Effexor is a bicyclic antidepressant that is not chemically related to tricyclic antidepressants or to other commonly prescribed antidepressants. This drug is often used to treat depression that has not responded to other medications. Effexor works by blocking transporters for the chemicals serotonin and norepinephrine, increasing the amounts of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. Effexor also slightly increases the amount of dopamine in the brain.
Why is this drug prescribed?
Effexor is FDA-approved for the treatment of major depressive disorder in adults. The extended-release formulation is approved for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social phobia in adults.
This drug is also occasionally used to treat OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) or Fibromyalgia (FMS).
How much of this drug is typically used?
Tablets: 25 mg, 37.5 mg, 50 mg, 75 mg, 100 mg
Extended release capsules: 37.5 mg, 75 mg, 150 mg
Reasons to buy Effexor:
Warnings and Precautions
Effexor is not known to be addictive, but withdrawal symptoms may be present when this drug is discontinued in patients who have taken it for a long time. Dosage should be gradually tapered to avoid withdrawal.
It is recommended that patients receiving Effexor regularly monitor blood pressure. Patients whose blood pressure increases while taking Effexor should discontinue or reduce the dosage.
Effexor may cause drowsiness, dizziness or blurred vision. Patients using Effexor should not drive, use machinery, until the effects of Effexor on that patient are known. Alcohol may increase dizziness or drowsiness.
For Nursing Mothers: It is not known whether Effexor is excreted in breast milk, but as with all drugs, caution should be used.
The safety and effectiveness in children and adolescents under 18 are not known - Effexor should not be used in children for either OCD or depression.
Dosage of Effexor will probably have to be altered in patients with high blood pressure, heart, liver, or kidney disease.
Effexor may cause the following reactions:
Interactions with Drugs and Other Substances
Drugs or substances that may interact with Effexor are:
Research Studies and Use in Child Psychiatry
A recent study reports some efficacy of venlafaxine in the treatment of adolescent depression, but more side effects compared to an SSRI. Another study suggests that long-acting venlafaxine is useful in the treatment of children and adolescents with social anxiety disorder. A further small study suggests that venlafaxine might be useful in the treatment of children and adolescents with ADHD. The medication carries a special warning, as with other antidepressants, of increased suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents and young adults.