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I have been searching the web for days trying to find out if I'm coming down with something or if it is the Effexor withdrawal. I was put on Effexor about 5 months ago for back pain. It did nothing for my pain, but I felt great on it, until I started gaining weight. By the 3rd month I had gained 30 lbs. I called my doctor and she said that it is not from my Effexor. I did not agree with her, I researched the web and found out that many people had gained weight on Effexor. My mother had first lost 22 lbs, and than gained 30 some odd lbs. I called her and told her it was probably the Effexor, and we both said we will get off of it. Well, I went from 150mg to 75mg and with no problems. I felt fine and my mother said the same. Than I went to 37.5mg and started feeling bad, but my mother went (without doctor's advice) to 75mg every other day and she feels great.

I went to a new family physician that also does herbal meds. to try to help me, since my doctor thought that I was crazy. Well I'm on day 5 Effexor free and I feel like c**p. I have the chills on and off, I have headaches, and I am so nauseated that I have had 3 pregnancy tests in the past week. I have read all of your blogs and feel with you . My mother on the other hand (God Bless Her) has no symptoms off of the Effexor, and she was on longer than I was. I refuse to go back on them, although I have thought about it. I am a mother of 2, foster a baby, work fulltime, and go to school weekends. I can't seem to concintrate, and I have a big test this Saturday. I have known about it for a week, but can't stay awake to read my notes. I asked if I can delay it, and my professor gave me 3 days. That is not going to cut it, I think I will go take it and deal with the grade.

I am looking for something that can help. That I have not read about, well, besides the water. I didn't know if there is something to take. Maybe Advil for the headache, Phengren for the nauseau, and etc. With my luck, I called my new doctors office and she is on vacation. I will be going to see her next week and if I find a herbal remedy, I will post it on here.

Oh, by the way, I did forget to mention that my new doctor put me on a herbal antidepressent called Sam-E. I don't know if it is helping, but she did tell me to double the dose if it doesn't make me nauseated, but how do I know what is making me nauseated?

Good luck to everyone that is trying to get off of this horrible drug. I think we should all get together and get this medication off the market before it does this to anymore people.

Will keep you updated.

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I just recently got weaned off Effexor XR by my doctor after being on it for just over a year. I was taking 225mg per day and was recently tapered to 150mg, then 75mg, then 37.5mg...each for about a week. On day 2 of "being clean" of the medication, I started getting the very same symptoms I've read everyone else posting about...zaps, vision problems, nausea, constantly being tired, crying for no reason uncontrollably....I've been researching all over the net about the withdrawl symptoms and see the same things posted by other sufferers everywhere.
Does anyone know of any way to counter these affects without going back on the medication? I'm at my literal wits end with these symptoms and it's only day 3. I refuse to go back on the meds as I know I don't suffer the anxiety anymore, and I can't justify taking the medication simply to counter the withdrawl....especially when not suffering from the very disorder for which it was prescribed. I'm just looking for advice from fellow withdrawl sufferers as no one else can relate at all.

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Don't fret you all! I was on both effexor and effexor xl/xr...I mostly took myself off of the drug because I wanted to "feel" again...also I started to develop insomnia, and my sex drive and orgasms were not that powerful while I was on the drug...Those drugs do work, however, they dull your perception on life...When I went through the withdrawals, it was TERRIBLE!

But I am here to tell you that it is possible to get off of the med and have a good and happy life! I am a living witness to that...I went through the crying for no reason episodes as well, but for a while I didn't think it would stop...but it DID!

The worst thing for me was the EXTREME DIZZINESS...I also experienced that electrical sensation as well, it's like every time something touches you it "buzzes"...what a weird feeling, but I got through it and you can also! It just takes a little time...for me it took about 2.5 weeks for the withdrawal symptoms to finally subside...about a month and a half for them to completely go away...

For the dizzy spells, try taking Dramamine...let them dissolve under your tongue...I went through about 3 boxes of dramamine throughout the process...it also should work well for the shock feeling and nausea :-)

I hope that this helps you all who are trying to get off of this medication! Remember, it can be done, you just have to make up your mind that you can live without it, and you can!

