Does Effexor cause dissociation? (3+ factors)

In this article, we will discuss whether or not Effexor causes dissociation, research studies on the effect of Effexor on dissociation, factors influencing Effexor-induced dissociation, and how to manage dissociation while taking Effexor.

Does Effexor cause dissociation?

Effexor can rarely cause dissociation. Dissociation is not a common side effect of Effexor. Dissociation is a mental state that refers to detachment from reality, like experiencing feelings of not being linked to your body or viewing your life from a distance. (1)

Dissociation is a worrying symptom. However, it is important to remember that not everyone using Effexor will experience dissociation. Consult your healthcare provider immediately if you suffer from dissociation when taking Effexor. 

What does research suggest?

There are limited research studies examining the possible connection between the use of Effexor and dissociation. However, a small percentage of people who use Effexor may experience dissociative symptoms (as if they are detached from their bodies) at the beginning of taking the medication. These effects may fade away after their body adjusts to the medication. (1)

To properly comprehend the link between Effexor and dissociation, more research is required. It is crucial to consult your healthcare provider if you experience dissociative symptoms while taking Effexor.

What are the factors that influence Effexor-induced dissociation?

There are several factors that can increase dissociation symptoms while using Effexor such as:

Medication dose: Excessive doses of Effexor can result in more adverse events including dissociative symptoms.

Concurrent medications: There are certain medications that can induce dissociation symptoms such as barbiturates, benzodiazepines, general anesthetics, and opioids. (2)

Underlying medical conditions: There are certain medical conditions that can increase dissociation in certain individuals such as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), depression, anxiety, and OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder). (3)

Personal differences: There are certain individuals who are more sensitive or affected by the dissociative effects of Effexor than other individuals.

It is noteworthy that dissociation is not a common side effect of Effexor, and that each person’s experience with the severity of symptoms might differ greatly.

How to manage dissociation while taking Effexor?

Managing dissociation symptoms while taking Effexor should be done under the supervision of your healthcare provider or psychiatrist.

If you experience dissociation while taking Effexor, you must immediately contact your healthcare provider. They can assist in determining whether the dissociative symptoms are caused by Effexor or by other variables.

They might opt to reduce your dose or switch you to medications with fewer dissociative adverse effects. Examples include SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) antidepressants such as citalopram (Celexa), sertraline (Zoloft), and fluoxetine (Prozac). (4)

Other antidepressants such as MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors) like Nardil (phenelzine) and NDRIs (norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors) like Wellbutrin (bupropion) can be used in the treatment of OCD in replacement of Effexor. (4)

What is the best treatment for dissociation?

The best treatment for dissociation is Psychotherapy. Psychotherapy or talking therapy is the first-line treatment option for dissociation. This therapy is a type of discussion and conversation between you and your healthcare provider or psychiatrist about your disorder or any associated problems.

Medications such as anxiety medications like benzodiazepines (alprazolam or diazepam), antidepressants like SSRIs (citalopram, fluoxetine, or sertraline), or antipsychotics (aripiprazole or quetiapine) may help certain individuals with their mental health symptoms including their dissociative symptoms. (5)


Based on my knowledge and research, Effexor can rarely cause dissociation in certain individuals. If you experience any dissociative symptoms while taking Effexor, consult your healthcare provider so that they can properly assess your situation and take the best course of action accordingly.

They might opt to reduce your medication dose or switch you to a medication with fewer adverse effects. Additionally, psychotherapy can be very effective in treating dissociation symptoms.






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Good MI. Substance-induced dissociative disorders and psychiatric nosology. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology [Internet]. 1989 Apr 1;9(2):88–93. Available from:,%2C%20general%20anesthetics%2C%20and%20others.


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Gentile JP, Dillon KS, Gillig PM. Psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy for patients with dissociative identity disorder. Innovations in clinical neuroscience [Internet]. 2019;10(2):22–9. Available from:


Mayo Clinic. Dissociative disorders – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic [Internet]. 2017. Available from:

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