The name of your medicine is APO-Venlafaxine XR. It contains the active ingredient venlafaxine (as venlafaxine hydrochloride).
It is used to treat major depression, and to prevent it coming back.
Depression can affect your whole body and may cause emotional and physical symptoms such as feeling low in spirit, being unable to enjoy life, poor appetite or overeating, disturbed sleep, loss of sex drive, lack of energy and feeling guilty over nothing.
Venlafaxine belongs to a class of medications for depression, called Serotonin-Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs).
Serotonin and noradrenaline are chemical messengers that allow certain nerves in the brain to work.
Venlafaxine increases the level of these two messengers. Experts think this is how it helps to restore your feeling of wellness.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why this medicine has been prescribed for you.
Your doctor may have prescribed Venlafaxine XR for another reason.
This medicine is available only with a doctor's prescription.
There is no evidence that this medicine is addictive.
Do not give venlafaxine to children or adolescents under 18 years of age.
The safety and effectiveness of venlafaxine in this age group have not been established.
Do not take this medicine if you are taking other medicines called Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs). These may be used for the treatment of depression (phenelzine, tranylcypromine, moclobemide), Parkinson's disease (selegiline) or infections (linezolid) or diagnosis of certain conditions/treatment of certain blood disorders (methylene blue).
There may be others so check with your doctor or pharmacist.
Do not take venlafaxine until 14 days after stopping most MAOIs, and do not take any MAOIs until more than one week after stopping venlafaxine (see also point 7 in "Before You Start to Take it").
(However you may take venlafaxine 24 hours after stopping the reversible MAOI called moclobemide.)
Taking venlafaxine with a MAOI may cause a serious reaction with a sudden increase in body temperature, extremely high blood pressure and severe convulsions.
Do not take this medicine if:
Before you start taking this medicine, tell your doctor if:
1. You have allergies to:
2. You have or have had any medical conditions, especially the following:
3. You are currently pregnant or you plan to become pregnant. There have been reports that babies exposed to venlafaxine and other antidepressants during the third trimester of pregnancy may develop complications after birth.
4. You are currently breast-feeding or you plan to breast-feed.
5. You are planning to have surgery or an anaesthetic or any medical tests or treatments..
6. You are currently receiving or are planning to receive dental treatment.
7. You are taking or are planning to take any other medicines. This includes vitamins and supplements that are available from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines may interact with venlafaxine. These include:
If you are taking any of these you may need a different dose or you may need to take different medicines.
Your doctor may also wish to do some heart tests such as an electrocardiogram (ECG) or blood tests if you are using any of the following whilst taking venlafaxine:
Other interactions not listed above may also occur.
Follow carefully all directions given to you by your doctor or pharmacist. Their instructions may be different to the information in this leaflet.
Your doctor or pharmacist will tell you how much of this medicine you should take. This will depend on your condition and whether you are taking any other medicines.
The usual starting dose is 75mg taken once daily.
If necessary, after two weeks, your doctor may increase your dose. The maximum you should take in one day is 225 mg.
The dose may be much lower if you have liver or kidney problems.
If you have kidney or liver problems, you may need a lower dose of venlafaxine. If you have heart problems and your doctor wishes to increase your dose of venlafaxine, your doctor may first do some blood tests or heart tests such as an electrocardiogram (ECG).
Do not stop taking your medicine or change your dosage without first checking with your doctor.
Swallow the capsules whole with a glass of water or other non-alcoholic liquid. Do not divide, crush, chew or place the capsules in water.
Inside Venlafaxine XR capsules are tablets that contain the venlafaxine active ingredient. As the medicine travels the length of your gastrointestinal tract, venlafaxine is slowly released.
Take venlafaxine once daily with food, either in the morning or in the evening.
Take this medicine at the same time each day. Taking it at the same time each day will have the best effect and will also help you remember when to take it.
Avoid drinking alcohol while you are taking venlafaxine.
Continue taking your medicine for as long as your doctor tells you.
Although you may begin to feel better after two weeks, it may take several weeks before you feel much better. It is important to give venlafaxine time to work.
Even when you feel well again, you may need to keep taking venlafaxine for several months to make sure the benefits last. Discuss this with your doctor and do not stop taking venlafaxine until gaining your doctor's agreement.
Make sure you have enough to last over weekends and holidays.
If it is less than 12 hours until your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time. Otherwise take it as soon as you remember and then go back to taking your medicine as you would normally.
Do not take a double dose to make up for missed doses.
This may increase the chance of you experiencing side effects.
