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

The Harmful Impacts of Confusing Pleasure With Happiness

The Addictive Properties of Sugar

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

Important Lessons From Brain Scans

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

Effexor was the first depression drug I took. Within 2 weeks, I was feeling like I was on top of the world, and had energy that was unrelenting. It was great, life was great, never felt better, and was able to go on forever without rest!
I had been taking the drug for 6 months, and I developed hives, that went into a skin rash that eventually covered my whole body. It was mesiery that I had never delt with before, and nothing doctors could do about it. My body was like a bloody piece of meat, and the itch was horrible.
They had taken me off effexor early in the rash, but I think it had to run it's course to get it out of my system. It lasted for a year, and I was to every doctor that I thought might be able to help me.
The last dermetologist, put me on a strong dose of antibiotic because he said my skin had become infected and the whole thing finally came to an end.
I would love to try the drug again, but I am too afraid.

Posted by: Myron at October 2, 2005 11:07 PM

I took Effexor along time ago and had similar systems of a rash break out. Luckily as soon as I realized the irritation I stopped taking the drug. I have not yet found a antidepressant that allows me to feel good as appose to miserable.

Posted by: Ann at October 4, 2005 12:59 AM

The truth is, as many others here have said, Effexor is tremendously difficult to get off of. You get all kinds of weird side effects. It's difficult to get off of, but not impossible. You just have to be prepared to outlast the drug. It'll hit you with vertigo, nausea, vivid dreams, weird feelings of disconnect between your vision and your mind, slurred vision sometimes, etc. It's basically like being sick (like with the flu) for a couple weeks. Trust me though, it does eventually get better--and it doesn't take all that long. I think it took me about a month and a half before I felt entirely better. Just thought y'all might like to know that getting off IS possible, just difficult.

Posted by: Abe B. at October 27, 2005 10:39 PM

I took effexor for about two and a half years. it was the best thing to happen to me until I started breaking out in a rash. My MD told me it couldn't be the Effexor because I had been on it for a year already when the rash started. I stayed on the medication for another year and a half. During that time I had multiple falls and eventually had to come off of it. i still have a recurring rash 6 months later that is controlled by allergy medications. I have undergone surgery for torn minisci in the left knee and the permanent damage done to my brain leaves me with an unstable gait and high risk of falls. my most recent fall hurt my other knee and I am now out on temporary disability. I have consulted with neurologists, GP's, orthopedists and neurosurgeons because of the damage done to my back and knees. In addtion, i am the receipiant of many extra pounds of fat that gets in the way of Dr's poperly diagnosing the problem.
I thought I was depressed before taking Effexor and i was extatic when it lifted my depression, however, I am paying a lifelong price for that relief.
I also have word finding problems and memory deficits. Thanks Effexor for making a hard life more difficult.

Posted by: joann at November 1, 2005 9:50 PM

i was on effexor xr for nearly 5 months, i felt slightly better but not much. I have dry eyes, headaches, weight gain (but i eat when im down so...) blahblahblah. Was on celapram, new zealand govt dropped subsidy so my doctor put me on arrow-citalpram? went down straight away doctor put me on effexor. Doctors are idiots! Now after my partner came with me to the doctor im going back on the celapram, but this is 5 months out of my life, hard work for my partner, i feel cheated and pissed off. Sorry thats a bit full on huh, its very frustrating not being able to get proper or even half decent care, at least we can afford the drugs.

Posted by: misty at December 14, 2005 8:10 PM

oh sorry got a bit sidetracked on the doctors thing! forgot to say about how slow it is to move up to the next dosage on effexor, and how if i was late with just one pill (obviously i have trouble with my memory!!)the withdrawals would kick in a couple hours later, horrible dizzy kind of out of body stuff, felt like i was falling out of my body, light sensitive. I am weaning off fron 150mgs a day down to 35.7mg? a day for a week then going onto celapram which has citalpram like celexa i think. Also on effexor could not stay awake for long. Sleeping from 10pm till 9am then get up breakfast back to bed till 12ish lunch then try to stay up till bedtime. Wondering wht this is doing to brain cells. Feel like such a guinea pig.

Posted by: misty at December 14, 2005 8:26 PM

I started Effexor 6 days ago. Prior to the drug I would wake up with NO brain activity. 20 minutes after my first dose my brain was active again! I am losing weight thankfully and the depression is less. The only side effect is headaches which I hope will subside. I already feel 100% better!

Posted by: Karen at December 22, 2005 11:56 AM

EFFEXOR IS A HORRIBLE DRUG THAT SHOULD OF NEVER GONE ON THE MARKET! Since starting effexor 2 1/2 years ago, my life and health has went down the shitter! It causes several other health problems, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high pulse, vivid nightmares, vision gone, chronic vomiting, the shit so bad you can shit through a screen door, with out leaving a mark. The sad thing is our doctors don't tell us the harm it will do. Because they get paid to hand it out by Wyeth. I've been trying to be weaned of this drug for almost a year, almost done but in the mean time your in a whole lot of pain. I feel when I was put on effexor, they should of told me to start digging my own grave.....

Posted by: Michelle at January 3, 2006 8:38 PM

I would strongly advise anyone considering the use of this drug to consider all other options first. Natural remedies, counselling etc....Worst decision i ever made was to start taking this drug. Can't get it out of my system. I get unbearable withdrawl that i just can't handle. I know these drugs effect everyone differently and you may not have such a problem with it as i do, but exhaust all other options first before taking any of these drugs...I wish i had.

Posted by: Red1973 at January 15, 2006 6:57 PM

I have been on antidepressants for approximately 11 years. Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Celexa.

I want to get off antidepressants altoghter. My reasons:
1. I developed vertigo ( possibly Menieres Disease) I wonder whether there is a correlation between anti depressants and vertigo &/or Menieres Disease?
2. I am not necessarily any happier or better with the antidepressants. My home life is difficult (tough marriage for the past 11 years) We are doing much better and commited. This might be a good time to get of the meds and buy a special lamp to simulate sunlight. There is no magic pill.
3. I believe that other symptoms have occurred due to my lengthy stay on antidepressants: shingles, bells palsy like symptoms, vertigo, menopausal symptoms starting at age 36. Confirmed menopausal at aged 42.

Do antidepressants permanently suppress the bodies ability to naturally produce seritonin in the brain?

How long will it take to wean me off of the Effexor (225 mg - taken for 5 straight years).

I was also prescribed lamictal (few days bad reaction:rash over body and I could not move the right side of face. The doctor feared bells palsy but it did not last. Treatment was stopped immediately, I was sent to the ER for a shot to rid the rash. Apparently a very small percentage who take lamictal develop a rash. An of this small percentage, a small percent of this population will die from the reaction because there is no known antidote. My advice, never take lamictal, it is NOT worth the risk. For people who are depressed, they can not even make the correct decision to take or not take the drug. They are in the hands of their psychiatrist and NO known antidote is a NO option for the patient.

Posted by: jz at January 17, 2006 12:32 PM

I have really never had a problem with depression until I started taking Effexor. My doctor prescribed it for the severe post partum depression I was suffering from after the birth of my son. It worked LIKE MAGIC! I went from crying and panicking at the thought of being alone with my children, to calmly taking care of the house and the kids like I used to. After 6 months I started suffering from migraines that I'd never had in my life. So my doctor doubled my dosage from 75mg to 150mg. I was fine after that for about another 6 months until the headaches came back so severely that my new doctor suggest I have an MRI (which turned up nothing). It actually felt like at any moment a vessel would burst, there was so much pressure in my head. I couldn't open my eyes, lift my head, turn my head...and when I moved my eyes around I got an electric "shock" feeling in my head and mouth.
After 16 months I am finally getting off of Effexor by lower my dose weekly than every other day. But the days when I don't take even the 37.7mg are HORRIBLE. I can't sleep enough and I feel achy all over.
I guess it works differently for everyone, but I really wish I had never taken it to begin with. Doctors should make their patients aware of these possible side effects. Mine sure didn't.
Best of luck to anyone suffering from any form of depression.

Posted by: Michele W at January 20, 2006 9:48 PM

I am going through withdrawals from Effexor. I have tried several times before to try to get off of this medicine but the withdrawal is so intolerable I have failed each time. It has me feeling sea sick, nauseated, stomache cramps, dizzy, and what I learned to be known as head tremors,and out right miserable and immobile. I never had this problem with Prozac. I pray everyday that this will subside. This is day 5 of my 5th try in giving this drug up.

Posted by: carolyn at January 24, 2006 5:11 AM

I took Effexor and was on 150 mg for 4 years. I'm now weaning off it, by my own choice. I talked to my doctor and she said it would be fine.
She lied.
It's a slow process for me, but even the gradual weaning leaves me feeling headachy, nauseous, tired, dizzy, and I get 'brain zaps' as withdrawal sufferes call them, where my body and brain feel like they got zapped by static shock. It's hell, and for that alone I would recommend you NOT take Effexor. Ever.

Posted by: Melanie at January 24, 2006 12:21 PM

I have been on effexor for about a year now. I started out on 75mgs eventually maxing out at 300mgs. My experience on effexor started out ok, but I was sleeping my days away. I thought it was an antidepressant and knew that this could not be right, so I stopped taking them. My withdrawal symptoms were horrible. I had bad flu symptoms, including GI upset, the snap shocks when I was trying to rest. I felt like a heroin addict going through withdrawals on this stuff. I am glad to be off of Effexor. It may not have been the best decision I've ever made to stop cold turkey, but I couldn't take feeling like a zombie any more. Good Luck to all of you who have to wean yourself off of it. Keep some valium close by LOL.

Posted by: Karen at January 26, 2006 4:12 AM

In total, I've been on effexor 150mg for 2 1/2 years. last summer I tried going off effexor, but my anxiety attacks came back and I went back on. just a couple of months ago, I decided to try and go off again, and weaned myself off (probably not slow enough), and about a month after I was completely off of them, my anxiety attacks returned. I decided to return onto effexor once again. it's now been six weeks since I've been on them, and I've had such a horrible 6 weeks. I cannot think clearly, I feel like I don't even exist. I have a hard time communicating my feelings to people who are close to me. I'm seeing my doctor next week, and I really want to get off of this for good. My plan is to see a naturopath, and find my natural ways to releive my anxiety.

Also, a major concern for me, is that I started taking effexor for my anxiety, and now I feel like I am depressed. I have read that effexor can lead to depression.

Posted by: Alyssa at February 4, 2006 10:04 PM

Has anyone experienced a change in their experience of sex some time after they come off the drug?

Posted by: Jane at February 7, 2006 3:21 PM

My OB/GYN had me start on Effexor XR when I could no longer take HRT for health reasons. Effexor XR was supposed to help with the hot flushes, mood swings and other symptoms of post menopause.Ironically, Effexor made me sweat, lots, something I didn't realize until I started to wean myself off it. I was taking 150mg per day when I was hospitalized for severe abdominal pain.My family Dr. knew more about the drug and it's side effects than my OB.He recommended I stop taking it. I had been on it for a little over two years when this happened and, with his help, began to decrease my doses.After I began the weaning process I decided to investigate this drug I had already been taking for so long.(Something I should have done before taking the first pill.) I have found that I had experienced many other side effects that I hadn't really associated with taking Effexor,including hostility, anxiety and sudden inexplicable dark moodiness. I had been thinking that if I was feeling that bad ON Effexor, I'd probably be suicidal if I ever stopped taking it. Little did I know how much better my life was to be. I have now been totally off Effexor for only a couple of days. It has taken 2 months of gradually decreasing the dosage to finally get this far. I still have the withdrawal symptoms of "brain swishing" and ringing in my ears. I hope that will go away some day. My advice to someone thinking of trying Effexor is definitely DO NOT. Investigate ANYTHING you are told to put into your body BEFORE taking it.

Posted by: Rhonda at February 23, 2006 2:16 AM

After reading some posts, I thought would ask this question. After being on Effexor for 1.5 years, I've noticed my behavior change with my husband. I completely feel like I fell in love with a guy I work with and that if I got divorced, oh well, I'll move on. I don't seem to feel much at all. Yeah, I want the guy at work, but if I don't get him, that's cool too.
Anyone else feel like this? I'm heading for divorce right now.

Posted by: Spirit at February 27, 2006 6:49 PM

I am now weaning myself off of Effexor sr after taking it for about 8-10m0nths for deppresion and anxiety. I was on 150 mg per day and am now taking 37.5 mg every other day for about 2 weeks and can'r seem to go more than 2 days without a dose or I feel crappy like crying at the first drop of a hat -even when there is something funny on tv like my favorite sitcom from the 70's- Sanford and Son! I know it sounds rediculous but getting offd of it is worse than probably heroin because at least they have Methadone clinics for that drug. I wish I could get back to running and cycling but sleep patterns prevent this and lack of motivation and feeling of hopelessness. If only there was a hot chick as my close mate or girlfriend and that would be the only medication I would need! No bad side effects from sex but drained out, happiness, satisfaction and enjoyment. All you women have the power to cure many men's deppression by being close to us and making us feel wanted and spend time withg us-after all, it can't hurt. I wish I had the power to offer this great help to women who are deppressed. Anyways, I can't wait to clean my body of this chemical so I can once again feel emotions and laugh and cry and averything that makes us human.

Posted by: Sergio at March 5, 2006 6:42 AM

Just happened upon this site as I've run into a recent health problem , and was wondering if effexor xr could be anything to do with it. I've been on "exr" for about 10 years now, so sounds like I'm one of the veterans! After trying about 15 other antidepressants (to try and get my libido back), I returned to it as I felt terrific on it in every other way. Other meds had no effect or made me psychotic. Anyway, recently I've added light therapy to my winter treatment (live in Toronto), and also become aware of sight problems. Had my eyes retested after less than a year, and have "drusen" in both eyes; it's a first stage symptom of macular degeneration, which is basically beginning of loss of central vision. I'm also taking clonazpam (for sleeping) and mirapex for restless legs. Can't find any connections with any of these meds with drusen. Any ideas?

