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Effexor Side Effects

Effexor (generic name, Venlafaxine hydrochloride) is an antidepressant medication. It is typically prescribed for continuing depression that interferes with daily functioning. The symptoms of this type of depression 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. Effexor is said to work by affecting chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause depression or anxiety. Effexor XR is the extended release form of this prescription medication.

Effexor Side Effects

Side effects can never be fully anticipated for any individual, however if any of the side effects below are noted, if they increase in intensity or if they are particularly troubling or bothersome you should inform your doctor immediately.

Common Effexor Side Effects
Muscle tension, nausea, infection, insomnia, vomiting, nervousness, rash, sleepiness, sweating, tingling feeling, tremor, upset stomach, abnormal dreams, abnormal ejaculation or orgasm, anxiety, appetite loss, blurred vision, chills, constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, dry mouth, frequent urination, flushing, gas, headache, impotence, weakness, yawning.

Less Common Effexor Side Effects
Dizziness upon standing up, high blood pressure, ringing in the ears, trauma, twitching, itching, loss of identity, abnormal taste, abnormal thinking, agitation, chest pain, confusion, decreased sex drive, depression, dilated pupils, rapid heartbeat, urinary problems, weight loss.

A wide variety of very rare symptoms possibly related to Effexor have also been reported. If you develop any new or unusual problems, let your doctor know about it. Additionally, it is quite possible for side effects other than those listed here to occur. If this happens and/or if any seem particularly strange or bothersome, contact your doctor.

Special Effexor Precautions

Serious, sometimes fatal reactions have occurred when Effexor is used in combination with other drugs that are known as MAO inhibitors. This includes the antidepressants Nardil and Parnate. Effexor should never be taken with one of these drugs; and therapy with Effexor should not be started within 14 days of discontinuing treatment with one of these drugs. Additionally, allow at least 7 days between the last dose of Effexor and the first dose of an MAO inhibitor.

Effexor should be prescribed 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 past and present medical problems with your doctor before taking Effexor.

Effexor sometimes causes an increase in the patient's blood pressure. If this happens, the dosage may need to be reduced or discontinued totally. Especially at higher doses, Effexor may also cause an increase the heart rate. Use Effexor with caution if you've recently had a heart attack, suffer from heart failure, or have an overactive thyroid gland.

Effexor may cause you to feel drowsy or less alert and may affect your judgment. Thus, avoid driving or operating dangerous machinery or participating in any hazardous activity that requires full mental alertness until you know specifically how Effexor 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 Effexor. Do not stop taking Effexor without consulting your doctor. If you stop suddenly, you may have withdrawal symptoms. Your doctor will have you taper off gradually.

The safety and effectiveness of Effexor has not been established in children under 18 years of age.

If Effexor is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Effexor with any other prescription or non-prescription drugs and even alcohol.

Warning: This information is intended to supplement, not be a substitute for the expertise and judgment of a doctor. Please consult a doctor for final and more detailed information about the possible side effects of this prescription medication.
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