Compare Tenex vs. Effexor

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

Tenex
(Guanfacine)

Effexor
(Venlafaxine)

Treats ADHD and lowers blood pressure. Tenex (Guanfacine) can be used to treat both blood pressure and ADHD, but it's not recommended as a first-line treatment for either problem.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
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Reviews for Effexor (Venlafaxine)
61%
14% vs. Tenex (Guanfacine)
50%
Same vs. Tenex (Guanfacine)
22%
22% vs. Tenex (Guanfacine)
Side effects
TenexEffexor
  • Drowsiness 31%
  • Fatigue 8%
  • Dizziness 7%
  • Headache 5%
More Tenex side effects »
  • Nausea 42%
  • Drowsiness 22%
  • Dizziness 20%
  • Nervousness 17%
  • Sleep difficulty 16%
  • Loss of appetite 15%
  • Sweating 14%
  • Dry mouth 13%
  • Dry mouth 11%
  • Muscle weakness 10%
More Effexor side effects »
How it works
TenexEffexor
Tenex (Guanfacine) is a centrally-acting alpha agonist medication. It lowers blood pressure by slowing down the heart rate and relaxing the blood vessels. It's not clear how Tenex (Guanfacine) works in ADHD, but it's used when stimulants haven't worked or can't be used in people.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
TenexEffexor
Antihypertensive
Alpha agonist
Prescription only
Antidepressant
Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI)
Prescription only
Available as
TenexEffexor
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for (click to learn more)
TenexEffexor
How well it works for depression
The free Iodine Start program helps people track how well they are improving, and find the right antidepressant faster.
The free Iodine Start program (personal reports and coaching) is currently only for antidepressants. For now, you can read our pharmacist info about this medication.Learn more about Tenex (Guanfacine)

After 4 weeks using Start and Effexor (Venlafaxine), here’s how much better people feel.

Risk factors for serious side effects
TenexEffexor
  • Taking other medications that cause sedation or sleepiness
  • Stopping Tenex (Guanfacine) suddenly to treat high blood pressure
Detailed Tenex (Guanfacine) 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 category
    TenexEffexor
    BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

    Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

    See the FDA package insert
    CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

    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.

    See the FDA package insert
    Alcohol
    • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink while taking this.
    No specific alcohol-related info.
    Food
    No specific food-related info.
    • 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.
    Kidneys and liver
    No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
    Sex
    No specific sex-related info.
    • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
    • Effexor (Venlafaxine) can cause lower sex drive or difficulty having an orgasm. If the problem persists after the first 2 to 3 months, you can talk to your doctor about alternative antidepressants or performance-enhancing medications.
    Sleep
    No specific sleep-related info.
    • Causes more sleepiness than other antidepressants, so it's good for people who have trouble sleeping.
    • Stopping Effexor (Venlafaxine) suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, anxiety, agitation, flu-like symptoms, trouble sleeping, and dizziness. Withdrawal symptoms usually occur within 3 days of stopping the medication, and go away within 1 to 2 weeks. Work with your doctor to gradually reduce your dose.
    Weight
    No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
    Upsides and benefits
    TenexEffexor
    • The same medication treats two different things, high blood pressure and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
    • It's not a "controlled medication".
    • Used to control ADHD when stimulant medications haven't worked or can't be used due to other medical problems.
    • Available as a generic medication, so it should be more affordable than other options.
    • 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
    TenexEffexor
    • Doesn't control ADHD as well as stimulants do, so it's used as a second-line medication.
    • Not a preferred drug to control blood pressure.
    • Can't be stopped suddenly, especially for blood pressure, since the blood pressure can dramatically increase.
    • 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
    TenexEffexor
    • Don't stop taking Tenex (Guanfacine) without talking to your doctor first.
    • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink while taking this.
    • Drink plenty of liquids and don't get overheated while taking Tenex (Guanfacine).
    • You can feel sleepy the first few times you take it, or when your dose is increased. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how the medication affects your body.
    • Can take up to 2 weeks for the maximum effect.
    • 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 TenexSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    More about EffexorSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert