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Getting off Effexor xr symptoms

I have been on Effexor xr for 4 1/2 wks.  It has done nothing for my anxiety and actually feel worse now agoraphobic. They had me up to 150mg which made me feel unreal and out of it so they put me back down to 75mg.  I know its not right for me the side effects are too bad.  My question is how to get off I am so scared of the withdrawl symtoms.  I have had every s/e on it including confusion muscle tension dizziness insomnia agitation to name a few so will the withdrawl symtoms be worse.  The anxiety that has come over me in regards to the withdrawl symtoms is now overcoming my life,  I am truly scared to go off after the horrow stories I have heard.  Since I have been on 75mg for 5 days now what do you think I will experience with withdrawl and what do you think is a good withdrawl schedule.
I use Klonopin 0.5mg for breakthrough anxiety will that help with the withdrawl symtoms also?  just know I need to be med free but am scared to do it now. Thanks for your help. I have heard of sleepiness on withdrawl and that wouldnt bother me at all since my insomnia is so bad, but the rest scares me, help...
47 Responses
242532 tn?1269553979
You should withdraw over a 3 week period...and maybe you can switch off the Xr for that purpose..it will be easier...reduce the dose so the last week you are on the smallest dose every other day, and then stop.  Klonopin can be very useufl in this process.
Avatar universal
Hi, I have been on EffexorXR for almost 2 1/2 weeks. The medication information I have is that it can take 6-8 weeks before the full affect is realized. I know it seems like forever but you are so close. Maybe you might want to give it more time. Whatever you do I wish you lots of luck. You are not alone.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the response in my dread it is appreciated.  But i would like to know the side effects you have had on the Effexor xr?  Do you have some I have explained and did your doctor put you on it for anxiety or depression or both?  I feel like I am in a fog and numb, I couldnt cry right now if I tried really hard and I tend to be a person who can express emotions quite easily. Any feed back will help me in my time of need.
Avatar universal
I'm back, I forgot to mention I am wondering if you are already experiencing some withdraw since your dosage was decreased. Did your doctor tell you of the possibility? Last year I was on Paxil and weaned myself of. I went through extremely uncomfortable side effects. I might at well stopped cold turkey. Anyway the s/e you experience from the effexor should subside as your body adjusts to the medication. I'm going though adjustments myself. Been on it 2 1/2 weeks as mentioned before. Good luck!
Avatar universal
My side effects are: feeling in a fog like state, almost like I am drugged (loopy). After a few hours I begin sweating, dripping sweat. That lasts for a few hours. Then extreme energy just in time to go to bed, so I can't sleep. I even tried tylenol P.M., but that seemed to make the fog worse the next day. I was put on this for depression and anxiety with panic.I am willing to stay on it for 6-8 weeks to see if it helps and to see if side effects go away.
Avatar universal
I am currently weaning myself off Effexor as well.  I was on 75 mgs for about 4 months for severe depression and anxiety (I was trying to not go up in dosage because of previous side effects with Zoloft) but decided to go completely off of it after mysterious side effects.  Originally my doctor didn't think my symptoms could be related to Effexor (symptoms: constant dizziness and blurred vision on one side of my head; whenever I leaned my head to the side the room would spin and I would become light-headed.)  After various thyroid tests, an MRI for possible brain tumor, MS, and stroke, my MD decided it possibly could be a weird side effect of Effexor.  
I took 37.5 mgs for 7 days, and now have been Effexor free for 5 days.  Until today I really havent had any withdrawel although my dizziness and blurry vision have remained constant.  However, today I am so dizzy all the time, having hot flashes, sweating, and basically feel like I am in a tunnel or under water.  I too am wondering if it is withdrawal symptoms.
I know this doesn't really answer your questions, but maybe it will help to know someone else is going through the exact same thing!  I go back to my MD next Tuesday to see if a trip to the neurologist is next, but maybe withdrawal is to blame and I can put fears of brain diseases out of the way for good.
Avatar universal
I was having the dizziness and blurred vision in one eye BEFORE I began Effexor. I had quite a lot of symptoms. Doctor had me have an MRI for MS And an EMG for nerve damage. All normal, including blood work. He decided all the tingles, numbness, memory loss, etc. was due to depression and anxiety with panic. I have a very long history of it. Thats why I decided to take this. In your case it could be rare s/e. But if it doesn't go away, don't let up on the doctors to find out why it's going on. If I begin to feel better mentally but yet the physical symptoms remain then I'm going to have them dig deeper. All of my physical symptoms began 8 months ago. My depression and anxiety began 15 years ago. (I am 30) Good luck and best wishes to all!
Avatar universal
I took Effexor XR for 3 months.  I read where you can open the capsule and remove a number of the little particles.  Little by little remove more and more until you are off.  I had no problems with this method.  Hope this helps.

