Venlafaxine and weight

Posted , 7 users are following.

I've heard that venlafaxine is very good for lifting severe depression. I was prescribed it before but didn't take it due to the side effects. I took one 37.5 tablet and side effects were awful. I heard that the XL version does not produce so many side effects. Does anyone have experience of both? Which did you find best in terms of side effects? I have since taken fluoxetine and lofepramine which did not work at all. I have treatment resistant depression and need a very effective tablet. Will not take mirtazapine due to weight gain but I read a lot of posts on this site about weight gain with venlafaxine which worries me. Has anyone taking this tablet experienced weight loss or not experienced weight gain? I don't want to take anything that will cause weight gain as I put on 2 stone in 2 weeks when I took Amitriptyline and it took 1 year to lose the weight, so don't want to go through that again. Its very difficult finding the right medicine. It seems like the ones which produce the worst side effects are the most effective. I experience no side effects with fluoxetine or lofepramine but they did not work either. On the other hand, Amitriptyline had a lot of side effects to begin with but worked very well for depression, although they stopped working after 2 years. Any advice welcome. Thanks.

1 like, 5 replies

5 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Caitlin

    I don't have experience of both tablets, just the XL, but can say I haven't put any weight on. Now whether that is due to having no appatite due to being depressed I am not sure but I have been on them for over a couple of months now. Still waiting for them to kick in - dose is now 225mg but I know these things happen in their own time. Could do with a bit more support though.

    Good luck finding something that works, have been on all sorts of things over the years, it's so horrid waiting until they kick in just to find out if they work.

    Take it easy


  • Posted

    Hi Girl

    Thanks for your reply. 225mg seems like a large dose. I just wanted to ask, did you get any bad side effects? I was worried about venlafaxine due to all the awful things I read on other internet sites. Good news that you didn't put on weight though. Waiting for tablets to kick in is awful. Hope they work for you soon.


  • Posted


    I have just been reading up on all the medication that I am on and came across the comments about venlafaxine. I have been diagnosed with pernicious anaemia, fibromyalgia, hyperthyroidism, arthritis and have been suffering with severe depression for about 25 years.

    I have tried many antidepressants over the years and didn't get any benefit from any of them until I went on the contraceptive injection. It wasn't until my husband had the snip and I came off the injection that I realised the benefits I had for the depression. I suddenly realised that the way I had been feeling over the years with depression was not normal and it hit like a bomb. I turned up at the doctors in a real state, crying and at the end of my tether telling him that if he couldn't do anything to help I would finish it myself. That was my lowest point.

    After years on venlafaxine of various doses including a 150mg slow release xl tablet in the morning and upto 4 75g tablets throughout the day, the doctor decided in his wisdom to take me off them and replace them with mirtazapine. After a gradual switchover to mirtazapine I found that I had gained 4 stone in wait and my moods were very unstable. I changed doctors and explained all my medication to her and she could not understand why the other doctor had replaced my venlafaxine so we set about changing back to venlafaxine and immediately my weight started to move. I don't suffer many side effects or hate taking the drug as it seems to work for me. I must also say that I have gone back on the contraceptive injection as an added extra to stabilise my moods not for contraception and the cocktail of drugs I am on now let me lead a somewhat steady life.

    I am taking 150mg slow releasexl in the morning and 2 x 75mg tablets in the day along with the contraceptive injection. This may seem a lot but I have many other health issues and it has taken a while to find a cocktail of drugs that keeps everything under some sort of control. I also find that if I am having a particularly bad day I can take an extra venlafaxine 75mg tablet and it calms things down within an hour but I don't have to do this very often these days.

    I hope this is of some use to anyone unsure of the drugs they are taking and my motto is if it does you good and makes life more bearable don't worry about it.

    smile Vanessa

  • Posted

    I've been on Venlafaxine for c. 2.75 yrs now since a bout of acute, scary depression following traumatic emergency spinal surgery. I'd had depression before but nothing like this - anxiety and a wish to lie down and die combined with a complete loss of appetite.

    Venlafaxine suited me well - I feel that taking it saved my life.

    I've reduced/increased the dosage from time to time & it hasn't caused me significant problems. have been from 150 > 75 >150>75>150> now on 225 currently, Effexor XL modified release capsules.

    Side effects I had included the 'brain zaps' for the first 10 days or so, and also when I miss a dose/am very late for a dose; weight gain (I'm a big girl already) But nothing else I noticed. It suited me very well and I was thankful for the relief of my distress.

    I already had distressing, vivid dreams and night sweats before I took Venlaxine.

    All in all I am willing to put up with the side effects in order to treat my mental health symptoms: low level depressive/anxiety disorder with occasional acute, sudden onset distress and moderate/severe depression. Effexor suits me and I'm not sure I'd be here if I hadn't taken it.

    [b:c82b0e2206]BUT [/b:c82b0e2206]

    [b:c82b0e2206]-[/b:c82b0e2206] Insist on the XL controlled release capsules, not tablets.

    [b:c82b0e2206]-[/b:c82b0e2206] Read the label and the take the advice seriously - [b:c82b0e2206]no alcohol[/b:c82b0e2206], take at roughly same time every 24 hr, and[b:c82b0e2206] always [/b:c82b0e2206]with or just after food

  • Posted


    I was diagnosed with depression(not for the first time) and severe anxiety problems last summer. Like Nessie, I have other health conditions including M.E and fibromyalgia so have been on amitriptyline and lots of other drugs for years.

    I have found the venlafaxine pretty good, especially the evening dose, which helps with nightime anxiety. The side effects are less than other anti depressants ive found and they've taken the edge off things although im still on waiting list for other treatment

    heres to peace for ou metal health.


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