Compare Effexor vs. Buspar

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

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Effexor (venlafaxine)

Prescription only

Buspar (buspirone)

Prescription only
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
Helps you relax.

Buspar (buspirone) relieves anxiety with less drowsiness and abuse potential than other anti-anxiety medicines, but it takes time to work and effects might wear off over time.

3.4/ 5 average rating with 67 reviewsforBuspar
Upsides
  • 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.
  • Doesn't cause as much physical dependence or withdrawal symptoms as other medications used for anxiety.
  • Available as a generic, which is cheaper.
  • Tablets can be split for easy dose changes.
  • Doesn't cause as much drowsiness as other medications for anxiety.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • Not for quick relief of anxiety symptoms since Buspar (buspirone) can take as long as 4 weeks to fully work.
  • Not as effective for short-term anxiety conditions or panic disorders.
  • Some people find that Buspar (buspirone) loses effectiveness over long periods of time.
  • Must take Buspar (buspirone) twice daily for full effect.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
577 reviews so far
62%
saidit'sworth it
51%
saiditworked well
23%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Effexor (venlafaxine)?

Leave a review
67 reviews so far
46%
saidit'sworth it
45%
saiditworked well
22%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Buspar (buspirone)?

Leave a review
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
19possible side effects
  • Dizziness
    12%
  • Drowsiness
    10%
  • Nausea
    8%
  • Headache
    6%
  • Nervousness
    5%
  • Fatigue
    4%
  • Trouble sleeping
    3%
  • Lightheadedness
    3%
  • Dry mouth
    3%
  • Worse concentration
    2%
  • Excitement
    2%
  • Anger/hostility
    2%
  • Confusion
    2%
  • Depression
    2%
  • Blurred vision
    2%
  • Upset stomach
    2%
  • Diarrhea
    2%
  • Numbness
    2%
  • Weakness
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • 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
    • Higher blood pressure
      • Taking Buspar (buspirone) with MAOIs
      • Taking Buspar (buspirone) within 14 days after stopping a MAOIs
    • Serotonin syndrome
      • Taking other medicines that affect serotonin levels
    • Withdrawal symptoms from other anti-anxiety medicines
      • Stopping benzodiazepines suddenly
    See more detailed risks and warnings