Venlafaxine - reviews please!

Posted , 14 users are following.

Hi, I have been trawling through this forum but most posts seem to relate to withdrawal and coming off Venlafaxine so not really what I'm looking for. 

I have been put on 75mg daily today after problems with other drugs:

1. Citalopram - worked amazingly for couple of months - if anything I think I was experiencing the 'manic high' side effect which was great, but didn't last and back to square one. 

2. Sertraline - didn't notice much difference and could not sleep at all which made my depression worse. 

3. Mirtazapine - cured the insomnia but nothing else. I felt detached, numb, irritable, constantly hungry so put on weight, sweating just to go to the shop 2 mins away. 

So now I'm on venlafaxine and looking for reviews from people on it or who have been on it? Did it make your mental health problems better? Did you experience side effects? How quickly did it work? etc. Any advice you can give me would help, like everyone on here, I'm just desperate to feel normal and be me again. 


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  • Posted

    Hi! I'd recommend trying venlafaxine. Everyone reacts differently to it. It's really helped me, I've been on 225g for several years and had no serious side effects. It started lifting my mood after about a week, and continues to keep me steady. I'm in no hurry to come off it while it is still working and I'm feeling well and able to get on with my life - and enjoying life again!
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  • Posted

    Hi Fran

    I agree with you that most of the posts are about coming off or saying bad things about the drug.

    I was on Venlafaxine 75mg for 11 years and never ever had any side effects.  From time to time, usually about a year or so, I  would come of them.  I would cut down on them and I have never had any trouble with withdrawing.  After a while the depression would raise its ugly head again and so I woud go back on them.

    As I said I was on it for 11 years but two years ago they just stopped working.  My GP tried me on several different ADs but to no avail.  Then last November she prescrbed Mirtazapine 15 mg. They worked more or less immediately.  However, they to stopped after 3 months.  My doctor then upped the Mirt to 30 then 45 mg but no luck.  She then  said I should go back on Ven.and put me up to 225 which was horrendous.

    I then asked if I could go to our local hospital and see a psychiatrist as they are supposed to know more about the drugs.  Anyway long story short the Psychiatrist prescribed 15 mg Mrt. and 150 mg Venlafaxine.  I said  but they both stopped working and she said sometimes they don't do so well singly but they make a good combination.  I walked out feeling it was a waste of time but to my joy they started working in three days.  I have also got a couple of friends who are on Ven with great success.  One friend was actually in hospital for weeks as she was so bad.  She has just been taken off her second drug and just on 150 mg of Ven.

    Like you In the main I found that most people only say bad things about Ven.  I can honestly say I have found it to be an excellent drug.  I don't think doctors would prescribe if it was as bad as people say,

    I hope you have the success with it that I have had.  I will look out for your posting.


    Pat x

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    • Posted

      Hi! I too find a combination of venlafaxine (225mg) and mirtazapine (30mg) has worked well for me. I've been on it for several years and have no wish to change it while it's keeping me OK. I did find my psychiatrist had to prescribe it, my GP hadn't come across them being used together, and the local pharmacist queried it the first time. I have just recently started getting very thirsty and weeing gallons (??????) and my GP wonders if that's caused by the antidepressants, but it's only just started and I've been on the drugs for several years. Anyway, that's a minor problem compared to desperate depression/anxiety!
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    • Posted


      I'm VERY glad that a pattern is emerging..

      Venlafaxine (225mg) and mirtazapine (30mg) seems to be a good combination.

      Thats good for others to try first without having to go thru the hell all the trials you have been thru.


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  • Posted

    hi fran,I too had problems with other drugs;sertraline made me sweat excessively and i got boils under my arms, martazipine was a true chemical cosh and i too ate for britain, and i had fluoxetine which did nothing for me.

    i was put on Ven and it was the only drug that actually did something for me and gave me a quality of life. Yes, i had night sweats, day sweats and jerking movements when asleep and to be fair i did put on weight, but ifelt quite 'normal ' and controlled at 225mg. I was diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder. I tried to drop my dose to be on 150mg but the symptoms returned. I had extended release and took them at night as i felt dopey in the day if i took them in the morning. I coped with the sweats.

    8 months ago i felt so normal that i wanted to stop them. I did a slow withdrawl which was hellish (you can read all the stories, mine included) 

    2 days ago, after no meds for 6 months i was back at the psych with severe anxiety and depression........we debated going back on Ven (she doesn't use it with patients if poosible as its hard to come off) and whilst we acknowledged the success it had in giving me a quality of life (i had severe PND) we decided to give Duloxetine a go. similar drug as it controls depression and anxiety but less of a mare to come off apparently and she knew i had big issues coming off Ven.

    I know many hate the stuff, but for me it worked when everything else failed. I cud be a normal Mummy to my little boy.

