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Effexor XR (Generic Venlafaxine)

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A tiny percentage of youngsters, teenagers, and young adults (up to 24 years old) who took mood-elevating antidepressants like venlafaxine during clinical research developed suicidal thoughts (thinking about harming or killing oneself or planning or trying to do so). Children, teenagers, and young adults who take antidepressants to treat depression or other mental diseases may have a higher risk of committing suicide than those who do not take these medications. However, experts disagree on how significant this risk is and how much it has to be taken into account when determining whether or not a kid or adolescent should take an antidepressant. Venlafaxine is typically not recommended for use in people under the age of 18, although in some circumstances, a doctor may determine that it is the best treatment option for a child’s illness.

Even though you are an adult over the age of 24, you should be aware that taking venlafaxine or other antidepressants may cause your mental health to change in unforeseen ways. In particular, during the start of treatment and whenever your dose is changed, you run the risk of developing suicidal thoughts. If any of the following signs appear, you, your family, or your caretaker should contact your doctor straight away: Extreme worry, agitation, panic attacks, trouble falling or staying asleep, aggressive behaviour, irritability, acting without thinking, severe restlessness, and frenetic excessive excitement are just a few symptoms of depression that may be new or developing. Make sure your family or carer is aware of any symptoms that could be significant so they can contact the doctor on your behalf if you are unable to call for help.

If you are taking venlafaxine, your doctor will want to visit you frequently, especially at the start of your treatment. Make sure to show up for all of your doctor’s appointment times.

When you start your venlafaxine treatment, your doctor or chemist will give you the manufacturer’s patient information leaflet (Medication Guide). If you have any questions, carefully read the information and ask your doctor or chemist. The FDA website also offers the Medication Guide.

No of your age, you, your parent, or your carer should discuss the advantages and disadvantages of treating your disease with an antidepressant or with alternative treatments with your doctor before starting an antidepressant. The dangers and advantages of not treating your ailment should also be discussed. You should be aware that your chance of committing suicide is significantly increased if you suffer from depression or any mental disorder. This risk is increased if you or a family member currently has, or previously had, bipolar disorder (depression followed by periods of extreme excitement) or mania (frenzied, abnormally excited mood), or if you have ever considered or tried suicide. Discuss your ailment, symptoms, and personal and family medical history with your doctor. The best course of therapy for you will be decided by you and your doctor.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Utilized to treat depression is venlafaxine. In addition to treating panic disorder, venlafaxine extended-release (long-acting) capsules are also used to treat social anxiety disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, and panic disorder. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterised by extreme fear of social interaction and performing in front of others (sudden, unexpected attacks of extreme fear and worry about these attacks). The drug Venlafaxine belongs to the group of drugs known as selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). It functions by raising the brain’s natural levels of serotonin and norepinephrine, which support mental equilibrium.

How should this medicine be used?

Venlafaxine is available as a tablet or oral extended-release capsule. The tablet is often taken with food two or three times per day. The extended-release capsule is typically taken once daily, with or without food, in the morning or evening. Take venlafaxine every day at around the same time(s). Ask your doctor or chemist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Venlafaxine should be taken as prescribed. Never take it in larger or less amounts, or for longer periods of time than your doctor has advised.

Do not split, chew, or crush the extended-release capsule, or submerge it in water. Instead, swallow it whole. You can carefully open the extended-release capsule and sprinkle the entire contents on a spoonful of applesauce if you are unable to take it. After preparing the mixture, immediately ingest it (without chewing) and follow that with a glass of water to ensure that you have consumed all of the drug.

Your doctor would likely prescribe you a modest dose of venlafaxine to begin with and gradually raise it, no more frequently than once every 4 to 7 days. In order to correctly modify your dose, tell your doctor how you are feeling throughout your therapy.

