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Venlafaxine Withdrawal and Tapering Help

"I followed the Point of Return program religiously. My heartfelt thanks to all of the team - Kellia (Venlafaxine)

Looking for Help to Get Off Venlafaxine? Have you tried to Wean Off Venlafaxine and had too many symptoms?  Let our nonprofit, with our proven, holistic approach to Venlafaxine Withdrawal, help you to control the Venlafaxine Withdrawal Symptoms.  We combine a Gentle Taper for Venlafaxine with soothing nutraceuticals that will not interact with Venlafaxine but ease symptoms. Venlafaxine is the generic form of Effexor, approved by the FDA in 1994 for the immediate release formula while the extended release was approved in 1997. Venlafaxine Withdrawals are more common than other antidepressants on the market and the Venlafaxine Withdrawal Symptoms can include irritability, depression, insomnia, nausea, dizziness, nightmares and paresthesias (prickling, tingling sensations).  It is essential to Taper Venlafaxine slowly to control the Venlafaxine Discontinuation Syndrome and often tapering alone isn't enough. Many patients find they need more relief for the symptoms which is why our nonprofit uses calming nutraceuticals (all-natural).  Weaning off Venlafaxine is assessed individually since many factors play a role in the appropriate taper rate.  Contact Us today.

How Our Program and Tapering Process Works for Venlafaxine Dependency

Our Venlafaxine weaning program is a slow taper that allows you to safely step down from Venlafaxine under the guidance of our Prescription Experts; your Physician and Pharmacist.  

The Pre-Taper is for Symptom Relief. You will not wean Venlafaxine until you feel better. This is where our Advanced Nutraceuticals are critical.

Point of Return provides healthy, Drug-Free Strategies to help minimize Venlafaxine withdrawal symptoms to improve mental and physical well-being.

Our areas of expertise are Antidepressants, Benzodiazepines, Sleeping Pills and Painkillers on a case-by-case basis.

Our In-Home programs are individualized based on your situation. An assessment is done once you start which allows us to individualize your gameplan based on age; length of time on the medications; health challenges; lifestyle, stress levels; additional medications; and interactions. Don't Wean Venlafaxine alone, work with our Prescription Drug Experts.

We are prescription drug experts that specialize in antidepresasnt withdrawals.

Imagine being Free of Venlafaxine Addiction 

- Proven Program completed At-Home with Expert Guidance

- Our secret is a Slow Taper combined with Powerful all-natural Nutraceuticals to help ease Venlafaxine withdrawal symptoms

- Your program is customized for your specific situation

- Professional information on herb/vitamin/over-the-counter interactions

- 15 years of experience helping people in 78 countries

- Free Expert Mentoring on our 24/7 private Discussion Board

- Free Assessment Upon Starting our Program (a $400 value)

Learn More about our withdrawal program.

      Call toll-free  866-605-2333 to Learn More or send us an  Email.

      We've helped people in 78 countries and in all 50 states in the USA



      Venlafaxine Withdrawal  Success Stories

      Venlafaxine Withdrawal  Success Stories

      I didn't know what a fighter I was until now that I look back on this past year and realize that I never once thought about quitting the program. more...

      Laura (Colorado) Venlafaxine

      Venlafaxine Withdrawal  Success Stories

      I am drug-free now and my mind is clear and sharp. The nerve pain is much, better and my life is full. I plan to continue taking the nutrients forever. more...

      Anna (Pennsylvania) Venlafaxine

      Venlafaxine Withdrawal  Success Stories

      I really appreciate the gift of being able to be off the SSRI's because of the negative side effects they had. Thank you!!! more...

      Michel (South Carolina) Venlafaxine

      Venlafaxine In-Home Taper Program

      Join our Venlafaxine Withdrawal program today and get your life back!

