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

@grandmar

@brightwings
Thanks for sharing!
You are a BRAVE woman to go through all you have and come out the other side.
About 14 weeks ago I had 2 cervical discs replaced with artificial ones. Now that I am healed, I need surgery on two lumbar discs. I expect that will probably take place by the end of July. I am currently in PT to strengthen my core. Then I take a speciL xray to determine the type of surgery the doc will do. Then back into PT.
Last week I was at my PCP. I told him about how my feet, especially my toes turn dark blue when the hang or I sit too long. In addition, my toes are becoming numb. I am now going to a vascular surgeon. My PCP thinks I am going to need surgery on both legs. More fun!!
I am a typical retired Floridian..docs docs and more docs. And I am only 63.
So I don't think it's the right time to try getting off Effexor. I tried once and it was a disaster. I just can't focus on surgeries and withdrawals.
I'll keep you up to date.
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

Jump to this post

Do whats right for you. NO rush .. best of luck with your health issues dianrib

REPLY

@tennessegirl @lilgem71 @dianrib
Good question You know I shared that God keeps leading me to the next step to totally erasing all the effects of my abuse. That is my motivation to do what ever it takes, no matter how hard.
I heard about plant medicine around 3 years ago. Wasn't interested, more hippy poop. I was lead to volunteer at a new restaurant in town. It ended my self isolation after moving back to the town my husband and I lived and loved together. He fell and died in 8 hours in '11. Almost destroyed me as it was 2 months after my mom fell and died.
Many of my new friends attended Ceremony. I listened for a while, hmmmph, more hippy poop. I closed my ears…until…one of my friends was over and talking to me about setting his intention for the plant medicine TO HELP HIM HEAL.
Long story short, my ears opened because he was telling me he was going to get help healing something I also wanted to heal.
I attended that first ceremony and while I have chosen to miss a couple of months, I will attend Sacred Ceremonies for the rest of my life.
So what is sacred plant medicine? The main ceremony I attend monthly is know as Be Still in the Moment. It helps you look inside and change things you can't change any other way. The Sacred plant used for this ceremony is Peyote. I am completely stunned at the things this plant medicine has changed in my life.
The second Sacred Plant Medicine I have used is Ayawaska. That plant medicine done twice over a weekend ended my depression.
I love going to the ceremonies. I am surrounded by the most vibrant young people. Ah ha, that is the word I didn't know I was looking for! The sacred plant medicine has made me vibrant like them. Oh that makes me feel so happy.
I have been thinking how to connect you folks in so many different states and think I have it figured out.
If you Google http://www.powwow.com. contact that site and ask when the powwow are going to be held in your states near you. Ask the name of the medicine men or woman involved. Then, do your homework! Picking a medicine man is like picking a good therapist. So go to facebook or Twitter, look up the names of the medicine people. Read their whole feed. Watch the videos posted by them. TRUST YOUR GUT
Ok I am happy to answer any other questions. Smiling at you, I sincerely hope you follow up on this. I am so happy I did.
My medicine man is Doug Byland. He has Intregity. That's why I chose him over others. Look him up on face book. Ask him questions. Tell him Bright Wings sent you. This is Missouri, the show me state. Its who you know down here that gets your foot in the door.
Another way to find Sacred Ceremonies is to Google native American church in your state. Then send emails or call to find the ceremonies. I hope you follow up on this, if its right for you, the urge to know more won't go away.
Bright WINGS

REPLY
@grandmar

@brightwings
Thanks for sharing!
You are a BRAVE woman to go through all you have and come out the other side.
About 14 weeks ago I had 2 cervical discs replaced with artificial ones. Now that I am healed, I need surgery on two lumbar discs. I expect that will probably take place by the end of July. I am currently in PT to strengthen my core. Then I take a speciL xray to determine the type of surgery the doc will do. Then back into PT.
Last week I was at my PCP. I told him about how my feet, especially my toes turn dark blue when the hang or I sit too long. In addition, my toes are becoming numb. I am now going to a vascular surgeon. My PCP thinks I am going to need surgery on both legs. More fun!!
I am a typical retired Floridian..docs docs and more docs. And I am only 63.
So I don't think it's the right time to try getting off Effexor. I tried once and it was a disaster. I just can't focus on surgeries and withdrawals.
I'll keep you up to date.
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

