Effexor

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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 have found that after a month use of Effexor, it has left me feeling tired all day and up all night. I hope these are not normal side effects.

Posted by: at July 19, 2005 9:53 PM

I am currently on lexapro for mood swings along with anxiety,shakeyness..etc. almost all the sympoms for generalized anxiety disorder. Some people have told me that I should be on effexor for my gad instead. Anyone have any advice or comments?

Posted by: Heather Colbert at July 21, 2005 5:22 PM

Hi My name is david about one year ago I was put on this effexor 75mg XR. I was told that it would help my anxiety and mood swings. I started taking it immediately and noticed a more positive outlook on life. I remained on the drug for one year. I noticed the only thing this drug actually did was hide my problems from the only person that was able to fix them. ME!!!!! This is a terrible drug that I would aquate to "amrossia" execpt once you stop eating this little peice of candy your life gets turned upside down to the point where you can hardly function. At first the side effects of quitting effexor start of like shooting pains or bolts of electric current being zapped into your brain. Than you feel uncomfortable, irritable, sleeplees as well as extremly exhausted. The shooting electrical currents only show up when your trying to go to sleep. I kid you not it feels like shock therapy treatment. Than you feel fine as long as your staying healthy, eating healthy and excerising. You must do this after quiting effexor or you will probably die. But still after a week of not taking this drug you still feel really really weird. You also sweat at night a lot, and feel really light headed. I would never ever again take any drug as long as I live. Excerise, Eat healthy and try and stay positive that is natures own effexor trust me!!!!!!!

Thank you for reading I hope this helps someone not take the awfull drug!

Posted by: David at July 23, 2005 9:13 PM

My child was diagnosed with a genetic fatal illness 3 months ago. My family has been under a great deal of stress and I was not functioning well. The Children's Hospital Neurologist ran multiple test on him and determined that he DIDN'T have this disease but the MRI was so abnormal that they could not explain it to us. I thought that I should see a doctor because I was not coping that well. I was prescribed Effexor which I took for a month but started developing terrible bruises and hives. I spoke to my doctor because I felt like I was doing well enough to be off of it. The doctor convinced me that I should stay on it for 6 months. I went home and decided that God was going to get us through this and I didn't need drugs. I called and told them that I wanted to quit the drug and did I need to lower the dose and come off of it gradually. I was told to just stop and I would be OK because it was a lower dose. I quit 2 days ago and I sleep and have terrible nightmares and my husband grabs me to calm me as I am hitting and screaming in my sleep. I go back to sleep and go right back into another nightmare. All of my nightmares take place in my home or at my families homes and I can't tell that I am asleep. I am up and terrified to sleep. I think that this drug is terribly dangerous and I will be calling my doctor in the morning to advise him of the reaction that I have had. I also had an opportunity to read several other stories about nightmares from effexor. I would never have taken it if I would have been properly informed of the problems with withdrawl. I am sure that many stay on it because they feel like they are going crazy. I have never had depression problems and never been on medication so I imagine that a person that has some depression issues would feel like they were really a wreck when it is the drug that is intensifying it all. i can't wait for this nightmare to end. i hope that I can sleep again soon.

Posted by: sheree at August 9, 2005 5:47 AM

Does anyone have anything good to say about Effexor XR?
All I read is negative. How discouraging!

Posted by: at August 17, 2005 11:42 PM

I went to a therapist on advice from a priest.
she took one look at me and said "you need medication...you are SERIOUSLY depressed."
I went to a psychiatrist and she confirmed this.
I started on 37.5 mg. of Effexor. Within 2 DAYS I felt like a new person! It amazed me to feel this good..in fact, I do not remember EVER being without an underlying sadness and rage. The psychiatrist said I have probably survived like this my entire life without realizing it was a chemical problem. I went to 75 mg. and now have
moved up to 75 in the am and 75 in the afternoon.
I am very motivated; my thinking is crystal clear for the first time in my memory...and the fear I have lived with my entire life is totally gone.
Whoever figured this out ...it is a wonderful thing. Freud said "someday it will be discovered that disorders are physical, but it will not happen in my lifetime." I think he was right.

Posted by: evelyn at August 28, 2005 10:49 AM

I have been on Effexor XR at 75mg for 2 years for Fibromyalgia. It did help at first, but not without side effects. I am now trying to stop taking it due to loss of insurance. At first I lowered down to 37.5 mg. for about 2 weeks. (had horrible withdrawls even doing that) Then I started taking it every other day...THAT DID NOT WORK!! I have never experienced anything so horrible as the withdrawals. I am now taking a few granules from the capsule each day. I want off this stuff and would have never started it had I known that it is the hardest drug in this category to come off of. I have had brain zaps, headache, nausea, night sweats, hot flashes, feeling like you are falling when lying in bed, feelings of rage and anger. I literally had to stay in bed on those off days. I want to be Effexor free. But I know from experience that you have to taper down very slowly. No one should EVER try stopping it cold turkey. I have researched and found that most everyone has these same problems that try to come off it.

I did find that Benedryl Sinus helps some with the headache.

I have suffered many days because of this drug. I think they should take it off the market and I went to FDA web-site and filed a report stating so! They added a warning just a year or so ago to the prescribing info that one might have "dis-continuation problems."
YEAH RIGHT!!!

My advise to anyone is, don't take it, if you ever think you might have to stop it!

Posted by: Wanda at September 9, 2005 12:29 PM

I went on Effexor after trying many othe types of antidepressants then I noticed as a result I was getting fat...which made me more depressed and I ate anything with sugar I could put my hands on. My sexual appetite however diminished drastically and when one is depressed and sex is one of the few joy's in life...this just wasn't going to work for me.
Effexor made me FEEL better however. and this drug may save lives.
NOW since I decided this wasn't going to work for me because of weight gain & sexual disfunction I got off of them.
NOW getting off of Effexor was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I felt like I was coming off of Heroin or something. So I found a brilliant webpage that had some chat about coming off of Effexor and one man recommended taking the capsule apart..and weening off...every tiny granual...by every tiny granual...and this helped me tremendously.
Hope it was helpful to someone...I'm sorry for all of us that suffer from this disease..it really is a shame. God Bless you all.

Posted by: lala at September 17, 2005 6:12 PM

I have been taking Effexor XR 150mg for 7 years now. I take it for extreem GAD, and Social Phobia. It saved my life. I haven't ever had any bad side effects that i can't live with until 2 or 3 months ago. I have started to experience the symptoms of withdrawal....but, I'm not going off the med. I haven't changed my dose either. Increasing the dose doesn't seem to help either. I hope that I can get back to normal soon!

Posted by: aunt lola at September 26, 2005 1:38 PM

i was on effexor for 6 months and have never felt right. Yes, I kept taking it; thinking it may work. i finally discussed the sweats (day or night) that I had, the nausea, insomnia, and nightmares. I have been struggling with my marriage and children because of the mood-swings and irritability. He just prescribed me a different one LEPREXO. I don't want to take anymore antidepressants, but I don't know how to feel or what to do.

Posted by: Rebekah at April 17, 2006 3:25 PM

I think effexor is the worst medicine you can de taking, it does not work for nothing it makes everything worst and you really dont realize anything till yopu go see a doctor. All i wantis to let every body out there who is taking effexor to quit and take something else and before you drink anything make shore you look up the medicine in the internet to see all the side effects it has , take care of your self.

Posted by: genet at April 23, 2006 8:07 PM

I was bitching about my personal life to my parents to make me feel better. But, then one day they took me to a doctor they convinced me that I was depressed. I was feeling good but I thought the drug would give me more energy. I took it for two days and I feel wiped out. I think my whole personality is gone. any comments

Posted by: James Ballhurst at May 2, 2006 1:03 PM

This medicine is wonderful. I have extreme anxiety issues and got to the point where i was scared to leave my house. I was put on zoloft which put me to sleep for a week.. then changed to 75mg of effexor. My doctor is an expert in this medicine, knows how to ween people off and everything. The people experiencing all these horrible withdrawals are with doctors that are not educated enough. I love this medicine, it saved me and made me a better person.

Posted by: Julie at May 7, 2006 9:50 PM

Hi, Should I worry about weight gain with taken this Effexor xr? If so what antidepressant is good about no side effect to weight gain? Please let me know I have tried Lexapro, Zoloft, Paxil & prozac.
Thank you

Posted by: Emily at July 3, 2006 7:04 AM

I am coming off Effexor XR 75mg after 2 1/2 years of being on it. I like the idea of cutting back on meds and getting into DBT to fix the real issues, but I feel like I am losing my mind. I feel so light-headed and dizzy, my head aches, and my stomach is hurting. I cut back to 37.5 for 2 weeks and came off completely 3 days ago. I am crying at the drop of a hat for no reason. And of course, it's Friday so my pdoc is gone for the weekend. And I have to work. Life sucks at the moment and I just want to make sure I'm not alone in this.

Posted by: squeels1221 at July 14, 2006 4:04 PM

i'm starting on effexor today for depression and lack of energy from the depression ive read a lot of horrible things about it today and dont know now rather i should continue it tommorow. any comments?

Posted by: aleta at July 18, 2006 10:10 PM

I have been taking Effexor for about 5 years now (175 mg a day). I was depressed and found I was getting very anxious. And this was before my diagnose of Cancer 5 years ago. So after I was diagnosed my doctor put my on this medication. If I miss a day... all hell breaks loose. I feel very sick and depressed if I miss just one day. I don't know if I will ever be able to go off this medication. It has done wonders for me. I still sometimes feel depressed but who doesn't?

Posted by: carla at July 24, 2006 10:45 AM

I am in the process of quitting effexor xr cold turkey. I have been taking it for around two years. When I started taking it (37.5 mg up to 75 and 150) I was so happy. My wife was on the verge of leaving me due to my complaining about everything and being negative and being basically a prick for the lack of a better word. After having a breakdown, I found symptoms of depression via the internet. Out of the thirteen listed I checked off eleven. I took this to my doctor and he prescribed the meds.

I was taking 150 mg and went to 75 mg for a week. I then went to 37.5 mg for a week. Then went one day without and one day with a 37.5 mg pill. The day without almost drove me crazy. The only way I have to describe it is a very mild electrical shock in my head, this is what it feels like 'EVERY' time I look to a new location. I can be staring at the computer screen and look to the left at a paper and 'zap'. Every single time I change the position of my eyes I get this zap. I have been getting 'zapped' for two and a half days now. Note that effexor is usually prescribed for 'Severe' depression. After using effexor for a while, it didn't really seem to be helping much. I know people who have developed eating disorders due to taking effexor. One lady lossed so much weight she HAD to stop taking it. She was about 30 lbs. under weight. I personally had serious ejaculatory problems. At times it might take 30 to 45 minutes to be able to do my business. I also would normally develop a nasty headache, in the back of the head, where the spine enters the skull almost every single day in early afternoon. Of course this required taking pain reliever to reduce this pain due to its severity.

Dr. said meds. should be out of system in three days. I will find out tomorrow.

Also remember, this is YOUR brain you are going to be feeding medication to. Doctors have no problem writing a prescription for you. YOU are the one that will have to deal with the effects the medication has on YOU. Whether while on them or trying to get off of them. Like most drugs, getting on them isn't the problem.

I probably did some rambling, I really don't know. I am somewhat incoherent due to the lack of my normal 'fix'. I estimate about 115 'zaps' to type this.

