Effexor XR - Does the yawning go away? Why am I so tired and have depressive episodes?
Question posted by Sfltally2014 on 18 May 2014
Last updated on 1 October 2019
Sorry if this has already been answered..I'm not used to q&a forums really.
(Providing a lengthy info) I am a 22 year old female. I was first prescribed venlafaxine a couple months ago for general anxiety and depression. My doctor started me on 37.5 for the first week, told me to double it the next week to see how I felt about that then tripling a couple dosages which I decided I didn't like (felt unlike myself. A lot more jittery and all over the place compared to the single and double dose). Besides yawning every other minute or so, I loved being on it. When I ran out I wasn't sure what to do since it was my first time going to a doctor for my issues and she only prescribed it to see how I would like it first.. so I waited until my next appointment. Worst two weeks ever. I felt like my head was being run over by a semi..my head felt stuffy (which I realized was the norm before being on the pills) and was back to my depressive state.
Anyways..I got my prescription again (after being yelled at by my doctor who told me to leave a message next time when I needed a refill lol). She started me back at 37.5 for one week to slowly get me back in track and now I take 75 MG every day for a month now.
The yawning doesn't happen as often but is still present. I've noticed I'm not as energetic as I was the first time around when I took them. I can't seem to wake up in the morning and be productive like I was before. I can wake up just in time to get ready for work but that's about it. I notice when I'm on it though, that I don't "think" as much (dwell on bad things) but I just experienced a depressive episode. Not suicidal thoughts but more so very sad..and I'm not sure why.
Does anyone have any answers or advice. Is this something that will subside? The main issue I'm worried about is the sleeping too much part. I want to be active and productive.
So I have been taking Effexor for almost 2 years. Initially I began taking Effexor because of the chronic urticaria (hives) and the meds I was taking before were awesome until I hit rock bottom. Anyways I did yawn a lot but it didn't last more than 2 months or so. My dr. & I decided to up the dosage because the hives continued to get worse. They are triggered by stress. Eventually, I was taking 225mg. I started a new job a few months after. That's when the high dosage really showed its effects. I felt like I was literally glued to my bed. I had woke up late so many times I cant believe I'm still employed. I definitely woke up late at least 10 times. My boss suggest I go down on the milligrams. Thank God I did. I'm now back down to 75mg & I can say I'm pretty comfortable. Not to forget, we added an antacid med. I don't beat myself up anymore about being myself or the things I say, something I would do for hours before. I am happy but I miss being a morning person.
17 Aug 2019
I have been taking Effexor for approximately 5 yrs. I'm on 150 mg that I take in the a.m. and from when I get up for work around 6:30 a.m. until around 2 p.m. I am a zombie. I literally will fall asleep at my desk from 8 a.m. until 11/11:30 a.m. I didn't want to take in the evening because I also take 200 mg of Seroquel and occassionally a 10 mg Ambien because I'm completely awake from 8 p.m. - 2 a.m. It's so embarrassing and weird. And I refuse to go on any meds to keep me awake like Adderall. I started setting my alarm on my cell and I'd go walk every hour. But I usually take a nap on my hour lunch!!
15 Jan 2019
Hi i am on EffexorXR 375mg i am extremely tired mid morning and all day. I have to have a sleep at work during my lunch break (1 hr) but this doesn't resolve it. This is driving my wife insane as i am tired and cannot function, it is especially worse if i exercise or have late nights. I find myself falling to pieces at times but i need to take this as the alternative is not an option. I just wish that my immediate family would understand why i am like this and that the medication does this to me. I am proactive but i cannot keep this up.
3 June 2018
When these posts where written is irrelevant as the information and more input is STILL (and probably always will be) very valid.
That said, I am suffering from EXTREME fatigue starting late morning and going all afternoon. I have always had afternoon slumps growing up and was untreated for the first 35 years of my life.
I take Adderall and 3x 150mg Effexor in the morning and by 11 -1pm I am ready to pass out I'm so tired. I will try to take only 75mg in the morning and 150mg in the afternoon to see if that helps. I love Effexor and don't want to get rid of it but if this fatigue continues I may have to try other anti depressants.
