Avatar universal

Effexor withdrawl

Anyone made it through the withdrawl symptoms yet?
Been completely off effexor (after gradual weaning) for 6 days now. that jolting feeling comes and goes - notice it more in the evening, the nausea has gone away but still have these incredible mood swings. they are different than depression - it's like all of a sudden i am just ANGRY or start crying and can't stop!
when does this end?
111 Responses
Avatar universal
I've been off of mine for 4 days now and I don't know I would have started on it in the first place had I known what the withdrawal would be like.  I've been on Zoloft and Wellbutrin in the past and neither were even close to the severity of coming off of this one.  The zapping feeling in my head and eyes is awful as well as the tingling in my hands.  I haven't slept more than 4 hours a night in about a week so it's just hitting me all around. Being a single mom of 2 who also works full time, this is definitely not what I signed up for! I have some of the rx left and have given serious thought to taking one and just asking my doc to start me on a small dose of something else that's not as hard to come off of. From what I've read on here a lot of people have had decreased to no withdrawal symptoms if they were able to take a second med at the same time they were coming off of Effexor.  I need some sleep and to just feel like a human being again!
Avatar universal
I have been totally off of my Effexor for 4 days now.  I would often forget to take it sometimes, so I felt like perhaps the withdrawal wouldn't be too bad.  The only real problem, so far, is the constant dizziness.  I'm hoping that's all that I experience.  I was on Lexapro before this and never had any problems while on it or off of it.  Fortunately, I'm retired and do not have to get out or drive or anything, until next week's doctor's appointment.  I'm hoping the dizziness will subside soon.  While taking Effexor, I developed joint pain, especially in my knees and ankles.  I thought it might be because of the Lipitor I take for cholesterol, but I'm beginning to think it's the Effexor that caused it?  Also, weight has increased even more since Effexor.  Not a good drug to me.
Avatar universal
OMG ..i experience effexor XR withdrawl..i became very suicidal..it was horrible..it took about one week to get it out of my system...if effexor helps u then one week of withdrawl is worth it
Avatar universal
I have gone from 150mg to 75mg for about 5 days ow, I am trying to wean because i am so scared of the withdrawls. I started Wellbutrin and cut Effexor out cold turkey. I got the withdrawls from the Effexor and thought i would die! I thought that since I was going right on another antidepressant it wouldn't have any effects. WRONG! My doctor old me that because these two meds work on different parts of the brain i was experiencing w/d from the Effexor- needless to say- I stopped the Wellbutrin and started taking th Effexor again. Now I want off all meds and am really not looking forward to the dizziness, crying fits, emotional outbursts and brain zaps.
Here's to a hopefully short withdrawl!
1110049 tn?1409402144
Took me about 10 days to withdraw from Effexor last year.  Lots of electric charges in my head.  I put up with it, but now, un fortunately I am starting on it again as depression has returned in a big way.  I could never go through that withdrawal again.  Once you have started stick with it as it does get better.  i was well for a year after I withdrew.
1179357 tn?1263922986
I have been trying trying to get off Effexor for 3yrs now I have been on 150 milligrams for 5yrs. I am down to 12 and 1/2 milligrams a day and I am still getting sick. I always fill dizzy sick I am not making this up. I fill flueish light headed all the time. Is there any way I ease this filling. If I just stop taking at it at this point will it go away? Or do I have to keep lowering my dosage. I am very patient but this is getting ridiculous. Can anyone help.

PS I am an addict and have been in the program and off
drugs and alcohol for 5 yr. and am afraid of taking and other meds that my take me back out.
1183112 tn?1264141747
I tried coming off aropax (paxil) cold turkey once. The serotonin syndrome only lasted about a week (as hideous as it was), but the extreme mood swings (constant crying, rage, mental confusion and chronic suicide ideation for 3 weeks) meant that I was forced to go back on it by my parents who were looking after me during this time. It was like going cold turkey on heroin or something (and they say it's not addictive!). I have not been brave enough to try getting off since.
Avatar universal
It takes three weeks,  I did it once.
Avatar universal
I havent been taking my effexor for 3-4 days now..i feel awful..im sitting here crying as i type this..i have that zapping feeling in my head and i feel it on my face..how long will it take for these feelings to go away? will it get worse over the next few days????
1110049 tn?1409402144
Hi, I can't pretend coming off Effexor was easy, and I would never do it again now that I am back on it.  My withdrawal took 10 days, so if you can stick it out, you should feel better after about 2 weeks.  The zapping is the worse.  I just lay down for 10 days and let it happen.  I don't think it will get any worse.  Do you think you can stick it out?  If you don't you will never try again to come off it again.  Hang in there.

