Getting fed up of feeling tired on this!

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Okay. So I've been on venlafaxine for over a year now and it's worked well to alrightish for my moods. 75mg makes me liable to crash and burn if something terrible happens, 150mg turns me into a cat - all I want to do is eat, sleep and watch TV (with not a care in the world). So I've settled for a 75+37.5 XR. With those tabs I've tried every combination of morning or night. Nothing works.

My single frustration with this med is the tiredness. I can sleep 13 hours if I'm allowed to. That is what I need to feel well rested. It's maddening.

My GP doesn't seem to be willing to throw in anysort of stimulant into the mix. I've asked about modifinil and that's a no-go.

Do I just go back to my GP and vent my frustration in hopes that I can combo it with something else or give up on something that works for me?

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    My experience with VF was that:

    1. VF levels out everything.

    2. my body needed to produce more stimulant to get anything happening.

    3. I started to mentally live in an aquarium, or under water where 'stuff' was only partially acknowledged.

    Perhaps the body is still pouring out relaxants that was trying to help you cope, even though VF has taken over, so now you are getting double.

    Cause I had the reverse when I cold turkeyd just before Christmas. - My body went hyper cause as an example, the Loud Music had stopped but I was still shouting over it.

    A year ago, you made a descision to your life to fix an issue. The bigger the issue, maybe the more relieved you are - still.

    Relief - sleep.

    BTW I used to sleep all Saturday, cause the work pressures went away that day, and I knew that I had Sunday to recover. .

    I am a night person on day job. on Fridays, when I am not collapsed, I go to 5am doing projects or something. Holidays more than 4 days and I go to 11am to 4am 'roster'. And it seems to be natural.

    Perhaps its a bit of all the above?

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  • Posted

    Hi Chris " I came off this med" a month ago and its been a nightmare they change me onto Fluoxetine 20mg said they would be better ?? Well its been a hell " I get very light headed 'sickness but not being sick the shaking is the worst in my hands ?? Its like my body needs sugar !! Its weard I no I will have to go back to drs can't do this any more .
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    • Posted

      Hello Jean.  I was on 150mg Venlafaxine for 9 years.  My GP suggested I come off it, as been on anti depressants for over 20 years, and wanted to see how I go.  I took 10 months to withdraw.  Done it cold turkey once, but this time because I took it slowly I got no withdrawals at all. 

      It is 17 months since I came off it, and I am doing pretty well without anti depressants for the first time in forever!!  Did your doctor help you wean off like mine did?  Slowly, very slowly is the way to go.  Sorry too

      late for you now, so I am not being much help am I? 

      I always took supplements when on anti depressants, and now I am off them, I take more than ever.  I feel I am doing well.  I am an old lady now!! 

      Fluoxetine did not suit me at all, but Effexor did.  We all react differently to the same drug.  I would be loathe to go back on Venlafaxine, although it helped me so much, because it takes so long to withdraw from it.  At least I lost all the weight I put on whilst taking it.  I am hoping I can now manage without anti depressants.

      Hope your doctor is a help.

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  • Posted

    I was on 150mg Effexor daily for 9 years but tiredness was not one of the side effects I experienced.  The thing is with anti depressants that we all react differently to the same drug.  One side effects a person has may not be experienced by another person on the same anti depressant. 

    I have never slept well, even on Effexor!!  Sounds like this side effect you are experiencing is affecting your life.  It is a shame as the Effexor works for you.  Worth trying your doctor, or another doctor in same practice, and see what they say.  You must tell them how tired you are feeling on this medication. 

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  • Posted

    My feeling is you should trust your GP on this. If she/he doesn't want to give you modanil (which I've googled cos I hadn't come across it) then you need to go back and ask what else can be done. Stress that the sleepy issue is affecting your life and you need action on it. If GP says only option is change of antidepressant, then you can decide if it's worth it to you. I've been on venlafaxine for several years with no sleepiness - in fact I take mirtazapine also, and this does help with sleep. But as previous posters have said, everyone's reaction is different.
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  • Posted

    Ive been on this for 4 wks. And could sleep for England. .. altho I think I need a higher dose for other reasons so ill dread tirednessmore. Ive been off wwork 5 wks so have had time to nap but didn't want to get in a habit of it. Yesterday for example I took child to school. Came home by 9.10... slept until 2.30. .. and was still drained by tea time. Today I forced myself to see a friend but now at nr 7pm im knackered. Ut guaranteed when I go to bed ill lay there stressing about silly thingd until silly o'clock.
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  • Posted

    Ive been on this for 4 wks. And could sleep for England. .. altho I think I need a higher dose for other reasons so ill dread tirednessmore. Ive been off wwork 5 wks so have had time to nap but didn't want to get in a habit of it. Yesterday for example I took child to school. Came home by 9.10... slept until 2.30. .. and was still drained by tea time. Today I forced myself to see a friend but now at nr 7pm im knackered. Ut guaranteed when I go to bed ill lay there stressing about silly thingd until silly o'clock.
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    • Posted

      It is obvious that the Venlafaxine is not good for you because it makes you so sleepy.  This does not sound right at all.  You need an anti depressant that alleviates your depression but does not make you feel tired all the time.  If you do decide to come off it though, please do it really slowly, like I did, so you do not get any withdrawals, as they could be debilitating.

