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    Effexor XR Withdrawal Symptoms
    blackieskid5 posted:
    Has anyone had withdrawal symptoms from Effexor XR? I went from 75 mg per day to 37.5. At that point I began to get slight headaches and nausea. After a week, I stopped taking it altogether, the headaches were the same, but the nausea increased.
    Sw3tflower responded:
    Yes! Effexor causes withdrawal symptoms. That's why you (your doctor should have told you) are supposed to wean yourself off the medication slowly...very slowly. It took me 3 months to completely stop taking Effexor. I would cut the dose back about every 2 weeks by 10-20 mg/day. I was taking no chances and had very little problem. I had tried before to cut back like you did and suffered electric 'zaps' in my brain, nausea, irritability, shakiness, twitches, sweating....... If it still bothers you, you might want to talk to your doctor about taking a very small dose again, and then slowly decreasing the dose until you are medication free. Take care
    jdubsx3 responded:
    Effexor causes SEVERE withdrawal symptoms.. I have been tapering for almost 6 months now & i STILL feel the effects of this drug & my dose is down to 10mg per day. I get the disorientation, sinus-like headache, very vivid dreams, increased anxiety, dizziness, etc. ..sound familiar?? I did experience the nausea when I dropped to a lower dose too fast & I actually did throw up along with hot & cold flashes/sweats. I literally felt like I was dying so don't feel like you're alone. There are so many ppl experiencing the exact same withdrawal with this terrible drug. Hang in there & check out this forum where everyone who is experiencing the exact same symptoms you are posts about them..

    good luck! j-dubs
    lnkee responded:
    Oh yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I recently was laid off and lost my insurance and therefore...2 days ago took my last 75mg capsule of effexor xr. Little did i know the nightmare ahead.

    Yesterday i thought i had the flu. I had sweats and chills and vomited. I later developed the worst headache of my life! This morning the headache was gone, but a new more disturbing symptom emerged. I am actually suffering from this as i type. It feels like vertigo/being drunk/falling/standing up too fast, but it does not go away. It is so scary. I am also very irritable and emotional. one second i am fine, the next i am balling like a baby! For no reason! I was watching Seinfeld!

    Anyways, I hope this goes away. I have been trying to do research and reading up on withdrawl, but do not feel comforted. I do not know what to do. I feel like a freaking nut and can't even go out on a Saturday night because i feel like i am going to pass out or start crying at a joke.

    Today is approaching the end of day 2. I am terrified of what day 3 has in store for me. Effexor is evil! Spread the word.
    JerricaLee responded:
    I know this post is from April, but I was wondering how you are doing. I am now weaning myself off after using 150mg of Effexor XR per day. Is anyone else going through the horrible withdrawals like I am???

    tracyl1965 responded:
    I have been on 75mg Effexor XR for almost six years, I am now trying to wean off of the stuff. I am on second week of 37.5mg, I do have headaches and am having stomach issues as well. I also am having weird dreams and little sleep. I am going to try Kava Kava with it to see if it will ease the withdrawals. For stomach issues I use Ginger Root capsules, they work good.
    momamia0817 responded:
    It has been 2 weeks since I took my last dose of effexor. I tapered off for a month from 150 mg. I had horrible withdrawal symtoms- diarreha, hives, mental fogginess and non-stop brain "shakes". Dramamine really helped with the brain shakes! I drank tons of water with lemon and took nyquil to help me sleep. Now at day 14, the brain thing has completely stopped.....I know longer feel that insane fluttering in my head and I slept last night without the vivid dreams, etc.-stopped the nyquil as well. The hives are almost gone and the fogginess has lifted. I will never take another antidepressant again especially one with withdrawal issues like effexor. I really belive it should be banned.
    jvd9091 responded:
    Inkee, I can DEFINITELY relate! Between having no insurance and my blood pressure, Effexor has been the bane of my existance for the past two months. Last month, my doctor took me from a 150mg a day dosage to zip in 4 wks. and, let me tell you, that has been a very dark ride. Bouts of crying over nothing at all, insomnia, rollercoaster brain, etc. I've been on that evil crap for more than 10 years! You'd think it should take longer to HUMANELY wean someone off of it. I kept complaning about it, she kept telling me I needed. Then, after she couldn't get my blood pressure to stabilize even though she had me on two blood pressure medications, she decided to do a 24 hour urine collection test. It came back saying the levels of norepenephrine, dopamine and two other hormones were critically high. I was never told Effexor could damage my kidneys. Were you? I never saw references made to it in the pharmacy's description page or in Celexa's. To make sure it was indeed the Effexor messing with my kidneys, she sent me for a CT scan to check for masses (read: tumors) on one or both of my adrenal glands. Thankfully, there weren't, but now I had to face trying to get off Effexor. It has been horrible. I know what you mean about the vertigo feeling. It's like your brain is on a rollercoaster ride-- very disturbing. Trying to sleep is the worst, for me, though. Have you had any problems in that area? I have the most vivid, horrific nightmares. Or it feels as though I am walking off a huge cliff and then I startle awake. I also have trouble with breathing. Have you had any problems in that area? And the crying...over nothing. I feel like I'm losing it. Like you, I feel like a freakin' nut case. But ya know what? She wants me to start taking Celaxa now -- another antidepressant. I DO NOT EVEN WANT TO. I am back to feeling angry and hostile, as before medication, and while I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, I REALLY don't want to become a zombie again. I really don't know how to 'fit in'. Maybe I'm just a bitch and should embrace it? I mean, my life wouldn't be a complete failure, would it? It could always serve as a bad example. Seriously, tho, I don't want to take this scarey crap, but by the same token I don't want people around me to hit the road (or me). I have to wonder, is there no other way to control (or learn to control) our problems other than throwing chemically mind altering drugs at us?
    Flowerchild716 responded:
    I have been on Effexor for a little over 2 years. Its stopped working as well as it once did, so my doctor is weening me off of it & starting me on Prozac (I am always wanting to sleep so she said that the Prozac works better for energy.) For over a year, I've been on 225mg of Effexor daily. (150 mg pill + 75 mg pill). For 3 weeks I took only the 150 mg & for a week I did only the 75 mg. Yesterday I was real sleepy. Today is the 1st day i didn't take any effexor & took a 20mg of generic Prozac. I'm experiencing vertigo tremendously; my head hurts btu its not a normal headache, I'm achy & want to cry. I know I maybe should have weened off for a longer period of time, but I'm so sick of feeling depressed & tired, I was anxious to start the Prozac to feel better.

