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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

OK Here is my story with effexor:
For nearly 5 years I took 150 mg of effexor tablets (NOT THE EXTENDED RELEASE FORMAT) VERY successfully. Never felt so normal in my entire life. No relapses, almost a complete remission. In June 2004 my doctor recieved a letter from the makers of effexor letting everyone know that it was no longer fiscaly possible to make the regular tablets as the majority of "consumers' were on the extended release (xr) pills anyway and anyone still on tablets should be appropriatley changed over. Now back in feb 2004 we did try the effexor xr and I had a complete relapse of depression w/in 2weeks of switching. Psych and I thought that was starnge as company says exact same drug!! Contacted company they say- no, never heard of anyone having trouble switching- it is the same drug. Went back on tablets and w/in 4 days was doing better so that by June no more depression.
Now 3 attempts to switch later I am weaning of effexor xr to try zoloft (was on prior to effexor but body stopped absorbing- hoping it will like it again). Am off work on short term disability, having a relapse of my depression (not suicidial yet), major stress on my husband and toddler, Christmas and New Years sucked as did my job preformance before I went off on leave.

Effexor xr has been a nightmare. I too felt like a zombie, have bad frontal lobe headaches and am just waiting for the electric shocks to start.
I LOVED how well I did on this drug in tablet form. Now I want to get everyone off it! A very, unsicentific in-the-field "study" by a paramedic found that in the past 3 months she has been called to 12 individuals in serious trouble who were taking effexor xr...almost all of them had been put on it w/in the past 6 months!! Serious trouble meaning needing to be hospitalized or having already attempted suicide.


Posted by: sarah at February 1, 2005 10:05 PM

I am taking Effexor XR. Apparently, from reading the reviews, I may be one of the few that benefit from it. I have bi-polar II and anxiety with panic attacks. For about a year I have been taking Effexor XR. I am taking a total of 300mg per day, along with Lamictal, and BuSpar. It has taken years for me to feel as well as I do now. I have a very caring doctor who is also bi-polar and has worked with me to find the combination of drugs that I need. It is imperative that you are monitored regularly by a very knowledgable psychiatrist. I have taken trazodone, Prozac, Paxil, Zyprexa, and none of them have worked as well as the Effexor XR. It is true that it has some side effects. I had to go several months before they went away. The insomnia is now being treated with Restoril as needed, under supervision. Of course, I withstood the side effects because I was desperate for anything that could make a difference in my life. Sometimes it's just about what you are willing to give in order to receive. I have never felt so normal in my entire life.

Posted by: LaTasha at February 3, 2005 9:31 AM

I started taking Effexor xr in September of 2003
nine months after the birth of my first child and the "split" from her father put me in a tailspin at that point in my life. I agreed to take effexor after the psych diagosed me w/ major depression. She told me that this drug did not cause weight gain (not like the other anit-depressants) and that it might even make me "not want to eat". I thought... humm, losing this baby weight will be easier w/ no appetite. I also asked about the sexual dysfunction thing and I was assured that it was not as bad as the others and that i should start feeling great in no time. Well, i did feel better after the first introduction doses then i got bummed up to 75 then to 150 and then to 150 twice a day making my max dose 300mg. I didn't ask questions at the time so i just did what the drs told me to do.

I knew i was mourning a broken relationship and trying to raise my daughter by myself dealing w/ the post pardom thing, the lifestyle change in having a child -- all was very foggy, confusing and new to me. I finally started to realize that my weight was not coming off at all (no matter how little i ate or excersised) not an once of weight would come off. I thought this is so wierd. I then started the vicious cycle of beating myself up for not being able to drop the wieght and not being able to get motivated to work out either. I was not even into looking my best (which is a big one for me)I just did not have the energy or interest anymore. I was really starting to get depressed from my depression medication.

I decided to stop taking effexor xr this year Jan. 2005. It has been 6 days now of no drug (i did wean off from 300 to 150 to 75 to 37. 5 to 1/2 of 37. 5 to nothing. I did each change in med for about a week. The last dose was Jan. 28 i took 1/2 of a 37.5 capsule and have been off ever since but not without some nasty withdrawls. 3 days after not taking anything i thought i would die... I got fever like symptoms, the shakes, blurred vision, dizzy, agitation, body fatigue, body aches,nausia, diarehha, crying episodes all day long. Not fun but i was determined. I made it through and so can you. It gets better after you peak and start to come off the meds day by day. Don't let the drs keep you on this drug any longer than necessary. For me, i was done, i was on it for a year 1/2 and it did help me get "in control" of my crying and negative emotions - now it's time to get back to living my life again. I felt like a different person on this drug - just not myself -- no emotion, no sex, wanting a lot of comfort food, frustration and a lot of isolation (i lost a couple friends due to my odd behavior on this drug) and most of all, i got depression regarding my weight -- this makes no sence when you are trying to up your self esteem not bring it down w/ weight issues in any case of depression. I'm getting better and better the "color" of my life is starting to shine again. Good luck to all of you and if you can, get through it and stop for good. It's worth it when you can wake up and not feel as if you've been hit by a truck in your sleep.
I know feel more energized, motivated, some sence of sexual feelings are resurfacing slowly, very slowly but it's progress and now we will see about the weight. i joined weight watchers and expect to see results this time.
I'm happier!

