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Effexor Success Stories

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Thank you for this thread.

I have been more or less constantly depressed and anxious (to varying degrees) since I was 21 (I am now 35), even though I can remember dark moments in my childhood as well.

The internet can easily be the place to make you decide against medication, not just Efexor (one F here, don't know why). After trying to fight it on my own and in therapy without drugs for so long I have just taken my first pill. I will gladly keep you updated and I am confident mine will be a success story too (fingers crossed and all that :)).

What I noticed and wanted to bring to everyone's attention though was how many of the people that have Efexor-related horror stories to report drank alcohol while taking it.

When we're in the dark it is easy to use alcohol as a crutch but it's unfair to ourselves to not give anything else a decent shot by continuing to drink.

It has been my impression that a lot of people, maybe even most, that had truly horrid experiences with Efexor and other anti-depressants were taking them while still drinking heavily as well as abusing other substances. I don't know how many, they seemed many once I realized there might be a causal link.

It's not my aim to criticize anyone, but because this is a success story thread perhaps this hint for something to look at in failure stories might be useful.

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  • 2 months later...

Just wanted to provide some encouragement to those considering Effexor.

I was on 150mg of Effexor for approximately 3 years.

In my opinion, this medication was very helpful for both my depression and anxiety. Without this medication, I simply could have not recovered from the severe depression I was experiencing at the time. I also found that it worked extremely well for panic disorder and I was able to face so many situations that I never could have naturally.

I was terribly fearful of weight gain before starting this medication, however if anything, the medication only made me lose weight as it reduced my appetite.

I did experience night sweats on the medication, however for me this side effect was not nearly as bad as the alternative (depression and anxiety resistant to other medications).

You may have read reviews on brain zaps on this medication, however in my experience this is ONLY if you miss a dose or don't take the medication at a similar time each day. I know from experience it is not a pleasant side effect, but for me it was VERY easily avoided by ensuring you take the medication at the same time each day (use an alarm as a reminder, if that works for you).

I am no longer on Effexor, and while I did experience the common withdrawal symptoms for a couple of weeks, it was definitely not as horrific as I expected (I had read so many terrible reviews on this topic which also made me fearful to start the medication).

For me, Effexor was a success, and based on my personal experience, I would recommend it to anyone experiencing depression or anxiety that has not responded to an SSRI.

I read so many bad reviews before taking Effexor and these made me feel hesitant, however I am SO glad I had the courage to give Effexor a go. Unfortunately I believe it is difficult to determine exactly how you will react to a medication by reading someone else's review.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Feeling tired at first is totally normal, that should wear off shortly, once your body adjusts to the meds.

The nausea may be due to taking it on an empty stomach. Make sure you are not in the least hungry, at all, when you take it. I take mine right after breakfast.

37.5 is the lowest dose possible, you may need more than that before you really start feeling good, as opposed to just feeling the side effects. I'm on 262.5mg.

300mg is considered the max so you have lots of room to adjust if necessary.

I've been on Effexor for many years and it's the best AD I've been on so far. I hope it works out for you!

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  • 3 months later...

Hi! I've been researching taking this medication for days now. I even got the prescription and held out from picking it up, but i am just so tired of feeling like crap and wanting to sleep all day.

So I have just started my first dose this morning. I'm taking the generic (as I do not have health insurance) so I will update you and let you know my feelings are on it.

I'm happy I found this forum, because if i went with everything else I saw on the net, there is NO WAY I would be testing this out right now.

I am in my mid 30's. I'm a female and I have definitely tried my fair share of drugs. My psychiatrist even asked me what each drug felt like to me, and this is the reason he prescribed me Effexor/Venlafaxine.

So far, I am on 37.5mg to start.

I took it this morning around 8:15am.

I feel okay.

I do have to say, I felt a bit of a headache come on, and am feeling a bit of a high. Kinda like what ecstasy felt like when I first took it. Not that intense though.

I'm going to be brutally honest, and use this as a sort of diary, because everywhere I looked, no one gave me a clear explanation of what it felt like for them or what it was doing to them.

I am not ashamed of my experimental drug use, I do not have an addictive personality and I am not bi-polar or a manic depressive.
I have just been feeling super down, and hopeless the last two maybe three years and I was sick and tired of feeling like that.

Just wanting to feel somewhat normal again.

