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Stopping Effexor


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#201 BCFan75

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 11:43 AM

I have been taking 75 mg for about a year and a half. I asked my DR. to take me off of it because of memory issues and breakthroughs. I just started the step down to 37.5 last night. Not quite sure what we are going to go to next. I'm also on 150 wellbutrin, which she talked about upping.
Be strong, things will get better.

#202 starr

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 08:21 AM

Hi,

When I was coming off Effexor in the past
I was also going onto another med so that helped
my symptons of dep/anx not to return but
even tapering slowly off the effexor I had
dizzy spells. It took several weeks for
them to pass. Although it worked good for
me it had too many side effects for me to
consider it again.

best wishes,
starr

#203 geosbride

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 12:06 AM

Holy crap--Effexor (XR) withdrawal is HORRENDOUS!

I've been coming off 225mg for at least SEVEN months now--hard to recall since this has reduced my memory abilities to near zero--and I'm STILL not through! I've been on Efxr for ~10 yrs, but am such a basket-case now, I feel I've regressed to back 19 yrs when I first had my 'breakdown' and was hospitalized.

I bust out crying at everything and anything: a sad song, a happy song, a tv commercial, cartoons, newspaper & magazine articles/pictures, old memories (that are cropping up like an out-of-control diary), children playing, when trying to have conversations.... it's almost comical how often I cry.

Oh, and the anger! Unbelievable! And, again, like it was 19 yrs ago b4 I was told I was a danger to myself and/or others. Can't really do ANYTHING that requires human contact: driving, shopping, even emailing, I'm just being nasty/mean/rude/near-violent constantly and don't have any control.

Can't wait to be done and start the new med (which can't be mixed with Efxr).

Anyway, on to how I'm coming off it....

We did the 'normal' lowering by 37.5, tho I must be ultra-sensitive to it, since it took, like, a month between each drop or else I felt like I was coming off some kind of dope--sick to my stomach (literally throwing up)--but still felt like I was starving, zaps so bad I could hardly walk, not sleeping much and when I did would have such horrific/vivid dreams I felt like I might as well have stayed awake.

When I finally got down and leveled out on 37.5s and needed to get off those, I--and my doctor--was at a loss as to how to do it. Skipping days in between was just not an option b/c of how sick it made me. So, out of desperation, I, too, started removing 'beads' (as I've read others on here have done). I actually counted how many were in each to figure how many to cut out. The counts aren't exact: anywhere from 35-42 beads per capsule (based on four that I opened & counted). I just rounded the number to 40 and figured I'd go down by 5 beads at first.

With gelatin capsules from the health food store, I counted out 35 beads and put 'em into a new capsule. Being so sensitive, I still got the side effects--not horrible--but zaps, vertigo and mild nausea for the first day-and-a-half. Once I felt 'leveled out' again, I went down another 5, etc. This worked ok until around 20, when removing 5 caused too many effects.

So, the last 4-5 wks, I've gone down one bead every 2-3 days, depending on effects, and am down to 5 beads.

This has been the most arduous experience of my life. I keep telling my husband to remind me that everything I'm feeling & going thru is temporary and related to coming off this drug--and I have to be reminded often. I also have to keep apologizing for my behavior, but thankfully my husband's extraordinarily forgiving and patient.

Btw, I didn't want to taper w/Prozac b/c I'd been on that in the past and had terrible withdrawals from that, too. And, the only other med I'm on now is Lamictal 100mg. As I said, I'll be adding another AD, but can only do so once the Efxr is out of my system...... Looking forward to finally being OFF THIS!!!!


#204 Grammy101

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 02:41 PM

I had been on 75mg Effexor tablets for 5 years or so (really can't remember when i started it). I started taking it to offset Menopausal symptoms when I stopped HRS. I knew that i needed to taper off the Effexor, because I once was caught out of town without it for 4 days and suffered THE WORST headache of my life, ended going to hospital for the pain. I started by cutting the tablets in quarters and taking 3/4 of a tablet for 4 weeks, then went to 1/2 for 4 weeks, and 1/4 for 4 weeks. I am now completely off them for 4 weeks. I did have slight withdrawal symptoms, not as severe as I anticipated after reading what others had gone through. I have had tinnitus, hot flashes, and another weird thing that I can only describe as 'hearing my eyes move. I have started being very 'weepy'. I can live with that. My biggest problem with taking Effexor was that I felt like I had no emotions at all. I never got sad, or angry, or happy. Just nothing... The main thing I am hoping for is that the ringing in my ears will quieten down.
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#205 tinytut

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 03:03 AM

I am coming off Effexor right now, not by choice. I had to switch from seeing the doc at the college I was going to, to seeing a doc at the VA because I was dropping out of school. Long story short I can't get into see a shrink at the va until march so I had about two weeks of meds to ween myself off. I'm on 150mg Effexor, 150mg welbutrin, 1-2mg Ativan as needed and 10mg ambien as needed.

