Does long-term use of effexor lead to memory loss, brain damge and/or dementia? I know it inhibits platelet aggregation and leads to bleeding and severe bruising resulting from a very slight impact. As I am aged 66 years, I am concerned that continued use of effexor may hasten dementia and memory loss.
What is the effect on the brain of long-term use of effexor?
- 5 Jan 2012 by elaineatkins
- 29 Mar 2018
- effexor, depression, bleeding disorder, dementia, anxiety and stress, bruising
Added 5 Jan 2012:
Does long-term use of effexor lead to hypertension? I already have severe bruising particularly on hands and wrists from a very slight impact? Bleeding time seems to be increased and these bruises increase in diameter during a couple of hours and take about three weeks to resolve. Can effexor also cause bleeding in the gut?
Hello elaineatkins. Its a question that is often asked as we become older. You've brought up effexor and it really can be said for other drugs as well. I'm in my sixties, and as yourself, find myself looking at, well in my case psychiatric drugs and how they effect us as we age. Not taking away your concerns as to your question, my answer might be that you yourself will know best how effexor might be effecting your memory. I believe effexor came out in the early nineties, late eighties, and long term studies on use and age might not have yet been done. I know that in regards to side effects when taking effexor if a person develops them while having been on the drug for some time, if the dosage is lowered they most usually more often than not ease up and then do disappear. So, my answer to your question is that you'll have to keep an eye out, we are our own doctor when it comes to our bodies, and generally know or can sense when something is not right.
But I feel that damage to the brain, as well as the possibilty of or actual helping to contribute to dementia, are most probably slim. Mind you if a person were to have already shown various symptons such as having short or long term memory loss, venlafaxine would highlight those symptons. All of the above is my point of view and opinion. Best of wishes,pledge
Great answer Pledge!!!
Elaine, I was wondering about some of the side effects you stated about Effexor. I was on Effexor for a total of about 5-6 yrs with about a year and a half in between and I never noticed unusual bruising or anything like that... just curious and interesting. I think that you should take Pledge's common sense approach to taking this medication. If it is working for you, I think that the benefits far outweigh anything else... now this is a matter of opinion also but I do know that our bodies talk to us if we listen carefully. So... just pay attention to what your body is telling you and listen to Pledge and I think you will be OK!!
Good Luck and God Bless... pup
Just wanted to put my story out there: I am a 28-year-old female and was on effexor for about 5 years for anxiety. I started feeling a cognitive decline and was concerned that it was caused by the medication so I slowly tapered myself off about a year and a half ago (which was hell doing: brain zaps and crying.. Nice) I was able to help the brain zaps by opening my capsul and slowly removing more and more "beads" until there were none, but the crying lasted for months. Since then I have experienced severe memory loss (short-term and long term) and have noticed my brain to function in such a declined state. I stare into space zoned out and have trouble processing information. but my anxiety returned with a vengeance so after being medication free for almost 2 years. I saw a psychiatrist yesterday. I told her about my memory loss and all of my gradual cognitive decline, she decided to put me back on Effexor.
Within 30-45 minutes of taking the first dose I became sick and had chills and became tired. Now I'm awake at 4am feeling wired with eyes wide open, accepting the fact that I have committed to consuming this powerful drug again. I feel lost and in the dark. On one hand, I've been explained that my depression could be causing this brain fog and memory issue. On the other hand, I wonder if this is a suggestion that is covering up what is actually brain damage. Scary reality and risk.
I am on 337.5mg per day and getting myoclonic jerks more everyday. Short term memory has become very bad in the 4 months i have been on them. I dont feel like i am the same person and cry so easily and am devoid of emotions like love. I just want to get off the toxic mess. Is there a solution?
