Effexor is the brand name for the generic called venlafaxine. It is FDA approved for the treatment of major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder and panic disorder, but it is also used off label for treating some cases of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). It’s the sixth most commonly prescribed anti-depressant in the US.
Effexor is in the class of drugs referred to as serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). By increasing the amount of serotonin and norepinephine, it helps the brain chemistry maintain balance. Once introduced, Effexor helps the neurons to communicate with each other.
For some people, this drug is much better tolerated than other SNRIs or SRRIs. Each person has to find the drug that works for them and this provides a good alternative. Like all antidepressants and other meds for various types of psychosis, the drug does not cure the disease. It treats the symptoms bringing enough relief to the sufferer that they can get effective behavior modification therapy or other type of therapy to treat the underlying disease.
The side effects are drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, headache, and nightmares. There may be gastrointestinal distress including nausea, vomiting, stomach distress, constipation, diarrhea, gas, heartburn, burping, dry mouth and an inability to taste food, loss of appetite, and weight loss. Sexual dysfunction is also quite common.
For some small children and young adults, Effexor increased depression and suicidal thoughts. Always take medication with a doctor’s supervision and report any unusual or unacceptable behaviors.
Source: nlm.nih.gov, Effexor