Venlafaxine Withdrawal

Venlafaxine, a powerful anti-depressant sold with the brand name Effexor belongs to the class of antidepressants called serotonin and nor-epinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), which relieve the depression symptoms by directly influencing the neurotransmitters serotonin and nor-epinephrine in brain.

Why Venlafaxine Is Used?

As a mood elevator and pain reliever, Venlafaxine is prescribed to treat

  • Depression
  • Social phobia
  • Anxiety
  • Panic disorders
  • Hot flashes (menopause and breast cancer therapy related)
  • Diabetic neuropathy pain
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Tension type headaches and migraines
  • Bipolar depression
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Venlafaxine Withdrawal Symptoms

Venlafaxine undoubtedly works wonders by assuaging depression and pain, but one can be addicted to it. Its severe symptoms make it one of the toughest drugs to withdraw from. How? Let's see some of the main Venlafaxine withdrawal symptoms:

  1. Anger: Now that the drug is no longer controlling the neurotransmitter levels in brain, you may become more hostile, irritable and angry for some time. Mood swings are common occurrence.
  2. Crying spellsCrying for no reason is just a sign of severe depression. If you stop using venlafaxine which battles depression, you will experience these crying spells again.
  3. Depression will come back to you since you have stopped your medication.
  4. Pain is rare but may be felt in the muscles and joints
  5. DepersonalizationYou don't feel like yourself lately? Well, now you have to tackle with depersonalization and this is natural.
  6. Dizziness: Venlafaxine as an antidepressant impact your brain significantly. When you take that away, your brain may need some time to adjust. In the meantime, you will have feelings, like dizziness and confusion.
  7. Panic attack: With insufficient serotonin, daunting tasks may convert the feeling of anxiety into a major panic attack. But don't worry this would be over as soon as the serotonin levels are restored.
  8. Other Venlafaxine withdrawal symptoms

Except the abovementioned symptoms, you may also experience:

  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Electric shocks
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nightmares
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea and vomiting

What Affects Your Venlafaxine Withdrawal Course?

While it's must to be mentally prepared for the withdrawal symptoms that you may have to go through, it's also very important to know the factors that determine the course of withdrawal:

1. Dosage

The recommended dosage for Venlafaxine is between 75 mg and 150mg and your dosage may or may not be higher than this. Generally speaking, the higher the dose, the severe the withdrawal symptoms.

2. Time span

The longer you've been on Venlafaxine, the higher the degree of dependency. Since your body has been relying on it to function normally for some time, it will now take some time to readjust.

3. Individual Factors

Everyone reacts to the withdrawal of antidepressant drugs differently. For example, people sensitive to medicines may have a tougher withdrawal and experience severe Venlafaxine withdrawal symptoms.

4. Way of Stopping It

While gradually reducing the intake of drug can get your brain prepared and adjust gradually, going cold turkey doesn't and this is why it's always the tougher path to choose and follow.

How to Deal With Venlafaxine Withdrawal

With an antidepressant as powerful as Venlafaxine, withdrawal could pose a great challenge and cannot be done on one's own. Let's shed some light on few ways of dealing with Venlafaxine withdrawal:

1. Taper It

When a drug is tapered, its dose is gradually reduced, which not only gives your brain time to adjust to the chemical changes, but also keeps sudden discontinuation symptoms at bay. Furthermore, tapering allows restoring the normal dosage if depression symptoms recur. Never do this on your own because whether it's a relapse or withdrawal effect, only a doctor can tell.

2. Seek Medical Help

Medical support could be of immense help as doctors can prescribe long-acting anti-depressants to ease this transition phase or better yet prescribe drugs to relieve the withdrawal symptoms. Besides, you need your doctor's assistance in make a suitable tapering plan, or you may mess things up.

 
 
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