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Helllo, I am new to this site and reaching out for some advise.  I have been seriously depressed for the past 6 months. Shutting myself away, not enjoying the things I used to enjoy. Bascially, lost the old person I was.  I would happily lay in bed or the sofa all weekends. I have no idea how I've held down my job.  I tried taking venlafaxine generic ones back in the summer and they made me so sleepy.  So about 3 weeks ago, i was the end of my tether. I went to a phychiatrist and she advised me to take the slow release ones (I was on these a couple of year ago and they were fine).  I started off at 75mg, increasing to 150mg about 8 days ago.  Since starting on the 150mg, i've had terrible anxiety, lost a few pounds in weight and the past few days, I've had the worst depression. Suicidal thoughts etc. Have not moved from my sofa for 24 hours.   Please can anyone tell me if its normal to dip when you increase. I must admit over christmas, I was drinking - quite a lot, so this might have had some effect.  Last night i woke up in the middle of the night thinking I was going absolutely mad with anxiety. Im really scared that if i get worst, I'll end up in a nut house or doing something stupid.  Please any advise would be greatly appreciated. 


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  • Posted

    Hi Kerrie, I also started Venlafaxine slow release about 4 weeks ago, my dose has been ramped up to 225mg over the last week.  I too suffered with increased anxiety after dose increases which did calm down after a while.  However I also take Mirtazapine at night and I believe this helps keep my anxiety under control (but not the depression).  I'm yet to see any improvement in my depression although I am told that you need to be on the correct dose for a minimum of 4-6 weeks before it kicks in. I'm similar in that I have also been suffering with this for the last 6 months and don't recognise myself anymore.  A private psychiatrist put me on this course of treatment.

    Stick with the medication if you can as again, like you, I've come off treatment in the past and if I'd stuck with it, I might not be in this mess now x

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    • Posted

      Thank you Gen for your speedy reply.  How long did it take for your anxiety to calm down afer the increase.  Also, did you find that you slumped into a bit of depression when yuou inreased?  I'm going to email my pshychiatrist with my symthons and see what she says.  I know the drinking hasn't helped and that is counter productive. I do have a bit of a drink problem and the Ven seems to make me crave it even more!  

      To be honest, I do feel a little bit better today - maybe its because the sun is shining!!!

      I've always suffered with anxiety and a bit of depression, but this bout of depression has been so deep and for so long.

      I'm really hoping to get my life back. Next year I want to live my life and get the old me back.

      Lets keep our fingers crossed that the venlafaxine works for us.  I was on 225mg a few years ago and I was fine on it. Again, the only negative was the alcohol cravings. 

      I'm really hoping that maybe its a case of getting worse before getting better.



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    • Posted

      When I increased to 150mg I was back to my old self within 2 days, I couldn't believe it and thought finally, I'm on the right dose and getting better but that only lasted 3 days and I went downhill from there.  My depression is severe and so have not really noticed it getting worse but it's certainly not improving.  I have no motivation to do anything except sit on the sofa.  I'd be interested to hear your psychiatrists response when you get it.  

      When you were on venłafaxine previously how long was it until you felt better?  The waiting is a nightmare and I've never been through this before so I don't know what to expect.

      Dont beat yourself up about the alcohol, it was Christmas after all but probably best to reduce or stop for a little while to give the medication the best possible chance of working.  Keep in touch Kerrie x

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    • Posted

      That's how i felt last week Gen.  I had two days when i felt on top of the world, then bang...back down as low as I was before.  I guess it is going to take a while before it kicks in, especially, as it sounds like we have been extremely low with out depression.

      When I went on Ven before, I'd been on citalopram for years, but I had a very sad  relationship break-up, it kind of stopped working.  I was put on sertraline which made me feel worse. Then from sertraline, I went straight on to Venlafaxine. To be honest, my depression was not half as bad back then,  it was mainly to treat anxiety.  I found the venlafaxine worked pretty much straight away, but i dont know if that's because i was already taking something??  That's why I'm so confused/concerned this time as I never had all this yo-yoing with them previously.  Its just waiting game really isn't it...frustrating but we have to hang on in there.

      I will definitely let you know what my psychiatrist says.

      I am definitely going to reduce my alcohol as its a depressant itself isn't it also, i read somewhere it can increase side effects of meds.

      I'm glad i found this site as I've been feeling like noone understands and i've got noone to reach out to.

      I'll definitely keep in touch.  I hope you start to feel better soon Gen


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    • Posted

      I'm sorry Kerrie but I didn't answer your question.  It was about a week after each increase that the anxiety calmed down.  I noticed it mainly in the afternoons about 5-6 hrs after taking the venłafaxine in the morning.

      I'm the same, I like a glass of wine but will give it a miss for a while to give the meds a chance to work better.  Xxx

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    • Posted

      Hi Gen,


      Thanks for your message.  To be honest, I went through some really bad ups and downs over Christmas.  The anxiety didn’t actually seem to subside until yesterday/today. 


      The last few days, mentally, I am feeling so much better . I’m able to function so much better. I actually went to dinner on Saturday night – which is something I’ve not been able to do for months and months. I’m at work today and the negative thoughts have started to creep back – this is why I went into depression, I have low self-esteem, feel like I don’t fit in, think people don’t like me, think I’m stupid etc etc, so I did expect that to happen.  I’m going to start having CBT therapy for this.


      All in all, though, I think the venlafaxine have kicked in and started to work.  I also know I have to also put a lot of work in too. I’m going to the gym tonight, again, for the first time in months.   I’m sleeping well and got my appetite back. 


      How are you doing Gen?  Are you feeling any better. I do hope so.  I think you have to remember that everyone reacts differently to the meds. Some get a quick reaction, whilst others have to wait a little longer.


      Do you feel as if the depression is lifting? Have you got a light box?  I have also started using one, this may have also helped lift my mood. Also, vitamin D supliments are mean’t to be good.

      Let me know how you are doing xxxxx

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    • Posted

      Hi Kerrie, I'm so pleased you're doing better.  I saw my psychiatrist last night who has added another drug to help boost the antidepressant effects.  I'm praying something starts to work soon for me.

      Take good care of yourself xxx

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    • Posted

      Hi gen - glad you have been given something to try and combat the depression . What have they given you?

      I'm really suffering with my anxiety. Depression isn't so bad but the anxiety is through the roof which only started when I increased to 150 mg two weeks ago.  I never had this when I was on venlafaxine a few years ago. I wish I never came off them now sad

      How are you doing?

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  • Posted

    Dear kerrie,

    I am not a GP or a phychiatrist but I would say that it is a very bad idea to mix alcohol with drugs like venafaxine, the result could be quite serious. From what you say I think you are quite young, if I tried doing this I would imagine being taken off to hospital. Please take more care of yourself, you need to eat lots of fruit and veg to improve your vitamin levels and get lots of rest. If you want to chill out on the sofa I don't see this as a bad thing, you need the rest. I know you have to work but don't run yourself into the ground, it's not worth it. Remember, your health is worth more than anything else to you.

    I really do hope you feel better soon and life makes you feel happy again. Remember, you are a unique person, please be careful.


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  • Posted

    Hi Kerrie, I've been on ven for around 15 years at 150mg pd as a maintenence dose, but was also drinking heavily which contributed to a relapse in Sept. 

    Im on 225mg at the moment and ive bombed so going seeing a psychiatrist to maybe look at supplementing with another.

    ive not drunk alcohol apart from a couple of shandies since so Id recommend you give up the booze or restrict it to no more than 1 or 2 units per day otherwise your compromising the meds and its notorious for increasing anxiety they day after.

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  • Posted

    We often feel worse before we feel better when we start an anti depressant.  However I was on one once for a short time that made me so very ill, I had to stop.

    Effexor suited me fine, and once iut got into my system it did help me cope for years. 

    It may be this medication is not the one for you.  You have to decide whether to give it a few more weeks and see if you feel better.  No yoiu should never drink alcohol when on  anti depressants, that will just make things a lot worse.  that medication and alcohol do not mix. 

    You will not end up in a nut house, as you put it, unless you are really unable to cope with depressi0n, and it would probably be the psychiatrist who advises this.  Have you been to doctor? 

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  • Posted

    With all anti depressants you will feel worse before you feel better.  I have been on many different anti depressants in the 20 plus years I have had depression, and it is the same with them all. 

    Stick it out for at least six weeks, maybe longer.  Such a shame it takes so long for anti depressants to work, as we need the benefit quickly. 

    I was on 150mg Venlafaxine for quite a few years.  The generic form are not the same as Effexor, and a lot of people will tell you they do not work as well.  A doctor, or pharamsist will tell you they are the same, but my body told me they do not work the same.

    Let your body get used to the higher dose.  That will take some time, and that is why you are feeling grotty.  Yes normal to feel worse when you increase the dose.  Sorry.  It will gradually get better.

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    • Posted

      Thank you anne!

      It seems that my depression is lifting a bit but I've got the most awful anxiety. Tingly, nervous tummy, having to eat and eat to keep the weight on. Last night I literally just tossed and turned and now feel awful.

      I've now been on the 150mg capsules called Venalblue. My doctors are rubbish and none of them

      Seem to be knowledgeable on mental health.  Do you think I should suggest increasing my dose?? If I reduce the dose I'm worried I may sink back into depression. I can't go on like this or I won't be able to function. When I was on venalfaxine a few years ago I went up to 225mg and never had anxiety whatsoever.

      I just want to be settled sad

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    • Posted

      Hi Gen - It’s really strange, as having had the worst anxiety last night, in the past few hours, it seems to have subsided a little and I’m actually feeling really good!!!!!  


      The merry-go-round continues!!!

      How are you? x


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    • Posted

      That's great, I'm pleased you're feeling a little better.

      I'm ok.  The psychiatrist put me on Quetiapine to help boost the antidepressants.  I'm not having any real side effects from them so just hoping it all starts to work soon.

      Take care Kerrie and keep in touch xxx

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    • Posted

      I was on an anti depressant that me agitated and very, very anxious.  I had to stop it, as felt so ill.  And yet others have suited me well.  We all react differently to different medication.  What suite one person may not suit another. 

      You are on generic Effexor.  When I told my doctor generic did not work the same, I insisted I was on named Effexor only.  But when I withdrew, I had to go onto generic so I could cut the tablets and withdraw slowly that way.

      I think I have learned over the 20 years I have had depression what works for some people as on many different sites, and read a great deal.  Been under various psychiatrists and been hospitalised.  I have learnt a lot from experience.  

        If you did well on 225mg before, perhaps you do better on a higher dose.  Talk to your doctor. 

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