Effexor XR not working any more,what can I do?

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nutmeg20
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 9/9/2006 9:41 AM (GMT -6)   
 Hello, I have been on Effexor XR for about 5 yrs. now and it helped so much in the early years. Lately, for the past year, it seems I have breakthrough depression more and more often. My doctor says he has not heard of Effexor becoming ineffective, but I know it is. What can I do, switch medications? Help!

els
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4029
   Posted 9/9/2006 10:01 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi nutmeg, first welcome to healing well forum, we are happy to have you.  I am wondering if your doctor who is prescribing it is a PCP or a psychiatrist?  The thing is that all antidepressants do have the potential to over time build up in our bodies and become less effective.  I had this problem with Zoloft after taking it for about 6 years.

There are several options you can take:

1. If you’re seeing a regular primary care physician for treatment of your depression then I would suggest seeking out a psychiatrist as these physicians are most knowledgeable on antidepressants and the treatment of depression.

2. Depending on what dosage of Effexor XR your taking you could see if the dosage could be increased to help level you off.  Often times an adjustment in dosage does work wonders.

3. Or you could see about switching to another medication.  There are many new meds on the market now that are proving to help greatly.  But I would only do this under the close supervision of your physician as going off of Effexor is extremely difficult and your dosage will need to be titrated down slowly.

I too take Effexor XR and am on 225mg.  I was doing well at 150mg but my psychiatrist bumped up the dosage to help with a medical problem I have of low blood pressure.  Effexor has the side effect of raising BP.  He has said that it could be adjusted higher than this, but I have trouble imaging taking more than I already am.

As I said I don’t know how much your taking but according to Mosby's Drug Reference 375 mg is the max that a patient should be given.  So maybe you can see if an increase in your dosage would help before you seek to switch meds.  Please let us know how it goes...Take care


Elisha

Co~Mod: Depression

Moderator: Heart & Cardiovascular Disease

http://www.healingwell.com/donate


nutmeg20
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 9/9/2006 10:15 AM (GMT -6)   

 Thank you so much for the welcome and for the information. this helps me alot. I am on 150mg of Effexor XR. and have been on this dose for about a year. I am leery of going higher, fearing that it will be even more difficult to go off of it if I need a different one. I am only seeing my GP and I think you are right in that i need someone who is up on the latest information. Are there newer antidepressants than Effexor? I was so happy to have these SSRIs or SNRIs because years ago, nothing worked for me!

thanks again for your help!


els
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Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4029
   Posted 9/9/2006 10:50 AM (GMT -6)   

You’re most welcome nutmeg, which is what we are here for.  The newest antidepressant is Cymbalta; I think there are a few people who post here that are taking this med.  Followed by Lexapro, and Celexa which are the newest ones on the market in the last few years.  I haven’t been on any of these so I am not much help on them as far as how well they work. 

I am going to post a link below for you on all the antidepressants and generic (trade names) so you can research them if you would like to.  I understand your reluctance in wanting to increase dosage of Effexor.  I have heard horror stories of this being one of the most difficult meds to come off of if not the hardest.  That is one of my biggest fears that it will one day stop working for me as Zoloft did. 

http://www.womentowomen.com/depressionanxietyandmood/listantidepressants.asp


Elisha

Co~Mod: Depression

Moderator: Heart & Cardiovascular Disease

http://www.healingwell.com/donate


nutmeg20
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 9/9/2006 12:08 PM (GMT -6)   
  Thank you again..I naively thought that I had found a miracle cure for my years and years of depression and now with the Effexor not working, I wonder if other drugs will lose their effect eventually, too. This is not good!
The sexual side effects are bad and I have put up with them because I was so much better mentally, but I am too tired to put up with them now. Do you know if Wellbutrin might be a possible medication that I could switch to? I realize I need to contact a psychiatrist, just wondering what your thoughts were on Wellbutrin.
 