      Break Free Today

      At Point of Return, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, we have spent the last 15 years helping people wean off Venlafaxine correctly. With customized taper rates and all natural nutraceuticals, our program allows you to come off Venlafaxine, once and for all, from the comfort of your home. Read program FAQs

      Venlafaxine Withdrawal  Success Stories


      " My heartfelt thanks to all of the POINT OF RETURN team – the group of participants that provide emotional support on the forum – and most of all – to Alesandra. more... - Kellia A (Canada) Venlafaxine

      More Venlafaxine Withdrawal Success Stories

      I started taking Effexor (Venlafaxine) a couple of years after my second child was born. I had terrible panic attacks which were really debilitating. I think it was because of a combination of my father dying suddenly, stress and poor nutrition. Only later after quite a bit of research I realized that it must have been it. I went to a general doctor who gave me the quick fix. Take Xanax till your Effexor starts kicking in a couple of weeks. Having always been scared of any types of drugs I only took one or two Xanax. I rode the panic attacks till the Effexor kicked in. At first I felt good. I even stopped smoking cigarettes. Then the weight started piling in pretty fast. I never had a weight issue in my life. No matter how much exercise I would do I still put on weight and craved sugar all the time. Slowly I started having all sorts of problems. Constipation, brain zaps, tiredness, and a ton of other problems I chose to remove from my mind.

      Over the 6 years I often tried to quit, once it even took me a year to taper off of it but always went back to it as I had terrible withdrawal symptoms. Searched the Internet constantly to see if anybody got off of this drug successfully. One day I stumbled upon PointofReturn.org, (POR). I read up on it thoroughly but was very skeptical so I didn't do anything for a year. This year, June 2012 I had had enough. I wrote them and within a few hours I got a reply from Alesandra. I had a thousand questions. She replied within a few hours. After a few days or weeks of correspondence I decided to order the program.

      Her patience with me won me over. Within a few days I started feeling like I was suddenly waking up, had energy, I was alert. Amazing. But I was still skeptical. I learned that the best tapering process was definitely through a compounding pharmacy who made the drug in liquid form. Easy!!

      I have been now off the drug for almost a month. I feel great. Tons of energy, overall good mood, alert. I do get weepy and impatient at times but I feel alive after having spent 6 years masking all sorts of feelings.

      I thank you Alesandra and the group of people at Point of Return who made it possible for me to go though this program so successfully!!

      Chiara R. (California) - Effexor (Venlafaxine), Xanax

      Read More About Our Antidepressant Withdrawal Program

      I remember calling Alesandra for the first time and telling her my story. I remember wondering if I should be calling, it seemed like I was overreacting. A good Christian doctor had prescribed me my pills, he was someone I trusted. Yes, I had had some red flags go up, but unknown to me at the time, the drugs made me unconcerned. Surely I didn't need a rehab program. I told Alesandra why I went on the pills. My baby almost died right after she was born, and had to go on very strong medication to save her life. I was supposed to go back to work, but due to her health condition I wasn't able to leave her. My benefits company simply needed a note from my doctor to hold my job. I was worried about my little girl, and I made the horrible mistake of allowing the doctor to tell me that I was sick. That my brain chemistry was screwed up, because I was scared for her. I will fight to forgive myself for this for a very long time.

      My antidepressant doses went up so quickly that I started to lie about them to my husband. I was so ashamed of being broken in this way. Then the doctor added another. He told me it would help me sleep - and that's all. He didn't mention serotonin syndrome, and that it's potentially fatal. He never monitored me in any way. I'd go in, he'd ask how I was feeling, I would tell him and he'd write a prescription, usually in a higher dose than I'd been taking. It took only moments for him and nearly destroyed my marriage, my relationships with nearly everyone I knew, our finances, and my daughters health. She was still nursing at the time, and the moment I went on anti-depressants, she stopped growing or gaining weight. Completely. Her host of doctors became very concerned and I couldn't figure it out and spent endless amounts of time pushing food down her throat, sobbing when she wouldn't eat huge amounts, and still couldn't put on weight.

