Coming off Venlafaxine XL

Posted , 7 users are following.

Hi

I've been on this drug for 10 years at 75mg, more recently 150mg.

I've always known that coming off these is a nightmare, as even if I was late with a dose I would feel unwell, zaps in the head, tired, sick, you name it!

I've decided I want to come off altogether (for a variety of reasons) and I thought I'd share my progress as I go along.

Despite my GP suggesting that I just drop from 150 to 75mg in one hit, I have decided to do it really slowly and cautiously to avoid withdrawal symptoms. I went from 150 - 130mg (1 x 75, 1 x 37.5 and half a 37.5) to get to around the 130 mg mark. This was 6 days ago.

Even with this slight decrease I have noticed the withdrawal.

I'm determined to stick with it, and stabilise, until these symptoms wear off - then I'll be reducing down to 112 mg.

It'd be great to hear of your attempts/success stories and/or your experience on this drug.

Thanks for reading x  

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  • Edited

    Hi, I was on venlafaxine for 2 and a half years, 75mg. I decided to stop as I had become a complete zombie and wasn't exactly "happy" on them. They also made me gain 2 stone in weight! My GP advised me that i wasn't ready to come off them so I decided to just stop cold turkey.

    I did this for my own reasons as well as having a boyfriend that told me I was weak for taking them in the first place (always helpful).

    Withdrawal was hell. 3 straight weeks of nausea, dizziness, head zaps every time I moved my head or so much as blinked! Light sensitivity, sound sensitivity, snappy as hell and total loss of appetite. It was horrendous but I believed it would be over soon so stuck with it. It was constantly horrible for about 3 weeks then gradually the withdrawal symptoms lessened.

    My weight loss was extreme but I think this is only because the venlafaxine was sustaining an abnormal weight gain for me. My brain is now fully functioning as it used to. This is not necessarily a good thing as I am anxiety ridden and rather depressed, BUT, I feel like I am awake at least.

    I wouldn't suggest anybody go cold turkey as I did as the withdrawal is something else, really it is. But for me, I just wanted it over with.

    I think slowly tapering off the meds is the best way to go. Expect the zaps and nausea etc and just bear with it till it's over. It will end eventually 😊

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    • Edited

      Thanks for sharing, Bird.

      I know all the symptoms you have described. I think unless you've had them, they're very hard to describe. It's what I would imagine heroin withdrawal to be like! (Sure not so)....

      I know what you mean about the weight gain. I am convinced that this drug has made it impossible for me to lose weight - and I pile on weight very easily. One of the reasons I want to get off the stuff.

      Well done for getting off it and thanks for your motivating words x

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    • Posted

      i know its been a long time but have just decided to come off this drug for the same reason you did i was hoping you could tell me how it went for you?

      thanks in advance

      soph

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  • Posted

    Hi Helen, I've not been on this drug or even heard of it, but it sounds like you're doing really well and sticking to your plan. Withdrawal is always going to be tough whatever you're taking, I suggest your lean on your health care professionals and follow their advice. Talk to them and tell them of your concerns, they will reassure you. Keep going Helen! all the best of luck to you! xx
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    • Posted

      Thank you Sarah!

      You may know the med by it's parent name 'Effexor'.

      You're right, anything that has been in my system for 10 years is going to be tough to come off, hence why I'm going really slow.

      xx 

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    • Posted

      I will look it up for you Helen! I recall coming off Risperdal in 2006-7 and feeling awful! very similar symptoms to the ones you describe. May I ask why you are stopping the meds? I came off Risperdal when I wasn't ready and without medical support (naughty me!). I'm sure you will get over these symptoms soon. I did find drinking flat (non-fizzy) Pepsi helped me with the nausia. 10 years is a long time, so it's normal to expect withdrawal. xx
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    • Posted

      Hi Sarah,

      If I'm honest, my main reason for coming off is wanting to get back in control of my weight. I'd also like to have a baby some time soon, so would have to wean off these meds anyway. Overall health reasons really xxxx

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    • Posted

      Yes, I understand. came off abilify just before I discovered I was pregnant! Now have a healthy daughter - but was stressed out during pregnancy and unwell due to doing it without docs advice/support etc. Very ill postnatally and only just back on meds now 2 years later!There are meds you can take safely during pregnancy and brestfeeding. Please just lean on your doc/midwives etc as I wish I had! I understand Sertraline is one of them - but check! Good luck and eat well, excersise and chill my love! Good luck with baby times
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  • Posted

    Helen, I've had a quick look and Venlafaxine is difficult to withdraw from for most it seems - so you're not alone! some say very slight and gradual reduction will ease withdrawal, and someone recommended vitimin C. I personally would forget the Pepsi idea of mine! try freshly squeezed orange juice diluted in a bit of water to boost sugar levels and ease nauseousness. It should give you a bit more energy as well. Also rest and get a little fresh air each day - worked with me a Risperdal withdrawal! ;-) xx
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  • Posted

    I withdrew from 150mg daily over 10 months and had no withdrawals.  I had done it quickly once before, and know what it can feel like to do it too quickly.  SLOWLY and you will be fine.  No don't drop like your doctor said.  My GP was really good.  It was she that suggested I try and stop, and I did, without any withdrawals. 

    yes stick with it.  Do it really slowly.  You are doing well.  As I say, took me 10 months, but 18 months later I am doing well, and am am pleased you are doing well too.  Well done.  If you feel strange, stick with that dose until things subside and you will be fine, honestly.  Mine is a success story.  I was determined and I took my time.  Decrease by very small increments.  You will get there even if it takes you months, like me.

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    • Posted

      Hello Helen.  I was on Effexor for 9 years.  In the final months I had to go on generic as it comes in tablet form, not capsules.  I bought a pill cutter on line, and gradually cut the pills into smaller and smaller doses.  At the end I was taking crumbs on my finger tip!!

      I put on 3 stone whilst on Effexor.  I lost all that weight very quickly once I stopped it.  I have not put any weight back on. 

      I was on anti depressants for 30 years, and am now in my 70s.  I am not a strong person so am really pleased that after all these years I am not on any prescribed medication at all.

      I take supplements, and always took some whilst on Effexor.  Hope you succeed as well as I did.

      Keep in touch and let me know how you get on please. 

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    • Posted

      You're strong Anne.

      To survive depression and anxiety you must be strong. Weak people dont get this awful afflication in the first place, as they dont care about things enough.

      Thanks again for your support and I'll be sure to update you x

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