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Oh man!! I'm so glad to hear I'm not going crazy. I'm always embarrassed to tell people I feel like I'm being electrocuted every few minutes. I've been on effexor XR 75 mils since November 2003. I've tried going off a few different times, but after 2 or 3 days (cold turkey....bad plan!!) I felt like I had the flu and just started taking them again. This time, I've actually tapered off over a 2 month period. I took my last 37.5 pill 2 weeks ago. I have been feeling so weird!! I'm so glad to hear from lazof that it gets better and I'll be okay!! Did anyone else gain a few pounds going off of it? Because even though I have diarrhea and am always nautious, I feel like I have to eat like a horse before I'm full. But if I don't eat, I pass out. Oh well. Time marches on, and it'll get better!! It can't really get worse:)

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My husband has been weaning off Effexor for about a month. The last couple days have been pure hell for me...he has no patience, blows up over everything, and threatened to kill me and my 2 daughters this afternoon before he took off in the car with our two year old. He is out of control and this is not ok. If his withdrawal causes my divorce can I sue for legal fees? Seriously, I am interested in the class action lawsuit and I am sure he will be too.

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I was having heart palpatations, panic attacks, etc., and after lots of testing, no physical reason was found. 8-| The doctors put me on Effexor XR (75's) and atenolol (no high blood pressure, it was to lower the heart rate). This was 1994. Since then I was bumped up to 150's. But those attacks would still break through. :'(

Eureka! Some doctor brilliantly checked my thyroid 3 years ago, and I was hyperthyroid! Guess what some of the symptoms are? Yes, heart palpatations, etc.! After adjusting and adjusting the thyroid medications, I am now level. About 6 months ago I stopped the atenolol (with no effect on my BP, heart rate, etc.) but fear of the 'Effexor Withdrawal' has kept me taking it. I also take a little xanax for situational anxiety once in a while (like last week...see below!) Never any street drugs.

The last time I tried to 'wean' was about 4 years ago, and I ended up in the ER because some kind stranger in a store thought I was having a heart attack (sweats, dizziness, etc.). I had been doing the every other day cut back. Once before, the doctors had me replace Effexor XR with Prozac...HUGE mistake for me! I had all the symptoms everyone has been describing, and I never want to go through THAT again! o.O The doctors at the time said 'you'll always be on Effexor'. Little did I know...I thought they meant I was incurably anxiety-prone!

I recently lost my job (and insurance) and am so sick and tired of the cost of this addiction. I started every other day weaning last week. And a funny thing I notice: On the days I don't take the Effexor, I have more energy, a better attitude, and sleep better that night. I mean, I feel GOOD, better than I can believe. :-D So much so, I'm going to not take the Devil's Pill (hahaha) for 2 nights running...and see how I do.

I may have been put on the Effexor for what ended up being thyroid symptomology coupled with slight anxiety (oh it was SO situational at the time!), so maybe I'll be one of the lucky ones and get off it without much ado. I had no idea that getting off this medication would EVER be this difficult. o.O I quit a pack a day cigarette habit cold turkey 20 years ago, and that was NUTHIN' compared to these horror stories!!

I think this warrants me asking the pharmacist every time I get anything for myself or my kids, 'What can I expect when this medication is discontinued?' and not just 'What are the side effects'. Heaven knows the doctors don't look up the PDR when they are prescribing, they just remember the sales pitch for the drug. Of course, there are two sides to every story...

Glad I found this thread! Prayers to everyone who needs them!

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I was given both Xanax and Effexor for 2 days while in the hospital and did not continue them once I left as I did not like the way they made me feel. I am now on day 4 of withdrawals and I am wondering if anyone has had a similar experience? If so, how long did the symptoms last? I never take anything so maybe my system is just so ultra sensitive?
Thanks in advance

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I took Effexor xr for 2 months.At first 75 mg then 150mg.Anyway the 75 was not enough and the 150 was too much so I was supposed to get 2 prescriptions 75mg and 37.5 mg.No way...too much money. So I quit cold turkey. I had all the symtoms mentioned. Throwing up,dizziness,brain shivers,sweating,nightmares...the works.In 10 days I ate 2 cans chicken soup and 2 cans of peas and a few crackers...thats all.I could not drink coffee or tea. I was sooo sick. The worst part was the first 2 weeks...then it got better. Though it has been a month and a half and I will still get dizzy now and then and some days I will get the brain shivers. If you type "Effexor XR petition" in the google search, you will find a petition with over 18,000 signatures and comments from other poor unsuspecting victims of this poison. >;) Effexor XR...Satan in a Bottle >;) >;)

