Bloody Venlafaxine - a rant!

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I have been taking Venlafaxine for about 4 years, perhaps longer, after Fluoxetine did naff all, and have slowly worked up to 225mg a day in an effort to get it to do something positive.

I can honestly say I am a bit bitter and twisted about the doctor who prescribed me this drug. It's made me as bad a mess as I was before. I have nightmares, when I dare sleep, that leave me confused and terrified for days. My paranoia has left me a shell of my former self. I am much fatter, possibly thanks to being too scared to go out on my own. If I am late taking a dose, I am bedridden - the dizziness and what I call \"fizzy blood\" (have you felt like your insides are made of Pepsi?! EW!!) are unbearable. I am considering lowering my dose, over the next few years, the doctor says, so I can try something else. It is like being a prisoner of a medicine - there is nothing in my life it doesn't affect, I can't even work anymore because the likelihood of me waking in the morning feeling like I can function is so slim (normally I wake in a pool, literally, of my own sweat, sometimes crying or shouting and thrashing about).

The one thing I have been told about this drug is that it can make you produce lots of Adrenaline, and it is therefore best to take it in the morning. I had heard a rumour that it helps with sleep (haha, poor misguided fool that person must have been!!) and took it at night for a while - not recommended at all.

To all those taking this heap of garbage and now stuck on it for the foreseeable future until you try to claw your life back - I feel for you, you are not alone. And congratulations to those who have come off this sh*t - you are walking miracles in my eyes.

Don't let doctors fob you off with this rubbish - think about it carefully. I know that feeling of desperation when you just want anything to help, but some things can make things so much worse. Be careful and don't be afraid to get second opinions or badger for psyche appointments / cbt.


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5 Replies

  • Posted

    I have been on venlafaxine for almost 7 years. I got it just after I had my first Daughter. I also have really bad side affect if Iam late taking my dose. severe dizzyness, headace, my tummy turns to jelly and I feel really sick! They reduced my dose while I was pregnant with my 2nd daughter and have never felt so bad. I think I will be on this god awfull drug 4ever. It's good to know Iam not alone, in wot feels like a never ending round of swollowing this drug :shock: :?
  • Posted

    I was on this drug for 3 years and decided to change my lifestyle for the better and felt it was time to come off it ....HA easily said than done. It took me 2 months of horendous withdrawl and breaking open the caps and reducing by a pellet a day at the end! I had headaches, sweats, brain shivers, paranoia and nausea throughout the whole process. Now 3 years on i haven't touched them since and STILL get occasional moments of withdrawl such as brainshivers (where you turn your head and it feels like your brain take s a sec to catch up and your eyes shake) Still an occasional moment of this is miles better than being stuck on this evil drug...stick with it if you are coming off it, i found valium helped a little to ease my anxiety caused by the withdrawl, and loads of water and fresh fruit and veg to clean your system out. Good luck to all those coming of Venlafaxine - there is an end to the withdrawl and you will feel sooooo much better!
  • Posted


    reading about withdrawals has really scared me.Venlafaxine has been the only anti depressant that worked for me during a year long bout of bipolar depression I thought was going to last forever.Ive been on it about 5 months and have noticed weird dreams I can never quite remember and lately drenching night sweats but compared to the way I was its a small price to pay.I have put weight on but the other medication Im on also cause weight gain so I cant be sure which one is the culprit.I guess I hadnt contemplated trying to come off it although Im not going to be on it indeffinitely because it raises the risk of relapse in bipolar apparently.It doesnt look like withdrawal is too much fun though,anyone have an easier time

  • Posted

    I'm about to start taking venlafaxine. I've tried Fluroxatine 60mg and Citaliphram 60mg (sorry about spelling) and nothing has worked, as for the side effects and withdrawals as much as I'm worried about them, my depression effects are just as bad, I'm barely fucntioning, and my stomach feels as if I'm going to an interview every minute of the day, as for sleeping as soon as i close my eyes the dvd starts, so I'm already having the symtoms, without taking it, so lets hope it works for my, fingers crossed!
  • Posted

    I've been on Venlafaxine for c. 2.75 yrs now since a bout of acute, scary depression following traumatic emergency spinal surgery. I'd had depression before but nothing like this - anxiety and a wish to lie down and die combined with a complete loss of appetite.

    Venlafaxine suited me well - I feel that taking it saved my life.

    I've reduced/increased the dosage from time to time & it hasn't caused me significant problems. have been from 150 > 75 >150>75>150>225 currently.

    Side effects I had included the 'brain zaps' for the first 10 days or so, and also when I miss a dose/am very late for a dose; weight gain (I'm a big girl already)

    I already had distressing, vivid dreams and night sweats before I took Venlaxine.

    All in all I am willing to put up with the side effects in order to treat my mental health symptoms: low level depressive/anxiety disorder with occasional acute, sudden onset distress and moderate/severe depression. Effexor suits me and I'm not sure I'd be here if I hadn't taken it.


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