What is Effexor?
Effexor, which is the brand name for the generic drug venlafaxine, is a medication that can only be prescribed by your doctor. Effexor is an antidepressant that is in the selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, or SSNRI drug class. Effexor is generally prescribed for clinical depression, or depressive symptoms like chronic tiredness, apathy, loss of energy and suicidal thoughts. Effexor can also be used to treat some anxiety disorders and severe panic attacks. The generally prescribed starting dose is 75 milligrams, although the medication may be raised as high up as 375 milligrams to be fully effective. Effexor comes in both a standard version, Effexor, and a time release version, Effexor XR.
Side Effects of Effexor
Side effects of Effexor include headache, nausea, drowsiness, dry mouth, insomnia, dizziness, nervousness, appetite loss, weakness in bones, sweating, hot flashes, constipation, sexual side effects including lack of sex drive and ejaculation problems, high blood pressure, shakiness, yawning, diarrhea, digestion problems, vomiting, chills, indigestion, blurry vision and impotence. These side effects are normal and have been documented on the literature inside the Effexor prescription. You should not expect to get all of these side effects, but be prepared to get one or two of them especially when you are starting and withdrawing from the medication.
How Long Do Side Effects Last?
When you are tapering onto Effexor, changing your dose, or tapering off from Effexor, you will be most likely to see side effects. If you are experiencing noticeable side effects that outweigh the benefits of the medication several months after you have changed, started or completed your Effexor dose, contact your doctor. The average person will experience a few side effects for about the first month after you have started Effexor. If you are still experiencing side effects after the first month, contact your doctor. You may also experience side effects about one month after changing your dose, and as you are tapering off of the medication. Effexor side effects are nothing to be alarmed about unless they include a rapid heart rate, confusion, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, changes in blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, fever, seizures, coma, hives, or swelling of the face or mouth. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately as they can be signs of a dangerous interaction or reaction to Effexor.
Megan Smith has been a freelance writer and editor since 2006. She writes about health, fitness, travel, beauty and grooming topics for various print and Internet publications. Smith earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in writing from New York University.