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"I need to know if anyone has suffered from memory loss and attention problems while on or after starting Effexor XR.   My Pharmacist (who is a close friend of mine) tells me there is no way the two can be related as far as he knows and my doctor tells me the same.   I don't believe it.   In the last four years of being on this med (I think its been that long, I don't remember when I started it) my memory has been going down hill and I'm not over the hill yet I'm only 33!"--nomemory

Do you agree with nomemory?  Can Effexor cause memory problems?  Have you had any issues with memory while using this medication?  Please tell us about your experiences below.


Comments
May 2, 2006 at 7:57 am
(1) Jonathan says:

My memory is going out the window. I am having trouble remembering things from yesterday, granted I haven’t always been the best to remember things. I have noticed that I am forgetting tasks at work, this has never happened. I find myself using an entire pad of sticky notes, and forgetting to complete the notes written.

August 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm
(2) Rob says:

I wanted to get off Effexor Xr because it was effecting my thinking process. I was on 150mg for 5 months and finally decided I couldn’t take it anymore. My doctor recommended I decrease my dosage to 75mg for 1 week and start on Cymbalta. I started to have adverse effects almost immediately and progressing to worse ! The worst of all was losing my memory!!!! The last day was horrific. I was forgeting huge blocks of time, forgeting what I was told. I lost my checkbook because I couldn’t remember where I put it. I couldn’t remember my entire morning. I too have resorted to notes. I lost a water bottle I was drinking from 7 times yesterday. I would recommend you get off it slowly. To avoid these horrible side effects. I have searched the web and have found numerous post of people currently taking and discontinuing Effexor. I think the FDA should take it off the MARKET!!!!!! I did not want to take a SNRI med again. So I went back to my Lexapro. I never had any side effects with it. I plan on getting off the Lexapro too. I need to learn to address the issues that cause my anxiety and depression. I want to
have a healthy mind.

October 6, 2011 at 10:42 am
(3) Patty says:

I to have taken this drug for about 5 months and I would like to get off of it because I’m forgetting things…it is weird!! I had heard the first thing to do is get on regular effexor without the xr and slowly back off the dosage ….it might take a couple of months but I would be fine if this would work. I agree, effexor should be taken off the market……

September 25, 2011 at 5:35 pm
(4) phyllis mary joan says:

I am forgetting, even how to spell like the word “answer” I thought it should be spelled “anser” but I got so confused when I saw what it looked like written down. I get to confused when I am shopping paying for my items, I gave her a twenty she looked at me, and I said just a minute I have to give you my credit card, I can’t find the money I had, when she told me I had already paid her. Lots of things like that is going on <I too want of this medication. I am going back on Paxil, I hope the doctor will agree

May 7, 2006 at 7:42 am
(5) Courtney says:

Hello, yes, I’ve been taking Effexor as well, since last November, and I’ve been having memory problems. Even yesterday I can barely remember. It’s so difficult. But I am also glad that someone else is experiecing this. Usually, I had a good memory but now it has gone down hill.

May 8, 2006 at 9:46 pm
(6) mandi says:

yesssss! i’ve been on it for about 9 months, and the SAME thing is happening to me. i forget things daily, lose things often, and my attention span is like a 3 year old boy. my doctor also told me theyre not connected, but i KNOW they are, which is the main reason i’m coming off the drug now. i wishi would have been informed of all this before i got hooked on the stinking drug.

May 16, 2006 at 5:17 pm
(7) Deb says:

I have been experiencing memory loss for awhie also. I started taking Effexor spring 2005. Before that I had been taking Zoloft, which was not working for my anxiety and depression. I notice about 3-6 months into taking Effexor that my short term memory was playing tricks on me and the more I think about it the more I realize this drug has something to do with that. What should we do now? Does anyone else think we should be contacting the company and find out the truth about this being a side effect???

May 18, 2006 at 10:32 pm
(8) Tammy says:

I have been on Effexor for about 2 years now. It has worked better for me than Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro. The drawbacks for me is the profuse sweating and the memory loss/confusion. I can get the medicine out, take it, and within a few minutes I can’t remember if I ever actually took it. I use one of the daily medicine organizers now. It helps although I can carry the medicine into another room in a napkin and if I don’t take it right then, I have been known to throw the medicine(in the napkin) into the trash. Memory disturbances and profuse sweating are the worst on Effexor, but it has been the best to control anxiety/depression for me. So for right now, I am just dealing with the side effects.

June 14, 2011 at 9:28 am
(9) Jackie says:

You sound just like me…reading your response has made me think I wrote this post myself. It’s been a while…have you continues to take Effexor?

May 23, 2006 at 5:08 am
(10) Kim says:

I have taken Effexor XR for quite a few years; the exact number of years I cannot remember. Every time I have complained about the memory loss; the inability to concentrate; and the instances of not being able to remember how to complete tasks at home and at work (that I have done hundreds of times), my doctor tells me the depression is to blame. I don’t know what to believe. I take three different medications for depression; have completed intensive therapy; I do not feel depressed; and I do not exhibit any other symptoms of depression. I know the Effexor has killed my energy level and the higher the doses I take, the less energy I have. This is another way I do not feel like my “old self.” Before taking any antidepressants, I was like the Energizer Bunny. I could go and go and go. The doctor’s “fix” was to add another antidepressant, Wellbutrin, to try to counter act the anti energy effect of the Effexor. I suffer from fibromyalgia which can mess with a person’s thought process, and I am going through “the change” which can also cause memory loss and confusion. I do know the fibromyalgia, the extreme hot flashes and profuse sweating, and the switch from Paxil to Effexor all happened at about the same time. The posts on this subject now have me wondering how much of what I experience is because of the Effexor. A few months ago I saw an attorney’s commercial about Effexor. I can’t remember the attorney’s name, but I do remember the commercial saying something about people who take Effexor should contact that attorney. I wasn’t paying much attention until I heard the voiceover say Effexor, and I’ve only seen the commercial once so I haven’t been able to write any of the info down. Maybe the memory loss and confusion has something to do with the attorney’s commercial.

May 24, 2006 at 2:25 pm
(11) Heather says:

I have only been on Effexor Xr for about 2 months and have been experiencing the same symptoms. I know I dont have the greatest memory in the world but have noticed a significant decrease since I have been on this medication. I can’t remember words I want to say when I am conversating and when doing tasks or about to do tasks I often have to stop and think about what I am doing or what I was about to do because I dont remember. I would also like to say that this medication has greatly helped with my depression. So much better then Paxil or Prozac. But I am also concerned about when I will have to stop taking it. I recently went away for a weekend and forgot to take the medicine for a few days. That Monday afternoon I was crying non-stop about everything. And then, later that evening I was contemplating suicide when for the time I have been on this medicine I had been doing great and was generally ALL the time up-beat. So, that was kind of scarey. I have remembered every day since to take it and am scared to forget to take it.

May 28, 2006 at 12:04 am
(12) Serena says:

Thank you all so much for leaving your comments. I have been on Effexor XR for a number of years and have always made excuses for my memory loss, but of late the memory loss is more severe than ever before. I too have been thinking it is from the Effexor. Sometimes the things I forget are so out of character that I am stunned by the reality.
I have been in psychotherapy 2xs a week for over a year to get to the bottom of why I was depressed. We are at the point now of looking at decreasing the medication with the cooperation of the psychiatrist overseeing the process.
To those of you thinking of going of anti-depressants either cold turkey or outside of therapy, take it from my past mistakes at doing such a thing — it became a worse depression than ever because I hadn’t dealt with the deep underlying issues that caused me to be depressed.
Thanks again for your comments.

May 28, 2006 at 4:53 pm
(13) Paul says:

I have taken Effexor for several years and until recently it completely eliminated the depression. However, recently, the memory lapses and the attention deficiency has become a great concern to me. I have an extremely successful, though high-pressure, career that I have begun to feel could be threatened if I don’t resolve this problem. I’ve given up the medication a few times with disastrous results, but I sure wish I could find a happy medium. Were it not for the effect of my symptoms on my family, I would almost prefer the depression to the side effects.

What puzzles me is that I took Effexor for years without this side effect.

May 29, 2006 at 10:05 am
(14) Aaron says:

i came across this posting with a search for ‘effexor memory’ because i wanted to see if others have had the short term memory problems i have been coping with. i’m curious to know what dosages you folks are taking to see if there is a correlation. i’m currently taking 225mg of XR. it has really been a tremendous drug in terms of my depression so i would be hesitant to switch to something else, but man is the memory issue frustrating.

June 5, 2006 at 5:23 pm
(15) kathi says:

I have been on effexor for 4 months. My memory loss is getting worse by the week. I have trouble thinking and concentrating. When in conversations with others I often can’t think of the right words. I used to be an energizer bunny as well but know find myself tired and my mind dull. I noticed after 2 weeks how stupid I seemed and now its worse. I can’t remember what I am sopposed to be doing and look blankly into air all the time.

June 6, 2006 at 6:44 pm
(16) karen tabor says:

yes I have been on the med for about 2 years, and my memory is really getting bad and I wondered if it might be the effexor

June 6, 2006 at 6:45 pm
(17) Pam Grimes says:

I am 56 and just joked that I have early-onset Alzheimer’s. But I found a website that has a petition on it of people complaining about the withdrawal symptoms, and I saw that others have had memory loss and fogginess, as well. It’s http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?effexor&1

I told my doctor that I couldn’t understand because I used to make straight A’s in HS and college and now I feel lucky to be able to figure out things that would have been simple before.

June 20, 2011 at 11:19 pm
(18) Valarie Moorhead says:

I am 53, took this drug 12 years ago for panic attacks. I was on it for about 5 years. I began to notice memory changes soon afterward and it has not gotten any better. I was forgetting all the time and had a very hard time trying to remember something if I needed too, the harder I tried to remember, the worst my brain felt, like it was going to start “seizing” if I did’nt stop. I too feel and am afraid I’m getting Alz for my memory has truly scared me, and I know it has something to do with this drug. I read somewhere that the way the drug works,it blocks the ability of the brain to process the negitive behaviors we are taking it for, hence the memory loss, trouble is it may be permanate.

June 6, 2006 at 9:58 pm
(19) Michael says:

This is very scary for me. I am 26 and experiencing almost every side-effect! i can barely make a sentence without forgetting the point of it.I am on 75mg of xr a day.Whats even worse is that i am going threw this and my mom just got put on the medication this week and she is already experiencing memory and energy problems> I am paralized w/fear!!

June 9, 2006 at 10:09 pm
(20) leslie says:

absolutely!! I took
effexor XR for several years; 350mg daily dose-have lost complete chunks of memory. Along with serious sweating and elevated blood pressure. Finally made the switch to Cymbalta 60 mg dose. Memory is better, sweating much less and blood pressure normal.
It seems to have the same effect but without side effects of
Effexor.

June 11, 2006 at 2:11 pm
(21) justme107 says:

ive been on effexor about 2 months and am forgetting things like to take my keys, and i keep forgetting doctor’s appointments etc. Ive always been excellent at remembering these kinds of things. I think my memory is mush

June 17, 2006 at 8:32 pm
(22) Ana Bettencourt says:

I have been on 300 mg effexor for about 3 years now. I have noticed that my memory has gone to the dogs. I can’t remember simple recipes that I knew at the top of my head and have trouble putting things together. I have gained a lot of weight since on this drug (I was a small person once). I am now trying to get off this med (replacing with wellbutrin) but the withdrawls are hell. I have been on other antidepressants in the past but the withdrawls were never like this. I am constantly crying, my mind is racing, I have vertigo, I hear swooshing noices in my head when I turn my head or move my eyes, I could go on and on but this could take all day. I don’t know what is in this stuff but I want off really badly…..the way I am feeling right now with these withdrawls though, I don’t know if I can. Would not recommend this to anyone.

June 18, 2006 at 12:43 pm
(23) Phyllis says:

Reading everyone else’s comments have really helped me to undrestand where my memory loss problem has come from. I was on effexor xr for maybe six months a couple of years ago, and started having memory problems. I went off the medication and just recently decided to try it again, but now I definitely will not be trying it again. I don’t believe the memory loss is temporary, as I’ve been off the medicine two years and I am still having major problems with memory loss over simple things. I also experienced consistent headaches, disconnected feeling, and vision problems.

October 2, 2011 at 10:22 pm
(24) Julien Pell says:

Phyllis – I have the same exact symptoms as you. I stopped 3 1/2 weeks ago, and am not feeling much relief yet. How long did it take before you started to feel better? Could really use some reassurance that I’m on a path..

June 19, 2006 at 1:42 am
(25) Chris says:

I have been on effexor for almost 1 year and I have experienced a lot of memory loss to the point it is interfering with my job and family. My doctor also told me that there has been no evidence to say they are related but after reading all these comments I believe they are.

June 19, 2006 at 4:52 am
(26) nick says:

I took a large range of anti-depressants, for varying periods of time, including Effexor, which is one of the ones I took for a longer period. And I certainly have had memory problems since the depression started.

But I am not at all sure it is due to the meds, and not somehow the result of a whole range of processors going on in the brain – i.e., a symptom of the depression and its aftermath, rather than of the treatment.

In any case, I would bet that while you will find lots of reports of memory problems by people on Effexor, you would also find such reports from people on other anti-depressants – so switching from Effexor would not seem to be the answer.

June 23, 2006 at 6:43 pm
(27) Pamela says:

Yes- I too have had what seems like memory loss– but may be the ability “to let go” a bit more instead of trying to be responsible for remembering a gazzillion more items that one really needs to. I take a very small does of Effexor, and have noticed this with other medications as well.

June 25, 2006 at 5:31 pm
(28) Philippa says:

I had a more or less photographic memory before I started this medication. For a long time I thought that the memory loss and concentration problems were the result of the depression and anxiety (as the expensive psychiatrist told me!). The reasons for both are gone and they themselves are much better, which makes the memory loss and lack of concentration much more noticeable. I’ve had to stop work because of them. I am now certain they are caused by the drugs. Thanks to everyone for responding to this post – why are all of the doctors so resistant to the idea that the drugs may be causing the problem?

October 23, 2011 at 9:01 am
(29) Vanna says:

Now I know why I have been experiencing memory loss. It is because of effexor even though the doctors claim the drug has nothing to do with me forgetting things all the time. I have been taking it for 1year and a half now and I have no panic attacks,no depression. From what I have read about going off the drug I am really scared. I think the doctors do not know anything , I have always been very cautious about doctors. We know better our body and can judge what causes what. Any comments on it?

July 2, 2006 at 5:41 pm
(30) Karen says:

I am in the long, nasty process of withdrawing from Effexor after about three years of up to 300 mg. Now at 75 mg, I have been gleefully remembering things that I would not have remembered when on my full dose. Like others commenting here, when I complained to my shrink that my memory and concentration impairment were amounting to an intellectual disability affecting my work and other functioning, he told me it was the depression, not the Effexor. Interestingly, I wasn’t feeling depressed. Now that the haze is clearing, I strongly suspect he was wrong.

July 12, 2006 at 9:21 pm
(31) Lisa says:

Reading everyone’s comments makes me feel both relieved and scared. It is clear that there is a connection between memory loss and Effexor. I have to say that I have done great being on the drug with the exception of memory loss. It is feaking me out. I’m forgetting so many things at work that I normally would not have forgotten in the past. I guess my big question is…once you get off Effexor, does the memory come back or get better?

January 18, 2011 at 9:27 am
(32) Connie says:

My memory has not returned. It drives me crazy. I can’t even remember what I did on the holidays. It is really bad. Was hoping over time it would get better but it has been like 5 years and is not better.

September 10, 2011 at 1:01 am
(33) Andrew says:

I have been off effexor for roughly 3 years with no sign of my memory or mental acuity coming back. It’s very upsetting. I would never recommend anyone take this drug. The side effects are not worth the benefits.

July 21, 2006 at 12:25 am
(34) jessica Lee says:

Thank the Universe for the internet!!! I was beginning to think I was crazy! This Effexor has damaged my memory as well. It stopped the racing thoughts and ruined my memory! I’d rather race.
Thanks to everyone who posted here. My dose was only 37.5mg a day, A non-theraputic dose according to the doctor. Thanks again,

July 23, 2006 at 11:31 am
(35) jessica Lee says:

I’ve been doing some research concerning the side
effects of effexor xr: memory loss. The good news, because there’s always good news, is that it may NOT be memory loss but rather CONFUSION CAUSED BY LOW SODIUM LEVELS IN THE BLOOD!!!
My next step is to tell the Dr. to order a blood test to check the sodium level in my blood. I’ll let you know what happens. After checking the side effects listed by the manufacturer (low sodium levels and confusion are just two of the side effects) and looking up the medical definition of “confusion”,
it makes sense to me to have the sodium level checked. I am determined to get off this drug and get my normal OCD-self back! Ain’t no drug out there gonna get the best of me! Don’t let it get the best of you either. Jessica

August 4, 2006 at 3:35 pm
(36) Barbara says:

Gosh, that’s how I found this site. I feel like a moron…I have/had a successful career, but since starting Effexor, my memory has really caused my problems. I have taken many other meds, but this has never happened. I am only taking 75mg…was taking 150, but had too much anxiety. I have been taking it for nearly a year. I thought maybe it was just aging, but I”m only 36. I don;t like feeling like this! Please repost about the sodium!

August 12, 2006 at 5:39 am
(37) j. says:

My memory, concentration, etc is also much worse than it used to be. 300mg/day for maybe 3 (or 4?) years – less than the first year was spent ramping up to the full dose. While we wait on the sodium results, here’s another thought:

Our brains are constantly sorting through all the information that comes in and deciding what to discard and what should go to your memory. There is an anti-anxiety part of Effexor that helps us all care a little less about everything (for better or worse). What if this effect extends to that mental sorting process? As the mind sorts the information, it disregards much more of it than it used to which leaves much less to be stored in memory. This would explain why others on anti-anxiety meds would see the same thing, but it doesn’t quite explain why the effects would last after going off the drug. Unless…

Argh – my mind’s starting to race – must be time to go to bed :\

Anyone else have have muscle twitching in their neck? But not actually twitching – it’s more like what happens if you have something stuck in your throat, and you’re trying to unstick it. Only I don’t have control of the muscle contractions like I would if there was actually something stuck there (which, of course, there isn’t).

Good luck to all, and happy dreams :)

August 29, 2006 at 9:24 am
(38) Mark M. says:

My mother was on Effexor XR for who-knows-how-long. Years. Her memory and ability to process thoughts is severely impaired. She often gets hung up thinking of words to say mid-sentence. And she seems incapable of learning new things.

For example, she likes watching movies on the VCR. She can’t remember how to turn on the TV, how to play a tape. She asks me for help. So I patiently show her what to do. The next night, she’s back to square one, not remembering how to do it. Actually, often I’ll after showing her how to turn on the TV (a one button exercise) and wait 5 minutes, she won’t remember how to do it. Pretty scary stuff.

Anyway, with the assistance of a doc, she tapered off Effexor, and hasn’t been on it for about 2-3 months. In some regard her cognitive skills are improving, and in fact her interest in life is improving (so much for effexor being effective), but her memory is still not, and her cognitive skills still have a long way to go.

My questions are these: Does anyone have experience with how long it will take to regain what she’s lost, and what can we do to help it along?

The situation is pretty desperate. She’s fairly unanble to take care of herself. Also, since coming off Effexor, she has at least gained the self-awareness to notice that she must ask how to use the VCR everyday (just one example of what she’s having problems doing in life), which makes her feel stupid, and scares her

Also, in the thread, Chris said “My doctor also told me that there has been no evidence to say (Effexor and memory loss) are related.” Aside from these posts and simlar posts on the internet, I’d ask the doctor, “what evidence do you have that they are not related?”

August 29, 2006 at 9:27 am
(39) Mark M. says:

Also, you all may want to read the book America Fooled. Here’s a link…
http://www.americafooled.com/

September 19, 2006 at 2:03 pm
(40) Daniel says:

On effexor two years for cyclothymia. Worked like magic from day 1. Bad withdrawal headaches if I even miss a few hours taking medication. Memory issues started in first month. First visual imagery (minds eye, imagination) shut down. For example I was unable to visualize a face and have the name pop up. This effectively restricted the way I access my one-time encyclopaedic memory which was effectively indexed visually. (Subnote- this is probably why effexor is rated the highest antidepressant for causing sexual dysfunction because without the imagery/fantasy it’s just friction.)
Short term memory slowly deteriorated over the last two years to the point it is affecting my work and family. I was seriously thinking alzheimers till I read this page. Thanks

October 7, 2006 at 5:25 pm
(41) Patricia says:

I’m sure there’s a connection. I am making uncharacteriscally stupid mistakes at work over and over and can’t stay on top of tracking thinga. I’ve taken Zoloft, Serzone and Wellbutrin before and never had this problem, only stopped the Zoloft and Serzone because they lost effectiveness at treating my symptoms after taking them for a long time. Effexor XR was added to my Rx for Welbutrin, so it’s not from coming off Wellbutrin – has to be the Effexor. I’ve been wondering if it isn’t some kind of drug interaction between the two. It’s a relief to find out that I’m not the only person experiencing these symptoms. I can’t continue to take this drug – I’m going to lose my job if I do.

October 11, 2006 at 5:33 pm
(42) Charlotte E says:

Thank you all for making me feel normal again!

The other day I was talking to one person when it was, in fact, another person…but I didnt realise until it was pointed out.

When i write my letters are all over the place. sometimes i cannot spell simple words. I forget to go to work and University. I forget yesterday, the day before, my childhood. This is madness.

I need to get off it.

I’m reporting it to the Pharmacist. We must all do it!

October 11, 2006 at 11:26 pm
(43) carrie says:

Im So Glad I Came Accross this important info about EFFEXOR XR. I’VE been taking 300mg for 3yrs. I’ve Had Forgetfullness Eversince! I Too Asked My Docter If It Was Aside Affect, And He Too Blamed It On Depression.well I Believe Its The Drug Thats Responceable For My Forgetfullness And Thanx Too This Website I Realy No For Sure That Its Not All Phsycologicle.

October 27, 2006 at 7:44 pm
(44) monique says:

I’ve been taking Effexor for about 6 years and have noticed a gradual but significant decline in my ability to learn and remember, and not age related. Long term memory is fine, but since returning to university full-time I’ve had nothing but low marks and frustrated instructors who can’t understand why I performed so fabulously in my undergrad but fail so miserably in my graduate studies. I’ve found interesting data to support the fact that serotonin directly affects the hippocampus (where many memories are stored) along with areas of the brain involved in thinking and personality. However, no one REALLY knows for sure the effects of these anti-depressants because they influence SO many areas of the brain and because the research isn’t easy. The only thing we can do is try to use non-medicinal strategies to cope as best as we can and use as little medication as possible. AND, let’s pray that someone doesn’t discover that those who take effexor or similar meds. are more likely to have dementia in their old age!

November 5, 2006 at 12:44 pm
(45) Julia says:

hey everybody, after reading all this I realise that my memory problem and the difficulty i have to learn new things (im taking the Bar exam right now and its really a big problem)is definitly due to Effexor. i was on effexor and wellbutrin for about 1 year in 2001, i havent taken any medication since! and yet i still have a hard time remembering trivial things! i need to get my memory and concentration level up and running again a.s.a.p. so that i can complete my studies, what should i do?? any suggestions?

November 22, 2006 at 6:49 pm
(46) Jo says:

Hi all – I am 69 and have been on Effexor for about 6 months. Lately I am starting to forget what I was going to say – if that makes any sense. I am glad I have read this site and will now look into going off Effexor. I was very worried it could have been alzeimers.

Jo

Jo

November 26, 2006 at 5:04 pm
(47) Julia says:

I did suspect it was the effexor but this just confirms it! As my dose has increased so has the confusion and memory loss. Surfing the web has to be one of the most frustrating things as no sooner than i’ve thought of somthing I want to look at, i’ve forgotton it again and just end up staring at the google homepage wondering what to type! Also I was doing an online memory card game with my 2 year old son. He whizzed through it while I was still trying to get the cogs to start turning! On the plus side I have realised that I have actually forgotton to worry about things i normally would have. So it’s not all bad, as frustrating as it is! Another embarrasing problem is paying for stuff in shops using coins. I just can’t seem to get my head around counting them out so they add up to the right amount. Now I either use notes or stick to plastic!

December 4, 2006 at 12:37 pm
(48) man dee says:

I am sorry to see these messages. It’s permanent. I’m sorry that it was my choice to use effexor many years ago. Vision and memory probs.

December 10, 2006 at 10:56 pm
(49) Elise says:

In reading all these comments, I am glad to know I have a great doctor. He DID tell me that Effexor could be the reason I can’t remember things. The problem is, I need the Effexor, it works for me, but at what cost? My 91 year old grandmother and I are on the same level when it comes to remembering names and what happened yesterday.

December 12, 2006 at 6:47 pm
(50) Elizabeth says:

Geez, I’ve been on Effexor for a few years now – and even though it has helped my anxiety (started when my son went in the Marines) I seem to forget ALOT. At first I thought maybe it was due to the stress – but I’m so forgetful now – I realize there is a problem. Memory problems are showing up in every aspect of my life. I feel like the gal that was going to stay home and pay her bills and wound up starting a dozen different projects, never finishing one – and never got around to doing the bills either. I need a ‘to do’ list in just about everything I do now – mostly at work. I’ve always pride myself on the responsibilites I had at work and how others could count on me for the answers – well it’s mighty scarey for me when someone calls – and I can’t remember where I placed invoices, payroll forms, tracking schedules. Glad to find this blog – thought I was going crazy. I’ll see the Dr. the beginning of the year to get off this med. Just hope it’s not too late – and the effects are not permanent.

December 20, 2006 at 4:21 pm
(51) Mark M says:

I’ve found a lot of people who are experiencing this problem, but few who know if it’s permanent, how long it lasts after discontinuation of drug, and how to help bring the memory up to normal levels…

Does anybody here have info along those lines?

December 30, 2006 at 12:35 pm
(52) Becky S says:

I have been on Effexor XR for about 3 years now – 225 mg at the highest dose. My memory and attention got so bad that my dr. put me on Strattera, which didn’t help. I am now taking Ritalin 20 mg and am weaning myself off Effexor without my dr’s knowledge. I divide a 150 mg capsule into three parts, so I’m averaging 50 mg/day (not bothering to measure). I feel more alive than I have in a long time – I think my memory is a bit better, but I still forget stuff that should stick with me better. I’ve warned people not to let their drs put them on this drug! There’s other meds that will help with depression and anxiety, without all the problems later on.

December 31, 2006 at 9:51 am
(53) BG says:

thank you thank you thank you…I am a pharmacy tech and have been on effexor xr 75 for about 2 yrs, the other day my husband finally broke down and told me i’v become a ditz since being on this and he wanted me to see if it was the med…same results, i did research at work and talked to rph and md and all said probably age(30) or night shift work, but now i know for sure my husband is right, im scared to go off it because it works so well, but i have 2 kids who need me to be on the ball..paxil made me gain weight like carzy so im nervous about other meds, ive finally lost the weight and dont want it back…i think ill contact the mfr of it,too and let them know this is a real problem.again thank you for making me feel a little less nuts!

January 9, 2007 at 6:00 pm
(54) Haley says:

Thanks for posting your stories…I have been taking 75mg/day of Effexor XR for one year and just in the past three months have noticed that my memory is gone, one day to the next. Once I’m reminded it comes back to me but it has been affecting both my family and my work. Please tell your doctors and pharmacists. This is serious! Anyone recover after stopping the med? I stopped taking it for about four days over vacation and starting feeling really agitated and bummed out. How has anyone done withdrawing from this?

January 19, 2007 at 9:31 pm
(55) SharBear says:

Yes! I too have been suffering memory loss. It is when I typed in “Effexor Memory Loss” that I found this site!

I will soon be weaning off this medication and I am anxious to see if my memory improves.

January 18, 2011 at 9:21 am
(56) Connie says:

I am really sorry to tell you this. I was on this bad medicine for a few years for depression. There were days I could not even remember if I dropped my daughter off at daycare. The withdrawals getting off of this medicine and the effects of getting of the medicine is absolutely horrible. It has been 5 years and I still have memory problems. They do not go away. They should take this med off the market.

October 18, 2011 at 3:44 pm
(57) Ms Dx says:

Connie, I believe every word you wrote abt EffexorXR. It needs to be taken off the market & NOW!
I only took 1 EffexorXR pill & had a Near Death Experience! I was not that depressed but had considerable stress but the EffexorXR changed my life BAD! I had severe central nervous system burning Inside from my soles to my ears from a reaction to it. My husband told me he thinks it gave me brain damage bc I have not been the same since. I’ve been tested since-5yrs ago-for many neurological dissorders as well as MS but it all still goes back to that day I took my 1st & ONLY EffexorXR pill!

February 23, 2007 at 12:07 pm
(58) Amy says:

I’ve been on Effexor for about 8 months. It has alleviated my anxiety symptoms completely, which I love! However, now I have trouble paying bills on time, remembering to buy groceries/supplies for the house (even remembering to write down what I need), and most importantly, remembering where I put things! I’m so afraid of the anxiety returning that I don’t want to go off of Effexor, but maybe a lower dose would help?

March 4, 2007 at 4:29 pm
(59) collleen says:

Ohhhhh, another frantic soul who typed ‘effexor-memory loss’ into google. Of course it has to be these drugs, we get nothing for free in this life and it seems we have to make a bargain with the devil when it comes to anti depressents. I too do not suffer from depression as such any more but like many others of you have a really responsible job and kids and I am a single parent. Heck I want to play at super mum and I give it the best shot, believe, but I am becomming an embarrasment to myself. I keep buying DVD’s that my kids tell me we already have, i watch a film and see it brand new and then am told we went to the cinema to see it last year. People tell me really personal and profound information and I forget what it was almost straight away, there is a limit to how many times you can ask someone to remind you about something you were honoured to be told in the first place. So many people think its elective forgetfulness, this is so frustrating because it drives me to distraction. I go to meetings and have to give reports, the amount of times I say ‘I cant remember the name/ the amount of money/the place etc I feel like a numbskull. Even reading through these comments I have to reel myself back into focusing on what i am reading and why. I so relate to the person that says they type in google then cant remember what important thing they were going to look for! I also find a differnt manifestation of OCD in that because I cant remember things and it drives me bonkers I spend hours going through the alphabet to remember names etc. Bonkers before, bonkers now but in a different way! But would I trade it in and have the depression back…. nope.

March 5, 2007 at 11:53 am
(60) Nita Ann says:

I am going thru a very ruff time. I thought I was having a stroke. My doctor started weaning me off of Cymbalta and onto Effexor Xr. I lost my memeory, scared my adult children to death, they finnally hauled me off to the hospital. The nurse at the counter kept asking if I needed a wheel chair. I was confused, weak, had periods of shortness of breath, periods of heart palptations, dizzy to the maximum, the room was not spinning it was me, and is still a periodical event.
The hospital hooked me up for an EKG, CT scan of my head, xrays of my chest, tons of blood work and an extra vile just incase they needed it laying on the counter, started an IV, they were all hopping around like I was dying. Thankfully “all” my test came back normal, just great, the doc said. Right now I am shaking so bad I can’t concentrate. They only thing they can tell me is drug withdrawl from the Cymbalta to the Effexor and a drug reaction to the Effoexor. This will last 7 to 14 days. It debilitated me. I couldn’t work drive or function normally. I still have up to 7 days to go. I had to return to work to be able to pay for the doctor bills and the rent.
Memory loss! I couldn’t remember my childrens names, and at times had to look twice to see for sure if it was my child. Thank you for the info from all of you. I sometimes feel like people think I’m making things up. Thank you.

October 18, 2011 at 8:41 pm
(61) Ms Dx says:

Hi Nita Ann, So glad I found your post bc it proves I am not the ONLY one with a supposedly RARE reaction to EffexorXR or a BAD combination of medicines that are dangerous to mix! It is an absolute HORRIBLE experience! I see you posted in 2007 & I just found this site so I have no idea if you will ever see my post..I really hope so bc I’d like to know how you are doing now? Did it leave you with residual effects/symptoms as it has me? My husband said whatever they called it left me with brain damages, seizure ‘Like’ activity-sensory problems etc. I am looking for anyone who can identify with taking EffexorXR-who had a reaction after taking only 1 EffexorXR pill as I did. Surely I am not alone in this? I also want to alert EVERYONE to the MANY dangers I have found abt MANY anti-depressants! Go to an Attorney’s website IF you want the truth abt drugs bc you will NEVER find it in ANY drug companies info! Attys have researched BAD medicines so is the BEST place to find info! No, I do not have a awsuit or not affiliated to ny attorneys-I am sick still & alarmed at the amount of residual problems of MOST antidepressants! Hope you are well & will comment back.

March 6, 2007 at 1:27 am
(62) PangaeanBear says:

I took Effexor XR (300 mg daily) from beginning of 2002 until approximately September of 2004 for severe anxiety AND NOT depression. Effexor seemed to work great for the anxiety unless one factors in the severe jaw clenching resulting in 3 broken molars. There were many other issues but the ability to deal with social activities and less crippling panic attacks seemed to outweigh those side effects. That was until I had an “incident” and suffered from a complete blackout. That was in April of 2003 and the blackout and other issues that soon became evident were blamed on everything else but Effexor. I thought I had been slipped the date rape drug GHB. People seemed to be able to believe that as more probable than a sudden reaction to Effexor but my memory had gotten so bad that I, like others I’ve now read about, couldn’t function without a notepad in my hand to remind me what I was doing at any given time along with extensive use of email “drafts” and calendar items. Regardless, I came across similar complaints at RXList and decided to wean off of Effexor at the end of summer 2004 ( I had lost medical coverage so this was unsupervised and not recommended!). THAT is when the deep depression started, and remained for almost 2 years! I took nothing other than Xanax occasionally and just bit the bullet. I returned to my reclusive, but safe life, and within months I noticed my short term memory returning slowly. The depression was terrible and I was suicidal (without action) for much of that subsequent 2 year period and felt trapped. Through web research, I started on mega doses of concentrated fish oil, and for about a year, 5-HTP. I don’t know if 5-HTP helped but it certainly didn’t hurt. I have no doubt that the concentrated fish oils (Omega 3) saved my life. It wasn’t until after about a year of being off of Effexor that I realized that I had lost great big gobs of long term memory as well as that started to come back though the time I was on Effexor is still a fog. I still take lots of supplements but again, I attribute my recovered memory and escape from terrible depression to the fish oils and I will never stop those. I’m still a terribly anxious individual and socially phobic but I’ve decided that I’d rather live with those issues than to loose my memory again. Being technical minded in nature, the loss of my memory and focus were detrimental to my career and I’ve yet to recover from that loss. I stressed the lack of depression in the beginning of this reply to make it known that obviously, depression isn’t the only thing that contributes to memory loss since I wasn’t a depressed individual until I went through Effexor withdrawal. Maybe it is just my browser but why does this string seem to start May 2, 2006? The original post ID is #7358 posted June 14th, 2003. Maybe if others are only seeing posts from May 2nd 2006 through today, they should hit:
{http://forums.about.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?msg=7358.1&nav=messages&webtag=ab-depression&redirCnt=1} drop the proceeding and ending brackets! Good luck to all with your lost memory!

January 18, 2011 at 9:51 am
(63) Connie says:

I read your post and am trying to figure out how to get my memory back from this horrid medication. What is 5htp? I have never heard of it and at this point am willing to try anything.

March 14, 2007 at 2:54 pm
(64) Karen says:

I was on effexor for aproximately 6 months and eventually weaned myself off of them. I started at 75 and went to 150. I had severe memory loss, I would have conversations and not remember what I myself said, which of course really messed up friendships & work, I would get in the car and not remember where I was going etc. I tried to stop taking it cold turkey but that was a mistake as the electric shock sensation in my head was unbearable. I took the 75 and reduced the meds in the capsule to be aproximately 25 or less. I did this for about 2 weeks and kept reducing the amount in the capsules. This was the only way for me to get off this medication without too much damage. Too bad my Dr. did not warn me about all the side effects, I think they should take it off the market, or they should change the name to soul stealer because I really did not care one bit what happend to me or anyone else around me when I was fully on it. This is a dangerous drug.

April 4, 2007 at 9:59 am
(65) Amy says:

I took Effexor several years ago and it affected my memory terribly! If someone asked me what I had done 5 min. before hand, I could remember. Even though it’s been several years ago since I took it (I’m on Wellbutrin now) I still have memory loss and it’s not gotten any better. It has affected my ability to do my work and I’m only 36! I got on the internet today just to look for information regarding this issue!

April 4, 2007 at 10:02 am
(66) Amy says:

CORRECTION FROM MY LAST STATEMENT: I meant to say I COULDN’T remember 5 mins. before hand!

April 4, 2007 at 4:26 pm
(67) Jeff says:

I’ve been taking 300mg a day for 7 years and 150mg a day for 2 years before that. I lived a full year with extremely painful depression before realizing I could get chemical help.Counseling for emotional trauma simply was not enough for me.During my depressed year I was in a constant stupor,exhausted,and could not remember things short term. After a year of this a doctor put me on Welbuteran which gave no change. Then we tried Effexor XR, gradually increasing to 150mg a day after 4 months.I began feeling myself again except for being tired a lot and having poor memory. .After taking 150mg a day for a full year my energy and memory returned.For me depression wreeked havoc on my mind and body which took time to return to normal. I was feeling so normal that I stopped taking effexor and relapsed into depression for 3 month’s. I had to go on 300mg a day to return to a good state again and I’ve fine ever since Every body is different. There may be thousands on effexor who have no memory problems.Metabolism is so different in people.Hang in there and go easy.

April 13, 2007 at 1:30 pm
(68) Emily K says:

I am 19 years old and have been taking Effexor XR for 7 years. I was on 35.7 mg a very low dosage until this year. I also take 400mg of Lamictal a day for Bipolar disorder. however this year I increased my Effexor dosage to 75mg a day because i experienced a family crisis. I had extreme symptoms when i first increased my dosage. I did not eat for two whole weeks and had insomnia for 3 months. Nothing could put me to sleep. which stopped when I had an anaphalitic reaction to antibiotics and then a very bad flu with in a week of each other.
since my increase in Effexor I’ve noticed how out of it I have been. Frequently I forget something I’m saying in the middle of a sentence. If I don’t write something down I will not remember it. I cannot remember names and frequently confuse people. It is getting embaressing.
Everyone keeps telling me I have ADD because I can’t focus on anythin.
I feel like I am living in my own world. My friends continually comment on how I’m such a space cadet. One of my friends parents even asked if I have taken lots of drugs and that is why I’m so spacey.
It is deffinatly affecting my academic life as well. I have difficulty remembering anything I read or discuss in class, and it has made it very difficult to write papers and take tests.
I also have difficulty remembering the right words. I previously had an extensive vocabulary and now I find myself using simple words over and over again because I just can not remember more complicated words.
I had a severe concussion a year ago and thought maybe this was due that, but then I realized that I had recovered from that probably 6 to 8 months ago. and that this memory loss and confusion has been a recent development.

I am relieved that I am not the only person experiencing these symptoms!!
I will deffinately be contacting my psychiatrist ASAP

April 14, 2007 at 12:11 am
(69) Megan says:

I had been taking Zoloft since 8th grade when I attempted suicide my junior year of high school (2003). I was then switched to Effexor, and immediately I went from an A and B student to a C student, then I got my first F my senior year, and then I failed completely out of college. My memory has gotten worse and worse, and I stopped taking Effexor when I found out I was pregnant in September of 06. My memory seems to have continued its decline…I have problems thinking of the words I want to use, I hugged my brother the other day then hugged him again because I forgot I had just hugged him. It’s inconvenient and embarrassing and has had a severe impact on my life in the most negative way possible. If anyone hears of a lawsuit against Effexor for this, please let me know!

April 15, 2007 at 7:51 pm
(70) Lisa says:

I have permanent memory loss from this medication. I took it for approximately two years. When I went off of it, I was like an Alzheimer’s patient. Now I have memory problems that are fairly severe. If I didn’t know someone before I started taking the medication, I probably won’t remember them unless I see them on a regular basis (at least weekly). I just had ankle surgery and bus drivers will pick me up to take me places and remember me, but I don’t remember them unless they mention a specific event or conversation topic. It’s never gone away and I’ve been off the medication now for approximately 5 years. It’s not getting any better either. I credit this medication for destroying my brain. I wish there was a way that I could sue because this has done permanent damage. I have forgotten many of the tasks and knots I used to know on the boat (since I haven’t been doing them regularly). I hate my life now.

May 1, 2007 at 8:41 am
(71) Eliza says:

I have been reading so much about this drug that im taking and saying YES!!! that happens to me too!!! I have also read lots of message boards regarding the phenomenal side effects of trying to STOP taking Effexor, sounds scary. Why do doctors all treat us like we have no idea???

May 7, 2007 at 8:46 pm
(72) Laura Lee says:

Oh, thank all of your people. I have been on Effexor XR for nine months and the memory loss started within a few weeks. Again, my therapist thought this was a sign of depression and stress but I have lived with depression and stress all my life and never had this problem before. I have had severe, migraine-like headaches and the buzzing in my head when I have forgotten to take a dose (not surprising!). Also, my ability to reason has gone way downhill. I used to be able to do a difficult crossword puzzle in a couple of hours and now I can’t complete it in a couple of weeks. Vision problems, too. Yikes! I’m getting off it now.

May 10, 2007 at 5:58 pm
(73) Tracy says:

Ditto, ditto and ditto.

Concerned as my 28-year-old son is just starting Effexor XR as well. Guess I’ll try to intercede there!

Can someone elaborate on the ‘vision problems’ that several of you have mentioned?

May 14, 2007 at 12:27 am
(74) Jane says:

I have been on effexor for five years and my memory has become increasinly worse. I can’t remember if I have washed my face in the mornings when I’m showering, whether I have put on deoderant (I have to smell my armpits to see if I have!). I’m a journalist and have an excellent vocabulary, yet can’t remember certain words I want to use in mid conversation, and cannot remember stories that I have worked on throughout the day. I definitely believe effexor is linked to memory loss and even though doctors say it isn’t, I think it is sometimes just better to trust out instincts. Effexor certainly helped me get out of bed, build a career and basically not kill myself, but after five years, I’ve decided that I’m going to get off it and see how I fare. Not looking forward to the symptoms of withdrawal but definitelty won’t miss the terrible nightmares (being raped, having AIDS, terrible things happening to my brothers, sisters, parents) and night sweats.

May 23, 2007 at 1:54 am
(75) JOHN says:

i was making a joke on the url question. hey !! i came to this site because i too have memory problems. i am 62 and when i decide to go to the other room from my living room to get a pen or something like that, i forget immediately why i went there. i have to go back to the living room and think for a minute to remember what it was i went to my bedroom for! We may have enough for class action law suit. But it would be hard to prove. effexor has done some good things for me and yet the “brain shivers”, and the memory loss is significant. i will say that i drink A LOT OF COFFEE. that may be one major factor too! who knows? Thanks!

May 23, 2007 at 4:42 pm
(76) David says:

I also will agree that since ive been taking effexor i have been having problems with my memory aswell….im finding it hard to remeber the easiest things…ill think about maybe gettin something to drink…get up and go to the kitchen while somewhat thinking of something else that was on my mind and suddenly i cant remeber what i went to the kitchen for and i take a minute till i remeber then i cant rmemeber what i was thinking about before i got to the kitchen….also i would like to add my hearing is alot worse also …when i listen to my walkman now i have it on full blast just to hear it comfortly.

May 23, 2007 at 4:51 pm
(77) David says:

I forgot to leave this little bit as i left….effexor has also effected my eye site aswell….blurred vision at times other times focus problems…seeing things move…..minor halusinations etc…i cant get off the effexor yet as it is helping me cope with my life issues but i would like to stress these symptoms im having are all in common with everything others are sayin about the drug. We need to let our doctors know because if they dont think memory loss eyesite are not effected they are just being ignorant it does indeffinetly…also the not so rare no sex drive which everyone knows about…im 28 and have zero sex drive now…been on effexor for only 6 months…..and i know i need to get off ..

June 5, 2007 at 4:49 am
(78) N says:

Hi. Im 29 and I have been on Effexor for 5 months. I have suffered my whole life from anxiety and Effexor transformed my life since it worked from day 1 basically. Yet, about 3 months ago, I started noticing that I couldnt remember things, facts, vocabulary, movie titles, etc. I am the kind of person that always had a quick memory when it came to remembering facts (think … the gameshow Jeopardy). Now I have a tough time when I try to remember the name of a song, or an artist or vocabulary. This is the extent of my memory loss. I havent wanted to freak out, but the memory loss was immediate and noticeable about 2 months of taking Effexor and I cant isolate any other possible factor that influenced this problem. I have been getting off of it now, but I will admit, that I do fear that I will return to my serious anxiety and irritability problem!

June 19, 2007 at 7:38 pm
(79) James says:

I took effexor for 2 1/2 years, and had severe memory problems into the second year. Much memory recovered after discontinuation. My body couldn’t tolerate that drug any longer.

I did have permanent problems, but have found 250mg magnesium morning and night gives noticeable memory and thinking improvement. Phosphatidylserine complex with ginko helped too.

June 27, 2007 at 9:56 am
(80) Becky says:

I am so relieved to have found this webpage. Effexor has greatly improved my anxiety like nothing else ever has but the memory loss and lack of concentration are not an acceptable trade off. I’m taking adderall to counterat this whenever I have a test – but that isn’t a long term solution. I can’t believe these side effects aren’t listed by the company that produces it. Nausea I could handle, but I need my mind.

July 9, 2007 at 1:23 am
(81) ANDRE' says:

Unbelievable!!! I found this site – thank God – after googling effexor memory. I NEVER had memory issues before Effexor XR. In addition, complete apathy is a newer symptom – not present before Effexor. I googled “effexor apathy” also, and I’m certainly not the first to go through hell because of Effexor. This drug has been around loooong enough for these bastards to know about the MANY negative aspects to this drug are. And all these SOB’s making antidepressants claim they aren’t sure how it works. Please. I understand proprietary information and all that, but I believe there is something more sinister. Thank you everyone for helping me understand that yes, I am losing my mind, but it’s because of Effexor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

July 9, 2007 at 5:03 pm
(82) PangaeanBear says:

I’m glad that others are posting about their experiences with Effexor while being treated for anxiety related issues. I’m tired of hearing that it is depression that affected our memory and not Effexor when we weren’t being treated for depression. As I posted above, I was not a depressed person until I got off of Effexor and suffered terrible depression for the first year while the second year after abstinence from Effexor saw a decline in the depression.

Thanks to James for his post on June 19 regarding his use of magnesium and attributing it to helping get his memory back. My post from March 6 of 2007 focused on concentrated fish oils as having been a life saver for me and memory but I take lots of supplements including magnesium. I was actually taking the concentrated fish oil for the Omega 3 as I had read numerous articles about its effectiveness with treating depression (again, I was severely depressed AFTER I got off of Effexor) though most of the studies were how Omega 3 improves the effectiveness of depression medicines, specifically when individuals had a low tolerance level for such medications and were unable to benefit by such low doses but supplementation of Omega 3 helped compensate. Of course, the pharmaceuticals paid for these studies as there is no money in just proving Omega 3’s benefits. Other studies worth note are regarding those northern European countries that have short days to no days during winter while their primary diet consists of fish which of course is high in Omega 3. These same cultures have lower than average depression rates and most interestingly, extremely low SAD occurrences. I will now postulate that perhaps magnesium had as much to do with my memory improvement as the concentrated fish oils did and that the concentrated fish oils helped me with my depression. Brain food for thought!

Regarding Tracy’s post on May 10th and the vision question – I can only speculate that at least part of the problem has to do with Effexor causing pupil dilation or at least it did for me. I got a doctor’s note when I was on the stuff because it made my eye color look black (they are bluish-green) while being fair haired and skinned. I could be very freaky looking and had a few jokes thrown my way about being on cocaine because of the enlarged pupils and Effexor did make me terribly hyper. I noticed a decrease in the blurry vision very early on when I was weaning off of Effexor but again, I had only taken it for just over 2 years before quitting. If one reads up on presbyopia at Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presbyopia
There is the comment that “Presbyopia, like other focus defects, becomes much less noticeable in bright sunlight. This is not the result of any mysterious ‘healing effect’ but just the consequence of the iris closing to a pinhole, so that depth of focus, regardless of actual ability to focus, is greatly enhanced”

Just my own speculation but I had very large pupils while on Effexor and very blurry vision. My pupils are now normal at all times and conditions and my vision has returned to normal as well. Additionally, a new Effexor overdose warning (Q4-2006) mentions pupil dilation as a symptom:
http://www.webmd.com/content/article/129/117271

July 10, 2007 at 1:41 am
(83) J says:

I’ve been on Effexor now since 1997–I think that’s the earliest that anyone on this blog has reported. That’s 10 years now.

I am not a stupid person. But daily, hourly I act like I am. Daily I forget dozens of things. Sometimes at night I can’t even remember what I did during the day. What I had for breakfast.

I am not a stupid person. But my memory loss is getting worse and worse. And I can’t stop it even though I try everything I can possibly think of to be responsible.

So here I am, desperately looking for a reason that I appear to be getting Alzheimer’s at age 29.

Is it the Effexor?

What do I have but anecdotal evidence? I can say this:

At 29, there isn’t much chance that my mind is deteriorating from old age. But there has to be a cause for this memory loss–things don’t break down without cause.

My family has no history of memory loss. I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I don’t do drugs.

I don’t do drugs–except Effexor.

From 150 mg a day for 6 years, to 1/4 of a 75mg pill for 4 years.

That’s all I know. Or at least all I can prove.

Guys (and gals), I sound very sensible to myself when I reread what I said–but the truth is that I am very scared that I will never be able to be a dependable person again. That I will always have this memory loss that makes me almost as reliable as a 5 year old.

Our evidence may be anecdotal, but when I understand personally what 66 out of 68 people are anecdotally saying about Effexor and memory loss–well, that’s enough to convince me to get off this drug.

And work desperately to try and recover what I can of my memory and brain function.

Good luck to all.

July 10, 2007 at 7:02 pm
(84) Jane says:

I found this site after googling “Effexor, memory loss” and I must say I’m relieved to see I’m not alone with this side effect. I find myself in the car driving down the street and have to think very very hard to remember where I’m going. Or I’ll go down to the basement to get something and find I can’t remember what I was after. That is scary. It also affects my work. I’m an archivist – and what is that about but memory. Yikes! I also have been experiencing profuse sweating. I thought it was hot flashes, but I’ve had those before and they are different from this. What I really hate though is the feeling of not really caring. I write plays and am having some success, but I have barely written a thing – and nothing new – since I started on 75 mg of Effexor about a year ago. I’m finally having readings of a play at important theatres, but I can’t work up the interest to keep writing. My creativity has just drained away. I think the sodium levels side-effect might be involved with all of this. Thanks for posting your comments everyone. I certainly appreciate it…and I hope to get off this drug soon. (But watch for those withdrawal side-effects.)

July 11, 2007 at 12:57 am
(85) Michelle says:

Well I have been on Effexor XR for about 4 months now and I am taking 150 mg daily or should I say nightly. This is after I told my Dr. that I was getting very sleepy at work, can’t have that, and the excessive yawning, so she suggested I take it in the evening.
The first 2 nights were hard but I wasn’t tired at work at all. The coffee helps!! After my last visit my Dr. said that after I have been on the Medication for 6 months then I will be SLoWly weened off. so I Don’t understand why anyone has been taking this med for so long. I do get tired during the day, but as long as I am busy, I don’t feel the need for a nap, once there is a lull, then I feel it.
Hope this helps someone. Pls check w/your Dr. it couldn’t hurt!
_M

July 11, 2007 at 1:01 am
(86) Michelle says:

PS
I almost forgot to say that if I don’t take at my regular time, I start to feel it, I get grumpy and moody. And yes I too have some loss of memory but that does come with age, so I write things down alot! Thanks for your patience!
-M

July 17, 2007 at 2:14 pm
(87) Diane says:

I can’t believe what I’m reading…this is me! I’ve been on Effexor in the past and never had the memory loss I am currently experiencing. Altho I’m also forgetting if I just took my vitamins or if I already fetched my book from the other room, but I’m also confusing words, substituting “like” words (lake when I meant park, Gloria Swanson when I meant Gloria Vanderbilt). Recently I had difficulty typing my login or password on the computer…the same one I’ve had for years. I was ready to go to a neurologist but now I think a trip back to the psychiatrist would have better results. Thank you all for sharing your experiences.

July 20, 2007 at 9:56 am
(88) Annette says:

wow, I thought it was just me! When I came accross this I was actually relieved to know others have memory problems too with Effexor XR. I thought I was just loosing it! It would make sense that a mind altering drug could cause such a side effect. Doctors should be open to all things a patient experiences, since new things are found out all of the time.

July 21, 2007 at 11:35 am
(89) Annette says:

I have something very interesting to add to yesterday’s comments. I found a site this morning while searching the web that looks promising. If you go to http://www.theroadback.org/weight-loss.htm it talks about anti-depressents and their side-effects. Effexor is listed and while reading through I saw, at another site they recommended to go to: Global DNA Solutions, something on what they called “brain fog”. I am going to try and eat the foods they recommend and avoid what they recommend to avoid. It’s worth a try, since I’ve already tried everything else! What they say seems to make a lot of sense to me and since Effexor has caused me to gain weight too I have a double reason to try it. My best to everyone. :)

July 21, 2007 at 10:39 pm
(90) nina says:

I stop taking Effexor, 2 years ago, becouse of the memory loss side efect, hopeing that it will came back in time.Now I am afraid to say, but seems like slowly is getting worse. Can anybody tell me , if that is right, are we going to lose, whatever is left?

July 26, 2007 at 1:30 pm
(91) Annette says:

Correction on the road back web site:
The correct address is:www.theroadback.org/weight_loss.htm
Sorry about that guys.
PS – I’ve been following the program for 5 days now and I do feel better! Today is actually the first day I noticed it, but I definitly feel better.
Will follow up if it proves true.

August 8, 2007 at 11:43 pm
(92) Carrie says:

I am so thankful that I am not crazy! Well, maybe I am, but at least I can attribute my severe memory loss to Effexor! I have been taking 75mg Effexor for my anxiety disorder for about 8 months now. I finally went to the doctor and asked to switch to another medication since my memory loss was starting to affect my job (I’m in the medical field, which should make everyone feel at ease!). Since I have been decreasing my dosage of Effexor, my memory loss has become even worse. From my research, I have found a connection between norepinephrine and memory. Effexor is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, so there is logically going to be an effect on memory. Unfortunately, I did not realize this until now. I encourage everyone to research this angle of the drug. I am NOT a physician, so I do not have all the answers. I just wanted to let everyone know of this connection. I empathize with all of you as I have also had such negative effects on my memory. I encourage everyone to not lose hope and not to worry that you are crazy. We will all make it through this!

August 12, 2007 at 2:25 pm
(93) nina says:

I was prety desperate abut losig my memory, I have seen myself in a situation where I could not operate the TV remote (like someone said before). Never thought that the life can be affected so badly, I am a design engineer and the quality of my job was really affected. A month ago I start to take vitamin E and Ginkgo Biloba, for me works very good so far. Incredibly I gain most of my memory back.

August 23, 2007 at 12:52 pm
(94) karen says:

i also have been on effexor for years,and sometimes i watch a movie,and have no recall what i watched,also i forget conversations i have with others.i have to struggle with what i did the day befor as i cant remember.its really quite embarressing,as i forget who people are,and how i know them.

September 12, 2007 at 7:30 pm
(95) Jennifer says:

I thought it was a long shot when I googled Wellbutrin and memory loss. And there this link was! I can’t believe it. I have done the craziest things. In the past three weeks I’ve taken other people’s grocery carts and can’t remember what I did yesterday! My question do you think this is permanent damage to your memory? If I go off the medicine will it come back? I think I’d rather be depressed then to lose my memory. That is very scary. I would hate to have alzteimers at age 44. Is the memory loss a symptom or permanent – damaging that part the of brain? I have heard that antidepressants do havic to your body but memory loss is to me one of the worst! Any thoughts? Thanks!

October 21, 2007 at 8:14 pm
(96) Constance says:

Darn, I wish I had found this page a year ago. I’ve been on Effexor for about 5 yrs. (Luvox 10 yrs. before that), to control the depression side of bipolar. As if the memory loss weren’t terrible enough, the multitude of “helpful” people telling me that it was stress, aging, my high expectations, etc. etc., has been enough to drive me to the depths of sorrow and frustration. But now that I’ve begun to decrease my dosage (from 300 mg. daily to 150 mg.), I have actually experienced the return of a functioning brain!!! And I am not experiencing a decline into serious depression. I can sympathize with every writer here; and I’m not ever going to let someone else tell me that I don’t know when something is wrong with my own brain. Would they do that if it were a broken leg?! I’m going to make sure my doctor and my family see these comments. If at my age (just turned 60), I can experience clarity of thought, return of organizational skills, reliable recall of general info., and a sense of well-being, then many others can expect to “get better” after Effexor also. I look forward to what I might experience when I’m at 75 mg. daily. With any imbalance of brain chemistry, or emotional stress, it’s real easy to not notice when the side-effects of medication are worse than the original complaint. This forum has made me determined not to lose sight of my goal, stick with it, and get back some semblance of ‘a life’. I’m going to check in often to see what else I can learn. Tks., C.

October 21, 2007 at 8:35 pm
(97) Constance says:

P.S. Just noticed that I didn’t clarify the time frame for decreasing the Effexor. I’ve had lots of experience with missing a dose and getting the dreadful electrical flashes. So I’m careful to avoid that. But it was due to complications getting my prescription renewed, and moving to another city, that lead me to take fewer pills each day. The change was noticeable within the first week! But I waited another two weeks to be sure. My system responded right away to the decrease in the drug! Believing I would require an anti-depressant for “the rest of my life”, I might have gone on like a zombie forever. Be sensible, but don’t be afraid to try it. If I eventually need a mood stabilizer, you can be sure it won’t be Effexor!

November 4, 2007 at 10:08 pm
(98) Terri says:

OMG I’m sooo glad to have found this site. I am the biggest idiot walking the earth on this stuff. I forget everything…My daughters girlfriends names, where they live, people I grew up with, whether or not I put deodorant on, did I brush my teeth?, every day things and work is a disaster!!! I spend lots of $ on continuing education and forget it all! The one BIG problem is it controls my severe panic and I don’t know what other drug to go on!!! My Dr. is patient and will let me try anything and I’ve tried them all with no success…Help someone!!!! Anyone ever use Paxil??? That is one I haven’t tried… Good luck to everyone reading this, hopefully we’ll all be “normal” one day.

November 16, 2007 at 2:43 am
(99) Jose rojas says:

Wow I thought that I was losing it! I used to be a really valuable employee because I had a great memory for procedure and was quick. Now I am having trouble following simple instructions (confusion). I used to be able to find the fastest and most economical means of doing things but now I’m lucky to get by without missing things that are “common-sense”. My memory goes to hell if I lose focus for a second and I have to work back from the beginning to remember what I was doing. I’m glad I found your comments I’m going to talk to my Dr. if I don’t remember to forget or forget to remember.

November 28, 2007 at 12:34 pm
(100) Debby says:

I have a 5 month old that I tried to stop taking Effexor XR for during my pregnancy. I was able to reduce my intake from 300mg a day to 75mg a day. I did not notice the withdrawal symptoms during the pregnancy that I noticed other times when I tried to wean myself off. I was so excited that I was so “well balanced” through my pregnancy, but about 6 weeks post-partum I became very unstable. I increased my dosage to 125mg, which worked for about 2 weeks, then quickly needed to double that. I have now been on 300mg for two months and my job is taking a nosedive. I may not be telling people my mind, but I also can’t seem to function. I type slower; I can hardly dial a phone number correctly the first time. I take my medicine and forget if I’ve taken it. I have conversations, and immediately forget what I just talked about. I have taken showers and forgotten to wash my hair, and even more serious consequences if caught, only to luck out so far. My doctors, more than 3 have said there is no connection. Even had an MRI. I too have had migraines, and they could see the anomaly in the scan, but nothing serious enough to cause concern. This medication has been the best thing for me over the past 3 years as it relates to managing my Bi-polar, but I’m thinking a change needs to take place if I intend to keep my job. Worst of all, I have no sexual drive that hurts the intimacy of my marriage. I feel trapped because overall I’m a better person on the drug, I just hate looking like an idiot, and I miss the closeness with my husband. HELP!!!!

December 4, 2007 at 1:33 am
(101) ericS says:

Well…same here, as many of you. Been taking E for 10plus year…I am 41..my memory and concentration are terrible. My wife (sweet thing) is worried about me… I have tried to titrate off the drug, but second day can’t move my head without my brain staying still…Has anyone discovered a ‘cure’ for the memory loss? I am American, but live in another country…the language translation is killing me! The other side affects I can handle…the loss of short term memory, I can’t.

December 5, 2007 at 11:24 am
(102) j says:

I have taken Effexor XR since May ( I think) and i have had severe memory issues. I stopped finally the end of September, and am still having issues with my memory. I’ll be glad when this medication is completely out of my system. A lot of doctors and pharmacists aren’t aware of a lot of the side effects from this drug. I think alot of the problem is doctor and pharmacist denial…meaning when someone comes in with these issues, they are blown off or given a different reason for their issue. I had a doctor try to suggest that my memory issues come with age…but i’m only 28. I had to explain to her, so she could understand, that I had no problems with memory and expressing myself before this drug and it’s not just some coincidence that right after i started this drug i had memory issues. This is not easy at all…because of these doctors dishonesty and misinformation i have decided to not take any drugs and learn to cope with my anxiety on my own with the help of a really good therapist.

December 9, 2007 at 10:55 am
(103) mehrnaz says:

Me too. I ‘ve been taking Effexor RX 75 for the last 4 years. I’ve developed memory loss I never had before. I forget my thoughts in the middle of a sentence. This is very embaressing especially when I’m at work and in meetings. Now I know I should get of this medicine.Thanks

December 10, 2007 at 3:58 am
(104) bad effex from effexor says:

I suffered SEVERE effects from this EVIL POISON.

People, I do not know which is worse – having taken Effexor XR or coming off of it.

I had extremely bizzare, TERRIFYING, frightening experiences as a result of taking this POISON, with devastating consequences. And yes, I suffered memory loss, too.

People feel BUZZING and ZAPPING in their heads!?

That is NOT okay!

It is NOT NORMAL!

IT IS NOT A “SIDE EFFECT”!

IT IS YOUR BODY LETTING YOU KNOW THAT SOMETHING IS TERRIBLY WRONG!

This is an extremely dangerous drug and we don’t need a “doctor” to say so in order to validate our claim. WE ARE NOT STUPID OR CRAZY. You don’t need to convince a doctor that the pill is bad, just ask them a safe way to stop taking it – COMING OFF OF IT IS AS DANGEROUS AS TAKING IT. Will a doctor tell you that? NOOOOO. Of course not. Will hundreds of people who have lived the experience tell you? YOU BET. Who will you believe?

Doctors think you don’t know what’s best for you, but that only THEY do.

No, they don’t!

They don’t take the shit, how the **** could they know???

And do you think a doctor will admit he or she has prescribed something so horrible and dangerous? Imagine how responsible they DON’T WANT TO FEEL.

Imagine all the money so many people WILL NOT MAKE from admitting this POISON can’t be manufactured and prescribed anymore (don’t worry, they’ll be out with the next horror show of a pill in no time).

You know what my problem is? I piss off a lot of people because I tell the truth. Then, they call me crazy and force me to take pills. Yeah, depression… bi-polar… panic and anxiety… who WOULDN’T be those things when you watch a news report of yet *another* shooting with the word ALERT flashing in red across the screen!!! How about walking past a news stand and seeing “SHOOTING. ONE DEAD” in bold black on white. How about hearing constant sirens! How about so many people walking around calling each other the most vile names? How about being treated like you’re less than human when all you wanted to do was make a payment arrangement with the electric company, which takes three calls (and you’re expected to be as happy as sunshine about that)… and you have to make a payment arrangement because WHO CAN AFFORD TO LIVE ANYMORE!!! Well, the manufacturers of the CRAP you put in your body are living just fine, I’m quite sure (Didn’t you see the pics of Aruba? Amsterdam was lovely…).

Oh, and don’t you dare express any anger to anyone about this… or you’ll be mis-labeled accordingly and end up prescribed!

You know, all I wanted was to

HEAL FROM ABUSE

Oh, stupid me, got that wrong… again.

I meant…

“recover from “depression”".

December 10, 2007 at 6:30 pm
(105) Anonymous says:

My memory loss is problematic enough for me to get off of Effexor. But that is not the only major side-effect I have experienced. After not taken the drug as liitle as 2 days causes what I call ‘brain zaps’. My psychiatrist basically laughed at me when I described this effect to her. But when I read about this side-effect on http://www.wikipedia.org I realized that others have complained of similar symptoms. I hope there will be no long term permanent effects as a result of this medication!

January 1, 2008 at 4:45 pm
(106) ellen says:

I have observed rapid onset of memory problems in my 86-year old friend after she started taking Effexor. The problem is once a person has cognitive problems it can be hard to recognize the precipitous loss of memory. I am trying to persuade her to at least consider the medication connection but it’s hard going.
Thanks to all who posted here.

ellen

January 24, 2008 at 11:44 pm
(107) Christina says:

I am 24 and have been taking Effexor XR for a few years. I think it saved my life because I had suicidal thoughts before. I have experienced memory problems, but I always thought it was due to taking Xanax. Does anyone know if the memory loss increases over time? I’m really young and don’t see myself going off medication because the withdrawal symptoms are so awful!

January 30, 2008 at 6:38 am
(108) dizzyandforgetful says:

I was just looking around to try to figure out why I have sudden and frequent memory loss for about 6-8 months now. I have been on Effexor for a couple of years have tried to stop taking it or change to another anti-depressant several times but could not tolerate the side effect of tapering.
The first time I mentioned the feeling I can only describe as a brain shock when I missed a dose, the practitioner who prescribed it all but laughed at me. Understandable since I am, of course, mentally ill.
As each subsequent side effect appeared many of them, especially fatigue and confusion, where attributed to depression and my dose was increased until I was taking 375mg per day. I was still depressed so went to see a mental health professional. I did not know what was wrong with me but I knew I was not imagining it!
When I started to see the mental health practitioner last year, she slowly reduced the dose to what I am on now, 225mg. She would like me to go down below 200mg but anything lower and I am so nauseous, dizzy and of course what ever that thing is that happened when I move my head it goes on for days and days. I lasted 8 days on 187.5mg last time but could not stand it any more as I have kids to take care of and winter break was coming up. The ironic thing is that Effexor is not nearly as effective as other antidepressants I have taken in the past! Now the memory loss is getting so bad that I have started to get lost driving around town.
Like the other symptoms the memory loss gets more severe if I am even a hour late on a dose. Sometimes when I am active it starts in even less than 24 hours. I am certian that the Effexor is the cause as when I take it, some symptoms stop in a hour or so and most of them are diminished in a few hours. I can not remember the last time I went through a day without being dizzy or had at least one headache. I have had all sorts of test due to the symptoms and there does not appear to be anything physical to cause them. The symptom without physical cause do seem to confirm at I am at least a chronic complainer at worse that I am hysterical and manifesting physical symptoms due to depression.
I really do feel that this drug has destroyed my life. I am not being dramatic or fatalistic about this either I am on a medication that barely controls depression, it make me fell sick and dead inside but I can’t stop taking it because that makes me feel even sicker. Now, in the past week I have gotten lost driving home from a friends (less than 3/4 miles from my house), driving to Safeway (I got there almost everyday) and today I got lost taking my kids to Karate (we have gone three times a week for 4 years). I also feel that the manufacturer sort of has people taking antidepressants in a tight spot, because I am sure they and their high priced lawyers can make it seem that the symptoms are “all in our heads” and at this point I do not think there is anything I can do.
Today when I was reading up on the net, I am seeing other people who experience many of the same symptoms. Since this is the first I have heard of anyone but me saying these things I am 100% sure no one “planted” these symptoms and ideas into my crazy and so naturally highly susceptible mind. So I am glad to know that at least I am not alone.

January 30, 2008 at 4:36 pm
(109) P says:

Oh my, Effexor xr was the only anti that had an effect on me and kept me out of the black. On it for 12 years about and many of those years 350mg/day. My memory is pretty great but my vision seems to be heading downhill at an alarming rate and I need a lot of light to see. Can’t do sh__ after the sun goes down. Anyone else?

February 8, 2008 at 1:45 am
(110) Jonathan says:

I’m 22 years old and have a been a suffering from social anxiety since end of middle school. Was on paxil for a while, stopped that, then took wellbuturan no success then started taking effexor. Effexor works amazingly for my anxiety. However it makes me sweat more and my memory is very messed up right now. I used to have such a great memory. However, I’m having the hardest time remembering things short-term and difficulty with my studies at school.

Constantly re-reading things because I forgot them.

Is there any solution? ANYTHING!! I’m so lost. I don’t know what to do. I’m currently on 125 mg a day dose. Was on 225 mg but i lowered myself due to feeling like a zombie. Plus i’m out of energy all the time and i could sleep all day if i wanted to.

February 10, 2008 at 10:46 pm
(111) Katrina says:

I took this in 2004 for depression for 3-4 months. My doctor said that memory issues were not on the list of alternative symptoms that the medication causes. It took about a year for me to fully regain my short term memory. The memory issues hugely interrupted my life. It was my senior year of high school and I don’t remember prom, much of graduation or classes. It caused me to not go away to the colleges I had been accepted to etc. It was so bad that my parents and I had sticky notes all over the house of simple reminders for daily activities. It was embarrassing. My friends and family would laugh it off and try to work around it but it was frustrating for them and me. I would NEVER go back on that medication again.
Anyways, I saw an ad for Effexor on ABC Family tonight and I was very disgusted.

February 13, 2008 at 12:48 am
(112) Jonathan says:

Katrina. A year you say. What medicine did you switch to if any? Because I know I would start to get bad anxiety If I was not on anything and would barely be able to come outside the house. I cannot let that happen. My doctors are glorified drug pushers that really don’t know much, except how my co-payment is. It so tough everything. Ugh. Well least I’m not alone.

February 15, 2008 at 8:27 pm
(113) Lisa says:

While I’m so sorry you all have also been experiencing memory problems, I feel a great sense of relief. I’ve been having real trouble with my short-term and working memories. I experienced a brain compression injury ten years ago, and so I have been afraid in the last several years that my problems with recall (and finding the right word — or what is was I was in the middle of saying) were due to that and thus I was just stuck with it. And not being 40, I have been scared to death — my work as a project manager demands being able to keep scads of different and changing bits of info in my mind [ACK! I lost my train of thought for a minute just typing that last sentence!]

February 17, 2008 at 7:58 am
(114) FJC, Ireland says:

I have been on Efexor XL 75mg for the past 9 months and I found it worked very well for me. My doctor has advised me to wean off and now I am on 75mg every other day. It’s only since I began to cut my dose that I am having memory problems. This is especially true when I need instant recall, if someone asks me about a very specific thing that took place a few days ago – I can’t remember it. It’s a very spooky feeling – but I am not worried about it as I think it will fade away after I have stoped taking the meds. I never experienced this effect which I was taking the medication normally, its only since I drastically cut my dose. I am having very vivid & colourful dreams also – but I quite enjoy that part.

February 29, 2008 at 10:07 pm
(115) Katrina says:

I was really releaved to find this list of postings when I did a search for ‘effexor and attention span’. I’ve only taken 37.5mg for one week and then 75mg for one week, but the effects on my memory and attention span are noticable, to the point that they were sacring me (and I’m not on the drug for depression, but to see if it helps a pain condition I have). I have a job that is really high pressure and I have to often be a public face and speak to groups. I was speaking on a topic I’ve spoken on hundreds of times and there were two basic facts (like names of Senators and what state they are from) that I simply blanked on, and then guessed wrong on, having to then laugh at myself with the group, because they were really really really basic things to my job that I know like the back of my hand. I also have found that in meetings I will suddenly discover that I haven’t been listening at all for the last few sentences, and I have no idea what the person is saying, in really important meetings where I am trying hard to catch every detail. I’ve never had that problem, when I want to be ‘on’ and great at catching every detail and responding accurately I’ve never had a problem before. I’m done and will never take another pill of effexor (or any other drug that messes with the mind). Scary stuff!!!

March 24, 2008 at 10:40 pm
(116) Brenda says:

My god, this is so scary. I am 38, and I took Effexor for a few months 2.5 years ago……and now I am having memory loss. LIke the other people who posted, I have trouble recalling BASIC WORDS, like “squirrel”… I end up saying something like ‘BROWN RAT-LIKE THING” because I know the word (squirrel), but it just doesn’t come out. Now add to this that I am a scientist and work in a highly challenging, technical field, I am scared to death. I forget things in the middle of sentences. What I don’t understand is, why did the memory loss occur now, over a year after I stopped the meds? I am terrified that my memory may not return.Thanks to the people who suggested magnesium and fish oil to help. I will definitely try it.

March 28, 2008 at 3:57 pm
(117) joe says:

i am so glad i found this website i have been on effexor xr for almost 8 years from 75mg’s and now taking 37.5 mg’s.i tried going off or cutting back my doses and i feel better but it effects my sexual functions by having and orgasm in less than a minute.i don’t not have a big sex drive either.i went to the doctor and explained what was going on and he said they use effexor for sexual disfunction so now if i want to have a better sex life i have to stay on.i am only 39 years old and my sexual health is more important to me especially being a man.but i also find memory loss in not even remembering what i did yesterday.

March 30, 2008 at 2:00 pm
(118) maggiemae says:

I have to say I am soooooo relieved to read these postings. I have always had the scary memory in the family, remembering details from years ago, even what people were wearing and exact words. Now, I can’t remember ANYTHING. I too have a high pressure job and the other day it took 10 minutes for me to come up with the word ‘orientation’. I had been on Prozac for almost 2.5 years for panic attackes when it stopped working (which the doc says happens often, but no one every told me) and my panic got so bad I had to do something, so he put me on Effexor. I started 6 months ago and am on a hi-dose (300 mg) after 3.5 months it stopped the panic attacks and if I have one now, it is so mild, I can really get through it easily. HOWEVER, my memory absolutely sucks. I am tired all the time and if I don’t get at least 8 hours of sleep each night I am literally sick. I also notice that if I take the nightly dose too late at night, I am really out of it all the next day (try to put cereal in my coffee and such) I honestly was starting to think that I had had a mini-stroke (I am 36 so that was worrying), but now I am pretty sure that it is the effexor.I can’t believe how completely HORRENDOUS my memory has become (can’t remember yesteday or things my husband told me) I also have the vivid dreams but DO NOT like them because they are so real that they seem like memories when I wake up or the next day if I think about them. I guess weaning off the medicine slowly is the only solution.I will have to go back to the doc and get a program going to do it.

April 5, 2008 at 6:55 am
(119) Sarah says:

I have been on Effexor XR for about 4 years. No memory loss, but if I miss a dose you will know in almost exactly 24hrs. I start to feel extremely tired, medicated, dizzy, irritable, spacy, and hard to keep my eyes focused and open. But once I take it, in about 2hrs all okay. Has anyone experienced this?
Now the comments about memory loss~ Are you guys taking any other prescription medications with the Effexor XR??

April 5, 2008 at 6:58 am
(120) Sarah says:

Now that I think about it, I have no attention span, its like my head feels tight and I just cant focus on single thing. It effects my home and work! My doctor put me on Adderall for my attention and it works great as ever.

