Effexor (venlafaxine) [SNRI] - Page 11 - Social Anxiety Forum

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post #201 of 302 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 10:12 PM
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I took Effexor a few years back after beginning to experience daily panic attacks that were debilitating and made me think I was dying/going to lose my mind! I had all the normal side effects (dry mouth, sleepiness, brain zaps, bruxism, loss of appetite..etc) But a couple weeks into it I started feeling OK all of a sudden..but not exactly perfect. I used to tell people " I'm fine now, but I'm not skippin' down the street". Stayed on for a year at 75mg/day when I just didn't want to be on antidepressants anymore and thought I was all better..Big mistake! A few months later I had my first panic attack in a year at the airport waiting to pick up a friend. So I went on Effexor for round 2...Nightmare! Literally! I felt all drugged up, every side effect in the book, and on day 7 had what I would describe as a psychotic episode and thought I needed to go to the psych ward! I felt like I had taken a bad hit of acid! I flushed the Effexor down the toilet and never looked back. I live in fear of that feeling ever coming back to me again. Also, Effexor made me crave alcohol, which I didn't realize at the time until looking back and thinking about catching that warm and fuzzy buzz the alcohol/Effexor combo gave me..later read some posts about people with the same problem.
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post #202 of 302 (permalink) Old 08-02-2013, 05:50 PM
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Ive been on effexor for about a month, currently at 75mg. Side have effects have been minimal so far which is good news (though not surprising as i had hardly any while on zoloft too).

Havent noticed much progress so far... I think its lifted my depression a little, but no difference to my anxiety. (Kind of the opposite to what zoloft did to me). Really hope i can find one that works for both.
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post #203 of 302 (permalink) Old 08-06-2013, 09:13 AM
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Magnificent for depression & I remember my sex drive being awesome LOL. Increased generalized anxiety, most of the meds with norepinephrine don't seem to mesh well with anxiousness. If I went more than two hours without my scheduled dose I'd get sick as a dog. My social anxiety was greatly reduced.

DX: Social Anxiety, Atypical Depression, Chronic Pain.

Currently taking: Desisipramine, Klonopin & Migraine meds.
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post #204 of 302 (permalink) Old 08-12-2013, 08:11 AM
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Easy withdraw

Hello. Unfortunately generally only the bad experiences are shared in this forums which is very uncomfortable for people who search for information for these matters (like me 3 years ago).

I must be lucky because my withdraw symptoms were somewhat mild and tolerable. I took 75mg for 2 and a half years (with good results) and decided to try to reduce the daily dose to 37,5mg with success. I was not always happy but who is? After 3 years I've decided to quit and after 10 days I had zero withdraw symptoms. I made this in a vacation period so I could adapt better.

I think people put too much emphasis in the withdraw process when the real aim should be to overcome the fears and bad feelings which provoke the reason why we had to use this drug in the first place, preventing it to return in the future or finding strategies to deal with it.

In my case I increased the quality time with my family, improved my eating habits, talk more often with friends, avoid isolate myself so often, play sports (mountain and road bike weekly group cycling), etc.

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post #205 of 302 (permalink) Old 08-25-2013, 06:45 PM
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This drug is terrible. It hasn't alleviated any of my social anxiety or depression. And the side effects are awful. I'm tired all the time, and sleep on average 10-12 hours a day. I've been on 112.5mg for about a year but I've manged to taper down to 37.5mg by myself in the last couple months. The withdrawal effects are horrible, brain zaps, vertigo, and headaches make it almost unbearable to go off the drug. I don't recommend this to anyone. This has also made me incredibly cynical of the pharmaceutical industry since it seems like this drug is specially made so people can't go off it, ridiculous. **** the FDA for approving it, **** the pharmaceutical lobbyists, **** the for-profit pharmaceutical industry, and **** this evil piece of **** who made this.

And it's not like I can go to a doctor to change this since I don't a family doctor or GP. Some idiot psychiatrist prescribed me this after a 10 minute session after he arrived 40 minutes late, and then the health care system pretty much threw me out and told me to **** off. All that happened is that the pharmaceutical companies got to profit off of my misery. Seems like it would be easier to just kill myself.
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post #206 of 302 (permalink) Old 08-30-2013, 03:53 AM
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Effexor XR

Hello I really hope ya'll are having a good day/night. I was on Aropax (SSRI) for about 8 years and it virtually stopped helping my depression or anxiety. I wanted to switch to an SNRI to see how that goes, so I started on 37.5mg for 2 days. On the third day I moved up to 75mg as I had no side effects at all. Again no side effects so after 2 days I moved up to 150mg which I stayed on for a week and still no side effects. I've felt a slight change in energy (I'm not as flat as before). After one week I moved up to 300mg a couple of days ago and I haven't had any side effects.

