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Effexor XR Withdrawal (Cold Turkey)

I was on Effexor XR 150 mg./day for 15 years.  I quit smoking two months ago, and a week ago I realized that the Effexor XR, if I really wanted to be "clean", had to go too.  Not that I see it as a bad thing, but I want everything out of my system.  I am so sick, here's what's going on:

-can't sleep for more than 2 hours at a time
-awakened by loud noises that did not happen
-visual hallucinations, seeing animals, birds, impossible things, afraid of the dark and the closet (that's new)
-projectile vomiting alternating with extreme hunger
-alternating being hot and sweaty and freezing with chills
-shouting and crying, major self-pity and diva behavior
-headaches, all-over body pain
-a strong desire to steal, and to buy stupid things I don't need, (that's new and very distressing)
-desire to get "off the grid"

I am cutting off the cable, I cancelled the insurance on the car and started walking everywhere, it's like I want to cut ties all of a sudden.  And I want to smoke so badly.  One minute I'm OK and the next I'm heartbroken and crying.  How long does this go on?  I can get through this, I just need to know approximately how long it takes to get feeling better.  
14 Responses
242532 tn?1269550379
First of all, you should be under the care of a doctor, even for withdrawal.  Secondly cold turkey is the wrong way to go  off, you have to wean yourself over a three week period.  I would recommend that you return to Effexor to stop these symptoms, talk to your doctor, then wean yourself over three weeks, and during that time you would benefit by talking with a therapist so you can get off this in a soft landing, and sort out the drug effect, from your new set of feelings that occur when you are off the  medication.  If you continue cold turkey, this could go on for months..and it sounds like it would endanger you to do that.
Avatar universal
There is a very large post in early 2005 regarding coming off Effexor XR.  I would do a search for Effexor and put in 2005, see if you can find it.  I would have given it to you, but I can't remember where it was.

Good luck, it is chock full of useful information on others that are trying, and have finally gotten off Effexor.
Avatar universal
Stopping Effexor XR
Forum: The Mental Health Forum
Topic: Mental Health

It started 8/05.  Hope this helps.  I found it by going to Google and searching for "stopping effexor".  Look for the Medhelp site and it will take you right to it.
Avatar universal
Yu sond like you are having a bi polar manic spell. bi polar has to be treated for both the dpressiona dn the manic cycling. I am bi polar and I take celexa for depression and zyprexa for the manic and I am doing wonderful with this combo.
I know exactly what you are going through having been there myself many times. Get to your doctor and see about therapy.It is what has gotten me through this bi polar I will keep you in my prayers Let me know how you are and anytime you want to talk I will listen Remember you are loved and worthy to be loved
Love Venora
Avatar universal
Hi dear, I was on Effexor for about 3 years.  I was so grateful because it help me with symptoms of anxiaty and depression.  Plus all the hell of stress I was going thru with family problems.  But nothing is perfect and I was getting very bad side effects from it.  Horrible ringing in my ears, I suspected that some bleading also came from it. I couldn't sleep because of the ringing in my ears(was no every night) sweating, chills... I decided to tell my doctor to take my out of it.  Let me tell you my dear that going out of it slowly is not that easy either. I know you are going throu true hell. I am not a doctor, but I think you should go back to one as soon as posible...And never againg go COLD TURKEY from any medication. No matter what they say I think that could affect the fuction of your organs too.
I have no more of those symptoms, but slowly I am back to some anxiety. I am researching for alternative remedies, but keep my mind open to med again.(just in case)GOOD LUCK!!!
Avatar universal
Avatar universal
I had the many of the same symptoms when I went off of Effexor XR cold turkey also.  It is definitely a drug you need to be weaned off of, and with the help of your doctor.  I ended up going to the hospital, and my doctor  changed almost all of my medications.  I am bipolar, but  haven't had a major problem since, and that was two years ago.  Best of luck to you.
Avatar universal
To all who want to stop this med, 2 days ago I decided to quit.  I found that running or consistent exercise can produce the anti deppresents naturally.  However; my personality type fits the cold turkey way.  I quit smoking cold turkey in the 80;s and cocaine and meth which I tried for a period of 6 months total.  Everyone is different and I feel you have to figure out first if you can handle cold turkey.  If the answer is yes, then you have to be strong and continue to detox, there is alot of good raw foods and fish to help ease some of the side effects of the nervous system changes.  I am not a doctor or nutritionist, but I read like crazy, mostly written by docs and nutritionists on living well.

Good Luck to anyone trying to quit.  Ps been taking effexor xr for 3 months  and was diagnosed as major depression, due to constant suicidal tendancies from major childhood abuse.  Recent shootings at schools in the news set me off and I became dangerous to myself.

