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

@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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It's just like a ball and chain to me. If I miss even one dose, I'm sick and literally throwing up the whole next day. I don't want to have to deal with that for the rest of my life.

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Has anyone ever used Kratom for depression?

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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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Hi, hope you don’t mind more questions. I’ve only been on Effexor for about 6 months as my depression is more seasonal. I’m only on 37.5 mg. I told my GP I wanted off so she recommended just stopping it, saying I’d be fine. I stopped that day so today is only day 3. I have been soooo nauseous and dizzy since. Is this why? How long does it last? I really feel awful but I want off the drugs more. I’m also on Bupropion 300 mg, which I’m cutting to 150 mg in 2 weeks and then off everything. Any additional tips are welcome because the nausea is awful. Thank 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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Hey there! Number one, no matter the dosage you were on, you should always be weened off. I was only weened for a month and I’m nearing the end of the awlfulness of it. I hope. But I started with nausea, vomiting, feeling almost like out of body, nightmares, emotional/crying over nothing, tingling limbs, brain zaps—you name it, I had it. Now I rarely have the nausea but I’m still emotional. The fact I’ve had another family issue pop up for my son doesn’t help, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. You need weened off tho. Cold turkey could be counterproductive.

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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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@gailb Were you on tramadol and gabapentin for long and with a large dose? I used both of these following my knee replacement, the tramadol for a little over two months and the gabapentin for a little over three months, just one a day before bed for the gabapentin. I had no problem at all just stopping them. Had I known at the time what you are saying I would have been far more reluctant to take them but they did help, especially the tramadol. I was far more worried about taking oxycodone so I got off of that very quickly. My ortho seemed to be most concerned about that one also.
JK

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Hi, @tshere95 — here is a link to a previous Mayo Clinic Connect discussion of kratom in which you may be interested: https://mayocl.in/2HZ9wSa.

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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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@efexnot I am interested in your information about Citalopram. While I was researching it, I discovered how dangerous it was for me to be taking Tramadol 50 mg 4 times a day while I have been taking Citalopram. I am shocked that neither my pain doctor nor my pharmacist told me about the dangers of this combination of drugs!

I will talk with my docs about the possibility of changing from Citalopram to Escitalopram, for my liver. Thank you for the information.

Gail
Volunteer Mentor

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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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@contentandwell I was on Gabapentin 350, 2 times a day and trying to up it to 3 times a day, for about 3+ months. I took Tramadol 50 mg 4 times a day for over a year. The Gabapentin wasn't too bad to quit. Tramadol was not easy! I used CBD and THC to help me get through withdrawal. Now I'm reading that studies show that both help people withdraw from opioids. I'm also hearing that Marijuana is effective for pain relief. Dr. Sanjay Gupta will have a special report on CNN on Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. about Marijuana as a real medication.

Gail
Volunteer Mentor

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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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The Gabapentin was still hard to withdraw from. I think it's the worst medication I've ever taken. Tramadol was hard to withdraw from in a different way. Just to be clear.
Gail
Volunteer Mentor

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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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@gailb my husband has never smoked marijuana in his life but even he thinks it's about time. I was never a marijuana smoker either but did try it once when I was in my early 20s — I do not like feeling like I am not in control though.
It does not kill like opioids do and it really does help some people. We knew a woman in her late 80s with advanced cancer and her family had to buy it illegally because it helped her so much. Of course that meant it was very expensive too.
Reading your problems with tramadol makes me realize why my doctor was very reluctant to prescribe it more. It did help with the knee replacement pain and for me that was important because being a post-transplant patient the only OTC pain reliever I can take is Tylenol, which is not much help. I really like my ortho and he is a very cautious doctor, which I like a lot.
JK

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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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I have taken Gabapentin for years and never worried about trying to come off since I have never had side effects that I'm aware of. My doctor assured me it is not addictive. I take it for Neuropathy. It helps tremendously.

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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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@liz223

Hello Liz:

My doctor has offered to prescribe Gabapentin for neuropathy symptoms but I have hesitated. Could you tell me a bit more about how it has helped you? Does it help with the tingling, the pain or the numbness? My neuropathy seems to involve an inflamed root in the lumbar spine.

Teresa

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