My doctor wanted me to gradually move up to 300mg after one month, but due to virtually no side effects apart from occasional excessive yawning, (but not tiredness) and a little bit of trouble sleeping on one or two nights so far, I have decided to move up to 300 sooner. I have had no jittery agitation like I expected. I feel like I get hot easier at the moment and I'm a sweater already so I could do without that!

It's my second day on 300mg so I'm really keen to see how the medication starts working, if it does over the coming weeks. I hope! Something some of you may not know already about effexor, is that it only acts as an SSRI up to 150mg and starts working as an SNRI above 150mg. I'm hoping to see these changes shortly and looking forward to reporting back to let ya'll know how it goes.

I hope my experience helps reduce the fear surrounding many peoples experience with side effects. It's a difficult step but you only know if you try. Make sure you have the support of a good doctor to guide you through the process.

Good luck to you all

E
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post #207 of 302 (permalink) Old 09-02-2013, 03:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Natalie64 View Post
I'm new to this forum and have just found you all. It's good to know I'm not the only one going through this - sorry guys!

I'm on Venlafaxine and dose at its highest was 300mg. However, I am slowly coming off it as I became suicidal, craved alcohol and was a total zombie and exhausted the whole time.

Now, it's taken me 7 months.....yes, 7 months to get down to 18.75mg. During this time I have been unable to work and have the following in withdrawal: dizziness, brain slowed down, poor memory, nausea, explosive diarrhea, aching in joints, heavy limbs, breathlessness, snappiness, tearfulness, vivid dreams, total exhaustion, poor sleeping, headaches, occasional numbness of face.......is that everything....not sure.......but gives you an idea.

I am dreading the next drop, down to nothing as from other peoples experiences this is likely to be the worst. I am fortunate enough that I am paid 1/2 my wages through an insurance scheme with work but we still struggle. I also have a son who is not yet at school and I have to care for.

For me, this drug has been evil and I am now sure that it exacerbated my depression. I lost 6 months of my life in a fog while on high doses of this drug and now things are still very difficult. The withdrawal has been very long and drawn out and quite frankly I am sick of being ill and unable to live my life. I feel a shadow of the person I once was.

Had I been warned of the possible difficulties in withdrawing from this drug I would not have taken it. Yes maybe after exhausting all other possibilites however, this was only the second antidepressant given to me after trying Prozac.

I feel strongly that awareness of the withdrawal from this drug should be raised. Most of the Drs in the UK I have come across do not seem aware!


Hi Natalie64
I;m with you 100%....been there.....12 months of tapering off from 225mg for 10 years.....wished I was dead at times woulds been kinder, than the 12 months of horrendous withdrawl.....3 months free from the evil drug and still experiencing withdrawl....wishing I could get this stuff out of my system...I don't know how long it will take....or if at all...Good luck
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post #208 of 302 (permalink) Old 09-04-2013, 10:35 PM
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I take a really small dose and it really doesn't bother me at all I do not have any side effects I have taken alot of other SNRI and this one has to be one of the better ones because the others made me dizzy.
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post #209 of 302 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 02:45 AM
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I've taken 75 mg of Effexor for about 5 months and I absolutely hate it!! Not only has it made it very difficult if not impossible to achieve orgasm, but it makes me yawn constantly and does absolutely nothing for me. I have had no improvement in my anxiety, depression, or my OCD! I would be better off taking a Tic-Tac. Maybe it will work for you, but it is a waste of money for me and I hate the side effects. I can't imagine how it would be taking 150 or 225 mg! I decided on my own to quit taking it 2 days ago, but I haven't told my DR yet.
Hey the withdrawal is going to be hell but you have to ride it out and dont ever take that poison again. If you need support just message me.
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post #210 of 302 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 02:47 AM
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Hi Natalie64
I;m with you 100%....been there.....12 months of tapering off from 225mg for 10 years.....wished I was dead at times woulds been kinder, than the 12 months of horrendous withdrawl.....3 months free from the evil drug and still experiencing withdrawl....wishing I could get this stuff out of my system...I don't know how long it will take....or if at all...Good luck
It is not in your system your body is just rebuilding itself. I highly suggest watching this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuYZ...4NGYrQ&index=1
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post #211 of 302 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 12:15 PM
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The side effects were way too horrible, I couldn't make it past the second week. Nausea all day, my libido was non-existent, and excessive yawning/tiredness throughout the day.
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post #212 of 302 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 03:59 PM
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The side effects were way too horrible, I couldn't make it past the second week. Nausea all day, my libido was non-existent, and excessive yawning/tiredness throughout the day.
What dosage did you start with?
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post #213 of 302 (permalink) Old 09-22-2013, 05:30 PM
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Effexor xr

