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Kaitrin

Effexor vs Cymbalta

41 posts in this topic

Posted

For those of you who have taken both Effexor and Cymbalta at different times in your life, what are the similarities/differences? What kind of side effects? Did one work better or faster? I'm on Effexor, and I just wondered if maybe Cymbalta would be a better choice or if I should stick with what I know.

Thanks!

Kaitrin

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Posted

If anyone has been on these meds, how about helping this lady out!

I'm sorry that you are not getting a response, but this med is so new, that not many people have tried it.  I was on Lexapro, which is a spin off of Effexor for 15mo.  If I get stressed out and anxious, the effects are the same.  I clench my teeth, and my neck muscles get real tight.  It's a little constipating, too, so you have to watch your diet.  Headaches from tension still break through, too.  Otherwise, It's a good med, but not if you are looking for something great to happen.  No anxiety attacks, but breakthrough symptoms that you have to work to get relief from, all the same.

I hope that someone who has been of Effexor will post back.  I'll try to go down to the room and see if I can get a response, there.  Good Luck!

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Posted

From what I've read, Lexapro is an SSRI, whereas Cymbalta is an SSNRI - so I don't think they are closely related except for the fact that they both inhibit seratonin reuptake.

I wish I could help, but I've been on neither drug. From what I have read about them, however, I've learned that Effexor initially targets seratonin....and then norepinephrine at higher doses. So to get the dual reuptake benefit, one has to get up to a certain dose. Cymbalta, on the other hand, will target both right away. At least that's what I've read.

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Posted

Kaitrin:

I was on Effexor 225 mg. for a couple of years and at that dosage found it helpful, but sexual side effects among other things bothered me.  I went to Lexapro from there and was not happy with the memory problems that I experienced. I have now been on Cymbalta for 3-4 months - 60 mg day and have found my memory much better, not sure about the sexual side effects as my marriage is not intimate at this point

All and all I have found that I like the cymbalta better, this is for me, you may have different results.  good luck

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Posted

Kaitrin,  Look on Pg. 2 of the cymbalta page for info posted by Sumatra.

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Posted

Oh, well here I am.  I  was in a research study testing Effexor before it went on the market.  It made me so hostile that I decided not to continue with it.  However, I've had no major problems with Cymbalta.  I asked my doctor about the two meds, if one was better.  He likes Cymbalta better.  He says that there are usually few side effects and it's easier to get off of than Effexor is.

Hope that helps.

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Posted

Thanks, Sumatra!     :hearts:

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Posted

I have been on both and I am not sure I can tell a difference....yet.

Only been on Cymbalta for about 2-3 weeks and was on Effexor XR 150 mg for years and years and started to poop out.

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Posted

Effexor helped me only minimally, but the Cymbalta seems to be making a positive difference.

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Posted

I have been on Cymbalta for 4 weeks now @ 60mg/day. I came off Effexor XR @ 375mg/day.

I think it's starting to have some positive effects. I've had no side effects, but then I really never have any side effects from any medication.

I can't accurately talk about any sleep problems because I also take 75/mg of Remeron/Mirtazapine each night.

I can say that during the 4 1/2 years I've been suffering with this D word NOTHING has ever worked as fast and as long and as well as when I finally got on Effexor XR. My Psych put me on Effexor and within 3 days it was like I was a whole new person - and it worked for 14 months...then poof! And now it's been 10 months again in this hole so I'm really hoping the Cymbalta comes around for me.

Hope this helped.

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Posted

i went up to 150 mg on effexor...and started at 75...and it worked GREAT at first....side effects...but stuff i could deal with. then it 'pooped out' and upping the dosage did not work. and i was getting sexual side effects.

now i am weaning off the effexor and i'm currently on 60 mg of cymbalta. so...probably too 'soon' to tell as i've only been on the cymbalta for 2 weeks.

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Posted

I was on Cymbalta 60mg in the morning and 30 in the afternoon added to my Paxil and Klonopin. When I started the Cymbalta I started to feel pretty good. A month ago I decided to try all new meds so I weaned myself off the Cymbalta with Doc supervision and had no problems( just numb feeling in the lips) and I am very very sensitive to meds. Now I am on Paxil, Tanxene and Wellbutrin, but I dont think the Wellbutrin is working as I am extremely depressed so I think I might go back to the Cymbalta.

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Posted

Sounds like a good plan, if it was working well for you before.

