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.
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:
Venlafaxine is an oral prescription antidepressant drug that is used to treat the following conditions:
Social anxiety disorder.
The other conditions that can be treated using this medication are:
Hot flashes, the sudden extreme feeling of heat and sweating, especially in menopausal women.
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.
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.
There are certain things that need to be followed before or while taking Venlafaxine. It includes:
Try taking Venlafaxine with food.
You can cut the immediate-release tablet but do not try cutting the extended-release tablet.
Do not crush the tablet.
Take Venlafaxine once or twice daily as directed by the doctor.
Try to stick to the same time every day.
In case you find it hard to fall asleep in the night after taking the drug, take the drug in the morning.
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.
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.
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 Social Anxiety Disorder:
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.
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:
Increased heart rate.
Low blood pressure.
Pupils become enlarged.
Changes in the heart rhythm.
There are certain drug warnings for Venlafaxine. People with these conditions should avoid taking Venlafaxine:
People who had a previous history of allergic reactions to taking Venlafaxine.
People with liver disease.
People with a kidney disorder.
People with issues related to the heart.
People having thyroid problems, especially hyperthyroidism.
People with a previous history of seizures.
People with a history of glaucoma.
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.
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.
Some of the common side effects of Venlafaxine are:
Strange and unusual dreams.
Decreased desire for sex.
Trouble having an orgasm.
Not being able to get an erection.
Loss of appetite.
Nausea and vomiting.
Finding it hard to sleep.
Raised heart rate.
Tremors or chills.
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:
Having suicidal thoughts.
Aggressive or violent behavior.
Anger and restlessness.
The symptoms of serotonin syndrome are:
Unusual changes in mental status.
High blood pressure.
Problems with the eye.
Hyponatremia (low sodium levels).
Frequent nose bleeds.
Venlafaxine interacts with certain medications when taken along. Such medications include:
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) such as Linezolid, Methylene Blue.
Drugs that are taken for weight loss, such as Phentermine.
These drugs should not be taken with Venlafaxine.
Drugs that can increase the side effects when taken together are:
Anti-inflammatory drugs like Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, and Ketoprofen.
Drugs used to treat migraines are known as Triptans. The drugs that belong to this group are Sumatriptan, Zolmitriptan.
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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