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

@brightwings

@tennessegirl
How long have you been off the drug?

Jump to this post

@tennessgirl
I did some research and this is what I found:
http://www.martincwiner.com/generic-venlafaxine-banned-in-europe-fda-and-health-canada-remain-silent/
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

REPLY

So what are your plans….if you are going to get cut off, I would be proactive and be making plans before that happens.
I am laughing (NOT) thinking of everyone running around trying to buy Effexor like folks run around to buy opioids.

REPLY

If you are not even on this drug, why the flap here in mayo clinic connect? This medication kept me alive. I am not being dramatic.
I am trying to understand your point.

REPLY

Ok checking in…I feel like crap today. My bones are hurting, the larger the bone mass is, the higher the ache in them. Slept extremely poorly. Up and down all night. I feel like I have the worst flu.
The only difference I can find in my life is I got stung by a sweat bee…second one in as many months. I have a lump the size of a 50 cent piece near my knee. I have never had challenges with bee stings in the past because bees are usually my friends but I am nature girl. Who knows how many times I have been stung in the past.
What I am really not used to is feeling grumpy. This is so extremely rare for me. I hate it.

Liked by lovetheocean

REPLY

I wanted to pop into this community for personal support and to help others that are tapering off of effexor xr or venelafaxine.

I follow a strict Paleo diet and have eliminated or reversed 5 chronic, autoimmune diseases. Effexor is my final (12th) drug to get off of. It’s been a 3 year process and I’m thrilled to report I no longer have ulcerative colitis, ADHD, eczema, hypothyroidism and anxiety/depression. Most of the medications were easy to eliminate, but effexor has taken more planning and self care.

Last July (2017), I decided it was time to begin the tapering process. I was only taking 75 mg., but knew from the experience of accidentally skipping a dose, that I should not follow my doctor’s orders of getting off it in one month. After all, I had been taking it for nearly 18 years! So instead, I began by taking 10 beads out of the capsule.

I did ok, but it was a rough start. Thankfully it was summer and I didn’t need to be near my fifth grade students. I continued with the taper and got to 37.5 mg and settled there for a few months while preparing for my son’s wedding.

Since January 2018, I’ve been decreasing the dose by about 2 beads every other week. For the most part, this has been manageable, but I’ve had days where I’ve felt nauseated, dizzy and agitated. I’ve needed to be so careful in my job as 10 year olds do not deserve to be treated unfairly. So, that’s a big reason why I’ve taken this slowly.

Now it’s the following summer and just last week I went from 15 beads to 10 beads. I had a fairly good week until day 6, which was yesterday. I experienced hot flashes (not typical on a Paleo diet despite my age ~ 53 years), apathy, fatigue and the occasional brain zap. Today I do not want to function, but I don’t feel depressed or anxious ~ just unmotivated.

I’m slightly nervous about these last 10 beads. I intend to drop to 5 beads in 6 days, and then down to two and hopefully in a month, I’ll call it quits. But, I’m nervous about the final dose. The few dreadful experiences I’ve encountered are enough to make me nervous about the whole thing.

Anyhow, this endeavor will have taken me a solid year. But I feel the slow tapering was worth it for me. I am such a sensitive person and I don’t handle physical symptoms well. I know that my diet (no grains, sugar, pasteurized dairy, starches or legumes), has been a positive in all this and has probably made this transition easier than for some people. Nonetheless, my brain wants to be off this junk.

Definitely Omega 3 fats and high quality fish oil have proven to be helpful. These are part of my diet anyhow, so just upping the dose has proven beneficial. Hoping to rely on this during the final stretch.

I’ll write again when I totally get off it. Each time I dropped a few beads, my brain reminded me it was time for the next dose. Unsure what will happen when I eliminate it entirely. Would love any advice that anyone is willing to share.

