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Venlafaxine for Anxiety User Reviews

Brand names: Effexor, Effexor XR

Venlafaxine has an average rating of 6.5 out of 10 from a total of 396 reviews for the treatment of Anxiety. 58% of reviewers reported a positive experience, while 28% reported a negative experience.

Venlafaxine rating summary

6.5/10 average rating

396 ratings from 419 user reviews.

Compare all 136 medications used in the treatment of Anxiety.

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Reviews for Venlafaxine

  • Sarah
  • January 28, 2021

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) "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 the Effexor 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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558 Report
  • Sandy...
  • Taken for 10 years or more
  • February 27, 2024

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) "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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45 Report
  • Sara...
  • Taken for 1 to 6 months
  • March 14, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) "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 am no longer snappy and argumentative. I know people say it’s hard to withdraw from 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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286 Report

Frequently asked questions

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

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) "If you are reading these reviews and having anxiety about taking a medicine, I get it. The best advice I can offer is to go into it 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 bit 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

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) "Since my Middle East deployment, I've dealt with panic attacks. It got to the point where I was severely agoraphobic, not even able to leave my home to drive to the gas station a mile away. VA SSRIs never worked. After being brought to the local ER due to severe brain fogginess, the ER physician suggested norepinephrine might be the issue, not the serotonin. The doctor also took it and said to give Effexor XR a go. Three weeks later, I believe he may be right. I no longer focus 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. The fogginess is still there a tad bit but not nearly as horrible as it was three 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 really 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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Are you taking this medicine?

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

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) "Hello everyone. Okay, I posted on May 19, and this is my update. So, I stopped sertraline and started taking Effexor 75 mg capsules. The doctor advised 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 sertraline 25 mg. And now just Effexor, 75 mg of Effexor (venlafaxine). I feel so much better. My anxiety has almost stopped, and I remind myself to take deep breaths. I'm sleeping better, and I’m pushing myself a 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 stay positive. Love you all and good luck!"

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  • Cleve...
  • March 2, 2021

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) "I’ve had depression and anxiety my whole life, and I’m diagnosed with major depression and generalized anxiety disorder. I tried all the other antidepressants, but I didn’t really know if they worked or not. A new doctor 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 with Lexapro and Cymbalta, I never knew if they were working or not. Effexor helps with my anxiety a lot, rumination, and this is the first winter I’ve enjoyed in at least a decade. Also, I have an eight-year-old, a four-year-old, and a 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 honestly, I haven’t felt any of that. Thank the Lord."

9 / 10
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187 Report
  • Mitra
  • August 9, 2014

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) "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. My psych doctor wanted to try Effexor XR, but I was worried about withdrawing from it - after trying everything else, I finally agreed. It has taken a month to feel a difference. I'm enjoying things again, not chewed up by horrible anxiety. I'm actually HAPPY?! The first month on it was so challenging - very low, anxious, exhausted, nauseous. But now no side effects. I feel like a light has gone on. I am getting my life back. I could sob with relief. I truly believed I'd never get better, but here I am."

8 / 10
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411 Report
  • aimee...
  • February 25, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) "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 25 lbs 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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178 Report
  • Anonymous
  • Taken for 1 to 2 years
  • September 4, 2014

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) "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 butterflies 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 on to 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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317 Report
  • THISC...
  • July 27, 2017

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) "First off, I want to say I never take the time to write reviews; however, I do end up myself reading everyone else's, so I hope this helps someone! I'm a 22-year-old female, and for about 4 years, I suffered from anxiety. First, it started off as panic anxiety, then with the failure of trying medications like Prozac, Zoloft, and Lexapro, my head was just so much worse. I could feel the chemical imbalance; I began getting daily depression and anxiety to the point I'd worry 24/7. It ruined relationships and made me seem crazy. I finally got on Effexor last month. It CHANGED MY LIFE. I feel NORMAL again. Happy, no anxiety, and energetic. The only side effects were yawning, vivid dreams, and at first, jaw pain. I highly suggest this for those with panic/daily anxiety/depression mix! My fears are gone."

