Treats depression. Effexor XR® also treats panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. This medicine is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI).
Effexor-XR, Effexor, Effexor XR
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to venlafaxine, or if you have used an MAO inhibitor (MAOI) such as Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, or Parnate® within the past 14 days.
How to Use This Medicine
Long Acting Capsule, Tablet
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- It is best to take this medicine with food or milk.
- Swallow the extended-release capsule whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
- If you cannot swallow the extended-release capsule, you may open it and pour the medicine into a small amount of soft food such as pudding, yogurt, or applesauce. Stir this mixture well and swallow it without chewing.
- It is best to take this medicine at the same time each day.
- This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one. Your doctor might ask you to sign some forms to show that you understand this information.
If a dose is missed:
- If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using an MAO inhibitor (such as isocarboxazid, phenelzine, selegiline, tranylcypromine, Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, or Parnate®), or if you have used an MAO inhibitor within the last 14 days. Using these medicines together could cause serious health problems, including death.
- Tell your doctor if you are also using tryptophan supplements, St. John's Wort, medicines to help lose weight, diuretics or "water pills", cimetidine (Tagamet®), linezolid (Zyvox®), ketoconazole (Nizoral®), indinavir (Crixivan®), lithium (Lithane®, Lithobid®, or Eskalith®), tramadol (Ultram®), or haloperidol (Haldol®). Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using other medicines to treat depression (such as desipramine, fluoxetine, paroxetine, Celexa®, Effexor®, Lexapro?, Norpramin®, Paxil®, or Zoloft®), or medicines to treat headaches (such as eletriptan, sumatriptan, Imitrex®, or Relpax®).
- Tell your doctor if you are using any medicines that make you sleepy. These include sleeping pills, cold and allergy medicine, narcotic pain relievers, and sedatives.
- Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant (especially if it is the third trimester), trying to become pregnant, or breast-feeding.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you have narrow-angle glaucoma, high blood pressure, thyroid problems, seizures, bleeding problems, high cholesterol in the blood, or a mineral imbalance (such as low sodium in the blood). Tell your doctor if you have a history of liver disease, kidney disease, heart disease, or mania.
- For some children, teenagers, and young adults, this medicine can increase thoughts of suicide. Tell your doctor or your child's doctor right away if you or your child start to feel more depressed and have thoughts about hurting yourselves. Report any unusual thoughts or behaviors that trouble you or your child, especially if they are new or are getting worse quickly. Make sure the doctor knows if you or your child have trouble sleeping, get upset easily, have a big increase in energy, or start to act reckless. Also tell the doctor if you or your child have sudden or strong feelings, such as feeling nervous, angry, restless, violent, or scared. Let the doctor know if you, your child, or anyone in your family has bipolar disorder (manic-depressive) or has tried to commit suicide.
- Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
- Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely.
- This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
- Change in how much or how often you urinate.
- Chest pain.
- Fast or uneven heartbeat, dizziness.
- Feeling confused, nervous, restless, or clumsy.
- Feeling more excited or energetic than usual.
- Muscle spasms, twitching, or stiffness.
- Seizures or tremors.
- Severe nausea or diarrhea.
- Unexplained fever, sweating, or shivering.
- Unusual behavior or thoughts of hurting yourself or others.
- Unusual bleeding or bruising.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Anxiety, trouble sleeping, or unusual dreams.
- Blurred vision.
- Constipation or dry mouth.
- Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
- Mild nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or weight loss.
- Sexual problems (men or women).
- Unusual tiredness or weakness.
- Warmth or redness in your face, neck, arms, or upper chest.