User Reviews for Effexor to treat Major Depressive Disorder
Effexor has an average rating of 5.5 out of 10 from a total of 58 reviews for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder. 43% of reviewers reported a positive experience, while 38% reported a negative experience.
Reviews for Effexor
"I am delighted with result of venlafaxine. I had a breakdown and visited my GP in desperation due to panic attacks, depression, crippling anxiety, heavy drinking and an addiction to codeine. The side effects were initially a bit uncomfortable but they have settled. I am lacking motivation but I have only been on it for 2 weeks and I figure I need some time to recover from my breakdown so I’m just going with it for now. It has made me feel so much calmer, it has stopped me drinking and taking codeine which I was using to self medicate. This medication has saved my life. I’ve given it a 9 as my libido is suffering."
"Started this medication Effexor in combination with therapy for major depressive disorder, anxiety, and borderline personality disorder. I worked up to 150 mg from 37.5mg. It has helped me immensely. I’m less irritable, I have energy again, stopped sleeping 14 hours a day, anxiety is better, and I feel happier than I have in a long time. I have forgotten to take it for a day and didn’t notice any symptoms at that point. I had a bit of a headache and maybe some nausea at first and with dosage increase but it was mild and went away after a day or so."
Frequently asked questions
"I've had depression for 20 years (both chronic/moderate, and 3 previous severe episodes). Tried every class of psych med (30 total), SSRIs all made me sleepy, numb, apathetic. I take Lamictal (150mg), Effexor (75mg) and Ritalin (30mg) which is the best medicine combo for my depression. Pros: Effexor demolishes anxiety and severe episodes (crying spells, suicidal thoughts). Less sedating (compared to SSRIs). I feel calm, no insomnia. Cons: Excessive sweating (at higher doses), some lethargy, and dry eye. ****Do not go cold turkey, ask for the "Prozac Taper" to avoid the shock of withdrawals*** No drug is a cure-all. Effexor does not cause weight gain or increased appetite (for me) It's prevented severe episodes and I'll stay on it for life, unless something better comes out."
"I have experienced chronic anxiety, panic attacks, and depression for 20+ years. I've been on several different medications over the years, but none of them worked entirely. My depression increased over the years, because I believed, nothing could help my problems. I was admitted to a psychiatric unit recently due to suicidal ideations. The attending doctor said he would like to start me on Effexor. I would not allow myself to read the side effects of this medicine, due to my anxiety and the possibility of developing psychosomatic symptoms. Within a week, I began feeling hope, excitement for life, and my anxiety was nearly gone! I've been on this medicine now for over a month, and I have never felt this good my entire life! Try this Med!!!"
Are you taking this medicine?
"I'm writing this review hoping this medication will help someone else. I remember sleepless night looking up reviews on all antidepressant medications and effexor did really work. Had the worst depression in my short 27 years of life, this medication help me lift up and get back to work. I went on short term disablitly for about two months due to the extreme depression had no interest in life what so ever. Got back to work and even got a promotion several months later. Thank God for this medication and for the strength he gave me through the process."
"I have many labels: depression, anxiety, tinnitus, chronic pain, insomnia, dissociation, anorexia ... 16 years ago. I was a single mother, and broke. All meds led to weight gain taking forever to lose. I realized "you can't medicate a crappy life away". I moved to the ocean, reconnected with nature and found a Trauma Psychologist. EMDR, and Exposure Therapy helped me manage symptoms. I was pharmaceutical free until a minor relapse and was prescribed Effexor (105 mg/day). In 2 months I stopped being active, social, had headaches, dry mouth, constipation, gained 20 pounds! I went off cold turkey, within a few days felt like myself again (minus weight gain depression). Now, a week off effexor, sleep better, eat less, returned to beach walks to increase dopamine. I hope that it's not going to take long to lose the weight. I'm more depressed and have lower self esteem when I lose touch with my body. This was my experience."
"I am on 150 mg daily of effexor and have no apparent side effects. Started on 37.5 mg, then went to 75 mg, then 150 mg without major complications. My depression has decreased. I feel like a normal person again since I was having a really debilitating episode that didn't get better with other antidepressants. Currently, this is the only medication I am taking. I have been on it for two months and it also eased a lot of my PMS symptoms which used to get quite severe mood-wise. However, PMS/PDD wasn't what it was prescribed for and haven't heard anyone else's experiences regarding this issue."
"Effexor has got to be the worst of the worst to try to come off of. I am still trying to come off this completely after taking 225mg daily for 3 years I still cannot get threw the withdrawal symptoms they are horrific if any one has any suggestions how to help please let me know"
"I'm currently on venlafaxine, 300mg/day, and have been on it for 6 months now. This stuff works beautifully for me. I had/have MDD, GAD, SAD, and took Paxil for 10 years, which worked quite well until 8 months ago. I was scared of switching because of the fact that not all anti-depressants work for everyone, and I was terrified of fully reverting back to my suicidal, petrified old self. My psychiatrist was able to convince me after a couple months to go for it. On the venlafaxine I feel calm, HAPPY, able to concentrate, mildly euphoric, and better than I did in my early days of taking Paxil. This stuff is hit or miss for different people, but don't be scared to try it if you haven't. And give it time to work."
