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Effexor (venlafaxine)

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2.88
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2.88

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Side Effects
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2.88
Average Price: $59.43 Thumbs up Recommended By
68% of reviewers (of 144 reviews)
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Effexor®

Generic Name: Venlafaxine VEN-la-fax-een

Drug Class: Antidepressants, miscellaneous

 

Contents

 

Description
Effexor is used for treatment of depression. Your doctor may have prescribed this medicine to help relieve, anxiety, tension or to help you sleep.



Effexor is an antidepressant in a group of drugs called selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRIs). Venlafaxine is used to treat major depressive disorder, anxiety, and panic disorder.


Your doctor may have prescribed this medicine for other conditions as well.

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General Information
This information is for educational purposes only. Not every known side effect, adverse effect, or drug interaction is in this database. If you have questions about your medicines, talk to your healthcare provider. 

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Proper use of this medicine
Follow the directions given to by your doctor. This medicine should be taken orally on a regular basis. It is best that that you take this medicine at bedtime unless otherwise directed by your doctor. The extended-release tablet and capsule should be swallowed whole. Do not chew, divide, or crush the extended-release tablet or capsule.
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Missed Dose
Take your next dose as soon as you remember. If it is time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not double doses.
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Storage
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture. Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.
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Possible Side Effects
    • dizziness, drowsiness
    • agitation, confusion
    • Consult your doctor immediately if you experience prolonged and painful erections.
    • Expected side effects are increased appetite and weight gain.
    • drowsiness, fatigue, dizziness
    • dry mouth
    • Unreported side effects are possible, talk to your healthcare provider if any other symptoms occur.
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Warnings/Precautions
    • Do NOT stop taking this medicine abruptly.
    • This medicine may cause dizziness or drowsiness.
    • Alcoholic beverages can increase the effects of this medicine and should be avoided.
    • Don't drive or perform other tasks that require concentration, until you know how this medicine affects you.
    • This medicine can increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in some children and teens. Parents of children taking antidepressants should watch for signs of worsening depression or unusual changes in behavior.
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Overdose
Seek medical attention immediately. U.S. residents can call the national poison hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Canadian residents should call their local poison control center directly.
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Drug Interactions
    • Before taking any new prescription or over-the-counter medication, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
      Taking this medicine together with diazepam (Valium) may impair movement ability.
      Avoid using this medicine with MAO inhibitors. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you if you are taking an MAO inhibitor.
    • Talk to your doctor if you are taking certain antibiotics such as erythromycin, clarithromycin or azithromycin. This medicine should not be taken with MAO inhibitors.
    • Let your doctor know if you are taking any vitamin supplements or herbal products. St. John’s Wort should be avoided while taking fluvoxamine due to the increased side effects of too much serotonin.
    • MAO inhibitors should not be taken while taking the following drugs:
      • dexfenfluramine
      • fluoxetine (Prozac)
      • fluvoxamine (Luvox)
      • paroxetine (Paxil)
      • sertraline (Zoloft)
      • venlafaxine (Effexor
      • Effexor XR)
    • Tell your doctor if you are taking other antidepressants, medications for blood pressure, medications for diabetes, sleeping pills, tranquilizers, vitamins or herbs.
    • This medicine may increase the affects antihypertensive drugs, drugs with sedative effects, phenytoin (Dilantin) or fosphenytoin (Celebyx) and tramadol (Ultram).
    • Do not take MAO inhibitors type A with this medicine. If you are not sure if you are taking an MAO inhibitor, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Certain other antidepressants, clozapine (Clozaril), haloperidol (Haldol), lithium, trazadone, and others may increase the risk of seizures. BEFORE taking any new prescription or over-the-counter medicine, talk to your health care provider.
    • Patients taking MAO inhibitors should not be take this medicine.
    • Nafazodone can decrease the effects of clonidine, methyldopa, diuretics (water pills), warfarin and drugs used to lower blood sugar (hypoglycemics). This medicine can increase the toxic effects of; terfenadine, astemizole, fluoxetine (Prozac), triazolam, alprazolam (Xanax) and phenytoin (Dilantin). Do not take this medicine within 14 days of stopping MAO inhibitors. If you are not sure what an MAO inhibitor is, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. If you are currently taking any of these medicines, talk to your doctor or pharmacist to see if Nefazodone is right for you.
    • Possible drug interactions may occur with phenobarbital causing a decrease in the effect of the medications. Severe blood pressure problems and seizure can occur with taken with MAO inhibitors.
    • Talk with your physician or pharmacist if you are taking other medications.

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Pregnancy/Nursing
If you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, before taking this medicine talk to your doctor about the benefits versus the risks to your pregnancy.
In testing with animals, studies show delayed bone development. Use this medicine only if it clearly necessary. It is advised not to take this medicine while nursing. If you have any concerns, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

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More Information

Antidepressant medications are used to treat a variety of conditions, including depression and other mental/mood disorders. These medications can help prevent suicidal thoughts/attempts and provide other benefits. However, studies have shown that a small number of people (especially children/teenages) who take antidepressants for any condition may experience worsening depression, other mental/mood symptoms, or suicidal thoughts/attempts. Therefore, it is very important to talk with a doctor about the risks and benefits of antidepressant medication, even if the treatment is not for a mental condition. Tell your doctor immediatley if you notice worsening depression, unusual behavior changes, (including possible suicidal thoughts/attempts), or other mental/mood changes. Be especially watchful for these symptoms when a new antidepressant is started or when the dose is changed.
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Tags: depression anxiety antianxiety antidepressant panic pcpanic pcantidep pcdep pcanx




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Reviews
 
PerryJeffJoeJimBob

Member

Registered: July 2013
Location: Northern California
Posts: 104
Sun March 18, 2018 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

 
PROS: Moderates my anxiety
CONS: Have to keep increasing dose

Does the job, but boy acclimate quickly.

