EFFEXOR DRUG INFO
IMPORTANT NOTE: The
following information is intended to supplement, not substitute
for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or
other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate
that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you.
Consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before considering this drug.
VENLAFAXINE - ORAL (ven-luh-FAX-een)
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Effexor
USES: This medication is used in
the treatment of depression. The extended release form of this medication
is also used to treat various forms of anxiety.
HOW TO USE: Take Effexor
by mouth exactly as prescribed. During the first few days your doctor
may gradually increase your dose to allow your body to adjust to
the medication. Take this medication with food. Do not take this
more often or increase your dose without consulting your doctor first.
Your condition will not improve any faster but the risk of serious
side effects will be increased. Do not stop taking this drug suddenly
without your doctor's approval. Your dose may need to be gradually
reduced to prevent adverse effects.
SIDE EFFECTS: This medication may
initially cause dizziness and nausea as your body adjusts to the
medication. Other side effects reported include sweating, loss of
appetite, dizziness, dry mouth, anxiety, tremor, blurred vision,
constipation, sleepiness, change in sexual ability. If any of these
effects continue or become bothersome, inform your physician as soon as possible. Notify
your doctor if you develop any of these serious effects: rapid or
irregular heartbeat, chest pain, severe headache, trouble breathing,
painful or difficult urination, skin rash. This medication may cause
drowsiness, dizziness, or clouded thinking. Use caution operating
machinery or engaging in activities requiring alertness. If you
notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist right away.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT EFFEXOR: Do not take Effexor if you have taken a monoamine
oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline
(Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) during the past 14 days. Serious and sometimes
fatal reactions have occurred when these medicines were taken at the same time and they
must not be used together with venlafaxine. You may have an increased risk of suicidal
thoughts or behavior at the start of treatment with Effexor, especially
if you are 18 years of age or younger. Talk with your doctor about this risk. While you are
taking Effexor you will need to be monitored for worsening symptoms of depression and/
or suicidal thoughts during the first weeks of treatment, or whenever your dose is changed.
In addition to you watching for changes in your own symptoms, your family or other caregivers
should be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Your doctor will need to check you at
regular visits for at least the first 12 weeks of treatment. Contact your doctor if you have
any of the following side effects, especially if they are new symptoms or if they get worse:
mood changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble falling or staying asleep, irritability, agitation, aggressiveness,
severe restlessness, mania (mental and/ or physical hyperactivity), or thoughts of suicide
or hurting yourself. It may take 4 weeks or more for you to start feeling better. Do not
stop using Effexor without first talking to your doctor. You may have unpleasant or withdrawl type side
effects if you stop taking this medication suddenly.
PRECAUTIONS: Tell your doctor your
medical history, especially of: kidney disease, liver disease, heart
disease, high blood pressure, glaucoma, any allergies. Elderly persons
may be more sensitive to the effects of this medication. Use with
caution. This medication should be used only if clearly needed during
pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. It is
not known if this medication appears in breast milk. Consult your
doctor before breast-feeding.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Tell your doctor
of any over-the-counter or prescription medication you may take
especially: MAO inhibitors (e.g., tranylcypromine, phenelzine, isocarboxazid,
selegiline, furazolidone), other antidepressants, cimetidine, lithium,
sedatives, narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine, morphine), seizure
medication, certain migraine medicine (e.g., sumatriptan), medicine
for weight control. It is recommended to avoid alcohol while using
this medication. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor
or pharmacist approval.
OVERDOSE: If overdose of Effexor is suspected,
contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.
Symptoms of overdose may include sleepiness, irregular heartbeat,
NOTES: Laboratory tests may be
done periodically while taking this medication to monitor the effects on your liver
and other body systems.
See your doctor regularly.
MISSED DOSE: Try to take each dose
at the scheduled time. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as remembered;
do not take it if it is near the time for the next dose, instead,
skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not
"double-up" the dose to catch up.
STORAGE: Store Effexor
at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (between 15 and
30 degrees C) away from heat and light. Do not store in the bathroom.
Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children.