Generic name: Venlafaxine hydrochloride.

Effexor is an antidepressant. It blocks the movement certain stimulant chemicals in and out of nerve endings. 

Quick Facts About Effexor


Used to treat major depression.

Effexor Dosage

Take with food, exactly as prescribed. Do not abruptly discontinue taking this medication without supervision from your doctor; may cause withdrawal symptoms.

  • Usual adult dose: 75 milligrams per day divided into 2 or 3 smaller doses, taken with food. Doctor may increase dose to 150 to 225 milligrams per day. With kidney or liver disease — dose will be adjusted. Now comes in extended-release capsules.
  • Usual child dose: not generally prescribed for children.
  • Missed dose: not necessary to make up missed dose. You do not need to take missed dose, continue with next scheduled dose. Do not double doses.

Effexor Side Effects

Overdose symptoms:

convulsions, rapid heartbeat, sleepiness. If you suspect an overdose, immediately seek medical attention.

More common side effects: abnormal dreams, abnormal ejaculation/orgasm, anxiety, blurred vision, chills, constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, dry mouth, extreme muscle tension, flushing, frequent urination, gas, headache, impotence, inability to sleep, indigestion, loss of appetite, nausea, nervousness, prickling or burning sensation, rash, sleepiness, sweating, tremor, vomiting, weakness, yawning.

Less common Effexor side effects: abnormal thinking, abnormal vision, accidental injury, agitation, belching, blood in the urine, bronchitis, bruising, changeable emotions, chest pain, confusion, decreased sex drive, depression, difficult or painful urination, difficulty in breathing, difficulty swallowing, dilated pupils, ear pain, high or low blood pressure, inflammation of the vagina, injury, itching, lack of orgasm, light-headedness on standing up, lockjaw, loss of touch with reality, menstrual problems, migraine headache, neck pain, orgasm disturbance, rapid heartbeat, ringing in the ears, taste changes, twitching, uterine bleeding between menstrual periods, vague feeling of illness, vertigo, weight loss or gain. Rare side effects: abnormal movements, abnormal sensitivity to sound, abnormal speech, abnormally slow movements, abortion, abuse of alcohol, acne, alcohol intolerance, allergic reaction, anemia, apathy, appendicitis, arthritis, asthma, bad breath, black stools, bleeding gums, blocked intestine, blood clots, blood clots in the lungs, blood disorders, bluish color to the skin, body odor, bone disease and/or pain, including osteoporosis, breast enlargement or swelling, breast pain, brittle nails, bulging eyes, cancerous growth, cataracts, changed sense of smell, chest congestion, cold hands and feet, colitis, confusion, conjunctivitis, coughing up blood, crushing chest pain, deafness, delusions, depression, diabetes, double vision, drug withdrawal symptoms, dry eyes, dry skin, ear infection, eczema, enlarged abdomen, enlarged thyroid gland, exaggerated feeling of well-being, excessive hair growth, excessive menstrual flow, eye disorders, eye pain, fainting, fungus infection, gallstones, glaucoma, gout, hair discoloration, hair loss, hallucinations, hangover effect, heart disorders, hemorrhoids, hepatitis, herpes infections, high cholesterol, hives, hostility, hyperventilation, inability to communicate, increased mucus, increased physical activity, increased salivation, increased sensitivity to touch, increased sex drive, inflammation (of the stomach, intestines, anus and rectum, gums, tongue, eyelid, or inner ear), intolerance to light, involuntary eye movements, irregular or slow heartbeat, kidney disorders, lack of menstruation, large amounts of urine, laryngitis, loss of consciousness, loss of muscle movement, low or high blood sugar, menstrual problems, middle ear infection, mouth fungus, mouth sores, muscle spasms, muscle weakness, nosebleeds, over- and underactive thyroid gland, overdose, paranoia, pelvic pain, pinpoint pupils, pins and needles around the mouth, pneumonia, prolonged erection, psoriasis, rectal hemorrhage, reduced menstrual flow, restlessness, secretion of milk, sensitivity to light, skin disorders, skin eruptions or hemorrhage, skin inflammation, sleep disturbance, soft stools, stiff neck, stomach or peptic ulcer, stroke, stupor, sugar in the urine, swelling due to fluid retention, swollen or discolored tongue, taste loss, temporary failure to breathe, thirst, twisted neck, ulcer, unconsciousness, uncoordinated movements, urgent need to urinate, urination at night, uterine and vaginal hemorrhage, varicose veins, voice changes, vomiting blood, yellowed eyes and skin.


Inform your doctor before combining Effexor with:

MAO inhibitors such as Nardil and Parnate — may cause a fatal reaction; central nervous system medications, including narcotic painkillers, sleep aids, tranquilizers, and other antidepressants; Tagamet.

Avoid alcohol while taking this medication. 

Special Cautions

If pregnant or planning to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. May appear in breast milk, could affect a nursing infant.

Seniors should inform their doctors if they are taking Tagamet.

Not generally prescribed for children.

  • May cause drowsiness and impair your ability to drive a car or operate machinery. Do not take part in any activity that requires alertness.
  • Use with caution if you have: high blood pressure; heart liver or kidney disease; history of seizures; mania.
  • Inform your doctor of any drug addition before starting Effexor.
  • If you develop a skin rash or hives, contact your doctor.


HealthSurvey.org provides accurate and independent information prescription pills, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have questions about  dosage, or Effexor side effects, please contact your healthcare provider.