Venlafaxine - too many side effects?

Posted , 13 users are following.

I've heard a lot about this medication. I don't want to be prescribed it because it seems to come with load of side effects and people get withdrawal if they are an hour or so late with their dose. Also sound horrendous to get off; What are people's experiences?

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  • Posted

    Hi Stephen

    I have found venlafaxine to be a great AD. I have had no side effects and am delighted that my depression has lifted. I am not worried about withdrawal as that's some months away. I am just thankful that the doom and gloom and misery have disappeared ?

    Give it a whirl you won't regret it!

    God bless xx

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  • Posted

    I take 225mg venlafaxine a day, two 75mg tablets at night and one in the morning.i sometimes forget to take the morning one without noticing. So I shouldn't worry about being late with a dose. I've been on the venlafaxine with mirtazapine for more than 6 years and they've given me my life back.

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  • Posted

    I have taken it for 12 years. 4 years at 75mg then 150mg and about 2 years of tapering off. I found going on it rough. Going off was done very slowly (a 37.5 reduction each spaced a minimum of 3 months apart, sometimes 6 months and one 9 months) and this way i had no difficulties at all. I had to be totally stable for at least 3 months between decreases and absolutely no dosage changes during times of hightened stress or major life events. As i said, going on it was rough. But, after 2 months of first starting it i had no side effects anymore. Except reduced sex drive. Other than that i felt better than ever. I was treated for severe GAD. It took 2 years at 150 mg to reach a point where my symptoms withdrew notably and i had more good days than bad. This was followed by 2 years here i was totally symptom free, 2 years of maintenance at 150mg and then tapering off as described. It gave me my life back, or rather brought me to a place where i was able to rest, relax and regain control of my life and mind. I swear by it. I think it is a potent medicine and definitely understand it affects different people in different ways. One thing is for sure : it does something smile

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    • Posted

      I have been off the medicine for 3 years now and symptom free for over 8 years now. I keep saying this because i think it is important to show that there is an end in sight for those just starting or in the middle of therapy.
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    • Posted

      As i recall: Nausea was first and lasted for a couple of weeks. Headaches too.  Heightened anxiety lasted for about a week or two. I started at 37.5, moved to 75 immediate release then extended release, then pushed up until we reached 150 extended release over a few weeks. At any start up dose (i went on it twice) i had some confusion, fogginess, forgetfullness as well as neurological symptoms like cold/hot flushes, tingling in forehead, numbing on face but also some panic and intrusive thoughts, racing thoughts, and definitely sleep disturbances in the first week or so. Sometimes unable to fall aslees, sometimes unable to stay asleep and some times unable to wake up. I did not feel hyped up. I felt a little unreal and as i said foggy. A little lethargic and weak. The intrusive thoughts were the worst. Was glad when they disappeared as suddenly as they started. Once the worst of the symptoms passed i felt clearminded and comfortable. The only thing that never came back was my sex drive which was notably reduced but this could also be due to various circumstances in the long run. All the best.
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    • Posted

      Mind you i could not really feel jittery even if that is what it does because i was started on increased dosages in parallel with xanax for the first 2 months to help ease me on effexor.
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    • Posted

      The sooner you can get on XR the better for sure. But as first introduction between the drug and your brain i think it is kinder to go with IR to give the brain a ltaste first to get it used to it. Given its often notable startup effects

      There is no science behind this - just my personal experience having tried going on it IR and XR in two separate startups. Much preferred the IR. Also IR was useful for upping the dose. My doctor would up it in increments so if I was on 75, to get to 150 he gave me 75 XR + one IR for the first box, then 75XR +one IR morning +one IR noon and then two x 75 XR (one morning one noon and finally 150. My brain was more gradually being taught to work with the dosage. At the time XR version of 37.5 mg was not readily available and was much more expensive so IR made more sense both in terms of adjustment and financially. 

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  • Posted

    Now trying to get off Ven. Very depressed right now. The drug made me feel extremely anxious, but perhaps I was on too high a dose. The whole thing with ADs seems to be very individual.
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    • Posted

      Hi Stephen. I think I started on half of a 37.5 mg ER capsule, then went up to a full capsule. Was on 37.5 for 5 or 6 months. Never felt well -- upset stomach and a lot of anxiety. Tapered off VERY slowly, 2 mgs a week, but despite that am having a lot of withdrawal problems.
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    • Posted

      Yes, I was on the XR version. I figured out that 8 beads was equal to 2 mgs so used that calculation to taper off. Have recently read that method is not adisable, but how else could it be done?
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    • Posted

      I think there are a variety of beads in the capsules that are absorbed at different rates, that's how they extend the release. So when you separate out the beads you don't know which ones you are getting.

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    • Posted

      Yes, I believe that is right. So could explain why I am having a bad withdrawal. But what else could I have done to taper off? Don't expect you to know the answer to that one!

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    • Posted

      No I don't know the answer! I am on 225mg each day which I take as 3 x 75 mg so I am dropping one 75 mg XL tablet once a week at the moment, then I'll drop it twice a week and so on but when I get to the lower doses, I don't know how I'll do it. The XL tablets are like hard tablet shaped cases with a tiny hole through which the active drug gradually leaches. They are impossible to break (I've tried!) and that wouldn't help anyway because it would destroy the slow release action. I might ask to try the non- extended version and take them throughout the day, gradually increasing the intervals between. I'm actually in no hurry, because venlafaxine has suited me.

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    • Posted

      If you can find a "compounding pharmacist" in your area, he/she might be able to help you by "compounding" or making a formula that will help you taper off. But I warn you, that will be pricey!

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