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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
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.
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