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Monday, May 26, 2008 joe, Community Member, asks

Q: What will happen with abruptly stop taking effexor?

wife is verbally and physically agressive. turned and attacked with no provocation.

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Answers (37)
angie, Community Member
9/17/12 9:03am

 

I'm sorry to hear this, Joe.  Rule #1 DO NOT stop any anxiety meds cold turkey. You can't make her take it as shes an adult, but if shes starting to get out of control and you may need to look at your options for having her admitted to hospital if shes not willing to take her meds and being violent. Sometimes these disorders make us angry that we have to take meds..... I am on 4.... but I want to have some normalcy in my life, I cant stand the feelin otherwise. Keep us posted and I'll keep you in my prayers. God Bless

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Silicone&Stars, Community Member
5/30/08 3:57pm

I took effexor xr for about 3 years, and I abruptly stopped taking it... and that is something that I do not recommend.  This was several years ago but the one thing that I can vividly recall is the changes in my vision.  My equilibrium was off and I felt like I couldn't stand up straight.  This lasted for a couple weeks but I struggled through it.  Technically a doctor should take her does down gradually and that should prevent any side effects.  I don't recall being verbally and physically abusive while taking it, but medications affect different people in different ways.

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Kimmyr60, Community Member
6/29/10 11:02am

I simply forgot to call in refill. Was only off fo 3 days before the nausea, dizziness, change in pupils occurred. I got it refilled yesterday and now have take 2 doses and still feel the same way. Does anyone else know how long this will last?

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rob, Community Member
6/ 9/08 11:01pm

you feel strange, my body feels likes it is pulsating but this is only the 2nd day in which i have stopped. i really hope these side effects stop soon. you'll feel sick, make sure you take some time off if you choose to "go it alone" and go off effexor.

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Btree, Community Member
2/ 9/13 9:58am

I have been tring to figure this one out also.. Pulsating is the correct word.. How long did this last ?? Im not liking it at all.. Thanks

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Btree, Community Member
2/ 9/13 9:58am

I have been tring to figure this one out also.. Pulsating is the correct word.. How long did this last ?? Im not liking it at all.. Thanks

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blueyedgirl, Community Member
6/24/08 10:02pm

 I stopped taking my effexor xr  after 3 months. I didnt take long, only a few daysafter, I felt so tired, nauseous, vomitting snappy, sharp pains in my head. As soon as  I  went back on it within hours I felt betterEmbarassed Imop it was not  a good idea to take myself off because I started to feel better. 

    I would suggest that you talk to your doc and take yourself off gradually because the withdrawl symptoms suck big time. Take Care!

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blueyedgirl, Community Member
6/24/08 10:03pm

 I stopped taking my effexor xr  after 3 months. I didnt take long, only a few daysafter, I felt so tired, nauseous, vomitting snappy, sharp pains in my head. As soon as  I  went back on it within hours I felt betterEmbarassed Imop it was not  a good idea to take myself off because I started to feel better. 

    I would suggest that you talk to your doc and take yourself off gradually because the withdrawl symptoms suck big time. Take Care!

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Tammy, Community Member
7/12/08 7:59am

I stopped my Effexor 2 weeks ago because my insurance company said they would no longer cover this drug unless you meet the guidlines, which they said I did not. My doctor has been on vacation so I can do nothing, I have went off my medication many times over the years because I didnt want to take medication.

I have learned the hard way I have to have it to function and not be agressive towards others and yell and scream at everyone.

I do the same thing your wife is doing and I'm not at that point just yet I guess because I also take Cymbalta, but I was informed I dont meet the guide lines for this drug too, so when I'm out I dont know what will happen, but I know it wont be pretty. I am so tired of the insurance company telling us who we can see and who is not in "our" network and how many days they will pay for our patients to be in the hospital, and now if you meet the guidelines for a medication. That should be up to the doctor. Sorry for going off the track, but yes I know what your wife is going through and I'm so sorry, she needs to take her meds. And I hope everthing works out.

I'll keep you all in my prayers!!

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kate, Community Member
5/24/09 9:02am

My best friend was removed from effexor abruptly and put on wellbutrin because he told his GP he wanted to lose weight.  He first went into depression, then tremors, tried to drive to the ER and totalled his car.  Hes now in the ICU and everytime they wake him up he is physically and verbally abusive.  After 6 days they are finally starting the effexor again.  Be very careful.

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hello1234567, Community Member
7/20/09 9:51am

I have been taking effexor for about a month and I decided to stop taking it because I dont want to take any medication. I am having a tough time. I have headaches, dizziness, very tired. I cant stand straight sometimes. I sleep a lot during the day and can't make myself to do anything. I dont sleep well during the night. I wish I had never started taking it. 

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meg, Community Member
7/26/09 4:00pm

How long did the withdrawal effects last?  I recently was prescribed effexor and took it for exactly 13 days before I decided to call it quits (I stopped taking it a few days ago).  I have recently felt a little nauseous and have been having dizzy spells.  How long will this last?

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M, Community Member
1/ 5/10 4:26am

I had to come off of it for a test.  It took a couple weeks to get *nearly* off of it.  But I had to take at least a literal crumb of a 100 mg tab for several days after that or i would be too sick to work. it seemed absurd but after being sick as a dog one day I took a little crumb and was fine the next day.  I just tried to last as long as I could between crumbs and i was finally off.  Took about a month all told.

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antinastytablet, Community Member
1/ 7/10 5:42pm

i am on my 4th day of not taking effexor xr  i have been on 150 mgs a day for the passed yr and decided that i dont want to take a tablet that i am addicted to for the rest of my life  i am so tired ,last night was bad i went thru the sooking,feeling sick  and dizzyness not to mention the pastys (drymouth) and the feeling my heart was shaking my whole body with every beet and the snappyness with the kids i have 4 under 12 so it like a mad house atm we are having school holidays  omg it was like i was drunk but in a bad way then i was sooo cold ,today i wake up so far so good even a moment with out the withdrawl symptoms are welcomei still have a slight dizzyness  but i can get thru it i hope it jst gets better from here i sympathise with every 1 who has to go thru this ,had i have been told it wld be like this wen i come off this nasty lil tablet i probably wld have ask 4 something diff  but i wasnt !!!!!

