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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.

The Harmful Impacts of Confusing Pleasure With Happiness

The Addictive Properties of Sugar

And the impact of diet on all other aspects of our lives.

Important Lessons From Brain Scans

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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 thought I would share my experience and thoughts with you..

I experienced a break down approximately 3 years ago.. It was a panic attack..body tingling, chest pain, nausea ..
Prior to this I was very irritable, no patience or tolerance for most anything.. Didn't look forward to anything.. it was all a great big effort... to do anything ..particularly on my days off.. Sleeping on the couch was my favourite pass time.. I was totally depressed!!!!!!

After it was determined that it wasn't a heart attack or that I was going to die in my sleep, my Dr. (family physician) put me on paxil a very small dose to start. I went to him once a week for a couple months. I took paxil for almost a year.. gained weight , didn't really get bothered by much, however, when I went back to work I couldn't function as I used to .. Poor memory, couldn't get organized...

I can relate to the lady who mentioned that the paxil is working for her husband but he doesn't care about much... and he is not the man she married.. . I then tried to wean myself from the paxil, had the zaps and I could actually hear my eyes blinking....I thought that was a strange one.. !!

I know now that if at anytime you go off almost any of the Seritonin inhibitors you must do it with Dr.s care.. make sure you are taking the right doses when going off.. It is just like when you start the drug, you start off slow (smaller doses) until you get to where it works for you...

I don't know why there are so many taboo's when it comes to taking medication that helps with your moods, emotions etc..
If you were diabetic you would take insulin, or if you had a thyroid problem you would take medicine to regulate that.. Not a second thought, however, when it is to do with a possible chemical imbalance of the brain where you need the Seritonin to help with your emotions and moods, you are either weak, or nuts.. or both..

I look at it as a way for me to function and enjoy life and get off the emotional roller coaster.. !!

Anyway.. I asked my Dr to change my medication .. I am on Efffexor XR (which is a time released drug) it works really well for me.. I am brighter.. sharper.. the only side effect for me is the hot flashes, however, I am at the age where hot flashes are normal.. hahhah!!!

Anyway for those of you that feel better but are not quite where they should be taking paxil, ask your Dr, about Effexor XR.. that might be an option for you..

ps.. I don't work in the drug industry..

Posted by: KH at November 27, 2003 1:41 PM

I've been trying to find a medication that doesn't have the sexual side effects that I got with prozac, lexapro, and zoloft. My psychologist's PRN has me on effexor xr and I like it. I only want to know if anynone has heard if it is bad to be on if you get pregnant. I love having energy and not having my 'black holes' without losing my sex drive.

Posted by: Brandy at December 6, 2003 8:21 PM

I've been on Effexor for nearly 2 years. Until recently, its been great. None of the numbness that I felt when I was on seroxtat(?). In fact was feeling so much better that my Dr. and I began decreasing my dosage. I thought I would off completely by May this year.

Only the last few days have really bad. I can't sleep when I go to bed, and when I finally fall asleep at 6am I can't get out of bed. I'd to go on a higher dosage again but. . .

Anyway, My Dr. insists that it is safe to get pregnant while on

Posted by: CS at January 4, 2004 8:33 PM

I've been on Lex for 4 weeks now and I think I'm doing better. I just don't know. I still have thoughts in my mind that there's somthing still wrong with me. Are these's worries ever going to go away. They say it takes anyware from 4 to 8 weeks for you to feel better so I'm I hafe way there? Any suggestions. Please let me know. Thanks.

Posted by: Onder at January 15, 2004 4:01 PM

I have been on Effexor XR for about 2 and a half years. It took me a long while to feel "normal" again (about 6 months). But at least I could feel some improvement with every week that went by. I do however have problems with missed doses and haven't found much information on that. I usually get very agitated over the smallest things when I miss a dose, but this last time has had me in full blown GAD like before. My doctor is on vacation and I can't find anyone with any answers. If someone knows anything please let me know.

Posted by: Julie at January 16, 2004 2:46 PM

I've been on Effexor XR for 2 and a half years now. I've found it to be quite a good drug, except, I have been unable to come off of it without relapsing. Missing a dose is catastrophic (nightmares and extreme grogginess/drowsiness). I also find that once my body is completely used to a certain level of it, it stops being as effective. Also I'm not 'normal' in the sense that if I overload myself (with work/pressures), I'll have a 'mini relapse and I won't be able to function for several days. It was quite potent when I first started taking it--and the initial side-effects (ie. sexual dysfunction, ringing in ears, smiling/laughing when sad/depressed, fatigue) went away withing the first few months. HOpe this helps.

Posted by: Carolyn at January 20, 2004 8:45 AM

Effexor is the most amazing solution to the symptoms of depression. I have only tried Prozac (terrible - did not help) but THIS is the one that changed my life. Only problem I have mostly is inability to sleep at times (never had a problem sleeping before). I plan to never go off it as I dont see how when depression is a "chemical" imbalance that they can take you off your meds ever...

PS - Aaron Wall you have an amazing selection of websites and tidbits all over. How do you find the time!

wow I even remember a bit of html that is a good thing.

Posted by: Shy And Silent at February 2, 2004 9:02 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 3:25 AM

I have been on Effexor XR for four months now. It has been the most effective anti-depressant that I have ever been on. Unfortunately, I have been on a number of anti-depressants. Beyond just lifting my mood; it has also boosted my energy level; meaning that I am up and doing something; not just watching from the bench. I had a problem with sleeplessness with this drug, so it has since been augmented with mirtazapine which helps me to sleep and boosts my mood further. The combination has been called "California Rocket Fuel" by some. See more information on my blog at http://ridland.ca

Posted by: Andrew at June 13, 2004 12:11 PM

I have been on Effexor XR 150 mg twice daily for about 3 years. The change I have seen in my GAD was nothing short of miraculous. I started to feel better within a week, as opposed to the month most dr.s say it takes, so I may be one of those folks who really do have a chemical imbalance. I must also say that I have struggled off and on with depression for most of my life--while I have previously lived without meds for years at a time, I have also suffered terribly, so it's truly a personal choice and both sides of the coin have good and bad. I have now hit a point where I would like to begin the process of medically weaning off of it, as I do still experience low sex drive and high blood pressure, both of which worry me in the long term. I would definitely warn folks about abruptly stopping the meds and going cold turkey--it's extremely difficult, the mood swings are awful and the withrawal feels like hell. I hope that helps--good luck to all of you!

Posted by: txgirl at June 24, 2004 7:24 PM

I have taken Effexor for over 5 yrs now. It improved my life drastically and I had no idea I could feel this normal until I was put on this drug. I was even able to have a child while taking effexor with no PPD or severe relapse. This has all been while on 150-187.5 mg effexor TABLETS...just last month I was notified that the tablets were being taken off the market w/in 6months...I have tried 2x to switch to effexor xr/xl with absolutly NO SUCCESS!!! My body does not metabolize the capsules or the contents at all and I experienced a quick, devestating relapse of my chronic depression.
I have not been able to find anyone else who has experienced this difficulty with effexor xr vs effexor tablets- the company has had no other reports of my problem either.
Is there anyone else out there????

Posted by: Sarah at August 22, 2004 2:44 PM

I started taking effexorXR in May of 2004, it took some time to get into my system it did make me nervous for about 4 weeks and finally it kicked in I can do projects easier and no more panic attacks and has helped with my mood swings with the change of life. I started at 37.5 and two weeks later it was increased to 75 and was increases after 4 months to 150 I am doing real good at this time.

