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day 3 of venlafexine withdrawal. .am in hell. can anyone tell me when the worst is over?

(60 Posts)
withdrawalhell Mon 13-Jan-14 12:51:32

I have been on this drug for 2 years...have been withdrawing very very slowly under doctor instructions for last 4mths. It has been awful.

I took my last tablet 4 days ago and am now on day 3 of no dose. I am in hell. Sick as a dog, naseous,ddizzy, twitching, night terrors, sweating, crying. Can't think straight, clumsy. I can't function. I am off work, can barely speak to kids cos my nerves are in tatters and can't speak.

I desperately need to know if this will pass. The Internet is saying this stage might last 4 weeks!! I cannot do 4 weeks like this.

Can anyone help?

Nilgiri Mon 13-Jan-14 13:05:05

Much sympathy. It WILL pass.

I think of it as scheduled flu. You know it will be crap; you know it's time limited.

Taking time off work and attempting as little as possible is exactly the right thing to do. And just keep hanging in there while the time passes.

Are the kids and rest of the family on board? Just like they'd have to be if you scheduled an operation and recovery time? People can cope a lot better if they know it's "just until".

Lots and lots of good luck.

withdrawalhell Mon 13-Jan-14 13:16:14

My husband and parents are great. .very supportive.
Have you been there?
I have just spoken to my gp..he said it might last 1 day it might last 4 weeks

Nilgiri Mon 13-Jan-14 13:31:02

Yep. Was pretty unpleasant for the first week, though I didn't have the night terrors.

Then the damn builders told me they could fit a long-planned job in next week. I wasn't feeling so dizzy and nauseous, but was still shaky and crying at the drop of a hat, and unable to articulate and be in charge, so went back on the Venlafaxine to get through the builders week.

I had to wait for the next quiet period to go off it again - and it was sooooo much easier. I was expecting to be a sick as a dog, but was actually fine.

I think I was pretty lucky. Much sympathy, as it sounds like you've had a rough period on the tapering as well.

Nilgiri Mon 13-Jan-14 13:33:03

That's good that your family are there for you.

Nilgiri Mon 13-Jan-14 13:42:37

Actually I think it helped that my standards were already so low.

I'm physically disabled, at that time had to spend the bulk of each day in bed already, had chronic low level pain, couldn't watch telly or read for more than a few minutes.

So my normal was pretty unexciting.

Also, I wasn't actually depressed any more, so didn't have to deal with that coming back in. If it's a lingering problem for you, then buckets of sympathy.

wishicouldstopworrying Mon 13-Jan-14 21:29:00

Hoping you pass through this nightmare asap op.
As a purely selfish issue, could I please ask what dosage you have just come off? I'm on the same drug and want to work my way off, but don't know if I'm up to this!
Best of luck.

BelleOfTheBorstal Mon 13-Jan-14 21:34:06

Should you not be tapering off really gradually? Like weeks of taking it every second day and then cutting that dosage down?
You're not doing it cold turkey are you?

wishicouldstopworrying Mon 13-Jan-14 21:52:16

Belle the op says she is doing this with the assistance of her GP.

AlteredState Tue 14-Jan-14 00:34:55

It was about 2 weeks for me but "only" a week was like how yours sounds. It WILL pass. I came seriously close to restarting the med during the withdrawal period i felt so bad. I'm glad i hung on but did have diazepam to help. I literally did the school run in the morning, came home, went back to bed until the afternoon run and took it as slow as possible.

Hope you feel less crap soon smile

kotinka Tue 14-Jan-14 01:02:05

hi I went through this a few years ago too. I had to come off immediately, without the usual dose reduction due to side effects.

it was a very bad time, everything you describe sad The worst part is the first week, but you are likely to have a difficult couple of weeks after that too.

I found nytol or Tesco sleep aid ( diphenhydramine hydrochloride) really helped at bedtime for the first 2 weeks. it stopped the racing thoughts and nightmares long enough to get a little rest.

I may have missed this, but why are you not doing the dose reduction method of withdrawal?

hope things start to get better soon, with any luck, you're more than halfway through the worst now brew

kotinka Tue 14-Jan-14 01:04:26

sorry, ignore my question, I just reread your post xxx

Jacksmania Tue 14-Jan-14 01:06:55

Coming off venlafaxine was terrible. Absolutely terrible. I would never take it again, simply because is have to discontinue it some day, and I never want to go through that again.
It took me two weeks to get over the worst of it, and another two weeks after that to feel - I can't say normal - let's say, to be without most of the withdrawal effects.

