Should I try Effexor?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Sunspot, Sep 20, 2006.

  1. Sunspot

    Sunspot New Member

    Hello,

    My doctor is really pushing me to try Effexor. She thinks it may give me more energy. From the searches I've done on a couple of sites, it sounds downright scary. There were a couple of people who thought it helped them, but more, it seemed, that it did yucky things to.

    I keep telling her I'm not depressed, but she doesn't seem to believe me. (After all, doctors are supposed to put CFS patients on anti-depressants, right?) She recently referred me to a psychiatrist, and today she told me that it was because I'm more focused on my symptoms than her other patients with chronic illnesses! I couldn't believe it. I have been fairly detailed about my symptoms in talking to her, mainly because she just doesn't seem to understand. Like once I told her I was no longer able to do housework even though I was working less than 10 hours a week, and she said 'Well I can't get my housework done either! I have patients in a lot of pain that keep working.' Sorry to rant, I'm just feeling so discouraged right now. I don't think she knows anything about CFS. I should look for another doctor, but it's hard to find a good one who is still taking patients...

    Anyway, thanks for reading this far, if you did, and I'd be very grateful for any pros and cons about Effexor, or other suggestions.
  2. hugs4evry1

    hugs4evry1 New Member

    Please DO NOT go on this medication for the idiotic reason of gaining more energy. It won't work.

    It just sounds like your doc doesn't "really" believe in our illness and it sounds like so many of my docs from years ago.

    If you're depressed, menopausal wacko hormones etc...then you might want to consider giving it a try.

    I've been on it for over 3 years and it works for me. But it does NOT give me energy and I do know this since I'm still trying to work my way out of a 2 year long flare.

    I think your doc is trying to get you to take a pill and go away like so many of them do these days. Doesn't mean that's what you need, but it makes them feel better.

    Effexor can be very difficult to wean from and if you do a search here under "content" you'll find loads of information on it. We discuss it often around here.

    Many people have problems with this medication, I happen to be one of the few won't don't but I would never recommend it to someone.

    Honestly? You need a doc who will listen to you and work with you to come up with a program for your needs.

    Good luck and I hope I didn't sound too harsh, your doc just sounds a bit like a moron....

    Hugs,

    Nancy B
  3. smalone

    smalone New Member

    and I've been on it for a few years. It is a real you know what to get off of too. I still haven't managed to get off of 150mg a day.
  4. rosemarie

    rosemarie Member

    Tell your doctor that you woould reather get on something else as this one is so hard to get off of. I know of countless people who have been on this medication including my own daughter who all have had problems being weaned off this medication.

    I site my daughter's case because she was in her teens and if has been discovered that teens and antidepressants are not a good mix. Some are worse and Effexor is one of the worst for our teens.

    The best advise I can give to you it so go on line and read up on it. Find out all the good use's it has and make sure to look up all of it's side effects on teens and adults as some times they have simalar results and it is extremely hard to get off of effexor and sometimes will take months to wean your self wih your doctors help to get off if it.

    So check it out find out all you can about it. REsearch it the good and the bad. And then go to your doctor and tell them what you have found out and what you want to do about taking it. You have the right to tell your doctor that you don't want to take any medication because of the side effects that it can have , REmember that all people react differenly to medications. But if you were to ask me I would ask the doctor for something different.

    HOpe that I helped some.
    Rosemarie
  5. pepper

    pepper New Member

    IMHO it is the worst drug to try and get off. I was on Paxil for years and then Zoloft and quite frankly they did help with many of my CFS/FM symptoms. But I gained 100 lb. That is not a typo! You can't stay on those drugs forever and are then faced with trying to wean off. It was a nightmare!

    Effexor, from everything I have read and seen with friend's and my DH, is worse than any of the AD's for weaning off.

    Pepper
  6. snooker11

    snooker11 New Member

    it didn't give me more energy, but it DEFINITELY has had an impact on pain. when I'm off it, or go below 75 mg, I get these weird shooting pains in my body. At 75 mg, no weird shooting pain. It has had no influence on depression; I am not depressed. I use it solely for its impact on pain.