Rianna
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 366
   Posted 9/9/2006 5:55 PM (GMT -6)   
I have a friend who has been on Wellbutrin for almost six years and she said it has worked well for her - I believe she is on 150 and has no sexual side effects from it. I have also thought about going on this medication as well..as my Psychiatrist gave me choices of adding either Wellbutrin or Effexor to what I am taking now (Remeron). Just a thought..it does not sound like the Effexor XR has stopped working completely. Are you able to concentrate or have any motivation? Maybe talk to your Psychiatrist to see if they can put you on a low dose of another antidepressant in combination with the Effexor..that way you don't have to worry about withdrawal side effects. Just make sure to be monitored for Serotonin Syndrome if your Psychiatrist puts you on a cocktail.

Also..are you getting enough exercise..at least 15-30 minutes a day? Are you able to get outside? Sometimes just getting some Vitamin D (sunshine) every day works wonders for anxiety and depression. Do you take multivitamins with Vitamin B6, Folic Acid and Vitamin B12? I take Centrum and have found this very helpful along with eating yogurt, seeds, nuts, strawberries and bananas (mood boosters). Also fish, such as Salmon, Tuna Fish, Mackeral, etc are also very good for depression..I take (Omega-3) Cod Liver oil (lemon flavored - pleasant taste) - a teaspoon every night and that has also been helping a lot. These vitamins (Folate, Vitamin B6 and B12) are very good for depression. Have you had your thyroid checked? Sometimes a sluggish or underactive thyroid can cause depression and fatigue as well. A simple blood test at your doctors office can tell you if you have thyroid problems.

nutmeg20
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 9/9/2006 6:44 PM (GMT -6)   
  Hello Rianna, and thank you for your reply! Can you tell me what Serotonin Syndrome is? I will certainly do as you say and ask about adding WEllbutrin.
I felt as if Effexor had saved my life, it made such a huge difference in my wellbeing and the way I related to people and life in general. I have almost no motivation now, I cry alot.
  I am also doing nearly everything you suggested..I walk nearly an hour per day, I eat salmon and tuna, and I take B complex and Omega 3 fish oil capsules. I am outside as much as I can even though it is hot here still.(ca)
 I really appreciate all your suggestions! I am contacting the doctor on Monday.
  I am happy to hear that your friend has been on Wellbutrin that long as I know I will need something for a long time. I have been through psychiatrists and meds for years now until hitting upon Effexor.

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 11107
   Posted 9/12/2006 9:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Nutmeg,

I went from 300mg of Effexor to Lexapro 20mg. I made the switch w/o any problems. My dr did not wean me off or anything. One day Effexor the next day Lexapro. The Effexor just quit help;ing, I found myself once again crying and did not know why. I went to my PCP and told him what was going and he said well its just not working for you any longer. Our chemistry changes and it affects the medication we take alot of times, so your gp is not well informed at all. I had some side effects from the Effexor and none from Lexapro and I really feel so much better. If I missed a day w/o Effexor it was awful, I miss a day of Lexapro no problem. You may do well with one of the newer drugs available. Susie


mollycoddle
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 11/7/2006 12:57 AM (GMT -6)   
I was on Effexor 225mg for ages prescribed by my General Practitioner and noticed a decline in my mental health so I took myself off to the Psychiatrist instead;thinking that he would change my medication or up the Effexor he changed my diagnosis!! I have Attention Deficit Disorder and have been put on Dexamphetamine 5mg.One day we'll get it right

sweeterthanhoney
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 540
   Posted 11/7/2006 11:55 PM (GMT -6)   
My husband is on 675 mgs of Effexor. No, that is not a typo either! He of course, is under Psychiatric care. His body just does not seem to absorb the meds proberly. He has tried adding on Welbutrin, but it was awful for him, and resently Remeron. It didn't work either. Made he very anxious etc.

