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User Reviews for Venlafaxine to treat Major Depressive Disorder

Also known as: Effexor, Effexor XR

Venlafaxine has an average rating of 6.4 out of 10 from a total of 201 ratings for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder. 55% of reviewers reported a positive effect, while 27% reported a negative effect.

Venlafaxine Rating Summary

6.4/10 average rating

201 ratings from 212 user reviews.

Compare all 54 medications used in the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder.

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14%
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5%
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Reviews for Venlafaxine

Monday · Taken for 1 to 6 months November 20, 2019

Effexor (venlafaxine): “I know the reviews are scary, and hey this medication is not for everyone. Our bodies will all react differently, prior to effexor I took lexapro but it didn't help me whatsoever. The only thing it helped me with is yawning awkwardly every other minute. My dr. suggested Effexor and it completely helped me get out of the hole I was in, I was able to think clearly, feel joy, laugh, and really be present. My anxiety went down tremendously and this with the combination of therapy helped me lose 70lbs. I got off Effexor, and did it the healthy way, I did it Sloowly...and I was FINE! no crazy withdrawals. So yes people it's possible. To be on it and off of it, and still be okay, :)”

9 / 10
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1204 · Taken for less than 1 month August 9, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “I have major depression, an eating disorder and anxiety. I have struggled for years on and off multiple anti depressants. I just started Effexor 2.5 weeks ago. Already I am so shocked at the absolute change. I wake up happy. I regained interest in things. I no longer have thoughts of suicide and am not crying every day. I honestly feel like it has given me my life back.”

10 / 10
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Hummingbird June 11, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “I started venlafaxine after ending up in the psych ward for suicidal ideation and it’s been working super well ever since! My mood is way better and I can actually function again. I still have the occasional bad day but now it’s much easier to cope with my depression and snap out of whatever funk I’m in rather than spiraling for months. I really haven’t had any bad side effects while taking venlafaxine at all which is nice. The one thing keeping me from giving it 10/10 is I’ve missed doses every now and then and I get super disoriented, irritable, and emotional within a day of missing a dose, as well as really bizarre vivid dreams that leave me waking up super super dissociated. It’s easy to recognize that these symptoms are because I missed a dose by accident though and they tend to go away within a day of getting back on my medication. Overall, I’ve had a very positive experience on this medication and think it’s definitely worth trying out!”

9 / 10
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Anonymous November 24, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “After 7 years of trial and error, This year I found a fantastic psychiatrist and I was finally told about "effexor". From being tossed on so many different medications in the past and none of them working I was SO desperate to feel better and also hopeless at the same time because I had felt like I had already tried EVERYTHING but I gave it a shot. After 3 months my entire mind set started to change for the better. Little by little I started getting out of bed again, socializing again, I rarely have nightmares anymore, I feel a lot more calm, I don't overthink little things and I genuinely look forward to waking up now. Do not give up on this drug if you don't feel better immediately, nothing will make you completely feel better but this is as close as I've ever gotten. Give it about 3 months to work and a year to fully work. I was a drug user and was at rock bottom/completely hopeless and because of effexor I am alive today.”

10 / 10
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Anon · Taken for 1 to 6 months September 29, 2021

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “Starting taking Effexor for major depression, anxiety (incl anxiety attacks). After my second child was born with health issues my previous conditions worsened. I’d never had much luck with medications anyway but I went on and off a few of the typical ones. Some had no impact, some made things worse. This is helping. I feel good about taking it as it’s making a difference. Like all meds there were side effects in the beginning - they ease up after a couple weeks and it was worth it for me. I’m not crying every day, I’m not filled with rage, I’m not filled with panic. Things are more manageable. My sleep is better. It’s a journey of course but this is helping. I feel a little more like me and the person I am in my head if that makes sense. I was at risk of losing everything and now I feel invested in things. I’m glad I’ve given it a go. Hope this helps someone out there figuring out what’s best.”

9 / 10
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Marie · Taken for less than 1 month January 9, 2020

Effexor (venlafaxine): “I am delighted with result of venlafaxine. I had a breakdown and visited my GP in desperation due to panic attacks, depression, crippling anxiety, heavy drinking and an addiction to codeine. The side effects were initially a bit uncomfortable but they have settled. I am lacking motivation but I have only been on it for 2 weeks and I figure I need some time to recover from my breakdown so I’m just going with it for now. It has made me feel so much calmer, it has stopped me drinking and taking codeine which I was using to self medicate. This medication has saved my life. I’ve given it a 9 as my libido is suffering.”

9 / 10
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Bone · Taken for 10 years or more January 23, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “I was prescribed Effexor XR 75 mg to start off with in 1992. 24 hours into I quickly noticed I was more focused. 2 weeks into it I stopped having mood swings and any feelings of depression. 1 month into my wife said I appeared to be less irritable and able to reason much better. About 2 years into it, I spoke with doctor about increasing the dosage. I went to 150 mg. I am now taking 225 mg. My only regret is, it is addicting! Miss a dose, and you will feel so bad! However; Looking back, I made right the decision and do not regret it.”

10 / 10
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Frequently asked questions

CelestialWolf · Taken for 1 to 6 months April 29, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “I was severely depressed and I've tried many SSRIs, and none of them helped. In fact, they made me worse and I wanted to end my life. Since I've been on 112.5mg of Effexor, I feel like I've been renewed and yes I still have my bad days and occasional suicidal thoughts since mine are chronic, I have no desire to act on them ever again. To me this is a miracle drug. You've got to try it. I recommend it.”

9 / 10
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B October 25, 2019

Effexor (venlafaxine): “Started this medication Effexor in combination with therapy for major depressive disorder, anxiety, and borderline personality disorder. I worked up to 150 mg from 37.5mg. It has helped me immensely. I’m less irritable, I have energy again, stopped sleeping 14 hours a day, anxiety is better, and I feel happier than I have in a long time. I have forgotten to take it for a day and didn’t notice any symptoms at that point. I had a bit of a headache and maybe some nausea at first and with dosage increase but it was mild and went away after a day or so.”

10 / 10
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Antares · Taken for 1 to 6 months April 16, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “I have ulcerative colitis, endometriosis, & diverticulitis. All of these chronic illnesses have contributed to my clinical depression. I have tried 3 different antidepressants, which all caused horrible side effects. I stopped taking them for 4 years. I recently started back, about 5 months ago, & was immediately put on Effexor XR 75mg. After 5 weeks, my doc increased it to 150mg. I haven't had any side effects, except I finally found an antidepressant that works for me, greatly. It has definitely been a life-changer.”

10 / 10
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Stable · Taken for 2 to 5 years September 22, 2020

Effexor (venlafaxine): “After 10 years of Major depression and extreme anxiety- trying several different medication combos I was offered ECT, but I was hesitant. As a last resort we tried Effexor 150mg, Wellbutrin 150mg and Abilify 5mg. Within 3 months the anxiety and depression started to lift. 3 years later I have no anxiety or depression. I am stable and feel at peace. For past 6 months my dosage has been Venlor 37,5mg, Wellbutrin 150mg and Abilify 2.5mg. Over the next 6 months I will try and reduce further- but weaning off Effexor literally means reducing one little bead in the capsule per day otherwise withdrawal can be unpleasant. My only negative had been weight gain of 10kgs in 3 years, despite watching my diet and daily exercise. I am 58 years old and have always been slim, now I’m plump. I hope to lose the weight over time. Other side effects are dry mouth and constipation. But they are negligible if it means being happy.”

9 / 10
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violet · Taken for 2 to 5 years December 16, 2019

Effexor (venlafaxine): “I've had depression for 20 years (both chronic/moderate, and 3 previous severe episodes). Tried every class of psych med (30 total), SSRIs all made me sleepy, numb, apathetic. I take Lamictal (150mg), Effexor (75mg) and Ritalin (30mg) which is the best medicine combo for my depression. Pros: Effexor demolishes anxiety and severe episodes (crying spells, suicidal thoughts). Less sedating (compared to SSRIs). I feel calm, no insomnia. Cons: Excessive sweating (at higher doses), some lethargy, and dry eye. ****Do not go cold turkey, ask for the "Prozac Taper" to avoid the shock of withdrawals*** No drug is a cure-all. Effexor does not cause weight gain or increased appetite (for me) It's prevented severe episodes and I'll stay on it for life, unless something better comes out.”

