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firelizardee, 12 Jul 2004
Posted 12 Jul 2004
Originally started by Chavra
Posted by: Guest on May 14 2002,11:23
I just wanted to put in a positive experience. I have had panic attacks and anxiety for about 3 years now. When they 1st came on I went on Paxil and it worked well but I became a "flatliner" - ie: I became pretty unsocial, uninterested in sex and tired all the time. I took it for about a year then got tired of the side effects and quit (oh boy and that wasn't fun) Then I tried Wellbutrin (yikes!)
My doctor recently suggested Effexor XR because my recent anxiety had also caused a bit of depression.
I have nothing but WONDERFUL things to say about this medication. I have not suffered from one side effect (except my periods are scanty). It worked on my depression almost immediately and it took a couple of weeks to conquer the anxiety. Two silly comments I want to make are - I was terrified of going down an escalator and I am proud to say I am now riding them up AND down. I was also terrified to fly and I think I'm ready to start out with a short trip. I don't have panic attacks in crowds or restaurants anymore either. I'm also starting to breathe more normally instead of doing that chesty anxiety breathing. And overall I'm happier, more relaxed and ready to take on more responsibilities.
I read a lot about Effexor XR causing nausea and sexual side effects and I haven't had either.
If you are considering Effexor XR, I highly reccommed giving it a chance.
Posted by: Guest on May 15 2002,08:16
I also have a great success story for Effexor! I was Celexa for a couple of years and then decided to take a drug holiday. I was off medication for about 8 months, and did well, but then sank bank into a bad depression. My therpist told me about Effexor. I went to my doctor and got an Rx, and came here to check it out. I was also scared about the side effects listed...but I started anyway. I had NO side effects at all..and it works!!! My anxiety and depression are much improved, and I just upped my dosage to 75 about 5 days ago. There are days when I still feel a bit sluggish, but overall I feel alot better!! My sex drive has fallen a bit, but given enough time (an incentive ), I still have a great sex life.
good luck to all!!
Posted by: Ingenieur on May 15 2002,11:59
Effexor XR, 150mg/day has been working quite well for me. I've been taking it for nine months now, and it has most definitely helped my mood.
Side effects are quite minimal: still have some nausea and occasional vivid dreams.
I'm on Risperdol as well - 0.5mg/day (as a mood stabilizer). This is also helping a lot, evening out my lows... This combo has been working really well for me in the last two weeks!
Posted by: Guest on May 15 2002,20:30
I LOVE EFFEXOR XR! It is the best AD I have taken (prozac, zoloft, paxil, serzone, WB). No more anxiety or depression, can have the big O, no weight gain (I lost initially but now I am "normal"). Good luck. I have been taking it for about 6 weeks now.
The only "bad" side effect that i had was I sweat a bit more than usual for the first 2-3 days. Also, I can remember my dreams in more detail than usual; no nightmares though.
Posted by: Guest on May 23 2002,19:21
I've been taking Effexor for 2 months now. When I started, the 37.5 mg dose gave me horrible headaches. When I increased to 75mg, the headaches disappeared. I take 225mg now, spread out throughout the day, and I feel sooooo good! I do experience dry mouth and drier skin, but those are minor inconveniences. I feel good about getting up in the morning, I don't sweat the small stuff, and I can concentrate on doing what's good for my family and me. This last year in particular has been rough; been laid off, new job, family illness, financial problems, etc. I was wiped out emotionally, and it feels good to start climbing back up!
Posted by: brookie8 on May 29 2002,16:28
Effexor XR gave me my life back. I was so depressed and anxious, I didn't sleep well for almost 6 months - it all seems like a really bad dream now. I feel like me, I laugh, I do all the silly things I used to, and I am so GLAD I finally found something that works!
Posted by: Guest on May 31 2002,08:55
It really worked!
I was on prozac for 2 bouts of depression - but it never really hit the spot. Effexor finally gave me the boost I needed to feel confident and human again. I discovered what it's like to smile and feel happy and satisfied.
Counselling and family support was a big part of my recovery - but Effexor gave the push into normality I needed.
I was on it for 18 months - am now 2 months drug free and still doing great!
Posted by: Guest on June 22 2002,22:03
Just thought i would TRY to revive this topic..has
ANYONE had any success with effexor long -term with side effects that are managable.............am i the only one having good (initial) results...hoping this will continue long-term. I am not worried about withdrawal quite yet. Just want help now. I have read so many negative things--esp. with withdrawal. Although, i have also read about people missing one dose with bad consequences. I did , in fact,miss a dose--- and nothing happened..only on 75 mg. now...plus i have none of the bad effects i got from zoloft(jaw clenching, sexually numb, spaced out, insomnia). However, i feel like i kind of need some positive reinforcement here....otherwise i get nervous.........So, has anyone had a good experience with effexor?????
ps. i am on it for severe anxiety, with mild depression , and mild ocd.....mostly need it for anxiety, and thinking of continuing with it to 150 mg....and yes i know, when the time comes i will have to taper down the dose in order to go off the med...but for now, just concerned about having a life i can cope with.
Posted by: Guest on June 23 2002,09:23
Tried several AD's, but Effexor was the one that worked. Not straight away, but within 3 - 4 weeks. It did take away all the crippling effects of my depression. Certainly , there were some side effects, but not harmful enough to blunt the joy of no depression!
Was on it for more than 4 years, starting at 75mg. tailing to 37.5mg. then tapering to 18.75mg. finally cold-turkey 4 weeks ago. The withdrawal symptoms are not pleasant, but are manageable, and things are improving every day. All I can say is, give it a try. If it works for you, then great, you'll have your life back. If you eventually come off it, then hopefully It's done It's job, and you will accept the price it demands for dis-continuance.(sp).
