Low Mood on Venlafaxine

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Hi everyone,

Wondering if anyone can help.

I've been on venlafaxine XL since 1st April. Started on 1st April on 75mg. Increased gradually under gp and psychiatrist care. Went to 150mg to 187.5mg and then on 9th July I went to 225mg. I've had the usual side effects at each increase i.e. Increased anxiety, headaches, exhaustion etc but that has all settled down. However, for the last couple of weeks I've been suffering on and off with very low mood. I keep trying to keep busy and distract myself but the negative, worthlessness feelings are always lingering.

From December to April I was very poorly with depression and anxiety and even ended up being hospitalised from Jan-March. When I started the venlafaxine in April I really turned a corner and whilst I was still having bad days, on the whole I was much better. I'm nowhere near as bad as I was before but the feelings over the last couple of weeks have scared me that it's all coming back.

I guess my question is has anybody felt similar to me on this drug? Should I have maybe stuck to 187.5mg as since going to 225mg I've felt my mood dip. Or have I not given the increase long enough to fully take effect?

Would really appreciate any thoughts. Thank you xx

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    Hey Clare

    I'm on venlafaxine and to be honest, I felt no benefit until I was up to 300mg. I'm now on 375mg and my mood is now beginning to lift.

    But you should definitely talk it over with your team as they should be able to help. I've also added in trazadone now at night. It's another anti depressant but also helps with sleep which can be a problem with venlafaxine.

    Good luck

    • Posted

      Thanks Lucy,

      Glad to hear your feeling a bit better as I know you were really struggling.

      I really thought I'd turned a corner but can feel myself slipping back down into the dark hole.

      My sleep was dreadful when I was really ill but has been much better! But not been as good past few nights.

      Feel like I'm on a bit of rollercoaster to be honest.

  • Posted

    Hi Clare,

    My guess is that you haven't really given it long enough for the increased dose to work yet - it takes 6 - 8 weeks before starting to take effect, you've been on hte increased dose only 3 - 4 weeks I think? I know it's had, but my advice would be to give it another 2 - 4 weeks before increasing again.

    Take care and good luck


    • Posted

      I will have been on the new dose 4 weeks on Sunday.

      I sort of feel worse on this higher dose?! I was doing ok on 187.5mg. Still the odd bad day but much better than I had been.

      When I saw the physiatrist on 3rd July she was lovely and really knew her stuff. She said she didn't understand why my GP had only increased me by 37.5mg when I'd been on the 150mg. She said they would always increase in 75mg so she put me up to 225mg which was only another 37.5mg jump so wouldn't have expected it to effect me by that much?!

      I'm also off work for the summer holidays and I struggle a lot with being out of routine. That could be effecting my mood.

      I'm still keeping myself busy and doing things with the kids who are 12 and 14 but everything just seems like an extra effort and I'm working twice as hard to keep a smile on my face.

  • Posted

    Hi Clare

    I am on venlafaxine 150mg and feel they are not working, i would give the 200mg at least 2 months to see if things improve, i think personelly think that venlafaxine isnt that strong and people are needing big doses to help them, i dont think they pack the punch that ssris do , i still feel down on 150mg any way hope you feel better soon.

  • Posted

    Hi,Clare, my depression was treated throughout for two and a half years on a maintenance dose of 75 mg I stayed well and only had "brain zaps" when I withdrew to 37.5mg for the month at the end These zaps went on over about 5 weeks but the low mood never returned! I am sorry I can't offer any more on this Patricia returned

  • Posted

    Hi Clare, I haven't been on here for a few weeks, I have been struggling a bit like you, I can have a really good day and think I've turned a corner, then the day after I either feel down or anxious, I have been on 187.5 for six weeks now and although I'm nowhere near as bad as I was I still don't feel right, I am still waiting to see a psychiatrist regarding medication,my GP thinks I need a mood stabilizer as I am very up and down , I have really been messed about because since October I have seen 3 different doctor's because the first 2 doctor's left the surgery I have had to repeat everything from the beginning 3x, I am on my 2nd week of therapy and I find it good to talk with other sufferers ,but I haven't learned anything I didn't already know, we seem to be very similar in our recovery so at least we know we're not on our own, it's just awful thinking that it's taking so long to get better, but I would rather be where I am now than a few months ago, so at least we know Venlafaxine is working albeit slowly, I don't think your going backwards I think it's just the old 3 steps forward 1 step back, hang on in there I'm sure things will get better, we're nearly there, best wishes Trina x


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