Depression Community
10.5k Members
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?
110 Responses
Avatar universal
how long will you stay on the prozac?
I am just worried I will get the same coming off them.
I am just so bored of it now !
Avatar universal
I am the same as you - has been about 5days since 37.5mg and I have the week off work. Tried to go on Monday but ended up in tears within a few hours and too dizzy.
Being Dizzy is my main problem....I am so so worried it will never stop.
Avatar universal
I quit Effexor 75mg cold turkey 1 week ago. I went through menopause at 39 and I was unable to take HRT's so my Dr. gave me Effexor. I had no idea of Effexor's side effects at the time, I was suffering from hot flashes and sleepless nights. Needless to say that was nothing compared to what I have been experiencing this past week. The good news is the dizziness is gone for the most part! But,  the mood swings are really bad today, but I have no intentions of taking this drug again!  
Avatar universal
I hope you keep us informed on here about how you are getting on....Just woken up to day 6 and hoping for the best. I have not even thought about mood swings etc...I guess i'll deal with that later. just want the dizzy to stop.
1331182 tn?1275479204
You do not get withdrawals from prozac because prozac has a very long half life of a week meaning that if you take your last pill of prozac on monday it takes a whole week for the prozac to get down to half the amount left in your body.

Effexor has a half life of 5 hours meaning that 5 hours after you take it, you are already down to half the amount, that is why you get withdrawals....because as soon as you miss a pill all of that serotonin that was being kept in your brain by the effexor starts going away very quickly.....

With the prozac taking so long to get out of your system the serotonin isn't suddenly gone. That is why there are no withdrawals.

You only need to take prozac for about 3 days.
Avatar universal
have you stopped the Prozac then?  
1331182 tn?1275479204
Tomorrow I will stop....I cut a pill in half and took half today and half tomorrow.....just because I felt like it.

I will let you know how I go.
Avatar universal
Thanks - I thought it might be today or tomorrow.
I look forward to hearing from you over the next few days then  - Good luck !!
I am going to try and go back to work tomorrow and ignore the dizzyness hopefully.
1131217 tn?1260294831
i was prescribed so much of this crap....combinations of crap in fact...within the first 4 days i realized how much it blew chunks and stopped taking it...i am so glad i have and will never get in this cycle...

i have borderline personality disorder....the only thing that going on meds that were supposedly going to 'cure' me did was made me realize that the pharmaceutical insdustry is just a whole big bunch of more crap and reading everything you guys right and are going through is HORRIBLE.

unless you just stop and deal with a couple of weeks of hell to let it run out of your system completely you are DOOMED for a life of pill regime and complaining about how much worse you felt than the way god actually created you.

pills don't help. the make you a zombie and shell of what you used to be...once you are free and clear of them you realize how nice it is to actually feel again and not feel like you are going completely insane.

are brains are a total mystery we know some things like we know some things about space but you dont see us building houses on mars to....see what happens.

that's what dr's do...they prescribe these meds to 'see what happens' for $$$$ reasons and experiments to try and figure out how much more deeply our brains do work.

mean while millions of people are going thru exactly what is described in every thread above mine and are just walking robots...lab rats and dont even realize it.

i will gladly live border line...than spend the rest of my life maxing out dosages of death and then having to change meds cause my body starts blocking out the one i have pumped in to my system for 3 years. and then the new med stops working because i maxed out on that ...vicious cycle...

1131217 tn?1260294831
and if these meds were so 'helpful' and a 'cure' than why would our own bodies reject them?  

because our bodies were not designed to ingest some man made 'happy pill' we were designed the way we were for a reason.

since the beginning of invention money has been a driving force and people will go to any length to get it, even if that means hurting others, mentally, physically.

for us to be prescribed meds diagnosed to treat our brains something we don't even understand fully is completely and totally absurd...and whether short term or very very very long term...the outcome will NEVER be good....that is my conclusion.

i am going to give myself therapy...so thank you dr's because the only thing that your 'treatment' did for me was realize i don't need any 'treatment' at all.
everything happens for a reason.
1331182 tn?1275479204
Today is my first drug free day! So far so good!

Kmb22 I think that if life is bad then a pill is not going to fix it. I was depressed because my life sucked. A pill doesn't make you feel better.

I am now going to a naturopath to help get my body in order after being on meds for so long.
Avatar universal
Well done, I tried to go back to work today. My boss was horrible so ended in an argument and me crying and my husband coming to get me. So not a good day but still no Effexor at least. I will keep going.
Still no withdrawals?
Avatar universal
I think the withdrawal symptoms are kind of the same for almost all antidepressants. I have been in them for 3 years, first cymbalta, then celexa, wellbutrin, effexor, pristiq and then a COMBO¨: 60 mg of cymbalta and 120 of wellbutrin in the mornings and amytryptilin at nights, went off COLD TURKEY last week and I still feel AWFUL and MISERABLE. Brain zaps 2 (2 every minute), diarrhea, dizziness, my HOLE body terribly aches and I cry for nothing. I have been reading and most of people said this is gonna last at least 3 weeks!!!!! Sometimes I feel I can not go through this and want to call my doc and say that i want to go back to them and suddenly I notice that would be the WORST thing to do! I just want to pass this.... but I wonder.... am I going to feel better on my depression? Also I am willing to loose all the 35 pounds I gained!
Avatar universal
Don't go off effexor cold turkey.  I switched to cymbalta after being on effexor xr 75 x 3/day.  It was pretty easy.  The cymbalta didn't seem to do anything for me so I tapered off of it.  Now several months later my depression has returned, and they have placed me on lexapro 10mg/day.  Hope this is better.
Avatar universal
I have been on Effexor XR for approximately 3 1/2 years. The entire duration of my treatment I have suffered terrible and consistent night sweats along with intermittent vivid nightmares. I have finally become so sick of the side effects (mostly the sweating) that I have decided to taper off of the Effexor entirely. After discussing it with my doctor, I took his recommendation of tapering off the medication gradually. About 2 months ago, I began tapering down from 150 mg. I took 112.5 mg (75 + 37.5) for approximately a week and experienced only mild dizziness and headache. Then I went down to 75 mg and stayed at that dosage for roughly 2 1/2 weeks (I would have gone down sooner, but I came down with a full-on cold and decided to let that pass before decreasing my dosage further). Upon going down to 75 mg I felt the same dizziness and headaches in addition to body aches and some fatigue.

