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venlafaxine withdrawal
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venlafaxine withdrawal

2005 i was diagnosed with a major depression. first we tried zoloft 50mg, then 100mg then 150mg and the results were not good, so my MD decided to change it to effexorXR 150mg. 2007 drop the dosage to 75mg. and last month i started 37,5mg.

I dropped effexor xr 37,5 mg 4 days ago and i'm having one of the most horrible experiences of my life. It seems a strong flu, nevertheless i have no fever. I feel disoriented and with some balance alterations. i'm always sleepy. but the worst part is that for 4 days i'm not earing well of my right side, this also aggravates my balance and the sensation of electical shocks on the sides of my head and arms. I would like to know if all of these symptons are typical of effexor withdrawal and for how long do they persist.

also, i've read that omega 3 oils and vitamins of B complex helps during the "hangover" period. is that true.

Thank you so much

yours truly directly from Portugal
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Avatar_f_tn
yes, these are all the symptoms i had when going off effexor. it could take awhile for these symptoms to go away. but all people are different and you might get over them more quickly than i did. hang in there, they will go away. when do you stop the 37.5mg? you don't want to do it to quickly. take care. remar
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Avatar_n_tn
i did 37,5mg for a whole month. My MD said it was enough. The only thing no one told me was that this seems to be the hardest withdrawal concerning anti depressives. i understand that everyone respond diferently to withdrawal still one needs some references.. how long is a while? 2 weeks? 2 months? how long does the worst phase take? thanks
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Avatar_m_tn
Are you swapping Effexor for another medication or are you going off all AD medication?
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Avatar_n_tn
i stoped AD medication!
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Avatar_m_tn
I see. Yea, even with a slow taper Effexor can be a real bear to stop.

I was able to transition from Effexor to another AD medication, but stopping all together is really tough. It may take several weeks before the withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms fade.
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Avatar_n_tn
thanks.

someone tolf me yhe first two weeks are the most difficult, and some take a whole year to return to normal.

Why is this drug still prescribed? i agree this drug help me a lot, but the hangover is terrible. i even tought on going back to effexor. that´s why so many people don't leave AD medications. I'm gonna a make it. despite the withdrawal symptoms I'm incredibly confidant and i'm leaving AD forever.  

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Avatar_m_tn
No doubt that the withdrawl (withdrawal) effect from all AD medications is real. For me I actually had worse withdrawl (withdrawal) from discontinuing Lexapro than Effexor.

Effexor and Cymbalta seem to be the worst withdrawl (withdrawal) for most people.
I think the reason a lot of people don't leave AD medication is simply because there is no cure for Clinical Depression and if properly diagnosed then people need to stay on AD maintenence medication for life. To stop medication (If you really have a depressive dissorder) will only result in the Depression returning.

I think the main problem is that AD medication is WAY over prescribed now days. Often these medications are prescribed to people that have good reason to be down and depressed. Medication is not the best way to treat "situational types" of depression.

In fact AD medications were never even designed to be used by anyone that is not suffering from severe forms of Depression caused by a chemicaly depressed brain.

It's really sad that a lot of doctors dispense these AD meds like their handing out Pez.
They never stop for a minute to consider, "maybe my patient is depressed now because of his divorce or because he lost a loved one."

These drugs were never intended for that usage. They are only for people that actually have depression due to a chemical abnormality in the brain.

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Avatar_n_tn
I'm sorry but i don't believe a depression is chronic. The are several studies that indicate that changes in the way we see and stand in life and even in your nourishment can do the trick. for instance populations that feed mainly of fish and sea food have less episodes of depression. the investigators believe the reason is omega 3 oils since they're the percursors of phospholipids celular membrane phospholipids. Major Pharmaceutical companies wish people to accept some diseases as irreversible. believe me i know. i work as a medical sales representative and you don't even imagine the marketing machine behind the drugs and diseases.

present investigation sugest that endogenous depression results from cerebral lesions (reversible) that one acquires during neural development (violence at home, constant stressfull situations). Psychotherapy can help people to reverse those lesions.

Nevertheless, some continue to need drugs, since psycotherapy can't do miracles. for those that think depression is something for life and that AD medication is the solution open your eyes. Stop. Think. React.

still depressed? try to subject yourself to vagal nerve electrostimulation.
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Avatar_m_tn
Well I guess it depends on what camp your from. I can also show you a ton of scientific studies that prove there are types of Depression and anxiety that are not at all the cause of life trama. There are hundreds of studies that clearly point to the fact that many depressive dissorders simply never respond to any type of treatment other than medication.

To say that Severe Depression or Bi-polar dissorder is not Cronic (chronic), is just the same as saying Scizophrenia dissorder is not Cronic (chronic).

Ahh the bad drug companies.... I look at it this way; No one hold a gun to the doctors heads and tells then they have to prescribe Cymbalta to every patient that walks in their office. Let's put some responsibility back in the hands of the doctors were supposed to trust. It's the free market for profit system we live in that has allowed these drug companies to develop new medications that save lives every day. I am proud that we live in such a system.

