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User Reviews for Venlafaxine to treat Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Also known as: Effexor, Effexor XR

Venlafaxine has an average rating of 6.8 out of 10 from a total of 178 ratings for the treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. 54% of those users who reviewed Venlafaxine reported a positive effect, while 22% reported a negative effect.

Venlafaxine Rating Summary

6.8/10 average rating

178 ratings from 193 user reviews.

Compare all 15 medications used in the treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

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17%
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10%
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12%
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6%
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Reviews for Venlafaxine

Miss82 · Taken for 1 to 6 months June 10, 2021

“About two months ago I started Effexor XR 37.5. Didn’t notice much so bumped up to 75mg been on that for bout month. Haven’t really noticed anything anxiety wise. I still have to take my Xanax before I leave my house. It’s terrible to live with anxiety I tell you. I have high hopes for this medicine to help. I’m going to give it another two weeks or so and see if maybe I should bump my dose up some. I feel ok other than the nagging anxiety I just wish it would go away. I will update back in few weeks if my dose goes up and if I start to feel better. Fingers crossed .”

7 / 10
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zenalee May 30, 2021

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “I took 75-112.5mg of Effexor for depression and anxiety for the first time in 2016 and felt overall more energy, more cravings for food and lower anxiety/depression levels overall. I did have sleeping issues which made me more irritable. I got off Effexor and changed to Prozac, little energy, super lazy, weight gain etc so went back on in 2019. Worked my way up to 150mg as I had a lot of intrusive thoughts and intense anxiety, At 150mg- hard time sleeping. you don't take the drug regularly, you WILL feel it so you must be anal about taking it every single day around the same time ( took in morning) I experienced 30-40lbs weight gain in 2 years + covid weight but the meds made me gain more weight cause of the cravings and increased appetite at 150mg. I will say, if weight gain is not an issue for you and you can commit to taking the drug regularly, 75-112.5 mg is a perfect sweet spot and the drug really does help. I recommend for anyone facing GAD or depression even OCD.”

7 / 10
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Jazzy · Taken for less than 1 month April 28, 2021

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “Being anxious is not being depressed. I was on lexapro for anxiety after a traumatic event. I have suffered from migraines for years. The doc switched me to Effexor ER 75 mg. a few days ago. I am already noticing a difference in my mood, and haven't had a headache (a miracle for me). Still have a long break in period ahead, but I am hopeful. Will keep you posted.”

9 / 10
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Frequently asked questions

don’t be nervous to try it · Taken for 1 to 6 months January 3, 2021

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “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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Staystrong September 20, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “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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Catwoman22 · Taken for 10 years or more July 18, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “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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Addie · Taken for 1 to 6 months April 25, 2021

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “After years of suffering from anxiety, panic attacks I finally decided to start medication. I started with lexapro and it made me feel terrible, with horribly low libido. I then tried Busbar with the same side effects. Effexor XR was my next try. I’m writing this because I was nervous about taking this medication after reading reviews. This medication has saved my life. I can finally do things that anxiety stopped me from doing. My panic attacks have decreased to hardly any. I had social anxiety and I feel like I can have a normal conversation without stuttering due to being anxious. The only “con” I have of this medication is if I skip it one day I have horrible flu like symptoms, extreme headaches. However, I don’t plan to skip it regularly so as long as you take it as prescribed this shouldn’t be a problem. I 10/10 recommend this medication!”

10 / 10
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More FAQ

My experience · Taken for 6 months to 1 year July 26, 2014

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “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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lindsieloo August 1, 2018

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “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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indigogirl · Taken for 6 months to 1 year July 5, 2017

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “Before I was to start this medication I searched and thought I better not take this medication because of all the people who said it was very bad. I have been on Celexa since 2000 with ativan 3 mg per day if needed. I had to get off of Celexa because I started having panic attacks and wasn't working for me. It didn't really work that great for for the past six years. I was terrified to take Effexor XR. Well I couldn't live with panic and anxiety anymore so I took it. I focus better, I don't dwell on things. I can sit and watch a movie without my mind wondering or worrying. I have lost 15 lbs. My husband notices a difference being more outgoing. Don't listen to what has been written. I wish I started this a long time ago. Best of Luck”

10 / 10
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saddled January 17, 2013

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “Effexor XR changed my life. With Effexor, the anxiety is gone and I am able to stay calm in any situation and sleep well every night. My doctor has told me I can NEVER get off this medication because it changes something in the brain having to do with serotonin. No hope of functioning without this in my system. Well, I can live with that. I've got my life back.”

9 / 10
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Uncle Lou September 24, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “Was prescribed Effexor 37.5 MG for GAD and Depression. I also Have OCD. Side Effects were as follows; 1st Day: Fuzzy, Lethargic, Unable to focus, Stomach Issues. 2nd Day: Same as First Day with Loss of Appetite. 3rd Day: Same as Second Day 4th /5th Day: Same as Previous Days, except SLIGHTY raised Anxiety and Notably raised Depression. 6th Day: Felt Better, Slept Better, Appetite Still Down. 7th Day: Noticeably Less Anxiety and Depression, No Libido which in my case is good b/c I have a tendency to have lots of unprotected sex with random women. 8th day: Appetite is still not right, but I feel better than I did before I took the meds, and definitely better than I did in the first 5 days of taking it. For some it takes longer but if you are a person with bad anxiety, any physical ailments seem worse than they really are. I'd say the first 7 Days on 37.5 MG are tough, but it eventually got better. By Day 9 I am feeling ok, no anxiety and more of a baselined depression.”

7 / 10
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Sal · Taken for 1 to 6 months August 16, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “This drug Effexor XR saved my life. I had previously been on Effexor 75 mg for 30 years and thought I would try something else for OCD. Bad mistake. Other medications made me really anxious, depressed and suicidal. I couldn’t sleep and had lost 20 kgs. Doctor put me back on Effexor 150 mg and within weeks I was a different person. Back to my usual happy self and busy social life. Anxiety was way down. It saved my life. Only side effect is night sweats but I can deal with that just happy to be me again.”

10 / 10
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Macy · Taken for 1 to 2 years July 3, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “I ended up in the emergency room for what I thought was a heart attack. After an extensive workup, it turns out I had just experienced my first major panic episode. I’ve always had anxiety, but it never got so bad that I thought I was legitimately dying. After speaking to my psychiatrist, he recommended starting me on Effexor XR. Within a month, I noticed a change in my ability to handle stressful situations and everyday generalized anxiety I battle with. It has boosted my confidence immensely. The only downside is that if I miss a dose or am late taking it, I have bad detoxing side effects. I would describe it as feeling drunk - disoriented, almost to the point of being uncomfortable to drive. If you are the type to be on top of taking your meds, I think this medication is worth a try.”

9 / 10
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Gemlie February 22, 2012

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “Effexor gave me my life back. I was so with anxiety for months to the point I would not come out of my room all I was doing was crying I thought I was having a break down. I'm taking 75mg at night at first I felt sick and dizzy but after about 4 weeks I started to feel better. I've been taking them now for 8 weeks and I feel back to normal. I'm back in work full time I still get the odd bad day but that's to be expected. Don't know what I would have done without this medicine. Please be patient with this medication I know it's hard but after 4-6 weeks you will feel better. Good luck with it all I know it's really hard but you will get better.”

9 / 10
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Gaute · Taken for 1 to 6 months January 11, 2019

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “I see so many reviews here from people that gave up this medication after one day, five days, seven days. Guys, this medicine can take up to a MONTH to work. In the meantime, you might experience side effects like increased anxiety. Stick with it. It works for me - It might not for you, but please try it out properly (ie. for at least a month) before you knock it.”