I picked up on a pattern to the symptoms: The first 2 or 3 days after decreasing the dosage I would feel lightheaded/dizzy. The headache, fatigue and flu-like symptoms didn't set in until day 4 and would last through day 7 or 8 at which point I would feel a little better. At that time I would decrease my dose again. I went down to 37.5 and stayed at that for about a week or a week and a half. The withdrawal symptoms were slightly worse than in previous weeks and the pattern I had noticed didn't quite hold. I started to feel crummy pretty much from day 1. Once the symptoms leveled out I tried to stop taking it altogether. The withdrawal became drastically worse.  After a day or two of suffering, I opened the 37.5 mg capsules and emptied about half of the granules out. I took these ~18.75 mg modified capsules for 4 or 5 days (until I ran out of the capsules). At that point, I went off of the Effexor completely. That was almost a week ago and the withdrawal I have experienced in the last week has been horrible. Perhaps I have not tapered correctly, but I followed my doctor's instructions and felt ok during the initial tapering. It is this final stretch that is becoming debilitating. Withdrawal symptoms that have developed since I stopped taking the Effexor altogether include the following:

1. Dizziness/ Vertigo/ Feeling out of it
2. Uncontrollable emotional extremes (intense anger, crying at the drop of a hat, irritability)
3. Persistent Nausea (I also suffer from Celiac Disease and assumed that I had ingested gluten which would account for the nausea until I read this message board. Apparently the nausea is a product of the withdrawal).
4. Extreme Fatigue (having withstood extreme fatigue before my Celiac diagnosis, I am no stranger to being tired ALL the time, but this withdrawal fatigue is just ridiculous!!)
5. Tremors that seem to emanate from my chest/ a sensation of my chest seizing up as though I am very cold (except I don't feel cold at all). At times it feels like my heart is leaping out of my chest as though I'm nervous.
6. The night sweats that I considered a side effect of the Effexor while I was on it, have not subsided at all. I still wake up in the middle of the night to change my soaked pajamas, just to wake up in the morning soaking wet yet again.
7. Loose stool (again, my Celiac situation complicates things here. But it sounds like others have experienced digestive issues coming off of Effexor as well).

Fortunately I have not experienced the brain zaps many of you have described. And while I am ridiculously emotional, I agree that the withdrawal symptoms seem to mimic the initial depression that led me to Effexor in the first place. This can be very misleading it seems. I will not be fooled into jumping back on the Effexor for fear that my depression will return. I will cleanse my body completely of this drug first and then see if the depression is again an issue for me.

I am going to continue on with everything and see how I fare. My boyfriend was on Effexor at one point years ago and experienced similar withdrawal symptoms so it definitely helps to have someone who knows exactly what you're going through. Getting support from friends and/or family is essential while going through something like this, especially given the emotional unpredictability. You need someone in your camp. As cliched as it sounds, it is so true!!

I am dedicated to sticking this out and I plan to update my progress for those who are interested. I hope this offers a useful perspective of someone who tapered somewhat gradually off of the medication. I can't even imagine doing this cold turkey. It's hard enough to deal with day to day life having approached this gradually. I'll let you all know how I fair over the next few weeks. Good luck to everyone struggling with this horrible experience.
Avatar universal
Also check out these useful and interesting resources for undergoing withdrawal and coming off of antidepressants:

1331182 tn?1275479204
It has been a week since my last effexor and 3 days since my last prozac...........NO WITHDRAWALS! WOOHOO!

I have a bad case of Pustular Tonsillitis though.
Avatar universal

Everyone - I am on day 12 since my last effexor and the dizzyness has GONE!!!!!
I feel physically normal again. The mental aspects are still yet to be dealt with ie. being at work but at least I can now go to the pub and be "normal" without feeling like I am on a boat all the time.
Avatar universal
I am on day 11 of withdrawl from Effexor.  It took me 8 months of weaning to get here. A few "swirly" feelings in my head at times but no more zaps.  The odd mood swing but I hope that resolves. I am trying 1000mg of Tyrosine to help reduce the effects.
I will NEVER recommend this drug because of the withdrawl.  
Avatar universal
Someone said "the depression always comes back"


You can recover from depression and live a happy and healthy life,
Have an Answer?
Top Mood Disorders Answerers
Avatar universal
Arlington, VA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
15 signs that it’s more than just the blues
Discover the common symptoms of and treatment options for depression.
We've got five strategies to foster happiness in your everyday life.
Don’t let the winter chill send your smile into deep hibernation. Try these 10 mood-boosting tips to get your happy back
Smoking substitute may not provide such a healthy swap, after all.
How to lower your heart attack risk.