What Factors Affect Effexor XR® Dosage?

Valerie Goldberg

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.

Effexor XR is used to treat depression, anxiety, and panic.
Effexor XR is used to treat depression, anxiety, and panic.

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.

Patients who stop taking Effexor XR cold turkey often experience nausea and other unpleasant side effects.
Patients who stop taking Effexor XR cold turkey often experience nausea and other unpleasant side effects.

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.

Some patients who take Effexor XR® also take medication to treat chronic anxiety.
Some patients who take Effexor XR® also take medication to treat chronic anxiety.

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.

Severely depressed adults can sometimes require a dose of of Effexor XR of 225 mg or higher.
Severely depressed adults can sometimes require a dose of of Effexor XR of 225 mg or higher.

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.

Effexor XR® is available only by prescription.
Effexor XR® is available only by prescription.

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