Horrible Effexor Withdrawals: All You Need to Know!

Effexor is the brand name for Venlafaxine, an antidepressant, and selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. If you take it, you can not leave it abruptly. 

Do you take Effexor and want to quit it? You need to be extra cautious about it because you can get withdrawal symptoms!

So, do you want to know about horrible Effexor withdrawals?

In this article, we will tell you all the Venlafaxine withdrawal symptoms. Before starting with anything else, you must know what Effexor is and how it causes abrupt withdrawal symptoms.

Want to know more? Keep reading!

What Is Effexor?

Effexor is the brand name of the drug Venlafaxine. It is given to treat conditions such as panic disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, and social anxiety disorder. 

Venlafaxine works by balancing the neurotransmitter levels in the brain. 

effexor

In depression, the neurotransmitter levels are out of balance. Therefore, Venlafaxine can help balance them and get rid of depression and anxiety. It is not prescribed to patients with manic disorder because it can exacerbate the condition. 

Effexor withdrawal symptoms are severe because they affect your neurotransmitters and when you leave it abruptly, eventually your neurotransmitter levels are altered, leading to severe symptoms. 

To buy Effexor, you need to have a prescription for it. Many people have a query about whether Effexor is addictive? The answer to this question is that it can be addictive. 

Many people find it difficult to leave. That is because it is hard to tolerate the withdrawal symptoms. 

The slang terms for Venlafaxine are Happy pills, Bottled smiles, Miracle drug, and Wonder drug. 

Venlafaxine is used to treat anxiety disorders and depression

However, it is used off-label for other conditions too. Off-label use means that it is not approved for the condition officially, but it can help treat the condition. 

Effexor off-label uses are for hot flashes in women reaching menopause, migraine, tension headache, post-traumatic stress disorder, neuropathy associated with breast cancer, and diabetic neuropathy.

What Does Effexor Withdrawal Mean?

Before we start with anything else, we need to discuss what Effexor withdrawal is and how it can affect you. 

As we already know that Venlafaxine withdrawal can even become life-threatening, you need to be extra cautious while leaving it. If you stop taking it abruptly, you may get horrible withdrawal symptoms. 

Stopping antidepressants can cause a condition called antidepressant discontinuation syndrome. It often occurs with patients who abruptly stop taking them after continuous intake for six weeks. 

horrible-effexor-withdrawal

Stopping Effexor after 5 days may not cause such adverse symptoms. But when you take it for too long, or more than six weeks, it can lead to adverse symptoms that are hard to tolerate. 

Antidepressant drugs work by altering the neurotransmitters in your brain. Therefore, when you leave-taking them suddenly, they cause too many adverse effects. 

For coming off Venlafaxine successfully, you need to consult with your healthcare provider. They can help you taper it off so that it does not cause antidepressant discontinuation syndrome. 

The horrible Effexor withdrawals can be enlisted as follows:

  • Anxiety and a feeling of restlessness
  • Insomnia 
  • Nightmares
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness 
  • Depression
  • Flu-like symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, chills, and cramps
  • Muscle spasms

A condition in which you have a feeling of electric shock sensations in the head and neck, often known as Effexor brain zap.

  • Headache
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting
  • Vertigo
  • Mood swings 
  • Agitation 
  • Rebound depression 

These symptoms can be collectively called Effexor discontinuation syndrome.

The more abruptly you stop Venlafaxine intake, the more intense the symptoms can be. Therefore, you need expert advice for stopping its intake. 

However, sometimes even when the person tapers off the Venlafaxine intake, it may lead to these adverse symptoms. But their intensity may be less compared to abrupt cessation. 

Stopping antidepressant intake is tricky. But leaving Effexor is even more difficult. It needs a lot of care and attention. 

A person who has left taking Effexor abruptly often has sensory difficulties. Therefore, they must be stopped from handling heavy machinery and driving motors as they are at increased risk of accidents. 

If you have severe symptoms, you must seek professional help for Effexor withdrawal relief. Your healthcare providers will prescribe alternatives that can help lower the intensity of the symptoms. Do not try to come out of these symptoms on your own because they can be deadly.

Many people often confuse the withdrawal symptoms of Venlafaxine with relapse. It often happens because many people do that on their own, with no professional support. 

How Long Do The Symptoms of Effexor Withdrawl Last?

Once you have got to know what Effexor is and how it causes withdrawal symptoms, the next thing that comes to your mind is how long does the Effexor withdrawal symptoms last?

Come along and we will answer your question. 

The Venlafaxine withdrawal timeline depends on the half-life of the metabolites. Let us explain it. 

The half-life of the drug is the time in which it clears half of the total ingested dose off the body.

