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User Reviews for Venlafaxine

Also known as: Effexor, Effexor XR

Venlafaxine has an average rating of 6.4 out of 10 from a total of 2,568 ratings on Drugs.com. 53% of reviewers reported a positive experience, while 28% reported a negative experience.

Condition Avg. Rating Reviews Compare
Depression  
6.0
993 reviews 78 medications
Anxiety  
6.5
396 reviews 54 medications
Generalized Anxiety Disorder  
6.8
228 reviews 7 medications
Major Depressive Disorder  
6.3
227 reviews 47 medications
Anxiety and Stress  Off-label
6.6
175 reviews 9 medications
Hot Flashes  Off-label
6.7
138 reviews 17 medications
Panic Disorder  
6.4
79 reviews 19 medications
Bipolar Disorder  Off-label
6.6
74 reviews 32 medications
Social Anxiety Disorder  
7.2
58 reviews 6 medications
Fibromyalgia  Off-label
6.7
52 reviews 21 medications
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder  Off-label
7.6
35 reviews 9 medications
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder  Off-label
6.8
28 reviews 5 medications
Postpartum Depression  
6.9
22 reviews 8 medications
Migraine  Off-label
4.6
18 reviews 88 medications
Irritable Bowel Syndrome  Off-label
8.1
16 reviews 137 medications
Autism  
6.9
9 reviews 7 medications
Cataplexy  Off-label
7.3
4 reviews 1 medications
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder  Off-label
9.5
4 reviews 50 medications
Dissociative Identity Disorder  Off-label
8.5
3 reviews 4 medications
Bulimia  
8.5
3 reviews 7 medications
Somatoform Pain Disorder  Off-label
4.0
3 reviews 12 medications
Vulvodynia  
4.5
3 reviews 9 medications
Summary of Venlafaxine reviews 6.4 2,568 reviews

Reviews may be edited to correct grammar/spelling, or to remove inappropriate language and content. Reviews that appear to be created by parties with a vested interest are not published.

Reviews for Venlafaxine

Dora · Taken for 5 to 10 years · January 3, 2021

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) for Depression: “In a few paragraphs, I can gladly proclaim this medication saved my life in sooo many ways! I had never felt content until I took Effexor. The grass was greener, the music was even more beautiful, I am now kind and patient again; I am simply happy! I don't need to constantly seek out pleasurable things to make life more exciting anymore. I’m not so emotionally vulnerable. For the first time in my life, I can READ! My ADHD has diminished 70% - 90%! Whether it be from ADHD, anhedonia or both, I can FINALLY enjoy the simple things in life. Lastly and miraculously, my IQ went up 15 - 20 points! My thought process is much more clear, and I LOOOVE reading and learning! My new-found curiosity fuels my joy for living and learning. I want to thank the people who created this drug. I am not only myself again, but I’m someone I never even knew I was capable of being!”

10 / 10
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Alex · Taken for 1 to 6 months · November 6, 2019

Effexor (venlafaxine) for Depression: “Reading reviews online WILL freak you out about this drug, and as someone who used it for panic disorder and extreme anxiety (as well as depression) these reviews on here DEFINITELY terrified me. First off, relax. Taking any new drug for the first time can be scary because your body's adjusting, but freaking out about any little symptom will only make your experience worse. Now on to my experience: The first couple weeks I experienced nausea and maybe a bit of sleeplessness? But nothing too crazy. Lost a bit of weight too as it suppressed my appetite. I really do believe this drug helped calm my nervous system enough so that I was able to function normally again, and so far after the first month I don't experience side effects at all. Don't be scared about all the wacky reviews, people can psych themselves out when influenced by others opinions.”

9 / 10
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Lalakis · Taken for 1 to 6 months · August 17, 2021

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) for Generalized Anxiety Disorder: “This medicine works. With side effects, yes. But IT WORKS. Tips: Start with 37.5 mg every morning for 7 days. Then replace 37.5 with 75mg every morning for another 7 days. At the end of the 2nd week you will start to feel 'human' again. Add another 37.5 every afternoon for another 7 days, but not too late in order to avoid insomnia. At the end of the month replace the 37.5 with 75 mg and so you have 150 mg every day with minimum side effects. Anxiety will reduce, sentimental reactions will become more curbed and manageable. You will be yourself again. Remember: be patient and persistent. Stick with it, especially the first month, don't give up. Use some diazepams in order to reduce the anxiety produced by the pill the first weeks! Feel free to ask anything! United we stand!!!”

