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!
Get off Effexor if you can, it's a nasty drug.
I am suffering from panic dissorders and light (let's say) depression since 1997 (17 years-old) when was the last year to school and I had to study hard so I can write exams and go to a university. I was trying to cope with it with psychotherapy only, having my ups and downs (mostly downs) and never thought of taking drugs. Actually, in my mind, taking psycho drugs was a proof for me that I had a serious problem and I was trying to avoid them with any cost.
However, on 2004, before starting my last year in the university, my panic dissorders were so strong that I couldn't go anywhere or stay alone (I was afraid that something will happen to me and I wouldn't have someone near to help me) and dippression begun to show its face very quicly. I'm 1.74 tall and on 2004 I was weighting 67 - 69 kilos having nice muscles and exercising fairly often. During this month of deppresion, I lost about 7 kilos (so I was weighting 60 kilos), basicaly because I was afraid that If I eat, I will vomit, although this never happened.
My doctor gave me Seroxat 10mg and Centrac 10mg, each for every day and night. The panic attacks gone but my phobia to be alone anywhere was still there. I begun eating better and I gain 15 kilos within a year. My phobia gone also. I managed to take 2 BScs on Computer Science. On summer 2006 I was weighting 78 kilos, no depression, no phobias. I managed to loose 8 kilos until summer 2007. On September 2007, when I begun my MSc, I got very stressful and dipression came back again. I switched my MSc from full time to part time, I continued with the same drugs and doses, I never stopped psychotherapy (changed 2-3 therapists). The psychoterapist I was visiting back then told me to stop Seroxat and contine with the same dose of Centrac. How can I discribe the months coming... Nightmare! Depression, anorexia, crying all day, my mood was down all day long etc. I lost 12 kilos in 9 months.
I switched to another psychotherapist who gave me Seroxat 10mg again. In about 3 months I was much better but I didn't gain any weight. I was good. I was weighting 66 kilos and it was perfect. My libito was very high, no stress for anything.
I continued the same drugs and doses until a couple of months ago. From summer 2010 to summer 2013, I lost 4 kilos very grantualy. When I broke up with my girlfriend after 11 years on 2013 after, I lost 4 more kilos so in summers 2013-2014 I was weghting 58 kilos, the minimum I had ever "achieved" in my life although I was taking the drugs and doing psychotherapy.
Since then, I never managed to take any weight.
On December 2015, the company I was working for the last 6 years closed so I have been unmployeed until today.
From December 2015 until today, I weight 54 kilos. In other words, I am skinny.
So, I went to my doctor and he proposed to double Seroxat's dose from 10mg to 20mg every aday and night and subtitude Centrac with Clonotril 2. Things gone a little bit better but during summer, everyone gone for vacations, I had no money to follow, I was feeling so alone. So, crying came back, interviews were stressing me so much etc.
To the psychiatrist again...
He proposed me to go from Seroxat to Effexol. Begining with 75mg (morning and night) for 15 days and then go to 150 mg in the morning and 75mg at night. I have begun this therapy a couple of weeks ago and looks fairly good. No notable side effects. Sleepy, yes, but just this.
However, yesterday I got the 150mg in the morning and... That's it! I was so sleepy that I could got up my bed all day. I ate nothing all day. Just sleeping.
Now, I am a little bit affraid. Should I continue this 150mg in the morning; Will this sleepy feeling gone sometime soon (in the next 10-15 days, maybe)? Should I continue with 75mg in the morning and night? When will I see if the drug affects my depression? How long it will take to gain some weight?
Also, I read many posts from people who face sexual side effects. OK, my libido is low but does this happens because of Effexol or because of my depression? When should I worry about this issue?
The last thing I want to share with you is this: every single period of my life, since 1997, when I was feeling good, strong, happy was in conjuction with my social daily life and my stress levels. When this part of my life was bad or my stress was high, I was depressed even I was taking double doses. Drugs is a supplement for a better life. The main job should be done by us... I am writing this here so I can eventually understand it. But, after 20 years of different kinds of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, being 36 today, I haven't managed to find a working solution for a better life in contrast with the majority who find their mental piece quickly and painless.
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?
ANY info would be great...
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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 recognize that all people are different and that's why we respond differently to various medications, both in a positive way, or perhaps negative. This is my experience......
