brain numbness venlafaxine

Posted , 5 users are following.

I started 6 years ago on venlafaxine and over the last two years i have tapered myself down to 37.5mg daily. I was doing very well it was almost unbelievable.

I was having lots of heart palpatations and felt that it was due to the nasty side effects of the medication. I paid privatley to see a cardiologist out of desperation as the heart palpatations would get so bad. This low dose makes me feel so rotten I cut it down a little bit more. Eventually I stopped for 3 days but got scared as i was going on a trip to thailand that i took the medication again and thought i will just come off it when i get back.

I ended up with brain numbness to the right side and everything looked different. My body felt like heavy and tired and couldnt move much but i had a whirlwind of anxiety whirling around my dead body. I managed to get myself to thailand for my holiday but spent the whole time unable to breathe due to humidity and high anxiety.

I come home to england and felt panicky about my heart and breathing.

i went back to work again for the first time yesterday and i couldnt think straight again. now im unable to work and in despair to the point of googling ways to end my life. the doctor has suggested we up my venlafaxine to twice daily as it might be that my brain needs more of the hormones.

im petrified that i have damage to the receptors or something along thise lines and im stuck in this debilitating state. ive been thinking about switching to sertraline but im in such a bad way the doctor said its safest to give my the chemicals through a tablet im used to taking. 

my biggest fear is this brain numbness and everything looking surreal. i dont feel like myself at all. im petrified that i wont return to a normal state.

its nothing like the brain zaps but more a consistent state of brain numbness/fog. 

has anyone else experienced this? i would appreciate any re assurance that this will pass as i feel stuck in this state.

Thanks in advance to anyone that replies... smile


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15 Replies

  • Posted

    Sometimes the receptors get so used to dosages of venlafaxine that the only thing one can due to feel some degree of comfort in the brain is to just keep taking the meds.  Venlafaxine is nasty stuff to come down from or taper off of.  If you need to go back on an snri than perhaps your dr is correct in suggesting upping the venlafaxine.  Can it make you feel any worsse than you do now?
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    • Posted

      hi jim thank you for replying. 

      do you think this level of brain numbness and bad state can happen even when i have tapered very very slowly over 2 years.

      i think because i was doing so well i thought the venflaxine was causing the numbness. this feeling is far worse than anything i have experienced. my head feels so unwell. i just cant see myself getting through it. i dont have the energy. i have tapered so slowly and quit smoking drinking and even sugar at one point and now im worst off than i have ever been. 

      i will take the venlafaxine again to try and subside these symptoms. fingers crossed it will work.

      have you had velafaxine before?

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    • Posted

      I've been on it for years.  I started to feel the numbness about a year ago.  I haven't come off it.  I don't know how i'll be if i try to come off it..
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  • Posted

    hi DaisyLove sorry to hear your having a horrid time with ven ,I do have the same numbness as you and the palpitations ,I tried to come off ven in March this year to go on to mirtazipine I actually thought I was dying I had no strength in my body I was hot very very weak crying ,anxiety levals through the roof .i was on slow release 325 mg changing over to mirt in five days it was horrendous doc put me back on 75mg ven but not slow release I am a lot better now and I also feel like you that it's here to stay. I am praying and trusting God that I can get well with his help tablets after 25 years of having them is not the answer I think. I hope this helps
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    • Posted

      can i ask is the numbness like a sensation to a certain part of the brain that makes you feel weird. like mine is on the right side of the brain and i cant think straight. 

      i really think your doctor shouldnt have tapered you off ven like that. its took me 2 years to taper down from 150mg per day to 37.5mg perday. its has to be done very slowly.

      does your brain feel like mine? i have this sensation to the right side of my head and i feel ill with it. its like there is some neurologically wrong sad i feel so scared and that the doctors arent going to look at it because i have an anxiety condition.

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  • Posted

    Hi DaisyLove yes it's more of a fuzzyness that goes all over the head and sometimes it makes a bit light headed  I think you are having lots of side effects of ven it does cause me to be not quite well some days but if I get interested in things that I am doing in the day I forget it so you must try to fill your days with things to do a lot of the time I think I and you think to much on what's wcrong instead of getting out and about I hope the last bit hasn't,t upst you. I also thijnk if you did have something wrong going on it would have been found so please please try to calm yourself by what works for you.i don't think there is anything serious going on anxiety depression and panic attacks are horrid at. The best of times more so when they are bad I wishhand pray that God will bless you x
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    • Posted

      I've had that before too all the fuzzy head but this is different. It's like it starts off with a numbness which then goes into a burning pressure sensation and all my body feels like it can't do anything. I feel like a cabbage but I'm aware of what's going off. I'm so scared that it could be a condition. I've never experienced anything like this before. It's extreme! I want to go back to my old big standard anxiety health issues. I feel like I'm not functioning and I've got ringing in my ears and my body isn't working.
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  • Posted

    Hi DaisyLove I know what you mean I feel numb myself but more when something come on teleand it's bad I feel like I am not feeling what I should do like shock etcbut I willsym I have buzzing in my ears everyday that's a nuisance I hope you, get well soon and feel better don,t keep worrying just take one day at a time and I am sure the time will come when you feel better. Na nite God bless x
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  • Posted

    Some of this numbness garbage is like anhedonia, an inability to enjoy or experience and feelings or pleasure in anything or people.  

