Venlafaxine Side Effects, Dosage, Uses, and More

Venlafaxine: Side Effects, Dosage, Uses, and More

Venlafaxine: Side Effects, Dosage, Uses, and More

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Highlights for venlafaxine

The oral tablet form of venlafaxine is only made available as a generic medicine. There is a form with an immediate release as well as a form with a delayed release.

Oral extended-release capsules of venlafaxine are another delivery method.

Oral venlafaxine pill is a medication that can be used to treat depression (immediate-release tablet and extended-release tablet). Additionally, it is utilized in the treatment of social anxiety disorder (extended-release tablet only).

Warnings of vital importance

Warning from the FDA: Warning regarding suicidal behavior

FDA Warnings

This medication comes with a black box warning. The Food and Drug Administration has deemed this their most urgent health advisory to date (FDA). A boxed warning serves to inform both medical professionals and patients about potential adverse effects associated with a medication.

Some children and young adults who take venlafaxine may experience an increase in suicidal thoughts or behaviors. This will typically occur within the first few months of treatment or at any point in which the dosage is altered. If you or your child is exhibiting any new or unexpected changes in their mood, behavior, thoughts, or feelings, especially if they are severe, you should contact your primary care physician as soon as possible.

Under no circumstances should venlafaxine be administered to a patient who is younger than 18 years old.

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Other cautionary notes

Warning about the serotonin syndrome: the use of this medication has been linked to a disease known as serotonin syndrome, which can pose a serious risk to one’s life. The following are examples of symptoms of serotonin syndrome:

hallucinations and false beliefs are both present.

agitation

coma

rapid beating of the heart

alterations in one’s blood pressure

dizziness

a temporary lapse in consciousness

seizures

shakiness

tremors in the muscles or tight muscles

sweating

nausea

vomiting

Warning for people with high blood pressure: Venlafaxine has been shown to raise blood pressure. Before you begin treatment with venlafaxine, your primary care physician will most likely check to see that your blood pressure is within the usual range. Throughout the course of your therapy, they will keep a close eye on your blood pressure.

Warning about an increased risk of bleeding: Using this medication in conjunction with aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen or naproxen, or the blood thinner warfarin may increase the risk that you will experience bleeding or bruising. If you are already taking, or are about to take, any prescription or over-the-counter medications that increase the risk of bleeding, it is important that you discuss this with your doctor.

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What is venlafaxine?

A doctor’s prescription is required to purchase venlafaxine. Tablets and capsules designed to be taken orally are included in the package.

The oral tablet form of venlafaxine is available in both an immediate-release and an extended-release variety. Both formulations can only be purchased as generic versions of the medicine. Generic medications almost always have lower prices than their brand-name counterparts.

Why it’s put to use

Oral venlafaxine pill is a medication that can be used to treat depression (immediate-release tablet and extended-release tablet). Additionally, it is utilized in the treatment of social anxiety disorder (extended-release tablet only).

Combination treatment may include venlafaxine as one of the components. Because of this, it is possible that you will need to combine it with additional medications in order to treat your illness.

The workings of it

Antidepressants that are classified as serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors are the kind of medication that venlafaxine is a member of (SNRIs). A group of different pharmaceuticals that share a common mode of action is referred to as a class of drugs. These medications are frequently prescribed to address illnesses that are analogous to one another.

SNRIs exert their therapeutic effects by elevating the levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine already present in the human brain. Your feelings of despair and anxiety may improve if your brain produces more of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine.

Venlafaxine side effects

The oral pill form of venlafaxine may cause drowsiness. In addition to this, it may impair your ability to make judgments, think clearly, or respond swiftly. Until you are certain that you can function properly, you shouldn’t get behind the wheel of a vehicle, operate heavy machinery, or engage in activities that need you to be awake. Additional adverse effects may be brought on by venlafaxine use.

More common side effects

Some of the most common adverse reactions to venlafaxine include the following:

strange dreams

sexual issues, including but not limited to:

a decline in interest in sexual activity

impotence (not being able to get or keep an erection)

difficulties in having an orgasm

lack of hunger and appetite

constipation

nausea or vomiting

a mouth that’s dry

tiredness

problems sleeping or a shift in your normal sleeping routines

yawning

vibrations or shakiness

dizziness

eyesight that is hazy

sweating

experiencing feelings of anxiety, nervousness, or jitteriness

headache

the accelerated rate of heartbeat

In the event that these side effects are not severe, it is possible that they will disappear in a matter of days or weeks. Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist if the symptoms become more severe or if they do not go away.

