Venlafaxine increase

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Hi all. I've been on Venlafaxine 75mg since September 15. These are used to treat GAD. I'm increasing the dose by another 37.5mg as directed by my doctor. I need to be on at least 150mg to get the full effect of the drug. 75mg is the minimum therapeutic dose given. This obviously isn't enough. My question is, has anyone upped the dose? Doctors state that it takes time for a drug to get into your system and work but being that I'm already on these tablets and the dose increase isn't that massive, would they get into my system straight away or would it still take time? I know everyone is different so not all responses will be the same. Thanks in advance. Chris.

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  • Posted

    For me each increase only took effect after about 10-14 days during which time I felt hellish and had to take some time off work to deal with the side effects. Don't want to put a downer on it but forewarned is forearmed.....or something like that! At least if you feel like crap you'll know you're not deteriorating ☺
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    • Posted

      Thank you Vicky and purple Doberman. Two very different experiences. Everyone is different as I say. I'm hoping I experience the latter but you never know. I was just wanting to know roughly how long it would take to get my system but you've both answered similar so I'll expect something to happen in around 2 weeks. Thanks guys
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  • Posted

    Hi Chris. The drug is in your system at nice concentration levels already for some time. The effect of your increase however can still only be assessed after at least 2 weeks following the increase when the concentration at new levels in your blood starts to even out and any adjustment issues fade. My increases were also by 37.5 at first. I want to point out that at that low level the adjustment disturbances were minimal and effects were noted as a very nice and smooth progression over 2-4 weeks. Hope the same for you!
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    • Posted

      Thank you Vicky and purple Doberman. Two very different experiences. Everyone is different as I say. I'm hoping I experience the latter but you never know. I was just wanting to know roughly how long it would take to get my system but you've both answered similar so I'll expect something to happen in around 2 weeks. Thanks guys.
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    • Posted

      I was treated for GAD Chris. The increases were in search of the right therapeutic level. Even though my GAD was rather severe (borderline psychotic at that point due to untreated post-partum depression) my neuropsychiatrist decided to go up in minor increments to minimize adjustment disturbances and also to be able to pinpoint and stop at the lowest dose that provides positive results. We went to 187.5 mg over time but the ensuing headaches were relentless so we went down to 150, confirming the dose was correct. In my case the final dose was 150 as the medicine luckily worked perfectly for me at that level over time. It took about 2-3 years for 150mg to relieve most symptoms, 2 years maintenance and finally 2 years for very slow weaning. A different doctor some years earlier attempted to get me straight to 150 from 75 and i was a mess for 3 weeks. My second doctor was a lot more careful. And eventually was the one who stabilized the dose and assisted in final therapy.  Hope this helps.
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    • Posted

      Hi. I've had one day on the increased level and it's unbearable. My anxiety and paranoia have gone through the roof. I simply am too sensitive to these drugs but I need to increase as I'm not right. I think I'm going to ask the doctor if I can cut a pill into quarters and increase by a quarter every month or so. A psychiatrist said up the dose by 75mg! There's no way I could go through the side effects for 2-3 weeks! Not a prayer! I weaned myself off these drugs in a similar way last year. It took me a year to come off 75mg. It sounds as though you went on them in a similar manner and worked. That's the only way forward for me.
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    • Posted

      if you upped by 37.5 and reacted severely it is of no consequence as yet and won't be for another week or three unfortunately. As you say it is your heightened sensitivity. Whatever you up by you will have to wait out the adjustment during which you can get worse before you get better. What perhaps could have been done was to start you on anti-anxiety medicine like xanax at low doses for the adjustment and then wean you off that (sounds like double work but it does lessen the symptoms considerably). I was put on xanax for the duration of increase to 150 by the way. So for about 2 months and then weaned slowly. I forgot to mention this. See how you feel and talk to your doctor about options. I would not bother quartering the 37.5 pill if that's what you are intending. It will just prolong the adjustment. If you ask a psychiatrist they will tell you that doses lower than 37.5 have no notable effect....we would beg to differ but that is another story smile
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    • Posted

      Hi. Thanks for that. Yeah the psychiatrist said up by the 75mg dose. I couldn't handle that I don't think. Well I know I couldn't lol!! They aren't the ones taking them!

      I've been on SSRI's ie fluoxetine and peroxetine. They had horrible side effects. The fluoxetine gave me hideous panic attacks and anxiety. I was on those 4 weeks. The peroxetine were worse. I was told to come off those by my family as I turned into a total zombie. I know I have a problem but my problem keeps beating me. I try whole heartedly to go on these meds to make me better but the ultra high levels of anxiety and paranoia prevent me from taking them.

      I'll have a word with the doctor and see what they say. Maybe a different drug is an option but I certainly don't know of any drugs that don't have a risk of some side effects. I would have tried cutting them but if you don't recommend it then maybe not. If it took 6 months to get to where I need to be then it'd be worth it by cutting them. In my head Id know I'm on the right path. These Venlafaxine drugs just don't have a good reputation. They are very very powerful. Maybe too powerful for me.

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    • Posted

      Ugh...you have struggled quite a bit...I never did understand why fluoxetine is prescribed to anxiety sufferers...from what i understood it acts as something of a stimulant? Anyway, i would ignore their reputation. when i started taking them there was no reputation (i did not have access to much info) and i am sure that helped me get over the symptoms faster as people with GAD tend to make sure we feel everything there is to feel that is bad  smile. I meant maybe the doc could prescribe xanax or something as a side-kick while you are going onto your required dose. Just an idea to go over with your doc. You could also try halving the pill and waiting for a few weeks between increases - no harm in that if it gives you peace of mind. Quartering may just be overkill smile. I am very sensitive to medicine too. Paracetamol, at half dose, makes me feel sleepy. Antibiotics make me feel like the world is coming to an end. Cough syrup makes me feel like i will slip out of my own skin. My current stomach acid suppresing drugs are making me shaky and give me headaches. Venlafaxine....after the adjustment period....smooth sailing (unless i forgot a dose or two biggrin. It did however require much patience and blind trust at first. I do remember the initial struggle and doubts. I was sure i will never be 'normal'. And yet it all worked out given time and patience. And even if ven just doesn't do it for you, something else will - you still haven't tried it all smile
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    • Posted

      The problem I have is accepting drugs with side effects. I get bothered and scared that I'm going to get bad side effects or they are not going to work. The anxiety and panic takes over and I blame all my symptoms on the drugs that I am taking. Anyway, I've stopped taking the increase. I only managed 1 tablet. I couldn't cope with the anxiety, panic or paranoia. I'd be able to take a 1/4 of a pill over a few weeks then up by another 1/4. I'd be ok doing that. It's whether it's healthy for me to do it. I need to speak to the doctor and take their advice although my local doctors is hardly accommodating!! I'd have to take a day off work just to get an appointment! That's the NHS for you!!
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    • Posted

      haha "accepting drugs with side-effects"...you should see me tuning into my body intently as i wait for ibuprofen i absolutely had to take after some surgery infection, to start causing me to bleed to death LOL or to burn a hole in my stomach...or not help and end up with my tongue swelling up because of infection (i had minor tongue surgery). I get very graphic ideas of what could/should be going wrong. I still do to some extent but now i laugh at myself if it happens. When I was first given venlafaxine i knew little about it, but when they added xanax to help me get over the adjustment issues, i knew about xanax...so i waited to sudenly develop suicidal tendencies, stop breathing or go deaf etc. I curse the day i learned how to read LOL - the less you know...the less you suffer it seems. Where i am the public health service is equally 'accomodating' ... i do feel for you. Hope you get your job done and feel more comfortable soon. As i told someone else on here recently, any side-effects are not immediately dangerous and you always have ample time to see a doctor if anything concerns you. This goes for any of these drugs for GAD and depressive disorders. If they are not working you will know only after a few weeks no matter which drug you take as you know. So the question really is ....are you ready/able to force your mind to grit its teeth and stop nagging you smile Easier said than done. This is why they gave me an aid of xanax. It worked for me. At least my panic/paranoia was a little muted for a while and then i started to feel better.
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  • Posted

    In my experience it's like taking ecstasy after an hour of taking my first pill my pupils were massive and after few days I felt high!

    My doctor told me that they are really bad for the heart which is no suprise. I was only on them very short period only 1 week then stopped because I had bags under my eyes looked like a drug addict. I wouldn't even take them long term if I'd attempted taking my own life the withdrawals can be he'll and last month's!

    Hope this helps i know people are different but that's my opinion.

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    • Posted

      Hi boro. Not sure where your comparison has come from as taking 1 pill would have absolutely no effect on you what so ever. You'd have to be taking them for at least 2-3 weeks. That's pretty much the rule of thumb with any drug. I've been on these before for 5 yrs. this is my 2nd go. The side effects were pretty normal for me. Good days and bad days and then they level out. If you're not on them now but you are on antidepressants I bet you're on SSRI's??
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    • Posted

      Hello Chris, I had an experience of euphoria after a couple of days as have many I have spoken to on the drugs forum. It got me through a bad patch some use it recreationaly I know it sounds stupid but does happen, certain aspects of the drug may not work until a couple of weeks like you mentioned.

      Im currently not on an ssri for depression or anxiety. Suppose everyone's different, they are bad for the heart apparently so be careful and best of luck with the treatment but I personally would stay clear.

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