How should I take Venlaf?
Take Venlaf exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Venlaf should be taken with food. Try to take your dose at the same time each day.
Do not crush, chew, break, or open an extended-release tablet or capsule. Swallow it whole.
To make the extended-release capsule easier to swallow, you may open the capsule and sprinkle the medicine into a small amount of applesauce. Swallow all of the mixture without chewing, and do not save any for later use.
It may take several weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed. Do not stop using Venlaf 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 regularly.
This medicine can cause you to have a false positive drug screening test. If you provide a urine sample for drug screening, tell the laboratory staff that you are taking this medicine.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What Is Venlaf (Effexor)?
Venlaf, formerly sold as Effexor, is a prescription drug used to treat depression, anxiety, social phobia, and panic disorder.
The brand name Effexor has been discontinued in the United States, though Effexor XR and generic Venlaf are available.
SNRIs work by increasing the brain's levels of serotonin and norepinephrine, neurotransmitters that act together to brighten mood and relieve pain.
Made by Pfizer, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Effexor in pill form in 1993 for the treatment of depression, and in extended-release capsules, called Effexor XR, in 1997.
It approved Effexor for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) in 1999, social anxiety disorder in 2003, and for panic disorder in 2005.
The generic version of Effexor, Venlaf, was approved in 2010.
Venlaf has also been prescribed off-label to treat hot flashes brought on by menopause or therapy for breast cancer; pain tied to diabetic nerve damage; post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); debilitating migraines and tension-type headaches; chronic fatigue syndrome; bipolar depression; and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Q: I take Effexor for hot flashes. One of the side effects is weight gain. If you take a higher dose do you gain more weight than a lower dose?
A: Effexor (Venlaf) is an antidepressant that is used for various conditions, including hot flashes. Effexor belongs to a class of medications called serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). SNRIs work by bringing a balance to serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain that may be causing your symptoms. According to the prescribing information for Effexor, weight gain was reported as a possible side effect of the medication. During clinical studies, up to one percent of patients taking Effexor gained some amount of weight. However, it is actually more common for patients to lose weight while taking this medication. Weight gain or weight loss does not appear to be dose related with this medication. Therefore, it does not matter what dosage of Effexor you take with regard to changes in weight. 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. Lori Poulin, PharmD
Q: I am taking Effexor and have been on it for a long time. I would like to get off it, so what are the side affects of going off the drug?
A: Effexor (Venlaf) //www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/effexor is a serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor antidepressant which is used for the treatment of depression, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder and panic disorder. When Effexor (Venlaf) is to be stopped it is recommended to taper the dose for anyone who has been on the medication greater than one week. If Effexor (Venlaf) has been used for more than six weeks, it is recommended to taper the dose down over at least two weeks. Your health care provider will be able to give you a dosage taper, how you should slowly decrease the dose over at least two weeks. Withdrawal symptoms are not expected if the dose is properly tapered down slowly. If the medication is stopped too quickly, some withdrawal symptoms may include flu-like symptoms, insomnia, nausea, irritability, and dizziness. Some patients, especially those who have been on high doses for long periods of time, may experience some withdrawal symptoms even with a slow taper. It is possible that symptoms of the disease being treated eventually return after stopping Effexor (Venlaf), such as depression symptoms if the medication was being used to treat depression. 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. Laura Cable, PharmD
Venlaf and the major human metabolite, ODV, were not mutagenic in the Ames reverse mutation assay in Salmonella bacteria or the Chinese hamster ovary/HGPRT mammalian cell forward gene mutation assay. Venlaf was also not mutagenic or clastogenic in the in vitro BALB/c-3T3 mouse cell transformation assay, the sister chromatid exchange assay in cultured Chinese hamster ovary cells, or in the in vivo chromosomal aberration assay in rat bone marrow. ODV was not clastogenic in the in vitro Chinese hamster ovary cell chromosomal aberration assay or in the in vivo chromosomal aberration assay in rats.
Urgent advice: Call your doctor straight away if:
You've taken too much Venlaf by accident and experience symptoms such as:
- feeling sleepy
- being sick (vomiting)
- a racing heart
If you need to go to a hospital accident and emergency (A&E) department, do not drive yourself - get someone else to drive you or call for an ambulance.
Take the Venlaf packet, or the leaflet inside it, plus any remaining medicine with you.
Like all medicines, Venlaf can cause side effects in some people, but many people have no side effects or only minor ones. Some of the common side effects of Venlaf will gradually improve as your body gets used to it.
Q: How long can a person take a prescribed antidepressant medication such as Effexor 75 ml, and what are the side effects?
A: Effexor (Venlaf) is in a drug class called selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Effexor is used in the treatment of depression. In addition, Effexor XR (Venlaf, long-acting) is used to treat generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder. Effexor works by increasing the naturally occurring brain substances serotonin and norepinephrine, which in turn helps maintain mental balance. Side effects may vary depending on the formulation of Effexor and for the condition for which Effexor is being used. In general, the most common side effects with Effexor/Effexor XR are headache, sleepiness, dizziness, insomnia (trouble sleeping), nervousness, anxiety, dry mouth, nausea, decreased appetite, constipation, abnormal ejaculation/orgasm, weakness, and excessive sweating. Effexor and Effexor XR have been shown to maintain an antidepressant effect for up to 26 weeks. In addition, Effexor XR has been shown to maintain an antidepressant effect for up to 52 weeks. According to prescribing information, when Effexor or Effexor XR is used for extended periods of times, the doctor should periodically reevaluate the long-term usefulness of Effexor or Effexor XR for the individual person. The most appropriate antidepressant and the duration of use often depend on many patient-specific characteristics. 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. Derek Dore, PharmD