Serious adverse effects may result.

If you are experiencing major adverse effects, you should contact your physician as soon as possible. In the event that your symptoms appear to be life-threatening or if you believe you may be experiencing a medical emergency, dial 911 immediately. The following is a list of potentially serious side effects and the symptoms they cause:

Attempting suicide

Having risky urges and acting on them

Aggressive or aggressive behavior

Suicidal ideation or preoccupation with death

Depression that is either new or has worsened

Anxiety and panic episodes, either brand new or much-aggravated

agitation, restlessness, rage, or irritability are all symptoms of this condition.

Trouble sleeping

The syndrome of serotonin. Symptoms may include the following:

agitation

hallucinations are defined as the experience of seeing or hearing something that isn’t actually present.

coma

alterations in the state of your mental health

difficulties in coordinating

twitching of the muscles or too active reflexes

rapid beating of the heart

blood pressure that is either high or low

sweating

fever

nausea

vomiting

diarrhoea

muscular rigidity

Elevated levels of blood pressure. Symptoms may include the following:

headache

chest pain

Mania. Symptoms may include the following:

significantly more energy than before

serious difficulties sleeping

ideas that are racing

a risky way of behaving

concepts of an extraordinary magnitude

an abnormally high level of either happiness or irritation

Talking more quickly or at a higher volume than normal

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Seizures

Eye issues. Symptoms may include the following:

eye discomfort

a shift in one’s vision

enlarged pupils

irritation, redness, or swelling in or around your eyes

Sodium levels that are too low. Symptoms may include the following:

headache

weakness

feeling unsteady

confusion

difficulty concentrating

issues with one’s thoughts or memory

Easily subject to bruising

Frequent nosebleeds

Regular bleeding from your gums, while you wash your teeth or floss your teeth, can be a sign of periodontal disease.

Dark, tar-like stool

a heavy loss of blood due to wounds that are difficult to staunch.

Lung disease or pneumonia. Symptoms may include the following:

a worsening of the symptoms of shortness of breath

cough

chest discomfort

Please understand that our intention is to present you with the most recent and pertinent information possible. However, due to the fact that medications have varying effects on different people, we are unable to guarantee that this material covers all of the potential adverse effects. This information is not intended to replace professional medical advice in any way. Always have a conversation about the potential for adverse effects with a healthcare provider who is familiar with your medical history.

There is a possibility that venlafaxine will interact with other drugs.

It’s possible that the venlafaxine oral tablet you use could interact negatively with other drugs, vitamins, or herbs you’re already taking. When one substance alters the functioning of another, this is known as an interaction. This may result in adverse effects or reduce the efficacy of the medication.

Your physician ought to properly manage all of your prescriptions for you in order to help you avoid interactions. It is imperative that you discuss any drugs, supplements, or herbs that you are currently taking with your primary care physician. Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have any questions about how this medication might interact with other medications that you are currently taking.

The following is a list of some of the medications that are known to have the potential to interact negatively with venlafaxine.

Contraindicated medications for use with venlafaxine

It is not safe to combine venlafaxine with these other medications. When used with venlafaxine, these medications have the potential to produce adverse consequences within the body. Some examples of these medications are as follows:

MAOIs, or monoamine oxidase inhibitors, such as linezolid and methylene blue, are used to treat various conditions. Do not begin taking venlafaxine within two weeks of discontinuing an MAOI, and do not resume taking an MAOI within seven days of discontinuing venlafaxine, unless otherwise recommended by your doctor. If you take venlafaxine with an MAOI too close together in time, you run the risk of experiencing severe side effects that could even be fatal. A high fever, uncontrolled muscle spasms, and stiff muscles are some of the potential adverse effects of this medication. Confusion, fainting, and unexpected changes in your heart rate or blood pressure are some of the other possible adverse effects of this medication.

medications designed to aid in weight loss, such as phentermine. If you combine venlafaxine with other medications like phentermine, you run the risk of experiencing extreme weight loss, serotonin syndrome, and cardiovascular issues like a fast heart rate and high blood pressure.

Interactions that raise the possibility of you experiencing adverse effects

Combining venlafaxine with certain other drugs increases the likelihood that you will experience adverse effects. Some examples of these medications are as follows:

Cimetidine. When combined with venlafaxine, this medication increases the likelihood that you will develop high blood pressure or liver damage. If you are an elderly person, your vulnerability to these dangers is increased.

Haloperidol. When used with venlafaxine, this medication can increase the risk of QT prolongation. This is an illness that affects the heart, and its symptoms include feeling faint and having an irregular heartbeat.

