Allergic Reaction to Velafax
Seek medical help immediately at any sign of an allergic reaction to Velafax:
Q: Is Effexor a good treatment for hot flashes in a menopausal woman who is 30 years past total hysterectomy and trying to wean off of Premarin?
A: According to the literature available for Effexor (Velafax), it is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat various medical conditions including major depressive disorder, anxiety and panic disorder. Currently, Effexor (Velafax) is not approved, by the FDA, to treat hot flashes in postmenopausal women. Medications are often times prescribed "off-label" (not approved) for medical conditions that are not mentioned in the patient information leaflet and/or prescribing information. You may want to consult your health care provider for more information concerning treatment with Effexor (Velafax). For more information on Effexor (Velafax) or women's health: //www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/effexor and //www.everydayhealth.com/womens-health/womens-health-articles.aspx Beth Isaac, PharmD
Velafax and ODV have no significant affinity for muscarinic-cholinergic, H1 -histaminergic, or α1 adrenergic receptors in vitro. Pharmacologic activity at these receptors is hypothesized to be associated with the various anticholinergic, sedative, and cardiovascular effects seen with other psychotropic drugs. Velafax and ODV do not possess monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitory activity.
Q: I watch everything I eat and write it down every day, have always been slender, and stayed closely to what I have weighed until maybe the last year. I take Effexor XR 150 once daily and am not even sure that it helps that much because I am still depressed quite a bit. Is this one of the medications that causes weight gain? I don't eat much and I exercise and can't imagine why I have this bloated feeling and my stomach is very distended now every day.
A: Effexor XR (extended-release Velafax) belongs to the group of drugs known as selective serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRIs). These drugs work by affecting natural chemicals within the brain, called neurotransmitters. Weight gain has been reported with Effexor XR. The exact relationship between antidepressants and weight gain isn't clear, but weight gain is a reported side effect of nearly all antidepressants. There are many factors that can work together to contribute to weight gain during antidepressant therapy. Some people lose weight as part of their depression. In turn, an improved appetite associated with improved mood may result in increased weight. Overeating as a result of depression also can cause weight gain. In addition, some medical conditions that mimic depression, such as underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), may cause weight gain. If you gain weight after starting antidepressant treatment, discuss your concerns with your doctor. He or she can determine the likely cause of weight gain. If your antidepressant seems to be the culprit, it may help to adjust the dose or switch medications. When your doctor prescribes a new medication, be sure to discuss all your prescription and over-the-counter drugs, including dietary supplements, vitamins, botanicals, minerals, and herbals, as well as the foods you eat. Always keep a current list of the drugs and supplements you take and review it with your health care providers and your pharmacist. If possible, use one pharmacy for all your prescription medications and over-the-counter products. This allows your pharmacist to keep a complete record of all your prescription drugs and to advise you about drug interactions and side effects. For more specific information, consult with your doctor or pharmacist for guidance based on your health status and current medications, particularly before taking any action. Michelle McDermott, PharmD
Where can I get more information?
Your pharmacist can provide more information about Velafax.
Have you tried Effexor (Velafax) for anxiety?
If you’ve tried Effexor XR for an anxiety disorder (or are currently taking it), share your experience in the comments section below. Mention the particular type of anxiety you’re treating with Effexor XR, your dosage, as well as the total duration over which you’ve been taking it. If you derived anxiolytic benefit from Effexor XR, document how long it took to fully “kick in” after you began taking it.
If you’re a long-term Effexor XR user, has the drug maintained its anxiolytic efficacy? Have you had to increase the dosage as a result of dwindling anxiolytic efficacy over an extended duration? If you’ve had to increase your dosage due to tolerance, note how long it took (e.g. 1 year).
To help others get a better idea of your situation, document how effective (subjectively) you perceive Effexor XR to be for anxiety (on a scale of 1 to 10) as well as whether you are taking it as a standalone treatment or as part of a medication cocktail. Have you noticed any unwanted side effects since taking Effexor XR? Realize that for some users, Effexor is an immensely helpful anxiolytic, while for others (like myself), it may be nothing more than an ineffective nightmare.
Q: Does Effexor make you gain weight?
A: According to the literature available for Effexor (Velafax), changes in weight are reported as a possible side effect. If you have experienced weight gain, with no changes in diet or activity level, you may want to contact your health care provider. For additional information on Effexor (Velafax) or weight management you may want to visit our website. //www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/effexor and //www.everydayhealth.com/weight/weight-articles.aspx Beth Isaac, PharmD
How should I take Velafax?
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Velafax should be taken with food. Try to take Velafax at the same time each day.
Swallow the extended-release capsule or tablet whole and do not crush, chew, break, or open it.
If you cannot swallow a capsule whole, open it and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of applesauce. Swallow the mixture right away without chewing. Do not save it for later use.
It may take several weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed. Do not stop using Velafax without first talking to your doctor. You may have unpleasant side effects if you stop taking this medicine suddenly.
Your blood pressure will need to be checked often.
This medicine may affect a drug-screening urine test and you may have false results. Tell the laboratory staff that you use Velafax.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Q: Can Effexor cause muscle pain in the legs?
