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MisterBoddy: Questions on the 10 percent Effexor / Venlafaxine taper method


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Hi Everyone!


Long time listener, first time caller etc. I found this site and the *amazingly* helpful advice here almost a year ago when I started making serious first steps into tapering off Effexor. 


Abridged personal history - Started Effexor for General Anxiety around 21 years ago after a short period of trying Zoloft, Remeron and Buspar. Tried to come off once around 10 years ago after tapering off over four months, but that didn't really work, and life circumstances were not ideal, so I've spent the last ten years working insanely hard to get to a place that I felt confident in along with my Psychologist and Psychiatrist where I could give it another go.


So six months ago I found a great compounding pharmacy and started the taper, going down 10 percent each month, which has been going great! It's been going so great though, that I feel I've reached a plateau, and that at the current rate, it could take another three years using this method!


So - I was just wondering if anyone here has any anecdotal or personal stories of what might work to potentially accelerate the process, so I can get it closer to a further 6-12 months. What would be a conservative figure to drop down by for this timeframe? Curious to hear how other people approach this :)

Thanks in advance!

Edited by mammaP
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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi MisterBoddy, welcome to SA. I have moved your post to the introductions forum because it is about your taper. The tapering topics are for information. 


Ok, so you want to go faster. DON'T DO IT! I tried it and believe me it is not worth it. I tapered for a whole year off 37.5. Felt great while tapering and even better when I was finally off but after a month was at rock bottom and suicidal. I had tapered faster than my brain could adjust. The 10/5 ruls we have is to give the brain chance to adjust to the lower dose before the next drop. After 21 years your brain functions and regenerates around the drug. It has caused a chemical balance that is not natural, an imbalance which is ironic when doctors say it is needed for an imbalance! That is a myth that was perpetuated by the drug companies to sell their drugs. There is no research to back this up and pharma is now having to stop making those claims but it hasn't reached the doctors yet.  


Your taper will take years rather than months but it is worth it. Getting off the drug safelt=y and without withdrawal is far more important than getting off it just because we are impatiient. You have been taking it for 21 years and will likely need to take it for life if you try to rush it because you will go into withdrawal and have to reinstate. I tried several times and in the end took 3 years. I am into my 5th year of tapering drugs and have learned that patience really is a virtue. I am so glad that you have a compounding pharmacy and hope they will get you to the very lowest possible dose before the final jump. Most of us count or weigh beads from the capsules, or make liquid from tablets which so having the right doses will be so much easier. If you get any symptoms at all you need to stop and hold until you have been stable a few weeks before restarting, then make smaller drops. This way you will sail through it. 


I will put up some links for you. It will help us if you canput your drug history into your signature, we ask all our members to do this.




Why taper 10/% 



Tapering effexor



About brain remodelling



**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.



Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014


Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 


My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33


Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible



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Thank you so much for the insightful and considered response MammaP! Those links were very helpful as well :)


If anyone has any other insight or stories, I would love to hear!



Edited by mammaP
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  • 10 months later...

Hi Everyone!


It's been around 12 months since I last posted, and around 18 months since I started my 10% taper. After over 20+ years of daily 75mg doses, I'll be in the single digits (!) next month. 


That said, I have some questions and concerns for anyone else who has gotten there and would appreciate some input:


1) Because my pharmacist is using a scale to weigh the granules, it's getting to the point where getting to an exact 10% reduction is not proving possible as the variations are too great. I saw others moved to a liquid solution, but not sure that will work in this scenario. If you did this taper, what did you do when you got to the sub 10mg range, and how long did it take you to go to 0? 


2) Further to that, a few days ago I skipped a dose by accident and noticed the 'withdrawal' the next day was pretty much just as bad as it was when I was at the full 75mg. Flu like symptoms, dizzy/drunk feeling etc. This was a bit disheartening to experience, as it sort of shoot my confidence that I would be able to make the leap to 0mg when the time came. I'm mostly just curious to hear if this is normal - i.e, for those who made the jump - did you get these feelings when the time came, and if so, how long did it last?


Thanks again for the support here - been lurking for the last little bit but looking forward to hopefully being a success story myself soon!



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Hi MisterBoddy. You've done well with tapering it sounds like...especially having a cooperative pharmacist to help you. From what I'm learning and my own experience this is one heck of a drug to get off of. I got down to a little past 37.5 and did it the wrong way by dosing every second day...so to 18.5. After 26 days my body rebelled with the flulike symptoms, aching all over, fuzzy headed. Generally feeling horrible (kind of like what some people say fibromyalgia is like). Went back to lowest capsule dose, 37.5 and have given the tapering a rest until I find the courage to try again with a slower granule reduction method. 

Right now I'm thinking I'm going to have to be on Effexor till my end of days. I'm sixty-nine and have been on it for eighteen years. 

These drugs do have their uses and can be effective, but I feel there needs to be more research around durations of time on the drug and long-term effects especially when mixed with other drugs and supplements added to the mix.

Just thought I'd share my experience and wish you the very best in eliminating the drug from your body.

Current Medication: 

  • Effexor 37.5  every second day beginning March 1, 2018
  • Teva-Venlafaxine XR...low dose for Thyroid
  • Estrace HRT;  Eltroxin 0.05 mg; 
  •  Symbicort Turbo Inhaler 2 puffs daily for Asthma (collapsed lower right lung) and prone to bronchitis and pneumonia.
  • Recently discovered I have gallstones via general health check-up ultrasound. No painful symptoms to date probably due to a good diet.  Gallstones can occur due to hormone replacement medication. In my case...who knows?
  • Current Symptoms: 
  • Chronic fatigue; aching muscles, joint stiffness, tingling and hot sensation in limbs,
  • unsteady on my feet (have fallen three times in three months)
  • isolating,
  • slight social anxiety, lack of motivation

My Plan:  Keeping track of daily medications in a pocket calendar and making notes. 

Hot baths help...will add Epson salts.  I take Aleve and two Extra Strength Tylenol at night to help with the pain at this point.

Work at a sticking to a daily routine: Up at set time; go for walk; swim twice a week; journal daily in the morning.

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