• Casey Casey
    April 17, 2008
    Withdrawal from Effexor?
    Casey Casey
    April 17, 2008

    I want to go off my meds, but I've heard that the withdrawal can be pretty bad from Effexor. Has anyone gone off Effexor and experienced withdrawal?

    READ MORE

FROM OUR EXPERTS

  • Teri Robert
    Health Guide
    November 28, 2008
    Teri Robert
    Health Guide
    November 28, 2008

    April,

     

    Please keep in mind that there's a HUGE difference between addiction and the dependence that can develop when we take a medication we need. You are not addicted to Effexor. Your body has become used to it regulating your serotonin and norepinephrine levels.

     

    You discontinued with the help of your doctor, right? Be good to yourself through this process, and don't be afraid to call your doctor if you need more assistance.

     

    Teri

  • Teri Robert
    Health Guide
    November 28, 2008
    Teri Robert
    Health Guide
    November 28, 2008

    J.,

     

    How many days did you skip your Effexor dose? If it was just one or even two MAYBE you can pick up again at your 150mg dosage. If it was longer, your doctor may want you to start lower and taper back up.

     

    PLEASE call your doctor's office about this. If your doctor is out for the holiday weekend, your pharmacist may be able to give you some advice.

     

    Some of us react that way to our meds. I take Effexor XR and missed a day because of extending a trip. I felt horrible and cried too.

     

    Please take care of yourself!

    Teri


FROM OUR COMMUNITY

  • EMILY September 30, 2008
    EMILY
    September 30, 2008

    PLEASE READ. An actual SUCCESS story!!

     

    If you taper like you are told, you will experience some serious vertigo, and maybe a little nausea. After about day 4-5 you will feel much better. I took this stuff for about a year at 150mg, then at 75. Did the 75mg for the last month, every other day and just quit. I had read SO much creepy stuff on the internet that I was scared to do it! Could not find any success stories. My doc told me something that I want to share. What you find on the internet about med issuses is usually worst case scenarios. No one is interested in hearing a normal story or posting one for that matter. This is why I feel inclined to share a NORMAL story. Not to say that others don't experience the worst symptoms, but not all will. More than anything, the vertigo and brain shivers is all I experienced. It was more like drinking the night before and not going to sleep. Just foggy and a little slow for a few days. Try it over a weekend and by the 3rd or 4th day you will be a lot closer to normal. I feel GREAT. No more of that zoned out feeling. All in all, the effexor worked great for me, just felt it was no longer necessary and I was ready to get back to ME!

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    • AMANDARN
      July 26, 2009
      AMANDARN
      July 26, 2009

      No offense but I am 2 1/2 weeks out and it still sucks. I am a Nurse with my BSN and thought like you did. Do what I am told by md and what's the worst that could happen. He knows what he is talking about. YEAH RIGHT. You need to be informed of worst case situations so when they do happen you don't think your losing your mind or something far worse. If i had done the research I would have been better prepared and could have prepared my family better. Glad it worked so great for you but please keep in mind not everyone has it that easy.

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  • Rick July 16, 2008
    Rick
    July 16, 2008

    I had been on Effexor for many years and had tried to stop cold turkey due to the side effects I was experiencing(mainly no sex drive). After many attempts to stop cold turkey and experiencing the horrible side effects, I decided to try to taper off by taking a capsule every other day. Man, what a mistake! The dizziness was unbearable. So I decided to do some research on the internet and discovered that Effexor depletes the body of a major antioxidant called glutathione. I did more extensive research on glutathione and discovered that it is in fact a major antioxidant produced in the body. So I decided to see if glutathione was available in supplement form and it was! So I ordered a bottle of 250 mg capsules and started taking them while stopping the Effexor. Guess what? The side effects were minimal at best!!! It's been two weeks and I have had very minimal dizziness and slight headaches. Best of all, my sex drive is starting to return. I would definitely suggest to anyone trying to get off Effexor to give this a try. We all know our own bodies. My guess is if you suggested this to your doctor, he would tell you to continue to taper off, but from what I understand, this is a very lengthy and painful process. Good Luck to all!

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  • Suzanne May 21, 2008
    Suzanne
    May 21, 2008

    The first piece of advice I will give you is to see your doctor. You will need his/her assistance. I had been taking Effexor for about 8 years and I did not want to be tied to it any longer.  My physician advised me to taper off very, very slowly. 

     

    Initially, I was prescribed 225 mg.  Each time I tapered off, I took 37.5 mg less.

     

    My plan looked something like this:

    First taper: 150 mg + 37.5 mg

    Second taper: 150 mg

    Third taper: 75 mg + 37.5 mg

    Fourth taper: 37.5 mg

    Fifth taper: 37.5 mg every other day...

    I took my last pill about a week ago.

     

    Each taper period, lasted for 2 or more months. I took the drug at the same time each day.  During this time I also took (and am still taking), a high-quality source of Omega-3 fatty acid in very large doses and B-Complex.  I drink lots of water and eat a very balanced diet and try to get fresh air and a walk every day. After I took my last pill I began a detox tea, an herbal nervine in the evening to aid with sleep and relaxation, and last but not least Bach Flower Remedies . . . I am also seeing a Master Herbalist/Naturopath for guidance.

     

    Even after all of this I am still experiencing withdrawal, although not as badly as some of the cases I've read here and on other websites. I am experiencing electric shock-like sensations, mood swings, brain fog, anxiety, nausea, balance problems, etc. However, it is bearable and the severity lessens considerably every day.  

     

    According to what I've been reading it can take weeks or even a few months to be free of symptoms.  But it's all worth it.  Just to be free of this drug is worth it...

     

     

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  • Vicki M April 20, 2008
    Vicki M
    April 20, 2008

    Hi Casey,

     

    Hopefully you are under the care of your doctor. No online resource can be a replacement for your doctor's advice and care. Hopefully you are working with your doctor to come off of Effexor. You can read about Effexor here in the drugs database. Effexor is a medication that is not safe to discontinue unless you are under the care of a physician. According to the drugs database:

     

    "It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased. This medication may cause dependence, especially if it has been used regularly for an extended time or if it has been used in high doses. In such cases, withdrawal reactions (e.g., nausea, vomiting, headache, numbness, tingling, nightmares) may occur if you suddenly stop this drug. To prevent withdrawal when stopping extended/regular treatment with this drug, gradually reduce the dosage as directed. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details, and report any withdrawal reactions immediately.

     

    The side effects are listed here.

     

    There are also some discussions between members here who discontinued using Effexor. You can read about member number 4363's experiences and the answers here. Cpate had a tough time with withdrawal as well. You can read Cpate's experience and the comments here. Heidi47 also had a lengthy experience with Effexor. You can read her comments here.

     

    I hope this helps. Stay in touch and let us know how you are doing!

    Vicki M

    READ MORE
    • Hope
      June 08, 2009
      Hope
      June 08, 2009

      I currently take 300 mg of Effexor XR for anxiety (and a little depression), and it definitely helps, but I would like to be able to become "Effexor free" (as some have called it) sooner rather than later.  I am currently working with a psychiatrist who knows my goal and has experience working with those going through various withdrawals.

       

      I understand the importance of decreasing dosage very slowly (I've been there with several other medications in the past), but I sometimes wonder if I'm really ready to take less than I do now.

       

      I was declined for health insurance coverage, so I don't feel like I can afford to see a therapist to work specifically on behavior modification and better ways to reduce and handle stress.

       

      Do you have any suggestions or know of any free couseling available online or otherwise?

       

      Thanks!

      READ MORE
    • Danielle
      June 19, 2009
      Danielle
      June 19, 2009

      I have been on Effexor XR for the last three years as part of a migraine treatment regiment.  One year ago I moved to Austria and my migraines have literally disappeared.  I spent most of 2006 and 2007 either bedridden or in the hospital due to the severity of my migraines.  In the last 8 months, my Austrian doctor has been able to SLOWLY reduce the number of daily medications I take. (I started with 15 pills per day!)  Now, I am totally med free!  I was on 300mg of Effexor XR per day and reduced by 75mg every three to four weeks.  Four days ago I stopped taking the 75mg capsules.  I feel like I am losing my mind.  I was on some pretty harsh drugs for my migraines and the withdrawal symptoms from the other drugs were almost non existent.  Day 1 of being "Effexor Free" I felt awful.  I am having nightmares, nausea, vomiting, hot flashes and sweats, my tongue and mouth get numb and tingly in waves throughout the day, drowsiness, SEVERE AGITATION, dizziness to the point of almost passing out, and my brain is doing something crazy too...it's nothing I ever felt before and I don't even know how to explain it but it's affecting my eyes, ears, and balance. It's so bad that I am considering starting the pills again.  I advise anyone who is going off of this drug to really consider what they are deciding.  I have never felt this out of control in my life.  I got alot of benefits from being on Effexor, but now I'm just hating it alot.

      READ MORE
    • chris
      June 26, 2009
      chris
      June 26, 2009

      i'm in the same f...ing nightmare as you. was taking for 3 years and lowered dose from 150mg for three months to 75mg and now quit cold turkey and have gone through everything you said and i feel like i'm dying. if i ever knew it would be like this i never would have taken the drug. its just like a drug addict trying heroin to feel good and he was aware of the aftermath he knew what could happen. i was never was informed that i would feel like i'm being shocked in my brain every time i moved my body. this is nuts, now i'm suppose to stay on this shit or feel like this for weeks or months. this drug company sucks and should be sued over the horror stories i read about online and what i am going through. i feel for anyone suffering from this ccw6913203@yahoo.com

      READ MORE
    • Bobby-Sue
      June 28, 2009
      Bobby-Sue
      June 28, 2009

      Hi I was on 75mg for about one year.  I weaned off and felt bad so my doctor prescribed serc 16mg which is an anti-vertigo medication.  I feel much better now.  Because I am not dizzy I don't feel nausea anymore.  Try it.

      READ MORE
    • Wren
      July 01, 2009
      Wren
      July 01, 2009

      Danielle:

           I was on Effexor 150mg for over a year.  I spoke with my doctor about getting off the meds too.  He started the decrease from 150mg to 75mg over a three week period.  Then I went to 37.5mg for a full week.  He then prescribed a 90mg Prozac weekly pill.  This pill will distribute the dosage over the week.  Little by little you get something everyday.  During the 37.5mg and the Prozac I did experience a little dizzness, but nothing I couldn't handle.  I suggest that you contact your Dr. about the 37.5mg dosage and the 1 Prozac weekly pill. 

       

      Good luck and let me know how it goes.

      READ MORE
    • 0604
      July 06, 2009
      0604
      July 06, 2009

      I was also put on Effexor for migraine treatment.  I have been on 150mg for about 2 years.  I stopped taking it on my own about 3 weeks ago and am misreable!  I've experienced nausea, vomiting, fatigue, abdominal cramping, and horrible hot flashes.  I have now decided to go to my doctor to get off the other two daily meds he has put me on.  Hopefully it won't be as bad.  Thanks to everyone who posted on this site...it helped me to see that it was the Effexor causing these problems.

      READ MORE
    • manda85984
      July 07, 2009
      manda85984
      July 07, 2009

      I was on Effexor 150mg for about 3 years and decided to get off. My doc and I weaned me off slowly over a month and I took my last 37.5mg pill a week ago. Aside from being dizzy, I didnt experience anything too bad. But that was because my doctor advised me to take Vitamin b complex and antihistamines (benadryl) and I really think it helped! Now I am almost done with all the symptoms, just a little dizzyness here or there. Its possible to get off this drug!

      READ MORE
    • Jo Jo
      July 09, 2009
      Jo Jo
      July 09, 2009

      I am sorry, but you sound like you are reading from a pamplet!

      No matter how you try to come off this medication, it is going to be a tough go.

      I am going through hell, and just keep holding onto the fact that it is going to subside soon.

      No Doctor in their right mind would prescribe this medication!  And don't let them prescribe it without additonal counceling.

      This is a "give em a pill and everything will be okay" mindset.  Doctors should be ashamed of theirselves!

      READ MORE
    • maqsood
      July 11, 2009
      maqsood
      July 11, 2009

      Prozac 20 mg not 90 correct it.

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    • e_hand
      August 03, 2009
      e_hand
      August 03, 2009

      That's shit.

      READ MORE
    • Randi
      August 04, 2009
      Randi
      August 04, 2009

      I have been on Effexor for over 8 years.  I have tried to lower the dose, it doesn't work.  I get brain fizzles and dizzyness.  My dr. won't take me off of it because I'm doing fine with it and does not want me to go backward.  Sometimes its not worth it to get off the meds.  If you can't afford it, contact a mental health clinic as they might be able to get it for you free of charge though the company that makes Effexor.  Why do you people want off your meds if they are helping?  Paxil gives the same effect when getting off of it. I went through withdrawls getting off Klonopin too.  One valium took care of that problem.  I'm now off of valium.  Nothing you get off of is going to be easy.  Is it worth it? I have no idea and don't want to even think about it. 

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    • Kimi
      August 10, 2009
      Kimi
      August 10, 2009

      Hi,

       

      I want to share my experience with Effexor and tapering off, going off, attempting to stop taking this medicine.  My doctor put me on this because he said that although I have BPPV (top end vertigo), my panic attacks and my "dizziness" were also part of having migraine associated dizziness.  So, prescribing Effexor seemed like a good idea....in late 2004. 

       

      I have been taking this medicine while trying to figure out why I am dizzy and cannot lean back or lay on my right side.  All the meds that I was given just increased the symptoms but I was PANIC free until I had an "attack" that they couldn't tell me what it was.

       

      Several times I have attempted to go off this medicine.  All with the same results.  I guess it's called brain shivers, but feels like my brain is being electrically shocked or it stops for a second and then starts up with three times the amount of impulse it needs.  It's like being jumped with jumper cables about ever 15 seconds.  I was taking 75 mg.  I have been told that my brain is very sensitive, which makes sense because I am very sensitive to most medicines.  Three times of attempting stopping resulted in a near psychotic episode where I was crying, yelling, physically have a fit, having the brain jumping/electrical thing that happens with increasing intensity.  All with the same result, give me a pill and it was okay after about three hours. 

       

      On Effexor, I gained weight, binged out on sweets, craved carbohydrates, impulsive purchases, inability to make certain rational decisions, mood swings, excessive sweating, dizziness (beyond my BPPV symptoms) and the list goes on.  Found out that I was going through menopause as well......which is a whole set of extra symptoms that may appear to be related to Effexor side effects.

       

      However, once I found a doctor that could help me to deal with my dizziness and actually had me work through the Epley manuever for that problem, the reasons for being on Effexor were null.  So, the last time that I had this script filled, I bumped it down to 37.5 mg capsules.  I had been taking it for six months and my doctor indicated that it makes the BPPV worse, so needed to get off of it.  I found that on this lower dose, I was as compulsive, less sweaty and less weird.

       

      So, two weeks ago, because I cannot continue to afford $75 for a three month supply.....I began to take one every other day.  I did find that I had the little shock episodes about 24 hours after I took my last pill.  And those little episodes did begin mild and gradually got worse, but since I had lowered my dose, it wasn't as bad.  I was able to get through the four days of those little shocks.  I had to take a prozac or two to keep me from having heavy shocks.  I begain this 8-4-09 and on Sunday 8-9-09, there wasn't that feeling of shocks in my brain.  A little dizzy or nauseated still.

       

      My one doctor said that if you take prozac about two weeks before attempting to stop Effexor, and begin the every other day then just stop, it helps.  I implore anyone that wants to stop.....just do it when you can be at home right at the time of the weekend or take days off from work. 

       

      It's amazing what my body has built up in toxins and stress.  I was "itchy" for about 24 hours.  Not from touching things that made me allergic, but just itchy everywhere like the little shocks in my brain went through my nervous system and every nerve ending would occassionally receive a message that I was itchy wherever it ended.

       

      That's my story......a long and painful story, and not the end of it for sure.....and I hope it helps someone else attempting to go off this medicine or any other Serotonin Inhibitor like Effexor.  I know Effexor is the worst and I truly believe that it has changed my brain forever.

       

      Good luck!

      READ MORE
    • julie
      September 07, 2009
      julie
      September 07, 2009

      Hi, I am responding to your experience with Effexor.  I was prescribed Effexor because I hit menopause at a fabulous 40.  It hit hard with horrible hot flashes.  My female nurse practicioner prescribed this med because it counteracts the hot flashes.  The problem is that it also makes me have hives, has made me gain weight and not be able to make good decisions.  I ran out and was out of town.  Oops.  Bad bad thing.  By day three I was dizzy, pukey, and felt plain weird.  I guess I didn't realize this was a dependency drug.  For someone who's never really taken any drugs or many prescriptions, it's hard to deal with.  I am terribly upset that I'm addicted to a drug because I am menopausal.  I'm not depressed, I don't have anxiety, but I was prescribed an anti-depressant for hot flashes.  I have taken it for about 9 months.  Have any idea how bad the withdrawls will be??

      READ MORE
    • EffEffexorXR
      September 15, 2009
      EffEffexorXR
      September 15, 2009

      WOW me too. I feel your pain. I was prescribed Effexor XR for generalized anxiety when I was 16. I was taking 75mg capsules. When I was 19 I decided to get off of it. I withdrew with the electric shocks and other symptoms, which I was quite famliar with if I forgot a dose. Not even a year later I had a full blown panic attack and developed a panic disorder. I was having panic attacks left and right no matter what I did. I tried some other medications and decided that the Effexor was familiar. The doctor assured me that I would only have to take it for 6 months to a year to avoid a relapse in the panic attacks. I took it longer. I got off of it when I was 22. (I'm 23 now) I had another miserable time trying to quit it cold turkey. I spent about two weeks being extremely uncomforable, having the electric shock feeling everytime I turned my head. If I walked across the room the electric shocks felt like they were moving from the balls of my feet up to my head and out through my teeth. I was crying all the time, couldn't sleep, the panic came back with a vengeance, I had vertigo and felt like a crazy person. Now, after a year of struggling with trying to get my panic disorder under control without medication, I have given up again, but I told my doctor there was no way I was going back on Effexor. I am now taking Prozac 20mg. I haven't been on it long, but I already feel better. It's effects are much like effexor's were. I am a little speedy, a little less hungry, and calmer ("in neutural" as I like to call it) Effexor was a nightmare for me. I hope all of these stories might educate others to seek alternative medications. 

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    • Barb3399
      September 20, 2009
      Barb3399
      September 20, 2009

      I was also put on Effexor for thte same reason, went to a Dr. for arithis and she decided to wean me off the Effexor.  Within 3 days I could barely hold myself upright I was so dizzy and felt like my brain was being buzzed along with constant nausea.  Today I had to cancel going to the movies with my grandduaghters because i literally couldn't function.  I lay in bed crying and thinking I have had enough of feeling bad all the time and would just like to give up.  I finally was able to crawl out of bed to take my meds and today happen to be the day to take the effexor and then slept and actually could get out of bed, still have some of the dizziness.  I am so depressed between the weaning off this med and all the pain I have.  I will go back to taking the effexor because I can't afford to feel this way since I have to go to work.

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    • Patty
      September 22, 2009
      Patty
      September 22, 2009

      Barb--don't get back on it! the effects will go away, promise! Let me give you a short summary on my withdrawal. I was on effexor for 4 years..decided enough was enough. I had no idea how terrible the withdrawals were going to be, I missed work for 2 weeks. I felt awful but was determined to not get back on the drug no matter what. I finally went to my primary doctor and he fixed my withdrawals! This is what he did for me:      I had SEVERE vertigo, could barely stand up-- antivert made it super manageable.

                 Heartburn for the first time in my life, it was constant-my doctor put me on pepcid.

                 asthma for the first time- took advair and proventil, took care of the shortness of breath.

      My withdrawals lasted exactly 6 weeks, after 6 weeks I stopped taking the above medications for the side effects and I was 100% ok! Had I known about this I would have taken them from day 1 of stopping the effexor instead of waiting 2 weeks and missing work over it.

      GO TO YOUR PRIMARY DOCTOR, he can prescribe meds to counteract your specific symptoms while you feel them!

      READ MORE
    • iknowhowufeel
      September 25, 2009
      iknowhowufeel
      September 25, 2009

      Thanks for posting the suggestions for the vertigo symptoms.  This has been my worst symptom of withdrawal.  I've been taking Effexor xr for about 6 years for depression/anxiety.  It truly helped me.  But, now that my husband and I have decided we would like to try to get pregnant, I know I had to get off.  There have not been enough studies of the use of it during pregnancy.  I have NO desire to chance it.  I tried once a few months back to get off of the Effexor and the withdrawal symptoms were miserable.  Delayed trying to get pregnant.  I got back on the 150mg I'd been taking forever.  Symptoms went away.

      Decided about 6 weeks ago to try and wean off again.  I went about it by opening the pill and removing more and more of the contents each night.  It's been working relatively withdrawal symptom-free.  I got down to the smallest amount about 6 days ago and finally stopped.  BAM!  Here come the nasty symptoms again.  Nausea and vertigo seem to be the most annoying.  Plus, the tears and anxiety have returned.  I've spent the last two days very unproductive and trying to hide it all from my children.  They know mommy has been crying though.  It's kind of hard to hide.

      I see my psychiatrist tomorrow and I've given her a heads up on what's going on.  I'm going to request the vertigo meds.  Thanks.

      Good luck to all of you going through this.  It's very, very difficult.  Hang in there.

      READ MORE
    • grammie
      October 09, 2009
      grammie
      October 09, 2009

      I have been reading these posts in a state of total panic.  I have been taking effoxor for 10 years at 75mg for tinnitis and just in January went to 150 due to horrible depression - thought it would help.  The depression got worse and I finally went to a psychiatrist who has me on Wellbutrin as i try to get off the Effexor.  It is horrible - brain surge if I move, horrible anxiety, acute depression.  I don't know what to do

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    • grammie
      October 09, 2009
      grammie
      October 09, 2009

      I have been reading these posts in a state of total panic.  I have been taking effoxor for 10 years at 75mg for tinnitis and just in January went to 150 due to horrible depression - thought it would help.  The depression got worse and I finally went to a psychiatrist who has me on Wellbutrin as i try to get off the Effexor.  It is horrible - brain surge if I move, horrible anxiety, acute depression.  I don't know what to do

      READ MORE
    • Jilita
      October 10, 2009
      Jilita
      October 10, 2009

      I have been on Effexor for 10+ years mostly cause I'm afraid of the withdrawals. I tried to go off in 2003 and titrated down slowly. But the withdrawals were the worst I've ever experienced. I became psychotic and cried all the time and was in so much emotional pain, I couldn't bear it and had to go back on. But it was the catalyst for the biggest depressive episode I've ever had. Lots of panic and anxiety too. I would be very careful with Effexor, especially since a lot of p-docs's say there is no such thing as Effexor withdrawal. They are full of it. I am considering going off Effexor again, as it's not working for me anymore, but my p-doc wants to hospitalize me for it. Be very careful and work with a doctor you trust.

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    • helpneeded
      October 16, 2009
      helpneeded
      October 16, 2009

      One more Effexor addict here. How in the h... can this drug be on the market and prescribed so freely by primary care physicians? I've tried twice to get off of it and became so sick that I now guard my pills as though my life is at stake. How can I get off of this? I have to work. I can't stay in bed for weeks until I'm better. I took Vicodin for a year and a half after a horse crushed my ankle and was able to wean myself off that drug with few side effects, other than  a week where I had trouble sleeping. Please tell me how to find help.

      READ MORE
    • helpneeded
      October 16, 2009
      helpneeded
      October 16, 2009

      One more Effexor addict here. How in the h... can this drug be on the market and prescribed so freely by primary care physicians? I've tried twice to get off of it and became so sick that I now guard my pills as though my life is at stake. How can I get off of this? I have to work. I can't stay in bed for weeks until I'm better. I took Vicodin for a year and a half after a horse crushed my ankle and was able to wean myself off that drug with few side effects, other than  a week where I had trouble sleeping. Please tell me how to find help.

      READ MORE
    • helpneeded
      October 16, 2009
      helpneeded
      October 16, 2009

      One more Effexor addict here. How in the h... can this drug be on the market and prescribed so freely by primary care physicians? I've tried twice to get off of it and became so sick that I now guard my pills as though my life is at stake. How can I get off of this? I have to work. I can't stay in bed for weeks until I'm better. I took Vicodin for a year and a half after a horse crushed my ankle and was able to wean myself off that drug with few side effects, other than  a week where I had trouble sleeping. Please tell me how to find help.

      READ MORE
    • helpneeded
      October 16, 2009
      helpneeded
      October 16, 2009

      One more Effexor addict here. How in the h... can this drug be on the market and prescribed so freely by primary care physicians? I've tried twice to get off of it and became so sick that I now guard my pills as though my life is at stake. How can I get off of this? I have to work. I can't stay in bed for weeks until I'm better. I took Vicodin for a year and a half after a horse crushed my ankle and was able to wean myself off that drug with few side effects, other than  a week where I had trouble sleeping. Please tell me how to find help.

      READ MORE
    • Liz
      Liz
      October 17, 2009
      Liz
      Liz
      October 17, 2009

      I was on two 75mg tablets of Effexor for two years.  Someone told me this drug was dangerous so I told my Dr I wanted to come off it.  He wasn't pleased but I came off gradually within three weeks.  After stopping I got electric shock feelings in my head for four days.  One day after stopping Effexor I started on Prozac (Fluox) two 20mg a day. 20mg of Prozac is equal to 75mg Effexor.  I have got terribly depressed.  First I just slept, now I can't stand being in my bedroom on my own.  I was told Prozac usually starts to pick you up after six weeks.  I just seem to be getting worse so am hoping I will pick up.  I am also on Seroquel at night to sleep and I want to take this earlier each night.  I just want to take the pain inside away.  I need to see a Counsellor but am scared as I will have to talk about my daughter and she caused the problem so don't know if it will help or make me worse.  I can't seem to take the first step.  I only get depressed when something goes wrong with my grownup children and usually I come right fast but this time its like the worst thing that has ever happened to me.

