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

@jsprosise

Please, please, please try with this method. 7 days taking Effexor in addition to Prozac… Then stop the Effexor. I have stop numerous times with this pro cess and have yet to experience withdrawal . My problem….went back to feeling lousy and went back to effexer because no other drug would help….Good luck!

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How long were you on Effexor before weaning off this way and what was your dose?

@lisalucier

Hi, @sarnm, and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I think that members like @efexnot @efexfreeforever @ladislara @brightwings @nanke99 and @gwenaloveseveryone2 may have some thoughts to share about how the path tapering off venlafaxine (Effexor) goes and any suggestions they might have.

How has this week on 150 mg gone, overall for you, with the taper down?

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@sarnm — Really glad to hear you've experienced nothing too bad with the taper off of venlafaxine (Effexor) this week.

You mentioned medical marijuana and a question of how it might facilitate the taper off of venlafaxine (Effexor).

Here is a Mayo Clinic video on the general topic of medical marijuana, if you're interested.
https://bit.ly/2GaY94q

When is your next taper down?

I’ve been on Effexor for 16 years at 225 mg. I’m starting to get headaches and feeling a little Grumpy. I’ll try to stick out this doseage till I see my psychiatrist in July. Best to others on this path.

@sarnm

I’ve been on Effexor for 16 years at 225 mg. I’m starting to get headaches and feeling a little Grumpy. I’ll try to stick out this doseage till I see my psychiatrist in July. Best to others on this path.

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My husband has been on Effexor for 16 years on 150mg. He’s gone from 150 to 37.5 mg in 2 months. He’s had some side effects and doesn’t feel good but he keeps going and getting better. He’s using Tylenol pm for sleep issues and electric feeling in his legs. It sucks but his nausea and dizziness has pretty much stopped. Just keep going. You can do this.

@jsprosise

Please, please, please try with this method. 7 days taking Effexor in addition to Prozac… Then stop the Effexor. I have stop numerous times with this pro cess and have yet to experience withdrawal . My problem….went back to feeling lousy and went back to effexer because no other drug would help….Good luck!

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I have been on Effexor ( 150 ER)for about 15 years, stopping 4 or five times for a day up 2 weeks. With the Prozac and combination for 7 days, then stopping effexer with NO WITHDRAWAL….Give it a Try.

Thank you all for the support and sharing what has worked. I don’t want to get on Prozac … want to get off antidepressants if possible. I wish all on this quest success, health, and happiness.

@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 am weaning off Effexor, down to 37.5 mgs from 225 mgs this past winter, and using a marijuana candy with THC to help me. I didn't find any relief from anxiety with the CBD oil but my daughter does. I live in a marijuana legal state and am so grateful! I only need 1/2 of a gummy square (5 mgs THC) twice a week. That's compared to the over 1500 mgs per week of the Effexor, and I feel so much better! So I never thought I'd be in this position, but I'm becoming a cannabis evangelist! I'm just starting week 2 of the low dose Effexor and don't feel wonderful, but I really don't think I'd be doing near this well without the THC. I know you asked about CBD but if you have access to THC …

@sarnm

I’ve been on Effexor for 16 years at 225 mg. I’m starting to get headaches and feeling a little Grumpy. I’ll try to stick out this doseage till I see my psychiatrist in July. Best to others on this path.

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I'm also down to 37.5 from 150mg. Does your husband plan to continue to taper down to 0? I'm afraid to keep going right now because I've been experiencing panic attacks and I'm a bit grumpy and snappy. I wonder how long to wait before these symptoms subside and I can get rid of this drug once and for all. Do keep us posted on your husband's progress. I'm clinging to every hope. Good luck to him.

Can anyone share their experience with how long your withdrawal symptoms lasted when you finally completed your taper down to zero mg? I'm stuck at 37.5 mg and hesitate to move on because I'm afraid that my panic attacks and grumpiness will get worse or, God forbid, not go away at all. I read your replies and use your encouraging feedback to get me through. Please share. Thanks so much.

@sarnm

I’ve been on Effexor for 16 years at 225 mg. I’m starting to get headaches and feeling a little Grumpy. I’ll try to stick out this doseage till I see my psychiatrist in July. Best to others on this path.

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Yes he plans on getting down to 0. So far he hasn’t really had too bad of symptoms. Joint pain, ( just feeling strange), very difficult time sleeping, some nausea. He’s had 2 days where he threw up a lot, but nothing he isnt willing to go through to get off this stuff. He hasn’t said he feels panic attacks but he explains it as just feeling weird and he has restless leg syndrome that drives him crazy st night. But he’s going to try and get off this junk. My husband was misdiagnosed with bipolar and now we realize this. He hasn’t had any bipolar issues at all coming off this stuff. He was even on depakote but stopped taking that 2 months ago. You can do this. Just keep trucking along. You’ll get this and I’ll keep you posted. Let me know how you’re doing as well

@arachel

Can anyone share their experience with how long your withdrawal symptoms lasted when you finally completed your taper down to zero mg? I'm stuck at 37.5 mg and hesitate to move on because I'm afraid that my panic attacks and grumpiness will get worse or, God forbid, not go away at all. I read your replies and use your encouraging feedback to get me through. Please share. Thanks so much.

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I take 75mg a day for hot flashes. However I have so much weight and now have dry mouth. I blame both on Effexor How did you cut back to 37.5?

@arachel

Can anyone share their experience with how long your withdrawal symptoms lasted when you finally completed your taper down to zero mg? I'm stuck at 37.5 mg and hesitate to move on because I'm afraid that my panic attacks and grumpiness will get worse or, God forbid, not go away at all. I read your replies and use your encouraging feedback to get me through. Please share. Thanks so much.

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Why did Efexor change to Age 🙁

@lisalucier

Hi, @sarnm, and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I think that members like @efexnot @efexfreeforever @ladislara @brightwings @nanke99 and @gwenaloveseveryone2 may have some thoughts to share about how the path tapering off venlafaxine (Effexor) goes and any suggestions they might have.

How has this week on 150 mg gone, overall for you, with the taper down?

Jump to this post

@sarnm I live in Washington State and marijuana is legal for recreational and I'm using it to help me wean off Effexor. I've gotten down from 225 mg to 37.5 mg in a short time frame. I take 5 mgs THC about twice a week. For comparison I think a joint has around 500 mgs THC. It doesn't make me high, just sleepy so I have it at night. My only Effexor weaning side effect is occasional foggy head. This is a HUGE improvement over the other times trying to get off. I actually feel less anxiety and depression than I did with the high dose of Effexor! I never thought I'd say this but I wish everyone could have legal access to marijuana!!

@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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Gail, please let us all know how you do ….Betcha do great!!!!!!

I don’t have tips because I’m only 5 days into my weaning off process. I’ve tried numerous times in the past, but always gave up due to the withdrawal side effects. I’ve successfully gone from 225 to 150 mg without any effects at all. 5 days ago I went from 150 to 112.5mg and the unpleasant physical effects started appearing yesterday. My brain feels like it’s in a vice grip and no painkiller is alleviating the discomfort. The vertigo and nausea have also begun.

I’m really disappointed that here in Canada (I don’t know if this is the case in the US as well), immediate release Effexor tablets are no longer available; I was counting on using them for this process. How I’m going to wean with capsules is beyond me.

Right now I want to die and it’s only the beginning. Ugh.

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