Weaning Off Effexor

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Scully'sMom
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 4/1/2009 1:01 PM (GMT -7)   
confused     Hello everyone, I'm new to the site.
 
I have been taking .75 mg of Effexor XR for about 6 years, since my husband and I brought my mom to live with us.  She's 87 and can be extremely difficult towards me.
 
I have gained so much weight since I've been on the Effexor and frankly, that's the only thing that's making me anxious.   I'd like to get off the Effexor but my internist thinks that frankly as long as my mom is alive I'll have to take something.
 
I've Googled the weaning off of Effexor and I'm terrified.  I've heard only horror stories.  For me, if I don't take my pill in the morning about 8 hours later my head starts to feel really funny and he said I'm one of the rare people that happens to.
 
My question is two-fold:
 
Is the weaning off this medication as horrific as everyone says it is?
 
and....
 
If he were to put me on something different, I'm thinking that new Pristiq, how does that work - you completely wean off Effexor and then start on something new?
 
Anything thoughts would be deeply appreciated.

Becky77
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1768
   Posted 4/1/2009 2:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Just to let you know, I don't think the wierd head feeling is rare. If I don't take my Effexor, I start having that feeling. Lots of people have mentioned that here, too.

As for weaning off the med, I don't really know, but I have heard it is difficult. Hopefully some people will come along shortly and give you more information!

Sorry I don't have a lot of helpful information for you, but I thought I'd share my two cents.
Becky

31 yr old female-dx with Crohn's in '97 after emergency resection and appendectomy, 2nd resection '05
Currently on Humira, Prilosec, Effexor, Seroquel, Calcium, Vit D, sublingual B12; phenergan, ultram, clonazepam as needed


Scully'sMom
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 4/1/2009 2:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you Becky! I appreciate the input.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40575
   Posted 4/1/2009 3:43 PM (GMT -7)   
I take 375mg of effexor a day. I have tried weaning off before and it was close to impossible. But pristiq is one of the medications that I think you can go on while weaning, I believe it is a close cousin. But I don't think it is as strong as effexor. I am not sure I might have it mixed up with celexa. They are both similar to effexor, I believe. Either way I hope that your transition goes smoothly. I am sorry that I wasn't much help.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


Scully'sMom
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 4/1/2009 4:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for your feedback Karen.  The little bit of reseach I've done said that Pristiq is similar to Effexor.
 
Do you mind my asking - did you experience this horrible weight gain from the Effexor?  THAT stresses me more than anything.

THE HAPPY TURTLE
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 18748
   Posted 4/1/2009 7:45 PM (GMT -7)   

dear scullys'mum.

hello & welcome, i am jamiee, just weaned of the effexor for the pristiq. i am around 2 weeks in. 100mg, okay, but agree with karen will go up. yes, i weaned for about 3 days, was a ***** but feel better 4 it. was on 300mg for 4 years, and occassionally 375mg. since pristiq is a derivitive of effexor weaning to pristiq may well be an option. let me know how you go, if ok.

luv 2 you. jamiee, 37 male, iddm, major depression, severe borderline personality disorder, hormone defiecency, diabetic nuropathy, plumbing issues, back and some bits & pecies!!!

good luck, smilewinkgrin


getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40575
   Posted 4/1/2009 8:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Scully'smom,

I didn't really have a weight gain problem from the effexor, though I have gained some weight. But I have fibromyalgia and that is when the weight started. But I haven't gained that much. I figure that it is because I can't move around like I use to and do the things that I am use to. I am hopeing to get a part time job soon and hope to lose the weight that I did gain. I will keep you posted. That way I will know for sure where it came from, plus I am getting older so I kind of expected it.

I hope that you are able to take the pristiq. And I hope that it works well for you.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


THE HAPPY TURTLE
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 18748
   Posted 4/2/2009 2:01 AM (GMT -7)   
apologies to the community for the language. jamiee. it just summed it up well!! sorry will be more careful. jamiee.

Scully'sMom
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 4/2/2009 5:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you Jamie and Karen! This has all been very helpful and I'm very appreciative. Karen, I just retired in August from a secretarial job so sitting all day and, getting older, didn't help. But in the last 7 months since I've been home I hardly ever sit down and I'm always up and down a million times a day doing things around the house. I think I even eat less since I've been home and this weight is just extremely discouraging.

I'm wondering if since I'm just one 75 mg if perhaps it might not be TOO horrible to wean. I have a doctor's appointment in two weeks so I guess time will tell.

Thank you again!

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 4/2/2009 6:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Welcome to HealingWell and I am Kitt.  You have recieved great comments already and I agree that you can easily move from Effexor to Pristiq as Pristiq is the newest AD and suppose to be an improved version of the Effexor.  You do not have to be completely off of the Effexor and your physician would prescibe your dosing routine so you ease off one while starting the new med.
 
Effexor is supposed to be one of the ADs that does not cause a lot of weight gain but each person is different.  I took Cymbalta and it was to be a weight neutral med but I gained over 20 lbs on it........... 
 
Good luck and again welcome to HealingWell.
Kitt
 

 
 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
&  Moderator GERD  Forums

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http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
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Scully'sMom
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 4/2/2009 9:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Kitt, thank you for your post. Everyone has been so welcoming and I really appreciate all the feedback.