      Good luck to you all

       

      Liz

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    • Liz
      Liz
      October 17, 2009
      Liz
      Liz
      October 17, 2009

      I was on two 75mg of Effexor XR for two years.  My Doctor said Effexor made migraines worse.  I came off it by decreasing it in three weeks.  I still suffered from what felt like electric shocks in my head four days afterwards.  I am now on Fluox two 20mg a day but have only been on it for three weeks so am hoping it will kick in within six weeks otherwise I have to take three tablets.

      Never go cold turkey with Effexor Xr.  I know how you are feeling as I tried it once.  I told my Chemist and he told me to start taking it again slowly.  Effexor seems a very difficult drug to come off.

      I take Imigran for migraines and they stop them straight away.  I have High Blood Pressure so have to be careful.  I take Seroquel to sleep.  If anyone knows anything about Seroquel could they let me know please.  With Effexor I took one 75mg and one 35mg per day, then one week of 75mg a day, then one week of 35mg a day to get off it.  Now I have hit rock bottom.  Disregard what I said about Effexor-XR giving you migraines I think it was another drug that does that.

      I would start the Effexor-XR again and come off it slowly if you wish to come off it.

      Good Luck

      Liz

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    • Carrottopcat
      October 24, 2009
      Carrottopcat
      October 24, 2009

      Thank-you so much for the info I thought I was loosing my mind.except in my case the efforor just stopped working.I feel like my mind is one place and I have no interest in anything.I have been on the effoxor for at least six years.Have you started something else and if so how do you feel now.I go to the Doctor on Monday and would like some feed back.

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    • lovinglabs
      November 09, 2009
      lovinglabs
      November 09, 2009

      I too have gotten off of effexor after 7 years , my doctor put me on wellbrutin, I went straight from effexor to wellbrutin.  This is day 8 and I still feel like i'm dying.  I have the wierdest symptoms. major anxiety, I feel like my brain is pulsating, I'm having major hot flashes, sweat will just pour off of me. My  whole body aches.  My doctor said to allow atleast 10 days for the wellbrutin to take effect.  I don't know if I'm feeling this way from the well brutin or coming off of the effexor?  I feel like I should switch to something else?  I'm not sure what to do.

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    • jonas
      December 07, 2009
      jonas
      December 07, 2009

      I was on Effexor for about 5 years norephranephrine (sp?) deficiency and my doc said my levels were good and could go off my meds. I slowly tapered down from 300mg every 2 weeks, but to be extra careful, I took the last few doses each a month (75mg for a month, 37.5 for a month) and now nothing. My effects haven't been so severe this way, but I still feel cruddy, emotional, have crazy dreams, low fever.

      Taking the 37.5mg would have helped you instead of just going off cold turkey at 75mg I think. Maybe you can still try it?

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    • MichellDee
      December 11, 2009
      MichellDee
      December 11, 2009

      these drugs cause serious long term effects such as vision disruption, breast cancer, there are many more. This is why people want to get off of these drugs. Why did you try to lower your dose. Brain fizzles and dizziness is not normal its addiction.

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    • Effexor Hater
      December 12, 2009
      Effexor Hater
      December 12, 2009

      It has taken me two years to wean myself from the 300 mg dosage my doctor prescribed down to 12.5 mg. The trip was horrendous and my doctor was absolutely no help. He gave me a plan to wean myself down in a matter of a couple of months, and that was just not possible due to the severe withdrawal effects of the drug.

       

      Once I got below 100 mg, the anxiety attackes STOPPED. The hot flashes STOPPED (which I had been having for all the time I was on Effexor--and I am not menopausal). The paranoia STOPPED. And for the first time in years, I began to be able to get to sleep without sleeping pills.

       

      I was prescribed Effexor because I could not sleep. My doctor said that if I felt better about life, I could relax enough to sleep, and when it didn't help, he just kept adding more to the prescription. I even went to another doctor who concurred with this regimen.

       

      I had to give the drug up because my insurance coverage was dropped, and I have never felt better--but it took two years and lots of my own money--I was unable to function if I went any faster getting off this poison. Getting about 20 minutes of sunshine and fresh air per day have helped with the insomnia. And now that I can sleep, I am able to exercise without feeling like I am dying.

       

      I am still on the 12.5 mg/day (I chop a 25 mg pill in half) because I still get terrible brain shivers and audio hallucinations without it. I am scared to go cold turkey, because I don't think I could function for a while.

       

      Other improvements to my life since reducing my effexor intake by about 90%--better short-term memory, happier, losing weight.

       

      I hate, hate, hate this stuff and the doctors who prescribe it. It took nearly three years from my life.

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    • Effexor Hater
      December 12, 2009
      Effexor Hater
      December 12, 2009

      I couldn't agree with you more.

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    • Effexor Hater
      December 12, 2009
      Effexor Hater
      December 12, 2009

      I couldn't agree with you more.

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    • Randi
      December 15, 2009
      Randi
      December 15, 2009

      I've taken off 37.5 mg, in 2 months and I feel great!  Next month I'll take off another 37.5.

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    • LS328
      March 13, 2010
      LS328
      March 13, 2010

      I do not agree with taking 37.5 will make your withdraw better. I having been taking 37.5 for the last year. I missed a dose last night because I did not make it to the pharmacy in time. I woke up this morning and feel like I am dieing. I am shaking, feel like I have no control over my body or what comes out of my mouth. I feel angry and the littlest thing sets me off. There was no way I could have driven to the pharmacy this morning, since I feel like I cant control my motor function or rage. So I screamed for my husband to go get my rx, I have never seen him rush out the door so fast. Right now my heart is racing, and I feel like an elephant is sitting on my chest. I want to cry, and scream the same time. I do not have the brain shocks that others have described, but I feel like s..T! This med is horrible. I used to take zoloft and have never had this problem.

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    • legthatkicks
      April 18, 2010
      legthatkicks
      April 18, 2010

      this description is exactly what i went through the past two weeks. i am now 7 days withouth any effexor, and while far from perfect, things are improving. i had it all - the cranky rage, nausea, dizzies (still have that), headaches, complete loss of emotional control (spontaneous emoting into tears and fits  of anger). i think the best for me was removing myself from any stressful situations and having friends and a husband and doctor watching out for me. when i stayed home i was much more able to control my symptoms, but when i tried to work it sent me into dissociatitve states when i got stressed. i am really hopeful that this coming week is going to be better than the last and gradually i will become myself - i am looking forward to getting to know the real me again.

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    • Healthy Gal
      April 24, 2010
      Healthy Gal
      April 24, 2010

      I am on Effexor and am looking to get off with as least amount of withdrawal as possible.

       

      In addition to speaking with my western doctor, I am also seeking advice from naturopaths, herbologists and other natural healers to find out what works best for my body.

      Seek out a naturopath or go to lef.org (life extension) to get your blood thoroughly tested (hormone levels). The information gathered from these tests will be used to put your body back in balance. It takes WORK and consistency, so don't give up.

       

      My belief is that you can work through many of our "western" ailments by changing our diet.

       

      Here are some other things that have worked for me so far:

      1. Read the labels of everything you eat. Choose organic foods whenever possible. Begin to "google" all of the ingredients that are not familiar to you.

      2. Get rid of processed SUGAR in your diet (go search for "Death by Sugar" on utube). This includes high fructose corn syrup and any other name it is called.

      3. Get some strips to urinate on to see if your body is acidic or alkaline.

      4. Get your body more alkaline... as you get off processed sugar, your body will be less acidic if you also don't ingest artificial sweeteners, preservatives, etc.

      5. Find a great Herbologist. I found one and he has provided me with some herbal treatments for some of my other ailments.

      6. If you smoke or drink heavy amounts of alcohol be diligent to get rid of both of these habits as quickly as possible.

       

      If you would like additional info, let me know.

      To Your Health!

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    • Angie
      April 27, 2010
      Angie
      April 27, 2010

      I am currently 9 days into the withdraw...have bruises on my legs where I have bumped into things because of the dizziness.  The "brain zaps" are still occurring...maybe twice a day I feel like the earth has turned sideways and I have to grab hold of whatever is in front of me to steady myself.  My headaches have decreased but I'm still in a sort of fog.  On the 5th day of withdraws I cried uncontrollably and felt a feeling of hopelessness...but my hubby is wonderful and helped me through it. When will this end???  I decided to stop the medication cold turkey and as you say I can't wait to get to know myself better.  I have been on this medication for over 2 years and up until now have never been "addicted" to anything.  When this ends and I am more in control of my emotions, I plan on setting up a meeting with the prescribing doctor so others are well informed about "withdraw" symptoms.  I was not informed and it makes me want to scream!!!

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    • legthatkicks
      April 27, 2010
      legthatkicks
      April 27, 2010

      angie - hang in there. you will get to the other side of this. my very recent personal experience (two weeks since last dose - i had been on effexor or zolof for 15 years!)  is that the hand holding and support of my fabulous doctor got me through a strict taper and i have reached to other side!

       

      i really do not think you really should not have stopped cold turkey. i recommend you go to your doctor asap and have them set up a taper schedule. if you don't feel like you are getting suporrt for a realistic and supportive taper, find a new doctor - you are worth it  and deserve to have someone helping you with this. by going cold turkey you are not giving your body time to adjust to the change in brain chemicals...

       

      i went throught everything you describe, and it really sucked, but i can report that i am past most of it now, and it is because of the taper schedule. the dizzies, what i called "brain scrambles" the angry rage, vivid dreams, the crying uncrontrollably, even a day of derealization - i had it all.

       

      but i can now report that for the past 5 days i have felt much more in control of my emotions and the craziness. my last dose was april 12 - so two weeks ago. but i did a taper to get to that last dose.

       

      so, my thoughts for you - stay strong, get a good doctor who can help you safely taper and support you through it, and know that your body will tell you what it needs, eventually, but you need to give a lot of time to find out how you will really feel without the effexor. you may find out that you will eventually do great without any antidepressent but you may also discover you really do need something - but it is too early to tell. this is why you need a doctor carefully monitoring you throught this process.

       

      i had many conversations with my doctor the past few weeks where i was in a panic worrying that how i was feeling was "who i was" and was going to feel like this forever -  and it was terrifying - so i think i know what you are feeling.

       

      the best advice i can give you is to be patient and find a doctor who knows what he is doing and can support you through the process of withdrawal. don't waste your precious energy being angry and regretting the past (that you chose to take this drug) - i  recommend that you use your inner energy to get support to heal and move forward with your life.

       

      here is a quote for you:

       

      "It does not matter how slow you go so long as you do not stop. "   (confucious)

       

       

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    • Angie
      April 27, 2010
      Angie
      April 27, 2010

      Wow...you are awesome!!!  Just reading what you wrote makes me smile!!  Sometimes I am mean and I think mean things...and yes I worry is that who I've become??  I DON'T want this drug to rule my life anymore..I'm ready to be free and with your advice I will concentrate and use my inner energy to move forward and not think about the past. The reason I haven't done any tapering is because I want everything out of my body and I know that is not showing patience....but if you are doing well after 2 weeks surely I don't have too long to go.  Thank you...thank you for your response.  The good thing is I am off this week...I can sleep...and I will find myself again really soon....take care:)

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    • legthatkicks
      April 27, 2010
      legthatkicks
      April 27, 2010

      you are welcome angie! i am tearing up reading your response - but it is a good cry - i am happy i was able to offer a glimmer of hope to you. (i have cried more in the past month than i have in the past 10 years...)

       

      like i said - i was where you are just last week, so be strong. i think staying home is a wonderful thing - the days i was able to not be stressed by work and other responsibilites were so important - my worse days were when i tried to do my normal routine, but i was not "normal" me, so it didn't go so well. i called it being "alternative universe" me. i am now realizing that i am not how i feel at any particular  moment.  i just need to realize that my body is going to have bad days but that doesn't mean that i am broken forever - one step back two steps forward...

       

      A thought and quote to tuck away for when you are in the :alternative you" space and feeling discouraged and stymied by the symptoms of your body:

       

      "You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body." (CS Lewis)

       

      You may want to check out some of my posts on my Tumblr blog from the past few weeks - they may show you how my mood has changed as I have gone through the process...  I hope that you have someone you trust that you can talk out how you are doing - I have the luxury of an immensely caring and supportive doctor and partner and it makes a world of difference. But connecting and sharing in communties like this can also be so helpful.

       

      -sending you gentle hugs  - you CAN do this! and you WILL!

       

      -n

      http://littlebirdexpress.tumblr.com/

       

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    • Angie
      April 29, 2010
      Angie
      April 29, 2010

      I am embracing those gentle hugs...thing are getting better!!!  Yesterday in the am felt enough dizziness to make me sick to my stomach.  Today is a new day and YES...I can do this.  Since I have stopped this medication I feel so many aspects of my life are healing and do call you my earthly angel. I hope you don't mind me mentioning you in my book as a "helper" and some of the things that you mentioned that helped me with my overall healing process.  It has been a process for 2 1/2 years...and I am ready to finish this book.  I have come so far not to finish this withdraw period...you are right "I CAN do this".  I am currently learning about myself a little more and actually going to go back to work tomorrow with more zest.  I am a speech pathologist...and I can do well.  Thank you...continue on your journey to help others...it is your purpose!!!

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    • legthatkicks
      April 29, 2010
      legthatkicks
      April 29, 2010

      oh angie - likewise - your gratitude for my advice is an amazing gift.

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    • Danny
      May 03, 2010
      Danny
      May 03, 2010

      I hate what I am going through,,  I have tried to get off this medication for three years.  I was put on it ten years ago due to anxiety over the death of a friend.  At that time I was told there were no side effects or withdraw after taking this medication and I could go off it anytime I wanted.  The withdraw has been horible.  My depression is outrages.  I have never been depressed in my life and now I have trouble functioning.   I want to sue this company! 

      Danny In Las Vegas

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    • JP
      JP
      May 03, 2010
      JP
      JP
      May 03, 2010

      I have been on the 37.5 for about 3 mo. and decided to get off of it due to way it was effecting my sex life. 2 days after stopping it I started having the feeling ofcar sickness and an overall  weirdness that is unexplainable until I read every elses symptoms of withdrawel and dreaming like crazy. Definitly NOT taking it any more. So no matter what the dosage this med. is going to give you withdrawals!!!!!!!

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    • JP
      JP
      May 03, 2010
      JP
      JP
      May 03, 2010

      I have been on the 37.5 for about 3 mo. and decided to get off of it due to way it was effecting my sex life. 2 days after stopping it I started having the feeling ofcar sickness and an overall  weirdness that is unexplainable until I read every elses symptoms of withdrawel and dreaming like crazy. Definitly NOT taking it any more. So no matter what the dosage this med. is going to give you withdrawals!!!!!!!

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    • micjoe
      May 07, 2010
      micjoe
      May 07, 2010

      Were you able to get off of it Angie?

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    • micjoe
      May 07, 2010
      micjoe
      May 07, 2010

      Were you able to get off of it Angie?

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    • Angie
      May 07, 2010
      Angie
      May 07, 2010

      I am currently on my 18th day without the medication and side effect FREE.  I have no more brain zaps, no dizziness, no upset stomach, no itching (that was REALLY bad for about 2 days).  My physical self feels really good!!!  I am now exploring my inner self to find out who I am without the medication.  Around the 14th and 15th day I was highly agitated at everything people said around me...but I was able to control that feeling.  I do have times where I am teary eyed but none of these things steer me toward a doctor to prescribe something else. I've made it this far so I am going to stay on this journey. I do have a lot of support.  Thank you so much for asking.  This was one HUGE hurdle in my life, one that I can't share even with my friends because I feel they wouldn't understand.  You know those "addicted" and "withdrawal" words?  Things are good and I do feel incredible strong for accomplishing something so difficult.  Again it was so nice of you to ask....how are you doing?

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    • micjoe
      May 07, 2010
      micjoe
      May 07, 2010

      Congrats to you..that's awesome!  I am on day 6 and the brain zaps are still very strong.  I;m pretty good if I just don't move!!   The doctor wants me to go on 10 mg prozac for a short time and I am choosing not to right now.  Maybe stubborn, but I just want these drugs out of my system.  I'm hoping another few days may do it!?!  Thanks and congrats!!

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    • Angie
      May 07, 2010
      Angie
      May 07, 2010

      Wow...6 days is REALLY good.  Only you know how much you can take without other "help" from medication.  I am stubborn too and I think we are both determined.  You are well on your way.  On the 12th -14th day the side effects for me subsided.  You truly have something to be proud of.  You are almost there.  Please embrace yourself for these first horrible days that you've conquered.  Good Luck!!!!!  Please let me know how you are.  I will be thinking of you.

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    • micjoe
      May 07, 2010
      micjoe
      May 07, 2010

      Wish I would have been as smart as you and stopped this sooner.  I agree it doesn't matter the dosage you're on...you still have withdrawal symptoms.  I was on 37.5mg for about 2 years and have been at half of that for 5 months or so.  So, I have to ask you, top...How long did it take you to get through it and did you take anything else?  I really don't want any more meds!! 

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    • micjoe
      May 07, 2010
      micjoe
      May 07, 2010

      Wish I would have been as smart as you and stopped this sooner.  I agree it doesn't matter the dosage you're on...you still have withdrawal symptoms.  I was on 37.5mg for about 2 years and have been at half of that for 5 months or so.  So, I have to ask you, top...How long did it take you to get through it and did you take anything else?  I really don't want any more meds!! 

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    • JP
      JP
      May 07, 2010
      JP
      JP
      May 07, 2010

      ok it's been exactly 1 week since I took my last pill and still having symptoms. No more nausea but my head is still not working right. It seems to be floating somewhat, not attached correctly to the rest of me, out of sync some how. How much longer to I have I wonder.

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    • micjoe
      May 08, 2010
      micjoe
      May 08, 2010

      So sorry to hear you're still having the head problems.  I, too am now on day 7 and not as nauseous but bad brain zaps.  Hang in there and hope you are soon symptom free.

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    • micjoe
      May 09, 2010
      micjoe
      May 09, 2010

      I can very much relate to you.  I was prescribed 37.5 mg effexor 2 and a half years ago for hot flashes.  I tried almost 2 years ago to get off of them and was very sick.  Tried to take one every other day and then went 4 days with none and ended up going back on them.  I have been on half of my 37.5 pill for about 4 months and am now on day 8 off of them completely.  I still have the brain zaps and dizziness.  I have no history of depression or anxiety and did this thinking it would be safer than hormones.  I would tell anyone that doesn't absolutely need this, don't take it!  I'm remaining optomistic that I will get back to normal, but it's very scary to think what it has done to my brain. 

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    • zoodeb
      May 09, 2010
      zoodeb
      May 09, 2010

      I have been on Effexor for over 12 years - it worked fine as an antidepressant, But, withdrawal symptoms set in after five hours if you forget a dose - if you take it at night and forget, the nightmares are like a bad LSD trip.   I have tried to get off it several times - in addition I have developed high blood pressure -  but just couldn't cope with the sickness.  Three months ago, I decided I'd had enough.  Plus, it wasn't working that well for depression anymore.  I was taking 150 mg at the time.  I tapered off VERY SLOWLY, waiting several weeks between lowered dosages.  I switched to the non XR, so I could take even smaller dosages.  I ended up taking one quarter of the smallest 50mg tablet - ie 12 1/2 mg so small I had trouble picking it up! - for several weeks.  Even with this I would be sick in the morning.  I finally decided to quit it all three days ago.  I have been so ill - vertigo, nausea, disoriented.  Difficult to focus - dangerous to drive.  I could not remember where I was at a stopsign yesterday, on a route I use all the time.  Terrible despair and crying jags over small things.  Dulled yet on edge at the same time.  Very difficult to do anything.  I live alone, and so have NO support with this.  Impossible to get a psychiatrist even to talk to for a minute.   I am in complete despair.  To top it off,  I have had a terrible loss in my life - my boyfriend of the past six years died within a month of a melanoma diagnosis.  But, I was so far in to the tapering off process, I just couldn't contemplate going through it again.  So, life has been a living nightmare.  I never dreamed when I finally found help for my lifelong depression fifteen years ago that the helping drug itself would be a life sentence.  And, I never knew the withdrawal, no matter how cautious and careful, would last so long and be so disabling.  My only encouragement in these dark days is that some of you seem to have finally gotten past it.  If what helps you, ends up killing you, what's the point of anything?????

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    • zoodeb
      May 09, 2010
      zoodeb
      May 09, 2010

      I have been on Effexor for over 12 years - it worked fine as an antidepressant, But, withdrawal symptoms set in after five hours if you forget a dose - if you take it at night and forget, the nightmares are like a bad LSD trip.   I have tried to get off it several times - in addition I have developed high blood pressure -  but just couldn't cope with the sickness.  Three months ago, I decided I'd had enough.  Plus, it wasn't working that well for depression anymore.  I was taking 150 mg at the time.  I tapered off VERY SLOWLY, waiting several weeks between lowered dosages.  I switched to the non XR, so I could take even smaller dosages.  I ended up taking one quarter of the smallest 50mg tablet - ie 12 1/2 mg so small I had trouble picking it up! - for several weeks.  Even with this I would be sick in the morning.  I finally decided to quit it all three days ago.  I have been so ill - vertigo, nausea, disoriented.  Difficult to focus - dangerous to drive.  I could not remember where I was at a stopsign yesterday, on a route I use all the time.  Terrible despair and crying jags over small things.  Dulled yet on edge at the same time.  Very difficult to do anything.  I live alone, and so have NO support with this.  Impossible to get a psychiatrist even to talk to for a minute.   I am in complete despair.  To top it off,  I have had a terrible loss in my life - my boyfriend of the past six years died within a month of a melanoma diagnosis.  But, I was so far in to the tapering off process, I just couldn't contemplate going through it again.  So, life has been a living nightmare.  I never dreamed when I finally found help for my lifelong depression fifteen years ago that the helping drug itself would be a life sentence.  And, I never knew the withdrawal, no matter how cautious and careful, would last so long and be so disabling.  My only encouragement in these dark days is that some of you seem to have finally gotten past it.  If what helps you, ends up killing you, what's the point of anything?????

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    • Meghan
      June 15, 2010
      Meghan
      June 15, 2010

      I was on a low dose also because I was having panic attacks problems. I tried everything else before effexor because of everything I heard about it. Effexor was the only thing that got my panic attacks to stop for a while, but then they started creeping up on me again so my doctor upped my dosage to 2 50mg pills a day. I could not tolerate the higher doseage at all. So I stopped cold turkey. I was okay for a couple days, but I noticed I was sleeping around the clock. Now that it has been four days I think (I have completely lost track of time) I am extremely dizzy and light headed. I have actaully been searching for my pill bottle to break a 37.5 in half so I can function right now. I babysit 2 kids and go to school so I really do not have the time to sleep these side effects away. I also noticed I have a very short fuse. The slightests things make me udderly pissed off and I cannot control it. I wish there was another way besides cold turkey and weaning to get off this stuff. I would try and see my doctor, but he is always booked and I can never get in. Go figure, someone who is dealing with a persons mental health has no time for their patients. I am also taking 1mg xanax as needed. I have actually found that has helped with a side effects a little. I am in no way saying you should go get xanax to help you. I have it because of my panic attacks. Conteracting one drug with another addictive drug is never a good idea, but it is helping me function like a "normal" human being.

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    • tanya
      June 16, 2010
      tanya
      June 16, 2010

      Hi I am having bad side effects from celaprex and was just weaned from 300mg effexor , this is the worst ever I have weird feelings like feeling like I am going to go crazy and loose my mind,I feel light headed,dizzy,nausious,tired,lips are always going numb even my eyes r going blurry vision I just feel like I cant do anything anymore and I am always depressed this sucks:( but I saw ur post here and I see that you are going through all of this too, I just hope all of this goes away soon I cant go through this anymore I always say in my my mind that I will feel better it will just take one day at a time and I hope the same for you:) pls get back to me  maybe this will help us get through it by talking to one another

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    • shannon
      July 06, 2010
      shannon
      July 06, 2010

      try st john's wort, 5 htp, b vitamins. black cohosh it helps with the seritonin levels in the brain and will help get u thru the withdraws ive taken effexor for 20 yrs and have been off for 3 days now not goin cold turkey by choice i have no insurance and can't afford it.I dont feel very good i have the brain shocks and restless sleep diharrea but i do believe the vitamins are helping. Good luck to all and don't forget prayer helps also . 

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    • CksnSC
      July 11, 2010
      CksnSC
      July 11, 2010

      I have been on effexor now for 4 yrs. and like you lost my insurance and moved to a state (SC) where they say they believe that depression is real but after 20 phone calls I still have not been unable to find a dr to give me another perscription or even to talk to me.  I have been on anti-depressants for 20 yrs and I can tell you for sure that I need something.  But now going into 15 days off meds and still have the "zaps' AND nausea, at day 10 I couldn't leave the bathroom.... I should have checked myself into detox.  I congrat all those that Can live without any kind of anti-depressent.  But I know I can't  not only are the withdrawls from the meds bad but now all those other things that non of you have talked about are coming out.  Such as low self worth, crying all the time. hearing things being said when they aren't, migraine headaches and yes even thoughts of suicide.  Yes great for all of you that can get off this drug.  I just wish there was a Doctor out there that would have seen me BEFORE I went threw all these withdrawls. Perhaps the lighter side is now that I have withdrawn from one of the most expensive anti-depresant out there perhaps I can start on something more reasonable.   Dang, I reread this and I don't even make sense.  Like I said, some can withdraw and live a normal life (makes me wonder who and why they put you on Effexor) while others like myself need some kind of anti-depresent to make it threw the day. C

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    • doctors need a clue
      August 05, 2010
      doctors need a clue
      August 05, 2010

      Not sure how long i was on efexor but I do know my doctor IS NOT well informed about the drug, side affects, or the withdrawls from this stupid medication.  I had to stop cold turkey because of the cost of it one month it cost about $23 dollars next month when I went to refill it was going to cost me $146.  I just couldn't see paying that much for a 1 month supply.

