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User Reviews for Venlafaxine to treat Depression

Also known as: Effexor, Effexor XR

Venlafaxine has an average rating of 6.0 out of 10 from a total of 936 ratings for the treatment of Depression. 48% of reviewers reported a positive experience, while 32% reported a negative experience.

Venlafaxine rating summary

6.0/10 average rating

936 ratings from 997 user reviews.

Compare all 188 medications used in the treatment of Depression.

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Reviews for Venlafaxine

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

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “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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Alex · Taken for 1 to 6 months · November 6, 2019

Effexor (venlafaxine): “Reading reviews online WILL freak you out about this drug, and as someone who used it for panic disorder and extreme anxiety (as well as depression) these reviews on here DEFINITELY terrified me. First off, relax. Taking any new drug for the first time can be scary because your body's adjusting, but freaking out about any little symptom will only make your experience worse. Now on to my experience: The first couple weeks I experienced nausea and maybe a bit of sleeplessness? But nothing too crazy. Lost a bit of weight too as it suppressed my appetite. I really do believe this drug helped calm my nervous system enough so that I was able to function normally again, and so far after the first month I don't experience side effects at all. Don't be scared about all the wacky reviews, people can psych themselves out when influenced by others opinions.”

9 / 10
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Joe · Taken for 10 years or more · May 10, 2019

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “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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Alexandra · October 13, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “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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Teppum · June 4, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “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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rjbz1 · December 31, 2020

Effexor (venlafaxine): “I'm on Effexore for Depression, Anxiety, ADHD. 1-4 Weeks The medication the first few weeks is going to make you excessively sleepy. It is just the nature of the beast. During the first few weeks ensure that you are taking the time to get a work out in a few times a week and supplement any lethargy with a bit of caffeine. Weeks 5-8 This is where the medication really starts to shine. If you are a male, this drug is ideal for you because it has a less likely chance of causing erectile dysfunction as it is a SRNI and not a SSRI. Your reaction to negative events, to include stressful situations, begins to dramatically change. Instead of having fast paced thoughts, you have a true sense of peace, less worry and a newfound sense of over all well-being. I highly recommend this medication if your SSRI is causing you ED, you suffer from anxiety, ADHD, OCD, or depression.”

10 / 10
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Tawnya · Taken for 1 to 6 months · February 18, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “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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Frequently asked questions

stargazer76 · October 2, 2020

Effexor (venlafaxine): “From my experience Effexor is a very effective treatment for depression and anxiety. I took it for 10 years at a dose of 150mg and felt great. I stopped 3 months ago and already depression is returning, so today I'm going back on! Yes the side effects can be grim but for me it was only when being late with dose or quitting. But overall I think its worth it for not having to suffer depression and anxiety everyday!”

9 / 10
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Ryan · January 23, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “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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Feeling Sane · September 10, 2019

Effexor (venlafaxine): “I was prescribed Venlafaxine for major depression and debilitating anxiety while going through a massive life crisis (business and relationship divorce and resulting bankruptcy) about three years ago. My depression was my own worse enemy as when I needed to be sharp and confident for attorneys, I was a sobbing mess. My anxiety was debilitating and turned into panic attacks. While I don't think I would have taken my life, I certainly wasn't afraid to die. The crisis is finally behind me, and I have tapered from 225mg to 37.5mg over the last 3 months. The only downsides were, for me, cognitive function, apathy, and poor memory. I was unable to orgasm on the 225 mg dosage. It is important to mention that I did not get through this with drugs alone. I had a strong network of friends, family, attorneys, and healthcare professionals. Do not be ashamed of your mental health crisis! Be honest with yourself and your friends and seek professional help!”

9 / 10
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Spouse to a lost Vet · Taken for 2 to 5 years · August 4, 2021

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “Please never allow anyone you love to take this drug! Effexor XR has been the worst experience for my husband the past 4 years! He has gone through so many changes, mentally he doesn’t know what is real anymore. What I mean is life, love, emotions, etc. Our marriage was the ideal marriage before he started taken it, but now it has crumbled! He has been to a mental facility twice on this drug, gone through so many personally changes, it’s unreal! Please do your research before taking this because coming off of it is a living nightmare! I know 2 people who committed suicide on this drug and Thank God I have not lost my husband on it!”

