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Effexor: My positive experience

Posted by Ann NY on May 11, 2001, at 9:26:48

Hello to all:

I'm glad I just found this board today. I don't hear of many people on Effexor.

I am having a great experience on it. A few years ago I was on Prozac and I didn't like it. It stopped my crying episodes but at the expense of my best form of emotional and anxiety release. Unfortunately, my psychiatrist wasn't too attentive to my complaints and I was too much of a mess to assert myself. I stopped on my own.

Six months ago I was pushed over the edge when my Dad died. I was a mess. I couldn't focus and I was literally immobilized by anxiety and slept all the time. My GP started my on Paxicil (he said Prosaic is known to aggravate anxiety) and referred my to an excellent psychiatrist.

She took me off Paxcil - I hadn't felt it kick in and since Prozac didn't work this probably wouldn't either.

She started me on 25 mg tablets for 5 days. She said if I was getting headaches or stomach upset, I could take half a pill. (I had no problems) I then to 37 mg slow release capsules for one week, and then 75 mg tablets. After 3 weeks at 75 mg I felt a little better and the anxiety was under control, but still felt like crap. I went up to 150mg and after 3 to 4 weeks I felt great! It was the first time I felt optimistic in one and a half years. I was still having a little problem with depression and wasn't sure if it was just what life is or if it was part of the disease. I went up to 225mg and after 4 weeks I feel so good and calm. I'm actually making plans for the future and looking forward to things.

My side effects were hypersomnia and decreased appetite ( I lost 10 lbs. which was fine for me). These went away when I started on 150mg. I get dry mouth every time my dosage goes up. It was the only side effect I had at 25 mg. It lasts for about 1 - 2 weeks.

Unlike my experience on Prosaic, I have no other side effects and all my emotional and sexual responses are normal (pre-depression).

I know the FDA pamphlet suggests staying on it for at 6 months. I was advised one year. Going off it requires a slow tapering of the dosage just as going off it. My Dr. warns me to keep some in my purse or work desk because missing one day can screw some people up. At this point I don't care how long I'm on it because looking back, I can see how much of a mess I was.

Thank you all for posting messages. I wish I found this site sooner. I hope everyone here is able to get better! If your psychiatrist isn't helping (like my first one) please go to another one. I was completely depressed and hopeless after my first bad experience. Luckily my GP talked me into trying again. Unfortunate one of the most difficult aspects of depression is having the confidence to find a new doctor when needed.

Have faith and take care.




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