venlafaxine sustained-release - oral, Effexor XR (cont.)
USES: Venlafaxine is used to treat depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and social anxiety disorder (social phobia). It may improve your mood and energy level and may help restore your interest in daily living. It may also decrease fear, anxiety, unwanted thoughts, and the number of panic attacks. Venlafaxine is known as a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI). It works by helping to restore the balance of certain natural substances (serotonin and norepinephrine) in the brain.
HOW TO USE: Read the Medication Guide and, if available, the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using venlafaxine and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once daily with food, either in the morning or evening.Do not crush, chew, or dissolve this medication. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Also, do not split the tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing.If you are taking the capsules, swallow them whole. If you have trouble swallowing the capsules whole, you may open the capsule and sprinkle the contents onto a spoonful of applesauce. Swallow all of the mixture immediately without chewing. Drink a glass of water after each dose.The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.It is important to continue taking this medication as prescribed even if you feel well. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when this drug is suddenly stopped. Also, you may experience symptoms such as confusion, mood swings, headache, tiredness, sleep changes, and brief feelings similar to electric shock. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased to reduce side effects. Report any new or worsening symptoms immediately.It may take several weeks to feel the benefit of this medication. Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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