April 5, 2008 at 7:00 am
(121) Sarah says:

Now that I think about it, I have no attention span, its like my head feels tight and I just cant focus on single thing. It effects my home and work! My doctor put me on Adderall for my attention and it works great as ever. Oh my gosh though~ I for sure get the head zaps, and its like my mind suddenly blacks out if I miss a 24hr dose.

April 7, 2008 at 1:36 am
(122) From Toronto says:

Hi,
I have been on Effexor for 4 years and it controlled my anxiety very well, the side effects sweating and a huge memory loss. Anybody had asked the Pharmaceutical company if they know about this issue? To me it is very serious, and my relationship is effected badly, I am tired of being ashamed in front of my girl friend because I forget things.

April 7, 2008 at 3:52 pm
(123) Wendy says:

I took Effexor for over 6 years, then on the advice of my new dr, started to wean off of it. I’d also been dealing with skin problems, and found out by accident that I may be allergic to the Effexor, because the skin started to improve as I decreased my dosage. As for memory problems, I haven’t had any. I wonder if that might not be part of the depression they are taking the Effexor for.

April 9, 2008 at 3:06 pm
(124) Steven says:

I googled “Effexor” and “memory” because I’ve been feeling that my memory is getting worse. It’s not listed as a possible side effect,and yet I read comments from so many people who are on Effexor. I had a series of job interviews recently, and I felt as though my mind was going blank trying to think of examples for the behavioral interviewing questions. I told them it was just because I was nervous, but I knew it was deeper. I had been a corporate recruiter for 10 years and have interviewed well over 3,000 people. So it’s not as though I didn’t know what to expect. I used to have strong verbal communication skills, too; but those have really gotten messed up, as well. I’m on 150mg Effexor (for 2+ years), plus Lexapro. At least I know it’s not just me.

April 9, 2008 at 4:53 pm
(125) Steven says:

As a footnote to my note above, I should mention that I was first diagnosed in 1980 (Bipolar Type II). I’ve been on two tricyclics, an MAOI, Prozac, lithium and Lexapro (which I’m still on, along with the Effexor). The Effexor was added a little over two years, after a complete breakdown.

I don’t recall having memory and verbal communication issues prior to the Effexor, but I can’t be sure. I know I definitely did not have them as a recruiter.

Every medication has some side effects. But I’d rather live with the side effects rather than die from the depression.

April 9, 2008 at 9:42 pm
(126) Jennie says:

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have been taking Effexor for 4 years. I’m on a low dose. However, I cannot finish sentences, and I cannot remember names, among other symptoms already expressed by others. When I shared these problems with my doctor, he felt that the symptoms weren’t severe enough to consider other options. I have been on many other types of medication for severe depression and social anxiety. Is there anything new on the market?

April 12, 2008 at 1:33 pm
(127) Shawna says:

I am so glad I am not the only one!! I have been taking this drug for over a year and my memory really isnt working. Its really scary!

April 13, 2008 at 6:22 pm
(128) Stephen Crawford says:

My memory is definitely worse. However, I am on 6mg/day of Klonopin which definitely affects memory. However, I do have a set of Effexor circumstances that has not been listed. When I was on my anti-anxiety meds and just Effexor for depression, I would try to read a page of the web or in a book and within 15min to 30min, all the blood sugar (or whatever) drained from my brain and I would become really tired and would not be able to think or read or anything and it would always last for 5 hours. Nothing I ate or did would cause the blood sugar or whatever it was to get back into my brain so my brain would function.

This same situation could be duplicated by walking fast for 1/2 to 1 hr and then all the blood sugar or whatever would drain from my brain leaving me exhausted and unable to think for 5 hours. Once again nothing I did would help the blood sugar get back into my brain, I just had to wait the 5 hours.

If anyone has heard of this problem, I would really like to learn more about it and try to solve it, especially since Effexor seems like it will play a part, though limited, in my meds therapy.

I wrote this up in another forum and the person that wrote the Wikipedia articles on the blood brain barrier wrote saying that it might play a part in the problem which he was familiar with.

May 1, 2008 at 9:46 pm
(129) Ben says:

I know that adding a comment won’t help anything, but I just want to put out there that I am suffering from serious memory loss after about 4-5 years of Effexor. I’ve been off it for almost a year now, but that has only made things worse. My memory in general seems to be intact, but I can no longer recall things well. Whether that be words, names, or things to do… I just can’t ‘call them up’ anymore. It’s affecting both my work and personal lives. I find myself avoiding conversation, embarrassed that I’ll make a fool of myself when I can’t recall something. I pray that there is something I can do about this…

May 5, 2008 at 6:05 pm
(130) Sarah says:

Wow, i read this and i’m glad it’s not just me. I’ve been taking 150mg of Effexor XR for about a month now and I just have this disconnected feeling. It seems as though I am just not able to pay attention to anything and I try to think about things that just happened and it seems like it happened forever ago. I especially have trouble driving b/c i feel like i just can’t focus. The doctor says these side effects will go away, but i doubt it from reading these postings. I just can’t function like this. What should I do?

May 7, 2008 at 9:08 pm
(131) Anita says:

I took Effexor for a couple of years and then my doctor took me off of it because my blood pressure skyrocketed. I have been off of it for a while now. I don’t remember the memory loss issue, but the bp was really scary. At one point my bp was so high that the dr. wouldn’t let me leave the office until I took something to get it to normal. After that I took bp medicine. When I went off the Effexor, the bp issue resolved itself. I took 3 different meds for a long time–Wellbutrin, Zoloft, and Zyprexa. I am now off all but the Wellbutrin. I have had days of recurring depression–the fogginess and feeling of being in a deep hole with no real way out, but it passes and I can be back to normal. Now that I am through menopause, I am hoping I can go off the antidepressants, but I don’t want to fool myself. And I don’t want to get into a deep clinical depression again

May 10, 2008 at 1:20 pm
(132) Carole T says:

I’ve been on Effexor for a few months, can’t remember how long…but have found that I can’t get my thoughts together when speaking to others, trying to form the simplest thoughts is a daunting task at times. I can see in my mind’s eye the words I want to use,but can’t get them out. I also feel a little lazy…I look around the house and see things that need to be done and then think “nah” can’t be bothered…and that’s not me, and I feel I’ve gained weight, which I definately do NOT need to do. On the other hand, it’s helped greatly with the anxiety. I’ve tried others…was on Prozac for years, but it caused me to cough continually…only didn’t know that til last year. I don’t what’s next

May 11, 2008 at 4:40 pm
(133) Confused says:

I have been on Effexor XR for over 5 years but unsure when it started. I experience an internal tremor(TD?) on a consistent basis, vomitting, uneasy stomach, night sweats, irregular sleep patterns, irratibility and my memory seems to have gone out the window. I thought this was due to a major life event; however, a break down occurred after my perscription was cut in half on error and unnoticed several. I’m highly concerned due to various descriptions of, irreversible side effects!

May 15, 2008 at 12:36 am
(134) Tricia says:

I have been taking Effexor XR 250 MG and have no short term memory anymore. I have been getting used to writing everything down because the meds have been a life saver otherwise for my depression. Nothing could shake it before – no other meds, exercise (I just ran the LA Marathon), traveling, keeping myself busy. I am glad to be reading this because being only 34 years old – I knew it wasn’t old age. Thanks everyone for the comments.

May 15, 2008 at 1:13 am
(135) Can't remember... says:

I’ve taken Effexor XR for years, I honestly can’t remember how many, in both the 75 and 150 mg. doses. I have to say that also having taken several other depression/anxiety meds that Effexor has worked the best. I’ve done things I was never able to do and so on.

However, I have wondered for a couple of years now about some of the side effects – memory loss, concentration problems, sleep issues, weight gain, blurred vision, severe apathy, mini hallucinations, ridiculous sweating – and have had them brushed off by more than one doctor. Until the memory loss and concentration trouble along with some serious apathy issues started, I was fine with dealing with the side effects, it was worth it. But after having job problems due to being perpetually late and unorganized and forgetting things I tried discussing it with my doc to no avail. Told me to stop smoking…*eye roll*

So, I am calling tomorrow and telling, not asking him to wean me off the stuff. The zaps and brain killing headaches are about to commence, but
I can’t deal with what’s happening to me any longer.

at first, there were supposedly no adverse effects from stopping the medication, I know several people whose docs cold turkeyed them off of Effexor and they suffered some horrible reactions. Then years later, ta-da, Oooops, we were wrong…

I wonder what’s coming next?

May 18, 2008 at 6:41 pm
(136) Melinda says:

I am shocked to see so many postings here! I have been taking Effexor XR 225-300mg/day for 10 years now, and the memory problems started to worry me about two years ago. I have always been extremely organized, and have had a good memory. What I noticed initially was that I seemed to be so scattered/unfocused mentally and disorganized in my job and personal life. I thought that I just need to get back into exercising (after an 8 month hiatus), as that has always provided such a boost in my overall quality of life. I also had my thyroid hormone levels checked to make sure my synthroid dose was doing its job. My endochronologist increased my synthroid slightly and I continued exercising, but here I sit today, and I find myself constantly mispelling very common words, consistantly forgetting where I parked my car, recalling very little of important meetings at work, as well as what I read for work and pleasure, forgetting where I’m going, why I’m going there in the first place, etc. I am only 34 years old and I can’t even imagine what I will be like if this continues to escalate over the next ten years. I have had MRIs and cat scans due to other weird neurological events (1. chronic headaches and fainting at age 8, 2. an episode of severe numbness in my face about 6 years ago, and 3. an episode of extremely sharp head pain that woke me out of a deep sleep, followed by dizziness). In each case, the docs found nothing abnormal, except for incident #3, where they found a pineal cyst, which is supposedly common and nothing to worry about. I can say two very positive things about Effexor, which is why I have been so hesitant to go off of the drug: 1. It dramatically helped my depression. I suffered since I was a child from severe, suicidal thought, and half-hearted attempts. 2. My chronic headaches greatly diminished. I suffered from chronic headaches, sometimes daily, since I was a child, and since I have been taking Effexor I rarely get them, except for the scary one I described in “weird neurological incident #3. It would be nice for an epidemiological study to be organized around this experience of memory problems associated with Effexor. I don’t know how scientists/doctors decide to embark on a study such as this, of a drug that has been on the market a while.

May 21, 2008 at 7:36 pm
(137) ELBSeattle says:

Well, heck. I don’t know if I’m relieved or alarmed to have found this site. I have been getting increasingly alarmed at the vast amount of things I’ve been forgetting. Things that others have noted – spelling simple words, going into another room and totally forgetting what I was there for, sitting in front of my computer in the middle of a project and absolutely not remembering what I just did, etc etc. I have even had difficulty simply saying words at times. I was flying back from a business trip last week. The flight attendant asked if I wanted anything to drink. I could not remember how to say ‘tomato juice.’ This freaked me out. I am a writer and public performer – the thought of my brain continuing to be full of holes really alarms me; the thought that it might continue to get worse terrifies the hell out of me.
I have one theory about why this might be happening. I was prescribed Effexor for depression as well as anxiety. My anxiety would manifest itself in not being able to let go of thoughts, ceaseless worry, my mind playing scenarios past and hypothetical over and over again. I was relieved to see much of that go away when I began Effexor 5 years ago. But. I think the same chemical mechanism that encourages the neural pathways to let go of worry is not discriminating. I think the mechanism cuts far too wide a swath so that not only are anxious thoughts and worry dispensed with, so are every day memory tasks.
I appreciated what Effexor did for me at first. I did lift me out of a very dark depression. But trying to get off of it has been very difficult. I’ve had ‘brain shivers’ which I’ve seen described here and on various other Effexor side-effect sites: the sensation of an electrical current running through my brain and my skull. It is painful, jarring and very disorienting. With the help of a psychiatrist I have gone from 150 daily dose down to 37 – after I normalize out a little more on this 37 mg dose I’m going to do away with it altogether. And I hope and pray that my memory function comes back. I can not live like a doddering old fool.
I am wondering if a class-action suit may be under way for this. Certainly our experiences are not the only ones. Surely the sameness of our experiences tells us something. I read here that lots of doctors and pharmacists are saying, ‘Impossible. That can’t be a side effect.’ Bull crap. After we’ve seen how many pharmaceutical companies have deliberately hidden information they knew about side effects of medications like … (see, here’s a case in point. I can’t remember the name of the prescription drug that was prescribed for high blood pressure that caused dozens of deaths. . . I can Google it, of course, but my brain should remember it. Damn it!) I no longer trust pharmaceutical companies. They will do anything to turn a profit, even cause hundreds of deaths or permanent disability in order to do so.
Please — let’s keep this line open and do what we can to help one another with information, and how to regain what we have lost.
Eric in Seattle

May 26, 2008 at 2:38 am
(138) jenefer says:

i have been on effexor xr now ofr over a year….i thought i was loosing my mine…i kept forgeting everything…. i would lose my keys are forget something my kids told me and i would ask them again and it would piss them off……because i have to ask them several time….help!!!!!!!!!

May 31, 2008 at 12:02 am
(139) writer says:

I have been experiencing the same problems as well with regards to vocabulary degradation. It’s almost as though the vocabulary that I’ve spent so many years seeking to build was wiped clean when I sought to stop taking this medication (Effexor XR). I mean I felt as though I was going to lose my mind as my ability to clearly express myself was one of my most treasured characteristics. I fumbled to find words to convey what I wanted to say as well. It nearly killed me! After about two (2) weeks, I regained my ability to express myself. Seeing that I’m a poet and lyricists you cannot begin to imagine how devastating this experience was for me.

I was placed on this demon (Effexor XR) for a severe anxiety disorder. However, I think that I’d prefer to suffer from the most ruthless of anxiety disorders than to not be able to express myself.

I am seeking out this plant called “St. Johns Wort” which I’ve been told sooths and relaxes the nervous system as well, but without the dreadful side-effects.

I’m sorry that those of you who have experienced the hand of this monster have so been dealt, but I’m happy to know that I’m not alone.

June 5, 2008 at 7:26 pm
(140) tomi says:

I began taking Effexor XR, 10/2007 and discontinued (Dr.’s approval) 03/2008. Since then I’ve been fine; however, my productivity at work declined drastically! I was written up for below average productivity and for an entire month of data entry, I don’t recall any of it! My boss brought it to my attention that I did a lot of things wrong and I don’t know where and how I could have possibly gone wrong. Even little things that I’m normally great at, have become a challenge, like spelling words, and remembering to return phone calls. I began taking the meds to deal w/a bad relationship-in which I give credit to Effexor b/c I’m no longer in that unhealthy situation but, my memory has been affected. I’m extremely cold to the subject of my ex (now) but, the memory loss and low attention spand is not good. I’m calling my Doctor tomorrow. I don’t want to loose my job b/c of the “after” effects of Effexor.

June 18, 2008 at 11:51 pm
(141) Candace says:

I am soooo relieved to find out I am not the only one having memory issues. I am not dealing with depression anymore, but still have a “normal” amount of stress in my life, but am learning more helathy ways to cope. Anyway, started the effexor XR 75 mg in sept 2007 and still on it now and my memory is like badddd. i can go get something to eat, then an hour later wonder what and if i ate and with my kids i will ask them the same questions and have no clue i ever did and names are history! it has been scarry for me because my Dad was diagnosed a year ago at age 85 with dmeentia and it has really progressed. What I am wondering, is the memory loss permanent? I can not find out much about that. honestly, on such a low dose, i want to stop it in sept and now i am very concerned if my memory will come back! thanks for any input.

July 3, 2008 at 7:38 pm
(142) Steven says:

Wow,I’m a little relieved at the amount of comments in regards to the memory loss and effexor. My family has a history of anxiety and depression, and I was put on Effexor 2 years ago. I’ll be honest, sometimes I feel like I have no short term memory. Before I looked up “Memory loss and effexor” I actuually thought about writing down all the times I have mis-placed things at work, or the other times I have just been confused. I will say this, I am in no way going to stop the Effexor, I dont feel like I have ever been happier about my life, but this memory thing is really starting to bug me!

July 5, 2008 at 10:29 am
(143) yvonne says:

I have been on Effexor for approx. 7 years and have noticed significant memory loss. These include both long- and short-term memories. I recently had an incident where I could not find a friend’s house since I could not recall where her street was located and I drove back and forth along the main road with no recollection about any of the landmarks that would help me find her street. This was very scary indeed. Yesterday, my husband commented about the firework display we saw in Wash. D.C. in 1983 and I have no recollection of that either. I find I have to write everything down. Sometimes at work I think I didn’t complete something and then I find that I had already completed it. So I have become very inefficient, often duplicating my work only to find later that I had already done the same task. Very frustrating!!! and time consuming!!

July 6, 2008 at 7:27 am
(144) Ben M says:

I have been on Effexor – XR 75mg for just over 6mths. I have been very concerned with inability to grasp information and retain it, I knew the cause of my memory loss and concentration was related to Effexor -XR and I have spoken with my DR and asked to come of it.

I have been using the method of loci to remember things since my in-ability to photograph pages and information, I have been concerned and very frustrated with having to learn new ways of remembering things and holding information.

I now have a 300 point journey (memory palace) around my house for all my weekly tasks using “method of loci”. It is satisfying yet concerning that others have experienced the same thing as myself with memory loss, I’d like to know if I will ever get my ability to capture information like I use to 6mths back.

July 9, 2008 at 10:15 am
(145) Denise says:

I am in the process of getting off this med. I feel that it has effected my ability to think. As my Dose is lowered I feel that I can think better and feel happier???

July 10, 2008 at 12:33 am
(146) Mel says:

I have been on Effexor for 6 months. 3 months at 75mg and then went down to 37.5 overnight. No side effects. The main reason why I wanted to lower my dosage was the loss of memory. I could barely function. 2 weeks ago I decided to get off Effexor. I have been reducing my dosage by using a technique called ‘beading”. I open the caps, count 1/4 of the beads and thats working great for me. The only side effect is that I feel a bit fuzzy and my memory is getting worst but i know it will get back to normal as soon as i am off this awful medication. So far, so good. Im glad to see Im not the only one that noticed the memory loss side effects. If I would have known, I would have never started the meds but Thank God, getting off is not as hard as it seems.

July 10, 2008 at 11:42 am
(147) Julianne says:

I have been on this medication for about one and a half years (75mg). Have been reading some of the other posts and, not surprisingly, my memory has gone to pot since I’ve been on this hellish drug. I tried to get off it and starting by skipping 2 capsules in one week but became tearful. Any advice about the best way to get off of Effexor XR?

July 10, 2008 at 5:58 pm
(148) Lorraine says:

Hey, I’m too am on Effexor for about 1 yr and I think it is just the medicine acting like Xanax which calms you and helps keep you calm. This medication is an antidepressant and an antianxiety med. It keeps you calm and feels like you are losing your memory, yet I find since it also makes you tired and makes your muscles feel weak that if I take some energy pills then it helps me stay focused while still working to keep me from getting depressed and having anxiety problems.

July 11, 2008 at 10:39 pm
(149) brittany says:

I’m 19 and I was on effexor for awhile. It made me feel like I wasnt real, or I didnt belong anywhere. It’s so weird. I got off of it as soon as I started feeling like that and I still do. I will probably feel like that the rest of my life. I have the memory problems too. I’ve heard that your brain has a defense mechanism that protects you from really remembering parts of your past by making it fuzzy. I dont know how true this is, but I think this med has alot to do with the memory problems too.

July 15, 2008 at 6:00 pm
(150) sawtoothbackpacker says:

I just stumbled across this blog. I think I just had a panic attack while reading these comments. I first came down with severe depression in March 2001. I committed myself to 4 (FOUR) short term psychiatric facilities. I had been on Celexa, Paxil, Klonapin, Xanax….for 6 months with no level of any of these alleviating my depression. In mid August I could not take anymore. I attempted to sever my life from this earth. My attempt landed me in my state psychiatric hospital. I responded to Lithium and then I began taking Effexor XL. I was released 7.5 months later. Since March of 2002, my memory is no more. You’ve heard of a ‘photographic’ memory? I HAD one. My days in school and college were easy. I could shut my eyes and see every page of notes I had taken. I even began taking college notes in colored inks. This allowed me to recall my notes/pictures, ideas even easier. I could recount conversations from work, which I needed very much to do to keep my job. Now I walk out of my house w/out my car keys, my wallet, my lunch for the day. I forget my bills, my glasses, which errands I need to run. I can leave my house to run to the store and return four hours later, having gone and visited everybody else, but didn’t remember to make it to the store I needed to visit. I get the same crap answers from my doc, my shrink, my counselor. Nobody wants to hear it. I no longer look forward to earning my Masters, changing jobs, or even excelling in my current job. I can’t remember anything. So I write it down. And of course, I forget to write some of those things down. What must be done to prove some of these psyche meds do have an impact on memory? We need to have specific studies done. I can guarantee the drug companies won’t dare to do any studies showing their own medication can clear your memory. One point of distinction. This seems to only affect my short term memory.

July 15, 2008 at 6:16 pm
(151) sawtoothbackpacker says:

To follow up on my previous blog, I have taken Effexor XL since December 2001. My memory sucks and keeps worsening. I, too, find if I forget to take my Effexor for 2-4 days, I hit a bout of depression again. I was in denial that it could have been me missing a few days worth of doses. I finally got the nerve to ask my psyche doc. He said, of course !!! My laxity in missing a few days was the cause of these bouts. Effexor has a half-life of several hours. While it may take weeks to get the drug to have a clinical response to it, it only takes a few days (depending on your dosage) to clear your system. Then you become depressed again. So, do not miss your dose. Write it on your head if you need to!

July 18, 2008 at 7:44 am
(152) Ben M says:

Hi sawtoothbackpacker

We have exactly the same problem, did you read my comments above at all? I too had the same memory type as you and today was my last day in taking my EFEXOR XL, I reduced my dosage to 35mg, I feel relieved and I’m drinking lots of herbal teas to assist with memory recall and Brarme too. What happens when you look at something and close your eyes – can you mentally recell the image faintly or has the photo memory been suppressed? It’s the way our brains are hard wired I think the drug has only suppressed our ability – well at least I hope so! I have had to write things down instead of picturing every word in my mind – this new way of remembering things and learning has been awful!

July 18, 2008 at 8:15 am
(153) Ben M says:

I forgot to mention what herbal Tea I have been using:

Ingredients: panax ginseng
siberian ginseng, gotu
kola, licorice root, &
hibiscus flower.

Enhances energy, adrenal
stimulant, improves mental
function & memory.

Brahmi (Bacopa) carries properties that improve mental functions by a modulation of the cholinergic and GABAergic neurotransmission. Brahmi works scientifically as it restores the frontal cortical muscarinic and cholinergic receptor activities and hence it will improve the mental quotient, memory span, concentration ability and stress threshold.

And Brahmi…

Brahmi (Bacopa) will also help reducing the level of tribulin, an endogenous Mono Amine Oxidase inhibitor, which is elevated in certain degrees of anxiety. Brahmi will also ameliorate some of the attention fluctuations and other behavioral problems. It possesses exhibiting anti-parkinsonian activity significantly by enhancing the dopamine post-synaptic receptor activity. In proper dosage, Brahmi also works as safe and natural sedative and tranquilizing agent and hence it offers protection against convulsions and is also beneficial in insomnia.

July 19, 2008 at 2:11 am
(154) Jay says:

I have the same memory problems – but from Aropax. I stopped taking that in 2002 and the memory is better but no way near as good as it once was. Now Aropax is an SSRI (seratonin) and Effexor is an SNRI (seratonin + norepinephrine). If both drugs cause this memory loss, then it must be the seratonin.

What I’d like to find is a drug that just does norepinephrine, since that seems to be for anxiety, which is just what I want and reduces the possibility of peripheral damage.

Why do we track down the website for users of *that* drug and see if (a) it works and (b) causes no memory loss?

August 3, 2008 at 8:45 pm
(155) windy says:

this is said I seen it happen to my mother in law and they said it was dementia. That said its still on the market!!!!

August 4, 2008 at 2:47 am
(156) Carrie says:

I can’t believe I didn’t search for effexor and memory lost before now. I started taking it 10 years ago…and my short term memory is terrible. I do feel stupid and I don’t like it.
It started not long after I had been on it
and I did consider it to be the effexor but I’m
pretty sure my doctor told me it wasn’t likely.
I’m worried about the withdrawals though.

August 4, 2008 at 3:52 pm
(157) Sandy says:

I was on Effexor XR for 3mo and stopped it immediately against my doctors wish. She told me to “stick with it, it will get better,” my memory was so bad I would run through red lights, I didn’t remember driving home from work, I lost 12lbs and she blamed this all on the depression, I never had this problem before and after I stopped taking it, it took several months to get my memory back, and I swear it’s still not as good as it use to be. I TOTALLY blame it on Effexor!

August 4, 2008 at 4:39 pm
(158) Christina says:

I am so releived that it’s not just me who is experiencing these symptoms. I am 28, have been on effexor for only 2 months now for panic attacks… and suddenly coworkers are having to remind me of things that were discussed last week, last month, etc, that I have no recollection of. At first I thought they were joking but it turns out I really am losing my memory. I’m glad I discovered this is a side effect NOW, before continuing on this drug for years and years. I am going to get off of this immediately. If I have to choose between the occasional panic attack, or feeling like an idiot/being forgetful in the workplace, then I choose the attacks… and it’s not just losing my memory at work. I’m a college graduate, I qualify for Mensa, and still I forgot how to spell the word “are” this morning and had to google it. So sad.

August 5, 2008 at 1:18 pm
(159) Pat says:

I missed taking Effexor one day and spent the entire day in tears and in bed.I was a wreck.I didn’t realize I had missed it until the next day when I discovered my dosage in the bathroom.One missed day caused all those emotions!I am afraid to stop but just as afraid to continue after reading what everyone has had to say.I could have written any of those because memory loss ,High BP and fatigue are always there now.I stumbled upon this site and I am glad I did.I hope I can REMEMBER to return…..

August 5, 2008 at 11:30 pm
(160) Amy says:

Thank goodness for all of you who have made a comment here. I started taking Efexor about 3 months ago (my Psychiatrist took me off Lovan as it didn’t seem to be working anymore after 5yrs of taking it) and in the past month or so I have been having extremely frustrating memory loss. I thought at first that maybe it was due to feeling a little tired and that getting to bed earlier would fix it. But that of course, didn’t make the whole memory loss get any better, in fact, it has become a lot worse. My partner and I will have had a conversation about something the day before and I cannot remember it. Last weekend we went out for dinner and the following day I couldn’t remember where it was that we went! It is so embarrassing, as people must think I’m such a ditz! And I’m just not like that. I am normally a very organized, methodical person. I’m at a loss as to what to do from here, because last time I came off my meds (the Lovan) I had to be admitted to a Psychiatric Hospital so my doc could monitor me while I was changing over to Efexor. And I’ve heard that coming off Efexor isn’t the nicest of meds to do so. And to be honest, as far as Efexor being of any help for my depression and anxiety (including OCD), well, it just doesn’t seem to be all that worth it!

August 6, 2008 at 7:49 pm
(161) Meg says:

I’ve been trying to ignore the memory problems but yesterday I left my car running, unlocked in a parking lot for 3 hours. Imagine my surprise when I returned! I could have lost a brand new VW Eos because of this drug, not to mention the more important thing..the effect it has on my brain

August 6, 2008 at 7:50 pm
(162) Laura says:

The same has happened to me. It has also made me feel quite apathetic; I don’t care about anything (myself included). My doctor said it was a symptom of depression. I know it isn’t! My memory used to be perfect. I’m only 20!

August 10, 2008 at 11:33 pm
(163) Beth Nygaard says:

On Effexor for 17 years (plus Prozac). I recently had to take voluntary layoff because I could not keep up with the production required as a medical transcriptionist. I fear not being able to do transcription ever again, my memory is so bad, I have to double check everything I type. At 58, I read that old age is not a reason for memory decline. I have no job, I have little recall ability and I am my ownly financial supporter. Not sure if Effexor or combination Effexor/Prozac could cause this, but feel I have been robbed. How can I get another job ?!@

August 11, 2008 at 7:40 pm
(164) Jennifer says:

Yes, I used effexor for only a month… I couldn’t tolerate it b/c I was very forgetful and spacey. I would forget important things at work. When I told the doctor, she made me feel like I was crazy.

August 13, 2008 at 3:49 pm
(165) J says:

Effexor and Lexapro made my memory horrible. I am no longer on either medication and my memory works a lot better…I’m not at 100% but real close. I have been off Effexor XR since September of 2007.

August 15, 2008 at 5:02 pm
(166) Francesco says:

Hi, I’m Francesco from Italy. My english is not good.
In fact, I notices little memory problems with many antidepressant I’ve been treated on, and efexor is only one among them. With anafranil (clomipramina) I lost the sense of what I was saying just before.
The things that I remember with more difficult:
1. things I eated in the last days;
2. association face-name of people;
3. If I’ve taken the medecine (efexor now)
4. I have some little problem in remembering things I’ve read, even if at the moment it seemed to be fixed in my mind.
Paradoxically:
1. Still remembering , like an elephant, many facts of the remote past of my life, even with no importance
2. I notice, but I’m not sure, that I remember now better that in the past songs and things I’ve heard.

I’m worry if there is evolution of these problems!!!

August 21, 2008 at 6:19 pm
(167) Jamie says:

I am having all of the same side effects and my doctore refuses to take me off. I am getting in trouble at work for making stupid mistakes. I waste so much time a day looking for things I just had in my hands. I have gained a ton of weight no matter what I eat. I have gotton soooo lazy and tired. I was told by the doctor to excersize and that will help with energy, well it doesn’t. I just want to take a nap after. It does wonders for anxiety but it is causing more anxiety for the fear of the consequenses the side effects are getting me into.

Is this drug really legal? Does the company know what it is doing to people? Why do doctors keep pushing it with all these aful side effects?

September 2, 2008 at 10:45 am
(168) Charles Binns says:

I am Screwed, I have been in effexor for 8 years, and all of the above. I have neurological disorders and take other drugs, Lamictal, Modafinal, Aanax. I was sent to a loony bin once. well i walked into hospital a bit manic and wanted to talk to someone. They drugged me, stole my person items, mobile phone etc. Did not complete the admittance formes regarding my medical usage. I specifically stated i was on effexor!.

I was drugged with 30 mg of zyprexa per day. My effexor was abruptly ceased. I was also taken of my dexamphetamine abruptly. Add to this 1500mg od sodium valporate and 2500mg lithium.

I was a zombie.

I told them i had a head injury, and i proved it. They are yet to be held accountable, for my current state or lack of if u know what i mean…..

Forever to be lost……… CDB

September 5, 2008 at 5:46 am
(169) Tamara says:

I am glad I am not alone, I too have had memory loss, my doctor has taken me off for that reason, but the side effects are much worse than the memory loss, what are we going to do people, we are in a catch 22, who is going to pay for this???

September 6, 2008 at 5:33 pm
(170) elaine says:

I thought i am having an early sign of dementia! i;m only 38…i am having a hard time remembering …specially i just started a new job….It’s been hill for me now for almost a year.

September 19, 2008 at 1:33 pm
(171) Amy says:

I am so happy to find 150+ comments about this! I have been taking Effexor XR for 1.5 years. Most of the first year was at 75mg because I was pregnant and they wouldn’t give me more, then I went to 150 and then to 225mg. I started Effexor right before I got pregnant. People said my memory loss was common with pregnancy and not to worry. However, I had the baby and my memory was still horrible. Mid conversation I would be unable to remember a word or would lose my train of thought altogether. My husband was getting sick of hearing me say “sorry, I forgot”. I finally linked it to Effexor because it seemed to get worse as my dosage went up, but my doctor just smiled and said it wasn’t because of the meds it was because I had a one year old at home and was focussing on her instead of other things.

I am a chemist, I have always had a really sharp memory. I was really insulted when my doctor just blew me off. Now I’m really happy that I found this site. I’m not the only one. I was getting brain zaps too, but never mentioned them to the doctor because I didn’t even know how to describe them.

I asked him to switch my meds because I wasn’t happy with all the side effects. So, now I’m weaning off of Effexor XR 225 and starting to take Cymbalta. I know that will have side effects, too, (libido be damned), but I just want my mind back!!! I want to have a conversation without someone having to finish a sentence for me because I can’t grab the right word!

Thanks everyone for affirming that I’m not really losing my mind! (an my doctor should try surfing the web sometime)

October 8, 2008 at 9:57 am
(172) Anne says:

I didn’t notice an significant loss of memory while on the drug. I was only on it for about a year and took a very low dose at the time. I did, however, notice that after weening from the drug I still have these weird electrical sensations that shoot through my body when a loud dull noise occurs….especially if my body is in a relaxed state when the noise happens. This is the same thing that had occurred during the weening process, not entirly painful, but discomforting none the less. Good Luck…

October 21, 2008 at 9:48 am
(173) Ineffexor FrenchTestimony says:

Ineffexor
No result at all after 9 months of effexor prescription.I am still very depressed and unable to face the realities of everyday life.(treatment from 2×37.5 to 3x75mg now).Before my depression I was always enthusiastic and positive(teacher).My psychiatrist keeps saying that it is because of the depression ,and not the inefficiency of effexor.Personally I Think the treatment doesn’t help me at all .Thank you for your experience and opinion on this topic.

November 4, 2008 at 11:24 am
(174) Melissa says:

I took was on Effexor and weaned myself off after taking the medication for two years. I began experiencing memory loss and lapses about 6months into the two years. This affected mt family life, social life and job which I was released from, they did not know I was taking this medication. While I am relieved that I am not the only one, it doesnt change the ‘alone’ feeling that I do still carry with me. I wish I would have thought to have an MRI done pre and post medication, maybe it would have shown?

November 4, 2008 at 3:22 pm
(175) Richard Keogh says:

I googled “memory loss on effexor xl” on the off chance that it might provide an explanation as to why I have gone from having a photographic memory in college to someone who feared they might be getting early alzheimers at 34. I’ve been on Effexor XL for about 5 years now, for the majority of that time at 225mg. It has had a wonderful effect on my depression and social phobia, but in the past year my memory has turned to mush. I’ve become more worried recently though with people telling me I’ve already told them something just a few minutes earlier and not being able to find words I’m looking for. I was never the best at remembering people’s names, but when you struggle to remember a colleague of nine years name something must be wrong. I’m due to see my psychiatrist next tuesday, I will be printing out the comments of other’s on this site and asking that he takes me off effexor as soon as possible.

November 6, 2008 at 1:22 am
(176) Lyn says:

Same thing with me! I am 56 and been on Effexor a couple years. I can’t remember anything. I feel stupid and forgetful. I also have no attention span. I can’t sit for even a half hour. I also don’t sleep well. At this age and with depression….if it’s not one thing, it’s ten others. Good luck to all.

November 6, 2008 at 11:44 pm
(177) jean says:

I am so glad I found this site. I thought I was the only one. Memory loss is driving me crazy!! Can’t remember people’s names, words to songs, etc. I have missed more appointments than I’d like to admit to. Sometimes I feel like I’m going crazy. I am glad to hear it’s not just me. PLEASE tell me that my brain isn’t screwy and than I WILL get my memory back?! Also, how can I get off this stuff? I am only taking 75mg daily. Thanks.

November 9, 2008 at 8:03 am
(178) Thomas says:

WOW… and I thought I’m getting old and loose my mind here. I’m only 44 years old and need my brain for a couple more years here. Basically I experience all of those same symptoms as described by many of you here. I start a sentence and can not finish… pause for words… forget things and can not live without my PDA anymore. It’s very scary… and make you feel stupid. Also… ever since I have been on Effexor my eyesight went within a couple of weeks.
Last year I went through a divorce and also switched meds… BAD timing!!! … so after the doc tried me on the 3rd drug within 6 month, I crashed… BAD (suicide attempt etc.)
Since I did not respond to any med I was convinced that ECT (E-shock therapy) was my last resort.
I also started on a combo of Effexor and Wellbutrin… but blamed the ECT for all my memory problems. (you loosed some through the treatment… but are supposed to recover your memory)
After over a year now and reading this blog… I’m CONVINCED that the Effexor is screwing me up. I’m a computer specialist and NEED my brain to earn a living… I HAVE to stop Effexor… and fast!
Thanks again for all of you that have posted here…

November 9, 2008 at 2:39 pm
(179) anon says:

Its become a standing joke at work that I am forgetful – I forget my swipe card to access work more than once a week, lose my keys and the other day left my phone on a table. Last year I got a certificate on a ski trip “forgetful skiier of the week” for doing silly forgetful things. Joking aside, its since I have been taking effexor – I’m ready to come off effexor now and I hope that I get my memory back.

November 10, 2008 at 3:21 pm
(180) Danedra Porter says:

I’ve been on Effexor XR for the past 6 years. I don’t have much of a memory, so I write things down. My attention spand is as if I had AAD. However it seems to effect my short term memory more than it does my long term memory. I can still remember things that happened and things that were said when I was a kid, but I can’t remember to pick up lunch meat that the grocery.

The problem with stopping Effexor, is that you start having those horrible mood swings again. I tried it, and I get suscidial, and just go pain nuts.

November 11, 2008 at 3:11 am
(181) helen says:

I’m another. I’ve always had a fantastic memory but just lately things aren’t coming into my mind when I call them. I’ve put it down to having babies (for those of you who have them you know that one) and age or 20 years of social drinking. Someone only just said to me that her brother had lost his memory from anti depressants he was on (more than me)and so I too Googled Effexor memory loss and here you all are. My losses aren’t as bad as some of you. I have been on about a year on 150mg but I do experience some unpleasant feelings if I don’t take it at exactly the same time of the day but all other potential side effects don’t seem to affect me anymore. I would say to anyone who wants to come off it, do it how your Doctor advises or you probably are asking for a hard time. There’s a reason why your Doctor tells you to do it the right way because they don’t want you to experience a setback. I know this because my brother went through a cycle of suddenly starting and stopping meds with the obvious consequences. Anyway, thanks for all your comments. I hope we all get to a point very soon where we can come off this drug and enjoy our lives without it HOWEVER it has most certainly helped me to enjoy my life a hell of a lot more in 1 year than I had in the previous 5 without it so I’m not rushing it. Take care.

