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

Stopping Effexor is simple but for some unknown reason people make it difficult. Of course you should always consult your doctor but sometimes they have you stop to soon. Some people can stop quicker than others. Remember, if your having ANY type of withdrawal symptoms your stopping to quickly. Most people become physically dependent on this medication and so your body requires it. Which is why severe withdrawal symptoms can occur within hours of not having it. It has probably the shortest half life of any anti-depressant and that is why people have symptoms so quickly of either not receiving their second dose or not enough when trying to stop. Some people can probably cut their Effexor by 50%, personally I wouldn’t recommend it. I’d reduce it by 10-25% every two weeks, every week might work for you but it doesn’t work for everyone. So, if you decide you want off it quick and your body allows it, which I know it won’t, have fun trying but don’t come back here belly aching about awful symptoms. There is absolutely no reason for you to have any symptoms while coming off this medication, NONE! Just remember INCH BY INCH ANYTHINGS A CINCH. This little saying is so true. And NEVER skip a day or days without taking this medication. I can almost guarantee you going from 37.5 every other day won’t work. Your body is going to crave that med and if you know what’s good for you you’ll satisfy that craving. Best of luck kids!!! Remember the little saying now, it works miracles!!!!!

@brightwings

@amalia78
I was thinking I written your name before. I clicked on your name and read your first posts.
Wow, you have been making progress. What a change in the imprinted feelings as I read. What happened, did you win the lottery or something? I feel joy and more youth in you.
Hoping you share some of your good things here too.

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@brightwings. Thanks for your response. This really is a community of support. We know what we are dealing with and can understand the challenges.
I am taking turmeric with bioperine, 4 capsules a day. (2 in the am and 2 in the pm.
Dosage amounts to 2000mg. I have had no adverse reaction to the turmeric. It helps with anxiety significantly,and it also helps with arthritis in my hands.
I have a very good doctor who prescribes lower doses of Effexor as I taper down.I am down to 150 mg now.
I like taking the same dose every day rather t than skipping a day.

My personal opinion about this drug can not be repeated on a nice site like this. I have gotten myself off 15 other medications without a problem. Getting off this Effexor sucks big time. Now remember, I was on it at 150 mg for 26 years.
I ran out of my CBD oil that cut my symptoms in half. I threw myself back into withdrawal, after 4 months and a week with no med. I DO NOT CALL THAT SIMPLE. Bright Wings

@jakedduck1

Never stop taking it cold turkey EVER. You could be hospitalized even death can occur. I’ve seen to many people not take the seriousness and real dangers of quitting this medication. There have been some very lucky people here, Susie for one.
Effexor has a shot half life, probably the shortest of the antidepressants. Because of this the withdrawal symptoms can occur quickly. All this is affected by your metabolism, so if metabolism is slow your withdrawal symptoms will take longer to appear since your body will take longer to get rid of the medication. With a fast metabolism the opposite will occur. Many will have some symptoms if they miss just one dose, especially with a fast metabolism.
Effexor withdrawal symptoms varies from person to person but can take anywhere from 10 days if on a low dose and taken for a short time to a month and even longer depending on strength and time you’ve been taking it. It also depends on the person. If I were stopping it I’d only decrease my dose by 10% to an absolute high of 25% and if any of the multitude of symptoms showed up I’d immediately increase it and reduce the maximum to maybe 15%. Always take a dose every day. Never skip a day/days. And take your new dose at least 7 days before taking a lower dose. Some may have or want to take it longer. The point I’m trying to make is that you shouldn’t have ANY SYMPTOMS while stopping Effexor. And when you take your last dose you’ll be Effexor free and never have another symptom. If however you have been abusing it your outcome may not be as good and problems could possibly occur in the future.
Wishing everyone the very best of luck, and please remember small doses over a longer time is the key

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It was never prescribed for me. I tried it as a natural aid for dealing with arthritis, and was surprised to find it helping with my level of anxiety. My PCP confirmed that it has this potential.
BTW yesterday for the first time in months I forgot to take the Effexor.
I had very long complex dreams this morning, felt I was hallucinating, and had to open my eyes to reorient myself. Now feeling queasy and brain buzzing. Just to remind myself why I want "off"!
Hope it doesn't last too long as I have my grandson coming to visit on Sunday.

