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Avatar universal

How long is Effexor withdrawal supposed to last?

A little over two months ago I stopped taking Effexor after slowly weaning off of it.  I had horrible withdrawal symptoms: nausea, fatigue, and dizziness.  After two months I don't feel any better.  Needless to say, I'm really scared.  I can hardly function at my job and am very frustrated and angry.  This medication has ruined my life.  Waking up in the morning is the worst part of my day.  All I have to look forward to is dizziness, fatigue, and attempting  to function.

How long did you symptoms last?  Are they supposed to last this long?
931 Responses
Avatar universal
thanks for the concern al but I am fine at the moment. I went from 150 to 0. the last time I tried to quit it was 300 to 0. (that was a disaster, I didn't realise these things were addictive at all.)

I am sitting pretty at 75. I think I will try what jilly above says in relation to those two tablets in the generic form (haven't tried generic form yet) but I will sit on 75 for a period of time, prob a few months or so or when I can take a few weeks off work.

Avatar universal
I had been on Effexor for over a decade and when I tried getting off of it I had sudden emotional episodes that were fleeting but intense. Like i was about to cry but couldn't. I was up to 225mg. I got a month's refill and then couldn't find it. I looked for day/weeks and couldn't find it. I thought I had placed on the counter in the bathroom. I decided to see if I could ride it out. That was a month ago. I haven't taken it for 6 weeks and the darned bottle was right on the sink all along! I saw it every day. I'm fortunate that I have experienced nothing close to what people have described. I have dizzy spells and concentration is difficult. I'm wondering how how these side effects will last. Or are they what the Effexor was preventing all along?
Avatar universal
You will find out in time if the Effexor was helping those problems--the emotional intensity and concentration difficulties.  I went off Effexor and went back on as my depression was back again full tilt.  To go off cold turkey from the dose that you were taking could certainly cause your symptoms.  Good luck.
Avatar universal
How are you doing now?

May 6,2013

Avatar universal
Ok, 6 weeks off Effexor and still getting there..... I have lost all brain zaps and nausea.  Still experiencing headaches and anxiety!  I have still had the odd panic attack but I think that is mainly the current stress I'm under with moving countries!  Is there anyone else who is still experiencing symptoms at this stage?????  Would love to hear from you!  Went back to the Dr and of course they said I was unwilling to accept I am depressed with anxiety! I know the difference now of course!!!!
Avatar universal
Hei, very interesting to hear from you as we are going through this at about the same rate. Withdrawing at 5 mg reduction every 2 weeks, and its a little over 2 months since I began. The first six weeks were just not fun at all, the confusion, nausia and dizzines being the worst. But the side effects have now completely subsided (after, now I think about, taking a homeopathic medicine). I am crossing my fingers that I can live without Effexor. Maybe in the same position as you - side effects subsidided, hoping can manage without Effexor. P.s. Don't listen to much to doctos, especially GPs, as they know so very little.....
Avatar universal
The last time that I offered my advice on your kind of question, I was rebuked by the management on this website.  On another website, drugsdotcom, the people offer a lot of detailed accounts of tapering off regiments.
Avatar universal
I cannot find the rebuke. It may have come from another medical blog.  But I don't dare take a chance.
Avatar universal
Hi Randy,

I've actually been on Efexor (Aust sp) X-R for 15 years and for the last 7 (?) on 450mg. Now I know this is a huge dose, but I strongly suspect that my body disposes of drugs extremely efficiently and hence it as taken a large quantity of the drug for me to achieve a truly effective dose. This neutralised my GAD and booted the depression and, yes for those of your concerned out there for my liver, it is coping fine.

Although I have been into exercise for around 20 years now, over the last 2 I have prioritized it and other aspects of my personal well-being and the truly remarkable mental benefits have led me to decide to check out life without the AD.        

Before doing so, I read various (extremely alarming) threads about the process of getting off this stuff (thanks to each and everyone of you for doing this) and decided to go Cold Turkey like you Randy. Now, first of all I would     never suggest anyone else do this. It's a very personal choce. My reasons are two-fold. The first is that I lived   through 30 years of debilitating anxiety and miserable depressive episodes before I finally, out of sheer   desperation, succumbed to trying drugs, so I figured I could take whatever withdrawal threw at me; in addition, I  had never experienced suicidal ideation and I also have Efexor on hand if I really need it.                                          Secondly, I noticed that a lot of the reported withdrawal symptoms seemed like more extreme versions of symptoms I have experienced for 17 years now, off and on, but had attributed to Irritable Bowell Syndrome.                

