Effexor XR

Effexor XR (Effexor) is an antidepressant of the serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) class first introduced by Wyeth in 1993. It is prescribed for the treatment of clinical depression and anxiety disorders. Due to the pronounced side effects and suspicions that venlafaxine may significantly increase the risk of suicide it is not recommended as a first line treatment of depression. However, it is often effective for depression not responding to SSRIs. Effexor XR was the sixth most widely-used antidepressant based on the amount of retail prescriptions in the US (17.1 million) in 2006. .
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Medicinal name:
  • 24 HR venlafaxine 75 MG Extended Release Oral Capsule [Effexor]
  • 24 HR venlafaxine 150 MG Extended Release Oral Capsule [Effexor]
  • 24 HR venlafaxine 37.5 MG Extended Release Oral Capsule [Effexor]

Effexor XR - Pharmacology:

Effexor XR and its active metabolite, O-desmethylvenlafaxine (ODV), inhibit the reuptake of both serotonin and norepinephrine with a potency greater for the 5-HT than for the NE reuptake process. Both venlafaxine and the ODV metabolite have weak inhibitory effects on the reuptake of dopamine but, unlike the tricyclics and similar to SSRIs, they are not active at histaminergic, muscarinic, or alpha(1)-adrenergic receptors.

Effexor XR for patients

Prescribers or other health professionals should inform patients, their families, and their caregivers about the benefits and risks associated with treatment with Effexor and should counsel them in its appropriate use. A patient Medication Guide About Using Antidepressants in Children and Teenagers is available for Effexor. The prescriber or health professional should instruct patients, their families, and their caregivers to read the Medication Guide and should assist them in understanding its contents. Patients should be given the opportunity to discuss the contents of the Medication Guide and to obtain answers to any questions they may have. The complete text of the Medication Guide is reprinted at the end of this document.

Patients should be advised of the following issues and asked to alert their prescriber if these occur while taking Effexor.

Clinical Worsening and Suicide Risk: Patients, their families, and their caregivers should be encouraged to be alert to the emergence of anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, mania, other unusual changes in behavior, worsening of depression, and suicidal ideation, especially early during antidepressant treatment and when the dose is adjusted up or down. Families and caregivers of patients should be advised to observe for the emergence of such symptoms on a day-to-day basis, since changes may be abrupt. Such symptoms should be reported to the patientís prescriber or health professional, especially if they are severe, abrupt in onset, or were not part of the patientís presenting symptoms. Symptoms such as these may be associated with an increased risk for suicidal thinking and behavior and indicate a need for very close monitoring and possibly changes in the medication.

Interference with Cognitive and Motor Performance

Clinical studies were performed to examine the effects of venlafaxine on behavioral performance of healthy individuals. The results revealed no clinically significant impairment of psychomotor, cognitive, or complex behavior performance. However, since any psychoactive drug may impair judgment, thinking, or motor skills, patients should be cautioned about operating hazardous machinery, including automobiles, until they are reasonably certain that Effexor therapy does not adversely affect their ability to engage in such activities.

Pregnancy

Patients should be advised to notify their physician if they become pregnant or intend to become pregnant during therapy.

Nursing

Patients should be advised to notify their physician if they are breast-feeding an infant.

Concomitant Medication

Patients should be advised to inform their physicians if they are taking, or plan to take, any prescription or over-the-counter drugs, including herbal preparations, since there is a potential for interactions.

Alcohol

Although Effexor has not been shown to increase the impairment of mental and motor skills caused by alcohol, patients should be advised to avoid alcohol while taking Effexor.

Allergic Reactions

Patients should be advised to notify their physician if they develop a rash, hives, or a related allergic phenomenon.

Laboratory Tests

There are no specific laboratory tests recommended.

MEDICATION GUIDE

About Using Antidepressants in Children and Teenagers

What is the most important information I should know if my child is being prescribed an antidepressant?

