Venlafaxine, more commonly known as Effexor, is a new member of a class of antidepressants that affect the chemical messengers in the brain. Similar neurotransmitters include dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. Nerve cells manufacture and release neurotransmitters, and the neurotransmitters travel to nearby nerve cells and cause the cells to either become more active or dormant. Many experts believe that an imbalance in these neurotransmitters is the cause of depression and also may play a role in anxiety disorders. Effexor is used to inhibit the release or affecting the actions of these neurotransmitters.
Effexor is available in extended release tablets by prescription only and with no generic counterpart. Effexor is available in tablets and capsules of various dosages. When you get your prescription filled, be sure that the pharmacist has issued you the right type and dosage of drug as prescribed by your doctor. Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions carefully, and know that Effexor is intended to be taken with food. The anti-depressant may take 1-2 weeks to work. If discontinued, Effexor should gradually be reduced under the direction of a physician. For patients with difficulty swallowing tablets or capsules, Effexor XR can be opened and the contents sprinkled on a spoonful of applesauce. A patient should never alter the dosage of Effexor without the guidance of a physician as serious injury can occur and/or depression could worsen.
Life-threatening interactions can occur when taking Effexor with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) such as Nardil and Parnate. In fact, a waiting period of 14 days between taking these two classes of medications is strongly advised to avoid serious risks. Because Effexor affects the brain centrally, it can potentially slow reflexes or impair judgment. It is important to be aware of this as the body adjusts to the new drug. Effexor can cause nausea, headaches, anxiety, insomnia, drowsiness, and loss of appetite. Rising blood pressure should be monitored. Seizures have also been reported when using Effexor. The effects of Effexor on a fetus is currently unknown and therefore not advised as a prescription plan during pregnancy. It is believed that Effexor can secrete through breast milk but affects to the baby are unknown.
Disclaimer: Cliff Schaffer does not personally endorse or support any of the comments made within the writings of this article.