Jump to this post

@grandmar
Wow, that a lot. I too had the same neck surgery after a really BAD safari in Kenya. I ruptured 3 discs in my neck and 3 in my lower back. I got the neck fixed a year later. I am choosing not to do my lower back.
Girlfriend, with all that on your plate, I agree. This is not the time to get off the drug. I think that is a WISE decision on your part. Now I understand you a whole lot better. Thanks for sharing all this. Smiling at you, as ever Bright Wings

REPLY

Just updating my experience with tapering from 75 mg Effexor after taking it for over 15 years. I have taken 3 months to get down to 18.5 mg every other day. I tried reducing faster but experienced more zaps, nausea, etc., so I began tapering more slowly from 75 mg to 37.5 to 18.5 daily to now 18.5 every other day. I have found that CBD oil does help. 3 drops sublingually twice daily seems to work for me. I still get occasional sharp head pains that last a few seconds, some nausea, and even constipation (not sure how much of that is related to venlafaxine). My psychiatrist did put me on 150 mg Wellbutrin XR when I started withdrawal from Effexor, and I believe that prevented me from relapsing into depression. I am trying to be very patient as the very gradual withdrawal has helped minimize the side effects of withdrawal from Effexor. Optimistically, I hope to be Effexor free within 3 months.

REPLY

@tonysdca
Good for you. It sounds like you are making it. Now yesterday I found out taking 3 drops 3 times a day is only giving me 6 or 7 mg of the CBD in my system a day. I have increased to 50 mg 3 times a day. Try it. It will probably ease that nausea. Bright Wings

REPLY
@kssm71

WOW! A lot of good tips and discussions. My daughter is 21 years old and her doctor (a new doctor that had only seen her a coupled of times) put her on 75 mg Effexor XR to help fight anxiety/migraines. The doctor felt this was the best medicine for her since she has tachycardia. Well, she wasn't even on it for 30 days before she had the full effects of this medicine and eventually went to the ER because of thoughts of harming herself and unable to function. They did not hold her there, but told her to go home and follow up with her doctor. Her father and I have been then for her and made she was not home alone for 2 weeks. Unfortunately, we are unable to take much time off because of no sick/vacation time available. She is unable to work and is now home alone for 3 to 4 days a week. She followed up with her doctor (a new one because the other one is no longer there). They have been tapering her off, one pill every other day and then try every two days and then referred her to a behaviorist. We have tried getting her into a professional, but no one in our area is available. I have left messages for other clinics outside of area and no one will return my call. She has tried the every 2 days one time and it was horrible sight. She starting having body tremors, couldn't breath and crying uncontrollably. We immediately gave her the pill and within 1 hr she was a little better. She followed up with her doctor and we asked about reducing her dosage and still do the every other day. The doctor was a little reluctant, but agreed to reduce it to 37.5 mg every other day. She is still unable to work at this time. She just cannot function in the real world.

Does anyone out there have some advise for us? We have never been through anything like this before and as you can imagine, scared to death.

Jump to this post

***Note from the Community Director***
Please read Mayo Clinic Connect's community guidelines https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/about-connect/tab/community-guidelines/
The first guideline states:
1. Be careful about giving out medical advice. Sharing your own experience is fine, but don't tell other members what they should do.

I mention this because of the increased references to CBD oil (cannabidiol) and how to use it. As an article by NPR underlines. "By one estimate, the CBD industry has doubled in size over the last two years, and is now worth $200 million. But with this popularity the hype may have gotten ahead of the science."

