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Ramping up on Effexor. Is this normal?


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Celexa wasn't working for me so my Dr switched me to Effexor. He has me taking 1/2 tablet once a day for 2 weeks, then 1 tablet once a day for 2 weeks, then 1 tablet twice a day. Is this normal? I only have experience with a couple of antidepressants and none of them required that I slowly increase the dose. He also prescribed Buspar, but I'm going to wait to start it after I know how Effexor works for me. (My Dr is ok with this). Has anyone had great success with buspar for depression and panic attacks?

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I take the generic form of venlafaxine and it has helped me a lot with depression. I started at 37.5mg (half the minimum therapeutic dose) and moved up in either 37.5mg or 75mg increments. I think it is pretty standard to slowly increase the dose for many antidepressants, to avoid severe side effects while your body is getting used to it. 

 

I'm not a doctor or a pharmacologist but I think it might be more important to start slow with Effexor/venlafaxine compared to some other ADs. It is also an antidepressant that gets eliminated from your body quite quickly, so todays dose will be almost gone by tomorrow. For antidepressants  that are eliminated more slowly (like Prozac), they kind of build up in your body over time. With something like Effexor you don't have to wait for it to build up, so your body doesn't have as much time to adjust. Plus some people find it has quite a lot of side effects at first. So it's sensible to slowly increase the dose.

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