Effexor XR and Body Composition?

Hi there,

Starting in early January I’ve been trying to get a bit leaner. I was coming from doing fairly lazy full body workouts 2-3 times a week for about a year, where my weight stayed about the same (pretty much just maintained). I’m no fatass, but I’m not exactly shredded.

In January I started doing isolation lifting 5 times a week (each major part of the body 2x per week) with consistent 15-20 minutes of jogging after each workout. Upped the protein a bit and started eating maybe a little cleaner overall.
Fast forward to now; very little, if any progress. Much less than I expected.

I’m going to start doing 20 minutes of HIIT after each workout (5 days per week) and get back on the HOT-ROX (although I will probably have to take a half dose) and see where that gets me.

I have been on 150mg of Effexor XR for nearly 2 years; I am wondering if this is causing my body fat to be more stubborn that it would be normally? Is this a known side-effect? If so, any way to counteract this?

There are certainly more drastic measures I could take to lose fat, but it just seems to me like when you have been a constant weight for a year and change nothing but all of a sudden start getting a lot more exercise and (in theory, at least) upping you basal metabolism, you should lose some fat, no?

Any input is appreciated,

I realize I made this thread a LONG time ago, but I’m in pretty much the same place as I was then… not a lardass but still have some stubborn abdominal fat. Also haven’t made much in the way of gains.
I came off the Effexor for about a month, and with HOT-ROX I lost about 6-7lbs in 4-5 weeks but the anxiety came back so I went back on the Effexor. Now I’m trying to come back off of it again and take it easier on the HOT-ROX… I think they may have contributed to my anxiety.

Not really looking for advice, because I KNOW I want to be off the stupid meds and am determined to do so regardless; just wondering what people thought about the fact that it seems Effexor makes my body extremely stubborn to change.
Is it possible that an antidepressant can make your body resistant to gains and fat loss?
Or am I just making excuses?

Any input is appreciated,

Weight gain can be a common side effect with anti-depressants, but obviously you know this already. As far as it making fat loss more stubborn, I’ve not heard that but it’s certainly possible. Ultimately, though, that is going to come down to your diet and activity level.

You said that when you stopped the Effexor and started using HOT-ROX that you started experiencing anxiety. I have a history of depression (used to take Effexor, too, though I haven’t needed anything of that nature for years) and I absolutely cannot take HOT-ROX consistently. In my experience there is a direct link between the stuff and pretty major depressive episodes. Could be the same pathways interacting with your anxiety.

My advice fwiw would be to avoid the HOT-ROX (it’s not worth slimming down if you’re miserable), and if you are fine without it think about stopping the Effexor as well. But, that’s something you would have to decide with your doctor.

If you are looking for something to help you lose weight without the anxiety interactions, you might consider trying an E/C stack. Not sure how that would interact with your anxiety, but I have been using it with no problems for a while now.

Thanks so much for the response!
That’s VERY interesting that you’ve noticed a link between HOT-ROX and depressive episodes… I had a strong feeling that they contributed to my “relapse” but didn’t know if that made any logical sense or not. Someone else noticing a link makes me feel better about trying to get off the Effexor again.

I’ve been weening myself off of the Effexor again, and I’ll be completely off of it by Monday. It’s been much, much easier this time so far, no “brain zaps” or anything. A bit of heightened anxiety, but I’m sure that’s due to coming off the Effexor and not a lack of serotonin.
I’m definitely going to stay HOT-ROX free… hopefully I won’t have any problems this time!

If you are worried about your serotonin but do not want to take anti-depressants you could always take either tryptophan or 5-HTP. 5-HTP is the immediate precursor to serotonin. Tryptophan is the precursor of 5-HTP, but also has other uses in the body.

ive been on 225mg of effexor for about a year and it has no effect on my ability to lose fat.

Firstly Effexor is licenced for anxiety and from personal experience is very effective for anxiety. however there are many forms of anxiety and I don’t believe it would be very effective for say panic. The patient information leaflet for Effexor XR actually states both weight loss and weight gain as side effects. i.e. I believe in some people it suppresses appetite and in others results in lethargy.

Secondly back on topic, I have personally found that effexor impacts my weight loss efforts. In me it causes poor focus, foginess, drowsiness, tiredness and a feeling of a lack of energy even when I’ve eaten well.

How do I counteract this? I have reduced my dose to half of a 75mg capsule. I use caffeine at specific times of the day that require more focus and concentration. e.g. First thing, b4 driving, b4 meetings, b4 training. As an extra boost before exercise I take Tyrosine or Acetyl L Carnitine. I also take green tea extract at regular intervals.

Bear in mind that all stims need to be cycled because tolerance builds over time.

[quote]MODOK wrote:
Effexor is an SNRI- it absolutely should and would not make you gain weight. In fact, the SNRI and SSRI classes of drugs tried a few years ago to get approval for the indication of weight loss drug. If you have more seratonin and norepinephrine in your body due to the drug it stands to reason that you should be less hungry and your metabolism will be slightly elevated. Thats the science.

I’m a little confused by the reason that you are taking Effexor. You stated 'anxiety", but effexor is an anti-depressant which messes with the levels of norepinephrine. Norepi is a catecholamine which INCREASES nervousness and anxiety. If you are anxious, why don’t you take a benzo such as xanax XR? [/quote]
From researching online, it seems a LOT of people experience weight gain on Effexor, without changing their eating or exercise habits. I’m fairly certain the weight gain is not in my head.
Also, my understanding is that @ 150mg (the dose I was taking), Effexor is basically an SSRI, effecting only serotonin. At around 200mg it begins to work on norepinephrine, and around 300mg it start affecting dopamine. So my norepinephrine levels probably weren’t being altered on Effexor, but rather it was acting as a potent SSRI.
The Effexor has also been extremely effective for my anxiety. I also have a Xanax prescription for acute anxiety, which works well, but you don’t want to be taking that stuff very often.

Scuba - I’m definitely interested in the ECA stack, but I’m a little confused about which Ephedra and caffeine to buy, and where to buy it.
Any suggestions?

[quote]CoreyK wrote:

Scuba - I’m definitely interested in the ECA stack, but I’m a little confused about which Ephedra and caffeine to buy, and where to buy it.
Any suggestions? [/quote]

Caffeine you should be able to find the 200 mg pills in pretty much any food/drug store. The easiest source for ephedrine would probably be Bronkaid, which you should be able to find at any pharmacy. Each pill contains 25 mg ephedrine sulfate. I would start out by taking a half pill (of both the caffeine and ephedrine), and work up a half a pill each day until you are taking 3 doses of 25 mg ephedrine and 200 mg caffeine/day. Spread them out every 3-4 hours (depending on your eating schedule) and don’t take any less than 6 hours before you plan to sleep.

As a side note, if you still have some HOT-ROX left over, I’ve found I’m okay taking them here and there. The depression effect seems to only occur as a cumulative effect after taking it consistently for a week or so. What I do is take it before doing morning fasted cardio (yohimbine’s effects are blunted my meals anyways). Just don’t take it within 4 hours of taking ephedrine.

Thanks Scuba, good info.

MODOK, I’m not saying that I’m doubting you, the articles, or the doctors; I’m a very scientific minded person myself, and I’m sure there probably isn’t much scientific evidence related to weight gain and antidepressants.
Nevertheless, I know what I’ve experienced, and know that you can find countless examples of people experiencing weight gain and stubborn fat while on Effexor, whose doctors repeatedly tell them that they’re eating too much or not exercising enough when it’s simply not the case.
I chalk it up to being “one of those things”… perhaps there is simply more to mechanisms than we currently understand.

  1. Effexor (venlafaxine) and other SNRIs should help with weight loss, not gain
  2. From my knowledge, most SNRIs are helpful with anxiety and/or depression
  3. consider depression, hypothyroidism, hypogonadism (low testosterone) as other causes of weight gain (probably more to consider, but this is just off the top of my head)

Not an expert at all here, but antidepressants can raise prolactin levels which could affect testosterone levels, thus making fatloss/muscle gain more difficult.

[quote]TxCASH wrote:
Not an expert at all here, but antidepressants can raise prolactin levels which could affect testosterone levels, thus making fatloss/muscle gain more difficult.[/quote]

Increased prolactin levels are a common side effect of venlafaxine (Effexor).

I am on Effexor XR 75mg ED since 3 weeks. So far no weight gain, I would rather say that I have lost some weight. The one thing that is sure is that this pill makes it very difficult and very long to get to orgasm… Need to work very hard and long…