Coming off venalfaxine

Posted , 5 users are following.

Hi everyone

I have been on antidepressants for the last 30 years they never really helped me the last one was venalfaxin. Recently I wondered if the drugs were doing more harm than good as I have got steadily more depressed and anxious over the years to the point where I became like a zombie and just couldn't do anything anymore. All I could do was sleep and was at the point where I just wanted to die to be honest. 3 weeks ago I thought I wonder what would happen if I came off my meds so I started to taper off. I am now down to less than half my dose and I can't believe how much better I am, I have gone back to work, am taking an interest in life, I have my confidence back and am full of energy now. What made me to decide to come off my meds was a book I read called your medication may be your problem and there was a lot of case history story's in the book where people had been on antidepressants for a long period of time and then came off them and there simptoms seemed to subside. So anyway I'm going to get right off the meds now and see how it goes for me. If you are taking antidepressants and they work for you then that's all well and good but as for me they don't help but make me even more ill so I have nothing to lose by coming off them. Please note that if you decide to come off your meds please have a word with you GP and don't just stop taking them as you will have to taper of and stopping abruptly can be very dangerous

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    Thirty years? No clinician discussion? No further diagnosis? It seems to me highly likely that you should never have been on any anti-depressant. I don't doubt you had a problem but the diagnosis was suspect.
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    • Posted

      I think you are right as when I first went to my GP 30 years ago I had a lot of problems going on, but instead of dealing with it I just wanted to block it all out and that's why I asked to on antidepressants. That's why they didn't work for me I reckon. It's taken a very long time for me to realise this and also the doctors convinced me that I had a chemical imbalance and needed to have the pills and that is why I have been on them for so long. It's been very confusing as I have felt so ill for a long time and been to the docs so many times over the years, the docs keeped changing my meds or increasing the disease because I said that the meds were not working but now I know that it was the meds that were making me ill. It's such a shame because I have lost 30 years if my life because if this. I would say that I have been let down by the nhs and I feel very bitter about it. I feel like claiming for compensation but the thing is it was me that asked to go on antidepressants in the first place so I'm to blame really

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  • Posted

    That talk of chemical imbalance is hugely suspect. They do not talk in such language today. However you have been feeding chemicals into your system for so long that there must have been some long term impact. Giving them up may well cause other problems and you need to be aware of this and be able to distinguish between that and anything not due to the meds.

    Venlafaxine on its own is not difficult to stop taking but I suggest doing so by steadily reducing the dosage. Tablet every other day, once in three days and even breaking each tablet in half (depends upon which supplier issues yours).

    When you finish taking them altogether be very aware of and ready for some reaction. This may not appear immediately so seek help from somebody close to you who can warn of any change in your attitude. Good luck.

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  • Posted

    Hi Michael. Firstly I think it's great that you feel able to come off venalfaxin. I juest want to make a couple of points. I think the fact that people are on SSRIs and SNRIs for years highlight the deficiency in the approach to depression. My opinion (not based on any evidence) is that if your life changes and everything becomes more balanced, taking medication long term is pointless - and coming off them will remove the side effects. One effect that I believe is that these meds can dull emotions - so maybe you are able to experience emotions now to the full. Long term use on one particular medication can stop working (don't think anyone knows why) - hence some people need to change meds or have something added to augment the effect. I made a few post highlighting the fact that depression medication is not a long term answer to this illness but will always be part of the solutions. The problem is not seeking life changes and using methods such as CBT so that a person has the ability to come off.

    I think we need to consider an example of a person who last lost the will to live, can hardly get out of bed - but after 4 weeks on Effexor is able to function again. The range of meds is still quite poor and I hope in the next decade the drug companies find a better angle/understanding leading to better drugs. For now, any GP or psychiatrist will most likely say that Effexor is top of their list, particularly as a second line choice. I made a post recently where a psychiatrist I went to see said that Effexor was top of her list, and augmented with a small dose of a different anti depressant made a huge difference to some people.

    It's great to hear that someone is able to come off meds and experiences benefits. However, I think the web is full of people who say you are actually worse off on ADs. This is not true - and is a dangerous step to take without (as you say) consulting your doctor and making sure you are strong enough to make that step.

    I've been of Effexor before. One of the more tricky ones to come off. They normall come in capsules - if opened there are a number of small balls. A fiddly but effective way to taper off is to reduce one ball at a time. Coming off any anti depressant is straight forward providing reductions are very small and you leave sufficient time between each adjustment for your body to adjust (say 4/5 days)

    All the best and pleased for you that you are going to live a med free life.

     

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    • Posted

      Hi David. I agree with most of what you say, but the speed of dose reduction you are suggesting is way too fast (personal experience and medical knowledge). You should aim to come off over months, not weeks, particularly if you have been on them long-term.
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    • Posted

      Hi Jo

      I think everyone is different in how and the speed they come off drugs. The above worked for me but if that is too fast for some they need to leave longer in between each small reduction. The important thing is that no one should suffer unduly while coming off these drugs. Working closely with your GP is a good idea in managing the withdrawal.

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  • Posted

    I've been on Venlafaxine for a good few years now, I hate them! If i even forget one day I feel awful, i get only what I can describe as electric shock type pains in my head and all sorts!

    I really can't see me ever coming off them sad

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