I read with interest the posts about Effexor...
I am a fan of the "done" meds took nefazodone for years..still take 50mg of trazodone for sleep..the nefazodone finally stopped working so my shrink said take Ef
fexor 75mg xr for a week than increase to 150mg xr was unable to tolerate 75 mg for a few months took 37.5 mg now able to take 75mg a day..my shrink wants me to increase to 150mg I am leary of this noticed even at 75mg felt bad as I went say 20 hours without a dose also increased my alcohol consumption..
But some good news really helps with SAD GAD panic about to almost wean off Xanax completely
My shrink wants me to take 150mgxr a day to affect the reuptake of norepinephrine At 75mgXr works as an SSRi...but helps me I feel he should listen to how I feel instead he is obsessed with hitting that second neurotransmitter
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post #214 of 302 (permalink) Old 10-03-2013, 07:18 PM
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Well, I did go up to 150mgxr of Effexor where it is supposed to affect the reuptake of norepinephrine and have to admit I feel better However it was months before I could tolerate this dose
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post #215 of 302 (permalink) Old 10-04-2013, 03:51 PM
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I was on 350mg for a year. Ruined my life.
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post #216 of 302 (permalink) Old 10-04-2013, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Arkiasis View Post
This drug is terrible. It hasn't alleviated any of my social anxiety or depression. And the side effects are awful. I'm tired all the time, and sleep on average 10-12 hours a day. I've been on 112.5mg for about a year but I've manged to taper down to 37.5mg by myself in the last couple months. The withdrawal effects are horrible, brain zaps, vertigo, and headaches make it almost unbearable to go off the drug. I don't recommend this to anyone. This has also made me incredibly cynical of the pharmaceutical industry since it seems like this drug is specially made so people can't go off it, ridiculous. **** the FDA for approving it, **** the pharmaceutical lobbyists, **** the for-profit pharmaceutical industry, and **** this evil piece of **** who made this.

And it's not like I can go to a doctor to change this since I don't a family doctor or GP. Some idiot psychiatrist prescribed me this after a 10 minute session after he arrived 40 minutes late, and then the health care system pretty much threw me out and told me to **** off. All that happened is that the pharmaceutical companies got to profit off of my misery. Seems like it would be easier to just kill myself.


I feel you brother. I was on this drug for only 3 days, It gave me the worst bouts of depression I had In my life, and after I got off of it the suicidal thoughts lasted for an entire month. Other side effects included excessive yawning, fatigue, and I over slept a lot.
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post #217 of 302 (permalink) Old 10-07-2013, 09:30 PM
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I am on the XR version and I love it.
It works for me. No hot flesh/sweatiness like the regular kind.

I will have to wait and see how I do during my PMDD though - that's when it counts the most.
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post #218 of 302 (permalink) Old 10-22-2013, 05:35 PM
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My psychologist wants to start me on the generic Effexor at the VA. Despite all of the side effects, I am desperate to try anything that will relieve my SA and moderate depression.
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post #219 of 302 (permalink) Old 11-19-2013, 01:49 AM
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I was on Effexor XR for maybe 3-4 months and it had both good and bad results but mostly bad. I started on 75mg per day and within the first few days I felt a positive change. I'm not sure if it's a placebo effect but it was good and I felt free of anxiety and any kind of worries for the first few weeks until suddenly, it took a turn for the worst and I completely crashed. I went into severe depression and life became boring even while doing stuff with friends. What also made it worse is that I had a crush on this girl at work that I got along with very well and told her about it but she told me she was already with someone and that we can only be friends. It effin sucked man and that made matters worse. I would lay in bed day in and out crying and I eventually got rid of facebook because I couldn't stand other people having the life I want and being cool. I persisted with this medication hoping it would take a positive turn but turned out that it was no longer helping me so I quit cold turkey and suffered the withdrawal symptoms which really didn't bother me because I was already suffering with enough pain. Even increasing the dose to 150mg then to 225mg a couple of weeks later didn't make things better.
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post #220 of 302 (permalink) Old 11-20-2013, 06:27 PM
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im currently on 300mg effexor xr. ive tried most other SSRI's and SSRI's as well except for a couple. i found this to be the best med/dose ive been on for SA.

although its effectiveness is limited for SA, i felt a decrease in generalized anxiety and depression. SA is a real nut to try and fix. tho i recall it being my first ever psychiatric med, and it was truly life changing. that was ten years ago. so that should tell you, it isnt a cure all. but, imo, a good place to start in your recovery. it def keeps my depression in check.
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