Effexor

Post a comment












Effexor is a dual purpose antidepressant released by Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories and approved by the FDA in October 1997. Effexor boosts serotonin levels in the synapse in similar fashion to other SSRI's. The main difference between Effexot and the SSRI drug class is that Effexor also has the ability to boost norepinephedrine levels similar to tricyclides. Official Effexor Website
If you or someone you know has had a problem with Effexor feel free to call the advertising section of FDA at (301) 827-2828. Also fill out the Medwatch form and also call FDA at 1-800-FDA 1088 press 0 or call (301) 443-1240.
Effexor Feedback and Side Effects

I took Effexor for a short period of time about 2 years ago. I was having problems with panic attacks and depression.
Within a very short period of time, I had quite severe problems.
I felt like I was in a vacuum - very detached. It was as though I wasn't really there. It was a very strange feeling, however, it became much worse and I became very paranoid on it as well. I ended up visiting the emergency department of my local hospital and they told me that I was having a very unusual reaction to this drug. I have been off it ever since.

Posted by: Ciante at January 12, 2004 5:04 PM

I just came off Effexor after being on it more than a year. It did provide some relief every time the dosage was bumped up, but then I would back slide after a short period of time. I was on 300 mg when I started to come off of it and change meds.

One side effect I had throughout the time I was on it was a perpetual mild feeling of nausea (mild enough that I did not equate it to the med). However, not taking a dose regularly or with enough food would often lead to intense vomiting for days at a time. I thought it was a nasty flu bug that kept coming back. Over the course of the last year, I missed about a dozen days of work because of it. I thought it highly unusual that no one else in our household would get this flu but me, and my regular Dr was about to start a battery of tests to determine if it was gall bladder or something else.

But when I started tapering off the Effexor, it became obvious that it was a side effect of the med, and a withdrawl symptom I'd have to weather.

I share this because it was an atypical reaction that caused me a lot of grief, and stumped even my Psychiatrist. Dealing with something as intense as that was, while struggling with depression (particularly when they seemed so unrelated) was tough. Hope it helps!

Posted by: Sudie at January 19, 2004 5:31 AM

I stopped Effexor because of uncontrollable weight gain - 20 pounds in 6 months. Doctor said Zoloft would not cause weight gain. What has been your feedback?

Posted by: bm at February 2, 2004 6:31 PM

the dr put me on effexor i stayed sick could not eat so not he put me on lexapro i have not takin it yet because of all the side aff i was thinkin about paxil what do you think about paxil?

Posted by: Debbi at February 3, 2004 4:41 PM

I GOT FAT! AFTER USING EFFEXOR FOR A FEW MONTHS, MY MOOD WAS GREAT, BUT AFTER A YEAR I HAD BALLOONED UP TO 175LBS. AND THIS IS ON A 5'4" FRAME. SURE, I WASN'T DEPRESSED DURING MY THERAPY AND DOSAGES, BUT WHEN I GOT ON THE SCALE, I KNEW THAT THE DRUG HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH IT. NOW I'M JUST TAKING VITAMINS EVERYDAY, SURE I GET SAD, MAD, AND ANGRY SOMETIMES, BUT SHOULDN'T I? I'M ONLY HUMAN. BEWARE OF WEIGHT GAIN ON ANY DRUG FOR DEPRESSION OR OTHERWISE.

Posted by: tina at March 7, 2004 2:22 PM

See my story and my opinions on Effexor at http://nicanfhilidh.typepad.com/afa/2004/03/effexor_and_wit.html

Posted by: Ann at March 30, 2004 9:12 PM

I have been on Effexor for a year and a half. What a life saver!!!
I have had some side affects like mild constipation and a little weight gain, that I can't afford..lol, but all in all...I'm way better off. I can get a headache if I miss a couple of doses. I have to take it in the evening since it makes me sleepy sometimes. Depends more on my time of the month though.
My mood swings were out of this world. I was irrational crying all the time or mad at the world. Other stuff was going on also to make it worse, but Effexor has helped me maintain a positive mental balance.

Posted by: Elly at April 30, 2004 8:41 PM

I have been on Effexor for about 6 years now. It has been just fine for me. The only side effect I had was headaches. Now I am on Effexor and Wellbuturin. It is so much better.

Posted by: Rebecca Daigle at May 1, 2004 4:38 AM

I was on effexor for over 5 yrs. I thought it was helping me cope w/my depression. However, a routine blood test revealed very serious live damage. My shrink refused at first to take me off the effexor but finally slowly changed me to celexa.My bloodwork improved until recently. Now it's bad again re my liver. I'm going to have to have liver biopsy. My GP said that it is not cancer or else the results would continue to get worse.
Has anybody else suffered liver damage because if effexor? It did state in CPS book that in rare cases, liver damage can occur.

Posted by: Pat at May 1, 2004 4:58 AM

I find it interesting that so many other people have experienced weight gain as a side effect, when Effexor is said not to cause it. I wouldn't trade the stability the med has brought to my life for the pounds I've gained, but I find it a little distressing that, even with eating more healthy and trying to exercise, I've been gaining, still. On a side note, I rather wish docs and the warning labels would be a little more strident about the rather drastic withdrawal symptoms one can experience if they inadvertantly miss a dose.

Posted by: Fennel at May 11, 2004 8:50 AM

I have been taken Effexor for about 2 1/2 years. I did gain a little when I started the medication but I just had to work out a little more. I am glad that my doctor gave me Effexor. I am alot more happier and even though sometimes I still have "MY DAYS" I know I am a better person when I take Effexor. My only issue (As with any other antidepress. medicine) when I miss 2 days I don't feel like myself. I get dizzy, lightheaded, my bottom lip fills tingly, upset stomach, and my emotions are on a roller coster. I am screaming and crying one second and lovey dovey the next. All in all it helps the main problem of my depression.

Posted by: LindaLou at May 20, 2004 3:19 AM

I just started taking Effexor last week. I have been on Paxil for about 4 years and have gained 40 pounds!! That is depressing in itself. I'm really disappointed to read that Effexor causes weight gain as well. One reason my doctor switched me was because this was not suppose to cause weight gain. I noticed in the side effects it lists "anorexia". I was like "YES"!! (Just joking) But I could live without an appetite for a few months. This week I have been very, very tired just not feeling good. I'm very sensitive to a change in medication so I assume that is what it is from. I switched from Paxil to Paxl CR and experienced 3 days of depression.

There is something else in Effexor called norepinephedrine. What is that? I thought my doctor told me that Effexor would also give me energy is that what norepinephedrine is for? I can't find it on the internet.

I've had bad anxiety attacks, heart palpitations, or something to that effect going on a LOT in the last few days. I think that is better today. Is there no good news out there about the weight gain? Has anyone every changed medications and lost the weight?

[moderator response: some people gain weight from one and lose weight from another. it just depends. follow the link for more information about norepinephrine. It does talk associate heartbeat regulation with norepinephrine.]

Posted by: Anita at May 20, 2004 11:11 PM

Hi Randy:

I only got the headaches from Effexor for the first two weeks or so, then they went away. After that, I had no other problems with this drug. I have been on it for years now, and all seems well.

Thanks,
Bee

Posted by: Bee at June 15, 2004 6:40 AM

Effexor has been very effective for me. Its a very "up" anti-depressent and increased my energy level a great deal. It works best for me in conjunction with mirtazapine (California Rocket Fuel). See my comments on my own blog at http://ridland.ca

Posted by: Andrew Ridland at July 11, 2004 6:07 PM

I've been on Effexor (150 mg) since 1997, 7 years. I have had NO side effects, sexual or physical issues. The introduction of Effexor XR has cetainly helped the shorts metablism. My family and I thank Wyeth-Ayerst Labs.

Posted by: Larry at July 18, 2004 8:17 PM

I have been on Efexor for a little less than a year. I didn't really have any anti-depessive effect on me -But it caused me to gain a whole lot of weight (about 20 kg. in about 6 month). When I had to realize than thing only got worth for me, taking efexor, because I had to start worying about my overweight, I stopped. Doing that I had some days with some serious abstinenses. I felt like a drug-addic trying to quit -No that I had crawing for more medicine. But I was shaking like a leaf, couldn't concentrate an for a whole day I was so dizzy, that I couldn't leave my apartment, because I felt like I would fainth, if I walked more than a couplle of steps at a time. Also I cried, one day, for 5-6 hour without being able to stop. I have to say that I did'nt feel depessive at the time, and I did'nt even feel sad at all when i cried -I just could'nt help it.
The shaking - and feelling dizzy- symptoms only felt like it was physicaly...
Honestly, I most say; to me it felt like a big relieve quitting Efexor -also compared to my previous experiences with antidepressives (Cipramil, zoloft).

Posted by: anonymous at July 20, 2004 5:29 PM

I have NEVER been a depressed person.Something happened in my life almost 2 years ago that made me put my life on hold,and unfortunatly needed to go on to an anti-depressent.My doctor of 5 years suggested that I try Effexor,as she has had no complaints from any of her other patients.I was on the drug for just over 1 year.My max dose was 112mg a day.I found that when I was on the drug AND taking it properly(every 24 hours)I felt grrrreeeaaattt!! But...... once that 24th hour,25th hour,and so on came around I felt worse then when I wasn't on anything.Taking the dose of 75mg or higher,I HAD to take the pills with food or I would be vomiting for hours.I started whiening myself off of the drugs 2 months ago because my doctor told my not to quit cold turky.So like a good girl I went on 112mg a day for 2 weeks.Then I went on 75mg for 2 weeks.Then I went on 37.5mg for 2 weeks.I was finally on my last leg of the journey,37.5mg every other day for 2 weeks.I took my pill on the monday,not to have a pill untill wednesday.Well tuesday i felt like crap!!! I took my pill on wednesday,not to have one untill friday.Well I didnt make it that far.I stopped taking Effexor imediatly.There was NO WAY I was going to put that stuff inside my body again.For 9 days after I came off the drug, I could not think,I could not walk more than 10 steps without feeling like I was going to pass out.My mind felt like jello.I had uncontrolable crying fits,that would last for hours.Whats scary is that I have 2 very young children that I take care of every day,and my mind and body could not keep up with my life.There needs to be more warning to patients from medical companies,of side effects when trying to get off this drug.Yah... it's great when your on it!,but.... watch out when you try to get off of it.

Posted by: Rebecca Crandall at July 23, 2004 1:12 AM

IS THERE ANY WAY TO LOST THE WEIGHT GAINED FROM SSRIS? I'VE QUIT THE SSRIS AND THE WEIGHT GAIN IS SCARY...I HAVE TO LOSE THIS WEIGHT BECAUSE WEIGHT-GAIN-ASSOCIATED HEALTH PROBLEMS FAR OUTWEIGH BEING CRANKY!!!

Posted by: dana mitchelson at May 31, 2006 12:35 AM

Have been on effexor 6 years gained 25kg 60lbs.
I hate it, Going to change meds dr thinking lexapro. Any ideas?

Posted by: leeanne at June 9, 2006 6:40 AM

I had a horrible experience with Effexor and I wish to warn others. I developed high blood pressure and very severe migraine headaches that eventually lead to multiple trips to the ER. A neurologist put me on BP medication. The headaches were daily and non-stop. The only thing that kept me going was that I was a teacher and I couldn't miss work, but I could barely function due to the pain. I was eventually placed on oxygenby my family doctor to treat the migraines. I became very frustrated after months of feeling awful and I couldn't stand having to have the home oxygen therapy. I was a healthy person stuck inside an unhealthy body and I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired! I slowly took myself off the two medications and increased my Yoga and meditation practice. The headaches stopped when I stopped the medications and my blood presssure dropped back into the normal range!

Posted by: Patricia Steely at June 23, 2006 1:47 PM

i am 2 days effexor free and in a living hell

Posted by: tracy at July 4, 2006 10:02 PM

Effexor: I took effexor and after 2 years began to experience more anxiety after taking a dosage.

When I first began using effexor I was very happy with the result. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and it relieved my pain. But as time went on I realized I was more excitable and where I has always been frugal began spending money on clothing, etc. that I did not need. Plus, my pains began to recur.

It took a year to get off of Effexor and I still have a whirling sound in my head at times. It was an awful withdrawal process. (dizziness, ill feeling, nausea, unsteady gait).

During the withdrawal process, I became depressed, angry with people and withdrew. Before, I had been known as even tempered. I lost friends that I had had for years because of my erratic conversations.
I do not think a general practicing doctor should have been allowed to distribute this drug. It is definitely a drug that needs to be dispersed by a physician who understands the effects of cognitive altering medication.

Posted by: Norma at July 31, 2006 2:09 PM

i think it's really silly that people bitch so much about gaining weight on this drug or act happy when it talks about having anorexia as a side effect. i actually read one website where after listing anorexia as a side effect they had input "that's a problem for SOME people". i think that is pitiful. i have been on effexor for a little over a month, and i lost 15 pounds that i really did not need to lose. i literally could not eat, even if i wanted to, i was so sick to my stomach. i actually cherish the moments when i am hungry. no, anorexia is not a good thing for anyone, and if you got off of your ass and exercised and actually ate HEALTHY food you wouldn't have a problem with weight gain any time on any medicine, but that's just my opinion.

Posted by: ashlee at August 2, 2006 1:18 AM

I have been having headaches ever since getting off effexor 3 months ago. I did not take it very long (2 weeks) and got off because I couldn't stand the sweating. Also, my dreams were very vivid and scary. So, I got off right away and the doc told me not to worry about discontinuation syndrome because I was not on it long enough. Wrong!!! I had severe withdrawals and won't list them because we have heard them all. The thing that worries me is the one symptom of withdrawal that won't go away is the headaches. Anyone have any suggestions??? I have been on wellbutrin now for almost one month and it is working but not taking away the headaches.

Posted by: Yvette at August 3, 2006 2:14 PM

Thought I had ADD (inattentive) so dr took off effexor and went on adderol... i became hyper but lost 30 lbs in 2 months. Now, they think i did not have ADD... so took off.. gained back wt. Wt gain while on effexor for 6 years 100#. Not sure why? of course depression causes eating and eating is calming... so ?

for the headaches..maybe you should go back oneffexor in small doses and w/d.. i had no side effects coming down over one month from 225mg Did it from docs samples...

Posted by: john at August 6, 2006 4:31 AM

I've been having a lot of different kinds of pains in my both legs, seems like spasms and they get worse at night like the cramps you get when growing up, sometime pains in my knees front and back, sometimes my legs get so bad I cannot go up or down the stairs it hurts so much the upper part of legs. The pains are so bad I cannot do anything during the day stay off my legs, at night I cannot sleep it hurts so bad, can anyone help me, the doctore has done many ultra sounds, blood tests, xrays and so forth.

Posted by: monique beaupre at August 7, 2006 10:00 PM

Effexor XR is horrible. Even if it helps at first, the long term side effects are not worth it. I was on and off effexor XR for 5 years and then took it for two years straight. Those were the worst two years of my life. My boyfriend went through those two years with me. He tells me about things I don't even remember doing. I gained 57 pounds in two years. If I wasn't sleeping, I was laying in bed because of the constant flu-like symptoms. Right before I went off the effexor xr, I thought I was going to die. I have never felt so ill.

Side effects were:

headaches
muscle aches and weakness(still achy)
no coordination
ringing in ears(still have this)
irritability
paranoia
high cholesterol
racing heart
anxiety
hypoglycemia
problems driving
horrible hot flashes
excessive urination
severe depression


I have been off the effexor for over two years and it has not been easy. The withdrawals were horrible. I am just starting to feel like I can work again. Excercise, homeopathy, accupressure, vitamins, fish oil and eating whole foods has helped. It is nice to have normal emotions and not feel numb or depressed all the time. I have ups and downs, but that is a normal part of life. I would suggest trying prozac or wellbutrin,( I had the least side effects on these) if you really need something.

Posted by: at August 15, 2006 10:43 PM

I was directed to take Effexor by my doctor to combat diziness in which he thought was caused by anxiety. I was on Effexor for one year. During that year, I gained 25 pounds, I was depressed, starting drinking alcohol daily- sometimes purchasing 3 bottles during a weekend!
I wish I never began that medication as it had robbed me of a normal life activities- not to mention the 3 months extra I had to wait to gradually wean off the meds. PLEASE BE SELECTIVE AND EDUCATE YOURSELF IF YOUR DOCTOR DOES PRESCRIBE EFFEXOR- ESPECIALLY IF YOUR DEPRESSION IS NOT BIOLOGICAL ( BI-POLAR ). YOU CAN HEAL YOURSELF WITHOUT EFFEXOR. Regular exercise, B12 supplements and "talking" therapy is the answer.
But you won't hear that from many doctors.

