Effexor and Ritalin are medications used to treat psychiatric conditions originating in the brain’s neurotransmitter systems. While many people take these drugs without problems, rare or dangerous side effects can sometimes occur. To lessen the risk of life-threatening effects, tell your doctor about any side effects you experience and avoid abrupt cessation of either drug.
Psychological Effects of Effexor
Effexor is a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SSNRI) that works by increasing levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. Psychological side effects of Effexor include changes in mood—including worsening depression or anxiety—and behavior, such as suicidal attempts or aggression. Hallucinations are another rare but possible side effect of Effexor. They are thought to be caused by overstimulation of serotonergic systems in the brain, according to Psychiatry Online.
Some of the most severe symptoms associated with Effexor are its withdrawal symptoms. Collectively known as discontinuation syndrome, these symptoms can be debilitating and may include suicidal thoughts, severe anxiety, agitation and vivid or frightening dreams.
Physical Side Effects of Effexor
Physical side effects of Effexor are most likely to occur when first starting or discontinuing the medication as the brain adjusts to fluctuating neurotransmitter levels.
Seizure is a rare side effect that occurs in 1 percent of patients taking Effexor, according to EMedTV.com. As with all medications, allergic reaction is a possibility with Effexor. Swelling of the face, throat or tongue; rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing or skin rash may signal an allergic reaction and require immediate medical attention. Other possible effects include blood in stool, vision problems and decreased urination.
Ritalin Psychological Effects
Ritalin is a stimulant used to treat ADD, ADHD and narcolepsy. It affects levels of dopamine—a neurotransmitter that influences concentration, alertness and mood. Severe psychological side effects of Ritalin can include unprovoked crying, insomnia, loss of appetite and anxiety or panic attacks.
According to the University of Utah, Ritalin’s molecular structure and effects are similar to those of cocaine, which also increases dopamine in the brain. When taken as directed, Ritalin has a low potential for addiction and severe psychological side effects.
Physical Side Effects of Ritalin
Like other stimulants, Ritalin can lower the seizure threshold and should be used with caution by people with epilepsy. According to Drugs.com, prolonged use of Ritalin by children can result in stunted growth and failure to reach ideal weight.
Stimulants like Ritalin have been known to cause sudden death in children with severe heart defects, according to Drugs.com. To reduce the risks of life-threatening cardiac events, tell your doctor if you have a congenital heart defect or disorder. Other side effects may include allergic reaction, increased blood pressure, aggression and weight loss.
Taking multiple medications increases the risk of side effects and interactions. According to Drugs.com, there are no reported interactions between Ritalin and Effexor. Many people use these drugs concurrently with few or no problems. Because both medications can increase seizure risk, taking Ritalin and Effexor together may result in a higher risk of seizure than taking either drug alone.