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Is there an end to Effexor XR withdrawal?
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Is there an end to Effexor XR withdrawal?

After being on 75mg of Effexor XR for 5 years, I quit cold turkey 10 days ago.  The w/d symptoms vascilate daily with the entire range that has already been shared on this forum.  The newest however, is the mood swings.  Im not nearly as dizzy, but I could burst into a rage at any moment.  The next be wracked with heart break.  I have very little patience and feel like I want to scream.  All I want to know is that this will end.  Has my brain been permanately damaged from this posion, or will I recover from this?  Is there light at the end of the tunnel?  it's been 10 days...
18 Comments Post a Comment
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480448_tn?1403547723
Oh geez.  First, I'm sorry you are going through this.  To be honest, I didn''t look at your other thread(s), so if I repeat something that has already been said, I apologize.

I will spare you the big lecture of going off meds like these cold turkey, I'll just give you a small one, lol.  You already see why that is a HORRIBLE idea.  Effexor is a med that is already notoriously hard to come off, even with a taper....even more reason to do it in a controlled manner, under the guidance of your doctor.  What's done is done....hopefully you've learned from this in the future to never abruptly stop taking ANY medication.  Let's see what you can do from here.

Have you talked to your doctor at all?  Let him know what's been going on?  It's probably too late in the game to restart the Effexor and then start a taper, but there most definitely would be some things your doctor could recommend to help ease some of these symptoms.  I really recommend making an appointment to see your doctor and discuss the options.

The other thing...let me reassure you, for one, no, you didnt damage your brain.  Your symptoms are caused by your body trying to readjust without the medication.  It WILL resolve, but it may take some time before you are feeling 100% again.  There are varying reports of the duration of the discontinuation syndrome of Effexor.  You may have to endure some discomfort for a while.  Again, that's why talking with your doc is a good idea, as he may be able to minimize the suffering for you.

Please keep us updated...I really hope you get to feeling better soon!  We''re here for you!
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1110049_tn?1384640486
This is the most talked about subject on this forum.  Have a look at all the past postings.  They should help.

I went off cold turkey myself.  No it isn't poison.  I felt better after two weeks, takes others longer.

So much been written about this.
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3104867_tn?1341429633
Hello :) I am sorry to hear you are going trough this. I was on Lexapro (similar med)  for years and even missing a day caused ALL the same symptoms. I had asked my doctor about this and he explained to me that certain medications have different half lives. Prozac leaves your body much more slowly and it is easier to taper off of. I thought I have ruined my brain from taking Lexapro. But when I took Prozac and then tapered, it was so much easier!

I do not think it's good you quit cold turkey though. You don't need to put yourself through that. Talk with your doctor and see if there is a medication that can help you like Prozac did for me. That way you can safely cease your medications.

Take care and don't worry. You didn't ruin your brain. I can so relate to this. See your doctor and you will be fine :)

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1128565_tn?1316724743
Hi Let me reassure you it will end i took venlafluxine for 10 years i came off 150mg's cold turkey GP's fault. These symptoms evil and nasty as they are are your brains way of trying to heal it self and your body. Part of your brain has been switched off for the ammount of time you were on them. The brain chemistry is altered coming off and that causes these symptoms we are addicted to these drugs after 8 weeks. Velafluxine is extremely addictive i couldn't function for 3months when i came off. It will not be a quick fix coming off thesetablets store in the fat in our bodies but you will not be permamently damaged our bodies heal themselves.
Get some 5HTP from the health shop and ask how to build up slowly my support group says we can take up to 400mg's i take 200 in the morning 200 before bed. It converts to seretonin of aday and melatonin of a night it will help with the withdrawl (withdrawal). Also a natural tincture made of oats avenus sativa can help with anxiety 20 drops ina little water 3 times aday.
God Bless Stay Strong You Will Get Through This !!!
Love
Lorraine xx
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you to all who have responded so far.  16 days off Effexor XR and doing better.  Your tips and encouragement have been so helpful.  I'm  relieved to know that my brain isn't p[remamntly damaged.  Knowing that it is healing and adjusting is comforting.

Going cold turkey is not the ideal way, but it was ran-oy-and-no-refill-on-file circumstances that caused it.  Once into it for 4 days, I decided to keep going, and my doctor approved.

Have others tried the 5HTP?  I have gotten mixed messages about its safety.  

For others struggling, I've noticed 2 specific things that have dramatically helped my withdrawal: diet and exercise.  I'm not good at either, but since I have some control over them, I thought why not give it a try.

I did a lot of research on foods and supplements that support the withdrawal process, which are good for me / us anyway!  Omega 3s are highly recommended.  I just put some ground flax seed in my yogurt--simple.  The exercise is the real kicker tho.  I struggle with the motivation and making the time to do it, but I know the days I exercised were the better ones.  And I don't mean a ton of exercise, just a half hour or so, and enough to break a sweat.   So.....right at this moment I feel content, no anger or hsotility, no tears, no confusion, no dizziness....my fear is that this is just a good moment, and that the withdrawal uglies will return.  So, I will take one moment at a time, until the withdrawal is DONE.  

