The suckiest part of this side effect of Effexor is that you lose your appetite but gain weight. I have been on Effexor for 6 yrs. now (37.5mg), and I eat the least amount of food that I have ever eaten in my life, but gained 30 lbs. and weigh 205 now!!! I've also read (on the warnings label) that it can actually make you anorexic!!! Think of that, a fat anorexic person! But hey, I guess anythings possible, right?! LOL!
Anyways, if you can, please avoid taking ANY prescription drugs--Especially psychological drugs!
My Doc. just precribed me the generic form of Effexor XR, It's called Venlafaxine hcl er 75 mg cap. It was $145.00 but My insurance covered it. If you get an rx card from cvs or even through an online source for free it can cut the price in half. My Doc. said it will give me energy and help me lose weight as well as help my chronic pain and depression. Good luck :)
I started on 75mg of effexor5 years ago, then upto 150mg, then to 300 and then finnally upto 450mg per day for several years. During this time I also took lomax for 12 months and a small dose of Zyprexa 2.5 - 5mg for about 3 years. Over time the effexor became less and less effective and eventually even the 450mg was doing nothing. Doctor changed the 450mg of effexor for 150mg of Prstiq.
While on effexor I gained 20KG over all. I especially gained weight while taking effexor and Zyprexa together. I have stopped the Zyprexa as I thought that it was responsible for the weight gain and refuse to take it.
My psyc has told me that it was more then likely the high dose of effexor that caused the weight gain and not the small dose of Zyprexa.
I am still on the Pristiq and Zoloft in the am and now trying Tegretol at night. I am sick and tired of taking all these medications and pumping chemicals into my body and my bipolar does not seem to get any better.
I wish there was just one tablet to treat this condition. I tried Respiridone, Side effects nearly killed me, Tegretol doesn't seem to be doing much. Now having liver problems from all the chemicals it has had to cope with over last few years.
The only time I ever felt good was while taking Zyprexa. It is a miracle drug and kicked in after only 2 days. Thinking about dropping everything else and just taking Zyprexa.
I spoke to the ER doctor and he said Effexor is what they give to treat anorexics, it slows down your metabolism to almost nothing. I've been off it for 3 months and still can't lose the 20 pounds I gained with it even on weight watchers and running 4 days a week.
I started on Effexor 150mg XR during the midst of a long bout with depression and my third spin on Rx roulette. My partner and I are very much geared toward healthy living: we hardly drink or go out to eat. Additionally, I have been working out almost every single day, while continuing to eat a balanced diet and increasing my water and fiber consumption. I have gained weight--40 lbs. My sex drive has evaporated. But, I am chemically incapable of feeling bad about myself, which is a positive change, mostly with the help of a great outpatient program and DBT skills, too. I would love to unpack all weight that I've gained. However, my spin on it is that being thinner isn't going to mean anything unless you're happy.
I am grateful to have found this site, because I've been wondering how in the world I can eat well, train 5x per week for competitive athletic events and be in the best shape of my life, but still gain weight (and not just through muscle). I'm not up an extreme amount, but I've gone from a size 8 to 10, and the opposite should have happened with all of the calories I'm burning. I've been on 150 mg of Effexor for 2.5 years now, and that's probably why!! I really want to get off it, but know how challenging that will be, so I'll take a tapered approach...though I'm very scared of going back into the hole that Effexor so wonderfully helped me out of. I live in WA, and there just isn't enough sun here for me to feel like my "normal" self. I probably need to try light therapy or some other alternative. Most of all I don't want to lose the motivation to keep training. Any advice is appreciated.
Please be really careful with tapering off Effexor. The withdrawal effects can be really ghastly. Apparently it can be helpful to take Fluoxetine to ease the side effects, and then stop the Fluoxetine (which doesn't have such bad side effects). Anyway, check with your Doc about this.
I was up to 150mg and then down to 75 for about a year and a half all up, I tapered off before I knew about using Fluoxetine to help, and it took me months, and I still really suffered for a couple of months at the end. Brain 'zaps', dizziness, bloating etc. I've been off them for a few weeks now but strangely (and I've been eating less, not more), my belly is all swollen and it's soooo uncomfortable in my clothes! Don't know if there's a connection, but hoping it will go away!
there is now a $4 commitment card you can obtain. Its not on the $4 "list but there is a discount card sponsored by phisor, the maker. I just did mine and was looking for feedback about weight gain and ran accross your post.
