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

@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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Make sure you get full spectrum pure 100% CBD oil no added ingredients , there are a lot of different companies selling brands that have added ingredients that our bodies don’t need or want! Your doctor will know what is best!

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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!

Jump to this post

If you want to talk more about CBD oil please send me an email and I would love to help you!

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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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Thank you so much…I needed your encouragent and inspiration

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@nanke99

Sure, my pleasure! I would not go cold turkey! Not just the pain but the mental & emotional effects are unpredictable and could be dangerous. Do you have a doctor experienced with this? It is important to find one with specific experience w/ Effexor withdraw. When I did it years ago, there were very few, but now you should be able to.
What is your current doctor saying?

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You can also check with your pharmacist. They often know much more about how to withdraw from medications than physicians. I know you need to withdraw VERY SLOWLY from Effexor over as long as a year. Because of the way it's metabolized, it is extremely difficult to withdraw from. For that reason, you need to be under the care of a doctor and/or have the advice of a pharmacist.

I have used CBD tincture (oil) to help me withdraw from Tramadol 50 mg. I slowly cut back on the number of pills I took each day and even went down to 1/2 pill, and then 1/4 pill at the end. The CBD oil helped with the inevitable anxiety, restlessness and muscle cramps I was experiencing. I only buy CBD oil made from 100% Cannabis, not Hemp. It has a ratio of 5:55 THC:CBD, and it works very well. It does take up to 2 hrs to take effect after taking it under your tongue. For me it was effective after about an hour.

Also, for the person (@sadiesmom) taking Gabapentin to help, please be careful. For me it was harder getting off Gabapentin than Tramadol. I think that Gabapentin is really a bad drug, at least it was for me.

Good luck everyone getting off drugs. I have decided to stay on my Citalopram antidepressant for the rest of my life. I needed it and after I began taking it my panic attacks stopped. I've had no side effects and I am a better person with it.

Gail
Volunteer Mentor

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@carmel0corn

Finally Effexor free!!! It took me 1.5 months- started at 150mg and then removed an increasing amount of the tiny beads in the ER capsule. Week 1: down to 100mg Week 2: 75mg Week 3: 50mg Week 4- 25mg and then I finally just stopped last Wednesday

To say this has been a journey would be an understatement. I always took my Effexor at night and some days the symptoms would escalate right before it was time for my last dose. If I was having particularly bad vertigo or nausea I would increase my tapered dose just a bit to get through that day. I’m still getting brain zaps and vertigo but nowhere near when I first started tapering down. Insomnia is something new – I could sleep 12hoira a day on Effexor with no issues but now I can sleep just 5 hours and wake up feeling ready to go. My emotions are coming back full swing too HELLO THERE ANXIETY! It’s so bizarre having these feelings and passions return after a year of being on Effexor. My friends and family have been warned and I’m quick to let them know if I’m feeling anxious (mostly in the car).

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I've heard of other people decreasing the beads in their capsules. How did you know how many to remove each week?

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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!

Jump to this post

@lynnardgirl — you may also use the private messaging (PM) function on Connect, if you'd like to correspond with members more privately/individually that way.

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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!

Jump to this post

You can private message me here on Connect, if you'd like.

REPLY
@carmel0corn

Finally Effexor free!!! It took me 1.5 months- started at 150mg and then removed an increasing amount of the tiny beads in the ER capsule. Week 1: down to 100mg Week 2: 75mg Week 3: 50mg Week 4- 25mg and then I finally just stopped last Wednesday

To say this has been a journey would be an understatement. I always took my Effexor at night and some days the symptoms would escalate right before it was time for my last dose. If I was having particularly bad vertigo or nausea I would increase my tapered dose just a bit to get through that day. I’m still getting brain zaps and vertigo but nowhere near when I first started tapering down. Insomnia is something new – I could sleep 12hoira a day on Effexor with no issues but now I can sleep just 5 hours and wake up feeling ready to go. My emotions are coming back full swing too HELLO THERE ANXIETY! It’s so bizarre having these feelings and passions return after a year of being on Effexor. My friends and family have been warned and I’m quick to let them know if I’m feeling anxious (mostly in the car).

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@fluffyfontaine, I thot of that too. I actually counted how many were in a capsule and thought that decreasing by groups of 10 would be easy enough. However, after reading that people were still experiencing withdrawal symptoms especially the brain zaps months after being off Effexor, I think a better way is to take a more effective drug/supplement (that is easy to wean off of) while cutting back like CBD oil. I just don’t know where to find someone with experience to guide me.

