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User Reviews for Venlafaxine

Also known as: Effexor, Effexor XR

Venlafaxine has an average rating of 6.5 out of 10 from a total of 2,279 ratings on Drugs.com. 54% of those users who reviewed Venlafaxine reported a positive effect, while 27% reported a negative effect.

Condition Avg. Rating Reviews Compare
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Bulimia   8.5
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Dissociative Identity Disorder  Off-label 8.5
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Irritable Bowel Syndrome  Off-label 8.1
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Autism   7.6
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Cataplexy  Off-label 7.3
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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder  Off-label 7.1
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Social Anxiety Disorder   7.0
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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder  Off-label 7.0
23 reviews 5 medications
Postpartum Depression   6.9
21 reviews 8 medications
Anxiety and Stress  Off-label 6.8
150 reviews 9 medications
Anxiety   6.7
341 reviews 53 medications
Hot Flashes  Off-label 6.7
131 reviews 17 medications
Generalized Anxiety Disorder   6.7
191 reviews 7 medications
Bipolar Disorder  Off-label 6.7
67 reviews 30 medications
Fibromyalgia  Off-label 6.6
47 reviews 20 medications
Major Depressive Disorder   6.5
196 reviews 47 medications
Panic Disorder   6.3
69 reviews 19 medications
Migraine  Off-label 6.1
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Depression   6.1
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Vulvodynia   4.5
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Somatoform Pain Disorder  Off-label 1.0
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Summary of Venlafaxine reviews 6.5 2,279 reviews

Reviews may be moderated or edited before publication to correct grammar and spelling or to remove inappropriate language and content. Reviews that appear to be created by parties with a vested interest in the medication will not be published. As reviews and ratings are subjective and self-reported, this information should not be used as the basis for any statistical analysis or scientific studies.

Reviews for Venlafaxine

Reka · Taken for 5 to 10 years March 4, 2021

For Bipolar Disorder: “I have been using venlafaxine for about 10 years alongside with quetiapine, but at first my doctor didn't want to prescribe it in fear, that it will trigger a manic episode. The quetiapine was a lifesaver, but this helped me not using extra large doses of quetiapine in severe depressive episodes and it never triggered mania. The key is, to taper down gradually when you feel well, so that you can increase again in need. The same goes for quetiapine by the way.”

10 / 10
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
HaikyuuFan March 1, 2021

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) for Anxiety: “I had some severe anxiety after everything that went on with the COVID and my partner being in constant suicidal depression. My GP offered the medicine as a way to get through the tough time, and it kinda did, but not without some major downsides. It did lessen the anxiety, but it also got rid of any kind of drive I ever had (sex, motivation, creativity), so my depression got much worse in the meanwhile. It felt like nothing mattered anymore. I didn't care. I gained 8-10 lbs in the 2 months I was on it (I was losing slowly beforehand) and I got NOTHING done aside from the bare minimum while I was on it. My sleep was also heavily disrupted/unrestful, moreso than usual. I was on the lowest dose for such a short amount of time, yet the withdrawals were pretty bad (zaps, dizziness, nausea) and lasted several days. I've been off it for almost a week now, and yesterday was the first day where I felt like taking care of myself since I'd started it.”

3 / 10

Frequently asked questions

Msmmprice · Taken for 1 to 2 years March 1, 2021

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) for Anxiety: “I have been on this medication 75 mg for a year now. It was my lifesaver to my anxiety. I don’t have side effects, so I guess I got lucky. Although, I ran out one time and couldn’t get the prescription for 3 days. I went thru horrible withdrawal. I actually thought I was just so aggravated. So please if you don’t like this med don’t quit cold turkey, the withdrawal is horrible.”

10 / 10
Sam · Taken for 1 to 6 months February 28, 2021

For Generalized Anxiety Disorder: “I have been on 150 mg Effexor for 5 months now - slowly increased from 37.5 to 75 to 117.5 to 150. It has truly been so helpful for my GAD and health anxiety. I have been diagnosed with OCD in the past (Pure O) and I don’t know if that was an accurate diagnosis but I will say that this has been immensely helpful for intrusive anxious thoughts and rumination. I do not have any lasting side effects, but it did make me a bit “spacey” and nauseous at first. Don’t let bad reviews scare you off if you have treatment-resistant OCD, anxiety, or depression. It’s worth a go! I tried Luvox, Anafranil, and Prozac with limited success before starting this, just FYI.”

10 / 10
eminnz · Taken for 1 to 2 years February 28, 2021

For Anxiety: “Have taken Venlafaxine in the past and I’m surprised at how some have problems stopping it. I took it for 2 years and stopped it within 10 days, had no withdrawals at all.”

8 / 10
medaj · Taken for less than 1 month February 24, 2021

Effexor (venlafaxine) for Depression: “so I started taking this drug about 2 weeks ago and have severe depression and anxiety with extreme self esteem issues, and I have been experiencing a lot of different emotions right now. I have a lot of down and depressing moments when I’m alone, to the point where I get panicked about how I’m going to react to certain situations, as I feel like I’m going to over react to the point of snapping at people, especially my family and friends supporting me right now. I have also been having tremors in my legs and my breathing can get out of control at times. Everyone taking new medication will always react differently, and it can take time to settle in but I can honestly say if these symptoms persist, I will be going off this medication. I really hope it starts to kick in a few more weeks time.”

2 / 10

More FAQ

Bree · Taken for 1 to 6 months February 23, 2021

For Panic Disorder: “I tried Effexor after my Paroxetine quit working for me after many years. My anxiety had gotten worse so I thought I'd try an SNRI instead of SSRI. After a week or two, I found myself to be jittery and even more anxious. The worst of all, I developed night time hallucinations where I'd wake up and believe I saw someone standing over me which was terrifying. I've had to sleep with a light on ever since. I talked to a psychiatrist and told me he would have never prescribed Effexor because it's the hardest drug to get off of, with the worst side effects of all the SNRI/SSRIs. As someone who did really well on Paroxetine, I didn't do well at all on Venlafaxine.”

1 / 10
SideEffexor February 19, 2021

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) for Depression: “I took this years ago and checked my journal when a friend mentioned she was starting it and that she was feeling dizzy, to see if this was the one that gave me withdrawals. It was. When I decided to stop taking it it was a nightmare. The brain zaps were unexpected and scary. I felt so sick. After my doctor at the time told me there was no withdrawal, and to just take more instead of less. I was done and decided to find a way to get it out of my system. I had to go to two more new doctors before I found one who believed me and was willing to help me get off of it. The way we did it was switching to Prozac and tapering off of that, because it has a much longer half-life. It was still bad but not as horrible as coming off Effexor. I feel like it took a couple of years after getting off of antidepressants before I started feeling somewhat normal, after being on different ones for over 10 years. Stay away.”

1 / 10
beanie · Taken for 5 to 10 years February 18, 2021

For Generalized Anxiety Disorder: “I started off with a whizz and a bang on this medication. Then after being on it for a number of years my anxiety went through the roof once menopause hit. It put a strain on my marriage because I became so numb with my emotions. Didn't feel happy, didn't feel sad, just numb. Never felt excited. So because my anxiety had increased I weaned myself off it with the help of my doctor and am now on something else which is making a better result for me. I do have a friend on it and she finds it helps her immensely. So everyone is different. I've been off venlafaxine since October 2019 and in that time, without even trying I have lost a considerable amount of weight”

2 / 10
Sunshine101 · Taken for 1 to 2 years February 17, 2021

For Depression: “Run. As fast as you can from this drug. I had taken it on and off for 20 years since it first came out. I will never touch this medication again. Every time I took it, it helped me out of major depressive episodes, but changed my personality into something totally out of character. This drug has an amphetamine like effect on me. It will make you impulsive and a danger to yourself. Every time I took this medication I abused alcohol, drugs, had irresponsible sexual encounters, and made terrible decisions causing lasting affects on my future. Trying to come off it is then brutal. It takes MONTHS. You will end up breaking open capsules to reduce your dose one single granule at a time. This medication should be banned. Do yourself a favour and try ANYTHING ELSE!!”

