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

@arachel

I've given up giving up taking Effexor for the second time now. I had to start taking my Effexor again 4 days ago so I'm still in the midst of the horror show of withdrawal and the slow crawl back to something resembling sanity. I'm typing right now because I don't know what else to do with my thoughts of gloom and doom. My heart is pounding and I just want to throw up. I took a Xanax yesterday and it got me through, but I didn't take any today because I'm afraid of developing a new addiction. I just can't escape myself. I tried reading, crocheting, watching tv and I just can't concentrate. I took a walk this morning and that felt good, but the panic attacks and depression took hold again quickly. I did go to the doctor and he told me that I needed to get back on Effexor because my serotonin levels were obviously in the toilet (my word, not his). My personal torture is also having an affect on my husband. He has been patient, but everyone has their breaking point. I don't think he wants to sympathize much longer. If he gives up on me, I don't know what I'll do. If anyone has any helpful thoughts or information, I could sure use it now. Thanks

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@arachel
Please start reading. There are tricks here already posted. Please do not ask your brain to focus. It can't right now.
The CBD oil will handle the grouchys. And the flu like symptoms. We are here with you.

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@medfree17

So I ended up making the decision to come of the Venafalaxine! Best decision ever! I have been constantly taking my CBD oil and I have never felt better! I have not taking any meds for 2 whole days and this is the first time in over a year! I am feeling fantastic right now because of it! I highly recommend trying! To everyone struggling stay strong and don’t let anxiety get the best of you. Be open about it even if people don’t understand. It has been the best form of therapy for me plus the CBD oil ❤️

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This isn't so much a reply, but I'm new here and don't know how to post a new question. I was on celexa for 16 years for anxiety/panic attacks. It helped, but about 8mo ago transitioned to venlafaxine XR (effexor) 37.5mg due to chronic health anxiety. It hasn't really helped and I feel it makes me more anxious, heart rate high, BP low. With my MD's advise, I began the weaning process by taking one every other day for a week. As of this writing, I've be w/o it for over 48hours and feel fine except for my head feels like it's "swimming" when i move. It's not dizzy or vertigo or the zaps I read about, or even off balance but just a sensation in my head/ears. In the experience of this group, when do the withdrawal symptoms peak and how long do they last? I'm a nurse and have to be able to function. I am off the weekend and hope the worst of the symptoms will pas before I return to work. Any advise would be appreciated.

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@anxiouslisa
Hello Bright Wings here. I am also an RN. It sounds as if your symptoms are just starting sorry to say.
Best way to feel better faster, CBD oil. I don't know where you live. I get mine at the Flippin Hippee in Mountain Home Arkansas. Google them if you can't get it anywhere close to you. Check at the vape shops.
Now if my memory is correct you are on 37.5 XR. Open the caps and count the beads and take them thru the day in 2 divided doses.
Darling, I am not sure you will be able to work Monday. You have to decide your priorities. You don't mention what unit you are working on….use your Intregity to decide if you should work. Just saying…
Using my method of getting off Effexor is nuts and dangerous, I truly did not know any better but I was supported by Sacred Plant Medicine.
Today I am Effexor free, depression free and my MS relapse is cut to bits by the CBD oil. I have no words to express my gratitude to CBD oil and this wonderful site with such like minded folks.
So, get to reading, then read somemore. If you want to reply to someone directly, type the @ symbol and their name with no space like I did with yours. I just got the hang of this site. It is confusing when your brain is mush. Smiling at you, Bright Wings

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@medfree17

So I ended up making the decision to come of the Venafalaxine! Best decision ever! I have been constantly taking my CBD oil and I have never felt better! I have not taking any meds for 2 whole days and this is the first time in over a year! I am feeling fantastic right now because of it! I highly recommend trying! To everyone struggling stay strong and don’t let anxiety get the best of you. Be open about it even if people don’t understand. It has been the best form of therapy for me plus the CBD oil ❤️

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@tennessegirl
Hey that's great. I am thrilled for you. Smiling as ever, Bright Wings

