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Venlafaxine Hydrochloride Oral capsule, extended-release

What is this medicine?

VENLAFAXINE (VEN la fax een) is used to treat depression, anxiety and panic disorder.

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a full glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Do not cut, crush or chew this medicine. Take it with food. Try to take your medicine at about the same time each day. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.

A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue

  • breathing problems

  • changes in vision

  • hallucination, loss of contact with reality

  • seizures

  • suicidal thoughts or other mood changes

  • trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine

  • unusual bleeding or bruising

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • change in sex drive or performance

  • constipation

  • increased sweating

  • loss of appetite

  • nausea

  • tremors

  • weight loss

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:

  • desvenlafaxine

  • duloxetine

  • linezolid

  • MAOIs like Azilect, Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate

  • medicines for weight control or appetite

  • methylene blue

  • nefazodone

  • procarbazine

  • tryptophan

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • amphetamine or dextroamphetamine

  • aspirin and aspirin-like medicines

  • cimetidine

  • clozapine

  • medicines for heart rhythm or blood pressure

  • medicines for migraine headache like almotriptan, eletriptan, frovatriptan, naratriptan, rizatriptan, sumatriptan, zolmitriptan

  • medicines that treat or prevent blood clots like warfarin, enoxaparin, and dalteparin

  • NSAIDS, medicines for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen

  • other medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances

  • ritonavir

  • St. John's wort

  • tramadol

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at a controlled temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 degrees and 77 degrees F), in a dry place. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • anorexia or weight loss

  • glaucoma

  • high blood pressure, heart problems or a recent heart attack

  • high cholesterol levels or receiving treatment for high cholesterol

  • kidney or liver disease

  • mania or bipolar disorder

  • seizures (convulsions)

  • suicidal thoughts or a previous suicide attempt

  • thyroid problems

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to venlafaxine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. You may have to take this medicine for 4 weeks before you feel better. If you have been taking this medicine for some time, do not suddenly stop taking it. You must gradually reduce the dose to avoid side effects. Ask your doctor or health care professional for advice.

Patients and their families should watch out for depression or thoughts of suicide that get worse. Also watch out for sudden or severe changes in feelings such as feeling anxious, agitated, panicky, irritable, hostile, aggressive, impulsive, severely restless, overly excited and hyperactive, or not being able to sleep. If this happens, especially at the beginning of treatment or after a change in dose, call your health care professional.

This medicine can cause an increase in blood pressure or a faster heart beat. Check with your doctor or health care professional.

You may get drowsy, dizzy or have blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may increase dizziness or drowsiness. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

This medicine can make your mouth dry. Chewing sugarless gum, sucking hard candy and drinking plenty of water will help.

Do not treat yourself for coughs, colds, or allergies without asking your doctor or health care professional for advice. Some ingredients may increase possible side effects.