long term disabling side effects of venlaflaxine

Posted , 5 users are following.

I have been prescribed antidepressants over 10 years. The first was prozac (fluoxetine)and the i tried a few times to come off fluoxetine but the anxiety/depression returned and the last 3 years ive been taking venlaflaxine.

during the last 2 years i developed CONSTANY TINNITUS ,VERTIGO and NAUSEA(constant whoosing in my ears,room spinning when i turn my head and nausea).

this has made my life miserable!!!!!

i didnt associate this with the venlaflaxine and have been seen by audiology consultants with no cause found.

recently i developed chest pains resulting in a trip to A+E, luckily no cardiac cause.

something made me look up side effects of venlaflaxine and it was like someone turning on a light bulb in the dark!...it was all there including other symptoms i have like loss of libido, jitteriness,suicidal thoughts etc etc etc.

i couldnt believe i have been doing this to myself for so long!

i went to the g.p and i am weaning myself off them. this is supposed to be a reduction of every other day for a week, the following every 2 days and so on.

however the most recent symptoms have included vomiting/flu like symptoms....on top of everything else this was so bad i thought dying couldnt be much worse.

i am therefore 4 days "cold turkey"... i dont know what this will do in regards to any reccurring depression but frankley the VERTIGO,TINNITUS,NAUSEA is LESSENING to more tolerable levels....although i have new symptoms like nightmares/vivid dreams and my jitters are more pronounced....at present they are NOTHING compared to waht i have been suffering on the Venlaflaxine.

I am currently finding each day a challange but there is slight hope (i am also praying!!!) that this will get better and that i will be able "weather the storm"...i hope so as i am convinced that venlaflaxine has been very debilitating and toxic for me.

i am intrested to know if anyone else out there is experiencing or has experienced anything similar and would love to know how you got through the worst!

I also add to my wish list that doctors start listening to their patients rather than pharmaceticul companys regarding effects of medication.

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18 Replies

  • Posted

    It is an evil drug. I have at last come off it after a long weaning process. Good luck
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  • Posted

    Hi Lyndie, you have my sincere sympathy and hope that you are feeling a bit better today.

    Unfortunately very many drugs can do this to you. Basically all drugs are poison, some help us in the short term and some make us worse. It's a trial and error thing and depends on why we had to take it in the first place as to how long we stay on them and how effective they are. I have Tinnitus and other problems due to drugs that I have been prescribed in the past. I also wouldn't have taken some of them if I'd know that I was to be left with permanent problems.

    All you can do is bear with it and keep calm. Try and rest when you can, do something that makes you relax and feel as comfortable as possible.Things will improve but it is a hard, horrible thing weaning off a drug that your body has become used to.

    If you feel panicky try slow breathing, with your eyes closed if possible.I hope that your gp is being helpful and you have confidence in him/her. I would imagine that you will need to take something in it's place for a while at least. Make sure you ask lots of questions about long term use and safety etc;.

    You should be very proud of yourself, weaning off Venlaflaxine is not easy.

    My best wishes to you.

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  • Posted


    Thanks for your message,

    it just helps at present knowing that someone has gone through something similiar.

    im sort of coping day to day.

    The vertigo and tinnitus are still there as is the nausea but it feels like im experiencing them "under water" so with rest i can just about cope.

    Ive started getting anxiety jitters...you are right slow breathing helps. the last time ive breathed like this was during labour..21 years ago....just shows some things you dont forget.!!!

    im scared to go to my g.p as i feel i have lost confidence. i really really dont want to take ANY drugs if it can be helped bu.t i know i need to be able to function. i have a 3 week period in between jobs to "get myself sorted" but i dont know how realistic im being here...time will tell i suppose.

    thanks again for responding your comments have been really helpfull.

    all the best,


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  • Posted

    You are doing really well. Suggest you talk it all through with GP. They can't force you to take anything its your choice but I think your GP ought to know what is happening

    Take care

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  • Posted

    Hi Lyndie, you mention that you are scared to go to your gp, which is a great shame for you. Could you take someone with you to help keep you focused and calm. Is it a group practice? You could perhaps book in to see another gp, they're all different and some more sympathetic than others. You may find that changing to a different medication will be more helpful for you. Only a gp/consultant can decide that though.

    I know that it's not always possible and I absolutley hate going to mine, mainly due to the 'not bothering the doc' syndrome. The truth is it's their job and they really don't care whose coming through the door next, they plough through us all and get paid a great deal to help us through whatever it is we present to them.

    I assure you that you are definitley not alone. There will be many people reading your post who totally understand what you are going through. Worldwide there will be millions, all nodding in agreement.

    You mention childbirth, I'm with you there girl, been through it a few times myself...

    To be brutally honest three weeks won't be long enough to get you through all this. However three weeks is long enough to get a handle on it. To try to breathe through the worst bits and get used to how you are feeling. Us ladies have so much to cope with, mostly doing at least three things at once, all the time.

