By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Generic Name: Effexor Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.


What is Effexor® (venlafaxine) used for?

Effexor® is an antidepressant in a group of drugs called selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRIs). Venlafaxine affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with depression.

Effexor® is used to treat major depressive disorder, anxiety, and panic disorder.

How should I take Effexor® (venlafaxine)?

Take Effexor® exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Effexor® should be taken with food. Try to take this medicine at the same time each day.

Swallow the controlled-release capsule (Effexor XR) whole, without crushing or chewing. To make the medication easier to swallow, you may open the capsule and sprinkle the medicine into a small amount of applesauce. Swallow all of the mixture without chewing, and do not save any for later use.

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often.

It may take 4 weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve.

You should not stop using Effexor® suddenly. Follow your doctor’s instructions about tapering your dose.

This medicine can cause you to have a false positive drug screening test. If you provide a urine sample for drug screening, tell the laboratory staff that you are taking Effexor®.

How do I store Effexor® (venlafaxine)?

Effexor® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Effexor® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Effexor® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Effexor® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Effexor® (venlafaxine)?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Effexor® or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

You should not take Effexor if:

  • You have uncontrolled narrow-angle glaucoma.
  • You are being treated with methylene blue injection.
  • You have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine. After you stop taking Effexor®, you must wait at least 7 days before you start taking an MAOI.

Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking an antidepressant. Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using Effexor®. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.

Taking an SSRI antidepressant during pregnancy may cause serious lung problems or other complications in the baby. However, you may have a relapse of depression if you stop taking your antidepressant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking Effexor®. Do not start or stop taking this medicine during pregnancy without your doctor’s advice.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using Effexor® during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Effexor®. Effexor® is pregnancy risk category C, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Effexor® (venlafaxine)?

Common side effects may include:

  • Vision changes
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Dry mouth
  • Yawning
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling nervous
  • Fast heartbeats, tremors or shaking
  • Sleep problems (insomnia)
  • Strange dreams
  • Tired feeling
  • Increased sweating
  • Decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • Blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights
  • Easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin
  • Cough, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Seizure (convulsions)
  • High levels of serotonin in the body – agitation, hallucinations, fever, fast heart rate, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination, fainting
  • Low levels of sodium in the body – headache, confusion, slurred speech, severe weakness, vomiting, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady
  • Severe nervous system reaction – very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, feeling like you might pass out
  • Mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping
  • Feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself

Get emergency medical help if you have any signs of an allergic reaction to Effexor®: skin rash or hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.


What drugs may interact with Effexor® (venlafaxine)?

Effexor® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Products that may interact with this drug are:

  • Any other antidepressant
  • Cimetidine
  • John’s wort
  • Tramadol
  • Tryptophan (sometimes called L-tryptophan)
  • A blood thinner – warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven
  • Medicine to treat mood disorders, thought disorders, or mental illness – buspirone, lithium, and many others
  • Migraine headache medicine – sumatriptan, zolmitriptan, and others

Does food or alcohol interact with Effexor® (venlafaxine)?

Effexor® may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Effexor® (venlafaxine)?

Effexor® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Health conditions that may interact with this drug are:

  • Bipolar disorder (manic depression)
  • Cirrhosis or other liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Narrow-angle glaucoma
  • A thyroid disorder
  • A history of seizures
  • A bleeding or blood clotting disorder
  • Low levels of sodium in your blood


The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Effexor® (venlafaxine).

What is the dose of Effexor® (venlafaxine) for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Depression:

Immediate release:

  • Initial dose: 37.5 mg orally twice a day or 25 mg orally 3 times a day.
  • Maintenance dose: May increase in daily increments of up to 75 mg at intervals of no less than 4 days.
  • Maximum dose: (moderately depressed outpatients): 225 mg/day.
  • Maximum dose (severely depressed inpatients): 375 mg/day.
  • Daily dosage may be divided in 2 or 3 doses/day.

Extended release:

  • Initial dose: 75 mg orally once daily.
  • Maintenance dose: May increase in daily increments of up to 75 mg at intervals of no less than 4 days.
  • Maximum dose (moderately depressed outpatients): 225 mg/day.
  • Maximum dose (severely depressed inpatients): 375 mg/day.

Usual Adult Dose for Anxiety:

For generalized anxiety disorder or social anxiety disorder:

Extended release:

  • Initial dose: 75 mg orally once daily.
  • Maintenance dose: May increase in daily increments of 75 mg at intervals of no less than 4 days.
  • Maximum dose: 225 mg/day.

Usual Adult Dose for Panic Disorder:


  • Initial dose: 37.5 mg once a day.
  • Maintenance dose: May increase dose in daily increments of 75 mg at intervals of no less than 7 days.
  • Maximum dose: 225 mg/day.

What is the dose of Effexor® (venlafaxine) for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is Effexor® (venlafaxine) available?

Effexor® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Tablets venlafaxine hydrochloride 25mg

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Effexor®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

msBahasa Malaysia

Review Date: July 13, 2017 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019