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  • Happy...
  • Taken for 10 years or more
  • March 10, 2014

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) "I have been on Effexor for the past 10 years. I started having panic attacks as a child, although I didn't know at the time what was going on. When I was 17, the doctor prescribed Valium that I took periodically when my anxiety got really bad. Finally, when I was 40, the doctor suggested I go on a very low dosage of Effexor (37.5mg) because he was sure I had generalized anxiety disorder. What a difference this has made in my life. I felt 'weird' the first few weeks, but now I have very little anxiety and really no side effects except maybe lower libido. I had no idea how much anxiety I had been living with all my life."

9 / 10
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273 Report
  • Jon...
  • Taken for 1 to 6 months
  • September 6, 2016

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) "I told myself I'd come back and write a review if I liked Effexor, because people tend to only write reviews if they don't like it, and that's scary for someone who is trying to figure out whether to try it or not. This was the first medication I've tried to treat my chronic GAD. Before Effexor, I was living in a state of constant panic and anxiety. It was really awful, and I felt like I couldn't continue much longer without completely breaking down. I'm now 3 months in, and it has helped so much. I am still myself and I have anxious thoughts, but there is no longer that sense of panic and overwhelming fear. I feel like I did pre-anxiety and its wonderful. Everyone reacts differently, but have hope! Medication can work!"

9 / 10
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192 Report
  • STEEL
  • Taken for 1 to 6 months
  • April 17, 2019

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) "I owe a great thank you to Effexor. My cons are vivid dreaming and minor sleep difficulties. But the pros for myself outweigh the bad. For the first time in 10+ years, my anxious thoughts and sweats are almost nonexistent. I enjoy the taste of food again. And I feel like I have more purpose, I don’t walk around with the 'I’m just here, useless' cloud over me. I will continue to fight to feel right, Effexor has definitely given me my footing."

9 / 10
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141 Report
  • Sonjatx
  • Taken for 1 to 6 months
  • May 1, 2015

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) "I have had anxiety and depression for years. I was on all different types of medicines. I even got so badly depressed and anxious that I was bedridden for almost 1 year. I got switched to Effexor, and in a few days, I felt great! I cannot believe I spent all these years in darkness! This is the best medicine ever for me! I am not depressed and zero anxiety! I just wish I would have been on it earlier."

10 / 10
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208 Report
  • 0521j...
  • January 26, 2015

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) "I have been on Effexor XR for about a year, after switching from Paxil. It is a scary thing to read all these reviews and question whether you should or should not take it. I personally started for anxiety, and it has helped tremendously. To me, having panic attacks is not a fun task. Yes, there are side effects, but everything you put into your body does. Please try what your doctor recommends before you read all the reviews."

10 / 10
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212 Report
  • ATTOR...
  • Taken for 1 to 6 months
  • July 29, 2019

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) "I have been on Effexor for just over a month and I can say that I'm rather surprised. I am a 25-year-old male who has been on antidepressants for almost 12 years. Unfortunately, I was diagnosed with depression and a social anxiety disorder at a very young age. Prior to being prescribed Effexor, I was on Zoloft for a few years. Zoloft worked, but as time went on, it started to lose its effectiveness. With Effexor, I have more energy and feel that I can get through the day. I hope this medicine continues to work for anyone suffering ❤️"

8 / 10
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129 Report
  • Anon
  • Taken for 6 months to 1 year
  • December 18, 2023

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) "I was on sertraline for about 6 months and although it worked great for me at first, the positive effects quickly died off and with every increase, I felt more and more disconnected from reality. I researched and found Effexor had worked for a lot of people when SSRIs hadn't. My GP also agreed it was a great choice. Despite this, I let the horror stories get to me and it took me 2 months to make the jump, but I haven't looked back since. I haven't had a single negative side effect and feel practically 100% back to myself pre-anxiety. It's been 6 months on 75mg and I am truly so grateful I gave this medication a shot. Hopefully, this helps someone that is in the same position as I was."

10 / 10
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24 Report
  • Downout
  • Taken for less than 1 month
  • August 8, 2014

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) "I have suffered with major depression my whole adult life. Have been on several types of antidepressants, all of which left me feeling like a zombie. The first time I took Effexor, I noticed a major swing in my moods. It has been a total savior for me. Two weeks ago I was in bad shape, today, after a week of Effexor, I feel on top of the world. This medication, with the help of family, friends, and counselor, has without a doubt totally turned my life around. Now, everything in my life is happy and positive. Without this medication, my future would have been bleak, to say the least."

