Depression/Mental Health Forum
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Avatar universal


I have been on Effexor for about 5 years now.  Over this time I have gained about 20 pounds - which is a lot for my small frame.  I'd always been very thin.  I've also been having a real lack of sex drive for the past year or two, which has gotten even worse over the past 6-9 months.  

I decided to go off the Effexor about 2 weeks ago when my prescription had run out and I was already into slight withdrawal(the withdrawal symptoms have since stopped except for slight depression and weepiness).  My husband and I are trying to have a baby, so I know I'd have to go off as soon as I concieve anyway, so it seemed worth trying to go without it.

My question is:  Can I expect my weight to start going back down now that I am off the medication (as long as I don't eat more or exercise less than while I was on it, of course)?  And will my sex drive improve?  How quickly should  I see improvement in these areas?

40 Responses
242532 tn?1269553979
yes to both, sex and weight, assuming you feel your life is moving well on course...all of this should start happening within a few weeks....
Avatar universal
I've been on Effexor for about 6 months now, and I've been able to lose weight, as well as gain weight. I was very concerned about taking it because I did not want to gain any more weight (I'm about 16 lbs overweight). My doctor told me that Effexor is the one drug that does not make you gain weight. In fact, she told me it's an appetite supressor. I've been able to lose weight. But I don't have a sex drive, either. And like I said, I've only been on it for 6 months, so I'm not sure if that would make a difference since you've been on it much longer. Good luck!
Avatar universal
I didn't notice any problems at first either with the weight (like for the first year or two).  I think it was maybe only a few pounds a year, so it wasn't that noticable then.  I also was told by my doctor that this was one of the medications not likely to make you gain weight, but.....

I had mentioned that the withdrawal symptoms were gone except a slight depression and weepiness.  Well the physical symptoms are gone, but the depression and weepiness has been really bad this weekend.  My mom passed away this summer and I know I still have not dealt with all he pain of that.  I don't know if it's the holidays coming (this will be the first time my mom is not a big part of them), or going off the medication, or both, but this weekend I've probably cried at least 10 times.  I'm not sure if I should try to tough it out and hope it gets better on its own, or if I need to go back on the medicine.
Avatar universal
I would NEVER ever recommend Effexor of any dose.  The withdrawal from Effexor is way worse than anything I've experienced.  Even when you want to stop the Effexor, you continue to take it to stop the brain zaps, the eye rolling, the nauseau, the diarreha, it is an awful evil drug.  Why they say it's not addictive when it is so hard to get off of it is a mystery to me.
Avatar universal
I am so sorry you're going through this. I have not had to experience the pain of losing a parent yet, and God willing, it won't be fore a long, long time. I'm no doctor, but I would say that the depression/weepiness is most likely more because of the fact that you're missing your mom. And you're right, the holidays are what is making it worse. I would talk to your doctor, and see what she says about it. With the pain of losing your mom, I'm not at all surprised that you'd be extra weepy. Good luck with everything, and good luck trying to get pregnant. I hope all goes well for you, and if you need to talk, you know where to find support!
Avatar universal
I also was on effexor for a while, and trying to come off of it was terrible, it took me two months to slowly taper off of it.  I had a lot of headaches and pain behind the eyeballs...also I swear my memory was affected.
Avatar universal
i was on it for two weeks and had to stop  because it made me a zombie
Avatar universal
Hi Detcharlielucy,

I'm really sorry to hear about the death of your mom. I too am grieving the loss of mine who died in August.

I've been taking Effexor since my love died of prostate cancer five years ago. I'd been taking care of my mom in home for 7 of the 10 years she endured a rare neuro-degerative disease. At the moment I'm making baby steps at putting a life back together. Enough about me.

Mom's Are Eternal. I should think that now you are not taking Effexor that you are experiencing symptoms of grief that may have been masked by the medication. Grief is pain. Grief is legitimate suffering, as is illness, death and birth. Be kind to yourself.

Just a thought, do you have access to a bereavement support group in your community? I've been seeing a grief counselor who has helped me more than I could have imagined.

I'll begin tapering off the Effexor after the holidays. My dose is pretty high. I'm not looking forward to the "brain shivers." However, I have never liked the 'feel' of the med.

FYI, no weight gain on this end.

And Mom's are eternal,
Go forth!

111315 tn?1430880144
hey everyone,
I have a good tip to get through the withdrawal pains of effexor. First off I have been on effexor for 1 1/2 years. At first it was great and only up until this fall it was starting to be clear to me that it was not helping with my depression anymore. I was told by my doc never to go cold turkey with this med that I was to tapper it. I was told if I went off cold turkey I was risking brain siezures. I am tappering off now from 75mg a day to 37.5 a day and then 37.5 everyother day then I will be off.

My tip for getting rid of the body pains, brain shivers, nausea,
anxiety and flu like symptoms is a tincture of flower essence.
you can buy this at any natural food store. 10 drops or whatever the given dose is 4 times a day has helped.
Also for women any strong tea for menstuel cramps such as rosehips and hibiscus, chamomile tea is great. Valarian root can be added to your tea at bedtime to help you sleep or you can buy it already made. It is good to go to a store that has bulk herbs and also get a detox tea for after you get off effexor to help clean it out of your body.

I hope that some of you find these items to help yo uas much as they have helped me.

always consult with your doctor before you take homeopathic medications to make sure as well that you have no allergies to these items.
Avatar universal
I have stumbled on this site by accident while looking for something else for someone else. I came across the effexor threads and decided to read all the info from those who have shared.

I am 53 years old and have been on effexor for years. I feel it is not working anymore and have tried to quit several times without luck. I tried the weaning thing and it didn't work for me either.  I consoled my health provider and she simply said   I may be on it the rest of my life. I think this to be very true for me because If I miss one dose of effexor I will go into withdrawls within an hour.

I won't comment on the side effects or the symptoms of withdrawls from effexor because it has all been said in this forum. The only comment that puzzled me was about the withdrawl symptom of the person who described a "zipping" sensation in his brain. I have experienced this before on L-Tryptamine. I was taking this while going through another phase of my life. Drug companies eventually took it off the market.

The "zipping" was a strange feeling. Very Scary. It is hard to describe. Most un-natural.

Anyway, my point to this post is to thank those who have shared all the emotional and physical experiences of this drug called effexor. At least when I go down I will have company.

Gotta go post some more health related issues on other forums :)
Avatar universal
I am just wondering how long it is until the brain zaps go away. I really liked the effexor xr but I have lost my insurance and can no longer afford it, so I have begun the weening process, and boy does it suck
Avatar universal
Im 23 years old  and i have suffered from depression  since i was 16  my first anti-depressant was zoloft, witch made me feel very sick, then I was put on paxil  witch also made me sick.. however being a teenager and going through what I as a teenager went through i didnt last too long on either.. i would refuse to take the meds...on a brutal episode of mother and daughter arguments i decided to leave home. where was living after i have moved out was my cousins house.. however after being there and being away from all the **** that i had gone through living at home i found myself slipping in a more extream and uneasy depression i was contantly crying, constantly saying how i did not want to live anymore... sad to say but it was somebody across the world who i talked(about everything) to over yahoo. and it was him to presure me to call the doctor.. so i did.  the first few visits where awfull tears and snot. and hurtfull thoughts and feeling toward anyone who was breathing to thinking once again about distroying my life...it got easier after a while<- going to the doctors...i was put back on paxil becasue my doctot felt as if i wasent on it long enough to have any effect time went on it made me sick but i continued to take it.... soon after i quit school moved out of the appartment and moved back home with my parents.... from there I started to have terrible panic attacks, anxiety attacks  horrable i wouldnt get on a bus by myself go anywhere by myself... i noticed i had a routine that if the routine got interrupted or i got short of time i got really frustrated and irrate..(ex wash hair twice -condition once, leave conditioner in till befor the second body wash..  wash body once  rise condtioner out wash body again.) i constantly wash my hand. and i am sickened by  body fluid from anyother person on my body or on my clothing.. (obsessive compulsive). since i have been home with my parents i have become. so anti social, i never go anywhere i hardly ever leave my room (agrophobic) i have had medical books taken from my hands cuz i convince myself i have a fatel illness.... i take effexor  since october 2004... in the beinging  it was all well i didnt go anywhere but i felt a lil better.. it didnt let me cry. i would feel it in my nose and then it would stop.. my dose went from 37.5 to 75 daily. with 75 i found myself still depressed wanting to gain knowledge of lots of things mental and phisical. dose was upped too 150 and here i am, i still dont leave the house, im still depressed, i have tried to commit suicide once (failed) i get unexplained bruses and i find that i pinch myself in my sleep to a point where i bruse in certain areas (lower stomach, innner groin, and inner arms,) there are time i find myself talking to noone but myself. i write poems and i read books...
Avatar universal
WELL IM RELEAVED IM IN THE SAME BOAT.THIS IS MY THIRD DAY OFF OF THIS Fn DRUG . I AM GOING TO PUT A SIGN ON THE BACK OF MY CAR . AND PARK AT THE DOCS OFFICE.MAYBE BECOME A ACTIVIST FOR A EFFEXOR FREE AMERICA. I THINK I CAN DEAL WITH A FEW PANIC Attacks i already feel better can tell you that this is pure hell. I'm not a small man. but I'm not stronger than this effexor right now. i had to stop because i lost my insurance . and it gave me high blood pressure. and my kidneys were in pain. now my blood pressure is better my kidneys feel better. and now hell has set in for while. can anyone tell me if this has happened to them.
Avatar universal
i stumbled accross this site last night & i am so pleased that i did. i have been taking efexor for approx 4 years now, i wanted  to stop taking it in feb this year but my community psychiatric nurse persuaded me to stay on it for 6 months longer as he was concerned because i was due to start counselling.  i had never given it another thought until last night when i came across this site.  i have had real trouble losing weight since having my baby 20 months ago, and i dont feel the meds are doing any good now anyway.  i was quite scared when i read some of the side effects you guys were experiencing but i feel it is time to start reducing.  i have tried cold turkey once - NEVER AGAIN!!! i felt like i was going to die!!  i have now decided to take some control back in my life and i would really appreciate any support you can give  i am also going to take vitamin supplements that i read last night on here.  hopefully with some natural supplements, lots of willpower and supporti will get there.  love and peace to all of you Helen xx
Avatar universal
Like i said i have only been taking effexor for about a year now and even through out the year there were times where i didnt have my pills..  however i havent experiance any brin shivers or anything... peoples comments on discontinued use of effexor.. i think you should reduce ever so slightly if u want to get off the meds  good luck with that
Avatar universal
This is the first time participating in a message board of this sort. I wish I would have found an outlet like this earlier; it would have proved extremely handy. I
Avatar universal
Avatar universal
I was on Effexor for about 6 months.  I took it because of depression and the feeling of wanting to cry all the time.  Since being on the Effexor, I lost my sex drive, sleep ALL the time.  I don't cry, I just don't care anymore.  I'm still depressed though. So, I decided to try and ween myself off of it...(within the past 3 weeks I guess).  Well, its Christmas day and I feel horrible.  For the past 2 days I've been nausiated, dizzy and tired.  I feel like if I could just vomit, I would feel better.  I'm sweating...which is something that happened while taking it too.  This is the worst feeling I've ever felt in my life.  I am just wondering how long I am going to feel this sick.  I have to go back to work Tuesday and I don't want to feel like this there too.  Trust me...not taking it at all is a lot better than being on it.  If anyone can tell me how long I will be feeling this sick, please email me at ***@****.
Avatar universal
hello, xmas2005- i been on efferox 150 for about, 6 months, now i tried to cut if off cold turkey that was the bigest mistake, it was really wierd. I am trying to quit my medication becuase i am going to go on remedies. instead. healthier. and it works, i been on lamictal and serqual and more options of insomia sleep medicatin i could ask my dr. to get me, i am not able to sleep at night and its tuff. taken this medication, for nothing, its not working anymore, thanks ***@****
Avatar universal
I have been taking Effexor for 3 years or so now -- Unfortunately, when they changed my medication I didn't take the time to find out about side effects, withdrawal, etc.

After suffering with what I have found on these sites as brain-zaps, etc. I have finally nailed it down to the fact that when I miss a dose or take it late - there they are!   My pharmacy ran out so I didn't take my pill last night (I will SPEED over there today to get it).  I feel totallly exhausted and the brain is zipping and zapping away.  It's an awful feeling.  I had no idea that the side effects were this severe.

Everyone on this site has gotten me sufficiently concerned and I have made an appt with my Dr. to switch my meds yet again.  

We don't even want to discuss weight gain and total loss of sex drive -- What little "drive" was left has been dashed by the 20 lbs. extra I'm carrying around.

I'm so glad there are sites like this, Misery LOVES company!  You never get the info from Doctors that you get from people in the same situation you are.
Avatar universal
Well, when I was taking the Effexor, I wasn't hungry at all..Didn't lose any weight either--go figure.  Now that I am off, I am starved to death!!! I can't get enough to eat.  As soon as I went off the Effexor, the sexual side effects went away immediately.  That I am happy about.  It's been about a week and I am still having the brain zaps, but, not as bad.  The nausea doesn't happen as long as I eat.  You know, I feel so much better now that I am off of it.  I feel like I am ready to take control of my life and my destiny.  Thats a great feeling.  I might have to step on some toes, but, it's ok. So, now I just need to go on a diet as soon as I stop feeling so starved then I feel like all will be well.  Being off of it, I want to cry still, but, I figured out that is your bodies way of releasing stress.  So, thats not so bad.  Hang in there everyone...It will get better...I will let everyone know when the brain zaps stop.
Avatar universal
This is to all of you out there that share an interest in Effexor.  I would like to tell you my personal experience with it.  Two days after 9-11, my dear husband of 18 years died suddenly of a heart attack in our home.  I never dreamed that I would be a widow at the young age of 48 and let me say this, that truly is an awful thing.  My doctor offered me antidepressants at the time and I passed on them, but 6 months later I found myself unable to leave my home because all I could do was sleep and cry.  At that point, I did go on Effexor and for that I was grateful for it got me through some very miserable times at work-in particular with a manager that proved to be a very cold and calculating individual.  I found I really didn't care what she said to me and that gave me the strength I needed to leave that miserable job even though I had been there eleven years.
     I wondered if I could tolerate being off it a year later and did try to taper the dose but was simply not ready emotionally to part with what I considered an emotional crutch at that time.  One year ago, I was hospitalized for a perforated ulcer which necessitated emergency surgery and a prolonged hospital stay.  During that hospital stay I went off the Effexor cold turkey as there was no other choice for me.  I spent probably a week having emotional swings of high to low and crying at the drop of a hat, but in retrospect, it turned out to be a good thing and I now like myself a lot better as a result.  I have now been off Effexor for 13 1/2 months, and have my life back in control.  For me short term ended up being nearly 3 years on antidepressants that I don't regret.  If I had it to do over again, Effexor would definitely be my choice.
Avatar universal
Well, I've been off the Effexor now for about 3 weeks.  I told you all I would keep you posted on the withdrawal.  I am happy to say that I don't have the "brain zaps" anymore.  I feel good.  I am dealing with life instead of just letting it run all over me.  I think I made the right choice in going off of it.  So, there is hope in the symptoms going away.  Happy New Year to everyone!!
Avatar universal
I started Effexor 3 weeks ago and it has help me. However, during the day I become conscious of my breathing. I feel breathless and my throat becomes a little tight. It so uncomfortable. Its hell. In my mind I feel that I'm ok but I still get physical symptoms of breathlessness. I'm currently on 75 mg. Is it because I need a smaller dose or a bigger dose? Or am I having an allergic reaction? I hope someone could get me some suggestions.

