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Effexor (venlafaxine)

Effexor General Information

Effexor Side Effects

Order effexor online. Effexor is a bicyclic antidepressant, favored for its milder side effect profile as compared to traditional tricyclic antidepressants. Effexor also tends to work more quickly than other depression treatments.

Effexor Interactions

Effexor Dosages

Effexor Directions

Effexor and Pregnancy

Effexor and Children

Effexor and Seniors

Effexor General Information

Effexor is a bicyclic antidepressant, favored for its milder side effect profile as compared to traditional tricyclic antidepressants, and tends to work more quickly than other depression treatments. Effexor works in the central nervous system by making the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, more availailable to the brain. This effect is considered responsible for stabilization of mood and thought patterns.

Effexor has been found to be an effective treatment for the following conditions. An unlabeled condition is one which the manufacturer does not specify, but which clinical experience has shown the medication to be useful for:

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (unlabeled)
  • Depression, and prevention of relapses into depression
  • Depression in children with ADHD (unlabeled)
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Hot Flash reduction in cancer patients and post-menopausal women (unlabeled, may take several weeks for full effect)
  • Major Depression
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (unlabeled)

It may take up to two weeks for Effexor to provide its full benefits, and its actions require a steady blood level to work properly. Adhering to a regular daily dosage schedule and taking Effexor consistently is recommended.

Effexor extended release capsules, brand name Vandral manufactured by Wyeth, contain 150 mg venlafaxine hydrochloride and come in multiples of 30 capsules.

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Product Price Quantity
Effexor, 150 mg., 30 cap $279

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Effexor Side Effects

Common Effexor Side Effects: Anxiety, constipation, decreased appetite, diarrhea, drowsiness, dry mouth, excessive sweating, fatigue, gas, heartburn, insomnia, nausea, nervousness, rhinitis, shaking, stomach cramping, tingling sensations, trembling, unusual dreams, vomiting, weakness, or weight loss. These side effects are generally mild and go away with continued use. They do not usually indicate any serious reaction, though you may want to speak to your doctor if they bother you.

Less Common Effexor Side Effects: Altered sense of taste, excessive yawning, tense muscles. These side effects are generally mild and go away with continued use. They do not usually indicate any serious reaction, though you may want to speak to your doctor if they bother you.

Serious Effexor Side Effects: Altered or blurred vision, chest pain, decreased libido, headache, high blood pressure, irregular or racing heartbeat, ringing in ears, or severe changes in mood or mental state. Speak with your doctor as soon as possible if you experience any of these symptoms.

Rare and Serious Effexor Side Effects: Difficulty with urination, dizziness or fainting when standing or getting up, itching or rash, lockjaw, menstrual irregularity, seizures, or swelling. Seek medical treatment immediately if you should experience these symptoms.

Effexor Overdose may be indicated by more than one of the following: convulsions, drowsiness, extreme agitation, extreme fatigue or weakness, racing heartbeat, severe tingling sensations like you would experience when your foot 'fell asleep', shaking, trembling.

Serotonin Syndrome - This rare side effect is possible with medications which affect serotonin levels, usually antidepressants. Some medications which only mildly affect serotonin metabolism on their own, or interfere with the metabolism of an antidepressant, may also increase the risk of this syndrome in combination with a medication like Effexor. The symptoms include agitation, confusion, diarrhea, fever, lack of coordination, shaking, shivering, sweating, trembling , twitching, or uncontrollable excitement. If you experience several of these symptoms at the same time, seek medical attention at once. If you cannot be taken to a hospital or doctor immediately, call 911 for instructions and help.

Cautions: Effexor may not be right for everyone. Speak to your doctor about a history of any of the following conditions so that they can evaluate whether or not Effexor will be safe and effective for you.

  • Allergy: Any allergic reaction to Effexor in the past, or while taking it, is a contraindication for continued use. Also inform your physician of any other food or drug allergies you may have experienced in the past.
  • Brain Damage, Disease, or Retardation: You may be at an increased risk for seizure.
  • Heart Disease or High Blood Pressure: Effexor may increase blood pressure, worsening these conditions. Your doctor may not consider Effexor to be safe.
  • Hyperlipidemia: Patients with high lipid levels will have to be evaluated on an individual basis.
  • Insomnia: If you are prone to insomnia, Effexor may worsen the condition, though your doctor may be able to alleviate the effects.
  • Kidney or Liver Disease: Effexor will clear from the body far more slowly, and starting doses of 50-75% less than the standard dosage may be recommended. Do not use alcohol during treatment.
  • Mania: Increases the risk of mania in hypomania, manic depression, or bipolar disorder.
  • Pregnancy: If you are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant, your doctor may advise against treatment.
  • Seizure: Effexor may increase the risk of seizure in individuals who are predisposed to them.
  • Suicidal Tendencies: As with many other depression medications, caution is strongly advised in individuals with a history of suicide attempts or suicidal thoughts.
  • Surgery: Advise your surgeon or dentist in advance that you take Effexor. Effexor may interact with certain drugs given in surgery, particularly anesthesia.
  • Underweight: Effexor commonly causes minor weight loss. This may be dangerous for individuals suffering from anorexia, bulimia, experiencing a disease that causes wasting (like AIDS), or treatment process (like chemotherapy) that causes extreme weight loss or loss of appetite. Be cautious if you are recovering from any long illness or infection, and your doctor has told you that you need to gain weight.

