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losing weight after effexor
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losing weight after effexor

I gained 20 lbs in the last 3 years that I was taking Effexor. I have tried everything. I'm eating less & working out more. I started taking Paxil but that didn't work at all as I have anxiety issues. Anyhow Effexor did wonders for my attitude however after 3 years I am now convinced that it was the cause for all the excess weight. Anyhow I was wondering if the weight comes off after I get off the meds? or am I stuck with excess weight forever in which case I will be contacting my doctor because they lied to me.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hey!  I have found someone with the same problem!  I was on effexor for about a year and I gained more than 20 pounds in that short period of time!  I was very small, like size 3 pants...now I am size 9 sometimes 7 if I'm lucky.  I was on effexor for anxiety and now I don't think it was worth it at all because now I am more depressed than ever about my weight.  I used to weight about 112 before taking effexor.  After getting off of effexor I weighted 136!  I had to buy all new clothes b/c nothing fit and I got even more depressed!  I refused to go on any depression medication because weight gain is a side effect for most of them.  My husband thinks I'm crazy, but it's a big deal to me.  I don't feel good about myself.  I don't feel sexy or attractive either.  Let me know if you figure anything out that works because I want this extra weight off ASAP!

Thanks and good luck!
Tara
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi there,

I had put on over 40 lbs when on effexor.  I quit back in June and it took until October until the weight started coming off.  While on the pills I was working out 6 times a week, and eating super healthy (no sugars, no white flour, no alcohol), but I was stuck.  The doc kept telling me more exercise and less eating.  Well if I had worked out anymore I would have had to given up what little social life I had, and eating any less would have probably been unhealthy (I'd say I was around 1200 calories).  I quit the pill and dropped my routine back to 4 times a week and allowing myself happy hours of Fridays.  Sure enough after months of this the weight is coming of and still coming off.  You body takes times to adjust to any chemical or hormonal changes.  Just as it probably took time to adjust to taking meds, it will take time for your body to flush them out.  Eventually you'll get back to where you were, it just takes patience.  I'd say give it 3-6 months to get back to where you were before the meds.  I a tough with witdrawal symptoms when first quitting the meds.  I would cry if somebody even said hello to me, but my mood balanced out right when the weight started to come off.  Good luck to you!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi everyone.....
Effexor put a lot of weight on me, too.
I`m just now getting results using a weight loss clinic. Pills, shots, diet exercise, and not much food. And water, lots of water.
I am still on effexor and probably will be for a while yet.
This  diet , is at least motivating me to really keep working at it and hopefully be able to get off the diet meds, and the effexor sometime,too.
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Avatar_n_tn
I originally was taking Paxil for 2 years for depression and anxiety and then a friend of mine mentioned she was taking Effexor and the side effects were less. I have been on Effexor 150mg for 2 years and my weight gain is disgusting. I am 40 years old and was never bigger than a size 2 and now i am a size 8 and feel very undesireable. I am now on my 3rd day off of effexor and am feeling the side effects (not fun) but hopefully worth it. How long does it take for the weight to start coming off?
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been taking effexor for about 4 months. I also have gained weight, but didn't have any idea it could be from this. I have recently tried to get off this drug and it is an absolute nightmare!! I tried to wean myself off very slowly. My Dr. put me on 300mg. I started by alternating taking 2 one day and then 1 the next for about 2 weeks. Then I started taking just 1 a day. So far everything was ok. Then I went to taking 1 every other day. Still ok. Just last week I went off completely. What a nightmare!! I started having nightmares, brain zaps?, dizziness, nausea, eye problems. I have never felt this bad!! This is a drug that needs to be taken off the market. I have researched and read many other peoples testomonies and have not heard  anything good about this drug. Please do your research before taking any drug your dr prescribes for you. They don't always know what these drugs can do to a person.
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Avatar_n_tn
I was on Efexor XR for a year for anxiety.  It worked really well for my anxiety but made me gain 20 lbs!!! that's a lot when you're 5'4 and used to weighing 112:(  During the year on Effexor I was working out 3x a week with a trainer ans started running!  I couldn't understand why I was gaining weight and not losing.  And YES it was a nightmare to get off this drug.
I'd love to hear how everyone is doing!
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Avatar_n_tn
I also gained weight with this drug and my bra size went up 4 sizes.  I was on this drug for 5 years and it worked well with me but I didn't like the weight gain or size J cup bra I needed.  I took myself off the drug but I did it very slowly over a 6-9 month process I finally got to once a month with the pill and was able to tolerate not taking anymore.  Once I stopped the drug in a matter of 2 weeks I lost 4 cup sizes.  Now I'm beginning to loss weight.  I've been off the drug for about 4 months but I now have panic attacks like I'm going to go nuts if I don't get some Effexor.  I've heard lots of good about Wellbutrin so I'm taking it now. Wellbutrin's side effect is weight loss not gain from what I've read and heard.  It's not helping me much yet but I'm on the lowest dose and I'm going to try a higher dose.
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Avatar_m_tn
It's been about four years since I was on Effexor.  I didn't gain any weight until the last nine months on the drug (I was on it for about three years).      My husband said I was becoming manic, but I refused to believe him.  I finally realized he was right, so slowly went off Effexor (it's like going off of heroin).  As I mentioned earlier, I gained weight in the last nine months.  My weight hadn't changed in twenty years . . . and in nine months i gained 30 pounds.  I was shocked.  I had always worked out religiously, and had a very healthy diet.  After doing much research, I found that Effexor changes the way your liver metabolized fat, and can take up to a year to start to metabolized fat normally.  It did take close to three years for all of the weigh to come off, but it has, and stayed off with no problem.  