Posted by: Mia at February 3, 2005 2:59 PM

I have been on 150mg of Effexor for over a year. It seemed to have helped my anxiety quite a bit. My husband and I decided that we would like to have another child , so I began a weaning process. I went down to 112 for a month ,75 for a month , 37.5 for 2 weeks . I then got anxious to get off effexor completely. I started to take one 37.5 every other day ( as my doctor prescribed ) . The weaning process was going terrific until this point. Then the crying spells started , and the feeling of intense anger over stupid things. I hate the person I am right now.I am finished the weaning and I really hope that all these withdrawl symptoms end soon. Oh yes ! and I cannot sleep , that Is why I am writing this email ay 1:00 am .

good luck to everybody.

Posted by: Heather at February 5, 2005 3:03 AM

I have been taking Effexor (venlafaxine) 75mg for about 14 months. I certainly cracked my depression and apart from a few early side effects it was fine. The only lasting effect was erectile dysfunction (similar to brewers droop!). I got over this with Tadalafil 20mg. Much better and longer lasting than Viagra. However I am now trying to get off the Effexor and the withdrawal is unbearable. I tried slow reduction; sudden stop and now I'm alternating days with Fluoxetine (Prozac) 20mg. Withdrawal effects are: positional vertigo, poor concentration, nausea, tinitus and anxiety. The vertigo is the worst. If I bend down suddenly I get such violent vertigo that I have to get on the floor quickly and wait until it passes. My psyc is sending me to an ENT Doc to check it out. I did point out that I can get rid of the symptoms simply by taking 37.5mg Effexor! Any one else had these problems?

Posted by: at February 5, 2005 5:37 PM

I have taken Effexor (xr) twice in my life. The first time was in 1998. I was taking 300mg. a day for almost 2 years. The first 6 months were hell as my body adjusted to the meds. I did start at the low dose and worked up to the larger dose. After the adjustments were over I felt great! When I felt I had control of my life back I told my doc. I wanted to stop the meds. My doc. Tried talking me out of it, stating that for the meds to work that you needed to be on them for at least 5 or more years. Well I insisted and weaned off. The side effects were worth it just to be off. Then about a year ago my life became more then I could handle and I had to go back on Effexor (xr) again. This time Iím keeping the dose as low as I can, 150mg a day, and still have it work. I didnít go through an adjustment period this time, but if I forget to take my pill for the day the side affects start up right away (anywhere from 6 to 8 hours) and get worse the longer I go without taking it. Well anyway, other then the side affects Effexor (xr) seems to be working great for me. I like myself better and my kids no longer have to walk around on tiptoes because mom cryís at the drop of a hat. So for me Iíll put up with the side affects.

Posted by: Carol at February 11, 2005 3:22 PM

I have been on Effexor XR for 2 years and I'm wanting to stop taking it. I have gained weight which just adds to my depression. I started on it because it was suppose to "suppress your appetite," oppossed to what I was taking. I don't need it anymore. I was taking it for post-partum, as well as I run a Daycare and didn't figure it could hurt! But I am tired of being fat and feeling so lifeless and I think this has alot to do with it. It sounds like coming down from it is going to be awful. Does anyone have any suggestions besides what the Dr. will tell me? I get those feelings that everyone else talks about if I haven't taken it for the day. i'm terrified to try.

Posted by: Delynne at February 15, 2005 12:36 PM

I have been on Effexor-XR (150mg)for two years. In the beginning I felt GREAT!!! I never thought I could feel so happy. I didn't cry anymore and the Joan Crawford, "NO WIRE HANGERS!!!!", routine with my wonderfully accepting daughter-was history. Now although I still feel pretty good, the 64lbs I have gained is sending me into a state of panic. I can't seem to lose the weight, I am craving carbs like mad!!!! After my daughter's birth depression and donuts sent me to a whopping 240lbs (5'7.5) and 18W-20W. Then I got serious and over the next 2 years I was done to 168lbs and in an 10/12. When I started Effexor, my life was a mess. I was always smiling, but on the inside I was dying a horrible, slow death. No one knew this nice, sweet person wanted to kill herself. Then came Effexor; a saviour of sorts I actually LOST weight, I was in a size 8!!! I have always been a large-boned girl, so I battle with weight. Exercise has always reigned me in, but I just can't do it with Effexor; nothing seems to be working. I feel like a whale at 208lbs (my recent weighing at the OBGYN) I feel horrible about my weight!! Plus, I just don't seem to handle things as neatly as I did when I first started Effexor, I'm actually starting to worry about things again. I have a co-worker who has a niece that experienced something similar and tried Lexapro, but I don't know if I should try it. Has anyone alse had any luck? I am aslo afraid of the withdrawal from Effexor. I have missed 2 days before and felt like dead man walking, it was HORRIBLE!!!!!!!! I am afraid and wondering if I should just quit the meds and get used to a life that may not be the "perky" one I pretend to my world that it is. I can't gain anymore, I feel horrible.

Posted by: Casey at February 15, 2005 8:57 PM

I started effexor XR about a year ago when it was prescibed for bad depression &

GAD which had been going on for 3-4 years, 2 of which I spent completely

house-bound with no human contact excepty very close family.

I started off on 75mg once a day, after 4--6 weeks of taking effexor I didn't really notice

much difference. So I agreed with my doctor to up the dose to 150mg as apparently

75mg is a low dose, especially for someone of my size (I was 34st/ 476lbs when

starting effexor), with this increase and some CBT my life has changed around slowly

but surely. My mood is generally much better and although I still suffer from anxiety I

control the anxiety much more than it controls me. Recently I tried to go back into

education which didn't work out as I got anxious and left the class, this caused a mini

relapse and I have just recently started taking 150mg in the morning + 75 at night which

does seem to be helping me once again.