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@medfree17

So I ended up making the decision to come of the Venafalaxine! Best decision ever! I have been constantly taking my CBD oil and I have never felt better! I have not taking any meds for 2 whole days and this is the first time in over a year! I am feeling fantastic right now because of it! I highly recommend trying! To everyone struggling stay strong and don’t let anxiety get the best of you. Be open about it even if people don’t understand. It has been the best form of therapy for me plus the CBD oil ❤️

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Louisa I have been on Effexor for about 2 years. The side affects I have experienced are as if my brain becomes detached from my skull..goes in a roller coaster and hits a concrete wall. Over and over. I've cut my dosage and am only taking enough to stop this while holding onto the bed sometimes. It's only been 5 days and I already feel so my much better. I cannot tell you when it will peak or how long it will last. I've read it can take as long as 9 months. But everyone is different and I am also taking Xanax for panic attacks and anxiety. Mine are pills so I am halving and quartering. I'm assuming you are on timed release and removing 10 beads @ a time from your capsules. Maybe you should only take 8 beads and slow your titration down if it's inhibiting your ability to function. But since you've been taking it for so long I fear it will not happen in a weekend. There are lots if knowledgeable folks on here. See what other comments you get! And remember we are all here for you OK? I hope I helped a little.

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@medfree17

So I ended up making the decision to come of the Venafalaxine! Best decision ever! I have been constantly taking my CBD oil and I have never felt better! I have not taking any meds for 2 whole days and this is the first time in over a year! I am feeling fantastic right now because of it! I highly recommend trying! To everyone struggling stay strong and don’t let anxiety get the best of you. Be open about it even if people don’t understand. It has been the best form of therapy for me plus the CBD oil ❤️

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@medfree17
When you say you are constantly taking your CBD oil, how much are you taking? I take 3 drops 3 times a day under my tongue.
Are you coming off the med cold turkey or cutting the doses? If you are quiting cold turkey??? I am asking with alarm! I kind of did a cold turkey way and it was dangerous. Read, read and read some more. I am with you, take care, Bright Wings

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@medfree17

So I ended up making the decision to come of the Venafalaxine! Best decision ever! I have been constantly taking my CBD oil and I have never felt better! I have not taking any meds for 2 whole days and this is the first time in over a year! I am feeling fantastic right now because of it! I highly recommend trying! To everyone struggling stay strong and don’t let anxiety get the best of you. Be open about it even if people don’t understand. It has been the best form of therapy for me plus the CBD oil ❤️

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I don't have much advice but understand what you're going through. I posted for the first time yesterday because these withdrawals are a nightmare. Everybody definitely experiences the process differently and struggles unfortunately. I would definitely let your doctor know. From everything I've read from other's experience although it sucks the symptoms will ultimately not hurt you long term. Not much help I know lol. Just wanted to let you know you're not alone.

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@dianrib

I now believe that Effexor , Xanax etc can be ' insidious No one warns us of the effects of trying to get off these very ' profitable' drugs . Big pharma makes them' addictive' so insures a steady cash flow…

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Definitely. I feel like Pfizer owns my brain.

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@amelia42

Hi everybody. I'm happy to have found this forum. I'm also weaning off Effexor and I heard the horror stories about the process. I was feeling pretty confident when I went from 300mg to 225mg to 150mg. I have been doing this under my doctor's care and was surprised how easy it has been. Until now. I'm now at the 75mg mark and it has been horrendous. The third day in I started to feel a lot of vertigo, weird brain zaps and lack of coordination. It got so uncomfortable I started taking 150mg again for a couple days. I wanted to try it again so have stuck out the 75mg for about 2 weeks. I thought I had the flu last week when I started having a nauseous "car sick" feeling that kept me pretty home bound. This feeling has only gotten worse over the last week. Horrible headaches, diarrhea, I feel like I'm in slow motion if that makes sense. I feel edgy like I want to jump out of my own skin. It's extremely unsettling and quite honestly, I'm scared. I feel like I may lose control. I'm not sure how to describe it properly, almost like I'm fearful the withdrawals will get so bad it will overcome me. I'm near tears writing this because I really must get off this med since it's been 15 years and doctors have told me this is basically ineffective in mood disorders (bipolar 2).

