Social Anxiety Forum

Social Anxiety Forum (http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/forum/)
-   SNRIs (Serotonin–Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors) (http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/forum/f140/)
-   -   Effexor (venlafaxine) [SNRI] (http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/forum/f140/effexor-venlafaxine-snri-84123/)

Jaded4 12-23-2013 04:37 PM

Effexor XR
 
I've been on meds for at least 20 years for depression and anxiety. Tried a vast majority, culminating with 8 ECT treatments about 5 years ago. Now I am tapering Effexor by 5 grains a day. I'm now at about 40mg. Withdrawal still sucks-irritability, crying spells, anger, dizziness, memory fog. I can't wait to be free of this crap.

I've been on so many medications and the only thing I can conclude is that these things are nothing more than active placebos; at least in my case.

I consider myself fairly successful. I'm married with three children. I had a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry. Yep, there it is! The PHARMA industry. I got into research with the intent to help people. Others were there to line their pockets.

Research some of the earliest treatments in psychiatry like hydrotherapy or "spin" therapy. Look up lobotomy too. Those were also considered effective treatments in their time.

I believe many of these medications will go out the same way. In a hundred years they will look at these treatments the same way we look at lobotomy today.

Congratulations to those who find relief from these drugs. The only effective treatments I have found are exercise and sound diet, coupled with a good therapist to guide you with coping skills.

My last dose of Effexor should be around January 8th. Good Luck to everyone else whose had a tough time on the med-go-round.

Jenger 12-24-2013 01:40 PM

Sudden reoccurrence of nausea
 
Hi, I have been taking Effexor 150mg 2X per day for about 6 months and it has worked great for me. I worked through the initial nausea and have had no problems with it. Suddenly in the past few weeks, it has been making me nauseous after taking it. It lasts a few hours and does not matter if I eat before or after. I have even tried breaking the pills down to 50mgs at a time and spreading my dose over the whole day but it doesn't seem to matter how much I take, it just makes me sick. I was supposed to see my Dr. A few weeks ago and couldn't make it due to snow. I have another appointment in a couple of weeks, but would love to know if there is something I can do in the mean time. Has anyone else had a sudden reoccurrence of side effects? Thanks for any info you could provide!

Toffee41 01-07-2014 02:12 PM

Nine months in now & things are pretty good. Have returned to work after 13 months off & Effexor is working well against my depression & anxiety. Due to the short life of the med & it's weak strength I have had to give up alcohol completely as even small amounts affect me the next day terribly. This was a life-changing experience for me as I had drank since I was 16 (43 now), but if I wanted to keep my job & sanity I had to do it. In fact just about anything can affect the med & my mood including energy drinks, vitamin tablets, painkillers & even lemsip ! Effexor helped a bit at lower doses but didn't really take off until I reached 300mg a day (2x 150mg). I am due to reduce this dose in the next few months & am dreading it as I tried this a while back & my symptons returned almost immediately. I find the best way to take Effexor is to take it 12 hours apart EXACTLY. If I miss this dose by 2 hours or more I feel absolutely awful the following day. So I set alarms to remind me. I had 9 GREAT years on paroxetine before this & really miss the 'feel good high' it gave me. In fact- the first 2 years I felt as 'high as a kite' as the drug apparently 'floods the brain with serotonin'- giving that feel good feeling. In a forum that is mainly full of gripes about the effects of Effexor I have to say it works well for me. As long as I do the do's & don't the don'ts.

Phoenixica 01-30-2014 09:28 PM

Social Anxiety Background

My mum died when I was 4 and in general I had messed up childhood. Fitting in has never been natural to me and it was the continual rejection and self doubt which evolved into the disorder.

Treatment Experience

Effexor was the first antidepressant I was prescribed. I was shocked at how this drug altered my personality. After just one month I could walk into a lecture theatre of 200 students my age and not care about what anyone thought. This would be impossible for me to do naturally. This was my best experience of the drug because I was yet to experience its side effects and withdrawal (both of which include neausea). Tolerance to the drug grows quite quickly... if I wanted the best effects from it constantly I'd have to double the dose (every 6-12 months). I normally stay on effexor for 1-2 years then try to come off it but the withdrawal is hell (don't underestimate this - especially if you're prescribed 150mg+). It as a short half-life and you'll experience withdrawal symptoms within one missed dose. My brain has been forever changed by effexor and not in a good way. When I come off the medication for a couple of months my mind breaks down, it craves the drug and I can't sleep or think straight and I become suicidal, which is one of its known effects. I don't know if I'll ever properly be free from effexor. Taking an antidepressant is not a decision to be made lightly - especially with effexor.

masterridley 02-05-2014 04:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by failoutboy (Post 1070106057)
If you respond so well to Effexor and you respond especially well at higher doses, maybe it means you need the norepinephrine reuptake inhibition more than the serotonin reuptake inhibition (Effexor starts affecting norepinephrine only at higher doses).