      When Alesandra heard how much medicine I was taking I remember her saying an expletive, apologizing, and her words of concern echoed in my head. I remember looking at those pill bottles and feeling as claustrophobic as I had ever felt. They were poison, and I had to take them that evening. I cried for days and then made the decision to quit one medication cold turkey based on how it interacted with the other. It was hell.  I was hostile, sick and angry all the time. My sleep was riddled with nightmares and my waking hours were agitated. Within ten days or so, my moods leveled just enough that I felt strong enough to being my taper and search for a new doctor. I ordered the Point of Return supplements and took them religiously. I will tell you, I hated the taste of Support, but not as much as I hated my Effexor. So I kept on. I pushed myself harder than the program outlined, and allowed myself some withdrawal symptoms. I told my family to stay away from me for the day following my drop in medication, I had already hurt them so much. I've spent two months hiding out and dropping my doses every week. I am lucky enough to have a hard-working husband and the ability to be at home most of the time.

      Two days ago, I took my last dose of Effexor (Venlafaxine). I was so scared. I'd missed doses in the past and I knew what not taking my medication felt like. I also knew what I'd gone through when I quit taking Zoloft cold turkey. I prepared for the worst. I won't lie to you, because of the fact that I tapered pretty quickly (37.5mg drop every seven days and not what POR recommends) I am experiencing some withdrawal symptoms. I am having pretty continuous brain zaps. I'm sore, and I am continually dizzy and nauseated unless I take a tiny piece of an anti-nauseant. But it's not debilitating. It's not NEARLY as bad as it was when I'd miss a dose before. Better than that, my mood is UP! I'm happy. I'm more relieved than I can tell you. I can't stop smiling, despite the withdrawal symptoms because I just realized I can do this. That the worst is over and I can put this behind me.

      I did not think this program would work. Can I be honest? I thought it might be a scam to sell vitamins. Sorry guys!! I didn't know what to do, or where to turn and I'd just realized that I'd been on medications for almost a year that had turned me into a really mean shadow of myself and I didn't trust anybody anymore - even myself. I found POR after reading hundreds of horror stories about quitting Effexor. I was terrified and angry and ashamed. And although I know that I have a lot of healing to do from here, I can do that healing as MYSELF, without the horrible side effects of the drugs messing with my thoughts, emotions and memories.

      It just occurred to me, that it's going to be okay - and I don't know how I would have gotten here without you all. Thank you so much. You didn't just give me my life back. You gave my baby girl her Mommy. My amazing husband got his wife. My mother got her daughter, my siblings got their sister back. I've been "gone" a long time, and I can't tell you how good it feels to know that I came back from that place.

      Love you guys.

      Mellie M. , (Canada) - Zoloft, Effexor (Venlafaxine)

      I am dead set against the misuse of drugs and have always made a strong and lasting impression upon our children pertaining to them.

      by Laura Effexor (Venlafaxine) , Xanax, Mirtazepine, Tramadol
      Effexor Withdrawal Success Stories

      Thirty years ago may have been the beginning of a down-hill spiral for me when I was put on antidepressants for a persistent nerve pain in my arms and hands. Amazingly they did stop the pain and because of my trust in our medical Dr./friend I thought I'd need this drug for rest of my life to correct the diagnosed chemical imbalance.

      While on the Amipramine I had mood swings, dry mouth and a nightly three hour ritual of twitching and jerking. It was the end of the blissful deep sleep I had once known. Relocating to another state meant changing to another doctor and then another and another as I became discouraged with their inability to make me feel better. The first and only effort ever made with each new doctor was to change my antidepressant. I even had the degrading experience of a homeopathic Dr. tell me there wasn't anything more they could to for me. "O.K. what is wrong with me? I don't feel well. Am I going to wither up and die for no reason at all? Oh, yes, I have Fibromyalgia. It's causing the tiredness, muscle pain, acid reflux and sleep disorder.

      Oh, thank goodness. My joins are wearing out. Now there is a real reason for the pain. The five joint replacements have been helpful but the diseased spine is still hard to deal with. The spinal injections haven't helped so I really don't know what to do next. Suffer and live with it I suppose. At this rate I may not want to see 70.

      Five children and their spouses, fourteen grand children all live a thousand miles away and seldom come to visit. They are too busy with their own lives so I am doomed to die lonely in some facility because my husband won't be able to care for me as my mental and physical health diminish. They will keep me calm and quiet for a few years until I slip away."

