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Efexor XL

Venlafaxine hydrochloride

Efexor is an SNRI antidepressant, prescribed to treat conditions related to mental health, like depression and anxiety. It is manufactured by Pfizer.

If you need to talk to someone about your health, we have a video consultation service with registered clinicians. We can provide advice, fit notes, referrals to specialists, and prescriptions that allow you to buy Efexor online. You can book an appointment Monday to Friday 9.30am - 4.30pm.

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This page is only to be used as an informative guide for this treatment. The price above is indicative of the cost of the treatment alone, and does not include the consultation fee (£25), prescribing fee (£9) and the 24 hour delivery fee (£5.50) if you choose to have the treatment dispensed at our pharmacy.

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This page is only to be used as an informative guide for this treatment. The price above is indicative of the cost of the treatment alone, and does not include the consultation fee (£25), prescribing fee (£9) and the 24 hour delivery fee (£5.50) if you choose to have the treatment dispensed at our pharmacy.

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£ 62

This page is only to be used as an informative guide for this treatment. The price above is indicative of the cost of the treatment alone, and does not include the consultation fee (£25), prescribing fee (£9) and the 24 hour delivery fee (£5.50) if you choose to have the treatment dispensed at our pharmacy.

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Efexor is an SNRI antidepressant, prescribed to treat conditions related to mental health, like depression and anxiety. It is manufactured by Pfizer.

If you need to talk to someone about your health, we have a video consultation service with registered clinicians. We can provide advice, fit notes, referrals to specialists, and prescriptions that allow you to buy Efexor online. You can book an appointment Monday to Friday 9.30am - 4.30pm.

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Product information

Efexor is an SNRI antidepressant, which stands for serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. It works by increasing the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain, which elevates mood and reduces anxiety. It can be prescribed to treat several conditions related to depression and anxiety, including GAD (generalised anxiety disorder), OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), social anxiety disorder, panic disorder and depression. The generic name for Efexor is venlafaxine.

These mental illnesses are relatively common in the UK, with one in four seeking help from their doctor. There are many treatments available for these conditions, with medication being just one.

What is depression? 

Depression is differentiated from the general ups and downs of life by its severity and how long it can last for. In the most severe cases, suicidal thoughts and acts of self-harm can occur, with symptoms lasting for many months at a time. For others, it could a feeling of hopelessness and a lack of motivation to do anything. There are many reasons as to why one might feel depressed. Some are caused by a specific event, such as losing a loved one or experiencing trauma. It is thought that some instances of depression are genetic, with people more likely to get depression if it runs in the family. For some, there is no apparent reason as to why depression might occur.

Obsessive compulsive disorder

OCD is related to anxiety and manifests in obsessive behaviours that the sufferer is compelled to act out. This can lead to a person not being able to leave the house for fear of an oven being left on, for example. For others, they are compelled to touch objects in a specific order, a specific amount of times. In the more severe cases, upsetting thoughts become stuck, with the sufferer going around in ever-unpleasant circles of thought.

Post-traumatic stress disorder

PTSD occurs when a person has suffered a highly traumatic event. What constitutes traumatic may depend on the person involved, but it is typically surviving a life-threatening event, such as a violent attack, accident or illness. Around 33% of those who survive such events will experience PTSD, which can manifest with the person reliving the trauma through vivid flashbacks or nightmares.

Anxiety

Anxiety is something of an umbrella term as it can manifest in different ways, including the aforementioned OCD and PTSD. Generalised anxiety is where chronic anxiety, one that is always present, can deeply affect someone’s life. Chronic anxiety can have profound effects on someone’s health, with heart disease, strokes and even back problems all increasing in likelihood.

Social anxiety disorder

Social anxiety disorder is where a person has a profound fear of social situations. Much like feeling a little down not being comparable with depression, social anxiety disorder is not the same as shyness, as the sufferer may have symptoms so severe that they struggle to leave the house.

Panic disorders

Panic disorders describe panic attacks, which is a deeply unpleasant feeling of overwhelming dread, profuse sweating, problems breathing, palpitations and nausea. An attack can last between two and 20 minutes, often coming out of the blue. Despite it feeling quite the opposite, panic attacks are not life-threatening, although they can be life-altering for those who suffer from them.

