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Effexor (venlafaxine)

Overall Rating
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2.86
Rating:

2.86

***
(Out of 5 Stars)
Side Effects
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1.88
Pricing
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2.9
Average Price: $56.60 Thumbs up Recommended By
69% of reviewers (of 132 reviews)
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Effexor®

Generic Name: Venlafaxine VEN-la-fax-een

Drug Class: Antidepressants, miscellaneous

 

Contents

 

Description
Effexor is used for treatment of depression. Your doctor may have prescribed this medicine to help relieve, anxiety, tension or to help you sleep.

Effexor is an antidepressant in a group of drugs called selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRIs). Venlafaxine is used to treat major depressive disorder, anxiety, and panic disorder.

Your doctor may have prescribed this medicine for other conditions as well.

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General Information
This information is for educational purposes only. Not every known side effect, adverse effect, or drug interaction is in this database. If you have questions about your medicines, talk to your healthcare provider. 

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Proper use of this medicine
Follow the directions given to by your doctor. This medicine should be taken orally on a regular basis. It is best that that you take this medicine at bedtime unless otherwise directed by your doctor. The extended-release tablet and capsule should be swallowed whole. Do not chew, divide, or crush the extended-release tablet or capsule.
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Missed Dose
Take your next dose as soon as you remember. If it is time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not double doses.
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Storage
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture. Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.
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Possible Side Effects
    • dizziness, drowsiness
    • agitation, confusion
    • Consult your doctor immediately if you experience prolonged and painful erections.
    • Expected side effects are increased appetite and weight gain.
    • drowsiness, fatigue, dizziness
    • dry mouth
    • Unreported side effects are possible, talk to your healthcare provider if any other symptoms occur.
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Warnings/Precautions
    • Do NOT stop taking this medicine abruptly.
    • This medicine may cause dizziness or drowsiness.
    • Alcoholic beverages can increase the effects of this medicine and should be avoided.
    • Don't drive or perform other tasks that require concentration, until you know how this medicine affects you.
    • This medicine can increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in some children and teens. Parents of children taking antidepressants should watch for signs of worsening depression or unusual changes in behavior.
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Overdose
Seek medical attention immediately. U.S. residents can call the national poison hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Canadian residents should call their local poison control center directly.
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Drug Interactions
    • Before taking any new prescription or over-the-counter medication, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Taking this medicine together with diazepam (Valium) may impair movement ability. Avoid using this medicine with MAO inhibitors. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you if you are taking an MAO inhibitor.
    • Talk to your doctor if you are taking certain antibiotics such as erythromycin, clarithromycin or azithromycin. This medicine should not be taken with MAO inhibitors.
    • Let your doctor know if you are taking any vitamin supplements or herbal products. St. John’s Wort should be avoided while taking fluvoxamine due to the increased side effects of too much serotonin.
    • MAO inhibitors should not be taken while taking the following drugs:
      • dexfenfluramine
      • fluoxetine (Prozac)
      • fluvoxamine (Luvox)
      • paroxetine (Paxil)
      • sertraline (Zoloft)
      • venlafaxine (Effexor
      • Effexor XR)
    • Tell your doctor if you are taking other antidepressants, medications for blood pressure, medications for diabetes, sleeping pills, tranquilizers, vitamins or herbs.
    • This medicine may increase the affects antihypertensive drugs, drugs with sedative effects, phenytoin (Dilantin) or fosphenytoin (Celebyx) and tramadol (Ultram).
    • Do not take MAO inhibitors type A with this medicine. If you are not sure if you are taking an MAO inhibitor, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Certain other antidepressants, clozapine (Clozaril), haloperidol (Haldol), lithium, trazadone, and others may increase the risk of seizures. BEFORE taking any new prescription or over-the-counter medicine, talk to your health care provider.
    • Patients taking MAO inhibitors should not be take this medicine.
    • Nafazodone can decrease the effects of clonidine, methyldopa, diuretics (water pills), warfarin and drugs used to lower blood sugar (hypoglycemics). This medicine can increase the toxic effects of; terfenadine, astemizole, fluoxetine (Prozac), triazolam, alprazolam (Xanax) and phenytoin (Dilantin). Do not take this medicine within 14 days of stopping MAO inhibitors. If you are not sure what an MAO inhibitor is, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. If you are currently taking any of these medicines, talk to your doctor or pharmacist to see if Nefazodone is right for you.
    • Possible drug interactions may occur with phenobarbital causing a decrease in the effect of the medications. Severe blood pressure problems and seizure can occur with taken with MAO inhibitors.
    • Talk with your physician or pharmacist if you are taking other medications.