Posted by: Brezzy Cat at October 1, 2004 11:08 PM

I had been on Prozac for over three years and it stopped working in a very sneaky slow way. I ended up in a hotel out of town for work and could not even get out of bed. I had to call my company and go home. I went to my doctor the day after i got back and she suggested 75 mg Effexor XR or Wellbutrin. I took the Effexor. Within 72 hours my energy level skyrocketed to the point that I thought i was taking speed. I cleaned the house good that day!:) I was so "happy" that I would wake up in the night and not want to go back to sleep so i could continue experiencing "normal" in case this drug quit too.
It has been two weeks now and the "speed" effect has leveled off but I am alive again. I can function, my brain is clear, no more clouds. To say that this drug is changing my life is an understatment.

Posted by: John at October 8, 2004 8:49 AM

Was put on Effexor after bad side effects from prozac and lexapro. 1st day about 6 hours after taking my 1st pill got a mood change for the better. So far so good going to see how 2nd day is this is hopfull

Posted by: gearbear at April 21, 2006 12:54 AM

I started Effexor XR a month ago after 2 months trying Wellbutrin. The initial dose of Wellbutrin must have been too high, I felt angry and more nervous than before all the time. The second month at a lower dose was not much better so the doctor switched me to Effexor. Within about 4 days I felt so much better I was amazed. Now after a month there is less anxiety and nervousness, less mood swings, I feel able to live my life again. I did not realize how depressed I was until I came out of it. I hope people are not scared off because of the horror stories elsewhere online. Everyone's chemistry is different. I'm very glad my doctor was open to changing the meds and I feel like myself again.

Posted by: TXGIRL2 at May 18, 2006 10:07 AM

I've been on Effexor XR for almost 3 years now, didnt even know I was depressed. I woke up one morning (literally) and felt disconnected with the world, wierd wierd feeling... I've never read or heard of this happening to anyone else. Anyways...the past week or so I have felt the feeling start to come back, just not as bad. Since being put on Effexor, I have since moved 700 miles away and havent been able to find a good doctor. I have an appoitment a week from today, Hopefully she'll turn out to be good... And hopefully this feeling isn't be going crazy.
Anyone else experienced this?

Posted by: Krissy at May 23, 2006 7:15 PM

I just started the lowest form of Effexor, and the doctor wants me to up it in one week to 75 and then 150. I will not go past 75! will I still have blood pressure problems? The doctor said to check my pressure every two weeks , I have no way of doing that! will I only need to worry if it is over 75mg? I have excellant blood presure and my ekg is adnormal, am I asking for trouble? Jolani

Posted by: jolani at June 22, 2006 5:05 PM

About a year ago, I finally went out and got some help with my "emotions." I took generic Prozac, it worked great at first but then stopped working within a year. After careful evaluation, I came to believe that I have been suffering from depression all of my life. I have not done drug therapy before. So, when my last child graduated from school, I could not deal with my co-workers, and my spouse was driving me crazy I knew I needed extra help- it was too much.

Depression is horrible and has made a mark in my life. I have worried and missed a lot with my kids, my husband and my family.

I stated takeing Effexor 2 weeks ago and it is working great! I feel more normal. I have energy and I am not worried about other people or things as much. I just want something to work. I don't have any expectations, I just know that doing something is better than doing nothing.

The postings have been good reading. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by: Newby at July 21, 2006 1:14 PM

I've been on alot of anti-depressants (Zoloft, Paxil, Wellbutrin, Prozac, blah blah blah...)

I've been very depressed and have such high anxiety that I hardly ever leave the house, I can't go shopping without having damn-near panic attacks and that's been going on for years.

Effexor actually seems to be working. It took about 4 weeks for me to notice anything but yesterday I looked around and noticed that I was in a really good mood, something that I hadn't experienced without the help of recreational drugs for over 8 years. Amazing.

I'm now going up to 150 mg in hopes that it helps more with my anxiety which is still abnormally high, though I don't worry/fear as much as i used to even at my current dose.

Effexor does make me rather irritable though. That good mood can crash easily... maybe the increased dosage will help with that (I'm only on 75 right now).

I've read alot of bad things about Effexor, but if you are one of those who benefits from it then all the side effects may be worth it.