Effexor has left me with a bigger problem, though.  I mentioned that I was having manic episodes.  After I went off Effexor, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.  I really feel that this drug has taken years from me, and continues to.  I have read that people have committed suicide on this med.  Why does this medication continue to be prescribed?  
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Avatar_f_tn
I am a recent candidate of removing Effexor from my life.  I have gone through the withdrawal symptoms like nervousness (the shakes), weird dreams, pressure in my head as though my brain is swelling, confusion, eyesight problems, a "deep" dizziness (in short bouts), insomia, loud ringing in my ears, achiness, and flu like symptoms.  I was on 125 mg. per day.  I started with 75 mg. for one week, 37.5 for one week, then off of it.  Withdraw symptoms were bad, so being what I knew best for me, I am opening a 75 mg. capsule and wetting my finger and putting it in the "little balls" every other day.  Probably on Monday, I will stop completely.  Withdrawal symptoms are almost completely gone.  I started all of this approx. three weeks ago and I have lost 14 lbs. so far.  I had gained  a lot of weight over the years and couldn't figure out why either.  I  used to weigh around 160 and blossomed up to 220.  That's 60 lbs!!!
     I feel my personality changing.  With Effexor, I was more laid back and would let things ride.  Now I am now more full of spunk.  I even talk back to the television, but you know, I like it.  I feel more energy then I have felt in years.  I even see my surroundings differently.  Everything is really alive out there.  I'm now high on life!  

Take Care,
Miss_Suzy_Q
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Avatar_f_tn
I started taking effexor about 2 years ago after I had my beautiful daughter. Almost from the moment that I started taking it the anxiety I had just seemed to go away, it was wonderful. I had just gotten my weight down from being pregnant (worked very hard at it)! after about a year I started noticing that all of that weight that I had worked so hard to lose started to creep back again. I started exercising more and writing down everything I ate, reducing my carb intake to include no sugars, bread, or pasta. I ate a salad for lunch everyday, and I still continued to gain weight. I finally had enough, as of Sunday I am effexor free and I have lost 5lbs so  far. I was on 150mg a day and trust me it was a hard road getting off this drug. After 2 weeks I still have some side effects, but it is getting much easier. The first week was the worst for me. I litteraly felt like I had the flu. I am so glad I stuck with it though. I will never ever take another drug like effexor again. it is just not worth it! Anyone out there who has lost all of their weight after being off of this drug I would love to here about it and how long it has taken you.

April
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I had been on Effexor for about 6 months and I have gained 25 pounds.  I sweated profusely almost all the time.  While on vacation a couple of weeks ago I decided I couldn't take it anymore and stopped it cold turkey.  Within two days my husband was ready to have me commited. As soon as I got home I called my doctor and he put me on Pristiq. It is suppose to be a lot like Effexor without all the sight effects. It's made by the same company.So far the sweating has improved.
I was also on 150mg a day. He has started me on 30mg of Pristiq, I wonder if I my be able to taper off of it also.  I would like to get off any kind of drugs like that. Your tougher than I am with the Effexor.  Another day or two and I would have been in the hospital.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am so happy to hear from others going through the same weight-gain / loss issues with Effexor. I just weaned myself off from 150 mg to 75 mg to nothing (I'm now using St. John's Wort as a supplement instead) in a few weeks, with lots of withdrawal symptoms/pain, etc., but I have to believe it's worth it. I, too, gained 40 pounds since starting the Effexor in February 2007. I was taking it for fibromyalgia pain management, but I am trying to do more natural solutions now and talked to my doctor about eliminating the effexor and trying other options (including increasing my exercise to every day, anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour, 30 minutes), making sure I get at least 15 minutes in the sunshine or outside even if overcast, so my serotonin levels stay high, journaling, etc.

Honestly, I am depressed about the 40 pounds, but I will trust that if I keep going, exercising, eating healthy, taking care of myself, that the effexor weight will start to come off. I'm at 195 pounds now, and hope to be at 145-150 at some point.

Anyone that has also gone off Effexor and took a LONG time to experience weight loss who'd like to comment is very welcome to! We can all use the support!
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573719_tn?1217451665
THANK-YOU... I've been struggling with my weight for the past year... I started taking Effexor in Feb 2007, and switched birth control pills in July  2007... I thought the weight gain was from the new pill, so i stopped it a few weeks ago... but no change. Now I started thinking it might be the effexor... and well, here you guys are, spelling out pretty much EXACTLY what I have been going through. I had no idea the excessive sweating I've experienced MIGHT also be related!! I love effexor - it literally saved my life... but it might be time to let go.

Thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences... this is INVALUABLE information for me.

Question: did anyone experience changes in your period with Effexor? Now I'm wondering if what made me change BC pills in the first place could also be related... I'm new to this website, maybe there's an answer somewhere on here already...?
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Avatar_n_tn
I started taking effexor about 4 months ago, I didn't have any weight gain until the second month - I've gained 10 pounds in that short of time.  I started back with weight watchers last week, writing everything down, all healthy and staying within my point range.  I should have lost at least two or three pounds instead I gained a pound. So frustrating so I decided to stop cold turkey today. I've been taking 37.5 mg. I was taking effexor for anxiety and it really works but I have to stop b/c the weight gain scares me more than the anxiety. I use to take ativan for anxiety so the dr gave me a month supply to help me through the withdrawals. I haven't had any withdrawals today, does this mean I won't have any??
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi all,

I'm a 24yo female grad student.

I only took Effexor for approx. 5 months, and while it helped me out of my hole, I gained around 18kg in that time (so like 40 pounds). I started out around 154 (70kg) and ended up at 193 (88kg). Urgh

Coming off it was unutterably hellish- dizzy shakes, lightening in my head, the works- and I counted the grains every day, only reducing by about 10% each week- so like the slowest weaning off physically possible. I hate to think how bad it could've been just reducing the number of pills...

This was almost 2 years ago now, and I'm sorry to say the weight is only now starting to come off.
I started exercising like crazy during the meds and haven't stopped since: I took up club soccer, social soccer, squash, touch football and lap swimming and to this day keep these all up- I probably spend about 6-8 hours a week doing solid cardio exercise.

I don't eat a whole lot either, and have spent most of the last 2 yrs restricting myself pretty severely.

So while the weight is only just now starting to move, I ask myself: would I do it again?
And the answer is yes.
Depression is just sometimes too much to fix all by yourself. Medication may have awful side effects like the weight gain from effexor, but it helped me get my life back.

So people, I think it is possible to regain our pre-effexor bodies.
It just ***** that for a lot of us it takes so so long :)
But on the upside, I have made so many friends through sport and had a lot of fun trying to strip these pounds!

