Venlafaxine withdrawel help :(

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I've been on venlafaxine for close to a year now. I take 75mg a day. I was perscribed this medication due to anxiety, and panic attacks. I was riddled with very uncomfortable side effects from this medicine. Things like, sweating profusely, itching all over, inability to urinate standing up, lack of sex drive. And more.

2 weeks ago I decided that I was done with this stuff. I can handle my anxiety now, or at least be aware and manage it. But no more medicine. So for a week I cut the 75 mg pills in half. Then I took 1/4 of a pill for a week. I stopped taking it completely 3 days ago.

Since I've stopped taking the medicine I feel like a complete wreck. I can't think, I can't process what I see, everything is just too much, and overwhelming. I'm so sleepy, and dizzy. I also feel like puking most of the time. And I feel my pulse through out my entire body sometimes.. This all terrifies me, and I just want to feel normal again. I start school soon, and I take care of my 1 year old son full time right now. I have to feel better asap so I can take care of everything. My wife says I'm exadurating and I need to get over it. But everything I feel right now is real, confusing, and aweful. Is there anything I can do to feel better?! And how long will this strange, confusing physical feeling last?!?! Thanks for your time.

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  • Posted

    I tried to get off of it, but back on. Has anyone replaced it with another medication that they arepleased with? I would love I totally understand how you are feeling.some suggestions.
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    • Posted

      I will be off in a couple of weeks so I'll let you know. Iv been taking lemon balm, vit B and cod liver capsules. All from Holland and Barrett's x
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  • Posted

    Hi. Sorry your feeling this way. I think you've reduced too quickly. I was on 150mg for 15 years. I went to 110 for a few weeks. Then 75 for a few weeks. Then 37.5 for a month. Iv now cut this in half 18.75mg and finish in 2 weeks. Iv been ok up to now. Had zaps in my head but can cope with that. Just 2 weeks to come off like you have done may be too speedy. You need a least 3 weeks on each dose for your body to adjust.

    Eventually this side effects will pass. Depends if your prepared to put up with it. To be honest now you've stopped I'd persevere but it will probably take weeks if not months. Whatever you decide best of luck ūüĎćūüėäūüĎć

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  • Posted

    Iv also been taking lemon balm, vit B and cod liver capsules. All from Holland and Barrett's to help with Withdrawel. Xx
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    • Posted

      15 years? Wow, I'm sure that saying your body is dependant on the venlafaxine is an understatement. That must be very tough. I've only been on the drug for less than a year, and the withdrawels I feel are really warping my state of mind, and physical being. Youre probably right, I did ween myself off a little too fast. I'm paying for that now, but I think I'm starting to feel a little better each day, and that alone is motivation to be persistant and keep up with my goal of just feeling and living better without this stuff. I'll consider trying one of the suggestions that you reccomended, thank you. And for what it's worth, yesterday I started taking 3 omega-3's with DHA a day. And that has helped tremendously. I mean the brain zaps have diminished so much.
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    • Posted

      IV been collapsing and the cardiologist thinks it's the Ven. Only reason Iv stayed on it is afraid of withdrawals. However I now have to come off. When I needed it years ago for depression it saved my life x
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    • Posted

      Glad that the ven got you through the rough times. It did help my anxiety too. And collapsing is scary, hopefully it is the venlafaxine, and you continue adjusting and get off of it with minimal withdrawel symptoms. Good luck! 
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    • Posted

      I also took ven for many years, and did a fast tapper like you did.  The WD came on so slowly that I didn't even register that it was WD I was experiencing.  Months out, I had the worst anxiety and insomnia of my life, such a feeling of doom and despair I had never had before.  I never realized it was WD and ended up back on the stuff, thinking I had relapsed.  So, I'm glad you think that things are getting better and that the omegas are helping.  Just be warned that if you start feeling anxiety and insomnia like I did, that it is WD and to power on through.  Don't let anyone convice you that you are relapsing (the docs will try).  When you get in that state of mind, you are certain that it is all real, all you and not the WD, and you feel like it will never end, that you'll be stuck that way forever.  BUT, if you are aware that it is the protracted WD doing it to you, and nurture yourself through the spell, you'll pop out of it eventually.  They call it windows and waves, windows being the periods where you feel much better, and waves when you go back into WD symptoms.  This is normal, and it is your body trying to heal.  Good luck in your journey!
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    • Posted

      Very insightful, thank you very much! I'll certainly have that on my mind now. I think I've been off of the medicine over a week now. I started feeling a lot better 5 days out. But then I was stricken with the Flu virus. I haven't been sick in 3 years, I wonder if the WD makes immune systems a little weaker? Sincerely thanks again.
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    • Posted

      I've posted on a few discussions on Patient and now will try this one.

      I've cut my venlafaxine down from 75mgs.to 37.50mgs. to 18.75mgs. I've been on 18.75mgs for 5 weeks now and am still really suffering from anxiety... palpitations, trembling inside and out and a numb feeling in my face and neck...

