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Venlafaxine

Uses

This medication is prescribed to treat and manage the symptoms of depression, anxiety disorder, and panic disorder.

IUPAC name: 1-[2-(dimethylamino)-1-(4-methoxyphenyl)ethyl]cyclohexan-1-ol

Drug class: Serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRI)

Route of administration: Oral

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Is it a drug that needs a prescription? YES

Is it an OTC drug? NO

Mechanism of action

This drug works by inhibiting neuronal reuptake of serotonin and noradrenaline in the brain. As a result, the levels of these neurotransmitters increase, helping in the restoration and maintenance of mental stability and helping in regulating mood.

Side effects

It may cause nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, dry mouth, insomnia (sleeplessness), loss of appetite, sweating, tiredness, yawning, constipation.

Warnings

  • Venlafaxine is generally not recommended for use in children under the age of 18, as it may have unforeseen effects on their mental health.
  • If you have uncontrolled narrow-angle glaucoma, you shouldn’t use venlafaxine.
  • Avoid abruptly discontinuing this medication without first talking to your doctor.
  • This medication should not be taken within 14 days after taking MAO inhibitors (including moclobemide, phenelzine, isocarboxazid, selegiline, tranylcypromine, etc).

Precautions

Before using this medication, take the following precautions and notify your doctor:

  • If you are allergic to it or to other antidepressants (including amitriptyline, moclobemide, trazodone), or if you have other allergies,
  • If you are taking any other medication (prescribed, non-prescribed, or herbal products),
  • If you have a history of cardiac disease (heart attack, congestive heart failure, hypertension), kidney problems, liver disease, glaucoma, hypertension (high blood pressure), seizures, high cholesterol, thyroid disease, bleeding issues,
  • If you have undergone any type of surgery,
  • Use of this medication may cause hypertension (high blood pressure).
  • Use of this medication may cause angle-closure glaucoma (a type of eye problem). Consult your doctor about an eye exam.
  • Limit your alcohol usage since it increases your chances of developing blurred vision, dizziness, or drowsiness. It may also cause a loss of alertness.
  • This drug’s adverse effects are more severe in older adults (above 65 years) and children.
  • Consult your doctor if you are pregnant.
  • Use of this drug is not recommended while breastfeeding.

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