side effects, dosage, reviews, how to take & discontinue, uses, pros & cons, and more
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Table of Contents (hide)
- 1. Other Brand & Branded Generic Names1:
- 2. FDA-Approved Uses of Effexor (venlafaxine)
- 3. Off-Label Uses of Effexor (venlafaxine)
- 4. Effexor (venlafaxine) Pros and Cons
- 5. Effexor (venlafaxine) Side Effects
- 6. Interesting Stuff Your Doctor Probably Won’t Tell You about Effexor (venlafaxine)
- 7. Effexor Dosage and How to Take Effexor (venlafaxine)
- 8. How Long Effexor (venlafaxine) Takes to Work
- 9. How to Stop Taking Effexor (venlafaxine)
- 10. How Effexor (venlafaxine) Works
- 11. Effexor’s Half-Life & Average Time to Clear Out of Your System
- 12. Days to Reach a Steady State
- 13. Shelf life
- 14. Comments
- 15. Your Ratings & Reviews of, Comments About, and Experiences with Effexor (venlafaxine), and More
- 15.1 Rate Effexor (venlafaxine)
- 15.2 Effexor Reviews
- 15.3 Full US PI sheet, Global SPCs & PILs, Other Consumer Review & Rating Sites, check for drug-drug interactions
- 15.4 Effexor Prescribing Information and Patient Information from Around the World
- 15.5 Other Review Sites
- 15.6 Other Sites of Interest
- 15.7 Discussion board
- 16. Bibliography
|US brand name: Effexor|
|Generic name: venlafaxine|
Other Forms: The old immediate-release version is still available as a generic. Except for the approvals that Effexor XR has that the immediate-release form doesn’t have, everything for Effexor XR applies to generic immediate-release venlafaxine unless specifically stated otherwise.
Class:Antidepressant, specifically a Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor (SNRI)
1. Other Brand & Branded Generic Names1:
- Altven: Australia
- Efexor: Australia, EU, Ireland, New Zealand, UK
- Elaxine: Australia
- Enlafax: Australia
- Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) - Effexor XR approved October 1997, immediate-release approved December 1993
- General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) - Effexor XR approved 11 March 1999
- Social Anxiety Disorder (SAnD) - Effexor XR approved 11 February 2003
- Panic Disorder - Effexor XR approved 18 November 2005
- Bipolar depression
- Hot flashes due to breast cancer therapy (thanks to Betsy!)
- Migraine prevention (prophylaxis)
- Tension-Type Headaches
- Although in this randomized, double-blind trial Effexor didn’t do shit for the pain of fibromyalgia. Effexor was still effective for other fibro symptoms.
- Chronic Fatigue, along with every other drug on the planet.
- Adult ADD/ADHD
- Eating Disorders:
- For deep, despairing, clinical depression that will only respond to the standard tweaking of at least two out of the three most popular neurotransmitters3, Effexor XR (venlafaxine) often pulls people out of the abyss when SSIs, other SNRIs, Wellbutrin, and TCAs have failed.
- Because it’s works on more than one neurotransmitter, Effexor is far less likely to poop-out than an SSRI.
- For many people Effexor has the absolute worst discontinuation syndrome of any antidepressant.
- Effexor (venlafaxine) is a medication people utterly loathe to have taken.
- It is not uncommon for someone to fire their doctor during or immediately after they quit taking Effexor (venlafaxine) because the discontinuation syndrome is that bad.
The usual for SNRIs: headache, nausea, dry mouth, sweating, sleepiness or insomnia, and diarrhea or constipation, loss of libido and a host of other sexual dysfunctions. Weight gain is a lot less likely with Effexor than SSRIs, and even sexual dysfunctions can go away, along with everything else, within a couple of weeks. Even if they hang around, some women may notice that the sexual side effects will diminish at dosages above 200–225mg a day when the norepinephrine kicks in. Maybe. Unfortunately sexual side effects for men could get worse at that dosage, because more norepinephrine can cause sexual dysfunction in guys.
Increased or lowered blood pressure,
Also alcohol intolerance and/or alcohol abuse. So Effexor XR (venlafaxine) is going to be just the thing to talk about at AA meetings.