      My doctor told me early on that missing a day here or there was no big deal because it would have no effect on me  "WRONG" anytime I would miss a day the next day I would feel like fighting even a wall if it got in my way, I would cry if someone looked at me wrong.

      Now that i have gone off it cold turkey, here is what happens: i sweat so bad that i am soaked from head to toe and that is just if i walk just a few feet, chills in 90 + degree weather, i yell at my kids and pets just because they do one thing wrong, dizzy, night sweats, vertigo,headache  (continus for over a week), dry mouth so bad ( I have sleep apnea and have to use a CPAP and that doesn't prevent the dry mouth).  There are other affects I fell too.

       

      I personally am very unhappy with my docotor for perscribing this medicine and not taking me off of it sooner.

      Now I need to find away to get rid of these stupid withdrawals..........it is worse than being slightly depressed like i was before taking.

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    • Dana F.
      August 11, 2010
      Dana F.
      August 11, 2010

      I am so happy to read these responses -- to know that I am not alone.  I have spent the last month of my life thinking the worst.  I just hope we can all find some relief and peace, soon.  I have been considering going back on the medication just to get rid of the vertigo and the feeling that my body is here but my mind is not.  I don't know how to explain that.  Just an intense fuzziness that leaves me feeling numb, nauseous, & confused.  

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    • Dianna
      August 14, 2010
      Dianna
      August 14, 2010

      Hi zoodeb, Sorry to hear you are having such a bad time, I know what it feels like, Two years ago I withdrew from antideppresant Deptran and never suffered anything Like I have with Effexor XR. Wished I'd never started taking them, I find it hard to understand why doctors are using these drugs when there were no worse symptons with the old ones. I didn't get brain shocks, worse depression or vomiting, and the nightmares drive me crazy. Why are they prescribing drugs for people who are at their lowest only to let them become even lower {if possible} when they decide to be strong and stop taking them. I can't help you or myself for that matter all I can do is to wish us all luck in dealing with this demon. I hope oneday they will find a cure for depression that doesn't cause worse depression. Try and stay strong, I guess thats all any of us can do. Easier said than done.Good luck  Dianna

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    • Dianna
      August 14, 2010
      Dianna
      August 14, 2010

      Hi zoodeb, Sorry to hear you are having such a bad time, I know what it feels like, Two years ago I withdrew from antideppresant Deptran and never suffered anything Like I have with Effexor XR. Wished I'd never started taking them, I find it hard to understand why doctors are using these drugs when there were no worse symptons with the old ones. I didn't get brain shocks, worse depression or vomiting, and the nightmares drive me crazy. Why are they prescribing drugs for people who are at their lowest only to let them become even lower {if possible} when they decide to be strong and stop taking them. I can't help you or myself for that matter all I can do is to wish us all luck in dealing with this demon. I hope oneday they will find a cure for depression that doesn't cause worse depression. Try and stay strong, I guess thats all any of us can do. Easier said than done.Good luck  Dianna

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    • pamz experience
      September 28, 2010
      pamz experience
      September 28, 2010

      Same with me.....have been on 37.5 for several months, in an effort to get off this crap, and doctor would not refill cuz I hadn't been to him in a while. So, the nightmare began and kept escalating, forcing me to miss work and feel like I am looked upon by the health community (did I happen to mention I have been an RN for 32 years???!!!!) as if I'm nuts.  I came into work today with copies of blogs describing the thousands of people that's lives are now F'd up, thanks to this med.  The other nurses I work with were amazed and grateful to have this newfound knowledge.  Can you believe how quiet they've kept this for several years now?  At the risk of all of us unsuspecting people being in situations of having massive withdrawal with no recourse, and ignorant doctors and nurses who think we're "over-dramatic" and give refills when it's convenient for them.  So I'm pissed on TWO levels-- at the doctors who are such callous asses and stupid to boot, and at the drug company who MUST know by now, the lives that have been so adversely affected by their drug, and are greedy and have no conscience.

      I had EXACTLY THE SAME symptoms as you did...and am trying to figure out how to expose this travesty.

       

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    • pamz experience
      September 28, 2010
      pamz experience
      September 28, 2010

      Same with me.....have been on 37.5 for several months, in an effort to get off this crap, and doctor would not refill cuz I hadn't been to him in a while. So, the nightmare began and kept escalating, forcing me to miss work and feel like I am looked upon by the health community (did I happen to mention I have been an RN for 32 years???!!!!) as if I'm nuts.  I came into work today with copies of blogs describing the thousands of people that's lives are now F'd up, thanks to this med.  The other nurses I work with were amazed and grateful to have this newfound knowledge.  Can you believe how quiet they've kept this for several years now?  At the risk of all of us unsuspecting people being in situations of having massive withdrawal with no recourse, and ignorant doctors and nurses who think we're "over-dramatic" and give refills when it's convenient for them.  So I'm pissed on TWO levels-- at the doctors who are such callous asses and stupid to boot, and at the drug company who MUST know by now, the lives that have been so adversely affected by their drug, and are greedy and have no conscience.

      I had EXACTLY THE SAME symptoms as you did...and am trying to figure out how to expose this travesty.

       

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    • pamz experience
      September 28, 2010
      pamz experience
      September 28, 2010

      Same with me.....have been on 37.5 for several months, in an effort to get off this crap, and doctor would not refill cuz I hadn't been to him in a while. So, the nightmare began and kept escalating, forcing me to miss work and feel like I am looked upon by the health community (did I happen to mention I have been an RN for 32 years???!!!!) as if I'm nuts.  I came into work today with copies of blogs describing the thousands of people that's lives are now F'd up, thanks to this med.  The other nurses I work with were amazed and grateful to have this newfound knowledge.  Can you believe how quiet they've kept this for several years now?  At the risk of all of us unsuspecting people being in situations of having massive withdrawal with no recourse, and ignorant doctors and nurses who think we're "over-dramatic" and give refills when it's convenient for them.  So I'm pissed on TWO levels-- at the doctors who are such callous asses and stupid to boot, and at the drug company who MUST know by now, the lives that have been so adversely affected by their drug, and are greedy and have no conscience.

      I had EXACTLY THE SAME symptoms as you did...and am trying to figure out how to expose this travesty.

       

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    • Dottie Maxwell
      October 01, 2010
      Dottie Maxwell
      October 01, 2010

      Chris, it has been over a year now how are you doing? I have been on Effxor ever since it came out about 15 years! I am on 275mg. I have just gone off one 75 mg. about 4 weeks ago. I feel awful, but it is hard to tell what it is as I have fibromyalgia as well. My legs want to fall out from under me if I sit too long and that does not usually happen with my fibro. I also fill sick to my stomach, and dizzy, and forget things I have know how to do for YEARS!! Please tell me your are well now. thank you, Dottie

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    • Kat
      Kat
      October 19, 2010
      Kat
      Kat
      October 19, 2010

      Wow! I can't believe how many people have gone through the same hellish withdawal nightmare that I have and I agree that this drug company should be sued and every Doctor that prescribes them. Maybe then they would treat the real medical problem we go to see them for and not just turn us into zombies.

      I was on 225 mg Effexor, they kept increasing the dosage for every health issue I went in for. With my steady weight gain, constant thoughts of suicide and other problems associated with this drug I finally decided to call it quits. I went cold turkey (not recommended) I did go to a herbalist for supplements to help with withdrawals. Went through 2 weeks of undescribeable horror but am happy to report that I made it and life is looking REAL good, I see a bright future . Best of luck to all of you going through this and remember the withdrawals won't last forever and its worth it!!

       

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    • Kat
      Kat
      October 19, 2010
      Kat
      Kat
      October 19, 2010

      Wow! I can't believe how many people have gone through the same hellish withdawal nightmare that I have and I agree that this drug company should be sued and every Doctor that prescribes them. Maybe then they would treat the real medical problem we go to see them for and not just turn us into zombies.

      I was on 225 mg Effexor, they kept increasing the dosage for every health issue I went in for. With my steady weight gain, constant thoughts of suicide and other problems associated with this drug I finally decided to call it quits. I went cold turkey (not recommended) I did go to a herbalist for supplements to help with withdrawals. Went through 2 weeks of undescribeable horror but am happy to report that I made it and life is looking REAL good, I see a bright future . Best of luck to all of you going through this and remember the withdrawals won't last forever and its worth it!!

       

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    • ana p
      November 07, 2010
      ana p
      November 07, 2010

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      You are an inspiration Angie.  It has been two days since I last had my medication and today has been the worst so far.  I have been on Effexor XR 75mg for 1.5 yrs and recently had the okay to come off the medication.  Instead of gradually coming off the Effexor, I decided to stop taking it.  I have been sitting in the same spot since Sat. 7am and it is now Sun 1am.  I am experiencing the same side effects as everyone in these posts and I feel like I can do this cold turkey after reading your post.  Thank you and I wish you all the best.

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    • Angie
      November 07, 2010
      Angie
      November 07, 2010

      I know that 2 days seems like a lifetime....so proud of you!!!  2 days is a HUGE accomplishment!!!!  As far as the "cold turkey" you are the only one that can decide if that's right for you!!!  For me it was something that I needed to do and I felt liberated after the "withdrawal" symptoms subsided.  I am "me" again and doing really well.  I wish you success and  contentment after your hardship.  It does get better and then really better.  Good Luck and keep in touch.  I truly know how bad it is and want you to know that I am here if you need encouragement along the way!!!!  A quote to tuck under your pillow is "The task ahead of you is never greater than the strength within you"!!!  You can do this!!!!

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    • Angie
      November 07, 2010
      Angie
      November 07, 2010

      I know that 2 days seems like a lifetime....so proud of you!!!  2 days is a HUGE accomplishment!!!!  As far as the "cold turkey" you are the only one that can decide if that's right for you!!!  For me it was something that I needed to do and I felt liberated after the "withdrawal" symptoms subsided.  I am "me" again and doing really well.  I wish you success and  contentment after your hardship.  It does get better and then really better.  Good Luck and keep in touch.  I truly know how bad it is and want you to know that I am here if you need encouragement along the way!!!!  A quote to tuck under your pillow is "The task ahead of you is never greater than the strength within you"!!!  You can do this!!!!

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    • Angie
      November 07, 2010
      Angie
      November 07, 2010

      I know that 2 days seems like a lifetime....so proud of you!!!  2 days is a HUGE accomplishment!!!!  As far as the "cold turkey" you are the only one that can decide if that's right for you!!!  For me it was something that I needed to do and I felt liberated after the "withdrawal" symptoms subsided.  I am "me" again and doing really well.  I wish you success and  contentment after your hardship.  It does get better and then really better.  Good Luck and keep in touch.  I truly know how bad it is and want you to know that I am here if you need encouragement along the way!!!!  A quote to tuck under your pillow is "The task ahead of you is never greater than the strength within you"!!!  You can do this!!!!

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    • sojourner8
      November 07, 2010
      sojourner8
      November 07, 2010

      The same thing has happened to me.  I was paying $10 and now it's $190 because I've met my drug cap for the year?  Blue Cross Blue Shield.  Funny thing is that I've been taking Venlafaxine(brand)hcl Er Tabs which my dr. and pharmacy say is a generic but BCBS doesn't.

       

      BTW - I had horrible withdrawl if I missed my drugs for a day but when I changed to Venlafaxine - it was much, much better.  I didn't start to feel withdrawls until about the third day - but when they hit they were full on.  I've always had a wide and deep emotional range and I didn't realize how little control over my emotions I had until I worked with my counselor & pychiatrist and started effexor.  It was amazing and I had a reminder this week of how helpful the drug has been.  I lost a full day and 1/2 in massive hystronics and tears and I remembered going through something similar when I started birth control pills.

       

      I'm grateful for this forum and for everyone who's posted here - makes me feel like I'm not along.  I hope everyone makes it through their withdrawl alright and best wishes to you.  I think (hope) that now I'm getting more knowledge about the drug's half life and withdrawal symptoms that stopping the drug might be an easier experience - compared to me or my family not being prepared for physical/mental issues.  This would have to be coupled with titrating off the drug with the help of my physictrist.

       

       It's scary to have all these "side effects" because I've many good benefits and I have better control over my life now.  Sigh.  

       

      Does anyone know what effexor does in our body to create us serious side effects?  Reading the posts, it seems that other anti-depressants don't present these affects.  This is the only anti-depressent I've been on so I don't know.  

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    • sojourner8
      November 07, 2010
      sojourner8
      November 07, 2010

      I wanted to thank you for sharing your well written and content rich post.  It's good to know that ultimately you were able to mange the withdrawal and get to your goal of ending Effexor.  I'm also glad you explained the part Prozac played and how long you had to take it.  Take good care, Lisa

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    • SAM
      SAM
      January 03, 2011
      SAM
      SAM
      January 03, 2011

      I feel the same, but what med would be better but work as well?

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    • Sandra
      February 01, 2011
      Sandra
      February 01, 2011

      I've been on EffexorXR for 11 years. It was diagnosed for severe hot flashes that only increased to 15 times a 24 hr period for over 15 years. Effexor definately worked to make them go away. That was a huge relief, but I have a sensitive system, and the drug needed to be built up slowly by breaking a 37.5 mg tablet the size of a baby aspirin into quarters, and making sure it was taken with a full meal or it would cause nausea.

           I eventually built up to 75mg in the capsule. It kept the hot flashes in check, but had it's own side effects, like drowsiness, confusion, and sleep problems along with dizziness. I have never fallen down so many times in my life.

           It took my luggage getting lost with the pills in it for me to realize how severe the symptoms are when you miss your dosage. That's when I decided to reduce the mgs.

           I cut back to 37.5 mg on my own due to a doctors' office problem, and experienced very severe symptoms very much like seratonin syndrome. I had a bad reaction that lasted a week. This happened once a month for 10 months.

           Now I'm trying to reduce the 37.5 mg cap to every other day by using portions of the "generic" venfaxaline tablet being cut down. The symptoms were again very difficult. My pharmacist suggested only a 10% reduction every 2 weeks, so that's what I'm doing now, and I feel much better. It's just difficult to be precise with the tablet cutting, so I guestimate.

           The hot flashes are still being kept away and I'm feeling more like myself, so it's all good.

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    • gringoloco
      March 05, 2011
      gringoloco
      March 05, 2011

      I was taking Effexor for 7 1/2 years. I started out with 250-300 if memory serves since its been so long. I also had those intense withdrawal symptoms. Throughout the years I have steadily decreased the dosage until I was breaking the smallest dose of 25mg in half.  I'm taking the generic effexor aka venlafaxine.  The smallest dose of effexor that I know of is 37.5. So if you really want to get off of this rollercoaster ride of withdrawals I suggest you what I did. Going from 50mg to 25mg was tough for about 6 hours. 25mg to 12.5mg was bad for about two hours. Mostly dizzy and plain old feeling crappy. Pretty interesting dreams though. Not like the nightmares on the higher doses. Once I went from 12.5mg to nothing it took about a day for the withdrawal symptoms to disappear.  It should be noted I was on 50mg for about 6 months before dropping to 25mg. The same for 75mg down to 50mg. The 25mg to 12.5 was only for two weeks. I went to the doctor to get my prescription refilled and he suggested I might want to try to get off of it since my dosage wasn't really doing anything for me other than feeding my "addiction." 

      As of this writing, I have been off of effexor or its generic cousin for 6 months now and don't have the groggy/dream awake feeling I sometimes had while on the medication. I do get more easily frustrated at daily things. I was initially taking effexor to help with impulse control for my ADD and to also help with the anxiety associated with it. In all fairness it did help me a lot. However, missing a dose or running out and not getting to the drugstore in time was a very harrowing experience. Nobody should have to be subjected to that torture just to help with whatever reason you're taking the medicine for in the first place.

      Anyway, try my suggestion of cutting back slowly over time and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

      Goodluck,

      GringoLoco

       

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    • rsl
      rsl
      April 09, 2011
      rsl
      rsl
      April 09, 2011

      today is day 28 effexor free, this has been the hardest journey i have ever been on. the only thing  i believe that is getting me through this is my faith and trust in the Lord. the dr. did prescribe a low dose of xanax to help w/ some of withdrawl symptoms it helps some but even be off of the med for 28 days it still is not over. if i ever had any idea that this med could do this to you i would have never had taken it. i do think the public needs more info before starting these kind of meds. i also have been taking vitamins and going to a chiropactor how is very supporting on my journey. when it becomes so bad i just cry to god to save me from this and he does get me through another day. my prayer is one day this will be a memory and i wll be able to say with the help of the Lord i made it!! I wonder how long that will be.

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    • Sapphire
      April 13, 2011
      Sapphire
      April 13, 2011

      I have been on effexor for over 20 yrs. Tried several times to come off it but i get the most horrible side effects....wooshing in my head and aggression like you wouldnt believe, im like a man possessed.....

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    • Kptica
      April 15, 2011
      Kptica
      April 15, 2011
      I have taken effexor for over 4 years on and off, I m been reading your posts and here is my advice, I know that everybody is diferent but this is how it worked for me! I have good and bad things to say about this drug and I know that the side effects and getting off it can be a nightmare but also at some point of my life Effexor saved my life, depression is a real disease and it is not something that u can shake off,there are a lot of diferent stuff that u can try before taking antidepressants but sometimes this drugs are the only solution, of coarse for a while untill you get back on your feed and can funtion on your own. Firstable NEVER EVER EVER try to get off it could turkey, pretty much all this drugs have bad a withdrawl reaction and effexor is one of the worse, the best thing to do first is to switch to Prozac or Zolof and then slowly start going off, this won't happen overnight but it is a proccess and it is better to be safe than sorry! 2 take the following supplements:magnesium,omegas,b complex and calcium. Before,during and after going off. Once you are totally off and if you feel like depression is coming back you can add St johns wort (300 mg) or 5 htp(25 to 50 mg) for me 5htp worked better, this supplements are almost like taking a drug but with none or mildler side effects. 3 therapy to find out the real root of your depression and to learn copying techniques to deal with your problems and feelings, excersise excersise,good and healthy food choices,juicing,homepathic remedies, meditation,yoga,time for your self and life changes. Ask yourself. Why do I feel this way? Is my job killing me? Do I need to get out of a relashionship? What is really on the back of my head? What do I need to change? Very important, find the right moment to go off your meds, if u feel that your life is in order and you can deal with it, go for it! But if you still weak and are under stressful circunstances dont do it. Some good tips for those that need to stay on this med and have the bad sex effects( no libido,no sex drive, no climax or enjoyment) try to add or switch to Wellbutrin usually it does the trick, I was on this combo for a while and I really like it. For those experiencing the withdrawl, try Benadryl, I know it sounds crazy but it works! Do your search and ask your doctor. Don't give up, there is hope! Good luck and God bless u all.( pray and trust the Lord) READ MORE
    • Effexfree
      June 09, 2011
      Effexfree
      June 09, 2011

      Hello - If you are still interested in exposing Effexor and other like drugs please let me know.  I have recently become Effexor Free after 3 attempts over the last 6 years and the final attempt took 2 years - 2 months and a handful of days.... the clincher is that I was on 37.5 for the entire time!!! 

       

      I am on a mission to expose it; Effexor and the company.  

       

       

      Cheers,

      P.S.

       

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    • pamz experience
      June 12, 2011
      pamz experience
      June 12, 2011

      Well, as you can  see, I first wrote about my miserable experiences, back in Sept. of 2010...

      Well, guess what.... I FINALLY DID IT-- KICKED EFFEXOR RIGHT BACK IN IT'S EVIL LITTLE BUTT!

       

      It took me a long time, during which tme I realized just how powerful this stuff was. 

      Here's what I did:

      As others have done, go the 37.5 mg generic, so it's tablet form (don't try to mess with capsules, it's too dangerous, you don't know what bead is for what).  I then did the obvious, split pills in 1/2 for a while--couple of weeks, then split in 1/4..and after that, you find yourself asking the question, "now what?".  Well, even though it's totally against my medical training, I began biting off a small corner, either every day or every other day, depending on how I felt!!  It was like a junkie just needing a fix, but it worked......

       

      So then it got down to where I would just get a crumb--didn't even need water, just a stupid silly crumb!  You wouldn't think it would've made a difference, but it did.  I would get the brain swishees (as I call them), and then that little crumb would make them stop!  I just kept going till I was literally down to a crumb every couple of days, and then I got some calming herbal stuff from the chiropractor to try to take any remaining edge off-- which worked a tiny bit. I admit, I was probably not my kindest or most patient for a couple of weeks, but physically I was okay and didn't have all those horrible, debilitating symptoms.

       

      I've been off for a few months now and get a "brain swishee" about twice a week and they only last for a second-- just to remind me how grateful I am to be rid of that stuff, and that it takes a very very very long time to get it out of your body.

       

      What killed me, was when I got a new patient assigned to me (am an RN), and she was crying nonstop, and I realized she had been on antidepressants and when they transferred her, didn't transfer that rx, and she was having a major reaction--- it's not just the drug companies, it's my fellow nurses and doctors that are clueless.... the whole thing sucks....our psych community is in many ways very archaic....throwing mass quanitities of pills at people and not really knowing what will or could happen.  I think some mechanics care more about our cars than doctors care about our bodies.....sad but true.

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    • angelflies
      July 07, 2011
      angelflies
      July 07, 2011

      Hi I just recently was takin off the effexor as it really made me go insane so to speak. My drpession became worse then it was before I tookd it. Now my dr did give me a 7 day pacl of lexapro to helpwith the withdrawls only problem now is I get the read bad dizzy spell to the point i cant stand with out falling over. Hell just sitting here room spins. It not like my normal vertigo I use to get this is totally dkifferent.

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    • angelflies
      July 07, 2011
      angelflies
      July 07, 2011

      Hi I just recently was takin off the effexor as it really made me go insane so to speak. My drpession became worse then it was before I tookd it. Now my dr did give me a 7 day pacl of lexapro to helpwith the withdrawls only problem now is I get the read bad dizzy spell to the point i cant stand with out falling over. Hell just sitting here room spins. It not like my normal vertigo I use to get this is totally dkifferent.

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    •  kicker
      July 16, 2011
       kicker
      July 16, 2011

      Hi I have been on 75mg  for a few years I want off so I took 50% of the drug out of the capsule and take approximately 37mg now have 4 days behind me  and have some side effects but nothing really bad can't sleep very well my brain seems a little thick and believe it or not I have some numbness in my little fingers. I will stay on 37mg for a few more days then take 37mg then take 37mg every other day for a week then 37mg every two days for a week then quit and see what happens

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    •  kicker
      July 16, 2011
       kicker
      July 16, 2011

      Hi I have been on 75mg  for a few years I want off so I took 50% of the drug out of the capsule and take approximately 37mg now have 4 days behind me  and have some side effects but nothing really bad can't sleep very well my brain seems a little thick and believe it or not I have some numbness in my little fingers. I will stay on 37mg for a few more days then take 37mg then take 37mg every other day for a week then 37mg every two days for a week then quit and see what happens

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    • anne46
      August 06, 2011
      anne46
      August 06, 2011

      good on you it should be banned the side affects are so shitty and the doctors dont tell you about them at the timeFrown

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    • Dizzy
      January 27, 2012
      Dizzy
      January 27, 2012

      total agree with you good on you for fighting, I am working at this realy hard but like you I want my life back 

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    • Susan
      April 15, 2014
      Susan
      April 15, 2014

      I am beginning to withdraw from Effexor and am under a doctor's care. I experienced horrible withdrawals from Abilify and Cymbalta, so I know what I am in for. I've done a ton of research about controlling symptoms, and have come up with omega 3 (flax), vitamin B, and Benadryl (diphenhydramine). My doctor has also prescribed 50mg of zoloft. I'm wondering about marijuana to help with symptoms? I know it could diminish the nausea and stomach issues. Have you any research on this? Thanks.

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  • Suzanne May 21, 2008
    Suzanne
    May 21, 2008

    I forgot this in my previous post . . . the other withdrawal symptom I've had is forgetfulness. The other thing to note is to make sure that you tell those around you that you are going off of these things, i.e., your spouse, close friends, children if they're old enough.  The moral support I received was astounding.  And please, please, do not go off of these things cold-turkey.

     

    Take good care.   

     

     

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    • stephanie
      August 16, 2009
      stephanie
      August 16, 2009

      I dont have the money to get my effexor xr 150 I ran out dont know when I can get money. Do you think i will be ok? Im going throw something right know I need to go to the hospital not because of the effexor it my kids they are both pushing me and I been so upset they have been calling me a bitch a they have left bruses on me. But I was wondering seens i dont have any effexor what should I do? There was another time when I didnt have the money i had been off of it for a week or two and I felt so bad. I want to be strong to do this then i can lose some pounds the last time i didnt have it I lost 10 pounds. So i dont know what im going to do because I have none and cant just slowly get off of it im sceard and my heart is jumping around. My family wont help me with my med because they think it all in my head and maybe is but im not a docter. Well thanks for reading hope you can understand what I said.

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    • canuck
      August 27, 2009
      canuck
      August 27, 2009

      If you don't keep up the dosage you are going to be a total basket case....call your doctor, any doctor....tell a hospital....there are ways of getting the medication....at least hear in Canada. Every walk in clinic has massive amounts of this medication which doctors pass out free to their patients....It is a living hell getting off this stuff and everyone I knows who takes it will tell you the same. Don't put yourself or your kids through this. I went off Effexor five years ago and the last five years have been a nightmare for me and my son. I started up again  today.

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    • MICHELLEY
      December 05, 2009
      MICHELLEY
      December 05, 2009

      STOP THIS ABUSIVE BEHAVIOR IMMEDIATLY TELL ANYONE THE LAW, FRIENDS , TOTAL STRANGERS UNTIL THEY HEAR ABOUT ALL OF THESE TRAGEDYS U ARE GOING THROUGH STOP THIS ABUSE IMMEDIATLY FROM YOUR CHILDREN GOD SAYS THIS IS NOT OK AND HE HAS THE FINAL WORD. I PROMISE U IF U ASK JESUS TO HELP U TELL HIM SPECIFICALLY HE WILL DO IT I PROMISE U HAVE TO HEAR AND JUST BELIEVE. I HAVE BEEN THROUGH HELL AND HE IS THE ANSWER TO ALL YOUR PROBLEMS. PLEASE PLEASE JUST WALK BY FAITH NOT BY WHAT U SEE. SIGNED SOMEONE WHO UNDERSTANDS AND YES CARES.