Posted by: jo at March 6, 2006 12:24 AM

Just happened upon this site as I've run into a recent health problem , and was wondering if effexor xr could be anything to do with it. I've been on "exr" for about 10 years now, so sounds like I'm one of the veterans! After trying about 15 other antidepressants (to try and get my libido back), I returned to it as I felt terrific on it in every other way. Other meds had no effect or made me psychotic. Anyway, recently I've added light therapy to my winter treatment (live in Toronto), and also become aware of sight problems. Had my eyes retested after less than a year, and have "drusen" in both eyes; it's a first stage symptom of macular degeneration, which is basically beginning of loss of central vision. I'm also taking clonazpam (for sleeping) and mirapex for restless legs. Can't find any connections with any of these meds with drusen. Any ideas?

Posted by: jo at March 6, 2006 12:24 AM

I just started my second day weaning off of Effexor...I've been on 150 mg. a day for a little over a year. I started last year after a hellish fall and honestly it was the best decision I've ever made. I want to stress that the Effexor alone was not the answer, but it was what got me to a place where I was able to face my problems. I'm only twenty one, so taking anti-depressants was the last thing I really ever thought I'd be doing. I think they saved my life. I felt really odd the first two weeks or so. I felt a little bit like I was car-sick all the time, almost like my brain needed a second to move with the rest of my body, like I was in a haze. I was tired, but sleepless, and I had CRAZY dreams when I did sleep. But those symptoms dissappeared and I've been fine. Believe me though, miss a pill and you'll feel it! Now I'm weaning off of it (keep your fingers crossed!) and my first day on 75mg was yesterday. I felt it today, but not as bad as cold turkey. I'm hazy, a little dizzy, and kinda nauseaus. Nothing that keeps me in bed, its just a little bit inconvenient. I've read a lot about the withdrawl symptoms, and so far, luckily, I've not felt the "brain zaps" that people feel. I know that withdrawl is pretty crappy, and Effexor doesnt work with everyone's body chemistry, but I do feel it saved my life. I honestly don't think I'd be typing this message had I not done something. If there are any questions I'd be happy to answer them.

Posted by: Annie at March 8, 2006 9:41 PM

I've taken Effexor XR 150 for over 5 years. It's been very effective for me. I was allergic to other SSRI's and had bad side effects with older Tricyclics. BUT this has side effects too. It seems to go through your system fast, with almost a "rebound" effect on me- if I forgot a pill I get teary-despondent. Also forgetting a pill would cause nightmares. My doctor didn't believe me, but other users have noted it too.
Now without Rx insurance and I'm now trying to get off this because there's no generic avail. Three weeks of nightmares, odd "buzzing" feeling, sweats and hot flashes (eeewww) Maybe addiction isn't the word, but it affecta brain chemicals and it's taking a while to get out of system. Tolerance build-up?

Posted by: DLR at March 10, 2006 8:12 PM

I started taking effexor in December. My husband was overseas in the Middle East and my father passed away. Leaving me with my mother and my children and work to take care of. Needless to say 3 months later I was having anxiety over everything. I was losing weight and was crying for hours at night. I took 37.5 for a week and then moved up to 75.
I went back to see my doctor. I told her I was having trouble getting up. Not wanting to get out of bed. Unlike before Christmas I was unable to stop eating. I was put on a dose of 150. I have been on the 150 for 10 days now and although still sleepy in the mornings I feel a bit more stable. I am still having difficulty getting up. (Lethargic-like). I am also gaining weight, I am hungry all of the time
I went online and read horror stories of people unable to stop taking effexor and now I am seriously scared. I have seen way more negative than positive.
Should I ask my doctor to reduce dosages now?

Posted by: Louise at March 11, 2006 8:33 PM

i was officially diagnosed with depression about 4 years ago...when I was about 25. that was actually a major relief...to figure out what was wrong with me and why...why I was always crying, felt so hopeless...for weeks or even months at a time. felt like i was slipping into a black hole. I actually prayed that somehow there was a pill to take, to make these feelings go away. when I spoke to a doctor, he presecribed effexor. he also told me that my depression was triggered by stress and stress full situations. at the time, I was in a stressfull situation in my relationship, and in a high stress job. I started taking effexor...and it actually worked. I felt happy at times...peace...no more falling into deep black holes. but the worse part of effexor for me, is the nasea. aweful.. I only take it when I feel the depression setting in...then I take it for a couple months at a time. but during the first few days (for me) the nasea is pretty bad. it comes in waves though. not constant. the other thing is the sleep situation. its usually pretty hard to wake up in the morning but when on the effexor I actually wake up early! another side effect for me is loss of appetite. just dont feel like eating. I read some of the other reviews, and understand that different people have different experiences. maybe the drug affects us all differently. but for me, it has actually worked. oh yeah!!!! one other side effect was I wasnt really "in the mood" a whole lot. didnt feel like sex...(which to tell you the truth, suited me just fine, since the trigger was a stressfull relationship) good luck to all. remember, there is treatment out there...there is hope!

Posted by: at March 14, 2006 2:23 PM

I started Effexor in March, 2005. My dosage level was 250mg. By September 2005, I had gained 39 pounds. At 5'7, I went from 135lbs to 174lbs, it seemed overnight. That did not exactly help my self-esteem...I had not changed my diet or my level of exercise, which was good -- I routinely did workouts of 30-60 minutes in duration 4-5x per week. I also experienced severe edema in both LEs, weakness in my hand grip and fatigue.

With my doctor's permission, I started tapering off the drug in October. It was a rough 4 weeks: balance issues, headaches, nausa. I will never go back to taking this med again -- the struggle I now have with loosing the added weight isn't worth the palative effects of the medication. Instead, I will rely on talk thearpy, exercise and a healthy diet to manage my symptoms.

Posted by: at March 15, 2006 4:57 PM

Have you ever heard about taking Wellbutin and 300mg of effexor at the same time. If so how does it effect you and your body?

Posted by: Janice Chabot at March 16, 2006 11:27 PM

no. I took it and I thought it was awful. made me angry and it was almost impossbile to get off of

Posted by: harry at March 17, 2006 2:42 PM

I have been on Effexor for 1.5 years. It is wonderful, in that it has given me a reference for what normal is... something I hadn't known for 34 years. There was no more anxiety, panic, depression. There was no more mood swings. I suppose it's a kind of numbness. I was even able to stablize my weight. I did, however, experience vivid, crazy dreams, insomnia, and nightsweats that could flood a village. I made the decision to give my brain a break and I've weaned myself from 150 mg to 0 mg over a month's time. I've had nothing for 72 hours (not that I'm counting). I am experiencing brain/body shocks at the slightest sound, movement or 'scare'. I have a feeling that one would have after getting off an amusement park ride...yuck. I am having trouble getting my thoughts together and putting them into words, crying easily and very snappy. I guess I have the same questions as everyone else. How long will this last?

Posted by: Heather at March 19, 2006 9:29 PM


Posted by: MARIA at March 22, 2006 6:45 PM

I juat had my daily dose upped from 75mg to 150mg. I am taking it for depression. All passion seems to have disappeared from my life...passion for ANYTHING. Wellbutrin didn't seem to do anything for me, so Doc switched me to Effexor. I am now TIRED all the time. I yawn almost constantly. If I don't keep moving/thinking I WILL fall asleep. My Saturdays without my kids go something like this: Wake up, eat, watch shows taped Friday night while I was out, nap for 4 hours, get up, eat (maybe) watch a little TV, sleep, Hello Sunday!

This isn't getting any better, and after reading these posts I can't help but wonder if taking this pill is worth it. What good will it be to be "happy" again if I'm sleeping through Life?

Posted by: Roy at March 23, 2006 9:44 AM

I am 30 years old, have always been very active in mountain sports, ironman, triathelons, skiing etc. I fell into depression 2yrs ago when too many things happened and I fell apart. Celexa helped to bring me out of the black hole, but then after about 8months I became very depressed again even after increasing the dosage so I went off. 2 years later I was still fighting depression so my doctor said I could have a chemical imbalance and suggested Effexor.

It has been wonderful to be and feel normal again. But then, nothing matteres anymore. I stay in alone all the time, forget friends and the gym. I'm constipated like you wouldn't believe - and as far as sex drive goes, I'm totally "numb" down there, I just don't feel anything.

I'm afraid to miss a day or to stop. But I have blurred vision. I have nightmares and terrible insomnia. I don't care about anything anymore. I have been on it for two months and have gained an abnormal amount of weight.

I will be going off this drug as I do not believe this is the answer. I think there are natural remedies out there.

If you are thinking of going on it for a repreave from the horrible depression, consider the side effects, and as others have noted the long lasting ones. Life is easier on this drug, but when you think about all of the other things it does to you, you will get the bigger picture.

Posted by: Sheryl at March 31, 2006 6:23 AM

I have taken Efexor XR for about 2 months now, and it has done a great job!
I take 225 with 150 of welbutrin.
All I can say is it has worked very well so far.
Yawning being my only side effect.
I sleep very well and it has increased my passion.
I have lost some weight but it was all fat, and now I feel trim and stream lined.
I had severe back pain before going on this after 2 days my back pain was gone for good.
Talk to your doctor and let him know what is going on. These is a right med for you out there.

Posted by: big A at April 6, 2006 8:34 PM

I've just been put on Effexor 50 for the second time after the first one failing since I wasn't getting on mainly with the Psy following the affair. Of course, another bout of depression and the associated disruption came back and now I've gone to the docs again with a view to maintaining a treatment for more than just a few weeks.

Anyway, to cut a long story short - reading all of the www info on Effexor and moreover, coming off the drug - I'm horrified! I recall the first few weeks of my aborted attempt to take it were actually OK. No bad side-effects and generally I think I felt better. When I stopped suddenly I did have a few nasty effects but didn't make the association. Now if I'm going to take it regularly I feel as though I'm looking at a life sentence! Some of the stories seem pretty scary and I know my Dr didn't mention any of this.

One major problem is that I am losing more and more confidence in the medical profession. After several years of reccurrent depression I've bounced from one Happy-Pill to another. Zoloft was the first, but no one told me you tend to go lower in the first week or two. I did - really low -and stopped out of fear. The Psy did nothing but prescribe drugs - no talking etc. Anyway, this circuit has just been repeating itself and nothing is getting better. I figured I could then do the Superman act and get through this alone but we all know where that leads. Yep, back to the Emergency Room in a state of crisis. OK, so now it's attempt 4 (I think), and back to Effexor. Maybe I shouldn't have surfed the web to read up on this "interesting" drug!

One positive outcome of reading everyones comments is that I will have a more in depth conversation with my Dr now about this drug and my future with it.

Posted by: Mark at April 12, 2006 8:25 AM

Took Effexor ex for 5 1/2 years for "situational" depression. Have been off med 10 months (second try) and still feel weird. Get extremely dizzy at times and feel "fuzzy" headed. Wonder if this will ever go away, or do you get stuck taking this med forever?

Posted by: Tracy Funchess at April 12, 2006 3:35 PM

I was on effexor for just over a year to help me through a pretty bad depression and some anxiety problems. I felt great when I was on it. It really made me not worry about anything, which is great unless you actually do need to worry about some stuff...aka children, family, bills, etc. I weaned myself off of it after I started having an acne problem and the effexor started making me sick to my stomach. I am battling depression again now after going off of effexor about a year ago. I tried to take the pills again but it just tore my stomach up too much. So now I am going back to the doctor to find a new happy pill that will help me through this time. So, in conclusion....does effexor work? hell yeah, sometimes too much. are there side effects? for me, acne and nausea. Depression sucks and I am glad drugs make it easier! --Kim

Posted by: Kim at April 12, 2006 9:24 PM

I just wanted to ask is it really that bad to get of zolft straight away like just stopped taking them, cause i want to get off them now i don't wanna take them gradually, i just wanna get off them now.

Posted by: at April 26, 2006 2:26 AM

Keep taking effexor for at least six weeks before you give up! The effects at first can be very disheartening, but they will (should) improve!

Posted by: Tim at April 27, 2006 8:32 PM

after reading many posts by people i am actually shocked at how many of you have had bad experiences with effexor. I have been taking 300mg for about 2 years now along with wellbutrin xr and I feel great. I have never had a problem with rashes or stomach discomfort or even headaches. I have gained some weight but I lost some in the beginning. I am really happy on it and it has been great for me and my family.
Sandra, mom of 3 and teacher

Posted by: sandra at April 30, 2006 7:57 PM

I have been taking Effexor for over 3 yrs. The first 2 weeks were terifying, but I was encouraged to "hang in there" I was impressed with the drugs' ability to supress my suicidal thoughts and to ease my ADD for the first time in my life. But now after these 3 yrs. I have gained over 50 lbs., live in an embarrasing state of inertia, experience many a sleepless night and I often forget how to turn the car on, or off.I am (was)an artist and now I have no creative thoughts of my own.The passion has been put to sleep. This new life of colorless mediocraty is more depressing than the bipolar illness that I struggled with previously.I'm fat,boring,and one old friend actually refered to me as "pitiful". I feel there is now a choice to be made between truly living to one's potential,whatever the risks, or safely existing into utter obscurity. How will your obit read?! Be who you are and choose your safety net wisely. Effexors' embrace is a trap!

Posted by: MJ at May 1, 2006 12:34 AM

Well, where to begin. Effexor has absolutely ruined my life. I had EXTREME anxiety due to a hostile work environment. I had a severe panic attack and was sent to the hospital. My PCP prescribed Effexor, started with 37.5, then 75, then 150. Well, I became so detached from myself it's not funny. I felt invincible, detached, lack of community. To top it all off, the people at my work just kept messing with me making my stress and anxiety much worse. Taking my files, drilling holes in the ceiling of my office.

So during this time I basically ruined my credit and spent money like it was water. I could have lost my house, family and everything and wouldn't have given a care. It took me over a year to get off of that drug.

So now, 2 years later, I finally have realized what I have done. I'm lucky I still have my husband and home, but now I'm going to lose it all. You see, while on this "head crack" I did things that I would have NEVER done in a million years. I'm going to go to prison. Nice, huh? I'm scared and need medication now more than ever, but I WILL NEVER take anything again.

I'm wondering if my previous head injury had anything to do with my reaction to Effexor. Don't want to give them an excuse, but I would like to know if it had anything to do with how badly I reacted to this drug.

It's funny because if I had a crack, cocaine, heroin or drinking or gambling program, I would have been spared prison. But since it's prescribed, there is nothing I can do. So they can get away with screwing with people's lives without having any consequences.