6 Nov 2017
When you were taking more than 75mg, did you take this all at once? If so, have you tried breaking it up into two or more doses. Yes, Effexor is (as far as I know) prescribed as the extended release, which will maintain a relatively stable load for 16 hours - it's written for 24 hours, but there's usually a marked decrease in plasma levels at the 12-18 hour mark for any XR formulation. So, you might benefit from taking 75 in the AM, and 37.5 or 75n in the PM. I've known people taking in excess of 300mg a day. Wouldn't suggest it, but other commenters are spot on with stories of 150mg a day. I don't recommend taking a lot of Effexor at night. This drug often has a stimulant effect due to its SNRI activity (serotonin / norepinephrine - neurochemical stimulant structurally similar to epinephrine - aka adrenaline), I never slept well with a big dose hitting my system at night.
You may even want to consider late afternoon or early evening to give your body time to adjust.
Also, there's larger doses that might make life easier when you reach your sweet spot. You can have your doc script you for the 75mg capsules. You might be paying more for two 37.5 vs one 75 or even two 75's bid if you find 150 therapeutic. Stick with the 37.5 until you know for sure. Whether you'll save money depends on your pharmacy benefits, but generally it's cheaper to take one 75 a day than two 37.5
8 Nov 2016
I have been on Venlafaxine for a while now, probably 3 years. Anytime I try to stop taking it, even try taking another antidepressant, I become moody and very irritable. My head pounds, my body feels physically painful and if I move my eyes around in my head I feel a weird sensation like I'm going to pass out. After a couple nights I start having very vivid dreams and many times they are nightmares. I wouldn't recommend this drug to anyone, but nowhere have I found people with as severe withdrawals as me. Never had a problem switching other meds. Currently taking a lower dose of it with other meds and I am doing much better. If you're taking it and feel tired, try taking Effexor before bed. That seemed to help me some with being so tired all the time.
19 Feb 2015
I have been advised to come off Venlafaxine - the yawning, extreme tiredness in the morning, my slowness to get anything done and the fact that I started struggling at work as could no longer think as quickly to do my job properly as a teacher - has already led to me having to take time off work since October 2014 which I am furious about as I went to GP in first instance due to general lethargy and straight away it was assumed I must be depressed! I had been coping fine before on Citaloprim. I don't know why he didn't just increase that dosage? Either way I just thought I'd share with you that for me the side effects of Venlafaxine have at the moment ruined my career.
I once, like you, ran out of my tablets and as it was weekend and no GP service I had to wait three days with no meds - I thought my head would explode with the pain! So I totally sympathize with what you went through for those 2 weeks - but again, I was told that showed just how much my body reacted to Venlafaxine and to come off it. I am now being gradually weaned off it but it's not easy! My GP has not given me anything to help me come off it either. I was only on 75mg dosage which my GP seems to shrug off as a low dose but this is how it's affected me personally. I also gained 2 stone in weight since taking it and severe constipation. (Its been a great year!!) To make matters worse, I have now got multiple blood clots in both lungs - since going front two to one tablet per day of Venlafaxine so I am wondering if this coincidence or not? Sorry it's such a long post xx
18 May 2014
Your depressive thoughts are probably due to the fact that you need an increase. Effexor has never made me tired, but everyone is different. I think once you get leveled out you will see some energy. Hang in there.
18 May 2014
The yawning should go away, but remmber you're taking the effexor xr, which is exteneded release that will stay in your system longer than just effexor, so you will feel the effects probably for a longer period of time. good luck,
18 May 2014
You probably need it increased too, since you're still having depressive episodes. You get withdrawal from this med which is why your dr yelled at you. Are you taking it in the morning? I found that if I took it at night, I had a strange wakefulness that left me a mess the next day. It doesn't make me sleepy taking it in the morning. Most of the side effects go away after you're on it for a while.
yes you do not want to just run out call in a refill about 5 days before you do..you need to stay on it so you don't have to go through this,Yes for most these side effects to go away i have been on this for several years and with each dose increase just waited until the side effects were better and then increased it sounds like your doctor is on top of things so don't worry and yes you still at times get a bit of anxiety or depression but it is much better than if you were not taking this med.stick with it sounds like your donig this fine.Now make sure you stay on the same dose as you said you don't want to go through those terrible side effects of stopping because you have run out..Glad you were lucky and found a medication that helps you so much right off it can be upsetting many times it takes several trys..this one was a life saver for me and i take mine all at bedtime so it helps me sleep and then i am not as drowssy during the day time..You don't want something that totally takes over you have to be able to feel emotions too so that is good just helps get you throught them..and any problems call the doctor that is what they are there for..don't worry about bothering them.which is what i think you did if they don't give you enough until your next appt..call the pharmacy for a refill... hope this help..hang in there and be patient it gets better. Chuck1957 medically retired pharmacy technician Cpht.. Oregon.