going cold turkey from venlafaxine

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Good morning! After 2 years of being on 150mg of ven I decided to try to come off them! Doc advised cutting down to 75+ 37.5 but this made me feel awful! So sick and dizzy! I stuck with it for 2 weeks but decided that I would go cold turkey as it couldn't be any worse and yo be honest it really wasnt! Doc gave me anti sickness pills which really helped! I was also given 2mg of diazapam which help with the zaps and feelings of panic (although i take 4mg as 2mg didnt help! ( Well im on day 4 of cold turkey and no where near as dizzy the night sweats aren't as bad but im def more snappy even though mentally I feel ok ! ! Brain zaps aren't as intense, I feel like im making progress! Surely im ocer the worst?

So im wondering if any one can share they cold turkey experiences/advice with me?

Many thanks in advance xxxx

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53 Replies

  • Posted


    I have only been on venaflaxine for about 5 months and decided I was going to come off them myself as my doctor advised against it. I have been dropping down 37.5mg every week or every two weeks and have experienced waves of fuzziness going through my head - only way I can think to describe it, and also night sweats too. Today is my first day of no tablets what so ever so will let you know how I get on in the next couple of days. My mood has surprisingly been ok and I haven't really been suicidal. Definitely feel more like myself a bit. I don't really have any advice I can offer, just thought it might help if you knew someone is also in the same boat, kind of.

    Good luck with it and I hope you are over the worst x

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  • Posted

    Hey Becca, so nice to know im not alone! My first day without any pills was last Thursday and i felt great, felt like me again.....i was even having a little jig around whilst doing the housework! sadly it didnt last but def dont give up! day 2 of no medication resulted with me in a heap on my bedroom floor crying and struggling to breathe but it passed so if this happens to you dont fret, maybe see if doc can give you something to help that panicky feeling such as diazapam. i feel a massive sense of achievement with every day that passes. I was signed off work for a week as i work in retail on customer services and there is no way i could even stand that long without possibly falling over but today im feeling confident that im going to be ok! Taking ven changed my life but i wish id been advised how difficult coming off them would be!

    We can help each other x

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  • Posted

    Hiya, you know I said this was my first day without any medication, well I ended up taking 37.5mg this afternoon as I had these weird waves of fuzziness going through my head again and I felt so sick. Maybe I should take things a bit slower with it.

    Are you back at work now? x

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  • Posted

    Hey becca

    What made u take the pill, was it the fuzinessand did the fuzziness go when u took the 37.5?

    The reason I went cold turkey (day 4 now) was because I felt so bad on the reduced dose that I thought I may as well stop altogether!

    Thought today was going really well, minimal fuziness, no nausea and then all of a sudden whilst cooking the children's dinner I ran to the loo and threw up! Maybe i should try taking the anti sickness meds in the morning to prevent it?

    due to go to work friday! rolleyes


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  • Posted

    Yeah the fuzziness was too much to cope with, I could hardly stand up. Yep it went soon after taking the 37.5mg, I guess it was too much of a step going from 75mg to nothing so i'll stay on 37.5 for a little while.

    Are you sure you don't want to take just a small dose of venaflaxine to wean yourself off slowly?

    Do you think you'll go to work on Friday? No point pushing yourself to go back if you don't feel well enough to, especially now you're on no medication, your health is more important than work x

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  • Posted

    Well this is what im wondering, I only know that when I first dropped from 150 to 75+37.5 I felt pretty much the same as I do now. im scared that if I take a 37.5, ill still feel awful and I would have taken a step back!

    That feeling that your on a boat is flippin awful, coukdnt even manage the ironing yesterday! As for Friday, I have no idea as everyday seems to different but I would take longer off if I have to! Are you working?

    Are you working? X

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  • Posted

    Morning Becca, How are you today?

    DAY 5 - im in bed, a few brain zaps but very minor. slept really well last night with no night sweats! I dont want to start to believe that maybe the side effects are coming to an end and life is gonna be a bed of roses as i dared to briefly feel like that for a second yesterday and then all of a sudden (whilst cooking the children dinner i needed to run to the loo and throw up! it just came from nowhere!

    I just wish somebody could say how long it fully takes for withdrawals to subside!

    Today im doing things differently ..... falsing myself to rest which is not easy and taking the anti sickness meds throughout the day before i get the nausea feeling!

    I think your doing incredibly well, when do you plan on trying to miss a dose again? x

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  • Posted

    Hello Girls, Flower and Becca,

    I can empathise with you about Venaflaxine, I started on 37.5mg and felt terrible, migraines, dizzy, sick off balance, nightmares, flash back ( due to PTSD ) and this awful feeling of burning inside out, became so hot I would have to strip off straight away, I seem to live in my PJ's at the moment, then I would become so cold I would pile on dressing gown and get under the fleece blanket on the settee, this would last about ten minutes then start all over again.

    Then psychiatrist ( this is the fourth one in about a year ) they never seem to stay long, increased the dose to 37.5 + 75mg, and I felt even worse, I felt so ill, all I did was sleep upto 12 to 16hrs a day.

    I was totally fed-up.