Effexor does have some side effects..... Weight loss being one of them, a positive one

in my case! In just under a year I have managed to lose around 150lbs but effexor also

causes me to sweat a LOT on occasions and missed doses can cause violent/tearful

mood swings, electric shock sensations and general 'weirdness' which can last

anything up to 5! days. Also Effexor is not meant for under 18's... I was 17 when I

started effexor and initally it DID cause a rise in suicidal feels and I did self harm

once...... the only other time I have self harmed it when I was on Seroxat (paroxitine?) 4

years ago.... coincidence? - I think not..... Effexor also seems to cause constant thirst / dry mouth and does change sexual function but not really in a negative way.

Overall I would say this is a useful drug, but the side-effects and withdrawal symptoms (which all doctors will deny till they are blue in the face) are not to be taken lightly and I think that really only experienced consutant psychiatrists should be able to prescibe it.

Posted by: Ben at February 16, 2005 7:52 AM

Having been on this drug for the last 27 months for mild anxiety my partner identified that I was more irritable and depressed (with no reason for any depression) and rude lately. That, and I hadn't noticed that our sex life was just about nil. I was surprised when she pointed out when the last time we were intimate was. I am constantly tired, can't seem to concentrate on anything especially when people are talking to me and I have been beset with bizarre dreams and frightening nightmares. When I told her that after waking up from a nap recently I thought there was a man at the end of the bed (there wasn't and somehow I knew that at the time) she became very concerned and said that she believed I was having adverse reactions to the Effexor. I then admitted having homicidal thoughts on occassion as well. So our plan is to wean me off this substance very gradually. About a year ago my doctor advised I should go off the medication. I take 75mg once a day so the doctor prescribed the initial dosage of 37.5 mg. I started on that dosage but within 24 hours was so nauseated and dizzy that I called the doctor on day three of the symptoms and went back to the 75mg. dose. Since I know that I will suffer discontinuation effects we are taking the capsules apart and taking out 2 grains and watching the effects over a period of days before taking out any more grains. On Monday (this is now Wednesday) we removed two grains to bring it down to 73 mg. and the next day after the reduction I felt dizzy all day at work. Today is the second day and I don't feel as dizzy and we are hoping that by tommorrow we can reduce the dose to 71mg. I am taking the medication at the exact time each day to monitor any side effects and I am also taking a vitamin B12, 1000mg tablet and 1 inositol 250 mg. tablet as well. Some research has shown that these two substances have, in clinical trials, reduced depression - mind you in the clinical trials the depressed patients were given 12 grams of inositol daily-in depressed subjects. We hope that taking these supplements during and long after the process of weaning me off Effexor may help to combat a serious depressive side effect. We can't even bear to think of anything to do with any homicidal effects although I have made a commitment to my partner to tell her if I am experiencing any suicidal or homicidal thoughts because she has a right to protect herself and her son and also wants to be able to protect me from myself if necessary. I had no idea how awful the side effects were from this drug. The current symptoms are so much worse than the anxiety symptoms the drug was originally prescribed to treat. Any withdrawal effects we will monitor to see if they subside. We figure if the negative symptoms abate then we can move to the next decrease but it will be gradual and may take many months depending on my reactions.

Posted by: Andrew Whittaker at February 16, 2005 5:30 PM

I have been on Effexor XR for about a year and a half and was previously on Zoloft for three years before that. Effeor XR does not seem to help with my depression/PTSD as well as Zoloft did. My moods seem to dip dangerously low, and get maniacally high -- all in a span of day or two. (I do not have reason to believe I am Bi-Polar since these mood swings came with the new drug)
Although it has really helped my anxiety attacks, I have had an increase in my heart skipping a beat (palpatations?) and my pulse racing. My blood pressure has also gone up. This absolutely terrifies me! Is there anyone out there who has also had heart related side effects?

Posted by: Suellen at February 18, 2005 11:25 PM

I hate this drug. I was initially placed on effexor xr when diagnosed with panic/anxiety disorder. Since then (about 8 months), I have been taking 150 mg a day and my sex drive has completely been murdered. I don't have sex, and find it VERY difficult to "get in the mood". Recently I have been trying to get off the drug. The withdrawl effects are tremendous ranging from sleeplessness, to confusion, but most of all I get "brain zaps", which affects me so much. The brain zaps are so intense that when they happen, my body actually cringes. I wish the doc never prescribed this med for me what-so-ever. EFFEXOR SUCKS...(my opinion by the way... I can't speak for everyone!) Take care all....

Posted by: Gina at February 25, 2005 5:39 PM

effexor sucks and this site is most obviously rigged because, think about it!, people DO NOT! go online to leave i love effexor posts, they go on to complain, IDIOTS!!!! effexor always sucks, it's just a matter of when, WYETH!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: anita m. whitt at March 16, 2005 3:06 PM

Anita, you think this site is rigged? Did you not see the forum that invites people to post positive feedback as well? I believe this is a website where those who are considering taking Effexor and Effexor XR go to find out more information both positive and negative. I am sorry you did not find this site helpful, however I personally found the testimonials useful and do not consider myself to be an "idiot". I am also sorry you have such misguided anger/frustration, and I think I speak for most of us when I ask you to please vent your anger elsewhere.

[moderator comments: please lets not get personal with each other.

I think it is fair to assume that more people who are dissatisfied with products are likely to look up information about them. In that effect this site likely has a natural bias toward collecting negative feedback.

Off the start I had possitive and negative feedback categories, but people were mixing up their feedbacks so I just made the categories all general feedback categories.

