3.6
39 reviews
Other Depression Medicines:
  • Average: 3.8
  • High: 5.0
Brand:
Effexor
Effexor XR

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Effexor XR
 
3.6

(based on 39 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (10)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (15)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (5)

74%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Most Liked Positive Review

 

utterly and completely changed my life for the better

After 9 months on Effexor XR I feel confident to say this drug has completely and utterly changed my life.  I read many reviews before starting the drug, and I was scared to...Read complete review

After 9 months on Effexor XR I feel confident to say this drug has completely and utterly changed my life.  I read many reviews before starting the drug, and I was scared to death of all the reviews that said the drug had horrendous side effects, and was absolutely impossible to get off of.  Well, I have experienced just about every side effect imaginable, that I will outline below for you.  But, I will never experience the effects of withdrawing from the drug, because I have absolutely no intention of getting off the drug.  My life is now phenomenally enjoyable, which I will also outline below.  I'm going to give you complete details, because I wish someone had maybe done the same about a year ago when I was searching desperately for answers to my many questions.  Here goes. ME: I am a forty-something male, married, two sporty kids.  Profession requires public speaking and frequent client interaction.  I was a professsional athlete and continue to work out almost every day.  PROBLEM: I've always been extremely anxious around people, although few people knew it.  It was a constant struggle being around people other than those I knew really well.  I was also nervous talking to important clients or making important presentations, but, again hid it.  The reality, though, was I was not enjoying myself, avoided all such situations, and therefore didn't excel at many things I did, despite the fact that I am a very smart, witty and caring person (don't mean to sound vain - just saying I've always had the tools to be an extremely successful person, but my anxiety/depression squelched everything).  My anxiety occassionally elevated to full blown panic attacks where it was obvious to the people I was with that I was nervous.  I know now that I was experiencing related depression as well. At times I would get into a complete funk, tired and exhausted, despite the fact I was getting lots of sleep.   I would be in a fog. CURE: My GP prescribed ativan at first, since my primary concern was the panic attacks I'd get doing public speaking and meeting with clients.  The ativan worked, but, being an "as needed" drug, I would use it only occassionally and it had a clear "bounce back" effect about 36 hours after use where I would feel very anxious again.  It was no good for the long term.  So, started on Effexor XR.  DOSAGE: Started at 37.5, no effect.  Plus, I didn't sleep a single wink that first night, as if I'd drank 10 cups of coffee just before bed.  Went back to the doctor the next day, he said take an ativan to help you sleep and don't give up.  Long story short, every week I kept upping the dosage by 37.5 mg.  I got to 150mg, I think, when all of a sudden I felt happier than I had in at least 20 years.  I was belting out tunes in the car listening to the radio; I was talking and interacting with my wife and children much more frequently; I was feeling more "love" and "care" towards both my wife and children. I assume that it was me coming out of depression.  I also suddenly had NO anxiety whatsoever.  I became confident, funny (even with complete strangers at the store) and the "anxiety button" that used to pop on simply wouldn't, even when I tried to make it happen by such thoughts as "Oh God, I'm gonna get nervous and embarass myself, please don't, etc"  My career has literally taken off, since I'm now confident, using my humour and smarts to make a difference in people's lives.  Oh, by the way, there was a blip along the way, when, after about 3 months on 150 mg, I suddenly started feeling anxious again.  Saw the doctor, and he said it was normal, that I still hadn't quite found the right dosage.  So, I went up to 225 mgs, and things got good again.  Been there since, and life is still great. SIDE EFFECTS:  Well, here's the downside.  But, remember, to me, the side effects, as numerous as they are, rate a 1 out of 10, to me, as compared to a 9.5 out of 10 when I consider the benefits of this drug to me.  In other words, the side effects would have to be a WHOLE lot worse before I'd remotely consider getting off this drug.  Here they are, in the order they happened: 1) insomnia - had trouble sleeping at first, but now I sleep like a baby, better than ever before in my life.  My wife complains of the snoring, but I wake up well rested.  I do have many and extremely vivid dreams, as experienced by others.  But, they are almost always extremely interesting.  I've not yet had a single "terror" dream, just the standard dream that one of my kids is slipping out of my hands on a cliff, that I always had 2) initially, I saw an increase in anxiety, before it started to improve.  Now, its non-existent.  3) initially, I lost almost all my appetite.  It felt like I was sick to my stomach when I sat down to eat.  I lost body fat and looked probably better than  I had in years.  That lasted about a month, then my appetite gradually returned.  Now, my appetite is probably stronger than before and I can gobble down the food like crazy if I don't watch it.  I've heard some people gain significant weight on this drug and I believe it.  You have to have self-control.  4) I get diarrhea periodically after eating which never used to happen to me.  5) I do get the "sweats" - especially in the summer.  At one point, I was outside do physical activity on a hot day.  I think my blood pressure dropped and I felt like I was about to pass out.  The sweating seems to have stopped.  Time will tell.  6) My sex drive has diminished slightly.  Also, my erections are there, and then are "going|" - the doctor prescribed cialis, but it doesn't seem to change anything.  The good news, is that my orgasms are extremely intense, and, for better or worse, the volume of semen has about tripled.  Why that would be, I have no idea, but its a fact.  Peter North, here I come.  7) Very periodically, I get the "brain shivers" people refer to - when I turn my head it feels like my brain is still pointing in the previous direction.  Its the only way to describe it.  Its a fleeting feeling and lasts a split second.  Happens maybe a few times a week 8) No adverse effects from drinking alcohol, even after one night when I was WAY downtown with freddy brown.  So, in the end, I wish I had started taking this drug 15 years ago.  I'm convinced that my chronic anxiety was what led to my depression.  I also think it is all chemical and  not environmental or cognitive in nature, for me.  This single drug has changed everything.  I don't need therapy or anything like that.  I now take great pleasure in things I used   to avoid.  My doctor told me that it was a "wonder drug", a "magic bullet", for some people.  If you might be in that category, as I think I am, your heart will burst with relief, happiness and love if you get on this thing.  I hope this helps.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Not worth the headache.