As for exerscise, natural, holistics, and diet to correct Severe Depression. All rubbish. I have tried them all with great consistancy and none produced any improvement. About the Omega 3 subject. Those studies are not at all new. I read them 18 or so months ago and for one full year I took mega doses of Omega 3 every day. Not even a minor improvement in my condition. Doesn't hold water if you ask me.

As for Vagus Nerve Stimulation treatment...... I would love to, but unfortunatly I don't have an extra $50,000 laying around. 98% of all health insurance companies refuse to pay for this proceedure. Whick basicaly makes it a therapy only for the wealthy.
I still have my denial letters from Aetna to prove it. They also shot down my appeal even with a written plea from my Psychiatrist and Cyberonics.

As for Cognative therapy...... Works great for people with situational depression. Proven to do nothing for individuals with Non-situational depressive dissorder. It's also never effective for people with Bi-polor dissorder.

If I had a nickle for every depression sufferer that has found natural remidies to be a total failure for them, I would be wealthy by now.

You name a treatment for depression and I have not just tried it, I have stuck with it for long periods and ONLY medication has worked for me. I have yet to try ECT (and never will) nor can I try VNS (Too expensive)

I know a ton of other sufferers that are also in the same boat. Trust me if other stuff worked then we wouldn't be taking medication. For most of us it was an absolute last resort.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi i was wondering why you are comming off AD medication .has your depression gone away.
Im currently on effexor 75mg and i know when i have tried to stop i feel terrible.
The only reason i have tried to stop is i dont like taking drugs.
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Avatar_n_tn
for the first time since i come off Effexor i feel great... i feel no withdrawal symptoms. this is my 10th day without venlafaxine. i'm full of energy. and i feel great cause i'm beginning to win this battle. my dizziness is gone. that first days anxiety has normalized, I really believe now that it's possible to survive effexor withdrawal.

usually depression has an environmental cause. try do find yourse and fight it. the human mind is very powerfull.

unfortanetly there are those depressions that are biological... those have to do AD medication, but some habit changes like sport everyday can help reduce the dosage and therefore the side effects. be persistent. try hipnose.
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Avatar_f_tn
i agree with hensley258. i to have tried exercise, omega3, diet, therapy, all the natural products, chiroprators, the thing they do with your ear, sorry, i don't know how to spell it. and i still had depression and anxiety. antidepressants are the only thing that helps. i hope you are(cured) and i mean that. i'm glad to see your feeling better. maybe yours was enviromental. take care. remar
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4087652_tn?1349674368
This drug isn't helping me at all. i wonder why they still give this medication out as well. It has been messing with my sleeping. i take it once in the morning and 2 at night and I can't sleep at all. This is what my doctor has told me to do and I'm getting tired of the less then 20 hrs a sleep a week. Alot of people are experiancing the same as I am. I take the Venlafaxine caps 75mg ER and it hasen't done nothing for me besides make me less energized and gain weight...
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm in the middle of withdrawal I've been taking venlafaxine for 12 yrs and I agree with some of u my depression was caused through traumas and the doctor would quite happily prescribe more when I didn't actually need them the past 3 yrs but I've turned a corner in life and made a lot of changes what are good. I'm feeling like s*** at present,but I'm sticking to it as I don't want to be taking these drugs for the rest of my life I'm annoyed that I wasn't told about the really bad withdrawal symptoms and that its took 6mnths to get where I am as I was on 150mg then went on 75mg for 3mnths then down to 37.5mg for 2nd a half months and I decided to half the 37.5mg pill nd took this dose for 2wks,but I'm now on my 2nd day nd I've had halluciations both seein nd hearing,constant nausea,heartburn,heaviness behind my eyes headaches,limbs feel week,iredness,hyperness,crying for no reason,can't concentrate for too long just feeling like I'm going crazy. I'm taking diazepam 2mg to take a little edge off but still feel abso rotten. Determand to stick this out no matter what I believe anyone can do this is they really want but only on your doctors advice I wouldn't reccomend stopping on a whim! Goodluck to all those who are trying to get off this horrible drug. I know it helped me emmenslly when I needed it,but to go through all this to get off it is beyond a joke!
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Avatar_f_tn
I just wanted to update , I've never had any pills for 30 days now nd wat a difference to my life I'm much more motivated and balanced then wen I was on venlafaxine , best thing I've done although I do feel I've missed 4/5 yrs on feeling this good due to the cloud which these pills give u so feeling some what cheated in a way ! I get cravings for the drug some days, and think this will last a while as 12yrs is a long time to be on them but there's not a chance I wud take them again even if I did relaspe I wud do things totally different there's other ways of dealing with mental illness and I'm a very strong person now. Please dnt give up the fight if u want to come off venlafaxine it really is worth it and there is light at the end of the tunnel ,just stick out those bad 4/6 days nd your there :) goodluck again to all.
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6744073_tn?1384774750
hi,

was on venlafaxine for at least 5 years (others before)
came of tramadol recently
still need the small amount of venla or withdrawal too heavy to bear

