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So this is yet another thread about the nightmare of coming off Venlafaxine... I've read all the threads and still feel I'm not sure how to do this.
I've been taking 1 75mg ER Venlafaxine capsule a day for probably 13 years - I've lost count :-/.
I tried to quit cold turkey three times and it was a nightmare. Got upto 6 weeks but felt like absolute crap, experienced the following symptoms:
stomach aches, dizziness, vertigo, nausea, detachment, depersonalization, agitation, irritability, tearfulness, extreme anxiety, lethargic, lost appetite, wanted to stay in bed all day, really bad tinnitus, couldn't focus or concentrate, really bad mental fog.
I then reinstated felt fine again and then after a few weeks tried by removing a few mg at a time. Each capsule weighs roughly 270-85 and I decreased by 10mg every few weeks. I suffered some withdrawal effects but soldiered through them. As soon as I got to 240 it was the same nightmarish experience as cold turkey. So reinstated back to 260 and feeling better but still a little out of it.
I'm at a loss as to what to do. I tried bridging with prozac but it was the same. Do I try decreasing by 5 each month? That would take more than 4 years... :-/ Do I try 50% reduction and just try and battle through the misery and hold on for longer than six weeks? Just the idea of that terrifies me. I'm completely non functional in that state. My work has suffered a lot.
The other interesting thing is the side effects I've experienced over the past years - low libido, eye pain, sweating disappear when I get to 250. Which makes me wonder if there is some kind of binary functioning to the medication where if it falls below a certain threshold it isn't as effective? Will it be easier to drop further if I hold at 260 and just wait to settle? Just speculating, looking for some kind of hope I guess.
The other interesting thing is I stick to the same brand Teva but each time the capsules don't all weigh the same sometimes the average is 275 sometimes its 280 sometimes in between. And individual tablets can differ between the heaviest and lowest by upto 10mg. Given I'm super sensitive to even a 5mg difference I'm surprised they're allowed to do this.
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