Qu: has anyone else struggled with IBS?

Anyway, in addition to the classic IBS symptoms of stomach cramps, diarrhea, constipation, I would get this low grade nausea accompanied by slight dizziness, terrible mud-brain, fatigue and this weird sensation in my head whereby it FELT like stuttering flashes were going off, almost like an inner-ear malfunction.

Anyway, interestingly since from what I've read these brain flashes are some kind of electrical phenomenon, what cured me of the worst of the (allegedly) IBS symptoms (at one point I was virtually dysfunctional and bedridden) was Chinese acupuncture involving an electrical current!

So, now I'm thinking what is what? Have I really just been struggling with symptoms brought on by the drug, or perhaps the IBS and Efexor interacted in some weird way. The gut is directly linked to the nervous system and is
one of the places Anxiety makes its home and, of course, the brain is the next stop along the train line, so it makes a kinda gruesome sense.

So, I am fascinated to see what symptoms are left (hopefully none) once the drug is completely out of my system. Also, from what I've read, tapering off doesn't lessen the severity of the symptoms once they hit, which they always seem to do, so I figure "Bring em on".

I'm well along Day 2 of going Cold Turkey and all I'm experiencing is the kind of fairly mild symptoms of : slight nausea, mud-brain, hyper-emotionalism (Come Home Lassie Weepies), tiredness and the brain flashes - none of which are fun, but they're not as bad as I've  experienced in the past when I was also battling chronic  IBS (I think). I should also mention that I'm only working 2 days a week temporarily, so I can minimize effort and contact with others, and maximize rest time if I need too. Definitely helps.
So Randy! Sorry I got a bit off track, but what I want to say to you is that these symptoms certainly are NOT what
you took the drug to address in the first place. They are chemical gremlins to be wary of. Since your reaction seems pretty mild compared to most, you should be able to stick it out by being mindful of them, avoiding situations that might inflame them eg I suggest you don't watch the news for a while, and see how you go. If it gets too much, check in with your doc and see if they will give you a low dose of Prozac which on good anecdotal evidence nullifies the withdrawal symptoms and has none of its own. There doesn't seem to be any universal rule on how long the symptoms last, so I guess it comes down to how bad they are and how long you can put up with them. A Pox on your House Pfizer Et Al!

One footnote to all of you brave people out there, I SWEAR by exercise as an invaluable tool in the battle for
mental health, particularly anything cardio. ANY kind of regular exercise is good, but the harder you work your heart the better. One of the best and GOOD side effects of a hard cardio workout is an endorphin high which sets you up for the day and can keep you on Cloud Nine for an hour or longer. And you did it all yourself :-)

Good Luck and remember everyone, you REALLY are not alone.


So Randy! Sorry I got a bit off track! I forgot to mention
Avatar universal
Hei, Very interesting blog. Am tapering off at 5mg per 14 days and am now 2 months into it. Yes - that thought has struck me too. Does tapering mean you just prolong the side effects - but I also understand that the main reason for tapering is to reduce the chance of depression when you are completely off effexor.

Yep - agree there too. Exercise is very important. makes all the difference, so recommend regular relatively intense exercise to everyone.

More agreement there too - figuring out what is the depression and what are side effects is not easy. I read around the long term side effects of Effexor and that is a bit of a scary read. You maybe (like me) developed long term Effexor side effects which are as bad or worse than depression/withdrawl symproms.

Agree too, alternative medicine is well worth trying. I personnally believe and experience this as the best help we can get. I use a homeopathic doctor.