REPLY

Congradulations on getting rid of severe diseases and the Paleo diet. My hat is off to you. I got rid of severe fibro, but I believe I did it with flower essences. I am a flower essence practioner. I own all of the Alaskan Flower essences and all of the Desert Alchemy essences. As I write this I am wondering why I did not make an essence to help with the withdrawal. I just did not think of it, I guess.
Now, if I am calculating right, at your present rate of withdrawal with the beads, will you be taking your last dose after school restarts? Not a good idea, in my humble opinion. You state the students are your priority. (Hurrah for you.) Even with dropping down the beads, you will still have withdrawal symptoms.
You can find plenty of support here.
I have to take my dog for a walk. Be back later.
Welcome!

REPLY

By the way, I hope you will come back before you get off it. We all have little tricks that helped with different symptoms. Smiling at you

REPLY
@brightwings

I read this as I was doing something else. I thought about there being no Effexor and I felt glad. Then I realized if It was banned I would probably be dead. Yes I was on it 26 years AND IT KEPT ME ALIVE.
My Docs tried 17 different antidepressants. This is the only one that worked.

Jump to this post

@brightwings Interesting as Effexor caused an increase in suicidal behavior and self-harm as well as being a terribly angry person. Once again, we are not all wired the same.
I have given up on any type of antidepressants. I truly am thankful when another can be helped by thus.

REPLY
@sawiety

I wanted to pop into this community for personal support and to help others that are tapering off of effexor xr or venelafaxine.

I follow a strict Paleo diet and have eliminated or reversed 5 chronic, autoimmune diseases. Effexor is my final (12th) drug to get off of. It’s been a 3 year process and I’m thrilled to report I no longer have ulcerative colitis, ADHD, eczema, hypothyroidism and anxiety/depression. Most of the medications were easy to eliminate, but effexor has taken more planning and self care.

Last July (2017), I decided it was time to begin the tapering process. I was only taking 75 mg., but knew from the experience of accidentally skipping a dose, that I should not follow my doctor’s orders of getting off it in one month. After all, I had been taking it for nearly 18 years! So instead, I began by taking 10 beads out of the capsule.

I did ok, but it was a rough start. Thankfully it was summer and I didn’t need to be near my fifth grade students. I continued with the taper and got to 37.5 mg and settled there for a few months while preparing for my son’s wedding.

Since January 2018, I’ve been decreasing the dose by about 2 beads every other week. For the most part, this has been manageable, but I’ve had days where I’ve felt nauseated, dizzy and agitated. I’ve needed to be so careful in my job as 10 year olds do not deserve to be treated unfairly. So, that’s a big reason why I’ve taken this slowly.

Now it’s the following summer and just last week I went from 15 beads to 10 beads. I had a fairly good week until day 6, which was yesterday. I experienced hot flashes (not typical on a Paleo diet despite my age ~ 53 years), apathy, fatigue and the occasional brain zap. Today I do not want to function, but I don’t feel depressed or anxious ~ just unmotivated.

I’m slightly nervous about these last 10 beads. I intend to drop to 5 beads in 6 days, and then down to two and hopefully in a month, I’ll call it quits. But, I’m nervous about the final dose. The few dreadful experiences I’ve encountered are enough to make me nervous about the whole thing.

Anyhow, this endeavor will have taken me a solid year. But I feel the slow tapering was worth it for me. I am such a sensitive person and I don’t handle physical symptoms well. I know that my diet (no grains, sugar, pasteurized dairy, starches or legumes), has been a positive in all this and has probably made this transition easier than for some people. Nonetheless, my brain wants to be off this junk.

Definitely Omega 3 fats and high quality fish oil have proven to be helpful. These are part of my diet anyhow, so just upping the dose has proven beneficial. Hoping to rely on this during the final stretch.

I’ll write again when I totally get off it. Each time I dropped a few beads, my brain reminded me it was time for the next dose. Unsure what will happen when I eliminate it entirely. Would love any advice that anyone is willing to share.