EFFEXOR XR® Cost | Co-Pay Program go to www.effexorxr.com/
Find information on the Effexor $4 co-pay program and help lower the cost of your Effecor XR prescription.
Phew, I am glad I found others that have experienced the same phenomenon.
I train fairly consistently with heavy weights (strength focused). I have been on Effexor for well over 5 years and have been at the dosage of 150mg for at least 4 of them. I am not sure if this is relevant to the discussion but I was put on Effexor initially because of being diagnosed suicidal, uni-polar, and having low-grade depression. I have gained at least 20 Kg while I started my prescription but I can't quote exact numbers.
About a month ago, I started missing days of taking the medication due to a change in my daily procedure. If I accidently missed 2 days in a row, my body would remind me at work where I became disoriented, dizzy, and develop a pulsing head ache but I didn't notice any mood alterations so I decided that I wouldn't stress about it too much. (my job is within software development so I wasn't putting others at risk)
I then started 'digging' the withdrawal symptoms (besides the headaches) as being disoriented and dizzy makes your day kind of interesting so I stretched out the days I wasn't taking the medication.
Now I have been off the medication for at least 1 week, and although I am still experiencing dizziness, the headaches are gone and the effects are diminishing steadily. I also noticed an increase in focus at work (even better than when I was on the medication)
What I did notice however is that I am dropping weight at an expedited rate and my strength is for the most part maintained. I.E. the strength loss is not proportional to the weight loss.
Please note that I see my doctor so infrequently that I didn't bother notifying her. (I only see her yearly where I get renewed for 4x90 days of 150mg).
I DO NOT recommend what I am currently doing to anybody and you SHOULD NOT follow what I have done without consulting a medical professional well versed in anti-depressants. I just wanted to read about other's experiences and relate my own. Please note that my knowledge in anti-depressants is next to nothing and all I did was pop the pill to get me through the day
Currently 43, overweight at 110kg. My comfortable weight is 90kg (muscled from natural strength training for at least the last 20 years)
I started taking Effexor 3 months ago. At that same time, I joined Weight Watcher's, because the extra weight was part of my depression. I made up my mind to fix my body and soul! I have been following the program exactly, exercising, etc. I am happy to report that I have LOST 20 pounds since Sept 17th! I have to wonder if the people who gain weight on the drug are just feeling so much happier and better about things that they eat more? I'm curious if they feel ravenous while taking the drug? It has not been the case for me, actually the opposite. I DO still enjoy eating, but I'm not so preoccupied with it, AND I can control my portions and snacking much better. I just wanted to add this comment, since so many were talking about the horrible weight gain on the drug. I am doing great!
I would like to note something since I have been on effexor for 3 years and it is probably something many of you are overlooking. Instead of thinking, "does it cause weight loss or gain?" think- both. When I started I lost 20 pounds in 2 months... the new drug in my system, the NRI effect, energy, etc killed my appetite. THEN after another year, I got used to it ans started to gain.... I gained that 20 plus another 20. I CANNOT get this off. I have tried to 'pop' that stimulation period by jumping from 300 to 75, then the reverse. NOTHING. I have decided the only way to lose it is to go off. But for those that lost weight- I did too, at first.... give it a few years.
I'm sorry but you are SO wrong! Look at all the other comments on here, and you will see that about 95% of people have GAINED weight from taking Effexor!! I gained about 30 lbs. the first year I started taking it, without any lifestyle or diet changes (well, actually, I DID try and eat Better!). Also, the worst part about it is, it makes you lose your appetite, so you are actually eating LESS, but you GAIN more weight because it slows down your metabolism. This drug is AWFUL, and now I'm hearing that a lot of doctors are trying to push this drug off as a 'dietary supplement'! Doctors are paid well to push drugs from greedy, uncaring, selfish pharmaceutical companies, you know...they get BONUSES from selling the crap! It's true..I've done TONS of research on the topic, and not to mention, have personally been on Effexor for about 5 yrs. now..I can't get off it because it IS addictive, like crack. Please be careful and try to rely on natural alternatives, instead! Don't believe these so-called doctors..they ONLY care about making their $150,000/yr. salaries!
