Venlafaxine - any positive experiences?

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Hi All,

I've just been switched from Citalopram to Venlafaxine, which has been prescribed for anxiety disorder stemming from post-natal depression.

I would be very interested in anyone's experience with this drug.

Are the starting side effects managable, what should I expect?

Does the drug work and if so how long until it starts to make me feel any better?

I've read quite a lot of negative comments about withdrawal from this drug, anyone found withdrawal OK?

Sorry that's a lot of questions but I've been so unwell for so long and have been off work now for over 2 months and I'm getting to the point of desperation to get some relief from anxiety I could really use some encouragement.

Thanks a lot MB

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi MB, just posted on the other thread. Don't have children so can't say about PND, but have had anxiety & clinical dep. Citalopram - didn't do it for me either, been through quite a range of meds over the years. This one works really well, but you do need to manage the side effects. I came to the conclusion that although the side effects could be bad, they were manageable and the anxiety relief was worth it.

    Starting side effects - really bad nausea - will last about a week, but diminishing. Experiment with what you eat - I found that dry food was best - maybe if you had morning sickness it might be a similar management method? It can make you feel a bit spacey, but try and take it everyday at the same time, this will help with the spacey feeling. You should see an improvement within a week, two at the most, but I guess everyone varies.

    Withdrawal - again you need to find what works best for you. This is what I am doing and it seems to be working well - wait until you feel you are ready - don't let anyone pressure you. Start taking 1/2 dose a day - I cut out my evening dose. 1st week a bit odd, but then stablised, timing of taking it very important. Did that for four months, then alternate one day Venlafaxine one day Prozac. Did that for two weeks, switch to Prozac every day - which is where I am now and feeling much better. Next step, cut down Prozac, then stop smile Try getting some counselling too if you can. Good luck, you can do this.

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  • Posted

    Hi C Guest,

    many thanks for your reply on this and the other thread too. Really useful to hear your experiences and its encouraging to know that you got through the side effects and had success with Ven where Cit didn't really help. Really hope it will be the same for me. It's been a long tough road to get to this point and I really need to turn a corner for my sake and for my family's!

    Nothing to report so far but then I've only taken one tablet. At least there's no side effects yet either!

    Anyway thanks again and good luck to you.

    MB

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  • Posted

    Thanks MB, really you just gotta find what works for you, hope things are still going OK, hang in there, it'll be worth it in the end.
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  • Posted

    Hi MB, I'm due to take THE PILL Monday...... please keep posting on here how you are doing!! gives me hope your OK...... n YES its been a long HARD rd lets hope to God we ALL turn this corner (my 3yr old NEEDS his Mummy back sad ) :cry:

    God Bless Jo

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  • Posted

    Hi Jolisa,

    Thanks for your response. Guess you took your first pill today. Hope it went OK and you get a good night's rest tonight. I've now done a week on Ven and am feeling OK. No real side effects so far. I'm still off work but functioning much better with the kids.

    What's your story, have you had PND too? Hope things go well for you.

    Take care and keep me posted.

    MB

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  • Posted

    Hi Merrybeth,

    i got PND after my lovely Son was born... But over last few years it has developed into GAD with panic attacks!!! life as been just dreadful 4 me & my family me feeling like i'm falling apart n going mad & them having to watch!! & feel helpless... i've finally been diagnosed by a mental health team & hopefully will make a recovery!!! So i've taken my first PILL & i feel SICK they are STRONG.... glad your doing ok, i'm going to stick with it because the alternative is not an option, how i feel is bearable. I've been through worse!!!!!!!!!!!

    God Bless You & Your Family

    Spk later

    Jo :?

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  • Posted

    Hi Jo,

    just read your mail. Sounds like we're in a similar position. PND leading to general anxiety disorder - also with panic attacks mine manifested at work (nice). I can relate completely to how you say you feel - totally hideous feeling like you're falling apart and seeing your family look on helplessly. This experience has been the worst thing I've ever gone through.

    But we need to recognise it's an illness and not a position we chose to be in. And we've both sought help -- so that's all got to be steps in the rigtht direction.

    I am on about day 12 of the tablets now and the doc has just suggested I double up from 75 mg to 150 mg. Side effects not too bad -- no nausea thankfully just bonkers nightmares. So will double up and see what happens. Also starting CBT program on Monday. Gotta help right????

    How are you getting on?

    Write soon,

    MerryBeth

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  • Posted

    Hi MB, i'm having quite a few side effects!!!!!! tried to double up TOO STRONG 4 me...... i'll write more when i can HOW YOU DOING

    Jo XXXXX :? :wink:

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  • Posted

    Hi there, I too am just starting out on this drug. I had been on Fluoxetine but it just didnt seem to do anything. My little girl is 18 months old and Im really struggling. Dont know if it was PND or just general depression.

    I took my first pill last night before bed, the Dr had said to take it in the morning, not sure why but it says on the packet any time of day, just the same time each day. I figured I could maybe sleep through the side effects. Feel not too bad today, just tired.

    Does anyone else take them at night? Im very apprehensive about these tablets as id heard the side effects are bad.

    Much love to you all.

    Janie

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  • Posted

    Hi, Merrybeth & newcomer Jaynelouise

    I'm up to nearly 4 weeks now, just doubled up..... God it was rough at first, my Brother had to come & look after me i felt sooooo poorly!! sickness & a strange feeling didnt know wheather i was coming or going!!!

    BUT THANK GOD i stuck with it ( I have an amazin GP ) on phone everyday!! & I FEEL GREAT !!!!!! NO PANIC ATTACKS NO STRANGE FEELINGS... I was dancing to music this morning with my 3yr old!!!!!!!

    I know this is a long road but FINALLY i can see a TOMORO!! were going seaside this weekend cant wait HOPE YOUR ALL OK TOO....

    I take them at night jayne....

    LOVE & God BLESS

    Jo :D :D :D

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  • Posted

    i've been on ven for 1month. side effects bad at first then went away. Had slight depression for the first week having never suffered with it before. I suffer from anxiety. No increased to 150mg daily. Hoping anxiey improves soon as i start a new job soon. Finding going out of the house difficult!!! Any comments
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  • Posted

    Hi All

    I tried Mirtazapine for two weeks but turned into a food monster and couldn't stay awake! I came off them and they are thinking of venlafaxine now. Like you I have seen some nasty side effects but need to know if taking the tablets is worth it and if your blood pressure has to be monitored regularly by your GP. I suffer from OCD and Social Phobia but the wrong tablets is making me feel quite sad too.

    Any suggestions and advice much welcomed smile

    Jaz

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  • Posted

    Hi everyone, a lot of these experiences sound similar to me, i had very bad side effects, head spinning, confusion, just didnt feel right, even slight halucinations, but settled after about a week, but i did find that i had to take the pill at the same time EVERY day, if i missed one i felt awful for a week. as they made me forgetfull was a catch 22! gave up and am now on fluoxetine - much better for me! no side effects and dont feel so 'hardened'! hope everyone here finds what works for them, and remember you have plenty of options, give it a fair chance but dont be scared to go back to your GP! xx
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  • Posted

    I've found slicing some raw ginger and keeping it in my mouth or popping it in my tea really stops the nausea. Also my pharmacist said that taking the pill WITH food will prevent the nausea.

    Other than that, I'm only on day 2 so I can't say but I do feel already a bit pepped up but just very COLD mainly. I've gone right off my food so i hope that will stay the same because the last lot caused 5 stone weight gain, I couldn' t bear that again.

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