Avatar universal
I have to say that I am sorry for trying to motivate you to stick with Effexor. I do realize you know what is best for you. I wish you the best of luck. I think I was trying to convince us both that this is a magic pill that would help. Wouldn't that be great? After all these years of being in what can seem like hell, to wake up and greet the day with welcome arms. I think you have gotten very good advice on how to get off this and try something new.
Avatar universal
Just to let you know I am weaning myself off the Effexor xr and it has been Hell in itself.  It has been a total nightmare with halucinations and a "soggy brain" but now that I am down to opening a 37.5mg cap and taking out some of the granules I feel much better and all the anxiety I thought I was feeling on the drug was just side effects so I feel much better now. Please be careful with that drug. It does help some people very much but I am in the medical field and there is a reason they call it "side effexor" The doctor I see is a GP and I know what the thought is on that but the county I live in (very large one in southern California) this certain GP writes more prescriptions for Effexor xr than any other Md in the county including Psych docs.  He has published two books on the effects of womens hormones and antidepressants so I trust him very much. I really dont want to be on meds but last night I saw him and he said get off the Effexor xr even though its a good drug its just not for me.  I had wayyyyyy tooooo many side effects that only got worse not better.  I am starting Serafem (another name for Prozac) this am and also perhaps a very very small amount of Risperdal at night to sleep to help with panic and insomnia like 1/2 of a 0.25mg tab.  Just some thoughts but I wanted to update you on my situation since you were so nice to write in the first place. Hope all is going well with you and the side effects of the Effexor xr are going away so you can enjoy your life.
God bless Trac
Avatar universal
Hey all, I just got off effexor xr myself.  I was taking 75 mg. (for about 5 months) and my Dr. wanted to up the dose because I was still having breakthrough anxiety and not sleeping good.  I was scared of withdrawals so I had him change me to Remeron.  I am starting week 4 of the Remeron and just took my last effexor yesterday.  He said I should not have withdrawals because I was on Remeron but I was still scared to take the chance.  He told me to drop to 37.5 for one week,  then take 1/2 of the 37.5 for the next week, then 1/2 of 37.5 every other day for the last week.  Well, after the second week I started having more anxiety, some dizziness, brain zaps, etc.  All withdrawal symptoms.  So I actually took apart the capsule (BTW there are 100 granules in 37.5 mg.) and counted them for 3 weeks.  I started at 50 granules, three days later took 40 granules, three days later took 30 granules, three days later took 20 granules, three days later 10 granules, and the last 10 days I took one less until yesterday I took only 1 granule.  I still felt very mild withdrawals so I cannot even imagine what people go through when not being that conservative coming off that drug.  I am so glad to be off it.  My Dr. explained to me that Paxil and Effexor both have such short half-lives and that is why it is hard to come off them.  I hope I don't ever have to take that drug again.  I am doing fine on the Remeron.  Never slept better and feeling calmer every day.  I suffer from GAD and Mitral Valve Prolapse and this med has been a blessing for me.  I hope this helps.  Even if it takes 3 times as long to come off the drug, it is worth it!  So those who are trying to come off, I can't express how important it is to go slow and not get in a hurry, I don't care what your Dr. says.  BTW, I was also on 3 mg. Klonopins a day and that really didn't mask all the symptoms.  If it did, it wasn't much.
Avatar universal
Avatar universal
Thanks for the insight on your post. The side effects I have had from the Effexor xr have been relentless and the withdrawl just as bad. I was taking 75mt then went to 37.5mg with an added prozac 10mg in am. Then I started taking some granules out to the 37.5 for the last 3 nights but I was as you say trying to do it to quickly and my symtoms are getting worse again. I think I will heed your warning and go a little slower for at least the next week or so.  I was thinking of never taking another one after last night but now that I read your post I know its not just me and i will slow it up some. The thing that just makes me so mad at myself is I am a nurse and have been for many years I know all about half lifes but i never thought about checking that out for myself before starting the darn drug.  Of course the paxil and effexor xr are so hard to come off of because our bodies crave it long before we think it should due to the elimination process in the liver and excretion of approx 30%-70% in one given dose. Sheesh scary huh even someone with lots of knowledge can be mislead. Anyways thanks for the advice i will take it.
Hope your day is good.
Avatar universal