And finally - bit of advice. Effexor has a very long half life and it takes a long time to get it out of the system. A lot of people expereince side effects get worse for the first 2-3 weeks. So, don't despair if withdrawal symptoms get worse - its normal. And it will feel just like depression. So, don't go thinking that you are falling back into the old problems, as you most likely are not.
Avatar universal
Write what you were going to say. Your advise is always valuable. If you were going to say that this mainline medicine withdrawal program of 75 mg everyother day for 4 days and then stop is just madness, then I'll back up.
Avatar universal
Im on day 3 of no effexor, 75mg. My head is so dizzy, and my stomach hurts, but I have to stop. I no longer have insurance and my script ran out. I've only been on it for a little over a yr, so I'm hoping the effects wear off soon. If I had known the side effects of coming off before I started taking them, I would have never started them! I'm always tired and all I want to do is sleep. So I'm hoping that once I'm finally done with the withdrawls I can go back to be a normal mom. I know I can function without it, I was only put on due to postpartum depression, and I was fine before. I just have to stay positive that I can make it past this withdrawl. I'm going to buy me some omega 3 and fish oil vitamins to help.
Avatar universal
you give me hope! i have been suffering this horrible withdrawal for almost a month and a half now. I started at 225 mg and am now down to 150 mg. i FEEL LIKE IM DYING. i used to be so smart and now i can hardly function. this has got to be one of the worst drugs out there. I would rather my kids smoke weed then ever be put on an anti-depressant as this. I am almost tempted to email Mr. Wyeth himself to take this thing off the market! i tell you they are in for our wallets rather then treating us. I get horrible heat flashes every second of the day, then within the hour it will switch to cold flashes. my eyes continue to go blurry and i feel as if i star at somEthing too long the light will brighten or my vision will go blurry. i feel like i have the flu, my ears will not stop ringing. I would never wish this upon another human being. my IQ im sure has dropped ! i am having major confusion throughout the day, then times i feel like crying randomly in the blink of an eye tears will come streaming down my face instantly and i wont know why! its very frustrating especially when im trying to have a conversation i will just be so rude and cry during a 5 minute period. its very unlike me. i honestly want to set everyone on fire including myself. this is pure misery. i think i have hit the point of pure insanity.
Avatar universal
This is the second time I have withdrawn from Effexor. I was stupid to go on it a second time, and will never ever take it again. My sleep dr. blames Effexor for me developing restless leg syndrome and severe periodic limb movements during sleep.

The first time I withdrew I was pregnant, so went off cold turkey and was very ill for nearly 3 weeks. This time, I tapered down to 37.5 mg, and just ran out of that. I feel sick, but am semi-able to function. But I hate how short-tempered I am and how my personality, thoughts and emotions fluctuate severely throughout the day. I am not behaving like myself at all, and it is really scary.

I hope that it doesn't last 2+ weeks like it did the last time. I am taking ibuprofen, highly-absorbable multi-vitamin, b-12, 5-htp, st. john's wort, and passionflower. I am hoping the supplements help somewhat. The passionflower reduces the severe anxiety, and that one I can tell is helping. So far, jury is still out on st. john's wort and 5-htp.
Avatar universal
Hi All

Ok, its been 2 months now since I had my last tablet!  I am feeling depressed again but am hoping my body is still adjusting..... I recently swapped my Quetiapine at night (only 25 mg) for Natures Own Complete Sleep and I am shocked that the natural pills actually work!!!!!!!!  Without changing my metabolic rate, I can definitely keep this up!  I just want to know if anyone else still experiences depression at all???? And how to cope with this?????  I really dont want to go back to the Dr as I dont want to hear i have to go back on the pills!!!!!  I am desperate to kick this!  I have joined the gym and have been going every day!  At the time of excercise and for a few hours after I have the best high.... then I crash again!  Can I have some helpful suggestions please??????????
Avatar universal
I just wanted to add to the warnings of stopping this med cold turkey. My GP put me on 150mg about 7 months ago for depression from injury/loss of job and I wish I had come across this forum before starting to take Effexor. My GP forgot to refill my presc. at the end of april so I decided that it would be a good time to stop taking, horrible idea. I went through all the side effects everyone else has mentioned and after 5 days I was hoping I had seen the worst and then I woke up 3 days later in a hospital bed after being taken into police custody for trying to harm myself, all of which I have no memory of. This is the only time I have ever experienced anything like this and am now so scared of anti-depressants that I will not take the Cymbalta they now want me take. I am now home and 3 weeks free of Effexor and am still having really awful side effects, the worst being not being able to sleep at all for almost 2 weeks straight, but have been getting 3 or 4 hours of sleep the last couple of days but only from 8 am to noon and am  then racing again. I have been back to my GP and he will not give me anything but Cymbalta which I told him I refuse. He actually told me to try Melatonin, I wish I could afford to switch doctors.
Avatar universal
I am now on day 5 of withdrawal. My last dose was 37.5 mg. Finally today I am no longer consumed with anger and raging at my kids. I feel so sorry for having yelled at them so much. This evening for the first time in 5days I actually felt emotions other than anger or depression, which have been all consuming.

