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GanderGirl: Venlafaxine XR for Menopause - Ridiculous


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I went to my GP in June of 2015 reporting standard symptoms of perimenopause - night sweats, mood swings, minor bouts of crying, irregular periods, etc (I am 45 years old). As I was just starting a new job, she argued very strongly that it could NOT be menopause that it was most likely anxiety. I have never suffered from anxiety or depression. I wanted so badly to do something about the night sweats and the subsequent issues of fatigue at work, so I agreed to try the drug "just for the summer". What a major mistake that was.


I informed her in September that I no longer wished to take the drug. Periods has stopped for a couple of months at that point, so I was no longer open to any sort of debate. She set me up to taper by 37.5 mg a month for three months. I tapered by 37.5 every two weeks without any side effects whatsoever. In fact, I felt great during that tapering period. I stopped the drug four days ago after two weeks on 37.5 mg a day. I had NO IDEA what a horrible drug this is until I started to experience symptoms of withdrawal three days ago.


I do have heaviness/pressure in my eyes and ears, I have to come home for a nap in the middle of the afternoon due to fatigue, and I am experiencing some minor electrical zaps in my legs. These symptoms have been somewhat manageable. I should mention that the symptoms always seem worst at midday.


The thing that is making me most miserable is the constant "quacking" sound that now follows me everywhere I go. It's like I'm about 100 yards away from a duck pond. When I plug my ears, there is no difference in the intensity or volume of the sound.


I am extremely upset about this situation as I am a professional musician. The sounds are driving me absolutely crazy. I know this is only day four of withdrawal, but I am curious if anyone else has experienced any auditory withdrawal symptoms. 


Thanks in advance for any advice/insight/kind words you may have for me.

Venlafaxine XR - June-Sept 2015 - 150 mg/day


37.5 X 3 for two weeks

37.5 X 2 for two weeks

37.5/day for two weeks

No withdrawal symptoms until complete stop of drug.


Prescribed drug by GP after a report of menopause symptoms. No warning of serious withdrawal side effects.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi GanderGirl ,  welcome to the site.  I'm so sorry you're in this situation , but you've come to the most

infrmative site on the web for advice and support in how to manage it.


You are having withdrawal symptoms from stopping the SSRI too quickly.   Dropping 37.5mg every two weeks is pretty much equivalent to going off cold turkey.  This site suggests decreases of no more than 10% per month to allow your brain and body to recover as you go down.


One of the most unique things about these drugs is that they often (usually?) give a delayed withdrawal response.

So that , you would likely have developed w/d symptoms even if you had sat tight after the first 37.5mg cut.

As you read more on the site you'll develop a good understanding of how it goes.


To be honest , your w/d is most likely (imo) to get worse before it starts to get better.

You may find taking a very small amount of venlafaxine relieves /takes the edge off your symptoms.

See http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-reduce-withdrawal-symptoms/


The other option is riding it out.  In this way , recovery will take at least a few months and possibly years.  There's no real predictor , and unfortunately the fact that you only took the ven. for a short time is not really a factor.


If you click FOLLOW at the top right , you'll receive an email each time someone posts here.


Best wishes ,  Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Thanks so much for the insights, Fresh. I will have a good look around the site and check out the link you provided. Grateful to have a response so quickly.

Venlafaxine XR - June-Sept 2015 - 150 mg/day


37.5 X 3 for two weeks

37.5 X 2 for two weeks

37.5/day for two weeks

No withdrawal symptoms until complete stop of drug.


Prescribed drug by GP after a report of menopause symptoms. No warning of serious withdrawal side effects.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I agree with the advice Fresh has given you.


Here is a link to a topic with lots of the key threads to read.  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/300-important-topics-in-the-tapering-forum-and-faq/


You might actually want to start at the bottom.


Can I also ask you to complete your signature   Instructions are here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/


When you have read and had a think about the idea of restating and tapering slowly you can come back here to ask questions



Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.


DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017


>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome GanderGirl,

I'm sorry this has happened to you and you have every right to be upset at your doctor for not listening, misdiagnosing you and putting you on a drug which is notoriously difficult to withdraw from.


On the positive side, you did only take it for 4 months, so there's a possibility you will recover from withdrawal symptoms sooner, rather than it take months or years as it can do when people have been on these drugs for years and try to stop.


As Fresh pointed out, you tapered too fast and now you have the options of either dealing with the withdrawal symptoms with the help of the many topics in our symptoms and self care section, as you recover.  Especially read the topics pinned at the top.


Or you could reinstate 37.5mg and hold there for a while to see if symptoms go away, then begin a slower taper, the link Fresh gave you provides more details.


Tinnitus is a common withdrawal symptom, my ears started ringing 2 weeks after I tapered too fast off Lexapro.


Here are some related links:


Tinnitus -- What does all that noise mean? - Symptoms and ...


Head noise and other symptoms in the head - Surviving ...



I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?

VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?

VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?

VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes




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