His Psych. was recently at a seminar and they said that it was ok to keep upping the Effexor, that his body would let him know when it was too much. Effexor has worked the best for him, but he has periods of time when he gets depressed. This is extremely hard for him. He has just started to feel "normal" and then it slips away from him.

He has been on the 675 mgs for a couple of weeks now, and it hasn't improved too much. This is very hard for all of us. Its really scarey.
dx: fibromyalgia, IBS-C,Myofacial Pain Syndrome, Chronic Headaches, hypothyroidism,anemia, insomnia,mild depression.
 
Meds:
Clonazapam .25mgs, Oxy IR 2.5- 5mgs every 6 hrs, Synthroid, Zopiclone, Gas-X
 
Supplements:  Vit/mineral mix, probiotic, Ester C
 
Daughter Jerica 17, Dx: Crohn's  Prednisone 40mg for 2wks, weaning down by 5 mg/wk till 10 mgs, Losec 20 mgs, Imuran 150mgs, amitriptyline 20mgs, fish oil, lactaid pills
 
                                      
Jerimiah 29:11                      
 


els
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4029
   Posted 11/8/2006 1:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi sweeter, Wow that is alot of Effexor!  I have worked in the mental health field and am familiar with these meds, the diagnosis process and working with psychiatrists.  Also working on getting my masters in psychology.  I too take Effexor XR but only 225mg for depression.  Granted there are people who are drug resistant but in my own opinion I dont think that adding more and more drugs are a safe choice.  Especially, in the long run for his body...chemically speaking.  But I am not a doctor...I can very much see where all of this is scarey for you and your family.  I dont know if you saw this post last week or not but perhaps it will help you...I dont know?  I am going to post the link for you below another member wrote about it and maybe it would be something that can help...I hope.  Let us know.  Take care
http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=19&m=638678

Elisha
Co~Mod: Depression
Moderator: Heart & Cardiovascular Disease
http://www.healingwell.com/donate


sweeterthanhoney
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 540
   Posted 11/8/2006 9:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Els,

Thanks for bringing that post to my attention! I did not see it, as I don't normally come on this site, but I am sure glad I did!

I showed it to my hubby, and of course, he is skeptical, because effexor does work most of the time, so he thinks there is something else. I guess his concern is that if it is this, then what could possably work for him?

We will definetly look into this further and bring it to his Pschs attention!

Thanks!

Sweet
dx: fibromyalgia, IBS-C,Myofacial Pain Syndrome, Chronic Headaches, hypothyroidism,anemia, insomnia,mild depression.
 
Meds:
Clonazapam .25mgs, Oxy IR 2.5- 5mgs every 6 hrs, Synthroid, Zopiclone, Gas-X
 
Supplements:  Vit/mineral mix, probiotic, Ester C
 
Daughter Jerica 17, Dx: Crohn's  Prednisone 40mg for 2wks, weaning down by 5 mg/wk till 10 mgs, Losec 20 mgs, Imuran 150mgs, amitriptyline 20mgs, fish oil, lactaid pills
 
                                      
Jerimiah 29:11                      
 


imcharmed04
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/18/2013 1:00 AM (GMT -6)   
I have been on effexor xr for about 4yrs now. I have general anxiety disorder along with depression. The meds were working great until a few months ago. I can tell my depression has started reading its ugly head alot and my anxiety is very high. I constantly feel like I am running away on the inside. I don't know why my meds are no longer working like they once were. Does anyone have any suggestions or advice on my problem?

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 34120
   Posted 11/18/2013 6:14 AM (GMT -6)   
I think that having the doctor increase your dose might help. I took Effexor for years and did have to have an increase here and there. Effexor was a very good medication for me. But I had to have the max dose at that time. 375 mg.

I now take pristiq, as I can take just one pill a day instead of five. Pristiq is a very good med for somebody who was on Effexor.

Best wishes to you. And welcome to the forum. This is a very old thread, you may want to start a new one. You will get more responses that way.

Hugs, Karen...
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies
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