Effexor (generic: venlafaxine) is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with major depressive disorder. Effexor XR, the extended-release form, also is used to treat major depressive, anxiety, and panic disorders.
Effexor belongs to a class of drugs called serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Serotonin and norepinephrine are chemicals that brain cells release to send signals. They are thought to play a role in regulating the mood. SNRIs prevent the brain cells from reabsorbing these chemicals so they keep working longer.
Effexor is available as a tablet to be taken by mouth. It is usually taken two or three times over the course of the day. Take this medication with food. Effexor XR is an extended-release capsule form of the drug that can be taken once a day.
Common side effects of Effexor include dizziness, dry mouth, insomnia, and loss of appetite.