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Prescription Required
Formulation : Capsule
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Effexor XR is an antidepressant medication used to treat major depressive disorder, anxiety, and panic disorders. Venlafaxine is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRIs) that alters chemicals in the brain to help increase balance.

Venlafaxine inhibits the presynaptic reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine. These chemicals are neurotransmitters which send messages between cells in the brain. The medication helps them stay in the gap between cells for longer, improving their availability.

Uses and Dosage

The Effexor Xr dose prescribed will depend on the person and condition being treated. Always follow your doctor’s directives.

  • Take with food
  • Take capsules at the same time each day
  • Swallow capsules, do not chew
  • For ease of use you can open the capsule and sprinkle the medication into applesauce
  • For depression, most start by taking 75mg divided per day
  • For anxiety, most start with 75mg once a day
  • For panic disorder, most start with 37.5mg per day
  • Adults should not take more than 375mg a day
  • Do not take two doses at once
  • Do not suddenly stop taking Effexor Xr

Side Effects

Since Effexor affects your brain chemicals, it may cause some side effects. Speak with your doctor for more specific information and advice concerning any symptoms you may encounter while taking this medication.

Common Effexor side effects:

  • Headache, dizziness
  • Drowsiness, tiredness
  • Problems sleeping, unusual dreams
  • Tremors
  • Fast heartbeats
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Diarrhea, constipation
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Dry mouth
  • Yawning
  • Increased sweating
  • Sexual problems

Tell your doctor about any new or worsening symptoms which may include changes in mood or behavior, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, or have suicidal thoughts.

Serious Side Effects

Some more serious side effects may also occur when taking Effexor. See your doctor right away if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Blurred vision, eye pain, seeing halos around lights
  • Cough
  • Chest tightness
  • Trouble breathing
  • A seizure
  • Unusual bleeding (nosebleed, bleeding gums, abnormal vaginal bleeding, any uncontrollable bleeding)
  • Low blood sodium (headache, confusion, thinking or memory problems, weakness, feeling unsteady)
  • Severe nervous system reaction (rigid muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, feeling like you might pass out)

Seek immediate medical attention if you notice symptoms of serotonin syndrome: agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, stiff muscles, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Allergic Reactions

Do not take Effexor Xr if you are allergic to venlafaxine or desvenlafaxine. Stop using it and see a doctor right away if you notice signs of an allergic reaction.

Effexor allergy symptoms may include:

  • Skin rash or hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling in face, lips, tongue, or throat


Do not take Effexor Xr 7 days before or 14 days after using an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid, linesolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, or tranylcypromine.

You should not take this medication if you have uncontrolled narrow-angle glaucoma. Tell your doctor about all the medications you have and if you have ever had the following:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Glaucoma
  • Thyroid disorder
  • Seizure
  • Sexual problems
  • Bleeding problems
  • Low blood levels of sodium

Do not drink alcohol while taking Effexor, it will interact and cause unwanted side effects.

Consult with your doctor before taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as aspirin or ibuprofen alongside Effexor because they may cause you to bruise or bleed more easily.

Avoid driving or performing tasks requiring attention until you know how Effexor will affect you.

Some young people may have suicidal thoughts when they start taking an antidepressant. Perform regular check-ins with your doctor and monitor your mood and symptoms.

Effexor Xr is not approved for the use of anyone under 18 years of age.

Consult with your doctor about continuing the use of Effexor while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Form and Strength

This medication is available in capsule and ER capsule forms.

Effexor capsule strengths:

  • 37.5mg

    • Quantities of 28
    • 100
  • 75mg

    • Quantities of 28
    • 84
  • 150mg

    • Quantities of 28
    • 84

The 37.5mg Effexor capsules are available in quantities of 28 and 100; the 75mg and 150mg capsules come in groups of 28 and 84.


What is the difference between SSRIs and SNRIs?

SSRI drugs stop serotonin from being reabsorbed too quickly while SNRIs like Effexor Xr prevent the reuptake of both serotonin and norepinephrine. These brain chemicals are neurotransmitters that send messages between nerve cells and Effexor helps them stay in the gap between cells for longer. Increasing the availability of both neurotransmitters helps this medication treat both depression and anxiety.

What does XR or ER mean after a drug name?

XR and ER are short for extended release and refers to the form of the medication. Extended-release capsules are formulated so the drug is released into the body slowly over time. Thanks to this formulation, the medication can be taken less often and may cause fewer side effects.



Additional information

Brand Name:

Effexor XR

Scientific Name:

Venlafaxine XR, Venlafaxine Xr

Other Names:

Efexor XR, Effexor XR, Venlafaxine XL, Venlafaxine XR, Venlor XR


37.5mg, 75mg, 150mg

Quantities Available:

28, 84, 100


Capsule, ER Capsule