Effexor XR
Last Edited: April 20th, 2012

Coupons for Effexor XR

The prescription medication Effexor XR is involved in the treatment of social anxiety disorder (SAD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder (PD) and depression. As an extended release tablet, Effexor XR slowly releases medicine into the body throughout the day.

How Effexor XR Works

This medication is categorized as a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) and works by affecting the amounts of the chemical messengers norepinephrine and serotonin. It is believed that these neurotransmitters are unbalanced in individuals diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorders.

Effexor XR helps to block the chemical reabsorption of serotonin and norepinephrine, which is also known as reuptake, and allows increased amounts of them to be available within nerve cells of the brain. By correcting the imbalance between these two essential neurotransmitters, the symptoms associated with anxiety disorders and depression can be managed.

Dosage

Dosage of Effexor XR will vary for each patient and is dependent on a variety of factors, including the age of the patient, other medical conditions the patient may have, other medications the patient is currently taking and the specific mental illness the patient is receiving treatment for.

Most patients with depression, SAD and GAD are prescribed the 75 mg tablets when first beginning treatment with Effexor XR which are usually taken once each day. Depressed individuals can be prescribed up to the maximum dose of 225 mg. Patients with PD are prescribed the 37.5 mg tablets when taking Effexor XR for the first time. This dosage is typically increased to 75 mg if well tolerated and up to the maximum dose of 225 mg.

Effexor XR should be taken with food once daily. The capsules should not be crushed, broken or chewed. Patients should take Effexor XR at the same time each day to achieve maximum symptom relief. Individuals with kidney problems and older patients will usually be prescribed a lower dose of Effexor XR. It is likely that withdrawal symptoms will occur if a patient suddenly stops taking Effexor XR. For this reason, the patient must be gradually weaned off of the medication under the supervision of a physician.

Overdose

If a patient misses their scheduled dose of Effexor XR, he or she may take the missed dose if it does not coincide with their next scheduled dose. Extra medication should not be taken in the event of a missed dose. If a patient experiences symptoms of an overdose, including increased heart rate, seizures, blurred vision, vomiting and extreme tiredness, he or she should seek emergency care immediately.

Storage

Effexor XR should be stored at room temperature and kept away from sources of heat and moisture.

Drug Interactions

Since Effexor XR has the potential to negatively interact with other medications, it is essential that patients inform their physician of all over-the-counter medications, prescriptions and herbal supplements they are currently taking. This includes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin, anticoagulant medications, narcotics, antidepressants, muscle relaxants and medications used to treat seizures.

Side Effects

Nausea, insomnia, dizziness, loss of appetite, weakness, dry mouth and sleepiness are the most common side effects associated with Effexor XR. Patients should seek immediate medical care if serious side effects such as confusion, seizures, irregular heartbeat, breathing problems, fever, hallucinations and memory problems occur.

Warnings and Precautions

Patients taking Effexor XR should be closely monitored for signs that they are becoming suicidal or if their symptoms worsen. Patients with glaucoma, high blood pressure, bipolar disorder, liver disease, kidney problems or a bleeding disorder should notify their physician before taking Effexor XR. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consult with their physician before taking Effexor XR. Patients should not consume alcohol while taking Effexor XR and should not drive or perform any potentially hazardous task before they know how Effexor XR affects them.