    Does any1 know what to do to help with the w/drawal symptoms? I'm so sick of being depressed & I'm afraid I'll feel like this forever & I'm only [almost> 22. =( Please help. -Colby
    1wayup responded:
    I've been on Effexor XR for 20+ years. I take 275 mg per day. Due to a mix-up in the change of my insurance coverage, my last refill kept getting messed up and consequently, I have been off of my Effexor, cold turkey, for almost a month.

    I have not, thank goodness suffered any nausea. However, talk about being spaced out. Sometimes I have no clue how near or far an object is. The first week, I was afraid to drive. I have problems focusing and things seem to swirl around. I get these flashes of strange sounds that I don't know if they are coming from inside my head or my eardrums. My eyesight is driving me crazy, I can't seem to find a pair of glasses that I can see good with. I've bought dozens of reading glasses and keep searching for better ones. My voice has changed and my throat always feels like its trying to close and I need to clear it. My food tastes have changed. And everything is so very dramatic. A TV ad can bring tears to my eyes and don't dare talk about a poor depraved hungry child or animal. I will wilt uncontrollably. The only good thing it seems however, is that my senses are more intense. I can look at an image on my computer and think it is sooo beautiful with such vibrant and alive color and imagery, or read a poem or hear a song that takes me to my knees. Their intensity is so strong I don't just see them or hear them, but I feel them, taste them, smell them. That sensation I love and hope it remains. Other tan that, I would love to feel my two feet are back on solid ground again and I don't have a clue how long this will last. I know one thing, regardless of what it takes, I don't want to get back on it. I don't want to get back on anything that can so drastically alter the body's physiology, biology and all the other 'ologies' this forcefully, ever again. I cannot believe people kill to get these sensations and all I want is to have it gone.
    conniefl41 responded:
    Effexor is an evil drug. I have been on 150 mgs for the past year. I was told by my dr that this was a low dose for night sweats associated with Menopause symptoms. I trusted my dr and she lied to me. I have since found out that the dosage for menopause symptoms is 37.5 to 75 mg. She was treating me for depression and I am not depressed. I can no longer afford to take this medication so I am having to go cold turkey. This is the SICKiEST I have ever been in my life.
    Carpoolcandy responded:
    I have been taking 150 mg of Effexor XR since Fall of 2008. I started having severe bouts of vertigo in December of that year. At the time, I was also suffering from bronchitis and being treated w/ antibiotics. Everyone considered that perhaps I was allergic to the antibiotic and that's why I was sick. Well, I have had 6 severe episodes of vertigo/nausea/vomitting that have caused me to miss 2-3 days of work each, the most recent ending today. It finally occurred to me that when I am taking decongestants/antibiotics/cough syrups, I don't take my Effexor because I am so busy just trying to get the other medicine into my body. Today, I took my first Effexor since last week and my brain was clear w/in the hour. Holy Cow! I started googling the withdrawal symptoms and lo and behold, I have found all the postings from people that sound just like mine. I can't believe it. I have been to an ENT, an opthamogist, and a neurologist...each of whom could not pinpoint what was going on. Withdrawal from this med causes some serious suffering. I could not drive, feed my kids or even lift my head at some points. The vomitting has been so bad that I could not breathe. I do need the Effexor to balance some other things going on in my noggin, but I do think I may discuss other alternatives w/ my DR. Thanks to all of you who have posted, I have some confirmation for my theory. Thank you and good luck! Merry Christmas too!
    Mimiofone responded:
    I have been taking 75 mg of effexor xr for about 3 years. My doc recently increased my dose by 37.5mg. So for 4 days I was taking 112.5 mg. I didn't like the way it made me feel so I went back to the 75mg. That was about 3 weeks ago. I have since been getting headache, nausea and decreased appetite. Could it be possible that after only 4 days of the increased dose my body is "in withdrawal"? My doc said no because it's been 3 weeks, but I can't find any other cause. I want to come off this medication but I'm afraid my doc won't taper slowly enough. Thoughts?
    jonnychimpo responded:
    (Please note I do think Effexor worked for me in helping stop very severe depression and stave off mild anxiety for a number of years).

