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Trying to get off or taper Effexor and having a though time? You are not the only one! Seek/Give advice or share your story with the other people suffering from the same problem.

This thread is an extension of the Effexor Withdrawal Tips thread. Please continue posting within this thread.


Unbelievable - that's all I can say. I have been reading dozens of posts relating to Effexor XR withdrawal syndrome and I am so grateful to have found you all. I have been on antidepressants for eight years and Effexor for at least 3-4 years. I have made several attempts to get off this drug, always unsuccessful, and I didn't understand why until now. The withdrawal syndrome was always so severe that I thought I "needed" the drug. Now I understand that is not the case. I have spent the last month gradually tapering and 3 days ago went from 3.75 to zero. Big mistake. Today I took a dose with about 10-20 granules in the capsule to ease the horrible symptoms of those electrical zaps to the brain, nausea, frequent trips to the bathroom, emotionally labile behaviors, among others. Physical exercise, prayer, talking to my spouse about it, all these things help. And all this time I thought I was just a bad worker because I couldn't do my job! At least now I know better. I would try Benadryl but I am afraid I will fall asleep at my desk! I may have to go the extremely slow withdrawal route with the time-release granules to get the rest of the way through this journey. It's great to know I'm not alone.

Jen in Arkansas


I just want to give hope to anyone trying to stop taking anti-depressant medicine. It can be done. Yes it's hard. Things that help: Go very slowly, listen to your body-take as little medicine as possible. Try deep breathing. Drink lots of water(I liked ice water best) If it gets really bad-sleep. It won't go on forever(It will just seem like it)Online research helped to give me ideas of what to try. YOU are your best judge of what to do. Dr's are only human-they don't know you like you do. It took me about 2 weeks to not feel horrible. Try to distract yourself-reading, puzzles, TV, etc. be patient.(Yuck the P-word) Have a sense of humor! Write, Write, Write all the feelings out it's the best therapy there is !! Cheaper and better than a therapist! If you realize what you are feeling and start to think about why you can do something about it. I hope this can help someone like others helped me. Good Luck.


It's been a tremendous help to read all of these posts. I have been on Effexor since 2000 for mild anxiety. About 6 years I was put up to 150mg and that's where I've been since then. I have tried so many time to get off of this stuff. I have gained so much weight. My biggest worry is knowing what lay ahead of me, having experienced these symptoms, and knowing I have a four year old daughter to take care of. Granted her Dad is here to help, but a little girl sometimes just wants her mommy.

The newest method I'm trying: 10mg of Prozac in the morning with 150mg at night one day, then 112.5 the next, then 150mg and so on. However after reading all the posts, I think I might try the wet finger method.

I am so afraid. I can't afford to stay home for two weeks. Can't risk telling my boss off. I can't (absolutely can't) take the nausea and spins. I'm hoping it works this time. I'm scared. I wish there were some detox program you could enter for a weekend and be done with it. I would be willing to take a loan out for something like that.

Well, here goes nothing. I really hope it works this time. Fifth times a charm????


Day 3 of wet finger taper method. The first day I kind of felt yucky but didn't know if that was related to the prozac (only one dose) taken four days ago. The prozac made me feel symptoms so I stopped taking it altogether after that first dose.
Anyway, that's not as important as what I have found that HELPS! I did some more online research and came across the Road Back program. Now I don't know about you but I don't have $170 to buy this group of products so I took the concept and did my own thing. I already had some Omega 3 so I began taking it and the neurologic withdrawal side effects went away within an hour. So today, after having done the went finger method with one finger's worth, I decided to take two fish oil pills this am and one at 4pm. I feel the best I've ever felt withdrawing from effexor. I really do think it is the fish oil. Tomorrow I plan on buying some barley. I hear that helps as well. I'm going to keep going and hopefully, I will only have good stuff to share.


Still going strong!


please try the fish oils! I went through weeks of the most horrible withdrawl symptoms from Lexapro (which works on the same mechanisms as effexor) after I took 3 fish oil pills I felt absolutely fine.


