Effexor Side Effects include Brain Damage

by | Sep 17, 2012

Effexor side effects (and this would include other antidepressants as well as Effexor) may cause permanent brain damage. Psychologist Gary Greenberg expressed his concern, citing studies that showed high doses of these drugs cause changes in neurons.The more dramatic side effects, such as violent impulses and agitation amazingly have not been confirmed or disproved in the psychiatric community. There seems to be a disconnect between the reality of Effexor side effects and what pharmaceutical companies and their minions the psychiatrists will admit to.

Serotonin enhancers (which are what these drugs are) alter the brain in mysterious ways that even researchers are not able to explain.

According to Greenberg, Effexor side effects, Prozac side effects and other antidepressant side effects are caused by an interference of the brain’s natural metabolism.

Since the dosing of children with psychiatric drugs has increased by 800% since 1993, and has increased in teens by 200% in this same time period, this information must be known by parents.

Especially since new study points to brain damage in 75% of people prescribed Effexor, Prozac and other such drugs. When children are placed on these dangerous medications at an age when their brains and bodies are still developing, our society can look forward to a grim future with incapable leaders and an apathetic citizenry.

Over 10 years ago (February of 2000) Philadelphia’s Jefferson Medical College researched and published that Prozac, Zoloft and the diet drugs Redux and Meridia caused both a shriveling of brain cells and the brain cells taking on abnormal corkscrew shapes.
Recent studies have shown that those who take antidepressants for a long period of time often end up with a chronic case of depression, despite increased dosing of these anti-depressants.

With these damaging reports, much is at stake in the Pharmaceutical industry and psychiatric profession (mostly the billions of dollars they earn through their widespread destruction of human creativity and ability).

These proponents of antidepressant drugs cannot admit their failure openly, and have even invented a scientific-sounding term for the brain damage they have created and continue to promote. They have dubbed their failure “tardive dysphoria.”

The statistics are alarming. In the early 1990s, “treatment resistant depression” was 10-15% of all cases. But as antidepressant use has dramatically increased since then, so has the incidence of tardive dysphoria. In 2006 the treatment resistant patients were 30-50%.
There is some admission within the ranks of psychiatry itself that antidepressant treatment is contributing to a chronic case of depression. This profession has not yet admitted that their drugs cause brain damage.

However, with the ever-increasing numbers of damaged patients, violent shooting sprees and lawsuits, it is only a matter of time before big pharmaceutical companies and psychiatry as a profession are buried beneath an avalanche of their own lies.



  1. Kathy Wiltsie

    It would be very helpful if I (we) knew the dosage amount when someone comments. Are these comments based on a dosage of Effexor XR, 75mg, 150mg, 225mg or 300mg?

  2. Ges

    I was never told about the withdrawl side effects 20 years ago and had to find out the hard way with electric shock sensations that disrupted all daily activities some persisting during sleep and memory loss whilst on it then worse when off, vision changes, eye pain, hallucinations after a week off it, felt like j was dying, I was convinced I was on the brink of death and leaving this world, i required hospitalization, subsequent 3 withdrawl attempts also equally horrendous.

    • DS

      Yes same here. Horrible! I discovered nutrient therapy and hopefully starting a career out of it. You can view my site at wellnessbachelor dot com. Help spread the word! 🙂

    • Rebecca Blair

      How did this end up? Are you still on it? Or how did you get off of it?

    • Kathleen Hayes

      Me too!!! I slowly withdrew over the course of 6 months and STILL have the electric shock sensations in my head with them producing a sound as well. Sometimes it sounds like metal hitting metal. Thankfully these happen at night when I lay down. But I’m not sleeping well either. A nightmare!!

  3. Jenny

    Really hope someone reads this. I was on Prozac for about a month and my psych switched me to Effexor. On the 5th day of taking it I KNEW this was causing me more harm than good. Despite recommendations from everyone to push through the symptoms I decided to stop it. I immediately felt better after taking it and then the withdrawal began. It took about 3 and i was feeling like a drug addict. It’s been 2 weeks since I last took it. Is it possible for me to be experiencing any withdrawal still? I’ve been to the hospital and have been cleared. I feel like I’m going insane. I’m considering going back on my Prozac. Thank you all

    • Constance

      Yes, you could actually feel the withdrawals for several months after stopping. But, considering you didnt take it long you should be back to normal soon.

      I’ve been taking it for 3 years and I’m starting to get diabetic symptoms. I think its negatively interacting with my other med.

    • Susan Madison

      I took Effexor for fibromyalgia pain over ten years. I stopped taking it about ten months ago. The immediate withdrawals (dizziness, off balanced, diarrhea, brain zaps, and more) the clinical depression, anxiety, lack of appetite, and memory issues almost robbed me of hope to ever being me again.
      My primary care doctor, is wonderful, however she was and is really at a loss for recovery.
      I took my health into my own hands and I am finally getting my life back.
      I would advise anyone who is contemplating using ANY antidepressant to really think about alternative treatments.

    • Roxanne

      My withdrawal lasted a long time and I was only on it for a few months. The crisis nurse I saw said it’s comparable to heroine withdrawal. So awful!

    • Richard

      Prozac will definitely mitigate the side effects of coming off Venlafaxine. Good luck with it, I know what you’re going through.


    Effexor has worked wonders for me and I have never experienced any bad side effects. I am sorry for the folks who have had a bad experience with it.

    • Rebecca Blair

      I agree but I always wanted to live naturally, can anyone tell me what to do?

    • Tammy

      It was wonderful for me in the beginning when it worked almost 20 years ago. I am assuming you have never needed or tried to get off of it. God bless!

  5. J

    I was on venlafaxine for 7 yrs and 10 months. Taking 225 mg by the end. It was no longer working as well, and higher dosages seemed to make me race around and act socially awkward. Considering I took the drug to make my life manageable, it was no longer doing its job. But, my life was in a good place. I had been clean from illegal drugs as long as I had been taking effexor, was steadily employed, and overall life was good. I ended up getting pregnant while using nexplanon birth control…and due to vomiting up the effexor (no matter how small the dose) my doctor helped me wean off with small doses of prozac since I was able to stomach that. I honestly thought I would never be able to get off. I thought I would have to take it for the rest of my life, because when I did try to get off, I could barely function. My doctor using the prozac to help wean off was a great idea, and It did lesson the withdrawal slightly.
    Due to unrelated pregnancy complications, I ended up having to stop working any way. I have been off of effexor/venlafaxine, and out of work now, for 7 months. My husband says my short term memory is much improved.
    I definitely still struggle with depression, but I know that when I go back to work, my mental state will improve vastly. While effexor is a nightmare to come off of…it was a crutch I needed when making serious changes to my life in my 20’s. Im grateful for this pregnancy bc I know I would have been unable to stop taking this drug otherwise. It was my blessing in disguise to be completely free of all mind altering substances.

  6. Jodi

    I was in Effexor for one year. Coming off of it was an absolute nightmare, it took me 3 months to function somewhat normal. I’ve been off of Effexor for 5 years now and I’m sorry to say; I’ve never been the same. This drug did something to my brain that I just can’t recover from. I’m 39 years old and I used illegal drugs in my teens up until 20 years old. When I changed my life I was a new person, I was happy, functioned in society just fine. I worked full time went to college part time and did very well. When it came time in my 30’s to face some childhood trauma I became very depressed, couldn’t handle it and went to a psychiatric hospital. That is when I got put on Effexor. Fast forward to 5 years off of Effexor, I don’t function as I once did. My brain is slow, I forget words, my short term memory is shot and I feel really stupid because I’m not smart like I once was. My husband of 11 years seen all of this from the outside looking in and knows of the change this drug has had in me. I do believe these are permanent changes and is brain damage to my brain. I’m sorry to anyone who in on this drug and fears the same for themselves. The best advice I have is to wean off the drug and pray for the best outcome once it’s out of your system.

    • Ben Byfield

      I feel the same honestly, I’m 22 was on it for 2 years , almost like I still feel like I’m on Effexor and have been off it for just over one year, actually annoying because nobody understands the way I feel

    • Alana Louise McNally

      I have been on Effexor XR for 20 years. I had tried to get off it a few times but it was horrible. Over the past 5 years I have had symptoms of increasing severity. I eliminated many things but I still had symptoms. The past 2 weeks I have felt like something is moving in my head. I found out I have tapeworms in my head. By the size of them, they have been growing for 5 years. The fillers and neurotransmitters in Effexor XR feed the worms. When you try to get off it, the worms start attacking your brain – This is what causes “Brain Zaps”. I know this sounds crazy, but as a person that is very close to dying from a tape worm infestation in my head, I am deadly serious! Go to the supermarket and buy Drontal for dogs (this is safe for humans, you can check for yourself, and take it as directed to kill new hatches.

    • Steven J Marshall

      You are not alone with the symptoms you described. My story/situation is similar to yours. My use of Effexor was short term (9 months) but my brain & personality are not the same. I feel hallow & empty inside. I have no feelings or emotions & there’s simply no “me” inside me anymore.

    • Xyz

      I got put on effexor at 18, was on it for a year and had two withdrawl periods, both cold turkey because i couldnt get ahold of my meds anymore. After the second time i just feel like something changed. im so stupid and slow now, my motor skills are terrible and i cant do half the things i used to anymore.

    • Shayna Dickst

      Did you ever get better? Weaned off over 4 months slowly. Still feel like shit. Have a weird combo of vertigo/brain zaps some days. Had severe nerve pain in my arm/back for weeks, it’s finally going away…never had that before in my life. This is hell. Doctors who prescribe Effexor should have their licenses suspended. I wish I could sue the doctor who prescribed it, and the manufacturer. These withdrawals are unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.

    • Shayna Dickman

      Did you ever get better? Weaned off over 4 months slowly. Still feel like shit. Have a weird combo of vertigo/brain zaps some days. Had severe nerve pain in my arm/back for weeks, it’s finally going away…never had that before in my life. This is hell. Doctors who prescribe Effexor should have their licenses suspended. I wish I could sue the doctor who prescribed it, and the manufacturer. These withdrawals are unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.

    • Dee Rose

      After 25 years on effexor…which I never needed in the first place…the withdrawal is literally killing me. I am having one physical problem after the other… Having been very healthy before I decided to try for the 6th time to get off of this poison. They put me on Lexapro claiming the withdrawal would not be as bad but I still got sick. I refuse to take any more of this poison but I’m suffering the consequences.

    • Teri Baumann

      I would take in the fact that drugs were also interfering before full brain development in teen years to 20’s. I believe trauma can also chain the brain along with aging.

    • Sabrina R Oszust

      I’m having the same issues. I can’t think strait. I can’t remember words. I’m having mood swings. Can’t remember anything. I feel stupid and it’s frustrating. I was hoping this was temporary but it sounds like it’s not.

  7. MarRy

    Which is better for brain and cognitive functions, Sertraline or Venlafaxine?

    • Dorothy

      Don’t take effexor venlafaxine. I’m in serious withdrawal. I hope I don’t have brain damage.

    • arne

      None of the above, avoid antidepressants at all cost. It damages your brain insanely, esp if you weren’t/aren’t actually depressed.

  8. Jamie

    Yes me too just started kratom but confused all the colors and how much to take. Could you email me let me know info on it. Jljamie00@gmail.com

    • Jay

      New on here March 2021,..ive took drugs all my life,.i know my stuff,.im currently on venlafaxine..worst choice I’ve made,..mind altering drug,..you will have different sides to your personality as the pill fck about with you that mutch,.and I would personally state that when a pill runs owt it feels nothing short of a speed comedown or emotional breakdown,.and that’s while on them!..I’ve never took anything before that can mess up your mind set as fast,..these pils should be an advertisement for bi polar as there the symptoms you will get on them,.i originally went for help for ptsd around 12 month ago,.prescribed these?..they interact with coffee to,.blow your head of then leave you feeling crap,.ow yea,.you have a 24 hr head ache,.sore stomach,.bladder soreness,.i attempted 6 week without any after tapering of,..roller coaster of my life..and I’m still on it 7 days back on them,.im thinking about self medicating ASAP just to have some normal,..these pills mess you up!!

    • karen

      But what about those of us who have vestibular migraines? This is all we are prescribed 😩

  9. Dr Carol

    I am taking Effexor and Zoloft along with pain meds. I have been on them for years and in so much pain. Needed and had spine surgery. I now need Right total knee surgery and have had other surgeries and need my hips done and shoulders. Of course i am, depressed! But my Dr will not allow me to wean off as he feels I am doing quite well overall. I think the Effexor makes me sweat, sometimes?

    I am a person who never drank or was drunk in my life! Never took drugs, and Now…. all of this, as I have way too much pain, and it is ruining my life, with the meds and yet need some kind of help . Very sad! One day they will do better and come up with better ways, but we have been born a bit too early for that. I did not know how much of a danger it is to take this medicine, but now I do, and guess i need to have them changed in some way and weaned off, but my Dr will not be happy with me pushing this .

    I pray I am strong enough to handle this whole situation, I am 70 years old and would like to live maybe ten more years if possible. A life of better quality not just quantity of years doing, not much I used to always be doing important things. Now for many years since the pain i am afraid to do much, I do have empathy for all on this page that are still taking this medicine. We must be strong and try to talk to the Dr’s and wean off somehow, but maybe there is something else? Yet all meds have side effects. Never stop it, or wean off, without your Dr’s consent ! Also, guess we may need to change Dr’s if we cannot get help and it is hard often. Many Dr’s not taking new pt’s. So it can be hard sometimes. Worth trying if necessary, though.

    • Jamie

      Hi email me please.. jljamie00@gmail.com i right now only taking effexor because my withdrawal off it is like bad seizure type stuff. So i recently started taking zoloft also because effexor wasn’t working anymore for my depression… ive been on it so many years and it has caused chaos in my life.. i would live to be totally off it but can’t find the right doctor to help me on this adventure. I also have nerve damge.. but have heard of a new way to help get off of it heard ins wont pay but if u email i will explain to you…

    • Peter

      I was on Venlafaxine 150mg for about 16 years. Had hypomania at the beginning of treatment. Eventually my psychiatrist changed me onto Sertraline 150mg which allowed me to get off the Effexor. I then became depressed and was prescribed Mirtazapine 30mg. After a few years on Mirtazapine I developed tardive dysphoria and continue to suffer from it today. My life has become virtually impossible. I experience severe anxiety and depression as well as restlessness and agitation on a daily basis. I constantly think about ending my own life because of this mental torture. Only wish I had been better informed about the possible damage that antidepressants cause in the long term. My advice to anyone on any antidepressant not just Effexor is to gradually reduce your dose and come off completely as soon as possible. I wouldn’t wish what has happened to me on my worst enemy. I am almost completely off antidepressants, but continue to suffer from tardive dysphoria

    • Dee Rose

      It’s a nightmare and you can’t sue these people. You can see my comment above… I got stuck on this poison for 25 years and now that I’ve stopped my health is failing rapidly.

  10. John

    I’ve been on 75mg for about a year now, and it’s been great overall. It’s made my depression mostly a non-issue. But I remember before the pandemic my doctor was talking about weaning me off. After reading this and other message boards, I’m terrified to come off of it. I’m afraid to disrupt the stability and functionality I’ve been feeling. But I also know if I forget a dose, I feel really strange really fast.

    I just haven’t called back to make any appointments, but my prescription will need to be renewed in a couple months, so I can’t avoid him forever. Based on your experiences, I suppose it’s best to get off it sooner than later? I’m just really afraid of the damage I’ll do to myself and my relationships if I’m more volatile. In the past, I had trouble keeping jobs because I’d always be irritable and clash with coworkers. This was before effexor, I’m afraid to make myself unable to work or function. In the past before antidepressants I could barely get out the door in the morning, always late, unable to clean or maintain my home, not eating or sleeping. I’m terrified to end this drug.

    What do you folks think?

    • Lauren

      I’ve been weening off it the past several weeks and am now officially off. (Been off for about 6 days). It has been terrible. I get brain shocks, dizziness, nausea/vomitting, crying spells, etc). And this is with weening it off very slowly. However, it is getting better and the longer you stay on it, the harder it’ll be to get off. Effexor is a terrible medication, it’s like poison. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. My suggestion is to get off of it ASAP !!!

    • 4t2

      I understand your concern, you’ve only been on it for a year. My advice? Get off asap, the sooner the better…if you stay on it, the end cost is not not worth the relief…find another way.

    • John

      Well, for me, I topped off on 225 mg and was on effexor for 13 years. My brain didn’t survive withdrawal when I came off of it and am now on disability in horrible pain everyday. My brain is numb and makes horrible crackling noises all the time. If I could go back knowing what I know now, I would never of got off of it. The withdrawal can cause permanent damage. I am in a living hell.

    • Joseph J Goff Jr.

      John my heart goes out to you and that has to be a terrible situation. If you don’t mind me asking as I’m in or could be in a similar boat how many years were you taking effexor, And when you got off of it did you call Turkey or did you wean and taper? And lastly what was the milligram you were on when you finally stopped? I asked these things so I could possibly avoid the same situation that you’re in right now although I will be praying for you I wish there was more I could do God bless you

    • Joseph J Goff

      John from September 11th hey bud I realize that you’re being helped now by effexor but one day there’s going to come a time when you’re still on the drug but you won’t be feeling any of its advantages or positive impacts that you do now. My suggestion as you’ve asked in this form is that whatever you do you do it slow and you take time and plan it out even over the course of years. getting off of effexor is not something everyone is even capable of doing so the mere fact that you want to tempt it is great but you’re never going to feel exactly the same as your good days before you started taking it. For that reason you might want to wean off of the effexor and start something that’s easier to get off of I’ve been told that Prozac is a good alternative or can substitute effexor when you’re trying to wean off. But I was like you I’m a 15-year user of affection with one point taking 300 mg so I’m now down to 150 but I’m having promise getting lower I’m still relatively young 35 so I have some time but in your situation I wouldn’t do anything to threaten your current relationships with your family friends and co-workers. No that but if you you know don’t have a whole lot of money your insurance that pays for that script that you need in order to feel normal may not be around if you were to lose your job by weaning off. So I would take some small steps over the course of a year or two and decide what you’re willing to give up or lose in order to gain the independence of being off effexor. Now once you’re off effexor that’s great but how are you going to deal with depression and anxiety once you’re off of it. you still might need to be on medication and there’s nothing wrong with that but you want to be on something that’s not going to have as many long-term side effects as something like effexor. it is my personal belief that affects your should only be prescribed in the last resort scenarios one other medications have been exhausted. I’m not a doctor and I cannot make any recommendations on your health Don’t get me wrong but that advice is based on my own personal experience and research over the course of years on this drug. God bless you and I hope the best for you.

