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  • Efexor/Altven withdrawal....

    How long does this fresh hell last? I had vertigo for 1.5 weeks when I decreased to a half dose some months ago. This vertigo is accompanied by ear explosions like fast-moving motorcycles, and vivid dream cycles all bloody night long. What was your experience?

  • #2
    My experience with Effexor was very similar to yours. Withdrawal took nearly a month. When I tried to cut the dose in half the withdrawal was too harsh, so I cut the dose in quarters, I didn't cut back again until the worst of the withdrawal symptoms were gone or nearly gone. Only then would I cut again.

    Good luck to you. Getting off Effexor was an event to remember.

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    • #3
      Wow. Thanks for replying...gee, I have some fun ahead, don't I? I took myself off a really large dose of Paxil back in the late 90's and had no trouble at all. I would heartily discourage anyone from taking Efexor if it's prescribed.

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      • #4
        I was only on Effexor for a few days. I had to stop taking it because I felt really anxious, with too much energy. I would describe it as "manic", but I don't think that's really most accurate term to use.

        In reducing from Prozac and Lexapro, I would stay at a reduced dose for 3-4 weeks before reducing again. Reduce VERY slowly, including taking every other day or a few times a week when you get down to the smallest dose possible (smallest pill, cut in half).
        Depression Lies

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        • #5
          Originally posted by namelesswonder View Post
          I was only on Effexor for a few days. I had to stop taking it because I felt really anxious, with too much energy. I would describe it as "manic", but I don't think that's really most accurate term to use.

          In reducing from Prozac and Lexapro, I would stay at a reduced dose for 3-4 weeks before reducing again. Reduce VERY slowly, including taking every other day or a few times a week when you get down to the smallest dose possible (smallest pill, cut in half).
          I did it cold turkey, because I was taking the smallest dose of Efexor already and it was in capsule form and not splittable.

          Only good thing is I was all set to get treated for hypertension, and it magically disappeared when I quit the Efexor. Turns out thats' a rare side effect, and I am a rare person. And the dreams weren't so relentless last night and I'm not quite so dopey in the head this morning so HOPEFULLLY it's getting out of my system.

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          • #6
            Oh, when taking capsules, I'd dump out part of the powder for a lowered dose =P
            Depression Lies

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            • #7
              Effexor is notorious for its withdrawal sypmtoms. I've come off a few anti-depressants and know the 'brain freeze' feeling and that sensation of your head being left 2 seconds behind the rest of my body.

              A dear friend recently came off Effexor and said it was horrendous, hers was more feelings of intense rage, night sweats and panic attacks.

              It would be a good idea to stay in close touch with your GP/Psych for this, I don't know if it's better to come off quickly and get it over and done with or to taper, I've tried both. The former was only really when I had a new medication to go on and needed to come off another first, tapering suits me better.

              Good luck in Effexor withdrawal, I hope it calms down soon.

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              • #8
                You know Nameless, I didn't even think of that! Good suggestion.

                Dexy, my GP said to come right back in if I couldn't handle withdrawals. Seems to be easing off thankfully. Dream cycles weren't quite so intense last night, and I'm not zinging so much in the head today. It'd be glorious if I can start losing weight finally.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Shelli View Post
                  Wow. Thanks for replying...gee, I have some fun ahead, don't I? I took myself off a really large dose of Paxil back in the late 90's and had no trouble at all. I would heartily discourage anyone from taking Efexor if it's prescribed.
                  Paradoxically, I got so sick when I tried to wean myself off Paxil they had to put me on Effexor. Then I weaned off Effexor with no problem. I don't know where they get off claiming anti-depressants are non-addictive. I wish I knew what to tell you that would actually help, but you have my sympathy. I ended up being hospitalized my withdrawal was so bad - they didn't believe I could be that sick from Paxil withdrawal so they claimed I had hepatitis. I actually believed them until my father, a freaking veterinarian, told me there was no way I had hepatitis and needed a second opinion.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Violette_R View Post
                    Paradoxically, I got so sick when I tried to wean myself off Paxil they had to put me on Effexor. Then I weaned off Effexor with no problem. I don't know where they get off claiming anti-depressants are non-addictive. I wish I knew what to tell you that would actually help, but you have my sympathy. I ended up being hospitalized my withdrawal was so bad - they didn't believe I could be that sick from Paxil withdrawal so they claimed I had hepatitis. I actually believed them until my father, a freaking veterinarian, told me there was no way I had hepatitis and needed a second opinion.
                    Maybe if they laid out what to expect with antidepressants, and were truthful, they probably would not sell as many. Profit is for sure the bottom line with drugs. I know we're not all equal and we don't all respond the same...but I sure as crap wouldn't want anyone I love to go through this! My son is having depressive problems he can't get out from under and I told him if the doctor prescribes Efexor, I will be protesting.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dexy View Post
                      A dear friend recently came off Effexor and said it was horrendous, hers was more feelings of intense rage, night sweats and panic attacks.
                      That's interesting. I stopped Effexor cold turkey and developed a rage that never went away. It's been well over a year, though, and the rage only got worse as the months went on. I wonder if it could persist so long.

                      And then I find this... SSRI discontinuation syndrome - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

                      If you just solved my problem, I'm naming my first child Dexy.
                      Last edited by Timthetaco; 02-19-2013, 09:05 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Effexor was hard to come off of for me, but I learned the taper routine from a horrific withdrawal from Paxil. For some reason those withdrawals were much worse for me. I think Paxil saved my life, but I felt like it was going to take it in the end! Argh, but that was awful! I'm glad the symptoms are lessening for you a bit now. Good luck!

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                        • #13
                          Sorry to bump up an old thread, but I am coming off Effexor right now and thought I'd search here, and also wanted to tell my story. I've been doing primal on and off (not a good way to do it) for the past 2 years and finally committed to it January 1st. I am 5'1, 112 lbs and lost 6 lbs since then, and have only been measuring body fat for the last 2 weeks in which I lost 3%. It was very hard for the first couple of weeks because I loved carbs but now it's habit and I feel the benefits!

                          Anyway, I started seeing a therapist this year as well to help with my driving anxiety and wanting to get off Effexor.. part of wanting to be clean and healthy. I've been taking 75mg daily for 4 years and the psychiatrist had read that I should go down to 37.5mg for 3 days and then completely off. But to be more conservative, asked me to take 37.5mg for a week and then completely off. The week of 37.5 I was a little dizzy but nothing dramatic and I could still function just fine. 2 days after going down to nothing, I felt like crap. So dizzy that it made me nauseous, hot flashes, very tired, weird 'brain zaps/shivers' as people call them but I call it eye boggling, my eyes (to me) feel like they move around quickly once in a while without my control, if that makes sense. Also if something/someone gets on my nerves - it REALLY gets on my nerves. Seriously thought I was going to punch someone at work and my sister in law thru the internetz the other day and I typically am pretty laid back. I took a personal day on day 3 of coming off and left work early on day 5, only to go home and pass out in bed drooling for an hour and then waking up feeling like I had to puke. Benadryl has helped tons with that and I tried Flaxseed oil as well but not sure how much that's been doing. It's been a week now and only today and yesterday have I noticed slight improvements in how I feel. Eyes aren't boggling around as much, less dizzy, less nauseous. However, starting yesterday I've wanted to eat EVERYTHING in sight. I fasted this morning which seemed to help.

                          Anyway, I am seeing this as toxins coming out of my body and am proud of myself for being done with this drug. Just wanted to post this for learnings as people typically say "I felt like crap" but not for how long or how.

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                          • #14
                            I hope you feel better soon! In my non-professional opinion, your psychiatrist is an idiot. My experience in coming off psych-related meds was that it took several weeks for me to really hit bottom, when the thing would wear off entirely. I would have suggested decreasing the dose only every 3 weeks or more. Otherwise, as you found out, you can really shock your system.

                            I would not suggest fasting during this time. I think your body/mind will need as much nutrients as it can get for full recovery, both now and for the future.
                            Depression Lies

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                            • #15
                              Thank you! Yeah, she had to flip through her book to see what the recommended time to come off was. But she did warn me of the possible side effects, I've learned that some doctors don't think there are any! My therapist said, "I think even a week is too fast but I'm not the doctor.".... ugh. Glad it is slowly coming to an end!

                              I saw your signature and I have IBS too. Going primal has really helped. I do sometimes get the "C" part but only when I'm not eating enough leafy greens.

                              And I know I'm talking about getting off as many prescription meds as possible - but hyoscyamine has been SO helpful when I'm on the floor and feel like I might die from IBS cramps... I'm sure you have heard of it though.
                              Last edited by shieldsl; 02-28-2014, 01:14 PM.

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