November 11, 2008 at 5:30 pm
(182) Mary Jane says:

I have been on Effexor for my chronic headaches. I was on topamax before (another memory loss med.) Before meds, I had a great photographic memory and was more in-tune to my feelings, the world, nature, and what was around me. I had great judgement and was a whole lot better. Now, I just stare wide-eyed and have a chonic I have no idea why I’m here mentality

November 13, 2008 at 2:19 am
(183) Thomas says:

…so I stopped the Effexor (cold turkey) but I’m still on the Wellbutrin.
Besides the nausea I’m just so irritable, nervous and almost aggressive. My memory is actually getting worse right now (can’t remember on Wednesday what I did on Monday…etc.) … withdraw side effects.
I really hope that those memory damages are reversible in the long run.
Some folks here posted that the memory damage is permanent, even after stopping Effexor. I can’t believe that. The brain is quite good in “re-mapping”… using all those spare cells we never actually use.
Does anybody here have any evidence that the memory loss gets better after a while???
Any feedback would be appreciated. THANKS.

November 14, 2008 at 5:26 am
(184) Ben sills says:

I have poor and find it hard to contrate.forgeting things i should know like how to add [sums] or how to spell and tasks around the house. one point I think i had some kind of black out or hallucinating where i did something even that i was conscious but remeber till later on [DAYTIME!]. my brother came to viste and he said that personality has change. help!im scared, worryed about this but might not be anything but im sure somethings not right?

November 19, 2008 at 9:29 am
(185) Chloe says:

I’m relieved to see that there are so many others losing their memory that are on Effexor as well. I thought it was just me! My dosage isn’t even considered high, but it definately is having bad side effects with my memory. I forget constantly where I placed things only minutes later, and lose my train of thought constantly

November 24, 2008 at 5:28 pm
(186) Ann Horwich says:

I googled “effexor makes me stupid” and ended up here. What a relief to find this discussion! I take effexor for fibromyalgia pain relief. And, while it does a wonderful job at that (as well as the obvious mood benefit), it does make me more tired and slow-witted. It’s gotten to the point where it’s affecting everything, home, nutrition control, and work. It does seem worse to me since I switched from XR to generic (faster uptake perhaps on the generic?) With the support of my MD I’ve been tapering off, but this is a long process (I do NOT recommend going cold turkey, having tried it once). I’m more determined now to really taper off, and to supplement and eventually replace the Effexor with Cymbalta or Wellbutrin if needed, but I’d prefer to be off of all of these. I feel like I need to be off of all of them to really know if it’s me (age or other related memory problems at 49) or the meds. I just don’t feel sharp or smart anymore… and it’s helpful to see that others have had similar experiences and side effects.

November 27, 2008 at 2:26 am
(187) leish says:

I’m 35 year old.I’ve been taking effexor xr for about 3 months (cant remember exactly) for chronic depression and Post traumatic stress disorder.I was originally taking Zoloft)Now I find that my memory is getting worse, it feels like there is a concrete block in my head.last few weeks I really don’t care about anything or anyone.I’ve stopped thinking about the traumatic events which caused my situation (which is good) but now I cant think or focus about anything.I lie in bed for hours staring at the ceiling trying to grasp a thought.(any thought)but there is nothing there or maybe nobody home anymore.I have given up on going to the Psychiatrist.I really can’t be bothered with anything! I’ve lost my job, I’ve resorted to selling myself (because I just don’t care about myself anymore!)and I need to look after my teenager and pay bills.I cant be bothered talking to anyone about it.I feel like I’m stuck in a big hole that if only I had some energy (like a normal person) and if I could string a thought together, maybe I could get out of it!The only big bonus that effexor has given me is that I now keep my house tidier?

December 9, 2008 at 1:09 am
(188) Laura Jo says:

I’ve been on Effexor XR for 4 years now and have had a lot of memory loss. I have difficulty focusing and can’t remember facts as well as I used to and my short term memory is awful. I got by in high school on my memory, and now I can’t remember the simplest things.

December 18, 2008 at 5:42 pm
(189) Terri says:

I have been having a hard time staying focused at home. I am taking math classes and having a hard time remember stuff that used to be very easy for me to remember.

December 28, 2008 at 11:48 am
(190) M says:

I had been on effexor xr for 6 months. My mail order got messed up and I did not get it for about a week and a half. In the mean time I went thru the withdrawal. I always felt dizzy, ears always had a whishing sound in them like having a sea shell up to my ear. Speech slurred, unfocused, Unbalanced on my feet, fatigue, memory lost, just really out of it. I really thought I had had a stroke. I went to work feeling bad, found a place to lay my head on my 15 minutes breaks and hour lunch. I think I had gone through the worse of the withdrawal symptons so when the medicine arrived I decided not to take it anymore. I did not ever want to feel this way again. I am doing much better as far as my reason for taking effexor xr in the first place, except for being unfocused and memory loss. I have been off of it for 3 months now. Now this being unfocused and memory loss is another thing. I have been doing a particular job for 2 years same procedures every day. Now all of a sudden I am having a hard time remembering how to go about doing the job. And work that I have done earlier upon my taking effexor xr are now coming back to hunt me. I was not aware that I was making all these mistakes, It is so embarrasing. To make common sense decisions is a challange. Just this past week I missed a step in processing a job that will cost the company money. I love my job and I take pride in my work. So to come up yet again with all these mistakes is driving me crazy (as well as my boss). I thought a was losing my mind until I went on line and type in unfocused and memory loss and low and behold this site popped up. I feel so much better knowing there is a reason for my shortcomings because I will have to try and explain this to my boss after the holidays, as well as, I will have to find a solution to this problem. Good luck and good health to you all.

December 30, 2008 at 12:43 am
(191) JW says:

Has anyone contacted Wyeth or gone beyond their literature to research the supposed correlation between Effexor XR and memory function? One post indicates a person sure to know chemical interactions on memory and yet indicates nothing about research.

Please post any findings or sources other than the one book listed in these posts.

Thank you.

December 30, 2008 at 12:44 am
(192) Laura says:

My husband has been taking Effexor for about 5 years. He just turned 50 and over the last year or so has been having terrible memory loss. Mostly short term problems. I’m so thankful I found this site, except what does a person with bad depression switch to? He cannot go off of his meds as his depression causes severe mood swings, suicidal thoughts, manic episodes, etc.

December 31, 2008 at 12:43 am
(193) Wendell says:

I’m a 51 yr old male and have been on Effexor for about 6 yrs. My memory continues to deteriorate. I saw Suzanne Somers on Larry King last week who mentioned memory loss as a side effect of Effexor and Lipitor. I’m on both. I’ve experienced both short term and long term ML. I take Efxr every other day BC I find that dosage allows me to continue an active sex life with my wife. I’ve always had a bad memory but over the past few years I’ve noticed a progression that really concerns me. I’m trying to learn a new lanquage and am finding it next to impossible to remember words I learned just a few minutes past. I’m glad I’m seeing I’m not the only one and will discuss this with my doctor.

December 31, 2008 at 7:59 am
(194) gerry says:

I’ve been on old school Desipramine for 15 years. Got weird side effects from 6-8 new age SSRI’s (close)that I tried. And literally everyone who’s been on antidepressants over a duration of time all seem to have similar complaints over short term memory. Wellbutrin especially seems to have many nasty side effects….in my case, got the equivalent to whiplash in 5 days. Quit and symtoms cleared up within 48 hours.
-Gerry

January 5, 2009 at 3:31 am
(195) Eddie says:

I was on Effexor for over 8 years and when i had to quit taking it when I got pregnant with my son the withdrawl was awful…. and then when my levels would drop abit.. I was going thru withdrawl all over again… In the last 2 years the memory forgetfulness has gotten worse…. I have recently been switched to celexa… But I am scared the memory is gone for good… I am gonna talk to my dr next appointment and see what she says. Its nice to see others have gone thru what I have.People told me I was faking it. I have forgotten things that are so simple…. It drives me insane!!

January 10, 2009 at 9:30 pm
(196) Effexor no good says:

I just started on effexor 2 weeks ago and have noticed memory problems already…I am going to stop taking it immediately….seems like it should be listed as a major side effect.

January 12, 2009 at 11:13 am
(197) frustratedinNC says:

I’ve been on Effexor XR 150mg/day for 5 years now and have finally reached the point where I am willing to experience the horrible side effects to regain my memory and ability to concentrate. I have concurrently taken Lamictal 200mg/day the the same length of time and thought maybe the memory loss was due to that. However, after reading these entries and being told by my psychiatrist that he has never had complaints of this from taking Lamictal I am 98% sure it is the Effexor XR. I am in my early thirties and don’t feel confident enough to apply for jobs which will further my career along because of the difficulty I have now. If this is what it can do to your mind, I don’t want to be on it any longer than necessary. My depression is now in check and might be able to do well on something else. Thanks for all the comments – it helps!

January 16, 2009 at 10:34 am
(198) Lori says:

Wow! It would stand to reason that a doctor could take one look at the 184 comments on this subject and see that Effexor XR definitely impairs a person’s memory! I asked my Psychiatrist and my Family Doctor about the possible risks/side effects before taking this medicine and was assured that it was a safe antidepressant. WRONG!

I took Effexor XR for about one year and now can no longer handle finances, keeping appointments, nor working at the professional level(I have a master’s degree)job that I used to enjoy. Instead, I am a basketcase who can’t handle a checkbook and has to have a family member with me just to go on trips to the grocery store. I’ve applied for disability and most likely will get it, my psychiatrist believes, primarily based on the memory impairment…this psychiatrist, by the way, still denies that there could be any link between Effexor XR and memory loss; This doctor believes that the memory loss was due to the extreme level of stress, anxiety and depression that I exerienced(the most severe of these occurring during the horrible withdrawal from Effexor XR the last two months.) This drug should be banned-it has destroyed too many lives.

January 18, 2009 at 1:25 am
(199) Donna says:

Oh my god! I am so glad that I am not the only one experiencing this. I have truly been starting to get scared there was more going on with me. I am definitely going to consult my doctor about this and possibly stop taking it.

January 23, 2009 at 10:50 pm
(200) Gloria says:

This is incredible. I thought I was crazy and getting old, but I’m only 26 and had always had a good memory before I started taking Effexor. I feel like I lose track of time, forget people’s names, faces, what I was about to do ten minutes ago and whether I did something before or not. Oh and the brain zaps, my goodness I had them and wouldn’t have known what to call them but just hearing about them makes me think, yes that’s exactly what I’ve experienced, like a buzzing in your brain. Sigh* I had not heard yet that it was really difficult getting off the medication. Now I’m kind of scared to even think about it.

January 25, 2009 at 11:08 pm
(201) Bill says:

Add me to the list. I am 47 and have been on Effoxor for 3 years. I take the original 100 mg form. No question the memory is different. But in all honesty the drug has changed my life. Perhaps the short circuiting of some memory is one of the ways it works. One way to combat generalized anxiety disorder is to understand the thoughts, or mental processes, that trigger anxiety. No making excuses, just trying to help. God bless.

February 12, 2009 at 1:50 am
(202) Laura says:

I was on Effexor for 5 months and the memory problems were almost immediate. I had trouble remembering words. It really became noticeable when I went back to university. My GPA dropped from A- to B. I couldn’t make “connections” in my brain and when I went to get information it was like the “file folder” was empty.

February 18, 2009 at 12:35 pm
(203) KarenB says:

A friend suggested that I check side effects of EffexorXR, which I’ve been taking for depression for a few years. I’m 67 and thought the memory thing could be my age. Started at 75 mg and moved up to 225 mg within the last couple of years. When I didn’t see anything about memory listed by the manufacturer I searched further and came across this site. On the one hand, less than 200 comments in a few years doesn’t really seem significant. On the other, I’m glad to know that I’m not totally alone in what I’ve been experiencing. I’ll wean myself off this either alone or with my doctor’s advice. I’m very grateful to the others who took the time to write about their experiences.

February 27, 2009 at 12:23 pm
(204) Diana says:

Wow! This has been like reading my biography. Been on effexor xr 150 for about 5 yrs. I’m 63 and was sure that I was suffering from alzeimers. I get lost going to familiar places, call the kids and grandkids by the wrong names, forget appts, get 3/4 through reading a book before I realize that I’ve already read it. It was so frustrating. I used to be a math wizard. I worked for years as an accountant. Now I can’t even help my youngest with her algebra and geometry. If I forget to take a dose for a day or two, I have outrageous dreams/nightmares. I’ve also been suffering from extreme hot flashies and non-stop persperation.. It’s standing joke among my friends that no matter the temperature, I wear sleeveless tops and open-toed shoes. I have talked to my doctor several times about my symptoms and he NEVER suggested that effexor might be causing them. I WILL be talking to him again. Thanks everyone!

February 27, 2009 at 9:32 pm
(205) Anne says:

Wow, is right! I just called my dr. after taking Effexor for 3 years. My coworkers, my husband and myself have all noticed my memory loss. I just figured with chemo and medications and age (45) that this was just part of life. I’m on Effexor to balance the side effects of Tamoxifin, that I need to take for the 5 yrs after cancer. I am going to switch for sure after reading these other entries!

March 4, 2009 at 3:18 pm
(206) Daryl says:

I took Effexor for several months in 2004. I quit it because it didn’t seem to help my depression and all my friends said I seemed weird on it. I was not aware of my memory loss until several years later when I was reviewing an online journal I kept and I saw an entry about a minor automobile accident I was in that I had absolutely no collection of. Looking back on the time, I remembered a friend of mine said I did something that I had no memory of, and it made me think I may have lost that memory as well. Today I was reviewing my Netflix history from that time frame and about 1/3 of the movies I rented and rated I have absolutely no recollection of. I have had no memory problems at all since quitting the Effexor XR.

March 7, 2009 at 5:43 pm
(207) c says:

I just searched Effexor and memory. I’ve found that Effexor makes me very sleepy and if I go without sleep (or even have less than maximal sleep) my memory is shot. Others have noticed this about me, so it’s not just me. I’ve only been on the drug for 6 months, up to full dose for 4, so the change is marked.

March 14, 2009 at 11:32 pm
(208) mark says:

38yrs old. European Male. 2 kids – one is 5yrs old the other is 8 months.
Been on Effexor XR for 8 years. Paxil before that. Brother passed away before that.

I have noticed memory problems, but its been around stressful times in life. After my oldest one was under a year to maybe 3 years old, it was a stressful time. My brain was mush, and felt it was to much spongebob! Once he became a bit more independent, i became stronger, better w/ my memory. Even picked up a habit of drinking coffee in the mornings and found it improved my concentration. Got interested in everything again.
Well, we have an 8 month old now, and i notice i’m in the same boat as before. What has changed, lack of sleep. My wife isn’t on any drugs and her mind has also ‘went’. And she was a gifted student.
I do however, wish DR’s would put people on an excercise program and/or fish oils – herbs before pushing the hard drugs. I would love to get off this drug becasue i hate feeling dependant on it. But the withdrawl is hard to deal with and my family is dependent on me working full-time for a roof over our head and food on the table. So i can’t miss any work. I think a month off work would be ideal to get me off the drug.

Also, i would like to see everyone posting, their background : on race (nationality), male or female and age, and how stressful there days are form a scale of 1 (not stress) to 10 (very stressful) And maybe where you are from. I think winters are tough for many.
I’m in the northeast.
I’ve took Cipro once and found i was allergic to it. It screwed me up by adding anxiety and noticed i clinched my jaw, so are many of you on other drugs, no matter how short a time? I was looking up Fish oil and Effexor to see if that combination was ok. Thats what brought me here.
Good Luck everyone.
Calm the mind, and you’ll notice your body will follow.
Mark

March 16, 2009 at 5:42 pm
(209) Michele says:

Absolutely I have experienced short term memory loss. I have been on Effexor for less than a year and I have been worried that I have early Alzheimers. Has anyone gone off the medication and experienced that your memory got better?

April 1, 2009 at 2:01 pm
(210) caroline says:

after 4 months of being on EVIL EFFEXOR

April 1, 2009 at 2:09 pm
(211) CAROLINE says:

after 4 months of effexor, i had to get off my vision would vibrate. that was june 08 now i don’t feel anything. the anxiety and depression are gone. I am sure i have brain damage from this stuff. Have confusion, lots of trouble communicating, can’t drive. thought process is gone. I CAN DEFINITELY SAY THIS HAS GIVEN ME BRAIN DAMAGE….I don’t know what to do anymore!!!!!!!!

April 6, 2009 at 8:26 pm
(212) Jan says:

I’ve been taking XR at increasing doses for a year and a half. I experience the memory, concentration, word-finding problems, and etc. However, I experienced the same prior to finally seeking help for my depression. I notice that such problems are most noticable during stressful times. When I am relaxed, busy, and happy, I notice little if any problems. I believe the problems are due to the depression, and it’s lasting brain effects. Regardless of the cause, I’d rather be happy with some memory issues than endure the pain and problems of chronic and espisodic major depression!!! Focus on what you CAN do! And live in the MOMENT!!

April 16, 2009 at 10:59 am
(213) Stephanie says:

I have been on Effexor for maybe a month and a half. My memory has gotten really bad over the last week or so. I want to come off the medication before it has any long term effects.

April 16, 2009 at 7:11 pm
(214) Kelli says:

I lost my second job due to severe memory loss. As many of the comments above, I can’t finish sentences, forget even which side of the street to drive on, which floor I live on, my kids’ names, etc. It’s made a MESS of my life!!! I changed to Pristiq with no help at all. The depression, however, is so bad without something. I think maybe I’ll try Cymbalta? Any suggestions for those who have gone off Effexor to something else that works?

April 16, 2009 at 7:15 pm
(215) john says:

I also have been wondering about this for some time. I am drawing blanks on tests in school. I also have been more forgetful than usual. This morning my doctor took me off to see if there is a connection for me. He told me that with many of the Anti-depresent’s memory problems affect a % of patients. Drug therapy is his practice at a large HMO. I had the same problems with Lexapro but it seems to be worse with Effexor

April 26, 2009 at 2:32 am
(216) mitch says:

I started on effexor XR in dec ’06, my memory hasn’t been the same since…I have also had attention problems, since stopping the drug in oct 07 these symptoms has lessened in severity, but my mind isn’t as sharp as it used to be…I was also wondering whether or not anyone has experienced slight shaking of the hands…my right hand has been affected to the point where it is noticable by others, I am only 20 years old and cannot find any other explination for this.

May 10, 2009 at 9:11 pm
(217) howdy S says:

The withdraws will kill you but I did it convulzing and seizures right in the hospital.

May 11, 2009 at 12:21 am
(218) thought it was the pot says:

I’m 23, and have been on and off antidepressants and for the past 8 years. I moved north for college and was experiencing increased seasonal depression and anxiety, and ended up smoking pot daily in combo with antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds. I became more and more dysfunctional until I dropped out of school and checked into a hospital. No school meant no health insurance, so I painfully weaned off of everything and have been fairly miserable for the past year. My mom was just thinking of starting an antidepressant, so we were going through my experiences and I TOTALLY FORGOT I’D EVER BEEN ON EFFEXOR. The next day she came home with her Rx for Effexor and I realized. I can FINALLY read a whole book, (hadn’t been able to for YEARS,) but college was a waste, as I retained nothing. I believe my memory is intact, but the retrieval system is still altered. I still rerent and rewatch movies that seem “familiar”. I KNEW it wasn’t the pot, but now what?

P.S. Fish oil seems to boost my mood a bit, without any side-effects

May 11, 2009 at 12:25 am
(219) thought it was the pot says:

I should add, I had only been a light smoker, but stopped smoking pot 4 or 5 months ago, without any change in memory since.

May 13, 2009 at 4:25 am
(220) madnana says:

I have been taking various dosages of Effexor SR for many years combined with Depakote as a mood stabilizer for bipolar symptoms. I suspect memory loss and some of the other symptoms described above are not unique to effexor. My husband and I both have shaky hand when using depakote. As his primary complaint is depression, he switched medication and he no longer has that symptom.
We both have memory issues, but take different meds. We are professionals who work together which means a dual to triple calendaring system to make sure no one and no task gets lost. Someone suggested that taking these meds is making a “deal with the devil”. I view it more as a symptom trade-off. I do miss the capacity for hyper-concentration and sharpness of functioning, however.

May 14, 2009 at 4:56 am
(221) Penny says:

Hello. I´m bipolar and I´ve had major depression at least 3 times and mild depression 2 or 3 times(thanks to early diagnoses)since I was 16 – I´m 27 now. I´m on therapy for at least 9 years and my psychiatrist is very very competent. I took effexor on 3 different ocasions and it has worked greatly for me. Of course I have experienced some side effects, but it always paid off.
Depression have many different symptoms, not only the sadness and the non-stop crying. Apathy, anxiety, problems with affection, and mostly MEMORY LOSS and cognitive problems are some of those symptoms.
When a person gets depressed he(she) looses a great number of brain cells, The brain gets fisically sick. That happens
also with mania. Each episode – manic or depressed – leaves a scar on the person´s brain. THAT causes memory loss. Your doctors are right. And it takes a while after the depression or mania are treated for the memory to come back – but it´s not quite the same as before – because of lost the brain cells. That´s why is so important to treat it before it gets too serious. It seems to me that you are too focused in blaming something else (in this case your medication) to try to avoid looking into yourselves and the issues that may be harming you. Therapy + medication is the best way out.

P.S.: I never had to take efexor for more than 1 year to be ok.

And my memory is fine and I´m doing great: I´m on my way to be a vet.

May 15, 2009 at 8:19 am
(222) Michele says:

The SSNRIs (Effexor and Cymbalta) boost the effects of serotonin and norepinephrine. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serotonin-norepinephrine_reuptake_inhibitor is the wiki page with fairly accurate information that is quite helpful.

Studies have shown that intense emotions help with short and long-term memory. If you are taking an SSRI or an SSNRI, you will likely not benefit from those intense emotions. It’s a trade off, for sure.

I have a very good memory from when I was very young (due to intense emotions), but I find that I have some troubles now (possibly because of medications, but possibly because I’m loosing my…gulp…mental functions). Taking drugs to modify emotions is not as much of a science as we’d like to believe and it’s definitely not without risks.

May 19, 2009 at 9:33 pm
(223) Paula says:

I have been taking Effexor XR 225mg. for 14 yrs. My memory problems began 4 to 5 years after starting. Stress was given as an answer to my concern over memory proplems…now I’m told it is age related. I’m scared and need to get off this drug. I hope that I can get my mind back, because I don’t know how I can support myself with such diminished capasity.

May 20, 2009 at 6:21 am
(224) Jim says:

I am 32 been taking effexor for about 4 years and my memory is so bad. It has been getting very bad and my boss and co-workers poke fun that I am a scatter brain. I began taking the drug after problems with PTSD after being in Iraq. I am a mechanic and it is very hard for me to do my job because memory is key when pulling apart an engine. It is short term loss. This is very frustrating and I am going to try and get off this stuff. I thought I was getting dementia. I have never been absent minded and managed a large number of troops in and out of combat. My memory and mind have always been clear. I use to work on some of the most advanced weapon systems in the world. Now I set a wrench down and have no idea where I put it 10 seconds later.

May 29, 2009 at 1:55 pm
(225) Cheryl says:

I’m 37 years old. I made this deal with the devil/symptom trade off. I, too, am a college graduate from a Tier 1 university.

I’m Bipolar 1, and it isn’t just the manic and depression episodes that killed my memory. It’s the 150 mg of Effexor XR, 150 mg of Lamictal, and 100 mg of Wellbutrin I’ve taken for the past SIX years. It’s the short term memory loss that is the worst. Effexor XR is the worst of them. If I take it 4 hours later than my regular schedule, I’m pretty screwed mentally for the day. Forget it altogether? I’ll throw up. This is a heavy duty drug. I went on it willingly. This is the only cocktail that has helped the bipolar.

And I’m going to stay on it. I don’t have severe manic or depressive episodes anymore. This is my trade off. Can’t do the fish oils because I’m allergic. I will try the magnesium (thank you). Maybe it will help the memory loss. Slow it down, something.

Oh and I’m doing a durable power of attorney for health care and finances just in case I completely lose it. =)

Good luck to everyone!!

May 29, 2009 at 9:17 pm
(226) Cheryl says:

*Forgot*(heh) to add my symptoms:

1. Leaving my keys in the door (did this just 10 minutes ago)
2. Having a coworker mentioning a name and forgetting it 30 seconds later (while trying to write it down)
3. Going to another room and forgetting the reason why I had to go in the first place.
4. Putting something in a place where it’s NOT supposed to be, which makes me search for it later.
5. Forgetting people after I’ve met them a week earlier.
6. Forgetting I took my medication 5 minutes after I take them.
7. My favorite: I had my keys with me, and I was on the couch thinking of a special place to put them so I always know where they are. I proceeded to forget about the keys altogether and left them on the couch.

Man, this list can go on ad infinitum.

Microsoft Outlook reminders are a GODSEND, and I highly recommend its use.

June 3, 2009 at 1:20 am
(227) Lisa says:

Yes, just like Cheryl experiences. I am on 450mg. Inability to conduct my chosen profession adequately. In Australia, suing my psychiatrist for inappropriate treatment for Bipolar when I was not bipolar. Now just on Effexor and valium and the mem loss has commenced since I was off the bipolar anti psychotics….plus confusion. Terrible….

June 3, 2009 at 1:14 pm
(228) jenifer says:

I too experienced memory loss on effexor xr. I would be in the middle of a sentence speaking with my family members and forget what I was about to say or even what we were talking about. I told my doctors also and they never even acknowledged my concerns only to say, “that’s wierd!” I would be on the isle of the supermarket and forget what I turned down the isle for and so on. I am now on Prestiq and not sure if it is working the way its supposed to. I will research and visit doctors until i beat this thing. I really hope and pray you get what you need from your antidepressants, but I just wanted you to know that you are definately not alone.

June 8, 2009 at 1:01 pm
(229) Becka says:

I have also had memory loss and I am only 25. Me and my friend both have tons of memory loss and we both took it. She was on 75 three times a day and I was on 75mg once a day. I cannot remember anything. Not very helpful for my job as well.

June 12, 2009 at 6:20 pm
(230) Dave says:

This is interesting, and I’m glad to see I’m not alone. I’m 30 now, and was on Effexor XR for about six months almost two years ago. In addition to not helping my moods whatsoever, it seems I have developed an inability to consistently remember day to day things like dates, appointments, some events and conversations and some fairly simple work-related tasks.

I was suspicious that it was the drug, but have never taken the time to check into it until now, as the problem still persists.

I also found that this drug changed the way I processed and responded to alcohol. I began to become very drunk, quite suddenly, after only a few drinks, at which point I could easily angered or otherwise negatively emotional.

Thanks for your posts.

June 19, 2009 at 2:06 pm
(231) Sara says:

Has anyone experienced this with OTHER MEDICATIONS as well? My memory problems have been on-going even when I was no longer on Effexor but still on other antidpressant(s). Or does it just not get better?

June 19, 2009 at 11:07 pm
(232) sarah says:

I was on effexor for 4 months (over 2 years ago). The two major side effects I noticed were short term memory & verbal communication breakdown (including vocabulary loss). How many people have to experience this before its listed as a side effect?

June 24, 2009 at 12:08 am
(233) Stephanie says:

I took Effexor roughly ten years ago for a short period of time after my doctor prescribed it to help with fibromyalgia symptoms. It did nothing for those symptoms but immediately I experienced problems with my equilibrium, weight gain, and most importantly MEMORY LOSS! I told my doctor about those symptoms and he suggested I increase my dosage and give it some time. After a few months of these adverse symptoms just getting worse I decided to slowly go off of it myself (I switched doctors too). To this day my memory is horrible. It is so frustrating. I feel like I am on the onset of Alzheimers and I’m only 38. Does anyone know of anything that can be done to reverse the memory loss?

June 25, 2009 at 12:45 pm
(234) Karen says:

Same here! I found that if I don’t make a list, I’ll forget to complete a task. I was hoping to find info on moving from 150 to 300 mg but I found this on memory and wanted to chime in. Sometimes I can’t remember if I took my pill, like today so I am just going to take hope for the best and take another one. My only real concern is that I really don’t care much about the things that used to get me fired up. That internal fire that I had that motivated me to clean when I was angry to rush because I was running late is GONE! I suppose if I did go to 300 mg I may not care enough to go to work. Hope my husband doesn’t read this.

July 2, 2009 at 6:11 am
(235) Paul says:

I googled for memory loss on effexor to see if anyone else is having the problem. I have been having memory losses, but i am not on effexor anymore, but maybe it is not memory loss too much but a struggle to remember. However, i used to teach and i could read a book and remember so much of it, now i struggle to remember what was on the previous page.
Has there been any study on this?

July 7, 2009 at 4:11 am
(236) NewTakingEffexor says:

Thanks for everyone leaving these comments. I just was prescribed 37.5 dosage(s) of the medication yesterday by my family physician. I need my memory as it is the key to my successes in life. It sounds like this medication has serious sideaffects, that I do not want to take these risks I have seen posted here. None of this was mentioned by my physician but it sounds like you folks have connected the dots to this medication and memory loss. Whether this is characteric of the drug in general for everyone who knows. I am going to immediate discontinue use of the drug and find another remedy after reading these posts.

Thank of you for sharing this information.

July 8, 2009 at 12:14 am
(237) NewTakingEffexor says:

I had taken one of the 37.5 pills before I found the article yesterday. Late into the evening I was doing a couple of things, and suddenly I found myself at the refrigerator with my hands against it looking up, asking myself what am I doing. I just got confused as to what two items I was doing, and I had to slowly stop and think what they were. I don’t recall when I have found myself like that just staring into space like what am I doing. I just do not think this could be attributed to one dose, but I found it interesting the way I found myself. My body is extremely sensitive to medications and I know this left me feeling different and a little spaced this evening. I found myself sweating and warm today very abnormal for me. Could one dose affect someone if your body is sensitive like this?

July 11, 2009 at 8:32 am
(238) NewTakingEffexor says:

I took just one capsule this past week, and I went back to my Vitamin-B’s, Omega-3, and other supplements. I also tried the SEROTAIN that is available at specialized vitamin places, and I did notice it did help but it didnt get me all the way there. I asked my MD and he said there was very similar compounds but not of the dosage levels a prescription had in those pills. I experienced several memory struggles this week beyond my normal, but I have found myself feeling with more energy and mentality like something was disengaged that was taking the life out of me. I would find myself exhausted on the weekends and completely without any lack of motivation and energy but no way to snap out of it.

In the defense of Effexor XR, I feel like something has disengaged something like electrically in my brain like a short circuit that I could not get disengaged with other prescribed relaxants. I been like this for years but it was like a constant of the symptons of possible depression that I just could not kick. It just robbed me of my life at times, but I knew that if I excerised alot that I felt better. The problem is there were times I had no engergy or motivation or ability to go. It was like my electrical system in my brain was grounded at times and I would just want to sleep and withdraw from contact with the outside world.

I know the Efflexor XR changed something electrically in my brain enough to disengage something enough to re-engerize me and start to recover my motivation. I listened to the physican tell me to take all the medications etc., but I am wondering maybe I just needed something to break some bad electrical connections that I could not get disconnected in my brain.

Im curious if anyone else has had any experiences where they thought they may have had bad brain electrical like short circuits but have recovered through some other means by feeling there have been a disengagement of those negative impulses that held them back from feeling normal.

I am going to speak with my physican again but I think the discussions will be beyond his capability to answer, and I wonder if Wythe monitors this blog.

I am thinking I will hold onto my prescription and if I see a slight return of where I have been mentality with some state of depression, that I take another dose of Efflexor XR to breakup negative electrical impluses.

I am an extremely successful person in life, and I was even concerned about going to the doctor to discuss my condition and situation. Finally, I could not take it anymore and had to seek help of feeling lifeless.

I recently went over to a different health care with a primary physican that I have not seen. In dicussing with them in a telephone discussion, I was immediate given the impression, oh another “nutcase” is on the phone and what all the steps would be with psychological help and potential meds.

My long time general MD that I just have the greatest respect for, I decided to see him rather than the other healthcare plan.

My questions to him were how can they determine which medication or how can they measure your serotonin level and other levels to know what to prescribe. I wanted to know how scientific the process was if you needed to be medicated. I basically came away with the feeling its not really a measured situation other than your counselling sessions seem to determine what might be best depending on your issues, and it was like determining which drugs might be better suited for that problem.

At this point, I have determined to see my general MD again and get further advice if I see a progression back again if I take an Efflexor XR to see if I can reproduce the process of breaking the negative brain activity with the negative electrical impulses.

Again, I am wondering as crazy as this sounds do others find themself in similar type of situation(s) deploring to take medications if you do not have too just because a medical proffessional or a company tells you to take all your medication? Can there be those situations you just need to like reset your brain activity like rebooting your computer?

July 12, 2009 at 10:31 am
(239) Julia says:

I’m on venlafaxine, I have trouble concentrating, I can’t even watch a movie, I’ve never experienced memory loss, but I also get restless legs, I need to move them for some reason, I told my psychaitrist and he told me that it’s not a side effect, but I didn’t have it before starting venlafaxine.

July 21, 2009 at 12:08 pm
(240) Jeanine says:

I started taking effexor XR in May after my husband was in as erious motorcycle accident and I went crazy threatening to kill 10 people for blowing their horns at me at a parking garage, since I no longer have that desire, but I have difficulty sleeping, and this past weekend I brought Charlie home for the day we got him out of the SUV into his wheelchair and the house, I started painting the guest bath and an hour later remembered I did not turn the truck off let alone pull it in the driveway but left it sitting in the street. I am very concerned here and think I will go back to my herbal hormonal replacement and risk Breast Cancer.

July 27, 2009 at 1:08 am
(241) Donna says:

My forgetfulness has caused many problems in my personal life. My husband is sick of me forgetting and wants me to stop taken effexor. I need my medications for depression. My short term memory is shot and I lose track of so much.

July 29, 2009 at 5:42 pm
(242) Angie says:

HELP! I’m really worried now! I’m having all the same problems – severe memory problems, inability to learn new information and even basic processing. I am a child mental health practitioner and my job involves daily assessments of suicide risk, which is obviously a huge responsibility, and these cognitive problems are gonna lose me my career if something doesn’t change soon. I end up having panic attacks when I’m cornered and can’t remember crucial things. HOWEVER: The only reason I started taking effexor in the first place is because I had a break down at work which was triggered by panic due to memory loss and confusion! I was having all the same problems WITHOUT this drug, yet it’s got worse. So… what the hell is going on with me? I’m beginning to wonder if I wasn’t depressed in the first place, but suffering from acute and chronic anxiety due to prolonged stress in my life. An anxious mind will struggle to concentrate, have racing thoughts, and therefore be unable to pay attention and retain information! I have OCD aswell, which in itself, is an anxiety disorder. I insisted that I wasn’t depressed at the time, but the P.docs insisted that I was! My main concern now is whether the damage to my brain is permanent, whether or not the Effexor is making things worse, and whether I should try to come off them by using a benzo or something. I was prescribed Clobazam recently for panic and anxiety, so perhaps I could use that? I guess I need a new referral to a P.doc..
Has anybody here got any answers or suggestions?

July 29, 2009 at 6:00 pm
(243) Angie says:

I forgot to say that I too have always prided myself on excellent spelling and on being very articulate, however, both have been affected significantly and it’s maddening! I learn directions to somewhere, yet cannot retain them even when making the same journey over and over. I have no drive any more (I miss my mania!) and don’t want to socialise. Friends are very worried that I’m becoming reclusive and not caring about my appearance any more…Hmmm, don’t know what to make of all this!

August 2, 2009 at 3:20 pm
(244) scared says:

I’m a fourth year PhD graduate student who has been off effexor for 2 years and continue to see declines in my memory and ability to learn new things. I was previously on Effexor for 2 years and noticed the memory loss shortly after beginning but figured it was related to depressive symptoms or significant life changes at the time. I am an Ivy League graduate and always prided myself on my intellect. Math came easy to me. The first time I noticed the memory loss was after a few months during a job interview in which I had to do a few easy math problems. I just blanked. But chalked it up to nerves. Two years later I began teaching SAT prep and noticed it would take me much longer to answer the simple math problems than the kids – after getting nearly a perfect score on my SAT I couldn’t do arithmetic. My memory loss for song lyrics has also been dramatic. My sister used to joke at how easily I could remember songs. That always came easy for me, after a single listen. I’m currently trying to begin singing again with a band and can’t learn lyrics. My friends think it’s hilarious, or that I’m not trying, but to me the deficit is far clearer than that. I just CAN’T learn it, even when I want to, even when I’ve listened 100 times, or even when the material (like schoolwork or job tasks) is important. I simply can’t remember. Something is very wrong here. Very very wrong.

August 2, 2009 at 8:13 pm
(245) Angie says:

Re: comment above – I agree, something is definately wrong. I was doing a Masters in Psychotherapy and had to abandon the course after 18mths due to cognitive problems. I could not, and still cannot work out problems. It’s as though there is a huge segment of my brain that is inaccessible to me. Like you, I put it all down to the depressive symtpoms, but now I’m not so sure at all. Your comment worries me even more, as you say that despite being off Effexor for 2 yrs, you continue to see a decline in cognitive functioning. I’m worried about how reversible these problems are… what can we do? I think I will talk to one of the psychiatrists that I work with and ask him to check online psychiatric journals for any news about this drug.

