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

Wow! What a fabulous post! And how wonderful that students have such an amazing teacher. Thank you! You have helped me and I’m sure countless people feel less alone.

God bless!

Tue, May 19 7:32am · Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) in Depression & Anxiety

I’m so sorry for all that you are going through. If you think back, was there ever a time that any medication worked for you? Just curious.

I was on Effexor for about 20 years. When I was 51 I thought since I was doing so well, I’d start to ween off. I stayed at 37.5 for about a year and then slowly started to ween off that by opening the capsules and taking out a few beads at a time. It was tedious but I had no withdrawal effects while I was taking even the most minuscule dose.

I weened for 18 months. I was very fearful of withdrawal!

Since I was over the menopause hump I thought maybe my hormones would be amenable to no SNRI’s and I would be a happy camper again 🙂

I was completely med free for 6 months. Yeah, I felt, eh. I lost a lot of weight because I was eating as healthy as I could, jogging constantly (due to anxiety) and meditating (which was extremely helpful).

My doctor was keeping a close eye on me. She was worried because it’s REALLY hard to come off Effexor. (Apparently, my doctor is an anomaly!). Actually, she’s a nurse practitioner.

Anyway, it got to be too much. She put me on lexapro and after only a few days my anxiety went through the roof! It was awful! She had me stop that and come in to see her.

She prescribed me Seroquel. Seroquel is used for bipolar disorder (which I’ve never been diagnosed as having!). She said low dose of Seroquel for one week as a mood stabilizer then add low dose of zoloft as a mood lifter.

25 mgs of each.

Now I’m at 50 mg of zoloft and down to a half a 25 mg of Seroquel and I’m very very stable and very very content.

Finally.

My basic point is, so t let low doses of stuff fool you. Don’t go cold turkey in even the lowest crumb of a dose. You will feel it. Give your self lots of time. This medicine is effecting your brain and it takes time to adjust.

Please be slow. Slower than you’re doing now.

Talk to your doc about the meds I’m on and see if they’re familiar. I’m not saying you have what I have. I’m just curious if your doc is well-verses on this very important subject. I totally totally lucked out.

ALSO – during my 6 month med free stint, I had so many wacky things happen. One of which was phantom smells! Another was the development of vertigo that I still suffer with.

Take it easy and take this very seriously. I’m convinced that, while doctors mean well, no one knows exactly how or why some medicines work for some and not for others.

Be well!

Wed, Apr 29 10:00pm · Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) in Depression & Anxiety

Hi there! Because of the way these drugs work with the brain, it may take several weeks to start to take effect. While you wait, do your utmost to eat as healthy as you can, get adequate and regular sleep and exercise. Be your best self even if you have to force yourself. This way you’re helping your body help itself. Please don’t take this as being flip. Anxiety and depression are very very real. And, apart from coming to terms with dealing WITH the mental illness, I also had to come to terms with HAVING a mental illness.

The good news is that both issues become much smaller when the brain is working at its best. Hopefully.

Turns out that, after successfully weening off Effexor, I just couldn’t be myself because of the anxiety and depression. Lucky for me I have a great doc (nurse practitioner, actually) and was able to find relief from taking a combo of seroquel at night and zoloft in the morning.

Everyone is different.

Did you find Effexor effective for you?

-S

Tue, Apr 21 9:51pm · Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) in Depression & Anxiety

Though folks may be many miles away, in this day and age we are connected by our raw and brave words spoken from our true selves through our cyber avatars! What a unique time we are living in! Definitely historical. (And at times, hysterical!) but very interesting we all met here. Of all places!

Stay strong and healthy. Here’s a giant hug. 🙂

Tue, Apr 21 3:19pm · Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) in Depression & Anxiety

The only reason I wanted to ween off Effexor was due to the side effects it was having on me… after weening off but then going back on an ssri pmus Seroquel, i feel great! (And without the side effects I had on Effexor!)

Tue, Apr 21 3:17pm · Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) in Depression & Anxiety

Don’t be scared but also, hang out at 25 mgs for a few weeks and see what happens. Once you start cutting the smaller doses down, it has a bigger impact, but if you’re doing well, see if you keep doing well at the lower dose. Then, when you’re ready, start decreasing very very slowly and hang out at the decreased done for a few weeks. You’ll be fine 🙂

Tue, Apr 21 2:27pm · Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) in Depression & Anxiety

You’re going to be ok and you’re going to ween off successfully, but you MUST ween incredibly slowly. Docs notoriously suggest a regimen that is too fast for folks and leads to horrible withdrawal. If you give yourself, say, a year (don’t freak out!) to ween off, then cut back amounts accordingly, you will not only get off the drug, but with minimal or zero withdrawal. I did.

Thank being said, after 6 mo this med-free, my anxiety and depression came back. (I suppose I got it in my genes… who knows). But I am taking a low dose combo of seroquel at night (half tab of lowest dose made) and 50 mg of zoloft.

It’s not Effexor. So there’s that :).

Just please take care of yourself and your brain!

Fri, Apr 17 1:34pm · Tips on minimising withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (aka Venlafaxine) in Depression & Anxiety

There is nothing I can say, I’m sure, that would even come close to help what you must be feeling. I hope, however, that knowing there are people out here who truly care for you, somehow, comforts you, if only a little. So so sorry for your loss. You have helped so many of us. For that we are so grateful.