Effexor XR (venlafaxine extended-release) is a brand-name drug that’s prescribed for depression and certain anxiety disorders in adults. Effexor XR comes as an oral capsule that’s typically taken once per day. The dosage can vary depending on the condition you’re taking Effexor XR to treat.
Effexor XR belongs to a drug class called serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. Effexor XR is available in a generic version. With extended-release (XR), the drug releases slowly in the body over time.
Keep reading for specific information about the dosage of Effexor XR, including its strengths and how to take the medication. For a comprehensive look at Effexor XR, including details about its uses, see this article.
Note: This article describes typical dosages for Effexor XR provided by the drug’s manufacturer. When taking Effexor XR, always follow the dosage prescribed by your doctor.
Below is detailed information about Effexor XR’s recommended dosages.
Effexor XR form
Effexor XR comes as an extended-release oral capsule. Extended-release (XR) means the drug releases slowly into the body over time.
Effexor XR strengths
Effexor XR capsules come in the following strengths:
- 37.5 milligrams (mg)
- 75 mg
- 150 mg
Typically, your doctor will prescribe a low dosage to start. Then they’ll adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s right for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.
The following dosage table describes Effexor XR dosages that are commonly prescribed or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Dosage for major depressive disorder
Dosage for generalized anxiety disorder
The recommended starting dosage of Effexor XR for generalized anxiety disorder is 37.5–75 mg once per day. The maximum dosage is 225 mg once per day.
Dosage for social anxiety disorder
The recommended starting dosage of Effexor XR for social anxiety disorder is 75 mg once per day. For this use, the maximum dosage is 75 mg per day.
Dosage for panic disorder
The recommended starting dosage of Effexor XR for panic disorder is 37.5 mg once per day. Your doctor may increase your dosage to 75 mg once per day. The maximum dosage is 225 mg once per day.
Effexor XR is meant to be a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Effexor XR is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.
If your doctor recommends Effexor XR, you may have questions about its dosage. Read on for more information.
Will my doctor ever need to increase my dose of Effexor XR from 75 mg to 150 mg?
Yes, your doctor may decide to increase your Effexor XR dose from 75 milligrams (mg) to 150 mg. They’ll consider several factors in deciding whether to increase your dose. These include the condition you’re taking Effexor XR to treat. It also depends on how well your prescribed dose manages your symptoms. For details about Effexor XR’s recommended dosages for the conditions it treats, see the “Effexor XR dosage” section above.
Your doctor can discuss any dosage changes with you. Always follow the dosage your doctor prescribes.
What is a low dose versus a high dose of Effexor XR?
A low dose versus a high dose of Effexor XR depends on the condition you’re taking Effexor XR to treat. For some conditions, the typical dose at the start of treatment is 37.5 milligrams (mg), taken once per day. The maximum dosage is 225 mg per day. However, for social anxiety disorder, the starting and maximum dosages are the same.
For details about the drug’s recommended dosages for the conditions it treats, see the “Effexor XR dosage” section above.
If you have more questions about a low versus high dose of Effexor XR, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Does Effexor XR have a 300 mg per day dosage?
No, Effexor XR does not have a 300 milligrams (mg) per day dosage. It is not an approved dosage of Effexor XR. The maximum dosage is 225 mg per day, depending on the condition you’re taking the drug to treat.
However, doctors may prescribe 300 mg per day off-label for major depressive disorder (commonly known as depression). With off-label use, doctors prescribe a drug (or drug dosage) for a purpose other than what it’s approved for. For recommended dosages of Effexor XR for the conditions it treats, see the “Effexor XR dosage” section above.
If you’d like to know more about the right Effexor XR dosage for you, talk with your doctor. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes.
The Effexor XR dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:
- the type and severity of the condition you’re taking Effexor XR to treat
- your kidney function
- your liver function
- other medical conditions you may have
- other medications you may take
Talk with your doctor to learn more about how they determine your dosage.
Effexor XR comes as an oral capsule that you swallow whole. Do not divide, crush, chew, or place the capsule in water. Be sure to take your dose with a meal or snack.
With your doctor’s approval, you can open the capsule and sprinkle the pellets on applesauce. Swallow right away, without chewing the pellets. Then, drink a glass of water to make sure you’ve swallowed all the pellets.
It may be helpful to take Effexor XR around the same time of day. This helps maintain a steady level of the drug in your body so Effexor XR can work effectively.
If you have trouble swallowing capsules, see this article for tips on how to take this form of medication. You can also talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
ACCESSIBLE DRUG LABELS AND CONTAINERS
Some pharmacies offer labels with large print, braille, or a code you scan with a smartphone to convert text to speech. If your local pharmacy doesn’t have these options, your doctor or pharmacist might be able to recommend a pharmacy that does.
If you’re having trouble opening medication bottles, ask your pharmacist about putting Effexor XR in an easy-open container. They also may recommend tools that can make it easier to open bottles.
Effexor XR needs to be taken regularly. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. But if it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed one. Then, take your scheduled dose. Do not take two doses at once to make up for the missed one.
To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or putting a note where you’ll see it, such as on your bathroom mirror or bedside table. You could also download a reminder app on your phone.
If you take more Effexor XR than your doctor prescribes, you may develop harmful effects. To learn about side effects of Effexor XR, see this article.
It’s important that you do not take more Effexor XR than your doctor advises.
Symptoms of an overdose
Overdose symptoms of Effexor XR can include:
- extreme sleepiness
- tingling and numbness in your arms and legs
- rapid shifts in body temperature
If you take more than the recommended amount of Effexor XR
Call your doctor right away if you believe you’ve taken too much Effexor XR. Another option is to call America’s Poison Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. If you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room.
Suddenly stopping Effexor XR treatment may cause withdrawal symptoms. These are uncomfortable side effects that can occur when you stop taking a drug that your body is used to.
Effexor XR withdrawal symptoms can include:
- decreased appetite
- balance problems and dizziness
- vomiting and diarrhea
- dry mouth
- mood changes
- feeling a sensation like an electric shock (“brain zaps”)
- sleep problems
- body tremors (shakiness)
If your doctor recommends stopping Effexor XR, they’ll typically reduce your dosage gradually. This may take several months. A slow reduction in your dosage may help prevent withdrawal symptoms.
The dosages in this article are typical dosages provided by the drug manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Effexor XR for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes.
As with any drug, never change your dosage of Effexor XR without your doctor’s recommendation. If you have questions about the dosage of Effexor XR that’s best for you, talk with your doctor.
Besides learning about dosage, you may want other information about Effexor XR. These additional articles might be helpful:
- More about Effexor XR. For information about other aspects of Effexor XR, refer to this article.
- Side effects. To learn about side effects of Effexor XR, see this article. You can also look at the Effexor XR prescribing information.
- Drug comparison. Find out how Effexor XR compares with Effexor, Lexapro, and Pristiq.
- Details about your condition. For details about your condition, see our anxiety hub and depression hub.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.