When you intake a drug, it is metabolised through the liver and converts into metabolites that your body excretes out. These metabolites may stay for a long time, or for a short time in your body. The timeline varies from drug to drug. 

The withdrawal of Venlafaxine depends on how long the metabolites stay in your body. The more they stay, the less the withdrawal effects are. But when the metabolites remain for a short time, the withdrawal effects are rapid and severe. 

According to a study, the withdrawal symptoms of Venlafaxine may occur within a few hours of the last dose ingestion. However, in the metabolism of drugs, various factors play a role, such as genetic tendency and the metabolism rate of the individual. 

Since everyone has a different metabolism, it becomes hard to predict when and how severe horrible Effexor withdrawal symptoms will be. 

People who have been taking Effexor for more than 6 weeks and have a fast metabolism, will have sharp and early withdrawal symptoms when they quit taking it. It happens because their body clears off the metabolites fast, compared to those having a slow metabolism. 

When your body clears off the metabolites earlier, it wants more of the drug to survive as it has become dependent on it. Otherwise, it can lead to withdrawal symptoms. 

Out of various antidepressant drugs, Effexor has a comparatively short half-life, which makes it more difficult to leave because your body clears it off early, compared to the other ones. 

Many people often ponder upon the fact why Effexor was discontinued. We will tell you the reason. 

In the USA, Effexor was banned previously because of its adverse withdrawal symptoms. However, now a different composition of the same generic, Effexor XR, is available. 

XR is an extended-release preparation, which means it will provide a dose for a longer period compared to other compositions. 

If a drug provides the medication for a long time, its metabolites have to stay for a long time in your body. Therefore the withdrawal symptoms are less compared to the older preparation. 

Notably, the FDA has warned not to abruptly stop the intake of Effexor XR all at once because it can lead to life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, even shock. Without medical intervention, it is almost impossible to get over Venlafaxine withdrawal symptoms

How To Avoid Effexor Withdrawal Symptoms?

To avoid the horrible Effexor withdrawal symptoms, you have to be cautious when you leave it. 

When you have to stop taking Effexor, you need to practice certain tips that can help in easy Effexor withdrawal. 

The following tips can help in stopping the intake of Effexor with ease. 

Stay On Schedule 

When you take Venlafaxine, you must take it with care. Make sure you do not skip the dose and forget to take it. You should take it at the same time daily. If you miss the dose, do not double up. 

If you miss the dose, taking Effexor can help get rid of adverse symptoms related to its withdrawal. 

Taper Off The Drug 

Venlafaxine causes adverse symptoms upon abrupt withdrawal. Therefore, to overcome them, it has to be tapered off. This is a technique in which the dose is gradually reduced so that your body can adapt to it. 

You must have a question about how to taper off Effexor? We will tell you.

For a short-acting Venlafaxine, you should lower the dose by 75mg every four days. Then lower it by 25 mg every 5 to 7 days, until you reach 25 to 50 mg. At this stage, you can stop taking Effexor. 

For long-acting Venlafaxine, such as Effexor XR, you can do that by tapering off 37.5 to 75 mg per week. Do that until the dose reaches up to 37.5mg. At this stage, you can stop taking the drug. 

Professional Detox Care

If you want to help someone get rid of Effexor dependence, make sure they get professional detox care for it. 

You must take them to a healthcare provider who can help them get rid of their dependence with no horrible withdrawal symptoms.

The healthcare providers can help them taper off the drug in the appropriate way. They can also help them cope with the adverse withdrawal symptoms. 

Not all detox plans are effective for everyone. Different people may have different needs. So you have to choose the right detox plan for your loved ones. 

You must extend a helping hand to your loved ones if they are dependent on Venlafaxine. Be emphatic about them and deal with them with a kid glove.

Sometimes, natural remedies can also help get rid of antidepressants. 

FAQs

Question: How can I come off Venlafaxine successfully? 

Answer: To come off Venlafaxine, you need to consult with your healthcare provider. They can help you taper it off so that it does not cause antidepressant discontinuation syndrome.

Question: Venlafaxine is given in which condition?

Answer: Venlafaxine is given to treat conditions such as panic disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, and social anxiety disorder. 

Conclusion 

You can get horrible Effexor withdrawals if you stop taking it abruptly. Therefore, you must seek professional advice before doing that. If you are dependent on it, your healthcare providers will help you leave it. 

You must not take Effexor withdrawal symptoms lightly, as they can become life-threatening. 

Therefore, if you have any of its symptoms upon withdrawal, visit the healthcare provider. They will guide you to get rid of it.

Dr Umme Hurayra

Dr Umme Hurayra

Hi, I'm Umme Hurayra. I am currently studying MBBS in Mymensingh Medical College. Medical science is an incredible thing. I like to share my knowledge with everyone.

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