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Posted

Venlafaxine was my first experience of the two. My dosage reached 525mg/day at one point, though my final dosage was 375mg. The effect it had was everything I could wish for from an AD, my mood was back to "normal", & I had increased energy (probably due to venlafaxines similarity with MDMA). The problem came when I forgot to take it before going out one day. I'd had the beginnings of the experience before, "brain shivvers" when I was late taking it. It was not unlike LSD, but stronger.

I took duloxetine more recently, & the only efffects I had were adverse. Mainly nausia. When my psychiatrist asked me what the effects were he immitated what he expected me to say: "Duloxetine are the sucks, venlafaxine rules!" :hearts:

Venlafaxine wins hands down with me, aside from pronounced tachycardia (which I got with duloxetine as well, though not as pronounced).

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Posted

For those of you who have taken both Effexor and Cymbalta at different times in your life, what are the similarities/differences? What kind of side effects? Did one work better or faster? I'm on Effexor, and I just wondered if maybe Cymbalta would be a better choice or if I should stick with what I know.

Thanks!

Kaitrin

I see I'm about 3 years too late to respond to this post. But I'll do so in case anyone else has this same question.

I recently tried Cymbalta for depression and it was just awful for me.

Everyone is different, so we know what works well for some can be terrible for someone else.

I have been on nearly all the SSRI's, and other anti-depressants such as Remeron (bad; hallucinating type nightmares), the Trycyclics (good for pain: back, migraines but couldn't reach a dose that helped depression; caused increased tiredness). While on the SSRI's I went from docile to agitated, had an increase in bruxism, woke up with my jaw clenched in an almost locked state every morning, pain in jaw, increase in headaches/migraine, and insomnia/vivid nightmares, yawning, more sleepiness during the day--yet anxiety/panic ridden, etc. just to name a few! However, I stuck it out with Prozac and it helped my depression but all those side effects, coupled with about an hour of pain in the chest (heartburn from capsules?) after taking my dose is what caused me to stop it. Then came what I hoped to be the answer: CYMBALTA. This was the worst anti-depressant in it's own way. I was on it for two weeks. I felt like a complete ZOMBIE. Am always sleepy to begin with during the day, but this made me even worse than I was already. My awful depression became even more severe. I was completely bedridden and was going on a downward spiral. I stopped after 2 weeks, realizing this was a long enough trial to decide it wasn't for me. Next came Wellbutrin, which gave me sores in the mouth and exasperated the head/nerve pain on one side; mysteriously, the sores on my tongue were also located on the same side of my worst headaches. Stopped it. Decided to try Cymbalta on last time, again, same experience after a week and a half; discontinued and will never try it again. Finally, I was given Effexor XR 37.5. I have been on it only a week...so far so good. Perhaps a little touch of insomnia when trying to fall asleep but no agitation, no zombie state, lock-jaw, none of that. My depression is still there, daytime need to sleep still there but no horrendous side effects thus far; seems dose may need to be up-ed but again, i'm just in the beginning stages. It's difficult to believe this is related at all to Cymbalta. I've met a few people who are on Cymbalta who swear by it-- we are all so different. Will report on Effexor XR after being on it a little longer. Best Wishes. :hearts:

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Posted

For those of you who have taken both Effexor and Cymbalta at different times in your life, what are the similarities/differences? What kind of side effects? Did one work better or faster? I'm on Effexor, and I just wondered if maybe Cymbalta would be a better choice or if I should stick with what I know.

Thanks!

Kaitrin

Kaitrin,

I prefer the Cymbalta over Effexor, but everyone is different. With Effexor, I was tired all the time, hungry all the time, and lost my libido. I felt more "normal" on the Cymbalta and it helped me sleep, which is a huge problem I have always had. How long have you taken the Effexor?

Calliope

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Posted

I've taken Effexor XR and Cymbalta and can add some information based on my own experience. I preferred Effexor and discontinued use because my blood pressure became elevated. Cymbalta stopped working after about a year and a half so I discontinued it as well. I found both to be mildly energizing and somewhat effective on symptoms of depression and PTSD but overall I greatly preffered Effexor XR over Cymbalta.

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Posted

Old topic, but new results (maybe). I've been taking 30mg of Cymbalta for about 3 weeks now, as I wean myself down from 262.5 mg effexor xr. I'm now at about 187.5 Effexor, and waiting to get down to 150 mg before I can up my Cymbalta to 60mg.

I'd say I'm feeling the effects of less antidepressants, lower energy, a little sadder (not major like I would be without anything). One thing I have noticed is an increased sex drive. I'm not sure if it is still early days to report on this, but my decreased libido 12 years ago when I first went on Effexor was really serious. I went off for 2 years and tried everything else on the market to find an antidepressant that would work. Effexor was the best. Went back on it, and until a few years ago, felt great, except for the "no sex drive" which led to no sex.