I was diagnosed with depression in January 1999 and started taking Effexor XR. Eventually my dose was increased to 225mg, and I continued on this dose until recently. During these years my depression was under control, however my weight steadily increased and I gained about 45lbs. While I recognize that taking any medication impacts your body, I don't believe that Effexor was to blame for my weight gain. I have bad habits and I'm not as active as I used to be. In addition, my metabolism has changed as I age (I'm now 34). For me, I believe that if I'm honest with myself I attribute my weight gain to all of these things, and not medication. In fact, last year while I was still taking 225mg I began dieting and lost 17lbs in a short time period by eating more healthfuly, controlling portions, and drinking lots of water. Unfortunately I "fell off the wagon" and again resumed some of my bad habits which resulted in gaining some of that weight back. Over the last year I have gradually tapered my medication (under the guidance of my physician) and very, very slowly come off the medication. I no longer take any medications whatsoever (since Oct/05), and have not had a relapse in my depression. At this point I am feeling ready to make a committment to my own health and do the work I need to do to lose weight. I really do belive that it's a lifestyle change. For those of you who are struggling with depression, don't give up. While it can be frustrating and discouraging, it is possible to lose weight. Weight absolutely affects self esteem but don't put pressure on yourself.....You'll get there!
Best wishes and good luck!
Im new to this site- hopefully i will gain some insight from others. i have been sufering fom panic disorder for 10 years. Zanax use to work really well- but it stopped so i was put on klonipin- that worked for about 2 years- so i saw a psychitrist and he diagnoised me w/ social anixiety disorder. Anyway he started me on effexor w/ my klonipin and at first my anixiety was getting better- my dr. increased the effexor to 150mg a day and it helped even more w/ anixiety-but i became 2 laid back- i didnt care a/b my appearance or even getting dressed for the day. I became a couch potato and stayed tired alot. i would take a 3 hour nap and still sleep at night as well. Recently i found myself getting depressed because of how i had changed. my dr switched me to paxil and im concerned about weight gain with paxil. i hae gained about 10pds from effexor- but i was not active either while taking it. I am much more alert with paxil- no naps! I am concerned about weight gain from paxil because ive read alot of post fm others that claim paxil causes weight. Would love to hear some feedback. Thank You......
I was on Zoloft for years. I was then put of Zoloft plus Topomax. All of these meds were for my migrains and chronic daily headaches. Topomax definitely makes you loose weight. I recently switched to Effexor 75 and still remained on the Topomax, had no weight gain, but as soon as I went off the Topomax (I realized it was hindering my headaches, not helping any longer) I have gained 5-7 pounds. This is making me very depressed, my doctor just upped my Effexor to 150mg and told me to exercise. He said Effexor does promote weight gain. I am sad, but the Effexor does help and make me feel better, just fat.
I have been taking Effexor for a year and a half, started after a trauma related depression.
I have GAINED at least 20 pounds, and seem to be gaining more and more, even though i am going down on the dosage (now at 87.5 mg, decreased from 300 mg).
Effexor seems to be a very effective antidepressant BUT the side effects are HUGE TOO! Stomach pain, gaz, gastric reflux, headaches,sweating, insomnia,twitching, weight gain, total absence of libido, inability to climax etc....
The withdraw symptoms are even worse! Just to take your meds later in the day will let you experience these nasty symptoms: Nausea, dizziness, "brain shivers", blurred vision, shortness of breath, inability to fucus your thoughts,in other words, you are a real mess.
When you want to decrease or stop the medication, it takes forever since these withdraw symptoms are so difficult to deal with. Mood swings, irritability, anxiety and even suicidal thoughts add on to the other withdraw symptoms i already mentionned. Not to even mention all the weird feelings I have no words to describe, like limb pain, electric shock like feelings in the limbs, restlessness etc.....
If it is the first time you are experiencing a depression, I would strongly suggest that you discuss the option of other treatments before trying Effexor. It really has heavy consequences on your life and your well being, which might not matter much at first since you are so relieved to feel emotionnally better, but as time goes by, and as you wish to resume your normal life and activities, you might feel unable to do so because of all the side effects and withdral symptoms i mentionned.
So THINK TWICE BEFORE YOU GET STARTED ON EFFEXOR!!! Going back to a normal life is EXTREMELY DIFFICULT, and just the body image part as well as the asexual feeling might be worse than the original symptoms (and don't forget that you might feel even more depressed when you try to get off the medication- scarry!)
Good luck to all of you, and if you have any good tips as to how to loose all the weight gained while on Effexor, please let me know!
