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Successfully beat Effexor withdrawal - Here is how I did it:
rcn400 posted:
This is a Success Story and Instructions on Beating Effexor Withdrawal. I spent hours reading these forums and found that there were many, many posts asking for help but precious few with any answers. I believe that this was largely because when people finally beat Effexor withdrawal, they simply didn't have reason to come back to the forums and therefore never reported their success and how they achieved it. I promised myself that if I found it, I would come back and share it with you.

I had some rough Effexor withdrawel and like each of you, I was in a very bad place. After having been on 150mg per day of Effexor XR for the better part of 12 years, I finally decided it was high time to stop. I weaned off as per my MD's instructions, over a period of about 6 weeks. Sure enough, after the final 37.5 mg, the withdrawal started.

I had daily "brain shivers." That is, when I turned my head, it felt like my head was turning in delayed waves, even after I completed the motion of the turn. This was, for me, the worst of the symptoms. I also had the "crying for no reason" symptoms and the "quick to anger" symptoms as well. I really feared that this would go on for months or even years.

Now I don't mean to be preachy, but I really believe that without the careful nutrition and exercise that I am about to outline, my success may not have happened, period. So I cannot say whether you will have success at all if you choose a different diet and exercise plan.

As a point of reference for the quantities that I am outlining, I am a male, 48 years old, about 5'8, 165lbs. I did the following and within about three weeks, I began to feel normal again. It has been two months now and I am feeling fine.

First, NO sugar, period. I love sweets and I love sugar. No sugar. That means no soda as well - drink water, a lot of water. You are flushing serious toxins out of your body, you don't need to add more crap like sugar to the problem.

Exercise every day, at least until you beat this withdrawal. I did a lot of elliptical exercise to get my heart rate up. It made me feel better and it lessened the "brain shivers"--my worst symptom. So walk fast, or run, or do whatever you can to get your heart rate up. At least 20 minutes worth.


Every morning - Take a daily Detox supplement from a quality health food or supplement store. They will help you select it. This will pull the residual Effexor from your cells and allow you to excrete it.

Take strong Omega 3 capsules (fish oil), I used 1200 mg gel caps. I took four in the morning (and three more in the afternoon). Buy quality supplements from a quality health food store, again, they will help you select.

I also took 20,000 ml. Vitamin D3 drops. Again, get a quality product (in olive oil if possible).

Take a quality mulit-vitamin.

VERY IMPORTANT: This next step is what I personally believe was the main ingredient that made the withdrawal symptoms start to fade, and then completely fade: Fresh Ginger.

Put fresh Ginger root in a smoothie. That is, in a blender add 8 oz Almond or Coconut Milk (find it next to regular milk at the grocery store). Add fresh strawberries and blueberries or whatever HEALTHY ingredients you like so that it tastes good. Next, grate about two tablespoons (yes, a lot) of fresh ginger and add this to the blender. I truly believe that it is the Ginger which is the secret! It really made the "Brain Shivers" fade and then stop.

Afternoon - I took three more capsules of fish oil and three capsules of Ginger Root (you find this in the vitamin section). Eat healthy for lunch, period.

Dinner - Primarily, Eat Salmon, it is VERY high in Omega 3s, which you need a ton of right now. For sides, eat fresh vegetables. No junk food!

This worked for me and I am thankfully feeling fine now. But make no mistake, your body and mind are at war right now, so you MUST bite the bullet and do the hard work to beat your Effexor withdrawal.

Best of luck and God bless!

Rob P.
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lori1947 responded:
Thank you for posting this. I have been on Effexor for about 10 years. Previously I was on Paxel and I stopped that on my own cold turkey. It as hell so I knew better this time. I have been on three 37.5 mg pills a day. and just reduced them to two pills a couple of days ago. I am already having the nightmares. I didn't realize I was having sides effects until I started on my sleep apnea machine and the doctor told me I was restless because of my medication. I went home and looked up the side effects and realized I had been have about eight other side effects as well and never realized it was because of the medication. I thought that was just how a depressed person felt and didn't realize I shouldn't feel this way. I immediately went to my doctor and said rather than changing I wanted off. I plan to exercise and have been researching foods and supplements that help with depression and hope this eases the symptons of withdrawal. I have never had the brain zaps everyone talks about and they are scary but it's equally scary to stay on this medication. I want my life back. I will definately ad the omega three and ginger. Thanks for all of the suggestions. I will gladly appreciate any help I can get.
Leesypcgc responded:
Hi Rob P.

Allow me to offer my thanks for the time you've taken to outline your plan of success. It gives me confidence to have some structure to work with (particularly in regard to eliminating the sugar).