I started taking omega 3s (I will have to look at whether they are 3s or 3, 6, 9 or whatever. They are 1200 mg capsules and I took 3. It seems to have helped because I feel a percentage of myself coming back. I should mention that I take a dozen other supplements as well, so that is not the only one.

I am so hopeful that this light is leading me to more brightness. There was a time 10years ago when I wasn't on any meds, I exercised daily, ate healthy foods and woke from sleep refreshed. I am keeping that image of myself and my life foremost in my mind. And because of this experience with Effexor withdrawal, I am more determined than ever to get back to the me that I once was.

I am praying for everyone who is going through this.
Avatar universal
Hei. We're going through this at about the same rate, you remember? Yes, bad patch here too. The nights are worst and I think that is most because of anxiety. Yes - depression. Some real symptoms right now. Slowness, anxiety and of course pain. Like you am beginning to wonder is this depresssion, am I going to have to go back on Effexor again or will this pass. To be honest, I think it will pass. Gym is a very good idea. Sounds as though I feel very like you do I think. I am right now taking a short homeopathic 10 day course, started yesterday. It seems as thought this does really help.

Don't give ! This is very painful but we can't give up. We have to find a way out of this.  
Avatar universal
Are you taking Omega 3. This is a must......!!! Really helps. And a high quality multivitamin.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the advice, the hospital put me on Cymbalta and my GP (though I no longer trust him) never did refill my Effexor so I am left to deal with this on my own since I have told every Dr. I refuse Cymbalta and they offer no alternative. I am nearly 4 weeks off all meds and hope do be able to be a functioning person again soon.Thanks again
Avatar universal
Day 7 of Effexor withdrawal. I thought I was feeling a bit better on Day 5, but Day 6 was horrible and so started Day 7. I kept trying to figure out what I was missing. What did I take on Day 5 that made me feel semi-ok that I didn't take on Day 6 or the start of Day 7?

I remembered wanting to try to boost my nutrition, so I had mixed up some Amazing Grass SuperFood that I had in the cupboard but hadn't taken in a few months. And then I looked on the label and realized that it has barley grass in it. I remember reading somewhere that barley grass helped with Effexor withdrawal (I've been scouring everything I can on this subject). I went back to the supplements store and bought more of the SuperFood mix as well as some tart cherry capsules which are to help reduce inflammation.

I'm hoping that the extra nutrition boost will help. the worst part of this withdrawal for me has been how angry and nasty I am. Someone mentioned in a previous post that they felt like lighting the world including themselves on fire. That is exactly how I feel. I'm angry at everything and everyone and I feel sorry for anyone who has crossed my path over the past few days. I've been raging and yelling, and I feel like I should just lock myself in a padded room and stay away to ensure I don't unleash this wrath on anyone.

I have been taking passionflower supplement to reduce the anxiety that is probably the root of all the anger, but maybe I haven't been taking it often enough. I'm open to any other suggestions for quelling the anger.
Avatar universal
For trouble sleeping, the best help for me has been NativeRemedies Pure Calm, which I buy on Amazon. It has lemon balm, lavender and passionflower. I also take additional Passionflower because my major issue is anxiety, so I need more help with that.
Avatar universal
Hi there, thanks for your comments. Oh, yes I forgot we were at the same stage... I hope you're doing better now :)  Yes actually that was one of the first things I purchased and I have taken the Omega 3 continuously but maybe need to invest in a good multi vitamin!  I have found exercise is definitely helping, some days are better than others for sure.  I have been on the natures own complete sleep and I have definitely been sleeping better and waking without the fuzzy head, I think it also helps with anxiety.
Avatar universal
yeah darkhorse!

at least you give us all some hope.

this drug should be banned and everyone ever subscribed should be heavily compensated....its like a bad concentration camp experiment.

it is garbage.

lives are being destroyed here.
5570684 tn?1370105695
I stopped going to the doctor who prescribed these pills to me he was my family doctor for many years but when I ran out of pills and he was on vacation and  I had to stop cold turkey I decided to just get off them all together without his help .. a week later I called him saying I felt like I was going to die !! I was only on  a small dose 75 mgs for about 2 years but the withdraw was like trying to kick a serious drug habit !!!! I told him how I felt he did not believe me and said u don't go through with draws from Effexor you will be fine just get some rest !!

