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Venlafaxine Hydrochloride Oral capsule, extended release

It is used to treat depression, anxiety and panic disorder.

Generic Name: venlafaxine

Brand Names: Effexor, Effexor XR, Venlafaxine Hydrochloride

There is an FDA Alert for this drug. Click here to view it.

What is this medicine?

VENLAFAXINE (VEN la fax een) is used to treat depression, anxiety and panic disorder.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • anorexia or weight loss
  • glaucoma
  • high blood pressure, heart problems or a recent heart attack
  • high cholesterol levels or receiving treatment for high cholesterol
  • kidney or liver disease
  • mania or bipolar disorder
  • seizures (convulsions)
  • suicidal thoughts or a previous suicide attempt
  • thyroid problems
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to venlafaxine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a full glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Do not cut, crush or chew this medicine. Take it with food. Try to take your medicine at about the same time each day. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking this medicine suddenly except upon the advice of your doctor. Stopping this medicine too quickly may cause serious side effects or your condition may worsen.

A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • desvenlafaxine
  • duloxetine
  • linezolid
  • MAOIs like Azilect, Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
  • medicines for weight control or appetite
  • methylene blue (injected into a vein)
  • nefazodone
  • procarbazine
  • tryptophan

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • amphetamine or dextroamphetamine
  • aspirin and aspirin-like medicines
  • cimetidine
  • clozapine
  • medicines for heart rhythm or blood pressure
  • medicines for migraine headache like almotriptan, eletriptan, frovatriptan, naratriptan, rizatriptan, sumatriptan, zolmitriptan
  • medicines that treat or prevent blood clots like warfarin, enoxaparin, and dalteparin
  • NSAIDS, medicines for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen
  • other medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
  • ritonavir
  • St. John's wort
  • tramadol

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not get better or if they get worse. Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Because it may take several weeks to see the full effects of this medicine, it is important to continue your treatment as prescribed by your doctor.

Patients and their families should watch out for new or worsening thoughts of suicide or depression. Also watch out for sudden changes in feelings such as feeling anxious, agitated, panicky, irritable, hostile, aggressive, impulsive, severely restless, overly excited and hyperactive, or not being able to sleep. If this happens, especially at the beginning of treatment or after a change in dose, call your health care professional.

This medicine can cause an increase in blood pressure. Check with your doctor for instructions on monitoring your blood pressure while taking this medicine.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum, sucking hard candy and drinking plenty of water will help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.


Last Updated: May 03, 2013
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