Need help/advice - Effexor withdrawal symptoms?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by pastorwife, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. pastorwife

    pastorwife Member

    My dr. wants me off Effexor. She said to take 1 every other day (I was on 150 every day). I didn't take the med. on Sat (day 1 after being told this). Woke up feeling like I had the flu Sun. morning (achy, nausea, dizzy) couldn't fathom the idea of eating or taking any meds by mouth. Sun. evening throwing up. Same for mon. Took 1 Effexor mon. night (several hours after throwing up). Felt a little better Tues. Was able to eat a little and keep it and fluids down. Still have nausea today but eating a little more and not dizzy.

    I know it's not the flu (no other symptoms). I thought it might be something I ate on Sat and Sun. Now I've read that there can be nasty withdrawal symptoms. BTW, it's in capsule form so I can't break it in 1/2. I only started Effexor less than a year ago.

    Anyone else experience this type of stuff coming off Effexor? If so, how'd you live through it? HOw long did it last?
  2. lovinlifeinAK

    lovinlifeinAK New Member

    you have to come off it slowly. I was horribly sick one time when I didn't the money to refill it. It can also give you brain tremors, nausea, headaches. She should have lowered your dose, for 2 wks, then again or what ever time it takes for you.

    You should call you doctor and tell her that you are having this problem
  3. kylesmom

    kylesmom New Member

    It does sound like you need to taper a bit more. I had nasty, nasty psychotic-type withdrawal symptoms, so I feel for you. Take it very slowly.
  4. lana33

    lana33 New Member

    There are several different mg pills in effexor. Tell your doc that you need to come off more slowly. They start at 37.5mg, then 75mg, etc. If she is kind, she will give you some samples in each mg so you can play around with the dosages to go off real slow.

  5. pastorwife

    pastorwife Member

    Thanks for your responses. The internist who put me on this stuff did seem to want to hand it out like candy. My last visit he even said that some people come in for an initial visit (for FMS) and he wants them to take Effexor and they refuse and never come back. I no longer see him. My psych. is the one helping me come off.

    Tomorrow is my day not to take it so will see how I do. If it's like the past few days, I'll call my psych right away.

    I'm sure those sales reps. never mention any of this to the docs when they leave their samples and tell them how "wonderful" their drug is.

    I'll post again tomorrow after I see how I do. Your support is magnificent and appreciated!
  6. KJH_10

    KJH_10 New Member

    I was only on effexor for 2 weeks, and when I quit taking them I was soooooo sick, I could not eat for almost 2 weeks, I ate very little, mostly soup and jello. I was so happy when I finally felt better, but yes the withdrawl symptoms sound like what you are experiencing.
  7. nselissen

    nselissen New Member

    Good grief, I am on 300 milligrams a day and don't know know what I would do without it. It worked so much faster then prozac etc. What is bad about it anyway. I never heard. I gained weight? I must be the wierd one hey??

    One should never quit anything cold turkey. Can't believe she did that to you.

    I would ask her why she did that. Sometime we have to give the doctors a wake-up call.

    Good luck
  8. pastorwife

    pastorwife Member

    nselissen: Dr. was doing accupuncture when I started bruising (first time in about 3 years that I bruised). She said my blood was "sluggish" because my liver was not functioning up to par. I was also on Lipitor and Tricor which can affect the liver. Am off those 2 also now.

    Effexor took the place of prozac as it no longer was helping me. I actually feel so much more clear headed the days that I don't take the Effexor (every other day - not cold turkey) and that even when I'm so nauseaous!

    I did call the doc this morning and am waiting to hear back. I'm having hubby stock up on jello and ginger-ale. If I eat a cracker I chew it until it's almost liquid! I have eaten some "real" food on the days I take the Effexor and it has stayed down.

    I just don't think the rollercoaster of 150 one day and 0 the next is the answer. Makes more sense to me to take some amount on 0 day that is less than 150. Will see what doc says.
  9. fivesue

    fivesue New Member

    I, also, am on 300 mg. a day and it is a good med for me. However, at one point my doc was trying to change my med and he halved it...that's when I was knocked flat with pain and fatigue like I had never had before. The pain hasn't completely left, and it was dx as FM, but I'm wondering; could it have been the quick withdrawal that sent me into this DD? Could be. It may have been too traumatic.

    I am going to try getting off this med or at least reducing it this spring...but it will be very slowly and over a very long time. I do have clinical depression so I don't know if I can survive without an antidepressant. I'd like to see, but like I said, no sudden stopping or large reductions. Very slowly.

  10. pastorwife

    pastorwife Member

    Doc called. I'm going to begin taking 75mg each day and see how that goes. Eventually taking 37.5mg and then 0. She also told me it has a small amount of Elavil in it for sleep. I am already on Trazadone to help me sleep so she said that this extra Elavil was too much also.

