Just got prescribes Venlafaxine, scared to take it.

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I was just prescribed Venlafaxine 37.5mg by my doctor for anxiety and depression. I have only taken it for 2 days and now I'm thinking I'm going to stop before I get myself in too deep. I have read everywhere online that the withdrawal symptons from this drug are not worth the benefits and I do not want to be stuck taking medication for the rest of my life. I have tried Celexa and Lexapro in the past and neither one of those have worked for me. Does anyone have any suggestions of what I should try instead of Effexor? Or should I give it a try even knowing the horror stories of withdrawing from it? I called my doctor about it and told him I'm basically scared to start this medication and he told me every antidepressant is going to have withdrawal symptoms but Effexor seems to have way worse symptons than most, at least from what I've read online. Does anyone have advice about where to go from here? Thank you.

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  • Posted

    I m in the same boat.

    Don t want to go on something that could make me worse. I am on 10mg of citalopram.....having been up to 40mg.....it made me worse over 5 months.

    I m on mirtazapine as well and diazepam. So already got some withdrawals to go through.

    I ve heard really good things about ven.

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  • Posted

    Hello there I've been on it for many years see my other posts I am on 185mg a day and as of today I'm on 150 a day I'm desperate to get off this drug the side effects I have are awfull I can't wait to be off them. If I can !!! Good luck. God bless Michael

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  • Edited

    Hi there

    I started a discussion board regarding Ven about 6/8 months ago and have been overwhelmed with negative feedback about this awful drug.

    I suffer with depression and anxiety and was prescribed Ven 12 months ago but it made feel worse then ever. It also gave me the worst side effects, im so glad I came off it. If you can see your doctor and try something else.



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  • Posted

    Hi. Read through some of the posts in this group for more first-hand info.

    I was on Effexor XR 150mg for 6 years followed by a 2 year taper. No issues coming off. This came after being on it for about 4 years at inadequate doses and stopping it speedily twice. The rebounds were awful. What made a difference was a slow, slower than slow, taper after a full treatment. Patience and dedication required. No issues coming off that way. No rebounds.

    I am Effexor and symptom free for the last 4 years. My condition was severe GAD. I have a clean bill of health now.

    If you stick with it and it works for you, then do yourself a favour and do it the right way. Get a psychiatrist to follow you and not a GP. Take it as long as needed - minimum 4 years therapy for anxiety/panic disorder. Then taper by 37.5 no faster than every three months. If any disturbances come as you begin to withdraw, wait for 3 months from the time you are symptom free to move on to the next drop.

    Best of luck.

    Escitalopram is an ok alternative. But SNRI's are awesome for anxiety. I may be biased because of my great results with Effexor smile

    I see you tried other milder drugs. How long did you give them before deciding they were not working?

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  • Posted


    i was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety in 2009 and tried lots of different medication and eventually tried Venlafaxine. It was the only one that worked. It took a few months to take effect. I started off at 37.5mg, gradually increasing to 300mg and then stabilising at 225mg for approx 5 years. In the beginning I had bad side effects such as insomnia, bad, vivid dreams and nausea but it eventually stabilised as my body got used to it. I can honestly say that it was the best thing I ever took to help my depression and mood and it totally saved my life. I can not fault it for that.

    however, once i stabilised and actually felt like living and wanted to feel normal emotions I.e. Not living in "happy, clappy  land" the withdrawal was hell. But I'm 3 months down the road and feel "normal".

    i think the overriding thing you need to consider is your mental health. Do you want to be "well" and stable, or do you want to minimise side effects? If someone had asked me 6 years ago what I wanted my answer would have been to feel less suicidal, and venlafaxine was the only one that worked. But now, because I am in a better place mentally, I can cope with the sadness (occasionally) but not cope with the venlafaxine. 

    I want to live. I want to feel things. And I want to experience the highs and the lows. As a normal person would. I don't want to be falsely stable.

    i know this probably doesn't make much sense, but it's how I feel.

    venlafaxine saved my life. It was the only drug that did. I tried loads, believe me. And it was the only one that worked.

    its a choice and it depends on your priorities. Feel better, potentially, or minimise side effects.

    hope that helps,



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  • Posted

    I think you should try it. I'm fixing to see my psychiatrist (Tx. USA)& probably get on it. Iv tried Sertraline (mentally helped after 5 wks but physically so ill it was toxicity) then Lexapro (nothing mentally, gained wt, sleepy ALL the time!) Then Cymbalta . I have fibromyalgia an herniated disk. So the reduction in pain was surprisingly nice but mentally was crying all time an blood pressure went up an I dont have high b/p usually (48 yrs old wt 122) so that was kinda scary. Like 177/92!! I dont think so! So stopped after 7 wks was on 60mg. Now I had heard an read about Cymbalta withdrawal syndrom (it is real). For 2 months was dizzy, headaches (level 6-7) an body aches but took ibuprofen an tylenol an got thru it. With the other 2 same thing but not as bad or as long. Then tried Wellbutrin. No way! Was mad all time. Yellin. Bad mood. Took only 9 days! No real withdrawls. So now not sure what to try except Venaflaxine keeps popping up in conversation an in wierd ways. So Im thinkin heck Iv tried 4 meds an none worked so wont hurt. What if it IS the drug for me or you? Wobt know till you try it. It takes 4-6 to tell. Some shorter some longer. Everyone diff. But if you go into it with super negativity then it might be a prob. So really up to you. I hope you find relief somehow. This all sucks. Why do some not get this an some do? Im dx with depressed an GAD. Also started menopause in 2014 an going thru Tramadol PAWS (look it up. Its aweful. I took Tramadol for 8 yrs an was on to many so had to go to detox facility for 5 days. Then put on Sertraline. Tramadol increases Seratonin an norepinephrine in brain so has antidepressant qualities an for pain) So goin thru all that at same time. An our daughter passed in 2000 so was using Tramadol to cover up my depression. So I say give it a try at low dose for awhile an work up if needed. I have decided thats what Im going to try. I have to do something. My relationships are suffering because of my moods. Goodluck to you. An remember. Alot of horror stories but it might not be that way for you. Some have good stories about it.

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