1 / 10
Cris · Taken for 6 months to 1 year February 14, 2021

Effexor (venlafaxine) for Depression: “I love effexor!!!! I have had bi polar depression, extreme depression, cptsd and a lot of anxiety for as long as I can remember. With in a few weeks (I had to start low dose and gradually increase do to bad reactions to most bi polar drugs). So when I got to about 175 mg I started to have no suicidal thoughts AT ALL!! I am so happy to have those thoughts out of my head. I still have some issues but this drug gave me my life back - with no side effects except extreme fatigue until I got used to it. Now I have no tiredness at all. HOWEVER HUGE DISCLAIMER. DO NOT STOP TAKING THIS DRUG EVEN FOR A DAY!!!!! You must wean off this. I actually thought it was the end of me when I couldn't get my meds for 2 days. I vomited the entire time like couldn't stop. Extreme sweating, hallucinations not severe but still scary. Nightmares and the most painful headache that would not stop. The vomiting was the worst. I wasn't able to hold anything down and I mean extreme cramping of the stomach area. Please be careful.”

10 / 10
PearlG February 14, 2021

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) for Depression: “I’ve been on Effexor on and off for years, with a recent six year break from any meds, as well as quitting alcohol two years ago. In the past Effexor has worked somewhat, with virtually no side effects. A month ago I started on it again. The only side effects in the beginning were decreased appetite and completely taking away my hot flashes. So I had high hopes. However, this time, by week three my depression had worsened so much I was having more intense suicidal ideation than before I started it - so bad I had to stop. Body chemistry really does change over time. Back to square one.”

1 / 10
Shwin · Taken for 1 to 2 years February 13, 2021

For Generalized Anxiety Disorder: “So I would say that while on the medicine my review would be 7.5/10. Was on 37.5 mg the entire 2-ish years. Had debilitating anxiety before the medicine and it allowed me to resume living me life. Would still have occasional nausea (mainly if I did not eat enough), vivid dreams and pretty bad night sweats on and off. However it was all worth it to be relaxed and I never felt over medicated. I felt like my old self and was able to enjoy life. I gained 40+ lbs over two years but I was very thin to start so this is not a negative for me. The main problem is coming off the med. Absolutely awful. Worse debilitating anxiety, constant stomach issues, erratic emotions, sleep disturbances. The hardest med to come off of. This has overshadowed its effectiveness for me.”

4 / 10
Smash · Taken for 1 to 6 months February 13, 2021

For Hot Flashes: “I get night sweats, several times, every night from this medication, although it does help my depression/anxiety. I’ve recently started trying to use CBD oil to try and stop the night sweats. It’s helped a little but not stopped it”

8 / 10
vanla · Taken for 1 to 6 months February 10, 2021

For Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: “I used it for about one and a half or two months, I think it is a good med for some people but I had really bad constipation so I stopped it.”

7 / 10
Cono · Taken for 6 months to 1 year February 9, 2021

For Depression: “Enlafax does not work for me been on them about 6 months, feeling really rubbish going back to my doctor today to let him know & see what can be done. Thumbs down for enlafax.”

NM · Taken for 1 to 6 months February 9, 2021

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) for Major Depressive Disorder: “...my goodness. on Effexor XR for 5/6 months, last 6 weeks tapering down. Went from 37.5mg up to 225mg, never did much for depression or anxiety though it good rid of any and all NSSI/SI. My main complaint isn't the drug itself, it's stopping it. 6 week taper, feeling fine save for some headache/nausea - until I got to 75mg. Then: always dizzy, more depressed, feeling physically paralyzed. It got worse at 37.5mg, brain zaps causing such bad vertigo that I avoided leaving my appartment. Stopping it entirely, depression was worse than it had been in months, felt too sick to eat, moving my head slightly was enough to cause a migraine. I had so little energy that I - no joke - called my pharmacy to tell them the Adderall they gave me was defective. I was cocky, because I never get any bad side effects from meds. Stopping this med is dangerous: I almost went to the ER 2x, once because I was worried I couldn't to keep myself safe, then because the brain zaps and vertigo were so bad I thought I was going to collapse. Weigh your options before STARTING, not after.”

