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

@jakedduck1

@121314
Hi there, why do you have to be on Antidepressants? Are you Bipolar (although that’s not a depressive disorder, but unipolar is, as I understand it) or have schizophrenia or melancholic depression or some other type. Have you had you vitamin D checked, low D can cause depression in some people. Have you had your Thyroid and other blood tests done?

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Does it need to be D3 or just vitamin D?

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@terra, @fallenangel13
Bright wings here, my last Effexor was March 14th but I had been reducing my med since last summer.
1. Please, please go out this am and find a vape shop or a hippie shop. Do yourselves a huge favor and get CBD oil at least 200 mg on the front of the bottle. IT WILL CUT YOUR SYMPTOMS IN HALF. I take 50 mg 3 times a day and I will take this for the rest of my life. It makes me feel much better and better yet, it makes my 8 year old dog dance like a puppy. I will also give it to my dog for the rest of its life. I have to say, I am 67 and firmly thought this was just hippee poop. IT IS NOT!
2. TAKE your extended release capsules and break them open. Then start reducing how many beads you take each day. It is a much kinder way to get off this drug. If you do a search here for @coloradogirl she is the one who shared this tremendous tip. Just click on her name. Then follow her tips.
I wish you well, smiling at you, Bright Wings

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Hi, all – I believe something that was posted a while ago on going off venlafaxine (Effexor) cold turkey bears repeating: a slow taper is usually recommended to avoid significant withdrawal-like symptoms and the possibility it may cause a sudden worsening of depression. This also echoes what @gailb, @darlal, @brightwings and others in this discussion have said.

We previously asked a Mayo Clinic pharmacist to weigh in on the topic of tapering and stopping venlafaxine (Effexor). See her post here: http://mayocl.in/2E74p0j

Some key points from her post are:
– Most antidepressants should be tapered before discontinuing.
– Abrupt discontinuation of venlafaxine is more likely to cause withdrawal symptoms and relapse than many other antidepressants because of its short half-life.
– The most important thing to remember is that each patient is different and may respond differently to the same treatment.

We recommend telling your doctor about your wish to stop and discuss the best way for you. Your pharmacist also may have some useful guidance in the process of stopping this medication.

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@terra

I stopped taking effexor three weeks ago cold turkey after 10 years for depression and anxiety. It has not been a good experience to say the least. I was prescribed 150 mg per day. I was not aware of the seriousness of not taking the drug at the same time every day. I thought that I was suffering from Vertigo until I read an article about the Venaflexin. I was prescribed medication for Vertigo, but now know that I was suffering from not taking the Venaflexin as prescribed. When I got sick (fatigue, horrendous vomiting, sweats, diarrhea, brain zaps), I thought I was suffering from Vertigo I wouldn't take the effexor because I was too nauseous. It was a vicious circle. I have been withdrawing for three weeks. My doctor doesn't know. I am now taking my low dose BP pill and one 50 mg tramadol pill daily for back pain. I'm suppose to take four tramadol daily and two xanax. I'll probably have to take take the recommended dose for the tramadol (it helps) and Xanax as needed. Also having mood changes, such as anxiety and anger.

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RE Xanax : was extremely hard to get off of . Went to ER with 300 BP

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I've been on Venlafaxine for six weeks now. Due to side effects my doctor is having me go off of the meds. I was taking 75mg daily, and I'm on day 5 of 7 days taking 50mg. I feel very dizzy, it's hard to focus,tired because I keep waking up at night. Is this normal symptoms with going off of this medication?

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So if u open the red effexor xr 150 mg there is roughly 175 white balls. Dont chew. So theoretically if u divided the 150mg by 175 balls of medication u would get .857 mg of effexor. Most balls are the same size but some r slightly larger. Now basically this is a tedious process counting the balls.(digital scale that reads 100ths) And different manufacturers and higher doses must be taken in the consideration. But the theroy behind the ball mg doses should stay constent. Then u have to realize this one of the most potetent mood altering drugs on the market. Theoretical this drug could be effective if u find the right dosage and critic ur life still and habits to that doseage. Now this is not easy to do. And no one can figure it out for u. Its trial and error. U would have to take extensive notatian of all ur feelings eating bowel movment blood pressure to the t on every dosage for a long period to come to a conclusion. Because every change in mood can not be attributed to one variable. Now u probably got put on this medication as a last resort i hope. Also environmental factors come into play. Your looking for an answer that cant be completely resolved by medication. A suggestion would be too look at the underlying causes of ur anxiety. Now saying that u doctor can only know so much about ur past or genetic predisposition. If u have a family member that takes the same drug u might think it will work for u. A doctor only has an allotted time to see each patient. Which leaves them to make an educated decision on what might work for you. they are not a therapist. This is a life long journey. But basically take it in stride. U can not control everything. You might try many drugs throughout ur life but really there is no perfect life for anyone. Find something that works well with little as possible side effects take out stress factors and do your best to stay health that is paramount. So basically with the effexor with what i have said do what i makes u feel right. The slower u taper the better u will have rebound depression and anxiety. As said before these r ur underlying issues through this process see what helps those problems. These may be the beginning of ur realization that there are ways to help these issues. Try and make this positive. If u dwell on the negative well… But u will need medication so u might go through this process several times. If i had the answer i would be rich but the show must go on. Probably some typos and grammatical errors but u get the idea. STAY AWAY FROM CAFFEINE IF U HAVE PSYCHIATRIST ISSUES ITS JUST A CRUTCH U DONT REALLY NEED it. good luck.

