Taper off Effexor XR to minimize with...

Taper off Effexor XR to minimize withdrawal symptoms

There are 79 comments on the Los Angeles Times story from Mar 20, 2009, titled Taper off Effexor XR to minimize withdrawal symptoms. In it, Los Angeles Times reports that:

I have been on Effexor XR for the last seven years for depression. I decided to wean myself off it, since it wasn't a good mix with another drug.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Los Angeles Times.

btdt

Courtice, Canada

#23 Mar 25, 2010
You have my take on it that is all I know.
mht

Birmingham, AL

#24 Apr 5, 2010
btdt wrote:
why I am not on pp here:
http://www.topix.com/forum/drug/effexor/TAA34...
ps
I find pp is good for the early withdrawal especialy as there is a lot to learn. Complaints came up as issues people further into withdrawal had were not always welcomed and there we had talked of starting a different site to address protracted withdrawal issues. May happen some day.
Are you Master Demise? I am pretty much freaking out right now. I have been on 150mg Effexor for about a year. If I miss one dose, by 4 hours later I can't see straight because my head hurts so much and I can't keep my head out of the toilet. I have to let the stupid pill disolve in my mouth to stop throwing up. I am not sure I could keep any of the supplements mentioned in this link down. Did you do the steps listed on this site? Do the supplements help? I do like the 5th step of finding a effexor drug rep and smacking the crap out of them.
btdt

Courtice, Canada

#25 Apr 5, 2010
mht wrote:
<quoted text>
Are you Master Demise? I am pretty much freaking out right now. I have been on 150mg Effexor for about a year. If I miss one dose, by 4 hours later I can't see straight because my head hurts so much and I can't keep my head out of the toilet. I have to let the stupid pill disolve in my mouth to stop throwing up. I am not sure I could keep any of the supplements mentioned in this link down. Did you do the steps listed on this site? Do the supplements help? I do like the 5th step of finding a effexor drug rep and smacking the crap out of them.
What is your definition of Master Demise?
I did not do the steps listed on this site. I went cold turkey off effexor after a couple of years of being really sick and no doctor being able to tell me what was wrong with me. Cold turkey was hell but as sick as I was I think it was the only option for me personally. I knew nothing when I quit except nothing else had helped me feel better. Quitting felt a bit better for the first six wks then hard withdrawal hit. The first three months I thought I would die but was use to being sick and thinking I was dying by then. I have read many post on many sites now and it appears if you start before effexor makes you too sick a slow taper is the way to go. As for supplements I started taking fish oil a year before I quit effexor as it was suspected at that point that I had MS. I didnt' and don't however I had all the symptoms.
I am not sure what is going on with you have you had your gallbladder/liver/pancreas checked.
There is something going on.
My suggestion would be to get those things checked. Is dizziness the biggest issue or is the vomiting? If it is both I would try pedialite it is an electrolyte replacement for babies it helped me in the early stages. Nausea I treated with gravol. These things may help.
It is hard to say as there are so many varying causes for the symptoms they change over time. In cold turkey withdrawal one thing would stop only to be replaced by another symptom that was just as bad it is bullshit that goes on far too long still in it after 29 months. Let me say it is better I am not severly sick like I was but I am not well either.
Effexor just keeps on giving.
mht

Birmingham, AL

#26 Apr 5, 2010
Thank you btdt for your post. Master Demise was the username that someone used to post their steps to getting off of effexor. I have read some of your posts and I think I will try to decrease the dose 10% each month. At 150 mg this will take a while, but it will be worth it. I did have a full blood work up about a year ago when I started this awful med. and everything was ok. The first symptom that I notice if I am even 2 hours late taking effexor is slight vertigo and the feeling that my eyes can not keep up with my brain. Then by three hours late I am dizzy and have a headache. Four to five hours I have a massive headache and start throwing up. If I take the pill, about 30 minutes later all the withdrawal symptoms stop. Thanks for the supplement info as well. Now I just have to figure out how to take 10% less of caplets. Mine are not in capsules with granules. I feel like I have gotten myself in the biggest mess, and I wish someone would have told me what a bad idea starting effexor was.
btdt

