Venlafaxine Effexor withdrawal

Postby future » Wed Jul 19, 2006 10:01 am

Hello there,
My husband is currently on a withdrawal programme for venlafaxine (awful stuff to come off as most of you probably know) I think we have found a really good programme of reduction and up to now the symptoms are minimal. It is a controlled reduction. I thought it might help others who want to know how to come off the drug and also I would appreciate any advice from people who have been through it as we are currently into week 3 of an 8 week reduction.

My husband was on 75mg a day. Venlafaxine XL which is modified (slow) release which is why you cant stop it all of a sudden because your body is used to having some of the drug in its system every minute of everyday!

You have to introduce a venlafaxine TABLET that is only 37.5mg and NOT modified release. this allows you to start spacing your capsules at 36hours apart by taking a small tablet at the 24hr mark when you would normally have your next capsule. Then you start reducing the amount of the tablet inbetween by half then quarter then nothing and re-introduce it when you space the capsules to 48hrs apart and so on...I can send anyone who is interested a copy of the programme. They also do one for higher doses.

I have also put my hubby on EPA fishoil and st.johns wort twice a day to help, also some ginseng to give him more energy. So far so good! he has had a few dizzy spells and sweating alot and the odd 'brain zap' but nothing as bad as when he used to forget to take a capsule! He dpoes have restless/twitchy legs at night and keps biting his tongue when he asleep and I would say he is getting easily angry at the moment in week3 but is still managing to go to work. I am keeping a diary of what happens so if anyone does the programme you can ask what to expect at certain times.

If anyone HAS done a similar reduction I would love to know what to expect in the future please? Like when he drops the capsules altogether in week 7 and just has tablets. Also after the 8week reduction will the symptoms go away or continue for some time even though he has done a controlled reduction? any news appreciated and I will keep updating incase anyone is interested!

I would never advise anyone to go onto venlafaxine there is actually a pertition trying to get it banned! Simply because the withdrawal is so bad.
Last edited by future on Tue Aug 08, 2006 5:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#1

Postby lindsayloo » Sat Jul 22, 2006 10:35 am

I came of venlafaxine about three months ago. I was absolutely dreading it because of all the horror storys i'd heard. I was on 150mg m/r for about 18 months. My dr was really good & cut it down over about five weeks or maybe more can't remember. :oops:

i think it helps to have a dr who does believe it can cause problems in withdrawal. I saw one dr who told me to stop it dead after 75mg. i was soo glad i went to see another dr (cos i was worried) and he said no go onto 37.5mg for one week then take it alternate days & then stop. He told me if i experienced bad symptoms i could go onto prozac to help the withdrawal. I'm pleased to say apart from feeling slight nausea i found it easy to come off.
Good luck cos i suppose everyone is different. Take care LindsayX
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#2

Postby Michael Lank » Sat Jul 22, 2006 11:37 am

You might like to have a look at Venlafaxine withdrawal information.
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#3

Postby future » Tue Jul 25, 2006 11:08 am

lindsayloo: thanks for the reply. I havent had many replies so perhaps there arent many people trying this type of withdrawal. I am glad it went ok for you. I have read that some poeple get a few funny dizzy speels even months after finishing their last tablet? We are halfway through the reduction now and my husband is taking a 75mg capsule every 48hrs with a 37.5mg tablet at 24hrs intervals inbetween. This week we start reducing the tablet in between. by the 9th August he will be down to just tablets on their own and no capsules! yay! He is still having mild brain tremors (he says it feels likes someone grabs your brain and shakes it!) but it doesnt seem as bad as I thought, at first he was very down but seems to have levelled off now, we have tried doing positive thinking and visualisation (having watched those excellent lectures from harvard that were posted! on positive psychology) I will keep updating as we reduce more incase it helps anyone. No-one has asked for a copy of the reduction programme so maybe there is no-one else left on the stuff! ha ha. take care xxx
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#4

Postby future » Tue Jul 25, 2006 11:10 am

[quote="Michael Lank"]You might like to have a look at Venlafaxine withdrawal information.[/quote

thanks Michael Lank. it is an excellent website. That is where we got the reduction prgramme from originally then took a copy to our doctor who endorsed it fully!
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#5

Postby lindsayloo » Tue Jul 25, 2006 9:32 pm

Glad it is going ok for your husband. I did experience the brain shivers but they were more of a strange feeling than an awful experience. I think venlafaxine isn't used as an antidepressant of choice. In the BNF book we use at work ( the one drs px from) it says its for depression that hasn't responded to other treatments. Must be because they know its not pleasant to come off. That said i found it worse coming off sertraline, I had some form of fit with that :? Is your husband going to try another medicine? Take care Lindsayx
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#6

