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

    Hi All,

    Hope everybody is doing ok this week.

    I started to feel great from about Wed and the last few days have been brilliant - felt more relaxed; sleeping well; eating well etc.

    But today, I'm definately feeling a bit flat and tearful - I've caught this laryngitis bug from my Husband who had it last week, so that probably isn't helping. Add to that, the fact that I'm 47, perimenopausal and my last period was in October (my period would have been due around now) that would probably explain why I burst into tears this morning when a friend told me is pregnant!  

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    • Posted

      Just goes to show that these drugs do not take away our ability to have moodswings in various ranges and shades! Sounds like a mix between being ill, tense and hormonal. Soup of things. Hang in there! Nothing a bit of chocolate won't temporarily ease? Even for just a minute or two smile I mean...that's how i solve most my problems nowadays - sharing here in case it helps anyone smile

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    • Posted

      Hi Bookworm and Purpledobermann,

      I agree with Purpledobermann. The drugs don't take away mood swings, although they make them easier to manage.The problem for me, when I feel I am getting overwhelmed, is the fear that the suicidal depression + severe anxiety will return.

      My pattern is to get very anxious when a number of stressors hit me, often after building up for some time. If it goes on for too long, I dip into depression.

      I do a lot of self-talk + rationalising my problems. I find this really helps. Also physical exercise and mindfulness. Also being with supportive friends. Also nature.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Amanda - I think I will go out for a half hour walk now and do what you suggested. As I say, I had a bit of a blip for a couple of days a week ago, but since then, I have been great! X

       

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    • Posted

      Just got back from my walk. Feeling a bit better.

      Just hate it when I feel tearful and flat like that!

      My GP gave me a supply of Diazepam but I haven't taken any since the end of November. X

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    • Posted

      I think that once you gather up some positive experiences, you will see it is ok to sometimes feel tearful and flat. That it is inevitable. But that it doesn't mean you are going backwards. That there are good and bad days and that this is normal. You will assign less weight to these moments over time. And feel better able to cope. You are actively trying to do something about it all so it sure sounds all positive to me! x

       

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your kind words!

      My GP said exactly the same to me last week at our catch-up. She said "You will have good days and bad days and that is perfectly normal."

      I just hate the way that I can feel great one day (yesterday) and then today, I felt flat and rather blue. It's like a light switch being flicked! X

       

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    • Posted

      Hi there! I've been doing much better, thanks.

      I felt a bit flat at the beginning of the week (but not anxious) for the the first couple of days, but I noticed from about 2pm, I started to feel much better about things generally.

      I've been making sure I get out every day for a brisk walk and I think that this has been helping too.

      I'm also trying to do more of my CBT/mindfulness training every day, whilst drinking more Camomile and Peppermint tea!

      How are things with you?

       

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    • Posted

      Pretty good. Just on day 12 now, but have noticed some positive things.Still get my moments of "almost panic" but the go away. Only thing bothering me now is my blood pressure. It's gone up some since I started this med

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    • Posted

      Maybe your BP is up a bit due to the anxiety?

      Just keep tabs on it and maybe mention it to your GP when you next see him/her?

      Anxiety and stress can do very funny things!

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  • Posted

    How is everyone doing today?

    I am not having such a great day - I keep bursting into tears and feeling down.

    I think it could well be my hormones, as my period arrived on Friday (this is the first period I have had for 3 months - I'm 47 and def in perimenopause.)

    Any kind words or positive encouragement would be very welcome! 

    I am still on 75mg of Ven, once a day and have my next catch-up with my GP a week on Wednesday. It is almost 8 weeks since I started on the 75mg dose.

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    • Posted

      Hormone shifts do not help at all. It could just be that. But has something else happenned in the last couple of days that may have made you more exposed? Lack of sleep, added stress, illness or anything?
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    • Posted

      My Husband is going to be late home tonight from work and I often get worked up about that - I know it sounds stupid!