9 / 10
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Tabby · Taken for 5 to 10 years September 3, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “This Effexor XR is the best by far, antidepressant I have been on. Going on about 7 years now. The ONLY thing I HATE is that if I miss 2 doses bc I forgot (BPII) it is thee worst feeling I cannot explain it. But I am so grateful for this medication, it has made my life easier.”

10 / 10
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Lela · Taken for 2 to 5 years May 19, 2020

Effexor (venlafaxine): “Effexor has got to be the worst of the worst to try to come off of. I am still trying to come off this completely after taking 225mg daily for 3 years I still cannot get threw the withdrawal symptoms they are horrific if any one has any suggestions how to help please let me know”

8 / 10
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DFV July 28, 2020

Effexor (venlafaxine): “I have many labels: depression, anxiety, tinnitus, chronic pain, insomnia, dissociation, anorexia ... 16 years ago. I was a single mother, and broke. All meds led to weight gain taking forever to lose. I realized "you can't medicate a crappy life away". I moved to the ocean, reconnected with nature and found a Trauma Psychologist. EMDR, and Exposure Therapy helped me manage symptoms. I was pharmaceutical free until a minor relapse and was prescribed Effexor (105 mg/day). In 2 months I stopped being active, social, had headaches, dry mouth, constipation, gained 20 pounds! I went off cold turkey, within a few days felt like myself again (minus weight gain depression). Now, a week off effexor, sleep better, eat less, returned to beach walks to increase dopamine. I hope that it's not going to take long to lose the weight. I'm more depressed and have lower self esteem when I lose touch with my body. This was my experience.”

1 / 10
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Flag · Taken for 1 to 6 months March 7, 2020

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “I was taking this drug Effexor for the 4 months, I gained 45 lbs that I cannot loose. Side effects are horrible, you feel like zombie, no feelings at all. No fear, no love, no hate... nothing. You do not want anything- sex, love, food, nothing is matter. In spite of not eating much, because this medication reduces appetite, I put on 45 lbs in 4 month, and my fiancé left me. From size s to Xl. My depression did not get any better. Moreover I became aggressive and broke my phone. After I stopped it I had a very bed withdrawals, chest pain and panic attacks. I was referred to cardiologist and had echo stress test. I regret I was taking that crappy drug. I do not recommend to take it.”

1 / 10
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Bluebuzz · Taken for 10 years or more June 1, 2019

Effexor (venlafaxine): “Having suffered from chronic low mood for years I was prescribed Venlafaxine (effexor) by a psychiatrist in UK. Initially 225mg but didn't find that much of a change then on 300mg I suddenly felt better. That was over 10 years ago. I am now 45years old and have had no further periods of depression since and have continued taking it. That is despite being almost permanently depressed before taking it. Yes I have low moods now occasionally but they are due to situational stress and a normal reaction to rubbish things happening. And I have not had suffered any major side effects, certainly nothing that would stop me taking it. Night sweats are probably the worst. And I do suffer from withdrawals if I forget to take the medication for 24hrs. Overall a very positive and life changing drug. BTW. I also have done CBT and self help along side taking medication which has helped but the drug definitely made the main difference.”

10 / 10
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NurseSlacky · Taken for 1 to 2 years May 26, 2016

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “I have been taking Effexor for 13 months now. Initially I was prescribed 75 mg while hospitalized at an inpatient psychiatric facility but that was increased to 150 mg by the time I was discharged. Never in my life have I felt this way - normal!! My crying spells, anhedonia, suicidal ideations, psychosis... it's all gone gone gone! This medication has saved my life. I am so happy to take my meds every morning.”

10 / 10
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Reidee · Taken for 1 to 6 months April 2, 2015

Effexor (venlafaxine): “I have experienced chronic anxiety, panic attacks, and depression for 20+ years. I've been on several different medications over the years, but none of them worked entirely. My depression increased over the years, because I believed, nothing could help my problems. I was admitted to a psychiatric unit recently due to suicidal ideations. The attending doctor said he would like to start me on Effexor. I would not allow myself to read the side effects of this medicine, due to my anxiety and the possibility of developing psychosomatic symptoms. Within a week, I began feeling hope, excitement for life, and my anxiety was nearly gone! I've been on this medicine now for over a month, and I have never felt this good my entire life! Try this Med!!!”