Have a great day and don't forget about prayer, you know, to Jesus!

Posted by: Jamie at July 31, 2006 2:30 PM

I have too much experience weaning my loved ones off these dangerous drugs. We found out that hypoglycemia can cause anxiety and depression and no more drugs. We had to wean my son, off Effexor while in juvenile detention. After his arrest we found out that he had been hallucinating on both paxil and effexor. Corey was found to be in diminished capacity because of the abrupt discontinuation of Paxil and a significant dose of Effexor (300mgs).I have included the URL for a hypoglycemia article that will explain the problem better than I.
www.alternativementalhealth.com/articles/hypoglycemia.htm
checkout other articles
www.alternativementalhealth.com/articles/default.htm#D
www.drugawareness.org
www.antidepressantsfacts.com

Jay
Google: Corey Baadsgaard

Posted by: Jay at August 1, 2006 11:01 AM

i am alwys sleepy

Posted by: pat seibel at August 7, 2006 2:37 PM

I have been taking Effexor XR for 8 years now and have tried to ween myself off of it with and without medical supervision with no success either way. I feel like I have no emotions while taking it, not happy or sad, just exsisting! When I tried to come off of it cold turkey it about killed me. I did not go out of the house for four weeks, the first couple days I had the electric volts up the back of my head every time I moved, vomiting, dizziness, extreme moods, dangerous to myself and my family, it only got worse, I couldn't even cover up with a sheet, everything hurt. I had to start taking them again after a month of trying to quit but I did lower the dose from 525mg a day 150mg a day but it has taken a very long time. I wish I had never taken that first one. Do not quit abruptly! Even with help, get you a nice padded room ready.

Posted by: Cindy at August 16, 2006 1:28 AM

I have been on a low dose of Effexor XR (75 mg. daily) for about five years. After cutting my dosage in half for two weeks, I am no longer taking this medication. I now have very bad muscle pain and my bones ache all over. I also feel very tired. Could these problems be side effects of being off the Effexor? I have no other health problems other than high cholesterol which is now under control with the use of Lipitor. Thank you for any light you might be able to shed on my concerns. (Pat)

Posted by: Pat at August 18, 2006 10:48 PM

i took my 2nd one for the first time today. If i stop now, do you think i will experience any side effects ?

Posted by: jules at August 19, 2006 1:42 PM


Effexor XR is causing headaches all day long.My issues don't seem any better maybe even worse. I don't get the whole anti-depression thing when the problems causing the depression are still very real. Any suggestions ?

Posted by: L . Pence at August 31, 2006 9:47 AM

Effexor has only brought me so far but after that i duno i might try a different type of medication or different dose.

Posted by: Catherine at September 5, 2006 3:20 PM

prozac can be helpful in weaning off of effexor..Effexor has a very very very short half life which makes your body freak out when you stop taking it or take less of it..prozac has a long half life and helps to 'fill in' the 'gap' where the effxor used to be and fools your body into not freaking out..
then you can wean off of prozac alot easier..

effexor has changed my life..I am sorry it doesn't work for everyone, but it works for me..
the short half life is what makes it so bad to come off of and Dr's are sorely underinformed onj how to come off of it..cold turkey is never good, but coming off of E cold turkey is HORRID!
most people who go on this and have to go off of it, say it is so bad and blame their dr;s for it..but knowldge is power..and knowing how to come off of it and WHY it is so hard to come off of it goes along way!

Posted by: Tiffany at September 16, 2006 1:43 PM

I have been taking Effexor xr for two weeks. The first day i took effexor 75mg I felt really great,but then I just felt numb. I noticed that I had lost any desire for sex. So I decided to quit cold turkey and I felt horrible!! Sweating, anger, and this weird feeling in my head like shocks. I started taking effexor again because the side effects were horrible, but I plan to ween off as soo as possible. I knew that it was a bad idea to start taking this medicine their are so many horrible side effects listed and they all happen when you take this dumd anti-depressant. My advice stay away from this drug.

Posted by: julie at September 26, 2006 11:46 AM

I have been on Effexor XR 150mg for almost two months. I have not seen any differnce in my anxiety or depression. Should I up the dosage or try something eles? Please any advice will help...........

Angel

Posted by: Angel at October 6, 2006 3:00 PM

im a 35 yr old female i started effexor for depression and anxiety i only took one dose because i experienced burred vision trouble concentrating very tierd and sleepy all day long like i can just go to sleep constantly i feel very wierd im not taking anymore im not used to feeling this a way i like to be alert

Posted by: angelaheeters at October 23, 2006 9:59 AM

im a 35 yr old female i started effexor for depression and anxiety i only took one dose because i experienced burred vision trouble concentrating very tierd and sleepy all day long like i can just go to sleep constantly i feel very wierd im not taking anymore im not used to feeling this a way i like to be alert

Posted by: angelaheeters at October 23, 2006 9:59 AM

I have been taking 150 mg of Effexor XR for about 5 weeks with the normal increase from 37.5 mg to 150mg. I too have been experiencing horrible side effects. Exhausted all the time but can't sleep all the way thru the night had brain fog but that has gone away but now I too am experiencing the nightmares. I don't believe this med has helped me. When I called my Dr she told me to take at night right before going to bed. In defense of her I have not reported the nightmares yet. I have taken Fluoxetine in the past and did not experience the amount of side effects I am on Effexor. I want to go off it and know I have to do it gradually but how....does anyone have a tried and true method. As like others have written I feel much worse on this med than before I started it.

Posted by: Francine Franklin at November 4, 2006 12:17 PM

how long does effexor stay in your body for?

Posted by: Lyndsay at November 12, 2006 11:54 PM

hi i've been reading the various comments regarding effexor xr. i myself had tried various other drugs, such as zoloft, and paxil, which made me hostile, abusive bother physially and mentally and severly depressed to the point where i was calling health emergency centres for help and talking hopeless for hours. i've taken so many different drugs and alternative herbs, vitamins and more. nothing worked. i started jobs and never ended them. never completed anything to the fullest always causing arguments. i've been taking effexor now for approximately a year. my doctor originally prescribed 37.5 but i needed more. 75 mg. is my actual comfortable limit. let me advise you not to listen to the negative so much regarding this drug, everyone has different effects on it. i've done and analyzed it all. my conclusion is that ever since i've been on effexor, i have been going to night school never missing classes, i've been keeping a steady day time job. i have stopped arguing, worrying and feeling tired and depressed. however, that is me, and not you. you must find out what you need to benefit you and remember how you were and how you are now. my husband and i have yet to have a fight, it's been a year, not one, ever. please feel free to contact me. i am training paralegal because this drug helped me to persue my interests in life unemotionally, which noone really needs to be too emotional, with the combination of omega 3 and flax seed and this godsent drug which was invented by some highly intellectual individuals who are not out to hurt anyone but too help. this drug is wonderful and i bless the day it was invented. my advice is to try it, don't analyze it and listen to your own intuition, any questions? juliegreg@rogers.com

Posted by: julie cousens at November 15, 2006 2:01 PM

I have been on Effexor XR 75 mg. for 1 year now. I was anxious all of the time. Everything was to much for me to handle. I felt completely unable to cope with life and my children. I was also depressed and wanted to sleep alot. I couldn't go to bed at night my mind was driving me crazy, it was going 1000 miles an hour and I could not fall sleep until I was completely exausted. So I would stay up working till all hours of the night to keep myself from thinking too much.

When I started it I went through many side effects like feeling completely out of it, almost in a dream state, also feeling nausious through most of the day. Not feeling like myself or feeling anything at all. I felt worried that I was losing myself. These side effects only lasted a few weeks and then the medicine worked wonderfully. I knew someone that had taken it before and they had warned me about these effects so I was prepared for them and knew they would go away. I was able to feel calm and normal as long as I didn't miss a dose. It was difficult for me to remember to take a pill every day. When I missed a day it would send me off the deep end. But once I took the pill again things would go back to normal. I ran into some problems with my insurance and couldn't get the medicine for 3 weeks after taking it for 7 or 8 months. This was hell on me. Do not go off of this medicine abruptly. It will MESS YOU UP!!! I did some research at this point and read story after story telling how difficult it is to get off of Effexor. It was recommended that you lower your dose slowly... not just by taking half a dose for 2 weeks and then going off, but rather take a few months to get off of it - regardless of what your doctor tells you.

I resumed taking the pills as soon as I could and went through some of the original side effects again, but stablized quicker this time. Things were better again for awhile. I can now miss a dose for a day and not completely lose it and am fairly level most of the time. There are still a few side effects night sweats are real bad, I wake up drenched every night still. I went through months of having a very dry mouth, but for the most part that is gone now. I feel that it has helped me get through a very difficult time in my life and have benifited from it. I do belive that it isn't right for everyone though.

However, lately I have noticed that I am tired every day, I can fall asleep in a few minutes whether it is 9:00 in the morning or 2:00 in the afternoon or 6:00 in the evening. I fell asleep in the car waiting for my children to get out of school the other day, I take naps most days. At night I am quite awake and sometimes can't fall asleep. I am struggling with waking up in the morning too. My kids have to wake me up because the alarm doesn't faze me. I have lost motivation again and have a hard time getting myself to do things that really need to get done. I don't know if it is related to the medicine or if I am just depressed or what. I am confussed and disappointed in myself. Someone recently told me that perhaps I need to up my dose to 150 mg or go off of it now. Anyone with a personal experience like this feel free to email me. I could use some feedback. allsmiles633@hotmail.com

Posted by: crazy or lazy? at November 15, 2006 7:57 PM

I just got Effexor xr from my doctor.

I am 22 and also experience anxiety(5 years).I am on seroqual and paxil..for the seroqual i take 500 which is a lot. I gained a lot of weight the anxiety came back which means i had increase it to 600 and also continue to still experience the distouch from my body, so i talked to my doctor about it. So i tried to get of it by myself for a few days. It was a living hell, because i had even more exstreem anxiety coming back to me. My mind played a lot of tricks on me.

So i talked to my pastor about it. And we did a lot of prayer With God's help and healing i've been off the med for about a month now(something i never dream of trying becaue of the effect)

But becasue of the distached feeling i went back to my doctor and she gave me EFFEXOR XR to help me more. So before i was going to take it, i game on this website and am so glade that i did.. wow interesting comments. I really think that Effexor XR is not for everyone. This Med... is for the exstream depressed people.

My advice is that when you get another medication or are planning..do some research about it.


I believe that anyone can get of their medication no matter what they are taking.

This for anyone who believes in God. What i did to help me. I talk to my pastor about it and he prayed for me and still praying for me. Meditate on the word of God... believing that i will get through it..Reading the bible and accepting his word that i will get better and better.

I am still praying and believing...and am getting better and better.

I want to ask a question for anyone who reads this comment..

If doctors can not help you anymore, witch doctors or even pychics...who will you then go to for help?

There is a greater Power and that is God. Trust, believe and he will set you free...he has already done it for me.

Why can't he also do it for you? All you have to do is pray.... and the transformation will begin.

Thanks! Just a word of encouragement.

Posted by: Lisa at February 12, 2007 11:18 PM

Ive been on at least a dozen antidepressants.Effexor XR is the only one thats kept irrationally negative and depressing thoughts away.Without any meds at all i get manic and suicidal.Ive made the mistake of thinking i could go off them a few times awlays with bad results. Ive taken effexor xr for 5 years and dont plan on going off it. I have no insurance but im contacting Whyeth to get them to give my doctor samples for me. Sometimes it takes a few meds to get the right one.Everyones different.Me,for examle cant take wellbutrin without feeling nervous and fuzzy headed.

