Experience with Effexor? Side-effects??

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Danimal
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 80
   Posted 5/27/2009 10:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi all:

I am considering trying Effexor over the next few weeks. My husband and I are hoping to get pregnant this summer and I discussed with my maternal/fetal specialist the possibility of trying effexor to see if it would make a big difference in my pain (with the hope of me weaning down on some of my methadone and morphine). I have an SCS but am going to have to turn it off for the 1st and 2nd trimester so I am looking for other options. He said if the effexor does not make a big difference in the pain..then he would suggest me simply sticking with the methadone rather than taking both.

Sooo...just wondering, for those of you who take effexor: does it help you significantly?

Also, what types of side-effects have you experienced?

Thanks!
Danimal
Author of CHRONIC STIMULATION, a blog about living with chronic pain and a spinal cord stimulator (neurostimulator). I would love for you to visit!!

http://chronicstimulation.blogspot.com/

Post Edited (Danimal) : 5/27/2009 11:56:52 AM (GMT-6)


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 5/27/2009 1:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Danimal,
I started taking effexor when I had some problems with cymbalta. This cymbalta, however, helped the numbness and tingling in my feet way better than the effexor.

I started on 75mg and am now at 150mg. It helps with depression, maybe a little with pain but not like the cymbalta. BUT I think when we ask eachother questions about how we reach responded to a medication it's almost useless because we each reacdt so differently. And it depends on what type of pain you're trying to improve.

Effexor is the closest to cymbalta, as far as the neurotransmitters it affects, so I would wonder why not try cymbalta first? Here's another but - I don't know about anti-depressants and the placental barrier, as well as if you're planning to nurse. I would discuss this in detail with your doctor to see what the effects are. Is there a reason you're not trying cymbalta first?

PaLady

modelmaker
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 168
   Posted 5/27/2009 1:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Danimal,

I have been on Effexor 75 mg for several years and recently upped it to 150 mg. My primary doc said that this me helps with depression AND pain. He tried to describe it: something about seretonan reuptake inhibitors.....I glazed over. Apparently it is unique in this regard. It has helped enormously with depression associated with CP but I really don't know how much pain relief I can attribute to this med alone since I am taking other meds for pain. I have had no side effects from this med. The increase to 150 mg. was for better mood control not necessarily better pain control but that may be a benefit. Hope this helps.

Modelmaker
Degenerative disc disease, 4 back surgeries, fused from L2-S1, instrumentation. Being treated for chronic pain. Oxycodone 30 mg. IR. Candidate for SCS in the future.


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 5/27/2009 2:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Most of the anti-depressants we tend to hear about are SSRI's (long version: Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors...sure will make you glaze over!). Those are things like prozac, celexa (lexapro - the ER version), paxil, and zoloft. Zoloft, is, to the best of my knowledge and I'm not a doctor, the one that supposedly doesn't pass through breast milk, so most mothers who may suffer from post partum depression are often placed on zoloft.

Cymbalta is the latest version of a medication that affects both serotonin and norephinephrine, and that'll make your eyes glaze, too (LOL) but effexor is similar in that it is an SNRI rather than SSRI. If you want it for primarily pain relief, as well as help with mood, cymbalta is likely the first choice but I don't know if there's a difference betwee these two re:pregnancy issues.

PaLady

Danimal
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 80
   Posted 5/27/2009 4:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi guys (or rather guy and gal!):

Thanks for your input. My pain doc uses either effexor or cymbalta. We put the question to my maternal/fetal specialist and he chose effexor of the two..I'm not sure why but he seemed more comfortable with that one. I wouldn't be taking it for depression...just the pain. The more and more I think and read about it, the less I feel like trying it. I'm so sick of trying different meds and dealing with side effects and I've read over and over again that people have a really difficult time weaning off of effexor...not something I'm keen on. My "baby doctor" said that if taking the effexor could help me to come down from 90 mgs of methadone a day to, say, 30 mgs...then it would be worth it...otherwise it wouldn't. I have a hard time believing that it would have that much of an effect. Not trying to be negative...just realistic. The whole idea of it is making me cranky and anxious...so maybe that is indicator enough that it isn't for me....
Author of CHRONIC STIMULATION, a blog about living with chronic pain and a spinal cord stimulator (neurostimulator). I would love for you to visit!!

http://chronicstimulation.blogspot.com/


modelmaker
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 168
   Posted 5/27/2009 5:21 PM (GMT -7)   
PALady,

You seem to be very knowledgable on meds. Is/was that your professional field?

In your opinion, for you, is Cymbalta more effective in pain managment than Effexor? I have not tried Cymbalta, perhaps I should?

Modelmaker
Degenerative disc disease, 4 back surgeries, fused from L2-S1, instrumentation. Being treated for chronic pain. Oxycodone 30 mg. IR. Candidate for SCS in the future.


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 5/27/2009 6:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Modelmaker,
It's not technically my field; I'm not an M.D. or a pharmacist but as a therapist have worked with many people on these meds. But my main experience comes from my personal use of them. My cousin is also a pharmacist so I ask her a lot of questions!