Courtice, Canada

#27 Apr 5, 2010
mht wrote:
Thank you btdt for your post. Master Demise was the username that someone used to post their steps to getting off of effexor. I have read some of your posts and I think I will try to decrease the dose 10% each month. At 150 mg this will take a while, but it will be worth it. I did have a full blood work up about a year ago when I started this awful med. and everything was ok. The first symptom that I notice if I am even 2 hours late taking effexor is slight vertigo and the feeling that my eyes can not keep up with my brain. Then by three hours late I am dizzy and have a headache. Four to five hours I have a massive headache and start throwing up. If I take the pill, about 30 minutes later all the withdrawal symptoms stop. Thanks for the supplement info as well. Now I just have to figure out how to take 10% less of caplets. Mine are not in capsules with granules. I feel like I have gotten myself in the biggest mess, and I wish someone would have told me what a bad idea starting effexor was.
No I am not that person. I would have more blood work done now to make sure effexor has not adversely affect the organs I have listed. I had pancreatitis fatty liver and liver cysts but at that time had no idea effexor could cause these issues I learned all that much later. Even with these problems none of the doctors suggested to me that effexor could be the cause. It was not till after I quit and did my own research that the jig was up. I think what you have now is all related to being late in taking your effexor but if you do find there is an issue with these organs it is important to get off effexor. I have posted what I think is a good taper method in a different thread here called effexor taper shcedule. I am not too big on supplements and think charles suggestions from antidepressant facts has the right idea of eating well as the symptoms will change all the time as your body heals so you will always be trying to adjust to a new symptom. All this disruption is hard on the body and mind. Another important point is vitamin and drug hypersensitivity that many experience in withdrawal...many supplements can make you worse not better. I found this with magnesium and vitamin B after a few run ins with bad reactions I decided to let the supplement issue rest. Fish oil is a big deal but I have read reports saying it is not good too. So to each their own and buyer beware. I took fish oil for about a year and half during the time I had the ms symptoms... I do not know it it helped at all think the ms symptoms that were very much like parkinsonism reported as a side effect of effexor may have ended on its own with fish oil just by stopping the effexor. I will never know for sure of course. When I stopped taking fish oil it was because I felt it was making my hair and skin oily and I felt better without it at that point. With science being corrupted it is hard to find the facts that are not tied up with somebodies bottom line profit margin and hence corrupted. No matter what the drug or supplement once money is involved I find it hard to believe anything at this point. Jaded.
Teri

Colorado Springs, CO

#28 Apr 27, 2010
trying to quit wrote:
I've been tapering off for months. First from 112.5mg to 75mg then to 37.5mg (all extended release). Then switched to tablets (non extended release) 37.5. Then half of that. Then I resorted to cutting up doses into smaller and smaller pieces until I couldn't really cut them anymore. Finally I thought it was time to let go of that last amount (less than 1/8 of a tablet).
NOW the withdrawals are on strong! What the hell? I thought tapering would lessen the symptoms. I had tried quitting cold turkey before, that lasted ONE day!
Please Please tell me I am going to get through this. I am so tired of cutting up pills like a junkie!
multi vitamins, omega 3, vitamin b...what else is there to take the edge off this misery?
I know exactly how you feel. I have been withdrawing from 300 mg effexor for 2 yrs. what I did is was get a weight measure that weighs milligrams. empty caps out and go down 2 mg everyday, so everyday you are actually taking different doses. I know it sounds scarey but I took effexor in the morning and then about 30 min later I took a herb that is called rhodiola rosea which is for stress. 50 to 100 mg. you will need to buy some empty capsules.I saw this on another site. I was looking for something to help me wean off too. I still have about 2 more wks to go until I am off of effexor. I am about 1/8 of a pill now. I will probably continue taking the rosea until all of the withdrawal systems are gone which I still kind of have but they are tollerable as long as I take the rose. when I don't take the rosea all of the horrible side effects come back. I am hopeing eventually to not have anymore withdrawal symntoms.How long? Who knows! I have been on effexor for 10 long yrs. It has been along 2 yrs but I will never go back on any kind of antidepressant poison. There are tons of natural remedies out there but you have to do some searching. Hope this might help some people that are in withdrawal torment. Good Luck and keep at it!
Annie Sydney Australia

