Advice please - coming off 37.5mg Venlafaxine / Effexor

Posted , 35 users are following.

Hi all, 

I have been on Venlafaxine for about 9 years for anxiety and panic disorder. I was only ever on 75mg but it was the only thing that help stabalise my mental health. When I was pregnant 6 years ago I tapered to 37.5mg p/day which was horrible and when i was pregant again 4 years ago, I didn't change it. 

I have been feeling for the last couple of years much less anxious and more able to cope with things, therefore I've been wanting to come off these for a while. I noticed that if I missed a dose I would really suffer for it the next day, causing panic if I had run out or something. Anyway, things in my life are positive and I feel now is a good time to try and get off completely. 

Thing is, I have been halving my 37.5mg pills for a few weeks and that's been good, but I can't do less than that without horrendous side effects. I don't want to go back to the anxiety I experienced in the first place but I don't want to stay on hese forever either. 

I have tried a half pill one day and a quater pill the next for a week and just don't feel myself (dizzy, foggy brain, anxious, angry easily, nauseous etc.). I don't get capsules so can;t take"beads" out so I have to snap the pills in estimated halves/quarters. I felt so bad this morning I took the other quarter from last night. 

Docs keep saying "you're on such a low dose, just take one every other day and you'll be fine" but it's really hard even on such a low dose. 

Any advice greatly appreciated - I am weary of "bridging witg prozac" because I don't want to swap one drug to another. I am happy to try vegetarian diet, or detailed weaning plans, etc. 

Thanks in advance

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  • Posted

    I don't think it matters what the dosage is, there's always going to be withdrawals, I was on 75mg a day too, I've been off them for nearly 2 weeks now. The withdrawals have been bad but I just wanted off them so much that I've persevered. Have u tried taking omega 3 fish oil? That's supposed to help with the brain zaps, I've also heard that antihistamines are supposed to help with the withdrawal symptoms. 
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    • Posted

      I could try the Omega3 and I've also heard that 5-HTP is good? I'm just not comfortable in myself physically and mentally anymore which was the whole reason I decided to start weaning off in the first place!

      Has anything been helping you & how did you come off from 75mg?

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    • Posted

      Brain zaps are hard to describe, it kinda feels like an electric shock to the head, common withdrawal symptom when coming off any of this type of medication 
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    • Posted

      To be honest I've just kinda got on with it lol, I decided to come off them as it just made me fill ill all the time, I had constant headaches, no energy and just felt yucky in general. For the first 3 days i pretty much slept, I've been taking multi vitamins and omega 3, but not sure if they are hek
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    • Posted

      Sorry pressed reply button by mistake!! Yeah I'm not sure if the vitamins and omega are helping or if it's just getting better day by day. I was going to cut down to 37.5 a day but I missed a couple of doses as I was sleeping so much, so just decided to go cold turkey!
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    • Posted

      Well done! I missed 2 doses whilst away over the weekend, thought why not cold-turkey, and by the end of day 2 I was sofa-bound and just not functioning properly which is hard to cope with (I have a 3 and 5 year old) so I gave up on cold turkey, but still haven't been myself since. I don;t want to rush it in case it sends me backwards, but I'm impatient and don't want weeks of withdrawals! 
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    • Posted

      I think it's gonna be different for everyone according to circumstances, my kids are 17 and 18 so they can look after themselves, I'm lucky that I can sleep or lie in bed or on sofa and get through it without having to look after anybody but myself! It's obviously gonna be a million times harder with having small children who rely on u and don't understand. I definitely wouldn't recommend changing to Prozac as I had the same withdrawal coming off that. I know everyone is different but if it helps I was on citalopram a few years ago and I had no withdrawal whatsoever coming off that, I again missed a couple of doses and just never went back to it. Might be worth speaking to ur doc about changing to something with less withdrawal symptoms?
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    • Posted

      Zaps are like quick electric charges through your head.  Very weird.  I got them when I stopped cold turkey.  This time I withdrew really slowly and got no withdrawals at all, including brain zaps.
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    • Posted

      Yes I agree, I've also been pill free for 2 weeks and the side effects were pretty awful but taking omega 3 and vitamin B complex really, really helped.

      I

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    • Posted

      I know it's been awhile since you posted but I've been trying to get off Effexor 37.5 milligram for a month now I've been taking one and then I tried every other day but it's affecting my equilibrium and my heart rate. I do get the brain zaps all the time when I don't take it. I just tried your idea about omega-3 thank God I had some in the cupboard. I was going to try HTP 5 but I don't feel like driving. anyway I just want to thank you for the info on the Omega threes I never knew that let's see what happens.

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    • Posted

      I was having terrible brain waves or zaps today and after reading Gilly Bean's post went and took some Omega-3 and it helped 85% I was also having all last week heart palpitations. I couldn't get up and walk 10 feet without heavy breathing and heart palpitating. Omegas helped with that too. Today is Sunday and the last Effexor I took was Friday night.

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  • Posted

    Hi Daniobentley,

    It isn't something you can do fast I have found out and even though 37 mg sounds very low, it can make us dependent on it.  As I have stated before I have been on finally 37 mg now for a couple of weeks and doing the every other day and will be done with them this week.  I'm hoping I can be done now but no guarantee of it.  I might still have to get a few more of them to get me through it.  Wishing you the best with this problem.

     

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    • Posted

      Very difficult to stop at 37.5mg and not get withdrawels.  You have to go down lower and lower, and I did this by cutting up pills with a pill cutter. 
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