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Here is what's working for me. I had to start Prozac to help me get off the Effexor. I am down to 3/10 of the 37.5 capsules of Effexor (I take 1.5/10 twice a day). I take just 10 mg of the Prozac liquid. I must be a fast metabolizer or something. If I miss a dose of the Prozac or Effexor, I get vertigo, but it is manageable.

Without the Prozac, I would get debilitating vertigo and vomiting from lowering my Effexor dose. In order to get out of that state, I would have to take about 3 times the dose I had been on. It was terrifying.

I am dropping reallly gradually now (37, 25, 20, 15 mg on each dose for about a week). I take fish oils (when I remember), various vitamins, and Benadryl and melatonin at night. I sleep well, but have the wildest, colourful dreams!


I feel as though I'm equally addicted to these web sites, as I am to Effexor XR. I have been on 75 MG for about 6 months. I decided to come off for a variety of reasons, one of which I felt like I was losing my short term memory. No one has mentioned it that I've seen, but my friend who is on it went off for the same reason.

Others' stories really help a lot. I went from 75mg to 37.5 with basically no big impact. Occasional tingling in my hands, or a slight brain zap when I shifted positions, etc. I am on day 3 of nothing. I threw up all day yesterday. Horrible. I attributed this to a bug, but maybe not. I'll never know. Today I woke up and felt better and indulged myself by laying in bed til 1. I thought that maybe I was going to be one of the lucky ones, and get off "easy" with withdrawal. As soon as I got up, the tingling in my right hand and the weird brain feeling as I moved around, brought me back to reality. I am going to tough it out. It is Saturday today and I am lucky enough not to have to work til Tues. I am hoping I don't have to take even a little bit more. If I knew for sure that this would be hell for a few more days, then OVER, I'd pay the price.

I thank everyone for posting. It helps. A lot. I too had put on about 12 pounds, but thought it was just normal pre-menopausal weight gain. I have always been very thin, but I am having a hard time losing this weight. I hope getting off the Effexor will help with that, too. We 're all on the same team. Thanks. :-)


I have been reading these posts this morning as I have been thinking of weaning off of Effexor as well. The thing that is a relief after reading is that others have experienced weight gain w/ Effexor. I have put on almost 50 lbs since being on this drug....this does NOTHING to help depression!!! I was depressed enough w/out feeling fat on top of it all!! I can trace back almost to the day (5 yrs ago) that when I started the pills, the weight came w/ it. I was a size 8-10 then...I am an 18 now...UGH.

Anyway - thanks for all the tips that I have read about w/ others that have successfully gotten themselves off this medication. My burning question to those of you that did it - did the weight come off? God I hope so. I read one post that said she lost 20 lbs soon after she quit - that was inspiring!

Wish me luck! I haven't started yet - but now know what I need to do to wean gradually (have been off cold turkey for a week now...starting to get just a little on the grumpy and cry at the drop of a hat side of things! Figure I better take it slow - and love the cocktail mentioned w/ vita-water, benadryl, and Omega 4 - thanks to everyone for their helpful hints!

Goodluck to all of you...and wish me luck as well!


Almost 6 months ago, my doctor put me on effexor xr for depression and social anxiety. I started off on 37.5 then upgraded to 75 mg. After a week the medicine seemed to stop working so he upgraded me on 150 mg and said if the same thing starts to happen then he'd put me on 220 mg but refused to go any higher, luckily i was okay on 150 mg. however, i feel i shouldnt have to rely on medicine anymore so i quit cold turky. this is my 2nd attempt. my first day i was okay, the 2nd, i seemed to have a cold that only lasted a few hours and now i feel like i am high. so far no brain zaps or nausea. I am extremely dizzy, little bit confused and really tired. how long until i am symptom free? i keep telling myself i can do it. i dont wanna give up.