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Wow, this drug can make you feel like you are really losing it when you try to get off it. I take 75 mg once daily and have been for about 2 - 3 years now. The drug has worked great and served it purpose but I to have gained weight (40 lbs) and I am so sensetive to heat and sweat a lot more than before. I stopped taking the drug for a few days and at first I was fine other than not sleeping good but then by the 2nd day the crazy dreams started and then the by the third day the nausea and anxiety, nerveousness and felt like I was jumping out of my skin, my mind was racing, it was terrible!!! Now I feel like I will be on this drug for life. How can people go through these horrible withdrawl symptons. The withdrawl symptons are so, so much worse than the issues I was having when I went on the medicine. And like many others, I was NEVER made aware of the withdrawl symptons by my doctor when I was put on the drug. I guess I'm part to blame for not reading up on it before starting it but I do feel these doctors have an obligation to let us know what we may be up against when/if we decide to get off the drug.

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Thank you all that have written. I thought I was going insane. I now know that I am not. Took a look at the net as a suggestion from a friend. All your experiences are the same as I am experiencing. Will stop crying shortly and work out my action plan to beat this medication. Today is Saturday and no doctor available until monday to get some prozac so i will start vitamins and keep eating to try and get me through til then. To all that have been here before me - thank you for the strength you have unknowingly given me - and to all who come behind me I hope you also find strength in other peoples comments. Thank you so much.

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Well, had been taking 75 mg of effexor xr for about 6 years, and within the past month and a half, have been taking 37.5 mg, and went cold turkey 2 days ago. No nausea, (except from the dizzying brain zaps), and the damn brain zaps, and a little quick tempered >:( . I find this site a great wealth of knowledge about this drug and it's withdrawal symptoms. I told my new doctor who prescribed the downsized pills about the withdrawals from this lousy drug, and he couldnt believe it. Day 3 tomorrow, yay! Ill keep you guys posted and the best of luck and health to all dealing with this!

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I am going through a withdaw of this drug myself having only been on it for a couple of months (75 mg) and feeling like sh*t I can only imagine what some of you that have taken bigger dosage and for a longer period of time are going through. One of my friends found this on another website so I'm attaching it for those who might want to try.

The General Nutrition Store has a dietry supplement called Cleansing Formula and it's made by GNC ~ their website is www.gnc.com if you don't have a local store in your area. In my area the bottle was $22 for 120 capsules. As the bottle calls for 2 a day at mealtime, the gentlemen in the store told me that 3 a day until I started feeling better would not hurt. Drink plenty of water ~ lots and lots of it ~ spring water, not tap. And, when you need a break from the water, drink cranberry juice. You wouldn't believe how quickly this helped cease the symptoms ~ and the guy told me that by in a weeks time I should be feeling much better. Whew ~ a week, sounds much better than 3 months which I read from some people that had already gotten through it and they just dealth with it. What power they had because I couldn't imagine feeling like this for 3 months ~ especially being a single mom to a 7 year old boy with behaviroial problems and I get no help. As well as taking the dietry supplement ~ you can detox your body through your pores by taking a bath in epsom salt and hydrogen peroxide. Use any where from 1 cup to 1 lb of epsom salt depending how much you want this dextoxification to do, which I used 1 lb ~ and mix it with 1 16 oz bottle of hydrogen peroxide ~ in very hot water and keep a cold spring water drink next to you while in the tub to drink. Doing this at bed time is best because you will feel very relaxed and want to go on to sleep and you will with no problem. The difference it's made in the way I feel has been awsome compared to how I did feel.

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I've been weaning off of Effexor,XR officially since Saturday, August 2, 2008. I've been on it for about a year. The reason I'm getting off is because I saw it is causing gasto bleeding. I panicked. Then I looked on the internet to see what the withdrawal symptoms are from the company and I couldn't find one official thing to help. But all of these expression sites have helped. The real people. Why is no information on the web. The only thing it said is don't go cold turkey, talk to your doctor-well duh, I know that. I found this site:
http://withdrawingfromeffexorxr.blogspot.com/

that has helped somewhat. It seems to be a person trying to get off telling their experiences. I have hope when I read yours. And yes, since Saturday I've been starving but I try to watch what I eat so I don't get fat. I actually liked that Effexor helped me to lose weight. Good luck e veryone.

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I was on Effexor for almost 10 years and went through a 6 week taper. The side effects you mention lasted just under 1 week for me. I read another post that Benedryl helps with the symptoms so I took that for a few days too.

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I can't find where I originally posted, so I will simply tell my story here. I am a mental health professional and I suffered a major depressive episode. I voluntarily hospitalized myself. In the hospital, I was put on Effexor XR 150 mgs. and finally several medications to deal with the side effects.

