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First off, I have been through withdrawal hell on several occasions.

I AM ON DAY THREE OF NO EFFEXOR AND I ACTUALLY FLUSHED MY PILLS DOWN THE TOILET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!javascript:emoticon('XD')

This is how I did it. (I posted this last week.) IT TAKES TIME. I think I could have done it faster if I would have been more diligent, but every time I stepped down I got horrible side effects -- flu symptoms, vomiting, not being able to function in general.javascript:emoticon(':$')

I was put on effexor in Dec. of 2000 for chemical depression.
In 2004 I cut my prescription from 150 to 75. In 2005 i cut 75s in half. In 2006 I cut 75s in fourths. Jan 2007 i cut 75s into eighths. I just now
started grinding up a 75 in my mortar and dip my finger in it every morning now. Sunday I stopped cold turkey, felt shitty and went to the store and bought some BENEDRYL like I have heard to do by others. Took it felt better. Took three benedryls yesterday, one today. I still feel a little weird, but OK. I think once you can get down to taking granules per day, and are ready to stop it is easier.

THIS DRUG IS POISON! If you know anyone who is even considering going on it or any other antidepressant (I have heard the are all hell to come off of) PLEASE TELL THEM TO NOT GO ON IT!!!!!!! There are other ways. Or if you have been on it for a short time, get off of it now. It took my nearly 7 years to get off of it.

Plus now I have to lose 60 pounds on top of it all. I am a vegetarian / vegan now so hopefully it will drop off... HA!!!javascript:emoticon('XD')

So now watch me get addicted to Benedryl... LOLjavascript:emoticon('XD')

GOOD LUCK AND HANG IN THERE EVERYONE! THERE IS HOPE!

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I got off of Effexor on Monday of this past week...it is now Sunday. The withdrawal symptoms started Friday. I felt like i was going crazy- heck i still do. I feel like my head is full of water or jelly; my body will convulse or pitch on a whim and i can't even trust myself to walk in a straight line the zaps are so horrible. and i want to vomit it's like constant vertigo and nausea.

I tried to wean myself off of the demon pills by reducing dose to 37.5mg/day then going cold. bad idea. i've heard others tapering off to like 5mg and STILL having issues. mine were only SAMPLES of XR and i was on them for only like 1.3 months- no libido, no bowel movement, no emotion in general.