Posted by: at August 1, 2006 3:59 PM

I have been on alot on antidepressants for the past 10 years. I just went on Effexor about 2 weeks ago and WOW its wonderful. I have so much energy and wow i actually get a smile on my face and have pleasant thoughts for once. It seems like there is alot of bad talk about Effexor, but just do a search on the internet about all the other antidepressants. Alot of complaints about them also. Yes i know that Effexor has bad withdrawl effects, but most of the bad withdrawls come with person going off it cold turkey or close to it. Effexor is changing my life around and dont see getting off it any time soon. Good luck all.

Posted by: Jeff P at August 9, 2006 3:16 AM

I've been taking effexor for about 4 months now I think. My dosage is 150mg plus 37.5 mg so a total of 187.5 mg. My doctor keeps telling me that I will feel like I have more energy but I dont, I take sleeping pills because I cant sleep and that was before I even started taking the effexor, I could sleep for 12 hours wake up for 1 or 2 hrs and go back to bed, she says she could try me on something else but then I would have to start at the lower dosages again and I'm not sure I want to do that. I think my moods a little bit better still not great though. I feel like I'm always worrying about what others are thinking and if I've said something wrong I go over things constantly in my head, I dont know maybe I have some other disorder on top of my depression, I guess Iw ill have to talk to the dr.

Posted by: Susan at September 7, 2006 12:16 AM

I have been taking effexor for about 8 days now. Physical side effects are present but absoluttely no change in mood thus far.. Just as sad and depressed as before any feedback would be great.. - thank you.

Posted by: Kelly at October 27, 2006 9:41 PM

I have been on Effexor xr for 3 days. I am so scared that I will have to take this stuff for ever. I have Panic attacts that I can controll but I have taken on to much in my life and hit a brick wall!! I needed to be on something this time. I just could not pull myself out of it. So far the medicine in working. I can actually get up without crying out of control and having sever anxiety and panic attacts. I have not been to work in 4 days. I hope I can function when I go back. I am really scared of side effects and withdrawl symtoms. I really don't want to mess with my brain chemicals but anything is better then being in that whirlwhind of doom.

Posted by: at December 19, 2006 12:49 PM

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Posted by: handjob at December 19, 2006 1:54 PM

I just started a blog to share my experience with Effexor http://gettybetta.blogspot.com

I would like to know if you recommend staying at the low 37.5 dosis if you are feeling fine with that.

Posted by: Getty at January 21, 2007 9:23 PM

Hi I've been on Effexor since Jan 2004, started with 37.5 and then went to 75. I love this drug it totally helped me I have social anxiety and my brain is constantly thinking and worrying about everything. I did wean of it for about 2 months, but I started feeling everything all over again. So today I started taking 37.5 again and see if that will be enough. I don't care if I have to take this for the rest of my life as long as it works. I was just worried about getting pregnant while I'm on it. I just got married and we want to start a family soon and I was wondering if it is safe to get pregnant while on this. If anyone knows please get back to me. Thanks have a great day !!!

Posted by: Heidi at April 11, 2007 11:03 AM

I have been on antidepressants for over 10 years. First prozac then paxil and now effexor. I have been
trying to get off effexor for about two years. It is
extremely effective for controlling anxiety and panic attacks so I keep going back on it. Unfortunately I am and have been experiencing insomnia for about a year. I sleep for
3 hours each night. It has been hell. Effexor has also made me very antisocial. I need help but I am not sure what the answer is. I have tried other antidepressants with little success or terrible side effects (weight gain, lethargy etc). I hope I
find an answer soon.

Posted by: ajw at January 27, 2008 6:20 PM

Don't ever go on Effexor. It's a nightmare drug that will ruin your life. My life has never been the same. I now suffer from Fibromyalgia and Reactive Arthritis. I can barely get by some days. I've had to quick my job due to chronic pain and fatigue. I'm on pain medications to help curb the damages done by this drug. It should be illegal, but the drug companies are somehow able to keep getting it out to the public, something about a no-sue-program. I would never take this drug, let alone take it while pregnant. My advise is to try all possible means of natural remedies for depression. Try to medicate the source of your depression and not the symptoms. Figure out why you are depressed before you try to alleviate the symptoms. You will most likely come out of it over time and be a better person for it. There is no thing as a quick fix solution to anyone's problems, trust me, I know.