August 13, 2009 at 4:05 pm
(246) Jane says:

I took effexor off and on for 8 years. My max dosage was 450mg. Back in 2004 I weaned off of it as I felt it was no longer working. After the withdrawl symptoms subsided I began to experience confusion, reasoning and memory problems which, at the time, I attributed to exposure to construction adhesive during renovations in my house. I began taking it again soon thereafter though I never exceded 150mg again. I finally weaned off it again this past Feb./March because in addition to the fact that it was not helping me, I began having memory problems(not remembering whether I took a pill or not, etc.) and felt “the fog” that folks describe here becoming even more dense. I remember telling my sister I felt brain dead. Since about April or May, it is as though a portion of my brain has completely seized up. I cannot follow conversations, make connections/determine direct, let alone indirect, implications of an idea or action of slight complexity(I’m still okay with knowing when it’s okay to cross the street… for now) because I can’t remember enough to complete a chain of thought. Like one poster said it’s as though I have a brick in my skull and when presented with a problem not encountered on a daily basis, though still relatively simple(well within my former capabilities), I draw a blank as to how to solve it. I can only get my news from the paper because I cannot keep up with the pace of news anchors( super frightening ). It’s as though I’m listening to another language I’m in the process of learning and catching portions of a sentence that I then have to repeat back to myself in order to fully comprehend. I thus have to use periodicals so I can read and reread articles and backtrack to facts I’ve already forgotten.
I can see where people who write that memory and cognitive issues are symptoms of depression are coming from but Ive had episodes of depression in the past and NEVER had problems to this degree. Apathy and concentration issues: yes. Problems with basic math and very basic comprehension: no. Repeatedly forgetting what your saying mid sentence: no. I am now on Wellbutrin and it is not helping with any of these issues. I wish more folks from a few years back would  visit and update regarding their status. I’m so afraid this is permanent. This in and of itself is making me want to kill myself. If my job were any more complex, I would have been fired by now. If it gets any worse I undoubtedly will be.

August 22, 2009 at 2:05 pm
(247) Cynthia says:

I’ve been off 75 mg Effexor Xr for approx. 4 yrs now. I was noticing slight memory loss at first (I weaned myself off, due to a massive lay off at work & of course ended up losing the medical insurance…that was horrible)…Now in the last 2 yrs, the memory loss has incresed dramatically. It’s scarey. I’m suffering at work. My family doesn’t understand…and my boyfriend is frustrated with me all the time.It’s ruining my life!I’m only 40 and my memory makes me feel like I’m 80 or 90 at times!

August 27, 2009 at 10:48 am
(248) Shoshanna says:

I’ve been on Effexor for many, many years. From a low dose to the current dose of 75mg. There is no doubt in my mind that Effexor causes loss of memory, and difficulty concentrating. I asked my psychiatrist whether these symptoms are a direct result from the medication. Her response was yes. When I went to another doctor, she said no. Her comment was it is from depression and anxiety. Really??? Then why am I taking the Effexor??? I refuse to take a higher dose for fear I will become a complete zombie!
I think it would be very interesting to see if any papers have been published by reputable doctors on this subject.

September 12, 2009 at 10:57 pm
(249) donya says:

I have the same problem, it bothered me so much and was kind of scary so I quite taking them (slowly, as recommended). I quite fully about 2 weeks ago and I still have some memory issues but it is better so I know it was the meds. I never had this type of issue before the meds and I it was really bad sometimes. I think this needs to be looked into by someone because this could hurt people and maybe it is perminate after a long time on this medication, who knows. It got to thinking how scary it would be for an older person if this happened to them and their family thought they had demintia and put them on even more meds or worse. Good luck, I hope you can find something that helps but has fewer bad side effects. Prayer really helps but don’t be afraid to try additional some out there are maybe better for your particular system than this one.

September 13, 2009 at 9:47 am
(250) Mimi says:

In a way I’m happy to have found this site. But I’m also scared… To hear about so many who have problems similar to mine and to hear that the memory loss may be progressive and permanent. I am a GP who graduated at the top of my undergraduate class with no mark lower than an A in all four years. Then in medical school became severely depressed and was placed on Effexor 75 mg daily. It really helped my depressive symptoms but after 1 year I weaned myself off of it because I couldn’t concentrate and study while on it as I wasn’t making A’s any more. In the years since then, I have struggled with my short term memory and my recall for words and names. And it’s getting worse over time. It hit me yesterday that, because of the time frame, it could be a side effect from Effexor. Then I found this website with so many describing exactly what’s happening to me! Wow! And probably no cure. What disturbs me is that these medications get approved by federal agencies for use after proving effectives and low risk for side effects after trials of only 6 weeks duration!!!!!!! So our sorts of problems only come out with post marketing studies that may or may not be acknowledged by the medical community.

September 20, 2009 at 2:06 am
(251) Jonathan Woodward says:

My best friend has been on effexor for 6 years. suring this time i have helped her through a uni degree and 4 hositalisations plus there have been many signifiacant things that have happened with family. She can not remember any major events or even imoortant conversations that took place.
She can not work as a nurse as she can not remember long term what she has learned and experienced. Emotions are what people use as triggers for memories but as Effexor turned her into the “Ice Queen” with no emotions. She can not remember or realte to events that she was apart of with any certainty as they are other peoples memeories as she doesn’t have any of her own.

Our relationship has been destroyed ad this drug meant the our relationship was a vague dream and she can not remember the dpression and suffering the entire family and friends went throught in helping her deal. She is now off Effexor and everyone that stood by her have been pushed aside as she is happy to move on with life while turning her back on everyone who supported her.

I HATE EFFEXOR and what it has done to her and how it has effected the lives of those around her.

After 12months of not taking Effexor she is happy (shich is great ) but she has decided that what people tell her what happened and she went theough doesn’t exisit as she can ot remember it.

I would reccommend Effexor for a maximum of 3 months but no longer as emotions and memeries are linked. Not emotional triggers can happen if the person involved isn’t feeling any emotions.!!!!
It has ruined more than just one life.

September 20, 2009 at 2:52 pm
(252) Ramona Dayton says:

Withdrawal from Effexor was hell. I was weaned down to 37.5 from 300 over a one year period. I got suicidal every time my dose was lower than 75; my children called these my crazy pills because I would get crazy as hell if I was without my meds for over 24 hours. I had a photographic memory before use of this med. I now have very little recall of the four years I took Effexor, and my memory still is damaged. My final withdrawal required use of sedatives to control my hot flashes, restless legs, hysteria, tetany. My withdrawal lasted for many weeks. I can’t imagine any withdrawal from heroin, cocaine, crystal meth or any other drug being any worse. The prescription liner mentioned possible minor withdrawal symptoms. My physician stupidly said that my symptoms during withdrawal indicated that my body needed the med!!! Would he have said that about withdrawal from illegal substances or misuse of prescriptions for amphetamines or narcotics? How many lives have been damaged by this drug! When does this rate a major class action suit?

October 4, 2009 at 1:21 am
(253) Aleisha says:

Sigh.

I have been off of Effexor for 5 years now. I was on it for a year and a half when I was 18-20ish. I can’t remember my exact dosage (ha!) but no more than 130ish.

I had horrible withdrawal symptoms. I was able to get off my taking apart the pills and going down 5 beads a day. I didn’t realize then that my memory was gone. I just felt out of place and uncomfortable in my family and life- like I was a stranger. I had forgotten all of that familiar family humor/interactions/inside jokes.

I went off in the summer after my first year of university. In year two of university (Art major), I found my desire to draw decreased dramatically. It became (and still is a chore).

In year three after university, the memory loss became very very evident. Couldn’t remember keys, homework. Still getting great grades, but couldn’t convert the information into my long-term memory. Therefore, I can’t remember MOST of what I learned in University. And now I am a teacher and feeling inadequate ever day.

Year three and year four of university were the worst for forgetting simple tasks. I cried for hours when I put a pizza into the over while still leaving the cardboard under it (it burnt). I nearly crippled my hand when I left a pyrex glass dish on an element that I forgot was on. When I noticed the dish smoking I carried it to the sink and dropped it into the water, and it exploded. Probably the most traumatic thing I have ever experienced. My engineer ex-boyfriend did not understand my memory problems and he ridiculed me for it.

Year five of university got slightly better in terms of forgetfulness. This went down. HOWEVER I still couldn’t remember how to CONVERT things I have learned into LONG0-term stuff. Got my uni degree feeling like I cheated the system- was able to maintain an A- average by cramming for every exam and essay the night before and spewing it all back out quickly so as not to forget!

Year one after university is very very slightly getting better. Still can’t remember names or quote Shakespeare like I used to, but oh well. I also notice that I don’t get stumped in conversations as easily, but my comments are no where near as intelligent as those of my peers. This causes great self-esteem issues.

So, does it get worse? Around year two of being off it. Does it get better? Very slightly. The extremely embarrassing things like word-recall have for me.

What hasn’t gotten better- lots. But now I am able to retrieve random memories at random times. And I am dreaming again if I take 20 mgs of zinc.

As for Masnesium, I take it daily at 125 mg- it certainly won’t hurt. Fish oil did not help me, but my body reserves of vitamin k are too low to take it, and it was causing skin bleeds.

My language has gotten very simplistic, but I think that this has plateaued out. I still mispronounce words, but what can you do.

SO there is hope. It will eventually go away. I still feel very disconnected from life, but am looking very forward to looking through the new family photo album my mom is preparing.

Perhaps this will get better in time too.

October 4, 2009 at 11:37 am
(254) Dan says:

I have tried several differant approaches to dealing with sleep difficulties steming from anxiety. The various ‘potions’ all had side effects of one form or another and in hindsight the cure was often much worst than the desease.
My work demands the ability to think clearly and make informed decisions. This stated I took Effexor on 2 separate occasions (75mg XR). On the first occasion I found it to aid in my sleeping however with prolonged use I began to feel tired all the time and somewhat out of it.
I should have known better but after discussion with my doctor I ended up back on the drug after a 5 year absence. (This followed trials of Zoloft and Wellbutrin and I believe 1 other.) In any event I was assigned a rather large complex project of the type that should have been rather straight forward due to my familiarity with the equipment etc.
Initially the drug seemed to help however now that I have ceased taking it realize just how messed up I was. During the course of work I found myself doing and re-doing the same task and not being able to think clearly enough to drive anything through to completion.This affected my ability to make decisions at work and at home. In addition I seemed to forget what I was doing if at all interrupted and also found that I had to look up basic calculations which were generally second nature.
The end result is that I now realize that I totally screwed up a major installation. I was ‘let go’ as part of a mass layoff and have basically been black balled within an industry I worked in for 20 years .Other than being unemployed and feeling terrible for what transpired I am drug free and although not sleeping the best can at least think and reason better.
The personalities I was working with throughout the project were interesting and did not help matters. This stated, had I been on my game I could have easily given clear direction and ensured a sucessful outcome.
Upon my departure I decided it was time to try going without the medication. This led to a weaning off which was to say the least also interesting.I cut the dose from 75 to 37 and then extended the period between doses over a 4 wk period. At the end of this I experienced dizziness, what I believe is reffered to as brain zaps and intermittent upset stomach. This lasted for a further 2-3 months. This little pill has an huge impact on your body. Take care when getting off of it!
In closing, the drugs are probably great for a lot of folks however as I found the person taking the pill often times does not fully realize the impact it is having. If I had it to go through all over again I would strongly recommend maintaining a journal to document how the drug is affecting you.
In addition please take care if you are working in a position of authority or one which requires an attention span of some length.

October 9, 2009 at 8:35 pm
(255) EffexorNoMore says:

Why is there not a class action suit brought against the manufacture of the medication? I saw the petition on the first page of comments but wonder if there is more to be done…..
I too took this pill and it really isnt worth it

October 12, 2009 at 4:57 am
(256) _____________ says:

Get off that shit medication!
I wet off of it cold turkey. suffered for 3-4 days but i am ok now.
Doctors know shit about metabolism, brain neurochemistry and micronutrients. i was depressed/bipolar and found out it was caused by a inborn error of metabolism causing me not to absorb vitamin b12 properly. The lack of this vit can fuck you up really bad. I was ok 24hours after i started taking the vitamines and minerals my doctor told me.
Go to a doctor you trust and do the blood test for vitamines a to z, Mg, Na, K, Cr… Psychiatrists know nothing about medicine. Take care.
P.S.: I was wrong about effexos not fucking your brains up. very wrong. Stop taking it. I think it is like anyother drug, sice sometimes it gave me this feeling of pleasure in my frontal lobe, like Xanax.

October 12, 2009 at 5:00 am
(257) penelope says:

Get off that sh*t medication!
I wet off of it cold turkey. suffered for 3-4 days but i am ok now.
Doctors know sh*t about metabolism, brain neurochemistry and micronutrients. i was depressed/bipolar and found out it was caused by a inborn error of metabolism causing me not to absorb vitamin b12 properly. The lack of this vit can f*ck you up really bad. I was ok 24hours after i started taking the vitamines and minerals my doctor told me to.
Go to a doctor you trust and do the blood test for vitamines a to z, Mg, Na, K, Cr… Psychiatrists know nothing about medicine. Take care.
P.S.: I was wrong about effexos not fuc***g your brains up. very wrong. Stop taking it. I think it is like anyother drug, sice sometimes it gave me this feeling of pleasure in my frontal lobe, like Xanax.

October 19, 2009 at 5:51 pm
(258) carol says:

I’ve been taking Zoloft for 10 years and recently switched to Effexor. It’s only been one week and I feel the same. My doctor was hesitant to increase my Zoloft (200 mg/daily) and suggested I switch. I lost my job six months ago and I am under a tremendous amount of stress.

I am reading all these comments about brain zaps and forgetfulness and it’s making me nervous. Zoloft always worked well for me, except that I gained a lot of weight while taking it. It could be due to the fact that I haven’t exercised in a while and just lazy sitting a round looking for jobs all day. I have to say, I don’t feel as hungry on Effexor as Zoloft. I don’t know if it’s just because I am anxious or not but I just found out I have high cholesetrol on top of everything. Still waiting on the breakdown of numbers but the total is 275- not good. Could it be because of Zoloft? Has this happened to anyone else?

Please let me know. Now I am freaking out that I will have a heart attack. By no means am I obese, just gained weight over the past two years and could easily lose 20-25 lbs.

October 29, 2009 at 6:30 am
(259) Rebecca says:

I am scared I am going to lose my job – I have made so many little (not TOO bad, yet!) mistakes over the last few weeks -or since starting Effexor, and I am so unproductive. I just don’t care and everything feels like too much effort. I can’t concentrate and it feels like I can’t learn anything. When I try to learn I just get a frustrated headache and give up. I feel like I forget everything- I feel like I am going crazy…. but this may have started just before taking the Effexor – I can’t remember, exactly. Maybe this is just symptoms from my anxiety, not Effexor…. Maybe I should resign…. I want to cry :(

November 3, 2009 at 11:21 pm
(260) Nick says:

I’ve been taking Effexor XR for over a year, and I’ve noticed some memory loss. I have to use stickys all the time at work. If my wife gives me a grocery list without writing it down, I begin forgotting the items after about the 3rd or 4th item.

November 5, 2009 at 11:23 am
(261) barb says:

Niacinamide…. I read that it helps memory problems with Alzheimers. I searched online and it helps with depression. Big doses at least 500 mg 4x day. I’m living with someone taking Effexor. His memory is lousy and was worse when he was on higher doses of medicine. Maybe some of you can try niacinamide and see if it helps and report back….

November 10, 2009 at 5:30 pm
(262) Cindy B. says:

There was a doctor on Fox News last weekend who was talking about all the medications, when taken for an extended period of time, will cause memory loss … Effexor/ Effexor XR was one of them. I thought I would try to see if I could find anything on the internet regarding Effexor and memory loss and I came across this page. I know now what the reason is and that it’s not just me. Most of the comments are exactly like what I go through myself. I was a high school math teacher, but now I don’t work – I don’t see how it would be possible. I truly wish I could.
Thanks everyone for your posts.

November 11, 2009 at 5:37 am
(263) andanother says:

Took efexor for about 4 years. Initially worked very well, but then the forgetfulness and cognitive bluntness started setting in. I have lost all continuity in thought. I am finding it extremely difficult to keep my job. I used to feel cleverer than most people, now I feel like the slowest, dumbest person I know. My doctor refuses to take seriously the possibility that it is the effexor and says it is anxiety and depression that caused it.

November 20, 2009 at 1:00 pm
(264) ROSIE says:

I have been taking effexor for two years I STILL FEEL DEPRESSED AND NO MOTOVATION AND I CAN NOT REMBER WHAT HAPPENED LAST WEEK IM 35 YRS. OLD AND IM UNDER A LOT OF STRESS

November 24, 2009 at 3:04 am
(265) Melissa says:

I just read your comments and am sobbing like a baby. Just to know i’m not alone in this hell is comforting. I took this drug for almost 5 years and wiened myself off about a year ago. I know what i want to say but can’t finish most sentenses. I am unable to comprehend new information, especially when someone speaks too fast or throws out to much information at one time. I can’t keep a job. What are we suppose to to? Class action suite…Hell yes!

November 25, 2009 at 7:49 pm
(266) Paige says:

This medication has helped me with depression however now my concern is about my memory loss. I can look at something and not be able to say what it is and really struggle to no avail. I used to have a really great memory and this is becoming more and more troublesome. I am currently a stay-at-home mom but I’m also a RN and am planning to go back to work in the new year. I can’t have memory problems in that kind of environment for the patient’s sake. Plus, I think that my memory lapses will make me look like an idiot.

In the past whenever I have forgotten to take my Effexor, the next day I feel awful and dizzy. I think that I will need to talk with my doctor about coming off of this stuff.

December 3, 2009 at 3:37 am
(267) Jaded says:

I am 22 years old. Although my memory has always been not that good, ever since taking this medication it is now beyond embarrassing. 9/10 times I’ll forget to lock the door to the house, even if there’s a big red note stuck right there. I’ll basically forget a movie right after watching it. I’m not exaggerating. I’ve been off effexor-xr for 2 years and my memory has not improved. My parents scream and argue with me about it, but they just think I’m doing it on purpose! I’ll never take sh*tty anti-depressants again and screw with my brain chemicals, they are not worth it.

If you are depressed try to find natural ways of overcoming it like regular, hard exercise and proper diet. Losing your memory is not worth it.

December 7, 2009 at 9:28 am
(268) Kynn says:

I don’t know whether to cry or cry! i have beeen thinking for the longest that im losing my mind and getting mygrandmother’s alzheimer way too early, I’m 36 and have been taking Effexor for the past 4 yrs. Im so upset because I have even gon to my Dr. expressing that my concentration is on vacation and that it is getting harder and harder to remember things and he perscribes me something for adult ADD.

A patition only requires 100 signatures, Right? so how many comments regarding the same issue take to have something done.

i have scheduled to be taken off this crap tomorrow.

i want a memory REFUND!

December 11, 2009 at 9:44 am
(269) Pen says:

I am so happy (or should I say scared to death) that I googled “effexor memory loss” and found this thread.

Now I know that I am not alone, but I want off of this medication PRONTO. Unfortunately the reason I am on it relates to the holiday season so I need to wait until January but I hope the fact I have not been on it for a year will make the damage to my memory less than what others above have sadly reported.

There should be a lawsuit because my physician never indicated memory loss or odd behavior that is uncommon to yourself (someone said that happened to them waaay above in a 2006 post). I was only told it would make me awake so I take it in the morning, and also that it may cause some bowel issues.

Last night I forgot 2 hours of my life. I am ashamed and embarrassed. But I am taking a small comfort that I am not alone. Everyone hang in there. I need the medication but hopefully I can be switched to another that doesn’t cause memory loss. I’d rather be depressed than forgetting my entire life. I am only 32!

December 14, 2009 at 1:45 pm
(270) jgv says:

I am so glad I have found this forum. I had been on 37.5 for 4+ years till back in August of this year I shared with my doctor that I have been feeling more increase of feeling down, depressed. Decided to up my dose to the 75mg XR. Now I know what is going on till I found this info. I did not want to share with my doctor what is going on. Severe confusion, memory issues, severe increase in procrastinating. The other night my daughter had turned on a Santa night light on in the Kitchen, when we were going to go out for a bit I noticed it was off and asked her if she turned it off? She did not, it was me! This night light has bubbles that form once it gets warm enough and over the years since we have had it, I always remembered to turn it off for safety. While I am typing this, I am having a difficult confused feeling what I am trying to say! I am calling my doctor now after seeing this post!

December 16, 2009 at 10:45 pm
(271) Lori says:

Has anyone experienced holes or tears in your retina since taking Effexor?

December 29, 2009 at 6:37 pm
(272) Gloria says:

Go to FDA.org and search effexor. Then you may contact them concerning the memory loss issue.
I have alos bee on it and have some memory loss problems, as well.

January 3, 2010 at 6:53 am
(273) Mark says:

I have been on Effexor 150mg for 7 years and have decided today to come off this drug with help from my doctor who I will see tomorrow. I have also had really bad memory loss and find even simple tasks difficult. I was making a picture frame today which years ago would have been so easy but today was such an issue. This drug has severe issues associated. I wish you all luck.

January 10, 2010 at 12:32 pm
(274) clairek says:

Hi i realise the last post for this was four years ago, but just in case anyone else stumbles upon it like i did, i would like to share my experience with Efexor XR.
I was on it for 10 years, during that time i had no depression, but i had hardly any other emotions either. Memory was really bad, friends would often comment on how they told me stuff and i didnt remember, id forget appointments, etc. I was strongly addicted to the drug and would have unbelieveable side effects if i was late taking a dose, such as aggression, sweating, cramps, headache etc. I had to come off the drug when i became pregnant as its unsafe for the feotus, we had’nt planned the baby, so i was taken to the local mental institution to be weaned off this strong med. I had been on 150mg a day for ten years now they wanted me to come off it in a matter of weeks. The withdrawals were terrifying, i had nightmares, sweats, hallucinations, my emotions were extremely up and down, i felt suicidal, and just could’nt cope with the unexpected pregnancy. I barely made it through, but lost the baby in the end. I believe due to stress. I have terrible skin damage caused by the drug, brown patchy circles under my eyes and at both sides of my mouth. and upper lip. I was told it is caused by the drug i was on for so long. I just want to let people know what they’re in for when deciding wheather or not to start this drug. Had i known what i know now i would have avoided this specific drug. l am off it now nearly two years, and only take 20mg of prozac, which works for me. My memory has vastly improved, although i still have blanks every so often. I feel alive again, and my family and friends have said they see a change in me that i was like a zombie before. Now i feel things good and bad but im getting counselling to deal with the bad. Im not saying everyone can do without medication, however please research your choice of drug, before u start it, as you know doctors dont offer information. All the best

January 14, 2010 at 12:56 pm
(275) Elle says:

I was up to 300 mg of EFFEXOR XR. My career too has been in jeaprody as I had been making mistakes on things that I have never had any trouble with. My doctor just switched me to Cybalta 60 mg and Saturday was my first day. Today is Thursday and I’ve had no Quality misses and feel like the smart intelligent woman I use to be. No more confusion and I am able to focus and find answers to customers questions easily and I am not feeling overwhelmed. I’m so happy to have my mind back and my depression is under control as I am happy as a clam.

January 14, 2010 at 2:07 pm
(276) missg777 says:

Not only has my short term memory gone, so has my ability to comprehend anything, reading or verbally. Also, I cannot spell or remember how to spell even the simplest of words! And I used to ace spelling and reading comprehension! I too have taken my meds, just to retake them an hour later b/c I couldn’t remember taking them. That however, is a new …. see can’t think of the word…symptom? But if i go off of it, really bad things happen – terrible w/drawls. I have also worried about on-set of Alzheimer’s. I’m only 39. I’ve been on effexor for about 3 years. 75mg a day (sometimes 150mg) and .5 xanax. I am bipolar II. It frustrates my family when I can’t understand what they are explaining to me and I feel so stupid. And I’m NOT stupid. I thought it was just me getting old..but again…only 39. UGH.

January 17, 2010 at 4:28 am
(277) Gladys810 says:

I’ve been on Effexor for only 2 months and I’m noticing concentration and memory issues. I frequently go to do something and don’t remember what. I talk and forget the point I want to make. I speak French and English and put a French word in the middle of an English sentence and don’t realise it. I get confused and I become a bit panicky as I don’t want people to see. My mother had Alzheimer and I’ve been worried about that, so it’s nice to see that my symptoms might be with the drug. Otherwise Effexor has helped me a lot. My problem was/is panic attacks and not depression and I feel fine now. The doctors told me I must take it for about at least 6 to 7 months and they said it was not habit-forming. I haven’t spoken about this to them as I didn’t connect the problem to Effexor. I’m glad I’ve discovered this forum. I’m worried that people around me, especially at work, will notice my problem as I don’t feel in control. I never wanted to take these kind of drugs but it was the only solution. As I feel fine now I asked to start coming off it slowly but the doctors say it is too soon. I don’t want my problem to come back so I’ll do as they say. And I don’t know if I’m really okay or whether it’s thanks to Effexor. My memory was never fantastic but this short term memory loss and confusion it’s becoming a handicap in every day life and is very embarrassing.

January 23, 2010 at 11:08 pm
(278) Libby says:

WOW!!! I, too am glad I stumbled across this website. I have been having memory problems for sometime. Took Wellbutrin SR for 4 yrs, now Effexor XR for 4 years. Seems it gets worse by the day. I have almost filed for divorce several times. My husband keeps screaming he has told me this or that, and I dont recall such thing. He and other people too, have said I said things mid stream in a conversation that was not relevent to the subject we were talking about. The dr just raised me from 75 effexor to 150,225,then 300 mgs in a matter of only a few months. Then the pysch mentions fish oil. I take fish oil for a week and WOW I have all this magnificant energy but still cannot remember anything, then boom one day I am suddenly depressed and suicidal. I was scared too death. Why was I feeling so good, then suddenly all depressed. WHY, because fish oil and effexor simply do not go together. Like if I did not have enough problems remembering things. Well from what I have read, going to talk to the dr about switching to cymbalta or weaning off and going the herbal method. I have dropped all hormone replacement therapy and gone to something called “change o life” which contains 7 different herbal remedies for menopause. Maybe we all need to consider herbal remedies for alot of medication replacements. Best of luck to everyone.

January 27, 2010 at 2:05 am
(279) Brent says:

I was on Effexor for 2 years and experienced the scariest memory loss and anxiety imaginable. Most of it was my fault since I didn’t wean myself off of it (just stopped taking it, a couple times at 300mg). Took me a year to get chunks of my memory back using nutrition, supplements, exercise, and meditation. This was the single most terrifying and painful experience in my life.

Such a horrible substance.

February 1, 2010 at 5:11 pm
(280) Jennifer says:

I just turned 33 and my doctor has had me on venlafaxine for the last three months. I have noticed a DRAMATIC decrease in my concentration especially at work when months ago i was completely emerssed in the work on my desk, now i cannot seem to muster the desire to even look at it and I am facing trouble with that. The medicine seems to have helped the crying and the anxiety and stress level but i also think its this medicine that has had such a huge effect on my concentration level.

February 8, 2010 at 11:48 am
(281) LostMemory says:

I started taking Effexor XR around 2002. I was on 75mg a day. During the time I was taking it my memory seemed fine. I had the occasional forgetfulness, but nothing major. Then I had to stop the medicine abruptly due to an increase in my liver enzymes and I suffered with side effects for about 2-3 weeks. Dizzyness, sweating, nausea, etc. The worst part is my memory. I have a difficult time remembering things from a few years ago. I feel like I have a hard time retaining my school work as well as my work. I am constantly making sticky notes to remind myself of things. I have been off of this for almost 2 years now and I have seen no improvement in my memory at all. I was on a low dose for about 6 years. I wish I had known about this possible side effect before I began taking it. Even after stopping the medication I asked my doctor about the memory loss and he said that he was not aware of it as a side effect. I think more research should be done and based on all the forums I’ve seen on the website, the pharmaceutical companies should consider doing research on this. On top of it all I also gained weight and was always hot. I have since lost the weight and my body temperature feels more normal now, but I wish my memory would return. I hope this helps other people before they decide to begin this treatment.

February 9, 2010 at 12:55 am
(282) dm says:

I went from a dues-paying member of mensa to losing nearly 40 points off my IQ thanks to effexor. I blogged about it here: http://blog.dannomack.com/2009/12/09/pills.aspx

if you found this site while trying to decide whether to go on this stuff i suggest not doing it, it’s awful.

February 12, 2010 at 3:20 am
(283) Kayla Troglia says:

My memory has been leaving me slowly over the past year. I also had some slightly blurred vision that the pharmacist tried to tell me was not related to the medication. But beginning this med was the only change I had made in my life. I’m coming off it on my own now, but it seems like my memory’s worse, I can’t remember what my mother and I discussed just last night =( Sometimes if I concentrate hard I can remember, but usually I get frustrated and just give up.

February 23, 2010 at 9:02 pm
(284) Jennifer says:

I just searched memory loss 37 year old and the first thing that came up in the search was this listing! I have been on Effexor for a year and a half now. It has been a great medication for my depression and anxiety problems but I seriously was thinking I had early onset alzheimer’s and was ready to go to my primary care physician for a referral before reading this. I am slowly weaning myself off of the effexor and am trying Lamictal which so far seems to be holding ok, not sure what the side effects of that is yet however. All I know is it was scary to be having these memory issues and it was seriously effecting my job and issues with my family. I am not sure what is worse, the depression and anxiety or the side effects from the medicine!

March 1, 2010 at 4:15 pm
(285) Lisa says:

I took Effexor for about five years. The last year that I was on it, I started having significant memory problems. I bought a planner and started recording everything that I needed to do. I would review it each morning (that I could remember to do so) and I would forget an appointment that I looked up an hour before it occurred. I wouldn’t realize that I had forgotten it until the other person contacted me or the event had been over for several hours.

My memory loss affected my performance both at work and at home. Eventually, I went on FMLA and wasn’t able to return to work. My psychiatrist weaned me off of the Effexor and I went back to Zoloft and Wellbutrin, as they had worked for me for many years before I had to discontinue them. My short-term memory is much better now, but I can’t recall much of what happened that last year on the medication.

March 21, 2010 at 6:06 pm
(286) hamster says:

Thank you for posting this! I thought it was me! I am 46 and all of the sudden i can’t remember things people told me yesterday and i am looking for words sometimes like i have lost certain words! if anyone out there changed to a different anxiety-depression med that made it stop please tell me!

March 21, 2010 at 9:06 pm
(287) Peter says:

I’ve been taking 300mg of Effexor XR for major depression for……I don’t even know how long because I can’t remember anything anymore! I was taking the max dose of Wellbutrin too, but I stopped that, because it really wasn’t having positive effect.
I’ve decided to start weaning off the Effexor too. I don’t really know if it’s been helping or not. Probably has been, but memory is more important that quality of life. If you can’t remember anything, you can’t do a job effectively. Hence, you go poor, your family is taken away and your left to die like the looser you are.
Oh well, survival of the fittest, right?

March 26, 2010 at 7:46 am
(288) Blanketyblank says:

I have been panicking about this for sometime and I am relieved to find others are experiencing the same problems.

I was on over 300mg/day for about 3 years – can’t remember the exact dose or period of time! I started a new job last year and began to notice that my memory was getting worse and worse and had zero concentration. Everything seemed such a effort, I was getting awful night sweats, dreadful digestion problems and bad dizzy spells. I made an executive decision to come off them with the Dr’s help. The withdrawl’s were horrendous, I won’t lie about that.

Nearly a year on from breaking off the effexor I find myself still wondering why my memory is still bad if not worse than before. I am struggling at work where I have to be incredibly accurate and on the ball. I would love to go on to do a Masters but I just dont think it will ever be possible with the memory of a goldfish and the concentration span of a nat. If I knew about the severity of the memory loss prior to taking effexor, there is no way I would have let this jeopordise my life.

Does anyone know if in time the memory improves? I have everything crossed in the hope that it does :-)

March 26, 2010 at 10:27 pm
(289) Jen says:

I am terrified now that I’ve read all this. I’ve been on 75 mg Effexor XR since December 2009? I think? And my memory is awful now. I can’t remember any words when I’m talking to people. I’m a writer, and now I’m beginning to struggle to find words when writing as well. Reading that some of you have quit the drug and have seen no improvement in your memory scares the h*ll out of me.

I get so angry and frustrated with my children when I’m not on any medication. I don’t want them to remember me as their mom who was always mad. I wonder if it’s better for me to be “Mean Mom” or “Dumb Mom.”

This is really scary.

March 31, 2010 at 2:49 am
(290) i4gotaboutit says:

Holy smokes!!! I can’t believe this!!! I thought it was just me, or maybe I was subconsciously making up the Efffexor and memory loss cuz of the trouble I’ve gotten in. Although I knew the memory loss was happening I kept trying to deny it, yet continued to think of my Grandparents during their last few years, comparing myself to them. Hellfire, I’m only 41, I think, maybe 42. As I watch my career go down the tubes, blaming the economy and everyone else along with every bad circumstance I can find or create, I realize now, most importantly, I can admit to myself that maybe it’s me. Not willing to admit to everyone else just yet. It’s very unfortunate about everyone’s problems and memory loss here. BUT THANK GOD FOR IT AND YOU ALL. The BRAIN and body ELECTRICAL JOLTS are hell!!! It took me months to finely get off the crap. It’s been several months off the stuff now, and my MEMORY IS NO BETTER!! I must be on my game at work, and I’m on the verge of losing my job and career!! I’ll check back here tomorrow, or should I say later today or night. This better not last, the memory loss and confuision, or I may seek legal action. Thanks for reading

April 1, 2010 at 3:33 am
(291) Ale says:

I am so upset, how comes my psychiatrist never told me this could happen and never encouraged me to quit Effexor?! She just told me that if I feel good with this drug I can stay on it for as long as I want, even all my life. Here in Italy (I’m italian) none knows about this side effect, it’s crazy!
I have been on 75mg Effexor for more than 9 years, at first I was studying in university but I had to quit because I couldn’t remember what I just studied (not even the name of the book I studied for a month!). I went though a series of medical checks such as EEG, neurological tests and more, but of course they never found any problem in me, so they just said it’s my own fault I can’t pay attention and have a bad memory. What do you do if all the doctors and specialists you talk to tell you the same? Start thinking they are right and you wrong, even though I had a great memory and was the best at school when younger, and I had to leave university for it, and even lost a job.
Just when I learned English I could find out there are many more people with the same problem, DUE to Effexor, and it’s crazy none could help me or trust me before, and I’m sure like me, many others had the same problem.
I tried to get out of this drug several times, both cold turkey and very slowly, but no way, after a few months my depression is so strong I need to start it again. But now my memory got even worse, I can’t even remember very simple words in my own language, I’m talking like an illiterate and feel so ashamed of it. Sometimes I don’t remember what I did few minutes before when it’s important, lack of attention maybe, but I put every effort in that moment to pay attention, so it’s scary. I am just 29 years old, I can’t surrender to loosing my cognition capacity more and more, I’m already so useless and lost so much of it! Does anybody has a SOLUTION?

April 4, 2010 at 1:50 am
(292) Amy is back says:

I found this web site while looking for the “brain shivers” side effect of stopping Effexor. I didn’t know about this side effect, and blamed my bad memory on past chemotherapy. My memory loss has been moderate; I’ve made some mistakes at work, but on a personal level it has been worse. The main problem is that my memory is OK, but my recall is bad, if that makes any sense. I have to have a hook to pull up a memory. If a friend says, “Remember what we were talking about last week?” I’ll be stumped. Then she might say, “Remember, I’m getting a mammogram because I think I may have cancer!” and I’ll remember the conversation but feel like an idiot for not being able to bring it to mind.

Want to encourage all of you by saying my memory is already better, after 1 and a half weeks of going cold turkey. I was on 75 Mg and the brain shivers were bad for about 5 days, and have gradually diminished to almost nothing. Within 2 days of quitting, I felt like the old me was coming back online. I liked how Effexor made me laid back, but once I got off I realized that I was enduring more shit than I should have. I’m a little more cranky than I was on Effexor (OK, well, a lot), but that’s me. Bye, bye, Zombie.

April 21, 2010 at 9:25 am
(293) Aharon says:

TO ALL POSTERS: If you feel that your memory loss is related to the drug – You Must contact the drug manufacturer to post a formal complaint. Only if you do so can this data be evaluated as a more significant side effect. Doctor, Nurse and Phramacists are supposed to also forward this information to the drug companies, but they may not if they do not beleive that it is related to the specific drug. Effexor is a wyeth drug, wyeth is now part of Pfizer: Call this nukber and say that you want to report an adverse event related to Effexor, and by law they must forward you to a person that can taek your information. All of these complaints get tabulated and reported toFDA and EMA anually. Only way to get this recognizede as a greater problem!

April 24, 2010 at 10:53 pm
(294) me says:

Memory loss is a physical side effect of long term and/or severe depression.
A counselor from Toronto, (who I got to see 5 times a year in my remote hick town, at age 37), said I’d been thru the most, and lengthiest, types of abuse and that he was amazed I’d gone so long without any counseling. I then asked him why I had almost NO memory of events friends and family would talk to me about, that involved/centered on me!? Only seemed to be a steel trap for the bad shit. He told me, and my research has borne it out: Depression.
Eats memories. ANOTHER bonus of fighting The Dragon kiddies!
Not caused by drugs used to treat.

April 28, 2010 at 2:11 pm
(295) Carol says:

I have been on Effor XR 150 mg for 2 plus years and I have experienced memory loss I really didn’t think mush at first but I am experiencing severe memory loss since I came off it. I am makng all kind of mistakes at work and my memory is scarey. I am 57 years old and was given this for heat flashes.

May 6, 2010 at 7:21 pm
(296) Bron says:

I was on effexor rx for 8 years (on a high dose). I’ve been off it for a year and still things haven’t returned to normal. I went looking online a couple of years ago about effexor xr and found out about all undisclosed side effects and how long term use can present with extra side effects. My gp and i slowly began to wean me off it. Some days I am better off with out it, some days I wish i were still on it and many days I still have the effects of taking the damn drug. MY memory is one thing that has been affected; and the rages I can be prone to are incredible.

