Effexor XR side effects

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kittyroara
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 4/23/2010 7:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone,

I'm totally new to the antidepressant game, having started my first medication just two days ago. I'm taking Effexor XR 37.5 mg/day (on my second day) for a week, then supposed to bump up to 75mg/day. Yesterday I felt fine, except for slight nausea/feeling-full-and-empty-stomach-at-the-same-time, at least until bedtime, when I started to have much more intense anxious thoughts than I normally do. It was very hard to get to sleep - as soon as I'd doze off, I'd wake myself up with some anxious thought. This normally does NOT happen to me, I sleep very regularly without much waking up in the night. My anxious thoughts, if I do have them at bedtime, though that is not a pattern for me, are not enough to keep me from falling asleep. I was concerned that maybe it was the medication, but I decided to try again today. Now I feel very nauseous and, due to a history of reflux for which I take losec/omeprazole, it is causing a regression of my symptoms: dizziness, random pains, weakness. Some of these might be direct side effects and some might be side effects from the side effect of nausea. IF, that is, I can be having side effects from the medication at all this early after starting them? I understand that they won't have readjusted my serotonin/norepinephrine at all in this short time, but can I have side effects? I mean, it is a chemical in my body and the symptoms I'm having fit the side effects listed in the warnings. I am also feeling "keyed up" as though I just woke up from a terrifying nightmare, but I haven't had any frightening events or dreams and I'm not having anxious thoughts that normally come with my anxious feelings/physiological responses. I contrast this feeling of frightened adrenaline with the feeling of energetic adrenaline that you might get from playing a game of tag or running away from someone with a water balloon in a water fight.

I'm just wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience with Effexor? Am I making mountains out of molehills? Is it all in my head? Or should I avoid taking the meds until I talk to my psychiatrist on the 3rd?

Thanks in advance!

Hibee
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 6499
   Posted 4/23/2010 8:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi

Nice to meet you this is a great forum and you will find a lot of support here. I used to take Effexor xr at 225mg and did get the same side effects you are talking about when I first started taking it but these soon passed after a couple of weeks once my system got used to the new medication so I would say stick with it and see how it goes. It does take upto 6-8 weeks before you will notice any difference and we are all different so what works well for one person may not work so well for an other, Keep in close contact with your doctor and if you have any problems do go and speak to them and chat through your concerns with them. I would also recommend looking into talk therapy such as CBT as these therapies work well in combination with a good med as it gives you ways of dealing with your anxiety and coping techniques just a suggestion. I hope things get better for you and keep posting here and you will find the support and advice you need.

kittyroara
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 4/23/2010 10:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Hibee, I will keep your recommendation in mind. I plan on seeing how tonight goes and if the anxiety at bedtime is the same or less, then I will keep going with the meds. I am feeling much less nauseous than earlier, and I do have to say that the side effect of lowered appetite is a plus for me, so it's not like it's all bad. I'm trying to weigh the positives against the negatives, but I guess it is hard right now since there are only side effects and no real effect of the medication yet. But I will see how it goes. Hopefully the bump up will not be too harsh. I might call to see if it would be better, given my reaction, to take the lower dose for another week before stepping up the dose. Thanks for your help! :D

Hibee
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 6499
   Posted 4/23/2010 11:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi

No problem I hope it works well for you. I did not get any extra side effects when upping the dose and I know a lot of people have had success with this medication but turned out it was not for me. Do try and take your effexor at the same time every day as it has a short shelf life and when you feel you want to stop taking you do need to come off this medication very slowly. I wish you all the best

kittyroara
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 4/23/2010 2:21 PM (GMT -7)   
So, it's been about eight hours now since I took the pill this morning, and I am feeling WEIRD. I just started shaking, sortof like shivering without the cold - how it sortof ripples through your body or twitches your muscles. I feel like someone pulled my plug and I'm draining out - very tired, empty stomach all of a sudden, can't control my muscles as well to write or type. I'm going to go lay down, but I wondered if this was also part of your experience Hibee? It happened to me yesterday too, the drained plug feeling, but without the shaking or quite so strong a feeling.

I'm so unsure about all this. I hope it does 'adjust' like you say, but this is a crazy adjustment if you ask me.

vestabula
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 4/23/2010 3:05 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi there.  I personally do not know a single person who has gone on any kind of SSRI/SNRI who did not have some unpleasant side effects when starting the drug.  The first night I took Lexapro  I was wired...finally drifted off to sleep and woke up rooting through the hubby's underwear drawer.  The next night I found myself in the recliner eating a tube of Oreo's.  I don't remember getting up and doing these things...became aware of it while wandering around.  The hubby said I rearranged the linen closet but I don't recall doing that. I started to take it in the morning instead, even though I was told it had a 'sedating effect' and would not cause insomnia.  Uh, No.  I also had severe jitters and felt very hyper.  These sensations passed after a few weeks.  I know Lexapro is different than Effexor but I think all these drugs work with the brain in the same way.