Dieting and exercising (a lot) for the last month asen't done the trick so far and i really feel hopeless and concerned !
First I would like to thank you, to who started this website.
I have been on effexor for 2yrs now and thank god for this medication. I was deppressed in a bad way, even suicidal. Not sleeping for days and then colapsing from lack of sleep...then sleeping for days. I even had developed agoraphobia. I was unable to walk out of the door or do any activities with out my "safe" person.
I am 31yrs old and have been a size 4 my whole life. I never had to worry about what I ate. I am now a size 10-11. 2yrs ago I weighed 120lbs...now, Im 160lbs!!!! I hate my body and I look at photos that have been recently taken of me and I ask, "WHO IS THE BIG GIRL IN THE PHOTO". I have been watching what I have been eating since Ive been on this medication...but it is hard.
Thank you to the others that have posted comments on this site..it lets me know that I am not alone. And now that I am feeling better..my GP and I have decided to come off the medication. I thought that the withdrawals were telling me to stay on the medication. I have only been coming off the drug within the last 2 weeks. Yes, I have experinced the nausea...the incredable head spins, and hot flashes like Ive never known. I know though not to give up. And fight the withdrawal. Thank to everybody who wrote. God Bless You. And good luck.And CONGRATULATION ON GETTING THROUGH TO THE OTHER SIDE!
I thought the weight gain was my fault. I was so glad to read that other people have had the same problem. I have been on Effexor for a little over a year now. First at 75mg, then to 150, then back to 75. I was on Zoloft originally, but was at the max (200mg) and was still have panic attacks. The doctor said that Effexor was better for me, so we tried it. After the first few months she asked me what I thought of it and I told her I didn't like it because I didn't give a S--t about anything anymore. I had lost 35 lbs on Weight Watcher's three months before I started on this medication. Over the year that I have taken it, I have lost interest in EVERYTHING. I use to make quilts and knit afgans. I now just come home from work and sit, watch TV and do crossword puzzles. I look at the Noric Track and then ignore it. I am going to try to talk the doctor into letting me go back on Zoloft, which I loved! I have gone through menopause, so I may not need anything now.
Anyway, I feel much better knowing that other people have the weight gain problem and that it is not just me.
Good luck to everyone. Depression and anxiety are not fun things to suffer from.
I forgot to mention in my last note that I gained back 30 lbs after going on Effexor. I KNOW it is because I am not moving my body. I stayed on the Weight Watcher's diet for 6 more months, but it wasn't working any more because I WAS NOT MOVING MY BODY! I just sit. I don't eat large amounts of food, but I don't burn off what I am taking in.
I just wanted everyone on here to know that i once was on effexor for a whole year. Loved what it did for me mentally. I coulda' cared less about anything at all! including my weight, unfortunitaly- for me.
I was a member of weight watchers before starting this med., i weighed in at a whopping 212lbs at 5'2". I lost 40lbs with weight watchers and still going strong... untill i got myself started on that nasty little pill. it ruined me. Most of my issues are due to my obesity. All it did was contribute to helping me to not care, feel more relaxed, and gain back all i had worked so hard to loose.
I told my doc i wanted off of it, he did not want to take me off of it just yet, did not feel i was ready just yet, i felt differently.... so i showed him...... i quit "cold turkey".
EVER TRY IT??????
DO NOT.............IT IS NOT WORTH IT, PLEASE LET THEM WEEN YOU OFF OF THE MED. THERE ARE SOME NASTY NASTY SIDE AFFECTS TO COME IF YOU DO IT THE WAY I DID!!!!!!!!!
i am on Welbutrin& Topamax.
They work wonders for me together.
Good luck to anyone considering this drug. I hated it. I will never ever take Effexor ever again.
Thank you very much to everyone who has posted; I no longer have to search the web for answers. I have been on effexor for nearly a year and have also experienced stressing weight gain. I previously weighed 110 pounds and now tip the scale over 130. I am continually exercising and eating well, like I did before, but nothing is helping. One of the reasons I went on this medication for my aniexty was my weight, and now my weight issues have come back. I do however, feel so much better mentally. I told myself last year, during the hardest time of my life, that I didn't care how fat I got, just as long as I was mentally sound. But of course now I am upset about my weight. I do want to go off the medication, but reading what others have posted I am wondering what is the most healthy choice. If anyone has thoughts or experience about SUCCESSFULLY going off the medication and losing the weight it would be great to hear. Thanks so much for your thoughts and opinions.
