EffexorXR (VENLAFAXINE HYDROCHLORIDE) capsule, extended release
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals LLC, a subsidiary of Pfizer Inc.

Wyeth Pharmaceuticals LLC, a subsidiary of Pfizer Inc.
Effexor
XR
VENLAFAXINE HYDROCHLORIDE
VENLAFAXINE HYDROCHLORIDE
VENLAFAXINE
POWDERED CELLULOSE
GELATIN, UNSPECIFIED
FERRIC OXIDE RED
TITANIUM DIOXIDE
ETHYLCELLULOSE (100 MPA.S)
HYPROMELLOSE, UNSPECIFIED
HYPROMELLOSE 2910 (6 MPA.S)
PEACH
GRAY
CAPSULE
W;EffexorXR;375
Effexor
XR
VENLAFAXINE HYDROCHLORIDE
VENLAFAXINE HYDROCHLORIDE
VENLAFAXINE
POWDERED CELLULOSE
GELATIN, UNSPECIFIED
FERRIC OXIDE RED
TITANIUM DIOXIDE
ETHYLCELLULOSE (100 MPA.S)
HYPROMELLOSE, UNSPECIFIED
HYPROMELLOSE 2910 (6 MPA.S)
PEACH
CAPSULE
W;EffexorXR;75
Effexor
XR
VENLAFAXINE HYDROCHLORIDE
VENLAFAXINE HYDROCHLORIDE
VENLAFAXINE
POWDERED CELLULOSE
GELATIN, UNSPECIFIED
FERRIC OXIDE RED
TITANIUM DIOXIDE
ETHYLCELLULOSE (100 MPA.S)
HYPROMELLOSE, UNSPECIFIED
HYPROMELLOSE 2910 (6 MPA.S)
DARK ORANGE
CAPSULE
W;EffexorXR;150
WARNING: SUICIDAL THOUGHTS AND BEHAVIORS

Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in pediatric and young adult patients in short-term studies. Closely monitor all antidepressant-treated patients for clinical worsening, and emergence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1) ]. Effexor XR is not approved for use in pediatric patients [see Use in Specific Populations (8.4) ].

WARNING: SUICIDAL THOUGHTS AND BEHAVIORS

See full prescribing information for complete boxed warning.

  • Increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in pediatric patients and young adults taking antidepressants. Closely monitor all antidepressant-treated patients for clinical worsening and emergence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors (5.1).
  • Effexor XR is not approved for use in pediatric patients (8.4).

Boxed Warning

8/2022

Dosage and Administration (2.10)

11/2021

Dosage and Administration (2.2, 2.3, 2.6, 2.8, 2.9, 2.11)

8/2022

Warnings and Precautions (5.13)

9/2021

Warnings and Precautions (5.7)

11/2021

Warnings and Precautions (5.1, 5.2, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7, 5.8)

8/2022

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

Effexor XR is indicated in adults for the treatment of:

  • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) [see Clinical Studies (14.1)]
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) [see Clinical Studies (14.2)]
  • Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) [see Clinical Studies (14.3)]
  • Panic Disorder (PD) [see Clinical Studies (14.4)]

Effexor XR is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) indicated for the treatment of adults with:

  • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) (1)
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) (1)
  • Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) (1)
  • Panic Disorder (PD) (1)

2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

Indication Starting Dose Target Dose Maximum Dose

MDD (2.2)

37.5 –75 mg/day

75 mg/day

225 mg/day

GAD (2.3)

37.5 –75 mg/day

75 mg/day

225 mg/day

SAD (2.4)

75 mg/day

75 mg/day

75 mg/day

PD (2.5)

37.5 mg/day

75 mg/day

225 mg/day

  • Take once daily with food. Capsules should be taken whole; do not divide, crush, chew, or dissolve (2.1).
  • When discontinuing treatment, reduce the dose gradually (2.10, 5.7).
  • Renal impairment: reduce the total daily dose by 25% to 50% in patients with renal impairment. Reduce the total daily dose by 50% or more in patients undergoing dialysis or with severe renal impairment (2.9).
  • Hepatic impairment: reduce the daily dose by 50% in patients with mild to moderate hepatic impairment. In patients with severe hepatic impairment or hepatic cirrhosis, it may be necessary to reduce the dose by more than 50% (2.8).

