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Barbara Lee
Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2003
Total Posts : 2889
   Posted 9/21/2005 7:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Everyone:

I'm Barbara and I'm from the lupus forum. My doctor wants to prescribe effexor for me. Can anyone give me information on the drug, side affects, how it works. Any help with making the decision to take this drug or not will be greatly appreciated.


dx fibro 1998, glaucoma, cateracts both eyes, bells palsy x 3, diverticulitis, lupus 2001, depression, migraine headaches, gastreopaersis, chronic anemia, portacath inserted into left chest 2004.

Prednisone,Aciphex,Estrogen,Maxide,Coumdin,Vitamin C,PreNatal Vitamins
Iron,Plaquenil,Cellcept,Inderal,Reglan,Zelnorm,Zomig,Phenegren,T3 and Demerol

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 472
   Posted 9/22/2005 1:40 AM (GMT -6)   
I see how enthusiastic people were to reply. I just tarted taking it so I can only tell you what my Physician said. It takes abot 2-3 weeksto get cranked and it is supposed to help sleep along with depression. That's all I know, but I'll let you know as it progresses.
There is no such word as can't. Can't simply means wouln't. Grab as much as life as you can. Future is a long way away for those who don't believe. Don't build a foundation of life on sand. It will take it away with the tide. Love a little more, be unkind a lot less.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 2284
   Posted 9/22/2005 3:19 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been on it for several months. It hasn't numbed my emotions like Paxil did. I haven't really noticed any significant side affects while being on it either. Here is what I found:

Active Ingredient:
Venlafaxine HCL

Drug Interactions:
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or if you are planning to take any over-the-counter or prescription medications with Effexor XR. Doses of one or both drugs may need to be changed or a different drug may need to be prescribed. The following drugs and drug classes interact with Effexor:
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) (eg, phenelzine)
sibutramine (Meridia)

Side Effects:
Every drug can cause side effects, but most people have no, or minor, side effects. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following occurs:

Circulatory System: Increased blood pressure; increased heart rate; decreased blood pressure upon rising; flushing.

Digestive Tract: Nausea; constipation; appetite loss; diarrhea; vomiting; indigestion; stomach pain; gas; difficulty swallowing; dry mouth; belching.

Nervous System: Drowsiness; sleeplessness; dizziness; nervousness; headache; vertigo (feeling of whirling motion); migraine; anxiety; tremor; abnormal dreams; abnormal skin sensations; agitation; confusion; impaired memory; depression; abnormal thinking; unstable emotions; lockjaw; twitching; depersonalization; decreased sex drive; muscle stiffness.

Respiratory System: Yawning; bronchitis; difficulty breathing; runny nose; cough.

Senses: Blurred vision; taste changes; ringing in the ears; dilated pupils; ear pain; vision changes.

Skin: Sweating; rash; itching; flushing.

Urinary and Reproductive Tract: Abnormal ejaculation or orgasm; impotence; impaired urination; urinary frequency; menstrual disorders; blood in the urine; painful or difficult urination; irregular bleeding between periods; inflammation of the vagina with itching or abnormal discharge; urinary retention.

Other: Weakness; infection; chills; chest pain; weight gain or loss; accidental injury; general body discomfort; neck pain; muscle pain; joint pain; swelling of hands or feet; unusual bruising.

Do not use in the following situations:
allergy to Effexor XR
current or recent (14 days or less) use of a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI)
Use with caution in the following situations:

concomitant systemic illness
liver disease
kidney disease
mania, history of
seizures, history of
suicide, high-risk of
Pregnancy: Adequate studies have not been done in pregnant women. Use only if clearly needed and potential benefits to the mother outweigh the possible hazards to the fetus.

Breastfeeding: Effexor XR appears in breast milk. A decision should be made to either stop nursing or stop the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Children: Safety and effectiveness in children < 18 years of age have not been established.

Guidelines For Use:
Usual adult starting dose is 75 mg/day taken as a single dose.
Take each dose with food.
Do not crush, chew, or dissolve extended-release capsules in water. Swallow extended-release capsules whole, with fluid.
If a dose is missed, take it as soon as possible. If several hours have passed or if it is nearing time for the next dose, do not double the dose to catch up, unless told to do so by your doctor. If several doses are missed, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Use exactly as prescribed.
Do not change the dose or stop taking Effexor XR unless told to do so by your doctor.
If Effexor XR therapy is stopped, the dose should be gradually reduced over a 2-week period.
Smaller doses should be used in patients with moderate liver or kidney impairment.
Effexor XR should not be used in combination with an MAOI, or within at least 14 days of stopping treatment with an MAOI. After stopping Effexor XR, at least 7 days should elapse before starting an MAOI.
Because any psychoactive drug may impair judgment, thinking, or motor skills, do not operate hazardous machinery, including automobiles, until you are reasonably certain that Effexor XR does not adversely affect your ability to engage in such activities.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, become pregnant, are planning to become pregnant, or if you are breastfeeding during therapy.
Tell your doctor if rash, hives, or other allergic reactions occur.
Blood pressure will be monitored during treatment.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, or supplements.
Do not use alcohol use during Effexor XR therapy.
Store at room temperature (68° to 77°F). Keep container tightly closed.

