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Horrible, Awful Medication
Venlafaxine (Effexor) & Duloxetine (Cymbalta)
Citation:   Wigster. "Horrible, Awful Medication: An Experience with Venlafaxine (Effexor) & Duloxetine (Cymbalta) (exp39775)". Erowid.org. Jul 15, 2019. erowid.org/exp/39775

300 mg oral Pharms - Venlafaxine (pill / tablet)
    mg oral Duloxetine (daily)
From the first dose I took (37.5 mg), I began to feel physically horrible--terrible, terrible headaches, nightmares everytime I fell asleep, strange dreamlike states as I was waking up, and diarrhea. The medicine didn't seem to do a thing for my depression (I was discontinuing Prozac, which had ceased to work for me), so my doc and I continued to raise the Effexor dose: 75, 150, on up to 300. Oh my God.

By now, I was an emotional wreck as I've never been before. I couldn't leave my bed some days. On days when I was 'up,' it was a major accomplishment to go to the front porch to bring in the mail. My head never stopped hurting. My blood pressure soared. I'd never felt so depressed in my life, and suddenly remembered all kinds of bad experiences (real ones, but not worth remembering) that had happened at various times in my 50 years on this Earth. My psychiatrist couldn't figure out why the Effexor wasn't working, and tried various additives (pemoline, valproate) to try to get the good effects to kick in. Things continued to get worse. I'd been doing research on the Internet and reading about the horrible experiences of people who tried to wean themselves off this poison, and my terror grew. A strange aggressiveness began to take hold in my brain; one day when I had to leave the house to go to an ATM, a carload of mean-looking drunk men pulled up behind me and began loudly deriding me, or so I thought. I started shouting back, and came close to getting out of my car to beat them all up. And I'm a pacifist! This is something I'd never, never do, and my 'normal' self would run from at the first hint. What in the world had gone wrong with me? Had I died and gone to Hell? How would I ever escape this madness?

The story, Thank God, has a remarkably quick and happy ending, at least so far. I saw a new psychiatrist who put me on Cymbalta 30 mg. She told me to cut the Effexor dose in half (IN HALF???? ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME?), and lo and behold there were no problems at all--zippo. I had no withdrawal symptoms. I easily got off the Effexor altogether as the Cymbalta took hold. Meanwhile, my mood began to lift. Keeping in mind that I've only been on Cymbalta about 3 weeks now (and entirely off Effexor about a week), I'm feeling SO much better. I'm getting out of bed every day. I've begun to hum and sing around the house. I've pulled out an old fabric project I'd neglected for a year and am working on it again.

All I can tell you about Effexor is that, for me, it was a nightmare. Who knows why? I can see how it might make someone suicidal; if I didn't have an immutable moral opposition to suicide, I'd have mulled the possibility over. I can't tell you what a difference Cymbalta has made, and the contrast makes the effects of Effexor all the more striking.

Exp Year: 2004ExpID: 39775
Gender: Female 
Age at time of experience: Not Given
Published: Jul 15, 2019Views: 2,438
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Pharms - Venlafaxine (191), Duloxetine (395) : Retrospective / Summary (11), Difficult Experiences (5), Medical Use (47), Depression (15), Therapeutic Intent or Outcome (49), Not Applicable (38)

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