Information about Effexor: Includes the warnings, side effects, precautions and drug interactions.
IMPORTANT NOTE | TITLE | HOW TO PRONOUNCE | COMMON BRAND NAMES | USES | OTHER USES | HOW TO TAKE | SIDE EFFECTS | PRECAUTIONS | DRUG INTERACTIONS | OVERDOSE | NOTES | MISSED DOSE | STORAGE
The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.
TITLE VENLAFAXINE - ORAL
HOW TO PRONOUNCE (ven-luh-FAX-een)
COMMON BRAND NAMES Effexor
This medication is an antidepressant
(serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor type) used in the treatment of
depression in adults. It works by restoring the balance of natural chemicals
(neurotransmitters) in the brain, thereby improving mood and feelings of
well-being. Venlafaxine should not be used in children and teenagers due to lack
of proven effectiveness in treating depression and anxiety disorders in
children. Also, there have been reports of hostility and thoughts of suicide or
self-harm occurring in some children using the drug.
HOW TO TAKE
Take this medication usually 2-3 times daily with food;
or as directed by your doctor. During the first few days, your doctor may
gradually increase your dose to allow your body to adjust to the medication. Do
not take it more often or increase your dose without consulting your doctor.
Your condition will not improve any faster but the risk of serious side effects
will be increased. Use this medication regularly in order to get the most
benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time(s) each day. Take
this medication as prescribed even if you feel well. Do not stop taking it
without consulting your doctor. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.
You may experience side effects if the drug is abruptly stopped.
Headache, drowsiness, dizziness, nervousness, trouble
sleeping, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, altered taste, sweating,
stomach upset, constipation, loss of appetite, anxiety, or yawning may occur. If
any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist
promptly. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these serious side effects
occur: unusual or severe mental/mood changes, decreased sexual function/desire,
muscle cramping, ringing in the ears, severe headache, tremor, vision changes.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects
occur: black stools, chest pain, "coffee-ground" vomit, difficulty urinating,
easy bruising/bleeding, fast heartbeats, seizures. Venlafaxine may cause your
blood pressure to increase. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you experience any
of the following symptoms of high blood pressure: headache, dizziness, or
blurred vision. A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek
immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic
reaction include: rash, hives, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble
breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or
Before taking venlafaxine, tell your doctor or
pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. Before
using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history,
especially of: bleeding problems, certain mental/mood conditions (bipolar
disorder), dehydration, glaucoma, heart problems (high blood pressure, unstable
heart disease, heart failure, recent heart attack), high cholesterol, kidney
disease, liver disease, seizures, thyroid problems, untreated mineral imbalance
(e.g. hyponatremia). This drug may make you dizzy, drowsy or cause blurred
vision; use caution engaging in activities requiring alertness such as driving
or using machinery. Limit alcoholic beverages. Though uncommon, depression can
lead to thoughts or attempts of suicide. Tell your doctor immediately if you
have any suicidal thoughts, worsening depression, or any other mental/mood
changes (including new or worsening anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, trouble
sleeping, irritability, hostile/angry feelings, impulsive actions, severe
restlessness, rapid speech). Keep all medical appointments so your healthcare
professional can monitor your progress closely and adjust/change your medication
if needed. Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they
may be more sensitive to its effects. The elderly are more likely to develop a
type of mineral imbalance (hyponatremia), especially if they are also taking
"water pills" or diuretics with this medication. This medication should be used
only when clearly needed during the first 6 months of pregnancy. It is not
recommended during the last 3 months of pregnancy due to the potential for
complications in the infant at birth. Discuss the risks and benefits with your
doctor. This medication passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects
on a nursing infant. Breast-feeding is not recommended while using this drug.
Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Certain medications taken with this product could result
in serious, even fatal, drug interactions. Avoid taking MAO inhibitors (e.g.,
furazolidone, isocarboxazid, linezolid, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine,
selegiline, tranylcypromine) within 2 weeks before or 7 days after treatment
with this medication. This drug should not be used with the following
medications because very serious interactions may occur: weight loss drugs
(e.g., sibutramine, phentermine). If you are currently using any of these
medications, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting venlafaxine. Before
using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and
nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: cimetidine,
herbal/natural products (e.g., ayahuasca, St. John's wort), lithium, SSRI
antidepressants (e.g., fluoxetine, sertraline), triptan migraine drugs (e.g.,
sumatriptan, almotriptan), other drugs which can cause bleeding/bruising (e.g.,
thrombolytic drugs such as TPA, anticoagulants such as heparin or warfarin,
antiplatelet drugs including NSAIDs such as ibuprofen). Tell your doctor or
pharmacist if you also take drugs that cause drowsiness such as: antihistamines
that cause drowsiness (e.g., diphenhydramine), anti-anxiety drugs (e.g.,
diazepam), anti-seizure drugs (e.g., carbamazepine), medicine for sleep (e.g.,
sedatives), muscle relaxants, narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine), or
psychiatric medicines (e.g., chlorpromazine, thioridazine). Check the labels on
all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products) because they may contain
drowsiness-causing ingredients. Ask your pharmacist about the safe use of those
products. Low-dose aspirin (usually 81-325 mg per day) for heart attack or
stroke prevention should be continued unless your doctor instructs you
otherwise. Aspirin is similar to NSAID drugs, and can increase the risk of
bleeding in combination with this medication (see above). Discuss the risks and
benefits with your doctor. Check all prescription and nonprescription medicine
labels carefully since many contain pain relievers/fever reducers (NSAIDs such
as aspirin or naproxen) which may increase the risk of side effects. Do not
start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.
If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison
control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call the US
national poison hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Canadian residents should call their
local poison control center directly. Symptoms of overdose may include severe
drowsiness, seizures, or fast heartbeat.
Do not share this medication with others. Laboratory
and/or medical tests (e.g., blood pressure monitoring, cholesterol) should be
performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects.
Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If
it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual
dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store the US product at room temperature between 68-77
degrees F (20-25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the
bathroom. Store the Canadian product at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F
(15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom.
Keep all medicines away from children and pets.