Posted by: Guest on July 09 2002,06:10
Effexor XR has worked for me for the last 2 1/2 years. I started out at 37.5 mg. but was quickly raised to 300 mg. while I was an inpatient. I just upped the dosage to 375 mg. with dr. approval. Hopefully this will keep the positive stuff going. I think 450 mg. is tops. I have been on many AD (and major tranqulizers) since I was diagnosed at 16 with major psychotic depression. I am 45 now. This one has seemed to do the trick. I pray it keeps working!!!!
Posted by: Jerri on April 01 2002,12:59
I would like to say something good about my Effexor XR
trip, I started taking it about 5 weeks ago. It was hell to begin with for 2 weeks with all the side effects, nausea, headache, dilated pupils, dizziness, tremors, yawning, chills, etc. Now I only have the shakes at times and a sense of
being high or wired.
For the first time in years, I have energy. I had forgotten what that was like. It feels good!!!!!!!!!!!!! My mind has cleared some. I'm not depressed. I'm not perfect, but it
is helping me.
I strongly recommend it for anyone who is considering it, just remember you have to get through 2 weeks or less. Oh, and
constipation is always a battle. Just drink lot's of water, eat prunes and food high in Fiber.
FEELIN' GOOD ON MONDAY MORNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by: Jerri on April 01 2002,17:42
I started taking Effexor XR for my "loss of interest" in the
pleasures of life. I didn't enjoy anything and was always tired.
I now have a "new found" energy to do things.
This was my first experience with medication, was too
ashamed to go ask for help. Had been that way for several
years. A new "female" doctor came to town, so I went for
it. I prefer female ,being one myself. She was wonderful,
easy to talk too. Thanks for the comment! What do you take?
Posted by: rcp on April 04 2002,08:00
Feels good doesn't it Jerri?!
So happy for you that the fog has lifted and sunshine returns.
(... now if only they could sort out those blumin side effects ... )
Posted by: Guest on Aug. 30 2002,23:10
I've been on Effexor XR for 3 1/2 years now, 225 mg/day (divided in two doses). I was extremely ill and suicidal with recurrent MDD and PTSD. If there were side effects in the beginning, I either don't remember or was too ill to notice; all I remember about that time is carefully considering different methods of ******* myself, making choices and preparations. 225 mg actually wasn't really enough, but at any higher dose the side effects became intolerable, and I was terrified to stop it and see if anything else might be more effective, because it was making a difference, even though I was still pretty bad off for a long time. It kept me alive long enough, though, for therapy to do its job. We tried a number of other things to augment it-- Depakote, Tegretol, Wellbutrin, Zyprexa-- anything that worked I could not tolerate, so Effexor alone was it. I got better through therapy, though I still had extreme mood swings (occasional hypomania, and depression sometimes, but Effexor kept me from being suicidal). I've tried to reduce the dosage more than once, but can't do it-- even the times when depression doesn't necessarily return right away, I lose resilience and the ability to handle stress (last time I decreased it was a month before Sept. 11, and it took two months and extra therapy to get me stable again after the 11th, back at my original dose), so it looks like I'm on it for life at this point. As much as I dislike taking medication, I am extremely thankful for Effexor-- life wouldn't be possible without it, and I have three children and a wonderful husband, and I'm well enough now to really know what it cost them during those dark years and how awful it would be for them if I didn't have this to keep me going.
I do still have side effects (except under the program noted below); constipation, jerking, orthostatic hypotension primarily, perhaps sleep problems (not sure if those are due entirely to Effexor) but none are terribly serious or intrusive and are far better than the alternative.
One more thing that has made all the difference: I had three doctors strongly encouraging me to start lithium to handle the mood swings I was still having, something I did NOT want to take, so I began researching to find out more about it and also find out what alternatives there were... and I came across a book that has changed my life as much as Effexor itself did, called The Antidepressant Survival Guide by Hedaya. He's a psychiatrist and psychopharmacologist who felt that people should not have to just "live" with side effects, or make choices such as whether to relieve depression or have a sex life... so he investigated other disciplines (you know how compartmentalized medicine is), worked with his own patients, and developed a lifestyle program of diet, sleep, exercise, and relaxation for people on antidepressants... and it WORKS. I followed his five-day trial plan, and it was amazing... if I stick rigorously to the program, I have almost NO side effects; mood swings vanished, energy level picked up, sleep was solid and restful; in short, for the first time in years I felt completely NORMAL again-- I was the person I used to be before this last episode of depression began-- I had actually forgotten what that felt like, to just be solid, stable, have appropriate emotions, be able to make long-term plans again, and keep them... when I stick to this program (which, of course, I don't always) I don't need Ambien to sleep, and I have no panic attacks even in triggering situations (they are related to the PTSD, not a result of Effexor). I can't stop taking Effexor; depression is still something lurking in the background that jumps out given the opportunity (as in when I got bronchitis and couldn't eat or take meds. for a while and went down in mood very far and very fast); this program is designed to work with your antidepressant, not replace it, and that it does.
So... Effexor has been a key part of my recovery... and I have just returned to school to begin working on a doctorate-- something that would have been unimaginable without it.
Posted by: Guest on Sep. 02 2002,11:19
I switched from Paxil to Effexor about two months ago. I have taken many different SSRI's without long term success and had very little hope that effexor would help me....I WAS WRONG! So far, effexor has made me feel so much better. I am happy, motivated in my hobbies, can handle social situations (before I could not), have had a total decrease in anxiety and panic, and am all around feeling like I don't have depression at all! I have not experienced any severe side effects beyond the first couple of weeks, and am feeling very balanced now. Effexor has made me very content, and for the first time ever I feel like I'm "normal", meaning not "sick".
Posted by: firelizardee on Sep. 03 2002,06:26
thanks 'little mess' and 'alleigh'
its good to hear about the success stories.
I suppose I can count myself as being a success as well although I have other problems (diagnosed with a 'Personality Disorder') that make me 'not well'.