I used to have these last two listed as rare side effects, but I’ve received way too many e-mails and have read far too many similar reports here and on various other sites after putting up this page about both of them. As is often the case here, the anecdotal evidence will often trump what is in the US PI Sheet. Best guess to date as to why both of these side effects can happen - Paul of Leeds (in the U.K.) posits that Effexor’s broad spectrum use of liver enzymes probably interferes with alcohol clearance and tolerance, thus leading to the type of alcoholism that affects people without the proper enzymes to effectively metabolize alcohol. Between that and the way Effexor XR works your liver, you’re probably better off giving up booze entirely if you’re taking this med. Although there doesn’t seem to be much overlap in enzymes used, new data are always being dug up on which enzymes are being used where4 by pharmaceuticals, and even something as old as alcohol.
- Guys, if you thought everyone freaking out about the Lamictal Rash was bad, I have one word for you: balanitis.
- Your hair may change color without Revlon.
- Erotomania. You know, I think that new hair color looks good on you…
Venlafaxine is actually one of, if not the least potent of all the antidepressants on the market.
If venlafaxine hydrochloride weren’t so well absorbed and distributed Let’s see if I can write it down correctly this time. If the active ingredient venlafaxine hydrochloride were as well-absorbed and distributed when compared with the other ADs I could understand why it is so effective. As it is, I can’t understand why the hell it isn’t be practically a placebo. Those awesome shitty pharmacokinetics may have something to do with why the discontinuation syndrome sucks so much donkey dong, but that’s still just a guess of mine and there’s no research to back it up. Just like Paxil, the short half-lives of venlafaxine HCl and its active metabolite are a known reason why Effexor withdrawal sucks so much shit. And why some people experience SSRI/SNRI discontinuation syndrome if they miss a single dose, or are a few hours late in taking a dose!
It could be that venlafaxine is like bupropion, another weak-as-water drug that is surprisingly effective. According to Dr. Stahl, bupropion might be transformed into one or more of its three (so far known) active metabolites by the CYP450 genes in your brain instead of in your liver. So what it doesn’t have in the way of raw, pharmacological power, it makes up for by being undiluted by plasma. Perhaps venlafaxine HCl does the same thing.
Medicine Is The Best Medicine stickers
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United States of Pharmaceuticals stickers
Suicide Is Murder stickers
Effexor (venlafaxine) comes in immediate and extended release flavors, although hardly anyone takes the immediate release form anymore. Just be sure to check your prescription for that XR to make sure you are getting the extended release form. For the XR flavor, youstart at 37.5 to 75mg a day, taken with food, at either breakfast or dinner, depending on if you’re apt to get wired or tired. Once you get the wired/tired issue straightened out, you take the med all at once at the same time every day. If you start at 37.5mg you can move up to 75mg after a week. As with any serotonergic antidepressant, it may take up to a month to feel any positive effect, so give it a month. Seriously, don’t move up above 75mg a day unless you feel it doing something positive or it’s been about a month. You’ll know if it’s going to do anything then. If you feel nothing, give up and take a med with a much easier discontinuation (i.e. anything that’s not an SNRI). After that you can move up in 37.5–75 mg increments, allowing at least a week between each increase until you reach the maximum of 375mg a day for the most severely depressed of patients. Or 450mg a day if you and your doctor have the balls for it. If the two of you are sure you are a rapid metabolizer of some medications, there are people who take 600mg a day of Effexor, but roughly 1% of people on the planet, if that many, would metabolize Effexor (venlafaxine) at a rate fast enough to need 600mg a day, and need to take the XR form twice a day. If you’re reading this site because you take your Effexor XR in the morning and feel dizzy, confused, have headaches and feel like you’re wearing an electric eel for a hat after dinner every night, you may need to take a once-a-day pill twice a day. The older immediate release version is pretty much the same, except that the dose is divided into two or three doses a day.
Three weeks to a month.
Unless you need to discontinue Effexor XR at a more rapid rate due to a nasty side effect, your doctor should be recommending that you reduce your dosage by 37.5mg a day every week if you need to stop taking it, if not more slowly than that. You shouldn’t be doing it any faster than that unless it’s an emergency. Yes, that means if you’ve maxed out at 375mg a day it could take up to 10 weeks to get off of Effexor (venlafaxine). You can try it faster and hope it works out, and since the odds are actually with you it’s worth doing at the higher dosages and reduce the rate once you’re down to half of what you used to take, but it’s hardly a sure thing. Once you get down to that last 37.5mg a day you have several options:
- If the discontinuation symptoms you’re experiencing are mild, if you’re experiencing any at all, then you may as well stop taking it. You’re in the plurality of people who have taken either version of Effexor who could stop taking Effexor (venlafaxine) without too much of a hassle.