How are mental illnesses diagnosed?

Talking with a doctor is the best way to diagnose these conditions and start dealing with them. It may not be a straightforward process, but there are many tools available to deal with mental illnesses. For some, a talking therapy, such as CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), may be extremely helpful and negate the need for medication. CBT for example, retrains the thought processes that heighten anxiety, making it particularly effective for OCD, PTSD and other anxiety related conditions. For some, simple counselling, where a person can talk about their problems, can be beneficial. Medication alone can be invaluable to others, while a blend of talking therapies and medication (or combination therapy) has been helpful in more severe cases.

How can Efexor help my mental health condition?

As Efexor is an SNRI, or serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, it works by ‘inhibiting’ the body’s process of reabsorbing the naturally occurring substances serotonin and norepinephrine. This means that the levels of these substances are increased in the brain, thus improving mood. SNRI antidepressants differ from SSRI types because they affect levels of norepinephrine as well as serotonin. Norepinephrine is directly related to motivation and social skills, which makes SNRI well suited to those with social anxiety.

If you are concerned about your mood and anxiety levels, you can access our video consultation service, where a registered clinician in the UK can offer advice related to your symptoms. If necessary, they can provide fit notes and access to specialist services, as well as prescriptions. You can either buy Efexor online from our regulated UK pharmacy or have a prescription sent to your local pharmacy to be dispensed.

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Page last reviewed:  16/09/2020
Directions

Always follow your prescriber’s instructions to minimise the risk of side effects and to get the most out of your treatment. Failure to do so can have significant health consequences. It is also important that you read the patient leaflet that comes with your medication.

  • Take at the same time every day
  • Take with water
  • Dosage is person dependant and how they react to treatment
  • A typical starting dose is 37.5mg
  • In some cases, a maximum dosage of 375mg is advised
  • Capsules should be swallowed whole
  • Best taken after food
  • Can take a few weeks to take effect
  • Do not take double the dose if you miss a capsule. Simply carry on treatment as normal
  • If you don't notice after several weeks, speak to your doctor
Page last reviewed:  16/09/2020
Please read the patient information leaflet for this medicine fully before use:

Efexor XL 75mg

Efexor XL 150mg

Efexor XL 225mg

Side effects & warnings

Side effects 

As with any medication, there is a risk of allergic or serious reactions to Efexor. Although these are rare, it is important to understand them so you know what to do if you encounter them. Seek immediate medical assistance if you experience any of the following:

An inability to sit still, feeling abnormally elated, jerking muscle movements, swollen lips, tongue or throat, suicidal thoughts, self-harming, severe hives or rashes, chest tightness, abnormal muscle weakness, trouble breathing and vomiting. 

A serious condition called serotonin syndrome may occur if you have taken too much Efexor. The symptoms to look out for include:

Increased heart rate, temperature, severe stomach issues, overactive reflexes, fever, hallucinations, coma, restlessness, stiffness and vomiting. 

Side effects are possible with any medication, but this does not mean you will experience several or any of the following symptoms. It is important, however, to be aware of the possibilities of both the mild and severe side effects.

Very common (more than 1 in 10 people)

Sweating, night sweats, headaches, insomnia, nausea, dry mouth, constipation, lethargy and dizziness.

A dry mouth occurs in around 10% of users and can increase the likelihood of dental issues. If you experience these symptoms, it is recommended that you take extra care with your dental health.

Common (can affect up to 1 in 10 people)

Weakness, chills, fatigue, excessive yawning, altered vision, tinnitus, flushing, tremors, inability to orgasm, decreased sex drive, agitation, nervousness, restlessness, detachment from yourself, changes in taste, increased appetite, confusion, palpitations, increased blood pressure mild rash, inability to urinate, increased urination, changes in menstruation, weight loss, weight gain and erectile dysfunction (ED).

Uncommon (can affect up to 1 in 100 people)

Hair loss, sensitivity to sunlight, mania, hallucinations, teeth grinding, fainting, dampened emotions, dizziness when standing too quickly, muscle spasms, decreased blood pressure, vomiting blood, bruising easily, stiffness and changes in liver enzymes.

