Venlafaxine rant

Posted , 13 users are following.

Hi all, 

I need to rant a bit and hope my experience will help anyone who is in two minds about wether or not to take this drug.

I've been prescribed venlafaxine because I was very depressed and anxious after a series of tough life events and workplace bullying

I thought it would be a good idea as it would give me the strength to fight. Bad idea... really, really bad idea.

Here's what happened:  

I had all the typical symptoms of strarting up like nausea, zombie feeling, panic attacks, night sweats. After a couple of days on it I stared to bleed heavily, despite it wasn't the time for it. 

GP advised to immediately stop the medicine. Here is when it got interesting. 

I got a number of aweful problems. None of these have ever happned even remotely to me before. Today is day 4 after stopping: 

My head starts to twitch and shake uncontrollably out of nowhere, same as one side of my face. It's seriously scary.

My brain makes crunching noises (sounds weird, I know)

I have sudden urges to hurt myself that I can only resist because I know it's the medication causing it. These stop after 10 -20 minutes. 

Crying spells and anger

Constant headache, painkillers don't help

I can't concentrate at all for most of the day. 

I'm guessing this is temporary, right? Did anyone experience these selfharm impulses and the muscle contractions in the neck and face? I almost called an ambulance because it was so scary. 

Learning from this: I think I should have tried to get two weeks off and see if I can recover instead of taking a drug straight away and being sick for two weeks anyway. I wish the GP had come up with that idea. Now that I read all the withdrawal horror stories, I'm kinda glad this happened and I'm getting off the drug again. 

Stay strong!

Laura

 

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  • Posted

    Your doing the right thing stay the hell away from that evil venlafaxine. It damaged me beyond belief I really don't know why doctors keep prescribing it I have heard nothing but horror story's about it on this forum and on others
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    • Posted

      Sorry to hear that! That's so awful! I'm a bit shocked that there seem no ways for us patients to make our voice heard and make medical professionals believe our problems. 

      One reason I didn't go to the hospital was that I thought they would just think I'm really suicidal and worse, rather than believing it's a side effect of the medication. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Michael. I know that venlafaxine doesn't work right for some people but it does other people a lot of good. Trouble is there is no way of knowing until you try it, and that's why it is still prescribed. I too have read on this site about the harrowing side effects some people experience, but we probably don't hear from most of the people who are happy on the drug. Everyone is different in their reaction. So here's something that isn't a horror story. I have been on venlafaxine for over 6 years and it has been a godsend for me, with few side effects. I'm soon hoping to start withdrawing from it now I've been well for a year, and I'm dreading the withdrawal period, but I still think it was worth taking for me. That's just my personal opinion, and I do know how lucky I am.
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    • Posted

      I am with you Pixie.  Venlafaxine suited me fine, although other anti depressants did not.  it is a matter of finding the one  that suits us.  There are plenty out there. 
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  • Posted

    Hi Laura I have been on venflaxatine for over 20 years and it works great but I have heard a lot if ppl say exactly wot U have it must b awful I think it's defo on the list of side affects in the leaflet it's so strange how some meds can work so well for sure ne and not for others. I hope U find something that does work for U don't lose hope.
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  • Posted

    I believe everything you say, and I feel really sorry that you're having such a terrible experience. At least the GP did the right thing taking you off it, it's such a pity you have still got to survive the withdrawal symptoms, after taking it for only a short time. My one warning would be, try not to let the experience put you off all antidepressants. There are several different ones, and what suits one person doesn't necessarily suit another. I hope you can soon get some relief from it all. Look after yourself. Pixie xx
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    • Posted

      So true Pixie we R all different even those of us that HAV the same diagnosis or symptoms wot works for one don't for another, but like U say don't let it put U off trying other types. I was put on an anti depressant years ago that I was unfortunately allergic to and came out in an awful rash. The problem is that we get put on them if they work its great but if not side affects and then the withdrawals wen reducing them R terrible. I really hope U find something that suits U.
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    • Posted

      Hi pixie, 

      thanks a lot for the warm words. I could really use them right now. To be honest, I'm quite put off trying any antidepressant ever again at this point. The GP prescribed Setraline, but I don't think I can get myself to take it. He said to wait until the other stuff is out of my system. 

      If I imagine I'll have to take Setraline for months, just delaying the problem and then going through a 6 weeks withdrawal process afterwards, feeling awful.. I could just use those 6 weeks now, recover, do a lot of sports and re-build my self esteem and hopefully cope again. 

      But I'll still give it a couple of days of thought. 

      Cheers, 

      Laura

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    • Posted

      Hi Laura if it helps I no two ppl that have had great success with that drug. But if U can get through it without anything angle some therapy I wish I had not been too quick to take so many pills I w been on them since 17 now 36. Talk it over more and c how U feel everyone is different but I totally get how UR feeling. But many ppl get stuck on the idea of having to take pills I myself would sooner feel better and b on them however we no it's not always as simple as that it is annoying tho some ppl R v lucky and the first one they take works hope this helps and let us no how it goes
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    • Posted

      Hi Sarah, 

      that's good to hear that you're doing well with them! 

      How does it feel like to be on an anti-depressant? No side effects for you? 

      I'm just curious because my life has been always a battle. For some reason I never got put on meds. I got a long way but it's still an exhausting struggle constantly. 

      Since I never felt the benefits of the anti-depressant I'm wondering what it feels like. 

      Cheers, 

      Laura

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    • Posted

      Hi Laura tbh I first went on antidepressants for bulimia which was Prozac that worked for a short period but my moods were swinging so I was put on Depakote a mood stabiliser and venflaxatine an anti depressant both of which worked great for years however after 20 years on the same I don't think it was affective anymore I no I was better on then off. I am lucky I guess I never new Venflaxatine had such bad reactions and side affects on others. But I still got v depressed on it and I went up and up and up to my dose now which is 225mg a day. My doctor who has now retired so that shows how long I was under her I was 17 wen u first saw her. Anyway she would never even consider changing it!! I think a good doc with an open mind is more helpful I Hav one now but it's early days and I feel that if I had of had this earlier my quality of life would HAV been so much better. It took me losing everything. I firstly commend anyone who has not turned to meds and often wish that my doc hadn't been too quick to GIV me tablets instead talking therapy and the skills to deal with my illness. I think everyone is diff and we all hope for that magic pill that will help. I never had any side affects on these but Becoz of my past eating struggles I was always v reluctant to take anything that would cause weight gain. However now age 36 my children not with me I am desperate to get better so I'm trying new ones. And I am hoping with this new doctor I can get a grip on this depression as I hAv shut myself away the last 3 years the only time I leave the house is to c my children and that is the only time I feel anything close to normal. But it's fake funny how IVE got so good at pretending. It is so varied tho my sister on the other hand has mild depression was put on antidepressant and she is so happy doing so well! So I suggest U talk to a doctor it's not all bad and U will hear good and bad but U r u and everyone responds diff. I would defo try some therapy or self help books like CBT good diet and exercise first b4 getting on pills I no I will b on pulls for the rest of my life. Good luck PLS let me no I hope this is helpful sorry if IVE gone off track
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  • Posted

    I did very well on Venlafaxine for years.  What suits one person does not always suit another.  We are all different.  It is not an evil drug if it helps.  There are other anti depressants I took, especially Prozac which did not suit me at all.

    I am sorry it did not suit you. 

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  • Posted

    Hi all,

    thanks so much for all the answers and encouraging words. 

    It really seems like the Venlafaxine is great for some and awful for others. I'll definitely keep you posted on how it goes. 

    Cheers, 

    Laura

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  • Posted

    Hi everyone,  i don't think people are going to like what I have to say but here goes. I've been taking maximum dose venlafaxine for years and I think it's a great medication that allows me to lead a fairly normal life. But here's where people won't like what I have to say !  I think the majority of people that take antidepressants expect to have no side effects and just expect to alter the brain chemistry without anything changing in how they're feeling.  These are strong medications to counteract a chemical imbalance and I think people complain about their side effects too easily. I understand extreme side effects klike bleeding, facial contractions and debilitating jheadaches are too awful to bear and this medication obviously does not agree with you. However, the majority of people only have the common side effects and seem to want to come off without giving it a proper chance.  In other words, lots of people seem to complain too quickly. Sorry if this annoys anybody !!
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    • Posted

      Hi Joanne, 

      I agree with you that some side effects are expected. I can live with a bit of nausea or headaches. 

      But what I'm experiencing at the moment is just off the record. It's taking me me to a place of mental and physical instability that is just too scary. I wish I had never encountered this place. It feels a bit like how I imagine a LSD trip gone wrong and a week long hangover. 

      I imagine if people have to cope with these effects for months, how they end up worse then they started. 

      One insteresting finding i just had: The stuff I took was a generic manufactured by a company in Slovenia that I have never heard of before: KRKA.

      After reading this thread about the difference between brand name and generics, I really start wondering. 

      https://patient.info/forums/discuss/generics-can-they-make-you-feel-this-bad--28893

      I also have a couple of friends working in the pharma industry in labs. They always tell me "if you have any way around taking a generic pill, don't take it".

      So now I'm wondering... all this nightmare, especially the bleeding... maybe wouldn't have been that bad if I had taken a brand medication. 

      Unfortunately the Sertraline they dispensed is from the same unknown company. 

      Cheers, 

      Laura

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