Partner Looking For Opinions on Effexor XR

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Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 11/23/2009 2:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello all,
It has been a long time since I frequented this website, but I remember reading it and speaking to others in the community helped me through a large depression I went through last year.  Everyone here always seems so helpful, caring and well-informed. I am back again, not for myself, but for my partner. I am just looking for some type of feedback on what some users of this prescription have experienced, and am looking on advice on how to be supportive in her decision and help her in any way (for some background: I am a 24 year old male, and she is a 21 year old female. We are both college students).
My partner has recently decided to look into medication to help her control her anxiety. I find it strange because she would seem to most to be a very social person. However, she gets flustered very easily I find, and I've noticed she embarasses VERY easily. I've never seen one of her attacks, but she has told me about them. The symptoms seem to show when she gets, well, nervous obviously. hah. She goes beat red, her skin will even break out at times, high pulse rate. The other day in a mock interview for school, she started to cry in the interview because she was so nervous/intimidated. The same happened to her in her appointment with her doctor today as she described her symptoms.
As her partner, I've slowly started to notice mood swings in her and she seems to have very severe PMS (her mother has said so. it's not just the boyfriend's opinion :). We'll be out in the day shopping, everything will be great. Then she'll just start to get annoyed and irritible if she can't find something. it's as if the world is over. then we'll head back to the car and she'll be very affectionate, and once we're home; she seems irritible again. Sometimes I just feel she doesn't even want me to touch her once we're home (which really hurts because we're in along distance relationship and only see each other on weekends), and lack of intimacy has started to feel like a problem in the relationship from my perspective. Like, not even as much kissing. I can go on with a number of different examples and weird quirks in behaviour, but suffice to say: sometimes she just seems so irritable that i feel she doesn't even want me around (yet she'll cry if i tell her i can't come down on a weekend, and she'll get upset if we don't get to be together in the day). It all kinda came to realization to her and her mother that she may need help when she started wanting to quit her job over this.
Now, I read into Effexor XR and there seems to be a wide range of reviews on it. Doctors say it isn't addicted while patience are saying you pretty much crash coming off of it, and that the withdrawal is terrible. Some experienced weight gain while others experienced loss of appetite (which i know she'll be sensitive about). Some say that they just kind of felt like they were on auto-pilot and experience some slower memory/words. A lot of patients--albeit older--experienced loss of sex drive as well. There's some people that say their depression worsened. Can anyone tell me if they experienced any of this and/or other symptoms?
I am just kind of scared of how the drug might affect her. Despite the impression I have likely given, I really do love her, and think she has a terrific personality. If I were to be completely honest, I would rather see her try something non-medicinal to help her anxiety, but I will support whatever decision she makes (I have told her this). I just kind of feel she is rushing into it, hoping to for lack of a better term "fix things" before looking into it (she keeps saying she wants to be good for her interview coming up in a couple of weeks).
Does anybody have any advice on how I can be of help to her in this time whether emotionally or clinically? I'm really at a loss.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 114
   Posted 12/17/2009 9:06 PM (GMT -7)   

Did nobody respond to this? I can't tell if that's the case or my computer is just on the fritz. Oh dear. Well, I feel I should respond even though you and your girl may have come to different conclusions and decisions that what you have expressed here.

I have been on Effexor XR once before and stayed on it for a period of 2 years. I just started taking it again today, ironically. I suffer from IBS and generalized anxiety disorder.

My experience with Effexor XR has been that of the four or five anti-ds the doctors have prescribed me for my IBS and/or anxiety over the years is that Effexor has had the least negative side effects for me. The first few days are the worst. I have some mild to moderate nausea, stomach upset, dizziness and a sense of jitteryness. The first time around, I didn't sleep for three days. Based on that experience, I now know this med makes me alert so I take it in the morning.

The medicine did wonders for my anxiety and my IBS. I went off of it eventually because it really had helped stablize my moods and get me back to a place where I felt confident without it. I've since gotten into a bit of a rut, so I"m back on it for a little while.

As for weight gain issues, I too am very sensitive to this. I am very fit and abhorred the idea of taking something that would make me gain weight. I actually lost a few pounds when I started Effexor the first time. By the time I went off it, I was about 10 pounds heavier. However, in retrospect I have to attribute this to my diet and hectic work schedule. I was adapting to my career and not working out and eating as well I should. I blamed the med, but I really think I have only myself to blame.

I never noticed any sexual side effects with it.

Withdrawal was hell for me. I'll be frank. But with a doctor's guidance, it's manageable.

Everyone reacts differently and I think it's worth your girlfriend trying it if she needs it. It really sounds like she does. I'd do it in conjunction with some talk therapy, too!

You're an awesome boyfriend for trying to learn about this and help her. She will love you and thank you for such selfless support. Good luck and let me know if you have any more questions about my experience, then and now, with Effexor.

27 year old female
Dx: IBS-D - 2004
      GAD - 2008
Meds: .5- 1mg Klonopin
Supplements: Doctor's Choice Enzyme Therapy Multivitamin for Sensitive Stomachs, Provex CV Flavonoid, Digestive Enzymes

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