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Jason47124: I’m off of Effexor but I went through hell.

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Hey everyone I’m Jason47124. Wanted to introduce myself. I’m a 48 year old male who was receiving care through Veterans Affairs for my service connected PTSD.


I was on Effexor XR 150mg for about 13 years until two months ago. I started researching about the horrible effects of antidepressants especially Effexor and wanted off.  Plus they suspected my elevated blood pressure was due to Effexor and agreed. The weening process they had me do was horrible. Every week go down 37.5 until off completely.


Once I was down to 75mg I went down hill quickly. Within one day I started feeling extreme fear and anxiety to the point I could not sleep. If I closed my eyes I would get an immediate rush of panic and fear. After 48hrs of no sleep I went to the VA ER with them telling me sorry we don’t know what to do it’s a behavioral health problem.


I was able to sleep finally and see my VA Doc who prescribed me Seraquel and had me go back to 150mg of Effexor. With in a couple weeks I was feeling normal again with the Seraquel to help me sleep. Found out by doing my own research that Seraquel is a horrible idea to use for sleep.


After several months back on 150mg of Effexor the VA had me taper more slowly by going down 37.5 mgs per month. Again when I got to 75mg it was the same as the last time. Severe anxiety, twitching, I would jump out of my skin if a door closed normally, sensitive to cold and when I would close my eyes I would get a rush of panic preventing me from sleeping. This time I went to a civilian ER and was admitted to a hospital.


I was out back on Effexor 150mg but I was still having issues. Like I had opened Pandora’s box of withdrawal symptoms. By then I was afraid to sleep try to fall asleep. I did a cortisol test during that time and my cortisol level was through the roof.


Long story short with the help of an amazing treatment team I’m off of Effexor and on Lexapro but bridging is not a good way to get off of Effexor. It’s been two months since my last dose of 37.5 and I’m still having some withdrawal symptoms. In the beginning the body aches, lack of concentration/short term memory loss, stomach/bowel movement issues and fatigue was hell. Now I have good days and bad days with short term memory loss. I can still tell a difference that’s it’s still not right since before I started weening off. Hopefully I won’t be stupid forever. Lol I can say month two I’ve been having more anxiety during the day with irritability. I can control it through exercise, diet and staying away from the news. I do my best to not take an Ativan. The aches and pains are gone but I’ve lost a lot of strength and muscle mass. Still having stomach bowel movement issues but that’s been better with staying on a whole food healthy diet. Now I’m on 20mg of Lexapro and one 50mg with a half which is 25mg totaling 75 mgs. It zonks me out so I may go down to 50mg. All in all I feel more sensitive to everything. Like my nervous system is still out of whack but a huge improvement since I first started trying to ween off and those first few weeks finally off of Effexor. 

Edited by manymoretodays
Name to title, spacing only in body for readability











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  • Emonda changed the title to Jason47124: I’m off of Effexor but I went through hell.
  • Moderator

Hello, and welcome to Surviving Antidepressants. We are a peer support forum to assist in tapering off psychiatric drugs safely, or recovering from psychiatric drug withdrawal.


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Taper calculator spreadsheet



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Cod liver oil, Magnesium, Vitamin C

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