@jakedduck1

Never stop taking it cold turkey EVER. You could be hospitalized even death can occur. I’ve seen to many people not take the seriousness and real dangers of quitting this medication. There have been some very lucky people here, Susie for one.
Effexor has a shot half life, probably the shortest of the antidepressants. Because of this the withdrawal symptoms can occur quickly. All this is affected by your metabolism, so if metabolism is slow your withdrawal symptoms will take longer to appear since your body will take longer to get rid of the medication. With a fast metabolism the opposite will occur. Many will have some symptoms if they miss just one dose, especially with a fast metabolism.
Effexor withdrawal symptoms varies from person to person but can take anywhere from 10 days if on a low dose and taken for a short time to a month and even longer depending on strength and time you’ve been taking it. It also depends on the person. If I were stopping it I’d only decrease my dose by 10% to an absolute high of 25% and if any of the multitude of symptoms showed up I’d immediately increase it and reduce the maximum to maybe 15%. Always take a dose every day. Never skip a day/days. And take your new dose at least 7 days before taking a lower dose. Some may have or want to take it longer. The point I’m trying to make is that you shouldn’t have ANY SYMPTOMS while stopping Effexor. And when you take your last dose you’ll be Effexor free and never have another symptom. If however you have been abusing it your outcome may not be as good and problems could possibly occur in the future.
Wishing everyone the very best of luck, and please remember small doses over a longer time is the key

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@amalia78
Oh, darling be careful please. Those dreams from withdrawal caused me to have a mini stroke.
I have completely recovered body wise, but Definately lost brain cells over it.
I want to hear how much turmeric you take and how. I remember watching Dr Oz and many times turmeric is mentioned to help lose weight cuz it reves your metabolism. Its pouring rain right now. I will come back when I can use my hotspot and post links.
Take care of yourself. Bright Wings

Wow, I have been awake for almost 2 hours and I AM NOT SMILING! I woke up in total body sweats. Body feeling so heavy. Face long. No joy or happiness. I don't understand this. I will call my pharmacist when he gets there. I don't get this. Last dose of Effexor was March 14.
Yes I ran out of CBD oil, can it really have been carrying me thru this withdrawal for this long????? Even throwing my dog his dog Bisquit is so hard to do.
I got 3 calls from Kenya at 220 am. I slept thru them but maybe that disturbed my sleep. I sent texts to my favorite son in the world this am saying warning warning. Do not call yet. He called anyways, I tried not to chew his butt off but there was no warmth in my voice when he called anyways.
Ok I know I will get thru this but 4 months plus since my last dose? Doesn't make any sense to me. I will return after I figure out what happened or how I get past this.

Ok, the pharmacist helped me figure out what is happening to me. This is what he shared with me.
4 things going on here at the same time.
1. CBD oil, by allowing myself to run out was one contributing factor. He approves of CBD says it does amazing things for so many people…but he has not specifically studied it.
2. changing my edible schedule to make up for the decrease in CBD has caused quite a spike in my thc level. (5 whole ones in 2 days instead of 2/8"s a day is a major change). The extra THC probably dropped my REM sleep quite a bit. This combined with the drop in cbd has really messed up my feeling of well being.
3. He does not believe I am still in withdrawal from the venlafaxine. He believes that left my system a "while ago".
4. Now, this really bad relapse of my MS may have a bearing in this all but it is not his area of expertise.
All in all this call helped. When I know what is happening I can work to make my life better, more livable if you will. I was actually sounding like myself by the end of the call.
He talked a bit about the new interest docs have in studying how using mushrooms as a one time dose to change brain chemistry can end bouts of depression. By no means is he suggesting this, only that it is being studied here in the states.
You know, as I finish writing all of this, I can feel myself changing inside. Lighter and hopeful again. Lots of folks have been trying to get in touch with me today, I have been blowing them off. When I feel like this, it's me first. Cuz I can't help anyone when feeling that bad.
So my plan today is to eat on time, bake bread for ceremony tomorrow and get my tomatoes marinating to go on that bread.
I will go back to my normal dose of edible cuz I don't want the thc levels bouncing all over the place too. Remember I just started using the edibles in the last month or so.
Ok, not flying but at least hoping up and down a bit. Bright Wings