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@121314
Good question, I should have mentioned it earlier. There are 5 types of Vitamin D,- D, D1, D2, D3, D4 but our bodies only use D2 & D3. Clinical trials show that D3 is superior to D2. Newer studies now show D3 is twice as effective as D2 probably because it binds to proteins better. My problem is I took two of the worst Anticonvulsants for getting rid of Vitamin D Dilantin and Phenobarbital. These drugs increase activity of enzymes in the liver which causes Vitamin D to be broken down into inactive forms of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is absorbed
In the intestines but Thyroid problems hinder that absorption. Some researchers believe people 65 and over are all in need of Vitamin D to help fight off disease. Another important fact regarding Vitamin D is adequate levels D helps reduce adverse reactions of some meds. Vitamin D has many vital functions to keep us healthy and should not be ignored.
Most people don’t understand the sun and vit D which is confusing to me but you only need about 15 minutes in sun several times a day but the angle of the sun is vital and other factors like pollution, clouds, sun screen, cloths etc. Also only UVB rays can be used by the body. If your in a car or sitting in the sun behind any glass it won’t help. UVA rays go through glass but only age your skin. Whenever your in the sun and your shadow is shorter than you are your in luck. But don’t overdue it. Eat healthy and eat foods fortified with vit D. Always ask your doctor if a new or current prescription is going to affect you Vit D levels.

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Took me 6 full months but I am finally off the demon drug! DO NOT go cold turkey! Even after tapering I had some residual affects like vertigo, nausea, etc. Trying to go cold turkey years ago landed me in the hospital! After 15 years I am Effexor free!!

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@sunflowermom4

I've been on Venlafaxine for six weeks now. Due to side effects my doctor is having me go off of the meds. I was taking 75mg daily, and I'm on day 5 of 7 days taking 50mg. I feel very dizzy, it's hard to focus,tired because I keep waking up at night. Is this normal symptoms with going off of this medication?

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Vertigo is definitely a symptom of withdrawal. Take it slow, it will subside if you are tapering slowly!

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@brightwings

@terra, @fallenangel13
Bright wings here, my last Effexor was March 14th but I had been reducing my med since last summer.
1. Please, please go out this am and find a vape shop or a hippie shop. Do yourselves a huge favor and get CBD oil at least 200 mg on the front of the bottle. IT WILL CUT YOUR SYMPTOMS IN HALF. I take 50 mg 3 times a day and I will take this for the rest of my life. It makes me feel much better and better yet, it makes my 8 year old dog dance like a puppy. I will also give it to my dog for the rest of its life. I have to say, I am 67 and firmly thought this was just hippee poop. IT IS NOT!
2. TAKE your extended release capsules and break them open. Then start reducing how many beads you take each day. It is a much kinder way to get off this drug. If you do a search here for @coloradogirl she is the one who shared this tremendous tip. Just click on her name. Then follow her tips.
I wish you well, smiling at you, Bright Wings

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Took me 6 months to taper off 150 ER…best thing I ever did!! And I second the CBD oil!

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Excellent advice from one who's been there

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I have been taking Effexor for 17 years. Presently at 150 mg daily. Attempted to come off once before and got down to 75 mg and then back up to 150 mg after a bad period. Thinking about trying to wean off the drug once again after reading other people's crticism of it and am worried about the possible long term damage it may cause.
I have found the drug did help with the depression and anxiety/panic attacks. But as situations have changed, thinking I may not require it any more. If I am late taking it, I know physically as I start to get the classic symptoms of nausea, diarrhea, headaches, achiness etc. I take it in the evening due to fasting in the morning. And if I forget, dreams can be brutal. Any suggestions? Certainly am not going to go cold turkey. Any one with experience weaning themselves off after so many years of taking the drug?

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