Avatar universal
Hi there.  I read your symptoms and could relate since I had all the same ones when I was taking Zoloft, and when I went to the doctor about them I was diagnosed with GERD. (gastro-esophogal reflux disease).  I was really surprised since I thought heart burn was something way different.  Anyways, when I switched from Zoloft to Effexor those particular symptoms went away.  Which means I had one less medication I had to take!  This may be what you're experiencing, and btw don't go and get diagnosed for GERD since that puts you in the "High Risk" category if you want health insurance!
Avatar universal
i was on effexor xr 75 mg 3 times a day for 14 months...that drug destroyed my whole life...i was put on effexor xr after i got hurt at work in feb 2002..i dislocated my right elbow months went by arm got worst instead of better...in may 2004 i was diagnois with reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD)the box that fell on my arm and caused it to dislocate my elbow caused nerve trama in my right arm...its a very painfull illness to have...i had everything going for me in life before i got hurt..i had met a wonderful loving and caring man a year prior to me getting hurt...we moved in together and had a wonderful life together till i started taking effexor xr...i became very depressed cause i was unable to do many things i was doing before..and the constiant pain i was in 24 hours a day /7 days a week...after a few months of taking effexor xr my world start falling apart...my live in boyfriend said i changed my friends didn't know who i was no more...i had many side effects insomnia,upset stomach,forgetfulness,i got ugly and easily aggravated,abusive towards my boyfriend,i would have blackouts and didn't remember what i done...then i would be apologetic but then again something would set me off again...my boyfriend and many of my friends told me i started talking suicidal...i was a walking zombie...didn't know day by day if i was comming or going...my boyfriend talk to my doctor about my problems all she do was up my dose...and it made me that much worst...in aug 2005 my boyfriend had enough he couldn't take no more so we seperated...when i returned to my home town everyone noticed the big changed in me...they said you have to get off that horrible drug so i stopped cold turkey...i threw up for a week..couldn't eat...shakes all the time...stomach felt like it had  turned inside out...was confused... thats when my boyfriend and friends told me what i was doing and acting...i lost the best thing i had in life and that was the love of my life my boyfriend...the good thing we remained friends and he has forgiven me of all the hurt and pain i put him threw...he still the love of my life and i hope and pray each day no one ever has to go threw what i did taking this drug...
Avatar universal
Breathlessness has been subsiding. However, I get heart palpatations in the morning and my heart beat goes as low as 54.
I know that effexor lowers your heart rate but 54 is below the norm.I feel week and a little lightheaded. Afraid to black out. The anxiety has gotten much better, but the heart rate and the heart flip flops are disturbing to me. For some reason the palpatations have become more frequent since last year, especially around my menstrual period. I was diagnosed as insulin resistant by a fertility doctor and that is why I can't conceive. Too much insulin whacks out your whole system. This attributed to my anxiety.I lost 25 pounds in two weeks because of vomiting and not eating. My whole digestive system was screwed up(IBS).I paced around my backyard and neigborhood most of the day for 2 weeks because I felt I was loosing it.Like I said, 3 weeks later I feel better from the anxiety. But, the palpatations are bothering me. It's no win situation for me. I just want to feel normal.I'm going to ask the doctor for a complete physical. Body scans, brain scans, ... to make sure nothing else is wrong with me. Anyways, just needed to let off some steam.
Avatar universal
More to say here.  I started taking Zoloft because I had become obsessed with my health and weight and was having panic attacks. I was stuffing food down my throat and even if my stomach felt like it was going to burst I would keep stuffing. I was also sneeking food and sometimes I purged.  I felt out of control.  The Zoloft took care of the eating/anxiety problems real quickly, but my depression got worse.  The weirdest part was I could be having a great day then as soon as I was alone in my bedroom and it was time to go to sleep I would just pray that God would let me die.  I wanted to die so bad!  
  I got to the point where I decided I would just stay in bed and stop eating and drinking water until I would die.  Having caring parents, they wouldn't let that happen and they forced me to talk on the phone to a counselor.  She made me promise not to hurt myself and I made an appointment with her.  Then I had to see a psychiatrist who recommended Effexor.  I went on and continued counseling sessions. After a few weeks I felt like I was totally "BACK". Felt great because I felt like "ME". 3 months into treatment my grandma who lived down the street from me shot and killed herself. I don't know if the trauma came from the incident, or the fear that it would be MY mom someday, since she had threatened suicide so many times during my childhood.
  I really thought I was dealing with it well.  Grieving but not allowing it to stop me from functioning normally.  I decided to move because things were too depressing at home.  a month after I moved I tried to taper off Effexor.  The electric shocks from my heart to my brain started after not taking the pill for 24 hours. If I didn't move and closed my eyes I didn't feel them.  But I had to go to work.  After 3 days I felt like I was going to go into convulsions or something! Then the crying started...But man it felt good to cry! It felt good to FEEL.  I couldn't function at work with the constant shock sensations though so i went back on.
  I feel like I'm at war with this stupid medication.
I moved home after 4 months and feel completely rejected. I've been daydreaming about death like one would romance. Many thoughts of suicide, but I fear surviving any attempts. I have no interest in most activities, and though I was once very spiritual I find myself not caring at all about spirituality.  I got a new job, and If I had my way all I'd do is work and sleep.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the info. I was suspecting thatit had something to do with my digestive system because it so screwed up right now. I've been burping alot lately and this helps alleviate the feeling of chest pain or tightness.My mom actually has GRD. However, I will go to the doctors and have them do a complete physical.
Avatar universal
I just got something new today. Both of my ears were ringing or swooshing(like a water faucet running through my ears). Very unpleasant.Is there no end to these side effects.Just when I think Im feeling better something else happens. Frustrated. Getting exhausted going through this garbage. I have two kids to take care of and Im trying to keep it together.It's hard. Anxiety has ruined my life.I hate it! arrghhhhhhhhhhhhh!
Avatar universal
Hi Everyone-I came across this thread about a week ago.  I stopped taking Effexor for three days-my prescription ran out over the New Year Holiday.  I cannot believe the side effects of sudden stoppage-Nausea, Headache, Brain Zaps, Exhaustion, Excruciating Aches and Pains.  I've been on this medication for 2 1/2 years now.  I saw my doctor this week and told him I want to cut down and wean off....

