Compare Topamax vs. Effexor

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

Topamax (topiramate)

Prescription only

Effexor (venlafaxine)

Prescription only
Prevents seizures and migraine headaches.

Topamax (topiramate) is very effective at preventing many types of seizures and migraines, but it can cause several severe side effects that can lead to stopping the medication.

3.3/ 5 average rating with 56 reviewsforTopamax
Improves mood and helps you relax.

Effexor (venlafaxine) is good for treating depression and anxiety, but it can cause more withdrawal symptoms if you stop suddenly compared to other antidepressants.

3.7/ 5 average rating with 577 reviewsforEffexor
Upsides
  • Can lower your number of seizures and also prevent migraine headaches. This medicine can be used on its own or with other antiepileptic medicines to lower the frequency of seizures.
  • Doesn't need routine blood tests like similar medications.
  • Available in short-acting and long-acting forms.
  • Comes as a generic, so it's relatively cheap.
  • Effexor (venlafaxine) effectively treats depression, anxiety, and panic disorder.
  • Effexor (venlafaxine) causes more sleepiness than other antidepressants, so it's beneficial for people who have trouble sleeping.
  • Effexor (venlafaxine) might work when other antidepressants haven't worked since it affects two chemicals in the brain that impact your mood.
  • Effexor (venlafaxine) has several uses, which may be good for people with multiple conditions.
  • Effexor (venlafaxine) is available in generic, which is cheaper.
Downsides
  • Can cause many severe side effects. People starting Topamax (topiramate) need to be monitored for these effects as soon as they start treatment.
  • This medicine can take 4 to 6 weeks for the full effects of this medication to kick in, especially for people taking it for migraines.
  • Children taking Topamax (topiramate) for long periods of time need to have their dose adjusted by their pediatrician as they grow.
  • At higher doses (ie. 400 mg/day), children may experience difficulty with concentration/attention, fever, flushing, and confusion.
  • Effexor (venlafaxine) can cause side effects such as decreased libido and increased blood pressure.
  • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people aged 24 years or younger.
  • Compared to other antidepressants, it's more likely to cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking it and can causes more sleepiness.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release capsule
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Price
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Reviews
56 reviews so far
52%
saidit'sworth it
50%
saiditworked well
36%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Topamax (topiramate)?

Leave a review
577 reviews so far
62%
saidit'sworth it
51%
saiditworked well
23%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Effexor (venlafaxine)?

Leave a review
Side effects
39possible side effects
  • Sleepiness
    26%
  • Loss of appetite
    24%
  • Fatigue
    16%
  • Injury
    14%
  • Nervousness
    14%
  • Personality disorder (behavior problems)
    11%
  • Difficulty with concentration/attention
    10%
  • Weight loss
    9%
  • Aggressive reaction
    9%
  • Abnormal gait
    8%
  • Purpura
    8%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    8%
  • Viral infection
    7%
  • Impaired coordination
    6%
  • Nausea
    6%
  • Increased saliva
    6%
  • Muscle spasm
    5%
  • Constipation
    5%
  • Difficulty with memory
    5%
  • Pneumonia
    5%
  • Dizziness
    4%
  • Speech disorders/ related speech problems
    4%
  • Nose bleed
    4%
  • Confusion
    4%
  • Urinary incontinence
    4%
  • Stomach flu
    3%
  • Psychomotor slowing
    3%
  • Skin disorder
    3%
  • Allergic reaction
    2%
  • Abnormal reflexes
    2%
  • Thirst
    2%
  • Pussing
    2%
  • Hair loss
    2%
  • Dermatitis
    2%
  • Increased hair growth
    2%
  • Red skin rash
    2%
  • Eye abnormality
    2%
  • Abnormal vision
    2%
  • Leukopenia
    2%
See more detailed side effects
39possible side effects
  • Nausea
    37%
  • Headache
    25%
  • Drowsiness
    23%
  • Dry mouth
    22%
  • Dizziness
    19%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    18%
  • Constipation
    15%
  • Nervousness
    13%
  • Weakness
    12%
  • Sweating
    12%
  • Abnormal ejaculation/orgasm
    12%
  • Loss of appetite
    11%
  • Diarrhea
    8%
  • Infection
    6%
  • Vomiting
    6%
  • Anxiety
    6%
  • Blurred vision
    6%
  • Impotence
    6%
  • Indigestion
    5%
  • Tremor
    5%
  • Abnormal dreams
    4%
  • Chills
    3%
  • Rash
    3%
  • Gas
    3%
  • Stiff muscles
    3%
  • Prickling/burning sensation
    3%
  • Yawn
    3%
  • Increased urination
    3%
  • Chest pain
    2%
  • Trauma
    2%
  • Increased blood pressure
    2%
  • Increased heart rate
    2%
  • Decreased libido
    2%
  • Agitation
    2%
  • Confusion
    2%
  • Thinking abnormal
    2%
  • Changes in taste
    2%
  • Ringing in the ears
    2%
  • Dilation of pupils
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • History of depression
  • Fever and inability to sweat
    • Children
  • Mental and cognitive changes
    • History of metabolic disorders
    • People also taking Depakote
  • Kidney stones
    • Low-carb diet
    • Dehydration
    • Drug interactions
  • Vision problems
  • Withdrawal seizures
    • Stopping Topamax (topiramate) suddenly
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • Age 24 years or younger
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Taking tricyclic antidepressants, lithium, tramadol, fentanyl, amphetamines, certain headache medications (triptans), St. John's Wort
  • Withdrawal
    • Stopping Effexor (venlafaxine) suddenly
  • Increased bleeding
    • Taking other blood-thinning drugs (including aspirin, NSAIDs such as Advil, warfarin)
  • Increased blood pressure
    • Bipolar disorder
      • History of bipolar disorder
      • At risk for bipolar disorder
    See more detailed risks and warnings