I have tried talk therapy, visceral therapy, cranial sacral, hypnotherapy.

I have lost two best friends of mine in the past and in the last two years, I witnessed my father dying of cancer.

So i'm pretty sure I am dealing with a lot of grievance right now and am looking for something to make me feel better again.

Get the seratonin to level out.


Hope this helps.

Will look forward to seeing if i continue on this and seeing the results.

Feel free to reply and give me your thoughts.

Edited by Urban_forage
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  • 8 months later...

Hello all,

I am new here. Right now I cant stop crying. I am very afraid. I dont know how to survive that. I really need friends that understand that and help.

I am taking effexor xr 75 g for 45 days. It made me get up of bed, eat again, like some things again and feel some good feelings again.

But I still shaking sometimes, very scared of living and life, I cry a lot, I cant sleep and I wish to higher this dosage soon.

I have severe depression and cronic ansious.

I dont understand depression. I feel I went crazy. I don't understand... I really want help.

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i have been on (and off for short periods) effexor for 14 years. It is a wonder pill for me. 150mg is my most comfortable dose. I have been on 225mg and i think overall i feel emotionally 'best' on 225, i have terrible constipation and zero libido. Constipation is manageable on 150 and whilst the libido is still down, i can get around it a bit by delaying the dose.I tried 75 for a couple of years and i notice a big difference with my motivation and sleep.

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  • 2 months later...

well here i go again i can't really believe i'm back.

I've fighting this bout of depression for 9 months without pills and I've finally given in.

some ***** last december decided to hit me in a night club when i wasn't looking and then i got attacked of three of them outside.

I got my face smashed up and needed a op but it seemed to bring my depression back again.

This is my 4th prescription prozac citoplan sirtelene and now this.

I'm two weeks in on 35 mg twice a day and at the moment i feel more depressed and realising that life just sucks.

It would all tsp if i wasn't here but thats not a option so please work venafaxadine.

I'm sorry if i'm negative i wanted to read positive things as this fog cloud I'm in won't go.

Has anyone had trouble sleeping at night since taking thus med ?

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  • 2 months later...
  • 5 months later...

Working well for me

Been on it nearly a year and it's been much more effective and natural feeling than citalopram or sertraline. my mood has improved without feeling completely wired. Going through a difficult break up at the moment where I need to move house and job. I've raised my dose to 150mg out of fear of losing it again. But this time I'm getting through it well. I've had quite a bit of CBT but venlafaxine seems to be the best one I've tried so far, hope it stays effective.

Edited by tekgrl
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I've been taking this for about a couple of years. At first, I was on 40 mg a day. I found this gave me headaches. I have had severe depression for many years but find with antidepressants that a lower dose (20 mg) works better for me.

I hadn't been taking it every day because of the headaches but if I take pain killers as well (check if this is safe though) I find that it works well. I've recently been making sure I take it every day and found my mood has improved. I think it could be because of these tablets.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have been on Effexor since 1995.  There isn't anything about this drug I probably haven't experienced, but it works.  At least it has better than anything else I tried.  It has some not-so-pleasant side effects, but I've learned to live with them.  I will be on it the rest of my life.  

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  • 4 weeks later...

I started taking Effexor about two weeks ago (this is the second time I've used this med), and I swear I feel better already. I know it can take 6 to 8 weeks for the full benefit. I'm currently taking 75mg and I'm very gradually working my way up to 150mg.

When I took this med years ago the side effects seemed much worse than they do this time. This time I had a very mild headache for a few days and felt a little tired when I went from 37.5 to 75mg, but I have adjusted quickly. I have nothing but positive things to say right now! My depression is lifting, my negative thoughts are under control, and my anxiety is down. Yay!!!

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  • 3 weeks later...

    Hello All Im new nice to meet younow! I hrave been on meds for over10 years. I dont even remember all of them. Anyway I changed my dr around 10 years ago

and Im still with him.Effexor was the first one. it worked great. Acouple of years passed then it was over..I cant remember all of them but ever since the effexor 

stopped working I have been on a merry go round of drugs I read where if you areon anti deppresants for a long time they can stop working Right now Im on 200 mgs of Zoloft and 150 mgs of seroquel. As far as how I feel I would say about 60% myself Im tired of going on and off neds I work Im a teaching asst and I work with special needs kids, his is going to be my final year before I retire. Im trying to tell myself this is how its going to be.Im just not going to feel 100% My husband and I have no family and friends he has family his sister is 82 anyway there have been issues for years and we hardly ever see them I m not working now cause school is closed. Theres a lot more details that I dont want to type right now,cause Im tired and going to bed.


thanks fpr reading


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  • 2 weeks later...