The effexor took ages to help me it gave me the boost I needed to be able to handle the talking therapies I'm in. My boss told me yesterday that I seemed more 'up' and to think that this time last year I was in hospital being assessed and then in A&E with a serious overdose.
More of us 'success with effexor' folk should post here.
Posted by: Thunderrd on Sep. 17 2002,14:25
Anyone have anything else to contribute to this? It's always good to read about people who have been helped by effexor.
Posted by: Guest on Sep. 18 2002,07:46
Hi everyone! I am about to finish week 5 on Effexor XR. My therapist sent me for a med eval due to prior allergic reactions to Prozac and Welbutrin, and he put me on the Effexor. The first 2 weeks were awful...as soon as I went to 75 mgs the side effects were making me crazy(ier) then before. We adjusted the timing of the doses, and that helped. The next week was the worse, the achiness, the wired feeling, the constant need to jerk my legs, laying in bed at night just moving my legs til I was physically exhausted. Week 4 was better with the side effects, but my emotions were a mess. The mood swings, deep deep depression, reacting to things in ways that were just wrong etc. This week it's been hit and miss, one day is good and no side effects, the next I'm achy and racey. But I do feel better mood wise. Anxiety has been worse since I started it, and maybe that's something I'll have to work with my Pdoc on, but my depression is starting to be better. I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, so when my depression is bad in the fall or winter, it's hard to deal with. I am also taking Trazodone 50 mgs at night to sleep. I've been sleeping through the night, waking up feeling refreshed, and have even found myself being ready for work way before I need to be. I'm feeling very positive today about the Effexor XR and the hope that it will be able to help me. I am still at 75 mgs, the Pdoc said my body is extremely sensitive to it and it will take me along time to adjust to each dose change. I have noticed I'm starting to find pleasure in things again. Especially my friends. I'm starting to feel my old self again, doing fun things, cooking, feeling romantic, wanting to do things with my life again.
I want to thank everyone for their posts in here. A very special person told me about this site, and I was bored at work one day and checked it out. I never would have made it through the second week if not for being able to read other people's experiences and to know that even though the little pamphlet's they give you don't say half the things you may go through, that there are lots of other people who did. That was what gave me the strength to "ride out" the h*ll and the side effects and everything. So here's hoping it continues to work, and again thanks for all of your insight and help through this...even if you didn't know what a help you all were!!
Posted by: UKW on Sep. 20 2002,18:37
Although I personally had to quit Effexor due to insomnia, I do think it's a very good drug, one of the best. One of the things it helped me with, interestingly, was dandruff and skin scaling problems (dermatitis), which evidently were related to depression. (No other med has done this for me.) My scalp was absolutely free of dandruff the next day. It also immediately stopped me from crying easily. Had I continued with it, I probably would have felt much better in terms of my depression/anxiety. But it also made me feel weird and restless, so much so that I couldn't sleep even if I took it in the morning.
All the horror stories about "Effexor withdrawal" may be exaggerated. My doctor told me that never in his career thus far had he seen a single case of notably bad "withdrawal" from Effexor.
Posted by: Guest on Sep. 30 2002,09:27
I have been on Effexor XR for 2
Posted by: Guest on Nov. 24 2002,20:02
I'm really just posting because I wanted to bump this thread up to the top, so that more people can see it. This is wonderfully affirming and encouraging. I bet that most folks come to the forum because they're having problems with their meds (including me)...so you don't always hear the good stories.
I've been on Effexor XR for about 6 months, and for the most part I've had a great experience. So much crazy stuff has been going on in my life (mostly uncertainty at work), and it's amazing I've been able to handle it so well. I've been remarkably even-headed through it all. I've also been feeling more optimistic and hopeful...and have conquered some major phobias. For example, I used to be terrified of New York City (hard to say why, just sorta was), but on effexor I've had to go into the city for a freelance work job, and I tackled it head on, subway and all...without too much anxiety. It felt like a major accomplishment.
I increased from 112.5 to 150 mg about 2 months ago, and a few weeks back started to experience a side effect that has bothered me a lot -- an extremely salty taste in my mouth that won't go away. It overpowers everything I eat or drink, so I'm not able to enjoy eating. I haven't seen any other posts mentioning this side effect...but perhaps it's related to the excessive sweatiness some others have experienced.
So...I'm a little nervous right now. I think I'm going to ask my doc to decrease to 100-112.5 mg per day, but I'm worried that this side effect won't go away, and that it could mean my body can't tolerate the drug any longer. I'll keep my fingers crossed that it's just a matter of adjusting the dosage.
At any rate...thanks again to all those who created or contributed to this thread. It's given me hope.
Best of luck to all!
Posted by: Guest on Dec. 13 2002,18:44
I have had fantastic results, My friends and family noticed it first, of course. My best friend, who doesn't really believe in AD's loves me on it, it is just the little things, she says, and I am a lot easier to be around. The nausea is a little rough, but it is worth it. I am not as keyed up, I am a lot calmer in situations, and when I am by myself, I enjoy that, instead of fearing it.
Posted by: firelizardee on Dec. 16 2002,06:18
Good to know about another success.
i found that the nausea soon went.
Posted by: Guest on Dec. 27 2002,07:28
4 weeks in an feeling good. Still tired at times but overall doing better. No complaints about Effexor XR. 25 weeks on Celexa almost sent me to my grave. Staying at 75mgs, which is very low I know but I'm not complaining. Other then tired spells no SE's at all.
Never know how long this will last but for now I feel a big improvement in my depressive state.
Anxiety is 99% gone.
Hope others can experience the same.
