Venlafaxine withdrawal

Posted , 6 users are following.

I've been on Venlafaxine for a year, after switching from Citalopram. I stopped it, cold turkey, four days ago. I had some cardiac symptoms,, (depressed T wave), and my physician told me to discontinue the Venlafaxine. I'm having some awful symptoms of withdrawal and am concerned that it's dangerous to have stopped so suddenly. I'm annoyed that I was neither offered support, nor information from my doctor. Any suggestions about symptom relief?


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  • Posted

    Hi Anne

    All the information I have read never ever have said you can just stop this medication you have to taper them down very slowly I'm surprised your doctor has told you to do that. I really do think doctors know very little about he side affects you can suffer if you go back on some of the threads on here people have tried various things that work unfortunately I can't remember what they are but I will look back and see if I can find them. I suggest you get back in touch with your doctor and let them know how bad you are feeling and perhaps he will suggest something else don't just put up with this as it will get worse.

    Kind regards sue

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  • Posted

    Stopping Effexor cold Turkey is dangerous, as it has a very short half life. Symptoms can drive a person to drink. My suggestion is to insist that your Dr put you on schedule of tapering off. Are you experiencing dizziness, electrical brain zaps, nausea, headaches? These can last a few weeks to a month. Try some nutritional suppliments. I found that Fish oil or flaxseed oil (omega 3) REALLY helps to ease the symptoms. Take the maximum daily dose split in two, taken in the morning and the afternoon. The usual tapering regimen is to cut your dose in half every 2 weeks. 150>75>37.5>18.75>~10>0mg.
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  • Posted

    52Anne, as sue34151 and chad1973 have already said, you should never just stop venlafaxine. I will also add that I agree with sue34151 when she sayd doctors don't seem to know much about withdrawal symptoms. Mine certainly didn't, looked at me with a "you're being serious?" when I told her of the side effects I'd experienced.

    Anyway, definitely speak to your doctor about it. I have been fully off venlafaxine for 2 weeks now, tapering from 150mg to 75mg to 37.5. To come off them completely, I told my doctor I wanted to go onto fluoxetine. I had headaches for a few days, and my mind was a little foggy, but it was bearable. I was still able to function normally. Good luck xx

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  • Posted

    Hi 52 Ann,

    I hope you are feeling much better. You really need to see your GP about withdrawing from Venlafaxine very slowly. You should never suddenly stop and I'm astonishes that your GP has allowed this. I am withdrawring from venlafaxine. I was initially prescribed 75mg by a psychiatrist. I unfortunately went to him for help because I was desperate and my GP refered me. At the time (2 years ago) I was very

    low and had tried to get myself feeling better, Anyway I was told do take Venlafaxine for up to a year and

    the venlafaxine to be increased to about 150mg. The psychiatrist handed over my care to my GP. I would only take up to 75mg.

    I have to say Ann it has been a difficult time coming off this drug. I had no support from the psychiatrist that had prescribed venlafaxine, He didn't know about the side effects being on it or the side effects from the withdrawal. Knowing what I know now, I would advise you to cut the dose down very slowly. The side effects are not easy but I have found that you do turn a corner and it will get a bit easier. What I did ,was reduce the dose by a quarter and sought help and advice from my GP. I found I had to do it little by little. I have had terrible hedaches, ringing in my ears, sweating and unable to breathe through my nose. I have had to stop withdrawal at times, because of the terrible side effects, but don't be put off, you can and will do it. Just do it in your own time as we are all individuals. I found this website and read the difficulty that others had coming off venlafaxine and read their experiences and how they coped. I have to say this really helped me, knowing there are others on this dreadful drug. But who were able to come off it, I know that I am nearly off it because of reading other people's experience and taking their advice, and knowing how awful the drug is. I am now taking a quarter of 37.5m,about 9mg. I am coping OK and hope to be free of it in about 4 weeks. I will keep you posted. I think it is disgusting that this drug, venlafaxine is being prescribed to people, when it has horrendous side effects, taking it and trying to come off it. There are many others that feel this way. but the drug companies couldn't care less or the psychiatrists and to that matter, the GPs who keep signing the prescription. It just keeps people quiet and sedated. Talking therapies, counselling and support groups help people with problems of living. Hope I have helped you a b it.

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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

    Thanks for all your replies. I know it's bad to stop abruptly, but with the cardiac involvement, I had no choice. I was advised by my doctor that I cannot take this drug, and must stop immediately.

    It's a horrible drug with many side effects that I was not aware of when I started it, but that's my own fault. I should have researched it at the time, but was having some difficulty coping. I have now been up for 44 hours straight, am having terrible zaps, (which are audible), vertigo, tremors, slurred speech, blurred vision, et al. I am determined to tough it out an never, ever go back on antidepressants. I've started taking flaxseed oil, B complex and hope to feel better soon. 5HTP is something that was recommended, but it also carries the risk of cardiac damage. Pharmaceuticals are big business and it's a crime that vulnerable people are the guinea pigs. Big business is the reason Cannabis was outlawed, not because it was harmful.

    Thanks for your help and good luck to all of you.

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