    • Jamie Larrimore

      Im taking 225m. Ive been on them about 17 years. In last couple years my memory is gone i mean like its bad, i also have muscle spasms, uncontrolled. I also recently tried to get off them and it was bad horrible like shaking whole body almost seizure like activity. Nurse said in her 20 years never seen someone shake like that. My body also aches very very bad and my right arm tingles and fingers wrist go numb like…So now im also taking another antidepressant because effexor no longer really works for my depression so im only taking effexor now because im scared of the withdrawal… and was never ever told of the horrible long term effects

    • Jamie

      John get off asap… safe your soul by getting off. The longer you stay on it more damage more issues!!!!!try something else like effexor. It also did great things at they beginning… so now i have to take 225mg of effexor every flipping day just for the withdrawal. It stop working for me so now on another 1… sad my life and body is a mess from effexor. Email me and share my story of it jljamie00@gmail.com

    • John

      Joseph J Goff i dont remember. Your best bet is to tape extremely slowly so your brain has plenty of time to adjust. Join the Effexor (Venlafaxine should be illegal) facebook group and ask them how to taper. I probably quit at 37.5 mg. Some people take years to quit. There is a bead method where you can do it very slow. Just ask them on there how to do it.

    • Seth

      Im actually relieved to see this thread from the past month. I was on Effexor xr after about 2 years of being on quietapine and celexa..that stopped working well, so my psych put me on effexor xr. Surprise, it didn’t work. I have struggled with rage in past and after one Google search today learned how strong a connection there is to Effexor and rage. I know my Dr. Is trying to manage too many patients and although he cares he isn’t doing his job well. I guess I should have been a psychiatrist because you get paid more when you suck at your job because your clients have to keep coming back for more meds.

      Been weaning off effexor for 3 weeks. 112 to 75 to 37.5…its been hell. Dizziness, nausea, rage, crying, suicidal thoughts…everyone knows withdrawal is terrible yet it seems like there are very few people prescribing it that actually have a well thought out plan for people tapering off.

      I have gone to rehab, been sober for 3 years, spent 4 weeks in a inpatient facility, seen counselor and psych consistently for 3 years, take mess regularly, all for nothing. I just spent the last 24 hours ruining my child’s birthday.

      Psychiatrist are like weatherman and financial planners….in the end its an educated guess…unfortunately, we are the ones that suffer. I hope people in this thread find lasting peace somehow. I’m don’t trying.

    • Sarah

      In the process of coming off Effexor, which I’ve been on for about 6 months; before that was on Celexa for almost two years. I went on initially for the very same thing as you. My opinion, albeit layman, is that as soon as you feel ready begin to taper. The longer you stay on the worse the effects will be. Now, I’m going cold turkey because my doctor refuses to believe I’m in a place to come off and instead prescribed another medication to take in addition to Effexor. However, I’m ready to live medication free so I’m just pushing through the withdrawal symptoms, which are fierce! Good luck to you! Please do your research and be good to your brain. It’s the only one you’re going to get.

    • Maria

      Hi John,
      You could start coming off Effexor gradually. If you’re taking 75mg daily you should be able to drop that by half without too much trouble. Then when you’re taking 37.5mg daily you can try the following.
      Get some orange juice or whatever juice you like, and a small liquid measure and a pill crusher from the pharmacy.
      Mix the crushed Effexor with the juice and start to very gradually reduce the dose by1/16 of a tablet once a month. It’s best to only drop down once a month. This way you’ll have virtually no side effects. It takes some time to come off but its the best way and doesn’t shock your body and brain. You just need to have patience and keep on reducing slowly. I hope this helps. That’s how I got off Effexor after several years taking it.

    • Cinthia Guerra

      I’ve been on Effexor for over 2 years with a max dose of 150mg. Never had any issues with it. My psychiatrist is now lowering the dose to get me off it since I’m doing much better. In the past I took Zoloft for about 2 years and had no problem with it. I have never had any problems with any meds in my life. I’m 41 now and I had suffered from panic attacks and depression but meds have been a blessing to me.

    • Lori

      I reduced my dose from 75 (about 9 years) to 37.5 a year ago with absolutely no trouble, aside from slight vertigo for a couple of days. Now, I want to stop completely and I stopped dosing two days ago. Brain zaps, vertigo, tinnitus, diarrhea andy insomnia. I’m going to go back to 37.5 tomorrow morning and work with my dr on tapering. I’m slightly terrified of these stories here! I’m not experiencing depression or psychosis, but I also don’t want to, so abruptly stopping probably isn’t a good idea. Good luck to you!

    • Chuckster

      John, Before I started taking Venlafaxine, I had spiraled into a state of insanity due to anxiety and depression. After taking 75mg of Venlafaxine for a period of 4-6 weeks I started coming out of both and it has given me consistant relief since and that has been10+ years ago. It does have a negative on sexual interest and drive. That doesn’t deter me from using it because Venlafaxine was the only med (out of a lot of different ones before) that brought me out of the devestating hell I was in. My Dr did increase my dose to 150mg but I may ask to go back to the 75mg because I haven’t noticed much difference. Out of curiousity I did attempt to replace Venlafaxine with Desverlafaxine under my Dr’s guidance but the old symptoms of years ago began to return very quickly. My initial symptoms with anxiety and depression were at least as severe as the reports from others on the withdrawal symtoms so I’m staying with Venlafaxine. It was worse than hell before, so I don’t see any gain from stopping just to return to that. My take is “if it works don’t fix it.”. I don’t know if this is of any help, it’s just been my experience.

  11. DGS

    Does anyone know of any class action lawsuit or other legal cases relative to Effexor causing dementia or memory loss? If so, please provide information and/or link in reply, and thank you in advance.

    My story:
    I have a family member who was taking it long term and is now suffering from the early on sets of dementia at the age of 73. While that is a common age to begin experiencing dementia, my family and I suspect that the prolonged use of the drug might have played a part; if not started it.

    • Jamie Larrimore

      Omg i have bad memory loss myself… looking on web for side effects from effexor and memory loss all kinds… i was never told..

    • Randi

      Reporting problems to Pfizer or the FDA is a USELESS JOKE.
      Effexor withdrawals destroyed my life. I suffered PTSD, Neurotoxicity, medication induced Anhedonia and medication induced ABI. Lost my career as a Television Producer and went on Disability -worked part time as a cashier but can’t anymore. Completely lost who I was. suicidal for years. Still want to die. Effexor is evil. Psychiatrists know nothing about withdrawals from it. I lost my life. I lost me. Pfizer deserves to be sued and there was nothing I could do.

    • peggysuecindysue

      I was on Venlafaxine (Effexor) for a short time and I have other health issues to top it all off. I had to take myself off it, even though my ex-primary care Dr. said he would help me get off of it. I feel like I’m going crazy and I’ve been Fb of this poison for just ver a year not w. I was on Effexor for about 4-5 months 125. I wish that we could all band together and Sue the company and the doctor’s that put together s on this poison. My sincer prayers to all.

  12. Angie

    Omg. Before I started taking Effexor I researched it and saw the bad effects and how hard it is to get off. BUT I’m also close to 50 years old and was depressed all my life. Was always against these drugs but I became desperate to finally be happy for once. I’ve tried meditation, yoga, healthy eating, etc. nothing worked. I wanted the easy way. So I started Effexor.
    I am totally opposite of everyone here. (But I do understand that I will suffer problems eventually). The first week I was on it was like a dream. Every annoyance didn’t bother me. I was actually happy. I never had any bad side effects, yet.
    My husband says I’m nicer to him since I’ve been on them. It’s been over 2 years now.
    My doc suggested Effexor because I have back pain and he said it’s been known to help with pain. It doesn’t.
    Anyway.. I am fully aware of the withdrawals and part of me wants to stop taking pills but I don’t want to go back to how I was before.
    I am on the low dose, just 75mg. They bumped me up another pill because of my back pain. I took 3 pills for like two weeks and decided I didn’t want to take a higher dosage so I stopped. I didn’t feel any withdrawals at all from stopping the extra pill, nor did my pain go away or I felt any happier.
    I dread when I have to come off these pills but I kind of don’t want to. I know the longer I’m on it, the harder it will be. But I will be an old lady soon and probably have other ailments to deal with?
    Idk. I feel so bad for everyone on here and what they’ve gone through. I wish the pills helped you like they helped me.

    • Carla l

      Hi! I took 300mg of Effexor daily for two years, starting at age 17 (when my brain was still developing. Honestly shame on some doctors) I was underage so I didn’t have much of a say, until I moved out of home and had a drastic lifestyle/surrounding change. At first I was scared of lowering doses, much more to stop the medication after reading up on withdrawal effects. I can honestly say choosing to do so was one of the best choices I made in my youth. You will feel strange, you may or may not even feel the full withdrawal effects- just make sure you are in a stable state of mind where your surroundings can help you (location as well as company). Best of luck!

    • Jan

      I have been on venlafaxine er (generic Effexor) At the highest dose 225 for 13 years. I had a time of very high stress and anxiety but never depression that I started itching all over and getting hives and itchy bumps. Now, I can’t go a day without my pills. If I do, my brain starts to vibrate and I get cranky and start slamming doors Because no one can do anything right or I cry. 2 days it feels like my brain is shifting in my head and I will cry for no apparent reason.

  13. Andrew

    At first Effexor was like a dream, I felt high all the time, energetic at able to handle other people again.

    Then the issues came a month later and increased in severity. Memory loss, epilepsy, and consciousness loss. At first the epilepsy and terror would come hours after I forgot a daily dose, then just after, then prior, then ALL THE TIME. About every six seconds I would black out and drop, then regain consciousness a split second later, catch my falling body and regain composure. Physical dependence and harm. I lost the ability to count to 10, among many other things. I made the decision to wean off after almost falling onto a pencil and impaling my eye at work. I have no doubt bribes were taken or sheer negligence/greed encountered in order to make this drug FDA approved.

    It has been about 7 years since discontinuation and I’ve tried around 40+ supplements to restore function in tests for around a month each. I can say with absolute certainty that Vitamin E, specifically tocopherol (not the other kind of E) for about a year gradually reduced the epilepsy and consciousness loss until they don’t occur anymore. Ashwaganda also had some positive effect, but I am less certain. I suspect damage in the cerebellum given sensations there. I am too uncertain about other persistent symptoms to speak of them and their cause. I can say with certainty this drug is a poison and I laugh that taxpayers are funding this cause of disability and hidden blight on humanity.

    It is my suspicion that a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea compounds the harm of this drug, by inhibiting nervous system maintenance/cleaning. I also expect the drugs them selves (effexor, antipsychotics, stimulants) may cause sleep disorders, and thus the memory problems and fatigue and people may see relief with mechanical ventilation.

    • Sherri

      Thank you for sharing, currently under Dr’s care for weaning off. Tenth day is hell.

    • KF

      I am on 75mg of Effexor for hot flashes and Anxiety. I am in remission from breast cancer and take the Effexor at night with Tamoxifen to help with the night sweats and hot flashes. Effexor helps take the edge off the mood swings caused by tamoxifen. I recently ran out of Effexor and have been having projectile vomiting attacks, horrendous migraine headaches and extremely light headed and dizzy. It’s an aweful feeling. If this drug makes you this violently I’ll coming off of it, how is it possible to wean off of it. The sickness is aweful, I would not wish this on anyone.

  14. Randi

    Effexor is evil. EVIL. If weaning off go extremely slowly. The BEAD TAPER is best. There’s a Facebook group called Effexor Should Be Illegal. Join it for info.

    • Goff

      join “it” for info what do u mean? I too realize the evil of this drug im 36 but been on it since a rare family members death while in my teens…..i have no ambition, no energy, sleep all day, and it doesnt help anymore with depression-standard of most antidepresstants-they tend to stop being as effective after year 3-5…..i have short/long term memory problems and basically this drug taught me (starting at such a young age) that if you dont like the way u feel u fix it by taking a pill- this thinking obviously led to an 10 yr opiate addition- and im still on it, ive decreased from 300mg yes 300 to 150. but i cant go any lower, at does above 150 or more effexor acts as a SRI/SNRI but below 150mg its only an SRI…..God bless you and help us

  15. Heidi

    I’ve been taking Effexor for close to 10 years now if not more. I absolutely hate it I finally found one doctor that started to wean me off from 150 mg down to 75. Before that nobody wanted to do that for me. It definitely made me addicted and I can’t get off of it and less I wean myself off, I have memory issues now, Heart palpitations in a strong sugar craving when I need to take it.

    • Rhoda Goldman

      I have been on it 20 years went off 3 months ago did u have severe headaches

  16. Erin

    Hi there, I just read all your posts. I’m here as a 40 year old woman who has experienced bouts of depression now and again. My psychiatrist suggested effexor, I am here reading about it and I think I will pass. That said, I am commenting because I, like quite a few others that have posted was diagnosed with ADD, inattentive type at age 20. For those of you not aware, ADHD is commorbid with many other disorders including depression, bipolar, major depression, treatment resistant depression, anxiety among others. I’m here to tell you that many of the symptoms many of you are describing sound like me, but I know they are my untreated ADD symptoms. I have never taken effexor so I know that these symptoms are not related to that. The good news is that I can feel a hell of a lot better by managing my ADD, by eating properly, Omega 3s, protein rich meals that are low in simple carbs which will put me to sleep, especially at breakfast, no simple carbs till dinner, if possible! Also look at getting pre and probiotics into your body evry day, fermented foods are a great source. Serotonin which is low when you are depressed and is created in a large part in the gut. If your gut bacteria is out of whack, so will your serotonin production. Get your biofilm flora in check and get that serotonin production going properly again. Also pay attention to foods that don’t make you feel great. For example, I’ve recently noticed I wake up stiff and achy if I had bread or beer the day before. Haven’t proven this definitively yet, but maybe I have a wheat intolerance, so I’m choosing corn tortillas instead of bread when possible. I supplement with sublingual B12 upon waking up, I take a quality multivitamin after breakfast, and magnesium glycinate at bedtime (helps to relax muscles and sleep with no gastro issues like some of the other forms of magnesium). Excercise! Epecially HIIT (High Impact Interval Training) and yoga. And last but certainly not least, I take my medication. I take Concerta 54mg but have also taken Vyvanse (currently it is not available where I live). Both work great. Both are extended release stimulants that help by increasing dopamine and norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is a stimulant and dopamine is a naturally occurring neurotransmitter that affects pleasure and reward. These two neurotransmitters have been shown scientifically in brain scans, to be low in brains with ADD so as a result, you feel less motivated, in a fog, have difficulty concentrating on mundane tasks, forgetful, difficulty with executive functions. Many of us diagnosed later in life got by early in life by developing coping mechanisms but saw depression and other difficulties surface in situations that weren’t as structured, think high school or moving away to college. Without the structure of one classroom and the same students and teacher, moving around, with different schedules or being away from home, our sense of organization is not up to par and ADD can start to take over, but not in a good way. Like someone else described it, taking my first dose of methylphenidate was like waking up to a bright, clear day, where I had been in a fog all my life. I really urge any of you to read up on ADD and see if it might be the missing link to what is going on in your life. It sucks getting a late diagnosis, and it has not been easy, even with the medication, however knowing what I’m dealing with and learning and doing better every day is a hell of a lot better than not knowing. Many of you sound like me but on the days I don’t take my ADD medication. It has been a life saver and helped me get through life easier than without it, and be better in relationships. Other therapeutic strategies I use are solfeggio frequencies meditation music to help me sleep, just put it on lightly in the background with your screen off, Wim Hof Breathing Technique, and TRE (Trauma Releasing Exercises). All three can be found on You Tube for free. Good luck everyone!!! Just know that the answer is out there and just don’t give up!!

    • Crissy

      Hi everyone. I’ve been reading comments,and I can relate to each and every one of them. I’ve been taking effexor since it came out in 1993. It’s been 27 years for me,and my physical as well as mental issues are getting worse. I’ve tried to wean myself off,doctors want to do it too quickly,the withdrawal is nearly impossible. My physical issues are worrying me extremely. I’m almost positive this is not reversible. I’m miserable at best and any and everything I do now is a huge task. Nobody but nobody understands. Big pharma should be held accountable. If you believe in our creator,pray,pray daily,and pray for everyone being affected by this horrific drug.

    • T

      Hi Erin,

      Just wanted to comment to say I really enjoyed reading your reply. Thank you for spreading this useful knowledge!

    • Jane Becker

      Fabulous post! Thank you.

    • Erica Black

      Oh wow, great post. My story is too long right now to type here. Can you share your email w me? I’d like to pick your brain a little.

    • Lydie Krivosik

      Hello Erin! Pass! Do not take effexor! I was on 75 mg for several years to treat my depression and I hated it so much that I wanted to stop but I couldn’t due to the side affects. Then I read these articles and decided to stop. I removed few grains from each of the capsules every day and over 3 weeks I finished with an empty capsule and I was off!! But I didn’t win! I came down with severe brain stroke few months later. Now I am on disability and my life has changed forever. Effexor is a terrible drug and it should be illegal. Doctors who give this poison to their patients are out of their minds. All the best to you

  17. David

    If you read this to hear testimonials from those who have taken Effexor x r, you should know that it will damage your brain. Memory loss, concentration loss, time loss, wishing to die, energy loss and more negative effects. The state of mind you are in now will get worse.

    • John

      Yes, I am on disability because of this drug. I already attempted suicide and almost died once. This drug is made in hell. I suffer unbearable whole body pain since January 2019 after withdrawal. Horrible cognition issues, brain crackling and the most awful brain numbness. I feel no pleasure as well. I tried drinking 6 beers to see if I felt anything. No buzz or anything. Whatever it has done to my brain is beyond comprehension.