In the last few years I've noticed Effexor being less effective as an antidepressant, and had mentioned early macular degeneration and osteoarthritis to my doctors (G.P., psychiatrist and naturopathic doctor). My self-diagnosis is that it was taxing my liver, exacerbating the above degeneration, possibly because of a shortage in fluids? I drink copious amounts of water and always have. I keep looking for medical or otherwise evidence that Cymbalta will be less of a strain on my liver and sex life. Anyone else currently going through this switch, or have done in the past, with similar results?

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Posted

Glad this topic got restarted.

I have taken Effexor at different times over the years while trying to find the right AD, which I still have not. Currently, I am on Cymbalta 90 mg, having come off of Effexor 225 mg several months ago. For the mood, Cymbalta is better though it slows me down and makes me takes naps during the day. But the WORST thing is the weight gain. I have NEVER gained weight on an AD, have always had a flat stomach, etc., and now I have a tire around my middle and went from 134 to 154 lbs. I can live with almost any side effect but that so am going back to Effexor in a couple of days for one last time. For the mood, Effexor is not as good and I have some irritability but it is more energizing so no naps and no weight gain.

Cymbalta - Better for mood - horrible for weight gain. But after gaining that much weight your mood is rotten anyway so the benefit is negated by the side effect.

Effexor - Worse for mood - no side effects.

It's all about what you are willing to live with.

P.S. Since I have been on almost everything I do have refractory depression and the very next step, if, (or should I say when), the Effexor stops working I am being put on thyroid replacement (even though my levels are normal). That should be interesting. But it is a very common treatment for refractory depression so we shall see. If that doesn't work stimulant meds will be considered but only as a last resort.

P.S.S. I am in psychotherapy also, so all my medications really do is get me through that and keep me from breaking down completely (most of the time).

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Posted

Glad this topic got restarted.

I have taken Effexor at different times over the years while trying to find the right AD, which I still have not. Currently, I am on Cymbalta 90 mg, having come off of Effexor 225 mg several months ago. For the mood, Cymbalta is better though it slows me down and makes me takes naps during the day. But the WORST thing is the weight gain. I have NEVER gained weight on an AD, have always had a flat stomach, etc., and now I have a tire around my middle and went from 134 to 154 lbs. I can live with almost any side effect but that so am going back to Effexor in a couple of days for one last time. For the mood, Effexor is not as good and I have some irritability but it is more energizing so no naps and no weight gain.

Cymbalta - Better for mood - horrible for weight gain. But after gaining that much weight your mood is rotten anyway so the benefit is negated by the side effect.

Effexor - Worse for mood - no side effects.

It's all about what you are willing to live with.

P.S. Since I have been on almost everything I do have refractory depression and the very next step, if, (or should I say when), the Effexor stops working I am being put on thyroid replacement (even though my levels are normal). That should be interesting. But it is a very common treatment for refractory depression so we shall see. If that doesn't work stimulant meds will be considered but only as a last resort.

P.S.S. I am in psychotherapy also, so all my medications really do is get me through that and keep me from breaking down completely (most of the time).

My previous doc suggested to me to try Cymbalta. It has been approved recently here in Canada.

As far as weight gain. I was also thin and gained 30 pounds with Effexor!!!!

Thing is with these meds we tend to eat more and do less. At least for me. I do work but at night I dont do much and I tend to have the muchies. :hearts:

As for the sex drive well its a flat liner in that area so I dont mind much :flowers:

I might try Cymbalta as the Effexor is not quite doing the job. Better than any others I tried so far but not as well as I would like. So I might go for it and see. Worst of worst I'll go back on Effexor.

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Posted

Meep! Glad to see this topic. My doc has suggested I try Cymbalta when I finally get off the Venla. I have spent three months having my dose of Venla, a few more months and I can try Cymbalta. I was hoping this topic would be full of "ZOMG IT MOVE TO CYBALTA AND NOW MY LIFE IS MADE OF GOLD" but as with any drug I guess it's different for us all.

I seem to have adverse effects from having more noradrenaline in my system, and Cymbalta affects this less than the venla, so hopefully it will work out. Eventually :)

Has anyone else moved from Venla to Cym due to the nightmares / sweats / everything else that can go wrong with venla?! How did that work out?

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Posted

Cymbalta is better though it slows me down and makes me takes naps during the day. But the WORST thing is the weight gain. I have NEVER gained weight on an AD, have always had a flat stomach, etc., and now I have a tire around my middle and went from 134 to 154 lbs.