While there is promising evidence that CBD may help anxiety, the jury is still out. Here are some articles to help you inform yourselves for discussions with your health providers or considering what you need to know when purchasing any unregulated substance:
– Does CBD Really Work For Anxiety? (HuffPost) https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/does-cbd-work-for-anxiety_us_5af4924ce4b00d7e4c18a6ac
– Anxiety Relief Without The High? New Studies On CBD, A Cannabis Extract (NPR) https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/04/23/604307015/anxiety-relief-without-the-high-new-studies-on-cbd-a-cannabis-extract

Liked by Lisa Lucier

REPLY
@grandmar

@brightwings
Thanks for sharing!
You are a BRAVE woman to go through all you have and come out the other side.
About 14 weeks ago I had 2 cervical discs replaced with artificial ones. Now that I am healed, I need surgery on two lumbar discs. I expect that will probably take place by the end of July. I am currently in PT to strengthen my core. Then I take a speciL xray to determine the type of surgery the doc will do. Then back into PT.
Last week I was at my PCP. I told him about how my feet, especially my toes turn dark blue when the hang or I sit too long. In addition, my toes are becoming numb. I am now going to a vascular surgeon. My PCP thinks I am going to need surgery on both legs. More fun!!
I am a typical retired Floridian..docs docs and more docs. And I am only 63.
So I don't think it's the right time to try getting off Effexor. I tried once and it was a disaster. I just can't focus on surgeries and withdrawals.
I'll keep you up to date.
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

Jump to this post

@grandmar it surely does not seem like the timing is right for another stress like getting off of Effexor. I’m impressed with how well you are handling all you are going through.
Thoughts and prayers are with you.
JK

REPLY

Update: now officially off Effexor…..thanks to being put on Cymbalta…..since I started the new meds, I haven’t had any of the withdrawal symptoms, so Thursday (6/14) was my last 1/4 pill (hopefully). I have searched google immensely and have not found anything about Cymbalta and being hard to get off….so hopefully if I have to get off this new med, I won’t have the same problems as with the Effexor. All I wanted to say is you CAN do this, one day at a time. Listen to your body. If the withdrawal symptoms are too unbearable, take the lowest dose possible until you can wean yourself down to none. Thanks so much to everyone for the support. I was so happy to find this thread because at first I thought I was going crazy. Anyways, I wish you all well and hope you all reach your goals of getting off this horrible drug…..it really needs to be taken off the market, but as long as they’re still prescribing it, hopefully this thread can help others.

REPLY
@grandmar

@brightwings
Thanks for sharing!
You are a BRAVE woman to go through all you have and come out the other side.
About 14 weeks ago I had 2 cervical discs replaced with artificial ones. Now that I am healed, I need surgery on two lumbar discs. I expect that will probably take place by the end of July. I am currently in PT to strengthen my core. Then I take a speciL xray to determine the type of surgery the doc will do. Then back into PT.
Last week I was at my PCP. I told him about how my feet, especially my toes turn dark blue when the hang or I sit too long. In addition, my toes are becoming numb. I am now going to a vascular surgeon. My PCP thinks I am going to need surgery on both legs. More fun!!
I am a typical retired Floridian..docs docs and more docs. And I am only 63.
So I don't think it's the right time to try getting off Effexor. I tried once and it was a disaster. I just can't focus on surgeries and withdrawals.
I'll keep you up to date.
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

Jump to this post

@contentandwell
Thank you do much !

REPLY

NO withdrawal from Cymbalta ??

Liked by Leonard

REPLY
@kssm71

WOW! A lot of good tips and discussions. My daughter is 21 years old and her doctor (a new doctor that had only seen her a coupled of times) put her on 75 mg Effexor XR to help fight anxiety/migraines. The doctor felt this was the best medicine for her since she has tachycardia. Well, she wasn't even on it for 30 days before she had the full effects of this medicine and eventually went to the ER because of thoughts of harming herself and unable to function. They did not hold her there, but told her to go home and follow up with her doctor. Her father and I have been then for her and made she was not home alone for 2 weeks. Unfortunately, we are unable to take much time off because of no sick/vacation time available. She is unable to work and is now home alone for 3 to 4 days a week. She followed up with her doctor (a new one because the other one is no longer there). They have been tapering her off, one pill every other day and then try every two days and then referred her to a behaviorist. We have tried getting her into a professional, but no one in our area is available. I have left messages for other clinics outside of area and no one will return my call. She has tried the every 2 days one time and it was horrible sight. She starting having body tremors, couldn't breath and crying uncontrollably. We immediately gave her the pill and within 1 hr she was a little better. She followed up with her doctor and we asked about reducing her dosage and still do the every other day. The doctor was a little reluctant, but agreed to reduce it to 37.5 mg every other day. She is still unable to work at this time. She just cannot function in the real world.

