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!