Now I have come off Effexor before, mostly over long weekends where I forget to refill my meds, and I know how painful one missed pill can be. When I took my last 75mg tab on Momday, I was scared. I was waiting for the brain zaps and the ear noise, and the vomiting that I had gotten before. But, for some reason, it never came. I am still having sme minor brain zaps, but 5 days med free I'm feeling okay. The only think I can think of that might be helping is the fact that I am recovering from a knee injury and I'm on 5/500 Vicodine.

But for those of you out there getting ready to come off Effexor or Pristiq, I came off that about a year ago and it was ugly too, I guess maybe there is a chance it won't be soooo bad? So far these 5 days for me have been bearable. I'm hoping the next few are the same.

Tut

#206 forlornhope

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 08:01 AM

I am also coming of effexor(venlafaxine) now. From 150 to 75 with advice from my doc on how to do so and it is messing with me completely. I've had the worst insomnia i've had in my life (less than half my normal sleep and stayed awake for 2 nights this week already - and I feel close to emotionally exploding. I have no focus at all, no motivation, energy, and I can't think straight, it's just cyclic thoughts, worse than normal - so i'm just putting everything off again. I hope this will pass soon as I don't want to go back on them, or to do any damage to my world in the mean time.

#207 QueSeraSera

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 07:21 PM

I came off 50mg pristiq at the end of November because I was having odd irregular heartbeats because of it.

My doctor advised me to stop taking it all together and put me on another drug, which I've also stopped taking after consulting with him.

The reason I did that is I've had the worst withdrawl symptoms from the pristiq. To name a few
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach Cramps
  • Diarrhoea
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Anger

What I'm wondering and trying to figure out is how long this can go on for??

I've been off work since around the 7th of December and have had a pretty awful Christmas having no money and all.

#208 troop111

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 05:31 AM

Hi, excellent thread.

I am following a slow tapering schedule from 225 mg Effexor. I'm down to 37.5 mg. My p-doc added prozac as my new anti-depressant.

I need reassurance: A withdrawal symptom of coming off the Effexor is depression right? My depression has become markedly worse since I began withdrawing, that and my anxiety. I also have loss of appetite and very vivid dreaming.

Did you guys get more depressed when you came off the Effexor, depressed from withdrawal, something that went away? If it didn't go away then it probably wasn't WD, you need a new AD. But as far as WD, did your depression become much worse for a few weeks?

Thank you.


troop

#209 tinytut

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 02:05 AM

Well I am now two weeks effexor free and I figured I would throw an update on here.

First, I guess I should point out that I have been on some type of AD since mid 2004. Remeron, Prozac, Zoloft, back to Prozac, Pristiq, Welbutrin, and Effexor. This is the first time in 7.5 years I have gone more than a day or two with no meds.

And I actually feel pretty ok. As for the withdraw, it sucks. As I said before I was on some pain killers for my knee and I think that helped with some of it. Now I am off those as well and I am still having some minor brain-zaps and some dizziness. I seem to have more energy now. My sex drive has started to return (figured that was long gone lol!) I have noticed I am hungry all the time, not sure if that is a side effect of the lack of meds, or the increased activity.

As for the depression and anxiety that I was taken the meds for in the first place....the depression hasn't really returned too bad. I do notice I am very lonely and really wishing that I wasn't living in a city where I have no family or friends, more so than before stopping, but it hasn't been to bad. My anxiety has held off for the most part.

As I have said before, I didn't want to come off my drugs, but I lost my insurance and my job so that was my only real option. I don't know if I'll go back on them again or not, only time will tell.

Good luck to all of you coming off these drugs, it does get better b
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#210 ReneeN

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 05:14 PM

Hi there

I am hoping someone can give me some advice. I have been taking anti depresents for close to 4 years now. First zoloft and now Efexor XR 75mg (after cutting down from 150mg).

