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Avatar universal

Does Effexor XR really work for anybody???

I have read many, many posts about Effexor XR and the hellish experience people have on this medication.  My doctor just put me on it after several months of so-so performance by Lexapro.  Here is the question...is there anybody out there, any one, who would say "Effexor XR is awesome, it has been a great medication and I am grateful to be on it?"  If so, I would love to hear what you have to say, what your experience has been, dosage, etc.  My script has been for GAD/depression.  I have been in therapy (cognitive with a psychologist) since June.  Some progress, but the feelings still remain.  I am trying to find some way to turn the volume down on emotions.  I take Lorazepam (Ativan) - 1mg - occassionally when anxiety is unbearable.  I take Ambien CR to sleep.  So...any cocktail stories out there?
64 Responses
1110049 tn?1409405744
Yes to me Effexor is an awesome drug.  It is my life saver.  It is a miracle.  I will never stop taking it.  Saved my life.

I have no side effects.  I think it is wonderful.  Tried many other anti-depressants, most with awful side effects.  Effexor is the right one for me.

Babbs49External User
Yes, it really works for me. I have been on it for many years after Zoloft, Wellbutrin, and Prozac.
Avatar universal
Thank you for your comments. It was nice to read a reasonable and sensible response.  The last two weeks for me have been hell.  I have been taking Effexor Xr for the last five years,and have done wonderfully.  Could not be happier.  Apparently, I was sent the generic form at the beginning of September, and have started a downward spiral since then.  I guess looking back, there were some clues that I wasn't feeling as I normally do, but I also lost my Dad this year, and contributed a lot of it to grief.  I am back on the brand name Effexor XR, tonight will be day 7.  I am praying for relief from the anxiety that I awake with each morning.  Reading through the internet, I had myself convinced it wouldn't work, and that the doctor was wrong.  But you are right.  Everyone is different and reacts differently.  If I could ask one question, if Effexor XR has always worked for me, isn't it logical that it would continue?  Thanks for whatever input you can provide.
1110049 tn?1409405744
As I have said before, whatever other people may say, Effexor XR has worked for me.  I have been on it on and off for 6 years, but have had depression for 20 years, when I have tried many anti-depressants.  Effexor is definitely right for me.  No depression, no anxiety, no panic attacks, and NO SIDE EFFECTS.

If a drug works for you, keep taking it.  I was put on generic form, and asked to go back to original Effexor.  I am so well now thanks to it.

Hope you feel the same
997349 tn?1288351331
Effexor xr has worked for me for about 11 years. I have no intention of going off of it as I have a chemical imbalance and need it for life. I know this chemical imbalance will not heal itself. I am grateful to this med that lets me lead an wondeful life without depression. I retired from the State of Florida as a welfare caseworker....a good job...Without meds there would have been no chance of any job. I raised three children alone and I am happy. What more could I want!!

Avatar universal
Hi Maddie,
Thank you for your comments.  I guess I'm my own worst enemy when it comes to reading the internet.  I need to stop doing that.  Every time I do, I'm looking for the magic answer that will tell me I'll be better within a couple of days.

Tonight with be night 15 that I take Effexor XR.  I don't feel great, I am having some nausea during the day, and I am pretty tired.  The anxiety attacks during the day seemed to have stopped.  The doc gave me Ativan to use for anxiety episodes...which only seem to happen in the early morning...and I've made it to work two days this week.  I guess I need to focus on the positive.  As I type this, I guess I'm making progress.  Do you recall what side effects you had with Effexor XR, if any, and how long they last?

