Compare Tofranil vs. Effexor

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

(Imipramine Hydrochloride)


Coming soon.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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Have you used Tofranil (Imipramine Hydrochloride)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Effexor (Venlafaxine)
+62% better vs. Tofranil (Imipramine Hydrochloride)
+51% better vs. Tofranil (Imipramine Hydrochloride)
-23% worse vs. Tofranil (Imipramine Hydrochloride)
577 reviews
Have you used Effexor (Venlafaxine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects

We haven’t found good data for Tofranil side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Tofranil »
  • 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
Coming soon.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
Prescription only
Available as
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for
  • Depression Nocturnal Enuresis
Risk factors for serious side effects
Coming soon.
  • 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 »

    The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

    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.

    No sex related info.
    • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
    Upsides and benefits
    Coming soon
    • 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
    Coming soon
    • 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
    Coming soon
    • 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 TofranilSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
    Have you used Tofranil (Imipramine Hydrochloride)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about EffexorSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Effexor (Venlafaxine)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it