Brand name Effexor or generic venlafaxine?

Hi all,

Sorry for the multiples questions about Effexor/ venlafaxine. I tried to go back and look in older posts regarding whether or not Hain recommends the brand name Effexor or generic of venlafaxine.

Hains’ most updated flowchart says “venlafaxine” but I could have sworn I saw some posts from previous members stating we should not take the generic (which would stink bc brand name is crazy expensive).

I’m sorry if I couldn’t find this info in prior posts (tried my best).

Really appreciate your help!

You will find your safest answer in there.

Spoiler alert😂 even my own Doctor who is MAV clueless wouldn’t touch the immediate form with the proverbial barge pole. She does however always prescribe the generic ‘Venlafaxine’. May well be different here in U.K. as I don’t recall ever noticing any ‘Effexor’ on the pharmacy shelves, only ‘Venlafaxine’

1 Like

Thank you for the information Helen :blush: yew from what I can see the generic version “venlafaxine” is what is seen all over Hain’s website.

I think there were some posts on this forum a few weeks back that discussed using only brand name but can’t seem to find them now.

It seems most responded to my original post about the combo of verapamil and Effexor wrote that they were taking “venlafaxine.”

Term used could well depend on country of origin if the poster. I’ve never heard it referred to as Effexor here in U.K. Possibly it only exists as Venlafaxine here. Not sure.

Somewhere below there is a reference to Dr Hains preference for Effexor.
Generic effexor xr or name brand
Venlafaxine ER–your experiences and advice, please?
Generics vs Brand names?

1 Like

Hi there,

If it helps, I take generic venlafaxine and it works just fine. I take several migraine meds and I think it is the most efficacious. Best of luck with your treatment path!


1 Like

Just to add, perhaps “Effexor” is referred to often because it is easier to say.

1 Like

Hi Lorissa,

Thanks very much for the information! Trying to figure out proper dosage of verapamil before adding in another med.

originally I thought I would switch to propranolol, but may stick with the verapamil for now as its helping with the cluster headaches I get everyday.

How are you feeling on your topa/ venlafaxine/ aimovig combo these days? I hope you are feeling much better and getting the much needed relief we all so greatly pray for and deserve :pray:.

The meds combo is working pretty well! Obviously it’s a lot, but it’s been arrived at via a process of trial and error, and adding when symptoms haven’t been decreasing sufficiently.

I had a span of 10 weeks or so recently where I’d say my head symptoms were about a 1/1.5 level, such a relief. They’ve gone up a bit to maybe 2.5 following a root canal, but still, so much better than a year or two years ago. Even last summer when my baseline level was not as good as it is now, I was in the country and went canoeing for the first time, and was thinking, “I would not have felt well enough to do this a year ago.” And when I was at the worst point with my symptoms I truly thought I must have the most intractable case of chronic vestibular migraine ever (there are also other complications: persistent post-concussion, chronic pain). Since I’ve been taking this med combo I also have not had a severe attack of the kind that used to disable me completely for 6-12 hours, unable to move my head on the pillow even a millimetre, so that is a plus.

Still definitely a ways from normal but 1) reaching some acceptance of my conditions/symptoms and knowing that it’ll take some effort to manage them and 2) being open to treatments of all kinds definitely helped. (I also did concussion therapy and vision therapy, somewhat similar to VRT, as well as acupuncture, and other things.)

I read just a bit of your history and definitely feel for you. I know how dark it feels when the symptoms are just so persistent. Besides the daily suffering there is also grief for the person you feel you have lost (the former you, who could do things you now can’t). This was very difficult for me and having support in the form of loved ones and a few accepting friends, really just support from anyone who is understanding, meant everything.

I’m just one person but a couple of years ago would not have thought I would be feeling as I do now. I can almost envision enjoying a dinner out with friends (not happening now b/c of Covid but that’s ok, I need a little while longer to be ready) and have thought that in a few months I may try to attempt building up my screen tolerance (this was something that went completely, cannot sit at my iMac at all, but it’s not as nauseating as it used to be) and wondering if/how I might be able to work again.

But know that there are treatments that do work, and when you find something that alleviates your symptoms even 10% your quality of life is so much better. And then another 10%, etc. Best wishes and keep at it. L.


Hi Lorissa,

Glad you have been able to have some relief on that medication combination. It sounds as though you have made some very good progress!

Yes the dark days are still very much present for me right now. I think there was this grace period of not knowing what was going on and thinking this situation was going to be short-lived.

I have accepted that I’m in this for the long haul now, but haven’t figured out how to reconfigure my life when symptoms are still so bad. I had plans to finish school this next year for my nurse practitioner degree.

My expectations are so low now. Now I just pray that someday I can get back into my car and go for a drive or walk down the street without feeling unsteady.

Many of my go-to tactics I used in the past for relieving stress just aren’t doable right now. I used to workout a lot, would go hiking, paddle boarding, go for a drive and check out a new area… all of those are either on hold or just not feasible at this time.

This is truly one of the worst times of my life and I keep questioning if I have the mental fortitude for this.

Sorry to be so slow replying—my heart goes out to you. I have definitely felt how you are feeling now, and remember how much I cried and how sad I was. I too was a very athletic person and it was very difficult to feel that sense of freedom of physicality gone, where going for a walk was unpleasant. I also realized recently that I missed the sense of myself as someone who could thrive in most circumstances, where now I am so much more cautious and aware of weather, lighting conditions, will there be a crowd, how noisy will it be, etc. These feelings are all very understandable. I am sure that others on here have suggested that speaking with a therapist, and if possible someone who specializes in chronic pain, could be helpful in giving you an outlet and tools to adjust to your reality now. It is exhausting to always be fighting it and accepting it doesn’t mean that you’ve given up on things getting better. That said, you may need to revise your day to day temporarily to give your brain the space to heal. I found that taking my activity level just way, way down seemed to, over significant time, make a difference. My daily activity level before the accident that caused the primary onset of my symptoms was very high, and even when I thought I had dialled things way back, I think, looking back, I was still trying to do too much, and making my symptoms worse than they might have otherwise been. Just resting was not familiar to me, but I do think that a couple of years of sitting on the couch is what has enabled my brain to heal. Everyone is different and you may not be able to suspend your plans, but trying to fight through a demanding schedule while you are also fighting symptoms is a tough road.

And again, I’m just one person, but I’ve also read a lot of people’s stories, and the truth is that with treatment and willingness to try medications, most people do see improvement, many of them significant improvement, over a period of time. I can’t say time frame, and no doubt it will be longer than you want, but with a good doctor and an informed perspective on your part, a decent support network, and patience, I strongly suspect that things will improve over time. I certainly would not have thought two years ago that I would today have gone for a run, be reading a book comfortably, and enjoying sunshine, practically headache free, and be comfortable driving across the city again. Things do get better, so keep at it. When days are bad, just be ok with low expectations and be gentle with yourself and your body. This is definitely not a condition you can push through physically. What you can do, though, is strengthen your spirit and ability to withstand it by soliciting understanding support (many on this site are life savers!) and making adjustments in your life that lessen the exacerbation of symptoms. Rooting for you—L.


Hi Lorissa,

Thank you for your heart-felt response. Truly some of the kindest words I’ve read since experiencing this horrible illness.

I’m not exactly sure why I feel like I am declining lately and losing a lot of hope as a result. I think at this point I’m willing to try anything to feel better. It sounds dramatic but I’m starting to forget what it is like to feel normal.

My expectations have been reduced so dramatically in the last few months in terms of what I will be able to do again. At first I thought ok, need to get back to work ASAP. Then it was ok, as long as I rest and try a med then I’ll be up and running and hopefully can at least resume some of the physical activities I did before… wrong again. Now I wonder will I be able to walk down the street without wobbling or sit in a chair without feeling like I’m being pushed around.

This is really demoralizing and I thank you and everyone on this site for all of your continued empathy and support. I pray that all of us get more relief as time goes on and hopefully have some return to normalcy at some point in time. :pray:

1 Like

Do not give up hope!!! There is always a different medication you might try that might make all the difference, and the documented evidence is that most people who are in treatment for this condition do improve over time, though it often does take some exhausting trial and error to find a treatment path that works. None of this is your fault, though the difficulties of finding a positive outcome will make you feel like a failure in the meantime. You are not!! Your poor brain just can’t tell you what it needs, so you and your neurologists have to kind of cast about in the dark for the right solution. Actually it is more systematic than that—have you seen Dr. Hain’s flow chart?—but it does feel like pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey sometimes. I realized that my treatment path had actually followed a rather typical and systematic path though it felt completely chaotic and random as it was happening.

You probably feel like you are spending so much time doubting yourself and wondering what you should do—though that’s really your neurologist’s job—and in the meantime life is just passing you by. It is so frustrating and I understand the anguish and sadness of this, so many of us do. This is not something you’ll want to hear, but you are very early in your experience of this horrible condition, and it is often a long haul. In my view you’re right to change your expectations for a while. Can you go on disability at your job? I know it’s not feasible in every situation, but if you can tell yourself that letting your brain heal is your job right now, maybe that can help reframe your expectations of your days. If you can find a med that brings you a level of symptom control so that your brain is not being constantly ramped up and overstimulated, it’ll give it a better baseline to heal. When you’re so symptomatic every day, it’s sort of like a wound that can never heal.

