Effexor XR (Venlafaxine Xr) Medication


Effexor XR (Venlafaxine Xr)

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Effexor XR is a prescription medicine indicated to treat and manage symptoms of major depressive disorder (MDD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), and panic disorder (PD). 

Effexor XR is an antidepressant belonging to a group of drugs called selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRIs). It is thought to increase brain chemical levels by blocking transport proteins and preventing reuptake at the presynaptic terminal, ultimately aiding in maintaining mental balance. 

Effexor XR can be used alone or in conjunction with other medications approved by a healthcare professional. 

Uses and Dosage 

Before taking Effexor XR and with each subsequent refill, thoroughly review its patient information leaflet and medication guide. For any questions or uncertainty, consult your doctor or pharmacist. 

The prescribed dosage of Effexor XR is determined by the patient’s medical condition and response to the treatment. Physicians usually commence therapy at the lowest effective dose and subsequently titrate upwards at intervals of no less than 4 to 7 days. 

Effexor XR is typically ingested once daily with a meal in the morning or evening. It should be taken as a whole capsule and not divided, chewed, crushed, or dissolved in water. 

If you have difficulty swallowing the capsule, you may cautiously open it and sprinkle the entire contents into a spoonful of applesauce. After preparing this mixture, swallow it immediately (without chewing) and then drink a glass of water to ensure complete ingestion of the medication. 

Take Effexor XR regularly at the same time of the day daily. Follow how it is prescribed and refrain from altering the dosage, frequency, or duration of use unless expressly directed to do so by a physician. 

Do not stop the intake of Effexor XR, even if you feel better. Abrupt discontinuation of this medication without medical consultation may exacerbate certain conditions and lead to symptoms such as mood swings, confusion, fatigue, headaches, changes in sleep patterns, blurred vision, and brief electric shock-like sensations. 

If you wish to discontinue the treatment, your physician may gradually decrease your dosage to minimize side effects. 

Side Effects 

Potential adverse reactions associated with the use of Effexor XR are listed below. If any of them persists or worsens, inform your doctor promptly. 

Common Side Effects 

  • Headache, dizziness, drowsiness, or fatigue 
  • Anxiety, restlessness, or jitteriness 
  • Sleep disturbances or abnormal dreams 
  • Tremors 
  • Tachycardia (rapid heart rate) 
  • Blurred vision 
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation 
  • Altered appetite or weight 
  • Dry mouth or yawning 
  • Excessive sweating 
  • Sexual dysfunction 

Serious Side Effects 

  • Blurred vision, eye pain or redness, or seeing halos around lights 
  • Cough, dyspnea, or chest tightness 
  • Seizure (convulsion) 
  • Abnormal bleeding – nosebleeds, bleeding gums, atypical vaginal bleeding, or intractable bleeding 
  • Hyponatremia – headache, cognitive impairment, problems with thinking or memory, weakness, or feeling unsteady 
  • Severe neurological response – marked muscular rigidity, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, and feeling like you might pass out. 

Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the symptoms listed above. 

Seek medical attention right away if you exhibit any signs of a potentially life-threatening problem called serotonin syndrome, including but not limited to: 

  • Restlessness 
  • Hallucinations 
  • Fever 
  • Sweating 
  • Shivering 
  • Fast heart rate 
  • Muscle stiffness 
  • Twitching 
  • Loss of coordination 
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 

Notify your physician of any emerging or worsening symptoms, such as: 

  • Alterations in mood or behavior 
  • Anxiety 
  • Panic attacks 
  • Trouble sleeping 
  • Feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless 
  • Hyperactivity (either physically or mentally) 
  • Exacerbated depression 
  • Suicidal ideation or tendencies 

Allergic Reactions 

Instances of severe allergic reactions to Effexor XR are rare: however, get immediate medical attention if any indications of such a reaction are observed, such as:  

  • Rash 
  • Itching or swelling of the face, tongue, or throat 
  • Severe dizziness 
  • Trouble breathing 

The enlisted adverse effects here are not an exhaustive compilation of the potential side effects linked to Effexor XR. Should you encounter any untoward effects not specified above, promptly seek medical advice from your doctor. 