    • Randi

      On it for 15 years. Tapered off over 3 1/2 months. SEVERE TERROR WITHDRAWALS 24/7 for over a year. It’s like I entered another dimension and pretended to be okay on my job but it was torture. Found out too late that FDA recommends when withdrawals are so horrible the psychiatrist should immediately put you back on previous dose and taper slower. My psychiatrist didn’t do that and my brain fried. That was in 2012. Went to 7 psychiatrists since and no one could help. Tried dozens of meds, a neurologist, TMS consultation but never recovered. Only klonopin helped keep me from suicide. So now I’m dependent on benzos. Lost my career in television and have been on Disability for years. Feel like I died. Was disagnosied with PTSD, Neurotoxicity (by Dr Stuart Shipko) from it and now suffer medication induced Anhedonia. I’m dead. They put me back on Effexor too late and I want off. Tried a bead taper -One bead out a month. Got up to 19 beads out plus 2 – 37.5 capsules and it was too much. Can NEVER HET OFF THIS DRUG. I have to pay Pfizer for the rest of my life for a med that destroyed me and can no longer help me. It’s insanity. I filed many complaints with Pfizer and the FDA but no one cares.
      My life has been destroyed. I lost my successful career in television and on Disability for several years. Lost my personality and ability to feel happiness, creativity or motivation from the Anhedonia. I’m not the same person. Dependent on benzos. Memory loss and cognitive confusion. I isolate and have suicidal ideation. Uncomfortable around people. This drug in the hands of an incompetent psychiatrist killed “me”. The Medical Board didn’t care. My sister didn’t believe me and estranged me. Heartbreaking. Effexor is EVIL. Pharma is evil.

    • Rebecca Phillips

      Aman brother. And it will. I have been having withdrawal symptoms for 1 month now. Today my body feels like I been hit by a mac truck. That is how I have felt all weekend. The brain zaps aren’t as bad. And crying spells come and go. I wonder if men have those? I was taking effexor/veneflaxine 75 mg for 3 years. It never helped with depression. In fact, it made me not be able to feel anything or emotions at all. I have read so many testimonies about other people experiences with this drug and my heart goes out to everyone. Honestly. I hope everyone sees how this drug is poisoning your brain and your body. Prayers for all of you.

    • Randi Richman

      On Effexor for 15 years. Tapered off over 3 1/2 months in 2012. Had SEVERE TERROR WITHDRAWALS 24/7. It’s like I entered another dimension and pretended to be okay on my job but it was torture. Found out too late that FDA recommends when withdrawals are so horrible the psychiatrist should immediately put you back on previous dose and taper slower. My psychiatrist didn’t do that and my brain fried. That was in 2012. Went to 7 psychiatrists and no one could help. Tried dozens of meds, a neurologist, But no help. Only klonopin helped keep me from suicide. So now I’m dependent on benzos. Was disagnosied with PTSD, Neurotoxicity (by Dr Stuart Shipko) from the withdrawals and now suffer medication induced Anhedonia. I’m dead. They put me back on Effexor too late and I wanted off. Tried a bead taper -One bead out a month. Got up to 19 beads out plus 2 – 37.5 capsules and it was too much. Can NEVER GET OFF THIS DRUG. I have to pay Pfizer for the rest of my life for a med that destroyed me and can no longer help me. It’s insanity. I filed many complaints with Pfizer and the FDA but no one cares.
      My life has been destroyed. I lost my successful career in television and on Disability for several years now. Lost my personality and ability to feel happiness, creativity or motivation from the Anhedonia. I’m not the same person. Dependent on benzos. Memory loss and cognitive confusion. I isolate and have suicidal ideation. Uncomfortable around people. This drug in the hands of an incompetent psychiatrist killed “me”. The Medical Board didn’t care. My sister didn’t believe me and estranged me. Heartbreaking. Effexor is EVIL

  18. Michael

    I am another witness of this unfortunate phenomenon.
    Like some others who have experienced psychiatric iatrogenesis, I consider my life to have ended around the time I was ordered to come off the pills. So too was my tapering schedule incompetent: several months and not over the course of years, as I’d come to find out (to my total displeasure.)
    Not only do I have the challenge of navigating life with the mindset a mentally retarded child, I am also party to withdrawal-related sexual dysfunction as well as near-total anhedonia. Basically I am a chemically lobotomised and castrated homunculus.
    No one believes me save for others I’ve met with these quirks. I am seen as little more than a parasite and a wretch. Every day I forget more, grow more fatigued, cannot help but feel like the walls have compressed and are still closing further inwards. The closest approximation of my despair is like feeling God turn His back on me completely. Not even a shadow cast upon my hollow, miserably empty life. At 27 years old this does not bode well for any semblance of a healthy and fulfilling existence.
    Nearly each and every single day I pray for death. I plead and restate ad nauseum how my pathetic existence is more than justification for oblivion. Yet here I am.

    • Goff

      i am in the same spot as you….just 8 years older….perhaps we could chat

    • Angie

      I know your post is old. But I hope you are ok. Your existence is beautiful. You just haven’t found a way to figure that out yet. PleAse let me know that you are doing the best you can right now.

    • Cassidy


    • Debby

      Michael I truly believe your body and mind will restore over time. Hang in there , I would approach this from a retrain your brain angle. Read some every day, draw and write in cursive. Eat a healthy diet to help you heal and maybe most important exercise. If you have a therapist or Dr run it by them. Keep a log book of how you are doing each day. It is a lot of work when you feel like hell and you are so worth it. You can come back. I am cheering you on. Debby

    • Eddie McCarthy

      I feel for you brother i hope and pray time has healed your mind and body I still suffer after more than 14 yrs off Effexor God Bless

  19. Chanese Garcia

    Why can’t we do something about this. I’ve been tapering off for a month now and it is breaking me into pieces. I just want it to stop.

    • Richelle Boudreau

      How much are u taking now? I was down to 37.5 and every time I took the symptoms came back .. yesterday I decided to stop completely.. and I felt great ! Today same thing.. I do take Wellbutrin and mayb that is helping me.. but I cant beleive I’m off this med after 10 years of taking it.. 🥳🥳🥳🥳

    • Tonya

      It has been a month for me as well and things continue to get worse. I feel like parts of my brain have stopped working. I can no longer complete sentences or concentrate. I can’t take much more

    • Tina

      Hi Chinese. Can you advise how you went with getting off Effexor? Did you end up getting off it. Hoping it all worked out for you

    • Tina

      Sorry typo spelt your name wrong

  20. Mikal Crawford

    So after taking Effexor for 10+ years I have successfully managed to destroy anything around me with feelings. Wife, son, stepson, in-laws, outlaws, coworkers, hell anything that tried to pierce through this drug was answered with “who cares” god knows I didn’t. Oh your spouse died, “who cares” what’s that your mother died, eh someone will adopt you. Effexor or maybe you fancy the term Venlafaxine. Growing up my mom passed when I was 5, don’t know who my dad was and he was absent on my birth certificate and family had no idea who my mom was fucking nor did they seem to care. My Aunt adopted me for my social security to support her growing drug addiction. Grew up with 2 cousins that could do no wrong so basically I was a black sheep plus got beaten down by my Aunts drug addicted lover pretty much for existing. So fast forward to adulthood, I forgave all that and let it go, and started my own path 2,500 miles away from that so called family, got married, helped raise a stepson and had a sonnof my own. Worked hard, well worked like a slave for the money, but was willing to do what it took to support my own family. Well work became a bit much as the growing tensions of being away from my family all the time started taking its toll, so my family doctor suggested trying out a promising new anti depressant drug call none other than Effexor. Sounded promising enough that I agreed to try it to take the edge off and in my kind was only going to be temporary. Well folks it definitely did what it promised and then some, after starting this prescription I felt as though I had seen the promise land. All the pain I have endured throughout my life until this wonder drug was all but a thing of the past all in one daily pill. And the payoff seemed rich, for all the heartache I suffered I felt like this was my way of now showing the world how much I could care less! I mean why not, fair is fair right? Well folks, I just awoke from my 10+ year coma Effexor had put me in. When I went into this coma I had friends, family, and somewhat a happy life. Well my wife stuck through the first 3-4 years masking the fact I was completely emotionless. It upset me to see her cry, instead of comforting her I questioned her as to what her problem was and why was it making her cry, we went and saw several councilors as her and her mother’s suggested might help. Unfortunately the medicine was still new and the long term effects were unknown, so nobody considered that factor at all. Well as bad luck would have it, my wife eventually tried seeking love outside of the marriage which I feel somewhat empathetic, except the people she chose were my so called (friends) this led to her own falling apart and getting hospitalized and diagnosed as bipolar. This only led to a downward spiral, but for every bad there is a positive right? When all of this took place, I still didn’t care (woohoo). Effexor saves lives! 7 peoples lives in fact. So fast forward to my decision to finally get off this wonder drug. Side Note: Wife adapted me to sleeping with tv on over the years, before we lived together I always slept without a tv. Trying to go back to sleeping without tv.
    8/3/19 – Day 1 – slept with tv off in room, nothing noticeably different suicide thoughts 0 on scale 0-10
    8/4/19 Day 2 – slept with tv off, a repeat of day 1, with a couple bad dreams, a little night sweat, depression level about 1
    8/5/19 Day 3 – slept with tv off, Nightmares turned into night terrors. Cried my way to work @ 3:30am in the morning. Composed myself during work with watery eyes, but broke down @3:00pm before leaving work, emotions overwhelming leaving me looking like a child getting beaten for no reason almost sobbing and drooling and actually made a conscience decision to stay at work until I could compose myself enough to drive home. Sniffles all the way home, only to lose it again once I walked into my empty house. Depression level easily 10
    8/6/19 Day 4 – Tried sleeping with tv on but with eyes covered to relieve Night Terrors ( somewhat worked) woke up with growing brain zaps, emotions feel like they are trying to stabilize so no major crying, have leaned on my online support today which helped a lot, stayed busy at work but brain zaps continue to grow in strength, however a new symptom arising, feeling like I’m unsure if I’m alive or dead, sounds strange? imagine living it. Feel like I’m living in a alternate reality. Depression level 7.
    8/7/19 Day5 – Slept with tv on and eyes covered, Terror Dreams subsiding but still having weird dreams, accepting that brain zaps are becoming part of my everyday life for now. By all appearances I’m starting to recover more and more by the day.
    With all of this logged I will now evaluate this drug. – If you plan on living your life with 0 attachments, and have no future plans for your life, live suicidal, and fear that you may harm yourself or others and can accept that you want a better life and have nothing to lose (family, friends, coworkers, anyone in your life) then sure I suggest this drug to those people hands down.
    – If you have any form of a soul inside of you, this drug is not for you! This drug will rob you of your life period, and it doesn’t care because it’s a drug, it has no feelings, gives 0 fucks, and has personally destroyed my life, but it did save 7 others so there is always a positive in everything I suppose.
    May god bless each and every soul that this drug has destroyed. I chose to recover the savage way and only suggest it to those that know 100% without a doubt can handle it. I have no idea what the future holds for me, thank you all for allowing me to share my story, I hope it can help at least one person make a sane decision.
    If anyone cares to talk that had been through this same thing feel free to contact me
    @ mikalcrawford78@gmail.com
    Or if you rather text or talk (off work hours) I’m a open book. I live in Louisiana in the US my # 225-347-6989

    • J GOFF

      Thank you for this great reply this great story of truth and I’m going to definitely email you and love to hear an update and see how things have changed and they’ve gotten better or worse and God bless you

    • Tommy Allen

      Read your post and wondered what things are like 2 years later? I am in this withdrawal x 6 months and it is not good. Just wondering if it has gotten any better

  21. Kim In Brisbane

    Thank you ALL for your feedback. I am 60yrs old and have been on Effexor for over 15 years. I am currently going through withdrawal symtoms, going from 225mg back to 150mg. I have decided I don’t want to continue on this medication anymore. I used to be a leatherwork teacher, I used to sew and garden, I was very creative. For years I have locked myself away from life and love and I do not want to die a sad and lonely woman. I want to feel again, I want to find love again. I have taken note to take it slow and I will look for the books suggested. I have suffered Major Depression since I was 17 and only started on medication in 2004, so if I got through all those other years with only counciling I don’t need this awful medication. I wish you all to Fight Hard and give yourselves the credit you deserve for going through what is happening to you. YOU ARE ALL WORTH IT !

  22. 4t2

    Please stay with us. Your voice is needed. I am with you on this journey. Thank you for your thoughts. Prayers.

  23. Lauren

    My husband had been on Effexor XR 150mg tablets for over a year. His medicine was reduced to 75mg capsules without a tapering schedule or doctor monitoring. He committed suicide less than a month later (June 2019).

    • Marcia

      Hi Lauren.

      This is heart breaking to hear. Just read this and realised that no one said any warm words to you. I know nothing I will say will take away your pain but I am so sorry for you loss. X

    • Joseph J Goff Jr.

      My sincerest apologies for your loss May God grant you the energy and the strength to continue on your own life your own path and I will pray for you

    • Mary Beth Sturgeon

      So so sorry for your loss. I’ve been on Effexor for Over 20 years . I didn’t realize the damage it does. Doctors keep that a secret. After what I’ve read I’ll probably have to stay on them. I went off them before and became nonverbal. I went back on them and had to teach myself how to have a conversation again. Was doing better for a while. Now I’m depressed again and as usual I don’t know how long it will last this time. I’m down I’ll spend however long it takes to come through this completely helpless. I’ll be lucky to get the dishes done everyday. But I wish you the best. I can only imagine your pain.

    • peggysuecindysue

      Lauren, I’m truly sorry for your loss of your husband.

  24. JP

    Look into IV ketamine if you are having suicidal thoughts, it can provide dramatic and immediate relief for suicidally depressed patients, and may actually reverse physical changes in the brain caused by depression. I’ve been severely depressed for years, on and off pristiq and effexor and currently trying to switch from effexor to Wellbutrin and an ssri, and having night sweats so bad I wake up multiple times a night with my shirt and pillow soaked and have to change my shirt twice a night.
    In reading about IV ketamine, I read that depression actually may cause a reduction in the dendrites of neurons and a reduction in hypothalamus size. IV ketamine is a treatment for depression that may actually reverse these changes, by activating brain derived neurotropic factor, thus increasing neuroplasticity, allowing the brain to regenerate and heal. It is not yet FDA approved but there are many clinical trials showing its effectiveness, and there are clinics in the US providing it because it is approved for other uses so doctors are allowed to use it off label. It has a rapid effect that can help severely depressed patients with suicidal thoughts. It also has a longer term effect, possibly due to the increased neuroplasticity.
    I recently received two treatments of IV ketamine and plan to do more. Prior to this I was having severe social anxiety and would cry for hours for multiple days if I had a slight negative interaction with someone. And having suicidal thoughts worse than I’d had in years practically daily. I couldn’t function and I was desperate. I wasn’t sure if the treatment was helping at first, I’m still getting depressed if something triggers it, but the desire to end my life has decreased to almost nothing except the occasional fleeting thought. This is after ten years of frequently wanting to die and only living for the sake of not hurting others.
    IV ketamine has been shown to be effective for 60-80% of people, while ssri monotherapy is effective for only 40%. There are still clinical trials that you can look into if you want to participate in one, and clinics all over the US have been providing it for years. I encourage you to read up on it online, don’t just take my word for it, I am not a doctor 🙂
    Source: (the title is responding to critics of the therapy.) The author explains the mechanisms of action:
    Don’t lose hope, there are other treatments out there if antidepressants haven’t worked for you.

  25. Averett

    My 16 year old son committed suicide Nov 2018. He had been on 225mg of Venlafaxine for years. With the 13 hospitalizations and me “trying to get him help”. There is no help. When people tell you to get your loved ones who suffer from bipolar, anxiety, and clinical depression Help…what are they even talking about? What help? “Here put him on these drugs”. Its wrong. I miss my son terribly. I DID get him help. Just the wrong kind.

    • Marcia

      Hi Averett

      I’m so sorry regarding your son. You are right, there seems to be a lack of support regarding mental health. It doesn’t help that we are told the wrong information and given medication that is extremely dangerous. I know that this is very easy for me to say but please try not to blame yourself. What you did was try to be a good mother, what were you meant to do? We are told and believe that Doctors along with Pharmaceutical companies know best. We trust them, they has it’s always been. You are not the one at fault here. You and your son were misinformed and it’s a terrible terrible thing. My heart breaks for you.

  26. Randi

    7 years after protracted withdrawal hell from taking 15 years of Effexor and titrated off by an incompetent psychiatrist, I never recovered. Tried dozens of meds and even went back on Effexor. Lost my career and self and soul. I have an EXTREMELY difficult time staying alive and only stay alive because I have 2 children. I am unable to feel happiness, creativity, passion or motivation. I used to work in television- now I’m disabled and work as a cashier all because Effexor destroyed my life. I’ve been to 5 psychiatrists, checked out TMS (they said I wasn’t a candidate) and refuse ECT. I am dependent on klonopin since it’s the only thing that’s kept me from suicide. It’s not working anymore and my depression is excruciating. No meds work now anyway – I know I have brain damage and some form of neurotoxicity. No one can help me. I have no quality of life and who I Am is now been Dead for 7 years. How can I continue to stay alive? Therapy is a joke for my situation. I have nowhere to turn and virtually no family support. I don’t know if I can continue to stay alive like this. Torture is my day everyday.

    • Bianca Li

      Hello, I also have suicidal thoughs and have since my childhood long before I realized what they were. Living is hard when your entire soul is telling you to stop living and its hard when no one around you understands or cares. I myself have virtually no family and quite honestly other than my husband and 2 girls I have no friends. I stopped trusting people about 20 knives in my back later..family included. For me I’ve been on effexor 2 months now at the lowest dose and my suicidal thoughts are practically non exist but the head shocks I have are borderline unbearable even though I take the pill every day at the same exact time so it’s not a withdrawal and is becoming my new painful reality. I am afraid to stop the pill because I don’t want to go back to how I was before but I’m starting to realize this might just be the beginning of the other foot dropping. I sympathize with you and I hope you are doing well at this point. Its harder to do and easy to say but..don’t give up! My prayers go out to you and to everyone else for all of the difficult walks journeys we are on.

      From one stranger to another lets spread the love and awareness for people like us.

  27. Liz

    I was on Effexor20 years ago and when I left school (and free medication) I didn’t have enough money nor insurance to get more and so went through terrible withdrawal for at least two weeks- couldn’t look for a job, essentially became homeless, moved in with a friend and was in bed with terrible vertigo- like symptoms- dizziness, nausea, headache and my depression became almost unbearable. Held on for my children’s sake. Didn’t go back on it and only found out years later this terrible episode was the Effexor withdrawal! The doctor releasing me from his care without an Effexor rx replacement or taper plan was unconsciable if he knew better!
    A few months ago I was having extreme panic attacks several times a day where I felt I was going to die. The mood stabilizer I’m on- Lamotrigine-has been very helpful but at higher doses I get visual hallucinations at night which are very scary so increasing that med is not an option. Recently I started with a new Psychiatric nurse practitioner who convinced me to start “pristiq” for panic attacks and trouble concentrating. By telling me it was not like the older Effexor and had a “different chemical makeup” and reassured that I would not have the side effects or withdrawal symptoms like the old Effexor, I agreed. It was a lie.
    I was put on 25 mg at first and upped to 50 mg in a month. I read about it when I realized I was having adverse effects. Also realized she was dishonest with me and that this “new” XR was really the same as the older one in terms of my side effect concerns. However my panic attacks were gone. My adult children see I am functioning better.
    I am very frustrated. Doing mentally better but have to go off it for a number of reasons.
    I had been on 50 mg dose for four months. My adverse side effects? Weight gain, compulsive overeating, terrible flu/vertigo after missing a single dose. But Very Worst part- extreme sensitivity to heat with light headedness and continued risk for heat stroke (which led to my job loss due to my 90 degree work environment!) Another thing sadly, I began to have significant troubles sexually with extreme vaginal dryness, trouble with climaxing and pain afterwards which certainly is a turnoff! I was also having bruxism for the first time -clenched teeth causing jaw and tooth pain. Went back to her and asked to have med decreased and discontinued. She got quite angry! I felt she was dismissive and denied my adverse effects were related to this medication but agreed to my d/cling the medication when I said I had blurred vision and that my primary care doctor said heat stroke was related to this medication in his opinion. Obviously these were too big of a malpractice risk for her to continue to prescribe it to me so she finally agreed.
    As of four days ago, I am taking 25 mg once at night. I am having very bad headaches, extreme sweating starting at about 20 hours from previous dose, itching, sudden waves of nausea, and body aches and pains. Still very sensitive to heat since my Effexor-induced heat stroke.
    I loved that my panic attacks went away but Effexor XR scares the hell out of me! I was told to go to 25 mg for three days by psych and then stop. Hell no! I would be back in bed for two weeks if I did that. Taper for two weeks than taper again to one every other day is my plan! Hope I can keep adverse effects to a minimum.
    Weight gain, heat stroke, sexual dysfunction, some blurred vision, clenched teeth, on it. Sweating, and flu symptoms when going off it! Worried that panic attacks will come back. Hoping EMDR will help. Considering cannabis.
    Thanks everyone for their stories as it is very validating!

  28. Paul

    Thanks for sharing! I was on Effexor 225mg for a year and it helped me out of a dark depression I was in so I have to give it credit for that BUT withdrawing from it was horrendous! I titrated down to 150mg over the course of a couple of months and then a consultant told me to stop cold turkey as she said 150 was not a therapeutic dose. I tried my best to argue that this was against all the advice I had been given and read but to no avail.
    Fast forward a month later and I had been sectioned and stuck in a hospital for an acute psychotic episode as my anxiety had shot up that high – I have never had psychosis before! I am 99% sure that Effexor withdrawal was the culprit but no one will admit that this is the case. It cost me so much of my happiness and my life. Due to being sectioned I have lost my daughter, my career, my family and friends. I’m now more depressed than I have ever been and barely able to function day to day and this all happened since being pushed into going cold turkey from this powerful drug! My advice is if you plan on withdrawing do it slowly and take your time, it’s your life, your body and your mind so do what feels best, don’t be bullied by these so called experts. Good luck to those of you withdrawing!

  29. Randi

    My life has been completely destroyed by withdrawal from Effexor after 15 years use. It’s been 6 years off and I never recovered. I lost my career, my creativity, ability to feel happiness, no passion, no motivation, I isolate and feel uncomfortable around people. I used to be very social. I’ve lost myself. I suffer from suicidal ideation and the only thing that keeps me alive is klonopin. Without it, I’d be freaking out and probably take my life. I don’t like being dependent on benzodiazepines, and I never took them before going off Effexor in 2012, but after trying many medications, it’s the only thing that saves my life.

  30. Pattie M Bock

    I was on effexor xr for nearly all my life I started getting my med from Canada at least 15 yrs l don’t know what they put in that awful med it stopped working for me so I stopped taking it on my on one day it made me have the worst anxiety attacks I have ever had I couldn’t relax I couldn’t sleep I couldn’t be alone. I was going crazy finally my Dr gave me klonapin it helped but my Dr said she would not refill my klonapin she has tried me on Prozac and like 3 or 4 more different kinds I have not taken any meds for at least 8 months I am going to order. The fisher Wallace stimulator it’s something that stimulates the brain I’m willing to try any thing but drugs I’m 61 effexor I think has messed me up all my Dr knows is to put me on meds I will not go back to her and I am trying magnesium glycinate which I just ordered I’m praying something will help me so many of y’alls story are exactly what I have been through I’m so tired of feeling sad and depressed ..thankyou for all your stories I’m not the only one feeling like this .

  31. Diane Snow

    On Effexor XR many years and removed myself twice. As a victim of medical malpractice for sure, some doctors will do anything…hot wire, injury, take your “future” to protect their degree. We are mostly financial instruments not patients. Best bet are DO NOT MD physicians, detox centers that ARE LEGIT, many are not, or patiently withdrawal, read everything you can, eat well and exercise. It is really bad, Psychiatry will do most anything to write those scripts to cover up or defend themselves. You will be alone largely, but no matter what pray, do everything healthier, and survive without them …if you can
    Find another better future, I did and boy I did prove a very bad regional hospital their arrogant wrong. Until I could move on found a less dangerous more ethical doctor until strong enough to leave. It’s terrible and my heart goes out to you…survive. do not allow them to kill you….live, choose life always. A survivor of physician abuse in psychiatric medicine.

  32. Laura

    To the poster above me- Debra. I can’t reply to your post for some reason and I hope you see this. Please please please research tapering methods and withdrawal symptoms. Think in terms of YEARS not months and DEFINITELY not weeks to get off this drug. I was skimming some of these replies and what I’m seeing over and over is people who were improperly taken off these drugs, who then suffered a severe withdrawal reaction which was then treated with more drugs which is the worst thing they can do to us!!!! This is exactly what happened to me – I was prescribed Effexor for mild depression (all of it situational), was on it for 2 1/2 years, during which time I developed a drinking problem (no issues with alcohol prior, was drinking alcoholically within 3 months of starting the drug), experienced significant cognitive decline and developed major depression. Doctor told me to stop taking it so I did. Cold turkey. I then experienced withdrawal symptoms which most definitely included severe psychological symptoms only I had no idea and the idiot doctors prescribing this poison definitely don’t recognize. For the next 14 years my poor brain would be drugged over and over and over again – all of it attempting to treat a withdrawal reaction from the original medication. I was taken off many drugs cold turkey or improperly tapered (like over a week). I eventually ended up polydrugged on 4 medications – effexor, adderall, ambien and klonopin. I was VERY sick. I was young and healthy when I was prescribed this poison and lost nearly 2 decades of my life to it. I had no mental health issues prior to being placed on this drug.
    I came off effexor, adderall and klonopin basically cold turkey 13.5 months ago and I did a slow taper of ambien and am off that 3 months now. I am in serious protracted withdrawal. BUT, here’s what I can tell you – IT GETS BETTER. I am still in hell but I get these amazing windows where I feel exactly like I did before I was poisoned and it’s so amazing because I never thought I could feel that way again. And I talk to people in the recovery community and we all heal, we all get better. It just takes an insane amount of time and it’s truly agony to go through. I am not exaggerating when I say I am currently walking through the fires of hell. But it’s the only way out. So I keep walking. And for anyone reading this who is in hell now – get off the drugs. You can’t heal if you’re still on them, so taper them slowly. There are loads of withdrawal support groups out there to give you guidance. Go slow, but get off these damn drugs. You’ll get your life back.

  33. Debra

    After reading everyone’s replies, the majority believes Effexor is a bad drug and I couldn’t agree more. I have been on Effexor XR for 10+ years. I was taking 225 mg a day. Around the same time I started taking Effexor I started having grand mal seizures. A year ago I read that Effexor could cause seizures. I ask my PC physican to wean me down to 37.5 and she did. That was last April. I have not had a seizure since a year ago last May 30, 2018. Also I’ve noticed that the Effexor has caused me to have short and long term memory loss. I can watch a movie and one month later I will have no recollection of having watched that movie. I forget words when I’m speaking. I sometimes ask my children to give me hints if I forget a word or an event. I will ask them tell me what it starts with so it will trigger my brain to remember. I’ve forgotten so many important milestones in my children’s lives. When they bring it up and I realize I have forgotten it makes me cry. I’ve just turned 58. I shouldn’t be losing my memory yet. I hate what Effexor has done to me. I no longer get out anymore or go anywhere. I stay at home. I only go in my backyard. I don’t have the energy to go anywhere anymore. I also lack the desire. I hate this feeling because I use to always go out with my children and husband. Now they are forced to do things without me. I told my doctor in January I wanted to get off Effexor. She said that was a good idea because she thinks Effexor is a dangerous drug. BTW, she isn’t the one who prescribed it to me. I’ve only been seeing her for two years. The way she wanted to wean me off is to have me to take Effexor every other day, then every two days and so on until I quit within a month. She also put me on Buspar to take while I was weaning off Effexor. I tried this for about a week. This method did not work for me. I had terrible withdrawal symptoms. I felt terribly angry and out of control. I had to go back on the Effexor. I am not giving up though. My doctor wants me to go in as a patient to get off Effexor. I’m not sure I want to go this route. I still would like to try on my own. Hince is why I found myself reading these replies and looking for a solution for ways to withdraw safely from this dangerous drug. I wish you all the best in getting off Effexor. No one should have to endure what we’ve had to endure.

    • Breehan

      You could try weaning by removing a granule a day from the capsule. It’s a very slow method, but less drastic than skipping whole doses or cold turkey. My prayers to you and all sufferers from this drug, myself included.

  34. Angela

    I was on Effexor from age 16 to 26 (I’ve been off for a decade now). I should have known at the beginning that it wasn’t the drug for me as I immediately had crushing panic attacks, nausea and vomiting, and it never really stopped – but by then I was hooked on it and the withdrawals were too intense to imagine going off of it. I vomited almost daily and it just became normal for me. I didn’t have a good sleep in a decade. I had nightmares all night of rape and murder, and didn’t understand at the time that it was the medication causing it. The doctors were no help, and increased my dose to 300mg+. I could never get down lower than 37.5mg because I couldn’t function without it. When reducing, I felt rage to the point where I didn’t trust myself to be around others, so I had to keep going back up to at least 75mg just to manage working. For the decade that I was on it, I was majorly depressed. I found motivation in nothing and nothing interested me. I had terrible interpersonal relationships. I slept 12+ hours a day and it felt like I hadn’t slept at all. Getting up for work was like torture – I’d be falling asleep sitting on the toilet and would need to nap as soon as I got home. I had sleep apnea, a low sex drive, dry mouth and dry vagina, low self-confidence, an utterly insatiable appetite (I could literally eat three dinners and still be hungry), and everything felt blurry and dulled all the time like I was in a haze. My memory was so bad it was frightening. Even though I was always hungry, I was also frequently nauseous til about 1pm each day and would throw up almost every morning even without any alcohol the night before. Speaking of which, the only way I ever had fun was to drink – I basically became an alcoholic in an attempt to feel anything at all. I was unable to lose weight because I felt starving constantly and ate twice as much as I needed to for my height/weight. I finally got so tired of living this way that I asked a doctor to switch me to something else, and I was put on Cipralex (Lexapro). I stopped the Effexor cold turkey as soon as I started taking the Cipralex, and had no negative side effects from stopping, for the first time ever. I decided to give Cipralex a go but unfortunately gained 25 lbs in under 2 months so I knew it wasn’t going to work either. Luckily, I had very few side effects coming off the Cipralex – I quit cold turkey one day (which I know is a terrible idea and I’m amazed it worked). All I had as far as withdrawal from Cipralex was a week of feeling extremely teary and emotional, which was actually refreshing because I had only ever cried in anger in a decade – anger was the only feeling Effexor allowed me to have. I’ve slowly learned in the last decade that I am not in fact a fat, angry alcoholic and that I am capable of managing my life without medication. Some of those close to me have had good luck with other meds (Prozac, Paxil) but I’ve never met a single person who was significantly helped by Effexor. I regret taking it, I regret immensely how I treated those around me because my anger was literally out of control, and I am resentful that I didn’t listen to my body and am now left with a fatty liver from both the medication and resulting alcohol abuse in my 20s. It’s been a long road to recover mentally and physically, and I often struggle to even recall the decade of my life that I lost to these drugs. I don’t think I ever even had clinical depression or anxiety – I just needed therapy and coping strategies. I would never advise anyone to take this medication! Take literally anything else – I heard the newer medication Pristiq is similar to Effexor without all the debilitating side effects.

  35. Deborah

    Hi….ive been on Effexor for 22 yrs now. I have been taking 375mg for over 10 yrs. I would much rather cope with minor side affects from taking Effexor than risk coming of the drug completly and enter that dark depressed suicidal world i was once in when my children were very small and i was unable to function at all.
    Effexor is just a part of my daily life along with possitive thinking, much help from doctors and psychologist and mostly my beautiful family.
    Yes i do feel tired, lethargic and have sad times. But only i can change these feelings along the the help of Effexor…..375gms daily.
    I am able to live a normal life working 3days a week, and raised my family successfully.
    I am 55 next month. Life is to short to mess around with medications. Stay with what you know.
    Regards Debbie

    • Emily

      Deborah, you are probably at a very increased risk of developing early onset Alzheimer’s/dementia. If I were you I would get off of Effexor as soon as possible.

  36. Lee

    Let me know when they bump you up to 225mg before you go dismissing others’ claims.

  37. Randi

    That is not “my issue”. As an award winning tv producer, I realized that over the years my creativity and passion diminished. I wanted to go off Effexor after 15 years and there was no reason I shouldn’t have been able to. No one told me that long term antidepressant use can cause irreversible brain changes and withdrawal can create neurotoxicity and worse. Now I’m on Disability and my life is ruined because the drug company and psychiatrists don’t know too many facts. I’ve read so many testimonials about people like me. You may have been helped by dosing up and that’s great for you. But 2 years later after titrating off Effexor I tried to go back on with 300 mg. It DID NOT HELP AT ALL.
    There’s more here going on than just the simple answer of adding more Effexor mg to solve the problem.

  38. Douglas

    I’ve been on Effexor and Effexor ER for 24 years. Started at 37.5mg/day. After about 10 years it felt like it wasn’t working anymore so they up me to 75mg/day. Just moved to 150mg a day and it’s working again. I feel most of the issues people have here is they tried to go backwards instead of titrating to offset the body getting use to it. I am 72 now and have no memory issues and still a licensed engineer.

    • Jackie Nichols

      Thank you!!!! I am on 225mg and have been since my daughter was a baby and I am a better person for it! Without it I was having crippling anxiety and depression. It is NOT for everyone! I don’t intend on going off of it. These medications are not meant to be stopped. Psychological problems do not go away. They are life!!!!

  39. Hannah Rasmussen

    effexor for 8 yrs..i suffer from permanent withdrawl symptoms including ” tracking issues” almost like dizziness, hot flashes with burning skin, severe sweating, fever, irritability, anger, hopelessness, loss of sex drive, weight gain that refuses to come off, short term memory loss, migraines, etc. the list goes on. i only hope and pray children and young adults are not put on these drugs.

  40. Mia

    I’m from Texas, but this place is the most relevant site that I can mention this on… I have taken antidepressants since I was six years old. I started with Prozac, but at the age of 11, it quit working, so I was put on Effexor XR. I am 28 now, and have gone through two week-long withdrawals. I forget my coworkers’ names constantly despite being there for almost three months… I didn’t know that Effexor could cause memory issues, but now that I know, I feel that the medicine is the culprit. After reading everyone’s stories, I feel as if this is a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation; if I taper off of Effexor, I will become an emotional wreck, but if I don’t, I risk further brain damage. I’m worried and don’t know what to do.

  41. Deborah Hosking

    That was so helpful, Karly P. Thank you for posting. I came across this page this morning when I was googling the best time of day to take the XR and I got myself shocked and frightened by a lot of the comments. Yours has helped me stay grounded about my own particular situation. Each one of us has an a.d. that suits us better than others, and I feel it is dangerous to compare experiences with strangers on the internet. I, personally, feel that the GPs have our best interests at heart, and I don’t feel that the drugs companies are conspiring to ruin our lives. I was on Effexor for 9 years, weaned off over 6 months during breast cancer surgery/treatment, and am now feeling very grateful to be going back onto it. I have had no adverse side effects and I feel more like my normal self and able to enjoy life when I am taking it. We are all different.

    • Rina

      I thank you for your comments. I was feeling shocked and frightened as well. I have been on Effexor for over 15 years however I had a period of 3 years off the medication when I relapsed. I was prescribed the medication when I suffered from panic attacks and anxiety when I was abruptly taken off menopause medication that I had been on for over 15 years. Big mistake I should have been slowly weaned.
      All I can say I thank god for Effexor. I have never gone above 75mg and I take it every second day.
      I never want to feel that anxiety again.
      I know this may sound weird but I now think U take it as a precaution and there is no actual effects from it now BUT I don’t want to take the risk of coming off it.

