Effexor anyone?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by sjc7545, Feb 6, 2006.

  1. sjc7545

    sjc7545 New Member

    Hello all,
    I am new to the board and I wanted to see if anyone has had any experience with Effexor?
    I went to the Rhuematologist today and this is what he is prescribing now.
    As a quick history, I was on Neurontin for almost a year (1800mg daily) and that worked for some time, but in Sept of 2005 I ruptured a disc and had to have spinal surgery. This, needless to say, put me into a horrible exaserbation, which I am still dealing with. I have been on Topomax for the past 5 months, but the numbness in my hands and feet was too much to take and didn't really work that well, anyway.
    I am totally frustrated, as I feel like I do everything I am suppose to, from eating, exercising, stretching, no caffeine, etc...and still I am in pain.

    Has anyone had any luck with this Effexor? I am starting to become skeptical about anything helping!

  2. HerbyD

    HerbyD New Member

    Hi - I've been on effexor for almost 2 years now but not so much for pain/muscle problems from fibro; more to help the mood swings and depression that can result from the illness. Anyway, I like it for the most part. I think I am on a relatively low dose - have to check but think it is 75 or 150 mg. In general, it takes the edge off. I don't tend to overreact as much or get so overwhelmed by things. I'm a bit more easy going and and do not get soooo stressed out or uptight. But it is not a drastic change which I am glad of. I don't want a drug that will change who I am, just help me cope with my illness. The one problem I have with it is I think I have been consistently 15 lbs. over my usual weight since i've been on it. However, I am now 42 and do not exercise like I used to when I was a competitive cyclist. so perhaps that is the reason i have gained weight. I asked my doctor about that and he just chuckled, saying i was too skinny before (I've always thought i was fat so that was a joke to me!) and that until i'm above the range for my age and size, not to worry. luckily, the effexor helps me not to obsess about weight gain and stuff like that like i used to. perhaps that is another reason i gained the weight :)! I hope this helps you. Just remember, everyone reacts differently to drugs so trust your own feelings. On the other hand, i find it does help to know if the side effects i think i'm having are some that others have experienced so it's good you are asking.

    On another topic, I was recently put on seroquel to help with sleep and muscle tension. my doc says in combo with the effexor he's had good results with his patients. seroquel is an antipsychotic used for schizofrenics/bypolar personalities, so I was somewhat alarmed by this. However I am on a much lower dose than used for those problems (e.g., 100 mg. vs. 400 mg). I have to say that so far so great! I am sleeping much much better than with anything I have tried so far - klonopin, ambien, neurontin, gabitril, etc. I think I am perhaps finally getting the deep sleep I need. But I do wake up groggy if i take it too late. the nurse practitioner said if its too much i can self-monitor and drop back to 25 or 50 mg. it also seems to be helping me with mood. I feel much more like my old self. I'm slightly weepy (but that could be because i have the flu right now) but am also laughing with my kids much more. and i actually have some libido for the first time since i was pregnant. That is a big plus in my husband's book! But i keep reading that people are gaining weight on it so i am wary of that since i am already 15 lbs more than i want to be. we'll see. just thought i'd share this with you in case your doc puts you on that with the effexor like mine did. Good luck! It's such a struggle figuring out these meds. Sometimes I wonder if i'd do better going off all of them!!!
  3. sjc7545

    sjc7545 New Member

    Thank both of you for your replies. I will do some research and keep my fingers crossed. I will also try to be positive, as I have been so irritable lately!

    Thanks again,
  4. dancingstar

    dancingstar New Member

    I think it should be taken off the market. Do serious research before taking it.
  5. Greenbean7

    Greenbean7 New Member

    I've been on Effexor for about a year and have had no side effects as far as I can tell.

    Everyone responds differently, so although we can give you our experiences, we mostly have to find out how we each react.

    I was on zoloft for several years and weaning off of that wasn't really horrible, but I did cry every time someone looked at me funny! Others have had a much different experience with it. Once again, we all react differently.

    Doc put me on Effexor when I lost my job and almost my mind with it! LOL


    Stop and smell the puppies!
  6. pastorwife

    pastorwife Member

    I too think it should be taken off the market. See my very long thread "Effexor withdrawal symptoms?" I am still not feeling well, but am better than week #1 of coming off this nasty stuff.

    I also remember hurting my worse when first starting this med and my dr. said it was just me adjusting to the med. At that time, he increased it. Hind sight is 20/20, but I think the increase was a big mistake for me.