2.1 General Administration Information

Administer Effexor XR as 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)]. Swallow capsules whole with fluid. Do not divide, crush, chew, or place in water.

The capsule may also 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).

2.2 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. In the clinical studies establishing efficacy, upward titration was permitted at intervals of 2 weeks or more.

2.3 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.

2.4 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.

2.5 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.

2.6 Screen for Bipolar Disorder Prior to Starting Effexor XR

Prior to initiating treatment with Effexor XR, screen patients for a personal or family history of bipolar disorder, mania, or hypomania [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6) ].

2.7 Switching Patients from Effexor Tablets

Patients with depression who are currently being treated with Effexor 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.

2.8 Dosage Recommendations for Patients with Hepatic Impairment

Reduce the Effexor XR total daily dose by 50% in patients with mild (Child-Pugh Class A) to moderate (Child-Pugh Class B) hepatic impairment. Reduce the total daily dose by 50% or more in patients with severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh Class C) or hepatic cirrhosis [see Use in Specific Populations (8.6) ] .

2.9 Dosage Recommendations for Patients with Renal Impairment

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

2.10 Discontinuing Treatment with Effexor XR

A gradual reduction in the dose, rather than abrupt cessation, is recommended when discontinuing therapy with Effexor XR. 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. In some patients, discontinuation may need to occur over a period of several months [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7) ] .

2.11 Switching Patients to or from a Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor (MAOI) Antidepressant

At least 14 days must elapse between discontinuation of an MAOI antidepressant and initiation of Effexor XR. In addition, at least 7 days must elapse after stopping Effexor XR before starting an MAOI antidepressant [see Contraindications (4) , Warnings and Precautions (5.2) , and Drug Interactions (7.1) ] .

3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS

Effexor XR® is available in the following strengths:

  • 37.5 mg extended-release capsule: grey cap and peach body with "W" and "Effexor XR" on the cap and "37.5" on the body
  • 75 mg extended-release capsule: peach cap and body with "W" and "Effexor XR" on the cap and "75" on the body
  • 150 mg extended-release capsule: dark orange cap and body with "W" and "Effexor XR" on the cap and "150" on the body
  • Ÿ Extended-release capsules: 37.5 mg, 75 mg, and 150 mg ( 3 ).

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

Effexor XR is contraindicated in patients:

  • with known hypersensitivity to venlafaxine hydrochloride, desvenlafaxine succinate or to any excipients in the formulation [see Adverse Reactions (6.2)].
  • taking, or within 14 days of stopping, MAOIs (including the MAOIs linezolid and intravenous methylene blue) because of the risk of serotonin syndrome [see Dosage and Administration (2.11), Warnings and Precautions (5.2), and Drug Interactions (7.1)].
  • ŸHypersensitivity to venlafaxine hydrochloride, desvenlafaxine succinate, or any excipients in the Effexor XR formulation (4).
  • Concomitant use of monoaminoxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) or within 14 days of discontinuing an MAOI ( 4 , 5.2 , 7.1 ).

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

  • Ÿ Serotonin Syndrome : Increased risk when co-administered with other serotonergic agents (e.g., SSRIs, SNRIs, triptans), but also when taken alone. If it occurs, discontinue Effexor XR and initiate supportive treatment ( 4 , 5.2 , 7.1 ).
  • ŸElevated Blood Pressure: Control hypertension before initiating treatment. Monitor blood pressure regularly during treatment (5.3).
  • Increased Risk of Bleeding: Concomitant use of aspirin, NSAIDs, other antiplatelet drugs, warfarin, and other anticoagulants may increase risk (5.4).
  • Angle-Closure Glaucoma: Angle-closure glaucoma has occurred in patients with untreated anatomically narrow angles, treated with antidepressants (5.5).
  • Activation of Mania or Hypomania: Screen patients for bipolar disorder (5.6).
  • ŸDiscontinuation Syndrome: Taper dose and monitor for discontinuation symptoms (5.7).
  • Ÿ Seizures: Can occur. Use cautiously in patients with seizure disorder (5.8).
  • ŸHyponatremia: Can occur in association with SIADH (5.9).
  • Interstitial Lung Disease and Eosinophilic Pneumonia: Can occur (5.12).
  • Sexual Dysfunction: Effexor XR may cause symptoms of sexual dysfunction (5.13).

5.1 Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors in Adolescents and Young Adults

In pooled analyses of placebo-controlled trials of antidepressant drugs (SSRIs and other antidepressant classes) that included approximately 77,000 adult patients and 4,500 pediatric patients, the incidence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in antidepressant-treated patients age 24 years and younger was greater than in placebo-treated patients. There was considerable variation in risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors among drugs, but there was an increased risk identified in young patients for most drugs studied. There were differences in absolute risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors across the different indications, with the highest incidence in patients with MDD. The drug-placebo differences in the number of cases of suicidal thoughts and behaviors per 1,000 patients treated are provided in Table 1.

Table 1: Risk Differences of the Number of Patients of Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors in the Pooled Placebo-Controlled Trials of Antidepressants in PediatricEffexor XR is not approved in pediatric patients. and Adult Patients
Age Range Drug-Placebo Difference in Number of Patients of Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors per 1,000 Patients Treated

Increases Compared to Placebo

<18 years old

14 additional patients

18–24 years old

5 additional patients

Decreases Compared to Placebo

25–64 years old

1 fewer patient

≥65 years old

6 fewer patients

It is unknown whether the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in children, adolescents, and young adults extends to longer-term use, i.e., beyond four months. However, there is substantial evidence from placebo-controlled maintenance trials in adults with MDD that antidepressants delay the recurrence of depression and that depression itself is a risk factor for suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

Monitor all antidepressant-treated patients for any indication for clinical worsening and emergence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors, especially during the initial few months of drug therapy, and at times of dosage changes. Counsel family members or caregivers of patients to monitor for changes in behavior and to alert the healthcare provider. Consider changing the therapeutic regimen, including possibly discontinuing Effexor XR, in patients whose depression is persistently worse, or who are experiencing emergent suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

5.2 Serotonin Syndrome

Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), including Effexor XR, can precipitate serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition. The risk is increased with concomitant use of other serotonergic drugs (including triptans, tricyclic antidepressants, fentanyl, lithium, tramadol, tryptophan, buspirone, amphetamines, and St. John's Wort) and with drugs that impair metabolism of serotonin, i.e., MAOIs [see Contraindications (4) , Drug Interactions (7.1) ] . Serotonin syndrome can also occur when these drugs are used alone.

Serotonin syndrome signs and symptoms may include mental status changes (e.g., agitation, hallucinations, delirium, coma), autonomic instability (e.g., tachycardia, labile blood pressure, dizziness, diaphoresis, flushing, hyperthermia), neuromuscular symptoms (e.g., tremor, rigidity, myoclonus, hyperreflexia, incoordination), seizures, and gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea).

The concomitant use of Effexor XR with MAOIs is contraindicated. In addition, do not initiate Effexor XR in a patient being treated with MAOIs such as linezolid or intravenous methylene blue. No reports involved the administration of methylene blue by other routes (such as oral tablets or local tissue injection). If it is necessary to initiate treatment with an MAOI such as linezolid or intravenous methylene blue in a patient taking Effexor XR, discontinue Effexor XR before initiating treatment with the MAOI [see Contraindications (4) , Drug Interactions (7.1) ] .

Monitor all patients taking Effexor XR for the emergence of serotonin syndrome. Discontinue treatment with Effexor XR and any concomitant serotonergic agents immediately if the above symptoms occur, and initiate supportive symptomatic treatment. If concomitant use of Effexor XR with other serotonergic drugs is clinically warranted, inform patients of the increased risk for serotonin syndrome and monitor for symptoms.

5.3 Elevated Blood Pressure

In controlled trials, there were dose-related increases in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, as well as cases of sustained hypertension [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)].

Monitor blood pressure before initiating treatment with Effexor XR and regularly during treatment. Control pre-existing hypertension before initiating treatment with Effexor XR. Use caution in treating patients with pre-existing hypertension or cardiovascular or cerebrovascular conditions that might be compromised by increases in blood pressure. Sustained blood pressure elevation can lead to adverse outcomes. Cases of elevated blood pressure requiring immediate treatment have been reported with Effexor XR. Consider dose reduction or discontinuation of treatment for patients who experience a sustained increase in blood pressure.

