Compare Topamax vs. Effexor

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

Qudexy Xr
(Topiramate)

Effexor
(Venlafaxine)

Prevents seizures and migraine headaches. Qudexy Xr (Topiramate) is useful for preventing seizures and migraines, and doesn't require blood tests while you're on it.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.
Find lowest prices
Powered by GoodRxSave on your next prescription. Be sure you’re getting the lowest price for your medication, even if you have insurance.
Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.604166666666667Topamax
Reviews for Qudexy Xr (Topiramate)
54%
of people say Qudexy Xr (Topiramate) is worth it
52%
say it works well
33%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Effexor (Venlafaxine)
61%
+7% vs. Qudexy Xr (Topiramate)
50%
2% vs. Qudexy Xr (Topiramate)
22%
+11% vs. Qudexy Xr (Topiramate)
Side effects
TopamaxEffexor
  • Tingling sensation 45%
  • Slowed-down thinking and movements 19%
  • Dizziness 17%
  • Drowsiness 17%
  • Fatigue 17%
  • Change in taste 14%
  • Difficulty with concentration/attention 13%
  • Nervousness 12%
  • Difficulty with memory 11%
  • Vision abnormal 11%
More Topamax 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
TopamaxEffexor
Qudexy Xr (Topiramate) is an antiepileptic. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to affect multiple parts of the brain to control seizures and migraines.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
TopamaxEffexor
AnticonvulsantPrescription only
Antidepressant
Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI)
Prescription only
Available as
TopamaxEffexor
  • Pill
  • Extended release capsule
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for (click to learn more)
TopamaxEffexor
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 Qudexy Xr (Topiramate)

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

Risk factors for serious side effects
TopamaxEffexor
  • History of depression
    • Children
    • History of metabolic disorders
    • People also taking Depakote
    • Low-carb diet
    • Dehydration
    • Drug interactions
      • Stopping Qudexy Xr (Topiramate) suddenly
      Detailed Qudexy Xr (Topiramate) 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
        TopamaxEffexor
        DFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

        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.

        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
        No specific alcohol-related info.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
        • A few people will get kidney stones.
        • Qudexy Xr (Topiramate) may increase your risk for kidney stones. Stay well-hydrated to lower your risk.
        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
        • Can cause sleepiness, speech problems, tingling sensations, and weight loss.
        No specific weight-related info.
        Upsides and benefits
        TopamaxEffexor
        • Used on its own or with other antiepileptic medicines to lower the frequency of seizures, especially for people with tonic-clonic or partial seizures, or Lennox-Gestaut syndrome.
        • Helpful in preventing frequent migraine headaches.
        • Doesn't need routine blood tests.
        • 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
        TopamaxEffexor
        • Can cause sleepiness, speech problems, tingling sensations, and weight loss.
        • A few people will get kidney stones.
        • Not safe to use if you're pregnant.
        • 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
        TopamaxEffexor
        • For the first week, avoid activities that require you to be alert.
        • Don't use if pregnant.
        • Can cause tingling skin sensations and reduced appetite.
        • Report any confusion, decreased sweating, fever, or changes in behavior or vision.
        • Takes 3 to 4 weeks to feel full effects on mood.
        • 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 TopamaxSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        More about EffexorSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert