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GENERIC NAME: venlafaxine
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM
Venlafaxine is in a new class of anti-depressant medications that affects chemical messengers within the brain. These chemical messengers are called neurotransmitters, and some examples are serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Neurotransmitters are manufactured by nerve cells and are released by the cells. The neurotransmitters travel to nearby nerve cells and cause the cells to become more or less active. Many experts believe that an imbalance in these neurotransmitters is the cause of depression and also may play a role in anxiety. Venlafaxine is believed to work by inhibiting the release or affecting the action of these neurotransmitters. Venlafaxine is available in an extended release formulation (Effexor XR).
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
PREPARATIONS: Effexor is available in tablets of 25, 37.5, 50, 75, and 100 mg. Effexor XR is available in capsules of 37.5, 75, and 150 mg.
Venlafaxine is prescribed for the treatment of depression, depression with associated symptoms of anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, and social anxiety disorder. Effexor XR is approved for the treatment of adults with panic disorder.
Venlafaxine should be taken with food at doses specifically directed by a physician. Individual doses vary greatly among individuals. The anti-depressant effects are not maximal for 1-2 weeks. If discontinued, the dose of venlafaxine should gradually be reduced under the direction of a physician. For patients with difficulty swallowing tablets or capsules, capsules of Effexor XR can be opened and the contents sprinkled on a spoonful of applesauce.
Certain medications taken with this product could result in serious, even fatal, drug interactions. Avoid taking MAO inhibitors (e.g., furazolidone, isocarboxazid, linezolid, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, selegiline, tranylcypromine) within 2 weeks before or 7 days after treatment with this medication. This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious interactions may occur: weight loss drugs (e.g., sibutramine, phentermine). If you are currently using any of these medications, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting venlafaxine. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: cimetidine, herbal/natural products (e.g., ayahuasca, St. John's wort), lithium, SSRI antidepressants (e.g., fluoxetine, sertraline), triptan migraine drugs (e.g., sumatriptan, almotriptan), other drugs which can cause bleeding/bruising (e.g., thrombolytic drugs such as TPA, anticoagulants such as heparin or warfarin, antiplatelet drugs including NSAIDs such as ibuprofen). Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you also take drugs that cause drowsiness such as: antihistamines that cause drowsiness (e.g., diphenhydramine), anti-anxiety drugs (e.g., diazepam), anti-seizure drugs (e.g., carbamazepine), medicine for sleep (e.g., sedatives), muscle relaxants, narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine), or psychiatric medicines (e.g., chlorpromazine, thioridazine). Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products) because they may contain drowsiness-causing ingredients. Ask your pharmacist about the safe use of those products. Low-dose aspirin (usually 81-325 mg per day) for heart attack or stroke prevention should be continued unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Aspirin is similar to NSAID drugs, and can increase the risk of bleeding in combination with this medication (see above). Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Check all prescription and nonprescription medicine labels carefully since many contain pain relievers/fever reducers (NSAIDs such as aspirin or naproxen) which may increase the risk of side effects. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.
This medication is an antidepressant (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor type) used in the treatment of depression in adults. It works by restoring the balance of natural chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain, thereby improving mood and feelings of well-being. Venlafaxine should not be used in children and teenagers due to lack of proven effectiveness in treating depression and anxiety disorders in children. Also, there have been reports of hostility and thoughts of suicide or self-harm occurring in some children using the drug.
HOW TO USE
Take this medication usually 2-3 times daily with food; or as directed by your doctor. During the first few days, your doctor may gradually increase your dose to allow your body to adjust to the medication. Do not take it more often or increase your dose without consulting your doctor. Your condition will not improve any faster but the risk of serious side effects will be increased. Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time(s) each day. Take this medication as prescribed even if you feel well. Do not stop taking it without consulting your doctor. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased. You may experience side effects if the drug is abruptly stopped.
Headache, drowsiness, dizziness, nervousness, trouble sleeping, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, altered taste, sweating, stomach upset, constipation, loss of appetite, anxiety, or yawning may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these serious side effects occur: unusual or severe mental/mood changes, decreased sexual function/desire, muscle cramping, ringing in the ears, severe headache, tremor, vision changes. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: black stools, chest pain, "coffee-ground" vomit, difficulty urinating, easy bruising/bleeding, fast heartbeats, seizures. Venlafaxine may cause your blood pressure to increase. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you experience any of the following symptoms of high blood pressure: headache, dizziness, or blurred vision. A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, hives, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Before taking venlafaxine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: bleeding problems, certain mental/mood conditions (bipolar disorder), dehydration, glaucoma, heart problems (high blood pressure, unstable heart disease, heart failure, recent heart attack), high cholesterol, kidney disease, liver disease, seizures, thyroid problems, untreated mineral imbalance (e.g. hyponatremia). This drug may make you dizzy, drowsy or cause blurred vision; use caution engaging in activities requiring alertness such as driving or using machinery. Limit alcoholic beverages. Though uncommon, depression can lead to thoughts or attempts of suicide. Tell your doctor immediately if you have any suicidal thoughts, worsening depression, or any other mental/mood changes (including new or worsening anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, irritability, hostile/angry feelings, impulsive actions, severe restlessness, rapid speech). Keep all medical appointments so your healthcare professional can monitor your progress closely and adjust/change your medication if needed. Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to its effects. The elderly are more likely to develop a type of mineral imbalance (hyponatremia), especially if they are also taking "water pills" or diuretics with this medication. This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. If this medication is used during the last 3 months of pregnancy, infrequently your newborn may develop symptoms including feeding or breathing difficulties, seizures, muscle stiffness, jitteriness, or constant crying. However, do not stop taking this medication unless your doctor directs you to do so. Report any such symptoms to your doctor promptly. This medication passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Breast-feeding is not recommended while using this drug. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call the US national poison hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Canadian residents should call their local poison control center directly. Symptoms of overdose may include severe drowsiness, seizures, or fast heartbeat.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store the US product at room temperature between 68-77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Store the Canadian product at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Note : This product information is intended only for residents of the India. Taj Pharmaceuticals Limited, medicines help to treat and prevent a range of conditions—from the most common to the most challenging—for people around the world.