Effexor withdrawl

For those of you who went through this how long did it last? I felt better BEFORE I started this medication, but stayed on it at the lowest dose to “give it a fair trial”. I’ve now been off of it for a week and my dizziness is worse that it was before! How long before this goes away? I go back to teaching in a few weeks and this is NOT how I want to start the school year. It was hard enough doing it once, I need my “normal” back!!!

Sarah, it took my about 2-3 weeks to get back to my baseline after stoppong. I managed to get up to 75MG but only for about 2 weeks, after being on 37.5 for about 8-10 weeks. Good luck and I think it will work out over time. Ben

Thank you SO much. I think I’ve been scaring myself by reading some of the various effexor threads out on the world wide web! Some say it can take months to years to get back to baseline!!! 2-3 weeks at least gives me hope.
Thanks again,


Are the withdrawl symptoms any better now?


Thanks for asking. Sunday will be two weeks off Effexor. I am starting to feel back to my “normal”, but it is a SLOW process! Hopefully one more week and I’ll be feeling better.
Total side question… When I used to wait tables one of my customers asked me if I was called Sally for short. I thought it was odd. I never heard of Sally as a nickname/abbreviated name for Sarah!


Ooops…sorry!!! This is what happens when you read too many posts at one go. :slight_smile:

I started effexor 1/3 pill this morning. It has been terrible. Way more dizziness and extreme fatigue. Feel like I’m drunk and extremely weak. I wrote to Dr. Hain who thinks I should not stop because this big reaction i got means i should continue, but at a reduced dose. He asked me if I could take 4 granules which seems too low given that there are 120 in the capsule. I took 40.

How many granules did you start out with? What was your reaction like? I feel like someone drained the life out of me.

I also see Dr. Cherchi/Hain,
I started taking 1/3 of the 37.5 mg capsule. It is no fun counting beads! My first dosage was okay, but I felt pretty bad after going up to 2/3 and even worse when I made it to the entire capsule. I stayed there for a few weeks (still feeling bad). Dr. Cherchi reccomended I come off of it at that time. It was not the medication for me. I’m not feeling as good as I was before I started taking it, but at that time I still had Amitriptyline left in my system. I am making my way back up to 100 mg, 25 at a time and hoping that I will return to “normal” soon.


best of luck, Sarah!

Hi guys!
Just wanted to add that about 3 months ago I wrote to Dr. Hain telling him that I was on Cymbalta, and although I was getting a good result (about 75% better) I was still experiencing the visual weirdness that also brings about the lovely anxiety b.s. He said basically that he doesn’t often recommend this, but to try adding Fex to the Cymbalta, as they are similar agents. At that time, I was pretty reticent to try it, since my previoius experience with Fex wasn’t good. But you know how sometimes our fear makes things worse? The opposite of the placebo affect? I don’t think I gave it a fair shot back then.
So anyway, the othr day I think Im ready to try to tweak my cocktail a bit. I add 1/3 capsule in the am to my meds and also take 1/4 pill of Klonapin for any initial jitters/anxiety that new meds usually bring. I actually had a good day. So I have been doing that for 8 days, counting today, and it seems to be helping. I"ve had a couple of days where I"m at basically “Normal”…which I haven’t seen in a year and a half. NOw,I"m medicated through the roof :smiley: but it’s working!!
All meds on low doses as follows
Cymbalta 20mg twice a day
Fex 1/3 capsule am
Klonapin 1/4 tab as needed
B vitamins
L-Glutamine (is the precurser to GABA)
Melatonin 3mg before bed
5HTP 100mg before bed

Part 2

Just wanted to add that all Supplements are purchased at Whole Foods, and I did a lot of research on why I take them. If my body is having a hard time producing SErotonin (which I believe is the case) then I want to give it the tools needed to give it my best shot. The 5HTP is the precurser to serotonin, so it can just cross the blood brain barrier to be utilized as needed. The B vitamins are important because they facillitate the Serotonin production from our foods, the Melatonin is great for sleep, and the L-Glutamine is the precurser to GABA…the relaxing neurotransmitter. The L-THeanine is found in green tea, and it helps calm and relax as well.