I live with a constant fear of nerves.  Running is my new effexor, swimming is next!  My withdrawls have been small tremors, vivid dreams, some shakes, heavy dizziness.
Avatar universal
I have taken Effexor xr for almost 7 years now.  My husband died in Jan 07 and at that time I refused to take any drugs because I was pregnant.  As soon as my baby was born I went on 75 and gradually have increased to 300 xr a day.  In jan 06 the doctor added Welbutrin - i quit sleepin so by Jan 07 I had my self off.  Now the dr. has put me on 40 mg of Celexa with the 300 effexor.  I am tired of living in a FAKE world.  I am now remarried and have 2 absolutely wonderful children 7 and 12.  I want to get off, but everytime I mention it the doctor only increases or changes something.  The chart he uses to check my emotions is problaby one that several of you have done before.  I have been so low that I checked everything but kill myself but now.  I only have the confused and the aggressive items checked - or one from each side of the chart.  I really think I am over medicated.  Please give me advice how to get off these drugs.
Avatar universal
I'm considering going "cold turkey" off effexor.  I take 150 mg a day.  Been taking it for about 2 years.  Took Paxil for about 7 years prior to that.  I know that cold turkey is not the way to go, but I want it over.
Just curious how it is going for you right now?
Avatar universal
I've recently been weaned off Effexor XR and it has not been too great. Below is a list of what I have been experiencing for almost 2 weeks:

Lack of balance
Lack of concentration
Blurred Vision
Auditory Hallucinations
Nightmares and/or vivid dreams
Itching everywhere while resting or sleeping

I will not go back on and start over again. I'm done trying other brands, other types, old ones and new ones. Meds don't work for me and this is the only one that I have ever experienced such hell coming off of.  I have found other avenues to treat my despression: talk therapy & exercise.

Avatar universal
ive been taking adderall 30mg 4x daily + effexor 75mg 1xdaily for the past 4 yrs. Recently, my dr. retired, so i swapped dr.s and everythings cool. I missed june 5ths appt due to work so i called the dr.s office on june 6 at 9am to reschdule and the office told me sorry, the dr. is out 4 the rest of the month so we'll c u on your next scheduled appt. july 5th!!! I've been w/out my 2 life changing drugs...joke...for a total of 12 hrs at this point , and having severe wihdrawals already, i had another fit of rage, that was a usual symptom for me every single time i've missed  1 dose of  effexor/adderall combo. I told these idiots at the dr.s office who didnt have aclue what i was going through, I feltas if i could kill sum1 if i dint get my fix like right noww! They said sorry theres nothing we can do til the dr. comes back and gave me afreaking # to a suicide hot line and hung up!!! For those of you that are payin attention, iwas suggesting homicide not suicide...Anyway i went outside screaming & yelling, and destroying the things that were physically the closest 2 me at the time. After i was done i said 2myself game over, im either going to die or end up with big bubba in prison.Well its been a few weeks now and  i havent killed any1,for those that are really paying attentention to that...and im not dead yet, although i ve felt like ive died 3 or 4 times already.ive been abusing drugs for the past 20 years to only feel the same way, numb to all emotions...except anger and depression. Im a 36 yr. old DWM w/2kids & ive found out that all the street & prescription drugs that ive used &or abused in my life has caused me to feel this way including the physical withdrawals that i live with day to day.Its no1s fault but mine because i couldve said no, i didnt then but i am now, because theres got 2 be more to life than what ive experienced 4 the past 20-25yrs. DOESNT IT??? Yours truly,SPACE CADET
Avatar universal
After taking Effexor 150 mg for approx 3+ years I asked my new dr about switching meds due to lack of sexual desire and that I am starting to show signs of returning depression ie sleeping all weekend long the (so called) Dr told me to stop taking effexor completely for 3 days then to start taking 20 mg of prozac every other day for a week the daily.  Since I have stopped taking effexor I have experienced:  brain zapping all day long,  uncontrolled crying for no reason, outbursts both yelling and laughing, completely disorganized, unable to complete sentences intelligently, and of course vomitting on a daily basis.
I don't think my dr was correct in her professional medical advise... shouldn't I have had to wean off of the Effexor to help eliminate these withdrawl symptoms?  Then go onto another medication?  
Avatar universal
I have a question that is opposite of everyone else's here but don't know where else to go. I was put on Effexor 4 years ago. I was eventually taking 225 mg a day. I was also on methadone, it helped with the anxiety and I was able to lower my Methadone dose and get on Buprenorphine and eventually was weaned off all opiates. I continued taking Effexor and was put on Adderall for ADD. I never knew I had ADD before. The pyschiatrist who got me off of Methadone noticed all the symptoms off ADD and the Adderall has been life changing for me. The Effexor had to go. I was tired of taking it, feeling like it did nothing but keep the weight I gained on and diminish sexual desire. I gained 20 lbs on it. I had gained some weight on Methadone that disappeared once I was off of it. I went from 140 to 202, but was steady at 180 until the Effexor. My question is this. Why do I not have any withdrawals from Effexor. I have went from 225 to 75 with no withdrawals of any kind. I have experienced all kinds of withdrawals from Oxycontin, Methadone, Marijuana,Adderall, Tobacco so I am very confused. The psychiatrist said simply that some people dont have withdrawals from it. I don't buy it. Days go by where I don't take any and then I will pop a few and resume the 75 a day for a while. I am going to quit next month by going from 75 to 37.50 and the 0. I thought maybe the Adderall (45 milligrams a day) stopped the withdrawals but I don't think thats the case after reading some of the posts here. I know I should feel really lucky but I am confused and a little scared. How long does it normally take for symptoms of withdrawal to start after quitting or lowering a dose. I can honestly say I have only experienced mild anxiety and that was two weeks after going from 225 to 150 and then 75. If anybody has had this experience or has a clue why I do please let me know.
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