My best wishes to everyone
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Avatar_f_tn
I took Effexor for 11 years and had a HORRIBLE time getting off of it.  When I started taking it, I actually lost weight but then balanced out after several months.  Now, after a huge struggle to get off of it, I am gaining weight like crazy.  It's terrible and I feel like I can't control it.  If ANYONE of you knows a solution to this problem, PLEASE share!
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Avatar_n_tn
I have had the same effect on Effexor. I was put on Effexor 150 about a year ago to deal with some stress that I was dealing with. When the Dr. prescribed them I thought what the heck I thought I would feel so much better. In reality I felt worse than ever. I stayed sick almost the entire time, I couldn' t ride in the car with anyone else it would make me sick as a dog. The biggest deal is the weight gain. When beginning Effexor I weighed 120 and after Effexor I weigh 140. I exercise daily and also do weight watchers but the weight just kept piling on. The Dr tries to claim its not the pills but I know it was. After I had done my own research I found 100s of other people with the same exact problem. My problem still is I came off the medication 2 months ago and the weight will not budge. It is making me very unhappy. Does anyone know what to do about the weight?
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Avatar_n_tn
READ THIS IF YOU WANT TO LOSE BODYFAT!
So far I’ve been reading comments from everyone and I feel your pain. The doctor told me the same as they are all telling you "It doesn’t make you gain weight"... bull sh** !
Im a 22 year old male and I’ve been on Effexor for about 4 years (6 years total being on depression pills) and i gained about 40 lbs. During the weight gain, I craved food like crazy but still had a moderate diet  and performed strenuous weight lifting 3-5 times per week. After going off of this med extremely slow... (Over the course of 2 years, starting at 150mg-75mg-37.5mg) I started to lose weight. During the past 2 years, I worked out 4-7 days a week weight lifting. 6-12 months ago I started to perform HIIT 3 times per week directly after weightlifting (ill get to HIIT in a sec) burning anywhere from 800 - 1600 calories per day via heart rate monitor. During this time, I had the perfect 'lean' diet, eating 6-8 small meals which consisted of 55% protein, 25-%carbs and 25% dietary fat(monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat, found in Peanut butter, almonds, and other good nuts)  also reducing about 500 calories per day, taking in around 2200-2300 calories on a cut cycle. So far I have lost a total of 50 lbs now going from 255 to 198-205 and have a body fat percentage of around 8%.
What helped me was to understand how body fat is Utilized
Trainers will tell you that you need to run and do aerobics for 40 min a day at a moderate pace, and stay in the zone, blah blah blah... wow are they full of ****!
BODY FAT is NOT UTILIZED TO BURN this way! It is through anerobic exercise and if any of you read very often, (muscle & fitness, mens health, bodybuilding.com) you will understand this better through all of their workouts they have posted. What I give most of the credit to in losing the bodyfat was primarily through HIIT.
HIIT is short for "High Intensity Interval Training" and is Anerobic exercise compared to aerobic. Anerobic exercise burns more body fat through using oxygen, compared to aerobic exercise, which utilizes carbohydrates.
Where I got excited about this was hearing about the numbers.  HIIT Is 9 times more effective in dozens of different studies! That means that it would take you 6 weeks performing HIIT 3 times per week to lose 12-15% bodyfat( which Is how much was lost during most studies performing HIIT), compared to 40 min of mod pace cardio and mabe getting the same results in a 56 week time period. Did you jut hear that…  a little over a month getting the same results as compared to a little over a year to get the same, WOW!
How Interval training is performed is through very high (95% of your max heart rate) and low (60% of mhr) and should be around 20 min of workout time (excluding 2-5 min warm up and 2-5 min cool down) Here is an Example workout which I used at first:
2-5 min warm up jogging and stretching
20 – 30 sec of burst of Sprinting 95% max heart rate ((depending on age(around 180-185 beats per min)
1 min off or going back down to 60-65% mhr (135 beats per min)
Repeat this 8-12 times until it gets easier for you, then up the times to 30-45 sec and 1 min off and so on.
If you are performing this correctly you should be pretty much exhausted by the end.  This can be done via treadmill, jump rope, box jumps, bicycling, etc…  For more info on this, visit www.bodybuilding.com  and search HIIT, or www.interval training.net.
Now I have been completely off the drug for about a week, and life is incredible!
I can actually feel things again.  My sex drive is at an all time high including testosterone levels, and im full of energy.  Also, I feel as if I get a lower blood sugar feeling sooner after meals along with looking leaner in the mirror already, which should mean my metabolism is already starting to skyrocket! I am curious how long it will take to completely get back to feeling normal and getting shredded losing that 2-3 percent bodyfat and getting down to 5-6% to look ultra ripped!
I also have been reading now for about a week on the topic of weight gain and found out many things reguarding the terrible effects that it does to the body.  Probably the most satisfying article I read was by a PhD which elaborated that the drug shuts down the satiation indicator in the brain (lets you know when you are full) and makes you crave carbohydrates.  While on Effexor Carbohydrates are also said to metabolize easier into fat instead of glucose (energy),and spike insulin levels, therefore raising your blood sugar levels, leaving you feeling hungry.  A great site explaining what I found is http://www.***********.org/weight_loss.htm
Good luck to everyone with this and let me know how long it took most of you to make feeling normal again after going off the drug.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been on effexor the last year. Started off on 37.5 mg then up to 75 which is a pretty low dose from what I can see. I noticed alot of weight gain over the last year but always figured it was due to something else (office job, not exercising enough, poor eating habits) while some of those things may be true I figure I must have put on at least 60 lbs. I hate myself, I continually eat, have a hard time getting full, hate how i look and eat more. lately I've felt trapped that no matter what I do I can't seem to lose any weight. I decided to get off the pills and even with such a low dose it has been hell....don't go cold turkey! I'm hoping to drop some weight and then reevaluate the situation. I'd rather be thin and depressed than fat and happy at this point....but that's just me.
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Avatar_m_tn
I was only on Effexor for two months and gained 30 pounds.  I went from 104 to 134 pounds (I am only 5ft 2).  That was enough reason from me to go off it.   I have now been off of it for two years and have only been able to lose 5 pounds in all this time, all of the loss was within the first 3 weeks after discontinuuing Effexor.  I have always been able to lose weight easily in the past but this fat is going nowhere.

