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detoxing from effexor xr

Mar 05, 2008 - 12 comments

effexor detox

I'm trying to detox from effexor after being on it for several years with the last 7 months at 150 mg.  After getting down to 37.5 every other day and feeling okay I stopped and started my new prescription, Wellbutrin-- well, for two days now I'm nauseous, shaky, hot/cold sweats, feel like my eyes are vibrating somewhat when I make too fast of motion with my head.  It's as if I have symptoms of Vertigo and can't fix it.  I'd rather be shot in the foot and deal with that discomfort and pain than these annoying side-effects.  What do I do?

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Avatar universal
by Aruba417, Mar 14, 2008
How are you feeling now? I know it's been over a week since you've posted this. I've been tyring to come off the Effexor myself. I've been taking 150  mg every other day for about a month and I feel like I have morning sickness on the days that I take it. Have you had that feeling?

Avatar universal
by PollyB, Apr 21, 2008
Having spent two years getting off Effexor I can tell you it is not an easy thing to do.  Despite denials of everyone in the medical community this drug is addictive.

If you take something and when you quit, you have bad effects, that are releived by going back on the drug... the drug is addictive.

It takes time to get off it... some people are never able to do so.  This is how I did it.  I took Effexor for 5 years... I recovered from my depression, but began to feel that I could NOT continue with this medication because of other effects it had on me.  

FOR THE RECORD... There are NO side effects, there are ONLY effects.  Effexor destroyed my sex drive, my enjoyment in life, my ability to get anything done.  I HAD to quit.  I was taking 300 a day, timed release, I asked my Doctor to reduce me to 150, that was pretty easy, I stayed at that level for about two months.  

Then I tried 150 every other day, big mistake, zapping pains in my head, disorientation, vision problems... this occurred within minutes of the half life of the Expiring.  Check the literature that comes with your Effexor... or go on the net and find what the half life is for your particular Effexor pills or capsules and dose.  These effects were relieved within minutes of taking a dose of Effexor.  If you use a drug, or alcohol or cigarettes and have bad effects when you stop, an the EFFECTS of stopping are releived by STARTING again... you are dealing with something that is ADDICTIVE.

So I KNEW I could not use an every other day plan...  I read every thing I could find on the net about other people's problems with this drug.  I determined that the only way to escape it was gradual reduction coupled with good balanced multi-vitamin and mineral and pharmaceutical grade fish oil every day.   AND USING THE FOLLOWING PROCEDURE...  I had 150 mg capsules, I opened a capsule and took out 10 of the small beads in the capsule... look at them carefully, if they are in different sizes, try to take an equal amount of each size.  After removing the 10 beads,  I took this capsule.  I did NOT have any effects from the tiny amount I removed, I took the same amount out of 13 more capsules and kept them in another bottle, I took this amount for two weeks... no EFFECTS.

After two weeks, I took another 10 beads out of ONE capsule, I had some effects from doing this, vision, head zaps, vision flashes etc.  The next day  I took only 15 beads out of the capsule, took the capsule.... had no effects from this small dose reduction... I took 13 capsules and removed 15 beads and took that amount for two weeks with no Negative Effects.  

This went on for 18 months... I got to 37.5...  at that point I asked my Doctor (who had poo poo'd the entire idea that Effexor was addictive OR a problem for me) to prescribe 37.5 mg timed release capsules for me.  (If I didn't have insurance, I would have asked for smaller capsules before, since they are very expensive, however I found that Effexor also interfered with my reasoning).  I found as a general rule, I had to stay at a certain level for two weeks before making another reduction.

I found that getting below 37.5 was exceptionally difficult... I tried the 10 bead reduction and immediately was hit with head pain, disorientation, ANGER, sweats... it was stunning to get hammered after so much success.  I backed up to five beads, then to two... at two I did not have effects... (I have found that they have started sealing the capsules shut however, so I had to go to the health food store and buy vegetarian capsules, cut the Effexor capsule open, remove the beads I wasn't going to take AND then put the rest of the beads back into the new capsules from the health food store and then take the Effexor.  Two bead reduction did not cause effects.
It took me another 6 MONTHS to get down to NO Effexor.  I would have to try an amount, if it didn't bother me, I would do it for a week, if it bothered me, I had to go back to the prior dose for a week, eventually I was down to just a few beads a day.  I was able to stop taking Effexor at the two beads a day point.  

I had a few, mild effects after dropping the Effexor... but as long as I took the multi-vitamin and mineral capsules and the Pharmaceutical Grade Fish Oil Capsules, I was OK...  if I stopped taking them, I would start to have the mild difficulties again.  I think this may go on for years... but at least I don't have to take the Effexor any more and I feel pretty darned good... better than I have in years.

If I was a person who was having to Pay for Effexor, and I had three hundred mg capsules I would use the three hundred mg capsule through out the reduction program, since I believe it would be cheaper to do it that way.  If it doesn't pencil out that way for you, then ask for a drop in your prescription level whenever you get down to a doseage that they make in a lower amount.  

To save money I would put the beads I took out, into a new capsule, when I had enough beads in a capsule to equal a lower dose I was targeting I would put it in a separate LABELED container and keep it until I reached that level, then use those capsules.... this would save a lot of money.

I used this gradual reduction program to get off the entire regimine of pills my Dr put me on...  I NEVER WENT COLD TURKEY ON ANY THING, and I NEVER DID MORE THAN ONE MEDICATION AT A TIME.

I started with Effexor, when I got off Effexor, I began on reducing my Neurontin, this required a pill splitter, I split the pills and reduced them the same way I did the Effexor, I found a dose that didn't cause EFFECTS and stayed there a couple of weeks.  

My other medications were treated the same way.  It has taken me years to get free of this stuff.  The Effexor was very difficult, next in line for difficulty was the Benziopines I was on, those took tiny, tiny reductions also and the effects of reductions could really make you suffer.

I found that taking melatonin eased the Effects. I would take 3 mg at night, 30 minutes before turning out the lights, this allowed me to get a decent nights sleep.  Some people get wild dreams from melatonin, if that happens, reduce the melatonin dose to one half mg and try that for two weeks, if you want to try an increase after that you can.  It will do you no good however, if you DO NOT take it as I have suggested.  

Take 30 minutes before you go to bed and turn out the light.  Sleep in an absolutely dark room.  If you have to have some sort of night light or illuminated clock, make sure the numbers are red only.  Red light is the only color that does NOT signal the brain that it is time to wake up.  

Good luck... it is difficult to do, but worth it to get off this stuff.  You will rarely find a DR who will admit to you that it is addictive and they will often stop you cold or switch you cold to another medication, this is NOT good for you at all.  

THE LITERATURE printed by the companies who make this stuff, (the inserts with tiny writing) state that a wash out period of two weeks at least must be used when switching these kinds of drugs.  If you cannot read the printing because it is so small, go down to the copy shop and have them blow up the pages to large size... large as they can do them, you may still have to use a magnifying glass.  This is the only way you will ever find out exactly what you are taking.  

REMEMBER... THERE ARE NO SIDE EFFECTS ONLY EFFECTS.  The FDA site will also list complaints made by comsumers and some responsible Doctors... if you can find it on the FDA Federal Drug Administration... they make the complaints hard to find and the place to file the complaints also hard to find.  

THE FDA DOES NOT review these drugs AFTER approval to see what effects they have in patient who take them. In other words, the entire population is being used as Guinea Pigs.  Sometimes there are such eggregious circumstances, like VIOXX, that the FDA will stop a drug from being sold.  This happens if there are successful lawsuits over the damage the drugs do... then they MIGHT take a look... but don't count on it.  Listen to your OWN BODY...  you are the landlord, you live their every day and you know what is going on if you pay attention.  Anytime you are prescribed a new drug, make a diary and note the Effects.  It is VERY enlightening to go to the FDA site and read the BLACK BOX LABEL WARNINGS that have been placed on different drugs.  A BLACK BOX LABEL MEANS THIS COULD CAUSE DEATHS....  These drugs are allowed to continue to be prescribed even though they carry a BLACK BOX LABEL.

Legal, Prescription Drugs and Medical Errors kill 500,000 people annually in America according to JAMA, Journal American Medical Association.  A person needs to look out for themselves and their family.  