Posted by: Guest on Feb. 15 2003,18:50
Hey! I think I'm the only one whose Gynecologist has put them on Effexor SR. After complaining about PSM, he put me on Serafem. After eight months and 10 extra pounds I decided that was not the route I wanted to go. Being a Health/Physical Education teacher as well as an avid tennis player I thought I could handle everything with exercise! After coming off Serafem I began walking 40 miles a week! I lost the 10 pounds and did not have any PMS for the four months I did this. But when school began again and I did not have the time for the 40 miles, I began having pms symptoms all month. When I saw my Gyn in Dec. I explained all my symptoms. I told him behind this seemingly happy, outgoing person was a wicked woman! At the end of the day I have dealt with 600 five to eight year olds. What used to be a pleasure to do daily was becoming very difficult. I did not like the way I was feeling regarding my work as well as my family. At age 45, I still have 15 years left before retirement. I also know that my hormones are in the process of changing. I trusted my Dr. when he suggested Effexor SR. He said it was a weight neutural class of anti dep.
On Dec. 5, 2002 I began effexor SR. For 2 weeks I experienced the following: slight nausea, awful taste in my mouth, eppisodes of sweating, mild headaches and was sleepy much of the time.
I only take 75 mg daily. But it has brought the old me back. In some regards maybe better! When I read other posts and realize the problems some have I feel very blessed that my problem is mild. I thought there may be people out there like me who would like words or encouragement. Life is great again! 45 isn't so bad either!!
Thanks for letting me share,
Posted by: firelizardee on Feb. 17 2003,06:34
I'm glad its helping you.
Is it possible that you might also have been depressed and thinking that the symptoms were PMS? Just a thought, you see many people sometimes don't know they are suffering from depression.
Posted by: Guest on Mar. 09 2003,18:03
I spent a tremendous amount of time planning my funeral prior to starting Effexor. After just a few days I began to focus and think more clearly. Within a week I was a different person. I wasn't "high" or hallucinating. There was no feeling of euphoria. I simply felt better than I usually did. After a month, everybody at work noticed that I was in charge of my life. No longer depressed. No longer sad. Interested in what is going on around me. Side effects are not intolerable. Sexual dysfunction is there. Oh yes...the dreams. Every single night I dream incredible, fascinating tales of intrigue, espionage, romance, comedy, musicals and drama. Who needs a TV with this stuff? Peace and Blessings to all.
Posted by: Guest on April 01 2003,15:39
I just finished my 1st month on effexor. I am thrilled with the results!
I feel normal again, I have been able to get motivated enough to get up and get dressed in the morning. I've been keeping up with my housekeeping and I even joined a gym!
I feel absolutely fabulous. My husband didn't understand why I was starting the effexor but after seeing the dramatic results he is so grateful that my doctor recommended it.
I knew I was feeling down and anxious but I didn't realize how bad it was until I started feeling better.
I'm soo happy!!!
Oh, I am on Effexor 75mg.
Posted by: Guest on May 29 2003,03:13
As I said in previous posts, I've been on numerous anti-depressants, i.e., paxil, prozac, serzone, wellbutrin, amytripline, zoloft, which none of them helped at all. I'm now on day 28 of Effexor, and I hate to put a hex on myself but, I think it's working! I feel less depressed, less anxiety, and more energy during the day. Also, stressful situations seem to be easier to handle. I'm at 300 mgs. per day, and so far all of the side effects vanished a few days after each dose increase. I'm male, and the sexual dysfunction is somewhat present (takes a long time to "finish"). However, my girfriend loves that part of it. Anyway, wish me continued success. Also, I have learned soooo much from talking with others on this forum. Doctor prescribe medication, and never tell you everything about the med, or at least that's been my experience. Not one psychiatrist or doctor who prescribed the other meds. I took told me about "riding out the side-effects, or even what side effects to expect. Maybe some of the other meds. would have worked had I known that the side effects eventually subside in most cases. A lot of time, after starting an A/D, I stopped because they made me feel worst, I wasn't aware that I had to "suffer" for a few days, get past the S/E's, then see if the med. works.
Good luck to all. I feel a closeness to everyone who experiences depression/anxiety because I felt so misunderstood years ago. Before the Internet, how did people communicate their mutual concerns about their conditions? Are did everyone simply walk around thinking that they were the only ones experiences these terrible feelings?
Posted by: firelizardee on May 29 2003,17:15
when men said that their problem was 'finishing' as a sexual side effect I did say, whats the problem, ( being a woman ) but it must be frustrating. One chinese religion does say that it is bad for a man to lose his 'energy' though ejaculation so men should 'come' only once every so often. Women apparently its ok to orgasm each time they have sex.
I wish you all the best and I hope Efexor is successful for you.
Posted by: Guest on June 08 2003,19:18
A little over a year ago my husband filed for divorce out of nowhere (it seemed). He moved out, my son graduated from high school the same week the divorce was final. The next month my boss (and best friend) got a new job. The next month my son moved out. A couple of months later I was fired from my job. After 3 months of arbitration I got my job back. It was the year from hell. I would be dead now if not for the Effexor. I'm sure of that. I started taking it a week or so after he filed for divorce and within a week was emotionally transformed.
We have since reconciled and remarried. I got a new job that I love completely. Honeymooned in Mexico. Our marriage is by far better than it ever was. The effexor has allowed my brain to trust in myself and my husband.
I love my life and feel strong enough to do something about it if I didn't.
Where was this stuff when I was 16? The past year has been the first happy one of my life. I feel in control for the first time ever.
However, it's still comforting to have that big bottle of Xanax in the cupboard if it ever got too difficult. I need to get past that completely.
I love having people to talk about this with. I don't know anyone else who takes Effexor.
Posted by: Guest on July 02 2003,10:34
I'm about two weeks into my first use of EFFEXOR (at 70 now) and so far so good--my general mood has lifted and evened out.
Previously, I was fighting feelings-of-mortality angst (will turn 50 in a couple of years), along with loss (oldest son going off to college, tough stretch in second marriage), and now I'm at a manageable "what will happen, will happen" point.