  7. snooker11

    snooker11 New Member

    also, it does influence my sex drive, which sucks. longer to orgasm, and just not as horny. but i'm not really that horny if I have shooting pains around my body, either....
  8. Don't take effexor for more energy, it won't work. My dr. pushed antidepressants forever. Finally I gave in. It made me more tired, didn't help pain at all. And was terrible to get off of.
  9. donna275

    donna275 New Member

    It really helped my frame of mind. I was, too, focused on my symptoms and getting really anxious about them, i.e., what could this be from?, is it cancer?, now what is this?. Anyway, I would think about it all the time. With Effexor, I feel the symptom, wonder what it is and then I am able to say, wonder what that is from? and then I go on and the next thing I know, in a couple of days, the symptom is gone.

    My energy level has increased probably because I don't make myself sick with worry anymore. I am very glad I have Effexor. My pain level is way down too.

    Donna
  10. Sunspot

    Sunspot New Member

    Thank you so much, everyone, for your replies and understanding and for sharing your experiences. Wow! I haven't been on the board for a couple of years, and I really appreciate the sense of community. And it's incredible to so quickly get so much information in response to a question. Thank you!
  11. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    Hi Sunspot,

    What a tough question because people react so individually to medication. I'm sorry this is a long response. Please remember that ultimately you are the patient and have the final say in your decision. Indeed, it is faulty neurotransmitters that greatly contribute (if not the sole cause) to bipolar, depression and fibromyalgia. However, that is putting it in very general terms, and and the neurotransmitters that are "faulty" for these illnesses vary for each illness vary from person to person. I have bipolar II and had that illness before fibromyalgia. Further, many people with bipolar also get fibro. (I have done a lot of reading on the subject, and my psychiatrist has educated me as well.) I am not an expert, but my point is simply that there is no way to know how you will react to a med until you DO try it.

    Also, every med has a "scary" side effect profile when you read about it! Yikes, I hate reading about side effect profiles of drugs. ***One thing you have to VERY careful about with Effexor is that it's VERY VERY difficult to wean off of if you stop taking it. I took it and it was HORRIBLE weaning off of it. I was horribly dizzy, nauseated and exhausted for literally 6 or 7 weaks while slowly weaning off of the drug. Talk about the OPPOSITE of energy. I'm sure your doc didn't tell you about that.

    I don't want to tell you what to do, but gosh, to me, it sounds like your are just a person who is on top of things and thorough by telling her all of your symptoms because you want to do everything possible to feel better. Why push drugs because of that? Drugs aren't a cure-all and they really do have side effects. Meds are such a double-edged sword. They can help a lot, but the side effects are so icky.

    When I took Effexor, it indeed hyped me up, but the thing is, it hyped up my mind more than my body. You would probably find out pretty fast if it helped you, but the HUGE downside is that if you ever stopped taking it, getting off of it is just awful. I am usually pretty objective about answering questions when it comes to taking meds, but it's pretty hard not to have a strong opinion when the drug did such a number on me.

    I wish you much health and happiness and hope everything works out.

    Warm hugs,

    Erika
  12. mary124

    mary124 New Member

    Effexor for energy? Don't take it for that, I been on it for 3 years, and i haven't seen any more energy with it!!
    It does however, works for pain.
  13. SusanEU

    SusanEU New Member

    I have been on effexor for about 6 months now and, personally it has given me a life again.

    I had pain and debilitating panic attacks to the point where I hardly went outside of my house.

    The first 2 weeks were very rough with the nausea, but with my doctors encouragement I hung in there and my pain is astonishingly lessened.

    And I have been brave enough to have a colonoscopy and, just yesterday, a large lipoma removed.

    I have FMS, I don't know how it works on CFS. We are all different but for me it has been a miracle.

    Good Luck,
    Sue in Ontario
  14. Radar1

    Radar1 New Member


    I took Effexor for several years. Interestingly for ADD. I had tried all kinds of things for ADD and Effexor was the only thing that really worked. this was before I was diagnosed with Peripheral Neuropathy and subsequently with Fibro. It had no effect on the Fibro for me.

    To get back to the subject, you have to be very careful if you take Effexor. I could NEVER miss a dose. About 10 hours after the missed dose I would start getting slammed by powerful electric shocks down my neck and arms.

    I stopped taking it in favor of nortriptyline about 2 months ago. I had to taper down for an entire month. Even now I still get some small Effexor shocks, usually in the middle of the night. My GP says that I had a physical addiction to it.

