I just would like to take this opportunity to warn those contemplating to take Effexor to beware of the severe withdrawal symptoms.
I have read so much of the traumatic withdrawal symtoms of the drug and yet I did not believe because I have the 'don't all discontinuations of anti-depression drugs causes withdrawal symptoms' kinda of thought.
So after taking 150mg of effexor for approximately 5 months, I decided to taper it off over a two week period. Guess what? TAPERING IT OFF SLOWLY didn't work!
I'm going through HELL right now and it has already been over 10 days and still no improvements.
I thought I knew what dizziness and headaches were. BOY, was I wrong, the type you get from stopping Effexor is many many times worse than the normal headaches and dizziness. No wonder some people have given up and went back to take the drug. I don't know how long I can last.
In the past, I've taken Prothiaden, Luvox & Zoloft before and their withdrawal symptoms are like child's play compared to Effexor.
If you don't believe me, go search for effexor discontinuation in the net. You'll find hundreds of sites just solely on the drugs withdrawal symptoms.
I'm not saying that the drug doesn't work. It has worked for many but the price to pay when you withdraw from the drug is simply devastating.
I do not know when the symptoms will disappear but I now that I cannot work at all and I have read that the symptoms my last for several months.
Effexor has got me into a situation that I cannot control and I simply do not know what to do. The least I could do is to warn others.
Current Effexor users, I wish you good luck when you start withdrawing. And you'll know exactly what I mean!!!!!
thank you, finally, someone else. I only took effexor for about 2 mos, but i found that when i drank any alcohol at all, it made me black out and not remember anything for that period of time. It also made me twice as drunk as i was. i know you're not supposed to drink on effexor, but i only did it once, and paid for it. It made me say and do things i wouldn't even say just drunk. it was a very frightening experience. I took my self off of it, and I now i have severe headaches and just an overall feeling of weirdness and malaise. Now i am more depressed than ever, and i don't know what to do with myself. I've tried Zoloft and St. John's Wort as well, and nothing seems to work. I was ok, while on effexor, however i feel i wasn't on it long enough to really feel better. So now, i'm just living day to day, trying to stay as busy as i can. I still feel extremely lonely.
I know exactly what you are talking about. I have been on Effexor now for over a year. Because I do not have insurance it was very hard for me to afford the medicine and I wanted to stop taking it but the withdrawl was so terrible. I am now part of the manufacturers "indigent patient plan" so they send my dr. bottles. My friends, and family could not believe the reaction my body had to stopping the meds. Some compared it to trying to come off heroin. I am now completely addicted to a FDA approved antidepressant. One day I hope to come off the medication I am on. However, I am scared to death. I know how I felt after only a two or three days and I do not want to go back there. The sweating, chills, dizziness, aching, headaches, NIGHTMARES,inability to concentrate, was really just more than I could handle. I wish someone had warned me, perhaps I would have tried another medication first. Although, Effexor has worked well to combat my depression and anxiety I wonder at what price. I am now an addict, no different than any other user of crystal meth, cocaine or any other such substance. What will the lasting effects be to my body, mind and soul?
Hi, I was on Effexor at one time many many months ago.I had side effects with it so I gradually cut back, but it was really gradual. I think you must be nearing the end of your withdrawals. Then again, I don't know how fast or how little you are cutting down. Hang in there a little longer. Thanks Kevin
Hi. I sympathize with those who have had serious withdrawal symptoms when coming off Effexor. I took Effexor for nearly two years with great success and minimal side effects. I tapered off for over a month with minimal withdrawal. The first few days completely off were the most difficult with the typical dizziness, nausea, "electrical shocks", sweating, etc. By the end of the first week I felt pretty normal. I think the key to getting off this medication is SLOWLY. From what I have read, it seems that a two week taper is pretty standard. In my opinion, especially with the withdrawal history of Effexor, this is NOT long enough. I spent nearly a week at each reduced level. I think this is why it wasn't so bad for me or maybe I am just one of the lucky ones. Anyway, to those of you still suffering it does end if you stick it out. Good luck.
I weaned off Paxil twice which is another extremely difficult med to withdraw from. I found when I went really slowly [many weeks]it was much better. Also, near the end when I was down to 5 mg from 20 mg], after a few days I went to 2.5 mg [cutting pill so mg is approximate] for about 5 or 6 days; then I took 2.5 mg and alternated with no med every other day for a while, and then every third day I took the 2.5 mg. This was the only way to do it to avoid killer migraines and other symptoms. I hope this helps somebody.