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april, Community Member
12/ 1/13 8:21pm

 

Hi I am taking effexor xr 150mg have been for about 7mo ths .mine come in capsules . I want to stop taking them but am scared to. I know thdy r helping me but they also r making me gain weight what do u suggest and r the withdrawals bad. Misaberable in ky

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Chelsea, Community Member
9/ 4/09 4:18am

DO NOT JUST STOP TAKING EFFEXOR!!!!!

I have been taking effexor for four years and have been great, but 2 months ago, I accidentally sent the prescription online to my old apartment and couldn't get more for a month, so I just decided to try to stay off it.  4 days ago I started going through withdrawals and it's been AWFUL!!

 

I can't concentrate and I want to be alone all the time and I am a people person!

It is awful and DONT DO IT!

Talk to your doctor...Don't be stupid like I was.

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Diana, Community Member
7/ 3/13 11:31am

I've been taking Effexor for about 5 to 6 years now,  I want to stop.    I am a people person also but even with the medication, I don't feel like going anywhere, I'm always at home,  don't really want to see people, I just want to be alone.  The doctor gave me this medication because I felt depressed, I was never violent ,  I just cried at every little thing.  I don't know if this is all in my head but this medication made me stronger and I don't cry as much.   I just want out of this medication, I want to try to be strong without pills.   I take it one day and not the next,  stopping slowly, maybe I won't go through all those symtoms.   Positive is the only way to go.   Good luck everyone and that goes for me too.  wishing you all a wonderful life without medication  (lol, lol)

 

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marcyyy, Community Member
9/24/09 11:49pm

I stopped effexor about 4-5 days ago, I felt so bad...my eyes were cockeyed, my pupils got real small, my head felt weird, i couldn't wake up too well, I not only cried, I sobbed, and sobbed and sobbed...I was edgy, irritable, had no patience, etc. etc.  I went back on them today, and I am really starting to feel better again.  Never ever just stop...you need to have you dr. do it gradually...it's TERRIBLE!!!

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Shirl, Community Member
1/ 1/10 8:36pm

OMG.....I've only stopped taking effexor 2 days ago and I feel awful.  Just finished throwing up my dinner.  I feel dizzy, tired, and sick to my stomach.  I feel best when laying down.  I suddenly wanted to start crying while watching puppies on TV.....weird.

 

I've been taking effexor for a little over 2 years and only took 75mg a day.  I felt like I wanted to stop taking it because I don't feel like I need it anymore, but I'm really rethinking my decision.  I'll see how I feel tomorrow morning and, if I'm not any better, I will start to take it again and talk to my doctor.

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M, Community Member
1/ 5/10 4:28am

I'm out of pills cos i slept all day (thanks to sleep scrip - for countering other meds!!) and I feel like crap.  going through old meds - prozac, paxil = helping some, also eating and keeping hydrated.  Definitely getting refilled tomorrow.

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M, Community Member
1/ 5/10 4:32am

Someone on another site had good help with benadryl and dimetapp - back to the medicine cabinet!

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Shirl, Community Member
1/ 7/10 1:27pm

Well, I decided to continue NOT taking the medicine, and I'm now on day 7.  The first 3-4 days were the worst.  I didn't like the TV on or to hear any noise and felt most comfortable sleeping in a dark room on my side.  Laying on my side kept me from vommiting.  I still feel a little dizzy, but most of the nausea has subsided.

 

I went to the doctor yesterday and he gave me something for the nausea, which helped and he wanted to put me back on it and lower me down slowly, but I refused because it had already been out of my system for 6 days.  The doctor said it should take no more than 2 weeks for me to feel better.  I sure hope he's right.

 

If I had to do this over again, I would definitely ween myself off versus quitting cold turkey.  Best of luck to you all.

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Shirl 2, Community Member
2/23/10 4:10pm

Shirl....So, how are you doing now?  I've been off for 4 days and almost can't take it...If the side effects only last two weeks I can stand it..If longer, I've gotta taper.  Please respond.  Thanks, Shirl 2

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Lynne, Community Member
3/ 3/10 10:31am

I have been on Effexor before and remember the coming off was terrible.  I was so reluctant to go on again but in a very bad place because of recent divorce.  I tried to go off after 8 months.  I was on 75 mg and tried to do every other day.  I tried to committ suicide on the 4th day and think it was totally the effexor withdrawal.  They put in in a hospital for a week and put me up to 150 mg because of the suicide attempt.  no one believed me how out of charachter that was for me.  Do believe it was the effexor.  Now it is 10 months later and totally want off this stuff.  Makes me feel so flat.  Cannot cry even when sad but also do not feel any joy in life or look forward to things.  hate antidepressants and i have tried Zoloft and Paxil befor also.  Reading all these links and guess I will not go cold turkey but reduce a little a day by opening the capsules and counting the granuales.  Amazed this stuff is still on the market.  Plan to start on a Friday so get through the first couple changed days each weekend then each Friday cut back a few more.  It seems from all the links I have read this is the best way.  So wanted to go cold turkey just to be done with it.

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mamma, Community Member
6/13/10 12:42pm

I've been on effexor 75 and 150 for about 5 years. Right now I'm feeling absolutely terrible massive headaches, eyes aching, NO sleep as I can't lay my head down on pillow and sitting up makes my back and neck go into spasm. I've not taken tablet for 3 days, cause ran out of script. I thought I had the flu but I guess I'm going through withdrawals, after reading all these posts. I sooo hate taking these tablets but scared to go off them. If a chemist was open now I'd drive to get a script. I'm in pain and want to sleep!!!

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leahk12, Community Member
12/22/10 11:18pm

I took 37.5 for about 2 weeks and then was told to double the dose, almost instantly i would just become nausated, dry mouth, woke up with night sweats, had AWFUL dreams, irritable for no reason (and i work with the public), I even got diarrea and had a brownish discharge (didnt miss my birthcontrol or anything so no other reason for the discharge).  I do not cry much at all and i cried and sobed at times for no reason, i felt like my body had a serge in it and sleep is a big NO, I feel like i could have delt with the other things if i could have just slept.  I was told by Dr to go off it slowly and take smaller doasage then skip one then finally start to take my med that i took before which is citilopram, i didnt have those problems with that med, i just think i need a bigger dosage, i was only on 20 mg.  I am still going thru this withdrawl period and i hope it gets better, I am normally a happy person and fun to be around but not at this point.

