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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 2,301 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
Depression  
6.1
919 reviews 81 medications
Anxiety  
6.7
347 reviews 53 medications
Major Depressive Disorder  
6.4
199 reviews 47 medications
Generalized Anxiety Disorder  
6.7
192 reviews 7 medications
Anxiety and Stress  Off-label
6.8
151 reviews 9 medications
Hot Flashes  Off-label
6.7
132 reviews 17 medications
Panic Disorder  
6.3
70 reviews 19 medications
Bipolar Disorder  Off-label
6.7
67 reviews 30 medications
Social Anxiety Disorder  
7.1
51 reviews 6 medications
Fibromyalgia  Off-label
6.7
48 reviews 20 medications
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder  Off-label
7.2
29 reviews 11 medications
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder  Off-label
7.0
24 reviews 5 medications
Postpartum Depression  
6.9
21 reviews 8 medications
Irritable Bowel Syndrome  Off-label
8.1
16 reviews 137 medications
Migraine  Off-label
6.1
11 reviews 87 medications
Autism  
7.6
5 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
Vulvodynia  
4.5
3 reviews 9 medications
Somatoform Pain Disorder  Off-label
1.0
2 reviews 12 medications
Summary of Venlafaxine reviews 6.5 2,301 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 Reviews that appear to be created by parties with a vested interest in the medication will not be published.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

Interx · Taken for 1 to 6 months April 14, 2021

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) for Depression: “Have tried several different medications and every supplement including thyroid kelp etc since my three year battle with depression . Effexor didn’t do much for me for about 12-16 weeks I noticed a difference . First 8 weeks I had terrible insomnia I nearly stopped it . Having looked up treatment resistant depression I decided to try taking folate and 6 weeks later it’s the first time I’m feeling 90% myself again . I’m not sure if it’s the Effexor or the folate or both but if your not feeling like the meds are helping 100% I would consider adding folate . Don’t give up”

9 / 10
Merlin · Taken for 1 to 6 months April 13, 2021

For Anxiety: “I've been taking venlafaxine for about two months now, taking one 37.5 morning and evening for anxiety and depression. Changed from Sertraline which made me feel awful. My depression has lifted but on going to bed, usually very tired. I start to yawn and quickly head into restlessness, stress and then do not sleep un til it passes 2 to three hours later.. anyone else had this effect. Thank you.”

8 / 10
bee · Taken for less than 1 month April 13, 2021

For Fibromyalgia: “I've had undiagnosed chronic pain for decades. I asked my psychiatrist if she would prescribe this for pain, and I started Effexor a week ago. It has already changed my life. I have about 80% to 95% relief of my symptoms. It is a huge difference. I used to not be able to walk normally getting out of bed, and felt awful most of the time, and had nearly daily headaches. All of that gone in a week. I have slept better, and don't notice any bad side effects. Generally, I'm especially sensitive to medications, but this has been a very positive week. Hoping it continues to work!”

10 / 10

Frequently asked questions

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
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
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
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

More FAQ

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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
1204 · Taken for less than 1 month August 9, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) for Major Depressive Disorder: “I have major depression, an eating disorder and anxiety. I have struggled for years on and off multiple anti depressants. I just started Effexor 2.5 weeks ago. Already I am so shocked at the absolute change. I wake up happy. I regained interest in things. I no longer have thoughts of suicide and am not crying every day. I honestly feel like it has given me my life back.”

10 / 10
Andrea January 23, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) for Social Anxiety Disorder: “This drug has been amazing for me. My NP first started me on Zoloft 50mg and I felt no difference and then bumped me up to 100 mg and my anxiety got super bad, which I didn’t even know was possible because I have severe social anxiety. I got prescribed 75 mg of Effexor and the side effects were really bad the first 2 weeks and I was ready to tell my NP that this wasn’t the drug for me but I gave it about 2 more weeks and noticed a HUGE difference. Before taking this when I would walk into class my heart would be beating so fast that I thought I would have a heart attack, I would be shaking so much and would feel like I can’t even walk or function at all. But with this drug I was able to walk into class calmly, no shaking, and didn’t even mind asking a question in front of the class. I never in a million years thought I would have the courage to do that. I know everybody is different but this drug really has saved my life!!”

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
Arthur55 · Taken for 1 to 6 months January 6, 2021

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) for Anxiety: “Have been on Effexor XR 75 mg for the last 4 weeks. Was prescribed it for depression, irritability, anger and anxiety. Like many of the reviews I was apprehensive of taking it as many of the reviews were negative but 4 weeks in I am starting to feel more normal again. Considerably less irritable and angry. I have noticed some emotional bluntness but its welcome over how I felt before. The first two weeks I noticed increased irritability, occasionally I still feel hot flushes or like my body is overheating. I have noticed my anxiety has improved and Im having less difficulty doing things like public speaking. I notice I'm laughing and smiling more which is a positive step.”

7 / 10
stargazer76 October 2, 2020

Effexor (venlafaxine) for Depression: “From my experience Effexor is a very effective treatment for depression and anxiety. I took it for 10 years at a dose of 150mg and felt great. I stopped 3 months ago and already depression is returning, so today I'm going back on! Yes the side effects can be grim but for me it was only when being late with dose or quitting. But overall I think its worth it for not having to suffer depression and anxiety everyday!”

9 / 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.