Anxiety Community
cold turkey
About This Community:

This patient support community is for discussions relating to generalized anxiety, anxiety and eating, anxiety and sleeping, mood swings, panic attacks and panic disorders.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

cold turkey

I am on my 5th day cold turkey getting off effexor 75mg after 8 years...Before did this i consulted my dr and told her the method which i was choosing to get off..she was in full support been on them 10 years.Some of the stories on here are so similar..And hope too.
53 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
480448_tn?1403547723
Hello and welcome!  What exactly is your method?

If you're just abruptly stopping without tapering, you'll likely be in for one heck of a ride, as Effexor is one of the more difficult meds to come off.  

I'm glad to hear that you're consulting with your doctor, but if she gave you the red light to just stop abruptly, I would question her level of knowledge about this topic.  Is she your PCP, or is she a psychiatrist?

Looking forward to hearing more about how you're approaching this.
Blank
7495625_tn?1394456106
1st week i used 5mg of Valium twice a day ..That helped with the panic attacks.Don't think anything can help with the head zaps at all they are just constant. 2nd weeks body sweats,easing of panic attacks. Finding it hard to eat so DR suggested sustegen till i can eat solids again..Head zaps still the same...day 10-12 i have done nothing but sleep and eating a little bit of solid food.See Dr on Wednesday to show her how i am coping...
Blank
7495625_tn?1394456106
and yes it has been one heck off a ride
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
So I just have to ask, why are you taking this ride?  Why not taper off as slowly as you need to, as is recommended?  Hope this works out.
Blank
7495625_tn?1394456106
Every other attempt has failed...every other drug i have been addicted too i have cold turkey also. I consulte my Dr once a week in person. I am also documenting my progress,moods ect.. My head zaps are still there but manageable..Day 14 now..Keep u posted and ty for question
Blank
7495625_tn?1394456106
Doing it tough but have been preparing for this ride for awhile.. I have an understanding wife who iis on medication herself. We have both managed to raise 7 children who are all thriving in life considering our circumstances.
We are living apart temporary but our friendship on love never wane.. As hard it maybe
Blank
7495625_tn?1394456106
i am on day 18 cold turkey no effexor..problem i am having is trying to eat solids now..Head zaps havent gone yet but i have noticed between 3pm to 8pm they seem to happen. slight anxiety attacks also
Feeling better as each day goes.My doctor is a ton of support and has monitored my progress also...Yes i can see some Sunshine!!!
Blank
7495625_tn?1394456106
i am on day 20 now.the journey continues
Blank
168348_tn?1379360675
.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Try a healthy dose of fish oil every day for the brain zaps.  Seems to help on every withdrawal site I've been on.
Blank
7495625_tn?1394456106
Will try that thanx...day 23 now..I find  between 3pm- 8pm is the worst time for them..
Blank
7495625_tn?1394456106
day 25...Not been a good one head zaps are chronic and 2 anxiety attacks..eating better though..
Blank
7495625_tn?1394456106
Got 6 weeks till i see the psychiatrist...The variations of side effects is incredible...
Blank
7495625_tn?1394456106
day 27..coping good today so far..have insomnia now..Talk about a ride!!!
One good thing to come out of today was Psych can see me in 3 weeks now.
Head zaps are the part of  this journey which i find,hard because they dont seem to dissipate
Blank
7495625_tn?1394456106
day 30.. head zaps bearable but anxiety attacks severe.. Valium helps..
Eating 2 solid meals a day Just a link i thought i'd share
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SSRI_discontinuation_syndrome
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Coming off of Effexor can be a very hard ride for most people. The brain zaps, nausea and loss of apatite are the worst. I tapered, with the help of my Dr, and it was 2 months before I completely got over the brain zaps and nausea. Hang in there because it does get better. I'm really glad to hear you're able to eat solid foods now.  
Blank
7495625_tn?1394456106
Thankyou so kindly for taking the time to reply..I will hang in there i have only just started experiencing the nausea..Day31
Blank
7495625_tn?1394456106
i tried the slow tapering first before i decided to go cold turkey..Took a few balls out each day till i got to about 20% but was not prepared for the vicious side effects.so ended back on full dose (75mg) Been on that for 8 years solid  before my decision. I have the support of my Dr. she is monitoring my progress every week. GPs can only do so much and most times have to rely on the web for diagnosis..Valium works for the panic attacks..Nothing works for the brain zaps  but they are bearable.Insomnia again..

Blank
480448_tn?1403547723
I'm glad you seem to be improving a little bit at a time.  Just remember that patience is a virtue when dealing with something like this....it takes to begin with, but when you go cold turkey, it takes even longer for your body to readjust, it's quite an insult to the system.

Keep posting updates, hang in there!
Blank
7495625_tn?1394456106
Thanks for your post.. Yes every day seems a little better but the variations of side effects is extraordinary to say the least..Yes it is a huge insult to my body but like you said,patience is a virtue. I am prepared  to go all the way with this regardless of how long it takes.Once again thanks  for your post, it really helps hearing from others.
Blank
1110049_tn?1384640486
I withdrew very slowly from 150mg Effexor daily, and have had no withdrawal symptoms at all.  I did this with my doctor's support as it was her who suggested it.  Had been on Effexor for 5 years, and anti depressants for over 20 years.  I
  I stopped cold turkey from Effexor once after 4 years, and 2 weeks were bad, but after that OK for a year, but depression came back.  This time I wanted to do it slowly with no withdrawal side effects.

Good luck with your withdrawal.  You seem very determined.  
Blank
7495625_tn?1394456106
Thanx for your reply...Im amazed you had no withdrawal symptoms..Yes i am very determined..Great hearing from others who have been on the same ride. I found when a tapered slowly last time i fell into a depressive state.
Yes i have intense side effects this time around cold turkey but have progressed further than tapering slow..33 days today it will be.
Thanks again for your comments
Blank
7495625_tn?1394456106
Day36.. Sleeping patterns varying..Nausea seems to be getting worse but managing to eat 2 solid meals a day..
Blank
1110049_tn?1384640486
I truly, honestly had no withdrawal symptoms whatsever.  That is because I took months and months to come off really slowly.  I reduced by very small amounts.  No zaps, nausea, nothing.  I was pleased with myself, as towards the end I was on  my own as doctor could only take me so far with the withdrawals.  Six months and no depression, just some anxiety.  

I do hope you are coping OK now.  Good you are doing so well, and if it suits you better to gold turkey then taper slowly, that is what is best for you.  shame we have to find out the hard way which way is easiest for us personally.  I admire your strength, and am with you all the way.

Keep us updated on your progress.  
Blank
7495625_tn?1394456106
Thanx Maddie.... I am progressing well day 39..Head zaps are just constant, and have learnt to deal with them to adhere to my daily living duties. I find the evening to be worst time of day for me. Adapting to my bodies needs and mental stability is the formula i use now my mind is clearing as each day goes past.Anxiety seems to vary but no depression whatsoever, Thanks for your support..
Blank
1110049_tn?1384640486
Hi, well we are here to support each other.  That is what this site is all about.  I was very, very ill when I joined 5 years ago.  Never thought I would be where I am now, drug free and depression free.  I don't take it for granted, as had relapses quite a few times.  I am very content at the moment now.  

Take care.  You sound a very strong person, and I believe I am too.  We would not be where we are now if we did not believe in ourselves and our strength to do this.  
Blank
7495625_tn?1394456106
Awesome place to be and so great to hear good stories like yours..Im not far away from that place..i just have to be patient and ride this out to the end. Which i will do.
Blank
7495625_tn?1394456106
Day 44.Went to see psych, told me nothing i didn't already know and to keep doing what i am doing..Yep $300 to tell me that..On a positive note i know i am doing what is right and i am feeling better everyday,as slow as the ride is i am patient enough to prevail.. SNRI discontinuation syndrome was also another diagnosis i can say i agree with the psych
. Age shall not weary them!!!!
Blank
7827044_tn?1399395043
I am glad you are feeling better today =)   I have just started a taper off of gabapentin (Neurontin) and it is not fun thus far.  I want to just quit cold turkey but my anxiety gets so severe just being late on a dose sometimes.  I relate to your desire to quit taking a medicine.  I hope we both achieve the goals we are wanting to achieve with a good stable mental health at the end =)  keep us posted on how you are doing.
Blank
7495625_tn?1394456106
thanx heaps..it is not a pleasant journey,and your not alone.. Mental stability is a great goal
Blank
7495625_tn?1394456106
my sleeping patterns are stil all over the place..averaging 3-4 hours a nite per week.Still eating two solid meals a day. No anxiety attacks for  few days now, been great.Starting to lose my balance again,usually  between the afternoon and evening. Not much change with the headzaps. Early days still, but i am not going in a backwards spiral of instabilities and depressive mind sets.
Blank
7827044_tn?1399395043
I take hydroxyzine (Vistaril) 50mg before I go to bed these days and it helps me sleep well.  It is an antihistamine and not a narcotic. Here is some information on it =)

