Effexor Side Effects and Benefits
Effexor side effects and benefits: An overview
What is Effexor and how can it help?
XR is used to treat depression and generalized anxiety disorder.
also current evidence that the drug may be useful in treating ADD/ADHD in
children and adults. While Effexor/Effexor XR is not specifically classified as an SSRI
(selective serotonin reuptake inhibiter) antidepressant, it does inhibit the
reuptake of the neurotransmitter serotonin, as well as the reuptake of the
neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine. Because it does effect the
uptake of serotonin, many people experience many of the same side effects and
withdrawal reactions seen in the SSRIís.
How do you take Effexor?
Effexor usually takes about 2-4 weeks to relieve the symptoms of depression.
However, some patients have reported improvement in symptoms in about the first
week. The usual starting dose is 75 mg per day divided between 2-3 doses. It may
be slowly increased up to a maximum of 225 mg per day. It is best to take
Effexor with food. It should not be taken with or within 14 days of taking an
MAO inhibitor, and should never the taken at the same time as consuming alcohol.
You should never use cimetidine (tagamet) and fluoxetine (prozac) while taking
Effexor, as it can significantly raise the blood concentration of the
medication. If you miss a dose of Effexor, you should try to resume your
medication routine immediately without doubling up the prior missed dose.
Effexor side effects:
As mentioned previously, because Effexor/Effexor
XR has an activating effect on the
neurotransmitter serotonin, some people experience many of the same side effects
as with the SSRIís. It may initially cause dizziness and nausea as your body
adjusts to the medication. Other side effects may also include sweating, loss of
appetite, dry mouth, anxiety, tremor, blurred vision, constipation, sleepiness,
and change in sexual ability. Some of the more serious side effects have also
been found to be rapid or irregular heartbeat, chest pain, severe headache,
trouble breathing, pain or difficult urination and skin rash. Effexor has been
found to sometimes cause drowsiness, dizziness or clouded thinking. You should
always use caution when operating machinery, driving or engaging in activities
that require alertness. Effexor should only be used if absolutely necessary
during pregnancy, and has been found in breast milk. You should always discuss
the risks and benefits with your doctor prior to taking Effexor when pregnant or
when breast-feeding. If you notice any the side effects noted above contact your
physician or pharmacist immediately.
Effexor withdrawal symptoms:
All medications including Effexor/Effexor XR, should only be discontinued under the
supervision of a licensed physician. Because of its similarity to other drugs
that affect the reuptake of serotonin, people taking Effexor may experience many
of the same side effects and withdrawal reactions seen with the SSRIís.
Withdrawal reactions from SSRIís can be very serious, and have reportedly caused
some patients to become extremely agitated, violent, and/or suicidal.
By Paul Susic Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist
Information provided by
The PDR Pocket Guide to Prescription Drugs - Sixth Edition
Additional pictures of Effexor in the various dosages
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