Effexor XR, generically known as venlafaxine hydrochloride, is a medication used to treat major depression, panic disorder and anxiety. It is available in various dosages including 150 mg tablets. Drugs.com states that the maximum dosage for Effexor XR is 225 mg per day. Your doctor will decide what dosage is best to treat your specific psychiatric symptoms. If your doctor selects Effexor XR as your mode of treatment, learn about its side effects. The XR stands for "extended release."
Heart and Circulatory Problems
Effexor XR can affect your heart and circulatory (blood vessel) system and lead to tachycardia (fast heartbeat), bradycardia (slow heartbeat), hypotension (low blood pressure), angina (chest pain) and syncope (fainting), according to RxList.com. In rare cases, Effexor XR can also cause an aortic aneurysm (an enlargement of a blood vessel called your aorta), heart arrest (condition where your heart suddenly stops beating) or a heart attack. Arrythmias (irregular heartbeats) and congestive heart failure (inability of your heart to send adequate amounts of blood to your body) are additional cardiovascular side effects of Effexor XR.
Effexor XR can worsen your current psychiatric symptoms or new ones may develop. Drugs.com states that you may experience impulsiveness, panic attacks, bouts of anxiousness, hostility or agitation. You may also experience insomnia, hyperactivity, increased depression or suicidal thoughts or behaviors. If you notice a new development or worsening progression of psychiatric symptoms, you should call your doctor immediately and he can change your dosage.
Digestive System Problems
Effexor XR can also affect your mouth, esophagus, stomach and intestines. RxList.com states this medication may cause increased appetite, trouble swallowing (dysphagia), gingivitis (gum disease), mouth ulcers and glossitis (red tongue). In rare instances, you may develop stomach bloating, hematemesis (vomiting blood), gallstones, gallbladder infections and acid reflux. Yellowing of your skin or eyes, increased salivation and melena (black stools) are additional rare side effects of Effexor XR.
If you accidentally or intentionally take greater amounts of Effexor XR than your doctor prescribes, you may develop drowsiness, dizziness, nausea and tingling of your feet and hands. If this is the case, go to your local hospital's emergency room to reverse these overdose symptoms promptly.
According to RxList.com, Effexor XR can affect your ability to move, especially if you experience arthritis, leg cramps, muscle spasms or stiffness and bone pain. You may also develop osteoporosis (brittle bones) that require careful movement because you are easily susceptible to broken bones. Plantar fascitis (condition where the tendon on the bottom of your foot is severely inflamed) can affect your walking dramatically.
Effects on Your Brain, Lungs and Skin
Effexor XR can also make you confused to the point that you become amnesiac and forget important details. This medication is also frequently associated with an increased cough, trouble breathing and skin itchiness, according to RxList.com.