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

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@fighter

Do you get counselling by a psychologist or licensed mental health worker? This is needed along with medication.

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I’m not sure who you’re asking, but I’m getting therapy with a resident Psychiatrist that I think is going well. The Therapy preface is unearthing stuffed feelings. I’m super numb. My adult daughter helps immensely, too. She’s an English, and gender and women studies major and is gifted with the humanities. She sees and understands people so well. I’m an environmental science major and I struggle with humanity! They keep destroying things! What’s wrong with them! We need the humanities in our lives.

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@shermananski

You’re absolutely right. The work thing is tied into the cycle. I’m confident I can do the job well, just not today. And just not today is usually good enough, but my identity is tied up in getting that “A” for performance and well I’m not there so much anymore. But I don't give myself credit either. So Around I go! That’s hard on my psyche and depression. I need to be conscious and aware of that.

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100 percent agree

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@hopeful33250

Hello @linxy

Welcome to Mayo Connect! I’m so happy that you found this online patient support group. I especially appreciate your sharing your story about your withdrawal from this med. Mayo Connect is a place where we all learn from each other and your experience of withdrawal from Venlafaxine/Effexor is a good one to share! I’m so glad to hear that you found a doctor who could work with you so effectively and could provide other meds to help you through the withdrawal process. Please share with us, if you are comfortable doing so, what you mean by “brain zaps”?

Teresa

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My doctor suggested in 2013 that I use Venlafaxine for my hotflashes. During the last two weeks of Novvember of 2019 I began to feel itching sensation all over my body. I spoke to my doctor with my concerns and was told to take benedryl. Well that didn't work. I knew then I was having an allergic reaction to to this med. I began to research how I could help myself and found this site to be very helpful. So I'm weaning myself off this medicine from hell. What doctor tells a patient to stop talking medication without fully stating the full side effects of doing so.

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Hello fellow writers! I've been on Effexor for over 5 years now, and despite good results in the beginning, the emotional blunting. depersonalization, and malaise side effects have finally outweighed the benefits. I've started a tapering program this week, and am wondering if anyone can tell me what it is like to be completely off of this. Do emotions and connection and energy come back? I really hope I am doing the right thing…

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@sae38424

Hello fellow writers! I've been on Effexor for over 5 years now, and despite good results in the beginning, the emotional blunting. depersonalization, and malaise side effects have finally outweighed the benefits. I've started a tapering program this week, and am wondering if anyone can tell me what it is like to be completely off of this. Do emotions and connection and energy come back? I really hope I am doing the right thing…

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You are tapering first the same reason as myself. First and foremost, taper EXTREMELY SLOWLY to be successful. As I’ve written several times over the years I’ve been in the forum, it took me (on purpose) 18 months to taper off the last 37.5 mg capsule. I did this by opening it up and slowly taking out more and more beads. I had zero negative effects of the withdrawal.

All that being said, I am a person who is bipolar. THOSE symptoms came back after 6 months of being completely off Effexor.

BUT, my libido came back and i feel more myself these days despite being back on antidepressants and other meds.

I do t like being on anything – period. But for my family and life, seroquel and zoloft are working for me and I DO like that combo better than Effexor.

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Hello, this is my first time posting, in a effort to gain some insight, as i'm suffering. I'm a father of 2 great boys and same common law spouse for 20years. I've been on anti depressant medication since my teens (i'm 42 now)for ocd/anxiety (pure O) first, anafranil,(and some benzo's) then zoloft, then celexa, then cipralex(didn't work), then effexor, which kindof half works.. finally in 2015,I had some elevated stress due to home renovations, and after they were finished i decided to see if i could fly on my own. I got very tired of the up's and downs by switching meds and the depersolization /derealization, which is scary on it's own!… I decided i would do whatever it takes to heal myself and not mask my symptoms anymore with a drug. (yes, that's what they do).. anyways, i got my hormones checked, i was very low in T, so now i do injections which i find is a piece of the puzzle and helps alot with concentration/focus. So for the past year, my focus has been on hormones/overall health, fitness, diet and i want to restart my mindfulness practice. I'm at a point now where i'm on a subclinical dose of effexor XR of 37.5. i did the drop from 75 to 37.5 a few months back(which i now know was too much), and got extremely angry and agitated. but it passed, and all was "ok" for the holidays.. then 2020 Jan 1st rolls around and ouch. i now deal with anxiety from the time i wake up sometimes, till i go to bed. with my ocd themes coming back, not to mention some new ones. i'm shaking all the time, and basically unable to function. it's quite terrifying. the anxiety and ocd is so intense at times, that it i roll up into a little ball and just "suffer".

