How long does it take for the brain zaps to go away

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Ive been on venlafaxine for 12 years 150 mg. now i'am trying to get off it. This is the worst med i've ever been on . I had to take granulas out a little at a time. I got down to 15 mgs and then stopped , iI still have brain zaps. Ive had breathing problems( using inhalers) on meds for acid reflux , Since i stopped the venafaxine, I take no meds for breathing disorder or acid reflux. and my memory seems a lot better

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  • Posted

    Oh boy-now I am really scared.  I have been on Effexor XR for 20 years for severe panic disorder (20 years ago it was Prozac (didn't work), Imimpramine (didn't work), or MAO inhibitor (refused)-and Effexor was the only other choice-(

    ironically my soon to be ex-stepmonster was a pharma rep pushing Effexor).  For the past two or three years it has been failing and my doc refused to even consider changing it.  Instead he kept adding other meds and upping the Effexor to the highest allowed outpatient dose (I currently take 300mg XR Effexor, 50mg trazadone, 4mg klonopin, 4mg xanax, 450mg Wellbutrin, and am down to 50mg from 150mg of seroquil).  Needless to say I am on too much of everything and am still having severe panic attacks, agoraphobia, ADHD, OCD, etc.!  Finally I got my doc to see it's the Effexor that isn't working, so after the seroquil is out of my system we are bringing down the Effexor and begin a more 'modern' med.  If I miss a dose of  Effexor, within 6 hours the brain zaps are debilitating.  I know getting off Effexor is hard, but these posts terrify me.  I had to resign from my job, and am having a horrible time getting SSI/Disability.  I was hoping to be able to at least get a part time job, but it looks like I may be totally debilitated.  Any thoughts or recommendations???

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  • Posted

    I have had the most horrific experience with Zoloft.  I started taking 50mg for 1 week and 100mg for 1 week and so on.  I will admit at some point my mental state went from sad, severly depressed, paniky to happy, positive, energy.  This however was short lived.  When I started the 200mg dose, I came down with horrible Tennitus (constant ringing in the ear - high pitched like a dentist drill).  Uncontrollable shaking of my hands, acne (never had that in my llife), couldn't empty my bladder, severe memory loss which is caused by Zoloft AND Tennitus, kind of numb, feeling no emotions really like  lost part of myself.  I had only started the Zoloft for 5 weeks.  So, without doing any research, it was the weekend and I decided to go from 200mg to 100mg.  Then hell came along.  I woke up in my bed soaked with sweat, I had no control over ALL of my extremities (head, arms, legs, hands), I was scared as hell.  I could not hold onto anything.  I could not walk without the feeling that my legs were going to crumple beneathe me.  OH, and this wonderful W/D sympton.... All my sences were hyperactive.  ANY sudden noise made me jump out of my skin.  At one point I needed to talk out loud to hear my voice because even my own voice startled me.  So I got online and was floored at what I was reading.  The extensive list of side effects while on the drug and the severe withdrawl symptoms.  I searched for hours, finding many sites just like this one. All of them pretty much said exactly what I was going through.  I contacted my Psychiatrist and told him what I did and how this drug was making me feel.  He said go back up to 150mg. Once I took that extra 50mg, the body jerks stopped for the most part.  But I wanted this crap out of my system as fast as possible.  So I took 150mg for 7 days, then 100 and so on.  I stopped taking Zoloft 16 days ago.  I am still having many brain zaps and the feeling of electric shock inside my body.  The Tinnitus has quited/softened a lot, but not all the way.  I would not reccomend Zoloft to ANYONE.  I had taken Effexor (150mg) for 20 years, I had zero W/D symptoms. I just quit cold turkey.  But this Zoloft (SSRI) was a hell I don't want to revisit.  So my doc put me on a new anti depressant along with Abilify.   I have a trip out of state 10/31/16.  I am terrified that I am going to lose my mind and that the Tinnitus will become painful.  The lesson I learned is first research the drug before starting on the meds Look up the drug on the manufacturer's website, ask your Pharamcist, and then find this kind of site where people post their awful experiences.  Had I done that.  I never would have taken it.  No questions.  I am definetely going to start on the Omega 3 1000mg a day.  It seems promising.  Good luck to ALL.  Research research research!!!!  Peace be with you through this horrible journey.  At least I have hope after reading these posts and many others like it.  

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  • Posted

    I personally was on this drug for 15 years....I recently tried slowly getting off of it, March of 2016....It was the hardest thing I ever did by far!

    My primary said it should be out of your system in a few day, and he had disbelief when I described the withdrawal symptoms that I had. Truly a lot of misinformation is given to doctors by pharmaceuticals when they are pushing the drug to be used and prescribed in their practices! And more importantly, to the patient when it is being prescribed! I documented dailey my symptoms and experiences! I have now been off of it for 9 months.  Most side effects are gone now, but some are still with me! Crazy how this drug works. So my thoughts are unless you have personally been on this drug for a time and experienced the affects yourself of what it does to your body, know this...the brain zaps, the flulike symptoms, fever chills, tennitis, inability to control real emotions are real.  They do improve over time once the drug is out of your system fully over a period of time, but that transition is very difficult for patients! This should be known by any physician who is prescribing this drug, and he or she should be mindful and more helpful to their patient when they are trying to get off of it. Validation and understand is huge, and compassion goes a long way. My thought are they should have to try it before prescribing it, they would understand better what is real verses what they are being told by the FDA or pharmaceutical companies or Reps that come into the five and hand out the free samples! Just saying

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  • Posted

    Hi everyone.

