Scary Side Effects of Venlafaxine: What You Need to Know

Venlafaxine is a popular antidepressant, but it can sometimes cause unpleasant side effects. Some people may experience problems such as nausea, weight gain, and insomnia.

If you are taking Venlafaxine and begin to experience any unpleasant side effects, consult your doctor immediately. There may be ways to reduce or eliminate the side effects without stopping treatment altogether.

What Is Venlafaxine?

Venlafaxine is a prescription antidepressant medication used to treat major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders, and panic attacks. It belongs to a class of medications called serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).

As with all medications, Venlafaxine has the potential to cause side effects. Common side effects include nausea, headache, dizziness, dry mouth, and insomnia. However, Venlafaxine can also cause more serious side effects, such as seizures, serotonin syndrome, and liver damage. In the following. I’ll be writing about those in details.

Things to Consider Before You Take Venlafaxine

  1. Discuss your current health situation, medications you are taking any other supplements you are taking with your doctor.
  2. Also, discuss if you recently had any surgery or planning for any recommended surgery.
  3. Tell your doctor if you have recently suffered a stroke, heart attack, heart failure, kidney failure, or any other serious health condition.
  4. Alcohol with Venlafaxine can have some serious side effects. It is recommended to avoid alcohol fully.
  5. Venlafaxine may cause high blood pressure in some individuals. If you are taking this medication, you should have your blood pressure checked before starting treatment and regularly during treatment.
  6. You should tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  7. If you are allergic to Venlafaxine, your doctor may change it cause there are some similar SNRIs available.

What Are the Possible Side Effects of Venlafaxine?

As with all medications, there are possible side effects associated with Venlafaxine. Some side effects are mild, and some can be life-threatening. Usually, patients do not face any severe side effects. Patients within a week or few weeks are adjusting to Venlafaxine well. But in some cases, patients face serious issues.

Some possible side effects of Venlafaxine are:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Blurred vision
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue

Which Side Effects Of Venlafaxine Are More Common?

There are various potential side effects associated with Venlafaxine, and they can vary from person to person. Some of the more common side effects include:

common side effects of venlafaxine

  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Having headaches
  • Nightmare
  • Lack appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Pain in the stomach
  • Congestion
  • Dysentery
  • Acidity
  • Acid reflux
  • Having burps
  • Mouth feeling dry
  • Changes in taste
  • Appetite loss
  • Loss of weight
  • A part of the body shakes uncontrollably
  • Numbness, tingling, or pain in a part of the body
  • Yawns
  • Getting sweaty
  • Flushing or hot flashes
  • Urinating frequently
  • Having trouble urinating
  • Symptoms of infection such as sore throat, chills, or fever
  • Ear ringing
  • Male sexual problems; decreased sex drive, inability to maintain an erection, or delayed ejaculation.
  • Problems with female sexual drive, delayed orgasm, or inability to orgasm
  • Eyes with enlarged pupils (black circles in the middle)

Immediate treatment is not recommended if these symptoms stay for a short period of time. But in case it lasts longer than 2/3 days, it is highly recommended to talk to your doctor. Common symptoms also need your attention.

Which Side Effects Are More Serious?

Some side effects of venlafaxine can be serious. We usually do not see this in our patients. But in some rare cases, patients may experience these serious side effects:

serious side effects of venlafaxine

  • Irregular Heart rate or rhythm
  • Serotonin syndrome (a potentially life-threatening condition),
  • Mania or hypomania (mood changes)
  • Irritation
  • Itchiness
  • Breathing or swallowing difficulties
  • Having chest pains
  • The heartbeat that is fast, pounding, or irregular
  • Bleeding or bruising that is unusual
  • Purple spots on the skin
  • Fever, sweating, confusion, muscle stiffness,
  • Coordination problems
  • Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that do not exist)
  • Loss of consciousness for a prolonged period of time (coma)

This list requires your serious attention. Stop wasting time searching for information on the web and consult the doctor who prescribed Venlafaxine to you. If you continue your life with these symptoms, it can be life-threatening. And waiting for a long can worsen the situation.

What Should I Do if I Experience Any Side Effects?

If you experience any side effects while taking Venlafaxine, it’s important to report them to your doctor as soon as possible. Depending on the severity of the side effects, your doctor may decide to either stop the medication or lower your dose.

There are a number of things you can do to help reduce or prevent side effects, including:

  1.  Taking the medication exactly as prescribed
  2.  Taking Venlafaxine with food or milk
  3.  Avoiding alcohol and caffeine
  4.  Staying hydrated

Side Effects of Alcohol with Venlafaxine

It is important to be aware of these risks when consuming alcohol and Venlafaxine together, as they can lead to serious problems if not monitored. If you experience any of these side effects while taking either medication, please consult your doctor immediately.

There are a number of side effects associated with alcohol and Venlafaxine. These can include

  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • blurred vision
  • headache
  • nausea
  • vomiting, and an increased risk for falls.

Venlafaxine During Pregnancy

Venlafaxine may slightly increase your risk of bleeding after delivery during the last month of pregnancy. Most pregnant women shouldn’t stop taking Venlafaxine because these side effects are not commonly seen.

Treatment for your mental health is important since it can affect you and your baby. Anxiety and depression can sometimes worsen during pregnancy and after childbirth.

Venlafaxine can sometimes cause short-term withdrawal symptoms in the weeks before delivery and, very rarely, breathing problems in the baby. If needed, your baby will get extra care after birth. Consult your doctor if you become pregnant. You and your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of each treatment so you can decide which one is right for you.

Venlafaxine During Lactation

Breastfed babies are very rarely affected by Venlafaxine side effects, as it passes into breast milk in small amounts. Many breastfeeding mothers have used it without any problems.

For your health, it is important that you continue taking venlafaxine. Both you and your baby will benefit from breastfeeding.

Talk to your doctor if your baby seems unusually sleepy, isn’t feeding well, seems irritable, or if you have any other concerns about your baby.

FAQ About Venlafaxine

What should you avoid when taking Venlafaxine?

– Alcohol is recommended to avoid.
How do you feel when you start taking Venlafaxine?

– It depends; unfortunately, if you face side effects, you won’t feel good.
What should be monitored when taking Venlafaxine?

– Read the second heading. (Things to Consider Before Taking Venlafaxine)

How long does it take to get used to taking Venlafaxine?

– within one or two weeks, you may start feeling good and may get used to it.
Can you drink coffee while taking Venlafaxine?

– Yes, you can but limit yourself to one or two cups a day.
What are the long-term effects of Venlafaxine?

– No valid data available.
What are the pros and cons of Venlafaxine?

– Pros are that your symptoms may disappear and you may start feeling good, and the cons are you can face side effects.
Is it better to take Venlafaxine in the morning or at night?

– It depends on you. If it disturbs your sleeping pattern, you can take venlafaxine in the morning after discussing it with your doctor.
Does Venlafaxine make you feel good?

– Venlafaxine can improve your mood and energy level.
Does Venlafaxine affect memory?

– It might cause memory loss.
Can Venlafaxine make you angry?

– It may cause anger issues in teens.

Some information was collected from these sources to make sure the validation level of information is up to the mark. You can research more in-depth about venlafaxine from these links.





Dr. Tauhid Al Araf

Dr. Tauhid Al Araf

Hi, I’m Dr. Tauhid. I’ve completed my MBBS from Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College. After completing my BCS, now working as an Upazilla Health Complex Medical Officer. I'm on a mission to Spread awareness about using and misusing drugs has become so significant nowadays. This is one of my dream projects, hopefully, this gonna help people all around the world.

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