I have been on Effexor, low dose (75 mg), for almost a year. I have lost about 15 lb. - 20 lb., now weighing in at 110 lb. I am 55 years old, 5'5" and I exercise regularly (2X a week at the gym and 3X a week at yoga, which helps immeasurably with my lupus and fibromyalgia). I love food, and enjoy eating, but now find myself much better at stopping when I've had enough. I don't know if this is the Effexor. I think I am not eating for emotional reasons anymore, at least most of the time. I have always battled with my weight, tending to be on the heavier side. Right now, I feel I am exactly where I should be, weight-wise, even if my BMI is a little on the low side. I plan to ease off Effexor this spring, and to continue with the wonderful counselling that has helped me understand and find ways to deal with the life/health issues that drove my long-term depression. I am grateful for where I am now, and have deep sympathy for those who have experienced weight gain as a result of a drug that was necessary for their well-being. We -- me included -- are so focused on how people look on the outside. Really, what matters is the beauty inside. And being healthy. Best wishes to all.
I don't know of anyone that has lost weight on it, but everyone i know has gained it including me, anywhere from 33-60 pounds. I gained 40 have been off it a week and hope i can take the weight off. It may be good for anxiety but terrible in every other way.
I recently have been switched from Cipralex (SSRI) to Effexor (SNRI), to manage my major depression and anxiety that has been ongoing for the last 5 years.
And while I was on Cipralex, I had the worst experience and symptoms, which were: weight gain, periods of highs and lows, vivid dreams, cold sweats, irritability, etc. As for Effexor, I have yet to experience any negative side effects. It literally has done wonders for me personal. I've been able to lose weight, mental clarity, surplus amount of energy, mental focus, etc. And I'm currently on the low dose, 37.5mg.
It is nice to know that you experience the same symptoms. I have been on Effexor for many years and it has helped me. Although I have gained weight some is atributed to bad eating habits. I have successfully lost weight on Weight Watchers and it will be a lifetime battle. When I started on Effexor I was depressed and major anxiety. I had a stressful job, a marriage break up and a new relationship and those things contributed to a breakdown. I was off work for 3 months. I wasn't sleeping and couldn't deal with all the stress in my life. I did go off of hit and all the asexual symptoms, sweating went away. Then I was prescribed prednisone for a bad chest infection and again was not able to cope. Apparently Prednisone can cause anxiety in people. I have been on 175 for 3 years and would like to come off. My dr. and I have discussed it and we will wait for a few planned stressful occasions to be over. It is hard to feel that I was once a strong, independent woman and now can't handle stress anymore. I really feel that adrenal fatigue has alot to do with it although can't prove it.
AstraStarr, how about an update? Are you completely off the Effexor now, and have you seen any significant weight loss? I've been on it for 8 years and gained 40 lbs. I started tapering off a month ago. The withdrawal has triggered some bizarre and very intense cravings so I'm not seeing any weight loss yet and I don't expect to until I get completely off it. How are things going with you?
I too gained 35 lbs within about 8 months on Effexor and if I went in between refills would get body aches and like restless leg syndrome. It was miserable. Then when I finally went off it was like I had a week long flu! But the body aches lasted nearly 2 weeks! And I can't lose the weight either very depressing to say the least. This stuff should be banned.
I have only been on effexor xr for 6 months, going from 37.5 to 75 to 150 once daily. I am so sorry for all of those that have experienced weight gain (as someone who has battled her weight since puberty 35 years now), I know that weight gain alone is so depressing. However so far my experience with Effexor has been awesome, I have lost 30 lbs and feel better about myself than I have in 8 years. I find myself not obsessing about food and fairly uninterested in it, and now that I have had weight loss and positive feedback I finally have the willpower to make better food choices. We are all different and process meds differently, don't give up hope....there is something out there that will work for all of you.