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    • mmoore79
      February 08, 2010
      mmoore79
      February 08, 2010

      Amen to that!

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  • LORNA May 08, 2008
    LORNA
    May 08, 2008

    I think if is different for everyone.  I was taking 375 mg of effexor and am now on 150 mg...I reduced this overnight and I would not recommend doing his.  You may expect headaches, brain zaps and extreme fatigue.  However I was unable to focus on my job and needed to lower my meds (I had been off work due to depression at the higher dose.)  It is generally recommended to wean off very gradually..I saw an actual dosage decline rate on an Effexor website.  If you are feeling better though with the drug, be happy that it works.  Nobody wants a diabetic to cut back on the insulin as soon as they feel a bit better.  It could be that you feel better due to the drugs.  GOOD LUCK..LORNA

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  • Greg April 25, 2008
    Greg
    April 25, 2008

    Casey,

     

    I have been on and off Effexor for a few years. I taper down in the spring and start again in the fall. I have tried other anti-depressants but the Effexor seems to work the best for my seasonal depression. I am lucky to have only had minor withdrawal symptoms - slight headache, some of the "brain shiver" that others have described, and feeling a bit more tired. I have found that more exercise helps, which I am usually increasing in the summer anyway. Definitely follow your provider's instructions and contact him or her if you feel like you are withdrawing too quickly. Be careful of reading too many "withdrawal is hell" posts on the internet. I am sure the posters are being accurate, but that may not be your experience, and it is probably not a representative sample. (People generally don't post to report that all is well). I also try to remember that some of the symptoms may be from the depression that I am treating in the first place. Side effects from the Effexor and the withdrawal from it are annoying at times, but for me, the depression is hell. I will take the side effects over the depression any day.

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    • Tim novi michigan
      July 29, 2009
      Tim novi michigan
      July 29, 2009

      I was prescribed effexor (originally 75mg then 150mg) over seven years ago.  It seemed to work for me but I would have brain freezes and slurred speech.  I had to go to three psychiatrists in order to get them to address the problem.  The first doctor left the area, my second doctor was hard to understand because of his strong accent and my third doctor would fall asleep during our sessions and didn't hear my concerns.  I finally found a doctor that has gradually weened me off the medicine.  Since that last day I have been going through a living hell.  My doctor is out of town and nobody seemed to want to help treat the problem.  I went to the emergency room (suggested by my primary care docotr) and the hospital basically turned me away because I was neither suicidal or homicidal.  I continually tried explain the withdrawal symptoms. I spent eight years in the Marines and I have never experienced pain this severe. They would not even admit that I was experiencing withdrawals.  On my release form they stated that I was experiencing anxiety. Anxiety my ***.  I talked to an actual doctor for 30 seconds and she gave me another doctor's name to follow up with.  Guess what?  It was my doctor who was out of town. Did she even read my file? I believe these hospitals are in bed with the pharmaceutical companies?  I'm sure they'll bill my insurance accordingly.  In my opinion don't ever take this medicine unless you plan on staying on it the rest of your life. I can't explain the horrific effects this drug is having on me.  Please do not do it!!!

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  • Nichole October 25, 2008
    Nichole
    October 25, 2008

    I was put on Lexapro several years ago for severe PMDD symptoms and anxiety issues.  It seemed to work well for quite a while but stopped working after about two years.  I was then put on Cymbalta.  That seemed to work but my insurance didn't cover it.  My doctor then put me on Effexor.  My husband and I didn't feel like it worked at all.  My doctor had briefly mentioned something about possible withdrawal symptoms.  This summer I got online to figure out how to get off this drug since it wasn't doing anything to relieve my symptoms.  I was on 150 mg from November through the end of July. 

     

    I have been Effexor-free for about 1 1/2 weeks now.  That is how long it has taken me to taper off this horrible drug.  I had some mild vertigo and naseau but nothing compared to what I have read.  I went from 150 mg to 75 mg almost immediately.  I was so freaked out about all the horrible withdrawal symptoms that I wanted off of it quickly.  After that it was a slow process.  My husband and I opened up the pills and counted granules daily.  Every four days, I would take about ten fewer granules.  The last two weeks, I took about eight granules daily.

     

    Since being off the Effexor, I have a lot more energy.  I am a teacher and mother of two active young elementary-aged children so I need all the energy I can get.  I have also started taking some natural supplements from a health food store to help stabilize my moods.  When I forget to take them, I can tell a difference.

     

    I will never take another antidepressant as long as I live.  I get angry every time I think that my doctors treated my hormonal imbalance with antidepressants.  Since getting off the Effexor, I have been somewhat angry and depressed.  My husband and I both feel these are side effects from the withdrawal.  I try to be aware of things that set me off but don't always realize it until after the fact.  I will be very happy when my body can regulate itself again.

     

    From everything I have read about Effexor withdrawal, everyone reacts differently.  It is really important to listen to your body.  One day when I was still taking about twenty granules, I forgot to take my Effexor at night.  I purposely didn't take it the next night and couldn't stand myself the next day.  I also got very dizzy and almost passed out at school.  I can be very impatient.  Be patient with yourself and your body. 

     

    Good luck and God bless,

    Nichole

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    • Jayne
      August 13, 2009
      Jayne
      August 13, 2009

      Similar experience but what have you use to stabalize your mood. I am extremely tired taking Effexor and I too have active kids and need my energy. but it has helped me less emotional. What natural supplements have you used.

      Jayne

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    • julie
      September 07, 2009
      julie
      September 07, 2009

      I was prescribed effexor for menopause symptoms.  Mainly hot flashes.  At first I thought it was great I didn't have to take hormones.  Now I am not so happy.  I think it has made me have horrible mood swings and it has made me gain a lot of weight.  I am starting the weening processes this week by myself.  I am sure this is going to be hard but it is necessary.  I am more afraid that this pill is permanently damaging my chemical balance.  I'm a little scared.

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    • Jessiesmom
      September 14, 2009
      Jessiesmom
      September 14, 2009

      If you can get back to me on what natural pills you are taking that would be great! I am not dealing well with the withdrawal, it almost seems that I am back to were I started with my mood swings, except now I'm dizzy, nauseous, and have horrible vivid dreams. I also seemed to tapped into suppressed memories that were suppressed for a reason! I can't keep myself together! I cry at a drop of a hat along with extreme irritability and I'm so tired. I dropped very gradually figuring that it would help but sadly I gave in after 3 days off of them and took a 35mg just so I could interact with my 2 year old without crying about nothing at all. I was put on it for pmdd, depression and anxiety, I started on pristiq, but it started to get expensive since insurance did not cover much of it. My husband and I were planning on having another baby since I was doing so well. I guess I'm going to have push it back another couple of months. I'm going to call the doctor today to see if they have anything that could help but the whole thing is making me very nervous. How do I know that my doctor knows what to do or just gives me something else with severe side effects?

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    • micjoe
      May 06, 2010
      micjoe
      May 06, 2010

      I am sorry for what you went through and wondered if you were able to do it? I have also been on effexor for hot flashes only..no history of depression.  I have never been on a higher dose than 37.5 and for the last 4 months have only taken half of that.  I am on day 5 of withdrawaling and have horrible brain zaps and nasea.  Were you successful at getting off and how long did it take you? 

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  • Carol Vezina January 09, 2009
    Carol Vezina
    January 09, 2009

    Hi i have been on effexor i started at 75 mg my doctor uped it to 150 and now has added another 75.mlg itried cutting down myselt and had very bad shakes could not concentrate terrible nightmares and extreme anger at everyone the side affects are no fun so if you want to quit please talk to your doctor about quitting slowly to prevent these side effects.

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  • Charlotte84 December 04, 2008
    Charlotte84
    December 04, 2008

    hi all,

     

    i decided a few months ago that after trying with effexor for a year, it was not a medication that was working for me. my doctor recommend tapering down from my 150 mg dose to 75 mg, and then down to the lowest dose, with a view to being entirely off effexor within a month.

     

    i had noted the brain shivers (more like jolts/stabs), nausea, upset stomach, extreme tiredness and dizziness that were experienced whenever i had missed a dose previously, but i had never associated that with 'withdrawal' and certainly neither my doctor nor therapist had mentioned any sort of withdrawal that can be suffered by ceasing usage of this medication.

     

    within the first few days of tapering down i went through the whole gamut of symptoms that have been mentioned by others previously. my doctor said that these reactions were to be expected in some people and pretty much belittled my symptoms and told me they would go away soon.

     

    in the meantime all i felt like doing was sleeping in order to get away from the brain jolts and nausea. when i decided to have a look in the net and see how others had fared i was shocked at all of the blogs and resources that come up under effexor withdrawal. it was also scary because many people had suffered for some time with the symptoms.

     

    regardless, i kept on with it and found that when i was active (mentally and physically) i didn't notice the symptoms so much. of course, the hard part is getting going in the first place, especially when you feel so awful some days. the symptoms ultimately faded out after 2-3 weeks post complete cessation of usage. apart from a handful of really difficult days, i have to say that it has been an ok process. for anyone reading this who wants to get off effexor but is afraid of the symptoms, i would say that the majority of anecdotal evidence you get off the internet will always be negative or extreme, because as many have noted before, you will only go to the trouble of writing a post or searching out these sorts of sites if you have an extreme experience (usually a negative one)

     

    it was difficult at times, but ultimately do-able. good luck and all the best to anyone who is struggling with the disease and/or the drug.

     

    charlotte 

     

     

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  • Effexor Free Man February 12, 2009
    Effexor Free Man
    February 12, 2009

    Hi Everyone,

     

    I think my experience is fairly typical based on conversations with my doctor and other users of Effexor. The problem with boards like this is that people with significant problems are the most consistent contributors. The information becomes skewed and can unfairly frighten people. Read on...

     

    I have been on and off Effexor XR twice at this point in my life. I tapered down each time by dropping daily doses in two week periods (75mg for 2 weeks, 37.5mg for 2 weeks, then off completely). Each time I had been using the medication at 150mg for a period of about 2 years.

     

    The withdrawl side effects were consistent both times but occurred only after stopping completely: brain zaps, delayed vision/brain coordination issues, minor dizziness, teariness, a little insomnia. What was also consistent is that after about 5 days off the drug the withdrawl symptoms greatly diminished. For me the symptoms were completely gone after about 2 weeks each time. I found that moderate daily excercise seemed to really help alleviate symptoms. Also, telling a trusted friend or loved one what is going on with you can be very helpful (we all need a support system).

     

    I took the drug to cope with depression that resulted from stress and some major life traumas. I have to say IT WAS GREAT and worked well for clearing my mind. I also actively participated in counseling to deal with the losses. The first time I stopped I wasn't really ready and should not have. The second time I knew I was ready to face life without Effexor.  I believe counseling should go hand in hand with any anti-depressant so that once you drop the drug you are ready to meet life's challenges without further medical intervention.

     

    To sum it up: The withdrawl symptoms are real but are more of a nuisance that lasts a relatively short period of time.

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  • Heather September 20, 2008
    Heather
    September 20, 2008

    I have been on 225 mgs of Effexor xr for 7 years and wanted to come off of it for the last year.  I have chronic headaches and don't see that it has been helping them any, but that is why I was originally put on it to begin with.  My Neurologist seemed tothink that it would be okay for me to just take 75 mgs one week and then be done with it, but even I am not that stupid.  BTW, I am not very impressed with the medical community's lack of knowledge when it comes to drugs and their effects anyway.  I would listen to a pharmacist over a doctor any day of the week.  Doctors shouldn't be the ones writing prescriptions anyway.  They should diagnose and pharmacists should write prescriptions.  Back to the story, I have been trying to taper off of the Effexor for over a month and I almost died night before last because of the side effects, even though I am coming off of it extremely slowly......I am still only taking 150 mgs.  I hear my eyes move in my head (it sounds like a light sabre), extreme dizziness, diarrhea, vomiting, can't keep food down but at the same time have gained weight, metal taste in my mouth, horrible night terrors and night sweats, sleep paralysis where the entire left side of my body went cold and numb and my breathing and heart beat was so shallow that I almost died, my chest has gone cold.  I realize these are extreme, but they are not to be balked at.   I also have seizures, so if you are also epileptic like I am, you should definitely watch what you let doctors prescribe to you.  They could kill you and not even know what the hell they have just done because they have no clue about medication whatsoever!!!!!!!  They medical laboratories, however, are a different story...they know what all of the side effects are, however miniscule, because they have been testing them for years on people and rats and animals!!!  They just don't inform the doctors or patients!!!

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  • Dawn July 14, 2008
    Dawn
    July 14, 2008

    I can't begin to explain the discomfort and agitation I have experienced since coming off the Effexor.  My MD started titrating down the dose from 225, then to 150, then 75, and finally 37.5mg.  This happened over the courses of two months.  Today, I'm still dizzy.  My stomach almost always hurts, I have chronic diarrhea and my head kills me.  I would feel this if I missed a dose of the Effexor, but you'd think after tapering and finally stopping some two weeks ago that I'd feel better.  Worse yet: my MD never warned me about these side effects prior to starting me, nor titrating me off the meds.  I'm truly sympathetic to you! 

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  • Roxcar March 10, 2009
    Roxcar
    March 10, 2009

    Kicking Effexor, yes, you can do it. This is my experience.

    I want to post this in every forum I can find so it can help as many people as possible. I'll share my experience of kicking effexor, but, if someone is reading this right now and experiencing bad withdrawal, stop reading. Go out and buy Omega 3 fish oil. Get the kind that has Omega 3, 6 and 9 in it, chewable antacids and advil. Seriously, go now and get at least the Omega stuff and come back and read my post later. As soon as you pick up the Omega oil, take 4 caps immediately. This stuff really worked for me because I am on day 6 as I type this and I feel fantastic.

    First, a little background. I started taking 250mg for about six months then reduced down to 150mg for approximately 8 years. I had been wanting to get off the stuff for a long time but just didn't want to deal with the withdrawal effects. Especially knowing how if feels when you skip just one dose.

    Anyway, at first I went from 150 then 75. After two days of 75 and not feeling any adverse reaction I then cut that in half. I remember thinking, "this is gonna be a piece of cake! I don't see what everyone is talking about; I mean, what is so hard about...ZAP! ZZZAP ZAP ZAP...oh...my...god..." I think you get the picture.

    So then I did the whole counting out the bbs thing. Total pain. I did 1 day of roughly 37mg and having all the brain zaps and stuff and thinking that this has just got to stop. Screw counting out bbs and tapering down any more, I want this crap out of my body asap. I am not suggesting anyone should go cold turkey or anything, I am just writing about my experience.

    Now then, here's what worked for me. Obviously Omega oil played a HUGE part in kicking Effexor. I urge everyone to give it a shot. Special thanks to Leon and everybody else who has posted using Omega to ease the withdrawal symptoms. That's what it seems to do, ease the zaps/shivers from a 10 to a 5. I took huge amounts of the stuff for about 3 days and it really worked for me. I popped 4 caps every 2-3 hours during the day because that is about how long omega seemed to ease the zaps-shivers-Ill feelings for.

    For the nausea I chewed up a ton of antacid tabs and that seemed to work. I also took a bunch of liquid filled advil caps for the general "yuckyness". Also, while lying down, a cold wash cloth on my forehead was SO relaxing. I would get hot flashes and cold sweats, fever like symptoms and putting a wash cloth on my head was a welcome relief.

    Also, for me, there were two VERY important things that I kept in mind while going through this. Two things that I reminded myself of when I was really feeling like crap.

    1. Every single thing that I was physically feeling and every single unpleasant emotion and thought that was going through my head during detox was all due to the withdrawal/detox process. Nothing more. My brain chemistry was all jacked up and detoxing so I tried not to dwell on anything.

    2. I can get through this, I WILL feel better.

    I can't stress those two points enough. It certainly isn't easy to keep your head together going through withdrawal, but, if it helps to post those things around your place to be reminded then do so.


    Here's a breakdown of my withdrawal time line.

    For me there was roughly a 48-60 hour period of time that was the absolute worst part. After reading other posts about withdrawal I planned mine out a little bit. Since I couldn't take time off work, I used the weekend to kick. I didn't start on a Saturday, I started on a Friday. I woke up Friday and took Omega, antacids and advil to work with me. This way, when the brain zaps/shivers started I was almost done with work and I could just go home and hunker down for the weekend.
    By Friday night I was feeling it pretty bad. Come Saturday withdrawal was in full force. I was pounding Omega and just trying to do as little as possible. Like I said, the cold wash cloth on the head helped a ton. I don't know how but I feel asleep for a few hours then woke up to Sunday morning still feeling pretty awful.
    One positive thing I need to mention about this is that with every passing day of kicking, I would wake up with a little less fog in my head. My senses felt a bit more sharp and clear. I still feel that way today on day 6. Makes me look back and think how out of it I had been for about 8 years. Maybe not out of it, perhaps, more like a dull feeling. Kinda blahish. I don't know, hard to explain.
    Anyway, I noticed a decrease in the frequency and intensity of the zaps/shivers by late Sunday afternoon.  Still feeling like poop but for sure better than the past two days. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.
    Monday, day 4. Thank the freaking stars this day came. I took 4 omega caps and 4 advil in the morning and that was it. I still popped some advil every now and then but not even close to what I had been taking. Zaps and Shivers where still there but nothing compared to what they had been. Believe me when I say this that having the kind of zaps/shivers, while still annoying as hell, they are tolerable by this point.


    Each day keeps getting better and better. As I think over how I feel now as compared to the past 8 years it's like night and day. My thoughts don't feel so bogged down. I liken it to driving in a car, during the day, on a long highway with lots of fog. You can't drive very fast because you can only see so far ahead. You can make out shapes of buildings off to the side but you're not exactly sure what kind of building it is.

    And lastly, since the start of detoxing off this horrific drug, a kept thinking of a scene from the Matrix. I'm not a big scifi guy or anything, but this scene just really fit perfectly. I have to admit that it actually brought a little comfort throughout this too. It's the scene where Neo gets dumped out of that pod thing all slimy and then gets put on the operating table with Morpheus looking over him. This is where Neo is first brought into the "real world". He asks Morpheus, "Why do my eyes hurt?" Morpheus says, "Because you've never used them before." I can dig it.

    Whew, I think I'm done writing this post. Sorry it's so freaking long but I have had a lot to say about this experience. I want everyone out there to know that, yes, you can get through Effexor withdrawal. Stick with it and don't give up. I want write that I promise you will feel better after kicking, but, everybody is different. I know I feel tons better and look forward to moving forward with my life and not being a slave to Effexor.

    Know what the best of kicking Effexor is? Waking up and reminding myself that I don't have to take that little pill anymore. The second best thing? Never having to worry if I forgot to take that little pill in the morning ever again. Third best thing? Flushing what pills I had left down the toilet. Freaking priceless.

    Roxcar

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  • pussycatgrl November 23, 2008
    pussycatgrl
    November 23, 2008

    Honestly, you have to know yourself.  For me, I am going through withdrawl right now and it isn't plesant, but as every day goes by I feel better and better.  Most of the stuff you have read about withdrawl is true, there are the 'shivers' and the hot/cold sweats, fever, chills, tremors, etc., but trust me, it is totally worth it.  I never knew who I really was until I got off of this medication.  I think much more clearly and am way more productive.  Make sure that you are under the care of a physician because instead of quitting cold turkey they can ween you off of it.  Its much better that way because the withdrawl isn't as severe.  Its also good to talk to people who have gone through it.  Just make a commitment and you can do whatever you want to do.  Good luck but please consult a physician because people online, myself included, are not the sole source of medical advice

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  • battleangel14745 November 01, 2008
    battleangel14745
    November 01, 2008

    I've been on and off just about every anti-depressant available and withdrawal from Effexor is literally a living hell.  I am afraid I am stuck on Effexor forever.  I accidentally made the mistake of thinking I could refill my Effexor within 24-48 hours and now know to never make that mistake again being on Effexor.  If I miss a dose 75 + 37.5 I have severe night sweats, nightmares, vertigo, dizziness, nausea, shakes, headache, fatigue, labile, foggy, confused I could on and on.  It's difficult to put into word it feels like being extremely drunk and extremely hung over at the exact same time.        

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  • linda duefield July 11, 2008
    linda duefield
    July 11, 2008

    yes i did go off effexor and yes it is horrible...i ended up in er and they game me shots of benadryl.....also a prescription for ativan to try to keep me calm....a pmd that i went to told me that effexor affects the brain the same way cocain does,,,,i ended up in bed for four weeks,,,,,and by the way,,,even 37 mgs is hard to get off...now for the upside of this .....you can do it but wean yourself down as slowly as possible...seek drs not a psychiatrist help......im sorry that you will be going thru some withdrawl but after that is over you will definetely feel better...

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  • pdxdave February 08, 2009
    pdxdave
    February 08, 2009

    Hello -

     

    I have been taking 300mg/day of Effexor (not XR) for over 6 years.  Approximately 3 years ago, I switched to the generic.  Over the past two months, I started decreasing my dosage incrementally.  About two weeks ago, I took my last dose.  My physician has advised me of the tough time I may have coming off this medication - and I have been following discussions online with similar prediction. 

     

    I can confirm my withdrawal experience from Effexor has been, and continues to be fierce.  Mentally, I feel superb and better than I've felt in a very long time.  Physically, however, my body is having a tough time adapting.  I've read a lot of entries about "brain shivers" - I experience something similar, almost like my brain is about a half-second behind the rest of my body when I'm moving my head while in a visually stimulating environment such as driving, watching TV, reading, etc.  I've experimented by moving my head with my eyes open, and with my eyes closed.  I do not experience the "shivers" when my eyes are closed, however I do when they're open.  I can extrapolate a connection between visual stimulus and the movement of my head ... I can't explain it ... but it's there.  The only recent change in my life and environment is the removal of Effexor - so the experiences I'm having must have to do with coming off the medication. 

     

    My body, in general, aches like I've been running a marathon.  It's similar to what I feel when noticing that I'm beginning to get the flu.  I often feel nauseous, and I've vomited several times - not from the usual stomach kinds of ailment, but rather from what I think might be a form of motion sickness.  If I weren't aware of the withdrawal symptoms before actually coming off Effexor, I could easily see slipping back into depression simply from these crazy physical symptoms.

     

    As I mentioned, however, mentally I feel exceptional.  I have had no further symptoms of depression that I can point to at this juncture.  A near immediate and very positive affect of stopping Effexor, for me, has been the return to normal sexual function.  It's amazing to me what a "depressing" affect Effexor had on my sexual health.  Before, I was rarely in the mood for sex, and it often took a tremendous amount of effort to reach orgasm - and I'm a guy!!!  Although I'm now 40, I feel like I'm 18 again.  This, for me, is truly amazing, and I will be asking myself, in future, whether the side effects of any drug are worth the benefit. 

     

    Considering the very negative side effects, and conversely the very positive side effects of removing the drug from my system, I can surmise that Effexor was not a good drug choice for me.  My experiences with the side effects run the extreme - very extreme.  There's not been a middle ground for me.  It's both good and bad that I had to stop taking Effexor to realize these things.

     

    My advice to anoyone attempting to come off of Effexor - hang in there.  I am not a medical professional, but in my opinion, the best thing you can do for yourself is to get Effexor out of your system.  Keep close connection with your health professional and be sure to report renewed feelings of depression or loss of hope.  There are lots of anti-depression drugs available - ones that may work better for you than Effexor. 

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  • vacate January 30, 2009
    vacate
    January 30, 2009

    Thanks to everyone who posted.  I am off the Effexor but I initially thought I had food poisoning when I first went off it. When I actually found out that Effexor withdrawal was causing these side effects, I was relieved and determined to get off Effexor. I found that gravol, drinking lots of water and walking daily helped alot.  I also take vitamins, including a multivitamin that has Choline, B Complex, Fish Oils for the Omego 3, and Ginko.  I also drink a detox tea and eat healthy food.  

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  • Laurie January 22, 2009
    Laurie
    January 22, 2009

    A withdrawal success...

    I just wanted to let everyone know that is going through this that people do get through it and it will get better.  I know when I was researching what to expect, I was feeling very desolate by the fact that no one was saying when it would end, etc.  So here is my story:

    On effexfor 37.5 for 2 years for panic attacks.  Had another attack after 2 years and doc upped it to 75, which I continued for another 2 years.  Finally had enough - headaches everyday, extreme lethargia, weigh gain.  Told my doc I wanted off, so we switched back to 37.5 and I did that for about 2 months.  Then I asked for a lower dosage and he gave me a 25mg pill to split in half since it was not extended release.  I took that for about 3 weeks and then stopped all together.  The withdrawal hit and it sucked as bad as everyone said it did.  Eyes couldn't keep up with my head, vertigo, dizzyness, crying.  This was on day one and two.  Started taking Omega 3, B-12 and Gingko after reading some success and I do believe that helped tremendously.  On day three I was vomiting all day.  Day 4, slight dizzyness.  I am now at the second week and I have a mild headache everyday, but that is it. 

    I am back to the gym everyday, feel great, no longer feel like I can't move in the mornings.  I am so, so happy to be free of this drug.  I will NEVER go back on it and I hope you all will stick through it.  YOU WILL GET BETTER.  I strongly recommend a slow taper, down to 25mg and the Omega 3, B-12 combo.

