Venlafaxine Withdrawl - starting...

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I've been on venlafaxine for about 8yrs & I've been thinking for quite sometime that I no longer need to be on it (225mg). As a friend last night said 'that's a b****y cosh'. And they are quite correct; in that time I've never picked up my camera, and I was a good amateur photographer - the last film's not even been taken out. I've barely finished a book. Yadda, yadda, yadda...

I've an appointment with my GP on Wednesday when I am going to bring this subject up. From what I have read Iit appears like it's going to be a long rough road to put it politely. I read some-one saying that they feel the effects even missing one dose - too true! Also people mention driving. BIG problem there. I'm disabled & need to be able to drive. Does this mean that my (already) long suffering wife wil have to do all the driving. Of course the biggy - how long is this going to take(ish)?

I'd appreciate any thoughts, help etc.

it's time for my pills now - I'm starting to sweat & the tinitus is getting worse And this is only a couple, maybe 4 hours later than usual.

Thanks,

JPB

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    Good morning JPB,

    Firstly, please don't be scared by all the stories that you read on forums because some individuals have different coping mechanisms with illness's and in our case withdrawal symptoms. We are all very different in our abilities to cope with medical issues and I am not going to tell people or you what you should or shouldn't do. Ok, well, I would like to tell you about my experience of withdrawing from Venlafaxine 225mg,which I can tell you is NOT the worst withdrawal symptoms that I have experienced in my life. Seroxat was by far the worst and if my life depended upon it, I would never ever go back onto the drug.

    I have been on Venlafaxine 225mg for at least one year but overall, I have been on some type of antidepressant for 23 years. Venlafaxine,has been a very different drug that I have ever been on before but propably to most 'mind numbing' of them all. I felt that I had lost my ability to think, feel and my passion about life in general. So, two weeks ago, I decided that I did not want to feel like this anymore. I have done this all on my own without the consultation with my doctor as it is difficult to get an appointment but all is going very well. I started to take 225mg on alternate days and nothing inbetween. I do believe that you can take St John's Wort on the days you aren't taking the Venlafaxine but please do check with your GP. By 6pm on the day that I hadn't taken my Venlafaxine 225mg I was getting jittery and my eyes were wobbling (like hurting if I looked to the side and made me go dizzy). I knew I could cope with this feeling until bedtime and so I did that for 2 weeks. I felt that sugary foods made me feel so much better and the helped with the jitters. Alcohol tended not to help at all, it didn't take the jitters away just made me a bit manic. I also tended (and still do) to eat more than I should but I don't really care about that at the moment because I just want to get off this medication. These feelings settled to an acceptable level and so 3 days ago I halfed my 225mg tablet and thought I could do the same but hell no! I felt terrible so, I now take half the 225mg table every morning and I seem to be feeling relatively ok. I am not saying that I am perfect but I feel more like 'me' again for the first time in over a year. I am going to stay on this dosage for a month or so then do the same.

    You are right in saying about the withdrawal symptoms make you feel awful when you are late in taking a dose but I seemed to be okish when I took my medication on the alternate days. Just eat lots of nice things! Any help I can give you, please don't hesitate to ask me and I will be happy to. Please also, don't think you are on your own because you aren't and there are many of us who have to go through withdrawals to ge off medications given to us by the doctors. We should be made aware of how bad it is going to be before starting them but, until you experience the effects then you won't really know for yourself. Good Luck x

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  • Posted

    Good morning JPB,

    Firstly, please don't be scared by all the stories that you read on forums because some individuals have different coping mechanisms with illness's and in our case withdrawal symptoms. We are all very different in our abilities to cope with medical issues and I am not going to tell people or you what you should or shouldn't do. Ok, well, I would like to tell you about my experience of withdrawing from Venlafaxine 225mg,which I can tell you is NOT the worst withdrawal symptoms that I have experienced in my life. Seroxat was by far the worst and if my life depended upon it, I would never ever go back onto the drug.

    I have been on Venlafaxine 225mg for at least one year but overall, I have been on some type of antidepressant for 23 years. Venlafaxine,has been a very different drug that I have ever been on before but propably to most 'mind numbing' of them all. I felt that I had lost my ability to think, feel and my passion about life in general. So, two weeks ago, I decided that I did not want to feel like this anymore. I have done this all on my own without the consultation with my doctor as it is difficult to get an appointment but all is going very well. I started to take 225mg on alternate days and nothing inbetween. I do believe that you can take St John's Wort on the days you aren't taking the Venlafaxine but please do check with your GP. By 6pm on the day that I hadn't taken my Venlafaxine 225mg I was getting jittery and my eyes were wobbling (like hurting if I looked to the side and made me go dizzy). I knew I could cope with this feeling until bedtime and so I did that for 2 weeks. I felt that sugary foods made me feel so much better and the helped with the jitters. Alcohol tended not to help at all, it didn't take the jitters away just made me a bit manic. I also tended (and still do) to eat more than I should but I don't really care about that at the moment because I just want to get off this medication. These feelings settled to an acceptable level and so 3 days ago I halfed my 225mg tablet and thought I could do the same but hell no! I felt terrible so, I now take half the 225mg table every morning and I seem to be feeling relatively ok. I am not saying that I am perfect but I feel more like 'me' again for the first time in over a year. I am going to stay on this dosage for a month or so then do the same.

