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Effexor XR, generically known as venlafaxine hydrochloride, is a medication used to treat major depression, panic disorder and anxiety 12. It is available in various dosages including 150 mg tablets. states that the maximum dosage for Effexor XR is 225 mg per day 12. 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 12. The XR stands for "extended release."

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If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

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 12. 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 12. 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 12.

Psychiatric Problems

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Effexor XR can worsen your current psychiatric symptoms or new ones may develop 12. states that you may experience impulsiveness, panic attacks, bouts of anxiousness, hostility or agitation 2. 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 12. states this medication may cause increased appetite, trouble swallowing (dysphagia), gingivitis (gum disease), mouth ulcers and glossitis (red tongue) 1. 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 12.


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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 12. If this is the case, go to your local hospital's emergency room to reverse these overdose symptoms promptly.

Muscle Problems

According to, Effexor XR can affect your ability to move, especially if you experience arthritis, leg cramps, muscle spasms or stiffness and bone pain 12. 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 12. This medication is also frequently associated with an increased cough, trouble breathing and skin itchiness, according to 1.