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How long is Effexor withdrawal supposed to last?
A little over two months ago I stopped taking Effexor after slowly weaning off of it.  I had horrible withdrawal symptoms: nausea, fatigue, and dizziness.  After two months I don't feel any better.  Needless to say, I'm really scared.  I can hardly function at my job and am very frustrated and angry.  This medication has ruined my life.  Waking up in the morning is the worst part of my day.  All I have to look forward to is dizziness, fatigue, and attempting  to function.

How long did you symptoms last?  Are they supposed to last this long?
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Avatar universal
I am wondering the same thing.  I was on 150 mg Effexor XR for 5 years and weaned myself off of the drug during the course of a month and have been totally off it for 3 weeks now.  I too had nausea, extreme fatigue, horrible body aches, diarreha, short temper, etc. etc.  I am now starting to feel better, but still get those horrible brain shivers and my eyes have a tendency to bounce around when I look from one thing to another real fast.  All I can suggest is that you hang in there, what else can we do.    
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238084 tn?1218243586
I've been on it for seven years now. I tried to get off of it once. While cutting back on it I was taking lexapro. After a few months of crying all the time I had a major panic attack. My other doc put me back on and said never to quit taking it again. I read that it can take six months to a year to get off of. If I miss a day or two I have horrible headaches and cannot funtion at all. I've never met anyone who has succesfully gotten off of it. I'm sorry that's not very encouraging but I think maybe you should talk to your doc and see if he can put you on something else in the mean time that's not physicaly addictive.
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I was taking Effexor(150 mg) a day as well up to a week ago.Even though I know that coming off medications should be gradual I just could not take it anymore,especially since it stopped doing anything for me,so I gave it up as soon as I took the last damn pill.I was just as miserable and foul tempered while I was on it.Safe to say the psychiatrists played the typical trial and error game on me with various other antidepressants such as: Celexa,Paxil and Lithium.
I am experiencing withdrawal like symptoms but I'm very confused. I still take other prescription meds from the opioids family which are helping me cope with my phantom limb pain. There are 3 of them: Percocet (oxycodne),Lyrica and Fentanyl (transdermal analgesic). Out of those I also dropped the Percocet gradually and now I'm off of it, The Lyrica has been reduced from 150mg-2/day  to 75 mg 1/day and the Fentanyl is the only one that stayed at the same dose 50 ml patch.
My question is : Could it be that the hell I'm going through now (sweating while freezing,severe nausea,fatigue,aches ans pains) is because all these changes happening all in a short period of time or because of quitting Effexor alone?
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Effexor withdrawal can be accomplished! Please do not give up heart. I have taken Effexor 75 mg time release for several years, with the dose upped 90 days ago to 150 mg. Then, last week, I did what I have wanted to do for so long. I stopped the drug cold turkey. I am not recommending that you do that! Last Tuesday I felt as if I had been run over by a truck, experiencing all the side effects listed in these posts -- and more! But here it is, six days later, and I'm almost entirely free of side effects, resuming work and getting my life back. How did this happen? With the help of a wonderful Christian Science practitioner. You can look at Spirituality.com to start. Please think about it, study, pray, perhaps contact a CS practitioner ... but whatever you do, do not go it alone. AB
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You really have to take at least one yr to wean off these meds. You can't do it in one month without horrible side effects. I'm coming off paxil and I have a one yr plan to get off of 20mg. It may seem to long, but it's gotta be better than all the awful withdrawels.

Blessings,

jmana
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I am 3 days into coming off of Effexor. I used to be abcent minded when it came to taking this med regularly and experienced all of the same symptoms as you guys describe. I was ignorant to what was causing this until now. I feel so terrible. moments of nausea, hot flashes followed by cold flashes and worst of all, the repetitive brain ZAPS. I refuse to succumb to this med and will continue to withdraw. Anybody have any idea of an approximate time these symptoms will last. It is virtually impossible to maintain daily life with these effects.
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I was on Effexor XR 150mg for about 5 years, 10 days ago I ran out, my car was in getting repaired when I remembered the script for more tablets was in the glove box of my car, oops what do I do?? Well, I stopped taking it and I have not felt this good since I can remember.  While I was on Effexor I have gained about 40 lbs, I was always feeling fuzzy, had bowel and bladder problems and my doctor put me on tablets for high blood pressure,  is this all a coincidence or was this just what growing older was all about.

Have faith people, you can get off this drug, it is just purely dangerous and I intend never to be on it again.

