FDA approved

Generic for Effexor®Venlafaxine

Starting at $49/mo

Getting psychiatric care for anxiety and depression has never been more convenient. Consult with a healthcare provider through our platform to determine whether a medication like venlafaxine could be right for you.


  • Prescribed by a healthcare provider experienced in treating anxiety & depression, if appropriate
  • Unlimited provider messaging
  • Free dosage adjustments

What is venlafaxine?

Venlafaxine is a prescription drug, notably the first of a newer type called SNRIs (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) that offer an alternative to SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). The Food and Drug Administration first approved the drug in 1993 to treat depression in adults and later in 1997 as an extended release (XR) version. It is marketed under the brand name Effexor®.

Venlafaxine uses

Venlafaxine (generic for Effexor XR®) is approved by the FDA to treat major depressive disorder (MDD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety order (SAD), and panic disorder (PD). Not all mental health conditions can be treated by a provider through our platform. Those who are not candidates for treatment through our platform should consider seeking care from a medical provider in person to evaluate potential options for treatment.

How venlafaxine works

Venlafaxine affects the balance of two chemicals within the brain. Like other SNRIs, venlafaxine specifically inhibits the nervous system from reabsorbing both serotonin and norepinephrine. Relative to other SNRIs, venlafaxine targets serotonin more than norepinephrine.

Venlafaxine drug interactions

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs, such as linezolid, methylene blue, etc), increase the risk of serotonin syndrome, a mild to life-threatening build up of serotonin in the system. Similarly, venlafaxine can interact with other agents that affect serotonin in the brain, such as tricyclic antidepressants, certain pain medications, supplements that contain St. John's Wort or tryptophan. Be prepared to share all prescription and over the counter medications, as well as any other products you take, with your provider.

* Only available if prescribed after an online consultation with a healthcare provider.

* Controlled substances such as Xanax and Adderall are not available through our platform.

* This page has been medically reviewed by Sylvia Valadez, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC.

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Venlafaxine Generic for Effexor®

How to get venlafaxine online with Hers

1. Simple consultation

Complete an online mental health assessment and intake form, then connect with a healthcare provider through our platform.

2. Free delivery

Get venlafaxine shipped to you for free, if prescribed.

3. Ongoing support

Enjoy secure, ongoing support 100% online—including refills and unlimited dosage adjustments.

What’s an SNRI?

Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) zero in on mood-affecting chemicals in the brain and help to regulate their levels to improve your symptoms. Nice, right?

The science of venlafaxine

Your brain naturally makes chemicals that make you feel good, like serotonin and norepinephrine. Venlafaxine keeps neurons from reabsorbing these chemicals so that you have more of them available in your brain, and focuses more on serotonin than other SNRIs. Long story short? This can help relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression.


Good to know

Venlafaxine side effects

The most common side effects of venlafaxine include unusual dreams, sexual problems, loss of appetite, constipation, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, or dry mouth, feeling tired, fatigued or overly sleepy, change in sleep habits, problems sleeping, yawning, tremor or shaking, dizziness, blurred vision, sweating, feeling anxious, nervous or jittery, headache, increase in heart rate. Venlafaxine can increase blood pressure and this should be monitored. Discuss any side effects you experience with your provider.


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Over 75% of Hers customers who checked in with their provider reported improvements in their mental health symptoms.*

* Results vary. Data were self-reported between 11/26/2021 and 08/01/2022 by Hers customers who 1) signed up between 11/04/2021 and 05/04/2022; 2) were prescribed antidepressant medication by a provider after their first consultation on the Hers platform; and 3) had an active subscription for such psychiatric medication through the Hers platform within 90 days after signing up.

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Frequently asked questions about venlafaxine

How long does it take for venlafaxine (generic for Effexor®) to work?

Venlafaxine was shown to be effective as a treatment for major depressive disorder in clinical trials lasting 8-12 weeks and as a treatment for generalized anxiety disorder in clinical trials lasting 8 weeks to 6 months. If you start taking venlafaxine and do not feel any improvement in your condition, talk to your healthcare provider. Do not stop taking venlafaxine without consulting your doctor.

Does venlafaxine cause hair loss?

Hair loss is not a generally recognized side effect of venlafaxine. However, all medications carry a risk of new or unusual side effects. If you start taking venlafaxine and notice a significant increase in hair loss, talk to your healthcare provider.

What are the serious side effects of venlafaxine?

Serious adverse effects of venlafaxine include but are not limited to:
  • suicidal thoughts
  • agitation
  • mania
  • seizures
  • drowsiness
  • high blood pressure
  • serotonin syndrome
  • eye pain or problems
  • new or worsened depression or anxiety
Seek medical advice from a healthcare professional if you experience new worsening side effects. Do not abruptly stop taking venlafaxine, as this may cause withdrawal symptoms.

Can you take venlafaxine if you are pregnant?

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider before taking venlafaxine. Venlafaxine is present in breastmilk. Infants of mothers using venlafaxine should be monitored daily for changes.

Who should not take venlafaxine?