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Effexor Interactions

Effexor may have interactions with certain medications, with the likelihood of undesirable side effects from either treatment possibly increased. Effexor is active in the central nervous system (CNS). Use it cautiously with other medications that have CNS effects, like mood enhancement, drowsiness, excitability, relaxation, slowed reactions, or altered perceptions. Effexor should not be used at all with drugs or supplements that alter serotonin levels. Speak to your doctor about mixing Effexor with herbal and over the counter treatments as well, since not all of these are safe to combine with Effexor.

If you take, or plan to take, any of the following during your Effexor treatment, speak with your doctor. Some drugs are not safe to mix at all, and some may require dosage adjustments to avoid increased side effects.

  • Alchohol - May accelerate CNS depression, resulting in greater drowsiness. Do not drink heavily, or daily, while using Effexor. If you take multiple medications which are processed through the liver, do not drink while taking Effexor. Speak to your doctor for personalized guidelines during treatment, as some individuals may need to avoid alcohol completely.
  • Zolpidem - Increased risk of hallucinations. These medications should never be used together.
  • Antiseizure medication like phenytoin may build up in the body when combined with Effexor.
  • Beta Blockers - The side effects of these medications may be increased by Effexor treatment, as it may prevent the clearing of beta blockers from the body.
  • Buspirone - Increased risk of dangerous side effects like serotonin syndrome. Speak to your doctor regarding a safe waiting period between taking these medications.
  • Calcium Channel Blockers - Toxicity from these drugs may result, as Effexor may block their removal through the liver.
  • Cold medications containing dextromethorphan - Use only with the advice of your doctor, as toxicity from either drug may result.
  • Warfarin - May result in excessive bleeding.
  • Trazodone - Increases the risk of serotonin syndrome.
  • Gingko Biloba - This herb may act as an MAO inhibitor, and should not be used at all during treatment with Effexor.
  • Ginseng - This herb may act as an MAO inhibitor, and should not be used at all during treatment with Effexor.
  • Lithium - These medications should not be mixed, consult your doctor regarding a minimum safe waiting period.
  • Moclobemide - Do not use these medications within 3 days of each other, consult your doctor regarding safe usage.
  • MAO inhibitors - Effexor must never be mixed with MAO (monoamine oxidase) inhibitors, a class of antidepressants and antisenility drugs, such as selegiline, furazolidone, phenelzine, isocarboxazid, or tranylcypromine. Never use Effexor within 14 days of starting or stopping an MAO inhibitor. Patients over 65 should allow a longer wait period between using Effexor and an MAO, as medications may stay in their system longer than in other patients. This drug combination could cause dangerous increases in blood pressure, tremor, hyperthermia, seizure, and possibly death.
  • Sibutramine - Increases the risk of toxicity and serotonin syndrome from Effexor. Avoid this combination entirely.
  • Migraine medications of the triptan class such as naratriptan, sumatriptan, rizatriptan, or zolmitriptan can cause coordination difficulties or weakness when mixed with Effexor. Avoid this combination.
  • Muscle relaxants such as cyclobenzaprine, orphenadrine, metaxalone, carisoprodol, or methocarbamol may cause oversedation in combination with Effexor.
  • Narcotic pain medication like Cialis, meperidine, buprenorphine, propoxyphene, hydromorphone, morphine, nalbuphine, oxycodone, butorphanol, pentazocine, or hydrocodone may increase the CNS depressant effects of Effexor. Meperidine and pentazocine may increase the risk of serotonin syndrome. Consult your doctor for advice on how to take these medications together safely.
  • Ritonavir - Toxic buildups of Effexor may occur.
  • Bromocriptine - Increases the risk of serotonin syndrome.
  • Quinadine - Toxic buildups of Effexor may occur.
  • Methylphenidate
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like citalopram, paroxetine, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, or sertraline should not be mixed with Effexor. They may increase the risk of serious side effects like serotonin syndrome, which is dangerous and potentially life-threatening. A period of 14 days is generally a sufficient wait, though this may vary between patients. A five week wait may be recommended between treatment with fluoxetine and Effexor.
  • Carbidopa, levodopa - Increased risk of serotonin syndrome.
  • Street drugs such as LSD, Ecstasy (MDMA), or marijuana. These drugs also affect serotonin levels in the brain and may react strongly with a serotonin reuptake inhibitor like Effexor. Do not combine.
  • Cimetidine - May cause Effexor to build up to toxic levels.
  • Dofetilide - Toxicity of this medication may result from combination with Effexor.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline, amoxapine, clomipramine, desipramine, doxepin, imipramine, nortriptyline, protriptyline, and trimipramine, may be blocked from removal by the liver when used with Effexor. This could lead to increased risk of undesirable side effects.
  • Tryptophan or 5-HTP - This supplement may increase the risk of serotonin syndrome when mixed with Effexor.
  • Tramadol - Increased risk of seizures.

