Depression Home > Effexor Uses

Effexor is used for the treatment of depression in adults. The medicine has not been approved for use in children. Occasionally, a healthcare provider may prescribe Effexor "off-label" for a condition other than adult depression. Some examples of off-label Effexor uses include treating generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, diabetic neuropathy, or social anxiety disorder.

An Overview of Effexor Uses

Effexor® (venlafaxine hydrochloride) is a prescription medicine that has been licensed to treat depression.
Depression is more than just "feeling sad." Some common symptoms of depression include:
  • Changes in sleep (sleeping too much or not enough)
  • Eating too much or too little (and weight gain or weight loss)
  • Having little interest in things that you used to enjoy
  • Physical pain
  • Feeling hopeless or worthless
  • Suicidal thoughts.


In large clinical trials, Effexor has been proven to help adults with depression. However, it is important keep in mind that many antidepressants (including Effexor) take several weeks to begin working. Sometimes, other people will notice an improvement in your depression symptoms before you do. Often, the physical symptoms of depression (such as pain or changes in sleep) will improve first, sometimes within the first few weeks of treatment. It usually takes at least four to six weeks before significant changes in mood occur. It is important to give Effexor a chance to work before becoming discouraged.
Counseling and therapy (see Psychotherapy for Depression) are often used along with antidepressant medication to treat depression. Ask your healthcare provider if counseling or therapy would be good options for you (see Depression Treatment).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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