I did call the doctor today who was not in. Hoping to hear tomorrow. Anyone have any wisdom on a time frame or coping methods to get through this?

I'm curious why such a drastic shift from the 150mg to 75mg. Has anyone alternated 150mg and 75mg for awhile? I'm willing to push through this if there's hope here. I don't want to have to take this med the rest of my life just to avoid the withdrawals.

Anyone successfully off completely that can send a bit of motivation my way? This is horrible. Not sure if I can pull this off. I'm trying!

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@imfu
Excellent answer. I can see you have been reading. Hurrah. Smiling at you, Bright Wings

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@amelia42

Hi everybody. I'm happy to have found this forum. I'm also weaning off Effexor and I heard the horror stories about the process. I was feeling pretty confident when I went from 300mg to 225mg to 150mg. I have been doing this under my doctor's care and was surprised how easy it has been. Until now. I'm now at the 75mg mark and it has been horrendous. The third day in I started to feel a lot of vertigo, weird brain zaps and lack of coordination. It got so uncomfortable I started taking 150mg again for a couple days. I wanted to try it again so have stuck out the 75mg for about 2 weeks. I thought I had the flu last week when I started having a nauseous "car sick" feeling that kept me pretty home bound. This feeling has only gotten worse over the last week. Horrible headaches, diarrhea, I feel like I'm in slow motion if that makes sense. I feel edgy like I want to jump out of my own skin. It's extremely unsettling and quite honestly, I'm scared. I feel like I may lose control. I'm not sure how to describe it properly, almost like I'm fearful the withdrawals will get so bad it will overcome me. I'm near tears writing this because I really must get off this med since it's been 15 years and doctors have told me this is basically ineffective in mood disorders (bipolar 2).

I did call the doctor today who was not in. Hoping to hear tomorrow. Anyone have any wisdom on a time frame or coping methods to get through this?

I'm curious why such a drastic shift from the 150mg to 75mg. Has anyone alternated 150mg and 75mg for awhile? I'm willing to push through this if there's hope here. I don't want to have to take this med the rest of my life just to avoid the withdrawals.

Anyone successfully off completely that can send a bit of motivation my way? This is horrible. Not sure if I can pull this off. I'm trying!

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@kecrim10mi
Wow good for you. Sounds like your body is doing great getting off this med. How are you handling the rushes of emotion? Smiling at you, Bright Wings

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@karhvp

I have reduced from 150mg to 75 mg about 6-7 weeks ago and are still having withdrawals. My Nurse Practioner wants me to be withdrawal free before reducing to 37.5 mg.
I read that it takes 2-4 weeks to get through the symptoms. Has anyone else had symptoms this long? Sometimes I feel very confused and can’t concentrate.

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@indri500
I am familiar with what you are talking about. The body twitching etc. I was taking a potassium tablet when that happened. I know someone else who uses magnesium for that. Not sure of the dosage of magnesium.
Also, head for the bathtub. Your choice, Epson salts or bubble bath. Both will relax you. However, wait an hour after getting out of tub to hit the sack. Its our bodies process to have to take time to recuperate after a hot bath or shower.
Wishing you well, Bright Wings

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@karhvp

I have reduced from 150mg to 75 mg about 6-7 weeks ago and are still having withdrawals. My Nurse Practioner wants me to be withdrawal free before reducing to 37.5 mg.
I read that it takes 2-4 weeks to get through the symptoms. Has anyone else had symptoms this long? Sometimes I feel very confused and can’t concentrate.

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@indri500
This is just a hunch, are you in Indianapolis?
Anyways, check at vape shops, both near you or across a border near you. I myself use the Flippin Hippee in Mountain home, AR. Google them. Ask questions. Listen! These are wonderful folks. They like me cuz I make them laugh.
So what is everyone doing to handle the rushes of emotion? Keep going, keep going, if you can't get over the mountain, go around it. It may take a little longer but I used to take 3 steps forward and slide back 2. When going around the mountain you don't lose as much ground if you start sliding. Anyway, this has taken me all the way to end my depression. Good luck and I am sending determination to go with that luck. Bright Wings

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