SSRI Litigation

Why Doctors Prescribe Effexor

Effexor® is the brand name of the prescription medication venlafaxine, a type of selective serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI). SNRIs are used to treat a number of mood disorders1 and treatment-resistant depression.2

Treatment with Effexor

Doctors prescribe this medication for depression, general anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder.3 Off-label uses (those not approved by the FDA) include:4

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Lupus
  • Headaches
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Eating disorders

The drug is generally prescribed only to adults because of a risk of suicide among those younger than age 24.5

Anxiety symptoms

Anxiety is a mood disorder characterized by feelings of unease, worry, fear, or tension with no apparent source. It is often associated with stress. The symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Sleep-related problems
  • Muscle tension
  • Stomach upset

Treatment of anxiety aims to treat the symptoms and help you function in everyday life.6,7

Social anxiety disorder

Social anxiety disorder is also known as social phobia. The disorder is characterized by persistent irrational fears of social situations. People with this disorder become self-conscious and anxious in social situations. Symptoms include:

  • Difficulty talking
  • Blushing
  • Nausea
  • Trembling
  • Sweating

Treatment of social anxiety disorder aims to help you function in daily life.8

Panic attack treatment

About 1 in every 75 people may suffer from panic disorder. It tends to appear during major life transitions. Panic attacks consist of:

  • Racing heartbeat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Paralyzing fear
  • Trembling
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Chills or hot flashes
  • Tingling sensation in the fingers and toes
  • Irrational fears

Treatment of panic disorder when the panic attack starts can help a person lead a normal life, sometimes without additional therapy.9

Treatment-resistant depression

Effexor is also prescribed to treat depression that is resistant to other treatments. A 1999 study found that venlafaxine is effective at treating depression when other antidepressants are not. But like other antidepression drugs, Effexor is often prescribed alongside talk therapy for treatment-resistant depression.2,10

As a prescription medication, Effexor has a number of potential adverse reactions and side effects.5 The potential for birth defects and a high rate of miscarriage when taken by pregnant women has led to lawsuits.11 If you or a loved one was injured by taking Effexor, a personal injury lawyer can answer your questions and review whether you have a case.

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