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Hi can anyone tell me how long the very debilitating side effects last when just starting to take venlafaxine. I am on day four and I feel so week and sick. I really struggled yesterday to get out of bed. I am 65 but fell 95. I wonder how long I should give it before deciding it is not for me. I have been told it is the best medication of its type but this is very hard. Jane

0 likes, 8 replies

8 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Jane

    That should go in a few weeks. Keep at it it's worth it. I was the same I take it for anxiety and it made mine 10 times worse for about a month but I stuck at it.

    Hope you feel better soon

    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply. Oh a few weeks. I hope the intensity lessens as I am almost unable to do anything at the moment. I feel like I have put life on hold. Sleep is hard too. X
    • Posted

      I take 15 mg of mitazipine as well helps for sleep and appetite.

  • Posted

    Hi Jane,

    I too have been on Venlafaxine 70mg per day for about three weeks. I've been on it before and had few bad side effects last time, but that was 10 years ago, I'm 70 now and I too found the side effects initially very bad, increased anxiety, headaches, feeling weak and dizzy. I think it's an age thing, Jane, and it's definitely worth staying with it, it does work eventually and it's a very good drug. I too don't feel like doing anything most of the time, can't read, watch TV, days seem endless. The side effects decreased for me after 8 days, but still return though less than before. I've held off increasing the dose until now, but plan to go up to 150mg next week. It can take 6-8 weeks to even start being effective, but stick with it and tough it out, it WILL work eventually and you'll be fine

    • Posted

      Thanks Mike, I am on day four so if there is some light at the end of day eight I will hang on in. Are you taking it for anxiety and depression? Jane
    • Posted

      HI Jane. I am 68 and have been taking venlafaxine and mirtazapine since July. 2015. Try to hang in there for a few weeks if necessary, I feel great now and have my life back. I know it's terrible waiting to feel better, but it really is worth it. 

    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply Phyllis. I am getting some positive feed back, which is making me feel like it will all be worth it. Good to hear how well you feel. J
  • Posted

    Hi Jane. You got some wonderful encouragement from others already. Adjustment difficulty depends mainly on three things: Your individual chemistry (tolerance level), your actual condition (and its severity and duration prior to starting therapy), and your mindset. Another thing that plays a role is whether or not you have taken other medication in the past and whether your condition is new, an escalation of a long-term condition OR a relapse of a previously treated or otherwise overcome disorder. Relapses and escalations are typically more difficult to reign in (it has to do with duration of stress load on the brain and your system overall). Newly arising conditions usually get reigned in more easily and without as many adjustment problems. 

    It is important to note any other medication or supplements that may be interacting with venlafaxine. Alcohol must be avoided at all costs during adjustment (and hopefully throughout treatment). Also go easy on any stimulants during adjustment if you are using venlafaxine for anxiety or agitation. Not so much of an issue with mainly depressive manifestations.

    Drink sufficient liquids, food that is easy to digest and try to get fresh air as mush as possible along with sufficient rest.

    If you have been started on 75mg (anything more than 37.5mg) you can expect the worst of the adjustment to last about 10 days to two weeks. After that you will begin cycling (ups and downs). Stabilization begins no sooner than 4-6 weeks as with all psychotropics.

    If you are on immediate release tablets, adjustment will be more bumpy/jerky but easier on the brain to begin with. On extended release you will get bigger doses at once so the intensity of adjustment problems will be stronger but shorter in duration. No rights or wrongs at this stage. Just make sure you take your medication in the morning and no later than early afternoon. If you are taking two doses per day this will make you a bit more exhausted as venlafaxine messes with the sleep cycle notably. Once you complete adjustment your doctor will evaluate the best course of action in your case.

    Hope you feel better soon. Keep us posted.  

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