This site is authored by American Addiction Centers - a specialist in drug and alcohol addiction treatment. If you are interested in learning more about our options for drug and alcohol rehabilitation, please call 888-480-1703 to speak with an admissions navigator.
Call 888-480-1703


Venlafaxine (brand name Effexor) is a member of the class of antidepressants called Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs). It is used in the treatment of clinical depression, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder and panic disorder. It is most often not prescribed as a 'first line' treatment, but instead to patients whose depression does not respond to SSRIs. It is generally avoided as the initial treatment for depression because it can have significant side effects and has been suspected to increase the risk of suicide. In 2006, Venlafaxine was the sixth most widely-prescribed antidepressant in the United States, with 17.1 million prescriptions (Drug Topics, Mar 5, 2007).


Side Effects


The side effects of Effexor are quite different from those of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), most likely due to its unique mechanism of action. Effexor is believed to increase levels of available serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain. It is more likely than any other antidepressant to trigger mania. For this reason it is not approved for the treatment of depression associated with Bi-Polar Disorder, or for anyone who is susceptible to mania.









Side Effects of Effexor Include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Apathy
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Sweating
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Increased anxiety
  • Impulsiveness
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Vertigo
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Electric shock sensations in the head

Withdrawal


While studies have shown that Effexor has practically no potential for abuse, users can become highly physically and psychologically dependant. If Effexor is abruptly discontinued, severe withdrawal symptoms may appear. It is even possible for withdrawal symptoms to appear while tapering off of the drug under medical supervision. Effexor's tendency to cause dependency and severe withdrawal is one reason why it is generally avoided as a first line treatment. People who take Effexor often report feeling addicted.




Withdrawal Symptoms Include:

  • Anxiety
  • Tremor
  • Vertigo
  • Electrical shock sensations
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Agitation
  • Dizziness
  • Dysphonic mood

It is very important to talk to your doctor if you want to stop taking Effexor. Withdrawal symptoms can be minimized by tapering off of the drug gradually as directed by a doctor. Even with gradual tapering, some patients find the decreases in dose to be very uncomfortable. Some patients who have difficulty with Effexor withdrawal are switched to fluoxetine (brand name Prozac), which eases the withdrawal symptoms, and are then tapered off fluoxetine.




 

 
Advertisement




Advertisement

 
Do You Have An Addiction?
Not sure if you need treatment? Take our free self assessment tests and find out if you need help.

 Search the Directory


Treatment4Addiction.com is a property of American Addiction Centers.
 
treatment4addiction.com
Treatment4addiction.com is operated by Recovery Brands LLC, a subsidiary of American Addiction Centers, Inc.
Learn more about what this means here
© treatment4addiction.com 2018 All Rights ReservedPrivacy Policy | Terms Of Use
Treatment4addiction.com is operated by Recovery Brands LLC, a subsidiary of American Addiction Centers, INC.
An American Addiction Centers Resource