I have never gone back to him again and never will I am outraged that a doctor who has been in practice over 40 years would have this type of opinion on the subject .. he is the one who prescribed it he should have warned me of the possible side effects and real not fake with draw that u go through !! it's been 3 weeks now I am over the upset stomach and brain zapps but now I have constant stomach cramps and my legs ache soo bad I can't walk .. I wish I knew what to do for this ??
Avatar universal
Thanks for your post.  I'm going into day 6 of withdrawals.  I weaned myself off of a 37MG/day dosage over a two week period and my withdrawal is certainly  not as bad as a lot of folks seem to have experienced.  I have the brain zaps every now and then, the hot flashes, and every now and then feel like crying but not out of sadness but out of looking at a great painting and feeling I might want to cry because something is touching or beautiful. I feel emotions slowly stirring again.  The venlafaxine did help me but the increasing memory probelmes, summer sweating to excess and a fast heart rate made me want to quit.  I am hoping that using food as medicine and starting to walk again will help.  I have had lower back and hip area pain along with strong thigh and calf muscle contraction son my left side for the last 2 months.  Can' t really determine a cause.  PT is helping somewhat.  This started prior to ending my relationship with Venlafaxine.  I notice one other person had had these symtoms, anyone else?
Avatar universal
I have/had been taking effexor for 10.-15 yrs. The post office returned my mail order scripts last week.  The reason is still unknown.  The problem now is I ran out and had to go cold turkey for the past 4-5 days. I spent 3 days in tears. (for no good reason)  I have been having what seem to be hot flashes for 4 days now.  Remember the sound the old metal slinkies would make? Well thats been going on in my head since the first missed dose. I have a Dr appt for tomorrow but I don't think I want to go back on the effexor.  Not after all I've been thru the past few days.  10 yrs on this med how do I even know if I'm still depressed or not. So I'm seeing the Dr (a gp) to ask for help coming off of it completely.  I feel like I'm over the worse, but how ong does w/d take?
Avatar universal
Does it matter if you take Omega 3-6-9, or Omega 3?
Avatar universal
It has been one month since my last Effexor dose.

After reading about Omega, I started taking Omega 3-6-9, 1200 mgs 3 times a day.  This really helped, but I started swelling in my feet and hands, so I discontinued the use.  

The symptoms returned with a vengence, and now I'm considering going back on the Omega.  

Does anyone know what the best dose is, and does it matter if you take Omega 3, or Omega 3-6-9?

Thank you
Avatar universal
I don't think it makes a difference.
Avatar universal
Hei, I'll give you a few tips that many recommend and I have found useful
1. Omega 3
2. High quality multivitamin
3. Exercise
4. https://****.anu.edu.au
5. Keep social
6. Homeopathy

This is going to be hard and maybe long, so be prepared.
1110049 tn?1409405744
Wanted to share my SLOW withdrawal.  Last time I went off Effexor I went cold turkey.  My doctor says depression more likely to come back if don't withdraw slowly.  I was OK for a year, but then began to feel poorly again, and was put back on Effexor 150mg daily.  I am now in 6th month of the slow withdrawal, and expect it to take up to another 8 months to come off it completely, with my doctor's help this time.
Avatar universal
Three weeks ago my doc took me from 150mg to 75mg. The first week was bad and the next two weeks were a little better except my joints are swollen and hurting. Today I went to 35 mg (will do this for 7 days then 35mg every other day for 3 days)
I took the 35mg this morning...it's 7:30pm and I'm hurting all over and just got up from a 2 hr. sleep.I feel weak, like my limbs are cement and slightly dizzy. I've no idea how long this will last or if it'll get worse, but I'll never, ever go on this medicine again.
(the reason I decided to come off the medicine is because I've gained so much weight that I was having more anxiety than before I started the medicine)
I'm wondering how long this will last?
When I was on the full dose and I missed just 1 dose - I immediately felt horrible, I mean within hours of missing the dose. So I assumed the medicine did not stay in my system very long...why then does it take so long for it to leave my system when I'm trying to come off of it...
Sorry this sounds scattered, I can't even put together a sentence-my brain is completely scrambled...sigh.
Avatar universal
Hei - I am not an expert, so this is just from what I have read. There is something special with Effexor that means that it has severe side effects when withdrawing. Effexor has a very short half-life compared with all other anti-depressants and many people believe that this is one reason why withdrawal is so difficult.

