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Effexor Drug Information

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Generic Name: venlafaxine (oral) (VEN la fax een) Brand Names: Effexor, Effexor XR Effexor is an antidepressant in a group of drugs called selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRIs). Effexor affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause depression. Effexor is used to treat major depressive disorder, anxiety, and panic disorder.
What is the most important information I should know about Effexor?
• Do not take Effexor if you are currently taking or have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days.
• Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Effexor may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities.
• Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion
• Do not stop taking Effexor without first talking to your doctor. Your doctor may need to gradually reduce the dose before stopping the medication completely. Stopping the medication suddenly may cause unpleasant side effects to occur.What is Effexor?
• Effexor is an antidepressant medication. It affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause depression or anxiety.
• Effexor is used to relieve symptoms of depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and social anxiety disorder (social phobia).
• Effexor may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Effexor?
• Do not take Effexor if you are currently taking or have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days.
• Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have
· liver disease;
· kidney disease;
· heart disease or high blood pressure;
· seizures or epilepsy;
· a history of mania or bipolar disorder;
· increased pressure in the eye(s) or narrow-angle glaucoma;
· bleeding or blood clotting problems; or
· increased level of cholesterol in the blood.
• You may not be able to take Effexor, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.
• Effexor is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether Effexor will be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.
• Effexor passes into breast milk and may affect a nursing baby. Do not take Effexor without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I take Effexor?
• Take Effexor exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain the instructions to you.
• Take each dose with a full glass of water.
• Take Effexor with food or milk to lessen stomach upset.
• Effexor should be taken at the same time every day.
• Each Effexor XR capsule should be swallowed whole with fluid and not divided, crushed, chewed, or placed in water.
• If swallowing of the Effexor XR capsules is difficult, a capsule may be carefully opened and the entire contents sprinkled onto a spoonful of applesauce. This drug/food mixture should be swallowed immediately without chewing and followed with a glass of water.
• It is important to take Effexor regularly to get the most benefit.
• Do not stop taking Effexor without first talking to your doctor. Your doctor may need to gradually reduce the dose before stopping the medication completely. Stopping the medication suddenly may cause unpleasant side effects to occur.
• Your doctor may want you to have blood tests or other medical evaluations during treatment with Effexor to monitor progress and side effects.
• Store Effexor at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?

• Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take only the next one as directed. Do not take a double dose of this medication.
What happens if I overdose?
• Seek emergency medical attention if an overdose is suspected.
• Symptoms of a Effexor overdose may include dizziness, drowsiness, numbness, nausea, irregular heartbeats, seizures, and unconsciousness.
What should I avoid while taking Effexor?
• Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Effexor may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities.
• Avoid the use of alcohol. Alcohol may increase drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion while taking Effexor.
What are the possible side effects of Effexor?
• If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking Effexor and contact your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical treatment:
· an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
· seizures; or
· an irregular heartbeat or severely high blood pressure (blurred vision, headache).
• Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take Effexor and talk to your doctor if you experience
· nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, abdominal pain, or loss of appetite or weight;
· dry mouth;
· drowsiness or dizziness;
· mild tremor, anxiety, or agitation;
· insomnia;
· abnormal dreams;
· sexual problems such as impotence, abnormal ejaculation, difficulty reaching orgasm, or decreased libido;
· sweating;
· yawning; or
· increase in blood cholesterol levels (detected by blood tests);
• Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.
What other drugs will affect Effexor?
• Do not take Effexor if you are currently taking or have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days.
• Effexor may increase the effects of other drugs that cause drowsiness, including other antidepressants, anxiety medicines, antipsychotics, alcohol, antihistamines, sedatives (used to treat insomnia), pain relievers, and muscle relaxants. Tell your doctor about all medicines that you are taking, and do not take any other medicine without first talking to your doctor.
• Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with Effexor. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products.


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