Rare (can affect 1 in 1,000 people)

Seizures, shortness of breath, confusion alongside hallucinations (delirium), severe eye pain, excess coughing, back pains, abdominal pains, abnormal heartbeat leading to loss of consciousness, yellow eyes and skin and dark urine.

A condition called SIADH, syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion, has been reported as occurring in up to 1 in 1,000 cases. Symptoms to look out for are excessive water intake that can lead to:

Low sodium levels in the blood, nausea, tremors, cramps, anger, hallucinations and seizures.

Very rare (can affect 1 in 10,000 people)

Abnormal breast milk production, unexplained bleeding in vomit, gums and urine, deep bruising and broken veins.

Frequency unknown

Suicidal thoughts, aggression and vertigo. 

Warnings

Conditions to look out for

Before you begin treatment with Efexor, you need to inform your doctor of any conditions you are currently experiencing or any you have had in the past. Some conditions may mean that you must avoid using Efexor, while others may not be suitable to use it with.

Avoid using Efexor if the following applies to you:

You are allergic to any of Efexor’s ingredients

You have severe kidney or liver problems

Efexor may not be suitable for you if you have any of the following conditions:

Diabetes, heart problems, glaucoma, a tendency for seizures or fits, high blood pressure, blood disorders, hyponatraemia (low blood sodium), a history of aggression and have a history, or family history, of bipolar or mania.

Taking with other medications

It is also essential that you tell your doctor of any medication you are currently taking, including herbal supplements. Each substance reacts with other substances in the body, which can increase the likelihood or severity of side effects, as well as create new ones. Some of these can be dangerous.

The following medications should never be taken alongside Efexor:

MAOI antidepressants 

Some medications may make Efexor inappropriate. Your doctor can provide the risks associated with this treatment and suggest other options if possible. These drugs include:

Other medications containing venlafaxine, triptans (migraine medication), other antidepressants (including SSRIs, SNRIs, Tricyclics), lithium, amphetamines (used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy), linezolid (an antibiotic), opioid painkillers (tramadol, fentanyl, tapentadol, pethidine or pentazocine), methadone, drugs containing dextromethorphan, drugs containing methylene blue (blood treatment), St John’s Wort (herbal antidepressant), medications containing tryptophan (used for sleep disorders) and antipsychotics.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

There are some risks involved to the health of the newborn child when taking Efexor. Although these risks are relatively small, it is important to tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to be pregnant before treatment begins.

Efexor is not suitable for use during breastfeeding as trace amounts are found in breast milk.

Driving and using machinery

Efexor can make some users confused and dizzy, especially at the beginning of treatment. You should therefore not drive until you know how the drug will affect you.

Food, drink and alcohol

Efexor should be taken with food. It is not recommended that you consume alcohol while using Efexor.

Fertility

There is no evidence that Efexor affects fertility in either men or women.

Page last reviewed:  16/09/2020
Please read the patient information leaflet for this medicine fully before use:

Efexor XL 75mg

Efexor XL 150mg

Efexor XL 225mg

Q&A

Can I still drink alcohol?

It is not recommended that you consume alcohol.

Can I drive while taking Efexor?

If you do not experience any feelings of dizziness or problems focusing, you should be able to drive. However, it is recommended that you wait and see how the medication affects you.

Is it available without prescription?

No, you will need a doctor to prescribe the treatment before you can get Efexor.

Is it possible to buy Efexor online?

Yes, but you will need a prescription. You will only be able to obtain a prescription if you have previously been treated with Efexor by your doctor.

We provide an online video consultation service, where you can get advice from our GMC registered doctors. Appointments are available Monday to Friday, 9.30am - 4.30pm. If you are currently not registered at your GP surgery, we are able to offer fit notes, access to specialists and prescriptions. 

If it is decided that a repeat prescription is right for you, our prescriber can write one that allows you to buy Efexor online from our GPhC pharmacy. The package will be sent via our next day courier service, in discreet packaging.

 

 

Page last reviewed:  16/09/2020
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