Hello everyone, this is my first post. I have been tapering off effexor for about 2 months.I was on 150mg day for the last 10 years. I seem to be having all of the symptoms everyone is mentioning. the nausea is the worst. If I can get 1/2 pb& j down with a glass of milk in the morning, I can make it. But I was actually starting to think I had alzheimers! seriously, I thought I was loosing my mind, clearly my marbles are already gone. I'm encouraged that it is part of the symptoms. the good news is my sex drive is coming back!! thats the good side of this. I see weight gain as a side affect also, do people loose it? I'm in menopause and that hasn't helped with weight gain. double wammy - what a mess. I had no idea it would be this bad. My chiropractor suggested the fish oil and that helps. I saw on another site that Vitamine E is a must with the fish oil, so I will start that also.

My short term memory seems to be affected. I am having trouble functioning some - and frankly just dont want to some days. I am down to 1/4 of a pill - so ...18mg day?? I teach at a community college, so taking the days off just cant happen. We have some extra days off around thanksgiving, so that is my goal, if not before.

If anyone has any suggestions on the weight loss, please let me know. Its comforting knowing so many of us are going through this! Bless you all!! enjoy the sunshine, and the birds!


Hello everyone! This is my 1st post and I am finding that we all have ALOT in common. This is my 2nd time coming off of Effexor and this time really sucks. The 1st time was back in Sept 2006 when I found out I was pregnant. I quit cold turkey and it was HORRIBLE. At that time I do not think I knew it was "withdrawl" symptoms, because I was more focused on other things and just thought it was something else. I was extremely disoriented and had weird feelings in my head. I cannot really describe how it feels but I felt it then and I feel it now. I was prescribed Effexor XR for severe depression and anxiety and I will say that it did help, but if it is the cause for the extreme amount of weight gain, then I am considering other options. Both times when I went onto the drug, I was suffering SEVERE depression that was causing me to want to hurt myself, so when I asked why they wanted to prescribe that particular drug, they stated because it works more quickly to tackle severe depression while many other drugs take longer to get into the system.

More recently, I went to my doctor because I have gained 20-25 pounds since March or April and because I have been feeling weird. Also, the weight gain is causing more depression. She said that the Effexor XR is probably the cause of the weight gain and we discussed coming off and as well as help to quit smoking. Since December 2007 I have been taking 75 mg XR and she brought me down to 37.5 mg a day while starting me on Wellbrutin XL 150 mg. The Wellbrutin XL is "supposed" to also help with smoking. After doing that for 2 weeks, she then said to STOP taking the Effexor and bump up my dose of Wellbrutin XL from 150 mg to 300 mg daily. All I know is that today is DAY 2 of not taking the Effexor and I feel like I am in a tunnel and I am disoriented. I am trying my hardest to function normally, yet every other second my head feels dizzy and I hear weird noises in my ears. Am I having the brain shivers???????

I absolutely refuse to go back on Effexor XR because I know that it may relieve some of the symptoms but I am still going to endure some form of a withdrawl and I kind of want to just get through this as quick as I can. If anyone has any input on how to get through the terrible feeling that I am having in my head/brain please let me know. I just want to sit in my room in the bed so that way I don't have to be around anyone or even to move.

Any and all comments are appreciated!! Thanks


I also wanted to know if anyone has experienced short-term memory loss from taking this drug?????? It may just be me, but more recently I have had episodes where I will completely forget what I was doing and it will literally take me minutes to figure it out if I do at all.


Hi Thai,
Yes, I have also had short-term memory issues - not sure if it is the effects of the depression, the Effexor or mid-life. I block on really simple words that I know I should know. It is quite embarrassing.

I've had the nasty withdrawals (severe vertigo, vomiting) with even very small dose reductions, so my doctor put me on a small dose of Prozac (10 mg liquid). I still get mild withdrawal symptoms, but manageable. I tried, without the Prozac, to reduce below 37.5 mg for nearly a year, but always had to go back up to 37.5 to stabilize. On the Prozac, over a couple of months, I am now down to 1/8th of the 37.5 mg twice a day. I reduce a tiny bit every week or two. It is tedious, but I'm getting there.

