Effexor withdrawal question

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by maggie_d, Apr 11, 2006.

  1. maggie_d

    maggie_d New Member

    I was taking effexor xr for little less than two months. Started at 37.5 for two weeks then 75 mg for 3-4 weeks, then tapered to 37.5 for another week and yesterday was the first day at 0. I did take 10 mg of elavil as my Dr. thinks this is the route for me to take as Effexor was not for me. Well, today I woke up really dizzy like vertigo, and quite nauseous. I wondered if I had a touch of something then remembered it was the first day of not taking effexor.

    My question is, has anyone been on effexor for a short time as I and experienced these withdrawal symptoms, and if so for how long. They are not debilitating as I went to work and am home on lunch right now. I took a 1/2 gravol which helped.

    Your advice is appreciated.

  2. sop28

    sop28 New Member

    Dizziness is a common side effect of Elavil, when did you start taking that? Also nausea is a less common side effect. The symptoms are also withdrawl symptoms but you were not on it very long and also tappered the dose. Maybe try a night without the Elavil also and see how you feel.
    Hope this helps,
  3. Greenbean7

    Greenbean7 New Member

    I talked to my doc about this today. I've been on it for more than a year, can't remember quite how long.

    He gave it to me to help me sleep but it didn't seem to make any difference.

    I told him I want to stop taking it and he agreed. He went to look for samples of the 37.5 mg because I am currently on 75 mg. He didn't have any so suggested I open the capsule, dump half of it out, put the capsule back together and take that.

    He said to do that for 14 days and then just stop. I'm going to wait another week before I do it because I am still having some headache from stopping the Estradiol and want to make sure I am done with that before I start something else.

    I'll be watching this thread for any other ideas from our wonderful, really wonderful!, experts!

  4. fivesue

    fivesue New Member

    I am now in the process of withdrawing from Effexor and starting Cymbalta. I was taking 300 mgs. a day of Effexor. I have been on it for 3 years and I wanted off....don't want the spectre of withdrawal over my head.

    So, last Wed. the doc decreased my Eff. by 75 mg. a day and added 30 mgs. of Cymbalta. The first four days were not good...and the third day in particular I was very dizzy and had vertigo....But, felt better by Saturday. I have been OK since then. Still hurt, but that's the way it goes.

    Tomorrow I will cut the Effexor another 37.5 mgs and leave the Cymbalta the same for another week. He is weaning me off very slowly as a couple years ago before all this was known about the horrors of withdrawal, he cut it in half and it put me in bed, literally.

    So, the dizziness and vertigo may be from Eff. withdrawal.

    I think that going on 37.5 for two weeks and then quitting may work, but if it doesn't, I have read where people have counted the little bits in the capsules and cut it even slower at the very end.

    Hope this helps and hope all of you get over this soon. I feel like I'm just on a journey right now....a little scary.

  5. painandagony

    painandagony New Member

    I am dizzy again today and i have gone down so slowly. (started at 225mg), but got down to 75, then 37.5, then 25 mg. tablets which can be broken in half to 12.5 then that broken in half to 6.25. I had gotten down to 6.25, but had problems so went back up to 12.5, but still having problems. I don't want to go back up to 25, i want to get off this darn thing. I'm going back to see my doc next week. Good luck.
  6. Michelle_NZ

    Michelle_NZ New Member

    Do some searches on "EFfexor withdrawal" and Effexor tapering"

    Common side effects of withdrawal are: feeling dizzy, nausea, painful headache, fatigue, "brain zaps". I also felt very emotional for about 5 days after I took my last dose - I cried constantly for about 3 days, just couldnt stop even tho I wasnt actually sad about anything, very scary.

    I had to take about 2 weeks off in total from work while trying to get off this drug. It was the worst physical expericne of my life and doctors were very unsympathetic.

    I will never take an SSRI med again - no matter what!

    Good luck, hope you feel better
  7. maggie_d

    maggie_d New Member

    I knew I could count on my fibro friends to help me out. I felt a bit better in the afternoon as long as I stayed still. Once I start walking around too fast I get vertigo. It is not too bad to start the effexor again as I had a bad reaction with major rosacea flares. I am sure tomorrow will be better.

    Thanks again and hope everyone else's withdrawal journey is a smooth one.

  8. mme_curie68

    mme_curie68 New Member

    Keep in mind that Effexor and Elavil compete for some of the same receptors in the brain, but in different ways.

    What happens chemically in depression is that the neurons in your brain produce serotonin and norepinephrine messengers - but instead of the message traveling from cell to cell on a trip through your brain, it gets snatched right back by the same cell that sent it out in the first place.

    This is called "reuptake". Excessive reuptake of these "messages" by the same cells trying to send them out causes actual serotonin and norepinephrine production to decrease, which causes feelings of depression.

    Effexor blocks the reuptake sites with drug molecules preventing the serotonin and norepinephrine from binding, which then allows serotonin and norepinephrine to continue their journey cell to cell, and the production levels increase.