Contact your doctor if you have missed more than two doses in a row.
Always finish the capsules you are taking in the current pack before you start a new pack.
If you have trouble remembering to take your medicine, ask your pharmacist for some hints to help you remember.
If you think that you or anyone else may have taken too much of this medicine, immediately telephone your doctor or the Poisons Information Centre (Tel: 13 11 26 in Australia) for advice. Alternatively go to the Accident and Emergency Department at your nearest hospital.
Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need urgent medical attention.
If you take too much venlafaxine, you may:
Watch carefully for signs that your depression is getting worse, especially in the first few weeks of treatment or if your dose has changed.
Tell your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms, especially if they are severe, you have not had these symptoms before or they happen very suddenly:
Tell your doctor immediately if you have any thoughts about suicide or doing harm to yourself.
Warning signs of suicide
All thoughts or talk about suicide or violence are serious. If you or someone you know is showing the following warning signs, either contact your doctor or a mental health advisor right away or go to the nearest hospital for treatment:
Tell your doctor that you are taking this medicine if:
Your doctor may occasionally do tests to make sure the medicine is working and to prevent side effects. Go to your doctor regularly for a check-up.
Some people (especially older people and/or those taking diuretics/water tablets) may experience a lack of sodium in the blood when taking this medicine. Tell your doctor if you get a headache or start to feel dizzy, confused, forgetful, weak, unsteady or unable to concentrate. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids.
If you are being treated for depression, be sure to discuss with your doctor any problems you may have and how you feel, especially any feelings of severe sadness, thoughts of suicide, bursts of unusual energy, anger or aggression, or if you become particularly agitated or restless.
This will help your doctor to determine the best treatment for you.
Tell any other doctors, dentists and pharmacists who are treating you that you take this medicine.
Check with your doctor for the best way to slowly reduce the amount of venlafaxine you are taking before stopping completely.
Side effects from stopping treatment with venlafaxine may include:
Slowly reducing the amount of venlafaxine being taken reduces the possibility of these effects occurring.
Venlafaxine may make you feel drowsy. Be careful when driving or operating machinery until you know how this medicine affects you.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking Venlafaxine XR or if you have any questions or concerns.
Do not be alarmed by the following lists of side effects. You may not experience any of them. All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious but most of the time they are not.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice any of the following and they worry you.
This list includes the more common side effects. Mostly, these are mild:
Stomach or bowel problems such as:
Changes in your behaviour such as:
Difficulty thinking or working because of:
Changes in your appearance such as:
Changes in your sight, hearing, taste or touch such as:
Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you notice any of the following.
These may be serious side effects. You may need medical attention. Most of these side effects are rare.
If you experience any of the following, stop taking your medicine and contact your doctor immediately or go to the Accident and Emergency department at your nearest hospital.
These are very serious side effects and are usually very rare. You may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation.
Other changes you may not be aware of which can be identified by blood tests:
Other side effects not listed above may occur in some patients.
If you think you are having an allergic reaction to Venlafaxine XR, do not take any more of this medicine and tell your doctor immediately or go to the Accident and Emergency department at your nearest hospital.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include some or all of the following:
Keep your medicine in its original packaging until it is time to take it.
If you take your medicine out of its original packaging it may not keep well.
Keep your medicine in a cool dry place where the temperature will stay below 25°C.
Do not store your medicine, or any other medicine, in the bathroom or near a sink. Do not leave it on a window sill or in the car. Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
Keep this medicine where children cannot reach it.
A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.
If your doctor or pharmacist tells you to stop taking this medicine or it has passed its expiry date, your pharmacist can dispose of the remaining medicine safely.
75 mg capsules
The capsules have an opaque flesh-coloured cap and body.
Blister packs of 7, 14 and 28 capsules.
150 mg capsules
The capsules have an opaque scarlet-coloured cap and body.
Blister packs of 7, 14 and 28 capsules.
Not all strengths, pack types and/or pack sizes may be available.
Each capsule contains 75 or 150 mg of venlafaxine (as venlafaxine hydrochloride) as the active ingredient.
It also contains the following inactive ingredients:
The 75 mg capsules also contain red iron oxide (E172). The 150 mg capsules also contain erythrosine (E127) and indigo carmine (E132).
This medicine is gluten-free, lactose-free, sucrose-free, tartrazine-free and free of other azo dyes.
APO-Venlafaxine XR 75 mg capsules (blisters)
AUST R: 151878
APO-Venlafaxine XR 150 mg capsules (blisters)
AUST R: 151877