Weight gain...well, I'm with you. Maybe the stress was keeping me skinny, but I've gained 15 pounds over 2 1/2 years (on a 5 foot 4 inch frame). I feel like the Prozac is putting some extra poundage on, too, so I can't wait to get off both. But I'd rather happy pounds over suicidality, and a bit of a paunch over the debilitiating vertigo.

Noises in your ear...again, I don't know if it is the Effexor, the Effexor withdrawal, or something else (I see an ENT in Dec) but I have low frequency hearing loss and buzzing in one ear. I'll let you know what the ENT thinks. It doesn't seem to improve with the lower doses, so who knows.

What dose of Effexor were you on before you stopped? When I am in severe withdrawal, I would chew some granules for faster relief, and usually would need to take even more than usual that day, and then could go back to the 37.5 for a few days.

Keep us posted,


Hello AnneT,

Thanks for the reply. I just talked to my doctor today about the severe vertigo and dizziness, and she said to start back on the Effexor XR 37.5 mg for 3 days and off 2. She wants me to follow that process for 2 weeks and then on the 3rd week she wants me to take 1 dose every couple of days while skipping days in between. This whole process is really irritating me. I want to get off without having to go through these nasty withdrawl symptoms. I was unable to work today because I feel like I am spinning, and my senses are all out of wack.

I did talk with someone today and they suggested Prozac. How did this work for you? Did it provide some comfort immediately or did it take weeks to work?


The Prozac seemed to help immediately. I have read that some people are able to take one dose of 20 mg Prozac, and stop both the Prozac and Effexor after that. Not me! I tried 20 mg of Prozac, then a reduction in Effexor dose, and my mood and energy plummetted and I was nauseated.

I'm now taking 10 mg of Prozac. When I lower my Effexor, I still get a bit whoozy, but it is very mild. Without it, the withdrawals were catastrophic - couldn't walk or drive, and it seemed to get harder and longer to get out of the withdrawals.

I reduce very gradually by opening the Effexor capsule, pouring it on a marked and folded paper to figure out the lower doses.

A couple other things that seem to help:
-Benadryl at night - helps my sleep, and my understanding is that it slows down the metabolism of the Effexor
-Melatonin also helps my sleep
-using brand name (not generic!) Effexor - it may give a more predictable dose. Generic may vary in the actual dose up to 20% either way - enough to make me sick when I didn't even think I had changed doses.
-some have found fish oils helpful. I take them when I remember but can't see an obvious or immediate effect, but I still think they are good for my brain.

I tend to go down the tubes in the winter, so I am trying a SadElite, and going for some Tanning Salon time.

I am trying to get my exercise in when I am energetic, otherwise I seem to get into a sluggish rut. (I feel too fat and lazy to exercise so I get fat and lazy so....) The book "Mind over Mood" by ? Padesky helps me catch my negative thinking and nip it in the bud. Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way" has got me doing the work that I love doing, instead of suffering the stress of doing what I used to feel that had to, or "should". "Your Money or Your Life" by Joe Dominguez & Vicki Robin also helped along the way. I am hoping hoping hoping that with all these changes I may be able to be med free, or at least just on the Wellbutrin alone.

I hope this helps. It takes a long time for the brain to heal, so try to be patient with yourself. (I have to preach that to myself, too!)


P.S. My sleep and energy improved when I don't drink any alcohol, but I admit I find it very difficult to give up my 1 or 2 (or 3) glasses of wine in the evening. I try, I know that the alcohol is not helpful for depression, and isn't a great combo with the meds, especially the Wellbutrin. I wish I had a magic wand to make me stop.


I enjoy reading all of these. I have been on effexor for about 8 years. It really does work. I have tried to come off several times and for me, I can get through the withdrawl symptons. My problem is I get super depressed again so I go back on. The think I HATE the most is the 35 lbs I've gained. When I go off I easily lose about 10 lbs in a couple of weeks. Im sick of being on meds but I need them. I wish there was another drug that worked as good as this but without making me fat.