ShakesDarkLady
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/2/2009 4:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone, I am new to this site.
I am on Day 2 with no effexor. I had been taking it for 7 years at 150 mg. Last fall the bottom literally fell out... I was close to suicide for the second time in my life. My physician, who has been my prescriber, also put me on 100mg of Bupropion (generic wellbutrin) and 25mg of Trazadone (to help me sleep). It all helped to pull me up a bit, but I noticed that I have sort of plateaued in the melancholy zone, so I finally started to see a psychologist. She teamed up with a medication specialist and they decided to take me off of the effexor. They gave me one week of the 75mg capsules, and told me to go cold turkey after that, while upping my bupropion to 200mg.

Day 1 without effexor was not too bad, it felt like any other day that I had forgotten to take my medication. But later in the evening, I couldn't eat or drink anything without it going right through me. Then, despite taking the trazadone, I barely slept last night. I would doze off for 15-20 min increments only to wake up and start all over again. I finally fell asleep around 6am and slept until noon.

When I got up today, Day 2, my head was and still is extremely buzzy, sort of brain shivers, as I have heard them referred to on other sites. As the day has gone on, the brain shivers have been getting more frequent. And I have barely stopped crying for the last hour.

I have read about the MANY possible withdrawal effects and they scare me. I am in my last semester as a graduate student and I am completely unable to do my work. And I am supposed to start a new job on Monday, and I am terrified that I am not going to be able to do it. These symptoms are only supposed to get worse before they get better. Also, I am afraid of who I will be when I am completely over the effexor. I have been on it so long that I almost don't remember what I was like before it. Besides the withdrawal symptoms, my biggest fear is that my fiancee, who is extremely loving, understanding, and supportive, will not like the person I am minus the effexor.

Side note: I am not a doctor or expert, just sharing my experience. And symptoms may vary.

I will try to keep you all update as I try to break free from effexor.

Shakes

Post Edited (ShakesDarkLady) : 4/2/2009 5:22:22 PM (GMT-6)


getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40575
   Posted 4/2/2009 5:12 PM (GMT -7)   
I am not really sure if this is the best time to stop a medication like effexor. But you should follow your doctor's advice. Does your doctor know that you are in a very important time in school and that you are starting a new job? This could be a really critical point for you. In my opinion, you should go to a 37.5 mg pill before you go off of it. But that is from my own experience of going off of it. I never did succeed for long. But the welbutrin going into your system should help some. They are somewhat compatable so that should help some. If you have problems going off the 75mg, ask about the 37.5 and see if that transition is easier. It is hard to go off of effexor, I am sorry it quit working for you. I take 375mg each day. And abilify on top of it and that works wonderful.

Best wishes to you with your medication adjustment.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


Effexor is evil
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/2/2009 8:06 PM (GMT -7)   

I am new to the forum and I apologize for the length of the post. However, I was on effexor (venlafaxine) for 6 years. I've tried SEVERAL times through the years to taper off, but every time I became so ill that I couldn't function and ended up taking it again. The straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak, was when my Dr. told me to stop eating Ho-ho's and that I'd probably be on this for the rest of my life. I would have agreed with him had I actually had anything to eat other than salads and lean protein and was exercising my butt off and STILL gained weight. So, I researched the withdrawal extensively and, luckily, was able to schedule 3 days off of work in addition to a weekend. Normally, I would have tapered down, but I'd always gotten sick. So, I figured if I was going to be sick, it might as well be because I stopped taking it altogether. ***Keep in mind this worked for ME, it might NOT work for you or anyone else. ***  I stopped taking it the night before my last day of working before my mini self-imposed vacation. The first 3 - 4 days were hell. I had brain zaps. I was light-headed and confused. I couldn't think of the simplest words to say something to my daughter. I feel floaty off and on and I sweated so much I felt like I was in a sauna. However, I am now OFF and the withdrawal symptoms are gradually decreasing. Listen to your body. Drug reps make money on how many scripts of the drug they get the Dr. to write. Most drug reps have no real training in the medical profession. Take MECLIZINE if you have withdrawal symptoms. It's located near the Dramamine in the grocery store or drug store and it was a godsend. Keep in mind that you can DO this. Make a choice and stick with it. It DOES get better. I haven't felt this calm or this good, all things considered, in years. DON'T lose hope. At the very least talk to another Dr. If nothing else there is a way to taper down, on another site, that seems to have worked for a lot of people. GOOD LUCK!!


getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40575
   Posted 4/3/2009 7:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi EIE,

I just wanted to welcome you to the forum. I take effexor and it works well for me, but I know a lot of people can't handle it. I am glad that you got off with help.

I hope that you are doing good. Have a great day,.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


Effexor is evil
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/3/2009 5:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Karen!

I'm glad to know that it works for some people. I think I'm stunned at how well I actually do feel. It's like I said on my post, not everything works for everyone. How long have you been on it?

Thanks again. Have great night!

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40575
   Posted 4/3/2009 7:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi EIE,

I have been on effexor for about 15 years. I went off for a while, but went back on. The going off part was hard. A lot of withdrawal symptoms. But I ended up going on to effexor xr the second time around. I have been doing really well on it, especially since they added the abilify. My depression is said to be in remission. But I don't have a lot of stress in my life right now either. So I am very fortunate at this time.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

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