  42. Karly P

    The fall of 1996 at age 34, I made an appointment with my general practitioner,a former pharmacist, because I was having anxiety and feeling gloomy. He prescribed Effexor 37.5 mg tablets that were slowly titrated up to 75mgs over othe next two weeks. It was a miracle drug as I began feeling better within days.
    The fall of 2007 I lost my health insurance coverage. I could not afford the cost of Effexor XR. I weaned myself off the drug over a three week period by titrating down to granules from an opened capsule. The brain zaps were awful. I could hear my eyes shifting in my head when I looked left and right. I broke out in hives. I had no choice but to go to bed and let the drug wear off . The experience was not pleasant. I posted on a website I would never take it again and to never get started if your doctor prescribes it!!
    Fast forward to October 30, 2008..My oldest son, now a pharmacist, lived 2 hours away and was staying with us to fulfill a required pharmacy rotation. He, my youngest son, (who was 16 at the time) and myself decided to go to some haunted houses. We were having a great time!
    Then, came the last one of the night. We were ushered by a spook into a dark room. We were all staying close together until we got to an area that required me to stoop down and crawl through a small tunnel.
    I finally saw some light at the end and my two sons waiting on me. I came out rather panicked, pulled off my jacket and threw it. I asked if there were anymore places like that ? The usher said there was a large dark maze at the end. That was it for me! My sons finished and the usher showed me the way out of that room.
    We laugh about it now.
    That incident triggered panic attacks in me a few weeks later. I could not drive through an enclosed car wash or wait at a red light in my car because of the fear of no escape. If I was asked to ride in the backseat of a car I said “no way.”
    I wanted a way to stop the anxiety I was experiencing! I made an appointment with my doctor. I asked to revisit taking Effexor XR 75mgs.
    He and I decided the benefits of managing my anxiety were definitely worth it. I have not had anxiety to that degree since I started taking Effexor again and
    I never plan to stop.
    Three months ago I experienced depression because of being overwhelmed. I was emotional about everything.
    My doctor increased my doctor dose to 150mgs.
    Since childhood, I thought something about me was different than other people. I finally got a diagnosis of
    ADHD inattentive type at age 52 .
    The neuropsychologist said “You are highly intelligent, but the processor in your brain is like a Lamborghini without a GPS”
    He added that a hormone shift due to going through menopause exacerbated my ADHD and led me to get a referral to him.
    Before the diagnosis I managed my symptoms over the years by creating coping skills. They no longer worked. My cognitive and executive function skills were depleted.
    My neuropsychologist suggested stimulant medication.
    I compare my first dose of the stimulant Vyvanse to the day I got glasses and could see the world again!
    I understand your feelings about the drug Effexor. I’ve been there too. Go to Wikipedia’s website and search Effexor/ Venaflexine
    The drug was introduced the year 1993. Since then Effexor has been recognized for treatment of ADHD
    ( which most likely helped me focus better before my diagnosis ) diabetic neuropathy, binge eating disorder and migraines to name a few.
    I feel fortunate it works for me and I feel great! Effexor XR and Vyvanse are a big help !
    Cognitive function declines as we get older. I have been taking Effexor for 22 years and I have no signs of brain damage.
    Thanks for reading and I hope I have helped someone.

    • Rina

      Yes you have I feel the same way. I am glad I found positive comments from you. I was getting very overwhelmed and frightened . I don’t think I will ever give up Effexor it has probably saved my life. I have been on 75mg for over 20 years and had gone off medication for 3 years and went back on it when my panic attacks and anxiety came back because of trauma and grief in my life
      I am nearly 65 years old and have not looked back

  43. Halfin2It .

    I came off Effexor in August 2018. I tapered down over a period of several months. Worst of my side effects happened right at the end but they were minor. Was on the drug for 14 years but caused really high blood pressure which is apparently quite common, that’s why I quit. I find I now get weepy quite easily and have occasional bouts of minor anxiety. I read somewhere about a second wave of withdrawal symptoms that can occur 3 to 6 months after initial withdrawal has ceased. Starting to see glimpses of joy or ambition return on occasion. Hope the good stuff increases and the weepy/anxious days diminish further.
    Best of luck to all of us I guess.

  44. Brent

    hey everyone, ive read alot of bad stuff here so i would like to report some good stuff! Ive been on effexor xr for 9 years. I had been on many different doseges over the years and i had felt i had finally wanted to get off since my anxiety and depression had almost completlet dissapeared!. I had tried to get of many times before but gave up after a few days or so due to the terrible withdrawl symptoms! anyways i had spoken to my new doctor who wncuraged me to get off and gave me a proper way to get off of them, first off stop waisting your time opening the calsules and taking out the pellets to taper off! Nit all of the pills have the same amount and it will take you forever to taper off that way and you may still get with drawl symptoms! Anyways i was currently taking 75mg and decided to drop right to 37.5 without any issues. From there i did 37.5 every other day for a week, then 1 pill every 2 days for a week and then finally 1 pill every 3 days for a week, after the 1 pill for 4 days came around my symptoms were minor and after a couple weeks i was fine! Also never really had any issues or major side effects after i was completly off other than feeling a bit lazy! good luck everyone you can email me if you have any questions or would even just like to chat 🙂 brentbird01@gmail.com

  45. Tina

    Suffering major depression for 30 years it’s been constant change in medications. 6 years ago a Psychiatrist prescribed Efexor starting on the lowest dose i think was 36mg increasing it to 300mg over a few months. Even the pharmacist dispensing the drug said he was concerned it was increased so rapidly. He said it’s a very strong drug and I’ve done well to get to 300mg so quickly.I had aweful side affects as everyone has described. But that settled and had 4 years of feeling well. I had confidence to take on any task. But 18mths ago I started feeling very flat and forgetful. I was diagnosed with high blood pressure put in meds and referred to hypertension clinic.6 month wait for appointment. Thinking I’m unwell because of BP but I was getting worse. Aching joints, memory loss, fatigue no interest in anything. Pushing friends and family away so I could stay in bed and do nothing . Was at the drs monthly as i gradually declined. They had no idea why I was feeling the way I was. All bloods were normal. 6mths pass and I’m a slow walking zombie with joint pain. Taking iboprufen painkillers every few hrs to ease the pain. Memory loss so bad I had to write everything in a diary. Even where I parked my car. I don’t know how I drove my car coming close to many accidents. I see the hypertension specialist and tell her how aweful I’m feeling and especially the brain fog and body zaps. BP is controlled with different meds than the gp prescribed. Her job was done. She then said not one of my symptoms was BP related. She diagnosed being over medicated on 300mg of eflexor XR. She said it was a ridiculously high dose.I’m now waiting to see a psychiatrist to review the Eflexor. Last week had routine yearly blood tests and my liver enzymes are high. Anothe side affect of being over medicated. I’ve started reducing Eflexor myself but the symptoms are worse. I’ve lost my job and applied for welfare for the first time in 56 years of life. I can’t live on welfare. I have a mortgage and commitments. I really hate myself atm feeling like a loser in life. From what I’ve read from others experiences with Eflexor I’m in for a battle to get well again. If memory loss and brain damage has been caused by Eflexor is there any support groups out there? I’m in Australia. Any Australian correspondence would be appreciated. ☹

  46. Chris

    Ever think that maybe the medicine is bad and caused you to become bipolar

  47. Paris

    I’ve been on a miriade of anti depressants for years, started on Effexor 15 years ago. Let me tell you, I would be dead without it. My thinking is clearer than it was before, my memory is better and I don’t care if I’m on it for life. Rather that than killing myself!
    This all sounds like a conspiracy theory- big bag pharmaceutical companies raping the minds of innocents.

  48. Elena M

    I am soooo Grateful I happened on this site! I went to a neurologist 2 months ago due to peripheral neuropathy and an inability to sleep for more than 2 hours at a time per night. I started taking venlafaxine XR 37.5 mg and another drug and began having severe pancreatitis and nausea. I discontinued both drugs to see which one was affecting me so negatively. I retried the other drug and found it was the culprit. I threw the entire bottle away. It was time for my refill of the venlafaxine. I called the doctor and told him I threw the one med away. He insisted I restart the venlafaxine. I got it, waited another week and hesitantly took it for 3 days. The nausea was unbearable. It was as bad as that of chemo. I had an overall sick feeling that originated in the pit of my stomach and then spread all over. The doctor and my children insisted I continue taking it until my body could handle the side effects. I took it 3 more days and knew there was something drastically wrong with this med.
    I was contemplating starting it again at the urging of my children. I’m 60 and was recently diagnosed with 5 severe lesions on my thyroid so they’ve been very active in my care. Yesterday they asked if I was taking the med. I complained I’m on 19 pills per day. They laughed and said, “well now you’ll be on an even 20!”
    I came on line just to see if the side effects were something that would go away. I did not want to exacerbate them with the side effects of radiation.
    I am so sorry to see all of your issues from this med. I’ve only taken 6 of these pills. The rest are going back to the pharmacist to be discarded. I am praying for all of you and the hopelessness and darkness you feel along with physical maladies. Thank you for giving me the benefit ofof yo experiences to make a more informed decision regarding my care.

  49. Anonymous

    Hi everyone, without going into a lengthy description of all my past depression and anxiety issues, coupled with my seemingly ever-increasing memory and coordination issues, I will tell you one very useful thing. If you’ve been taking Effexor, or any antidepressant or anti-anxiety meds, and you would like to stop taking them for whatever reason, DO NOT TAKE IT UPON YOURSLF TO WITHDRAW FROM ANYTHING COLD TURKEY! You are just asking for trouble. More important, check into a natural substance (leaf) called kratom. You can buy it online in most states – some states are trying to have it outlawed or scheduled, because they don’t know enough about it and think it “acts like an opiod”, thereby having the potential for addiction or abuse. I have been using it prett much daily for the past 8 years, and I can tell you that it virtually eliminates all of the horrible symptoms of withdrawal which are afore mentioned. If you become habituated to it, you might have some withdrawal symptoms when trying to discontinue it, but they are FAR LESS INTOLERABLE than anything you might find during withdrawal from anything else, and they usually only last about a week at the most. Be sure to use a reputable vendor, and try to establish a dose that is right for you – start low and increase when necessary. I saw someone else had mentioned it on a previous post on this site, and he pretty much had the same thing to say about it as I did. Good luck to everyone- I realize how difficult it is to live with depression and anxiety!

  50. Rowan

    Hello friends.
    I am a 22 year old college student taking 150mg Effexor XR and 150mg Wellbutrin HCL daily.
    I was originally prescribed Effexor XR 75mg at 16 years old in a government health facility for foster kids. At the time I was suffering from malnutrition, PTSD, and depression.
    The psychiatrist who gave it to me is a demonic woman. She didn’t tell me anything about the drug, and I wasn’t able at the time to make an informed decision on my own about whether or not to take it. So I took it.
    It turns out that Effexor XR isn’t even recommended for people under the age of 24 (so I’m still too young to be on it!). I also feel that 75mg as a starting dose is unreasonable, although I didn’t question it at the time.
    I assume I wasn’t getting better in the first few months (memory is unsurprisingly foggy), because at one appointment she upped my dose to 300mg. I didn’t know what the side effects were of Effexor, so I had no idea to make the connection that I was suddenly suicidal and cutting myself for the first time in my life because of the meds.
    To make it worse, the psychiatrist skipped my next appointment with her, and I was only able to get the medicine in her office at the facility. I had to wait a month to see her again and get a refill. So she put me on 300mg and then forced me to go cold turkey for a month. I have no doubt that I sustained brain damage from that time.
    She eventually added Wellbutrin and leveled both the doses off at 150mg, where I am now. I have no idea if she intended for me to stay on the medications permanently or not, because when I turned 18 I aged out of the system and lost access to care with no parting guidance. I found a general practitioner who has continued refilling my meds since then.
    I was diagnosed with ADHD this year and now have an actual psychiatrist to discuss things with, and I was planning on asking her this coming week what to do about my antidepressants since I feel they aren’t working.
    I don’t remember what I was like before being on these meds, and my quality of life has been so poor that I largely haven’t been able to distinguish negative side effects from regular life problems. All I know is that I’ve had chronic moderate depression with recurring severe depressive episodes and constant suicidal ideation for the entirety of the time I’ve been on Effexor XR. I also experience constant fatigue and memory problems.
    I’ve been interested in tapering off the medication for a long time, but I’ve been terrified that my condition would worsen, and I also just don’t have the time to handle withdrawals. But now I’m considering staying on Wellbutrin 150mg and slowly tapering off of the Effexor.
    Will tapering off cause brain damage? Is it safer to just stay on the same dose forever rather than risk tapering off and getting worse? Please offer guidance if you can. I’m afraid.
    Much love to all of you. Thank you for sharing your stories.

  51. Scott D

    I’m glad I found this site. Here goes my story. I am 39 years old. I have been taking Effexor XR for 15-18 years – 225mg (150mg in the AM, and 75mg in the PM). Two years ago I tried cold turkey one day and the withdrawal was too much for me. Fast forward to today, I decided to tamper off. The last two weeks I have started emptying half the beads out one of the 75mg in the AM. In other words, I have been taking around 112mg in the AM and 75mg in the PM for now. I was thinking about tampering more off over a few months but I’m glad I found your comments. I believe I may go extremely slow. May go 2 – 3 years tampering off. I have noticed short term memory loss in the last couple years. I’m not sure if it is the Effexor causing it or that I’m almost 40. I would go to start doing something, and I have stop “wait, what was I doing? think think think”….bam, then it comes back. My wife and I got married in 2010. We have a 15 month old. Life has been good for the most part, I simply do not believe the Effexor is doing anything for my anxiety and life back then was so different. One day we want to retire in my wife’s homeland, the Philippines. I want to be free from this drug dependency especially considering I am not sure Effexor is available in the Philippines. Thank you all for sharing.

  52. cadavera

    I started tapering off Zoloft about 4 months ago because I decided that it just doesn’t work for me. None of them have and I’ve taken just about every antidepressant on the market since 1997. I took Effexor for about 5 or 6 months maybe back in 1999 and I stopped taking it because it made me drip sweat like I’d just run.a marathon. I have short hair and the back of my head would be soaked like I just rinsed my hair but didn’t towel dry it. And it would just start out of nowhere and while I was at work daily. It never got better so my Dr put me on something else. I think these drugs are bullshit and a way to control the population. Veera up above who wrote a nice piece, is dead on. I wish you guys who are suffering all the best and my only suggestions would be to try meditation if you haven’t, EMDR, tapping, REBT, anything that helps with trauma. Damn it all and I’m so incredibly sorry that you’re all going through this because it’s just not right.

  53. Effexor metoo

    Does anyone have information/experience with particular amino acids that aid in restoring brain function?

  54. Veera

    I too am a victim of venlafaxine (Venlafaxin, Effexor etc..) After nearly six months of quitting it I am still suffering. I quit it very slowly. I took 75mg for the last 5 years, I tried to quit before that, (I had been taking it for 2 years then, so in total 7 years), but after quitting the depression came BACK much worse than it was before so I needed to get back on it. If I knew then what I know now I would’ve stopped for good then. Before that I took Cymbalta for 2 years and when I was 16 I tried Zoloft which made me cold and emotionless. I quit that one quickly.
    Although every single therapist and psychiatrist knew about my childhood sexual abuse experience, NO ONE suggested that I might have PTSD, NO ONE! I had to figure it out by myself after getting misdiagnosed for Borderline personality disorder (BPD). Now it is clear I have both PTSD and ADHD. I started getting help when I was 16, I am now 31. Methylphenidate helps me tremendously and stimulants are much safer drugs. I don’t suffer from PTSD anymore, but ADHD needs to be treated medically in order for me to live normal everyday life.
    The receptors which antidepressants “attack” are responsible for many other important tasks. Those drugs reduce ie destroy that activity, they slow them down, but they don’t really work selectively, they attack that whole receptor which explains all the negative effects on the brain and the body, and the need to up the dosage. They DESTROY. So quit while you can and seek help for other problems. Depression is just too vague an explanation; it doesn’t explain anything actually. I am 100% sure that there is other disorders/diseases/nutritional defficiencies. Depression is not a cause, but a symptom of other problems and I believe it can be explained by them. So you need to be patient in finding a competent professional to help you with your problems. Be your own boss and do not believe everything doctors say, majority of them are there to sell drugs, they are puppets of the medical companies. Depression is not its own illness, it’s a symptom of other problems, therefore there cannot be a drug just for the depression. It has not even been proven that the cause of depression is due to the problems with serotonine reuptake. It is much more complex and they really have no idea how antidepressants even work. Not REALLY. I believe that many doctors jump to depression because it’s vague enough, and they don’t need to dig deeper and find out that non-medical treatment would be better. They need to sell DRUGS and people are their guineapigs. Medical companies are tied to the stock market and they need to make profit.
    And what has venlafaxine caused me; bladder problems (interstitial cystitis) which also leads to problems with intercourse (bladder pain, more difficult to get aroused), and serious constipation. I have learned that my nerves especially in the pelvic region have become MUCH more sensitive. I am going into myofascial treatment and acupuncture. I also had more suicidal thoughts during stressful events when I was on venlafaxine for a longer time. I had a nervous breakdown and went to the hospital. They wanted to UP THE DOSE. I refused. After I did lots of research I decided to quit it. I found a Finnish study on the drug which showed that venlafaxine increased suicidal thoughts in over 60% of patients. After I quit the drug my family and boyfriend noticed how I was happy more often and easier to deal with.
    Dear god I hope I will return to normal. But in the meantime I lecture people about the dangers of antidepressants.


    Hey everyone. Pls read the book called The road back. It is a book on how to come off antidepressants without the terrible withdrawal symptoms. I pray that it will help you.

