Generic Name: venlafaxine
Drug Class: serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI)
Effexor XR is an oral prescription drug used to treat the major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder. It improves mood, energy level, appetite, and sleep.
This is available in Effexor XR 37.5 mg, 75 mg, and 150 mg extended-release capsules.
Effexor XR Mechanism of Action
This SNRI’s exact action is still unknown. However, it is thought to potentiate serotonergic and noradrenergic activities in the central nervous system. This increases the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine, which are both involved in depression and anxiety.
How to Take Effexor XR
Before you start taking Effexor XR, it is necessary to read the information leaflet or medication guide given by a healthcare professional. It is important that you understand the use and directions of any medication you are taking. Your doctor or pharmacist can provide you with further medical advice.
The capsule is only for oral consumption. This is usually prescribed once a day, in the morning or in the evening. You must take this drug with a meal. Swallow the extended-release capsule entirely. Do not split or chew it to avoid releasing all the active ingredients at once.
Make a dosing schedule. Do not increase or decrease your Effexor XR dosage. Your doctor may start with a low dose and gradually increase your dose to prevent adverse reactions. You should not take this oral drug more frequently than advised. Also, do not discontinue this SNRI abruptly to avoid Effexor XR withdrawal.
Effexor XR Side Effects
Mild & Common Side Effects:
-Loss of appetite
Severe Side Effects:
-High blood pressure
-Easy bruising or bleeding
-Muscle cramps or weakness
-Shortness of breath
Note that this is not a full/complete list of the side effects of Effexor XR.
If you experience severe or persistent side effects, stop taking the drug and contact your doctor.
Warnings and Precautions
Do not take Effexor XR if you have a known allergy to venlafaxine, desvenlafaxine, or any inactive ingredients it may contain. Always be aware of signs of a serious allergic reaction, such as dyspnea, swelling of the face and throat, severe dizziness, swollen lymph nodes, hives/itching, and skin rash. If this happens, stop taking this oral medication and see a doctor immediately.
This medication may be contraindicated for people with a history of heart failure, heart attack, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, kidney disease, liver disease, a bleeding problem, seizure disorder, thyroid disorder, and glaucoma. Because of drug interactions, you should also discuss all prescription medications, nonprescription medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking.
Dizziness, drowsiness, and blurred vision are one of the side effects of this SNRI. You should practice safety caution when doing tasks that require clear vision and alertness, especially driving. Further, Effexor XR and alcohol can interact and worsen your symptoms or adverse effects. It can also increase the risk of liver damage. Avoid drinking alcohol while on this treatment.
Patients taking this oral drug for major depressive disorder should be monitored for suicidal ideations. Call your local suicide hotline once you observe sudden changes in behavior, altered sleeping patterns, social withdrawal, giving away important belongings, and lack of interest in pleasurable activities.
Pregnant mothers need to avoid this oral drug as it is known to cause harm to unborn babies. The same goes for breastfeeding moms because it can also pass into breastmilk.
How much does Effexor XR cost?
You may see the list of prices on this page. To get the best deals, purchase your prescription drugs from Pharma Passport.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is Effexor XR good for anxiety?
This oral medication has been proven effective for certain anxiety disorders. This includes generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder.
Should I take Effexor XR in the morning or at night?
You may take this oral drug in the morning or at night. However, if you experience trouble sleeping, take this medication in the morning.
What are the initial side effects of Effexor XR?
Effexor XR side effects (first week): nausea, headache, dizziness, dry mouth, increased sweating, and fatigue. If these adverse effects persist, you must call your doctor.
How much Effexor XR should I take for depression?
Effexor XR dosage 300 mg or more is usually prescribed for depression. However, your dosage will also depend on your overall health condition.
Does Effexor XR cause weight gain?
Generally, this SNRI does not cause weight gain. If you experience weight changes while on this medication, there is no direct link between Effexor XR & weight gain.
Can I buy Effexor XR over the counter?
This product is a prescription medication. You need to present a valid prescription when purchasing this product from any pharmacy.