User Reviews for Effexor XR to treat Panic Disorder
Effexor XR has an average rating of 6.7 out of 10 from a total of 44 reviews for the treatment of Panic Disorder. 55% of reviewers reported a positive experience, while 27% reported a negative experience.
Reviews for Effexor XR
"Effexor XR is the best drug! I have tried Zoloft, Lexapro and Prozac and none of them helped me. I was nervous to start Effexor because of the reviews and side-effects if you miss a pill. I took a leap of faith and started Effexor, and I have been on it for two years now! I have never felt more like myself. Set a reminder if you are nervous you might miss a pill. Every body reacts differently to every drug so please, give Effexor a chance! It’s a miracle drug for my panic disorder. Don’t let the reviews scare you!"
"Prior to starting this medication I couldn't drive in the car by myself anymore, I could barely go into the convenient store by myself without having a panic attack. After searching for a doctor that could help me I landed the best psychiatrist who prescribed me Effexor. I started with a low dose and was also taken Ativan as a crutch to get through until the Effexor worked. Before starting this I swore that I would never regain control of my life. Effexor change my life and saved me from the helplessness that I felt. I am now off the Ativan and have not needed any sense stopping it. There is freedom beyond panic and anxiety. This may not work for everybody but it worked for me."
Frequently asked questions
"I am a chemist and worked at a Pharma company when my panic attacks got really bad. My doctor put me on effexor. The 75mg dose was way too much and I ended up in ER. I decided to open the capsule and count the pellets. 1 pellet was about 1mg. I was so desperate to get better (I had tried xanax, lexapro and 1 other SSRI and I had severe reactions to them). I started taking 10 pellets a day and noticed an improvement immediately. I did have a headache in the back of my head at times and also had vivid dreams but it was working. I only needed 10 mgs a day for about a year and weaned off very slowly. Eight years later I developed POTS and my anxiety, brain fog, panic attacks were terrible. Again I got on 10 mgs of effexor and needed to work up to the 37.5 mg pill. I have no panic or anxiety and can drive on the freeways again. It took 2 years to work up to the 37.5 mgs. If you start on a smaller dose these meds should work."
"This medication is the only thing that managed to keep me functional as a human being. Panic attacks, and severe depression...this seems to do the trick for both problems, and does wonder for my IBS as well! I have started and stopped multiple times (usually just because of the "I feel fine, why bother with it?" syndrome) but the last time, the doctor told me, "Consider yourself like a diabetic; they need insulin because their body doesn't regulate it correctly. You need this because your brain doesn't regulate serotonin correctly. Don't feel ashamed! The choice is to lie around and do nothing all day because you hate pills, or take the pills and live your life." Effexor XR allows me to live normally."
Are you taking this medicine?
"I started suffering from Panic attacks when I was 26. It started slowly and within 6 months it was full blown. I couldn't do things that previously were non issues, from going on an airplane, going into public places, closed places, driving too far from home.... I went to a few therapists (psychologists) who treated me with bio-feedback and talking about it. Only after another 6 months I agreed to see a psychiatrist who convinced me to try Effexor XR and boy, I am happy I've listened. From the third or forth day, ALL MY SYMPTOMS DISAPPEARED! I like to compare it to someone who just turns the light on in a pitch-dark room. All the bad thoughts, and shivering at night and stomach aches and everything just went away. Effexor saved my life!"
"I had suffered from anxiety and panic attacks since adolescence (with random social anxiety). In college, it got so bad I was having a hard time functioning. I've been on Effexor XR for 9 years now and its been 9 yrs with NO anxiety or 1 single panic attack with no lasting side effects. It is a miracle! At the beginning I was over-medicated with 225mg (no sense of time, heart raced, weird brain "flashes", very hyper), but I am stable on a lower dosage of 75 mg with no side-effects. I've even been pregnant/breastfed on 75 mg and have a healthy child. Effexor XR saved my life. It truly is a miracle drug! Before it, I suffered so much, I couldn't imagine life could be this good!"
"I took Effexor for 8 years and it changed my life. I started taking it because I had crippling panic attacks. I could barely eat or enjoy the simple things in life. I had brain zaps when I first started but they went away completely. I never lost my sexual desires or had any yucky side effects. I weaned myself off this summer due to personal reasons. Weaning off was a nightmare but I got through it! Slowly tamper off, drink a lot of water and take multiple vitamins."