*going to buy benadryl*
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I need help? My Dr just switched me from Paxil to effexor and I am withdrawing from Paxil now,,,,,all symptoms and am scared for effexor in my system now. Please reply. Sincerely, Lisa christina
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When i was on them i felt like a zombie, completely disconnected from reality. And at first it seemed ok, but it starts getting worse. I would take 75mg in the morning, and by about 8pm i would start having withdrawls They were like zaps in my brain everytime i turned my head. Terrible medication!! DO NOT START TAKING THEM!!! The only real good drug i found helpful for anxiety, and nervousness was ATIVAN. And yoga, meditation. If you can learn to stay present in your mind, it helps to not dwell on the past, or the think about the future. Effexors like licking cold metal in the winter, Its a b***h to get off, and your going be scared. GOOD LUCK:)
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I went from 150 to 75. Not too bad. Then from 75 to 37.5/day. Still okay - didn't feel great, but it wasn't like I felt when I missed an entire day. (If you have ever had "bed spins" in your college days - then you know the feeling.) I have tried several times to stop taking the 37.5mg, but each time I get sick as a dog, and it seems to last forever (I have only been able to tolerate it for a week, then I'm back on the 37.5 mg. I have finally gotten to where I can take a 37.5 mg once every other day (I basically wait until I am sick and dizzy, then take one.) I know of a store called Clark's Pharmacy who has a compounding pharmacist. My mother said that since her Dr. Prescribed an irregular dose of something, her insurance paid for the pharmacist to mix it up. If not, I think I am going to have to pay to have it mixed so that I can take maybe 15 mg / day, then go down to 10mg/day. God, it is taking forever, and it was so easy until I tried going cold turkey from the 37.5mg. I guess you do have to go in small increments. I have capsules, but don't have a scale to weigh the effexor. Otherwise I could make my own. Right now I am cutting 75mg in half (guestimating) for the 37.5 . . . . it is miserable.
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Hi everyone,
It's been a while since I posted. I finally am off of effexor. Here's what worked for me (mind you in the past I experienced all the horrible side effects of withdrawal). I switched doctors since my PCP was terrible. i found a great new one. She put me on Celexa while keeping me on Effexor. I tapered up on the dose of celexa for a few weeks. Then once I was at 40mg and feeling good, I started tapering off of the effexor. It took about three months. There was no need to split pills or empty the granules. I just went from 150mg, to 75mg to 37.5mg and then off. She outlined a strict schedule for me to keep to (when to taper etc...) and in 3 months I was off and feeling GREAT. I experienced NO side effects from the withdrawal. I know I'm just replacing it with something else, but Celexa is easier to come off of and has less side effects. this has been 5 years of trying to get off.
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All I can say is Oh my God!!!!!! I have been taking Effexor 300mg for 2 1/2 years since being diagnosed with severe PND after my son was born. It worked like a miracle for the first month then I began feeling down again and had migraines associated with vision disturbances. I went to my eye specialist who said my eyes were fine. When I got vision disturbances it was like someone had rubbed vasoline over my eyes and I got the brain jolts when I turned my head quickly. This continued and my mood plummettted as u can imagine. I was a theartre nurse and could not be in the theartre at these times!!!! My relationship with my husbabd deterioated due to my mood swings and irritability and I tried to take my life. I had decreased my dose to 150mg before this and so the doctor increased it back to 300mg which seemed to work well for my low mood for about a month. I put on weight during this time and the vision disturbances started again. Then my husband came home and told me he didnt love me anymore and was leaving. He was sick of my depression, sicknesses, and inability to look after our son and be a good wife. He said he had nothing left to give me and he walked out and left me a single mother. I was shattered but picked myself up and pulled it together for my little boy who was then two. Months later I met up with my best friend from school and we started dating. His wife had left him and we were each others shoulder to cry on. Our love grew and my depression lifted somewhat but I began to notice that I was getting more migraines, vision disturbances, dizziness, nausea, sweating, nightmares, mood swings from really high to devastating lows, irritability, yawning, fatigue, inability to orgasm (devestating in a new relationship) and forgetfullness. My work began to be effected. If I missed a dose in the past it was the next day I experienced withdrawal but it got to the stage if I was even an hour late taking my pill I could notice it!!! I had also found that loosing weight was impossible on Effexor! Diet by itself did nothing and pills I tried were not effective while taking Effexor. When my boyfriend asked me to marry him I knew I wanted to get off these horrible pill, loose weight for the wedding and get my life back!!! I went from 300mg to 150mg which was not too bad and gradually came down to 37.5mg over a few weeks then off all together. It is day five today and I am in hell!!! I have every symptom of Effexor withdrawal. Dizziness, electric shock like jerking inside my head, nausea, crying, dry mouth, vision disturbances and I feel like I am going crazy. I cant sleep and I cant function at work. Just typing this and looking at the keyboard for the letters is killing me!!! I read of some things I could do to help and I have taken some travel sickness pills, Omega 3 and some Benadryl hoping to get some relief. Nausea has subsided some but still getting jolting in head that spreads down from head, shoulders and into fingers. Am going to my GP at lunchtime to see if he can help but he was the bastard who put me on it before and has increased it in the past. There is no way I am putting that stuff into my body ever again. I hope I find relief soon and when I do I am using my position as a nurse to get the message out there that this pill is evil!!!!!!!!! :-S
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I just hope anyone who is considering Effexor reads this first.

I am a 40 year old professional, successful male who has struggled with depressive thoughts for the last 25-30 years. On an unrelated visit to my doctor I noticed a pamphlet on depression (which did not make any specific drug recommendations) amongst others in the examination room. I had a look at it and by the time my doctor greeted me I was in tears. Soon after I was telling her my life story.....years of pain surfacing, unable to feel happy for any appreciable length of time, no accomplishment was good enough for me to reward myself. She made what I believe to be an accurate diagnosis of depression. I'd never before spoken with a physician to act on this problem because I'm just not the type to take aspirin or anything prescription level unless I am in real trouble.

The doctor recommended Effexor and I was ready to try it. I told her I wanted something non-narcotic so that I could do business, function normally and not have to live my life "high". She put me on Effexor 37.5mg and suggested that I also see a psychologist to try and sort out my core issues. I did not see the other doctor since I just reject the notion that someone else will understand me better than I do. I filled the presciption for Effexor that day and began the regimen. The results were fast and noticeable. I had never felt so leveled out and was happy to have that sort of relief. I was singing the Effexor praises.

