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Avatar universal

Stopping Effexor

I have been trying to wean off of Effexor for a couple of weeks. Whenever I get to the 3rd day I feel like I am losing my mind. My head, face, mouth, tongue go numb, my arms and hands start to tingle like they are falling asleep. I am exhausted and can hardly get out of bed. I end up having to take a pill to make it through the day. I started this drug a year ago, never took more than 75mg per day. If I would of known how nasty this stuff was I never would have taken it. I feel like it has ruined my life. How do people get off this stuff? How long will the side effects last?
10 Responses
242532 tn?1269553979
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
It sounds like you are just trying to stop it cold turkey, and that won't work. Think of weaning as a gradual three week process where you lower the dose for the first week, take the lowest dose every other day for second week, and then every third day for third week, then stop.
Avatar universal
You can get off Effexor and using a schedule can help.  I stopped taking Effexor without adverse side effects, but that is not to say you will not have them. My doctor left it up to me because she knew I would exercise caution on the weaning process.  Does your doctor know you are weaning?

There is a basic schedule used when weaning from any antidepressant.  

In your case you could try:

Week one:
Full dose (75 mg) / half dose (37.5 mg)/full dose /half dose etc. for the week.

Week two:
Take a half dose of 37.5 mg every day during the entire 2nd week.

Week three:
Take 37.5 for day one/then none day two/37.5 for day three/ none day four.

By the fourth week you could be done, but during this weaning process it is important to be aware of your body and what is happening.  You might have some odd symptoms, but all should pass if related to the Effexor.  Weaning from Effexor is easy for some but that is not to say it is for all.  

I am not a doctor, I am just a human out here, but wondering why you stopping your Effexor?  I ask this with no preconceived notions or judgments.  Just curious about your circumstances but no need to answer unless you feel able to.

I hope the weaning schedule can be of use for you,  My doctor gave it to me and said to adjust it a I felt needed.
You might have to endure some adverse side effects while weaning, but they should not interrupt our life.  Keep in close touch with your doctor is possible.

I hope the weaning schedule can be of use for you,  My doctor gave it to me and said to adjust it as I felt needed.  It worked well for me
Avatar universal
Has anyone here experienced here genital numbness during or after they quit effexor xr?
Avatar universal
I was on 75mg for nearly a year after spending one year at 225.   I desperately wanted off the Effexor for weight issues.  I informed my shrink and started a gradual tapering process.  I can't remember the increments now, but they were small.  I was patient.  But no matter how low I got I still exprienced horrific side effects.  I truly felt borderline pyschotic.  I even got to the point of opening the capsules and counting out pellets like some sort of back alley drug fiend.  If memory serves, there were usually about 85 pellets per capsule.  I could get to about 15 or 20 pellets, but beyond that the brain zaps, rages and dizziness were unbearable.  Bottom line: FOR ME, short of institutionalization, I could not quit Effexor.

I had to switch to Celexa and then quit that.

And no, your doctor has no clue.  She or he will say it shouldn't be happening, h/she has never heard of it happening, the literature says it won't happen, blah blah blah.
Avatar universal
But being on the Effexor made me depressed and very suicidal! I had to get off of the drug and in our small town there was nobody here to help to get off of it. I never thought I would get my mind back to normal again after being on that drug. The withdrawals were unbelievable. I have never had suicidal thoughts in my life before this drug was terrible and I haven't met anyone yet that said that it has been good for them yet! My doctor still wouldn't believe the withdrawals that I went thru had anything to do with Effexor or the way I was feeling had anything to do with it either.
Please be very careful about this anti depressant! Read about it before you ever go on it.
Avatar universal
I also tried 3 X to wean off and the second time my doctor actually said just stay on it although I didnt' need it.

I have a new doc now and what I did was move from 1 pill every other day for 1 week.

Then 1/2 of capsule ( yuch) every other day for another week.

Then we moved to 1/2 capsule every thrid day.

then finally I was fully off them by the fourth week.

It was frustrating.  When I even weaned the first two times I got dizzy, exhausted, jittery and nauseous.

Just shows how some meds affect your body.

Good luck to you
Avatar universal
I dont know what to do with this anymore.  I have had severe hives since March and not just the kind of hives that are on the surface, but they are attacking my muscles and joints.  They don't just itch, they ache.  I will get a hive the size of my hand on my upper arm, and the next day my arm hurts to move, like a charly horse is digging into my arm.  

I have changed absolutely everything in my life to find the cause of this "annoyance" and nothing has stopped.  

How does this relate to Effexor?  

