I have suffered with depression long term and after a partiticularly bad episode around 1 year ago I was put on Venlafaxine 150mg. This helped a lot and for a while I thought this was the answer to everything and I would stay on it for life and everything would be fine!
The side effects began to get me down, specifically lack of libido and inability to orgasm. I wouldn't say it's had a negative effect on my relationship as my partner is very understanding, but a) it could be better and b) it would be really blooming nice to have an orgasm again! It's been A YEAR!! I also find the brain fog/memory loss, bad skin and mouth ulcers a pita.
I have experimented with reducing my dose (not with doctor's supervision, naughty, I know), but even dropping to 3/4 of the pill (so from 150mg to 112.5mg) my mood is affected almost instantly and I have a real drop into bad depression again.
This scares me because I can't live like that but equally don't relish the thought of never orgasming again, and having terrible acne and forgetting words!
I am going to make an appointment to see my doctor again but I've been putting it off because although she is kind she isn't v clued up about mh stuff and if I was to try a different doctor and they were dismissive or even less knowledgeable then I find that really difficult and discouraging.
Has anyone else stayed on Venlafaxine and managed the side effects in a different way?
If you've come off it altogether how has your mood been?
I'm on it, but a lower dose. 75g although I went up to 150g earlier this year. My really bad effect is my eyesight although my libido has taken quite a knock. It's hard to say what the right thing is, have you tried other ADs before this? I'd been on several and nothing helped but I cope well on V and it's been a godsend.
I'm on Venlafaxine 75mg and know exactly how frustrating the effect on libido and orgasm can be and sometimes come down to a lower dose or come off them for a while when I get fed up but this is never a good idea as my mood then becomes very unstable. I can get an orgasm on 75mg but you have to be really determined & it takes a lot of rubbing, to the point of soreness - so it can be done. It's a different kind of orgasm, as it's like it goes more inwards than outwards but the basic climax effect is the same.
This is the only real downside I have had taking Venlafaxine (and Mirtazapine). I was on 300mg, but am now down to 75mg (with docs approval) and off the Mirtazapine completely. I do find it easier to orgasm on 75mg and also I actually want sex again.
I found using getting DH to use a vibrator really helped though when I was on the higher dosages.
My eyesight is very blurry morning and evening, esp morning I can hardly focus. But I can live with that. It is harder to orgasm, and I hated that at the start. But I am a banshee without it and feel normal with it which I'm sure my dc appreciate!
Sometimes side effects can actually make the depression worse. I got well on a whopping dose of 300mg venlafaxine and 30mg mirtazapine but 10yrs later the side effects were effecting my mood- horrendous drenching sweats even in winter and weight gain- I put on 8 stone I'm currently titrating up lithium and when I'm stable on that we will start reducing the antidepressants to a level where the side effects are more manageable. It's not going well...
Girl If you are on the slow release are you breaking up the capsule and pouring the beads out then? The reason I ask is that the slow (extended) release work differently as the beads are designed to release over a given period. I'm not sure you can just 3/4 them, and it's also hard to do accurately, which might explain the mood dip???
Sorry if I have completely the wrong end of the stick.
Venlafaxine is indeed an absolute dog to come off, it's do with the half life apparenly. I was only on 75mg but ended up having to reduce the dose using (carefully calculated) increases in time between doses. It was still a slow and hard process.
Is there that much of a difference between capsules and tablets, Backforthis? As the tablets I'm on are extended release.
Thanks for the good luck I think my gp will be kind, the problem is she seems quite unknowledgeable about mh issues and just asks me what I want her to do! So i want to have as much info as possible before I go in