Posted by: kafka75 at March 7, 2007 10:03 PM

How long will Effexor stay in a persons system when they stop taking it?

Posted by: Julia at March 28, 2007 2:16 PM

Effexor has been a godsend for me. I have been taking effexor for about 5 months now. The only side effect I experience was I would get sleepy when I took it in the morning. So I switched to taking it at night. No problem, I sleep through the night, I dream. I experienced such a severe depression in the fall, it was hard to get up and go each day. I am calm and a sense of well-being has returned to me, which I wondered if I would ever experience again.

Posted by: Pam at April 20, 2007 12:14 AM

Effexor is a wonderful drug since all the ssri's came out in the early 90's starting with prozac.
It has the ability to block anxiety as well as afecting depression. Higher levels (150mg/day-300mgs per day)allows people with acute anxiety to function in society as if they never had any anxiety problems at all. I, personally have been taking it for the past three years now an have remained stable or-(neutral) throughtout the entire year, without becomming depressed in the winter months, and manic in the spring and summer months.

Posted by: Eric E.S.Doan at April 24, 2007 11:05 AM

When I began taking Effexor six years ago, no one told me that I might never be able to go off of the drug.

I slowly decreased my daily dose from 300 mg a day to 37.5 every other day.

When I stopped taking the 37.5 last week, I felt like I lost my soul.

I can't eat or sleep. I am sweating heavily. My body is coursing with a rage so deep and ugly that I feel like a monster. This anger is matched with tears--I am crying about everything. At work yesterday, I was rude to my boss...and am scared of breaking down and ruining a good career.

So last night I went back on Effexor. I'm going to stick with the 37.5 every other day. My husband doesn't want me to ever go off it again...I think he's afraid that this is the real me.

Is it the real me? Have I been blind to my own emotions for the six years that I've been taking Effexor?

I'm scared but it is good to know that I'm not alone. I would not recommend this drug to anyone.

Posted by: christina at May 8, 2007 7:34 AM

I took effexor xr for about 4 years...before that i tried paxil..zolof..celexa..all with bad side effects..the effexor is the only one that seemed to agree with me...i did sweat a little more..but i had more energy ..less depressed..slept better at night(and that was good..since sleep was an issue)..more motivated to do things.. more patient and could deal with more stress..less anxious...but my doctor never suggested my trying to do with out the drug..so i decided to take myself off and see how i woud do...it is true...the withdrawal is horrible if not handled correctly...i had to withdraw over about 4 months..i was on 75mg effexor xr..so i had to lower down to 35mg and stay at that level for about a month..then i got the 50mg tablets..and cut them in half and stayed at 25mg for a month..then cut the 25mg in half and stayed there for a month at 12.5 mg..then i cut those in half and stayed at that 2 weeks...and then at 6mg was finally able to stop and deal with a little adjustment phase..but after a couple weeks..began doing better..i have been off almost a year..but would not go back on it unless i felt the need was very serious...good luck

Posted by: a. atkins at May 13, 2007 9:19 PM

I started ou taking Effexor xr at 37.5mg, my doctor gradually took me to 75 and now 150mg. I ran out of insurance and I am not working right now so I took my last one Monday or Tuesday of this week. Either way since ednesday I have been having horrible HORRIBLE nightmares!!!!!!!! My husband wakes me up to comfort me, but as soon as I go back to sleep they start again. I wake up sometimes GASPING for air...or maybe it was a nightmare that just scared me so bad I woke up doing that. I don't know. I am goign to call my doctor tomorrow, but I can't go see her or get any meds cause of not having insurance or anything....does anyone have any advice. I have a two teenage kids that the past two days I have just screamed at, short outbursts but I sound so mean and horrible and thats not me. This is scaring me, so I thought I would come on the internet and see if I was alone. Any advice from anyone ?

Posted by: Kimberly at May 17, 2007 10:31 PM

WELL AFTER A FALL AND BREAKING BOTH KNEE'S I FOUND I HAD CANCEROUS TUMORS ON MY FOOT MY DEPPRESION STARTED UP AGAIN I AM A 40 YR OLD HEATHY WHITE MALE DIA. W/ DEPRESSION 15 YRS AGO I HAVE BEEN ON PROZAC/TRAZADONE AND RECENTLY LEXIPRO 0MG THAT WAS THE ONLY TIME I HAVE EVER BEEN SUICIDAL MY DOC JUST PUT ME ON EFFEXOR TODAY IM A LITTLE FREAKED AFTER READING THIS ...I HAVE FOUND A DRUG THAT NEEDS TO BE STUDIED FOR DEPPRESION IT IS THE PAIN PILL TRAMADOL OMG I TAKE IT AND I AM MY OLD SELF AGAIN IT IS 4 DOLLARS AT WALMART THIS IS THE ONLY THING I HAVE EVER TAKIN LIKE THIS IT IS NOT LIKE VICODIN ANYBODY READING THIS TALK TO UR DOC ABOUT THIS I SWEAR ON MY LIFE ..AND YES I KNOW THE PROS AND CONS I DO TAKE A DRUG HOLLIDAY NOW AND THEN...THANKS EVERYBODY FOR UR EFFEXOR POST I MAY HAVE TO RE-THINK IT PLEASE EMAIL ME @ DYTIMMYS@AOL.COM IF U CAN TELL ME ANY MORE ...THX TIM

Posted by: TIM at June 20, 2007 2:26 AM

I was prescribed EffexorXR for pre menopausal problems. Instead of regular hot flashes I got panic attacks that could last for an hour at time. My heart would race and make it hard to breathe, and my blood pressure would shoot up, even if it didn't go into full panic mode. EffexorXR has worked very well to stop the heart palpatations, and my blood pressure is back to normal. No more waking up in the middle of the night with a racing heart, and not a single panic attack since. I had a little nausea during the first couple of weeks, but that went away. My doctor told me this was usually recommended for my type of problems. I was not nor am I now depressed. Worked well for me. Dosage: 75 mg once a day.

Posted by: Mary at July 8, 2007 2:12 PM

I just started taking Effexor XR on Sunday (3 days ago). I havent had too many side-effects yet. The one thing that I notice is that my eyes are dilated almost all the time. The dilation seems to be happening the most after I eat. I dont know if that is a coincidence or not. I met with my Psychiatrist last Thursday. That is when she told me that I have "Major Depressive Disorder" and Anxiety which led to terrible panic attacks, feelings of no self worth (when I have no self-esteem issues really), crying, adult equivilents to a hissy fit, hitting myself, obessive compulsive behavior, mania and a slew of other random destructive thoughts. I am excited to see how this drug helps me. It is my first time taking it and I am optimistic about the outcome.

Posted by: Audrey Smart at July 24, 2007 2:58 PM

Hey there, been on Effexor XR for over a year and am just now feeling like it's time to go off of this med. When I started taking it...honestly, I just NEEDED SOMETHING, ANYTHING to make it through a day without crying or being depressed. I truly felt better then I have in my entire life. I felt more confident and less anxiety. It does help with that. As with any drug, there are side effects, but they are pretty tolerable. I experienced night sweats, vivid dreams and vertigo at first. Now that I am going off the drug I feel some pretty awful side effects, namely horrific vertigo, I can't even stand up or turn my head without feeling like I am tripping on acid. Also nausea and the worst nightmares of my life...like being killed in every dream. I will wake up only to fall back asleep into a new one. OMG!

What helps...For starters, decrease your dose very slowly!!! If it takes you 3 months...so be it!

To get some sleep...BENADRYL is a God sent! Puts you out like a light!

Talk to friends and family and know that you are NOT GOING CRAZY and you will feel normal again ;-)

Hang in there yah'll~

Posted by: k at August 13, 2007 1:29 AM

Hey,
I have been on effexor XR 150 mg. for 6 long years. I was thinking several times about coming down. It was great for anxiety but they will raise you to the heavens for what ever reason if you let them. At first it was alright and I was less anxious. I have four children. They are older now but I didn't want to get so upset all the time and this was the answer I was given by the doctor. Alright, now I am not upset with all the normal childhood things like dumping out the sugar onto the kitchen floor and mixing it with the syrup to see what will happen. I can tell you what will happen...ANTS! I didn't get angry and actually laughed and cleaned it up. I thought this was a great medication because I didn't care that they did that. Next was a funeral that was for a distant family member and I could not go because I hate them a thousand times worse then anyone ever has and panic. I decided no big deal I will not go and I don't care. Family got angry but I didn't care. I was doing things for myself and could not go. Next thing came up, didn't care didn't go. I never go anywhere, shower once a week, no more make up no more hair cuts or dye jobs to look nice. I don't care. I used to make sure that I would have my makeup perfect before going out to the store. I cared. I never wear make-up no matter what. I thought well, I am older and maybe this is what happens. It doesn't. I finally realized this when I could not make my appointment and the doctor gave me the number of a psychiatrist. "We are not giving medication for anxiety anymore but this doctor will take care of you and you are covedred on your insurance." I saw this doctor twice and both times he tells me that I have to come every month to get a prescript. Alright. I go twice and the third time the car broke down and we had to have it towed. It is a great car but something happened. It is only three years old and under warantee and we never thought about this. I called to reschedule and the office was closed. He is closed for the week!!! I was forced to go off. I went to the ER and told them they gave me two pills telling me the doctor was in in two days. Not True. I left a huge note on the door that if he calls in that I have to have my medication. I freaked knowing from one other time the frustration of being sick. I could not believe this. It has been four almost five days now. I am sick, vomiting, sleeplessness and when I am awake I am exhausted to the point of can't keep my eyes open. I shut them and can't sleep. I have nightmares like you would not believe. Extraordinarily VIVID DREAMS!! I have a noise in my head when I turn my eyes, head, or when a breeze goes past. The ringing in my ears is torture. I feel as if it is a type of torture to see what you can stand. I have however feeling. I looked at myself in the mirror and was shocked. I have looked at myself everyday for the past six years and didn't care. Today I was shocked. I showered and felt great as far as a humanly person. I am sick, tired, up, down, hungry, not hungry and dying but I can feel. I didn't know it but I was numb. I numbed myself like an idiot.

I now can feel actual feelings, I can't do anything about them yet but I can feel. Wow!. I can even feel the keyboard differently. It really is not a good thing to be on unless you are going to commit suicide and this is the only hope. Really ladies, sometimes a little change can make all the difference. Actually, instead of taking effexor take a 35 year old personal trainer instead! Actually, take another before bedtime too, just for kicks!
LOL!!!

What, I warned you that I could finally feel.


Sorry!

I do hope all who are sick are better soon.