      GOD BLESS MY DAUGHTER, BARBIE, who so tenderly and cautiously questioned me about my antidepressants. "Mom, I have a friend who was really sick and taking several drugs but now she is off of them and she has a whole new life." "But I still have the pain and the Dr. said I have a chemical imbalance.
      I can't hardly ride in the car because the vibrations hurts me so bad. Dad does all of the housework and shopping." "Would you mind if my friend e-mailed or called you? "No, I don't' mind. I can listen or not listen."

      That was the beginning of my journey to healing with POINT OF RETURN and my, now dear and precious, friend Alesandra. It has been one year this month of September since I began the program and today I am free of drugs. Free from Xanax which was causing me more Anxiety, Tramadol that caused more pain, Mirtazapine and Effexor (Venlafaxine). Even my stomach is healing and I have stopped the purple pill.

      It hasn't been a bed or roses. It was hardest on my dear husband of 48 years. He is a saint you know. We are acting silly again just as we did years ago and we are still very much in love at the age of 66 and 70.

      We hope to shorten the miles between us and our family by traveling more frequently. We have been blessed with a Great Granddaughter and we have yet to see and spoil her just a little. We just returned from Arizona where we reunited with two friends we had not seen or heard from in thirty years.

      My grandchildren thought it was amazing to see photos of me (grandma) on a recent camping trip, standing up to the waist in a stream of water and fly fishing for trout. I'm a tough cookie sometimes and stubborn (they say) but I didn't know what a fighter I was until now that I look back on this past year and
      realize that I never once thought about quitting the program.

      Could it have something to do with Alesandra Rain, the program itself, the prayers I didn't know about. Yes, all of the above and more. I am dead set against the misuse of drugs and have always made a strong and lasting impression upon our children pertaining to them. For me to think that I was addicted to prescriptions drugs never entered my mind and would have horrified me.

      Pain is no stranger to me so I am more compassionate to those who suffer than I use to be. I want to say clearly that I don't believe a laboratory cocktail of chemicals, compressed into a tiny pill, are natural to the human body and they are definitely not the answer to a healthy mind and body.

      Laura S., (Colorado) Xanax, Mirtazapine, Effexor (Venlafaxine), Tramadol

      My heartfelt thanks to all of the POINT OF RETURN team – the group of participants that provide emotional support on the forum – and most of all – to Alesandra.

      by Kellia (Canada) Effexor (Venlafaxine)
      Effexor Withdrawal Success Stories

      I cannot clearly recall how I came across POINT OF RETURN; but I am certainly grateful that I did, because it was most definitely my point of return – to sanity. I was diagnosed with depression shortly after my mother passed away over 20 years ago. I was depressed all right…of that there is no doubt; however, I now know that I should have been given other ways of coping besides being prescribed drugs. At the time of my mother's death, I was a single mother and she was the only real support system I had. I was probably a bit too close to my mom and consequently, I took her death pretty hard. I left a job of 8 years and moved away from the city I was living in at that time, which is definitely not something I should have done. Nevertheless, following my doctor's advice, I went about changing a few things in my life, and took the antidepressants prescribed. Over the years, I was given an assortment of antidepressants; Desipramine, Prozac a couple others thrown in for good measure (the names of which I can't remember now) and finally the doctors settled on Effexor. It was never recommended that I seek any kind of grief counseling nor was I told how harmful making major decisions in my life could be…but…thank God; it is all behind me now.

      After a few years of taking antidepressants, I started to question my doctor about why I couldn't come off them because in fact, it had been so many years. I was repeatedly told not to worry about it – they were not addictive – and I just needed to accept that I was one of those people that have a brain chemistry that doesn't properly supply the serotonin levels I need to live a normal life. If I were a diabetic, I was asked, would I not take insulin?

