Missed 1 Dose!

I have been on Effexor for 4 months, a relatively low dose of 112.5mg. I want to say that Effexor has helped restore me to my normal state and I really have no intention of going off of it anytime soon. When I first started I had a few side effects, mostly diarrhea.  I also see a counsellor to learn how to cope with triggers, I eat well and exercise.

I do not feel as though I suffer from PTSD anymore and I feel so normal that it's hard to tell I'm even on meds! 


Last night I stayed at my boyfriends place and had left my meds on my counter at home. I figured I would miss my bedtime Effexor and just take it first thing in the morning when I got home.


3 hours after the time I usually take my Effexor I was hit with what I would equate to a severe migraine. I couldn't lift my head off the pillow and I couldn't open my eyes. The pain in my head was so severe that it felt like my brain was being pushed out my ears. I had night sweats that soaked the mattress and caused me to be frozen under a heavy duvet. When the alarm went off at 5:30am I turned it off but could barely open my eyes. I had to get myself up and drive home to get ready for work but I wasn't sure I would be able to drive, the headache was so severe. I managed to get home but the sun, even through my sunglasses, hurt. 
The second I got home I took my Effexor and 3 Advil and within 20 minutes all was back to normal. Pain gone, felt good, had a shower, went to work.

I am now frightened for the day when my doctor says I don't need Effexor anymore. 

Is there any reason to come off of it? What would be wrong about just staying on it?
MountainGirl33 MountainGirl33 31-35, F 15 Responses Jun 9, 2010

Your Response


I've been on Effexor XR for about 3 years now for generalized anxiety disorder. I rarely miss a dose but did last night and had night sweats, horrible dreams, etc. I feel very confused all day long despite remembering to take dose with lunch. Here's the difference between being on Effexor Xr and not being on it. Before I was on it, I worried, what if I'm in a foreign country and can't get it? What if I have to have surgery and they forget to give it to me? And now being on it, those concerns are dimmed considerably. It takes away debilitating worry. So it's worth it. I think. Don't ask me. I feel confused. Ha!

I'm trying to be funny. I really has to dimmed the obsessive worrying. I know you have to take every day one day at a time and it helps with that so I'm not worrying to the point of tears -- what if I miss a dose and can't get my hands on one?

I have missed doses twice in 8 years and the first time I felt like I had the flu and was really nauseated. It took about 3 hours before the symptoms disappeared and I felt great. I took it 7 hours after my usual time and I had a panic attack and a migraine. I have an after school babysitting job and was going through the attack with the kids in the car and I laid down once I got there. I don't know how to describe the feelings other then my body felt weird and I was scared. It took 3 to 4 hours before I was feeling better. I am on 150 mg. a day and I took my medication a little later this morning than usual as I have a work meeting and I don't want to feel like that again. I know it hasn't been 24 hours and I will probably be really tired but it is better than feeling like you are going out of your mind and feeling things you shouldn't. This medication changed my life for the better and my doctor said you can never go off of it because your life is way to stressful.

I have been taking Effexor 75mg for about 6 months now and honestly I could not be happier. My grades have gone up, I'm no longer constantly worried about strange unordinary things, and my social anxiety is at a complete stop.

But I also have seen the dark side of this drug. The first time I missed a dose it was because I was drinking with a friend and just plain forgot. The next morning I could not even open my eyes. I can honestly say it was the worst pain in my life and I blamed it on the alcohol. (Only had one beer so I was pretty confused). I just thought it was a weird side effect that had to do with drinking. Then I realized I forgot to take the pill the day before.
Now I sit here again 3 months later with that same migraine of death. It is so bad that I just took the pill (it's 2:30am) and 3 tylenols. It's been 30 minutes and so far no good.

Tldr: missing one dose of this drug has AWFUL AWFUL consequences and there is nothing worse then the pain in my head when that happens. Literally the worst pain for this long of a time. Why do they not fix this problemmmmm.

Loved reading everyone's responses. You would think after being on it for 12 years I would learn not to miss doses. Missed two doses in a row and I am miserable! Nightmares, diarhea, lethargy are just some of what I'm feeling today! I won't do that again. Effexor has saved my life and I most likely will be on it for my entire life. It works for me and I won't EVER miss a dose because I'm too lazy to go downstairs to get it!

My psychiatrist told me there is no reason to ever stop taking it as its the only rx that has ever treatedy depression and anxiety. I have tried them all and plan to take effexor until I die or it stops working and I need to take something else.

Missed doses are the worst. The side effects are what remind me that I didn't take it. Strange vivid dreams accompanied by night sweats.

Remember, no pill cures depression, PTSD, anxiety etc. They only treat the symptoms these diseases cause. Once you're off, it rears it's ugly head. If your problem is situational, you can probably get better through counseling. Unfortunately my depression and anxiety episodes would come out of no where to the point I would be crying for no reason and unable to stop.

Good luck - too much bad press about effexor out there - too much stigmatizing about mental illness. Just keep doing what works for you. Personally effexor has saved my life and has help me feel like "me" - I have no other negative side effects than those that come with a missed dose and in the grand vision of things - no big deal when compared to the consequences.

I've been on venlafaxine ex 150 mg per day for 6 years.

My doctors don't want me to get off this **** and if you're asking yourself why stop it's because it's not making enough that you'r on Effexor . Stoping by yourself is crazy , i lose my job , barelly lose my boyfriend and had to go away of my friends and family to do that .

I having been taking Effexor for about 2 months now and really have taught myself a lesson on missing doses.Effexor is the first med I have had to take in the morning and night and I have missed 2 morning does in the last couple of weeks because my morning schedule was messed up. With the missed doses I have gotten terrible headaches, nausea, and really bad dizziness. What a mess!! I have to figure out how to remember my doses or I am doomed to suffer.....

Don't worry about the time when you decide to get off of the medication. Just know that your doctor should wean you off of Effexor VERY slowly. Mine told me she would wean me off over a course of 6 to 8 months. I too have experienced nausea from missing a dose and it just teaches me to be careful not to miss if possible.

I, unfortunately, have experienced missed dose side effects many times. I used to take 150mg daily, in the am. I've been on it for several years. If my morning schedule is disrupted in any way... i can forget. Usually I can tell a missed dose within 3-4 hours. Nausea and headache sets in.

Yesterday, I woke up in a hurry. I had wine the night before and assumed my slight headache was from that. I am training for the Komen 3 day walk. We walked 15 miles. When i got home, i was tired and sore. As the day went on my symptoms got worse. Stomache irritability, severe headache, nausea. I also started my period that morn and was attributing some of the stomache disturbance to that. I was a mess. I never attributed it to not taking my meds!! I went to bed about 9pm tossed and turned all night, sweating profusely, migraine pain, nausea. This morn I crawled out of bed with nausea, diarrhea, fever, and all the rest. I went to take my meds and AH HA I had missed yesterday's dose. I am still suffering. It will take at least 3 hours to feel better, sometimes longer... I really want to try to get off this stuff!

Thanks all of you for sharing your Effexor Story. It's so neat to be able to hit a button on my laptop and read abt 35 other people in my same boat, very encouraging. I definitely see that some of us are more sensitive to the side effects. I didn't get the dry mouth that much, but the tense jaw muscle feeling is very evident...not a big deal though, not like it effects my speech or anything. I feel the jaw clenching most about 40 minutes after I take it. I'm wondering if the Effexor is making me feel tired. I'm exhausted all day and it makes me feel depressed. I have no energy and I have 2 active kids to keep up with. My husband thinks I should switch, but I disagree right now. That could change. As far as the missed dose goes, I miss probably one dose a week and have NO side effects at all! BUT....LOL...UGH in my opinion, it's the harshest pill on my stomach I've ever taken. It makes me feel like my stomach is going to contract by itself and throw up if I let my belly stay EMPTY for too long, it's weird and ammoying.

Again, thanks all for sharing. I'll be back to read up more on all of our further experiences with Effexor Xr.

Thanks tb9782.

That's a great idea actually. I have been carrying the huge pill bottles around with me ever since but it makes waaay more sense to just carry one or two pills!! Nice to hear Effexor had some positive effects on your depression. I am quite happy with how it has helped me :)

Take care.

Effexor works different for everyone. I've been on it for over 3 years, and even had my dosage adjusted up, then back down with none of the horrid side effects you had--(and I'm well aware of). In my case, I travel alot and have a varied schedule--as such the times i take it in the morning can vary by several hours. I personally haven't had a problem with doing this, but you appear to be more sensitive to the withdrawl effects. One thing my doctor suggested to me is to always keep at least 1 pill in my wallet---ie. it's ALWAYS with me. Since I always travel with a laptop bag, the meds are always there. I would suggest you do the same--stash some in your purse, with your Driver's License, etc. Since you've unfortunately experienced the withdrawl, that will motivate you to become religious about making sure there is a pill always with you.

As to its effectiveness, it has helped me. It helped "moderately" with my depression at 150mg for almost 3 years, but still didn't seem quite enough. For me, the magic dose is 225mg, which seems to help remove even my social anxiety. I just feel "normal"--not drugged out or disconnected. Again, everyone has different reactions--you just have to judge how it is working for you. Good luck....

Thanks roxygirl534 for sharing your story. I am in therapy along with the meds and don't particularly want to be on the meds forever.

That night of missed dose scared me but I'm thinking of waiting to see if it happens again if I ever miss another dose. I have read so much that I am prepared for a horrible withdrawal when the time comes for me to be off of Effexor, I was just wondering if it is actually harmful to your body to stay on Effexor for years and years if you are feeling good on it? In essence, why come off it if it's not hurting you?

Thanks Twillback for your advice also!

Have a great days guys :)

I've been reading a lot that effexor can really mess with you if you skip a dose. however i unintentionally miss my doses from time to time and its never been a problem for me. i never really ever go more than 24 after the missed dose. i started effexor in the fall for my major depression. my doc just recently, like 2 months ago, tried taking me off effexor and putting me on lexapro. bad idea because i slipped back into a major depressive episode. it wasnt done cold turkey either, it was a slow process. i almost immediately asked to be put back on the effexor so ive been on about 75 mg since then in addition to 20 mg of lexapro. last week i just got off the lexapro and he has me on luvox for my ocd in addition to the effexor for my depression.

ive always been told meds are a temporarily solution to help you be able to work through your probblems psychologically in therapy. so if your going to therapy and doing work in there, this should lessen your symptoms. in time, you may find that you dont need to be on as high of a dose as you are reqiured to be on now because you could be feeling better. this usually isnt done immediately though, docs usually wait several months after you are feeling somewhat/significantly better to lower the dose. sometimes, docs may even believe that people can eventually (in years and years and years in the longrun) function without any meds. just dont become dependent on the meds, the real change comes from within you

Effexor is great, if it works, but it can be a ***** to get off of or if you miss a dose. It has some pretty wicked withdraw symptoms and from your explanation, missing one dose really kicked your ***. I would almost talk to your doctor about it. One thing about this drug, just stopping cold turkey is generally a very bad idea. If your doctor is smart, when it comes time for you to go off of it, you will be tapered down a small amount at a time so your body can get used to lower and lower doses without cutting everything off at once.