Reconstructing your identity is another task. I had to reframe things so that I was a person who was healing, that was my job. Lots of resting and allowing my brain to chill and not be overstimulated or upset. My couch and I are good friends. But it’s not what I had to think about all day long. I could still be a good partner in some ways, a good listener for the few good friends who stuck around and had no expectations of me, and a good sister and daughter. I could still read (to an extent) and educate myself even if I couldn’t participate in public life much. And I could find a few things each day I really enjoyed and not feel guilty about them, because that was how I was constructing meaning in my life. That was how it had to be, for a looong time, and in many ways still is. It was a big shift but it was fine. Initially it was not what I wanted, and I spent a lot of time crying and saying “I just want what I had” but I don’t do that any more for some reason. The psychology of this is difficult for numerous societal reasons, largely the invisibility and devaluation of people with chronic illness or any kind of disability, but it’s totally possible to live a happy and fulfilled life even if you’re not being supposedly productive.

Going on way too long here but—it may take time, much more than you want, but control of your symptoms is totally possible. It may take medications that sound daunting, but—that’s what they are there for. I was intimidated about the idea of taking topiramate for some time until I realized—I am not getting adequate symptom control on my current medication regimen, don’t I want a better quality of life? Of course I do! That is why I am seeking treatment. And—time is also a factor. I have been on the same medication regimen for about 18 months and have noticed a marked improvement in about the last three or four months, so, again, it’s a long haul.

If I can find some of the words that Erik wrote to me when I first arrived on this site with my “My life is over” message I will pass them on, because they gave me so much comfort and direction. Please know there are many here who have felt similarly to where you are now, and, importantly, have come out of that hopeless place, not necessarily back to where they were before onset, but to a much, much better, more hopeful and happier state. xo L.


This is what Erik wrote to me three years ago when I first arrived on the site—one of several kind messages that I hung on to like Jack Dawson hanging on to the door. Also so sensible. I was also just reading over one or two of my own posts from two years ago, where I was so hopeless, feeling like my medications were not working, and I was very, very depressed, concerningly so, actually. But it was not long after that that I began a bunch of different therapies that made a difference. So—there are always things to try. Sending best wishes—L.


I’m sorry you have to go through this as well. I know exactly how it feels to get a completely unexpected and chronic illness, all of us here do. Before my episodes began I could run a 5 minute mile! Now I only do some gentle yoga and a bit of tai chi, which I am content and happy about actually. I am about 1.5 years in and I am much better, specifically the psychological aspects. This condition really forces you to change your life in all aspects. I do believe it has changed me for the better. Even if my symptoms don’t fade from here, I will still be able to live reasonably well and happy.

I can assure you that your life is not gone forever, I remember thinking the same thing and I still do sometimes. It’s just going to be different for a while and then it will slowly change for the better I believe. As least it has for me and most people on here. Finding the right medication, diet, and lifestyle seems to be the key. I tried just diet and lifestyle for quite while and that wasn’t enough - I needed meds too. And then managing anxiety and depression is tough too. I printed a poster next to my bed to help me with bad thinking patterns:

  1. Never give up (there is always hope - a new treatment / drug to try)
  2. Stay connected (with other people and your own body)
  3. Do your best (can’t do what I used to, but I can do some)
  4. Don’t struggle (try not to waste energy, maybe there is an easier path somewhere else)

These are kind of obvious and cheezy, but when I am really suffering bad it helps me quite a bit. The psychological aspect of this whole thing is really the pits. Some counseling / psych help might be a good idea. Just keep working through your doctor’s treatment plan and keep going and you will get some progress. If you have any specific questions, just ask us, there are plenty of resources here and we all understand what you are going through.


Hi Lorissa,

I am PM’ing you, I really appreciate all of your kind words and support :blush::pray::heart:

Gosh I’m glad to hear my cheesy poster helped someone else :blush: And glad to see we have both progressed so much Lorissa!

Absolutely! There really are a few key elements that help in surviving this horrible illness, aren’t there? Treatment, support, finding some acceptance, finding some enjoyment in your days no matter how bad the symptoms are. Your thoughts and support helped me so much! And yes, the last 4-5 months especially my symptoms have lifted another degree even though I didn’t change anything; the only thing I can think of is that time allowed more healing in my brain.

I know it’s not a straight line and that symptoms can come and go, but the anecdotal and documented evidence is that frequently with treatment there is improvement. I feel so much for those who are really going through it, like Elizabeth, and I feel for myself a few years ago, when I didn’t know if I would ever be able to enjoy a walk outside again. It’s just very difficult with a poorly understood condition like this one, where the medical answers are quite murky, but I wish I could give more hope to those who are really suffering. Always new things to try and time is also a major healer. Keep well!