October 31, 2014
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Effexor XR

(venlafaxine)

DIN (Drug Identification Number)

02237282 EFFEXOR XR 150MG CAPSULE
02237279 EFFEXOR XR 37.5MG CAPSULE
02237280 EFFEXOR XR 75MG CAPSULE

How does Effexor XR work? What will it do for me?

Venlafaxine belongs to the class of antidepressant and anxiolytic medications known as serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). It is used to treat depression. It works on the central nervous system (CNS) to elevate mood in people with depression.

Venlafaxine is also used to treat the symptoms of anxiety causing distress in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (social phobia), and panic disorder (panic attacks). SNRIs work by increasing the amount of two chemicals called serotonin and norepinephrine, which are available in certain parts of the brain.

Symptoms may begin to improve within 2 weeks of starting venlafaxine, but it may take several weeks before the full beneficial effects of this medication are felt.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

How should I use Effexor XR?

Venlafaxine should be taken once daily with food, either in the morning or in the evening. Do not crush, chew, or split the capsules.

Depression: The recommended dose of venlafaxine for people with depression is 75 mg once daily. For some people, the doctor may recommend starting with a lower dose of 37.5 mg daily for the first 4 to 7 days of treatment so they can get used to the medication. The dose can then be increased to 75 mg daily. If the expected benefit does not occur after a few weeks, your doctor may gradually increase the dose until improvement is seen.

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): For people with GAD, the recommended starting dose of venlafaxine is 37.5 mg once daily for 4 to 7 days. Your doctor may gradually increase the dose based on your response to the medication.

Social anxiety disorder (social phobia): The usual recommended starting dose of venlafaxine is 75 mg once daily. For some people, the doctor may recommend starting with a lower dose of 37.5 mg daily for the first 4 to 7 days of treatment so they can get used to the medication. The dose can then be increased to 75 mg daily. Your doctor may gradually increase the dose based on your response to the medication.

Panic disorder (panic attacks): For people with panic attacks, the recommended starting dose of venlafaxine extended release is 37.5 mg once daily for 7 days. The dose can then be increased to 75 mg daily. Your doctor may gradually increase the dose based on your response to the medication.

Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.





What form(s) does Effexor XR come in?

37.5 mg
Each extended release, hard gelatin capsule, with gray cap and peach body, with "W" and "Effexor XR" on the cap and "37.5" on the body, in red ink, contains venlafaxine HCl equivalent to venlafaxine base 37.5 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: ethylcellulose, gelatin, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, iron oxide, microcrystalline cellulose, talc, titanium dioxide, and Opacode Red S-1-15034 ink. Gluten-free.

75 mg
Each extended release, hard gelatin capsule, with peach cap and body, with "W" and "Effexor XR" on the cap and "75" on the body, in red ink, contains venlafaxine HCl equivalent to venlafaxine base 75 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: ethylcellulose, gelatin, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, iron oxide, microcrystalline cellulose, talc, titanium dioxide, and Opacode Red S-1-15034 ink. Gluten-free.

150 mg
Each extended release, hard gelatin capsule, with dark orange cap and body, with "W" and "Effexor XR" on the cap and "150" on the body, in white ink, contains venlafaxine HCl equivalent to venlafaxine base 150 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: ethylcellulose, gelatin, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, iron oxide, microcrystalline cellulose, talc, titanium dioxide, and White Tek SB-0007 ink. Gluten-free.

Who should NOT take Effexor XR?

Venlafaxine should not be taken by anyone who:

  • is allergic to venlafaxine or to any of the ingredients of the medication
  • is currently taking an MAO inhibitor (e.g., phenelzine, tranylcypromine), has taken one in the last 14 days, or will start treatment with one in the next 14 days

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Depression Symptom Checker Tool

The Depression Symptom Checker tool can help you learn about depression. Use this tool to create a list of your symptoms and rate how much the symptoms impact your life on a daily basis. The checklist is divided into 6 symptom categories that are associated with depression. You can also learn more about symptoms of depression here.

For each statement choose a number from 0 to 4 that describes the impact on your daily life, where 4 has the highest impact and 0 has no impact:

  • 0 = no impact on daily life/no symptoms
  • 1 = mild impact on daily life
  • 2 = moderate impact on daily life
  • 3 = severe impact on daily life
  • 4 = debilitating impact on daily life

It is important to remember that this is not a “score” but a way to help you communicate how much you feel the symptom impacts your daily life. When you finish you will be able to print out your symptoms and share this information with your doctor. Use the Doctor Discussion Guide to prepare for your doctor’s visit.

Rate how much the following symptoms apply to you.

1. Emotions

Depression can affect anyone at any age, although it most commonly appears between 15 and 45 years of age.

0 1 2 3 4
0 1 2 3 4
0 1 2 3 4
0 1 2 3 4

Visit your doctor with these results, when booking your appointment inform your doctor that you may need extra time to discuss these matters. Getting help for your depression can change your life. Don’t wait- depression is an illness that can, and should be treated.

Thoughts about death or suicide are common in depression, and it’s important to take such thoughts seriously. If you feel like giving up or as if you might hurt yourself, get help immediately: call your doctor, go to the emergency room or call 911.

This tool is adapted with permission from similar content found on www.depressionhurts.ca.


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