You might want to try Wellbutrin, which has a great effect on norepinephrine, paired with another SSRI that doesn't have as bad withdrawal symptoms to get the serotonin benefit. I found Wellbutrin to work better than Effexor for the norepinephrine part. Wellbutrin doesn't have bad withdrawal symptoms either. I'm recommending this because I did this myself.

I can't imagine having to continually cycle on and off of Effexor--that sounds like a nightmare.

Like you, I've now been taking Effexor @300mg for 2 years and I don't like what it does to me when I miss a dose (can't sleep + effexor nightmares) nor its effect on my libido.

What dose did you try for Wellbutrin and also which SSRI did you pair it with? Also, how can I be sure that norepinephrine is the thing I need. I went from 225 to 300 a long time ago but I didn't notice any change; this may be due to the fact that the stressors in my life also increased by a factor of 10 (no exaggeration there)

masterridley 02-05-2014 06:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by failoutboy (Post 1070221138)
You typically start at 150 mg for Wellbutrin and then move up to 300 mg if you handle that well (300 mg is the standard dose). You can pair it with any SSRI, but Zoloft is a common choice. This combo is so often used it is called Well-loft. Zoloft and Paxil are the two most recommended for social anxiety.

If you tend to be sluggish, sleepy, and have low motivation then you probably need more epinephrine. In your case, the effexor may have taken a lot of the sluggishness away though. Wellbutrin seems a lot more potent as far as norepinephrine reuptake inhibiting than effexor, and it also seems a lot cleaner (less side effects).

It was hard to taper down from effexor, but I think Wellbutrin+SSRI has been much more effective for me. I switched because I also had to stop increasing my effexor dose because of side effects.

You know, the difficult part is separating the effects of Effexor and those that you would have anyway due to life giving you the middle finger.

I know I am incredibly tired all day, right now I can't keep my eyes open and I'm in the freaking lab, but I don't know whether that is due to lack of norepinephrine or just plain old depression or even the fact that I push myself to the extreme (studying many hours, not going anywhere, staying awake at night etc)

Thank you for the suggestion though. I will definitely look it up. I'm just a little bit scared of the withdrawal symptoms. I've seen what effexor can do with only a day off and I'm already suicidal as it is, I don't know if I should risk it.

MetalPearls 02-06-2014 10:16 PM

I need advice. I been on Effexor for months now.. over 3 months. It's increased to 225mg now. But I still don't feel like getting out of bed daily and I don't have a routine like a morning thing and an evening thing before bed. I just don't have an organized life. My moods are stable. I don't fight which is good.. I let things go but I know it's eating at me inside. But the good part is just.. the less fights I'm having with people. Arguments I mean. My energy still low.. but could it be the whole.. "a body at rest stays at rest" or is it the meds?

When I was OFF all medication.. I was a gym bunny. Every week.. many times.. all good. Trying to tone and keep little fit. Now? I am overweight.. and I hate leaving my house.. and I'm tired. I'm not as depressed as I was before though.. like wanting to die depressed coming up with ideas but never doing it kinda stupid thinking.. that part has died down along with the arguing. Soooo I don't know.. its like.. it helps but it doesn't help?

Is this pill for me.. should I increase it or not. The doctor says he can increase it again if I want. It's kind of up to me.. so I want to see what you guys think..

Elad 02-06-2014 11:22 PM

Been on this for over two years now, been up to 375mg a day and now back down to 150mg.

Just ran out yesterday and can't get a prescription for the next two days.


http://static1.wikia.nocookie.net/__..._gon_b_gud.gif


except not good at all. :( goodnight sweet coldturkey.

ltrain 02-07-2014 02:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elad (Post 1070271306)
Been on this for over two years now, been up to 375mg a day and now back down to 150mg.

Just ran out yesterday and can't get a prescription for the next two days.


http://static1.wikia.nocookie.net/__..._gon_b_gud.gif


except not good at all. :( goodnight sweet coldturkey.

Did you notice any difference on 375mg? I've been taking 150mg for a few years now but still feel uncomfortable sometimes. Wondering if increasing dosage would make any difference basically

0Persephone0 02-07-2014 05:16 PM

Elad, you should call you doctor. It can be incredibly dangerous to suddenly stop taking it.

Elad 02-07-2014 08:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ltrain (Post 1070284770)
Did you notice any difference on 375mg? I've been taking 150mg for a few years now but still feel uncomfortable sometimes. Wondering if increasing dosage would make any difference basically

I didn't.

I took it up for the same reasons you're considering it, seemed to get less effective over time (guessing tolerance?) but once I made it to 375mg all I got was more frequent night sweats and other sides; so no real improvement.

Quote:

Originally Posted by 0Persephone0 (Post 1070288306)
Elad, you should call you doctor. It can be incredibly dangerous to suddenly stop taking it.

I would except its the weekend so my gp is closed, if I go to a 24hr emergency pharmacy its a 2 hour wait and more than I can afford atm.

Quote:

Originally Posted by failoutboy (Post 1070288650)
It isn't incredibly dangerous, it is just extremely uncomfortable.

Well, I hope you're right. I don't intend to go more than 4 - 5 days until I can get a new script. Currently just over 3 days and I'm groggy/dizzy, just generally out of it, but the headaches and such haven't set in too bad.. yet.

