Extreme fatigue on Venlafaxine XR

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Currently taking 112.5mg of venlafaxine. Been on this for 4 weeks. At 75mg was still struggling with some insomnia but since upping to 112.5mg I'm sleeping much better but also experiencing the most awful fatigue ALL day! It does seem to be helping mood and anxiety wise but the tiredness is unbearable.

I'm seeing the dr on Friday and think they will increase me to 150mg. Does anybody think the increase could possibly help with the fatigue (I understand above 150mg it starts working on a different part of the brain?)? Or will it become even worse? Does anybody have any experience of this? Would really appreciate any advice. Thanks

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  • Posted

    I'm on 225 I dropped to 150 for a while and am now back up to 225. Some of the fatigue you're experiencing may be medication re!aged but don't forget the condition causes major fatigue. A step up in dosage may help or you may need a bigger increase but the only way to really go is try it and see how you feel. Sorry this isn't more positive.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply Phyllis, I totally understand that depression and anxiety can cause fatigue but I feel my mood has lifted slightly and this awful tiredness has only really started since I went up to 112.5mg.
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    • Posted

      Hi Clare, I'm really glad that you have seen some Improvement, however, I think that because you have suffered for so long your body wants to get back to how it was before, it has had a massive struggle and needs to rest,so I wouldn't worry too much just yet because it's still early days and your still trying to find the right dose. I don't know if you are on propanolol but I found it making me really tired so I ha e reduced it right down to 40mg and found this better, I still ha e insomnia so whenever I start to feel I need a better sleep I take promazine about 1-2 nights a week,hope this helps, Hope you make more progress soon x

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    • Posted

      Thanks Trina, I did take propranolol when all this first started but haven't taken it now for months. I also take promethazine sometimes. They give this in hospital to help calm you down. I did wonder if this is what's making me so tired but I feel exactly the same tiredness whether I take it or not. Can you remind me what dose you are on and for how long? Is it helping you? Xx

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    • Posted

      I have just done 2 weeks on 75mg ,I was doing ok for a few days,mood lifted, less anxiety,then out of the blue anxiety started again, then started to calm down again yesterday, I'm at the doctor's on Wednesday so will probably have it increased,I was diagnosed with agitated depression and anxiety, will keep on forum to see your progress, I think once you have the right dose you will come on leaps and bounds, I am very optimistic about this drug because up to now it's a lot better than sertraline, which was a journey I never want to have again, Good luck Clare, I'm sure we'll get there in the end xx

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    • Posted

      Yes definitely keep in touch so we can see how each other is doing. Are you getting the tiredness at all?

      I really don't want to have to change again because I have seen a little improvement but I can't put up with this tiredness long term!

      Clare xx

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  • Posted

    Hi Claire, I dropped the propanolol, and the promethazine I took in the morning, I now only take it at night. I take it when I get home from work though as I definitely have a hangover with it. Trina makes an excellent point. Our bodies have gone through so much before our mood starts to lift, I think there must be an element of catch up with regard to sleep. Our body heals and cells regenerate while we sleep. When our mood is low, what little sleep we do get isnt in the range to a!low our bodies to acheive what they need in a resting state. We are tense and stressed even when we sleep so our muscles etc dont rest the way a non sufferers do. I think that leads to the fatigue and that awful zombie like feeling of dragging yourself through the day. It sounds like you're heading in the right direction but maybe your body needs some time to catch up with your mood. None of what I've said here comes from the professionals I've seen, its purely my way of trying to understand why my body and my head aren't always in sync. Give it time and keep talking to your doctors, anxiety and depression are illnesses of the strong. That's why we make it through the bad times.xx

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    • Posted

      Thanks Phyllis, you and Trina both make a good point. Unfortunately as the day is going on my mood is dipping and I'm feeling very anxious. I literally feel like I haven't slept for a month despite good sleep the last few nights. I have 2 children to look after so can't feel like this long term. How long have you been on venlafaxine? Did it work for you straight away? Xx

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  • Posted

    Hello, I just registered on patient.info. I'm from Romania and my english may not be perferct.

    I have a 9 years experience with venlafaxine, a love and hate one.