      About 3 years ago, I went away on a long weekend shopping trip with a girlfriend and I accidentally forgot my Effexor (Venlafaxine) at home. I didn't think that much of it until near the end of the second day. I couldn't focus on anything; I had a pounding headache and ringing in my ears; I felt like I had vertigo. It was the most awful experience I'd had since I couldn't remember when. Everything was just spinning. I didn't equate the feelings I was experiencing to any kind of withdrawal until I went to a clinic on the 3rd day because I knew I wasn't going to be able to drive and I had to get home. It was then that I was told that my body was reacting to not having the Effexor. It was a very frightening experience and I knew that I wanted to be drug free from that point on. I tried on a couple of occasions to wean myself off of the effexor to no avail. I started to seek out information about antidepressants and withdrawal symptoms and I started to read a great deal of information on cognitive therapy for depression as well as potential alternatives to prescription drugs. I guess I stumbled across the POR site during this research stage and decided to ask a few questions about how the program worked.

      I kept going back to the POINT OF RETURN site and read the information over and over again and I finally mustered up the courage to contact them. It was a Saturday or Sunday evening that I sent an email and I just about fell out of my chair when Alesandra responded within the hour! I was impressed! I kept in touch with Alesandra by email for a couple of days back and forth and it was obvious that she knew exactly what she was talking about and she quickly gained my trust and respect. I ordered the withdrawal system and anxiously awaited its arrival. The day I received the package, I read Alesandra's book, "Deeds of Trust" in one sitting. I was amazed by what she had been through and knew in my heart that if she could survive that kind of pain and anguish, I could certainly work through my 'stuff'. I slowly started taking the nutrients, as recommended, and picked up the probiotics. I built up my courage and made an appointment with my doctor to let him know that I wanted to go on the POR program. I was very worried that he wouldn't accept my request because of my attempts to get off of antidepressants previously, but I kept in contact with the POR forum and got a script in my head so I could tackle any questions he might have. I read through the POINT OF RETURN doctor's information booklet provided as well and had highlighted certain areas of the book that I thought would quickly convince him that their system was based on sound research. He kept the booklet with him and told me to re-book another appointment while he went through its contents and thought about my request. In between this initial appointment and the follow up; I was taking the POR nutrients & probiotics. I also picked up some excellent Omega 3 oil (vegetarian brand as I am allergic to any seafood/shellfish) and sought out a compounding pharmacist in my area.

      I was pleasantly surprised when I had my next doctor's visit. He not only said he would allow me to do the program; but he also asked if he could share the information I provided him with, amongst his colleagues. So…off I went…prescription in hand.

      I followed the POINT OF RETURN program religiously and stayed on the private forum (mostly reading at first) to keep focused. Alesandra would speak with me one on one via email when I had some struggles through the titration and as usual, she was my faithful angel. I know that I will still have days (and nights) where I feel sadness creep up on me…but I also know that I will have days of joy and peace that I could never have had on the anti-depressant medications. I felt flat. Life had no pizzazz! I have tears now and then; but I know now how to cope. I pamper myself with a bubble bath, read a good book, watch a comedy or a romantic love story and of course, keep myself well-stocked with SUPPORT.

      My heartfelt thanks to all of the POINT OF RETURN team – the group of participants that provide emotional support on the forum – and most of all – to Alesandra.

      Kellia A. (Canada) Effexor (Venlafaxine)

      I cannot thank you enough for your help and personal attention during my "time of trial" this past summer. I am drug-free now and my mind is clear and sharp.

      by Anna (Pennsylvania)  Effexor (Venlafaxine)
      Effexor Withdrawal Success Stories

      I cannot thank you enough for your help and personal attention during my "time of trial" this past summer. While suffering from a painful condition with searing, constant nerve pain in my right arm and hand, I was overmedicated with antidepressant and tranquilizers (which did nothing to help the pain). Thankfully, when searching the Internet for "effexor Withdrawal," I found Point of Return and began your program on Memorial Day weekend.

      Whenever I had a question or concern, you were there for me. Most importantly, you gave me hope~ You answered my emails (sometimes within minutes) and helped me over the wrought spots. I appreciated your honesty and encouragement. Since your personal battle also involved nerve pain, I was comforted by you personal insights. Also, you personal attention in modifying my program to improve sleep and lessen pain was definitely a turning point. Thanks to you and your products, my three withdrawals were painless and relatively symptom-free, and I finished the last one earlier this month.