    Despite how you feel about the gp you must go back and explain how things are and what is happening with work etc; Make a list to take with you. Most doctors are only too pleased to see someone who refers to a list so they don't forget anything. They know that you will be feeling anxious and anxiety makes us forget things, usually the most important bits too.

    You owe it to your family to get the best help and care and to try yourself to get on top of how you are feeling. Anything that helps you feel calm is a good thing,a hot bath, a walk, listening to music, watching films, surfing the net! The list is endless. Lock me in a room with a good book and I'm in heaven.

    Life is a challenge, it's just that sometimes we're challenged a bit more than we'd like. My mantra has always been 'this too shall pass', as it always does, honest. I have taught myself after a lifetime of rubbish health and rubbish people, to appreciate the sun, a pretty garden, my little robin who lives in my hedge, my grandsons, my long suffering hubby, I have even been know to talk to the trees on occasion!

    Have you considered talking therapy. It's not for everyone but can be very helpful for receptive people. Your gp can refer you for Cognative Behavioural Therapy or a psychiatrist. It's OK to admit you need a bit of help now and again. We all need it sometime to sort ourselves out before we can step out into the world once again.

    Keep trying and keep well, take very good care of yourself, Fanny Jane.

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  • Posted

    Nicely said Fanny Jane
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  • Posted

    Hi mollysox,

    I know you are right.. im going to make an appointment to go and see a different g.p at the same practice.

    take care


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  • Posted

    Thank you Mollysox.

    Lyndie, good to hear you've made the decision to go and see a gp. Let us know how it goes.

    You are not alone in all this, thinking of you with all my fingers and toes crossed, Fanny Jane.

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  • Posted

    Hi mollysox and fannyjane,

    i hopr you are both well.

    just to update you:

    I have been to the gp and he is pleased that i have gone so long without venlaflaxine in my system.

    its now 15 days.

    i asked if i should take an alternative or a reduced dose to see me through and he is happy for me to go day to day without any which is excellent news for me.

    He believes i have sufferd the worst and that if i can manage my anxiety/jittery attacks without antidepressants as i seem to be doing so far (not that it isnt hard, because its about the hardest thing ive ever had to do) that this will benefit me more.

    im still getting constant nausea but its niggling rather than disabling like it was ON the venlaflaxine.

    My Tinnitus is MUCH reduced. its almost worth going through this all this to get some relief from a condition which has caused me so much over the last 2 years.

    I have told him that if i know things are likely to only improve over time rather than worsen that i want to do this.

    He has said to go back and see him if i have any problems and to tak this day to day/week to week.

    To help me cope:

    I keep telling myself that the anxiety attacks, which come with almost "flushes" are maybie good practice for when i go on the change and that my nausea means im coming out in sympathy with one of my step daughters who is currently pregnant with her fist baby.

    i can only hope for any positives that may result by not being on tham like weight reduction and return of my libido....we can but hope.

    all the best...lyndie

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  • Posted

    Well done, be proud of yourself.

    Take care

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  • Posted

    Hi Lyndie, I am so proud of you, you have been so strong and it seems like you are now able to go further without the use of medications. Your family must be so pleased for you and having a supportive GP makes a big difference as well.

    Many congratulations on the coming baby. I am also getting a new grandchild at the begining of February and we are all very excited as you must be also. Remember when you fell anxious try and slow right down if you can. Slowly count either out loud or in your head backwards from 20. At the same time breathe as slowly as you can. This will bring all the adrenaline surging through your body back under control.

    Best of luck to you. If you need to post anytime go ahead, I shall be thinking of you and hoping that you are progressing.

    We all go through bad patches in our lives and feel like we will never be the same again. Then one day the sun comes out and we realise that we can tackle whatever it is and life becomes bearable once more.

    Take very great care, keep positive and going forward, Fanny Jane.

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  • Posted

    i want to say a big thank you to mollysox and fannyjane for taking time out of what i am sure are vey busy lives to provide me with much needed support and advice at what is a very trying and difficult time for me.

    whilst i have a very loving and supportive husband it is nice to be able to talk things through and get an impartial opinion.

    i have never done anything like this before but have found the whole experience of the discussion forum has helped very much.

    i will keep you updated once in a while. if someone else reads what is discussed and is helped in any way then it will be worth it.

    i think the worst thing with coping with ANYTHING is feling that you are going through this alone.

    whilst we are all individuals its not much comfort to think so when you feel so rough or feel that no one is available for help or support.

    i hope this website continues as i am convinced it is providing a valuable resource and service.


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  • Posted

    Thank you Lyndie, I also have gained a lot from talking with you. I'm so very pleased we have had the chance to chat and hope that the future pans out well for you.

    My very best wishes, Fanny Jane.

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  • Posted

    Best wishes to you both


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  • Posted

    Why doctor prescribed such medicine that have long lasting troubles for the rest of our life. 1 problem go with million others to welcome in our body.
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