9 / 10
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Sarah · January 28, 2021

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) for Anxiety: “I have severe anxiety and regular depression from time to time. I’ve taken Lexapro, Prozac, and Zoloft. They eventually quit working for me. I had so much anxiety after work that I would like to have an alcoholic drink and sometimes a cigarette to calm my nerves. The problem with this is because alcohol makes anxiety worse if you drink more than two drinks. So it was an endless cycle. I was also getting to the point where I couldn’t get off the couch and had no motivation to do anything, Taking a shower was hard for me. I was sleeping a lot!!! Start out on theEffexor XR 37.5mg dose for about a week or two before moving up to 75 mg. At first it made me feel really weird, my mind would race and I was having a hard time sleeping. I stuck it out! I am now taking 75 mg and I’m so much better! I get up at 6:00 am when I used to sleep until 9:00. I go to the gym 3 days a week, I get dressed up and now I have a part time job. Effexor has literally changed my life!!”

10 / 10
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Alexandra · October 13, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) for Depression: “Please remember to give Effexor XR a couple of months to work. The first month or even two are going to suck. Why? Remember that the chemicals in your brain are adjusting. We have a chemical imbalance. Be patient and kind to yourself. I was on Lexapro and it worked but I gained so much weight so I got off. Not a good idea. Never just go cold turkey! So, after speaking to my doctor he put me on Effexor and it has been such a blessing. I’m on 225mg for over 3 years and while I do have good and bad days because it’s not a miracle pill, you still have to fight the depression and anxiety but it helps you fight it. Stay strong! It works. Be patient. Don’t be scared.”

10 / 10
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Joe · Taken for 10 years or more · May 10, 2019

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) for Depression: “I am a 43 years old man. I take Effexor XR 150mg since 2000 (yes I know it is long, but it is better than death). Ok, every 2-3 years I try to be "med free", "normal" and "out of the stigma", and each time it is the same. I crash. Hard. Each time, I play with my life. From the outside, I look successful, brilliant, intelligent, normal, etc. But I am sick as hell. Sick, but in treatment. I take care of me as I could and I really don't care about what people think about Venlafaxine now. I don't want to die. Believe me, noradrenaline and serotonin recapture is no garbage. You may need a little help for your brain. Refuse it if you like, but do something about depression before it will do something about you.”

10 / 10
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Smiffy · October 23, 2020

For Anxiety and Stress: “13 year ago was started on the usual citalopram, mirtazapine etc. My son is very ill and immunocompromised, lots of hospital visits. I was the lowest I’ve ever been, no interest in anything and even contemplated walking away from my life (I was very ill mentally) until I started to take venlafaxine. Started January and it’s now October, I’m a new woman, can deal with things, I don’t overreact or make my mood effect the household. It’s greatly improved my anxiety too, still have same fears but can rationalise things better and more healthy. Bit worried about coming off in future but trying to just live in the now. Also lost 5 stone very easily without trying. In my humble opinion this drug transformed my life, no longer idolise death as the easier option as I can can actually deal with my emotions now. Feel mentally healthier and enjoy life again instead of just existing”

10 / 10
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Frequently asked questions

don’t be nervous to try it · Taken for 1 to 6 months · January 3, 2021

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) for Generalized Anxiety Disorder: “After trying Lexapro and Zoloft for depression and anxiety, I decided to give Effexor a try. Effexor was so much easier to start for me, with very few side effects (mild headache, some shakiness, some mild chest tightness). I started at 37.5 mg then bumped up to 75 mg. Once I went to 75 mg, something just clicked and so much fogginess went away. My anxiety improved and my mood is much more stable. This is definitely a much better drug for my chemistry. That being said, don’t be afraid to try it, and don’t take the negative reviews to heart, people are much more likely to leave negative reviews for bad experiences. Best of luck!”

9 / 10
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Teppum · June 4, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) for Depression: “I had severe anxiety in 2016, it was truly crippling. Along with panic attacks and thinking I was dying all the time, I experienced depersonalization/derealization every day. Effexor XR truly saved my life. I take my pills at night, and if I miss one dose, I know immediately the next day by how I feel. It’s a horrible feeling. I also described it as my head was skipping, but I see others describe it as brain zaps. That’s truly what it feels like. Besides that though, this medication changed everything for me.”

9 / 10
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ks · Taken for 6 months to 1 year · August 23, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) for Anxiety: “If you are reading these reviews and having anxiety about taking a medicine I get it. The best advice I can offer is go into with a mindset that this is going to help you. In the scariest time of my life when I had panic disorder, was having trouble eating and sleeping Effexor saved me. I took Lexapro terrified to take it and had horrible reactions. This drug makes me feel like myself minus panicking. I didn't feel like it kicked in until about 3 months. The only thing is it does make you feel a like more "flat" but I was a little over emotional so it helped with this. I've been on this for almost a year and would recommend trying it.”

8 / 10
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lindsieloo · August 1, 2018

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) for Generalized Anxiety Disorder: “Miracle Drug! I advise everyone to STICK to it through the first week. For me personally, the first week was AWFUL. Honestly terrible. I was nauseous, disorientated, had short term memory loss - I felt high/disconnected to reality the first couple of days. After one week I woke up and was completely fine. I felt like my old normal self (without anxiety/depression). Now I fell very happy, motivated, calm and most importantly STABLE! No more mood swings, irritability; as soon as something dark creeps into my mind, I can dismiss it in a moment. I've been on Venlafaxine XR for two months (150mg now) and I feel fantastic. I'm so glad I gave it a go. Although it was my last resort, it was my best resort. I used to be a professional athlete, been vegan for a while, I would meditate, do yoga and non of that would help AT ALL with my condition. Now, these actions are starting to pay off with the help of this drug. Lots of love to everyone going through hard times, hope my review helps you <3”

10 / 10
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rjbz1 · December 31, 2020

Effexor (venlafaxine) for Depression: “I'm on Effexore for Depression, Anxiety, ADHD. 1-4 Weeks The medication the first few weeks is going to make you excessively sleepy. It is just the nature of the beast. During the first few weeks ensure that you are taking the time to get a work out in a few times a week and supplement any lethargy with a bit of caffeine. Weeks 5-8 This is where the medication really starts to shine. If you are a male, this drug is ideal for you because it has a less likely chance of causing erectile dysfunction as it is a SRNI and not a SSRI. Your reaction to negative events, to include stressful situations, begins to dramatically change. Instead of having fast paced thoughts, you have a true sense of peace, less worry and a newfound sense of over all well-being. I highly recommend this medication if your SSRI is causing you ED, you suffer from anxiety, ADHD, OCD, or depression.”

10 / 10
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Staystrong · September 20, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) for Generalized Anxiety Disorder: “I have always been a more anxious person, but in college I experienced sensations of extreme anxiety (detached from reality drenched sweating shaking) and almost passed out. This lasted for days I went to the ER and was told it was a result of extreme stress and was given an Ativan. This continued for a year anytime I felt mildly stressed and went to the doctor. I had a horrible reaction to celexa it sedated me, Zoloft helped some but not great, and Effexor. Effexor was difficult at first was fatigued and dizzy for about 2 weeks. In the fourth week the good effects of the medication hit me and it felt like I could breathe again. I am an even better version of myself by that I mean happier and calmer. I don’t experience the physical symptoms on a daily basis. I’m more confident and worry less about stressful situation. It took me trying 3 different meds to feel this way. Please have hope and keep pushing through.”