I began taking Effexor FX a year ago when I felt overcome by emotions. The first two weeks on these pills were rough. I had crippling headaches, felt dizzy and lightheaded and had...Read complete review

I began taking Effexor FX a year ago when I felt overcome by emotions. The first two weeks on these pills were rough. I had crippling headaches, felt dizzy and lightheaded and had trouble getting out of bed to function normally. After the adjustment period these symptoms diminished and I felt good for a while. I even had the dosage doubled after a few months when it started to wear off at the dosage of 75 mg. I am not one who likes to take pills for anything. I was skeptical about taking Effexor FX to begin with, but my real concern came the first day I missed a dose of the pill. I experienced what I call lightening headaches. I couldn't function well, I needed to sleep a lot during the day and it felt like electricity was buzzing from one side of my head to the other. I then researched the side effects of Effexor FX online and found the numerous complaints about weight gain, headaches and addiction. I recently stopped taking Effexor FX and feel like a veil has been lifted. I can feel my emotions again and I am no longer experiencing the headaches.Bottom line: I do not recommend Effexor FX. If you are depressed, seek a counselor or therapist who can help you through the issues at hand or at least take the time to assess your situation and your need for an antidepressant.

Reviewed by 39 customers

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(5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Ineffectual (in my case) and severe side effects

By 

from USA

Comments about Effexor XR:

I'd like to warn others against taking this drug. I've previously used Zoloft, Cipralex, Seroxat. None of them gave been very effective, and Effexor did not do any better. But side effects are much worse. Apart from the usual libido issues you get severe and debilitating withdrawal symptoms including dizziness and electric zaps to the brain. I would advise anyone to exhaust all other options before trying Effexor.

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(32 of 36 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Don't quit cold turkey! Vertigo, hallucinations, extreme nervou

By 

from Verona, KY

Comments about Effexor XR:

This drug should be taken off the market!  If you are thinking about going with drug to help anxiety or depression, Think again!  I must say, it helped me, I was no longer nervous and I could handle myself in front of a crowd of people, which is why I started taking the prescription in the first place.  But when I looked into it and realized how bad of a drug it actually was, I quit cold turkey thus giving me the worst case of vertigo I have ever heard of!  I could not stand up straight, I could not eat, I kept seeing things out of the corner of my eyes it was the craziest feeling I have ever had.  The worst part, it lasted about three days and that was with me only the meds for about a month and a half!  Think of someone who has been on it for months or even years!