Warfarin. When used with venlafaxine, this medication increases the risk of bleeding. Your doctor will keep a tight eye on you at all times, but especially when you first begin taking venlafaxine or when you stop taking it. If you see any abnormal bleeding or bruises, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible.

NSAIDs including aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and ketoprofen are examples of anti-inflammatory medications. Taking any of these medicines alongside venlafaxine raises your risk of bleeding. Your doctor will keep a tight eye on you at all times, but especially when you first begin taking venlafaxine or when you stop taking it. If you see any abnormal bleeding or bruises, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible.

Medications like ritonavir, clarithromycin, and ketoconazole are examples of such drugs. Certain medications, such as ritonavir, clarithromycin, or ketoconazole, can make it take longer for your body to break down other medications. It is possible that the quantity of venlafaxine in your body will increase if you take any of these medicines in conjunction with venlafaxine. This would put you at a greater risk of experiencing adverse effects.

Medications that put people to sleep include zolpidem, lorazepam, and diphenhydramine, among others. If you combine venlafaxine with any of these other medications, the drowsiness you experience with venlafaxine may become considerably more severe.

Other medications, such as fluoxetine, paroxetine, citalopram, duloxetine, lithium, and tramadol, have also been shown to boost serotonin levels in the body. The levels of serotonin in your body can be raised by taking venlafaxine. Combining it with any of these medications may result in an even greater spike in your serotonin levels. A disease known as serotonin syndrome can develop in a person if they have abnormally high levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin. When beginning treatment with either medication or raising your dosage, your primary care physician will carefully evaluate your progress.

There is a class of migraine medication known as triptans, which includes medications like sumatriptan, rizatriptan, and zolmitriptan. The levels of serotonin in your body can be raised by taking venlafaxine. Combining it with any of these medications may result in an even greater spike in your serotonin levels. A disease known as serotonin syndrome can develop in a person if they have abnormally high levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin. When beginning treatment with either medication or raising your dosage, your primary care physician will carefully evaluate your progress.

Interactions that can make your drugs less effective

It’s possible that the effects of certain medications will be diminished when used with venlafaxine. This is a result of the possibility that the amount of these drugs found in your body will decrease. Some examples of these medications are as follows:

Metoprolol. It’s possible that combining venlafaxine and metoprolol will make the blood pressure medication less effective. It’s possible that this will cause your blood pressure to go up. Talk to your healthcare provider before starting either of these medications together.

Please understand that our intention is to present you with the most recent and pertinent information possible. We are unable to ensure that this information covers all of the potential drug interactions because the way pharmaceuticals react in different people impedes our ability to do so. This information is not intended to replace professional medical advice in any way. Always discuss the possibility of drug interactions with your healthcare practitioner before taking any medication, whether it be over-the-counter medications, prescription medications, vitamins, herbs, or supplements.

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Venlafaxine warnings

The oral tablet form of venlafaxine comes with a number of precautions.

Caution: allergens present

A serious allergic reaction is possible after taking venlafaxine. Symptoms may include the following:

a difficult time breathing edema of the face, tongue, eyes, or mouth rash, hives, or blisters, either alone or in conjunction with joint discomfort or fever

In the event that you have an allergic reaction, you should contact either your physician or the local poison control center as soon as possible. If your symptoms are severe, you should phone 911 or go to the emergency room that is located closest to you.

If you have ever experienced an adverse reaction to this medication, you should never take it again. Taking it once again could be your last tragic mistake (cause death).

Caution regarding alcohol and drug interactions

Alcohol should not be consumed when taking venlafaxine. Consuming alcohol while taking venlafaxine can increase the likelihood that you will experience tiredness. Your capacity to make judgments, think clearly, and respond swiftly may be impacted as a result of this. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are an alcoholic.

Warnings for individuals who have the following health conditions:

For those who suffer from liver disease: It is possible that your liver will not process this medication as quickly as it should if you have a history of liver illness. This could cause the medicine to accumulate to dangerous levels in your body. It’s possible that your doctor will start you out on a lower dosage. If they decide to increase your dosage at a later time, they will carefully watch how you react to it.

For patients who have kidney illness: If you have kidney disease or a family history of kidney disease, it is possible that your body will not be able to flush this medication out of your system as well as others. It is possible that this will cause an increase in the amount of venlafaxine found in your body. This may result in further undesirable effects. Your physician might start you off on a low dosage and then gradually raise it while keeping a careful eye on how you respond to it.