10 / 10
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Sara Jane · Taken for 1 to 6 months · March 14, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) for Anxiety: “Effexor is helping me calm down and it’s helping my relationship with my boyfriend. I got put on it for my agitation, irritability , anxiety, social anxiety. I no longer am snappy and argumentative. I know people say it’s hard to withdraw off but it’s saving my life and I plan to stay on it for a long time. Thumbs up”

10 / 10
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Cleveland · March 2, 2021

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) for Anxiety: “I’ve had depression anxiety my whole life and I’m diagnosed major depression and generalized anxiety disorder. I tried all the other antidepressants didn’t really know if they worked or not, new Dr. slowly tapered me up on Effexor. That was about a year ago... The side effects weren’t terrible some nausea and insomnia for like a week and then after that the side effects were gone. I feel so much better honestly and I’m not just saying that because the Lexapro and Cymbalta I never knew if they were working or not. This helps with my anxiety a lot and rumination and also this is the first winter I’ve enjoyed in at least a decade. Also I have an eight-year-old four-year-old and three-month-old all girls and virtual schooling is still on, so it definitely helps me be more patient And takes the edge off so I don’t yell and scream in a fit of exasperation. I was also afraid of getting postpartum but I honestly haven’t felt any of that thank the Lord.”

9 / 10
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Panic guy · March 22, 2021

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) for Anxiety: “Since my middle east deployment I've dealt with panic attacks. It got to the point I was severely agoraphobia, not even able to leave my home to drive to the gas station a mile away. VA SSRIs never worked. After being drug to the local ER due to severe brain fogginess, ER physician suggested norepinephrine might be the issue, not the serotonin. Dr also took it and said to give Effexor XR a go. 3 weeks later I believe he may be right. I no longer am focusing on every little beat my heart makes. I can drive again. I can go places. I'm not perfect yet but major improvements have happened. Fogginess is still there a tad bit but not nearly as horrible as it was 3 weeks ago. It's not even fully in my system yet. If you have taken all the SSRIs there are with no results, try this. It works. I've heard withdrawals are real bad but I'm not worried about that right now. It just feels good to feel a bit more normal again. Praise God. P.S. I'm still able to "perform" with the wife. Another huge relief.”

9 / 10
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Luckyluke · January 6, 2021

For Anxiety and Stress: “Venlafaxine changed my life, after only taking it for 2 months. The side effects were horrible at first I had headaches and would shake or tremble when anxious and I got extremely itchy. When you suffer from depression, GAD, PTSD and OCD its a small price to pay because I started to see a change in my mood and my anxiety. For the first time in my life my anxiety was almost gone I could go out in public and engage in conversation for the first time in my life. I started on 75mg and I am still on it 6 months after. Lexapro made me a slow zombie and did nothing for my anxiety it only helps for depression. A lot of reviews have negative feedback but if you are in a bad place push through the side effects because its worth it they do go away. This is the only anti depressant that doesn't make me a zombie during the day I feel more awake. Stay strong.”

8 / 10
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Dawniow · Taken for 1 to 2 years · March 23, 2021

For Anxiety and Stress: “I have suffered from anxiety all my life in varying degrees and have tried lots of different medication to control the unpleasant feelings. From just feeling nauseous, butterflies in the stomach or mild to severe full blown panic attacks. Venlafaxine for me, is a game changer. It helped me within a week or so. I started on a very low dose for 2 weeks then 75mg which I have now been on for over 12 months. My panic attacks have gone and I can now face the day without the constant feeling of overwhelming worry and despair. I would definitely recommend them. Very few side effects.”

10 / 10
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Cornish lass · Taken for 1 to 6 months · July 23, 2021

For Anxiety and Stress: “I have been on venlafaxine for 10 weeks after a cancer diagnosis. I was about to give up on it when I got to eight weeks & asked the doctor if I could try something else but he told me to stick with it. I'm so glad I did! I had to go up to 300mg so that's quite high for anxiety but now I'm feeling so much better. The worst part was the side effects but that's soon forgotten when you start to feel yourself again. So anyone just starting, don't give up. I have operations, chemo still to face but feel so much stronger than I did.”

10 / 10
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Tawnya · Taken for 1 to 6 months · February 18, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) for Depression: “I take 150mg time released effexor, I am dealing with a head injury for 6 months now. I have been on Effexor since. I have no side effects and it has really helped me with my anxiety, nervousness and depression. This medicine is such a life saver, I can go to work and be around people. I don’t know where I would be without this medication.”