I have been on effexor for over a year now, and up until Wednesday the 11th of July, was on 375mg a day, as well as lithium.  I had long ago ruled out the lithium as the cause of the hives, but have never been able to rule out the effexor.  I cant get a straight answer from any doctor, and so after a fight with my therapist i cut off all contact with him and my psych, tossed out all my meds and now battling the nasty side effects.  

I dont know how long effexor is in the system, but this is day 4, and the hives are still there, so seems like i can rule out the effexor as the cause.

In January i got frustrated with my doc and stopped my effexor and after three days was admitted to the hospital for "stuff".  I am trying to avoid going back in, but also wondering when the bizarre side effects will stop, and if hallucinations are a side effect of cold turkey stopping the meds.

Im really at well, ropes end, hubby taking me to my doc tomorrow, but wondering if i should go sooner.

Ya this is a rambling post and represents the state of my mind, i cant focus enough to be cohesive in what i am trying to say let alone write and remember for later.  

thanks for any input.
229850 tn?1189759425
I too have been weening myself off of Effexor but having to do so at a lot slower pace that what I have read that most people have done.  I had taken another SSRI briefly and went off it thinking I didn't need it.  After going through a divorce, cheating husband wanted out, I was really needing some help.  I quit the Paxil bucause of how I was reacting to it.  After a few months and at my close friends and family's urging (they thought I needed it), I spoke with my doctor and she prescribed Effexor.  It seemed to bring me out of my slump, I felt better and everyone else could see a difference. After discussing with my doctor, I dropped to 37.5 mg once a day from 75.  Seemed to adjust fine.  After about a month, I started taking them every other day.  By the second day, I knew I needed it.......... When I moved my head the slightest, it was like my head was moving, but everything inside was trying to catch up.  In time, that was ok, but if I went too much longer than taking it at the same time, the feeling started again, so I would take it asap.  Having not done this yet, I decided to go online and check out "Effexor withdraw"..................OMG!
I could not believe what I was reading.  It really explained a lot of what was going on with me.......and like many others, had I known, my family and friends would have suffered through the depression with me and I would have eventually beat it without this horrible drug.  

I hope I can get some feedback from other people on some of the symptoms I am having.  I have had no luck at getting to post a new question for the professionals to answere.  But then, who knows better than the pro's than the people suffering from the withdraw of this cruel drug.

I have had a pain, similar to a bruise when you push on it, in the muscle of my arm, just below the shoulder.  If I try to lift something or certain ways I might lay on it when I sleep, it causes severe pain.  I have a three year old grandson that I have almost dropped several times trying to pick him up because of this pain. Remembering back, that started around the time I cut the prescription in half.  More recently, since dropping to every other day, I have had a pain in my kidney area, around where a boxer would take a kidney punch, that is driving me nuts.  I have done all the home remedies that one might try for a kidney infection or stones.  No changes at all.  

My stomach hurts all the time and I have had problems there and none of the meds for that helps.  Milk has always settled the burning sensation, until now.
My joints hurt, I am having all kinds of aches and pains.  

I took my last 37.5 mg pill Friday the 13th at bedtime, which I would not have taken until the next morning, but I had a day trip planned that Saturday mornign and didn't want the mind fuzzies going on that day.  I have not taken another pill since, but am really struggling and missed the last two days of work.  I plan to take one at bedtime tonight, hoping I can at least get up and make it to work the rest of the week, then suffer through the weekend.

Is there anyone that has had the same kind of muscular pain that I am experiencing?  I pray there is an end in sight soon.  I am certain that I am over the emotional pain the put me on this nasty drug and certainly would not ever take it again, or any other ssri that has such horrible side effects and you can bet your bottom dollar that I will check out any drug side effects or withdraw symptons before I EVER take anything else again..............

Thanks for any information...........Miserable Me, Tami

Avatar universal
I've been on Effecor for almost 3 years and have gained around 70 lbs. I haven't changed my diet, and i work out 2 times a week while doing indoor/outdoor flagfootball  year round. I'm coming off of effexor now gradually and should be done by the end of sept. I'm just wondering if all of the weight gain associated w/ it is going to come off once it is out of my system? I'm on the new Alli program and have seen a little progress (only been 2 weeks), so i'm not sure what to expect there. Is there any way this weight is going to just come off? I love Effexor, it helped give me my life back after years of self-injuring and suicide attempts, but I'm tired of having to buy bigger clothes and want my old skin back so to speak.
Avatar universal
Look up "Gwen Olsen" on youtube or google video.
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