Posted by: Angela at July 9, 2008 8:34 AM

What are side effects of Effexor - I absolutely canot take anything with serotonin due to bad side effects - please help!

Posted by: Dorothy Adland at February 18, 2009 12:01 PM

I never personally have knocked the effectiveness of Effexor-but beware at some point you will start to get side effects from it and they get worse and worse until the positives of the drug outwiegh the negatives of your mental illness. THEN its too late, you are in big trouble because its not like any of the other drugs you have been on. I have been on the usuals Zoloft, Prozac, Welbutrin to name a few and my only complaint about those were the poop-out effect. Now you want to get off Effexor and you realize that you cannot just nicely wean off and God forbid you cold turkey it. Its horrible-dizzyness, nausea, vomiting, sweats, shaking, brain "zaps", and it lasts for months even if you wean over a long period-4 to 6 months we are talking about. Its no freaking picnic to feel like a physically ill head case for that long! It took me over 4 months to get off Effexor after being on it for 2 years and I am worse now mentally than I have EVER been. The worst part is I recognize it yet it takes everything in my power to control it-often times I can't and I spaz on my husband and daughter-like massive fits of rage! I only suffered from mild to moderate depression before-what the?-now I am a total nut job except I know what is going on?!!!

If you are looking at going on this drug I urge you to find another drug-find something-ANYTHING else, I don't care what ANY doctor or health care provider will tell you about Effexor and the reasons people need it and that for some people its not an option, blah blah blah. NOBODY can say anything about this drug until they have been on it and have tried to get off of it! It should be pulled from the market as far as I am concerned! Or at LEAST health care providers need to be PROPERLY educated before prescribing it AND the product needs to be labeled accurately! But as we all know, the FDA and the Drug manuafacturers are in bed together and supporting the colleges that educate our young doctors...so read as much as you can about this drug and make the educated decision yourself. If nearly 20,000 people have signed a petition against this company and its drug how many thousands more have suffered like I have described? Nobody else should have to go through this! This is not just a prozac or a zoloft here-this is a POWERFUL drug and should be treated as such. You don't see doctors prescribing drugs like Lithium to people because it "might" be helpful for a condition-absolutely not! Effexor should be no different. The potential problems from it are often hidden and by the time you realize it-its too late!

Posted by: Shannon at March 2, 2009 9:47 PM

i've been taking effexor for 7 years and im getting off the med slowly so far so good! im taking effexor 75 but whay I do is I open the capsule and take one little white ball each day and so far im doing good, I have faith and hope that will get off this med for onces and for all.

Posted by: carla at April 23, 2009 12:13 PM

do not take effexor. i took it for 2 years and slowly wheened my way off of it under a doctors care 4 months ago. although effexor seemed to work for me while i was having panic attacks, it is now causing me a lot of grief.
i am experiencing severe "brain shivers" and my mood has changed. i do not want to or even care to socialize with anyone. i am extremely irritable and constantly mood/sad. i still experience "brain shivers" and have for 4 months...not getting any better. I am only 20 and it is causing problems in my social, relationship, work, and school life. i wish, hope, and pray that they WILL take effexor off of the market. i have read NO positive feedback whatsoever about effexor xr. i wish i would have done better research rather than listening to the doctor 2 years ago.

Posted by: laur at August 24, 2009 3:02 AM


I have been on effexor for 2 and a half years.
I am now trying to wean myself off. I was on 300mg p/d and have been on 225mg for 1 week, i started on 150mg today which will be for one week too and then down to 75 and then to 37.5 for a week and then nothing. So far i have not been experiencing any symptoms, does this mean i should expect to not have any symptoms once i have stopped?
Would love to hear some of your experiences with weaning off Effexor.

