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

@fussellp

I am just wondering if anyone has had success from getting off Venlafaxine ER- I was prescribed this to help with hot flashes 5 – 6 months ago. It worked great and then one weekend I forgot to bring my pills with me out of town and it made me so sick. I decided I would rather have hot flashes than to take something that makes me so sick. This has been such a terrible experience. I slowly lowered the dose and 2 days ago stopped taking it completely. I seriously am so ill. Any suggestions of how to ease the symptoms?

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@fussellp – Hello! I am day 3 post-venlafaxine (but who is counting, right!!? 🙂

Thanks so much for sharing and I am so sorry that you are going through this. I am not only an ex-venlafaxine-user, but also a prescriber. Mea culpa for prescribing venlafaxine for hot flashes, too. The literature (scientific studies) are very positive about using venlafaxine for this purpose, and I remember feeling excited for having found an alternative to hormone therapy for hot flashes and perimenopausal symptoms. It is true, as you have noted that venlafaxine does work in this regard, HOWEVER, and this is a really big HOWEVER, venlafaxine therapy does have its consequences that I personally know about all too well. In the future, I will rarely prescribe it for this purpose anymore, and now only after very carefully screening the patient and after thoroughly educating them on the consequences. I am uniquely qualified to provide this education now…

With respect to easing the symptoms of withdrawal, I posted some proposed pharamacotherapeutic options you may wish to discuss with your prescriber – that post is currently on page 39 [someone please tell me how to make those cool short Mayo links…] (https://connect.mayoclinic.org/comment-redirect/100402) The options I mention come with their own consequences, so be very careful. For non-pharmaceutical relief, I encourage you to talk sincerely with loved ones about what you are going through, and try to stay very busy with positive activities. e.g. I am currently distracting myself by building and caring for a garden, The best thing for this, I think is simply time. Every day is another day closer to your goal.

Hang in there, and thanks again so much for sharing!

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@fussellp

I am just wondering if anyone has had success from getting off Venlafaxine ER- I was prescribed this to help with hot flashes 5 – 6 months ago. It worked great and then one weekend I forgot to bring my pills with me out of town and it made me so sick. I decided I would rather have hot flashes than to take something that makes me so sick. This has been such a terrible experience. I slowly lowered the dose and 2 days ago stopped taking it completely. I seriously am so ill. Any suggestions of how to ease the symptoms?

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Hi, @efexnot — thanks for this helpful info for @fussellp.

I'd you'd like to copy the link for a specific post on Mayo Clinic Connect, click on the bookmark symbol under the post (by "Manage" and the heart, for "like"). You will note that one option is to copy the link address. Choose that option and you'll be able to refer members right to that exact post.

If you wish to have a shorter, less ungainly link address, go to bitly.com (or other similar online tool) and use its link shortener. We shorten our links often.

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@fussellp

I am just wondering if anyone has had success from getting off Venlafaxine ER- I was prescribed this to help with hot flashes 5 – 6 months ago. It worked great and then one weekend I forgot to bring my pills with me out of town and it made me so sick. I decided I would rather have hot flashes than to take something that makes me so sick. This has been such a terrible experience. I slowly lowered the dose and 2 days ago stopped taking it completely. I seriously am so ill. Any suggestions of how to ease the symptoms?

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Hi @lisalucier, ohhhhhh! I figured out what I was trying to do – it is actually billy.com that generates the sexy https://mayocl.in/blahblah style links. I would delete this post, but unfortunately, my only option is to 'edit' it. So… I'll leave it at that. Thanks so much for your help.

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I've been taking Effexor for about 6 years and I want to get off. Where can I buy CBD oil and also how much should I take?

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@fussellp

I am just wondering if anyone has had success from getting off Venlafaxine ER- I was prescribed this to help with hot flashes 5 – 6 months ago. It worked great and then one weekend I forgot to bring my pills with me out of town and it made me so sick. I decided I would rather have hot flashes than to take something that makes me so sick. This has been such a terrible experience. I slowly lowered the dose and 2 days ago stopped taking it completely. I seriously am so ill. Any suggestions of how to ease the symptoms?

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No worries, @efexnot. I would add that you do have the option of editing your Connect posts for 30 minutes after you write them. So, if you ever feel the need to do that, you can.

Your suggestion for venlafaxine (Effexor) withdrawal of talking sincerely with loved ones about what you are going through (especially if you feel confident they'll be understanding) is a good one. A challenging withdrawal without people pulling for you and looking out for you would indeed be much harder.