Kind regards,

Lisa P.
nutritiongirl333 responded:
Thank you so much for this great advice! I am quitting Effexor "cold turkey". I have been on 75mg for only 3 months. I have found that 2400mg of fish oil 3x per day is helping my brain shivers, dizziness and nausea, as well as B complex 4x per day. When I am nauseous, I hate to drink water but I find that ice water actually helps my nausea as do hard boiled eggs.
rob3r7o responded:
Hi. I have suspended Effexor 75mg without scaling the medicine. Now is 1 month and i want to say that the omega 3 3000mg day 400 vitamin E are very helping me. In this month I have got 10 days of violent problems but now the problem are fading.
soulmate98 responded:
Thanks for taking the time to let us know what has helped you. I was on a 7 month schedule for weaning myself off and I've been completely off 4 months now. Is it possible to still have the effexor in my system cause for about a month I've been having a feeling like something bad was going to happen and since last week it's been constant, mornings are THE WORST for some reason, my stomach burns like I'm hungry but no appetite, I feel sick, going to the bathroom a lot (tmi sorry) tight chest feeling, anxiety, overwhelmed and an overall feeling of dreadfulness. I was on Effexor ER 75 for 15 years and I'm a 48 yr old female 5'1" about 122 lbs. oh gosh I hate to give up my one Pepsi a day but I will do my best to follow your advice, again thank you for taking the time to follow up on your experience and journey, God Bless.
mwilder1025 responded:
To begin with I am beyond determined. I am a 25 year old mother to a three and a half year old. I have been on Effexor Rx for a little over a year now. My final maintenance dosage was 150mg. I am now on day 4 cold turkey. I had been contemplating lowering my dosage for sometime. My life was going well and I felt like it was time. I had had a few fights my boyfriend about it and a few days ago I decided to just go cold turkey. Probably not the best way to begin a withdrawal from antidepressants. But hey. Like I said, I am determined. My daughter shouldn't see me taking pills everyday just so I can be happy. I have been keeping a journal of side effects. Dizziness, tiredness, insomnia, upset stomach, sweating, electrical shocks in my ears and hands and of course my mind and my body are not going the same speed. Thank good ness I have only cried once and I have been able to catch the anger I feel trying to rise from me for no apparent reason. I have no desire to bridge my withdrawal with Prozac. Why get off one thing just to take another. But the horrors I have found online have almost lead me back to the last few pills I have in my medicine cabinet. But I strive on. The only thing helpful I have found, that is until I stumbled upon your post, and a real website, were the comments on supplements. I now take a multivitamin a b complex a fish oil with a d3, that I believe I will increase due to your advise, and will be aquiring St. John's wort as we'll. the comment on no sugar surprised me at first but then I took a look at my diet the past few days. I am beyond thirsty, water is the only thing that will quench it and not make me I'll. and I have no desire for junk. There is a box of oatmeal cream pies in my refrigerator right now that would normally have been gone weeks ago, but they tempt me not. I crave salads and protein and raw foods. Lunch was a homemade vegetable egg drop soup with a kale and Brussels sprout salad, and it was really hit the thanks to you and my endless supply of herbal teas I am steeping an organic spicy ginger tea now. I am beyond thankful to hear that someone else out there was able to kick this crap in a natural way. I know I have a long road ahead of me but I am so greatful to have some real and helpful advise. And exercise is a given. I have a 3 year old. Lol. But I thank you for your story and will continue to stay determined. If I think I can then I can. *4 days strong*
glammagee responded:
Thanks for this info. This is day five without Effexor. Worst symptom is the brain zaps. This is my third day of them. I am going to add the supplements and try to get back at exercise. I was on the med for five years for hot flashes. Sadly did not do my research on this drug!!
kkbugs replied to mwilder1025's response:
Hi there

How are you feeling now?

I've just started taking 37.5mg every day - couldn't go to work yesterday as I felt like I was dying, couldn't move and just wanted to be sick, feeling a little better today, well made it too work but I'd love to hear how your doing now!

Katy x
kkbugs replied to glammagee's response:
Hi Glammagee

How are you feeling now? Are you still off Effexor?

Did you try the supplements and did they work?

Would love to hear how you're getting one!

Katy x
An_264329 responded:

Thank you so much for your post.I have only taken this medication for 3-4 months, but I have had terrible side effects throughout. I've tapered with my Dr.'s instructions down to the 37.5, and like you, experienced the terrible side effects. It felt like the flu, but worse. Since I have read your post, I have taken the Omega 3 when I feel the brain shivers (2 times today). They subside immediately. Also, I have a beta blocker for the rapid heart rate and I've been drinking a lot of water. Thank you, thank you. This is so helpful and will hopefully give more people hope in getting through the withdrawal.
MightyGidget responded:
Thank you for taking the time to share what worked for you. It gives others hope. As such, I would like to share that I am a 49 year old female who was on Effexor (37.5 mg ER) for 4 1/2 years. The dosage was increased to 75 mg after two years when the abusive relationship I was in was revealed and I began to demand that situation change. "During this extra stressful time" my male counselor recommended increasing the dose to control the fully justified anger and resentment I was starting to vocalize. After 6 months I weaned back down to 37.5 mg on my own bc I was also resenting that I was being medicated to deal with HIM.
I had some "electrical shocks" etc but the changes was not too bad.
6 months later I had decided I had totally had enough of this med and went cold turkey thinking I would probably only have the same level of withdrawal as last time.
The last 37.5 mg withdrawal was HORRIFIC!!!!! Nightmares, joint pain, electrical shock, name it, HORRIBLE!
But I had strength to continue because of articles like yours. I thought to go back on it but these articles said that it would only restart the withdrawal process.
I started taking the fish oil and doing the daily exercise as recommended. At the same time, I tried to be "kind" to myself and not ti push myself too much. Realize how much your body is going through and rejoice in each day that shows an improvement. I am a full week into this and find the hellish nightmares and joint pain have gone away. I feel like I can see clearly for the first time in a long time. I have not felt unreasonably angry or depressed - for what I have going on, the justified emotions are being expressed.
For anyone trying to come off this stuff....hang in there. It WIll GET BETTER. Since I did this basically against medical advice, I put a few trusted friends on notice "just in case". They have all seen a change FOR THE BETTER in me.

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