Depression Home > What Is Venlafaxine XR Used For?

Some people may ask, "What is venlafaxine XR used for?" Venlafaxine XR is used for treating depression, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder. The medication is not approved for use in children or teenagers. Among the off-label uses for venlafaxine XR are the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder; hot flashes during menopause; diabetic neuropathy; and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), including adult ADHD.

What Is Venlafaxine XR Used for? -- An Overview

Venlafaxine XR capsules (Effexor XR®) have been licensed to treat a number of conditions. Venlafaxine XR uses may include treatment for:


There is a generic venlafaxine XR product available in tablet form. However, this medication is not equivalent to Effexor XR and is approved only for the treatment of depression and social anxiety disorder.


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.
Large clinical trials have proven venlafaxine XR to be effective at treating adults with depression. However, it is important to keep in mind that many antidepressants (including venlafaxine XR) 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 venlafaxine XR 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;
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