Posted by: Kathleen at October 24, 2007 11:05 AM

I've tried twice unsuccessfully to come off effexor. I was on lexapro for a year when my Dr. recommended that I switch to effexor. The first month I experienced a panic attack and heart palpitations. He later added xanax which made me feel sedated and dopey. I stopped the xanax and that's when he headaches started. I usually get hormone headaches at least once a month that easily treatable with motrin or advil. Well, none of that works now. I get full blown migraines that last all day and sometimes for five days. I'm forced to miss work often I've been on Effexor now fo 6 months and trying to get of this stuff. He tried to do a rapid tapering with Fluoxatine that failed on the 5th day when I was off the Effexor completely and taking only 20 mg of Pacsil. After 2 hours I experienced the worst headache, then migraine and spent the day in bed or vomiting. My friend who is also a Doctor, told me to go back up to 150 immediately. I suffered for 5 hours before the pain ebbed away. It was horrible. I just recently recovered from another 5 days of headaches and shock like feelings running from my neck to back of the head. Oh yeah, I've also gained 10 lbs since taking this stuff; constantly needing more sustenance to help combat the pain and nausea. I'm now on my 2nd try to taper off. This time slower. Takin 150 mg with 20 mg of pacsil for 2 weeks. I'll continue to taper off the Effexor while maintaining the 20 mg. This will take about 2.5 months. It's slow but at this point I've got nothing left and I'm sick of having this shock like headaches! I just want my life back!

Posted by: catherineg at November 10, 2007 8:21 PM

DON'T EVER TAKE EFFEXOR XR - THEY DON'T TELL YOU ABOUT THE WITHDRAWAL!!!! HELL - TOTAL HELL!!
They should be made to tell people what their life will be like when they go off this stuff. I just found out I am pregnant, so I have had to go off 6 different meds. EFFEXOR XR - is the worst. I will never ever ever take this stuff again. I have been on it for 4 years, but NO ONE ever said anything about the total hell you would have to live through to get off this stuff. I can't believe it. Nausea, vomiting, not able to keep ANYTHING down, the shocks, the nightmares, the night sweats, the crying, the everything. Where are the lawyers to defend the people who get to go through this WITHOUT ANY WARNING AT ALL!!!!

Posted by: becca1199 at December 14, 2007 6:42 PM

I have tried almost every medication for depression. Zoloft, Paxil, Lexipro, Cymbalta, Prozac, Wellbutrin, celexa, klonopin, seraquil, etc etc etc. I have been depressed for as long as I can remember. I started taking Effexor XR because it was next on my list of drugs I haven't tried that may work. I've been on it for about three months and seem to be doing better at my job but still have this feeling of well no feelings at all. Can anybody tell me if maybe it hasn't fully kicked in yet or if maybe I should take something along with it. I should also mention that I do drink at least one glass of wine everyday. Mainly because I feel depressed. Any advise please comment.

Posted by: Tam at December 20, 2007 7:42 PM

I have been on effexor xr 37.5 for 7 years. I have tried to get off of it but had severe withdrawals. Headache, nausea, dizziness, so I went back on it after only a few days. I have tried a few more times since then to get off this terrible drug but to no avail. My most recent symptom is my eyesight has worsened tremendously. It's like everything seems darker almost like i am looking through a screen door all the time as well as blurry vision. I am worried and don't know whether this symptom will get worse or not. This drug has not been on the market that long. The makers Weyth, I hear have major law suits against them over this drug. I guess all I can say is that I am afraid of loosing my eyesight and afraid of going through all the withdrawals associated with coming off this drug.

Posted by: Linda at January 7, 2008 8:36 AM

I just got prescribed EffexorXR today by my doctor. She did mention the fact about how its hard to stop but after reading all of this and a few other things for some other sites. I am not going to take it i think i need something else. lol

thanks for all the INFO!

Posted by: Depressed at January 7, 2008 7:54 PM

what should i do if i am having headaches from taking EFFEXOR XR? SHOULD I COUNTINUE TO TAKE THE IT?

Posted by: laverne at January 27, 2008 10:28 PM

hi...what happens if i stop taken efexor?thank u

Posted by: luca at February 18, 2008 5:44 AM

I was on Effexor XR, 150 mg, for 6 months and hope by sharing my story I will help others.

When I first started taking this drug I noticed I focused better at work and it made certain things not bother me that did before. After awhile, I felt like I was in bed every night at 8:00 and wanted to feel like my old self again.

I tried to wean myself off by taking 150 mg every other day then felt like this: severe dizziness (verigo) every time I moved slightly. I mean the whole room spinning around bad. Headache, vomiting for 3 days then later burping and want to drink lots of soda, which I usually drank when I ate fast food only, and diarrrea (sp).

I called my Dr. who advised me to take 75mg for 1 week, then 75mg every other day. I want to share that it took me a full month to not feel like I had a bad virus.

I am now free of the drug and feel like my old self again. I know many people in the Tampa Florida and upstate NY areas whose Dr.'s write out scripts for this drug like no tomorrow. If you are ever considering taking this drug please think about what may happen when you stop. Looking back and knowing what I know now I will never take it again.

Posted by: sabrina at February 21, 2008 8:20 PM

Hello,me englisch its not so good but I want tell you somethink.Like you I take efexor,now its already 1 year.Its true it help(I take 275mg).Now in this moment from last thursday I am stop totally with efexor,make the dozes smaller.Its true is nightmare to get off.But I read you post and I see somethink bad.YOU DON'T OPEN THE KAPSULE to get smaller doze.This kapsul is made in the way like the medicament go very slowly to you body.If you try to take small doze in powder its but for you organizm.The smallest doze is 37,5 and wos the last what I take.And I did this small doze for month.So don't try by smart and open then to get small doze.

Posted by: Bo at February 25, 2008 12:10 PM

I've for that effexor xr isn't as bad as I thought it would be. I've been taking it for about 5 or 6 months now and my anxiety and panic attacks have calmed down alot. I no longer get anxiety about the little things I use to. I don't suffer from any of the side effects, I did the first few weeks but after that they were gone. It amazes me that the drug works for me considering almost nothing else seemed to work for me., it's one of the only drugs I would actually recommend to someone.

Posted by: Jez at March 10, 2008 4:50 PM

I have been on effexor for a month now. Before taking it I had read some of the horror stories on the internet but decided to give it a go anyways. The first 2 or 3 days I felt a little out of it but after that everything went back to normal. I am taking it for anxiety and have started to noticed small improvements. Hopefully as time goes on it will really kick in.

Posted by: John at March 14, 2008 7:50 PM

Withdrawal from this drug is debilitating to say the least. Many, most, doctors are not aware of the awful side effects and in my daughter's case even deny that what is happening is actually happening. Imagine going to the doctor with awful tremors and being told that the tremors are not real, and certainly not caused by effexor withdrawal...even though tremors are a documented side effect and her body is being painfully twisted. She hasn't taken effexor for over a month, and still the tremors, dystonia, are there. It looks like this may be a life long, debilitating, result from taking effexor. Many doctors need to stop being in denial about the fact that brain chemistry is still mostly unknown territory, and anything can happen when interfereing with it. Do your research well before taking this medication..or any.

Posted by: Debra Parks at March 27, 2008 11:42 AM

I have been using effexor 75mg for a year. How long do I have to use it?

Posted by: Alisha Ramdial at March 28, 2008 8:55 PM

I have lived woth depression for years and have like many others tried everything. 4 months ago when i first started taking 150 Effexor XR it took away all the worry and mood swings, however i work from home and if i dont have to get up and be somewhere i can lay around all day thinking about getting up. I do get up in the evening when my wife gets home but if left up to me i am a lazy slob. I have not been this way except for when i took Paxil, once off it i came back to life. Is there something i can take with this?

Posted by: Marcus at April 2, 2008 11:48 PM

I am concerned about my son on effexor. he is saying he i s trying to get off this drug and cant. it is making his want to hurt or kill feelings he says. He does not have insurance anymore so he is trying to reduce the remainder of his perscription. He has lost alot of weight and has lost his job. I have tried to get hi to go back to a doctor but he does not have any more insurance and says he is going to do it himself. How can i get him some help asap?

Posted by: tanya at April 3, 2008 12:30 PM

I've been on effexor for about 1 1/2yrs and have gained lots of weight. I've nver had a weight prob. but an now overweight. Has this happened to anyone else? If so what did you do?

Posted by: ltp at April 4, 2008 2:56 PM

I was taking Effexor XR 75mg and dropped down to 37.5mg on Thursday. Today is Sunday. The side effects that I have had are a lot of sleeping and I mean a lot!!! I have also had a little bit of muscle aches, thirst and being snappy. I don't plan to go back up in dosage.
My Dr. told me to stay on for 3 weeks and then go completely off of it. I am sure that when I do go off of it, the side effects will get really bad. I am expecting the worst, but hoping for the best. I take the med at night. I also take Klonopin at night, which probably helps.
I will be sure to post again once I go off of this med completely....

Posted by: Crystal at April 6, 2008 9:53 PM

started taking effexor two weeks ago up to 150 daily now, since three days, how long will it take for me to start feeling better

Posted by: ann gouthro at April 16, 2008 1:25 PM

hello,
must say, i started taking effexor at the age of 10 at 225mg. a day. i really didnt know what to expect but the fact that everyone around me told me i was a walking zombi. finally at my junior/senior year, i released myself and saw no need for the drug. then my troubles began. i was having nightmares, cold sweats, constant sickness to my stomache. it went on and on and on. i thought it would never end. i am now 22 years of age and i still suffer from time to time of these terrible side effects. i feel for the age i was, and the amout i was taking, was completley uncalled for. if i knew the name of my doctor, i would sue, for the constant pain i am still having to deal with. this drug affected my life and lifestyle more than intended. i feel because i was at such a young age and still growing, this drug drained my thoughts completely. so now i want to thank the "doctors who know best" for screwing up my brain. yes i still have nightmares, coldsweats, headaches, and nausea. jenna

Posted by: jenna at April 19, 2008 9:03 AM

I am definitately of the huge cartels. I currently take effexor. Why d`ont you first ask the question to yourselves, why was I prescribed effexor? I know, because you were feeling depressed and miserable. Why are you blaming effexor for its withdrawal symptoms? Every single druge in the World has addiction problems, even those painkillers with sleep, or pm etc.... on them. Caffeine is addictive, tobacco, I will leave you to answer.
We all know there is a big drug cartel in the World, but where will all of us be without these miracle medications?

Karim Alameddine
Beirut
Lebanon

Posted by: Karim Alameddine at April 23, 2008 3:08 AM

I Take Effexor XR and have been for about a year. Well to be honest i actually haven't taken it for about a month now, and i feel great i mean I don't know a lot about it but as far as people having a hard time getting off it and encouraging people not to take it for that reason, I think that's silly i have a best friend who took it and had to change, and when i first got on it i admit i didn't feel perfect. But now i do for the firs time in a long time. I hope this helps. One day i just forgot to take it and i felt okay, and then the next day i still felt okay, and i still do now.

Posted by: kelly at May 15, 2008 1:31 AM

I can't get over all the people here leaving comments that say "you will experience this," or "you will experience that." Please people, you cannot tell another person what he or she will experience on an anti-depressant because reaction to these meds is highly individual. Just because *YOU* experienced something doesn't mean other people will. Get some freakin' perspective.

I've been on effexor for several weeks now and I haven't had any serious side effects. I've been a little sleepy at times, but the benefits have far outweighed the drawbacks. This has been *MY* experience.

Posted by: john at May 20, 2008 9:26 AM

I have stopped my Effexor and I think everyone around me really thinks I am losing it. In fact my husband begs me to take it, he says he cant lose me and it seems to him I am losing it. Although, after reading others blogs, I realize I am not crazy. I am having the bolts of electric current run through me, the night sweats, confusion, irritablity, crying at the drop of a hat, tiredness, and on and on.
When I first started taking the drug, I thought it was GREAT but the longer and longer I was on it the more the new wore off and I have become numb. I had no emotions; sad, happy, depressed, mad, sexual, anything. No that I have stopped I feel like the world is sitting on my shoulders and I cant handle it much longer. I see my doc in about 2 hours and I will report back with what he suggest. Thanks for listening.

