Effexor XR (Venlafaxine XR)
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Chemical Name: VENLAFAXINE (VEN-la-fax-een)
EFFEXOR XR is medication that is used to treat mental depression, social phobia, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, or to relieve the symptoms of anxiety. It works by affecting chemicals in the brain that may cause an imbalance resulting in conditions such as depression. Effexor XR comes in an extended release capsule (XR), meaning the medicine is released slowly into your body. Please note it is not used for anxiety or tension caused by the stress of everyday life.
Effexor XR comes in tablet form and is taken orally once a day or as directed by your physician. It is usually taken with food, either in the morning or evening. Be sure to swallow the whole tablet. Do not crush, break, split, or chew it because it can release the entire chemical at once, increasing the risk of the side effects.
Some patients may find it difficult to swallow the tablet whole, so with the advice of their physician, they may open the capsule and sprinkle the contents onto a spoonful of applesauce. Swallow all of the mixture immediately without chewing. Drink a glass of water after each dose. Effexor XR should be taken at the same time each day to maintain an even level of the drug in your blood. In order for it to work effectively, it must be taken as prescribed. Effexor XR will not work if you stop taking it.
It may take several weeks to feel the benefit of this medication. Tell your physician if your condition persists or worsens.
Before taking Effexor XR, consult your physician to verify that you are not allergic to any chemicals contained in this medicine. Effexor XR may contain inactive ingredients which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Inform your physician of any medications that you are taking, including prescription, non-prescription and/or herbal supplements.
Effexor XR may not be right for you if you experience any of the following conditions:
- bipolar disorder/manic depression
- liver disease
- kidney disease
- high blood pressure and/or cholesterol
- seizures or epilepsy
- blood clotting disorder
- pregnancy, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding
Effexor XR is not recommended for anyone under 18 years old without the advice of a physician.
It is important to note that your physician has prescribed this medication because they feel the benefits to you outweigh the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. If any side effects listed below persist or worsen, speak to your physician immediately.
Some mild side effects that can occur while taking Effexor XR include:
- abnormal dreams
- anxiety or nervousness
- blurred vision
- difficulty sleeping
- dryness of mouth
- increased sweating
- loss of appetite
- vomiting and/or nausea
- stuffy or runny nose
- stomach pain or gas
- nervousness (trembling or shaking)
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- weight loss
- easy bruising/bleeding
- decreased interest in sex
- changes in sexual ability
- muscle cramps/weakness
- shaking (tremor)
- back/bloody stools
- persistent cough
- severe headache
- shortness of breath
- vomit that looks like coffee grounds
- unusual restlessness
- loss of coordination
- irregular heartbeat, severe dizziness
- unexplained fever
- twitching muscles
When a patient under the age of 24 first begins to take antidepressant medication, they may have suicidal thoughts. Advise your physician if you have worsening symptoms of depression or suicidal thoughts during the first few weeks of treatment, or whenever your dose is changed. You should visit your physician regularly for at least the first 12 weeks of treatment.
Product Code: 1499
What is a Generic Drug?
A generic drug is a copy of the brand-name drug with the same dosage, safety, strength, quality, consumption method, performance, and intended use. Before generics become available on the market, the generic company must prove it has the same active ingredients as the brand-name drug and works in the same way and in the same amount of time in the body.
The only differences between generics and their brand-name counterparts is that generics are less expensive and may look slightly different (eg. different shape or color), as trademarks laws prevent a generic from looking exactly like the brand-name drug.
Generics are less expensive because generic manufacturers don't have to invest large sums of money to develop a drug. When the brand-name patent expires, generic companies can manufacture a copy of the brand-name and sell it at a substantial discount.