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Effexor Review Article

 

Effexor is basically used for the treatment of major depressive disorder, anxiety and panic disorder. It works by affecting the chemicals in the brain that may become unbalance causing depression. It is recommended not to take this medication if you are allergic to venlafaxine. Effexor may be harmful to unborn baby. Do not take this medication more than prescribed by doctor. It blocks the reuptake of serotonin, noradrenalins and to some extent dopamine. When administered in higher doses it affects serotogernic, doperminergic neurotransmission, due to the combination of the effects on the reuptake mechanism the antidepressant effect of the drug is achieved.

Effexor generic (generic - what is it?)

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Effexor is a medicinal drug that is used for the treatment of depression related disorders, panic disorders and anxiety. It functions by changing the chemical balance present in the human brain because of which a person goes into depression. However, Effexor have certain side effects and interactions because of which, it is advised to avoid consuming this medicine with other drugs. People who are allergic to venlafaxine or pregnant women should not consume it.


Why is this drug prescribed?

Effexor is widely used by people who are dealing with continual depression that obstructs the daily life functioning. The symptoms of depression include change in sleeping habits, improper mind body coordination, sex drive and change in appetite. Feeling of uselessness, guilt and suicidal tendencies are the severe symptoms associated with the problem of depression. For problems of abnormal anxiety in which the feeling of anxiety persists for over 6 months accompanied by symptoms like sleep disorders, restlessness and poor concentration, Effexor XR medicine is highly recommended. The dosage of Effexor and Effexor XR are different because the latter one is used in severe circumstances and requires one in a day dosing.


Dosage

Effexor medicine can be consumed along with food and the medicine requires some time to start working its effect in human body. Effexor XR has to be consumed one each day with water and the doses should be consumed at the same time each day. If by chance a person misses a dose then it is not necessary to break the cycle, it is better to skip that dose.


Interactions

As per the studies, Effexor can result in some serious reactions if consumed along with drugs that are known as MAO inhibitors and other anti depressants like Nardil and Parnate. If you are already continuing treatment with the above-mentioned drugs then Effexor treatment should be started only after 14 days of discontinuation of the other drugs. In case of MAO drugs, the time is at least 7 days of break in between Effexor treatment and MAO drug treatments.


Side effects

The side effects are not fixed in case of Effexor because that may vary from person to person and only a doctor can determine whether any sort of changes are suitable for you. However, some common noted side effects are: abnormal ejaculation, dreams, loss of appetite, anxiety, chills, vision blurred, diarrhoea, constipation, dry mouth, dizziness, flushing, irregular urination, impotence, gas, insomnia, infection, nausea, muscle tension, sleeping disorder, formation of rashes, feeling of tingling, sweating, upset stomach, vomiting, tremor and yawning.

Some uncommon side effects that have been noted are:
Change in taste/ behaviour, feeling of agitation, abnormal or weird thinking, pain in chest, reduced sex drive, confusion, dilated pupils, depression, high blood pressure, dizziness upon standing, loss of identity, itching, ringing in ears, irregular heart beat, urinary troubles, weight loss, twitching and trauma. There are many other rare symptoms reported that is why it is advisable to start the treatment with Effexor under the supervision of a good doctor.


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Why is this drug prescribed?
Effexor is prescribed for the treatment of depression-that is, a continuing depression that interferes with daily functioning. The symptoms usually include changes in appetite, sleep habits, and mind/body coordination, decreased sex drive, increased fatigue, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, difficulty concentrating, slowed thinking, and suicidal thoughts. Effexor XR is also prescribed to relieve abnormal anxiety (generalized anxiety disorder). This problem is marked by persistent anxiety for a period of at least 6 months, accompanied by at least 3 of these 6 symptoms: restlessness, fatigue, poor concentration, irritability, muscle tension, and sleep disturbances. Effexor must be taken 2 or 3 times daily. The extended-release form, Effexor XR, permits once-a-day dosing.

Most important fact about this drug
Serious, sometimes fatal reactions have occurred when Effexor is used in combination with other drugs known as MAO inhibitors, including the antidepressants Nardil and Parnate. Never take Effexor with one of these drugs; and do not begin therapy with Effexor within 14 days of discontinuing treatment with one of them. Also, allow at least 7 days between the last dose of Effexor and the first dose of an MAO inhibitor.

How should you take this medication?
Take Effexor with food, exactly as prescribed. It may take several weeks before you begin to feel better. Your doctor should check your progress periodically. Take Effexor XR once at the same time each day. Swallow the capsule whole with water. Do not divide, crush, or chew it.

--If you miss a dose... It is not necessary to make it up. Skip the missed dose and continue with your next scheduled dose. Do not take 2 doses at once.

--Storage instructions.. Store in a tightly closed container at room temperature. Protect from excessive heat and moisture.

What side effects may occur?
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Effexor.

More common side effects may include:
Abnormal dreams, abnormal ejaculation or orgasm, anxiety, appetite loss, blurred vision, chills, constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, dry mouth, frequent urination, flushing, gas, headache, impotence, infection, insomnia, muscle tension, nausea, nervousness, rash, sleepiness, sweating, tingling feeling, tremor, upset stomach, vomiting, weakness, yawning

Less common side effects may include:
Abnormal taste, abnormal thinking, agitation, chest pain, confusion, decreased sex drive, depression, dilated pupils, dizziness upon standing up, high blood pressure, itching, loss of identity, rapid heartbeat, ringing in the ears, trauma, twitching, urinary problems, weight loss

A wide variety of very rare symptoms possibly related to Effexor have also been reported. If you develop any new or unusual problems, let your doctor know about it.

