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Effexor (Venlafaxine) is an oral antidepressant drug.

Drug Name

Effexor (Venlafaxine)

Drug Uses

Effexor is a potent inhibitor of the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine-two neurotransmitters, thought to play important roles in the pathophysiology of depression. Correcting the imbalance of these two chemicals may help relieve symptoms of depression.

How Taken

Effexor comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day and should be taken with food. Each capsule should be swallowed whole with fluid and not divided, crushed, chewed, or placed in water, or it may be administered by carefully opening the capsule and sprinkling the entire contents on a spoonful of applesauce. This drug/food mixture should be swallowed immediately without chewing and followed with a glass of water to ensure complete swallowing of the pellets.

Drug Class and Mechanism

Venlafaxine is in a new class of anti-depressant medications that affects chemical messengers within the brain. These chemical messengers are called neurotransmitters, and some examples are serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Neurotransmitters are manufactured by nerve cells and are released by the cells. The neurotransmitters travel to nearby nerve cells and cause the cells to become more or less active. Many experts believe that an imbalance in these neurotransmitters is the cause of depression and also may play a role in anxiety. Venlafaxine is believed to work by inhibiting the release or affecting the action of these neurotransmitters. Venlafaxine is available in an extended release formulation (Effexor XR).

Missed Dose

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take only the next one as directed. Do not take a double dose of this medication.


Store Effexor at room temperature (68F to 77F or 20C to 25C). Keep Effexor away from children.