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aussiegal Coming off 37.5 mg Effexor xr


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Hi folks,


I have read about tapering off and just wanted people's thoughts. I was on 75 Effexor for few years and then dropped to 37.5 with ease. Now we are trying to have a baby and i decided well less is better for baby so I cut out one of the tablets in the capsule (there are 3). Whenever I thought about going off the drug I would have a lot of anxiety about returning to how things were- losing my Job, not coping etc

This is my second go at coming off 37.5 mg I totally freaked out after 3 days with the same thought process of what if I can't cope, but I managed to calm down for the last 3 days. Now I am 7 days post tappering (so on 2 tablets) and I am really, really anxious about not coping. It seems utterly crazy that even before I begun tappering off I would get so worked up about this and now I have started the process I am freaking out again, which is making me think I should just stay the hell on it as this stress is so not conducive to having a baby anyway. But I just don't know how to handle this. I can handle physical side effects of withdrawl but this fear of things going bad again has really got a grip of me. The crazy and awful thing is, if my husband came in and said "here is your tablet" and it was a sugar pill I would probably be fine and dandy. It is just the whole process of what will happen and maybe I can't cope without it that is doing my head in right now. Has anyone else been through this ? I searched the net and couldn't find anyone else who had!


Thanks for reading my rant!

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  • Administrator

Welcome, aussiegal.


There are thousands and thousands of posts on the Web about the difficulty of coming off Effexor. Look for "Effexor withdrawal" and you'll see them.


You may wish to taper more slowly to avoid these withdrawal symptoms.


Our topic on Effexor tapering has been viewed almost 40,000 times: Read it here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/272-tips-for-tapering-off-effexor-and-effexor-xr-venlafaxine/

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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Hi admin, would you say my experience is withdrawl? It seems odd that it would be that since I get that anxiety even when I thought about making a dose change?

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  • Administrator

If you dropped half your dose from 75 to 37.5 in recent months, I'd say YES, it is withdrawal.  That is a large amount to drop all at once and Effexor is a difficult drug to come off of.


When I had severe withdrawals in 2011 from a too fast taper my main symptom was anxiety.  My worst fears remained at the top of my thoughts all the time.  I up-dosed until I started to feel more normal and held there until I stabilized.  I've continued weaning off of Effexor very slowly and I am fine.  I actually feel joyful and balanced most of the time now.


When  you get a chance please add your drug withdrawal history in your signature like so: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/.  Your signature will post with every question or update you post to the forum and will be a ready reference so that others can tailor their responses to your specific situation.



2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & .625 mg Xanax

200 mg Gabapentin 2/27/21 - 194.5 mg, 5/28/21 - 183 mg, 8/2/21 - 170 mg, 11/28/21 - 150 mg, 4/19/22 - 122 mg; 8//7/22 - 100 mg; 12/17 - 75mg; 8/17 - 45 mg; 10/16 40 mg
Xanax taper: 3/11/12 - 0.9375 mg, 3/25/12 - 0.875 mg, 4/6/12 - 0.8125 mg, 4/18/12 - 0.75 ; 10/16 40mg;

1/16 0.6875 mg; at some point 0.625 mg
Effexor taper: 1/29/12 - 40.625 mg, 4/29/12 - 39.875 mg, 5/11/12 - Switched to liquid Effexor, 5/25/12 - 38 mg, 7/6/12 - 35 mg, 8/17/12 - 32 mg, 9/14/12 - 30 mg, 10/19/12 - 28 mg, 11/9/12 - 26 mg, 11/30/12 - 24 mg, 01/14/13 - 22 mg. 02/25/13 - 20.8 mg, 03/18/13 - 19.2 mg, 4/15/13 - 17.6 mg, 8/10/13 - 16.4 mg, 9/7/13 - 15.2 mg, 10/19/13 - 14 mg, 1/15/14 - 13.2 mg, 3/1/2014 - 12.6 mg, 5/4/14 - 12 mg, 8/1/14 - 11.4 mg, 8/29/14 - 10.8 mg; 10/14/14 - 10.2 mg; 12/15/14 - 10 mg, 1/11/15 - 9.5 mg, 2/8/15 - 9 mg, 3/21/15 - 8.5 mg, 5/1/15 - 8 mg, 6/9/15 - 7.5 mg, 7/8/15 - 7 mg, 8/22/15 - 6.5 mg, 10/4/15 - 6 mg; 1/1/16 - 5.6 mg; 2/6/16 - 5.2 mg; 4/9 - 4.8 mg; 7/7 4.5 mg; 10/7 4.25 mg; 11/4 4.0 mg; 11/25 3.8 mg; 4/24 3.6 mg; 5/27 3.4 mg; 7/8 3.2 mg ... 10/18 2.8 mg; 1/18 2.6 mg; 4/7 2.4 mg; 5/26 2.15mg; 8/18 1.85 mg; 10/7 1.7 mg; 12/1 1.45 mg; 3/2 1.2 mg; 5/4 0.90 mg; 6/1 0.80 mg; 6/22 0.65 mg; 08/03 0.50 mg, 08/10 0.45 mg, 10/05 0.325 mg, 11/23 0.2 mg, 12/14 0.15 mg, 12/21 0.125 mg, 02/28 0.03125 mg, 2/15 0.015625 mg, 2/29/20 0.00 mg - OFF Effexor

I am not a medical professional - this is not medical advice. My suggestions are based on personal experience, reading, observation and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Aussiegal, I have been tapering from 37.5 for well over a year and can say that withdrawal can cause this anxiety. 