My question is, i know OCD is it's own beast and i'm aware and doing ERP and therapy i have a psych etc. but..

is it possible to live without effexor or an anti depressant after having been on it for so long? especially when you have OCD?

is my current suffering still due to my taper from 75 to 37.5 2-3 months ago?

My battle here is that much more scary because i don't know if there's a light at the end of the tunnel or if i will need to go back on another antidepressant.. ie: if it's worth it at all (back to my original goal of being able to make it without the AD's) … also, if i have to go back i'm afraid perhaps the anti depressants will not work anymore because i've been on them for so long and built up a tolerance..

i feel like i'm missing out on my kids (youth) etc.. and other things.. also, the wife has her own issues.. not only in suporting me, but the kids can be very challenging. and dealing with them when you are a ball of anxiety yourself is very challenging. bottom line, it's affecting every aspect of my life and the climate at home has changed because of it..I can't support my spouse when SHE needs it…. very hard when anxiety won't let up at all.. she's' been carrying the family for some time now and it's starting to take it's toll. sorry, that last part is a little rant.

thanks for reading

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Yes! I do. I am 63 and on Venlafaxine for over 10 years!!! I did a sloooow taper off from150 to 75 to 1/2 a 75 to 1/4 of a 75. The first 2 weeks were horrid. Morning sickness, throwing up. Nauseated all the time, no appetite, lost weight. Chills, tremors, vertigo, ears ringing. Light headed and dizzy. Totally disoriented and felt disconnected to things around me. Bobble head syndrome when moving head or eyes. NO brain zaps! Thank goodness. Sour taste in mouth was soooo bad. MyND prescribes Zofran for nausea. A friend gave me a bottle of CBD tincture and a couple of edible gummies to try anD help me feel better. It helped immensely so I decided it was time to use my arthritis neck and thumb pain to get a Medical Marijuana card. Thank goodness. My chronic arthritis pain of neck and thumbs improved. I used CBD tincture 3-4 times a day and THC tincture 2 times a day. CBD – THC 2:1 ratio. I immediately felt better. Still required lottsa rest, but the MM has helped me get past the worst part and now I am a month without that NASTY 🤢 drug. I am not 100% yet but I am markedly improved from 2 weeks go whenever I addd in the CBD – THC. I am hoping over the next week I will begin to feel more of myself and less upset from the withdrawal symptoms. If I had only known to do this immediately Imwould have suffer d a lot less and probably felt better sooner.

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@secretwhitepop

You are tapering first the same reason as myself. First and foremost, taper EXTREMELY SLOWLY to be successful. As I’ve written several times over the years I’ve been in the forum, it took me (on purpose) 18 months to taper off the last 37.5 mg capsule. I did this by opening it up and slowly taking out more and more beads. I had zero negative effects of the withdrawal.

All that being said, I am a person who is bipolar. THOSE symptoms came back after 6 months of being completely off Effexor.

BUT, my libido came back and i feel more myself these days despite being back on antidepressants and other meds.

I do t like being on anything – period. But for my family and life, seroquel and zoloft are working for me and I DO like that combo better than Effexor.

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Try homeopathic remedies for Bi-polar. Dr. Tara Peyman ND specialty is Bipolar disorder.

