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Can't take Effexor; what's the most similar med?


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I tried Effexor but had to stop because of side effects. Cymbalta was no better and I had similar side effects, mostly BP-related. Now I'm taking Wellbutrin and I haven't experienced any side effects, but I also don't feel as good as Effexor made me feel. Damn, I actually think Effexor made me feel a little *too* good, but I loved it. Withdrawals were absolute hell though. Ugh.

Can anyone recommend another med in the Effexor-Cymbalta class that I might suggest to my pdoc? Thanks in advance.

(BTW, I'm also talking Eskalith, Lamictal and Prozac in case it matters.)

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I *think* some of the tricyclics are somewhat similar to Effexor/Cymbalta. I've never taken any of them though, so I could easily be wrong.

I can't help wondering why, when you've already taken two SSNRI's and experienced unacceptable side effects, including making you feel a little too good, which is a potentially dangerous place for anyone w/BPAD to go, you'd want to try yet another similar med? Seems like a waste of time, at best, to me.

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A handful of us are on Pristiq which is supposed to be Effexor without some of the baggage. Might be worth a try. Seems like most of us who are on Pristiq needed 3-4 weeks to see positive effects. I avoided any s/e's by weaning off Lexapro while working in Pristiq.

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A handful of us are on Pristiq which is supposed to be Effexor without some of the baggage. Might be worth a try. Seems like most of us who are on Pristiq needed 3-4 weeks to see positive effects. I avoided any s/e's by weaning off Lexapro while working in Pristiq.

Yes, Pristiq is basically just Effexor's active metabolite. It may cause fewer side effects than its big brother.

Unfortunately, it's also pretty pricey because it just came out and there are no generics. Then again, you might be able to score some samples...

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I second what Sasha said.

Pristiq appears no different in terms of blood pressure effects (which I am assuming is what you mean by BP-related side effects.) I anticipate that the overall % of people with elevation in BP will be a little lower - but that is because Wyeth is pushing a lower/fixed dose for Pristiq, and the hypertensive effects of the SNRIs are somewhat dose-related.

As far as bipolar disorder goes, Pristiq will no doubt look much better on paper because it is a newer release - which is another lovely benefit of being a patent extender. If Effexor was too activating for you, I'd be damned cautious about Pristiq.

Pristiq is also showing up with the same withdrawal/discontinuation symptoms as Effexor, by the way, which is no surprise. It's been a faster taper-off because of the lower dose that Wyeth is pushing.

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I'm going to ask my pdoc about Pristiq and listen to what he has to say about the benefits and side effects. Thanks, Day2Day and Artemisia, for suggesting it. ;)

And thank you, Sasha and Silver, for your input. :) Since each med (including those in the same class) affects each person differently, I figured there was no harm in asking if anyone had success with a med (SSNRI or other) that might offer me the best of both worlds: the effectiveness of Effexor and the tolerability of Wellbutrin.

BTW... Yes, I meant blood pressure when I wrote "BP-related"; sorry for any confusion. For some reason I never thought twice about it. Maybe I was having a Lamictal moment.

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