I am 47 and have been taking Effexor for over fifteen years. It worked wonderfully for many years. Now, I have permanent damage from it. I have a photographic memory. My long-term memory was always excellent. I can no longer remember entire events that were important in my life. Sometimes I can't remember that they happened at all. My cognitive issues have caused me to have to quit teaching. I get up and cannot remember what I was going to say. I blank out when I'm driving..I stutter, I get stuck on words. I am depressed and have all kinds of issues now. A normal brain scan showed nothing. I do not drink, smoke, nor have I ever used or abused drugs. The only thing I have done is take Effexor for a very long time. All the new research and studies that show these drugs change the shape of the neurons in your brain may truly be right, I'm afraid. My suggestion is to simplify your lifestyle as much as possible...
that will require drastic simplification and major decisions but do whatever is neccessary to cut out the stress without drugs. Do not stay on these drugs for long periods.
I was on Effexor for approximately 15 years for panic attacks. I continually refused to up the dosage so I continued to have some panic attacks. I gained weight and was always concerned about the effects this drug had on my overall health. I don't believe you can take a drug and it not impact your body somewhere even when you don't have visible side effects, which I did not. I also tried to get off but couldn't take the withdrawal symptoms. I did get off Effexor about 6 weeks ago using a Traditional Chinese Detox. I am finished with Effexor and have not had one panic attack. Never felt better.
22 years and counting I have used Effexor/venlafaxine. I have battled the Pharma sneak pricing and outsourcing generic manufacture wars.
After trying some 19 other antidepressants with marginal effect, I was delighted this one worked so well for me. My initial impression was to question whether it normalised me or allowed me to be less sensitized to stressors. We titrated from 75 to 225mg, noticed the lebido challenges noted already, and backed off to least level to maintain lack of depression, usually 75 mg.
With big stressors bumped to 150-225mg short term due to Pharma cost dance. In the past 5 years I have experienced vocabulary, organisational, and surprisingly a sudden decline in physical strength. Much can be attributed to normal aging. However, the speed of decline suggests the long term medication use plays a role.
I am disappointed there are no formal studies on long term permanent effects though this is not a focus for Pharma profits. What I have noticed with increasing alarm in the past year is accelerating cognitive decline, lapses in attention, memory, and most recently, a suspicion of declining effectiveness of the medication with explicit symptoms of frank depression.
My challenge is whether to increase dosage to 150 or 225 on a long term basis and risk more rapid cognitive decline with only possible improved relief from depression, or seek again some in doubt alternative. Pharma promotion of the virtues of their inventions is at at a new credibility low for the sake of profit over quality.
So, is there a specific reference you can provide for the comment relating to altered neuronal appearance produced by Effexor and possibly other designer related meds for depression, done for purposes of enhancing synaptic flow?
That sounds like a permanent deliberate change by the manufacturer that could long term lose its efficacy and potentially induce rapid cognitive decline to boot.
If that result is demonstrably so, it makes more attractive the again hard job of finding a good alternative or tough it out with major depression again.
If any reader has major challenges like depression or bi-polar, then I urge you to continue search for a physician to find what science has uncovered to relieve you specifically of nonproductive or dangerous thoughts or actions. Giving up does not well serve the intended gift of life.
Hi, I am somewhat late in joining this conversation, I am also 66 and was on Effexor XL for Major Depressive Disorder [I suffer anxiety too]. I have to say it was probably the best SNRI I ever took. It had a great effect on Depression/Anxiety and I took it for a number of years, however, the dosage kept going up. The side effects were that I put up a lot of weight, I lost all sex drive, I developed Cholesterol and high BP and my G.P. was very worried and requested that I ask my psychiatrist to change over to another Drug. ~ My p-Doc was not happy about this but agreed to cross over to Lexapro. I have been on Lexapro for about 8 years, It is not as effective as Effexor, it does not 'hit the spot' with anxiety or Depression but the side effects of the Effexor [for me] were just too bad, I was sweating alot, at night it was really bad, I had bruising too, and developed Fatty liver disease [I don't drink].
- Effexor Information for Consumers
- Effexor Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Effexor (detailed)
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