I wish you luck in getting through the unpleasantness...if it continues I would talk to your doctor before upping the dosage.

 

Donna


fibro, menieres disease, RLS, anxiety disorder, disc compression, scoliosis, spinal stenosis TMJ  Meds: valium Advil


kittyroara
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 4/23/2010 6:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your response vestabula - it helps to know that I'm not alone in this and it's likely not just psychosomatic due to my reluctance to take medication. I am heading to bed to see if the anxiety I experienced yesterday is present again. If not, I will likely keep taking them and see if the symptoms dissipate over time. I wish I could call my psych to talk to him about this, but unfortunately he is out of town. But, the 3rd is not far away, and I think I can get through it until then. Thanks for all your help!

kittyroara
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 4/24/2010 5:55 AM (GMT -7)   
I had a huge headache last night in the middle of the night for which I had to take three regular-strength ibuprofen just to get back to sleep. I still have a minor headache. So I'm not sure if I should be taking these pills... the cautions say that if I have a severe/pounding headache that I should tell a doctor immediately. I live in a small town, so I wasn't going to go to emerg and wait 2+ hours for the on call to show up and probably tell me to just try and go to sleep, or give me demerol or something. But I don't want a repeat episode, so what should I do? Do I keep taking them and deal with it or decide there's too many side effects/risks and wait to talk to my doctor? My anxiety wasn't as bad last night as it was the first night, but the headache was worse to deal with.

I'm sorry for being nitpicky or whiny, I just don't know for sure that it's going to get better on these pills.

Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 4/24/2010 6:01 AM (GMT -7)   
So sorry you are going thru this i hv never taken effexor so i really hv no real personal dealings with it
im sure others will come along but it might be an idea to still go to local hospital n see whats going on idk
just trying to help
lyn

kittyroara
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 4/24/2010 6:09 AM (GMT -7)   
thanks for your support howlyncat - I might see what telehealth says, if they're open on a saturday.

Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 4/24/2010 6:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Thats a great idea n i know they are open here in Ontario so hoping they r open where you are
huggs
lyn
keep us posted hun k

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 4/24/2010 7:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Kitty,


Good Morning. I am sorry to hear you are going through these issues with the new medications. I have had similiar problems with drugs in this category.



All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome when using Effexor:

Anxiety; blurred vision; changes in taste; constipation; decreased sexual desire or ability; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; flushing; headache; increased sweating; loss of appetite; nausea; nervousness; stomach upset; trouble sleeping; vomiting; weakness; weight loss; yawning.

Severe or persistent headache does indicate you should contact your physician. I would guess your Doctor would say hold on the medication if your headaches are severe but that is JMHO.

<SPAN itxtvisited="1">Take care and do keep us posted.

<SPAN itxtvisited="1">Gentle Hugs,

<SPAN itxtvisited="1">Kitt

kittyroara
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 4/24/2010 8:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your input Kitt, I have decided to hold off on them until I can talk to him on the 3rd. I figure, if he thinks it's still worth a shot, I can try again with them. But for now, I think it's best to be safe rather than sorry. Thanks again to everyone for their input and well wishes. It helps to know I have people to talk to who are going through or have gone through similar situations. I'll update once my doctor has given me his opinion. Wellness to all!
Dx: Reflux, Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Meds: Omeprazole 20mg, Effexor XR 37.5mg (just starting out, soon to increase)


kittyroara
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 4/24/2010 2:03 PM (GMT -7)   
I changed my mind and think that, with two days in, it would be better to just go forward and be that much closer to a definitive answer about whether these are the right pills for me than to have to restart somewhere in the future. If I do have any severe symptoms I'll go to emerg. But I think it is a good choice to kindof suffer through the symptoms cause it seems like, no matter what med, that is the general pattern of experience for people. I think it would have been easier to take had my doctor just told me "you're going to have side effects, but they will subside so you have to just suffer through them unless they're severe." He made it out to be more like /maybe/ I'd have side effects. So I took my pill today and feel pretty all right, and we'll see how tonight goes.
Dx: Reflux, Generalized Anxiety Disorder - Meds: Omeprazole 20mg

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