Side effects, dosage and more
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about venlafaxine ER oral capsule.
Does venlafaxine cause weight gain or loss?
No weight gain or weight loss has been reported in people who took venlafaxine in clinical studies. However, adults who took venlafaxine during studies often reported loss of appetite. If you lose your appetite, it could lead to weight loss over time.
Depressive and anxiety disorders, which venlafaxine treats, often cause changes in appetite and eating habits. And both can lead to weight gain or weight loss.
If you are worried about gaining or losing weight while taking venlafaxine, talk to your doctor. They can suggest ways to help you maintain a healthy body weight for you.
Is venlafaxine used for hot flashes, migraine or ADHD?
Yes, venlafaxine is sometimes used for hot flashes, migraine, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But these are off-label uses for this drug.
The use of off-label drugs means the use of a drug for purposes other than those approved. Doctors can prescribe a drug for an off-label use if there is evidence that the drug may be effective for that use.
In women, venlafaxine is used off-label to treat hot flashes due to menopause or the use of certain breast cancer treatments. * And in men, it is also used off-label to treat flushes. heat from certain prostate cancer treatments. *
Venlafaxine is also sometimes used off-label to help people who have frequent migraine episodes.
The drug is sometimes used off-label to treat ADHD in adults.
If you want to take venlafaxine for any off-label uses, talk to your doctor.
* Sex and gender exist on spectra. The use of the terms “male” and “female” in this article refers to the sex assigned at birth.
How do you manage to stop taking venlafaxine?
If you and your doctor agree that you need to stop taking venlafaxine, you should gradually reduce your dose. If you suddenly stop taking it, you may have withdrawal symptoms.
When it is time to stop taking venlafaxine, your doctor will gradually reduce your dose, usually over several weeks. This allows your body to adjust to not taking the medicine. And it can help you avoid withdrawal symptoms.
For more information on stopping venlafaxine, see âWithdrawal from and dependence on Venlafaxine ER oral capsuleâ above.
What is the classification of venlafaxine? Is it an SSRI?
No, venlafaxine is not a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).
SSRIs are a class of antidepressants. (A class of drugs is a group of drugs that work in a similar way.) They work by increasing the levels of a chemical in your brain called serotonin.
Venlafaxine, on the other hand, belongs to a class of antidepressants called serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). SNRIs work by increasing the levels of two chemicals in your brain: serotonin and norepinephrine.
Will venlafaxine make me feel ‘flat’?
No, it is unlikely.
Taking venlafaxine for a mental health problem, at the dose prescribed by your doctor, will not get you high. But it also won’t make you feel instantly happy or calm.
The drug works over a long period of time to help balance the chemicals in your brain. Over time, it helps you feel like yourself again.
Will I need testing or monitoring while taking venlafaxine?
Yes you could. Your doctor may screen you for certain conditions before prescribing venlafaxine. And they can monitor you for certain side effects while you are taking the medicine.
For example, if you have depression, your doctor may screen you for bipolar disorder before prescribing venlafaxine. Sometimes an episode of depression is the first symptom of bipolar disorder. But if venlafaxine is used on its own to treat depression in someone with bipolar disorder, it could trigger mania.
So, your doctor will want to be reasonably sure that you do not have bipolar disorder before prescribing venlafaxine to treat your depression. Your doctor will talk to you about any mental health problems that you or your immediate family members have had.
While you are taking venlafaxine, your doctor may check your blood pressure from time to time. They will usually do this after the start of treatment and after any increase in the dose. You may also need to have blood tests from time to time to check your cholesterol levels. This is because venlafaxine can affect your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
For more information on the possible side effects of venlafaxine, see the âSide Effects of Venlafaxine ER Oral Capsuleâ section above.
Should I be concerned if I see particles in my stool while taking venlafaxine?
No, there is no need to be concerned if you see particles in your stool while taking venlafaxine ER oral capsule. These particles do not contain any active drug.
Venlafaxine ER oral capsules are an extended-release form of venlafaxine. Sustained-release drugs release their medicine slowly in your body. This is different from immediate release drugs, which release their drug more quickly.
Venlafaxine ER oral capsules contain medication lozenges with a special coating. This coating releases the medication slowly over the course of the day as the lozenges pass through your digestive system.
The lozenges themselves may not dissolve completely. But by the time they leave your body in the stool, all of the drugs will have been released and absorbed by your body.