"I had crippling anxiety. I couldn't even make it to the grocrey store some days.... I have been on Paxil and Lexapro prior to taking Effexor. Effexor has changed my life and made me feel like my self again. Ihave been taking it for about 7months now and I have had no side effects except that I have had a few vivid dreams. These are happy dreams but I can remember EVERY detail when I normally do not remember dreaming at all."
"This medication completely changed my life. I had severe PSTD triggered by motor vehicles due to multiple car accidents when I was younger. I also had extreme panic attacks triggered by every day stressors. I had tried many different medications, mainly Lexapro, up until I was 19 and nothing ever worked for me. Then 6 months after starting to take Effexor I was able to get my first job, after a year I was able to get my license and get my first car, and soon after that I was able to get my own apartment. Its been a year and a half now, and I have never been so happy in my life. It seems as though every day I get happier and happier. I really am so grateful that my PCP prescribed this medication for me."
"I was put on this medication, almost instantly I noticed a difference. I started at 75 mgs, within two weeks I was up to 150mg. Now I am up to 200mg. I’m also on Adderall for ADHD, both medications do wonders for me. Before Effexor I was at my lowest with my anxiety and panic. Effexor has made me feel like me again."
"I've been on this for 9 yrs, i take 150mg 3 times a day, i've missed sometimes up to 2 doses with no side effects. i would be dead today if it weren't for this pill, that's the god's honest truth. Only side effect I can think of is I've gained a few pounds. Love Love this medication"
"When I read the reviews about Effexor XR I couldn't believe what some people had written and I took it anyway because I had been on Citalopram for ten years. Wow, now I want to go off of Effexor XR because it make me feel unfocused brain zaps happen just before I am to take my next dose. If you miss a dose OMG....dizziness, brain zaps, headache, crying spells....from 1 missed dose. I had a QT heart issue. Took this med with Clarithromycin and had to go to the hospital put me into Tachycardia heart rate was 190 bpm. Had two shots to slow my heart. Now I am weening from 150mg to 75mg wish me luck. I hate this bad boy. Never Again"
"I'm writing about switching on Effexor from another medication. Started zoloft 6 years ago for terrible daily panic attacks. I started on a low dose. Alternated between 25 and 50 MG of zoloft and had some times when I wasn't on it. It always worked until the last time. When I restarted it last year after being off for a year I got really sick with worse panic attacks than ever before. I tried on 25g but couldn't keep anything down. After a while I finally got up the courage to ask for help. My doctor switched me to effexor XR 37.5 MG. The doctor had me stop the zoloft one day and start effexor XR the next. I noticed a difference instantly. No more morning panic, or waking up with my mind racing and night sweats. All my symptoms were gone. Still on the effexor XR 37.5 MG and no anxiety or panic. Occasionally my heart races for a second but otherwise no symptoms or side effects. I am so happy to have a medication that really helps."
"I use to have panic attacks everyday for three years. I was scared to go to sleep. I've tried so many antidepressant and effexor was the only thing that worked with little to no side effects. My Dr. started me on 75mg, then increased it two wks later to 100mg. I've been on 100mg for almost a yr and I still haven't had a panic attack or anxiety."
"The good: tried after 3 years of agoraphobia and relying on diazepam to do even go down the road. 7 months later I'm at university, living a normal life, going to job interviews, socialising with friends, and I'm going abroad (for the first time in 6 years!) next week. Venlafaxine saved my life. The bad: you have to take it twice a day which is annoying if you're a disorganised student like me! Also if I forget to take a tablet by even a few hours, ZZZZAP! the brain zaps are so intense it feels like my head is being pounded by a fibrillater, plus dizziness, etc etc. Other notable side affects for me are excessive night sweats, and dry mouth. The good outweighs the bad 100% though... I love venlafaxine for how much it's helped me."
"Had panic attacks and social anxiety starting in adolescence. Powered through until postpartum depression after my second child and began having severe mood swings, irritability and panic attacks (dizzy spells, heart racing, fainting, chest pain) even when I wasn't feeling stress. Started Effexor on 37.5mg and had almost immediate success (within a week). Felt a little hyper and would feel like I was getting a low jolt of electricity through my legs, but otherwise fine. Gained a bit of weight but I think that's only because I was finally able to eat without stomach pain. Increased to 70mg after two months when panic attacks began again, love this drug! Finally have a normal life."
"I'm 19 years old and have been on Effexor for about 2 years now. The day before my High School graduation I went on it after having a huge panic attack and finally being diagnosed with anxiety (surprisingly I never knew I had it). This has given me my life back. I can't remember when my last panic attack was. I'd recommend it."
