Having been on phenelzine for over 45 years my GP has said that I have to change drug?
Question posted by Sue2306 on 29 Dec 2020
Last updated on 19 September 2023
It is not cost effective. Psychiatrist said this morning to change to venlafaxine (telephone consultation). He wants me off of phenelzine in 2 months rather than what I would prefer. That is over about 6 months. Not happy as he is only a locum and took now interest in my views. Probally wants to keep GP happy only. At least no more contact with him needed .
Has anybody else any experience of changing from phenelzine to venlafaxine?
In 2020 I had been on phenelzine a mere 4 weeks when my consultant psychiatrist informed me it was no longer to be supplied in the UK. She said Isocarboxazid was a very similar MAOI to Phenelzine so she put me on that. Isocarboxazid is great. I’m not aware of any side effects. In the past, I experienced loads of side effects on Venlafaxine which diminished my quality of life, even though I found it effective as an antidepressant. I’m v happy to be on Isocarboxazid.
14 Jan 2021
NARDIL (Phenelzine) is now owned, and will be distributed by NEON Health Care. They will have plenty of stock for UK, Australia, and NZ later this year. The factory in the UK that was making Nardil for years was closed. NEON are waiting on the new factory to start manufacturing NARDIL. The NARDIL will cost exactly as it has before we all had the shortage. Your psychiatrist's suggestion is unhelpful and could potentially cause a major relapse.
4 Jan 2021
Hi Sue , I live in Bexley so not far from you in Medway . Been on Phenelzine since the age of 26 , am now 58 . Off meds for one year before I became pregnant with my youngest and symptoms came flooding back .
Just before Christmas I picked up a new prescription of Phenelzine from my pharmacy but had to explain to them they had to do a special order . I will let you know if I get any correspondence from my g p or CCg about stopping phenelzine . Definitely definitely fight this decision and consider medical negligence solicitor.
Interestingly , I am now being assessed to see if I have POTs which could also be the cause of my symptoms.
Will keep you posted re any correspondence or info from my gp .
Thinking of you
3 Jan 2021
Hello, I highly recommend that you don’t take ventalaxfine at all! My husband was on it for about 4 years, his dose at one time had reached 300 mg. We did manage to reduce it to 150mg until Nov 2019, when he became very ill & was having stroke like symptoms. At the hospital they ran every test possible, including spinal tap. An MRI was not an option in this case, never could fully determine why his white blood cells count was elevated. A doctor passing through his room during this stay, came in to tell us that he had studied the long term use of Effexor (ventalaxfine) most likely the cause of these symptoms. He demanded the dose be cut in half immediately! Over the next 4-5 month time frame of gradually getting off that drug. His behavior & lack of empathy or sympathy was gone, it was like a monster had been released inside my husband. That hospital stay was labeled as a stroke, but never confirmed. August of 2020 my husband was diagnosed with vascular dementia.
Just saying please reconsider what these doctors are trying to give you. If you have Amazon Prime & able to watch movies/shows, I highly recommend you check out a documentary called Letters from Generation Rx. It’s very eye opening & informative.
31 Dec 2020
Hi, Sue! While venlafaxine is an excellent choice for depression... I took it for about seven years with very good results... I wonder why, if you were doing so well on an MAOI, you might not want to try switching to another MAOI like Parnate or Marplan. It's just a thought that you might want to discuss with your doctor. I have no idea whether insurance would cover them or how expensive they are though. Best regards and I hope you get a solution quickly. Wildcat PS, Be careful about buying drugs online. Many of them don't follow our strict guidelines for their manufacturing.
30 Dec 2020
Yes, I was on venlafaxine for several years in addition to Nardil, and a couple other drugs (SeroqueL Lamictal) if venlafaxine helped me at all, I didn’t feel it. I was put on Nardil (the ONLY drug that has really helped me, or at least helped me the most) years before venlafaxine and have been on Nardil for 32 yrs, with a few breaks that got me so sick that I only recovered when put back on Nardil. When I was taken off venlafaxine, I had no withdrawal symptoms and didn’t need it at all. Why does he want you to switch to venlafaxine? Just because it’s not “cost effective?” I’d suggest you stay on Nardil.