Venlafaxine....how do I come off it?

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I've been diagnosed with depression for over 10 years now. During that time I've had a few antidepressants. Last year I had a breakdown partly caused by a good friend committing suicide but mainly due to my mother and as a result, my medication was changed. With out any information or guidance, I was put straight onto 150mg of venlafaxine capsules. I've never been happy on this, there's always been something not quite right but I've trusted my doctor. Recently I've started to have like a heart rush feeling. I'm constantly tired on it as in I wake up more tired than when I went to bed, I have severe constipation, I've started to sweat a lot (I've never been one for sweating), I've had brain zaps and body judders and suffer with headaches. Since June, which is when I was put on it....I've gained a whopping stone and a half (I've never had a weight issue ever!) and my sex drive is none existent. I feel very out of it and have became very distanced from making any sort of effort. I'm desperately worried about being on venlafaxine but I'm even more worried about coming off of it. I feel I've been fobbed off a bit by the medical professionals and when I go to discuss my symptoms all I get is "well it's a side effect of depression". I absolutely HATE feeling like this, it's actually worse than ever. My husband works away on a two on two off shift and I have 2 boys aged 12 and 10, I also have 3 dogs. It's an effort to do anything, even getting out of bed or cooking is such a thought. I would really appreciate your advice on how I should go about coming off my dose. Thanks xxx

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  • Posted

    Hi Sarah (I assume),

    It sounds strange to me that you would get the usual withdrawl symptoms when going ON Effexor. ALL of the symptoms that you described are considered withdrawl effects. And the "Side effects of depression" are tiredness, sadness, and lack of motivation. Not zaps, muscle spasms, and headaches! Get Real!

    I am now 3 weeks OFF Effexor and now on Wellbutrin. My side effects of being on Effexor were almost nonexistent. I stopped because of the effects if I missed even one dose or was late by more than 4 hours.

    Got all of the nasty feelings: Dizziness, nausea, brain zaps, sweats, etc. I found that to combat these, nutrional suppliments REALLY helped if you can believe it. I take Omega 3(Very Important), Tyrosine, Mangosteen, Red (Korean) Ginseng, Gingko Biloba, and typical Vitamins.

    If you decide to switch meds or go off, my suggestion is to cut whatever mg you are currently taking in half every month. (could go every 2 weeks but it may cause problems) 150>75>37.5>18.75>9>5>0

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  • Posted

    I had the same feeling when I first started taking this hidious drug, which was the reason I wanted to come off it. I had such awfull side effects that the doctor said that I should keep taking them until I had time to deal with the withdrawal. The doctor who prescribed them told me that she didn't know of anyone having had these withdrawals and that I was perhaps exaggerating. She said that its an extremely affective anti depressant. I am sure it is but the other gp I saw, agreed with me and said he doesn't use it as the side effects can be terrifying. I am still on them and still wandering around in a daze and have dreadful headaches.

    I am very pleased for you, coming off them so easily but telling the former sufferer to get real, makes you come across a a bit smug. This drug obviously works differently with different people and support is what everybody needs on this website, so belittling someone by telling them to get real, is not kind or helpful!

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  • Posted

    Lesley,

    I wasn't ranting about the sufferer, I was ranting about the doctor saying that the side effects of depression were essentially the symptoms of the drug. I was siding with the person I was chatting with. I apologize to Sarah if she thought I was yelling at her, I was yelling about her doctor. But Sarah didn't give me an indication that she was offended or misunderstood so I guess all is fine Lesley.

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  • Posted

    Thanks for answering and sorry for the delay. It's been a tough week or so and I've been in hibernation. I went to see the doctor and he has agreed a slow withdrawal from venlafaxine. He reckons it'll take me at least three months of a gradual decrease. I'm gonna go out and get some omega 3 today and have a look at the other supplements you suggested chad1973. The doc has suggested that I come down from 150mg to 100mg for a month, then to 75mg for a month, then 50 for another moths and then down to 37.5. After that I'm not sure what his plan is, but hopefully this will work for me. Thanks again for your help and support xxx
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  • Posted

    I came off this from 225mg, Reduced it by 37.5mg/week, then for last 37.5mg doc gave me 20mg Prozac to take along with it for couple days, stop the venlafaxine and continue with the prozac for couple days then stop them. It worked! search for prozac bridging, it gives details on this being a relatively common method for coming off venlafaxine
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  • Posted

    I came off this from 225mg, Reduced it by 37.5mg/week, then for last 37.5mg doc gave me 20mg Prozac to take along with it for couple days, stop the venlafaxine and continue with the prozac for couple days then stop them. It worked! search for prozac bridging, it gives details on this being a relatively common method for coming off venlafaxine
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  • Posted

    been on venlafaxine for 7 years told phyc doct i would like to come off he said 37.5mg for 3 months. dont think so been off compltly for 3 days after 2 weeks i will bin the lithium and metazapine, the more it hurts the better but i wll not relapse once had ect 12 sessions  no side affects just felt better for a good period. the more you tell your self it will be hard the more it will be. i personaly will not give in to side effects however i want them . just a different slant on things we are all different my goal 3 weeks no mor tabs at all
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