I yawn quite a bit, lights are a bit brighter, and some nights dream images crash across the subconcious like multi-colored bugs against the windshield, but so far that's been a fair trade.
Good luck to all.
Posted by: Guest on July 03 2003,21:21
Hi, Effexor works for me. I've gotton off of it over the years for 6-8 month stretches, but I start to get irritable with others, and am overwhelmed with a feeling like life is barely worth living. When I'm on it, I just live life. I'm not getting bummed out, I don't dwell on things that don't go well. I just move on.
I just got back on Effexor xr a week and a half ago after a 6 month period of not taking any meds. I knew I was starting to get pretty somber the last few months. I tried hypnosis cds for positive thinking. No success. I got about 6 from various sources that I found on Amazon, ebay, and Borders. But it seemed that I could have positive thoughts okay, it's just that I didn't feel positive.
It truly is amazing how this stuff works. I am convinced that depression is a chemical thing with me. I feel great, fully functioning while I'm on it. More interested in listening to others and enjoying the moment.
I've read quite a bit on this board recently and felt I had to contribute to say that Effexor works for me.
Yeah, getting off of it is bothersome, but it's not all that bad for me. I just always told myself that the side effects will pass and they do. They're not forever.
For now, I see I function best on Effexor. I've been on doses of 225-300, but I'm going to see how 75 works for a while.
Love and luck to all.
Posted by: Guest on July 09 2003,11:12
Thanks for the story, Mark.
I've been wondering about the higher doses. I'm just on 75 right now and that seems just fine. I can imagine a time when I might think that I could stop taking the medication, and already wonder how my mood might change then.
A positive side effect is that I seem to have more energy and have dropped a few pounds.
Good luck to all.
Posted by: Guest on July 29 2003,06:53
Hi people. New to the room and new to effexor. have had depression for about 7 years now. I am a 38 yr old male, been on prozac, paxil and welbutrin over the years off and on. none of them semed to have done the trick. my situation is similar to seasonal, it comes every summer for 3-5 months. so i pray this one brings me relief and is my saving grace with this horrid illness. thanks for all the posts, I am happy to see so much success from this drug. hopefully i can join you all soon with positive results. starting it today. thanks....
Posted by: Guest on Aug. 05 2003,21:51
I have been on effexor for over a year. I started with that alone and later was put on a combo of effexor and buspar. The effexor did not stop panic attacks for me, it did a wonderful job of easing the depression after attacks.The Buspar did the trick with the panic. Over all the effexor was fantastic. I got up to 185mg daily. I recently started therapy and am now tapering off effexor.
The withdrawal was easy til after I stopped totally. 48 hours later I went into the most hellish withdrawal I ever imagined. I am now back on one 37.5 mg every other day. That is holding me steady til we make another step down possibly to once every third day.
This withdrawal requires your doctors attention. Do not let them cast you out there on your own. I thought I had it made cause I got totally "off" for two days then it hit.
I had severe dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, headaches, a flu like feeling, and suffered periods of back to back anxiety attacks accompanied by itching as if bugs were crawling on me.
It is a fantastic drug and saved my life. But be prepared when you go off it. I understand the withdrawal symptoms sometimes do not start for up to three weeks after you stop.
Posted by: Guest on Aug. 20 2003,23:47
Hello everyone! I am new to the board, but not new to effexor. Here is my story.
As of today...I am one week off effexor. (Aug. 20, 2003)
I went on effexor in March of 2002. Within 5 days I was a new person. I did not have any side effects.
Before getting on the drug, my life changed drastically in a very short time, less than 2 months. The changes brought so much stress and anguish to my life that I lost 30 pounds in one month (Feb. 2002) and gradually worked up to not sleeping for 3 straight days. (sleep devprivation is a very evil thing and should be dealt with as soon as possible!) My mind would not shut off from all the stress.
I had the fortitude to go to a friend and get myself to a doctor. I was so relieved being on the medicine. No more crying, anxiety, or deep depression.
During the next year, things went from bad to worse, resulting in a bitter divorce, ex getting married to his pregnant girlfriend, and losing my job. I had to up my medicine a few times from 75 mg to 150 mg, and then for a short time I was on 225 mg.
As my life began to straighten out, I decreased my meds on my own until I was down to 75 mg.
I was able to keep off the weight I had lost at the outset for about a year. When I started getting "real" happy again, the weight started coming back on. I have gained about 50 pounds since April 2003. I am trying my best to start working out and getting active again and stop the "happy" eating that I tend to do.
Coming off effexor (75mg) was somewhat cold-turkey. I could not remember if I had taken it one day...and then decided to just not take it the next day and see what would happen. The symptoms started coming on...brain zaps, dizziness, extreme tiredness and irrability. I am happy to say that after one week, the symptons seem to be getting better. I spoke with the doctor and he said that they might last 2-3 weeks, but could be less.
All in all...it has all been worth it. There is no telling where I would be if it had not been for effexor. Even though I have 2 kids, the depression, feelings of worthlessness, and anxiety were bad enough that I no longer cared or wanted to be apart of their life. I thought they would be better off without me. I am in my 30's and I had never been "depressed" like that before. I pray that I never go through it again. Effexor made all the difference in the world.
I have read all the stories here and I can relate in some way to alot of them. I am glad to see that others are getting some relief from the horrors of depression and anxiety.
Posted by: Guest on Nov. 23 2003,15:02
The cool thing I am noticing since I've been on Effexor XR is I feel way more confident. I feel better in normally anxious situations. I don't feel anxious anymore. I can concentrate way better around a lot of people. I can just be myself. I feel a lot more hopeful too. They say it helps to get out and do something everyday, even though you are depressed, you just have to force yourself! And do something for yourself each day, just for you something you enjoy. Like a bubble bath or a phone call with an old friend. Give yourself something enjoyable (or normally enjoyable) each day.