Before starting treatment with Effexor XR, inform your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have any known allergies, especially to venlafaxine, desvenlafaxine succinate, or any of the ingredients of this medication. 

To ensure Effexor XR is safe for you, inform your doctor or pharmacist about your medical background, particularly if you have a history of: 

  • Bleeding problems 
  • Glaucoma (angle-closure type) in yourself or your family 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Heart problems (e.g., heart failure, prior heart attack) 
  • High cholesterol 
  • Kidney disease 
  • Liver disease 
  • Seizure disorder 
  • Thyroid disease 

Inform your physician of all medications you are currently taking, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, dietary supplements, vitamins, and herbal products, to mitigate the risk of drug interactions. 

Certain drugs that can cause bleeding/bruising may potentially interact with Effexor XR, including: 

  • Antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel 
  • NSAIDs such as ibuprofen/naproxen 
  • Blood thinners such as dabigatran/warfarin 

MAO inhibitors should not be taken two weeks before and at least seven days after receiving Effexor XR to prevent potentially lethal drug interaction. Seek guidance from your doctor regarding when to commence or discontinue the medication. 

Using aspirin alongside Effexor XR may heighten the likelihood of bleeding. Nonetheless, if your doctor recommends taking low-dose aspirin (typically 81-162 milligrams per day) to prevent heart attack or stroke, continue doing so unless otherwise instructed.  

Taking or increasing the dose of other medications that raise serotonin levels increases the risk of serotonin syndrome/toxicity. These include: 

  • Street drugs like MDMA/”ecstasy,” 
  • St. John’s wort 
  • Specific antidepressants (such as SSRIs like fluoxetine/paroxetine, other SNRIs like duloxetine/milnacipran) 
  • Tryptophan  

Elderly individuals should be monitored while taking Effexor XR. They may experience increased sensitivity to the adverse effects, particularly bleeding and dizziness, and electrolyte imbalances, which can heighten the risk of falls.  

Pediatric patients may be more prone to the medication’s adverse effects, specifically reduced appetite and weight loss. Regular monitoring of weight and height is recommended for children receiving this medication. 

Effexor XR may cause blood pressure to rise. If you have high blood pressure, it should be controlled before you start treatment with this medication and regularly monitored by your doctor. 

Effexor XR can trigger angle-closure glaucoma, a sudden increase in eye pressure resulting in vision loss. Before beginning this medication, consult your physician to schedule an eye examination. Seek medical attention urgently or contact your doctor if you experience symptoms such as: 

  • Nausea 
  • Eye pain 
  • Changes in vision, such as seeing colored rings around lights 
  • Redness/swelling in or around the eye 

Individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder who take Effexor XR may experience manic episodes characterized by the following symptoms: 

  • Heightened energy levels 
  • Difficulty sleeping, particularly severe 
  • Racing thoughts 
  • Reckless behavior 
  • Experiencing unusually grandiose notions 
  • Intense states of elation or irritability 
  • Increased rate or quantity of speech 

Effexor XR has the potential to cause dizziness, drowsiness, or blurred vision. The consumption of alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) may intensify these effects. Limit consumption of alcoholic beverages and consult your physician if you are currently using marijuana (cannabis). 

Refrain from activities that require alertness or clear vision, such as driving or operating machinery, until you are confident that you can perform them safely. 

Effexor XR should only be used during pregnancy if necessary due to the potential harm it may cause to the unborn baby. 

Infants born to mothers who have used this medication during the last trimester may occasionally experience withdrawal symptoms, including breathing difficulties, seizures, muscle stiffness, and excessive crying. If any of these symptoms are observed in a newborn, immediate medical attention should be sought. 

Venlafaxine can be passed into breast milk, producing unfavorable effects on a nursing infant. Consult with a physician before breastfeeding while using this medication. 

Additional information

Generic name:

Venlafaxine XR, Venlafaxine Xr


Capsule, ER Capsule


37.5mg, 75mg, 150mg

Quantities Available:

28, 84, 100

Quality Prescription Drugs has provided information from third parties intended to increase awareness and does not contain all the information about Effexor XR (Venlafaxine Xr). Talk to your doctor or a qualified medical practitioner for medical attention, advice, or if you have any concerns about Effexor XR (Venlafaxine Xr).