I am a Mum to 4 children (9.8.7.2), my partner and I run our own business etc so life can be stressful however I am wanting to come off the efexor, I have terrible night sweats, zero sex drive, massive sugar cravings (not sure if this is the efexor though)

I have missed a couple days over the past couple of months and did not cope well at all, was stressed out severly after 'forgetting' to take it one morning, had a massive melt down in the shopping centre and ended up buying a puppy!!!! I end up crying all day.

How am i going to stop taking this sucessfully? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

#211 Mr_Koo

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 10:22 AM

i want to stop all the drugs of depression that I've been taken for 3 years immediately :sneaky2:

#212 Guest_sweetnessxx_*

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 09:55 PM

Hi, excellent thread.

I am following a slow tapering schedule from 225 mg Effexor. I'm down to 37.5 mg. My p-doc added prozac as my new anti-depressant.

I need reassurance: A withdrawal symptom of coming off the Effexor is depression right? My depression has become markedly worse since I began withdrawing, that and my anxiety. I also have loss of appetite and very vivid dreaming.

Did you guys get more depressed when you came off the Effexor, depressed from withdrawal, something that went away? If it didn't go away then it probably wasn't WD, you need a new AD. But as far as WD, did your depression become much worse for a few weeks?

Thank you.


troop


Im in the same spot...Im down from 130 mg a day to 68.75mg. I taper by 6.25mg every two weeks and this time i feel so blah and depressed....I dont want to do anything, go to work, school , study....Im so exhausted and fatigued, my appetite is increased like crazy...

How r u doin??/

Anyone else doing well off effexor? does this depression go away???

#213 rebelslady

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 10:08 AM

I've been off Effexor XR 75mg for a bit over 2 weeks now. I'm not depressed! What I am is p***** off at the world for no reason. Every little thing pi**es me off. I was never like this before the med and I hate being like this now. I really hope it's just a withdrawal effect and not permanent. Guess it's time to talk to the doctor on Monday.

#214 bh34465

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 07:05 PM

I got off of Effexor XR after about 8 years. The withdrawal was HELL - anger, brain zaps, crying for no apparent reason, nervousness, and the worst was lying on the floor screaming and bawling my eyes out. I thought I was losing my mind.

I think Effexor was helping me, but I wanted to get off of it and see how I could do without medication (not so well, by the way). Still, I'm glad I did because the withdrawal symptoms (something that they failed to tell me about) are horrible.

Since I stopped taking them, I have developed joint pains and some research and posts from others seem to indicate that can happen after stopping it.

bh34465
 

Responding to entrenched thoughts such as "I can't" with counter-thoughts such as "If I can't completely remedy the situation, what can I do to make it a little better?" begins to tap into hidden resourcefulness and potential.

 

"Anyone can carry his burden, however hard, until nightfall. Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, till the sun goes down. And this is all life really means."
-Robert Louis Stevenson

 


#215 xhowlx

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 10:06 PM

THIS IS HELL!!

I have been on effexor xr for about three almost four years, i began on lexapro and was switched over after two years

I started on a 50mg dose and after a year was upped to 100mg, a year later I was upped to 200mg. On the 100mg I had experienced mild withdrawal effects and now on the 200mg the withdrawal effects have become severe.

Now it is extremely rare that I miss a dose, but for some reason I just happened to miss last night, and now I feel like I'm going insane.

I am experiencing all the effects listed, headaches, bodyaches, anger, crying, laughing, dizziness, anxiety, sweating, everything. It is just horrible and I am home alone all day :(

I was never informed about the severe side effects and withdrawals of effexor and I think it is a huge problem that doctors seem to just leave this out when they perscribe it. After I complained to my doctor about the withdrawals she then told me that effexor has some of the worst side effects and can be very hard to come off of. If I had known this fact at the time of being perscribed I probably would've looked into less harsh AD

Feeling like this makes me want to be able to come off of it so desperately because I don't want to have to rely on it forever.

My depression and anxiety can be and has been very severe for a long time now but I feel like this can only make it worse by giving me a crutch.

I'm sorry if some of this seems jumbled or the words don't seem right but my head is so fuzzy right now I can hardly function.