Best to you all…


That is great news!! I hope your success with Fex continues.

I’m still doing pretty bad on a teeny tiny dose (5 granules). I don’t think this is the med for me.


I’m gonna do a success story really soon but right now I don’t have the time so i’ll make it quick…

I was housebound and had to move back in with my parents (I own my own house and am 27). I didn’t drive for like 5 months. It was awful. I started on 1/3 of a 37.5 and like pretty much everyone the first 2 or 3 days were awful, but I knew that was coming and I was used to feeling shitty, so I didn’t really think about it too much. I got up to 37.5 after a few weeks and I felt perhaps 75% with that (headaches were better, but still had some anxiety) so my doc told me to try 75 and it’s been amazing. I’m like 95%…now 3 months after starting. I would have never thought I could make this improvement this fast.

I guess since you’re talking about the whole starting thing, yes it was super awful for me too…I felt like I was in a fog and drunk and weird and couldn’t sleep, but it sounds like luckily for me it went away in a few days to a week.

Good luck guys!


Thank you for sharing. Can you please describe your symptoms at your worst.


my symptoms…

I only had slow rotational spins for about a week. I was ‘dizzy’ carsick ugh for a number of months. My vision was super messed up…like my brain couldn’t process everything or soemthing, I would see kinda jellowy weird and complex or moving things (driving) were very aggravating for my dizziness. I also had pretty much daily headaches. I was very anxious for a long while like I just felt on edge and had 2 panic attacks. I never had any rocking feeling

I tried verapamil and nortriptyline. The verapamil turned me into a lethargic zombie where I would just sleep for like 16 hours per day and the nortryptaline gave me heart palpitations (which caused the first panic attack)

I was on low dose 4 or so mg of valium per day for about 5-6 months and tapered when I got on effexor without problem.

I hope this helps. If you have any other questions feel free to ask.


Hi Brian,

I’m so glad that Effexor has helped you. I’ve gotten off of it because I was feeling so bad with a very small dose.

What was your primary complaint when you started effexor? Dizziness or daily headaches? Did you see improvement on the dizziness first?

Its great that your doctor told you that dizziness could increase when first trying Effexor. I tried it and had to stop because I felt like crap. I’m still trying to decide whether to try the Effexor again. I don’t have any headaches…just constant swimmy head made worse by eye and head movements. And of course the visual weirdness and sound sensitivity.


I forgot to mention the sound sensitivity. This is still ongoing but not even close to as bad as it was.

By the time I started effexor dizziness wasn’t my main problem, it was daily headaches, the messed up vision, and anxiety.

After the initial worsening of vision, if I recall that was one of the first things to improve and I don’t remember how long but I feel like 2 or 3 weeks? The headaches next (I still take aspirin ~1.5x per week for a headache but that’s pretty good!) and like I said I still had a bit of anxiety left at 37.5 so I upped it to 75 and it went away too. It could have just been the timing of being on it more who knows. I just know that since being on 75 I’ve had an anxiety feeling once or twice perhaps and it didn’t last.

Yeah head and eye movements ugh, I feel you big time.

The other thing is I still get the visual stuff very occasionally I just don’t sweat it as I now know what’s going on and know it’ll go away and things will be fine. I think finding comfort in that helps me a lot and keeps it from blossoming.

I have no idea if others will respond like I did to it, I just did very well and it was an agonizing first couple of days in which I couldn’t have done anything other than lay around the house. I felt very out of it and disconnected and just weird. I couldn’t sleep really the first couple nights. I’d say take a weekend off, grab some valium or equiv (what my doc recommended as I began as you know it can make you feel worse at first) and give it a shot. If you’re miserable enough to be this board, I really think it’s worth the shot. If you do, good luck! I’m pullin for you!

the thing to also keep in mind, is that migraine likes routine and consitency…so when we alter our meds in any way shape or form, this can cause our symptoms to go haywire for a bit…so sure it can be med withdrawl or it could be migraine gone awry…or could be a bit of both! :mrgreen: