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Molecule Description

Venlafaxine is a medicine used to treat depression. It is also used to treat general anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder and panic disorder. This medicine belongs to a group of Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors.This medicine works by increasing the action of a chemical called Serotonin in the brain. Venlafaxine affects the neurotransmitters which is a chemical that is present in the nerves of the brain. It helps in the communication of one nerve cell to another.
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Uses of Venlafaxine

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Attention deficit disorder
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Hot flashes due to hormonal chemotherapy

Contraindications of Venlafaxine

When should one not use Venlafaxine

  • If you are allergic to the medication or any excipients
  • Any medical history of bleeding problems, glaucoma, high blood pressure, heart problems, high cholesterol, kidney disease, liver disease, seizure disorder and thyroid disease

Side effects of Venlafaxine

Common side effects of this drug are:

  • Common side effects:
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Dryness of mouth
  • Poor appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Impotence
  • Serious side effects:
  • Attempts to commit suicide
  • Aggressive and violent behavior
  • Agitation
  • Restlessness
  • Seizures

Precautions and Warnings of Venlafaxine


Can I take Venlafaxine during pregnancy?
Avoid this medicine if you are pregnant or planning for pregnancy. Your doctor will prescribe the Venlafaxine medicine to you during pregnancy only if the benefit to you exceeds the potential risk to the fetus.

Breast Feeding

Can I take Venlafaxine while breastfeeding?
The medicine passes through the breast milk and can cause serious effects in a breastfeeding child. Hence it must not be taken during breastfeeding.


Can I drive if I have consumed Venlafaxine?
Change in eyesight (blurred vision), confusion, dizziness are the possible side effects after taking Venlafaxine. If you experience these, do not drive.


Can I consume alcohol with Venlafaxine?
Venlafaxine increases the risk of sleepiness with alcohol.

Other General Warnings

Talk to your doctor if
  • Before taking Venlafaxine, consult with the doctor and tell him/ her if you have had:
  • Heart problems
  • Diabetes
  • History of eye problems any eye surgery
  • Other psychotic problems like aggressive behavior, seizures or fits

Mode of Action of Venlafaxine

How Does It Work?

Venlafaxine acts by increasing the levels of Serotonin and Norepinephrine in the brain. These are the chemicals used for communication by the brain. Venlafaxine inhibits the reuptake of these two chemicals. Thus, this medicine affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with depression.
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Interactions of Venlafaxine

Interactions with other medicines

  • Venlafaxine can react with other medications like nutritional supplements, vitamins, herbs
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking other medicines for cough, fever, and cold, diabetes, high blood pressure, weight loss or antipsychotics medicine

Interactions with food items

If you have any food allergy, consult with the doctor.

Dosage of Venlafaxine


The most commonly reported symptoms of overdosage include rapid heartbeat, changes in level of consciousness (ranging from excessive sleep to coma), dilated pupils of eyes, seizures, and vomiting. Seek emergency medical attention immediately if you suspect overdose.
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Missed a Dose

If you missed any dose, take it as soon as you remember. Don’t take the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take more medicine to compensate for the missed dose.

Content Details


Dr. Arpit Verma

MBBS, MD (Pharmacology)


Dr. Ritu Budania

MBBS, MD (Pharmacology)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Q: When and how to consume the medicine?

A: The medicine is to be taken orally. The dosage of Venlafaxine must be as prescribed by the doctor. Follow all directions on the prescription label without altering the prescribed dose.

Q: Can we use this medicine in children?

A: The medicine should not be used in children and adolescents under 18 years of age.

Q: How long this medicine works in the body?

A: Half-life of this medicine is 5-11 hours so that it can work up to 10-22 hours in body.
Last Updated on: 05 Oct 2020 | 10:47 PM (IST)

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The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts. Please click here for detailed T&C.
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