If I have any advice on use of anti-depressants, I would suggest that others be sure there is no other option before trying them.  See a therapist or a homeopath.  The withdrawal I experienced was so intense, I'm not sure I will be able to stop taking this drug....
Avatar universal
Well where do I start. I have been diagnosed with daily migraines and my doctor gave me Effexor xr for migraines. Why? This has been my second day so far having trouble sleeping meaning I am awake at 5am and can not get back to sleep, also I seem to have a light headaches when I wake up. I am also taking elmiron and hdroxizine for interstial cystitis. How is this going to affect me taking Effexor xr?  I am also very worried about all the massive side effect to this medication, also the anorexia side effect simply because I am 5
Avatar universal
Sorry I also have one more comment I took have notice my breathing seem to be shallow and I already have very low blood pressure on my own. I am worrying about this drug so much that is has given me a lot of anxiety. Please give me some feed back please
Avatar universal
see my mind is racing i agian forgot to add another drug i am on i also take zomig for they headaches that i get to. SO SORRY TO BE A BOTHER BUT I HATE TAKING MEDICATIONS WITH A PASSION
Avatar universal
I took Effexor for anxiety and it helped. However, I was also getting shallow breathing and my heart rate dropped to 54 Beats per minute which normally it should be around 68-72 for me. Second day without effexor. I was on 75mg and then went to 37.5mg for 1 week and then decided to stop because it seems that the side effects will still happen. Anyways,Ive been having headaches and senseless dream after dream at night since I started to get off it. It was a beautiful morning today but felt kind of weird because the constant dreaming. It took me a couple hours to shake it off. I felt well enough to go to the post office. Then I decided to go to Kohls. Once I entered I started feeling edgy again. However, I still continued to look for a purse. I got out of there and felt better. Then I went to get some Italian food for lunch. Started to feel anxious again as I waited for my order. Finally, came home and now Im depressed because I hate living this way. It's like you live your life second by second. You never know whats going to happen next.The doctor recommended a psychiatrist for a new medication but I am not looking foward the side effects and waiting to see if it works for me. It takes a physical and emotional toll on me. Im so exhausted that sometimes I just dont want to wake up.
Avatar universal
I know how you feel I spend most of my day at home. I hate shopping and I hate being around a large group of people. But I still have to do it because it needs to be done.  I have been able to feel my anxiety come on and I take notice of it and I deeply breathe and go with that feeling and live in that moment  I have also learned to tune things out. Sometimes I will avoid a large group in a grocery store and go around them. If I am too anxious I buy what I need and I get out of there. I find driving with good music has helped to. I have been diagnosed with a lot of things and I have spent most of my life medications free and learn to deal with my wonderful issue on my own not letting them define who I am. Best of luck to you and this to shall pass. Also know that you have the right to choose what medication you want to take so I advise you to ask the doctor for a list of medication that he or she think would benefit you and then do some research on your own, also be in tune with what your body is telling you. Best of luck to you
Avatar universal
well with me i have experinced no weight gain on effexor xr i am really hungry in the morning but the rest of day not hungry at all i force my self to eat. also i am so tired in the morning when i get my son off to school after he leaves i go back to sleep for another 2 hours. other than that i have not had to many bad side effects from it at all. my breathing seem shallow. but then agian this is only the third day for me. still worried about the side effects they original give this med to me for migrains
Avatar universal
I just found this website, and I am so glad I did. I am in the process of tapering and it is hard going. No, I am not experiencing the horrible flu like symptoms that I have in the past if I forgot to take my medication, or ran out of it before having a chance to refill, but I still feel a general malaise that is very bothersome. I feel like "How am I supposed to work and function like a normal human being while going through this?". I am so glad to know that other people know what I am going through. The hardest thingto me, is that most people around me i.e: my boss, my boyfriend, etc.. do not understand what I am feeling.  If I start crying, they ask why I don't just go back on the medication.  It seems everyone here probably understands all the reasons why.  
I am also glad to know that there are other people who have experienced weight gain, my doctor told me it was probably not due to the effexor, but I have gained 20+ punds in three years, and there should be no reason for it. I haven't changed eating habits, I exercise regualraly, etc...I know it is the effexor even if my doctor says it is not!
One more not that might be of interest, there is a product called calme forte available at walgreens, etc, that is homeopathinc and is great for little bouts of anxiety and sleeplessness, if anyone is experiencing that!  Keep your heads up!
Avatar universal
Just wanted to say (that even though I am embarking the weaning process of getting off Effexor); I have found it to be an effective and appreciated friend these past 5 years.