Of course I read the drug description and the expected side effects. Like others I have read about here, they all hit me. Constipation, acute drop in sex drive, loss of appetite......I was there. Through this period of about 3 months I never cried or felt any really compelling emotion. The best way I can describe it is that I simply didn't care enough about anything to get upset. Nothing really mattered that much. My work productivity was great but the attention I paid my wife and child was diminished. While some would say the latter is a bad thing I have to point out that I hardly ever argued with my wife so I thought that must be a good thing. I was wrong.

4 days ago I decided to stop taking Effexor. Since my doctor was not a part of this decision I was unaware of what was coming my way. This withdrawal period has been nothing short of misery. I'm not one to complain about "aches and pains" but this has been horrible. I can't imagine what people who have been on higher doses must have faced. I literally feel like I have the worst flu ever. My head feels like it is hosting a 220V rave party. The only way I have found to avoid the bursts of energy that start in my spine and shoot up to my head is to sit perfectly still. Otherwise, I feel this electrical pulse that has me covering my ears and shutting my eyes. 2 Motrin did offer some relief to help me sleep but it was slight. I already feel depressive thoughts creeping back in so I am left to wonder......was all of this worth it? I'd encourage people looking to get on some drug therapy to consider it carefully.
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I am 28 years old, I was on Effexor for a little over 2 years. I felt that in the beginning, it worked great, I even dropped 15 lbs.I was up to 187.5 mg a day. It eventually evens out, and doesnt work so well. I began to feel like I was dizzy and had little mini brain tremors if I had not taken my dose around the same time every day. I went to my physician and they stopped me cold turkey off the effexor and replaced it with Klonopin. That did nothing but make me sleepy unless I took too many then it made me goofy and say and do weird things that were completely out of character for me. My friend and mother were both on Effexor and upon stopping it without tapering down, they experienced severe headaches, crying spells and pain. I did not experience these side effects, But I can tell you that It is a difficult drug to be on. Ive been off it now for almost 2 years and finally dont feel the brain tremors anymore. At the present, I have been seeing a psychiatrist who is going to prescribe me Lamictal for mood swings. After reading all of these chat threads on it, Im very skeptical on getting on another addictive anti-depressant or mood drug. Does anyone know of anything else that works? I dont seems to be too sensitive to the side effects of these drugs, But really dont want to experience the headaches and other side effects that come along with Lamictal, I have a 5 year old at home with me all day while my husband is at work.
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Been on 300 mg for nine years. Just got home from the ER with every possible withdrawal symptom. I took 6 weeks to get from 300 to 150 mg, which was torture. Last week I started feeling like a person again, as if a fulfilling life was possible again. Reduced dose a little more and utterly crashed. Have to start the process again, I don't know if getting off this will ever happen, well it won't without God who is sustaining me, along with the wonderful friends in my life that he is keeping there to uphold me.
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Effexor does not come in dose less than 37.5 mg.

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I agree that withdrawal is hell. I would never recommend it to anyone. That being said, I wouldn't recommend the quick taper method, either. 

I started at 225 mg and have been tapering by 37.5 mg every four weeks. I truly believe it's better than tapering again after one week or two weeks, which is just so hard on the body. I fight the flu-like symptoms (nausea, aches, diarrhea) with as much water and watered-down gatorade as I can stomach. I try to position myself so that a light fan can blow on me throughout the day at the office. 

I haven't taken any other vitamins because I don't want to start adding and subtracting at the same time. That being said, I do think adding .5 mg klonopin per night helps decrease the terrible anxiety. Does anyone have any eating tips that aren't about vitamins? I will try just about anything to get down to zero effexor. I can't wait to be free! 

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I am miserable.  I was on effexor at 75mg a day for IBS help for the past year and a half.  As the IBS symptoms have eased up my doctor and I decided to come off the effexor.  Dropping from 75mg to 37.5 was ok!  I followed the advice of many and cut the 75mg capsule in half by taking out granules day by day.  Seemed to work well.  Once i was on teh 37.5mg a day i was feeling good enough about not having any withdrawl symptoms that I stopped taking them all together yesterday - sunday.  I feel terrible today with dizziness, and fuzziness in my head and feeling like im going to vomit.  Will benadryl help this?  I am at work and am not functional right now.  Please help...  :(

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I'm so discouraged to hear your news! In the past when my withdrawal symptoms were really bad like yours my dr. said to go home and just lay down and to avoid other medicines except my klonopin, since it has a calming and sedative effect. Is that something you've been prescribed? It is a medicine I have been on for a long time, so my dr. felt safe telling me to take it to help with the side effects. I'm trying to go down to zero this week myself, starting tomorrow. I'm going to do the every other day, then every third day, then nothing route. I hope you start to feel better.
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