"Having suffered from chronic low mood for years I was prescribed Venlafaxine (effexor) by a psychiatrist in UK. Initially 225mg but didn't find that much of a change then on 300mg I suddenly felt better. That was over 10 years ago. I am now 45years old and have had no further periods of depression since and have continued taking it. That is despite being almost permanently depressed before taking it. Yes I have low moods now occasionally but they are due to situational stress and a normal reaction to rubbish things happening. And I have not had suffered any major side effects, certainly nothing that would stop me taking it. Night sweats are probably the worst. And I do suffer from withdrawals if I forget to take the medication for 24hrs. Overall a very positive and life changing drug. BTW. I also have done CBT and self help along side taking medication which has helped but the drug definitely made the main difference."
"I've been on antidepressants for 16 years. From Celexa, to Prozac, to Paxil with none ever truly taking away my depression and anxiety. I suffer from major depressive disorder, ptsd, anxiety and I'm bipolar as well. Since starting Effexor, my life has dramatically changed for the better. I'm honestly the happiest and calmest I've been since the age of 15. I started with 37.5mg 2x daily and I'm now up to max dosage. I've zero side effects and can function fully without benzodiazepines for my anxiety thanks to this medication. I HIGHLY recommend giving it a try, especially if no other antidepressants have truly made you feel 100%. It's possible to beat depression with the right medication, just keep on trying and hang in there!"
"After 10 years of Major depression and extreme anxiety- trying several different medication combos I was offered ECT, but I was hesitant. As a last resort we tried Effexor 150mg, Wellbutrin 150mg and Abilify 5mg. Within 3 months the anxiety and depression started to lift. 3 years later I have no anxiety or depression. I am stable and feel at peace. For past 6 months my dosage has been Venlor 37,5mg, Wellbutrin 150mg and Abilify 2.5mg. Over the next 6 months I will try and reduce further- but weaning off Effexor literally means reducing one little bead in the capsule per day otherwise withdrawal can be unpleasant. My only negative had been weight gain of 10kgs in 3 years, despite watching my diet and daily exercise. I am 58 years old and have always been slim, now I’m plump. I hope to lose the weight over time. Other side effects are dry mouth and constipation. But they are negligible if it means being happy."
"I give this a 7 because it does work. BUT be very cautious of the side effects. I was on it for 2 years, first started on the regular dose, then switched to extended release as the medicine would "wear off" throughout the day. While it helped tremendously with my depression and anxiety (it was almost non-existent) the side effects alone were debilitating. I gained 20 pounds, would fall asleep midday (we're talking I had to pry my eyes open to keep from passing out in the middle of a conversation), I was tired ALL DAY. I sweat PROFUSELY and the dizziness I experienced from missing a dose by only a few minutes, plus the heart palpitations were enough for me to stop. "
"I switched to Effexor after taking Prozac for years and it just didn't seem to be working for me anymore. I'm so glad My Doctor suggested I switch to Effexor. I've been taking for about 2 years and it seems to be working great for me. I very rarely have a down day. You must take as directed and not miss dosages. I can't miss more than 1 days dosage or I will get nauseous and dizzy."
"About 15 years ago I started menopause had terrible anxiety and depression. Tried talk therapy did not work. Tried several antidepressants, until Effexor. I started out with 37.5 than upped to 75mg, then eventunally upped to 225mg. I have been on that dose ever since. It has been a life saver. Anxiety and depression no more. I do have some side affects. I do get heated quite easily, I have had vomiting on occasion, nausea. I have thought about getting off the effexor until I heard about the withdrawals. Most antidepressants are addicting and have withdrawals. I am going to talk to my doctor about a change since I have been on this medication for so long. But otherwise it has been a miracle worker"
"I started taking Effexor at age 19 after about 2 1/2 years on Prozac. The reason for the switch was that I developed anxiety problems at that age in addition to depression, and the Prozac was not treating the anxiety. Effexor works very well to treat both anxiety and depression but if I stop taking it for even 1-2 days (which is often because I am very forgetful) I become extremely depressed for the next 1-2 days. Right now I am in one such down swing after taking my Effexor for the first time in about 5 days. If you avoid doing that though you should be fine, the medication does help a lot."