      Nerve pain is unending and merciless. It's 24/7 – you can't get away from it. My life was a fees. I could not eat, sleep, work, or interact with my family or grandchildren. I wanted to cry but did not have the energy. At times, in the idle of the night, I thought it would be so easy to end this… Thankfully, my faith in God helped me through those dared, dark nights. As someone wise once said, "even good comes from bad." My problem (caused by a blockage of blood-flow to a major nerve) forced me to look at my life an eliminate things that weren't working. Now, I have new doctors who are competent and responsive and I also made changes in my personal life (joined a new church, joined a gym), and am no longer a "door mat" at home.

      I could not conclude this letter without thanking Terry for handling my orders quickly and efficiently. If he had a question, Terry would call me right away. Again, personal attention made all the difference. His recommendation to utilize the auto-ship program helped me save money, and I could easily change what was sent each month.

      I am drug-free now and my mind is clear and sharp. I returned to work in mid-August. My energy level is wonderful and I will be 59 years you in November! The nerve pain is much, better and my life is full. I plan to continue taking the nutrients forever. In closing, Alesandra, you are an angel!.

      Anna E. (Pennsylvania) Effexor (Venlafaxine)

      I am writing to let you know that I have successfully completed my taper from 7+ years of 150 mg of EFFEXOR XR using your program. I have been EFFEXOR-free for almost 3 weeks now. I initially communicated with you in late January about how to taper from an XR medication. After much deliberation I switched to the tablet form, prepared for my taper with the supplements, took my full dose in two half-doses a day for two more weeks, and finally started my taper. I actually tapered at a slower rate which worked out well for me. I had mild symptoms at the points of tapering but they typically resolved after a few days. I had only one severe event and I knew it was because I had tapered one day and then took my next dose a little late the following morning. My final taper (actual withdrawal) was thankfully, "uneventful".

      Again, I thank you so much for your help.


      Laura P., (Washington) Effexor

      I really appreciate the gift of being able to be off the SSRI's because of the negative side effects they had.

      by Michel (South Carolina) Effexor (Venlafaxine)
      Effexor Withdrawal Success Stories

      My name is Michel, and I took high doses of SSRI's for about 12 years. On the rare occasions that I tried to get off of them on my own, I would soon begin to cry for no apparent reason. With my wonderful psychiatrist's supervision and the encouragement of the folks at POINT OF RETURN, I used the nutrients diligently over a period of several months and had the compounding pharmacist taper my EFFEXOR (Venlafaxine) according to the instructions. I did well, except for the last 3 weeks of withdrawals, which I was told to expect. But I held tight, and I finally made it off these drugs and have been thriving off of them for a year! Sometimes I return to taking the supplements if I am under a bit of stress, but I can then go back off of them when things calm down. I really appreciate the gift of being able to be off the SSRI's because of the negative side effects they had. Thank you!!!

      "'But I will restore you to health
      and heal your wounds,'
      declares the LORD..." Jeremiah 30:17

      Michel B.L. (South Carolina) - Effexor (Venlafaxine)

      Dear everyone at POINT OF RETURN. A few weeks ago I emailed Alesandra about the fact I had gone off Effexor (Venlafaxine)cold turkey and was suffering horribly. I called and talked to Terry and ordered the program. At nearly two weeks out I can say that I am feeling SO much better. The electric shocks to my head have diminished and the dizziness is pretty much gone. I am still rather tired, but not that bad. As a matter of fact I start a new job on the 6th doing what I used to do and left due to burn out and simple drug poisoning. I will be seeing to the recreational needs of the elderly in a nearby nursing home. Its smaller than the last one and should be alot easier. I also notice in a general return of being interested in living. I haven't been excited about anything for so long! Now I do look forward to getting out and meeting people like I used to. And while I do have tearful moments of grieving for what life dealt me, I also know its time to move on. Thanks for being there and letting me know,life needn't be hopeless, or without light and possibilities. I will stay on the program to the end and am sure I will continue to mend.

