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Effexor® is an antidepressant medication only available by prescription. The medication is used to treat depression, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. The medicine is thought to treat symptoms related to depression and anxiety by affecting the levels of norepinephrine and serotonin in the body. Effexor® is believed to balance the levels of these two chemicals, thereby alleviating symptoms of depression and anxiety in patients.
Patients should not take this particular antidepressant if they are allergic to venlafaxine or are taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAO inhibitor). Serious reactions or death can occur if Effexor® is used in conjunction with an MAO inhibitor. If a patient has taken an MAO inhibitor in the past, he or she must wait 14 days after discontinuing it before taking Effexor®. The patient must always wait at least seven days after discontinuing the use of Effexor® before taking an MAO inhibitor. It's crucial that the patient discusses other medical problems and medications with the doctor before beginning to take Effexor®.
When prescribed this particular antidepressant, it is important to take the dosage that has been prescribed by the doctor. The medicine should be taken with a full glass of water. It should never be crushed, divided or chewed.
If a patient is unable to swallow pills, he or she can open the capsule and add the contents to a spoonful of applesauce. The patient can then drink a glass of water. Food should always be eaten when the medicine is administered. A patient should take the medicine at the same time each day. After about four weeks, the patient may begin to feel better.
Patients who take Effexor® should avoid drinking alcoholic beverages as this medication can cause delayed reactions. The medicine can also cause drowsiness. Consuming alcohol only compounds such side effects.
Some patients may experience allergic reactions to Effexor®. Possible allergic reactions may include skin rash, hives, swelling and breathing difficulties. Such reactions require immediate medical attention.
Patients should notify their doctor immediately if they experience insomnia, aggressiveness, anxiety, panic attacks, irritability and other mood changes. Some patients may even experience suicidal thoughts as well. The doctor must be contacted immediately if the patient suffers from these serious side effects. Other side effects may include high blood pressure, fever, nausea, diarrhea, lack of appetite, blistering, bleeding, bruising and uneven heartbeat. Less serious side effects involve weight change, blurred vision, increased appetite, drowsiness, lack of sex drive, nausea and constipation.