Across all clinical studies with Effexor, 1.4% of patients in the Effexor XR treated groups experienced a ≥15 mm Hg increase in supine diastolic blood pressure (SDBP) ≥105 mm Hg, compared to 0.9% of patients in the placebo groups. Similarly, 1% of patients in the Effexor XR treated groups experienced a ≥20 mm Hg increase in supine systolic blood pressure (SSBP) with blood pressure ≥180 mm Hg, compared to 0.3% of patients in the placebo groups [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)]. Treatment with Effexor XR was associated with sustained hypertension defined as SDBP ≥90 mm Hg and ≥10 mm Hg above baseline for three consecutive on-therapy visits [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)]. An insufficient number of patients received mean doses of Effexor XR over 300 mg per day in clinical studies to fully evaluate the incidence of sustained increases in blood pressure at these higher doses.

5.4 Increased Risk of Bleeding

Drugs that interfere with serotonin reuptake inhibition, including Effexor XR, may increase the risk of bleeding events, ranging from ecchymoses, hematomas, epistaxis, petechiae, and gastrointestinal hemorrhage to life-threatening hemorrhage. Concomitant use of aspirin, Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), warfarin, and other anti-coagulants or other drugs known to affect platelet function may add to this risk. Case reports and epidemiological studies (case-control and cohort design) have demonstrated an association between use of drugs that interfere with serotonin reuptake and the occurrence of gastrointestinal bleeding.

Inform patients about the risk of bleeding associated with the concomitant use of Effexor XR and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin, or other drugs that affect coagulation. For patients taking warfarin, carefully monitor coagulation indices when initiating, titrating, or discontinuing Effexor XR.

5.5 Angle-Closure Glaucoma

The pupillary dilation that occurs following use of many antidepressant drugs including Effexor XR may trigger an angle-closure attack in a patient with anatomically narrow angles who does not have a patent iridectomy. Avoid use of antidepressants, including Effexor XR, in patients with untreated anatomically narrow angles.

5.6 Activation of Mania or Hypomania

In patients with bipolar disorder, treating a depressive episode with Effexor XR or another antidepressant may precipitate a mixed/manic episode. Mania or hypomania was reported in Effexor XR treated patients in the premarketing studies in MDD, SAD, and PD (see Table 2 ). Prior to initiating treatment with Effexor XR, screen for any personal or family history of bipolar disorder, mania, or hypomania.

Table 2: Incidence (%) of Mania or Hypomania Reported in Effexor XR Treated Patients in the Premarketing Studies
Indication Effexor XR Placebo

MDD

0.3

0.0

GAD

0.0

0.2

SAD

0.2

0.0

PD

0.1

0.0

5.7 Discontinuation Syndrome

Discontinuation symptoms have been systematically evaluated in patients taking venlafaxine, including prospective analyses of clinical studies in GAD and retrospective surveys of studies in MDD and SAD. Abrupt discontinuation or dose reduction of venlafaxine at various doses has been found to be associated with the appearance of new symptoms, the frequency of which increased with increased dose level and with longer duration of treatment. Reported symptoms include agitation, anorexia, anxiety, confusion, impaired coordination and balance, diarrhea, dizziness, dry mouth, dysphoric mood, fasciculation, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, headaches, hypomania, insomnia, nausea, nervousness, nightmares, sensory disturbances (including shock-like electrical sensations), somnolence, sweating, tremor, vertigo, and vomiting.

There have been postmarketing reports of serious discontinuation symptoms which can be protracted and severe. Completed suicide, suicidal thoughts, aggression and violent behavior have been observed in patients during reduction in Effexor XR dosage, including during discontinuation. Other postmarketing reports describe visual changes (such as blurred vision or trouble focusing) and increased blood pressure after stopping or reducing the dose of Effexor XR.

During marketing of Effexor XR, other SNRIs, and SSRIs, there have been reports of adverse events occurring upon discontinuation of these drugs, particularly when abrupt, including the following: irritability, lethargy, emotional lability, tinnitus, and seizures.