Posted by: Crystal at May 23, 2008 9:50 AM

I have been taking Effexor SR for many year. My doctor has been taking me off of it gradually and replacing the effexor sr with abilify and welbutrin. At night I dream. The dreams are so real. My wife tells me that I talk all through the night. Could this dreaming be a result of coming off the Effexor SR? I dream sometimes, but I have never experienced anything like this before.

Posted by: Ben Adams at June 10, 2008 10:11 PM

I've been on effexor for bout 5 months...I've always been tired...My atitude has change towards life,but I always feel weird....It makes me go into a daze sometimes...I've had problems driveing on effexor....I've even ruined a good relationship....I read all these post on here and i'm scared to get off this med...What do i do

Posted by: Anthony hyatt at June 23, 2008 11:17 AM

I have been on Effexor for approx. 5 years. Like other anti-depressants it began to lose its effect. My new m.d. said I should raise the level to 300 mg. per day. I found that if I took 150 mg. in the morning and the other 150 mg. at night it didn't have any noticible side effects. However, now that I've been on the regiment for about 4 months, I find that unless I'm working, I'm sleeping. Not just light sleep, but hard sleep and I experience a great deal of difficulty arousing myself. Is anyone reading this blog, and if so is this common?

Posted by: lea at June 23, 2008 10:29 PM

I am vbery tired and can fall asleep any time of the day. I taje 225mg effexor and lithium and wonder if this is the cause. I have been taking it for over a year. also if I don't remember to take it one night does it make my mood low the next day. it seems like this happoens to me plus bad dreams the night I miss my dose

Posted by: anna at July 1, 2008 5:48 AM

i suffer from very high anxiety. I have been on effexor for about 3 years and take 75 mg at bed time. this medication helped me a lot , especially with my sleep.Somedays are manageble , some are good and some are bad. It seems that sometimes i get relapses and i don't know why. I have also experience an electric current sensation ( ZAP) whenever i forgot to take my medication. I wonder if this medication stops sometimes to work for a reason. Maybe the combination of other medication like antibiotics. Has anyone any information on this ? This week i am having a hard time with my anxiety and i wonder why sometimes it is more difficult than other times.

Posted by: Chris at July 13, 2008 4:55 PM

I have been on Effexor for about two months and I love it. I have GAD and it has done wonders for me!!! I take it in the afternoon with my lunch. I am productive, calm, friendly, positive and can't imagine going back to my life before. I had insomnia, nightmares, anxiety, racing thoughts, depression, couldn't finish projects and the list goes on! Now I am confident, productive, at ease with everything, love life on life's terms, joyful, the excitement of life is back, look forward to waking up in the mornings, get a good night's sleep which I haven't had since I was a young child!!! I think that people are taking this med for other disorders than GAD. If you have GAD I highly recommend this drug if you want a "normal" life. I have never been happier! I don't plan on ever going off this drug therefore I am not concerned about the withdrawls associated with it. Your doctors obviously do not know much about this drug or they would have weened you off of it with some other drug. Everyone is different but for me through the GRACE OF GOD I didn't have to try all different types of drugs to find the one that works for me. But I also do not give credit or praise regarding anything in my life to mere humans it is only through God that this does it for me!!!!!!

Posted by: Lisa at July 16, 2008 12:34 PM

ive been taking efexor-xr for 5months now i dont really feel much better and when i missed a dose it made me really dizzy just wounderign if thats normal .when when it was time to take it i didnt feel as dizzy like i did alday.

Posted by: KELLY at August 6, 2008 8:23 AM

we are not looking at the "Original Culprit" that made us turn to these "Anti-Depressant/Anti-Anxiety" drugs in the first place....

We all had a "Chemical Imbalance" as the "Pharmaceutical Industry/BIG PHARMA" likes to call it...and in a greater sense...they are absolutely correct...!!!

What is this Chemical Imbalance?...where did it come from?...How did we "Catch" this Chemical Imbalance?...most importantly…How do we fix it?....

These were all questions I began to ask myself...while I was on Effexor...it worked wonderfully and my mood had never been better in my entire life...was this the Panacea I had been searching for all of my life?....It definitely appeared so...I was confident...I could go anywhere without fear...All of my Anxieties were utterly gone…my thoughts of Suicide were nothing but a distant memory…Bright Lights no longer bothered me...I was an aficionado of effective communication…I felt like a King...awaiting my Queen...so that we could live happily ever after....

But....

What did this Magical Drug Effexor do?...how did it work?...How did it make me feel so good and so at ease and so confident to deal with everyday Stresses in Life?...

Will I have to live with this drug for the rest of my life?...I am in constant "FEAR" now...of not having that drug when I need it everyday...I must go to the Doctor to get a refill before I run out...I must never be away from this drug for too long...or I will go crazy...I will get "BRAINZAPS" and I will no longer be able to function...What if I freak out at work or in public when I forget to take "MY MEDS"...If Effexor has “CURED ME”…why am I still so reliant upon it?....

After being on this drug for 5 years…why has my sexual drive/potency gone down to “virtually ZERO”…why can’t I fall asleep at night?…why do I now drink 10 beers or more per night before going to sleep?...why has my blood pressure skyrocketed to an astonishing 194/120…why am I so fat like a beached beluga whale...why do I not care about the cleanliness of my surroundings…why do I procrastinate with all things to with “Household Chores”…why do I let almost everything slide and not even care about it any more?...

These things were troubling me...

I know that some, or all of you, have experienced/thought at least one or more of the things that I have mentioned above…

So let’s take a closer look at some of the questions above…

1. If Effexor has “CURED ME”…why am I still so reliant upon it?....
a. This is a very important question that really needs to be asked by your “Inner Truth” as I like to call it…

SEND ME A POST IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO EXPLORE ANY FURTHER...

Posted by: 5-HTP MAN at August 23, 2008 7:12 AM

Crystal, where are you? You said that you would blog again after your Dr appt on April 23rd.

Posted by: Robin at August 24, 2008 1:29 PM

I started taking efexor when i was 15, i was on the 37.5g for 7 days than the doctor put my dose up to the 75 and i had to come back once a week.

For about 3 months my life was a bigger mess than before.I was hurting people around me because i didnt realise what i was doing. I got to the point that i lost everything important around me and i went from the funny happy girl to the most mellowest girl that didnt give a fuckk.

I'm now 16, and up until a month ago i randomly just stopped taking my mediation.

It was the worst experience ever.
The things i felt, wanting to commit suicide the whole lot.

It was one horrible night mare that wouldnt end.

I'm starting from stratch again, and my life is just as confusing as before.

This drug is the worst thing that has ever happened to me.

I would never recommend it to anybody.


Posted by: lee at September 22, 2008 8:00 AM

Effexor is a miracle drug. My severe depression made the days seem unbearable and every moment was heavy with a sense of impending doom. I thought I would not make it through, especially after being on 60mg of prozac and experiencing no relief. Dr switched me to Effexor and after quickly getting me up to 225mg, this drug has saved my life. Normalcy has returned and I have no side effects other than increased appetite.

God bless the people who figured out this drug.

Posted by: Formerly Hopeless at September 23, 2008 7:36 AM

Wow, there are alot of surprisingly negative comments about this pill. I took effexor last winter because I was going through tough times, couldn't stop crying, and was very tired and unmotivated. I was depressed. I started taking effexor 75mg and it made a big difference.The excessive crying stopped right away and my thoughts became much more positive. I was also able to concentrate better at work. It did make me yawn alot but that was a small sacrifice compared to how much it helped me. It also made me feel a bit nauseas after I took it for the first week tops until i got used to it.
Like any other antidepressant, this drug typcially should not be taken without some other type of therapy (ie. cognitive behaviour therapy). Effexor is not going to cure your depression but it will definataly help you to work through your issues in a positive way so that you don't get depressed in the first place. Oh and I stopped taking it after 4 months and didn't notice any side effects. If I needed to take an antidepressent again I would take this one.

Posted by: maggie at November 29, 2008 8:06 PM

I have taken effexor xr 150 mg for years and have loved it, except the inability to have orgasm or have in interst in sex. should I try something else ?

Posted by: Renlyn at December 26, 2008 2:56 AM

My son went through great depression for about 4 years, he is now on probation been out of child focus for 3 years we went for 7, this drug it seems no body will tell me how to ween hin off. it's like they're dealers - I mention getting him off of it and it's my fault! How do I get my son off this drug? Please help!!!

Posted by: JACKIE GREBE at January 14, 2009 12:04 AM

Stay as far away from this drug as you can, I was only on it for a week and went off of it and went through a living HELL for a week and a half, after only being on it a week!! This is a NASTY
NASTY drug BAD BAD NEWS!!

Posted by: Leah at February 10, 2009 8:11 PM

hello
i have been taking effixor xr for a few years now. so far so good less the increase in dossage every 9 or 12 months. currently i am taking 300 mg a day and see an ncrease in the near future. what is the max dossage that is used? am i close to maxing out? will it just one day stop working and the what is out there to take that will do the same?

Posted by: john at February 15, 2009 4:26 PM

I have had several attacks over the last five years. It always happens when I am sound asleep and middle of the night. I wake up gasping for air and I am gasping so loud that I wake up everyone in the house. I cannot get any air in my lungs or speak. The one time that I went to the ER they said that the muscles around my voice box were having spasms. I just don't feel like that is the case. It happens when I am under more stress than usual. This happened two nights ago and my chest and lungs are still sore. It takes me about and hour to get to breathing normal again and I feel like I am going to suffocate to death, it really scares me. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Posted by: cjsmith at March 8, 2009 2:22 PM

I've been trying to wean myself off of effexor Xr without my Doctors consent for about a year. Within 3 days of not taking the dosage, I am always irritable, angry to the point of spitting and screaming, lethargic, oversleeping, depressed and if bored- I have feelings of uselessness ,despair and enamourthe ease of being dead. I know these feelings are bad- so I get right back on the Effexor until I am feeling better. when on effexor- my side effects are the " brain zaps" someone else mentioned and neuropathy. The good thing os Effexor Xr works for me - prevents my mood swings and helps me focus on the big picture instead of freaking out about the details and my control or lack of control in everyday situations.

Posted by: gina at March 26, 2009 11:14 AM

Sounds exactly like my withdrawal from caffiene.

Posted by: lmt at April 13, 2009 2:46 AM

I have been on Effexor-Xr for about three years and lied to myself about doing ok,
but needed to increase my dosage from 75mg to 112.5 then to 150. I was doing so well but my blood pressure was high, now the NP says I will have to go back down and gradually get off Effexor and get on something else.

