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User Reviews for Venlafaxine to treat Anxiety and Stress

Also known as: Effexor, Effexor XR

Venlafaxine has an average rating of 6.7 out of 10 from a total of 139 ratings for the treatment of Anxiety and Stress. 55% of reviewers reported a positive effect, while 22% reported a negative effect.

Venlafaxine Rating Summary

6.7/10 average rating

139 ratings from 160 user reviews.

Compare all 11 medications used in the treatment of Anxiety and Stress.

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22%
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19%
8
14%
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6%
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4%
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9%
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4%
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4%
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4%
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Reviews for Venlafaxine

Smiffy October 23, 2020

“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
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Dawniow · Taken for 1 to 2 years March 23, 2021

“I have suffered from anxiety all my life in varying degrees and have tried lots of different medication to control the unpleasant feelings. From just feeling nauseous, butterflies in the stomach or mild to severe full blown panic attacks. Venlafaxine for me, is a game changer. It helped me within a week or so. I started on a very low dose for 2 weeks then 75mg which I have now been on for over 12 months. My panic attacks have gone and I can now face the day without the constant feeling of overwhelming worry and despair. I would definitely recommend them. Very few side effects.”

10 / 10
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Luckyluke January 6, 2021

“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
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WildcatVet · Taken for 5 to 10 years May 2, 2020

“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
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Jay · Taken for 1 to 6 months March 9, 2019

“I would like to share something positive about venlafaxine because when I was prescribed it initially I was so scared about the withdrawal symptoms I read about that I nearly decided not to even start taking it. So I have now been talking 75mg daily for 6 weeks, I purposely take it at different times of the day just to test the waters and even missed an evening dose accidentally one time, well thankfully I have not noticed any side effected whatsoever, granted I am on a low dose and not been taking it very long but still I thought something may have happened..well it didn’t so please feel encouraged by this review that all these horror stories may not necessarily be true for your own experience and remain open minded.”

6 / 10
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Sass January 27, 2021

“I’ve suffered depression for the last 11 years after a nasty breakup with the father of my two children. I was quite happily going on with life over the last 10 years, yes it had its ups and downs but eventually my sons father, we split up and bang! I was so depressed I wanted my life to end. Every time before I was due my period I contemplated suicide and in between it would pop up every other day. I just couldn’t cope anymore so went to my doctor and told her everything. That’s when I started my journey on venlaxfine. I started at 37.5mg and increased it higher the following two weeks,it would work then it didn’t and my anxiety came back so bad so I then upped it each time I had a bad episode of anxiety and suicidal thoughts. I’m on the highest dose now and can honestly say I’ve never felt better. I can’t even remember the last time I thought about suicide and my relationship is going well with my sons dad again. It really has changed my life, push through the side effects.”

10 / 10
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Anonymous · Taken for 5 to 10 years September 16, 2019

“Was on a downward spiral with anxiety and stress for years. Tried everything counselling, acupuncture, hypnotherapy. Nothing worked with my anxiety then 37.5mg of venlafaxine for 6 years I haven't looked back.. Saved my life”

9 / 10
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Frequently asked questions

anonymous · Taken for less than 1 month July 12, 2019

“Those side affects are all real and horrible but it goes AWAY!! Stick with it people! After 2 plus weeks on venlafaxine you continue to feel amazing! All that horrible anxiety, stress, all the peri menopausal symptoms woman have all go away! You can focus and be able to lead a normal life. That first week or so taking it yes I almost quiB, but continued on believing what my Dr. told me about it. they are right!. Best depression anxiety drug on the market.”

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beaches · Taken for 1 to 6 months May 13, 2018

“Venlafaxine has allowed me to live an almost 'normal' life. 8 weeks ago I was honestly on the verge of suicide. It has now enabled me to be a mum to my kids and be 'present' with them rather than in my spiralling hell. It has helped me with major anxiety, depression, OCD and PTSD. I can now think more clearly in the day and have the energy to go to the gym... several months ago I could barely walk upstairs. It has therefore also helped me become motivated to be healthier and I've lost 12lbs in 8 weeks. I hated the first few days as felt very sick and drowsy but I persevered. I had a few night sweats in the beginning and dilated pupils but began to notice an improvement about a week into it. This is the only antidepressant that has ever worked for me... citalopram had no effect. If this is recommended to you I would definitely consider it. It has changed my life and my family's life because my kids have their mama back xx”

9 / 10
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teal1995 · Taken for less than 1 month June 23, 2021

“Lasted 4 days on this, far worse than any depression, anxiety or stress. Extremely confused, no attention span, couldn't concentrate, lost all motivation and even with the tiredness and life sucked out of me I never slept once during the 4 days. Time practically disappeared and felt like a robot. Decided to stop yesterday and feel far worse than I did taking it. Headaches and even more anxious than before and sweating a lot, feel like I'm going crazy during this withdrawal and it was only 37.5mg. Research into the medication before starting this because the withdrawal is even worse than the side effects on the medication.”

