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Author Topic: Effexor XR vs Venlafaxine ER  (Read 532 times)

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Offline CrazyCatLady

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Effexor XR vs Venlafaxine ER
« on: January 01, 2014, 07:48:30 PM »
Hi all. I was prescribed Effexor XR 75mg two months ago due to re-emergence of my GAD. Last week, I picked up my monthly refill from the pharmacy. However, instead of Effexor XR, I was given Venlafaxine ER. I realize that this is simply the generic form of Effexor so I was cool with that. So I've been taking the generic for about 4 days now.

For the past two days, I've noticed a slight increase in my anxiety, physical symptoms (jitteriness, stomach pain, headache), and feelings of hopelessness. Could this be related to taking the Venlafaxine in place of the Effexor? I feel like this is silly because they should have the same active ingredient and should therefore be exactly the same.
But I can't help but wonder because I did some research (which may be proving to be more harmful than beneficial) about the differences between the medications and I stumbled upon a website that had SEVERAL stories of people reporting the same issue as me.

So, do you think that this is my brain tricking me because I read these stories? Or do you think there is truly a difference in these medications?

I plan to call the pharmacy tomorrow to discuss this. But I figured I'd get your thoughts on this. Thanks  ;D
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Offline Abraham2007

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Re: Effexor XR vs Venlafaxine ER
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2014, 08:15:53 PM »
Unfortunately you may not have a say in this.  Your insurance may put you on Venlafaxine, because it's cheaper.  If you plan to be on antidepressant for a long time (and you should be, if you have a history of panic attacks), your insurance would like to cut costs over the long run, with the cheaper priced generic.  Not to mention, Effexor and the other SNRIs, are probably the most expensive antidepressants on the market, often ranging around $300 for monthly prescriptions.

If you've been on Effexor before over several years, and then stopped, often a user will have to take a higher dose to get the same effect as the first time.  This is one of the side effects of start and stop antidepressant usage, which many antidepressant users don't get informed about, when they first stopped their medication.

Since you've currently been on Venlafaxine for only two months, your brain is still adjusting to the medication.   It takes about three months to expect a stable medication dosage.  To counter act the increased anxiety, you should meet with your psychiatrist about possibly upping the Venlafaxine to 100mg.

Aside from that, I don't think the generic makes the medication less potent.  This 'generic vs original' issue has been raised by several posters on Anxiety Zone, and the same response is "No, there is not a big difference between the generic and the original."  Some have even claimed a different color of the same medication could be the result of increased anxiety, but that argument doesn't fare well either.  I take the generic Setraline for Zoloft, and my anxiety disorder is under control.




* Please reference this post for more information on how a second time antidepressant use may loose effectivity, and require greater dosage than before.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18694599
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Quacks prey on us Anxiety Disorder sufferers as part of the Mental Health community, since we can be desperate for healing.  Don't be victimized, instead be EDUCATED about  QUACKERY!!!!! http://www.quackwatch.com/ 

Offline CrazyCatLady

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Re: Effexor XR vs Venlafaxine ER
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2014, 08:22:25 PM »
The confusing part is that until two days ago, the 75mg Effexor has been working perfectly for me. Do you think maybe the same dosage Venlafaxine isn't as strong as the Effexor so I'll need a higher dose of the generic?
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Offline Abraham2007

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Re: Effexor XR vs Venlafaxine ER
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2014, 08:34:38 PM »
The confusing part is that until two days ago, the 75mg Effexor has been working perfectly for me.
Well if you feel safer on the Effexor at 75mg, then possibly you could stay on it, if your insurance allows it, or if you have the extra income (as in over a hundred or so dollars) to spare each month.  As I mentioned, this may not be a decision that you have a whole lot of control over.

Do you think maybe the same dosage Venlafaxine isn't as strong as the Effexor so I'll need a higher dose of the generic?

No.  There is not a difference in dosage strength between Effexor and Velafaxine.  However if you've been googling discussion forums that tell you there is a difference, you may convince yourself otherwise.   I can tell you there a whole lot of other websites that tell you there isn't a difference, but you may not want to visit those sites, if you're still convinced there is.

You should discuss this issue with a trusted, reliant source, which is your psychiatrist.  Possibly, you and your doctor can discuss options such as upping the medication to better handle the increased anxiety, since you're still adjusting after two months.  There maybe a possibility he could write your insurance that you fare better on the Effexor, but that will take a lot of paperwork to get through with your insurance.  Honestly, it's best to not even bother, if the final answer will more than likely be No.
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Quacks prey on us Anxiety Disorder sufferers as part of the Mental Health community, since we can be desperate for healing.  Don't be victimized, instead be EDUCATED about  QUACKERY!!!!! http://www.quackwatch.com/ 

Offline CrazyCatLady

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Re: Effexor XR vs Venlafaxine ER
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2014, 09:07:49 PM »
It's crazy how our brain can work to make us so sure of something!

I agree. It's probably not worth all that hassle just to be able to take the Effexor. I'll call my doctor tomorrow.

Out of curiosity, do you have a medical background?
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Offline Abraham2007

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Re: Effexor XR vs Venlafaxine ER
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2014, 09:26:03 PM »
Out of curiosity, do you have a medical background?

No.  I can tell you that I've experienced the full gamut of Panic Disorder, and tried several attempts at alternative methods to cure my anxiety disorder, until I came to the conclusion that it's best to stay on medication.   The chaotic pain that uncontrolled anxiety causes should motivate all anxiety disorder sufferers to become voracious readers about their health condition, and learn as much as they can about managing it.  The internet, if researched properly, can be a valuable tool for anxiety disorder sufferers to learn about living with this chronic condition.

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Quacks prey on us Anxiety Disorder sufferers as part of the Mental Health community, since we can be desperate for healing.  Don't be victimized, instead be EDUCATED about  QUACKERY!!!!! http://www.quackwatch.com/ 

Offline CrazyCatLady

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Re: Effexor XR vs Venlafaxine ER
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2014, 09:43:44 PM »
I completely agree. Thank you
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Offline xxAmyxx

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Re: Effexor XR vs Venlafaxine ER
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2014, 03:57:41 PM »
I just picked up my generic Effexor from the pharmacy today. I asked for Effexor and not generic, well, the difference in price was HUGE. Effexor was going to be $370, generic $10!! The pharmacist assured me that the active ingredients were exactly the same and have been studied and approved by the FDA. We'll see! I was on Effexor XR years ago so I'll see if the generic works as well, hope it does....
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Offline CrazyCatLady

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Re: Effexor XR vs Venlafaxine ER
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2014, 04:37:39 PM »
I just picked up my generic Effexor from the pharmacy today. I asked for Effexor and not generic, well, the difference in price was HUGE. Effexor was going to be $370, generic $10!! The pharmacist assured me that the active ingredients were exactly the same and have been studied and approved by the FDA. We'll see! I was on Effexor XR years ago so I'll see if the generic works as well, hope it does....

Ditto here. I'm pretty sure it'll work exactly the same.
I'm a little embarrassed to admit, but when I first wrote this thread, I thought I had been given the brand name Effexor for two months because the pills said 'Effexor XR' and I thought they looked exactly like them. Turns out they are indeed the generic and I've been taking them and they work wonderfully!
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Offline Momee

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Re: Effexor XR vs Venlafaxine ER
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2014, 11:47:02 AM »
How are you doing??
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Offline Jlandd

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Re: Effexor XR vs Venlafaxine ER
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2014, 12:22:07 PM »

I'm a little embarrassed to admit, but when I first wrote this thread, I thought I had been given the brand name Effexor for two months because the pills said 'Effexor XR' and I thought they looked exactly like them. Turns out they are indeed the generic and I've been taking them and they work wonderfully!

Don't be embarrassed, that's good news  :  )   If you read up (too much) about it there are some people who swear that they can easily tell the difference between differently sourced same generics when their pharmacy has switched to getting the generic from a different manufacturer.  Any truth to it?  I don't know and I don't care.  Paying that much attention to and letting ones life be run by that detail is a sure bet to continue chasing ones tail forever.   

I'm taking Venlafaxine as well, took it for many years.  It has helped and though I've had to raise the dose this year (which I did with a touch of deflation and cynicism) after several months the benefits are well worth it.   I'm not going to be paying $370 for it after paying for insurance all this time, so it's the $10 kind for me (and I assume everyone else).  And I'm not going to be thinking that I'd be better off if only this if only that.  What a recipe for failure!  :  )  Effexor's not an option so I don't give a second thought to what anyone says about it being more effective than its generic.

Hope you've been doing well since you posted.  How's it going?   :  )

j
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