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Mental Health Effects of Effexor (Venlafaxine)

In short: Don't take this unless you are SEVERELY depressed (e.g. suicidal). It often harms more than it helps, especially in cases of mild depression.

Our personal experience, and that of many other people, is of little or no improvement and side effects such as weight gain, reduced enjoyment of sex, and memory problems which actually made life less enjoyable. But the biggest problem came when the decision was made to stop taking it: any reduction or even a single missed dose resulted in horrible dizziness and nausea! It was so bad that the only way to get off the stuff was to reduce the dose by one grain (from inside each capsule) each day. It took literally months to get off of it. Then we could start working on the problems caused by weight gain and the mistakes made due to the memory issues.

Effexor is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) rather than the more well known SSRI. Sertraline (Zoloft) and fluoxetine (Prozac) are other (and we think better) options.

A study of more than 15,000 patients for 3.4 years in Finland^ showed that Effexor increased suicide risk 1.6-fold (statistically significant), as compared to no treatment. At the same time, Prozac halved the suicide risk.

In the UK, a study^ of more than 200,000 people showed that patients taking Effexor had significantly higher risk of completed suicide than those on Prozac (2.8 times) or Celexa (2.4 times).

Effexor's manufacturer admits to the following side effects:

But web sites, forums and bulletin boards all over the internet are filling up with people who are shocked to find that when they try to stop taking it, the nausea is debilitating. Although the drug isn't technically addictive, it might as well be.

See also:

file: /Techref/other/effexor.htm, 3KB, , updated: 2008/7/3 12:57, local time: 2022/7/6 15:38,

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