My husband who has the most powerful will I have ever seen in a person, who quit cigarettes COLD TURKEY without a problem, followed the same regime I did for getting off EFFEXOR... he has been stuck at 37.5 for a year... he CANNOT seem to get below it.  Not taking his Effexor results in immediate ugly side effects.  

This is a drug that should NOT be allowed to be sold.  I have taken just about every anti-depressant on the market for over 20 years, and never had as bad a time as I had with this one.  I do think that it is possible for ANY ONE to get addicted to ANY of these types of medications... and need to use the small reduction technique to get off of them.  When I was being switched from medication to medication by my Doctors, I always reduced my current medication for two weeks to nothing, waited two weeks before starting the new medication.  This wasn't possible with EFFEXOR....  I fear that my husband will NEVER be able to get off of it.  Since it destroys sex drive, and ambition to do things... this has a terrible effect on marriages.

I currently take a lots of fish oil, vitamin D, multi-vitamins and minerals, eat a very balanced, no junk food, no sweets, no soda etc diet.  I do not take anti-depressants any more, or anything else.  Except for prescription bio-identical estrogen patches.  I try to walk every day and get some sun.  I feel better than I have in years.  I wish you luck with your program in getting off Effexor...  

Avatar universal
by liveandlearn455, Feb 07, 2009
wow its good to see people here researching and managing to get of this lovely drug because i had no idea how bad it was and trying to come off it and not having it there few days was a killer lol
my doctor said ativan was hard to come off but this is tough but achieviable  be your own doctor and try to experiment best ways for and get the ***** then cold turkey it and come here read the posts and laugh too knowing your not alone
lol sorry got to go getting that ping pong feeling in my head 4 days pasted 3 to go i hope
tough times dont last but tough people so have a laugh and good luck

Avatar universal
by forgingon, Jul 09, 2010
Everything Pollyb says is true.  Paxil is another one of these meds that should not be sold.  It is exactly like Effexor, right down to the struggle of getting off of it.

Avatar universal
by cryslee74, Nov 26, 2010
I have been trying to get off of Effexor for over 6 months now....I was finally down to taking 1/4 of a 75mg immediate release tablet every morning and today I haven't taken anything.  It has been a rough day, but I was off work for the holiday so I have just taken it easy around the house.  Dizziness is really the only bad thing I'm having....seems like everything 'swims' when I move my head too fast.  I hope that when I get up tomorrow it will be better because I have things to do!!  I have read that fish oil is really helpful so I have started taking it to see if it really helps like everyone says.  I will NEVER take another medication like family will just have to deal with my mood swings!  Good luck.

Avatar universal
by shiversT, Jan 12, 2011
PollyB - Can you tell me what brand of Fish oil you purchased?  Starting this weekend I am going to try your method except for now my generic effexor is in a wierd tablet form.  I'll figure it out.

Avatar universal
by Crystalizen, May 22, 2011
I started on Pristiq then switched to Effexor 37.5 because of the 20lb weight gain.  Effexor works well for my depression and this is the fourth antidepressant I've tried.  The weight gain is putting a toll on my self-esteem, so I'm trying to come off it against my doctor's advice.  It is so difficult that I am trying not to take it every two days until I don't feel the vertigo, then I'm going to go every other day for a month.  

Avatar universal
by Heidi1219, Jun 21, 2011
I am reading all of these posts and my struggle the last few weeks finally makes sense!  I stopped taking Effexor "cold turkey" since my health insurance just told me that I maxed out on my co-pay and full price was too much for me every month.  I have only taken 75 mg., one time daily and this seemed to be a godsend for me.  I get mild anxiety, depression and mood swings.  Since I have gone off the Effexor, I've had all of the effects described above ~ like a "zapping" in my head, dizziness, eye problems (sensitivity to light, etc.).  I also feel like I've lost many brain cells ~ seriously saying and doing stupid and atypical things for me!  Also my original mood swings and irritability are back.  And this is only on 75 mg, I can't imagine the effects I'd have with higher mg!

My first reaction to this was....I need to figure out a way to get back on the Effexor.  Now, after reading these posts I'm thinking...I should never take this again!  Just deal with the mood swings, etc?  Maybe I'll grow back the brain cells I lost...hopefully.