I'm glad I was able to help.  It DEFINITELY was worth the extra weeks to come of the drug.  I can say I have been officially EFFEXOR FREE for 4 days now and feel great.  The Remeron has kicked in and since I came off the Effexor so slow, I guess that is why I didn't have any problems after my last dose.  I thank God I am off that drug. Like you, I will definitely do my homework more next time before I start a new drug.  You said you are taking prozac?  I took 20 mg of it fo 11 years and felt great.  I have GAD and Mitral Valve Prolapse so I guess I'll be taking something for awhile at least.  I do relaxation/breathing exercises everyday and run 3 to 4 miles a day to help with any added stress and anxiety.  I was only off the Prozac 3 months when all my symptoms returned.  So I guess for 11 years, it was doing it's job.  I only came off because I didn't think I needed it anymore.  Boy was I wrong.  I realize therapy helps and all but I was also told at the MVP center in Birmingham that MVP patients tend to have a low serotonin level that causes the panic/anxiety disorders.   BTW, I had NO problems coming off the prozac.
Avatar universal
I was on Effexor XR 75mg for about 4 months.  I had every side effects imaginable.  I have been of this drug for about 10 months now.  I seem to get very irritable a couple weeks out of a month and I still have hypersensitivity.  I had to ween myself off effexor xr in a two week period, withdrawl symtoms were not that bad, just dizziness.  
Avatar universal
What kind of hypersensitivity do you still have?  Does your Dr. think it is still related to the Effexor?
Avatar universal
Hello everyone.  Has anyone got anything positive to say about Effexor?  I have been on Effexor XR 175 mg bumping up to 220 mg once a month to help with severe PMS symptoms that were causing me severe panic attacks and depression making my life sheer hell.  I have been on Effexor now for about 4 years and feel absolutely marvellous, and have become the person I always wanted to be.  I am no longer shy, anxious or fearful that something dreadful might happen to me or my family any minute and look forward to being able to enjoy the rest of my life.  I did have some adjustment problems maybe for the first 4 weeks, which was helped with serepax while I adjusted to the medication.  Yes I felt like my eyes couldn't keep up when I moved my head for a short while but I also realise a lot of what I thought were adjustment problems were also attributable to the severe anxiety I was experiencing at the time. I wasn't well mentally due to the depression and nothing is an instant fix.  Now I feel absolutely sensational and thank the day that Effexor was invented.
Avatar universal
The hypersensitivity is from having my partner touch me.  I seem to get irritable when she does this.  It is uncomfortable to be touched.  Haven't told my DR.
Avatar universal
I was injured in a "hit from behind" car accident earlier this year 2004. I had a concussion and injury to my cervical and lumbar spine. I have had 2 cervical ESI's and cervical rhizotomy. I was put on Effexor XR for the continuing headache and Neurontin for the radicular symptoms in bilateral arms and legs. I have had severe withdrawal symptoms after stopping cold from the Effexor . I continue to have Nausea and severe dizziness with motion of my head. I feel like I am going to faint and I feel myself bobbing back and forth and my head shaking some . I also have pain in my chest and feels like my heart is beating irratically . I have been off this for aboout 8 days. Does anyone feel like this . This is a horrible drug. and nothing will make me take this again.  I also have a place in my bottom lip that gets numb and then stings like a pinched nerve.Anyone have these symptoms?
Avatar universal
I have been depressed most of my life.. well over half now seeing that I'm 24 now.  I have been on every medicine for it that there is.  I also suffer from horrific anxiety attacks.  I have been taking 150mg of Effexor XR and 30mg of Remeron Daily for about 7 weeks now.  I feel better than I have ever felt before in my life.  At first I was a little out of it though, My eyes were glazed over, I had shock like sensations but they went away within like 4 weeks.  I have now something going on with my vision but not all the time... and the depression that I was in.. you could never imagine.  I was in the deepest darkest depression and I ask myself.. Are these side effects worse than my depression and if I answer no.. then I push myself through them.  I can't live the way that I did without these meds because if I do.. I'll be dead.  I thank God for Effexor.  I'M FINALLY HAPPY!!!!!!
Avatar universal
Getting off Effexor XR is hard! I was on it a year and I tried to wean myself of it to begin taking Wellbutrin XL. I had horrible headaches, nausea, vomiting, and chills. It was the worst experience with a medication I ever had. I was only on 75mg a day. I can't imagine what it would have been like on a higher dose. The initial week was the worst, after that it tapered off, but all in all it took about a month for it to be completely gone from my system. It was horrible!!!