Bless You!

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I have been reading everyone's posts and I am so fascinated that I am not alone. I thought I was hearing buzzing, shaking out tingly fingers, all by myself. I am on Day 3 of being off. The last 2 years, I was on 300 at my worse, then 75 at my best. I stopped cold turkey three days ago. I didn't know a person could feel this way. If anyone can, how long is this ill, dizzy, uncomfortableness suppose to last. Average? Educated guesses?I think I can get over my anxiety and depression, but the physical incapacities are what scare me...

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yeah im sorry, but effexor if poison, a literal poison. i am almost 17 but it isnt supposed to be given to people under 18 for risk of suicidal ideation (got it) but i am not going to kill myself. i am trying right now to get off of effexor. i feel horrible, i have horrible stomach pain and diareah, constant peeing, i feel numb and tingling in my body and i feel like my blood is rushing. i feel hot but have no fever and im crying more than usual. ugh i hate this pill! i got so mad last night and threw the bottle. i want so bad to write the creators of this med a very long strongly worded message :-S i pray that i can get off it safely and that this is the worse it gets because i had only been taking it 2 months. i may feel worse than dog s*it but i will never go back on it just because of the withdrawl effects! you couldnt pay me enough! dont let anyone you know go on it!

if you want to talk my email is _[removed]_

Best Of Luck!
~Kasi

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I've been trying to go off effexor xr the last 2 months. My dosage has gone from 150 to 70 to 35.5mg. I was doing fine, until I decreased to 35.5mg. Now, I've had a constant headache, been very weepy, and the worst part is very cloudy and tired.

Has anyone else had the problem of being extremely tired and just cloudy? Does it get better? How long does it take before it gets better. This has been going on about 2.5 weeks now. I'm not sure if I'd be better just to have my dosage moved back up, or continue with the withdrawal process. Any suggestions?

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I have taken Effexor XR for the past four years. I decided to get off because my husband and I would like to get pregnant. I took my last pill of 150mg on Friday. My withdrawls were so bad that I had to miss work Monday and Tuesday. As of Tuesday, I have had terrible diarrhea, nausea, brain zaps, headaches, nightmares, night sweats and fatigue. I am trying to do this cold turkey. I have taken Paxil before and quit cold turkey and did have withdrawls as well. However, they were not near as bad as the Effexor XR. It only took me about a week to a week and half to get off Paxil. The withdrawl symptoms I had from Paxil were nausea and brain zaps only. I could deal with it even though I thought I was going crazy. I can't deal with these terrible withdrawl symptoms from Effexor and I have a feeling that they will last longer than a week. I can't miss another day of work so I don't know what I will do.

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I feel the same as you! My husband and I found out that we are pregnant so I got off the drug for the sake of my babies health, but now I know I will never go back on it if I don't have to. My doctor weened me off the drug from my original dose of 150 to 75 for one week and 37 for the following week. I began getting the symptoms about two weeks ago when I went down to 37mg. I have been off the drug completely for a week now and just feel horrible. I have constant headaches, diarhea, stomach pains, and am so tired I can hardly function. It's a good thing you are getting off the drug before you are pregnant. It's hard to distinguish between whether or not your symptoms are comming from pregnancy or withdrawel. Although; I am totally convinced it's withdrawl. I didn't feel bad untill I was restricting my body from the drug. It's not morning sickness I am experiencing- minus the fatigue of course (that's the only thing I think might be pregnancy related- but who knows). I have my first prenatal appointment tomorrow so maybe I will gain some insight and clarity to my confusion. I don't know how you people are working like this.. There's no way I could function at work like this. Luckly I am a teacher a have a couple more weeks off, but I hope things get better soon.

