It's only been day 2 (insurance cancelled) of withdrawal & so far I've been feeling as though when I'm walking to whatever destination, my body arrives but my brain delays its arrival. I feel extremely anxious, nauseous, short-tempered, dizzy, sensitive & confused. I like how I felt while taking Effexor but these withdrawals are unbearable... how much longer can I expect to have them?
How long do Effexor withdrawal symptoms last?
Question posted by ambudai on 9 Feb 2014
Last updated on 4 June 2022 by Nksiefert
I’m so sorry for your withdrawal symptoms.
A doctor that would only give you two weeks between script withdrawals surely does not know, or understand the power of this drug. Mine were six week withdrawals and I still had a very hard time.
I actually made it to 37.5 and found that I couldn’t deal with anymore withdraws.
Every six weeks it just got so hard for me.
I decided to just go back to 75mg and stay there. I commend you for your determination. It just felt like my life was hell for so long trying this. I felt like I needed to be hospitalized. Of course “drug addicts”can only get help with this.
What do they think we are? I found it unbearable to lead a normal life and be able to participate at a job and personal relationships while dealing, even though I needed support so bad.
i hope you are well. i am interested to know if you felt anexiety and depressed after a while? did all this go away?
i stopped it three months ago but i just starts experiencing depression and severe anxiety three weeks ago.
It seems hard to find up to date postings on this and I know this is an old post but its worth a shot.
I've been on generic Effexor 150mg for maybe 5-6 months and here is my story...
Veteran from the military just trying to right things in my life for my wife and children. My wife said I should see the VA about getting put on a medication to help. After a few failed attempts with other meds this one seemed to help. I started on 75mg for a month then upped to 150mg because I felt it just didn't do anything anymore. 5 months later I'm facing divorce, my wife is afraid I will snap and hurt my children and I have mentally gone down hill so much farther than I ever have been before. I stopped taking my meds 2 days ago cold turkey and the withdrawals are just now starting to take off.
First and foremost are the "Brain zaps". I move my eyes and my arms get an electrical shock feeling that pulses for a split second. Not painful more of an annoyance. Second is my hearing, at the same time as the zaps my hearing is just static for 3-4 short bursts then back to normal. I'm not angry or agitated. My appetite is so-so and no nausea.
I plan on posting here daily for 2 reasons.
1. is to help anyone else that may be currently or in the future following in our footsteps and be lost in the endlessness of the internet.
2. because... dread. The feeling of dread I have felt for the past few weeks is horrid. I don't know if its the meds or what but it is just making me want to leave a small mark in case the worst happens. it comes and goes and right now it is bad. So I will leave you all with this until next time.
Remember everyone, You are NOT alone. The hardest part is reaching for help when you feel like all of your strength goes into holding on for dear life. It is terrifying to let go even though it is to grab a helping hand but we can get through this.
Old post I know. But this is the perfect place to share my experience. I was on effexor XR 75mg for like 8 years. My Doc tried to up the dosage a couple of times when I wasn't feeling right but I always refused because I thought it was actually the drug making me feel "meh" about life after a long time.
About 2 months ago I decided to brave it and start my tapper. I went from 75 to 37.5 XR and stayed on that for a month. The first week was brutal, had all the usual symptoms. Then it got slowly more tolerable. Until I felt kind of how I did on the 75.
Then I was suppose to take 37.5 every other day for 2 weeks then every 3 days for 2 weeks. Then off. But during the every other day I felt like I was just starting to feel the worst every time it was an off day and had to do it all over again every time so after 2 weeks I stopped. It's been 6 days with none!
I am feeling pretty rough but hopeful. It's been doable and as crappy as I feel I can feel part of me coming back that was masked by the drug for so long. Hopefully it gets better over the coming days/weeks! Good luck to anyone else trying. It's possible, just be in a good place and take it slow. Self care is so so important during the process too.
I eliminated my dosage to 75mg for 1 month. Day 4 of stopping: feeling a bit dizzy, short tempered and anxious. So called hot flashes have subsided. I have been on effexor for 18 years. I will prevail, I do not want to take it any longer.
I have been taking Effexor xr 225mg for 6mths. I have since reduced my dosage down from 225mg to 150mg, 75mg and now 37.5mg in a matter of a month. I am not experiencing any withdraws like ever body else maybe because I haven't been on Effexor xr long enough. However, I am taking vitamins for the last two years to help with my depression and taken omega 3 and 6. I am not depressed and my mood is ok. Getting off the last 37.5mg will be a challenge I won't be taking out the beads but maybe go on the tablet form to cut it in half to help me get off the last 37.5mg. So I guess you can come off Effexor without the terrible withdraws.
I posted this question originally. I am happy to report I was able to successfully transition to fluoxetine (prozac) and wean off without any side effects. Fluoxetine is much less expensive than Effexor, so possibly affordable w/o insurance is you can get a script. If not, the side effects could last a couple weeks. They're horrible.
It's been over two weeks since I came off of Effexor completely and I don't like the way I'm feeling at all. I'm either crying all the time or want to cry all the time or on the verge. I'm irritable as all hell. And my anxiety is unreal. And I'm tired. And a little dizzy. My doctor had started me on Trintellix 7 weeks ago and I'm on 20mg of that, so I can't tell if this is still withdrawal or side effects of the Trintellix or if I'm in a very very very deep depression. I feel like I'm in a fog and nothing makes me happy. I have zero interest in anything anymore. I really want to be off of Effexor, but I'm scared it's the only thing that helped me with my anxiety and depression. I'm starting to feel like I should go back on the Effexor even though my doctor says to still wait. I don't like feeling like this at all and it's really starting to get to me.