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Analyzer, Community Member
8/30/12 4:06pm
I lost my boyfriend to suicide. He was on Effexor and I am not sure if he had gone off effexor abruptly. I am very traumatized, so I decided to do some research on withdrawal side-effects. Reading your post makes me wonder if this damn medication could be the reason. I have never been on medication so I can not imagine how it feels like. My boyfriend was very depressed and I could not do anything to help him. It makes me feel guilty for not being there for him. But I am trying to understand if the reason could be the medication not something I could or could not have done. I am sorry for telling my disturbing story like that, but I am extremely down and I don't know how to stop blaming myself or how to save my life could be after this. I appreciate if you could tell me more about the side effects based on your experience. God bless you! Reply
Askwyman, Community Member
12/ 3/12 11:38pm

Effexor sends electronic signals to the brain, when you have a medication that powerful it is probably not safe to take it or to quit it.  Your boyfriends suicide could have been a side effect of the med or a side effect of the withdrawal.  Even the scientists don't know which way it will effect each person, so there is no way you could have known which way to advise your boyfriend.  I am sorry for your loss but never blame yourself.  I lost my 3 month old daughter and have blamed myself for 32 years, she died of SIDS.  Blame is a normal response, but it's not the answer.  Grief counselling helps and spending time in prayer.  God will ease the pain over time. 

 

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Jersey Girl, Community Member
1/ 4/13 9:00pm

Hi, First I wanted to say I am sooooo very sorry for the loss of your boyfriend. How devastated you must be. Please know that this is not your fault.. it would probably help if you seek some type of counseling to help you through this traumatic experience. I have been on this medication for the last few months started with 75 mg and upped the dose to 150 mg... I just stopped 4 days ago cold turkey and Im home alone as I just got terminated from my 25 year job(I wanted out anyway as I was miserable with the way the company has changed and despiseds my boss)

So far I have been throwing up the last few days and feeling terribly nausious.

I took a pill 2 days ago threw up again.. Im afraid to take it and afraid not to take it.. Im going back to visit my friends and family in NJ in 2 weeks and hope that I will feel better by then.

Im really sad for you cuz of what you have gone through. All these drugs out there suck but from reading all these responses, it looks like half the world cant function without them.  God bless you

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Jersey Girl, Community Member
1/ 4/13 9:00pm

Hi, First I wanted to say I am sooooo very sorry for the loss of your boyfriend. How devastated you must be. Please know that this is not your fault.. it would probably help if you seek some type of counseling to help you through this traumatic experience. I have been on this medication for the last few months started with 75 mg and upped the dose to 150 mg... I just stopped 4 days ago cold turkey and Im home alone as I just got terminated from my 25 year job(I wanted out anyway as I was miserable with the way the company has changed and despiseds my boss)

So far I have been throwing up the last few days and feeling terribly nausious.

I took a pill 2 days ago threw up again.. Im afraid to take it and afraid not to take it.. Im going back to visit my friends and family in NJ in 2 weeks and hope that I will feel better by then.

Im really sad for you cuz of what you have gone through. All these drugs out there suck but from reading all these responses, it looks like half the world cant function without them.  God bless you

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vckiss, Community Member
12/ 4/13 4:40am

In no way is it your fault that he took his life. Depression is a veryserious problem. I will be praying for you if that is ok

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des4046, Community Member
12/ 5/10 10:42pm

im so scared!!! after reading all of these comments i hope the va will send my refill quick!!! im an Iraqi veteran and i dont have any pills left. i feel dizzy kinda like ive been electrocuted!!! the effexor helps my ptsd but i get sooo scared when i think im gonna run out and now its happenedCry

 

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Andrew H., Community Member
1/12/11 4:23am

I ran out of my Effexor XR 75mg three days ago and haven't had time to get it refilled. Today I feel HORRIBLE! I get this funny, dizzy feeling in my head when I move my eyes around, feel like I'm going to vomit, my speech and thinking is slow, and I have cried several times today. Never stop this "cold turkey!"

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quilterjen, Community Member
4/ 4/11 10:31pm

I was on Effexor for two months.  I stopped abruptly about a week ago.  Almost feel the need for hospitalization.  Go to the Dr. in two days, but don't want to start the meds again after this long of detoxing myself.  Wish there were an answer to depression without any side effects.  Guess that's the price to continue living....  :(  Major headaches, can't sleep without drugs, probably won't be able to work for a while now.....  Why must life be this hard?!

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snow, Community Member
4/26/11 11:43pm

I have been off now for 4 days and going on 5 days cold turkey.  I was taking 100mg Effexor.  I felt slightly nauseated maybe twice the second day around, but the biggest effect I have been having is I am constantly on the toilet having a bowel movement.  It isn't quite loose, but it is almost like my body is trying to flush itself out... like I am sick or something.

 

I noticed someone wrote in there about noise being a bother to them... I have noticed these past couple days I don't want the TV real loud and I get sometimes more irritable doing the same crap day to day.  I didn't really contribute these two things from coming off of effexor, but since someone else brought it up.. heck it might be a side effect from coming off so quick as well.

 

The biggest side effect I had from taking the Effexor is not going to the bathroom as often as I used to prior to taking the medication.  I would normally have a bowel movement like 1-3 times a day before taking the medication.  When I started taking it sometimes I would not have one for like 3 days!  That was super weird for me.  Now that I am off the med. cold turkey, I have been having one probably 5-8 times a day!  It's crazy!

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SamanthaMcCall, Community Member
6/18/11 11:15pm

I'm 16, almost 17 and I've been taking effexor 75mg 2x a day since I was 14. I went on a family vacation this past week, we were gone saturday to saturday. Anyways, I ran out of my effexor during the vacation and when I saw I was running out, I only took one pill a day so I could make it last. (I didn't tell my mom, who also takes effexor, just a lower dose.)  The day I ran out completely, we went deep sea fishing. I've never gotten sea sick before- my family use to have a boat for the weekends- this time however, I started feeling horribly nauseous then it stopped. When we got off the boat, the nausea came back I told my mom I ran out of medicine, she was not happy! It lasted the rest of that day and the next but I never threw up. I couldn't handle it, I slept all day both days. The day we left to come home, I was feeling fine. A little ways down the road, I started feeling sick again but I didn't tell anyone yet again. Now I am at home and I still feel sick to my stomach and I've had headaches and I've been really snappy. I'm normally really quiet and polite. My stomach has been like hard, at the top and I kept thinking I was constipated (gross I know) but I've tried a laxitive and its not that. It is until I found this website with this post that I've realized I have all the same sympoms as you all do. I took one of my moms pills and I'm slowly starting to feel better! In the morning, I'm headed straight to the pharmacy to get my effexor filled and I'm not leaving the pharmacy without it! I'm glad someone asked the question of what'll happen if you just stop taking effexor. I advise that you shouldn't. Get your doctor to slowly reduce it for you! You'll regret it!

