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Question
Posted by: Maureen | 2005/11/26

Effexor 150

I have been on Effexor 150 for app. 5 years and wish to stop. Please could you suggest how I can discontinue using the medication. If I do leave it for just a day, I have the feeling of twitching and it feels like rubber band snapping in my head.
Thank You

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Our expert says:
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One of the several reason why I have never prescribed Effexor, though it is heavily promoted to some doctors, is that it can cause significant withdrawal problems, including the sort of odd, hard-to-describe sensations you mention. If this was your first episode of Depression, the 5 years was rather a long time to remain on the drug ; if you had had 2 or more previous episodes, it copuld have been a sensible precaution. You would do best to discuss this with your doc who writes the prescriptions. Generally, we do better to come of ADs gradually, reducing the dosage ; though with medswhich come in one size of tablet without the ability to break it in half, this can be more difficult.
Effexor, if I remember correctly, comes in different dose size tablets, 75 mg, 50 and 37.5 mg. So on 150 per dau you may be taking 2 x 75 a day, and can drop to one a day, for a couple of weeks, then maybe get some 37.5 tablets and take them once a day for a couple of weeks, then alternate days.
Then one may try the following. One may then switch from the lowest daily dose available in a single tablet, to taking the tablet every second day fo a week, then every third day, before stopping.

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