- If the brain zaps or shivers and other discontinuation symptoms are still bad you can try taking one 37.5mg capsule every other day, or getting a prescription for generic venlafaxine in the immediate-release form and working your way down. As immediate-release venlafaxine comes in a variety of dosages you have all sorts of ways you and your doctor can work out a discontinuation schedule from there.
- If you still can’t stop taking it at a low dosage, you and your doctor may want to try Prozac (fluoxetine) prescription or samples. Generic fluoxetine will even do. 10mg a day is all you should need. Even with the proper discontinuation stopping the last 37.5mg can be hellish. Taking two weeks worth of Prozac (fluoxetine) will make the discontinuation a lot easier. So when you’re off of Effexor and you cannot function, get on the Prozac for a week or two, then stop taking the Prozac. By that time you should find you’ll have either no discontinuation syndrome, or it won’t be nearly as bad.
- If worse comes to worst, there’s always the liquid Prozac. Then you can work your way down from the equivalent of 10mg, or higher if 10mg was too low, to ever-so-slowly try to wean yourself off of the serotonergic part of Effexor that had its claws in you. Unlike most liquid medications of any type, Prozac’s oral solution tastes pretty good5, somewhere between really good mint-flavored mouthwash and so-so peppermint schnapps.
Based upon the monoamine hypothesis of depression (i.e. you’re messed up due to an imbalance of one or more of three of the best understood neurotransmitters: serotonin, norepinephrine, and/or dopamine), Effexor (venlafaxine) attempts to balance your brain juices by inhibiting the reuptake (in English: delaying the breaking down and recycling) of serotonin and norepinephrine at their receptors in various (i.e. depending on which studies and books you’ve read and fancy brain scans you’ve looked at) locations in your brain. It may do a lot of other things that address depression, anxiety, other brain cooties and some off-label uses by encouraging the growth of new neurons, affecting hormones and CYP450 genes in your brain, and who knows what else. You also have serotonin and norepinephrine receptors throughout your body, especially in your GI and renal systems, which is why SSRIs & SNRIs are used to treat various conditions like IBS and incontinence. As Effexor doesn’t really affect norepinephrine until you reach a dosage of at least 225mg a day (or 175–200 for some people taking the old immediate-release version), it is practically an SSRI, and thus not as effective for pain and pain-related conditions like fibromyalgia as other SNRIs like Cymbalta and Pristiq.
Effexor (venlafaxine) has an active metabolite (o-desmethylvenlafaxine) that does most of the work, and is now available in a refined form as Pristiq (desvenlafaxine). The half-life of venlafaxine is 3–7 hours, and o-desmethylvenlafaxine’s is 9–13 hours. That means it takes two days for one and five days for the other to clear out of your system. Having two parts with short half-lives is a huge part of why Effexor’s discontinuation syndrome is so harsh.
Half-life is the average time it takes for you to process half of the drug’s active ingredient. If a drug has a half-life of around 24 hours and you take a dose of 100mg, you’ll have roughly the equivalent a 50mg dose after one day, a 25mg dose after two days, and so on. The rule of thumb is: multiply the half-life by five and you get how long it is for the dose you took to be cleared from your bloodstream6, so there’s nothing swimming around to attach itself to your brain and start doing stuff. That’s called “plasma clearance.” Complete clearance is a complex equation based on a lot of factors which may or may not: be published in the PI sheet, include personal data like your weight, or even completely figured out by corporate and independent researchers. It usually winds up being 2–5 days after plasma clearance no matter what7, but can take weeks. Sometimes a drug will clear from your brain and other organs before it clears from your blood.
Steady state is the flipside of half-life. This is when you can expect to get over side effects caused by fluctuating amounts of a medication in your bloodstream. Often, but not always the same amount of time as the plasma clearance above.
Effexor’s shelf life is 3 years.
There are two last resorts among the modern, first-line meds to cure the deepest, blackest depression when your doctor is just switching you from one horsie to another on the med-go-round: Effexor XR (venlafaxine) and Remeron (mirtazapine)8. Either in combination with an antipsychotic would really get you out of that hole of despair, but first you should throw away every mirror and scale in your house and buy expandable clothing. Weight gain usually isn’t too bad with Effexor alone, but when coupled with Remeron and/or most antipsychotics…well…prepare yourself for being a jolly fatty.