I'm still living with some of the after effects. The shocks, the jitters, the brain shivers. So I haven't been on the drug for over a year and I still live with it's effects. Couldn't concentrate enough to get a job for almost a year.

Hopefully my time in prison will be well spent. It seems mighty extreme for someone who has never even has a parking ticket. But I will do the time with my head held high... sigh! :(

Posted by: Jen at May 4, 2006 5:03 PM

eflexor good for dappression

Posted by: Rose at May 7, 2006 1:53 AM

Effexor - I hate it! I am getting off of it and will be much happier with depression than on it with the *fog*
Try other methods to cope with depression. I can't believe I went on Effexor in the first place.
This message goes out to all those thinking of taking Effoxor who are not suicidal...Please if you are suicidal which luckily I have never been with my depression- ensure you are getting help and I can't speak if you should be on Effexor or not..but for those who are not suicidal please don't go on this drug!

Posted by: nicole at May 26, 2006 4:48 PM

My advice is from a dual perspective of a patient and a clinical social worker.

Please consider ALL other options before taking this drug.

As other posters have shared, there are multiple potential negative side effects from this medication. THE DRUG COMPANY IS NOT EVEN FULLY AWARE OF THE INCIDENCE OF WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME.

I'm currently tapering off the drug. I'm attempting the two week taper as suggested by my psychiatrist. I have a one week perscription for Prozac that is supposed to bridge the WD sx.

I'm experiencing countless horrid symptoms and am unable to function normally at this time. I'm very scared about long term effects.

This drug may be some people's lifesaver but for others of us, it's a killer. If I knew then what I know now, I'd have never started this medication regimen.

Posted by: SocialWorker at June 7, 2006 5:53 AM

My strong suggestion is not to take anything chemical for depression. My 35 year old daughter is going through living hell because her doctors have mismanaged her tapering off Effexor, which she has been taking for about a year. When I see "consult your doctor" I can't describe my resentment and anger at the medical proffession. I, too, lost years of my life due to what was a mild depression. I faced years of a twilight existence as I was prescribed addictive medication, a virtual cocktail of drugs which destroyed my relationships, and my sense of identity.

Posted by: Candice Goldberg at June 11, 2006 1:39 AM

i have been taking the medication for almost a year. i started taking the drug because i was depressed and annoying to my loved ones. now i just dont care about anything. my question i have is about my weight gain? i have gained more weight since starting this drug then i did with either one of my pregnancies. is this normal?

Posted by: manda at June 11, 2006 9:59 PM

How do I stop taking effexor? Is there an antidote for the withdrawel symptoms? When I tried tapering that was suggested by my physician, I couldn't sleep and had the most horrible nightmares for weeks. Help.


Posted by: Gail at June 12, 2006 10:05 AM

I got oedema in my legs from taking Effexor. I am a petite 5'3'' female weighing 6 stone, so oedema was a great shock. I've never had it before. It was painful, frightening and totally unnecessary.
Effexor is pure crap

Posted by: jaye at July 3, 2006 2:56 AM

started effexor xr 6 weeks ago. did nothing for first 3 weeks and then seemed to kick in in the fourth week but now am feeling anxious again, seriously tired and have funny skin rash on my neck? is this just getting used to the drug? Was on citalopram and that was fine then it all of a sudden stopped working. any ideas of what to do next? am in the middle of a masters so can't go cold turkey.

Posted by: confused at July 12, 2006 10:39 AM

The last two years before starting Effexor were a living hell. Four years ago I started my own company, and this led to a phase of hypomania. I have never been so happy in my life! I was focused, funny, got loads of work done and remember clearly thinking that if I could feel like that forever, then life would be not only bearable but actually quite fun. Slowly however, work got the best of me and after 1 1/2 years I rolled into a burnout which became a fullblown depression a year later. In desperation I got myself a PA, hired some people to help me with the work and carefully avoided ALL the stress I could (including fitness! Beware of that when you're burned out or stressed, folks. It aggravates your cortisol - the body's longtime stress hormone, sugar regulator and flight-or-flight-response regulator, as do smoking, caffeine, and alcohol (ab)use - and that usually makes it worse. Many depressions start with heightened cortisol. Proper stress management is a MUST!

Anyway, I have been taking Effexor for a bout 6 weeks now. I started with normal Effexor 37.5. The adjustment period took about 1 1/2 weeks, in which I experienced a wiredness not unlike the initial onset of XTC. It also made me quite anxious, I slept a lot and was generally a zombie. I was almost at the point of quitting right then and there when suddenly the effects subsided.

My psych upped the dosis to 75 after two weeks and switched me to Effexor XR, and recently upped me to 112.5. Since then my anxiety has become noticeably less, I can concentrate and do my work much more easily, and I'm not nearly as easily piqued as I used to be. On the downside, I tend to sweat a lot more (especially my head), I feel kinda zombified - sort of emotionally dead (although if I enter a discusssion with somebody I immediately notice how much quicker my thoughts have become). However, I seem to feel less motivated; my house is a mess and I can't seem to be bothered to clean it up, nor properly focus on the future of my company (even though we're doing quite well). Libido doesn't seem to changed much, although it takes much longer to orgasm now. I also sweat a LOT more than I used to, but also feel like my body is burning more fuel so maybe that figures. But in 25 degree weather I have to sleep with a fan at the top of my bed or I drench the sheets.

I also used to drink a lot - 1 1/2 bottles of wine in an evening levels - but am now actually drinking less and less. I can even drink socially again, interestingly enough. I have also noticed that the alcohol seems to 'repress' some part of the serotonin system; I sleep much better if I drink the night before, but my thoughts are also slower the day after. If I don't drink I sometimes experience racing thoughts and difficulty falling asleep. Since it may trigger a mania I'm keeping a careful eye on this, and will lower my dosage if I notice it getting worse.

Reading all the responses - and noting that even the people who are happy with Effexor have a few "buts" - I'm wondering whether I should quit while I'm ahead (or while I still can). My Psych is a decent fellow but ain't the sharpest tool in the shed. All I want is to be good at what I do and happy doing it, but from what I read there doesn't seem to be any miracle cure out there and won't be anytime soon. Does anyone know if there's something I could take that would bring the joy of living back? Should I switch to an MAO or SSRI (or stay on the Effexor) and combine it with a dopamine stimulant or something? My knowledge of brain workings is very basic so I haven't a clue... anyway, thanks for making it to the end of my brain-fart, and I hope to read your reactions! Good luck with life, the universe and everything... MB.

Posted by: MB at July 12, 2006 1:38 PM

I went to the doctor with a complaint of hot flashes and night sweats keeping me awake. He gave me effexor. I didn't know it was an anti-drepressant. I took one and the next day read with symptons sheet, that's when I realized it's for depression. I don't have a depression problems. I'm just dealing with the changes. I'm not having mood swings ...Why effexor?

Posted by: Elizabeth at July 21, 2006 11:56 AM

I've been on Effexor for about 2 years. 75 mg a day. I've been developing nightsweats and extremely annoying and vivid nightmares over the past few weeks. I also feel tired and fall asleep during the day on a regular basis. Additionally, I feel very numb emotionally. My tolerance for alcohol has greatly increased. Even my drinking buddies remark how I can drink like a fish and never show any signs of it.

All in all, I think I'll try getting off this stuff and see what happens with the anxiety and depression. Wish me luck.

Posted by: Bob Congel at July 24, 2006 4:40 PM

not if you want a sexlife with your spouse or significant other.. it will completely come to a hault

Posted by: at August 4, 2006 8:33 PM

I've been on Effexor for about 6 years now and I've tried a couple of times to get off the medication or have forgotten to take it one night and I've experienced horrible side effects. A very sickening feeling like people describe, the nausea, vertigo, sweating, confussion and horrible nightmares. I now use caution when I've forgotten a pill and I'm driving the next day, it's really hard to focus. I must say though that while being on Effexor It's been a great drug, I'm upbeat, rarely depressed (except a week before my period at times)and I'm not moody like I was before being on it. My sex drive is affected with it though, It's almost gone. I was off effexor for about 3 weeks once (went thorugh the side effects) my sex drive was back full force. My boyfriend was very happy. One thing that did help me during the withdrawls is taking Dramamine for motion sickness. It helped ALOT. Symptoms of the side effects while I was off Effexor were minimal. Hopefully that helps someone else.

Posted by: Luz at August 7, 2006 11:44 PM

Effexor XR Pros & Cons:

Pros: 300mg of Effexor XR did put a stop to my panic attacks.
Allowed me to function normally in school and with my friends
Suppressed my apetite a bit. I got down to 120 lbs (I am 5'7". I now weigh 30 pounds less than my 15 year old sister, to give you an idea of my genetics.)

Cons: Slept 12-14 hours a day. If I wasn't in class, I was sleeping. Couldn't take morning classes at all. I basically had the energy level of a 90 year old woman.
Lost my sex drive completely. My boyfriend and I broke up as an indirect result
Cost. Several hundred dollars a month, out of pocket, plus $100 per visit to the doctor. My crappy school insurance doesn't cover much.

I was doing much better, ie: no longer depressed, and hadn't had a panic attack in ages. So I tried to get off the Effexor XR. Couldn't. I was nearly hospitalized because of the dizzy spells, and my throat also reacted by swelling up, making it hard to breathe. I couldn't eat when I was off it, and I was sleeping even more than before (a bit hard to believe, but true. I was barely lucid for a few hours each day that I didn't take it.)

The irony is, if I hadn't tried to taper off Effexor XR, I never would have known how bad the stuff is. My side effects while on it were severe, but I could still go to school and have a life. Now that I've tried to wean myself from it, I have neither. To make matters worse, my father thinks my panic attacks have returned, and he wants me to go back on it. He sent me $500 with the adage that I should go buy more Effexor XR.

I'm sending the money back. I'm sick, but I could never be that sick.

Bottom line: Yes, Effexor XR works, but it's a bit like that scene in Saving Private Ryan where they have to destroy the picturesque French village in order to save it.

Posted by: manologirl at August 9, 2006 5:41 PM

Today is Monday. Last Thursday I took my LAST 150mg. dose of EffexorXR. I am so over this evil, nasty drug. I have had vertigo, the zapping noises in my head, nausea, diarrhea and I am determined to wash myself clean of this drug. I have been on it for about 2 years. At first it was great - like having an energy shot in the morning. Soon, though, I upped my dose - eventually getting to 225mg.'s and started to gain weight, drink more, rage at my kids and was generally more miserable than I had been without it. I wish I had been warned. SERIOUSLY consider this choice if you ever need an SSRI. I recently noticed the lack of affect in my Mom, who has been on Prozac most of her life. I mentioned it to my best friend and my husband, they told me that has been me for two years. This stuff should have never come to market. I can only pray that my family ( 4yr. and 7yr. kids and husband) can see me through the GOD awful withdrawl I chose. I couldn't step down - I just needed to get away from it. People who step down don't seem to be having an easy time of it, either. So help me, if this lasts more than a few weeks - I'll be looking for the JOKER at the FDA and WYETH who decided this drug was safe.

Posted by: Jill at September 11, 2006 9:57 AM

I notice that a lot more complaints about Effexor are from women. Could it be that it reacts differently with women (hormones, physiology, psychological differences, whatever)? I can't say that it's the ultimate fix, but I doubt there ever will be a perfect drug. However it is helping me immensely, and I don't seem to have problems if I miss a dose or two. I'm still on 112,5 XR though, maybe my dosage is too low for me to notice? PS has anyone else noticed that coffee and smoking interfere? Smoking especially makes me very emotional when combined with stress (see my previous post) so I'm avoiding it as much as possible, and if I get really drunk then I rapid-cycle for 3 days afterwards...


Posted by: at September 14, 2006 2:37 AM

Absolutely Horrible, gained unexplainable 60+ very quickly,lost my job, going off of it, because of the vision problems,and hearing problem it caused me. When I was on it, it never helped my depression, just made me more tense and edgy and erratic. I think nobody should get on it without hearing about the people who can never get off of it, because it is so scary, you will hear and see things that will wake you up while you are asleep and it's your own brain, going through some sort of freakish withdrawl, and I was only on it for a little less than 6 months. The weight gain stopped the moment i discontinued the medication, but it's not going anywhere either. During my withdrawl which took hold on the 3rd day, without and lasted probably around 7 days, an er dr, advised me to take 1mg of klonapin? to knock my self out during the withdrawl and 1 mg barely took the edge off. Scary! I had taken a quarter mil. before and it literally wiped me out, NOT FOR EVERYONE, BE VERY CAREFUL

Posted by: jane doe at September 20, 2006 11:54 PM

ANSWER TO SOME PEOPLES QUESTION ABOUT SEX, never ever in my life have I had any sexual problems or not enjoyed sex or not wanted or even not enjoyed it, effexor, killed it for me, and even after I got off of it for a while after, I am a women if it matters, and I felt sorry for my husband, it was like it damaged my nerves or something, want to feel BUT COULDN'T feel?????HORRIBLE, DON'T RECOMMEND IT AT ALL.

Posted by: IN SEATTLE at September 21, 2006 12:02 AM

I am trying to "wean" my self off of Effexor, which I've been taking for over two years.
One of the noticeable symptoms I'm experiencing include "electric Shock therapy" types of symptoms and a little vertigo. Otherwise I continue to feel fine. My overall attitude on life and my self esteem have really improved but I continue to gain weight. I am in the midlife part of my life so I also realize that my body metabolism and hormones are changing. Is gaining weight a symptom of Effexor? I have not read about that.
Also, what are the chances of a recurrence of depression if I go completely off of Effexor?
Is there another compatible medicine like Effexor?
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. D. Rei

Posted by: Deborah Rei at September 23, 2006 11:19 AM

Wow! I am in shock. Not sure what to do. My friend called me and told me that she seen on T.V. how Effexor was bad! I came online to look it up and WOW!! Tomarrow morning I will be on my 8th day of taking effexor moving on to the 75mg. Now I am so worried what is about to happen. I have tried alot of SSRI's (Zoloft,Paxil,Prozac,Zyban,Lexapro) Lexapro being the one I am weaning off now. I am taking 10mg lexapro and 75 effexor next week 150 effexor and no Lexapro. So far I have had no side effects. Please give feed back Iam not sure if I should take this now. I have read all the other comments and I see alot of side effects that I experienced while I was taking Lexapro.The feeling of taking Estacy(MDMA) was the top side effect.depression, crying all the time,No control over my feelings,Spacy sexiual side effects.. have been around the SSRI' field and wish I could find something that works. I was hoping Effexor was the answer I been looking for. . . Now I am worried...no help here for anixety.