@jakedduck1

Never stop taking it cold turkey EVER. You could be hospitalized even death can occur. I’ve seen to many people not take the seriousness and real dangers of quitting this medication. There have been some very lucky people here, Susie for one.
Effexor has a shot half life, probably the shortest of the antidepressants. Because of this the withdrawal symptoms can occur quickly. All this is affected by your metabolism, so if metabolism is slow your withdrawal symptoms will take longer to appear since your body will take longer to get rid of the medication. With a fast metabolism the opposite will occur. Many will have some symptoms if they miss just one dose, especially with a fast metabolism.
Effexor withdrawal symptoms varies from person to person but can take anywhere from 10 days if on a low dose and taken for a short time to a month and even longer depending on strength and time you’ve been taking it. It also depends on the person. If I were stopping it I’d only decrease my dose by 10% to an absolute high of 25% and if any of the multitude of symptoms showed up I’d immediately increase it and reduce the maximum to maybe 15%. Always take a dose every day. Never skip a day/days. And take your new dose at least 7 days before taking a lower dose. Some may have or want to take it longer. The point I’m trying to make is that you shouldn’t have ANY SYMPTOMS while stopping Effexor. And when you take your last dose you’ll be Effexor free and never have another symptom. If however you have been abusing it your outcome may not be as good and problems could possibly occur in the future.
Wishing everyone the very best of luck, and please remember small doses over a longer time is the key

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Weird dreams are a common thing with these kind of meds I have them often .

@brightwings

@amalia78
I was thinking I written your name before. I clicked on your name and read your first posts.
Wow, you have been making progress. What a change in the imprinted feelings as I read. What happened, did you win the lottery or something? I feel joy and more youth in you.
Hoping you share some of your good things here too.

Jump to this post

CBD oil is expensive Got a bill for $ 80.00 Thats Over my limit

@fallenangel13

I have been on effexor since 2015 . I was put on it without being informed of anything about it and have been trying to get off ever since. My doctor won't help me so I am fixing to go cold turkey. It's getting more depressing being on it than it's worth. I have read what everyone has posted and all great if you have a doctor willing to help. Good luck to you all.

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Going cold turkey is dangerous. I talked to a pharmacist and she suggests reducing dose by 37.5 mg every week. U can ask them to fill your Rx in doses of 37.5 mg. Still get some side effects but minimal.

Liked by dianrib

@fallenangel13

I have been on effexor since 2015 . I was put on it without being informed of anything about it and have been trying to get off ever since. My doctor won't help me so I am fixing to go cold turkey. It's getting more depressing being on it than it's worth. I have read what everyone has posted and all great if you have a doctor willing to help. Good luck to you all.

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I know your post is about Effexor But I'd like to remind all , other meds are just as, or more dangerous such as Xanax. My pharmacist did but after I' had gotten very sick / I was taken to the ER with 300 BP & very sick ! Thought I was having a stroke. ER MD said' Xanax is only to be taken occasionally. I think lots of doctors have NO clue about how devastating these drugs can be to some folks. Now I fear them STill on Xanax sadly When I went off Prozac I had NO withdrawal … wish I had stayed on it. Hate being 'addicted' to Xanax .

I know the answer is probably somewhere in this post but it's so long, I probably wouldn't find it. So I am taking extended release 150 capsules. How effective is dividing those capsules in half? Who has done this and how much did you take out of the capsule at a time?

@tshere95

recently read a post where someone was removing 5 beads a day. It was working for her, at least for now but not to sure if it will continue to be as successful as she gets to the end.
Personally I would remove a a certain amount and take them for a certain period of time. I’m not sure how many to remove or how many are in a capsule. You probably should contact a pharmacist.
Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. Best of luck though.

@tshere95

I know the answer is probably somewhere in this post but it's so long, I probably wouldn't find it. So I am taking extended release 150 capsules. How effective is dividing those capsules in half? Who has done this and how much did you take out of the capsule at a time?

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@tshere95, See this post from earlier in the discussion thread made by a Mayo Clinic pharmacist https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/tips-on-minimising-withdrawal-symptoms-from-effexor-aka-venlafaxine/?pg=87#comment-113801 followed by comments of members with their experiences.
Dividing the beads of a capsule is not recommended primarily because it can result in uneven doses. See this article about the pros and cons of pill and capsule splitting https://www.mdedge.com/psychiatry/article/62466/pros-and-cons-pill-splitting

@tshere95

I know the answer is probably somewhere in this post but it's so long, I probably wouldn't find it. So I am taking extended release 150 capsules. How effective is dividing those capsules in half? Who has done this and how much did you take out of the capsule at a time?

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You can’t empty out the capsule you won’t get a exact dose each time side effects dangerous when abruptly changing dose of these medications always consult with prescribing physician about medications

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