I was on 300mg of effexor and 700mg of lithium for supposed anxiety, depression for 4 years. I actually had a brain tumour that was causing all the problems. I eventually talked my doctor into sending me for an MRI as I was starting to have vision problems. A tumour the size of a duck egg was found and that was what was causing my so called mental health problem. It is now 4 years since I had surgery and I have made a full recovery. Getting off the 300mg effexor was hell but I beat it but I lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in income while I was on all the medication as I could not work. At present I have legal action going for compensation and it is looking very promising. I had never suffered from any mental health problems before I was put on all the medication. I now take no medication and the depression and anxiety symptoms disappeared after my surgery. I recommend every one who presents for the first time with depression demand from their doctor that they get an MRI brain scan
I started titrating off Effexor XR 150mg/day about 10-11 days ago... after being on it for c. 15 years. The psychiatrist has me tapering off in 4 steps - 37.5mg TID 1 week, 37.5mg BID 1 week, and 37.5mg once a day for a week.
I'm happy to report that so far so good... Side effects so far: If I miss my dose by more than an hour or so, the facial numbness rears it's ugly head (but that's only been in the past two days) - otherwise, just SLEEPY... not particularly focused - but I have ADD and don't medicate that daily - so while it may be the effexor dose - it may be that I haven't taken ritalin in about a week.
Good luck to those who have had a tough time with their withdrawals - because I know I am not out of the woods yet - but half way there.
I started taking Lexapro when I stopped taking Effexor. If I would forget to take my Effexor, I would get a “brain zap” and that is why I didn’t want to take them any more. I never had any withdrawal symptoms since the Lexapro took the place immediately and I didn’t have to go cold turkey.
Oh! And I almost forgot to add that I've found CBD to help a tiny bit to take the edge off (still working on figuring out a dosage), but I know it's not for everyone nor is it available everywhere (which is ridiculous). And sometimes medical marijuana at night. But during the day I'm at the mercy of withdrawal.
I've been on Effexor XR for over 10 years (I just did the math and cannot believe it's been that long). Started out with 75mg, then after bit it felt like it wasn't working as well and it was ultimately increased to 225mg, which I had been on for a good 6+ years now. Over the past year or two I've definitely just felt more numb and tired than anything else. Oh, and the weight gain - I easily put on 20lbs with this and NO.MATTER.WHAT. could not lose weight. Exercise, eating healthy, not drinking, NOTHING. NOTHING worked. I was nearly certain it wasn't working anymore (and I was on .5mg of Klonopin for about 5 years of it, but, with a doctor's help, came off of it about 3 years ago), so, after speaking with my doctor, we dropped down to 150mg (I was terrified, but the withdrawal was minimal), then after a few months (maybe in October or December of 2017) we went to 75mg. I was freaked out.
Withdrawal was noticeable, with some brain zaps and irritability, but cleared up after a few weeks. In April of this year I went into a deep depression with so much anxiety, so I finally got to see a psych in June. She talked to me about trying something new (Trintellix) and lowering my Effexor even more, but DID emphasize MANY times about how bad the Effexor withdrawal is. I was so scared. Especially after 10 years on this medication and trying to live my life without having to hide out from everyone while dealing with side effects and withdrawals and who knows what. Late June I started on 10mg of Trintellix and maintained the 75mg Effexor XR. Within a week I started to feel better. I was less foggy and had fewer racing thoughts. At my follow-up, we decided to take the next step and lower the Effexor to 37.5 while increasing the Trintellix to 20mg. That was five days ago. Days one and two were an absolute NIGHTMARE. Tightness in my chest, brain zaps, and cold chills - my skin felt/feels like it's crawling and like I have constant chills and goosebumps - my arms and back of my neck/scalp were tingling. I cried a lot for no reason. I went to therapy and was a zombie and just thought my anxiety had increased for no reason. Then I realized it was the withdrawal. Yesterday I thought I was just going to die and I wouldn't be able to do it. Somehow today is better. Still brain zaps (but not as frequent) and the clammy feeling/chilly skin tingles are there as well as some anxiety, but a little bit less.
I plan on doing this for at least one or two months before we try to go from 37.5 to 0. I had tried this years ago and couldn't do it - I was opening the capsules and taking beads to help ward off the withdrawals. But this time I am DETERMINED to do it. There's no going back. I want off of this stuff. I'm so worried and nervous and scared, but reading how so many of you have made it through gives me some hope. I also hope the Trintellix helps pick up where the Effexor fell short.
Best of luck to you all.
I was on Effexor for over 10 years and finally stopped taking it several months ago. The withdrawal effects were horrible, even though I tapered off from it over the course of a few weeks. I ended up going back on the smallest dosage (37.5 mg) while adding prozac. After a couple of weeks I stopped the effexor again and stayed on the prozac for a couple of weeks. I'm off both now and yet I STILL feel the occasional brain zaps.
Effexor is poison and a horrible drug. The doctor is the drug dealer who keeps you coming back for more. It has damaged my nervous system and taps your spine. The withdrawal rages I had landed me in the psychiatric unit of a hospital. Where i told them this Effexor has ruined me. They seemed to muse aloud at the zombie they had created. 2 weeks later i was released with a head full of Prozac and sadness in my heart.
- Effexor information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side effects of Effexor (detailed)
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