Getting on to effexor - your experiences


I’ve been ill for coming up seven years with this. I have taken a beta blocker for years with periods of good health and relapses.

I am now trying effexor, starting with a tiny dose (5mg) due to previous very severe reactions to drugs and titrating up weekly. I have been on it two weeks. Just started my 15mg dose today.

I wonder if anyone on effexor found it made their symptoms worse before it made them feel better? My head seems to be foggier and I am dizzier. I also seem to be more anxious than usual.

Any input would be appreciated, I am wondering whether to stick with it or get off it.

Many thanks,


Hi Hannah, it sounds like you are doing it correctly. I had some of the same difficulties at first - brain fog, dizziness worse or a little different and very anxious. For me, the fogginess didn’t last that long but the other issues did and I began grinding my teeth very badly. My 24/7 dizziness changed a little but didn’t go away. In the end, I pulled the plug after about 8 weeks primarily due to the continued anxiousness and teeth grinding. Good luck and try to stick it out as long as you can! Ben

Whats the smallest mg tablets you can get in the effexor, also should one go for the effexor XR (thats the time release I think) because they say that the normal has a short time in the body (is that right)?

Dr. Hain didn’t prescribe the time release for me. Maybe because we are continuously breaking up the pills into smaller pieces.


Thanks for your reply Ben, guess I might keep going and see what happens, although it’s always hard to make myself worse when I have heavy work commitments.

Christine, I take the XR. I break the capsule open and pour out the pillules and then have to do the maths to work out how many I have to take. XR is one capsule full of many tiny pillules. It’s a big pain but I have no choice as I tried the regular effexor and it messed with my stomach too badly - I have reflux. The smallest dose available in XR in the uk is 75mg. In the States I believe it’s 37.5mg.

On his website, Hain says to start at 12mg and then titrate up weekly by 12mg till you get to 37.5. As far as I know his patients have had success with either 37.5mg or even lower doses.


How r u doing on the effexor? Any problems to begin with? Be great to hear your experience,


Hannah - I have a prescription for effexor, but haven’t yet started it. will let you know when I do. I am just getting off my current med, Verapamil, which hasn’t helped me.

I did the same - opened up the XR capsule and counted the little beads. I started with 1/3 for 5-6 days, then 2/3, then the full 37.5 mg by the end of about two weeks.

Ben - interesting about counting the beads. Did Dr. Hain or your other doc prescribe the XR because I wasn’t prescribed XR. why did you end up taking XR? thanks.

Lisa, I had the RX for Effexor prior to my consult with Dr. Hain so it I filled that RX not realizing that there was a regular versus XR version. I think Hain’s materials refer to XR also but he may be thinking that it is easier to split the regular pill than count the beads. It was a pain counting the beads because no one capsule seemed to have the same number! If after reading some of the responses you want the XR version, I think Dr. Hain would change it via email or telephone call to your pharmacy. I would lean toward the XR version because it may provide a more even amount throughout the day, if that makes sense… Ben

Ben - that does make sense. is 37.5 the smallest dose on XR?

Hi Hanna,
I’ve been on Effexor slow release since January the 25th.
I also opened up the capsule and took things very slowly until I reached the 37mg.
There were a few days where I felt a surreal feeling, this feeling was similar to how I feel during a migraine anyway, so it didnt bother me as I don’t work at the moment.
Concentration was a bit off, but I don’t recall my migraines or dizziness becoming worse.
I did have the odd days with insomnia, which has subsided now.
I’m now on 75mg and staying there, I’m at about 90% better than before effexor and have some quality of life, I’m glad I took the plunge.
I’m about to have PMS and my monthlies which I normally dread, it’s a hard two weeks so I’ll have to get back to let you all know how efficient effexor was during the hormone changes.

All the best

Lisa, yes 37.5 mg is the lowest dose for the XR…I wish they made a smaller one!

Hi Jenny,

Thanks for your reply. Scott told me you’d had success with effexor. That’s truly great news.

This whole drug thing is so confusing. If lots of people said they felt worse initially and then came good, it’d be easier to stick with it. It’s so hard when you just suspect it is making you feel bad and that it might not work anyway. That said part of me thinks I should give it a fair shot.


I had to laugh re counting the pillules, it is driving me nuts, especially as the lowest dose I can get here is 75mg! And yes, each tablet has a different number of pillules, what is that about?!

