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User Reviews for Venlafaxine to treat Depression

Also known as: Effexor, Effexor XR

Venlafaxine has an average rating of 6.1 out of 10 from a total of 855 ratings for the treatment of Depression. 49% of those users who reviewed Venlafaxine reported a positive effect, while 31% reported a negative effect.

Venlafaxine Rating Summary

6.1/10 Average Rating

855 ratings from 912 user reviews

Compare all 190 medications used in the treatment of Depression.

20% 175
17% 147
11% 95
8% 72
4% 35
4% 32
4% 34
4% 35
4% 35
23% 195

Reviews for Venlafaxine

Sunshine101 · Taken for 1 to 2 years February 17, 2021

“Run. As fast as you can from this drug. I had taken it on and off for 20 years since it first came out. I will never touch this medication again. Every time I took it, it helped me out of major depressive episodes, but changed my personality into something totally out of character. This drug has an amphetamine like effect on me. It will make you impulsive and a danger to yourself. Every time I took this medication I abused alcohol, drugs, had irresponsible sexual encounters, and made terrible decisions causing lasting affects on my future. Trying to come off it is then brutal. It takes MONTHS. You will end up breaking open capsules to reduce your dose one single granule at a time. This medication should be banned. Do yourself a favour and try ANYTHING ELSE!!”

1 / 10
Cris · Taken for 6 months to 1 year February 14, 2021

Effexor (venlafaxine): “I love effexor!!!! I have had bi polar depression, extreme depression, cptsd and a lot of anxiety for as long as I can remember. With in a few weeks (I had to start low dose and gradually increase do to bad reactions to most bi polar drugs). So when I got to about 175 mg I started to have no suicidal thoughts AT ALL!! I am so happy to have those thoughts out of my head. I still have some issues but this drug gave me my life back - with no side effects except extreme fatigue until I got used to it. Now I have no tiredness at all. HOWEVER HUGE DISCLAIMER. DO NOT STOP TAKING THIS DRUG EVEN FOR A DAY!!!!! You must wean off this. I actually thought it was the end of me when I couldn't get my meds for 2 days. I vomited the entire time like couldn't stop. Extreme sweating, hallucinations not severe but still scary. Nightmares and the most painful headache that would not stop. The vomiting was the worst. I wasn't able to hold anything down and I mean extreme cramping of the stomach area. Please be careful.”

10 / 10
PearlG February 14, 2021

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “I’ve been on Effexor on and off for years, with a recent six year break from any meds, as well as quitting alcohol two years ago. In the past Effexor has worked somewhat, with virtually no side effects. A month ago I started on it again. The only side effects in the beginning were decreased appetite and completely taking away my hot flashes. So I had high hopes. However, this time, by week three my depression had worsened so much I was having more intense suicidal ideation than before I started it - so bad I had to stop. Body chemistry really does change over time. Back to square one.”

1 / 10

Frequently asked questions

Cono · Taken for 6 months to 1 year February 9, 2021

“Enlafax does not work for me been on them about 6 months, feeling really rubbish going back to my doctor today to let him know & see what can be done. Thumbs down for enlafax.”

Shelly · Taken for less than 1 month February 7, 2021

Effexor (venlafaxine): “This drug made me want to cut myself! A horrifying thing I would never do! I felt so horrible and disgusted with myself that I actually felt the strong urge to do it! Fortunately I'm very happy that I succeeded in not doing that terrible thing. I wish complete physical and emotional healing to all those who unfortunately are struggling with such a nightmare. But I did have to hurt myself in other, less violent ways such as hitting. This drug was so so scary that it messed with my mind! This is not who I am! I was acting crazy! And my thoughts and feelings were crazy too crazy and dangerous. Be very careful! And make sure you are seeing a doctor who really takes the time to listen to you, and wants to help you. They should answer all your questions and have no problem explaining how the drug works and what side effects there might be Also I was only on it for 3 weeks and the withdrawal effects were awful.”