There is nothing scientific about the way this site collects data. But so long as people post it and it sounds honest and relevant and is not a racist type remark I leave it published.]

Posted by: Suellen at March 19, 2005 6:04 PM

I have been on Effexor XR a little over a year. Initially it helped a lot to get me out of my depression. Now, the side effects seem to be outweighing its helpfulness. I have gained 34lbs. in the past year and I'm tired all the time. I just recently started putting all of the pieces together that most of my problems in the past year have been side effects of this drug. Weight gain, tiredness, bad dreams, walking around in a daze, dizziness, sweating all the time, gastro-intestinal problems, everything! I am only 26 and had to have a colonoscopy because my doctors were so concerned.

I want to stop taking this drug, but I'm scared of the withdrawal symptoms. Even if I am a few hours late taking it, I get dizzy and start feeling like I'm going to have some sort of seizure.

My overall opinion of Effexor is that it's definitely effective as an antidepressant, but it causes a lot of difficulties also. Just be careful and weigh all of your options!

Posted by: Erin at March 23, 2005 3:00 PM

What a nightmare this has been...
This has been the first time I have been on an anti depressant. The doctor put me on it when my Mom died. After about 6 months I ran out and thought...oh well, I feel OK so I will not get a refill.

I had been on 75mg. Oh my God, my withdrawal has been awful and I did not even realize until about 3 days ago that it was the EFFEXOR all of this to me. The tiredness, suicide thought, crying, dizzy, totally fatigued, no will to live, feeling like I am having epileptic seizures etc., etc.

The worst thing is that about a week ago I went to my doctor after not having taken the drug for 3 months and complained of my symptoms.

Would you believe that he put me back on this "CRAP" with double the dosage then I was on before?

I finally got on the Internet and researched for withdrawal symptoms, and I could actually scream. I was just getting a little bit better...and my doctor puts me on that poison again?????

I am going to get of off this even if it kills me!!!

Posted by: Barbara at March 28, 2005 10:35 AM

i stopped taking fluoxetine 20mg overnight and felt fine now some 3 to 4 weeks on all my symptons have come back again and i feel light headed and dizzy sometimes throughout the day, could this be because i stopped taking them suddenly?

Posted by: imelda love at March 29, 2005 7:22 AM

This is an interesting site. I have been extremly depressed fot the past month. The psyc doubled my dose of efflexor to 180 about 3 weeeks ago. I seem to have gotten worse since the encrease in doseage took effect. The anxiety is back, I am crying and life seems to suck. The doctor said to stay on it at least another month then he will review my symptoms. I have gained 55 lbs since I started anti depressants in 2003 and within the last month, put on 14 lbs. I walk 5 days a week from 1 to 5 miles a day. The doctor told me there is no one antidepressant that will work to stop my weight gain. I am very concerned about the gain, and don't want to be in public as I am getting so fat. Any advice that may help will be appreciated. Thanks.

Posted by: Nancy at May 11, 2006 5:48 PM

My effexor dose has been increased to 450 about a week ago. I've been having more good time than bad but still, the heavy "bleeding" pain in my heart weighs me down and I wonder when it is ever going to up a leave my life. Do you expect the the effects to continue to improve over the next week?

Posted by: lou at June 30, 2006 7:22 AM

I agree with Annie who says Effexor XR saved her life. It helped me a lot. I do not like taking it, but when I skip a dose I get a terrible vertigo. My doctor says I will be on it forever, and I don't like that at all. So I am in a dilemma about this. I hope, maybe, that a replacement for Effexor XR which is similar, but not so hard to get off of, will be coming in the future. But generally I am grateful for anything that stopped major depression. It is a living hell.

Posted by: lorrie at July 7, 2006 2:50 PM

Hello, yes I developed quite severe depression and anxiety after a major move that my husband and I made after my first child was born. I suffered relentlessly for over 2 years until I finally got some help and my physician prescribed Effexor for me. Well, I tell you that I felt better almost immediately although now I have lost my libido. Its crazy how you just get over one problem and develop another. I have all good things to say about Effexor as I was getting deeper and deeper until I finally got some help. Thanks, Carol.

Posted by: Caro at July 30, 2006 1:34 AM

I have to get off of Effexor XR. I would rather die than continue to take it against my own will. The withdrawal symptoms make me a burden to the people around me, so for the time being I have resumed my dosage of 150 mgs.

For those of you who successfully quit: Did anything help with the nausea and the dizziness? Mine are so severe that I have to go back to the medication, or feel unable to breathe. Short of turning myself in to the health center at my college, (and hoping my family won't get a huge bill in the mail) I don't know what to do.

Posted by: manologirl at August 9, 2006 4:06 PM

I have been on 150 mg. of Effexor for 2 weeks now and I actually feel more depressed than I did when I started. My doctor changed my perscription, but I don't feel as though I will ever get better. I dread getting out of bed every day and only do so for my children. I have lost hope that I will ever feel like myself again. I have felt like this for 2 years now since the birth of my last child. I feel that depression holds a great stigma with it and I never talk about it to others. Are there any other things that will help me?

Posted by: jan at August 22, 2006 10:43 PM

My doctor added Lamictal 25mg *2 a day.(50mg.)along with my Effexor xr 75 mg. Is this a safe combination? I'm also on Celexa 20 mg. I feel like this might be too many pills. Has anyone heard of this before?