Patients should be monitored for these symptoms when discontinuing treatment with Effexor XR. A gradual reduction in the dose, rather than abrupt cessation, is recommended. If intolerable symptoms occur following a decrease in the dose or upon discontinuation of treatment, then resuming the previously prescribed dose may be considered. Subsequently, the healthcare provider may continue decreasing the dose, but at a more gradual rate. In some patients, discontinuation may need to occur over a period of several months [see Dosage and Administration (2.10)].

5.8 Seizures

Cases of seizure have been reported with venlafaxine therapy. Effexor XR has not been systematically evaluated in patients with seizure disorder. Effexor XR should be prescribed with caution in patients with a seizure disorder.

5.9 Hyponatremia

Hyponatremia can occur as a result of treatment with SNRIs, including Effexor XR. In many cases, the hyponatremia appears to be the result of the Syndrome of Inappropriate Antidiuretic Hormone (SIADH) secretion. Cases with serum sodium lower than 110 mmol/L have been reported. Elderly patients may be at greater risk of developing hyponatremia with SNRIs. Also, patients taking diuretics, or those who are otherwise volume-depleted, may be at greater risk [see Use in Specific Populations (8.5) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. Consider discontinuation of Effexor XR in patients with symptomatic hyponatremia, and institute appropriate medical intervention.

Signs and symptoms of hyponatremia include headache, difficulty concentrating, memory impairment, confusion, weakness, and unsteadiness, which may lead to falls. Signs and symptoms associated with more severe and/or acute cases have included hallucination, syncope, seizure, coma, respiratory arrest, and death.

5.10 Weight and Height Changes in Pediatric Patients

Weight Changes

The average change in body weight and incidence of weight loss (percentage of patients who lost 3.5% or more) in the placebo-controlled pediatric studies in MDD, GAD, and SAD are shown in Tables 3 and 4.

Table 3: Average Change in Body Weight (kg) From Beginning of Treatment in Pediatric PatientsEffexor XR is not approved for use in pediatric patients. in Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Studies of Effexor XR
Indication
  (Duration)
Effexor XR Placebo

MDD and GAD
  (4 pooled studies, 8 weeks)

-0.45 (n = 333)

+0.77 (n = 333)

SAD
  (16 weeks)

-0.75 (n = 137)

+0.76 (n = 148)

Table 4: Incidence (%) of Pediatric PatientsEffexor XR is not approved for use in pediatric patients. Experiencing Weight Loss (3.5% or more) in Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Studies of Effexor XR
Indication
  (Duration)
Effexor XR Placebo

MDD and GAD
  (4 pooled studies, 8 weeks)

18p <0.001 versus placebo(n = 333)

3.6 (n = 333)

SAD
  (16 weeks)

47

(n = 137)

14 (n = 148)

Weight loss was not limited to patients with anorexia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.11)].

The risks associated with longer term Effexor XR use were assessed in an open-label MDD study of children and adolescents who received Effexor XR for up to six months. The children and adolescents in the study had increases in weight that were less than expected, based on data from age- and sex-matched peers. The difference between observed weight gain and expected weight gain was larger for children (<12 years old) than for adolescents (≥12 years old).

Effexor XR is not approved for use in pediatric patients [Use in Specific Populations (8.4)].

Height Changes

Table 5 shows the average height increase in pediatric patients in the short-term, placebo-controlled MDD, GAD, and SAD studies. The differences in height increases in GAD and MDD studies were most notable in patients younger than 12 years old.

Table 5: Average Height Increases (cm) in Pediatric PatientsEffexor XR is not approved for use in pediatric patients. in Placebo-controlled Studies of Effexor XR
Indication
  (Duration)
Effexor XR Placebo

MDD
  (8 weeks)

0.8 (n = 146)

0.7 (n = 147)

GAD
  (8 weeks)

0.3p = 0.041 (n = 122)

1.0 (n = 132)

SAD
  (16 weeks)

1.0 (n = 109)

1.0 (n = 112)

In the six-month, open-label MDD study, children and adolescents had height increases that were less than expected, based on data from age- and sex-matched peers. The difference between observed and expected growth rates was larger for children (<12 years old) than for adolescents (≥12 years old) [see Use in Specific Populations (8.4)].

5.11 Appetite Changes in Pediatric Patients

Decreased appetite (reported as anorexia) was more commonly observed in Effexor XR treated patients versus placebo-treated patients in the premarketing evaluation of Effexor XR for MDD, GAD, and SAD (see Table 6).