1 / 10
Anonymous · Taken for 1 to 6 months February 7, 2021

“I'm not sure if I just tolerate venlafaxine well but I have not noticed anything bad about it. I was nausea the first week of taking it and I do have vivid dreams but it has helped my mood significantly. It's wonderful drug for nonfunctional depression. I no longer have the deep, big feelings of sadness all the time and feel motivated to work towards my goals and valued by my support system. I don't feel superficially happy or too happy. Highly recommend combining it with CBT to get out of an episode of depression. No withdrawal symptoms when I've missed doses either.”

Bowers · Taken for less than 1 month February 6, 2021

“This is the second time I've been on the medication venlafaxine. The first couple of weeks are difficult, I personally felt wired, struggled with sleep, loss of appetite and sexual side effects etc, but importantly they all passed as I got better and my body adjusted. Coming off is easy enough, just go very slowly. I've been on a number of different medications for mental health issues over the last 4 years, and for me, venlafaxine is one of the better ones to be on, but everyone is different. If like me, you're scrolling through these reviews, wondering if you're on the right medication for you, my best advise is to stop and see a psychiatrist. GPs will have their go to medications but it's not their specialism and more often than not they'll prescribe the same/cheapest medication for a whole host of mental health issues. Don't sell yourself short - see a specialist and remember it might get worse before it gets better. Good luck!”

9 / 10

More FAQ

Lolly · Taken for 1 to 2 years February 2, 2021

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “Effexor XR caused me to develop dangerously high blood pressure so I had to come off them. The withdrawals were horrendous.”

1 / 10
Music Mom · Taken for 6 months to 1 year January 31, 2021

“After many years of suffering and much research, I decided I should try venlafaxine for my depression - which took the form, almost exclusively, of a terrible morning hopelessness and dread. I had read the venlafaxine was a class of antidepressant that somehow worked well for that particular manifestation, and also that it achieved good results in my age group - middle aged/menopausal women. I am happy to report an excellent result with complete resolution to the morning dread! I wouldn't say that I'm entirely out of some level of depression, but that symptom is gone, and what a relief. Highly recommend!”

9 / 10
Nurse January 27, 2021

“Struggled with major depression and panic-like anxiety since 17 years old. I am now 28 and have been off medications for about 4 years and have recently found it’s time to get back on, and stay on. Two weeks ago I started citalopram but broke out in a rash on my ears and neck almost instantly and it lasted for 3 days so I obviously had an allergic reaction and stopped taking it. It is 4:30am right now and 2 nights ago I started taking Effexor 37.5mg. Last night I felt so nauseous and my headache was probably a 7/10. My fault for not taking this with food. However, the nausea and headache dissipated and I have pretty much been awake all night feeling like a crackhead. Tired as can be yet laying here. Jawing at my teeth. Jittery. So uncomfortable. Feel uncomfortable even going into work in 2 1/2 hours and praying these symptoms are subsided by then. Not sure if this is the one for me- don’t think I could deal with these symptoms for another day.”

2 / 10
Ray · Taken for 1 to 6 months January 18, 2021

Effexor (venlafaxine): “5 weeks in on Effexor and up to 112mg. Sleeping better. Fatigued through the day. Have to motivate myself to do things but fine when I do it. Mental tasks are more draining. Exchanged anxiety for lethargy. Hoping this will lift as the weeks go on. On the whole a positive for me.”

8 / 10
Kim · Taken for less than 1 month January 12, 2021

“Oh dear, I have just taken a first dose and was vomiting half an hour later. Feel awful like my blood sugars have dramatically dropped. Feel restless, hot and cold. Never felt so strange of medication. I was previously on mirtazapine they was great until the night sweats after a few years. Think I will have to give these new ones a miss I can’t be a mum or a nurse feeling like that.”

