Last Updated on June 6, 2024 by Dr. Alberto Solà

Efexxor is a drug that is commonly prescribed for depression. It’s one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States; in fact, it’s the forty-fourth most prescribed drug in our nation today, and over 3 million people take it each day. Efexxor is the brand name for this drug and is the name by which it is most commonly known, but its true name is venlafaxine.

Although Efexxor helps millions of people each day deal with major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders, and social anxiety disorder,  it’s also often abused. As with many other prescribed pharmaceuticals, Effexor can become dangerous when used incorrectly or abused. Read on to learn more about the dangers of Effexor and the issues that can arise when it is used in ways that are different from direct.

Understanding Effexor Abuse

Can you abuse Effexor? Unlike many other prescribed pharmaceutical medications, Effexor is not considered to be physically addictive. However, a psychological addiction can arise in some users, and people who use Effexor recreationally can develop physical dependencies that can lead to withdrawal symptoms when use is abruptly stopped.

Most people who abuse Effexor are people to whom the drug has been prescribed. It’s a wonder and help that this drug helps people who struggle with depression and anxiety; it helps people manage these issues quite well. However, some people are so impressed by its effects that they feel that taking more will make them feel even better, and therefore begin taking larger doses than prescribed.

In time, they may find that they need the larger dosage to get the positive effects that they seek, and Effexor abuse just grows from there. It’s unlikely that their doctors will prescribe a larger dose to accommodate these needs, so many people turn to the black market to buy more Effexor to continue to fill their need for more and more of the drug.

Is Effexor Addictive

Again, Effexor is not normally an addictive drug. However, people who abuse Effexor may soon find that they feel dependent on it psychologically, and even physically in time. Signs of Effexor addiction are rather clear; if someone feels that they need to take more and more of the drug to achieve the same effects as they did on less, then they may be struggling with addiction to this drug.

Effexor is designed to help people with depression and anxiety. But, if it is no longer achieving these goals, then it may be time to stop using it – whether you are using it as directed or not. If you feel that this is the case for you, it’s time to talk to your doctor about these issues.

Side Effects of Effexor

Like most drugs that offer positive effects, Effexor comes with a long list of negative side effects. While these side effects are not very common in people who take the drug as directed or are at least manageable for those people, they may become intense or constant for people who are abusing the drug.

People who take Effexor may experience abdominal cramps, may have trouble sleeping, and may experience chills or general fatigue. They may also feel dizzy and nauseous and may even present with flu-like symptoms. Psychologically, people who use Effexor may find that they have memory problems and vivid dreams, and in extreme cases, they may even hallucinate.

Worst of all though, some of the Effexor side effects are the exact symptoms that this drug is used to treat. Some people who use Effexor may feel more depressed than before they took the drug, or may experience anxiety or panic attacks. In extreme cases, they may even have suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

While all of the above side effects of Effexor are possible even in people using the drug as directed, they may be more evident and severe in people who regularly take more than they should. People who abuse Effexor may find that even though the drug seemed to help them immensely at first, that it actually puts them in a worse place than before they began using it – and certainly before they began abusing it.

When someone is using this drug as directed, they will likely talk to their doctor when negative side effects arise. People who abuse Effexor may be less likely to bring these problems up to their doctors, and these side effects will continue to increase until they are unbearable – or worse.

What are the Withdrawal Symptoms of Effexor

People who use Effexor regularly may have a hard time when they stop using it or when they try to taper off of it. Unfortunately, many of the Effexor withdrawal symptoms are similar to some of the negative side effects of the drug. People trying to stop using Effexor may experience tremors, headaches, fatigue, insomnia, and dizziness. They may feel agitated and anxious and may feel symptoms similar to the symptoms of general depression. They may also feel nauseous and may experience vertigo as well.

No one should try to quit Effexor on their own; tapering off of this drug should only occur under a doctor’s supervision. People who stop using Effexor can expect a predictable timeline when quitting or tapering off the drug. For the first one to three days after the last dose, mild withdrawal symptoms may appear, and they’ll peak about four or five days after stopping use. These Effexor withdrawal symptoms will continue for a period, but – don’t worry – there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Withdrawal will fade after about one to three weeks after the last dose and will disappear completely in a few months.

The Effects of Stopping Effexor

The withdrawal symptoms from stopping Effexor can be quite severe and that’s why quitting use of this drug should not be attempted on your own. Not only can the physical symptoms of Effexor withdrawal be rather severe, but the psychological withdrawal effects of Effexor can be extremely dangerous. Since people who take Effexor are often doing so to alleviate depression, Effexor withdrawal symptoms can increase depression, and can even make some people suicidal. The best way to deal with withdrawal from Effexor is to withdraw from the drug under medical supervision.

Effexor Addiction Treatment

There is treatment available for Effexor addiction. First, you need to stop using this drug, and as outlined above, the safest way to do this is under a doctor’s supervision or in a medical setting. At Clear Sky Recovery, we can help you break free from your addiction to Effexor in a safe way. Further, our innovative ibogaine treatment can help you get to the root of your addiction and can help you understand how you became addicted to Effexor in the first place. Effexor and addiction is complicated, but breaking free from it doesn’t have to be. Please give us a call today to learn more about our methods and our facility in Cancun, Mexico. Our experienced staff is standing by to answer your questions and we can’t wait to hear from you.