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Effexor XR Dosage

Generic name: VENLAFAXINE HYDROCHLORIDE 37.5mg
Dosage form: capsule, extended release

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Effexor XR should be administered in a single dose with food, either in the morning or in the evening at approximately the same time each day [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. Each capsule should be swallowed whole with fluid and not divided, crushed, chewed, or placed in water or it may be administered by carefully opening the capsule and sprinkling the entire contents on a spoonful of applesauce. This drug/food mixture should be swallowed immediately without chewing and followed with a glass of water to ensure complete swallowing of the pellets (spheroids).

Major Depressive Disorder

For most patients, the recommended starting dose for Effexor XR is 75 mg per day, administered in a single dose. For some patients, it may be desirable to start at 37.5 mg per day for 4 to 7 days to allow new patients to adjust to the medication before increasing to 75 mg per day. Patients not responding to the initial 75 mg per day dose may benefit from dose increases to a maximum of 225 mg per day. Dose increases should be in increments of up to 75 mg per day, as needed, and should be made at intervals of not less than 4 days, since steady-state plasma levels of venlafaxine and its major metabolites are achieved in most patients by day 4 [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. In the clinical studies establishing efficacy, upward titration was permitted at intervals of 2 weeks or more.

It should be noted that, while the maximum recommended dose for moderately depressed outpatients is also 225 mg per day for Effexor (immediate-release), more severely depressed inpatients in one study of the development program for that product responded to a mean dose of 350 mg per day (range of 150 to 375 mg per day). Whether or not higher doses of Effexor XR are needed for more severely depressed patients is unknown; however, the experience with Effexor XR doses higher than 225 mg per day is very limited.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

For most patients, the recommended starting dose for Effexor XR is 75 mg per day, administered in a single dose. For some patients, it may be desirable to start at 37.5 mg per day for 4 to 7 days to allow new patients to adjust to the medication before increasing to 75 mg per day. Patients not responding to the initial 75 mg per day dose may benefit from dose increases to a maximum of 225 mg per day. Dose increases should be in increments of up to 75 mg per day, as needed, and should be made at intervals of not less than 4 days, since steady-state plasma levels of venlafaxine and its major metabolites are achieved in most patients by day 4 [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)

The recommended dose is 75 mg per day, administered in a single dose. There was no evidence that higher doses confer any additional benefit.

Panic Disorder

The recommended starting dose is 37.5 mg per day of Effexor XR for 7 days. Patients not responding to 75 mg per day may benefit from dose increases to a maximum of approximately 225 mg per day. Dose increases should be in increments of up to 75 mg per day, as needed, and should be made at intervals of not less than 7 days.

Switching Patients from Effexor Tablets

Depressed patients who are currently being treated at a therapeutic dose with Effexor (immediate release) may be switched to Effexor XR at the nearest equivalent dose (mg per day), e.g., 37.5 mg venlafaxine twice a day to 75 mg Effexor XR once daily. However, individual dosage adjustments may be necessary.

Specific Populations

Patients with Hepatic Impairment

The total daily dose should be reduced by 50% in patients with mild (Child-Pugh=5–6) to moderate (Child-Pugh=7–9) hepatic impairment. In patients with severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh=10–15) or hepatic cirrhosis, it may be necessary to reduce the dose by 50% or more [See Use in Specific Populations ( 8.7)].

Patients with Renal Impairment

The total daily dose should be reduced by 25% to 50% in patients with mild (CLcr= 60–89 mL/min) or moderate (CLcr= 30–59 mL/min) renal impairment. In patients undergoing hemodialysis or with severe renal impairment (CLcr < 30 mL/min), the total daily dose should be reduced by 50% or more. Because there was much individual variability in clearance between patients with renal impairment, individualization of dosage may be desirable in some patients [see Use in Specific Populations ( 8.7)].

Maintenance Treatment

There is no body of evidence available from controlled studies to indicate how long patients with MDD, GAD, SAD, or PD should be treated with Effexor XR.

It is generally agreed that acute episodes of MDD require several months or longer of sustained pharmacological therapy beyond response to the acute episode. Effexor XR/Effexor have demonstrated continuation of response in clinical studies up to 52 weeks, at the same dose at which patients responded during the initial treatment [see Clinical Studies (14.1)]. It is not known whether or not the dose of Effexor XR needed for maintenance treatment is identical to the dose needed to achieve an initial response. Patients should be periodically reassessed to determine the need for maintenance treatment and the appropriate dose for such treatment.

In patients with GAD and SAD, Effexor XR has been shown to be effective in 6-month clinical studies. The need for continuing medication in patients with GAD and SAD who improve with Effexor XR treatment should be periodically reassessed.

In a clinical study for PD, patients continuing Effexor XR at the same dose at which they responded during the initial 12 weeks of treatment experienced a statistically significantly longer time to relapse than patients randomized to placebo [see Clinical Studies (14.4)]. The need for continuing medication in patients with PD who improve with Effexor XR treatment should be periodically reassessed.

Discontinuing Effexor XR

A gradual reduction in the dose, rather than abrupt cessation, is recommended whenever possible. In clinical studies with Effexor XR, tapering was achieved by reducing the daily dose by 75 mg at one-week intervals. Individualization of tapering may be necessary [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)].

Switching Patients to or from a Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor (MAOI) Intended to Treat Psychiatric Disorders

At least 14 days should elapse between discontinuation of an MAOI (intended to treat psychiatric disorders) and initiation of therapy with Effexor XR. In addition, at least 7 days should be allowed after stopping Effexor XR before starting an MAOI intended to treat psychiatric disorders [see Contraindications (4.2), Warnings and Precautions (5.2), and Drug Interactions (7.2)].

Use of Effexor XR with other MAOIs such as Linezolid or Intravenous Methylene Blue

Do not start Effexor XR in a patient who is being treated with linezolid or intravenous methylene blue, because there is an increased risk of serotonin syndrome. In a patient who requires more urgent treatment of a psychiatric condition, other interventions, including hospitalization should be considered [see Contraindications 4.2)].

In some cases, a patient already receiving Effexor XR therapy may require urgent treatment with linezolid or intravenous methylene blue. If acceptable alternatives to linezolid or intravenous methylene blue are not available and the potential benefits of linezolid or intravenous methylene blue treatment are judged to outweigh the risks of serotonin syndrome in a particular patient, Effexor XR should be stopped promptly, and linezolid or intravenous methylene blue can be administered. Monitor the patient for symptoms of serotonin syndrome for 7 days or until 24 hours after the last dose of linezolid or intravenous methylene blue, whichever comes first. Therapy with Effexor XR can be resumed 24 hours after the last dose of linezolid or intravenous methylene blue [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

The risk of administering methylene blue by non-intravenous routes (such as oral tablets or by local injection) or in intravenous doses much lower than 1 mg/kg concomitantly with Effexor XR is unclear. The clinician should, nevertheless, be aware of the possibility of emergent symptoms of serotonin syndrome with such use [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

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