Thank GOD i have found this thread - it may well be a lifesaver.

I have been tapering off my effexor for a month now, and 3 days ago took my last dose. Holy heck - I have electric shocks in my chest, want to dry (NOT my thing at all), dizziness to the point where I'm afraid to drive, and can't concetrate on anything at work. I'm in finance and it's end of financial year - not a good combination. It probably also doesn't help that this weekend we went to see the inlaws-from-hell and my stepdaughter is visiting.

Anyway, I'm going to go get the fish-oil tablets on my way home this afternoon, and hope that they work. I'm convinced that my depression is a thing of the past, but the discontinuation is just horrible.

And to be fair, my doctor was very clear on how severe it could be - both before prescribing Effexor, and when I told her at the beginning of 2008 that it was my goal to come off it this year.

Still, I can be positive about this - I've been 'clean' of Effexor for 2 full days, and this is day 3. That's something I guess.


The effexor withdrawals are terrible especially since I had no alternative but to go cold turkey. Initially effexor was the answer to my prayers and I became a normal functioning human being. However after being bumped up to 375mg, I found the last 2 months I was struggling with terrible side effects. My period started coming every 2 weeks, fluid retention was terrible that I could hardly walk at times, swollen hands, unbelievable sweats and a huge weight gain of 30kg's since October 2007. Then in the last 2 weeks I developed hives and weeping welts. Stopped the effexor for 2 days - the condition lessened. Took one dose last Thursday of effexor and symptoms reappeared. So no other alternative than to go cold turkey as I was allergic to effexor. So the withdrawals started immediately with head swooshes, vertigo, nausea, irritability, and nightmares and vivid dreams. I am now on Day 4 of no effexor and the ways I have coped have been Benadryl a childrens dose about 3 times a day and initially Valium 5mg's for Day 2 and 3 at night. Then I thought this is rediculous substituting effexor for valium and decided to take 25mg's of phernergan instead fo the valium. Well after doing this on Day 4 I feel a lot better than yesterday. I don't have the continual nausea and dizziness of the last 3 days. No I am not completely symptom free from effexor withdrawals but at least I feel like they have halved. I am now kind of reluctant to try another antidepressant after this process so will be monitored to see how my mood is. Look going cold turkey really isn't the way to go in getting off effexor, but when you are left with no other alternative like I was due to developing an allergy to the tablet then these things may help lessen the withdrawal symptoms. May I say a lot of things are researched as I am a nurse and very particular about what I use so I haven't just pulled things out of the hat. These things are helping me, but they may not be your answer so don't take what I am saying as gospel that they will help lessen your effexor withdrawal problems.


I was only on it for 8 1/2 months, but it really did a number on me...
I would NEVER endorse this miserable drug. I had unbelievable night sweats and a huge weight gain of 30 pounds since October 2007, swollen hands and legs, I also had developed extremely painful neck muscles- which I thought were swollen glands, but my doc told me it was most likely from clenching my jaws constantly. (He didn't figure out that the Effexor was causing the clenching tho...) Well, since off the Effexor I don't clench, and the pain is Gone!!! What a relief :-D

I got off Effexor in a week's time. YES, its possible! It seems silly to me to draw this "weaning" out longer than 2-3 weeks tops! You just have to take alternate meds to counteract the withdrawl Valiuum or Xanax, benadryl or dramamine, and definitely fish oil and a good vitamin with extra B complex. Even Alcohol and Drug abusers are prescribed meds to help them with withdrawl symptoms and cravings for the drug. ( I will admit that I am a nurse and have seen these withdrawl symptoms). Your just dragging out your own misery by doing the "wet finger" method, or taking a few bead out of a capsule at a time.

I don't have the continual nausea and dizziness as I did the first 4 days of tapering from 150mgs. to 75 mgs....Then I went cold turkey off 75mgs on day 6, I am now on Day 5 of no effexor and the ways I have coped have been multi vitamin with extra B complex twice a day, 2 fish oil caps every 4 hours, Benadryl 50 mgs. every 6 hours, (which I am accustomed to now, so absolutely NO drowsiness at work!) and Valium 10mg's 3 times a day. If I forget to take the valium or benadryl, my body reminds me with brain zaps (although significantly less than initially) I take ambien for sleep at night and have been sleeping better than I have slept in the past 8 months....and I took the ambien during my effexor treatment also. Best of luck to all of you trying to get off this c**p....


I have been on 450 mg of Effexor XR daily for over 7 years. I recently asked my docter about what medicine changes I would need to make if I got pregnant. As I suspected, he said I would have to switch from Effexor to something like prozac (which didn't help in the past). I know from experiance that stoping the effexor cold is horrible. I can relate to the other posts reporting shock like sensations in the chest and head.

Before reading this site, I thought that weaning off effexor would be easy as long as I took my time, but now I'm wondering how much time this will actually take! I have worked with my doctor to try to reduce my dose in the past, but I stoped trying when I felt the withdrawl symptoms.



This is my first post here, i have been searching for somewhere that can help me get off this medication, that yes made live liveablefor me but has not reached a point where it fully controls my life, my relationhips, my ability and energy.

I am a mother of 8, soon to be 9 , as im 4 and half months pregnant, I been on efexor as an alternative to Serzone, since 2001. i was originally diagnosed with Post Natal Depression.

I have not ben depressed for 3 years at least but can't get off Efexor because of the withdrawal.

I have the worst mood swings, nightmares, anxiety attacks and if i take it at 150 mg i feel so so so numb, no feelings at all, cant cry, dont feel love, nor hate, or anything in between, that lack of feelings towrds ppl and life and lack of energy or enthusiasm for life ha cost me dearly and my poor wonderful husband wonders about me sometimes, although he refuses to accept its the meds.

I want to begin getting off but i really need help and support, i live in africa away from extended family and friends, not in the west so theres no access to up date pysch's. please give me some advice, im desperate.



Hello everyone! To everyone who thinks you can not get OFF can! First, let me say, effexor saved my life during a time when I was really down. Not only was I peri-menopause, but both my son and daughter had left home for college. I was so proud in one moment and bawling my eyes out the next. I took effexor - 75mg - for 7 months. Yes, it helped greatly. However, in that 7 months I gained 20 pounds, never shed a tear, had no sex drive, and was basically emotionally - DEAD! I was neither happy or sad! Simply did not matter. I functioned! It was to the point that I knew I wanted to regain simple emotions. I wanted to smile...I wanted to cry....when I wanted to.....not because a drug would not let me. I also missed the feelings of affection for my husband of 27 years that I had always had.

I began my tapering off with 75mg one day, skip, 75 mg, skip, skip, 75 mg, skip, skip, skip....Anyway, to make a long story short....on a Saturday I took my last effexor and felt fine until Wednesday.....then woke with a great case of vertigo. Took anti-vert and stayed home from work that day and by the next day I was back at work with NO problems. It is now Friday night and I have spent the night cooking out on the grill with my husband, looking at the stars......and smiling, laughing, and crying!!! Foe God's sake all of you...there is NOTHING wrong with shedding a tear.....I NOW shed tears for BOTH happiness and sorrow....and appreciate it! Is life I will...God willing....wake up in the morning and walk outside and look into the beautiful sun rising.....and thank God he has walked this journey with me.


I thought it said "Effexor Withdrawal TRIPS".... that made me laugh, because that is the perfect description of it, if you ask me.


Thankyou, thankyou to you all............

After coming off 75mg to 37.5 without any great problems, thought 37.5 to 0 would be fine.


All the symtoms have left me feeling that I can't cope life without drugs.

All these posts have made me strong again and this is JUST withdrawal not my inability to cope.

I have never been happier to fine a chat forum.