Like everyone else, getting off Effexor was hell, the first time I tried under a Doctor's supervision.  I couldn't take the withdrawal symptoms and went back on it.  BUT-- the second time I tried I succeeded and I did it my own way.  Instead of being weaned off of it, I simply stopped taking it cold and went right back to taking Zoloft, which I had taken prior to Effexor.  It was wonderful.  This time there were absolutely NO withdrawal symptoms!  No brain zaps, no feeling like I was a herion addict in withdrawal.

I would never recommend Effexor to anyone!  I am furious that it literally addicted me to it.  This is a deliberate act on the part of the drug company to keep their customers coming back for more.  I remain very, very sad that it made me lose my figure--something I took a lot of pride in.  I will never feel the same way about myself again.
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Avatar_m_tn
I just wanted to comment here about my weight loss and experience (researching on the internet) with trying to treat my Major Depressive Disorder for the last 4 years.  First of all, I’ve tried to treat it by counseling only (with Psychologist, Psychiatrists, etc).  I never took any medication because I read about all the horror stories on the internet (like here).  Especially the stories about weight gain.  So, I always declined it from my doctor.  I’ve changed Psychiatrist about 4 times already and ended up with a Dr that only treats depression via medication.  I didn’t know it at the time of the appointment.  He convinced me that my only way of treating my depression was via medication.   I decided to give it a try.  I started out on Effexor.  He said this was the most successful for his patients.  I started on the low dose and ended up at 150mg.  I was VERY concerned about gaining weight so I weighed myself every week.  I didn’t notice much of a difference depression wise until about the 6th week.  By the 8th-10th weeks I was feeling really good.   I was amazed how well it was working (and still am after 4 months!).  The other crazy thing is I lost over 25 pound since I started the Effexor 4 months ago. It is like an appetite suppressant.  I just weighed myself every week and drank 70 ounces of water per day. I also stopped drinking alcohol.  This is a requirement not to mix the 2 together. If you are drinking alcohol (at all) that could be your problem.  

Anyway, I’m really mad that I didn’t start Effexor years ago. The moral of the story is to NOT assume everything you read on the internet will happen to you. It’s been my experience that the majority of people going to the internet about health issues are people that have had bad experiences and are looking for advice.  There are not too many people that go to the internet to complain about how great something is working!  Think about that.  Millions have taken these drugs and it has changed their lives.  My doctor also told me up front that I will have to take this medication for the rest of my life.  So I have no fears of having to wean of it.  I’m so much happier.  It made me stop drinking alcohol which I believe is better than the possible long term effects of Effexor.  This is just my experience and I'm sure other may have different experiences.  Just monitor your weight, drink lots of water, exercise 4 times per week for at least 50 minutes (elliptical trainer) using a heart monitor to keep a stable heart rate and consistent workout.  I don't eat over 1800 calories per day.  I'm a male 6’2" 195. I’m down from 222 on 09/22/2009.  I have a friend of mine that recently started Effexor and he also is losing weight like crazy. He followed my advice about the water, no alcohol, exercise, and limiting calories.

One last thing...My doctor also told me that most of his patients lose weight or maintain weight on Effexor.  He said there are more issues with making sure he tells his patient to eat 3 meals a day.  So far everything he has told is consistent with my results.  Remember, when you get older your metabolism slows down…so being on this drug for years could just be that.  Just take a look around you….the majority of people in this country are overweight and gain weight regularly.  And the majority of those folks are not taking any medication!  So how do you explain that?  
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151951_tn?1267991945
While I am genuinely happy (if not a bit envious) of your reaction to Effexor, this is not the case for a lot of people. Clearly there are people out there that take this drug and it has a weight-loss effect for them, but this usually isn't the case. Like most of these types of medications, for a lot of people they encourage weight gain. You're absolutely correct in pointing out the fact that as people age, most of our metabolisms tend to slow down. However, what do you say to those that have kept their diet/exercise routines intact since starting Effexor and still gain incredible amounts of weight? I was 114 lbs. when I was put on medication for my anxiety, and keep in mind that I continued to eat the same, clean diet and exercise very regularly and not a drop of alcohol ever, but still put on over 80 lbs. in under 2 years. That is not a normal physiological progression of the body's metabolism. I'm only 25 now, but even for people in their 40's or 50's, a increase in weight that dramatic could not merely be attributed to 'getting older' and that's why they're gaining weight. In order to put on that kind of weight (regardless of age, sex or any other variable), you would have to live a very sedentary life and consume far more calories than your body requires to function!

True that the majority of people in the Western world these days are overweight, but again, that isn't purely from aging. There are far more factors that come into play when it comes to obesity (morbid or otherwise). Once more, it's the result of inactivity and hugely inflated diets; those include large and unhealthy amounts of fat (saturated/trans), processed foods that contain ridiculous levels of sugar, white flour and preservatives. That is more of the reality of why so many people in our society are severely overweight and undernourished. Also, as a side note; some people can suffer from underlying conditions such as thyroid problems, and PCOS to name a few, that can certainly contribute to weight issues.

So I guess the point I'm driving home here is that while yours and your friends situation has worked out in a beneficial manner for you, that is not the case for every person taking this drug. It is not necessarily that we're all just getting older (and subsequently our metabolisms are failing us to the fullest) or that we don't eat properly, exercise or drink enough water either. This medication can, and does have a very damaging effect on many of its users, and those reactions should not be discounted with such a simplistic conclusion.

Take care of your bodies, because you only get 1! Also, stay informed and keep yourself educated :)
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi,

Male, 39 years old - 6' 3" tall.
Before effexor i was 170-175lbs and had high blood pressure, i was also taking Paxil. That was 9 years ago. During the time on Effexor i got up to 230 lbs. With watching what i ate and exercise, i got down to 195lbs. Than back up to 205, after i stopped exercise. My Triglycerides had gotten very high. Dr said to try fish oil. Worked to get it down. BTW, it also helps w/ the electric zaps when you are getting off the drug.
New A**hole boss, and second child ...  stress was high. Dr thought i had expired the use of effexor. Zoloft was next, lasted about a month on that. My heart never flipped as much in my life. Than Lexapro for about 5 months. In them 5 months i lost 25 lb and felt very ... manic. Dr thought that was a side effect and started me on Wellbutrin. I'm on week 2.
I was skinny my whole life. Gaining the weight felt good, normal. Losing weight brought a concern that I'd go back to a "skinny tall guy". Everyone around me things i look good, but inside i feel anxiety when someone says "hey, did you lose weight"?
It has been hell going onto these other drugs. Everyday i wish i stayed on Effexor and maybe exercised more or found activities to help lower my stress. Why dont i get back on it? i may, or even try Pristiq, which is similar but with less side effects. I am off an SSRI now. BUT I'm on Wellbutrin. That is an NDRI. I'll see if this works better for me. I fear getting off the drugs completely and going back into a depressed state. These drugs have saved my life. i've learned everyones makeup is different and it takes time to find the right one.
Hope this helps someone.

Mark



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Avatar_m_tn
Hi all,

I just want to offer a glimmer of hope for those of you that gained puzzling, inexplainable weight whilst on Effexor.

I am a 22 year old female, who was suffering from mild bouts of anxiety, I weighed only 45 kilos so I was technically underweight even though I ate like a soldier and I have always been naturally tiny as are most my family members. I never had to watch what I ate and hardly ever exercised. Anyway, to cut a long story short, my doctor (who was not my regular family doctor at the time) probably assumed that I was an anorexic nut (because of my weight) and that was probably why I had anxiety. I tried to explain to him that I had only been experiencing these bouts of anxiety after a stressful time at work. I guess he thought "yeah right" and decided he should put me on this heinous drug. He told me it was a nice little pill that would "calm me down during stressful times".

Well, I guess it did just that. I was just a vessell, with no emotion or feeling. I just sat there, grinning like an idiot, staring into space and sleeping like a koala all day. I appreciate that it took the anxiety away and stopped then stress, however I lost my spark, I lost my passion. I was tired ALL day. I would have 12 hour sleeps at night, yet still want to crash for a nap in the middle of the day. This drug made me virtually useless. The biggest side effect however, would have to be this uncontrollable weight that would just pile on. I was eating the same as I was before, if not less as I started noticing the weight gain. I allowed 5 kilo's weight gain initially because I thought "yeah I could do with a little weight gain, it wouldn't hurt", however I am only 5'4 and as the weight started to creep up to a dramatic 11 kilo increase, people started asking me about my stomach and I even had a stranger ask if I was pregnant. (The weight was most noticeable around my stomach and butt).

I am a student, so it was really hard for me to afford an entirely new wardrobe as none of my clothes fit anymore. The bloating and the weight continued to increase and decided I needed to put a halt to this thing before it got any worse and I reached the point of no return. I booked an appointment with another doctor at the same clinic (because I knew the one who prescribed me Effexor would defend it til the end of the Earth) and I exlplained to her what was happeing to me. She checked the records and observed my starting weight and she was gobsmacked that I could pile on 11 Kilos (20 somehing pounds) in a six month time frame. I exlained to her that I am eating less than I was before I went on this drug because I was so concious of the weight gain. She exlained she also had a few other patients that had experienced the same problem. She agreed that it would be a good idea to wean myself of this destructive piece of crap.

At this time I was on the 75 mg, so she told me to lower it to 35 mg and take this for a month and then take one every second day after that. I must say, I was terrified about the withdrawls, as I had pervioulsy skipped one pill by accident whilst I was on the 75's and became a hot, shaking mess. However, I believe by correctly and slowly tapering off, I was able to get off them completley and I am proud to say it's been 4 days now with very little comedowns.

The first Effexor day was the worst, I had this seething anger and resentment towards anyone who ticked me off in the slightest and this feeling lasted up until about day 2. I also had little crying episodes for now apparent reason during these first few days and very mild brain zaps. However, I am pleased to say, it's day 4 and I feel fantastic and very positive. I even weighed myself to compare and I have lost 2.5 kilos, although this might just be the water weight and I won't hold my breath because I have heard it might stop there or might even fluctuate for a good while post-Effexor, but so far so good.

However, I need to make clear I have been taking 5 Omega 3 tablets for about 2 years now, as well as tumeric capsules so this might be why I have been more successful with others in regards to weight loss. I also want to remind people, DO NOT JUST GO OFF THESE COLD TURKEY! If you were suffering severe depression/anxiety please talk to your doctor about alternative meds, if you have the same concerns or work out a good weaning off plan with them. I also want to say, if Effexor is working for you, then great, make sure you keep at it and if you hate the side-effects, be sure to weigh up the pro's and cons before stopping.

I will try and keep you guys updated about my progress post-Effexor and hopefully I can report back with good news.

Good luck and best wishes to you all!
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Finding this site has been the biggest blessing ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've been on Effexor XR for 4 yrs. Before I started this drug I wieghed 95lbs. at 5'2". I never had to exercise or watch what I ate! As time went on the wieght grad. went up! I've always been praised on how small I was and how pretty. This has been really hard! Almost a yr. ago I went off the pill thinking this might be why I've gained so much wieght, but after 8 months nothing happend so I went back on it! This past Jan. I had a yearly physical and I weighed the same wieght as I was pregnant with my second child at 9 months! Effexor has always been a great drug mentally for me! I always felt great and my mood was possitive! After talking to my Dr. we decided to ween me off of my 75mg. I've been almost a week off totally and I cry over everything, have the worst road rage and fear for myself and anyone else that pisses me off! I'm worried about getting fired at my job bc I am fiesty! Everything makes me so mad! I hate me lately and really as a social person don't want anything to do w/ any of my friends! My mind is a blur. As my husband put it, I like bloated! I work out like crazy and watch what I eat but lately going off this dang meds. I crave everything! My depression is at an all time high, & that isn't why I went on it! It was for anxiety! I so far have no anxiety but all depression! If the wieght doesn't start to come off soon it may not be a good ending!
Any suggestions are so welcome!
Thanks to everyone who has shared sim. posts! It has mad me feel like I'm not crazy!
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Avatar_f_tn
hey i was on the meds on put on 30 kg now im off ive lost 17 kg in 5 mths with out trying. i think everyone is different. but coming off these meds is awfull and doctors shouldnt be alloudto hand it out so easily
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Hey

I have been eating Effexor for 8 years and finally stopped taking them may 5th this years. I think I have gained 25 kg since I started. But in the beginning I didnt see it as a problem since I was underweight, around 45 kg. I stood still on 57 Kg for a couple of years and then 4 years ago, I gained 15 kg in a year... I have tried to loose these kg:s but no exerscise have worked. It took a while also for me to believe it was the effexors fault. Now Im finally off them and Im waiting for my body to start working properly again. Nothing happened yet though... I take long walks or cycling every day and weightlifting two times a week.

