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Effexor XR User Reviews & Ratings

Effexor XR has an average rating of 6.7 out of 10 from a total of 922 reviews on Drugs.com. 60% of reviewers reported a positive experience, while 24% reported a negative experience.

Reviews for Effexor XR

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

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
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  • Lalakis
  • Taken for 1 to 6 months
  • August 17, 2021

For Generalized Anxiety Disorder "This medicine works. With side effects, yes. But IT WORKS. Tips: Start with 37.5 mg every morning for 7 days. Then replace 37.5 with 75mg every morning for another 7 days. At the end of the 2nd week you will start to feel 'human' again. Add another 37.5 every afternoon for another 7 days, but not too late in order to avoid insomnia. At the end of the month replace the 37.5 with 75 mg and so you have 150 mg every day with minimum side effects. Anxiety will reduce, sentimental reactions will become more curbed and manageable. You will be yourself again. Remember: be patient and persistent. Stick with it, especially the first month, don't give up. Use some diazepams in order to reduce the anxiety produced by the pill the first weeks! Feel free to ask anything! United we stand!!!"

9 / 10
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  • Sarah
  • January 28, 2021

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
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Frequently asked questions

  • Joe
  • Taken for 10 years or more
  • May 10, 2019

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
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  • Alexa...
  • October 13, 2020

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
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Are you taking this medicine?

  • linds...
  • August 1, 2018

For Generalized Anxiety Disorder "Miracle Drug! I advise everyone to STICK to it through the first week. For me personally, the first week was AWFUL. Honestly terrible. I was nauseous, disorientated, had short term memory loss - I felt high/disconnected to reality the first couple of days. After one week I woke up and was completely fine. I felt like my old normal self (without anxiety/depression). Now I fell very happy, motivated, calm and most importantly STABLE! No more mood swings, irritability; as soon as something dark creeps into my mind, I can dismiss it in a moment. I've been on Venlafaxine XR for two months (150mg now) and I feel fantastic. I'm so glad I gave it a go. Although it was my last resort, it was my best resort. I used to be a professional athlete, been vegan for a while, I would meditate, do yoga and non of that would help AT ALL with my condition. Now, these actions are starting to pay off with the help of this drug. Lots of love to everyone going through hard times, hope my review helps you <3"

10 / 10
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  • dont...
  • Taken for 1 to 6 months
  • January 3, 2021

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
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  • Teppum
  • June 4, 2020

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
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275 Report
  • Stays...
  • September 20, 2020

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
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255 Report
  • Sara...
  • Taken for 1 to 6 months
  • March 14, 2020

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
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  • ksano
  • Taken for 6 months to 1 year
  • August 23, 2020

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
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  • Panic...
  • March 22, 2021

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
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  • Ypiscis
  • Taken for less than 1 month
  • May 31, 2018

For Anxiety "Hello everyone. Ok I posted May 19 and this is my update. So I stopped sertraline and started taking Effexor 75 mg capsules. The Doctor advise to stop sertraline slowly so the first week I took Effexor 75 mg and half of sertraline which is 50 mg. The second week I took Effexor 75 mg and setraline 25 mg. And now just Effexor . And now just 75 mg of Effexor (venlafaxine ) . I feel so much better . My anxiety has almost stopped and I remind my self to take deep breaths . I'm sleeping better and I’m pushing my self lot more. I refuse to sleep during the day and all that is helping me. I’m posting this because I know how it feels to feel helpless. So everyone keep pushing through this. Keep your head up, keep praying and keep positive. Love you all and good luck!!!!"

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  • My ex...
  • Taken for 6 months to 1 year
  • July 26, 2014

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
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  • Tawnya
  • Taken for 1 to 6 months
  • February 18, 2020

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
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223 Report
  • Cleve...
  • March 2, 2021

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
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  • Catwo...
  • Taken for 10 years or more
  • July 18, 2020

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
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  • Mitra_
  • August 9, 2014

For Anxiety "Have suffered from bouts of severe anxiety over the last few years that would leave me bedridden, suicidal, unable to work or eat. Tried Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, Cymbalta, Luvox and honestly thought nothing would ever work for me. All made me worse. Psych doctor wanted to try Effexor XR but I was worried about the withdrawing from it - after trying everything else I finally agreed. Has taken a month to feel a difference. I'm enjoying things again, not chewed up by horrible anxiety, I'm actually HAPPY?! 1st month on it was so challenging - very low, anxious, exhausted, nauseous. But now no side effects. I feel like a light's gone on. Like I am getting my life back. I could sob with relief. Truly believed I'd never get better, but here I am."

8 / 10
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401 Report
  • Andrea
  • January 23, 2020

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!!"

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  • Sandy...
  • Taken for 10 years or more
  • February 27, 2024

For Anxiety "I have been on Effexor for over 15 years. I have taken Wellbutrin (did not like) and Lexapro (it helped) but would always come off as soon as I would feel better. Once my PCP put me on this and I finally felt like a real person, in 34 years I knew I would never come off. My doctor explained to me that if I had a heart condition, I would continue to take meds for my heart. I have an anxiety condition that I think is hereditary. My grandmother, mother, me, and now my son all suffer from it. I will always treat my anxiety from now on. I will not come off my meds ever again. What I have experienced in the past is when my anxiety came back, each time it would come back worse than the time before. People that have never suffered from anxiety will never understand how debilitating it is. After suffering with this my whole life and then when I finally felt normal with no worry for the first time, it is hard to even put into words. Do not wait, take it."

10 / 10
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  • Ryan
  • January 23, 2020

For Depression "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
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  • Tol
  • August 29, 2015

For Depression "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
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  • aimee...
  • February 25, 2020

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
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  • hbaby
  • Taken for 1 to 6 months
  • June 20, 2013

For Depression "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
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  • Anonymous
  • Taken for 1 to 2 years
  • September 4, 2014

For Anxiety "Have been on Effexor xr 75mg for about 1 year now for anxiety & panic attacks. I had a constant odd pain in my stomach (like butterflys and hunger). I would sweat uncontrollably & get dizzy & faint if I was put in a situation I wasn't comfortable with. I went to a Dr. who diagnosed me with anxiety and put me onto Effexor. The first 3 days were hell, every bad review I read on Google I could relate to, I even ended up going to the ER one night as I felt so nauseous and felt like I was losing control and could not stop freaking out. The Dr told me to stick to it, and promised it would get better. I'm so glad I did. I feel that this medication has saved me. I can almost live a normal life again."

9 / 10
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312 Report

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.