I thought just the same as you, scared to come off in case I didn't cope. My doctor actually told me that 37.5 is 

such a small dose of effexor that it is NOT THERAPEUTIC!! So in effect I had been without any therapeutic dose

for around 4 years and coped!  The dose is apparently too small to have any beneficial effect so all I was getting

were the nasty side effects.  Tapering slowly has been the best thing  and was quite painless until I stopped too soon

and the withdrawal kicked in. I was counting beads and reducing 5 beads at a time. I should have slowed it down till I was 

reducing 1 bead at a time but stopped at 5 beads and suffered withdrawal. It took quite a while to get back on track.


I have a history of many years starting and stopping different psychiatric drugs which has affected me badly and why I

needed to go very slowly. You might not have the same trouble and could taper painlessly. Try not to worry about how you

will cope when you are finally off them. If you can't cope you can always go back on but if you are like me then you won't

want to go back on....ever. I feel so much better now, mentally more alert and feel like I've been in a fog for years. 

I hope you can taper slowly and be free of them too, it is well worth the patience to avoid crippling withdrawal.  :)

**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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Thank you folks.


Karma, no, I have been on 37.5 for probably 1.5 years now. The drop from 75 to 37.5 was easy actually. The physical side effects are easy for my brain to cope with- long history of auto immune disease so can cope well with physical stuff.


So, silver star, are you saying that 37.5 has no therapeutic advantage? But for you to get off it you had to take a year? I am doing much better today with the whole "see these thoughts as part of the withdrawl process" and yes, you are so right, I can go on it if I need to again.


The tablets of Effexor xr are the generic version for me so they only have 3 tablets in them. I am now on 2 tablets and want to stick with that and after that (maybe a few months) I will look at cutting the next tablet into thirds. I think that would be 10 percent. It's funny, but I almost feel like the experience of having an anxiety meltdown 4 years ago is what keeps me on the friggin things! it is the remembering what happened and the fear of it happening again-especially around losing my job and feeling so ashamed of myself if it happens.

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Effexor is weird. Just being on it makes us think and feel differently. The first night I cut one bead from about 430, and I woke up having a full-blown panic attack. The weirdness has developed as time moves on in my taper. I'm down to 81 beads twice daily from 215 twice daily. I started the decrease around the end of October last year (2012) and had planned on being off in a year. Now I realize Ill be lucky to be off within two.

good luck with your taper! This is a great community. Ask us anything!

2001 september - Effexor XR 75 mg, Seroquel 250 mg
2001 november - Effexor XR 150 mg
2003 - Replaced Seroquel with 20 mg Nozinan
2005 - Discontinued anti-psycotic medications for good
2009 january - Started having panic attacks
2009 - split 150 mg Effexor XR into 75 mg twice daily
2010 - Occasionally Clonazapam and Adivan for panic attacks
2012 - Realization that Effexor no longer works, and may even be having adverse reactions to it.
2012 October 18 - Begin slow taper (1 bead removed from each morning and evening 75mg capsule), February 18, 2013 - 140 beads per pill (X2 per day) (About 65%), 2013 November 16 - 70 beads per pill (X2 per day) (32.5%), 2014 September - 27 beads per pill (X2 per day) (12.5%) November 2 2015 - 1 bead per day (0.23% of original dose) and SLOWLY spacing doses out 25 hours, then 26, 28, currently 29hrs
November 2014 at 200mg Welbutrin

February 21st, 2016 - Last dose of Effexor forever

Monday, March 7, 2016 - Started decreasing Wellbutrin, currently at >25mg once a day

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Thanks all. Someone once said to me that you need to distinguish between the anxiety of actually the process of coming off and an actual withdrawal effect. Coming off can be an anxious time and it would be easy to think that is the drug, but I just don't know if it would be ...given that I was having that anxiety when I even contemplated coming off it! I just don't think making tiny adjustments could really be withdrawal, but I can understand that it is an anxious process to make changes and the Brian would spin out at that. I like what someone else said, I can always go back on it if I need to.


Also, I spoke with my friend who is a midwife and she said that people are on way higher doses than I am and have perfectly fine babies. I guess I feel less pressure to get off it before Xmas!

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