Posted by: firelizardee on Jan. 08 2004,12:35
Not everyone wil have negative experience when they are coming off of Efexor. This topic is for SUCESS STORIES there are plenty of other topics for the horror stories.
Posted by: firelizardee on Feb. 08 2004,09:09
there's a topic for newbies to post their questions. I'm not sure what info you are looking for, there's heaps of info in this room. Post your question and we'll try and answer it.
Posted by: bbake on Mar. 04 2004,23:02
I just wanted to drop a line and say it took 3 months, but Im now feeling great on the Effexor. The cloud has finally lifted and I'm doing all of the things I like to do again. I haven't had a panic attack in 2 mos.. There were many times I didn't think it was helping, but I stuck with it and now seeing the results.
Posted by: anand23 on April 07 2004,11:18
Effexor XR is the first medication I ever took and it has bought about the most unbelievable change in me. Its me like I have never known before. motivated happier and so much better at work home and social occasions. I mean its totally changed my life. I want to say a lot more but am kinda tied up with work. I was really scared after reading all horror stories but decided to give it a try and am happy i took that decison. The only side effect I had was minor constipation which went away.
I just hope it keeps working this way (touch wood). I still have some bad days but thats like one in ten days and they too arent as bad a s before.
Right now it has taken care of both depression and anxiety. It feels like the drug was tailor made for my condition. I will update more soon. drop me a message if anyone wants any info about my experience.
Posted by: anand23 on April 13 2004,19:28
I actually came back to post beacuse a thought just came to my mind which may have been covered before. Effexor XR works for so many people that they dont come to depression forums anymore. I stopped coming for a coupl eof weeks too. Think thats the primary reason why you dont have too many success stories. People just go on with their lives without the help of the forums. Any thoughts?
Posted by: firelizardee on April 14 2004,14:21
yes thats it exactly, only folk who have problems or questions about efexor continue to come here, hence we get all the blackest, worst case stories that are going around.
There are probably thousands and thousands of people world wide who benefit from Efexor and apart from the usual side effects have no problems with it.
Its still worthwhile posting good and bad experiences because drs don't usually tell folk the 'whole story'. The pdoc who suggested I take efexor just told me 'don't run out of them!'.
take care everyone.
Posted by: oOGavinOo on April 28 2004,13:13
I'm happy to see so many success storys with this AD, I have just started taking Venlafaxine 75mg. I was getting woried after seeing alot of negative stuff on the internet for this medicine.
Posted by: firelizardee on April 28 2004,13:37
there is an easy explanation for all the negative stories you read on the internet. only those folk who have problems with their medication or questions come onto the internet. Folk who are happy with the meds rarely come on to tell their good stories. So oiut come all the bad stories. Remember that everyone is different and we will all be affected differently by the meds. Some folk have taken efexor and not had any side effects. Others get heaps and have to be taken off the med.
There can be problems when coming off the med, but you have to be weaned off efexor or any other AD slowly over at least 6 weeks preferably longer. My psychiatrist has suggested a 4 month schedule.
I will give you one peice of advice that a Psychiatrist gave me "don't run out of meds". Missing a single dose will probably be ok missing 2 or 3 days and you may suffer from some discontinuation symptoms. A funny feeling in the head like a 'brain zap' is the most common. I've missed 3 days at a time because I've been in hospital several times so I know what I'm talking about.
Posted by: oOGavinOo on April 28 2004,13:44
Thanks, I will keep you posted on events.
I have been on a couple of days and already feeling anxiety relief,
I work in a bank and was told that I would be disciplined if I did not sort myself out, I just broke down into tears as I worry about losing my job and then my home often. I think I needed this kick up my behind as I would still be going about my usual routine if it hadn't happened.
Posted by: firelizardee on April 29 2004,14:52
its hard sometimes to come 'clean' at work about the illness, but do try and tell someone, perhaps in Personnel or your boss if you think s/he would be understanding. Talk to your union rep if you have one and are a member.
If they knew that you were ill they should give you some leeway, if they are a decent employer. I'm in the Civil Service so they have to be seen as good employers.
Posted by: kook on May 01 2004,07:08
Quote from oOGavinOo, posted on April 28 2004,03:44
Do you have a close friend which you could share this with? It really helps. To be able to call them up and say "I'm having a bad day, can you meet me later just so we can talk?" brings a great feeling of support and comfort.
Posted by: Beekie on June 11 2004,20:36
Hi! So you want some success stories with Effexor XR? I think I may have one for you.
I started on Effexor XR this past Monday, so I've only been using it for 5 days now, plus I use the generic form of klonopin at night.
The dr. said I had depression/anxiety, so he gave me the klonopin for anxiety at night and the effexor xr to give me more energy. So far so good! I didn't think the medicine would start working this fast, but I have felt so much better than I was feeling. And okay, I know it's only been 5 days, but before I was depressed about 5 days out of the week, or more. In a few days I'm supposed to go up to the 75 mg but I feel like the 37.5 mg is working just fine. As far as side effects go, I'd say the only thing is a little tiredness, and yawning. Nothing else...and as long as I get a good night sleep it doesn't seem to be bad at all. I just can't believe how much better my mood is just because I'm taking medicine! I used to be totally against anti-depressants, and it took me a long time to even accept the fact that I might be clinically depressed and need help. I'll keep you posted, hopefully it will keep getting better, but I already feel GREAT!
Posted by: firelizardee on June 12 2004,08:18
I hope it continues. Good luck when you do increase. Remember that some side effects only become noticeable at higher doses.
The tiredness and yawning are typical start up side effects and soon go.
Posted by: MortKirk on July 05 2004,16:39
Good day all -
long-time reader, first time poster...