"Helped me immensely for my Panic Disorder for over 10 years! No side effects except when increasing or decreasing. One time I was put on too much and had very bad side effects, but once they got the dosage correct everything was fine. I've use this along with clonazapam, with excellent results for over 10 years!!"
"This medication has been an answered prayer for me. I lived in fear for almost 2 years, couldn’t go anywhere. I would think I was dying all the time, I went countless visits to the ER just for them to tell me it was panic attacks. This medication has turned me to a complete 180. I enjoy life again, I am no longer afraid, I can do the things I love to do again. I feel myself again for the first time in a long time. Effexor has helped set me free. Medicine is not a one size fits all, I definitely went through trial and error with many different meds. SSRI’s have a very negative effect on me so that’s why my doctor suggested an SNRI and that’s exactly what I needed. this is the one for me and the answer to my prayers. So thankful for it and don’t plan on getting off of it."
"I have been on Effexor XR for 8 years. I was on 75mg once a day for the first 8 following my first year of college. A couple months ago I started exhibiting symptoms of panic disorder again, very severely. I was upped to 150mg once a day, seemed fine for a couple weeks, but upped again to 187.5mg once a day since I was still having panic attacks. Generally I feel like it is working - I know that there are some people on much higher dosages, and it is just a matter of finding your right dosage."
"I started Venlafaxine in July 2020 after having a series of terrible panic attacks. I eventually increased the dose to 150mg. The panic attacks were less severe since being on the medication and I only had them after increasing doses. Two reasons I got off of it: sex life diminished horribly and it increased my blood pressure. I was given Metoprolol to help with that and it just made me gain weight, while still having high blood pressure. I was put on Prozac (Fluoxetine) and I’ve got my sex life back and no more high blood pressure. I didn’t have withdrawal symptoms because my doctor had me take Prozac while tapering off Venlafaxine. I only tapered down to 75 mg from 150mg, I had forgotten a dose and just quit taking it altogether (while still on the Prozac). I was only on Venlafaxine a total of 2 1/2 months. The meds do work, every person is different. I just switched meds because of my own personal reasons. I’ll never forget that it made me feel good for the first time in 10 years."
"I have been taking Effexor for three years now and I've had good luck with it. I take 150 mg per day. I have panic disorder and depression and Effexor has been a godsend. I haven't had a panic attack since I started it 3 years ago. The only downside is if you miss a dose you really feel it."
"This drug Effexor literally saved my life, I was prescribed in for depression, anxiety and panic!! Side effects weren’t too bad taking 75 mg. Drowsiness, increased heart rate, increased tinnitus, nausea, bad night time sweating, increased anxiety at first, head felt a bit spaced out and crazy bad insomnia. Most of these subsided after about 8 days, dosage change amped it up again for about another week. If you can work through it, it’s so worth it! After three weeks basically feeling like myself again. A little more time will tell if my anxiety subsides further."
"Effexor XR saved my life for years! When I was going through a rough time with panic disorder! It took time to work but when it fully kicked in I had my life back. I really had no side effects from this medication that I can remember. But this can really help for you for a while. Only thing that I don't like is you need an increase like once a year and I'm on the max dose and my anxiety came back !!! **But now currently I'm on the max dose 300 mg and it lost it effectiveness so my anxiety is back and it's getting hard again. Not sure what to do. Afraid of change and other meds."
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.
Learn more about Panic Disorder
- Antidepressants: Options, Advantages, and Precautions
- Anxiety Medications and Alcohol Interactions
- Benzodiazepines: Overview and Use
More about Effexor XR (venlafaxine)
- Check interactions
- Compare alternatives
- Pricing & coupons
- Reviews (971)
- Drug images
- Side effects
- Dosage information
- During pregnancy
- Generic availability
- Support group
- Drug class: serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors
- En español
- Drug Information
- Effexor-XR (Advanced Reading)
- Effexor XR (Venlafaxine Extended-Release Capsules)
- Effexor XR (Venlafaxine Extended-Release Tablets)
"I have had panic attacks for many years along with agoraphobia. In August the attacks were unbearable and my NP put me on Sertraline. I was so ill and after three weeks said I would not take it anymore. He then put me on Effexor which I was really uneasy taking because of the side effects I had read about. Well I am here to say it has been a miracle drug for me. I had no side effects starting it and noticed a major improvement the second week. Now I am almost a month in and no panic attacks or anxiety at all! This is major for me. Now I am working on getting out more and driving. Please if you have major panic then this medication may be for you. Please Please give it a try. I am so very happy I did."