Anyone else have these withdrawal probs?

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Hi there, I've read a bunch of forums talking about withdrawal effects but I haven't quite seen anyone talk about a few symptoms I've had. I get the normal flu-like symptoms and brain shivers, but I also have some weird ones. When I go to sleep, I get horrible sleep paralysis. I'll have it, break myself out of it, go back to sleep, and then get it again and so on. I also get this extremely loud ringing in my ears, so loud that I wake up because my ears are in a lot of pain, but this is normally just when I'm trying to fall asleep.

Anyway, the reason I'm actually posting here is because next week I'm going to start "tapering" off Effexor in the loosest sense of the word. I'm currently at 150mg (after a bad experience at 225mg) and my psychiatrist and I decided to switch medicines. (I have a really bad memory and, as we all know Effexor is pretty unforgiving sad). So, his idea of tapering is to cut to 75mg for a week and then go to Cymbalta. I'm not really sure that tapering over a longer period would do anything than make me miserable for a longer period of time, and I don't have the time to taper for months and months. So, any tried and true methods for helping subdue the symptoms or words of advice would be appreciated. :] Luckily, I'm going to spend that first week of withdrawal at the beach. I started taking it because of really bad anxiety (I have depersonalization/derealization disorder and had a very traumatic experience of depersonalizing for about a 3month stretch... yikes) Thanks for reading my ramblings and have a great day!

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  • Posted

    Hi

    The lovely Effexor hay?!!

    I'm doing the same as you and trying to wean off this stuff. I too was on 150mg, and the jump to 75mg overnight was too much for me. I've been a real wuss and I'm doing 10% reduction every two weeks, which is still giving me just about every withdrawal symptom you can imagine. Anyway, you may well be fine going from 150-75 in one hit, but dont lose heart if you find that you need to reduce slower. I've been taking this med for 10 years, so any big jump down knocks me very badly. Regarding your withdrawal symptoms, it is very well talked about just how bad the withdrawal of this stuff is, and the symptoms are vast and varied. Although it does not give me sleep paralysis, I've heard similar stories from other users - the ringing in the ears is very common, sometimes causing a tinnitus type condition. It passes, it's just awful. When you get these ghastly symptoms just keep telling yourself, that you are fine, it is just the pills. The brain receptors and nervous system will be going nuts when the drug is reduced, so all these awful feelings and ailments are perfectly normal and will pass. I wish you all the best in your withdrawal ,please let us know how you get on x 

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    • Posted

      Thanks, it doesn't make you a wuss at all for not being able to handle that! This drug can be pretty brutal with the withdrawal, we'll see how I can handle it. I've never gone  more than two days without it so I'm not quite sure just how bad the symptoms will get. I'm not decreasing to 75mg until next week so I'll keep you posted then! I've been on it for less than two years so hopefully it won't be super horrible...
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    • Posted

      I was on 150mg too.  My doctor told me to take 150mg one day and 75mg the next for three months.  Then over 10 months I gradually reduced, as you say, by 10%, and I did not get any withdrawals at all.  I took it for 9 years.  Stopped once cold turkey, but this time took 10 months.  I have been off it for 18 months now and doing well.  I took anti depressants for 30 years and it is wonderful not to be on them now.  Effexor suited me very well, and I am amazed I can do without.

      Good luck with your weaning. 

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  • Posted

    One thing i know for sure, is to NEVER just stop taking effexor completly.

    You should ween yourself off VERY slowly. I have been on effexor for about 5 years now and i am slowly decreasing my dosages every 4 weeks by 10%. I virtually have no side effects. Since effexor only comes in certain dosages such as 37, 75, 150...... this is how i did it.

    For example from 150 to 75 is waaaay to much of a jump you should only decrease at the most 10% every 4 weeks. I found a compounding pharmacist and he specialized in making the exact dosages that you require. I was on 75mg then i went down to 65, 55, 45, 35 and so on.

    To me this is the ONLY way of doing it right with little side effects. The taking out beads in the capsules is the WORST think you can do because the pharmacist told me that not 1 bead is the same in the capsules, this is like yo yo ing with your brain/nerves. Never do this. Another bad thing is to take 1 capsule one day and not the next, again this is like yo yo ing with your brain/nerves, you will get really bad side effects with these 2 methods. Honestly doctors have no clue what we go thru coming off of these so i did my own extensive research and found out the best way that worked for me. I am not saying you won't get any side effects cause you will, but i was still able to go to work every day and function with my normal daily routine. Hope this helps someone. One more thing, to find a 'Compounding Pharmacist in your location, type in key words in to google like "componding pharmacist' with your state and city.

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    • Posted

      Venlafaxine generic comes in lower dose pills, and that way I cut them up into smaller and smaller doses over many months.  I had no withdrawals at all.  It is the capsules that only go to 37.5mg but the pills come in lower dosages.    Wonderful that you found someone who could make the lower doses for you.  I just cut the pills with a pill cutter, and did it that way.  You are right, never take one one day and not the next.  Our bodies would not know what was happening to it!!!

      Like you, my do9ctor helped me initially, and then could not take me any further with the withdrawals and I worked out my own method to reduce.  I am not sure here in the UK we have compounding pharmacists, and I don't know who lives in UK on this forum. 

      Well done for stopping like me.

      Take care

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    • Posted

      I just saw your post about using a compounding pharmacy to create lower dose capsules of Effexor for withdrawal purposes.