Posted by: Natalie at November 24, 2009 2:39 AM

There are many people that are depressed and they don't know it. A lot more than you thnk.

Posted by: Helen at February 4, 2010 9:58 PM

i feel better than i have in years energy more aware no procastination

Posted by: squirmy at April 8, 2011 11:37 PM

You people need to stop writing negative feeback About medications.Every person is different and there are many medications out there to try. What may not work for you could work for others.

Posted by: Maria at July 24, 2011 10:03 PM

Hi! my name is Annie and i am a single mom with 3 kids, divorced 6 years ago. Everything started 2 years ago after i lost my job feeling i was wrongly fired. I started having all these weird systems inside from heart raising fast to having a hard time breathing, anxiety attacks or perhaps depression, i don't even know. i went emergency 3x, all these tests plus MRI of my brain, they couldn't find anything wrong with me. Everyday i am afraid to wake up because i know i have to face with this feeling all day long, i tried meditate, gym and counseling plus self-talk, didn't work. When i was hospitalized they assigned me with a neurologist and instantly he diagnose me with depression. i feel numbness on my whole left side all the time, headache and neck hurt so bad. he puts me on a few different Meds already. Elavil, Prozac, Zoloft nothing works so far although i only take each medication no more than 3 weeks. All my systems are still here, i live in pain everyday wishing it would go away one day. I"ve been on Effexor= Venlafaxine 75mg for 2 weeks then he told me to increase to 2 pills a day, morning and night, feeling so tired all the time, my heart is racing fast, numbness still there, i feel like a balloon and focus at all but i am afraid to stop the pill or reduce the dose. Can someone please tell me what to do, i need your help, i just want to get better and feel normal again, please help me. Reading all these feedback even makes me more worry and to the point i am getting so nervous. Please help, thank you!

Posted by: Annie Cao at October 13, 2011 4:38 PM

i keep finding venlafaxine whole tablets in my stool recently. does this mean i am not absorbing them and im not getting what i need? why is this happening? ive been on them for about 3 yrs and i didnt notice this b4

Posted by: d at May 1, 2012 9:32 PM

hey my name is manisha singh i'm 19 years old.i'm having a problem with my family everything is messed up.n i'm totally pissed of.i don't want to talk to anyone in my family,i don't trust anyone in my family,n not even they trust me,i was very close to my grandmother,but now i don't trust any one,my mother is having affair with my grandfather,is the only reason...everyone me my dad everyone......is mentally disturb.i just want to go somewhere.and i don't want to keep any contact with my family,sometimes i feel like to kill my self or wanna go somewhere without knowing anyone in my family.....but i don't want to take this step because of my family reputation....now i think i'm going in depression.and i'm totally disturb..no one supports me.i just wanna go somewhere else and sit quite. most important my elder sister she is my enemy she always hurts me the way she can and i keep crying all the time...........please suggest me,what should i do?

Posted by: manisha singh at August 17, 2012 1:51 AM

Need energy. Will generic prozac and vecaflaxinr gel?

Posted by: Larry at October 13, 2014 6:44 PM

i just started taking venlafaxine two days ago. I have been in bed due to feeling so tired I can't function.

I missed Mother's Day yesterday and cancelled on my son and feel horrible. Today I called in sick for work. I am afraid to keep taking it will I have withdrawal after two doses of 37.5?

Please help I can't be this tired and make it through work.


Posted by: Kellie at May 11, 2015 2:05 PM

I've been on Effexor XL 75 for 10 years. It is an amazing medicine. From the time I was 16 years old, I would wake up everyday depressed and felt a pit in my stomach. Sad all of time and angry. After marriage and 3 children, I finally broke. God helped me find this medicine at 46 years old. I wish I could have found sooner. Fixes my serotonin levels and gives me loads of energy! Thank you Wyeth-Ayerst.

Posted by: Sam at July 6, 2015 11:14 AM

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. Wordpress 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.