Effexor XR

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by barbslilies, Nov 1, 2006.

  1. barbslilies

    barbslilies New Member

    Today my pain doctor gave me a new medicine to try as a sample. It was Effexor Xr. Have any of you ever tried this and if so did it help and did you have any side effects from it? I am always afraid to try new medicines. The papers that was in the box listed lots of things and also said that this needed to be taped off if someone can't take. If anyone has taken, please write back soon as possible because I am suppose to take at night but want start yet.

    [This Message was Edited on 11/02/2006]
  2. findmind

    findmind New Member

    dear one, if you put the name of the med in your title, you'll get lots more responses!!!

    Just click on edit under your screen name, and change the title, ok?

    Welcome, haven't met you, love your name!

  3. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

  4. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    You might want to read about Effexor before continuing on it. It is very hard to stop. There have been issues lately where even some psychiatrists have stopped prescribing it. It has to do with the "half life" of the drug which makes it hard to taper from if you ever want to stop it.

    I read where you have to actually take Prozac and taper off that in order to stop Effexor, if that makes sense. Whenever you start any medication, be very careful to read what you will deal with if you ever want to stop it.

    I am not saying not to take it, but it is better going in with your eyes open. Drug interactions (as below) and problems when you want to stop it.

    I tried Effexor and felt like a Zombie - for anti-depressant I liked Zoloft better - but I a not taking anything because I have such a sensitive stomach.

    Below is a information sheet from the FDA on Effexor warning about the danger of combining it with meds used to treat migraine headaches.

    Patient Information Sheet
    Venlafaxine hydrochloride (marketed as Effexor)

    This is a summary of the most important information about Effexor. For details, talk to your healthcare professional.


    FDA ALERT [7/2006] – Possible Life- Threatening Serotonin Syndrome When Used With Triptan Medicines

    A life-threatening condition called serotonin syndrome can happen when medicines called serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), such as Effexor, and medicines used to treat migraine headaches known as 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor agonists (triptans), are used together. Signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome include the following:

    loss of coordination
    fast heart beat
    increased body temperature
    fast changes in blood pressure
    overactive reflexes
    Serotonin syndrome may be more likely to occur when starting or increasing the dose of an SNRI or a triptan. This information comes from reports sent to FDA and knowledge of how these medicines work. If you take migraine headache medicines, ask your healthcare professional if your medicine is a triptan.

    Before you take Effexor and a triptan together, talk to your healthcare professional. If you must take these medicines together, be aware of the possibility of serotonin syndrome, and get medical care right away if you think serotonin syndrome is happening to you.

    This information reflects FDA’s current analysis of data available to FDA concerning this drug. FDA intends to update this sheet when additional information or analyses become available.


    What Is Effexor?

    Effexor is in a class of medicines called serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).

    Effexor is used to treat depression.
    Effexor XR is used to treat:

    Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
    Social anxiety disorder (SAD)
    Who Should Not Take Effexor?

    Never take Effexor if you are taking another drug used to treat depression, called a Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor (MAOI), or if you have stopped taking an MAOI in the last 14 days. Taking Effexor close in time to an MAOI can result in serious, sometimes fatal, reactions, including:

    High body temperature
    Seizures (convulsions)
    MAOI drugs include Nardil (phenelzine sulfate), Parnate (tranylcypromine sulfate), Marplan (isocarboxazid), and other brands.

    What Are The Risks?

    Possible life-threatening serotonin syndrome when used with triptan medicines: See FDA Alert [07/2006] above.

    Suicidal thoughts or actions: Persons taking Effexor may be more likely to think about killing themselves or actually try to do so, especially when Effexor is first started or the dose is changed. People close to persons taking Effexor can help by paying attention to changes in user’s moods or actions. Contact your healthcare professional right away if someone using Effexor talks about or shows signs of killing him or herself. If you are taking Effexor yourself and you start thinking about killing yourself, tell your healthcare professional about this side effect right away.

    Stopping Effexor: Do not stop taking Effexor suddenly because you could get side effects. Your healthcare professional will slowly decrease your dose.

    High blood pressure and heart problems: You may get high blood pressure or a faster heartbeat.

    Bleeding problems:Effexor may cause bleeding problems.

    Mania: You may become unusually hyperactive, excitable or elated.

    Seizures: You may experience a seizure (convulsion), even if you are not taking Effexor close in time with a MAOI.

    Pregnancy: Tell your healthcare professional if you are or may be pregnant because babies delivered to mothers taking Effexor late in pregnancy have developed problems, such as difficulty breathing and feeding.