1 / 10
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PandaBrian · Taken for 10 years or more January 17, 2020

“I have been on effexor (venlafaxine) for around 10 years and I could not have survived without it. It helped me to feel "normal" and allowed me to go out of the house without getting panic attacks. I did sweat profusely for some time and once I did not take it for 3 days that was really bad. I had shakes, shivers, light headedness and nausea... I would say this medication saved me from years of mental nightmare.”

9 / 10
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Anonymous · Taken for 5 to 10 years August 1, 2019

“It does makes you feel anxious and a bit sick but only for first few days. It's good to support yourself with some light med for stress. It goes away after few days you just need to make it through. After that you feel really good. I was on 750 dose for 5 years. Now I lowered it to 37.5mg but I am not planning to stop taking it. It improved my life and allowed to use my potential. I can see that negative comments here are mostly from people who just started taking it. As I said its temporary sickness. After 1-2 weeks maximum gets better.”

10 / 10
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Rodenberry November 13, 2019

“This venlafaxine worked well for a long time, but about five years I became less active. I thought it was the natural process of ageing, but after being on it for about 15 years, I subconsciously realised my brain had stopped producing as much dopamine, oxytocin, and probably endorphin as it used to. I became reclusive, till someone shattered that, then my brain said it'd had enough. It needed dopamine to get me out and about, it needed oxytocin for me to cope with people and being out and about, and it needed endorphin to overcome the aches of daily life. All I had was what the drug supplied; the other processes had dried up. So I stopped the medication. Had no choice. Within 2 months, dopamine and oxytocin started coming back. I now feel as young as I did when I started taking it over fifteen years ago. It worked great, but it's important not to keep taking it, as the brain will readjust neurotransmitters to compensate in the long run, and then you are a hollow person, supported only by the drug.”

9 / 10
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Cornish lass · Taken for 1 to 6 months July 23, 2021

“I have been on venlafaxine for 10 weeks after a cancer diagnosis. I was about to give up on it when I got to eight weeks & asked the doctor if I could try something else but he told me to stick with it. I'm so glad I did! I had to go up to 300mg so that's quite high for anxiety but now I'm feeling so much better. The worst part was the side effects but that's soon forgotten when you start to feel yourself again. So anyone just starting, don't give up. I have operations, chemo still to face but feel so much stronger than I did.”

10 / 10
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cass · Taken for 1 to 2 years December 27, 2019

“This drug venlafaxine turned my life around in the best way. However, it is important to consider the side effects. The side effects in the beginning were not great for me. I realized quickly that my stomach does not handle this med well, and I WILL throw up if I don’t go to bed right after taking it. However, as long as I take it right before bed it is not a problem. This med also made me feel quite drowsy for awhile at first and also gave me night twitches (body twitches when I was trying to sleep), which were annoying. After about 6 months of being on 75mg my body has completely adjusted to it and I no longer get those side effects (except I do still have to take it right before I go to bed). The withdrawals are also very uncomfortable, and if I miss a day, I am extremely dizzy. On the plus side, I feel extreme relief from my stress, anxious, and depressive symptoms, and I actually feel content with my life. I actually feel happy. Shout out to Effexor!”

9 / 10
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So much better · Taken for 1 to 6 months November 9, 2017

“I was at the end of my rope...I tried everything to control my anxiety...other medications (zyban)...nutrition choices...self medicating (alcohol-which only made it worse). Venlafaxine is a God's send for me...it has given me my quality of life back. No more waking up scared to face the day...no more fear of driving or feeling of fainting in a social situation. I can't praise this medication enough.”

