225mg Venlafaxine struggling to withdraw

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I've been on 225mg of Venlafaxine for nearly 5 years for depression but I'm now doing very well, been back at full time work for 4 months and things going well. My dr agreed I could start to reduce my medication and put me on 150mg of Venlafaxine. After just 3 days I couldn't hack it anymore and went back on my 225mg. I had a constant headache and was so afraid to fall asleep because the night terrors were the most disturbing thing I have ever experienced. Then the lethargy. About 2 weeks later I attempted it again but again at 3 days I gave up, it was like my world became so surreal and strange I felt odd. Again went back on 225mg. I have an appointment in 2 days to discuss. But I'm wondering what others experiences are? Is it too much of a jump 225mg to 150mg?

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  • Posted

    hi ive only been on ven 225mg for just over 2 wks, before that it was ven 150mg and before that 75mg , in total been on ven for approx 8 wks,  still having nightmares , only 3 hrs sleep at night , no motivation, varying appetite, dont leave the house etc etc, i thought things would get better on higher dose, dr and therapist not happy so refereing to phyciatrist, you seem to be going the other way to me lol, can i ask why youve been on them so long and wether you were working while taking them, i havent worked since nov  2014, not sure when or if i want to go back, maybe your dr can drop you to 200mg them after  few wks 175mg and so on so your body can adjust to the decrease slowly. let us know how you get on , good luck best wishes jayne:-) x
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    • Posted

      Hi jayne03174

      I have been on 225mg for almost 5 years, for depression and anxiety, the last 2 years I also had talking therapy and that's really when I started to see progress. I do think the Venlafaxine helped me, my anxiety was controllable and I generally felt a little bit better mentally. I started on citralpram in 2009, I went through some awful stuff and started having panic attacks then severe anxiety then depression but the citralpram were terrible for me even though I was on them for a whole year! Then I changed to Ven and that's when I started to very slowly get better. I hadn't worked since 2009 and I've just this month turned 30 and finally I'm better, and working again and have a social life again, it's just withdrawing thats hindering me. the only side effects I had when I first started on Ven we're dizziness brain zaps and headaches that passed around 4 weeks each time it was increased.

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    • Posted

      Thanku for your reply, i was having cbt while on citrlopram and after 20 wks it had to stop nhs ruling and all that. my therapist agreed i wasnt ready to leave her and she wrote to my dr thats when he put me on 75mg ven, 2 weeks later it was uped to 150mg ten 2 weeks later uped to 225mg and he refered me to a phyciatrist, 1st appointment on monday 6th july im absolutely terrified which isnt helping depression and anxiety my husband is going to take me as cant go out alone. since saturday ive had headache and cant shift it even with the painkillers i take for arthiritus been on 225mg since 19th june do you think the headaches will pass. Thanku for replying to me its good to chat. best regards jayne xx
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    • Posted

      When I was at my worst it was forums like this that really helped. Chatting to others like yourself and reading similar posts is was got me through a lot of terrible days. I never went to my therapy appointments alone, I couldn't bare to leave the house and needed someone with me constantly even just for dr's appointments. Everything became so difficult to face, just small things like answering the phone would fill me with anxiety. O god the headaches! Yes no amount of painkillers can get rid of it. It seemed to linger no matter what I did. I would say it was a good 4-6 weeks before my physical symptoms settled down completely. I've read that many dr's say about 2 weeks but that's rubbish. Hang in there. Hopefully it will calm down. Hopefully your therapy combined with the meds will help you. It takes time, took me the majority of my 20's to get better...for others only a few months, your doing everything you can at the moment. I sympathise with you on the side effects though, the physical side effects alone make you more anxious.x
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  • Posted

