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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
Is it just me or does this look for all intents and purposes like medication slavery. You have a physical addiction to something that feels awful at some point during the process even if it felt a little better for a moment. Then when you want to get off it the WDs make it almost impossible, but taking them makes the discomfort worse?

And how many people actually find this beneficial I wonder, I mean for moe than a year mabey? But you have to keep taking the stuff or feel worse?

Wheres Michael Moore,, somone needs to seriousely look into this. Something really bads going on.

*With respect and apprication for the plight of those looking to be free from the pharmacratic inquisition*      Jennifer
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365714 tn?1292202708
I thought back and remembered it was 2001. I was in high school when that quack prescribed the stuff to me... I think I was on for at least half a year on 75mg. I was doing some googling and they say it is not for teenagers because of certain risks. Not to mention I don't think my depression was severe enough to warrant such a med. makes me wonder how the hell some psych's get their degree???

Anyways it's been about 6-7 years from taking my last dose and I seem to be ok, so there is some hope. Some of the dizziness I still feel when I get up, but that is a separate issue that occurred before I was on Effexor. I think Effexor just made it worse... Thinking back to it, that year I was taking ibprophin just about every day for headaches.  I wonder sometimes if quacks get kickbacks for prescribing certain drugs for anything... Right now I’m on Welbutrin. I hope that isn’t going to turn out something really nasty.
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quote,'I wonder sometimes if quacks get kickbacks for prescribing certain drugs for anything... Right now I’m on Welbutrin.'

Yes, doctors get gifts for prescribing medications, usually the newer ones. Its been proven in the last few years that pharma spends 100-150 thousand dollars MORE to promote their products than they do to lab study them. Frankly I think we are being used as guinea pigs and while I doubt it applies here,, once I was 'accidently' reffered to a medicade clinic for group therapy to help me with anxiety by an ER doctor who didnt realize I had insurance. There were 8 women plus me in the group and all were on atleast 3 and one lady was on 8 different mind altering chemicals. Intersting to me atleast because I had a hard time just getting the benzopine from my doc for anxiety (these ladies were all divorced and collecting disability and or welfare) and guess who pays for that?? We do... and that stuffs EXPENSIVE...........

Folks can believe what they want,, but I know what Iv seen... I have a friend in texas whos 10 year old foster daughter was on

a daily benzopine, a daily SSRI, a daily amephtamine for ADHD, a daily anti-psychotic (diagnosed also as schizophrenic) and a daily sleeping pill....

Her foster mom finally had to make them take her back when she pulled a knife on my friend when they were aruging in the kitchen. Uppers, downers, sleeping pills and anti-psychotics... thats just asking for a major problem if not death IMO... but its the system and we keep giving them money to do this. Somethings wrong.

And Mj,,, if Wellbutrin is helping you its a good thing... but if you google Wellbutrin psychosis.. you can read stories of people who have had bad reactions to this medication too. Andrea Yates was on Wellbutrin and anouther SSRI together.

*With apprication and respect*

Jennifer
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I wish you all good luck in trying to quit effexor xr. I have been off of the medication for about seven weeks now and am still having withdrawals. My highest dose was 375mg. I changed physicians and the current one decided that effexor was not very effective and had cause significant weigt gain. I will be honest and say that it is very difficult to quit the drug. I was successful because I had also been usinng wellbutrin 300 mg.and geodon 180 mg. Without these meds, I doubt I would have been able to quit effexor xr.

I am still having great difficulty concentrating and the weight has not come off, yet. Even with concerta 54 mg the concentration has been an issue. I really wished I had stopped the drug when I first noticed weight gain. I would be better off today.

Mike
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365714 tn?1292202708
Thanks for your reply. I am concerned...right when I got on it kinda disturbed me to read they banned using it in the UK...  There must be something the psycho's are not telling us...  After posting, I looked up Wellbutrin and was scared... But then when I read about the side effects of other meds...  I'd like to make sure I'm not jumping into the fire by switching meds...  

I'm sort of questioning, because I notice a hand/finger tremmor that seems to get better late in the day, when SR is probably wearing off. (from the sites it looks like I would be taking it twice a day, but I'm directed to take it once in the morning)  

