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User Reviews for Effexor XR to treat Depression

Effexor XR has an average rating of 6.7 out of 10 from a total of 307 ratings for the treatment of Depression. 58% of those users who reviewed Effexor XR reported a positive effect, while 27% reported a negative effect.

Effexor XR Rating Summary

6.7/10 average rating

307 ratings from 322 user reviews.

Compare all 189 medications used in the treatment of Depression.

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Reviews for Effexor XR

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

“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
Anonymous · Taken for 1 to 6 months March 18, 2021

“Very good medication.”

10 / 10
SideEffexor February 19, 2021

“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

Frequently asked questions

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

“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
Alexandra October 13, 2020

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

“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
Teppum June 4, 2020

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

“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
Ryan January 23, 2020

“This drug is by far the best anti depression meds I’ve taken and I’ve been on since age 17 (now 34) of you miss a day you will be very emotional but other than that I haven’t noticed many bad side effects. My depression is great now and has been for year the only negative is my lack in sex drive and sleeping a lot. Not sure if that’s all the meds or just my lazy arse. Heard a lot of bad reviews but honestly I’ve been on it for 7 years and I think it’s great.”

9 / 10
Grateful · Taken for 5 to 10 years February 4, 2020

“Everyone's different, for me this one's a LIFE SAVER! My depression began 15yrs ago. In 2014 I hit my lowest point. Previous dr had me on several meds that didn't mix well together. That whole year is a blur, I don't remember any of it except for the few grand mal seizures they caused. Eventually attempted suicide with one of the meds and ended up in a mental hospital twice within a month. My new psychiatrist took me off everything and started me on this, topped out at 150mg (which I am to this day, 6yrs later, still taking). I can't thank that psychiatrist and this miracle drug enough. Taking with Bupropion (Wellbutrin) and I'm not sure which one, but I believe one of them has got rid of my sex drive. I prefer no sex drive over that really dark place I was in. Also, if I miss taking them a couple of days in a row (again, not sure which one is causing it) I experience extreme vertigo.. not fun. Other than that, I have no other complaints just absolute gratefulness. LOVE IT!”

10 / 10
Crazy4Effexor · Taken for 2 to 5 years February 11, 2020

“I originally started on the regular effexor when I was 16 after a suicide attempt while on prozac. This was literally a life saver for me! Switched to XR when it became available. I was on it for about 3 yrs, before deciding I no longer wanted to be anchored down by antidepressants. The withdrawals sucked...but didn't last long. I'm considering going back on it and am now 37 yrs old.”

10 / 10
Ginnie · Taken for 1 to 6 months March 10, 2020

“My neurologist prescribed me Effexor XR for nerve pain. I had a head injury from a car accident and have been suffering from facial nerve pain, neck injury, and depression. This drug has improved my quality of life. I highly recomend it for nerve pain. I started out taking 37.5mg for a month. Then, 75mg. The 75mg dose works for me. It took 6 weeks for me to feel the benefits.”

8 / 10
hhhhhhhh · Taken for less than 1 month November 28, 2020

“Started taking effexor in the luteal phase of my period (approx 10 days before menstruation) Premenstrual dysphoric disorder and it has CHANGED MY LIFE. I feel the best I've felt. I cannot even access the dark and awful thoughts/insecurities/self-loathing that used to be a constant during this period. Only side effects I've felt was a slight bit of nausea/ light headedness in the first few days and difficulty sleeping (I keep waking up at 6am, but feel pretty refreshed so it's okay). Will report back on how it feels to go off them at the end of this phase.”

10 / 10
Gamergirl4283 · Taken for 6 months to 1 year April 15, 2020

“Effexor was by far the worst medication I have taken. If you miss even 1 dose within hours you are sick and having withdrawal symptoms. It took a good 6 months before the brain zaps stopped. Run away. It's terrible.”