Jump to this post

You must be taking the timed release and what a genius idea taking out the beads! Mine are round tablets so I do not get to try your trick!! Most of my trouble started as she increased the dose to 75 BID. I'm just going to slowly slip back down by amt taken over each 24 dose( 75mg every 8 hours). The brain on roller coaster slamming into the wall makes me feel like holding on to the bed. Is definitely the worse feeling in the world. Keep passing on your wisdom! Thank you all for welcoming me into the group. It helps just knowing I am not alone or crazy!

REPLY
@brightwings

Congradulations on getting rid of severe diseases and the Paleo diet. My hat is off to you. I got rid of severe fibro, but I believe I did it with flower essences. I am a flower essence practioner. I own all of the Alaskan Flower essences and all of the Desert Alchemy essences. As I write this I am wondering why I did not make an essence to help with the withdrawal. I just did not think of it, I guess.
Now, if I am calculating right, at your present rate of withdrawal with the beads, will you be taking your last dose after school restarts? Not a good idea, in my humble opinion. You state the students are your priority. (Hurrah for you.) Even with dropping down the beads, you will still have withdrawal symptoms.
You can find plenty of support here.
I have to take my dog for a walk. Be back later.
Welcome!

Jump to this post

THAT would be wonderful. If you made an essence that helped with the withdrawal. I would be camping by to be 1st in line. THANK you all.

REPLY
@brightwings

I read this as I was doing something else. I thought about there being no Effexor and I felt glad. Then I realized if It was banned I would probably be dead. Yes I was on it 26 years AND IT KEPT ME ALIVE.
My Docs tried 17 different antidepressants. This is the only one that worked.

Jump to this post

Also weight gain for me!Without a change in food intake! Quite depressing by itself! It's one of the few that's not supposed to cause it.

REPLY
@brightwings

@tennessegirl
How long have you been off the drug?

Jump to this post

I have been taking for 2 years! The dosage was increased to 75 mg BID. Thats when all my problems started including weight gain, brain on roller coaster hitting brick wall over and over. After my last Dr visit and research..I decided I had to get off the drug. Slowly. By gradually decreasing the mgs per day. Going col Turkey is not wise and side affects unbearable!

REPLY
@lisalucier

Hi, @ainsleigh — I've moved your post here about your feelings about reading about problems Mayo Clinic Connect members have posted related to venlafaxine/Effexor, as many of those who have discussed this medication have done so in this thread. Hoping members like @brightwings @tennessegirl @arachel @jmanon @pinktart @susanknits will share some of their insights on its use in light of experiences members have shared.

Jump to this post

Thank you! And I am Tennessee Girl!

REPLY
@sawiety

I wanted to pop into this community for personal support and to help others that are tapering off of effexor xr or venelafaxine.

I follow a strict Paleo diet and have eliminated or reversed 5 chronic, autoimmune diseases. Effexor is my final (12th) drug to get off of. It’s been a 3 year process and I’m thrilled to report I no longer have ulcerative colitis, ADHD, eczema, hypothyroidism and anxiety/depression. Most of the medications were easy to eliminate, but effexor has taken more planning and self care.

Last July (2017), I decided it was time to begin the tapering process. I was only taking 75 mg., but knew from the experience of accidentally skipping a dose, that I should not follow my doctor’s orders of getting off it in one month. After all, I had been taking it for nearly 18 years! So instead, I began by taking 10 beads out of the capsule.

I did ok, but it was a rough start. Thankfully it was summer and I didn’t need to be near my fifth grade students. I continued with the taper and got to 37.5 mg and settled there for a few months while preparing for my son’s wedding.

Since January 2018, I’ve been decreasing the dose by about 2 beads every other week. For the most part, this has been manageable, but I’ve had days where I’ve felt nauseated, dizzy and agitated. I’ve needed to be so careful in my job as 10 year olds do not deserve to be treated unfairly. So, that’s a big reason why I’ve taken this slowly.

Now it’s the following summer and just last week I went from 15 beads to 10 beads. I had a fairly good week until day 6, which was yesterday. I experienced hot flashes (not typical on a Paleo diet despite my age ~ 53 years), apathy, fatigue and the occasional brain zap. Today I do not want to function, but I don’t feel depressed or anxious ~ just unmotivated.

