On venlafaxine for 10 months

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I've been on here many times over the past year but am STILL struggling. Been on Venlafaxine since last July and increased gradually up to 225mg back in December . Although there's lots of people commenting about its affects/success/side effects. I've never seen anyone describing what I've been experiencing, which is periods of stability and feeling settled and like myself but then every few weeks I crash and the lows are getting worse and worse-debilitating/distressing type, can't function lows. These lows are getting worse and feel like I'm relapsing but I've also experienced stable periods. I've had a couple of times where I've felt hyper. As I say I've been on it a year but moods are all over the place and scarily unpredictable. I just wanted to know if anyone here had experienced the same? Thanks

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  • Posted

    only if i miss out doses. Do you take it at regular times each day? Also you might find modified release tablets help avoid dips. My area no longer prescribes these due to cost, but I felt more stable on them especially at higher doses. Hope things settle down for you x

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for replying to me x

      I'm trying to take it at regular times...doesn't seem to matter what I do or whether I have stressful things on, every month (or 2 weeks this time) I crash back down and the lows are terrifying me as they're getting more severe...really at a loss and seeing a psychiatrist an IMPOSSIBILTY!!

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  • Posted

    hello, ive probably messaged you before. ive been on ven for 1 year. i also got sort of settled on the higher doses, but then relapsed. the difference being after a few weeks of relapsing, i would increase my dose by 37.5mg myself, then let my pysc know afterwards. each time i did it, i would get better for a month or 2, then relapse and increase again. after each increase i would get better, but never good. i got up to 337.5mg of ven. i read and research everything i can find on the internet about ven and depression. i was very aware of having a small amount of mirtazapine added, is very successfull. google california rocket fuel. a couple of studies i looked at, came to the conclusion that this combination is the most effective anti depressant. last time i saw my pysc, i asked for it. hes quite conservative, and he said no, i didnt need it, if i got worse, then he would recommend adding an anti pyschotic. ive done lots of research, and knew adding mirt to ven would be more successful. pyscs and drs dont really know the ins and outs of the medications they prescribe, as they dont need to. some are aware of rhe success if combining anti depressants, most are not. he didnt like the idea of too many variables. i told him i would do it myself, he wouldnt budge, but he did note it in his assessment. fortunately, my gp read it, and said i can do that for you, and he did. he added 15mg if mirt, and reduced my ven to 300mg. i with knew i needed to drop ven by a bit more, so dropped the ven to 267.5mg. it started working the next day. i could feel very small improvements each day for a few weeks. its well kniwn for working quickly. i tinkered with the doses, but found going above 15mg if mirt, ie 22.5mg, was no good, as it made me too anxious, so wemt straight back to 15mg, which ive been in for 8 weeks now. i did try lowering ven to 225mg, but my mood dropped. so went back up to 267.5mg of ven. 267.5mg of ven and 15mg of mirt, is in fact the best dose for me. i tinkered, just to make sure i got it spot in. its made such a big difference. i think and function much more normally, than any other anti dep. the addition of mirt, makes me sleep better, i feel less anxious, and most importantly, i can choose what i think about, as the obtrusive thoughts stopped. ive looked into this further, and believe i know why it works so much better, than either ven or mirt on their own. its actually quite straightforward working out the doses, basically, you cant add more than 15mg of mirt to a ven dose, as chances are, you will get too anxious and possibly aggressive and irritable. ask your pysc or dr about it. knowing how ven and mirt work, made me realise i was very unlikely to get better on ven alone, as at higher doses, its too stimulating, so the anxiety never goes away, which puts you back into depression.

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    • Posted

      hi Nigel, yes I have deffo spoken to you before so thank you for always responding! X Yep already on mirtazapine, 15mg which is great for helping with sleep (been on it for a year) Just don't understand it.I had a happy, stable period of 12 years where I was working, socialising and enjoying life (was on 40mg of citalopram [SSRI]for years and years) but this stopped working a year ago. Now I can't decide whether venlafaxine is right for me or not because my recovery is just not lasting...wondering if its maybe not the drug for me but seems like it's hell to get off of and who knows if another SSRI type would work - really scary times. GPs don't understand enough about it and the mental health provision in my area is appalling; 14 months on and I STILL can't see a Psychiatrist. Just feel like people like us have been abandoned and end up self diagnosing which could be dangerous...but what other option do we have?😫😔

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    • Posted

      what you have currently is a partial recovery. you are stuck in limbo. your meds are working, they just arent quite enough. they keep bringing you out of depression, but when you come out of depression, you go into anxiety. if you dont manage to get your anxiety down, and its sustained, then after a while you go back into depression. when you are in depression, your anxiety comes down, and after a while, as your anxiety is lower, and your meds are doing their job, they bring you back out of depression, into anxiety again, and the cycle repeats itself. with a full recovery, you come out of depression, into anxiety, but either the meds are sufficient, or things change in your life, and your anxiety gradually drops, then you recover. you could try increasing ven, as the max dose is 375mg, and see if that does the job. sometimes it will for a long period, or the cycle repeats itself. an alternative to increasing ven, would be to have a low dose anti pyscotic added, to help your anti depressants work better. usually, when ven and mirt arent enough, going back to a ssri doesnt work. i dont think you should increase mirt, as above 15mg, it tends to make you worse. i would try an increase in ven, to see if that works, and try self help stuff, to get your anxiety down.