Avatar universal
Hello Folks,   My chemotherapy oncologist put me on Effexor to help relieve my hot flashes, which also had a sensation of needles sticking into me.  
To begin with, I had a mastectomy for cancer, then 8 chemos and 33 radiations.  Then started taking Tamoxifen, which takes every bit of my body's estrogen out of me, hence the hot flashes.
I am now beginning to cut down on the Effexor which I have been taking a year.  Going from 75 to37.5,  then [l plan on quiting altogether.)Because I feel foggy minded, and have very poor balance, can barely walk a straight line without falling.
All these scare stories about withdrawal symptoms have me worried.  
Has anyone else on this forum taken Effexor for hot flashes after beginning Tamoxifen?
Avatar universal
A lot of others in this forum write of weaning off but what you described was a lot faster than "normal".  If you read other posts you will see that it took 4-6 weeks with a very slow decrease in dosage.  Maybe go back on a small amount and then wean off of that very slowly.  I have not taken this SSRI but reading other posts, I can tell you that that is what they wrote.  I hope you feel better real soon.
Avatar universal
Hi Everyone
Oh my gosh, I am sooo happy to have found you all, and to realize this problem I'm having with effexor xr is like so many others. I've been on this drug for about 10 years now and thought I could do without an anti-depressent (lifes good, good relationship etc.etc.) I weaned down from 150mg, to 37.5 in less than 2 weeks and have been completely off for almost 2 weeks now, I am a total basket case, crying constantly, the dizziness is so intense I'm lucky to lift my head off the pillow, Iv'e lost my job, and in fear of losing my new relationship, my friends tell me, "it's probably still side effects,(withdrawls)",I say "no way, Ive been off now for 2 weeks". It scares me to think how much longer I have to go on like this since I was on the drug for soooo long. I can't function much longer. I need a job to survive but all I can do is cry. Anyway  thanks, I thought the buzzing in my head, dizziness, memory loss, etc. etc. was a sign I was losing my mind. Not sure wether to get back on for a short while or continue this cold turkey, How much longer????? Can I survive it???????
Avatar universal
If what I read is correct, you take half of the original dose for about 2 weeks, then 1/2 of that for a week, then 1/2 of that every other day then once you think it is ok, you then stop.  You may need to by a pill cutter since you don't have capsules.  One post I read said that they were breaking the capsules and dividing the gradules and took it like that during the last week taking one granule off per day.  That is probably a very slow weaning process but if it works then you HAVE to do what works for you.  Best of luck!!!
Avatar universal
I am soooo glad to hear this.  I started Effexor earlier this year to combat anxiety and depression and after an initial nausea and spaced out period I have to say things began to calm down.  I lowered my dosage from 75mg to 37.5 about 2 weeks ago and last week stopped taking them altogether as I felt nausea and dizziness.  I have spent the past 4 days feeling awful, dizzy, vomiting, exhausted and tearful.  I have recently recovered from shingles and thought that may be causing the problems but it now seems that you guys are describing me.  I have taken 37.5 g today and want to know how best to wean myself off as these are tablets and not capsules.  Any ideas? I felt so desparate tonight as I thought I was having a breakdown and I couldn't bear the thought of going through all the **** I've just been through again.
All the best to you guys I hope you find a way to beat this thing too
Avatar universal
have found some things to combat the nausea.  Stem ginger, can be found in syrup, crystallised or even in gum has really made a difference. Also Peppermint tea is good for settling the stomach.  Still working on feeling like a hung over zombie.  Any way onward and upward. Good luck everyone
Avatar universal
Thank you all, I now know I'm not alone with getting off the worst thing I've ever put in my body!!!
I was always a happy little camper, until my wife packed up the kids and left...From that moment on I thought I was gonna die. To make a long story short though. I had taken effexor for about 8 months with little problem (75mg). However since I've lost my job and with no benefits with the new job I could not afford to keep buying my effexor or see my doctor. So I tried to slowly wean myself off of them by lowering the dose from 75mg to 37mg to now none. And OOOO how I wish I had found this site sooner, I keep getting dizzy, blurred vision, and the worst thing is the pain in my chest when I breath in. I've been dealing with the anxiety fine now...But its this feeling of thinking there is something really wrong medically with me thats got me going insane!!! Its so nice to know I'm not alone with how I feel, and yes as soon as I can afford to I'm back to the doctor!!!
Again thank you all,
Avatar universal
Hi everyone
I am so glad to have found this site, as I have beenon Effexor XR for over a year now. I went on it originally for anxiety and depression at 75mg a day, then I had a nasty breakup with a guy and went up to 150mg after a massive breakdown. To begin with the drug gave me dizziness and nause aand I also felt 'numb' like i couldn't cry, I felt nothing, for about a month. Then it started working and I felt better than ever. My anxiety stoppe d- I was always worried about what people were thinking of me or saying aobut me and I tihnk they picked up on it, but this improved. But for the last few months, I have found that I have gone back to being anxious and I don't want to up my dose. I am crying more. I'd love to go off the drugs because they are not working but I'm worried about side effects. I'm interested to know what 'half life' means - I want to kick this problem forever but I can't seem to stop worrying that people don't like me. I am not a nasty person, but I keep thinking that people don't like me. I tihnk it stems from a bad relationship with my dad who was depressed himself and used to yell abuse at me and my mum and my sister and told me that I was lucky to have any friends and that if people saw the 'real me' they'd hate me. It's hard to forget it, even tohugh I know my mum and sister tell me it was wrong of him to say that I can't help tihnking there's 'sometihng' about me that is wrong or wierd. It's a vicious circle as the more paranoid I get, the more people pick up on it and dislike me for a lack of confidence because I seem 'needy'. I know I've gone completely off the point, but if anyone can tell me if they have any ways for dealing with this and overcoming it I would be realy grateful. I don't know if I'm being paranoid or realistic any more. Maybe I'm just wierd. Anyway from my experience, Effexor has a lot of dizzy side effects. If I miss one pill even by a few hours I'm all over the place and I crashed my mum's car on it as well. But the worst side effects are over within 4 weeks of starting and initially at least it was worth it. I wonder if this half life business is responsible for why it is no longer working? Any ideas? Thanks
Avatar universal
Hi!!!!!!!! This is great advice and comfort to know I am not !alone. Sorry y'all have to go through it, but at least we're together in it! You know there is a petitonj for effexor side effects... go to petitiononline.com or search for effexor petition. I've signed and you can also comment.

