The active substance venlafaxine belongs to the group of antidepressants. It is used in the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders. Very often venlafaxine causes side effects such as headache and gastrointestinal discomfort. The antidepressant should not be used on children under the age of 18 in combination with central depressant drugs. Here you can read everything important about the effects of venlafaxine, side effects and application.ArtikelübersichtVenlafaxin
- application areas
- Proper application
- side effects
- Important instructions
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That's how Venlafaxin works
The antidepressant venlafaxine belongs to the group of selective serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. The two messengers serotonin and norepinephrine transmit nerve signals between the brain cells by being released from one cell and then binding to specific docking sites (receptors) of the next cell. Subsequently, the messengers are taken back into the first nerve cell and thus inactivated. Venlafaxine inhibits this reuptake, allowing norepinephrine and serotonin to stay active for longer. The result is a mood-enhancing and drive-enhancing effect.
Venlafaxine is commonly used in salt form as venlafaxine hydrochloride. After oral intake, it is mainly metabolised by the liver and has a bioavailability of 40 percent (ie: 40 percent of the amount of active ingredient taken in the mouth can be utilized by the body). After metabolism by the liver, it is mostly excreted by the kidneys. The maximum concentration of venlafaxine in the blood serum is reached after about two hours. When taken several times, the blood level reaches constant values after about three days.
When is Venlafaxine used?
Venlafaxine is favored in the drug therapy of depression, including maintenance therapy to prevent the recurrence of new depressive episodes.
In addition, patients with generalized anxiety disorders also benefit from the venlafaxine effect. In rare cases, the antidepressant is used to prevent headaches (migraine and tension-type headache) and ADHD. For both areas of application, the drug is not actually approved, so the application here represents a so-called "off-label" use.
So venlafaxine is used
Venlafaxine is administered orally mainly as a tablet or capsule without or with sustained-release (sustained release). In the case of depressive syndromes as well as generalized anxiety disorder, outpatient therapy usually takes place with a venlafaxine dose of initially 75 milligrams per day (two single doses). If necessary, the doctor may increase the dose to 150 milligrams per day (three single doses). The maximum dose is 375 milligrams per day.
The regular intake of venlafaxine is important for the success of the therapy, since otherwise the amount of active norepinephrine and serotonin outside the nerve cells may decrease. An additional use of a combination preparation is not required and should only be taken in consultation with the doctor.
If you want to discontinue venlafaxine, this should be done by gradually reducing the daily dose, as otherwise venlafaxine withdrawal symptoms occur such as mental changes (anxiety, confusion, cognitive disorders), neurological disorders (headache, dizziness, sensory disturbances), autonomic disorders and loss of appetite.To the table of contents
What are the side effects of Venlafaxine?
Very common (in more than one in ten) venlafaxine side effects are headache, gastrointestinal upset (such as nausea, vomiting and constipation), dry mouth, increased caries risk due to dry mouth and sweating. Rarely (in one in ten to a hundred people treated), venlafaxine causes weight loss, unusual dreams, insomnia and decreased sexual desire (loss of libido).
Occasionally (from one in a hundred to a thousand) Venlafaxine may cause weight gain, skin reactions, orgasmic disorders in women and taste changes.