    Good luck

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  • Siscokidsgirl September 09, 2008
    Siscokidsgirl
    September 09, 2008

    My husband is now Effexor free.  After we discovered the terrible withdrawal symptoms were exactly that instead of his truly needing the drug, we found a website that explained how to successfully get off of the drug.  He was taking 75mg extended release capsules.  The doctor said it was okay to try to get off of that drug.  Of course he recommended every other day, anyone who takes Effexor knows that doesn't work at all.  We started by dumping out half of the bb's from inside the capsule for two days.  That went very well, so we dumped a few more.  We didn't actually count the number we were removing, but kept it at about the same level for two days at a time.  Each time we lowered the amount of bb's, we never noticed anything.  However we were finally able to reduce it to only 20 bb's.  We were not able to reduce it by even one without side effects.  We told the doctor of our success, but that we were at a stopping place.  He said that the dose was so low that there was no reason to worry about changing drugs.  He prescribed 25mg of Zoloft.  There were no withdrawl symptoms at all.  After being on the Zoloft for a few weeks, his mood stabilizer was increased and we dropped the Zoloft with no side effects at all.  He is now antidepressant free!  Best of all, he is Effexor free!!!

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  • bipolor1 February 05, 2009
    bipolor1
    February 05, 2009

    I am currently going through withdrawals from effexor, due to loss of insurance.  The symptoms are horrible, I am dizzy and cry all day, I feel like things are crawling on me and my legs and arms twitch. I decreasedy meds by half and then none and it wasn't slow enough.  My Psychiatrist says that there is nothing he can do to help me.

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  • karen December 11, 2008
    karen
    December 11, 2008

    Hi,

    After reading all of the horror stories of withdrawal from Effexor I decided after just being on it a few months to go ahead and stop taking it. It did help my anxiety but left me feeling emotionless and like I didn't care about anything. My dosage was 75 mg. a day. I cut it down to 37.5 mg this week and the only side effects that I am noticing is a ringing in my ears. My doctor wants me to take 37.5mg for two weeks, then 37.5mg every other day for two weeks, and finally 37.5 mg every third day for one week and then I can stop completely. I just wanted to offer a little encouragement because most of what you read is so extreme and scary. I have been exercising and drinking plenty of water. So far so good. I hope it continous to be this easy. Good luck to all who discontinue this medication!

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  • Cristin December 05, 2008
    Cristin
    December 05, 2008

    I'm currently in withdrawal from Effexor.  I must admit, coming down from 3 37.5 mg tablets to 2 37.5 mg to 1 37.5 mg wasn't bad.  I went from 3 to 2 and stayed on 2 for about 3 weeks, then proceeded to only take 1 for 3 weeks. 

     

    Now, I'm off.  And let me tell you, do not do so without informing close friends/family (i.e. spouse) that you are doing so.  The first 3 days were fine, mild headaches and slight nausea.  Then, I went into manic/depressive overload.  The smallest thing set me off to be angry (screaming at the top of my lungs angry), then when I calmed down I'd get so extremely sad and bawl my eyes out, then finally I'd just be sheerly exhausted.  My head feels like I have an extremely bad wine hangover.  My head is pounding, my eyes feel like they're on fire, when i move my head, it takes a few seconds for my vision to catch up, and then I can hear my blood pounding in my eyes.  Ever feel like you've concentrated so badly that you get sick (like motion sickness)?  yup, got that. 

     

    My doctor and I are trying different types of things to completely get me ok, such as breaking the capsole and putting one pill in 100 cc's of gatorade, then only taking 90 cc's for a few days and lowing from there.  The other option is to put me on Prosac and get me off Effexor, then taper off of the Prosac. 

     

    Talk to your doctor when you come off.  There are a ton of options to go over.  Don't be stubborn and drop them cold turkey.  That is a bad bad bad idea.  Just remember, you aren't "addicted" to the drug, this is just withdrawal.  I highly recommend having someone with you while you go through it, however.

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  • sallyk December 04, 2008
    sallyk
    December 04, 2008

    Casey,

     

    One more thing.  The tablets I am on are 37.5, not the capsules with bb's.  Easy to cut in half to taper slowly.  They are a generic form of effexor and work just as well.  It will make the withdrawal easier for you. 

     

    Hang in there!

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  • Jenodnile February 28, 2009
    Jenodnile
    February 28, 2009

    I got put on effexor for my depression Monday the 23 of Feb, 2009. I took it 3 days and I thought it was ok but hadn't really gotten into my system good enough to have side effects so I went searching Wednesday the 25th for side effects, my gosh at the side effects. I also read on about the withdraw side effects you would have if they pill didn't work for you and you had to come off of it. I can called my dr right then and told her that I could no longer take this pill due to the fact that if it didn't work for me I would have to be wenged off it and after reading the side effects from withdraws I don't want to have to go through that so I told her I wanted on another medication that would not do me this way. I thank god that I look up the information before it was to late to just come right off of.

     

    I pray that you will all get off this nasty drug, take care

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  • Napoleon January 25, 2009
    Napoleon
    January 25, 2009

    I am still tapering off Effexor. I went from 37.5 at the end of my taper and had headaches/naseua/brain zaps when I was off of it, so the dr put me back on 25 a day. I don't feel any of the side effects but I'm still gaining weight. The dr suggested another anti-depressant and I said no. Is everyone on pills? Is that the only solution? They don't tell you all of the side effects and it's a pain getting off.

    READ MORE
  • Napoleon January 04, 2009
    Napoleon
    January 04, 2009

    I have been tapering off Effexor for the past few weeks. I went from 150 mg to 75 to 37.5. I've been a little dizzy and naseous at times. Other than that just frustrated that the docs were so eager to prescribe this drug to me without explaining the side effects (weight gain no matter how much exercise!) and how it would feel to go off of it. My first dr said that I'd probably be on it for the rest of my life. I'm hoping the weight will come off and my mood will be stable once I'm off of this drug for good.

    READ MORE
  • akm
    akm
    November 15, 2008
    akm
    akm
    November 15, 2008

    I'm at the tail end of the weaning off period of Effexor.  I'm in a living hell, I can't believe how terrible I feel right now.  One of the reasons why I decided to get off this drug, is for this very reason of side-effects.  I had read the good, bad, and ugly reports from people who had decided for various reasons to stop taking this drug.  Unfortunately my story is not a good one.  The side effects are terrible-blurred vision, diareha, mood swings, nausea, time-shifts, electric brain shocks, chills, fever, headache, foggy/forgetful, dizziness, accute sensitivity to everything from light to the clothes I'm wearing right now. 

    I'm feeling so dissapointed that doctors flippantly put people already in a state of deppresion on this type of medication; and that they aren't educated on how severe the side effects can be. 

    This vicious circle is for some I'm sure an impossible battle.  Right now I feel a tension of trying to be strong, not only mentally but physically; but also more weak than I've ever felt-even with a deppressive break down. 

    I can't believe as a society that we would support pharmaceutical companies that would take advantage of people in this way.  I know this sounds like a conspiracy theory-but I truly believe they build these side-effects into their drugs so people will HAVE to continue taking the drugs ergo. . .money in their pockets.

     

    I will get off this drug, but I can honestly say it's one of the hardest things I've ever done.

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  • Liz
    Liz
    March 05, 2009
    Liz
    Liz
    March 05, 2009

    Right now, I can't stop crying.  I am having major withdrawal symptoms.  Everything listed on here and more.  Sunday was my last 37.5 mg pill.  About 2.5 weeks ago I told my Dr I couldn't stand being apathetic about everything anymore and I wanted to taper.  He gave me one week of 75 mg and one week of 37.5 mg.  I was on 150 mg before. When I went to 75 mg I felt no difference at first.  Then I realized I was snapping at the dog ALOT.  Instantly I would feel bad and be almost in tears. ( If I had kids it would have happened to them too I assume.)  Then I got used to that at the end of that week and started on the 37.5 mg for a week.  Same thing... at first I didn't notice a difference, then by about day 3 I felt "snappy" again.  Monday of this week I felt completely fine, until the late afternoon.  Tuesday I felt like crap.  Shaky.  Brain shakes- I feel like I am a walking creation of jello right now.  I also feel drunk most of the time.  Words are coming out of my mouth faster than I can comprehend.  I have to stop talking for a few seconds and compose myself and then continue.  Let me tell you, in a work environment where everyone looks to you for help and support when they can't do something, this is BAD.  I had yesterday off and couldn't get anything done at the house that I needed to.  I was so lethargic.  By about 2 pm I couldn't force myself to stay awake any longer and had to go to bed.  I thought the diahrea I had was from food I was eating.  It actually took me until today to figure out what was going on.  I thought my BP was really high, checked and it was LOWER than it has been the WHOLE time I was on Effexor.  I thought my blood sugar must be low or high.  It wasn't any higher than it is normally.  ( I am a diabetic, so I am kind of wondering if this could be making my withdrawal worse.)  I am trying to power down water, but having the hardest time doing it even though I am so incredibly thirsty.  My withdrawal is getting worse every day.  If it is not better by tomorrow I'm going to have to call my Dr and get something short term to help.  And PRAY that they will give me something.  I'm switching Dr's after this fiasco.

    READ MORE
  • Napoleon February 08, 2009
    Napoleon
    February 08, 2009

    After reading all of the new posts, I find it saddening that physicians still say that there are not many side effects of Effexor, or that there is nothing he/she can do. I've been off of Effexor XR for almost a week and the symptons have slowly disappeared. However, I still have brain shivers and am dizzy at times. My doctor keeps telline me not to read the Internet because of what is posted about the drug. Ha!

    READ MORE
  • SuperPsycho December 17, 2008
    SuperPsycho
    December 17, 2008

    I haven't found on the search engine about trazodone helping with effexor withdrawal, however, today I personally found that when I was having the withdrawal symptoms, I took a trazodone so that I could sleep. However, not only did the trazodone help with the insomnia, but it took away all the side effects! I felt on top of the world. Trazodone itself has been proven by many studies to be an effective trycyclic antidepressant (ssri). I don't know if this is a rare occasion, but it wouldn't hurt to talk to your doctor about switching to trazodone for 1. Also, a little mj helps....a lot.

    READ MORE
  • sallyk December 04, 2008
    sallyk
    December 04, 2008

    I have been on effexor for 2 years and have been tapering off for the last 6 months.  I was on 112.5mg and then to 75mg and now 37.5.  Each time I lower the dose I do experience the brain shorts (as I call them), insomnia and diarrhea. I also feel some dizziness and feel kind of like I'm drunk.  Not fun! The brain shorts are the worst as I have them constantly for around 4-6 days during each taper. I have gone slowly: 2 months for each taper.  I have stabilized after about a week of the symptoms. 

     

    I will cut the tab in half for the next taper and stay on that for 2 months and then off of effexor completely.  It is a great med for depression, but going off isn't fun.  I hope to be effexor free early in the new year. 

     

    I reccomend tapering very slowly.  I did not know what the withdrawal symptoms would be until I began to read about it after being on effexor for over a year.

     

    It hasn't been horrible, I think you can do it.  Be sure to stay in touch with your MD while going off of it.  Mine has been a great encouragement to me.

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  • J.
    J.
    November 27, 2008
    J.
    J.
    November 27, 2008

    I can't believe that I found this website! I take 150mg daily, but I take it because of problems that I have with my MS. I have had the stomach flu and decided myself (how dumb) that it would be okay to stop my Effexor until I was sure that I felt better.  I have cried the entire day for no reason.  I feel like I have low blood sugar and I am going to faint. I have worried all day that I am having a flair of my MS because I am numb in different places.  This really scares me.

    READ MORE
  • Anna November 06, 2008
    Anna
    November 06, 2008

    I was on Effexor was years, one of the side effects is excessive sweating and when you're already prone to sweating that makes it really hard to live with.  Also, my libido could not be any lower and may cause me my relationship so my doctor decided it was time for a change and put me on Pristqu.  I've never heard of it, but he assured me I should not experience any "mental" changes while switching the meds. RIGHT!!! The "brain pings" are driving me crazy, my blood pressure is elevated, I'm afraid to go to sleep because of the very vivid nightmares I experience that stay with me once I wake up.  I feel like I'm being treated like a guinea pig......"here take this and see how it does..." Did the doc even read the info on the Pristqu before prescribing it to me?  And get this, it's only been six day since I changed meds!

    READ MORE
  • Amy
    Amy
    September 11, 2008
    Amy
    Amy
    September 11, 2008

    Unfortunately I think I may still be having withdrawls after almost two weeks of stopping effexor.  I'm sure it didn't help that I stopped cold turkey and was taking both 150 of effexor and 150 of wellbutrin.  I continuously feel nauseous, feeling dizzy, having nightmares regularly, exhausted but can't sleep, bowl changes, and this will sound weird but I hear sounds when I blink my eyes and it also feels like it takes a second for my brain to catch up with my eye movement.  I work in the medical field and know better than to stop taking these medications abruptly and have seen the consequences of doing so first hand but did it anyways.  I know it was dumb.  I have a family history of depression and actually just delt with a death (suicide) of a cousin I was very close to all because of depression.  I guess I was just angry with the disease and wanted to prove that I didn't need any of the meds (and I really did just forget to take them for 2 days and figured what the hell, I'll give em up).  Not a good idea.  I feel much better on them but don't plan to take them anymore.

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  • Been there... July 25, 2008
    Been there...
    July 25, 2008

    i have -- twice -- both times were miserable.  what dose are you on? I always try to plan to have the next couple of days after a decrease free (so if i decrease on Friday, I want to be off Saturday and Sunda to be able to lay low).  the thing is, when its working you feel fine and like you don't need to be on it; then you get halfway through weaning off and realize you don't feel so good anymore -- you realze how much the higher dose was helping.  good luck!

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  • hummingbird_head November 09, 2008
    hummingbird_head
    November 09, 2008

    I've had to taper off of Effexor 3 times (for getting pregnant and also for switching meds). The first time I went off it I tapered down really slowly (like over a couple months) but it was annoying, but not horrible. I would experience mild dizziness (like when I turned my head, it took an instant for my view to catch up, if that makes sense). I would also get headaches, but minor headaches. Nothing severe, just a bit irritating. Then the second time I went off Effexor it was to switch to Prozac and as I tapered down the Effexor I ramped up the Prozac simultaneously and that really cured the withdrawal symptoms. So maybe ask your doctor about switching first to Prozac, which is easier to come off. Now I'm switching from Effexor to Cymbalta and I'm experiencing all the same dizziness. The doctor didn't recommend taking them simultaneously, but I do think starting on the new med immediately after the last Effexor pill is helping the withdrawal symptoms, but the symptoms are still there. It has been about 4 days and has maybe gotten a little better each day. But mild dizziness and a mild headache is about all I experience of Effexor withdrawal and it is annoying but not that big of a deal. I must also mention that during this change from Effexor to Cymbalta I've been having crying fits for the dumbest reasons. Not sure if that is withdrawal or hormones or just depression, but I do think it has gotten worse while switching meds.  Hope that helps put more info out there.

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    • carllij
      May 13, 2009
      carllij
      May 13, 2009

      Paxil did that to me really bad.  I got off all of them and went to counciling and that helped me alot more than all of the meds that the Dr. kept switching me to.

      READ MORE
  • starwarzkid February 28, 2009
    starwarzkid
    February 28, 2009

    I have been off for 5 days now. I took 75 mg for aprox. 6 years. I currently don't have insurance but was able to get it through a patient assistance program through wyeth. I am trying to get off due to the rapid heartbeat I have had with it. (resting 100-110bpm)
    I feel like I will be able to cope with life w/o it. I tapered to Aprox. 37.5 mg for a week and then just about 1/2 that for only a few more days.(I wish I would have done it more gradually now)
    I have experienced extreme agitation, insomnia, body aches, head aches, crying/tearing up spells, forgetfulness-foggy mind, mood swings, nausea, abdominal pain, and ringing in ears. I got some L-Glutathione omega 3's to help but I just started them yesterday. I want to just be back to my normal self and be completely free of this drug but it has been terrible so far. I hope and pray that it will get better like others have said and when I have finally gotten completely off it, I hope I can continue to cope with life w/o the anti-depressants.

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  • Michele February 26, 2009
    Michele
    February 26, 2009

    going off effexor is the worst experience i have ever had.the withdrawl symptoms are horrible and include all of the following ( even if you are weaning off under a drs. care)

    extreme agitation, restlessness, rage, anger, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, ringing in the ears, brain fog, dizziness, feeling of passing out at times. sounds of whooshing through your ears and brain, electric shock like feelings in your brain and upper body muscles, inability to concentrate or make decisions. I took a month off from work in order to somewhat be able to function at home. I treated my family, especially my kids horrible due to inability to deal with everday life. also extremely painfull headaches

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  • Raffy October 07, 2008
    Raffy
    October 07, 2008

    Best med for chronic depression.  Worst depression med to come off of--period.  It's really like detoxing.  I recommend what another person posted--tell the people around you what is going on b/c you will act differently and probably feel sick--no question.

    Do it under the watch of your doc.  

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  • Cheryl October 07, 2008
    Cheryl
    October 07, 2008

    Oh my God yes! It was horrific! I vomited everday, all day. Couldn't even keep water down. The tingles finally went away and I had started to withdrawal form Effexor XR over a month ago. I still can't eat, especially not meat. I have lost my ability to eat. I am quite scared. I have lost almost 20lbs in on month. I have contracted a cellulitis infection because I am so weak. I found this site looking for info on what could be wrong and why I cant eat. Dont take Effexor XR. It is too dangerous!!!Cry

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  • AnneT September 20, 2008
    AnneT
    September 20, 2008

    Oh yeah...vertigo, loss of balance like being on a rough seas boat, puking...and this is 7 days after lowering from 37.5mg to a little under 30 mg. Man oh man.

     

    I'm now going slower, but feel tearful (is it biochemical or just frustration?), exhausted, no motivation, light-headed.

     

    I appreciate the on-line support and information I'm finding. Please please post your experiences and info, too. Right now I'm a bit obsessed, maybe, but checking in every few hours. I recommend the loooong strand that is on abchomeopathy, with info from Mikemo (not that I am into homeopathy - but there are some excellent ideas.)

     

    I'm trying everything that I know of to help. My big decision is whether to "give in" and take some of the Prozac liquid my doctor gave me to help withdraw. It sounds like it may be the only way for me to get off the Effexor without being in hospital, but I am terrified that I'll just wind up with more side effects.

     

    Please, I'm desperate for advice and experience before I'll be brave enough to take it!

    Hang in there. AnneT

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    • calgary69
      September 28, 2009
      calgary69
      September 28, 2009

      I have been on Effexor for 10 years and was up to 300+ mg. a day.  I was in a state of confusion so badly that I almost killed myself and a friend by sitting on the railroad tracks waiting for a light to change. I ran to my doctor the next day and she cut my effexor to 150 mg. for 6 weeks, then 75 mg. for another year.  Last week I went away on a Knitting Retreat and forgot my Effexor.  I did not realize it for two days so have decided to come off it altogether.  I do not feel the need to be on it but after reading all these letters about coming off Effexor I have decided to call my doctor and get some advice.  I think I should come off it slowly.  Good luck to you in your journey.  Those brain ZZZZZ are sure uncomfortable and I am dizzy at tmes which is not good when driving a car!!!  Thanks for your advice from everyone.

      Mary Ann T.

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    • calgary69
      September 28, 2009
      calgary69
      September 28, 2009

      I have been on Effexor for 10 years and was up to 300+ mg. a day.  I was in a state of confusion so badly that I almost killed myself and a friend by sitting on the railroad tracks waiting for a light to change. I ran to my doctor the next day and she cut my effexor to 150 mg. for 6 weeks, then 75 mg. for another year.  Last week I went away on a Knitting Retreat and forgot my Effexor.  I did not realize it for two days so have decided to come off it altogether.  I do not feel the need to be on it but after reading all these letters about coming off Effexor I have decided to call my doctor and get some advice.  I think I should come off it slowly.  Good luck to you in your journey.  Those brain ZZZZZ are sure uncomfortable and I am dizzy at tmes which is not good when driving a car!!!  Thanks for your advice from everyone.

      Mary Ann T.

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  • babs August 20, 2008
    babs
    August 20, 2008

    The withdrawal is incredible horrible and can land you in the hospital.  I have been on 150 mgs for about 5 years and sometimes forget to refill on time.  In just 24 hours I have diarrhea, electrical like shocks in my brain and vision, sleep 14 hrs a day, foggy mind and anxiety attacks.  I have no desire to go off of them as they work wonderful for me with no side effects.  Make sure you get an Mds advice and care during this process if you decide to stop taking them.  It may save your life.

    READ MORE
  • Frank-O January 21, 2009
    Frank-O
    January 21, 2009

    I experienced extreme withdrawals.  Huge head aches, vomit, brain zaps (these are the worst).

     

    You can share your experience with it on knoweffexor.com

     

     

    READ MORE
  • April November 27, 2008
    April
    November 27, 2008

    I've been weaning myself down over the last 2 months from 150 to my last dose which was 2 days ago of 37.5.  I'm on Day 2 of my withdrawal and as usual my digestive system has turned into the express route for anything I eat.  I also have "woo woo head", also known as brain zingers. Fortunately it's the long weekend here in America so I'm gonna lie low and ride it out.  I hate Effexxor with a passion.  The thought of being so addicted to a drug frightens me.  I take 12.5mg of Seroquel at night to help me sleep and to keep my anxiety low.  Good luck with your withdrawal and take care of yourself.

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  • Tammy_Jane_Doe July 13, 2009
    Tammy_Jane_Doe
    July 13, 2009

    I am going through effexor withdrawal right now, so I am looking to see if anyone has gone thru what I am currently experiencing. It is awful, my ears are constantly buzzing, my head feels so weird I cant even explain it. I have a constant feeling of nausea. I am having hot flashes, I am constantly tired, my entire body is aching not to mention the crazy dreams I have been having. I called my doctor today to see if I should come in, I was told it was probably the withdrawal and that there is a virus going around with similar symptoms. I feel taking effexor was the biggest mistake of my life. I don't recall it helping much with my depression at all...I just slept all the time.....

     

    I don't wish this feeling on anyone but it would make me feel better to know that I am not going thru this alone...

    READ MORE
    • mattjames
      July 15, 2009
      mattjames
      July 15, 2009
      Ginger capsules help with the nausea, I just got some today. I'm on 37.5MG and i cut them in half. half a day in the evening and it helps when waking up in the morning with the withdrawal symptoms. It's my 2nd day and it's going to be a long road but the end is clear and Im dead set on getting off these. 4 years of hell it's been, my life was ruined by these tablets. Speak to your doctor first no matter what, its important because everyone is differant. READ MORE
  • dolphin September 08, 2009
    dolphin
    September 08, 2009

    How do I wean off Effexor to avoid withdrawal. I'm taking two tablets: 1 - 75mg and

    1 - 150mg. I only have three weeks to do this.

    READ MORE
  • crazy in cali July 15, 2009
    crazy in cali
    July 15, 2009

    i have been crying all morning after waking to day 5 of withdrawal and finding i am worse each day. i was on eff for 8 years. this is my 3rd time trying to wean. cut from 300 to 75 over 1 1/2 years. so no doubt i did this very slowly. every symptom you read - i have, plus i am getting more discouraged each day - and feel ashamed that i could find myself here. Make sure if you do go off, you have a back up plan for all areas of your life. take a couple weeks off and tell everyone you are going away - except 1 or 2 friends you WILL need. hopefully today i will find some help

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  • LMKats June 20, 2009
    LMKats
    June 20, 2009

    I've been on Effexor XR for about 6 years, it has been the best for me, but due to a separation, no job, no health care I'm having to go off of it. I'm down to half my dosage and am going nuts. Headaches, not sleeping, crying all the time, anger issues and a terrible itching rash. I cried bitterly for about 2 hours last night and then slept pretty much from midnight to 2:30 p.m. Now I'm back to being depressed and feeling suicidal. No govt. help either, everything costs money. I didn't even wanna go off the stuff, it kept me somewhat sane and in control of myself.

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  • colby July 21, 2009
    colby
    July 21, 2009

    i was on effexor for about 2 years. I tried several times to come off but failed with horrible side effects. I tried herbs, programs, vitamins etc. Then my doctor put me on pristiq, whhich didnt help at all. And the withdrawals didnt go away. So i decided to try lovan (prozac) 20mg, and i am getting back to normal (touch wood) the withdrawals have almost gone and im getting happier. And i am pretty sure prozac isnt as bad to get off. Pristiq is a metabolite of effexor so there isnt much difference, dont go on it. but if your really struggling try the lovan, just a small dose. Until the withdrawals ease off and you calm down.

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    • Redreader
      July 21, 2009
      Redreader
      July 21, 2009

      I am on day 8 with no Effexor and I feel really good.  Not 100% yet; but much better than I felt this past week.  It CAN be done!!  Days 5 & 7 seemed to be the most challenging.  By challenging, I mean that they definitely provided the most anxiety.  HATE anxiety.  YUCK!  Anyhow, no more dizziness.  Not nauseous.  Stomach is in distress and am still tired.  Anxiety is at a minimum.  Thank goodness.  Tomorrow, I will begin tapering off the small dose of Prozac that my doc prescribed to help with withdrawal.  I definitely recommend it.  Twenty mg of Prozac helped trememdously with withdrawal.  I will update in a few days.  Please share your success stories!! People experiencing withdrawal from Effexor need them.   

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  • oxidar April 27, 2009
    oxidar
    April 27, 2009

    This is amazing to find a forum that i can relate to so closely.  Truthfully I am skeptical of taking any kind of psychiatric meds from now on... i simply refuse.  i've been on effexor for five years now and was taking apparently what doctors called a maintenance dose of 75mg extended release.  My father is a cardiologist who put me on antidepressants five years ago and I feel that was one of the biggest mistakes of my life.  Since taking effexor I've attempted suicide twice, once by overdosing and once by slitting my wrists.  Now I am actually under the supervision of a psychiatrist who instead of titrating me off my dose offered me one pill of prozac that was supposed to do the titrating for me since it is such a slow acting medication.  All i can say is that i am on day six now and am feeling awful... can't work, have total mushy brain, and vertigo plus some waves of nausea.  Hopefully these feelings will come to an end soon and I have no other option but to wait it out.  I WILL NOT TAKE ANOTHER PILL just to curb my withdrawal symptoms... I know that once this is over and my serotonin levels have regulated themselves this will all have been worth while.  Stay strong people!  This is just about as bad as it gets!... and it's not permanent, just chemical.  