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My husband has been off of Effexor for over 2 years now and he had to go on Prozac just so that he does not have the electricial shocks in his brain. You are right, this is the worst med. ever created. I can't understand why the FDA would allow Effexor to still be on the market. There has got to be something we can do to stop the sale and release of this nightmare drug. _[removed]_. :x

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I am trying to withdraw from Effexor XR after eight years on antidepressants and 3-4 years on Effexor. Now I understand that this is a syndrome that neither our physicians nor the FDA has acknowledged until recently. Thank goodness we have each other, to share withdrawal techniques and coping strategies so we can get through the weaning process together! I had to take a few granules in the timed-release capsule today because the symptoms became so severe. I have spent a month going from 150 mg to 37.5 mg, and 72 hours ago I stopped completely after spending two weeks on 37 mg. Side effects have increased in severity instead of waning as I had hoped. I pray I am not one of these people whose withdrawal symtpoms continue indefinitely instead of resolving.

I plan to try the extremely slow method of going from 37.5 mg to 0 mg, just a few granules at a time, because the side effects are so severe when I try to speed it up. It's great that some people can practically go cold turkey, but I become pretty non-functional when I try that route.

Jen in Arkansas

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Hello to everyone,

I've been on & off anti-depressants for the past 8 years. Celexa, Effexor, and Effexor XR. Effexor XR for the last 12 months.

I recently realized that being on Ef XR was turning me into a robot. No lows(good news) but no highs either. I felt like I was floating through life, and now I want my life back. Emotions and all.

So...

I quit Ef XR cold turkey and am on day 5 being drug-free. The symptoms that you all mentioned, I've had so severe. I have been reading and researching all over the net for help. This is what I am doing/taking to detoxify based on my findings:

1 - Drinking lots of water all day, basically non-stop, keep refilling my water bottle (yes, LOTS of trips to the ladies' room :-)
2 - Omega 3 capsules, 1 pill, 3 times/day to help brain zaps
3 - Multivitamin to get B6, B12, folate & magnesium for nerves/brain
4 - Seratonin over-the-counter, also called 5-HT. to replace naturally what I used to get from the drug.
5 - Lots of cardio exercise, daily for at least 30 minutes to help energy levels.

I pray this gets better and I wish all of you posters a speedy recovery & detoxification! :-D

Lee/NJ

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My last pill was Saturday morning. Today's Tuesday. I am so glad to find this thread, because I had absolutely no idea how to describe what I was feeling. I thought people would think I was insane. I haven't called my doctor yet cause I didn't know what to tell her!!

While it's depressing to hear how long some people have had these symptoms, it's relieving to know I'm not the only one.

I'll definitely be trying the suggestions the previous poster mentioned. Hopefully they'll work!!!

Now I'm getting weepy writing this...c**p!!

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Lee/NJ wrote:

Hello to everyone,

I've been on & off anti-depressants for the past 8 years. Celexa, Effexor, and Effexor XR. Effexor XR for the last 12 months.

I recently realized that being on Ef XR was turning me into a robot. No lows(good news) but no highs either. I felt like I was floating through life, and now I want my life back. Emotions and all.

So...

I quit Ef XR cold turkey and am on day 5 being drug-free. The symptoms that you all mentioned, I've had so severe. I have been reading and researching all over the net for help. This is what I am doing/taking to detoxify based on my findings:

1 - Drinking lots of water all day, basically non-stop, keep refilling my water bottle (yes, LOTS of trips to the ladies' room :)
2 - Omega 3 capsules, 1 pill, 3 times/day to help brain zaps
3 - Multivitamin to get B6, B12, folate & magnesium for nerves/brain
4 - Seratonin over-the-counter, also called 5-HT. to replace naturally what I used to get from the drug.
5 - Lots of cardio exercise, daily for at least 30 minutes to help energy levels.

I pray this gets better and I wish all of you posters a speedy recovery & detoxification! :D

Lee/NJ



I was taking 300 mg of Effexor XR for 6 years and have been taking 450-600 mg of it for the past year while working with my doctor. I had the same thing happen that another post-er had happen a little over a month ago where I wasn't able to fill my prescription. So I ended up going cold turkey from 600 mg. Not fun. I had headaches and was nauseated 24/7 except for about an hour after I woke up. To deal with the nausea I just slept as much as possible for about a week and made myself eat regular meals as if I weren't feeling sick. After about 7 days I noticed the nausea and headaches were decreasing in strength, so I decided I would get off the Effexor for good so that I wouldn't have to go through these withdrawl symptoms again sometime in the future. Within two weeks my symptoms were completely gone and after just that one first week, I was able to return to work/normal life.