Hi, yes my doc put me on Venlafaxine (sp?) wich is the generic for effexor and yes I can say that it helped change my life. It made me fell, as best I can describe it, normal. Like I wanted to do stuff not just hide in my house. I actually lost some weight when I first started taking it. My main issue was the first 2 days I took it. It kinda put me in a manic style state, like I was losing my mind, now I know that sounds bad but after the 3rd day it was fine and now I dont know how I thought my life before was living. Now I will say there was a "sex" issue but not like impotence but kinda like it was hard to climax, still felt great but after 2 hours one of us was about dead lol. I explain it like this - its like winning the lotto but not getting to spend it.
i have been on effexor for a few years and i found there was no weight gain at first, BUT then after they got my mood stabilized I couldn't lose weight. I was over weight when I went on BUT it eas and all over weight. After a while I started gaining weight just around my mid-section. I look like I am about to have a baby and am now off Effexor and yes it was a horrible detox to come off the medication. I am not on anything as of yet but I appreciate finding out I don't want an SSRI either. Anyway I am looking into a new medication but haven't found anything else as of yet....I wouldn't go on Effexor if you are trying to lose weight my doctor told me it was not one of the side effects either but let me assure you it is it is not from and increase in appetite. I have been aware of my weight for some time but now i weigh more then after i had my 5 kids
I'm on Effexor as well...and in response to what feels like your heart racing could actually be your heart just working overtime because your dehidrated...also it could be low blood pressure. But it does "feel" like you're heart is racing....I just started back on effexor because I've gained 20lbs in a few months(which I've strangely done before), along with depression relief, I'm hoping to lose weight. The last time I had started effexor I dropped 17lbs in a month in a half....hoping that will happen again. To fight off any side effects I'm going to stay hydrated with water...no soda
I was just wondering how you take your doses? I am on venlafaxine 37.5 twice daily, but I take both at night. Do you think that could be the reason for the weight gain? I have gained 50lbs in almost a year. After reading all the posts I'm afraid to get off of it. Thanks for any help.
I had been on Effexor for many years and have weaned myself off the meds Results were as mentioned above. Profound !!!!side effects. !!!!!!!!
It has been at least one and a half months since I took my last 37.5mg and recently I woke up and could hardly move.!!
I had fear of Parkinson as it is Familial
I goggled concerns and located this site and was encouraged to see that I was not alone.
I started magnesium Citrate 2 pm and 2 am
I also take Omega 3 and B complex & C
Your body is in shock mode more ways than you can imagine Therefore be kind to yourself. Lots of rest, decrease alcohol consumption and take a series of Vitamins for depletion.
Note When stressed out B & C's are deplete stat.
It is a long journey to wean So go slow for best results.
You can do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I wish I had read this months ago. Since being prescribed Effexor I put on 10 pounds per month. M y weight went from 145 up to 215 in 7 months! I could have birthed twins during that time! Plus during the time I have been on Effexor & xanax I have attempted suicide 3 times.3 times SINCE the prescriptions! about 4 times before! obviously something is not right. I am going to wean off everything even though I have suffered from depression/anxiety 20 some years and have a strong genetic history - including suicide - in my family. I just don't know what else to do. going Holistic I think...
I've just read all of these comments and gone "oh my God..It's not just me'! Thank God. I've always had a fanatastic shape and have gone up 3 sizes since this damn drug. Problem is, I need something to calm the anxieties. There's got to be something else out there for women that doesn't make us feel even worse about ourselves.
It seems like we all are playing rushing roulette with anxiety pill. I'm. Taking pills for anxiety and depression, insomnia, hypertension, and the list goes on. Before i started taking Paxil i wasn't sleeping at night. I was sleeping in the morning from 8am-1;30pm because i care for my mom who has Alzheimer's and she's bed ridden. My mind was running wild, and my hormones made me unrecognizable. Paxil helped me tremendously. If i skipped a day it would have a bad effect on me. It works with
my Trazadone. Im able to cope without falling to peices because i rely on my faith in God. I talk to him and i tell him just how I'm feeling. I ask him to help me cope with the problem, rather than remove it. It works, it really does. He promise to bring an end to it SOON.