      I rang my GP this morning as I felt really anxious and had pins & needles in my hands. I was due to get a call back from her but the receptionist rang to say she had a cancellation and I could see her.

      Just got back - she said she thinks it is partly anxiety from my Husband and partly my hormones.

      She has told me to take a Diazepam if I don't feel better and that if it is transient, I should start to feel better in the next couple of days.

      If I don't, I've to ring her on Thurs and she will leave me a prescription for 150mg of Ven (I'm currently on 75mg and have been for almost 8 weeks) as it could be that I need to increase the dose.

      I didn't eat much for my lunch yesterday but I ate all my dinner and I slept well last night.

      I was hoping it is just a hormone related blip! I

      normally wait till about 3pm to see if I feel better before thinking about taking a Diazepam. I might give it the 3 more hrs and then take it if I don't feel any calmer.

       

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    • Posted

      It does not sound stupid. At its peak my anxiety used to present forcefully whenever my partner would be inaccessible (late night or away on business) or if i had to go places where i could not get immediate help if something happenned. It escalated pretty badly. I never really wanted to be dependant, and looked forward to my own time, but knowing they can't get to me or would be delayed in case of an emergency used to really set me off. It took a while for that to subside and to this day i still get a little uncomfortable when 'alone' or when travelling/being in places that are far out (highways, countryside etc).

      It likely stems from the original trauma that caused your underlying anxiety. For instance, mine was my mother suddenly suffering a life-threatening episode while i was away for the weekend back when I was about 9 years old. It caused my anxiety to brew over not having access to her (i was not there to help and in turn she got sick and could not take care of me) as well as identification with her predicament of being in trouble without immediate help and her transit to a hospital being delayed. Always was anxious but my various therapists and psychoanalyst over the years listed this as one of my key triggers. Don't know if this helps you identify any of your original triggers or trauma.

      Perimenopause is notorious for anxiety and depression escalation anyway so that certainly is adding fuel to the fire.

      I think this episode is likely to be transient. But if it gets protracted, 150mg will not be a bad choice as this is where you reap the most benefits of venlafaxine anyway.

      The fact that you slept well is imporgtant. If it were an actual worsening you likely would have some sleep problems along with it.

      Let us know. x

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    • Posted

      Thank you SO much for your kind and supportive words!

      I started to feel a little calmer about half an hour ago, so I will hold off on the Diazepam till 3pm and if I still feel like this, I won't take it.

      Yesterday, I remember I didn't feel better til alot later in the day than this - my two sons got home from school at 3.30pm and I still wasn't myself. It wasn't until about 5pm that I started to feel a bit calmer.

      Hopefully, this is a positive sign today!

      Yes, I did sleep well - woke up at 5am and struggled to get back to sleep, but I lay and did breathing exercises, 

      Hope you are doing ok and thank you again X

       

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    • Posted

      nothing to thank for.

      Don't worry too much about your diazepam. if needed take it and do not consider yourself a failure or beat yourself up over it. Some days we can benefit from falling back on the crutch a little so that next day we are more even and stronger. Requiring an occasional Diazepam is not a sign of failure early on in therapy by the way. It is a blessing that we have access to medication that can help us regroup, stay level and set the right tone for further improvement

      Keep well and positive. Small feats you accomplish each day will add up and over time you will overcome a lot. x

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    • Posted

      Hi Purpledobermann,

      Hope you are ok and thanks for asking me.

      After seeing my GP last Tues, I def improved and started to feel better. Have had a really good few days but not feeling great today - but I know why!

      We are going down to my inlaws this Fri for four nights and I am dreading it! My SiL is going to be there and she is hateful!

      I have never done anything to her but she makes it obvious she doesn't like me and goes out of her way to be rude.

      I had the trip on my mind when I woke up this morning and had pins and needles in my hand briefly about an hour ago.

