Sleep Experiences with Effexor??

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GADfly
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 3/19/2017 3:18 PM (GMT -6)   
First of all a thanks to the forum for the warm welcome! It is very reassuring to know that there is such a great community out there who are ready and willing to listen, and do so in a positive manner (the last thing those of us dealing with anxiety and depression need are more negativity!).

First some background:
I was diagnosed with GAD and moderate depression about 19 years ago. Successfully treated my condition for many years on Lexapro, but after trying to wean off meds last year because I 'didn't think I needed them anymore' (yes, I know, a stupid move in retrospect), Unfortunately I had a major relapse early this year, tried going back on the Lexapro but it didn't seem to be effective (not sure if it 'pooped out' or if it was just too little too late. My PCP switched me on Effexor XR (actually on the generic, 'vena-whatever'). I started on 75mg in late Jan and I saw some improvement little by lt. I also have low dose Xanax as a rescue med as well as sleep aid (see below). Doc then upped my dosage to 150mg in mid-Feb and saw a return to almost normal until I encountered a setback last week (still working my way back - see my other post for details if you want). But it did take almost 7 weeks to reach the point of feeling 'normal' again (hope to be back there soon, it was a great visit). ALso seeing a therapist for talk therapy which I highly recommend even if formal CBT doesn't work for you.

The Sleep Issue:
Looking for insight from others on how Effexor XR affected their sleep . I wasn't sleeping well for the first few weeks but chalked that up to the anxiety. But now at 7 weeks the sleep hasn't improved much at all. Although I start yawning and feeling tired at 10PM or so, I go to bed but then just lie there and can't sleep. My PCP prescribed a number of different meds over the last few months to help, starting with Trazadone, Lunesta, and Ambien. All of them helped me fall asleep but found I was waking up by 12:30 or 1AM and then pretty much awake for the night with all of them. The only med has worked somewhat is Xanax - I take 1 mg at bedtime and this allows me to sleep until 3:30-4AM. I then have to take another .5mg and that lets me toss and turn until 6:30 AM if I'm lucky. It's not the best quality sleep but I'll take it. My PCP wants me to get off the Xanax long term though - had me try Ambien XR this past Thursday. Unfortunately it was the same experience as the other meds - woke up in early AM and couldn't get back to sleep. Ended up going back to Xanax and will push my PCP to refill my Rx for now.

Has anyone else experienced these issues with Effexor XR? I definitely tried the sleep hygiene route (use bed only for sleep to avoid negative association) and still no good. I'm trying to be patient and don't want to screw around with switching meds until I get stable (if I can help it). Just wondering if anyone had these experiences with Effexor and has any suggestions on other sleep meds that might work? I also would like to hear from those that may have switched off of Effexor due to sleep or other S/Es.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and support!

time2reclaim
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 3/20/2017 6:28 PM (GMT -6)   
I wish I could help you but I won't be able to offer any advice. I was talked into taking effexor. I tried it for 3 days and I was awake for 72 hours straight. I am not sure if I even felt tired at all. I felt a little nutty at some point but not really even tired. My blood pressure also after those 3 days was very high.

My Dr. wanted me to take a sleeping pill and keep trying the med but it wasn't right for me.

I hope someone posts who can give you some help. To my body the med is just like speed.

GADfly
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 3/20/2017 7:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Time2reclaim,

Thank you for the reply. I hear people mention effexor alot and was surprised I didn't get any replies.
For me I feel tired - can't stop yawning in the evenings. But as soon as I hit the pillow I just lay there awake. As I mentioned I need to take Xanax to fall asleep (other meds worked too but just don't keep me asleep).
I know everyone is different but can you share what med you switched to and what your transition was like? My GP had offered to switch me to Cymbalta - weary of switching at the moment as I'm coming back from a relapse and don't want to risk it. At the same time I want to sleep again and hate relying on the Xanax. Anxious to hear your thoughts.

Thanks!

Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 25688
   Posted 3/20/2017 9:40 PM (GMT -6)   
We'll keep this bumped to the top...

...sometimes it takes a few days for everyone to see newer posts. Not all our members log on daily.

S.C.
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles...it empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

Hibee
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 6763
   Posted 3/21/2017 1:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi

Effexor can cause sleep problems I used to take it and found that it caused insomnia and it also caused really bad night sweats so I stopped taking it although it did work well at treating my anxiety and depression.

I switched to Cymbalta and had the same problems.

Hibee
I try not to worry about the future -- so I take each day just one anxiety attack at a time.