Guessing you set up some sort of support system for yourself, or just alerted a couple people close to you, when you started your withdrawal? If so, how did that go?

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Hi everyone. I have followed these posts a lot and am horrified at what you have all gone through withdrawing from effexor and other pharmaceuticals. The question has occurred to me though, if you have a condition that some of these were prescribed for, why do you want to get off of them? I know very little about all of this but I am close to someone who is on bupropion,citalopram, and lamogitrine. He was on effexor at some point but not for long, he got off of it quite rapidly. If these drugs are helping why do people want to discontinue them? If there is a real problem with them then I would want to encourage him to taper off. I know he feels he needs them though.
Please excuse my ignorance, I just care about this person a lot and am concerned, and also very confused.
Thanks.
JK

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@contentandwell

Hi everyone. I have followed these posts a lot and am horrified at what you have all gone through withdrawing from effexor and other pharmaceuticals. The question has occurred to me though, if you have a condition that some of these were prescribed for, why do you want to get off of them? I know very little about all of this but I am close to someone who is on bupropion,citalopram, and lamogitrine. He was on effexor at some point but not for long, he got off of it quite rapidly. If these drugs are helping why do people want to discontinue them? If there is a real problem with them then I would want to encourage him to taper off. I know he feels he needs them though.
Please excuse my ignorance, I just care about this person a lot and am concerned, and also very confused.
Thanks.
JK

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I am wondering the same thing. I plan to stay with my meds my doctor has me on. It is certainly better than being on an emotional roller coaster. I have been in a deep depression and hospitalized in the past and I know I don't want to go back to that kind of horror. I will gladly stay with my meds and continue to see my doctor as scheduled.

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Honestly, I don't want to have to depend on these drugs anymore to make me feel right. I think there are other ways to deal with issues. Herbal remedies along with meditation are a couple of these ways. Most doctors don't even know why they prescribe these drugs. It's all about money. It's all just trial and error and we are the ones who are reaping the side effects. It's ridiculous. I want off. If I have to go cold turkey, I will.

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Hello @tshere95

I see that you are a new member on Connect, welcome! I appreciate you post on this topic.

While we at Connect are not medical professionals, from the many experiences mentioned in Connect, the idea of going off of meds cold-turkey can be a dangerous one. The side-effects can be very difficult. If you want to go off a medication please contact your doctor for a plan to taper-off the drug. Talking with a pharmacist might also be a good idea.

You don't mention how long you have been taking his med or the dosage, but these are all important factors to consider as you taper off under medical supervision.

I look forward to hearing from you again.

Teresa

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@hopeful33250

Hello @tshere95

I see that you are a new member on Connect, welcome! I appreciate you post on this topic.

While we at Connect are not medical professionals, from the many experiences mentioned in Connect, the idea of going off of meds cold-turkey can be a dangerous one. The side-effects can be very difficult. If you want to go off a medication please contact your doctor for a plan to taper-off the drug. Talking with a pharmacist might also be a good idea.

You don't mention how long you have been taking his med or the dosage, but these are all important factors to consider as you taper off under medical supervision.

I look forward to hearing from you again.

Teresa

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I've been taking it for about 4 years and it's 100 mg. I can deal with it.

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@contentandwell

Hi everyone. I have followed these posts a lot and am horrified at what you have all gone through withdrawing from effexor and other pharmaceuticals. The question has occurred to me though, if you have a condition that some of these were prescribed for, why do you want to get off of them? I know very little about all of this but I am close to someone who is on bupropion,citalopram, and lamogitrine. He was on effexor at some point but not for long, he got off of it quite rapidly. If these drugs are helping why do people want to discontinue them? If there is a real problem with them then I would want to encourage him to taper off. I know he feels he needs them though.
Please excuse my ignorance, I just care about this person a lot and am concerned, and also very confused.
Thanks.
JK

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@liz223 I hate the thought of taking unnecessary drugs, they ALL do have down sides, but what are the down sides if these that make people want to get off them so much?
JK

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@tshere95

Honestly, I don't want to have to depend on these drugs anymore to make me feel right. I think there are other ways to deal with issues. Herbal remedies along with meditation are a couple of these ways. Most doctors don't even know why they prescribe these drugs. It's all about money. It's all just trial and error and we are the ones who are reaping the side effects. It's ridiculous. I want off. If I have to go cold turkey, I will.

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@tshere95 if you can discontinue them and manage to live a normal life that is definitely the thing to do, I just suspect that is not possible for some people.
JK

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