I Can't Exercise on Venlafaxine/SNRI/Antidepressant

Posted , 8 users are following.

Hi All

I have been on and off antidepressants for my severe anxiety for 8 years. Including citalopram, sertraline and now venlaxine which I have been on for the past 11 months.

For the past 12-15 years, I have been very into my sports, cycling (road and mountain), indoor climbing, hiking, and always run throughout this period. I consider myself of average fitness and have regularly run 10+ / half marathon distances in the past.

Ever since being on this drug, I just can not run. The most I can manage is 3/4 miles at a push, and after a good weeks rest from any other exercise! It's really bothering me, and I feel like I have no fitness at all, I get out of breath so quickly and feel like I'm running through treacle.

I have spent much time 'googling' for people experiencing a similar problem, but to no avail 😦.

Has anyone ever experienced this in ability to exercise on there antidepressants, SSRI or SNRI?

Warm regards


0 likes, 9 replies


9 Replies

  • Posted

    I was on Venlafaxine a few years ago, and was able to run for 25 minutes three times a week at the gym. I don't think it is the venlafaxine.

    What are you eating? You need to take in sufficient carbs to be able to run.

    I would not say that only being able to run 3-4 miles is bad at all - seems pretty good to me.

    I wonder whether you feeling bad about not being able to run, is itself a symptom of your anxiety?

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  • Posted

    can appreciate some peoples comments on here, because there a lot more worse issues you could be facing. HOWEVER, fitness and the ability to carry out certain standards are very important to some people, reassures them of their own health. you are older, so you are going to find it difficult. its not the ven thats causing your issues though, its anxiety thats working against you. anxiety tightens up muscles, and makes excercise much more difficult. as you are sort of fighting yourself. when you have anxiety, you cant attack exercise, as the adrenaline you produce, will fuel anxiety, which will tighten up your muscles. this worries you, you produce more adrenaline, which makes things worse. you have to set your standards lower, so they are achieveable, without causing too much adrenaline. then you gradually build up the amount of excercise slowly, always remembering, to keep your adrenaline as low as possible. relaxing while doing your exercise is key, you relax into the excercise. this is why some even top atheltes, bottle it, and fail, they let the adrenaline and anxiety overcome them. the more you fight to improve your anxiety, the less you achieve, because you are working against yourself. i know this, because i tried many sports, to overcome anxiety and depression for years. same thing happend in each excercise. i would start off well, become obsessed, push myself too much, and increasing my anxiety too high. relax yourself as much as possible when excercising, and be aware of creating too much adrenaline, which is going to work against you, and cause you to fail in your goals. relaxation while excercising is key.

    , but think i can help you. fitness and the ability to perform at a certain level, are

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  • Posted

    To add: Whenever I am suffering from the symptoms of depression/anxiety, my desire and drive to exercise is completely stalled. I can't even walk fast.

    I syspect that exercise while you are doing it causes depression - but when you stop your body releases antidepressant chemicals. I once had a depression relapse happen when I was at the gym - so I stopped going.

    My opinion, for what it's worth, is that exercise is something that you can/should do when you are well- but when you are ill, forget it and concentate on getting better.

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  • Posted

    hey all please remember that people post for support and not to be ridiculed.

    chris, your concerns in figuring if venlaflaxine is causing your energy issues are valid. BUT it seems that there are more likely possibilities before even assuming its the medication. go to your doctor and do bloodwork and cardio stress test etc. i had a friend who told me he often found it a struggle to get through his exercises only later to suffer a mild heart attack as it was found that one of his arteries had clogged up. after they put a stint in he says he feels much more energy now when exercising. also, another possibility could be thyroid. get that checked as high levels indicate hypothyroidism which can make you feel fatigued.

    hope this helps.

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