Posted by: JENNIFER at August 25, 2006 4:42 PM

I just started taking effexor last night for horrible menopasaul symptoms. Only after one dose of 37.5 mg I feel like a new person. The hot flashes have stopped, the bloating, the fatigue. I don't really know what to expect in the next few weeks or months. I had some familiar side effects that most everyone seems to experience, however, I have not felt this good in over 2 yrs. The low dosage seems to be helping now...I don't know what the future holds for me on this drug, but right now I think I will continue to put up with the side effects just so that I don't have to have those awfull hot flashes

Posted by: at September 1, 2006 10:18 PM

Today is the first day that I'm finally experiencing the severe migraine coupled with intense need to vomit (nausea) that is apparently popular with the patients who have taken it. I've gotten off Effexor four days ago due to the lack of funds, and was holding off getting a new prescription (moving to a higher dose) until I get my university health plan. Now, I'm not so sure whether I should continue. Ever since I've stopped taking the medication, the headaches that I surely thought stopped have gone back with a vengeance. I feel like vomiting as well.

I have been going to a psychotherapist over a year now to talk and it has helped. However, the anxiety and paranoia and depression was still there. Thus, Effexor. I started taking the drug two weeks ago. LIke most of you folks, I felt great. Great in a different sense, though: I was detached from myself and felt like a totally different person. The first night I didn't sleep at all. The next day, I was ecstatic with a lot of energy to burn. My memory has dramatically improved, and I could talk properly as my mind was razor sharp. Fantastic! It was surreal, but fabulous. The night sweats, vivid dreams, the hot flashes I could stand. But now with the headaches and the nausea...I don't think so. what do you folks think?!? I need to be a better person before university starts, but how can I if the thing that is supposedly trying to make me feel better (and indeed, it did) is suddenly turning my life into a living nightmare. Do you think I should tell my therapist that I should quit next time I see him after taking the medication in such a short period of time?!? Are there any better alternatives?!? Help!!!

Posted by: John at September 6, 2006 5:23 PM

I HAVE EXPERIENCED SOME OF THE SAME BAD SIDE EFFECTS OF EFFEXOR. I WAS JUST TAKEN OFF IT BECAUSE OF THIS. THANK YOU ALL WHO HAVE TAKEN THE TIME TO WRITE IN. I NOW KNOW I WASN'T ALONE!

Posted by: Dixie at September 10, 2006 10:19 AM

I have been on antidepressants for 10 years,I tok then coz i had a work accident and hurt my back and neck the doc said this will help with the pain, well it did help at first,and it did this caz the doctor said it would but after 1year pain pain pain all over my body doc said you have fibro i will give you a bigger dose i took it well I was still in pain but i dident care, well after 5years i asked to go off the pills doc said half the dose so from 15omg i went to 75mg ok felt alittle sick but i still dident conect with the weight gain and pills.I went on diet after diet I put on 20 pounds

Posted by: maree at September 30, 2006 6:15 PM

I am now down to 37.5 and i feel like crap but no matter i will continue i will lose the weight cos the less i weight the less pain i will be on i will make me my hobbie, we can all do it if you think you can well you can,WE ALL NEED TO HELP OURSELVES AND NOT LEAN ON OTHERS.WE ARE TOLD WE ARE A FAT WORLD SO WE ARE PUT ON PILLS THAT MAKE US FATTER AND SO IT GOES

Posted by: maree at September 30, 2006 6:23 PM

I HAVE BEEN ON EFFEXOR FOR ABOUT 6 TO 7 MONTHS NOW. BEFORE THEN I WAS ON LEXAPRO AND ZOLOFT AND I HAVE EXPERIENCED ALL OF THE EFFECTS EVERYONE HAS COMIMING OFF OF SOME OF THESE ANTIDEPRESSENTS. I WAS WONDERING I ANY ONE OUT THERE HSA EXPERIENCED ALOT OF HOT FLASHES ALL DAY LONG WHERE YOU ARE JUST SO UNCONFORTABLE AND HOT YOU CAN HARDLY STAND IT. tHIS SEEMS TO BE THE ONLY SIDE-EEFECT I AM HAVING ON THIS MEDICATION BUT IT IS A SERIOUS ONE, I AM SO HOT ALL OF THE TIME I FEEL LIKE I AM BOILING IN MY OWN BODY. PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF THERE IS ANYONE OUT THERE FEELING THIS TOO.

Posted by: at October 18, 2006 2:19 AM

THER SHOULD BE A LAW AGAINST PUTTING THIS POISON INTO OUR BODIES AND ALLOWING DOCTORS TO PRESCRIBE SUCH THINGS. WE SHOULD BE INFORMED ABOUT THE SIDE EFFECTS AND WITHDRAWAL SYMTOMS WE WILL ENDURE FOR MONTHS, MAYBE EVEN YEARS TRYING TO COME OFF OF THIS MEDICATION. THIS MEDICINE IS AFFECTING THE FIRING IN YOUR BRAIN AND CHANNELING IF TO THINK AND ACT DIFFERENTLY. WHEN YOU TRY TO GET OFF OF IT YOU HAVE ELECTRIC SHOCKS IN THE BRAIN. THIS SHOULD TELL DOCTORS THAT SOMETHING ISN'T RIGHT WITH THIS. I DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU, BUT WHEN I WAS PUT ON THE MEDICATION I WAS NOT INFORMED OF ANY OF THIS DATA. BECAUSE IF THEY HAD SHARED THIS INFORMATION WITH ME I WOULD OPTED NOT TO TAKE PART IN THIS LIVING HELL.

KRISTY POSTED OCTOBER 18, 2006

Posted by: KRISTY at October 18, 2006 2:27 AM

I Just started this med two days ago for migraines and I am feeling pain everywhere, is it the med? I am also worried about gaining weight is this not a good med for me?

Posted by: LISA at December 14, 2006 7:36 AM

If I missed a dose, after 36 hours I would be violently ill, throwing up and in pain.
When I tapered off the drug, I had ventricular tachycardia. My heart rate was over 280 beats a minute. This was a life threatening medical emergency that required an implanted defibrillator device. I donít know if the v-tach was a coincidence or related to Effexor.

Posted by: Rod at December 14, 2006 3:54 PM

I started taking effexor almost a year ago. I was up to 225 mg and then taken down to 75 mg. I have gained 20 lbs which is depressing in itself so I decided to stop taking it on my own. So far the withdrawal symptoms seem to be dizziness.

Posted by: Rosemarie at December 26, 2006 7:27 AM

I started taking effexor almost a year ago. I was up to 225 mg and then taken down to 75 mg. I have gained 20 lbs which is depressing in itself so I decided to stop taking it on my own. So far the withdrawal symptoms seem to be dizziness.

Posted by: Rosemarie at December 26, 2006 7:56 AM

I've been on effexor for about 6 years on and off ( off only once).It's been the best thing for my depression. I've tried zoloft ,wellbutrin ,prozac,then finally back to effexor. NO problem with weight gain, but I am vigilant about exercise and diet. The worst side effect is mild headache sometimes, that's it. These drugs affect people quite differently. You have to find the one that works on your particular brain chemistry. THis can take a long time of trial and error. THe withdrawl is REALLY bad from effexor, no doubt, one has to do it in minute amounts. BUT, the freedom from depression is worth it for me. I hope to never go back to that state.

Posted by: Christine at January 17, 2007 2:27 PM

I stopped taking Effexor about 3 months ago. I quit because it gave me such bad pains in my legs at night that I had to take xanax to sleep. And my blood pressure was alarmingly high. I also gained weight, I have to admit that it's my fault though because I ate more and exercised less, so I can't really BLAME it on this drug. It did make me feel lazy though. I started taking myself off of it by cutting my dosage down to a pill every other day for two weeks, than every 3rd day for two weeks, and so on until I wasn't taking them anymore. I didn't experience any really bad side effects except that I felt very emotional and weepy for a while. I feel much better today, I have so much more energy, and I'm losing the weight. My blood pressure is normal now also. Try exercise, you won't believe how much better it will make you feel. If you don't exercise now, start out a little at a time, don't give up because you won't believe how wonderful you will feel after only a short period of time. Take vitamins, even a daily multi vitamin helps and taking a vitamin is just as easy as taking a effexor. And pray. It will bring you an inner peace and it's much cheaper than effexor. Good Luck.