Posted by: Christie at September 26, 2006 1:09 AM

To the person in Seattle,

I was on Effexor for about 6 weeks, started to feel more hopeful or better, but had to immediately stop taking the drug b/c my tongue swelled and throat tightened up-a serious side effect.
According to my psychiatrist, the discontinuation of Effexor shouldn't neccessary worsen depression, but instead return the patient to the state he/she was in prior to taking the medication. However, there is hope that the patient will feel better w/o the medication of talk therapy is part of the picture. All the best to you, and all of you on this sight. You deserve happiness

Posted by: at September 28, 2006 1:45 AM

I have been taking effexor now for about 5 months. My dose is at 112.5mg.At first, I had a cool sensation in my eyes and had trouble focussing. I really felt high almost immediately. Now that I have been on it a while, I kind of feel numb to anything that goes on. I have night sweats and very vivid dreams, almost every night. And now after reading how everyone here has been feeling and side effects/withdrawl you are experiencing, I am afraid to stop taking it. And also afraid to keep taking it.

Posted by: Cheryl at October 11, 2006 11:10 PM

Also to add to my last post...I have lost a lot of weight on effexor 29lbs...no appetite really to speak of. I have to remind myself to eat. I didn't really need to loose weight as I am only 5'2" petite. Has this happened to anyone else??

Posted by: Cheryl at October 11, 2006 11:18 PM

Effexor felt too powerful. It also decreased sexual function and physical sensitivity. If I didn't take it for a day or two, I would go through withdrawls. I would be dizzy and feel wierd, but sexual sensitivity would come back fast.

Posted by: Fred at October 23, 2006 3:08 PM

I was recently put on effexor xl 75 mil. Is there a generic that I can request from my Dr. to save money.. I have been on zoloft for 8 years and was up to 200 mil a day . I do not take the zoloft any longer. Please advise> Thank You Darlene

Posted by: Darlene Reed at October 23, 2006 4:02 PM

I was recently put on effexor xl 75 mil. Is there a generic that I can request from my Dr. to save money.. I have been on zoloft for 8 years and was up to 200 mil a day . I do not take the zoloft any longer. Please advise> Thank You Darlene

Posted by: Darlene Reed at October 23, 2006 4:02 PM

Hi, Ive been on effexor xr 75mg for about a month and half now, lately ive been having nightmare that will actually wake me up and at times i scream. I would never get nightmares like these. Is this something that the medication causes, or its just me?

Posted by: Marlene Cruz at October 26, 2006 12:42 PM

I never thought I'd be writing this but I think its important enough. I've been on Effexor for 5+ yrs. I can skip a day but no longer as the withdrawal starts--vivid nightmares, shakiness, not feeling well, like the flu and the damned depression like hitting the bottom of that black hole and knowing you'll never get out. It's hell in a bottle if you try to get off it! I've tried several times with the same results. Scares the heck out of you to think you may be addicted and it may have changed your nervous system permanently. Today in my college classes,we talked about our "drug" reports. Another girl vertified for me that the "disorganization" and "memory loss" is something she has also. Many times I completely miss conversations or people walking through the house as my attention is so diminished. I might have been flaky in younger years but now I cannot recall words to finish a sentance alot of the time. Effexor seemed like the best ever when I went on it as I was suffering major depressive episodes at the time. My Dr. knew my family history of depression and that's why he said I may always need it when I asked for how long? I really question the side effects. I'm on Blood Pressure med's now and a cholesterol med. I think it may help temporarily but don't stay on it. Try to find a way out as I am! I hope my Dr. is well enough informed. This blog is one thing I will show him, if he's not. The sweats, the nightmares, the shakes, the danger to your liver and kidneys, and the elevated blood pressure are serious! It's as if its breaking down the natural controls your body was born with. Write to Wyeth, write or tell your Dr.'s as they are human and can only keep up with so much info. And yes, there has been the generic approved in August 2006, for the blogger who asked. I have yet to find it in a drugstore though. Probobly for the best. Good Luck to us all!

Posted by: Sue at October 30, 2006 3:15 PM

I have been on Effexor for Hot Flashes. IT takes them completley away but I hate the feeling of Vertigo when I miss one day.. I also have put on 40 lbs from it. and now hear that it is bad for your liver so I am going to see my Dr.

Posted by: fern at November 9, 2006 8:29 AM

When I first began taking Effexor, it helped my anxiety symptoms. This was helpful for a short time. Soon after that, I turned into a zombie.

I had no feelings. I would the look out my eyes but my brain was somewhere else, it's hard to describe. I could see things around me but nothing affected me.

I slept a minimum of 15 hours every day, but usually more like 20. Would get up to go to the bathroom or eat. Even when I was awake, I was so fatigued.

I was completely non-functional when I took Effexor.

I can't say I felt depressed any more because I felt NOTHING. NOT A THING. Looking back, I realize this was the most dangerous time during the depressive episode I had back then. It was the most dangerous because I DIDN'T CARE. I would have easily killed myself with no emotion about it what-so-ever.

Depression is absolutely miserable, but there is something about feeling nothing at all that is worse than depression. For a short time it can bring relief, but I took it for almost 9 months with my doctor continually increasing my dose the more zombie-like I got. ("It's not working well enough," he said)

I finally took myself off Effexor without his permission. I did it very gradually and it took many months and was extremely difficult.

I am now on Wellbutrin and it has definitely helped.

My mom is on Effexor and swears by it. She is much worse without it. So it seems to affect people in drastically different ways. For anyone considering taking this med, I'd suggest staying on the lowest dose until you see how it affects you.

Recently my new Dr. suggested I go on it again at the lowest does possible and though I didn't like the idea, I decided I'd try it. I took one pill and slept the entire day and into the next day, and felt no emotions during what little time I wasn't sleeping. Instant zombie. Will never go back on that med again.

Posted by: Sarah at January 10, 2007 12:03 PM

At 50 years old I have been on Effoxor SR for about 4 years after having 18 Months on Zoloft. It was good to get a bit more "normal" once I changed, but at what cost..... Started having side effects like accellerated loss of visual clarity plus dipopia(double vision in each eye) minor anxiety attacks but strange feelings of rage for no apparent reason. Dosage is 75mg once a day and this has had considerable affect on decreasing my labido, lethargy and rapid loss of energy when working hard to the point of narcelepsy.This was accentuated when I took a Anti-inflamatory drug as well.
Zoloft had given me relief from my depression but suppressed any enjoyment in my life. It felt like I was in a fog. Zero happiness .... just existence.
I have become more aware of long term usage side effect disorders and now am researching them more and more.
I have had aback injury in 1999 which in conjunction with a depressive episode has tipped the scales and made me dependant on some relief from depression as I suffer from chronic pain as well. Also taking Panadine Forte regularly each day so I can lead a normal family life.
On days where I forget to take Effexor all hell breaks loose. after about 12 - 18 hrs I get the shakes, anxiety attacks, paranoia. Not a good sign for future withdrawal plans!
As yet the Dr does not believe that heath checks are reqd eg Liver and Kidney function but I'd hat to think what all this stuff together is doing to the body?
To all the dression sufferers out there ... good luck there is hope at the end of your dark tunnell although you will need some initial chemical intervention... but try to get off the stuff when you have improved. In my case, I'd like to be rid of it all but with the pain in the background and a nasty case of tinitus ( high volume cicadas) I'm committed to be on this crap for years to come.

Posted by: Victa V at January 13, 2007 5:01 AM

Effexor worked better than other anti-depressants for me, especially when augmented with L-Tryptophan (5HTP). However, due to other changes in my physical health I began to experience side effects after a couple of years - particularly low blood pressure causing dizziness and bladder problems (which are identical in symptoms to Interstitial Cystitis).

The side effects being at a level intolerable to continue, I was put on a program to gradually reduce my Effexor medication. I quickly became suicidal. Another anti-depressant was introduced, I was stabilised, and then the reduction in Effexor continued. This pattern continued with reduction, suicidal idiation, increase in alternative anti-depressant, but ultimately I was unable to reduce the Effexor below a certain dose.

I now have to live with the side effects, milder but still present, hard to manage and which affect my daily life. I cannot come off the Effexor completely as the risk of suicide is too great. I have ended up on a mixture of four anti-depressents and while I am grateful that these drugs exist as they have saved my life, I am angry that I wasn't warned that it might be impossible to ever come off Effexor. The facts were out there, but I wasn't forewarned.

The ridiculous aspect in my case was that I was previously on amitryptiline (now re-introduced) and was only put on Effexor as a psychiatrist took me off the amitryptiline. I should never have been taken off amitryptiline in the first place; doing this was a disaster which was initially rectified by a second psychiatrist putting me on Effexor. It took almost three years to to arrive back at the amitryptiline as a partial solution and I need never have been put on the Effexor but been put straight back on the amitryptiline.

I react badly to many drugs. My experience here is of an over-eagerness to ditch drugs that suit me and work well, to introduce newer drugs. Newer in my case, almost always equals worse.

I also have a question over whether my history of prolonged medication has caused my serotonin levels to need permanent treatment or whether I would have ended up needing permanent medication anyway - chicken or egg? The lack of clear research data in this area worries me.

Posted by: Bluebell at January 13, 2007 9:45 PM

DAY 120+ OF

COLD TUYRKEY EFFEXOR XR 150 mg. Please any help

Posted by: Carolyn Nakamura at January 23, 2007 2:13 AM

JZ.. your blog made me stop in my tracks...it sounded so much like me...Get an MRI as soon as you can....I had all of the same symptoms (suspected menieres, vertigo, shingles, bells palsy...etc.)

Turns out I had MS. MS is difficult to diagnose and may have been missed when trying to treat for your depression..

I hope you have a good outcome, but I would insist on an MRI if Dr. hasn't already prescribed it.

Posted by: grace at January 26, 2007 12:39 AM

Hi, I have been on 75 mg of effexor xr for 4 years. I have always valued health and did everything to maintain a healthy life - but had some low spots of depression. When I went on it, it changed my life - had energy, lost weight, no side effects at all. I tried to stop taking it and felt very weird so I never did. All of a sudden, I am in a stronger place in life and I am going to do it. I haven't taken any for a week and I feel fine. Just a little "thick" in the head. I am taking 5-HTL 3 times a day. I read alot about it and bought it at my healthfood store. I take about 150-200 mg a day (2 in am, 1 noon, 1 at 6pm). I think this is helping the weening process immensely. I am practicing yoga everyday and meditating - maintaining a calm life as much as possible. I am on my way to being off of effexor - I am tired of it. And, we'll see what happens.

Posted by: yogalori at February 18, 2007 11:31 AM

I was perscribed effexor for depression three years ago, and although I no longer suffer from depression, I am still on effexor as i cannot get off the drug.
I know that it is stated that thier are no withdrawl effects, I know this is a lie. The misery that is my 'addiction' to effexor is absolute proof of the witdhdrawl. Please do further research into this, and educate the physician who dispense this

Posted by: shauna at March 11, 2007 10:49 PM

I was started on Effexor after years of trying other meds, which always seemed to stop working after a while. My most recent was Lexapro. I loved it at first but then after a while, it just seemed to stop working. I have been on Effexor for about three months and am now weaning off because of a HORRIFIC rash! I have never in my life ever had a rash like this. It looks like a combination of hives and chicken pox with welts! It is SO itchy I have to take Benadryl and use calamine lotion just to control it. Ive weaned myself down to 75 mg and want to stop cold turkey but the side effects are so bad that I doubt I will be able to do that. I experience dizziness, what feels like "electrical zaps" throughout my body and shakiness. My last dose was 24 hours ago and I already am feeling withdrawal effects. This rash is so bad though, that I feel I must try to stop the drug now. To anyone else out there experiencing withdrawal symptoms, just know you are not alone! I am sorry I ever started this drug.

Posted by: Nancy at March 16, 2007 11:16 AM

I take effexor xr 300mg everyday. At first it was like a miracle when I started taking it two years ago. Since then I have had another nervous breakdown, my dosage increased to the current dosage, and things are better. It's still not as good as it was in the beginning, but that could be because I was so depressed back then. I have found it to be a good drug with few side effects. I am scared to come off of it because of the horror stories i have heard about withdrawl, but luckily thats not a choice I face yet.

Posted by: dante at April 15, 2007 11:55 PM

Well.... I made it, Allthough at times I wondered if I would! I had been on 75mg of Effexor for about 2 1/2 years, To make a long story short I was out of town and ran out of pills, I didn't think not having it for 2 days would be a big deal so I didn't worry about it untill I got REALLY sick!!! I decided that I didn't want to be on a medication that affected me in that way! I couldn't focus... It was like my mind wouldn't let me concentrate on anything, I had severe headaches, I was vomitting, All I wanted to do was sleep!!! (Because it was the only time I felt better!!!) I called my doctor who then advised me to never do that!!! He said quiting cold turkey was very dangerous... He said I was experiencing withdraws like a person on illegal drugs would and my body was going into shock!!!! WOW!!! Something that was supposed to help me sooo much was causing all this pain!!! He immeaditly wrpte me a perscription of 75mg for 4 weeks then 37.5 mg everyday for 2 weeks then every other day and so on until I "weaned" myself off!!! After my last pill I was ok for the first day or so then it hit me again!!! Not quite as severe as before, Still I was misserable for about 2 weeks!! I still had the vomitting, Non Stop Headaches, Dizzy all the time.... Pretty much the same as before when I tried to quit cold turkey!!!! I decided to ride it out allthough there were many times I just wanted to call my doctor and ask him to refill my perscription just so it would go away!! With my husbands as well as the rest of my familys support I made it though I didn't think I was going to!!! I went through about 2 weeks of withdraws after taking my last pill... Now I am back to my normal self and having no complaints... As far as the depression goes, It was suggested to me to try taking St. Johns Wort to help... So far it's been about a month now and I am feeling great!!! I would never take Effexor again!!!!! I will go in debt with therapy before ever taking that stuff again!!!!

