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Effexor XR Withdrawal And Side Effects

Updated on November 29, 2008

Prescription Drugs

No matter what may be wrong with any particular person chances are that a doctor will prescribe a pill for it. Many times it is a prescription for anxiety or depression. More than 19 million Americans are diagnosed with depression each and every year. I wonder is life really this bad? So terrible we must take drugs. Prescription drugs are no different than illegal drugs. Neither of them are any good for your body and they both cause side effects. Some prescription drugs such as Effexor XR leave its users addicted and in withdrawal suffering from terrible side effects when it is not taken.

Just because your doctor gives you a pill does not mean it is safe. There are more and more wrongful death lawsuits filed against pharmaceutical companies each year. Be smart when taking new drugs given to you by your doctor. You have the right to know all the side effects that may or may not happen to you.

Effexor XR is a drug given to hundreds of thousands of Americans each year. It is also very expensive.

Side Effects Of Effexor XR And Withdrawal

Patients who were prescribed Effexor XR were not fully informed about all the side effects that they would experience if they ever were to stop taking the drug. Effexor is not supposed to be habit forming but yet people who take this pill can not function on a daily basis without it. If they are forced to go without the medication for even 1 day they will go through very painful withdrawal symptoms.

It was not until a number of people died resulting from the use of Effexor XR that the company put out a warning and changed its labels to warn about the possible side effects.

Side effects and withdrawal symptoms from Effexor XR include:

1. Crying spells

2. Worsened mood

3. Low energy (fatigue, lethargy, malaise)

4. Trouble concentrating

5. Insomnia or trouble sleeping

6. Change in appetite

7. Suicidal thoughts

8. Suicide attempts

9. Anxious, nervous, tense

10. Panic attacks (racing heart, breathless)

11. Chest pain

12. Trembling, jittery,or shaking

13. Irritability

14. Agitation (restlessness, hyperactivity)

15. Impulsivity

16. Aggressiveness

17. Self-harm

18. Homicidal thoughts or urges

19. Confusion or cognitive difficulties

20. Memory problems or forgetfulness

21. Elevated mood (feeling high)

22. Mood swings

23. Manic-like reactions

24. Auditory hallucinations

25. Visual hallucinations

26. Feeling detached or unreal

27. Excessive or intense dreaming

28. Nightmares

29. Flu-like aches and pains

30. Fever

31. Sweats

32. Chills

33. Runny nose

34. Sore eyes

35. Nausea

36. Vomiting

37. Diarrhea

38. Abdominal pain or cramps

39. Stomach bloating

40. Disequilibrium

41. Spinning, swaying, lightheaded

42. Hung over or waterlogged feeling

43. Unsteady gait, poor coordination

44. Motion sickness

45. Headache

46. Tremor

47. Numbness, burning, or tingling

48. Electric zap-like sensations in the brain

49. Electric shock-like sensations in the body

50. Abnormal visual sensations

51. Ringing or other noises in the ears

52. Abnormal smells or tastes

53. Drooling or excessive saliva

54. Slurred speech

55. Blurred vision

56. Muscle cramps, stiffness, twitches

57. Feeling of restless legs

58. Uncontrollable twitching of mouth

Up to 78% of effexor users will experience withdrawal. Withdrawal can happen in as little as 1 day. Many people report the brain zaps or electric shocks felt inside the skull to be a common and immediate side effect if Effexor XR is not taken at the same exact time each day.

Things To Help The Withdrawals

If you or someone you know is taking Effexor XR it is extremely important to never quit taking the medication cold turkey. You will need to be closely monitored by your doctor if you want to stop taking Effexor XR. Tapering off the drug is the only way to actually quit taking it and be successful at it. Many times the pains of withdrawal are too much for people to handle and they are left taking effexor forever or until something changes.

.Things that may help reduce the side effects

More help for Effexor users

Become an Effexor Activist


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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I was on Effexor for less than a week before I realized that my racing heartbeat was due to the medication rather than stress. I ended up in the ER with such a rapid heartbeat that the docs had to give me a heart medication to slow it down. I stopped the drug immediately, and though I'd only been on it for a week I had the "brain zapping" withdrawal symptoms. It was horrible to take my finals and finish a forty page paper with these effects. Never again....

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      7 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      I took Effexor XR for about 11 years. Not one doctor ever told me I would have withdrawals until my last psychiatrist when we decided it had stopped working for me. We did a slow taper. I started on 300 mg. Went down to 150, then 75. She did not do the 37.5. Therefore, I went through 5 days of serious withdrawal. I had uncontrolable sobbing, the electrical zap in my head (the worst of all symptoms) mental confusion, disorientation,and memory failure. At the peak of my withdrawal, I got sent home from work. It was very humiliating. I am now finding out that many antidepressants have these withdrawal symptoms. Drs. and pharmacists should be telling patients at the onset that this can happen. Thanks for an informative and much needed hub.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Off for 20 days!!!!! Lasting side effects 1. start to laugh and cry instead 2.headache 3. shiversn 4.dizzy but the positive my mood is improving, more energy, less overeating, less hunger and starting to lose weight!!!!

      225 to 0 yeah

    • karmicfilly profile image


      8 years ago from Franklin, TN

      The book "How to get off of Effexor Safely" literally saved me while trying to reduce my dosage. I am now completely off of my medication yet it took 6 months of tapering to do so.


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