Postby future » Wed Jul 26, 2006 8:24 am

lindsay loo: My husband was just put straight onto them after he went through stress from breaking both his arms??!! no other pills were tried and I dont think he really ever needed them, he was also told not to worry because they arent addictive etc...typical!! He's been on then 5 years now because he simply couldnt get off them! thank goodness we now have a reduction plan! I think we are going to try the herbal route after this. Maybe 5htp and carry on with the EPA fishoil etc. Do you find any supplements help you? Thanks for your help. take care xxx
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#7

Postby lindsayloo » Wed Jul 26, 2006 9:41 am

thats strange my GP told me venlafaxine wasn't a first line treatment! Five years??!!!!! gosh thats a long time to be stuck on them. I have tried 5HTP before i originally went on medication, unfortunately they upset my stomach so i didn't carry on with them. I have heard good reports about them though.
I kind of tried fish oil, but didn't feel the benefit, but then i don't tend to stick to things long enough. Its good you have a plan, It's nice you are supporting him so much, my partner doesn't really get involved other than to say do you thing you might be off tablets soon? :roll: take care Lindsayx
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#8

Postby future » Thu Jul 27, 2006 3:23 pm

hi again! I know its hard to stick to herbal remedies, im terrible for it! usually last about 3weesk then forget to take one and thats it! But I am on my husbands case everyday! I almost put them in his mouth :lol: so he doesnt really have a choice! Its a shame you arent getting much support from your other half, as it can be a lonely place on your own? I find it really helps my husband if i try and make him think positively in the mornings and last thing at night as its hard to make yourself do it when you feel down but having someone else support you is a real help I think. I hope you find you are feeling better? xxx :lol:
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#9

Postby twisted illusions » Thu Jul 27, 2006 6:42 pm

I was forced to cut from 225mg cold turkey :( . so my experince prolly wont be that useful, but what I found helped was to just take it easy and not go out or do anything, till the withdrawl effects go away.
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#10

Postby jurplesman » Fri Jul 28, 2006 6:06 am

future wrote:I think we are going to try the herbal route after this. Maybe 5htp and carry on with the EPA fishoil etc. Do you find any supplements help you? Thanks for your help. take care xxx


Going the herbal way usually means taking single remedies such as St John's wort, or single nutrients such as SAM-e, or 5-HTP.

Like pharmaceutical drugs (another single cause remedy) these remedies are very disappointing simply because for the body to produce serotonin and other feel good neurotransmitters it needs a wide variety of nutritional forerunners to manufacture serotonin.

Withdrawing from medication may leave you with the unresolved biochemical disorder that was and still may be responsible for depression.

Yet the Nutritional approach to depression is fortunately simpler than meets the eye.

Most depressed people have been found to be hypoglycemic according to four hour a Medical Test for Hypoglycemia.

Thus going on a Hypoglycemic Diet is an essential part of treatment.

Please discuss the following articles with your psychiatrist:

Depression: a Disease of Energy Production

Depression is a Nutritional Disorder
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#11

Postby future » Fri Jul 28, 2006 3:04 pm

jurplesman: thanks for that. I will look into the diet. He is on the b-vits and fish oil already so thats a good start! He isnt good at breakfast though? thats the only problem (even though I tell him its the most important meal of the day!) He takes protein powder everyday as he works out so could that help?

thanks again x
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#12

Postby jurplesman » Sat Jul 29, 2006 12:51 am

future wrote:jurplesman: thanks for that. I will look into the diet. He is on the b-vits and fish oil already so thats a good start! He isnt good at breakfast though? thats the only problem (even though I tell him its the most important meal of the day!) He takes protein powder everyday as he works out so could that help?

thanks again x


I think you cannot beat the old-fashioned natural food coming straight from your garden at anytime.
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#13

Postby future » Mon Jul 31, 2006 10:20 am

Not sure if this helpful to anyone but incase anyone has been reading this and is going thorugh a similar reduction or plans to, this is whats happening so far! We are now over half way through the 8 week reduction. My husband now has capsules every 48hrs and is reducing the small tablet inbetween. He has only 5 (five!!!!) capsules left to take on the programme! and by next friday (6th) he will be off them altogether and just on the small tablets for a week or so until he reduces them to zero then thats it! A very nervous time. Overall it hasnt been as bad as I thought or expected up to now! (but there is still time!) He has been much better mood wise with some positive thinking and support. THe anger people have reported during reduction hasnt really happened unless an inanimate object annoys (like the lawn mower!!) then he takes it out on that! then he is ok again about 5mins later...hopefully that will lessen as he gets them completely out of his system! I am actually juts dreading the first week he has nothing at all, I am sure whilst it gets completely out of his system will be the worst weeks! anyway, thought I'd update you. Things going well and the reduction seems to work ok! xxx
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#14

Postby maniac » Mon Jul 31, 2006 11:53 am

I stopped it dead and took a couple of old Prozac tabs.
I'd previously had problems coming off it but wanted to stop it once and for all.
My psych was shocked at how easily I'd stopped it but I didn't mention the Prozac!
I read it somewhere and was foolish I suppose but it has a much long er half life so you come off it naturally over a few weeks.

xx
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