Sedative medications, any drug that makes you drowsy or slows your reaction time, may cause oversedation in combination with Effexor. If you currently take muscle relaxants, sleep aids, tranquilizers, antihistamines, cold medication, or any other drug which makes you drowsy, consult your doctor regarding safe usage. Ask your doctor about the safety of beginning any new treatment while using Effexor (even over the counter medications), and always give your physician an updated list of any medications that may have been prescribed to you by another doctor.

Effexor Dosages

While the following doses are customary, your doctor may prescribe you a different dose based on factors like age, body mass, and medical history. If the dose that your doctor suggests is different from the standard dosage outlined below, follow the instructions given to you by your doctor, and do not change your dose without their advice.

Standard Dosage for Depression

  • Tablet: 75 mg in 2 to 3 divided doses to start, up to 375 mg if a greater dose is indicated.
  • Extended Release Capsule: 75 mg once daily to start, up to 225 mg if a greater dose is indicated.

Standard Dosage for Anxiety

  • Extended Release Capsule: 75 mg once daily to start, up to 225 mg if a greater dose is indicated.

Effexor Directions

For maximum effectiveness, Effexor needs to be maintained in steady levels in the brain. Take your doses at the same time every day, and take missed doses as soon as you remember. If you miss a dose and it is almost time for your next one, skip the missing dose and resume your normal schedule. Effexor may be taken with food, though the XR form must not be crushed, and the capsule must not be opened.

Store Effexor away from direct light and heat. Store in a dry location; avoid storing it in the bathroom, near sinks, or other areas where it may become damp. Do not use Effexor after the expiration date.

Keep Effexor away from children; both when storing it, and when discarding any unused medication.

Effexor may cause drowsiness or disorientation, and you should familiarize yourself with your reaction to it before engaging in potentially hazardous activities. Be cautious if you plan to drive or operate heavy machinery, avoid these activities if you find yourself feeling tired or experience slowed reactions.

Effexor and Pregnancy

Animal studies have indicated an increased risk of miscarriage with high doses of Effexor. Speak with your doctor about your treatment if you are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant.

Effexor does pass into breast milk, and nursing mothers may be advised to suspend treatment, or stop breastfeeding while using Effexor.

Effexor and Children

Although Effexor has not been fully studied for safety in young children, though it has been used to treat them in certain cases. Only your doctor can determine if Effexor would be an appropriate treatment, dosage would have to be determined on an individual basis, and carefully monitored.

Effexor and Seniors

Effexor does not appear to have significantly different effects in the elderly, though some side effects may be more common and detrimental in the senior population. Of particular concern is the risk of an increase in blood pressure, increased sodium loss, and antidiuretic effects. It is also normal for individuals over 60 to have reduced kidney function, which is an indication for lower doses, as Effexor will clear from the body more slowly. Constipation may be more of a problem, and a doctor may recommend taking a fiber supplement, or psyllium husks, half an hour befoure your morning meal to reduce this concern.

Seniors should generally be started on lower doses, and monitored more carefully, as is the case with many other types of treatment administered to this population.

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This document is provided for information only. It is not a substitute for consultation with a physician, either to diagnose symptoms or prescribe treatment. Any dosages mentioned are general guidelines only, please follow the directions of your doctor exactly when taking Effexor. We have made every effort to ensure that this information is accurate, but only your doctor can say if Effexor, or a drug combination, is safe for you. It should not be construed to indicate that to order and use Effexor is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before you order Effexor online.
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