    So I did the same as you, and decided to reduce the dosage myself, 75 mg for 2 weeks, then 37.5 mg for 4 weeks. I was so angry, volatile, aggressive, I would have fought a lion or tiger. My poor husband !

    good job he works away most of the time.

    I just wanted to sleep and never wake up. !

    I phoned the psychiatrist about 3 times during this period, and when I saw him last week, he suggested aripiprazole plus my other med. I have a high for about 1hr with my favourite music on full blast, either Opera or Adele or Deaken Blue, singing and dancing in the kitchen. I then drop like a stone and cry.

    I am hopeful this new med will improve my moods. But I am so glad I have stopped taking the venaflaxine.

    After a long talk and a few laughs, loads of coffee and biscuits with my friend who also has Bi-Polar I felt so much better because she understands better than anyone.

    I have suffered with manic depression from the age of 5 years old due to my mothers physical and mental abuse, which left me blind in one eye and a coal fire burn on my leg from knee to ankle.

    I have no recollection of this or anything before the age of 10 years old. There was just me, my dad, and my beautiful grandma.

    In 1960 there was no understanding or help in this field, like there is today.

    I don't have any animosity or anything towards this women who was my mother, as I never met her.

    My grandma brought me up with morals, respect and values, and to be independent and strong.

    From the age of 19 years old I have always been on meds for manic depression, These are the meds I have been prescribed upto the present.















    So the moral of the story is ' We will all survive these meds and find an equal elibreium ' in order to live our lives to the best of our ability, and never give in. !

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  • Posted

    Morning Gill

    Welcome to the nut hut :0

    When i was put on ven 2 years ago due to bad depression i actually had NO side effects, i went from 37.5 up to 75 then 150 within 6 monts and it worked ! its just a beep to come 0ff! My life is good, i am happy and just dont want to take meds.... not that i think there is anything wrong with people that do

    Like you i came from an abusive childhood. My mum was also manic depressive, bi-polar and a million other mental issues which sadly got taken out on me (not that she sees it that way) i havent spoken to her for 3 years, i even uprooted my husband and children to start a new life 100 miles away from her which was the best thing we ever did .

    Im now day 6 cold turkey .... feels like a life time! still fuzzy but the anti sickness pills seem to help which is odd! although as i type this my head is spinning!

    Im back to work Friday (Feeling so anxious) i feel like everyone is looking at me, i feel i look like a drug addict (when i was 18 i was hooked on cocaine till i was 21) i also gave that up cold turkey but with counselling (its now been 10 years) i remember feeling that same feeling then, that feeling of being starred at! i have to say that stopping cocaine was easier and had less side effects than Venlafaxine!

    I have been prescribed Diazapam (only 2mg) never taken it as it scares me because i know its addictive! also i associate it with me evil mother as she took it a lot! My dad Committed suicide last March and that was one of the drugs within his concoction (he couldn't take my mums abuse any longer, he is at peace now) Although im wondering if i could overcome this, and took it Friday before work.....would it take away my anxiety or would it make me me conscious thinking everyone knows im being medicated! having never taken it i dont know the effects

    Sorry i am rambling this morning ........... how are you all??

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  • Posted

    Hi Flower,

    Sorry for the delay in my reply, and thank-you so much for your reply.

    We have five massive trees at the bottom of the garden, and 8am this morning a neighbour rang the door bell to inform us he had one of our trees in his garden !! I was horrified , luckily no one was hurt, and it just missed his house and garage, thank goodness.

    He was very polite and good about it all, and luckily my husband had taken a few days off to decorate the lounge.

    He popped round with his electric saw and managed to saw some of the tree to allow the neighbour to get down his driveway.

    We contacted a Tree Surgeon to remove the tree and we are also having the other trees cut down too !

    We have lived here in this house for 20 years and never had a problem with the high winds before, but they were 92 mph last night.

    Anyway back to the important part, my feelings on you taking a Diazapam on the Friday morning before returning to work would be a definite No, as you don't know how it will affect you during your work, I think it may make you tired, and a bit out of it, and not able to function right, depending on the nature of your job.

    Personally I would take some more time off work until you feel more able to cope with these side affects otherwise it may set your back and take more time to recover.

    If you don't mind saying, what job do you do ?

    Believe it or not I am a RMN I have just retired early. I always knew I had an affinity with my patients I miss my patients a lot.

    My daughter went through a similar experience with an addiction to Cocaine which lasted about 2 years.

    she is my only child and her personality changed to the point that I didn't know who she was anymore.

    I can however understand some of her reasoning

    Paranoia is a debilitating part of the illness and although she came out of it a better person, she still occasionally takes it with friends.

    One good thing is we have always been close as I lost two babies prior to my daughter being born, and talk about personal issues, and consider myself privileged that she can confide in me.

    Please let me know how you get on, or I will worry about you.

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  • Posted

    Hey sorry for delay, my flipping internet seems to be having a day of only working ad-hoc! really need to call BT, its driving me insane! Not to mention my to boys screaming at the modem when they are trying to Skype there friends!

    Nightmare about the trees!! glad its sorted!