Posted by: linda bruin at September 11, 2006 9:34 PM

Effexor absolutely saved my life. I had been battling depression for 3 1/2 years on my own, when my father died and my partner at work went on the lam because of a coke problem. My world collapsed. I couldn't get out of bed. I couldn't sleep. I gained 65 pounds. Then my doctor prescribed Effexor. I started taking the lowest dose - 75, and began to feel better immediately. I became interested in life again. I started to feel and see and CARE about my family and friends. It has been 5 months, and I have lost 50 pounds. My libido is through the roof (boy, is my husband happy!) I do have flushing, and I find that I am pretty exhausted by days end, but other than that, I am thrilled.

Posted by: LMD at September 26, 2006 2:07 AM

my husband has been on effexor for about 2 yrs now and he is having mood swings and is starting to sleep more lately. It seems like he is very negative about everything. Does the Effexor not work after a certain time? Should he ask the doctor to up the dose or should he be put on something else. He has tried paxil and it made him sick. He has been having alot of sexual side affects also. I dont know what to do?? he is drinking more also and that isnt like him. Can you tell me if the effexor can make some one worse instead of better.

Posted by: missi at October 6, 2006 4:10 PM

Can anyone please tell me if the side effects of stoppng the effexor get worse as time goes by or better. I have been on 375mg, slowly came down to 75mg & instead of going to 37.5mg I have been only taking 75mg every second day. I do get the dizzy brain shiver feelings however am prepared to put up with them to come of the medication completely. The medication was great, however due to the sudden weight gain approx 15kgs in under 2 months from it stopping my metobolism working, not due to being hungry or over eating I want to get off it ASAP to lose this excess weight. When stoppng the effexor how soon after do you see any sort of weight loss. I am not down about my weight as I know its solely from the medication but am concerned about the short period of time I have gained it in as that is more unhealthy.
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Posted by: Bel at January 1, 2007 10:03 AM

I have been on Effexor for five years. I have arrived at the point where it no longer treats my depression. My doctor is not open to changing my antidepressant. She feels I need to learn coping strategies instead of changing medications. How do I convince my doctor that the drug simply doesn't meet my symptoms. Is it typical for a doctor to resist changing from one antidepressant to another? Is it typical for a drug to simply not work as it previously did?

Posted by: Jackie at January 3, 2007 10:39 PM

I took effexor for around 4 to 5 months, i'm 22 and male. it took away my anxiety somewhat..it def took the edge off of social situations and it helped my depression out a lot, it got rid of that feeling, that low ughy feelig, that just kept me from doing much. anyways since i felt better in social situations and not freaked out and panicy, i started to smoke weed on a regular basis, not a lot at a time, just a few small hits, but i really liked how i felt being high on the anti depressants. and i also drank more too because i didn't feel so depressed the next morning.

Posted by: steve at January 18, 2007 8:41 PM

I have been taking Effexor for 6 months now, and am I happy about it. I suffered from a continuous depression for at least 3 years, and cognitive therapy alone did not help me. I was very frustrated, because my depression had physical manifestations which bothered me a lot (increased heart rate, sweating, shivering).
My doctor prescribed Effexor to me, which took about 1 month to begin working. After 6 months of taking it, I am drastically less depressed, my physical manifestations almost disappeared, and I am more active overall. I am taking 225mg.
I am really glad I tried it.

Posted by: NotAnymore at January 27, 2007 1:26 PM

My exgirlfriend is the one on Effexor RX and I believe it has made her into a zombie. I love her soo so much and she just ended out relationship after 3 years. We have no sex life at all since a year ago when she switched to this drug. Now she has built this wall when ever we have an argument she is just not involved in fixing anything. Like a zombie that just wants to sleep. She tells me she still loves me and i'm her best friend, but she has this wall up about fixing any issues we may have. I say its this drug from hell that took her away from me. She just wants to sleep all the time. I say she doesn't know how to feel anything anymore. God, I just want her in my life, and all she does is sleep, cry, or she's in a daze and can't make a simple decision like ordering a coke or pepsi at a restaruant. What do I do. She won't hear me when I say its ths drug from hell. She doesn't have highs anymore, only the lows still and no other emotions about us........ Help

Posted by: David at January 29, 2007 5:00 AM

I have been on Effexor for about6 years now. I briefly stopped taking the drug in April - June of 06, but that time period turned into an utter disaster for me, so once more I went back on the drug.

When I first went on the drug when I was 19 years old I was 6'0 and weighed 180 pounds. Flash forward six years later and I have grown a 'bit' more and am now 6'2 235 pounds. I find it rather hard to believe that I would not have gained so much weight had it not been for effexor. The upside of being on the drug is that it does help me function normally throughout my day and I avoid panic attacks and such. The bad side is the weight gain and withdrawal symptoms that DO exist. I hate that the company denies that the withdrawal symptoms exist, they fucking exist.

If you take this drug, be very very careful to watch what you eat and continue to excerise regularly.

Posted by: Josh at February 21, 2007 12:56 PM

does effexor xr give you a major sex drive? i started off with lowest dose and now am on the highest and noticed since i am that i have a high sex drive i actually want to and enjoy having sex again...

Posted by: rosa at February 24, 2007 10:17 PM

I have been taking effexor for 5 years and it has done wonders for me. I tryed paxil, zoloft, mirazapine, and none helped me. I was on just 112mg for the first 4 years and just recently uped it to 225. I feel even better now and I am wondering if anybody has tryed a higher dose than 225 successfully.

