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kaygee - new and want to wean off venlafaxine


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hi folks,


I just joined this site. Hopefully I do this intro and advice request right!


I'm on the timed released Efexor 75mg venlafaxine capsules made by Pfizer, taking one each morning AND I also take one 37.5mg tablet of immediate release venlafaxine each evening (tablets made by TEVA UK Ltd). I've been on venlafaxine since 2009. I would like to start weaning off them.


Would it be sensible to start weaning off of the timed release capsule first (doing a 10% reduction by removing the appropriate amount of beads from the capsules every 4 weeks or so, depending on how I get on) and just keep taking the 37.5mg tablet every evening while I wean off the capsules?             Or, should I wean off the immediate release tablets first and then begin weaning off the timed release capsules afterwards?


I haven't tried to wean off the medication before.


I'm in the UK.


Cheers and thanks in advance for any help.



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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Kaygee, welcome to SA.  It looks like you have already done your homework and know about the 10% taper that we advise here.  I think it might be best to taper the capsule first by counting the beads,  then you could make a liquid from the tablet for the last leg. Tapering from the last few beads can be problematic so having the tablet to make into liquid will mean you can taper 10% right to the end. You will need to split the dose of liquid so you take it twice a day as it will not be slow release. 


Here are some links for you to read, I'm sure you must have read some of them already but just in case you missed any.......


It would help us if you can put your drug history in your signature, briefly what you are taking now and any other psych drugs you may have taken. Their doses and when started/stopped.   Here is how to do that. 




Tips for tapering effexor  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/272-tapering-off-effexor-venlafaxine/


How to make a liquid. http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2693-how-to-make-a-liquid-from-tablets-or-capsules/


The importance of the 3 KIS, keep it simple, keep it slow, keep it stable  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6632-the-rule-of-3kis-keep-it-simple-keep-it-slow-keep-it-stable/

**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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi  kaygee , welcome.     It's so good to see someone who knows what questions to ask going into the tapering process.


I agree with mammaP about starting with the morning XR dose.    But I think I would alternate after a while , so that towards the end you're still taking

some XR as you come off the immediate release evening dose.


Good to have you here ,     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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Kaygee, welcome to the forum.


I'm with MammaP--it can be problematic to taper off the bead formulations when you get to the lowest doses, because you can't make them into small enough increments. If you make a liquid from the tablets you can make a high dilution and get really small increments at the end if you need them. So it might be nice to keep that as an option for yourself. But as she says you will need to dose more often, because you will not have the extended release effect once you're done with the XR.


But that's a ways down the road. For now, I would recommend you read the links she gave you, and read or skim the other stuff in the Tapering section, and generally familiarize yourself with what information is here in general and where it's located. 

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.


Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 


I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Kaygee !


Just gotta say - you're so clever to come here FIRST before doing a too-fast taper or cold turkey!  So many people come here AFTER they've made dosing mistakes, and then while they are melting down, we try and talk them into a safer course.


You are starting out safely to begin with - so you are more likely to have a successful, less painful taper.


I'm not a bead or XR expert, I just wanted to chime in with some support.  Rhiannon and MammaP know best.


Welcome to SA!

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna


Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.


My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.


A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.

The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/



I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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hi folks, thanks to you all for the warm welcome, support, tips and links to read. Will have a look at them soon - have been in some of them already. Will also see about making a 'signature'.


Have a good day everyone.

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