  56. Kerry

    Are you listening ?….effexor use causes brain damage, especially at higher doses, like 225mg…the longer you are on it, the more you will need to increase dosage, side effects increase, docs start prescribing drug cocktais, and rediagnosing you with new disorders…if you continue with it….it is making a deal with the devil…you will be a shell of what you once were and will painfully regret the day you made that deal. Try to find another way.

  57. liz cipollini

    I took effexor successfully for a number of years and was doing well in it. Then my Dr. decided she wanted me off of it. She gave me initially lamictal and can’t remember what else. I went off of it way to quicky and was soon begging her to put me back on. It took me about 9 months to get out of the nervous breakdown I had as a result of going off too fast. Dr. later on kept urging me to taper off effexor. I did this time very slowly. She kept me on lamictal and put me on latuda. She decided I might be bipolar. I was miserable for about 2 or 3 years. I went back to another Dr. and insisted on going back on effexor and have been increasing the dose. I am finally having periods without depression and starting to do normal things again. I only notice one thing and that is if I head somewhere to do something like walk to the sink to wash dishes I might momentarily forget why I am there. But at the same time I pour through complicated paper work daily at my job with no.problem. I am staying on it because in my case I am getting back to being myself.

    • Joe

      I’ve been on Effexor XR for over 16 years was on 300mg for many years then 225mg now. It was then only thing that seemed to help with my severe anxiety and panic disorder and depression. I tried coming off it years ago by myself. Big mistake. Went back on it bounced from doctor to doctor. Then in February of 2020 doctor said let’s stop completely for a few wells and start fresh with new meds ( because I was complaining of trouble sleeping at night but being tired and sleepy or actually sleeping all day for a few years now) so I did. No whining off just boom stop. Well after a few days my body was going through hell. Real bad panic attacks. I couldn’t go to work. I was nauseous and gagging and was sleeping and crying a lot. So I ended up going to the hospital and told my story sort of the psych ward and since I was not a danger to my self or others or suicidal they said there is nothing we can do for you and sent me home. Through my girlfriends physiologist I was recommended to another dr a physchiatrist who put my right back on Effexor slowly back to normal. I am shocked at all the side effects I’m reading about and what terrible things that are happening to all of you. I never looked up too much info about Effexor until recently even after all these years of being on it. None of the other meds seem to work for me. The only thing that I was on that also worked was Celexa but that has problems too I found out but it helped me from being house bound in my early teens and having to quit school …. to getting out in the world driving a car and actually getting a full time job I’ve now had for over 16 years. Stuff I never thought I’d be able to do locked in my room full of fear and panic. The only problem now is that I’m so tired all the time and sleep weird hours. I’m in process of trying to see a sleep specialist and neurologist to see what’s happening but now wondering if it the Effexor caused the issue for years now. But it didn’t happen the first few years I took meds. But a lot of things in my life has changed also and wondering if it is life Trauma and depression if it is the Effexor I’m screwed cause I need it But I am exhausted all the time. Or off it and not be able the get out of house cause of such bad panic disorder. All the best to all of you in your life’s paths.

  58. Matt

    Well I am just relieved to read that others have suffered like I have with regards to the feelings of dehumanization.
    But I am glad I chose to read this before starting the upped dose my doc suggested.
    Which would put me at 150+75. 225. Gahhhh.
    The sad reality is that. All this pharmaceutical drug business is about. Creating soulless, emotionless, brainless cattle. I can’t put into words how my meds have turned me into something I despise. There is more to my story then just meds, but that’s all together not something I am gonna get into here.
    The problem is we trust doctors more then they deserve. I believe there are some genuine ones left.
    But I fell there are some intentionally out to create us. The medically dehumanized.
    To cause people to either to take there own lives, kill or injure others. The more people you take out. The less there is. It’s a form of population control.
    It is also about stealing human souls and energy. I have been sucked dry.
    Not from the meds. But they finished the job.
    I feel for everyone that has posted here. Thank you. I value and appreciate all of the stories I read.
    And for the people that are feeling better and like the meds are helping. That’s great too. But a word of caution.
    You don’t know what you had till it’s gone.
    That’s the reality of how drugs work.
    It’s as game of tolerance, dependence and loss.
    The world is evil. It’s all about getting paid. Not helping people get better.
    I would do anything in what’s left of my power, to have access to a time machine.
    And that is a FACT.

  59. Darlene

    I have been taking Effexor for 15+ years now. The reason behind the initial prescription was to stabilize my moods. I have never been a depressed person. My issues had more to do with uncontrollable anger. Yelling at the kids, husband, etc. I started with 37.5 mgs and was raised to 75 mgs a couple years later. This medication has helped me to maintain a more peaceful and happy demeanor. I can never forget to take a pill (although I often do) because the symptoms that occur are horrible and debilitating. My forgetfulness and loss of vocabulary are ridiculous. If I was a rich woman, I would hire a personal assistant. At least that might make my friends and acquaintances happier. I have no wish to stop taking this drug. If I miss a dose by just 4 hours the anger returns and my patience is gone. Effexor maintains what I need it to. I am afraid though…does it continue to wreck your brain function the longer your on it?? If a doc attempts to prescribe this for you, I would suggest you refuse it.

  60. Terri Di Giacomo

    I have been taking venlafaxine for years now and it has done nothing but help me with no brain loss side effects. I do take other drugs with it for depression, bi polar and schizophrenia. It has been a life saver for me, and my quality of life has improved 100%. It might not work for everyone but it does for me!!!

  61. Randi

    In response to Barb – I feel exactly the way you do. Was on Effexor 15 years and off now for 6. My life has been destroyed and I’ve lost everything special about who I was. I do not have the ability to feel happiness or have interests or creativity. I’m dead inside and I would’ve committed suicide but I have 2 children who need their mother. Everyday is hell on earth. Pfizer wouldn’t even allow me to file serious adverse effects as a result of using Effexor because they needed a LOT NUMBER for the medication! I don’t have the med bottles I took 6 to 21 years ago! Pfizer and Effexor are evil.

  62. Barb

    Fuck effexor. I didn’t know what crazy was, until I came off this shit. It has been 5 yrs since I was on it. Still as bad as the day I stopped. I miss the person I was before I ever got on this death sentence.

    • Steven J Marshall

      Barb, I can relate 100% to what you wrote. Like you I miss the person I was before I got the death sentence of the person I was for 60yrs. I’ve been off Effexor for 3yrs & the first 9 months of being off Effexor was spent dealing with undiagnosed Akathisia. At some point I’ll probably follow through & complete my Effexor “Death Sentence” as the life I’ve been left with is as empty as I am inside. I have no feelings, NONE! No joy, love, happiness instead I’m hollow inside & I’m nearing the point of finishing off what Effexor created.

    • 42

      It does get better, it takes a long time. for me it took about 6 years of being off of it to start feeling a bit better. I’m not the person I once was, I’ve lost a lot of characteristics that made life enjoyable. But I’m here to say it does get better. I don’t wake up anymore wishing I was dead…I don’t wake up with joy, but hope has returned. I do wish you all the best.

  63. Laura Dowdy

    My life is falling apart so I decided to stop taking Venlafaxine 150 xr. I was angry and depressed all the time anyway. I’ve been on the drug for 13 years. I also take medication for SVT (heart palpitations). I am hoping the combination of abruptly withdrawing will kill me by heart attack. The handful of xanac and melatonin last night didn’t do it. I have no reason to live anymore. I worked for a company that fucked me over for telling the truth about their evil environmental deeds. Lost my retiremenyt after 31 years I fought the firing for 3 years only to be coherced into settlling with an attorney who was in cahoots with the other side. My 14 and 16 year olds have betrayed me by stealing and using drugs. I am just their cash cow. Today I filed a police report. They will go to foster care and DJJ. If I live I am going somewhere far away. If I don’t, complete strangers will get my money, not the lazy alcoholic husband or self-centered spoiled brats. No more drugs for me.

  64. Jason Beaman

    I was on 150mg for 3 years. Tried to taper off and got down to 35mg and I forgot to pick the script up. This was on a Friday. I live in a small town and the drug store and the doctors office closed. I went through the worst physical withdrawals for 4 days. Monday they tried to get me to come get it and I refused because my last pill was on Thursday. I said it can’t get any worse. The physical withdrawals were gone but the mental withdrawals crying and dumb shit lasted for months. I stopped may 26th and it’s it’s july 31st and the past 3 days have been my best. I felt fine but going to to sleep and the dreams would make me not want to go to sleep. I can’t explain it but I hope it’s gone for good.

  65. Margaret

    I’ve been on Effexor since 2015 after trying Sertraline which nearly sent me off the edge giving me symptoms mimicking bipolar disorder which I have never had before. I have resistant major depressive disorder and was given an antipsychotic (Abilify) along with the Effexor. It took nearly 2 years but my depression finally lifted last year. I was tapered off the Abilify and the dose of the Effexor reduced to 225. The doctors seem very reluctant to wean me off it saying that there’s no harm in staying on it. I completely forgot to take it yesterday and I’m a complete mess. Last night I was crying and miserable. The worst symptoms of my depression are back – need to isolate, thinking of all the horrible things that have happened to me, seeing no future, suicidal thoughts, plus Im so dizzy. That’s after missing just one dose. Im scared that Im stuck on these forever.

  66. James L.

    I have been on effector for over a year. My last dosage was 150mg. It started turning me into a zombie i.e. had no motivation for anything including cleaning(and I clean crazy because of ocd) 2 weeks ago I stopped cold turkey. Why? Having withdrawn from alcohol many times I know a little about how to cope with withdrawal. Tapering would only postpone the inevitable..you must stop! Now I have the brain zaps though they are starting to diminish. I have such agitation and violent impulses, this is not me. I have difficulty controlling road rage when driving. So far , so good. Hopefully this will resolve with time. I also stopped taking simvastatin so my cholesterol will return to its normal healthy state. Cholesterol is a key component in making neurotransmitters which will be the true healing of my brain..not adding synthesized chemicals from a factory! True, some mental health conditions can benefit from chemical therapy, but those would be the exception and not the rule. Facing reality, admitting your strengths and weaknesses, accepting others foibles, being quick to forgive, and being honest from the heart is the best medicine life provides. To all undergoing a metamorphosis from unnatural to natural chemicals:be courageous and strong; stick to what YOU know is right and may the good Lord bless you!!

  67. Laura Skeen

    Wow. Just wow. I am so grateful to all of you beautiful souls that have taken time to tell your stories, in hopes that it will help others. I’ve been taking Effexor Er 37.5 for two days now and I must say I am freaked out by all the comments on this forum. I think I’ll just go back to my Wellbutrin 300mg to deal with my anxiety and depression like I have been the last 10 years. God bless you all and I wish you all the best. Thank you so much for the heartfelt warnings.

  68. BB

    I have Bipolar Disorder, GAD,ADD,PTSD,MDD & been on almost every drug they have. This past year I had been suffering so much; with a lot of suicidal thinking. The Psychiatrist’s NP put me on Effexor ER 150mg due to side effects, went down on dosage to 75mg. Still too many side effects. Then on 37.mg which has seemed to be working better than anything I have been prescribed. And I also have to be on a mood stabilizer as well. I feel like this med had been a life send !! Now, after reading all this negative input.., very much wonder, does anyone have anything good to say about Effexor ??

  69. Gina Majorossy

    After many many years on antidepressants, I feel like I have a broken brain. I’m 54 and took Effexor (last dose was around 250 mg) for about 10 years, and eventually, it just wasn’t working. Titrated down over the course of about six mos with help of psych. Getting off this drug is so awful, I had to take a leave from my job. Tried Celexa to ease the w/d but that was ineffective, and had to get off that too. Now off of everything for about a year, and I have no energy, desire to do anything fun. Dont care about being around other people or socializing. it’s almost impossible to get motivated to do anything other than stuff I have to do. Like go to work. No choice on that one… i feel flat inside. No joy, but get sad very easily. Effexor is an evil drug! Thanks to everyone for sharing their stories. It’s good to know that we ‘crazy” folks aren’t completely nuts — our brains have been badly damaged by these drugs!

  70. Mike

    I’m so glad you people are here and I have such a definitive confirmation as to how horrible this drug is. I was only on it for 3 and a half weeks, and in that time, I quit my job and was an emotional wreck. It ruined me. All the symptoms you folks want through…everything. I was unable to do anything except stare at the ceiling while bedridden. I couldn’t sleep, watch TV or listen to music. Nothing helped. I stopped cold turkey, and the withdrawal was absolutely terrible. I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone. I was on Zoloft starting at age 11 or 12 for 7 years, switched to Prozac after trying Cymbalta and Lexapro. This article horrified me when I read it. I feel like my brain (and my life) has been destroyed by these terrible medications and the doctors who prescribed them.

  71. safaa safwat fares Ibrahim

    I would like first to thank you all for sharing your experience ….
    It’s been a year that I am dragged in a dilema of ICP (intracranial hypertension ) … had several lumbar punctures and got a lumbar shunt fixed …. etc. and still my headache , panic and agitation are not resolved.
    Now since I am on Effexor XR 150 for the last 6 years …. each one of you made me convinced that it is this devil “Effexor” which has totally destroyed my body, mind, and spirit.
    When I was advised by the psychiatrist to go on the 75 mg, I had the philosophy of : “whatever side effects will show up later .. I don’t care …. I want to live normally NOW and que sera sera later”, so I blindly followed from 2000 to 2012.
    It was normal to think from time to time to dream for the normal life without the stick “capsule” I have to take everyday, however since my life was always wrapped with tremendous pains .. this was of NO OPTION
    I still don’t aim to stop it BUT I believe It’s not working anymore !!!
    I live in a state of emotional torture every second …. I reject functioning socially and struggle with the stress, devastation and continuing physical symptoms I suffer.
    “My emotions are flat-lined, I have no interests or passion for life, and I no longer feel happiness, contentment or joy”.
    I have never wished to die like I have now. Existence has become so intolerable and of NO desire for me at all.
    lI am a totally different person than how I used to be before and feel too exhausted searching or trying to dind or restore me !!!!
    All what I wish for .. is to have my batteries recharged is this hope of any possibility ?? !!

  72. Desiree

    A month ago, my doc started me on a step down/up regimen. Step down of sertraline and bupropion and a simultaneous step up of venlafaxine. I’m not sure if it’s the cocktail of all three drugs interacting with my system or if it’s just the venlafaxine, but I’m having random bouts of hysterical laughing/crying; something I’ve never experienced before in my 60 years of life. Gut level feeling this venlafaxine isn’t the therapy for me.

  73. Laura Hardin

    I’m with you all…I’ve been on Effexor XR for 2.5 yrs. I’ve gained weight lost interest in life had the withdraws it hasn’t been fun at all I just wanted all of you to know I read all of your post I was on 37.5 went 75 mg. Had my psychiatrist put me back on 37.5. Because I was sleeping like 12-14 hours a night . He refused to wean me off of it .so I’m doing it myself the capsule has like 90-91 beads in it I know 91 wierd well I started just taking a couple of beads out at a time it’s a slow process after about six or eight weeks I stared taking it every other night I can’t go longer than one night I have tried two nights without it it gives you a false since of energy and it doesn’t go well .I will try to keep you posted the bad thing is my pill is only 37.5 mg I could not imagine being on 200and300mg. Of this stuff ….

  74. Laura Hardin

    I am with you all…..I’ve been on Effexor XR for 2.5 yrs. I am slowly taking the beads out little by little I’ve gained weight felt the withdraws and I haven’t been able to physically get up ,…I’m trying my best but so scared I’m never going to be normal again I just don’t know what to do or what’s going to happen was on 37.5 mg.moved up to 75 mg. Had my Dr put me back on 37.5mg because I was sleeping 12-14 hours a night .I’ll try to let you know how it goes after ..just so you know I counted the beads in the capsule it has 90 to 91 beads it’s weird but anyway I started taking just a couple of beads away at a time I’m down to 24 beads I know it sounds stupid to do it that way but I found if I took to many beads away I would have withdraws then after a couple of months I only take it every other day if I try to go longer than that I’m a mess have a false since of energy real irritated .ect. I know I didn’t put this out real well but I hope you understand it.. Kati

  75. Heather

    I’m having the worst experience of my life trying to get off Effexor. I started on it three years ago and maintained 150mg until a traumatic event last January when my Dr. Put me up to 225. Over the last 8 months I’d weaned myself down a little at a time to where I was only taking approx 10mg/day without too much trouble.
    The problems really started when I went from even this tiny little bit down to zero; major brain zaps along with severe anxiety and heart palpitations, brain fog, inability to concentrate, impaired cognitive function, insomnia, memory loss, rage, uncontrollable crying and constant suicidal thoughts.
    Dr. put me back on 37.5 mg and then two weeks later every second day but the withdrawal effects are still very severe. I don’t want to up the dose because I’m trying to get off this horrible drug. My Dr. wants me to now start taking one every third day but I don’t know if it can. I’m scared I’m going to get worse than I already am and end up doing something I can’t take back.
    Taking Effexor was the worst decision I’ve ever made and I just now hope I haven’t permanently damaged my brain and will be able to recover.

    • Dave

      Heather, how are you feeling now ? Fully recovered ? Same situation for me

  76. Michael H

    Well, my story is, I was Effexor for 2 years, realised it was doing more harm than good, was on a small dose, 37.5.
    My issues are 2 fold, one is sexual ‘nah, I’m good.’ For months at a time. The other is work.
    At work I went to HR about this guy messing with me. It was after Effexor. I said, if I’m medicated, he probably would not bother me as much. HR advised me to start taking it again, and ignore the guy. Ok. So I did. But I really don’t like this guy. So, to really ignore him, I went from 37.5mg a day, to 450.
    Let the fun begin.
    So, this guy assaulted me, I mentioned that to HR in that meeting in Nov ’17. They took note. My manager took note, 2 notes, really I told him twice.
    We had another meeting Friday, less than a week ago. I had to remind them of what happened. They both “forgot”.
    Odd. Especially when my manager is just staring at the lip of the table, “You do not recall me telling you about this incident twice, AND once in HR?” He doesn’t change his gaze, eyes not even open the way, “No.”, he replied. That was the last time I spoke to him. It’s been almost a week, and I have not spoken to him, I blocked him and over 100ppl on Facebook, and this was supposed to be one of my best friends.
    I was suicidal.
    I loost it, I was waiting the perfect oppurtunity to check out.
    I went onto Facebook and had meltdown that lasted four days.
    I could not think straight. I’m still forgetting ppls names, times, job functions, I don’t make eye contact with ppl in real life, I’m not getting close to anyone.
    Basically, my confidence in humanity hit a serious low.
    Going off of my Effexor + serious social injustice = I completely lost it.
    I still have a rushing sensation you get when you grit your teeth really hard, but it happens every time I move my head left, right, up, down, or move my eyes. That is getting better, though.
    I deleted everyone who works at my place of employment, I have no interest in finding out how corrupt ppl are, wether it’s the easy way, or the hard way.
    I’m a mess. Now I trust no one. And have accepted a more nihilistic approach to life.