Finding this page and reading some of your stories has reassured me that I should go with how I feel and try and get off of effexor. I know it will be hard and I will probably have to be weaned off but feeling like this just for missing one dose is not worth it!
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#216 xhowlx

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 10:10 PM

oh and i have been experiencing night sweats for a while now as well, including last night which kept me up tossing and turning

truely uncomfortable in winter because i wake up drenched and absolutely freezing
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#217 Ginnygips

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 02:01 PM

I think I've been taking Venlafaxine since March of this year. I started on 75mg and my psychiatrist increased the dose to 150mg at the end of June after it stopped working. It didn't help and I had bad headaches and dizziness. Last Friday he said he will take me off Venlafaxine and Mirtazipine and start me on Amitriptyline. I've been coming off Venalfazine by 37.5mg every 3 days. I have one more day of 37.5mg and then I stop. I think the normal way to withdraw is over a few weeks. I've been told dto do it in 9 or 10 days. I hadn't had any big effects until today. I feel like I've got the flu. I've got a horrible headache and I'm very dizzy. It's not a pleasant experience at all.

#218 juniper29

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 04:47 PM

Hi all, just wanted to chime in and say that it CAN be done. I was on effexor for 7 years, most of them at 37.5, but upwards of 150 at one point. I weaned to around 20 mg, just by cutting back slowly, and then had the pharmacist make me 1mg capsules. I went from 20 to 0, lowering one mg per week. It worked. I then experienced a lot of panic attacks. I also took gravol (dramamine) to counteract the nausea. It took a good four months for the panic attacks to wear off, and then I seemed fine. Two years later I'm taking Lexapro, because about 8 months after going off effexor I developed some stomach issues (don't think there is a correlation) and a gluten sensitivity, which increased my anxiety.

Best of luck to you all, I didn't think I could do it, but I did! And I've purposely skipped days with lexapro, and I only get the nausea at day 3. Not like effexor which made me feel like i was insane if i missed my dose by 2 hours.

YOU CAN DO IT!!!!
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#219 SufferInSilence

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 08:49 PM

I stopped my Effexor cold turkey and I would not recommend anyone do it this way. The side effects were absolutely terrible. The brain zaps were almost to the point of being crippling. Shakes, tremors, nauseau. Ugh. And I had to work while going through this. I teach music and was in the presence of children almost all the time. Not a good thing at all. After going through that, I know I will never take that AD again. Please listen to your doctor and taper off gradually. You may have some symptoms of discontinuation, but it is better than what you may have otherwise. It is simply not worth it. On the plus side, I am glad to be free from it :)
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#220 ska123

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 02:14 PM

I've only been on the effexor xr for 2 1/2 weeks. I started at 75 mgs and raised it 150 4 days ago. I have been having a terrible time with disrupted sleeping and nightmares and don't want to be on this med anymore. Since I've been on it for such a short time, do you think I need to taper? I only have the 75 mg pills. I see my doc on Friday and am wondering if I should just cut back to 75 mgs until I see him.

#221 Tottering

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 07:36 AM

I am in week 4 of Effexor withdrawal, after taking it for 7 years. I slowly cut my doses down from 450mg to 75 mg over about 2 years. Am so bad about taking medication on time that brain zaps were just a way of life for me...sort of my inner alarm clock "ooops, guess what you forgot to do this morning!" Anyway. I dropped from 75mg to 0 and not recommended to any but the foolhardy. Having said that, 2 weeks of hell and 1 of misery and I feel like I'm on the other side of the physical problems, just the occasional brain zap.

But to the point Ska123, I would talk to your doctor and see if maybe you can get an additional script for something like diazepam (Valium) or Seroquel, which are often used with Effexor to help with some of the sleep problems and/or restless legs. If you are severely depressed, it is one of the best drugs on the market, Which is maybe why it was prescribed in the first place? Still, everyone's reactions are different. In the meantime, see if you can cope on just the 75s until Friday, then see what your doc thinks. I'm not a doc, just someone who has tried a lot of different medications, and know that a cocktail of things is the usual way to go.

Good luck, hang in there.

#222 ska123

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 12:46 PM

Thanks for your reply, Tottering. I've decided to try to stay on it at the 150 mgs. I had a very good night last night without any sleep disturbances or nightmares (well none that I can remember, anyway.) Were you on the xr version of Effexor? Did it help your depression? Maybe I just need to ride it out for another week or so to see if these side effects pass. I'm severely depressed and anxious, so maybe this med will work for me. I guess it would be a shame not to try.