I lived in Wa and I know how you feel with the weather. I just started taking venlafaxine hcl er and have gained 12 lbs in 4 weeks. I am not eating any different than I was 8 months before I started and had lost 22 lbs. I just left a message for my dr on her recorder because it is Sat and I want off of it. I was on Prozac for years and NEVER had one side effect not one. Dr put me on this cause she said I had been on Prozac to long for it to be effective. Worse thing I could have done. I have blurred vision, headaches, and feel very weird in my brain and body, get dizzy and even feel faint when I stand up. I still ten to still cry once in a while even on this. I'm sorry I had been trying to loose weight before this and was doing great. Slow and healthy the right way. I've felt a little out of breath everyonce in awhile and have heart palpatations. I just felt like I was heavier so got new scales and saw I had gained the 12 lbs and said hell no the side effects and gaining weight NO WAY. I was on 150 and had really bad stomach cramps on that amount and was always having problems with my bowls. So she put me on 75 and told me to take the 75 for 5 or 6 days then try to go back on the 150 for a few days then back on the 75 to see if that helps. Well guess what it has not made a difference at all except the stomach cramps and the bowl problems are better on the 75.
Good luck with you and everyone else using this stuff. I am going off as soon as I see her Monday. Hope I do not have bad side effects for goin off of it. I already about a year ago thought of sucide.
Hi this is honestflt How did you feel when you went off of it and did the Dr ween you while having you try something else? I have heard bad side effects when you come off of it but not sure if any of them tried something else while doing this or just went cold turkey, Hope to hear back from you thank you
I was on Effexor for 4 years. I'm a female, 49 years old. I gained 40 lbs from it. I thought it was because of all the stress in my life....NOPE! In August 2014, I started weening myself off it. I decreased my dose each week for 8 weeks. I've been completely off all medications for 4 weeks now. I'm walking daily and watching my calorie intake. ( I always have....I eat around 1500 calories a day and switch up my activities). So far, the scale is the same. Can anyone who's LOST weight AFTER going off effexor, tell me how long it took? When did your metabolism start to work again and did you ever get back to your pre effoxor weight? Thanks! :)
I lost 25 pounds on it immediately. I guess I was eating and feeling depressed because of my weight. My doctor told me that it just depends on what people do in depression...some eat and some don't. Now that I'm coming down off the meds (from 325mg to 75mg) after 3 years, I actually gained 15 pounds!
It just depends on you. I actually want to go back and increase my dosage because I think I've been stress eating and my anxiety has manifested in memory loss.
I am in the same boat, disgusted with my body now. I have been on Effexor for 4 months and look due any day now and not to mention my backside!!!! I haven't weighed myself in over a week, but had put on 10lbs in 3 months. Never had a weight issue before! Deplorable! Makes me angry and depressed more!
I believe that what the studies show is that it initially can cause weight loss and then gradually over time will slow the metabolism. I'm the same - on it for 10 years and I'm quite sure it caused my insulin resistance. I am now weaning off because pregnant.
I'm pregnant and losing weight!
I thought mine was the same, and no doubt metabolism was effected in ways while on the drug, but a month after starting effexor I developed a swollen abdomen, it could be from a hypersensitive gut causing bloating, fluid in the abdomen, abdominal wall/diaphragm not contracting/relaxing as they should, there is a plethora of things it could be. what I am sure of, is that effexor is the cause. I also have a lot of subcutaneous water under the skin from the effexor, which shouldn't be confused with fat. all of this after being off the drug over three months now and no improvement in symptoms
If possible, can you update on your situation regarding weight gain and Effexor? I just read your post, which I know is outdated, but you are the closest to describing my own circumstances and I need to make some type of change. Thanks!