Anyway, if anyone else has any further experiences would love to hear them.


Hi Hannah,

I’m currently taking Effexor too and I feel a lot of the side effects. I’m still only taking a 1/3 of 37.5 mg so it’s a low dose.
I feel really strange at night when I been up all day. I feel more lightheaded and it’s sometimes hard to fall asleep, but not all the time…I have this funny feeling in my forehead if that make sense…
Can you relate to that at all?



Hi emma,

Yes, I feel more lightheaded and I think it’s making me more wakeful at night. It’s also making me somewhat more foggy headed, my thinking isn’t as clear

How long have you been taking it now. I am only on 15mg at the moment. I find for the first three days after going up on it the side effects are worse.


Hi Hannah,

I’m taking about 12 mg right now. I agree with you when you start increasing the dose the side effects get worse. I’ve had blurry vision, fatigue, no appetite, headaches (better now), hormonal changes, rapid heartbeat, I grit my teeth and I have anxiety too sometimes. But there are also days I don’t feel anything. I’ve been on Effexor for a month…


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Hello All,

I know I am always interested to read how things pan out with a drug so I thought I’d give an update on the effexor.

I have been on it three weeks and two days ago started taking my dose down as I can’t stomach it anymore. I would have given it a longer go if the effect wasn’t simply to make my symptoms worse to the point where I am having difficulty working. I have a heavy work load at the moment. It made me much foggier and dizzier, my tinnitus is still much louder and I also felt agitated and kept waking up at 4 or 5 am and having problems going back to sleep. I am also a teeth clencher anyway and this has exacerbated that problem hugely. I am clenching my face off. The only thing it does seem to have helped with is the light sensitivity, which would be great as that is a huge problem, only being a foggy headed mess obviously detracts from that plus side.

I feel pretty miserable at the moment as I haven’t felt this bad in ages. Something useful I have noted however is that I think the propranolol, which I have been taking for years, clearly does help. I had started to wonder whether it was doing anything for me anymore.

I initially started on the propranolol about three years ago at 20mg. I did really well on a very low dose for about a year, then had a relapse. I slowly titrated my dose up to 80mg and stayed there. As I started to doubt whether it was still effective, and I hated the weight gain, i dropped the dose earlier this year and ended up taking 30mg a day. I think the fact I am feeling so bad is partly the effexor, but partly the dose drop in propranonol. Needless to say I am taking the dose back up. The problem with the propranolol is that I am not very robust on it, I can do ok for months and then have a huge relapse and be ill for days and often weeks, which is why I am trying other drugs.

Anyway, it’s a shame as I had huge hopes for the effexor. If it wasn’t for the massive workload I would have have tried to stick with it for longer but as it is, I can’t be feeling like this anymore.


Hi Hannah,

I totally understand how you feel. I’ve been on Effexor for 5 weeks and now and it’s making me feel more lightheaded and dizzy…I’m not working much currently so I can be home dealing with this but I’m thinking if it’s not better in a week I might have to switch to something else…


Hi there,
I’m only on day 2 of Effexor XR and I am already feeling some new sensations, such as feeling light headed - sort of a floating feeling, stomach upset, loss of appetite, grinding my teeth at night, waking up in the middle of the night for no reason. I also feel kind of edgy… the feeling I used to get when I drank too much coffee.

I’m impatient and decided to jump right in with the 37.5mg dosage. (I admit… I’m also too lazy to count those nearly microscopic pillules everyday! :oops:)

I’m desperate for this to work!!!


Hi Crystal,

Apart from the stomach upset all of what you’re describing sounds familiar. (I got the upset stomach when I did a very brief trial of effexor, not effexor XR) I was also waking up at around 4 to 5 am every night, and the edgy feeling was with me all the time. I think they say 2 to 4 weeks for the side effects to wear off. Maybe you will get lucky and the SE’s will subside and you will get the benefits, I know that has happened to some people.

I’m afraid due to my workload I just couldn’t stomach it any more at 3 weeks. I am now on 5mg and am so out of it at the moment and dizzy it’s just not funny. Who knows maybe if I’d managed to last another week things might have come good, but at this point I dont’ care and just want off the stuff.

Hope you fare better with it than I did. Definitely don’t want to put people off. I have to admit tonight I am cursing the day I ever took this med, but if it had worked out for me I’d be jumping for joy and there’s only one way of finding out which way it is going to go for you.