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Venlafaxine - Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Drug Warnings, and Precautions

Published on Oct 12, 2021   -  6 min read


Venlafaxine is an oral prescription drug that is used to treat depression and social anxiety disorder (SAD). Learn more about Venlafaxine, its uses, dosage, side effects, drug warnings, and precautions.



Venlafaxine is an oral prescription drug that comes both as a tablet and capsule. It comes in two forms:

Venlafaxine has to be taken exactly as directed. This drug, when taken as required, helps people recover from depression and has fewer side effects than the other antidepressants. Venlafaxine cannot be given to children. It is generally prescribed for adults who are above the age of 18 years. People with heart problems should consult a doctor before taking this drug as it can increase the heartbeat.

Drug Group:

Venlafaxine is an antidepressant belonging to a group of medications called the Selective Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SSNRIs). The other drugs belonging to this group are the following:

What Is Venlafaxine Used For?

Venlafaxine is an oral prescription antidepressant drug that is used to treat the following conditions:

The other conditions that can be treated using this medication are:

Venlafaxine can be prescribed to treat other conditions as well. So talk to the doctor about the risks and precautions of using this medication to treat the condition.

How Does Venlafaxine Work?

Venlafaxine, like any other Selective Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SSNRIs), works by increasing the amount of serotonin and norepinephrine, the chemical substances that help to maintain the mental balance. These drugs block the reabsorption of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain.

How Should Venlafaxine Be Used?

There are certain things that need to be followed before or while taking Venlafaxine. It includes:

The Onset of Action:

Venlafaxine takes around 4 to 6 weeks to work. In most conditions, doctors recommend taking Venlafaxine for six months to one year until the patient’s condition is improved.

Can Venlafaxine Be Taken For A Long Period of Time?

Generally, Venlafaxine is considered safe to take for a long period of time. Certain people may have few sexual side effects like problems getting an erection or low sexual desire. Other than these sexual side effects, there are not many lasting harmful adverse effects of this drug.

What Is the Dosage of Venlafaxine?

The dosage, drug form, and the duration of how long you should take the drug depend on the age, the condition for which the drug is prescribed, the severity of the condition, and overall general health.

Dosage For Depression:

Dosage For Depression

Dosage For Social Anxiety Disorder:

Dosage For Social Anxiety Disorder

What If I Forget To Take a Dose?

If you forget to take the scheduled dose, then take the next dose as scheduled if it is a few hours before the next dose. Take only one dose at a time. Do not take double doses to catch up with the forgotten dose.

What Will Happen If I Take Too Much?

Venlafaxine should be taken as directed. When an overdose of Venlafaxine is taken, it can result in dangerous levels of the drug in the body. It can even be life-threatening. There can be certain symptoms that can be commonly seen when Venlafaxine is taken in overdose. It includes:

What Are the Drug Warnings of Venlafaxine?

There are certain drug warnings for Venlafaxine. People with these conditions should avoid taking Venlafaxine:

Can Venlafaxine Be Prescribed for Pregnant Women?

Venlafaxine is generally not prescribed for pregnant women as it belongs to the C category. Certain studies have shown that Venlafaxine when taken during pregnancy, can create adverse effects in the developing fetus.

Is It Safe To Take Venlafaxine During Breastfeeding?

Venlafaxine can pass into breast milk and can cause side effects in the child who is breastfed. So, while breastfeeding it is always advised to talk to a doctor before taking the drug.

What Are the Side Effects of Venlafaxine?

Some of the common side effects of Venlafaxine are:

The symptoms usually go away if they are mild. But if the symptoms last for long, then a doctor has to be consulted immediately.

There are some serious side effects such as:

The symptoms of serotonin syndrome are:


Venlafaxine interacts with certain medications when taken along. Such medications include:

These drugs should not be taken with Venlafaxine.

Drugs that can increase the side effects when taken together are:

Drugs, when taken along with Venlafaxine that can lower the effect, are the following:


The common brand names of Venlafaxine are:


Last reviewed at:
12 Oct 2021  -  6 min read




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