Posted by: Clayton at February 27, 2007 11:28 PM

THIS DRUG should be banned !!!
Daily use of canabis will harm you less!!!
Effexor is the devil ! !!
God help me with those withdrawl symptoms !!!
If I had anyone from wyeth-ayerst in front of me, I would tell them That I have more respect for street drug dealers than those hypocritical mother fuckers

Posted by: feddup at March 5, 2007 12:05 PM

I was on Zoloft gradually up to 100 mg. for the last 5 years until it started to wear off. I just felt tired all the time and pretty much numb or over-insulated to the world. So my doc put me on 75mg of Effexor, which worked incredibly well for about 1 year. Recently I started feeling down and tired again and upped myself to 150 mg. every few days, which helped a lot. I feel normal again. Only problem, if it's a problem, is that if I don't take the 150 mg. I feel a little nauseous and light headed. So, apparently, I've got myself hooked into 150 mg. All of these drugs effect the sex drive, so if I'm anticipating a big weekend with my wife I just pop a 10 mg. Cialis and everything is great. What's the downside of all these drugs if they work? When I asked my doctor when I can stop them he said 20 to 30 years. I'm 40 now.

Posted by: Alex at March 30, 2007 2:13 PM

I was on Effexor Xr for 2 years, prior to using it I was diagnosed with extreme depression, I was suicidal, had panic attacks, etc. After about two months of being on the medication I felt normal again. I was confident, loved being active and going out (where as before I never wanted to leave my house) I never felt sad or unhappy without good reason. Now, three years after I stopped taking the medication I am still without depression. Therapy helped as well, but after the effexor started working I did not need therapy as much at all. The only side effects I had were leg twitches while I was sleeping ( which i didn't even know about until my boyfriend told me) and I had very vivid dreams in which i could remember every detail, it was also very easy for me to fall asleep, which was a good thing because before I had trouble sleeping. I love effexor and I believe it contributed to saving me from myself!

Posted by: Candice at April 14, 2007 2:59 PM

Beer is way cheaper than Effexor and actually has some benifit. If I chewed a Skittle every day it would be as effective as Effexor. I am currently taking 225mg and it does not work and is very expensive. I've decided to stop next month and start with my new Rx, a 6 pack of Milwaukee's Best Ice a night. Its cheaper and it works. I have no faith in mental meds, they seem to all be placebos.

Posted by: Milt Bight at June 14, 2007 11:39 PM

I've been on Effexor for about 3 years.
I've never felt depressed or diagnosed with depression. But am high strung and anxious (even on Effexor!)

Positives: No anxiety attacks (75mg/day)
Negatives: Sweating (very easily) And I'm not overweight

To me the positives outweigh the negatives, assuming this drug doesn't shorten my life.
Just my opinion!

Posted by: Surfer Bob at July 23, 2007 10:52 PM

Over twenty years ago, I was put on an old trycyclic called Doxepin, which is very sedating. It helped me sleep through the night and helped somewhat with the depression, but not with what I call my "black thoughts"; obsessive thoughts that went through my head constantly, telling me what a bad person I was.

About fifteen years ago I was on Prozac--horrible! Then I was on Zoloft for at least 8 years and what I noticed with this drug was that I felt I was just skimming along the surface of everything; not happy but not depressed. I compared it to a dragonfly just flitting over the water. The trouble is, there is a lot of stuff beneath that murky water that is roiling around and needs to be explored by a good psychotherapist, which I didn't have money for at that time.

I've always had a love of nature but seemed unable to really appreciate the calmness and beauty of it while on these antidepessants. I drove by myself to both California and New Mexico, and I'm sure it was a beautfiul drive, but I didn't feel my system could pause long enough for my soul to take in the peacefulness of the road and the beauty of the desert. That's what Zoloft was like, all the time. I could still feel anger and self-loathing, and I still had black obsessive thoughts, but not genuine happiness. I was unable to look forward and make plans for my future, or connect with happy times in my past. I was suspended in the present--in the moment. And the moments seemed to flash by until 8 years had gone by and I realized I had done nothing with my life! I had moved back in with my mother and was just on the internet or watching TV all the time, and working as a cashier at a grocery store, where I felt comfortable but far from challenged or stimulated. I have a BA in English and was doing absolutely nothing with it, and that was OK to me!

I started out taking 112mg of Effexor last May (2007) after spending most of the entire winter locked in my boyfriend's bathroom and crying as if mourning the death of a loved one--except no one had died...) My mother has been ill, I broke up with my boyfriend and moved back in with my mother yet again, decided to apply to graduate school for an MA in teaching, and to move into a nice house in Overland Park with a couple of roommates this January. One night I lost it and locked myself in my room and dug safety pins into my the skin on my legs until they bled, screaming, "Don't look at me!" My psychiatrist put me on 40 more mg. of Effexor.

I told myself that if Effexor turns out to be like Zoloft and stimulates my system so that I can't slow down to enjoy my life as it is actually happening, I will get off it. I've been on the extra 40mg for about a week. I felt it kick in yesterday. My system felt charged and my heart rate a little accelerated. Today, it was back to that old "dragonfly syndrome." I am so disgusted, tired and frustrated. I am afraid to make any changes, as I am to move and start graduate studies in January, but I refuse to live my life in an oblivious haze. I was so angry tonight I took six mg of Ativan and went to bed.

I want so much to get off these all these meds--as we all do. No one wants to be on something where the cure is as bad as, or worse than, the disease. I am determinend to find out all I can about taking vitamin and mineral supplements, getting on a low-impact excercise routine, taking yoga and/or meditating every day.