Hang in there. It's utterly shit, worse than any other AD when it comes to tapering off, and most of them are pretty bad.

withdrawalhell Tue 14-Jan-14 09:56:31

I have withdrawn very slowly. .taken 4-6mths in close contact and advice with my gp.

Day 4 now. I think I may be through the worst. Still feel absolutely horrible but a tiny bit better than yesterday.

My last dose was 37.5mg.

I have withdrawn from lots of different anti ds over the years but this one has been on a different scale of hell.

sausagefortea Tue 14-Jan-14 10:04:37

You have my utmost sympathy. Withdrawing from venlafaxine was absolutely horrendous. I could hardly move out of bed I was so dizzy and sick. Mine felt significantly better by day 3-4 (although I started on citalopram after that so not sure if that helped). But still felt hung over from it for maybe 7-10 days, but fully functional. Hope you're through the worst of it.

Nilgiri Tue 14-Jan-14 10:37:51

I dropped from 75 mg to 37.5 mg on tablets, then tapered from 37.5g to zero using liquid Venlafaxine and a syringe to measure. I think it's more expensive than the pills as it has to be ordered in specially and only keeps for a month.

The hellish bit was the big drop to 75 mg, now I come to think of it.

If you think you may be through the worst, you might want to just keep going.

Rooners Tue 14-Jan-14 10:41:35

I'm really sorry you are going through this. It might be a bit off topic but I had no idea that coming off ADs was this bad.

Yet people recommend them so often, on here - it is quite worrying if this is what they do to you.

I hope that it passes quickly xx

clio51 Tue 14-Jan-14 11:16:56

I'm on ven, been on it over 2 yrs on 150mg. It got me through a really bad patch of depression/anxiety.

But I think I'm getting awful mouth problems with it horrible taste,very dry sometimes and sore tongue. Psych says it's anxiety!! I'm not convinced as I've had bad anxiety before and never had this. One thing I think it may be is menopause they call it burning mouth syndrome.
So don't know ether to stay on or come off!!!!

Anyway, you may in the next couple days get flu like symptoms I've read to take Benadryl when this happens for about a month to help with symptoms.
Can you get diazepam? To help you get over the worse for a few weeks??

You will get beyond this, but may take weeks rather than days!

kotinka Tue 14-Jan-14 11:52:45

rooners, antidepressants can be a life saver, when you need them you can't really worry about that unspecific hoped for point in time that you don't need them any more.

Nilgiri Tue 14-Jan-14 11:55:16

Agreed, kotinka. Same as chemo - the drugs are vile, but can save your life.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 14-Jan-14 11:58:35

Rooners not all ADs are like this. I came off Sertraline with no withdrawal symptoms whatsoever.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 14-Jan-14 11:59:06

OP I'm really sorry you're going through this, hang in there.

withdrawalhell Tue 14-Jan-14 12:33:11

rooners - I have been on loads of anti depressants and they are LIFE SAVERS! I am a big big fan of them.

Withdrawl from all the others was hard but nothing like this.

I would go back on anti depressants in a flash - even after what I am experiencing in the last few days.

I would never, ever, ever go on Venlafaxine again.

Rooners Tue 14-Jan-14 12:36:08

I'm glad some people feel they benefit from them though I have heard talk of research that says they are not so useful as psychiatric medicine would have us think.

Certainly would not make a comparison with chemotherapy.

Anyway enough of a hijack, I am sorry to have begun it and will go away now.

kotinka Tue 14-Jan-14 12:43:04

I'm not sure this is the right thread to debate the usefulness of antidepressants or whether potentially dying from suicide is as serious as potentially dying from cancer biscuit

Nilgiri Tue 14-Jan-14 12:50:58

Yes, please don't let's go there.

I just mean that sometimes we accept that drugs will themselves make us very sick, while having some net desirable effect.

Rooners Tue 14-Jan-14 12:52:27

No, I apologise again.

Rooners Tue 14-Jan-14 12:53:01

and just for the record that wasn't what I meant at all, Kotinka.

lougle Tue 14-Jan-14 12:55:09

withdrawalhell were you not offered some different strengths to taper down gradually? I would have thought that 37.5 ->0 is a massive drop.