How The Drug Works:
Effexor XR inhibits neuronal uptake of serotonin and norepinephrine in the central nervous system, which is believed to combat depression and other behavioral disorders.
We can respond to irritation with a smile instead of scowl, or by giving warm praise instead of icy indifference. By our being understanding instead of abrupt, others, in turn, may decide to hold on a little longer rather than to give way. Love, patience, and meekness can be just as contagious as rudeness and crudeness.
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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 9/25/2005 9:41 AM (GMT -6)   
i am new member and have been posting on panic disorders...i wish I could tell you something positive about effexor but i am coming off of effexor xr right now. I've gotten tired of putting chemicals in my body for panic disorder so when my meds change for , like, the 5th time this year I decided I've had enough.
I was on 150mg for panic disorder. my new dr tells me that effexor xr isn't even for that, so he wants to change my meds to klonopin and luvox. i quit effexor cold turkey (and didn't start the other meds) and have been going through withdrawl for about a week. I have been very achy, sick to my stomach, and I keep getting "shifts" in my head and ears (like my eyes darting back and forth). this started on tuesday and was very difficult. I feel much better today and actually have a clear head for the first time in a while.
I think you're supposed to ween off of effexor but you will still go thru withdrawls then too. a woman that i work with was weened off of it-she only took 75mg a day-and it took her 2 months! check with your doctor to see if there is anything else you can take. I've never heard anything good about effexor and I took it for a year! I would not suggest it to anyone. it really didn't do anything for me except make me sick and groggy all of the time. but, I'm not a doctor. Talk to your doctor about something else. Sorry this is so negative but its honest.....good luck & God bless............amie

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 9/25/2005 4:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Barbara!!!

I don't know a thing about Effexor . . . but I was wondering if you've started taking it and hoping you aren't having any bad side effects (except good sleep!). Have you started taking it yet?

In His Grip,
AlwaysRosie          "We can't control the waves, but we can learn to surf!"
Psalms 139
UCTD (Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease), Hashimoto's, Plantar Fasciitis, Inflamatory Arthritis, High BP, GI Inflamation, Diverticuloses
Plaquenil, Methotrexate, Folic Acid, Synthroid, RX Motrin, Lexapro, Amitriptelyne, Salagen, Lotrel (Centrum Silver, B12, B6, Calcium+D,)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 558
   Posted 9/26/2005 1:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello everyone,
I hang out in the CP forum most of the time and felt the need to lurk over here today. The 1st thing you must keep in mind is all meds will act a little diffrent with each person. I have been on a extremly low dose of efexor for about a year. There are two types of efexor. Efexor XR is a time release agent. Make sure if you are taking the Efexor with out the XR that it is taken twice aday. As for myself I was tricked into taking it by my Doctor telling me that it will help controll my pain. I didnt think it was doing anything for me good or bad. No side effects or change in my moods. Then my wife told me how nice it is to have the old me back. I guess what I'm trying to say is it works well for me with no negative side effects. Onething you should never do is start two new meds at the same time. That way if there are any side effects you will know what med is causing them. Another thing that has helped me is any med that makes me nasues. I will try to take with milk just before I go to sleep.
 I hope this helps and may God continue blessing you all

I have LPHS( Loin-Pain Haematuria syndrom) this is a condition where there is unexplained flank pain and Haematuria. No approved cure at this time. Only approved treatment is keep pain under controll. Please post any questions or resourses others may be able to use with rare Pain dissorders.

susan n
New Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 9/26/2005 2:40 PM (GMT -6)   
I've taken Effexor XR 225mg for about 3 years.
The only side affect I remember having was weight loss.
I didn't have an appetite at all. I don't know if you saw the
other link about Effexor, someone else wrote in saying
that the weight loss affect went away, it certainly has for
me. I have to work to lose weight now. I did not have
any side affects like stomache upset or feeling like a
zombie. I was really happy with it, it really made me
feel better. I am feeling like it is not working as well,
now. Prior to Effexor I was taking Paxil, which also
worked well for me with no side affects. I had taken it
for many years and that's why I switched to Effexor.
I had read a lot of good things about it. Good luck!

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/28/2005 3:35 AM (GMT -6)   

scool  Hi Barbara

I just started Effexor.  I am gradually coming of Lilly Flouxetine and changing to Effexor.  I had no side effects coming of Lilly Flouxetine and felt only slightly light-headed for two days when I started Effexor.

Did you decide to take the meds?  Any side effects? Any improvement?

My dr said Effexor is effective in treating depression.  The Lilly Flouxetine did help a lot, but not 100%. I changed to a new docter - I think thats is the reason why he (the new dr) changed the meds.


Barbara Lee
Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2003
Total Posts : 2889
   Posted 9/28/2005 5:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Everyone:

Thanks for your posts on the Effexor. Sorry didn't respond right away, been feeling really sick with my Lupus. Not sure if the Effexor is working or not. Guess only time will tell. I've not felt like eating at all though, maybe this will be good for me. Being on steroids all the time has put weight on me that I need to loose. Anyway, just wanted to reply and let you all know I thank you for your responses. Take care and hope you all feel better soon.

Take it easy

dx fibro 1998, glaucoma, cateracts both eyes, bells palsy x 3, diverticulitis, lupus 2001, depression, migraine headaches, gastreopaersis, chronic anemia, portacath inserted into left chest 2004.

Prednisone,Aciphex,Estrogen,Maxide,Coumdin,Vitamin C,PreNatal Vitamins
Iron,Plaquenil,Cellcept,Inderal,Reglan,Zelnorm,Zomig,Phenegren,T3 and Demerol

susan n
New Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 9/29/2005 3:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi dirtypants,
Wow! I have never heard of Effexor being prescribed for
IBS. I rely on Bentyl, which works wonders on the pain.
I posted earlier on this thread. I've been taking 225mg
for 3 years for depression. I don't have any side effects.
I'm sorry you're having so many, that sucks. Do you
take anything else for your IBS? My doctor won't prescribe
Zelnorm, which is exactly what I need, I have the "slow-moving"
problem. It's so hard to talk to primary care docs about
IBS. They just don't understand how severe the pain can
be. My mom has it, too. She actually passes out when she
has bad episodes.

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