Frequently Asked Questions
Although your doctor is the best source for answering your specific questions about depression and treatment with EFFEXOR XR, you can find answers to common questions here.
General Information About EFFEXOR XRTop
What is EFFEXOR XR?
How does EFFEXOR XR work?
What is the most important information I should know about EFFEXOR XR?
EFFEXOR XR and other antidepressant medicines may cause serious side effects, including:
- Suicidal thoughts or actions:
- EFFEXOR XR and other antidepressant medicines may increase suicidal thoughts or actions in some children, teenagers, or young adults within the first few months of treatment or when the dose is changed
- Depression or other serious mental illnesses are the most important causes of suicidal thoughts or actions
- Watch for these changes and call your healthcare provider right away if you notice:
- New or sudden changes in mood, behavior, actions, thoughts, or feelings, especially if severe
- Pay particular attention to such changes when EFFEXOR XR is started or when the dose is changed
Keep all follow-up visits with your healthcare provider and call between visits if you are worried about symptoms.
Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms, or call 911 if an emergency, especially if they are new, worse, or worry you:
- attempts to commit suicide
- acting on dangerous impulses
- acting aggressive or violent
- thoughts about suicide or dying
- new or worse depression
- new or worse anxiety or panic attacks
- feeling agitated, restless, angry or irritable
- trouble sleeping
- an increase in activity or talking more than what is normal for you
- other unusual changes in behavior or mood
- visual problems
- eye pain
- changes in vision
swelling or redness in or around the eye
Only some people are at risk for these problems. You may want to undergo an eye examination to see if you are at risk and receive preventative treatment if you are.
Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms, or call 911 if an emergency. EFFEXOR XR may be associated with these serious side effects:
- Serotonin Syndrome
This condition can be life-threatening and may include:
- agitation, hallucinations, coma or other changes in mental status
- coordination problems or muscle twitching (overactive reflexes)
- racing heartbeat, high or low blood pressure
- sweating or fever
- nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- muscle rigidity
Changes in blood pressure. EFFEXOR XR may:
- increase your blood pressure. Control high blood pressure before starting treatment and monitor blood pressure regularly
- Enlarged pupils (mydriasis).
- Anxiety and insomnia.
- Changes in appetite or weight.
- Manic/hypomanic episodes:
- greatly increased energy
- severe trouble sleeping
- racing thoughts
- reckless behavior
- unusually grand ideas
- excessive happiness or irritability
- talking more or faster than usual
- Low salt (sodium) levels in the blood. Elderly people may be at greater risk for this. Symptoms may include:
- weakness or feeling unsteady
- confusion, problems concentrating or thinking or memory problems
- Seizures or convulsions.
- Abnormal bleeding: EFFEXOR XR and other antidepressant medicines may increase your risk of bleeding or bruising, especially if you take the blood thinner warfarin (Coumadin®, Jantoven®), a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs, like ibuprofen or naproxen), or aspirin.
- Elevated cholesterol.
- Lung disease and pneumonia: EFFEXOR XR may cause rare lung problems. Symptoms include:
- worsening shortness of breath
- chest discomfort
- Severe allergic reactions:
- trouble breathing
- swelling of the face, tongue, eyes or mouth
- rash, itchy welts (hives) or blisters, alone or with fever or joint pain.
Do not stop EFFEXOR XR without first talking to your healthcare provider. Stopping EFFEXOR XR too quickly or changing from another antidepressant too quickly may cause serious symptoms including:
- anxiety, irritability
- feeling tired, restless or problems sleeping
- headache, sweating, dizziness
- electric shock-like sensations, shaking, confusion, nightmares
- vomiting, nausea, diarrhea
How to Get Brand-Name EFFEXOR XRTop
How can I ensure that I won’t get switched to a generic substitute?
Here are 3 suggested tips to help make sure you receive brand-name
- At your doctor’s office: Ask your doctor to prescribe brand-name
EFFEXOR XRand to indicate “DAW” (Dispense As Written)—or the language used in your state—on all of your EFFEXOR XRprescriptions.
- At your pharmacy’s drop-off: Tell the pharmacist that you want brand-name
EFFEXOR XR—and be sure to use the EFFEXOR XR Savings Card. The EFFEXOR XRSavings Card can only be used with brand-name EFFEXOR XR.
- At your pharmacy’s pick-up: Check your pills to be sure they’re brand-name
EFFEXOR XR—not the generic—and also check that you’ve saved on your prescription.
What should I do if I receive a generic substitute instead of brand-name EFFEXOR XR?
Talk to your doctor and/or your pharmacist to ask if you should be getting brand-name
How do I know if I received brand-name EFFEXOR XR?
Check your pills for the distinctive shape and markings of brand-name
Saving on EFFEXOR XRTop
What is the EFFEXOR XR Savings Card?
How do I use the EFFEXOR XR Savings Card?
There are 2 ways to use the card immediately. Once you’ve activated your Savings Card, you can either:
- Bring a printed copy of it to the pharmacy
- Show it to your pharmacist on your phone
About 2 weeks after you sign up for a Savings Card, you will also receive a card in the mail. You can keep this card with you and continue to save on each fill for
Who is eligible to use the EFFEXOR XR Savings Card?
To be eligible to use an
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Not be a resident of Massachusetts
- Not be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or any other federal or state healthcare programs
The Card is not valid for California residents whose prescriptions are covered in whole or in part by third-party insurance, a healthcare service plan, or other health coverage where a lower cost generic is available, unless applicable step therapy or prior authorization requirements have been completed.
Please check with your healthcare professional or insurer to confirm eligibility.
To learn the full details of who is eligible, please see the full Terms and Conditions.
How do I get an EFFEXOR XR Savings Card?
To get a Savings Card, register here and then download your card or have it sent to you via mail, email, or text.
If I already have an EFFEXOR XR Savings Card, how can I activate it?
You can activate your Savings Card here.
Where can I use the EFFEXOR XR Savings Card?
You can use the Savings Card at any participating pharmacy. Use the Pharmacy Finder to locate a pharmacy near you that has recently accepted the
Can I use the EFFEXOR XR Savings Card on a previously filled prescription?
Does the EFFEXOR XR Savings Card work at nonparticipating pharmacies?
Yes, for reimbursement when using a nonparticipating pharmacy: Pay for the
Does the EFFEXOR XR Savings Card work through mail-order pharmacies?
Yes. We’ll reimburse you for the cost of your prescription over and above your eligible cost. Simply pay for your
2250 Perimeter Park Drive, Suite 300
Morrisville, NC 27560
Please be sure to include a copy of the front of your
Taking EFFEXOR XRTop
How should I take EFFEXOR XR?
- Take a single dose of
EFFEXOR XRwith food at about the same time every day, in the morning or in the evening
- The capsule should be swallowed whole; it should not be divided, crushed, chewed, or placed in water
- It can also be administered by carefully opening the capsule and sprinkling its contents onto a spoonful of applesauce. This mixture should be swallowed immediately, without chewing, and followed by a glass of water
If you have questions about taking your medication, adjusting your daily dose, or discontinuing treatment with
Should I take EFFEXOR XR every day?
It is important to take
Examples of discontinuation symptoms include: agitation, anorexia, anxiety, confusion, problems with coordination and balance, diarrhea, dizziness, dry mouth, a “down” or sad mood, muscle twitches, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, headaches, feeling very “up” or irritable for a number of days with no need for sleep, problems falling asleep or staying asleep, nausea, nervousness, nightmares, sensory disturbances (including shock-like electrical sensations), feeling overly sleepy, sweating, tremor, vertigo, and vomiting.
How do I discontinue treatment with EFFEXOR XR?
Do not stop EFFEXOR XR without first talking to your healthcare provider. Stopping EFFEXOR XR too quickly or changing from another antidepressant too quickly may cause serious symptoms.
If you and your doctor have made the decision to discontinue treatment, gradually reducing the dose is recommended rather than abruptly stopping your medication. To successfully taper you off treatment with
What if I miss a dose of EFFEXOR XR?
You should take
If you take too much
Safety & Possible Side EffectsTop
What are the most common side effects of EFFEXOR XR?
It is important to be aware of the possible side effects when taking any medication. Be sure to tell your doctor if you experience any side effects. Please see additional warnings and Important Safety Information at right.
In clinical studies, the most common side effects with
- Unusual dreams
- Sexual problems
- Loss of appetite, constipation, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, or dry mouth
- Feeling tired, fatigued, or overly sleepy
- Change in sleep habits, problems sleeping
- Tremor or shaking
- Dizziness, blurred vision
- Feeling anxious, nervous, or jittery
- Increase in heart rate
What are the most serious side effects of EFFEXOR XR?
- See "What is the most important information I should know about EFFEXOR XR?" in the Medication Guide
- Increased cholesterol–have your cholesterol checked regularly
- Newborns whose mothers take EFFEXOR XR in the third trimester may have problems right after birth including:
- problems feeding and breathing
- shaking, jitteriness or constant crying
- Angle-closure glaucoma