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Pregnancy/Nursing
If you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, before taking this medicine talk to your doctor about the benefits versus the risks to your pregnancy. In testing with animals, studies show delayed bone development. Use this medicine only if it clearly necessary. It is advised not to take this medicine while nursing. If you have any concerns, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
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More Information

Antidepressant medications are used to treat a variety of conditions, including depression and other mental/mood disorders. These medications can help prevent suicidal thoughts/attempts and provide other benefits. However, studies have shown that a small number of people (especially children/teenages) who take antidepressants for any condition may experience worsening depression, other mental/mood symptoms, or suicidal thoughts/attempts. Therefore, it is very important to talk with a doctor about the risks and benefits of antidepressant medication, even if the treatment is not for a mental condition. Tell your doctor immediatley if you notice worsening depression, unusual behavior changes, (including possible suicidal thoughts/attempts), or other mental/mood changes. Be especially watchful for these symptoms when a new antidepressant is started or when the dose is changed.
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Tags: depression anxiety antianxiety antidepressant panic pcpanic pcantidep pcdep pcanx




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Reviews
 
story237
New Member

Registered: February 2007
Posts: 4
Fri March 16, 2007 Recommended? No | Total Spent: $1.00| Rating: 5 

 
PROS: works for depressed symptoms in 3-4 weeks
CONS: works too well, flipped me into mania bigtime.

I was taking Effexor 75mg and noticed heart palpitations and within 6 weeks, it had me into full on mania that resulted in impulse control problems big time.

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csmokery
Newly Joined

Registered: March 2007
Location: Southeastern, PA
Tue March 6, 2007 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

 
PROS: Saved my arse
CONS: Expensive (XR retail is $1400/mo for 90 day Supply)

Effexor XR has really helped me enjoy life again. It is a great medication, but only for some people. SSRI/SNRI's are still a crapshoot. It takes time, and patience to find the drug, or combination of drugs that work best for each individual. Playing pill roulette is no fun, when you feel like hell, but it beats the alternatives in my opinion.

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Juliana
Grand Member

Registered: March 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 887
Sat March 3, 2007 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 1 

 
PROS: none
CONS: drowsiness, increased anxiety, inability to sleep, inability to keep legs still

I took Effexor for a couple of weeks. I was taking it for panic attacks and agoraphobia. It made me feel very drowsy, but I had trouble falling and staying asleep. I couldn't keep my feet and legs still. I was constantly fidgeting. I actually ripped a hole in the bottom sheet of my bed while sleeping because of the constant twitching of my feet. This drug increased my anxiety.

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WCSMPPHOTO
New Member

Registered: February 2007
Posts: 1
Mon February 26, 2007 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 6 

 
PROS: Less anxiety
CONS: Unstable moods, nightmares

It took me out of a place where everything hurt to do, including laundry or vacuuming. The side effects aren't always great but tolerable. However, it only partly worked for me.

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Thomi
Member

Registered: February 2007
Location: Maine
Posts: 36
Fri February 16, 2007 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 2 

 
PROS: Initially helped
CONS: didn't work after a few months & was difficult to taper off

Have friends who also had same difficulties. Did not help anxiety.

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Anonymous
Tue January 23, 2007 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
PROS: effective for my depression, anxiety, and ADHD symptoms
CONS: possible fluid reasoning or processing speed decline

My depression, which I have had since I was two feet tall, is now under control. I am able to speak in front of, interact, and socialize with people without having a surge of anxiety that puts me in a tail spin towards disaster. As far as my ADHD symptoms go, I am better at controling the words that come out of my mouth, I have no desire to self-medicate, and my sex drive now mathces that of my wifes. I have tried Wellburtrin without much success.

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mama2ak
New Member

Registered: December 2006
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 4
Sun December 31, 2006 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 4 

 
PROS: Price
CONS: Didn't do much for depression, took a long time to kick in

I know this works for some people but it did absolutely nothing for my depression or anxiety.

