Venlafaxine advice

Posted , 7 users are following.


I've been on Venlafaxine for at least 5 years and I'm not even sure it's helping me.

I'm back in therapy again after a major bout of depression in December.

I'm on 150mg but I've been told to up the dose to 225mg which I'm not going to do.

I feel what is the point in taking this drug when I'm still having major drops in mood?

I don't even know what side affects I'm getting because I've been on them so long I don't remember what I was like before...

Can anyone suggest a substitute or the best way to come of these drugs.

thanks for reading



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6 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi. I personally was on it over ten years and boy I wish it were out sooner as nothing before helped me, I switched over to duloxetine easily and swear by these two meds. I only switched as I was on a long time and this new one came out and Dr suggested it. A life saver for me again and no side effects. And I've tried them all. Good luck
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  • Posted

    I'm really sorry to hear you've had another bout sad  I can certainly understand not wanting to increase your doseage, I remember feeling e same and feeling like a medication couldn't possibly change how I was feeling. Luckily I stuck with it though, and unfortunately had to increase my dose several times and even add another antidepressant to take as well, as I'm now feeling much better. I would caution you to be careful coming off hem if you're still feeling depressed, and can't recommend enough doing other things concurrently such as exercise, mindfulness etc. all the best smile
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  • Posted

    Hi Matt, 

    The fact that you had a major depressive episode on the ven suggests you might be in tolerance withdrawal, otherwise known as poop out.  When that happens, you begin to have withdrawal symptoms even though the dose wasn't changed, and they appear to be a relapse but in fact are not.  Healthy subjects put on these drugs have depression and anxiety on discontinuation of the drug.  Studies show that long term use actually makes people more prone to depression, which is why you read of people switching to new meds after so many years.

    You could go up in dose, but the fact that you are having symptoms now means you are sensitized, and going higher might work for a time but then poop out will occur again.  However, then you have that much farther to come off, and ven has a notorious reputatoin for withdrawal syndrome.  

    Even if you choose to go to another med, you must withdraw off of ven slowly and carefully. Switching to another med directly will lead to withdrawal that the new med can not negate.

    Oddly, people often begin to feel better as they taper off. Of course you must discuss this with your doctor, but many don't recognize tolerance withdrawal or protracted withdrawal and insist that your condition is getting worse and that you need additional meds.  This is a very slippery slope. 

    You might want to check out the topic "Reducing ADs using a 10% withdrawala method" in the following thread.

    I would agree with meowoof that doing other things in addition to meds is crucial, because the meds do not cure depression but are a band aid.  Depression is about the thoughts you have, dysfunctional thinking, and things like Cognitive Behavior Therapy actually work on changing that thinking to healthier thought patterns.  Mindfulness meditation is also very beneficial, and there are lots of free online sources of both.  Even if you switch to a new med, doing the work is what creates lasting change for the better, and perhaps then you wouldn't even need the meds!

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  • Posted

    i was on it on all sorts doses for about 10 years with no massive improvement, read my earlier post on how i managed to come off them and switch to a different med
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  • Posted


    ​I have been taking anti-depressants for last 11 years and into venlafexine for 5 years. It hasn't worked at all, I was using it just for the sake of using. I have been always depressed all these 5 years, and I have hit the rock bottom now. I have migrated to Australia, have a promising career but every day is a big compromise, a huge battle and I am laced without a weapon. I have been prescribed Mirtazapine and I wonder if it is going to help me. I have taken it yesterday and day before, the effect is dreadful. I am groggy, foggy brain,drowsy all the time and numb. I have no idea what should be done.

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    • Posted

      Hi Matt, 

      I'm sorry you are in such a dreadful place.  I get it.  Which AD(s) were you on before ven?   Did they help at all 11 years ago?  Did you make any attempts to come off during that time?

      I have a similar history in that I started with Prozac 20 years ago, back when it was being promoted as the Happy Pill, but I never felt like it did all that.  But, I dutifully kept taking it.  Then, when Wellbutrin was the next big deal, I switched to that, but again, not "all that."  Then I went to Ven 12 years ago.  I think it engergized me in the beginning, but I can honestly say that I was no better for it, and if anything I was doing poorly.  

      Well, if you do some research, you will learn that long term use of ADs (especially SSRIs/SNRIs) actually makes people MORE PRONE to depression!  These drugs are not correcting an imbalance but creating altered states of mind, and for some that's grand, but for folks like you and me, just doesn't work.  Perhaps you are a fast metabolizer (there's a genetic test called cytochrome p450 that looks at that) meaning that you clear the drugs before they can have any therapeutic affect.  At any rate, you may have reached tolerance withdrawal, at which point you experience withdrawal symptoms at the same dose.  And guess what?  Withdrawal symptoms include anxiety and depression!  Of course, everyone just thinks our mental illness is still bad and that the drugs aren't doing their job, but in reality it is likely the drugs that are causing the ick.

      I think if you are like me, there may have been dysfunctional thinking all those years ago that led to the depression, and that is what must be dealt with now.  There are lots of things that you can do, even on your own, that can help you climb out of this.

      What dosage are you at with the Ven these days?  I went up fairly high, maybe 225 mg but my memory is not great, and then tapered back down, and I'm pretty sure with each cut I went through some bad emotional times which, duh, I just didn't put together with the meds!  If I could have those years to do over....

      If you'd like, I can give you some helpful info - private message me if interested :-)

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