What is Effexor?
Effexor is a brand name for venlafaxine hydrochloride, an antidepressant drug in the selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, or SSNRI class. A psychiatrist or doctor may prescribe Effexor if you are displaying symptoms of tiredness, mood swings, irritability, difficulty concentrating, suicidal thoughts, or lack of interest, which are all symptoms of depression. Effexor is also sometimes prescribed to treat anxiety and panic attacks. Effexor can only be prescribed by a doctor. The starting dose of Effexor is usually 75 milligrams a day, but can be raised slowly by your doctor until the desired effect, usually relief from depression or anxiety, occurs. Effexor comes in both standard and a time-release formation, known as Effexor XR.
Effexor will be prescribed by your doctor after you have withdrawn completely off of any other antidepressant medications. Your doctor will prescribe a starting dose, which is generally about 75 milligrams a day, and monitor your progress for the next few weeks. Like many antidepressants, it may take up to a month for you to feel any effects of Effexor. After several weeks to a month, your doctor may increase your dosage to as high as 375 milligrams per day if he feels you are not experiencing the effects of Effexor. Although Effexor is not right for everyone, a doctor will generally request you stay on the antidepressant for several months before deciding whether or not the medication is right for you. If you are experiencing negative side effects, however, your doctor may decide to discontinue your Effexor treatment.
Side Effects and Warnings
Side effects of Effexor include weight changes, increased blood pressure, blurry vision, bruising easily, skin rash, stiff muscles, sweating, high fever, sweating, quick or uneven heartbeat, tremors, vomiting, nausea, appetite loss, diarrhea, headaches, concentration troubles, problems with memory, confusion, weakness, fainting, hallucinations, seizures, weight gain, difficulty breathing, or decreased sex drive. If you are experiencing any of these side effects, contact your doctor immediately. This will inform your doctor's decision of whether or not Effexor is the right medication for you. Do not stop using Effexor immediately or go cold turkey unless your doctor has told you to. Stopping Effexor will cause withdrawal symptoms that are similar to the flu. If you are experiencing skin rashes and swelling of the face or body, you may be allergic to Effexor and should contact your doctor immediately.
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.