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.
Effexor is an anti-depressant that your doctor may prescribe to you for your fibromyalgia pain or depression. Tell us your experience with Effexor for fibromyalgia. Rate this fibromyalgia treatment below.
Prescribed Effexor for depression.
Reviewed by: Jaden 07/09/19
I was prescribed Effexor 8 years ago for depression, and have had my dosage adjusted over time, but still find it effective for depression. I do take Sereqel, Lamictal, and Trazadone as well, all prescribed around the same time by my psychiatrist, so I have no idea what the Effexor would do on its own. I am treated at a pain clinic (after 2+years of increasing fibro symptoms, I had to go on disability about a year ago because I am unable to function well enough) with oxycodone and muscle relaxers, but these have no effect on my skin pain, a terrible burning that is worsened by the heat, and has become so bad I can barely stand to wear clothes and rarely go out. It was suggested Effexor in a higher dose does well for skin pain. Does anyone have an opinion specific to skin pain? As a side note, after adjusting to it, I don't seem to have side effects, but it is impossible to tell really with so many meds. However, I have had to come off it w/o tapering, and, at least after being on it so long, can say the withdrawl is the worst of anything I have ever experienced. The flu-like symptoms go away, but the dizziness, hopelessness, inability to sleep, and most of all, the "elevator" sensation (can only be described as waves of zapping, electric sensations throughout the body and exploding in the head so that it feels like your head just plummeted-this is typical symptom but impossible to describe) drove me to the er after 6 days. It is a serious drug, and has long-term effects, so I caution anyone taking it for pain to seriously discuss it with your doctor. Any advice as far as anything helping the skin burning, since I have tried everything otc at this point-or if Effexor has a great enough effect on it, I would consider upping my dose.
Effexor/Venlafaxine - very effective. The pros and cons.
Reviewed by: Boris 02/04/19
I was placed on Effexor for my chronic depression around 2005. I had been on Prozac for many years, and it became ineffective for my depression around 2003. I had to wean off it, and then try various antidepressants to find one that worked and left me able to function. It was a VERY hard time, as being unmedicated for depression is DEADLY for me! So, Effexor. It has a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor action. This was the first of these I had been on, and I found that it not only controlled my raging depression, it also helped my fibromyalgia! I learned this when I went 3 days without taking the Effexor, and went into a SEVERE flare, like the worst flu ever! This, it seems is where Effexor is BAD. There is a known chance for withdrawal with this drug. The withdrawal feels just like a fibro flare even in people without fibro! For me, right now, it's a GOOD thing. It's a positive reinforcement cycle. I KNOW that if I skip my vital medicines, I WILL suffer for it in the short term! Some users find that they will have to take a very tiny dose of Effexor for the REST OF THEIR LIVES to prevent the withdrawal. I do NOT know if, like with other withdrawals, the pain and malaise dissipates over time, and frankly, I am not willing to find out today! Ask me in a few years.... Effexor is great for the pain. I don't seem to have many flares as long as I take the daily dose, and the flares I have due to weather are not as severe or long lasting. Effexor helps a bit with sleep. One odd side effect is that it causes a sort of numbness in the stomach. I don't have hunger pains at ALL unless it's been over 12 hours since I last ate. Even then, I feel my blood sugar drop before hunger pains! However, I don't get as severe hypoglycemia as I used to. Not sure if that's the Effexor, or just trying to stay on a schedule. Dizziness CAN be a side effect of this med as well, but I haven't experienced that as much. Sexual dysfunction is minimal on this medication, unlike Prozac. This is a GOOD thing! For the depression I have, and probably for the depression that comes with being in constant pain from fibro, Effexor is very effective. Weigh the pros and cons, ALL OF THEM, well before you decide on this protocol, as they could be lifelong and detrimental in some people. My prescribing psychologists did NOT tell me about the withdrawal syndrome when I went on it, I found out about it later!
I am sleeping better.
Reviewed by: Eliza 09/02/19
As we all know people have different experiences on drugs than others. I must say that even though the drug companies say that this or that does not have side effects,all drugs have some sort of side effect & if taken for a long time have some sort of withdrawl in MY OPINION.I started out with Paxil for anxiety that at the time didnt know that the cause was the beginning of Fibro. After feeling that I maxxed out on its 40mg doze, I heard of Effexor & did some research on it & with it targeting 2 areas of the brain, I thought this would be a benefit. I started out on the lowest dose 37.5 mg once a day & I found it to work great. After being on it for 3.5 yrs and having to up my doses over time & taking 150mg 2xdaily, I started having problems getting to sleep and felt like I was at a peak again. After asking my doctor what would be next, he suggested putting another anti-depressant with it. I couldnt handle the thought of adding another. So I asked to be taken off of it. Even with a gradual weaning off of it by reducing my doses, I still had a terrible time with the withdrawls of getting off of it. I could actually hear in my head when I would try to get to sleep these sounds inside my head that I later would read was sensory withdrawls and would experience a slight shocking sensation when I would turn my head or look down. Even though I am completely off of Effexor for months now, I still experience every so often those slight sensory shock feelings. Although I am sleeping better off of the drug, Iam now experiencing a flare in the Fibro but am very concerned about getting on another anti-depressant to releive the oh so many symptoms of Fibro. I have also had a hysterectomy in the past so I have the hormonal issue thats there also. I hope to try and find an alternative to drugs.
Effexor change my life.
Reviewed by: Carter 04/01/19
I have taken at least 150-350 of effexor and it helps a with depression and chronic pain and myofacial pain. I have taken it for over 10 years and it starts to work in weeks and the effectiveness keeps on working a little better all the time. I started taking it for nerve pain from a neck injury but it does help my fibro considerably. Without it i am in agony and roll up in a ball and scream in pain. i have had no side effects on it at all. This medication combined with chiropractic/massage therapy has increased my energy level and my sleeping is much better.