10 / 10
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Alma · Taken for 1 to 6 months March 22, 2020

Effexor (venlafaxine): “I am on 150 mg daily of effexor and have no apparent side effects. Started on 37.5 mg, then went to 75 mg, then 150 mg without major complications. My depression has decreased. I feel like a normal person again since I was having a really debilitating episode that didn't get better with other antidepressants. Currently, this is the only medication I am taking. I have been on it for two months and it also eased a lot of my PMS symptoms which used to get quite severe mood-wise. However, PMS/PDD wasn't what it was prescribed for and haven't heard anyone else's experiences regarding this issue.”

9 / 10
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Manic January 7, 2021

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “I was in the hospital for suicidal ideation and they gave me Effexor. I remember I was sick the first night (nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain) but after the second day I magically felt better. The depression felt like it went away and I was ready to be released and start my life back. Well this turned into an EXTREME manic episode less than a week later. I left my relationship of 4 years, I ran off and engaged in dangerous activities, shut everyone out of my life. But I felt “happy” I was out of my mind. I don’t have bipolar disorder but this is exactly what it felt like. 2 months later this all came crashing down and I ended right back in a psych ward again after trying to commit suicide. My therapist told me she calls it “sideffexor” because it’s a hit or miss medicine, it either really works or makes things worse. If you start this medicine I highly recommended being closely monitored, it can be dangerous.”

2 / 10
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BC2015 June 9, 2015

Effexor (venlafaxine): “I'm writing this review hoping this medication will help someone else. I remember sleepless night looking up reviews on all antidepressant medications and effexor did really work. Had the worst depression in my short 27 years of life, this medication help me lift up and get back to work. I went on short term disablitly for about two months due to the extreme depression had no interest in life what so ever. Got back to work and even got a promotion several months later. Thank God for this medication and for the strength he gave me through the process.”

9 / 10
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StacyAnna · Taken for 1 to 2 years July 9, 2016

Effexor (venlafaxine): “I've been on antidepressants for 16 years. From Celexa, to Prozac, to Paxil with none ever truly taking away my depression and anxiety. I suffer from major depressive disorder, ptsd, anxiety and I'm bipolar as well. Since starting Effexor, my life has dramatically changed for the better. I'm honestly the happiest and calmest I've been since the age of 15. I started with 37.5mg 2x daily and I'm now up to max dosage. I've zero side effects and can function fully without benzodiazepines for my anxiety thanks to this medication. I HIGHLY recommend giving it a try, especially if no other antidepressants have truly made you feel 100%. It's possible to beat depression with the right medication, just keep on trying and hang in there!”

10 / 10
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Cristian87 April 28, 2016

Effexor XR (venlafaxine): “Alittle over a year ago I started suffering from the worst depression I have ever had before this I had minor depression but more anxiety social anxiety ect. During this bad depression I felt like I would never get better and lost all hope stoped working and felt like I would never be the same person as I was. I was only 27 at that time with two daughters I would never commit suicide to to my belief But I felt like I couldnt go on as soon as I woke up from sleeping maybe few hours my mind was running and I hated every minute of being alive feeling like this. I was prescribed effexor and went back to work with in a week I stared feeling like this might work fast forward a year I got promotion at my job and no anxiety or depression now.”

9 / 10
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Mike001 · Taken for 6 months to 1 year December 10, 2015

Effexor (venlafaxine): “I'm currently on venlafaxine, 300mg/day, and have been on it for 6 months now. This stuff works beautifully for me. I had/have MDD, GAD, SAD, and took Paxil for 10 years, which worked quite well until 8 months ago. I was scared of switching because of the fact that not all anti-depressants work for everyone, and I was terrified of fully reverting back to my suicidal, petrified old self. My psychiatrist was able to convince me after a couple months to go for it. On the venlafaxine I feel calm, HAPPY, able to concentrate, mildly euphoric, and better than I did in my early days of taking Paxil. This stuff is hit or miss for different people, but don't be scared to try it if you haven't. And give it time to work.”

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.

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