Here is a description from Wikipedia:
Sudden discontinuation of venlafaxine (brand name Effexor) has a high risk of causing potentially severe withdrawal symptoms. Even missing a single dose can cause symptoms of withdrawal. The high risk of withdrawal symptoms reflects venlafaxine’s short half-life as well as its effect as a dual uptake inhibitor. Discontinuations have a tendency to be significantly stronger than the withdrawal effects of other antidepressants including the tricyclic antidepressants, but are similar in nature to those of SSRIs with a short half-life such as paroxetine.
Symptoms of discontinuation are similar to other antidepressants including irritability, restlessness, headache, nausea, fatigue, excessive sweating, dysphoria, tremor, vertigo, irregularities in blood pressure, dizziness, visual and auditory hallucinations, feelings of abdominal distension, and paresthesia. Other non-specific mental symptoms may include impaired concentration, bizarre dreams, delirium, cataplexy, agitation, hostility, and worsening of depressive symptoms. Online help groups consistently mention withdrawal from venlafaxine as triggering dreams of a particularly distressing and hellish quality.
Electric shock sensations have also been reported with many patients describing the symptoms as “brain zaps”. It has been suggested the sensations may represent an alteration of neuronal activity in the central nervous system.
Studies by Wyeth-Ayerst, the maker of venlafaxine, and others have reported severe withdrawal cases, including withdrawal as the presentation of a stroke, as well as neonatal withdrawal (neonatal withdrawal has also been reported with paroxetine, fluoxetine, sertraline, and citalopram). In some venlafaxine withdrawal cases, successful discontinuation was eventually achieved by the addition of fluoxetine, which was later discontinued itself without difficulty. Additionally, use of tramadol has been proven effective as anti-depressant withdrawal aid especially with venlafaxine.
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