when I miss a dose its ok until I miss another one - still on 2 x 37.5mg per day (well I break a 75mg pill in half) - tapering down before and now was never really bad - it's this finishing part I struggle big time - will try slowly tapering down more

agree with you regards feeling better without them
they helped me too somehow at the beginning and I was glad to have them but down the line it's poison
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1128565_tn?1316724743
Hi Jaye
I was on venlafluxine for 12 years and came off cold turkey Dr's fault, I was on 150mg's. Don't recommend C/T beta blockers will help with the adrenaline rush - palp's, ibs, panic, agitation. After I also came off citalopram and dolsulipin. I have been off venlafluxine 3 years in Apriland dolsulipin 2 years in April by sleep is still affected. These drugs damage our bodies and we have to re-learn how to deal with life but its worth it not to be a zombie. I have nearly finished a course and I am not constantly in bed. Look up CITA on web they will help you come off very slowly Dr's bring us off too quickly. Good Luck Lorraine
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1110049_tn?1384640486
I withdrew from Venlafaxine over 10 months with my doctors advice.  Did not get any withdrawal symptoms.  Now six weeks since I stopped, and beginning to get headaches.  You could be right some of you when you say the anti depressants we take can affect our long term brain function.

I did really well on Venlafaxine for 9 years.  I did not feel like a zombie at all.  I felt really well.  Got rid of my depression, anxiety and panics and I lived a full life.  Only side effect was weight gain.  I  did not find the withdrawal hard at all as I took it really slowly.  I think these headaches I am now getting is my brain getting used to being without seratonin and adjusting to being drug free.  
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6744073_tn?1384774750
hi Maddie,

wow, so happy for you, think it is the taking (of 10 month) time to go w/d free
when I am finally off (and after a few weeks without anything) I will try 5HTP or similar to accomplish for the low seratonin

the headache/migraine never went away but don't want to mess with my brain (that's why I will patiently wait with 5HTP) more than needed
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1110049_tn?1384640486
I was on 150mg Effexor daily, and as the capsules here in UK only go down to 75mg, I was then put on the generic pills.  I had been on them before, and did not get on with them, but knew if I wanted to withdraw that was the way to do it as you can cut pills.  Anyway I was fine on the generic this time round.  

My doctor put me on 75mg pills first, and then 37.5mg after a few months.  That is when I began to cut the pills up.  I bought a pill cutter on line and cuyt the pills up.  I reduced gradually taking 3/4, 1/2, 1/4 and so on over the course of several months.  Eventually I was taking a tiny amount daily on my finger tip.  Hence no withdrawal symptoms at all.  A matter of letting my body get used to smaller and smaller amounts.  

I have recently tried 5HTP, but does not agree with me.  I have always taken Omega3, Multivitamins and Minerals, and Vitamin B complex.  I don't know if they helped, but I have always felt really well on Effexor (Venlafaxine) so I was lucky.  Now I am not taking any prescribed medicine at all and at 73 years of age I think that is good.  After 20 years I am anti depressant free.  Hurrah!!  

Hope your withdrawal goes well and the 5HTP works for you.  I have offered you friendship as we both live in UK and not that many of us.  I live in Dorset.  
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6744073_tn?1384774750
thank you Maddie,

tried the 5HTP, well popped one in when I thought I would have to "copensate" for coming down on venla
was not a good idea, made the cocktail much worse

will try again after I am off anti-d's for at least a few days

not sure how this all works here on this site - is there ANY privacy?
seem to be able to read everything, which means everybody can read everything

btw I am 50
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1110049_tn?1384640486
Yes there is privacy.  I have accepted your friendship invitation and I have sent you a private message which nobody else will see.  Best way to correspond here if you do not want to share things with everyone.  A message will come up on your email telling you have a private message from me.

Look forward to cementing a friendship with you.
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6744073_tn?1384774750
still don't know how to do this
what bothers me most is the constand headache
will see gp this week
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Avatar_m_tn
I was prescribed V for shot flashes. I am 56 years old.  Never been depressed.  Started 37.5.  Worked pretty good.  Doubled it after 2 weeks when it stopped being as effective.  Then added another 37.5 a few weeks later.  I've been on it about 3 months.  I felt foggy, forgetful, unmotivated and gained weight but happy all the time. Not much emotion.  I got on this forum and started weaning myself.  In two weeks I quit totally.  Next day I thought I had a hangover but worse.  I'm on day 4 now and still have waves of nausea, chills and sweats.  Flu like symptoms that come and go.  When I read your post I felt hope.  I leave for vacation in 7 days and I hope it won't be ruined. This should be a crime.  My doctor should never have prescribed this for hot flashes without letting me know the true story.  I'm mad, sad, and am really wondering how long this will last. Any words of advice to help me along?
allarounder
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Avatar_f_tn
I read some research that said that if you have one episode of depression you have a 50/50 chance of having it again. If you have two then it's a 75% chance. Three episodes is 90% and then it goes on to 100%. Want to take a chance?  It's up to you.
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