I missed a dose one day this week and I noticed my hand was steadier and I could draw better...  Hmmm... could be a coincidence or not...  I'm suspicious about meds in general, but without, I seem to be in a catch...grrr. I'm disgusted with the psycho and Effexor...the place was called "Solutions" and I don't know... he seemed to have some odd questions too... I don't know where they get their training...  Just for fun I ranted in my journal about trying on meds like clothing items...
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I took Effexor XR 75MG for only 6 mths.  Weight gain, nausea and skin rash casued me to want to get off of it.  My doc had me drop to 37.5 mg for two weeks and start taking 150Mg Wellbutrin XR -- only minor withdrawal symptoms.  Then I dropped the Effexor completely and continued the Wellbutrin.  Within 2 days I began to have ringing in my ears, a chugging sensation in my head, diarreah, cold sweats -- and that's not the 1/2 of it.  The irritability, fits of rage, overwhelming sadness, thoughts of death, nightmares and more are the hard part.  It's been almost a month, and I've had no reduction in symptoms.  If anything, the mental symptoms have gotten worse.  I'm determined to "tough it out", but this is the hardest thing I've ever done.   I wish you all success in getting off of this horrible drug.  Oh, and I hope someone/all of us sue Wyeth Labs and bankrupt the greedy bastards -- for marketing this damaging product and ignoring/minimizing the havoc is causes.  
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can someone please tell me how long these wds are going to last....I have been taking 20 beads a day from a 37.5 mg capsule and the dizziness is unbearable.
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I suggest you stop taking any and let the withdrawals take there course.  I stopped completely on April 5.  By Monday I thought I might need to be hospitalized.  They suggested I put a few beads in my system to help me feel better, but I wouldn't touch another pill if you paid me a million dollars.  The symptoms were so bad... sick to my stomach, fatigue, insomina, panic attacks and anxiety, MEAN, frustrated all the time, vertigo, and many others.  Although the symptoms started many weeks before I completely stopped, I was just unaware of what was going wrong with my body.  I took Effexor XR 150 mg for 2 years because of a situational problem.  I tried to come off after a year, but was having bad headaches and they didn't think I could handle the headaches coming off it.  I haven't had the first headache!!!  Although I haven't slept in the bed with my husband for 3 weeks now...Because anything he does wakes me up and then I am up for the day, whether I have been asleep for 1 hours or 5 hours.  I am starting to see alittle improvement.  I have lost 12 pounds in two weeks.  I do sleep for atleast 5 hours with the help of a half of a 5 mg Valium.  I am still very MEAN, and everyone notices because it is so out of character for me.  I am sad most of the time, but feel best when I stay very busy.  Somedays I start my day off at the gym for an hour then work 6-8 hours then go home and push mow our acre of grass, then cook dinner, and sometimes do an exercise tape with my husband when he gets home at 8.  Exercise is a great way to help with the symptoms.  When I finally sit down is when the anxety starts, but I am too tired for anything else.  A friend came off Effexor with no withdrawals....She was very lucky.  I am taking each day one at a time.  Hold in there, you can do it!!!!
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432009 tn?1304753441
I'm so sorry to read about this drug and the pain that is associated with trying to discontinue its use.
I did some quick research and found this fact:

"Up to 78% of effexor users will experience withdrawal.
This can happen with one missed dose.
Reference: “The Antidepressant Solution”
by Joseph Glenmullen, M.D."

Effexor Activist.org site may be of value for more information, as well as articles by Dr. Peter Breggin, noted psychiatrist and mental health advocate.
I wish all of you success in your tapering and the best in your recovery.

Best,
xan
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i have been on effexor for about 4 years now i started when i was about 14/15years old and well i stopped cold turkey last week and well i feel like hell.  brain zaps fatigue night seats headaches nausea.  I'm not gonna lie this medication has helped me so much that i now feel confidant in my self but i wish there was a way people getting of it who want to try life on their own can do it with out any horrible side affects. even though this is was supposed to be my last year in high school getting off it has made me feel soo weak but i will not take one more pill i know i can do this. it is going to be tough...i just i hope i can live my life...

Joe Raymund Montez  
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432009 tn?1304753441
Are you sure this is the way that you want to taper off of Effexor? Couldn't you set up a taper schedule with your Dr.?

I can understand that you're ready to stop taking them, but this isn't the best way to approach it. I wish you luck with your withdrawal, but I would encourage you to consider discussing how to best approach it to achieve the best results. You wrote that "I wish there were a way people getting off it who want to try life on their own can do it without any horrible side effects..."

By stopping it abruptly, the side effects are extremely difficult...there are better ways to do it. You can also call your pharmacist to ask for some guidance, too.

Good luck to you...you're soon be beginning a new chapter in your life and I hope that you'll be feeling great once this withdrawal is over.
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i have friend on efexor plus her husband and two of their friends none of them have trouble only some nausea if not taken at normal time yet i have severe reactions to everything they also drink with this med and still have no trouble why i dont knoware they just lucky imy life has been ruined due to meds which i didnt need in the first place misdiagnoses
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can nyone give me info on avanza  withdrawal and seroquel withdrawal i no longer feel like a human being have no life and didnt have depression till put on these meds had seizure from coming off ativan drs wouldnt believe and said i was severley depressed forced to go on these meds in mental health unit
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432009 tn?1304753441
I am so saddened to read about your experience. Google Dr. Peter Breggin - he is a highly regarded psychiatrist with strong academic credentials who is a major advocate for patients suffering with mental health and mistreatment. One of his many books might provide you with guidance, and you could also email him and ask for a referral to help you get your mental health back on track.