      I've only reduced my 150mg dose by 10% and am experiencing headaches, dry mouth, etc. just from 10%. What I don't quite understand

      though is how your compounding pharmacist who said  "not one

      bead is the same in the capsule"  (which is true) can reduce your dosage

      using the capsule beads as the reason for the difference sizes is

      some of the beads are just filler. How does he know which is the med

      and which is the filler?

      That would help me alot if you happen to know the answer as I can't seem to find a compounding pharmacist around here that will do that.

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Julie,

      Im not sure that u will see this as it was 9 mths ago u posted on the forum. I am on venlafaxine immediate release tablets, i reduced from 112.5mg to 75mg as advised by my doctor which i now know to be too big a jump. I have been on 75mg for over a month now and am hoping to start reducing by 10% in the near future.

      My question is this, the lowest dose of my tablet is 37.5mg, im in the UK so im not sure if i can access a compounding pharmacist, so makes doing the 10% reduction pretty impossible and i dont want to withdraw quickly. Any ideas? (I know there is a site that can tell u how to turn ur tablet into a liquid but im not keen on that idea either-worried about not getting doses right!!)

      Would be great if i heard from you.

      Angela

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  • Posted

    I know what you mean with not dragging the process out. IV been on efexor for 10 years. On 150 mg per day. Not sure how I will feel reducing. Can I ask why you are swapping? X
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    • Posted

      Yep, I can't stand thinking about feeling that way for any longer than I have to. Hopefully if you need to reduce, you'll be able to do it a little less abruptly than I am. I'm swapping because of a mixture of things. Effexor isn't really helping me anymore, and the higher dose didn't do anything except give me more side effects. It's also bad that I forget to take it very easily since here, we all know how brutal that is. So hopefully I can try something new, because I definitely still need a medicine currently along with my therapy. Are you yourself reducing the dosage? thanks
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    • Posted

      I'm thinking about reducing it. I will probably see my GP and ask about some advice. I do still need something for depression though. I just can't seem to loose any weight taking this after ten years. Eating healthy and going gym but doesn't seem be helping
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    • Posted

      Hi Elaine,

      Thought I'd reach out to you, as I know all about this drug and lack of weight loss. In fact I think my weight adds to my depression! Since taking these meds I've put on 2 stone, and believe me when I say I have tried everything to lose weight. In the last year I've been seeing a personal trainer 3 times a week and I've totally revised my diet for the better. I've not lost one pound. Numerous times I went to my GP's telling them that I was convinced that these pills were either making me gain weight, or that they were preventing me from losing it. The Doctor's always responsed that this would not be possible and that I just needed to eat less! I knew this was crap, as I literally could not eat any less than I was at times. Eventually, I put my question to a shrink who confirmed that venlafaxine does indeed effect the metabolism. Eureka! I also think that it disrupts the gut bacteria which doesn't help - but that's just my opinion. It's one of the reasons I want to come off this stuff. I dont know which of them do not add weight to you I'm afraid, and the GP's certainly have no clue. Anyway, I just wanted to assure you that it's not you, it is the pills making your weight loss so difficult. I feel your pain x  

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    • Posted

      After 30 years I have come off anti depressants.  I was on 150mg Effexor for 9 years.  My doctor wanted to see if I could do without as I am elderly, and better for me not to be on medication.  I am not on any prescribed medication at all now. 

      It took me 10 months to withdraw and I had no withdrawals at all as I reduced very slowly a little at a time.  You can do it and not have any withdrawals, just take your time. 

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  • Posted

    It is up to you whether you stop quickly or take your time.  As you are having a lazy time on the beach, you hopefully can deal with the withdrawals.  If you think you can deal with the withdrawals, then perhaps as you say, it would be easier for you.  You already know what the withdrawals feel like.

    If you are really miserable on Effexor, and cannot bear to be on it any longer, then I think you have made your own mind up.  I don't know what you mean about Effexor being pretty unforgiving.  We all react differently to anti depressants.  I did very well on 150mg Effexor.  I took my time withdrawing and had no withdrawals at all.  I have stopped it cold turkey once before.  I was pretty bad for two weeks, and OK after that.  So you go and have a lovely time on the beach, and I do hope you don't feel too bad. 

    some people here have taken other things when withdrawing to help.  I have always taken supplements, whilst on anti depressants, and now still take them, although I stopped Venlafaxine 18 months ago. 

    Let us know how you get on

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  • Posted

    Hey guys, I'm on about day 2.5 of the half dose. My beach plans got cancelled because my friend I was going with unfortunately is very ill with an aggressive kidney infection sad I get waves of the flu-like symptoms--they come and go every couple of hours. Symptoms so far otherwise are sweating, magnified emotions (it feels like my emotional responses to everything are twice as strong as normal!), joint pain, restlessness, and the occasional muscle spasm. Thankfully no brain shivers or electrical zaps. It's actually manageable so far, I'm pretty surprised. I'm worried about what'll happen when I come completely off it, but maybe going on Cymbalta will help with some of the symptoms x(
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    • Posted

      Glad things are not too bad.  Shame about the beach holiday.  Sorry about your friend and hope feels better soon.

      Good you are not getting the brain zaps as very unsettling.  Sounds like it will soon be over.  Well done and I do hope the Cymbalta helps with your depression

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