#223 Tottering

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 05:31 PM

Yes I was on XRr, I think that is the main version. It means slow release, to make it ok to take just once a day. That's good that you have stuck with it. I don't know if this is the first medication you have tried, but side effects are part of what you have to deal with. It's always a balance between which is worse, the side effects or the depression?

Anyway, ask your doctor if there is something else you can try, if the side effects of Effexor are unacceptable. For me, Zoloft was the worst, I couldn't unclench my jaws and had visual effects that made driving pretty dangerous, but for other people it is the best thing. So everyone is different. Just keep seeing the doc every week or so until you stabilize, and let him/her know about all your side effects. He should listen and respond.



#224 Tungsten Aromatics

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 07:51 AM

My regime was similar. Little steps. My biggest fear was that the 'withdrawal' effects would not go away: but each change only lasted 1 and a half days. It took me 9 weeks to get off completely.

Don't rush it. Look after your brain. Let it rest in between each drop in amount. The effects will go away eventually. The brain zaps stop eventually!



Hi - I haven't read many of the posts as the thread is quite long (so I'm sorry if I'm repeating a similar post) but I'd like to second Lizzy's post.

I'm having to come off both Venlafaxine and Mirtazapine due to cost and am following something similar to the original post but with slightly bigger jumps due to a cross-detox and lower dose of Venlafaxine:

Venlafaxine 150mgs : Mirtazapine 45mgs

Week 1 - 75 : 45
Week 2 - 75 : 15 (or half of a 45mg tablet, 22.5mgs)
Week 3 - 0 : 15
Week 4 - 0 : 15

------or-------

Week 1 - 75 : 45
Week 2 - 75 : 15 (or half of a 45mg tablet, 22.5mgs)
Week 3 - 75 : 15 (both on alternating days)
Week 4 - 0 : 15 (still on alternating days)

When using alternating days:

Monday - Mirtazapine 15mgs : Venlafaxine 0mgs
Tuesday - Mirtazapine 0mgs : Venlafaxine 75mgs
Wednesday - Mirtazapine 15mgs : Venlafaxine 0mgs
Thursday - Mirtazapine 0mgs : Venlafaxine 75mgs
Friday - Mirtazapine 15mgs : Venlafaxine 0mgs
Saturday - Mirtazapine 0mgs : Venlafaxine 75mgs
Sunday - Mirtazapine 15mgs : Venlafaxine 0mgs

Which then sets you up for week 4 where you'll only be taking Mirtazapine at 15mgs. After week 4, of course your med free. :)

I must stress that this is a plan I have drawn up myself and that I will use to detox off both Mirtazapine and Venlafaxine.

TA.

Edited by Tungsten Aromatics, 13 September 2012 - 08:49 AM.


#225 Haywire

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 09:45 AM

My dr. told me to cut my pills in half (75) and take for 3 weeks then stop. I stopped taking the pills this past tuesday. I have been dizzy each day. How long does it take for the dizziness to go away? My only side effects are the restless leg syndrome at night and the brain ticks. I so what off this medication. I have taken it for almost 6 years now. My life has changed and I feel I can get off this drug now....

Edited by Haywire, 20 September 2012 - 09:47 AM.

It's time to wake up...

#226 Haywire

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 10:41 AM

Wanted to give an update on the stoppping the Effxor. It's been 10 days today. The dizziness has subsided greatly. My doctor had me take Meclizine HCI (over the counter drug) for the dizziness, and it did help. I have had one crying session, but it didn't last a long time. The brain tics have subsided as well, but are still happening. I now realize how much I was not feeling, emotionally. I'm willing to give this withdrawal more time. The restless leg syndrome has pretty much stopped as well. Be well folks...the side effects will ease up...
It's time to wake up...

#227 Haywire

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 09:22 AM

Update: It's been 32 days since I stopped the Effxor. I will say the first 14 days were a bit hard, but things improved each day. I no longer have the tics, no more dizziness and very little restless leg. I have had one bout of lashing out at a person, but they pushed me. A good thing about this is, I realized how I was not feeling anything. These pills keep you from feeling, which I guess can be a good thing if your depressed, but I didn't want to be controlled by a chemical substance any longer. I've had no crying as well, so I know now it was the best thing for me to wean off. I wish anyone who stops their medication to read this forum and realize your not going crazy, its the pills that have control of your brain. Take care...
It's time to wake up...

#228 phurg

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 03:01 PM

Hello,

I'm new to this. I've only taken two 37.5 mg doses of Venlafaxine ER with 48 hours between the two doses (one last Friday night and one last night). This drug is not for me - do I need to worry about withdrawal tapering or can I just cold turkey. Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks,
Phurg

#229 Extremebeginner

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 08:10 AM

We are all different but you should not experience anything worse after just two tablets than you did going on it. I'm not medically qualified to make this judgement but after going on and off med's, that would be my experience. They all take time to build up in the system. If you're worried take a half dose after two days and then stop.

#230 Shelbytrevor

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 11:29 AM

Is effexor xr 75 mg and efexor xl 75 mg exactly the same thing? Both made by wyeth but the online phamacy sent me efexor xl from the uk which is way cheaper than buying it here in the states but its called effexor xr. I am not yet lucky enough to be in the process of tapering off but I would like to pay less for this pill. Just wondering if anyone can tell me if they are exactly the same in every way , it's giving me anxiety about taking something that has a different name lol.

#231 Breleximommy

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 11:38 AM

I'm new here, and I need some help!

I went to my doctor a few weeks ago to ask him to take me off Effexor and he asked how I was feeling and I said a lot better, my new job is exactly what I always wanted and a lot less stressful. I was on 75mg so he gave me some 37.5 mg and said to alternate for a week, then take the 37.5 for a week every day, then take one every other day the next week. I did that, feeling dizzy and lightheaded, and as of a week ago I stopped altogether. My lightheadedness finally stopped but I get unbelievably angry! And sad sometimes too but the anger is the worst! My husband gets the worst of it but its my kids I'm worried about. I try my best not to direct it at them and not to direct it at their dad in front of them but I can't always control myself. And I have had horrible thoughts about not being good enough for them and maybe I should leave them! It's horrible! These girls and their dad, they're my life!

I also have some trouble sleeping, sometimes I get restless legs, which I only ever had when I was pregnant before, headaches, vertigo...

 

I almost feel depressed again sometimes but mostly its anger, so much anger!

Someone please, is this normal? Will it get better? What should I do?



#232 Malgamy

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 09:38 AM

I was put on effexor after getting depressed from percoset withdrawal. I had terrible back pain for years and got addicted for 3 years. Somehow (I still dont know how) I quit percoset cold turkey. From the sudden imbalance of chemicals ( I assume), I went into a serious derpression. So, I was put on effexor 75mg twice daily. Fast forward 5 years and I realize that I've distanced myself from all my close friends and family, lost my libido, lost most of my feelings, etc. After realizing my life slid into s*** when I started taking effexor, I tapered and used the Prozac bridge to quit. 3 weeks of hell, and now I really am depressed. I feel like my brain is running at 30%. I used to be very sharp and funny and well rounded. Now I feel like a lithium patient. I thought it was just part of the withdrawal, but It's not getting any better. The more I read, the more I see how many ppl say the same. It DOES NOT come back. My old brain I mean. Its like being just smart enough to know your retaarded. I'm only 36 and the life I knew is over. I have 3 kids and a very loving understanding wife, and now I have nothing for them.


Edited by NorthernStar, 03 June 2013 - 11:09 AM.
TOS/Bashing


#233 Rodger

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 10:33 AM

All I can say about this is that my doc took me off of it cold turkey and had to leave work and to the E.R.  I was so upset with my doctor.  I flet like I was going to pass out.  I had no clue this would happen to me. I will never take that med again. Since this happened to me some years back, I don't trust these doctors.



#234 iyla

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 11:51 PM

I wanted to comment on this to provide some encouragement to those people discontinuing Effexor as well as those considering starting the medication.

 

I was on Effexor XR for a few years and was able to stop taking it successfully.

 

Yes I felt extremely sick, and did have withdrawal symptoms that people have already mentioned (i.e. brain zaps, depression, extreme feelings of anger, nausea, headaches).

 

However, in my opinion it really was not so bad that I would not consider taking Effexor again if needed.

 

It is just extremely important to wean down as slowly as possible, and to expect that you will be feeling quite sick and somewhat 'crazy' for a couple of weeks.

 

In my experience, I found that by expecting all these symptoms to happen and accepting the withdrawal symptoms as something temporary and something that I just needed to 'ride out', I didn't find the withdrawal too hard.

 

You aren't crazy and don't fear that this is just what your natural state will be forever. Prepare for the discontinuation in advance and explain to your loved ones that you won't be yourself and will be feeling unwell for a couple of weeks, and if possible take a week off work too. It is sooo much easier dealing with the symptoms while lying in bed rather than trying to function normally at work.