Posted by: Sandy at January 24, 2008 9:46 AM

I have been on effexor since july 2007. previously i was on lexapro. i find it hard to get excited about anything really. my boyfriend (since before the effexor) ended our relationship a week ago because he said i have changed and since i started on effexor and that i seem numb. i'm contemplating coming off them but i'm worried.

Posted by: julie at March 22, 2008 7:46 PM

This drug destroyed my life.
To make a long story short:
After being 2 years on this drug I had to spend another 2 years tapering.
For 18 months I felt all the withdrawal symptoms that is already common knowledge. I almost killed myself because of suicidal ideation during the process of withdrawal.
It's now on the directions that suicidal ideation can occur because of reduction of the dose.
I finally ended the withdrawal.
I felt terrible, so terrible that I had to take this drug again.
Don't tell me that I've suffered from the disease that Effexor was prescribed.
I've never been depressed. I was given this drug to help withdrawing "clonazepam".
Didn't withdrew clonazepam and now I have to take two drugs.
And I suffer many side effects.
This drug should be out of the market.
Those who are responsible for this drug being on sell belong to jail.

Posted by: Joana Golding at May 14, 2008 3:30 PM

listen man effexor is horrible outerbody feelins, had aches,major cases of dry eyes,blurred vision,scary dreams, anxiety,Hostility,headaches,impotence to a certain degree,special senses, what made me stop takin it is when my brain signal pikd up a green vision thru da eyes i saw green it wus so scary like i wus lookin thru nite visionyes or sum shit and im 20 i am not takin dis shit no more if its for anxiety fuk is da side eefects anxiety or and why do dis weird shit happen to ya brain i been off it for like a good week and a half and still got da strong effects as if im stil on da shit DAM MAN FUK DRUGS! GOD IS DA KEY

Posted by: Franchise at October 20, 2008 1:56 AM

Swollen ankles caused by the sudden (cold turkey) withdrawal of effexor (150mg)are still a problem some 10 months later.
Iam 60 and have NEVER had swollen ankles in my life before I stopped taking effexor.
My ankles started to swell within 30 hours of taking the last pill and within three days were swollen to grapefruit size.
Ultra sould revealed that the swelling is a lipid (fat) substance!
What has happened in my body - to which organ - to cause this to happen? Is it a serious outcome (for the future)? Can it be reversed?What can I do to reduce the swelling?
Can anyone help?
Thanks and kind regards Diana

Posted by: zzdianas at November 14, 2008 3:37 PM

I have a very dry mouth all the time.I wonder how long are there side effects are going to last???

Posted by: Woody at November 19, 2008 3:39 AM

Was on Effexor for 3 1/2 yrs. Was prescribed it right after having my baby for aniexty. Never had been on anything Dr. made it sound wonderful and at 1st thought it was a god send. HOWEVER....... long story short, the side effects long term were not worth it. I stayed on the drug so long b/c i was scarred to come off it with side effects. Went to the ER 3 times my 1st yr taking it b/c unconcisely skipped a pill-thought i was dying due to the tremors, brain jolts, extreme hot and cold flashes and profuse sweating (all within 24 hrs of my missed pill-at the time did not know these effects were from the pill) After a 4 month hellish taper i am now 4 days completely off. Still have some side effects but are not as grussum as they could be.
Due to the drug, I had to take 3hr naps everyday. It made me so sleepy, even taking it at night. W/o a nap, I would not be able to function literally and would wind up going to bed at 6pm and sleeping all the way through until work the next day. I have gained 50pds despite strenously working out daily for the past yr and 1/2 as well as monitoring my diet. Can't lose more than 5 pds and this is with burning between 700 and 1000 calories 6x's a wk and eating 800 calories worth of food daily. I beleive i will start losing though soon. And in a wk or two, when i start getting better from the withdrawls will begin to work out again-so somethings gotta give.
MY BEST ADVISE: to you nubies on the pill
-please try to stick with the lowest dose possible for the duration of your treatment. This will help you when you eventually taper off the drug. The withdrawl is not as severe!!!
-You will find that many Dr's will disreguard your experiences and side effects on this drug. When you do taper, reguardless of how awsome your Dr. is or not, make sure the doses are spaced out and not sudden drops.
What assisted me the most (thanks to others and their experiences) was as follows...... (was at 150mg per day)
-With 30 day supply of 150mg, started to alternate to 75mg every other day. So 150mg one day, 75mg the other. After about 2 wks of this began to alternate to 75mg for 2days, 150mg on the third. By the 4th wk, was completely tapered to 75mg.
-Gave 75mg 2 wks total, then did the same tapering with 75mg and 37.5.
-Now my Dr. wanted me to take the 37.5 and just stop, however with my experience with the withdrawls, I decided once completely on the 37.5, after two wks to adjust, i began to skip every other day. Towards my last wk, I actually began to skip two days and just wound up stopping. Please don't get me wrong, I am having side effects as i post this, however I know they could be more severe!!! Each day has been suprisingly a little better and I think in about or less then two wks the effects may completely subside.

*If anyone has experience with losing the Effexor weight gain please comment. I need the boost of confidence- dreading going back to the gym with no results :(

Posted by: Kels at December 30, 2008 11:38 AM

i want to read about sever side effects

Posted by: mike m at January 3, 2009 3:28 PM

I have been on effexor for abot 2yrs now I have no primary care dr and no more refills on it and i am totaly out and i feel like aI am being zapped every time i turn my head how long dose that last and will at johns wart help that. Someone please help me

Posted by: Audra at February 15, 2009 2:11 PM

Pat,

I read your posting about Effexor and liver damage. I was surfing the net to find out causes for yellowing skin on my eyelids. I have been on Effexor for 2 1/2 years and though I have not had any side effects from it (that I was aware of), I am now wondering if this condition is related. This symptom can be as a result of liver dysfunction. The yellowing skin thing showed up around the same time as I started on Effexor. Maybe its time to get some tests done.

Posted by: Nadine at April 13, 2009 8:32 PM

Oh boy...Effexor XR did help me over the few years i've been taking it. But whenever i missed a dose, i knew it! Nausea and a weird ringing sensation in my head, dizziness, etc. I have gained too much weight and I have lost interest in sex, so my doctor switched me to Wellbutrin.
She said it was not necessary to "wean" me off, that the Wellbutrin could just take Effexor's place. I am pretty sure she was wrong. I've been sick the past 3 days. I am also certain this would be worse if my dose was higher like some of the other posters here. Luckily, i only was taking 75mg once daily. good luck to all!

Posted by: Catherine at June 18, 2009 10:47 AM

I was prescribed Effexor XR, 75 mg. once a day for hot flashes by my gynecologist. That was about 8 months ago. The increased INTENSITY of the hot flashes became unbearable.Stepping outside to get the mail or opening the oven door when cooking, would set one off, as well as activity such as vacuuming the rug. The sweating would start and last for about 15 min. Dripping from my hair and making me miserable! I decided that it was certainly counter-productive since I was taking it FOR hot flashes and ended up with more and stronger ones! Also constipation. Called my doctor to find how to get off of the stuff...was told take one, skip one, take one....It has now been almost a week and I'm having the withdrawal symptoms like so many of you...ears ringing, whirring sensation in my head, feeling of detachment, dizziness, some nausea, and the never-ending flashes/sweating.

I am SO glad to have found this site! Many of my concerns have been answered and your comments have all been SO helpful. I thought I was losing my mind! I'm going to just "sweat it out" (literally) and get off of all of these things (lexapro, paxil, and other anti-depressants that the gyn. had given me to try, before effexor).
Think I'll try Estroven or some other plant derivative. Will see how THAT works. I strongly agree with others of you who have said that this drug is much too freely and frequently prescribed.

Posted by: Barbara at August 4, 2009 1:54 PM

I have been on effexor for one year. 35.7 a very low dose. It slows down your metabolism to a halt and you get FAT!! I went from 145 to 175 in year.

Also your legs may be restless at night, and you get a dry mouth, with a metal taste.

It suppresses emotions, and it is SO ADDICTIVE... GOING OFF IT IS SOOOOOOOOOOO DIFFICULT.