Let us know how you get on.
1118884 tn?1338592850
You've already hear you are experiencing what all of us who were prescribed Effexor went thru.  I had to stop taking after a year or more, when I developed a severe facial acne, plus the 50 lb weight gain. Neither helped my depression or raised my self esteem.

Does your doc know you are coming off med?  Haven't read all posts so don't know why it seems to be time to come off it.

It is very important to do this gradually.

I am still angry at times that no one told me this drug would be so painful to quit!
My shrink ignored my concerns.  Got better support online.

Have taken dozens of meds...none were this hard to get off.

It helps many people, as Maddie mentioned.

My nephew is a counselor @ group home and says many of his clients are on it.
Avatar universal
well 3 days later and i feel way better!!! the zapping is not as severe ..still there though..and the dizziness still there a bit too..i have drank lots and lotsss of water to help flush it out of my system...hoping in the next few days or so all withdraw symtoms will be gone...and hopefully i can stay off that evil drug...even being off it for this little period of time..my body even feels better...will keep yas posted...
Avatar universal
lol ok..spoke a tad too soon..feeling like crap this afternoon..lottsa zapping and dizziness...i really hate feeling like this!!! i wonder if it will ever stop?? I am so tempted just to go get prescription refilled and stay on it for the rest of my life...im 41 and have been on effexor..mostly 37.5..for 6 years...ughhh what to do...
Avatar universal
I just started trying to kick Effexor XR 3 days ago, I'm in my last semester of college and I don't think I realized the hell I was going to put myself through with this. Can't get this feeling of nausea out of my gut. Lexapro was hard to kick, this is tens times as hard.
Avatar universal
Did you taper the XR?  I just finished a taper (I hope).  I have 24 hours without Effexor now.  It *****, but it's been bad the whole taper.  I expect it to get worse.  The nausea is bad and feels a bit like motion sickness.  I've been taking dramamine and benadryl at home.  Don't ask me how that works, but I've seen others recommend it.  It seems to help.

I agree, I had a hard time with Celexa, but not like this.
Avatar universal
I was on Effexor for about 4 years along with other meds to help with depression and PTSD. I took 150 mlg per day, and really just got sick of being on so many meds. When my script ran out I didn't refill it. For about two weeks I was exhausted and felt sick. It was like motion sickness to me. Also had brain snaps, which o haven't had in forever, and really bad migraines. I feel fine now, but it took a good month to get this way. However, some of the anxieties I had before the meds have come back. I personally am willing to deal with them with support from my husband and family. We are wanting to have a baby and I will not take meds while pregnant. Also, I did not stop my other meds as they are not found to be harmful to a fetus. Also, I don't work so I was able to sleep through a lot of the sickness. I will say I was able to also stop taking Ambien. I had terrible sleeping problems due to the effexor, but after a month off I am sleeping on my own. Everyone is different though, and I would not just stop without a plan between you and your doctor. It did make me pretty sick, and at one point was ready to go to the hospital, but I kept in contact with my doctor and stuck through it.    
1192491 tn?1265031829
I have never weaned off Effexor but went from Effexor to Cymbalta one time and did not have a withdrawal.  Once I went "cold turkey" off Effexor and it was brutal.  I was disoriented, depressed, suicidal, headaches, brain zaps, nauseated and finally went into a mixed episode of my Bipolar shortly after.  I would not ever suggest that!  I am back on Effexor now with other medications.  Effexor XR is the only antidepressant I have found that helps me.  I beleive it takes a good 2 wks. to really get pass the withdrawal but if things don't get better soon, I would consult my doctor.
1110049 tn?1409402144
I don't know why I stopped taking Effexor XL.  I suppose I thought I could manage without it.  But I know I can't.  I am on it again and I think it is a wonderful drug, as I am so well now.  I will never stop taking it again.  It truly has helped me back to "living" again.  I can honestly say in my case, it has helped.  I know everyone is different.
1249034 tn?1317600769
Sounds like I am in the same boat as everyone. I gradually tapered of Effexor over one week. I was at 187.5 then went to 150, then 75, then 35. I am now completely off it. I didn't think I would get any withdrawal symptoms because I was only on it for a little over a month and a half.