    That said, I give you the result and suggestions from my many years of taking and at least a couple times a year suddenly stopping Effexor XR. (btw, people above who are taking *over* 150mg of Effexor, I would have a serious conversation with your doctor about whether the side effects outweigh the symptoms)

    I have 100% experienced these symptoms every time I don't take effexor for more than 1 day. I have been taking for years and just recently decided to permenantely stop. Fortunately, I knew what was coming from times I either couldn't afford my script or just forgot to take it, so I did taper off and prepare myself. Make no mistake, you can't just stop taking this sort of medication abbruptly and not expect to have side effects. It directly influences very important chemical levels in your brain, and the system that keeps that in check cannot fully "fix the situation" in 24 hours - or in effexor's case about 2 weeks (different for everyone though). Effexor is a long term medication - especially if you're taking XR. Just like withdrawal, your body's chemical regulation can't be thrown as far off by short bursts of dosing - unlike having it in your system 24 hours a day (which is essentially the goal of the XR).

    Here are some things to keep in mind:

    1.) If you aren't taking it because you can't afford it, go to your doctor and ask them for samples. It is well known how severe withdrawal symptoms are from effexor, and they will try to help. My doctor gave me a months worth of samples one time because I couldn't afford my script and withdrawal was making me too sick to work or sleep well. I've even had my pharmacist give me a bunch of generics (now that they're out) b/c I couldn't afford my XR script that month.

    2.) Plan at least 4 weeks ahead if you want to stop. If you get XRs, you can open them and reduce the amount of little balls inside to taper off without changing your prescription. There are the exact same number in every pill, and they are directly proportional to the dose. So half of the little pellets in a 150mg Effexor XR = 75mg Effexor XR. You can buy some cheap time release medication (like vitamin C) and dump out those pellets to make new smaller effexor pills. That way if your script is 150, and your tapering off, your 150 script would last at least twice as long. Taper down as slowly as you want or can tolerate. Being a little tough and tolerating some symptoms will go a long way towards speeding up time you get to take your last effexor.

    2.) I've only found 3 (or 4) things that help with withdrawal symptoms, in order of effectiveness: Xanax, Vicodin, Amino Acids (lots of high quality protein and Omega 3,5,7) Cannabis (but certainly the least effective, not worth pursuing if you don't already use it). Now, I know that sounds like a line up of abused substances (aside from protein and EFAs), but it's my honest experience and if you want to feel better without taking any more effexor I would reccomend you try them. Both of them are potent medications but you only have to take low doses for a couple weeks (in my personal experience) to help quite a bit. I took 2-3mgs per day for alprazolam and 2 5/500 Vicodins a day during the first week of stopping cold turkey and it really did help me a.) sleep and b.) function during the day. I wasn't going to take any more than that because the last thing you want to do is get dependent on something else, although I will say I've taken both xanax and pain killers (oxycontin and pure oxycodone) (after ACL surgery) and withdrawal from those is a joke compared to effexor. You feel sad or get a headache.

    I keep saying that half the people I see who are "addicted" to painkillers are either drama queens or just looking for attention - the withdrawal symptoms from effexor put them all to shame.
    jonnychimpo responded:
    !! ALSO !!

    Please note that I did not experience the severity of nausea that others did - hardly any in fact. I have also never thrown up from anything in my life except for food poisioning and viruses, so I am resistant to nausea to say the least. If you are prone to nausea then taking something like vicodin might not be a great idea, but the cannabis (that didn't work much for me) or the dramamine that someone else suggested in this thread may help you more.

    I experienced the general disorientation, severe headache, nerve pulses (the electric sensation), insomnia, immediate and acute anxiety, and emotions that try to switch much faster. These are all pretty obvious things that would happen to your body after you deprive it of primary neurotransmitters, which is exactly what you're doing when you abruptly stop Effexor . It's like reaching into the engine bay of your car, draining one important fluid and then seeing how it's going to run afterwards.

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