Reducing Effexor Withdrawal Symptoms thread.
Please continue posting within this thread.
After speaking to a medical professional and several others and lots of reading, I have been told this is EQUIVALENT (not similar) to coming off of Heroin. o.O
I am 31 and have been on Effexor for 6 years now. Started with 75mg and moved to 150mg just about 2 yrs ago. I decided myself I was quitting cold turkey 2 days ago and wow was that a bad choice.
I had most every symptom you all have mentioned. Vertigo, crazy pounding in my head, thinking I am hearing high-heels clanking on a floor, jitters, etc, etc. I feel as if my head is in one of those paint mixers.
So, I took my last 20 pills, and 20 little baggies. I numbered each bag 1-20 and starting with #1 I removed 10 pellets inside the capsule. #2 I removed 20, and so on. My last pill has almost nothing inside it. This is day 2 of this "method" i am using.
I am also drinking lost of water, taking fish oil (does anyone know WHY this is recommended?) And starting Vit B-12 in the morning.
Taking Effexor has made me into someone I hate. My house is a constant disaster and I am so "eh I could care less" about it. My car is the same way as well as I have let myself become a mess. I went from being a 5'8, fit 155 lbs, dressed up with make-up, hair, nails done, attractive woman to a "220 lb don't care what I wear, forget make up bc I could care less, put my hair in a pony tail, slob.
This will NOT do this to me any longer. Im glad to have found very similar experiences and that we are not all going crazy.
Here is what helped me:
1. Rest-try to remove yourself from activities that require too much thinking. This allows you to rid yourself of unnecessary stress
2.Hydration- Gatorade was a lifesaver! I bought the powder mix in bulk, and always kept a liter bottle in my hand. I got sick of it after a while, but the electrolytes were a miracle.
3. Vitamins- I purchased B complex (do not be surprised if this turns your pee neon yellow!) once a day with a meal as well as Omega3 (fish oil) three times a day with a large glass of water/gatorade
4.Nausea aids- Dramamine or in my case, cherry anti-nausea chewables were great when I needed to leave my apartment. They give you relief for a short time, but I found that I needed to take too many, too often to feel tha much better
5. Exercise- Although it was very, very hard to get myself off of the couch or out of bed, getting a small amount of exercise each day, even if it was a brisk walk outside, was a big help
These will not work for everyone; the above list is just what I believ helped me out personally. As I said before, I have not taken Effexor for 15 days and I am FINALLY feeling better. The symptoms did not disappear right away. I am still having the 'brain zaps' once in a while, and I am occasionally dizzy. I am so thankful for being able to feel again that I cannot be angry that I still have a few symptoms. The battle is long and tough, but don't give up! I believe that if I can do it, anyone can do it.
I was prescribed Efexor XR 75 mg for treating depression.
I also went off Efexor cold turkey, god I wish I hadn't done that. I was on 75 mg Efexor XR for 4-5 months, and same way as smw0304 - I had to make a financial decision. I have insane appetite, my mood is below anything possible at all times, I cry myself to sleep every single night. I have brain zaps, my ears keep ringing, and first two weeks I also had dizziness and vertigo, it's my third week now and I'm experiencing leg pain, cramps and whatnot. At least after reading all this I feel I'm not alone. I just don't know what to do now, any more. Will this pass at all.
I was on Effexor XR 150 mg for approximately 11 months for a bout of situational anxiety that I couldn't get a handle on.
I must say that it did help me through a rough patch however after about 6 months on it I gained loads of weight ( almost 40 pounds - pretty quick weight gain considering my eating and exercise habits did not change) and started to sleep a lot - I felt Effexor XR helped me but it was time to get off.
I tapered every two weeks and experienced NO withdrawals in fact I felt awesome:
150 - 112.5mg
112.5 - 75 mg
75 - 37.5 mg
then no more pills after the final two weeks on 37.5mg.
I also started supplementing with Omega 3 and protein shakes( someone told me the amino acids help level serotonin levels)
Day 1- I was fine.
Day 2 - shivering, dizziness, muscle tension, brain felt like it was moving inside my head , going to the bathroom constantly, weepy, vivid nightmares, hot flashes, disrupted sleep and feelings of anxiety.
Day 3 - not feeling like myself at all - couldn't go to work. experiencing all similar physical symptoms from Day 2. Feeling anxious and irritable. Increase Omega 3 to approx. 5 -6 a day - forgot protein shake. Slept a bit better but still having those vivid terrible dreams.
Day 4 - weepy again, funny brain feeling, dizziness and shivering are going away. Started taking B complex, plus Omega 3s(6times a day) and protein shake, Vitamin C, Vitamin D ( I wanted to cover all my bases here lol)
Day 5 - woke up feeling more like myself finally. Still going to the bathroom constantly, some vivid dreams but starting to sleep through the night, a little shivering and not so anxious.
I find the Omega 3s and protein shakes really help. I noticed a significant difference of the severity of my withdrawal symptoms if I forgot or was late taking supplements.
I am trying to stay positive and know that the withdrawals will slowly disappear - it just sucks having to go through it!
Hang in there everybody!!!
pS Has anyone heard of or tried 5 - HTP?
Chills - lots of sweaters and socks
Nausea - ginger gravol, then regular gravol. Lost 15 lbs anyhow
Dizzy - Gravol
Mood - haven't found a good one for that. My mood swings all over the place
Three weeks into the withdrawal I was desperate enough to try a low dose (37.5 mg) and after two days I was in ER with high BP, high heart rate (130+), muscles contracting on their own and akathisia (I think that's how it's spelled)
Stopped Effexor right way and over the next four days the anxiety and insomnia were unbearable. Went back to ER (in my own car this time!) and PDoc prescribed clonazepam (.25mg x2 and .5mg at night). First few days were great! Now after two and half weeks the anxiety seems to be abating but I'm still having sleep issues. Trying to get fresh air everyday to help.
