Effexor XR for Anxiety Treatment

Putting pill in glass of water with unhappy man in background
Anxiety medication. Martin Barraud / Getty Images

Description of Effexor XR:

Effexor XR (venlafaxine hydrochloride) is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) used in the treatment of depression, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder and social anxiety disorder (SAD). Effexor XR is one of several medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in the treatment of SAD.

How to Take Effexor XR:

Effexor XR should be taken as a single dose with food, either in the morning or evening.

Dosage Guidelines for Effexor XR:

The usual recommended dose of Effexor for SAD is 75 mg daily. Some doctors begin at half of this dose for about a week then go up to the usual. In people in whom there is not an optimal response, the dose may go up as high as 225 mg daily.

Who Shouldn’t Take Effexor XR:

Some people should not take Effexor XR, including those who are hypersensitive to venlafaxine hydrochloride or are pregnant or breastfeeding. In general, your doctor should advise you in the appropriateness of Effexor XR for your situation.

Medication Interactions with Effexor XR:

A number of medications may interact with Effexor XR, including monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). It is important that your doctor is aware of all the medications that you are currently taking because the results of such interactions may be fatal.

Side Effects of Effexor XR:

The most common side effects of taking Effexor XR are sedation and drowsiness.

Risks Associated with Effexor XR:

The use of Effexor XR carries with it some risks, including the potential for clinical worsening and suicide risk, serotonin syndrome, sustained hypertension and withdrawal effects.

Other Anxiety Medications:


Wyeth. Effexor Prescribing Information. Accessed Aug 9, 2105.

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