Successful Withdrawal Complete

Posted , 11 users are following.

I wanted to share my experience of withdrawal with you as a hopeful message and a thank you for the tips and support I got from reading these boards.

Yesterday, I was drug free for 2 months. I have not felt this great in years and I am finally rediscovering ‘me’.

My experience has to come with a major warning – my method does not work for a lot of people and I was in a good place mentally and emotionally when I started my withdrawal. Ok, here it is: I was on 150mg Effexor having come down from 300mg and was ready to drop again.

I was at my sister’s wedding 2hours from home and left my meds at the hotel. I didn’t freak out as I knew I was seeing my Psychiatrist in 3 days and assumed I would be dropping my dose again so thought it would be ok to wait til then.

On day 2 of no meds, I got the brain zaps at the base of my head but no biggie, I’d had them many times before.  On the day I saw my psychiatrist, the vertigo kicked in and I was very weepy. My psychiatrist suggested the worst was now over and if I wanted, I could stay off them.

I’ve wanted to get off these drugs for a while now and circumstances were at the best they may ever be so I jumped at this and left with an ‘emergency’ script for 75mg and a lot of excitement.

Everyone who has ever tried withdrawal will know the psychiatrist was telling a few ‘little’ porkies about the worst being over!! The following days were filled with delightful thumping headaches, nausea, poos a colour and consistency that a newborn would be proud of, weeping over limping birds and a hole in my t-shirt, vertigo and ……… The Rage! Oh God, the rage. If I wasn’t Irish and incapable of turning any colour other than blue/white, I’d have given the Hulk a run for his money.

Now, I was very lucky as the school holidays had just started so I was not at work (unfortunately, neither were my kids or husband!!). I knew the crappy side effects were temporary so I just dug in, tried to watch as many funny films as possible, played Madonna at top volume (not sure if this was a side effect or not wink ), and waited it out. I can honestly recommend keeping busy. Yes, I felt like dung and at times the vertigo was horrendous but just keep plodding on. The days will pass and the side effects will slowly ease. I craved vegetables (I know, it shocked me too) and felt a strong urge to walk in the sun. By Day 10, I had long periods were I had no side effects at all. The frequent, rushed and frankly, unwanted toilet visits were completely gone. Nausea was fleeting, headaches gone and mercifully the vertigo disappeared too. I was however still very, very emotional and still had bouts of Rage (trust me, it deserves a capital letter). I even left home one day! Drove 10 minutes away, cried for an hour and came home lol. I looked in my getaway bag the next day and I had packed a top, 2 nightshirts and a bottle of perfume! That’s another point, maybe lay off the Michelin starred meal preparations for a couple of weeks – concentration and common sense are not your best friends while your brain tries to remember how to cope without chemical help.

Now 8 weeks on, I can honestly say I am symptom free and very, very happy. I talked to my CPN about my wild emotional swings and she assured me it was normal and that for 11 years, I’d had numbed responses so it was my brain readjusting to actually feeling again.

I’ve lost weight without trying, I’m sleeping properly for the first time in years and I am excited about life. It has been totally worth the short term crap of withdrawal. It was a truly horrendous first 7-10 days but reading these boards and realizing that one, it was temporary and two, everyone else was feeling the same, made me stick the heels in and get here today.

Sorry for the essay, good luck with your journey, stay strong and remember there is no one right way for successful withdrawal. What worked for me might be a disaster for you. I was very lucky in that it was the right time for me, I didn’t have to go to work and I had a great support system.

Thanks for your time and I hope this helps even one person xx

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  • Posted

    Hi Dee!   Just checking in to see how you are doing now that you are off this horrible drug.  Can I ask-how many mgs were you on when you did your withdrawal?   Did you just stop from the 150?  Or did you use your emergency ones at 75?

