Effexor XR is a medication prescribed for depression. It is believed to help treat depression by affecting the levels of 2 chemicals in the brain — serotonin and norepinephrine. Correcting the imbalance of these 2 chemicals may help relieve symptoms of depression.
What is depression?
Depression is a disorder that affects your thoughts, moods, feelings, behavior and physical health. People used to think it was “all in your head” and that if you really tried, you could “pull yourself out of it.” Doctors now know that depression is not a weakness, and you can’t treat it on your own. It’s a medical disorder with a biological or chemical basis.
Depression may occur only once in a person’s life. Often, however, it occurs as repeated episodes over a lifetime, with periods free of depression in between.
How is Effexor XR taken?
Take Effexor orally (by mouth) once a day with a glass of water and food. Do not break, crush, chew, or place in water before swallowing. Take it at the same time everyday and do not miss a dose.
Do not use Effexor XR:
- If you are currently taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI’s). MAOI’s can cause a very serious reaction or even death if taken with this medication.
- If you are allergic to any ingredients in Effexor XR.
Before using Effexor XR you should:
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, intend to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. Newborns whose mothers used Effexor XR late in the third trimester have had problems. Because of those problems, the newborns needed long hospital stays, help with breathing, and tube feeding.
- If you or a family member has a history of bipolar disorder (manic-depression), other mental or mood problems, suicidal thoughts or attempts, or alcohol or substance abuse.
- If you have a history of seizures, heart problems, (eg, heart failure, irregular heartbeat), abnormal electrocardiogram, recent heart attack, high blood pressure, overactive thyroid, liver problems, lung problems, kidney problems, stomach or bowel bleeding, increased eye pressure (eg, glaucoma), nervous system problems, or metabolism problems
- If you are dehydrated, have low blood sodium levels, or drink alcohol
- If you will be having electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
What do I do if I miss a dose?
Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses of Effexor XR at once.
Side effects of Effexor XR
Talk to your doctor about any side effect that you feel after taking Effexor XR. If you have any signs of an allergic reaction like skin rash or hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat contact your doctor promptly. Some side effects can be serious:
- Increased blood pressure(severe headache, blurred vision)
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, fast heartbeat, fainting, coma
- Extreme thirst with headache, nausea, vomiting, and weakness
- Easy bruising or bleeding
Other less serious side effects are more likely to occur, such as:
- Drowsiness, dizziness, nervousness, or anxiety
- Dry mouth, increased sweating
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation
- Decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm
- Headache, blurred vision
- Tremor or chills
- Changes in appetite or weight
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