I am looking for any and all advice on tapering off of antidepressants, effexor in particular, and minimizing withdrawal side effects. The ones I've been experiencing are mainly headaches, diziness and what has been described as "brain zaps."
I have read that Benedryl helps. What kind should I buy??
Also, anyone tried to cut out large doses of effexor? I know it might be bad but Id rather put up with feeling really bad for a few days then a little dizzy for months. My doctor said there is no physical danger in effexor withdrawal, just that it doesnt feel good, so I do have the option to go cold turkey at this point (Im already down to about 45 from 225).
Any other pain killers or anything that gets at the diziness? Any advice on tapering/stopping/treating symptoms? Please help. Thank you!
Effexor has a nasty reputation for withdrawling but it works for lots of people so I guess it evens out. I read the person who stops should do it over a period of six months to a year. Make a small dosage change, wait four weeks and repeat.
Major Depressive Disorder With Psychotic Features
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Yes, what they both said ^ .....S-L-O-W-L-Y, and 6 months of slow tapering doesn't sound unreasonable at all. If your doc suggestes skipping days (like take it one day, skip the next) find another doctor. ...in fact.... find a new one anyway maybe. Go back up to a dose closer to where you were when you started getting the brain zaps, with your doc's okay. Or call ER for their suggestions, or an "ask a nurse" line. Good luck. Let us know how this all goes.
I know it feels horrible and feels dangerous, but there is a big difference between side effects or symptoms and actual harm. Do you guys have any scientific evidence or knowledge to cite that there is real harm other than the unpleasantness? I agree that common sense is important and that is why I have been tapering very slowly... but I think it's also important to have some medical understanding. So far nothing you have said makes any sense with my understanding of the central nervous system.
Meredith, I'm so glad that you posted here. You've gone down far too fast and yes, there is the possibility of phsyical and mental harm. For one thing, withdrawal can cause an even worsening of depression, often causing suicidal feelings. Some experience psychotic episodes, memory loss, confusion, irrational behaviors and on and on. Really, you have to wean much more slowly. There's a lot of good information in JB's Paxil withdrawal guide. Much of it relates to Effexor, all except the doses.
To feel better, it's best to increase your dose until the side effects are more tolerable and start to wean from there. Stay at each lowered dose for 2 to 3 weeks. Don't go down more each day or even each week. That's far too fast. It often takes months to completely get off drugs like Paxil and Effexor. Good luck to you. My heart goes out to you. I've tried to warn about withdrawal on this site, several times and am criticized for trying to "scare" people. I wonder, do you wish that you had been informed about just how serious it could be, before it was prescribed to you? I'd be interested to know that.
I hope you can beat this thing. You will start to feel better once you learn how to taper slowly enough and you will heal and be feeling much better. So keep hope alive. You can do it!!!