10 / 10
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WildcatVet · Taken for 5 to 10 years · May 2, 2020

For Anxiety and Stress: “I've been taking venlafaxine (Effexor XR) for over 7 years and I'm giving it a rave review! It's the best medication I've ever used for my anxiety disorders and I've tried almost all the SSRI's. As added bonuses it also relieved my depression and the only side effect I had was a mild headache for the first few days after I started it. I can't say how happy I am with this medication! It's turned my life around.”

1 / 10
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Catwoman22 · Taken for 10 years or more · July 18, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) for Generalized Anxiety Disorder: “Just a friendly PSA: I understand everyone reacts differently to medications, but I feel that Effexor XR is getting an undeserved bad rap. I took a75 mg for 6 months, then down to 37.5 for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) I stayed on the lowest dose for over 10 years. I never looked back. I felt great every day. Tamping down all the anxiety is a HUGE game changer. Anyhow, when I tapered off, I did it EXTREMELY slowly under my docs supervision. It took almost 10 months, but I NEVER had any withdrawal symptoms.... ever. The key here is to not be in a hurry. And honestly... I had some pretty uncomfortable side effects for about 6 weeks when I first started, but nothing compared to the crippling anxiety. Don’t be afraid of it, at least trying this drug if your doctor prescribes it for you. Just give yourself 6-12 full weeks for any relief, and if its not a good fit, don’t fear tapering off SLOWLY......”

10 / 10
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My experience · Taken for 6 months to 1 year · July 26, 2014

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) for Generalized Anxiety Disorder: “Effexor has changed my life. I have always had bad anxiety but it got out of control after a traumatic event 3 years ago. Finally decided I needed some help and was prescribed Effexor. I doubted it would help - I tried Lexapro a few years before and had awful panic attacks. I am so glad I was wrong and gave Effexor a chance! My anxiety has greatly decreased and I'm now able to function and think about things other than worries. I had some unexpected benefits too including reduced social anxiety, I'm more motivated, increased confidence, and a general feeling of happiness and well-being. No real negative side effects - I have lost about 15 pounds and I was a normal weight. I feel like this is how I should have been feeling all my life.”

10 / 10
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Monday · Taken for 1 to 6 months · November 20, 2019

Effexor (venlafaxine) for Major Depressive Disorder: “I know the reviews are scary, and hey this medication is not for everyone. Our bodies will all react differently, prior to effexor I took lexapro but it didn't help me whatsoever. The only thing it helped me with is yawning awkwardly every other minute. My dr. suggested Effexor and it completely helped me get out of the hole I was in, I was able to think clearly, feel joy, laugh, and really be present. My anxiety went down tremendously and this with the combination of therapy helped me lose 70lbs. I got off Effexor, and did it the healthy way, I did it Sloowly...and I was FINE! no crazy withdrawals. So yes people it's possible. To be on it and off of it, and still be okay, :)”

9 / 10
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aimeejuniper · February 25, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) for Anxiety: “I'm a 27 y/o female, good health but have GAD and MDD. I began taking Effexor XR when I began having panic attacks while driving. I began with 37.5mg for 4 weeks, then upped to 75mg after that. After 3 months, I began to sweat in my sleep despite not feeling overheated. I began to suffer from sexual dysfunction, lost my libido and had difficulty reaching an orgasm (neither had been an issue previously). My appetite increased and I gained 25lbs in 1 year. I also noticed I felt very "flat" emotionally. I wrote this because I feel like positive reviews are lacking. Effexor absolutely improved my anxiety. The side effects were unpleasant but not severe. Stopping this medication suddenly can cause withdrawal symptoms, so when I switched to a new one, I slowly tapered off it by opening the capsule and counting the granules, reducing them by about 4 per day. I did not suffer from any "brain zaps" or any withdrawal symptoms.”

8 / 10
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This information is not intended to endorse any particular medication. While these reviews may be helpful, they are not a substitute for the expertise, knowledge and judgement of healthcare professionals.