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tg0884 switch to Effexor is working for me


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I swore if I found something that worked for me that I would share it...I had been on Effexor years ago and weaned successfully, but it took about a year so a few years later when I heard that Pristiq was the new-improved Effexor, and that my dr. wanted to put me on that - I should have been wary, but common sense did not prevail and here I am, 4 years later, trying to get off 75mg of Pristiq.


A few hours after a missed dose and I was almost bedridden so I knew the withdrawl symptoms would damn near kill me, but was determined to try. After reading many, many posts, I went to my dr. and requested a switch to Effexor Immediate Release (not, extended). I read that 75mg Pristiq should be around 150mg effexor, but the dr. only gave me 25mg twice daily. Needless to say, I was freaking out about knowing my body and knowing that this was too big of a drop, blah, blah, blah, but she said to try it and come back if it wasn't working. I took the week off between Christmas and New Year's in anticipation of being bedridden and am happy to say that I didn't need it even once. The switch to Effexor was seamless and now I could slowly wean and cut effexors to my schedule. I believe I had 2 weeks of: Pristiq am and one effexor pm, then effexor 2x, Pristiq am and one effexor pm, effexor 2x, effexor 2x, Pristiq...and continued on like that until the days of just effexor were more than Pristiq.


Once this switch was made, it has been much, much easier to wean since it is an immediate release formula. From there I went 2 weeks with just Effexor 2x per day. Then 1 in am and 1/2 in pm for a week, then only one in am for a week or two (depends on how you feel) - you can also take Benadryl at night to get you through until the next pill in the morning. I am now down to 1/2 pill once a day (12.5mg) and will probably do this for a week or two since I'm a tiny bit foggy and dizzy, but NOTHING like I was used to.


The secret is patience - like months, not weeks. It's hard to be patient, but it's the best way to go...I've done it twice now and for the record, will NOT be doing it again. It can be done, just keep trying.

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  • Administrator

Welcome, tg0884, and thanks so much for telling us about your switch from Pristiq to Effexor.


It sounds like you were taking one 50mg Pristiq tablet and a half tablet every day? Did you take them both in the morning?


Your method of overlapping Pristiq and regular Effexor was a great idea. Did your doctor suggest it?


Here is our topic about tapering Effexor http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/272-tips-for-tapering-off-effexor-and-effexor-xr-venlafaxine/


At this point, you may wish to hold on your taper and allow that foggy feeling, a withdrawal symptom, to go away. Then make a liquid from your 12.5mg and taper more slowly to gently slide off completely.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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  • Moderator Emeritus

hi tg0884 and welcome!


I concur with Alto about holding for a while. My experience has been that whilst i could get OFF effexor reasonably quickly (a few months), I couldn't STAY off. If i went reasonably slowly - maybe 12.5 mg every couple of weeks i wouldn't have physical withdrawals - but a few months later i would get hit with incredible anxiety and would think i had relapsed and go back on. I did this probably 6 times and each time the period off before the anxiety hit got shorter and shorter. I am now tapering by 10% every 3-4 weeks...any faster and the anxiety kicks in.

Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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This post has been so helpful to me

Was on pristiq 50 milligrams and then up to 100 and then down to 50 for 7 weeks


Now trying to wean off with 25 mg effexor am/pm for 9 days

Was going pretty well

Last 2 nites couldn't go yo bed until 12 or 1 as wide awake.

Yesterday's had a get energetic. Day instead of foggy and sleepy.


This am was very hyper and anxious so only took 1/2 .

Alto was kind to write me fast and said to don't start a taper and just keep it the same.


Love to have some effexor buddies.

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