I've been on Effexor XR for about 7 years, for extreme anxiety and chronic depression, and at first, 3 150mg. a day... it was a miracle. I felt great. No more thinking everyone hated me for no reason, no one was staring at me... paranoia gone, dwelling in the past, no more. I could go outside, even to the grocery store ALONE without freaking!!

Now, I've weaned down to 150mg. a day. I think it's not working so great. I'm tired, bored, agoraphoboc again, hate myself and feel like ****, but I am sick of drugs. I take tons of meds besides Effexor XR... Neurontin, Valium, Stillnox, Phenergan, etc... and I've gotta get off some and see what I really am, as I don't even remember how life should be! I've been on meds more than half my life. I'm 38 and sick of "un-living'.

Any comments on helping me get off any of these would be greatly appreciated.

I've stopped cold a few times, and cried non stop, felt like I was going to die, heart bursting, thought I was having a stroke, imminent doom, total hell. Completely freaking out. I think that feeling would have gone away, in hindsight, but I got back on it since I was so scared and flipping.

I hope you... emmasn?? stick to it because I really think it will get better. Two weeks isn't long when you're talking about a change in your brain's chemistry.
I am defintely going to take the advice here and try to get some gelatin caps to half and half and half until I can stop taking it.

For nausea, vomiting, and sleep inducing...it also calms me down alot, Phenergan, it's called Primperan in Greece and is over the counter, but I think it's RX only in the US. It works wonders for me. I stay nauseous unless I take it, and over time you don't get quite so sleepy.

And for Xanax users, it has a short life so you have to take it more often. Might try Valium in US or called Stedon in Greece...is only by RX as a controlled substannce. It has a longer life and so you can take less.  

Well, I hope I've helped someone and someone can help me, too! Know that you are not alone in this; we're all feeling pretty similar!

Sign that petition and tell them what your effects are. That's the best way to get them to tell you more about the facts of what this drug realy does to people. Even doctors don't really know, and if they do, they don't inform you of how hard it is to quit.

Glad you're all here with me...best wishes to all of you!
Avatar universal
I have been on 37.5 mg. of Effexor now for 11 months.  It worked great after my initial 8 days of hell, and decided to stay with the half dosage.  It worked really well until the last two months when my depression came back again.  I am starting to go through menopause now, and my doctors, both gyno who prescribed this, and my PCP felt I should up the dosage to 75 mg.  I believe a lot of my symptoms are hormonal, and didn't want to increase the Effexor, but instead get off of this drug.  I have had memory problems, night sweats, and no motivation.

