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Venlafaxine (Effexor)

Effexor Pills

Effexor Pills

Effexor/Venlafaxine is available by prescription in the United States.

Addictive Potential: Low more…

Emergency Room Visits Yearly: Unknown

Mandatory Minimum Sentence: Not Scheduled, Does Not Apply; Legal by Prescription

Mechanism of Action: Increases the Neurotransmitters Serotonin, Norepinephrine, and Dopamine


Venlafaxine hydrochloride is a prescription antidepressant first introduced by Wyeth in 1993. It belongs to class of antidepressants called serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI). As of August 2006, generic venlafaxine is available in the United States, and as of December 2006, generic venlafaxine is available in Canada. It was previously available only under the brand names Effexor and Effexor XR.

Venlafaxine is used primarily for the treatment of major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder in adults.

Side Effects:

NOTE: The percentage of occurrences for each side effect listed comes from clinical trial data provided by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc. The percentages indicate the percentage of people that experienced the side effect in clinical trials.

Headache (34%)
Nausea (21-35%)
Insomnia (15-23%)
Sexual dysfunction (14-34%)
Dry mouth (12-16%)
Dizziness (11-20%)
Sweating (10-14%)
Decreased Appetite (8-20%)
Abnormal ejaculation (8-16%)
Hypertension (4-5%)
Vivid/Abnormal dreams (3-7%)
Akathisia (Agitation) (3-4%)
Decreased libido (3-9%)
Increased yawning (3-5%)
Ongoing Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Orthostatic hypotension (postural drop in blood pressure)
Impulsive Actions
Electric shock-like sensations also called “Brain zaps”
Increased anxiety at the start of treatment
Memory Loss
Restless Legs Syndrome

Many psychoactive SNRI medications can cause withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation from administration.


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