Effexor Dosage

by on May 10, 2012

Your Effexor dosage range may vary depending on a number of factors that include the medical condition being treated, other underlying medical conditions, and other medications currently taken. Before prescribing this medication, your healthcare provider will determine the safe and most effective dosage in your case. Take note that not every patient may have the same symptoms, therefore it is possible for you to get a totally different dosage than described here.

This medication guide provides the average Effexor dosage. Do not change or adjust your dose unless instructed by your healthcare provider to do so.

Treatment of Depression

The recommended initial dosage form of Effexor is 75 mg/day, taken in two or three divided doses. It must be taken with food. Depending on the patient’s response to the medication, the dose may be increased to 150 mg/day. If necessary, your healthcare provider may increase the dose up to 225 mg/day. Dosage increases should have an interval of at least 4 days. The recommended maximum dose of Effexor is 225 mg/day, although there are some patients who need up to 375 mg/day.

In case of side effects, your Effexor dose may be decreased. However, do not abruptly discontinue the drug without consulting your healthcare provider.

Hot Flashes

Effexor may also be used as a treatment for hot flashes.  In studies, a daily dosage range of 37.5 to 150mg was used for four to tweleve weeks.

Use in Special Populations

Patients with Liver Problems

Because of the decreased clearance and increased metabolism of this drug, patients with mild to moderate hepatic impairment and hepatic cirrhosis are at increased risk of experiencing side effects while on Effexor. These patients should be given 50% of the recommended total daily dose. If necessary, the dose may be reduced by more than 50% depending on the severity of the patient’s kidney problem.

Patients with Kidney Problems

Because of the decreased clearance and increased metabolism of the drug, patients with mild to moderate renal impairment are at increased risk of experiencing side effects while on Effexor. It is recommended that the total daily dose of these patients be reduced by 25%.

Patients who are undergoing hemodialysis may be given 50% of the recommended total daily dose range. Because of the highly variable conditions of patients with kidney diseases, dosage may be individualized to achieve the desired goal.

Dosage for Older Adults

Elderly patients may be given the recommended daily dose, regardless of age. However, caution should be taken when using this drug in older adults. In addition, extra caution must be taken when adjusting the dose.

Maintenance Dosages

It is not known whether the maintenance dose should be the same as the initial dose needed to achieve the desired effects. Patient’s response to the treatment must be closely monitored to determine the need for maintenance dose and the effective dosage.

Usually, gradual relief of symptoms become apparent two weeks into the treatment. However, since the drug requires long-term stabilization of its pharmacological effect, the maximal effects of Effexor may occur after several weeks of taking this drug. Continuous evaluation is necessary throughout the treatment.