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Effexor XR Venlafaxine 150 mg 10 Caps

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What is Venlafaxine?

Venlafaxine is a psychotropic drug from the antidepressant group, whose mechanism of action is to reverse serotonin and noradrenaline. The drug has found its application in the treatment of major depressive episodes, generalized anxiety disorders, panic disorder, and sociophobia. The drug is administered per os (by mouth).

Venlafaxine 150 mg consists of several equimolar components called enantiomers: the first of which is responsible for inhibiting serotonin reuptake (S-enantiomer) and the second for inhibiting noradrenaline reuptake (R-enantiomer). This structure of the drug eliminates the lack of serotonin and norepinephrine in the synapses of neurons.

What makes Venlafaxine special is the high selectivity of its pharmacological effects. The latter include effects on receptors (histamine, adrenergic, muscarinic). This makes the drug as safe and well-tolerated as possible. 

How does Venlafaxine work?

The mechanism of antidepressant action of the drug is related to its ability to potentiate nerve impulse transmission in the CNS. Venlafaxine and its main metabolite (EFA) are strong serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors and weak dopamine reuptake inhibitors. In addition, Venlafaxine and EFAs reduce beta-adrenergic reactivity both after a single administration and with continuous administration. Venlafaxine 150 has no affinity for m-cholinergic, histamine H1 receptors and α1-adrenoreceptors in the brain. It does not inhibit the activity of MAOIs. The drug does not affect the release of noradrenaline from the brain mesa tissues.

What should I do if I experience severe side effects while taking Venlafaxine?

If unwanted effects occur with the use of Venlafaxine, medical attention should be sought immediately.

The most common unwanted effects include:

1.   General disorders:

  • abnormal fatigue, impotence;

  • chills;

  • angioedema;

  • hypersensitivity of the body to ultraviolet radiation;

  • anaphylaxis.

2.   Nervous system disorders:

  • dryness of the mucous membrane of the oral cavity;

  • dizziness, migraine headaches;

  • decreased libido;

  • insomnia;

  • excessive irritability and excitability;

  • impaired skin sensitivity;

  • disorder of consciousness (stupor, soporus);

  • disorder of self-perception;

  • muscle rigidity;

  • trembling of limbs;

  • apathy;

  • increased agitation;

  • hallucinatory syndrome;

  • involuntary muscle twitching;

  • vestibular ataxia;

  • pathological restlessness, inner compulsion;

  • unmotivated aggression;

  • epileptic episodes;

  • dysphoria;

  • extrapyramidal disorders in the form of ZNS;

  • serotonin intoxication;

  • delusions;

  • reflex contractions of certain muscle groups;

  • suicidal tendencies;

3.   Digestive system:

  • nausea followed by vomiting;

  • impaired appetite;

  • stool disorders (constipation, diarrhea);

  • spasm of chewing muscles.

4.   Respiratory system:

  • Inflammatory diseases of the lungs and bronchi;

  • feeling of lack of air;

  • diffuse parenchymatous diseases of lung tissue;

  • chest discomfort.

5.   Cardiovascular system:

  • Increased blood pressure;

  • redness of the skin;

  • orthostatic hypotension, occurring with a sudden change of body position;

  • increased heart rate;

  • impaired consciousness;

  • prolongation of the QT interval;

  • cardiac conduction abnormalities (VF, VT).

6.   The blood-forming system:

  • bruising;

  • decreased number of platelets;

  • pathological shifts in the leukocytic formula with an increase in the number of agranulocytes, a decrease in the number of neutrophils;

  • depression of bone marrow function;

  • pathological reduction of erythrocytes, leukocytes and thrombocytes.

7.   Genitourinary system:

  • disorder of ejaculation in men;

  • impaired erection;

  • absence of orgasm;

  • disorders of urination;

  • multiple urination;

  • dysmenorrhea;

  • abnormal uterine bleeding;

  • anorgasmia in women;

  • acute urinary retention;

  • incontinence.

Pay attention to the undesirable effects on the nervous system, namely, increased drowsiness and dizziness, so it is better to refrain from driving vehicles when using Venlafaxine.

How long does it take for Venlafaxine to start working?

The time of reaching maximum plasma concentration of Venlafaxine is 2 to 3 hours after oral intake of tablets. High efficacy of Venlafaxine occurs quite quickly, on the 2nd or 3rd week of therapy. The time of reaching maximum plasma concentration of Venlafaxine is 2 to 3 hours after oral intake of tablets. High efficacy of Venlafaxine occurs quite quickly, on the 2nd or 3rd week of therapy.


Before using Venlafaxine pill, read the instructions, as the drug is not prescribed in some cases:

  1. Hypersensitivity to Venlafaxine or any of the drug components; concomitant therapy with any MAO inhibitors (reversible, irreversible, selective and non-selective).

  2. High risk of severe ventricular arrhythmias in the patient (e.g., significant left ventricular cardiac dysfunction).

  3. Severe degree of arterial hypertension (blood pressure 180/115 mmHg or higher before therapy).

  4. Closed-angle glaucoma; severe hepatic or renal insufficiency.

  5. Impaired urination due to insufficient urine flow (e.g., prostate disease).

The efficacy and safety of Venlafaxine in children have not been established; therefore, the drug should not be used under 18 years of age.