When I recovered (no thanks, imo, to the Effexor) I put myself in the care of a psychiatrist friend of mine and asked him to help me wean. At first things went swimmingly and I cut easily down to 75 mgs. Let me not forget that I suffered terrible side effects, which other people here have enumerated, including weight gain, which is so injurious to self-esteem.

When I cut down to 37.5 mgs. I began to have all the withdrawal symptoms people talk about. I lost my smug feeling quickly and joined the ranks of the deperate posting Effexor withdrawal sufferers. However, I was determined to lose the side effects and cut down again to 18.25 mgs - yes, I opened the caps and felt like an addict.

Brain zaps and all I soldiered on until I was taking a dose every 48 hours. I did this for weeks, miserable with both side effects and withdrawals. One day, I forgot to take my dose and made it through three days. It wasn't easy, but I made it, and then took the dose.

I went to my doctor and told him that if he would allow it, I wanted to carry a dose with me wherever I went and take it only when I couldn't handle the symptoms. My doctor (remember, he is my friend) okayed this, although he made sure I knew that this was a unique case because I was a professional (nonsense!). He felt that other patients needed the "structure" of regular dosing to feel safe (what a load!) Anyway, one night I couldn't take it any more, but elected to take a sleeping med instead of the Effexor. I went to bed totally miserable, but, joy of joys, I woke up considerably better. I have not taken Effexor since and it has been close to two weeks. Knowing that I could end tha pain helped, as did having control over when I took the med.

I cannot say I am symptom-free, but I know I will never take Effexor XR, or any other SSRI or SNRI again. I also found a context for my depression and feel I understand it well enough to be sure I will not relapse. I know my story is less horrific than that of others, however, I am sharing my experience in hpes that it may be helpful to someone. I did read a post that spoke of attitude making withdrawal more or less difficult. I think this is a big part of it.

If physicians and patients are adequately warned of what they are in for, a more informed choice can be made about Effexor XR. I played around with the class action suit idea, and finally just joined an awareness site and decided to resume living my life.

Good luck to anyone brave enough to try to get off this stuff!!

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Hi everybody,

I was on efexor since 2001(75mg) and after several attempts tried to quit again last month. I am clean now for 6 weeks. The first days were heavy because of the brain zapps and vertigo. After a week or so, they slowly went to the background. But ever since, I still feel miserable, like I am having the flu for a few weeks now.

Can anybody relate to my problems, I hoped most symptoms would be gone by now. I really can't concentrate and am very tired during the day. My stomach says it doesn't want to eat, but I know I have to.

I hoped some would recognize this and could reassure me that it will disappear eventually....

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does my username show?

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Hello,
Thank you all for posting. It is such an encouragement to know I'm not the only one going through these weird Effexor symptoms. Like a lot of you, I had no problems getting from 150 to 37.5 mg, but below that has been a huge challenge. At the high doses I was very drowsy and couldn't get through a day without a big nap. I thought that was just the depression. My mouth was so dry that I got terrible dental issues. My heart rate was so fast I couldn't exercise like I used to and gained 15 pounds (I'm short so it feels like a lot!).

Even going realllllllllllllllllllllly gradually, below 37.5, I would get that feeling...when I turn my head, it was like the world didn't keep up with my eyes or brain fast enough. Eventually, this would turn into the most terrifying vertigo and loss of balance, and puking. Chewing Effexor granules would get rid of this.

I tried fish oil, Benadryl, Gravol, various vits, 5HTP, melatonin but would still get vertigo attacks and some really bad days with dark thoughts. So I'm now on 10 mg of Prozac, which seems to be allowing me to reduce the Effexor without the severe vertigo. I will still feel a little "off", but it is more manageable.

Other things that have helped with the depression issues have been these books: Mind over Mood
The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron
Managing Pain
Also, I have learned and accepted that I cannot work longer shifts than about 5 hours, and only a few a week. I'm learning not to take guilt on myself when really I am angry. Or, if I feel guilty about something, I ask myself if I have the energy to do something about it? If yes, go do it. If no, drop the guilt. It'll get done when my next wave of good energy comes. Patience! Argh!

I've now developed hearing loss, tinnitus and hearing the radio on when it's not. I am wondering if this is also due to Effexor or withdrawal. Anyone else experience this?

I hope this post helps someone. (I am here as a patient, but I also happen to be a Family Physician. I promise to never prescribe Effexor again, unless it is absolutely the last resource.)

Many of you ask HOW LONG? It is disheartening, but I have read some reports of people still feeling the withdrawal for months after their last dose. One woman (and her doctors) thought she'd had a stroke. The symptoms persisted until she tried the Effexor again after 8 weeks. Scary... but not everyone has such a rough time of it.

Blessings,
AnneT

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