Venlafaxine can cause an increase in your heart rate, particularly if you are taking doses that are higher than 200 milligrams per day. Those who have cardiac conditions should be aware of this risk. It’s possible that your heart won’t be able to handle this side effect if you already have heart failure or if you’ve had a heart attack in the recent past.

People who suffer from hyperthyroidism should be aware that the condition might cause their heart rate to speed up. Your heart rate may also speed up while you’re taking venlafaxine. If you suffer from hyperthyroidism and take venlafaxine, there is a possibility that your heart rate will accelerate to an unsafe level. If you take amounts of venlafaxine that are higher than 200 milligrams per day, you put yourself at an increased risk.

Venlafaxine increases the risk of seizures, particularly for patients who already have a history of the condition. Stop taking venlafaxine immediately and get in touch with a medical professional if you experience a seizure.

People who have high eye pressure, sometimes known as glaucoma, may find that taking venlafaxine causes their pupils to become more open and blocks the flow of fluid within their eyes. The pressure in your eyes may become more severe as a result of these effects. During treatment with venlafaxine, individuals who have a history of high eye pressure or glaucoma should have their eye pressure monitored on a frequent basis. If you have uncontrolled angle-closure glaucoma, you shouldn’t use venlafaxine since it can make your condition worse.

Cautionary notes for members of other groups

For pregnant women: Venlafaxine is considered a medication for pregnancy category C. That entails two different things:

Animal studies have indicated that when the pregnant woman takes the medication, it can have harmful consequences on the developing baby.

There simply have not been enough studies conducted in humans to provide conclusive evidence on the possible effects of the medicine on the developing baby.

Talk to your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or if you are thinking about becoming pregnant. This medication should only be taken during pregnancy if the potential benefits outweigh the possible risks to the developing baby. If you become pregnant while using this medication, you should contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible.

Warning for mothers who are nursing their children: Venlafaxine has been shown to enter the breast milk and may have adverse effects in children who are nursed. Have a discussion about nursing your child with your primary care physician. It is possible that you will need to make a choice between discontinuing nursing and terminating treatment with this medicine.

Regarding senior citizens: The kidneys of elderly people may not function as well as they once did. This may result in a decreased rate of medication elimination from your body. As a consequence of this, a greater quantity of medicine is retained in your body for a longer period of time. This increases the likelihood that you will experience side effects. When using venlafaxine, seniors may be at a greater risk than younger persons for experiencing low salt levels in their blood than the latter group.

This medication should not be administered to anyone who is younger than 18 years old, including children.

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Venlafaxine Side Effects, Dosage, Uses, and More
Venlafaxine Side Effects, Dosage, Uses, and More

How to properly administer venlafaxine

It’s conceivable that not all dosing options or drug formulations have been included here. The following factors will determine the optimal dosage, medicine form, and administration schedule for the medication:

your age, the ailment being treated, the severity of your condition, and any other medical issues you have or other medical disorders you have your response to the initial dose to consider.

Structures and capabilities

Generic: Venlafaxine

Tablets for oral consumption with an instant release form.

Strengths: 25 mg, 37.5 mg, 50 mg, 75 mg, 100 mg

Extended-release tablets that are taken orally

Strengths: 37.5 mg, 75 mg, 150 mg, 225 mg

Dosage for depression

Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

Tablets for oral administration with immediate release:

The recommended starting dosage is 75 milligrams (mg) total per day, to be taken in two or three equal portions.

Increases in Dosage: If it becomes necessary, your doctor may decide to raise your daily dosage to 150 mg.

Typical maximum dosage: 225 mg per day. If you suffer from depression that is more severe, your physician may recommend a dosage that is as high as 375 milligrams per day, to be taken in three separate doses.

Extended-release tablets for oral administration:

The recommended initial dosage is 75 milligrams (mg) daily, to be taken all at once either in the morning or the evening. For certain patients, the recommended starting dosage should be 37.5 milligrams once a day for the first four to seven days of treatment.

Increases in Dosage: If they feel it is necessary, your doctor may raise the amount of medication you take. They might up the dosage by 75 milligrams every four days until you reach 225 milligrams each day.

Typical maximum dosage: 225 mg per day.

Child dose (ages 0–17 years)

People under the age of 18 are not permitted to use this medication under any circumstances.

Dosage for the disease known as social anxiety

Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

Extended-release tablets for oral administration:

The typical dose is 75 milligrams, which should be taken once a day, either in the morning or the evening.

Maximum dosage: 75 mg per day.

Child dose (ages 0–17 years)

People under the age of 18 are not permitted to use this medication under any circumstances.