I used to be petite and small so this has done a big impact on my mood... Im 160 cm long and weight 70 kg now. I used to weight around 55 kg...Horrible, hope it turnes around soon. I will update here if anything happens with my weight..
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I was on Effexor for 3 years, taking a dosage of up to 250mg per day. In the first 6 months I gained 40 pounds. That's all I gained but it never came off. I have been off the drug for 3+ years now. I was always a person with a high metabolism and never had to exercise  or watch what I eat but I always had physical jobs. Not that I have tried but the weight has not budged.  My sister was on the same meds and gained  70 pounds and she always exercises and eats right and does weight watchers and can't loose a pound.  Leaves me disgruntled.
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I thought I was crazy until I read all these postings. I was put on Effexor XR, got up to 300mg. I don't know if the time coralates, but within a four month period, I gained 50lbs. I know I didn't enjoy eating 50lbs of extra calories. I could gain over 5 lbs in a week and couldn't figure out why. This was four years ago. I've gone to endocrinologists, neurologist, and my GYN with no one able to find answers. To everyone that says Effexor can't make you gain wt, I disagree 100%. I go to cadio work out classes 4 times a week, avoid junk food, but......About a year ago, I thought the Effexor wasn't working as well, so I slowly weaned and went on Cymbalta. That gave me a horrid all over my body rash, so I went back on the Effexor. About three months ago, I told my MD I want to get off of these meds. Going off of Effexor entirely without a substitute is awful. Stabbing knife in the head headachess, jittery, brain jumble. I've been completely off Effexor for 2 weeks. Still have withdrawal symptoms, but they are lessening slowly. Hoping for some wt loss. I agree with the person that said "of coarse I'm depressed, I've gained so much weight". good luck everyone
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This med has ruined my life.  I've always had body image issues and this only magnified it.  I have tried everything to lose weight to no avail.  I took myself off of it a week ago.  I feel awful and suicidal.  I almost checked myself into a hospital last night.  I felt like I was that close to a breakdown.  

I've been taking 5-HTP to help wean myself.  It takes the edge off.  So does a glass of tea with a little Ameretto.  This has been a tough week.  My brain hurts, my face feels weird, I feel seasick with this humming sensation in my head.  I will NEVER ever tell anyone to take this med.  Hopefully, the side effects will subside.  Today is better but the slightest noise sets me off and yesterday I think I cursed more than I have in my entire life.  Never again.  I want my life back.  
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I can so relate to your situation.  You havnt posted for a bit just wondering how goes the battle?  I myself had been on effexor for about 5 years, I stopped taking it in Oct.  I just stopped cold turkey.  The first week was hell, but seem to be doing ok now.  I decided to stop taking it when i went to the dr. for a check up and my blood pressure was high and not to mention the weight gain.  Well im pleased to say my blood pressure is back to BETTER then normal, but have not lost any weight.  When i started taking effexor I  lost weight....25lbs in less then 3 months... i was loving it!  I was able to maintain my weight at 100 lbs for about 2 years there abouts, but then all of a sudden i started gaining out of no where.  I now weigh 140 lbs im also 5'2".  As strangely as the weight just kept coming off in the first little bit and stayed off, it started piling on in the end......all of this without any diet or exercise changes so im baffled. So now im trying to watch what i eat, but honestly if i ate any less i would starve. its only been a month and a half since i stopped taking effexor so im hoping for the best. I will keep posting, wishing everyone with this situation the best.
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Avatar_m_tn
hi i'm starting to wean off of effexor after five months.. at first it was great! my anxiety, depression, and migraines were manageable.  i am also petite 5'3 and i weight about 115 when i started to take it. i weighed myelf last week at the gym and i have gain over ten pounds! my trainer at the gym thinks that the weight gain is because i'm in a new relationship and that all we do is eat and drink and go out but that is not the truth! my eating and exercise habits have not changed, but i sleep long hours and i feel constantly drowsy.  i also developed a cold that has lasted around 3 months so far, the doctors and health care specialists just treat me like i'm sick! however, after reading all of these posts i know that it is the effexor! i just want to get off of this med, i'm currently at 37.5 mg and next week i'm am tapering even lower.  i just want to lose this excess weight and feel normal again even if my normal is more emotional than i currently am.  i had an aunt who passed away in december and this medication makes me feel so emotionally numb i couldn't even cry! that was awful!! i just want off of this med, i want to lose weight, and i am never taking antidepressants to manage my migraines ever again!!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
I read your post that is a few years old on Effexor weight gain.
Just wondering if you eventually got back to your
pre Effexor weight and if so how long did it take?
Thank you.
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Avatar_m_tn
I also started to come off Effexor in October, 2011. I had been on it for almost two years at that point, 112.5 mgs a day. I took until march to come completely off, taking it very slowly. It has now been about 8 weeks and I have not lost one single pound of the 20 pounds gained (it took about 4-5 months to gain the weight when I started). I too had low patience, anger issues, and fits of tears when I started coming off. When I took my last pill I had flu symptoms, slept the w/e away, and very vivid dreams. It took a few weeks before the symptoms went completely away. I am very glad to be off it, but have to say it did wonders for the clinical/hormonal anxiety that made me go on it a few months after my daughter was born. I work out 4-5 times a week as well, don't eat perfectly, but not horridly either. I'm giving myself the 4-5 months that it took for the weight to go on before I get completely upset over it all. Good luck to you all!
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Wow you inspire me!! Thanks
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Hi, I've been off this stuff 14 long days now.  Had gained 50 pounds in the last year and unable to lose with low calorie low carb diet and exercise.  anyway in the last year i've also been diagnosed with pre diabetes.  Since I went off effexor my appetite has gone way down (at first that was b/c of nausea, but not any more).  My weight and blood sugar are much more stable and on a downward trend (fasting blood under 100 twice for the first time since I started measuring; weight has drifted from 189 to 185-186 in two weeks with almost no exercise (haven't felt well!)