      Don N. (New York) Effexor (Venlafaxine)

      Dear Alesandra, Terry, Andrea and Dr. Code,

      Collectively, you have all changed my life!  In fact, you’ve changed my husband’s life as well.  Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts for doing the work that you do so that we could get our lives back!   My husband and I both quit drinking and smoking about 15 years ago when we decided to start having a family.  We were blessed with 2 beautiful children!  When our daughter was 6 months old, I went to my ob/gyn complaining of depression and frustration.  I just felt that I was losing my patience too quickly and just couldn’t cope well with life.  Out of desperation I began taking PROZAC and, I did feel better.  Little did I know that this would begin years of being put on one antidepressant or another.  I would feel better for a little bit and then go back to the doctor complaining that I just didn’t feel “right”.  The medication was often increased or changed and I had even been sent to psychiatrists because the doctor felt they would better be able to help me.  I had repeatedly been told that I had a chemical imbalance, was depressed.  I would – every once in a while -  try to get off of the meds but then felt awful.  I didn’t realize this was from withdrawals and would go back to the psychiatrist with my tail between my legs.  They would tell me that the more I take myself off of the meds, the more I would become dependent on them and that I may NEVER be able to stop taking them.  Deep down, I always knew that something was not right but couldn’t figure it out.  I felt ashamed that I needed these medications and the medical world definitely added to that shame.  Depending on the medication I was on from PROZAC, LEXAPRO, WELLBUTRIN, EFFEXOR XR, KLONOPIN and a few others I can’t remember, I never felt like myself.  The doctors couldn’t fix me and I felt like a human guinea pig as they tried different meds, different levels and different combinations.  I was constantly tired and finally went for a sleep study.  They diagnosed me with idiopathic narcolepsy – I now realize that was the EFFEXOR XR.  They then put me on another medication for that which elevated my blood pressure.  When I finally had to rush to the doctor because my blood pressure was 176/106 – I was chastised for being on such a high dose of EFFEXOR XR and told that the other medication was increasing my blood pressure to dangerous levels.  In May of 2007, I decided enough was enough and reduced my EFFEXOR XR from as high as 300mg a day to 75mg per day and stopped taking the other meds as well.  I stopped completely from 75mg to nothing and was absolutely miserable.  I couldn’t sleep, was irritable, was crying constantly and just felt horrible all around.  I simply felt that I couldn’t function and was in an incredible fog.  The sad thing is that I never put it together with stopping the EFFEXOR XR until I was on a field trip with my daughter’s class and it dawned on me that I had stopped the medication too fast. 

      Out of desperation I started my search online and found POINT OF RETURN.  I read EVERYTHING on the website and finally e-mailed them very late one evening.  I was so shocked when I actually received a reply from Alesandra herself.  She couldn’t have been more supportive, kind, patient and most of all a friend!!  I started taking thenutrients and felt noticeably better within 2 days!!  Here we are in February of 2008 and I still take both SUPPORT and MOOD on a daily basis as does my husband.  We intend to start our children on it as soon as it is feasible.  I’m still struggling with balancing my thyroid and hormones but have no desire or need to EVER get on antidepressants or anti-anxiety meds again!!  I have over a hundred pounds to lose and am able to tackle that for the first time in a decade!  I have never had such mental clarity before and have such a sense of being in the NOW.  I never, ever realized what a fog I was in and how confused and just out of it those meds made me.  I was just letting life pass me by.  My husband and I have the best relationship ever and are both working on getting our health back completely.  We have learned to actually communicate, as we are no longer numb. 

      Thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

      Caroline and Rick, (GEORGIA) Effexor (Venlafaxine)

      Thank you so much for your cooperation. I successfully withdrew from Effexor with your company's help.

