Brand Names: Effexor,
Drug Class: Antidepressant
Available in: Tablets,
Available OTC? No
As Generic? No
changes in or blurred vision, decreased sexual ability or desire,
difficulty urinating, itching, skin rash, chest pain, heartbeat
irregularities, changes in moods or mental state, extreme drowsiness
or fatigue. Call your physician immediately.
dizziness or drowsiness, anxiety, dry mouth, changed sense
loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, chills, diarrhea, constipation,
sensation of skin, heartburn, increased sweating, runny nose, stomach gas
or pain, insomnia, unusual dreams, weight loss.
Less Common: Frequent
To treat symptoms of major depression and generalized
anxiety disorder (GAD).
How the Drug Works
Venlafaxine helps to balance levels of serotonin
and norepinephrine, brain chemicals that are profoundly linked
to mood, emotions, and mental state.
To start, 75 mg a day in 2 or 3 divided doses. The dose may
be gradually increased by your doctor to 375 mg a day.
Extended-release capsules: To
start, 75 mg, once a day. The dose may be increased by up to
75 mg at a time at intervals of not less than 4 days, up to
a maximum dose of 225 mg a day.
Onset of Effect
2 weeks or more.
Duration of Action
Venlafaxine should be taken with meals.
Store in a tightly sealed container away from
heat, moisture, and direct light.
If You Miss a Dose
Tablets: Take it
as soon as you remember, unless the time for your next scheduled
dose is within the next 2 hours. If so, skip the missed dose,
take the next scheduled dose, and resume your regular schedule.
Do not double the next dose.
Extended-release capsules: If
you miss a dose on one day, do not double the dose the next
Stopping the Drug
Take this medication as prescribed for the full
treatment period, even if you begin to feel better before the
scheduled end of therapy.
See your doctor regularly for tests and examinations
if you must take this medicine for a prolonged period.
Over 60: No special
problems are expected.
Driving and Hazardous Work: Do
not drive or engage in hazardous work until you determine how
the medicine affects you.
Alcohol: Avoid alcohol.
studies of venlafaxine use during pregnancy have not been done.
Before you take venlafaxine, tell your doctor if you are pregnant
or plan to become pregnant.
Breast Feeding: It
is not known whether venlafaxine passes into breast milk; caution
is advised. Consult your doctor for specific advice.
Infants and Children: The
safety and effectiveness of venlafaxine use by infants and
children have not been established.
Special Concerns: Venlafaxine
can cause an elevation in blood pressure. Therefore, blood
pressure should be monitored regularly, especially in the first
several months of therapy.
drowsiness or fatigue.
What to Do: Call
your doctor, emergency medical services (EMS), or the nearest
poison control center immediately.
Venlafaxine and MAO inhibitors should not be
used within 14 days of each other. Serious side effects such
as myoclonus (uncontrolled muscle spasms), hyperthermia (excessive
rise in body temperature), and extreme stiffness may result.
Consult your doctor for specific advice if you are taking any
other prescription or over-the-counter medication.
No known food interactions.
Consult your physician if you have a history
of any of the following: high or low blood pressure, alcohol
or drug abuse, heart disease, or seizures. Use of venlafaxine
may cause complications in patients with liver or kidney disease,
since these organs work together to remove the medication from
From The Johns Hopkins Consumer Guide to Drugs. You
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