The reason I've posted the quote above is that I've never in my life taken vitamins/minerals/etc. despite my mother's urgings, until about two weeks before I happened to go cold turkey on the Effexor. I didn't know, and had never heard that multi-vitamins (esp. B6/B12) and Omega-3 would help while detoxing from this drug, but after reading all the posts on this thread and comparing others' experiences during withdrawl with the symptoms I experienced, I am convinced these things helped me and would highly recommend people try taking them along with drinking plenty of water and exercising!!

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I am a 24 year old female, and I have been taking Effexor XR 150mg on and off for the past 10 years (long time, I know). I started anti-depressents when I was 14, and just figured I would need to take them for the rest of my life.
But after doing research and talking to other people on Effexor, I realized that it's not healthy to be on anti-depressents for such a long period of time, especially starting a such a young age. I never thought that the Effexor could be causing my "spaciness" or my lack of emotions. I just thought that was me, and there was nothing I could do to change that. Now I know, that was not me, it was the drug.
YOU CANNOT STOP THIS DRUG COLD-TURKEY! At first I tried that, and it was the most horrible, terrifying experience ever! So, I was forced to start the med up again.
But, after talking it over with my doctor, she developed a plan for me to ween off Effexor XR 150 mg safely.
You cannot rush the process of weening off this med! I've been weening off slowly for the past 3 months.
The first week I alternated my 150mg every other day, and a 75mg every other day. I did that for 2 weeks. Then I took the 75mg every day for 2 weeks. Then I alternated the 75mg every other day, and took the 37.5mg every other day for 2 weeks., and so on. Now I'm on my last few weeks (I start taking the 37.5mg every other day with nothing else in-between). So far, through this process, I have to say I feel pretty good, compared to how I felt when I stopped cold-turkey.
There are times, especially when I'm lowering my dosage, where I'll feel nauseated, but that passes. I haven't had any major mood-swings or emotional break-downs, so emotionally I feel good. The real test will be when I finally stop taking the drug all together.
I just wanted to let people know that it is possible to ween off Effexor slowly, and it's important not to rush the process or to stop cold-turkey. Talk to your physician, and work out a plan with them. It's also important to note that like someone had posted before me, taking a multi-vitamin and drinking lots of water during this process is beneficial. I am also taking Omega-3 and watching my diet (limited processed foods, sugar, alcohol, and wheat).
It is possible to get off of this powerful drug. Good luck to everyone!

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My wonderful physician weened me off of Effexor 150xr after 3 years of use in 3 weeks time. My last pill was on a Saturday, by Thursday I was in the hospital with severe dehydration from the vomiting. It has been 4 weeks since my last dose of Effexor. I still have horrible stomach problems, headaches come and go, brain zaps are milder and less frequent. For the females out there: I have missed two periods and gained approximately 10 pounds. I have horrible water retention like I have never had thru any of my 3 pregnancies. My husband has been wonderfully supportive in seeing me thru this. At this point I don't even want to be in the same room as a bottle of this drug. I completely blame my physician for not telling me the effects of this drug, the withdrawel problems with this drug, and for not medically weening me off the drug in a recommended way. Whenever I would tell my physician of any of the detox symptoms I was having he would smile and have a "suck it up and deal with it" attitude. Not cool, now I have a new doc who is at least willing to give me Phenergan for the nausea and vomiting to keep me out of the hospital. I would really like to know how one person can eat so little, vomit so much, and still gain weight. I seem to have done fine mentally and emotionally with the detox, however I do have a wonderful husband that supports me and really helps me to determine whether my emotions are extreme or "off the wall" and keep me calm. I would not recommend this drug to my worst enemy. At this point I am concerned with long term symptoms and damage to major organs. Obviously someone at the FDA in a padded chair dropped the ball on this one.

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