IRFANA PARVEEN
By Irfana Parveen

B.Sc (Psychiatry Ward)

06 December 2021
Medically reviewed by
Sumayya Salam
Pharm D
Venlafaxine And Alcohol
Table of Contents

Drinking alcohol in high consumption alters your mind function and ability to restore your daily activities and impacts your mental health with depression. Depression is a widespread condition that affects every 10 in 1 people, with an extreme level of unwanted thoughts, sadness, crying, and even suicidal thoughts. 

People who take depression drugs and alcohol together mostly tend to develop an extreme level of tiredness, and unstable conditions due to the presence of a chemical agent called serotonin in a lower level of mood regulations, which indicates that a person feels depressed automatically. 

Thus the drug Venlafaxine is a group of depressions. Is it safe to take alcohol with the medication together? Let us see more about it in detail.

What Is Venlafaxine?

Venlafaxine is an antidepressant drug to treat depression, Anxiety, and panic attacks. It works by increasing neurotransmitters in the brain that cause sensations of pleasure and reward.

This medicine can help alleviate symptoms of depression and Anxiety by boosting neurotransmitters like serotonin. However, the particular mechanism of action of Venlafaxine remains unknown. 

Buy Venlafaxine online from a verified online pharmacy. Venlafaxine is not available over the counter. It would help if you always had a prescription for this medicine.

How Does Venlafaxine Work?

Venlafaxine belongs to a group of antidepressants called serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors(SNRIs). These are the group of medications that will be used primarily for treating similar conditions. 

SNRI drugs will work in the serotonin level present in your brain. Thus by increasing the level of serotonin and norepinephrine in your brain cells. This chemical is responsible for reducing your Anxiety and depression; having a higher level of substance will help to reduce your symptoms. Venlafaxine is also used in combination therapy, which means you can take it with other drug interactions with the help of your doctor to treat your condition.     

Forms and Strength

  • Immediate-release oral tablets - 25 mg, 37.5 mg, 50 mg, 75 mg, 100 mg
  • Extended-release oral tablets - 37.5 mg, 75 mg, 150 mg, 225 mg

venlafaxine Dosage

The recommended starting dose of Venlafaxine is 75 milligrams per day. This could be increased to a maximum amount of 375mg over time. Your doctor may prescribe a lesser dose if you have liver or renal problems.

Venlafaxine pills and capsules are available in both immediate and extended-release formulations. How you take them is determined by the type you've been given.

Immediate Release - 

  • 75 mg/day orally divided every 8-12 hours at first; may be increased by 75 mg/day no more than once every four days.
  • Moderate: 225 mg/day, split every 8-12 hours orally
  • Severe: 375 mg/day, divided every 8-12 hours orally

Extended-Release - 

  • Initially, take 37.5-75 mg orally once daily; after four days, increase by 75 mg/day; do not exceed 225 mg/day.

Can Venlafaxine Lead To Overdose? 

 Women with 18 years old ingested 22g of Venlafaxine with a suicidal attempt. After two hours of ingestion, she developed serotonin syndrome, had seizures repeatedly, and hypertension. After eight hours, she had malignant arrhythmia and cardiac arrest,  which was carefully resuscitated. 

After 48 hours, progressive liver and cardiac failure happened. Antidepressants like Venlafaxine, when overdosed, lead to fatal, life-threatening conditions; before using the drug, consult the respective doctor. 

Possible Side Effects

Venlafaxine oral pills tire you; it affects your ability to make a clear decision, think capacity, or react quickly. So it would help if you avoided driving or using heavy machinery. 

Some of the possible side effects are, 

  • loss of appetite
  • Constipation 
  • dry mouth 
  • Nausea
  • vomiting 
  • Unusual dream 
  • Sleeping 
  • Tremor 
  • Dizziness 
  • Headache 
  • Increase in heart rate
  • Sexual problem

These are the expected effects that will go by in a few days; if it becomes severe, consult your doctor. 

Some of the severe side effects are:

Call your doctor immediately if you have any severe side effects; some side effects will harm you and be fatal; some of the symptoms are included below,

  • Dangerous impulses
  • Thoughts about suicide
  • Worsen Depression
  • Agitation
  • Restlessness
  • irritability

Serotonin syndrome, like:

  • Hallucinations
  • Coma
  • Coordination problem
  • Fast heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea

High blood pressure includes:

  • Chest pain
  • Headache 

Mania symptoms include:

  • Increase in energy
  • Racing thoughts
  • Excessive happiness
  • trouble in sleeping
  • seizure

Low sodium levels include:

  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Memory problems
  • Feeling unsteady 

Venlafaxine Precautions

The drugs should not be used if you have an uncontrolled narrow-angle condition. While young people who take antidepressants will have the symptoms of suicidal thoughts and changes in their mood pattern in the initial days, it will lessen after the use if they face any repetition of the symptoms like changes in their mood,  Anxiety,  panic attack, or trouble in sleeping, inform your doctor.  

Before Taking The Drug, If You Have,

Inform your doctor if you are taking any herbal product or any medication for depression, have mental illness, migraines, infection, nausea, or vomiting because this will lead to increased serotonin syndrome.

 If you had any past health history, like 

  • liver disease
  • Kidney Disease 
  • Bipolar disorder 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Heart disorder,
  • Diabetes, 
  • Thyroid,
  • Bleeding problem 
  • Seizure
  • High cholesterol

Do not stop using the drug without your doctor's advice; your doctor will reduce it by lowering your dose after getting a consultation. The FDA did not approve the drug use for 18-year-old children. 

Drug Interactions

When you combine Venlafaxine with other sleepy medicines, side effects can be amplified. Before taking an opioid prescription, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxant, or a treatment for Anxiety or seizures, consult your doctor.

Venlafaxine Interaction With Alcohol

Alcohol is occasionally used to alleviate depression symptoms, but it can also increase long-term mood problems such as depression or Anxiety. It's not always clear whether depression causes alcohol Abuse or the other way around.

Nonetheless, it is vital to understand that drinking alcohol frequently exacerbates mental health issues in the long run. Although there hasn't been much well-controlled research on the effects of mixing alcohol and Venlafaxine, specific side effects of either substance may be exacerbated by combining them. 

Alcoholism has also been linked to many other health problems, including liver disease, pancreatitis, and various cancers. When a small amount of alcohol may not be harmful when using Venlafaxine, it is not suggested to drink alcohol while taking an antidepressant.

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

Venlafaxine is mainly prescribed for antidepressants and helps treat depression, Anxiety, and panic attacks. It works by reducing the symptoms of depression by increasing the level of serotonin and norepinephrine levels in the brain. Some adverse side effects present while interacting drugs with alcohol due to the presence of antidepressant effects; it will make you feel exhausted after using alcohol. Kindly consult your doctor for more details, and use the drug quickly before with side effects. 

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