Serious side effects with Venlafaxine

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I was prescribed Venlafaxine on Friday - 37.5mg twice daily - the first night was wonderful, slept like a log after 4 nights with no sleep at all. Awoke the next morning feeling good, took my morning tablet and it all went downhill from there really. Yesterday I felt out of it all day, had to get my son to drive me to the supermarket as I didn't feel safe driving. Then last night I woke up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat, panicky, racing heart, trembling etc. I almost asked my son to take me to A&E I felt that bad. This morning I was still just as bad, felt almost psychotic, no appetite or thirst, sweaty, shaking from head to toe, extremely nervous and agitated but zoned out at the same time. I didn't take my morning tablet and I phoned the doctor, just waiting for a call back now, but I've been on the sofa all day drifting in and out of fitful sleep, keep getting brain zaps and body jerks. I can't take this, and I've been told these side effects can last weeks! Any help or advice please? 

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  • Posted

    You need to explain what's been happening to the doctor and take his advice. I don't know enough to say whether what you are experiencing is side effects, and how long they might last. It can take 4-6 weeks for the full therapeutic effects to kick in, but I don't know about side effects. You are on a fairly low dose, I take 225mg venlafaxine.
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    • Posted

      Thank you. I forgot to mention that I'm also taking Propranalol 80mg S/R daily. I just feel so unwell, my head is all over the place sad
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  • Posted

    Hi Gillian, 

    I would say that you are very sensitive, perhaps a slow metabolizer, meaning you don't clear the drug fast enough and so it builds up more and causes greater side effects.  I would say that you should have been started at 37.5 mg once a day and given time to adapt.  

    37.5 mg is the minimum therapeutic dose of ven.  IMHO, patients should be started there and given a month to see if that dose is enough, only increasing as needed.  This drug is very hard to get off of, so rushing up to 300 + mg means a much longer, harder journey to come off should it stop working.

    Interesting that all the side effects you've had are also withdrawal effects of Ven! Same process in reverse.

    This is your brain, so you must ultimately be its guardian.  Read the package insert and read the ven forum here to see what other peoples' experiences are with this medication before you get fully committed to it.

    I hope you feel better soon :-)

     

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  • Posted

    Hi Gillian these are not good tablets i am trying to get off them and have never felt like this before dont know if i will get off them its so bad i have had to go back to taking them again . Much like you they take everything away from you and feel like a different person in my body . Can not tell you how many side affects i have had its frighting just horrible i have lay on the sofa all weekend ready to give up . But have to go to work tomorrow to pay my rent .I am waiting to see the doc again but to tell the truth i dont think they know what its like and just tell you anything .Hope you feel better soon xx
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    • Posted

      Thank you Kaz. I threw them in the bin after taking them for 3 days as the side effects were just too much for me to cope with. I felt I was actually going mad and had to call the mental health crisis team who advised me to stop them immediately. From what I've read about this particular drug and the issues regarding withdrawal, I believe I've dodged a bullet to be honest.
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  • Posted

    Serotonin syndrome?
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    • Posted

      Could be Gillian is a slow metabolizer, so yes, could have been SS in part or an adverse drug reaction due to not being able to metabolize the drug quick enough.  Gillian, you'd be wise to steer clear of this stuff.  

      Everyone is getting the cytochrome p450 liver enzyme DNA test done nowadays, and I think it would be interesting to know if being a slow metabolizer explains why some people have such a rough time with start up symptoms and generally never get on with a drug.  Interesting stuff.

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  • Posted

    Hi gilllian

    I was on venlafaxine for a little over 2 months I stopped taking them last thursday. I suffer from depression anxiety and have a personality disorder in all the years I have battled these problems those 2 months were the worst! i hardly slept my emotions were all over the place and I never felt so suicidal! After looking online and reading forums I discovered I was far from alone. The cons sure out weigh the pros!

    Hope you feel better soon and find the medicine that works for you smile

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