Springwood, Australia

#29 Jul 19, 2010
I have weaned myself from 225mg to 150 to 75mg and now I am taking 37.5mg I am so afraid to wean myself any further as I too have suffered some severe side effects. So glad I can across this forum the other day I thought I was going mad, so teary, but more than that wanting to come out of my head (so to speak) I just prayed that that it would pass. My wonderful husband has had to put up with a lot...Have spoken to my doctor but to no avail his attitude is if his patients need effexor he will prescribe. I even gave him a list of the withdrawal effects...he said "that was just me" please someone somewhere warn these doctors. Thanks everyone.
Hi guys

Sweden

#31 Aug 20, 2010
If ur stuck for effexor xl iv 100 in 150mg iv given them up but hav some left over il giv them for 120dollars mail me on [email protected] ill pay for half postage der in blisters and are capsules made by wyeth so der not generics this is genuine for someone who is on but cant afford them
Hi guys

Sweden

#32 Aug 20, 2010
Plus pay by paypal in goods so no chance of not gettin ur tablets
btdt

Ajax, Canada

#33 Aug 22, 2010
btdt wrote:
I would suggest that eveyone who quits an antidepressant is gets depressed and here is the reason why.
Our bodies make serotonin our bodies have receptors for serotonin it is a natural state.
Noramally the same body part that sends the serotonin into the synaps also sucks up (reuptake) the excess amounts of serotonin.
When we take an ssri (serotonin reuptake inhibitor) the drug does just as the name suggests.(any serotonin that is not used by the receptors is not sucked back up so the receptors are flooded by serotonin.
As a response to the flood our bodies shut down receptors as our bodies do not like to be out of balance and knows there is too much serotonin flooding the receptors. Our bodies also slow or stop making serotonin depending on the amount we are popping in pill form.
So after taking a ssri/snri we have changed how our bodies function normally.(with snri the only difference is the serotonin and norepenpherine are both affected the way I said above so you have double trouble.
Now if you quit taking the ssri/snri your body has no longer making serotonin at the rate it did before you started the med and your receptors are taking up the serotonin as you did before you took the med either.
What do you get when you quit cold turkey?
You get a system that has no/low serotonin and the chemical imbalance theory so well sold by pharma is now a reality. So if you did not have low sertonin before you took the drug you sure have it after quitting cold turkey. Chemical induced depression and nothing will move it... this is why it is so important to ween off slowly. As you ween your body adapts to the lower doses of effexor the time between drops is very important as it is in this time that your body adapts by producing more serotonin and either creating more receptors or upregulating the receptors it already has I am not sure. What I am sure of it this to quit cold turkey will send you to hell in a hand basket I did it I know I do not recommend it. I knew none of this when I quit. I had no idea whithdrawal could last for years I had no idea there was such a thing as withdrawal. I knew I was sick I knew there were no doctors helping me get better.... I thought the drug was making me sick so I quit taking thinking I would get better.
Tho I did go thru hell I still think it was the right choice for me given how sick I was a the time. I still think effexor was making me sick and I had no choice but to quit taking it. I hope other people read the side effects page as if I had known the side effects it would have been obvious I should have and would have quit effexor 2-3 years before I actually did... hence I would not have been so ill. I had no idea of the 30 pages of side effects and doubt most people taking do.
At the end of the day I am getting better effexor was making me sick and in time I will beat protracted withdrawal I am trusting my body to heal itself all I really have to do is keep myself away from stress as much as possible and not take any more psych drugs. This is my path I will let you know how it ends so far it is working. Bad days of course give it time.
bump
Free of Effexor

Denver, CO

#34 Sep 24, 2010
I was only on Effexor for 5 months, and it took an additional 5 months to wean myself off of it. I started by taking my 300 mg capsules every other day for several weeks. Then I cut back to every 3rd day for a few weeks. When I could go 4 days before the dizziness and nausea hit, I started pouring out half the capsule and taking half a capsule every other day, then every 3 days, etc. When I was taking about one third of a capsule every 4 days I stopped. That was two weeks ago. The nausea hasn't recurred but I still have dizziness (although not as bad as before). I have no idea how long the dizziness will last, but at least I'm off the !#?* pills.
Lesa

Santa Rosa, CA

#35 Sep 24, 2010
So if I am already only taking 37.5 mg, what am I going to cut it down to?
btdt