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SamanthaMcCall, Community Member
6/18/11 11:26pm

I also have really bad dizzyness when I look around a lot, and I feel the need to use the bathroom much more then I usually do like I have to poop or something but nothing happens.

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ArmyGirl, Community Member
7/20/11 10:34am

I am female veteran diagnosed with PTSD. I was put on Effexor XR extended release tablets (150mg) and I have been on it for about 2 years. I stopped taking Effexor XR Cold Turkey on Saturday July 16, 2011 because I found out I'm pregnant (I'm about approx. 1 month and 1/2 on my pregnancy). This is my 4th day without Effexor XR and I have felt on an emotional rollercoaster! crying, defensive, angry, and normal sometimes...I've had loose vowel movement.  I feel very very dizzy especially sitting down right now typing this, I get out of breath when talking about something exciting. Walking the parking lot at work and going up the stairs get me dizzy, pale, and out of breath, everything looks yellowish or foggy like I'm in a dream. I have been having awful nightmares and paranoia. Yesterday, I had to conduct room clearing in my house (gun out, bullet in chamber) because I felt someone was in my house trying to get me killed. I break down in hot and cold sweats and I'm very sensitive to the heat and cold. I hear strong noises in my head, like someone is wrapping my brains in plastic bubble wrap and popping them. Two days ago a felt that wonderful adrenaline when driving fast and thinking crashing would not hurt, a cellphone call at the moment grounded me, and made me slow down... Crazy Weird Crap!... I'm shaky right now, my back is killing me, my eyes (pupils) hurt, my head hurts, and my hands are sweaty and frozen... This is awful... I dont know what to do, I dont want to go back to taking it because of fetus side effects. I need help. I'm going out of My M-I-N-D!

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quilterjen, Community Member
7/20/11 10:50am

PLEASE go see your doctor!!!!  They have better alternatives than quitting cold turkey.  Trust me!  I almost committed suicide and I didn't want to go backwards by going back on it.  There are other alternatives that will be safe for baby.  The side effects don't end quickly and will only get worse for at LEAST two - three weeks.  You don't want to do that!  Let those of us who made decisions that were not productive help you by learning from our mistakes!!!  Call your doctor!

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shawkey, Community Member
11/ 4/11 11:06pm

I was on Effexor for 10 years! So when I decided to get off of it, I gradually cut back my dosage over 3 months time, cut it in half, then in quarters.  The only thing I have noticed is I do have days where I feel sad and depressed, but it does not last. I started taking effexor because I went thru breast cancer, chemo, etc. and it put me in to extreme chemically induced menapause, with horrible hot flashes. The only thing that the doctors suggested was taking effexor. and then before I knew it, 10 years had gone by! and I lost my job, lost my health insurance which included prescriptions. And I couldn't afford it! over $100 a month! No way! So put some thought in to stopping it, by gradually cutting back over a few months time.

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scubasteve, Community Member
11/18/11 10:10pm

I too have lost my job, insurance and ran out of effexor.  With all my research on coming off, I decided today to call Phizer and see what they could tell me, and what to expect.  I called and they gave me another number.  After waiting, I got somebody on the other side of the world that gave me the same phone number the first time I called.  Just running me in circles.

 

Well, I can't go to the doctor.  I have no choice but to bite the bullet.  I am on day 2 and feel terrible.  I woke up throwing up NOTHING for at least 30 minutes.  I havent been able to walk more than 15 feet from my couch without getting sick.

 

I am freezing cold, but the room is normal.  The brain zaps are the worst.  I can't think straight.  I have to drive tomorrow and I am scared I can't.

 

The doctors dont tell you this stuff when they are so quick to whip out that pen and pad.  I would have been better off taking massive amounts of zanax.  This sucks.  I will keep this posted because I know I am not alone.

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Sandra, Community Member
4/ 5/12 4:05am

I was on Effexor XR for over 10 years. I cycled back and forth fom 150 mg to 75 mg back to 150 mg to 75 mg (on the advise of my doctor). I quit my job, lost my drug plan and ran out of meds. I simply stopped taking them - I had no choice, as I had none left and refused to pay the full cost of them without a drug plan (or job for that matter). In addition to being unemployed, I was serving as caregiver for my 80 year old mother - who is on an antidepressant - after the death of her husband and son (my father and brother). My mother has since been hospitalized, due to the ineffectiveness of her Paxil. Here is my question / comment... I feel no withdrawl effects what so ever. I have quit "cold turkey" over 2 weeks ago - and nothing??? I feel exactly the same, no better - but no worse??? You would think that with the state my life is in - no job, no money for mortgage or car payments or bills, my mother in the hospital, the loss of my brother and father  (and my 13 year old dog and cat - I might add) I would feel "something"....but I don't??? What is up with that? I feel the same now as I did when I was on the Effexor. Question - Should I be feeling withdrawl symptoms by now? Am I home free? - Or will it suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks one of these days???

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Kat52, Community Member
2/23/13 12:33am

 I have taken several different antidepressants over the last twenty years.  When I was first put on Trazadone, I was never told not to stop taking this type of medication abruptly.  Well, the Effexor withdraw is the worst.   Thank you for the informative replies because the withdraw from this med is so different than any other.  I had to stop Effexor 150mg because I didn't have the money to get it refilled.  I have been off 4 days and I feel like the rest of you.  Nauseated, a weird dizziness, popping sounds in my head and  feel I could vomit at any moment.  Feel better in the prone position.  Life sucks when we have to rely on these crappy medications, but the alternative is worse.   I glad I am not the only one that feels this way.  I am thankful again for the input from all of you fellow sufferers.  I thought I was coming down with the Norovirus.  I guess I will be calling my doctor fora new script and ask a family member to float me loan.   Everyone get your meds and don't go off without weaning.  I thought I could get some more before the withdrawal symptoms appeared.  Oh FYI, I got some St John's wort thinking it would help--- depression went away but the withdrawal symptoms got worse.

