How to Take EFFEXOR XR (venlafaxine HCl)
This section provides information about EFFEXOR XR prescription dosages, how to take EFFEXOR XR, ingredients, and storage.
EFFEXOR XR (venlafaxine HCl) is available in different dosage strengths (37.5 mg, 75 mg, and 150 mg). The usual starting dose is 75 mg for depression, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and social anxiety disorder (SAD). The usual starting dose is 37.5 mg for panic disorder (PD).
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Only your doctor can tell you which dose is right for you and whether it will need to be adjusted over time. For example, some people diagnosed with depression start out on the 37.5-mg dose for several days to get used to taking the medication.
How to Take EFFEXOR XR (venlafaxine HCl)
- Take EFFEXOR XR exactly as prescribed. Your healthcare provider may need to change the dose of EFFEXOR XR until it is the right dose for you.
- EFFEXOR XR should be taken as a single dose with food at about the same time every day, either in the morning or in the evening.
- The capsule should be swallowed whole; it should not be divided, crushed, chewed, or placed in water.
- The capsule can also be carefully opened and its contents sprinkled onto a spoonful of applesauce. This should be swallowed immediately and followed by drinking a glass of water. Do not chew this mixture before swallowing.
If You Miss a Dose
It's best to take EFFEXOR XR (venlafaxine HCl) at about the same time every day. However, if you miss a dose of EFFEXOR XR, it should be taken later that day. Don't try to "make up" for the missed dose by taking 2 doses the next day. You should never increase or decrease your daily dose without consulting your doctor. Ask your doctor if you have questions about timing, your dosage, or recommended ways to discontinue EFFEXOR XR therapy.
In case of an overdose, call your doctor or poison control center or go to the emergency room right away.
Important Prescription Advice
Do not use EFFEXOR XR (venlafaxine HCl) if it has not been prescribed to you by your doctor. Do not give EFFEXOR XR to other people, even if they have the same symptoms you have. It may harm them.
Generic forms of EFFEXOR XR are also available with a prescription. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a generic drug is the same as a brand name drug in dosage, safety, strength, how it is taken, quality, performance, and intended use.
For over 8 years, doctors have been prescribing EFFEXOR XR to help treat patients with depression or certain types of anxiety. EFFEXOR XR also offers financial support through the $4 Co-Pay Commitment Program to help make EFFEXOR XR prescription costs more affordable. You can discuss with your doctor what treatment is right for you.
Ingredients and Storage
EFFEXOR XR contains venlafaxine hydrochloride, an antidepressant. Inactive ingredients consist of cellulose, ethylcellulose, gelatin, hypromellose, iron oxide, and titanium dioxide.
Store EFFEXOR XR at room temperature (68° to 77°F, or 20° to 25°C). Keep EFFEXOR XR away from children.
Important Safety Information for EFFEXOR XR
Suicidality and Antidepressant Drugs
Antidepressants increased the risk compared to placebo of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, teens, and young adults. Depression and certain other psychiatric disorders are themselves associated with increases in the risk of suicide. Patients of all ages who are started on antidepressant therapy should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior. EFFEXOR XR ® (venlafaxine HCI) is not approved for use in children and teens.
- Do not take EFFEXOR XR if you currently take, or have taken within the last 14 days, any medicine known as an MAOI such as linezolid or methylene blue. Do not take an MAOI within 7 days of stopping EFFEXOR XR. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure if your medicine is an MAOI.
- All patients taking antidepressants should be watched closely for signs that their condition is getting worse or that they are becoming suicidal, especially when they first start therapy, or when their dose is increased or decreased. Patients should also be watched for becoming agitated, irritable, hostile, aggressive, impulsive, or restless. Such symptoms should be reported to the patient’s doctor right away.
- Before starting EFFEXOR XR, tell your doctor if you’re taking or plan to take any prescription or over-the-counter drugs, including migraine headache medication, herbal preparations, and nutritional supplements, to avoid a potentially life-threatening condition.
- EFFEXOR XR may raise blood pressure in some patients. Your blood pressure should be controlled before starting treatment and should be monitored regularly.
- Taking EFFEXOR XR with aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, warfarin, or other drugs that affect coagulation may increase the risk of bleeding events.
- Mydriasis (prolonged dilation of the pupil of the eye) has been reported with EFFEXOR XR. You should notify your physician if you have a history of glaucoma or increased eye pressure.
- EFFEXOR XR should be used with caution if you have risk factors for a disturbance of the electrical activity of the heart known as QT/QTc prolongation or you are using concomitantly other drugs which prolong the QTc interval.
- When people suddenly stop using or quickly lower their daily dose of EFFEXOR XR, discontinuation symptoms may occur. Talk to your doctor before discontinuing or reducing your dose of EFFEXOR XR.
- Pregnant or nursing women shouldn't take any antidepressant without consulting their doctor.
- Until you see how EFFEXOR XR affects you, be careful doing activities such as driving a car or operating machinery. Avoid drinking alcohol while taking EFFEXOR XR.
- In clinical studies, the most common side effects with EFFEXOR XR (reported in at least 10% of patients and at least twice as often as with placebo) were constipation, dizziness, dry mouth, insomnia, loss of appetite, nausea, nervousness, sexual side effects, sleepiness, sweating, and weakness.
Indications for EFFEXOR XR
EFFEXOR XR (venlafaxine HCl) Extended-Release Capsules are indicated for the treatment, in adults, of Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), and Panic Disorder (PD) with or without agoraphobia.
Patients should always ask their doctors for medical advice about adverse events.
You may report an adverse event related to Pfizer products by calling 1-800-438-1985 (US only). If you prefer, you may contact the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) directly. The FDA has established a reporting service known as MedWatch where health care professionals and consumers can report serious problems they suspect may be associated with the drugs and medical devices they prescribe, dispense, or use. Visit MedWatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.