Effexor looking for some advice

Hello Everyone,

I was looking for some advice on what I should do. I had a teletherapy consult with my Neuro/oto office today They are happy with my progress but wanted me to trial Effexor ER 37.5mg for the next 2 weeks than move up to 75mg after. They told me to either do that or continue only using Qulipta to see how i am in a month or two.

I am a bit scared of the side effects of Effexor and the issue of coming off if I do start. Is it worth trying effexor or should i continue to stick to what is working? He didn’t see concerned about the 37.5mg starting dose either. He stated that most people can cold turkey up to 75mg without having withdraws but that contradicts everything i’ve read on these forums. Can anyone comment on their experience with Effexor (good or bad).

Thank you

I can’t tell you if it’s worth changing a med that’s working for you. I can only give my experience with Venlafaxine. I have been taking it for 2 1/2 years it it has been helpful. I did not take 37.5 mg to start. Instead, like many others here, I opened the capsule and counted several (9 in my case) beads and increased slowly. At that point in time I was very med sensitive and needed to titrate up slowly. I hope it helps. Good luck.

how much did it help? how much better are you feeling now?

How much did it help is a difficult question to answer…For the first 8 months I was basically housebound. Three years later I work a full time stressful job and drive 2 hrs home in traffic. I feel MAVs presence most of the time but it does nott bother me when I’m occupied. Except for the vision issues. I did go up to 75mg over time and currently take 37.5mg plus 25mg or Norti.It’s difficult to answer because I’m. Not sure if the meds are helping, MAV running its course over time, my body/brain compensating, or a combination.

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have you ever tried coming off meds? my nuero/oto explained Effexor only acts as band-aid and eventually i’ll need to get off.

Good Morning
I haven’t tried coming off meds and often wonder if part of the visual issues are the meds itself. I guess I haven’t tried out of fear?

Have you tried without meds?

FYI my neuro-oto more or less said the same about Amitriptyline.

I am only on Qulipta and low dose of Candesartan… I have not been able to return to work because it requires me to be on the computer 8-10 hours a day. I also feel like maybe my brain just needs time to heal. My symptoms used to be much worse… I am a bit afraid to start Effexor over fear of not being able to get off of it.

Did your neuro give you a timeframe after which you should get off the meds? E.g. a few months, a year, two years?

I am asking because I should probably get off my last 0.5 mg of Pizotifen, but I am too afraid to do so.

No timeline as to when to get off… he wanted me to start off at 37.5mg for 2 weeks than go up to 75mg… I voiced my concern about starting off at that high of a dose but he said people are able to cold turkey from 75mg! I’m actually getting a 2nd opinion from Dr. Edward Cho out of cedar sinai next week so I will wait to speak with him before starting.

i am a bit scared because i heard it is really hard to get off.

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My Neuro did say once I have stabilized for a 3 month period (no headaches or dizziness) to start coming off meds.

If it helps, when I came down from 75mg to 37.5mg of Effexor, I had no trouble. I did it over time.

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This drug changed my life. Everyday operating @ 50% and Effexor took me to 95% with the occasional flare up. Even they are not as physically bad but I struggle emotionally with them.

In terms of coming off it, I have no side effects at all and don’t ever plan on coming of it.

If you are of a different mindset then be in the present and know that a very slow reduction over a reasonable period presents very few problems for the majority.

There’s always a horror story and few report the success stories sadly.

Good luck.


Hello @Lexi how long did it take for you to feel it work? I’m currently at about 70% each day and slowly getting better… not sure if i should start Effexor or just wait out my current state.


I guess 2-3 months I felt materially better @ 75mg AM and PM. It was then increased to 112.5mg AM and PM and that worked quicker to get to my baseline of 95%.

Remember we all react to drugs differently. Someone can drink more than the next, someone reacts poorly to penicillin, etc.

Don’t over analyse this.


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Effexor was a nightmare for me. It did work for VM, but caused RLS, bruxism and was hell getting off. It’s known for being the worst antidepressant as far as withdrawal symptoms including brain zaps and GET (gaze evoked tinnitus). If you take it (don’t), try to stay on a low dose. It will work at 12.5 mg and that will mitigate side effects to some extent. But beware.

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I think we need to be careful when we disparage drugs we’ve tried and be mindful that we need to be aware that other people are reading our posts and will most likely already be scared and nervous about trialling meds.

VM or MAV can often be people’s first experience of chronic illness and they may never have needed long term medication before. If you read the side effects of any drug they often look horrific. From my own experience I tried 5 medications before going on Venlafaxine, and had horrible side effects with all of them.

With Ven I’ve had virtually none and actually I’ve been sleeping better, my mood is better and my Fibromyalgia symptoms have lessened. Which is a plus. And I do feel my MAV symptoms have reduced. I’ve had no migraines apart from the first week on it. I’ve only been on a decent dose 75mg, for 5 weeks as I built up gradually since January. I’m hoping I wont have to increase further but if I do then so be it.

I’m not chuffed about being on it and I’m very aware of the downfalls and if and when I do come off it then it will have to be done very gradually, however as 5 other meds were tried before Ven I really didnt have a huge amount of choice. I appreciate you may have had a tough time withdrawing from it but that wont necessarily be the case for everyone. Certainly in the UK its not a first line MAV medication.


Venlafaxine is generally a good drug, but there are horror stories. That’s why its important to start low and slow and be in communication with your doctor about any side effects that pop up.

From my own experience, any minor initial side effects quickly resolved with patience and time on the drug.

Venlafaxine is being a popular first-line choice among clinicians due to its low rate of serious adverse side effects and extremely high relative success rate among sufferers. Where I go, Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, USA, it is the preferred first-line treatment for VM.

Withdrawal is similarly countered by a gradual downtapering.


Just an addendum: there exists a theoretical drug that has minimal side effects, high rate of efficacy, low rate of symptom breakthrough, and works for the overwhelming majority of people. Effexor is not that drug – this drug does not exist yet.

For now, we have to operate on what has the most likelihood of working best but not getting married to a particular medication if its not working for a period of time, while simultaneously giving it a chance.


Forums like these are for people to learn from each other. I think it’s wonderful when someone had a good experience whether it’s from Effexor or anything else. If someone has a bad experience with a medication I’m grateful to know about it. It’s hearing the experiences of others that allows us to make our own informed choice. Informed. Pitiful to think we must be careful not to scare someone. Only honesty and openness can help someone.


Honesty and openess are fine, telling people not to take it is not. Your experience is just that, yours. Its not universal.