Generic name: Venlafaxine hydrochloride VENLOR (Venlafaxine, Effexor, Efexor)
Other brand name: Venlor XR
Why is Venlor prescribed?
Venlor is prescribed for the treatment of depression–that is, a continuing depression that interferes with daily functioning. The symptoms usually include changes in appetite, sleep habits, and mind/body coordination, decreased sex drive, increased fatigue, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, difficulty concentrating, slowed thinking, and suicidal thoughts.
Venlor XR is also prescribed to relieve abnormal anxiety (generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder). Generalized anxiety disorder is marked by persistent anxiety for a period of at least 6 months, accompanied by at least 3 of these 6 symptoms: restlessness, fatigue, poor concentration, irritability, muscle tension, and sleep disturbances.
Social anxiety disorder is marked by a persistent fear (avoidance, anxiousness, or distress) of social situations, exposure to unfamiliar people, or possible scrutiny by others. Social anxiety is considered abnormal if it causes someone to alter an otherwise normal routine or interferes with daily functioning. The disorder can also cause panic attacks.
Venlor must be taken 2 or 3 times daily. The extended-release form, Venlor XR, permits once-a-day dosing.
Most important fact about Venlor
Serious, sometimes fatal reactions have occurred when Venlor is used in combination with other drugs known as MAO inhibitors, including the antidepressants Nardil and Parnate. Never take Venlor with one of these drugs; and do not begin therapy with Venlor within 14 days of discontinuing treatment with one of them. Also, allow at least 7 days between the last dose of Venlor and the first dose of an MAO inhibitor.
How should you take Venlor?
Take Venlor with food, exactly as prescribed. It may take several weeks before you begin to feel better. Your doctor should check your progress periodically.
Take Venlor XR once at the same time each day. Swallow the capsule whole with water. Do not divide, crush, or chew it. However, if you have trouble swallowing pills, you may take Venlor XR by carefully opening the capsule and sprinkling the entire contents on a spoonful of applesauce, followed by a glass of water.
If you miss a dose VENLOR (Venlafaxine, Effexor, Efexor)
It is not necessary to make it up. Skip the missed dose and continue with your next scheduled dose. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Storage instructions VENLOR (Venlafaxine, Effexor, Efexor)
Store in a tightly closed container at room temperature. Protect from excessive heat and moisture.
Venlor side effects
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Venlor.
* Side effects of Venlor may include:
Abnormal ejaculation/orgasm, anxiety, blurred vision, constipation, dizziness, dry mouth, impotence, insomnia, nausea, nervousness, sleepiness, sweating, tremor, vomiting, weakness, weight loss
* Side effects of Venlor XR may include:
Abnormal dreams, abnormal ejaculation, constipation, dizziness, dry mouth, headache, insomnia, nausea, nervousness, sleepiness, sweating, weakness, weight loss
Your doctor will prescribe Venlor with caution if you have high blood pressure, heart, liver, or kidney disease or a history of seizures or mania (extreme agitation or excitability). You should discuss all of your medical problems with your doctor before taking Venlor.
Venlor sometimes causes an increase in blood pressure. If this happens, your doctor may need to reduce your dose or discontinue the drug.
Venlor also tends to increase the heart rate, especially at higher doses. Use Venlor with caution if you’ve recently had a heart attack, suffer from heart failure, or have an overactive thyroid gland.
Venlor may also cause cholesterol levels to rise in some patients who take it for 3 months or longer. This effect is more common among patients taking higher doses of Venlor.
Antidepressants such as Venlor may cause fluid retention, especially if you are an older adult.
Venlor may cause you to feel drowsy or less alert and may affect your judgment. Therefore, avoid driving or operating dangerous machinery or participating in any hazardous activity that requires full mental alertness until you know how Venlor affects you.
Your doctor will check you regularly if you have glaucoma (high pressure in the eye), or you are at risk of developing it.
If you have ever been addicted to drugs, tell your doctor before you start taking Venlor.
If you develop a skin rash or hives while taking Venlor, notify your doctor. Venlor may also cause bleeding or bruising of the skin.
Do not stop taking the drug without consulting your doctor. If you stop suddenly, you may have withdrawal symptoms, even though Venlor does not seem to be habit-forming. Your doctor will have you taper off gradually.
Possible food and drug interactions when taking Venlor
Combining Venlor with MAO inhibitors could cause a fatal reaction. (See “Most important fact about Venlor.”)
Although Venlor does not interact with alcohol, the manufacturer recommends avoiding alcohol while taking Venlor.
If you have high blood pressure or liver disease, or are elderly, check with your doctor before combining Venlor with cimetidine (Tagamet).
You should consult your doctor before combining Venlor with other drugs that affect the central nervous system, including lithium, migraine medications such as Imitrex, narcotic painkillers, sleep aids, weight-loss products such as phentermine, tranquilizers, antipsychotic medicines such as Haldol, and other antidepressants such as Celexa, Prozac, Tofranil, and Zoloft.
Venlor has been found to reduce blood levels of the HIV drug Crixivan. It’s best to check with your doctor before combining Venlor with any other drug or herbal product.
Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
The effects of Venlor during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant, tell your doctor immediately. Venlor should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.
If Venlor is taken shortly before delivery, the baby may suffer withdrawal symptoms. It’s also known that Venlor appears in breast milk and could cause serious side effects in a nursing infant. You’ll need to choose between nursing your baby or continuing your treatment with Venlor.
Recommended dosage for Venlor
An overdose of Venlor, combined with other drugs or alcohol, can be fatal. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.
* Symptoms of Venlor overdose include:
Sleepiness, vertigo, rapid or slow heartbeat, low blood pressure, seizures, coma