I have been on Effexor XR @ 150mg on and off for 3 years. It was ok, some good, some bad. I was on 150/day for about 2 years and then decided to quit for a mixture of reasons. I tapered off w/out any serious problems - worst was felling a bit 'fuzzy' (technical medical term, of course) in the brain for about 72 hours. I was off all meds for about 6 months and then decided that jumping back on the wagon was a good idea.
I have willing started Effexor again because I was happy with it. Once i was on it, i was scared about coming off it...i thought it would be awful...since i didnt want to be a slave to any drug, i quit. It was fine...easier than smoking (if that helps). ... a lot of people are scared of starting it for the fear of coming off it....now having come off it...i am happy to get back on it.
Posted by: firelizardee on July 05 2004,17:11
thanks for telling us that it wasn't that bad coming off effexor.
I hope that your second time with it will be of more benefit.
It may be that you are one of those who have to be on anti-depressants long term and maybe even lifelong. As long as it helps you, then good.
Are you in talking therapy as well?
Posted 15 Jul 2004
I have been taking Effexor XR for a year now. My gp prescribed it because I have a condition that has caused constant, unrelenting pain that at times completely immobilizes me. This was what brought on my depression. With the Effexor (75mg. once a day) the depression lifted. In fact, I saw positive results within 72 hours. The only "problem" I've had is that it has slowed down my sexual response...not stopped them as Paxil did, mind you, just take a little longer to get satisfaction. All in all, I think it is an equitable trade.
I hope it continues helping. Thanks for sharing your positive story. I know that it can encourage newcomers to Effexor.
Posted 21 Jul 2004
I have been taking Effexor for 10 months now. While Zoloft was able to relieve some of my symptoms, Effexor made the difference in a big way by giving me MOTIVATION. This is not to say that every day I feel like conquering the world, but it does mean that MOST days, I can get out of bed and go through my daily life without an overwhelming sense of dread and doom.
It also mean that I can do things I really don't feel like doing, like going to the grocery store ... I still have to push myself now and then, but it takes a LOT less effort to get me moving than it used to.
I take my Effexor in a split dose: 150 mg in the morning, 150 mg at noon. This allows the effect to last a full 24 hours.
Good for you NewMom and welcome to DF.
Posted 16 Sep 2004
I have a love/hate relationship with Effexor. On one hand, it's an amazing med for increasing motivation, drive, and boosting my REALLY low Serotonin levels. But on the other hand, it makes me sweat really bad and feel overheated all the time, which is VERY annoying.
Posted 18 Sep 2004
I'm glad its working for you, the sweats do get a bit better, but I'm sure its worth it considering what life would be like without the meds.
Posted 25 Feb 2005
I haven't been taking effexor xr for very long (3 1/2 weeks) but the results are terrific. No more despair, stress, or anxiety! I started feeling better after just a week, and over the next 10 days I would have good days and bad days, then good hours and bad hours. I am at 112.5 mg and plan to stay at this rate for a year or so.
The side effects were temporary--insomnia, mild headache, cottonmouth, perhaps a decreased libido but then again when you're depressed are you really horny? I also have experienced a rise in my blood pressure by 10 points or so....not enough to cause alarm. Hopefully that side effect will fade along with the others.
Bottom line--I feel so good that it's easy to understand why some people go off meds too early. "depression? what depression?" I don't like the idea of being medicated for a year, but depression scares me a helluva lot more than effexor. It's doing wonders for me. If you are trying effexor, stick with it and wait out the side effects. Good luck!
Posted 26 Feb 2005
good for you Dan I'm glad its working for you. A lot of people get good results within 4 weeks of being on it and I'm happy for you. Long may it continue.
Don't feel too bad about possibly staying on efexor for a year. There are studies that have shown that if you stay on an AD for at least 6 months after your last symptoms of depression the better it is for you and the less likely you are to suffer a relapse within 5 years.
Posted 28 Dec 2005
I can't offer any success story concerning Effexor yet other than to say that it is very refreshing to hear all of these great stories. I have been on other drugs in the past with very little success. I have only been on this one for two days at 37.5mg and have only so far had slight feelings of an upper high. I almost called my Doctor to tell him that I had changed my mind after reading some pretty scary stuff at http://www.crazymeds.org/effexor.html, but after viewing this sight I think I will give Effexor a chance. I hope the sexual side effects will less pronounced than on other drugs. Anyway, keep the good news coming, good luck to all and I will keep you informed as to my progress.
I love that crazymeds site, has some really good info, and i like the humour.
it's worth giving the effexor a while until you get used to it, most side effects wear off pretty soon. Just keep an eye on the high feeling, if it gets more pronounced then see your GP, as effexor can trigger mania in people who really have bipolar.
glad you've joined the site, hope you get the support you're looking for :santagrin:
Posted 29 Dec 2005
remember that, yes, effexor can be bad when discontinuing it for some people, I had no problems. The same is quite likely to be true for you.
I had no serious side effects, was on the med for 3 1/2 years at max dose of 225mg. Was helped within a few months (but meds only marginally help me unfortunately).
Anyway, DF is not just about the meds you take its also aims to help support you when are going through a rough patch.
Posted 25 Feb 2006
I had horrible anxiety that seemed to come out of nowhere, combined with a, as my shrink called it, heavy depression. I initially didn't want to take pills to make me feel better. I thought it would have been better to just do it on my own, also I didn't want to get addicted to AD's because I don't like being addicted to anything other than air.
Well anyways, I won't drag on for too long. It took about a week and a half for the anxiety to settle down and my depression gradually faded while being on Effexor. I started at 150mg for about a month and a half, then upped it to 225 because I thought that would speed things up. All it did for me was increase the side-effects, for me personally it messed up my sexlife so after 2 months went down to 150 again to counter the side-effects. After about 14 months I'm all clean again and feeling good for the moment, I hope I can hold on to this because even though Effexor did help me out I don't want to go through it all again.