8 / 10
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OK2BME October 4, 2013

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “I was started on 75 mg Effexor and then increased to 150 mg. I felt much better overall. Anxiety was about gone, I could think through my thoughts. However, I was not happy with the sexual dysfunction I experienced on the 150 mg dose. My doctor lowered my dose back to 75 mg and the sexual dysfunction resolved and my generalized anxiety disorder is within tolerable limits. I recently added Vitamin D and B12 to my daily regimen with my Effexor 75 mg ER dose and noticed a huge lifting of the mental fog that I had known for so long. This combination has been keeping my thoughts from racing, my hope from tanking and my perspective in a good and positive place. It works for me.”

10 / 10
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Cat · Taken for 1 to 6 months November 7, 2019

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “I started 75mg Effexor about three months ago for GAD and Major Depression . It has done wonders for me . The first month I did yawn a lot and seemed to be experiencing the emotional blunting that they described . And at one point I was scared that I had lost all empathy . But realized that being overzealous about others opinions and worries was destroying me . I am a lot more care free and I haven't cried for no reason in over three months . The low dose is working and I am much happier overall. I do sleep a lot, almost 9 hours a night and I am slow to rise . But my day carries on well after that . I would consider this a success .”

9 / 10
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Kiki · Taken for 1 to 6 months August 9, 2019

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “After reading a lot of reviews, YES, this drug sucks if you do not slowly taper off. Some people will have a bad reaction when stopping this suddenly or with too fast tapering - I feel like those are misleading not everyone has this. I have been on practically every SSRI (Lexapro, Zoloft, celexa) and I know u do not have to taper off with those but they also didn’t work for me. Nothing has worked for my GAD like Effexor has. OCD almost gone and I’ve had it bad for 20 years, anxiety gone, depression much better. I have energy, I want to do things, I feel like myself. So, this drug works wonders for lots of people, but it is one you will need to slowly taper off of.”

10 / 10
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Lee Anne · Taken for 1 to 6 months August 10, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “I’ve had a real go with anxiety since I was 12. I thought everyone felt like me. I wish I would have known there was help back then but at that age you cannot explain it to someone. So since 5 months ago I started 37.5 mg Effexor xr and now I’m up to 75mg. I find I don’t worry as much and when I’m in a social situation I’m not as stressed. I read horror stories about withdrawal that makes me a bit nervous but I’ve also been told by my dr that Prozac helps with the withdrawal if you want to come off it. Apparently it has a very long half life. I will report back how 75 mg is helping. Take care x”

10 / 10
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GAD-Girlie March 22, 2019

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “Hi all. I’m a 32 y/o female with GAD diagnosed 2 yr ago & ADHD. My doc felt it was more important to treat my severe GAD before ADHD. After trying Zoloft for 6 months, I stopped it. NO libido. Lexapro, same thing!! Plus I was super tired. First two days on Effexor XR Were amazing. (placebo effect?) Then days 3-10 were filled with a little more anxiety than normal. Had vivid weird dreams, would wake up once in the middle of the night to pee then it would be harder than normal to fall asleep. Also jaw popping like I was grinding the heck out of my teeth for a few nights. Day 11-now, it's wonderful. I don't feel panic attacks or anxiety any more. I feel normal and relaxed. No more headaches, muscle tension or sleeping problems. I'm not short tempered with my kids. I don't WORRY as much! I'm just chill. Oh, and I can still pour some tears watching my chick flicks. With the sex side effect "O".... I can still do it, just takes a tad longer. I can live with that!! I can also drink beer with this.”

10 / 10
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Jennifer · Taken for 1 to 2 years February 6, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “I have suffered with GAD and panic disorder since age 6. Effexor XR has been a miracle for me since I began taking it 2 years ago. I was having such bad anxiety I could no longer function normally and had thoughts of not being here almost daily . I felt like I was going to die and had been to the emergency room with my entire body shaking uncontrollably and not having slept for 5 days in a row. Amazing medication is all I can say for me. I have been increased to 225mg from 150mg during a difficult time recently and again it was wonderful”