Lish3rs 02-07-2014 08:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elad (Post 1070271306)
Been on this for over two years now, been up to 375mg a day and now back down to 150mg.

Just ran out yesterday and can't get a prescription for the next two days.


http://static1.wikia.nocookie.net/__..._gon_b_gud.gif


except not good at all. :( goodnight sweet coldturkey.

Do you not have access to your doctor's home/cell phone number, or do the offices have a telenurse? Some of our clinics do for emergency refill purposes.

Edit: I just read your reply :/

ltrain 02-08-2014 06:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elad (Post 1070293386)
I didn't.

I took it up for the same reasons you're considering it, seemed to get less effective over time (guessing tolerance?) but once I made it to 375mg all I got was more frequent night sweats and other sides; so no real improvement.

Are you going to change meds? Or try and function drug free...?

Kinos Journey 02-11-2014 11:52 PM

Been using the generic version of Effexor at 300 mg a day, taken at night, for about three years now.

Since my flavor of depression is dysthymia, aka chronic depression, it's often hard to tell if and when a medication stops working for me because the symptoms come back so quietly that I get used to them, or I can't tell if they're just passing phases or something I need to pay attention to.

Right now my biggest two are sleep and what I like to call 'motivational apathy'. I want to sleep all the time and have to force myself out of bed, and there's no real drive to do anything beyond 'I should do this' or 'it's my duty to do this'. I still function, but doing anything beyond simple tasks feels like laundry, sorting things, making idle chatter, or heating up food seems on the same level as 'scaling a wall'- my brain feels like it's taking more effort that it should, even when they're purely enjoyable things, like playing video games. Once I'm well into the task, I'm fine and may even enjoy it, but it's just the act of 'doing' that seems to take more mental energy than it should.

Gareth Seaborne 02-17-2014 02:06 PM

Venlaflaxine.
 
Good to find this forum - I had had a lot of mixed results with this medication.
In the UK, its called Venalic (my tablets are anyway), and I take 75mg m/r tablets.

I have been on and off this for about four years. I took Citalopram before this, and it was the craziest stuff I have ever taken, even including the naughty stuff I did in university.
Citalopram had me paranoid I was being followed, the works.

Venlaflaxine is doing well for my depression and anxiety, however, it does have some wild side effects, which I still get after the fourth time of trying it.
These include

Wild, repetitive dreams
Excuse my french, but monster erections with no hope of ejaculation
Sweating like a person wrapped in plastic
Very intermittent appetite
Wandering thoughts and /or mind racing
Itchy teeth (very strange)
Very bizarre sleep patterns.

However it does work, as my mind is taken off what upsets me, but it seems to be at a cost of all of the above.

I have had councelling, and have started exercizing a lot to take my mind off things, but I do think the VF has helped.

I hope everyone who posts on here is doing better with VF, and would be happy to share my experiences with you.

Gareth,
UK

MetalPearls 02-17-2014 05:25 PM

The side effects of this drug is the worst.. constant nightmare and night sweats for any amount of time I get sleep.
Im NOW on 75mg a day. Tapered from 225mg. I feel more energy awake more times then none. I'm thinking faster... im feeling more emotions then I know how to deal with but it really beats the fog I was living in for months. It killed a good amount of my personality. I notice I'm watching more comedies then normal. I'm writing again. I have the urge to get back on my feet again. This drug flipped me worse... just wanted to update from my last post.

What is insane is I get energy... but only sometimes. I'm starting to sleep more now but during the day, I just get so tired I always feel the need to get back in bed. Anyone gone through this tapering off meds? More sleep during the day??

gooxo 02-17-2014 08:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MetalPearls (Post 1070543465)
What is insane is I get energy... but only sometimes. I'm starting to sleep more now but during the day, I just get so tired I always feel the need to get back in bed. Anyone gone through this tapering off meds? More sleep during the day??

I remember not being able to sleep longer then 4 hours, regardless of night or day.

MetalPearls 02-17-2014 08:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gooxo (Post 1070547769)
I remember not being able to sleep longer then 4 hours, regardless of night or day.

I have been that way for a few weeks now.. 2 to 3 hours is my max.. I stay up a few hours and then I will try to go back to sleep.. but now tapering off them I end up having a few good hours but in the day time and at night the usual 2 to 3hours max. It's nuts -_-

Kairoz 02-18-2014 08:27 AM

I don't have first hand experience as I haven't taking this drug, but the withdrawal from it is just CRAZY. My girlfriend was tapering down, and got panic attacks, nightmares, and many other horrible reactions from the abstance of venlafaxine. It's supposed to be good when you're on it, but just be careful if you're trying it out and haven't seen effect - do NOT quit it cold turkey unless you are prepared for side effects.

Good luck!

ltrain 03-10-2014 01:29 AM

I just increased from 150mg to 225mg 2 weeks ago as I was starting to feel like it wasn't working any more. I seem to be doing much better now and am actually socialising with people! Either it's working or placebo is doing its job.


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