    You are right in saying about the withdrawal symptoms make you feel awful when you are late in taking a dose but I seemed to be okish when I took my medication on the alternate days. Just eat lots of nice things! Any help I can give you, please don't hesitate to ask me and I will be happy to. Please also, don't think you are on your own because you aren't and there are many of us who have to go through withdrawals to ge off medications given to us by the doctors. We should be made aware of how bad it is going to be before starting them but, until you experience the effects then you won't really know for yourself. Good Luck x

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  • Posted

    First of all...may I express my hearfelt sympathy to all patients who have been prescibed this drug and to patients who are trying to withdraw from it!!

    I was prescribed 225 mg 10 years ago for what was then thought to be a reaction to breast cancer surgery......I now know that it was the cold turkey withdrawl from HRT that made me desperately ill.......Doctors didn't know about it then , even worse did not know the effects that Efexor/Venlafaxine would have on a patient!!!!! They took the information from the drug companies.....

    I lived like a quite comfortable zombie for 10 years unrtl I was changed to the generic version......I developed hives, constipation, fainting spells, irritability, stress and extreme fatigue......My GP treated the symptoms but never gave a thought to the cause!.........It was only when I travelled abroad for 6 weeks and didnt have quite enough pills for the last week that I fell into a severe state of dizzyness, feelings of unreality, flu symptoms and headaches that I decided to research this......

    I began a reduction regime 11 months ago ,...very slowly, I informed my doctor who was unable to offer me any help just let me get on with it.......He didn't know !!

    My last 11 months have been hell on earth........Don't let anyone tell you that you symptoms will subside very soon....!!!!...I was on a high dose for a very long time........I am still not over it......

    I have had flu for 11 months.....spent most of this time being isolated from the rest of the world and making excuses for going out!......This is no joke!!!.....It takes grit & determination and an expextation of putting your life on hold whilst you go through excruciating pain!!

    Worst symptoms......Continual severe head pains, Severe sinus problems, unable to breathe through nose, continually blocked nose & ears.....unable to walk in a straight line and continually bumbing into furniture etc....Obsessive thoughts/unable to get these thoughts out of my head!!....I knew it was my brain healing & that made me determined to carry on....Irritablility turned to extreme anger at times..

    I took my last dose of a quarter of a tablet daily 2 months ago.....and thought I would never get right!!!......The withdrawl symptoms continued!!

    I can say that now I am, at last ,feeling some normal emotions...my body is feeling a little more relaxed....I have been passing urine quite a lot this week, but still have a head cold and occasional headache...I feel that I am getting there!......The hunger & craving for Carbs has disapeared...& unatural craving for alcohol..(which I didn't give in to)...but I started smoking again.....I neededd something to take the edge off the way I was feeling!

    I bought a steam inhaler for my sinus problems...(the antibiotics from my doctor didn't help!)....I did not fall into the trap of asking my doctor for any Prozac to help...I knew that I would have to come off that some day!....I bought over the counter Ibubrufen for the headaches...which helped a little....drank lots of water....and stuck it out!......

    I NEVER want to go through that again!!!!!......I lost 11 years of my life.......Currently I am taking Omega 3 Fish oil, magnesium, Vit C & Vit B......I don't know if they help but can't do any harm....I feel I need to nourish my body & brain........

    Don't let your doctor tell you that your withdrawl symptoms are a return to your depression!....I have proved this is not true, not having been depressed in the first place.......Don't get on a roundabout of psychi drugs, unless you have bi-polar or an endogenous depression....These pils are too easily prescribed....

    I feel that I am some kind of expert now that I have gone through this hell...(and still not out of the woods)...& I just hope that this post will provide some valuable information to other patients......God Bless You!

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  • Posted

    I had to give up driving as my vision was blurred.....& my coordination was not good......God bless you.....please read my post.
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  • Posted

    11 weeks off Venlafaxine!!.......headaches subsided quire a lot but still there and pretty bad on some days!......not feeling as 'clumsy'......blurred vision improving....for the first time in 11 months I do not have a cold!!!!!.....still getting hot sweats!!.....sleep is still ad hoc......have mild obsessive thoughts but not as bad........feel irritable at times but anger has subsided.....Still have no energy!!!......My skin has improved and hives disapeared!....

    I was fortunate enough to take early retirement 2 years ago....THANK GOD!!.....There is absolutely no way that I could have help down a job during this 11 months withdrawl......I had difficulty stepping outside the door on most days because of physical symptoms

    I also live alone and THANK GOD again!!......NO ONE could have coped with me and my symptoms!!.....

    Taking a taxi to the supermarket for essentals was my only outings!!!!.......Now I'm slowly returning to some sort of social life!!!

    I'm hopefull!!.......It's a very long haul.....

    I hope Medical Practioners read these articles from patients who have and still are going through hell!!......I would love for the drug companies to be sued and for compensation to be dished out....but we all know that this is not going to happen....!!!..God bless you yet again!

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