Compare Neurontin vs. Effexor

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

Neurontin
(Gabapentin)

Effexor
(Venlafaxine)

Treats tingling and burning nerve pain. Neurontin (Gabapentin) is an old seizure disorder medicine that's now used to treat nerve-related pain caused by different conditions.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.
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Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.56Neurontin
Reviews for Neurontin (Gabapentin)
57%
of people (All ages) say Neurontin (Gabapentin) is worth it
40%
say it works well
19%
say it's a big hassle
620 reviews
Have you used Neurontin (Gabapentin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Effexor (Venlafaxine)
62%
+5% better vs. Neurontin (Gabapentin)
51%
+11% better vs. Neurontin (Gabapentin)
23%
-4% worse vs. Neurontin (Gabapentin)
577 reviews
Have you used Effexor (Venlafaxine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
NeurontinEffexor
  • Dizziness 21%
  • Drowsiness 16%
  • Leg or ankle swelling 6%
  • Muscle weakness 1%
  • Diarrhea 2%
  • Infection 2%
  • Dry mouth 3%
  • Constipation 2%
  • Accidental injury 2%
  • Vomiting 2%
More Neurontin side effects »
  • 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 »
How it works
NeurontinEffexor
Neurontin (Gabapentin) is an antiepileptic and nerve pain reliever. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it has a similar structure to GABA, a neurotransmitter that calms nerves in the brain and spinal cord.Effexor (Venlafaxine) is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin and norepinephrine activity in the brain, which regulate mood.
Type of medication
NeurontinEffexor
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
NeurontinEffexor
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for
NeurontinEffexor
Risk factors for serious side effects
NeurontinEffexor
    • Children ages 3 to 12
      • Taking with alcohol or drugs
      • Stopping Neurontin (Gabapentin) suddenly
      Detailed Neurontin (Gabapentin) risks & warnings »
      • 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 »
        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 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.

        Food
        NeurontinEffexor
        • Take the extended-release tablet with food.
        No food related info.
        Pain
        NeurontinEffexor
        • Studies show it's most effective for nerve pain from diabetes, shingles, and fibromyalgia (a painful muscle condition).
        No pain related info.
        Sex
        NeurontinEffexor
        No sex related info.
        • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
        Sleep
        NeurontinEffexor
        • Neurontin (Gabapentin) is likely to cause some side effects, including memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, or confusion.
        No sleep related info.
        Upsides and benefits
        NeurontinEffexor
        • Originally used to treat epilepsy (partial seizures), but now it primarily treats neuropathic pain that's caused by nerve stimulation or damage.
        • Studies show it's most effective for nerve pain from diabetes, shingles, and fibromyalgia (a painful muscle condition).
        • It's available as a generic, so it's less expensive than similar medications.
        • 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.
        Downsides and risks
        NeurontinEffexor
        • Neurontin (Gabapentin) is likely to cause some side effects, including memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, or confusion.
        • You can't skip or miss doses since suddenly stopping Neurontin (Gabapentin) can cause seizures. This is even more likely if you drink alcohol, so it might not be the best medication for heavy drinkers.
        • 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.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        NeurontinEffexor
        • Side effects are common, but usually manageable.
        • Don't drive while taking Neurontin (Gabapentin) until you know how the medication affects you.
        • Neurontin and generic forms of Gabapentin have the same ingredients as Gralise and Horizant, but are dosed differently. Make sure you know which form you're taking since they are used for different purposes.
        • Take the extended-release tablet with food.
        • Stop taking Neurontin (Gabapentin) slowly over at least one week to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
        • 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.
        Learn more
        More about NeurontinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        Have you used Neurontin (Gabapentin)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it
        More about EffexorSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        Have you used Effexor (Venlafaxine)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it