Posted by: Kelly at May 11, 2007 7:02 AM

I have been taking Effexor XR (75 MG) for about 3 months, my doctor is actually wanting me to move up to 125 MG, but the way I feel now on it, I know that would be a BIG mistake. My head hurts, I sweat a lot, my eyes even hurt, I don't sleep very well through the night, and I have VERY weird dreams, I mean my dreams are freaking me out a little!! My boyfriend keeps telling me that pupils are so dialated it scares him, and that began when I started taking Effexor. I feel fine, but then again I don't. My anxiety attacks and paranoid feelings are gone, but I still feel anxious a lot and I am so afraid of gaining weight that I don't eat. Also I am bruising a lot easier, not sure if that is from the medicine, but it has occured ever since I started using the medication. I am not sure if this medicine is that good for a person, I know that it does help, but like I said I still feel nervous and anxious all the time, so it is not helping that. I know that the bad effects off the medicine def. out way the good effects.

Posted by: Kala at June 5, 2007 9:35 PM

Woah. Just took my first ever Efexor - XR today, 75mg; now I'm a little nervous after reading through this post. So I'll see what happens. Tell you this, though - after 20 minutes that XTC like 'up feeling' kicked right in, just like other people here have described. And I have to say, after suffering very low levels of motivation, with the depression, for many years this may be no bad thing. I am doing the jaw-clench, though. Might as well just put on some techno and be done with it. Just what have our drug-companies been researching? Hmmm...

Posted by: M at August 13, 2007 6:27 AM

For those undergoing severe side effects from effexor withdrawal--talk to your doctor about a short course of Prozac to help with the weaning. It stays in your system longer and is sometimes used to help with the symptoms (you then taper off of the Prozac)

Posted by: Karen at August 13, 2007 10:28 PM

i was raped as a child at the age of 3 till the age of 10. my problems didnt start surfacing up until i was 13. my parents were always wondering why i would walk around the house with my hand on my chest and having this strange outerbody experience all of the time. this problem just got worse and worse and finally my mother had taken me to see several medical doctrs. they detected nothing at all and told me they i really needed to go see a pshyc. i finally did at the age of 19 and was diagnosed as having bi polar depression due to my childhood trauma. ive been on effexor xr for 4 to 5 years off and on. the side effects for me are when you first start on effexor you dont eat alot, way to "vivd dreams" crzy delayed ejaculations for men of course, but after 2 or 3 months later, really high blood pressure like 160 over 122 for me when its normally 118 over 79. the problem is when you ween yourself off. "watch out" crazy vertigo - elec zaps - tinitus - racing suicidal thoughts - minut amnesia like 5 to 7 sec - i the time that effexor xr was prescribed to me zanax was also prescribed to me for anxiety. guess what guys! this is an amazing drug. yeah if your not use to it, it makes you sleepy and your not suppose to drive or operate any heavy machinery but trust me on this your body gets use to this med. zanax will stop alot of the withdrawl symptoms, but guess what folks i still have to go back to effexor when i start feeling suicidal, worthless, self identity crisis, muscle tension better known as fibromylagia. i just cant seem to seperate my self from effexor entirely!! whats so interesting is i see many many many blogs about what this drug does and it horrible horrible side effects, which dont get me wrong folks they thier whether you dont want to admit it, they are their, i dont see to many people writing about why they have these mental illnesses other than these lic proffessionals telling you what youve been diagnosed with. can we get to the root of your mntl illns, for most of them we can and alot of them we cannot. i dont wont to know about anyones personal life, but at the same time iam curious as to why we even have these mental illnesses. i know (2) good things that have really changed my life. i dont care how emotionally drained and depressed you are and down in the dumps or whether you have a family of 12 find time to excersise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! damn it, it works! your body produces a mass of seritonin when you excercise. but seriously find the time to do it for yourself and your loved ones. and if you consume alcoholic beverages alot, occassionaly, very rarely, but still drink. ***********dont do it********** not even a damn sip. feel like your wanting to drink something festive why your other friends are drinking, get yourself a tall hi-ball of cold strong or water diluted cranberry juice with or without a lime, your friends will never know the difference, but your beautiful strong minded body will, the next day. for those of you who are suggesting to stop cold turkey on this drug, have a close friend put you in a cardboard box and completely seal it up with duct tape and have them walk away. chances are you will gasp for oxygen a little and maybe pass out. thats not how you might feel, you will feel like this. i am not a lic medical doctor relating info to you, but ive done an extensive amount of research on this powerful, powerful anti deppresant. good luck to everyone and i hope everyone finds that medication that will put them back on that choo choo train. absolutely no one likes to be left behind in life emtionally......................

Posted by: steve at September 8, 2007 1:17 AM

I have a very close person who s on Effexor 150 mg for two years now. Lets just say this person is NOT the same!! Mean, no cares in the world, just does not care and at times violent. How can this stuff stay on the market? Can someone please explain to me how this head crack is staying on the market when there is such trama to the body?? Maybe we need to take a step forward and contact the FDA? I have noticed that the warning signs are not very clear and true.

Posted by: Amy at September 13, 2007 1:49 PM

I have been taking Effexor XR for a year. Started slow and went up to 150 a day. Worked well for me until the year anniversary. Perhaps being in the hospital has been on my mind. I went in voluntarily to get help. I think it helps alot, although I know people that have had trouble getting off. It saved me. I hope it continues to work for me. Tried Lexapro for post-pardom (sp?) and felt worse after a while. Side effects went away after two weeks. I do fall asleep faster though. Does help me cope. I am just happy I found something that works.

Posted by: Kell at September 18, 2007 12:28 AM

wow, i just started effexor 2day for the first time. its weird i didnt even know that i was depressed, after reading all these comment im very very cautious. my first day on it wasnt good at all, i do hope it gets better, altho i do have ALOT more energy wich is great and i seem to actualy give a shit about some things now. the side effects where a bit intese tho. took a dump and it was like a running tap fuk that. my head was scatterd as well. gl to u all and make the best of the time u have.

Posted by: iconocast at October 12, 2007 10:35 AM

Effexor XR 75mg/day was my 1st anti-depressant. I had every right to be depressed at the time, but my depressive episode was interfering with college, work, day-to-day functioning. I was on 75mg for 5 months when my depression "returned." Well, I didn't seek any counseling or biblio-therapy. Of course it came back! I went back to my doctor, and went up to 150mg/day. I was still depressed but at this point started needing sleep more than ever--about 10 hours a night. I was always tired and atributed it to being depressed. I was on an anti-depressant and still depressed, imagine that! I knew things were bad when I missed and dose and had horrendous withdrawals within hours of my lost dose. I once spent 5 agonizing days in bed b/c I left my prescription in the hotel where I had vacationed! I had always wondered whether I'd need Effexor for the rest of my life. As my life, through hard work, came more togther, I decided to detox. I read the book THE ANTIDEPRESSANT SOLUTION by Joseph Glenmullen. Bet thing I could have done next to getting counseling and biblio-therapy (ie, self-help books). I took longer than the book said to wean myself off. And I used smaller increments. I went from 150mg to 112.50 by mixing the 75mg and 37.50mg pills. I then went to 75 mg. Next, 37.50 and finally nothing. With my first two down dosings, I had a BURST of energy, clarity,and happiness. I nearly felt high. That spurred me onward. But down dosing to 37.50mg was the first time I felt different. I was extremely irritable and went into something akin to a 'roid rage with my coworkers and family. But I knew it would pass. When I down dosed to zero, I had all the bizarre symptoms you've read about: brain tremors, electic zaps from head to toe, tingling in my fingers and toes, ringing in my ears, diarrhea, flu-like aches/pains, and deep muscle cramps. I knew it would pass, too. I'd say the irratibility/rage lasted two months and the bizarre symptoms lasted about 6 weeks. My suggestion is to read the above book and take your time withdrawing/detoxing/de-regulating. I took 4 months to down-dose from 150mg to zero. I wish I'd taken a year. Your body/mind needs TIME! It's much easier to up-dose than to down-dose as it is easier gaining weight than losing weight, ya know? Now that I'm no longer dependent upon Effexor, I can see that it made me apathetic, exhausted, and in brain-fog. I wasted 6 years of my life on that shit. I should have never gone over my 75 mg dose. Also, mixing several drinks with Effexor can be lethal. I had an experience that left me ill and puking for days. An article at cnn.com said that mixing booze and effexor can be especially toxic and more deadly compared to other anti-deprssants. READ THAT BOOK. PLAN AHEAD. WARN YOUR LOVED ONES AND COWORKERS. TAKE YOUR TIME--A YEAR IF YOU NEED IT. YOU CAN DO IT!

Posted by: Catherine at November 20, 2007 1:44 AM

I wish I could ban Effexor!! I took it for only TWO MONTHS for generalized anxiety disorder/mild depression and although my anxiety level subsided, I felt emotionless, and like I had no passion. I had absolutely NO sex drive for that entire two months as well. I decided to go off of Effexor, and tapered myself off - I took a couple days worth of the 37.5 mg and decided to just quit, thinking I'd be fine since I was only on 150 mg for ONE MONTH!!! Bad idea- I don't have as horrible of withdrawal symptoms as many people have reported, but I do have slight nausia, a VERY hard time sleeping and this thing they call brain shivers (which causes my nausia). Please Please PLEASE do not take Effexor unless you've tried other meds and they have not worked! I cannot even IMAGINE how horrible my side effects would be if I was on it for more than two months. That is sad.... good news- since I've been off it for I think three days now, my sex drive is back 100% now and I feel like I have normal emotions like a human again.

Posted by: Heather at November 20, 2007 2:56 PM

My daughter suffers with anxiety and depression. she recently had therapy and is now on Effexor. we both have Porphyria Varigate we are not sure if this drug is safe as she has developed all kinds of physiological problems like itchy skin and fatigue and mucle stiffness. not sure if its a sise effect or a porphyric attack
South Africa

Posted by: colleen at November 29, 2007 4:46 PM

SPIRIT - Your dosage is too high. Feelings of "o well" for important changes like divorce may happen if your dosage of effexor is too high....

Posted by: Willow at November 30, 2007 3:13 AM

My mother is on Effexor and for some unknown reason her doctor doubled her dosage per day from 75 mg to 150 mg. This was a few months ago. She has since spent over $8,000, runs constantly from early morning to late at night (she is 71 years old), has been hospitalized for having difficulty breathing in the middle of the night, her entire left side (hands, ankles, etc.) is swollen, she has become angry with me over nothing, out of the blue, swore at me, hung up the phone on me, I find myself constantly apologizing to other people in public places for her outbursts, and she becomes enraged if any of us (kids) or her husband imply that her behaviour is out of character for her.

Whenever I mention Effexor or the doctor who prescribed it to her, she changes the subject. She talks constantly, about people we don't know or care about, and is spending hundreds of $$'s a day.

HEr psychiatrist is in another country over the holidays, and she doesn't have an appointment with him for a few more weeks. By then, she and my father will likely be thousands more $$'s in debt.

I am angry that she is taking this drug, furious that the dosage was increased, and feel helpless. I don't know what to do but this drug is ruining our entire family.

Posted by: Rose at December 24, 2007 4:04 PM

I have been taking Effexor 37.5 mg XR for several months now... I used to be a social drinker before I started the Effexor. I am now an alcoholic as a result of the medicine. I have recenly done some recearch on this med and have found that I am not the only one. If you are just starting Effexor, be careful. DO NOT drink while taking this med.

Posted by: jess at January 17, 2008 1:35 AM

My dosage of Effexor was increased from 150 mg in the a.m. and also in the p.m. Effexor makes me confused, sleepy, lightheaded and of course I can't drive or go anywhere. It doesn't cheer me up or give me drive. Along with having serious Fibromyalgia and being "treatment resistant" I hardly get relief from either. Have you any favorable comments about this drug? Can you offer me any hope?
Sandra Robichaux

Posted by: Sandra Robichaux at January 18, 2008 1:25 PM

I was on Effexor for 4 months and I couln't take the side effects so I stopped. I would have night sweats,couldn't concentrate,sleep, and the pressure in my eyes were a killer. I decided a couple weeks ago to start skipping pills like my doctor told me too. I'm now skipping two to three days at a time. I hate the way I feel! I feel sick to my stomach,spacey and I get these weird waves throughout my body. I'm so done with Effexor! My doctor prescribed it for my panic attacks but if she would have told me about all this I wouldn't have started taking this medication.

Posted by: Julie at February 13, 2008 3:23 PM

PLEASE search for ANY other options before taking this medication. It has literally ruined my life. Before taking Effexor I was a happy young lady. I had to take Effexor for OCD and life has not been the same since. If you do decide to take it DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL while on it. When I drank I had TERRIBLE bursts of violence towards my partner of three years as well as other random people and I wouldn't remember a thing the next day. It got too much for him and he was worried that I would not be a fit mother if we choose to have children. He was unhappy and I wasn't the same person I used to be so our relationship ended. Neither of us considered it may be a side effect of my medication, however after doing some research I have discovered these violent outbursts occur in aroung 70% of people taking the medication. I am trying to get off of it and the side effects are extreme. I lost my relationship because of this drug and I didn't even know it was the cause. I am so angry at my doctor and the company that produces this drug. PLEASE be careful!

Posted by: cathy at February 14, 2008 5:46 AM

Alternatives to Effexor XR? Have been taking for over 8 years with great success until 6-8 weeks ago.

Posted by: Donna D Barbee at February 25, 2008 8:08 PM

I am about to begin taking this and have read so many negative things about withdrawl side effects. I am looking for any positive accounts.

Posted by: KCRainey at March 12, 2008 12:10 PM

I have been taking effexor xr 150 mg for over 6 months, and I feel sick from it...I don't need this drug, i only need anxiety medication, and my Dr. will not give me that. Need to find a dr. that will listen to me...i think i know what i need. i have panic attacks, and have taken xanax and ativan and they help me big time!!!! I am not a drug addict, i have severe anxiety disorder!!!

Posted by: destiny at March 17, 2008 3:41 PM

hello everyone I got on effexor rx about a year ago. I have lost about 30 pounds when I didnt really need to. I was around 145 and 5'7" and now I am 115 I am very skinny. I dont really care to much because I feel a lot better but it does make me never feel hungry but i eat a lot of little things during the day. I dont know if I should get off of it, because I am not depressed anymore but everyone asks me why are you so skinny it gets on my nerves. what do you think?

Posted by: kate at March 27, 2008 8:48 AM

I was recently prescribed Effexor, and I am terrified to take it. My doctor thinks I've started it already, and I haven't. I have horrible anxiety and panic attacks. I've tried Paxil, Lexapro, and Celexa. None of them worked well at all. The symptoms I experienced when I got off the paxil were awful. I had electric shock sensations throughout my brain and body, and felt sick. What should I do?

Posted by: krystal at March 28, 2008 4:15 PM

I am taking in all this info on the Effexor, and man, am I ever getting nervous on being on them!
I am currently on 75 mg moving onto 150 mg a day, I am seriously thinking of sticking to the 75 mg.
I don't want to die, nor do I want to go crazy!
I drink, and that was one of my main concerns, because I like to
socialize once in awhile.
I'm not a big drinker, but I could be :D....
I am just now nervous to even think about drinking.
I am going to stay on the 75 mg a day!
Not going any further, the one thing I love about these is that I don't eat as much....it cuts my craving to binge eating! I love it.
But like I said I don't want to die because I go out and drink, even if it's more then one or two drinks!!!
It's called socializing yes, and it does require two or more :P

Posted by: G DEE at April 10, 2008 3:08 PM

Best ever, feel like a normal person again - helps with chronic pain also.

Posted by: Travis at April 12, 2008 10:24 AM

Watever you do DON'T get on Effexor, NO MATTER WHAT!!! It will make you gain LOTSSSSS of weight,me personally about 80-85 pounds AND you TOTALLY get addicted with hardly ANY way to get off it. GOOD luck there!!! When you go to the Dr's or talk to Wyeth, the company that makes Effexor, they flat out deny EVERYTHING like you dont know what YOUR talking about!!!
I am SOOOO upset, it has made me very bitter,its one thing if they actually told you the repercussions but the dont tell you even one, in fact, they tell you just the opposite!!!!

Posted by: Tapanga091 at April 14, 2008 5:46 AM

Been on Effexor for two months. I feel it helps the anger response for me, and has also helped my depression. The only side effects I have had is some minor sight irritation (which has cleared up) and a bit of groginess. I am glad I am on it.

Posted by: Tom Thornton at April 19, 2008 10:44 PM

I was looking for suggestions to sooth my nightmares. The nightmares are the only side effect that I have noticed while taking Effexor XR, my first antidepressant. After reading this blog I am incredibly worried as I have recently increased my dosage to 150mg. I have been going to talk therapy and she has motivated my to keep taking the medication saying it will make recovery easier. But now I will definitely talk to her about stopping the medication or switching to something else. I am in a relationship and we are getting married next year...I plan on starting a family soon after. Does anyone have any experience weaning off Effexor while pregnant? Thank you for this blog and anyone who can help.

Posted by: Meghan at May 9, 2008 9:35 PM

I've been on Effexor for 2 months now 150mg. Have horrific vivid dreams and scream out in the night, tapping me doesn't wake me, husband had to shake me to wake me. Never have experienced anything like that before. Weened down to 75m, still vivid dreams, but not as horrific, nausiated like crazy, light sensitivitey causing horrific headaches (never had before), now getting patikia (red dots) on my lower legs. Last two days weened down to 34.5mg, still vivid dreams, nausia, headaches, eyes sensitive to light. This stuff is too wicked to be on the market! Oh, and I have fibromyalgia and have never hurt so bad in my life. Going back on Welbutrin 150 & Lexapro 20.

Posted by: wendy at May 16, 2008 1:20 PM

Just stopped taking effexor xr, while on effexor xr, i was more emotionally stable, however, the side effects of withdrawal are miserable...nightmares, nausea, vertigo, severe dizzy spells, confusion, did I mention severe nausea. Not able to get up and go due to nausea, and dizziness and brain fuzzies. How long will this misery last? I think its been a solid week of this. I've never felt 'so sick' physically. At least with a flu or virus there is a limited amount of time to severely suffer.

Posted by: Nella at May 20, 2008 5:23 PM

they should post the most current blogs at the top.Anyway started taking effexor xl 75mg 3 days ago after 18 years on prozac and celexa. Thus far feeling okay ,a little out of body but other than that all right. I'm a little scared after reading the horror stories about effexor but if you go to the prozac blog you see similar bad things that I never experienced, so it must depend on the person.

Posted by: kz20 at June 4, 2008 1:21 AM

My uncle has been taking effexor-xr since he lost his wife and was diagnosed with a serious but treatable cancer. He's always held back any emotions and it was kind of disturbing that in the event of actually confronting his feelings naturally, he was put on a stupid drug. Well, this "happy pill" has turned him into nothing more than an unfeeling overly passive zombie, someone who just zones out when things around him are going wrong and worse when people around him are going through something tough he can't seem to grasp the gravity of the situation. He just zones out.

Here's the best advice I can give anybody looking for info on this medicine. When you've got problems, there's no solution in a pill. Depression is natural. DON'T MASK IT. DEAL WITH IT!

Posted by: Neil Smith at June 21, 2008 7:16 PM

i dont buy all these crazy horror stories about Effexor. iv been on it for 2 weeks now for GAD and SAD. iv had a few bad headaches and 1 anxiety attack since i started. other than that its doing its job plain and simple. i think people are fishing for a lawsuit thats never gonna happen

Posted by: justin at June 30, 2008 7:41 PM

I have been on Effexor xr 150mg for 8years. At first it was great.Then I would have bad days and good days and so on. Now I have alot of bad days and I don't feel good or happy. I feel Blah and sometimes there is still depression and anxiety. My brain feels foggy and I can not concentrate. I don't feel good about anything. I don't know what to do.I wish I could just stop taking them and get back to normal,but what if that does not work?

Posted by: Feogina at July 13, 2008 11:36 PM

KCRainey -

I tried effexor for 2 weeks and had no severe problems except tiredness and mild nausea, but I took ginger tea and was okay. I stopped taking this med with no trouble stopping.

If you have trouble getting off this med, they can give you another med in the interim to minimize withdrawal.

I don't know why this drug is so famous for extreme reactions, but remember that the majority of people who post on ALL med sites are people with complaints that are looking for others who have complaints... or they are looking for help with a med problem.

Nearly all drug reviews have this same issue.

People also often will not mention if they are taking other meds at the same time, which can obviously drastically effect anyone's reaction to a med.

People who do well with meds usually have little reason to post on sites or do research about their med, bc they are happy with it.

That said, I would advise to take the smallest dose possible - 25 mg.

Often drs start way too high of a dose and keep going up. It can take people a LONG time to adjust to meds and anyway, why take more than you may need?

The slower you go up in dose, the fewer side effects (usually) and the easier to tolerate.

Posted by: JB at July 29, 2008 12:04 AM

I've taken Effexor for years with great results. I was extremely depressed, but with 225 mg/day of Effexor I can function, feel normal, and deal with life. I took Paxil for a few years before Effexor; I can also recommend Paxil as it worked wonders for me. I switched because I had read that Effexor has fewer sexual side effects. I can't say that that's true; I don't have the sex drive I used to, but maybe it's just that I'm older (56). It's true that skipping a day or two of Effexor will result in side effects; for me, it's extremely weepiness and depression. Simple solution is NOT to skip doses. After all, I'm taking it to correct a chemical imbalance in my brain; why play games with that? Effexor has allowed me to live a good life, free from the debilitating depression that was consuming me. I'll gladly take it forever if I have to.

Posted by: Valerie at August 2, 2008 3:43 PM

If one wants to get off effexor or any anti depressant, then seriously look into Neurofeedback which is a much more highly developed process of the old bio feedback. Google it and read. Practitioners vary so do check them out. They all are practitioners with integrity. The best ones, in my opinion, are trained in and through the Ochs Labs, http://www.ochslabs.com/, via their process of LENS , or Low Energy Neurofeedback System.

Good luck!

Posted by: time2sit at August 11, 2008 9:34 PM

-----Effexor causes Pituitary Tumor / Fibromyalgia ------

I was put on Effexor when I was 30 and now 42. I went off of Effexor
and onto Cymbalta about a year ago.

When I was first put on Effexor I was nice and thin and healthy. Then
I gained about 10 lbs. About a year later, I started having symptoms
of fibro.

Years later, after 5 attempts to go off of it only to have withdrawal
symptoms like going off of heroin, I was and still to some extent
dealing with:

35 lbs overweight
constant sugar craving
round face (not pretty anymore!)
dowagers hump on back
rapid mood swings
tired / exhausted a lot
chronic constipation
huge, fat, bloated belly no matter what I did
confusion, mental fog
and a host of lovely fibromyalgia symptoms

I was so debilitated, I could not work and only had my SSDI income. I
ended up homeless, living in my van with my cat. Because of this
added stress, the pituitary tumor, which I didn't know about, became

I started lactating even though I was not pregnant. I lost nearly all
muscle in my thighs so I was in a wheel chair part of the time. My
period stopped, and my mood swings were crazy. I could just sleep all

That is when I found out I had the tumor. I went to several doctors.
All the neurologists, edocrinologists, and general physicians came to
the same conclution. Even though they could not legaly say it, they
said it in a round about way to make sure that I knew they were
certain of it but could not actually come right out and say it... yes,
it's kinda funny in a sad sort of way! They all were convinced it was
the Effexor. Now, these are not some fly-by-night docs... two are
highly respected in their fields and two were voted "Seattle's Best".
These were doctors you have to wait to get in to see. And I could
only get in because I had a referral and/ or I was diagnosed with a
brain tumor and had the MRI to prove it.

I don't know what else to say to convince people that Effexor DOES
cause pituitary tumors. Now... please keep in mind that it may be the
case that one has a predisposition to a pituitary tumor and the
Effexor aggravates the condition or brings it about entirely.

The muscle fatigue is the most challenging thing for doctors. They
say that the tumor itself does not cause this. When a woman lactates,
there may be some muscle fatigue. However, to the extreme that I had
it, they blame on fibromyalgia. Before the tumor though, I did not
have this kind of muscle pain while trying to walk up even the
slighted elevation and forget walking up hill. I know the Pituitary
tumor aggravates the fibro to extremes. Therefore, I insist there is
a connection between the tumor and fibromyagia and wonder if all women
who have fibro have something going on with their pituitary. I think
there is a cure there in that connection somewhere. Doctors don't
know what to make of it.

I was put on Bromocriptine and it has helped very much. I stopped
lactating, my period started, and I have better energy. Recently, I
was put on Cytomel for low thyroid and that stopped my hair from
falling out.

Pituitary tumors don't kill anyone... they are benign. It just makes
me wish I were dead. And I have Effexor to blame for all of this.

Please feel free to email this post to everyone you can think of! LOL I would love to see it go around the Internet until the makers of Effexor have to answer to it. Or maybe a class-action law suit is started.

Posted by: Chris J. at August 27, 2008 6:49 PM

I fould it difficult to get off of effexor after taking it for 5 years.i started taking the granules out and mixing with orange juice.i put less granules in everyday.this is the only way i could get off.the Dr. says to lower to 37.5 then stop.The withdrawels are to hard to deal with if you do it that way.i hope my advice helps someone trying to get off. i too thought it was a horrible drug when i found out about the withdrawel but the truth is it really helped me and other people for a long time.Good luck to all the people getting off i have been off over a year and thinking about getting back on.

Posted by: christi at September 25, 2008 6:32 PM

I've been on Effexor 2 years (150 mg daily) and have done very well until just recently. I'm feeling very sad,
teary and just generally not the usual up-beat person I have always been.

I'm a 66 year old widow, still teaching middle school 3 mornings a week so I can supplement by teacher retirement. I enjoy my teaching very much, but just don't understand the recent feelings of despair and sadness.

Posted by: Fi-Fi at October 2, 2008 9:35 PM

I was suicidal before I got help and had to go to the emergency room, and call family. I am a highly functioning woman with a great job, many friends, and otherwise wonderful life, but depression runs in my family. Both my father and brother and many of my dad's siblings have had terrible experiences with depression. Fortunately we are all great right now. I tried a couple antibiotics before my doctor recommended Effexor, and I must say that Effexor helped me to get my life back. I also went to see a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist who I will always be grateful for because he taught me how to look at the world with different eyes.

I am concerned about horrible nausea. If I miss one pill, even if I am late, I feel quite violently ill. I always know if I have missed a pill, but is there anything that can be done about this? I have been on Effexor for almost two years now and agree with a previous poster that I would take it for the rest of my life if it means living a normal life. What about pregnancy though? I am probably going to start my family within the next year. How long will I have to be off Effexor before I can get pregnant safely?

Thank you to everyone who posts here, it's very helpful, a bit alarming and I am afraid to be on medication, but frankly more afraid not to be on the medication. I am really grateful that I have found something to lift me out of the darkest days of my life.

Posted by: Anne at October 8, 2008 1:25 PM

my boyfriend take 150 MG of Effoxor from car wreck 10 yrs ago.. he tried to come off but could not.. His sex drive is up and down and he pushes me away. I have been seeing him for two years now.. I tell him i understand. alot of the times he is just not in the mood for sex. is this comman from this drug. I am trying to understand. Please someone tell me.. or should i just move on..

Posted by: cheryl at October 12, 2008 12:28 PM

Effexor may work... but it is the devil drug!!!!!! To anyone trying to, or thinking of getting off it - BEWARE!! You will need support. About two months ago I weaned myself off, very slowly. Every time the dose went down the following couple of days were rocky and then okay. Nothing prepared me for the aftermath of stopping completely. If I didn't have support I would have popped a pill to make the horror go away. Yu might think you're crazy but it's the drug working out of your system. I've had weight gain, major skin issues, insomnia..I could go on. But I'm not going back, I had been on the stuff for four years (long enough). Sure it kept me from killing myself then, but you know things can change. And it's good to know the person you are with out the drugs. If you're getting out - BE STRONG IT'S WORTH IT. PURGE YOURSELF OF THE EVIL! Good Luck and God Bless

Posted by: Berka at October 12, 2008 10:47 PM

i take 300mg of effexor xr for 3yrs.last 6mths i've gotten more and more depressed why??? i sucks i hide at home all the time. thanks gary

Posted by: gary a sandle at November 12, 2008 9:37 AM

I am currently on effexor because I had a relapse on my depression after 2 years "clean". Before that I took it for a year and then my doctor took me off it SLOWLY, and of course he warned me of the side effects. Yes I had tremors and other terrible symptoms, but I was happy again and willing to fight those symptoms. The most important thing of all is to have a responsible doctor, one that will tell you the truth and that will be available for an emergency.

Posted by: Laus at November 13, 2008 2:32 AM

If anyone thinks all of us Effexor users are after a lawsuit, you're the foolish one. I have been taking Effexor XR for about 6 years. My symptoms now are much more severe than when I started taking it. My Dr actually said maybe I should double the dose. I was taking 150mg, and, over the past 5 months, trying to get off of it. I'm now down to 37.5 mg. I'm determined to get off of this dangerous drug. It has ruined my life. Little energy, memory loss, can't remember anything I read, no sex drive, brain quivers, weight gain...I am miserable. The Dr's think they know everything, but it's up to each individual to know their own body. For a great part of my life, my marriage was very disfunctional. That's over now, but I'm convinced disfunction in ones life is a huge cause of depression. Learn to take control of your life and make a choice to never take antidepressants. They may plug one hole, but another will open up.

Posted by: Linda at November 29, 2008 10:35 PM

I hate taking effexor, if I'm past taking a dose by even an hour or two, I feel the side effects of dizziness and nausea. It almost feels like I'm outside my body... I know that sounds really weird, anyway, I'm trying to wean myself off it, and I talked to my doctor about getting on something else. He claims that in his office they all call effexor the poison drug because it literally shuts your body down if you don't take it at the same time everyday.
He's too afraid to

Posted by: Kim Porter at December 9, 2008 2:59 PM

I am taking effexor 375mg per day and I have to say that I have never experienced the side effects that you have all mentioned but I do have to say that I am still chronically depressed so it actually is not working for me.:-(

Posted by: kris at December 31, 2008 5:14 AM

Effexor was an answer to my prayers. I started out on 75mg and eventually went up to 300mg then back to 150mg where I have been for 2 years. It became generic and I can't afford it. I don't have insurance. I have been tryign to come off of it for 4 months. I feel like I am dying. I feel worse than I did at my lowest pit of depression. The headache and nausea are horrible. I am a cancer survivor and would rather go through chemo again than get off this drug. I have gained weight, my stomach is killing me, I have diarrhea,cramps,pain,etc. I feel hopeless. I am down to 75mg everyday and I am terrified of downing to 37.5mg. My doctor said this is all in my head and that my symptoms are not normal. I was told I need to be switched to Pristiq which is Effexor reformualted and renamed. It is metabolized prior to being made into the pill. It will do the same thing as effexor if you take it long enough. I am so miserable. I don't know how this passed drug trails. Wyeth needs to reevaluate this people are suffering worse from this than from their depression.

Posted by: Elaine at January 9, 2009 3:52 PM

yes i would like to know... is anxiety the same as depression?????

Posted by: Laurie at January 25, 2009 5:14 PM

My wife has been taking effexor for a very long time, were talking as much as 5 years I believe. She has taken prozac also and effexor is by far the worst. We went through a time with no insurance and the cost of effexor was outrageous, and then the prescription lapsed. I believe my wife only had to go a week or a week and a half without it but in that time I saw her sicker than ever. She looked and acted what I would expect someone to act like if they were trying to come down off of heroin. After researching the drug online she has decided that she is not going to take this anylonger. I am going to be supportive, and I wish the people in charge of effexor would come to my house so that I could kick the hell out of them and find out what kind of a human being would make such a drug that is so harmful!!!!!

Posted by: jon at March 11, 2009 6:03 PM

I've only been on effexor for a couple of months and I'm ready to Quit without doctors permission
It's not doing anything for me. I don't think I need it any more and cant afford it every month

Posted by: Michuck at March 18, 2009 1:26 AM

I have been on Efexor for 1 year and it is the best thing to ever happen to me! I read so many complaints, and always think there arent enough positive comments about it. I was on Zoloft for years with VERY unpleasant physical side-effects - nausea, vomiting, insomnia etc etc. Efexor has no side effects for me at all really, unless i forget it for a few days. I function at 99%, have no depression symptoms. My life is great!

Posted by: Chloe at April 22, 2009 2:23 AM

I have been on Effexor XR for 6 years, 150mg once daily. I am a 28 yr old that was put on it for severe migraines, aniexty and depression. I want everyone out there to know that this medicine is the worst medicine on the market. It is literally the most addicting thing I have ever experienced. I honestly would of rather taken heroin then take this. The withdrawl symptoms are so extreme and painful that I felt like committing suicide. Within 36 hours after my last dose I experience horrible nausea, diarreha, tremors, itching, vertigo, motion sickness, pain in my ear, super vivid nightmares and brain zaps. It takes weeks to months to get off and even then you are not "normal" again. I am so angry at Wyeth for producing this drug and my doctor for not only prescribing it but letting me stay on it for so long. In 2001 there are plenty of documented cases of people with severe life altering withdrawls and still they just kept it on the market. Sickening! This crap might mask your original symptoms, but you are in store for a million times worse once you try to get off this toxic drug.

Posted by: Gina at June 15, 2009 4:55 AM

Thanks all for the all the advices and feedback. My doctor had just prescribed Effoxer for my Anxiety today, but thank god, I felt it is a shady drug, and It turned to be really bad as you all mentioned below. I think I will try any alternative medications such as natural herbs or so before giving it up to the antidepressants.
Thanks to all of for sharing your thoughts about this horrible drug and good look to all of you.

Posted by: ahmed at July 16, 2009 10:39 PM

I have been on effexor 75mg for a few years now but recently ran out of my script and I'm going through withdrawl. A friend of mine also takes effexor but her's is 150mg is that too much for me to take?? Can i take one every other day?

If anyone knows please, please let me know

Thank you

Posted by: Krystle at August 4, 2009 9:36 PM


Posted by: suzie at August 31, 2009 12:17 PM

Plenty of people have success with this SSRI. The reason why there are so many negative comments is because the vast majority of the ppl who have success with it are out living their lives, not lurking on internet message boards.

Posted by: Ryan at September 20, 2009 7:20 AM

I have been taking Effexor for about a year now. I have tried many other anti-depressants and always had horrible side affects. Effexor is the only drug that has actually worked for me. I used to have horrible anxiety where I would wake up in the morning with horrible anxiety in the pit of my stomach. I also had trouble with sleeping. Since taking this, all of that has pretty much went away. I have not tried to stop taking this, so I don't know how withdrawls are, but I know that there are a chance of withdrawls with a lot of antidepressants. The one con that I have noticed is that I forget things more often. Also I have very vivid dreams which is kind of strange! But I am willing to deal with a little forgetfulness than horrible anxiety!

Posted by: shari at October 11, 2009 5:05 PM

Pituitary tumors DO kill people. I went on Effexor about 5 years ago. I now have a pituitary adenoma as big as half a lime. I was just diagnosed a week ago. It was not until this diagnosis that I found out about the link between pituitary tumors and Effexor. And I am scared.

Posted by: Chen at November 25, 2009 3:18 PM

I'm on 150mg of effexor daily and drinking

does not affect me. can i continue
if i feel good otherwise.

Posted by: louise at December 2, 2009 11:12 AM

No - I left my wife of 15 years a 15 months after she started taking Effexor. Her ex-husband put pressure on her and she was unhappy so her shrink put her on 300Mg. This is called Russian roulete with your brain chemistry. She gained 40 pounds, lost her sex drive, became impulsive, angry, intolerant, impatient. She has upset every one in the family. Her children avoid her and don't even want to talk to her on the telphone.

She gets a buzz from it and thinks because she feels good it is working even though she acts bizarre.

Her shrink sees her for a half hour every 3 months and because of privacy he would not talk to anyone in the family to get our feed back.

If you decide to take this drug, give yourself a going away party because your will be a different person in a couple of months and no one near to you will know you anymore.

It is also addictive. Google and you will find out that effexor is about as good a product as tobacco.

Posted by: ContractorLou at December 10, 2009 2:36 PM

Hi, Yes I've been on this drug and am currently taking for the second time around. I originally took for about 4 years (varied doses) and have found it to be the right one for me. I completely helped me to get out of depression and anxiety. I have found some negative side effects, but none of these outweigh the fact I am no longer suffering from severe depression and anxiety. I was taking 75mg initally but had to increase to 150 and have now decreased to 75mg which I will stay on until I feel safe to wean off. Most annoying side effect of 150mg for me was being sleepy constantly and having an increase in appetite and therefore weight gain. I do get brain 'zaps' if i forget to take meds for a day - but as soon as I take meds, the leave in about 2 hours. Other symptoms include: sweating, increased heart rate, vivid dreams. I believe anti-depressants worked for me and would encourage people to use them during depression. However, it seems some suit some people and not others - have had friends who take the same as me and another who couldn't bear it.

Posted by: Catherine at January 4, 2010 7:33 AM

just wanted to offer encouragement to those of you getting off effexor. i was only on it for about 3 months when it dawned on me that it was the effexor making me feel achy, flu-like constantly. it DID help the depression in that it stabilized my moods ( i just went through a difficult divorce, and have 3 very young boys and an ex who never sees them) but the physical side effects was no different than having a mild flu that never goes away. that in itself was depressing. DONT try to go off this drug cold turkey. i did, because i had abolsutely no idea that it had withdrawal effects. taper off very slowly. I tried every other day, gradually decreasing the dosage till i got down to less then 15 mg every other day. i took my final pill on a monday, for about aweek after that i still had dizziness but the really bad nausea and flu-ish feeling didnt happen. now its been 17 days and i can honestly say i feel normal again. and remember, it took me 2 months to go off of this even after only having been on it for about 3 full months. so if you've been on it for years, just be patient... you'll get through it. good luck.

Posted by: char872 at February 23, 2010 8:29 PM

I have been on and off of effexor. I don't see a change in my mood whatsoever the only reason I continue to take it, is because it acts as a diet pill for me. I've lost like 20 lbs. Then thing I don't like about it, is that it gives me headaches, makes me have the shakes, my jaw will chatter like I'm freezing but I'm completely comfortable, and restless, I can't sleep at all. I feel like a tweaker. Oh, and it gives me diahreea...maybe that explains the wieght loss.

Posted by: Sky at February 24, 2010 3:05 PM

Doooon't take it! The withdrawals I just went through made me wish I had never been born. More so, they made me wish I never took Effexor in the first place.

Posted by: Shnike at April 19, 2010 2:34 AM

I have been on Effexor XR for about 3 years now and I have to say I am much more stable. I have been on 150mgs daily, but recently in the past few months started feeling weepy and depressed again. crying for no reason and the dr. increased me to 225mgs a day. I'm ok so far. I have not developed any of the weird symptoms mentioned in the other posts - ie rashes, headaches, nitemares or vomiting. The only trouble I have, and this could be a good thing too, is that I start to develop withdraw symptoms within 12 hours of missing a dose. That in its self makes me remember to take my meds. :)

Posted by: Carol at May 5, 2010 10:25 PM

Waking UP after Effexor! I took that poison for 9 years and it just about destroyed me! Here's Just A few examples I'll Give that I have lost because OF Effexor. Then you deiced If you want to take this drug.
I remember bits n pieces of the last 9 years
My daughter sometimes talks about the past certain trips or events we did. I just play along like remember but I don't.
I lost the man of my dreams. How many men do you know that are fun to be with 99.9% of the time.
Broke up with him and married someone completely out of my social circle is the nicest way to put it!
Now in the process of divorce, remember the man of my dreams I was telling you about well he would call me and talk to me about trying to get off this drug for 5 years. Finally I'm off from it went cold turkey that was certainly an adventure from hell. Now I just take one a days n and exercise. The dream man was still by my side after everything I put him though (wont go into detail) The things he told me I did for one it was shocking and very embarrassing he was still by my side.(he read about the side effects)

Then of course lets not leave out while your on this drug you dont care about anything. Examples

Befor Effexor
Alway paid my taxes in Feb at the
Paid bills ahead of time
Talked to family at lease 2 times a week
credit score 825
On Effexor
4 years of not even doing them
Never paid them unless it something would be turned off
rarely spoke to family
no friends
Credit score 539
so many people in my life told not to take that crap but I did anyway so i have myself to blame for not listening to the people that knew me. Then of course trusting my Dr. at the time for guessing.
I could keep going on but I think you get the point.
Sorry this writting is so broken up however this topic is very upsetting to me.
My Daughter and I are becomming closer. I let the man of my dream go it was to hard to face him after all the things I did. Its kills me to say this but I let him go intentionally. He should have a new start too .

Posted by: angie at May 26, 2010 7:57 PM

I've been on effexor for 3 weeks, i was hoping to read some good testimonials since I have tried so many other anti-depressants in the past and had put my hope on this one upon my doctor telling me that it worked on both serotonin and neroponephrin (sp?).

So far I have not felt a difference in my moods or depression. To be fair, I have also been drinking alcohol almost everday this week. I have fears, worries: leaving the house, speaking to people because i might say something wrong, etc.

i'm really going to give this medicine a chance but i hope it works for anxiety too because my anxiety is crippling and the only time i'm happy is when I drink. Please email me if you have advice for me or a positive testimonial of this drug. Paypluto@hotmail.com. Thank you. :)

I want the clouds to go away too.

Posted by: Ella at July 2, 2010 11:35 AM

I am on 300mg of Efexor XR, and am siiting here feeling very heavy and depressed. I am sick of the feeling of nausea, headaches, not really enjoying anything. I dont know what to do! I know that coming off this stuff is tough and emotional. I feel like I have been duped of my mojo. Confused, sick and tired. :-(

Posted by: Julie at July 16, 2010 2:26 AM

I read an article that said that drugs like effexor xr increase the likelihood of miscarriage. I had a miscarriage shortly before the article came out. I quit the drug. If it killed my baby, what is it doing to me. I'm off all the of the antidepressants now. But, I think I'm depressed. But, I'm afraid to take anything now. What's a woman to do?