I started taking Effexor XR in 2005 and it worked amazingly well, but after about 7 years it stopped helping, and I gradually started back with depression, and to boot it was causing me high BP and anxiety. It was great while it worked, but like Paxil before it, nothing seems to last forever. I would still recommend it to anyone looking for a respite from depression.

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I started taking Effexor XR in 2005 and it worked amazingly well, but after about 7 years it stopped helping, and I gradually started back with depression, and to boot it was causing me high BP and anxiety. It was great while it worked, but like Paxil before it, nothing seems to last forever. I would still recommend it to anyone looking for a respite from depression.

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After I was stabilized on my most recent cocktail of seroquel(50 mg) and effexor(75 mg) more than three years ago in April 2012, I left the concerns to my psychiatrist. I should add here that my wife and I made judgments about the efficacy of my medication changes within the framework established by my previous psychiatrist eight years ago in 11 and 12/2007 during my last two consultations with him. This new psychiatrist has been treating me and my BPD now for more than 3 years.


After chopping and changing psychiatrists, meds and life-narrative situations in marriage, family and employment from the 1960s to the 2010s, I became tired of the various manifestations of BPD over its several decades in my life and I was happy just to leave my sodium valproate(for BPD) and effexor(for OCPD and depression) package as they were even though this new package had significantly altered my behaviour and life-experience. My story had become a long one and I had no desire for endless chats about it, more detailed and written analysis or much internet participation. After a decade on the internet and joining many sites, I had come to limit my cyberspace participation in the mental health domain. My attitude with: my GP, my psychiatrist, my wife and with anyone who wanted to engage me in a discussion on the topic of my BPD---has become in summary: “let’s just refine the meds, if necessary & as desired, & I can go home.”


On 5 August 2010 my wife and I decided to refine the meds. I doubled the quantity of effexor from 37 & ½ mg to 75 mgs due to an outburst of anger and invective on 4/8/’10. In April 2012, I changed the meds pkg entirely. In the period between 4/8/'10 and 4/11/'12, 27 months, I got out of control twice. In the following year on the new meds I got out of control once. This lack of self-control in an extreme form has been a variable, a critical sign, that required action on my part in order to change my behaviour. Lack of control is still a problem now, even after three years on this new meds cocktail. The level of behavioural lack of control has, I would argue, not been very serious.


After varying lengths of time in intellectual activity, 2 to 3 hours on average, I sometimes rest or go to bed in the last seven years. One can hardly complain, though, given that this fatigue, these experiences, psychological and/or physical weariness, are the lot of Everyman to some degree and in a myriad of different patterns. My story, my experience with sodium valproate, my lithium substitute, began seven years ago in April of 2007.


Effexor was introduced into the medication package in May 2007 to replace the luvox. Sodium valproate is a mood stabilizer & effexor an anti-depressant medication. Effexor(venlafaxine) is also used to treat OCD. My OCD behaviour seems to have increased since going off the lithium. This may be OCPD, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, which I have discussed earlier in this account. This 110,000 word statement deals only tangentially with the OCD and OCPD behaviour in my life.-Ron Price, Australia


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Just wanted to post about Effexor, I took it for 9 mths, and thought it was great I felt that I was better on a lower dose of it. The higher dose seemed to make me more on edge. It did take a while to kick in I would say 10-12 weeks for me,but it did really help. Sadly for me the side effects outweighed the benefits, I ride horses and found that it impaired my fine motor skills and made my responses in the saddle a bit too delayed. I did also gain weight quite a lot, which can be quite prohibitive when schooling a variety of horses.

However I think that had these things not been an issue I would have happily stayed on it, as really helped with my anxiety and my depression and I functioned as a normal working mum who was able to laugh and smile.

On another note my advice on withdrawal is titrate down hard and fast, it is hell but if I can do it , anyone can. I did it in a three week period. Don't left the withdrawal stories put you off trying this me as it really is a very good one. Hope that helps

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  • 2 months later...