Just thought I'd check in on this thread which I picked up a while ago. I've now been on the Cymbalta for approaching 3 months, and am up to 60mg, down to 150mg Effexor. In fact I had reduced to 107.5, and my shrink suggested I go back up to 150 and stay at 60mg cymbalta, as my depression and coping skills seem like they're being taxed right now. I must also say I just weighed myself this week and totally freaked out as I am now up to 165lbs, a good 10 lbs more than before I started the cymbalta. I feel very mellow on Cymbalta, more sensitive, dreamy, forget words, just want to read, sleep, and have noticed increased libido, but my husband long ago wrote me off, so I'll have to do something drastic to draw his attention to it :hearts: . If I can find the energy.

I do work but at night I dont do much and I tend to have the muchies. :hearts:

This is interesting to me, as I work different shifts. The time I have the most difficulty is when I come home from "evenings", ie 11pm, and everyone else is ready for bed. I sit in the kitchen and snack. I'm tired, but still wired from work, so can't sleep! So I guess my point is that no work, or after work, kitchen is the worst place to be in the evening! This is such a challenge for me.

As for the sex drive well its a flat liner in that area so I dont mind much :flowers:

Yeah, funny isn't it, how the low sex drive isn't a problem if you're the one who has it? :hearts: Our poor partners though.

I think the low energy is the biggest complaint I have with Cymbalta. Weight gain simply can't continue, so I don't know what I"ll do. I know I lost weight on Effexor, because I felt so great so quickly on it. Lots of energy, creative drive, but a "hardening" of my attitude. Less sympathy, sensitivity. I'm glad to have that back, but along with more body weight, tiredness and lethargy, I'm more weepy, and do find I lose words lately. Would love to hear how others are doing with cymbalta. Any long-termers?

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Posted

I went from 3 years on Effexor at 575 mgs and 1000 mgs of lithium now 4 months on cymbalta 120 mgs lamoctrogine 100 mgs and zyprexa 2.5 mgs the change has helped a fair bit with anxiety but like a lot of people i cant stop eating ,not good im my case .

Found it helped within 3 days but i reckon the worst side effects have to be a low sex drive and lack of sleep.

I am also having problems with headaches but i am not sure if its the meds or issues from broken back.

Everyones different. All the best...........

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Posted (edited)

Chiming in here, too.

Over the years, my docs have placed me on nearly every med in the book; I generally don't respond well to most, having weird side effects (some not even documented). That said, it's been many years since I've tried them.

I recall having some good luck with Effexor for a short time, but the sexual side effects were too much; so I went off. My doc recently gave me some samples of Cymbalta to try for 3 weeks, and they're sitting on the shelf while I figure it out. I generally like to get good information about a drug before I take it, even though I fully realize everyone's experience may be vastly different.

I've had issues with sleep problems over the years, more anxiety related; when I'm calm, no problem - I have a CPAP, too. When I read about insomnia with Cymbalta, that was a red flag. And though I feel silly admitting it, a big show-stopper for me is sexual side effects (I'm male, and I don't need to elaborate on those side effects, they're on the label ;-)). That is a bigger show stopper for me.

My doc wants me to try the lowest dose (30mg) - my depression/anxiety is more generalized and not severe. I probably just need a boost so I'm not feeling so withdrawn all the time; however, as a previous posting here mentioned, if it creates more problems (ie: weight gain, sexual effects) then my opinion is that it's not a good solution for me.

Even with 10mg of Lexapro, I had sexual side effects. Though I realize it's a different drug and perhaps sometimes the side effects can go away with time. Cymbalta is an unknown to me.

That said, I'm wondering what people's experience has been with Cymbalta with sleep, sexual side effects, etc., at or near the dose my doc suggests.

I'm always open to input, feedback and suggestions.

Thanks!

Edited by forrie

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Posted

I ALSO FORGOT TO MENTION HEADACHES.......UNREAL COULD DO WITHOUT THEM. THE ONLY BIG THINGS I NOTICED WAS GOING FROM EFFEXOR 575 MGS TO CYMBALTA WHILE IT WAS WORKING IT TOOK AWAY MY CRAVING FOR FOOD WHICH IS A PLESANT OUTCOME FOR ME.THEN COMES ALONG ZYPREXA AND TALK ABOUT EAT, I COULD EAT A HORSE AND CHASE THE RIDER NOT THAT I COULD CATCH HER, TOOOOOO....HEAVY.

TIME FOR A SNACK.......

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