Jump to content
CrazyBoards.org

Taking Effexor - Need some reassurance


Recommended Posts

I've been on Effexor XR for 3 weeks (10 days @ 37.5mg, 7 days @ 75mg, 4 days @ 112.5mg, bumping to 150mg tomorrow), and luckily I've had very few side effects. Nothing bad aside from some nausea and mild insomnia. My pdoc prescribed Effexor because I've tried two SSRIs before (Lexapro, then Prozac) and neither "worked" after several months. Her dosage goal is 150mg, even though I've come to understand that it only acts as an SSRI at this dose ;) .

Anyway, I'm hoping like hell that Effexor will be The One. I know that it can take anywhere from 4-8 weeks at the "right" dose to see improvement with any AD, but I'm curious to hear some personal experiences from those who have taken Effexor. Even if you hated it, if it helped the depression at all...I want to hear your story!

I guess I'm also wondering how long one should stay at a particular dose before increasing it. Does it take a few months to know with Effexor, or is a couple of weeks enough (since it take so long just to build up to a theraputic dose and you've had it in your system for awhile already)?

I know everybody and their mother hates this drug, but right now I feel like it's my only hope. I've been depressed for most of my life, with the last two years being the MDD episode (i.e. whale shit at the bottom of the ocean) and I just can't take any more suffering. I need some hope.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love my Effexor-XR. ;)

Seriously, I never want to go off it because I feel way, WAY better on it.

For me it took about two months for my dose to really settle in and do its job. To get me past the side effects (I had sweats and nausea) and to get me functional. I dare say it is different with everyone and you just need to bear with it. With the way Effexor-XR works, I'd give it a decent six month trial at least. I've been on it for a couple of years now and in the first year, I felt better but not brilliant - you know, you have to let it continue and to work with you. My doc also prescribed morning exercise (yoga 20 mins) and an afternoon walk - which also really helps.

Good luck.

Bern

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Effexor was my last ditch effort to control my refractory bipolar depression. In combo with Lamictal and Seroquel, the stuff is miraculous. I've felt better in the months since I started it than I have felt in years. Hang in!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anelize, that's great to hear. I see you're currently on 150mg... I assume that was the "magic dose" for you? How long were you on lower dosages?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

150mg is my magic dose. But I was up to 300mg at one stage. I'm actually trying to go down again soon, because my husband and I want to plan a family. But we'll see. I never really want to get off it because it helps so much...

oh, and i take mine at night before bed and I find I sleep better and wake up happier. ..

Bern

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Effexor helped me a little more than Celexa. I was probably doing best on 150mg-225mg a day. When I got up to 300mg I got major anxiety as a side effect. I think it's worth trying but ultimately it wasn't for me because I was still suicidal the whole time I was on it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My pdoc says there is some impact on norepinephrine at doses less than 200mg ("it's like a pie chart where each neurotransmitter has a slice...the slice sizes change when the dosages change"). I should hope so, since two previous SSRIs didn't do a damned thing. Obviously I need help with more than just seratonin.

Anyway, this is my second day on 150mg. I felt nauseated, sweaty and yucky yesterday...but I actually found myself in a GOOD MOOD and feeling CONTENT last night. Coincidentally, I'm just over the 3-week mark...so maybe it's starting to "work". Cross your fingers for me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been on Effexor XR for 3 weeks (10 days @ 37.5mg, 7 days @ 75mg, 4 days @ 112.5mg, bumping to 150mg tomorrow), and luckily I've had very few side effects.

I'm glad you're starting to feel better. Keep in mind that it will take awhile for the effects from the 150 mg dose to kick in. I hope this is the one that works for you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, crap. I may have spoken too soon. I was in a good mood for the last two mornings, then it went away within a few hours and by the end of the day I am either agitated or sobbing/suicidal or both. At this point, I can only assume the morning "happiness" is from the initial release of my Effexor XR dosage. Ugh.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was on Effexor for 10 Months, with a final dosage of 225 mg. before starting to taper back off it to try the ENSAM selegiline patch. The reason I went off it even though it was working pretty well for my depression was the sexual side-effects. Anyway, I eventually ended up on Cymbalta which is working great, but seems to share the same side effects.

Tommy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Well, 6.5 weeks later and nada. No bad side effects, but I'm certainly not doing any better. I'd say I'm worse, but I'm not really worse...just a different kind of "bad". Before, I was anxious-and-stressed-can't deal with all this shit-moody-can't focus-can't relax kind of bad/suicidal. Now I'm worthless-unmotivated-too tired to sleep-can't go on like this anymore-my family would be better off without me-can't enjoy anything-no hope kind of bad/suicidal.

Sure, 6.5 weeks isn't an adequate trial...especially when I've only been on 150mg for 2.5 weeks of that time period. I told my pdoc about the changes described above and she is leaning towards switching me to Zoloft (whcih I have never tried). Considering I've failed two SSRI trials (Lexapro and Prozac), I'm not really psyched about just jumping on another SSRI. I was a bit surprised that my pdoc didn't want to try increasing my Effexor dosage. It's mainly acting as an SSRI at this dosage, anyway...so is it really shocking that it hasn't worked when two other SSRIs didn't? I mean, come on. ;) Her explanation for not wanting to increase dosage and switching was that it seemed as if Effexor has affected my sleep in a bad way and may be too activating. Urg. I've always had problems going to sleep. She knows this. I trust my pdoc, but I'm frustrated. 6.5 weeks seems to soon to just give up and go back to the same class that had no effect in two seperate trials. We're going to give it a couple of more weeks, but it doesn't sound like upping the dose is even an option. I just want to say why the fuck did we try an SNRI if we were going to barely, hardly touch the norepinephrine component at all? FUCK! Much less, why try the drug that is infamous for horrid withdrawal? If we quit now, then the risk wasn't even worth it and I'll go insane!

Thanks for listening. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just read through all this (been a while since I've been around) and I'm wondering also if you've gotten to try wellbutrin (bupropion). Right now I'm on zoloft 100mg in addition to the wellbutrin that I've been on for more than a year and the combination has been great ((knock on wood)) for me. I didn't respond to my first SSRIs either and then wellbutrin came into the picture and I almost think it's why I'm still around today, it helped so much. it also tends to have a lower SIprofile (weight neutral or loss, no sexual SIs, etc.) and starts to work faster than most other ADs. Just a thought. It's worth bringing up with your Pdoc if you don't want to jump back on another SSRI (and I don't blame you at all.)

Zoloft and I have a weird relationship because I was on it for 6months at 100mg in addition to my wellbutrin when it needed some help and I swore up and down and sideways that it was doing NOTHING...so the pdoc tapered me off and I was a sobbing, hysterical, suicidal mess within 2 days of my last dose. holy cow. that took me by surprise and I'm back on it now and doing great. anyway, just goes to show you never know.

goodluck! be honest with your pdoc about your questions and frustrations.

meg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Well, 6.5 weeks later and nada. No bad side effects, but I'm certainly not doing any better. I'd say I'm worse, but I'm not really worse...just a different kind of "bad". Before, I was anxious-and-stressed-can't deal with all this shit-moody-can't focus-can't relax kind of bad/suicidal. Now I'm worthless-unmotivated-too tired to sleep-can't go on like this anymore-my family would be better off without me-can't enjoy anything-no hope kind of bad/suicidal.

Tek,

It took me reaching 225 before I noticed significant improvement. 150 was not enough. Now I'm working on figuring out the best timing for the Effexor. I think it made me tired at 150 (well, some fatigue, along with lessening of social anxiety). The increase on energy didn't happen until 225 when the norep really hit. I'm taking 75 in the morning, 75 in the afternoon, and then 75 right before bed (I may keep fiddling with this). I think the serotonin helps to moderate the jolt from the Adderall I also take. But Effexor is clearly doing *something* as an SNRI that a simple SSRI didn't do.

Are you still taking Effexor? Did the doctor let you increase the dosage?

Mack

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you still taking Effexor? Did the doctor let you increase the dosage?

Nope, and nope. I'm actually glad she didn't let me increase the dosage. Effexor fucked me up in ways I never imagined. I know it's a life-saver for many out there, so I don't regret at least trying it. Now I'm onto the next med in the lovely go-round. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder why pdocs are still prescribing effexor before cymbalta. If I was a pdoc I'd certainly try cymbalta before I would effexor . Cymbalta inhibits serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake at about the same rate and the SE's are generally lower than that of effexor. The only downside is that its looking like the withdrawal effects can be just as bad as effexor for alot of folks. The pain reducing side effect is a plus, also. I'm not nearly as sore the next day after my runs as I used to be.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder why pdocs are still prescribing effexor before cymbalta. If I was a pdoc I'd certainly try cymbalta before I would effexor . Cymbalta inhibits serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake at about the same rate and the SE's are generally lower than that of effexor. The only downside is that its looking like the withdrawal effects can be just as bad as effexor for alot of folks. The pain reducing side effect is a plus, also. I'm not nearly as sore the next day after my runs as I used to be.

Before I'd been diagnosed as bipolar, my GP was trying to find the right AD for me. She prescribed me Effexor after Lexapro failed to do anything. I'd asked her if she thought Cymbalta might be better -- I'd already heard about Effexor's bad reputation -- but she said that, in her experience, Cymbalta wasn't as effective. Effexor made me dissociate and there was some depersonalization going on. It also exacerbated my rage issues. She tried Cymbalta as a last resort, and told me that if it didn't work, then I'd need to see a psychiatrist because she wasn't experienced with things like mood stabilizers. It made me want to crash my car on purpose, made me suicidal in general, and it hurled me into a mixed state. And that's when I went to a pdoc.

With the benefit of hindsight, I'd say the side effects of Effexor and Cymbalta were equally bad in my case, but in different ways.

Cymbalta would've been a wonderful fibromyalgia treatment for me, if only its side effects hadn't been so devastating.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...