There is something called Prozac Bridge and I recommend you read about it on the Net (Google Prozac Bridge). There is also a document out there by the 'inventor'. Maybe this can help you.

You should also consider tapering off slowly - over many months, also alot of information on this on the net.

I have been tapering and began at the end of February. Side effects come and go. Right now just experienced some days of joint stiffness and diziness/confusion, same as you.

Getting off Effexor is a really rough experience and side effects can continue for some time. So, be prepared for it, take good care of yourself and try some of the tips given here (i.e. Omega 3).

Avatar universal
Are you on any benzodiazepine and or Z-drugs like ambien, ambien CR, sonata, temazepam, antivan, Xanax. klonapin. If you are taking any of the above listed drugs has it been for more then 2 to 4 weeks or longer. I took them on and off over a 20 year period. The drugs can cause severe depression and anxiety and can make your insomnia much, much, much worse.
Avatar universal
I had a stange exprience last night. I really felt and could see the old me coming back, after 12-13 years on Effexor. It was nice to see myself again after so long. I have been tapering from 75 mg and am now on 37.5. Anyone else had this expereince of the old me coming back?
1110049 tn?1409405744
Well that is really good.  May it continue now.  I am so pleased for you.  When I stopped 150mg Effexor cold turkey before, I was really well for a year.  I am tapering off really slowly this time.  Lets hope I feel like you do.
Avatar universal
HOw are you doing? any relieve of your symptoms? I am going through the same nasty road.
I hope you are feeling better.
Avatar universal
It has been 38 days since my last dose of Effexor (I tapered off).  Thirty eight days of hell!  I wish I knew when this will stop. Recently, I started having anxiety issues on top of the other battles.  I'm taking Omega 3 and multi vitamin for the withdrawal, and recently added magnesium and B1 for anxiety. I'm hoping the magnesium will help.  Most of the time the Omega 3 helps the withdrawal symptoms. Occasionally, I will have a day where nothing helps though.
Avatar universal
I am 1 week and 4 days free of Effexor. What a horrible drug. Was put on it for depression, but if I would of known how dependent your body is on it this would of never happened. The first few days without it was horrible. Out of body experiences, brain zaps and crying uncontrollably. My daughter didn't know what was going on. I do have one question though....did anyone have horrible dry mouth and tingling with this drug? Mine is slowly going away, but it's unreal. I couldn't drink enough, inside of my mouth would stick to my teeth. The tingling in the lips and numbness got so bad that I didn't realize I would be drooling. Glad it's getting better, just want to be back to normal. I didn't realize the community that is here, you are all wonderful.
Avatar universal
Hi Jimmy! I am so sorry you are going through this. I know just how you feel. I have been on this awful drug for 8 and a half years. It is awful trying to come off of it. My husband does not have a supportive bone in his body.Hang in there. It will get better. It has to. I am blessed to have my mom to talk to. She was a psychiatric nurse for many years so she is a wealth of knowledge. She did not even know about this crazy withdrawal! How are you doing now? I hope your boys are doing good. They grow up so fast! I live second by second. It helps. Just try to live each second and pray. It really does help.
Avatar universal
I have now been off Effexor (Cold turkey, see previous posts) for 60 days and I am now able to sleep at night and am feeling better each day still. For me the worst was sleeplessness, brain zaps and body pain esp. my legs which after 30 days really got bad made worse by kicking all night. I took a 1 hour nap this afternoon for the first time since April and that felt great. I can not stress strong enough to others not to quit the way I did but am writing now to let people know that it does get better, reading these posts here really did help me when I was at the worst. Hang in there!!
Avatar universal
I am coming off after 15 years...and yes I am now beginning to see an old me that has been gone for a long time...sticking to my decision this time has been hard going. I am also down to 37.5 and this last step has been brutal...my head feels as if there is a band around it...constant pain. My face hurts, jaw is tense, body aches, irritable to out of control anger and crying...and brain blanks...can't think straight or clear...no wonder I always went back on before....but, I think maybe I would like to give my 15 year old the real me. I just looked today for info on withdrawal and I am so happy to find this site and all of these people who know what I am going through.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the laugh...with you, not at you. I can relate to all of it and feel better knowing \i am not alone...are you better now?
Avatar universal
i have been on two hundredand twenty five mls of effexor for the last ten yrs. I was first diagnosed with ante-natal depression after my twins were born. With a physically, emotional and mental abusive partner my condition deteriorated until i bacame someone i didnt know anymore. I left my partner five yrs ago knowing being with him i would never improve. Since then family and friends have become tired of trying to help me. I dont know wether i have been hard to help or wether they just gave up to easily. being told continuously by loved ones i was nothing but a lunatic and did nothing to help myself i took drastic action. My family didnt think the tablets were helping, even though they have no idea seeing as they never contact me anymore. I ran out of my prescriptions eight days ago and decided to try cold turkey. Since then i have done nothing but sleep, bouts of crying then laughter. I feel okay while lying down but sitting or standing brings on nausea, dizziness, and i feel i have a bad case of the flu. I have three children to look after, thankfully they were at their dads during the week as it is school holidays. They are due back tomorrow and im scared im not going to be able to look after them properly I would really like someone to be able to tell me how long am i going to feellike this. My mind feels clear for the first time in yrs in a strange way i cant explain but the body is suffering so much. sorry if this post doesnt make much sense but while typing this i have had another bawling attack. Just want this feeling to end soon, someone please tell me it will
Avatar universal
The sweating will not go away while you are still on the effexor.  I went off for 3 months and the sweating finally stopped.  I swear I would sweat just putting on my make up! It was miserable. I had to quit working on clients (massage therapist) because of the sweating, I was like my own little rain forest. Unfortunately, I went back on a low dose because my psychiatrist said that I need to be on something because I was back to feeling suicidal but I don't know if it's worth it.  The sweating is miserable and feeling like I'm in a fog, losing memory and having no libido aren't worth it.  I'd like to find a more natural way of getting through this and my psychiatrist insists that once you have depression you will always have it.  What do I do?
Avatar universal
I quit effexor in March cold turkey.  There is hope guys!  It took about a month to finally get over all the withdrawals but I no longer have any. The brain zaps are completely gone...yahooo.

