Does Effexor withdrawal cause horrible symptoms? (15+ symptoms)

In this article, we will discuss the topic, “Does Effexor withdrawal cause horrible symptoms?” Further, we will talk about what the research suggests, what are Effexor withdrawal symptoms, what should you do if you experience these symptoms and tips to manage these adverse reactions.

Does Effexor withdrawal cause horrible symptoms?

Yes, Effexor withdrawal symptoms can be horrible, especially if you suddenly stop taking the medication or make changes to the dosage without proper guidance or a gradual tapering plan.

Sudden discontinuation of the drug or altering the dosage, whether by increasing or decreasing it, can increase the risks of adverse reactions. You should not discontinue or change the dosage without consulting your healthcare provider.

What are the withdrawal symptoms linked with Effexor?

If you stop Effexor abruptly, you may experience the following withdrawal symptoms which will start within a few hours after reducing the dose (1). 

  • Electric shocks in the brain
  • Light-headedness
  • Vomiting
  • Tiredness
  • Flu-like-symptoms
  • Imbalance
  • Nervousness
  • Insomnia 
  • Irritability
  • Vivid dreams 
  • Stomach disorders
  • Illusions
  • Weight changes
  • Allergic reactions like itching, skin rash etc.
  • Ringing sound in the ears
  • Struggling to breathe or swallow
  • Uneven heart rate
  • Coma (2)

What does research suggest?

According to research studies, withdrawal symptoms may appear in any patient, taking Effexor for the treatment of major depressive disorders. However, every patient responds differently to the antidepressant therapy. 

In a reported case study, a woman (35Y) was receiving treatment for depression with 150mg of Effexor XR for four months. Her medication was finished, so she missed a few doses and experienced side effects such as vomiting, dizziness and unusual sensations in her head. Initially, her symptoms worsened; however, when she resumed Effexor, they gradually subsided.

Another case involved a woman (43Y) with moderate depression. She had been taking 225mg of Effexor (75mg three times a day) for a year without side effects. She decided to abruptly discontinue the medication.

In the first few hours, she experienced lightheadedness, uncertainty, imbalance and severe stress. Due to these side effects, she promptly resumed her original dosage schedule and then gradually tapered it over fifteen days, resulting in the disappearance of withdrawal symptoms.

In the third case, a woman (54Y) took 37.5 mg of Effexor daily for three weeks. She experienced a few side effects, so she decided to taper her medication down to 18.75mg over two weeks.

During this period, she experienced severe drowsiness and feelings of electrical currents in her head, leading to confusion. These symptoms gradually faded after a few weeks (3).

These clinical data suggest that Effexor will cause adverse effects when you try to discontinue it, regardless of the dose you are taking. Therefore, you should always consult your doctor whenever you want to discontinue the medicine. 

How long does Effexor withdrawal symptoms last?

Some patients may experience Effexor withdrawal symptoms within 8-12 hours after their last dose, and for most of them, these symptoms disappear within a maximum of around fifteen days. If the Effexor withdrawal symptoms do not go away, you should see your healthcare provider(4).

What to do if you are experiencing Effexor withdrawal symptoms?

If you are experiencing Effexor withdrawal symptoms, you should immediately contact your doctor. If you stop your medicine abruptly, your doctor may recommend resuming your treatment and gradually tapering it down over a few weeks. If you’re already in the process of discontinuing Effexor, your doctor can adjust the tapering process according to your needs. 

Tips to manage Effexor withdrawal symptoms

Here are some self-care tips that may help to relieve Effexor withdrawal symptoms to some extent:

  • Take over-the-counter medicines such as Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen to relieve pains.
  • You should eat a well-balanced diet to have a good health
  • Reduce caffeine and alcohol consumption
  • You should sleep properly for 8-9 hours.
  • Stay relaxed by doing yoga or meditation.


Effexor withdrawal can lead to a range of undesirable and in some cases, severe symptoms if the medication is abruptly discontinued. Effexor withdrawal symptoms can be upsetting and distressing. You may experience them within hours after the last dose and they may subside within two weeks. If Effexor withdrawal symptoms persist or worsen, you should see the doctor. They will help you to adjust your treatment plan according to your needs. 



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