I think last year I tried the cymbalta and I had no side effects except one: it affected my seizure threshold (I also have a seizure disorder), and that was a serious enough side effect for me to have to d/c it. But it was the only medication that helped me start to feel my feet as normal. I wish so much I could go back on it (I had to take 60 mg to get the relief with foot neurpathy). Effexor is the next most similar one, and so we tried that to see if it would help with my growing depression as well as some of the nerve pain. It helped with the depression, and i really haven't had any significant side effects at all from it, but it didn't help the symptoms in my feet in any noticeable way, so I'm still on the neurontin. Also take percocet. The SNRI class of meds can help pain - and this is exactly how pain and depression are related because of the neurotransmitters involved in both pain and depression - more than the SSRI's., although they do fine with depression.

What I don't know is the difference in how effexor as compared with cymbalta affects pregnancy and possible nursing. Effexor is older and there may be more data on it, and maybe that's why Danimal's doctor is more comfortable. Danimal best suggestion I would have is to go directly to the side for cymbalta and to effexor. Google them and go directly to the manufacturer's website. That long handout we get with our meds will be posted in even more detail, and there is usually a section relating directly to pregnancy. See what each says.

Modelmaker cymbalta was designed to address more of the neurotransmitters that deal with pain and depression, so I'd suggest discussing that with your doctor if you have any neuropathic like symptoms. But for the deep sciatic pain, the percocet is really what help me.

Hope this helps a bit.

PaLady

Pete trips again!
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1899
   Posted 5/27/2009 6:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Hope you don't mind me jumping in here? I've been on Effexor for about 5 or more years, it's so hard to remember! I was on 75mg untill I had a chest pain eppisode about 2 years ago and spent a couple days in the hospital being tested. The cardiologist suggested doubling the dose to 150mg as he thought it would help me in several areas so I've been taking that amount of the extended release form since. I have definitely had sexual side effects from all the anti depression meds I've used except Welbutron and Effecsor is no different. I have enough problems in that catagory already from prostate cancer surgery so I wish I didn't have to take it at all! Those of you who know me know I'm plaiged with bouts of depression and don't think Effecsor is helping me very much. I talked to my Dr. about it but he seems to think I have to come off one to start another antidepression med and I don't feel like doing that, especially from what I've heard about getting off Effecsor!!!! I don't recall ever having to get off one to take another and I told him I've been switching meds ever since Prozac came out back in the 80's!!
PA, do you with your vast knowlage of meds, know anything about that??? I would love to give Cymbalta a try, maybe it will help me?? What do you think?
Thanks everyone!!
Your Friend,
Pete
56 years old, Surgury, Radical Prostatectomy 8/20/03, PSA 6.6, Gleason 3 + 3 = 6, Adenocarcinoma extent (moderate) Stage & Margin:T2NOMX, No Metastases, Organ Confined, bone scan: Neg. 3 1/2 years of depression after surgery prior to Hypogonadizm DX, Testosterone Theropy> new 2/6/09> 400mg injections once a month. 56 and so glad to still be here to see my two sons grow up to be fine young men. They are both serving in the US Navy, Joseph is on the aircraft carrier USS John Stennis headed for Hawai and Pete Jr. is on The Asault Ship USS Bataan "The Jaws of the Fleet" on their way to the Middle East w/ 2,000 Marines aboard. I am one very proud (what they call me)> Big Pops! 


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 5/27/2009 7:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Pete,
It's always worth talking with your doctor. What I do know is that psychiatrists are the M.D.'s with the best knowledge of anti-depressants, even though they are often prescribed by PCP's, and pm docs and many others. In most cases, that's not a problem when it's a pretty simple depression. But most of our cases are complicated, so have a consult with a psychiatrist may be worth it. It doesn't mean you're crazy, but they know the best about what meds you can change abruptly, and what need to be titrated down first before another can be added. Plus most of us have a complex mix of medical problems. So if your doc is telling you that you can't start another anti-depressant without stopping the effexor, I'd ask just to consult an experienced psychiatrist. They may have one at the university where you got your surgery; one that works with pain patients but is a psychiatrist would be ideal. It is worth asking.

PaLady

Denim
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 428
   Posted 5/29/2009 1:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Funny, you are talking about Cymbalta. I've had a few doctors tell me to try it and I was afraid and on ultram. I got off the ultram and am still afraid but was willing to give it a shot.
I have read half and half about it--that is the good side effects and bad.
I am on ms contin and many days, that doesn't touch the leg pain and I can't take lyrica,abd still believe the pain is fron the stenosis. My doctor hates to give out addictive drugs. Meanwhile, ultram is more addictive than many and the doctors don't even know it. If I didn't say anything, he would have me on on ultram forever.
 
Right now, my pain level is super high. keeping busy helps and I know I was doing better not long ago. CP is the worst but I am still waiting on a miracle.
 
Good luck to you.
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