The downside - I have wicked hot flashes (I am in perimenopause - soon to be menopause) and the one good thing about effexor is that it controlled those.

As far as weight - I've not lost anything and am still fat, fat, fat - which in itself is making me depressed.  I am trying to keep positive.  I have my bad days in terms of feeling blue.  I get twinges of anxiety but nothing like I had before going on effexor.  

I'll never go on this drug again.

1110049 tn?1409405744
It has taken me 7 months to reduce from 150mg Effexor XR to 75mg.  Now my doctor says there is no lower dose of XR and has prescribed the generic 37.5mg but is not sure how I should reduce.  She suggests taking one in the morning and one in  the evening, and then take one a day.  After that she is not sure what I should do.

I live in the UK, so may be different from USA.  Can you get Effexor in pills, so they can be cut?  My doctor says slower I reduce I am less likely to get withdrawal symptoms.  But this last hurdle is the most difficult, and I am stuck as to what to do.  Despite reading about taking out granules from capsules, I have no idea.  It has been suggested in a book I read that one should reduce by 10% monthly, but how do I do that?

Because discontinuation can mimic depression, it is difficult to distinguish what is what.  I read that discontinuation (withdrawal) symptoms emerge within  days to weeks of stopping medication, or lowering the dose, whereas relapse symptoms develop later and more gradually.

The latter happened to me.  I stopped Effexor cold turkey, was well for a year - really well, but after that symptoms returned.  I was put back on Effexor.  This time, hopefully I will know the difference.
Avatar universal
Maddie,  In the US, Effexor comes in a 25 mg pill which is not XR, meaning it does not go through your system gradually.  Since your doctor has no advice for you, that's what I personally used when I went off the Effexor in combination with the 37.5 mg XR. I would think that you shouldn't continue going lower until your depression is gone completely.  That way you know that your withdrawal at that dose has stopped.

If your depression completely went away for a year after you stopped Effexor in the past, I wouldn't think that it could possibly be a withdrawal symptom when your depression returned.  Once withdrawal symptoms are gone, then your system has recovered.  And a whole year later, I think that the depression obviously returned.  But this time, you may not need to go back on it.  Wish you the best.  You've at least gotten the dose way down.
Avatar universal
Hi, folks,

Wow, this is a long thread that goes all the way back to 2007!  Because it's become difficult to follow all of the different conversations here, we'll close this thread now.  

If you have a question about Effexor withdrawal/effects, please start a new thread by clicking the big "Post a Question" button at the top of the page.  This will make it easier for everyone to see your new question, and you're much more likely to get answers from our members quickly.  Thanks!



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