Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term studies with major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Short term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24, and there was a reduction in risk with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults aged 65 and older. This risk must be balanced with the clinical need. Monitor patients closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior. Families and caregivers should be advised of the need for close observation and communication with the prescriber. Not approved for use in pediatric patients .
Commonly used brand name(s):
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antidepressant
Pharmacologic Class: Antidepressant, Bicyclic
Chemical Class: Phenethylamine (class)
Venlafaxine is used to treat mental depression. It is also used to treat certain anxiety disorders or to relieve the symptoms of anxiety. However, it generally is not used for anxiety or tension caused by the stress of everyday life. Venlafaxine is also used to treat panic disorders .
venlafaxine is available only with your doctor's prescription .
Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although this use is not included in product labeling, venlafaxine is used in certain patients with the following medical condition:
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For venlafaxine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to venlafaxine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated any benefit to using venlafaxine in children with depression. Studies have shown that some children, teenagers, and young adults think about suicide or attempt suicide when taking the medicine. Because of this toxicity, use in children is not recommended .
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatrics-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of venlafaxine in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related liver or kidney problems, which may require an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving venlafaxine .
|All Trimesters||C||Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.|
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Using venlafaxine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using venlafaxine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Using venlafaxine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of venlafaxine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Take venlafaxine only as directed by your doctor to benefit your condition as much as possible. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered .
You may have to take venlafaxine for 4 weeks or longer before you begin to feel better. Also, you will probably need to keep taking venlafaxine for at least 6 months, even if you feel better, to help prevent your depression from returning. Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits during this time .
Venlafaxine should be taken with food or on a full stomach to lessen the chance of stomach upset. However, if your doctor tells you to take the medicine a certain way, take it exactly as directed .
If you are taking the extended-release capsule form, take it with food and swallow the capsule whole with fluid. Do not open, crush, chew, or place the capsule in a liquid .
The dose of venlafaxine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of venlafaxine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
If you miss a dose of venlafaxine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
It is important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits, to allow for changes in your dose and to help reduce any side effects .
Venlafaxine may cause some people to be agitated, irritable, or display other abnormal behaviors. It may also cause some people to have suicidal thoughts and tendencies or to become more depressed. If you, your child, or your caregiver notice any of these side effects, tell your doctor or your child's doctor right away .
Do not stop taking venlafaxine without first checking with your doctor. Your doctor may want you to gradually reduce the amount you are taking before stopping completely. This is to decrease the chance of side effects .
Do not take venlafaxine within 2 weeks (14 days) of taking a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor (e.g., isocarboxazid [Marplan®], phenelzine [Nardil®], selegiline [Eldepryl®], or tranylcypromine [Parnate®]), and do not take an MAO inhibitor for at least 7 days after taking venlafaxine. If you do, you may develop serious side effects such as seizures .
Make sure your doctor knows about all the other medicines you are using. Venlafaxine may cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome when taken with certain medicines such as linezolid [e.g., Zyvox®], lithium, tryptophan, St. John's Wort, or some pain or migraine medicines (e.g., tramadol [Ultram®], sumatriptan [Imitrex®], zolmitriptan [Zomig®], or rizatriptan [Maxalt®]). Check with your doctor first before taking any other medicines .
It is not known how venlafaxine will interact with alcohol and other central nervous system (CNS) depressants (medicines that may make you drowsy or less alert). Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicine for hay fever, other allergies, or colds; sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicine; prescription pain medicine or narcotics; barbiturates; medicine for seizures; muscle relaxants; or anesthetics, including some dental anesthetics. Check with your doctor before taking any of these medicines while you are using venlafaxine .
Venlafaxine may cause some people to become drowsy or have blurred vision. Make sure you know how you react to venlafaxine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert or able to see clearly .
Dizziness, light-headedness, or fainting may occur with venlafaxine, especially when you get up quickly from a lying or sitting position. Getting up slowly may help. If this problem continues or gets worse, check with your doctor .
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:More common
Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:Symptoms of overdose
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:More common
After you stop using venlafaxine, it may still produce some side effects that need attention. During this period of time, check with your doctor immediately if you notice the following side effects:
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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