Do not despair - you can get your life back!!! Hang in there....
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I was on Paxil for depression and terrible nighttime panic attacks, for about 7 years, wanted to get off of it because of complete lack of interest in sex (tough on my husband)- Doc put me on Wellbutrin (aghh---scaaarrrry!), that was awful,, tried Prozac (gave me racing brain), then Lexapro for a year, which seemed fine. For some reason, the doc decided to switch it to Effexor and I've taken it for about 2 years now, 37.5 mg per day.I have tried 3 times to get off of it, because I'd like to use more healthy way of dealing with my lifelong (moderate) depression, and panic problems.  I'm otherwise a very healthy woman (53) .  Reading these blogs has been a real eye opener!  Why does the medical profession push this drug?  It has been very effective for me, but  how the heck does anyone ever stop taking it?  The withdrawl symptoms are horrible.  The dizziness, disorientation, blurry eyesight and 'zaps' in the head are awful.  Does anyone know if suddenly coming off of the drug is dangerous? (My doc discourages me from going off of it at all- the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'  type of thing).   I'm trying again now and am on my second day- I know this week at work will not be fun, but am going to try every tip in this blog to make it better.  Best of luck to everyone out there!!  If I discover any good tips, I'll post them.  
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***Long post***

I was on 300 mg Effexor XR daily for major depressive disorder (the high point of the year was the death of a pet and two close family members, plus developing a chronic pain condition and getting bullied at work).  I took the medications from 2005 until January 2008. At that time, I wasn't working and decided it was the perfect time to stop taking the medication. I was no longer depressed, and it didn't help the pain part of my issues.

Got my doc's okay. Told her what I'd read and my suggestions. I came out of the appointment with prescription anti-nausea meds (essentially an antihistamine), extra migraine meds, advice on an anti-diarrheal med,  and instructions to call if things get too weird.

Reducing from 300 mg to 225 mg/day was horrible. I had a migraine for nine straight days. I slept for sixteen to twenty hours a day for the better part of a month. I felt like I was being beaten with a baseball bat, I was dizzy, I was queasy, and I had the explosive poos. I used my backup meds. Then I started having mood swings, which I used Xanax to kill the worst of.  

Going from 225 mgs to 150 mgs wasn't bad. I tried alternating doses -- 225 mgs one day, 150 mgs the next. It kept the worst of the effects at bay. It might be an idea to try.

Going from 150 mgs to 75 mgs was horrible again, even with alternating doses, but I muddled through.  

I decided to go to the doc for the drop to 37.5 mg. I showed her information stating that when coming off Effexor XR, it helps to take Prozac 20 mg., then taper off the Prozac. I've come off Prozac before with no problems (and compared to Effexor, it's a walk in the park), so this sounded good. I'm currently on the 37.5 mg Effexor and 20 Prozac combo. I have not had ANY of the mood swings or dizziness or forgetfulness or pain associated with just dropping the Effexor level.  

The next step will be to do Effexor on alternate days, then every 3 days, then stop it.  And after that, stop the Prozac.

Sorry to be so long; I just wanted to post what's helped me. Anti-nausea meds were a godsend. So was Immodium AD.  Coming off Effexor XR triggered migraines, so stock up on extra meds if you get migraines.  Ditto chronic pain, I've heard.

Good luck to everyone trying to come off this medication. And FTR, the manufacturer has been truly unforthcoming about Effexor Withdrawal Syndrome. No doubt they're concerned about their profit margins.  

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I have been taking effexor xr 75mg for about two years and I just found out that I am pregnant. I spoke with my doctor who told me it was fine to just quit cold turkey, today is day four and I am still having withdrawls from this medication, nothing major but the brain jolts are driving me crazy, is there anyone out there who can tell me when this stops??? Please help!!!
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This is the second time I have been on Effexor and gone off of it.  It is horrible.  I have such horrible withdrawls that I thought I had the flu.  The worst part is how it feels like a strobe light every time I move my eyes or head at all.  Even when my eyes are closed I feel the strobe light feeling.  Due to the strobe, I have extreme nausea.  Every time I move my head or eyes, I almost throw up.  I have 2 kids to take care of and am supposed to be working full time and going to college and taking care of my house.  I can't do any of it.  I am so sick I can hardly move.  And after reading so many people's comments of how they still suffer the withdrawls, I again have no hope.  I can't live like this!
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I have the same symptoms as what is stated above.  I have headaches, brain zaps that
feel like my brain is being hit with lightning bolts.  Some days those bolts come every
ten second or so and then they taper off on the following day.  The funny thing is, I have
been on 75mg. for 7 years and I am not trying to come off it.  Is this a common type of
symptom for being on it too long?   It's miserable and my husband thinks that I am nuts.
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I'm experiencing this also. Told my doctor what I thought it was and he said he had never heard of it which I find strange...I knew right away! I've just switch from effexor to wellbrutin so I'm hoping this horrid feeling passes!! soon..been 4 days! terrible brain zapping, dizzy like symptoms.
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