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  • Monica October 29, 2009
    Monica
    October 29, 2009

    Wow! Before I read all these posts I thought I was totally alone. I have been on effexor for 3 years now. Started on 150mg and went down to 75mg daily. On occasion I skip a dose on accident and the "electric shock" withdrawls effects are so strong. hat each person tends to describe this feeling a little different. At first it was an undescriable feeling. I felt like my head was moving slower then my brain. Made me so sick I was forced to take a dose to feel normal again. I would like to get off of effexor but I am afraid that the withdrawl is too strong for me. I fell trappped by effexor. Thanks to everyone for their personal stories. It has made me feel like i am not the only one experiencing this

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  • Mumsey October 04, 2009
    Mumsey
    October 04, 2009

    I am so glad I discovered this website.  I am 70 yrs old, diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2001.  But my neurologist said my symptoms began in my 20's.  They were light and short, so I attributed them "What was that all about?" and ignored them.

     

    I went on Prozac for weight loss in 1993 and, although their was no weight loss, I felt better mentally.  Stayed on Prozac.  In 2000, the MS came at me full force and I was diagnosed and put on disability a year later.  My primary doctor took me off Prozac and I went through a myriad of pain and mind altering drugs.  I was a total banana case with memory blackouts, drugged feeling, etc.  Changed doctors about three years ago and was taken off all the brain pills and given Effexor.  Everything seemed okay.  I wasn't really aware in any changes in my brain behavior, and figured my MS and age were causing the dementia symptoms.  Until I forgot to take my pills three nights in a row.  (I remember reminding myself to take them, and remembered taking them.)  On the fourth night, I had been having headaches, strange noises in my head and just felt awful.  Although I was sure I had taken my pills, I doubled checked and they were still in the weekly pill box.  Within a few hours after taking them, I felt okay again. But I told my doctor I wanted off the Effexor because I thought it was dangerous.

     

    He told me to finish my prescription and then start 20mg of Prozac (my old friend).  About three days into the Prozac and off Effexor - the hell and madness began.  I told my doctor about the loud swishing sounds that actually felt like they were jarring my  head or like the feeling might be after being hit in the head with a sledge hammer.  Plus all the symptoms of those listed before.  I was afraid of a brain tumor and I think the doctor did also because he ordered an MRI.  Which was tumor free. It took about two or three weeks before the worst of the withdrawals were gone and I soon felt a clearness or like coming out of a fog for the first time in years.  The withdrawal misery was worth every minute.

     

    I don't think many doctors are aware of some of the side effects of these drugs.  They don't have time to research all of the new diseases and meds and have to rely on the information given to them by the drug sales reps (biased/incomplete) and patients.  I was happy to hear so many of you have done your own research.  I am going to call my doctor and give him this website.

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  • Janet August 23, 2009
    Janet
    August 23, 2009

    Hi all.  I may have a slightly different perspective on this subject.  Not sure if it will be useful to anyone but here goes.  First, a little background.  I am a 50 year old female going through menopause.  A little over a year ago I was contacted by a research group that was doing a clinical trial to study the effect of Effexor on menopausal symptoms.  At that time, I was having hot flashes that were driving me out of my mind.  So they couldn't get me signed up quick enough!  The trial lasted for 14 months.  For the first two months, I was gradually titrated up to a full daily dosage of 100mg/daily.  By the end of the first month, the flashes were all but gone.  I was thrilled!  I proceeded to have a "menopausal symptom" free year.  On  7/31/09, I was given my last two weeks of medication to titrate me off.  I took the last dose on Friday 8/14/09. 

     

    My trouble did not start until the following Monday when I began to have what I now know are called brain "shivers".  For the next five days, I felt absolutely horrible with physical symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, headaches.  Then there were the emotional symptoms - CRYING, depression, anxiety etc.  And I even had a few psychotic things going on - like for a split second, I considered throwing my yorkiepoo in the swimming pool because she was barking too loud.  Um Hum......

     

    So, here's the good news.  At least for me, the withdrawal symptoms went away almost as quickly as they came on.  Today is 8/23/09 and I feel like my "old" self again - oh yes, including the hot flashes - they are back with a vengence! 

     

    For those of you who are going through withdrawal, I truly empathize!  For those considering discontinuing your medication, follow the advice of many others on this site - DON'T go cold turkey.  Consult with your doctor to see if it is a wise thing to do and then see if you can be titrated very gradually.

     

    One other thing to note, I happen to be a thin person.  The RN in charge of the clinical trial told me my withdrawal symptoms may have been worse but for a shorter period of time because I metabolized the medicine out of my system very quickly.  So it makes me wonder about any connection between a person's weight and severity of symptoms.  Might make a good study....

     

    Take care all.

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    • rose martin
      September 07, 2009
      rose martin
      September 07, 2009

      Hi all, Im 58yr old woman, single, live alone, disability pension. I have been on various trychlyic Anti-depressants and sedatives for years. when the non addictive SSRIs came in, I was abit sceptical because they said the benzodiazepines were great and non addictive in the 60s. Well folks, anything that alleviates pain,emotional distress or changes uptake of Serotonin,Dopamine,Noradrenaline in the brain is going to be addictive, In not interested in Labels, Addicted to or chemically dependent on or the bodys got used to.. basically is the same thing, sorry ! you go thru withdrawals so your hooked.  Now I was on Seroxat [irish name] {paxil] large dosae for 6years and slowly titrated down. It was v v hard. Usual side effects, but I exercised, ate well, took as much outdoor exercise as possible, put the brain zaps down to Paxil withdrawal. I did very well in that I came off it. I could feel  and cry and my weight went back to being normal. Then before Xmas, for reasons wont go into, camd down with a horrid Depression. 6yrs ago, against my better judgement, I went on Efexor XL firstly 75mls then 150 and finally 300. I was a walking zombie, My BP was very very high and my liver gamma GT was that of someone who drank a bottle of Vodka per day. My shrink panicked and put me back to 150.  I tried some months back to come down off the tabs as I just couldnt take it.   Now I am trying again, this time, I m determined. I gave up Booze,Ciggies, Paxil and other addictive things. There are many reasons why Efexor is physically hard to come down from.     I dont want to be doom and gloom but have done quite abit of research. However, since I read about the effect it can have on ones eyesight over a few years taking it,plus my huge weight problem, my addiction to carbohydrates [another symptom] the awful night sweats from the drug, and the feeling of being chemcially lobotomised, Im giving it a 2nd go. Yes am getting the brain zaps, dizziness, but the tablet has a short life and hence you get the withdrawals coming up to the time youre supposed to take it, unlike other meds, it doesnt stay in the body as long as say, lexapro or Prothiaden or Prozac. It also has a v calming effect so its only natural the body is going to scream for it, Im down to 75mg and was on 200 then 150mg.   My own G.P. said he doesnt prescribe it and i cant say anymore than that. My psychiatrist was the one who did.  Now I just want OFF. Im titrating slowly and am taking a sleeping pill and also Sedation to help eith the awful side effects. Im beginning to feel again, and i look forward to saying adios to this tablet.   I dont think its a good thing to watch out for the symptoms, i prefer to try and exercise and ignore the Dizziness, panic or weird brain zaps. thats all they are,just the brain re adjusting to the lack of this chemical.  I wish you all well

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  • roberta July 02, 2009
    roberta
    July 02, 2009

    I was on Effexor for about 1 year.  I recently went off of Effexor, with my doctor's  counsel. It's ugly, to be sure, and my withdrawal was mild compared to some folks.  It is now 2 weeks post-Effexor and I am still suffering from dizziness and nausea that remind me of motion sickness. If you move your head too fast, it takes a few seconds for your brain to catch up.  Other people refer to Brain Shivers, which is a more intense version of it.  My whole body, but especially my legs, are jumpy.  Just can't get comfortable.  I'm more weepy now than I ever was before I went on anti-depressants, my temper is shorter, but nothing that is out of control.  So, all in all, I've faired better than many.  And summer was a good time for me to try life without anti-depressants.  Good luck!  Just stay in touch with your doctor and your friends.

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  • LB
    LB
    May 13, 2009
    LB
    LB
    May 13, 2009

    I wasn't able to get to the pharmacy before it closed last night, and had to wait until this afternoon to pick up my RX of venlafaxine (generic for Effexor).  I worked for Wyeth while this drug was under development and during its subsequent launch in 1994.  It is a wonderful medication; works better than any other that I've tried over the past 40 years for chronic depression.

     

    That's the upside.

     

    The downside is that the withdrawal symptoms are absolutely monstrous.  Not a word that has been written in this forum exaggerates how horrible the withdrawal effects are.  It's all true.  The best way to describe it, for me, is this way:  imagine that you're coming down with stomach flu - upset stomach, diarrhea, feeling tired and basically "punky."  Then add a big dose of motion sickness, perhaps caused by reading a book as a passenger in a car.

     

    Pretty bad, huh?

     

    That's why, in the future, I will have a full week's warning in my Dayplanner (or Blackberry, if I ever purchase one):

     

    "GET VENLAFAXINE RX REFILLED - NOW!!!!!!

     

     

     

     

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    • sojourner8
      November 07, 2010
      sojourner8
      November 07, 2010

      AMEN brother.  I'm on venlafaxine too.  I had to go through a cold turkey withdrawal for about a week because Blue CRoss Blue Shield NC is telling me Venlafaxine is a brand name drug and I've met my cap for them this year. Sigh.  We are very fortunate that we have some savings put aside so my husband ran to CVS to get me a week's worth of pills.  Bless that poor man. Smile

       

      Yesterday afternoon i started puking and getting hot and cold - did that most of last night through early morning.  Yep - just like the flu.  I was freezing and then buring up.  Moved a bucket to my bed so I could put the blankets on and off me depending on my temp.  I thought it might be from a bad sinus infection but no it's definitly a part of the withdrawal party my body didn't know I was having.  Poor body.

       

      Perhaps sadly, the brain zaps are disconcerting and can be annoying but they don't bother me as much because I understand how they are happening now.  The zaps were horrible when I was on Effexor - I could feel them in my body walking to work an hour after taking the med.  One friday I missed the pharmacy and the weekend resulted in a kind of hell for me and three friends i went camping with.  Anyway - that's when my dr. gave me venlafaxine - which has been much better on my body.  That being said - the withdrawal is still nasty.  

       

      If I ever decided to offically wean off - I want to do it mindfully and with the help of my dr, counselor, family, and close friends, oh and my dog who can lay on the bed with me and won't mind when I sit up to puke.  Wink  I would want a plan to taper off and be as good to my body as i can during the process.  You all are amazing and powerful in my book.  Good luck to those in the weaning off process and may happiness and health come to all ya'll.

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    • LB
      LB
      November 07, 2010
      LB
      LB
      November 07, 2010

      I agree - I've never had to detox from a street drug ('cause I've never done them), but from what I've read, the withdrawal symptoms from Effexor (venlafaxine) are almost as nasty.   

       

      I'm puzzled as to why the insurance companies keep saying that venlafaxine is a brand, when it is actually the compound (generic form) of Effexor, which IS the brand.  I tried to get someone with Aetna to explain it, and all I got was a bunch of mumbo-jumbo about "single-source supplier", or some  esoteric "insurance-ese" for which the bottom line was:  tough noogies, whether your co-pay is for Effexor, or for venlafaxine, be prepared to shell out the bucks - sucker!   

       

      Here is a suggestion for you:  if you have a Costco in your area, give them a call to find out how much it would cost to get your RX from them.  You may not believe this, but it's true:  at a retail pharmacy, my cost for a month's supply of venlafaxine (in my case, 90 pills) would have been around $85.00.  Now that I do not have insurance, the cost would be about $150.00 for a month's supply.

       

      At Costco:  Only $34.00 for a month's supply.  And you do not need to have a membership to buy from their pharmacy (in Pennsylvania, anyway).  Remember though, this is for venlafaxine TABLETS; they are not the extended release form.  And they taste awful, so they need to be swallowed quickly!  Foot in mouth  But that doesn't leave nearly as bad a taste in my mouth as it would to pay 4.5 times more for the same drug.

       

      Sigh ... our wonderful health "care" system ... I was watching a movie this week where the story takes place in Sweden.  The heroine was in the hospital day after day after day - if I were to guess, per the story line, around 3 weeks.  I kept thinking "This is crazy; there's no way her insurance would allow that long of a hospital stay - even though she came in with a gunshot wound to the head!  Someone didn't do their research."  Then I remembered:  "Oh, yeah ... this is in Sweden."  In other words, where all human beings have access to healthcare.  And they don't get the boot in 24 hours, whether or not they're still acutely ill or traumatized from an injury.            

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  • aw1983 April 26, 2009
    aw1983
    April 26, 2009

    After being on Effexor for 6 years, I decided back in December to see what life could be like without it again.  

     

    I had initially been diagnosed with chronic depression back when i was in college, and being on Effexor really did give me the relief I needed when I was at my lowest, and it helped me manage my emotional life in those 6 years enough to make a lot of very positive changes...

     

    However, I really noticed a dulling of my mental abilities/memory, especially in the last years I was taking effexor...and it left me with the feeling that I was using a drug to smooth over and repress a lot of difficult emotional things that ultimately I wanted to face up to and learn to deal with in a more natural/drug free way...

     

    I talked to my doctor beforehand because I was very concerned both with the physical aspect of getting off the pills (I couldn't be even an hour late taking my dose every day without getting the brain shivers) and the potential to have depression return after 6 years of living a normal life.  He encouraged me to take things very slow and listen to my body/mind very closely.

     

    He recommended I start by replacing my 75 mg xr pill with 2 37.5 mg pills per day, spaced 12 hours apart.  Once my body had adjusted to the 12 hours spacing (no brain shivers), I could then start moving back the second dose, an hour or two at a time, until the doses were 24 hours apart, at which point I'd be on 37.5/day. 

     

    Then he told me to continue this process by splitting the 37.5 pill into two (break open the capsule, count out the little balls, divide by 2, etc) and repeat the process of spacing out the doses more and more...

     

    I'm now down to the step of tapering from 9 mg a day to 4.5 and this is really the first part in the process where I'm starting to notice negative side effects emotionally and physically.  At first I was really thrilled at how easily the process was going; I felt myself getting more brain capacity back and was enjoying coming out of that slight emotional numbness that you feel with Effexor.  But now that I'm almost at the finish line, I feel like I need to slow down a bit because I'm beginning to get daily headaches, mental fatigue, and a kind of buzzed nervousness like what you get when you drink too much coffee or take cocaine/ecstacy, etc...

     

    I'm paying a lot of attention to my diet, sleep, and excercise...I practice yoga about 4 times a week and I can't tell you how valuable that's been both for my body and spirit during this entire thing...

     

    I think the one advice I would give someone doing this is not to do it alone...you have to let people close to you know what's going on as they'll likely notice some changes in your personality and mood...and the last thing you need to worry about is having to hide this process from the people that are closest to you...make sure you have a support network in place, and don't underestimate what you're doing.  Effexor is a mighty powerful drug and it's a huge transition for your body and mind learning to live without it!  So go easy on and be good to yourself--and take things slow...

     

    Thanks for sharing all your stories and tips, everyone--wishing you all good luck and strength!!!!! 

     

     

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  • Jill October 15, 2009
    Jill
    October 15, 2009

    Hi,  I just went on Cimbalta and started reading about withdrawal symptoms.  The

    posts here have been really scary as well and ones for Cimbalta.  I went of

    Effexor cold turkey and had no symptoms at all.  I had only been taking 25 mil

    for a few years.

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  • Ryse_C August 11, 2009
    Ryse_C
    August 11, 2009

    The withdrawal side effects that you guys are experiencing is happening to me, and I have just started this medication. I am usually an even tempered person, but the day after I started taking effexor, I got to where I was having nightmares that I could not wake myself up from, and my wife could not get me to wake up out of. I have noticed that I have been irritable and extremely angry for no reason whatsoever. I am not sure what a brain frizzle is, could it be the feeling of an ice pick running from the top of my head down my spine when I get up off the couch or off the bed? I am not sure what to do. I have been suffering with these side effects for the last 6 weeks, which my doctor assures me that they will subside in due time, but she can not tell me when 'due time' is. And she does not want me to get off of the medications, because she is scared that the effects of being off the medication might actually be worse than while I am on the medication. And that is from a single 75 mg dose once daily. Could it be the combination of medication's that I am on? I am currently taking 100 mg Zoloft/day, 100 mg Atenolol/day, 3 mg xanax/day, 15 mg buspar/day, 150 mg Amitriptyline/day, and 40 mg Valium/day. I suffer from PTSD from 2 tours of duty, which is why I am on so much. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

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    • Redreader
      August 12, 2009
      Redreader
      August 12, 2009

      My personal opinion is to GET OFF EFFEXOR.  I am not a trained medical professional, but I have my own experiences along with many others that have shared theirs.  It seems there must be an alternative to Effexor that your doctor can try.  Effexor has long-lasting side effects and is a nightmare to quit taking.  Yes, Effexor is effective for some people, but, there are other medications that are effective too.  And, the other medications do not come with the side effects/withdrawal symptoms that Effexor does.  Good luck to you.  I wish you the best.

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  • Mom of 3 August 02, 2009
    Mom of 3
    August 02, 2009

    I, too, am going through hell with withdrawal from this medication. The main symptom I am having is the brain zappy feeling. I thought I was going nuts until I found so many people online having the same problem.

     

    I have been on 150 mg for a couple of years, didn't feel like it was working anymore and my sex drive was extremely low. I adore my husband and I was making him suffer as much as I knew I was. So I asked to come off of it, switch to a new medicine. My doctor's office nurse practitioner told me to come off Effexor cold turkey and switch immediately to Wellbutrin. I have had the most horrible brain zap feelings for over a week now. The crappy part is that I'm at Disney with my family. I've been a bitch to my kids and cried for no reason. My husband doesn't know what to do for me, so he's doing everything (amazing man). Yesterday at Disney World I cried every 20 minutes or so, or at the very least had to grit my teeth really hard to keep from crying. I haven't had the other digestive tract issues that others have mentioned, but the brain zaps and fatigue and mood swings have been quite enough for me (and my poor family).

     

    I called the doctor and he said it would "go away in a few days once the Wellbutrin was in my system." Apparently he's never tried this. I'm miserable and I'm miserable to be around.

     

    I sure wish my doctor and his nurse practitioner knew more about Effexor and its withdrawal symptoms before they prescribed it to me a few years ago, and knew enough about it to advise me better while coming off of it. It's jacked up.

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    • Redreader
      August 05, 2009
      Redreader
      August 05, 2009

      So sorry to read your post.  I had a similiar experience a few years ago while at Disneyland.  I forgot to bring my Effexor, and had withdrawal symptoms while trying to enjoy a vacation with my family at the "most magical place on Earth".  Was horrible!  I hope you are doing better now.  It gets better with time.  Time is the key-player in Effexor withdrawal.  I have been off Effexor for 21 days now.  Thank the good Lord.  I used 10mg of Prozac to help me get through the withdrawals.  It helped alot.  Now, I am two days without Prozac.  Feeling a bit dizzy and extremely fatigued.  But, I know I can do this!!  You can too!  Hang in there.  Give yourself time and be knid to yourself.  Don't expect too much, too soon. 

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    • Who Took My Brain??
      September 17, 2009
      Who Took My Brain??
      September 17, 2009

      Oh my gosh, I could have written this very same post (without the Disney part).  I was told to quit cold turkey as well (after taking 150 mg for 8 years) - and substitute Wellbutrin.  I am still waiting for the Wellbutrin to kick in, I guess.  In the meantime, I feel as if I have someone elses brain in my body.  I know it will start to get better, but now I'm afraid of reading about Wellbutrin and it's potential withdrawal effects - am I trading bad for worse?

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  • Ellie July 13, 2009
    Ellie
    July 13, 2009

    This is the second, and last, time I've experienced withdrawel.  THis time I thought I'd done it right.  I decreased my dose by one-third for three months, and then by another third for a month.  Not good.  Diareha, aches and pains, lethargy, "swimming under water" head were worse than the first time.  Now, I've been off of the 137.5 mg dose for a month.  I'm still struggling with the physical sensations. 

     

    My biggest concern for others is this.  THe drug does squash some negative/harmful psychological symptons.  Usually the same ones that caused a person to seek relief in the first place.  So, all the time the person is on the drug, no work was done to isolate, address and minimize the negative symptons, or to establish self-help, or treatment aimed at treating the root of the problem and its consequenses.  So, getting off effexor means you not only have the original situations to contend with, you know also have the very difficult set of physical symptons.  My advise is not to change anything, until you have established a new approach to your symptons and are healthy enough to folllow through.  Ellie

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  • cindibochs June 24, 2009
    cindibochs
    June 24, 2009

    There have been a couple of times when I've been without my Effexor for a few days (forgot to pick up the refill, no money to pay for it, etc.) and have had terrible withdrawal symptoms.  The worst is the "zapping or whooshing" feeling in my head when I blink my eyes or move my head. And the sensitivity to sound.  Try reading a book called "The Anti-depressant Solution".  It's eye-opening!  I had no idea I would have withdrawal from and antidepressant!

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  • cindibochs June 24, 2009
    cindibochs
    June 24, 2009

    There have been a couple of times when I've been without my Effexor for a few days (forgot to pick up the refill, no money to pay for it, etc.) and have had terrible withdrawal symptoms.  The worst is the "zapping or whooshing" feeling in my head when I blink my eyes or move my head. And the sensitivity to sound.  Try reading a book called "The Anti-depressant Solution".  It's eye-opening!  I had no idea I would have withdrawal from and antidepressant!

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  • LadyAggie May 24, 2009
    LadyAggie
    May 24, 2009

    I have been on Effexor since about 1992 for chronic fatigue syndrome.  Apparently, it can help with some of the exhaustion, brain fog, etc.  I am having trouble getting my new insurance company to pay for Effexor XR, and so I am out of meds (2 days now).

    I was on 150 mg for years and years.... I know going off it cold turkey is stupid, but does anyone have any advice in case I have to do it that way?  It is way too expensive for me to pay for out of pocket. I am on disability for the CFIDS, so I don't have work to worry about.  THANKS!!

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  • Gracie April 14, 2009
    Gracie
    April 14, 2009

    I am going through this right now.

     

    I started at 75 but it wasnt working so in Dec. my doctor brought me to 150. Well at the same time,I lost my joband thought I was not able to sleep from the stress. So in March I went on Ambien. I slept walk the first 3 nights on that (which I never have before) but then that eventually stopped, and I was semi able to sleep. Well I didnt take it for 3 days and the night I did, I slept walked and apparently over dosed on it, took possible vicodin as well,maybe drank alcohol....almost burnt the house down when my parents rushed me to the ER. I have no recollection of anything that night.

     

    Well even though it was an accidental overdose, I had to be cleared by the psych. When he came in, we eventually realized theEffexor was making me not able to sleep and I need off this. He was actually the one to cut me cold turkey. I questioned this and hes like, oh we will put you on prozac. You will be fine. My last dose of Eflexor was around 8am Sat am.

     

    I wake up Sunday morning, just shaking in chills because my pjs and sheets are soaked from nightsweats. I barely was able to get myself outof bed, and was naseasuated like no other. I had to take pepto to keep anything down. And I also had what I now know are the brain zaps... I hate thoughs.

     

    Monday am... same thing, completely soaked in sweat, and chills in the am. I hated life.

     

    Today, (tuesday).. the same thing. And originally I was supposed to see my doctor on Friday but I had to see her today because of all this and luckily I got in.

     

    When I told her what was going on, she was really pissed that the doctor cut me cold turkey. Shes like, this stuff is power your body is going through really bad withdraw. So shes putting me back on it..but starting at 75 for this week and then next week going to 37.5 and then the week after starting theProzac.

     

    Obviously its going to be rough this week and next, sleepless nights, etc..and I told my friends/fam to be patient with me. As horrible as this sounds, I'm kind of happy I dont have a job right now, because there is no way I could work like this.

     

    I never want to go on this stuff again (or Ambien).

     

    I'm just glad I'm not alone with this.

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    • DeaafLatina
      February 25, 2011
      DeaafLatina
      February 25, 2011

      Its 5 am today and Im at my dads house because of the sudden " cold turkey" from effoxor and ambien. Im in bad depression  and I was on Effoxer 25 to 75 mg 3x a day the past few weeks. I been taking ambien at night and not realizing what the hell Ive been doing that night, till the next morning  when I realized I was texting people in " made up spanish!" I was scared. When my dr prescribed me activan for the axiety , it was no help at all.. I took ambien plus 5 pills of bendryal! Till the next day I was in  falling asleeping with my kids in the car!! I was so scared and went to therapist and since my pyschatrist was out sick. She told me to stop everything. I never thought about the side effect. I got so sick, throwing up, tingling in my body, crying all the time since yesterday! I started Effoxor 75 mg 3x a day and I thought that was crazy. If I missed a dose, I felt like a drug addict! I just cudnt do it anyore! Ive have not been sleeping the last two nights! Waiting for my dr to email me back! I dont know if going to the ER will be any help. Was my therapist right to tell me to stop immedicaly? My pyschatrist is her boss. He was out sick for few days.  Help! I dont know if I should go back on effoxor and not take Ambien, it does help me sleep thru the night but not remember anything espeicially when im with my kids is scary!

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  • Drug Free March 31, 2009
    Drug Free
    March 31, 2009

    I too was on 75mg/day of Effexor. I wanted to stop taking and attempted to go cold turkey twice. The symptoms were so horrible that I had to resume medication. I would cry if someone so much as said "thank you", I had sweating spells (need to be naked in winter sweats), nausea, headache, restlessness, bad dreams, dizziness, etc...I read many online posts/comments when I was experiencing symptoms. I am now effexor free! I never thought that I would get here and it has taken me almost 2 months. The best advice that I can give to anyone coming off of Effexor is to wean yourself off slowly. I did the following: 75mg down to 50mg (tablet) for 1 week, then 37.5mg (tablet) for 2 weeks, then 25mg (split 50mg tablet) for 1 week, then 12.5mg (split 37.5 tablet) then I went to ZERO. I had a few rough days when I finally went to zero, my doctor perscribed me 3 days of Prozac (20mg). This helped with the side effects of effexor leaving my system once and for all. Finally, I am drug free. It can be done, but it takes time and you really need to be patient. Give yourself a week at each dose level. I felt icky everytime I lowered my dose, but not bad enough to miss work, and nothing compared with withdrawlls from cold turkey. Exercise really helps during the detox process. I work 5 days a week and I only missed one day during this whole process. It was my second day at zero. I reccomend taking a B-Complex vitamin during the whole ordeal to help fight fatigue. Best of luck to those detoxing from this terrible medication. Be Strong and spread the word about these side effects so that fewer people end up on this addicting substance.

