I'm sure taking Venlafaxine has made my life worse!

Posted , 8 users are following.

Where do I start! I have been taking Venlafaxine for about six years before which I was on Seroxat. I'm on 300 mg of V and am pretty sure it is causing me lots of problems ie. Loss of concentration, lack of sleep, dizzy spells, lethargy, brain fog, and it only adds to my depression, it certainly doesn't help it. I am desperate for help as my GP is useless and hasn't reviewed my meds in several years. I feel so stuck at the minute. Any advice or support would be great thanks. 

0 likes, 15 replies

15 Replies

  • Posted

    I was only on Venlafaxine for about 10 months and I found it didn't help much, I was on it for anxiety though. I decided to come off it as I couldn't bear the side effects anymore. I was constantly tired, no energy or motivation, bad headaches, night sweats were horrendous, dizziness and fogginess. Maybe u could try a different doctor, sounds like u need a different medication x
    • Posted

      Hi Gilleybean.

      ,i have been on Venlafaxine 75mg daily for 2weeks and am finding the side effects quite hard to tolerate, same sort of side effects that you mention, I am on it for anxiety and depression, my Dr said I have not given it enough time, but having tried several antidepressants and not getting any benefits,, I am wondering if this one is going to work either,

      surely you should start to feel some benefit, even after 2weeks.I do not want to get too far into it if it is not going to work. Did you come it ok

      Have you tried another antidepressant

      Take Care


    • Posted

      Hi Patricia, the docs say it takes a couple of weeks to take effect but maybe takes longer for some people? I put up with the side effects as it did help me get out and about, but eventually I decided the side effects werent worth it, I had them everyday for the whole time I was on it. I thought I would try without medication to see if I really needed it, so I was going to taper off them slowly but when I skipped a dose I actually slept a day and missed another one, I read a lot about Venlafaxine and decided I didn't want to put it back in my body and just didn't take anymore! The withdrawal was quite bad, I felt awful for a few weeks, but now ive been off it for 8 weeks and would never take it again. Unfortunately I do need medication and have started taking propranolol with no side effects at all. In the past I have taken citalopram and that was the best one ive found. Everyone is different though and what works for one person might not work for another. 
    • Posted

      i was put on it for GAD, Anxiety and Fibromyalgia, I think I have a very low tolerance to Antidepression I do not think I could tolerate the side effects indefinitely, Fibromyalgia already gives me a foggy head and bad balance, and a load of pain and this Med makes that all the worse, I am going to discuss it tomorrow with my Psychiatrist,

      i have already tried several Antidepressants had all the side effects but none of the benefits, thought this one might work.

      i was on Citalopram for 10 years and it stopped working but it was great  and never had any side effects, 

      My husband had a stroke in August and the worry of it sent my  already existing Anxiety through the roof,had taken myself off all Antidepressants by then,except for Zopiclone and Lorazepam, Psychiatrist said I needed relaxation, fat chance if that.

      Decided I would try this Venlafaxine, If this does not work I am not going to try anymore.

      i used to take propranolol, but was switched to atenolol when I had a heart scare, through high Blood Pressure.

      Hope you get on ok 

      best Wishes



    • Posted

      I had the same experience with citalopram, it worked great for 5 years, my panic attacks disappeared and my life was back to normal, I came off them and things were great for about a year then my anxiety came back, unfortunately this time the citalopram didnt have the same effect as before so have tried a few different medications but nothing seems to work aswell as the citalopram used to! Im sorry to hear about ur husband and can imagine that it must be impossible to relax especially when u suffer from anxiety anyway! Maybe ur psychiatrist will be able to advise u on the Venlafaxine, there is a chance that maybe even after 2 weeks it still hasn't started to take effect, i would think that u would be advised to stay on it a bit longer to give it a chance. Take care, Gill
  • Posted

    HI Gail

    I would tapper off slowly and while tappering look and ask around for alternatives.

    I was on venlaflaxine 300mg daily for about 10 yrs and tappered off I found that I no longer needed any depression meds... sometimes we take these meds and don't think...hey maybe I got over what was depressing me....if not look for some other ways perhaps natural meds like st. johns wart...but I don't believe that anti depressants should be taken in large doses for long periods of time...

  • Posted

    Hello gail777, you are spot on about the brain fog etc this was one of the reasons I decided to come off vf. Vf doesn't help your emotions it just suppresses them. The fact your gp is no empathic to your situation does not help at all. Time to find a new gp or get a second opinion from a different Dr, my gp is helping me but I know she seems to like prescribing vf, but I stood my ground with her. As you have been on such a high dose be aware it will take time and patience to get off vf. One other thing to be aware of is when that brain fog starts to go it may feel euphoric for a short time but beware if you have a long standing condition that may also start to appear, so be prepared to have to start a new antidepressant and that can be a hit and miss until you find a better substitute mine appears to be sertraline. Please keep us posted. One thing I forgot to mention I started to take cod liver oil capsules about halfway through quitting vf and this may have helped with withdrawal and certainly it does benefit the brain. Look forward to hearing from you soon
  • Posted

    thank you very much for your replies, it really helps talking to people who have experienced Vf themselves. Something else I have noticed is that I can be extremely depressed for weeks at a time and then I seem to come out of it and I think that I'm over the worst. I  can feel really good for a week or so and then the depression hits again and I'm back where I started. It's really frustrating. Anyone else experienced this? I need to find another GP who has more understanding of these meds. 
  • Posted

    I have been on venlafaxine 150mg for 6 weeks and have not yet had any benefit from it. I havr not been able to sleep more than an hour a night. I have lost my appetite and am surviving on yoghurt and a banana.  

    Doctor will mot change medication and says that it will get better.

    Anyone else have these side effects? 

    • Posted

      If you want off then dont back down hun..this is nasty if you dont need it an hav to go thru side effects
  • Posted

    The lack of sleep won't improve I can tell you! I used to sleep a solid eight hours until I started taking Vlf. I sleep 2 hours at the most, then I wake up and have to read or something, then I try to go back to sleep, but I have to be feeling extremely tired to get off to sleep! I'm exhausted most days and sleep in the daytime if I can - again, two hours then I wake up. My GP gave me a sleeping tablet for a short period which was wonderful, a good nights sleep, but he can't give me it all the time. 

    Your appetite may improve, I found at first I wasn't hungry but then it went back to normal. I wish I could survive on a banana 

  • Posted

    oops, posted it before I had finished 😀 I wish I could survive on a banana and yogurt, I could do with losing some weight. 
    • Posted

      I have been put om sleeping tablets for 10 days but only getting 4 hours sleep on them. I have lost a stone in weight due to lack of appetite in the last 3 weeks. 

      This is weight I put on when taking  olanzapine. But this is not the healthy way to lose weight as I have no energy. 

  • Posted

    Hi Gail,

    I have been on venlafaxine for about 8 years. I take 337.5 mg daily and I sleep really well.  The trick is to keep busy and keep your mind occupied during the day.  Even when I'm feeling lethargic i involve myself in a project that keeps me motivated ie decorating, gardening. I have dizzy spells, blurred vision, sweating, tiredness, headaches but I would rather live with these than come off my meds, which scares the life out of me. I think everyone has their own story on venlafaxine and you need to weigh up the pros and cons to decide what you need to do to live the best way you can

    • Posted

      I have now been on venlafaxine 150mg for 15 weeks. I was put on mirtazapine 15mg 4 weeks ago to try and help with the sleeping problem. I had been working full time during this period.

      At the weekend it all came to a head. I overdosed and ended up in hospital. I could not deal with the sleep deprivation ad have a "normal working life".

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the community to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the community are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the community is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.