Effexor XR® is a prescription medication that may be prescribed to patients who suffer from conditions such as depression, anxiety and panic. Capsules of Effexor XR® are sold in a range of dosages, from a low of 37.5 mg to a high of 150 mg. The Effexor XR® dosage a person needs daily can depend on a variety of factors, including age, diagnosed conditions and other prescription drugs the patient is taking. The lowest effective dose of Effexor XR® is 37.5 mg — hence, the lowest available dosage — and the highest safe dose is around 375 mg.
The age of a person can impact the Effexor XR® dosage prescribed. Teenagers who suffer from depression are typically given lower doses of antidepressants, because higher doses may cause teens to have side effects such as suicidal thoughts. A typical teen may only be prescribed from 37.5 mg to 75 mg a day. The average adult, on the other hand, may need an Effexor XR® dosage of 150 mg to control his or her symptoms. Severely depressed adults can sometimes require doses of 225 mg or above.
A person's medical conditions also affect his or her Effexor XR® dosage. A patient is usually started out on a very low Effexor XR® dosage and may be told to increase his or her dosage after a few days. Many adults suffering from depression or anxiety wind up on a daily dose of 150 mg. Patients prescribed this drug for treatment of panic disorder or as a form of chronic pain management may require a lower dose of around 75 mg. Each patient responds to the medication differently, so only a doctor can determine the best dose needed for a patient.
The other medications a person is taking can help in determining the amount of Effexor XR® needed. If a patient who has both depression and anxiety is responding well overall to the medication, then a doctor may choose to keep the patient on a higher Effexor XR® dosage. A person who has depression that is responding well to the Effexor XR® but has anxiety that is still uncontrolled may be put on a lower Effexor XR® dosage and prescribed a second medication, such as diazepam or alprazolam, to treat anxiety symptoms.
Patients should not stop taking Effexor XR® without consulting their doctors. Medications of this type should not be stopped cold turkey, but a patient should be slowly weaned. A person who stops taking Effexor XR® abruptly may experience unpleasant side effects.