Effexor, or Venalafaxine, is used to treat anxiety disorders, panic attacks and depression. It’s one of the most-used antidepressants in the USA. But what side effects can you encounter when you use it:
Nausea is the most-reported side effect of Effexor, and occurs in nearly forty per cent of patients prescribed the drug – or two in every five.
Various other digestive problems are also linked to Effexor. One in five patients, just over twenty per cent report having a dry mouth, while fifteen per cent reported constipation. Less than one in ten patients are afflicted with vomiting.
Effexor can also cause problems with balance – dizziness affects one in five patients. A small minority, around six per cent, have problems with blurred vision, and others have problem with eye redness and eye pain.
Sleep disorders are another common side effect of Effexor, with around one in five patients finding they experience some sort of disturbance to their sleeping pattern. These include somnolence, or drowsiness, insomnia, or inability to sleep, and continuous yawning.
Anxiety and mental disorders have also been reported as being side effects of Effexor. These include nervousness, anorexia, sweating, impotence, palpitations, and shivering. Memory loss was another recurrent problem, with almost half of patients reporting problems with their powers of recall.
Effexor also causes sexual dysfunction in some patients. Side effects can include impotence for six per cent of users, but abnormal orgasms and ejaculations are twice as likely to occur.
It should be noted that, because Effexor is used to treat depression, which can cause sleep problems, changes to libido and various symptoms related to mental health, it is difficult to pinpoint where patients were suffering these ill-effects because of the Effexor, or because of the condition that caused them to be prescribed the drug in the first place.
The discontinuation of Effexor can also be problematic for patients, and discontinuation symptoms can occur after missing as little as one dose. Symptoms can include depression, panic attacks, impotence, and aggression. To reduce the risk of any problems, patients should not suddenly stop taking Effexor – the dosage should be decreased gradually, with medical advice and supervision.
In extreme cases, Effexor has been linked to suicide. Some studies show that Effexor caused a 1.6 increase in suicide. The usual suicide rate in the USA is eleven suicides for every one hundred thousand people, and so, under this study, Effexor could increase the rate to 17.6 for every one hundred thousand people. However, the nature of the diseases that Effexor is used to treat makes it difficult to explain which factors in any suicide case are caused by any side effects of the drug, and which are caused by the nature of the patient’s illness.
A minority of patients experience severe side effects, which can have a sudden onset. If you or a loved one experience one or more of the of the more serious side effects of Effexnor, including extreme confusion, seizures, acute problems with vision or mania, then you should immediately make an appointment with your local doctor or hospital.