I'm here to offer some hope and encouragement to those of you trying to stop taking Effexor XR. I'd been on 75mg/day for several years. I recently decided to come off because I want to have children and don't want to be on it while pregnant.
It took me roughly five months to taper from 75mg/day to 37.5mg/day and finally from 37.5mg/day to 37.5mg every other day. About a week after stopping the medicine I felt deeply depressed and had the brain zaps. I went back to my doctor and felt very discouraged when she suggested going back on the medicine at the last lowest dose. I decided to tough out the depression and brain zaps to see if they would go away.
Low and behold, about 1 week later I was doing much better. I'm still adjusting to having a fuller range of emotions. Sometimes I get very upset and cry over things I wouldn't have while on the medicine. But, I'm not depressed, I'm just feeling a healthy range of emotions. Over time and with practice I know that I will be able to better comfort myself when I get upset so that I don't feel like the world is ending over a little worry.
It was only with the encouragement and support from my parents, husband, friends and coworker that I was able to successfully come off this drug. If you want to get off it or are in the process, my biggest piece of advice is to talk to the people who love you and ask for their encouragement. You can do it!View Thread