Hydroxyzine reduces activity in the central nervous system. It also acts as an antihistamine that reduces the natural chemical histamine in the body. Histamine can produce symptoms of sneezing and runny nose, or hives on the skin.

Hydroxyzine is used as a sedative to treat anxiety and tension. It is also used together with other medications given for anesthesia. Hydroxyzine may also be used to control nausea and vomiting.

Hydroxyzine is also used to treat allergic skin reactions such as hives or contact dermatitis.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I know it has saved me when I was having severe panic attacks 2 years ago and is helping me now with my withdrawals from getting off gabapentin.  Many hugs!   I hope you feel better and better every day =)
Blank
7495625_tn?1394456106
day 48.. Insomnia again..still eating 2 solid meals but the portions are smaller due to nausea..Loosing weight but not too dramatic.2 anxiety attacks in last 2 days, but  now i am aware of when i will get one.Before they were so unpredictable.
Head Zaps are constant but so used to them now.Patience..I have that to drive me through this next phase.. A little emotional at times but no depression whatsoever.
Each day presents new challenges in everyday activities.
Blank
7495625_tn?1394456106
Sounds very similar to Phenergan..Nothing is working at the moment for my sleep patterns.. Trying 2000mg of Valerian tablets for the past 3 days to try and help sleep.Not doing much at all
Blank
1110049_tn?1384640486
My goodness you are going through the mill.  Your withdrawals are so bad after so long.  You really do have strength and patience to put up with it all.  Constant head zaps sounds awful but my goodness you do seem to be coping with them.  48 days - I cannot believe it is taking so long.

When I stopped cold turkey once my withdrawals lasted two weeks.  This time as I did a really slow withdrawal I have had no withdrawal symptoms at all.  You are amazing that you can stop cold turkey and put up with all these things for so long.  

I so admire you.
Blank
7495625_tn?1394456106
Researching this SNRI Discontinuation syndrome
Most cases of discontinuation syndrome last between one and four weeks but a substantial minority, perhaps up to 15% of users, have persistent withdrawal symptoms evident months after withdrawal.
So after 8 years solid my  norepinephrine. receptors are unblocked ..Probably why its taking so long to adjust back to some normal pattern of living..
Blank
7495625_tn?1394456106
Thanks for your kind words and support..Im doing this alone so to hear well wishes is so refreshing
Blank
1110049_tn?1384640486
Well I started on the old type anti depressants beginning of 1992.  Been on lots of different ones ever since.  Stopped a couple of times, but depression returned.  Also had ones that gave me bad side effects.  Been a rollercoaster for all those years.

I was on Effexor 4 years when I stopped cold turkey, but depression returned after one year.  Last time I was on it 5 years before I quit.  I am doing really well after 6 months.  

I am a 73 year old grandma, so feel pleased that at my age, and having been on anti depressants for so long, I am doing well -   fingers crossed!!

Please keep in touch and let me know how you are doing.  
Blank
7495625_tn?1394456106
You my dear lady are a champion..More motivation for me thanx Maddie
Blank
1110049_tn?1384640486
Aw I .loved being called  a champion.  Thanks.
Blank
7495625_tn?1394456106
Day 56...Yes finally seeing some sunshine..head zaps are less dramatic,still have nausea.My sleeping patterns are now 5-6 hours a night  on avaerage..Best in a long time. still emotional but no depression whatsoever...There is a BIG difference as most of you would know.Still losing weight though.I have 2 solid meals a day still,due to nausea, i have had to lessen my portions of food..Anxiety levels slowly tapering but still lingering, i expected that. It has been one mighty ride which i continue..keep safe peoples..
Blank
1110049_tn?1384640486
The end is in sight.  So glad you have no depression.  I still get anxiety now and then even though stopped medication last September.  

Yes you have certainly been on a rollercoaster ride.  Well done you.  