Posted by: mare at August 26, 2009 2:06 AM

I was put on high doses of effexor for many many years and have suffered PERMANENT neurological headaches and sensations that i had NO CHOICE but to be put on Powerful (Opiod Pain Killers) to relieve my head pain.

This drug is EXTREMELY and i mean EXTREMELY dangerous just like every psychiatric drug and should be taken off the market.

The PSYCHIATRISTS who prescribe, experiment, promote psych-drugging, aid and abet to intentionally damage human beings, and damage naive peoples brains, bodies, and minds, should be imprisoned for LIFE! for all the MURDERS they have committed for their monetary gain GREED with disregard of human life.

Psychiatrists KNOW the extreme dangers of their brain damaging toxins but will never tell you. They will always blame it on your (invented mental illness). BEWARE!.

Number One Killers Of Humanity ARE PSYCHIATRISTS!.

Society has two choices. - either remain silent and take the abuse by psychiatrists like a good submissive bitch and suffer the consequences, OR FIGHT back and end their reign.

Seems many are remaining silent.

Only one group deserves praise for doing something about it. That is CCHR. But they can't do it alone and not be able to destroy psychiatry if society does not help.

Society the choice is yours. Your actions will make your outcomes.

If you don't want to stop psychiatry then anybody who laments, cries, and whines about chronic withdrawal symptoms from psychiatric drugs deserve all the psychiatric PAIN they get.

Regards,
Psych-Surviver Stastic #2,543,986

Posted by: Robert at September 25, 2009 8:03 AM

When I was 15, I had a horrible time with depression. My NP would perscribe me a new drug every time my mother took me to a new appointment. At one point I was on 4 different anti-depressants at once. When she put me on Effexor... at first everything was ok. Then I would get even more depressed than I was originally. It didn't help at all. I missed one day of Effexor and I was sick for 5 days. Intense headaches, nausea, my vision would fade, my left arm would go numb, my face would get hot then cold, my speech was impared, I would get chills up and down my spine. It was like I was on some kind of drug (the bad kind). I am now 23 years old... I still have these effects. I've been at work on the phone and all of a sudden, BOOM, the person on the other end is 'Saying hello, hello." I didn't even know any one is there. I've blacked out for an entire week where I don't have any clue what I did that whole time. This drug is horrible.... horrible.

Posted by: Christa C. at September 28, 2009 3:15 PM

My father is COPD,87 year old ,35 kgs of body weight. Now He is depression,Doctor start effexor 75 mg in morning about 7 days.He insomnea and delilium all day and night.

My quetion,I would be stop or new adjust dose.

Posted by: TAN at January 6, 2010 3:28 AM

I take 37.5 mg of Effexor. It keeps me balanced.I was on a much higher dose and slowly went down . It works well for me. I suffered from high amounts of stress from menopause which will change the chemicals in your brain and make you depressed.I had no control over it.It was like changing from one person into another.I completely stopped sleeping and this alone caused me to have depression. Now I also take 12mg of seroquel at bedtime to sleep. It works well. I wake up rested. I avoid stressful situations like there is no tomorrow.You cannot judge people when they get depressed,you don't know whatcaused it.If you haven;t been there,you just don't know.

Posted by: Helen at February 4, 2010 9:54 PM

I want everyone to know that I began Effexor XR 150 (was bumped up accordingly) for Post Partum Depression almost 7 years ago. While I think it has made me feel stable and overall really great. No depression at all. I will tell you as an nurse the s/e that my MD equated finally to the med: severe high blood pressure. I have changed meds umpteen times without success. Also severe headaches if I missed a dose. Weight gain is a side effect of longer term use - I don't care what they say. I am tall and appear slim, but have actually gained 50 lbs. I was 148 at 5'11" and now am 190 (30 lbs above ideal).
MD cut my Effexor back to 112mg and my BP immediately got better 118-120s/mid to high 80s. Amazing! This is a very real s/e of this med. The weight gain does not help BP, but I am far from "fat." The sad part is this truly kept my mood swings neutral. I now have noted more irritability since cutting down a week ago and fear that depressed state again (tried Zoloft in past that did not work 2nd time around). I hope everyone out there finds what works best for them. Depression is a very real thing and is treatable, you just need a physician who is monitoring you closely on any antidepressant. I hear some of you stopped it abruptly. This is a HUGE no-no. Please do not do this w/out speaking to your physician. Your depression (besides the headaches, nausea) can come on you suddenly like a wave.....be well all.

Posted by: coolcatzach at March 4, 2010 7:28 PM

I've been on Effexor XR for 8 years now. I was on 75 mg daily but still had some days with mild depression, so now I'm up to 150. I have gained almost 30 pounds - it seems that I have lost my ability to regulate my cravings and I just keep going back for more. Still it is better than being in the darkness of depression. If I forget to take a pill, I do get lightheaded and sort of dizzy for a day. It's best to use a weekly pill container.

Posted by: Julie at April 21, 2010 10:29 PM

ALL anti-depressants are dangerous and often cause psychosis and even death - people commit suicide on anti-depressants all the time. Not because they are depressed but because the side effects of the drugs are so horrendous. It is often the start of a life of hell on anti psychotics. Pharmaceutical companies are primarily there for the money and they do not care about your life. If you don't believe me research every drug you've ever been on, on the net, including things you think are completely innocuous like eyedrops and antifungals. They are poison. I grieve for people who have been through this experience. Antidepressants are often linked with murder suicides and it is BECAUSE of the drugs not because the person was depressed. Start questioning now.

Posted by: Henry at April 28, 2010 5:52 PM

This is THE most addictive antidepressant around - almost impossible to withdraw from without going through weeks of hell, if not a lifetime - recent studies of a critical nature have showed that it causes permanent brain damage in some individuals, i.e. brainzaps for life!
Check out the "Effexor is Evil" category on my blog for more info, and several testimonials.
http://www.practiceofmadness.com

Please think hard about your choice to start an antidepressant, especially this one. Many other things that activate dopamine and serotonin neurotransmission like exercise, sunlight, and eating good food are a better antidepressant than a pill.

Best Wishes,
scars

Posted by: scarsarestories at June 5, 2010 4:37 PM

I took effexor for five months it really helped my panic attacks I didnt have one while on it and I lost weight about 25 ibs! But after a while I started feeling really out of it spacy and couldnt focus on anything so I decided to go off of it you get these bad side effects like shock waves in your brain and dizziness if I would have known how bad it is to get off I would have never got on it!!

Posted by: Kathy at June 25, 2010 9:54 PM

I took Effexor for three years under a psychiatrist's supervision. It relieved my depression somewhat but had many serious side effects. My psychiatrist left the area and I returned to my family doctor for treatment of my depression. He switched my medication to 200mg of Wellbutrin SR daily. All side effects of Effexor disappeared and I am doing GREAT.

Posted by: Bill Barr at September 8, 2010 4:47 PM

I started taking Effexor XR yesterday after being off any medicine for my anxiety for about six months. I immediately felt the medicine kick in, and I felt sick. I couldn't focus on my school work, I got a headache, and I had trouble getting to sleep. After I had finally gotten to sleep, I woke up about two hours later dizzy, confused and absolutely terrified. Needless to say, I'm not going to continue taking Effexor.