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whybother
Newly Joined

Registered: December 2006
Location: ohio
Sat December 23, 2006 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $1.00| Rating: 7 

 
PROS: better than lexapro
CONS: works ok I guess

prefer effexor over lexapro by far

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howlatthemoon
New Member

Registered: December 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 1
Wed December 20, 2006 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

 
PROS: feel like a human again, helped with depression/anxiety
CONS: Acid reflux, anxiety(at the start), insomnia, no appetite, light-headed, headaches

I have tried Prozac and Paxil at different times in my life. I was hesitant to try Effexor XR as I had a hellish withdrawl experience with Paxil. Effexor XR has truly given my life back. I was feeling hopeless, wasn't taking good care of myself, stopped listening to music and reading and completely withdrawing at home and work.I suffer from depression and anxiety(which has gotten quite extreme over the years). I was seeing a psychologist for a while and it was helping but one day I just stopped going. I have been taking Efffexor for about 6 weeks now. Positives include feeling like a human again, back to listening to music and reading, feeling less anxiety(Clonazepam prn)and depression overall. I am setting goals for myself, more social, my moods are a little up and down-back to my normal temperment lolCons include light-headedness, acid reflux, lack of appetite(must force myself to eat), initial increase in anxiety(which had diminished), bad headaches(have subsided), some insomniaIt has really brought me out of the shadows. I am worried however about the withdrawl aspect of this medication however. I will not be there for a while but until then, I feel the good outweighs the bad at present.

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dooris
New Member

Registered: November 2006
Location: Northern Europe
Posts: 1
Sun December 10, 2006 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

 
PROS: helped a lot with my severe depression and mixed episode caused by another AD
CONS: stomach pain if taken on an empty stomach

Within two weeks I started to feel better. I have been taking this since April. Has not yet caused mania although I'm BP and not on mood stabilizers.

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Xilber
Newly Joined

Registered: December 2006
Sat December 2, 2006 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $1.00| Rating: 6 

 
PROS: motivation, appetite suppressant
CONS: very difficult to achieve orgasm

Took this drug two different times for depression. Both times it helped me start and maintain a health regimen for a while. It never really boosted my mood, but I did feel better about my health. After about 3 months the motivational effects started to wain, and my mood was just flat. Achieving orgasm can be extremely difficult (and I am a pretty libidinous guy.) I had no difficulties tapering off of the medicine.

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ouch
Veteran Member

Registered: June 2006
Posts: 321
Wed November 22, 2006 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 3 

 
PROS: helped a bit with my depression
CONS: could not sleep, withdrawal is horrible when you taper it off!

The withdrawal effects when you go off of it is horrible - drowsiness, itchiness, dizziness...

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catcoon50
New Member

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 4
Fri November 17, 2006 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $4.50| Rating: 10 

 
PROS: has prevented recurrence of major depressive episodes for over 7 yrs now, when I am taken off of it, I relapse.
CONS: none

Have been treated with it off and on for over 10 years now. Every time a psychiatrist would try a new/different med, I would relapse and go back into the black hole of depression. I finally quit accepting changes 2 years ago and have not had a relapse since.

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Rebound
Veteran Member

Registered: December 2004
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Posts: 445
Tue November 7, 2006 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

 
PROS: works quicky, effective
CONS: persistant nausea, loss of appetite.

I've only just started taking this and so far it seems to be working well. The nausea is a little hard to take but so far it has been manageable. However, considering increased appetite is listed as a possible side-effect, I'm a little surprised that mine seems to have decreased instead.

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Special_K
Newly Joined

Registered: July 2008
Location: Georgia, US
Thu November 2, 2006 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 6 

 
PROS: When people find it works it really does work
CONS: When people find it doesn't work coming off of it is horrid

Effexor sounds pretty bloody amazing... A drug that treats anxiety and depression, which is great given that there is a significant correlation. I've heard some people swear by it and say it really really helped them. It didn't make an appreciable difference to me (but then I have personality disorder dx so medications are likely to be less effective).When I decided to stop taking it after a day I noticed hot and cold flushes, dizziness, feeling faint, feeling nauseous, feeling stomach pain. That lasted a couple of days, but I've heard some people have side effects that persist a lot longer than that.It is possible to gradually reduce the dosage (by splitting capsules). This is best done over a long period with a gradual reduction because side effects of stopping this one can be severe.I'd say it is worth trying but I would be aware that Effexor seems to be the new Prozac (i.e. the current 'wonderdrug' hence over prescribed).