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ToeJam

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Community Support Team

Registered: September 2013
Location: UK
Posts: 2539
Mon January 15, 2018 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 5 

 
PROS: As part of an antidepressant cocktail I think it works
CONS: side effects on withdrawal are horrible

I take this with mirtazapine and as a combination they have helped towards keeping me at a stable level. With that said, should I accidentally forget to take this medication (and I mean one dose), the withdrawal is kicking in hard by the time I need to take my next tablet - dizziness, vertigo and a very uncomfortable tingling in my head.

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Eclecticdivergent1
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New Member

Registered: November 2016
Location: in constant flux
Posts: 9
Fri December 9, 2016 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
PROS: decreases wild mood swings and extremes in bipolar; no mania since taking this med
CONS: severe withdrawl symptoms with dosage decreases or missed doses; causes auditory hallucinations within hours of missing a dose

It is the only med I have tried that will dull both ends of my bipolar disorder. I have been taking it for about 5 years and found the XR version is the best for me unfortunately I am at 300mg/day and can't go any higher. My depressive tendencies are stronger than this med however, it does decrease the severity of my worst episodes.

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Molinit
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Member

Registered: November 2015
Location: Michigan
Posts: 345
Fri March 25, 2016 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
PROS: Effective for treatment-resistant depression
CONS: Very hard to taper off!! Do not take if your psych care is not stable.

Only for people who have regular appointments with their provider---to come off cold turkey or to even taper off too fast is horrible. You'll get very sick if you suddenly stop.

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jjmoshgirl
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New Member

Registered: October 2015
Location: Tempe, AZ
Posts: 1
Wed February 17, 2016 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 6 

 
PROS: Numbs intense emotional pain, helps with anxiety, more energy, clearer thoughts, lost a lot of weight over 16 years on it
CONS: Missing or delaying doses are pure hell

I was put on Effexor in 2000. At first it knocked me out so my doctor put me on the XR and that helped immensely. I started with 37.5 to 75 to 112 to 150, 225 and finally 300. I never felt right over 150mg so I went down to 150 and have been there for 16 years now. It does tend to numb intense feelings. For the depression that's wonderful. For staying calm in an intense situation also great. I'm pretty kicked back and calm now. My biggest problem with Effexor is when I am late for a dose or stay out later than planned, didn't bring it with me and I'm stuck on the wrong side of town. Effexor has the shortest half life of any medication I have been on, ever! Withdrawal for me is electric-type shocks through my body, my head, my fingertips and the tip of my tongue. Also, confusion, lack of balance (falling into walls, etc). If I have Ativan (Lorazepam) with me it helps the withdrawal symptoms greatly. After 16 years on this medication, I'm pretty good about getting it refilled and taking it on time but sometimes shits happens, unusual events, losing track of time because I'm having fun. I will never go off of it because it does work better than anything else in spite of the withdrawal sx's. I have always been depressed, even as a child and I will always be depressed to some extent at leaqst I can somewhat manage it and have some quality in my life. I think it works well with lorazepam. I have no problem with my sex drive unless my depression worsens. I have lost 95 pounds in the years I have been on it. It suppresses my appetite and I sweat profusely. Overall though, I don't want to go through withdrawing off it completely and trying to find something that works as well. My biggest fear is that it has forever changed the way my brain works and someday that may be a problem.

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Suzian
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New Member

Registered: June 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 4
Tue October 27, 2015 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 1 

 
PROS: None
CONS: Side Effects and Difficult Withdrawal

This product gave me scary side effects; sounds in my ears, numbness in my face and arms. Was even hospitalized and given an MRI of my head because they thought the side effects were symptoms of a stroke. Going off this medication was the worst experience I ever had. Absolutely awful! I would not take this again if it were the last medication on Earth. I have taken many medications, legal and not, and NOTHING did what this stuff did to me. Try something else. Google it and you will see thousands of entries of people trying to get off of this and are suffering trying or can't do it. Awful stuff.

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Erik456
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Member

Registered: May 2015
Location: LA
Posts: 79
Wed May 20, 2015 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 0 

 
PROS: it works
CONS: none

I normally order proposed pills through americantrustpills (seriously, this place sucks) without danger. The fact is that I use to take tons of it so low expense is crucial for me.

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memson
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Member

Registered: December 2014
Location: Canada
Posts: 43
Mon December 29, 2014 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $150.00| Rating: 8 

 
PROS: It works
CONS: Loss of libido

I've had good success with this product. On the rare occasion that I've needed to come off it the withdrawal side-effects were dreadful. The same is true if you miss a dose. For something that takes weeks to start working it sure does let you know, in a hurry, that you missed. I particularly dislike the effect on my sexual appetite. My libido has been decimated. It now requires a very conscious effort to become interested in sex which can be extremely hard on a partner and our own sense of well-being.

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BeBrave483

Member

Registered: November 2014
Location: Dippy World
Posts: 404
Thu December 18, 2014 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 1 

 
PROS: None
CONS: The Side effects

I have tried so many anti-depressants but this one was a nightmare. At first it increased my self harm, ironically it felt like something took over me and made me do it, and worse than I had before. I know self is self but I still maintain that it was the Effexor making me do it. After that calmed down, my appetite disappeared completely. Not sure if that's a good thing or not, I found I would go days without even thinking to eat and then I would have to force myself to eat when I thought of it. The comedown is meant to be horrendous, luckily (again ironically) I came off it while I was completely out of it in hospital, so I didn't notice or remember what was going on. Horrible medication (for me anyway) I know everyone can react different. Actually, it may have caused or helped cause my long term dissociation as well, everything from then is so blurry I wouldn't know for certain, but the numbness was before hospital, so that would have been when I was on the Effexor, though after I slowly started to feel again it then changed to feeling unreal. Both are forms of derealisation so it may have caused it and then it just changed. Though that's speculation I guess. I was too unaware at the time to explore the causes etc.

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rlhcf927
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Newly Joined

Registered: December 2014
Location: Newton, NC
Posts: 2
Mon December 15, 2014 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 1 

 
PROS: help control depression
CONS: a lot of side effects while on the medication and a lot of bad side effects trying to come off the medication.

I did not realize that my chest pain, shortness of breath, and severe leg cramps were caused by Effexor until I stayed weenie off of it. Then, when I got to a certain point in weening, I stayed having dizziness, brain zaps, and very afraid to drive my car. I have had severe headaches and muscle and joint pains while taking this medication.

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lilacsmoke
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Member

Registered: October 2014
Location: Canada
Posts: 53
Thu November 6, 2014 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 7 

 
PROS: Is pretty good at relieving depression, has minimal side effects (for me, anyways).
CONS: Has induced a manic episode at a too-high dosage, insomnia.

This medication was working WONDERS as I was slowly working up to 150mg, however, once I got to that point I was an absolute MESS. I couldn't sleep, I was drinking heavily just to sedate myself, I was nauseous, irritable. I would have panic attacks in the middle of the night over absolutely NOTHING. However, I am now back down to 112.5mg and it feels much better, however I think the magic number for me was 75mg. It is a very complicated drug for people who have some form of bipolarism.

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IronMaiden2014
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Newly Joined

Registered: November 2014
Location: canada
Posts: 1
Sun November 2, 2014 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
PROS: reduced worry and social anxiety, increased focus, happy go lucky mood and WEIGHT LOSS
CONS: increased sweat, dizziness, too chatty

took it for depression (turns out it might actually be ADD) anyhoo, would recommend this drug. Did wonders for me. I was on and off it 3times. Currently instead of going back on it, i was told i might have ADD, and just started treatment. Effexor xr took all my worries away. I used to focus on things i could not control or change, and they would keep me up at night thinking and sometimes crying. I felt like the world was passing me by,while i just stood there and watched. On effexor xr, i focused on things that mattered, I became an A+ student in school, i engaged in activities more, i stood up for myself, no more shyness, spoke my mind and didn't care what others thought. And yes, it made me lose weight, reduced my appetite tremendously. I didn't like that it made me sweat more than my norm. When coming off, the withdrawals were brain zaps, body jolts, dizziness and nausea for a week.

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IEra
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New Member

Registered: July 2014
Location: Denmark
Posts: 1
Mon July 7, 2014 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

 
PROS: Clear and calm mind, a lot less anxiety
CONS: Weight gain

The calming effect and relieve of stress, makes the weight gain so much worth it.

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Sashawood
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Junior Member

Registered: May 2014
Location: NONE YA...
Posts: 11
Sun June 15, 2014 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $30.00| Rating: 7 

 
PROS: Abliity to function immedietly with,reduced anxiety and crying,
CONS: Long term-hypertension,high blood sugar- noted family history. I am slowly stopping

In conjunction with another A-typical, It worked wonders. But that combination also let to another disorder . Impulse control Disorder. Several Diagnosis for me,Major Depressive Disorder,Borderline Personality Disorder and ADHD. Very few patients on this combination develop ICD. But I did. And after successfully quitting the A-typical anti depressant. I've realized after almost 10 years at 300MG a day, it's time to be off all meds. So.. at 4 week intervals...300mg per day,225,150,75,37.1. And this is my second day with 0. I AM doing this with my Shrink of 10 yrs.But,I am going thru,vomiting,dizziness and overall deep nerve pain. My doc did equip me with quick dissolve KlonoPIN,prometheizne,and Valium.I hope it doesn't last too long.

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monkeybruv
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Member

Registered: April 2013
Posts: 169
Mon June 9, 2014 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 7 

 
PROS: Soothed physical pain, reduced suicidality and self harm, anxiety reduced greatly
CONS: Horrible withdrawals which start as soon as you're late with a tablet, sometimes even before. Depression and apathy still here to stay.

I've been on this for about 6 months now, I'm now taking 225mg. When I first started it I noticed the aches and pains and pain of sorrow disappearing almost straight away. I also slept a lot better. This has helped me function a lot better as it's taken away a lot of my 'positive' symptoms (constant suicide and self-harm urges,aches and pains, crying etc) but hasn't really dealt with the 'negative' ones (apathy, lack of motivation)...but maybe that will come in time, idk. The thing I hate most is that if I miss a tablet, the next day or so is a write-off. Brain zaps, dizziness, hurting all over and feeling like I have a bad flu.

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Baroness4tea
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Member

Registered: May 2014
Location: Telford
Posts: 62
Tue May 20, 2014 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $16.00| Rating: 4 

 
PROS: Energy increase initially, stopped ruminations
CONS: Made me depressed in long term, appetite increase and weight gain, nauseous if I tried to drink coffee

Did not help depression for long, increased dosage made it worse, may have triggered mania

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craggle58
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Junior Member

Registered: May 2014
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 6
Thu May 15, 2014 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 1 

 
PROS: Apathy to problems
CONS: Long term apathy. Horrendous withdrawal. Same Caveat as all SSRI's

The neurological nightmare that is venlafaxine withdrawal should not be underestimated.

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regretful
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Grand Poohbah

Registered: June 2012
Location: USA -
Posts: 1815
Fri March 14, 2014 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 3 

 
PROS: has leveled out the depression a bit
CONS: insomnia, anxiety side effects

I started on a higher dosage (150 mg), so that may be why I'm having such a problem with side effects. I will revisit my review after a little while.

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neenapaloosa
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Junior Member

Registered: June 2012
Location: Brazil
Posts: 19
Sat March 1, 2014 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 1 

 
PROS: none really
CONS: suicidal thoughts and increased drinking urges

First it was all right.After a month I was going insane. I had really strong urges to drink and drink and drink some more,pop some more pills and jump off a building with no second thoughts.I felt dizzy all the time and I just felt more depressed.I could've done something really stupid while taking effexor.I don't reccomend it at all.I was angry and smoking all the time cause it made me so stressed out. It depends in the case,but if you notice that you're having more suicidal thoughts than before,please don't take it.

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BPD Ghost

Member

Registered: February 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 33
Sun February 23, 2014 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 5 

 
PROS: Gave me a big energy boost after a week or so.
CONS: The energy boost wore off. Isn't a miracle drug. I'm still depressed and self harming. Dr.'s lied to me and said it wouldn't make me gain weight. Dry mouth, yellow pus in eyes & skin (cysts). I'm always drowsy.

I was prescribed effexor while I was in the psyche-ward. When I got out of the hospital and went and played basketball with my kids. I'm not sure if the energy is from getting out of the hospital or from the drug. I've been on it ever since but I don't know why I keep taking it. I don't really know what it's doing for me.

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wordydirds
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New Member

Registered: August 2013
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 5
Wed February 5, 2014 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 1 

 
PROS: It gave me an initial burst of energy and seemed to really lift my depression... for a few weeks, maybe.
CONS: Gained 40 lbs in a period of 2-3 months, major changes in my decision making ability (I got very risky, careless and aggressive), developed cystic acne and my cuticles all began to chip off. They eventually came off completely so I had to bangage every fi

Gained 40 lbs in a period of 2-3 months, major changes in my decision making ability (I got very risky, careless and aggressive), developed cystic acne and my cuticles all began to chip off. They eventually came off completely so I had to bangage every finger. If I missed a single dose the "brain zap" feelings were debilitating. Doctor didn't want me to go off of it and I ended up quitting cold turkey -- withdrawal period lasted about a month and was absolute hell.

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Helmus
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Member

Registered: January 2014
Location: Europe
Posts: 123
Sun January 26, 2014 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 7 

 
PROS: less anxiety, provides energy drive
CONS: dry mouth, headache, does not prevent relapse

It doesn't cure your depression, but may stimulate you to get out of a major one.

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Mommy Sue
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Junior Member

Registered: November 2012
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 10
Fri January 24, 2014 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
PROS: No side effects unless I miss a dose.
CONS: Take a long gradual decrease to get off of.

After many years of trying other medications Effexor was the first to let me feel like myself again. I did not feel drugged and could get back into my favorite activities. One thing I had stopped was playing games with my family due to my inability to concentrate. Now I can play again! I have had no real side effects on Effexor. The withdrawal effects though are difficult causing me to once restart the medication because I felt like I could not deal with them.

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Thu January 23, 2014 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $20.00| Rating: 10 

 
PROS: My depression is gone...poof..no more!
CONS: Increase in appetite

I cannot complain about anything...this has been a miracle drug for me. I was totally down, chronically depressed and this med has totally changed that.

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misskrome
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Member

Registered: January 2014
Location: ...
Posts: 229
Sun January 19, 2014 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 1 

 
PROS: none
CONS: caused psychosis

I don't have luck with SNRIs. This one cost me a job that I had for over 3 years and landed me in the psyche ward... again. They had to detox me. Made me extremely hateful, irritable, psychotic and paranoid. Also nervous.

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aern01
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Member

Registered: November 2013
Location: Jacksonville,FL
Posts: 84
Tue November 19, 2013 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

 
PROS:
CONS:

I have been on Effexor XR for numerous years. Overall it has helped to control my depression well.

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Alexa19

Member

Registered: September 2013
Location: Germany
Posts: 28
Sat September 21, 2013 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 2 

 
PROS: None
CONS: Withdrawal from hell, brain zaps, aggression, nausea, feeling ill for 5 weeks+

The most horrible AD med I ever tried.

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greentires4me

Magnate

Registered: February 2013
Location: planet earth
Posts: 2781
Sun August 25, 2013 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

 
PROS: keeps the hallucinations at bay and cuts down on the paranoia
CONS: dry mouth

I take it as my main anti depressant

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transientsoul

Member

Registered: August 2013
Location: CLEVELANDOHIO!!
Posts: 143
Fri August 23, 2013 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 2 

 
PROS: hyperactivity - I got things done
CONS: made me bounce off the walls

Another I did not tolerate well. Made me hyper like to the point of OCDish. I bought a label maker and pretty much went on a label everything in the house spree! Went off of it for a few days because I got a terrible head cold and didn't want to mix the cold meds with the Effexor. I had one day of cloud 9 withdrawl weirdness and then when that ended, I thought wow, I feel... like my old self again (aside from head cold) and that was the end of Effexor.

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StormieKnight
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Member

Registered: April 2011
Location: Louisiana.
Posts: 34
Sat June 8, 2013 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 1 

 
PROS: nothing
CONS: everything

Suicidal thoughts, increased mood swings, intrusive thoughts, hallucinations

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doyoutrustme

Poohbah

Registered: June 2012
Posts: 1380
Wed May 1, 2013 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
PROS:
CONS:

Very effective but makes me hungry and gain weight easily.

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insideout

Veteran Member

Registered: October 2005
Location: inside the matrix
Posts: 686
Tue December 11, 2012 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $5.00| Rating: 10 

 
PROS: Increased energy and concetration. Reduced social anxiety. Increased productivity at work. Complete remission of severe depression.
CONS: Insomnia. Severe headache if dose is missed.

This medication began working for me almost immediately. By the third day, my energy had increased enough to return to work. I am now able to work almost every day, keep my house clean, and keep up with my responsibilities. I feel alert. I was so extremely fatigued when I went to urgent care for my severe depression. This medication is my life saver. I never thought my depression would ever completely remit, but it has. I have tried countless medications and this has worked the best for my severe depression. I think Effexor XR should be a last result used only for severe depression where other medications have failed, because of the physical dependence aspect. If you need it, it is absolutely worth it. A mood stabilizer is recommended if you have Bipolar Disorder. Also, this medication may cause some irritability and insomnia, so some people may need a benzo, although the package insert warns against taking valium with this med. I take it with Lamictal, Wellbutrin, and Klonopin and it works very well.

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Odee

Grand Member

Registered: June 2012
Location: Ohio
Posts: 786
Fri September 28, 2012 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
PROS: Very effective for the right people
CONS: Wasn't my thing. Heart palpitations and some dizziness, felt caffeinated.

I was on this for about 5 months, although I worked my way up to 300mg pretty quickly. Unfortunately for me, none of the effects really helped me. I think the drug was doing everything it was supposed to do, but I just wasn't the right candidate. Bad news before the good news: This drug didn't work or help me, but I think that might be because I have a form of bipolar 2 that is difficult to detect. (I am trying a mood stabilizer now that seems to be helping) Effexor definitely increased my blood pressure, which in turn made me feel dizzy or weak after exerting myself. I was rather flushed on my first couple weeks on the high dose. I didn't sleep well and often felt caffeinated. I seemed to startle much more than usual. Good News: From my experience, I can say Effexor was a POWERFUL drug and perhaps a great drug for refractory depression folks. I never experienced any libido problems -- probably difficulty getting off at first, but that issue faded away. I have heard a lot of reviews saying that Effexor is a slow but powerful drug -- it may take up to 8-12 weeks on your target dose to really feel yourself turned around. Anyone trying it right now should have hope, knowing that they are on a beast of an AD. About the withdrawals: Very little for me! I lucked out considerably. I basically cut it off very quickly, knowing that the drug was probably more bad than good for me. I got a few "shocks", but not painful, just weird. They were gone in a couple weeks.

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Asherton
avatar of person

Junior Member

Registered: June 2012
Location: Buckley, Washington
Posts: 8
Wed September 19, 2012 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $5.00| Rating: 8 

 
PROS: happier, quick to work and work well, so far havent built up an immunity like with other drugs.
CONS: some fatigue

its really good. i really like how it works, just be careful if you end up unexpectedly going off of it for more than a day. i had to go off unexpectedly for three days, but in less than 48 hours i was in the hospital for withdrawl syptoms. it is for this reason that i lowered my rating of the side effects. other than that i love the med.

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Sr564231

Member

Registered: July 2012
Posts: 44
Tue July 3, 2012 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $10.00| Rating: 6 

 
PROS: i feel more confident and less anxious
CONS: I had extreme loss of appetite for three weeks when starting it

only been on it for three months and i have received slight improvements. I will probably up my dose and see.

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Asherton
avatar of person

Junior Member

Registered: June 2012
Location: Buckley, Washington
Posts: 8
Sat June 30, 2012 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
PROS: helped with my depression and anxiety
CONS: extreme withdrawl symptoms if you go more than 24 hours without it (ended up in a hospital)

its done me really well so far. the only thing id be cautious about is that it is a very strong medication. recently i ran out of it and was not able to get a refill for a couple of days and figured i would be alright. well i was dead wrong. less than 36 hours after my last dose, i was in extreme withdrawls and could hardly walk. i ended up in the ER because of it. just be careful to make sure that you have the medication and wean off of it slowly.

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PsychoSpaceman
avatar of person

New Member

Registered: August 2011
Posts: 4
Wed May 30, 2012 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 1 

 
PROS: none
CONS: Made anxiety and depression worse, nausea, blood prerssure as high as 200/120, paranoia, rapid heart rate, sweating, persistent headache

just caused side effects, no symptomatic relief

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MyUserNameIsSoCool
avatar of person

New Member

Registered: May 2012
Location: California
Posts: 3
Wed May 16, 2012 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 1 

 
PROS:
CONS:

I was on it for about 6 months, and I experienced major personality changes on this medicine that have had serious consequences. I had always been very strict in terms of my morals and a generally shy person. Once I started taking Effexor for severe depression, I did things I never would have imagined before. I became obsessed with drugs and alcohol. I would dream about getting drunk or high every night and I ended up trying Ecstasy. Before Effexor, I was uncomfortable with just kissing a guy, but I became very promiscuous. I also started sneaking out of the house, and I became overly social to strangers to the point where it was irritating. Many of my close friends mentioned how I had changed and I ended up losing quite a few. Up until taking Effexor, I had never had a single symptom of Bipolar Disorder, but I am now diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder because my doctor considered this a manic episode. As soon as I came off the medicine, I pretty much went back to normal. I have been off the medicine over a year and I have not experienced a single manic episode since then. I also became extremely sick from the horrible withdrawal symptoms even though I came off slowly, but that was a much lesser problem for me than what happened while I was on the medicine.

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Photo_Girl_Jenn

Member

Registered: May 2012
Location: nova scotia canada
Posts: 46
Sun May 13, 2012 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 1 

 
PROS: helped my uncle
CONS: made me way way worse

this medication caused me to actually have an and the only psychotic episode i ever had

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tdog
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New Member

Registered: August 2011
Posts: 3
Tue March 13, 2012 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $1,000.00| Rating: 5 

 
PROS: not bad
CONS: not good

i'm a bipolar schizoid with depression and anxiety and psychosis and i take a lot of medications for these things. i have addictions too like cannabis and tobacco. taking pills is necessary for a lot of people and i'm included in that group. i'm a mental health consumer and i like being a schizoid sometimes it helps and it is the way god made me. when i'm thirty six i might try going off this medication but for now it is necessary. i don't take an extreme amount of pills but quite a few as prescribed.

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Twofortwo
avatar of person

New Member

Registered: March 2012
Posts: 2
Fri March 9, 2012 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

 
PROS: Helped gain perspective, balanced irrational thinking, relieved anxiety
CONS: Tired, dry mouth & throat, night sweats, vivid dreams

I want to try and give a very logical point of view of my experience with Effexor in the hopes that it will help someone else. When I was first prescribed Effexor for situational depression, I looked it up and was very afraid to take it because of the comments people had, especially from trying to come off. This is the first antidepressant I have ever taken and had nothing to compare it to. Here is what I experienced: Treating for depression: I was sleeping a lot and one day broke down when I couldn't clean the kitchen. It was like going in slow motion. When I stood in front of the refridgerator with a dirty plate, forgetting what I was supposed to be doing is when I lost it. My husband sent me to the Dr. and I was given Effexor 75 XR and went to a Psychologist. The first four days I experienced a high feeling. Very sleepy and light headed. I lost my appetite and threw up twice, though I didn't feel sick the whole time, just spaced out. I couldn't cry. That worried me and I even tested myself by watching every sad thing I could on Youtube. Nothing. On the fifth day, I woke up feeling normal. I felt good! I was able to clean the kitchen and make dinner. I was still tired, but I didn't feel confused anymore and the high feeling was gone. Oh yes, and the first four days I also had very loud ringing in my ears. The fifth day that also went away. I realized that during this time on Effexor, I didn't need to sleep with a light on anymore (Afraid of the dark my whole life). I wanted the room dark and was not afraid. I loved sleeping in the dark! I was not afraid to socialize with others freely. I was being treated for depression and in the midst of it didn't realize how much anxiety I actually suffered from until this medicine relieved it. The downfalls were a bit of constipation, so I ate more grains and fruit. I had crazy night sweats. Irritating, but not so much that I hated the medicine. I felt normal again. My problems were still there, but I could logically deal with them. After six months on the medication, it was time to come off. I ran out of the medicine and decided not to refill the prescription against the warnings of others. Being egotistical, I really thought that I could handle the discontinuation symptoms and carry on normally. Well, I could for two days. On the third day without this medicine, I felt drunk. Off balance and with every move of my eyes it was like my head going one way and my body another. This was too much for me to handle because it was constant. After that, I realized that everything everyone said was right. I was sick as a dog. I actually ended up in convulsions on the floor while throwing up. I called the doctor on the fourth day and told him what I did. He didn't think I was too smart. Neither did I, but I still wanted to come off the medicine. He gave me the lower dosage of 37.5 venlaflaxine (off brand Effexor)and within four hours I felt normal again. I stayed on this dosage for three weeks and felt normal. After 3 weeks I went back to the Doctor again to see if I could stop taking it. He gave the okay, but I was worried. Just stop taking it again and have these side effects? Yikes! He gave me 24 more pills for (just in case) and told me it was only if I felt sick again. I read up on different ways to come off the medicine. The most popular way seems to be to open the capsules and take out two little beads every day and then after a week or two, two more. Coming off very slowy. Well, I only had twenty two pills left and I wanted off, so I skipped two days of the 37.5 and the second day I started to feel that dizzy sick feeling again, so I opened a capsule and split it in half. Each capsule had 150 beads, so I took half and just put them all on my tongue and swallowed them with a big swig of orange juice. I took the half for a week and decided to half it again. It ended up 37 beads one day and 38 another, oh well, I didn't feel any difference at all. I then finished with what was left over, 18 beads for a week and then took 15, then 10 then 8, then 5 to zero. From 15 to zero on a daily basis. This worked! In the whole time I didn't have any strange side effects. I did have bowel changes and irritability. I have also cried several times while coming off, but nothing like a depression kind of crying. As far as the anxiety goes? I guess I learned from being on this medicine that I don't have to feel anxious. It's like I re-wired my brain to feel confident. I still sleep with the light and TV off, and speak to people and say whatever I want without that anxious feeling. If I start to feel anxious, I remind myself of the six months on Effexor that I didn't and it seems to go away. Overall this drug helped me when I needed it most. I wouldn't suggest people stay on it long. It seems to work quickly, but you really do feel it while coming off. I realized though, that it doesn't have to be a terror if you know what you are getting in to. If you understand how to come off of it and give yourself time and are prepared to take it slowly (even more slowly than me if you need to) then this can be an effective drug. I feel it is very powerful and should be used as a tool to help, not a remedy. Counceling did me good! Sexual side effects: I am a 35 year old married female. The first four days of this drug I had a warm feeling in my genitals and increase of libido, though I was tired and spaced out. After that, I had a couple of weeks that it was hard to enjoy sex the way I used to. Within three weeks I had no sexual side effects and everything was normal. The vivid dreams: I have always had vivid dreams, it's just that I remembered a lot more of them on Effexor and in more detail. They were weird, but by no means troublesome, more funny. In the beginning I would wake in the morning feeling like I hadn't slept at all because of the dreams. Then I got used to it. Weight: I am twenty pounds overweight and maintainted my weight perfectly of Effexor. I neither gained nor lost. Brainzaps: I don't really know what people mean by this. I got really dizzy coming off when I just stopped, and sometimes when I was sleeping I would feel a buzzing feeling and felt like I was falling. Coming off the medicine I would get some light headaches and more a feeling in one place on my scalp like there was added pressure. Take your finger and place it somewhere on your head and press down really hard, that's what I would feel. That lasted for ten seconds at the most. Still get them here and there, but I know they go, so it doesn't bother me. It's really not painful, just strange. I took paracetamol(Tylenol), B complex timed released capsules, fish oil, and ate bananas. I read that this can help with some of the withdrawal symptoms. Overall: I'm glad I took this when I needed it. I'm glad I'm off now. I want to prevent depression and anxiety by improving my diet, physical activity, life, and just listening to myself. For anyone who suffers from depression, I would strongly urge you to go to counceling as another tool to help you through. I hope I've helped someone out there trying to decide to take this, or trying to come off! Praying for everyone that has felt that big black cloud lingering over them as I have. I hope a warm soft wind blows it away and that the sun will once again shine on you. Don't give up. Twofortwo

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Twofortwo
avatar of person

New Member

Registered: March 2012
Posts: 2
Fri March 9, 2012 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

 
PROS: Helped gain perspective, balanced irrational thinking, relieved anxiety
CONS: Tired, dry mouth & throat, night sweats, vivid dreams

I want to try and give a very logical point of view of my experience with Effexor in the hopes that it will help someone else. When I was first prescribed Effexor for situational depression, I looked it up and was very afraid to take it because of the comments people had, especially from trying to come off. This is the first antidepressant I have ever taken and had nothing to compare it to. Here is what I experienced: Treating for depression: I was sleeping a lot and one day broke down when I couldn't clean the kitchen. It was like going in slow motion. When I stood in front of the refridgerator with a dirty plate, forgetting what I was supposed to be doing is when I lost it. My husband sent me to the Dr. and I was given Effexor 75 XR and went to a Psychologist. The first four days I experienced a high feeling. Very sleepy and light headed. I lost my appetite and threw up twice, though I didn't feel sick the whole time, just spaced out. I couldn't cry. That worried me and I even tested myself by watching every sad thing I could on Youtube. Nothing. On the fifth day, I woke up feeling normal. I felt good! I was able to clean the kitchen and make dinner. I was still tired, but I didn't feel confused anymore and the high feeling was gone. Oh yes, and the first four days I also had very loud ringing in my ears. The fifth day that also went away. I realized that during this time on Effexor, I didn't need to sleep with a light on anymore (Afraid of the dark my whole life). I wanted the room dark and was not afraid. I loved sleeping in the dark! I was not afraid to socialize with others freely. I was being treated for depression and in the midst of it didn't realize how much anxiety I actually suffered from until this medicine relieved it. The downfalls were a bit of constipation, so I ate more grains and fruit. I had crazy night sweats. Irritating, but not so much that I hated the medicine. I felt normal again. My problems were still there, but I could logically deal with them. After six months on the medication, it was time to come off. I ran out of the medicine and decided not to refill the prescription against the warnings of others. Being egotistical, I really thought that I could handle the discontinuation symptoms and carry on normally. Well, I could for two days. On the third day without this medicine, I felt drunk. Off balance and with every move of my eyes it was like my head going one way and my body another. This was too much for me to handle because it was constant. After that, I realized that everything everyone said was right. I was sick as a dog. I actually ended up in convulsions on the floor while throwing up. I called the doctor on the fourth day and told him what I did. He didn't think I was too smart. Neither did I, but I still wanted to come off the medicine. He gave me the lower dosage of 37.5 venlaflaxine (off brand Effexor)and within four hours I felt normal again. I stayed on this dosage for three weeks and felt normal. After 3 weeks I went back to the Doctor again to see if I could stop taking it. He gave the okay, but I was worried. Just stop taking it again and have these side effects? Yikes! He gave me 24 more pills for (just in case) and told me it was only if I felt sick again. I read up on different ways to come off the medicine. The most popular way seems to be to open the capsules and take out two little beads every day and then after a week or two, two more. Coming off very slowy. Well, I only had twenty two pills left and I wanted off, so I skipped two days of the 37.5 and the second day I started to feel that dizzy sick feeling again, so I opened a capsule and split it in half. Each capsule had 150 beads, so I took half and just put them all on my tongue and swallowed them with a big swig of orange juice. I took the half for a week and decided to half it again. It ended up 37 beads one day and 38 another, oh well, I didn't feel any difference at all. I then finished with what was left over, 18 beads for a week and then took 15, then 10 then 8, then 5 to zero. From 15 to zero on a daily basis. This worked! In the whole time I didn't have any strange side effects. I did have bowel changes and irritability. I have also cried several times while coming off, but nothing like a depression kind of crying. As far as the anxiety goes? I guess I learned from being on this medicine that I don't have to feel anxious. It's like I re-wired my brain to feel confident. I still sleep with the light and TV off, and speak to people and say whatever I want without that anxious feeling. If I start to feel anxious, I remind myself of the six months on Effexor that I didn't and it seems to go away. Overall this drug helped me when I needed it most. I wouldn't suggest people stay on it long. It seems to work quickly, but you really do feel it while coming off. I realized though, that it doesn't have to be a terror if you know what you are getting in to. If you understand how to come off of it and give yourself time and are prepared to take it slowly (even more slowly than me if you need to) then this can be an effective drug. I feel it is very powerful and should be used as a tool to help, not a remedy. Counceling did me good! Sexual side effects: I am a 35 year old married female. The first four days of this drug I had a warm feeling in my genitals and increase of libido, though I was tired and spaced out. After that, I had a couple of weeks that it was hard to enjoy sex the way I used to. Within three weeks I had no sexual side effects and everything was normal. The vivid dreams: I have always had vivid dreams, it's just that I remembered a lot more of them on Effexor and in more detail. They were weird, but by no means troublesome, more funny. In the beginning I would wake in the morning feeling like I hadn't slept at all because of the dreams. Then I got used to it. Weight: I am twenty pounds overweight and maintainted my weight perfectly of Effexor. I neither gained nor lost. Brainzaps: I don't really know what people mean by this. I got really dizzy coming off when I just stopped, and sometimes when I was sleeping I would feel a buzzing feeling and felt like I was falling. Coming off the medicine I would get some light headaches and more a feeling in one place on my scalp like there was added pressure. Take your finger and place it somewhere on your head and press down really hard, that's what I would feel. That lasted for ten seconds at the most. Still get them here and there, but I know they go, so it doesn't bother me. It's really not painful, just strange. I took paracetamol(Tylenol), B complex timed released capsules, fish oil, and ate bananas. I read that this can help with some of the withdrawal symptoms. Overall: I'm glad I took this when I needed it. I'm glad I'm off now. I want to prevent depression and anxiety by improving my diet, physical activity, life, and just listening to myself. For anyone who suffers from depression, I would strongly urge you to go to counceling as another tool to help you through. I hope I've helped someone out there trying to decide to take this, or trying to come off! Praying for everyone that has felt that big black cloud lingering over them as I have. I hope a warm soft wind blows it away and that the sun will once again shine on you. Don't give up. Twofortwo