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lauraallie, Community Member
4/29/14 12:27pm

I am the same way. Now I have noticed I was more moody and emotional for about a week but I feel ok now. I scared it is going to hit me all of a sudden.....I also have been through a lot lately, I was evicted from my home and have no where to live, and I am going through a break up with my partner of 9 years. Maybe we don't feel the side effects or think we don't due to shock or just plain overload of life's burdens????

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Sandra, Community Member
4/ 5/12 4:06am

I was on Effexor XR for over 10 years. I cycled back and forth from 150 mg to 75 mg back to 150 mg to 75 mg (on the advice of my doctor). I quit my job, lost my drug plan and ran out of meds. I simply stopped taking them - I had no choice, as I had none left and refused to pay the full cost of them without a drug plan (or job for that matter). In addition to being unemployed, I was serving as caregiver for my 80 year old mother - who is on an antidepressant - after the death of her husband and son (my father and brother). My mother has since been hospitalized, due to the ineffectiveness of her Paxil. Here is my question / comment... I feel no withdrawal affects what so ever. I have quit "cold turkey" over 2 weeks ago - and nothing??? I feel exactly the same, no better - but no worse??? You would think that with the state my life is in - no job, no money for mortgage or car payments or bills, my mother in the hospital, the loss of my brother and father  (and my 13 year old dog and cat - I might add) I would feel "something"....but I don't??? What is up with that? I feel the same now as I did when I was on the Effexor. Question - Should I be feeling withdrawal symptoms by now? Am I home free? - Or will it suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks one of these days???

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quilterjen, Community Member
4/ 5/12 11:15am

I'm not a Dr., so know that I'm only speaking from experience...  :)  My symptoms come if I even miss one pill or 1/2 a dose.  So, if you've been off it for 2 weeks, you're probably likely to be one of the forunate ones who may not have the severe reactions that many people get.  My therapist told me last week that most of her clients who are on effexor and try to stop have to be hospitalized.  Makes me think I'll be on it forever.  I hope you don't get any symptoms!  I'm also sorry life has been so stressful for you!

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Sandra, Community Member
4/ 5/12 11:44am

Don't get me wrong. My life is not full of "rainbows and balloons" but I have none of the symptoms a lot of the others are suffering from. Sure, I am sad and depressed some days - but look at the world we live in... I just hope that I don't wake up one morning "crashed" and unable to function...

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Ms Hopeful, Community Member
5/19/12 10:31am
I have been on Effexor 75mg for around 3 months now. I forgot to take my tablets 3 days ago and feel awful... I have been feeling so sick and dizzy and ended up in bed all day and couldn't function at all. I have a bad cold at the moment which doesn't help and I thought I was having a bad migraine today but now I have read these posts I think it may be because of suddenly not taking my pills. I have been really teary and upset today and can't stop crying and felt everything was worthless... I felt Iike I was going mad and haVe had awful dizziness, sickness, urging but not being sick and a dreadful headache... I have taken an Effexor now and hope that I wake up feeling better tomorrow Reply
laurentiandoodle, Community Member
6/ 5/12 1:10pm

ive been on effexor for 2.5 years. two weeks ago, I decided i didnt like the withdrawl symptoms if i forgot to take it, or knowing that it wasnt the medication that really helped, it was the placebo effect, if i felt anxious, id take one and feel better knowing that my meds would kick in. I didnt like knowing that I had become reliant on a medication that could do more harm than good, so i stopped taking it. The first 5 days were the worst. nothing to be scared of though. Dizziness, anxiety, messed up vision, but it has almost gone away completely now. Now i find that while feeling anxious, if i go for a hot bath i feel better because doing something to take your mind off of your feelings is usually what should help. If you fixate on having a panic attack, its gonna happen. When i first started having attacks, id get out of hand with feelings of absoloute dread and afraid for my life. now when i feel one coming on, I say: Im in a safe place, im surrounded by people who wont hurt me, I have nothing to be afraid of, and im not in any real danger, im 24, im not having a heart attack. 

Try it. 

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Dazed & Confused!?, Community Member
8/26/12 12:55am
I have been taking effexor150mg for about a year now for severe depression along with welbutrin. In the begining, doctors had trouble prescribing antidepressants because anyone i would take made me sick untill we found effexor. I didn't want to take anything but at this time in my life i had to admit i needed help so i took them and told myself it was just for a while until i got better. Last february i decided i was fine and stoped cold turkey. Boy was that a mistake. 5 days later I would feel sick and shaky, sad, slow, sleepy, headaches and sore eyes. Every day was getting worst But the weirdest thing was rigning in my ears and when i would look around the room, my sight would seem to skip to that direction and make like a metallic sound in my ears while skipping. I freaked. I couldn't drive myself so my sister brought me to the hospital. They couldn't figure it out what was happening to me. I had had a car accident the week before but not by my fault. The other car ran into me. So i thought the accident had triggered something and i was now feeling some kind of aftershock. It wasn't until they asked me if i took any medication that the problem was solved. I told them i wasnt a drug addict and i hate pills so i stopped. They told me that's the worst thing i could do is quit like that. The best way is to gradually reduce your way off with doctors advice. I restarted to take them for a while and feel way better. I decided myself this is enough and have to quit. So i took 150mg/day for 2 months after that, then decided taking 1 every 2 days. That is tolerable. By the third day i have to take the pill. Now i am still taking it every 2 days but reduced it to 75mg. I can't wait to get off it. Its too bad we dont know these things could happen before we're prescribed this stuff. Did anybody ever experience the ear ringing/eye skipping thing? Reply
Jen, Community Member
8/31/12 3:22pm

The ringing in the ears, eyes skipping thing is the hardest symptom to describe to people and also one of the most unbearable ones.  Kind of shocky - something's in my head feeling -- horrible horrible horrible.

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Janet H, Community Member
9/25/12 9:57pm

Thank you...  I am not crazy.  I have been going through the same thing...  just the "shocky" feeling you have described.  I function just fine, and have not been weepy... yet... just what I describe as electrical shocks in my whole body.  I have noticed it is very hard to drive for some reason as that seems to me when the shocks are the worse.  Maybe because I have had to work through all this (it's been 4 days now without my meds) that I haven't been dizzy or nauseaous, but I was already thinking about talking to my Dr about changing the medication because I don't think feeling I am dependent on it.   I asked for something because I am going through "the change" and the hot flashes were making me very emotional & I really felt I was going to go crazy without something.  She told me the Effexor has been shown to work well for the hot flashes & to stabilize my emotions.  I tell you, it has definitely helped with both, but I don't like how I feel if I have to skip a day (or more likely forget).   I still haven't decided which is worse.... the hot flashes & mood swings or the twitchy-shocky feeling I get when not taking the meds.