extremely helpful has been my awesome ob/gyn prescribing 2 amino acid combinations, one for day one for night.  They cured nausea, dizziness and insomnia overnight and I think have helped with the irritability.  I'm still weepy but not as bad.  I didn't think the amino acids were going to help and was going to add prozac but waited a day and it was a blessed miracle.
It would be so helpful to hear more peoples experience with long term detox and weight etc.
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WEEK 1 FROM 75mg TO 37.5mg EFFEXOR:
4/13/2013

I have been on Effexor for almost 3 years due to depression and gained 30 lb. didn't want to exercise, why? Cuz I didn't care. A bottle of wine every night. My appetite didn't change mostly on high protein and veggies. But lack of exaercise and wine didn't help my weight loss. So I thought would be a good time to cut off this med out of my system. By my doctor's recommendation I switched from 75mg to 37.5 - yes the withdrawal wasn't fun but manageable. One night of bad dreams - lots of bloody dreams:) killing people, etc... Day 2 a little better, no nightmares:) day 3 better than day 2. So after 4 days I felt so much better. So if I can do this so can you:) please give yourself some time. Now I'm ready to switch to 25mg or take those little monsters one off of the capsule every day. While starting my 37.5mg I also started taking Wellbutrin, to help me quit smoking and drinking less wine. It's been one week THE WHOLE PROCESS:) so Wellbutrin didn't help me to take less doses of Effexor. Wellbutrin itself takes one week to effect. How I feel: Great, more energy, caring about my body. I'm not sure why people who went through the same process as us didn't post anything after they tried being off Effexor:( so disappointing.
I will post my results as I go off this med so I can inspire you to do the same.

Lots of love to all. -m
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Wow Miss_Susy_Q today I am going to the doctors to start weening myself off the Effexor. I was on 75 mg for 2 years, I was put on it cause I had breast cancer but I'm trying to do the natural thing now. I too gained 60lbs! I hope that getting off this stuff helps. I don't want the withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms but I need to change some how. I miss the spunky me.
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Avatar_f_tn
Please keep posting because I am going to do the same thing starting today. I go to my doctors today. I'm on 75mg. Gained 40lbs in a year. Not good. I feel sluggish and not myself. Can't wait to be my spunky self again! Keep me updated (:
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Avatar_f_tn
I am starting my journey today of going off effexor. I pray this helps with weight loss. Please let me know what amino acids you were percribed because I am going to the doctors today.
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Avatar_m_tn
High dose of Magnesium will help your fibromyalgia.  I am taking 1000 mg in the morning and 1000 mg in the evening.  Both my PCP and Medical Oncologist know I am taking the dosage.  Some days i take an extra 500 in the afternoon and/or in the evening.
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I wanted to share my Effexor experience ....with the hope that I can help many of you, and maybe some of you could share your insights, and help me as well. I was going through a stressful time at my job, and many people were getting laid off.  I was encountering what my therapist calls, situational-anxiety.  My therapist is a holistic-psychologist, and seems to be against traditional meds for the most part, but my Primary Care Physician was quick to prescribe me 75mg of Effexor.  Over the course of only one year to the month exactly, I gained 60lbs!  (The massive weight gain is what made me stop.)  Everytime, I weighed in at the doctors office, I gained 8lbs each visit.  My doctor advised me, most people lost weight on Effexor, that is the only reason I agreed to try it.).  

Let me first state, I used to be a personal trainer and fitness competitor.  I am very knowledgable about what it takes to be fit. I am 5'8" and I used to weigh on average 150lbs off season, and 138lbs when competing.  I now weigh 211lbs, and since stoping Effexor 6 months ago, my weight will not budge!  I have done a Gladiator Bootcamp, trained with a personal trainer on my lunch breaks,  I joined Crossfit, I eat protein shakes, I juice vegetables daily, and eat high protein, low carb, and lots of fish, I take supplements, I do cardio 3-5 times per week, and do not take in more than 1100 calories daily. I am starting to think ...I have developed hypothyroidism because I know my body, and I know something is definitely off! I am so frustrated....

Now to help others... I read endless blogs about getting off Effexor, and while I am not a doctor, I would like to share what worked for me to very easily get off Effexor without major withdraws.... I was at one point prescribed Prozac, and I had a left over bottle because it did not work well for me at all... But when trying to get off Effexor, it will be your perfect savior to get off Effexor with very little side effects.  I read on a psychiatrist blog, about how some doctor was doing the following with his patients... I read... to immediately transition one night to taking only take Prozac, the lowest dose, because Prozac has a longer half- life in your body.  Take the Prozac everyday for a week in place of your Effexor. Then, the next week, take one Prozac every other day. If necessary, go to the following week every other 2 days with the Prozac...by the 2nd week on Prozac,, I stopped cold turkey, and I had 0 said effects!  This worked for me very well.   So ...I hope my experience getting off this drug will help,many others not go through hell...

