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EFFEXOR XR
VENLAFAXINE SUSTAINED-RELEASE - ORAL

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 healthcare professional before using this drug.

VENLAFAXINE SUSTAINED-RELEASE - ORAL

(ven-luh-FAX-een)

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Effexor XR

Uses

This medication is an antidepressant (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor type) used in the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders (Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder) 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 by mouth once a day, exactly as prescribed. Take this medication with food. Swallow the medication whole. Do not crush, break, chew, or place the capsule in water. If you have difficulty swallowing this medication whole, the capsule may be opened and the contents sprinkled onto a spoonful of applesauce and taken as directed. Swallow the mixture immediately. Do not chew the food/medication mixture. Follow each dose with a glass of water to wash the medication down. During the first few days your doctor may gradually increase your dose to allow your body to adjust to the medication. Do not take the medication 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 if you do not follow the directions. 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 trouble sleeping, nervousness, sweating, loss of appetite, dry mouth, tremor, blurred vision, constipation, drowsiness, change in sexual ability, or anxiety. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor promptly. Notify your doctor immediately if you develop any of these serious effects: rapid or irregular heartbeat, chest pain, severe headache, painful or difficult urination, muscle cramping, confusion, seizures. An allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions

Tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, seizures, glaucoma, any allergies. This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy and may affect judgment, thinking, or your physical reactions; use caution engaging in activities requiring alertness such as driving or using machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. 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

This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious interactions may occur: MAO inhibitors (e.g., tranylcypromine, phenelzine, isocarboxazid, selegiline, linezolid, furazolidone). If you are currently using or have recently stopped taking an MAO inhibitor within the last 14 days, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting venlafaxine. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of any prescription and nonprescription products you may use, especially: cimetidine, other drugs that increase serotonin effects (e.g., lithium, triptans such as sumatriptan, SSRI antidepressants such as fluoxetine), sedatives, narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine, morphine), seizure medication, medicine for weight control. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include sleepiness, irregular heartbeat, and seizures.

Notes

Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., blood pressure monitoring) may be done periodically while taking this medication to monitor the effects. See your doctor regularly. Do not share this medication with others.

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 this medication at room temperature between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C) away from heat and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children and pets.