Facts About Effexor for Depression


If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with clinical depression, you are not alone.

Each year about 25 million Americans will suffer from an episode of clinical depression, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

Treatment options for depression may include a prescription antidepressant medication, a combination of more than one prescription medication such as an antidepressant and an anti-anxiety medication, and/or psychotherapy, which is commonly referred to as "talk therapy."

One prescription medication that a doctor may prescribe to treat depression is an antidepressant called Effexor (venlafaxine), or its extended release version called Effexor XR (venlafaxine hydrocholoride) Extended-Release Capsules. Following are some important facts you should be aware of about Effexor and Effexor XR for depression:

Medication Class

Effexor and Effexor XR belong to a class of medications called serontonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). This class of medicine works on and increases two chemicals in the brain – serotonin and norepinephrine – which help to regulate moods. This is in contrast to other commonly prescribed antidepressants called selective serontonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which work only on serotonin.

Conditions Effexor Treats

Effexor was first introduced by a pharmaceutical company called Wyeth in 1993. The extended-release version called Effexor XR was approved in 1997. Effexor XR is now marketed by Pfizer (because it bought Wyeth) and has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat four different mental illnesses in adults:

  1. Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
  2. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  3. Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)
  4. Panic Disorder

Effexor XR is not approved to treat children or teens with any of the above disorders.


Effexor XR is available in capsule form and in three different doses: 37.5 mg, 75 mg and 150 mg.

Source: EffexorXR.com


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