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Effexor XR (venlafaxine) experiences

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Hello all. I'm new to this forum and just wanted to reach out to get the scoop on my new prescription from someone other than my psychiatrist. I'm worried (as per usual) about experiencing symptoms of withdrawal from missing a dose and interested in how your anxiety or panic has improved or worsened (also why, how long, and how much you took).

I've started on 37.5mg to quell the panic attacks that have resulted in me sleeping an absurd amount in lieu of coping with my anxiety using self-harm; in turn making my time to work and do simple chores quite sparse. Thanks for listening.

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It was the best medication I was ever on for anxiety/depression.  I recall it took quite a long time for it to kick in for me, something like 3 months, but I was in a clinical depression.   It'll probably help you faster!  It can feel a bit speedy at times, and don't be surprised if you have more anxiety in the beginning, it will pass.

It stopped working for me over the last year, I took 300mg for like 8 years.  I switched over to Cymbalta which seems to help avoid some of the withdrawal but it hasn't been as effective as Effexor was.

It's good and you have lots of room to go up on it, that's the lowest possible dosage, you'll probably end up on like 75mg at least.

Edited by BrianOCD
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It worked pretty good for my depression and anxiety. I started at 75 mg and moved up to quite a high dose of 450 mg. It would work well but only for a short amount of time and we would keep having to escalate the dose more and more. Eventually I just had to move on. Don't let my experience scare you though. When it works, it's a good med. Just be sure to take your doses regularly at the same time, because you might experience withdrawals.

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It was my mainstay for treating Major Depression for about 7 years, it worked well. I had to take a high dose for it to be fully effective, 300 mg - 450 mg. I found Ativan and all the benzos stopped the "shocks" so I used them if there was going to be gap (usually insurance issues) in taking it.

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i've been on effexor for a bit over a year and i love it. it totally killed my anxiety and allowed me to go about my normal life without feeling afraid. i can make phone calls, deal with paperwork, talk in class, socialize, and be around strangers with ease now. it took anxiety from being daily and severe and made it almost go away entirely. now, only certain stressful triggers make me anxious. 150 mg is where it started being effective for me. i've taken as much as 267.5, and i take 225 mg now. i've always taken a split dose.

i have not yet experienced withdrawal side effects. missing dosages has never affected me (i think taking it in a split dose helps, though) and i experienced nothing when i stepped down from 267.5 to 225.

some side effects i've had:

  • dizziness and head rushes where my vision would turn black on standing up. i fainted once after getting up in the night. went away after six months or so.
  • increased drowsiness during the day. i didn't drink coffee before going on effexor. :P this lasted until very recently. i used to take a front-loaded dose (150 AM, 75 PM) but splitting the dose evenly, half in the morning and half in the evening, remedied the issue. i used to really struggle with falling asleep in class, and i napped every day. it also made it harder to get up in the morning. on the bright side, i fall asleep fast and sleep 8 hours straight.
  • decreased appetite. this hasn't gone away for me. i eat at 8:00 AM and i'm not hungry until 2 or 3. i used to get hungry three or four hours after breakfast.
  • get drunk faster. i know you're not supposed to drink on psychoactive meds, but i still do once in a while. i don't really get tipsy like i used to... it's more like nothing nothing a bit tipsy DRUNK. so i have to be careful.
  • reduced emotional impact. it has been VERY HARD to cry on effexor. i wasn't a big crier to begin with, but i go months without now. i also don't feel sadness as deeply as i used to. it's like i'm in a boat and i can see it in the water, but i float above it.
  • no sex drive. ymmv, of course, but i had a low sex drive before, and effexor obliterated what little i had. i still can orgasm, and i masturbate from time to time, but it's more like exercise. i never really want to do it, but i do sometimes because i figure it's good for you, and i feel good after.

good luck! i hope it works for you as well as it did for me, and may you be light on side effects. let us know how you're doing on it. :-)

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