Efexor® XR (Venlafaxine)


New product


A relatively new drug with a unique group of actions that many people have found to be a highly effective as an anti-depressant.

Prevents serotonin and noradrenaline from being reabsorbed back into the nerve cells in the brain. This helps prolong the mood lightening effect of any released serotonin and noradrenaline


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    The active ingredient in these tablets is venlafaxine hydrochloride. The peach coloured tablets contain either  37.5mg  or 75mg venlafaxine and are marked with  “37.5” or  “75” accordingly. Other ingredients in these tablets are; lactose microcrystalline cellulose,  sodium starch glycollate, magnesium stearate, yellow and brown iron oxide  (E172). 


    Efexor is one of a group of medicines called antidepressants which are use to relieve the symptoms of depressive illness and any associated anxiety. You have been given Efexor tablets because you are suffering from the symptoms of depressive illness. Efexor is a treatment which can relieve these symptoms and help you get better.


    • You are pregnant.
    • You are breast feeding.
    • You are sensitive to any of the ingredients in Efexor tablets.
    • You are younger than 18 years.
    • You are taking or have recently taken (within the last two weeks) another antidepressant drug known as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor  (MAOI).


    • You have liver or kidney disease.  Your dose of Efexor may be lowered.
    • You have a history of epilepsy or heart disease. Your doctor will supervise you carefully while you are taking Efexor.
    • You are taking Cimetidine  (a stomach drug), since if you are elderly or have liver problems, this may affect the way Efexor works.
    • You are, or have recently taken any other antidepressant drugs, particularly those known as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).
    • You suffer from, or have a history of, mania.
    • You have eye problems or suffer from, or have a history of, narrow angle glaucoma.
    • You are having electro-convulsive  (ECT)  therapy for depression.
    • You are taking Warfarin  (blood thinner), Haloperidol  or  clozapine (for schizophrenia).
    • You are taking, or have recently taken, any other medicines.


    When you take Efexor, make sure your judgment or co-ordination is not affected before you drive or use machinery.  If you are a woman of child-bearing age, you should use contraception whilst taking Efexor.


    The usual starting dose is one  37.5 mg tablet twice a day.  You should take one tablet in the morning and one tablet in the evening.  However, your doctor may decide a different dose, up to a maximum of 375mg a day, is better for you.

    The label will tell you how many tablets to take and how often.  If it does not, or if you are not sure, ask your doctor or pharmacy

    You should swallow your tablets whole with a drink of water when you eat.  Do not crush them or chew them.  The  37.5 mg tablet and 75 mg tablets come in special  “calendar” packs which help you remember to take your tablets when you should.

    The following instructions will help you :

    1. Remove a card.
    2. Go  to the correct day of the week.
    3. Take the tablet marked with the “SUN” in the morning.
    4. Your next tablet marked with the “MOON” should be taken in the evening.
    5. Continue taking a tablet every morning and evening.
    6. When you have finished a card, move on to the next one.

    It will take several days or more before you feel you medicine is having an effect. DON’T WORRY – THIS IS QUITE NORMAL. You may need to take Efexor for several months.  If so, don’t worry, this is not uncommon.

    IF YOU ACCIDENTALLY TAKE TOO MANY TABLETS YOU MUST SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION. Do not worry if you forget to take a tablet. Do not take extra tablets to make up for any you have missed, just take your next tablet as usual. Do not stop taking your tablets without the advise of your doctor even if you feel better. If your doctor thinks you no longer need Efexor, he will ask you to reduce your dose before stopping treatment altogether.  If  Efexor is stopped suddenly or the dose reduced too quickly, some patients may experience symptoms such as tiredness, dizziness, dry mouth, feeling or being sick, diarrhea, nervousness, confusion, tingling and sweating.  These symptoms are generally non-serious and disappear within a few days.  Your doctor will advise you how you should gradually discontinue Efexor treatment and if you experience any of these or other troublesome, return to your doctor for further advice


    Efexor may cause unwanted effects in some people.  If you do have unwanted effects, they will usually not be serious and not last for long.  However you should tell your doctor without delay if you have :

    • An allergic reaction such as skin rash, swollen face or tongue, or shortness of breath of difficulty breathing.
    • A high temperature with rigid muscles, confusion and sweating or if you experience jerky muscle movements which you can’t control.
    • Mania or hypomania  (feeling “high” or very over excited).

    If any of the following symptoms are severe or become troublesome you should tell your doctor:

    • Unusual bruising or bleeding.
    • Rapid or irregular heart beat, flushing.
    • Change in appetite or bowel habits, constipation , diarrhea, indigestion, feeling or being sick
    • Unusual tiredness or weakness, headache, abdominal discomfort chills, fever.
    • Weight loss or gain.
    • Sore muscles or joints muscle spasm.
    • Stiff muscles, rarely clumsiness or loss of balance, tremor, strange feeling on the skin such as “pins and needles” or burning.
    • Dizziness, dry mouth, difficulty sleeping or abnormal dreams, drowsiness, nervousness, agitation, confusion, hallucinations.
    • Difficultly in urinating, or feeling the need to go to the toilet more often than usual.
    • Abnormal ejaculation / orgasm, reduced sex drive, impotence, menstrual disturbances in women, rarely abnormal breast milk production.
    • Sweating, rash.
    • Blurred vision, tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
    • You should also tell your doctor if you have any other unwanted effect not mentioned above.
    • Some patients have occasionally felt dizzy or unsteady on standing due to fall in blood pressure.
    • Efexor sometimes causes unwanted effects which you may not be aware of,  such as increases in blood pressure or abnormal heart beat; slight chances in blood levels of liver enzymes, sodium or rarely cholesterol.  More rarely Efexor may reduce the number of platelets in your blood.
    • Tell you doctor or pharmacist you are taking Efexor before taking any other drug, if you become pregnant, or you enter hospital for treatment.


    You should not use this medicine after the expiry date shown on the packaging. Keep your Efexor tablets at room temperature (at or below 30 degrees C) in a dry place. Your medicine could harm them. If your doctor decides to stop treatment,  return any left over tablets to your pharmacist.  Only keep the if your doctor tells you to. REMEMBER this medicine is only for you. Only a doctor can prescribe it for you. Never give it to others. It may harm them even if their symptoms are the same as yours.

    Keep this medicine in a safe place where children cannot reach or see it

    The above information is the translation of the manufacturer's insert. It is provided under the supplying company's terms and conditions and should not replace the advice of your personal physician.


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