Hyperthyroidism, history of seizures or angle-closure glaucoma are typically considered contraindications for taking venlafaxine. In addition, people with liver disease, heart problems or kidney disease may require special consideration, such as dosing adjustments.

Is there an immediate release version of venlafaxine?

Yes, there is an immediate release version of venlafaxine. Talk to your healthcare provider about whether immediate release or extended release is right for you.

Learn more about venlafaxine

Important safety information

Learn more about venlafaxine

Important safety information

Important Safety Information

Do not take Venlafaxine if you:
  • are allergic to Venlafaxine, or any of the ingredients in Venlafaxine
  • take any medicines called monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), or if you have stopped taking an MAOI within the last 14 days
  • are drinking alcohol
  • are using or abusing recreation drugs or prescription medications
Venlafaxine can cause serious side effects. Rarely reported side effects include:
  • increased heart rate, low blood pressure
  • increased salivation
  • irregular menstrual cycle
  • increased frequency of urination, difficulty urinating
  • changes in taste
  • low sodium (symptoms of low sodium levels may include headache, weakness, difficulty concentrating and remembering)
  • teeth grinding
  • angle closure glaucoma (symptoms of angle closure glaucoma may include eye pain, changes in vision, swelling or redness in or around eye)
  • serotonin syndrome (symptoms may include shivering, diarrhea, confusion, severe muscle tightness, fever, seizures, and death)
  • increased risk of bleeding events when combined with use of aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. ibuprofen, naproxen), warfarin, and other anticoagulants
Before you take Venlafaxine, tell your healthcare provider if you:
  • have thoughts of suicide or harming yourself
  • have a history of psychiatric or medical problems, including bipolar disorder
  • have taken any medication in the past for your condition, whether effective or not
  • have suffered adverse or side effects from previous medication therapies
  • are receiving any non-medication treatment, such as talk therapy
  • drink alcohol or use/abuse recreational or prescription drugs
  • are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding
Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbal supplements, and recreational drugs.
Venlafaxine may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect the way Venlafaxine works, causing side effects. Especially tell your healthcare provider if you take any of the following:
  • any other serotonergic medications, migraine medications (triptans), pain medications, antibiotic linezolid
  • aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. ibuprofen, naproxen), warfarin, and other anticoagulants
During treatment with this medication, the side effects of this medication may go away over the first one to two weeks your body adjusts to the medication. The most common side effects of Venlafaxine: headache, nausea, diarrhea, dry mouth, increased sweating, feeling nervous, restless, fatigued, sleepy or having trouble sleeping (insomnia). Sexual side effects, such as problems with orgasm or ejaculatory delay, increased blood pressure often do not improve over time.
Venlafaxine is a prescription medicine used to treat major depressive disorder (MDD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder (social phobia.
Extended release tablets should be swallowed whole. Do not break, crush or chew it. Extended release capsules: swallow whole or sprinkle onto food, such as applesauce or pudding and eat immediately.
If you miss a dose of venlafaxine, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is closer to the time of your next dose. Discuss this with your healthcare provider. Do not double your next dose or take more than what is prescribed.
Do not stop taking venlafaxine, even when you feel better. Abruptly stopping can cause withdrawal symptoms including: irritability, nausea, feeling dizzy, vomiting, nightmares, headache, and/or paresthesias (prickling, tingling sensation on the skin).
Sleep, energy, or appetite may show some improvement within the first 1-2 weeks. Improvement in these physical symptoms can be an important early signal that the medication is working. Depressed mood and lack of interest in activities may need up to 6-8 weeks to fully improve.
Patients, their families, and caregivers should be alert to the emergence of anxiety, restlessness, irritability, aggressiveness and insomnia. If these symptoms emerge, they should be reported to the patient’s prescriber or healthcare professional. All patients being treated with antidepressants for any indication should watch for and notify their healthcare provider for worsening symptoms, suicidality and unusual changes in behavior, especially during the first few months of treatment.
If you no longer need your medication, the best way to dispose of most types of old, unused, unwanted, or expired medicines (both prescription and over the counter) is to drop off the medicine at a drug take back site, location, or program immediately. You can use the DEA DIVERSION CONTROL DIVISION LOOKUP to find your nearest drug disposal site.
If no drug take back sites, locations, or programs are available in your area, and there are no specific disposal instructions (such as flushing) in the medication guide or package insert, you can follow these simple steps to dispose of most medicines in your trash at home:
  • Mix medicines (liquid or pills; do not crush tablets or capsules) with an unappealing substance such as dirt, cat litter, or used coffee grounds;
  • Place the mixture in a container such as a sealed plastic bag;
  • Throw away the container in your trash at home; and
  • Delete all personal information on the prescription label of empty medicine bottles or medicine packaging, then trash or recycle the empty bottle or packaging.
If you're in emotional distress, text HOME to 741-741 to connect with a Crisis Text Line counselor immediately.
If you're having a medical or mental health emergency, call 911 or go to your local ER

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* Controlled substances, including amphetamines (such as Adderall) or benzodiazepines (such as Xanax and Valium) are not available through our platform.