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7 hours ago · Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) in Depression & Anxiety

@jmwspud
Glad the Ben*dryl is working for your brain zaps/shivers. Let us know how you continue to get on.

7 hours ago · Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) in Depression & Anxiety

@angiee
Read these posts–at the very least, look back 1–2 weeks–you'll find links to quite a few helpful articles and sites as well as good advice on how to taper off Effexor as well as what withdrawal symptoms can occur and how to minimize/deal with them.

Reducing/quitting Effexor (and other antidepressants) can CAUSE the very issues they were designed to treat–a backlash effect; you may well experience anxiety, agitation, irritability, depression, etc., while tapering off EVEN if you were put on Effexor for non-emotional/non-psychiatric reasons. Many of us experienced major dizziness and vertigo while reducing–if you still have dizziness; this may get worse. Effexor makes profound changes to how our brains balance the neurotransmitters needed to function. Your brain has to reset itself and learn how to work on its own; the time this takes varies enormously.

Reducing SLOOWWWLY significantly minimizes the unpleasant (and sometimes debilitating) withdrawal effects. Your doctor will need to get on board. Prescriptions for other dosage amounts (i.e., 75mg, or 37.5mg), or for a different formulation (changing from extended-release to regular release, or from capsules to tablets) will allow you to mix and match to lower doses. With the right prescription, a compounding pharmacy can even make tapered doses for you.

1 day ago · Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) in Depression & Anxiety

@mammy
Thanks for letting us know you got yourself checked out and your heart is okay. Women's heart attacks are so often ignored, or misinterpreted–didn't want your first post to be your last!

The norm is that MOST doctors don't know how to taper Effexor. If you can, read these posts–at the very least, please look back at least a week, or so–you'll find links to quite a few helpful articles and sites as well as good advice.

You haven't said how much Effexor you were on and how long you were taking it. It is doubtful that your withdrawal symptoms will subside much/at all without reinstating and tapering much slower, or your doctor giving you some something unless you were only on Effexor for a few days at a minimal amount.

2 days ago · Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) in Depression & Anxiety

@mammy
How are you? Did you get your chest pains checked out? Let us know.

2 days ago · Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) in Depression & Anxiety

@elaine0
Your doctor is woefully unknowledgeable about getting someone off Effexor. Just advising you to “drink more water” is poor patient care, if not outright patient neglect. Your first doctor wasn’t much better (ill-informed and sexist)—mood numbness, lowered libido, weight gain ARE all reported Effexor side effects.

Withdrawal symptoms can get much worse when reducing at lower levels, especially if you make large reductions—going from 37.5 to 0 is a BIG drop. Getting impatient now isn't a good idea—as you are experiencing, it can be VERY unpleasant, sometimes dangerous (your blood pressure can drop dramatically, etc.) and worse, rushing the tapering process sets you back.

“If someone discontinues Effexor after daily long-term use, the brain continues expecting Effexor to be delivered …. neurotransmitter activity throughout the brain becomes chaotic as a backlash-type reaction to not delivering the drug that it had adapted itself to. It is the chaotic neurotransmission throughout the brain … that is likely responsible for Effexor withdrawal symptoms. Until the brain manages to re-learn how to function without Effexor’s presence, withdrawal symptoms will probably persist.”
—https://www.4mind4life.com/effexor-withdrawal-symptoms

Help your doctor learn about this issue—print out the articles I cite here for your doctor to read. You can ask your doctor about a "Prozac bridge" (softens the blow when withdrawing from a short half-life drug like Effexor)—essentially you take 10–20mg Prozac (fluoxetine) for a short period (weeks, a month) until your WD symptoms resolve, then taper off the Prozac over 2–3 weeks.

Why taper?
Besides minimizing withdrawal effects, tapering off an antidepressant decreases the risk that depression will recur. A Harvard Medical School study of nearly 400 patients were followed for a year+ after they stopped taking antidepressants prescribed for mood and anxiety disorders. Participants who discontinued rapidly (over 1–7 days) were more likely to relapse within a few months than those who reduced the dose gradually.
—https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/going-off-antidepressants

NOTE—You say you weren’t ever depressed. Be aware that quitting Effexor (and other antidepressants) can cause the very issues they were designed to treat as a backlash effect; your brain has to reset itself and learn how to act without the drug influencing it. Effexor makes profound changes to how our brains balance the neurotransmitters needed to function. When you stop, or significantly lower your Effexor, the brain has to wake up and start working by itself. The time this takes varies enormously.

How to taper—
Reduce your dose in increments (only 5–10%, or even less if you get withdrawal symptoms) and allow 2–6 weeks between dose reductions; if WD symptoms occur, go back to the dose where you didn’t have symptoms, stay there for some weeks, then try tapering again. I was on 25mg tablets–they were tiny, but easy enough to chip off slivers at the beginning and the end of my taper and cut into halves and quarters in the middle. Other folks count the beads in their capsules and guesstimate how many to remove at each taper. You can look for a compounding pharmacy to make specific tapered doses (may not be covered by your insurance and costs $s).

5 days ago · Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) in Depression & Anxiety

@secretwhitepop
Our bodies tell us what we need–I vividly recall getting up one night after a chemo treatment and being desperate for salsa. I like salsa, but I ate an ENTIRE large-size jar and would have gone out into the night for more if I hadn't been too shaky to drive. If you need more protein, go for the steak and hamburger! Just not to the exclusion of other food groups.

5 days ago · Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) in Depression & Anxiety

@secretwhitepop
Susan, as I recall, you have a lot of stressors in your life right now–your mom's Alzheimers, dad's passing a year ago, you moved, etc. You got off Effexor because you wanted to see who your "baseline" self was. It IS possible that you do need to go on something, but you also said you really didn't want to do that. You mentioned taking positive steps such as gardening, moving your desk to face a view and natural light and taking sub-lingual Vitamin B. It can take us 2-3 years to get our brains back to functioning well without Effexor (you were on Effexor for 20 years). The good news is we're moving into summer (more light for longer and more opportunities to get out and walk, or just enjoy outdoor activities).

I don't subscribe to ayurvedic disciplines myself, but there are some commonsense suggestions in these two articles–
https://www.webmd.com/depression/features/finding-joy-mind-body-spirit-guide#1

https://medium.com/@ayurdhamahgurgaon/effective-and-safe-ayurvedic-cure-for-depression-4cbf4b09d056

Here's an article about natural supplements (https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/314421.php). I take l-methylfolate (a prescription B vitamin), L-tryptophan (Lidtk* brand), Solg*ar GABA, omega-3s and ashwaganda.