 

I have noticed that some people have mentioned their withdrawal symptoms now seem to be permanent and I am so sorry to hear that this may be the case for some people. However I wanted to encourage others that this wasn't my personal experience and that it is possible to return back to your original state after discontinuing Effexor.

 

For those that are interested I was on a 150mg dose for around 3 years. I tapered off slowly until I reached a 37.5 dose and from there stopped completely. Any major withdrawal symptoms resolved within a couple of weeks. My depression and anxiety from the withdrawal decreased gradually over a period of about a month until I reached a similar depression/anxiety level to how I was before I started anti-depressants (what I believe my natural state has always been).


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#235 Hopper33

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 02:04 PM

Today's my first day completely off venlafaxine and I feel pretty bad. I've had really bad mood swings over the last few hours, ranging from anger to utter despair. I've also had several bad panic attacks. I'd been taking 37.5mg for the last 3 weeks and, as I've felt no antidepressant benefit from the drug at such a low dose, I genuinely wasn't expecting to feel so bad when I stopped completely. I don't think I had realised that venlafaxine withdrawal is a totally different thing to just "not feeling the benefit of an antidepressant"!

#236 Indygrl

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 07:11 PM

I cannot say how happy I am that I found this site!!!  I thought I was losing my mind!  I have been on Effexor XR for about 6 years and had been on other ADs prior to that (Paxil, Celexa, etc.)  I went from 75mg/day to 37.5 mg/day for one month then my MD told me to stop completely after that.  I feel awful!  My brain feels like it is in a total fog, I cannot concentrate on anything, I have NO energy or motivation at all and cannot focus.  I have tinnitus and blurry vision, extreme night sweats, vivid dreams, insomnia and these weird sounds in my brain that I am guessing you all on here are calling brain zaps?  Also, read someone refer to it as "hearing my eyes move".  I am so relieved to hear I am not the only one having this problem.  I am so depressed because I just feel like I cannot function.  I don't want to do anything, go anywhere, or even talk to anyone.  I have been trying for THREE DAYS just to vacuum my house!!!!!!  I hope and pray this is temporary.  I have only been drug free for 2 days now.  I want my life back!!!!!



#237 daisy22

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 05:17 PM

I've been on Effexor xr for 6 or 7 years but coming off it now due to drenching sweats and it no longer works as well at relieving the depression. I was on 375 mg a day. My doc recommended 2 weeks to come off it and then switch to Prozac 20 mg. thought this was too fast from my history of discontinuation effects from weaning off other meds and reading other people's experiences but she assured me it would be fine since I was starting a new drug straight after. Is this the case? I'm a bit sceptical? Anyway I reduced to 150mg for1 week and now I'm down to 150 mg every 2nd day as directed. My 2 weeks are up on Thursday and i should be starting Prozac on fri. I'm crying and my head has this awful pressure inside. I'm completely exhausted and have nausea. Not sure whether to gradually cut down to 75, 37.5 etc or just switch to the Prozac as doc said & get it over with. Wouldn't normally go against doctors advice but don't know what to do

#238 Amalfi

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 07:09 PM

Only on 75 MG and off for 2 days... I let it run out on accident. I have to wait until Monday (tomorrow)... already depressed, especially after an O. FML. And O's come.... rarely. And I rarely get turned on. I need a regime for this. I want to have a healthy sex drive without feeling depressed after climaxing. 



#239 Beana

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 05:00 AM

Happy to have found this forum, not for me but my husband. He has been on 400mg of Pristiq, 600 of Valprease and 200 of Seroquel per day and the side effects have been terrible. Getting off the whole lot! Down to 50 of Seroquel and the doc reduced him from 400 to 200 of Pristiq. I asked the doc what sort of withdrawal effects we could expect from such a big drop - none. Yeah right! We don't even know how long it will take to get him off everything. Can't wait for him to be off all this rubbish. We are working on an alternative, drug-free plan.



#240 cindirose

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 07:52 PM

 

Most of us will have to come off Effexor XR(Efexor XL in the UK) at some time or other. This thread will give some advice on tapering schedules or cross-tapering schemes.

Any suggestions for tapering off Effexor XR (Efexor XL) is not meant to be as a substitute for your Drs advice or recommendations.