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abilifyguy
Member

Registered: November 2006
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 68
Wed November 1, 2006 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
PROS: Works great for severe depression
CONS: poop-out

Helps for severe depression when pure ssri's don't work. I had to increase the dose several times because it would stop working as well as at first. After increasing to 300mg/day I realized I'd have to do something different. I've started taking L-Tyrosine 4000mg/day (first thing in the morning on an empty stomach) to increase my norepinephrine levels. This brought back all the good effects of effexor: elevated mood and clear mind; no more brain fog!

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mags0705
New Member

Registered: October 2006
Location: NY
Posts: 3
Tue October 31, 2006 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

 
PROS: reduction in anxiety and depressive symptoms
CONS: withdrawl effects

I really like Effexor, I think it has been a Godsend to me, but the withdrawl effects are just terrible. If I am off taking it by a few hours, I get very dizzy, not able to concentrate, very irritated, blurred vision.... The side effects are worth it though...

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Ellavemia
Newly Joined

Registered: October 2006
Sun October 1, 2006 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 5 

 
PROS: helped depression at first
CONS: required increasing dosages, not working as effectively as it did

At 300 mg of Effexor XR per day, I am not seeing the results that I once had. I'm not sure if the lack of libido is attributed to Effexor. I'm also not sure if my weight gain is associated with the drug, but I have gained weight since going on it.

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halfdead
Junior Member

Registered: September 2006
Location: Gardiner, Maine, USA
Posts: 7
Sun September 17, 2006 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
PROS: The BEST AD for extreme Depression
CONS: For BP you MUST be on mood stabilizer

I've been on Zoloft, Paxil, Prozac, Wellbutrin, plus a couple others I can't remember the name of and none of them worked like this does. I would only recommend it for extreme depression. And for BP it will cause mania if not taken with good mood stabilizers. Also this has very severe withdrawl effects. IF YOU DIDN'T KNOW THIS ALREADY... EFFEXOR IS NOT A SSRI EFFEXOR IS A SNRI....

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darkeyes
Elder

Registered: May 2001
Location: US
Posts: 6683
Fri September 15, 2006 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 4 

 
PROS: subtle improvment
CONS: caused drowsiness,blunted emotion,just didn't seem to address my depression

This was one of the different SSRI's my GP tried with me,none made a huge different. Being evaluated by a psychiatrist,and put on proper meds has been the thing that helped me. GP's aren't qualified to substitute a Psychiatrist. This is one of the reasons many aren't having such huge success with the SSRI's,you need to have a professional in the mental health field work with you,dosaing and possible change or adding a med. Effexor,Zoloft,Paxil,Prozac,Lexapro,Celexa,etc. are medications that too many GP's are handing out like lollipops. I'm sure SSRI's if properly prescribed,followed,and if the patient goes for some form of therapy can help. Another down fall with SSRI's,they poop out after awhile,which in time a change in med will be needed.

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eskielover
just me wantng to be free

Registered: October 2004
Location: Kentucky, USA
Posts: 10938
Thu September 14, 2006 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 5 

 
PROS:
CONS: dizziness, migraine pain, lack of appetite

Effexor was another medication that effected my blood pressure. The nausea causing the lack of appetite was causing even lower weight loss. The migraine pain didn't go away with time either, so again, this med was stopped. It was tried again about a year later with the same effects.

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jmo531
Grand Magnate

Registered: December 2004
Posts: 3600
Wed September 13, 2006 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

 
PROS: helps me with my anxiety, ocd and depression
CONS: in the begining the vivid, weird dreams. Sexual side effects.

I have had a good experience with Effexor XR. I did have horrible dreams when first taking this medication but it did stop shortly there after. I have forgotten to take the medication a few times which has caused huge headaches. Even increasing or decreasing this med dosage can have that effect. Overall, I am pleased with the medication and the results I have had.

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DizzyLizzy
Junior Member

Registered: August 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 13
Mon September 11, 2006 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

 
PROS: did help depression and anxiety
CONS: nausea, hard to taper off of

I found Effexor to be helpful for my anxiety and depression, but the nausea side effect started causing weight loss. Tapering off to discontinue the medication was difficult in terms of side effects. The worst tapering side effect were headaches and a buzzing/zapping in my head and body. Overall, I think it's a great med, until you have to stop taking it.

