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Effexor: Special Warnings About This Depression Medication

Effexor special warnings 

Front Image - VENLAFAXINE HYDROCHLORIDEEffexor should be prescribed with caution by your physician if you have high blood pressure, heart, liver, or kidney disease or a history of seizures or mania (extreme agitation or excitability).  You should discuss all relevant medical conditions with your doctor before taking Effexor. 

Effexor may cause an increase in blood pressure.  If this happens you should contact your doctor immediately to reduce the dose or consider discontinuing this depression medication. Effexor may also increase your heart rate (especially at higher doses).  You should use this antidepressant with caution if you’ve recently had a heart attack, suffered from heart failure, or have an overactive thyroid gland.  Depression medication such as Effexor may cause fluid retention, which is especially a concern if you’re an older adult.  It may also cause you to feel drowsy or less alert, and may affect your judgment.  Therefore, you should avoid driving and operating dangerous machinery or participating in other hazardous activities that require full mental alertness until you know exactly how this drug effects you. 

Your doctor should examine you regularly if you have glaucoma (high pressure in the eye), or if you are at a relatively high risk of developing it.  If you ever have been addicted to drugs you should inform your physician prior to starting Effexor.  If you develop a skin rash or hives while taking Effexor, notify your doctor immediately.  Also, Effexor may cause bleeding or bruising of the skin. 


You should not stop taking this depression medication without consulting your physician.  If you stop suddenly, you may have withdrawal symptoms, even though this drug does not seem to be habit-forming. Your doctor should taper you off this drug gradually rather than stopping it suddenly.  

 The safety and effectiveness of Effexor has not been established in children under the age of 18. 

Should you take Effexor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding? 

The effects of Effexor during pregnancy have not been adequately studied.  If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant you should notify your doctor prior to starting this depression medication.  Effexor should be used during pregnancy only if it is absolutely necessary. 

If Effexor is taken prior to delivery of a baby it may suffer from withdrawal symptoms.  It has also been found that Effexor appears in breast milk and may cause serious side effects when nursing an infant.  You may have to choose between nursing your baby or continuing your treatment with Effexor.

Front Image - VENLAFAXINE HYDROCHLORIDEInformation provided by The PDR Pocket Guide to Prescription Drugs - Sixth Edition

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