Can I drink alcohol while taking Venlafaxine?

Alcohol can temporarily relieve symptoms of depression, but if you are taking Venlafaxine XR, it is usually recommended to stay away from alcohol. Combining an antidepressant with an alcoholic beverage can eventually worsen the symptoms of depression. Alcohol consumption can exacerbate side effects, which include drowsiness and difficulty concentrating. This leads to impaired ability to perform certain activities that require extra attention. If Venlafaxine and alcohol are taken at the same time, the patient has:

  • severe spikes in blood pressure;

  • headaches and dizziness;

  • tachycardia;

  • persistent insomnia;

  • increased irritability;

  • changes in the emotional background;

  • apathy.

The consequences of taking alcohol and antidepressants together in severe cases even lead to cases of suicide, as the central nervous system and perception of the world around is disturbed. This dangerous interaction can lead to increased production of adrenaline, the effect of which negatively affects the heart and blood vessels. That is why it is not worth taking alcohol and antidepressants if there are problems with the heart, as blood pressure may rise to critical levels, and this may lead to heart attack or stroke.

If such a situation happens and a person experiences negative symptoms due to taking Venlafaxine with alcohol, it is necessary to urgently contact a neurologist for a detoxification procedure.

Is Venlafaxine addictive?

If Venlafaxine XR150 mg is withdrawn or the dosage is reduced drastically, withdrawal syndrome is likely to occur, as manifested by the following symptoms:

  • apathy, fatigue;

  • asthenic syndrome;

  • migraine;

  • dizziness;

  • sleep disturbances such as insomnia or drowsiness;

  • difficulty falling asleep,

  • euphoria;

  • increased nervousness, excitability;

  • unmotivated feelings of anxiety, fear;

  • disorder of consciousness;

  • skin sensitivity disorder;

  • hyperhidrosis;

  • dryness of the mucous membrane of the oral cavity;

  • lack or reduction of appetite;

  • dyspeptic disorders;

  • disorder of stools towards diarrhea.

If the course of treatment with this drug is 6 weeks or more, the process of withdrawal should last gradually, at least 14 days, but it all depends on the dosage used, the duration of treatment and the characteristics of the patient's body.

The process of reducing the dosage of the drug is stepwise, that is, during 1 - 2 weeks, the amount of the drug is reduced by 1/2 or 1 tablet during 2-3 months. 

Can Venlafaxine be used during pregnancy?

This drug is strictly prohibited for use during pregnancy, as it has an adverse effect on the fetus.

For the selection of the drug, you should seek the help of the attending doctor.

Please note that if a woman used Venlafaxine in late pregnancy, there is a high probability that the baby will have a general disturbance and withdrawal syndrome.

“How should I take Venlafaxine”?

The drug is administered orally, with meals, and at the same time intervals.

If depressive episodes occur, the initial dosage of Venlafaxine tablets is 75 mg/day divided into several doses. If this dose is ineffective, then it is recommended to increase it to 375 mg/day. Note that the process of increasing the dosage should be gradual over several weeks. In severe cases, it is allowed to increase the dosage at short intervals, but not less than 4 days.

The course of treatment with antidepressants is often long and lasts, in the vast majority of cases, about 2-3 months. If remission occurs, antidepressant treatment should be continued for up to 6 months.

Can Venlafaxine be used to treat other conditions besides depression and anxiety?

Venlafaxine hydrochloride is indicated for the treatment of depression, generalized anxiety disorder, social phobias, and panic disorder.

When Venlafaxine is prescribed, the indications may be unrelated to depression, such as in the treatment of neuropathic pain and diabetic neuropathy, as well as in the prevention of migraine. Venlafaxine is said to be good for "hot flashes" that occur in menopausal women.

Venlafaxine: migraine

Venlafaxine Generic is a safe antidepressant. It is considered an effective treatment for chronic migraine.

Antidepressants should be prescribed in migraine prophylactic therapy, taking into account comorbid conditions. Lack of depression is not a contraindication for prescribing Venlafaxine.

Venlafaxine for anxiety

The more powerful drugs for anxiety and fear are Venlafaxine. The drug is available with a doctor's prescription, it should not be mixed with alcohol and other drugs, and it is important to take breaks in the course of taking it, so as not to develop an addiction.

Venlafaxine: max dose

The recommended maximum dose of Venlafaxine medication is 225 mg/day for moderate depression and 350 mg for severe depression.


Symptoms: tachycardia, altered level of consciousness (varies from drowsiness to coma), mydriasis, seizures, vomiting, electrocardiogram changes (QT interval prolongation, nerve fiber block, QRS prolongation), ventricular tachycardia and bradycardia, arterial hypotension. In some cases, deaths due to overdose were reported when Venlafaxine in high doses was taken concomitantly with alcohol or other psychotropic drugs.

Treatment: general supportive and symptomatic therapy, monitoring of heart rate and vital signs are recommended. If there is a risk of aspiration, induction of vomiting is not recommended. If the patient has taken the medication recently and is conscious, gastric lavage is performed. Use of activated charcoal may also reduce absorption of the active ingredient. Efficiency of measures such as forced diuresis, dialysis, hemoperfusion, and exchange blood transfusion is unlikely. A specific antidote for venlafaxine is not known.

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