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@carmel0corn

Finally Effexor free!!! It took me 1.5 months- started at 150mg and then removed an increasing amount of the tiny beads in the ER capsule. Week 1: down to 100mg Week 2: 75mg Week 3: 50mg Week 4- 25mg and then I finally just stopped last Wednesday

To say this has been a journey would be an understatement. I always took my Effexor at night and some days the symptoms would escalate right before it was time for my last dose. If I was having particularly bad vertigo or nausea I would increase my tapered dose just a bit to get through that day. I’m still getting brain zaps and vertigo but nowhere near when I first started tapering down. Insomnia is something new – I could sleep 12hoira a day on Effexor with no issues but now I can sleep just 5 hours and wake up feeling ready to go. My emotions are coming back full swing too HELLO THERE ANXIETY! It’s so bizarre having these feelings and passions return after a year of being on Effexor. My friends and family have been warned and I’m quick to let them know if I’m feeling anxious (mostly in the car).

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You may have read my previous posts about my nightmare with Effexor withdrawal. It's a long and slow process and if you know that in the beginning, I think you will be much better in the journey. As of 2 weeks ago I am antidepressant free after the withdrawal of Effexor on to Lexapro. What I have read about these antidepressants truly opened my eyes as to how powerful and toxic they are. It doesn't take weeks to withdraw…..it takes MONTHS and maybe even a year. But don't let that scare you. Each day is a struggle but there is light at the end of the long, dark tunnel. I still struggle with anxiety due to life losses and have been doing research on CBD oil. I ordered a small bottle and haven't had the "nerve" to try it yet. I think I will start drop by drop at night until I figure out how it's going. I'm retired and having too much time on my hands is my demon….but only I can control how I spend my days. It's going to take a major lifestyle change to get me back into life again but I can do it. I'll keep you posted on the CBD oil usage. It's not a sure fix by any means. At all. But I truly want to be pharmaceutical free and am considering consulting with a holistic care provider. Life isn't easy for anyone and it's almost a living hell when you face tragedy after tragedy ….. don't be afraid to ask for help. That has been my biggest "stumbling block". Because those who don't face anxiety and depression don't have a clue. Communication is key to anything to be successful. I gave my family lots of material to READ about my situation because everyone kept telling me to "just get over it." That would be a magical moment for me but I know that some losses in life we just don't ever get over (child loss). As the saying goes, 'Birds of a feather flock together'. Find a great support group, make phone calls and ASK for visits when you are struggling. My friends have seen me at my worst….not showered for a week, in my pj's, house a wreck because I can't function, but that didn't matter to me like it once did. There was a time when I wouldn't have let ANYONE see me in the condition I have been in but I had to recognize that what I have is an illness….not a choice. So, if you have the flu, cancer, diabetes, or whatever, folks are going to accept your appearance and your situation as part of that illness. It's the same with mental issues….And for those who can't or won't accept you for what you are, you don't need them. I have met strangers who have uplifted me more than my own flesh and blood. But it's because I reached out and was truly rewarded by angels who "get me". In today's world, I feel like everyone is struggling with something….but many wear a good mask to cover it up….but you can only hide behind that mask for so long until all hell breaks loose….stay the course, have faith, seek help even when you don't want to, educate yourself on what you're putting in your body; good and bad. Get some exercise even if it's only walking up and down the stairs once or twice a day…..I have had days when that was my biggest accomplishment….doing a load of laundry or two and going up and down my 10 steps to and from the basement. My fatigue is debilitating….but it's not a place that I want to stay….I want to live my life….I want to be the best mom to my daughter that I can be. I want to be the best daughter, sibling and friend that I can be. I want to live the life my son didn't get to live…I just need a little help along the way….hugs to everyone who struggles ….

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@carmel0corn

Finally Effexor free!!! It took me 1.5 months- started at 150mg and then removed an increasing amount of the tiny beads in the ER capsule. Week 1: down to 100mg Week 2: 75mg Week 3: 50mg Week 4- 25mg and then I finally just stopped last Wednesday

To say this has been a journey would be an understatement. I always took my Effexor at night and some days the symptoms would escalate right before it was time for my last dose. If I was having particularly bad vertigo or nausea I would increase my tapered dose just a bit to get through that day. I’m still getting brain zaps and vertigo but nowhere near when I first started tapering down. Insomnia is something new – I could sleep 12hoira a day on Effexor with no issues but now I can sleep just 5 hours and wake up feeling ready to go. My emotions are coming back full swing too HELLO THERE ANXIETY! It’s so bizarre having these feelings and passions return after a year of being on Effexor. My friends and family have been warned and I’m quick to let them know if I’m feeling anxious (mostly in the car).

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@sadiesmom so true. there are some losses in life that we do not get over. Also true about others wom cannot accept weaknesses in others. For so long I was able to keep the "mask" up. No longer able to do so. Fatigue is an awful thing. My mind tells my body I am not so weary. My body will not listen any more. Does this mean I am so weak that my body cannot listen to my mind? I have no history of thus.
Thank you for your words…hugs to you amidst your struggles. My children are all grown and parents are no longer living. If I had much I would be loved. I do not and if wealth means love and acceptance many of us are surely lost.
any help i have tried has turned into harm or rejection. I have come to acknowledge I am my own reliable support. Pretty sad, but safe.

