Depression Community
10.5k Members
Avatar universal

Effexor xr

Three years ago I was proclaiming how wonderful effexor is--now I realize this medication did help my depression but oh what a price I have paid! My depression began to ease in 3 days!  I also developed a craving for chocolate (I have always hated chocolate-it give me a headache and made me nauseated).  I began eating sweets (something I NEVER ate) like a crazed person.  I couldn't stop. After 30 days on 75 mg. I began to get depressed again so I started on 150 mg.  Looking back, this is when all my problems began. Here's a list of what has happen to me over the last 3 years.  These things built up slowly so I did not realize it was the effexor for a long time.  Extreme hostility-everyone and every thing that doesn't go my way sets me off, (I have never ever been this kind of person); gained 60 lbs. (of course you do when you're eating chocolate and sweets all day and night); sleeping 12 hours a day; exhaustion so extreme it was hard to get through the work day.  I couldn't even clean the house in one day because I had no stamina.  Sometimes just washing one load of clothes exhausted me for the day. (I blamed that on getting older and the weight gain);  Having to urinate often--this built up to every hour and 15 minutes , 24 hours a day--of course I got NO sleep!  (Blamed this on old age, also-even saw the doctor about this!)  My feet and especially ankles have swollen to twice their normal size (the MD and I blamed it on my weight gain and working on a concrete floor.)  Severe tooth and ear pain on one side of my head.  Constantly treated for sinus infections and going to the dentist (he never could find anything wrong).  Felt like I couldn't breathe.  Only good thing about this is that it scared me enough to quit smoking after 40 years!  (Yes it was very had to quit but fear is a powerful motivator.)  Anyone who hasn't gone through this can't begin to understand what it's like.  Now for the quiting effexor part!  I saw 2 different MD's and had to tell them how I wanted to taper off.  One refused to do it my way because I obtained my info. from the internet.  The other put me on 75 mg tablets twice a day.  It has taken 2 months of pure hell to get completely off the effexor.  I haven't had any effexor in 3 weeks. I still am having some problems with needing lots of sleep (l0 hours and a nap if I'm not working). The exhaustion is come and go--mostly go!  Ear and tooth pain is still here.)off and on)   I'm still short tempered with people.  I think these things are due to withdrawl.  YES I KNOW THIS DRUG IS ADDITIVE NOT HABIT FORMING. I don't think most doctors have any idea how difficult it is to get off this drug.
The MD cut my dose in half at first and my symptoms were exactly the same as nicotine withdrawl.  Does this medicine help anyone?  I know 2 others who are on the same dose as me and have had the same symptoms.  My depression has NOT reoccured.
6 Responses
Avatar universal
Forgot to add this to my previous comment.  My behavior at work has been less than stellar.  I have been called to the manager office and told to quit complaining about everythng and everyone.  This is a first for me in my 45 years of employment  I blame if all on effexor.  I can't seem to calm down and keep my mouth shut--I HAVE NEVER NEVER BEEN LIKE THIS!
Avatar universal
hang in there. the withdrawal will go away. i hate this drug too. i was on it for 5 years and had many side effects that i thought were caused by something else.and getting off it was just terrible. take care. remar
309783 tn?1271961829
In contrast to your experiences, Venlafaxine helped me through a very difficult period of my life with virtually no side effects (just a little bit of constipation).
I reduced from 150mg per day to 75mg per day with no side effects.
When I reduced from 75mg to 37.5mg I was sick once.
619580 tn?1221688870
effexor helps me it has made my anxiety go way down i have depression but not severe but my anxity is ba i think its great .dont prevent all  attacks but most and it helps alot
Avatar universal
I have been on effexor  for about 12 months for Anxiety. The celexa was no longer working for me. My MD advised me to see a physciatrist. I did and he put me on fthe effexor. I went from 75 mg to 300 mg. Thought I would fell great but didn't. He eventually but me on lamactal, that made me worse after on it for 3 months, Noticed  I had brain fog more than i had ever had. Was loosing the ability to spell and write. I was an excellent speller, I had won a few  spelling bees in elementary school 100 years ago. but my spelling was still pretty good. Now I have to back space alot and bring up the dictionary on my pc. Anyway bottom line. I decided to tell my Doc that i wanted off the medicences. I had written a list of pros and cons and believe me there were no pros on the list. He was perterve that i wanted to come of the medications. But I felt it was my body, and my mind was telling me  No more, something wasn't wright about this medicine, They were not working for me. I was still  Getting anxiety. along with alot agression. Anger at  anything or anyone.  ( no bueno).
The  Doctor try weaning me of from 300 to 175mg for 0ne month. Felt sick all the time with nausea, dizzness and headache with this swooching sound in my head. It would come and go. Off the lamactol, spelling improving so was the brain fog. I was getting so sick from the effexor that I decided to decrease it myself, I wanted off this medication soon.  I reduced it to 75mg for 3 weeks. I was getting so sick. My family was so worried about me. I was so upset at the doctor for not telling me about the side affects, I had decided never to go back to him again. That's when I went off  it completely. It was at the point of no return, I educated myself about the withdrawls and how bad they might get. They were RIGHT. My family called the ambulance because i was so sick, I was vomitting and could not keep my balance from the dizziness. I couldn't even fight back. Really I thought  i was going to die. The ER doctor did ct, blood work xrays to make sure nothing was being missed .Everything was negative. The MD hydrated me gave me nausea medication and gave me a dosage of valium. i refused the rx for it . I didn't want another problem. The doctor  told me I would have to deal with the sypmtoms or go back on the effexor. I said NO WAY never again. I went home feeling better but the syptoms got worst again, the very next day. Well I've learned to live on nausea medication or on dramamine for a while. I kept myself hydrated and slept alot. It's now 19 days since coming off effexor. Felling much better. I could function now and do my daily chores. I am still relapsing. Sometimes really bad, but it doesn't last as long. Thanks for dramamine , It helps me get throught it, the nausea , vomitting, severe headaches brain swooches, dizzness, the lightheadeness, the unsteady gate. I almost feel like i am drunk all the time, not because of the dramamine, but because of  still withdrawing from the effexor. Let alone the exhausting feeling I experience, my legs and whole body just want to buckle from under me. But for the most part Iam feeling better. No thanks to the effexor. I am dealing with my anxiety, staying busy and listening to the inspirational books like the Secret. Taking it one day at a time.
Avatar universal
I am back to my deep cleaning . Clean , clean clean..that's all i do . I've found a hundred projects,but that's okay, that's my old me coming back. I liked the old me, It's the anxiety that I didn't like or the the sharpness with my mouth. I just have to work harder to control it. My sex life is alot better, I felt completely dead before. Just went through the motions. I can't believe I have but myself through all of this to help my anxiety. I probably could have found other ways to help myself.. I don't know If I will ever fell 100 percent. This medicine  has definetly done some damage to my brain. I fell .it. Well cant't dwell on it. Just gotta move on make things well again.
Have an Answer?
Top Mood Disorders Answerers
Avatar universal
Arlington, VA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
15 signs that it’s more than just the blues
Discover the common symptoms of and treatment options for depression.
We've got five strategies to foster happiness in your everyday life.
Don’t let the winter chill send your smile into deep hibernation. Try these 10 mood-boosting tips to get your happy back
Smoking substitute may not provide such a healthy swap, after all.
How to lower your heart attack risk.