Topic: Effexor for depression and anxiety

Forum: Mental Health: Because Cancer Doesn't Just Affect Your Breasts — Meet and support others who are affected by these issues around anxiety, depression & other emotional effects.

Posted on: Dec 20, 2020 05:19PM

Posted on: Dec 20, 2020 05:19PM

brittandherboobs wrote:

hey all, just wondering if anybody has experience taking Effexor for depression and anxiety? A happy coincidence for me is that it will apparently also help my hot flashes but that isn’t why it was prescribed. I’m nervous specifically because I’ve never been on an antidepressant... though I probably should have been started on one long ago. Will it make me feel drunk or spaced out or “high”? I’m afraid it could make me emotionless or “flat”...

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Dec 20, 2020 05:43PM cowgirl13 wrote:

Many women on this forum take effexor for depression and it has really helped them. It won't make you feel drunk or spaced out unless you are not taking the correct dose or you should be taking something else. When I first started taking antidepressants it was like I 'got my life back again'. Can't say enough for how they have helped me.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the Devil says: 'Oh crap! She's up! Dx 5/28/2009, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 6/16/2009 Chemotherapy 8/2/2009 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 12/21/2009 Hormonal Therapy 2/22/2010 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Dec 21, 2020 05:20AM salamandra wrote:

There's often an adjustment period to antidepressants. Depending on the drug, for me that's involved things like diarrhea to body aches. The doctor should give you an idea of how long you should give it. Sometimes some people feel flat on certain antidepressants. There's really no way to know for you except to try, and if the first one has intolerable side effects that don't go away, there are many more to be tried. Kind of like the birth control pill.

Dx at 39. 1.8cm. Oncotype 9. Dx 9/19/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/17/2018 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal Hormonal Therapy 11/1/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy 12/2/2018 Whole breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 12/18/2019 Fareston (toremifene)
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Dec 21, 2020 05:49AM alissat wrote:

I was on Effexor before I was diagnosed for anxiety. It definitely got me thru being diagnosed & treatment. Without I would have been a total basket case. I’m not currently taking it, however I can tell you it definitely helped with my anxiety, mood swings, hot flashes & night sweats. Some downsides for me were weight gain, constantly feeling hungry (craved carbs/sweets) & feeling flat. You just have to weigh pros & cons & decide what’s best for you. Best of luck

Dx 5/22/2019, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/27/2019 Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Left): Sentinel; Lymph node removal (Right): Sentinel; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right) Chemotherapy 8/19/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 1/6/2020 Whole breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 2/13/2020 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 8/1/2020 Reconstruction (Left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (Right): DIEP flap Surgery 8/3/2020 Reconstruction (Left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (Right): DIEP flap Surgery 11/1/2020 Reconstruction (Left): Fat grafting; Reconstruction (Right): Fat grafting Surgery 11/9/2020 Reconstruction (Left): Fat grafting; Reconstruction (Right): Fat grafting Surgery Lymph node removal (Left): Sentinel; Lymph node removal (Right): Sentinel; Mastectomy (Left): Nipple Sparing, Skin Sparing; Mastectomy (Right): Nipple Sparing, Skin Sparing; Reconstruction (Left): Tissue Expander; Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander
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Dec 21, 2020 10:58AM laughinggull wrote:

I was also on Effexor during diagnosis and treatment, and it definitely helped me with moods and terrors. I didn't feel emotionally flat at all, and definitely didn't gain weight. I took it for about 10 months, and then weaned off it. It was initially prescribed to me by my oncologist. However, after like 6 months, I had a consultation with a psychiatric oncologist. My take was that, same as you would prefer to talk chemo with the oncologist, and surgery with the surgeon, it made sense to discuss psychiatric medication with a psychiatrist. This was very, very useful. He gave me advice about how and when wean off it, what to expect, etc.

The questions you have are relevant and natural for someone who has never been on antidepressants -that was my case, too. I recommend that you consult with a psychiatrist.

Best,

LaughingGull


ACx4, THPx4, HP (to complete 1y); Nerlynx (1y); AI (expected 10y), Surgery: BMX + ALND, Reconstruction, Oophorectomy. Radiation. Dx 10/26/2017, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 21, 2020 03:09PM nopink2019 wrote:

I tried a couple of older medications for depression several years ago, 1 made me hyper and another crashed my BP. Just gave up on antidepressants (was seeing my GP, not psychiatrist like I should have). After exhibiting depression at an ONC appt, she suggested I try Lexapro. 3rd time's a charm! So try Effexor and keep in contact w/ONC about side effects. Different dose or drug may be warranted, but when you find one that works, it is great. Good Luck.

Chemotherapy 8/23/2019 Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 9/20/2019 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy 11/12/2019 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Targeted Therapy 11/12/2019 Kisqali Hormonal Therapy 5/9/2021 Aromasin (exemestane) Targeted Therapy 5/9/2021 Afinitor (everolimus) Surgery Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph node removal (Left): Sentinel Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxotere) Radiation Therapy Whole breast: Left breast

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