Effexor XR (Venlafaxine HCl)
Effexor XR belongs to the class of medications called serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Effexor XR is used to treat major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder in adults.
Effexor XR can increase suicidal thoughts or actions in some children, teenagers, and young adults when the medicine is first started.
Depression and other serious mental illnesses are the most important causes of suicidal thoughts and actions. People with bipolar disorder, or who have a family history of bipolar disorder (also called manic-depressive illness) are at a greater risk. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any changes in your mood, behavior, thoughts, or feelings. This is very important when an antidepressant medicine is first started or when the dose is changed.
Effexor XR can cause a severe, possibly life-threatening condition called serotonin syndrome (a drug reaction that causes the body to have too much serotonin, a chemical produced by the nerve cells) or neuroleptic malignant syndrome (a life-threatening brain disorder). Contact your doctor immediately if you experience agitation, hallucinations, coma, fast heartbeat, changes in your blood pressure, increased body temperature, lack of coordination, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Effexor XR can cause an increase in your blood pressure. Check your blood pressure regularly, especially if you already have high blood pressure.
Do not suddenly stop taking Effexor XR without talking to your doctor first, as this can cause serious side effects.
Effexor XR can cause mydriasis (prolonged dilation of the pupils of your eye). Notify your doctor if you have a history of glaucoma (high pressure in your eye).
Effexor XR can cause low blood sodium levels. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience headache, difficulty concentrating, confusion, weakness, unsteadiness, hallucinations, falls, or seizures.
Effexor XR can cause seizures to develop, especially if you have a history of seizures. Your doctor will discontinue Effexor XR if seizures occur.
Effexor XR can increase your risk of bleeding. Do not take Effexor XR with aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (such as ibuprofen) or blood thinners (such as warfarin).
Effexor XR can increase your cholesterol. Your doctor may measure your cholesterol levels if you will be on long-term treatment with Effexor XR.