Posted by: Rochelle at August 12, 2010 2:38 PM

I started taking effexor 75 mg, 2 and a half weeks ago. It was prescribed to me in an emergency room after a threat of suicide. I felt it kick in about 4 days ago. Since 4 days ago, I am having massive migraines, waking up with them in the middle of the night and in the morning. My body is experiencing almost constant "twitching" or small muscle fascilations when I'm resting with my feet up or when I lie down at night (then it is intense). The last few days these twitches have started to include my neck and head, and it felt like there was a nerve going off right in my brain a few times, and still is. I was sweating profusely and abnormally the last week and a half. Now my eyeball is twitching, lmao. Well, it wasn't hard for me to notice the effects of this drug since I started taking them. Its like they're totally trying to rewire me and my brain, and I don't like it. I am stopping cold turkey tomorrow. I have been having weird dreams and nightmares since starting as well, do not necessarily feel any "happier", just "number". Feel an intense disconnection between my eyes and what they are seeing, since 1st day taking it. This drug is crap. Have suffered from depression for about 7 years now. Have tried celexa, paxil, wellbutrin before, and none of them gave me nasty side effects like this. Have also been having lots of rage, anger, impatience with my daughter which I do not like. This drug is crap and scares me. When your body starts twitching thats just not a good sign...as well as the migraines. I don't like the way I feel on it. Its too weird. And I just want everyone to know that, thats why I took the time to write this, I'm a busy mom. Everyone should know this drug should be taken off the market. These are the effects I have been getting from being ON the meds for 2 and a half weeks. Sounds like lots of the withdrawal symtoms, which is weird and goes to show how everyone reacts differently to different medications. Anyway, this stuff is scary stuff. Thanks.

Posted by: Jackie at August 16, 2010 11:40 PM

Don't take it.. find something safer. Please read the stories. Mine is just another one of the same. Loss of sex drive, memory, cognative thought, along with dizzyness, nausea.. . Then try getting off the drug.. Brain shivers, tremors, fever, bruising, its sucks and the doctors and pharmacists just tell you take more and cut down slower. $$$ money for them.. hell for you

Posted by: Valoriz at August 23, 2010 4:47 PM

I am dependent on Effexor. The drugs won't fix you. Read my story at http://athensmentalhealth.org/blog/?p=287


Posted by: David Wayne McCannon at October 1, 2010 11:13 PM

I've been on Effexor (low dose reaching theraputic dose) since august 10, 2010, now I must be weaned. Will the potential side affects be less than someone on this drug for a longer time.

Posted by: Deena at October 15, 2010 8:59 PM

I started taking Effexor about midway through last year. Worst mistake of my life. After stopping it nearly 8 months ago, I'm still experiencing the withdrawal symptoms. Horrible nightsweats, dizziness, brain shivers, sleep paralysis, irritability, dysphoria, the list goes on.

Save yourself, don't take this drug.

Posted by: Daniel at October 29, 2010 12:16 AM

Works very well -- but withdraw is HORRIBLE. I feel like I am a 'druggie' going through a horrible withdrawl...maybe they need clinics for getting of this. My symptoms start within 18-24 hours if you forget one. Be VER, VERY cautious before starting.

Posted by: Stephanie Gamble at November 16, 2010 8:33 PM

My boy friend is taking it and he never feels like sex. He says he feels sex isn't that important. Is this becouse of the pill?

Posted by: Jade at January 14, 2011 10:23 PM

I highly recommend that you NOT take Effexor...NOT. This drug has horrible withdrawal side effects even if you innocently miss one dose. My doctor did not tell me that I couldn't just stop this medication, and I almost admitted myself to the hospital the symptoms were so bad. I'm currently "weening" myself off of this drug. I am taking about 15mg/day and am at a standstill. If I try to go to every other day, I sweat profusely, I get so dizzy it's like I have vertigo and I have to lay down, I get a migraine that even my migraine medicine will not relieve, I want to eat EVERYTHING which is horrible b/c gaining weight is a depression trigger for me. I honestly feel overall like I'm dieing, and I'm not trying to be dramatic. Do NOT take this drug, please try something else. I would NEVER have taken this had I known what I know now.

Posted by: H at June 2, 2011 9:16 PM

I'm trying to quit smoking with no success (again) however some years ago I took Zyban which did work, but unfortunetely some months later I was diagnosed with Bells Palsy, is there any connection between the two as I'm thinking of asking my G.P. for Zyban again,but scared this may trigger B.P. again which was absolutely dreadful.

Posted by: Robert at June 12, 2011 10:22 AM

I have been on Effexor since March 2009 after I had an accident at my work causing me not to beable to work for 9 months and at the same time living with the housemate and her son from hell. As I knew once I got a job I would be fine I am now slowly coming off 300mg a day - went to 225 and today started on 150mg a day - I am determined to come off it - I am fed up with feeling like a zombie, tired all the time and fed up with the weight I put on with it that I cant lose til I am clear of this drug. My new local gp didnt want me to come off it as she said I was still stressed (I had just rushed to the surgery from work so of course I was stressed lol) but stress and depression are 2 different things.
I have suffered a little bit of headaches etc but not crippling and I keep getting itchy hands etc but I prefer to put up with that short term to get off the drug, lose the weight and get normal and healthy again.
If anyone says for you to go on the drug or stay on it - DONT - look for a natural alternative if at all possible as doctors seem to hand out antidepressants too easily these days like they did with valium etc years ago.

Posted by: Judi at June 29, 2011 7:28 AM

I took just about any SSRI you can think of and my last one was Effexor. If any, the benefits of this drug was short lived. On these drugs I was chronically depressed and suffered from chronic suicidal thoughts. It took me 8 months to come off Effexor and the withdraw was terrible. I am now over 8 months free from antidepressants and I am now happier than I have been in years, but coming off these drugs can be dangerous. I recommend getting professional help coming off these drugs.


Posted by: David McCannon at July 17, 2011 11:02 PM

I have suffered from depression and high anxiety for years and have recently been started on effexor 37.5 for four weeks and just went up to 75 mg. I also take Clonidine 0.5mg twice daily. The 37.5 was ok but still depressed, only now with the 75 I am more anxious. I wonder if it's because I had to wean all the way off Paxil to start this? Does the nervousness get better with effexor?

Posted by: jenny at July 24, 2011 7:48 PM

My husband started taking this medication after a job loss that caused him to become very depressed. We have been married 13 years, with common on off arguements but nothing too serious. One week of taking this pill he tells me he doesn't love me. He says it would be ok if I found someone else that his kids may like them better and he would be alright with that. Zones out when we are talking and he doesn't seem to have a care in the world. I am making him quit taking this and will be calling his doctor in the morning. If he still feels this way in two weeks then maybe it wasn't the pill. But I honestly feel like I know my husband and this man on Effexor is not him!

Posted by: Amber at August 14, 2011 10:24 PM

Yes..you will survive withdrawl from this. Many may think not but.....I quit taking Effexor XR in January after 5 years and 5 years of Zoloft before that along with quiting smoking and my girl of 10 years leaving me with a 6 year old....so.... It took me about 2-3 months to finally calm down...ie. vertigo, brain zaps, anxiety attacks...at about 4 months I knew I was going to b alright...it was a white knuckle, hair raising experience to say the least and that I never thought that I would pull through ..... 11 months later now I feel a little depressed now and then but then I realize that anything cant be as bad as coming off that shit....and I feel lucky and somewhat blessed that I made it! You will survive..! Good Luck...

Posted by: John C. at November 8, 2011 7:39 PM

Hello...I don't have some much of an issue as more of a question. I've been on many many antidepressants over the course of 10 years. I suffer from Major Depression. I started taking the new Viibryd a few months ago, and wasn't getting the full benefits as I wanted, so my doctor changed me over to Effexor. I also take 1 10mg Ritalin in the am with my Effexor. Now I'm getting ready to go to the twice a day. My question is this. The first week or so I felt good energetic and I know the Ritalin is also helping with that, but I felt good. I'm going to bump up the Effexor XR by the way to twice a day tommorrow. So why am I feeling depressed again? I felt good the first week or so, and adding the Ritalin when I was on Viibryd helped too, but after this over second week, I'm feeling down again. I know they say give it time, I have been on many meds and all of them had noticable effects after the first week for me. I just don't understand the going backwards now from feeling good to feeling a bit depressed again. Any comments to that would be appreciated. Maybe this one isn't for me, but I just don't understand what happened.

Thank you!

Posted by: Kim Atkins at November 10, 2011 12:10 PM

hi all,

just been readng all the posts re. Effexor. I am in a complete dilemma now. I have been taking Escitalopram (Cipralex) in various doses for about 7 years now. Due to a house move and new living situation I upped this to 20mg around 2 months ago and it doesn't seem to be working. I'm feeling really dizzy, depressed and just feel like life isn't worth living even though I have a lot to live for. I just can't seem to get myself back 'up'. Went to my doc who suggested swapping to Effexor...after reading all the posts I'm now completely unsure of what to do. A lot of the advice is not to go near it. It sounds awful. Maybe just being utterly miserable all day is better than taking that?? I don't know what to do!! Is there another, better alternative that anyone could recommend that I could talk to the doc about. I need something for severe anxiety (ie spending my whole lightheaded and fearful of every thing) whhich causes me to feel dwpressed....thank you all in advance....

Posted by: Karen888 at November 20, 2011 4:30 AM

I started taking Effexor 5 days ago for the 2 nd time. At first, I felt okay and my concentration was good. But, on the 5th day, I started to panic and then I broke out with a rash on my face!that never happened before when I took it. I do not understand. I even called the suicide hotline and they sent a policeman over to check on me. He wanted to take me to the hospital. I told him I didnt want to go and it will only make my anxiety worse.

Posted by: Melanie at November 30, 2011 7:33 PM

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO one should slap themselves silly to even consider taking this anti christ in a pill form it is the devil i tell you it is such hell think depression sucks go ahead pop an effexor...awful crap should be illegal

Posted by: fa la la la at March 15, 2012 3:06 AM

I tried withdrawing many times. They should make detox for this poison. I was on it for 3 years. My therapist thought I shouldzoo on it due to a boss harassing me at work. She was evil but I needed the money. Finally I'm unemployed away from her. Effexor free for 3 weeks ;))). First 2weeks brain zaps emotional between losing job and stopping this poison I went on the first place because of her. I feel better now. No more zaps. I also feel and think better

Posted by: Sharon z at August 11, 2012 11:18 PM

Does it help for ocd and weight loss

Posted by: anna at November 6, 2012 8:57 AM

Hell No, this drug is a demon from Hell

Posted by: jennifer sipper at February 6, 2013 1:52 AM

I ve been on Effexor xr for almost a year .Im fixen to go cold turkey any sujestions.?? Just took my last 150 mg.its been hell every cuple of days I was taken one to ween off .My head fells like its swiming and I fell like Im on aemotional roller coaster.Im 51 and have no sex drive ..my brain fells like its on paulse. ANY SUJESTION. DOES AND DONTS on comen off this meds cold turkey? HELP!!! THANKS

Posted by: debta at April 8, 2014 12:04 PM

I have read alot of these comments.I have been on Effexor for 4 years now, 1 year at 300mg. I have never felt better in my life! I only had problems at the 150mg dose, couldn't get out of bed,no energy and always felt irritated.I hope i never experience the side effects that alot of you are having.

Posted by: Brian at November 10, 2014 2:41 AM

I was on Effexor for 3 months. With in a couple weeks I broke out in a rash. A very painful, welped rash. I didn't go back to the dr that prescribed it to me until my next appointment that was in 3 months. I did go to the dr at the factory I worked at, my family dr, and a dermatologist that all said it wasn't from the Effexor. When I finally went back to the dr that prescribed it, he said it is a shingle like rash and it effects 1% of the people that way. When I stopped the Effexor the rash went away. For several years after that I would brake out if I got really stressed. Same painful rash. It went on for a few years and stopped. That is until the last couple years. I am broke out right now. I broke out last year twice about the same time of year. It is horrible. Really intense, wide spread nerve pain. Shooting, burning, and stabbing. Then after a few days the rash pops up. That hurts too, but not as bad as it does before it pops up. I have been searching for other people who have had this problem.

Posted by: Pamela at February 22, 2015 12:24 PM

even if I just have one alcoholic drink, I have a hangover that lasts all day the next day- does anyone else on Effexor have the same?

Posted by: Megan at April 3, 2015 2:16 PM

No! Absolutely not.
It's one of the worst drugs out there in the world. It made me sort of a different person. Persecutory delusions. I've never been the same since really.
I've heard many others complain about Effexor. I'd say you're better off safe than sorry, by not taking it.

Posted by: Polly at May 7, 2015 12:49 PM

I took effexor for 2&1/2 years. I was not in this world. I was numb to the world. I stopped taking it 6 wks ago. I continue to have forgetfulness, body and brain zaps,tremors,anxiety,loss of appetite, headaches,upset stomach. This medicine has affected my family and my life. I don't know if I'll ever be normal. I'm getting a attorney and trying to get this drug off the market!!!!!!! Just read about the poor people trying to get off this medication. They are begging for help as I am!!!!!The withdrawal effects are horrid and real!!!!! Help!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Caroline Jones at October 15, 2015 9:05 PM

Was so toxic with this med; required hospitalization to wean off. Worst experience of my life; depression is better (for me) than this nasty "medicine"

Posted by: Pat at December 26, 2015 2:24 PM

How long is it safe to continue taking Venlafaxine for?
Having taken 150mgs daily for THREE YEARS, should I now
attempt to stop taking it?
What do you recommend as the best way to wean myself off
this medication, as I know that you should not suddenly stop
overnight? I am now 73 years of age.
I feel that my 'condition' is more ANXIETY than DEPRESSION, as I worry about anything and everything !!!
Any helpful advice would be most welcome.

Posted by: Elizabeth Fennell at April 1, 2016 11:20 AM

I've been on Venlafaxine 150mg for almost 5mos. I was doing fine up until a couples weeks ago. Ive started noticing I get bothered by everything, get very defensive. I've started to experience headaches with nausea , numbness of my face. My neck and face gets so tight I can't open my eyes or mouth,i start hearing music or a wierd sound in my ears during the tightness. I get extremely fatigued followed by weakness. My left eye gets smaller and I have a difficult time getting it to open. My scalp right on top of my head becomes very sensitive for like hours after. I These symptoms usually start within 2-4hrs after taking the medication and last for about 4-6hrs. Anyone else getting this? I've never experienced a migraine prior to this but people say it sounds like one.

Posted by: Lupe at August 7, 2016 3:34 AM

Start a Blog

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

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

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