Last week I had episodes of sweating.  This week it's nausea.  The sweating finally ended, so hopefully the nausea will too.  Any supportive information you can provide would be appreciated.  
Avatar universal
I was put on Effexor  almost 3 years ago for GAD, Depression. My Dr. brought my dosage up really slow. 37.5 month, 75 month, 112.5 two months and finally 150 mg.  If I had to do it again, I would suck it up and get to the Therapeutic dose sooner (150 mg) I was told that 150 mg and below of Effexor only give you serotonin lift. It takes above that for the other 2 chemicals to kick in.
I was on Effexor for bout a 18 months and did pretty well. Well enough to want to come off it. If you go super slow, the withdrawal isn't so bad.
Try to deal with anx/depress using natural stuff, HTP-5, fish oil, Vitamins, etc.
Didn't work so well.  Started back trying Celexa.  Been on 20 mg. for 3 weeks, felt some major lift a few weeks in but it disappeared and know I'm in a "funk". Dr. appt in 2 weeks bit he said to stay ay 20 mg until I see him.
Feeling worse now than I did before I started. So I wondering if I should stick it out or go back to Effexor.
Any Advise???
I  believe that if the Effexor worked for you, and you feel as if you're in a place in your life where you need it, then go back on. Stick with what works. Obviously, talk to your doctor first. But, if put on an antidepressant and you feel better, stick with it! You feel better because it's working and you found a medication that works for you which is SO hard to find! If you go off, you'll most likely start to struggling with anxiety and depression again since you are no longer medicated. I know it sucks to have our happiness become reliant on a little pill but, at least in my case, I'd rather the pill. I have also tried to deal with depression with more natural remedies and it definitely doesn't work in my case. I think talk to your doctor about going back on Effexor on a low dose and then gradually go up to where you remember it was the most effective. The best of luck to you!!!
Avatar universal
It is fantastic, it worked for me when all else failed and thank god for that
Avatar universal
I had been on zoloft for over 10 years when it quit working for me Christmas Eve.  I was started on Effexor on February 14th and by the fifth day I was my old self - I just felt wonderful, however, I think it was the overlapping of the zoloft and the effexor because as soon as the zoloft was out of my system I was back in the crappy tank.  I am now up to 250 mgs. of effexor - and still have anxiety - not as bad as before but still to a point where I feel lethargic and very depressed.  So because of how I felt with the overlap of zoloft and effexor my doctor has put me back on zoloft - just 50 mgs. and that was two weeks ago.  I still have a lot of anxiety and need to take ativan everyday to function.  I am wondering whether they should have upped my effexor instead of adding the zoloft.  Zoloft worked wonderfully for me for 10 years but it quit for some reason so I am thinking that it probably won't make much of a difference especially seeing as I was 200 mgs. of zoloft at the time - so 50 mgs. is like a drop in the bucket.  Anyone have any ideas?
Avatar universal
I am so happy to hear how well this medicine works for most of you.  My doctor just prescribed it for me, and your stories give me some hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel.  I lost my mother and father in the space of a year and a half, and also during that time someone very dear to me was murdered.  In addition, the person I love ended our relationship unexpectedly and without warning.  I was blindsided and 8 months later have not even begun to recover from that.  Add to that much guilt I have for not spending more time with my parents, and I guess maybe you get some picture of where I am at.  I have tried counseling and some other anti-depressants but nothing has helped.  So, I feel like effexor is my last hope.
Avatar universal
I was just wondering what medication you went to, after Effexor stopped working for you.  Also, what was your experience with going off the Effexor, and on to something else?  Did you have bad withdrawal symptoms?  Thanks so much!
1713718 tn?1308582985
What is wrong with you people yes, I don't want to go back to bad anxiety or not sleeping but this drug Effexor/Venlafaxine made me feel better in some areas and horrible in others. I am afraid to come off of it yes, cuz it helped my mental state than any other drug I was prescribed but it also has made me have a severe skin disorder that gives me open sores that the skin peels easy. So I ask you how do you weigh your mental health for your physical health? I have scarring on my skin as it starts to heal about a couple months later more start. I never had this until I took this med. I am embarrassed to wear tank tops or shorts because of it and on top of that I was 105 before I took this med and now I ballooned to 195! I always have been a thin person. So it works but at what cost is what you should really be asking!!  BTW it is NOT a coming off of story it is a FACT of actually just being on it!
Avatar universal
hi...i have a lot to say about effexor  xr....1st of all i was on it 4 about 5 yrs.....i went from not living to living....it was wonderful....i have always been very shy but effexor opened me right up....i had a very hard time with social anxiety and after going on effexor that all went out the window....i can talk to anyone and i can even talk your ear off.....well the anxiety stayed and the sweating was atrotious, but i was happy and fearless so i decided to stay on it....now i am working and am running around like a looney, the anxiety is terrible and the whole time i am sweating buckets, have had many crying outbursts at work because i feel i am losing control. i think people really must think i am crazy, but im not....so.....i came off the effexor and guess what??? the sweating is still with me.....it hasnt been long at all but i just thought that it would stop right away, i guess i havent given it a chance .....well im just a big old mess right now, i think its only been about a week of the effexor and now taking 15 mg of adderol and i can cry at the drop of a hat....so i guess what i would like to know is when will the sweating stop, please give me some hope.....thanks.....
Have you considered going back on Effexor since you knew it worked for you in most aspects and asking your psychiatrist to give you something else to manage your anxiety? I take Klonopin when I feel like I am about to have a panic attack. Not every day, but when it gets to the point where meditating or attempting to relax won't work. I've found it's really helped me manage my anxiety. I'm not sure why you were on Effexor, whether it be for depression or something else. But if it helped the root issue, and you get another medication to better manage the anxiety when it's at its worst, I think it might be helpful. Also, since the sweating hasn't stopped since you've been off, Effexor usually leaves your body pretty fast, have you looked into other causes? I suggest seeing a dermatologist or even your primary doctor and they can give you a special deodorant specifically designed to stop excessive sweating. From personal experience, Adderall makes me VERY emotional. Unless you're being prescribed this I highly suggest you stop taking it, the drug is notorious for making pre-existing mental conditions even worse than they are, as well as inducing anxiety. So the addy definitely could be making your anxiety way worse. I hope you figure it out!! Best of luck to you
Avatar universal
just wanted to add that i dont know whats going to happen to me now that i am off the effexor xr, will i go back to the old horrible me who couldnt open up unless i had a drink in me....and i was never happy and afraid to do everything, im the opposite of that now but will it all come to an end?im hoping that my problem is with social anxiety and adderol will take care of everything else....am i living in a dream world?i look forward to your answers.....thanks
Are you being prescribed the Adderall? As far as I know the only benefits of long term use of this drug if for those with ADHD. With anyone else it's incredibly bad for you, especially for those with mental illness. The drug is known to exaggerate the mental illness symptoms and has been known to cause psychosis.
Avatar universal
sorry i keep forgetting to mention that i weaned myself off effexor xr in 2 wks, Drs instructions....i went from 225mg down to150 and then to 75 to zero....did i do it in too short of a time?
If the doctor instructed you to do so and you followed his instructions I'm sure you did it just fine! Everyone is different, and if this method worked for you, then  yay! :)
Avatar universal
I know it was a month ago so you have probably got over the worst (or back on). Can only speak from my wifes experiences but:

My wife came off it over the course of four - six weeks and that was from 75mg, moving to a half dose and then none. So yes two weeks sounds quick, although you did say it was doctors advice. I think gps, being generalists may not always be right but they are better than relying on internet advice (like mine) or your own decision when you are not at your best. One of the problem with depression is its effect on decision making.

From your posts it sounds like your having the terrible withdrawal symptoms. My wife got through them in a couple of weeks and I hope by now you feel a lot better.

For my wife, know she didn't turn straight back in to the severely depressed and ill person she was before taking it. However she was susceptible to the next trigger which set depression off again a year later, again treated with effexor.

So yes you may need to go back on it, although possibly on a lower does. But no, its not the start of the slippery slope to a life you can't cope with.

Sorry if I come off sounding less optomistic then I feel. I am a fan of it and the help it gave my wife, when needed is worth the withdrawal symptoms.
Avatar universal
I have been on Efffexor for 11 years and It has worked for me. However I have only just come to the realisation (and I think that many of us make this mistake) that I was in the mind frame that because the medication lessoned my depression, that this is how I needed to treat my depression for the rest of my life.  My doctor said to me that i may just need to be on medication for the remainder of my life, especiallty if the depression is "hereditory".  In reality, I now realise that I need to continue to re-train my mind so that it no longer continues the cycle of depression rather than relying on the medication.  I believe that I can do this and that the medication will eventually no longer be needed. I no longer believe that depression can be hereditary in the way that doctors tell us.  Rather I think that it is a learned set of behaviours that are passed down from our parents.  If our parents live their lives with depressed behaviours and mind patterns then of course this is what we are going to learn.
I say use Effexor if it works for you, but continue to work on re-training your mind so that it no longer creates and continues your depression. Everyone who reads this please read the books written by Eckhart Tolle.  They will change your life. When you think you are ready to come off the drugs accupuncture can help to ease the transition.
1388999 tn?1370046414
Hi do not give up ....I was on effexor for 10 yrs 300mg a day.From the 300 to the 75 was good but the last little bit was hell it felt like it was hanging on like grim death.
I have been off them for two months now and now in the process of trying other types of antidepressants but having too many side effects with them so on nothing at the moment.
Feel nauseous and ache all over most of the time but taking sleepers and an Endone at bedtime so at least getting about 5 hours sleep.
And now I have feelings again, dont know if that compensates though.

The Effexor treatment was triggered by tragedies in my life NOT heredity so now things have settled down cannot understand why I feel like this.

What I would like to know is does Effexor change my mind and body to rely on it is it that insidious ??????

Avatar universal
I suffer from panic/anxiety attacks. I was on Paxil in 2007 but became pregnant and then was switched to Effexor xr 75 mg. May 2011, I guess my body became tolerant of the drug and stopped working. My PCP increased my dose and still didnt work. He tappered me off of Effexor and started me on Zoloft. I am now taking Zoloft 100 mg for about 3 weeks already and am having panic/anxiety attacks through it. I do take a half of .25 xanax but its hard cause I get so tired at work plus I have a family to take care of. Will I ever get better??? This ***** , I wouldnt wish this upon anyone :(
1951506 tn?1324592161
1110049 tn?1409405744
Hi, Saw your question to chicagoopsy.  I have replied above.  As I often say, different anti depressants work differently on people.  For example Effexor is the best I have ever taken (see my comments above) whereas Prozac was poison to me.  I am on 150mgs of generic Effexor and I am really well.  No depression, panics or anxiety, and no side effects.  Don't know how you will respond, you can only try and see.

Take care, and let me know how you get on.
Avatar universal
Effexor is an insanely good antidepressant. Tried virtually all other SSRIs and nothing comes close to obliterating depression. There are times when depression may try and 'break through' under periods of severe stress, but you'll know to pull back and be kinds to yourself..the Effexor helps you stay realistic about your capabilities to deal with stress. This is one of the rarely talked about benefits. Taken with Pregabalin with general anxiety, I have the perfect treatment that has seen me become normal again for the first time in 40 years....my career is flying as a result!
Avatar universal
Does any one have success using generic venlafaxine or must we use the actuall effexor brand to find relief? I'm using generic right now, day 7, 75mg.
1110049 tn?1409405744
I was on Effexor 150mg, then put on the generic, it worked for a while, but depression broke through.  I asked to go back on  actual Effexor.

My doctor said there is no difference, but my body thought there was, and I insisted on going back on Effexor.  I am feeling really good again.

There is little difference in the price I have been told, so why put us on the generic?
Avatar universal
I can actually say effexor is a good way to ease the rough ride we all experience with this disease. I have depression and generalized anxiety disorder.  I was pretty much scared of everyday life. I was weirdly uncomfortable in my own skin...i over thought everything that it keep me from participating in my own life. I was tired of this ridiculous roller coaster ride, that only I was riding. I went to my doctors and was put on effexor, gradually worked up to 150mg a day. Once i reached 150mg i felt amazing, i could talk to anyone and not feel that overwhelming, powerful doubt of others judgments on me.  I felt like me again...i never even knew what GAD was until my doctor told me and it made since, i wasnt crazy..unfixable at all. Effexor worked for me..i recently went through a point where i abruptly stopped taking effexor, terrified that a pill was going to control me for the rest of my life. I went through the withdrawals, never felt so terrible in my life. I would find myself punching things then sitting down crying over it. I couldnt think straight and anxiety attacks felt common. I can go into a deep deep description iof how bad the withdrawals really are, but i wont. I went on  lexapro thinking i dont want withdrawals again like that but i couldn't go without anything. I was such a mess without something to help my GAD. Lexapro is not for me, makes me sad. I finally figured out why mess with something that is working for me...effexor is worth it even if the withdrawals are killer. I would much rather go through the withdrawals one day again...then to not live my life to its full potential,  i am 21 and have many yrs ahead that i want to see and experience and not live in my head scared of life and change. I have pondered every angle of this horrible disease, i have researched and just wanted the best for myself. Effexor has done wonders for me, its worth a try ...only when your ready for a good change.
Avatar universal
I so commend you for going back on a medication that works for you.  You can't go off of Effexor cold turkey.  It needs to be gone off of very very gradually.  I've gone off of it and so has a friend of mine without all the horror that has been described.  But I need an anti-depressant for life.

I was on Effexor, but on a low dose and was nearly suicidal due to my 24/7 migraine pain, my stroke pain, my fibromyalgia, my need for 12 hours of sleep every night, so I had little quality of life. I argued with my doctor that no drug could possibly help me with such a severe situational problem.  But when I increased it, about 5 weeks later, the severe depression was gone!!  And I still had close to the same terrible life.  Anti-depressants also help with physical pain as well.  So I'm a big fan of Effexor.  (My doctor also advised me to get therapy which was a big disaster.)

Another thing: Depression is now thought to be a whole body ailment.  It also causes a number of physical problems, such as early aging diseases such as osteoporosis, dementia, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.  This was reported in more detail in the Wall Street Journal, April 10, 2012.

So before anyone thinks that all medications are evil, think again if you do need them.  They can prevent a lot of other diseases.

BTW, I'm terrible at acronyms.  What does GAD stand for?  And thanks again for your very good, responsible posting.  What wisdom you have at a young age.
Avatar universal
I have been taking effexor for  two months for PTSD anxiety and depression. All from combat experience. It has worked great for me. 150mg every morning and I don't eat with it either. Doc said I don't have go. Within one week of taking this med I lost 5lbs just from my body not stressing so much. It was hard for me to see if it was working because I was on Zoloft for a year and it wore off fast even with increased perc. Just give it a chance. If it works great. But then again I am on many other meds mixed with it. Mainly for pain but I take minipress for sleep and atarax for panic attacks. Kinda hard seeing people die every day in your mind when you are back in the state side and safe with a 9mm by your side :)
Avatar universal
I'm so glad I found this thread. I've read each of the entries with great interest because, I too, have just been prescribed Effexor. I seem to have always suffered from some degree of depression, but always had something situational to attribute it to. I've tried Prozac, Paxil, and Wellbutrin, but never stuck with any of them longer than a year or so. They never helped me the way I had hoped, so I eventually gave them up. I have a good life, after all, and am married to a wonderful man. What do I have to be depressed about...right? Well, the truth is, I AM depressed even though I have become very good at reasoning it away. At a doctor's visit yesterday (for an unrelated problem), I just burst into tears. Just couldn't hold it in. The appointment took a sharp left turn and I left with an Rx for this new hope in the form of Effexor. Thanks to all who have shared your personal stories. I hope this medication works for me. As I told my doctor... I just want to feel as good as I pretend I feel. Crossing fingers.
8706196 tn?1399424929
yes i would say it has helped me very much im able to hold a conversation now and not cry or have rages all day it keeps me calm till abt 7 in the evening then i begin to get moody but its bed time by then i do recommend this to anyone with depression problems plz ask your r abt EFFEXOR XR its great Teresa Joyner
Avatar universal
Besides my comment above extolling the virtues of Effexor, now I take the upgraded Effexor, called Pristiq, because it brought my sex drive back.  Of course it's not available in generic.  But for those of you that sex matters to, keep that in mind.
Avatar universal
I was taking this drug for about two years my pcp said I had to be on Effexor or Prozac or one of their buddies or I would not be able to be able to get my meds for anxiety like lorazepam ? I never really felt depressed but do suffer from anxiety. I have been off all the Prozac and Effexor style drugs and feel alive again. And treat my anxiety with buspar and have never felt better.
Avatar universal
I have to say that Effexor has been a huge life changer for me and I have only been on it for a short period of time. Back in December I was put on my first med, which was Cipralex. I had such a bad reaction to that – it made me suicidal, kept me up more at night (when I was already only sleeping 2-3 hours for two months) and made me incredibly agitated/irritated within a very short period of time so I was taken off of it. I was put on Seroquel/Quetiapine which has helped stabilize my mood and other issues with a benefit of helping me sleep at night (still on it – now on 200mg), but it was not doing anything for my low mood so my psychiatrist decided to try Zoloft which did the exact same thing as Cipralex – and even at such a low dose of 45 mg worked against the sedating effect of Seroquel. Now that I have started Effexor I can actually say that I feel happy and has made me much more productive. It may not be for other people but it is honestly so amazing for me. I have had no side effects at all and it has actually stabilized my hunger (which increased when I started Seroquel). I also have to say that if there are no changes or your anxiety/suicidal ideation that you should really talk to your doctor about going to a different med and if he/she is telling you to wait it out that you need to get a second opinion – my gp (who originally put me on Seroquel) told me that I wasn’t on it long enough to see the good effects – but after my experience going on this drug I completely don’t agree.
Avatar universal
I am on slow release venlafaxine. Started on it about four years ago.
Previous to this, in my teens, I was on Prozac for a chemical imbalance.
Had an eight year gap, without any meds. career was good. Family life was good.

then my world caved in; broken marriage, estranged sons, diagnosed with m.e. Cfs, second relationship fell apart. Dose went up.
My Partner was then killed and my life since has been bleak.
My kids that live with me keep me alive, they are my life.
Dose is upto 375mg now, I feel I have been kidding myself and all around me that I manage ok. I find it difficult to just be myself, like I have to seem ok to to other people. On the inside I feel: useless, I get up to sit down, to rest,  I have no energy, my mobility is rubbish, I've put on so much weight my clothes don't fit, my memory and concentration is utter pants. I can't look after myself let alone my home and children. I have Carers to run my home and look after myself and the children. It feels that I'm no use. I keep thinking of myself old and alone. I am not good with crowds. I am a hermit, only going out for appointments. I love my kids dearly but I feel useless. I can't play tractors on the floor or run around playing ball. My world is like sleep and awake, nothing in between. I am in massive debt of over 30k I will never clear in my lifetime that my ex husband left me with. I don't have a life. I am so fearful I will be alone forever, I am fearful of going outside. I want to meet people, but I don't like being in that sort of situation. I feel I can't trust people. I feel paranoid that people talk about me. I feel safe inside my home. But I am so lonely and afraid .... My mum is very poorly now. It's just one thing after another. I need a bit of life in my life. I hurt and ache constantly, with variable severe pain. I'm tired in day but can't always nod off on night. I have a multitude of symptoms I have suffered from since having m.e. I know that's that for me, so I try and interact with my kids, but they know mum is disabled and struggles everyday. Everyday brings difficult challenges for me. but my children keep me alive. I have a support worker etc, but she is not a friend, it's her job. I'm lost
Avatar universal
It sounds like you could really use some therapy to cope with your feelings.  Also you may need to be on a different anti-depressant.  Hope you feel better.
Avatar universal
I've been on Effexor now for six months after going to detox and rehab for a 13 year benzo withdrawal (Ativan)  I have seen some improvements but the last month my severe anxiety and depression came back.  My doctor upped my Effexor yesterday to150 and the anxiety and depression are soooooo bad today.  How long until you saw a great improvement?  I am in therapy and will continue.  The pharmacist told me today an increase in anxiety and depression could last up to 2 weeks.  I would appreciate any feedback
Thank you so much!!
Avatar universal
Usual dose for Seroquel is 300mg once at bedtime. It will knock you out so don't take it in the morning. A very usual combination with Seroquel is Lamictal. I take 200mg once in the morning.

After still spending too mush time being depressed, I began a drug in combination with these two called Emsam. I was stuck in depression for years and within days I was feeling energetic and hopeful again. Changed my life.

Last, if you are seeing an MD for mental health issues, stop and find a well recommended Psychiatrist who can give you an accurate diagnosis. I am my own advocate for my health and after years of researching my condition, my doctor started asking me for my advice and treatments I was receiving. Biggest problem I see is a mental health issue being tackled buy an unknowledgeable MD.

Avatar universal
Also, adding a small dose of Klonopine to help with your anxiety would probably do wonders for you.

See a Psych, not a therapist or MD!
7833523 tn?1394588545
Effexor works by affecting the brain's neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine and helps to overcome sleep problems and  suicidal thoughts.
Avatar universal
Effexor isawesome!  I was put on it when it was new!  I was on it for about 20 + years.     I have had 2 children on it .   Both kids are in the gifted program at school and are well liked!    I would never have had them if not for Effexor.  My panic was soooooo bad!    I am54 now and have been able to get off of it too!   Prozac and Wellbrutin are what I take now!   Bur Effexor was great for those bad years!    Write to me if you have any questions!   Give it time to work.     Ok?   Xox.  Best wishes!    Laura
I am happy for u and glad to hear that . I am on effexor 225 mg for a month now . Yesterday my doctor upped my dose to 300 mg cz of no to minimal improvement  after a month I am also taking seroxat and dogmatil. Do u think the upping my effexor dose my help and kick in ? I am really sick of anxiety and depression . I also have obsessive thoughts . All aspects of my life are affected badly and I feel that it is hard to live this way.  Can u plz help me . Thanks a lot I really appreciate it .
Avatar universal
Hello Folks. I enjoyed reading your experiences of Effexor. Here are mine.

I started taking it for anxiety more than anything.

At 75mg it worked for a while. Well worked means that I felt more relaxed, or sedated. After about a month my anxiety returned. I then increased the dose to 150mg (all this under doctors orders). Again, it worked in about 2 days! Then after another month the anxiety came back. Yes, 225 mg. The same again. Now my doctor will say 300mg but I know what the cycle is now. Recently depression has also kicked in on top of this. I am not sure what to do. It seems that doctors really do not understand my symptoms. So much so that I am beginning to try to diagnose myself.

Yes, it can make me more relaxed. Well, to a point where I cannot function. That is no good as I want a decent quality of life. All I am right now is a vegetable.

I feel I suffer from Behavioural Personality Disorder. This cannot be diagnosed. I just wonder if somebody can tell me how to overcome this disorder. Is Effexor the correct treatment? I am not sure. It calms me for a time but the anxiety always come back after weeks. It is still destroying my life.

I live in the UK. Doctors over here do not seem to take these problems seriously. I have even been accused of being a fraud by a psychologist. How do you think that felt?

I would be interested in your comments as my problems are destroying my life. Already lost my wife and kids. My girlfriend tried to help at first. Now she is doubting me.

Avatar universal
Please be careful with Effexor. It gave me a false positive of hypothyroidism in my blood tests after a year on it due to the excessive sweating I had every night. It messed up my thyroid hormones badly - just be careful. I'm not saying this will happen to everyone but just get this checked via blood tests if you suffer this side effect. It almost got my doc to put me on levothyroxine for life until I experimented and decided to taper off the drug (was hard and took a while) but tests were finally back to normal after it was out my system and I no longer sweat. How crazy is that! Be wary that's all I'm saying. Plus it depletes you of your nutrients in the body due to this side effect. Do blood tests of thyroid levels and keep an eye
Avatar universal
Is Effexor a good AD?
Avatar universal
Effexor has saved my life.  At one point when I had taken it for a long time, I became severely depressed.  I told the doctor that it was situational and that no drug could help me.  I was so so surprised when a month later after increasing the dose, I was back to normal.  My mother and a several friends have also had positive experiences with it.  I withdrew from Effexor very gradually for months with no problem.  Then I became severely depressed.  I need to be on this medication for my life.  And I went on Pristiq, an upgraded version of Effexor which does not affect the sex drive. Hope that you will not be mislead by people who have had trouble getting off of it.  In every case, I have noted that they went off of it very fast.
Avatar universal
What dose did you switch to? 10 years ago I had a very severe depression, and nothing worked, until I was put on Effexor and it literally saved my life. I felt like my old self again in just one week! i eventually went off of it years later and was taking well butrin and doing fine. well 2 months ago, a new even worse depression set in. My doctor immediately added Effexor since it had worked so well for me before. I am on 150 mg and it has not helped AT ALL. He has suggested upping it to 225 and then 300. Does changing the dosage make that big of a difference? i'm wondering if i should try upping the dose or just switch to a new AD in the hopes that it will work better?
Avatar universal
I was on Effexor XR for 2 years for GAD. I started at 37.5 and went to 75 after a month. Before 3 months I was able to stop all bentos. At the end of 2 years, I went back to 37.5 for 3 weeks, then 37.5 every other day for 2 weeks. I had np problems whatsoever coming off. I hope this lends encouragement to those who worry about withdrawal.

Avatar universal
Well, the truth is and I can say this with certainty that effexor xr and the others of the same family like prestiqe, cymbalta, are very different than your experience with lexapro, prozac, zoloft etc.. and that effexor is a drug that is intense and will help most people get thru their personal battles but coming from someone who has been diagnosed with major and severe depression and anxiety disorders it did its job.  I know that there is no magic pill that will make life and our head feel like we are "normal" or even just always happy.  I have tried every short cut in the book of "how to self medicate" i don't know if there is a book but maybe i should write one..lol.
but back to effexor xr or its sister drug prestiq the part that people say is a nightmare is when or if you decide to stop taking it or even miss a dose.  I have first hand knowledge of the entire journey from lexapro->cymbals-> effexor -> prestiq and then totally not take anything but xanax for my anxiety.  if  anyone wants any specifics on what to expect please lml, i am happy to help.  After 20 yrs of different meds to hel[p me cope and live without those dark and hopless thoughts of despair i am now facing other crisis's that by all means would warrant heavy meds but for the first time in 20 yrs i am able to feel again, able to cry again and able to access all the highs and lows that the pills masked.  I am happier without the meds, i believe its because certain things in life that happen and are so dramatic and life changing must be dealt with rather than ignored with the help of these antipsychotic and psychotropic meds.
Avatar universal
Yes!  It literally has saved me.
Avatar universal
Yes and no as to does it work.  One, don't miss a dose.  It's 1/2 life is short, you'll feel the depression creeping back within 2 days and then it's like day one again.  I don't mean you start all over again waiting about 2-4 weeks for it to have some effect, but in cases such as mine, I'll be balled up in that fetal position as close to being back in the womb as I can get. It's one of the best, but it doesn't waste any time leaving your system.  I'm on it with bupoprion, or Welbutrin by it's brand name.  Been on it with many other anti's, I'm not advised nor would I ask to be taken off it. World wide it shares an excellent efficiency opinion.  BTW, I'm bipolar.  I take only Lamictal as a mood stabilizer. Xanax for anxiety.  I won't get into the HIV or chronic pain meds.  I'm surprised I haven't run out of space yet.
Avatar universal
I actually have had a great deal of success on effexor. 75 MG a day keeps my depression at bay.
Avatar universal
When I took effexor, i felt the effects within a few days. I was a new person. My anxiety was gone and i felt motivated and my hopelessness was gone. But I had to keep upping the dose month after month. J started getting very harsh headaches, bad constipation and very uncomfortable tingling in my palms. Getting off it was like withdrawing from opiates.
Avatar universal
When asking for advice about a certain anti-depressant you have to remember that everyones reactions will be different. I've been on medications that have ****** my world up, but have saved others, so it's all a very personal experience. When reading other experiences definitely listen, but take everything with a grain of salt, because your body might react completely different! That being said, my experience with Effexor XR has been wonderful. I had been put on what felt like every medication known to man and everything created horrific side effects and left me spiraling deeper into isolation. FINALLY, I was put onto Effexor XR. I started out at 37.5 mg and in the beginning I did suffer from severe headaches and irritability (I was also 15 at the time so I might have just been an ******* teenager by nature, not irritable from the medication hahahha. My poor mom). The headaches passed after about two to three weeks if my memory serves me well, and I ended up being slowly upped to 15omg a day. After taking this dose for about two weeks I noticed it was way too high because I was a ZOMBIE. I lacked any interest, was completely numb, ignored all of my schoolwork, and ended up feeling as if I was floating through life. So keep in mind when you're changing your dose, the medication may not be the issue, the dose just may be too high! When I went back down to 75mg I eventually "thawed" out and felt like an actual person again (that was cool). Fast forward 5 years later, I'm still on 75mg, and I could't be more grateful for this medication. I'm not going to lie and claim I'm happy or cheerful all the time, because let's face it, that's an unrealistic goal. BUT, I can get out of bed every morning, and I don't immediately dread the day. The medication didn't necessarily eradicate all sadness out of my life, but it wiped away the hues of gray that encompassed my life, allowing me to see colors once again. And let me tell you, I love the color yellow! I Know this was a super lengthy response to such a simple question but trying new medication is TERRIFYING, especially when you have go into it thinking it wreaks havoc on all. So, remember everyone is different, and everyone responds differently to medications. Don't let a couple of individuals with bad experiences steer you away from trying the drug, because it may work! Just research the side effects so you know what's normal and what isn't, and stay in contact with your psychiatrist for the first couple weeks so they can let you know if what you are experiencing is normal or they suggest you switch (drugs are so WEIRD).  And don't expect this to work right away or even suddenly! It's definitely a gradual experience, and I hope by the end you start to lose the grey and see the yellow! ALSO, if this medication doesn't end up working for you, if any of your family members, especially your mom or dad or siblings, have tried anything that work for them, I would try that next. Normally what works for a closely related relative is more likely to work for you to! It at least gives you somewhere to start rather than it being a random guessing game. I hope this helped even a little bit! I'm rooting for you!!!
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