    Thanks, Barb

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    • Posted

      Hey alls good well not good but well it’s s**t lol but day 2 & all withdrawals apart from actually being sick I think Iv got the lot. Iv been this far before but wasn’t mentally stable enough back then. Iv got a bee in my bonnet atm & I think it’s helping me keep focused. The whole system is f*#%^d I’m now watching or trying to watch (visions bad, zaps are bad, light sensitive bla bla) a documentary on YouTube about the pharmaceutical companies & how it’s all greed. It’s winding me up so Iv had to pause it. Sorry Iv gone off track lol. I’m sure I’ll be fine 🙏🏼 Thank you for your message?? Are you on ven?

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    • Posted

      Yes I am.  75 mgs extended release for about 9 weeks now.  I HATE THIS DRUG & want off.  My doc gave me Prozac (Fluoxetine) to use as a bridge off of the Ven.   have started the Prozac but have not reduced the ven yet.  Need to get up to 20 mgs a day for about 2 weeks before I can reduce to 37.5 mg ven.

      And YES-big Pharma IS all GREED.   I'm over it.  I want off all meds.  How many mgs have you been on?  For how long?   Only reply when you feel well enough.   We are here for you!    please take care.

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  • Posted

    Hahaha your essay just made me lol. I’m on day one cold turkey of off 150mg ER & I’m already feeling sh*te. How you getting on now?  

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    • Posted

      Wow!  I was going to reply to you the other day suggesting to taper instead of cold turkey.  How long have you been on Ven, littleweirdo (love the name!)?  Does your doc know that you are doing this?   PLEASE check in with us & let us know how you are doing.   Here's to hoping it isn't too bad for you!

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  • Posted

    I've been on Venlafaxine for a couple of years now, at different dosage, started at 37.5, then 75, went to 150 and back, and right now I'm on 150 (2x75mg pills) but am determined to stop.

    I have the version of the pills with the tiny balls in it, I've been taking them out of one of my two 75mg pills gradually over the course of a week, now I'm basically taking 1x75mg pill and half of another one and starting to get withdrawals: cold sweats, slightly altered vision but not too bad, tiredness. So I'm staying at this dosage until I don't get the withdrawals anymore then I'm going to keep reducing it until I'm off of it, hopefully it all goes well.

    I'm up for suggestions from people that managed to get off this poison, but from what I can see, the main idea is "take your time".

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    • Posted

      I'm not quite there yet, but will be starting the taper soon.   My doc did not like the idea of taking the balls out of the capsules but I have heard that others have used this way & it worked for them.   Good Luck & keep us up to date on how you are doing.

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    • Posted

      Thanks, I will definitely keep y'all up to date.

      This method has worked for me in the past to lower my dosage, I don't see why it wouldn't to stop it completely, lowering it again and again until it's gone.

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    • Posted

      Depends on how slow you want to go and how strong of the withdrawal you can deal with.

      I remove around 5 little balls each day. But originally when I did it it was two per day, you can remove more if you feel safe with it.

      You could also remove say 10 and stick with it for a couple of days, then lower again, etc..

      You just have to remember to open the pill up (really not hard to do, just "unscrew" it carefully in my case) and remove the balls every day, or prepare them in advance.

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    • Posted

      I tried that tapering method before. After 6 months my gp put my dosage up. I was suffering side effects & withdrawals & she said I was getting sick again so up they went. Untill now. Day 5 cold turkey which has been hard as hell but no way am I ever going back on them. Never. 

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    • Posted

      I've been there trying to cold turkey, the brain zaps were just way too strong, and I couldn't sleep after a while. I was basically disabled and forced to stay down in bed, shaking.

      Tapering slowly will always work better, you just did it wrong, or didn't give yourself enough time.

      Cold turkey is extremely stupid in my opinion, and can be dangerous.

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    • Posted

      Each to their own but today I’m almost over it although was bed ridden for 2 days & housebound for 5 but I’m out the other side & now med free. It’s only dangerous if you don’t know anything about it. I did & also had no choice as the other brands didn’t work on me & my brand is no longer available! Good luck. 

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    • Posted

      Okay, another report almost 2 weeks later.

      Today was the day I managed to step down on one of the two 75mg pills entirely, feeling okay, I just removed a bit more "balls" inside the pill every so often when I was not feeling the withdrawals from the previous time anymore.

      Gonna stay on this dose for like a week, then keep going until I'm off the drug.

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