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MyBestKids2
Elder

Registered: September 2006
Posts: 5677
Mon September 11, 2006 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 1 

 
PROS: none
CONS: all

Did NOT work for me.

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Anonymous
Sun September 10, 2006 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 1 

 
PROS: none
CONS: i lost 38 lbs. didn't eat but every two or three days

effexor, for me, was the worst AD that i know about. coming off of it took months and i thought i was going to die while tapering.

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tiger78
New Member

Registered: September 2006
Location: South - USA
Posts: 5
Sat September 9, 2006 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $0.75| Rating: 8 

 
PROS: works within about 5 to 7 days and side effects do subside
CONS: side effects are tough to handle at first - you can not work and begin this med

I started taking this med at night because I thought it made me sleepy. About 10 days into my treatment I moved it to the am because I was waking every night at 1:00 am and unable to go back to sleep even taking Lunesta. This drug complete zapped my appetite - and I lost 15 pounds in a month. So make sure if you are not eating to at least supplement your diet with protien shakes. That will help your body get the nutrients to help your brain. PLease note - and I learned this the very hard way - alcohol in a large amount will deplete the cummulative effects of Effexor and you will START THE PROCESS OVER GETTING YOUR SYSTEM READJUSTED. I have just completed the readjusted process and again went through all side effects that have generally passed. But I do caution you on the alcohol - don't think they stress that as much as they should.

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lenjan
Grand Magnate
Managing Editor, PC

Registered: April 2004
Location: Milky Way galaxy
Posts: 4572
Sat September 9, 2006 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
PROS: last lineof defense for treatment-resistant depression
CONS: THE BRAIN ZAPS!!!

Effexor literally has saved my life. Which is not to say I haven't gotten severely depressed on it, but I credit it with being the reason I'm still walking around on the planet.I only experienced the brain zaps -- kind of like a lightning storm in your head, very unsettling and uncomfortable -- when being cold-turkeyed off it for physical illness reasons. I don't get them as a normal part of taking the med (which I got put back on at a reduced dose).

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SongBirdandDaisy
Grand Poohbah

Registered: January 2006
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1810
Sat September 2, 2006 Recommended? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 2 

 
PROS: I had more good days than bad days on Effexor than anyother anti-depressant
CONS: side effects included terrible itching, uncontrolled sugar cravings, extreme anxiety, irritability

It did work for depression, but the mood was unstable, going up and down constantly. The side-effects, especially weight gain was intolerable. The anxiety and irritability was affecting everything in my life. Sleeping was also very difficult and I had to readjust when to take in the evening.

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emma_jayne
Newly Joined

Registered: August 2006
Location: uk
Thu August 17, 2006 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 4 

 
PROS: once it starts working it works well and done the job
CONS: i personally experianced extreme side effects on effexor and when coming of them slowly as directed by my doctor i would pysically shake and had extreme withdrawal symtoms.

When effexor had taking effect after 2-3 weeks it was a life saver and it did work really well for me, however I personally found effexor hard to cope with when starting them (getting used the side effects)and weening my self of the (coping with the withdrawles. However effexor effects people differently and might not have the same effect on other people.

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Anonymous
Fri August 11, 2006 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
PROS: It helped alot with my anxiety and depression with minimal or zero side effects
CONS: Getting used to the medications side effect wise wasn't fun.

Buying this perscription can sometimes be expensive for me, when you don't work etc, but i'm on a drug plan that helps to pay for it, I pay in quarters hense the wide rang in price.Overall this drug so far has been the best one i've been on for my depression and anxiety. I've been dealing with meds for 10+ yrs so to finally find something that seems to be working all of the time is a great feeling.

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Anonymous
Sun July 2, 2006 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 0 

 
PROS: None
CONS: Feel worse then when started taking medication

This medication is scientically proven to be bad for your body and is over prescribed by many doctors.

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Anonymous
Sun July 2, 2006 Recommended? Yes | Total Spent: $20.00| Rating: 7 

 
PROS: works as both a anti anxiety/ anti depressant
CONS: sexual side effects and light headedness

works well if you can tolerate the side effects. If you're bi-polar take it with a mood stabilizer.

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