A: Effexor (Velafax) is a medication prescribed for the treatment of depression and anxiety. The side effects commonly reported with Effexor therapy include nausea, loss of appetite, dry mouth, constipation, nervousness, insomnia, dizziness, sweating, sexual disturbances, an increase in blood pressure, an increase in heart rate, an increase in cholesterol and triglycerides. A search of the prescribing literature of Effexor does list muscle cramps, muscle spasms, and muscle weakness as rare side effects. Dehydration is also listed as an uncommon side effect. Muscle cramping can also occur with dehydration. Muscles cramps can result from strenuous exercise, trauma, dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, as a side effect of medications as well as from nerve overstimulation. Please ensure that you are well hydrated and consult with your doctor about your symptoms. A physical examination and blood lab values can assist your doctor in evaluating your symptoms. Please notify your doctor about any other medications that you are currently taking as well as any over the counter medications, vitamin formulations, herbal or natural supplements. A potential for drug therapy interactions may occur with herbal and natural supplements as well as over the counter medications. Consuelo Worley, RPh, MS
Q: Can Effexor help with pain?
A: Effexor (Velafax) is a medication that is used to treat depression. Effexor is also used by physicians for treating conditions, other than what the manufacturer intended, called off-label uses, including nerve pain, fibromyalgia, and migraines. Effexor is part of a group of medications called SNRIs that act on two chemicals in the brain, serotonin and norepinephrine. These chemicals are involved in sending messages between nerves and when they become unbalanced they cause the symptoms of a variety of conditions. Effexor works to bring a balance to serotonin and norepinephrine which helps to relieve those symptoms. It is not entirely clear how Effexor works to treat nerve pain, but it does appear to block the nerve signals in the spinal cord and brain that correspond to nerve pain, which help to relieve the pain symptoms. The most common side effects with Effexor XR were constipation, dizziness, dry mouth, insomnia, loss of appetite, nausea, nervousness, sexual side effects, sleepiness, sweating, and weakness. Lori Poulin, PharmD
The number of patients receiving multiple doses of Effexor XR during the premarketing assessment for each approved indication is shown in Table 8. The conditions and duration of exposure to Velafax in all development programs varied greatly, and included (in overlapping categories) open and double-blind studies, uncontrolled and controlled studies, inpatient (Effexor only) and outpatient studies, fixed-dose, and titration studies.
Table 8: Patients Receiving Effexor XR in Premarketing Clinical Studies
The incidences of common adverse reactions (those that occurred in ≥ 2% of Effexor XR treated patients and more frequently than placebo) in Effexor XR treated patients in short-term, placebo-controlled, fixed-and flexible-dose clinical studies (doses 37.5 to 225 mg per day) are shown in Table 9.
The adverse reaction profile did not differ substantially between the different patient populations.
Table 9: Common Adverse Reactions: Percentage of Patients Reporting Adverse Reactions (≥ 2% and > placebo) in Placebo-controlled Studies (up to 12 Weeks Duration) across All Indications
Q: I have been taking 75 milligrams Effexor for almost a year. I switched physicians and my new physician prescribed generic Effexor. Now when I take this med, I feel sick to my stomach for about an hour after. The first pill was a capsule; this is in the pill form. Can it be dissolving too quickly in my stomach and making me feel nauseous? Is there really that much difference between generic versus brand-name pills?
A: Please verify with your health care provider that the new medication is the same release as the former one. Effexor (Velafax) is available as immediate-release tablets as well as extended-release capsules and extended-release tablets. According to the Food and Drug Administration, all FDA-approved generic drugs meet the same rigid standards as brand-name medications. These generic medications must have the same strength, dosage form, and route of administration as the brand-name medications. Generic medications approved by the FDA must also be bioequivalent to the brand name. Slight differences in fillers and dyes are allowed in generics. According to LexiComp, nausea is listed as an adverse reaction for Effexor (Velafax) with a reporting rate of 21 to 58 percent. Please consult your health care provider in regards to the nausea and have him or her verify that the new medication is indeed the generic for your former medication. It would also be reasonable to ask your health care provider for the former medication, though insurance copays may be higher. Here's some more information about Effexor: //www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/effexor. Jennyfer Marisco, RPh
Q: What is Effexor prescribed for and what are potential side effects?
A: Velafax (Effexor) is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) commonly used for the treatment of major depressive disorder. Velafax is well absorbed and extensively metabolized in the liver. The most common side effects with Effexor include constipation, dizziness, dry mouth, insomnia, loss of appetite, nausea, nervousness, sexual side effects, sleepiness, sweating, and weakness. For more specific information, consult with your doctor or pharmacist for guidance based on your specific condition and current medications. For more health information, visit everydayhealth.com and sign up for free newsletters. Shereen A. Gharbia, PharmD
Q: What is Effexor prescribed for and what are the potential side effects?
A: Effexor (Velafax) is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) commonly used for the treatment of major depressive disorder. Effexor is well absorbed and extensively metabolized in the liver. The most common side effects with Effexor include constipation, dizziness, dry mouth, insomnia, loss of appetite, nausea, nervousness, sexual side effects, sleepiness, sweating, and weakness. For more specific information, consult with your doctor or pharmacist for guidance based on your specific condition and current medications. Shereen A. Gharbia, PharmD