13 yrs ago I went through bad post partum depression, crazy anxiety and panic attacks. After alot of exhaustion despair and fear of taking meds i finally did. I first tried celexa which did nothing for me and then they put me on effexor Xr. I ramped up over a period of time to 150 mg. I call it a miracle pill because it took me out of the darkness In everyway possible. I went back to work, i made so many memories with my son. I had no fear. The occassional time id have a panic attack but always triggered im terrified of thunderstorms so id only panic if it was storming. But after the storm passed my anxiety dim8nished and i carried on with my day without a second thought. It did stop its theraputic effects 11 yrs in. Which I then relapsed. Coming off effexor like people say isnt easy but it wasnt as horrific as some people explain. Doing it properly helps tons and taking fish oil i found helped. I was only withdrawly for 2 weeks. Anyway im back on it hoping to have success a second round. Actually not hoping praying that this drug works wonders for me again. And i will confirm when a dose is missed even by a few hrs you do get withdrawl i would get brain zaps and get very irritable. But as soon as I took it within half an hour I was good to go. Anyway if this gives anyone a glimmer of hope that meds can work then it was well worth my time posting this. Not every med will work the same for any individual we are all very unique. Remember that as well. ☺

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  • 4 months later...

I haven't posted here in a while but wanted to share my success story.

A few months ago I was feeling terrible. The bottom of the pit. The dark cloud over my head. I just couldn't even function anymore. I was then on Lexapro (and had been for a while) but it seemed like the meds had just stopped working for me. Also, I gained over 30 pounds in less than a year despite eating healthy (and even restricting myself) and exercising. Since I have body image issues it was another big blow.

I saw a new psychiatrist who switched me to Effexor XR 150mg. The first week was pretty hellish: I had a fever, horrible headaches, hot flashes and was aching all over. Then things slowly started improving for the best. I was still feeling a bit tired so when I saw my psychiatrist again she suggested Wellbutrin to add a little punch. I'm now on Effexor XR 150mg and Wellbutrin XL 150mg (+ Klonopin 0.5mg up to 3 times a day for anxiety). I haven't felt so good in a long time! I have so much energy and I want to do things again! My friends are all commenting on how I look "happier" these days. Last but not least, I've dropped over 10 pounds in a month.

So so far, I'm extremely happy with this new cocktail! Of course, I'm far from "cured" and still need some climbing to get out of the pit, but Effexor has given me the ladder I so needed and I feel like I can finally work on myself and face my painful past. Meds can work very differently from person to person, you just need to find the right molecule for you. 

Big hugs to everyone. There is some hope out there. 

Edited by sadfighter
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Hi all. I've been a long time lurker and decided i should contribute to the forums i've been reading for a long time to gain information.

Just to say that i've been treated with effexor 225mg after my first episode of depression/ocd. It worked really well and i stopped taking it after 2 years of treatment. Then 3 years later i felt i needed something again to cope with life and this time i've decided to try something else with a longer half life because when i missed more than one dose of effexor i got withdrawal symptoms (nothing really bad, just some vertigo and brain zap but kind of annoying).

So this time the pdoc put me on prozac and while reducing my anxiety, it made me feel tired and foggy all the time. I then tried lexapro and cymbalta but the same thing occured, even if it was less pronounced on cymbalta.

So finally i thought that "if it ain't broken, no need to fix it" and went back to effexor 225mg. And it works well. I've got no foggy head and don't feel so tired like i did with the other medication. It even make me wake up early in the morning, something tant can be annoying but i prefer this than sleeping until 1pm...

So this post is meant to give people hope that they will find something that works for them. I really have completely differents side and efficacy from all the other antidepressant and effexor. So while they more or less all belong to the same class of antidepressants (even more so for cymbalta wich is a SNRI), the effect i feel are really nothing alike.

And in my case the withdrawal are not so horrible. It's just physically annoying symptoms, even when i stopped cold tukey from 225mg a day. But i adivse to stop more gradually for those having problems or even try the prozac bridge if they still have difficulty.

Thanks to all on this forum.

Ps: sorry, english is not my first langage.


Edited by Jimy
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thank you for these posts. It makes me wanna try Effexor even more. I've tried one of my friend's Effexor and I really liked it, especially compared to the drug Celexa that my doctor keeps giving it to me. Is there somebody who can or wanna talk more about it? I'm interested in long term usage of this drug. somebody want to help me out?

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