    What is or was your initial diagnosis? It realy does matter in the case of venlafaxine, and what other meds are you on? If any.

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    • Posted

      I've been suffering with depression and anxiety since November. This is my third antidepressant I've tried.

      I'm not on any other medication

      What's your experience? Grateful for any advice.

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    • Posted

      10 years ago I had a major panic attack as a reaction to smoking a joint for the first and only time, an uncommon reaction. From that night on I developed the most horrifing anxiety, more likely akathisia a generalized form of restlessned that comes with extreme anxiety. Xanax worked for 1 month...and then it didn't. All hell broke loose and the doc gave me venlafaxine 75 mg because he thought that I have some depression as well and only after 2 weeks I started to not feel better in terms of the horrid restleness and anxiety which paralized me to the couch with no hope in sight.

      Anyway, 75mg of venlafaxine was the starting dose just to get past the side effects more easy. Then increased to 150 mg as a standard pattern in administration of this drug. Same feeling on 75 as on 150. Extremely tired extremly lack of motivation and the more I slept the more I was feeling tired. But I stuck to it just because I knew what real anxiety and akathisia was. So to your problem, I pushed as hard as I could through this tiredness for more than a month with no hope at all. Mindless work in the garden for example just to do something, anything I could think of I did whith disconfort with no hope. I worked out I was helping with any phisical activity just thinking the tiredness will go away. And IT DID...not completely but better and better each week. Now...the best thing for me was working out, running any phisical activity. Caffeine sugar alcohol and cigarettes are to be avoided all costs. I did all of this things and my recovery went down the river. You will have bad days but it realy depends on the underline condition...anxiety or depression....they go hand in hand but always one is first. If your primary condition before taking venlafaxine was severe anxiety then venlafaxine it's a temporary solution. If depression was first or the more proeminent conditiont hen venlafaxine will definitly help you long term. Once on meds like this you will always have problems with mood with anxiety with apetite etc. Best way if you can is stabilising for at least 6 months on venlafaxine and in this time eat right drink only water or natural drinks. NO ADDED SUGAR it is enough of it in normal food. After six months of feeling good enough you can talk to your doc. about slowly reducing the drug.

      Be very careful, once you take these kind of meds life will never be the same. They change your brain chemistry and not always for the better. These are just my experiences and my thoughts, never do any change without talking to your doctor. I think you tried too many antidepressants in a short period of time. Venlafaxine is on of the best but all of them work slow and with side effects that can last for months...but they go away eventualy. Be very careful with meds and always talk to the doc. If any major change occurs in your mood or phisical state. Diet and a clean stress free life are equaly important and also show rewards very very slow. I'm sorry for what you're going through but never give in to thoughts that you never had before meds.

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    • Posted

      I wrote wrong...I wanted to write

      *only after 2 weeks I started TO feel better

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    • Posted

      Why is it a temporary solution if your initial problem is severe anxiety ? In my case i suffering with both but primarily anxiety. The ven has helped alot with both. I ve been on 150mg XR for 3 months along with other meds. I have been very ill with post natal illness. I do smoke but eat a very clean diet with no alcohol caffeine or unrefined sugar. Try to walk alot. It is prescribed for severe anxiety and often long term. I know many people who have been on it for years for anxiety and very slowely tapered off and lead a normal life now. Often with post natal illness woman end up on numerous meds and can take years to recover and be med free. Why do you say you will never be the same again ? As long as you taper slowely the brain eventually returns to normal. The changes these meds make are not permanent theycan be hard to get off. I just wander what your sources are for your comments ?
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    • Posted

      Sorry sarah24378, I might have been too atached to my own experience in what I commented.

      People do get better on venlafaxine...it makes wonders for anxiety and for depression...it's primarely an antidepressant. It helped me alot but my anxiety is diferent ,is a form of akathisia. The venlafaxine was just keeping my problems in check...but i was forced to take other meds as well and just recent I found out venlafaxine was making me worst on one side and better on the other side. We all react differently to any drug and especialy to the side effects but thei do go away.

      Yes, some people recover entirely after they take venlafaxine.The main ideea was you have to stick to the med and push thru the side effects.