Effexor XR is not approved for use in pediatric patients [see Use in Specific Populations (8.4)].

Table 6: Incidence (%) of Decreased Appetite and Associated Discontinuation RatesThe discontinuation rates for weight loss were 0.7% for patients receiving either Effexor XR or placebo. (%) in Pediatric PatientsEffexor XR is not approved for use in pediatric patients. in Placebo-controlled Studies of Effexor XR
Indication
  (Duration)
Effexor XR Incidence Discontinuation Placebo Incidence Discontinuation

MDD and GAD
  (pooled, 8 weeks)

10

0.0

3

SAD
  (16 weeks)

22

0.7

3

0.0

5.12 Interstitial Lung Disease and Eosinophilic Pneumonia

Interstitial lung disease and eosinophilic pneumonia associated with venlafaxine therapy have been rarely reported. The possibility of these events should be considered in Effexor XR-treated patients who present with progressive dyspnea, cough or chest discomfort. Such patients should undergo a prompt medical evaluation, and discontinuation of Effexor XR should be considered.

5.13 Sexual Dysfunction

Use of SNRIs, including Effexor XR, may cause symptoms of sexual dysfunction [see Adverse Reactions (6.1) ] . In male patients, SNRI use may result in ejaculatory delay or failure, decreased libido, and erectile dysfunction. In female patients, SNRI use may result in decreased libido and delayed or absent orgasm. It is important for prescribers to inquire about sexual function prior to initiation of Effexor XR and to inquire specifically about changes in sexual function during treatment, because sexual function may not be spontaneously reported. When evaluating changes in sexual function, obtaining a detailed history (including timing of symptom onset) is important because sexual symptoms may have other causes, including the underlying psychiatric disorder. Discuss potential management strategies to support patients in making informed decisions about treatment.

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following adverse reactions are discussed in more detail in other sections of the labeling:

  • Hypersensitivity [see Contraindications (4)]
  • Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors in Adolescents and Young Adults [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]
  • Serotonin Syndrome [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]
  • Elevated Blood Pressure [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)]
  • Increased Risk of Bleeding [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)]
  • Angle-Closure Glaucoma [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)]
  • Activation of Mania/Hypomania [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)]
  • Discontinuation Syndrome [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)]
  • Seizure [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8)]
  • Hyponatremia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.9)]
  • Weight and Height changes in Pediatric Patients [see Warnings and Precautions (5.10)]
  • Appetite Changes in Pediatric Patients [see Warnings and Precautions (5.11)]
  • Interstitial Lung Disease and Eosinophilic Pneumonia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.12)]
  • Sexual Dysfunction [see Warnings and Precautions (5.13)]

Most common adverse reactions (incidence ≥ 5% and at least twice the rate of placebo): nausea, somnolence, dry mouth, sweating, abnormal ejaculation, anorexia, constipation, impotence (men), and libido decreased (6.1).

To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc. at 1-800-438-1985 or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.

6.1 Clinical Studies Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical studies of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in clinical practice.

Most Common Adverse Reactions

The most commonly observed adverse reactions in the clinical study database in Effexor XR treated patients in MDD, GAD, SAD, and PD (incidence ≥5% and at least twice the rate of placebo) were: nausea (30.0%), somnolence (15.3%), dry mouth (14.8%), sweating (11.4%), abnormal ejaculation (9.9%), anorexia (9.8%), constipation (9.3%), impotence (5.3%), and decreased libido (5.1%).

Adverse Reactions Reported as Reasons for Discontinuation of Treatment

Combined across short-term, placebo-controlled premarketing studies for all indications, 12% of the 3,558 patients who received Effexor XR (37.5–225 mg) discontinued treatment due to an adverse experience, compared with 4% of the 2,197 placebo-treated patients in those studies.

The most common adverse reactions leading to discontinuation in ≥1% of the Effexor XR treated patients in the short-term studies (up to 12 weeks) across indications are shown in Table 7.

Table 7: Incidence (%) of Patients Reporting Adverse Reactions Leading to Discontinuation in Placebo-controlled Clinical Studies (up to 12 Weeks Duration)
Body System
Adverse Reaction
Effexor XR
n = 3,558
Placebo
n = 2,197

Body as a whole

  Asthenia

1.7

0.5

  Headache

1.5

0.8

Digestive system

  Nausea

4.3

0.4

Nervous system

  Dizziness

2.2

0.8

  Insomnia

2.1

0.6

  Somnolence

1.7

0.3

Skin and appendages

1.5

0.6

  Sweating

1.0

0.2

Common Adverse Reactions in Placebo-controlled Studies

The number of patients receiving multiple doses of Effexor XR during the premarketing assessment for each approved indication is shown in Table 8. The conditions and duration of exposure to venlafaxine in all development programs varied greatly, and included (in overlapping categories) open and double-blind studies, uncontrolled and controlled studies, inpatient (Effexor only) and outpatient studies, fixed-dose, and titration studies.

Table 8: Patients Receiving Effexor XR in Premarketing Clinical Studies
Indication Effexor XR

MDD

705In addition, in the premarketing assessment of Effexor, multiple doses were administered to 2,897 patients in studies for MDD.

GAD

1,381

SAD

819

PD

1,314

The incidences of common adverse reactions (those that occurred in ≥2% of Effexor XR treated patients [357 MDD patients, 1,381 GAD patients, 819 SAD patients, and 1,001 PD patients] and more frequently than placebo) in Effexor XR treated patients in short-term, placebo-controlled, fixed- and flexible-dose clinical studies (doses 37.5 to 225 mg per day) are shown in Table 9.

The adverse reaction profile did not differ substantially between the different patient populations.

Table 9: Common Adverse Reactions: Percentage of Patients Reporting Adverse Reactions (≥2% and > placebo) in Placebo-controlled Studies (up to 12 Weeks Duration) across All Indications
Body System
Adverse Reaction
Effexor XR
n = 3,558
Placebo
n = 2,197

Body as a whole

  Asthenia

12.6

7.8

Cardiovascular system

  Hypertension

3.4

2.6

  Palpitation

2.2

2.0

  Vasodilatation

3.7

1.9

Digestive system

  Anorexia

9.8

2.6

  Constipation

9.3

3.4

  Diarrhea

7.7

7.2

  Dry mouth

14.8

5.3

  Nausea

30.0

11.8

  Vomiting

4.3

2.7

Nervous system

  Abnormal dreams

2.9

1.4

  Dizziness

15.8

9.5

  Insomnia

17.8

9.5

  Libido decreased

5.1

1.6

  Nervousness

7.1

5.0

  Paresthesia

2.4

1.4

  Somnolence

15.3

7.5

  Tremor

4.7

1.6

Respiratory system

  Yawn

3.7

0.2

Skin and appendages

  Sweating (including night sweats)

11.4

2.9

Special senses

  Abnormal vision

4.2

1.6

Urogenital system

  Abnormal ejaculation/orgasm (men)Percentages based on the number of men (Effexor XR, n = 1,440; placebo, n = 923)

9.9

0.5

  Anorgasmia (men)

3.6

0.1

  Anorgasmia (women)Percentages based on the number of women (Effexor XR, n = 2,118; placebo, n = 1,274)

2.0

0.2

  Impotence (men)

5.3

1.0

Other Adverse Reactions Observed in Clinical Studies

Body as a whole – Photosensitivity reaction, chills

Cardiovascular system – Postural hypotension, syncope, hypotension, tachycardia

Digestive system – Gastrointestinal hemorrhage [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)], bruxism

Hemic/Lymphatic system – Ecchymosis [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)]

Metabolic/Nutritional – Hypercholesterolemia, weight gain [see Warnings and Precautions (5.10)], weight loss [see Warnings and Precautions (5.10)]

Nervous system – Seizures [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8)], manic reaction [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)], agitation, confusion, akathisia, hallucinations, hypertonia, myoclonus, depersonalization, apathy

Skin and appendages – Urticaria, pruritus, rash, alopecia

Special senses – Mydriasis, abnormality of accommodation, tinnitus, taste perversion

Urogenital system – Urinary retention, urination impaired, urinary incontinence, urinary frequency increased, menstrual disorders associated with increased bleeding or increased irregular bleeding (e.g., menorrhagia, metrorrhagia)

Vital Sign Changes

In placebo-controlled premarketing studies, there were increases in mean blood pressure (see Table 10). Across most indications, a dose-related increase in mean supine systolic and diastolic blood pressure was evident in patients treated with Effexor XRs. Across all clinical studies in MDD, GAD, SAD and PD, 1.4% of patients in the Effexor XR groups experienced an increase in SDBP of ≥15 mm Hg along with a blood pressure ≥105 mm Hg, compared to 0.9% of patients in the placebo groups. Similarly, 1% of patients in the Effexor XR groups experienced an increase in SSBP of ≥20 mm Hg with a blood pressure ≥180 mm Hg, compared to 0.3% of patients in the placebo groups.

