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Effexor XR (venlafaxine)

Brand Name

Effexor XR {Pfizer}

Generic Name

venlafaxine hydrochloride, pronounced VEN la fax een HY dro Klo ride

Venlafaxine XR (Venlafaxine (Venlafaxine Hydrochloride))

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Effexor XR
(Venlafaxine (Venlafaxine Hydrochloride))
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Venlafaxine XR
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What is Effexor XR?

Effexor XR is an antidepressant used to treat patients with depression, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder and panic disorder with or without agoraphobia. Effexor XR may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

 

Key Facts About Effexor XR

Effexor XR is an antidepressant in a group of drugs known as selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, or SSNRIs. Effexor XR helps people with major depressive disorder, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder, with or without agoraphobia by affecting the chemicals in the brain that are imbalanced which may have caused these conditions.

You should not take Effexor XR if you are currently taking desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), or an MAO inhibitor like furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate). You could suffer from a dangerous drug interaction if you take any of the above medications along with Effexor XR.

When you first start taking Effexor XR you may have thoughts about suicide, especially if you are younger than 24 years of age. You must tell your doctor if you have these thoughts, and be sure to keep regular appointments with your physician, particularly for the first 3 months of treatment.

If you have any new or worsening symptoms, like mood changes, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, impulsiveness, irritability, aggression, hyperactivity, or thoughts of suicide or harming yourself tell your doctor immediately.

You should avoid drinking alcohol while you are taking Effexor XR.

Be aware that Effexor XR may impair your reactions or thinking. You should be careful when driving or doing anything which requires you to be alert, especially when you first start taking Effexor XR.

 

Before You Take Effexor XR

If you are allergic tovenlafaxine you should not take Effexor XR.

If you are currently taking desvenlafaxine (Pristiq) you should not take Effexor XR.

Tell your doctor if you are currently taking an MAO inhibitor like furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate). You will need to wait at least 14 days after stopping your MAO inhibitor before you can take Effexor XR.

Tell your doctor if you want to stop taking Effexor XR, especially if you want to go back to taking an MAO inhibitor. You will need to wait at least 7days after stopping Effexor XR before you can take an MOA inhibitor.

If you have uncontrolled glaucoma you may not be able to take Effexor XR.

Tell your doctor before starting Effexor XR if you have liver or kidney disease, or high blood pressure.

You should inform your doctor if you have previously been diagnosed as manic depressive, bipolar, or if you have had a history of suicidal thoughts or drug abuse.

If you have seizures or epilepsy you should tell your doctor before starting treatment with Effexor XR.

Tell your doctor if you have a bleeding or blood clotting disorder before you take Effexor XR.

If you have high cholesterol you should let your doctor know before starting Effexor XR.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Effexor XR is in FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Effexor XR will harm an unborn baby, however, it is known that Effexor XR can cause problems in a newborn if taken during the third trimester of pregnancy. You should not breast-feed while taking Effexor XR as it is known that this medication can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby.

No one younger than age 18 should be given Effexor XR.

Tell your doctor if you currently take medications which make you sleepy, such as cold or allergy medications, sedatives, narcotic pain medications, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, or medication for anxiety or seizures. If you take Effexor XR along with any of the aforementioned medications you may experience extreme sleepiness.

 

Effexor XR Drug Interactions

You should inform your doctor if you are taking any of the following:

  • almotriptan (Axert)
  • antidepressants like amitriptyline (Elavil), amoxapine (Asendin), citalopram (Celexa), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine (Luvox), imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), paroxetine (Paxil), protriptyline (Vivactil), sertraline (Zoloft), and trimipramine (Surmontil).
  • aspirin
  • cimetidine (Tagamet)
  • ciprofloxacin (Cipro)
  • diclofenac (Voltaren)
  • diuretics (water pills)
  • etodolac (Lodine)
  • fluvoxamine (Luvox)
  • frovatriptan (Frova)
  • haloperidol (Haldol)
  • ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
  • indomethacin
  • ketoconazole (Nizoral)
  • linezolid (Zyvox)
  • lithium (Lithobid, Eskalith)
  • nabumetone (Relafen)
  • naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn)
  • naratriptan (Amerge)
  • piroxicam (Feldene)
  • risperidone (Risperdal)
  • rizatriptan (Maxalt)
  • St. John’s wort
  • sumatriptan (Imitrex)
  • tramadol (Ultram)
  • tryptophan (sometimes called L-tryptophan)
  • warfarin (Coumadin)
  • zolmitriptan (Zomig)

Other drugs you take that are not listed may interact with Effexor XR. You should tell your doctor about all of the medications you use. This includes prescription drugs, vitamins, supplements and herbal products, and over the counter medications. You should not begin taking a new medication without telling your doctor first.

