Effexor  (Venlafaxine)

Venlafaxine (Effexor
) a bicyclic antidepressant that inhibits the reuptake of serotonin, norepinphrine, and dopamine.  This drug is used in the treatment of depression but is also used to treat  obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or Fibromyalgia.

CLASS: Phenethylamine Monoamine Reuptake Inhibitor.
Generic name: Venlafaxine Hydrochloride.
Type: Antidepressant.
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Strengths:
25mg, 37.5mg, 50mg, 75mg, 100mg  Capsules

Dosages
Actual dosage must be determined by the physician.

Oral:
Start: 75mg in three 25mg doses daily. 
Increases: In four day intervals, up to 225mg daily as needed.
Maximum: 225mg in 24 hours.

Normal dosage:

For Depression:
If under 18 years of age, DO NOT USE!
18 to 60 years of age, 75mg daily in two or three dose with food. 
Over 60 years of age, Lower dosage increased cautiously.

For OCD:
If under 18 years of age, DO NOT USE!
18 to 60 years of age, 75mg daily in two or three dose with food. ( Larger dose may be needed )
Over 60 years of age, Lower dosage increased cautiously.

Problems with:

Liver Function: Must lower dosage ( at less 50% ), as needed with careful monitoring.
Kidney Function: Must lower dosage ( at less 25% ), as needed with careful monitoring.

Test:

Before taking: Blood pressure.
While taking: Blood pressure regularly.

Take With: With food.

Full Benefits In: In two weeks.

Missed Dose(s): If within one hour take, if over an hour skip and then continue on your normal schedule. 
Never Take a Double Dose!

If Stop Taking: Do not stop without consulting your physician and never abruptly.

Overdose symptoms include: Convulsions / seizure, fatigue, nausea, or vomiting.

Warnings 

The habit-forming potential is none.

Do not take this drug if you are pregnant, try some non-drug alternatives.

Do not take this drug if planning to become pregnant. Do not take if you are breast-feeding.

Do not drink alcohol when taking this drug.

Do not give this drug to children under eighteen. If over sixty only use drug in small doses and with close monitoring of it's side effects. 

Do not use if: You had negative reactions to this drug or any drug in this class in the pass. If you have taken any MAO inhibitors in the last 14 days. If you have any type of seizures. ( epilepsy or convulsions ) 

Inform your Doctor if: You had negative reactions to this drug or any drug in this class in the pass. If you have taken any MAO inhibitors in the last 14 days. If you have a history of liver or kidney problems. If you have a history of seizures, hyperlipdemia, hypomania, or mania. If you are taking any other prescription or non-prescription drug. If you plan to be under anesthesia or having any surgery in the next few months, also if you will be under-going any medical tests.

Venlafaxine ( Symptoms or Effects ) 

Common: Anxiety, constipation, delayed orgasm, depression, difficulty breathing, dizziness, dry mouth, itching, loss of appetite, loss of strength, nausea, nervousness, problem urinating, sedation, skin rash, sleepiness / sleeplessness, sweating, tingling hands / feet, tremors, vomiting, unusual dreams, weight loss, or weakness.

Rare: Abnormal speech, bleeding / irritated gums, chest pain, dry skin, ear pain, hair loss, excessive salivation, migraines, seizures, sensitivity to sun, soft stools, stomach irritation, suicide attempts, taste disorders, tongue discoloring, thyroid changes, or problems with vision.

See physician always: Abnormal speech, bleeding / irritated gums, chest pain, depression, difficulty breathing, dry skin, ear pain, hair loss, excessive salivation, loss of strength, migraines, problem urinating, seizures, sensitivity to sun, soft stools, stomach irritation, suicide attempts, taste disorders, tongue discoloring, thyroid changes, tremors, problems with vision, or vomiting

See physician if severe: Anxiety, constipation, delayed orgasm, dizziness, dry mouth, itching, loss of appetite, nausea, nervousness, sedation, sleepiness / sleeplessness, sweating, tingling hands / feet, unusual dreams, weight loss, or weakness.

See physician NOW: Skin rash or vomiting.

Stop taking and see physician NOW: Seizures.

What are the Uses?: Effexor (venlafaxine) is a fairly new antidepressant, introduced in 1993, that is thought to have possess the beneficial effects of SSRIs and TCAs (two types of antidepressants) combined. 

For some people, Effexor relieves the symptoms of depression better than other medications, perhaps because it increases the levels of both serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. Low levels of either or both neurotransmitters is thought to potentially cause the symptoms of depression

When Will My Medication Start to Work?: Usually, you should start feeling better within one to four weeks. It may take longer to experience the full effects of Effexor, which depends on dosage and varies from person to person.

Any Other Important Information?: If you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, discuss the potential risks of this or any medication with your doctor.

There seems to be no adverse interaction with alcohol, but due to the possibly adverse effects alcohol may have on a depressed individual, it should be avoided.

Talk to your doctor if you have high blood pressure, heart, liver, or kidney disease. Dosage will probably have to be altered in these cases.

What are the Side Effects?: Remember that only some people will experience side effects--and that no one experiences side effects in exactly the same way. If you experience any side effects, contact your doctor or clinician right away and continue taking your medication. The following list may not contain all of the side effects associated with this medication:
Most common side effects headache, nausea, weight loss, constipation
Infrequent side effects anxiety/nervousness, blurry vision, diarrhea, dizziness, dry mouth, insomnia, sexual difficulties
Rare side effects/Risks hypomania, increased blood pressure, seizures

Are there any Drug Interactions?: Remember, always follow your physician's recommendations on how to take your medication. Even if you are taking one of the following substances, continue taking your medication as prescribed and consult your physician. Also, if you are taking any herbal remedies, vitamins, and/or over-the-counter medications, be sure to tell your physician.

Do NOT take MAO Inhibitor while taking Effexor. Potentially serious, even fatal, interactions can occur when these medications are taken together. Wait at least 14 days after ending the use of MAO Inhibitors before beginning Effexor.


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