    This is the hardest thing to get rid of./

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  • Posted

    Hello, you are having a horrible time and I really sympathise. I have a couple of suggestions to make which might help :

    1 ) You have some worrying physical symptoms which need to be checked out. Yes, they may be made worse by anxiety but that doesn't mean they should be ignored altogether. I think you should go back to the doctor and ask for further help / investigation / support / advice ..... However BEFORE YOU GO write down a list of all the symptoms that occur and everything that worries you. Take it with you and refer to it. If you're anything like me, anxiety strikes when talking to a doctor because it's so important to say what I want to say, but that then makes me scatty and not come across well. If I have the important things written down it helps me so much to stay on track and not forget anything important. In my experience, doctors then listen better and are more willing to refer you or at least actively address the symptoms, rather than writing them off as part of the anxiety.

    Take courage.

    Anyway, even if all this does stem from anxiety and venlafaxine withdrawal, that doesn't make it any easier to deal with and, as a customer of the NHS you are entitled to help and treatment!

    2) Take some supplements. I have discovered that, for me, in order to get off venlafaxine and push through the withdrawal symptoms, I had to find natural ways to promote seratonin production, to replace what had been provided by the venlafaxine. My doctor mentioned that withdrawal is worse for people who are naturally low in seratonin, so I went away and did some research. Currently I am taking very good quality multivitamin, zinc and magnesium tablets, a high dose of fish oils, extra vitamin B and D, and a product called 5-HTP from Holland and Barrett. I have been completely off venlafaxine for a month and feel great.

    I also completely endorse one of the previous replies about the power of prayer. God is there and He cares.

    All the best to you. There is hope. There is life. Don't give up.

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    • Posted

      Hi Kate

      Thanks so much for replying to me.

      I got all the vitamins to come off naturally and this happened a couple of weeks ago when I tried the vitamins all the same as you and came off venlafaxine for a few days and then thought I will go to Thailand and come off the medication when I get back. But then I've come home and had the same problem happen to me again and I thought that this brain episode was due to a chemical reaction with the vitamins but now I just think more and more it's the venlafaxine. But it's so bad now that I think I need the tablets again just to try and get stable.i don't feel like myself at all. All my sensations seem weird. I just need to know that it's going to be ok. I don't know how long I can put up with this. Im in the worst way I have ever been in my 10 years battling with anxiety. In stuck in this very scary state and I just don't see that I can come back from this. I think my brain function is damaged. I don't know whether I should be having more venlafaxine or not. I don't know how I will recover from this. I sound so dramatic but I feel desperate beyond belief.

      I'm going to write down all my symptoms now for the doctor.

      Thanks so much x

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    • Posted

      Tell the doctor exactly what you've just said, right there, along with the symptoms you detailed earlier. And don't leave until you get some help!

      Please know that you are not alone and there IS hope and help out there for you.

      Thinking about you. xx

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  • Posted

    Hi DaisyLove,

    Are you still taking 37.5mg and did the side effects get worse after you tapered down??

    I am a senior citizen and have been suffering on and off from depression for about 15 years.. The last 3 years haven't been good at all.

     5 weeks agoI went from 75mg slow release capsule to 37.5mg.  I've always thought that this drug wasn't right for me as I had really bad side effects and my highest dose was 112.50mgs, higher and I couldn't function. I was in a mh clinic at the time so had some support. I was started on venlafaxine 2 years ago after several years on citalopram for clinical depression and GAD...

    I seem to be getting worse, each day is a struggle to get through...I often wish it was all over...

    I suppose it is the anxiety, one of my biggest problems, though i don't know what i have to be anxious about. I am always tense and have palpitations, tight chest pain and a numb/pins and needles/ nettle feeling in my face and neck. I also sweat alot, especially at night...things get a bit better later in the  evening but are there when I wake in the morning.

    Could this be caused by the withdrawal from venlafaxine? I have read so many forum posts and it certainly is an awful drug...

    any advice would be appreciated. My psyc. doc wants me to try Lyrica but I am too scared to stop the venlafaxine and start a new medication. I live alone and know that I couldn't cope with withdrawal and new side effects...

    take care all,



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    • Posted

      Hi S

      Well from what I've researched venlafaxine works best at a higher dose. 37.5 won't have any therapeutic effect but still has to be tapered down very slowly. It does make you sweat a lot and I had a lot of heart palps too. I think there's more side effects at lower dose too.

      It is the most difficult drug to come off and it's not an easy ride but I am finally off it and on sertraline. Im taking 5mg diazepam x3 daily and a zopiclone at night to help me sleep because the anxiety levels are sky high.

      It's not impossible to come off but you need support. Do everything you can with nutrition and fresh air to stay as well as possible.

      I've not heard of lyrica so can't give any advice on that.

      I know how hard it is to take that leap of faith. Everyone reacts differently. I had to go to hospital a couple of times with the problems I'm having.

      I think if you know that the venlafaxine is not for you then you need to move on and try something else. If it gets too difficult make sure you shout out to all health professionals and get the support you need.

      Have faith and I wish you all the best xxx

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    • Posted

      Also if you are alone and can't cope there are mental health workers at hospitals and you can go to your gp as much as you need to. I know how scary it is. Don't be afraid to get the help you need xxx
      Report / Delete Reply

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