      I am having my next catchup with my GP this Wed morning. I will see how I go till about 3pm this afternoon, before deciding whether to take a diazepam or not. Any words of advice or encouragement would be really welcome please! X

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    • Posted

      Haha nothing like the extended family that doesn't quite fit to ruffle our feathers. Well...make a plan to really throw your SIL off guard by not engaging too much and smiling gently at anything she says or does that you dislike. it really annoys people. Have fun with it.

      If  were you I would take a low dose diazepam on the day of the trip. Meanwhile, sounds like you are doing ok actually. You may become more tense as the trip draws near but this is normal anticipation for something you are not looking forward to. Is there anything you do enjoy there that you can look forward to?

      Perhaps you could use some diversion smile Like plotting the coolest way you can handle SIL while doing chores or something or practicing facial expressions in front of the mirror. Look for humor in the situation. That's my only advice. If all fails you can practice ignoring her while you are there I guess? Brainstorming smile

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    • Posted

      Hi Purpledobermann,

      Are you there? I am feeling awful this morning. Couldn't eat my dinner last night and didn't sleep. Was wretching and shaking when I got up. I took a Diazepam 50 mins ago. I am due to see my GP for a catchup tomorrow morning but I think I will have to ring her this morning. Do you think I might need to increase from 75mg?

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    • Posted

      I know exactly how you feel. Don't miss it sad Well, your GP will probably advise increasing since you have been on 75 for over two months now . And if they do, it will not so much be for the ups and downs you are describing, but your fear of them. It is this fear and apprehension that are both a symptom of the condition, but also a cause for further worsening. 

      The drug's job is to even you out so you can start figuring out solutions, regaining perspective and building trust and self-reliance. So if it is established that you are not nearing a more conductive state of mind, yes they may need to bump you up a bit more to see if things will improve.

      Was your partner home last night or working late?

      Did diazepam help a bit or not at all?

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    • Posted

      My partner was home last night, yes. I just took the one Diazepam (2mg) and I think it has helped a little. Went into my GP surgery but got the one horrible receptionist that works there. Was told my GP has no apps but she would ask her to ring me. I am due to see her tomorrow morning for another catch-up. I hate feeling like this. X
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    • Posted

      Hi Purpledobermann,

      My GP rang me an hour ago and we had a chat.

      She recommended that I increase my dose from the 75mg to 150mg, which is what I am doing. She advised me to take another 75mg which I have done, so I have had my first 150mg today.

      I'm collecting my new prescription tomorrow and am seeing her for my next catch up tomorrow morning at 9.30am.

      I just wondered what you and others experiences were, going from 75mg to 150mg? How long does the increase take to kick in roughly and did you have any side effects?

      Thanks! X 

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    • Posted

      ok. ideally, you would be taking 75mg extended release and one 75 regular release for a few days to ease your brain into it (shorter half-life bursts). However this may not be how all doctors approach it. my psychiatris was very big on easing patients onto new dosages either by smaller increments or mixing extended and immediate release for the first few days - in my case he did both smile

      When you double-up to 150 you can likely expect some initial headache and possibly some transient sleep disturbances. You should not at this point notice massive worsening of your original symptoms and if you do you need to contact your doctor. Blood pressure should be monitored. And hopefully your liver enzymes were checked before starting treatment. if not, this would be a good time to have a blood test for liver function.

      The benefits of 150 mg in your case should be fairly swift as you have already been primed for it on 75mg. I would expect your adjustment to last about a week or two maximum and then benefits in small increments from that point on. To evaluate the efficacy you will likely be examined about 3-4 weeks from starting 150mg unless and problems surface.

      Best of luck.

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    • Posted

      Hi Purpledobermann,

      How are you?

      I'm doing great thank you - day 10 of 150mg and it is def helping. I feel calmer and am sleeping well and eating great. Long may it continue!

      Still practicing my CBT and breathing exercises as I don't want to feel I am totally relying on Ven.

      Visit to in-laws and SIL was tiring but I felt more able to cope with her! X

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