I just want everyone to keep hope and to those who haven't been taken seriously by doctors and nurses - I'm so sorry. I had a nurse tell me that maybe I just have to be on Effexor the rest of my life. I refuse to accept that - two years ago I was a very happy person. My sadness was due to severe anemia. I honestly think that the Effexor made my life much worse.
Best wishes to all
I used this web-site to stay sane and promised myself I write in to do anything to help everyone else. First I am a 50 year old female who was on effexor 150 2x a day. I decided 5 months ago to start weening myself off. One month on 225 a day. I had a difficult time getting my insurance to approve 37.5mg, but my pharmacist was persistent and worked it out.2weeks on 75,75,37.5. 2weeks on 75,75. 2weeks on 37.5,37.5, 37.5.Then 37.5for 3 weeks.,then 37.5 every other day for 2 wks then 37.5 every third for one week then none.During this time I had no effects until last two wks.Okay...
Day 3--fine until about 5pm then vertigo,nausea,shaking ,bathroom all the time--finally 8:30 took 3 omega 3's with ice on my head in dark quiet room. much better
Day 4--same absolutely felt horrible but continued with omega 3's,water,ice and healthy eating.ice chips helped me along with citrus fruit.
Day 5--went to mall forgot to add sweating and shaking. drive in car unbearable-also usually brain zap,shivers then sweating tried benedryl did not help me
Day6--not good no idea why continued same
day 7-seem to be getting better but taking a shower is still a chore
Day8 and nine same
Day10-took 5mg ambien at night to help sleep-worked
I took ambien again last night because before that I was up the entire night.Forgot to memtion EXTREMELY UNABLE TO FOCUS! also huge mood swings. Still on omega 2x day will probably stay on it. I am happy to be off and yes it was difficult remember if you go back you just have to start over again. I am fortunate to stay at home.Definately advise if you work --take last pill tues worst should be fri night to mon night -going to work will be hard so use sick days if possible. Stock up on ginger ale,juice chicken breast fruits and veggies before because you will not want to go out. Get omega in if you don't use it return it but better to have it available.
I still feel wierd constipation is over but things are not regular yet but I AM GLAD I DID IT!
I will check back for questions as this helped me and I am forever grateful to those before me. As they say pay it forward with your best information. Sunny days ahead hopefully...
I haven't tried since until this past week, mainly out of fear. This time I'm taking the same dose, but instead of daily, it is now: Day 1 - take first thing in AM, Day 2 - take in late evening - Day 3 - skip and then start again at Day 1. Right now, I'm on the day two (third or fourth time through the cycle) and I've got minor brain zaps, dizziness, a little queasy but it's all tolerable. Once my body gets accustomed to this, I'll try going every other day, or go to every day with a 75mg dose. Really ticks me off that you have to research this yourself with NO HINT of it from a doc. Then if you bring it up, they get mad at you...."I don't tell you how to do your job!" type of reaction. Granted, I'm no doctor, pharmacist or scientist, but I can predict with great accuracy, they types, times, severity of symptoms I will get should I stop taking the medication. I can also state affirmatively that these symptoms are not imaginary or brought on because I am "thinking" about them. I would also guarantee that if blindly given a placebo, I would know based off the effects. This c**p is garbage and hope that no one ever takes it.
During Tapering off and before reaching 0 medication: Vitamins and minerals
Multivitamins (as a base, any brand is good, normal dosis)
Super B-Complex (energy, mental wellbeing)
Omega 3 1200 (either fish oil or flax seed oil, note fish oil has cholesterol, that’s Omega 3-6 and 9)
Selenium (mood improvement)
Potassium (liver function, nervous system)
Magnesium (avoid headaches, mood improvement)
Lecithin (brain food)
Biotin (mental wellbeing)
Calcium citrate (better than carbonate) (nervous system)
Folic Acid (body is depleted because of depression and medication)
coQ10 (mental fatigue)
Once you reach 0:
Double the dosage of vitamins (all of them). The body is smart: what is not needed will be discarded.
Start with protein shakes (Amino acids in protein are the source for the body to produce serotonin)
5-HTP (natural antidepressant, anti-anxiety)
When the brain shivers: More Fish oil.
With all this, the brain almost won’t shiver. Minimal brain zaps.
I’m 33, I was on FXR 112 for 9 month, I tapered off to 75 in a week, to 37 in another week and then went off completely.
It’s my 3rd day clean, my brain does not shiver, I get dizzy sometimes thou. But it’s not that bad.
I don’t have nausea, my levels of energy are fine. Life is still good and thank god is Friday so I’m taking my weekly night out!
Research the internet for amino acids (whey protein) and depression, vitamins and depression, withdrawal systems and depression, etc.
This is my learning from hours of searching the internet for answers. And so far… way good!
Good luck for you all!
My family has suffered so much because of this d**n drug. I am truly angry that I was ever put on this evil thing. I am doing all that I can to get through the pain of the withdrawal. I am taking high doses of Omega 3, B-12, Multi-vitamin that has folic acid, drinking LOTS of green tea. I will try the protien shake.
Is there anyone out there that has finally gotten off the medication that has NO MORE side effects from it?? I am scared that this is going to continue forever. Have I changed my brain function forever??? Please let me know.
So glad I found this discussion board.