For the first time in a long time I actually feel motivated and the fuzziness has gone, I dont know if its just me but I haven't had any withdrawal side effects at all.
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I tried to come off of Effexor several years ago when we were going to adopt and I wanted to breast feed.  With the help of my Dr. I got off and was off for about a month, but I felt that I still needed something, nothing else has worked but Effexor(not the XR).  I also found out I couldn't breast feed because I was also taking Thyroid meds which I Can't get off of, so , we decided I'd go back on the Effexor.  Before I came off of it, I was on 150 mg. I'm now taking a sub-theraputic dose of 25 mg and have Never felt better... I don't get sick if I don't eat with the pill, tho I still can get the half-life side effects.  
You might just need a smaller dose... unless you do want to totally get off of it.  Even with the side effects, Effexor is the only thing that's ever worked for me and I've tried several different meds.
Good luck
Lois
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have faith everyone... when you get those symthoms, go for a walk, talk to a friend or family, watch a funny movie, if you have kids go to the park spend time with them, whatever it takes.... i started painting again it feels great, when i was taking effexor everything was fuzzy, i didn't want to get off the couch i was tired all the time... i guess i rather deal with th horrible nightmares, atleast you knows they are not real, i rather live that than the real nightmare after so many years.

good luck all of you!
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I was placed on Effexor 75mg 6 moths aafter my college student daughter was killed in a car accident  The drug made me so tired and I started having restless leg syndrome, but after 6 moths I decided to discontinue and quit this med cold turkey.  My internist never told how horrible the withdrawel symptoms are.  I have been off the med for 6 days and I am still unable to concentrate, experience brain zaps, feel foggy and dizzy and could cry at anything.  I have read all of the posts and still no one seems to know how long these withdrawel symptoms can last. The first four days were the worst and I truly felt as though I was losing my mind, so I feel like I can't go anywhere by up.  Anyone able to answer how long?
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1st of all, I am so sorry, I clicked "report this" not knowing what it was.  I will do whatever I have to do to correct clicking on "abuse".  
Most of all, I'm so sorry about the tragic loss of your daughter.  You do not need anyone or anything (Effexor withdrawal) making you feel badly.  
After many years of Effexor 225, my dr. is changing me to  Cymbalta.  I completed the taper-down with all the side effects you describe, am now on 3rd day of Cymbalta.  I pace the floor, cry, have tingly feelings all over my body.  
Please, please let me know if you hear of positive comments to time period.  My family hates me right now, but I don't blame them, I hate myself.
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394200 tn?1200882385
i am going on day 4 of stopping my effexor cold turkey. I was on 300 mg and taking 20 mg of pexeva. I am stopping cold turkey after being on this medication for three years. The withdrawls are terrible, i don't know why any doctor in their right mind would ever prescribe this medication for anyone. I have those wonderful brain zaps every ten seconds, the only thing that momentarily makes me sane is food, as if the 30 pounds this medication has gained me aren't enough, stopping it is going to pack on another 30. I am a bundle of anger and rage directed at anyone within distance. I am at the toilet every night waiting and praying that I can just throw up. When I finally can fall asleep I am jolted awake in a puddle of sweat having just had yet another nightmare. And when I say nightmare, I mean the kind that have me screaming outloud in terror waking my husband. Minor daily tasks are ignored due to the fact that putting one foot in front of the other is too much to handle. I can't stand this feeling and only pray for the day that it will stop. I have no answers to how long and have been searching as well for the answer. All I do know is that the answers I have found can't be quick enough for me.
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I have been weaning since 11-5, when I lost my job an forgot to take my daily dose of 300 mg for four days - because I was not eating either.  Prescribed for hot flashes, my doctor discouraged me from going off effexor a year ago, when I said I did not think I needed it any longer.

I immediately started having strange episodes of dizziness and confusion.  My husband was the one that put two and two together.  We both decided it was time to taper.  We found all sorts of info online - and it was ALL bad.

I am not on 37.5 (third week) and plan on going down more.  This week has been bad.  Flu like symptoms.  My body aches like crazy.  My legs hurt, my joints ache, i am nauseous and dizzy, and to make matters worse, i cannot sleep.

I wonder if Wyeth Pharmaceuticals tested this drug on rats and what their reaction was... im just disgusted that so many people suffer, yet they continue to prescribe this **** on a daily basis.

HAS  ANYONE HAD THE BODY ACHES?
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I was on the 75 mg capsuls of Effexor XR for about 1.5 years. I wanted to see how I would do off b/c I have been doing great for so long, and have become much stronger emotionally. My doc. gave me the half dosage capsuls to wean me off for one week and three days was when I stopped taking it all together. The withdrawl symptoms are getting worse and worse as the days go on. I have a virus on top of it and so it's hard to tell what is caused by what. I usually have tunnel vision, but this is different. I don't know how to explain the symptoms I have, pretty much what everyone else has explained. I almost cried reading all the comments, I don't want to keep feeling like things, things are finally looking up and I don't have any idea what other symptoms I may get or how long these will last. Has anyone figured something out for these withdrawls????
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I am not encouraged by all these posts and not one representative of the medical community has offered some positive comments or help.  I am into my third week of withdrawing from 150 mg.  I am dizzy and tired all the time. I sweat all the time.  My brain zaps annoyingly and frequently.  

Anyone out there who can offer some helpful advice?  Because right about now I am in a mood to sue the pants off someone, and I am not even a lawsuit kind of a person.  
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OMG-  the body aches and the joint swelling has disabled me for 3 months.  It is truly unbelieveable.  I didnt link it to Effexor until I read a few cases online.  I am on day 3 of ZERO effexor, after weaning for 5 weeks.  the withdrawal is painful, but NOTHING compared to the body aches and swollen joints.
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You all have my sincere sympathy...I do believe that I see the light at the end of this ordeal though.Unlike many others ,but, no doubt, just like many  or, perhaps most of us who were given this substance which has poisoned us, I really should NOT have been prescribed  it in the first place !! I have recently read a document from Wyeth to the medical profession in which they clearly declare that effexor should only be prescribed for "severe" depression, a condition that many who get this stuff, do not have !!!  
  Anyway I c that there`s not much space to write here so, I realised that the DRUG was in fact ruining my life so decided to stop. The plan was, 75 mgms for two weeks then 35,etc.The first time i halved the dose I was very rudely awakened to the nightmare of this"non-addictive DRUG" After ten weeks of reducing and suffering constant brain zaps and some of the other symptoms, I quit . That was six weeks ago and finaly, at last, the symptoms seem to be on the wane. Thankfully, I am in touch with creativity again after effexor had subdued that process COMPLETELY while i was on it.. I will write again ina week or so ...Good luck ..P.S. I am starting to enjoy a better communication with my 14 yr. old son which taking effexor had wrecked. It`s back to nature for me, and maybe war with the cold hearted grubs who give us this stuff....Peace....
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365714 tn?1292202708
My dad was in a study for this drug...  It seemed to work for him...although he went psycho at least one time when the study went off and he got dropped...

Before that happened, his pysc. thought if it worked so well on him, it would for me too. I never thought highly of that assumption. First off you can't assume a med will work the same way on the son/daughter as the father/mother... He didn't take into account I have autism and depression, which may cause a different reaction than someone depressed and not autistic. I wish I could remember what year it was when I was on it, if it was in high school or college.  Whatever it was I didn't feel much different. I was on the 75mgI believe.  I was still tired and needed a nap. The psych's solution was to double the dose...  That lasted for two days... I couldn't think, my thoughts streamed, and I got no sleep...  I went back down, but I thought the med was causing dizzyness and headaches as well as causing an odd shivering feeling in my head... Looking back, I guess that may have been withdrawls or side effects... I took it once a day but not at a set time.  I figured it wasn't working so I quit, c/t by breaking the pills in half and eventually taking every other day.  I didn't give time to taper more than a week.  I guess I was very lucky I did not notice, either that or I didn't know what I was dealing with. I must had just slept a lot more.

Anyways I haven't taken Effexor in years..and hope never to go back on it, now after reading about the horrible effects...
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**Possible Solution for Effexor Withdrawal**

I have been on 150 mg.'s of Effexor for about 6 mo.'s, and after realizing the withdrawal problems when missing a dose by a few hours, asked my prescribing physician to take me off of it. He immediately told me he would switch me to 50 mg. Zoloft for 10 days, and that would be it. The reason being is the "half-life" of the Effexor is very short (missing a dose by the few hours=withdrawals), whereas the Zoloft "half-life" is ~a week. The Zoloft will prevent/minimize the Effexor withdrawals because it is substituting one drug for the other, with a longer "half-life, and not stopping medication all at once. The 2-3 weeks off of Effexor (10 days + 1 week), substituted by the Zoloft, will give me time to ease off the Effexor entirely.

1st week on Zoloft, with no Effexor, there were some withdrawals, but minimal and they passed quickly. 2 days now off everything and I feel fine. The final question will be once the Zoloft is out of my system in a few days.

FYI…my physician, who seems to be experienced and knowledgeable with the Effexor informed me that even if I tried to taper down, I would go through withdrawals. He said “why go through it? Take the Zoloft for 10 days.” Bear in mind, I was only on 150 mg.'s for 6 mo.'s, but talk to your treating physician about the option involving Zoloft.
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I see that you attribute magical powers to your trusty physician.How can anyone possibly know what he is giving you without experiencing it himself?? besides ,taking Zoloft is like six of one, and half a dozen of the other. People react differently to different drugs and u can never know if someone may react badly to Zoloft or any other of the drugs in the gènre. Which one comes after the Zoloft? I believe that anyone wishing to get off effexor should really take the oppotunity to seek alternative solutions to their problems. The internet is full of interesting info. I will never agree to take any "medicine "again without running a thorough check on pros and cons befor I do. At least taking effexor has warned me about poss.consequences of trusting doctors just because they are doctors..There is an online petition with more than sixteen thousand people who have suffered the ill effects of effexor.. It has been going on for many years and yet, knowledgable and experienced doctors continue to dish it out. The light at the end of the tunnel is in your heart. May the force be with you..
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