How Long Do Effexor Withdrawal Symptoms Last?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses how long you can expect the withdrawal symptoms from Effexor to last.

Question

Hello, I am in a tapering process of Effexor as I suffer insomnia. I can get through it but how long will it last? I am at 37.5 now. I decreased very progressively from 150mg under doctor supervision and it's the first time I have suffered sleep loss.

Asked by Effetout On Jun 27, 2018

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By PharmacistAnswers Staff

On Jun 27, 2018

Effexor (venlafaxine) is a SNRI (serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor) antidepressant that is well known to cause withdrawal effects when it is discontinued. While all antidepressants can cause withdrawal symptoms, studies have noted that they can be particularity severe with Effexor.


If withdrawal symptoms with Effexor occur, they typically begin & peak within one week, and can last anywhere from one day to three weeks.


Decreasing Effexor Withdrawal

To decrease potential withdrawal symptoms with Effexor, it is recommended to taper it slowly if you have been taking it more than 4 weeks. However, the Canadian prescribing information for the drug recommends tapering it for those who have taken it for as little as one week.


Potential withdrawal symptoms with Effexor are noted by the acronym FINISH:

F: Flu-like symptoms

I: Insomnia

N: Nausea

I: Imbalance:

S: Sensory disturbances

H: Hyperarousal


It is important to note that tapering may not completely eliminate symptoms but in most cases, will certainly help to limit severity. If symptoms are particularly problematic, it may be prudent to return to a previously well tolerated dose and taper more slowly. As stated above, if withdrawal symptoms do occur, they can last for as little as one day or up to 3 weeks.


Always be sure to discuss with your doctor any problems your are having with your taper or if you feel you need a dose adjustment.

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger Pharm.D

Dr. Brian Staiger is a licensed pharmacist in New York State and the founder of PharmacistAnswers.com. He graduated from the University At Buffalo with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2010. He has been featured in numerous publications including the Huffington Post as well as a variety of health and pharmacy-related blogs. Please feel free to reach out to him directly if you have any inquiries or want to connect! He's answered thousands of medication and pharmacy-related questions and he's ready to answer yours! Brian.Staiger@PharmacistAnswers.com Office: 716-389-3076

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