Posted by: Darcy at September 25, 2010 3:11 AM

i started taking zoloft 5years ago found i was constantly nausous changed to efexor.i have had my dose varied from 75mg to 350mg depending on my depression. i have gained some weight but put that down to not getting out of bed some days loving bad food and getting older (42).i have real trouble sleeping it varies from some days sleeping till 12noon or other days/nights not sleeping at all. i am a very placid person i never get angry but lately i have been exploding when i am pushed,(i would normally just cry)i even threatened to kill someone. is this just me or the tabs i told the doc and she just increased the dose again. sick of being sick ! lisa

Posted by: lisa.r. at September 28, 2010 1:00 AM

I have been off Effexor since 2002 but took it for approximately 4 years. Tapering off of this medicine was a nightmare and, unfortunately, I still suffer with one of the side affects of going off of the medicine. It took from March through August for me to taper off of the meds. At that time, I dealt with body ticks - one in my face that lasted two months, anxiety, tremors, nausea, dizziness and brain shocks aka "Electric Head" or brain shocks. Prior to taking this medicine, I suffered with anxiety and depression issues but never had any physical issues such as those mentioned above. Since that time, though, I have been left with continuous brain shocks. This past year, I was finally sent to a neurologist where I was diagnosed with an abnormal brain scan after having an EEG. I was told that this abnormality was likened to be like a siezure going on in my brain without any outward signs. I have these "siezures" approximately 10 to 20 times a day and they actually wake me up at night. I feel like I can hear and feel my brain moving! Since seeing the first neurologist, who had no antedote to the problem, I have had a second opinion from another neurogolist who confirmed what the first neurologist diagnosed. This doctor, however, suggested that I take a medicine called Lamictal. I have not tried this medicine as, after researching it, Lamictal has some pretty defastating side affects when it's being taken and even more side affects when weaning off of it, not to mention it can produce a rash that can actually result in DEATH! Needless to say, I am gun-shy about taking any medicine because of my issues from the Effexor and while I filled the scrip, the bottle sits on my kitchen counter full of medicine that I have chosen not to take. Unfortunately, I still suffer from depression and anxiety and am having to struggle through it without the use of anti-depressants because I am afraid to exacerbate the brain shock condition that I am already dealing with. I have had one psychiatrist tell me that I am not the first person who she has spoken with who suffers from brain shocks from this medicine. That being said, I don't think that they will ever go away since it has been eight years. I, too, have often wondered if there is a class action law suit against the pharmaceutical company who makes this. If anyone knows of one, please let me know...I'm in. Anyone who takes this medicine should be given the facts up front about the long term side affects of this medicine. Unfortunately for me, it is too late but if a class action law suit could raise an awareness of how devestating this can be, maybe someone else could benefit from it.......Right now I hope that the brain shocks aren't causing further damage to my brain. Only time will tell.

Posted by: sherry at October 14, 2010 2:42 PM

Most of these posts are from the folks taking the drug Effexor, but I am the wife seeing my husband change in freaky ways because of the drug. It is the most difficult change to deal with.
My husband believes he's fine, but he is anything but fine. The docotrs put him on it to lower his blood pressure and that it did, but now my 45 year husband has turned into a 17 year old teenage thrill seeker. I have a 17 year son that thinks he has to babysit his father because this drug makes him foolish! I hope for those of you taking these drugs, if your family expresses concern, please listen to them. After 24 years of marriage, my husband is a man I dont know anymore.

Posted by: Lynn at October 18, 2010 1:55 PM

I have been on EFFEXOR XR for about 18 months now. I have gained a little weight but i have also noticed a drop in my libido. Has anyone else found this to be a side effect? Other than that I am no longer angry and can see the world in a better light

Posted by: joe at November 9, 2010 5:29 AM

Lets see 7 years on effexor. I had not idea all the problems I was having could be followed right back to effexor apparently neither did any of the specialist I was seeing as none told me to quit till I hit the neurologist with parkinsonism/ms... he tested for ms and found something in my brain but not ms never did get a good explanation for that but I am getting better so think it was all effexor. On top of this end stage huge issue that had me quit effexor cold turkey after 7 years I checked the official prescribing page and there are the things I can match up with that were on the side effects list that I had over the seven years.

Gastro bleed, GERD, Pancreatitis, Heavy Periods, so heavy they took out an ovary that did not stop it I was then given hemophiliac drugs to stop the bleeding. ovarian cysts, thyroid, bruising, anemia,stomach pain, liver cysts pain and fatty liver, sever personality changes thinking problems confusion drinking not me behavior..........................................SEVERE PROTRACTED WITHDRAWAL OR in drug company speek discontinuations syndrome they say last a few weeks I am still have symptoms after 3 years.
My advice don't take it.
this is off the top of my head I know as soon as I post I will think of more things from the list
If you are taking effexor now check this link. http://www.drugs.com/sfx/effexor-side-effects.html

support
paxilprogress.org
topix-effexor withdrawal
effexoractivist.org

Posted by: sandy55 at November 19, 2010 4:12 PM

I started taking effexor about 3 weeks ago. I know the doctors say that it takes about 2 to 4 weeks to build up in your system. Well after the first week is when things started to happen. I started having this awful burning in my mouth. My whole mouth felt like it was on fire. My tongue, under my tongue etc. Well since I am type 1 diabetic it caused serious concerns for me. I went to a ENT specialist , General doctor, Endo and dentist. The only doctor that could tell me what it could possibly be is the side effects of the effexor. The pain in my mouth was so severe I had to go to the emergency room due to so much pain. The er doctor did nothing besides give me pain meds which made it worse. All in all, I called my phyciatrist and told her what was going on and switched me to lexapro. Effexor is evil I would never suggest ANYONE EVER TAKE THIS MEDICATION !!!

Posted by: SAMANTHA at January 14, 2011 6:30 PM

i have been on Effexor for 6 years plus along with welbutrin and zanax ,i now have high blood pressure
along with diabetes and high cholesterol so i am even more stressed now.
Even with the Effexor my mood swings were up and down and i never was close to normal .
If it works for people i am happy for them ,i do not think it is the answer for everyone and i hate all the side effects .
I admit a lot of my problems might be attributed to my job and lack of harmony and bad working conditions. JAFENTON

Posted by: Jerry at April 24, 2011 9:28 PM

Hi My name is Shannon, i am 28 years old turning 29. I have been off this horrible drug for 7 months now. I have three beautiful children. i was put on this drug Shortly after my husband passed away, i was left with three young childen to raise all on my own with no support at all. Well Ontop of the grief and the stressors of raising three young children came the side effects of these drugs. I was prescribes them in 2009 by my family doctor. She did not warn me of the horroble side effects of these drugs. Shortly after I started taking these meds, i became very irritable and aggitated at any given time. I had out of body expierences and tried to commite siucide, I felt very isolated and lonley. If i m issed even one does it felt like my head was going to drift of into space, This drug made me do very foolish things and before i knew it wasn't myself any more. I never ever acted like this in all my life.. well thanks to this drug i not only lost my husband but now i have lost my children to foster care, they are currently with people that dont even want them and a man who spanked my son. There is no way that i can explain the horrors of this drug to a judge or a lawyer. now I am in a grieving process for my children.. thanks alot effexor and the people who make it for ruining my life and many others

Posted by: shannon at June 12, 2011 1:09 AM

I had been on Effexor for 4 years and I was taking the 225 mg. Lately, I had begun to take a 75 mg or 150mg, to make them last longer. As I have slowly weaned myself off of it, I am beginning to have senses again. I had quit caring about finances, cleaning house, and even my job. I am getting back on track now and salvaging my job. It really angers me that 4 years have been wasted in such a fog and not realizing it was the effexor . It feels good to have my senses back strong and caring about things again .

Posted by: Julie at July 18, 2011 12:55 AM

URGENT! Ladies and doctors considering which antidepressant to use, please consider this. My experience with effexor resulted in a shoking amount of hair loss, hair thining and a complete change of hair texture. So much so, that my hair dresser said the only time she has seen this dramatic of a change in hair texture and loss has been with cancer patients after receiving radiation or chemo therapy. Please consider a differemnt medication!

Posted by: Michaela at November 21, 2011 4:48 PM

My husband has been taking effexor for a couple years and now thinks he is the moral authority for the world and has no empathy. This is hell.

Posted by: Mel at November 28, 2011 2:39 AM

I have been on Effexor XR for many years...4 years about 5yrs ago...went off trying to manage on my own and then back on about 6mo ago. I am up to 225mg per day and am constantly getting SEVERE headaches....especially after having a glass of wine?? I am far from being a heavy drinker, in fact, I like a glass of wine every now and again but the morning after feels like I am having the worst hangover ever!! I have actually lost 13lbs and lost weight the first time I took it....great side effect for me! In addition, I sleep about 9-10 hrs a night. Does anyone have any headaches after having a glass of wine?

Posted by: Toni at December 9, 2011 9:40 AM

I used to take effexor and really liked it. After about two years, while getting a towel out of the closet, a strange thought popped into my mind. Out of the clear blue my brain said, 'why don't you just kill yourself? No one would miss you.' I didn't understand where that thought came from. I hadn't thought of suicide since I was a teenager and at the time I was 22 years old. I felt good everyday and I was not depressed at all for 2 years due to the effexor. I knew it had to be that drug which caused that thought. I stopped taking it after that and havn't taken any meds in 7 years. I just think it's so strange how a little pill could cause a sudden scary thought like that.