Avatar universal
by BeckyColeman316, Nov 26, 2015
Hi, I Want to detox from Effexor XL 225mg. I am 62 years old I have been on on several antidepressant for 11 years. Effexor has stop working for me. I am no longer depressed or may the "Evil Drug it working. But I no no longer want to live on chemicals anymore.  Plus this one is VERY DANGEROUS!! This is a black box warning. "The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider."
The withdrawal from others post is horrific! I don't think I can go "cold turkey" nor would I consider it or recommend it. I think I am going to a Detox Rehab Center near my City. Hope everyone who is caught up on this Evil Devil Drug" get some help or found a Very easy way to detox. Praying is much needed.

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by BellaLady45, Feb 06, 2016
I have tried to get off effexor in the past but never succeeded.  I have been between 75 and 150 mg prescribed by my gynocologist for the past two years.  My only advice is that you wean off gradually and do this by braking the capsule apart and start sprinkling the bead into some applesauce or yogurt.  Taper off.  Cold turkey does not work with this drug and that was the mistake I made before which is why I always ended up back on it.  You must be patient.  First week use half of the beads.  Following week use one quarter of the beads.  Third week just stop altogether.  I have pasted theI last empty capsule in my date book reminding me when I took my last dose.  I feel it helped me through some rough menapause issues including mood swings, irritability, and anger.  I have to admit that managing anger can be a problem for me.  I know it could be caused by low female hormone levels but there comes a point where a person needs to own up to their problems.  Covering up the issue with medicine was not the ultimate answer for me.  Effexor is a crutch.  I decided I just did not need it anymore.  It is very constipating and this can cause anxiety because it blocks a normal and basic physical process of the human body.  But I must admit I found a very good counselor and by speaking with her about my probems I realized I no longer needed the drug.  My counselor did not know I was taking it, but after I stopped I told her about my decision.  Getting off this drug is something that each person must decide for themselves.  Once you stop I hope you will feel as empowered as I do.  Lots of warm wishes to all.

Avatar universal
by Needtogetbetter, Jan 27, 2017
I have been tapered from 225 down to 37.5mg of Effexor xr with out a problem while titrating up to 40 mg of Prozac. This was done in two weeks with no problem. Now I am stuck at 37.5 and yesterday I took 5 beads out and I am very emotional, high anxiety just feel like I have no control over my emotions is there anyone on here that felt like this I really need some reassurance that I will get through this.

Avatar universal
by Gerrardi, Oct 16, 2017
I've been on Effexor 75 mg/ day for 1.5 yrs and all of a sudden I begun having Morning Hives that first disappeared during the day... First 1 or 2... then more and more, for 5 weeks until I had to go to the ER because of a sudden during night tremendous Face inflamation and no breathing... Very Extensive Allergy Sudies showed nothing wrong.

My food habits are pretty the same so I new it had to be the Venlafaxine...

I decided to stop Effexor Cold Turkey and at the same time taking Meticort 5 mg and Allegra 180 mg (both 3 times a day)... and 3 drops of Rivotril just at nights to Sleep just for the detox process.. after 6 days my Hives began to decrese and for the next 5 days until no more appeared.

I had all of the vertigo, zapping, shakiness, vision, nauseous, everything...  until I realized that when I drank Cola Drinks, suddenly I felt incredibly much better and my simptoms reduced by 70 to 90%.. As the day passed, if I felt all of the simptoms again, I drank more Cola and eat whatever foods you want, the simptoms dicipated.. so as long as I drank Cola and no empty stomach during the day, my symptoms reduced incredibly fast...
Try at the same time Vitamin D, Multivitamins and Fish Omega 3 and you would detox in a matter of 2 to 5 weeks but... each day feeling better and better.

Probably the Sugars in the Cola help the brain paths while the no Effexor and the Detox takes place, I'm not sure why but its a wonderful help.

At the same time, when I ended, I realize that Depression had been gone completely.. contrary I was very happy, very active and Exercise every day (you will not want to do any, but do some and after doing it you WILL feel better)

Hope this help you and you recover your Life, Friends and Loved Ones... You can't be on those Drugs all your life...
Try it and don't forget the Vitamin Supplements!!

Free at Last... Enjoy..!!!


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