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  • Posted

    225mg of ven and 15mg of mirtazapine is probably the most common dose to take. these two anti deps compliment each other very well, as they work differently. theres a synergy between the 2, where the benefit of taking both, is more successfull than either of them on their own. combining different anti deps is becoming more popular, for the same reasons. a larger dose of ven with a smaller dose of mirt, is the most successful combination.

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    • Posted

      hi, I'm currently on 30mg of mirt for anxiety but they just take the edge off it and make me feel spaced out. Have now been prescribed 75mg of ven for 1 week to increase to 150mg. I'm really scared to take it after horrendous side effects from citalopram and sertraline (heightened anxiety so much so I was climbing g the walls). I notice you suggest only taking 15mg of mirt with ven. I would really appreciate and advice or tips about expected side effects

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    • Posted

      hello, I've since gone up to 30mg mirt, with 225mg of ven. I've been doing good on that, but last 4 weeks, I have dropped ven to 187.5mg, and have felt better. I did this as although not depressed, I was getting very tense. It worked reasonably quickly and I feel less tense. I intend to reduce ven to 150mg in a few weeks time. reason I want to do this is ven works on serotonin up to 150mg, above 150mg, the serotonin effect remains the same, but norepinephrine starts working. I believe too much of norepinephrine effect, was causing my anxiety/tension to be higher. as long as you dont go above 150mg of ven, your 30mg of mirt should be fine. your anxiety may increase as you start ven and increase it, but it should drop eventually. I now see/believe 30mg of mirt, and 150mg of ven, being the ideal dose for myself, which is also the dose you will get to. from my experience, think it's a good idea for yourself.

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  • Posted

    HI, I am sorry you are feeling this way. I was on 300 mg for 15 years my doctor stopped me cold turkey. IT almost killed me. I ALMOST HAD A BREAKDOWN NOT TO MENTION THE HEALTH PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH It. I WAS VERY SICK FOR A YEAR. whatever you do dont stop cold turkey talk to your doctor. i am sorry I CANT OFFER ANY HELP.

    best of luck yo you!

    DENISE

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    • Posted

      Ohhh don't worry there's no way I'm just gonna stop it, I've read it's like the same as coming off heroin!!! Have some good spells but then terrifying lows and they last between a week and a fortnight....honestly don't know whether this is the best I'm gonna get now though. Terrified to try another AD if it means coming off Venlafaxine and going through major withdrawal to try something else which might not even work!! 😫😫 Thanks Denise for caring! x

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  • Posted

    Anya nigel has helped me so much with all his knowledge. I really struggled last week and they ended up upping my dose of ven too 300 I do feel a lot better than last week I felt a difference within 4 days. But I am contacting my doctor on Tuesday. (its closed tomorrow bank hol) too see if they will put me down again with ven but add mitrazapine 7.5mg or 15mg. Nigel has been spot on with every other advice hes gave me he knows his stuff.

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  • Posted

    I had a small dose of olanzapine added for a while (but that was abt 15years ago) I found it really helped x

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    • Posted

      thanks for that info, its an anti pyschotic, low doses are supposed to help anti depressants. havent come across much about them, good to know they work.

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    • Posted

      Much better thanks. Been taking various anti-depressants for 20 years. Was stable and on a lower dose for a long time then had a relapse 2 or 3 years ago and dose went back up again. But in general things much better, I just have to remember not to overdo things (especially at work) so that I keep everything in balance. I am much better now at recognising when I am in danger of spiralling and have a good support system so I am very lucky! Hope you are doing okay Karen xx

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    • Posted

      yes cabunny! i also found olanzapine helpful. iwas prescribed it to help me through a horrible experience with trying to start citalopram. im now starting a low dose of effexor/wellbutrin and 5mg of olanzapine and it helps me sleep. Dx plans to take me off the olanzapine once i adjust to therapeutic doses of the effexor/wellbutrin

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    • Posted

      I'm doing ok have been bothered with this for 16 years. I go through periods of doing well. then I have a dip again I just get myself in a rite state crying all the time. periods of very angry and irritable with people and I'm not like that at all. I get on well with everyone. the doctors took me off mitrazapine because of the weight gain last year and it must of been done far too fast I ended up in a terrible state almost like a break down completely was off work for about 6 weeks and never been off work before normally just pull myself through. I'm on venlafaxine like you too and I go through periods where I'm well for months n months. But I have seriously noticed I cant drink now any alcohol it has a major affects the next few days are horrendous on me. very nervous very low moods cannot think clearly. I have changed my whole lifestyle but I think its something that's going too bother me rest of my life. I wish something would take this away is tiring fighting it all the time it drains the life out me.

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