Can’t I get on a low dose of something else and slowly go down on the Effexor?
Please help.
Marie

Posted by: Marie at April 13, 2009 4:45 PM

I've taken Effexor XR 75 mg/day for the past 3 years off and on. I think the side effects for stopping it(especilly cold turkey) are really bad. The way I do it, to minimize them it to veeeeery slowly wean off of it. it always takes me much longer that the dr says it will.As I take the 75 mg I usually switch to the 35 mg for about 2 wks then take the 35 mg every other day for 2 wks then every 3 days for 2 weeks and so on. by the time I get to 1 per week and stop I pretty much have very few if any side effects. As far as being on it is concerned I generally have few complaints I have pretty severe gad and this stuff gave me my life back. Before I took it I was in the ER 3-5 times a week insisting that there was something wrong with my heart I couldnt even function. Every day I was sure I was gunna die. This med really works for me. My only complaint is that,being uninsured it is quite expensive.

Posted by: K Terry at April 14, 2009 11:28 PM

i have been taking efexer xl 150 mg everyday for the last 4 years ,,,do i need to take this medication for the rest of my life...

Posted by: declan at June 24, 2009 6:50 PM

Hi, I have been on Efexor-XR 75mg and now increased to 150mg, I suffer from High Functioning Autism, Anxiety, Panic Attacks and Agoraphobia, and depression. I have found the medication brilliant and feel all the comments I have read on here are not something I can agree with. Of course I tried Lexapro and ended up in a thick fog, Lexapro has helped me immensely, I never had a filter on what I said, I find Efexor cocoons me from the world, and has helped me step back and observe how Autism affects me in the world. So for me it is brilliant, and for once in my life I feel at peace.

As per all the other comments, if a drug has bad effects, try another one, as you can see Lexapro had to opposite affect for me.

Just because a medication does or doesn't work for you, doesn't mean it is bad for the next person.

Take care all (((hug))) hope you find the right medication to give you peace.

xx

Posted by: Jenny at July 10, 2009 9:51 PM

I have been prescribed Effexor for about 5 or 6 months now. I take 75 mg today - was on a higher dose and it made me hyper, so doctor decreased it. I feel good - not worried about the "small" stuff anymore, feel relaxed (but sometimes too relaxed) and my anxiety is much better. I will stay on this med for about 6 more months. During the last 6 months I had to deaths in my immediate family - I was depressed severely. This medicine has saved my life.

Posted by: Lysa at July 15, 2009 10:31 AM

I took effexor for one year and my first side effects should have told me to stop taking it immediately. The first three days of taking effexor I was sick as a dog I was dizzy and naseous and could not eat...It worked for my anxiety but it made me feel like I was in an emotional fog all day. Sure I wasn't as depressed but I became withdrawn from almost everything. I became sickeningly thin (I weighed 110lbs when I started taking the medicine and dropped to 93lbs within one month). I've been off of the medication for over a year and I still do not feel right.
I want to try a different medication for my depression...I've tried journaling, tanning and excercise and changing my diet, taking vitamins and i've been in counseling for three years but I still find that I have social issues, anxiety, sleep problems, and bad mood swings. My self-esteem is not right, I cannot even take constructive criticism knowing that it is not meant to hurt me, without being somehow hurt or taking it out on myself. It's especially hard for me to combat fears of weight gain and my appearance...I had anorexia for almost 4 years and have spent the past 4 years trying to combat it and I still worry about my weight everyday... I snap at those I love and often hurt people that I don't mean to...I do not know where to place the causes..but i'm tired of thinking about self-abuse (I cut for about 3 years straight and have cut sporadically for the past 2 years) and even suicide at times. Everyone thinks i'm getting better slowly but I just feel like i'm hiding...does anyone have a suggestion on something (anything) I could try?

Posted by: Shelby at July 20, 2009 10:20 AM

Hi, my doc is switching me from Lexapro to adderal because it was making me very sleeping and depression. She started me at 37.5 twice per day for a week and now I am doing 75 mgs twice per day. Today is the first day at at 75 and it is making me very sleepy. will it tak awhile for it to kick in? thanks! Jill

Posted by: Jill Lemonis at July 29, 2009 12:07 PM

Yes, I agree that Effexor can cause unpleasant side effects for some. I have taken it in the past up to doses of 300mg, but came off it cold turkey last year due to a manic episode. I was recommenced on 75mg in March alongside my mood stabiliser (Lamictal 200mg) and I have never felt SO well. Unfortunately, my blood pressure has sky-rocketed 189/120. For the last week, I have gone down to 37.5mg and my doc has put me on some beta blockers to help the blood pressure. I am to slowly taper on to a small dose of Zoloft. I have heard that Zoloft can also help with the withdrawal symptoms. I am experiencing a little irritability and dizziness so far and want to sleep a lot! Having ticks in my right eye as well which is really annoying. Will keep you posted as to how I get on with my tapering. This can be done, even if it takes several attempts. I survived after coming off it cold turkey last year (had no choice). Have read that all these weird sensations we get are due to the serotonin receptor sites in the body. It is rather like a circuit board. Our brain/body chemistry takes time to go back to normal after ssri's and snri's. Hang in there and remember that these feelings are just horrid sensations that will dissipate gradually. I am not pro effexor, but this drug does save lives and improves the quality of life for some folk who would otherwise suffer from incapacitating anxiety and depression.

Posted by: wendy at August 16, 2009 12:35 PM

hi, i am on my third day of effexor 75mg XR, and feeling a bit wierd. it may be due to the drug, or it may be because i just am wierd, or it may be because i have discontinued my other drug - 1 bottle of wine per night. anyway, scary stuff i am reading, but am going to give it a try - it can't do more damage than a bottle of wine a day! i do not mind the dry mouth (it makes me drink more water which is good), i do not mind the sleepiness (i need a good rest anyway), i do not mind the slight nausea and decrease in appetite (just what an obese girl needs) and i haven't had a sex drive in 2 years, so will not miss something that was never there.

Posted by: lizette at September 5, 2009 2:15 PM

I started efexor ex in december of last year. I knew a little about the drug and many others as I am a grad psych student. I lost my job and my health insurance. I was in a financial hole! I could not afford cobra let alone effexor ex. I called my dr. trying to explain that I needed to get off the meds but did not know how. I got a message from the nurse explaining they did not have free samples to give me and never returned my other calls. I had to get off it the medication on my own. I was given a lot of pain killers from a neurologist. I was on quite a bit for A YR. i got off those that included percocets, dilaudid... I think I had a bad week. Trying to get off this medication for fibromyalgia not even depression, made me want to die. the symptoms were so bad i was scared to live another day. i am not recommending this to anyone but the only thing that helped me was xanax in the am and 4 25 mg benedryl at night. good luck trying to live or get to work.

Posted by: Julie at September 20, 2009 2:27 PM

I was prescribed two andtidepresants and one is Effexor for my anxiety. The first time I took it I thought i was going to die. they started me on 75mg that was too much, so what i did was I pulled the capsule apart and poored half of the pill on my coffee every morning. That seemed to work , now since is for my anxiety i take it as needed, I don't take it every day. If I feel i'm going to start to "loose it" then I take it, and that works, still half a capsule. The dr say to take it every day, but I'm not anxious every day so why should I do so?

Posted by: MCR at November 14, 2009 1:28 PM

Effexor will cause sexual problems. Cant ejaculate.Of course if you have a willing partner, they really enjoy the hours of pounding it can take to finally get done. works good on depression and yes, never quit cold turkey. i quit during divorce and about lost it.

Posted by: Briso at January 9, 2010 9:56 PM

My nurse practioner had me on 75 mg three pills in the morning and three at night for a total of 225 mg in the morning and 225 mg at night. I have suffered many side effects from not being able to sleep, night sweats, dizziness, ringing in ears, left lower abdominal pain and headaches. I just recently found out that is way above the recommended dosage and am trying to cut back so I can get off it and I am still suffering terrible symptoms. I have to change my clothes during the night because the night sweats are so bad. I would not recommend this drug to anyone and be very careful of the dosage you are prescribed.

Posted by: Kim Dixon at January 11, 2010 6:27 PM

Hi I have been on effexor xr for about 6 years i started on 75mg and the last year went to 150mg i wish i never started on them i suffered from depression after my mum past away life ment nothing to me the tablet made me feel better at the start i dont think i felt anything at all.I have been haveing bad side effects i want to sleep all the time day and night this is affecting my marrage and i have no interist in sex at all because i have lost the sensation but i love my husband so much he cant understand how i feel .We go on holidays i sleep the whole trip and i hate myself for being like this.I realy thought i was the only one feeling like this untill i found this web sit.I am going to the doctors this week and im going to go back to 75mg and see how i go Thank god its not only me thanks for listerning to my storie.Linda

Posted by: linda at January 25, 2010 12:35 AM

what are the side effort of Efexor xr(150mg). Does it casue weith gain? lose?

Posted by: nancy at February 3, 2010 2:30 PM

When I first took Effexor it seemed to help me so much. Now it is making me crazy and moody after being on it for 3 years. I am trying to wean off and never go on it again. Very hard to get off of!!

Posted by: lisa at February 4, 2010 11:02 AM

ive been taking 150 mg of effexor and i have no energy,will this pass?

Posted by: marsha at February 4, 2010 10:59 PM

This is my third day on my tapered effexor xr withdrawal. I've gone from 150mg to 75mg. So far, I've just experienced the brain zaps, slight nausea, and night sweats.
I was put on it a year ago for panic attacks and I will admit that it did seem to work, after about a month slowly increasing the dose. Now that I'm past a very emotional and stressful time in my life and I'm once again exercising regularly and eating properly, I've decided it's time to come off of it. Of course, the 20 lb weight gain and lack of libido have a lot to do with it as well. Another very scary factor for me were the occasional extreme dark moods (suicide contemplation) that I had never experienced before in my life.
My doctor says all I should experience is a bit of dizziness and tiredness. She said to go from 150 to 75 for two weeks, then drop to the 37.5 for another 2 weeks or so, then go off entirely. After all I've read online, I'm not so sure its as easy as she made it sound.

Posted by: Sara at March 15, 2010 8:56 AM

This is the only drug that ever made me want to live. I've taken lots of antidepressants. This one worked. It certainly has side effects - insomnia for me. I take trazodone to counteract. The discontinuation syndrome can be brutal, but it is possible to get through it. I've done it, twice. Both times the quality of my life decreased to the point that I decided I was much better off medicated. For those who are all for signing the petition declaring Effexor the worst drug ever and hoping to have it pulled from the market I say this, I'm very sorry you have not been as lucky as I have in finding the med or combo that works for you. It's an uphill battle. But for those of us for whom it works - it REALLY works. My life has gone from a mess of mis-steps, mistakes, and under-achievement to absolutely working. Effexor is a major part of that. I love to hate the pharmaceutical giants, but as for Wyeth - bless their little black, greedy hearts.

Posted by: Saoirse at March 21, 2010 4:51 AM

Hi, For those looking for something positive from Effexor XR. I've been on it for almost a year now and it really has taken me out of my darkest moments. True, exercising and eating healthy are very crucial. However, depression and anxiety medication does serve its purpose. Don't despair because sometimes people need medication in order to get them through day to day. Once you get to where mentally and emotionally and you are able to take care of your health by eating right and excercising and getting the support you need from others, then talk with your doctor about getting off of effexor xr. I've gone 3 days without taking it, and yes it does have side effects when you are coming off of it. I've been having weird dreams and for 2 days my brain seems that it wants to shut off for about 5 seconds and then things are ok. This has been happening off and on for 2 days and I would encourage those that are going off of it, to try and avoid driving for a couple of days if you experience any negative side effects that could put you or others in danger. It's not the end of the world though it may feel like it from time to time. If you need it, then take it... it really helps! If you have gotten to the point where you feel that you are healthy enough to get off it, then you know yourself better than anyone else does. Be sure that you communicate with your doctor about any side effects you have. Last but not least... don't feel like a failure if you need medication to help you get through your depression and anxiety. You will only be putting yourself up for failure if you continue to worry about what everyone else thinks. Do what's best for YOU! All the best to those that suffer from depression and anxiety because it's not an easy place to be. Things will get better!