May 20, 2010 at 9:52 pm
(297) Maria F says:

I am also on Effexor XR for a good 9 years now and have reduced my meds from 150 mg to 75 mg during this time and am very proud of myself but, to answer your question on memory loss, YES, I also have noticed this. As well as lowered attention span and even lower sex drive. I am 42 years old and this frustrates me somewhat.

May 26, 2010 at 4:26 am
(298) Jens says:

I was on Effexor XR for 3 years and the problems with my short-therm memory began when I started to withdraw from the drug slowly. Its hard for me to concentrate and my attention-span is short so my doctor thinks this might be ADD – what a jerk. After quitting Effexor I also experience emotional blunting, being immune to all pleasure, lack of drive and motiviation, sleeping problems and sexual dysfunktion which is known as PSSD … http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-SSRI_sexual_dysfunction … this drug turned my life into hell.

June 2, 2010 at 5:27 pm
(299) Robin says:

I took effexor for approximately 9 months when I began to experience memory loss. I had always had a very good memory, and was a very detailed person. I went to my dr. and he told me that memory loss was a side effect of taking effexor. He said that if I quit taking it, the memory loss would go away. This was untrue, still to this day I suffer with being able to remember events from the past, where I was going, even simple task. It’s been at least 7 yrs that I have been off of effexor and I still have not regained the ability to function normally with my memory. Also, this was my 1st and ONLY time to ever take medication for depression. I was always afraid of side effects, and look what happened.

June 7, 2010 at 7:43 pm
(300) Amgelo says:

OMG!!!! I thought I was going nuts!!! Im a 25 yr old male been on effexor for almost 2yrs and lost my memory and concentration to this damn drug! At first I thought it was normal n kinda funny too because I would even forget to speak using big words then progressed to an alarming zoom out and terrible memory loss even after being clear from it for 2 years after!!! This drug destroyed my ability to remember lyrics, sing songs, read and retain any info is an awful challenge. Im thinking of suing this company.
Thank you all for sharing this info it has helped me a lot!

June 14, 2010 at 10:02 am
(301) Unhappy says:

I am not stupid. I am not getting alzeimers. I am not dumb.
I was doubting everything, as people around me are making me feel like this. I know depression is hard to understand, but side effects to Efexor have been even harder, not realising why these things were happening – forgetfulness, vagueness, meaning one thing when something completely different comes out.
Your comments have made me start thinking that maybe their is a different drug out their that can help.
Your own stories have helped a great deal.

June 22, 2010 at 2:31 pm
(302) Candice says:

I have been taking Effexor XR for 10 years. I was on 300mg for 5 years and went down to 225mg after I was having some side effects. I have extreme memory loss. Sometimes I feel like I am becoming mentally retarded or developing alzheimers. My attention span is extremely bad. I can barely get through my prayers at night. Are there any lawsuits about this? I feel completely mislead and the worst thing is I can’t get off this medication because I have severe withdrawls from it. I have been on it a long time and would not be able to function without it. candiceheinz@live.com

June 24, 2010 at 8:04 am
(303) Katie says:

I too have had memory loss with Effexor and would be interested in hearing from more people who went off it about whether they were able to regain their memories.

June 27, 2010 at 12:54 am
(304) Ruth says:

I’ve been on Efexor-XR 150mg for a few months. I am beginning to notice that I cannot recall words I normally use with great frequency; I have to read and re-read paragraphs in order to retain what I have read; I am beginning to forget the simplest things, like what I did yesterday.

It is the first medication that has worked for me, but I’m very concerned as I am about to begin Uni and need all the concentration, retention and memory I can get.

June 27, 2010 at 11:37 pm
(305) ricky says:

I’ve been on Effexor XR 75mg for 3 days now, and I have noticed a definite improvement in my mood and thinking.

But what you are all saying about memory definitely makes sense, and I have proof of it.. About 10 yrs ago I took ecstasy for the 1st time, and it was the best I’d ever felt in my life up til that point.. Well, ecstasy works by flooding the brain with serotonin, much more than Effexor – but still it’s the same principle..

Anyways here’s what happened.. I was stopping by a friend’s house, and another friend gave me $50 to give him.. I said sure, took the money, and went.. Needless to say I completely forgot to give him the money, and even later on at my house as I was counting my money, I realized I had more than I should have – but had NO idea why.. It wasn’t til the next day that my other friend was like, what the hell?

Back in those days of occasionally taking ecstasy with flooded serotonin levels, having a bad memory was the norm.. So it definitely seems that having an elevated serotonin level correlates with a decrease in short-term memory function..

July 2, 2010 at 12:09 pm
(306) Diane says:

I began taking Effexor XR one year ago and found that I gradually began having WORSE memory loss, as per my menopause symptoms of the last couple of years. I couldn’t say words that I generally use in day to day conversations, didn’t remember people/names, had concentration/focus problems, and truly thought I was losing my mind. I tapered myself off the Effexor XR and after being off it now for three weeks feel almost “numb” and truly not like myself. My head feels foggy now and I can’t seem to come out of this lack of awareness. I feel as though I’ve “burned a few brain cells and they’re not growing back.”

July 3, 2010 at 2:56 pm
(307) Mary says:

Glad I seen this. I thought I was going through early elsheimers! I’ve taken effexor xr for 4 years and it has been great. Until I “forget” to take it or tried to get off, (ran out)and I only lasted 3 days into the 4th I had to get my prescription refilled. I woke up on the 3rd day and could’nt hear from my left ear. I don;t know if it is related with withdrawls but I have lost hearing in my left ear. I forget all the time. I used to have a sharp memory. This has only happened within the last year and hasn;t improved.

July 5, 2010 at 12:19 am
(308) Jane says:

On it for 8 years. Off for 18 months. It doesn’t get better. I waited over a year after I graduated college to go and pick up my diploma and did so only at my mother’s urging. I feel like a fraud. I remember virtually none of what I learned. I look at papers I wrote and know I could never write anything of the sort again. I can barely get through a periodical anymore, let alone a novel.

July 11, 2010 at 1:18 am
(309) damon buckner says:

you are depressed and experiencing memory loss due to low hormones testosterone, HGH, or estrogen
doctors do not like to prescribe hormones because they make people live longer

July 15, 2010 at 10:38 am
(310) Diane says:

So what do I do for this memory loss, forgetfulness, ‘fog’, and feeling like I’m not myself. Is there anything other than hormone replacement therapy to help me through this?

July 16, 2010 at 5:59 pm
(311) Amy P. says:

MEMORY LOSS & CONCENTRATION ISSUES DOCUMENTED WITH EFFEXOR — 44 & 48%increased incidence, according to 2004 study published in Journal of Psychopharmacology. Most frequestly reported complaints were “increased fatigue (48%), CONCENTRATION DIFFICULTIES (48%), sleepiness/sedation (37%), FAILING MEMORY (44.4%) and weight gain (29.6%).

I have no clue what to do about this. I have been on Effexor XR since 1993, in dosages ranging from 300 to 600 mg. a day. I have never been able to switch depression meds.

But for years, I have been growing ever more forgetful & disorganized. I often watch the same movie multiple times before I finally realize I’ve seen it. I thought it was premature dementia, and have been trying various nootropics, hoping to forestall full-blown Alzheimer’s. Anyhow, here’s the full abstract (says the study is ongoing, but it started in 2004):

Tolerability of High-Dose Venlafaxine in Depressed Patients
C. Louise Harrison

School of Neurology, Neurobiology and Psychiatry, Psychiatry, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Nicol Ferrier

School of Neurology, Neurobiology and Psychiatry, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK., margaret.simpson@ncl.ac.uk

Allan H. Young

School of Neurology, Neurobiology and Psychiatry, Psychiatry, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

High doses of antidepressants are often used for treatment-resistant depression. Venlafaxine, a dual serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor, has been shown to have a tolerable side-effect profile in previous studies using doses of up to 375 mg/day. We investigated the tolerability of higher than currently recommended doses of venlafaxine using the UKU side-effect rating scale. Seventy outpatients fulfilling DSM-IV criteria for major depressive disorder were recruited into two demographically matched groups according to their daily dosage of venlafaxine: high dose n = 35 (≥ 375 mg/day, range 375-600 mg, average 437 mg/day) or standard dose n = 35 (< 375 mg/day, range 75-300 mg, average 195 mg/day. Clinical characteristics were noted and the UKU side-effect rating scale was administered to a subsample of patients. The most frequently reported complaints in both groups were increased fatigue (48%), concentration difficulties (48%), sleepiness/sedation (37%), failing memory (44.4%) and weight gain (29.6%). Apart from weight gain, the complaints were found to be experienced significantly more severely by the high-dose group. Six patients discontinued venlafaxine due to intolerable side-effects but only two of these patients were on a high dose. There was a tendency for mildly raised blood pressure in 10% of patients on an average dose of 342 mg/day. However, no difference between the two groups was found. This preliminary open study demonstrates that venlafaxine is tolerated at higher than British National Formulary recommended doses (i.e. up to 600 mg daily). However, increased frequency and severity of reported side-effects in the high-dose group are not associated with increased rates of discontinuation.

Key Words: side-effects • SNRI • tolerability • UKU rating scale • venlafaxine

Journal of Psychopharmacology, Vol. 18, No. 2, 200-204 (2004)
DOI: 10.1177/0269881104042621

July 19, 2010 at 3:59 pm
(312) Laura says:

Us too! I am 33 and have been on pristiq for almost a year and my mom is 59 and has been on effexor XR for 5 years. We were just talking about the feeling of searching for memories, things we were giong to say, do and found this thread. It is a relief to know others are experiencing the same thing.

Has anyone stopped taking Effexor and found their memory has returned?

July 21, 2010 at 12:11 am
(313) Phil says:

Hi every body out there. I’ve suffered ffrom depression/anxiety since I was 19, I’m now 62 years young. I’ve been commited twice for 3 months at a time with electro theropy thrown in. It’s barbaric, should be band. I have no memory left appart from my long term. There are answers out there but who has deaper pockets? The poor pacent or phamasuticle companies. Cheers Phil

July 21, 2010 at 10:31 am
(314) Stef27 says:

hello everyone, i have been on effexor for about a year now, changed from avanza..
my memory is now shocking. i spoke to my doctors and they both said that memory loss is possible. 75-150mg, not much, but anything hight then 150mg, then yes it is very possible. im on 225mg and the higher my dose got from 75mg, my memory has gotten worse. thing is i need them….

July 21, 2010 at 12:14 pm
(315) any-nom-use says:

I have not been on the med too long only several months. but my memory is awful, went shopping and left my purchase on counter. Totally no recall, fortunatly a friend took it for me. This morning I made coffee, started the machine, and there was no pot there to catch the coffee wtf, I was not that tired.

July 21, 2010 at 4:13 pm
(316) Diane says:

I was on a low dose of Effexor XR for a year, then tapered off. It doesn’t seem like the ‘memory fog’ seems to lift at all. I don’t think the benefits of the med outweigh the risks/long term effects. Have the manufacturers viewed these comments and contacted anyone? I signed a petition online about these problems, but don’t know if there is anywhere further to go with my concerns….or if I can remember to do it! :)

July 22, 2010 at 3:34 pm
(317) Ann says:

Hello,

Much like Jane’s comment above, I was on a very high dose of effexor, and wellbutrin as well as cymbalta later. After quitting them cold turkey three years ago, (NOT RECOMMENDED), I find that I cannot remember ANYTHING about my college education. I have an BS in engineering but cannot even remember taking classes. I, too, feel like a fraud. The memory loss is NOT temporary; however, I can’t find any available help for this issue.

July 26, 2010 at 12:00 pm
(318) wendy says:

I’m relieved after reading these postings. Helped me realize that I’m not alone and slightly confirmed what I am thinking. I started taking Effexor maybe Jan 2008. Weaned off around September-Decem 2009. So I took the med for about 1 1/2 yr. I was up to 300mg. I decided to wean off the drug even though my depression SYMPTOMS were decreasing. I was concerned about taking the drug if I got pregnant. I married and I would like to have children on day. I also didn’t like the dependency of the drug. I was dependent on the drug b/c like most of you, if I missed a dose I would have horrible brain zaps, vertigo, severe lightheadiness; irritability, extreme high blood pressure. These symptoms started even if i was only a couple of hours late. I was scared. I also had increase cravings for salty, fatty foods, therefore I gained weight. My anxiety was increasing because I was worrying too much about being on the drug and the side effects. My thinking also became increasingly distorted and unrealistic. I also experience memory loss. I didn’t notice the memory loss while I was on Effexor. Maybe because I hadn’t dealt with my cause of depression and I assumed that it was part of my body “relaxing” on the med. My therapist also told me the memory loss was due to the depression. So I wasn’t worried at the time. I did have to take time off work because my job is stressful and my short term memory is extremely important. I couldn’t risk continuing to work. I was off all medications for 4 months when I decided to try an extensive cognitive therapy program. It’s a program that combines education and therapy in a group setting. THe program teaches about signs and sypmtoms of depression, anxiety, recognizing causes of stress; how to reduce and handle stress, practicing relaxation, practicing mindfulness, anger managment, problem solving, assertiveness skills, journaling. The program offers so much, I can’t possibly post it all here. There was a doctor that was assigned to me in the program. He suggested medication and i said absolutely not. Not while going thru the program. I wanted my head and body to be clear of meds. i wanted to know what I was thinking or lack of, so i could learn how to understand it and find out where it was coming from, learn how to deal with it and not be afraid of my thoughts. I wanted to be in touch with my feelings and learn how to work through and with them. The doctor understood and gave me alternative natural ways of dealing with insomnia and lack of energy. I learned how to put myself on a natural sleep schedule. Now that the amazing program is over. I’m acknowleding that my memory is not what it used to be. I’m curious as to why. I’m not experiencing any symptoms of depression so that is not the cause. So now I’m curious, what happened to my brain? I think not remembering some things is nice, because thinking about the past only brings on symptoms of depression. So that’s one good thing about the effexor. I feel like it reset my brain. Now, I’m off the med and I have to learn things over. I feel like I’ve been given a second opportunity. Now that I understand my emotions and I’m aware of my feelings and thoughts. I can change my behavoir. I’m putting new positive thoughts in my head. Getting rid of things that don’t belong there by journaling and I’m creating new memories. I just hope I can remember them. and I think I will. I’ve remembered everything they taught me in the program so i don’t see why I won’t remember other new things that I learn. Practicing mindfulness helps. Cognitive training is hard work and it takes time (LOTS of TIME!!!!) and patience, but doesn’t make me feel scared. Please don’t misunderstand me and my choice to wean off the meds. I do believe that some people need medication. I chose a different route for myself. EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT. CHOOSE what’s best for YOU! I just hope this helps someone. Reading the post sure helped me think that I’m normal and I’m not alone. And I do believe the Effexor did something to my brain and effected my memory. Thanks everyone for taking time to post…

August 1, 2010 at 12:52 am
(319) ted says:

I have been dealing with depression for 20 years. I have tried several antidepressants which left me permently impotent. I first started with the alternative medicine in chinese herbs. These worked ok, particularly xiao yao wan and gui pi wan which are patented chinese herbs that are for depression and exhaustion. I eventually got into flower essences that have helped me most of all. Flower essence therapy works directly with the reason of why you are depressed. Frankly, I think psychiatric medication is a new and improved form of a chemical induced prefrontal lobotomy. I several side effects that were worse than the disease itself

August 8, 2010 at 7:15 pm
(320) Nick says:

Hi I’m a second year medical resident and experienced the same thing with paxil after being on it for 2 years. It’s a year since stopping and things have improved significantly, though it took 8-9 months. What definitely helped was a small dose of wellbutrin (specifically for this problem) that I started a few months ago. Maybe talk to your Doctor about this option.

August 17, 2010 at 5:40 pm
(321) Amanda W. says:

Thank God for finding this thread. I have been on effexor or effexor xr for a little over 7 years now. Immediately my memory did not go bad but it did over time. And here the past couple years I don’t even have a memory. I am constantly exhausted, I can’t keep my concentration, I sweat profusely…so embarrassing…my hair drips with sweat. I am only 31! I forget major things at work. Thank God my family owns this company or I would be fired. My doc wanted me to increase my effexor xr some more but I can’t. When I increase too much it makes me feel really agitated & angry. I am like a zombie. I certainly don’t have a temper anymore but again…like everyone else says…I feel like “blah”. Nothing really gets a big reaction out of me. But the memory & concentration, loss of energy, weight gain & that stupid sweating are all the worst EVER!!

August 18, 2010 at 12:21 am
(322) Enna says:

My memory is terrible and I’m only 20. I’ve been on efexor-xr for about a year and a half and i swear I was never this ditzy before. i forget little things e.g. at work we float between floor levels, I will go downstairs to get a few things and remember most and have to call upstairs again to get them to tell me what i have forgotten. I also forget where things live at work etc. when I have been there for over a year, e.g. I will ask a question, get told the answer and be like “oh of course, I knew that”. it’s really annoying because I come across as a dumb young person

August 25, 2010 at 6:00 pm
(323) Dani says:

After 4 years of use i had to stop, my mind went blank, i didnt know how to read or new the difference between letter and numbers. And today one year later i feel like im retarded or something.

These pills supress dopamine levels which are important for staying alert, focusing, memory, speech or multitasking.

My doctor laughed in my face. Said no studies show this and that and that im delusional. Im not going back on pills ever. Id rather kill myself.

Im gonna start eating tyrosine with maca and St. Johns Wort when i get the money.

its hard when they dont believe you. But strange thing is 5 years ago i was studiying. Didnt have any problems. Man even 2years ago when i was studying i was still fine. Now today i cant see the difference between numbers or letters from time to time, i write the same word over and over again. Start the same sentences all over again.

It is hard cause it interferes with school. I have a real hard time focusing when i write this. MAN!!!!!

August 28, 2010 at 10:10 pm
(324) Theresa says:

Iv been on effexor er for 11 years. These storys have realy made me feel better. This past year its been a hard one my biggest problem is peoples names (family and friends that iv known for years) and spelling things forget it. But i truely would like to know it anyone has regained any of there memory back? Iv only been on 75mg but i feel like i have lost at least 50 percent of my brain and as well as this sweating thing its driving me crazy.

September 29, 2010 at 8:50 am
(325) Grace says:

Well, here’s a perfect example.. I had a thousand comments in mind to write in response to what i have read here but now im typing not i can’t remeber a single one.

I have been on Effexor XR for approx 6-7 years. First 5 years 150mg daily, now 75mg daily.

Not to mention the rediculous side effects when missing a dose (extreme nausia, dizziness etc) my memory is completely shot. I’m a whole 28 yrs of age and seem to be getting fired from corporate jobs one after the other. They all think i’m such a great person but just dont see me making it. I am so open to taking instruction from my managers yet as soon as I walk out of their office I cant remember a single thing they have said.

Another example is when dropping my partner to work she tells me what time she will be finished, as soon as I drive off i am texting her asking what time ?

The ‘to do list’ is a classic..Sometimes i read the list I have written to help me remember and think ‘how could I forget that’..but I just do. I get so confused in what I’m doing or meant to be doing. For example today I was doing things around the house with my ‘to do list’… only to find that I was in the middle of doing all 10 things at once. I started doing things in the car only to find myself in the house doing something else until i looked outside 1 hr later and seen the cars doors still open. I eventually get all things done with my handy list but forget what im meant to be doing mid way. This to me sounds like a mixture of memory trouble and poor concentration.

Long story short, I always just thought I had a bad memory but since seeing the extreme effects on my life with work etc, I approached the doc only days ago about the situtaion. She said she hasnt heard of Effexor being the problem and it’s probably just stress. I thought to myself ‘Isn’t such a deficient meory enough to make you stress’..

Anyways, after reading esveral of these 300 comments I know it’s the stupid drug but like all of you, I’m too scared to come off it for obvious reasons. I mean who would want to have to remeber to take something every day and spend stupid money to do it..It’s obviously a need but I also need my memory..decisions decisions???

September 29, 2010 at 9:05 am
(326) Grace says:

Well, here’s a perfect example: I had a thousand comments in mind to write in response to what i have read here but now I’m typing not I can’t remember a single one.

I have been on Effexor XR for approx 6-7 years. The first 5 years 150mg daily, now I’m 75mg daily. I would also recommend having a liver function test also as I had to see a liver specialist for high levels, who put it down to the anti-depressants I take. He recommended changing the type but I just reduced the dosage.

Not to mention the ridiculous side effects when missing a dose (extreme nausea, dizziness etc) my memory is completely shot. I’m a whole 28 yrs of age and seem to be getting fired from corporate jobs one after the other. They all think I’m such a great person but just don’t see me making it. I am so open to taking instruction from my managers yet as soon as I walk out of their office I can’t remember a single thing they have said.

Another example is when dropping my partner to work she tells me what time she will be finished, as soon as I drive off I am texting her asking what time?

The ‘to do list’ is a classic..Sometimes i read the list I have written to help me remember and think ‘how could I forget that’ but I just do. I get so confused in what I’m doing or meant to be doing. For example today I was doing things around the house with my ‘to do list’… only to find that I was in the middle of doing all 10 things at once. I started doing things in the car only to find myself in the house doing something else until i looked outside 1 hr later and seen the cars doors still open. I eventually get all things done with my handy list but forget what I’m meant to be doing mid way. This to me sounds like a mixture of memory trouble and poor concentration.

Long story short, I always just thought I had a bad memory but since seeing the extreme effects on my life with work etc, I approached the doc only days ago about the situation. She said she hasn’t heard of Effexor being the problem and it’s probably just stress. I thought to myself ‘Isn’t such a deficient memory enough to make you stress’..

Anyways, after reading several of these 300 comments I know it’s the stupid drug but like all of you, I’m too scared to come off it for obvious reasons. I mean who would want to have to remember to take something every day and spend stupid money each month to do it, it’s obviously a need but I also need my memory…

Hmmm, what to do???

October 1, 2010 at 12:50 am
(327) Megan says:

I was on Effexor XR from my junior year of high school (age 17) through age 19. I am still missing most of those 2 years in memory. If it is any consolation, after I finally quit taking it (the withdrawal effects were agonizing, but I found out I was pregnant and refused to continue taking it) my memory has improved greatly, although I do suffer occasional black-outs (usually when I’m in a very emotional state). I suffered from so many side-effects from that stupid drug. I was an A and B student my ENTIRE life until the very year I began taking it. I received my first C that year, I got 2 C’s in fact, and then I failed a class my senior year (in addition to receiving some more C’s). My first semester of college, I failed every single class and was put on probation. I tried a second semester but withdrew after I realized that I could not remember anything, I had no motivation to go to class, and I was so exhausted all the time that I slept 15 hours a day. I didn’t want to spend time with my friends, and I started making impulsive decisions that I would have NEVER made before (and haven’t made since). Sorry, the question is just about memory. Yes, my memory suffered greatly while on this medication. I would never in a million years recommend it to anyone.

October 1, 2010 at 1:35 am
(328) Megan again (from 314) says:

I’m sorry, I should probably have mentioned that I’ve been off it now for a little over 4 years, and didn’t and haven’t taken any other antidepressants in that time. It took around a year for the side-effects to mostly wear off. I don’t suggest that any of you quit taking any and/or all medications without the consent of your doctor because everyone is on it for different reasons. But I was put on antidepressants at age 13, and I believe that I never truly needed them. I’m so much happier and normal since I’ve been off everything. Good luck to all of you. I hope you find something that works.

October 19, 2010 at 4:29 pm
(329) Rob says:

Wow! I am a 33 year old male that has been struggling with memory loss and recall issues for years and I thought I was simply losing my mind. I did not read all these posts but I do feel much better that I am not alone. I think I have been taking effexor for about 7+ years and I now attribute some of my retention problems directly to this drug. I am on 150 mg / day which I understand to be a high dose so I am wondering if I can ease of it a little or switch to something else that won’t effect my memory so much. Any further thoughts would be appreciated as my doctors don’t seem to have a clue.

October 22, 2010 at 11:59 am
(330) Sue J says:

After almost 13 years of no success with antidepressants but major withdrawal symptoms I was prescribed Effexor. I was 5’6″ and weighted about 135 lb. which I was happy with. I gained 37 pounds in 6 months and had an insatiable appetite. I would eat ice cream out of the container and I had never done this before. I was told that I would lose weight and I initially did the first couple of months.

I had an administrative position at a university and timeliness and accuracy were extremely important. I found that I could no longer to my work. I could no longer remember data nor could I memorize or reason information. Finally in the fall of 2008 I went, successfully, cold turkey and found that I could sleep at night without any sort of medication and my intellectual capacity returned along with my personality. I have, since then, taken graduate coursework, and have gotten A’s. I dont’ recommend going cold turkey for anyone, although it worked for me, but I will never touch an antidepressant again

October 27, 2010 at 10:53 pm
(331) Michelle says:

I have been on Effexor XR 37.5 mg once a day for 5 years. My memory is horrible. I start talking and can’t finish a sentence because I forgot the point I was trying to make. Very embarassing. Word recall is terrible too. Example: “Will you please hand me that… um… you know…. the um….. that thing over there?” My kids say “you mean the brush?” “yeah the brush,thanks” Totally pathetic.
I tried going off of it once and I had major rage attacks and I wanted to drive my car into a brick wall. After reading these blogs I am convinced that I need to get off this horrible drug as soon as possible. I will be contacting my Dr. tommorow. I hope my memory returns. Good luck to us all!

November 2, 2010 at 12:14 pm
(332) sunny la says:

I ended up in hospital with acute pancreatitis after taking Effexor xr for 5 years. Also developed diabetes ,hypertension,extreme chest tightness and are dealing with memory loss and concentration issues. Discontinued Effexor 2 weeks ago and hope memory and concentration will improve.

November 7, 2010 at 4:40 pm
(333) megan says:

I took Effexor SR for several years and My MD took me off due to obvious memory loss (I refused to believe her about a treatment, until she showed me the results)
It’s been one yr since Effexor has been discountinued.I am unable to remember how to do new tasks. Work is adversely affected–may not be able to continue working. What in the world can I do? Does anyone out there have this problem?

November 25, 2010 at 7:11 pm
(334) JoAnne says:

Couldn’t read all of the comments but did find a link on Wikipedia to a study that showed 44% of people n Venlafaxine suffer memory loss. That is a significant percentage. I am very worried about it not coming back based on all of you comments.

November 27, 2010 at 4:19 am
(335) Jack says:

I have been on Effexor/Venlafaxine for 10 years. I now seriously regret it. At work it is impacting on me as I can’t remember tasks I have to do. I read documents and after I’ve read it I remember almost nothing. My long term memory is also affected as I can recall almost nothing of my childhood and I am only 42 yrs old. No one should go on this drug. I am now reducing my dosage to phase it out of my life. I am fearful that it might be too late and that I might have permanent brain damage because of it.

December 10, 2010 at 6:41 pm
(336) amy says:

OMG!! I started Effexor 2 months ago , and only recently have I been unable to recall even things that just happened 20 minutes ago…. i have to say that the benefits DO NOT out weigh the risks….

December 27, 2010 at 4:06 pm
(337) Darin says:

I have been off Effexor for a year and a half and my memory, ability to concentrate, focus or to complete a sentence without losing train of thought is almost impossible. I have seen no improvement after getting off Effexor and almost convinced it my never come back. I also feel little emotions almost like still being on the drug without actually taking it.

January 24, 2011 at 1:57 pm
(338) B says:

I have noticed my memory was really bad when I started to work. I graduate college recently and struggled through the last few semesters in which I was on 150mg Effexor but thought it was because I was so stressed and still depressed. I’m off of Effexor now and my memory is about gone. If I put my phone or keys down, I can never remember where I put it. If I have to say something and wait 15 seconds, I will forget. I walk to other rooms to do something and will forget what I got up to do before I get there. I used to be very smart but this problem makes me feel so dumb. And it’s frustrating and makes me even more depressed because I took joy in being smart. I almost lost my job because of my bad memory too… There has to be something that can be done to get it back or to help. I just haven’t found what. I don’t know what to do and it’s depressing.

January 26, 2011 at 12:22 pm
(339) Ruthann Brooke says:

I’m 17 years old, and have been taking 150mg of Effexor for a few months now. The first thing I noticed after taking it was CRAZY dizziness and altered vision. Now, it’s more stomache issues like nausea and cramping. I’ve also noticed that I’m confused a lot in my classes as if I can hardly register what I’m being told by my classmates and teachers. Not to mention the short-term memory loss where I forget tasks at work or being told to do chores assigned by my parents. I can tell it’s frustrating for everyone, and I’m positive they would not understand if I told them that the Effexor was causing this…I’ve considered going off of it but it’s doing tremendous things for my social anxieties and fear-of-abandonment crap. Effexor is just a weird, weird medicine.

February 3, 2011 at 11:22 pm
(340) Marilyn says:

I had polymyositis and was put on predisone (steroids).
Predisone triggers depression and memory loss. I began at 225 mgs every 6 hours and am now 4 years later am on 7 1/2 mgs. For depression, I was put on Effexor XR. This was double memory loss. After a sucide attempt, the psychiatrist
who in my opinion was a quake, diagnosed me as having
Alzheimers last stages and I should go to a nursing home or assisted living home. Against my wishes, because the doctor said so, I was placed in assisted living. After about two weeks of feeling I didn’t belong,I walked out. This caused a big disturbance. My husband said that I should
stay at home. I took a dementia test, and no dementia nor
alzheimers were found. The psychiatrist refused to consider
my medications as being a cause. I found this out because
I retrieved my medical records. In my opinion, always get a second opinion when a psychiatrist tells you that it is not the medicine.

After all, is it was THE MEDICINE they wouldn’t have a job.

Thanks, that’s all.

February 14, 2011 at 2:46 am
(341) RITA says:

I started on 75 mg of effexor but after many years the body got used to it. I told the doctor about feelling sad more regularly for no reason and he said we need to increase to 150mg. Hesitantly i did but my memory went on we slowly at first but then all of a sudden i would forget things, no joke, in less than 5 seconds at times. i would even make a list but completely forget i made the list. I am frustrated and NOW that i have enough feed back info from you guys out there feeling the same, i know that WE ARE RIGHT about this side effect and its not rare, but common. i’m gonna drop down to 75mg again and see what happens.
That sounds strange coming from me who doesnt like to muck around with meds. look after yourselves people.

February 24, 2011 at 11:14 pm
(342) JDW says:

I took Effexor XR for just over 3 years. I noticed memory problems within the first few months (hard to remember exactly when, now).

I started off at 37.5mg and my doctor continued to ramp my dosage until I peaked at 375mg – it was when I cleared 225mg that I really started to notice the mania and the loss of focus. My life fell apart. I ballooned to 320lbs. A lot went wrong and It’s a long, boring, litany of horrors that I will spare the reader.

I eventually resolved to quit Effexor.

After six months of wild mood swings, nausea, and brain zaps later I was free. My memory, particularly short-term (I can remember things prior to 2004, with some clarity, but anything after is very general and indistinct) and ability to learn new things has been GREATLY impaired.

I was lucky enough to get a complete IQ exam both before and after my Effexor treatment. My IQ before: 142 (definitely not stupid, excellent visual memory, mediocre auditory memory). My IQ after: 105 (comparatively speaking, a shade of who I was. Memory shot; visual: sub-par; auditory: nothing but wind between my ears).

I have worked HARD to try and get it back with diet, meditation, exercise, brain training, and vitamin supplementation. I’m 205lbs but my brain still does not work.

My latest IQ exam shows that I’m operating at 116 (=which is “better than average,” and a marked improvement from 106, but still nearly two standard deviations below who I was. It’s very hard to have some of the proclivities of a bright person and not have the ability to satisfy them; something akin to mental impotence.

In the words of Ozzy: “Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most.”

If I ever figure out how to get mine back, I promise to share it with you all. Till that time, please all of you take care of yourselves, love and accept yourselves and stay strong.

- JDW

March 15, 2011 at 10:26 am
(343) Daniel says:

I was placed on Effexor for ADHD and only took the medication for approx 6 weeks. Since then, I have had a terrible memory loss for short term memory. I was taken off the medication and went through terrible withdraws. I feel that someone should do something about this for us…patients that have been prescribed this medication by our doctors….

April 15, 2011 at 7:55 am
(344) Orla says:

I was on Effexor and Zyprexa for a period of 3 weeks 9 years ago, and I have no memory what so ever of these 3 weeks. Effexor is listed as a medication that can cause 44% memory loss. To this day the only recollection of what I was like on these meds is from my family telling me stories. To anybody on it or considering taking it, I would highly reccomend serious research before you decide to take this drug. It had sever adverse affects on me. I am now completely medication free and living a happy life free from depression. I decided to go down the alternative route i.e. homeopathy, and i know it saved my life. Please consider all options out there before taking anti-depressants!!!!!!!!

April 19, 2011 at 3:18 pm
(345) Andy White says:

Effexor 2002-2004 & 2005-2006 I think the dose was 150mg. During the time when taking effexor I went on a family holiday & afterwards I have basically no recollection to this day, of it at all.
Today in 2001 I googled ‘effexor memory loss’ because I am becoming increasingly aware that my memory/concentration is nowhere near what it was back in 2002. I realise that I seem to only remember half of the items within a fairly complex work conversation. I then hopefully remember the forgotten bits some hours later.
Does anyone know if;
1. Effexor is still in production,
2. someone has proved these effects are permanent
3. whether someone is persuing a case against the manufacturers
I am in the UK and currently aged 49.

May 24, 2011 at 3:33 pm
(346) Nicole says:

I can’t believe what I’m reading and how long people have been complaining about memory loss being a side effect and there is no warning about this at all on the label. I thought I was losing my mind. I thought maybe I had some sort of disorder. My memory has become horrible since taking this drug. I can barely keep things straight, am scatterbrained, have trouble concentrating. I’ll take my medication and then minutes later can’t even remember if I’ve taken it yet! Likewise, sometimes if I have a single alcoholic beverage, I’ll black out an entire night and have even become violent. This drug is starting to scare me. I wish I would have known about this sooner. I only recently thought to connect Effexor with memory loss and it took over a week for me to remember to finally google it!

June 9, 2011 at 5:28 pm
(347) karen lee says:

i was on 75 mg for five weeks and my depression got worse, so my doctor put me up to 37.5 i was wondering about my memory can it start right after an increase ??? or do i wait for the full affect to see what happens the it’s only been 4 days on the increase…

June 12, 2011 at 2:49 am
(348) Teresa says:

I was on Effexor xr for about 5 years, I am currently taking another medication for depression/anxiety, but yes I definitely had extreme memory problems on that medicine. I forget peoples name, sometimes I have forgotten something that I left on the stove. Its great for anxiety / depression , but is horrible for your memory.

June 14, 2011 at 9:25 am
(349) Jackie says:

OMG I am not alone!!!! I am finding I am continuing to get worse the longer I am on this med. I have been having a hard time ruling out wither or not I want to continue with taking them. But then if I skip a day, the thought of having to go through not taking them scares the hell out of me. Maybe it’s not all related but I am finding it worse and so are my family.

August 1, 2011 at 3:35 pm
(350) Daniel says:

Dear fellow people who take Effexor,

I too take effexor and have been experiencing memory problems. I know for me any choice in life potentially positive and negative consequences. For myself my anxiety and panic attacks were terrible. Taking Effexor helped me to stabalize. The question I asked myself is…Does the benefit of this pill out weigh the few negative side effects? I also have a counselor, and I meditate, and remember to have fun. I make a gratitude list each day. Positive thinking leads to positive actions.
I can’t help but feel it is ironic that people are surprised about these side effects. It’s ironic to panic about taking medicine that is supposed to help panic attacks.
Simple things like remembering to breath, eat a snack, drink some water, take a nap, listen to some music, journalize, and pray are all things that can help anxiety and panic attacks ALONG WITH MEDICATION. I wish everyone the best, I know effexor helped me.

August 24, 2011 at 5:14 am
(351) Koalamaiden says:

O.k. – I for one have been on Effexor – Aropax (paxil) zoloft – effexor- Aropax – Zoloft – Cymbalta – Zoloft & Avanza. Effexor had nothing I can remember – sorry for the funny side but no – I had nothing no side effects. The worse coming off was Aropax – both times and there wont be a third. All of them were good for anxiety but only Effexor treated the depression. And I might even say the others caused me to feel abit low. I am on Effexor XR now and asked for it only today. No the FDA or who ever should not take it off – I could say the same for Avanz (Remorn) as it sent me vioent, mad, agitated, agro, agro agro irritated. So yes, I cuold say ban it but it might be ideal for someone else. Opinions are great but dont forget that people out there read these and can be in a state of mind to take too tooo much notice and do themselves harm by stopping their med and it might be working well for them. I was fine on Effexor and could say that it saved my mentality and I regret the day I first stopped taking it – I felt good and itd been 12mths so I stopped, and yes, if it works this time I wil not ever ever ever stop it again unless it is years in time.

August 29, 2011 at 7:59 pm
(352) Jane says:

Back again. Know some who’ve posted likely also revisit from time to time. Wondering if any of the post-effexor folks have had their endocrine function tested. I’ve read that some people have experienced thyroid dysfunction post effexor, which can sometimes impair memory, concentration and reasoning. Wondering if any of you have ruled that out. Trying to address all potential culprits. I have been a shell of my former self for about 2 and 1/2 years. I avoid social interaction, even with siblings and close friends, because I feel so stupid now. I don’t how how much longer I can live like this. 

September 1, 2011 at 12:57 pm
(353) Terri says:

Hi Jane,

Did you say it has been over 2 years since you’ve been off effexor?
If so, are you still experiencing these horrible side effects?
Are you able to go to work?
Right now I’m on leave, trying to deal with this.
My employer is being great about it…
But I don’t want to think that it will last forever!
Please don’t feel stupid.
Perhaps you could begin to get together with just one person at a time, then you wouldn’t feel so overwhelmed.
Let me know how you are doing, ok…
Good luck,and don’t give up!