Parents or guardians need to think about 4 important things when their child is prescribed an antidepressant:

1. There is a risk of suicidal thoughts or actions.

2. How to try to prevent suicidal thoughts or actions in your child.

3. You should watch for certain signs if your child is taking an antidepressant.

4. There are benefits and risks when using antidepressants.

1. There is a Risk of Suicidal Thoughts or Actions

Children and teenagers sometimes think about suicide, and many report trying to kill themselves.

Antidepressants increase suicidal thoughts and actions in some children and teenagers. But suicidal thoughts and actions can also be caused by depression, a serious medical condition that is commonly treated with antidepressants. Thinking about killing yourself or trying to kill yourself is called suicidality or being suicidal.

A large study combined the results of 24 different studies of children and teenagers with depression or other illnesses. In these studies, patients took either a placebo (sugar pill) or an antidepressant for 1 to 4 months. No one committed suicide in these studies, but some patients became suicidal. On sugar pills, 2 out of every 100 became suicidal. On the antidepressants, 4 out of every 100 patients became suicidal.

For some children and teenagers, the risks of suicidal actions may be especially high. These include patients with:

  • Bipolar illness (sometimes called manic-depressive illness)
  • A family history of bipolar illness
  • A personal or family history of attempting suicide

If any of these are present, make sure you tell your healthcare provider before your child takes an antidepressant.

2. How to Try to Prevent Suicidal Thoughts and Actions

To try to prevent suicidal thoughts and actions in your child, pay close attention to changes in her or his moods or actions, especially if the changes occur suddenly. Other important people in your childís life can help by paying attention as well (e.g., your child, brothers and sisters, teachers, and other important people). The changes to look out for are listed in Section 3, on what to watch for.

Whenever an antidepressant is started or its dose is changed, pay close attention to your child.

After starting an antidepressant, your child should generally see his or her healthcare provider:

  • Once a week for the first 4 weeks
  • Every 2 weeks for the next 4 weeks
  • After taking the antidepressant for 12 weeks
  • After 12 weeks, follow your healthcare providerís advice about how often to come back
  • More often if problems or questions arise

You should call your childís healthcare provider between visits if needed.

3. You Should Watch for Certain Signs If Your Child is Taking an Antidepressant

Contact your childís healthcare provider right awayif your child exhibits any of the following signs for the first time, or if they seem worse, or worry you, your child, or your childís teacher:

  • Thoughts about suicide or dying
  • Attempts to commit suicide
  • New or worse depression
  • New or worse anxiety
  • Feeling very agitated or restless
  • Panic attacks
  • Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
  • New or worse irritability
  • Acting aggressive, being angry, or violent
  • Acting on dangerous impulses
  • An extreme increase in activity and talking
  • Other unusual changes in behavior or mood

Never let your child stop taking an antidepressant without first talking to his or her healthcare provider. Stopping an antidepressant suddenly can cause other symptoms.

4. There are Benefits and Risks When Using Antidepressants

Antidepressants are used to treat depression and other illnesses. Depression and other illnesses can lead to suicide. In some children and teenagers, treatment with an antidepressant increases suicidal thinking or actions. It is important to discuss all the risks of treating depression and also the risks of not treating it. You and your child should discuss all treatment choices with your healthcare provider, not just the use of antidepressants.

Other side effects can occur with antidepressants.

Of all the antidepressants, only fluoxetine (Prozac™ ) has been FDA approved to treat pediatric depression.

For obsessive compulsive disorder in children and teenagers, FDA has approved only fluoxetine (Prozac™ ), sertraline (Zoloft™ ), fluvoxamine, and clomipramine (Anafranil™ ).*

Your healthcare provider may suggest other antidepressants based on the past experience of your child or other family members.

Is this all I need to know if my child is being prescribed an antidepressant?

No. This is a warning about the risk for suicidality. Other side effects can occur with antidepressants. Be sure to ask your healthcare provider to explain all the side effects of the particular drug he or she is prescribing. Also ask about drugs to avoid when taking an antidepressant. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist where to find more information.

*Prozac™ is a registered trademark of Eli Lilly and Company
Zoloft™ is a registered trademark of Pfizer Pharmaceuticals
Anafranil™ is a registered trademark of Mallinckrodt Inc.