1 / 10
Teetzy · Taken for less than 1 month February 8, 2021

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) for Anxiety: “I started taking Effexor XR 3 days ago. So far I have just been nauseated so I got nausea meds. I’m starting to feel a difference already. I feel the effects of meds pretty early. I am really hoping this is my ‘miracle’ pill.”

9 / 10
Shelly · Taken for less than 1 month February 7, 2021

Effexor (venlafaxine) for Depression: “This drug made me want to cut myself! A horrifying thing I would never do! I felt so horrible and disgusted with myself that I actually felt the strong urge to do it! Fortunately I'm very happy that I succeeded in not doing that terrible thing. I wish complete physical and emotional healing to all those who unfortunately are struggling with such a nightmare. But I did have to hurt myself in other, less violent ways such as hitting. This drug was so so scary that it messed with my mind! This is not who I am! I was acting crazy! And my thoughts and feelings were crazy too crazy and dangerous. Be very careful! And make sure you are seeing a doctor who really takes the time to listen to you, and wants to help you. They should answer all your questions and have no problem explaining how the drug works and what side effects there might be Also I was only on it for 3 weeks and the withdrawal effects were awful.”

1 / 10
Powla · Taken for less than 1 month February 7, 2021

For Hot Flashes: “Love this med. Had hot flashes last 5 years and was afraid to take anything to help because I was afraid it would interfere will my breast cancer meds. OMG! What a difference! Wish I would have found this OBGYN years ago.”

10 / 10
Anonymous · Taken for 1 to 6 months February 7, 2021

For Depression: “I'm not sure if I just tolerate venlafaxine well but I have not noticed anything bad about it. I was nausea the first week of taking it and I do have vivid dreams but it has helped my mood significantly. It's wonderful drug for nonfunctional depression. I no longer have the deep, big feelings of sadness all the time and feel motivated to work towards my goals and valued by my support system. I don't feel superficially happy or too happy. Highly recommend combining it with CBT to get out of an episode of depression. No withdrawal symptoms when I've missed doses either.”

Mique · Taken for 6 months to 1 year February 7, 2021

For Hot Flashes: “This is a horrible drug!”

2 / 10
Bowers · Taken for less than 1 month February 6, 2021

For Depression: “This is the second time I've been on the medication venlafaxine. The first couple of weeks are difficult, I personally felt wired, struggled with sleep, loss of appetite and sexual side effects etc, but importantly they all passed as I got better and my body adjusted. Coming off is easy enough, just go very slowly. I've been on a number of different medications for mental health issues over the last 4 years, and for me, venlafaxine is one of the better ones to be on, but everyone is different. If like me, you're scrolling through these reviews, wondering if you're on the right medication for you, my best advise is to stop and see a psychiatrist. GPs will have their go to medications but it's not their specialism and more often than not they'll prescribe the same/cheapest medication for a whole host of mental health issues. Don't sell yourself short - see a specialist and remember it might get worse before it gets better. Good luck!”

9 / 10
Anonymous · Taken for less than 1 month February 3, 2021

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) for Anxiety: “10 days in on 37.5 and already feel decreased anxiety. Sleep issues still and some day time fatigue but I know this will pass with time. Worried about stopping them one day from all the reviews but I'm looking forward to taking a year to feel good.”

10 / 10

This information is NOT intended to endorse any particular medication. While these reviews might be helpful, they are not a substitute for the expertise, knowledge and judgement of healthcare practitioners.