10 / 10
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217 Report
  • momof...
  • August 22, 2017

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) "I started Effexor XR (generic version) about 3 weeks ago. I will admit, the bottle sat on my counter for a week before I took my first one because the negative reviews terrified me. I finally took one and I am so glad I did! I have been on practically every anxiety/depression med there is and had kind of lost hope with them working. I have also tried several different natural methods and they helped a little bit, but not nearly enough. I struggle mainly with anxiety and have for about 15 years now. By day 3, I had already noticed a difference. It's been 3 weeks & not only is my anxiety significantly better, I no longer have swollen joints or numbness in my hands & feet, I'm so much happier & way less stressed. Life changing!!"

10 / 10
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161 Report
  • SSKirby
  • Taken for 1 to 6 months
  • March 13, 2014

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) "I have been on Effexor XR 75mg for two months now, after previously being on Zoloft and Celexa. The two other medications were not effective for my anxiety and depression, and they tended to make me either tired or foggy regardless of the time of day that I took them. I expected the tiredness to wear off, but the foggy feeling never did. My doctor prescribed Effexor XR, and it has been very effective for both my depression and anxiety symptoms. I am not 100% perfect, and I still have anxiety, but in the appropriate moments. The moments of unreasonable anxiety attacks are fewer and far between since starting the medicine. I had no negative side effects, and I take it every morning at 9am."

9 / 10
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215 Report
  • Stixie...
  • October 14, 2016

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) "I cannot describe how life-changing this medication has been for me. I've been suffering from anxiety/depression, specifically social anxiety and low self-esteem, my whole life. It was at a point where I thought it was normal to be negative, pessimistic, anxious, and depressed all the time. I tried EVERYTHING including therapy, exercise, diet, and an array of medicines and nothing worked. I nearly developed an addiction to Xanax just trying to combat the anxiety. Prozac, Lexapro, Concerta, Strattera; Nothing worked. Finally got introduced to Effexor XR. Started on 75mg for 2 months, I wasn't that satisfied. I got put on 150mg for 2 months then. CANNOT BELIEVE THE DIFFERENCE. I'm happy, confident, and positive. AMAZING. Long may it last."

10 / 10
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169 Report
  • Pisces
  • Taken for 1 to 6 months
  • March 19, 2013

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) "Effexor Saved Me After Many Failed Medicines. Current Med Combo - Effexor 75 mg, Lamictal 200 mg, Abilify 5 mg. It saved me from wasting any more time locked up in my house 24/7 and avoiding conversations, knocks at the door, people, telephone calls, and anything else involving socializing. I FINALLY LEAVE MY HOUSE. WILLINGLY and REGULARLY. Daily. I NO LONGER FEAR APPLYING FOR JOBS. I NO LONGER FEAR THE POSSIBILITY OF HAVING A JOB because I would have to deal with people. I am willing and eager to go out with friends, family, acquaintances, meet new people. SIDE EFFECTS - Only Nightmares, which eventually become less and less and then go away after 2 months. Maybe a little unpleasant at first. Definitely bearable. It's not bad for everyone."

10 / 10
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  • Atexun
  • May 7, 2015

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) "Started on 37.5mg for a month. First two days were only side effects - I was a little jumpy, couldn't keep legs still, and had insomnia. That went away in 48 hours. Then it shifted to making me sleepy and fairly relaxed. However, I still had breakthrough anxiety crying and didn't feel much change in depression. Decided to up the dose and have been at 75mg for a while now. No side effects. This dose has obliterated my anxiety and helped with depression. All I feel is calm and relaxed. I am more outgoing and happy. Only thing I noticed, like so many others, is that it is tough to miss a dose. But, don't let that dissuade you from trying it. It really has been a miracle for me."

10 / 10
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187 Report
  • stars...
  • Taken for less than 1 month
  • August 27, 2014

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) "I've suffered severe anxiety/panic attacks my entire life. I've had Xanax, Valium, Prozac, and Edronax over the course of my years. I finally changed doctors, came off everything, to start where I'm at now. I began on 37.5mg over two weeks ago and noticed a difference straight away. Now on 75mg and getting better every single day. My panic attacks could cause me to pass out, so this is a huge leap in health for me. For those concerned about coming off Xanax, it's so worth the effort. I now feel like I'm getting my life back, and I'm truly grateful."

9 / 10
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195 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.

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