I have now started taking my 37.5 mg. every other day in conjuction with a low dose of estrogen to accomplish getting off of this drug.  The estrogen has I believe helped my moods.  This is my first time on this site, and the postings have been more than helpful.  Do you suggest that I open up these capsules and detox as others have?  I was going to do every other day for a couple of weeks.  So far, no side effects from the Effexor detox.  Thanks in advance.
Avatar universal
It helps so much to know that I'm not alone going through this ****.  I've gone from 300mgs to 150, to 75 to 34.5 to nothing.  The whole time's sucked, but now that I'm not taking anything, i'm in hell.  For me, the worst part is, well, it all sucks.  The brain zaps have gotten a little better, but i'm still really dizzy.  I'm constantly crying, and I feel like I've got the flu.  I'm starving, but everytime I eat I just want to puke.  I'm hating going to work, so I'm doing my best by working from home, but that can only go on for so long.  I can't get comfortable temprature wise either.  I'm either freezing my butt off or dying of heat.
I've basically been done for 6 days now, and I'm totally freaking out cause i keep reading these posts where people talk about this going on for months.  
I can't take this for months.  I have a life to live, this is NOT making anything any better.  I started taking Kava, per some suggestions on posts.  I'm not sure if it's doing anything, but I'm not getting worse, so I guess that's something.  Here's what I'm interested in...  I've searched and searched, and no one seems to comeback to these posts when they've gotten back to 'normal'.
How much longer do I have to do this?  I am loosing my mind.  I'm much worse now than I ever was before I started taking anything years ago.  I told someone at work that I'd rather be going through Heroin withdrawals.  At least that typically only lasts for a set amount of time.  There's a light at the end of the tunnel.
I wish all of you the best of luck, as I wish the strenght for myself to get through this.  Please, o please, tell your health care provider, and everyone you know about what you're going through.  So many of us, my self included, didn't really need meds in the first place.  Encourage people to get help by talking, and by seeing a naturopath.  We all go through really hard times in our lives.  Find somone who will support you, and go that route. Don't do this to your body.  It's not worth it!!
Avatar universal
I wanted to update my posting, since that's what I was really wanting when I posted in the first place... An update on how someone was doing after withdrawals.
It's been a week now since I took my last effexor.  Up to this point, and yesterday, I experienced a hell I've never been through before (see previous posting).  I want you all to know, the light at the tunnel does exist!!  How do I know?  I've seen it!!!  I've been seeing it for the past two days now.  The dark fog is lifting.  Monday night(today is Thursday), my stomach was so upset that I finally resorted to an old tried and true method... Bitters and Gingerale.  By Tuesday afternoon, I was beginning to feel better.  Not quite as nauseous.  As silly as this sounds, I then bought some Altoids Ginger mints, and by Tuesday night, my stomach was not upset at all.
Now, this is going to cure your withdrawals, but it really has helped me get through the stomach issues I've been having from the withdrawals, which have made everything seem more awful.  So if you are having nausea and the poops, I'll put my money where my mouth is for Ginger.  If you don't like the taste of it, I think you can get pills of it at a whole foods store.
As far as the other withdrawals, they're dissipating too.  The 'brain zaps' are all but gone.  Maybe one or two a day.  I'm still pretty dizzy, but nothing like I was.  I'm cold.  Constantly cold, and it's a deep cold.  I get the shivers from the inside.  It's super strange, but nothing that a bowl of soup and a blanket wont cure.  I'm still very snippy.  VERY not me.  Luckly, I have a great husband who is amazing and keeps me very grounded.
So, bottom line, and an answer to myself...
YES it's getting better!!!! YAHOOO
2 Kava Kava a day
Gingerale, Bitters and ginger root
Soup and blankets
An amazing support system.  DON'T do this by yourself.  Please!
Anyone reading this... You'll get through it.  It *****, it's the worse thing I've ever gone through.  It's gonna seem like it's never going to end.  I PROMISE you, it'll end soon and you can start to take your life back over, and begin a-new.
Good luck!!!!
Avatar universal
Hi, I have been on Effexor XR 150 for 16 months.  I recently weaned off of it.  I took 75 for 1 week and then 37.5 for 1 week and today was the first day I was off of it totally.  Today was not a good day physically, I was dizzy all day.  Nausea came and went, and had hot flashes throughout the day.  I am praying that it is a temporary thing and will not last long.  I can relate to all of you when you describe the "anxiety, depression and insomnia".  I had never experienced any of these things in my life until last year.  My mother passed away and I also was pregnant, which made my hormones go crazy!  I lost the baby which added to the depression.  I didn't think I was going to make it through that hell.  but through it all, I hung unto my faith in God and He saw me through.  The Effexor helped me tremendously, I always had some kind of nausea though.  But I could live with the nausea versus living with anxiety and depression.  I pray for all of you that are going through what I went through last year.  For those of you just starting Effexor, hang on, it took me 1 month to start feeling better, and each time I went to a higher dose (from 37.5 to 75 and then from 75 to 150) my emotions were crazy, crying and crying.  but things got better and I was able to live my life normally.  Like I said, it has been one day, and I am praying that tomorrow will not bring the dizziness and nausea that I felt today.  I also started taking something natural called "Peace of Mind" to calm my moods, it is by BeautiControl.  I will keep you all posted on how that works for me.   For now, I pray that God will Bless You and have mercy and grace upon all of you...
Avatar universal
I have been on Effexor XR since November 2003 for GAD.  I had a very difficult time adjusting to it, but my doctor assured me this was going to pass.  It finally did, and I was on 150mg once a day until recently.  I have a 2-1/2 year old and want to have another child.  I did not want to stay on this medication for fear of any complications.  I started weaning 3 weeks ago, and did fine until this past weekend.  After being on 37.5mg for 10 days, I stopped taking it altogether on Saturday.  Since then, I have had extreme dizziness, diahrea, trouble sleeping and I am starting with the nausea today.  I don't feel comfortable driving, and work is hard.  Surprisingly enough, I am in good spirits though.  I hope that this doesn't last too much longer.  I think I will try out the ginger root for the nausea, but for the dizziness, I need help!  Any suggestions?  How much longer will it last?
Avatar universal
My name is Micah and I've been on Effexor XR 150mg for about a year.  I'm having some side effects from it and want to get off of it.  I was put on it after my divorce, but no longer believe I need it as I've now found someone who makes me very happy and my life is much better.  My last does was on Thursday morning and today is Monday.  I have been sick since yesterday afternoon.  My head is "soggy" as someone else described, I didn't sleep last night because of hallucinations and nightmares, and today I've begun feeling nauseated.  I ready where someone opened up the capsule and removed some of the medication.  I'm going to take some of the medicinate out of a capsule and take one so maybe I'll feel a little better by late this evening.  Does anyone know, though...is nausea as withdrawal symptom?  I'm also having some sinus issues and am trying to separate the symptoms for each......  And...any other suggestions on getting off the drug other than switching to another drug?  Thank you for all your good comments on this site!!!

