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Venlafaxine help please!

(14 Posts)
MadCap Thu 03-Jan-13 20:42:37

Hi, I'm on 150mg per day of venlafaxine. It's really helped with my pnd (along with an emotional wellbeing course and an 8 week pnd group),and I'm thinking of asking my gp to reduce or wean me off them completely.

However, I'm quite forgetful and probably forgetting my pill once a week. The next day I feel terrible. I shake, have terrible headaches, feel dizzy and behave quite irrationally. It's making me a bit frightened of coming off of it.

So, if I forgot to take it should I just take it when I remember rather than leave it to the next morning? Also, what are others' experiences of coming off venlafaxine?

EastHollyDaleStreet Thu 03-Jan-13 20:51:28

Hi there - I am unashamed to say i have been on this for around 8 years now - on and off (off times pretty rubbish) I'm down to 75mg a day, sometimes every other day and yes, if i forget, I get the sahky wierd feeling, wobbles, nausea etc. It's a side effect that a lot of people get very concerned about - but as it's a reasonably strong ad, then it will, I fell, have these side effects. I just take one as soon as I remember if this happens to me. I know that there are differing opinions about the drug, but it's the only thing that's ever worled for me - hence I'm still on it!

EastHollyDaleStreet Thu 03-Jan-13 20:52:56

same with any ad though - if you are wanting to come off, ask your gp - the dose will be reduced slowly. I've been down to 37.5 mg every other day but then things have gone tits up and it's been increased.

MadCap Thu 03-Jan-13 21:00:14

Hi EHDS, it has really helped with my depression too. Especially when the other two I tried didn't work. I'm functioning quite well now. I don't think I'm 100% back to my old self, but I don't think I ever will be but this is my new normal. smile

MadCap Thu 03-Jan-13 21:04:16

oh sorry xposted. Yeah, I am planning on seeing gp about it. Although, it is going to be few more weeks. My dh broke his arm yesterday. We have 2 small dcs that I can't leave with him as he can't pick them up.

EastHollyDaleStreet Thu 03-Jan-13 21:04:33

I know what you mean! I think it's great - the shaky feeling is annoying but at least it can be stopped by taking it. Don;t ever want to be back in the dark place again, and if that means this for ever, then so be it smile

anniebunny Thu 03-Jan-13 21:08:08

When I came off venlafaxine it is the most ill I have have ever been in my life- I literally could hardly move for a week, constant nausea, dizziness, shakes, blurry thinking, 'brain zaps' (like electric shocks in my head)- it was awful and I would never take it again just to avoid coming off it!

I chose to do it over the course of a week (rather than more slowly) as I have three children and they were going away with their grandparents that week. I'd been warned that the withdrawal could be difficult so I chose to do it when I knew I wouldn't have to deal with the kids. I'd been advised by a doctor that doing it slowly just meant I'd have the withdrawal symptoms for longer.

I would seriously recommend making sure that you don't have to do anything else if you choose to go 'cold turkey'! Otherwise do it really slowly, but get advice from a doctor first either way.

Good luck and I hope it's easier for you.

MadCap Thu 03-Jan-13 21:16:14

Thanks Annie for your story. I think based on your experience I will carry on as I am until dh is better so that he can help me. Poor thing, he's been so supportive. He was due to start a promotion this week and has now been signed off for four weeks. He's gutted. Well my turn to be the supportive one.

WithanAnotE Sat 05-Jan-13 14:58:25

I am on 300mg IR (150ml twice a day).
Brilliant med, and no side effects for me.
It has very short half life so is very quickly out of your system within 8 hours.
Hence you really notice it if you miss a days dose.
If I forget to take it I do get all the symptoms as described by other posters here.
If it isn't too close to my usual next dose time I would take, but if you are on the extended release you need to be careful as it's distributed on a constant release concentration over a period of hours. With doses (above 150mg) there is increased potential risk of stress on the heart - I have regular ECGs.
Some psychiatrists cross-tapper with an SSRI like Prozac during weaning off to lessen withdrawal problems -there are mixed views on how effective this is.
Me, like another poster here, am happy to stay on it.

MadCap Sat 05-Jan-13 15:37:08

Thanks With I'll mention that to my GP about taking it with something else while coming off of it.

Blue81 Sat 05-Jan-13 21:55:15

Hi yes I have been on it and the withdrawal is hell. Sorry that doesn't sound very positive does it? But like someone else has said it only has a short half life so the withdrawal is quick.

Definitely speak with your GP and decide on a plan you are both happy with and good luck with reducing, you are obviously doing really well to be thinking of reducing.

MadCap Sun 06-Jan-13 12:21:42

I've been really lucky to have some great support from my dh and his family and had a great hv and gp who've referred me onto some great programs. I think that's made all the difference really.

Blue81 Sun 06-Jan-13 21:17:50

Yes, good support really makes a difference. Sounds like you are doing well x

snowbanana Tue 08-Jan-13 10:08:32

I was on 550mg (!) venlafaxine in my past. I could get down to 75 mg easily but then problems started. I tried to quit it five times until my psychiatrist learnt that there is an easy way! I started to take trazodone at the same time. I could stop taking venlafaxine and I did not get any withdrawal. Later I could stop taking trazodone without any problems.

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