I have been taking Venlafaxine for almost 7 Weeks - Help Please!

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I have been taking Ven for almost 7 weeks now (first week on 37.5mg and almost full 6 weeks on 75mg once a day) for anxiety

I have been doing great on them...up until yesterday!

I woke up feeling anxious and flat; barely ate any lunch but managed most of my dinner. I didn't sleep much at all last night (my sleep has been great again up until last night) and woke this morning feeling anxious and had a dry, horrible mouth.

I don't feel quite as bad at the moment as I did this time yesterday, but I still feel a bit anxious.

My in-laws have been making a nuisance of themselves since the weekend and I think this might have stressed me out.

I don't know if it is just a blip or not. My next catch-up with my GP is actually tomorrow morning (Wed 18th) at 9am.... I don't know whether I might have to increase my dose to 150mg?

Any feedback/experience or advice would be greatly appreciated.

It would also be good to know what dose you are on/how long you have been on it for and when you increased/what any increase SEs were. 

Thank you! X

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  • Posted

    I am afraid I don t have an answer for you as I have only been on ven for 3 weeks. 1 week on 37.5 then 2 weeks at 75.

    I have switched from citalopram and until yesterday have been feeling a bit better. Less anxious and better able to cope but still not sleeping well. Also on 45mg of mirtazapine.

    Wanted to ask you when you started to feel better and sleep better.

    Am interested what responses you get from more experienced ven users. I really don t want to go up to 150 as am scared of withdrawals and they just put me up really fast on citalopram and I got so much worse. I do really need to sleep better.

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    • Posted

      Hi Sarah.

      I started to notice a difference about 3 weeks after being on it - small changes like I felt I had more energy and felt more motivated.

      My sleep started to improve then as well - getting to sleep a bit quicker and sleeping better during the night.

      Keep me informed how you go!

      I will see what my GP says tomorrow - I am feeling better now. Hopefully it is just a blip...! I was hoping I could stay on the 75mg a bit longer before I had to increase but I'll see what she says - she's a great GP and very understanding. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Bookworm

      Thanks for your reply.

      Was that 3 weeks on ven or 3 weeks on 75 ?

      I may have a virus as everyone in the family has been I'll but I can t tell.

      Glad you are feeling better. It is such a relief to feel better and really scary when it goes.

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    • Posted

      That was 3 weeks on the 75 dose.

      Someone said once it's like a dimmer switch being turned up and that is about right. It's little, gradual changes that you notice, which make you feel better.

      As I say, I've got my next catch-up with my GP tomorrow morning, so I'll see what she thinks. I'm hoping it is just a blip and that I don't have to increase but if I do, then so be it. I'd rather do that than take several steps back!  

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    • Posted

      I m in bed now. Really hope this is a virus.

      It has been 15 days on 75mg and been pretty good since I started till now.

      I have an 11 month old baby son and really need to feel better.

      Let me know how it goes tomorrow.

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    • Posted

      Wishing you better Sarah. Just take it easy!

      Just a suggestion but my friend is a real advocate of herbal teas. She got me into them and I make sure I have peppermint tea during the day and a mug of camomile tea every night before bed.

      It might be a placebo but it does seem to calm you down and relax you. Apparently it's a natural relaxant. Even the smell of it is soothing!

      I will let you know what my GP advises tomorrow when I see her.

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  • Posted

    Hi Bookworm,

    It sounds as if you've experienced a bit of a blip.

    I have been on 225 mgs of Venlafaxine since June 2016. I also take 30 mgs of Mirtazapine, and 50 mgs of Trazodone. I am almost off Pregabalin; I have tapered very slowly, and should be off it completely by the end of this month.

    I switched from Citalopram to Venlafaxine last June.

    I am on this hefty dose of medication because I experienced a long period of severe depression and extreme anxiety at the end of 2015. It was without question the worst time of my life, and i made two suicide attempts. I am no expert, but to me, it seems that I experienced a serious brain malfunction. I was unable to work, or to do any of the usual things of life. I would awake at 1 am every night. The insomnia was one of the worst aspects of this dreadful period.

    I eventually recovered.

    The initial switch from Citalopram to Venlafaxine was difficult; I lost the plot for a couple of weeks, but it was nothing like as difficult as the severe depression and anxiety I've already mentioned. I started on 150 mgs of Ven.

    After a couple of months on this dose, I felt I was backsliding, so I upped it to 225 mgs. My doc was happy for me to do this, but I cannot go up any further. I upped to 225 mgs last September.

    Since then, the Ven and Mirt combined has worked extremely well for me. I still experience anxiety, but it is manageable. I am able to work again, to see friends, to meet my responsibilities. I feel energetic, positive and motivated. I am a lifelong sufferer of severe anxiety - I am 53 - and the Ven has been quite a miracle-worker for me.

    I should add that I had no side-effects when I increased from 150 mgs to 225 mgs.

    Yes, I am on a lot of medication, but I genuinely feel I have no choice. Severe mental illness is a nightmare I have no wish to re-experience.

    Good luck!

     

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    • Posted

      Thank you Amanda! 

      I feel alot better this evening - I just hope I don't feel as rough tomorrow morning as I did this morning!

      If I can stay on 75mg a bit longer, I will  - I'm hoping it is just a blip! 

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  • Posted

    Blip is most likely. You can expect them over the next 3 months or so. You should only worry if a blip turns into a prolonged episode (more than a week) and your condition feels like it is progressively deteriorating or like you can't pull out of the low. So you know, after any blip you may feel not quite yourself for 3-5 days. You will be exhausted, maybe shaky etc. This is normal. x

    All the best.

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    • Posted

      By the way, 'blips' are actually quite useful for your recovery. Exposure to some of your abnormal anxiety responses on occasion in early therapy can serve as a wonderful opportunity for your brain to gain experience and rewire to normal function.

      While you are on drugs you have something of a safety net. So the blips tend to be short and milder than normal crises. Your brain gets a quick lesson and positive experience that it is a temporary unpleasentness, not a deadly threat and over time it learns to not overreact to normal stress and provide more balanced and natural anxiety responses without crumbling to bits. After several positive experiences you will have more confidence and then, in the future are far more likely to be able to cope even once the safety net is removed, i.e. when therapy is complete. When you are still in early therapy I know it doesn't feel like a blessing to have escalations. But in my experience, looking back, it was the perfect way to practice coping skills. That is what the medicine is for. It just forces more balance. the rest is up to you, the way you think and act and your brain wiring and rewiring accordingly. x 

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much Purpledobermann - that is very helpful and good to know!

      I went to see my GP this morning but wasn't in that long with her - maybe 2-3 mins?!

      She looked harrassed and I heard someone say that they were short staffed - it was chaos at Reception!

      She said it sounded like a blip/temporary anxiety flare up to her, seeing as I have been doing so well on Ven.

      She suggested I stay on the 75mg for the time being (I told her I slept better last night and felt better this morning when I woke up. Yesterday morning was horrendous!)

      She said, like you, that these blips are perfectly normal and usually last a few days, before you start to level again.

      She made an app for me to have another catch-up with her three weeks today. 

      She also asked if I had taken any Diazepam and I said no - that the previous two afternoons, I noticed I felt better my early-mid afternoon and didn't feel that I needed to take them. 

      All evidence at the moment, points to a blip - but I would certainly be ringing her before 3 weeks, if I felt like I was slipping back again and/or I felt rough for a week or more! X

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    • Posted

      Hi

      It sounds like it is a blip and purpledobermann says they are common.

      I think I have a virus but it is still unnerving me as I feel really quite low and overwhelmed. I m 17 days on 75mg and had been doing well. This is really throwing me.

      Really hope I feel better soon so I can know this is a virus and I can deal with it.

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    • Posted

      Hi Sarah,

      Hope you feel better soon.

      I remember when I increased my dose to 75mg, my GP said it can take a good 3 weeks or so before you start to feel any benefit from upping it. Hopefully, you will start to notice improvements in a week or so.

      Having a virus won't be helping either.

      How about trying some herbal tea? I think it does help, especially the peppermint and camomile varieties. X 

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    • Posted

      Any virus, even mild, will make an anxiety sufferer feel like they are worsening considerably. With a virus it may take a little longer than a couple of days. See how you feel over the next week. Take it easy and a big YES to chamomile tea with honey! smile x

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