I used to function without all this shit. The doxepin was fine.
Then all these SSRRI's came along and everyone (especially the doctors) were anxious to try them. I just know this is not me. I am a dreamer, but still able to accomplish goals. I am also a writer and have no desire to write on this stuff. All I can feel is anger or flat in my emotions. I know there are books out there which help you if you truly decide to go medication-free. You just need to be prepared to have bad days and live alongside them, as you do the good days. And after a while, the good begins to outweigh the bad (if your depression is not completely debilitating). An excellent book to read is "Hope and Help For Your Nerves" and "Peace From Nervous Suffering", both books by Dr. Claire Weekes. I don't know if they are both in print any more, but I think you can get them used on Amazon.com.
They changed my life.

Two other good books are "Is It My Meds or Is It Me?" (can't remember the editor) and "Unholy Ghost", which is a collection of essays by writers on depression that is very enlightening.

I have deep compassion for all of us who are struggling daily with this disease. We are all so much stronger and resourceful than we realize. Do what feels right for you, but I feel in my heart that these medications present a terrible price to pay in the long run. Good luck to all of us.

Posted by: Christie at December 1, 2007 12:45 AM

I just got my prescription today i dont have a drug history short from tylenol so im kinda scared... Wow depression? Pray for me...

Posted by: Tanya at September 10, 2008 1:29 PM

I have been taking Effexor XR for about 3 months. Due to losing my meds I've had to withdraw twice but am currently on them. The withdraws were terrible. I felt like an observer of my own life. i didn't feel like I was actually living, everything felt like a dream. Also, I had no motivation to do anything. Now that I am back on them, not much has changed. I have no desire to do anything anymore. I know I'm acting strange, but I can't figure out what I used to act like. I got on them after my boyfriend committed suicide in front of me for PTSD, depression, and anxiety. I greived for a long time, but on this medicine I do not care about him at all. That disturbs me alot... I just feel like a total robot and I've forgotten who i used to be. I don't know who I am. I would not recommed this medicine to anyone. Unless you enjoy being a total zombie/ friends constantly asking what's wrong with you/ forgetting your personal identity/ wanting to hide from the world etc.

I'm trying to get off of it but I'm so scared of the withdraw...

Posted by: Julia at December 20, 2008 5:47 PM

I was prescribed this drug by my PCP, before I started going to a psychiatrist. This drug had horrible side effects such as blurred vision, delayed focusing, serious night sweats, dizzyness, nauseau and mood issues. My wife came up with the name - Side-Effexor. Very accurate!

Posted by: Rogers at January 17, 2009 11:54 PM

I have been taking Effexor XR 75mg per day, for a year now. I can't tell you how my life has changed. I felt more like myself than I have in years. I went through a period of tremendous aniety and crying. My husband likes how this medicine has helped me. My sense of humor is back, I don't get so upset about things, and I must say that my quality of life is so much better. I will post again when and if I discontinue

Posted by: Diane at February 2, 2009 8:09 PM

I have been on effexor for 10 yrs.( 600mg.)I'm still not feeling much different than when I first started on the medication. I do tend to have a lot of anxiety through much of the day. I'm not interested in having sex with my girlfriend,I tend to sleep more hours out of the day than I'm up. I'm very forgetful,either it's because I don't want to listen to my girlfriend when she says things to me or I'm just forgetful. I was taking the drugs procera avh(3 capsules, 1500mg total) and omega 3 (1000mg each)for my memory, but, to no avail. I did try and decrease the mg. of effexor that I was taking with my phychiatrist knowledge,but, I decided to go back on. taking less or the same has not made me feel any better. What would you suggest ?

Posted by: john mcmahon at March 13, 2009 1:18 PM

yes the withdrawal sypmtoms of this drug were awful for me. Dizziness, nausea, vertigo. The only way I could ween myself off of them was to break the tablets apart and gradually decrease the dose. Going from 37.5 mg to nothing was impossible. Seems the drug manufacturer only wants ppl to start taking this medication...not to come off of these. It is too bad. I generally had a very positive experience with taking this drug. My anxiety definitely diminished and I able to speak in front of crowds with little nervousness but the withdrawal symptoms are absolutely terrible with this drug AND doctors will deny that there are such terrible withdrawal symptoms.

Posted by: T at April 14, 2009 12:49 PM

my husband is almost 5 years clean and sober, he was started out on zoloft out of rehab and now is on effexor. he has no sex drive or flirtation or compassion and we only have sex about every 4 to 6 weeks, with no affection, kissing, or words what cn i do to overpower this problem

Posted by: lisagray at May 3, 2009 11:21 PM

I take 37.5 and that helps me, just would like to take as little as possible ,as worried about toxicity over long-term use,does anyone else take a smaller dose and still find it effective,bit of a pun maybe?
Replies welcomed.It does help and fills a gap of things depleted in life.
I do get wind in respiratory system could be a good diet pill.

Posted by: maya at May 22, 2009 3:31 PM

I have been taking Effexor for over 5 yrs. now. I started on Effexor but I now take Effexor Xr and I feel for all of you who have not had good results but I WILL NOT stop taking my meds. Before, I would have panic attacks,violent attacks even sexual attacks. I would need sex right then and there or I would get very angry to the point I would become violent with my husband. I would go thru episodes where my body would just shake,I would feel like I had the flu or as if I was a drug addict kicking a habit going thru withdrawals, cry for no reason, I could not control my stuttering. When I started Effexor I noticed a difference within 5 days. I feel better when I take it. I feel calm, my sex drive is not as strong but at least now my husband can keep up with my needs which are now about 3-5 times a week. I have so much more patience with my kids. I will be on this med. for the rest of my life but I don't mind as long as it keeps giving me the peace that it has so far.