any tips on help with the detox part of effexor,im on my second week of weening off it has been so hard.mood swings ,vomiting ,headaces,brain shivers, body pains,did i say mood swings, i have 4 children they think mommy turning into a monster.:)ha ha. i go down another dose next saterday.thanx sallie
I have been on Effexor for many years for panic disorder. I am on a very low dose of 25 ml. The drug has worked very well for me with moderate side effects. Nothing I could not deal with. Six months ago I had a major scare that automaticly influenced me to stop smoking. I was a smoker for thirty some years. Ever since I stopped smoking, my very quick metabalism seems to have shut down. Previously I could eat what I wanted, when I wanted, without weight gain. Now I have to watch everything I am eatting and with that I am gaining weight. I am wondering if those of you who experienced weight gain were or were not smokers. Suddenly it has come to my attention that without the cigs reving up my metabalism perhaps the effexor is the cause of the weight gain. I was 104lbs. now 112 or so. Alot of my weight is also in my middle which has caused me to go up in size quite a bit. I see however, if I stop really watching what I am eatting and I don't exersize I could be 30lbs heavier in no time.
Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks.
I have just stopped effexor about 1.5 weeks ago. I was on it for about 1 1/2 years and had to get off after 25 lb. weight gain, effexor worked great for my mind, but not my body, felt very fat. Does anyone know how long it takes to lose the effexor weight after stopping. I work out every day and eat pretty well. Just tired of not losing. HELP!
I have been taking Effexor for almost a year and in the last 5 months I have gained 50lbs. its awful and makes you feel so much worse about yourself, but also because on the effexor you lose interest in doing anything about the weight gain. I used to be very healthy and active and since taking heavy levels of effexor I just cant get myself to do anything. For all the benefits against depression it has, the side effects have made my life so much worse. I hope it works better for others because my effexor is just pulling me into a deep dark hole and it's going to be h*ll getting out.
I AM SO GLAD I FOUND THIS SIGHT.
I THOUGHT I WAS THE ONLY ONE STRUGGLING WITH WEIGHT GAIN DUE TO EFFEXOR.
I AM A 27 YEAR OLD MOTHER OF FOUR, MY NORMAL WEIGHT IS 115LBS. AFTER MY FOURTH CHILD WAS BORN WITH MEDICAL COMPLICATIONS THE DOC ADVISED I SHOULD TAKE EFFEXOR TO HELP DEAL WITH MY BABY BLUES AND THE ADDED STRESS OF A SICK NEWBORN. IN THE FEW WEEKS PRIOR TO TAKING EFFEXOR I HAD DROPPED BACK TO MY PRE PREGNANCY WEIGHT EASILY, BUT WITHIN WEEKS OF STARTING EFFEXOR I BEGAN TO PACK ON THE POUNDS. I WASN'T EATING MORE, IN FACT I WAS EATING LESS BECAUSE I WAS ALWAYS AT THE HOSPITAL.
I HAVE BEEN ON EFFEXOR (300MG) FOR A YEAR AND HAVE GAINED 45LBS, NO MATTER WHAT I DO I CAN'T SHED A POUND.INFACT I KEEP PUTTING ON A 1 - 2 POUNDS A WEEK.
I AM HAPPY TO SAY THAT MY LITTLE GUY IS HEALTHIER THEN EVER NOW, AND WITH OUT THE STRESS I WANTED TO COME OFF THE EFFEXOR. I DROPPED DOWN TO 150MG EASILY ( NO WEIGHT LOSE)BUT SINCE TRYING TO GO DOWN TO 100MG I HAVE FELT SO ILL. DIZZY, SICK STOMACH, AND THE WORST HEADACHES. THE PAIN IS AWFUL.
ANYONE KNOW HOW LONG THIS WILL LAST?
AND WILL IT GET WORSE EACH TIME I LOWER MY DOSE?
I DON'T WANT TO STAY ON THE EFFEXOR BECAUSE I DON'T FEEL I NEED IT, AND THE ONLY THING DEPRESSING ME RIGHT NOW IT LOOKING IN THE MIRROR AND NOT RECOGNIZING THE PERSON STARING BACK AT ME.
WILL THE WEIGHT COME OFF ONCE I'M OFF THE EFFEXOR?
I READ THAT PROZAC WAS GOOD TO TAKE FOR THE WITHDRAWL, ANY OTHER SUGGESTIONS?