Posted by: Janis at April 16, 2010 2:33 PM

This is a great drug. I was on it for seven years and thought I could come off it. Wow was I wrong! Now im back on it and feel great! It does have side effects as it is a powerful drug but I will live with them. Anything is better than having to live with anxiety and depression.

Posted by: Pat at April 19, 2010 9:57 AM

I have been on effexor for 6 months and if i dont take it, i too experience electrical bolts going throught my head as im trying to fall asleep it feels like fireworks going off in my head. i was on the 75mg and explained to my doctor whats happening if i dont take it, hes now put me on the 150 mg. but im on sleeping tablets to help me sleep. ive now joined the gym and that seems to help alot with my anxiety and panic attacks. i also think living a healthy life, eating right and exercise is the secret to having a normal life.

Posted by: Tracy at April 22, 2010 2:43 AM

EFFEXOR IS THE DEVIL! THE PEOPLE THAT MARKET IT ARE THE DEVIL! YOU CAN NOT GET OFF IT AND EVER FEEL NORMAL AGAIN THE EFFECTS ARE PERMENANT. IF I COULD GET A HOLD AF THE PEOPLE THAT DESIGNED AND MARKETED THIS DRUG I COULD BEAT THEM TO DEATH WITH MY BARE HANDS. I WOULD SUGGEST HEROIN OR ALCHOLALISM RATHER THAN THIS DRUG. IF YOU LOVE YOUR BODY AND MIND DONT TAKE THIS DRUG!!!!!!!

Posted by: BRANDON HORROCKS at May 16, 2010 1:15 PM

I suffered from a psychotic break in 2002 and became very depressed afterwards. I tried Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Lexapro, but nothing seemed to work. Finally, my psychiatrist put me on Effexor XR and it has literally changed my life. After 7 long years of suffering from depression, I feel like myself again. I did read about what a horrible experience most people had with trying to stop this medication and it did make me anxious to try it. But for now, I have my life back.

Posted by: Tammy M at June 16, 2010 10:11 PM

I was on Effexor for a week at 75 mg. I feel so bad and nervous. I am now on the 35.5 mg and I am feeling so nervous and sick. I wish there was something to help me. Please anyone, can you let me know what is happening. I have fast heart beat in the morning at 2 AM and can't sleep unless I take Xanex. I feel like I am taking more Xanex then I should.

Posted by: nel at June 27, 2010 8:27 AM

I thought I was having an illness symptom after I stopped taking Effexor. I have for the past few weeks tapering off of the med. and have not taken any meds for two days. I am so glad to hear that others are having similar symptoms to mine. I will be going back to my dr hopefully for the last time to tell him I don't want to take any more meds for depression. I thought that the discription of the withdrawal as "brain zaps' perfect. It does feel like electrical charges and especially when I move my head or change sight positions. I am having a great deal of difficulty driving because of the need to turn my head. I hope this doen't last forever. I started taking the drugs because of my abusive/depressed husband. I thought one of us should try to get help. But now I just want to feel real and if I can't put up with his abuse, at least I know I am not just covering up the problems with meds.

Posted by: Jane at July 8, 2010 9:17 PM

I have been on and off Effexor XR 75-150mg for the past eight years related to SAD recurrences that would arrive like a ticking timebomb anytime between the months of September and December each year. I augmented my treatment with light therapy and exercise. All seemed to help as a three-pronged approach to combat and limit the relapse episodes. I guess to each their own because my withdrawls consisted only of some minor brain zaps (those didn't alarm me) and a feeling like your body was falling/moving down your bed at the onset of sleep. That, neither, was unpleasant but almost possessing a sedative effect. I just recently went back on Effexor XR and started out at 150mg. I can tell you that it has been a preety rough start getting started at that dose. Not sure why my doc started me out again at that dose since I had been off the meds for 6 months. Consequently, I went back on them due to a relapse of depression even before the SAD season hit (so there goes the theory that I could be purely SAD to have a relapse in the middle of the summer). In any event, the side effects here initially at that dose in the first 3 weeks have been pretty nasty: one bad case of tremor in my right arm (went away), a day when I awoke and my whole mouth felt like it would after an all-night of drinking (dry, "cotton mouth" white coating on my tongue, cracked and bleeding lips). Sweating profusely. I had never experienced dry mouth that severe but seems to be going away. All SSRIs and SSNRIs have a dry mouth syndrome as a potential (hopefully initial) side effect as the body adapts to the drug.
Every human is different. I was lucky in that I didn't get many unpleasant withdrawl effects after taking the drug for periods of over a year.

Posted by: Effexor For SAD at July 14, 2010 11:46 PM

Hi all,

I just want to offer a glimmer of hope for those of you that gained puzzling, inexplainable weight whilst on Effexor.

I am a 22 year old female, who was suffering from mild bouts of anxiety, I weighed only 45 kilos so I was technically underweight even though I ate like a soldier and I have always been naturally tiny my whole life as are most my family members. I never had to watch what I ate and hardly ever exercised. Anyway, to cut a long story short, my doctor (who was not my regular family doctor at the time) probably assumed that I was an anorexic nut (because of my weight) and that was probably why I had anxiety. I tried to explain to him that I had only been experiencing these bouts of anxiety after a stressful time at work. I guess he thought "yeah right" and decided he should put me on this heinous drug. He told me it was a nice little pill that would "calm me down during stressful times".

Well, I guess it did just that. I was just a vessell, with no emotion or feeling. I just sat there, grinning like an idiot, staring into space and sleeping like a koala all day. I appreciate that it took the anxiety away and stopped then stress, however I lost my spark, I lost my passion. I was tired ALL day. I would have 12 hour sleeps at night, yet still wanted to crash for a nap in the middle of the day. This drug made me virtually useless. The biggest side effect however, would have to be this uncontrollable weight that would just pile on. I was eating the same as I was before, if not less as I started noticing the weight gain. I allowed 5 kilo's weight gain initially because I thought "yeah I could do with a little weight gain, it wouldn't hurt", however I am only 5'4 and as the weight started to creep up to a dramatic 11 kilo increase, people started asking me about my stomach and I even had a stranger ask if I was pregnant. (The weight was most noticeable around my stomach and butt).

I am a student, so it was really hard for me to afford an entirely new wardrobe as none of my clothes fit anymore. The bloating and the weight continued to increase and decided I needed to put a halt to this thing before it got any worse and I reached the point of no return. I booked an appointment with another doctor at the same clinic (because I knew the one who prescribed me Effexor would defend it til the end of the Earth) and I exlplained to her what was happeing to me. She checked the records and observed my starting weight and she was gobsmacked that I could pile on 11 Kilos (20 somehing pounds) in a six month time frame. I exlained to her that I am eating less than I was before I went on this drug because I was so concious of the weight gain. She exlained she also had a few other patients that had experienced the same problem. She agreed that it would be a good idea to wean myself of this destructive piece of crap.

At this time I was on the 75 mg, so she told me to lower it to 35 mg and take this for a month and then take one every second day for a month after that. I must say, I was terrified about the withdrawls, as I had pervioulsy skipped one pill by accident whilst I was on the 75's and became a trembling, shaking mess. However, I believe by correctly and slowly tapering off, I was able to get off them completley and I am proud to say it's been 4 days now with very little comedowns.

The first Effexor-Free day was the worst, I had this seething anger and resentment towards anyone who ticked me off in the slightest and this feeling lasted up until about day 2. I also had a few little crying episodes for now apparent reason during these first few days and very mild brain zaps. However, I am pleased to say, it's day 4 and I feel fantastic and very positive. I even weighed myself to compare and I have lost 2.5 kilos, although this might just be the water weight and I won't hold my breath because I have heard it might stop there or might even fluctuate for a good while post-Effexor, but so far so good.

However, I need to make clear I have been taking Omega 3 tablets for about 2 years now, as well as tumeric capsules for skin reasons, so this might be why I have been more successful with others in regards to weight loss. I also want to remind people, DO NOT JUST GO OFF THESE COLD TURKEY! If you were suffering severe depression/anxiety please talk to your doctor about alternative meds, if you have the same concerns or work out a good weaning off plan with them. I also want to say, if Effexor is working for you, then great, make sure you keep at it and if you hate the side-effects, be sure to weigh up the pro's and cons before stopping.

I will try and keep you guys updated about my progress post-Effexor and hopefully I can report back with good news.

Good luck and best wishes to you all!

Posted by: Lala at July 15, 2010 3:06 AM

Wow,i wish i had read these blogs two day ogo,i have just being prescribed effexor for anxiety it is only a low dose 37 mg and have taken my second tablet 10 mins ogo.THIS IS THE LAST TABLET I WILL EVER TAKE!.I have had the same symptoms previously and beat them Doctors seem to be to quick to prescribe them.Enjoy the great things in life even if they are simple things,exercise,eat well and be positive.

Posted by: bruce at July 15, 2010 7:54 PM

DON'T START TAKING EFFEXOR I TAKE 550 MG A DAY AND CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT IT. I HAVE TRIED TO QUIT SEVERAL TIMES AND FAILED, I'M GOING ON 11 YEARS.

Posted by: DIANE at July 30, 2010 12:42 PM

I AM OUT OF MY EFFEXOR 150MG., NO MONEY AND NO INSURANCE.
I FEEL REALY BAD I CANT EXPLAN THE FEELING THATS
GOING ON INSIDE ME, I CAN'T FUNXSHON, I CAN'T THINK.I AM DIZZIE MY STOMACH HURTS I CRY ALL THE TIME.IS THIS THE WAY YOU FEEL AND MORE WHEN YOU DON'T TAKE IT ANYMORE, PLEASE WRITE BACK AND LET ME NO WHAT TO DO. HELP KAREN 502-268-9788 TODAY?

Posted by: karen at August 20, 2010 11:31 AM

I've been on Effexor XR 150 mg for about 4 years. I've tried to wean myself off of it but the withdrawal is really bad. I was dizzy and nauseated. So I went back on it because my Dr. told me to, I am so blah everyday, I don't find much pleasure in anything, I sleep all day and take meds to sleep at night. I don't see how this is helping me, but I don't want to go through the withdrawal again. I'm just not happy and I just feel blah. Nothing gives me pleasure anymore I'm just going through the mostions of the day. Sex use to be pleasurable but not anymore since taking the med. I would rather stay home than socialize with anyone and I never use to be that way before. I would advise anyone contimplating this drug to think twice.

Posted by: UB at October 6, 2010 8:58 PM

I have been on Effexor XR 75mg for more than a year. I can honestly say that this drug saved my life. I am posting this because there are many negative comments about the drug on this blog, but for me, it totally helped where other drugs failed.

I have had a few side effects such as: brain zaps, strange dreams, (which is sort of a positive side effect in my opinion ;)) and the shakes/nausea if I am late on a dose. Overall my expereince has been great because for the first time in my life, I am motivated (school and work), I don't want to sleep all the time, am more positive, am in a stable and loving relationship, have goals.

