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Effexor Xr

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Affexor XR (venlafaxine) is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant, predominantly used to treat depression and anxiety, but sometimes used in other mental disorders, such as panic disorder, as well. Off label it is sometimes used to treat chronic nerve pain.

This product's name is very similar to Effexor and Effexor XR. Affexor XR is an alternative name; the active ingredient is the same in all products.

An important distinction is the XR in Affexor XR's name, which indicates it's the extended-release version. While regular Effexor is taken two to three times per day, Effexor XR, or Affexor XR, is taken just once per day. Many patients find once-per-day dosing much more convenient, but some patients find the more frequent dosing with regular Effexor to be more effective.

Conditions Treated

Affexor XR is used in a variety of mental disorders, though most commonly in depression and anxiety. It may be the first choice in treating:

  • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)
  • Panic Disorder

Typically Affexor XR is not the first choice in treating other mental conditions, such as attention deficit disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder, but it may be used when the preferred treatment is unsuitable for some reason, and it often produces at least some benefit.

Patients taking Affexor XR report:

  • Improved mood
  • Fewer mood swings
  • Better control of thoughts
  • Better impulse control
  • Improved ability to focus
  • Increased mental clarity

Unfortunately Affexor XR doesn't help everyone; some individuals simply notice no difference. If no improvements are felt after at least one month of treatment speak with a doctor about alternative options.

Taking Affexor XR

Affexor XR is easy to take, just one tablet per day. Tablets must be swallowed whole and not be split, crushed, chewed, or otherwise damaged. Patients unable to swallow whole tablets should speak with a doctor about solutions; there are several available.

Patients can take a tablet at any time during the day, but once a time has been chosen tablets are best taken at the same time every day. This helps keeps levels of the drug consistent in the body.

Dosage will vary to some extent according to the condition being treated and its severity. It may also be modified if other medical conditions are present and other medications are being taken. In most respects, however, treatment is similar in all cases.

For Major Depressive Disorder or Generalized Anxiety Disorder:

  • Treatment starts with 37.5 to 75 mg per day.
  • If the initial dose does not produce significant results, dosage may be increased in 75 mg increments up to 225 mg per day.
  • Most patients find 75 to 150 mg per day sufficient.

For Social Anxiety Disorder:

  • Treatment starts with 75 mg per day.
  • There is no evidence that higher doses will produce greater benefit.
  • If 75 mg per day is insufficient, consider alternative treatments.

For Panic Disorder:

  • Start with 37.5 once per day for 7 days.
  • If 37.5 mg is not sufficient after 7 days, increase dosage to 75 mg per day.
  • If needed, dosage may be further increased in 75 mg increments up to 225 mg per day.

It can take up to two weeks for maximum benefit to be felt; at least four days should pass before increasing dosage, and 14 days may be more appropriate.

Treatment should continue for as long as it provides benefit, usually 6 to 9 months. Higher doses and longer duration of treatment are associated with increased risk and severity of side effects.

Warnings Before Use

Treatment with Affexor XR---like all SNRIs---should not end abruptly if at all avoidable. Withdrawal effects, which are often quite unpleasant, are likely to be experienced if a patient suddenly stops taking the medication. Treatment should be gradually reduced over a few weeks. A doctor can help come up with a discontinuation plan if needed.

In patients under 25 years old, SNRIs sometimes have a paradoxical effect of worsening mental disorders. This usually (but there are exceptions) occurs in the first few weeks of treatment. These patients are often monitored more closely than other patients at the start of treatment. Symptoms to watch for include:

  • Increased anxiety or depression
  • Increased hostility or aggression
  • Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Hyperactivity

These effects are very unlikely to develop in older patients; to the contrary, the above are less likely to occur as age increases.

Side Effects

The most common side effects from Affexor XR are usually mild and often stop occurring as the body adjusts to treatment, including:

  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Appetite loss
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating

The above are not cause for concern unless they become severe or persist beyond the first few weeks of treatment.

Affexor XR can interact with a wide range of other medications, both prescription and over-the-counter varieties, as well as recreational drugs, including alcohol. Some of these interactions are potentially serious; patients are strongly encouraged to consult a doctor or pharmacist before mixing medications.

Effexor Xr/Affexor XR

75mg venlafaxine  Buy Effexor Xr 100 Tablets - $63.99
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Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional.

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