Venlafaxine Withdrawal symptoms

Posted , 9 users are following.

This discussion has been locked due to a period of inactivity. Start a new discussion

been on this med for years. Recently decided to try and ween off I started at 150 milligrams and reduced the dosage by 20 milligrams each week.  So this has not been a quick reduction by any means. Last week I went from 20 to 10 milligrams. The whole reduction process has been challenging but this past week has been nearly intolerable. Crying for no reason, feeling like a zombie, nausea, awful brain fog, anxiety.....  I am ready to just give in and restart the meds, perhaps at half the original dosage as I just don’t know if I can cope with how I am feeling. Does anyone have any experience with this?  Guess I feel like a failure if I do restart the meds but even that is better than how I feel without it. Any experience with this?  How long did your symptoms last and did you stay off the meds or go back on?  Feeling really lost right now 

0 likes, 12 replies

Report

12 Replies

  • Posted

    It sounds like you are making a rapid reduction at -50% of your current dosage.  I was on this drug (75mg) 12+ years and weaned off over a period of over a year.  When I got down to 37.5, I removed only 2 beads per week. (I had capsules that had little beads; one bead= approximately 1 mg)  I did the reduction for the week on Saturday (I worked M-F) so that the initial effects of the new reduction were felt most keenly on the weekend, instead of a work day. So, week one, 35 mg all week, week 2, 33 mg all week, etc. etc.  By the time I got down to 10 mg, I could tolerate removing only 1 mg per week.  When I got to the last 1 mg, it took another three weeks before I could stop entirely.  Despite this slow reduction, I wish I had gone even more slowly.  The lower the dose you are taking, the larger percentage your reduction represents of the total dose.  You will still have withdrawal symptoms-expect them!!  Even after you've weaned off, you will still have symptoms, for up to four or five months, if you've taken this drug for a long time.  I have been off this drug (and all other prescription meds) for three years.  It can be done.  But give yourself time, and take plenty of Omega 3's (does seem to help a bit) and get exercise.  And expect that you will have some degree of all the symptoms you described.  Take care of yourself, go very slowly if you have been taking this med a long time, and best of luck to you!

    Report
    • Posted

      Hi m89928, congratulations on getting off!  How do you feel three years out?  I am completing my third year of my taper.  I am co-tapering mirtazapine so do less than 10% of the previous dose per month. Agonizingly slow, but don't want to go back into protracted WD since I did that after tapering off too fast initially. I reinstated because I was in such a bad way I couldn't function at all and felt suicidal!  What I didn't know at the time is that I could have reinstated a smaller dose than I did 10 months out, so I had all that much further to come off.

      I am on 4.87 mg currently, extended release beads, and am going to switch to a liquid made from the immediate release tablets so that I can cut more gently and accurately at the end.  My Teva beads weigh 2.6 mg average so hard to cut by 1 mg at this point.

      Ops gal, heed the advice of m89928!  It is not a failure to reinstate a small amount to curtail suffering.  You've gone a bit too fast and will be more successful reinstating a bit to feel better and then cutting more conservatively.  Averaging 10% of your previous dose per month is a very conservative taper that so far has kept me comfortable and functioning along the way.

      Report
    • Posted

      wow, thank you so much.  I thought I was going slow enough, even asked my Dr. but honestly, unless you've gone thru it (which I don't think she has), how would you know. 

      I definitely was too aggressive with tapering.  I cant even express how much I appreciate these replies. I felt like such a failure.  I decided last night after hitting such a low that I would go back on a reduced dosage.  How I was feeling was horrible    Thanks for the advice and the honesty.  This site has proven to be a life line. 

      Report
  • Posted

    If you can access some CBD oil, It will help and probably ALLEVIATE your symptoms.  I weaned off of 225 MG a day while increasing CBD oil over a period of 3 to 4 months.  NO SIDE EFFECTS like when I had tried to get off 6 months prior to starting this.  At that point, I had never been in such a dark place in my life.  They equate getting off of Effexor to getting off of heroin sad

    Report
    • Posted

      Hi, I’m still getting a lot of head shocks from very slowly coming off Effexor 225mg which I was on for about 20 years. I’ve read on other threads of people still getting head shocks years after coming off Effexor. Crazy! When you say to try CBD oil do you mean the one with or without THC please? I’m on mirap now. 

      Report
    • Posted

      CBD oil, what is that?  I totally believe the equating this to getting off heroine.  I will be 8 years sober in July.  Getting off booze and 'other substances' was WAY easier than this.  I think I tapered too quick.  Thanks so much for reaching out.  I cant tell you how much these replies make me feel like I am NOT a failure . 

      Report
    • Posted

      CBD oil is cannabis oil. It can have THC in it (the ingredient that gives the high feeling) or not have that in it. I agree it’s so reassuring to have people on here that understand how awful the withdrawals are from Venlafaxine. I’ve tried explaining ‘head shocks’ etc to people & of course they don’t understand. I think the best advice to give to someone trying to wean off this drug is to do it as slow as possible. 

      Report
  • Posted

    Maybe your reducing too fast,  Gp normally recommend drop monthly, don’t give up maybe just drop your dosage a little slower from now on, good luck 
    Report
    • Posted

      I am so moved by these replies.       Thank you all.  NO ONE ELSE gets it unless you have been through it.  I agree, way too quick...……….

       

      Report
  • Posted

    Me me me! Ugg. Long story short, I was on generic ven 75 mg before it was discontinued and substituted with one that didn't work. Weaned off in two months successfully with some ups and downs of brain zaps. I started Lexapro on the advice of my pcp and my PCP husband. Horrible reaction to it in that my anxiety worsened 1000% so I'm back on brand Effexor XR 75.

    Simply put, I could not function.

    I just know when anxiety creeps in and takes over, it's hard to reign it in and have to start medication again and wait for that 4-6 weeks period before it starts building up in your brain.

    You are NOT a failure. NO WAY!! We take medicine for sore throats, aches and pains, and everything else under the sun. Your brain should not be an exception. Sometimes things go haywire up there and sometimes medication is the way to fix it. If you felt better on it, then talk to your doctor or your psychiatrist and come up with a plan. Just remember something, you are not a failure by taking medicine that you need to be yourself again. God bless you!!!

    Report
    • Posted

      Yup. You get it. Exactly right I COULD NOT FUNCTION...period. You really can’t explain it to someone who hasn’t been there. Thank you for the kind words. 
      Report
  • Posted

    I'd say not functioning sounds about right. I've heard venlafaxine withdrawal compared to heroin - and I can see how it can be.

    It's not that bad IF you expect to not do much, go down in no greater than 75mg increments and keep physical/mental strain to the bare minimum. Expect to rest, stick to eating/sleeping/easy going hobbies, avoid beating yourself up over doing nada and you'll be fine. If you're employed then well, I could see if being rough. I need a week after dropping off any dose to basically do stuff when I feel like it. At any time of day/night. Usually without leaving the house. Personally I found natural... sensual material soothing to my zappy nauseated state - but it probably won't be for everyone.

    I'd suggest avoid loud noise, bright or hot environments, videogames and reading. TV might be okay. Migraine meds and or painkillers can help.

    Stress - including chores, life issues has usually been a fast way to tears/frustration/confusion/delusion for me. Keep it simple and carefree if you can.

    Report

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up