Withdrawing from venlafaxine need advice

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In Nov 2014 I was prescribed 75mg ven which was increased to 150mg a few months later, I feel this hasn't helped and have no faith in this drug and after discussion with my doctor I'm trying to come off totally. Previous to this I was prescribed cipramil in 2002 and remained on this until ven appeared. 

For or the past two weeks I have alternated each day between 150 and 75 and a couple of days ago tried a day without anything, all was fine during the day until the middle of the night when I wake with horrendous head/brain zaps and felt sick, this continued until mid morning, felt awful so took 75mg and within a few hours started to feel slightly better.  I have taken 75mg since then but still having head zaps every few mins and don't feel particularly well. As I take slow release capsules not sure how to reduce from 75 to maybe 37.5. 

Any advice would be appreciated, should I just stop completely if do how long will the brain zaps/nausea last? I'm an active retired lady but could just take to my bed when feeling really bad if I knew there was an end in sight.

many thanks

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Kaye, taper down as slowly as you can, it seems to affect people in different ways but I did a gradual taper down from 200mg. When I went from the 37.5 to nothing I found I was really ill for a week but if you are retired you can rest as and when,you will feel mentally and physically exhausted. Some people fiddle about taking beads out but After I got to 37.5 for 2 weeks I went to nothing. I would get advice from your doctor first but I was prescribed diazepam for the panic and zopiclone to sleep for the few weeks after. You will feel awful for a few days to a week and may still get some side effects for a few weeks after sporadically, but getting off Ven is the best thing I have ever done the side effects were horrific for me. Best of luck Kaye.xx
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    • Posted

      Hi Jane

      thank you very much for your advice, my doctor is on her jollies at he moment so will see her next week about having 75mg tablets as I have a tablet cutter so could reduce the dose easier than taking beads out of the capsules as I'm sure that would be very messy. 

      Will definitely reduce slowly slowly as I really do want to be off ven for good. Best wishes Kaye xx

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    • Posted

      Just a warning that if the doctor gives you the slow release tablets I have - they are called Venlalic XL 75mg, you wouldn't be able to break or cut them in half. They are like a hard little dosing ball with a tiny hole for the drug to slowly leach out and they are impossible to break, cut, or even crush. I know, I've tried! The hard shell actually passes through you and comes out the other end! The pharmacist explained them to me.

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    • Posted

      Yes I currently have just the capsules but will ask my doctor for prescription for 75mg tablets so I can then cut them up as required for my withdrawal. Wouldn't dream of trying to cut up the capsules. Thanks for the message though.

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    • Posted

      You might have to have the normal (not slow release) tablets if you want to cut them up. My venlalic XL actually look like tablets and are called tablets, hence the warning.
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  • Posted

    I've weaned off venlafaxin a couple of years ago. You have to go "extremely" slow. It took me about 10 months to get off with no problems. Write out a schedule so you can stay on top of what your taking each day. I was on the tablets, so I was able to break them in quarters. I would take 3/4 of a tablet (instead of a whole) for 2-3 weeks, then 1/2 for 2-3 weeks, etc. If you're taking 2 tablets a day, then take 1 and 3/4 of a tablet for 2-3 weeks, etc. when you are down to the last 1/4 of a tablet, then start taking it every other day. Hope this wasn't too confusing. Don't get in a hurry. You can do it!! ??

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    • Posted

      Thank you very much for your help.  I'm currently taking a 75mg slow release capsule each day which makes it difficult to reduce even slightly is I'm going to talk to my doctor about changing to tablets which I can then split a little at a time as you have described. Fingers crossed that will work and I will be off these awful tablets for good. ????

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  • Posted

    everytime you reduce a dose you will have the symptoms to a certain degree, especially the nausea but it will settle, I have been on it for 9 years , started reducing it in the last week of june and I have goine from 75 mg to 18.75( ii split the 37.5 mg slow release tablet) and it is working for me
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    • Posted

      Many thanks I didn't realise they did slow release tablets, I'm currently taking a 75mg slow release capsule each day and it's difficult to reduce these so I'm going to see my doctor about changing to tablets. Fingers crossed we will get there in the end ????

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