  77. Terry h

    I was given Effexor for anxiety many years ago and was left on it for 15 years no follow up or anything I was told by my doctor I had a chemical inbalance and I needed the drug like a diabetic needs insulin, at the time I had a wife and two young children so needed to work and to be honest the anxiety was running away with me I started on 75 mg and soon upped to 150 mg as the years went by I notice I felt flat my emotions were very low couldn’t get excited over things and couldnt really feel the love I had for my family a strange feeling , then I used to go out for a beer with my mates and once I had a couple I couldn’t stop it turned me in to a monster and I used to stay out all night drinking which was so out of character for me in the last year of use I was getting no relief from anxiety but not realising I had hit tolerance and the drug had effectively pooped out in the end I went to my doctors in utter despair and desperation and he stopped it c/t and placed me on citalopram well I went mental it drove me crazy the physical withdrawel was absolutely hell that was 4 years ago but compared to then and how I am now is even worse I now suffer with a deep dark depression that has not lifted my memory is getting worse by the week I cannot sleep I get 2 hours a night if I’m lucky this has been going on for 2 years now I have awfull anxiety my head feels like it’s going to explode every waking hour I have no energy I can’t eat I have lot my job I don’t go out I can’t even get benifits because they don’t think I’m sick enough , I wouldn’t wish this on anyone trust me , I have zero motivation I take part in nothing I stay at home and just watch the clock I get no enjoyment from anything I have no passion for anything I get terrible suicidal anxiety which has been for about 18 months now and just wish I was dead , this has destroyed my life not just for me but for my family aswell they suffer as I suffer we don’t do anything together I miss my children I am forced to smile in order to make them feel better it’s devastating, the doctors are clueless when I tried to tell them that it was Effexor damage they dismissed it saying it was the depression resurfacing I didn’t have any of this only anxiety before Effexor I now sit at home just watching my days go by suffering in a tormented hell , in desperation the doctors tried me on , citalopram flouxetine mirtazapine quetiapine lamotrigine diazepam and clonazapam over a period of 12 months but nothing help all these meds were reduced c/t no tapering then at the beginning of last year I was hospitalised due to the suicidal urges and I was forced into having 12 sessions of ECT and this was awfull I have now nightmares still over these procedure , I wake up to body temperature change hot one minute cold the next body jolting and filling with adrenaline a inner restlessness so I can’t get comfortable, this drug has destroyed me and my brain if I could claim for damages I would , I can’t take any supplements as I’m so sensitive and I just can’t see me ever recovering , please stay away from this drug and the doctors that prescribe it they will ruin your life , death will be my only relief I think

    • 4t2

      I know exactly how you feel and what you are going through…there is hope still…do not give up.

    • Randi

      I feel so much of how you feel. Effexor has destroyed my life. I feel like I’ve died and I don’t know the person I am now, without feelings, no creativity, apathy, no drive or interests and unable to feel love for my family. I’ve been suffering- actually it’s like emotional torture- for over 5 years now after Effexor discontinuation. I’m constantly grieving for what I feel is my death because I l’ll never be the person I once loved being and it’s so difficult to stay alive in post-Effexor hell.

  78. cat

    I was on Effexor XR for 3 years (7)37.5mg caps daily. My psychiatrist immediately discontinued it when I became apathetic, but it took 10 months and Xanax bid to wean off of it. Then at the end of the 10 months I had to wean off of the Xanax. I kept telling my girlfriend I didn’t feel right mentally, like I was losing my sense of wellbeing. It was very hard to describe. I will NEVER take another SNRI or SSRI. Effexor has destroyed my life. I am not AT ALL the person I was prior to taking it. It’s as if I’m the ghost of my former self, that wherever I go I’m the one who is missing. I only rarely feel excitement or joy that I once did. Life has no color, only shadows. I continue to experience intense sadness, severe depression and anxiety, and regret not sticking to my gut-reaction when the suggestion was made to take it in the first place.

  79. Michelle M Ortiz-Grace

    Have been on effexorXR for 13 years because the withdrawal is so horrific. I have been a a perpetual “zombie ” type state. It puts a bandaid on depression, kicks up insomnia, and shuts down any REAL emotions from happening. I lost both of my parents 2 years ago to a drunk driver. I wasn’t able to PROPERLY grieve until I lowered the dosage of this evil designer drug.

  80. Michelle

    I have been off and on venaflex for a few years, when taking it I have bad nights sweats,headaches,and memory loss, recently I have been experiencing these far worse,with added staring off,wanting to fight,heart beating fast,xanity, recently I had drinks and totally blacked out waking up with cuts and bruises, I have become withdrawn from friends and family, my sister has been on it for years and recently tried commiting suicide, and on disability. I think I am done with this drug.

  81. Doreen

    I have been contemplating going off effexor, but after reading all of these posts I don’t know if I should. I have been on anti depressants for 7 plus years. The last three have been the effexor at 75mg for two years and the last year at 150mg. I told my doctor I wanted to take something else but she insisted we up the effexor to the 150mg. I have so many problems like gainning weight, muscle weakness, tingling in extremities as well as them being numb at times, My body is in constant pain and the doctors do nothing. They basically tell me there is nothing wrong with me and I just have to deal with it. Lately I have been feeling not myself, feel like crying or screaming, forgetting things and I get the electric shocks in my head and the hot flashes. My feet and hands swell up all the time and last week I started getting a sharp pain in my head on the left side and out of the blue for no reason. My scalp is also sensitive to touch where theses pains are. I have a hard time dealing with people at my job which is not me. They seem to irritate me tremendously and being a cashier at a convenience store that is not a good thing. I am also going to school for accounting and I have problems with the work especially the accounting class. I think this may all be related to the effexor. My blood pressure has also been elevated lately. Should I go off the effexor or stay on it? Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

  82. shannon

    I have been on effexor for two years now. Last Monday they increased my meds. For 3 days I have been sleeping. I stopped taking it yesterday in the up’d dosage and am able to stay up all day…but I am angree and pissed off ALL the time. I found this article thank god because I was beginning to think I was totally crazy. My husband I am sure thinks I am. I can’t remenber crap people are telling me. they say I am saying things, I don’t remenber saying. I was about to lose hope when I found this. Thank God, I have a call into my DR. I want off this crap!!!

  83. Gene

    I am 66 yrs old, have been on Effexor for over 13 years. It has helped me where many other antidepressants did not. It has saved my life.

  84. Mark Morgan

    I have been on effexor ranging from 37.5 to 225mg a day for 14 years. I tapered off of effexor slowly and stayed off of it for two months. During those two months I noticed I couldn’t grasp onto words or the names of people. My brain was not operating as fast and I felt frustrated trying to do normal day to day thnking. The positives of being off of it I felt a better connection with my emotions. Big pharma has me for life and I know it.

  85. 4t2

    Taking effexor is making a deal with the devil…in the end, it will take your soul

  86. Denise

    I was on Effexor for about 3 years following a motorcycle accident brain damage and all the side effects from the brain injury. I know there’s a lot of negative things said about Effexor but it truly saved my life because I was in severe depression. I’ve been off it for well over a year now I wean myself off slowly and had some side effects but that is normal, I’m totally prescription free now and have maintained the same full-time job I work the last 17 years.. I read so many of your replies and I’m sorry you’re having such a rough time, and all the problems you are having with this drug. I guess my story isn’t like most. God bless you all

    • Anonymous

      Hi, I wonder if you can help me out, I’m in the uk but this has been so interesting to read. So I’ve been on112.5mg dose for about 4 years now. About a year ago I started to notice I was hyper so I thought maybe I was getting better and slowly reduced my dose to just 75mg a day. In the last month, I work in a school so always ready for the unknown, that my brain doesn’t seem to be working as quickly and that I almost feel as if I’m floating above myself. I am also thinking about suicide at least 3 times a week. Not the how but just how better off everyone would be if I wasn’t around. I’m 38 with two beautiful boys, divorced and don’t like to ask for help. I really wanted to come off the tablets but tonight I’ve put my dose back up to perk me up a little and for some unknown reason I started looking up long term side effects and stumbled on this site. Now I’m worried I’ll never be better. Would you mind me asking how long it took you to wean yourself off. I’ve put on so much weight on these tablets, I’ve lost all my confidence and become a hermit in the safety of my four walls at home.

    • Ms HM Davidson Crowe

      HI, I am titrating off venaflex. My gp gave me the standard come off it plan and it just shows how little they really know about this drug, i got myself of pregabalin as well without their help. But vena is a horrible journey. I have gone from 325mg to 75mg capsules and taking the pellets out lessening it bit by bit, but still have withdrawals. It has a very short half life hence the issues coming off it. if you want to contact me, please do. I have almost lost the 2st I put on and there are life changes you can make that can help….:-)

    • Jeffrey

      I was single, 59 years of age and I came off Efexor-XR 150mg, by reducing the dosage slowly, in August 2015. I found lifestyle changes helped me a lot when I did stop taking Efexor-XR in August 2015. Everything was good for about 4 months and then I started to get depression and anxiety back. My lifestyle had changed as I got myself into a relationship in November 2015 and this was not helpful to myself with the depression and anxiety. I had to go back on Efexor-XR 150mg in November 2016 and have been on it ever since. I want to get off all these type of medications, but I need to conquer the depression and anxiety, as it is impossible to live a normal life otherwise, without the help of medicine. I had nil problems going off and back on to Efexor-XR, and have always found it the best for me. I am interested in any suggestions on lifestyle changes etc that may be helpful. I too lost a lot of weight when I went off the Efexor-XR, weight I had put on because of this medication.

    • 4t2

      Hi jeffery,
      What helped me is eating a brain food diet….fish, nuts, raw veggies, find foods with lots of omega 3, magnesium, and b-complex vitamins in the food. I only take one multi vitamin a day, I try to rely on foods for necessary vitamins…Google brain foods, foods for depression, foods for insomnia…there are lots of recommendations..
      No wine or beer either, even a little makes my brain feel like mush, similar to the way it felt just after I stopped.
      I do hope you recover 100%…it is a terrible thing what happened to us…stay hopeful.

    • Alta Hanlon

      I can relate to a lot of what you are saying. I was first introduced to Prozac when I was not depressed, but grieving. Grieving is a natural response to a loss and should not be treated like an illness. The Prozac turned off my feelings and I was able to get things done…even remarried, but I felt like sort of disconnected to life around me at that time. After the divorce was over I should have been taken off. Prozac interfered in my sleep and made me antsy…couldn’t sit still for long. After 1 yr of this I went on SS disability from my job because I was too exhausted to work. I was told I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and put on Effexor…then Zoloft…..then Paxil…then Wellbutrin…the list goes on and ended with taking Pristiq foir 6 yrs when I did research and determine I needed off of it. I was getting so depressed! It took 6 months for me to get off of Pristiq and I feel so much better, but I look around at my house and say “What the hell happened here?”. My house is so disorganized and was not before taking these drugs. I have only been off completely for 2 months, so maybe things will improve. The problem with the Pristiq is that it was too strong and only came in one strength. Chronic pain patients are often put on an SSRI or SNRI but it should be a very low dose…not one used for depression. Too much serotonin cab cause the issues I was having. I would never take a drug like this again and really hope I didn’t damage myself from past use. I can see now that the doctors who prescribed me these drugs didn’t know much about them. I am wondering now if the advent of mass shootings in the US coincides with the prescribing of SSRIs and SNRIs. I remember when Prozac came out there were some shootings by people who had been taking it.

  87. Jared_in_Cali

    Strange to think that I’m posting on a website based in Florida from all the way over here in San Francisco, but this seems to be the most relevant forum that I’ve found containing stories that are so similar to my own. After reading some of the other comments, I actually have realized that I’m in a lot better shape than many people who’ve been prescribed Effexor. Here goes:
    I’d been on some cocktail of medications since I was 17 (18 years ago) initially to deal with concentration issues/anxiety issues, with the last 10 or so years being on a combination of Effexor and Celexa. My Effexor dosage was only 37.5mg daily, which seems minuscule compared to what others have been reporting. Started noticing the memory loss issues and cognitive decline about one year ago, and I finally decided in January to go off them both cold turkey. Previously, if I’d been a few hours late with my dosage, I’d get bad headaches/muddled thoughts/etc., and I knew from reading online that withdrawal symptoms for the specific type of drug that Effexor is would be horrible. It was the worst three weeks of my life getting it out of my system (brain zaps, cold sweats/hot flashes, intense panic, very, very, very severe thoughts of suicide, etc.), but I made it through. A few weeks ago, things started to get muddled and cloudy again, and then I had a jumbo panic attack. Things have been slightly off since then, so I decided to talk to my primary care physician (PCP) this morning. She said that I had two choices; psychiatry sessions or right back on the Effexor at a lower dose. I don’t want to put that poison, or anything else, back in my system again, so hopefully I can get back to the “normal” life I had while things were going OK without the drugs. I’m just hoping that no permanent damage has been done to my system…
    On a side note, my PCP stated that the highest dose of Effexor that she and her colleagues ever prescribe is 40mg per day, so I have no clue why some people have been prescribed such a high amount as has been stated. Perhaps this new level has something to do with some negative side effects that have been seen with higher amounts?
    Sending happy thoughts and support to you all from the West Coast.

    • cyndi yuchas

      I’ve been on 150 mg/day since May 1999. Over the last year or so I’ve had noticeable memory problems. I’m 59 and it seems to be much more than menopause brain. My memory problems are word-related. I can barely get full sentences out without forgetting words, common ones it seems at times. It’s like I know what I want to say, but the word won’t come to my mind. I can define the word, but can’t think of it. Very frustrating. My Father had Alzheimers and was a drinker. Died from the Alz at 81. I see a neurologist next week. I’m beginning to wonder if it is from taking Effexor for such an extended time. I have to admit, it did save my life. I guess if this is the price I have to pay I wouldn’t change anything. It affects my job now and …well, I’ll let you all know what the neurologist says.

  88. Debra Peterson

    I went on Effexor 100 mg almost 17 years after being dx with MS. No meds for the MS during that time and the neurologist says my MRI shows no change since the initial one in 2000 when dx. I’m now trying to quit/wean off the Effexor with the help of my General physician. I’m down to 1/2 tablet daily. Everyone else responding seems to have been on much higher doses initially and I can understand why you have issues when decreasing your dose. Don’t go cold turkey. My issues right now seem to be related to aging. Just turned 69 and seem to have problems with remembering things (cognitive goes along with MS too). The side effects of the Effexor are helping tell me that I don’t want it anymore. When you get to be my age, nothing seems to be the same.

  89. Scott

    I’ve been on Effexor for 17 years. I can forget things here and there and get headaches now and then. But apart from that life is great. In the last 8 years I’ve help create 3 beautiful children with my wife. I have an okay job etc.. But if going off Effexor does what it has to all of you.. I think I’m going to keep taking it for now. All I can say is that Effexor gave me back the life I had lost 17 years ago after 3 years of debilitating anxiety and panic attacks!

    • 4t2

      Scott, I said the same thing…then, the drug stopped working, so the doc kept raising the dose. Side effects increased, and soon the drug was working again.
      Effexor use is like making a deal with the devil…the drug is effective for many at first…but, when it is time to get off…be very careful, go very slow tapering. …do not rely on doc’s tapering schedule…Google for websites that will help you through the tapering process…
      My best to you

  90. Cody

    I have been recently prescribed Effexor. After reading these posts before taking my first dose I have to say I am terrified to even think of giving it a chance. I have debilitating panic attacks and anxiety with depression. All of this started 2 years ago after an accident where I messed my back, shoulder, and neck up. I am soon to have shoulder surgery but there is nothing that can be done for my back and neck. To be honest I am losing faith in the whole medical community. I think I would rather live the way I have been for the last year instead of losing what “sanity” I have left. Does any one have any advise?

    • Linda

      Hi Cody,
      Im just wondering if you ever tried effexor… if you haven’t tried it yet …. i would run a mile. im just sorry i never knew about amino acids b/c if i knew then what i know now…. long story short…. i had undiagnosed thyroid issues and i have ended up with life destroying periodic limb movement disorder where my limbs keep jumping every few seconds which is worst not able to get a proper sleep.i urge people to weight up the benefits to theawful bad side effects.

    • alicia zemann

      Dear Linda. .please share what you know about amino acids….which ones help and what type of relief did you see?

  91. Rachael

    I came to this site just like everyone else, to learn. I really appreciate everyone for sharing their struggles. I am 38 years old and have been on Effexor for 10 years. I have been to the place of constant panic attacks that shake your soul and drain you of passions, drive, love and the loss of friends and time that I can never retrieve. And like you, I fight with memory loss and overall cognitive dissonance. Don’t stop fighting, don’t give up…find hope. I wish you all well.

  92. Della

    Great. I’m scared. I’ve been on Effexor for about 6 months and have definite memory issues. How long do you think it will take to wean myself off of 225 mg of Effexor? SHIT.

  93. Robert Parra

    I’ve been on effexor for approximately 20 years.
    It now seems to me as if I’m entering the early stages of Alzheimer’s or Dementia.

    • JJ

      Omg I have been on Effexor on and off for 23 years and I feel the same. I can not handle it…. I’m only 41 🙁 2 beautiful girls I had alot going for me and now I can not function hardly.