My thoughts are with you.  Take care.
Blank
7495625_tn?1394456106
Grandfather at 45....Yess
Blank
1110049_tn?1384640486
Hi, well congratulations.  Whose wedding is the photo of?  Tell me more about the new arrival.
Blank
7495625_tn?1394456106
Wedding pic is me and my beautiful bride..Grandaughter Leilani Elle-Louise born 6lb 6..Drove 500 kilometers to share my sons moment..A life changer for many.
On day 60 now and the good days are now outweighing the bad ones
Thanx Maddie
Blank
7495625_tn?1394456106
Day 63..Head zaps tapering very well..One observation after this long is my heart rate has dropped from 80s Bpm to a relaxed 60sbpm. Thats also not on Valium. The nausea is the one im finding hard. Keeping my diet up,portions of food a lower though.No depression whatsoever..Little spring in my step as the sunshine draws near.
Blank
1110049_tn?1384640486
So pleased you are doing so well with no depression.  Thinking of you.
Blank
7495625_tn?1394456106
Day 75..Wow is all i can say..I feel alive again.Head zaps have ceased and nausea gone. No depression what so ever.I feel in control and so happy that the ride has had the results i prepared for..Early days still but life is fantastic
.Effexor free after 8 years.and can hardly notice any anxiety.If i do,this ride has given me the skills to cope with anything that comes my way.My diet has picked up but still only 2 solid meals a day.the good is outweighing the bad.
Thanx for sharing my journey and positive thoughts and comments.
I will continue to share my progress.
Blank
1110049_tn?1384640486
Hi there, I am so pleased for you.  Well done - feel proud of yourself.  You stuck it out, and now you are feeling the benefits of stopping the medication.  I am Effexor free too, and after over 20 years on different anti depressants, I am pleased with myself.

Although I had no side effects from the Effexor, I am glad I am trying life without it.  

My appetite has diminished a lot since I stopped the Effexor, which is a good thing in my case, as I am now losing the weight I put on whilst taking it.  

You have seized life again.  So happy for you.
Blank
7495625_tn?1394456106
Thanks Maddie..Glad u have been there for advice and share thiis ride..Enjoy a beautiful easter with your Family..as with everyone else who  have offered advice to me. It has been greatly appreciated and never forgotten.
Day 80
Blank
1110049_tn?1384640486
My arthritis is very painful at the moment.  Back seized up.  I hope my depression does not return as this is really dragging me down.  Hope all is OK with your family.

Pouring with rain here on Easter Sunday.  Cold and miserable, just like me.  See it is nice and warm where you live as our news full of the Royals visit.  I have never see them myself.

Take care.
Blank
7495625_tn?1394456106
Shame about the weather there..You are far from cold and miserable...You made make smile and fill me full of positive thoughts throughout my journey..Bloody cold always gets my arthritis..I have broken 28 bones in my body and know the feeling only too well.Chin Up!Warm climate helps..I live North Australia so warm in winter.
Blank
7495625_tn?1394456106
Ive stopped counting days..i feel alive!!!
Blank
Post a Comment
To
Recent Activity
535089_tn?1400677119
Blank
Mollyrae commented on Why You Might Have A ...
1 hr ago
1712422_tn?1402008882
Blank
LovemyKids86 commented on K_Bmomma's status
7 hrs ago
Avatar_n_tn
Blank
michhh commented on A very inspiring colu...
11 hrs ago
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Anxiety Tracker
Track Anxiety Symptoms
Start Tracking Now
Top Anxiety Answerers
480448_tn?1403547723
Blank
nursegirl6572
PA
Avatar_f_tn
Blank
remar
st. louis, MO
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
cj29
GA
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
anxiety860
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
Paxiled
Arlington, VA
Avatar_f_tn
Blank
coh123
Grand Rapids, MN
Anxiety Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Cannabis Article from NORTH Mag...
Jul 20 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
3 Reasons Why You are Still Binge E...
Jul 14 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating: What Your Closet ...
Jul 09 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
Top Anxiety Answerers
480448_tn?1403547723
Blank
nursegirl6572
PA
Avatar_f_tn
Blank
remar
st. louis, MO
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
cj29
GA
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
anxiety860
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
Paxiled
Arlington, VA
Avatar_f_tn
Blank
coh123
Grand Rapids, MN