Effexor (venlafaxine) is a medication that increases the concentrations of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and serotonin by blocking the enzymes and proteins which allow for the reuptake of these neurotransmitters. Because of its action upon these neurotransmitters Effexor is classified as a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI.) Its ability to increase the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine within the brain make it well suited to treating major depressive disorder (MDD) and general anxiety disorder (GAD). In addition to treating these two conditions it is often prescribed off label to treat a variety of other medical conditions. Due to its variability in what it is used for Effexor comes in a variety of doses.
Effexor dosing differs depending upon which form of the medication you are prescribed. Effexor is commonly prescribed as Effexor XR and Effexor standard release. Effexor XR is typically only taken once a day as the medication is delivered at a slower pace so as to keep the blood concentrations of Effexor and a constant amount throughout the day. Effexor standard release is typically taken two to three times per day due to the more rapid absorption and elimination of this form of Effexor. It is important to take Effexor at the same time each day so as to minimize side effects from going into a short term withdrawal from missing your dosage. Many may wish to take Effexor in the morning as opposed to the evening due to the medication causing some individuals to feel stimulated and causing them to experience insomnia.
Effexor (venlafaxine) 37.5mg
Most doctors will start with prescribing their patients Effexor in dosages of 37.5 mg. Effexor XR is more typically manufactured in this dosage than standard release Effexor. Effexor will continue to be taken at this dosage for up to month with the patient reporting to the doctor any unusual side effects that may occur. It can take anywhere from three weeks to a month for the effects of Effexor to be fully felt upon depression or anxiety. Once the patient and the doctor are able to determine how effective Effexor is at this dosage, they will either decide to increase the dosage, stay at the current dosage, or switch the medication used for treatment altogether.
Effexor (venlafaxine) 75mg
The most common dosage used to treat depression is 75mg. This amount is found in the majority of patients to produce the best effects upon depression while limiting the side effects. For some who are severely depressed this dosage will not be enough. If it is not enough to treat your depression your doctor will increase dosages in increments of 75mg until a suitable level is reached to treat your depression. Unfortunately, as the dosage levels of Effexor increase so does the likelihood of adverse side effects developing. In many cases it may be wiser to switch medications rather than raising the dose of Effexor to improve it efficiency.
Usually those that overdose on Effexor (venlafaxine) will only experience mild symptoms. However, when doses exceed 900mg moderate toxicity occurs. The main side effects of a moderate to severe Effexor overdose are CNS depression, heart abnormalities, seizure, and serotonin toxicity. In severe cases overdoses of Effexor have led to death.