 

Directions for Taking Effexor XR

You should take Effexor XR exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take Effexor XR in larger or smaller amounts, or for shorter or longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

You should take Effexor XR at the same time every day, either in the morning or in the evening.

Effexor XR should be taken with food, or a full glass of water.

It may take at least 4 weeks or longer before your symptoms improve while you are taking Effexor XR. Continue using Effexor XR as your doctor has directed you to do so. Do not stop using Effexor XR without consulting your doctor, as you may experience adverse side effects if you stop taking this medication suddenly.

Swallow the controlled-release capsule of Effexor XR whole, and do not chew or crush it.

You can make the Effexor XR capsule easier to swallow by opening the capsule and sprinkling the medication into a small amount of applesauce. Be sure that you swallow all of the applesauce and medication mixture, and do not save any to take later. Discard of the empty capsule properly.

Effexor XR needs to be stored at room temperature, and away from light, moisture and heat.

If you miss a dose of Effexor XR you should attempt to take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose do not take the missed dose in addition to your regular dose.

 

Effexor XR Side Effects

If you experience any of the following adverse effects you should stop taking Effexor XR and seek emergency medical help immediately:

  • allergic reaction such as breathing difficulties, hives, swelling of your face, lips, throat or tongue
  • aggressive, agitated or hostile behavior
  • anxiety or panic attacks
  • bruising easily or more often
  • depression that has increased
  • difficulty concentrating and memory problems
  • feeling faint
  • fever
  • hallucinations
  • headaches
  • increased heart rate
  • insomnia or trouble sleeping
  • jaundice
  • overactive reflexes
  • restlessness or hyperactivity
  • skin reaction that is severe and accompanied by a fever, sore throat, swelling of your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, and culminating with a red or purple skin rash that spreads in your face or upper body and causes blistering and peeling.
  • stiff or rigid muscles
  • trouble breathing or shallow breath
  • suicidal thoughts or thoughts about hurting yourself
  • unsteady gait or difficulty walking
  • unusual bleeding

Less serious side effects of Effexor XR may include:

  • blurred vision
  • constipation
  • decreased sex drive
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • impotence
  • increased sweating
  • loss of appetite
  • mild nausea
  • nervous feeling
  • strange dreams
  • weight changes

It should be noted that this is not a complete list of possible side effects of Effexor XR. You should contact your physician for a complete list and medical advice regarding these effects.

 

Effexor XR Description and Dosing

Effexor XR is available in capsules of 37.5mg, 75mg and 150mg.

Effexor XR is supplied as a 37.5mg capsule, with a grey cap and peach body with “Effexor XR” on the cap and “37.5″ on the body.

The 75mgEffexor XR capsule is a peach cap and body with “Effexor XR” on the cap and “75″ on the body.

The 150mg Effexor XR capsule has a dark orange cap and body with “Effexor XR” on the cap and “150″ on the body.

Your doctor will prescribe your dose of Effexor based on your specific condition and individual medical needs. You should take Effexor exactly as it is prescribed for you.

If you suspect that you have overdosed with Effexor XR you should seek emergency help immediately.

 

Ingredients in Effexor XR

The primary active ingredient in Effexor XR is venlafaxine. Inactive ingredients consist of cellulose, ethylcellulose, gelatin, hypromellose, iron oxide, and titanium dioxide.

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Disclaimer

The information contained in this drug guide is intended as an educational resource only. This guide is not exhaustive and does not contain all available information about this drug.This guide is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatment.

The information provided in this guide does not replace the need for the advice and services of medical professionals or the need for medical examination. Always talk to your physician or pharmacist before taking any prescription medication or over the counter drugs (including any supplements) or before making any changes to your treatment. Only your doctor, nurse or pharmacist can provide you with safe and effective advice regarding your drug treatment.

The use of the information in this guide is at your sole risk. This information is provided "AS IS" with no warranties to accuracy or timeliness.