Heart problems with withdrawal?

Posted , 10 users are following.

Hi there,

I've been trying to come off venlafaxine for about 18months after being on them for 7 years (before that other antidepressants for 7 years) and now i'm down from 225mg to less than 37.5mg. Last year I tried to go from 37.5mg to zero and ended up with heart palpitations and convulsive shakes and went to A&E. Since then I have bought a pill splitter and since 2nd April I've been taking approx 14.15 mg in the morning (3/8 of a 37.5mg tablet) and approx 9.38 mg in the evening (1/4 of a 37.5mg tablet). But pill splitting is not an exact science and sizes of the split pill vary.

Anyway for the past 4 months or so I've been having this thing where just as i'm falling asleep my heart seems to stop beating and then it restarts again with a jump and I wake out of breath. I have seeen multiple GPs who have just said it's not sleep apnoea and it's 'probably anxiety'. This has been getting worse over the past week or so to the point where two nights ago it was happening repeatedly for four hours and I was unable to get to sleep til early morning. It was the weekend so I couldn't see a GP so I called 111 and they made me go to A&E who did an ECG and then tried to give me diazepam and sent me home. (luckily last night it only happened a few times before i was able to sleep for the rest of the night).

I just wondered if anyone has experienced this with withdrawal? I'm trying to reduce as gradually as i can but I can't split the pills any smaller! I need to get off this drug so that I can try to get pregnant so I don't want to wait years and years.

thanks in advance

2 likes, 20 replies

20 Replies

  • Posted

    that sounds like a PVC

    its usually benign

    try Calm Tea on amazon

    it helps with palps

  • Edited

    Wow! This is exactly what is happening to me. I have been trying to find this on line; this is the first account I have read that nails it. As I fall asleep, I awake to feel as though I am going to lose consciousness. If I sit up and breath it will go away. It is very scary. I have been on effexor for sixteen years (all antidepressants for thirty years). I have been trying to get off it for thirteen years. It is pure hell. Now my liver is damaged, I am a bed-stricken vegetable, and very suicidal. Anyway, I have been flirting with going cold turkey off of it, when I started experiencing what this feels to be withdrawal related heart failure. I noticed if I increase the dosage, this symptom will go away. This is kind of my gauge to tell me I am weaning off too fast. Additionally, another heart symptom I experience is one or two of my arms going numb (which we all know is a potential sign of a heart attack. Nice) . What I have found is that this can be linked to the fact that effexor not only amps up your seretonin but also adrenalin/noradrenalin, thus as it is an SNRI. Coming off this drug your body is so used to having it, so when you go off it your adrenalin levels and ability to maintain decent adrenalin levels is screwed up. Thus your levels are low as you are falling asleep. But in order for your heart and respiration to do its thing, the heart needs a certain amount of adrenalin, especially as the body goes into deeper states of sleep. Another thing I have found is that if I eat carbs before I sleep, the symptom is worse. I also seem to have gone into a hypoglycemic state as I seriously detox. Anyway, I wish you the best and say that the reaction should subside if we slow down the tapering off speed of this poison. God bless, and know that you (and everyone) must get off of these drugs.

  • Posted

    this is so weird that i am seeing this. i am going through the same exact thing now. i have a pulse ox meter because i kept feeling like my heart stopped. So while taking it i noticed when my heart feels like that it was dropping in the 30-40 So when i feel like my heart feels like it stops or beats funny i look at my heart beat. Right now it keeps dropping in the high 40's. I am down to taking 1 effexor every 6 days and i noticed that's when my heart starts acting up. please if you find anything out helpful with this problem please let me know. thank you!

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