Medication Pearl of the Day: Venlafaxine Extended-Release (Effexor XR)
Indication: Venlafaxine Extended-Release (Effexor XR) is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor indicated for the treatment of major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder.
- Dosing: Take once daily with food. Capsules should be taken whole; do not divide, crush, chew, or dissolve.
- Dosage forms: Effexor XR capsules are available as 37.5 mg, 75 mg, and 150 mg strengths.
- Each capsule contains venlafaxine hydrochloride equivalent to 37.5 mg, 75 mg, or 150 mg of venlafaxine.
- Adverse events: Most common adverse reactions (incidence ≥ 5% and at least twice the rate of placebo) are nausea, somnolence, dry mouth, sweating, abnormal ejaculation, anorexia, constipation, erectile dysfunction, and decreased libido.
- Mechanism of action:The exact mechanism of the antidepressant action of venlafaxine in humans is unknown but is thought to be related to the potentiation of serotonin and norepinephrine in the central nervous system, through inhibition of their reuptake. Non- clinical studies have demonstrated that venlafaxine and its active metabolite, ODV, are potent and selective inhibitors of neuronal serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake and weak inhibitors of dopamine reuptake.