Hey AnneT,

Thanks for the input. After speaking with my doctor she decided she wants to wean me off slowly. Which is great, however I still don't want to endure the horrible withdrawl symptoms. When I hung up with my doctor and she said to take 1 pill every 3 days, I went upstairs and took a 37.5 pill of Effexor. Within a few hours, I immediately felt better. I still have the whoozy effect but it is nowhere compared to how I felt earlier today and all of yesterday.

I will ask her about the Prozac and see how she feels about prescribing it while taking my health background into consideration.


Thank you all so much for the info. I was only on Effexor 150 mg for 2.5 months. I quit cold turkey Sunday. Today is forth day. I can handle brain shivers..nausea is unbearable! I just took 2 fish oil...Does that help with nausea? God help me. I am going to see my Doc tomorrow. He never told me about withdrawl. I had been using Prozac for 12 years and needed something new. I am pretty sure I do not need anything anymore. Never would have taken this drug had I known about withdrawl. I have eaten very little and have lost 4 lbs in 4 days. Praying fish oil helps. Why such symptoms when only on about 10 weeks? This stuff is lethal.


This forum has been incredibly helpful. It is a relief to know that I'm not alone in this Effexor withdrawal misery.

I am a 23-year old grad student... I started taking Lexapro as a senior in college but eventually it wasn't helping. So a psychiatrist prescribed 150mg of Effexor during my first year of grad school. I was NOT told about any of the withdrawal effects.. perhaps it's my fault too for not doing my own research but I'm so angry about this. Yes,Effexor helped because I was in crisis mode.. dealing with extreme stress and anxiety... so it stabilized my emotions (by "stabilized" I mean... I didn't give a damn about anything. Couldn't cry when I was sad, couldn't feel the highs or lows as I should have...). I decided to go off because my life has become way more balanced following some academic/career decisions... so I truly feel my "depression" was situational. I switched doctors and am now under the care of an amazing family physician who specializes in college students' anxiety and depression. Honestly that has made SUCH a huge difference.. my advice to anyone weaning off anti-depressants is to find a doctor who will listen and talk with you... it is especially helpful to know that my doctor has been on the anti-depressant roller coaster. So he really does understand my symptoms because he's been there himself.

I went from 150mg to 75mg... did 75 for two weeks (felt really great on it.. no weird effects or anything, actually I started to "feel" more, esp happiness). Then I went from 75 to 37.5mg... had mild side effects: pressure behind my eyes (don't know how else to describe it), red face when nervous/anxious. I took my last 37.5mg last Sunday (exactly one week ago) and it hit me hard on the 3rd day... the last part of the week was miserable. By Friday I could barely get out of bed. Here's what I experienced:
-dizziness.. spinning room feeling..
-dry mouth
-crying spells (over anything and everything!)
-constant, dull headache..
-heavy head
-sleep disturbance.. hard time falling asleep, VERY hard time waking up, waking up at least once with night sweats
-facial pressure.. if that makes any sense, does anyone else know what I'm talking about with this??? It just feels so weird.. behind my eyes and my cheeks get really flushed. feels like I'm on fire...
-I'm typically a very eloquent speaker but I have found that it's taken more effort to speak... my speech is definitely less fluid (I may be hyper
-aware of this because of my speech pathology background haha)
-Easily agitated. This is probably one of the worst side effects for me because during the week I work with children & their families.. the children have autism or other behavioral/mental concerns so my current lack of patience is NOT a good thing. I've noticed myself getting angry or irritated over little things that I normally wouldn't care about. Sigh.
-decreased appetite... which I shouldn't complain about I guess :-)

I have a very busy week ahead of me... so I'm really hoping this doesn't continue. I have an appt. with my doctor tomorrow morning... so we'll see what he recommends. To everyone out there... hang in there... it can't be this bad forever, right??? :-)