T Nation

Venlafaxine and Bodybuilding



To cut a long story short,seen a shrink and he put me on venlafaxine for my OCD and depression

What effect will this have on my bodybuilding?Muscle building and fat loss?


I hate effexor. Couldn't reach orgasm at all. Even beating it became a tedious chore that left me blue-balled. Not really an answer to your question, but that was the one side-effect that got me to go back to the shrink in a hurry.


Once you came off did the side effect go?


I don't recommend it. When I was on Effexor I was very weak and tired. I was happy and numb as can be but lost all motivation to workout as well. And if the med doesn't fuck you up, the withdrawals will. While on it, I still had a sex drive but I couldn't orgasm. I had headaches but no trouble sleeping. I think it did something to my thyroid because my metabolism crapped out and I was cold all the time (normally I'm a ball of heat). There's also a warning on there that it increases ADH and Prolactin - i definitely noticed the water gain. Now I know I'm a chick and that makes things different but one of my two of my buddies at the gym were on the same thing just higher dose and they hated it. Reported similar weakness and fatigue, bloating, and loss of strength gains.

If I were to try something different it would definitely be an NDRI. I will never try another SSRI. With SNRI's you don't get the norepi benefit until you reach higher doses of the med - prior to that you are just getting the equivalent of SSRI.


When i went off the effexor i was rubbing it out 3 times a day - it was some kind of rebound effect that wore off after a month. Pretty sweet.
That being said, I've heard of some people who were on it for years that couldn't return to normal once they weaned off it.


I had about the same experience as theBeth. A rebound and then back to normal. Of all the psych meds I've been on, I disliked effexor the most. BUT...it's all about finding out what works for you personally. Everyone is so different.


Venlafexin does not work the same for all people.

I think that much needs to be highlighted. Sexual side effects are very individual. Some see more issues with orgasms on drugs like Zoloft. Some see better orgasms with venlafexin.

I think the key is keeping an open dialogue with your doctor. Let him know about the changes...but don't assume the worst before ever allowing it a chance to take effect.


X is right, OP honestly the worse thing you could do is go online and here peoples horror stories of brain zaps and other weird side effects from effexor. More often than not you will read horrible experiences, because it is simply human nature, to expand upon the negative, and if everything is going well you kind of don't think about airing your positive experiences.

Case in point, I have been on Effexor for over 10 years (unfortunately) and haven't noticed anything but night sweats. I have been on a shit ton of meds, and many have fucked with me negatively, however Effexor was not one of them...I was prescribed this med for OCD and Major Depression as well.


And if you only looked like you lifted.


Same experience here.

Lexapro was even worse in that regard.

Everyone's experience is different though; I have a friend who's on a cocktail that includes Effexor and it works great for him.

What you're doing is equivalent to reading on T-Nation that you should add peanut butter to your shakes... then googling and reading about all these people who died of peanut allergies.

Give it a fair chance, if you have side effects, keep your doctor informed.


I definitely would not waste time reading side effects and horror stories of meds or withdrawals while coming off them... You can get paranoid and develop a lot of symptoms that may just be psycho somatic... I was on celexa and gabapentin before for anxiety... I had side effects but they went when I came off the drugs.. It didn't so anything to cure my anxiety though, I ended up using CBT to recover after coming off the meds.

If you are interested in completely overcoming OCD I suggest a book by Dr Reid Wilson called " Stop your obsessions and compulsions." If your depression is stemming from the OCD that will leave with the obsessions... Pretty common for depression to occur when people are trapped in that vicious cycle they can create, totally normal.


shit, effexor (snri) is a god send compared to zoloft and straight ssri's



Psychoactive drugs seem to have wide-ranging subjective effects. For example, though venlafaxine is associated with fatigue/sedation in some (more common), others may experience a stimulatory effect. Weight changes can go either way, too.

To the OP,

If you have sufficient difficulties that you require psychiatric intervention, does it really matter what effect it has on your bodybuilding pursuits? Perhaps treatment should be a primary goal.

Additionally, the subjectivity of sides (of which you will probably encounter at least one) makes it difficult to determine what effect, if any, it has on bodybuilding. As X said, realistically, the best thing you can do is to work with your doctor to find the best solution for you. Effexor may not be the right treatment for you. In fact, chances are more likely that it won't be than that it will. Such is the trial-and-error nature of psych meds.

It takes awhile before the therapeutic effects of SSRIs/SNRIs will be noticed (if they show up at all), so be patient. In this time frame, you will probably encounter whatever main side effects happen for you before things start getting better. Keep your doc in the know. If a patient feels the side effects of a drug are unreasonable, the doctor has to work with that.


Did you modify your diet or anything?How much are you taking daily?

Could I have your email address so I can talk to you more about it?I would be grateful of your help


I take 300mg daily. My email is MTA1275@gmail I would be glad to help.


I sent you an email thanks again