This Medication Guide has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for all antidepressants.
CI 8055-2W10402C011
Rev 01/05
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc. Philadelphia, PA 19101

Effexor XR Interactions

As with all drugs, the potential for interaction by a variety of mechanisms is a possibility.

Alcohol: A single dose of ethanol (0.5 g/kg) had no effect on the pharmacokinetics of venlafaxine or O-desmethylvenlafaxine (ODV) when venlafaxine was administered at 150 mg/day in 15 healthy male subjects. Additionally, administration of venlafaxine in a stable regimen did not exaggerate the psychomotor and psychometric effects induced by ethanol in these same subjects when they were not receiving venlafaxine.

Cimetidine: Concomitant administration of cimetidine and venlafaxine in a steady-state study for both drugs resulted in inhibition of first-pass metabolism of venlafaxine in 18 healthy subjects. The oral clearance of venlafaxine was reduced by about 43%, and the exposure (AUC) and maximum concentration (Cmax) of the drug were increased by about 60%. However, coadministration of cimetidine had no apparent effect on the pharmacokinetics of ODV, which is present in much greater quantity in the circulation than venlafaxine. The overall pharmacological activity of venlafaxine plus ODV is expected to increase only slightly, and no dosage adjustment should be necessary for most normal adults. However, for patients with pre-existing hypertension, and for elderly patients or patients with hepatic dysfunction, the interaction associated with the concomitant use of venlafaxine and cimetidine is not known and potentially could be more pronounced. Therefore, caution is advised with such patients.

Diazepam: Under steady-state conditions for venlafaxine administered at 150 mg/day, a single 10 mg dose of diazepam did not appear to affect the pharmacokinetics of either venlafaxine or ODV in 18 healthy male subjects. Effexor XR also did not have any effect on the pharmacokinetics of diazepam or its active metabolite, desmethyldiazepam, or affect the psychomotor and psychometric effects induced by diazepam.

Haloperidol: Effexor XR administered under steady-state conditions at 150 mg/day in 24 healthy subjects decreased total oral-dose clearance (Cl/F) of a single 2 mg dose of haloperidol by 42%, which resulted in a 70% increase in haloperidol AUC. In addition, the haloperidol Cmax increased 88% when coadministered with venlafaxine, but the haloperidol elimination half-life was unchanged. The mechanism explaining this finding is unknown.

Lithium: The steady-state pharmacokinetics of venlafaxine administered at 150 mg/day were not affected when a single 600 mg oral dose of lithium was administered to 12 healthy male subjects. ODV also was unaffected. Effexor XR had no effect on the pharmacokinetics of lithium.

Drugs Highly Bound to Plasma Proteins: Effexor XR is not highly bound to plasma proteins; therefore, administration of Effexor XR to a patient taking another drug that is highly protein bound should not cause increased free concentrations of the other drug.

Drugs that Inhibit Cytochrome P450 Isoenzymes: CYP2D6 Inhibitors: In vitro and in vivo studies indicate that venlafaxine is metabolized to its active metabolite, ODV, by CYP2D6, the isoenzyme that is responsible for the genetic polymorphism seen in the metabolism of many antidepressants. Therefore, the potential exists for a drug interaction between drugs that inhibit CYP2D6-mediated metabolism of venlafaxine, reducing the metabolism of venlafaxine to ODV, resulting in increased plasma concentrations of venlafaxine and decreased concentrations of the active metabolite. CYP2D6 inhibitors such as quinidine would be expected to do this, but the effect would be similar to what is seen in patients who are genetically CYP2D6 poor metabolizers. Therefore, no dosage adjustment is required when venlafaxine is coadministered with a CYP2D6 inhibitor.

The concomitant use of venlafaxine with drug treatment(s) that potentially inhibits both CYP2D6 and CYP3A4, the primary metabolizing enzymes for venlafaxine, has not been studied.

Therefore, caution is advised should a patients therapy include venlafaxine and any agent(s) that produce simultaneous inhibition of these two enzyme systems.