Avatar universal
Glad to see that you are trying to get off Effexor.  It has been almost 1 month since I stopped taking the Effexor, and although it was tough, I managed to get through it.  I was very tired, dizzy, and feeling completely out of it, along with feeling sick to my stomache a lot.  It was not easy, but there is light at the end of the tunnel!  I don't have any suggestions other than to stick with it.  If the nausea gets to be too much, do try the ginger root pills.  They really do work!  Good luck!
Avatar universal
My girlfriend has been taking effexor for a couple of years for stress headaches.  The side effect (although I am not sure it is releated to the drug) that I am concerned with is that she says she doesn't feel anything.  She doesn't feel happiness, sadness, ect.  I was wondering if this was one of the side effects of the drug
Avatar universal
I've been on Effexor XR for a bit under 2 years.  I started at 75mg a day and about 3 months ago went down to 37.5mg a day.  Two weeks ago, I started to take the 37.5mg every other day.  Everything was well, until I went out this weekend to celebrate my sister's belated 30th B-day.  We had a bit too much wine Saturday night.  (I know I am not suppose to drink with this medication, but thought I was tapering off it and it was only one day I was going to drink)  When I woke up Sunday morning, I had an anxiety attack.  I quickly took a pill of the 37.5mg and didn't do anything.  Shortly after, I took another 37.5mg pill.  It took approximately 4 hours to go through my system and work.  Thereafter, I slept for 3.5 hours and woke up completely rejuvenated.  --Except a headache from the wine.
Effexor XR has been a miracle for me.

My concern:  I am 33 years old that would like to have a family.  Has anyone gone through a pregnancy that was on Effexor XR prior and/or during the pregnancy?
Avatar universal
Why are we all effexor sufferers AS WELL as GAD, Depression, Anxiety, PTSD etc. etc. sufferers? Isn't this med. meant to help not hurt? I have been on Effexor 75mg for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder  for about 6 months now and I also have a 2 and a half year old.

This drug has really helped me ... and I resorted to meds. VERY reluctantly.  It was a matter of life or death for me.  My husband and I moved to a small town b/c of his work and I have never been so isolated.  I was having flashbacks and crying untill my eyes were swollen shut just wishing I wasn't alive ... but I wanted to live; for my son, for my husband and I wanted to live without the horrors of PTSD.  It was medication or oblivion - it had to be one or the other.  I chose meds.  Cipramil didn't do much - just took the edge off PTSD turning it into major anxiety and depression. I seemed immune to higher doses, too.

Then I met the monster; effexor XR.  Guess what?  I have heaps of side effects but have never been psychologically more well balanced in all my life! I was a zombie for the first 2 months but I am now in month 6 and feeling on top of the world (my improvement has been so drastic even my prescribing doctor didn't recognise me!) I am 'normal' for the first time ever and have found my own personal miracle pill.

  Or so I thought till I read your posts.  I have carefully and completely read each and every one of the posts above and I am paying close attention to everyones similar experiences. You guys, we are guinea pigs! At least we have this site as our communal cage - cos we are the only ones that know firsthand what the side effects of this test drug are!!! Every post shared similar side effects - and there's alot of different 'brains' reacting in the same way to this medication.

Is it hurting us or is it helping us? Or both, as in my case, at the same time?