I’m slightly nervous about these last 10 beads. I intend to drop to 5 beads in 6 days, and then down to two and hopefully in a month, I’ll call it quits. But, I’m nervous about the final dose. The few dreadful experiences I’ve encountered are enough to make me nervous about the whole thing.

Anyhow, this endeavor will have taken me a solid year. But I feel the slow tapering was worth it for me. I am such a sensitive person and I don’t handle physical symptoms well. I know that my diet (no grains, sugar, pasteurized dairy, starches or legumes), has been a positive in all this and has probably made this transition easier than for some people. Nonetheless, my brain wants to be off this junk.

Definitely Omega 3 fats and high quality fish oil have proven to be helpful. These are part of my diet anyhow, so just upping the dose has proven beneficial. Hoping to rely on this during the final stretch.

I’ll write again when I totally get off it. Each time I dropped a few beads, my brain reminded me it was time for the next dose. Unsure what will happen when I eliminate it entirely. Would love any advice that anyone is willing to share.

Jump to this post

@tennasseegirl
Oh baby you are NOT alone or crazy. Trust me on that.
Hmmm, regular pills vs timed release…right now I am too lazy feeling to go back and read your old post. Is there a reason you can't take the timed release? Could you call your doc and get some? Reading everyone's method of counting beads is much better in my humble opinion than the way I did it.
I checked with my pharmist and got a printout of how many times I refilled my script of 150mg extended tabs. I refilled it 8 times last year. I still have a full bottle and about 8 caps in a second bottle. I did it the hard way…taking less and less of the 150 mg. If I got bad electricity in my head, I took 1 cap…then none till I got the brain zaps. But if you click on my name, read the first post I wrote on March 22. I would not wish all those symptoms at once on anyone.
As I look back to the last week, I realize I had the, oh not sure what to call it? Body freezing…sudden cold body. I was franticly putting on my winter clothes IN A DAM HURRY 3 times last week. I actually forgot that was a symptom.
So I am wondering if you can get a script for the extended caps so you too can count beads. Smiling at you

REPLY
@brightwings

Congradulations on getting rid of severe diseases and the Paleo diet. My hat is off to you. I got rid of severe fibro, but I believe I did it with flower essences. I am a flower essence practioner. I own all of the Alaskan Flower essences and all of the Desert Alchemy essences. As I write this I am wondering why I did not make an essence to help with the withdrawal. I just did not think of it, I guess.
Now, if I am calculating right, at your present rate of withdrawal with the beads, will you be taking your last dose after school restarts? Not a good idea, in my humble opinion. You state the students are your priority. (Hurrah for you.) Even with dropping down the beads, you will still have withdrawal symptoms.
You can find plenty of support here.
I have to take my dog for a walk. Be back later.
Welcome!

Jump to this post

@tennasseegirl
I had been thinking of making essences for this after I wrote it. I was at a Joyce Meyer conference in 2003. All of a sudden, I Heard, "go become a flower essence therapist." I didn't even know what they were. Long story short, checked them out and attended the Desert Alchemy class in 04. Best thing I ever did. They, and a lot of groups, therapy and God helped me intregrate my personalities that were created in me as a kid.
Enough about me I say.
So I would be willing to make an essence for anyone who would like it. I have never charged for my essences, however many of the bottles are empty. I cannot afford to replace them myself.
So I would have to charge $15 for the essence plus shipping. I actually feel bad about that.
I was originally gifted with $6,000 of essences. That's why I never charged. This way I can start to replace my 25 or so bottles that are missing. If you or anyone is interested, let me know and I will share the process of how I test to see what essences to use. I can test anyone over the phone. I can also take a dose for you…and your body receives it. This is intriguing stuff.
I used to test over the computer. I was working with folks in England but that distance was a bit too far and it was affecting me physically. But over the phone works great. Feel around inside you and see if this is right for you. Then let me know.

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.