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Dopelogic: Should I start taking Effexor again?


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Hi guys I just wanted to start by saying thank you so much for putting this site together. I can't begin to tell you how much it has helped and educated me in a short time.


Im roughly 23 weeks cold turkey from 37.5mg effexor, I was on that for maybe 5 years before that 75mg for roughly 12 years.

I don't have any medical history records available and can't remember the exact times because my memory is so screwed. I honestly could be years off when estimating the dosage changes. 

I stopped cold turkey because I initially forgot to take it and didn't feel as though it was of any therapeutic benefit to me anymore anyway. Doctors had previously told me I was on a "baby" dose. A relationship had ended a few months before and I wanted to start a new life. I was going to take back control not put anymore of this crap (efexor) in my body, reclaim it from the drug company and start doing all the things I really wanted to do with my life. I realised there would be discontinuation symptoms because of previous reductions and times I had forgotten to take it in the past. I thought maybe a month or 2 at most and I would be back to normal. I could do this, besides I was on the lowest dose available, positive about the future, I had quit other (recreational) drugs throughout my life, I'd worked my way through depression and anxiety years ago and I could get through this.

I can be very stubborn when it comes to some things and I'd decided in my head no matter how bad it got I wouldn't be taking another efexor for the rest of my life. I hated the doctors for prescribing it and telling me to stay on it or trying to get me to raise it even. The drug companies for making it. And both for making me feel like I needed to take it so it was a kinda "up yours" to them all.


5 months later I'm still suffering major symptoms and my life is still on hold. Although some have faded others seem to get worse particularly the insomnia and anxiety even suicidal thoughts I think this may be also due to the fact I've realised that its not going anyway and I may be like this for years or maybe forever? Makes it bloody hard to relax. I get it now that it was pretty reckless to stop so suddenly like that after such a long time.

So I hate to say it but after not being able to go to work the last couple of weeks Im coming to the realisation that I may need to go back on to a very low dose and slowly taper of that.


Is this a good idea? 

Do you think it would ease discon symptoms for me to just start taking maybe half again and taper at 10%? If so how long before tapering?   

Will getting back on efexor have any side effects in itself? 

And also theoretically will discon symptoms last longer because I stopped so suddenly? whether I start taking it again or not. 


I read a lot in the tapering of efexor thread but I'm finding it very hard to concentrate at the moment and find the answers amongst all the good info there. 


Thank you to anyone who has taken the time read all this and reply. Your awesome.

Edited by scallywag
tags added

Began Effexor 75mg at the age of 19 in 1999 for depression and anxiety.

Down to 37.5mg in 2001.

Stopped cold turkey in Feb 2016 after 17 years on this crap.

Stuck with it thinking I could ride out the symptoms not realising what I was in for. 

​Life grinded to a halt at age 35.

One year out most symptoms have lessened to different degrees but still feeling like a debilitated space cadet.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome Dopelogic,

I'm sorry to hear you're struggling at the moment, but glad you have been able to find some help here so far. I will try and answer your questions and give you a few options about where you might go from here. But first, could I ask you to add your drug history to your signature, it makes it easier to understand your situation at a glance, here are instructions for how to do it:  


Please put your withdrawal history in your signature


At five months after a CT off effexor after long term use, its not completely surprising that you're still experiencing some symptoms, we have many members who have reported similar. From what you have written, it sounds like you have had some recovery, but it could be a while longer before you are back to normal, it can take quite a while for some people. But you will recover in time.


The best I can offer by way of advice is to listen to your body and avoid those things that set off symptoms as much as possible. Aside from a high quality fish oil and magnesium, avoid supplements. (See King of Supplements: Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Fish Oil) and Magnesium, Nature's Calcium Channel Blocker). They've been helpful to many of us. 


Here is the link to our symptoms and self care section, you may find some useful ideas to help manage symptoms as you recover.  Especially read the topics pinned at the top.


The other option, besides just waiting is reinstatement. Once you have stabilized on a low dose of the drug, then a slower, safer taper can be started. But because you are 5 months drug free, there's no guarantee that it would work, and could in fact make your symptoms worse, but there's a small possibility it could help. In your case we would recommend trying a very small amount first to see how it effects you, possibly 3mg. Do you have the kind of effexor with the small beads inside? If so, you could try 1 - 2 beads.


Here is our topic about reinstatement, please read it carefully to help you decide if its something you would like to try, come back here to your topic to ask any questions about it. We can also help you decide what dose to start with.


About reinstating and stabilizing to stop withdrawal symptoms


And also theoretically will discon symptoms last longer because I stopped so suddenly? whether I start taking it again or not. 



In general, people do better tapering antidepressants slowly. Going CT often causes symptoms and they do tend to be worse and last longer, the longer someone has been taking these kinds of medications on a regular basis. The reason we so often recommend reinstatement for people suffering withdrawal after stopping too fast is because when it works, it can minimize symptoms or eliminate them entirely and then there is a second chance for tapering properly to avoid suffering either short term or long term with symptoms.


But in your case, the question is whether or not reinstatement will work for you. Reading through the reinstatement topic will explain why this is in more detail.


Please feel free to write whenever you want, you will find a lot of friendly help and support here.


You can use this thread as your ongoing journal to track progress, write about symptoms, ask questions and communicate with the community, add to it whenever you want. Its a good idea to bookmark it or follow it, so its easy to find again.



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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Hi Dopelogic.......I just wanted to stop by to say welcome. I quit Effexor pretty much CT and it has taken me  awhile 

to start feeling a bit better. However my situation was made worse by being prescribed Lyrica for what I now understand as 

protracted WD from Effexor. I only started to understand the nature of WD  a few months ago. 


I think if I was in your position I would think about reinstatement and a slow taper. I was about a year off before I understood 

what was going on and by then I judged it to be a bit far out to reinstate. 


I do feel for you ...in my experience the WD from Effexor after prolonged use is nasty. The anxiety, insomnia and nausea were intense. 


However I feel that I am on the road to recovery now and have reduced my other Meds too. 


I just want to say that it does get better though often it has felt like forever....that seems to be the nature of the beast.


All the very best 



Anti Depressants for  25 years. Valium between 2006 to 7 tapered off over a month without too bad withdrawals.

For last 15 years 150 mg of Effexor and 30 mg of Mirtazapine. Occasional short term benzo use without habituation.

March 2015 stopped Effexor after rapid taper. 6 weeks. 

One month fluoxetine June 2015...stopped CT July 2015.

October 2013 to December 2015 Zopiclone 15 mg at night,

Dec 2015 to Early March 2016 Lyrica 75 mg at night. 

Stopped too quickly as  adverse side effects.

January to May 2016 tapered Zopiclone to 7.5mg 

Crossed over to Valium and now ..March 28th 2017 Benzo Free.

Also on 30 mg Mirtazapine and holding until have finished Benzo taper.

IN protracted WD from Effexor.


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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi dopelogic! Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA).


GRrrrrr -- doctors and their under-educated opinions about these drugs! :angry: I'm sorry that you're the one suffering because of your doctor's opinion and advice. There aren't words for how unfair it is.


Petunia's posted a lot of good links. I hope you'll make time to read them and come back with your questions.  Please let us know what you decide about reinstating a tiny dose of Effexor, and how you're doing.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here

scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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  • 4 years later...
  • Administrator

@Dopelogic, how are you doing?

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Dopelogic: Should I start taking Effexor again?
  • 2 months later...
  • Administrator
On 6/14/2017 at 4:17 AM, Dopelogic said:

Hey Lizzy 

Yeah neuro emotions are absolutely horrible one of the worst symptoms for me. An ex gf breakup more than ten years ago feels like its happening right now and even more intense than originally! I find I have to constantly remind myself that these intrusive thoughts and the emotional weight hanging from them aren't real and that its just part of the process of the brain healing itself. The same goes for any negative or suicidal thoughts. Its bizarre to know that the real you is somewhere beneath all that chaos observing it all. Try breath deeply and tap into that space when things become overwhelming (easier said than done I know). Keep hanging on, take one day at a time and wait to hear back from the mods regarding reinstating is your best bet. In the mean time try not to spend time ruminating anything negative, try distract yourself with some activity not to demanding if you are able. 

Maybe show your daughter this site if she doesn't understand whats going on with you? I know it helped me with my family. 

Remind yourself you can and will get better. Your body and brain are doing an awesome job. 

Be kind to yourself.

Much love 




On 6/15/2017 at 5:27 AM, Dopelogic said:

Hi Lizzy. It sounds like your really suffering there. I know it feels like your so far gone from your sense of self and that there is no way back from it but I promise you can and will make it. I know its just words and probably not what you want to hear, you just need some immediate relief now and a plan to get better. But unfortunately I don't have the expertise or knowledge of prozac to recommend any course of action. Im sure the mods will recommend something soon though and hopefully that helps. Ill try to help with support and encouragement though! I know a big part the suffering for me was thinking that my brain was ruined and I would never be "normal" again. So please don't think you'll be like this forever. You won't. The brain will repair itself and you'll be able to make the life you want for yourself.

I've been in a similar spaces and seriously considered suicide multiple times. Roughly 4 months of Effexor like yourself. Convinced there was no other option totally sure I would never mentally make it back, I don't know why I didn't act but thank god I didn't and slowly but surely I felt myself getting better over time. And this is after 17 years on this ****. The hell of AD withdrawal is indescribable torture and an extremely personal experience.

If you find yourself planning anything or beginning to act upon thoughts of self harm please call lifeline 13 11 14 and or your doctor. 

And know some random dude in Sydney's thinking about ya.





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

All postings © copyrighted.

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