ANXIETY & PANIC FORUM MODERATOR

Diagnosed with:- Asperger's Syndrome, Dyslexia, GAD, Social Anxiety Disorder, Health Anxiety, OCD, Depression and Scheuermann's Disease (Adult)

Medications:- 60mg Prozac, Olanzapine 10mg, Dihydrocodeine 180mg per day

time2reclaim
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 3/21/2017 6:10 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm not currently taking any meds. I am working at exercise, redirecting my thoughts as much as I can. If you do decide to change meds please taper off that med. I have heard a lot of stories about that one and it may need to be tapered slowly if you have been on it a length of time.

HoldOnToMyHand
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2016
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 3/21/2017 7:45 AM (GMT -6)   
I started Effexor in December after 4 *horrific* months of 24/7 non-stop anxiety and unexplained pain. I was taking Xanex prior to starting Effexor and continued taking them thru January. Once I felt the Effexor really taking effect, I stopped the Xanex because I was finding bits of relief from the non-stop anxiety. The Effexor did not start taking effect in my system for quite some time, or maybe as fast as I wanted it to. However, I think my system was used to the Xanex and when I finally stopped it, I had serious sleep problems. Although it made me very uncomfortable, irritable, frustrated, etc., I pushed through it for a few weeks and it got better. I am totally off the Xanex now and the Effexor for me has changed my life. I have some night sweats from time to time too, but the benefits I feel from the Effexor totally outweigh that particular side effect for me. I also use many of the Resources here too to help keep me in a good space. For me personally, I found that a multi-step approach to manage my anxiety/depression is optimal.

GADfly
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 3/21/2017 3:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you all for the replies. I made an appt with PCP for this Monday and will discuss options. In the meantime he suggested trying trazadone 100mg at bed again. I tried that before and it put me to sleep but didn't stay asleep. Maybe I'll try cutting the pills in half and taking 1/2 at bed and 1/2 if I wake up. Anyone have luck with that med or approach? Haven't slept through a full night in almost 3 months and running out of patience!!!
The Xanax helped but want to get off it - definitely had impacted my vision - need reading glasses all the time now since this episode began in Jan. It's either the effexor or the Xanax and I think it's the latter.
I was thinking about cymbalta as an option but asked PCP if he has seen better sleep quality in patients on that med. Ultimately I want get back to lexapro. No side effects and no anxiety for the many years I was on it. Hope I can get there - will need doc's help going from snri to SSRI but will wait on that move for a bit.

Thanks again!

super20dan
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2014
Total Posts : 704
   Posted 3/21/2017 6:23 PM (GMT -6)   
that's a good plan with the trazadone . I do your plan sometimes when I am having sleep problems. take a smaller dose at bedtime -then take another dose when I wake at 3 pm or so. good plan. the only med that could keep me asleep all nite was ambien cr.

GADfly
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 3/21/2017 7:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Superdan - thanks for the feedback. I may try the 'traz' (too lazy to spell it out) but think I'll wait until the weekend. Just in case sleep is even worse on that experiment. I wish the Ambien worked - I tried both regular version and CR. They both put me out in less than 30 min but I wake up starting around 2 or 3 am and then sleep poorly and lightly (if I'm lucky) until the alarm. It also puts me in a weird haze the next day. Same result with either version.

I really am beginning to think the effexor is just acting like a stimulant for me. Right now it's 9pm and I feel exhausted but I know that if I go to bed I'll just end up laying there unless I take a Xanax and even then I'll be waking up at either 3:30 or 4:30. I should start a poll on the forum to see which of the 2 times everyone predicts the wake up will be tonight!
Anyway I have been climbing out of my recent anxiety relapse after 6 days so I don't want to complain to much. I'll gladly trade peace of mind and calm thoughts for lousy sleep any day.
Thanks again!

cilly
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2014
Total Posts : 1264
   Posted 3/22/2017 1:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Sleep issues are common with anxiety ,i am battling with it forever.

I take Ambien generic and have issues still.Tried trazadone but did not work on me.

Maybe need to fix dosage.

I have tried generic seroquel but i sleep 20 hrs on it so quit on that as well.

My fibro makes sleep worse and anxiety tops all.
Cilly

GADfly
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 3/22/2017 6:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Cilly - sorry to hear that the sleep is still an issue for you. For me it typically had only been a problem when I'm in the depths of anxiety or depression. Otherwise when I've been on meds my sleep has been fine. Until this latest bout that is.

I'm landing on two action items on this issue:
1) I'm planning to get off effexor - leaning toward either pristiq or cymbalta. But I'm pretty certain the sleep issues are a side effect that isn't getting any better. The Xanax helps sleep but I'm tired of blurred vision and memory issues
2) I need to go back to a psychiatrist to get the help I need. I like my PCP but he just doesn't have the same depth of knowledge on mental health and meds

Hope that you can find some way to resolve the sleep issues. Assume you have tried different med options (?).
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