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    • Posted

      Hi Sarah,

      Do you suffer with the extreme tiredness on this medication? When do you take yours? Do you rate this medication? X

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    • Posted

      Hi Andrei, thanks for your reply.

      I have really upped my physical activities since becoming ill and though some days I feel horrendous I have tried to push through the tiredness.

      I don't smoke or drink alcohol at all.

      Are you still on venlafaxine?

      To be honest if I can stabilise on this med and the tiredness goes then I have no intention of ever coming off it!

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    • Posted

      Hi clare

      I do rate this medication. It is the only one that has worked for me. It took until 6 weeks on 150 mg XR to work. I really thought it was not going to. I did get fatigue initially but it passed at about the time it started working. I am on other meds but it is definately this one that has made the difference. Now i need to slowely reduce the others which really scares me. I am worried about coming off as i have heard horror stories but i have other meds to come off first.

      I take mine in the morning. X

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    • Posted

      Thanks Sarah, it's nice to hear positive stories. I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place at the moment because I do think this medication has made a small improvement in the 4 weeks I've been on it. My appetite and sleep have come back which I know is a good early sign the medication is going to work for you however, this overwhelming fatigue is horrendous and I can't live like this with 2 children, a house to run and a job. I like to be busy and keep active but it's becoming harder and harder each day. If I knew for sure in a few weeks the tiredness would go then I'd just suck it up and stick with it but I'm petrified of upping the dose and staying on it even longer and it not working so having to try and do the withdrawal which I know is awful! What other meds are you on? If the tiredness goes and I continue to improve then I won't ever come off this!

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    • Posted

      Sarah don't worry about reducing other meds. In the first 6 months of last year I came off a cocktail of 8 drugs. I'm still taking a fair amount but its much reduced and my head isn't as foggy as it was. My fatigue is also as bit better. As long as you take baby steps and follow your doctor's advice you'll be fine. Phyllis

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    • Posted

      Hello clare,

      I didn't respond because I'm also going through some very nasty withdrawal right now. I'm trying to cut off the venlafaxine. Right now I'm taking it at all but I'm on other meds that help a little bit.

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    • Posted

      Sorry you are still suffering. What side effects do you have?

      I have been feeling a lot better. Had a couple of wobbles last couple of days but not sure why.

      How are you? x

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    • Posted

      Nevermind mebiggrin...I'm too confused because of the change in meds and overthinking the symptoms to evaluate my situation, it's manageable. I'm tappering maybe too fast.

      Maybe this will help you...the withdrawal is faaaar worst than the side effects of increasing the dose.

      The wobbles most definitly are still side effects, you've past the worst trust me. These wobbles will most definitly dissapear in time...the more you think about them the more they last because it's confusing the receptors in your brain that handle the venlafaxine increasing the amount of noradrenaline which increases the anxiety and it turns into a vicious cicle. So you have to be calm and treat them with less importance concentrating on anything you can or on things you have to do. After all this passes you have to be at a steady functioning state with with happiness and sadness in normal amounts, for at least six months.Only after this period you can consider tappering off but only under strict supervision from your doctor. If he thinks it's too soon, almost 99 % of the time he's right.

      Ugghhhhh took me a while to concentrate to write this. Hope this will help you at least a little bit and keep in mind...it doesn't matter how much mgs of venlafaxine you take at one moment if it helps you cope with the underlying problem and you can function normaly...only after being as close as you can to happiness and general well being you must think about what it does to your body.

      Take care...these tough situations are building character and on some level makes you stronger.

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    • Posted

      Thank so much for all the advice.

      To be honest if I can feel back to my normal self I don't intend on coming off them. I was on citalopram for years and it was coming off them that caused the depression and anxiety.

      How long have you been on it and what dosage?

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    • Posted

      150 mg for 5 years and 225 for another 5.

      The up in dosage may or may not have been beneficial on health and long term use but it stabilised me enough to go about my life and more importantly to search for answers from forums from loved ones psychologist and psychiatry. I wasted a lot of time blaming the mends and my self instead of just taking action in seeking help but with more wisdom. 99% of the time the specialist is wright.

      Take care and if you have any questions I am more than happy to answear.

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