"PLEASE research this drug extensively before beginning!! 26 year old female and have been suffering with severe depression since childhood. Have tried various types of medications for my depression over the years, and can honestly say, Effexor was by FAR and large the WORST antidepressant I've ever taken. The side-effects were horrible: severe headaches, nausea, dizziness, nightmares, waking up in pools of sweats, hit my lowest of lows, and had frequent suicidal thoughts. If I forgot to take my medicine within a couple hours of my dosage time, I couldn't function with work, chores, etc. Tapering off this drug very slowly was an absolute miserable experience. I'm someone that tries to find some good in even bad experiences, however, I have not a single positive thing to say about this drug. I wouldn't even want my worst enemy to feel a minute of the side-effects I did on this drug. If I could give a "0" rating for this drug, I would. Will never touch this medication another day of my life!"
"I took this Effexor medication for major depression & anxiety for 10 years. When my mother died I was under so much stress, not thinking straight- I decided to go off Effexor and straight onto Zoloft (as I thought it had stopped working) and in turn I ended up with my first panic attack, mania, and later a psychotic break (The whole time I did not understand what was happening to me). It was the scariest experience of my life. It landed me in a psych ward for days where I was almost attacked by another patient twice (you never want to go)..It's dangerous and I was given strange drugs/injections which made my reaction more horrifying. I couldn't communicate that I stopped Effexor because I couldn't remember. I was treated horribly. Once out I was put back on an snri & then my brain started to work again. If I had known this reaction was possible I wouldn't have started it. I nearly died and need therapy due to the trauma."
"17 years ago I had a breakdown with anxiety and depression - tried aropax and it was hell on earth. Changed to efexor, it started working after 3 weeks. I've been on it for 17 years or so on various doses between 150 and 375 and it's been amazing. I worry about health side effects but it's been a life saver, no longer a wreck but can cope."
"Psychiatrist started me at 37.5mg going up to 150mg. Was on that dose for 2 months with no positive effect but a muscle ache which my psych didn't think was the drug (but it turned out to be the drug causing it). He made me go up to a 375mg dose over the next month (despite feeling worse with every increase) which made my muscle ache unbearable. Couldn't get out of bed due to pain, desperately wanted to sleep to get away from it. Tapered down and by 75mg had no muscle ache whatsoever but suffered horrible nausea, brain zaps and shakiness from withdrawal that I am still feeling very strongly after being completely off the drug for 1 and a half weeks. My brain feels like mud. In future, if I think a drug is causing bad side effects over 2 months in I am going to go off it because of this terrible experience. My depression is significantly worse than it was before I started Effexor."
"I had been off all meds for 10 yrs when I had a major relapse and knew it was time to medicate again. Effexor is hard to get on, lots of dizziness and exhaustion. Also if I am late taking it I feel awful. Headaches, anxiety, mood swings. Don't ever miss a dose!! I can't stress this enough. Withdrawal hits hard and fast, even within 12 hours. Sweats, chills, headache, dreams, whole body pain. HOWEVER it does help me get through the day. I have suicidal depression and clinical anxiety, so for me it is worth some struggle to stay with Effexor because it does give me relief. It calms my brain, allows me to get moving with my day, and not have the threat of my own self-destructive tendencies."
"Efexor ruined my life. I had no mood problems before starting. I had stress over hard life circumstances. I started Efexor and was explicitly told there were no side effects or withdrawals. During use of Efexor, without noticing, I lost myself. I was numb to huge things, like the death of a loved one. I made very out of character decisions. I chose a partner that did not fit me. Feelings of connection to self, others, God, nature, music were gone. When I quit...horror continued. I had horrid physical and psychological withdrawals. My mood was allover the place, from horrid depression to weird euphoria. I did not suffer that ever before. I had gruelling anxiety. And I even became psychotic, and had to be hospitalized. I never recovered. Efexor changed me from a bright and positive person, full of life, to a depressed, anxious and chaotic hermit. I wish to die every day since I used this. Avoid this. Psychiatric meds ruin lives."
"I can't use the explicit language to describe my time with this, IMO, rat poison..Started at 37.5 ,then 75,eventually 225.Naturally, Dr's always say-"You've got to give it time to work!"..SURE DOC!..Want you to all know I'm no rookie at this, having battled depression for 23 years, and taken over 30 different meds, and certainly, THIS DRUG WAS BY FAR, THE WORSTTTTT..I refuse to believe that this drug was allowed to be given to humans.Getting on it, I became practically more dead, spending 20 hours a day in bed,, suicidal ideations one after another, crying, not eating, hopeless even more and every other negative symptom you can name associated with depression.Getting off is YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE-FOR ME?.3 ENTIRE MONTHS!=BEWARE!!"
"Effexor has destroyed my life. Its gave me PSSD (Post SSRI Sexual Dysfunction) It basically chemically castrated me. I experienced the sexual side effects while on the med. Stopped meds under Dr. advice. Sex drive never returned and its been 13 years. This is purely the worst drug that has the potential to destroy a persons life forever. STAY AWAY DONT RISK THE POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS THAT WILL LAST FOREVER WITH NO CURE"
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. 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.
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- Drug class: serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors
"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, :)"