    Good Luck


  15. pw7575

    pw7575 New Member

    I had a HORRIBLE experience with one pill of the lowest dose of Effexor. The doctor put me on it to raise my blood pressure to help with my dizziness. It was awful I hit EVERY side effect on the sheet 100 times worse than you should get them. I thought I was dying. I almost went to the ER. It took me months to recover from it and I think it messed me up permanently. Before that I was NOT depressed at all. I had had CFS for 2 years at that point and was not depressed had no anxiety or anything. Ever since then I have been battling with depression and axiety attacks. In my opinion if you aren't depressed but take anti depressants it messes up your brain chemistry. That is just my opinion though. All I know is that I had no problems with depression or anxiety at all and then right after that one pill I started having problems with both that still to this day have not gone away.

    You aren't depressed and that medication is not going to cure you. PLUS your doctor is giving it to you because she thinks you are depressed and obviously has no clue about CFS and doesn't take you seriously. I would RUN in the other direction and find a new doctor who is going to take you seriously. To me it isn't worth the risk. It isn't going to cure the CFS and at most will give you a little more energy. But the downside is what happened to me. I truely think it messed me up. If I could go back and do it all over again I would NOT take that medication.

    Listen to your intuition. I didn't. I felt very uneasy for some reason about that doctor and those pills. I put off taking them for weeks. I should have listened to myself.
  16. bigmama2

    bigmama2 New Member

    i take it for depression and it works great for that. been on it 6 years. however it has not helped any other aspect of my cfs and it does not help with fatigue.

    I would only take it if you are depressed.
  17. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    At one time maybe I would have said, yes, what could it hurt?

    Now, I recently read that even some psychiatrists, are not prescribing Effexor of Paxil "at all" because of the problems when you try to stop it.

    Apparently, there is "no" half life" and your withdrawals are bad. I never start a new med without asking myself "what will happen when I want to stop this drug?"

    I had a horrible experience with a drug called MS Contin. I was on it for 9 months and terrified when I had to stop it. The reason I had to stop it was it wasn't working anymore and I was going into withdrawals a few hours before the next dose was due. (also side effects were terrible).

    I know it is not in the same class of drug, but antidepressants have their own set of problems.

    Don't get me wrong, I DO think many people need antidepressants, but I also feel they are over-prescribed, with no regard to the problems you will have when stoppping it.

    One thing that has helped me more that anything is bio identical natural hormones - progesterone, and estrogen creams. I am a new person, day by day.

    If you are pre-menopause you may also have a need for hormones. The bio identical are not like the older hormones like Prempro etc.

    I am seeing a doctor who says he is a expert on hormone replacement and the ones I take are compounded by a pharmacist. Somehow, I knew they would help me. I am 55 now but have been in menopause or peri-menopause for years.

    I also went to a therapist for cognitive therapy. Looking back, I think the hormones would have helped more.

  18. dolfenn43

    dolfenn43 New Member

    I WAS HAPPILY TAKING MY LEXAPRO AND MY PAIN DOC THOUGHT HED CHANGE ME TO EFFEXOR I GUESS THERE AO PAIN PROPERITIES IN IT AS WELL AS DEPRESSION.

    WE I NEVER GOT PAST THE 75MG. AND I WAS HAVING PANIC ATTACKS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE. I WAS HAVING DAILY ANEXIYT. I WAS A MESS. AND MY DOCTOR DIDNT THINK IT WAS THE DRUG. HE DIDNT LISTEN TO ME.\
    IT WAS TERRIBLE, IM NOT KIDING. I WAS HAVING ANEXITY ABOUT HAVING ANEXITY, (DOES THAT MAKE SINCE) FINALLY HE NEVER BELIEVED THAT THIS DRUG COULD DO THIS TI ME. I GUESS

    HE THOUGTH I WAS CRACKING UP. HE SENT ME TO A COUNSLOUR THAT RX. MEDS. SHE IMEDIATLY TOOK MR OFF AND PUT BACK ON LEXAPRO.

    THAT WAS A TERRIBLE 2 MONTHS. AND I DIDNT EVEN TAKE IT DAILY LIKE I WAS SUPPOSED TO. HATD TO THINK WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF I DID.

    I HAD A BAD REACTION TO THIS MED. IM SENSITIVE TO MEDS LIKE THIS. IM JUST GIVING YOU MY EXPERIENCE\

    DOLFENN