Posted by: Vanessa at February 19, 2010 11:05 AM

Ive been taking Effexor XR for 3 years now. I started at 75mg and now am at 300 mg! The main thing you must know is that the body builds a tolerance to it and the effexor is nowhere near as effective as it is when you first start it. For the first year I remember 150 being super effective. And then it petered out and I got to 225 which worked for awhile and now I am at 300 as I said. I seriously believe I do not do as well, as when I first started out. I can remember taking the pills early in the morning and then an hour later feeling great. Now I would say that it takes a good 4-5 hours before I can feel good.

Life sucks bad currently. The past year since upping my dosage I have had horrible sweating to the point where I have to bring a friggin small hand towel with me everywhere I go just so I can wipe my friggim scalp off and not be embarasssed everywhere. Grocery stores and banks are a nightmare, because Being in line, people will see me wipe sweat and it is just embarassing. Some people are rude and ask whats wrong and some are stupid enough to say, are you hot? I swear if I had a nickel for everytime I heard that one. Last time I got pestered with, by a fat black lady, who said "oh my hes sweating hard" I said back, "Yeah, because I ran up here and that is how I stay in shape, you should try it too, because you look fat" She shut up after that.
The Insomnia on this crap is pretty hardcore too. I cannot sleep to save my friggin life some nights. It is horrible.
Other side effects that are minor and tolerable are headaches, nausea, and very rarely dizziness. Vernors and Tylenol have become close friends of mine.
All in all, I would say the drug is 3/5 stars. If it worked better and didnt have embarassing side effects I would be happier.

Posted by: Aaron Smith at March 27, 2010 6:24 AM

Depression is a chronic thing. You do NOT take antidepressants to cure depression. You take them as a comfort measure to help mask the symptoms of depression and allow you to feel "normal." This means that YOU SHOULD NOT STOP TAKING THE MEDICATION BECAUSE YOU ARE NO LONGER DEPRESSED. I don't know where this myth comes from. Your depression is not cured because of antidepressants. It is masked, so stopping your medication will send you into a relapse.

That said... I'm on effexor 37.5 mg due to depression and anxiety which I've had for about 10 years. My only problem is that I should have got on effexor a lot sooner! I feel wonderful. Completely normal. I feel like myself from before I first started depression.

Currently, I am switching to zoloft (attempting to, anyway :P) because my partner and I would love more children in the future, so we figured I should switch now and give myself a few months-years to adapt to the new medication.

Please remember that antidepressants such as effexor can take three weeks for your serum levels to adjust. This means that if you are starting on effexor, it can take three weeks for you to feel the effects and for other side effects to die down (such as extreme fatigue). It also means that if you are weaning down or increasing the dose, you should allow yourself at least three weeks to adapt to the new dose. Going from a high dose to a lower dose each week will catch up to you very quickly. Be slow. Be patient.

Posted by: Jocelyn at April 29, 2010 2:01 PM

My husband is on Efexor 150mg.

He has turned into a complete zombie, he is always angry, and constantly sleeps! sleeps! sleeps! He has suddenly developed a violent temper, and is constantly sweating and he is not interested in anything!

This medication is a complete waste of time, it makes people worse, Were the people at Wyeth on drugs when they made it?

Posted by: Lidia at March 13, 2011 12:39 PM

This is the statement I filed on the FDA's website this morning:
On 4/29/2011 I received a prescription for Venlafaxine, generic efferox, 25mg. with dosage instructions to take twice daily.
Upon ingesting the first dose, within 15 minutes abdominal pain started. Next, loud noises rumbled across my abdomen and intestinal spasms commenced. This developed into horrid diarrhea which continued for 2 days when I did take Imodium which did stop the diarrhea but not the nausea and loud rumblings-these continued for three more days.
I began to have tremors and shaking internally which spread to all extremities. I slept fitfully and awoke the next morning in a sweat with chills, a bone chilling cold, that did not subside even with the addition of several blankets. I found I was unable to speak coherently. My speech was jerky and nonsensical. My heart rate was fast and felt uneven. I lost the fine motor control over my hands.
The second day I was able to access the internet and realized quickly that I was experiencing serotonin syndrome-classified as mild by Hunter standards since I wasn't in a coma, nor did I have a very high fever. Due to the short half life of this drug I ascertained the symptoms should abate within 24 hours so I chose to ride it out rather than go the emergency room.
The symptoms continued and I was unable to stand or walk normally for over 48 hours due to weakness, tremors, dizziness and pain in my knees. I had developed a slight headache with the feeling that my brain was bobbling around inside my skull and a host of other mysterious pains shooting through my arms and legs. It was very difficult to concentrate and I felt completely disoriented the entire time.
I contacted my Dr.'s office as soon as they opened Monday morning and was told I would receive a call back-I never spoke to anyone on Monday, they did not call back. It has been five days now and most but not all of the symptoms are gone-I still have a dull headache, shooting pains in my arms and legs and feel exhausted.

The nurse did call me back yesterday and said my doctor wanted me to continue taking this medication and make another appointment.
I am not willing to risk continuing with this treatment.

Posted by: ms williams at May 4, 2011 1:42 PM

About a week ago I lowered my Venlafaxine from 75mg to 37.5 as I would like to start weaning myself off of it. I have had headaches and usually when the dose it lowered they go away and they have but I am feeling more sad then normal. I wouldn't hurt myself or anyone but I am just sad. Not sure if I should go up a dose or what.

Posted by: Annon at December 7, 2015 9:22 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.