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@cp6401

Hello, this is my first time posting, in a effort to gain some insight, as i'm suffering. I'm a father of 2 great boys and same common law spouse for 20years. I've been on anti depressant medication since my teens (i'm 42 now)for ocd/anxiety (pure O) first, anafranil,(and some benzo's) then zoloft, then celexa, then cipralex(didn't work), then effexor, which kindof half works.. finally in 2015,I had some elevated stress due to home renovations, and after they were finished i decided to see if i could fly on my own. I got very tired of the up's and downs by switching meds and the depersolization /derealization, which is scary on it's own!… I decided i would do whatever it takes to heal myself and not mask my symptoms anymore with a drug. (yes, that's what they do).. anyways, i got my hormones checked, i was very low in T, so now i do injections which i find is a piece of the puzzle and helps alot with concentration/focus. So for the past year, my focus has been on hormones/overall health, fitness, diet and i want to restart my mindfulness practice. I'm at a point now where i'm on a subclinical dose of effexor XR of 37.5. i did the drop from 75 to 37.5 a few months back(which i now know was too much), and got extremely angry and agitated. but it passed, and all was "ok" for the holidays.. then 2020 Jan 1st rolls around and ouch. i now deal with anxiety from the time i wake up sometimes, till i go to bed. with my ocd themes coming back, not to mention some new ones. i'm shaking all the time, and basically unable to function. it's quite terrifying. the anxiety and ocd is so intense at times, that it i roll up into a little ball and just "suffer".

My question is, i know OCD is it's own beast and i'm aware and doing ERP and therapy i have a psych etc. but..

is it possible to live without effexor or an anti depressant after having been on it for so long? especially when you have OCD?

is my current suffering still due to my taper from 75 to 37.5 2-3 months ago?

My battle here is that much more scary because i don't know if there's a light at the end of the tunnel or if i will need to go back on another antidepressant.. ie: if it's worth it at all (back to my original goal of being able to make it without the AD's) … also, if i have to go back i'm afraid perhaps the anti depressants will not work anymore because i've been on them for so long and built up a tolerance..

i feel like i'm missing out on my kids (youth) etc.. and other things.. also, the wife has her own issues.. not only in suporting me, but the kids can be very challenging. and dealing with them when you are a ball of anxiety yourself is very challenging. bottom line, it's affecting every aspect of my life and the climate at home has changed because of it..I can't support my spouse when SHE needs it…. very hard when anxiety won't let up at all.. she's' been carrying the family for some time now and it's starting to take it's toll. sorry, that last part is a little rant.

thanks for reading

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Get a MM card. Cannabinoids are miraculous healers.

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@cbreeze930

Yes! I do. I am 63 and on Venlafaxine for over 10 years!!! I did a sloooow taper off from150 to 75 to 1/2 a 75 to 1/4 of a 75. The first 2 weeks were horrid. Morning sickness, throwing up. Nauseated all the time, no appetite, lost weight. Chills, tremors, vertigo, ears ringing. Light headed and dizzy. Totally disoriented and felt disconnected to things around me. Bobble head syndrome when moving head or eyes. NO brain zaps! Thank goodness. Sour taste in mouth was soooo bad. MyND prescribes Zofran for nausea. A friend gave me a bottle of CBD tincture and a couple of edible gummies to try anD help me feel better. It helped immensely so I decided it was time to use my arthritis neck and thumb pain to get a Medical Marijuana card. Thank goodness. My chronic arthritis pain of neck and thumbs improved. I used CBD tincture 3-4 times a day and THC tincture 2 times a day. CBD – THC 2:1 ratio. I immediately felt better. Still required lottsa rest, but the MM has helped me get past the worst part and now I am a month without that NASTY 🤢 drug. I am not 100% yet but I am markedly improved from 2 weeks go whenever I addd in the CBD – THC. I am hoping over the next week I will begin to feel more of myself and less upset from the withdrawal symptoms. If I had only known to do this immediately Imwould have suffer d a lot less and probably felt better sooner.

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Hi cbreeze, glad the CBD is working. My sister is finding it relieves her jaw pain as well. Just a caveat – for those of us with glaucoma – it's not an option – ugh. CBD causes a 4 hour spike in pressures – so even though early research pointed to relieving glaucoma – now the research has swung the other way.

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