Blog: What's Wrong With Me???
by Faran

Diagnosed with CFS & Fibromyalgia-- But "Effexor" for relief?

Diagnosed with CFS and Fibromyalgia but is this drug safe?

Date:   12/29/2006 8:57:23 PM   ( 15 y ) ... viewed 4972 times


I had my appointment with my doctor today and it went very well. I'm excited to say, I finally got a real diagnosis . . . CFS. My doctor said that since we've ruled out all the other known causes for my chronic fatigue, including Epson Barr Virus (mono), lyme disease, diabetes, etc., and all the other tests have come out fine, he was thinking CFS was the culprit. He also thinks I have fibromyalgia, something I never really considered, but which makes sense, considering my aching, knotted shoulder, neck, and back muscles. Well, I just feel relieved. It's taken me years to finally get a doctor who actually listens to me and who doesn't make me feel uncomfortable. He said my iron was low, so suggested I take a multivitamin with iron in it. He also gave me a B12 shot.

Okay, now the bad part. CFS has no known cause, and no known cure. There's plenty of speculation as to what causes it, such as a virus, or even severe trauma in childhood, however nothing concrete. The best the MDs can do is treat the symptoms, eg., the depressions and fatigue, with drugs. He prescribed Effexor, an anti-depressant, which he said he's had a lot of success with, in treating other CFS patients, however, when I got home, I immediately Googled the drug and was horrified by what I read. It is THE worst drug to get off of. The withdrawal symptoms are horrendous. The benefits are that it can and does help depression, as well as CFS and fibromyalgia, but I don't know if it's worth the risk. I certainly don't need anymore problems in the future. My body is very sensitive to drugs, so I have to be careful what I ingest . . . especially such a drug as Effexor, which apparently plays with your brain chemistry in two significant ways. I took the following from a website about it:

What is Effexor and how can it help?

Effexor/Effexor XR is used to treat depression and generalized anxiety disorder. There’s also current evidence that the drug may be useful in treating ADD/ADHD in children and adults. While Effexor/Effexor XR is not specifically classified as an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibiter) antidepressant, it does inhibit the reuptake of the neurotransmitter serotonin, as well as the reuptake of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine. Because it does effect the uptake of serotonin, many people experience many of the same side effects and withdrawal reactions seen in the SSRI’s.

Pros: There are two last resorts among the modern meds to cure the deepest, blackest depression when your doctor is just switching you from one horsie to another on the med-go-round: Effexor (venlafaxine hydrochloride) and Remeron (mirtazapine). Either in combination with an antipsychotic would really get you out of that hole of despair, but first you should throw away every mirror and scale in your house and buy expandable clothing. But for deep, despairing clinical depression that needs to respond to the standard tweaking of the three most popular neurotransmitters, Effexor (venlafaxine hydrochloride) often pulls people out of the abyss.

Cons: For many people Effexor has the absolute worst discontinuation syndrome of an antidepressant. Effexor (venlafaxine hydrochloride) is a medication people utterly loathe to have taken. It is not uncommon for someone to fire doctors during or immediately after they quit taking Effexor (venlafaxine hydrochloride).

I did fill the prescription and took the first dose-- 37.5 mgs, but now that I've read so much negative information about it, I'm terrified to continue taking it. Who wouldn't be? This is my body and my well-being here . . . just because the doctor said to take it, doesn't mean I necessarily should. I'm torn about what to do. If I do take it, it may really help me, and God knows, I need help, but if it doesn't help me, then I've screwed with my brain chemistry, which can and will only complicate my situation.

I haven't received the report from yet, but hope it will come in on Monday or Tuesday. In the meantime, I'm tempted to chuck these Effexor pills down the toilet and find a better way to help myself-- a less risky way.

Thanks for listening,


After reading through some more websites about Effexor, I chucked them in the garbage and will definitely never take them. If they help some people, fine, but I already know they'll do me in. I think I'm gonna have to go the 'natural' route, beginning with changing my diet and quitting smoking, getting fresh air and exercise, and doing some kind of cleansing. I'll keep you posted.

Bye again.

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Comments (20 of 29):
Re: Psychic vampir… bkris… 13 y
Re: Drugs suck Karlin 14 y
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