Effexor XR and/or Equivalent Venlafaxine Prescription Information
Effexor, containing the active ingredient Venlafaxine Hydrochloride, is an Antidepressant class drug which acts via Selective Serotonin Nor-Epinephrine Reuptake Inhibition. Effexor XR is a Controlled Release Formulation used for the treatment of Various Depression, Anxiety, and Panic Disorders. Available in many countries in generic form and by prescription only. You can also buy Effexor which is not the XR version of the medication
Effexor XR is a prescription medication that treats Mental Illness, specifically Depression, Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Social Anxiety Disorder. The extended release formula ensures that the active ingredients are being released into the body gradually over time.
In a similar manner to other Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs), Effexor XR affects the Neurotransmitters Norepinephrine and Serotonin. These chemicals are thought to be unbalanced in individuals with depression and certain anxiety disorders. By creating a balance between these brain chemicals, Effexor XR can help an individual gain better control of their illness and provide symptom relief.
Effexor XR is approved for various indications like Major Depressive Disorder(MDD), Generalized Anxiety Disorder(GAD), Panic Disorder, and Anxiety Associated Depression. Effexor XR is also used for the treatment of Social Phobias and Vasomotor Symptoms.
Effexor XR has recently been prescribed for various off-label indications like Diabetic Neuropathy, Hot Flashes in post-menopausal women, Depressive Phases of Bipolar Disorder, Orthostatic Intolerance, and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. Because Effexor XR acts on both serotoninergic and adrenergic receptors, it also helps in Episodes of Cataplexy.
One clinical trial has shown venlafaxine to have beneficial effects in OCD patients, with fewer side-effects than other drugs that have been used for this purpose.
Generic Drug for Effexor XR: Venlafaxine
Dose, Administration and Dosage forms:
Effexor XR is prescribed at a starting dosage of 75 mg once per day for most indications like MDD, GAD, and Social Phobia. This dose may vary depending upon the severity levels of individual patients. For Panic Disorder, Effexor XR is prescribed at 37.5 mg once per day as a starting dose for 7 days, followed by 75 mg once per day.
Effexor XR is manufactured in Orally Administered Capsule Form in strengths that can be identified by color as follows: 37.5 mg (grey cap/peach body), 75 mg (peach cap and body), and 150 mg (dark orange cap and body). The capsule must be swallowed whole with fluid and should not be crushed or chewed while administering. For patients who have trouble swallowing capsules, Effexor XR should be administered by opening the capsule and sprinkling the entire contents on a spoon full of applesauce. This mixture should be immediately swallowed with a glass of water.
Effexor XR should be administered with food to avoid various gastrointestinal side-effects.
Mechanism of action:
Effexor XR contains the active ingredient Venlafaxine , which is a Serotonin Nor-Epinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor (SNRI). Venlafaxine acts by Blocking the Reuptake of Serotonin and Nor-Epinephrine Neurotransmitters. This reuptake blockage results in Increased Concentrations of Serotonin and Nor-Epinephrine at Synaptic Clefts, which produces the Antidepressant result. Clinical trials have also shown that Effexor XR inhibits Dopamine Reuptake with weekly higher doses.
Side-effects and safety profile:
Non-serious side-effects that have been reported with the use of Effexor XR include nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, drowsiness, headache, dizziness, nervousness, weakness, dry mouth, altered appetite, weight changes, cough etc.
Moderately severe side-effects reported with Effexor XR include strange dreams, increased sweating, blurry vision, high fever, trouble sleeping, somnolence, anxiety, etc.
Large numbers of serious side-effects have been reported with the use of Effexor XR. These include suicidal ideations, altered mood, repetitive panic attacks, irritability, agitation, aggressive moods, hyperactivity, increased depression, intentional self-injury, difficulty in reaching orgasm, impaired sexual drive, impotence, seizures, severe muscle rigidity, confused state of mind, rapid heartbeats, hallucinations, loss of coordination, easy bruising, memory issues, breathing issues, and chest tightness. Patients experiencing any of the above listed severe side-effects should seek immediate emergency medical care.
After short-term trials involving the use of Effexor XR in the treatment of MDD and other psychiatric conditions in children, adolescents and young adults, the US FDA has announced a black box warning on all drugs containing venlafaxine as they may cause possible suicidal thinking and behavior in these populations.
Effexor XR is contraindicated with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), and desvenlafaxine containing drugs.
Patients must tell their physician about all other current and previous medical conditions so that the physician can better analyze the risk-to-benefit ratio of venlafaxine usage. These conditions include manic depression, liver disease, kidney disease, cardiac issues, glaucoma, seizures, cholesterol issues, etc.
Effexor XR is classified as a pregnancy category C drug, which means it has not been studied in pregnant women for its safety profile on the fetus. Therefore, Effexor XR should not be prescribed to pregnant women.
Studies have shown that Effexor XR excretes via breast milk in small amounts, so it must not be prescribed to nursing women.
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