    I'm a health professional currently on day 4 of withdrawal from Venlafaxine. I genuinely believe people shouldn't be allowed to prescribe this med. If you're on it, begin to get off it as soon as possible. If your GP had just prescribed you it, don't take it. If I had known half the things about this drug I do now id have flushed them the day I got them. The withdrawals are something else all together. In my life I've been on virtually every anti d, anti psychotic, anti anxiety going. You name it, it didn't work. So I've had to withdraw from each and every one. Some were bad, others were awful. Venlafaxine is something all together on its own. I'm so shocked I can't find any suicides documented for venlafaxine withdrawal. If I didn't have the incredible supportive family I do, I'd be the first.

    Someone please tell me it gets better.

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    • Posted

      Hi Bryony,

      I agree this medicine isn't for the faint hearted. I have only taken it since July this year, and hope to get off it too , not because it hasn't relieved the depression but I believe the side effects could cause a lot of problems.

      I am fearful of the withdrawal from it, but will do it very slowly as I think to do it otherwise would upset the balance of brain chemistry too much. Any tips you post would be welcomed. Thanks

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    • Posted

      Hi. I’m currenly going through withdrawal after 9 yrs in this awful poison. You need to take strong fish oil. Fresh ginger 2tbsp per day. Natural detox. It will help immensely w brain zaps. Get Himalayan salt. Put in glass jar and let it saturate overnight. 1 tsp ea morning. Iconic properties on the salt are amazon for you. Cut sugar. Lots of water. Chamomile at night to rid yourself of insomnia and nightmares. I hope you’re doing ok now 
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    • Posted

      I still have very vivid dreams but not so much terrors.  But I am just amazed how much a medication can alter your bodies chemistry. Crazy! These are all great recommendations. Thanks again! Good luck!
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  • Posted

    I started this in March 2017. Was on 75mg now on 37.5. i tried weening off a couple months ago and I failed. I am now on my 3rd day not taking it and It's consuming my life. I feel the zaps all day and like brain fluttering. I had to sleep in my daughters bed as I was having like night terrors. Laying with her just calms me so much I could fall asleep. Last night I stayed up later to get tired and eventually fell asleep trying not to be creeped out by nothing! I've thought 2x's suicide. When I was shoveling out my car and I knew the exhausted was prob blocked I could have just shut the door and yesterday driving I thought I could drive right into a snowbank on the highway. I know it's the meds so I am OK but I've already been crying in the bathroom at work today. The zaps are horrible and to see that they could last a while awful . I'm going to look into the Omega 3 and the Children's Gravol cause I will not start back again I refuse but I need to get through this. I HATE this medication! What does this med do to your brain to cause the withdrawal symptoms?

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    • Posted

      You can do this. Use natural things to cleanse yourself. Fish oil is a MUST! Also vitamin E. Fresh ginger- natural detox. Also try coconut charcoal pill. Absorbs toxins from cells. Yoga! Breathe through it. This will help w brain zaps. I promise. 
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    • Posted

      I did start the fish oil and it has helped tremendously! I can tell when it's worn off. I was taking it 3x's a day but yesterday I only needed it 2x's. I will look into the charcoal pill as I've read it's good. Also I'm going to start back at the gym. But without the fish oil pills I don't know if I could of made it this far. Thanks for your reply.

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    • Posted

      I noticed you 2 months post before your 3 months,,,,  which was promising. 

      Routing for you,  keep going ., the suicide thoughts are thoughts, I know where you are coming from 

      with that......try to meditate ..a few minutes with the breathing at a time will help. 

      you will  get well...

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  • Posted

    I was on effexor for a year.  It is truly the worst drug out there -- I'd rather deal with heroin.  I have been on a 28 week detox, and I'm currently on a 37.5mg dose for 6 days and 1 day off.  Yesterday was the first one-day off -- what a mixed blessing.  I felt like my old self until about 3pm -- and then the brain zaps set in.  I will gradually go to a 5 days on, 2 days off, then a 4 days on, 3 days off, and so on until I'm off this miserable drug.  

    Here's my question -- once you finally quit effexor, do the brain zaps finally go away???

    I also have ringing in the ears and a small amount of vertigo.

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    • Posted

      BEST advice I was given on here was taking Fish Oil tablets a few times a day. I would take 1 in am, when I stared to feel them I would take another one. I was taking 3/4 a day, after a couple of weeks I was down to 1 then I noticed they were gone. I got min at CVS . Radiance Platinum USA Wild Caught 1200mg. Life changer!
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    • Posted

      Hi Jan,  I started on Venlafaxine reluctantly in July 2017.  I too want off this drug after reading so much about it.    I was so interested to read your up-todate post.  I take 150 XR in the morning and 75 ordinary lapse in the evening.  Doctor reluctant to take me off till 1 year has passed.  My opinion why prolong it.  I do not for one minute intend to stay on a high dose.  It was a trauma that happened that ive worked hard to over come, as best I can.   You say it was a 28 detox....how did they reduce the dose please. 

      So good to hear you are achieving this, truly hope you keep well too. 

      Im sure it suits some people very well, but I dont think its for me either. 

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