10 / 10
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ED · Taken for 2 to 5 years July 30, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “Took Effexor XR for 3 years for Generalized Anxiety Disorder , started at 150mg and ended up on the lowest dose available after 3 years. Pros: was finally able to go places, work, make friends. It was hard to actually have a panic attack which was great. I was able to function! Combined with psychotherapy it got me to a good place mentally. Cons: weaning off Effexor was a month of real awfulness. Withdrawal was horrific, felt like I had tentacles inside my brain, migraines, extreme sensitivity to sound/light, even when changing dosages I would experience withdrawal and sleep paralysis. Emotionally it made me feel like a zombie, no longer feel anything above a ‘grey’ daily baseline, relationships suffered, I had zero libido or joy. The biggest thing - it’s permanently affected my memory. I struggle to remember things from those 3 years and on it I struggled a lot with brain fog, losing my train of thought and not being able to retain information. It makes me sad that I’ve lost memories of travel and milestones.”

5 / 10
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Anonymous · Taken for 6 months to 1 year September 1, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “Switched from low dose Prozac that was causing too much fatigue. Effexor XR 75mg gave me more energy but made me feel crazy. I quit cold turkey (not recommended!) and have been off antidepressants for one year. I struggle with anxiety still. They say you need to try different drugs to see what works for you but I'm afraid to try another drug.”

1 / 10
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Anonymous June 2, 2008

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “I've used Paxil to treat what was panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. SSRI's in general are a miracle and gave me my life back. But, neither Paxil nor Lexapro treated the depression that replaced my anxiety. I used to sleep a lot and felt overwhelmed. With Effexor XR, my self-esteem has returned. I'm back in control, accomplishing things, and have a very positive outlook for my future. No side effects.”

10 / 10
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Anonymous April 11, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “The people saying they don’t get side effects maybe they just don’t notice, but there are side effects. I sweat more, sleep less, and have no sex drive, but those are all things I can live with in exchange for the positive effects I get. I started taking Effexor in high school because I was sleeping an average of 16 hours a day, likely had depression because I was anxious so much, and my quality of life was abysmal. I left the house like four or five times a week at the most as a 16 year old. Once I started Effexor I started to feel more energized, I didn’t need nearly as much sleep, and my depression has cleared away completely. I still have issues with anxiety attacks, but have recently lowered my Effexor dose and started taking lexapro as well. This is a medication you cannot miss doses on because you will start to feel serious symptoms of withdrawal if doses are skipped, but it’s a great medication worth trying if you haven’t found what’s worked for you yet.”

8 / 10
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cwilson · Taken for 1 to 6 months January 29, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “Amazing drug. Changed my life. I have had horrible issues with my sleep, with my diet and my stomach always hurting and being in knots 24-7. When I started Effexor everything changed for the better. I started being about to sleep and I was able to eat again because my stomach pain stopped completely. I feel so confident on this medication. It gives me energy and lights a fire in my soul. I only take a dose of 37.5mg. I would like to increase it one day. The only side effect that I would say is why I rate this a 9 is it has caused some sexual issues but not as bad as SSRI's did to me. It is true once on it your hooked forever. But that is 100% fine with me. I am more social and excited about life knowing each day I will never have to feel the knots and pain in my stomach, horrible anxiety ever again. THANK YOU to whoever made this medication. It was made for me.”

9 / 10
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Fitzy11 April 16, 2017

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “At first I read all the reviews positive and negative and was like oh hell no!!! I would leave work early, wouldn't wan to leave the house or even go to the store. So my DR started me on 37.5 mg XR a few months ago. Only side effect was felt sick to my stomach but that went away after a while. I know people are different but WOW has it changed my life and thinking. I felt like an old me again, not worrying like a nervous nelly about things not in my head thinking about the what ifs, was staying at work and going to stores and people around me noticed the change in me. I was more up beat and less nervous. Now today I started the 75mg XR because my DR said let make you feel even more better. Hopefully this works if not I'll just go back down to 37.5mg”

10 / 10
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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.

Learn more about Generalized Anxiety Disorder

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