A little over a year ago my doctor switched me from Pamelor (which was treating my depression effectively)to EffexorXR because of severe gastrointestinal side effects from the Pamelor. I am currently taking the maximum dosage (225mg) of Effexor in an effort to acheive the same level of benefit as I was from the Pamelor. The Effexor has helped my depression somewhat but not to the extent that would justify the side effects. If I miss one dose the withdrawal symptoms are awful - to the point I can not function. And the longer I take Effexor the worse the withdrawal symptoms are. I can even tell it if I do not take my meds at the same time everyday. What makes me the angriest is that my doctor did not tell me about the withdrawal symptoms. So anyone who is considering taking Effexor - demand that your doctor tell you about the withdrawal symptoms and how some people can experience them even just missing one dose!!!!!!!!!
I have a quick question. I too take effexor and am curious. Did you decide yourself without your doctor to taper off effexor? What made you do this? I have heard that when the doc changes you off effexor they can give you something else to help with the side effects of coming off of effexor. Did you ask your doctor about that... I am concerned about this also.
You raised a very good point on questioning me on whether my withdrawal was supervised by my doc. Well, it wasn't.
I tapered off my Effexor medication over a period of 3 weeks. From what I found in the net, I took Vitamin B-Complex and Benadryl while going through it.
My violent withdrawal symptoms i.e. the brain 'zapppppps' 'swwooooossshhh' and vertigo are gone now after three weeks of sheer hell.
There were some sites suggesting that the tapering of Effexor should be aided by a longer life SSRI like Prozac. According to them, the severe withdrawal symptoms of Effexor are due to the drug's relative short half-life i.e. 5 hours.
I posted the 'warning' so that people would be prepared for the withdrawal symptoms and not with any purpose to frighten anyone.
I suggest that you check out the net for 'effexor withdrawl' or 'effexor discontinuation' to find out more about the drug.
It seems that so many people discuss the terrible chemical/physical side-effects of being on, or waning off of Effexor. I have chosen to get off Effexor because of it's psychological side-effects. I am emotionally and sexually numb. And overall, ill-motivated to change anything about this situation. YET -- I have some very good friends that have pointed out these changes and now I am going to take action!
I will start weaning off of Effexor this Sunday. I will simultaneously start excercising regularly, stop putting sugar in my coffee, and taking Ginkgo Biloba. My reason? Because when I quit smoking 2 years ago(after 15 years) I found that by creating multiple chemical imbalances simultaneously in my body, my body did not try to react to one single chemical; but rather, it fought the entire imbalance. My hope is that the dramatic chemical shift in me will create a different reaction than withdrawing from the Effexor alone. I know it sounds strange, but it's not unlike screaming when the rollercoaster drops. It somehow helps you cope with the fear.
I'll keep you posted on my progress. If it works, I hope others will follow suit. Let's face, we need a healthy way out of this.
-Cheers!<p>[This message has been edited by panic12 (edited 07-10-2001).]
Hi all,I too think I am having harsh withdrawls from effexor! I was on it a month and had to stop as I had a severe side effect,I have been off 5 days and started Luvox iten too,I have the headaches from h*ll,massive nausia,wierd dizzyness like my head is moving or the things around me are moving when I am still!I also have a wicked tremor!! My Dr says that it is the withdrawl!Well I hope all us suffering feel ok soon!! Good luck all! Kristi
Hi everyone, I am new here, but not to depression. I have been reading some posts trying to get to know some of you. I want to add to the comments on withdrawl symptoms.
I have had horrible withdrawl from every anti d I was on, and I have been on them all. I found you need to take a lot longer then two weeks to taper off. I still went through withdrawl, but not as bad.
I went off effexor over 2 months ago and I had never been in withdrawl from anything so I didn't know that's what it was. But then I figured out the flu didn't feel how I did. I would constantly shake. I looked like afrozen person but i was hot and shaking non stop. I got electric pulses in my body and my head always hurt and was lighthead and dizzy. I got the flu like symptoms too. But see I did it the hard way. I just stopped taking it one day. I was lucky the withdrawl only took 2 weeks.
But it's funny cuz every dr I went to when I told them my story the drug they pulled out for free sample was effexor EVERYTIME. that's scary to think how hard it is for people to stop something. But you know once you are off it things get better. I like having emotions again even if I don't always understand them.
My doc gets really POd at me for my poor meds management. I've gone on Effexor, experienced good effect, and then of my own volition gone off Effexor lots of times..say twenty.
My withdrawal symptoms aren't nearly as bad as what most of you have described..I am on a 150Mg/day dose at present, but have been on as much as 300Mg/day.
Effexor has been, and continues to be the best AD for me.
With all due respect Dilemna, I don't think that coming to a depression board and posting your entire withdrawal profile is especially helpful.
Effexor withdrawal is different for everyone. For me, it's a day or two of feeling a little out of sorts. It's a damn good AD in my book, abd I'm sure that there are many others that feel the same way.