Drugs Metabolized by Cytochrome P450 Isoenzymes: CYP2D6: In vitro studies indicate that venlafaxine is a relatively weak inhibitor of CYP2D6. These findings have been confirmed in a clinical drug interaction study comparing the effect of venlafaxine with that of fluoxetine on the CYP2D6-mediated metabolism of dextromethorphan to dextrorphan.

Imipramine - Effexor XR did not affect the pharmacokinetics of imipramine and 2-OH-imipramine. However, desipramine AUC, Cmax, and Cmin increased by about 35% in the presence of venlafaxine. The 2-OH-desipramine AUCs increased by at least 2.5 fold (with venlafaxine 37.5 mg q12h) and by 4.5 fold (with venlafaxine 75 mg q12h). Imipramine did not affect the pharmacokinetics of venlafaxine and ODV. The clinical significance of elevated 2-OH-desipramine levels is unknown.

Risperidone - Effexor XR administered under steady-state conditions at 150 mg/day slightly inhibited the CYP2D6-mediated metabolism of risperidone (administered as a single 1 mg oral dose) to its active metabolite, 9-hydroxyrisperidone, resulting in an approximate 32% increase in risperidone AUC. However, venlafaxine coadministration did not significantly alter the pharmacokinetic profile of the total active moiety (risperidone plus 9-hydroxyrisperidone).

CYP3A4: Effexor XR did not inhibit CYP3A4 in vitro. This finding was confirmed in vivo by clinical drug interaction studies in which venlafaxine did not inhibit the metabolism of several CYP3A4 substrates, including alprazolam, diazepam, and terfenadine.

Indinavir - In a study of 9 healthy volunteers, venlafaxine administered under steady-state conditions at 150 mg/day resulted in a 28% decrease in the AUC of a single 800 mg oral dose of indinavir and a 36% decrease in indinavir Cmax. Indinavir did not affect the pharmacokinetics of venlafaxine and ODV. The clinical significance of this finding is unknown.

CYP1A2: Effexor XR did not inhibit CYP1A2 in vitro. This finding was confirmed in vivo by a clinical drug interaction study in which venlafaxine did not inhibit the metabolism of caffeine, a CYP1A2 substrate.

CYP2C9: Effexor XR did not inhibit CYP2C9 in vitro. In vivo, venlafaxine 75 mg by mouth every 12 hours did not alter the pharmacokinetics of a single 500 mg dose of tolbutamide or the CYP2C9 mediated formation of 4-hydroxy-tolbutamide.

CYP2C19: Effexor XR did not inhibit the metabolism of diazepam, which is partially metabolized by CYP2C19.

CNS-Active Drugs: The risk of using venlafaxine in combination with other CNS-active drugs has not been systematically evaluated (except in the case of those CNS-active drugs noted above).

Consequently, caution is advised if the concomitant administration of venlafaxine and such drugs is required. Based on the mechanism of action of venlafaxine and the potential for serotonin syndrome, caution is advised when venlafaxine is co-administered with other drugs that may affect the serotonergic neurotransmitter systems, such as triptans, serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs), or lithium.

Electroconvulsive Therapy: There are no clinical data establishing the benefit of electroconvulsive therapy combined with Effexor XR (venlafaxine hydrochloride) extended-release capsules treatment.

*Based on the number of men and women as appropriate.

Effexor XR Contraindications

Hypersensitivity to venlafaxine hydrochloride or to any excipients in the formulation.

Concomitant use in patients taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) is contraindicated.

Manufacturers name:

  • Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc, a subsidiary of Pfizer Inc
  • Cardinal Health
  • Rebel Distributors Corp
  • Bryant Ranch Prepack
  • Stat Rx USA
  • Lake Erie Medical DBA Quality Care Products LLC
  • Physicians Total Care, Inc
  • PD-Rx Pharmaceuticals, Inc
  • Aphena Pharma Solutions - Tennessee, Inc

Generic name, Overdose, Half Life Effexor XR, Food Interactions, Chemical, etc..

Effexor XR see also Hibiscus flowers

Depression
Brand Names containing Venlafaxine