Effexor XR (Venlafaxine XR)

Also Known as Efexor

Prescription medicineOnly Available By Prescription

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What if I find a lower price with another pharmacy?

We guarantee the lowest price on all of our prescription products. If you find your medications cheaper at any other recognized licensed mail order pharmacy, we will not only match their price, we will beat it by 25% of the difference. It is our 125% price match guarantee!

Example: If you find a product on Canada Drugs Direct for $50.00 and find the same product for $40.00 at another mail order pharmacy, we will provide you with a $12.50 discount, bringing your total to $37.50.

To get the discount please make sure to mention the price match to the customer service team when they call to collect payment for your order. Or call toll free at 1-888-904-8467 to place the order through the phone.

Terms & Conditions of Program

  • Guaranteed lowest price is only valid at the time of sale.
  • We will only match the current advertised price.
  • Products must be identical and in stock at the time of placing an order with a licensed mail order pharmacy. They must be an online Canadian pharmacy with an address in Canada.
  • Products must be authentic in brand and size (same manufacturer, same country of manufacture, same pack size, same strength and same quantity).
  • Products must be new. We cannot match the price of any used, short expiry or expired product.
  • Price match can only be issued over the phone with our customer service team. Please note at this time we cannot offer price matching for the products Ozempic or Saxenda.
What is a Generic Drug?

A generic drug is a copy of the brand-name drug with the same dosage, safety, strength, quality, consumption method, performance, and intended use. Before generics become available on the market, the generic company must prove it has the same active ingredients as the brand-name drug and works in the same way and in the same amount of time in the body.

The only differences between generics and their brand-name counterparts is that generics are less expensive and may look slightly different (eg. different shape or color), as trademarks laws prevent a generic from looking exactly like the brand-name drug.

Generics are less expensive because generic manufacturers don't have to invest large sums of money to develop a drug. When the brand-name patent expires, generic companies can manufacture a copy of the brand-name and sell it at a substantial discount.


Chemical Name: VENLAFAXINE (VEN-la-fax-een)

EFFEXOR XR is medication that is used to treat mental depression, social phobia, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, or to relieve the symptoms of anxiety. It works by affecting chemicals in the brain that may cause an imbalance resulting in conditions such as depression. Effexor XR comes in an extended release capsule (XR), meaning the medicine is released slowly into your body. Please note it is not used for anxiety or tension caused by the stress of everyday life.

Fact Table




FDA approved


42-56%; the extended-release (XR) formulation has a slower release but similar bioavailability to immediate-release formulations

Legal status

Prescription only (Rx)

Chemical Name

Venlafaxine XR

Elimination half-life

5–11 hours (Venlafaxine), 11–13 hours (active metabolite, desvenlafaxine)

Dosage (Strength)

37.5 mg, 75 mg, 150 mg capsules

Pregnancy advice

Use only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Category C in the United States.


Effexor XR

Protein binding


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Routes of administration



Effexor XR comes in tablet form and is taken orally once a day or as directed by your physician. It is usually taken with food, either in the morning or evening. Be sure to swallow the whole tablet. Do not crush, break, split, or chew it because it can release the entire chemical at once, increasing the risk of the side effects.

Some patients may find it difficult to swallow the tablet whole, so with the advice of their physician, they may open the capsule and sprinkle the contents onto a spoonful of applesauce. Swallow all of the mixture immediately without chewing. Drink a glass of water after each dose. Effexor XR should be taken at the same time each day to maintain an even level of the drug in your blood. In order for it to work effectively, it must be taken as prescribed. Effexor XR will not work if you stop taking it.

It may take several weeks to feel the benefit of this medication. Tell your physician if your condition persists or worsens.


Before taking Effexor XR, consult your physician to verify that you are not allergic to any chemicals contained in this medicine. Effexor XR may contain inactive ingredients which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Inform your physician of any medications that you are taking, including prescription, non-prescription and/or herbal supplements.

Effexor XR may not be right for you if you experience any of the following conditions:

  • bipolar disorder/manic depression
  • liver disease
  • kidney disease
  • high blood pressure and/or cholesterol
  • glaucoma
  • seizures or epilepsy
  • blood clotting disorder
  • pregnancy, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding
It is important to avoid drinking alcohol while taking Effexor XR because it can increase some of the side effects. The chemical venlafaxine which is contained in Effexor XR may impair a patient's thinking and/or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Effexor XR is not recommended for anyone under 18 years old without the advice of a physician.

Side Effects

It is important to note that your physician has prescribed this medication because they feel the benefits to you outweigh the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. If any side effects listed below persist or worsen, speak to your physician immediately.

Some mild side effects that can occur while taking Effexor XR include:

  • abnormal dreams
  • anxiety or nervousness
  • blurred vision
  • chills
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty sleeping
  • dizziness/drowsiness
  • dryness of mouth
  • heartburn
  • increased sweating
  • loss of appetite
  • vomiting and/or nausea
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • stomach pain or gas
  • nervousness (trembling or shaking)unusual tiredness or weakness
  • weight loss

Seek medical attention immediately if any of these rare but serious side effects occur:

  • easy bruising/bleeding
  • decreased interest in sex
  • changes in sexual ability
  • muscle cramps/weakness
  • shaking (tremor)
  • back/bloody stools
  • persistent cough
  • seizure
  • severe headache
  • shortness of breath
  • vomit that looks like coffee grounds
  • hallucinations
  • unusual restlessness
  • loss of coordination
  • irregular heartbeat, severe dizziness
  • unexplained fever
  • twitching muscles

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your physician or pharmacist. When a patient under the age of 24 first begins to take antidepressant medication, they may have suicidal thoughts. Advise your physician if you have worsening symptoms of depression or suicidal thoughts during the first few weeks of treatment, or whenever your dose is changed. You should visit your physician regularly for at least the first 12 weeks of treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions about Effexor XR (Venlafaxine XR)

What is Effexor XR commonly used for?

Effexor XR helps with depression and anxiety disorders like panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.

What is the most common side effect of Effexor?

The most common side effects of Effexor are nausea, headache, sleepiness, and dizziness. Others may experience dry mouth, constipation, and sweating.

How long does Effexor XR stay in your system?

It usually takes about a day for Effexor to clear out of your body. Its half-life is around 11 hours but can vary.

Why is Effexor XR so expensive?

Brand-name meds like Effexor cost more due to research, marketing, and patent expenses.

Can you overdose on Effexor XR?

Yes, overdosing on Effexor, like other antidepressants, can have serious effects, especially with alcohol or other drugs mixed in.

What is the downside of Effexor?

Effexor can cause a range of side effects from mild to severe, including weight changes, sweating, and high blood pressure.

What foods should you avoid while taking venlafaxine?

Avoid foods high in tyramine like aged cheeses, cured meats, and certain beverages such as red wine and beer.

Can you stay on Effexor indefinitely?

For those with severe or chronic depression, long-term medication may be necessary, often indefinitely.

Can you drink alcohol while taking Effexor?

It's generally not recommended as alcohol can worsen Effexor's side effects and increase risks.

Do you gain weight on Effexor XR?

Some may gain or lose weight while on Effexor, but studies don't show significant weight gain.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. See your health care professional for medical advice and treatment.

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