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cm009, Community Member
3/30/14 1:07am

I ran out of my pills 2 days ago. This is the third or fourth time I've had to go without them for a few days and the effects get worse and come on sooner every time.how I would describe the eye skipping is like on those scary movies, particularly "The Ring", where the girl is suddenly closer and closer in a flash. I feel almost like I black out every few seconds. Might describe it as a strobe light effect. I had no idea that this kind of withdrawal could occur.I was never informed by the psychiatrist of much.The whole reason she put me on these was because I was constantly forgetting to take my meds and wanted something that would cover the depression and anxiety in one pill. Duh!!.knowing this medication would do this to you if you forgot it, why on earth would you prescribe it to someone who is most likely to forget it? Anyways,2 more days of this crap before I can get in to get more.how I don't go crazy while I'm waiting. Not to mention I have a 3 year old to take care of. Ugh!!!

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Menopausal Mom, Community Member
8/29/12 12:28pm

Wow, I'm going through awful side effects as well, I'm so sorry everyone is having such a terrible time but after reading all the posts I'm also relieved to know what is wrong. I only took it for about 6 weeks, but this is the second time I've had this experience after missing just 2 days of taking it (75 mg). The lightheadedness, dizziness, brain zaps (like a weird electrical surge), violent diarrhea several times a day (TMI, I know, but a side effect nevertheless) and crying about ABSOLUTELY NOTHING and EVERYTHING.  Last time I missed taking it for the 2 days and had the diarrhea, etc. I went to the gastroentologist and scheduled a colonscopy.  I'm still going to have it but since I've never had this happen before I feel sure I can attribute it to the Effexor.  My doctor didn't tell me about any of this before I took it, not cool!  And it didn't help the hot flashes, lack of sleep and menopausal moodiness that much anyway!  Please talk to your doctor about all the potential side effects of this before taking it - Effexor is an extremely powerful, and therefore dangerous, drug. 

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Askwyman, Community Member
12/ 3/12 8:59am

I've had those brain zaps several times when I miss my pill for one day.  It's like you can see the electrons in your brain.

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Vic man, Community Member
2/ 3/13 6:27pm

I have been on effexor for many years. I abrubtly stopped taking it when my prescription ran out. I was trying to save money.what a terrible mistake! Loss of appetite, dizziness, extreme naseau, trembling, tingling in my hands was awful! I became very irritable& snapped at any given time.I had crying spells not from just sadness but anytime about nothing. I experienced what is known as sleep paralysis, when you cant move or let anyone know you' re in trouble and desperately need help to be awakened. Be very careful when taking this drug. Do not stop taking it cold turkey. I feel like it could have taken my life if I haden't started to realize what I had tried to do just to save money! God bless you all!

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Jen, Community Member
8/31/12 3:29pm

I've seen a lot of posts about people feeling more depressed and weepy coming off Effexor - I've gone through that as well, but have also had several bouts of pure hysteria for no reason -- cannot stop laughing (the kind that actually starts hurting after a while), crying and laughing at the same time.  Has anyone experienced this or am I just cracking up alltogether?  I think I've kind of freaked out my husband of 15 years coming off of this stuff.  I know I'll never go back on it again! 

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quilterjen, Community Member
8/31/12 4:33pm

I think anything is possible when coming off of this drug!  I know I just felt like I was going crazy.  Crying, laughing, bugs crawling around my body feeling, dizzy, seeing things, unable to drive or be alone with my child.  Worst time in my life!  And then, a new DR. put me back on it and promised to take me off it the right way when it's time.  Now I'm scared to ever get off it.  But sometimes it sure would be nice to have a hysterical feeling.  I've missed laughter.

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Askwyman, Community Member
12/ 3/12 8:57am

My nightmares have huge bugs the size of cats and dogs.  Creepy.  I'm ready for those to be gone.

 

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p., Community Member
9/17/12 1:16am

4 days off effexor, melting down, brain shorting out so bad. this is hell. never ever been so down and destroyed even at the worst times of my depression. dont know what to do!!!!!!

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quilterjen, Community Member
9/17/12 7:53am

Go to a doctor!!!  Many people have to be hospitalized when they just stop this drug.  Take it seriously.  As you are noticing, it's a very powerful drug!

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Bill, Community Member
9/25/12 2:10pm

After taking 225 mg/daily for about 10 years, I recently ran out of Effexor and have been without it for three days now.  I have no insurance and cannot afford the prescription on my own.  It has been rough so far.  Last night I had several bizarre dreams and each time woke up shuddering, like I was freezing.  As I write this, I can feel my equilibrium is off.  I am going to do everything I can to never have to take this crap again.  Fortunately, I am aware that nothing situational has changed and tell myself every second that it's the withdrawal that's making me feel bad.  I hope with the help and understanding of my family I'll be able to ride this out.  Wish me luck.

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Bill, Community Member
10/ 5/12 8:02pm

Update:  It's been over two weeks now and I feel a million times better.  The loss of equilibrium is now rare and there have been no further physiological side-effects. Did I mention I was also taking Lamictal, same situation, no insurance and no money?  I've been three weeks without it as well and again, no noticeable side-effects.  After reading about other experiences, I consider myself extremely lucky.

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Srhstr346, Community Member
11/15/12 5:44pm

I just experienced what the effects of that is and PLEASE DO NOT STOP COLD TURKEY! I felt like i had the flu times 10. Nausea, dizziness, Extremely tired, extreme depression and anger. Not recommended! Talk to your doctor and ease off slowly!!

