Venlafaxine 75 mg to 150 mg more depressed!

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I was initially on venlafaxine 75 mg for about 15 years. I had my dosed increased about 11 weeks ago due to heightened anxiety and severe depression. I have thyroid issues (Graves and Hashimotos) and my levels still are not the best. I also am dealing with hormone flucuations as well. I literally can feel my brain shifting moods throughout the day. But the depression is the WORST, I feel like I am numb....I have no feelings or desire to do anything when I get like that and it lasts for a while. Then it is like a cloud is lifted for a brief time and I feel "normal" I will be happy and have energy etc. I really am upset that the dose increase has not helped my depression. I guess I am asking what your thoughts and opinions are on whether I should increase again or try something new. I am so scared of trying something new because of the withdrawal of this medication. I am sorry for the long post. I just didn't know where else I could vent because unless you have experienced depression or anxiety I feel nobody else understands. Anyone dealing with hormone issues and thyroid issues if you could tell me what has stabilized you also that would be great. I cannot continue to live like this! It is effecting every aspect of my life.

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  • Posted

    You were on it a long time, as was I.  I found I was MORE prone to more severe depression as time wore on.  I'd gone up pretty high and then come back down.  I think you went into tolerance, where depression and anxiety occur not as a RE-currence of your condition but as an tolerance to the medication.   Rather than go up up and away to a higher dose that will eventually poop out, you would actually benefit from reducing your dosage.  But, you must be careful and taper slowly down; reducing by half pills, for instance, can cause withdrawal.  Are you on the extended release with beads?  The easiest way is with the ER beads because you can start removing beads from the capsules.  

    You may find that you feel well enough reducing to not need to bring in any new medication.  

    I know how horrible the anxiety and depression feels.  I can tell you that I have reduced down to 5 mg of Effexor and have not relapsed, though if I cut too vigorously I can have a wave of symptoms for up to a week, not pleasant, which is why I've been pretty good about not cutting more than 10% a month, successfully!  I feel better now with more stable moods than I did when I was on 75 mg!

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    • Posted

      I'd like to add that your symptoms sound like tolerance withdrawal.  People in withdrawal will feel anxious in the morning (or wake in the night with anxiety, cortisol surges), feel low for much of the day, and then rebound late in the day. 

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for that information. That makes alot of sense. Only thing I am nervous about is that I am struggling with thyroid and hormone issues as well. So I don't know if increasing or decreasing the venlafaxine will make a difference until my levels are straight but I know my mental state is a nightmare right now. I hate to do something and make it worse. If you don't mind me asking, do you see a phychiatrist for your meds? My GP has been the one giving me my med and I am thinking that it might be time to see a phychiatrist

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  • Posted

    Hi there! I just posted in a menopause group about this very thing.... First, we all understand exactly what you are going thru with anxiety and depression. It's painful, it's exhausting. You're not alone!!! We try to help each other as much as we can here. So no matter how long your post, I personally post long ones too, I will read it!

    In brief, I was on generic Effexor XR 75mg for well over 12 years. It was discontinued and substituted with another that didn't work. So I weaned off to start Lexapro, which made my condition 1000x worse. I had an adverse reaction. So I went back to Venlafaxine, but this time name brand Effexor XR 75mg. It's been slow going after 4 months, but after blood work, it was discovered that I was getting too much synthroid.... So that was lowered 2 weeks ago. And on top of it, I'm in full blown menopause according it blood work. Yay!

    So I decided that I'm taking matters into my own hands.... Besides medication, I did some research about how to boost serotonin levels in the brain. Vigorous exercise is a must!!! And a protein rich diet.. any of the proteins that contain triptaphan (turkey), the body converts into serotonin!!!! I'm taking a vitamin too, made by Garden of Life called "mykind" for women 55+. I pray a lot, start my day with a devotional and prayer, go to church regularly. Basically, training myself with the help of my therapist, to change my thinking patterns. Not every thought has to be thought about. I use the "calm" app. It's free for limited use, but still effective for anxiety.

    I do take trazadone at bedtime. But recently, I've been waking up again at 3, 4, 5... And I'm a bit anxious. So I take 25mg now veggie bed, then if I wake up at 3, I'll take the other 25mg, and I sleep til 6:30. It's such a relief and it's not addicting! But if I have a bad episode during the day, I'll take 1/4 of a 1 mg tablets, and that takes the edge off the anxiety.

    Some of things may work for you. It's just not the medication that will do the trick for any of us.

    You can Google how to boost serotonin levels, and you'll get lots of information.

    Please let us me know how you're doing. Don't ever give up!!! God bless you!!! --Tammy

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    • Posted

      Sorry.... I take a 1/4 of Ativan.... Not a 1/4 of the trazadone.
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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your reply, I will definitely take your suggestions into consideration. It is nice knowing I have a place where people understand what I am going through.
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