Venlafaxine is used primarily for the treatment of depression, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder in adults.
Venlafaxine (Effexor) is an antidepressant of the serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) class. It is prescribed for the treatment of clinical depression and anxiety disorders. Due to the pronounced side effects and suspicions that venlafaxine may significantly increase the risk of suicide it is not recommended as a first line treatment of depression. However, it is often effective for depression not responding to SSRIs.
Venlafaxine was shown to be effective for depression in multiple double blind studies. Venlafaxine is similar in efficacy to trazodone and tricyclic antidepressants amitriptiline (Elavil) and imipramine and it was better tolerated than amitriptiline. Venlafaxine appears to have efficacy similar or somewhat better than sertraline (Zoloft) and fluoxetine (Prozac) depending on the criteria and rating scales used. In particular, higher doses of venlafaxine are more effective, and more patients achieved remission or were "very much improved".
To comply with FDA regulations requiring all antidepressants, including venlafaxine, to carry a black box with a generic warning about a possible suicide risk, we print the effexor molecule on a black t-shirt.