1 / 10
Mickey · Taken for 1 to 6 months February 27, 2020

“I have only been taking Effexor for a little over 2 months and noticed that if I was even an hour late taking my daily dose I’d feel nauseous and anxious. I also began to notice that I was feeling nauseous anytime I didn’t have a full stomach, so weight gain was inevitable. I decided this drug was making my physical symptoms seriously distressing enough to outweigh any good it may be doing. I was shocked at how awful the withdrawal symptoms have been even though I was only on it for two months at a dose of 75mg. I’ve been experiencing nausea and “brain zaps” for two weeks now. My GP put me on Effexor, but after meeting a psychiatrist at a dinner function & casually asking her thoughts on Effexor she said she doesn’t prescribe it, its withdrawal is so awful. I’m glad I’m getting off it, but alarmed at how nasty the withdrawal is, can't imagine how bad withdrawal would be for those at a higher dosage and for much longer than my 2 months.”

1 / 10
Cm · Taken for 1 to 6 months August 16, 2019

“After 15 years of struggling with deep depression, pmdd, and post partum depression, 1 suicide attempt and 1 hospitalization, I have found the medicine Effexor that has worked for me. It's been a long road but now I'm at peace and living life to the fullest.”

9 / 10
Tol August 29, 2015

“I have been on many anti-depressants over the years. I have had depression and anxiety since I was 21 years old, and am in my late 40's now. Other anti-depressants caused horrible cravings for sweets and carbs. Plus the medications didn't work that well for me. I have been on Effexor for 8 months, 150 mg. It works wonders for me. I actually like to be around people now. I go places etc... I have a life again, and noticed that I get excited about life. Also, I have lost weight on it. My cravings are gone, I feel full after a meal and full a lot longer after the meal. I am gaining back my energy. I am a woman who was so severely depressed, I couldn't even get out of my recliner, and didn't get dressed most days. What a difference!”

10 / 10
hbaby · Taken for 1 to 6 months June 20, 2013

“This medicine saved my life. I was at my wits end with anti-depressants and was ready to give up. My doctor finally prescribed me this after many failed medications, I am so glad she did. I honestly do not know where I would be without Effexor XR. Side effects were very mild compared to other anti-depressants I tried. I was drowsy for the first couple days, but it was tolerable. I highly recommend this for severe depression. I would also like to mention for people to realize there is light at the end of the tunnel and YOU WILL GET BETTER, and to never give up.”

10 / 10
Mikey77 · Taken for 1 to 6 months January 28, 2020

“Have taken Prozac, Zoloft, bupropion XR on and off over the years. Nothing has snapped me out of a major depression episode quicker than this Effexor. Already take 80mg strattera for ADD. Venlafaxine kicked in almost immediately and has been tremendously helpful. I have read all the horror stories about going off of it but I was desperate for relief and this really did the trick. I don't want to be on it forever tho.”

10 / 10
Prodigal · Taken for 2 to 5 years December 19, 2019

“31/m. I have been on Effexor XR generics for 5 years after nearly committing suicide at the age of 26. It has completely gotten rid of my suicidal ideation as well as tremendously reducing my depression and anxiety. Without it, I'm quite certain that I would not be alive today. After trying to get off of it a couple times and having those bad feeling come back, I have become resigned to the fact that I will likely be on this drug for life, but am okay with that to be honest. I don't really have any side effects from the drug, at least not that I am aware of. The reason I give it 8 stars is because if you ever DO want to get off of it, the withdrawal symptoms are absolutely horrendous.”

8 / 10
nickname · Taken for 1 to 2 years December 17, 2019

“This medication needs to be illegal. It did not help my depression, it caused significant weight gain, and if a dose was missed by 1+ hours, the side effects were severe. The withdrawal symptoms are more intense than I ever would have imagined and prescribing doctors do not warn patients against this. After beginning to taper off this medication, I experienced really dark thoughts and attempted suicide. I was in the ICU for a week and a psychiatric hospital for 4 weeks. Effexor almost cost me my life. Please don't risk yours by taking it.”

