Compare Effexor vs. Valium

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Effexor
(venlafaxine)

Valium
(diazepam)

Improves mood and helps you relax. Effexor (Venlafaxine) is good for treating depression and anxiety. May work when other antidepressants haven't, it's but more likely to cause side effects and withdrawal symptoms than other antidepressants.Helps you relax. Valium (Diazepam) is okay for occasional or short-term use (up to 4 weeks) for anxiety and for pain and sleeplessness from muscle spasm. Less severe withdrawal symptoms compared to similar drugs.
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Reviews & ratings
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5.07Effexor
Reviews for Effexor (venlafaxine)
62%
of people (All ages) say Effexor (venlafaxine) is worth it
51%
say it works well
23%
say it's a big hassle
577 reviews
Have you used Effexor (venlafaxine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Valium (diazepam)
70%
+8% better vs. Effexor (venlafaxine)
53%
+2% better vs. Effexor (venlafaxine)
15%
+8% better vs. Effexor (venlafaxine)
976 reviews
Have you used Valium (diazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
EffexorValium
  • Nausea 24%
  • Dizziness 19%
  • Sleep difficulty 10%
  • Drowsiness 14%
  • Muscle weakness 12%
  • Loss of appetite 12%
  • Nervousness 10%
  • Sweating 7%
  • Abnormality of accommodation 8%
  • Indigestion 5%
More Effexor side effects »

The Valium FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Valium side effects »
How it works
EffexorValium
Effexor (Venlafaxine) is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin and norepinephrine activity in the brain, which regulate mood.Valium (Diazepam) is a fast-acting benzodiazepine. It affects neurotransmitters in the brain and calms the nervous system. This reduces anxiety and muscle spasms, and causes sleepiness.
Type of medication
EffexorValium
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
EffexorValium
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Rectal gel
Used for
EffexorValium
Risk factors for serious side effects
EffexorValium
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • Stopping Effexor (Venlafaxine) suddenly
  • History of high blood pressure
  • Taking other blood-thinning drugs
    • History of bipolar disorder
    • At risk for bipolar disorder
    Detailed Effexor (venlafaxine) risks & warnings »
    • Taking more than the prescribed dose
    • Taking longer than 4 weeks
    • History of drug abuse
    • Long-term use
      • Alcohol
      • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
        • Current liver problems
        Detailed Valium (diazepam) risks & warnings »
        Pregnancy

        Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

        Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

        Alcohol
        EffexorValium
        No alcohol related info.
        • Can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment, or for people who've had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
        • Not safe to use with alcohol.
        Kidneys and liver
        EffexorValium
        No kidneys and liver related info.
        • Processed by the liver, so might not be the best choice if you have liver problems.
        Sex
        EffexorValium
        • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
        No sex related info.
        Sleep
        EffexorValium
        No sleep related info.
        • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
        • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
        Upsides and benefits
        EffexorValium
        • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
        • Lowers relapse rates of depression.
        • Causes more sleepiness than other antidepressants, so it's good for people who have trouble sleeping.
        • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
        • Might work when other antidepressants haven't worked since it affects two chemicals in the brain that impact your mood. Many other antidepressants affect only serotonin, but not norepinephrine too.
        • Effective at relieving short-term anxiety and sleeplessness.
        • Can be used together with antidepressants to manage anxiety disorders. Especially helpful for anxiety symptoms while you wait for an antidepressant to kick in (it can take several weeks).
        • Effective at relieving muscle spasms caused by a variety of conditions.
        • Less severe withdrawal symptoms compared to other benzodiazepines.
        Downsides and risks
        EffexorValium
        • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
        • Not the best option for people with high blood pressure.
        • Overdosing on this medication could be fatal.
        • It's more likely to cause nausea and vomiting or make you feel sick if you miss a dose than other antidepressants. Also causes more sleepiness than others.
        • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people younger than 24.
        • The first antidepressant you try doesn't always work or it can cause side effects you really don't like. You might need to try a few different medications until you find one that works for you.
        • Processed by the liver, so might not be the best choice if you have liver problems.
        • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
        • Can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment, or for people who've had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
        • Most people find that it gets less effective over time.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        EffexorValium
        • Takes about 8 to 12 weeks to see the medication's full effects on your mood.
        • You can take the extended-release form once a day with food either in the morning or in the evening at about the same time each day.
        • Extended-release capsules should be swallowed whole. If you can’t swallow pills, open the capsule, sprinkle it on a spoonful of applesauce and then swallow it without chewing.
        • Stop taking it slowly to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
        • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
        • Good for short-term relief of anxiety symptoms.
        • Starts working in 30 minutes when swallowed.
        • Helpful with muscle spasms.
        • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
        • Addictive. Long-term use can cause dependence or abuse.
        • Not safe to use with alcohol.
        Learn more
        More about EffexorSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        Have you used Effexor (venlafaxine)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it
        More about ValiumSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        Have you used Valium (diazepam)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it