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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
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 :)
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