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
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
Per December 30, 2020

“I venlafaxine took this from age 23-27(or 28, can't remember) Positive Effect: it will remove anxiety because it will remove your feelings Side Effects: -it will destroy you testosterone for the rest of your life -will remove all motivation -gynocomastia -can't have sex -can't have a relationship -gaining a lot of weight, even if you always been thin. -apathy -tiredness, you Will be sluggish -sleep for 10 hours easily and cant work half as good as before -your emotions will be almost none -if you stop you will have symptoms for a year at least, zaps, tiredness, diarrhea, self confidence, you Will have less sensitivity in your dick for the rest of your life The list can go on forever.”

1 / 10
Gillsibub · Taken for 2 to 5 years December 24, 2020

“I think I've missed a period after doubling my dose from 75mg to 150mg per day. Either that or I'm pregnant. Anyone else had mixed up menstruation from Venlafaxine? Apart from that I've been very exhausted and sleeping loads but it's lifting a bit now after being on 150mg for 3 weeks. Came off it during lockdown as there was nothing un my life to make me anxious. Slowest ever tapering. Literally crumbing up the pills to swallow bits to avoid the brain shivers :-( misery coming off them otherwise”

4 / 10
franny · Taken for 1 to 2 years December 17, 2020

“I used venlafaxine for more than a year to treat severe depression. Mostly I used 150mg. Tried 375mg for 3 months but was so tired with low mood, decreasing the dosage helped me. It reduced my depression symptoms. I started to feel stable ok without thinking of suicide every day after 6 month of taking venlafaxine. But it made my emotions flat and got rid of motivation so it was hard to push myself to do daily activities. Also I had excessive sweating, my clothes were completely wet after even short walk.”

8 / 10
Kk December 15, 2020

“I took this venlafaxine for 3 years starting 2016, then it seemed to bottom out when some traumatic events took place. It was life saving before that. I stopped taking it (tapered off, because you have to - but if you do it right it’s not that bad) due to not wanting to increase dosage anymore, plus I was having night sweats and vivid nightmares. I tried a couple of other medications but nothing made me feel as functional and able to do life the way venlafaxine did. I am now going back on it and looking forward to getting rid of the crippling anxiety and depression. In hindsight, the night sweats aren’t so bad compared to the anxiety/depression. This medication is the only one that helped me to feel normal, less worried about trivial things, able to get out of bed in the morning and participate in social life and work. It’s true that you have to give it a little time and make sure you take it at the same time daily, don’t miss a dose or it will definitely mess with you.”

9 / 10
Kat December 15, 2020

“This drug venlafaxine has changed my life and given me my life back, I am the most confident I have ever been, at work I am public speaking I am having less panic attacks and anxiety. My work have noticed my confidence. I am back to the confident person I was 20 years ago.”

10 / 10
hhhhhhhh · Taken for less than 1 month November 28, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “Started taking effexor in the luteal phase of my period (approx 10 days before menstruation) Premenstrual dysphoric disorder and it has CHANGED MY LIFE. I feel the best I've felt. I cannot even access the dark and awful thoughts/insecurities/self-loathing that used to be a constant during this period. Only side effects I've felt was a slight bit of nausea/ light headedness in the first few days and difficulty sleeping (I keep waking up at 6am, but feel pretty refreshed so it's okay). Will report back on how it feels to go off them at the end of this phase.”

10 / 10
loo · Taken for less than 1 month November 23, 2020

“been on venlafaxine for 2 weeks I really feel a lot better its amazing”

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
James · Taken for 1 to 6 months October 3, 2020

“Terrible drug. Crashed my mood and made me apathetic. Was on 75mg for 7 weeks, 150mg was way too much as it is. Don't take this. I advise taking an older drug like Imipramine or Amitryptiline.”

1 / 10
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
Jeronimo · Taken for 10 years or more September 28, 2020

Effexor (venlafaxine): “Took 75 mg Effexor for 21 years. Dr said to come off and for 6 weeks I weaned off of this hard to quit drug. So now I stop taking it and 8 days later I'm still having the brain zaps. If you start taking it be prepared to experience a living nightmare if you want to quit. It did nothing to help me.”

4 / 10

This information is NOT intended to endorse any particular medication. While these reviews might be helpful, they are not a substitute for the expertise, knowledge and judgement of healthcare practitioners.