Posted by: jessica at January 20, 2012 9:58 PM

I used to take effexor and really liked it. After about two years, while getting a towel out of the closet, a strange thought popped into my mind. Out of the clear blue my brain said, 'why don't you just kill yourself? No one would miss you.' I didn't understand where that thought came from. I hadn't thought of suicide since I was a teenager and at the time I was 22 years old. I felt good everyday and I was not depressed at all for 2 years due to the effexor. I knew it had to be that drug which caused that thought. I stopped taking it after that and havn't taken any meds in 7 years. I just think it's so strange how a little pill could cause a sudden scary thought like that.

Posted by: jessica at January 20, 2012 9:59 PM

I lost weight, maintained my sex drive, and was finally rid of anxiety and depression. If I forgot to take a dose, the side effects were dizziness and nausea. Not nice. Starting to had severe headaches and neck pain that may or may not be related, but am slowly decreasing dose. My reg dose was 112.5 (75 + 37.5).

Posted by: JW at March 13, 2012 7:04 AM

I HAVE BEEN ON EFFEXOR NOW FOR 2 YEARS AFTER SWITCHING FROW PAXIL, PROZAC. WHAT I FIND WITH EFFEXOR IS THAT MY ATTITUDE HAS CHANGED I HAVE A SHORT FUSE AND SNAP AT PEOPLE TO THE POINT I DON'T RECOGNIZE MYSELF, IT'S LIKE I CAN'T STOP. I HAVE TRIED TO GET OFF OF THE DRUG BUT WHEN I DO I GET THIS STRANGE PHYSICAL SENSATION IN MY HEAD AND I CAN HEAR CRACKLEING NOISES, AND IN THE DARK I CAN SEE LIGHTS FLASHING AND GEOMETRICAL SHAPES. I KNOW IT SOUNDS CRAZY, I'M 57 YEARS OLD I DON'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP, I JUST WANT TO KNOW IF ANYONE ELSE GETS THIS SAME SENSATION?

Posted by: susan at April 16, 2012 2:04 AM

effexor has been a nightmare for me. i was having the withdraw symptoms while taking this drug. hyeadaches fatigue vivid dreams exhausted and vertigo and brain zaps... my doctor would not listen to me. i even brought in paperwork of the side effects from this drug. and she did not even look at it. i took myself completely off this drug and am still feeling the effects my lestside of my body feels like it is not the same level as my right. im worried that it has done permanent damage to me. 10 months i was on this drug and was not feeling right on it. coming off was hell.. i will not touch it again and made an appointment with another doc

Posted by: cindy at May 11, 2012 12:06 PM

I have been taking efexor now for 12.months and have noticed that I don't enjoy much anymore. I hate where I live, and find myself very unsociable. In fact I don't like much at all. I don't even like myself anymore, I think I need to get off it, how the hell do I do it

Posted by: Jenny at June 16, 2012 2:43 AM

I wish I would never started taking antidepressants. I was on Prozac, tried to stop and I crashed, got severely depressed. The doctor recently put me on effexor. I feel weird all the time. I have started scratching and picking my skin on my back and arms. I have actually lost weight, which I like. I have dry mouth. the worst side effect is body odor. my deoderant doesn't work anymore. I shower and scrub with deoderant soap and apply deodorant and shortly after I smell like an old man. It is horrible. Dont take this drug. I feel like I stuck with it. I also have a strange whooshing sound in my ears.

Posted by: Beth at July 27, 2012 12:24 AM

Effexor withdraws a month after I stopped taking medication.

I took Effexor for over a year to help with anxiety. The side effects were annoying. Mostly the excessive sweating. I would be soaked in sweat just getting dressed for work, even if my apartment was 50 degrees. It was too embarrishing and caused worse anxiety constantly being soaked in sweat. This along with the sexual side effect made me decide not to take it anymore.

Luckly I timed my quit date with a major surgery I was having. I knew I would be bed bound and highly medicated. Well after two weeks of recovery from surgery, I still had effexor withdrawal. I had nightmares so realistic I was literally frightened to sleep. My entire face was numb for weeks. And after 3-4 weeks I still get tingling numbness and electic jolts through my skull/jaw. DO NOT TAKE THIS MEDICATION. IT WILL RUIN YOUR LIFE.

Posted by: Pat34 at December 6, 2012 1:44 AM

Just to add my 2 cents -
DONT TAKE EFFEXOR! It made me a zombie for 5 years, the depression kept coming back as my doc upped the dosage. It permanently changed my brain patterns - I've been off about a year and withdrawal was HELL! i regret the decision to take it but was unaware of the risks.

Posted by: mike p at January 9, 2013 3:36 PM

I have been on Effexor 37.5mg for about a year now, i don't have major side effects, maybe weird dreams and loss of concentration sometimes. However, i am not a cry baby any more, things really don;t bother me much and i stopped fighting with every one. I feel like this drug really helps me, but i still want to come off of it one day, hopefully soon

Posted by: TVB at March 13, 2013 1:52 PM

I took this raging drug for agorophobia. Started a little over a year ago, one tab. 37.5 moved to two. After a few months, I was able to go to an additional location but not enough to return to work, so Dr. suggested to increase one more tab. This was not possible as the raging side effects increased after a few days of taking it. In the last few months explosions of rage and what I call, say it as you see it :( scenes increased. I always been a shy person and spoke kindly to others but this drug thrust me into a no ethical machine. Telling ppl exactly what I feel. This became obviously damaging to my family and myself, as guilt would bring me to suicidal thoughts. So of course we decided, the few benefits of one more location wasn't worth the negative side effects. So a month ago, I slowly started to decrease, from two to one tablet for two weeks. Then one tablet every other day. till i just plan stop. Well, side effects to stop are ever worst. I got the pops sound effects in the brain every minutes in sets of 4. for over two weeks. light sensitivity. Raging emotion worse then on it. emotional rollercoaster. Now today i have swollen feet and legs. If i had a gun feeling... all the time. How the hell are these ppl that creates these meds. how can the side effects justify the benefits. For whom? the only benefit if the amount of money they make, on keeping ppl sick and creating more needs to other meds to compensate...DONT TAKE THIS DRUG. OR ANY For that matter. Remember that nature provides a healing ingredient for every disease yet no side effects to the body. Blah blah read on it before you judge... and don't get fool by the medical system.

Posted by: Raging at August 25, 2013 1:40 PM

I was forced by the insurance company to use the generic Effexor xr. I am very disappointed in its effect. Basically, it sucks. Since starting the generic, I have pressure at the bridge of my nose?, depressed mood, etc. I can't afford 600 a month for the brand. Needless to say, I am very angry.

Posted by: janie at May 25, 2014 2:38 PM

So many people are complaining about side effects and withdrawal symptoms! When you get your prescription you also get a patient information sheet (by law).
You're supposed to read it.

Posted by: DrWildcat at August 12, 2014 11:44 AM

we trust the people who prescribe this drug but we shouldn't since they are all eugenics satan worshiping murderers. taking this medication is the same as taking a gun and blowing your head off only more painful.

Posted by: DrWildcatisabitch at March 7, 2015 5:30 PM

I've been on Effexor for about two years, and I've also gained about 40kg. I also get the worst head spins if I forget a dose.
But apart from that my depression is finally under control for the first time in my life. Worth some bad side effects to feel happy!

Posted by: Ems at March 19, 2015 1:01 AM

Re: Liver damage/ Yes I had liver damage, stage 3a kidney disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol. Getting off effexor was impossible, switched to a full pharmacy of meds! Now off those and suffering, but alive. Anyhow, off the efffexor, all my blood work, near normal. Effexor is the devils tic tacs. BEWARE ONCE ON IT, CANT GET OFF. I was told non addictive, no side effects. Bull I lost my sanity for 8 years, including my marriage, and my finances. HORROR!

Posted by: angela eisenhauer at March 22, 2015 4:33 AM

Effexor/ norephridine. Effexor at doses over 75 mg, or thereabouts, becomes two drugs, it affects norephridine. that is the thing that gives you anticipation, and satisfaction. Now off effexor, I have no motivation.... it is the worst side effect. while on it, I was getting satisfaction from irrational things, like bying three kitchens for a house when Ididn't even have the house plans, crazy medication, beware hoarding, and losing your commonsesne.

