Effects of Venlafaxine

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I don't know if anyone can help me or has been in a similar situation but I am so desperate and have no one to talk to about things.

After months of being off work and trying lots of different antidepressants, I was advised to go onto Venlafaxine. I was started on a low dose and went up quite quickly to 225mg slow release tablets as advised by my NHS Psychiatrist. After being on these for a few weeks, they were making me so tired all the time it was impossible to function for more than a couple of hours without needing a rest or a sleep. I went back to the doctor to talk to them about it and they advised that there was no other medication suitable for me and therefore I should try the normal tablets rather than the slow release to see if that made a difference to the tiredness. I have done this but since then, for about 2 weeks now, I have been feeling really suicidal. I don't feel like i'm in control of anything that goes on in my head or the things I say. I have since ended up quitting my job when I was feeling in a really dark place and felt like it didn't matter as i'd just kill myself anyway, but now regret that as I have a mortgage to pay on my own and now no income. I also keep taking everything out on my boyfriend which he doesn't deserve and I am becoming so paranoid that he is going to leave me or get bored of me or don't understand what he see's in me and I have never felt any of this stuff before. I feel like the change in tablets has really messed me up even more and I am in such a low place.

Has anyone else ever gone from the slow release tablets to the normal ones and experienced anything similar? Does anyone know how long these feelings might last?

I feel like I now have nothing and just don't see the point in carrying on living a life that I don't want anymore.

Would appreciate any advice

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Becca15

    I currently am on 300mg prolonged-released venlafaxine and have been fine on them except an opposite problem to you. I can't sleep where now I have something else to help with the sleeping issue. I've never tried the normal tablets that you have mentioned but have tried many other type of antidepressant in the past 4 years. I am to start a new medication tomorrow on top of the venlafaxine because the same as you, I am feeling suicidal and have been in touch with my psychiatrist via social worker.

    You mention that you went back to the doctor, are you referring to your NHS Psychiatrist or GP? If it is your GP then I would advise you to see your psychiatrist as I am sure there are more medication that could be tried out. Especially that you are currently feeling suicidal, you need to be in contact with somebody. Each medication is different for every patient so please don't give up yet. You will find the right ones to suit you eventually.

    With regards to you income, I totally emphasise with you as I am in the same situation. I quit my job last due to this depression and I am now on ESA, live on my own and have a mortgage to pay. I get support with housing cost through ESA. If you live on your own and not with your boyfriend, then it is possible that you could also be entitled to this kind of support.

    Try not to worry to much about your boyfriend, I know it's easier said than done. If he really cares about you then he will support you through this no matter how much you try and take it out on him. It's the illness talking. It's normal when you are feeling so unwell.

    Please make an appointment to see your psychiatrist and also explain about how you are feeling and how you are reacting towards your boyfriend as this is all part of the illness.

    If you feel very suicidal right now, I advise you to go to your nearest A&E, that way they will be able to get in touch with your psychiatrist and perhaps for now you could receive support from the Home Treatment Team if you have one in your area.

    Please stay safe.


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  • Posted

    Hi carebear28,

    Thanks for your reply.

    I can't believe you're on 300mg and don't get the tiredness, it's crazy how they effect every person so differently! I hope the new medication helps you as soon as possible so you don't feel like that.

    I've only seen the NHS Psychiatrist once as when I did they said they only deal with serious cases where people are ending up in A&E every week - those were her exact words. Which is crazy because if I don't have any support then I will end up in A&E - although hopefully not because if i'm going to do it I don't want it to fail. I just feel so low and so alone, I just don't want to be here anymore. Every day I think about doing something I try and be sensible and at least say to myself that if I feel the same the next day then i'll do it rather than it be a decision I make within a few minutes. Today i've woken up just as bad as yesterday though.

    I did enquire about ESA but just can't seem to bring myself to do anything about it, everything is just such hard work at the moment and my boyfriend is too busy with work at the moment to help.

    I've got a doctor's appointment this afternoon but it's not like she can say much other than increase the dosage so I guess i'll make my decision after i've seen her. I can't carry on like this. How can it be so difficult just to find a medication that works :-(

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  • Posted

    Hi becca

    I'm so sorry you are struggling. Yes, you are right, they seem to want you to actually do something before they can help. What I can only suggest through what I've had to do is go to a&e and tell them you fear that you will end it up and need help. You are scared. I've done that quite a few times. My self harming has never been severe enough, more superficial.

    If you really feel you can't go to A&E, I suggest that you tell your gp that you are in a very bad place and want to be referred to a psychiatrist because you now fear for your life.

    I really hope you get some where. It is very hard to get things done and ask for help when you are feeling the way you are. I totally symthased with you.

    I used to take the 75mg of a night and it used to keep me awake all night then I would nap through out the day. I become quite ill and was hospitalised in the end. They changed it round to morning and increased it to 225mg. I started to improve mood wise but still struggled to get to sleep. It's weird it keeps me alert more than anything!

    Let me know how you get on this afternoon. I will be around if you need a talk.

    I'm waiting for my gp to get back to me this afternoon about my new prescription.

    Take care now

    Carebear x

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  • Posted

    Hi Carebear,

    I went to the doctor's and she was actually surprisingly helpful. She spent half an hour with me and called the NHS Psychiatrist I had previously seen whilst I was in there to discuss what was going on with me and my medication and they agreed to increase my medication as I thought they would but they also contacted the NHS Crisis team who phoned me the same day. I missed their call but they called back first thing the next morning asking me to attend an appointment later the same day. She went through all the usual questions with me then booked a home visit for tomorrow and also said someone would call me today to see how I was doing.

    I was actually really impressed for once with the NHS, it's just a shame that it takes for me to be in the worst possible state for them to be able to do anything. I've only been back up to the 225mg tablets for 2 days but already not having the suicidal thoughts. But the tiredness is back :-( Guess I can't complain as the tiredness is better than suicidal thoughts but just means it's going to be a struggle to get back to some sort of job.

    I've been waking at 4am most mornings since being on the Venlafaxine but I just watch TV for a couple of hours and the majority of the time it makes me sleepy again and I get back to sleep for another couple of hours. What do you do when you can't sleep at night?

    How are you getting on with your new tablets? x

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  • Posted

    Hi Becca

    I am so glad they are now giving you the support you need. Finally they are listening to how you are feel. I know how hard it is to actually ask for help but this is the starting point to getting your life back together. You will get there. (without sounding patronising)

    Give the tablets a chance to work as sometimes after 2 weeks the tiredness does subside. However, if you are taking them of a night, it does help as it keeps you alert hence why you sleep and feel tired through the day. I've learnt this and when I was hospitalised, they changed it to the morning time. Are you taking them of a morning or an evening? If you are still struggling to sleep, tell them this also as they might be able to give you something for the sleep, short term and hopefully your body will then adjust to sleeping better of a night so that you will feel more alert of a day.

    This happened to me but I still can't sleep because I can't get to sleep with the racing thoughts and worries I have in my life. My brain just won't switch off!

    With regards to your work situation, don't rush back yet, till you are ready. Wait till the tiredness has subsided first. Once you are starting to feel better in the next few weeks, start looking into ESA. With ESA, they can look at putting you into one of the groups. (Support Group) - which is what I am in as I am not fit to work OR (working group) - which is for those who are currently unwell but are slowly looking at going back to work while they are recovering.

    Whilst exercise is a known good method to help depression it can be very hard to motivate yourself. That's why I have 2 dogs as then that way they take me out for a walk! If I don't go out, I feel guilty!

    I am up the wall at the moment with my community mental health team CMHT because they keep saying for the 3rd time this week that they have faxed through the prescription order to my GP surgery and GP surgery are saying that they haven't received it! Driving me mad! I was at the surgery before asking for it but in the end they phoned the CMHT and faxed it through whilst I was there.

    Now my prescription won't be ready till tomorrow so I haven't started on the new medication. Psyche want me to reduce the venlafaxine to 225mg now so that the new meds Trazodone 50mg can be added as well as continuing with Quetiapine 100mg. This will be for the next 2 weeks then they will review it again.

    I hope I've helped you in someway.

    If anything else you need advice on, you know where I am.

    Take care now.

    Carebear xx

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  • Posted

    Yes been there. I am on the 150mg xr and i still feel tired. They recently put me on Trazodone because i started feeling suicidal and depressed. Im to scared to take it as i am working and a single mom to a toddler and 7 yr old Scared it inhibits me from doing my motherly functions or effects my job as i have dropped jobs/ lost jobs in the past from me not coping with anxiety etc. Yes its normal and once its been in your body for a long time then it wont feel so bad. I always feel tired and have to takiew vitamins and lots of coffee. I suggest you go back to your dr. If you feeling depressed suicidal its because the amount you on isnt working for you. Do not stop trust me the side effects are worse!!! you go arratic and crazy. 
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