Venlafaxine Pros and Cons

Venlafaxine, sold under the brand name Effexor, is an antidepressant in a group of drugs called serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). It blocks serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake transporters, allowing more quantity of neurotransmitters to be released in the synapse. Major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder can all be treated with Venlafaxine. It has received FDA approval for these indications.

Initially, the drug was available in an instant release formulation. The FDA authorized the extended-release (XR) formulation in 1997. The XR variant is better because it only needs to be taken once a day. It also causes less nausea at the start of treatment.

Depression is a major mood illness characterized by considerable cognitive and behavioral disturbances. It is believed that approximately 5% of the world's youth population suffers from serious depressive disorders. When it comes to treating children and adolescents who suffer from depressive disorders SSRIs and SNRIs can be of great value.

But there is one big problem. Recently, there has been suspicion that these drugs may trigger suicidal tendencies in adolescents. For this reason, the US Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning regarding an elevated risk of suicidal thoughts or conduct in children and young adults treated with antidepressants.

Venlafaxine Pros and Cons

Neurotransmitter deficiency in the brain is currently regarded to be the sole cause of depression. Serotonin, which is often referred to as 5-hydroxytryptamine or 5-HT, is one of these neurotransmitters. SSRIs and SNRIs limit the reuptake of neurotransmitters. So the neurotransmitter stays on the receptor for a longer period of time, increasing the likelihood that enough will accumulate to trigger an impulse in the next neuron. 

Venlafaxine Pros

People are becoming more interested in venlafaxine as a possible treatment for a number of pain syndromes. The effects of inhibiting norepinephrine reuptake that are caused by TCAs and the effects of inhibiting serotonin reuptake that are caused by SSRIs are both brought together in this medicine, but the antimuscarinic side effects are minimized. It seems to be useful in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy as well as neuropathic back pain. The findings of a clinical research have demonstrated that venlafaxine XR is both effective and safe for use over the long term in the management of chronic pain in patients who also suffer from major depressive disorder.

  • In the treatment of serious depression, venlafaxine shows promise as being more effective than selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and at least as efficacious as tricyclic antidepressants.
  • When SSRIs don't work, this is a good alternative.
  • A high rate of therapeutic success
  • Beneficial for depression that doesn't respond to other treatment
  • Rapid onset of antidepressant and antianxiety effects
  • Greater remission rates compared to fluoxetine and paroxetine
  • This medication helps to keep depression symptoms from reoccurring.

Venlafaxine Cons

The negative effects of Venlafaxine might be severe. These have the potential to be harmful and even fatal. There is a "black box" warning associated with venlafaxine, which is the FDA's most stringent degree of caution. Children, teens, and young adults who start taking or change the amount of antidepressants like venlafaxine are more likely to think and act suicidally.

  • Possible severe adverse effects of Venlafaxine include the following:
    • Hypersensitivity, which can manifest itself in a variety of ways, including abrupt swelling, difficult breathing, and changes in skin colour
    • Suicidal emotions and behaviour that might be abrupt or gradual
    • The symptoms of serotonin syndrome include irritability, disorientation, muscle rigidity, and alterations in heart rate and blood pressure.
    • High blood pressure, which typically has no symptoms, can produce headaches.

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