September 5, 2011 at 12:04 am
(354) Jane says:

Hi, Terri.
Thanks for your words of encouragement. I began taking effexor in October of 2000. My highest dose at any point was 375mg or possibly 450 (I remember my primary care physician being disturbed by it) but that was short lived. For the majority of the time I was on it, I was taking about 150mg. I began tapering off of it in late 2008/early 2009 because I began to feel a dulling in my cognitive function: poor memory, slow on the uptake when conversing with people (having to ask them to repeat themselves; having to have jokes explained to me).
You didn’t complain about cognitive issues. Perhaps your low dosage saved you from what so many here are experiencing. Nobody escapes the initial withdrawal symptoms; they are horrid, but survivable. I don’t quite remember how long they took to subside; not more than a month after the last pill, I’d say.
Luckily(?) a trained monkey could do the job I presently have, so I’m not too worried about losing it. My boss recognizes my new found handicap but it’s a non issue, as I was always overqualified for the job anyway. The sad part was that I wanted to move on to something more challenging once I finished my BA, but I know that is no longer possible.

August 31, 2011 at 10:19 pm
(355) Terri says:

I was on 75mg since 2003. Was weaned off by my doctor over the last 2 months. It has been 4 days and the withdrawal is horrible!
Hot flashes, brain zaps, feeling of panic, that I have not experienced in years…
I feel like a zombie and maniac at the same time. I can’t sleep for more than an hour or so, and feel completely fatigued.
How long will this last? I will never go on this drug again!
I feel positive for stopping, but horrible both mentally and physically!
Any comments would be welcome & I’ll respond! Thanks!

September 3, 2011 at 3:16 pm
(356) Tony Ferracane says:

I have always prided myself for my memory. I work in a residential retirement hotel and I know all of the 200 residents there on a first name basis. Three weeks on Effexor and I was forgetting their names! I stopped immediately and was back to normal in a couple of weeks. Doctor said he didn’t think it was a side effect but I, for one, beg to differ.

October 15, 2011 at 9:34 am
(357) Cheryl says:

Add me to the list. A few weeks ago, I was explaining to my doctor the things I was forgetting (even how to get to a location I’ve been to MANY times!), mistakes I’m making, blanking on spelling, words, etc. She felt some of these things may be due to early dementia, which has absolutely devastated me, and I have been torturing myself ever since when I forget things, etc. thinking “oh no, it’s dementia!” My therapist though feels it is basically from anxiety, that I am a worrier, and find it difficult to always be in the moment, paying attention to what I am doing now, rather than my mind racing in all directions.
I have been on Effexor XR for YEARS, different doses. About a month ago I stopped Effexor XR (it had started making me feel WAY WORSE) and I changed to Welbutrin and Celexa, and taking Seroquel at night.
None of the memory/mental issues have gotten better, and from what I read here by some people who have been off for years, that it may not get better. So essentially it is no different than dementia. How disheartening ! There should be a lawsuit against the makers of this horrible drug.

October 18, 2011 at 5:13 pm
(358) Ms Dx says:

I came to this site looking for answers as to why after taking just one capsule of EffexorXR I had severe Central Nervous System Burning-Stinging (like STING NETTLES) from my soles to my ears DEEP inside of me & a near death experience abt 2 hours later when my husband had to shake me like a rag doll to wake me up-then to ER? Although it seems my reaction was rare, I say this drug is EVIL! I have never been the same since-5yrs ago. My husband said he thinks it caused brain damage from whatever happened to me that day! Perhaps it was the combination of the EffexorXR & my pain medicine-oxycodone-I’d been on for about 5 months. MOST people suffer long lasting, adverse effects from Effexor/XR & MANY other anti-drepressants! Just Google or Bing abt Attorneys for victims of Effexor & NUMEROUS other drugs & you will get a more complete picture of how dangerous these ‘Antidepressants’ really are! Don’t bother trusting the drug company sites!

October 20, 2011 at 10:37 pm
(359) Jill says:

I was diagnosed with ADD and given Effexor for lifelong off & on depression years ago. I reduced my Effexor dosage myself when I had a hunch I was taking too much, and I was right. I felt better on less. I take Adderall, and it helps me focus, but I have a lot of memory problems, I won’t go into them because everybody else has already described them, they’re awful. I’m a copyeditor, and I’m constantly using Word’s thesaurus to get the word I need. People have always said I was a walking thesaurus!

I can hardly make a living any more. If it’s Effexor and not ADD + senior moments, I can gradually go off Effexor and maybe think straight again. The thing is, I just turned 67 and my manner and appearance are 10 years younger (good genes, I take no credit). But if this brain fog is permanent, I’ll never get my freelance career back and I’ll never feel anything but old.

I dropped my shrink because I owe him a lot of money it will take me a long time to pay off. My primary care doc has agreed to prescribe my meds, only because I’ve been stable on the same dosage for years. So I can’t change now.

Thanks for listening. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in this.

November 17, 2011 at 10:46 pm
(360) Confused in the Zoo says:

OMG…..I can’t believe what ‘i’ve read….i’ve been losing my memory too….and i’m not at all over the hill either….This is insane to read how many people have suffered because of effexor. My husband has lost alot of faith in me too because I will forget to pay a bill, or lose a receipt or forget something we are talking about a minute later…it’s very frustrating…..

December 8, 2011 at 2:20 pm
(361) Annie says:

I have been taking effexor 75 mg for menopause side effects, lately I became very depressed and saw a shrink who upped me to 150 xr, well I have been losing everything, have forgotten how to do basic things at the office like printing an envelope, forgot how to spell and just spend thw whole day daydreaming, out of focus…very scarry!

December 12, 2011 at 2:25 am
(362) Ann says:

Wow. Almost 400 comments over five and a half years, and not one lawyer has picked up on this to set up a class-action lawsuit? I’m surprised.

I used to think I was a pretty smart woman; now, not so much. I’m truly worried about permanent damage to my mind and my vision; venlafaxine seems to affect vision, too.

Has anyone had, since you’ve been on this drug, ocular migraines — those strange but painless “headaches” that cause wiggly things to move slowly across your vision for about 30 minutes? I’ve had those quite a bit lately.

I believe sometimes I can feel my brain cells dying off.

December 14, 2011 at 12:54 pm
(363) Kialea27 says:

I have been on Effexor XL (not sure what the difference is between XL and XR??) for 9 years now. I have gradually got worse during that time. It started with little things, common things like where did I put my keys, then it progressed to did I take my tablet when I had already taken it minutes ago and today just hours ago I ended up in tears because I apparently had a full conversation with my boyf at the weekend which i have no recollection about at all. I dont even remember a single thing that was talked about. I have been t-total for 8 years do no drugs except the effexor and have never smoked. The effexor does control my anxiety though. Im not sure what the lesser of the two evils is considering before the effexor I had a mental breakdown and was diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder – im only 36 :( After reading all your comments Im probably more scared than ever now

December 14, 2011 at 11:18 pm
(364) Elisha says:

This is something I worried about and thought there was a connection with taking Effexor and memory loss. I had taken Effexor for five years and I have a hard time remembering the years I was on it and rely on friends to fill in blanks or I get told stories of things that happened I have no recollection about. I had stopped using Effexor in 2004 and my memory still is not what it used to be but has gotten better. I always thought there was a correlation and was also always told there was no reason Effexor would have effected my memory but I feel has done some irreversible damage and has made life that much more difficult and even ruined relationships due to not having the ability to recall things. I hope its just an amount of time before the long tern effects of Effexor are realized and is found out to be that it damages something within the brain from retaining memories.

December 23, 2011 at 11:57 pm
(365) Tonia says:

Glad I’m not alone! While taking effexor for 4 yrs my memory loss began. I thought it was just the way it worked. I couldnt remember & I couldnt process any thought other than superficial ones. Life was on auto pilot with no input from me but the depression stopped. I came off it gradually (about a yr) but even this slowly put me in the “crazy house” hospital. I’ve been off it for 2 yrs but the memory loss continues. Im getting scared because it’s not just forgetting keys or where I park the car. Without my family to do things I forget or to remind me (I write myself list but I forget where I put them) I’m afraid I couldnt function. My brain has been “unbalanced” all my life but I never had this problem till after taken effexor.

February 9, 2012 at 5:43 pm
(366) Audra says:

I have been on Effexor for 8 years-impressive I know. When I first started it I attempted suicide within 6 weeks of starting it, when I wasn’t suicidal to start, just depressed. I tried to go off of it a couple of years ago because I wanted to have children. I then suffered for a year with the worst anxiety and attention problems I have ever had. In fact I have never experienced such pain, and nothing I did made them go away. I went back to my doctor and he tried me on a bunch of other psych meds-because I didn’t want to go back on the Effexor because of the side effects and withdrawals. Alas I finally gave in and restarted. The anxiety immediately went away. But like clock work 6 weeks later I attempted suicide, even though I was feeling better. I am still taking effexor, because I can’t go back to that anxious feeling. I really don’t know what to do. I have also had the memory deficits, which I researched a year ago, because I too thought I was going crazy and experiencing early onset dementia. I really don’t know what to do about it. But its good to know that I am not the only one out there.

February 11, 2012 at 5:19 pm
(367) Kathy says:

I believe that EffexorXR has a profound effect on your memory. I have had a hard time at work remembering what I have to do. I forget things I know I have to do. It has ruined my professional life.

February 15, 2012 at 8:58 am
(368) Shelly says:

I was put on Effexor for about 1 month, It made me very sucidal. I have been off of it for over a month and cannot remember simple tasks. I tried to return to work and was made to resign because i could not remember passwords or how to perform simple tasks I have been doing for 26 years. My doctor said it cant be related to the Effexor. My husband said my whole demeanor changed when I was put on it. I am still seeking help to recover from the side effects.

March 1, 2012 at 9:57 am
(369) Matthew says:

I’m extremely glad to have found this page when I did. I was on effexor for 2 years (2008-2010) when I was at university and I found it to be a miracle drug at the time. I felt it had cured my anxiety and depression and the side effects were minimal in comparison to the original condition. I was on 75mg for 5-6months then the dose was upped to 150mg. On 150mg, I noticed how desensitised they made me… I was incapable of feeling anything, rather than just feelings of anxiety and depression. But I did notice a decline in my memory.

I couldn’t remember most of what I had learned from my A-levels but I could remember even less from university (the period I was on anti-depressants). When I came off the effexor, my feelings and sexual function returned gradually, but my memory and concentration weren’t so quick to recover. When I told my doctor about it, she said I wasn’t on them long enough for my memory to be affected :s

My memory has actually been improving slowly in recent months. I spend a lot of time reflecting on the past and practice remembering more. I take cod liver oil daily for its EPA and I exercise a hell of a lot. I also eat a lot of blueberries which are expensive but meant to be incredibly beneficial to memory. Studying and playing guitar are also exercising my mind and I feel this whole combination has been helpful.

I’m sad to say though, that my mental health is very poor in terms of depression and obsessive thought when I am drug-free now. A week ago, I went back on the effexor and after having read this page I am inclined to come off it. Memory is crucial and most people are saying the adverse effects of effexor on it are permanent. I’m to see a psychiatrist in a fortnight but I will be reluctant to take any anti-depressant knowing now how short-sighted health professionals can be to their dangerous effects. I don’t know how I can live without some form of drug to numb me though, its past the point of me being able to deal with it myself.

March 2, 2012 at 3:39 pm
(370) Peggy Vysniauskas says:

I have been taking effexor for 17 years in one way it has saved me from my major deppression disorder, however has me disabled me memory wise. Physical wise. I started to take adderal to be able to function it help somewhat, but concentrating and staying awake which is so crippling. I have lost my job, no medical insurance so the only thing I can get free is the effexor, which helps with the depression however I am totally disabled due to memory loss and confusion, It also has crippling effect such as making you so tired
you are unable to function and it leads to obesity. I come off it and I immediately go into such a horrible. Deppression that I know if if I am not on it I would be dead. I was on 300mg and now am on 150 mg once a day. Here is the safest part, I lost my job and my home and been homeless. For three years and. I can’t even get help or Medicaid to help.
Forget SSI so unless we all speak up we will all end up with no life at least a quality life.

y.

March 11, 2012 at 11:59 pm
(371) penny says:

Wow! As I have been reading through the threads tears rise to the surface…I was on Effexor XR for 5 1/2 years (Prior was on Paxil for 9). Originally prescribed for relief of anxiety/panic attacks when I was 21. I attempted several times to come off of both Paxil and then the Effexor. Each time the withdrawal symptoms seemed worse than the reason for originally taking the meds. In 2009 after years without anxiety it was time come hell or high water to ween off the EFFEXOR (I did not have the memory/cognitive issues while taking it – they began during the ween and beyond). It took two years (I was only ever on 37.5) before I was “Drug Free”. 4 months in to the weening – I noticed the COGNITIVE ISSUES…Word Recall, Processing dysfunction…It only got worse as the weening continued. Since taking my last pill in May the word recall, information processing/synthesizing, ability to comprehend large chunks of information and even my creative thinking has ALL been stifled causing EMOTIONAL DISTRAUGHT not too mention the inability to function optimally!!!!.. Medical Professionals seem clueless and have attempted to make me believe it is psychosomatic…I cannot express that comfort in knowing there are others’ experiencing some degree of the same issues. I seriously don’t understand how the pharma company (Wyeth) has not been hit with a class action lawsuit. I pray each day that the cognitive function will get stronger and eventually return to “my” normal/best…. I would LOVE to hear about a success story in that department….and/or become the success story! My sincere empathy goes out to each of you experiencing any degree of the same thing on, weening off, or finally off the drug or shall I say “poison”.

April 5, 2012 at 12:42 am
(372) Robert says:

I am like you all, very comforted by the fact that I am not the only one but also very angry that this problem has not been addressed. I used to have a very sharp mind, loved to debate, a fantastic speller. That is all gone. My mind is basically blank all the time. I am constantly trying to “feed” it by reading but nothing will stick. People used to tell me how smart I am, but my mind is so dull that I have gone from being a commissioned officer in the Army to considering driving a truck because it doesn’t take a lot of intelligence to do it. Next time I see my doctor, I am going to TELL him that this needs to be reported. I can’t tell you how dismayed I am that those who have stopped taking it have not regaining mental clarity. I never wanted to be part of the “dumbing down” of America, but it appears I am inadvertantly so.

April 25, 2012 at 10:31 am
(373) Saturnie says:

This is unbelievable… So many of us are having this problem, how can the medical associations let this go on…
I have tried most of the antidepressants used for anxiety, Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa and the infamous Effexor. Not only did Effexor rob me of my libido, it made me gain over 30 pounds, leaving me feeling sooo bad about myself. I stopped taking the drug almost 2 years ago against my doctor’s advice. What is terrifying is that my memory problems never went away after quitting the drug… 2 years later, I still ask the same questions to my friends only to realize I’ve already asked them the same thing just a while ago… I can’t remember scenarios of movies I watched just the day before or what I had for breakfast… I feel crippled… I used to be a brilliant woman, now, I struggle to find employment way underneath what I used to be able to do. I hear you all, we trusted this med to make us feel better in our hour of need and we are stuck with this terrible consequence… Have any of you been off the Effexor for over 2 years? I would like to know if the memory problems ever go away or if this is permanent brain damage…

April 27, 2012 at 7:41 pm
(374) Natalie Micola says:

I am only 27 years old. I have been on Effexor XR for about 15 years now. I will probably never be able to come off. I am supposed to take 225 mg daily, however I usually only take 150 mg. My memory is sad bad that some days I usually cannot remember if I have taken my meds until the withdrawal symptoms kick in. I also live in a relatively small town-the town I was born, raised in, and have always lived in-and I cannot give directions to the easiest places in our town b/c I can’t remember which of the two main streets the place is located on or off of. Up until a few months ago when I forced myself to learn it, I couldn’t tell you when mine and my husband’s three year anniversary date would be this year. I am so afraid that next, I will be filling out patient paperwork for my son’s doctor and forget his birthday! He is my only child!!! What kind of mother would I be if I forgot that? I am only 27, not in my 70′s or 80′s but I feel like I have dementia or alzheimers. For almost the entire 15 years I thought that Effexor XR was the best thing that ever happened to me until I realized that it was what had effected my mind so negatively. I wanted to become a surgical tech until I became too afraid I would leave instruments in patients. Now I can barely remember day to day things at the jobs that I do have. I know I can probably never come off of Effexor but even if I could, it appears that these effects are, most unfortunately, permanent. I hope one day, my husband has a good enough job to support us and give us the medical insurance necessary to allow me to see a Neurologist. I want to get some proper scans done of my brain to see if something really is wrong now. Maybe Effexor has not only had a negative effect on the memory but on the brain matter as well. I will keep everyone on here posted as to the outcome.

May 14, 2012 at 3:02 pm
(375) Jenn says:

I know for a fact that Effexor XR can cause memory loss. I lost three days in March 2012. the third day I took a bottle of the effexor and do not recall ANY of it. I was not suicidal by any means. I spent 6 days in the hospital.I have been on effexor xr for several years and noticed that I have a hard time remembering this of the past and current. I forget dates, appointments and things Im asked to do. I personally think that Effexor is the WORST drug ever made!

May 20, 2012 at 6:48 am
(376) Brigid says:

I’m so glad I’m not losing my mind!!! I’ll be 28 in July and told my husband I’m getting really concerned about my memory loss. He thought it was a joke at first, but now it’s pretty noticeable. I’ve been on the XR 75mg tablets of this for over 6 months and my memory is getting progressively worse!! Time to go back to the doc!

May 22, 2012 at 3:26 am
(377) ali says:

omg i thought i was the only one with all these issues.same thing.we all need to file a class action law suit for real.and how do you get off this drug without feeling sick and dizzy? my doc said cymbalta works. i dont even know about that. wow i has no idea this is what this drug does.

May 25, 2012 at 1:50 pm
(378) Carrie says:

I have been on 75 mg of Effexor xr for 2 years and my memory has been declining in the last 6-12 months. I feel nuts at work when people talk to me about ideas and details that they say come from me and I don’t remember them. I am having trouble with words and spelling, too. My doctors all say there is no correlation, but I just don’t believe them anymore. I want to get off the med. Will my memory come back to me? I’m a historian and my livlelihood is strongly linked to my ability to recall names, dates, and details.

June 5, 2012 at 2:18 am
(379) Tina says:

This is sad sad..My memory loss is horrible..I will tell my kids to do something and a few minutes later will again and they will say , you told me already.
Or the famous thing thats REALLY bad for me. Having to try and come up with a word that is there but i forget what its called..Like meat , I will have a hard time coming up with the cut or the type of meat and it frustrates me and reading that NO ONE gets there memory back scares me and makes me angry.
Ive been on Effexor for 7 years and I am NOW going to try and wean off,..If I can get over the brain zaps.

June 9, 2012 at 3:04 pm
(380) Marjolein says:

I was once an intelligent woman, my iq was 140 and I had a sharp and analytical mind. But since I stopped taking Effexor two years ago (after taking it for 6 or 7 years), that mind is pretty much gone.

I’ve read pretty much all the comments, looking for a cure. I found people trying magnesium, omega3 and gingko. So that’s what I’ve ordered today and I will report back in a few months to let you know if it changed anything.

June 16, 2012 at 12:18 pm
(381) Codie says:

I took effexor and ended up getting off of it because it scared me to the point i was in the ER due to brain shivers.
Since I started it I have had difficulties remembering things. It seems like its getting worse and Ive been off it for a few months now.
My boyfriend is scared for me seeing that I cant even remember half the stuff we talk about it.

June 16, 2012 at 4:20 pm
(382) Will says:

I took Effexor for a while in 2000. Stopped when I realized I was having memory problems. Got fired when my boss asked me what I had done in the morning. All I could remember was being there, but nothing of what I had been working on. Memory slowly improved some, but never returned to what it was. There was a noticeable improvement over a short time, maybe a couple weeks (or less), to confirm the change was due to discontinuing the drug, but it never got back to normal. This has had a severe effect on my ability to work at any job.

June 26, 2012 at 12:59 am
(383) Drea says:

I started taking Effexor 7 months ago because I suffered with really bad depression after I had my son. At first it worked so well. I was given Effexor XR 37.5mg once a day. I felt like myself again. I was able to finally feel, so I though. About 2 months ago I was given generic Effexor because my insurance would not cover non generic. I was scared to take it but I was told that it is the same as non generic. That is not true. As soon as I started taking the generic I felt worse. I had really bad anxiety, I was forgetting things, I felt like I was losing my mind. I would get mad and feel irritable because of it. Whenever I would look at my 2 sons I felt as if I did not know who they were. Better yet, I didn’t even know who I was anymore. I had no emotions. I couldn’t cry or feel happy. I hated feeling like this. This is not how people are suppose to live. I exercise 6 days a week and eat a healthy diet. Why was I not feeling better. I am in the best shape I could possibly be. This is when I decided to get off of it, with my dr’s ok. I have decided to get off of it cold turkey. Yes, I do have the brain zaps, feel dizzy at times. The withdrawals are nothing compared to how I felt on Effexor. I can actually feel again. Thank you god for answering my prayers. It is day 5 of being off. I would recommend to exercise continually and eat a healthy diet when coming off. Take omega 3′s, a multi vitamin and vitamin B complex. I think since I have been doing this anyways for 7 months, it has helped with my withdrawals. I have not had headaches or irritability like some have stated. I will never go on this again.

July 1, 2012 at 2:22 pm
(384) Tink says:

I’m only on 75 mg of Effexor but I’m also having memory problems. Sadly I can barely remember important events such as my my wedding day and births of my kids! Think after reading all these I need to go switch my meds!!!

July 10, 2012 at 6:29 am
(385) Tally says:

I was on Effexor for about 9 years. I had all the effects that everyone’s mentioned: lack of concentration, poor memory, and decreased analytical skills. I had to quit graduate school because I could no longer read a single paragraph in an academic article.

I’ve been off Effexor for 6 years, and while some of my concentration is back, it’s not the way it used to be. I used to pride myself on my concentration. Now every little thing distracts me. I feel like the gears in my brain are turning so slowly. I used to be really smart. It makes me so upset that I’ve lost so much cognitive function.

July 14, 2012 at 12:34 pm
(386) Doris says:

I have been off Effexor for 5 or 6 weeks now and my memory loss is worse than ever. My brain feels all scrambled up some days. Still have dizziness sometimes. How long will this last???

July 17, 2012 at 1:16 pm
(387) Diana says:

I found here what I feared…….other people taking Effexor XR with memory loss. I’ve been on Effexor for about 3 years. My energy and libido were first to go (didn’t take but a month). Then I noticed my memory and concentration slipping about 1.5 years ago. I attributed it to the stress I was under (which can cause memory loss). But now, I’m not under as much stress, yet I feel sluggish, have to come home from work several times a week and take a 3-4 hour nap, BEFORE I got to bed. I’m VERY concerned that my lack of concentration and memory will be noticeable in my job. I, too, use sticky notes and write everything down; at work and at home. I can’t remember jack! I used to be really physically active (even just 2 years ago), now I don’t do anything physical – I’M TOO TIRED! I used to manage a 911 center – I was a pretty sharp cookie! What the heck is happening – I’m only 49. When my doctor tried to ween me off Effexor last Oct; within 4 days I was a wreck. I was crying one day and screaming like a banshee the next. I’m currently on 150mg a day. It’s the memory loss that has me really concerned now. And if I could get an ounce of my energy back – that would be great too. Time to see the doctor again. Good Luck all!

July 23, 2012 at 12:15 am
(388) Wilma says:

I have been taking Effexor ER for about 8 years, and I have not given any thought about why my memory is bad, but as the days goes by it is getting worse. I have tried going off of my meds by myself, and I called my pharmacy, and I told him it feel like my brain is burning, and I had such a head ache, and he said it was being off of my meds for 3 days. My kids notice when I’m off of my meds, and they will even say mom did you take your meds because your so mean. I go to the doctor 7-23-12, and I’m excited to hear what she has to say. I just know I want off this med becasue I’m am 37, and have two boys, and can’t remember anythings. My oldest son is 14, and when he tells me I should write things down because I forget everything. I just recently had to quit my job because I can’t remember anything they have told me. This is taking over my everyday life.

July 26, 2012 at 12:47 am
(389) ang says:

I so agree I’ve been on this drug for aprox. 6 months and have noticed my memory is going. Sometimes I’m so frustrated cause I can’t even remember if I’ve taken my meds, people’s names for people that I’ve known for years, what I just ate 2 hours ago. It’s very bad..it’s gotta be the meds. Going to ask the pharmacist sometimes I think they’re smarter then doctors.

August 8, 2012 at 3:38 am
(390) Dave says:

I too was on Effexor xr low dose 25 mg for a couple of months. Basically forced to go on it after moving states and suffering a bit of homesickness. This was a couple of years ago now but very scary broke up a relationship I was in barely able to function just found myself doing random stuff all the time. Nearly lost my job got transferred. Yeah hard to say how much permanent damage.

August 26, 2012 at 10:24 am
(391) payday loan says:

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August 31, 2012 at 1:46 am
(392) Erin says:

I have been having short term and long term memory loss. I’ve been taking Effexor XR for 4 years. It’s like I have Alzheimers and I’m only 17! My reading level has been post high school ever since I was in the 5th grade and I am almost constantly reading. I have an advanced vocabulary for my age group. I read Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Freud, etc for recreational reading. And yet, for the last few months, I have found myself seriously struggling over words I’ve known since I was in preschool. I am forgetting friend’s names, even though I used to remember people’s names after having only met them once. I used to have to pretend I didn’t remember someone’s name because it sometimes seemed creepy when I remembered someone’s names after having only met them once a few years prior. I now have to check the toilet twice sometimes before leaving the restroom because I really have no memory of having flushed it. I seem to be having brain zaps in almost every single conversation I have. I’m very scared.

October 17, 2012 at 9:45 pm
(393) joan says:

I was placed.on effexor xr 8 years ago for anxiety. My life has been nearly ruined because of effexor. My memory is horrible, but compared to other issues I could manage. I cannot get off the medication. Doctors have tried it all. I become so ill. I can’t go on. Plus, from years of being on effexor my coordination is way off. I have had car accidents for the first time in my life. And, it doesn’t even help much with my anxiety anymore. These drugs need to be tested more thoroughly before doctors can prescribe them and tell us that they are safe. That’s one thing I do remember. My doctor telling me years ago it was safe. What a sick joke.

October 18, 2012 at 1:04 am
(394) Lacey says:

No one should ever have the arrogance to tell you for certain that Effexor can’t affect your memory. I have been on and off Effexor for four years — and every time I am back on it, I very specifically cannot remember (very) recent events. E.g., If I remember having thought a few minutes or hours ago that I should brush my teeth, I cannot remember whether or not I brushed them. Sometimes I will remember the answer only to forget again, and then remember- forget – back and forth, which is not only exhausting but embarrassing.
I am so scrambled in my thinking that I can’t really even explain it, because even that requires memory, I suppose LOL.
However, for ME, when I go off the drug for a good while my memory starts to become more organized – but this takes many months.
Also I have always had an incredibly good memory, but no longer do (or can even hope to get it back) ever since I got extremely depressed to the point where I believe it actually caused brain damage (I would weep and weep and then finally was too depressed to even cry for a bit… and just became unable to eat or move. Constant on-fire headaches came at the end, and I just felt all my mental faculties were draining. :O My point being, our depression itself won’t help matters such as memory – sometimes I wish I could go on something that more or less guarantees cognitive IMPROVEMENT, like Ritalin. :( )

October 28, 2012 at 12:01 am
(395) Sandy says:

I am experiencing similar memory issues & really weird dreams that I wake up from not sure whether they actually happened or not. Has anyone gone off Effexor and found that the memory and other issues disappear?

November 12, 2012 at 1:04 am
(396) Eric Siefferman says:

Im screwed.
My life was hell when I was growing up all the way to the time I started taking a drug whose name I no longer remember, ahh yes, Prozac, [just came to me.] Prozac was E.D. city so I tried to get off of it and symptoms came back each time causing a job loss. Then I found EffexorXR. Started out on 37.5 now up to 150mg. I have been on it for ten years at least.
Memory problems? I can take a pill and immediately forget if I took it or not. I was in a home depot bathroom and forgot what part of town I was in till I walked back out into the store.
I cant go back to the debilitating anxiety and depression which kept me from even leaving the bed let alone the house, but my memory is totally shot now, and I have a tough time articulating. I have had brain shrinkage. Everyone thinks I have brain damage due to strokes and the hospital said I had TMIs. I dont have a clue as to what I should do.
-Eric

November 15, 2012 at 12:58 pm
(397) Theresa says:

Wow. so interesting that I found this forum. Frankly I have been pretty happy with Effexor for the time I have been on it. However now I am experiencing memory loss to the point where I am embarrrassed about it and worried about myself. Right hand can’t remember what left hand it doing. I am about to go to dr for appt to renew, I have talked toher about getting off before as was doing well emotionally and thought I could go off but when I try, there are meltdowns and I wind up increasing again. Now I am at 50 mg daily so I am going to try talk to her about going back down again. What I hear you guys say is, do it slowly.
Eric, hang in there buddy. I hear your frustration. Just wanted to express journalling and meditating as ways to process what the sadness or anxiety are about. These tools have helped me immensely and I no longer see the saddness as anything other than an emotion that needs to be felt and can only be let go of when it has been processed. There are lots of good books I will recommend if anyone is interested. Also Tony Robbins work with strategic intervention is very interesting as it explains the 6 human needs. Watching the videos that are available free of charge helped me better understand myself.
Hope this is helpful to someone. Good and getting better but I think it is time to let go of Effexor (slowly). Thanks for the forum.

November 16, 2012 at 9:44 pm
(398) Mandy says:

100% agree with your statement. I have been on Effexor For almost six years at 150 mg daily. My memory and brain function is totally different from six years ago. I can’t remember normal every day things. Names, events, etc. it is getting worse quickly. Scared.

December 10, 2012 at 1:13 pm
(399) Jo says:

Oh my god. The relief at reading this. My family has a history of Alzheimer’s, and I had myself convinced I had an early onset. I have had an increase in anxiety (naturally!) functioning on diazepam for the panic, and suddenly had a moment of clarity that related to the beginning of my memory loss and confusion – about the time I started taking this drug! A bit of digging, and found this site. Thanks for sharing guys. I’m seeing my Dr and getting off it TODAY! Good luck everyone. The relief you have given me that my brain isn’t shutting down is a gift you cannot believe.

December 20, 2012 at 6:51 pm
(400) Patricia Nash says:

Hi,
Let me be #400 to these reports of memory loss taking effexor. I’ve only been on this drug for about 5 weeks. I admit it relieved me of the depression and I feel more energetic and upbeat–but last week at 24 hour fitness my brain went into some kind of a time lapse or time warp and I had a WEIRD WAKING DREAMS–where I lived in the present concurrently and wondered where the memories I had just minutes ago came from? Never had this before.
Then I realized that I’ve been forgetting a lot recently. I was the only one who showed up at Orchestra practice. It was the wrong day b/c I thought it was Thursday. I mean it was Wednesday and I thought it was Thursday so alone dutifully showed up 24 hours early. I can’t remember the date or day. For the 2nd time I asked my daughter if I could come over for Christmas. For the 2nd time she told me she would be in North Dakota! I applied to graduate school and am now concerned I won’t have the memory to even keep up.
Also I get confused on the bus and had an argument with the bus driver who I felt disrespected me and wouldn’t talk to me anymore to tell me where to get off. When I voiced my anger about his disrespect he said,
“Look–I told you THREE times to get off at First! It’s coming up!”
I then apologized and thanked him.
My psychiatrist told me she doesn’t advise taking any herbs cuz it might interact so I’ll be taking my ginko biloba again and hope it counteracts the side effect. Dr. Daniel G. Amen, the famous psychiatrist/neurologist who does live brain scans said,
“The prettiest brains I’ve seen are on GINKO BILOBA.” He treats memory loss too with other things besides Ginko and shows scans of improved brains after months of therapy. In addition, the patients report being improved. His website is:
http://www.amenclinics.com/
Hopes this helps. I will be accessing his site myself again too!

December 20, 2012 at 6:55 pm
(401) Patricia Nash says:

Hi,
Let me be #400 to these reports of memory loss taking effexor. I’ve only been on this drug for about 5 weeks. I admit it relieved me of the depression and I feel more energetic and upbeat–but last week at 24 hour fitness my brain went into some kind of a time lapse or time warp and I had a WEIRD WAKING DREAMS–where I lived in the present concurrently and wondered where the memories I had just minutes ago came from? Never had this before.
Then I realized that I’ve been forgetting a lot recently. I was the only one who showed up at Orchestra practice. It was the wrong day b/c I thought it was Thursday. I mean it was Wednesday and I thought it was Thursday so alone dutifully showed up 24 hours early. I can’t remember the date or day. For the 2nd time I asked my daughter if I could come over for Christmas. For the 2nd time she told me she would be in North Dakota! I applied to graduate school and am now concerned I won’t have the memory to even keep up.
Also I get confused on the bus and had an argument with the bus driver who I felt disrespected me and wouldn’t talk to me anymore to tell me where to get off. When I voiced my anger about his disrespect he said,
“Look–I told you THREE times to get off at First! It’s coming up!”
I then apologized and thanked him.
My psychiatrist told me she doesn’t advise taking any herbs cuz it might interact so I’ll be taking my ginko biloba again and hope it counteracts the side effect. Dr. Daniel G. Amen, the famous psychiatrist/neurologist who does live brain scans said,
“The prettiest brains I’ve seen are on GINKO BILOBA.” He treats memory loss too with other things besides Ginko and shows scans of improved brains after months of therapy. In addition, the patients report being improved. His website is:
http://www.amenclinics.com/
Hopes this helps. I will be accessing his site myself again too! I’m 63 and have lots to do!

December 25, 2012 at 1:52 pm
(402) Patricia Nash says:

Hi! Merry Christmas 2012!
Wikipedia quotes a study in their article on VELAFAXINE in footnote #33

^ Harrison CL, Ferrier N, Young AH (June 2004). “Tolerability of high-dose venlafaxine in depressed patients”. J. Psychopharmacol. (Oxford) 18 (2): 200–4. doi:10.1177/0269881104042621. PMID 15260908.

They summarized from it( (under side effects):

Another study noted weight gain in 29.6% of patients, failing memory (amnesia) in 44.4%, increased fatigue (48%), concentration difficulties (48%), and sleepiness/sedation (37%). [33]

I find the memory problem subsiding and not nearly as bad as elavil–which proved to be horrendous but temporary. I continue to take ginko biloba and do much aerobic exercise as lengthy aerobic exercise neurogenesis–the formation of new brain cells–formerly thought to be fixed at birth until research in the 1990s showed otherwise. Since the age of 59, I celebrate my birthdays by doing recumbent bicycle trips = to my age. I recently did 63 miles for my birthday at 24 hour fitness. [took ~ 8 hours). I think anxiety about forgetting just makes things worse. It’s better to be 20 pounds fatter and more forgetful than be slim and trim and have a good memory while resting in a box because suicide got you down.

January 24, 2013 at 11:26 pm
(403) haley says:

i am 19 years old and i have been on Effexor Xr since i was 17. i am noticing that i am having problems remembering where things are. i have lived in knoxville tennessee since i was 2 years old and have been driving around town since i was 16 and now i cant remember how to get from my doctors to the car dealers. this is driving me crazy!! i dont know what to do!!

February 1, 2013 at 5:25 am
(404) Cathy says:

YES! My memory used to be great, but after taking Effexor XR for 18 months, I became very concerned that my memory was becoming very unreliable. Not only that, now that I am 6 months off of the medication, I’m still having memory problems. What’s the deal?

Age 52

February 21, 2013 at 5:48 am
(405) C.W. says:

Some six or seven years ago, my wife, after suffering chronic bouts of depression, got a prescription for antidepressants. After a couple of tries with other name brands, she was finally put on Effexor. At that time, my health insurance through work covered us both, so the $25 co-pay for the prescription was acceptable. Her prescription was for 300 mg. of Effexor XR, per day – 150 mg. in the morning, and 150 mg. in the evening.

Unfortunately, that insurance “umbrella” didn’t last, as my company continued to downgrade their health insurance. Soon, I was the only one covered, leaving my wife with a grim choice: go off the drugs, or be a huge financial burden to our meager budget. We chose to begin ordering the Effexor from a supplier in India. They were very nice, super with the customer service, and priced between a third and quarter of what the Effexor would have cost us domestically.

The problems, for my wife, began about five years ago. At first, it was small memory lapses – things one could usually attribute to being preoccupied, or from having too much on one’s mind (at that time, she was responsible for ALL of our finances, as well as keeping track of nearly everything around the house, while I handled minor indoor chores and all the major outside chores, up to and including maintaining the property, house and the cars.) Over the course of the next two years, the memory lapses became more frequent. Then, about three years ago, the phone calls to me while I was at work, began — at first, for minor things; had I seen where she’d left a certain phone book, or, had I misplaced the orange juice in the ‘fridge… Over time, the calls became increasingly strange (and annoying) – had I misplaced her reading glasses? Did I have her car keys?
(cont’d…)

February 21, 2013 at 5:49 am
(406) C.W. says:

For a while, it sounded as if she thought I was trying to ‘gaslight’ her, or something similar (after the famous 50′s movie starring Charles Boyer), but then her questions became alarming… did I know what the answers were to simple math sums? Did I know how to spell certain, simple, common words? In everyday conversation she would ask me the same question, not just twice, but sometimes five, six or seven times in the space of one hour. I began to suspect that my wife was suffering from early-onset Alzheimer’s. She, meanwhile, seemed unaware of any serious problems, only complaining bitterly about ‘how complicated everything seemed to be getting.’