I started taking it November 2000 and started out at 37.5  then to 75  (then to 150) and as high as 225 mgs.

I personally find for those who say (effectiveness is lost and they have to increase and are afraid they will continue to have to increase); a way I developed to do this is by gradually weaning myself down (kind of like as you gradually shift up your car 1st gear to 5th gear and then gradually down as you slow down ... Do this with effexor.  By getting a prescription for the higher amount (I was able to only take the 75 mgs) effectively giving me a 33% savings to boot) and then as I felt down or anxious would up back to 150) and then down again.  The bottom line (for me at least) is yes, we can get used to these meds (so taking a "break from it" occassioanlly is best to allow the effectiveness to be in place again.)

I agree with the fact that if you don't take a pill one (day you get brain freezes or almost like migraines (and as soon as you take that pill (it alleviates same)... So yes, don't quit cold turkey but the fact that you cannot (does not suddenly make this a bad medication either)... Keep in mind from an anological standpoint.  If you build your speed in your car up to 80 miles an hour (and are in 5th gear) you would not suddenly slam it into first gear and expect great results (would you)... I didn't think so - :)

Any way -- I am planning on getting off of it (just as I did a year ago (to see who I am without it) and with hopes that I won't need to get back on it (b/c at the end of the day we all want the same thing to be out of pain) feel normal, comfortable and relaxed in our own skin...   That all being said, (for me pesonally) this has proven to be an effective way of helping me with anxiety, depression and saved me from some of my darkest days post my divorce.  To all who write here and read this - I say good luck in this things we call Life.

Avatar universal
I agree that effexor really helped when I needed it. I was originally given effexor to deal with anxiety and depression, due to a "phantom" illness. I went through a lot of medical testing for chronic urinary tract pain, with symptoms presenting like interstitial cystitis, but all the testing came back negative. My doctor told me that sometimes mental illnesses present themselves through very real physical pain. After the shock of basically being told it's all in my head, I agreed to take the medication, and eventually my symptoms vanished (it took about 6 months to a year)I am very happy I agreed to take it, because it also helped with social anxiety, and generalized depression that I had been dealing with for years, and just thought I would get better, but my body had a different way of telling me to take care of myself.
Also to JOSS - The first few weeks of taking the Effexor, I could not eat either, I always felt full, and/or nauseous. It goes away quickly, so don't let that stop you from taking it if it seems to be helping!
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