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

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “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
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Tol · August 29, 2015

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “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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hbaby · Taken for 1 to 6 months · June 20, 2013

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “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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Kate · Taken for 5 to 10 years · July 9, 2021

Effexor (venlafaxine): “I'm glad to read these positive reviews because I've been on generic venlafaxine 150mg per day for 8 years. I was on 7 different antidepressants prior to that a year or two each time then the poop out and in to a different one. Venlafaxine has not stopped working. I'm on the highest dose per day slowly increased over a year. My most frustrating side effect is insomnia and some tinnitus. I will also say when my pharmacy changes the pharmaceutical brand of venlafaxine, I have a noticeable couple of days discomfort until I adjust. People understandably tend to be angry about failure or side effect but nothing is worse to me than being disabled by depression.”

8 / 10
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The Listener · June 23, 2019

Effexor (venlafaxine): “Sure saved the quality of my life. I was not suicidal; I was more like the guy who didn't care if the plane crashed. I took Effexor for 8 years. After that time period it had been a long, long time since I had felt depressed, so I began to taper off. I think it probably took me a couple of months to get completely off. I have been off for 5 years. I learned a lot about clinical depression and how to treat it. If my depression ever returns I will not hesitate to go back to Effexor.”

9 / 10
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Mistake · March 3, 2020

“I was put on venlafaxine in 2001, and soon became functionally narcoleptic and severely depressed. Over the years, doctors kept increasing the dosage, telling me I was simply very ill and needed a high dose of venlafaxine just to make my depression manageable. Finally, after 17 years, and several failed attempts to taper off, I stopped my venlafaxine cold turkey against medical advice. Coming off this drug was possibly the most difficult thing I've ever done, with truly horrific withdrawal symptoms, but once I made it through those months of withdrawal and recalibration, I learned that all those years, it was the venlafaxine that had been making me ill. As a minor effect, I lost 10 pounds within my first month of stopping the venlafaxine. More importantly, I went from needing 12 hours sleep per day to 7.5 hours sleep per day, and my depression lifted. That was over a year ago, and this past year has been my healthiest in two decades. After 17 years, I finally have my life back.”

1 / 10
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Mustang Jack · Taken for 10 years or more · February 21, 2013

Effexor (venlafaxine): “I have been on Effexor for 18 years. Yes, that's right: 18 YEARS. It saved my life and then some. I had very severe clinical depression back in 1995. I was suicidal and anxious to the nth degree. Effexor has brought joy back to my life and has enhanced my creativity and sexual desire. I have been blessed with this medication. It was the first anti-depressant my doctor prescribed and most likely the last. A match made in Paradise: Effexor and I.”

10 / 10
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Kimeska · February 24, 2020

Effexor (venlafaxine): “WORST 48hrs of my entire life. First day I took it Effexor (dose 37.5mg) with my 300mg of Wellbutrin and I got to work and couldn’t even walk in a straight line. Went home and figured maybe I just shocked my system and slept it off. Next day I took the same dosage. First came the spaced out phase where I couldn’t remember where I was or what I was doing. The tremors? So violent that I couldn’t walk or talk or hold things. My husband came home to find me in the fetal position on the floor shaking violently. Let’s not forget hearing and seeing things that weren’t there. Another thing I noticed was that one second I was laughing then the next crying. It was so scary and I couldn’t stop it from happening. Stopped taking it. It’s been 2 days now and I still have tremors. Can’t eat. And the only thing that will stop the tremors is 1mg of Ativan. This drugs ruined my life in 48hrs. I will never recommend it to anyone. Worst 2 days of my life and it’s still going.”

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

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “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
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Interx · Taken for 1 to 6 months · April 14, 2021

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “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
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Roolanda · April 29, 2014

Effexor (venlafaxine): “I had severe hellish, unrelentless depression and did not want to live, I started taking Effexor and it worked the same day. I never thought something could work so well. I have few side effects. My life changed 100%. I am so happy now that the doctor put me on this. People should not be afraid to try anti-depressants.”

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

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “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
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NLDIS · Taken for 6 months to 1 year · May 2, 2014

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “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
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Freebyrde · Taken for 2 to 5 years · September 3, 2019

Effexor (venlafaxine): “I would just like to point out that every single person is different and adjusts to these medications differently. I had 3 suicide attempts before accepting medication and was put on Effexor. Effexor changed my life, until it didn’t. For 2 years it helped me to function normally, I went back to work, the suicidal ideation ceased and I was able to manage my depression. After a long time though I felt numb and wanted to get off of it. No one ever warns you about coming off Effexor. There is a whole group on Facebook just for coming off it. The withdrawals are worse than any drug I know. I counted every day. It was 12 days of agony before I felt any sort of relief. It was pure, utter awfulness. But I look back and think of what Effexor did for me when I first started this medication, and it gave me my life back. So despite the horrible effects coming off this drug, it still helped me immensely.”

8 / 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.