Venlafaxine is a prescription medication which is available both as a generic drug and under the brand name Effexor. Venlafaxine belongs to a class of drugs known as selective serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, or SNRIs. Like other SNRIs, venlafaxine is believed to work by increasing the brains supply of the feel-good hormones serotonin and norepinephrine. This corrects an existing chemical imbalance, improving mood and creating a feeling of well-being. Venlafaxine is most commonly used in the treatment of clinical depression and anxiety disorders. It can also be effective at treating social anxiety disorder. Effexor is available in capsules of twenty-five to one-hundred milligrams. An extended release formula, Effexor XR, is available in capsules of thirty-seven point five to one-hundred and fifty milligrams. Venlafaxine extended release should be taken once a day with a meal, while the regular formula should be taken according to your doctors instructions. Once you have been taking this medication regularly, do NOT suddenly stop taking it, as serious withdrawal symptoms can occur. The most commonly reported side effects of venlafaxine include nausea, dizziness, and drowsiness, but please ask your doctor for a complete list. Also, tell your doctor IMMEDIATELY if you experience suicidal thoughts, increases in heart rate, seizures, or any other significant changes. Venlafaxine should not be taken with MAO Inhibitors like Nardil, or by anyone who is pregnant or has high blood pressure. Ask your doctor for a full list of medications and conditions that should not be combined with venlafaxine. Effexor is a commonly used drug and it can be very effective at easing the symptoms of people with depression. However, this medication must always be used under the direct care of a physician. Please ask for and review all of the patient information provided by your doctor before taking venlafaxine.
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Last Updated:December 20, 2012