Why should this drug not be prescribed?:
Never take Effexor while taking other drugs known as MAO inhibitors. (See "Most important fact about this drug.") Also avoid this drug if it has ever given you an allergic reaction.

Special warnings about this medication:
Your doctor will prescribe Effexor with caution if you have high blood pressure, heart, liver, or kidney disease or a history of seizures or mania (extreme agitation or excitability). You should discuss all of your medical problems with your doctor before taking Effexor. Effexor sometimes causes an increase in blood pressure. If this happens, your doctor may need to reduce your dose or discontinue the drug. Effexor also tends to increase the heart rate, especially at higher doses. Use Effexor with caution if you've recently had a heart attack, suffer from heart failure, or have an overactive thyroid gland. Antidepressants such as Effexor may cause fluid retention, especially if you are an older adult. Effexor may cause you to feel drowsy or less alert and may affect your judgment. Therefore, avoid driving or operating dangerous machinery or participating in any hazardous activity that requires full mental alertness until you know how this drug affects you. Your doctor will check you regularly if you have glaucoma (high pressure in the eye), or you are at risk of developing it. If you have ever been addicted to drugs, tell your doctor before you start taking Effexor. If you develop a skin rash or hives while taking Effexor, notify your doctor. Effexor may also cause bleeding or bruising of the skin. Do not stop taking the drug without consulting your doctor. If you stop suddenly, you may have withdrawal symptoms, even though this drug does not seem to be habit-forming. Your doctor will have you taper off gradually. The safety and effectiveness of Effexor have not been established in children under 18 years of age.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication:
Combining Effexor with MAO inhibitors could cause a fatal reaction. (See "Most important fact about this drug.") Although Effexor does not interact with alcohol, the manufacturer recommends avoiding alcohol while taking this medication. If you have high blood pressure or liver disease, or are elderly, check with your doctor before combining Effexor with cimetidine (Tagamet). Effexor does not interact with Lithium or Valium. However, you should consult your doctor before combining Effexor with other drugs that affect the central nervous system, including narcotic painkillers, sleep aids, tranquilizers, antipsychotic medicines such as Haldol, and other antidepressants such as Tofranil. Effexor has been found to reduce blood levels of the HIV drug Crixivan. It's best to check with your doctor before combining Effexor with any other drug or herbal product.

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding:
The effects of Effexor during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant, tell your doctor immediately. Effexor should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed. If Effexor is taken shortly before delivery, the baby may suffer withdrawal symptoms. It's also known that Effexor appears in breast milk and could cause serious side effects in a nursing infant. You'll need to choose between nursing your baby or continuing your treatment with Effexor.

Recommended dosage:
EFFEXOR
The usual starting dose is 75 milligrams a day, divided into 2 or 3 smaller doses, and taken with food. If needed, your doctor may gradually increase your daily dose in steps of no more than 75 milligrams at a time up to a maximum of 375 milligrams per day. If you have kidney or liver disease or are taking other medications, your doctor will adjust your dosage accordingly.

EFFEXOR XR
For both depression and anxiety the usual starting dose is 75 milligrams once daily, although some people begin with a dose of 37.5 milligrams for the first 4 to 7 days. Your doctor may gradually increase the dose, in steps of no more than 75 milligrams, up to a maximum of 225 milligrams daily. As with regular Effexor, the doctor will make adjustments in your dosage if you have kidney or liver disease.

Overdosage:
An overdose of Effexor, combined with other drugs or alcohol, can be fatal. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.

Symptoms of Effexor overdose include:
Sleepiness, vertigo, rapid or slow heartbeat, low blood pressure, seizures, coma

Caution! Before starting to take this medicine, it is vital that you should consult your doctor! Do not use it on your own initiative, without medical advice.

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EFFEXOR GENERIC NOTES:

Known with the generic name Venlafaxine hydrochloride, effexor is an anti-depressant drug prescribed in treating depression and anxiety in people that lead to several related symptoms such as social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder along with sleep disorders, appetite changes, loss of mind & body coordination, loss of libido, increased fatigue and weakness, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, concentrating difficulty, slow thinking, loss of memory, suicidal thoughts etc. This medicine is also highly effective in treating panic disorders in adults.

Effexor generic works by affecting the chemical messengers inside the brain known as neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine etc. Made by nerve cells and discharged by other cells, these neurotransmitters pass to the nearby nerve cells and stimulate the cells to be converted into more or less active components. The imbalance in these neurotransmitters is believed to be the major cause of depression that can lead to symptoms of anxiety in human. This medicine functions by slowing down the release of neurotransmitters or by inhibiting the action of neurotransmitters, thereby reducing the depression symptoms. An Extended release formulation of Venlafaxine is also available.

Some serious complications of drug interactions are reported regarding the use of this medicine. Effexor when taken in combination with MAO inhibitors like Parnate or Nardil can cause life-threatening interactions in the body. This medicine should never be taken in combination with MAO inhibitors and it is strongly recommended to wait for 14 days while taking these two medications together.

As many other medications that affects the functions of the brain, Effexor is also known to slow down the reflexes or cause judgment impairment. For that reason, it is very important to be cautious during the early course of treatment with this drug. Children below the age of 18 years should not be offered with medicine. It should not be used by pregnant women or those who are planning to get pregnant as it can affect the fetus. Nursing mothers should also avoid this medication that can affect the nursing infants.


 

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