Ajax, Canada

#36 Sep 26, 2010
Lesa wrote:
So if I am already only taking 37.5 mg, what am I going to cut it down to?
Open the capsule with a ruler measure the beads on a piece of folded paper less than 10%
Constance

United States

#37 Sep 26, 2010
Hi guys wrote:
If ur stuck for effexor xl iv 100 in 150mg iv given them up but hav some left over il giv them for 120dollars mail me on [email protected] ill pay for half postage der in blisters and are capsules made by wyeth so der not generics this is genuine for someone who is on but cant afford them
I don't believe it's legal to either give, or sell your prescription,(pills) to others. You can check this out on the Internet, or even from your pharmacist, ok!
Oracle

Los Angeles, CA

#38 Nov 6, 2010
Jimmy J wrote:
I just lost my medical co-pay and I am on 225 mg effexor daily from a severe head injury. I need to remove myself due to the cost of $400.00 mo. Can anyone offer any help or suggestion. I have one week supply at 225 mg.
Thanks
Thes psychiatric drugs just make you worse . t5aking them is similar to having a head injury because they damage your brain .
Check out thr following site http://www.antidepressantsfacts.com
You should also read books by Dr Peter Breggin MD on antidepressants
Oracle

Los Angeles, CA

#39 Nov 6, 2010
trying to quit wrote:
I've been tapering off for months. First from 112.5mg to 75mg then to 37.5mg (all extended release). Then switched to tablets (non extended release) 37.5. Then half of that. Then I resorted to cutting up doses into smaller and smaller pieces until I couldn't really cut them anymore. Finally I thought it was time to let go of that last amount (less than 1/8 of a tablet).
NOW the withdrawals are on strong! What the hell? I thought tapering would lessen the symptoms. I had tried quitting cold turkey before, that lasted ONE day!
Please Please tell me I am going to get through this. I am so tired of cutting up pills like a junkie!
multi vitamins, omega 3, vitamin b...what else is there to take the edge off this misery?
Caffiene might help with withdrawal headaches because it is a vasoconstrictor .Magnesium citrate and coenzyme Q might help diminish the muscle pain and stiffness.
Oracle

Los Angeles, CA

#40 Nov 6, 2010
Why Me wrote:
I have been on 75mg for the last 8 years I have tried weaning to 37.5 then every other day went cold turkey after that had another tragedy and relasped so I back on again. My doc swiched me to Lexipro and that is not doing jack today I feel like a junkie, withdrawel symtoms, depression, this is insane, I want to get off this medicine someone please help me there has to be somthing natural to bring your seritone back to normal levels when they go out of wack.
There is no proof that serotonin imbalances cause depression which is why commercials by the drug pushers aka pharmaceutical companies say it is thought that serotonin... or it is possible that serotonin ... or they use similar equivocal language. They want to impress us with the science behind antidepressants when there is no science . There is however , proof that the long term prognosis of people who never use psychiatric drugs is much better than those who use them.
Peeple think psychiatric drugs work because people get worse when they stop taking them but this is because of withdrawal , not because the drugs work.
Oracle

Los Angeles, CA

#41 Nov 6, 2010
cody wrote:
I've been defeated.
I went back to the full dose of Elevil.
I couldn't do it.
I curse these drugs.
If I could go back in time I'd never have taken any of them. I didn't really need them, now I do ??
Cody,
Look at the long term picture . You will be much worse in five years if you continue taking these poisons than if you stop even though withdrawal is terrible and recovery is very slow.
Oracle

Los Angeles, CA

#42 Nov 6, 2010
We need to spread the truth about these drugs . Whenever we see an article in a newspaper taking about how we need to make sure people take their psychiatric drugs we should email the author and tell them about our experiences .
lynz

Spokane, WA

#43 Feb 25, 2011
Jimmy J wrote:
I just lost my medical co-pay and I am on 225 mg effexor daily from a severe head injury. I need to remove myself due to the cost of $400.00 mo. Can anyone offer any help or suggestion. I have one week supply at 225 mg.
Thanks
you can call wyeth pharmacy and apply for patient assistance if you are below a certain pay grade. they will send you the forms for you dr to fill out.

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