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Effexor XR and worry....
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Effexor XR and worry....

Hi, I have begun Effexor Xr 37.5 mg. for basic anxiety- I worry alot.. I have gone on/ off for years, the stigma of being on meds. gets to me. I am a healthy, school teacher and am not depressed.. more like a cat on a hot tin roof, worry about alot, especially my health (not really a hypocondriac, but close!).  I have had weird things happen like a virus of some sort that made my liver enzymes go out of whack.. so, 6 months of blood work, ultrasounds on liver etc.. so , I became LIVER worried all the time.  Went for CT. scan for gyno. reasons, and a 3mm cyst was found on my LIVER.. so I freaked.. brought it to gastro. and he repeated in 3 months.. cyst. no worry.. no return visit.  My reg. dr. told me I am fine.. my gyno told me I am fine.  I drink in moderation, am always am LIVER cautious.. to the point my husband and mom are like YOU are OK!!!!  Anyway, I went back on Effexor, the longest I have ever taken them is maybe 4 months... if that.  Anyway, my liver is fine, my yearly exam in July all my bloodwork was perfect, enzymes, cholesterol, etc... but I read that the Effexor Xr goes through the LIVER.. is that bad, I know nothing is BAD w/ my LIVER, but should  worry?????  I take nothing else, no tylenol, aleve etc. unless really bad headache etc.  I exercise daily.  This is on my mind.  My mom says that I should give them a try for the side effects may outweigh this .. and to stop reading about side effects.  I have nothing medically wrong w/ me... my liver is fine... even the radiologist did not know what she was looking for on my liver, I just cannot get this out of my mind.... 'hence, on effexor xr!!! '.... please help... thanks.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, anxiety can easily make us obcessive about certain things with our health.  The most important thing to help us get better is learning to "accept" what the doctors tells us.  When they say "everything is fine" accept this, because this constant worry and fear is feeding your anxiety and creating a vicious cycle. You don't mention having been in therapy and this would help a lot with this.  In therapy we learn why we worry, and how not to, it's very beneficial.  I feel most of us taking medication(s) for this would rather not, but  it allows us to live a happy and productive life without all the worry. Sometimes therapy isn't enough, and medication is needed.  But try to view this as any other medical condition that you would need medication for to help you get better, or lessen the symptoms.  Medication turned my life around, literally, but I tried therapy first which helped with a lot of my problems, but I have had some losses that keep me on edge, so I continue on medication.  We all react differently on these medications, but more often than not the benefits far outweigh any side effects.  The worst thing to do is google these meds and read about side effects, they will scare the daylights out of you, but so would a lot of other more simple medications.  All we hear are the negatives, but there are thousands and thousands of people doing very well on these medications, you just don't hear the good stories. I've been on many thru the years and have had no problems at all, but this is me.  Should you start a medication and have any side effects, you can call your doctor and he will know if it's just your body adjusting to the medication, or a side effect.  He can switch you to another if need be, or tweak the dosage.  It is often trial and error as to what will work best for any one individual.  Life's too short to spend it worrying, only to wake up an old person and wonder where the years went.  I hope this helps, and I hope you can start feeling better.
Take care.....
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you!  You are so correct on all levels!!!  I have not gone for therapy, have often thought about it. May be the time to begin!  Yes, googling has been driving me nuts. I guess the biggest fright, that the scare of my LIVER and 6 months of the what ifs... and I kept thinking.. oh boy, all those years of on/ off drinking/ socially.. etc... and then.. you're fine.  Then a year later... well, we need to check this out.... LIVER.. which is deadly, ya know?!  Even had Cancer bloodwork for Liver.. which was normal.  But, the fear... I am anxious about my elderly parents..son in college and know I am the one for both of them.  I guess, therapy and talking it out might help! So far, the meds are fine.. have only been back on them for a few days. I am going to stay on them. The new school year begins soon, and I need to concentrate on my 'kids'.  :) Thanks
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Avatar_f_tn
It will take 4-6 weeks for your medication to reach a therapeutic level, so be patient.  You're going to be fine, and wish you all the best!
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Avatar_m_tn
All medication affects the liver at least a little in an adverse way, since the liver has to decide if it's going to let the body have this strange substance it isn't adapted to having in the system.  And the liver is what metabolizes these meds -- if the liver won't metabolize it, it won't work.  That being said, Effexor is not a big culprit with the liver.  It can happen, but it's rare with that med.  What is odd is to be put on that particular med for this particular problem, since Effexor can be very stimulating for some people.  If it works for you, great, but usually other classes of meds would be used, at least according to what I've been told by psychiatrists.  The fact is, our livers are under an onslaught of things, but you can deal with that; there are herbs and dietary practices that can help with that, when you're not on medication (they're harder to do when you're on medication, since they can clean it out of your system -- your body thinks medication is toxic even when it isn't and so liver cleansing isn't recommended when we choose to go on meds).  So you might want to research liver health quite apart from the medication issue.  For example, you could add alpha lipoic acid to your regimen -- it won't wash out meds but it is a strong antioxidant for protecting the liver.  Lots of stuff out there, lots of modalities.  Good luck to you.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks! I appreciate your help!  My liver is 'fine', no liver disease etc. Just had some scares where 'it' was the culprit of my attention.... My last physical in July, clean bill of health-- I put this worry on my self, hence, maybe that is why Effexor is good for me. I am going to live a normal life, not live under a shell, and having a couple drinks will not 'kill' me either even 'on this med'... I just need to relax.... and give this a try!
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