Effexor Withdrawal


What is effexor withdrawal?

Effexor, also known as Venlafaxine is a medicine belonging to the class of serotonin norepinephine reuptake inhibitor antidepressant. It works in the brain and helps to treat major depressive disorders, generalized anxiety disorders, social anxiety disorders, panic disorders, etc. It affects certain neurotransmitters in the brain which predominantly includes serotonin and norepinephine neurotransmitters by preventing their reuptake by the nerve cells

When these chemicals are not taken up by the nerves, their amount in the brain increases. This leads to increased effect of serotonin and norepinephine and over time the brain gets used to such effects of effexor and gets addicted to it. In such cases, the brain cannot cope with an absence of this drug easily and when it tries to give up on the addiction. This condition is known as effexor withdrawal.

Effexor Withdrawal

Effexor Image – Source drugs.com

Effexor Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Anxiety
  • Crying spells
  • Anger
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Depersonalization
  • Vomiting
  • Nightmares
  • Nausea
  • Pain
  • Irritability
  • Panic attacks
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Brain zaps or electric shocks
  • Mood swings
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Itching
  • Shaking
  • Impaired coordination

Assessment

  • The period of intake as well as the dosage is one of the critical things that need to be established. The higher the dosage and the higher the consumption period correspond accordingly towards the difficulty in withdrawing.
  • Speaking to a psychiatrist can help the patient to reveal the psychological reasons for the intake of the drug

Treatment

  • Dosage of the medication should be lowered gradually before quitting completely
  • Consumption of healthy food in required quantities at regular intervals is important
  • Must rest adequately and have enough time to sleep
  • Must be motivated and encouraged by the thought that others have also been able to overcome this addiction
  • Being surrounded by loved ones is beneficial as they provide emotional support.
  • Keeping one’s self busy in day to day activities helps to avoid thinking of the addiction which may result in cravings
  • Alternatives to the medication can be prescribed to help the individual cope with the change
  • Shifting focus towards activities that can benefit the body and health such as, meditation, exercise, etc.

Prevention

  • Medications that ease the symptoms can be prescribed
  • A doctor should be consulted readily, as soon as a pattern of dependence is observed
  • The medication should not be taken unless it is prescribed
  • Consumption of the drug in doses or in any other manner except the way in which it has been prescribed should be strictly avoided

How long does it take for detoxification from effexor?

The complete detoxification process might spread over several weeks and sometimes months. In severe cases it can also take over a year to completely recover. It is among the toughest medications to withdraw and the complete detoxification process needs a lot of care.

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