  94. Sandra

    Brain cell and nerve cell death, memory? What is that thing called memory? Thoughts, feelings,emotions and everything else dying, I might as well kill myself??? Can’t remember giving birth to my 2son’s either, what sort of mother does that? And ccognitive decline, can’t function properly and the rest of it!! Feeling really tired now, worse than what I was a few weeks ago, day to day life is not the best, can’t even do simple things like, cook,clean, and all the rest.

  95. Angela

    I have been on it about a year and have recently been concerned about what feels like short term memory isues and diminishing mental ability. Which only worsens when I try to wean off it. I also have tried to wean myself and feel aweful if I try to reduce my dose or miss a dose. Migraines, dizzy, nausea, hot flashes, horrible anxiety and crying uncontrollably for no reason. I would never reccomend this drug to anyone and dont know how it passed trials.

  96. 4t2

    Been on effexor for over 20 years, mostly at 150mg., up to 225 mg for last 8 years. Went off cold turkey under new psychiatrist supervision 2 years ago. Lost my wife, my house, my cars, my jobs, my family, my life.
    Still on 10mg ambien, nightly, for 8 years now. Began to taper off 2 months ago…I not even sure why I should bother…at 60, it seems like benefits not worth withdrawal symptoms.
    Just say no.

    • Randi

      After taking Effexor so long don’t you feel like there’s been permanent brain changes for the worse? Don’t you feel like a different person than before Effexor?
      Coming off 15 years of Effexor has destroyed my life. I wish I would’ve sued the psychiatrist who took me off them cause I suffered 24/7 panic and terror for years. Now I’m foggy from benzos just to stay alive. It’s been four years off Effexor now and even though I went back on 2 years later with 300 mg it was too late. I have some kind of brain damage and am a very different person now. It’s tragic.

    • 4t2

      Yes, I am convinced effexor caused brain damage.

    • Cyndi

      If the drug worked for you for 20 years, why did you get off? sure, I would like to not have to take a medication every day of my life, but if it keeps me sane and keeps me from severe depression I’m staying with it. I would probably be gone without it.

  97. Kate Barrett

    A friend of mine sent me this article when my neurologist placed me in Effexor 75mg daily last Tuesday and weaned me off Lexapro 20mg daily that I have been on for 17 yrs after I had a brain tumor. I am 40 yrs and was diagnosed with MS a couple months ago. I’ve had the IV solumedrol in December of 2015 when they found 3 more brain lesions. I have been taking Copaxone for 6 weeks now. I began having visual problems last week and had an MRI which should a lesion on my right optic nerve. I started the solumedrol infusions again yesterday. After reading the article I am very concerned with the effects it has on the destruction of brain cells and neurons! I have enough trauma to my brain as it is. I’m going to call my neurologist Monday. This scares me

    • Charley

      I took it from 2001-2007, and Effexor destroyed my body, mind, and spirit. I’ve been of of Effexor since April 21, 2007. I thought coming off of Effuckor was hard, but it was the aftermath that was the worst.
      Prior to Effexor I was a top student at a top boarding school in the USA and had 100K in college scholarships. Freshman year of college, a PCP prescribed me Effuckor in the mornings b/c I had insomnia at night. I trusted her b/c she was a doctor. BIG MISTAKE. I turned into a addict in only about 30 days. I was hooked for 6 years. It completely change my personality from a sweet over-achiever to an angry, apathetic nut case.
      My life and brain were fine before Effexor. Now, I can’t NOT go without some kind of medication in my system. First, it was adderall. Next, Trazadone. Finally, it’s Lamotrigine—which is an anti-seizure medication. Seizures are neurological–not psychological. Lamotrigine is also used for PTSD–which is also neurological and not psychological.
      Lamotrigine is also used as a mood stabilizer for a-typical depression such as depression caused from trauma (PTSD), cyclothymia, complex bipolar, or bipolar 2. IMO, based on my life and experience, I think Effexor lightly fried my brain like tempura. Street drugs fry your brains like southern fried chicken, but mine is light like panko flakes. I take the smallest therapeutic range of Lamotrigine in order to not space out or fall into a deep depression. Neurological issues cause depression, too. Brain damage is neurological.
      I think that since I now need a neurological drug in order to function–at a fraction of the capacity I could prior to Effexor–only shows that my brain was damaged by Effuckor. Although I was once a top performer with a very bright future, I am a lowly administrative assistant nowadays and struggle with basic math.
      Since you have lesions and a Hx of neurological issues, perhaps a mood stabilizer would help YOUR kind of depression, which has roots in a neurological condition.

    • R. Richman

      After 15 years of Effexor my doctor took me off so I could be “myself” again. I was a very creative, driven person who’d succeeded in the tv production field. After coming off Effexor I became a psychotic person experiencing constant fear, terror and panic emotions physically while there was nothing in my life to warrant this reaction. My psychiatrist keep trying drugs for 2 years to make it stop. Nothing worked. I almost committed suicide on many occasions and had a plan, etc. now, 5 years later, my brain and personality are destroyed. I live on Ritalin, Xanax, klonopin, buspar and gabapentin. I had never taken any of these drugs before this post Effexor nightmare and I’m 60 years old. These medications can be so dangerous and Effuckxor ruined my life. I wish I could sue them. I’m currently on SSDI and fight to emotionally survive everyday.

    • ASA swift

      I’ve been on effexor for 10.5. Years. I am scared to get off of it because I remember how depressed I was before I started it and how socially anxious I was. The withdrawal symptoms are definitely another reason. I have withdrawn from it multiple times and it was hell. I got back on it and it was like I had found water in the desert. Now today , I have little desire for friends, intimacy, or any social event I have become numb to it, but I see the alternative, serious depression, and feel as though I have no other choice
      I also know exactly when to take it. It’s on the downslope of the capsules’ daily effect that I feel most alive and functional. Until of course too much time has passed and I get into an anxious state and by then it becomes the Oasis in the desert again However after just having taken it, I am zoned out , yet interested and energized, but around two hours after I just feel empty , cloudy, but not depressed. Tonight I am depressed because it’s the cold hard fact that I need help and I feel as though I’ll never get it because I’m content with drifting around , endlessly centering my self around a SSRI. I gotta see somebody but I feel like it won’t do me any good because I’m not gonna quit

    • R Richman

      Additional bit of info: my psychiatrist diagnosed me with PTSD as a result of the horrific Effexor withdrawal symptoms I suffered for years. Wish I would’ve sued the doc but statute of limitations is up now…

  98. R. Richman

    I was on Effexor for 15 years. It was helpful for many, but after 15 years I decided I would like to come off the drug and see how I did. My psychiatrist weaned off off over a few months, but soon after termination, I started to have severe panic and anxiety that lasted from morning until night. It was a living hell. The psychistartist tried several medications over 2 years – Latuda, Viibryd, Seroquel, Trazadone, Lexapro, Zyprexa, Wellbutrin, and Neurontin – to stop this reaction but nothing worked. This anxiety and ‘fight-or-flight’ inner experience was only temporarily reduced with Klonopin,given a year after going off of Effexor. FYI, I NEVER was prescribed a benzo in my life before this because even though I have bipolar diorder and OCD, I never needed it. However, my tolerance continues to increase so I’m having terrible memory problems from these awful benzos. I also suffer hours and hours a day with heart palpitations and neck throbbing, which adding Xanax hasn’t helped. I had an EKG and have been checked by a cardiologist, but I’m in perfect physical health. Since this all started when I came off of long-term Effexor use, I believe that this physical trigger is brain related – I absolutely believe I’ve had irreversible brain damage from going off of Effexor. Eventually I went back on it in an effort to see if it would help me, but it was years too late. The psychiatrist should’ve put me back on Effexor immediately when the reactions started, but he didn’t.
    My life has been totally destroyed by this evil drug. It’s been over 3 years now that I’ve come off Effexor, and I’m seeing a new Psychiatrist who doesn’t know how to help me. I live in a strange state of emotional torture because I can’t function socially and struggle to function at work, barely keeping my job so far, from the stress a, devastation and continuing physical symptoms I suffer. My emotions are flat-lined, I have no interests or passion for life, and I no longer can feel happiness, contentment or joy. I have never wanted to kill myself like I have in these past 3 years because existence has become so intolerable. In fact, the only reason I stay alive is because I have 2 children who don’t deserve to grow up without a mother. My life is a living hell and after 3 years, I don’t have much hope that that will ever change.

    • Margret

      Ive been on effexor since i was 14 years old, i stopped taking effexor about a year ago when i was 24 years old.(december 2014.)
      Just like rae I had to open every capsule every morning removing the “beads” one by one until there were none left. The brain zaps would otherwise kill me. If i’d try to stop taking the effexor at once i’d barely survive the first day, but i tried it a few times because i wanted to stop taking it, on day 3 i’d become dangerous to myself , scratching me until a bled, i’d sometimes bang my head to the wall and pull my hair while i cried. I really dont act like this normally , Ive never been as suicidal on my whole life ! It ls the worst withdraw ive ever experienced. I was never able to survive to day 4.
      Well now a year later after i finally stopped taking this drug, i feel damaged. I feel alot like R.richman i dont have any passion for life and i kind of think the whole idea of life is pointless I really don’t have any personality at all, i dont think anything funny and i dont know my self anymore.I cant function at all socially, and i can’t function in school, i am late on every gadamn assignment even though im trying my hardest ! i just feel like a walking zombie.
      I suffer from some kind of memory damage, i forget things while im saying it/writing it. And i have trouble finding words when im talking.
      I don’t know if my brain will ever recover, i dont think i have any chance of it compared to R.richman who has lived like this for 3 years now and nothing have changed…
      If someone have experienced what i am going through and feel better it would be nice to hear it, i am giving up hope of becoming better… :/
      I hate living this way…
      Sorry for all the misspellings , i’m not the best english speaker..:p

    • Charley

      I used Effexor XR for 6 years and then took 2 years to wean myself off of it after reading THE ROAD BACK and THE ANTIDEPRESSANT SOLUTION. It sounds like you came off of the drug too fast. Are you supplementing? Have you read THE ULTRA BRAIN SOLUTION?

    • Adriana chavez

      I feel exactly like that after Effexor . Feel like it has robbed my likfe

    • L Myers

      Thank you, sounds like my story exactly. I just quit it cold turkey 4 days ago.

    • 4t2

      You described how effexor has destroyed your happiness and joy in life…you posted that it has been 3 years since you quit taking effexor.
      Has your brain healed itself?
      I hope it has.

    • Randi

      No. It’s been over 4 years now and buspar and benzos manage the panic and anxiety but I’m not the same person. I had to go on disability cause I can no longer function in my career. I have severe depression that only Ritalin helps. These drugs can be so dangerous. Effexor and going off of it completely destroyed my quality of life.
      Thank you for for your concern.

    • 4t2

      Sorry to hear that, I am afraid I am in similar boat. I am not the same person either.
      I used to teach college, I am unable to do that now. For the last 2.5 years, I have been driving a school bus.
      I am barely holding that job.
      I’m 60 now, and now trying to get disability.
      Was it hard for you to qualify? Can you tell me the steps it took?
      Thank you in advance for help.

    • Randi

      I’m 60 years old too. I got State Disability Insurance by applying with a form that my psychiatrist had to fill out as well. It lasts a year. Social security Disability Insurance is different. It’s a really long and hard process. I haven’t been approved yet and have been waiting for 4 months. In two weeks they’re going to give me a mental exam. I hope I get it. I don’t think I can hold a full time job anymore and my memory is deteriorating. If you get SSDI for 3 years they let you get a part time job. Good luck.

  99. Genevieve

    Thank you for this article. I was put on Effexor when I was 17 years old, I’m now 34 and have been on it for 17 years. I am unable to get off it. I have tried several times to wean off it but the withdrawal effects were too horrendous. This article describes exactly what has happened to my brain. This drug should be banned. I’m in Australia and am so grateful that people are finally exposing this drug for what it is. I feel like I have been robbed of my life.

    • Charley

      Hi! I was hopelessly addicted to Effexor XR for 6 years. I weaned myself off of it over a 2 year period by removing one ball from the capsule until I stabilized. I also supplemented with brain-boosting, mood-boosting vitamins/minerals/oils and ate a grain-free diet. I read THE ULTRA MIND SOLUTION, THE ANTI-DEPRESSANT SOLUTION, and THE ROAD BACK. I used the TRB products, too.

    • Adriana chavez

      I feel awful my mind repeats everything it hears and reads after Effexor please help

    • Randi

      Thanks. I’m glad the slow taper worked for you. It probably would have worked for me too, but now it’s too late. After I terminated Effexor and started happy such severe reactions, I should’ve immediately been put back on the drug. My doctor didn’t do this! Even though I went back to taking Effexor over a year later, it was ineffective. I live in a daily emotional torture chamber with daily suicide ideation. The only thing that’s keeping me alive is by taking klonopin and/or xanax. I’ve lost my career, my ability to enjoy life and am currently on Disability. A great psychiatrist I read about and spoke with, Dr. Stuart Shipko, also told me that tapering off for over a year would’ve been a better choice than for 2 months. Both the drugs and the psychiatrists destroyed my life. But there is no justice; I can’t even sue anyone.

    • Janet Schwarzer

      your reply moved me, how are you two years after you wrote that? i am on effexor and prozac for 20 years+ for depression. this year my depressive episodes have become deeper and ocurring more often. how are you surviving day by day,? my brain feels like its dead, i cannot get out of bed

    • TG

      So I took only 2 large doses of Effexor about a week apart. This stuff is no good. It has been 8 days since my last dose and I feel like I have periphreal neuropathy bow. Ha ING hot flashes and my extremities are numb and tingly. Also having sexual issues that I’ve never had before. I feel like I just altered the quality of my life by taking this medicine and I only took 2 pills. Gosh I just had another brain zap. God help us. I will pray for you all as well. Please keep me in yours. I feel like Jesus is the only one who can save us now. I k ow the Dr.s will not.

    • Tim b.

      Hey I’ve had the same issue. Doctor prescribed me 37.5 Venlafaxine and I took only 1 pill and stopped. now I’m on week three and feel like I’m not the same anymore. So many unwanted thoughts and confusion I can’t control and depression. All things I’ve NEVER experienced. I’ve never been on any medication nor am I on any now. I took that 1 pill and feel like I made the biggest mistake of my life. My question is do you feel normal again? Does these side effects wear off or did I just cause a permanent alteration in my brain? Anyone help please!

    • Hannah

      I’ve suffered depression for 17 years, after getting off sertraline in August this year I went down hill again so my gp perscribed Effexor Vensir XL 11 weeks ago. I’ve now been on 225mg and I’m worse than I have ever been in my life. Every few weeks since I have started having strong suicidal thoughts, I never had them to this degree before and have no real trauma in my life atm, just depressed maybe due to all past events and suppressing it and feeling so isolated now. Anyway I’m here to say how seriously dangerous this anti depressant is. In the past 11 weeks I have been in a&e, highly suicidal, ordered a cocktail of pills online to take with alcohol, self harmed, signed off work and now can’t remember my emotions. I’ve become detached from reality and it feels like my soul is separated from my body. I feel I have seen the bigger universe/other lives and earth is just one life of many. Today I can’t walk properly, it’s really slow and jolty, I have never done any of the above before even when I was going through a horrific time in the past. I have two boys and would never leave them but this drug has possessed me. My doctor thinks I should stay on it. How am I supposed to work, look afte myself, my boys, pay bills, I have no partner. My family live 200 miles away. I’m going back to the doctor tomorrow, there is so much evidence online that Effexor causes Depersonalization and suicidal thoughts, brain damage and issues with movement. I was better with no meds than debilitated like this. Don’t know what the hell these pharma company’s are trying to do to us.

    • CCHR

      Please go see a different doctor – preferably a good non-psychiatric doctor who can give you a thorough and searching medical exam to find out what is happening.

    • cyndi yuchas

      Have you recovered?

  100. Rae

    Just wanted to put my story out there: I am a 28-year-old female and was on effexor for about 5 years for anxiety. I started feeling a cognitive decline and was concerned that it was caused by the medication so I slowly tapered myself off about a year and a half ago (which was hell doing: brain zaps and crying.. Nice) I was able to help the brain zaps by opening my capsul and slowly removing more and more “beads” until there were none, but the crying lasted for months. Since then I have experienced severe memory loss (short-term and long term) and have noticed my brain to function in such a declined state. I stare into space zoned out and have trouble processing information. but my anxiety returned with a vengeance so after being medication free for almost 2 years, I saw a psychiatrist yesterday. I told her about my memory loss and all of my gradual cognitive decline, she decided to put me back on Effexor.
    Within 30-45 minutes of taking the first dose I became sick and had chills and became tired. Now I’m awake at 4am feeling wired with eyes wide open, accepting the fact that I have committed to consuming this powerful drug again. I feel lost and in the dark. On one hand, I’ve been explained that my depression could be causing this brain fog and memory issue. On the other hand, I wonder if this is a suggestion that is covering up what is actually brain damage. Scary reality and risk.

    • Mary

      Hi, the link to medical professionals seems to be broken. It’s there still a list of people who know about these problems?

    • deb

      I just read about a new group of studies using psilocybin or mushroom extracts for depression and the results look so encouraging. Apparently the mechanism of action is completely different and very promising. Also, There is a study that shows Lion’s mane improves mild cognitive impairment (tablet form). Both my daughters refused to take anything for depression while in high school (depression tends to run on one side of their family) they are fine today. My heart goes out to you!

    • BB

      I am 31 and have been on Effexor for 5 years now. I decided I wanted to be off everything. I want a fresh start I have been diagnosed with everything under the sun, but mostly trama PTSD and bi polar. who knows how true these diagnosis are! I found “KRATOM” and have now been 100% no pills for two weeks. it stops all withdrawal side effects. No brain zaps no bad burps throwing up or diarea ! If you can read up on it I highly recommend doing so! It has made me feel amazing and I’m not on the other side of these terrible drugs and feeling so free and amazing!

    • Jamie Larrimore

      Im having same thing happened to me like you!!! My memory is really bad. I have to take it so i dont withdrawal. But it stopped working so had add new medication… my body has so many problems since taking effexor

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