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Effexor

What are the Uses?

Effexor (venlafaxine) is a fairly new antidepressant, introduced in 1993, that is thought to have possess the beneficial effects of SSRIs and TCAs (two types of antidepressants) combined. This medication is used to treat the symptoms of depression. For some people, Effexor relieves the symptoms of depression better than other medications, perhaps because it increases the levels of both serotonin and norepinephrine (two neurotransmitters thought to cause the symptoms of depression) in the brain.

Recommended Dosage

The usual starting dose is 75 milligrams a day, divided into 2 or 3 smaller doses, and taken with food. If needed, your doctor may gradually increase your daily dose in steps of no more than 75 milligrams at a time up to a maximum of 375 milligrams per day.

When Will My Medication Start to Work?

Usually, you should start feeling better within one to four weeks. It may take longer to experience the full effects of Effexor, which depends on dosage and varies from person to person.

Any Other Important Information?

If you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, discuss the potential risks of this or any medication with your doctor.

There seems to be no adverse interaction with alcohol, but due to the possibly adverse effects alcohol may have on a depressed individual, it should be avoided.

Talk to your doctor if you have high blood pressure, heart, liver, or kidney disease. Dosage will probably have to be altered in these cases.

What are the Side Effects?

Remember that only some people will experience side effects and that no one experiences side effects in exactly the same way. If you experience any side effects, contact your doctor or clinician right away and continue taking your medication. The following list may not contain all of the side effects associated with this medication.

Most common side effects:

Headache, nausea, weight loss, and constipation

Infrequent side effects:

Anxiety/nervousness, blurry vision, diarrhea, dizziness, dry mouth, insomnia, and sexual difficulties

Rare side effects:

Risks hypomania, increased blood pressure, and seizures

Are there any Drug Interactions?

Remember, always follow your physician's recommendations on how to take your medication. Even if you are taking one of the following substances, continue taking your medication as prescribed and consult your physician. Also, if you are taking any herbal remedies, vitamins, and/or over-the-counter medications, be sure to tell your physician.

Do NOT take MAO Inhibitor while taking Effexor. Potentially serious, even fatal, interactions can occur when these medications are taken together. Wait at least 14 days after ending the use of MAO Inhibitors before beginning Effexor.