Possible side effects from discontinuing Effexor XR
Most people on Effexor XR will be able to stop the drug with only minimal side effects some others may suffer from a range of symptoms such as electrical like shocks (brain zaps), dizzyness, sleeplessness, nausea, irritability, crying or nightmares.

Why do we get discontinuation side effects
Effexor XR has a much shorter half life (4 hours) compared to SSRI like Prozac which I think has a half life of around 3 days. So stopping Effexor or missing a dose may cause some discontinuation side effects ( a dr did warn me not to run out of Effexor). Effexor XR causes this type of side effects because our serotonin receptors have to adjust immediately to reduced levels of serotonin, whereas with an AD like Prozac our receptors have longer to adjust (this is my understanding and I am not knowledgeable in this type of process).

Tapering Off
My pdoc recommended to me that I came off Effexor XR in steps of 37.5 mg every 2 to 4 weeks, with the last 2 weeks of 37.5mg every second day. I choose to do it over 2 week periods. So from 225mg dose, it took me 12 weeks to come off Effexor XR. I had minimal or no side effects at all.

From dose of 225mg
Week 1 & 2 - 187.5mg
Week 3 & 4 - 150 mg
Week 5 & 6 - 112.5 mg
Week 7 & 8 - 75 mg
Week 9 & 10 - 37.5 mg
Week 11 & 12 - 37.5 mg on alternate days
Cross-tapering off Effexor XR (Efexor XL)
If you are experiencing severe side effects of discontinuing Effexor XR there is also another method for coming off Effexor and that is cross-tapering. What you do is reduce the effexor as much as you can without getting the disabling side effects and then switching onto another AD such as Prozac at the same time as the lowest dose of Effeoxr, then stop the Effexor, and then wean off the Prozac.

What I've found on other sites is that you need to come down to 37.5mg, then start 10mg Prozac and take both together for a week, then stop the Effexor, up the Prozac to 15mg or 20mg and then taper off the Prozac after a week or two. Again this is only a suggestion, please talk to your dr for professional advice.

From dose of 225mg
Week 1 & 2 - 187.5mg
Week 3 & 4 - 150 mg
Week 5 & 6 - 112.5 mg
Week 7 & 8 - 75 mg
Week 9 - 37.5 mg Effeoxr XR, 10 mg Prozac
Week 10 & 11 - stop Effexor XR, 15 or 20 mg Prozac
Week 12 - taper off or stop Prozac

[b]Other meds that help combat the symptoms of discontinuing Effexor XR (Efexor XL) [b]
Some people from the States have suggested that Benadryl may help with things like dizzyness or nausea.

If you are suffering from side effects, it would be better to talk to your Dr or pharmacist for advice on what you may be able to take.

Another person recommended Green Tea.


Please tell me if I need to be doing something different. I began Effexor XR 06/2005 after trying to cope with an ugly divorce, a job, and two little girls 8 and 10. The divorce is final, settlement is still up in the air, and my girls and I have relocated 900 miles and are living with my brother and his family. I am so very blessed to have the positive support in my life. I am working for my sister-in-law when able and taking care of myself mostly right now. In doing so, I have recognized that although the Effexor XR helped to get me through a very rough period of my life I cannot function at the level that I once did because of it.
I was tapered onto Effexor XR 75 mg, in 37.5 mg over a 4 to 6 week period. I have maintained the 75 mg level until a week and a half ago. I began taking one 75 mg every other day. Today is the first day I have not taken the 75 mg in three consecutive days. I am in a fog, my head hurts to the point that my hair almost hurts, I am naseatious, I cannot seem to focus on work at all, and really just want to go to sleep for the next month.
My question is should I take a 75mg dose today and repeat in three days for another week or should I simply tough it out?
Thanks for any direction,
Foggy.......The light in the forest is warm and inviting!!!!

 

I have tried to get off the Effexor XR exactly the same way as you did, but it just never worked, and I always had to go back on due to the withdrawals being so intense.  I have been taking Effexor now for 19 years, I'm up to 225 mg...  I have tried soooo many times on my own to get off, never could.  Now I have a good Dr. who is going to help me by cross-tapering with Cymbalta.  I haven't started yet, I'm really nervous, remembering the past withdrawals and such.  I think you may need to taper off instead of skipping days.  This Effexor just doesn't work that way.  I just joined here today to get support also for my tapering, when I came across your post.  Please let me know how your doing, and I know you can do this!!  Take good care...Blessings..♥






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