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Prescribing Information for Effexor (Venlafaxine):
What is Effexor?
Effexor belongs to the group of antidepressants called selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRIs). It acts by affecting certain chemicals in the brain that may provoke depression if they are not balanced.
Effexor is commonly prescribed for treatment of major depressive disorder, panic disorder and anxiety.
It can be also prescribed for other purposes.
What is important to know about Effexor
Do not take Effexor you have allergy to venlafaxine, or if you are also taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), for example rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), or tranylcypromine (Parnate). Do not start using Effexor within at least 2 weeks since your last dose of MAOI. Do not start MAOI within 1 week from your last dose of Effexor.
Taking antidepressants like Effexor for the first time can cause suicidal thoughts especially among people under 24. You will need to be examined by your doctor regularly for the first 12 weeks of treatment or more.
Call your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any new or aggravating symptoms like: changes of mood or behavior, panics, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, impulsiveness, hostility, aggression, agitation, if you feel mentally or physically hyperactive, more depressed or restless or if you have thoughts of self-injury or suicide. Do not drink alcohol while using Effexor as it can increase some side effects of Effexor. You should not stop taking Effexor without your doctor’s advice. A sudden stop of using this medication can cause undesirable side effects.
How should Effexor be used?
Follow the prescriptions of your doctor and the instructions which come with the medication carefully. Do not change your dose and do not use Effexor for a longer period than prescribed.
You should take Effexor with a full glass of liquid. Take this medicine with meal. It is recommended to take Effexor at the same time every day. Avoid chewing or crushing sustained-action capsule (Effexor XR), swallow it whole. To swallow it easier, you may open the sustained-action capsule and mix the mediciation with a small amount of applesauce. Swallow the mixture immediately, do not chew it. Do not store it for later use. You may need at least 4 weeks to feel the positive effect of Effexor. Do not stop taking the medicine and inform your doctor if you do not feel better after 4 weeks of taking Effexor. You should not stop taking the medication suddenly as a sudden stop can cause undesirable side effects. Ask your healthcare provider how to avoid them when stopping Effexor.
Keep Effexor at room temperature protected from heat and moisture.
What side effects can Effexor cause?
Seek emergency medical attention if you experience an allergic reaction to Effexor (trouble breathing; hives; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat).
Call your healthcare provider if you have any new or aggravating conditions like changes of mood or behavior, panics, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, impulsiveness, hostility, aggression, agitation, if you feel mentally or physically hyperactive, more depressed or restless or if you have thoughts of self-injury or suicide.Call your doctor promptly if you develop any of the following serious conditions:
- cough, chest tightness, trouble breathing;
- shallow breathing or breathing that stops, weakness, trouble concentrating, confusion, headache, memory problems, feeling unsteady, hallucinations, fainting,;
- fever, agitation, hallucinations, loss of coordination, fast heart rate, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, overactive reflexes;
- high fever, very stiff (rigid) muscles, fast or uneven heartbeats, feeling like you might pass out, sweating, confusion, tremors;
- easy bruising; or
- seizure (convulsions).
- blurred vision;
- feeling nervous, drowsiness, dizziness;
- increased sweating;
- strange dreams;
- dry mouth;
- decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm;
- changes in appetite or weight; or
- mild nausea, constipation.
Effexor may also cause other side effects. Call your healthcare provider if you need information about them.