    Be open and honest with your Psych and tell them you've read the horror stories about coming off it. ( some deny the 'withdrawl' but there is a common theme on here of horrific discontinuation symptoms ( the manufacturers way of convincing us its not addicitve) but others like mine acknowledge the difficulties)

    so far, so good on duloxetine (cymbalta) but if i search, i will doubtlessly find horror stories about this! 

    The choice is yours. If you feel good on it then go with the flow. I made the wrong choice wanting to come off it......but you may decide, like i have now, i probably need medicating for the rest of my days to give me a quality of life.

    good luck!


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  • Posted

    I've been on it almost a year now and it was amazing to finally get some relief from feeling anhedonic and melancholic... and for the most part, there was no reason to it - I simply felt awful. My mind has been a lot quieter and I've cared less about anxious-impulsive thoughts... so they've not been there as much.

    At the same time, I agree with t07646's opinion that it's like 'sleepwalking'. Yes, I've felt normal and happy again - but my motivation to do anything went out the window all year. The cloud of depression lifted but it felt like I wasn't quite there in the room sometimes... for whatever reason... time began to fly by. It's rather bizarre.

    I don't regret taking it because I was in a pit of despair when I started out on it - and now I'm starting to feel a lot more like life is worth living again. Though at the same time it's unsettling that you suddenly look back and realise that everything has gone by much quicker than you expected and you haven't really done much; except read books, passively apply for jobs, watch TV, sleep, play a videogame, go to the supermarket, sleep, sit on the computer... not be able to sleep.

    It sounds stupid to blame an antidepressant for being lazy - but for whatever reason venlafaxine makes me tired as hell, makes it difficult for me to sleep and makes it difficult for me to wake up. Some days I spent more hours asleep than awake.

    The other side effects verrrry slowly waned and almost (but not completely) disappeared - weak orgasms, difficult to acheive orgasms, no orgasms, no libido... surprise super-horny libido. Then there where the headaches and fatigue. I've also had to start omeprazole and mebeverine for IBS; but whether that's due to the venlafaxine is a mystery. Apparently venlafaxine is prescribed *FOR* IBS.

    I'm still on 150mg XR and I'm planning to stay on it for a while - simply because I'm just that scared of falling back into a claustraphobic greyscale hole of anxious hell. Some days I do still get stuck in those negative mindscapes; which sucks. It often feels like I'm seeing another side to everything and I end up sat there worrying about where my life is going as transiently... the feeling of the world beyond the room I'm in "disappears". You might prefer the term 'depressed as poop'.

    It's a good drug, I just wish it didn't sap motivation, energy and mess with everything else those neurotransmitters deal with.

    Ps. Doesn't mix good with alcohol and may make you gain a few pounds over several months. Results vary.

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    • Posted

      I'm trying to find patterns and explanations so here's my theories on Chris's comments.. hope these scratchings are of any use.

      After looking at Dr Winston's DVD on brain behaviour, it seems that the front lobe short term memory (ST) gets the 'first impressions', the first reactions. So for someone who's first reaction is to punch someone out, or to get upset, this is where it seems to come from. In the program the person was taught to Stop and Think and he was much better.

      Then it gets to the long-term memory but only if it is still around ie re-remembered and useful.

      Also, I believe the sick-in-the-gut "Urgency" feeling of crap-I'll never do that again also triggers a 'copy' to Long Term memory.

      So all together, if the VF and the like stall or stop this urgency and long term storage, then you have someone who takes risks cause they don't have the oh-crap barrier.

      They feel in an aquarium cause a percentage of the input doesn't get to the thinking part of the brain.

      They don't have some of the major triggers cause of the delays in processing.

      Funny about sleep, Its almost as if you need an emotion to goto sleep, maybe an 'im tired' trigger that VF stops so the sleep doesn't happen properly?

      I've had and still have less than 4 hours a night.

      Pound-wise, I put on 15kg so it seems as if the metabolism may be affected.

      BTW, If you are in a major accident or very stressful situation, it is all still in Short Term so it never gets to be remembered properly.

      I think the SEX stuff might be the emotion thing again? Agree VF hits it pretty badly. Don't know for sure, but I think it needs the sick-in-the-gut "Urgency" feeling above to 'get it right'

      *THANKS for the courageous mention of it smile *


      I seem to repeat all the crap situations when they come to the fore of my memory, like socks in dryer. And cause I continuously repeat them I seem to be learning them into Long term.

      My video memory is continuous putting myself down. I think VF stops this a bit, which is why it may improve the depression.

      In doing this though, it doesn't let it get into the analytical lets fix this part of the brain, so you are suppressed but don't learn from it.

      Maybe need to find out what the Stop and Think process was that helped the guy.

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  • Posted

    Hi Did you resolve the lack of motivation re Venaflaxine?? Tried desperately to hang on in there with this since Feb ie 9 months and  my brain is just fog and sleep most of the time, lifestyle 100% different, can't read or remember peoples namea. Must try alternative.

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