Coming off Venlafaxine - are these side effects normal?

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So I've been on this hell that is Venlafaxine for about two years (with no success and much side effect induced pain) and I'm FINALLY off it. My psychiatrist made up this schedule of coming off it (slowly going down in milligrams) and I've now been off it for 5 days. I’ve LITERALLY had a non stop headache since. If I move my eyes very quickly at all I spin out and sometimes it even causes my brain to feel like its moving (like when you spin around heaps  and then stop and suddenly your brain like slooshes bc inertia or something???). I’ve also been getting random heart palpitations (like when it randomly gets SUPER fast for a few seconds and you can feel it beating out of your chest). I haven’t really bothered with glasses recently because just this stuff makes me feel so dizzy ALL the time its ridiculous. 

I’m finding that light and sound stimulation makes things worse sometimes, especially when I’m driving. The car lights and traffic lights often become super blurry and unfocused and move around everywhere. It is really quite dangerous and terrifying however I’ve done heaps of driving lately because I;ve had to be in lots of obscure places. (note: I have only been on my red p's for about two weeks so i'm VERY new to driving alone, making this all the more dangerous)

Nausea is constant and terrible and I’ve had symptoms common to stomach bug type things constantly. Like. SO much and constantly. Need I say more?

My moods has been the worst ever. I keep having INTENSE mood swings (like feeling really hopeless one moment and then spontaneously bursting into a fit of giggles the next for  no apparent reason). If i was an actress it would be great because I can cry at the drop of a hat.

Because of the sickness, i haven’t been to pole dancing or done ANY physical activity in over a week. Should I push myself to do it or just rest and recover? Especially because a lot of pole dancing obviously requires heaps of spinning around which probably wouldn't be good for my already dizzy state.

I'm seeing my psych in two days and hopefully getting onto a new type of medication then (which I hope will fix all of this) but I'm wondering if all of these effects are the norm for this kind of thing? From what I've read, some of it is but there are some things I'm not sure about.

I'm just in so much discomfort and going to work is exhausting (especially because I can't tell them the real reason i'm sick and need a god damn break from all the stress and responsibility I'm under) and I seriously cannot live with this for much longer.

Please help.sad

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  • Posted

    Hi, I just wanted to say that I've experienced headaches, the brain thing (kind of an electric shock to the brain it feels for me), nausea and heart palpitations. I don't know how high a dose you were on but it is important to reduce it as slowly as possible and often GPs don't appreciate how awful you feel from withdrawal and tell you it's ok to reduce it much faster than it actually is. For me I've had bad withdrawals just from reducing my dosage and I've not been able to get off completely yet.

    If you are going onto a new antidepressant that should hopefully alleviate the symptoms but definitely tell your psych that you've had problems coming off. ?Hope you feel better soon

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  • Posted

    Hi Hun. I'm from the US and just want to say that what you are going though, I went through. It is temporary, but very difficult. I recommend no driving for the next few days.  What US patients say is take some Benedryl (diphenhydramime), the over the counter allergy medication,  for the vertigo/dizziness/brain shock, and nausea.  Also Valium (diazapam), a prescribed benzodiazapine, work really well for the symptoms you are describing. I found them to be very helpful! Also, are you going onto anyother antidepressant? The moodiness will pas if it is only an effect of the withdrawal syndrome. If moodiness is part of your depression or bipolar disorder, then it will need to be addressed by your psychiatrist.
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    • Posted

      Thank you so much. I've now gone onto another type of medication (I can't remember the name) and I'm feeling A LOT better. I will keep this in mind though for any friends that may need to go through it. The moodiness is definietly part of the illness but hopefully that will be sorted soon
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  • Posted

    Hi Hun. I'm from the US and just want to say that what you are going though, I went through. It is temporary, but very difficult. I recommend no driving for the next few days.  What US patients say is take some Benedryl (diphenhydramime), the over the counter allergy medication,  for the vertigo/dizziness/brain shock, and nausea.  Also Valium (diazapam), a prescribed benzodiazapine, work really well for the symptoms you are describing. I found them to be very helpful! Also, are you going onto anyother antidepressant? The moodiness will pas if it is only an effect of the withdrawal syndrome. If moodiness is part of your depression or bipolar disorder, then it will need to be addressed by your psychiatrist.
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  • Posted

    It took me 10 months to withdraw from 150mg Effexor and that way I got no withdrawals at all.  Take your time doing it.  You will not experience any withdrawals if you take it slowly like I did.  Most people who complain of withdrawals are doing it too fast.  Unfortunately doctors and psychiatrists have not experienced it themselves, so many encourage people to do it too fast. 

    At each small reduction stay on that until you stabilise.  Do the withdrawal in tiny amounts.  Don't just drop from one dose to another in a short time.  I had to go from brand Effexor to generic tablets so I could cut them into smaller and smaller amounts.  That way I stayed at each stage for weeks, and in the end was taking a few crumbs on a finger tip.  It worked, it really did.  I am a small old lady, and if I can do it, believe me you can too.

    Good luck.  As you are going onto another medication hopefully you will be OK.

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much. I've now gone onto another type of medication (I can't remember the name) and I'm feeling A LOT better. I will keep this in mind though for any friends that may need to go through it.  I was on 150mg too and my psych made me come off it in 6 days.... NO WONDER I WAS FEELING SO BAD.
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