Although it doesn’t treat depression, venlafaxine can manage it. You could need a few weeks or longer to experience the full benefits of this medicine. Despite feeling fine, keep taking venlafaxine. Without first seeing your doctor, do not discontinue taking venlafaxine. Most likely, your dosage will be gradually reduced by your doctor. You could have withdrawal symptoms such agitation, anxiety, fatigue, disorientation, mood swings, headaches, and dizziness if you stop taking venlafaxine abruptly; agitation, mania or unusual excitement, lack of coordination, sleep issues (including nightmares), nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, dry mouth, and perspiration; erratic shaking of a body part; ringing in the ears; dizziness; convulsions; or burning, tingling, numbness, or electric shock-like sensations in any body part. If you encounter any of these signs while lowering your venlafaxine dosage or soon after stopping the medication, let your doctor know.

Other uses for this medicine

In some cases, venlafaxine is also used to treat hot flashes (also known as hot flushes, which are sudden, intense feelings of heat and perspiration in females) in menopausal (also known as “change of life” or “the end of monthly menstrual periods”) or breast cancer patients. Regarding the dangers of using venlafaxine to treat your disease, see your doctor or chemist.

Ask your doctor or chemist for more details if you’re interested in using this medication for any other conditions.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking venlafaxine,

  • If you have any allergies, including to any of the chemicals in venlafaxine tablets or extended-release capsules, tell your doctor and chemist very away. Get a list of the ingredients from your chemist.
  • You should be aware that another SNRI, desvenlafaxine, is quite similar to desvenlafaxine (Pristiq). These drugs should not be taken at the same time.
  • If you are currently taking an MAO inhibitor, such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), linezolid (Zyvox), methylene blue, phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate), or if you have stopped taking one of these drugs within the previous 14 days, let your doctor know. You should not use venlafaxine, your doctor will likely advise. In the event that you stop taking venlafaxine, your doctor will advise you to wait at least 7 days before starting an MAO inhibitor.
  • Inform your doctor and chemist about any other prescription drugs, over-the-counter remedies, and vitamins you are now taking or intend to take. Incorporate any of the following: anticoagulants (‘blood thinners’) such warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven); amphetamines like amphetamine (in Adderall, in Mydayis), dextroamphetamine (in Adderall), and methamphetamine (Desoxyn); aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs); buspirone; cimetidine (Tagamet); clozapine (Clozaril); diuretics (‘water pills’); haloperidol (Haldol), indinavir (Crixivan), fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic, Fentora, Subsys), ketoconazole, lithium, drugs for anxiety, mental disease, pain, seizures, or weight loss; drugs for migraine, including metoprolol (Kapspargo Sprinkle, Lopressor, Toprol), eletriptan (Relpax), frovatriptan (Frova), naratriptan (Amerge), rizatriptan (Maxalt), sumatriptan (Imitrex), and zolmitriptan (Zomig); sedatives, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram, and mirtazapine (Remeron), as well as phentermine (Adipex P, Lomaira, Qsymia) (Lexapro), sertraline (Zoloft), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), and fluoxetine (Prozac, in Symbyax); additional SNRIs including duloxetine (Cymbalta); sleeping medications; tranquillizers, tricyclic antidepressants such amitriptyline, amoxapine, clomipramine (Anafranil), and desipramine, and tramadol (Conzip, Qdola, Ultram in Ultracet) (Norpramin), nortriptyline (Pamelor), protriptyline, doxepin (Silenor), imipramine (Tofranil), and trimipramine. Your physician might need to adjust the dosage of your drugs or keep a close eye on you for side effects.
  • Inform your doctor about any dietary supplements and herbal remedies you are using, notably tryptophan and St. John’s wort.
  • If you have ever abused a prescription medicine or illegal narcotic, be sure to notify your doctor. A recent heart attack, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, seizures, glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye that may result in blindness), heart, kidney, liver, or thyroid problems are some things to mention to your doctor.
  • If you are pregnant, particularly if you are in the last few months of your pregnancy, if you plan to get pregnant, or if you are breast-feeding, let your doctor know. Call your doctor if you get pregnant while taking venlafaxine. If venlafaxine is taken in the final months of pregnancy, it may have negative effects on babies after birth.
  • Inform the surgeon or dentist that you are taking venlafaxine if you are undergoing surgery, including dental surgery.
  • You should be aware that this medication may cause drowsiness and may impair your thinking, judgement, and motor skills. Prior to understanding how this drug affects you, avoid using machinery or driving a car.
  • Be in mind that drinking can increase the drowsiness this drug causes.
  • It’s important to be aware that venlafaxine may raise blood pressure. Before beginning treatment and periodically while using this drug, you should have your blood pressure tested.
  • It’s important to be aware that venlafaxine may result in angle-closure glaucoma (a condition where the fluid is suddenly blocked and unable to flow out of the eye causing a quick, severe increase in eye pressure which may lead to a loss of vision). Ask your doctor if you should get your eyes checked before beginning this medicine. Call your doctor or get emergency medical attention right away if you are experiencing nausea, eye pain, changes in your vision, such as seeing coloured rings around lights, or swelling or redness in or around your eyes.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Keep eating normally unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dosage, take it as soon as you recall. If your next dose is approaching, skip the missed one and carry on with your regular dosing regimen. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one. Do not take more than one dose per day of the extended-release capsules.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Venlafaxine could have negative effects. If any of the following symptoms are severe or do not go away, contact your doctor right once:

  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nightmares
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Heartburn
  • Burping
  • Mouth ache
  • Alterations in food taste
  • Reduced appetite
  • Slim down
  • Body part shaking that is uncontrollable
  • An area of the body may experience pain, burning, numbness, or tingling
  • Yawning
  • Sweating
  • Flushes or hot flashes
  • Excessive urination
  • Having trouble urinating
  • Chills, a sore throat, or other symptoms of an infection
  • Hearing ringing
  • Reduced sex drive, inability to get or maintain an erection, or delayed or missing ejaculation are all examples of sexual issues that affect men
  • Sexual issues in women, including diminished sex desire, delayed orgasm, orgasm incapacity
  • Bigger pupils (black circles in the middle of the eyes)

Some adverse effects may be severe. Call your doctor right away if any of the following symptoms occur, in addition to those in the IMPORTANT WARNING or SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS sections:

  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Breathing or swallowing challenges
  • Chest ache
  • Hammering, rapid, or erratic heartbeat
  • Seizures
  • Significant bruising or bleeding
  • Little purple skin blotches
  • Fever, perspiration, fuzziness, rapid or erratic heartbeat, severe twitching or rigidity of the muscles, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea
  • Difficulty coordinating
  • Hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
  • Coma (loss of consciousness for a period of time)

In children, venlafaxine may inhibit growth and weight gain. The doctor will closely monitor your child’s growth if they are taking venlafaxine. Consult your child’s doctor about the dangers of giving them venlafaxine.

Further negative effects of venlafaxine are possible. If you have any strange side effects while taking this medicine, contact your doctor right once.

You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online or by phone if you have a serious side event (1-800-332-1088).

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Keep it away from excessive heat and moisture at room temperature (not in the bathroom).

Although many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning.

Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilising a medicine take-back programme is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programmes in your area, speak with your chemist or the garbage/recycling agency in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medications website at for additional information.

In case of emergency/overdose

Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Moreover, information can be found online at Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.

Overdose symptoms could include:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Tingling, numbness, or burning in the hands and feet
  • Increase in pupil size (black centre of the eye)
  • Muscular ache
  • Chilly and warm periods
  • Sleepiness
  • Seizures
  • Irregular, quick, or sluggish heartbeat
  • Coma (loss of consciousness for a period of time)

What other information should I know?

Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab.

No one else should take your medication. Any queries you may have regarding prescription refills should be directed to your chemist.

You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Effexor®
  • Effexor® XR
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