I'm grateful for this site and the support that is here!
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480448_tn?1403547723
I'm glad you're feeling a little bit better, you'll get there.  I don't know much about the 5HTP, but my inherent advice would be to tell you that if you're improving on your own, don't mess with it.  I have heard tha even those kinds of more "natural" medicines can come with their own issues.  I have a close friend who took that for a while and had withdrawal like symptoms when discontinuing it.  Again, I don't have any first-hand experience with it.

Whatever you decide, best of luck...you'll eventually get there, one way or another.
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2030769_tn?1343651274
i'm glad u are feeling better too.  I am only on day 2 so hearing that you are feeling better gives me hope.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Akitagirl:

Don't give up!  Day 17 and I'm still feeling better!  yesterday was a great day, and I worried that I'd "crash" this morning, but so far so good!  When you are in the midst of feeling like crap from the withdrawal, have some posstive and encouraging notes written to yourself so you can hang onto them in the moment.  I had a couple times when I almost gave up and started the Effexor again, but I had to activiely remindmyself that this was a process and what was happeing WILL PASS.  The messages here are helpful and encouraging, so read often!  Good luck to you and take care!
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for the support nursegirl:

Honestly, I'm scared to take ANYTHING (except the B vitamins) anymore, so avoiding the 5htp will be easy.   I have another question tho, does anyone ever experience "recovery" but then "relapse?"  I've heard that some folks seem to hve conquered the withdrawal, only to wake up weeks later and be totally zapped again.  I don't know if that's w/d or the return of the original condition tat led to being put on the effexor.  I've decided I'll take each day as it comes and keep doing what I know works:  reading this forum, exercising, eating well, and sending myself LOTS and LOTS of positive messages!  
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Avatar_m_tn
I agree with what dwt7let said.Glad you're feeling better.
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480448_tn?1403547723
Your approach sounds just fine.  A lot of people become fearful of taking medications after having this kind of experience.  Since you're already improving a little every day, I think you're on the right track.  Get some exerciswe, stay busy...when you keep yourself distracted, you'll be less inclined to be focusing on how you feel.  

As for the other worry, no, that is not something I've ever heard of.  You are getting better, and will continue to do so.  Let us know how you're doing!
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1110049_tn?1384640486
When I withdrew cold turkey I was bad for two weeks, but fully recovered.  I was well for one year, but depression did return.  In my case, I have had so many bouts, it was bound to return.

I understand that if a person  has depression more than once, than there are chances of it returning, as in my case.  But I was well for a whole year with no relapse.
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Avatar_m_tn
Day 23 and doing really well.  I had about three days during that 3rd week where I felt angry & irritable, after all the other w/d symptoms, but as of late, everything seems to be really balancing out.  I finally feel tearful at things I should be, like when a friend experiences a loss and I laugh hard when something is funny.  I didn't realize how emotionally numb I was on the effexor.  

A note about feeling emotions:  Crying as well as laughing, releases endorphins--naturally.  I found some research on this and am glad I did.  Here's to feeling emotions and not trying to cover them up with effexor.


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Avatar_m_tn
Hey Akitagirl12:

How are you doing?  I haven't seen  a post from you in this thread for a while and wanted to check in!

Pixie1965
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2030769_tn?1343651274
:) You know, i woke up today feeling better then i have in a long time, even before starting this detox.  Today i am at 9 days of No effexor.  I am feeling like I want to paint & learn the piano or something.  LOL  I haven't wanted to do anything creative like that in years, so I am not sure where all of this is coming from.  But at least i am not crabby or crying my eyes out today.  And at least i don't feel like i am getting electricuted in my head & arms today. I do still feel very nauesa, but i can deal with it as long as my emotions stay stable.  How are you doing?
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480448_tn?1403547723
I'm SO happy for BOTH of you!!  It's great that you are both turning the corner.  As rough as it is coming off these kinds of meds sometimes, the average person only has mild to moderate symptoms that are fairly short lived.  The horror stories of a person suffering in agony for months are rare, plus, in many of those cases, it's hard to judge what is the withdrawal, and what is the actual preexisting depression and/or anxiety.

Keep uo the great work!  You know we're here for you!
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3130892_tn?1342571241
I'm on day 6 of stopping Effexor XR (225mg).
I've heard 2 weeks is about how long it takes. I hope that's true. That means I'm almost halfway there, haha.
But yeah, my mood swings are nasty violent, and my headaches keep me up at night. I've started trying to learn new languages on iPhone apps since I can't sleep.
I wish you the best of luck.
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480448_tn?1403547723
Here's hoping you feel better soon!  The posters above share reassuring experiences!  Hang in there!!!
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