Special dose considerations

People who have issues with their liver It is recommended that people who have mild to moderate liver issues take approximately half of the regular dose. Individuals suffering from severe liver disease or cirrhosis might require an even lower dosage. Your doctor can tell you more.

People who have issues with their kidneys Those who have kidney issues that range from mild to moderate should take 75% of the normal dosage. Patients who are undergoing dialysis should only consume one-half of the normal dosage. Your doctor can tell you more.

Please understand that our intention is to present you with the most recent and pertinent information possible. However, due to the fact that medications have varying effects on various people, we are unable to guarantee that this list contains all of the possible dosages. This information is not intended to replace professional medical advice in any way. Always with your primary care physician or pharmacist on the dosages that are appropriate for you.

Take exactly as directed.

A pill form of venlafaxine is used orally for treatment that is ongoing. If you don’t take it exactly as directed, you put yourself in danger of serious side effects.

In the event that you suddenly stop taking the medication or don’t take it at all: Your anxiety or depression might not improve at all, and it could even get worse. Do not discontinue taking venlafaxine without first consulting your physician. Stopping venlafaxine abruptly can result in acute withdrawal symptoms, including the following:

anxiety \sirritability

tiredness

restlessness

problem sleeping

headache

sweating

dizziness

tingly sensations, also known as “pins and needles” feeling \sshaking \sconfusion \snightmares

nausea \svomiting \sdiarrhea

In the event that this occurs, your primary care physician may instruct you to resume taking venlafaxine and gradually lower your dosage.

If you skip doses or don’t take the prescription according to the prescribed schedule, the effects of your medication may be diminished or they may even stop working entirely. In order for this medication to perform properly, there must always be a specific quantity present in the body.

If you take an excessive amount of the medicine, you run the risk of having unsafe quantities of it in your body. This could result in someone’s death. The following are some of the symptoms that may accompany an overdose of this drug:

rapid beating of the heart

strange sleepiness

enlarged pupils

seizure vomiting heart rhythm shifts

a lowering in the blood pressure

aches and pains in the muscles

dizziness

Call your physician immediately if you believe that you have taken an unsafe amount of this medication, or consult the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use the resource that they provide on their website. However, if the severity of your symptoms continues to worsen, you should immediately dial 911 or go to the emergency room in the local hospital.

In the event that you forget to take a dose, you should take it as soon as you realize it. If you just remember a few hours before your next dose is supposed to be taken, you should only take that one dose. Under no circumstances should you attempt to catch up by taking two doses at once. Because of this, potentially harmful consequences could arise.

How to tell if the medicine is having the desired effect: Your depressive or anxious symptoms should become less severe or occur to you less frequently, and vice versa.

Important things to think about before starting venlafaxine treatment

If your healthcare provider recommends an oral tablet form of venlafaxine for you, keep the following things in mind.

General

Take venlafaxine while you are eating.

You are allowed to cut or crush the tablet designed for quick release, but you should not do so with the tablet designed for extended-release.

Storage

Keep the oral tablet with instant release at a temperature between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit (20 and 25 degrees Celsius).

Keep the extended-release oral tablet in temperatures ranging from 15 to 30 degrees Celsius (59 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit).

Keep this medication out of the reach of light.

It is important that you do not keep this medication in a place that is going to be wet or damp, such as the restroom.

Refills

This drug requires a prescription, however, it can be refilled. It should not be necessary for you to provide a new prescription in order to have this medication refilled. On your prescription, your physician will indicate the maximum number of refills that are permitted.

Travel

If you are going to travel with your medication, you should:

Always ensure that you have your medication on you. Never put it in a checked bag if you’re going to be flying with it. Keep it in the carry-on bag you’re using.

You don’t need to be concerned about the X-ray machines at the airport. They won’t have any effect on the medication you take.

It’s possible that airport employees will ask to see the pharmacy label for the medication you’re carrying with you. Always make sure you have the original container with the prescription label on it.

Do not place this medication in the glove compartment of your vehicle or leave it in the vehicle alone. Make it a point to steer clear of doing this when the temperature is either hot or extremely cold.

Availability

This medication is not available at all pharmacies. Before you go to the pharmacy to fill your prescription, give them a quick call to make sure they have the medication in stock.

Insurance

This medication needs to be pre-authorized in order to be covered by the majority of insurance plans. This indicates that your insurance company may require your doctor to obtain clearance from your insurance company before they will pay for the prescription from your insurance company.

Are there any other options available?

There are additional medications that can be used to treat your illness. It’s possible that some will work better for you than others. Talk to your healthcare provider about the possibility of trying out other medications to see if any of them help.

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