Well, hope this doesn't sound too bad because it wasn't all bad :)
Posted 20 Oct 2006
Ok, here goes... this is my first post here...
I found this site a week or so ago, and decided to join tonight. Here's my story:
I was given effexor XR 75mg more than 6 years ago for depression/anxiety. I had previously gone through half a dozen other ADs, and effexor was the first one to be truly successful. It was indeed a wonder-drug. It worked quickly and effectively and continued to work for many years.
However, earlier this year, after discussing with my doc, I decided that since I had been feeling really good for a few years, that it was time to come off the effexor. I tapered really slowly throughout the summer til I was right down to 9mg per day...
Unfortunately, the depression came back at the end of August. I was immediately put back onto 37.5mg, then a week later 75mg, then 2 weeks after that, I went up to 150mg... I was in a state of panic/anxiety all the time, and after 2 weeks on 150mg, my doc decided to change me over to Zispin (Remeron) Soltab 30mg. That was 3 weeks ago, and the Zispin isn't doing the job I'm afraid. I'm lethargic all the time, and basically don't want to get out of bed. I feel worse now than I did 3 weeks ago.
Today, I went back to the doc, and she has prescribed the effexor XR 75mg for me again. She says "if it worked so well before, then it will again". She reckons that I didn't give it enough of a chance to work after it had been out of my system all summer. She would have had me perservere if she had seen me 3 weeks ago. Unfortunately, at our clinic, you can't always see the same doc, and the doc who gave me the Zispin was someone else.
Anyway, I need to wait til tomorrow before I can resume the effexor because I took a Zispin last night, so I can't report anything yet, but I'm hopeful that since it worked so well for me for so many years and through two bouts of post-natal depression, that it will work again. I regret coming off it this year however, I refuse to dwell too much on it as it's non-productive. I have accepted that I'm probably going to be on meds for life. Unfortunately, it was a hard lesson for me to learn and it's been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster this year.
I hope to report good progress on my effexor in the coming weeks. I do believe in its effectiveness. I know it works. I need to keep that in mind!
I have been reading through many posts here and taking some inspiration from others. We are all in the same boat, and it certainly makes me feel like less of a "basket-case" when I realise that so many people are suffering too. It's a lonely illness, but support is invaluable.
I hope I posted in the right section and look forward to getting to know some of you.
Posted 22 Oct 2006
yes you posted in the right area.
I hope the efexor is just as effective the 2nd time around.
Posted 23 Oct 2006
Thanks Eileen. It's day 3 and my nerves are a bit of a state today. I know I will experience a dip before I get better though, so I kind of expected this.
However, I'm looking forward to this horrible feeling passing, and getting back to feeling like myself again. I know it will happen... I'm just not the most patient person in the world... :-S
Thanks for your support. It makes a difference.
Posted 5 Mar 2007
Well Effexor has been my miracle drug.
I have tried Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, and Cymbalta, but Effexor is the first drug to make me feel human again.
It hasn't lifted my symptoms completely, but has done so to the extent that I can go on leading a pretty much normal life now. I've been on it since August, and my doctor recently bumped me up to 300 mg a day, which has helped relieve some of my more persistant symptoms.
I am having some side effects but compared to the depression, they are negligable.
Glad there is a drug on the market for me. I was really losing hope.
Thanks for telling us about your success story, I hope it continues.
Posted 8 May 2007
Hi all !
I have been on Effexor now for about 4 years, This was the first AD that allowed me to feel "human" again. I had regular highs and lows and nothing felt phoney about it. There have been some mild side effects but they are few and far between. With Effexor I was able to go back to a "regular" life of getting out of bed and seeing friends and going back to work. I especially enjoyed that unlike when I was on Paxil, I could allow myself to to induldge on the odd day of staying in with out worrying that I was depressed again. For anyone who may be worried about starting this or has just started the best advice is definitly in this forum, Remain patient, it does take about 6 weeks to fully benefit you, and always always talk to your doctor about everything.
There is hope out there!!!!
Posted 1 Jun 2007
First time user. Ive been through possibly the worst month of my life. Vomiting...panicking and general anxiety. Horrible stuff. I was on Lexapro for 3 years. The doctor then upped the dosage to 15 mg for 3 weeks with no effect and then 20 mg. I quit them the other night and started Effexor XL on the advice on my doctor. Im hoping that it works for me. Anxiety is the worst thing in the world and social panic disorder. It helps to have found this forum and i hope to God it works for me. I suffered no side effects with the Lexapro but i feel i should have been taken off it long ago. such is life....im back in work after been out for a week thinking my whole world was falling apart and i was never going to get back to work. My friends and family have been very supportive and your site gives me encouragement.
an update will follow
Posted 15 Jul 2007
I had wonderful results with Effexor and no side effects at all. I had been in a horrific clinical depression, couldn't get out of bed, completely non-functioning. Two doctors wanted me hospitalized. I'd been given Wellbutrin and after a month, I was worse.
So, the doctor added Effexor and in a day or so I felt slight improvement. After a week I could get out of my apartment. He kept increasing it and in a month I felt fantastic. Today there isn't anything I can't do. What also disappeared was anger and outbursts and, strangely, compulsive shopping.
I'm thrilled that you've found the right meds combo and that everything has gotten better for you.
I, too, take WB and Effexor, along with a couple of others. I got to say, the WB and Effexor work quite well together.
Thanks for sharing your story and offering such wonderful words of encouragement.
Posted 28 Jul 2007
Im another happy customer too
I feel the best I have in 12 years, Effexor was the tool that worked for me to gain my life back and I will be grateful that I finally found something that worked for me.
I did suffer some side effects whilst starting n coming off but the benefits far outweighed the negatives.
Good luck everybody wish you all the best
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