Anxiety Medication Overview: Withdrawal From Effexor

The antidepressant Effexor, a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), was first introduced in 1993 and is approved for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder. While Effexor can be very effective at treating anxiety disorders, many people find that they have troublesome withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop taking the medication. These types of symptoms are found in the discontinuation of a variety of SSRIs and SNRIs, but Effexor appears to have a particularly high risk of causing withdrawal symptoms among users.

The type and severity of Effexor withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person. Some people who stop taking Effexor do not experience any side effects at all, while others suffer from them no matter how gradually they taper the dosage of the drug. In some, withdrawal symptoms appear within hours of missing a dose. These symptoms can include dizziness, nausea, headache, insomnia, tremor, vertigo, confusion, irritability, agitation, hostility, numbness, tingling, nightmares, and "brain zaps" (a symptom that appears to be unique to SSRI/SNRI discontinuation, and which sufferer describe as an electric shock sensation in the brain).

Effexor should never be stopped suddenly, as this greatly increases the risk of experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Instead, it should be tapered gradually, under a doctor's supervision. In cases where withdrawal symptoms are particularly severe, certain SSRIs (such as Prozac) may be prescribed to ease symptoms while the Effexor is tapered.

Photo: Pexels

More Articles

If you've found that being under stress has an effect on your appetite and weight, you're in good company. While some people lose weight when they...

Withania somnifera, known commonly as ashwagandha, sounds like a good name for an avatar in a fantasy game, but it is already the name of an herb...

While anxiety disorders in children are often overlooked, they are actually the most common childhood psychiatric problem. Children can suffer...

Aromatherapy for anxiety may be a useful natural remedy in helping ease symptoms. Aroma means a pleasant or agreeable odor arising from plants,...

People who are anxious may demonstrate a heightened sense of smell, according to new research being conducted at the University of Wisconsin at...

More Articles

There are a number of anti-anxiety medications available, and they can be classified into several different categories of drugs. Not all...

If you suffer from a generalized anxiety disorder, you probably feel fearful a lot of the time. Don’t let fear and anxiety rule your life!...

Published in the journal Neuron, research suggests that there may be a single protein that can turn cortisol production on and off, one of only a...

Ativan (available generically as lorazepam) is a powerful anti-anxiety drug in the class of medications known as benzodiazepines. It is a fast-...

One of the most commonly used and most effective treatments for mental health issues, particularly anxiety disorders and depression, is cognitive...

Just because a thought visits your mind does not mean it is true. Negative thoughts about yourself and speculation about what’s going to happen...

Anafranil is the brand name of the tricyclic antidepressant clomipramine. It is approved by the FDA to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder and is...

Prayer for anxiety may help some with dealing with the disorder. Listed below are the anxiety prayers that personally help me. Whatever your faith...

Whether you’re a graduate student preparing for your finals or an aspiring real estate developer who needs to get a license, test anxiety affects...

Drinking coffee makes you jumpy. Caffeine makes you jittery, it messes up your sleep cycle, and in large enough amounts, it becomes...

There are some situations where showing your anxiety may not be welcome. School, work, and meeting new acquaintances may all be uncomfortable...

The University of Central Florida newspaper published an article about an interesting clinical trial at the UCF Anxiety Disorders Clinic in the...

Anxiety control or fear of losing control may happen during a panic attack you might think you were having a heart attack or some other...

Beta-blockers are a class of drugs most commonly used to treat heart conditions, although they are useful in the treatment of a variety of other...

Practicing yoga regularly can be incredibly beneficial both mentally and physically. If you suffer from anxiety, stress, or depression yoga can be...