    Im not going to work now! I work in customer services at a busy retail outlet. Im only part time 12-20 hours a week (only 4 hour shifts)

    After a day of messages from my dep manager (being manager whilst our actual manager is at a new store opening .... she is has been gone for a month, i miss her, she is fab manager, office door always open, firm but fair and i have the up most respect for her, most colleagues are scared of her lol and love it when she is away but i hate it!! ) sorry diversed there.... messages flying back and fourth, me explaining exactly how i felt etc, and that i would pop into store Thursday to see how i felt and then go from there ...soooo

    after eventually getting out of the car (took half hour) walked into store and thought i was actually going to stop breathing (bear in mind that the acting management know this is what i thought would happen). I walked around resisting temptation to run out the door and as time went on i felt better, actually i felt really good, immensely proud of myself .... phew, yay i can do this!

    i walked into staff room and i was ignored, eventually the team leader said "oh hello" didn't ask how i was ! I then left the staff room and approached the acting manager who proceeded to tidy the display! I was left feeling utterly worthless ! i now feel very resentful against these particular managers (iv always got on with them so it was strange) and dont feel i have any respect for them, i think i may actually loose it with them (im never an angry person) but now i am angry... how dare they!

    Anyway called my actual manager last night and explained that yes i feel good (side effects gone apart from the odd brain zap) but i feel vulnerable and im scared that a bad day at work will set off my depression and all this hard work would have been for nothing! she agrees that i need to feel supported, and that she is back monday so i will go in then!

    I have no relationship with my mum and my dad committed suicide last year! im so glad your daughter has you! xx

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  • Posted

    Hi Flower,

    So pleased you decided not to return to work until you feel a lot better ,

    as in my experience it would set you back in your recovery.

    Especially dealing with the general public who as you know can be very trying at the best of times, and

    you need to be on top form to contend with them.

    The staff probably think you are getting special treatment because you are on such good terms

    with your manager, and are quite envious of the fact. Just ignore them they will come a cropper at some

    point, and need your help and advise..

    Don't rise to their petty minds and ignorance, they are all like sheep and follow one particular person.

    I'l bet if it was on a one to one with each member of staff, they would be completely different. They

    will all talk about each other behind their backs anyway.

    What goes around comes around !! I wish I was a member of your staff I

    would have wiped the floor with them.

    I've always been bad cop at work very firm when needed but also brill ! My work colleague June was

    the good cop too soft and would be taken advantage of, in my line of work that it is a big No No !

    I've had to save her a few times from getting a good hiding " bless her cotton socks "

    When I returned to work after 10 months off sick, they put an extra member of staff on, so I could

    watch and observe and not have the responsibility.

    I suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as well as Bi-Polar due to being stalked and attacked,

    and still after 5 years find it hard to go out.

    As for your Mother, ( if you don't mind me saying ) I think she has taken up enough of your life,

    you have the love and support of your family.

    I wish you all the best, and please let me know how you get on. xx

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  • Posted

    Hi everyone, just wanted to give my experience so far of coming off Venlafxaine. I started taking

    anti depressants in Feb of 2010 and i've since been on Sertraline, Citalopram, Escitalopram, Mirtazapine,

    Lofepramine, back to Escitalopram and then for the past 4 months Venlafaxine at 150mg. Its been rough but having tried so many I just want off everything now. I lowered my dose for a week taking 75mg and then stopped altogether. I'm very stubborn and this in the only way I know I will get off it, tapering to me feels like I'm prolonging the agony. Anyway I knew what to expect somewhat coming off the other SSRI's (brain zaps, spontaneous crying and anger) and I expected this to be rougher being an SNRI, so far the experiences of coming off both have been very similar symptom wise, the severity however has been a lot worse. I'm currently on day 9 since i took the last 75mg, i still have near constant brain zaps, my mood flips very quick, I'm not a violent guy at all never had a fight with anyone, however i have experienced feelings of pure murderous rage, to feelings of euphoria and total bliss. It can be frightening but if you can hold on to some rational thoughts and try to stay as positive as possible you can do this. At the moment i'm not working and my advice would be to take some time off if you are serious about coming off this medication. It's comforting to know you can just curl up in bed and not have to deal with anything, i honestly would not be able to function right now out in the real world. Im taking the times that i feel ok a positive thing even though they are short lived it has to be a good thing right? One day at a time.. and talking of emotions i know I'm all over the show because i watched a 70 year old granny ride a roller coaster for the first time in her life, she was laughing hysterically and it made me cry haha! Everything is raw at the moment!

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  • Posted


    I recently (three days ago) went off 150 mg Effexor RX cold turkey.  Through research online and my doc I began by starting my first morning w/o ven by taking Advil as a preventive for headaches and a good vitamin B and Omega 3 each morning. No headaches and I can't believe the energy I have!!  So far my 2nd night I was wide awake hard time falling asleep.  I can live with that!!!!  

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    • Posted


      I am on 150 mg Effexor too. Well I was yesterday, not today. Cold Turkey day one. The only noticable side effect is that my lips and fingers are tinglings...which I believe is a blood pressure thing. Is this anything you noticed?

      Advil and Vitamin B are great advice....I'll go take some now. 

      Thanks and good luck!

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