10 / 10
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Janemaryjane July 25, 2017

“I have been taking venlafaxine for almost a year now and my life has changed for the better in so many ways. I have BPD and the mood swings, constant anxiety, depression, anger, stressing over the smallest things and overthinking everything always got in the way of living a normal life, I also struggled with an eating disorder due to comfort eating and weight gain with other anti depressants. I have lost weight and don't binge anymore, have much more energy, sleep well, less stressed and my moods are much calmer and less irrational. I didn't score it a ten as the first few weeks of side effects were pretty rough - constant dry mouth, excessive sweating, nausea, dilated pupils but didn't last long! Everyones experience is different”

9 / 10
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Home January 10, 2020

“Used Ireven(venlafalxine) Started 75mg.A small bit woozy ,increased heart rate, sweats and hyperactive. This eased after a couple of days. I increased from 75mg to 150mg. Same effect on increase, but quickly subsided. Life was easier, emotions more manageable and generally a bit happier, although I did experience really really vivid dreams and fatigue. After Christmas I decided it was good time to come off them. This is where it got bad. First off,I should have consulted a doctor and weaned off, but being me,I didn't. Cold turkey is not a good idea, trust me on this one. It was absolutely awful. Vision, motor control ,nausea, cramps, pains all over shaking and tremors, awful migraine, no pupils, I couldn't co ordinate my mind and body to work in sync. Admittedly I should have followed a doctor's instruction, and am writing review to advise other to do exactly that. Overall it worked well for its purpose, just be mindful when coming to the end, do it slowly.”

5 / 10
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Yippie · Taken for 1 to 6 months November 3, 2019

“I'm 26 years old and have been taking Effexor SR for 2 months now. My first dose was 37.5mg and then bumped up to 75mg after 3 weeks. It saved me from my crippling anxiety and panic attacks that I've been having for 3+ years . I took this drug 6 pm but had to switch to 8 am because I could not sleep after taking it in the evening because it gives me energy. The only side effect I had was the first couple days of taking it I was so wired and full of energy felt like I was a superhero hahah and I could not sleep for 3 days and my pupils were huge. But after that I was 100 percent fine ! I also had severe migraines and they disappeared when I started taking this drug , also my period pain decreased significantly.”

10 / 10
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Benjo · Taken for 1 to 2 years May 9, 2021

“I started it for anxiety attacks that were really bad from everything going on. I decided to not do any research into it and just go in. It did help my anxiety, but as I continued to take it my depression kept increasing. It went to crippling depression and suicidal thoughts almost continually. I know they say it usually only happens at first. I was almost at a year with it getting worse. I would much rather have run of the mill anxiety and regular depression over that thank you.”

3 / 10
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Gr · Taken for 2 to 5 years August 9, 2019

“I've been on venlafaxine for 2years at 225mg..amazing medicine. I don't mind withdrawal cause I'll never quit. It's smoother than other SSRI has small half life so you can easily sleep at night. Don't read all these horror stories. The side effects for me lasted a maximum 4 weeks, so take time off your schedule. Ay advice would be to take 75mg morning and keep one in your pocket to use as needed. Keep in mind that after the 150mg works as an SNRI ,so you will have a boost of energy.”

10 / 10
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Miss mandy May 12, 2017

“I'm on 300mg a day 150mg at night and 150mg in the morning. I have to say it's helped me LOTS 5 years being on it . I have come a long long way from where I was I suffer from anxiety and depression, I've taken many other meds till I found this one . It seems to b working for me for last 5 years (KNOCK on wood, lol) Wish you all the best and remember if it doesn't work for you then talk to your doc to find something that does. Best of luck to all n god bless”

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Drombo Howes · Taken for 1 to 6 months February 6, 2020

“Given venlafaxine at lowest dose of 37.5mg for 5 weeks. Very manic feeling followed by very sleepy. After 5 weeks decided to come off them VERY, VERY difficult, brain zaps, mania, anxiety through the roof and couldn't settle down. If you are taking this drug beware missing a dose is very very bad on ur body. Now a week off it and am taking diazepam to remain calm during bad moments. Would NOT RECOMMEND.”

1 / 10
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JMS · Taken for 2 to 5 years August 23, 2019

“We call this my happy pill The pill makes my wife happy when I take it. I am quick to anger or irritable if I don’t take this pill. No side affects that I know of. I have been taking this for at least 6 years. Started with 75 and now take two at a time.. I take mine in the morning without food”

10 / 10
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lorganized February 4, 2009

Effexor (venlafaxine): “I started taking Effexor XR 4 months ago. My entire life I've struggled with anxiety. I have gone to cognitive behavioral therapy to help me change my responses to anxiety producing situations, all to know avail. I never wanted to take medication as I thought only weak people do that. About 2 months prior to taking Effexor XR I began having panic attacks so severe I felt as though I was going to die. I couldn't function and became depressed. As a last resort I decided to try medication. I take one 75mg capsule every morning. Please note, the 1st 2 weeks were misery - I could barely lift my head or body, I had neck pain and slept constantly and still had anxiety. I stuck it out and haven't had an anxiety or panic attack since then.”

10 / 10
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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.