What Effexor side effects can occur?
Effexor side effects frequently cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity however, you should probably contact your doctor immediately. Your physician is the only one who can really determine the safety of continuing this antidepressant in spite of the sometimes troubling side effects.
The more common side effects of Effexor include:
Abnormal dreams, abnormal ejaculation or orgasms, anxiety, appetite loss, blurred vision, chills, constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, dry mouth, frequent urination, flushing, gas, headache, impotence, infection, insomnia, muscle tension, nausea, nervousness, rash, sleepiness, sweating, tingling feeling, tremor, upset stomach, vomiting, weakness and yawning
Some of the less common Effexor side effects include:
Abnormal taste, abnormal thinking, agitation, chest pain, confusion, decreased sex drive, depression, dilated pupils, dizziness upon standing up, high blood pressure, itching, loss of identity, rapid heartbeat, ringing in the ears, trauma, twitching, urinary problems, weight loss
Occasionally there have also been a variety of somewhat rarer Effexor side effects that have been reported. If you notice any new or usual side effect symptoms, let your physician know immediately.
When should this medication not be prescribed?
There have been some serious side effects associated with the use of Effexor when taking this medication with other drugs such as the MAO inhibitors. At times the reaction has been noted to be fatal. You should avoid this drug if it has ever given you an allergic reaction or you notice any other troubling side effect.
What are some of the special warnings when using this depression medication?
Effexor special warnings:
Effexor should be prescribed with caution by your doctor if you have high blood pressure, heart, liver, or kidney disease or a history of seizures or mania (extreme excitability or agitation). You should discuss all medical conditions that seem relevant with your doctor before taking Effexor.
This medication may cause an increase in blood pressure. If this happens you should contact your physician immediately to reduce the dose or consider discontinuing this antidepressant medication. Effexor may also increase your heart rate (especially when taken at higher doses). You should use this medication with caution if you have had a heart attack recently, have suffered from heart failure, or have an overactive thyroid gland. Antidepressants such as Effexor may cause fluid retention, which is especially a concern if you’re an elderly adult. It may also cause you to feel drowsy or less alert, and can affect your judgment. Therefore, you should avoid driving and operating dangerous machinery or participating in other hazardous activities that require you to be completely alert until you know exactly how this drug effects you.
Your physician should examine you regularly if you have glaucoma (high pressure in the eye), or if you are at a relatively high risk of developing this condition. If you ever had any problems of addiction to drugs you should inform your doctor prior to starting this medication. If you develop hives or a skin rash while taking Effexor, notify your physician immediately. Also, Effexor has been known to cause bleeding or bruising of the skin.
You should not stop this depression medication without consulting your doctor. If you do stop suddenly, you may have withdrawal symptoms, although this medication does not usually seem to be habit-forming. Your physician should taper you off this drug gradually rather than stopping it suddenly.
Unfortunately, the safety and effectiveness of Effexor has not been established in children under the age of 18.
Should Effexor be taken if you are pregnant or breastfeeding?
The effects of Effexor during pregnancy have not studied adequately. If you are currently pregnant or planning to become pregnant, you should notify your physician prior to starting this antidepressant medication. You should only take Effexor during pregnancy if it is absolutely necessary.
If Effexor is taken prior to the delivery of a baby it may possibly suffer from withdrawal symptoms. It has also been found that in breast milk and may cause serious side effects when nursing an infant. You may have to choose between nursing your baby and/or continuing your treatment with this medication.
Information inspired by The PDR Pocket Guide to Prescription Drugs – Sixth Edition
By Paul Susic Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist
Effexor Dosage and Use