    Elavil works a little differently - it disrupts the reuptake pumping mechanism rather than chemically binding into the receptors like a key in a lock, but still effectively allows more serotonin and norepinephrine to continue traveling cell to cell, and the cell's own production to increase.

    The prescribing information for Effexor says dose reduction by 75 mg at one-week intervals was the prefered method for taper, but that it could be individualized, meaning if you needed longer to taper that's okay too.

    With the Effexor out of your system, I'm guessing it's the Elavil that is making you dizzy and nauseous, as it is no longer competing with Effexor to do the same job. When you were taking both drugs, you probably had some competitive inhibition (like two people trying to do the same job at the same desk and constantly bumping into each other)...

    Hope this helps.
    Madame Curie

  9. TXFMmom

    TXFMmom New Member


    Try to get off the stuff. Withdrawal is right in there with heroin BUT WORSE.

    I have never been on heroin, but I have seen plenty of patients on heroin, crack, methamphetamine, pot, PCP, you name it.


    I went to visit my son in Maine, for Christmas, when his sub was there. I use those dose things, and dump all the myriad of things in it so I don't have to carry 400 bottles of drugs on the airplane.

    I got interrupted while making it, failed to put in the Effexor and TURNED INTO A SPITTING, SKIN RIPPING, BEAST FROM THE DEPTHS OF HELL, and that was the good part.

    I was having panic attacks, dizzy, nauseous, vomiting, cramping, sweating, couldn't sleep, THOUGHT I WAS DYING. Thought, heh, what about Effexor?



  10. drvbrockhurst

    drvbrockhurst New Member

    I also spent 3 year on Effexor. Getting off it was disastrous. My doc told me to take a tablet every 2 days instead of daily, for a week and then stop. Holy hell! I spun out into this emotional hole, getting triggered by everbody and everything. I felt sick, migraine and then I crashed. One night I just flipped out and went berserk on my boyfriend, who had to restrain me because I just started hitting and punching and freaking out(and I'm the least bit aggressive, really). At least that was the worst of it.
    My suggestion if you're coming off Effexor after long-term usage is to drop it very gradually and spread it out over a long time. You're better off feeling teary and sickly in a milder way over a long time, then just coming off it like that. Your body will thank you, and your mind!
    Take care,
  11. fivesue

    fivesue New Member

    Just lowered my dose of Effexor XR by 37.5 mgs. today. I don't know what to expect. I got a lot of things done in preparation for whatever happens.

    I expect that last week was worse than what's ahead as I added Cymbalta and dropped Eff. by 75 mgs. last Wednesday. Felt like crap for four days.

    So, now I wait. I am getting off this med period. And, I might even think about trying no AD for a bit after I'm off Eff and on Cymblata. My doctor said it is easier to get off, but reading some of the articles here, I'm not convinced of that.

    So, will keep you posted. Here's hoping all of you are successful in leaving this medication behind....far behind. I just worry about not being able to get it and having what happened to TXfmmom and Vroni happen to me. Thankfully my doctor has tapered this very slowly.

  12. fivesue

    fivesue New Member

    Seems like out of the frying pan into the fire. Thanks for the post.

    I have not had trouble with the SSRI's and withdrawal, so after getting situated, I may go back to those.

    I appreciate your input. So tired of all the pain and emotional drain of these DD's.

  13. maggie_d

    maggie_d New Member

    Day three and had to leave work this morning, too dizzy and nauseous. Thankfully I have an understanding boss and took some work home to work at between resting. I am feeling better than this morning, but then again I am not moving LOL. Wow, I thought that being on a low dose for a short time - less than 2 months and tapering over two weeks would help, who knows it could be a lot worse from what I am reading. I guess I won't be going to the gym tonight, might try the treadmill at home as I won't be self conscious in my own little space.

    Thanks for the tips and advice, it is getting better hoping by this time next week it will only be a memory. I think I will go back to the natural remedies 5HTP, etc.... We are truly sensitive to chemicals eh????


  14. Roseblossom

    Roseblossom Member

    Ugh, I know the feeling!

    I've had good luck dealing with dizziness & vertigo by taking an over-the-counter motion sickness pill called Meclazine.

    You can do an Effexor search here too, just by typing in Effexor in the search box.

    Or click on any of our nicknames and look at our previous posts about Effexor - we've had lots of experience and facts & ideas.

    Hope you get off it and start feeling better soon!

  15. maggie_d

    maggie_d New Member

  16. dancingstar

    dancingstar New Member

    Hi Maggie,

    Some people (like me) have gone through hell because of Effexor, and others don't seem to have a problem with it.

    If you switch to a similar SNRI, of course, you shouldn't feel too bad, but most of the rest of us go through hell getting off of it. I've heard that the manufacturer says that only 2 percent of all people that take Effexor have trouble with the withdrawal, but I'm quite sure that's a lie.

    Anyway, I found that Benadryl helps to relieve some of the symptoms. Hang in there....
  17. LonelyHearts

    LonelyHearts New Member