      I came off Venlafaxine 17 months ago and am managing OK.  Ups and downs, but after 20 years on anti depressants I feel I am taking charge of my life.  Venlafaxine took away my emotions, which was not bad at the time.  Now they have all come rushing back.  I take lots of supplements, and am hopefully never going back on anti depressants, if I can manage without.

      You feel the need to stsy on medication, but have a chat with the doctor about how sleepiness is making life so difficult for you.

      Let us know how you get on

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  • Posted

    I gave up on the venlafaxine because all I did was sleep all the time so ended up not being able to work which made things worse for me as was sinking in a sea of debt and that just made my depression ten time worse. I came of the ven about 10 weeks ago and now back working and feeling so much better I'm not taking any ADs at all now and that's the way it will stay. I still feel depressed but at least I don't feel like a zombie like I did on the meds and also when I'm at work I don't even notice my depression as I'm focused on my job and not sitting at home like before with nothing to do apart from feel like a hopeless useless case
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  • Posted

    Hi Chris did you go back to your gp, if so what did they say, I am due to go back to work in 2 weeks, and I'm having the same problems as you. My job is quite demanding the lethargy is worrying me, although I do feel much better mentally. I'm currently on 187.5 mg, which was increased 2 weeks ago
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    • Posted

      I haven't but I'm thinking about possible solutions. I know there's a newer version of venlafaxine - "desvenlafaxine" though I'm hesitant to try it. Not sure if it's approved in the UK either or on generic, you could ask though - I don't know if you'd have the same response; I think it works slightly differently despite being the active metabolite of venlafaxine (a sort of 'diet pepsi' if you get me).

      I've sometimes wondered if the issue at hand could be related to poor sleep on venlafaxine. If so, a simple sleeping tablet could help - though if that's not the issue then it could just make matters worse.

      Otherwise, I wonder if Atomoxetine or Reboxetine could be worth a shot; whether a GP will prescribe either concurrently with venlafaxine is another matter - they're NRIs so there's potential for interaction with an SNRI (especially with venlafaxine >150mg).

      Also worth noting, Venlafaxine apparently works like somesort of waterwheel, doses upward of 150 work to modulate norepinephrine, doses upward of 300 modulate dopamine. So you could push above 187.5mg as a last resort and see if you get energy from throwing dopamine into the mix - though I don't think it's a good idea; I've never been above 150mg myself mainly because anything south of 112.5mg starts to make me feel too drugged up (the dissassociated/fish tank/zombie effect - it's not nice).

      Will look for more answers and let you know smile. Do keep me posted!

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    • Posted

      Hi Chris thanks for your reply, my dosage was increased today to 225mg, feeling quite wired at the moment, otherwise feeling ok, expect I will pay tonight with no sleep rather than too much hoping this will work, as I'm not prepared to go any higher, im starting back to work next week, so fingers crossed, how are you getting on ??
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    • Posted

      I'm all over the place as per usual and haven't made any changes to my meds though I'm thinking about try agomelatine because partly I just feel like my cicadian rythem is so out of place. Most nights I can't sleep until 3AM and if I don't try going to bed I can stay up until 8AM. Regardless of either, I usually wake up between 2-4PM (which is nuts because I'm starting a new job in two weeks). Gonna see tomorrow if my doc has the balls to try me out on that, or either a short course of sleeping tablets - though I really would like to avoid that option since I'm already as tired as ever.

      I've found taking my venlafaxine at night again helps with how alert I am in the day, though I still need 9-12 (typ. 11) hours of sleep or I just don't feel like doing anything because of the tiredness.

      Will let you know if anything happens though I'm not exactly hopeful (actually I'm feeling pretty hopeless that my GP will do anything...)

      How's the increased dose? Do take care

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  • Posted

    I've been on then for over a year my self started of on 75mg then when up to 150mg aday. They don't seem to be working for me but am like you I can sleep and sleep when I told my Dr this he said it can't be these tablets as they don't make you sleep. Wrong as I was never this bad before I was on these. I also have constant vivid dreams and have you ever missed your dose I advise you not to
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