    Thanks for all of your help. It helped me decide to call my doc and not wait any longer. Will see how it goes from here. Can't start until I get the prescript in mail and then get it filled. She offered samples but I just can't do the 45 minute drive there.
  11. mahx

    mahx New Member

    here also. I was on it for 18 month up to 225mg a day. It worked wonderful.Only anti dep that ever helped me. Coming off of it was pure torture. I weaned down for a month too. After 5 days of off completely--i went into a psychotic episode. Hallucinations,voices, horrific nightmares that i couldn't wake from---the works. this went on for 3 days then went away. I do have flashbacks occasionally--am told its similar to a "bad trip" on acid.
    My doc was out of town at time. Afterwards found out there is a pres med to help with w/ drawals---and if not available--(like doc in Mexico)--you can take otc Benadryl-and it will relieve some side effects. To this day it has been the worst experience of my life---and i have had some bad ones. Don't want to scare you--just want you to not go thru what i did--if possible.. Good luck--let us know how you are doing when off.

  12. lauralea443

    lauralea443 New Member

    I know when i haven't taken it i start feeling dizzy and sick, then remember Oh I HAVEN't Taken my meds.

    Ask your doctor if you can get a lower dose and ween your self off that way. I know it's scary but i think reducing your dose slowly would be a better way to go.

    This taking one every-other day doesn't seem to be working so let your dr. know.
  13. Zzzsharn

    Zzzsharn New Member

    Wow, this is pretty scary.

    I take 225- and I can sooo tell when it's time for my next dose because I get a gloomy feeling and a ziping in my head.

    I fear ever having to come off of it. It works for me, I suffered with depression longer than I've suffered with FM, I've tried many different anti D's and Effexor is like a wonder drug for me. Yes, I gained weight, but I also haven't tried to off myself!

    I'm thinking too that your just putting yourself on a rollercoaster ride with an every other day dose, sounds like you need to taper, hope your phsyc can help.

    Keep us posted!
  14. renae1979

    renae1979 New Member

    I was on 225mg of Effexor for about 1.5 years. I was told that the high dose would help with my pain - yeah right!! In that time I gained about 60 pounds and just felt worse than before.

    It took me about 6-9 month to wean off. My doc gave a bunch of the 37.5mg starter samples to use while weaning down and that helped a GREAT deal. I also used some herbal meds to help with the horrible withdrawals - SAMe and 5HTP.

    Now that I am off the Effexor I feel so much better and the weight is slowly coming off too. It is amazing how much clearer and more healthy I feel now that I'm off Effexor (and all Rx meds except Topamax).

    Good luck and see if you can get some of the starter samples to help you out instead of skipping days!!

    [This Message was Edited on 01/20/2006]
  15. nselissen

    nselissen New Member

    I am so afraid to go off effexor. I have been suicidal and am sure going off these would be a big mistake for me. I am 62 already and honestly waiting to go. What is so golden in old age?

    Thanks everyone
    Nancy S
  16. Roseblossom

    Roseblossom Member

    Nancy, you sound so depressed that I hope you'll call your doctor and let him/her know you're in need of more intensive help.

    We understand how sad you feel but we want you to stick around! Feeling suicidal is horrible but please don't act on it except to get more help to feel better.

    There is therapy & group therapy & also support groups specifically for Seniors.

    Nutrition and amino acid & vitamin supplements are helping me alot, as well.

    All the best,

  17. Roseblossom

    Roseblossom Member

    Effexor has so many horrible side effects that increase our CFS/Fibro symptoms. My former doctor prescribed it for me without mentioning this - incredible...

    I'm so glad you are now tapering more gradually now! Please tell your doctor courteously but firmly how ill her previous advice for "tapering off" made you feel. She should've known that someone on as high a dose as 150mgs should NOT skip a day, but should instead lower the dose they take every day.

    Even doing it this way was hard for me & took weeks, but I am now down to 75mgs a day and feeling much better. When I feel strong enough I'll decrease my dose to 37mgs a night and hopefully the suffering will be less this time.

    You can see the dozens of posts about this problem by typing "Effexor" into the search bar at the top of this forum; or type in any of our user nicknames to see more posts about this.

    Good luck getting off this terrible drug - you'll feel better soon!



  18. Aberlaine

    Aberlaine Member

    I've been taking Effexor for years. No side effects. It kept me from feeling suicidal. My doctor started me at 75 mg. Then when things got bad in my life, she increased it to 150 mg. Five years ago my husband died and my Effexor was increased to 225 mg.

    Two months ago, my doctor decided to switch me to Cymbalta because it was better for people with fibromyalgia. I went off the Effexor v-e-r-y slowly. She dropped the dosage for three weeks, then another three weeks. In the meantime I started taking the Cymbalta. I had no withdrawal symptoms whatsoever.

    I guess if Effexor works, it works. If it doesn't, it doesn't.
  19. pastorwife

    pastorwife Member

    I've been on 75mg daily for 4 days. Had diahhrea and a headache (one afternoon). Am feeling MUCH better. I still notice that I don't feel as foggy brained, but memory is still a problem for me (no worse than before). My pain level has stabalized to a level of comfort too. I had been hurting nonstop since I began the Effexor, but doctor had said I was adjusting to the Effexor and would increase the dose.

    Overall, I'm glad I'm coming of this stuff. And, grateful that so far my body doesn't seem to need it. I am also on Lithium and Lamictal and Trazadone and hoping that they will be enough to do what I need for the chronic depression.

    Thanks again for all of your support.
  20. Roseblossom

    Roseblossom Member

    keep us posted on anything else you notice.


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