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  • Deb
    Deb
    February 11, 2010
    Deb
    Deb
    February 11, 2010

    Hi Casey,

     

    The withdrawal from Effexor is pretty much as the people here have posted, although I tapered my dosage off, the first time.

     

    I was taking 150 mg daily and moved to another state and withdrew from the drug, as I knew I would not have a doctor for a while in my new location. I can't remember the exact specifics as it was 8 years ago, but the dose was lowered for a while, then I took the 37.5 mg dosage every other day for a while.

     

    What I do remember, vividly, was the electric shock sensations and dizziness that were quite severe for a while, about 6 to 8 weeks, but decreased gradually for about 3 months - then symptoms finally abated and life went on.

     

    While going through the withdrawal, I found that it was difficult to focus on anything other than the withdrawal, because it is all-encompassing, to say the least. I managed to function, but my focus was on keeping my head still to lessen the electric shocks! Any movement of my head brought on the electric shocks and gave me the physical sensation that I was about to fall over, backward.

     

    Unfortunately, I've suffered with depression, my entire life, but have always taken a positive thinking approach - which helps dramatically - but takes continuous effort, and only works for a short while, then I have to start all over again. It is exhausting.

     

    During the past year, my stress increased to the point that I was no longer able to "cheer lead" myself out of the depression (personal financial strain, along with helping my two stepchildren financially; living half the time in another state to care for my aging parents - my father is legally blind and my mother is in the late middle stages of Alzheimer's disease, all while trying to support myself in a home-based business).

     

    I had avoided doctors for the 8 years since my move, but all the strain and depression impelled me seek a doctor so I could address my health and depression issues, in order to better cope with my situation.

     

    The doctor prescribed Effexor XR 75 mg, which I've been taking in a generic form (which "only" runs $104 monthly!) for about 3 months. the Effexor has given me back my coping ability and also made my husband much happier, as well, because I had been so stressed-out!

     

    Going back and forth as I do, I only realized today that I had one more Effexor tablet and missed yesterday's dose. The only reason I KNOW that I missed yesterday's dose is because, this morning, the electric shock buzzing and zapping and dizziness returned. My husband (while I was out of state) had found one tablet which must have dropped onto the floor. I was overjoyed to take this tablet, to reduce the withdrawal symptoms! A couple hours after taking the tablet, my withdrawal symptoms were considerably reduced.

     

    I must add here, that the pharmacy in the other state had mentioned that I had an additional 3 months of all my medicines (I refill the medicines in whichever location I'n in), so I did not realize until today that I had no refill available; I thought I had a prescription "on hold" at the pharmacy. Otherwise, I would not have gotten myself into this withdrawal situation!

     

    Meanwhile, I called the doctor's office. He had prescribed three months of the medicine, which I just finished-up today. the Effexor had allowed me to happily cope with all my increased demands, but I had to delay a scheduled appointment for two weeks due to being out of state longer than I'd anticipated, so my doctor's nurse mentioned that he may not prescribe the drug again until he sees me in two weeks. I told her to PLEASE tell him that I am having withdrawal symptoms of electric jolts!

     

    Another thing I should add is that my doctor questioned me about my need for a depression med, due to it usually being a chronic condition. I explained how I've always struggled with depression, although I'd only taken medication for it for a short time. Then he questioned my family  history of depression. I also told him about the electric shock/dizziness withdrawal symptoms, and that was my main concern about taking Effexor again, although it allowed me to enjoy life for possibly the first time ever. He questioned me about the withdrawals, "How do you know it was the Effexor (maybe he thought I'd been taking illegal drugs or having neurological problems)?" I told him that I KNEW it was the Effexor, because going off Effexor was the only time I'd experienced any sensations like that - it was too coincidental. (Plus, like all of you here, I was so spooked by it that I researched it on the internet and found it to be an extremely common and disturbing phenomenom!)

     

    If my doctor does not prescribe the medication for me today, he's history, and I've been without medical attention for years, until recently. Where's medical help when you need it? That really upset me. Where's compassion in this world? I pay a ton (out of my own pocket) for healthcare, and this is what I get?! But, that was the nurse talking, not the doctor. So I'm not quitting him just yet!

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  • HB
    HB
    December 01, 2009
    HB
    HB
    December 01, 2009

    Its funny reading these forum posts because I have been trying to describe, or explain what I have felt since I started Effexor back in 2003.  At first it seemed great, helped with balancing out my "moods" and I felt overall "more there."  I have to say though that I have come to regret ever starting this AD.  I can even say that I FEAR this drug (or lack of it).  A few years ago there was a mix up with my psychiatrist renewing my script so that I could get my refills sent to me.  Basically he thought he had renewed it when I went to see him but I soon realized (and he did too when I was on the other end of the phone "freaking out") that the refill was never sent in and that I was completely out (had been for 2 days by then because my last dose ended on a Friday). Obviously it had remaind just a THOUGHT. Up until these "fateful days" I had had minor "weird feelings" that felt like little electric currents in my brain and body, zigging and zagging, if I missed a dose, what I am finding from other forums to be termed "brain shivers".  I'd feel hotter than usual and sometimes dealt with minor night sweats.  

     

    But SHIT! What I felt during those 3 days, I never would wish upon anyone.  I sure hope this is not what dying feels like!!  My ex said that I acted like the inmates he had to deal with at the county jail when they were in the psych wing and going through withdrawls, eyes blazing with fear of what was happening.  From that "episode" I remember not knowing the difference between a reality or dreaming state because both were so hectic at this point and I couldn't figure out which one I had more control of.  At my worst I remember sitting on the couch trying not to move, even the slightest bit because it would trigger all sorts of "weird feelings", only to twitch and wake myself up to "reality", inducing those weird feelings.  But on the parallel, I remember cognitively asking myself if I was now asleep, in a lucid dream, and that the "twitch" was actually my head falling forward as my muscles relaxed! Those weird feelings, as I termed them, were along the lines of feeling "like i'm being shocked in my brain everytime I moved my body" as one mentioned or feeling like I was "flashing" in and out (like zooming in/out on a camera but lightning fast).  The crying fits were accompanied with balling up and screaming into the carpet to tense my whole body as that was the only bodily control I felt I had. The world was loud, any sound was SO LOUD and moving in "slow-motion" yet "fast-forward" at the same time (took me years to put that sensation into words that someone, even myself, could understand). To try and explain all that I felt does not seem practical nor do try to put it all together in words.  I spent a year in Iraq before all of this, on missions 5-6 days a week, dealing with hell-ish situations but as I told my doc, I would rather spend 5 more years in Iraq wondering if i would make it through the day than ever re-live anything close to those 3 days.  

     

    Since then, if I am late taking my dose, even within the 1st hour, it is like my body takes the straight shot for withdrawl symptoms.  Maybe a post-traumatic response my brain gives me to remind me that's its ready to take action if I don't do something soon.  Night sweats are more like sweat baths and I know the "hot flashes" are from nothing other than the AD because I am only 27!  So yes, like an addict who hates their dependance to a substance, I wish I could go back in time and decide against starting this AD.   

     

    Now that I am done writing this excessively long post, I realize that this has been the first time I have ever written down my experience.  SCARY!  Everyones posts just gave me the excuse to share my experience and feel more in touch with others and the reality of this AD. (or maybe it just gave me the "excuse" to break away from studying for my anatomy exam!)  :)  And as I hate that others may have had experiences like ours, it feels good to know that we can support each other out there and strength builds in numbers.  Maybe one day I can be free from this.

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    • Franberry
      February 03, 2010
      Franberry
      February 03, 2010

      As much as I'd like to post a comment as opposed to a reply, I confess that I can't figure out how. So, this isn't really a reply to the comment above, but a comment in it's own right... (or rather, that's what it aspires to be when it grows up)

       

      I wanted to post something here for those people looking to see what they can expect when coming off Effexor (Venlafaxin): keep in mind that many of the people who have posted here are on the extreme side of the scale. From what I understand, somewhere between half and 3/4 of people coming off Venlafaxin have serious problems doing so. The other half has minor problems, I don't think anyone gets off scott-free. 

       

      With that in mind I took a week off of work to deal with the more serious physical side effects, got in contact with my doctor (it turns out that doctors in Germany still do house calls. Who knew?), gave my best friend here all of my emergency contact info, ditto my roommates, and gave my mother the contact info for both roommates and two good friends here. I also got contact info for the psychological crisis intervention centre in Munich from the doc, and everything along those lines.  All this I did because I've missed a dose on occation and had crazy fallback (150mg tablets)- the brain shivers and dizziness and an inability to concentrate, from missing one dose, I figured that going off would be rough, so I took all sorts of precautions against it.

       

      Thursday night, instead of taking 150mg, I took 3x 37.5mg, same thing Friday night. Saturday I took 2x 37.5 and Sunday one capsule, knowing that I had to work friday, saturday and sunday, and that I had Monday to friday free to be in bed ill.  I had read that the fifth and sixth days were among the worst, which is why I started early and decreased (albeit not gradually, as is recommended), instead of going straight from 150 to 37.5 as I'd planned.

       

      What I experienced the first day (Friday) was mild dizziness, so I took a nap at about 4pm and then met a friend later in the evening and all was well.

      The second day was (so far) the worst. The dizziness kicked in a couple hours before the end of my shift, bringing nausea with it. I probably could have handled it if my colleague had grasped the "dude, I need you to take it easy on me with the banter today. I know it's all in fun, but just do me the favour. k?" concept. By counting to 100 in several languages I kept the tears in check, but it wasn't easy and by the time I got home that night I was seriously questioning my ability to handle the change, and wondering if I was stong enough to come off at all. Sunday, day three, was surprisingly okay. The dizziness didn't hit until about 7pm, by which time I was most of the way home from work, and knew that I had the week ahead of me off. The nausea was minor.

       

      Monday, day four, the first day of 37.5 wasn't great. I had decided the night before that if the withdrawal symptoms came when the meds were wearing off, then the most sensible thing to do was take them in the morning, then the meds would kick in, last most of the day, and the dizziness would begin in the evening. A fair point, but, in retrospect, this is a change I ought to have made before changing the dosage. Once again, though, big dizziness and periods of rough nausea, but none of the other side-effects I've heard so much about.

       

      By Tuesday, day five, I was hungry again and felt able to manage a meal. I should point out here that although I was dizzy and nauseous, I didn't vomit, I was just too afraid that I would to eat.  Since the guy in the apartment below mine was hammering and making a lot of noise, I decided to get some errands out of the way and went downtown for about 4 hours- more than I was expecting to be able to manage.

       

      Today is Wednesday, day six, and I'm still dizzy but not nauseous. I've also got a bad case of cabin-fever and want to accomplish things, but don't really have anything to do, having taken the week off work.

       

      So, to recap: It's felt like a mild case of the flu, my hands are cold but my forehead's warm, mild-moderate dizziness and nausea. Through the day until early evening is fine, were this an illness-thing I'd not have taken the time off work for it, I just don't feel ill enough to rationalise it.

       

      What I haven't mentioned so far is the dreams. I've been having strangely vivid dreams, waking up unable to discern what happened and what did not. Not nightmares, mind, just... dreams. I dreamt the other night that I had poured the apple juice from the box into my waterbottle and diluted it. I woke up and reached for the water bottle, only to find it empty and was very confused, because I could so vividly remember pouring it. I also dreamed that I'd talked to my mother on the phone at 3am (here time), which I knew was irrational because my mother is usually in bed asleep by that time (10pm her time), but I could remember everything which was said, so I called her to ask about it. "No," she said, "that didn't happen, but that is what I would have said." Last night I dreamed about having a conversation with a friend of mine about toilet paper. I know this was a dream because the friend in question lives in a different country.

       

      I wanted to post a bit about my experiences simply to assuage the fears of those who are only finding the accounts of those having severe reactions. I'm lucky, and I recognise this, but I think that if you go into it expecting to have a horrible go of it, your experience will be worse than if you go in with the knowledge that it could easily go one of two ways.

       

      In response to those who've said that this drug should be banned, I would like to respectfully disagree. I was prescribed Effexor when just over 7 years ago, after a year of trying other medications which didn't help. I was young, and I was suicidal. I agree that I was ill-informed of the possible side-effects: I didn't know I would gain weight, I didn't know that I'd become so dependant upon it that missing a day would throw me for a loop every time, I wasn't informed of the possibility of nasty withdrawal when the time came for me to come off. But I think that my doctor was equally uninformed, and I can't/don't hold that against him. That said, on this medication I was no longer trying to kill myself, and I no longer wanted to die. I stopped cutting myself, and I started eating again. I stopped crying all the time, and I started getting some sleep again.  All things considered, the seven years of relative peace weighed against the possibility of a couple of weeks of living hell? Even if I HAD ben informed of the cons to taking this medication, I have to say that they are far outweighed by the pros. I also have to say that when I went on them, I was not expecting to live to adulthood.

       

      I hope that you have the patience to read this through, it's long and complicated, but I think it's worth it. I wish you the best of luck with your own withdrawal, chin up, it's not forever.

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    • sd
      sd
      February 25, 2010
      sd
      sd
      February 25, 2010

       If I am reading this correctly, which I may not be considering I am on day 5 off effexor and cannot completely comprehend anything, when writing this you hadn't even come fully off effexor. Day four was the first day of 37.5 mg. for you, right? So it was the 4th day of TAPERING off effexor so no wonder you didn't feel completely terrible! I tapered off also. I took 75 mg for about a year.I tapered off for a week, which probably should have been drawn out longer, but at that point I was over it. I felt bad while tapering off and didn't want to deal with it forever so I quit. DAy 5 and I feel worse than ever!! Of course the brain shivers are the worst! I cant even get off the couch. I slept for 14 hours last night and still couldnt manage to get anything done today. And the depression, crying all the time, sweating profusely while freezing, etc. I can hardly even concentrate enough to write this!! I started taking vitamins yeaterday and felt a little better yeaterday, but not today. I read on another post that Omega 3s are beneficial and I may try dramamine for the dizziness and  brain shivers. I am sorry I hijacked your post, as I also do not know how to post my own comment. If anyone else knows how long the withdrawals will last, please let me know!!!

       

      I also wanted to comment on the dreams.. ever since I started taking effexor I had very vivid dreams. I remembered every dream I had in detail. It was very strange, but I also kind of enjoyed it.

       

      I also don't necessarily agree about getting the drug banned. I think people are so upset because they were never warned about the awful withdrawals. There are some people who greatly benefit from this drug, and this drug alone. People just need to be educated of what the medications are capable of. I also think that people need to be somewhat held responsible and do their research themselves. After this experiene there is no way in hell that I will ever take another anti-depressant.

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    • sd
      sd
      February 25, 2010
      sd
      sd
      February 25, 2010

       If I am reading this correctly, which I may not be considering I am on day 5 off effexor and cannot completely comprehend anything, when writing this you hadn't even come fully off effexor. Day four was the first day of 37.5 mg. for you, right? So it was the 4th day of TAPERING off effexor so no wonder you didn't feel completely terrible! I tapered off also. I took 75 mg for about a year.I tapered off for a week, which probably should have been drawn out longer, but at that point I was over it. I felt bad while tapering off and didn't want to deal with it forever so I quit. DAy 5 and I feel worse than ever!! Of course the brain shivers are the worst! I cant even get off the couch. I slept for 14 hours last night and still couldnt manage to get anything done today. And the depression, crying all the time, sweating profusely while freezing, etc. I can hardly even concentrate enough to write this!! I started taking vitamins yeaterday and felt a little better yeaterday, but not today. I read on another post that Omega 3s are beneficial and I may try dramamine for the dizziness and  brain shivers. I am sorry I hijacked your post, as I also do not know how to post my own comment. If anyone else knows how long the withdrawals will last, please let me know!!!

       

      I also wanted to comment on the dreams.. ever since I started taking effexor I had very vivid dreams. I remembered every dream I had in detail. It was very strange, but I also kind of enjoyed it.

       

      I also don't necessarily agree about getting the drug banned. I think people are so upset because they were never warned about the awful withdrawals. There are some people who greatly benefit from this drug, and this drug alone. People just need to be educated of what the medications are capable of. I also think that people need to be somewhat held responsible and do their research themselves. After this experiene there is no way in hell that I will ever take another anti-depressant.

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    • Franberry
      February 26, 2010
      Franberry
      February 26, 2010

      Fair point: I was (and still am) writing during the tapering-off process. I wrote that last blurb on the fourth day of 37.5 mg. I stuck to 37.5 for a while and then, about a week ago, broke the tablet into four and took 3 of them, which was fine for the first 8 hours of the workday, but then I started getting dizzy and vomited (me, standing over the garbage can, the boss comes in, thinks I'm choking and slaps me on the back. Thanks boss, that was very helpful...). okay by the next day, until I cought a virus a couple of days later. As soon as I'm healthy again with the virus, I think I'll go down to a half tablet. And... stay on that for a while? I don't know yet, I haven't really decided. As I said, the main point of me posting at all is that I'd read so many horror stories- both of tapering and coming off- that I thought it might offer some reassurance to know that it's not necessarily a given. I may, of course, get a nasty kick in the face when I go completely off, but if the tapering has been any indication, I think it'll be okay.

      As for how long the withdrawal symptoms last, I think that's very individual. days to months, averaging at weeks, from what I've read.

      I maintain, though, that I'm glad Effexor exists. It's been a bloody help, and I don't think I'd've lived this long without it. Yeah, it would have been nice to know about the withdrawal possibilities beforehand, but I don't think it'd've changed things for me.

       

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  • Babyfacemagee October 21, 2009
    Babyfacemagee
    October 21, 2009

    Many doctors are NOT aware of the withdrawal problems with Effexor.  They mistakenly think that the withdrawal effects are the return of depression or anxiety when this is NOT the case.  It can take many months...as long as a year for your brain to regrow the serotonin receptors that are atrophied when on Effexor for long periods and you won't feel 100% normal until your brain has a chance to do this.   Your brain also has to ratchet up the production of Serotonin that it has not been doing because it has been relying on the drug to artificially hold serotonin levels up.  Again...this can take a number of months.   DO NOT GET TRICKED INTO STAYING ON THIS AWFUL DRUG.  IT IS ADDICTIVE...regardless of what the pharma company or your doctor says.  There are many class action suits being brought against Wyeth because of the undisclosed dependence and addiction problems with Effexor.  If you do have a serious case of depression you are better off with a longer half life drug like Prozac.  Effexor is being phased out as thousands of people have had horrible withdrawal experiences from it as well as 'light headed' and 'high' and 'disassociated' feelings while on it. 

     

    Here is a very good article from the New York Times about one man's experience getting off of Effexor.  Worth the read everyone.

     

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/06/magazine/06antidepressant-t.html?_r=2&ei=5087%0A&em=&en=cdeb03773a3deee0&ex=1178596800&pagewanted=all&oref=slogin

     

     

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    • new mom
      October 27, 2010
      new mom
      October 27, 2010

      I have been off Effexor for 6 months now.  When I first went off, my doctor told me it was OK to go off cold turkey with 75 er dosage.  He said I would have symptoms up to 5 days if any at all.  He was not concerned and said that if I told him a month later I was having side effects he would tell me "bull".  As soon as I stopped, I had horrid side effects, rushing through my head, vertigo, dizziness, strange feelings like I was outside of myself, heavy/weak legs, migranes, etc.  Sometimes my symptoms would affect my walk and speech.  I saw my doctor, went to a neurologist, a vestiblar therapist, and had a sleep study.  None of them could find a cause.  The neurologist wanted me to go on drugs for anxiety.  I went to a natural medicine specialist who believed me that it wasn't in my head and has been slowly trying to help me detox off this stuff.  I am very sensitive about everything I try and I easily react to meds/chemicals.  The specialist states that some people cant get chemicals out of their system due to poor detoxification through the liver and I am probably one of them.  After starting a stronger detox supplement, my vertigo and symptoms starting to escalate again to the point that I have to support myself when I walk.  I cant stand still and do a task because I feel like I'm going to fall.  I went to the doctor yesterday, explaining how bad my vertigo is and he stated that he believes it is "psychological" and that I need counseling or see a psychiatrist to put me on more drugs.  I left feeling really discouraged.  Furthermore, this has effected my ability to walk.  As I was really discouraged today, I talked to my specialist who suggested I look up blogs such as this on the internet.  I was astounded at what I read, just hundreds of testimonies of this drug.  I searched for any evidence tha these symptoms could be lasting this long.  This blog gave me hope that I could be having withdrawal still.  I pray that I will be able to get through this and feel whole again soon.  I never felt so out of control or in God's hands. 

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    • new mom
      October 27, 2010
      new mom
      October 27, 2010

      I have been off Effexor for 6 months now.  When I first went off, my doctor told me it was OK to go off cold turkey with 75 er dosage.  He said I would have symptoms up to 5 days if any at all.  He was not concerned and said that if I told him a month later I was having side effects he would tell me "bull".  As soon as I stopped, I had horrid side effects, rushing through my head, vertigo, dizziness, strange feelings like I was outside of myself, heavy/weak legs, migranes, etc.  Sometimes my symptoms would affect my walk and speech.  I saw my doctor, went to a neurologist, a vestiblar therapist, and had a sleep study.  None of them could find a cause.  The neurologist wanted me to go on drugs for anxiety.  I went to a natural medicine specialist who believed me that it wasn't in my head and has been slowly trying to help me detox off this stuff.  I am very sensitive about everything I try and I easily react to meds/chemicals.  The specialist states that some people cant get chemicals out of their system due to poor detoxification through the liver and I am probably one of them.  After starting a stronger detox supplement, my vertigo and symptoms starting to escalate again to the point that I have to support myself when I walk.  I cant stand still and do a task because I feel like I'm going to fall.  I went to the doctor yesterday, explaining how bad my vertigo is and he stated that he believes it is "psychological" and that I need counseling or see a psychiatrist to put me on more drugs.  I left feeling really discouraged.  Furthermore, this has effected my ability to walk.  As I was really discouraged today, I talked to my specialist who suggested I look up blogs such as this on the internet.  I was astounded at what I read, just hundreds of testimonies of this drug.  I searched for any evidence tha these symptoms could be lasting this long.  This blog gave me hope that I could be having withdrawal still.  I pray that I will be able to get through this and feel whole again soon.  I never felt so out of control or in God's hands. 

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    • new mom
      October 27, 2010
      new mom
      October 27, 2010

      I have been off Effexor for 6 months now.  When I first went off, my doctor told me it was OK to go off cold turkey with 75 er dosage.  He said I would have symptoms up to 5 days if any at all.  He was not concerned and said that if I told him a month later I was having side effects he would tell me "bull".  As soon as I stopped, I had horrid side effects, rushing through my head, vertigo, dizziness, strange feelings like I was outside of myself, heavy/weak legs, migranes, etc.  Sometimes my symptoms would affect my walk and speech.  I saw my doctor, went to a neurologist, a vestiblar therapist, and had a sleep study.  None of them could find a cause.  The neurologist wanted me to go on drugs for anxiety.  I went to a natural medicine specialist who believed me that it wasn't in my head and has been slowly trying to help me detox off this stuff.  I am very sensitive about everything I try and I easily react to meds/chemicals.  The specialist states that some people cant get chemicals out of their system due to poor detoxification through the liver and I am probably one of them.  After starting a stronger detox supplement, my vertigo and symptoms starting to escalate again to the point that I have to support myself when I walk.  I cant stand still and do a task because I feel like I'm going to fall.  I went to the doctor yesterday, explaining how bad my vertigo is and he stated that he believes it is "psychological" and that I need counseling or see a psychiatrist to put me on more drugs.  I left feeling really discouraged.  Furthermore, this has effected my ability to walk.  As I was really discouraged today, I talked to my specialist who suggested I look up blogs such as this on the internet.  I was astounded at what I read, just hundreds of testimonies of this drug.  I searched for any evidence tha these symptoms could be lasting this long.  This blog gave me hope that I could be having withdrawal still.  I pray that I will be able to get through this and feel whole again soon.  I never felt so out of control or in God's hands. 

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  • ajluvsart October 19, 2009
    ajluvsart
    October 19, 2009

    I am currently weaning off of Effexor. If you do want to go off of Effexor, make sure that a doctor monitors you. In the past two weeks of slowly weaning off of the medication, I have experienced fatigue, DIZZINESS, tingling sensations, light headedness, migraines, and insomnia. My best piece of advice: wean off of this medication if you have a couple week break of some sort. This way, the side effects will not interfere with work/school.

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  • mitzi September 11, 2009
    mitzi
    September 11, 2009

    Hi Casey, I hope you are off Effexor by now. I took it for 2 years and tried once to get off it but after the second day I was ready to either get shot, committed or at least to be put into a straight jacket. Frown

     

    For my second attempt I followed the advice of a friend and took 100mg Pregnenolone once a day in the morning. I'm on day 5 now and never felt better. No mood swings, suicide thoughts or bad dreams. Laughing

     

    I catch myself singing all day...