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clover81
avatar of person

New Member

Registered: October 2009
Posts: 2
Wed October 26, 2011 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $8.00| Rating: 7 

 
PROS: Best ability of any pill I have tried to control Depression and OCD.
CONS: SO MANY SIDE EFFECTS. Also not completely in control of depression.

This has been the best anti-depressant I have taken for my depression, OCD and ADD. Especially the OCD, I have almost no irrational fears. The depression is not fully under control though. The side effects though, are the worst of any pill I have taken. Vivid dreams EVERY time I sleep, and frequent nightmares. Horrible night sweats, inablility to control body temperature while awake. An urgency to pee, when it's unnecessary. And the absolute worst headaches if missed pill, even after one or two hours. It's definitely a pill that has to be watched carefully and taken EXACTLY on time. But I continue taking it because it's been the most beneficial pill I have taken (I have also been on Prozac, Zoloft, Cymbalta, and none have helped as much as Effexor) so the good outweighs the bad for me. I also have no sexual side effects, and not any noticeable weight gain.

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ost324
avatar of person

Junior Member

Registered: February 2011
Location: US
Posts: 7
Mon October 10, 2011 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $10.00| Rating: 5 

 
PROS: works ok, not bad side-effects
CONS: horrible withdrawal, poops out fast

Works fairly well, similar side-effects to cymbalta, also stops working after a couple months. Good price though.

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jiminy
avatar of person

New Member

Registered: October 2011
Posts: 1
Fri October 7, 2011 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 1 

 
PROS: None
CONS: Increased anxiety, aggressiveness, gastrointestinal problems, constipation, decreased motivation, worsening of depression, bad headaches, heart symptoms, increased suicidality

Absolutely horrendous! I felt better taking nothing, then what I did taken this. I can honestly say that this is the worse medication I have ever taken. I have read articles and blogs confirming that I am not alone with negative comments I have made about this product. In fact I have not made any positive comments. I do not like the fact that this product is on the market. It’s all about money though for the manufacturer.

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Cnytroxy1973
avatar of person

Veteran Member

Registered: July 2011
Location: Central NY
Posts: 458
Mon August 8, 2011 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 1 

 
PROS: Easy to swallow
CONS: Makes me fell numb

Very hard to dose down. Makes me feel numb. Makes me tired.

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+Fight+The+Illness+

Member

Registered: August 2011
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 72
Sun August 7, 2011 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 1 

 
PROS:
CONS:

I such an awful reaction to Effexor. It was honestly one of the worst medications I've ever taken. Granted, I am aware that it works well with other people, but it was just awful with me.

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Gillianlookalike
avatar of person

New Member

Registered: July 2011
Posts: 3
Fri July 29, 2011 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 7 

 
PROS:
CONS:

450 mg day. During first 3 of 5 years Effexor helped manage depression & anxiety but has effectiveness has decreased considerable. Have appointments to discuss replacement medication. Interesting: Have experience "brain-zap" effect described in other reviews which have become more frequent and intense. I've noticed I've developed tendency towards binge-eating &/or similar OCD type behavior never having had before.

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John Malkovich
avatar of person

Account Suspended

Registered: March 2011
Posts: 13
Sun June 19, 2011 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 4 

 
PROS:
CONS:

hi my name is John and im 21 years old and i have been depressed and medicated since the age of 13. I was on effexor and didnt know what a god sent thing i had!!! Few month ago, my doctore recommended me to buy pristiq and take it instead of Effexor. After two weeks of taking this medication, i have started wetting the bed.

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saphirrain
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Member

Registered: June 2011
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 26
Sun June 5, 2011 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $3.00| Rating: 7 

 
PROS: helps with depression
CONS: activating

no complaints

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