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Krasni: Finally completed Venlafaxine withdrawal


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My doctor prescribed Venlafaxine (Effexor) for me 4 years ago after I complained that I was having hot flashes that caused my face to turn bright red.  She told me the medication was an anti-depressant but that it was approved for off-label use to treat the flushing symptoms.  I didn't get a second opinion, nor did I look into the side effects.  I went blindly ahead.  I didn't know how bad it would be to miss just one dose.  


During the first six months, I missed a few doses and the withdrawal symptoms would start within 10 hours.  I didn't connect the symptoms to the missed dose.  I thought that there was something wrong with my brain or my inner ear, but it would clear up the next day (because I took my dose).   Eventually, I figured it out  and I spoke with my doctor about it.  She told me that I was in a small percentage of people who have that experience, but she advised against discontinuing the medication.  And, by that time, I had to admit that it had helped my moods and my mild anxiety.  I felt a lot more content, and I rarely felt frustrated or angry by small things.


But ultimately, I got tired of worrying about missing a dose.  I travel internationally and I worried that I'd lose medication (or have it confiscated) while in a foreign country and that I wouldn't be able to get a new prescription.  And the missed doses (despite everything I did to prevent them) still happened, and they would set me back a half day.  So I read a lot of information on this site, and I came up with a tapering plan.  


I'll post more about that plan in the tapering section.  In short, it took six weeks and I suffered quite a bit.  In addition to the physical symptoms (dizziness, brain zaps), I had terrible, dark moods.  I wondered if I'd ever make it through and whether I'd permanently messed up my brain.  But it was manageable, and I did make it through.  I'm thankful that I found this site.  And I'm thrilled to finally be free.



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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Krasni: Finally completed Venlafaxine withdrawal
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello, Krasni and welcome to SA.


Congratulations on being Effexor-free.


We ask all members to create a drug signature.  This'll enable the moderators to give informed advice.  Please follow this format:

Summarize your history in a signature - ALL drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months.  Please be sure to put the start date, dosage and end date.

  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016.
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.


This is your main page where you can post updates and ask questions.  You mentioned posting your tapering plan in the tapering section.  It would be better if you posted it here.  More people will see it and all your information will be in one place.

Edited by Gridley

Gridley Introduction


Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.


Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper of 18.75mg Valium  

End 2021  year 1 of taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of taper at 2.75mg 

Current dose as of Nov. 21, 2023 1.12mg

Taper is 94% complete.


Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 14.4mg  

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5mg and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  


Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg

I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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