I hope it gets better very soon for you.

MorrisZapp Tue 14-Jan-14 12:58:58

Sounds grim. I'm on sertraline and would like to get off it but am stuck at 50mg. Can't seem to wean down even in tiny increments.

So here I am, taking them month after month. I don't feel depressed or anxious any more, but maybe the dose I'm on is what's keeping me stable, who knows.

kotinka Tue 14-Jan-14 17:07:16

how's today going, withdrawalhell?

withdrawalhell Tue 14-Jan-14 21:41:35

Still really bad..spent a lot of time for in bed..quite a bit of crying. ..However I also got dressed and went out of house and did school pick up. .I couldn't have done that on Monday so little steps! Desperately trying to think positive.

violator Tue 14-Jan-14 22:03:17

Hope you're doing OK, withdrawalhell

As an aside, I don't live in the UK and I must say I'm surprised at how often GPs appear to prescribe Venlafaxine there. It's notoriously hard to come off. Where I live it's not commonly prescribed at all, even in a psych hospital.
There's a lot of research done on withdrawal from SNRIs such as Effexor, Paxil and Cymbalta, the consensus is that SSRIs such as citalopram, fluoxetine and sertraline aren't as brutal to taper from due to their longer half-life.

Having been there, done that, had to be prescribed an antipsychotic to negate the side effects of an SSRI, admitted to hospital thanks to complete breakdown due to SSRI, I would rather try anything on this earth than take them again.
I know they work for many people but for many others they're a disaster.

Nilgiri Tue 14-Jan-14 22:44:30

Well done, withdrawalhell. Another day ticked off.

larahusky Tue 14-Jan-14 22:49:36

I have done it a few times and found that the 3rd to 5th day was the worse. But I have come off quite a lot of psychiatric drugs over the years (lucky me!) and I do the same as Nilgiri: treat it like flu and just accept that it is not nice but it will end.

kotinka Tue 14-Jan-14 22:55:21

you got the school run done, that's pretty good! hope tomorrow is better brew

withdrawalhell Wed 15-Jan-14 11:04:39

Day 5 - bit better. Very dizzy..keep crying at news and literally anything on tv..adverts etc

God this is exhausting. I am going to keep posting in case this helps anyone else

DiaryOfAWimpyMum Wed 15-Jan-14 11:51:23

Well done and keep going, it does get better soon.

Nilgiri Thu 16-Jan-14 11:14:20

Morning, withdrawalhell. Fancy a brew?

kotinka Thu 16-Jan-14 18:30:00

day 6 going ok?

withdrawalhell Thu 16-Jan-14 19:32:27

Day 6 - not as emotional. .have been upright all day..done school pick up and tesco.
Feel very dizzy and like I have been shot by a tranquilizer dart!
Not cried..not been to bed
I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel today!

ImNotCute Thu 16-Jan-14 19:44:00

I'm glad you're starting to improve. I've also been on several ADs and venlafaxine is the only one I found so awful to come off. It was a few years back so I don't remember how long it took to feel better again, but you must be through the worst now!

Nilgiri Thu 16-Jan-14 20:25:09

Oh well done on getting a shop in, as well as school run!

AlteredState Thu 16-Jan-14 21:32:42

Wow Tesco on day 6? You've got me impressed withdrawal! No seriously that's amazing - I struggle with Tesco's in fact insert any supermarket on most days and certainly couldn't have entertained it at all on day 6! Great job, keep it up!

kotinka Thu 16-Jan-14 23:25:20

You're doing so well withdrawal! First week nearly over!

Jacksmania Fri 17-Jan-14 06:31:44

Hang in there love. It's so hard, but you're doing super well.

withdrawalhell Sat 18-Jan-14 21:51:22

Day 7 and day 8 - horrendous tiredness. .can't think straight.BIt weepy, bit real reason why. Dizzy and tired is the worst symptoms at moment. Also having hot and cold flushes.

However, def out the other side. .having waves of feeling 'ok' which is such a relief. .they don't last long..maybe 30mins
but feel good

Exercise, benadryl ?? And ibuprofen helping a lot.

Along with hero husband and amazing parents!

Nilgiri Sun 19-Jan-14 00:14:48

Oh well done. Keep going keep going!

That light? It's the end of the tunnel!