      Sincerely, R. B. Effexor (Venlafaxine)
      == __\
      / \\_@\-'/ \
      \__/ \__/

      reach out for help

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      Venlafaxine Withdrawal Symptoms May Include

      aggression, anxiety, balance issues , blurred vision, brain zaps, concentration impairment, constipation, crying spells, depersonalization, diarrhea, dizziness. electric shock sensations, fatigue, flatulence, flu-like symptoms, hallucinations, hostility, highly emotional, indigestion, irritability, impaired speech, insomnia, jumpy nerves, lack of coordination, lethargy, migraine headaches / increased headaches, nausea, nervousness, over-reacting to situations, paranoia, repetitive thoughts or songs, sensory & sleep disturbances, severe internal restlessness (akathisia), stomach cramps, tremors, tinnitus (ear ringing or buzzing), tingling sensations, troubling thoughts, visual hallucinations / illusions, vivid dreams, speech or visual changes, worsened depression

      Venlafaxine Side Effects May Include

      abnormal dreams, abnormal ejaculation or orgasm, anxiety, appetite loss, blurred vision, chills, constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, dry mouth, frequent urination, flushing, gas, headache, impotence, infection, insomnia, muscle tension, nausea, nervousness, rash, sleepiness, sweating, tingling feeling, tremor, upset stomach, vomiting, weakness, yawning, abnormal taste, abnormal thinking, agitation, chest pain, confusion, decreased sex drive, depression, dilated pupils, dizziness upon standing up, high blood pressure, itching, loss of identity, rapid heartbeat, ringing in the ears, trauma, twitching, urinary problems, weight loss

      Venlafaxine Abrupt Discontinuation Symptoms May Include

      agitation, anxiety, confusion, irritability, sensory disturbances, electric shock sensations, dysphoric mood, headache, emotional liability, insomnia, hypomania, tinnitus, seizures, impaired coordination, diarrhea, dizziness, nausea, nervousness, nightmares, somnolence, tremor, vertigo and vomiting

      Venlafaxine history and info

      Venlafaxine (Effexor) is an SNRI (Selective Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor) that was introduced by Pfizer as Effexor in 1993. By 2007, Effexor was the sixth most commonly prescribed antidepressant on the U.S. market.

      Venlafaxine has a relatively short half-life that helps to explain the severity of the Discontinuation Syndrome (withdrawals) frequently experienced by patients. It is hypothesized that an overly rapid deprivation of multiple neurotransmitter levels contributes to the high rate of withdrawals.

      Venlafaxine (Effexor) can increase eye pressure so patients with glaucoma should have more frequent eye checks.  There are few well-controlled studies of Effexor in pregnant women but a study released in May 2010 (Canadian Medical Association Journal) suggested it doubled the risk of miscarriage.

      Effexor (Venlafaxine) was marketed for the use of major depression, generalized anxiety, panic disorder and social phobia. At dosages less than 150mg per day, it acts primarily on Serotonin, while at moderate dosages of 150-300mg Venlafaxine affected both Serotonin and Norepinephrine. At dosages above 300mg, Effexor also exerted it effect on Dopamine.

      Serotonin is found primarily in the gastrointestinal tract, blood platelets and central nervous system. Norepinephrine has multiple roles including as a hormone and neurotransmitter and is most responsible for vigilant concentration in contrast to Dopamine that is most responsible for cognitive alertness.  The widespread role of these neurotransmitters helps to explain the long list of possible Venlafaxine side effects and withdrawal symptoms.


      According to the FDA:

      Serotonin Syndrome: Risk increases with concomitant use of other serotonergic drugs. Discontinue Effexor XR and initiate supportive treatment if serotonin syndrome occurs

      Discontinuation [Symptoms]

      Advise patients not to stop taking Effexor XR without talking first with their healthcare professional. Patients should be aware that discontinuation effects may occur when stopping Effexor XR [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7) and Adverse Reactions (6.1)]. When discontinuing treatment, reduce the dose gradually (2.8, 5.7).

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      *The program outlined in Point of Return is not meant to substitute your doctor, instead it is to be utilized with your physician to help you with your drug withdrawal process and with his or her consent.

      *Because prescription medications can cause severe withdrawal reactions, do not stop taking any medication without first consulting your physician. The decision to taper any medication should be discussed with your doctor and done with their consent and support. More...