The pros and cons of SNRI medication - Social Anxiety Forum
View Poll Results: Have you tried effexor XR/venlafaxine?
Yes and its great 1 12.50%
Yes and it was a living nightmare 2 25.00%
Nope dont want to try them 3 37.50%
Unsure (please elaborate as to why if u can) 2 25.00%
Voters: 8. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-08-2011, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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The pros and cons of SNRI medication

So like an idiot I abruptly decided my effexor was no longer working for me as i was getting extremely depressed. I blamed the medication rather than the fact there had just been a massive earthquake (in christchurch on the 22.02 of this year) which my sister and I experienced add that to the horrible experience i had at work with harassment and my dad was getting sicker as he has a bad heart problem so rather than seek therapy for these circumstantial issues i decided to drop the effexor and convince my doctor to change my medication

when the pdoc said no to drugs like Bupropion, Parnate the tianeptine (stablon) medication which he could have had imported in as his brochure suggested, i was tempted to look up TCA medications after my pdoc suggested one of the sedating medications. So having psyched myself up i asked for nortriptyline over the other two options i had which were amitriptyline or dothiapin

The pros of Nortriptyline
  • It started off as a very good NRI med with little to no side effects
  • Sleep was amazing, i have never slept so well in my life
  • I stopped getting headaches
  • It potentiated any other drug i took like zopiclone

After a month into this drug on the highest dose supposedly 150mg i started to feel irritable, restless, sweaty and ever so hungry, i could always eat and sleep and steadily gained a quarter of the weight i had lost in the past two years.
Depression, anxiety and SA all grew to the point where i needed the emergency doctor and my eating disorder was constantly on my mind and i saw myself in the mirror as fat all the time.

So i told the doctor and he said effexor being so positive for me at the beginning would be a good idea to stay on.
I am on 225mg which is lower than my original dose and i am feeling better already and its only been three days.

Pros of SNRI compared with SSRI
-Appetite goes
-Nausea is less frequent than paxil
-I do not act like a village idiot on them like i did on fluoxetine
-Sex drive is actually higher than when i was on nothing
-Mood is lifted, it was all over the place on SSRI's
-No nightmares or scary thoughts entering my head like on paxil and zoloft.
-Energy is increased, on paxil and fluoxetine i was a lethargic lump
- I am nicer to be around according to my fiance anyway
- I cannot drink on them which is a blessing for me because i have an adverse reaction to wine or spirits while on these pills

-Insomnia, the same as any SSRI, its bad
-Feeling wound up and twitchy
-Food doesn't taste as good as it used to, although that is a positive for me but for most people it would be seen as a con
-Heart rate is a little fast, not as bad as nortriptyline but still there
-Although sex drive may have increased from relaxation, it takes awhile to get in the mood fully but being really relaxed is preferable than being terrified

Is anyone else here on effexor OR starting effexor again after stopping before? If so, is it pretty much the same in terms of side effects and efficacy in the first month or so??

So the pros outweigh the cons for me and since there is no "miracle drug"
i will stay on effexor because there can always be ways to combat insomnia, sex drive and twitching because its all temporary

I admit i was an idiot when i decided to just stop and it was a very big mistake and now 7 kilograms later, i need to rebuild again

"Some men see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say why not? "
RFK quoting George Bernard Shaw

Do you think we choose the times into which we are born? Or do we fit the times we are born into?-Abraham Lincoln
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-08-2011, 10:45 PM
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For me it's pro's were; It worked pretty well for depression.

Con's; Like most SSRI and SNRI medications it sort of gave me the apathy syndrome, or blunting effect which made me withdraw from life even more.
It also messed with my sleep cycle, as again most SRI medications do in my case.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-09-2011, 11:34 AM
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Haven't tried them. I hear a lot of people complain about SNRI side effects, but I see just as many people complaining about SSRI side effects, and I didn't feel any after prozac and celexa. For some reason, I kind of couple SNRIs with SSRIs, and since I've given up on SSRIs, I don't really think they'll work. After having a bad experience with Remeron, I've pretty much set my sights on Wellbutrin, and an MAOI. I never considered being on a med long term, and still don't like the idea of taking one for more than a year or so. But after trying 3 antidepressants, I feel like I owe it to myself to find one that works. I feel like I just need a taste of what life is like on the other side in order to spur my ambition towards beating my SA with therapy.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-09-2011, 11:43 AM
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Cons are if you miss your dose by EVEN 2-3 hours, you will start to enter withdrawal. Also getting off Effexor XR is hell too.

Pros are it is a VERY effective medication for depression/anxiety when compared to most other anti-depressants.

"It's better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have an opportunity and not be prepared." -- Whitney Young Jr.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-09-2011, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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Yes to both, withdrawal from effexor is hellish and starting it or restarting it as i am is a bit unsettling because the first few weeks causes intense anxiety and insomnia and a tremendous lack of appetite where it hurts to eat but the pros definitely start to show once they kick in and everything associated with depression like tiredness, lack of libido, irritability and hunger seem to disperse and for awhile it feels as though u are floating on a cloud but over time the wonderful feeling goes but the appetite suppression and other positive side effects stay

Wellbutrin is something i wanted to try but due to the seizure risk and potential for heart attack i would be careful. If u read some of the reviews here and on other boards online you will see a good amount of people on this drug experience anger in moderate to high doses as well as the usual insomnia, dizziness and lack of appetite but over active libido seems to be something that entices people to take this drug

"Some men see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say why not? "
RFK quoting George Bernard Shaw

Do you think we choose the times into which we are born? Or do we fit the times we are born into?-Abraham Lincoln
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-09-2011, 03:35 PM
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CONS: Effexor withdrawl and paxil withdrawl are truely the worst withdrawls

PROS: Works good for Depression
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