1 / 10
Cotinga October 12, 2019

“I will be 60 this year. My first experience with treating my anxiety and depression started around 1968 with a doctor convincing my adoptive mom to put me on Ritalin- In 2004, my Dr placed me on Effexor XR. Within a week I felt relaxed and human. About a year ago I had a really bad breakdown my current doctor suggested I up the Effexor dosage to 150mg per day. It worked, except for that I have lost my drive and ambition. I know I have things to do, they just do not seem to interest me enough. I get the things done I have to; then I just kinda slack down. Effexor saved my sanity so to speak; but have lost the extreme drive that propelled me in my younger days and I wish for that back! I just wonder if after 15 years on Effexor if there is something that betters it in the 'drive' and emotion department. Again, wonder drug. Sign me, Depressed from birth.”

10 / 10
Nathan October 21, 2019

“I have struggled with eating disorders (Anorexia and Binging) for about 4 years now. It started at 16 and slowly began to follow me into college. I’ve struggled with relationships and often find myself extremely depressed and more anxious than ever. I started Effexor about 2 weeks ago now and the first few days were much like the experiences listed on here. I have done MDMA before and it does feel like that for the first two days. However, after I got through that stage each day has been getting better. Colors seem brighter and my motivation has started to get better. Before, I had struggled with finding any interest in life and everything seems a little bit more open each day I wake up. I do have some very vivid dreams and find that during the night my depression gets a little worse, but it has slowly subsided and I’m able to push away thoughts that normal frustrate me. I’m excited to see how each day goes moving forward.”

10 / 10
NLDIS · Taken for 6 months to 1 year May 2, 2014

“I've tried many different SSRI's for depression (Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Prozac) and nothing worked. I was apprehensive to take the Effexor because of online reviews but I'm so glad I did! The only side effect I've had is tiredness the first few weeks but that has since subsided. I not only feel more energy but I actually can feel happiness. On the other medicines I just felt a numbness and lack of emotion but Effexor has made me feel like me again! This has been my miracle after years of mild-severe depression.”

10 / 10
Effexor Queen · Taken for 10 years or more October 17, 2018

“Been on Effexor 150 mg for 16 YEARS. Can't remember any side effects that weren't tolerable. I haven't had one problem in 16 years of taking it. I have had three clinical depression episode (about ten years apart) so I have to stay on an antidepressant for the rest of my life. I like to say....I'm a "quart low" on serotonin. Effexor has kept the level up. Happy patient!!”

10 / 10
jlady/Cincy · Taken for 1 to 2 years April 22, 2019

“This (Effexor XR) is a GREAT drug! For those of you who have had a bad experience you need to have the swab test done by your Dr (covered by insurance) to find out what drugs work for you. Has been a lifesaver for me! I was switched by smart NP after taking Paxil for many years w many problems/after I took the mouth swab test & it showed Paxil was bad fit for me. I have zero side effects aside from a little weight loss which for me is awesome as I'm 57 & fit but had those nagging extra lbs. Extra lbs gone/mood lifted/don't dwell on stupid things. I'll be on it forever as I'm permanently low in serotonin & NEED the boost. Without it it I just lay in bed & don't want to do anything. Get the swab test done & if this shows up in the left column try it! Little adjustments with dosage is required - just start at 75mg which helps teenie bit & then go up...Its also cheap if you pay cash...GOOD LUCK!!!!!!”

10 / 10
Stephanie · Taken for 6 months to 1 year August 25, 2020

“I was put on a starting dose of 75 mg Effexor XR and worked my way up to a dose of 150 mg. I couldn't sleep and my mind was racing. I wasn't myself at all. Back on 75 mg now and I feel better than that but still depressed. Switching meds soon I hope.”

3 / 10
Aks · Taken for less than 1 month December 24, 2019

“This stuff is AWFUL. Feels like MDMA but with only the bad effects. Jaw clenching, can't focus, nausea, shaking. I was literally scared. I called the advice nurse after trying to make myself throw it up because I felt so terrible. Stay AWAY from this drug.”

1 / 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.