      Is it normal to have the wd symptoms for such a long time. I never seem to have a good day...in fact never seem to have a good few hours...

      I was thinking that maybe I would go on to another ad.. which is something I definitely don't want to do..

      thanks for your post Betsy, it has given me the courage to keep on going.

      I take Omega3 and also have tried passiflora (passion flower) not strong enough for me so I also have oxazepam. I am very sensitive to meds. and sometimes think the oxazepam works counter productive as it makes me feel ill..

      life is a struggle but we all keep battling on.

      like many I wish I had never heard of venlafaxine.

      take care

      Sxx

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    • Posted

      WD can appear as flu-like symptoms as well!  There's a whole range of symptoms, so keep notes - it may help others though no two withdrawals will be the same between people.  
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    • Posted

      It sounds like you're just having some anxiety symptoms, unrelated to the withdrawal of the drug. I did all of those things before even being on a medication. I know your struggle all to well. I wish no one had to deal with this bizarre set of feelings. I hope you see your doctor and are prescribed a different ad/ae medicine. It's tough, but ease your mind. It'll all be alright. Stay strong!
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    • Posted

      Well I definitely have a nasty, long lasting virus. My whole family has it now. Even the starting quarterback for my home town NFL team is sick with it right now, and he has to play tonight! :p

      But yes everyone should be aware of the potential flu like WD symptoms.

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    • Posted

      How quickly did you do the initial tapers, Sxx?  With ven you need to go very slowly.  Is yours the capsules with the beads?  Yes, WD can be very protracted with periods that are better and then back down again.  Just know it is the WD and be kind to yourself.  Wait until you have stabilized for a couple of weeks (feeling good for the most part) before doing another cut, and then when you do that cut, try to only do 10%.  If you have the beads, you can count beads and deduct approximately 10% off.  So, if taking 30 beads before, take 27.  The beads unfortunately are not uniform in size so there may still be a variation from day to day, but at 10% it should go more tolerably.

      All the symptoms you described are well-known for ven WD and AD WD in general.  Some will use Prozac as a bridge med to get off Ven, then tapering the Prozac.  It has a longer half life than Ven.  The bad news is that most ADs have serious WD symptoms, potentially.  If you are suffering too much, you can always up your dose slightly and see if that helps.  Then, wait for a good period of stability before cutting again.  I've said it in response to the Mirtazapine WD folks, too, but investing in a small jeweler's scale and weighing your dosages may be the best bet when it comes to decreasing your suffering as you get off this med.  And yes, there will be some folks who say they had WD for a few weeks and then were done, but guess what?  They're just frickin' lucky!  I'm with you on wishing I'd never heard of venlafaxine, and ADs in general!  We can do this, my friend!

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    • Posted

      Hi Betsy,

      I'd been on 75mg for quite a long time, couldn't take a higher dose (which the mh big guys said I needed) as the side effects were awful, so venlafaxine never really worked for me. Started it 2 years ago.

      went from 75mgs to 37.50mg,

      then after about 6weeks went down to 18.75mgs and that was 5 weeks ago.

      I do have capsules with beads. the number of beads varies between 142 to 164 (the ones I've counted). As this didn't seem very accurate to me, I now count out 75 beads per capsule. The beads seem to be the same size but if you are right then I'm not making a very good job of things...

      I'm going to persevere as I really want to get off these meds...

      thanks for your time and advice,

      how are you?

      take care

      Sxx

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    • Posted

      Ah, ok, not WD!

      My husband just emailed me to say they're doing the flu shot at work, and I'm wondering if this year's is any different than last year's, since I don't want to get un-necessary vaccines while withdrawing from meds...people can develop sensitivities to all kinds of things, certain foods, coffee, chocolate, even some supplements will cause WD to be worse.

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    • Posted

      The precision will make you feel like a loon, but it's really kind of necessary.  My eyesight is bad, and I think it has gotten worse due to WD, but anyway, I need cheaters to look at the beads when messing with dosages, and with my cheaters it is easier to see that the beads do have slightly different sizes.

      You should do okay just counting the same number of beads for each dose.

      Though you held for good amounts of time before cutting, the drops you made were still very large, 50% and then 50% again, so that is probably why you are having such extreme WD symptoms.  You can do the 10% drops every four weeks if feeling stable. If you want, you can try 20% and see how that goes, too.

      You do the best you can.  I am doing a combo of bead number and weight, with my jeweler's scale from Amazon that can weigh mgs, for about $25.  I'm weighing 29 beads for a gross weight of 78 mg for an active ingredient dose of 29.25 mg, assuming 37.5 mg capsules were supposed to weigh 100 mg gross.  Crazy-making!  And apparently, the manufacturer is allowed a 10%+/- variation in weight!

      Anyway, I hope you get stable soon!

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