I wanted to take her in to see her Doctor, whom she had not seen in four years. We made an appointment, despite my being unemployed, and paid the full fee. She had been having some abdominal pains (most likely gas) and that was my pretext for getting her to her doctor. Once there, my wife stepped into the discussion I began with her Doctor, and told her Doctor that I had been having some concerns about her memory. The Doctor took that cue and said she would send a nurse in to administer a ‘short memory test.’

The nurse came in and gave my wife a quiz of thirty oral questions – simple things anyone could easily answer off the top of their head: what county do you live in? What is the day of the week? Name three past presidents. What is your phone number? My wife scored 23 out of 30. Her Doctor returned to the room and said that, even on a ‘bad day’, she (the doctor) would easily be able to score 30 out of 30 answers correct. She felt that my wife’s low score indicated that ‘something was wrong’ and recommended a complete blood-workup on my wife…then, in the next moment, turned right around and said that ‘if it was what she THOUGHT, then the blood tests wouldn’t tell her anything.’ Sure enough, the blood tests came back showing my wife as being ‘completely healthy and normal.’
(cont’d…)

February 21, 2013 at 5:52 am
(407) C.W. says:

The Doctor next said she wanted my wife to go in for a CT-Brain Scan. At this, we balked. I told the Doctor we would consider it, and get in touch with her. We then drove home, and I did some research. Prices for a CT-Brain Scan in our area could cost anywhere between five hundred to five THOUSAND dollars – and we had no income. A brain scan was out of the question.

We did not contact my wife’s doctor again. Meanwhile, my wife’s condition continued to worsen. She stopped taking care of the bills because she simply was no longer able to follow the complexity of the process. She began to allow the house to become cluttered, and she kept adding to the clutter. When we argued, it was typically a misunderstanding arising from her inability to follow the thread of any conversation for more than two exchanges. Instead of her former routines of going through the investments, she would spend hours vegging-out in front of the television, watching reruns of old fifties and sixties shows…and with frightening regularity, would forget that she’d seen this or that particular episode a mere 2-3 weeks previously, and happily re-watch the same shows, again and again, swearing to me she’d never seen this or that particular episode before this instance. During this phase of her situation, I lost my job – both technology and the collapsing housing bubble causing our current economic depression (call it what you like, my grandparents knew what a depression really was) effectively ended my current career: now unemployed, we had no health insurance even for myself, and no income, save for unemployment insurance.
(cont’d…)

February 21, 2013 at 5:54 am
(408) C.W. says:

My wife knew, by this time, at some level, that something was terribly wrong. She began going through her files (she had accumulated, over the years, four filing cabinets filled with all our important papers and documents)… in an effort, I think, to try to organize a mind that was collapsing into chaos. I was busy in the garage working on the car, one Saturday, while she was doing this, and I came inside for a break to find her sitting on the parlor floor amidst a scattering of manila file folders, completely in tears. Not only had she forgotten HOW to sort through the files she had, she had completely forgotten WHY she was trying to sort through them…

My wife has a double masters’ degree from a mid-western University. She knew 5,000 years of Chinese history. She has been a college teacher, herself, in the past, and has written editorial articles for newspapers. For nearly twenty years, it was SHE who figured out our income taxes, and TWICE, BEAT the IRS at their own game, even providing them with copies of her calculations as proof, and even got an apology from them on one occasion. She used to be able to argue rings around me.

Now, she couldn’t even remember, five minutes into a disagreement, how the argument had started in the first place…
(cont’d…)

February 21, 2013 at 5:56 am
(409) C.W. says:

Then, one day, I got a notice in the email, from our pharmaceutical supplier in India (an unprecedented event): they were updating their credit card servers, and they recommended to their best customers, an early placement of our next orders. Fine, I did so, and hoped they’d have things fixed-up within their projected window of 6-8 weeks.

Two months later, my wife’s supply of Effexor XR was getting low, and I went to place a new order, then got a warning at the website, that the new credit card servers ‘were not yet online.’
I went back and forth with them a few times, via email, to little avail; they didn’t accept Western Union money-wires, only Bank-wires, and our bank couldn’t decipher their instructions.

So, I went online to search for an alternate source, outside the USA, for her Effexor. And, coincidentally, I stumbled across THIS column of testimonials of you other victims of Effexor.

And I was duly horrified by what I read, here…in particular, by Patricia Nash’s last post (# 402 for those interested in some scary statistics).
(cont’d…)

February 21, 2013 at 5:58 am
(410) C.W. says:

My first determination was to get my wife OFF the Effexor immediately. But then I read both here, and elsewhere online, about the consequences of going ‘cold turkey’ off of the drug, and I decided to see if Wellbutrin, on the recommendation of a friend, might help ‘ease her off’ the effexor…a technique somewhat like using methadone to assist a heroin addict’s withdrawal.

I ordered the Wellbutrin from our pharmaceutical supplier in India, and it arrived (finally) after six weeks…during which, now that SHE knew the cause of her problems, my wife kept begging me to contact the supplier, to see if there was ANY way to track the delivery, hopefully to speed it up. She could not WAIT to get off the Effexor.

Once we had the Wellbutrin, I put her on a half-dose of it for a few days…and then, when very little improvement seemed to result, I took her completely off of it, and began getting her to take about 1000 mg. of L-Tyrosine first thing in the morning, and about 3 mg. of Melatonin just before bedtime, each night. Both are naturally-occurring compounds made in the human body and both contribute to the enhancement of certain brain functions (you can read about them online, almost anywhere.) These particular compounds appear to have been very helpful in keeping my wife’s moods fairly stable, while helping to restore her mind now that she is no longer on the Effexor.
(cont’d…)

February 21, 2013 at 5:59 am
(411) C.W. says:

I wish I could tell you that the recovery has been swift, as I had hoped it might be, but this has not been the case. My wife has been off the Effexor XR for a month, now, and is showing increasing signs of improvement in both her cognitive functions and her short term memory, every day, but her progress is agonizingly slow…and now that she is regaining her cognitive powers, she is maddeningly frustrated at the slowness of her improvement, and her inability to do so many things she once thought were elementary. Now, you see, she is beginning to realize the sheer, huge scope of what she lost, under the influence of Effexor. Some of her biggest problems have included, along with the loss of virtually ALL of her math skills, a major loss of her vocabulary skills: she knows WHAT it is she wants to say, but she will pause and stammer like James Cagney, as her mind spins it’s wheels in a frantic search for the right words, which often never come.

There is apparently a feeling, in the medical establishment, that the sacrificing of memory and cognitive skills, in exchange for emotional stability, is an acceptable bargain.

I would dearly love to get my hands on the moron who came to THAT conclusion.

Effexor is a horrible drug; completely horrible. It has destroyed my wife’s mind and put a hole SIX YEARS WIDE in her life – and this is unacceptable to me. Unfortunately, since we opted to go the ‘inexpensive route,’ and order our drugs at reduced rates from outside the country, we have virtually no legal recourse available to us. So I write here to warn any and all others who find this article and column of testimonials, and to add mine and my wife’s voice to those already speaking here.
(cont’d…)

February 21, 2013 at 6:02 am
(412) C.W. says:

To those who might suggest “Well, perhaps the stuff you were getting from India was garbage,” let me point out the FOUR HUNDRED OTHER PEOPLE HERE who are basically saying the same thing about this drug, and let me then ask you: what are the odds that all of THESE people ALSO got their Effexor from India? Pretty slim, I’d say.

There is a huge ‘elephant in the room’ surrounding this issue, upon which I am now going to throw a bright spotlight, for all concerned here, and for those who may follow…and it is this:

I recall, distinctly, a time in this country, when the only people allowed to prescribe psychotropic drugs, such as anti-depressants, were PSYCHIATRISTS. People appreciated the fact that these were highly-educated individuals, deeply studied in the countless variances of the human mind, and thoroughly educated in the vast array of the available psychotropic pharmacopoeia. In short, it was up to highly trained, skilled SPECIALISTS, to determine whether or not someone needed to be put on a drug which would affect their mind.

My wife was given her Effexor prescription by her GENERAL PRACTITIONER. Since WHEN has it become acceptable for a GP to be prescribing MIND CANDY? They’re trained to treat the FLU, and MEASLES, NOT clinical depression. Do they spend years studying the DSM? No. Do they spend years studying the effects of the full spectrum of all the psychotropic drugs available? No. Then can somebody tell me just WHO decided to let general practitioners pretend to be Sigmund Freud?
(cont’d…)

February 21, 2013 at 6:04 am
(413) C.W. says:

As I said, my wife and I have no legal recourse, but I have heard rumor, somewhere, that there are LAWYERS testing the wind, on this drug. It is my fervent wish that they will descend, in the full fury of their slavering hordes, upon the makers of this drug, upon the FDA for allowing it onto the market without adequate testing, and upon the AMA for allowing the PUSHING of it onto patients by under-qualified general practitioners – who amount to little better than dilettantes at psychology.

I thank all of you who have come before me, here, for contributing your testimonials to this growing piece of damning evidence against Effexor. And I beg all of you who will come after me, and who will read this, to PLEASE get yourselves or your loved ones OFF this mind-destroying drug, before the damage can go too far. We do not know, at this point, if my poor wife will ever recover her full mental faculties again. We are hopeful, but hope, at this point, is all we have left to us. —CW

February 21, 2013 at 1:39 pm
(414) C.W. says:

Addendum: In writing any narrative of this length, errors are likely to occur and in this case, I misplaced the sequence of events with regard to losing my job. The loss of my job came PRIOR TO my wife’s visit to her Doctor, and the Doctor’s administration of the memory test to my wife.
Sorry for any confusion. —CW

March 6, 2013 at 8:57 pm
(415) Gail says:

I have been on effexor fr 6 years (I think). I have also had electroconvulsant treatments, and blamed my memory loss on the treatments. I know that ECT can cause short term memory loss, but have recently come to believe that it has to be more than that. Having recently read comments from othes about not only memory loss, but other side effects, I am in no doubt that effexor are going to have a parting of the ways. I know that I have to wean off of it very sowly and carefully, however, I personally feel that I must get off.

March 17, 2013 at 5:57 am
(416) ringing in both ears, memory loss says:

It only took 18 days for severe negative effects to kick in. I stopped taking drug immediately. 5 years later, I still have long/short term memory loss, poor reading retention, terrible word retrieval, ringing in ears (tinnitus), inability to multi-task, horrible power of concentration.
I used to be very, very smart. It only took 18 days to lower my IQ considerably.
I suggest exercise; any small amount will help depression. Don’t take a chance on destroying your intelligence permanently with Effexor, please.

March 23, 2013 at 5:29 pm
(417) Jaylynn says:

I have been taking Effexor xr for many years. I can attest that it has helped me with the depression I suffered throughout my life, however, I have recently experienced similar symptoms as expressed in the blogs above. I feel as though my brain is working fast, but my speech cannot keep up with it. I mispronounce words, forget words I am thinking about during conversation, and sometimes stutter. It is embarrassing for me. I often wonder if people noticed it. I think, perhaps, Effexor xr has increased my anxiety. I have decided to ask my doctor for something else. Hope all of your are happy and well!

March 23, 2013 at 8:45 pm
(418) Janine says:

I have been taking Effexor XR (300mg) for quite a while now. I cant remember when I started. I have noticed that my short term memory is quite bad. Sometimes I have to think really hard to remember what I did Yesterday. At times when I am talking to someone I forget what I was going to say. I cant remember peoples names and sometimes cant even remember the names of my colleagues. I forget what movies I’ve seen. I even forgot my partners name once so I couldn’t introduce him properly. These are only some of the problems I can remember. It is embarrassing. I even had my boss talking to me about my memory loss a few days ago (it was concerning her), and my partner has noticed it too. I’m scared. I will be asking my dr. about it in the near future. I only hope it is not permanent!

April 4, 2013 at 1:31 pm
(419) penny says:

Wow! I’m not sure whether to be relieved or terrified. I have been on effexor almost 20 yrs. I used to have such a great memory but over the years have joked about early alzheimers and having appointment dyslexia. I thought I was just getting stupid. Clearly my suspicions about effexor are correct. I am 49 and want off this drug but am scared to death of what might happen. I know within a few hours if I have missed my dose as my head starts to swirl (sort of like someone sticking a spoon in my head and giving a stir) I have tried to get off it In the past but end up an insecure crying anxious mess so end up back on this drug. I am afraid I wiil lose my job and or marriage if I do. …..Lost……

April 9, 2013 at 1:54 am
(420) CW says:

* Second Addendum to my original and lengthy multiple post about my wife’s unfortunate experience with Effexor XR. I got the dosage wrong:
she was taking 150 mg. per day – 75 mg. in the AM, and 75 mg. in the PM. Which makes the attendent side-effects all the more atrocious, in my opinion. Just needed to set that record straight. —-C.W.

April 29, 2013 at 5:01 pm
(421) Holly says:

I cannot tell you how relieved I am to read about other people’s experience of Effexor and memory loss. I have been taking It for almost 3 years, and it has been in the last 8 months or so that I have noticed a significant and worrying decline in my memory. I’m only 22 and have always been attentive, bright and conscientious by nature, but I have hugely struggled recently with the change in my memory – so much so that I am overwhelmingly embarrassed and distressed about it. The only comparison I can make is that I feel like I am turning into a vegetable. I recently left university, and I can honestly say that by the end I had begun to very much doubt my ability to achieve a degree, although I was too ashamed to admit that. I spoke with a psychiatrist months ago about this but she was not convinced that my memory loss was linked to the Effexor. If I have a conversation with a friend, or spend a whole day with them, I will indefinitely forget the conversation or even that I have seen them. I can practically never recall what I have done a day, week or month previous, and I just simply cannot retain anything- not for lack of trying. I draw blanks in any conversation which requires any significant amount of thought, and I find myself occasionally in tears due to the frustration and confusion. Let’s hope that someone out there is studying this side effect with the sincerity it deserves so that it can be fully understood and addressed.

May 9, 2013 at 7:00 am
(422) JP says:

I too have been on Efexor XR since before Christmas I can’t remember exactly when I started, but I too have been experiencing memory losses and it is very hard to stay focused on a task. I had to build up to 150mg and now I am telling the doctor that I feel that it is Efexor that is causing my problems, as I was never like this before. I seem to not be able to process things in sequence. I have a Bachelor degree and after a breakdown decided to do a beauty course so I could manage a simplier job with less pressure. Since taking Efexor XR I have been able to sit through a theory exam and be able to remember random information without difficulty, even getting 100% in one of the exams, but when I tried to do the simple practical side my mind would wonder or be distracted during the assessments and I would fail every single time. Since my breakdown I have had to live with my parents to help me. The other day I put a saucepan on the stove to boil and then went out. My mum found the saucepan almost dry on the stove. I have never done this before??? I tend to spend my time thinking that I have to do something and then I go to do it and find that another thought comes into my head and then I forget, 5 minutes later I remember that I forgot what I was about to do, I then go to do it again and then find that I have forgotten again….and there you go there are other things that I have done and I can’t remember what they are now!!! So frustrating!!!! I am now on 70mgs and am trying to get off them completely. My friend who is a psycologist told me that it may take about 6 months to get them out of my system. The doctor tells me that it should take 6 weeks. I will keep you posted. I am about to drop to 37mg this week. I just hope that nothing is permanent…very worried as I was never like this before.

May 13, 2013 at 8:39 pm
(423) JP says:

Another problem I had the other day was that I was driving to a destination and had to pull over because I forgot where I was going. Once I remembered I started to drive again, then I forgot where I was going again at that point I thought that maybe I just keep driving straight and hopefully I will remember again. This has never happened to me before taking Efexor. So strange…!! I have had too doctors telling me that it wouldn’t be Efexor XR at all, the doctor I saw yesterday said that maybe I have post traumatic syndrome instead. Only time will tell….! I am doing alternate days of 37.5mg and 75mg this week and will keep reducing each week until I am off them completely.

May 22, 2013 at 9:03 am
(424) Australian effexor xr says:

Hello everyone,I am saddened but also heartened to read these comments… Saddened because we are experiencing these problems, but heartened because we are not alone.
I was on Zoloft for a few years at a low dose but it wasn’t helping my depression, and when i turned up at the emergency department of the local hospital they changed my meds.
That was 3 or 4 years ago and I am on 187.5mg effexor xr a day and just 25mg of the seroquel.
I am a single mother of a young child, i live with and care for my elderly mother, i study horticulture at college and i try to keep on top of everything.
This past year of studying has been horrific in terms of my short term memory – memory fogs, loss of recall, attention difficulties etc .
I am always trying to speak and lose the sense of what it is i am trying to say… I forget what things are called. I look at them – like, a coffee cup – but i can’t get the words ‘coffee cup’ out, i end up saying something like ‘that thing’ or ‘the thing with drink in it’…
I joke with people and say it’s lack of sleep (!) but lately i have been wondering if it was the meds i am on. Only tonight, my mum saw something on the news about xanex (?) and memory loss being a recognised side-effect… i told her, i am not on that (although, i couldbnt tell her the name of what i was on at that moment!).
So, when i remembered, i googled ‘effexor xr and memory’ and well, here i am… It’s late at night and i won’t bother her now, but in the morning i will tell her, ‘hey, you were right, my meds have these side-effects too’.
I am daunted by the idea of coming off them but i know that i want my mind back!!
I wish each and every one of you luck and strength to resolve what it is that you each need to do in your own lives to regain your brain clarity!
Thank you for posting their experiences, which has enabled me to come to this point of (rare!) clarity!

June 11, 2013 at 11:47 am
(425) Arabella Drew says:

I have been on the drug since 2012 and I am 32. My memory is so bad its scary. My husand can recall movies we just recently watched at home and I have no idea what he is talking about. It is so bad it actually depresses me because I have often been concered I had something majorly wrong. I cant remember simple things like what bills i paid without looking back in my check register and I was never this way. I had a memory like an elephant. I was especially organized.

June 12, 2013 at 10:36 am
(426) TNW says:

I have been on Effexor XR twice in my life for social and generalized anxiety. Both times I was on it for a few years at a time, with a couple years break in between where I was on no prescription medications. It is one of the only meds I have found that works well for my social anxiety, that is why I went back on it for a second time–even though I had suspicions it was causing memory issues. On a quick side note, I am currently 29 years-old so I should not be having age-related memory issues and am otherwise healthy. My suspicions were confirmed after being on the medication a second time when my short-term memory starting declining again (after returning to normal after being off of Effexor XR for a few years) and I am now positive it has negativly impacted my short-term memory. When I am not taking Effexor XR my memory is sharp, but when I am on it I have a hard time remembering things I normally would not forget (for example, the plot or ending to a movie or TV show I had just watch a few months earlier!). I have decided to go off the medication again, and will start to taper down slowly in July 2013, as the memory issues are starting to be upsetting (obviously I am forgetting more that just a plot to a TV show, ha). My husband and I would also like to try to conceive in the fall and there is no way I putting any psychiatric medications in my body while pregnant, especially after my experience with Effexor and the negative effects it has had on my memory…who knows what these medications do to a growing brain and body, even the ones that are supposedly “safe”.

June 17, 2013 at 1:43 pm
(427) David says:

These comments sure are interesting. I have been on Effexor XR, 300mg daily since late November 2004, so that’s 8 and a half years. For a period of time, I was on 225mg daily.

I can say this much — if people are having a difficult time remembering things, that’s entirely within their control and it has absolutely nothing to do with the medication. The purpose for prescribing this medicine is for DEPRESSION and ANXIETY, perhaps with a side order of obsessive tendencies.

Now, as you can see from the posts, my dosage is rather high compared to the rest of folks. It would follow that if their lower dosages are making them have gaps in their memory, my higher dosage would make me a complete blithering idiot! :-) This is simply not the case, and I would add that I was certainly no genius before taking the med either.

There is no real secret to it — you just have to force yourself to pay attention to everything. You may think this is unreasonable, like forcing yourself to breathe in and out… but it’s the simple truth. I have noticed lots of times when I forget where I put stuff. All it really is, and I’m being entirely honest here, is a willingness to pay closer attention.

Take it from the guy taking the large dosage.

July 3, 2013 at 6:02 pm
(428) Hunter says:

I love this drug, i have been on it for a little while but ever since I have been my crippling anxiety is gone, i can actually speak to people now, im more spontaneous and unpredictable, I always had problems remembering, and for spelling if it wasn’t for spell check i would be legally retarded. and no longer addicted to porn . I am finally living my life.. but i will come back if i see any change in my memory.

July 6, 2013 at 10:37 pm
(429) Pamela says:

I came off Cymbalta due to back stiffness, and my doctor put me on Effexor XR 150 capsules. I noticed right off a change in memory and my vision. I also would fall asleep very easily. I felt like a zombie. I felt more depressed, i felt wierd in my head and constantly forgetting things. I called and told her i wanted to get off and she wanted me to lower the dose and stay on but i quickly winged my own self off and i felt like a real person again. I felt so much better it was unreal. I can’t put into words how much clearer my head is, my thinking is. But my memory will never be like normal. I would never suggest this med for anyone i know. I beg my husband to tell his doctor to take him off of it. He is like another person and can’t remember nothing. He has no life, thank God i feel so free since i came off it.

July 8, 2013 at 12:52 pm
(430) Jess says:

I agree with many of the comments made. Out of all the antidepressants Effexor worked the best for me, but had horrible side effects. I was on it for almost 7 years. I just recently got off of it because I was pregnant with my second child. Currently, I am experiencing major memory problems. I am losing things, I pull up to the gas station and not even know why I am there, I forget everything, it takes me a long time to recall events that happened within a few hours….I was on this drug and a pretty high dose for so long that now I am worried it has caused damage. I am not sure if I am going through these issues because I am not on it anymore or because it has damaged me. Any thoughts? I am 24 years old and hoping this is not something that is going to stay permanent!

July 13, 2013 at 12:55 am
(431) Denis says:

wow. hello everyone. I have been on Effexor xr 75mg for over 10 years.My memory has slowly wilted away to nothing. My anxiety left shortly after starting up on the med but sex drive took a header. After a few years sex drive came back but anxiety never did. Even standing in line at the grocery store wasn’t possible. Panic attacks are a thing of the past. But is this the trade off? I cant retain short term memory info for more than 1 day,2 days max. This sucks. Getting off it seems very scary. Help!

July 15, 2013 at 3:46 pm
(432) CW says:

@ David (Comment #427)
Excuse me, son, but you are talking BS, here. Let me explain scientific observation to you: it is cause and effect. Period. That is all there is to it, and the fact is, that my wife’s memory was BETTER THAN MY OWN before she went on Effexor, and now, post-effexor for six months, her short-term memory is still in the toilet. Her long-term memory is returning, but very slowly and sporadically.

The REAL fact of the matter, David, is that NOT EVERYONE IS AFFECTED THE SAME WAY BY EFFEXOR. Different people have different reactions, and you happen to be in that specific group of people who do NOT experience the memory loss that comes with this drug. Let me refer you back to Post #402, in which Patricia Nash cites a scientific study which concluded that 44% of the people taking effexor experienced failing memory (amnesia.)

Take it from someone who actually UNDERSTANDS SCIENCE…

July 26, 2013 at 10:47 am
(433) Nicole says:

Been on Effexor xr (150 mg)prescribed since 1995. Had Cognitive, vision, memory difficulties and severe withdrawal symptoms, unable to discontinue as of yet… one episode of serotonin syndrome. ..Wont repeat all the symptoms but I have the same complaints as everyone else, seeking a class action lawsuit to get drug removed from market. I cant understand why there are thousands of complaints on line for years but I cant find one current lawsuit for withdrawal and/or insufficient information provided to consumers. (I located one for for birth defect cases). Any current info on a case against this manufacturer appreciated. Also signed current petition, up to almost 25,000 signatures, I believe…NM

July 30, 2013 at 2:41 pm
(434) CW says:

@Nicole (comment #433) If you could leave the url to that petition, I’ll love signing it, as will my wife. We’d appreciate it.

I don’t know that there will be any class-action suit until someone in a laboratory does an independent study that proves conclusively the risk of memory loss and cognitive impairment, and the percentage of the population at risk for such, from this drug. Without that, the AMA and the Pharmaceutical industry maintain a stonewall front that ‘it can’t possibly be the drug.’ We need hard evidence, and an attourney willing to go after them. We may end up having to start a class-action suit ourselves, come to that, but again, without solid evidence, we’ve got nothing.

The problem is, this drug affects the MIND, and so many people have their minds WIPED by this drug that they no longer have the wits to figure out that the drug is behind it. A truly horrible “Catch 22″, if there ever was one.

August 8, 2013 at 9:41 pm
(435) Connie says:

Hi, after reading a lot of your comments I am convinced that my memory loss, short attention span, difficulty finding the right word, confusion is all due to Effexor. I have been on and off it for a couple years at least…don’t remember exactly.

I think that all of us who is suffering this should start a CLASS Action Law Suit against Pfizer ( the makers of ).

If any of you are down for this and thing its a good idea…please let me know.

August 20, 2013 at 5:53 pm
(436) Kiera says:

I have also suffered TERRIBLE memory loss. I took the drug back in 2008 I believe and was on it for 6mos before I noticed that I could not remember things. I had always had a great memory. I couldn’t even remember words that I commonly used daily. People I have known forever and I struggled to remember their names. This went on for awhile among many other side effects until I had to slowly and painfully wean off of the medication. My doctor said my memory would return after I stopped the medication. That is not true. It’s now 2013 and I have been off of the medication for a few years and my memory is permanently damaged. I believe a class action law suit should be in full effect as well.

September 23, 2013 at 8:53 pm
(437) John says:

That is why am at this forum. I am an electrical engineer and i have a dramatic memory loss over the past couple of years since i have been on Effexor XR, my dose is 150 mg / day. it is really starting to affect my job.

October 17, 2013 at 8:45 pm
(438) bebhinn says:

I had being taking antidepressants for 13 years, I was first prescribed them at 16 for a completely unjustified reason. I am now off them a year and a half, everything in my life has become so much clearer, I don’t feel like I am in a haze, granted I know I have better skills to deal with life in general as well as not having the side effects from the anti-depressants. I really have such a poor memory and lack of attention span, I understand that some of that relates to the way my brain works but I can also see that my poor memory comes from a prolonged use of this drug, it is effecting my work and my self confidence. I would really like people to be more informed when they are prescribed this drug, ikt makes me angry to think how this drug has effected my life and efexor will never worry about that, as I have been lining their pocket for years.

October 20, 2013 at 4:30 am
(439) Christina says:

I asked my doctor about my lack of attention and forgetfulness shortly after starting this as I knew something just wasn’t right. She referred me to a specialist to check if I had dementia – I’m actually only in my 40′s. They said I am “average overall”, but some of my short term memory tests came back showing I was lacking. I actually forgot to take my pill the other day and then purposely didn’t take it the next day because I had so more energy after I forgot it and wanted to see if that was the cause. So sure enough my energy and attention went up, but boy did I get dizzy on day 3. Had to take it again, but I’m definitely going to start weaning down on the dosage as the side effects with my lack of attention and memory are far worse than the panic attacks I previously had. I’m so glad someone started this post back in 2006 because it has helped so many. Take care folks and may God bless you all as you persevere through whatever comes your way.

October 30, 2013 at 10:55 pm
(440) Jeanne G says:

I was prescribed 37.5MG of Venlafaxine and immediately (within days) was impacted by poor cognition – memory, concentration, thinking and reasoning, etc. My livelihood depends on my ability to focus, think and produce. I lost my train of thought mid sentence, couldn’t remember much of anything and had pain in the front of my head.

I would rather be sad and anxious than dumb so I quit after 2 weeks. The doctor and therapist didn’t seem to believe my systems. I plan to take in this study to my next appointment. Also, submit a complaint to the drug company.

^ Harrison CL, Ferrier N, Young AH (June 2004). “Tolerability of high-dose venlafaxine in depressed patients”. J. Psychopharmacol. (Oxford) 18 (2): 200–4. doi:10.1177/0269881104042621. PMID 15260908.

They summarized from it( (under side effects):

Another study noted weight gain in 29.6% of patients, failing memory (amnesia) in 44.4%, increased fatigue (48%), concentration difficulties (48%), and sleepiness/sedation (37%). [33]

November 7, 2013 at 10:39 am
(441) Brian says:

My girlfriend started using Effexor XR because Prozac just wasn’t working for her. It gave her a lot of energy and clearly cheered up her attitude but the most disturbing thing I noticed about the drug which I have not communicated to her yet out of fear of hurting her feelings is that it has most certainly affected her memory retention. Just sitting on a couch watching a show we get talking and sometimes she’ll ask me the same thing 3 times in a row in which I provide the same answer. This pattern continued for the next several days while I was with her. The next day she would ask what day it is because she couldn’t remember when she came to my place and she even asked me if she worked today. Very disturbing. The affects of her change in attitude and memory loss kind of reminded me of the symptoms of when somebody has just awoken from an operation in which anesthesia was used.

Before she started taking Effexor XR her memory and attention to detail was great. So I’d have to say “YES”, it certainly does mess with your attention to detail and memory.

November 22, 2013 at 11:57 pm
(442) Tracey says:

I have also used Effexxor for quite a while and it was working quite well for my moods and depression. I started having vision problems and I just had lazer surgery so I was seeing 20/20. This was disturbing enough to take me off it. I was then put on Topomax I have been on this for years and now I am fearing I am going into Alzheimer’s. I am only 43 this has been happening for several years now and getting worse. It did keep me pretty stable but at what cost, I sent a reply to the FDA and never got a reply. Good luck. I also take Pristqe, this may be the culprit but I am thinking it is Topomax.

January 7, 2014 at 1:12 am
(443) Jane says:

Jane here. Commenter 308 and 354. Another 2 and 1/2 years have passed (nearly 5 years effexor free now) and not an iota of improvement, I am sorry to say. I intend to try tcdcs to see if my memory and executive function improve; if they don’t I can honestly say I will have lost all hope of returning to my former level of function and intend to end my life. This mentally deficient state is unacceptable to me. I am a nonentity. I have no thoughts or feelings. Effexor has taken my life and my soul. A pox on the house of Wyeth.

January 23, 2014 at 8:18 am
(444) Pharmacist says:

I was a person with a brilliant mind, moved up the ladder to be in a prestigious position in a big firm. In 2007 a psych doctor started me on Effexor, the dose was tapered up to be 150mg XR very fast; I stayed on Effexor for 5 years. I tried to taper it down for many times, but I couldn’t due to the withdrawal terrible symptoms. I started noticing the memory loss and attributed that to the load of work I was handling; when I changed Jobs and the work became not so routine it became so evident. It was not like where I put my file, or forget that I have a meeting with someone; but forgetting what was discussed, the title of a presentation I have worked on, no matter how hard I tried, I had a secretary, but still in my line of work, it is disastrous to forget. I couldn’t stop Effexor and I couldn’t handle the side effect of adding another antidepressant like Cymbalta. Along with other side effects like increased tendency to gambling, reduced ability to focus and concentrate, extreme fatigue, and decreased libido. I resigned, put my licenses on hold, and living on disability benefit; an my wife asked for a divorce that was just finalized. I hope that one day will come together and have a class action against Pfizer.

February 2, 2014 at 4:25 pm
(445) CW says:

JANE (Commentor 445):
Please DO NOT end your life. Acting on the advice of another commentor, here, I have had my wife taking Omega-3 Fish-oil supplements for the past year, and her progress in recovery has been DRAMATIC. Consider this as an extremely viable option for restoring your mind, before you do something rash, drastic and sadly-unnecessary, PLEASE. Post here again if you would like to communicate directly via email, and I will send you our email address, where we can discuss your situation. –CW

February 16, 2014 at 3:59 pm
(446) Shelley says:

I have been taking Effexor for 1 year and now have an appointment with a Neurologist because of my confusion, memory loss, getting words wrong etc.
I had to write down all the things that I felt were wrong and I has horrified at how long the list got. My husband is very worried.
The worst bit is that I am saying the words wrong but I don’t know it, which seeing as I have my own company and have to deal with people by phone and in person is very embarrassing and terrifying.
My Dad has front temporal lobe dementia and of course this is always in the back of our minds that maybe its not a side effect of a drug, but me getting the dementia too.
Some days I wake up feeling like I am hung-over even though I haven’t had anything to drink the night before and I have gone from being very organised to unorganised. I am so happy that people have written on here about their experiences. It gives me some relief that I am not alone. None of the other websites about Effexor mention memory loss.

February 18, 2014 at 7:57 am
(447) Sam Spokes says:

Shelly, that’s because its probably psychological, isn’t that more a relief in itself rather than thinking you’re losing your mind because of this drug? People sharing the experience won’t stop it from doing its “damage”, but I don’t think that’s what it is at all. Maybe its because I’ve been on a high dose for about 4 years and haven’t noticed any sort of deterioration so I can’t relate, but to me it just sounds like the writer is spouting some fear mongering rubbish for the sake of making other people feel bad that choose this drug to cope with depression. Just because you say you had a bad experience with the drug doesn’t mean every other single person will. Certainly I haven’t. But I’m sorry if other people have.

February 26, 2014 at 2:51 pm
(448) CW says:

Shelley, I urge you to completely DISREGARD the previous post ahead of mine, by the individual calling himself “Sam Spokes”. He is either 1 ) uninformed about the similarity of effects this drug has upon a broad spectrum of people or, 2 ) is a paid shill for the pharmaceutical industry. There is a possibility that he is one of that 56% upon whom Effexor has no negative effect, but the symptoms you are describing are PRECISELY parallel to those described by others on this site, as a result of their minds being affected by Effexor. I urge you (and all others visiting this site) to visit the website SURVIVING ANTIDEPRESSANTS and to read there about the negative side-effects of Effexor and other anti-depressants, and about ways to get yourself OFF these unnecessary and DANGEROUS drugs in ways that will minimize withdrawal symptoms.

March 4, 2014 at 8:10 am
(449) pmac says:

I just found this site. I was recently arrested for a DUI although I only blew a .02. It was the end of about two months of not remembering almost everything I had done. This case may not apply since I was taking 3 mg Xanax a day and drinking alcohol whenever I felt like it. But, 6 month before this arrest my shrink prescribed Effexor for the first time. I had used Xanax on and off for years with no ill effect. I have learned most of my missing 6 weeks from others. I remember the arrest and a couple of other events, but nothing else. I never even experienced not remembering while it was happening. I kept appointments and my usual routine. I also kept taking my pills on their prescribed schedule. Luckily, I am not taking anything anymore, but my memory still has trouble from time to time.

March 8, 2014 at 3:40 pm
(450) Valerie Matthews says:

I was having horrible side effects from Pristiq and was switched to Effexor. Same side effects and going off slowly only made them worse. With my doctor’s help, I had to go off cold turkey. A NIGHTMARE LASTING SEVERAL MONTHS!!! Now my memory is shot. I can’t even remember things I did only a few days ago.
I WANT TO SUE THE DRUG COMPANY FOR NOT ACKNOWLEDGING/
WARNING OF THIS PROBLEM!!!! I would never have risked my memory. I wonder what else it has permanently destroyed in my brain!!!

March 21, 2014 at 6:13 am
(451) CW says:

In addition to causing my wife to lose both short and long term memory, Effexor XR also caused, in her, severe cognitive dysfunctionality, to the point where she cannot prioritize, cannot sort things, experiences acute dyslexia, complete loss of her math skills, and she suffers from chronic acute anxiety. I have to help dress and undress her each day, give her instructions on how to bathe in the shower, prepare all her meals, cut her steak for her (or any other food requiring cutting), and experiences panic attacks if I am out of her sight for more than five to ten minutes. She can no longer drive, since, aside from losing all knowledge of the rules of the road, she cannot distinguish left from right, and under the least amount of pressure she will begin, almost literally, ‘bouncing off the walls’ in indecision, unable to determine a course of action. She is an extreme example of what can happen to a person’s mind from the effects of this terrible drug.

March 25, 2014 at 3:30 pm
(452) Jamie says:

I have been on Effexor XR for about 10 years. I got off while pregnant but got back on afterwards, and have gotten off two other times for about 3-6 months but ended up back on. I am 34 years old and now weened down to 37.5 from 75. They have tried to increase it but I refused due to dreaded withdrawal symptoms. I too have experienced great memory loss and loss of concentration. I use to have an excellent memory, was a fast learner and never had attention problems. At first I thought it was just normal age stuff or stress, but I have wondered if it is this drug. :( I have problems focusing now, feel scatter brained, can’t remember hardly anything!

March 30, 2014 at 2:41 pm
(453) Darlene says:

i have been having trouble with memory, i am so glad to read this you have certainly made my day. my daughter is accusing me of dementia
and i cry. i have been on top of things all my life. now i am behind and it has scared me to death. i will call the dr. and get off the this as soon as possible. my heart says thanks to all who have the same.

April 2, 2014 at 12:03 pm
(454) Irish Girl says:

I have been on 150 mg of Effexor for 5 years and was starting to fall asleep in the middle of the day, had no sex drive and had severe concentration and memory problems. Two days ago, my psychiatrist increased my dosage to 300 mg. I was scared to death because it seemed so high.

Since the increased dose, I’ve been sweating profusively and actually called the doctor to decrease me to 225mg to try to offset the side effects.

I was told to take 2- 150 mg capsules each day; however today I broke the capsule in half in hopes of what I hope is close to 225. I am having vision problems, memory and trouble finding words and with forming words. It’s scary.

I’ve read about serotonin syndrome and thought that could be it, but am not sure. I’m afraid I go off drug completely, my depression and anxiety will come back.

There has to be a better balance. I wish there was a more definitive answer.

April 12, 2014 at 6:05 pm
(455) Wendy says:

I have totally been experiencing the same thing! A week ago I noticed my memory became even worse lately. Then I remember that the pharmacy switched the type of generic I am receiving. I hadn’t even thought about effexor being the reason for certain, until seeing it become even worse with the switch of generics. It has got to be related, without a doubt. I am an no other meds, and have no other life changes at all.

April 23, 2014 at 9:06 am
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