Nilgiri Sun 19-Jan-14 20:14:31

Some more brew and sympathy.

clio51 Sun 19-Jan-14 20:53:50

Hope all is still going well? Keep posting as I'm on this drug 150mg and thinking sometime of coming of it(aghhh) she says.

Wel done for doing the school run and telco wow excellent the dizziness frightens me!!

The Benadryl I read is very good when coming off can't remember where I read it think it's incase you get the flu like symptoms which happens sometimes for some people as were all different with meds.

Excellent you have family support because with heightened anxiety we do cry,snap up/down for no reason so it great when people understand that's it's not your fault your feeling shit!! We just want to feel good and well.

How's your sleep? Through all this, or are you normally a good sleeper?

withdrawalhell Sun 19-Jan-14 21:25:15

My sleep is terrible. However I really struggle to get to sleep at the best of times. I am so so tired but can't get to sleep. I have tried nytol a couple of times in desperation which has helped a bit.

The exercise helps and gives some relief, however I am well used to exercise as I compete at a county level in my sport so exercise is a huge part of my life. I think if you weren't used to exercising it would be very hard to motivate yourself to do it BUT if you get to this end point I think even a walk round block or gentle bike ride will give some relief. It's those magic endorphins!

withdrawalhell Sun 19-Jan-14 21:25:55

My sleep is terrible. However I really struggle to get to sleep at the best of times. I am so so tired but can't get to sleep. I have tried nytol a couple of times in desperation which has helped a bit.

The exercise helps and gives some relief, however I am well used to exercise as I compete at a county level in my sport so exercise is a huge part of my life. I think if you weren't used to exercising it would be very hard to motivate yourself to do it BUT if you get to this end point I think even a walk round block or gentle bike ride will give some relief. It's those magic endorphins!

withdrawalhell Sun 19-Jan-14 21:26:58

My sleep is terrible. However I really struggle to get to sleep at the best of times. I am so so tired but can't get to sleep. I have tried nytol a couple of times in desperation which has helped a bit.

The exercise helps and gives some relief, however I am well used to exercise as I compete at a county level in my sport so exercise is a huge part of my life. I think if you weren't used to exercising it would be very hard to motivate yourself to do it BUT if you get to this end point I think even a walk round block or gentle bike ride will give some relief. It's those magic endorphins!

withdrawalhell Sun 19-Jan-14 21:27:51

Sorry!! Am mental see...can't even post properly! Lol

(Ooo sense of humour return! )

clio51 Sun 19-Jan-14 23:12:10


Try antihistamine ativan doctor gave me some when I didn't want zopiclone May be prescription only but worked for me.

Great you exercise do you run? Wish I was fit those endorphins must be a great boost!

Read on here that if you can't get to sleep its anxiety
If you get to sleep ok and then wake for hours then it's depression

Mines anxiety !!!!!! Bloody thing hate it with passion

clio51 Mon 20-Jan-14 10:50:20

Atarax not Ativan

withdrawalhell Mon 20-Jan-14 17:46:11

Day 9 - not good

Naseuous, dizzy, so tired, nerves in shreds, keep crying.

Trying to hang on to fact that sat and sun were better than today. Rationally I know its going to be an up and down recovery and day 9 is still early days. .gp said worst symptoms may go on for 4wks.

This is not depression, just withdrawal. ..repeat to myself x 100

kotinka Mon 20-Jan-14 18:19:25

sorry you're having a bad day, any chance of an early night? you really need lots of rest at this stage.

withdrawalhell Fri 07-Feb-14 17:53:05 I am now on Day 27...just thought I would update in case anyone ever goes through this and needs it.

Been a pretty horrible experience but I think I am through the worst. I am not sure which has been harder the physical symptoms (dizziness, sickness, tiredness) or the emotional side (mood swings, anger, teary, depressed). They all come and go...good days and bad days..sometimes good for an hour, bad for an hour.

Things that I think have helped:
- exercise has helped loads!
- sleeping - just giving up and going to bed

I have also taken Benadryl everyday for 3wks. I have no idea what this did or if it helped but someone told me to do it so I did!

I am never, ever going on this drug again..I feel a long way from through this withdrawl.

Nilgiri Fri 07-Feb-14 23:04:07

I was wondering about you just today, withdrawal, and hoping you were out the other side.

Very glad to hear you're through the worst. Hope it's mostly upwards from here, although a few dips here and there are to be expected (and not a cause for panic).

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