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Effexor XR (Venlafaxine HCL ER)

What is Effexor XR? Venlafaxine is the trade name for the brand-name drug Effexor, which is used for the treatment of depression, generalized anxiety, social anxiety, and panic. Effexor XR is an extended-release tablet that should be taken orally once per day with food around the same time each day. Only the normal dosage of Effexor XR should be consumed as per a doctor's instructions, and any unusual side effects should be reported immediately.

 

Important Information Before Use:

  • You should tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or plan to become pregnant.
  • Talk with your doctor about your medical history. Discuss your current medications, as well as any ongoing medical issues. Your doctor will want to know if you have high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, glaucoma, seizures, or heart disease. Tell your doctor if you have a family history of heart, kidney, liver, or thyroid disease.
  • Tell your doctor if you have ever abused illegal drugs or prescription medications.
  • Effexor XR is not usually prescribed for people under the age of eighteen.

Important Information During Use:

  • Effexor XR can cause drowsiness, especially when you first start taking the drug. You should learn more about how the drug affects you before driving or operating heavy machinery.
  • In a small number of people, some antidepressants make depression worse or increase thoughts of suicide. Tell your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms.
  • The risk of serious, even fatal, effects from an Effexor XR overdose is greater than with most antidepressants. Don't mix Effexor XR with excessive alcohol or recreational drugs.
  • If you forget a dose, do not double your next dose to make up for the difference. Never take more than one dose of Effexor XR in a day.

 

Side Effects

Serious Side Effects from Effexor XR:

  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Irregular or pounding heartbeat
  • Seizures
  • Unusual bruising or bleeding
  • Eye pain or redness
  • Hallucinations

Less Serious Side Effects from Effexor XR:

  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Nightmares
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Yawning
  • Changes in sexual desire or ability

Withdrawing:
Your doctor will gradually reduce your dosage of Effexor XR rather than suddenly terminating it. There are a couple of reasons for this: First, if your depression symptoms return, it is easier and more effective to reinstate your normal dosage. Second, a slow dosage reduction minimizes the chances of withdrawal symptoms. Many people experience no withdrawal whatsoever. In most cases, the symptoms are minor. In addition, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between withdrawal from drug discontinuation and relapse of depression. Only your doctor can know for sure.

Possible Symptoms of Effexor Withdrawal:

  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Lethargy
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Vertigo
  • Numbness
  • Intense dreams

 

Comparing Effexor XR

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Last Update: 07-23-2012

 

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