Feeling like a brain dead zombie

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I'm on day 7 on venlafaxine 34.7mg x 2 a day, I was on sertraline for 5 months which did nothing so after seeing a psychiatrist she recommend venlafaxine. Any way I did the switch over from sertraline to venlafaxine a week ago I was ok at first but yesterday I felt really down and today I feel abit down and my brain really hurts and I feel like im stoned! Also my anxiety has gotten really bad, I'm only taking venlafaxine for anxiety once in a blue moon I will get depressed, is this normal to feel like this?

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  • Posted

    Hi there. I'm sorry you're going through this, but I'm glad you came here for advice. You might be feeling down because you stopped one medication to start another. That's normal. And with "Effexor" (venlfaxine) and other anti depressants like it, 4-6 is a general time for the medicine to reach it's therapeutic level. You can't take it one pill at a time every so often. That's not how it works.You may have misunderstood your doctor or your doctor didn't explain it well. You must take the medication everyday at the same time. You could take Ativan or Xanax in the meantime to help you get through the episodes of panic. These medications can be successful after prolonged use and only to help you through these days until you Effexor kicks in.

    With anti depressants, you will feel changes in your brain, sometimes like bubbles popping, dizziness, etc., But these totally go away. It's just that it's a chemical change in your brain.

    Hang in there, and be patient with yourself and the medication. I feel great on this medication. Have been on it for over 12 years. I tried to wean off but went back on because apparently I have chronic anxiety. I truly feel like a better version of myself!

    God bless you! Keep me updated!

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    • Posted

      Oops...I said Ativan and Xanax can be successful.... I meant addictive if prolonged use.... Still there good to help you over rough spots!
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    • Posted

      Ty tammy for your reply. I take a 34.7mg at 8 am then another 34.7mg 8pm is that right? I've got propranolol to ease my anxiety the doctor wouldn't give me any diazapam last time when I had abit of a breakdown 6 months ago and it doesn't do much for me anyway. Thanks so much for your reply xx

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  • Posted

    Venlafaxine must be taken daily for a period of at least 6 weeks before you start to see how it affects you. To see the real benefits or lack of them a standard period of time is about 6 months at least. 

    You said you stopped Sertraline to switch to Venlafaxine and that may be the culprit. Both these medications cause unpleasant side effects if stopped at once. Psychiatrists usually make a plan to decrease one medication over several weeks or even months depending on the dose you were taking to help your brain adjust gradually. 

    As someone else said, Venlafaxine is an every day for long period of time medication and not to be taken only when you feel anxiety.

    Good luck!!! Please call your doctor and relate all this symptoms to her. 

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