And, if anyone has anything to share about how to get this SNRI weight-gain off-please share your secrets to success.....because I am convinced my metabolism is forever changed!  I stopped Effexor in August of 2013. This is now almost April, and I have not succeeded in losing 1lb with all of my rigorous exercise and clean eating! Thank you :)
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Avatar_f_tn
My situation is very similar to yours. I was on the drug for approx 1 year in the beginning I didn't notice much weight change, but I worked out regularly and was always conscious of what I was putting in my mouth then in the last 4 months on it I gained about 20 lbs. I've been off it for about 3 weeks (completely off...it took about 6 weeks to ween myself off) and I have continued to gain. I also think the effexor may have caused issues with my thyroid. Please let me know if you have learned more.
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I experienced the exact same symptoms as yours. I was on 300mg for 5 yrs and when it came to weaning myself off, I went down to 150mg and then stopped when I ran out. I suffered through the withdrawals which were absolutely horrible. When I started taking it, I only weighed 123lbs, now I weigh 212lbs. I've only been off it for a week, my withdrawals are completely gone and I have a ton of energy now. I feel like I can't stop talking, I always seem to want to dance my *** off when I hear music playing which is something I never had the energy to do before. I feel really great right now! I used Effexor in prior years but only for a year. I gained a ton of weight then too. At my highest, I weighed 187lbs. After coming off them that time, it took 3 months to get down to 123lbs. It fell off like nobody's business and I was eating all the time.
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Hi All,
I'm in very poor health due to an extremely painful genetic condition. I had taken effexor for years, Rx'd off-label for pain. I was never certain if it helped but all of my drs insisted it was and without it the pain would have been far worse. Around 2007 I had insurance & financial issues and simply couldn't afford to pay for all my meds. Effexor had to go. Yes. Severe vertigo and feeling horrible. But I did it. I did indeed lose weight but never put it together with cutting out the effexor. Still wasn't certain that it was a benefit at all to my pain but I will tell you one thing I did discover: While taking effexor I experienced amazing earth shattering orgasms and that was completely gone the effexor completely cleared my system. I hadn't put the connection together prior as I had assumed my better experience was due to a better partner. Sadly, not so much. I confided this to my endocrinologist who told me most experience sexual dysfunction on antidepressants but a small percentage of women will experience extra-orgasmic effects. She had me go back on 37.5 mg and yes, my amazing sex life returned! When I read people asking, "Why would anyone ever wish to take this poison?"  I can tell you, I definitely know one reason why! As time passed my pain management team again wanted me to increase the dose, in distant that it would help block the pain message getting to my brain. Still never certain that's ever worked. Now it's years later, I've been single 2 years with no prospects on the horizon. I've gained 50lbs whilst on the effexor over the last, what, 6+ years. I never put it together with effexor. I have a horribly poor appetite as pain keeps me eating and can also lead to vomitting. For years I kept track of every calorie and would report to my drs something was amiss. I never ate more than 1250 calories a day, an average day for me has been 750 calories. They either haven't believed me or have been mystified. One 10 day hospitalization the facts were in their face. I entered hospital and was weighed on the hospital scale, 199lbs. After a week in bed I told my nurse I felt heavy, she brought in a scale, I kid you not, I was 247lbs. Most important factor I neglected to mention, dr increased the effexor to 225mg during my stay. One dr in particular couldn't believe it. Refused to believe it. He demanded a pair of orderlies drag up the massive scale used in admittance. True enough, on the same scale I had weighed 199lbs about a week earlier I now weighed 242lbs. First, he started to argue that I hadn't gained the 48lbs they had first thought but 43lbs! I calmly asked if that really mattered? The point was that they knew exactly what I had been eating and my weight had gone up 20% in a period of less than 10 days. Ridiculous. After release I struggled and have been able to get my weight down to 220, then I plateau. Dr tried to insist it was all water but still, I asked how could that be? I was not hooked to IF and there was no way I was drinking 40lbs+ of water! I took the diuretics he Rx'd but still only got down to 220 in the year since that happened.
So now a different dr wanted me to start a different med for my condition but it was contraindicated with effexor. Again, I told him that I never really knew if the effexor helped with the pain as the pain has only continued to worsen. Convinced him it was time to dump the effexor once and for all and try the new med he thought may benefit my genetic illness. I'm single and not getting any anyway, right? I'm at day 5 of weaning down, down to 37.5 mg. Yes, I've had some vertigo and nausea. And yes,  maybe it has been helping with the pain because the pain level has definitely jumped a few notches. But sheesh, I've already lost 6lbs. Wtf? Swear to you, after all these years, today was the first day I googled, weight loss with effexor withdrawal and weight gain with effexor. I have to take so many medications I just assumed by telling my drs that I barely eat and have put on 50-60lbs over the last 6 years (90 if you count how high I went in hospital when they upped my dose) that one of them would figure out why or tell me that one of my meds was known for such weight gain. Nope. Not one.
Soon I will be completely off effexor. Fingers crossed I will lose the 50lbs or near to it! If there is another man in my life at some point, well, either I'll make him work harder or I'll investigate if there are other antidepressants out there that can offer me the same orgasmic bliss.
Good luck to us all!
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Get off the Effexor A.S.A.P!!! I was on it for anxiety, and it made me go from super anxiety and emotional to numb! I hated it. I would rather feel something then nothing. Now...I was on 325mg for 4 months. I gained 30 pounds in that short period of time. I have been off the meds for 4 and a half months, exercise 4 to 5 times a week and on a 1200 calorie diet and can NOT seem to lose even 1 pound. Effexor was the worst mistake I even made.
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Get off the Effexor A.S.A.P!!! I was on it for anxiety, and it made me go from super anxiety and emotional to numb! I hated it. I would rather feel something then nothing. Now...I was on 325mg for 4 months. I gained 30 pounds in that short period of time. I have been off the meds for 4 and a half months, exercise 4 to 5 times a week and on a 1200 calorie diet and can NOT seem to lose even 1 pound. Effexor was the worst mistake I even made.
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Avatar_m_tn
I am so happy I found this thread. I started effexor in April 2014 and it is now almost September and I have gained 25lbs.  I know everyone is different and has different side effects but this medicine is the culprit for me. I have had gastric sleeve surgery and never had the appetite I have now that I am taking this medicine. And as someone else pointed out, I rather be thin and a little miserable than fat and happy. I am not even happy at this point because one of my biggest depression triggers is when I was extremely overweight before my surgery so now that I have gained weight, all those awful feelings are coming back. I am only on 37.5mg and I am going to start weaning myself off immediately. I hope I dont' have the awful side effects everyone is talking about. I am a single parent with 2 kids and I need to be functioning 100% of the time. I also take Prozac but have been taking if for years and have never had this problem like I've had with the Effexor.  I wish all of you the best of luck, hopefully we can move on and try something different or natural. These medicines cannot be good for our bodies.
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