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    Information about Venlafaxine

    Venlafaxine uses

    Venlafaxine is used in the treatment of depression and anxiety disorder.

    How venlafaxine works

    Venlafaxine works by increasing the levels of chemical messengers (serotonin and noradrenaline), natural substances in the brain that help maintain mental balance.

    Common side effects of venlafaxine

    Nausea, Vomiting, Dizziness, Insomnia (difficulty in sleeping), Decreased appetite, Anxiety, Constipation, Increased sweating, Sexual dysfunction
    Content Details
    Written By
    Dr. Swati Mishra
    Reviewed By
    Dr. Varun Gupta
    MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
    Last updated on:
    21 Feb 2020 | 12:33 PM (IST)
    Want to know more?
    Read Our Editorial Policy

    Available Medicine for Venlafaxine

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    Expert advice for Venlafaxine

    • Venlafaxine helps in treating depression and anxiety.
    • It may also  be used to treat nerve pain from diabetes and some other forms of chronic pain.
    • It may take 2 to 4 weeks for Venlafaxine to start working. Keep taking it as prescribed.
    • It may cause dizziness and sleepiness. Do not drive or do anything requiring concentration until you know how it affects you.
    • Avoid consuming alcohol when taking Venlafaxine as it may cause excessive drowsiness and increase the risk of liver damage.
    • It may cause an increase in blood pressure, especially during the first month of treatment. Monitor your blood pressure regularly.
    • It may cause a sensation of restlessness, especially when you first start taking it. Inform your doctor if this happens to you.
    • Talk to your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or develop suicidal thoughts.
    • Do not stop taking the medication suddenly without talking to your doctor.

    Frequently asked questions for Venlafaxine


    Q. Is Venlafaxine a psychotropic drug?

    Yes. Venlafaxine is a psychotropic drug. Any medication capable of affecting the mind, emotions, and behaviour are called psychotropic drugs.

    Q. Can Venlafaxine cause sedation?

    Yes. Venlafaxine can cause sedation. You should inform your doctor if you are taking any other sleep inducing medicines before starting Venlafaxine.

    Q. What is the difference between Venlafaxine ER and XR?

    Both are same medication. Venlafaxine ER and XR both means extended release preparation which releases the medication slowly into the body and maintains a constant needed medications levels. The advantage of taking ER/XR tablets is the frequency of dosage can be decreased.

    Q. Is Venlafaxine a narcotic?

    No. Venlafaxine is not a narcotic drug. Narcotics are drugs with sleep inducing properties, usual derivatives of Opium like Heroin and Morphine.

    Q. Can I take mirtazapine along with Venlafaxine?

    No. There can be a serious side effect when mirtazapine is taken with Venlafaxine. It can cause a serious condition called as serotonin syndrome. It is a potentially life-threatening can present as agitation, hallucinations, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, tachycardia, labile blood pressure, hyperthermia and coma.

    Q. Can I take Venlafaxine with citalopram?

    No. Citalopram and Venlafaxine both increase serotonin levels. Avoid or use any alternate drug. It can cause a serious condition called as serotonin syndrome. It is a potentially life-threatening can present as agitation, hallucinations, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, tachycardia, labile blood pressure, hyperthermia and coma.

    Q. What is the relation between Venlafaxine and p-glycoprotein?

    P-glycoprotein is responsible for the expulsion of Venlafaxine from the brain. Some studies have shown that Venlafaxine and its metabolite inhibit the p-glycoprotein.

    Q. Where is Venlafaxine absorbed?

    Venlafaxine is absorbed from the intestine after being metabolised by the liver.

    Q. When should I take Venlafaxine?

    Venlafaxine is a medication to treat generalised depressive disorder or depression. Consult your doctor before taking this medication.

    Q. Can Venlafaxine cause high blood pressure?

    Venlafaxine treatment is associated with sustained increases in blood pressure in some people. It is recommended that people who are being treated with Venlafaxine should have regular monitoring of blood pressure. For such people, either dose reduction or discontinuation should be considered.

    Q. Can Venlafaxine cause constipation?

    Yes. Venlafaxine is known to cause constipation in some patients. Take a fiber-rich diet and drink plenty of water. You may consider taking laxatives as well. Your doctor will suggest ways to prevent or manage it. Please consult your doctor if it does not resolve or gets worse.

    Q. Can Venlafaxine cause weight loss?

    Yes. Venlafaxine is known to cause weight loss in some patients. In research studies, a dose-dependent weight loss was noted in patients treated with Venlafaxine for several weeks. Please consult your doctor if it bothers you.

    Q. Can Venlafaxine cause addiction?

    No. Venlafaxine does not have habit-forming potential.

    Q. Can I take Venlafaxine tablet instead of a capsule?

    You can take a tablet instead of the capsule but only under consultation or prescription of a doctor. You should not change it yourself as the different formulation of a medication may have a different action as drug release would be different in both. This can lead to an inappropriate treatment and may lead to side effects or even failure of treatment.

    Q. Can gabapentin be given along with Venlafaxine?

    Yes. Gabapentin can be given with Venlafaxine but only with a consultation of a doctor. They both, when given together, causes an increase drowsiness, sleepiness and decreased concentration in work. Take with caution.

    Q. What is the difference between Venlafaxine and desvenlafaxine?

    Desvenlafaxine is an active metabolite of Venlafaxine. It is the same medication in an active form.

    Q. Can fibromyalgia be treated with Venlafaxine?

    Venlafaxine is not approved for the treatment of fibromyalgia. Some research studies have shown promising results of Venlafaxine in the treatment of fibromyalgia. Consult your doctor before starting this medication.

    Q. Can nerve pain be treated with Venlafaxine?

    Venlafaxine is not approved for treatment of nerve pain disorders but some researchers have proved its efficacy in nerve pain. It is currently used off-label for nerve pain.

    Q. Why does Venlafaxine cause loss of appetite?

    Venlafaxine is known to cause changes in the neurotransmitters levels and chemicals in the brain which leads to decrease in appetite and this loss of appetite is dose dependent.

    Q. What are good alternatives to Venlafaxine, particularly when a side effect is reduced sex drive?

    If you find any side effects like decreased sex drive or impotence talk to your doctor and then you can have some other drug. Do not stop Venlafaxine by yourself it can lead to increased adverse effects.

    Content on this page was last updated on 21 February, 2020, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)