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Weaning myself off AD venlafaxine....

(12 Posts)
ohsobusyx3 Thu 18-Jun-15 19:01:42

Today I saw my GP to discuss coming off venlafaxine. I appreciate this is not an overnight process but one that will take some time.

I am currently on 75mg/day of the brand Efexor XL. I switched from 150mg/day before Christmas and that was ok.

My GP has prescribed a half dose drop again to 37.5mg which I am going to take for a week to 2 weeks and then I will take it alternatively with fluoxetine, slowly weaning myself onto fluoxetine solely and then off that entirely! In the past 8 years I have only been off AD meds for the duration of my 2 additional pregnancies (originally diagnosed with PND in 2007 after birth of DD#1)

Has anyone else come off venlafaxine? I have read plenty online from Mind and the Royal Society of Psychiatrists about the side effects. I am looking for some real life, day to day feedback really.....

Thanks to anyone who can share their experiences.

windchimes23 Fri 19-Jun-15 12:56:00

I came off it, I went cold turkey from 75mg after coming down from 225mg. It wasn't pleasant but I was better within four weeks.

Tapering is best if you are not in a hurry. For me the side effects were so bad I just quit it.

If you want to know how I did it PM me. I can help with advice on OTC vitamins, sleep aids and anti sickness drugs.

Try not to read horror stories on the Internet, for every horror story there are tons of us out there who have got off this successfully wink

NanaNina Sat 20-Jun-15 00:36:26

I can understand why you are asking about coming off Venlafaxine ohsobusy but I think Itisn't is right, these ADs as I'm sure you know work differently on all of us, and so coming off them will be different too, and some will have no trouble and others will, so it's best to just do as your GP is suggesting. Having said that I came off Venlafaxine without any trouble and 75mg is a relatively small dose to taper off isn't it.

NotAJammyDodger Sat 20-Jun-15 08:51:42

Your GP is cross-tapering with Prozac to limit the withdrawal effects which I have read that this is a very sensible way to limit the impact of Venlafaxine withdrawal symptoms.

I am slowly reducing venlafaxine (from 300mg, currently down to 112mg). I didn't have any problems at all with that reduction but struggled a bit going down to 75mg from 112mg. In part because I think I probably need to keep a low maintence dose to ward off my lingering depression.

Dead Sun 21-Jun-15 10:13:03

I finally did it slowly over 3-4 months - it felt slow and at times really tough. But it was so so worth it.

I had sensations of flip out anger and irrational thoughts which I believed were the uncovering of untreated depression - but these episodes were transient and once I recognised them I could take a level of control on the intrusive thoughts -- they got less intense and less frequent over time until they were gone. I noticed that they appeared when I dropped a dose - so just thought I will endure this for a few days. I did not have any concurrent AD to help the withdrawal. I had tried before and not been successful.

I also got the brain zapper stuff - not painful just a weird sensation - this also decreased over time - but did continue (although deceasing frequency) even after I had been off all meds. I even had one the other day (first in months) even though I have been ven free since Dec....I put it down to being stressed.

Good luck -- I gave each dose drop a month to settle before I did the next -- it was only the first few days that were difficult -- the edgy/raw/exposed feeling soon goes.

Candlefairy101 Sun 21-Jun-15 21:03:28

Hi, I'm currently on 300mg venlafaxine, can I ask what your side affects were? Is that the reason you guys are weaning off them? Or is it that you've told yourself that you just no longer want to take AD's x

Dead Sun 21-Jun-15 21:15:19

I had decided that my depression had passed and it was time to get off them...tho the side effects whist coming off them made me question that - however as I said they were transient and I battle through to find that the depression had gone.

windchimes23 Sun 21-Jun-15 21:19:14

Side effects:

Weight gain
Sweating
Nightmares
Psychosis
Mania
Self harm
Suicidal Ideation
Ligature

And much much more, so they upped my dose. I ended up on 300mg and went totally psychotic. Then they threw in Lamatical to stabilise it and I got Stevens Johnson syndrome.

I would not touch Effexor ever again confused

craftysewer Sun 21-Jun-15 21:20:52

Like Candlefairy, I'm interested why people come of Venlafaxine. I've been on it for years (at least 10), have tried to come off it once, unsuccessfully. I feel great now, but have occasional bouts of being down, mainly due to lack of self confidence and feeling I'm failing. I don't know if I should just carry on with it or try to come off it again. I have no side effects that I'm aware of, although I was told that AD take the extremes off feelings, both good and bad, and I sometimes wonder if I'm not experiencing as much of the 'good' feelings that I should.

windchimes23 Sun 21-Jun-15 21:21:26

Just to add I'm not against psychiatric drugs but it's a lottery, and it nearly killed me.

Candlefairy101 Mon 22-Jun-15 06:45:24

Hi I hope people out still here... I've been in venlafaxine for 1 year as when I was pregnant I ended up havin a breakdown and was put in a mother and baby unit for 4 weeks, I've carried on venlafaxine and I do get night sweats, but with mental states how can I determine what effects and what's my mental health? Also I'm really worried because I've found out I'm pregnant agin this week.., and I'm literally petrified 1) taking venlafaxine while pregnant and 2) if I come off, will I have a breakdown? I feel trapped because I feel like I HAVE to take venlafaxine because I can't go through withdrawals pregnant so I'm stuck confused

NotAJammyDodger Wed 24-Jun-15 16:22:02

I reduced slowly from 300mg to 112mg because it killed my sex drive. I didn't have any other side effects really. As I was starting to feel better I wanted to have sex again and orgasm. I doubt I'll stop taking it completely as I think I need a maintenance dose and don't ever want to go back to the dark place I was in before taking it - just want to find the optimum minimum dose.

candle your doc might keep you on Venlafaxine or might switch you over to another med during pregnancy and any subsequent breast feeding period. Best to discuss with your doc - are you seeing a GP now or psychiatrist?
Given your history I would be surprised if they took you off ADs altogether. Certainly, I had no problems at all reducing down to 112mg - so not all doom and gloom.

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