    I have research the literature that comes with the med (the studies, effects, etc) and NOTHING mentions the withdrawal from it. I was supposed to be on this "for ever" but it decreased the function of my liver and I had to come off.

    Please heed this warning, but do what you feel is right for you.
  7. fivesue

    fivesue New Member

    but I don't know about FM. I was taking it before I had any symptoms of FM. In fact, when I was cutting down (and it was too fast, I now know) by doc's suggestion, the symptoms of FM really started. I had been having problems with my health then, also, thus the changing.

    I went back up to original dose, but the pain remained and has remained but not like when I first cut the dose.

    All this to say, Effexor works very well for me and my depression, but I am afraid to go off it. I'm afraid of the withdrawal process. It has been documented to be rather difficult. I am going to start in the spring, though, with the doctor's help and with my input into how I felt last time.

    I guess it's a double-edged sword...great for somethings but has some drawbacks as far as stopping.

    I'm on 300 mg a day just for your information. Have been for 4 years now except for the brief time in 2003 when I was instructed to cut it in half. Not a good thing.

    Best of luck to you with this.

  8. dancingstar

    dancingstar New Member

    As far as I'm aware, Effexor either caused or brought on my FM/CFS as well. I never had these problems before I took it...at all, just didn't.

    The worst part is that I was never really depressed before I took Effexor either. When I took it, after a while, I noticed that I'd start crying if you'd look at me too long or tell me that you didn't like the way I parted my hair. Very strange. Fortnately, that's finally gone now. ;-) Imagine that, an antidepressant causing depression.
  9. FMhurts

    FMhurts New Member

    I took it for awhile and got off of it, and like the one message above, it is hard to go off of, made me sick as a dog. (so to speak
    It made my summer miserable.
    I had bad dreams and felt like azombie taking it.
    Just wasn't the drug for me.
  10. tilla

    tilla New Member

    I was on effexor for a number of years. It did help with pain, but not as much as cymbalta did. Ask your doctor about cymbalta as it really was a lot better than the effexor. I had some bad reactions eventually with effexor, plus it is hard to come off of it. I also gained a lot of weight. I also gained with cymbalta.

    Trial and error is all you can do. I still think cymbalta will work better for you.


  11. redtex

    redtex New Member

    this is why the withdrawl is so bad.some people have reported missing an afternoon dose and waking during the night suffering withdrawl.prozac has a long half life and you can go days before the withdrawl starts.i suggest reading the works of dr's joseph glenmullen and peter breggin before commiting to life long antidepressant use.
  12. Michelle_NZ

    Michelle_NZ New Member

    I have nothing good to say about this drug. It made me VERY unwell and made my already bad sleep pattern even worse - I am still dealing with the effects of being on it only 7 weeks, 3 months later.

    It gave me worse fatigue, chronic insomnia, nausea, painful painful headaches. It was bad bad bad.

    As others have suggested - do a search on "Effexor withdrawal" and then make up your own mind.

    I am still angry I was prescribed this drug.
  13. Roseblossom

    Roseblossom Member

    I'm also very angry that I was put on this drug without being informed of its horrible effects. I have suffered miserably with it, and I'm still trying to get off it entirely.

    I've read that it's the drug of last resort for people with the deepest, blackest suicidal depressions.

    Unfortunately, doctors seem to be prescribing it blithely for everything else from Fibro to Epilepsy to who knows what... it's like the 21st century version of snake oil.

    Please read everything you can find about it, including anecdotal evidence here and on crazymeds.org. Everyone reacts to drugs differently. Effexor is risky to try because it's such a nightmare to wean off of it.

    I would surely advise against chancing it. Also I'd look twice at any doctor who wants to start you on it - get a second opinion at least.

    Good luck,

  14. Busyknitter2

    Busyknitter2 New Member

    I was put on effexor too. I was not told of any side effects either. My depression seemed to grow worse, I became horribly mean and would blow up if someone breathed the wrong way. The worse was that I was sitting in the car waiting for my husband to come out of Best Buys, when he came out I was walking across the parking lot. When he asked me where I was going, I said "I don't know I am just getting away". It was a very scary time for me as well as my family.
    I too think that it should be taken off the market.
  15. scooby2006

    scooby2006 New Member

    Effexor Uggg. They only anti depressant I disliked this much was Cymbalta. This drug really made me crazy!!You might want to ask your dr to prescribe you an antidepressant that has been around for a while and they have more experience with.
    Good luck!

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