This drug literally pulled up the depression/dark curtain so that the play of life could begin.

Posted by: Jeannie at October 22, 2010 3:20 PM

I have been on Effexor for years. I take a fairly high dose. The trick is to take it consistently at bedtime. If it makes your drowsy, you're sleeping anyway. It has helped my anxiety and depression. If I miss a pill, I get the withdrawal right away. Why are so people so concerned about quitting when they need the drug? Take it and stay on it.

Posted by: Kathy at November 2, 2010 2:16 PM

I started taking Effexor XR almost a month ago after a major depressive episode and have been moved up to 225mg. I must say that this drug has changed my life. Aside from the insomnia, I couldn't be happier. I struggled with depression unmedicated for 23 years trying to manage with several therapies. My moods have finally leveled and I can begin therapy to function in society again. I was fortunate enough to have been diagnosed and treated at one of top ten depression hospitals in the nation. They make sure each every patient is explained their diagnosis, medication, and participation in several types of therapy including cognitive, music, and art among the many. The first thing you are told is that if you are having any difficulty or side effects, notify your doctor immediately and don't just stop taking your medication abruptly. You may need either an adjustment in your medication or try a different one all together. I love this medication but it must be understood that everyone's diagnosis and biology is different. Just because something works for one it doesn't mean it's a cure all for everyone. Be sure to let your doctor know if you have any problems with your medication and always read the fact sheet that comes with your medication from the pharmacist. Good Luck!

Posted by: Abby at February 5, 2011 3:31 AM

HELP PLEASE-I've been on effexor for yrs and i missed full days, how long will i stay sick if I took it again on the third day and continued normal dose.?

Posted by: jennifer at April 9, 2011 7:46 PM

My main symptomatic complaint is the cognitive intellectual sedation that virtually renders me emotionless. I just recently lost my brother J.H. Johnny Horn whom I was intenselly intimatelly close to, though with no normal rational expected reactionary sadness nor even one shed tear. I vertually flatlined following his death as though a total stranger had died! It is not emotionally healthy to be devoid of any and/or all emotions! I too want off this dreadfull drug Effexor XR 150.

Posted by: Hollister Ann Horn=Holly at April 30, 2011 2:06 PM

I have been on Effexor XR for about 3 years. My
depression wa triggered by excessive dosages of
predisone (225 mg. every 6 hours). Now that my
predisone usage is 7 1/2 every other day, I asked
my psychiatrist to taper me off this medication.

I am now off for two weeks and have developed IBS.

Is this a common side effect withdrawal symptom to
have?

Thanks.

Posted by: Marilyn Madden at May 1, 2011 7:08 PM

Hi,I have been taking effexorxr for about 7yrs.Then i was put on prozac to. one yr.ago i was also put on xana3tmesdly. effexor xr 7.5 twist daily. The problem is now i left a state to go to another state when i went to another doctor he took me completely off effexor xr and my xana's cold turkey.I've been off of them for two days so far. the xana's i still will be on till the 17th of june 2011. When i get off xanax's i know what that does i've had to do without them for a couple of days before. On my secound day of being off of effexor I can't remember good not able to think clearly, forgetfull. Not able to talk to someone and tell them what i'm trying to say,because my mind isn't fast enough to tell them what i need to. very tired which is not to unusual. But i am afraid that when i am off the xana's to that i'm going to be in a world of weirdness. I can't get no doc.s were i'm at to perscribe them to me yet. until my document from my other doc. comes. Then i can go to the walk in clinic that has pain managment to take me. I have Hashimoto's thyroidities disease and Rheumatoid arthrites. So i'm unable even to get pain medicines. So me being off of the effexor til the 17th.when my xana's run out, What could possible be the worst or what could happen if anything. Beside everyday incognants,or forgetfulness or etc. Thank you. for reading.

Posted by: savanna at June 9, 2011 12:21 PM

I have been reading a lot of posts about how bad effexor is and it's terrible side effects. I must admit I came across this blog while researching any connection with some memmory loss and difficulty staying on task with any meds I take. I was surprised and relieved to see that I wasn't
the only one going through it. I take 300mg every night for about 4 years now. It does cause me to have decreased sex drive and that doesn't seem to go away. BUT!!!! I have suffered 2 bouts of severe depression, the last one lasted 2 years. I had tried so many different meds and combinations, and nothing worked. I was at the point of suicide. I was aready on wellbutrin and then the Dr added effexor. This has been the greatest anti depressant I have ever taken. I am positive every day, I look forward to going to work, I have regained my interests in hobbies and
doing things with my kids. Let me just say that if you have TRULY been in the black hole of severe depression like I was for 2 years, totaly incapasitated, completely hopeless and helpless and wanting to die every day, and effexor has made you feel alive again, well I guess I will gladly put up with the side effects. If you want to stop taking an anti depressant because it affects your sex life, then I don't think you were ever severely depressed. I would rather lose both of my legs than go through that depression again. You can say what you want about doing it yourself without meds, but I gladly take effexor and am gratefull for what it has done for me.

Posted by: Rich at June 21, 2011 8:21 PM

effexor is not good for me if i miss one day i am really sick andit has covered up my emotion

Posted by: kristi at June 28, 2011 10:13 PM

I have been taking Effexor for some time now. I missed last nights dose because my pill bottle has vanished from existence. I am at my wits end, crying, throwing things, frustrated, dizzy, angry. I don't know what to do! I can't find it anywhere. I have about destroyed my house looking for it. I have an old script of citalopram, can I just take that until I find the effexor? I honestly am afraid of what will happen without something. I've been known to go to some very dark places in my mind before and I don't want that to happen again! :(

Posted by: Jennifer at November 26, 2011 12:30 PM

Well I have taking Effexor XR for over 6 years. At first everthing was better i won't say great. As time went on I would notice that I would feel nothing at all sounds great but it is not. My meds are on back order 4¦6 weeks. I can not afford them. I guess I will be in hell for awhile. Btw 300mg daily. I must say I am scared and freaked out.

Posted by: cheryl at January 1, 2012 6:55 PM

I am on several prescription drugs. I am having a
difficult time falling asleep and staying asleep.
The medications I am on are: effexor 150 mg.
nitrazepam 10 mg. and hydromorph Contin 6 mg.

Nitrazepam is to help me sleep but it is not working and the less I sleep the more upset I get.
Why am I not sleeping?

Posted by: Mrs. M. Cardo at February 2, 2012 4:39 PM

I was on effexor for about 3 years,it was wonderful! But one day,it just ..stopped. After an agonizing withdrawal,about 4 days,and being off it for 4 years,I just started it again last night.Nothing else has helped.And effexor didnt make me gain weight,actually quite the opposite.It gave me energy,but I do think it is different for everyone.I hope you all have the chance to find what works best.I tried being off ALL anti's for 4 months,I hated it.My family hated it,even my cats hated it.Its awful to think that you have to be on something for the rest of your life,but hey,thats the way it is for some of us..Tried Pristique,Vibrydd,Celexa,Lexipro,on and on..Effexor was the only one that I missed.So,here I go again,wish me luck!

Posted by: tuxedocat at February 17, 2012 11:38 AM

I've been feeling very sleepy and have not motivation at all. I've been taking Effexor XR for about 4 months now. I was taking Cymbalta but I think it was making me gain weight. I was taking 75 mg at first but didn't seem to be working because I was feeling depressed so I was bumped up to 150 mg. Can anyone tell me if you've experienced any sleepiness or lacking energy?

Posted by: Melissa at February 19, 2012 9:42 AM

I have been on effexor for little over a week, i am asleep during the day, sweating in bed unable to sleep at night, and i cannot sleep for more than one hour straight.
This is clearly a side effect of using this.
How ever, in the last two days i havs realy come out of my shell and fix alot of old relationships the sad part is i feel this may just be the drug.
I have adhd, depresion, anxiety, and not sure wether i have the beging of skitzphrenia due to a large amount of drug abuse in my past.
Although effexor has stoped me talking to my self about stupid parranoid crap i feel coming off it will not be good.
Fuck my life seriously

Posted by: thomas at February 27, 2012 3:26 PM

I'm so glad to see this wall. I am nurse with 24yrs of experience under my belt. I teach people everyday, the dangers of medication and the plus/minuses as well. I elected to start this drug for depression/anxiety - read up enough to hear that it was the new "go to wonder drug" - and that should have been a red flag for me. Instead, I took it and increased it to 150mg per day. I found that I ceased to interact with Family/Friends normally. I found that I was nearly agoraphobic and anti social. Even more distressing, I began eating to eat to eat. I packed on nearly 45# in six months, and felt the need to eat on, even when I felt full. My Bp went so high, as did my pulse - that I ended up on medication to treat that. I decided with my PCP, this was NOT the drug of choice for me. I was now having anxiety attacks with the medication requiring additional medication to counter the attacks of anxiety! (wow). SO - I phased it out in a few days of one capsule per day through the weekend. within 24hrs I'd safely say, I was nonfunctional. I was sick like I had the flu, and I was weak and emotional. my head had these unpredictable and uncontrollable "zaps". I found that it made me feel so badly, I barely could work long enough to come home and crash into bed just to function. one week later, I find that I am still affected but I'm very strong willed and determined to get through it. However, when I find that I feel like I'm going to panic from the withdrawal, I go to my prn xanax and it is getting me through. I have told all my Nursing comrades and anyone that would ask or need to know = that medications that work on your BRAIN, that cause such severe reactions and leave you ADDICTED to it - should be banned. Years from now, it will be like Marlboro all again. The only true help I have gotten from this Drug's use - is the final realization that I have to take the reins back over and hold myself accountable for my life and health. You cannot allow a medication to be the cure all, when especially it's cure is life locked addiction to it's use to avoid the side effects of it's non use. Think long and heavy. Seek counseling, exercise, diet, get outside and seek alternatives before making the choice to add this drug. It was and continues to be hell. (and that's just the coming off part).

Posted by: Lisa at June 28, 2012 4:04 PM

I have issues with anxiety and it was starting to become unmanageable. I was tired all of the time as well. Effexor xr has helped me so much, with anxiety, sleeping, and engery. However, it affects my eyes so much: dry, red, and blurry vision. Will this side effect ever go away?

Posted by: kelly at September 18, 2012 9:55 PM

I have been On Effexor for about 8 months now, previously I suffered quite sever anxiety and social phobia, it was ruining my life! Reading everybody's blogs there's no doubt that it has different effects on individuals, this medication saved my social life! I had always avoided confrontation, meeting new people even going to the supermarket made me nervous, after about 6-8 weeks I really felt the full effects of this medication and turned my life around, I now love meeting new people now and socializing is great. I don't suffer anxiety any more and it has cured my depression, the first 3 weeks on effexor 75mg was difficult! Suffered nausea, dizzy spells and was making me extremely tired but that went away. I was always against antidepressants they all have side affects and comming off them doesn't sound like much fun but it did get to a point were my anxiety was destroying me. It's unfortunate that people like myself have to turn to these kinds of drugs but like all illnesses sometimes they need to be medicated. In my opinion i think Effexor is a good drug as it has turned my life around for the better, in saying that I havent attempted to come off the stuff but I can imagine it would be difficult as I have missed doses and experience strange dizziness, I'll deal with that wen it comes to that time but right now I'm stoked because suffering from anxiety was fucked!!

Posted by: James at November 3, 2012 4:36 AM

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.