I am glad I found this forum. I absolutely never post anything online, however I want to share my experience too. I started taking Effexor in February of 2015 after experiencing extreme depression despite 300 mg of Luvox. At the time I was in a half way house and prescribed 75 mg. I left the house soon after and found that my mood improved...but only slightly. At this point I had gained significant weight but attributed it to 30 days in rehab then transition to halfway house. I gained roughly 10 lbs. I have struggled with an eating disorder for most of my life and weight gain is a huge source of anxiety. I struggle with bulimia. Before taking effexor my eating disordered symptoms were out of control and taking a huge toll on my body and mind. I was binging and purging constantly and obsessing about food and weight. After returning home from the halfway house I saw slight improvement and my psychiatrist upped the dosage of effexor to 150mg. Gradually with some changes I began to see improvement. My mood was great and my obsession with food and weight diminished. I saw huge improvement in my level of anxiety and even stopped using eating disordered symptoms as frequently without any outside support. Things all and all seemed really wonderful...but i continued to gain weight, despite eating more healthfully and "normally" than perhaps ever in my life. I made the difficult decision to taper off the effexor in fear that the weight gain wouldn't stop and that my great mood would forever be plagued by underlying anxieties about weight. I cut the dosage in half for one week (150 to 75) then in half again for two (75 to 37.5) I am now taking 37.5 every other day (even though this seems silly and like a poor strategy..my psychiatrist recommended it...so im doing it because i am in a vulnerable position forced to trust a doc with my delicate emotional balance...grr). I am beginning to see real emotional side effects. I am exhausted, struggling with body aches, and noticing irrational fears and anxieties returning.I notice intense mood swings, anger and agitation. Sex drive is gone (wonderful to see it return when taking 150mg) and I find my boyfriend's presence annoying. I have also begun binging and purging again with frequency. (also no weight loss yet) I am left feeling angry and taken advantage of. I am a young woman who has been forced to trust so many doctors. I am lucky to have the support of family to help me through these times, but I fear for all of us, struggling to make informed decisions when plagued by serious mental illness. I am saddened that I feel my survival is dictated by medication. I offer my love and support to those who continue to struggle as I do. None of these are easy decisions and I wish the psychiatric community would acknowledge the complexity of our situations. Am I really deciding between Fat and Happy? I don't think it's that simple.
I feel for you as i am going through the same thing. My Dr. says that Effexor does not cause wait gain. I have been doing what you have been doing on my own for about 2 weeks now. I'm happy to say that I've lost 4lbs with no change in food or movement. The zaps, did you get them in your neck? while on the Effexor too? I do and it is so annoying!
Hi Yes I have been on this for a year, I was on 150mg , then 75, now just switched to 37.5. I have gained 15 pounds the side effects are horrible coming off it but I am determined to get off it completely. I am going to the gym and counting calories. I was 138 when started meds and got 0n scale and weighted 153 I have since lost 6 pounds. Good luck but always check with your Doctor-
You are so lucky you are dropping the weight right away. I expected hat to happen but I actually gained. I'm afraid I still will and I'm on Nutrisystem. It seems as though no medical professionals will weigh in on this and tell us how to lose the weight. They won't even admit it is from this lousy class of medicines. I am so sorry I took it even though it did help (because now I'm off and that will change) but the weight just kept going up and up and up and I already gained 15 pounds and don't want to gain more. My thighs and hips are huge and I can't wear any of my clothes…though some things still fit around the waist…because the gain in all in the hip and thigh and stomach area. It is totally disguising and I am so ticked off that they didn't tell me this would happen. I would have NEVER taken it…NEVER! Now I wonder if I can EVERy lose this lousy weight.
VENTING: I was roughly 110-120lbs before I went on Effexor. 6 months later, I stepped on a scale, (still in my slightly tighter "small" sized clothes) and I weighed 170. TRUE STORY. I fit more comfortably in a medium now and have gone up roughly ONLY 1-2 sizes in clothes. My BP is normal and pulse is only slightly elevated (probably due to caffeine consumption) This situation is blowing everyone's (including my doctors') mind. What did this medicine do to me?
I have had one hell of a time getting off this antidepressant. Its taken me a month to step down to the 30-ish,grms dosage. I have had horrible withdraw. The brain zaps drive me nuts, but I think I'm going to flush the rest of them and let the rest ride out. My job doesn't allow the weight gain. Period, end of sentence.
Reading this thread calmed my fears that I acquired cancer. Someone mentioned to me that people with MS often have severe reactions to medications, (my aunt has MS) and I'm beginning to wonder if this is the root of the problem...
No one really knows how my situation is really even possible. Anyone have any advice (other than ditch the med and start running lol)? ...Possible serious health situations that could have caused this?
I am sixteen years old. I started Effexor about a month ago. I since then lost all my appetite. I am down to eating about less than one meal a day. I have lost 4.5 lbs so far, and I see that trend continuing. I can't force myself to eat either because the thought of it makes me nauseous. I was put on this for major depressive disorder.
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