I am now a pregnant guinae pig hoping to wean off this medication, but I'm trapped on it for everyone elses sake more than my own!  It is the only thing that helps me want to live, even though I get ring-sting, vomit, eye tremors and flashes, drenching nite sweats (would be less wet if I had of pissed myself!) tingly extremities, extremely cold in a warm room etc. We all know the side effects as we have learnt them from each other here.  I can't stop something that helps me care for my child, stay calm and keep eating while pregnant, ends flashbacks and agoraphobic spells that last 8 -12 months a time unmedicated. I have no support, my husband is great don't get me wrong, but he is only one man!  He can't be a homemaker and a social worker and work a 70 hour a week job to come home and settle an insomniac that thinks dying would at least solve the problem!!! Any one would crumble under the weight of that burden, and medication normalises my behaviour.

'mbjs' I am also scared of coming off my little miracle in a capsule b/c these posts have led me to believe that I have welcomed a monster into my life that will be really scary when I ask it to leave!!

To everyone following this thread - you guys keep posting!!!  WE NEED YOUR WISDOM OF EXPERIENCE.

I will continue to follow this thread myself and thank all the guinae pigs in this communal cage for giving us information that doctor's haven't even documented yet!!!

Birth defects? Am I a terrible person for even contemplating risking my fetus to save myself, my husband, my child? My doctor doesn't recommend it - but my therapist does! I am in a tug of war - I can't afford to withdraw and relapse, I can't afford risking my fetus either!
Avatar universal
just started taking venlafaxine not much is happening yet, doesnt really do much ,for me anyway
Avatar universal
well it started about a week ago, and all of a sudden i felt as tho i was drunk or something. ever since it started suddenly, ive been fighting to keep my balance, i feel woozy in the head, and i shake every time i walk as tho im trying to hold my balance. ive been to the doctor numerous times, and they dont know what is going on, ive been on effexor 75 mg for about a month now, and just a couple days ago, the doctor said to just completly stop taking the effexor. so my question is, when my symptoms started a week ago, is it side effects from the effexor, and now im feeling withdrawls from it. i dont know what is going on, i feel horrible, i have for a week. im just wondering if anyone knows what might be going on because my doctors dont know????grrr this is frustrating
Avatar universal
I am glad to finally find someone on effexor for the same reason I am. I was put on it by my oncologist 5 yrs. ago while taking tamoxfin. I am pleased to say now I am cancer free so he told me to stop the tamoxifn. I said I also want to stop the efferxor but have read horror stories. He gave me 25mg and said to take 3 a day for a week, 2 a day for a week, 1 a day for a week and then one every other day. He said I would be ok. I am really nervous but plan to start it tomorrow. I have such a time with sweating and read that was due to both the tamoxifin and effexor. I sure hope that stops.
Avatar universal
I have been on 75mg of Effexor XR for about 3 years now.  You should NOT stop this medication "Cold Turkey"!  You have to wean yourself off of it.  The DR. should know that.  Unfortunatly I don't know why you have been feeling the way you have.  I can tell you this,  there have been times that I have forgotten to take the Effexor and after a day or two I feel horrible.  It feels like I'm coming down with the flu.  I feel shakey, lightheaded and dizzy.  It is a weird feeling to have.  Maybe you should try another DR.  I wish you luck finding out what is going on!
Avatar universal
I would be very afraid to stop cold turkey. I have taken 2 of my 25mg pills today and so far feel ok. I think I may feel differently tomorrow. A friend of mine told me her dr. said he could get her off with no problem by going cold turkey. I have heard too many horror stories to try that. As i am sitting here I feel very flushed but that is no different than how I have felt for the five yrs. I have taken tamoxifin and effexor. I am so hoping that feeling goes away. Pretty soon I will be so sweaty I will have to take a bath.
Avatar universal
Just a response to the post, yeah, don't ever quit cold turkey. Been there, done that, not a good idea. I am on effexor xr 75mg and I have found it to be a godsend. I have not experienced any of the side effects you are talking about this time around. However, I used to take 150 mg at the same time I was taking a beta blocker. This was not a good combo. I felt exhausted all the time and never felt sexually aroused. Also, I felt numb. Now, I feel good though. I am not numb, but I feel so much better. I am thankful this drug is out there
Avatar universal
I am currently coming off of effexor xr. Ive been on it for a little overa year. My story with this drug is long, terrible and complicated but long story short even before trying to come off it it gave very severe stomach problem. I got down to 37.5 mg back in may and I started breaking open the pill and tapering my dosage about a montha nd a half ago....as of yesterday im down to 26 granules ina pill. Aside from various symptoms my biggest problem is that nausea and vomiting....I have a very hectic schedule that I cant take time off from while I'm coming off the medicine.

Does anyone know of anything I can do to help subside the nausea and vomiting?
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