Venlafaxine withdrawal help needed!

Posted , 6 users are following.

Hi everyone

I've been on venlafaxine for well over 10 years and as its not having any affect anymore my psychiatrist is switching me to vortioxetine.

I've been on 225mg for the whole of my treatment. 4 weeks ago I managed to reduce to 150mg - the brain zaps lasted about 5 days, but my anxiety has massively increased and I'm crying all the time.

I tried dropping to 75mg but the brain zaps were worse, I was having night sweats, nausea and severe vertigo, along with serious drop in mood. So I'm back up to 150mg.

A few questions:

  1. My psychiatrist told me to drop to 150mg for one week, then drop to 75mg for one week, then drop to 37.5mg while adding in the vortioxetine, then after 1 week cut the venlafaxine out and up the vortioxetine dose.

How can I taper off that quickly after 10 years?

  1. Is it safe to be on the 2 meds at the same time?

  2. How long do the withdrawal affects last?

  3. Has anyone not been able to ever come off this drug?

Thank you x

0 likes, 19 replies

19 Replies

  • Posted


    How do people cope with the depression that comes back when you drop a dose/come off? I'm not coming off because I'm better, and I'm scared my depression is going to get worse, especially if I have to reduce over a period of months. How, will I cope with no meds in my system when I do need them?

  • Posted

    Hi, I don't know of the new drug you have been changed to I'm afraid.. but, when I asked about reducing Venlafaxine I was told it would take months to reduce and only by very small amounts. I was on 300mg a day and it's almost 2 years and I'm just down to 150mg a day now. I'm to scared to reduce further.. My problems are anxiety and depression.. I took it upon myself to reduce Venlafaxine.. I'd not recommended doing that though..I just did it because of side effects . Yes they can last for a while. not nice.. I thought I was going mad.. didn't realise it was because Id forgotten to take it..Thats why I decided to reduce it .. myself.. also the drug became unavailable twice.

    • Posted

      Thank you for replying. I never knew it would be this hard!

    • Posted

      Hope I didn't upset you..but it is difficult.. If I could go back in time I wouldn't have taken it at all. It was before I was using technology and Google when I was prescribed Venlafaxine.. and I hate to say it but the Psychiatrist that prescribed it was not a nice man!! No patience for patients.. Think I got it just to get rid of me from the waiting room .. really bad when I think back on it now and he was very rude .. can't change the past now I just have to try and persevere . Best of luck for you .. you'll get through it.. just have a wee mantra "it's the medication not me" that's how I managed once I realised what was happening x

    • Posted

      Hi Irene,

      just reading your comment here and see that you are reducing. I'm also reducing at the moment.

      You mention you are reducing because of side effects.. just interested to hear what side effects you had/have?


  • Posted

    i am about to do the same, reducing from 375mg after ten years and trying vortioxetine. my psychiatrist has prescribed diazepam for the very bad days. she told me to reduce 75mg every day and that it is going to be hell, i wont be able to work or drive. call your psychiatrist and explain how you are strugglibg xx

    • Posted

      Hiya, jmc71, that's ridiculous.. reducing too much Far too quickly !! Yes it will be hell.. and I cannot understand why you were told to reduce such a high dose that fast!! even Diazapam isn't going to help unless it's a very high dose!! Oh!! Ive been on Venlafaxine for almost 15 years and it's a nightmare to reduce it.. as I said already. if I forgot to take it that was bad enough.. but at least when I was reducing it I knew what to expect.. I Really think that's nonsense.. to reduce the dose by so much 75mg Every Day ??? No !! Utterly ridiculous .. Id seek further advice if I were you.. take care..

    • Posted

      That's way too quick! I hope they change their minds on that. Hopefully you'll be able to get into the vortioxetine okay x

  • Posted

    Hi i was only able to get down to 37.5 from 450mg. I was on that dose for a long time but sadly my depression got worse I have had to up it at little. its poinless rushing. maybe you need to try a diffent one in its place. While weening off. Thats what I intent to do. regards Cora x

    • Posted

      Do you mean add in another drug while still on the venlafaxine? I'm sorry things have got worse for you x

    • Posted

      yeah just to take the edge off the withdrawal. As they are not easy to come off. Ask your Doctors, so what they say as thats what mine were going to do. regards Cora xx

    • Posted

      oh by the way I did drop down in stages and when I was feeling ok to. Its only lately I went up a little. x

    • Posted

      Thank you, hoping to go onto vortioxetine but not sure when I'll be able to add it in due to serotonin levels x

    • Posted

      Before going on to Venlafaxine I have been on about 4 other tablets that did not touch my depression. I am thankful I found I! Im going to look into the medication you mentioned. thanks Cora x

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