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Askwyman, Community Member
12/ 3/12 8:51am

I stopped taking Effexor XR 225mg about 8 days ago.  I won't be able to get it in 2013 so I decided to stop it now.  I could write a book on the side effects of withdrawal.  The first two nights I woke up to seeing kaleidoscope visions in my brain.  Nothing like having my brain function go haywire.  Over the past week I have also woken up to hot sweats and cold chills and really bizarre nightmares.  The next thing was the diarrhea, that's always a joy.  Yesterday was the worst.  I could not sleep so I was awake about 36 hours, not pleasant.  I finally slept about 7 hours last night.  I woke up to stools made of tar.  I'm telling you it's amazing the control a pill can have over your body chemistry.  Right now my heart is racing a little and that’s probably the only side effect that scares me.  I have a blood pressure machine so I will be monitoring my blood pressure today.  I'm hoping I'm through the worst of it, but I'm sure the next week will be more of the same.  I figure I'm a week into it so I'm not going back unless my condition gets worse.  Oh yes, and I have started crying, but this was to be expected since I was a crier before I started taking Effexor XR.

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GibbyPhD, Community Member
12/30/12 3:17pm

This thread has helped me much, thank you! 

 

I had to abruptly stop taking 75mg of Effexor after being on it for about 10 weeks because my script ran out 12/22 and it's the holidays with no hope for refill until after new years.

 

Insomnia, loss of appitite, symptoms of a uninary tract infection and kidney pain were the first signs.  Then I had signs of a Sinus infection with bloody nose daily and a thick milky yellow discharge from my left nostile.  That same day I also had a thick brown discharge vaginally, even though I'm in the middle of my birth control cycle.  This has continued daily... 

 

I've always had 'crazy' dreams while on this medication, but my thoughts seem to be darker and the tears set in late at night when I'm trying to get to sleep (around 1:30 - 3:30 am).   They only thing that seems to help is drinking a little white wine, which 'numbs' me to help not 'think' during the day.  I've also had strong cravings to smoke after quiting over 4 years ago.

 

Sheesh... counting down the days - worried I may need to go to the ER before new years, as that is what my pharmacist suggested if it gets worse. 

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joe, Community Member
1/27/13 4:09pm

Can anyone tell us how to stop it gradually?? Or his/her experience with stop it gradually?

 

 

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Crystal, Community Member
1/28/13 12:39am
The best thing to do is either call or see the dr that prescribed it to you. Length of time on the med and dosage amounts vary with people. And everyone responds differently when stopping meds. It is important to taper off and your dr is your best bet. Reply
joe, Community Member
1/28/13 1:02pm

Actually my doctor is old and he would not tell me anything about the med or how much time I am gonna use it. I asked him about the side effects, he told me there are nothing. I told him I feel sleepy, dizzy and tired he told me there are nothing of that related to the med, but when I read about the med I found all of that are related to it. I am kind of not trusting him any more.

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Crystal, Community Member
1/28/13 7:28pm
Hi Joe, let's back up a minute. I thought you wanted to stop the med now. You said "the dr doesn't know how long you will be on the med". When did you start it? You are right about the side effects you are experiencing. They sometimes go away after a short while. If you have been on the med for let's say a couple of months and are stlii have these side effects, you always have the option of trying another antidepressant. Your body responds differently to different meds. A different med may not give you some of those side effects. You have to be able to function, especially if you have a job. You do have other choices that will work for your mind and body, you just have to do some trial and error with the dr. As for your current dr, I would find a new one. You need one you can have confidence in and one you can trust. And knowledgable about antidepressants. This is not guess work here, it is serious. He should know about the med he is giving you and how to taper off. I would recommend waiting to stop your med until you find a new dr. If you can't get a new dr or wait, your taper off depends on how long you have been taking it, your dosage amount and the reason you were taking it, i.e. anxiety, depression, panic attacks, etc. I taper off my med depending on the above. I'll wait to here from you. Reply
joe, Community Member
1/29/13 11:52am

First, I meant he knows how long, but he wont tell me. Second, I have been taking Effexor for  months and it works very well for my. The side effects still with me until now and it increase gradually. The side effects are " sleepness, drowsiness, gaining more weight". I have tried 5 other med before, it was bad experince Effexor is the best until now. Actually my worrying and  questioning how to stop it because I'm about to have a job. The reasons of taking it are anxiety and depression.

Thank you.

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Crystal, Community Member
1/31/13 1:36am
Hi Joe, I can understand how your side effects could interfere with your job. A couple of months should be enough time for you to know theses effects are here to stay. Some things you could try are: taking the med at a diff. Time of day, asking for a lower dose and see if this would still help you or telling him you want to stop it and to please tell you how to wean off. You said you have tried 5 other meds. If you change your dose or time of day without success, and you still feel like you need a med, there are more to try. It's unfortunate that sometimes we have to go thru so many to see which one will work with the least amount of side effects. Changing the time of day has worked for me with the issues you are having, except for the weight gain. Not all of them have weight gain and the ironic thing is some people will have weight gain on the same med as someone not gaining weight. You just never know until you try. Best of luck to you and congratulations on going back to work. Crystal Reply
RenDidITsoCanYou, Community Member
2/24/13 7:03am

Since quite a few have answered their experiences coming off, I thought I'd give my SUCCESS STORY OF COMING OFF EFFEXOR COMPLETELY . . . without my life being ruined.

I had been on anti-depressants approx 10 year since 19 years old I am 30 now on my 5th successful month no effexor. I had 4 failed attempts coming off of anti depressants one that landed me in jail.

This time, just as advised by many I attempted a taper.

BUT THAT IS NOT ALL YOU DO TO HAVE SUCCESS AND KICK THOSE WITHDRAWALS.

Here are the following things I did advised and or supervised by my doctor WHO supported the process any doctor that doesn't does not have your best interest at heart because it is possible!

1. Gradually decreased by halfs took approx 3-4 months from 150mg +37.5mg at night

2. DETOX DETOX DETOX  . . . there are tea's and all kinds of cheap things at your grocery store to help detoxing but it's SUPER important . . . staying hydrated and sweats -as in sauna or hot baths- foot detox pads, tea, whatever you can afford get it!

3. FORCE STRETCHING . . . not exercise! big difference! although exercise is always recommended, as a person who felt those withdrawals, getting up and moving around is hard enough . . . so keep it simple, a stretch to each side or however you can remember from High School gym for a minute or two each day is not only easy but helps A LOT!

4. BABY ASPIRIN . . . for all you smokers, birth control users, or over weight . . . your circulation is critical to this process! And given newer generations are not so tolerant to aspirin, which can upset the stomach, one BABY aspirin goes a LONG way in your recovery. It will improve your breathing andlung function, your equillibrium problems, and often ease some of the head and body pains that come with withdrawal.

5. 5-HTP . . . (me personally at 200mg every other day now) is an over the counter supplement used to help sleep disorders and weight. It is a mental supplement that really helps more than any most suggested : st.john's etc . . . mainly because it helps sleep and calm the nerves.

6. VITAMIN PACKS THAT CONTAIN: L-Tyrosine one of many helpful amino acids and enzymes, if possible add the multi pack minerals and vitamin C / C complex, which are the specific one's that help the transition.

7. OMEGA - 3:  and not ALL are created equal! so if you can avoid just fish oil or eating an avocado every other day, please find  an Omega-3 blend that has multiple oils, which will adapt to your system much better than over loading one type of oil, which may not even be useful to your system, given everyone is different! Cover your bases. This combo with the brain amino acids is POWERFUL to coating the membranes of your poor confused mind and healing the parts of the mind that are stuck not functioning due to Effexor and it's powerful effect on your mood functionality.

8. DON'T PANIC:  =]  it feels scary your first couple of withdrawals but I noticed within hours extreme withdrawals symptoms give or take 4-6 hours went away. I warned family, my job, and friends [AND AM SO GRATEFUL I DID] that I was coming off a newer medication that is not easy to rid. That bought me great flexibility on days I could not be social or just felt so upset nothing could bring me to my senses.

9. AVOID OTHER SUBSTANCES:  ok with the exception of marijuana, given you have legal prescriptions, anything else aggitates syptoms. Caffeine, tobacco, opiates, pain pills, street drugs, etc . . . I saw benadryl mentioned. THIS IS a very safe alternative to getting to rest, along with other allergy medicines if you have been prescribed to some. Suntheanine / L-theanine is also very effective but can be pricy . . . for helping sleep and or anxiety. 

10. USE ALL THESE STEPS or you will experience the descriptions of posts on the entire page. The vitamins, supplements, sweating, stretching, and gradual cut down all compliment each other in making a successful process. I.E. the omega-3 helps activate the other minerals and supplements and aids in easing the stomach problems or weight problems that can occur. Also the detox and aspirin helped my migrains the most. They all play a part and are all avail at the regular store for affordable prices. ALSO NOTE: I mentioned VITAMIN PACK because it is often cheaper to get a pack with all the vitamins you need included versus trying to purchase one bottle of one of these things which can run high. Other suggestion that may work for some - SAMe.

 

I HOPE THESE HELP ANYONE OR AT LEAST ALLEVIATE THE TERRIBLE SYMPTOMS I READ THAT PEOPLE EXPERIENCED. I WRITE THESE FROM EXPERIENCING THEM MYSELF NOT JUST SOME ADVISE . . . I, with an extremely low budget, faced loosing my access insurance and decided before I lost it to make the change. This is the first time and longest time I've ever had success. I honestly don't feel 100% back to myself before the meds BUT it takes time and patience. Best wishes and please post if these things work for anyone else! thanks

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quilterjen, Community Member
11/24/13 3:11pm

Thank you for posting this!  When I am trying to stop taking this medication (hopefully soon after Christmas), I will do all of the things you suggested in addition to what my Dr. tells me.  I know how to do it the wrong way already.  ;)

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angela13, Community Member
8/15/13 2:28pm

I am just stoping today i want to have a baby and dont wanna be on it. So ill keep you uptated on how it is going  i feel a little jittery like paulsating. I went throw withdraw on zoloft not to bad i think tapering off was so much worse than stoping. So goona just do this gonna take tylonol if it gets real bad i hope it dont

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quilterjen, Community Member
8/16/13 12:38pm
Oh Angela, just stopping THIS drug is like nothing I've ever experienced. I don't recommend going off cold turkey. Seriously, I should have been hospitalized. Please get a doctor's advice about how to taper off. My doctor said she had different meds she could switch with to help taper off all meds. I just know that I almost didn't live through it. I hope if you decide to go through with your plan, that you don't have the effects as bad as I did, but .... I REALLY wish you'd seek a doctor's advice. You want to be around and feeling your best to have a baby. I've been there, too. Feel free to email me if you want to stay in touch, but I'll worry about you if you go off all at once. quilterjen@yahoo.com Reply
angela13, Community Member
8/16/13 1:25pm

Thanks for concern i appriciate it im on the second day its been going ok but last night was kinda bad  but tylonal helps some and im also on seroquil xr so i think that helps with alot but today was okay so far ill keep you updated

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militarymike, Community Member
5/ 4/14 10:15pm

I have been on 225mg of effexor a day for 6months and after an argument  with my wife, I just flashed my script. Wish me luck.

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cathimaz, Community Member
11/24/13 12:00pm

i have run out of my medicine and i feel all light headed, dizzy and head spinning, i get like twitchy when i walk my body feels as if i am not in my body i hate this feeling, i was put on it for my migraines and i would rather not take it if this is what it does, seems like the medicine makes you want to take it so you feel better

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quilterjen, Community Member
11/24/13 3:06pm

Can you get your prescription filled soon?  (Will the Dr. order a new script?)  You have to go off it with the help of a DR.  Otherwise, it will get much worse.  This is a medication I wish I'd never started (although it is helping me now, but I fear getting off it again!).  Please, try to take your normal dose as soon as possible.

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John R, Community Member
2/16/14 11:14pm

Off Effexor for 2 days and the dizziness is unreal.  

Body pulsing is an acurate term or head pulsing for me personally.

No sickness or nausea, but I don't mind the head spins Wink

At times .. It was enough for me to GOOGLE this, that is for sure!

Was given Effexor 3 mos. ago at 75mg 2x's a day to replace my Zoloft.

Effexor is supposed to replace the Zoloft and work with Celebrex for back injuries..

(Opiate free after 4 years since Nov. 2013 ! )

I only took the Zoloft in 6mos. intervals at best and it was a low dose.

ME THINKS I AM DONE WITH THE EFFEXOR (PERIOD) !

BUT NO, IF YOU CAN NOT HANDLE IT, SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION !!!

I am only 3 days into this now and if it gets worse, Who knows? I may have an update to post here ... 

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Cindy, Community Member
2/25/14 12:07pm

It's horrible to lose your mind.  Brain zaps, muscle twitches, unsteady on your feet, fear, suicidal thoughts, unable to plan or take care of affairs.  Angry psychiatrists and judgemental family begin showing up in your life.  Loss of money, independence and shortened life span.

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By joe, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/05/14, First Published: 05/26/08