Really struggling

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Hi, I am currently trying to come off venlafaxine and feel absolutely awful, muscle cramps everywhere...in places I didn't know you could even get cramp, anxiety to the point of almost pain,crying,feelings of despair, vertigo type dizziness.... I'm down to 1 a week which sounds stupid to me but the Dr now tells me my symptoms can't be anything to do with the tablets sad. Yet if I take my '1' tablet the dizziness goes within an hour and other symptoms ease off....they don't go completely..... I have no idea how to carry on ..... I have cried almost constantly for days now and feel awful..... Any advice? 

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Asherl.

    Firstly your doctor is wrong, the symptoms ARE from Venlafaxine withdrawals! If you think you need to increase your dose slightly to remain sane then do so. Also consider getting a new doctor who is more compassionate. Your doctor clearly has little knowledge of Venlafaxine and its withdrawal symptoms. Everybody has terrible withdrawals! If you feel you cant cope with yours then maybe you need to increase dosage very slightly and then drop back down even slower. The key to a sucessfull withdrawal is 'going very slowly'. Good luck, stay strong and dont panic.  You can beat this smile

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  • Posted

    I agree with tonyjc.  You feel awful and need to protect yourself against that now, so don't feel bad about going back to a dose that makes you comfortable again.  You can always return to 'stopping' again later.  You WILL be able to stop.

    You say '1 a week' - if you are taking a dose one day, then having 6 days with no venlafaxine, and then taking another dose?  If so, this is probably what's making you feel so bad.  Also, any sudden change in dosage will have this effect.

    Venlafaxine needs to be reduced and stopped VERY VERY slowly, with no long gaps between doses. See my comment in https://patient.info/forums/discuss/venlafaxine-withdrawal-there-is-hope--38637 for what I did.  You may well be able to do without the anti-anxiety meds I used.

    I'm not sure what to do about the muscle cramps, as I didn't have these.

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  • Posted

    Thank you so much for your replies and help, I have cut them down slowly over a few weeks or so with no other meds, I haven't been able to get an appointment with my own Dr and the Dr I did see implied it was all 'in my head' sad so I haven't been back again, I just can't face it. The anxiety has been at times almost crippling and even now I'm crying. I know I need to go back and maybe look at something to deal with the anxiety even short term. I just don't know if I should just stop the last tablet.... I've just done as the Dr told me sad I'm feeling overwhelmed with it all now and don't know what to do.... Thank you again x
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  • Posted

    Hi Asherl, tonyjc is spot on they are all withdrawl symptoms, after going cold turkey for a while boy oh boy it hits hard.  For advice you must talk to another doctor if you feel ignored by the one you have seen, you have the automatic right to get a second opinion.  As for the withdrawl symptoms maybe you are cutting down too far too fast, I have been on 225mg dosage for 10 years now and after talking to a doctor who listened I agreed to a short term reduced dosage regime.  I am now on 150mg and so far so good withdrawl is not present, and possibly maybe do the same as I am I have diazepam on standby incase the anxiety steps in.  Please let us know what happens and what you decide to do God Bless You you will be in my prayers.
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  • Posted

    Hi Asherl

    I agree with the other replies, what your experiencing are definitely withdrawal symptoms, but if you feel you can't cope at the moment, then please don't suffer just because of what your Dr says, our bodies are all different at the end of the day and some need longer to come off the drug than others. I was on 225mg, and with the support of my Dr reduced by 75mg weekly, haven't had tabs for 1 week and it's been hell on earth to be honest with you, sweats, horrendous dizziness, tremors, feeling as though I'm not connected to my body (if that makes sense), crying (being doing that a lot today at the slightest thing).   Stay strong and don't let it beat you.

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  • Posted

    Hi Asherl. I am in a very similar situation. I’m new to this forum but I hope this helps:

    I have been on anti-depressants for 8 years, initially with citalopram and then ven 150mg, then 75mg and now 37.5. I’ve recently started to come off via advice from my therapist as my doctor was next to useless in helping me with the withdrawal.