Effexor (venlafaxine) has to be the. most. loathed. drug by those for whom it didn’t work. While it can be an absolute lifesaver for many people with the most severe form of whaleshit-on-the-bottom-of-the-ocean depression, with or without anxiety, when it doesn’t work well enough, and the side effects suck to much, the discontinuation syndrome can be such a nightmare that people will fire their doctors who didn’t work out a discontinuation schedule or otherwise prepare them for what it would be like.
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An overall zero-to-five rating is absolutely useless information regarding medications. It is little more than a purely emotional and subjective value judgment on a med that has no bearing on how effective a drug is or, more importantly, if Effexor (venlafaxine) is the right drug for you. So why do I have it? Mainly because it’s cathartic for anyone who is taking or has taken Effexor (venlafaxine)9. Love it? Hate it? Here’s your chance to let everyone know. You don’t need to be a forum member or anything like that. You get all of one vote which can’t be changed, so make sure it’s what you want.
Get all judgmental about Effexor (venlafaxine)
Rating 3.2 out of 5 from 147 criticisms
Vote Distribution: 25 – 8 – 17 – 8 – 38 – 51
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For various technical and page design reasons I had to move the actual reviews to their own page. While anyone can read the reviews, only registered members of the Crazy Meds Talk forum can write them.
15.3 Full US PI sheet, Global SPCs & PILs, Other Consumer Review & Rating Sites, check for drug-drug interactions
- Australian Altven Product Information
- Australian Efexor XR Consumer Medical Information
- Canadian Effexor XR Product Monograph
- Irish Efexor XL SPC - What doctors read.
- Irish Efexor XL Patient Information Leaflet
- New Zealand Efexor XR Medicine Data Sheet - What doctors read.
- UK Efexor XL SPC - What doctors read.
- UK Efexor XL Patient Information Leaflet
- Everyday Health Effexor Reviews
- AskaPatient Drug Ratings for EFFEXOR XR
- PatientsLikeMe Venlafaxine Treatment Report
- DailyStrength Effexor Reviews
- WebMD User Reviews & Ratings - Effexor XR Oral
- Drugs.com User Reviews for Effexor
It’s always a good idea to check for drug-drug interactions yourself. Just because most people in the crazy meds business know about really important interactions (e.g. MAOIs and a lot of stuff, warfarin and everything on the planet) doesn’t mean the person who prescribed your meds told you about them, or the pharmacist has all the meds you take at their fingertips like they’re supposed to. Or they have the time to do their jobs properly when not dealing with complete idiots or playing Angry Farmers on the Faecesbooks.
If you have any questions not answered here, the best place to ask them is on the Crazy Meds’ Effexor discussion board. I rarely answer questions about medications via e-mail.
PDR: Physicians’ Desk Reference 2010 64th edition back through to 53rd edition of 1999. Old copies of the PDR come in handy for PI sheets that are no longer available and difficult to find, as well as to track the changes in both indications and adverse effects.
Instant Psychopharmacology 2nd Edition Ronald J. Diamond M.D. © 2002. Published by W.W. Norton
The Complete Guide to Psychiatric Drugs Edward Drummond, M.D. © 2000. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Healing Anxiety & Depression Daniel G. Amen, M.D., and Lisa C. Routh, M.D. © 2003. Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons.
Mosby’s Drug Consult 2007 (Generic Prescription Physician’s Reference Book Series) © 2007 An imprint of Elsevier.
Stahl’s Essential Psychopharmacology: Neuroscientific Basis and Practical Applications (Essential Psychopharmacology Series) Third edition by Stephen M. Stahl © 2008 Published by Cambridge University Press.
1) A generic drug produced by a generics manufacturer that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the company that makes the branded version. E.g. Greenstone Pharmaceuticals makes gabapentin, and they are owned by Pfizer, who also own Parke-Davis, the makers of Neurontin.
2) A branded generic is also a generic drug given a 'brand' name by the manufacturer (e.g. Teva's Budeprion), but otherwise has the same active ingredient as the original branded version (Wellbutrin).
3) A branded generic is also a generic drug given a 'brand' name by the manufacturer (e.g. Sanofi-Aventis' Aplenzin, which is bupropion hydrobromide) and uses a salt of the active ingredient that is different from the original branded version and other generics (Wellbutrin, Budeprion and all the others are bupropion hydrochloride). We aren't sure if that really makes a difference or not. The FDA says they're the same thing. As usual, the data are contradictory, but most evidence indicates that the FDA is right and the differences are negligible.
For our purposes a "branded generic name" refers to the second and third definitions.
2 Although this may have something to do with the hypothesis that SSRIs & SNRIs work better for women while TCAs work better for men. While I buy into it, it is a fringe hypothesis, the data are still a bit sketchy, and it may be more truthiness than fact.
3 While classified as a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, the data are mixed when it comes to dopamine. Effexor may or may not have a therapeutic effect, albeit a minor one, on dopamine at a dosage above 300mg a day.
4 We have CYP450 genes in our gut, brain, and pancreas as well as our liver. Just as we have the genes for neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine in our gut, liver, and pancreas as well as our brain. Where the genes are, the enzymes and brain juices are. For all I know we may have UGT genes all over the place as well.
5 Although it doesn't taste anywhere near as good as lithium citrate syrup, but it is on par with chewable Lamictal.
6 Based on Julien's calculations from A Primer of Drug Action, the half-life multiplied by five is the generally accepted estimate of how long it takes a single dose of any given drug to be eliminated from the blood stream/plasma of someone with a normal metabolism. That's also the rough estimate for steady stage if they can't get, or won't provide a number for that.
7 For crazy meds. I have no idea what the average complete clearance is for other types of medications. For all I know there are drugs that utterly vanish from your system in under five passes, and others that won't let go of your squishy bits for years after you stop taking them.
8 Stahl will combine Effexor and Remeron - a cocktail he calls "California Rocket Fuel - for his patients who are truly, and dangerously alt.depressed.as.fuck, and who have not responded to anything else.
9 At some point I may have multiple one-to-ten ratings for individual aspects of medications, such as efficacy and side effects. That could be potentially useful.
|Date created Monday, 25 April, 2011 at 11:53:36||Page Author: JerodPoore||Last modified on Thursday, 12 December, 2013 at 07:09:22 by some med critic.|
Effexor is a trademark of someone else. Look on the the PI sheet or ask Google who the owner is. The way pharmaceutical companies buy each other and swap products like Monopoly™ real estate, the ownership of the trademark may have changed without my noticing.
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Almost all of the material on this site is by Jerod Poore and is copyright © 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 Jerod Poore. Except, of course, the PI sheets - those are the property of the drug companies who developed the drugs the sheets are about - and any documents that are written by other people which may be posted to this site will remain the property of the original authors. You cannot reproduce this page or any other material on this site outside of the boundaries of fair use copying without the express permission of the copyright holder. That’s usually me, so just ask first. That means if want to print out a few pages to take to your doctor, therapist, counselor, support group, non-understanding family members or something like that - then that’s OK to just do. Go for it! Please. As long as you include this copyright notice and the following disclaimer, I’m usually cool with it.
All rights reserved. No warranty is expressed or implied in this information. Consult one or more doctors and/or pharmacists before taking, or changing how you take any neurological and/or psychiatric medication. Your mileage may vary. What happened to us won’t necessarily happen to you. If you still have questions about a medication or condition that were not answered on any of the pages you read, please ask them on the Crazy Meds Forum.
The information on Crazy Meds pertains to and is intended for adults. While some information about children and adolescents is occasionally presented (e.g. US FDA approvals), pediatric-specific data such as dosages, side effects, off-label applications, etc. are rarely included in the articles on drugs or discussed on the forum. If you are looking for information regarding meds for children you’ll have to go somewhere else.
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Nobody on this site is a doctor, a therapist, or a pharmacist. We don’t portray them either here or on TV. Only doctors can diagnose and treat an illness. While it’s not as bad as it used to be, some doctors still get pissed off by patients who know too much about medications, so tread lightly when and where appropriate. Diagnosing yourself from a website is like defending yourself in court, you suddenly have a fool for a doctor. Don’t be a cyberchondriac, thinking you have every disease you see a website about, or that you’ll get every side effect from every medication1. Self-prescribing is as dangerous as buying meds from fraudulent online pharmacies that promise you medications without prescriptions.