Wow, was I wrong...
The biggest thing is the electric shocks I get through my arms and legs. I am also incredibly dizzy and nauseous all the time. I get confused and can't sleep...
I've lost a ton of weight too...I lost 10 pounds in one week but didn't change eating or exercising habits at all..in fact, I've been eating more than usual.
I am 5'10 and 130lbs so that 10lbs makes a huge difference...i feel pretty weak.

Any suggestions?
One doctor told me you can take Prozac over 3 days because of its long half life, it can reduce withdrawal symptoms.
1249034 tn?1317600769
Should also have mentioned that I stopped with Effexor because of terrible headaches. I have switched to Wellbutrin 300mg once daily and it seems good but I can't really tell because of the withdrawal...
I cry a lot easier for no reason but I was told that can be a w/d effect as well..
Avatar universal
I have come from 225 MG down to 37.5mg of Efexor XR, I totally agree that the drug helped when I needed it, but 2 years later my life has changed and I am ready to get off it.. I stopped taking any 4 days ago, however by day 4 the zaps were that intense, and the dreams were too vivid! I took one 37.5 yesterday which helped dull the zaps a bit, gonna see how long I can last for again... It seems helpful to hear from people that the zaps do stop eventually..
691935 tn?1421027090
i hate the withdrawing.  I'm coming off of lexapro after many years and tapering down very slowly to almost nothing.  Today  (03/20/10) makes 39 days of withdraws, brain zaps, shakiness, anxiety, sleeplessness, and irritability.  BUT, it is getting better, every day the symptoms are of less intensity.  I am very determined to get off of these things.  I'm very tired also but I think it's because I'm not sleeping well.

Ang5050 - please don't go too fast.  If you need to stay on the ADs so be it.
1248259 tn?1269149390
I'm on day 5 of my tapering off Effexor after being on it for the last 6 years.  I've tried in the past to go off this drug and got the same symptoms you all mention; the brain zaps, nausea, anxiety, crying, etc.  It was enough for me to go back on the drug again, and again.  I have been getting some pretty major health issues in the last year which are a side effect from the drug and it's enough for me to want to get clean from Effexor.  

I did some research and talked to a Naturopath and my doctor beforehand.  The brain zaps are managed by taking a good Omega3 supplement.  Don't bother with the drug store or grocery store brands as you need a good quality one highest in EPAs.  Next you need to get a good quality calcium (citrate)/magnesium, and vitamin D.  Try to get the supplements into your body a good 10 days before you start to taper or wean down.  When you get the brain zaps, you can take 5 Omega3 in the morning and 5 again at noon.  You can't overdose on Omega3.  It is recommended that you don't take Omega3 after 4pm.  This has worked for me so far, but it's the nausea and dry mouth today that is catching me off guard.  Eating small amounts of raw foods is helping but the dry mouth is still here no matter how much water I drink.  

One thing that was stressed to me by so many people I've talked to about weaning is that the discontinuance symptoms mimic relapse of depression.  That was the reason why I always went back on the drug.  I thought it was the drepression again and it scared me more than being on the drug.  

From all that I have heard and read, "slow and steady wins the race"!.  I'm prepared for this to be a 6 month or more process for me.  
Avatar universal
I was on effexor for several yaers and as alsways when i feel good I go off my meds.  For those who are wondering why they ever started effexor to begin with, you were probably in such a deep black hole of depression you did not know if you would ever find your way out.  Then we take it and we feel better and we quit and whine about the withdrawl.  Well the depression will always come back in may take a month it may take a year, it may take two but it comes back and the more you start and stop the morte resistant your body becomes to the medication and the deeper the depressions gets.  I am on prestiq, the "cleaner version" of effexor, but get what you get physical withdrawl much much faster than with effexor, miss one day and and by day two you are phycially ill, that is  just from missing a dose.  Prestiq works great but the max dose is 100 mg a day and after a year or so it is not as effective.  Since I have accepted that I have to take a SNRI for the depression for the rest of my life then the withdrawl from coming off should not matter.  I am going to ask my GP to put me back on effexor becuase they can give me 300 mg a day which works better that 100 of the prestiq over the long term.  We suffer from coming off because the medication worked well enought that we arn't depressed and forgot how miserable life was when we were depressed.  This is a rather dumb cycle.  Anyone coming off you will make it past the withdrawl, I did after about a month or so I had stabilzed, the brain shivers finally stopped, but without the medication the depression will be back, it is an illness folks you can't will it away.  If effexor worked for you there are very few SNRI's on the markert that target the areas of the brain that they target so if it works you better think twice before quitting!!
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