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About Effexor XR (Venlafaxine)

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Also known as:  Venlafaxine.


Effexor XR is a potent antidepressant containing the active substance Venlafaxine. It is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor which works by mediating the amount and activity of serotonin and norepinephrine in the central nervous system which provokes the antidepressive effect of the drug.

Effexor XR is predominantly used in the treatment of the major depressive episodes, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder, with or without agoraphobia. Effexor XR can also be used in the off-label treatment of the obsessive-compulsive disorder, the premenstrual dysphoric disorder, vasomotor symptoms in women with breast cancer and in postmenopausal women, fibromyalgia, painful diabetic neuropathy, and for migraine prevention.

Like with any antidepressant, the effect of Effexor XR can usually be seen in 2 weeks after the treatment was started.


Treatment of the major depressive disorder.

Management of generalized anxiety disorder.

Management of social anxiety disorder.

Management of panic disorder.

Treatment of the obsessive-compulsive disorder (off-label use).

Treatment of the premenstrual dysphoric disorder (off-label use).

Treatment of vasomotor symptoms in women with breast cancer and in postmenopausal women (off-label use).

Treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy (off-label use).

Treatment of fibromyalgia (off-label use).

Prophylaxis of migraine (off-label use).

MOA (mechanism of action)

Venlafaxine is an antidepressant of the serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) class that works by potentiating neurotransmitter activity in the central nervous system (CNS). Both Venlafaxine and its active metabolite O-desmethylvenlafaxine (ODV) inhibit the reuptake of serotonin (5-HT) and norepinephrine (NE). Venlafaxine also partially reduces the reuptake of dopamine. These actions improve neurotransmitter activity in the CNS and provide antidepressant and pain inhibitory effects of the drug.


Take Effexor XR exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Effexor XR should be taken with food. Try to take your dose at the same time each day. Do not crush, chew, break, or open an extended-release tablet/capsule. Swallow it whole.

It may take several weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed. Do not stop using venlafaxine without first talking to your doctor. You may have unpleasant side effects if you stop taking this medicine suddenly.

During the first two weeks of Effexor XR treatment, patients should be monitored for clinical worsening and suicide risk.

Your blood pressure will need to be checked regularly as well. Do not stop the treatment with Effexor XR abruptly.

Missed dose

If you miss a dose, you should take it as soon as you remember about your missing. If it is the time for the next dose you should continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten one.


A large dose of Effexor XR may lead to tachycardia, changes in the level of consciousness (ranging from somnolence to coma), mydriasis, convulsion, vomiting, electrocardiographic changes, ventricular tachycardia, bradycardia, hypotension, vertigo, and death.

If an overdose occurs and you are feeling unwell, you should seek emergency medical attention or contact your healthcare provider immediately. Do it even if you’re not feeling any signs of discomfort or poisoning.


Store at room temperature between 20°C and 25°C (68°F and 77°F) away from excess moisture and heat. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date. Keep out of the reach of children.

Side effects

The possible side effects associated with Effexor XR are:

  • depression
  • nausea
  • dry mouth
  • headache
  • insomnia
  • dizziness
  • constipation
  • decreased appetite
  • nervousness
  • libido decreased
  • agitation
  • anorgasmia
  • tremor
  • paresthesia
  • visual impairment
  • accommodation disorder
  • mydriasis
  • tinnitus
  • tachycardia
  • palpitations
  • hypertension
  • hot flush
  • dyspnea
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • skin rash
  • hypertonia
  • urinary disorders
  • sexual dysfunction
  • weight changes
  • serotonin syndrome

If you are feeling any of serotonin syndrome symptoms, discontinue the treatment immediately.


Do not take Effexor XR if you’re allergic to Venlafaxine or any other ingredients in the formulation.

Effexor XR is not for use in pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Effexor XR is not for use in patients under the age of 18.

Warnings and precautions

Consult your doctor before starting the treatment with Effexor XR if:

  • You have a raised intraocular pressure.
  • You are at risk for acute narrow-angle glaucoma.
  • You have hepatic or renal impairment.
  • You suffer from hypotension or hypertension.
  • You have a history of heart disorders.
  • You have a history of convulsions.
  • You have a history of bleeding disorders.
  • You suffer from mood disorders.
  • You have a history of aggressive behavior.
  • You have diabetes.

It is recommended to measure serum cholesterol levels during the treatment with Effexor XR.

Avoid or reduce alcohol consumption during Effexor XR treatment.

Do not take Effexor XR if you’re taking or have been taking within the last 14 days monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI); selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), or tryptophan; medicines known to affect blood coagulation (NSAIDs, aspirin); CYP1A2-inhibitors or thioridazine; CYP2D6-inhibitors.


Consult your doctor before taking Effexor XR with any of the following:

  • other serotonergic drugs (e.g., triptans, linezolid, lithium, tramadol or St John's Wort)
  • triptans
  • drugs metabolized by CYP2D6, including certain antidepressants (tricyclic antidepressants like nortriptyline, amitriptyline, and imipramine)
  • phenothiazines
  • type 1C antiarrhythmics (e.g., propafenone, flecainide)
  • CNS acting drugs

Q: What is Effexor XR used for?

A: Effexor XR is used in the treatment of the major depressive disorder (MDD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), and panic disorder.

Q: How should I take Effexor XR?

A: Effexor XR is taken orally either in the beginning or the end of the day, preferably at the same time each day. It’s recommended to take the drug with food to avoid any adverse effects. The tablet/capsule should be swallowed whole with fluid.

Q: Can Effexor XR be taken by pregnant or breastfeeding women?

A: Effexor XR is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Q: Can Effexor XR be given to children?

A: Effexor XR is not recommended for use in patients under the age of 18.

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Worldwide Shipping

Registered Mail  Not trackable 14-21 business days USD 15.00 per order
EMS  Trackable, where available 5-9 business days USD 25.00 per order

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