Effexor (venlafaxin HCL)


Approval Status
Approved March 1999

Treatment for

Possible similar drugs
Effexor XR

Psychiatry / Psychiatric

Effexor was approved for the treatment of depression in 1993. Effexor increases the levels of both serotonin and norepinephrine (two neurotransmitters though to cause the symptoms of depression) in the brain.

Effexor's latest approval is for the treatment of anxiety disorder. It is estimated that 95% of people with depression experience at least one symptom of anxiety, including excessive or uncontrollable worry, apprehension, irritability, and muscle tension. Studies suggest that co-morbid depression and anxiety may have an impact on a patient's social functioning and is associated with a 30% to 60% increase in the utilization of healthcare services.

Some of the side effects of Effexor include the following:

  • headache
  • nausea
  • weight loss
  • constipation
  • blurry vision
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • increased blood pressure

Effexor affects various neuro chemicals in the body which are responsible for nervous system regulation. It inhibits specifically norepinephrine and serotonin reuptake, and also weakly inhibits dopamine reuptake. The net result is more neuro chemicals circulating in the nervous system.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Issues

If you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, discuss the potential risks of this or any medication with your doctor.

It is also recommended that you talk to your doctor about Effexor if you have: high blood pressure, heart, liver, or kidney disease.

Effexor (venlafaxin HCL) Drug Information

The Effexor (venlafaxin HCL) drug information shown above is licensed from Thomson CenterWatch. The information provided here is for general educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or pharmaceutical advice which should be sought from qualified medical and pharmaceutical advisers.

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