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  • Larry September 07, 2009
    Larry
    September 07, 2009

    46 yo male and been on effexor for ten yrs and just came completely off.  Served its purpose when going through depression ten years ago.  Never understood why doc kept me on it so long.  Slowly gained weight especially last few years (way too much weight).  My professional drive and motivation, though not gone, was subdued as was my mental edge (not good for anyone but I'm a lawyer).  Started coming off it about sixty days ago.  At each stepdown I felt like i had the flu.  The flu-like symptoms was worse with each stepdown.  Had the fuzzy head going for a few days at each stepown as well.  As I came off it I found I didn't have much of a fuse but did let the family know what was going on.  Not good having a quick temper with kids and wife.  Generally felt like hell for a few days after each stepdown.  Energy level low then slowly comes back up before next stepdown.  Didn't have the bizarre dreams until I quit completely a few days ago.  Pretty ineffective at work for the first few days after each stepdown.  Was on 300 a few years ago then down to 150 for quite awhile.  Stepped down from 150 -> 75 -> 37.5 -> 0.  Good news:  Mental acuity and quick wit came rushing back as did ability to really enjoy an orgasm.  Bottom line:  Served its purpose years ago.  Should have been off it three to five years ago or even before that.  In the end you need to pay close attention to the use of this stuff.  Most family docs are not really aware of the downside of this med.  Educate yourself sooner rather than later like I did.  Now I need to get the weight off and kick my law practice up into high gear (all while being acutely aware of my mental state).  At first, as I was coming off this stuff, I was pissed at what insights/decision-making/critical thinking skills were impaired over the last few years (they were not at the level which I and others were accustomed to).  What you don't realize is how subtlely this and the weight gain happens.  I won't condemn this stuff but you need to educate yourself and others close to you about it before and during its use.  Good luck to all and God bless. 

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  • ItsABigCF August 05, 2009
    ItsABigCF
    August 05, 2009

    I was on Effexor XR 75 for only about 3 months. I remember telling my doctor I'd get back to working out when the fatigue/sleepiness wore off. After 3 months I couldn't take it any more and stopped taking them. A day and a half later, I felt like hell. The brain shivers were horrible and the only time I felt decent was laying still with my eyes closed. I tried Dramamine and the like which helped very little. I realized I'd have to keep feeding the withdrawal symptoms, but I'm just trying to keep them barely at bay. I have been trying to taper off as quickly as possible and found that 1/3 of a capsule, which is approx 25 mg, seems to be the set point. I read elsewhere someone got to about 20 and couldn't get past it.

     

    I do agree with someone who posted on another board (Google "Mr Wizard" and "effexor withdrawal and you may find his theory) that it isn't the head movement that's the problem, it's the visual stimuli, because I get the zaps when I move my eyes and keep my head still. Try it and see.

     

    My understanding is that venlafaxine has a huge impact on vision...I'm going to spend more time researching that area next...

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  • AMANDARN July 26, 2009
    AMANDARN
    July 26, 2009

    Wow. I feel like I am reading my life right now through some of the postings. I am 2 and 1/2 weeks out from stopping the effexor 75mg day for about 1 year. It has been the WORST experience of my adult life. Mood swings-psycho screaming over dishes not being done and then bawling my eyes out and being exhausted. Tired to wired and everything in between. My mind is a muddled mess. I will add that I am an RN with my BSN and didn't start taking psych meds until just recently. My md never mentioned any of this.  Also, have weird "buzzing" sensation throughout body at times--researching it I think maybe the brain shivers? I think even at times that I am going to lose my mind that I will never be normal again. PLEASE research the meds b/f you take/go off. If I had known it was going to be this bad I would never have gotten on it. Too many other choices out there. Read the blogs for the real life side--don't just take the doc behind the desk option. Good luck.

    My only question would be--DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW LONG THIS LAST???

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    • Redreader
      July 28, 2009
      Redreader
      July 28, 2009

      HANG IN THERE!! It WILL go away.  I have been off of Effexor XR for about 14 days now, and feel better each day.  I understand what you mean by being irritable with muscle twitching and many other horrible withdrawal symptoms.  But, please know that it goes away.  Be kind to yourself and give yourself time.  Time helps a bunch.  If your withdrawals get worse, I suggest going to your doc and asking for a small amount of Prozac to help ease what you're feeling.  It works!  Good luck to you. 

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  • EffexorWithdralDude June 27, 2009
    EffexorWithdralDude
    June 27, 2009

    YES, Effexor withdrawl is HORRIBLE!!!

     

    ABOVE ALL ELSE---before you do this---you need to find a "Buddy" who knows you like the back of their hand. I'm serious...it's like coming off Herion, LSD, or other "hard core drug"---and you will feel MISERABLE.

     

    Some people call the effects "Brain Shivers"

     

     

    First of all---(you should be discussing this with your Doctor). 

    But, with that aside, you ABSOLUTELY MUST!!! "titrate down"

     

    Waht this means is take a stair step approach to weaning off the drug. 

    If you are on 150MG caps, break them in 1/2----spread them out during the day.

    (do that for a week)

    Take 75mg and so on. 

     

    However, durhing this process...you WILL FEEL HORRIBLE....you need to get this mindset before you start this process (so that you are not suicidal). 

     

    As you feel horrible---call on your Buddy---who can "talk you down off the cliff"---and help you make sense of your feeling bad. 

     

    However, PLEASE don't stop any drug without talking to your Doctor!

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  • NataliaVG April 08, 2009
    NataliaVG
    April 08, 2009

     

    There's no miracles here yet some tips for success.

     

    1.- Taper off

    2.- Before even start the tapering a month or so before, start preparing your body for what's going to come.

     

    Following this 2, the withdrawal effects are minimal, next to none existent.

     

    About me:

     

    33 years old, female, just divorced.

    Diagnosed with depression in 2001 - Took effexor for about a year

    Leaving the effexor was the most horrible I ever endure.

    Diagnosed with depression in 2008 - Took effexor for about 9 month

                Didn't notice withdrawal. (Learned my lesson: RESEARCH)

     

    We all know, depression as a disease, depletes de body of many very important nutrients, medication we take to "get better" depletes the body even more. The things we do when we are sad (drink alcohol as one of the many examples) take care of whatever was left of our health.

     

    Then we try to leave the antidepressant, with a body in awful conditions, expecting it to be just fine. I think leaving the effexor is the last strike our bodies are willing to take from us. Plain and simple, loud and clear, our brain says: ENOUGH!

     

    So, prepare the body for the battle to come. Pump it with nutrients (vitamins and mineral, amino acids, etc) Specially everything that is food for the brain.

     

    Note: I went from 112 to 75 in 7 days, then to 37 in another 7 days, and after a week on 37 mg, went straight to 0.

     

     

    Here is my diet, which I started month before starting tapering off.

    Numbers on the left are caplets, on the right is the concentration per caplet.

     

    Breakfast (gotta eat something, so supplements will be absorbed)

     

    • 1 5-htp 200 mg
    • 1 Biotin 1000mcg
    • 2 Lecithin 1200mg
    • 1 Glutathione
    • 1 Fish Oil 1200 mg
    • 1 Flax seed oil 1300mg
    • 1 coQ10 200mg
    • 1 Super B complex

    Lunch (same thing: gotta eat)

     

    • 2 Magnesium 250mg
    • 1 Multivitamins
    • 2 Fish Oil 1200 mg
    • 2 Flax seed oil 1300mg
    • 1 B-Stress complex

    1    Folic Acid                                            400mg

    1    L-Lysine                                               500mg

     

    Tea time

     

    • 1 Selenium 200mg
    • 1 Fiber (any benefiber, chitosan, whatever)
    • 3 Fish Oil 1200 mg
    • 3 Flax seed oil 1300mg
    • 1 Potassium Gluconate 550mg
    • 1 Super B complex

     

    Dinner time

     

    1    Fish Oil                                                1200mg

    1    Flax seed oil                                         1300mg

    2    Calcium carbonate

    1    Fiber

    1    Magnesium                                           250mg

    1    Melatonin                                             5mg

    1    Glutathione                                          

    1    Protein shake (GNC PRO Complex) 1 scoop. (this formula contents the best combination of amino acids)

     

    There's a reason for every supplement ej.: Magnesium will keep the headaches away, fiber the constipation, etc, etc. I leave the rest for you to research and understand why this does the trick and how you body works.

     

    A chronicle depression is a constant imbalance in the brain that WONT go away with effexor or any other medication, gotta find the problem and solve it, not patch it.

    Good luck for you all.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • Michelley December 08, 2009
    Michelley
    December 08, 2009

    HELLO CASEY...YES WITHDRAWAL KAN BE PRETTY BAD...IVE STOPPED TAKING MY EFFEXOR...IT WASNT LONG TILL I STARTED FEELING SO NAUSEAS ''SORRY FOR MY SPELLING''..I WAS ALSO FEELING DIZZY AT TIMES AND IT WAS HARD FOR ME TO SLEEP AT NIGHT SOMETIMES TOO...BUT ID HAVE TO SAY THE WORST PART FOR ME IS THE NAUSEA...IT WOULD SOMETIMES KOME AND GO...BUT IM FEELING IT ALL THE TIME...UGGHHH ITS HORRIBLE..IF YOU WANNA STOP TAKING EFFEXOR...TRY TAKING LOW DOSAGES AT A TIME...LIKE WEAN AWAY FROM IT...LIKE NOW AT IM TYPING THIS, I FEEL NAUSEAS RIGHT NOW...I HATE THIS FEELING...

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  • melancholybaby November 13, 2009
    melancholybaby
    November 13, 2009

    If I forget to take my 75 mg of Effexor XR for just a day, I feel extremely dizzy (vertigo), irritable, impatient, and cry a lot. It's good to see all of the other answers because I realize I'm not alone.

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  • Danielle November 13, 2009
    Danielle
    November 13, 2009

    I finally felt ok on 150 Effexor 2x per day.  But my doc thought that was too much and also had some other concerns about me possibly being manic-depressive with the mania part suppressed (I've been diagnosed with major depression for many years so this is a new one on me.)  I told him I would really like to have that mania part just so I could try it out ;) but he said he's seen me in a "bubbly happy mood" before so somehow that means...?  I thought it was ok to be happy sometimes!  Anyway that problem is gone at least for now--after cutting my Effexor dose immediately in half per instructions I don't have to worry about any problems with happiness.  I'm writing this now with tears streaming down my face.  One of the hardest two-week periods I've ever had with no relief in sight.  No, I haven't killed myself yet, but I think about it.  Fortunately I think I am too depressed to actually do it.  But either this is going to get better, or I am going to post my doctor's number somewhere and have perfect strangers call him to tell him that this regimen is not working for me.  I've already told him but I guess I'm just not enough of an impartial witness.

     

    Do docs often confuse a sense of humor with being happy?  I know I can be funny, but I also know I am in serious trouble now.  I can't fight this severe of a depression forever.  Even though I remember perfectly well that two weeks ago...I felt normal.  Just hadn't been told to cut my Effexor dose in half yet.  Those were the days!

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  • laura October 15, 2009
    laura
    October 15, 2009

    Visiting in Florida and waiting for a refill of my meds.  The Effexor xr 150mg hasn't been in my system for 9 days//My withdrawl exp is unable to sleep and not as patient with family members/I can snap in an instant.  Laura C

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  • Mumsey October 04, 2009
    Mumsey
    October 04, 2009

    I am so glad I discovered this website.  I am 70 yrs old, diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2001.  But my neurologist said my symptoms began in my 20's.  They were light and short, so I attributed them "What was that all about?" and ignored them.

     

    I went on Prozac for weight loss in 1993 and, although their was no weight loss, I felt better mentally.  Stayed on Prozac.  In 2000, the MS came at me full force and I was diagnosed and put on disability a year later.  My primary doctor took me off Prozac and I went through a myriad of pain and mind altering drugs.  I was a total banana case with memory blackouts, drugged feeling,etc.  Changed doctors about 3 years ago and was taken off all the brain pills and given Effexor.  Everything seemed okay.  I wasn't really aware in any changes in my brain behavior, and figured my MS and age were causing the dementia symptoms.  Until I forgot to take my pills three nights in a row.  (I remember reminding myself to take them, and remembered taking them- although I hadn't when the fourh night I doubled checked and they were still in the weekly pill box

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  • ps4125 October 02, 2009
    ps4125
    October 02, 2009
    Yes! I was on Effexor for six years. The only reason I was on it for so long was because I didn't want to suffer the withdrawal. I would get so sick if I forgot to take it for even one day. I was on 150mg. Then my doctor titrated me down to 75mg and the 37.5mg. 37.5 is the smallest dose capsule they make. This progression wasn't bad at all. When I tried to stop taking the 37.5 though, I was nauseated, had the brain zaps, headachy, had vertigo, and generally felt like hell. Keep in mind that I am not one of "those" people who makes a big deal of things. I was embarassed that I couldn't get off the stuff without feeling sick. After researching effexor withdrawal, I found that the most successful people getting off effexor, did it very very slowly. I started opening the capsules and removing a few grains each day. I'd take out the grains and replace the top. There are about 120 grains in each 37.5mg capsule. The first day I took out five grains, then six grains, then seven, etc. I'd start each week with five grains less than the last day of the previous week and then bump down one grain a day during the week. I ended with my final capsule containing just five grains. I did have some brain zaps, a little nausea, headche, etc. but it was nothing compared to when I tried to go off the 37.5 cold turkey. These feelings lasted about a week after my last dose and got a little better each day. It's been just over a week now since my last dose and I'm fine. I'm so happy to be off that crap. I'm so happy to no longer be tied to it. No longer have to worry about forgetting to pack it when I go out of town. I have felt emotions more strongly for the first time in six years. This is a good thing. Even though I have felt anger and sadness more profoundly (in an appropriate way, not just randomly), I have also laughed harder and felt more joy. My emotions are no longer masked by a drug. Good luck to you! READ MORE
  • mikki August 07, 2009
    mikki
    August 07, 2009

     

    I'm on the process of getting off the effexor..I had a horrible, absolutely horrible experience where my Dr. (Psychiatrist) was certain that I had not reached the therapuetic dose of the medication, and we raised it from 150 to 225mg. That dose was unbelievablely excruciating for me, I don't even have words to describe what it was like. BEYOND Anxiety.

     

    I've been back down at 150 for about 2 months now, and am in the process of weaning off the medication entirely.

     

    The main side effect that I am dealing with is the brain shivers, which are extremely uncomfortable. I have read other people's experiences here at this site and the several that talked about the omega supplements caught my attention. I take flax seed, fish oil and a high quality multi-vitamin daily and what I thought was odd was that around lunch time the shivers and shocks would seem to get worse...now I'm wondering if I take fish oil throughout the day if that might help ease the symptom even further. 

     

    I really appreciated one of the posts that used some cognitive skills to help them get through by reminding themselves that they will get through it, that this period of discomfort will pass. I have found that helpful too.

     

    I am extremely angry that there isn't more warning about the withdrawl effects, because honestly if I had known, I probably would have made another choice for a medication to try first before starting on effexor. On another note, a new doctor has floated the idea that I might be what is known as 'soft spectrum bipolar', I'm not totally clear if this is the same as Bipolar NOS ...I'm just learning about this, but it's very hard to diagnose apparently because the symptoms don't look like what people think of when they think of bipolar. In my case it is kind of subtle and  manifests as a depression side and an irritibility side...some of this I guess isn't totally accepted by the establishment yet, but what I do know is that if there is a bipolar diagnosis certain classes of anti-depressants can actually 'push' you. In my case this manifested in some very dangerous ways.

     

    We have conservatively added a mood stablizer, (completely different class of drug all together) starting at very low dose and very slowy increasing it. It hadn't seemed to change things as of yet, but in just the 4 days since I have been completely off effexor, even with the brain shivers and body shock sensations that I am experiencing, I feel clearer, more balanced, less compulsive, less self-destructive. I'm not super energetic, but so far I'm also not in a completely depressed state either.

     

    Hang in there every one, listen to your body, ask a lot of questions and if you can't advocate for yourself, see if a family member or friend can help you be an advocate when talking to about medication. Follow even the subtlest mood changes, look for patterns, hang in there and know you are not alone in this. And thank you for sharing your experiences.

     

     

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  • lovemykids July 21, 2009
    lovemykids
    July 21, 2009

    I took Effexor XR 225 mg a day for about 4 years...you have to taper off very carefully...there are some meds like Cymbalta that you can transfer to in a pretty short period...but when I stopped cold turkey I was extemely sick...vomiting and severe headache...you can go into a seizure or coma and die from just stopping it suddenly.  Be careful and get medical advice before you do it.

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  • Happy July 11, 2009
    Happy
    July 11, 2009

    I wanted to get off Effexor XR because of the horrible "brain shivers" I would have if I was just an hour late taking it. I finally talked to my Dr. about going off of it and he acted like it was no big deal. I told him about the things I read on the internet and he said he never heard of such. Anyway, I was on 150mg so he decided to slowly decrease my dosage over a WEEK. The first few days weren't so bad but by the third day it was pure HELL. The "brain shivers" were unbareable and I was crying for no reason. I called the Dr.'s office in tears and told them I couldn't take it. I asked them to phone in Zoloft ( I had taken it previosly before). I left work, drove straight to the pharmacy and picked up the Zoloft (50mg) and took the pill as soon as I got in my car. I went home and cried myself to sleep. The next couple of days weren't the greatest but now I feel wonderful! No more brain shivers. I can miss a dose of Zoloft and have no effects whatsoever. I seriously think you should try this approach. Good Luck! I tell everyone I know about my experience with Effexor XR and I would NOT recommend anyone taking it.

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    • Ally
      July 24, 2009
      Ally
      July 24, 2009

      That is exactly what is happening with me..If I miss my dose, I know right away by the brain zaps and my mood, not to mention my dizziness and nausea..just from one missed dosage. I couldn't remember if I had taken it last night or not. I had extemely bad dreams and as the day went on I felt really awful as thought I was getting the flu. This isn't the first time either. I spoke with my doctor about coming off but said I was worried as I had read the there are withdrawl symptoms and he said he had never heard of such a thing..hello..you are giving this to patients and never researched the withdrawing from this med?  

       

      I want to come off of this so bad but I am really scared. If I feel like this now what will I feel like when I miss more than a day? I have other medical problems that complicate matters and I know that I cannot tollerate Zoloft. Should I speak with my other specialist ( for my asthmatic condition) about this as I know my family doctor doesn't really care. ( My specialist is an amazing guy.)

       

      I was put on 112.5 mg a day. One 75mg. and one 37.5mg. when my daughter's little 8 month old son past away. That was 3 years ago. Since then my head aches all the time. I have gained weight and I never want to do anything anymore. I am sick of non exsiting. I am not very depressed anymore but everytime I try to come off of this drug I feel awful. And trust me this is a very depressing thought!

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  • Phil June 20, 2009
    Phil
    June 20, 2009

     

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    I had severe withdrawal symptoms with Effexor XL. It took six months to get off of it till my Dr. sent me to a Psychiatric Doctor.

     

    I was up to 225mg per day, the symptoms didn't appear as long as I got my 37mg per day. My side effects were sweating and dry mouth and the withdrawl was a hell of combinations. This medication was the only drug that really worked though. However during the good time of not feeling down I would "pick at the wall" because it felt odd not having those feelings of being down. Eventually I was able to knock the wall down and have those feelings again.

     

    He came up with a right combo. I was on Effexor for 37.5 mg every other day and Prozac for two weeks followed by Prozac for two weeks, that got me off it. He said I was the worst that he had with withdrawl.


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  • Jumbatronic June 20, 2009
    Jumbatronic
    June 20, 2009

    I was initially put on paxil in January 2008 when I was diagnosed with depression but after I felt it was getting worse, my doctor at the time started me on effexor. I can honestly say it did help a lot but I decided in April 2009, I wanted off of it so I decided to taper off from 225mg myself since my next appointment with my psychiatrist wasn't until May. Things went along great and didn't notice anything, except my moods and my head were clearer. 

     

    I went from 225mg to 150mg (for one month) and down to 75mg and then to 37.5 and now I have been off of them for 5 days. With the help of sites such as this with an open discussion from other effexor patients, I was able to make a semi-informed decision about how to taper off of it, BUT I DID STILL HAVE HELP FROM MY DOCTOR! He said, however, that I can try to go cold turkey once I've done a month of 37.5 but I would probably go back to it.

     

    The only NEGATIVE side effects I am experiencing right now is nausea, diarrhea, fatigue WITH insomnia...not sure if I am getting "brain shivers" since I am not completely sure what it does but I am lying down a lot because I feel dizzy. Luckily, the recession has given me some time to recuperate and let me rest while I am on this withdrawal period. The most POSITIVE side effect is that my sex drive is getting back to normal. I'm able to have orgasms again without any delay but my erections are still hard to come by.

     

    I'm currently doing HOT YOGA to help and although I do have to lie down while I'm in a class, I feel it is helping. Although my diet isn't the greatest right now because I'm always trying to sleep off the nausea, I try to do what I can. 

     

    So my advice would probably to rest up whenever you feel the need to AND let others know that you are getting off of the meds, INCLUDING YOUR DOCTOR! I'm still waiting for the worst of the withdrawal symptoms and I know my body will take a while to adjust but doing things to actively "replace" the sh*t that the effexor was giving to your brain will probably help. 

     

    AND THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO ARE GIVING DIET TIPS!! Didn't even know that some other supplements could help! IT IS POSSIBLE!!

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  • anxious May 23, 2009
    anxious
    May 23, 2009

    has anyone experienced w/d symptoms 5 weeks after last dose of effexor xr...i had an awful time w/withdrawal symptoms but...i'm still dealing w/mild depression/anger/irritability/panic attacks/no patience, etc.......i was on this drug for anxiety...now, since going off of it i'm not fun to be around, i'm not myself still...i constantly have panic attacks and feel on the verge of crying all day. The dizziness/brain zaps are gone (the odd time i get dizzy) but...these other side effects are still here. I guess i just want to know when i can seperate the 'true side effects' from the 'true me'...i don't want to go back on meds for anxiety...i'm starting therapy so, i just want to make sure it's possible these effects are still from the drug and not that i have gone crazy!

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    • fallenstarr
      June 06, 2009
      fallenstarr
      June 06, 2009

      Hi.  I'm curious how long it took for your brain shocks/zaps to go away?  I'm on week 3 of being off Pristiq (the "new" Effexor), and I am still doing horrible.  The brain shocks are still a daily thing. 

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  • HeatherZoe April 15, 2009
    HeatherZoe
    April 15, 2009

    Hello,

    I wanted to share my story since Ive been reading these testimonials and they have truly helped.

     

    I had Effexor prescribed to me by a psychiatrist who saw me at my worst state and hadnt worked with me before. I was diagnosed as having anxious depression. At that point I had been withdrawing from an addiction to Ambien, going through a break up, and my job was literally making me mad. So it was very very situational and at 24 I had never needed the assistance of a medication before.

     

    The Effexor did work like a dream I have to admit. I felt very even, happy, and I slept well and even lost some weight at first. Well, fast forward to February and I had noticed my jeans/clothes had been getting tighter and tighter. I rarely weigh myself and have always been around 120 at 5'5 with a fast metabolism and active lifestyle. When I first saw the 135 lbs show up on the scale I thought maybe my metabolism had just significantly slowed down. I didnt think it was the effexor since I had originally lost weight but after reading others testimonials where people lost weight then gained it, I knew it was the Effexor! I immedialtely felt disgusting and wanted to get off the drug fast!

     

    About a week and 1/2 ago (4/5 Sunday night) I started tapering off Effexor at 75 mgs down to roughly half. I removed beads every night and didnt feel that bad (just a little sleepy and short of breath). Last Friday was the first night I decided to not take it. I am on Day 5 of being cold turkey with Effexor. At first I felt like sh*t: brain shivers, lethargic, moody, irritable stomach (but no throwing up), very weak and dizzy. From Saturday until Monday (3 days) all I wanted to do was sleep and rest and the brain shivers were awful! However today (day 5) I finally feel better!! I have had a few episodes of light shivers, and although I feel tired I can definitely function.

     

    I did all of this without consulting with a DR but it seemed to work out, (but I would recommend talking w a DOC). I think its all relative to how long you have been on the drug and how strong it is. For me, I was on it for 7 months or so at 75 mgs so I knew I would have a different withdrawal experience then others. Although I felt sh*tty it was manageable and worth it in the end to shorten my withdrawal period and start becoming Effexor free. I agree that the withdrawal is kind of like a flu and you should treat it like it is; sleep alot, sleep all day if you need to! It helped me I think recover faster.

     

    Question remains: does anyone know how long it takes to get the weight off :(

     

     

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  • Cathie March 25, 2009
    Cathie
    March 25, 2009

    I have been trying to figure out what this strange sensation inside my head was. I realise it is a side effect of stopping my effexor. I ran out of my RX since I have to order it by mail. I thought I would be OK going off it until my refill arrived. The side effects started after I missed the second dose - which was the weird nightmares. After a couple of days I started experiencing this strange "puff" sensation inside my head- I thought maybe I had a sinus infection until I checked out the withdrawal symptoms. At this point I don't know if I should stick out the withdrawal ang get off the effexor or start taking it again to stop the side effects 

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  • cookie March 25, 2009
    cookie
    March 25, 2009

    I take benedryl before going to bed while tapering off and my side effects are bareable. Nausea is my biggest complaint. I am going on one week effexor free after taking it since 1999. I think it was also the generic brand not being as effective as the BRAND name made weaning easier. 

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  • shawnee March 15, 2009
    shawnee
    March 15, 2009

    Very very bad. Don't go on it. It is not worth it. BAD

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  • littlelady March 13, 2009
    littlelady
    March 13, 2009

    Roxcar, i am about to try the Omega cure and I hope it works for me as I am quite desperate about my feelings of being dead inside after coming off Effexor.

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  • Danny May 03, 2010
    Danny
    May 03, 2010

    It took me several years to get off Effexor.  I want to sue this company.  I'ts been over a year now and I still have side effects.    I was moody, shook, had night mares, you name it,,,,,,,,,,,,I still feel the need to keep some Effexor in my drawer and at times I take it.  I had no choice to get off this product because a year ago I lost my job and lost my health care.  The price was 650.00 a month.  I can be contacted a trube1959@msn.com My name is Danny,,,,,,,,This is an awful medication,,,I was better off with the anxiety I had before starting this medication then the depression I am having now,,,,,,

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  • Offeffexor November 10, 2009
    Offeffexor
    November 10, 2009