    Hi, I have been on 225mg since about 1 December 2014, started on this nasty drug on 1st November, never had a completely side-effect free day (but I tried 3 other SSRIs and the side effects were worse) but still percevered. Its such a worry that so many people (like yourself) have their discontinuation symptoms. There have been a number of posts on how to best taper, you could take a look at: https://patient.info/forums/discuss/withdrawal-success--272762 . Also there was a video diary about a man who had successfully managed to get his wife off venlafaxine (see:http://www.clinical-depression.co.uk/anti-depressants-withdrawal). The tapering plan is a little complicated. If you take slow release capsules, then the tapering is different to if you are taking tablets as with tablets you can break them in half, but with capsules you cannot. At some stage I will get some time to listen to this video diary in full. It is inspiring how this man put in so much dedication and thought to get his wife back to normality and off this poison. Yes, it is a poison, that our bodies try and get used to. My anxiety and depression is very much "up and down", and when I get a bad bout of A&D, then I am "knocked for six" for a couple of days. Venlafaxine does nothing for those days. Anyway, sorry for rambling. I wish you all the success in the world. I will be trying to come off the drug at the end of the year.

    Regards,

    Ricky.

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    • Posted

      So sorry you haven't any success with these tablets or others for that matter, it sounds terrible to say but it is trial and error with these kind of tablets. I tried 2 other anti depressants before Ven without success and with terrible lasting side effects. After years I think GP's and the like need to listen to the patients and not the literature that goes along with the pills because it's clearly unreliable! Ultimately this only deepens your depression and anxiety. The video diary made me cry, what a wonderful man, unfortunately mine are not capsules. I really hope you start to feel yourself sooner rather than later and you finally conquer the medication. Depression and anxiety is a terrible illness Know one should have to suffer.
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  • Posted

    I think so. I'd add another 37.5 for 4 weeks then drop to the 150. You really have to do Ven at a snails pace to minimise Withdrawel. X
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    • Posted

      Hi Elaine92718

      Your absolutely right. I saw my GP today and she has given me 150mg plus 37.5mg. She has instructed that's I take 150mg in the morning and 37.5mg in the late evening around 8-9pm. I think because most of my side effects occur at night. She is calling me next Tuesday to see how this has helped.

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  • Posted

    Hi Leanne.

    Reading your post i thought it was one of mine i'd written a few months ago. Our circumstances are almost the same. I was on 225 and my Doctor advised 150 straight away which is by far to much of a drop. I had similar symptons and went back to 225 and kept away from my Doctor.

    I have been dropping 25 at a time( not exact but near enough) for 3 weeks at a time and am now down to 100 with side effects at all. My headaches are getting better and towards the end of my 3 weeks they come on again. This seems to tell me my body is used to that dose so nows the the time cut down again.

    You're not alone, there are probably 1000's of us around world so try again a little more slowly.

    Ian

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    • Posted

      Hi ian25191

      That's good to know thank you. I will try what the dr has advised and see how I get on, if that fails, then I'm taking your advise. My dad has a tablet cutter so il be reducing my dosage my way, bit by bit.

      It really bugs me that dr's are still not listening. Why are they still telling patients to reduce so dramatically.

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    • Posted

      Hi Leanne.

      As you may have gathered i have no faith in Doctors. I was put on this high dose by a physcarist with no request for a follow up and have a GP who is happy to let me have them on a repeat prescription presumably for ever. They have no real knowledge of the effects and over the the 5 years i have been on have been prescribed 2 diferent drugs for other problems which after my own research found have a severe reaction to venlofaxine.

      So i have found advise from others on here to be more benificial.

      Its a scary thought but they prescribe venlofaxine probably having read about it somewhere.

      One last point. Has anybody had a test for kidney function?.

      Let me know how you're doing Leanne and remember you're not alone.

      Ian

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    • Posted

      Iv had a kidney test with being on the Ven. However I do have a really good GP. Iv been on 150 mg for 10 years. Trying to wean off soon. This really is a powerful medicine. Your GP doesn't sound the best Ian. Not what you need at all. Thank goodness for these kind of forums x
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    • Posted

      Thanks ian. I'm shocked at what you have been through with your Dr? They hand these tablets out without any concern it seems.

      I haven't had a kidney test no. Is this something they should be doing with me being on Ven?

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    • Posted

      Yes thank goodness!! It's these forums that get me through. I sometimes feel more educated on these tablets than the doctors are! Shouldn't be that way. There so powerful they need a warning.
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