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(5 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Do NOT use this product

By 

from Scottsdale, AZ

Comments about Effexor XR:

My Doctor prescribed me Effexor X.R. .. 75 mg and I take 3 capsules every day. This medicine  can be extreamly dangerous and addictive. The side effects are endless and if you miss just 1 dose, you feel horrible, sweaty and out of control. I KNOW one day that the Health Department WILL take this OFF of the Canadian market due to it's side effects. IF your doctor does prescribe this for you......read everything you can about it before it is to late and you are stuck on it, or you have to go through with-drawls ( 3 to 4 days ) which will scare the heck out of you.

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(5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Effexor XR Works for the Purpose, But scared to go without

By 

from Aurora, CO

Comments about Effexor XR:

I have been on effexor for almost One Year.  When I take it regularly, it serves its purpose very well.  I can control my emotions and feel more level headed and less emotionally charged.  There have been a few times I have gone somewhere, or ran out of my prescription before being able to pick up my refill and those days are NOT pretty!  I am prescribed 150 mg a day.  It says it can cause odd dreams, but for me when i take it regularly I have no dreams. (which for me IS odd because ive always been an active dreamer)  If i go 24 hours without my pills I am ok, but getting into 48 hours is when my head starts ringing, I get super irritable and dizzy, sick to my tummy, and just feel out of it.  In someways I am more afraid of what i am like when I do not take my pills then what I was like before i even started taking them.  I am not looking forward to come off of this medication.  At this time I am receiving a great benefit from the company that manufactures, and due to low income receive free mailed to me pills.

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(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Helped some and had the least amount of side effects

By 

from De Witt, IA

Comments about Effexor XR:

I started suffering from depression due to chronic pain..  Effexor really did help my depression symptoms for a long time.  I took it for a year and a half without to many terrible side effects, and i do reccomend to some that my not be gettign what they need from thier antidepressant.. Talk to your doc asap if your meds are not working..  Ask him/her if Effexor will help your depression symptoms.  It helped me some, for much longer then most have..  If you feel you are getting feelings of constan sadness, want to hurt yourself or others..  Pleas talk to your doctor, not just about effexor but about anythign to help yourself with depression.

It can be brought on by stress, kids, first time mother, and sometime just life in general NOT just from chronic Pain..  Get the names of many meds and see if one may help you..  I tried MANY prescribed meds..  none worked til I found Effexor..  Maybe it will help you too.

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(10 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Time released depression med that really helps me.

By 

from Moberly, MO

Comments about Effexor XR:

I know each person, who has depression, has different chemical make up. With my depression I also have anxiety. I have found Effexor XR helps me along with some other medication to control my clinical depression.

Depression is a chemical imbalance in a person. It takes chemicals to help balance out that problem. Effexor XR  works the best for me. It seems to work better when taken in the morning. I'm told this is more of an upper drug. I also noticed that I don't have as much anxiety while on it.

I enjoy being able to enjoy waking up, as I am a morning person. If you have depression either clinical or seasonal with anxiety, I suggest, even urge you to talk to your doctor and even a psych doctor to find out if this product is a fit for you.

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(9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

This drug gave me my life back!!

By 

from Elgin, IL

Comments about Effexor XR:

I suffered from daily headaches and multiple migraines a year. 14 months ago my Dr. put me on 75mg of Effexor XR daily and since going on the drug I do not have daily headaches and have not had a migraine in over 13 months; This drug gave me my life back. My husband also takes this drug but for anixiety. While this drug is commonly used for depression and anxiety it works well for people like me who suffer from migraines. Prior to using Effexor we tired a blood pressure med (didn't work).

If you suffer from headaches and have tried multiple other drugs ask you Dr. about Effexor XR.