Posted by: angela eisenhauer at March 22, 2015 5:24 AM

I've been on Effexor for 6-7 years and feel great, no side effects that I can perceive, except if I miss two or three days then I have withdrawl (i.e. nausea, dizziness) no weight gain. Glad to have it.

Posted by: lulu at April 25, 2015 5:10 PM

I was on effexor 75mg for 2 years. I decided to taper off in January because of the health problems I was experiencing. I've gained 50lbs, couldn't sleep, pain in my legs, diabetes, liver elevated, and ringing in my ears. It took me 3 months to taper and it was hell. I couldn't walk, I was in bed for the 3 months because I was so neausated. This last month without Effexor has not been easy. I have good days and bad days. I still cannot drive and have anxiety but not as often. My sugars are better and I've lost 15lbs. I cannot go back to work since it's hard for me to concentrate . I'm now starting to exercise and feeling a little better . This stuff has ruined my life, I just want to feel like my old self

Posted by: Maria prit at April 29, 2015 10:57 PM

I took Effexor for 1 1/2 years. In the first couple of months, I gained over 20lbs. Now I'm heavier than during my pregnancies, going from around 130 when I started it to 160 now and I'm only 5'1". I have actively exercised and watched my diet, but the weight just kept going up. My doctor argued that this wasn't due to Effexor. Then I experienced a severe hypertension crisis, and had to see a cardiologist. She and other specialists, including a GYN (Effexor impacts hormones, not just serotonin) agreed that the weight gain was from Effexor, as was the rise in my blood pressure that lead to the hypertension crisis. In addition, my labs that were normal before Effexor were all off the charts. I had to wean off or the drug may have killed me. The withdrawal has been pure hell and I started a low dose of Prozac to get me through the withdrawal. It's been a nightmare, and surprisingly, I learned more than one person I know personally had similar experiences. I wonder if these side effects are truly rare, or if they simply aren't connected with this drug when they should be. I think more research is needed to truly understand the dangers of this drug.

Posted by: Sheri Sipsis at May 14, 2015 12:22 AM

I am so glad That others have stated weight gain as a side effect ! My doctor switched me from lexapro to Effexsor, I've been taking it for the past 5 months and I have gained so much weight - My doctor insists that weight gain is not a side effect but I don't believe him.... I'm carrying around 25 extra pounds of proof !!!! Another side effect has been terrible anxiety- my heart pounds so hard every day- It also makes me horribly angry !!! I feel like the hulk- I'm seeing my doctor next week and demanding he take me off. Worst experience ever

Posted by: Melissa Hergt at June 14, 2015 10:44 PM

I M ON EFFEXOR SINCE OVER 15YEARS. STARTED AT 75MG AND UP TO 150MG. BEEN AT THAT DOSES FOR ABOUT 10YRS AND THEN WENT TO 75MG AND 37.5MG AND BACK TO 75MG A DAY. I M NOW 59YRS OLD AND IT SEEMS TO BE THE RIGHT DOSE AS I GREW OLDER. BAD EFFECTS WAS HEADACHE AT THE BEGINNING BUT OK AFTER THE 1ST MTH. DRYNESS OF THE MOUTH AND SWETTING. THIS HAS REMAINED, SWETTING A LOT..AND TOOK 60POUNDS ...I LOOK SWELL AND CAN HARDLY LOOK AT MYSELF BUT I M ON A BETTER MOOD AND STABILITY WHICH IS MOST IMPORTANT FOR MY WELL BEING...

Posted by: allineed at June 25, 2015 2:16 PM

ive been with Effexor for almost 2 months now, I recently missed 2 days worth of my dose and suddenly, I been having harmful thoughts. Such as hurting other people. And normally im a very passive person. Kind of freaked out to be honest...think im going to switch to something else.

Posted by: Heather at July 14, 2015 1:10 PM

Just started Effexor 75 mg instead of Zoloft, which I was on for 14 years. I don't know if I'm imagining it, but it seems like it works well for about 3 hours. I feel up and motivated, but after 3 hours I get really tired. Anyone else have this experience? Does it get better? Only been on 75 mg for 2 weeks.

Posted by: glenna at September 19, 2015 10:32 AM

I have been taking effexorXR for about eight years. I am now in my early 60s I have always taken one drug or another legal or not legal age of 17 but in the last few years I have started eating very healthy and watching what I take and trying to get off all of these medications doctors have put me on for many years.. However Effexor is no joke! I have been weaning myself off of this for three months four months .. I asked my doctor if I really need to take this medication. I know have not taken it at all for two weeks but for two months I was only taking one a week on the lowest dose. I I am experiencing severe leg cramps in the calf a ringing in my ear also and I have no energy. I also raised the 16-year-old Grand child who is autistic. My life has been definite trials and tubulation but I know everything will be better when I get off this effexor, I think we all have some problems, but given the opportunity to not do this again and knowing that ramifications of Effexor before hand. I would just deal with my problems and my ups and downs I just want to be OK again. Get off this drug is soon as you can.

Posted by: Brenda at January 3, 2016 3:17 AM

I have no idea if related with Effexor, but I have dizziness for about 36-48 hours and then it can suddenly stop and then I feel just fine. But along with this I've had issues and pain in my left ear where it won't pop and feels like a fluid sac deep in the ear drum area. Extra ringing and pain when I'm laying on pillow with that ear. Anyone else having similar ear issues with the drug? I'm taking 150 mg/day for the last 9 months for Erythromelalgia which is a rare nerve disorder causing neuropathy in hands and feet.

Posted by: scott at February 13, 2016 1:07 PM

I was taking Effexor a short time ago but was given another depression medicine. now I can not sleep and feel tired.is this withdrawal ?

Posted by: Barbara at July 1, 2016 8:17 AM

I've been on Effexor ER 225 for eight monthes now . Over the last couple of weeks I self tapered and can honestly say I feel better the I have in years . I have energy and can feel emotions again . I'm remembering what happy tears feel like . I'm aware that I am extremely lucky to have avoided the terrible withdraw symptoms I read about online . I'm pretty tuff and just decided to ride them out ( mind over matter ) but luckily have not noticed any real symptoms . And please I'm not advising anyone to quite the way I did. I just got lucky .Again I've been totally off of it for over a week . Hope this helps

Posted by: Hillary at July 9, 2016 3:27 PM

I have been on Effexor for about a year and yes it did do good for a little while, then i would get violent. My dr. bumped it up, and then i would be fine for a few months and then violent again. Final straw is I'm shaking, sick and getting the angry for no reason feeling. on top of this I felt distant like i didn't belong. I was paranoid. and stayed away from everyone. In the beginning i lost weight like 10 pds then..... BAM i gained 20.

Posted by: Barbara Wright at August 5, 2016 3:53 PM

I've been on Effexor for 3 weeks I am 53 years old I've been having hot flashes for over 2 years severe also had continuously feet pain and I was a roller coaster from the menopausal symptoms I take 75 milligrams I no longer have any hot flashes at all I have not gained any weight I have lots of energy and I love it

Posted by: Jacque Holderfield at August 21, 2016 6:56 PM

I took 225mgs of effeor in morning 9:30am and lost my sense of taste with a weird salty taste in my mouth. My muscles began to twitch and I felt miserable. How can I get off this poison? Also I've been on this "medication" for about 10 yrs. and felt it was all me but I see now it's very probable the effexor combined with my 200mgs. of tegretol are the cause of these feelings. As I am epileptic my sense of control in what my doctors are advising seem very small. What can I do? My life is miserable.

Posted by: abe at October 7, 2016 1:16 PM

Since tapering off Effexor and surviving the horrific effects of withdrawal I have not looked back . And want to shout from the roof tops that in only five weeks my oral leukoplakia has all but disappeared . What a bonus !

Posted by: Julie Webster at December 15, 2016 6:27 PM

Get Help

If you need help please visit www.hopeline.com or call 1-800-442-HOPE.

Demystifying Depression is a great article which helped me understand some of the ways depression was affecting me.

Start a Blog

Many people who are depressed simply lack the ability to channel their energies or express themselves. Sometimes just by writing things down it is easy to feel better about things that happen to you.

If you think expressing yourself or writing your thoughts down might help you then you may want to start a blog. Blogger is 100% free and easy to use.

Here is my friend Heather's Health Bee, which is about recovering from depression and other related illnesses.