All information on this site has been obtained through our personal experience and the experiences family, friends, what people have reported on various reputable sites all over teh intergoogles, the medications’ product information / summary of product characteristic (PI/SPC) sheets, and from sources that are referenced throughout the site. As such the information presented here is not intended as a substitute for real medical advice from your real doctor, just a compliment to it. You should never, ever, replace what a real doctor tells you with something from a website on the Internet. The farthest you should ever take it is getting a second opinion from another real doctor. Educate yourself - always read the PI/SPC sheet or patient information leaflet (PIL) that comes with your medications and never ever throw them away.
Crazy Meds is not responsible for the content of sites we provide links to. We like them, or they’re paid advertisements, or they’re something else we think you should read to help you make an informed decision about a particular med. Sometimes they’re more than one of those things. But what’s on those sites is their business, not ours.
All brand names of the drugs listed in this site are the trademarks of the companies named on the PI/SPC sheet associated with the medication, sometimes on the pages about the drugs, even though those companies may have been acquired by other companies who may or may not be listed in this site by the time you read this. Or the rights to the drug were sold to another company. And any or all of the companies involved may have changed their names.
Crazy Meds is optimized for the browser you’re not using on the platform you wish you had. Between you and me, it all looks a lot cleaner using Safari or Chrome, although more than half of the visitors to this site use either Safari or Internet Explorer, so I’m doing my best to make things look nice for IE as well. I’m using Firefox and running Windows 72. On a computer that sits on top of my desk. With a 23 inch monitor. Hey, at least you can make the text larger or smaller by clicking on the + or - buttons in the upper right hand corner. If you have Java enabled. Like 99% of the websites on the planet, Crazy Meds is hosted on domain running an open source operating system with a variety of open source applications, including the software used to display what you’ve been reading. As such Crazy Meds is not responsible for whatever weird shit your browser does or does not do when you read this site3.
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1 While there are plenty of books to help you with hypochondria, for some reason there’s not much in the way of websites. Then again, staying off of the Internet is a large part of curing/managing the disorder.
2 Remember kids, Microsloth operating systems are like TOS Star Trek movies with in that every other one sucks way, way more. With TOS Star Trek movies you don’t want to bother watching the odd-numbered ones. With Microsloth OS you don’t want to buy and install the even-numbered ones. Anyone who remembers ME and Vista knows what I mean.
3 Have I mentioned how open source operating systems for commercial applications is one of the dumbest ideas in the history of dumb ideas?
[begin rant] I rent a dedicated server for Crazy Meds. It’s sitting on a rack somewhere in Southern California along with a bunch of other servers that other people have rented. The hardware is identical, but no two machines have exactly the same operating systems. I don’t even need to see what is on any of the others to know this. If somebody got their server at the exact same time, with the exact same features as I did, I’m confident that there would be noticeable differences in some aspects of the operating systems. So what does this mean? For one thing it means that no two computers in the same office of a single company have the same operating system, and the techs can spend hours figuring out what the fuck the problem could be based on that alone. It also means that application software like IP board that runs the forum here has to have so many fucking user-configurable bells and whistles that even when I read the manual I can’t find every setting, or every location that every flag needs to be set in order for a feature to run the way I want it to run. And in the real world it means you can get an MBA not only with an emphasis on resource planning, but with an emphasis on using SAP - a piece of software so complex there are now college programs on how to use it. You might think, “But don’t people learn how to use Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator in college?” Sure, in order to create stuff. And in a way you’re creating stuff with SAP. But do you get a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis on Photoshop?
Back in the Big Iron Age the operating systems were proprietary, and every computer that took up an entire room with a raised floor and HVAC system, and had less storage and processing power than an iPhone, had the same operating system as every other one, give or take a release level. But when a company bought application software like SAP, they also got the source code, which was usually documented and written in a way to make it easy to modify the hell out of it. Why? Because accounting principles may be the same the world over, and tax laws the same across each country and state, but no two companies have the same format for their reports, invoices, purchase orders and so forth. Standards existed and were universally ignored. If something went wrong it went wrong the same way for everyone, and was easy to track down. People didn’t need to take a college course to learn how to use a piece of software.
I’m not against the open source concept entirely. Back then all the programmers read the same magazines, so we all had the same homebrew utilities. We even had a forerunner of QR Code to scan the longer source code. Software vendors and computer manufacturers sponsored conventions so we could, among other things, swap recipes for such add-ons and utilities. While those things would make our lives easier, they had nothing to do with critical functions of the operating system. Unless badly implemented they would rarely cause key application software to crash and burn. Whereas today, with open source everything, who the hell knows what could be responsible some part of a system failing. [/end rant]