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(10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Great, while it works

By 

from Anchorage, AK

Comments about Effexor XR:

When I was finally, officially diagnosed with depression after at least three years of living with it and not realizing that was the problem, Effexor XR was the first medication my doctor prescribed for me, and at least at first, it worked incredibly well. I honestly felt like I was coming back to life after having been dead for years, and I had a couple weeks in particular that were really great (unfortunately they may have been a consequence of accidentally taking a higher dose than I was supposed to). I spent about a year on Effexor, I think, and several months in, I realized that its effectiveness had been gradually wearing off. I don't know if that's because of the drug itself or because of my reaction to it, although it's happened with later antidepressants my doctor tried me with, so it's entirely possible others wouldn't experience the same effect. While it worked, it worked very well, and it was the best of the four I've tried so far.

Effexor does have some unpleasant side effects when you first start taking it--I was nauseated for a while, but it wasn't bad. I also read horror stories about heroin-like withdrawal symptoms, but I actually had no such problems tapering off it once my doctor and I decided to try something else.

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(9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Effexor XR saved my life.

By 

from Austin, TX

Comments about Effexor XR:

I have been clinically depressed for about as far back as I can remember and have been on prescription medication for my depression since I was 18.  I was put on Effexor XR two years ago and of the many different prescriptions I've taken for my depression, this has by FAR worked out the best for me.

It took a while for the dosage to really take effect, but once it did, life felt completely different.  I have mood swings quite frequently (I am bipolar), and once I started taking the Effexor, that stopped.  Suddenly, life was worth living for, despite the fact that I had just dropped out of school, was unemployed, was single and had just lost a baby...despite all of the negative in my life, I felt positive, for once.  

Since then, I have turned my life around -- I am married, have a career and have a 6 month old son, and I feel I really owe that to the Effexor XR.  

HOWEVER, I had to stop taking it while I was pregnant, and since going back on, they came out with a generic, so my insurance decided to stop paying for the brand name - only for the generic.  The generic hasn't been nearly as effective, and i've started having bad mood swings again and bouts of depression (I'm in the process of trying to switch meds, yet again).  

The only negatives of the Effexor are really the price (it is quite expensive, especially now that my insurance won't cover it) and I did have some vertigo when I quit taking it for my pregnancy, but didn't experience any of the other bad side effects other people complain of.  I have been on six different anti-depressants before Effexor XR, and it is, so far, the only drug that has worked for me.

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(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Helped me cope

By 

from Phoenix, AZ

Comments about Effexor XR:

I had topped out on Prozac but was still severely depressed, so my ARNP put me on Effexor. She said that it worked on two neurotransmitters instead of just the normal one (this was back about 7 or 8 years ago when that was new). 

It definitely made a difference. I didn't keep having to have my dosage upped every couple of months, which was a problem with Prozac. And it made things seem far more manageable. I didn't hide under the covers at the thought of dealing with bills or chores or errands. 

Obviously, this worked really well for me. I did still have to go on other medications in addition -- later we found out I am Bipolar II, one of the symptoms of which is building up a tolerance to anti-depressants -- but I've stuck with this one as my main anti-depressant for years.

That said, this is not a drug you should just fling yourself on. There are definitely some side effects you need to know about:

1. Dizziness: If I don't take my meds by 2 or 3 pm, the world spins just about every time I move my eyes. Not pleasant. So, if nothing else, you need to make sure you DO NOT run out. Otherwise, you become too ill to go pick up the meds.

2. Tapering down: It's apparently one of the hardest meds to get off of. You have to taper down VERY slowly. Like months and months between steps. At one point, I was asked to stop taking the 37.5 mg (which was in addition to my 3 75-mg pills) and, even when they added another anti-depressant in, I had a very, very rough month or two. I felt like I was standing at a cliff, watching a tsunami come at me. I wasn't hit hard yet, but I had this feeling of impending... not doom, but being swept away maybe?

3. It's pricey. Very Very Pricey. You need to have insurance or you cannot afford this drug. 

That said, it has made a huge difference in my life and has kept me anchored for several years now. If you're severely depressed and other medications aren't working, it may be worth risking some side effects, if it means becoming functional again.

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