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Re: Starting out on Effexor-xr

Posted by pretty_paints on July 22, 2004, at 10:23:01

In reply to Re: Starting out on Effexor-xr, posted by sareny on July 22, 2004, at 9:35:16

hey sareny,

I'm sorry you're worried. I was too, definately, before I started on Efexor. I was on prozac before when I discovered, and I remembered reading all these freaky posts about venlafaxine and thinking, 'wow, im so glad im not on that'. But then Prozac didnt work too well and the doctor was like "right, lets try venlafaxine" and I was like "is that Efexor..?" and he's like "YEH!" and I totally freaked out! Nooo, cant take that etc etc.

But in the end I did, coz I trusted him I suppose. And also because I felt so so bad that I didnt feel I had much to loose.

I'm on 300mg now. My GP put me up to 150mg and then refered me to a pdoc (im in the UK), who pushed it up a bit higher. I was worried about the higher doses, but my pdoc explained it all really well and how it is totally safe, non-addictive etc. Its also one that's thought to be really very good by a lot of doctors.

Personally, my family did notice some improvement at the lower doses, and I suppose I had to admit that there were some changes. But it was only at the last increase that something suddenly clicked. I've only been on 300mg for about 5 days, but already it seems to be kicking in. Just a big 'good' feeling. Its also very calming. I have big anxiety and panic attacks too, and this has been brill. Actually, up until recently, I hadnt even realised I'd been so totally wired-up and nervous for YEARS. It feels weird to actually RELAX into my body! The depression and anxiety made me feel very...separated from my body. Whats the word for that? Cant remember. Well. Anyway. I also had lots of body jerks and things, but these seem to have actually stopped now! So it is getting a big thumbs up from me!

In terms of symptoms, I basically just had a breakdown, and stopped functioning. All the normal depression stuff. Refusing to go out, see friends, total lack of interest in things I used to like, complete loss of appetite just coz it was too much effort to eat. And sleeping ALL DAY LONG. I dunno, everything because a nothingness. Music just sounded disjointed, like weird sounds all put together, my taste and smell went (like it does when u have a cold), my vision was blurry and narrow.

Um, side effects. To be honest, I didnt have any problematic side effects until 300mg. Maybe a little sexual dysfunction (but the thing was, with the depression I had ZERO/ZILCH/NOWT interest in sex!! So becoming "undepressed" actually meant MORE of an interest in sex! if that makes sense). Maybe agitated and a bit weird for the first week or so. Oh yes, and also my anxiety would be worse for the first few days after an increase, my heart would race and I'd be hyperventilating etc etc. But once that had passed, my anxiety was actually reduced. At 300mg, I did actually feel a bit unwell for a few days. "Brain shivers" they call them, but really for me, I would just get a shiver like you get when you're really cold, and then it would continue to my head, but not ON my scalp, actually IN my head! But woooah, that makes it sound really frankenstinish and weird!! Its not at all. Its just an unusual sensation. Um, and yes, I did feel a bit ill, like when you get a virus or the flu. But I just took it easy, used it to get lots of sympathy and grapes off of everyone, and in a few days I was feeling fine again.

I will keep you posted on how I get on as the time continues. And please keep me posted on how you get on!! If you have any other questions, feel free to ask! Good luck! xxx




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