Does anyone out there have some advise for us? We have never been through anything like this before and as you can imagine, scared to death.

Jump to this post

OK but Big pharma and many doctors have left us ' out in the cold' When suffering One looks for some kind of help Its so aggravating Makes one feels helpless

REPLY
@tonysdca

Just updating my experience with tapering from 75 mg Effexor after taking it for over 15 years. I have taken 3 months to get down to 18.5 mg every other day. I tried reducing faster but experienced more zaps, nausea, etc., so I began tapering more slowly from 75 mg to 37.5 to 18.5 daily to now 18.5 every other day. I have found that CBD oil does help. 3 drops sublingually twice daily seems to work for me. I still get occasional sharp head pains that last a few seconds, some nausea, and even constipation (not sure how much of that is related to venlafaxine). My psychiatrist did put me on 150 mg Wellbutrin XR when I started withdrawal from Effexor, and I believe that prevented me from relapsing into depression. I am trying to be very patient as the very gradual withdrawal has helped minimize the side effects of withdrawal from Effexor. Optimistically, I hope to be Effexor free within 3 months.

Jump to this post

is Wellbutrin different ??

REPLY
@tonysdca

Just updating my experience with tapering from 75 mg Effexor after taking it for over 15 years. I have taken 3 months to get down to 18.5 mg every other day. I tried reducing faster but experienced more zaps, nausea, etc., so I began tapering more slowly from 75 mg to 37.5 to 18.5 daily to now 18.5 every other day. I have found that CBD oil does help. 3 drops sublingually twice daily seems to work for me. I still get occasional sharp head pains that last a few seconds, some nausea, and even constipation (not sure how much of that is related to venlafaxine). My psychiatrist did put me on 150 mg Wellbutrin XR when I started withdrawal from Effexor, and I believe that prevented me from relapsing into depression. I am trying to be very patient as the very gradual withdrawal has helped minimize the side effects of withdrawal from Effexor. Optimistically, I hope to be Effexor free within 3 months.

Jump to this post

I'm not a psychiatrist or pharmacist, but I believe Wellbutrin works differently, and going off it is not as hard as Effexor. I had to go off Effexor as it was raising my blood pressure, and just missing a single dose caused me side effects. Because I suffer from depression, my psychiatrist wants me to be on an antidepressant of some kind while I taper off Effexor. Hopefully, someday I can taper off Wellbutrin.

REPLY
@brightwings

@tonysdca
Good for you. It sounds like you are making it. Now yesterday I found out taking 3 drops 3 times a day is only giving me 6 or 7 mg of the CBD in my system a day. I have increased to 50 mg 3 times a day. Try it. It will probably ease that nausea. Bright Wings

Jump to this post

thanks . I'll try and up my dosage of the CBD.

REPLY

I was on the Benzodiazepine drug Klonopin for seizures and you have to get off them slowly to avoid seizures. The doc said to cut it in quarters and take three quarters a week then half finally one quarter but it didn’t work so I cut that quarter in half and in half again etc till it was barely visible and finally it worked.
Effexor comes in both capsules and tablets but I believe the tablets are much more expensive (about $70 more, I think) so although not recommended taking the capsule apart and removing a tiny amount should do the trick. If money is no problem it would be easier to get the tabs and cut them.
I use to take the antidepressant Cymbalta and a UPS man delivered a package and we were talking and antidepressants came up. He said “You have a choice, to be happy or sad.” I thought about that for a few days and decided he was right and I decided to be happy and I was. I stopped my Cymbalta. It may not work for everyone but it sure is with the effort. Best of luck!!

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.