Liked by kygirl25

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@lynnardgirl

How do I know if it’s withdrawal that I seem to be having or need to get back on my meds! Scared don’t want to get back on Effexor taking CBD oil and helps so much! During morning hrs and late into the afternoon I have like a hyperactive unsettled feeling! Goes away late afternoon but driving me crazy

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Could you email me. I have some question about the oil you use. Thank you!

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@carmel0corn

Finally Effexor free!!! It took me 1.5 months- started at 150mg and then removed an increasing amount of the tiny beads in the ER capsule. Week 1: down to 100mg Week 2: 75mg Week 3: 50mg Week 4- 25mg and then I finally just stopped last Wednesday

To say this has been a journey would be an understatement. I always took my Effexor at night and some days the symptoms would escalate right before it was time for my last dose. If I was having particularly bad vertigo or nausea I would increase my tapered dose just a bit to get through that day. I’m still getting brain zaps and vertigo but nowhere near when I first started tapering down. Insomnia is something new – I could sleep 12hoira a day on Effexor with no issues but now I can sleep just 5 hours and wake up feeling ready to go. My emotions are coming back full swing too HELLO THERE ANXIETY! It’s so bizarre having these feelings and passions return after a year of being on Effexor. My friends and family have been warned and I’m quick to let them know if I’m feeling anxious (mostly in the car).

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@sadiesmom what a great accomplishment to get off these drugs. I know it must have been extremely difficult. I presume they were prescribed for a good reason so I wonder, has that improved? If not how are you managing now that you are free of these demon drugs? I do have a person with whom I am very close who is on some of these drugs, not Effexor thankfully, but if they help a person manage their life how does a person who has been taking them manage once they get off?
I hope you don't mind my questions, this is a topic I am so ignorant about but I really do want to understand. Thank you.
JK

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@carmel0corn

Finally Effexor free!!! It took me 1.5 months- started at 150mg and then removed an increasing amount of the tiny beads in the ER capsule. Week 1: down to 100mg Week 2: 75mg Week 3: 50mg Week 4- 25mg and then I finally just stopped last Wednesday

To say this has been a journey would be an understatement. I always took my Effexor at night and some days the symptoms would escalate right before it was time for my last dose. If I was having particularly bad vertigo or nausea I would increase my tapered dose just a bit to get through that day. I’m still getting brain zaps and vertigo but nowhere near when I first started tapering down. Insomnia is something new – I could sleep 12hoira a day on Effexor with no issues but now I can sleep just 5 hours and wake up feeling ready to go. My emotions are coming back full swing too HELLO THERE ANXIETY! It’s so bizarre having these feelings and passions return after a year of being on Effexor. My friends and family have been warned and I’m quick to let them know if I’m feeling anxious (mostly in the car).

Jump to this post

I counted a full 150mg dose = 300 tiny beads- so I made a chart that counted from 300 down to 0 on a sticky note and put it on my bathroom mirror. Every day I would taper I would mark off on the sticky note til I was down to 50 little beads = 25mg. Finally, advice I got from this thread was to just rip that bandaid!

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Not quite a month Effexor free and I find myself crying in the car when a corny country song comes on… I realize while I’m blubbering that I hadn’t cried in over a year because I was on Effexor. I lost my temper today too- all internally but it got it the point where I needed to take a nap to calm myself down. I think I might have to take caffeine out of my diet next, I’ve noticed the more I drink coffee and tea, the more I notice symptoms

Liked by exeffex

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@carmel0corn

Finally Effexor free!!! It took me 1.5 months- started at 150mg and then removed an increasing amount of the tiny beads in the ER capsule. Week 1: down to 100mg Week 2: 75mg Week 3: 50mg Week 4- 25mg and then I finally just stopped last Wednesday

To say this has been a journey would be an understatement. I always took my Effexor at night and some days the symptoms would escalate right before it was time for my last dose. If I was having particularly bad vertigo or nausea I would increase my tapered dose just a bit to get through that day. I’m still getting brain zaps and vertigo but nowhere near when I first started tapering down. Insomnia is something new – I could sleep 12hoira a day on Effexor with no issues but now I can sleep just 5 hours and wake up feeling ready to go. My emotions are coming back full swing too HELLO THERE ANXIETY! It’s so bizarre having these feelings and passions return after a year of being on Effexor. My friends and family have been warned and I’m quick to let them know if I’m feeling anxious (mostly in the car).

Jump to this post

How much did you cut down daily? How were your symptoms?

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