECT treatments which is another topic altogether. Two years ago I started treatment with a new Psychiatrist and we both agree I have probably been misdiagnosed.
I now have chronic kidney disease and the medications are hard on the kidneys. That is why I am weaning off.

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.
  Request Appointment