Pharmaceutical: Effexor, Effexor XR
Generic Name: venlafaxine (or venlafaxine hydrochloride, venlafaxine HCL)
Drug Class: Selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant
CAS Number: 99300-78-4
Zoloft is used to treat the following disorders:
- Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
- Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)
- Panic Disorder (PD)
- The use of MAOIs intended to treat psychiatric disorders with Effexor XR or within 7 days of stopping treatment with Effexor XR is contraindicated because of an increased risk of serotonin syndrome.
- The use of Effexor XR within 14 days of stopping an MAOI intended to treat psychiatric disorders is also contraindicated.
- Starting Effexor XR in a patient who is being treated with MAOIs such as linezolid or intravenous methylene blue is also contraindicated because of an increased risk of serotonin syndrome.
- Hypersensitivity to venlafaxine hydrochloride or to any excipients in the formulation.
- sexual dysfunction
- dry mouth
- changes in appetite or weight
- abnormal vision
- feeling weak
Serious Adverse Outcome:
The development of a potentially life-threatening serotonin syndrome has been reported with SNRIs and SSRIs, including Effexor and Effexor XR, alone but particularly with concomitant use of other serotonergic drugs (including triptans, tricyclic antidepressants, fentanyl, lithium, tramadol, tryptophan, buspirone, and St. John’s Wort) and with drugs that impair metabolism of serotonin (in particular, MAOIs, both those intended to treat psychiatric disorders and also others, such as linezolid and intravenous methylene blue.
Effexor carries the following Black Box warning on its label:
Suicidality and Antidepressant Drugs – Antidepressants increased the risk compared to placebo of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term studies of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders….Effexor XR is not approved for use in pediatric patients.
- Association between reported venlafaxine use in early pregnancy and birth defects,national birth defects prevention study, 1997-2007
Statistically significant associations were found between the use of Effexor and anencephaly, atrial septal defects, coarctation of the aorta, cleft palate, and gastroschisis.
- Depression and serotonin reuptake inhibitor treatment as risk factors for preterm birth(Effexor was one of the drugs included in the SRI category.)
Category C, which means there is no controlled data in human pregnancy studies but animal studies have shown adverse effects on the fetus.