       This drug has come close to ruining my life, I lack any drive, I can’t concentrate, I’ve gained weight, I’m always sweaty and clammy, I feel more depressed than before I went on it and my marriage has almost collapsed many times. The worst aspect is that it stops you from caring about anything. I smoke more than I should (prior to the anti-depressants I was very health conscious), I eat rubbish all the time and I can feel my body starting to react against. I’m 34 yet I feel 64!! After I suffered a couple of seizures and a nervous breakdown earlier in the year I finally thought enough is enough. In essence this drug is evil and I intend to do everything I can to rid myself of it,

       After my seizures I went from 75mg to 37.5mg. My therapist advised going 10 days on, 1 day off, 9 days on, 1 day off, 8 days on etc etc. Once I got to 1 day on 1 day off  I then reversed the process to 1 day on, 1 day off, 1 day on 2 days off, 1 day on 3 days off. However, when  I reached 1 day on 3 days off and was advised by my therapist that I could just stop and push through without any. I have now gone 5 days without a pill now and I intend to never take another again in my life. Thus far I am experiencing slight withdrawal symptoms; vertigo,  itchiness, dizziness, confusion and restlessness. But worst of all I am finding that I am incredibly irritable. I am also beginning to lose a lot of weight over a relatively short period of time (not necessarily a bad thing but worrying none the less!!). I have taken time off work till Wednesday in the hope that I’ll be over the worst of it by then.

       Can I ask what dose are you on and when did the really bad symptoms you describe start? If you were on a relatively low dose to begin with then try and push throgh as every day seems to be getting a tiny bit easier for me. If you were on a high dose then try and work down to 37.5 and follow the above method.

    Anyway - I really hope this helps!

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  • Posted

    Forgot to mention - I did a lot of research and found that Benadryl Allergy relief (8mg) tablets help me a lot with a lot of the symptoms you describe. You can take them up to 3 times a day and they have helped me with my dizziness etc.
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  • Posted

    Great advice here from everybody.

    If I could just say another thing; I see some of you mentioned the use of Diazapam for the treatment of anxiety. Diazapam is a drug from the Benzodiazpine family. Basically any anxiety drug that ends in 'PAM' is a benzodiazapine. These drugs are nasty nasty nasty. I got hooked on them for acouple of years and they ruined my life while I was on them. They are very very addictive and bloody near impossible to stop taking. If you dont like Venlafaxine then you wont like Benzo's. They will make a far bigger mess of your life than venlafaxine ever will. Benzo's are a very short term fix but the withdrawals from them are loooong lasting. They are another drug doctors give out too easily with no warnings. Please be warned. 

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  • Posted

    Asher, Tonyjc is right. It is the p ills. Most doctor's believe the Pharma propaganda. Funnily we are usually warned of side effects when we start taking them but there is a denial of the mess that can occur when coming off. I was taking 150 per day. I didn't go as slow as I could have perhaps, in coming off.  I was a week coming off each dose. When I got to 37.5 I started getting minor side effects. When I stopped it was hell. I was also dizzy, brain zaps, tired and anxious.

    I cried at the drop of a hat. I wasn't like that BEFORE I started taking the drug. I was prescribed for chronic pain. I had mild anxiety before ie: hated driving in the car as a passenger. I am nervous. Not a good enough reason to stay on the meds when they stopped working after 5 years though. It took a few weeks of crying after stopping altogether to start getting my brain back. I enjoyed the emotions though. I felt a sense of relief to be able to cry over something again, even if I was more sensitive than ever, It just shows us how much damage can be done with those pills. I sometimes miss the energy and high I would get after taking my morning dose and I do feel my chronic pain more now but I am taking a proactive approach to dealing with all that. Hang in there Asherl. Embrace the tears, ride through the brain buzzing, sleep if you can, distract yourself. It does get better. I feel good now except I do fall apart whenever I see the opening scene and song to Outlander. smile

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