    Weight loss: Effexor can cause weight loss.

    Sexual problems: You may have problems with impotence (erectile dysfunction), abnormal ejaculation, difficulty reaching orgasm, or decreased libido (sexual desire).

    Other side effects include nausea, sleepiness, dry mouth, dizziness, difficulty sleeping and constipation.

    Tell your healthcare professional about all your medical conditions, especially if you have liver, kidney, or heart disease, or glaucoma. Tell your healthcare professional if you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed your baby.
    Are There Any Interactions With Drugs or Foods?

    Effexor may interact with medicines other than the ones already mentioned in this information sheet. These interactions can cause serious side effects. Tell your healthcare professional about all medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements you take.

    If you plan to drink alcohol, talk to your healthcare professional.
    How Do I Take Effexor?

    Effexor is taken by mouth, with food, exactly as prescribed by your healthcare professional.
    Swallow Effexor XR capsules whole. Do not crush or chew them. You may open the capsule, sprinkle the contents on a spoonful of applesauce, and take right away without chewing. Then follow with a glass of water.
    Is There Anything Else I Need To Know?

    You can get more information about antidepressants at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/drug/antidepressants/default.htm

    Date this drug approved 1993
    Patient Information Sheet Revised 02/2005
    Patient Information Sheet Revised 07/2005
    Patient Information Sheet Revised 07/2006

    Questions? Call Drug Information, 1-888-INFO-FDA (automated) or 301-827-4570

    Back to Top Back to Effexor

    Date created: May, 2005; Updated July 19, 2006
  5. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

  6. mafusula

    mafusula New Member

    Mainly for depression, it doesn't help my pain much. I take other meds for that. I don't have any side effects from it but as the other member said, it is hard to get off it. For me it's the only antidepressant that works.
  7. ladykew

    ladykew New Member

    My Psychiatrist has given me Effexor XR for quite a while now. I was dx'd nine years ago with Major Depression and Severe Anxiety, and he has been treating me ever since. We went to this class of drug because the SSRIs were not working. And he has gradually increased my dosage to a higher but safe dosage and it interacts well with all my other medications.

    I have had no side effects from taking it, and it has helped my depression greatly. However, I have not noticed any difference in my pain levels.

    I have also heard that it is difficult to wean off of, but I'm not worried about that, because my doctor will go about it in the right way so as not to harm me or cause me any discomfort.

    I trust this doctor. That's very important...that you trust your doctor. If you don't, it might be a good idea to get a second opinion. I think we all know our bodies very well, and we seem to have good instincts.

    May I ask, what milligram are you starting with?

    Any questions, please ask.

    Good luck!
  8. rosemarie

    rosemarie Member

    Don't take EFFEXOR EX or EFFEXOR AT all . MY daughter was on it for just a few months and it took her close to six months being on the lowest doseage and still she had bad with drawls and would call me in histeria crying so hard that she was almost ill. I was angry at this doctor for giving it to her as it didn't help her.

    She finally had to go on zoloft . She was on Zoloft for 2 more monthto get off the EFFEXOR

    I have heard of more people who can't get off it and they suffer so badly with emotional problems crying and hristerices for no reason. CAn't think straight. I wish I could think of the other meds name it is used instaed of proxac and I still can't think of it. But it did help her.

    But if you can talk your doctor out of it and to find somehting different that is not so unstable with so many patients it would be better but that is just my thoughts and feelings not a doctors. I am not a medical person sO I can't tell you not to take it just that it was really bad for my daguther. And there is no way in hades that I would ever take it.

    [This Message was Edited on 11/02/2006]
  9. barbslilies

    barbslilies New Member

    Thanks for your reply's. I am a little scared to start it. The sample pack that the doctor gave me starts low dose and builds up. But I cannot take very many medicines and if I can't take this one then I'm worried about the withdrawel. He said it might help the diabetic neuropathy also. I wish he had give me neurotin to try even though its not a anti-depressant. If I do decide to try it, how long does it take to get in system to work?
  10. SusanEU

    SusanEU New Member

    I was afraid to take it after reading the posts. I had my prescription for 4 months before I finally took it.

    Finally it was my last hope as I was in so much pain and having so many panic attacks, and I love it. It has minimized my pain, and taken away the anxiety attacks.

    The first 2 weeks were not good, but I stuck it out with my doctors encouragement, as I was extrememly nauseous, but then I woke up one day a new woman. It literally gave me back my life.

    Personally I take it in the morning, as I find it will interfere with my sleep if I take it any later.

    I have read from other posts that is does help with neuropathy pain and so does cymbalta which is similiar.

    We are all different, good luck with your decision.

    Sue in Ontario

    [This Message was Edited on 11/02/2006]
  11. lebra

    lebra New Member

    Although there is a lot of documentation about Effexor, it is really a good drug. I have been on for about 4 years now and have tried to come off with no real problems. I have taken cymbalta and paxil to wean of effexor but neither one was as effective for me as the effexor. I think any drug you take long term has complications but the benefits outweigh the risks for me.
    You have to feel good about taking it, if not, don't.
  12. tinktink

    tinktink New Member

    I took effexor for quite a while. It seemed to help my depression about as good as any of the antidepressants did for me, but did not do anything for my pain and fatigue.

    When I decided to go on a more cost effective antidepressant I did not have any problem with the weaning off process.

    Everyone reacts to different meds differently. My best advice is try it and see what it does or doesn't do for you.

    Hope this helps

    Best Wishes Diana
  13. puddin827

    puddin827 New Member

    It varies with each individual, I take it and have lost weight,my blood pressure has gone up but that is about it. Try it if your Doc thinks you need to. He can always take you off of it. I personally don't think it's as bad as alot of people say. Maybe they just have a low drug tolerance.
  14. mary124

    mary124 New Member

    I been taking Effexor-XR 75mg for a couple of years now, not for depression or pain, but for hot flashes. I have no problems with it.
  15. barbslilies

    barbslilies New Member

    Hi Everyone,
    Thanks for your posting. For now I have decided to wait. It will be 3 months before I go back to the pain doctor and so I called my Internal Medicine Doctor and ask for a prescription for Neurotin for the diabetic neuropathy. Hope it will help my FM & CFS pain also. It is not a anti-depressant medicine. Have to wait and see how it works.
    My diabetic doctor did a test on my feet and it showed the neuropathy and also that I had problems with L5 & S1 in back and wants me to have a MRI done. Do any of you have a problem with these numbers?
  16. area of their spine? YEP.

    At age 26? I think, I was having constant MRI's of everything, due to some brain lesions, so Neuro also ordered spinal MRI's of C-spine & L-region(lumbar)

    I have bulging discs & arthritic changes from C5-7, and a herniated disc at L5

    I think these are the most common afflicted areas...in my opinion. I haven't had my spine nor brain scanned for at least 2 yrs, wonder if it's gotten worse, the pain sure has.

    That, itself (L5-S1 region) can cause neuropathy if problem is bad enough, when extremely severe, (my friend had MS too, though) but, had severe nerve impingement, & was losing her bowel & bladder control-she had tons of pain too, down her legs, etc.

    She had surgery, and was flying high afterward, & went back to have C-spine fixed.

    I'm totally leery of spinal surgeries, having watched my aunt go through tons of them, after falling off an Army tank while working on it. She is full of metal, cadaver bone, pins, etc. Still hurts like mad.

    Just wanted to say though, yes, you'll see a lot of us have probs there. It's even caused reflex issues (you can find that on the internet) that it could cause an absence of ankle reflexes, etc.

    Take care, best wishes, glad you went with Neurontin--though i've not tried IT, I'm on Gabitril (newer), I HAVE been on effexor ----nightmare!

  17. Achyten

    Achyten New Member

    I am on Effexor xr,75 mgs, in the morning. I never did have any problems with it,, no side effects at all, and I"ve been on it for 2 years now. I also am on another antidepressant, Trazadone ,for sleep,, that I"ve taken for 20 years, and the dosage I take of that has come down to 100mgs, from 150 mgs. I found effexor xr helped me a lot with pain,, although I"m still on oxycontin 20mgs in the mornings,, but thats all I take for pain,,ocassionaly I will take an oxycodone 5 mgs, for break through pain. You might have seen my similar post like this, before.
    I agree with the others,, we are all different, react differently to our meds. I had found out about effexor xr, and was good for pain, and anxiety,, from a girl friend, and shes on a very high dosage,, like in the 300's. She has to increase her dosage in the winter, and come down a little in the spring, and never has said that bothers her.
    I am happy taking effexor xr,has helped me heaps.
    I do hope you do well on the neurontin, my dear.

  18. lovethesun

    lovethesun New Member

    you can go from that to cymbalta with no problem.I take neurontin and it is great for nereve pain.Linda

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