Table 10: Final On-therapy Mean Changes From Baseline in Supine Systolic (SSBP) and Diastolic (SDBP) Blood Pressure (mm Hg) in Placebo-controlled Studies
Effexor XR Placebo
Indication ≤75 mg per day >75 mg per day
  (Duration) SSBP SDBP SSBP SDBP SSBP SDBP

MDD

  (8–12 weeks)

-0.28

0.37

2.93

3.56

-1.08

-0.10

GAD

  (8 weeks)

-0.28

0.02

2.40

1.68

-1.26

-0.92

  (6 months)

1.27

-0.69

2.06

1.28

-1.29

-0.74

SAD

  (12 weeks)

-0.29

-1.26

1.18

1.34

-1.96

-1.22

  (6 months)

-0.98

-0.49

2.51

1.96

-1.84

-0.65

PD

  (10–12 weeks)

-1.15

0.97

-0.36

0.16

-1.29

-0.99

Effexor XR treatment was associated with sustained hypertension (defined as Supine Diastolic Blood Pressure [SDBP] ≥90 mm Hg and ≥10 mm Hg above baseline for three consecutive on-therapy visits (see Table 11). An insufficient number of patients received mean doses of Effexor XR over 300 mg per day in clinical studies to fully evaluate the incidence of sustained increases in blood pressure at these higher doses.

Table 11: Sustained Elevations in SDBP in Effexor XR Premarketing Studies
Indication Dose Range (mg per day) Incidence (%)

MDD

75–375Maximum recommended dosage for Effexor XR is 225 mg once daily.

19/705 (3)

GAD

37.5–225

5/1011 (0.5)

SAD

75–225

5/771 (0.6)

PD

75–225

9/973 (0.9)

Effexor XR was associated with mean increases in pulse rate compared with placebo in premarketing placebo-controlled studies (see Table 12) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3, 5.4)].

Table 12: Approximate Mean Final On-therapy Increase in Pulse Rate (beats/min) in Effexor XR Premarketing Placebo-controlled Studies (up to 12 Weeks Duration)
Indication
  (Duration)
Effexor XR Placebo

MDD
  (12 weeks)

2

1

GAD
  (8 weeks)

2

< 1

SAD
  (12 weeks)

3

1

PD
  (12 weeks)

1

< 1

Laboratory Changes

Serum Cholesterol

Effexor XR was associated with mean final increases in serum cholesterol concentrations compared with mean final decreases for placebo in premarketing MDD, GAD, SAD and PD clinical studies (Table 13).

Table 13: Mean Final On-therapy Changes in Cholesterol Concentrations (mg/dL) in Effexor XR Premarketing Studies
Indication
  (Duration)
Effexor XR Placebo

MDD

  (12 weeks)

+1.5

-7.4

GAD

  (8 weeks)

+1.0

-4.9

  (6 months)

+2.3

-7.7

SAD

  (12 weeks)

+7.9

-2.9

  (6 months)

+5.6

-4.2

PD

  (12 weeks)

5.8

-3.7

Effexor XR (venlafaxine hydrochloride) extended-release capsules treatment for up to 12 weeks in premarketing placebo-controlled trials for major depressive disorder was associated with a mean final on-therapy increase in serum cholesterol concentration of approximately 1.5 mg/dL compared with a mean final decrease of 7.4 mg/dL for placebo. Effexor XR treatment for up to 8 weeks and up to 6 months in premarketing placebo-controlled GAD trials was associated with mean final on-therapy increases in serum cholesterol concentration of approximately 1.0 mg/dL and 2.3 mg/dL, respectively while placebo subjects experienced mean final decreases of 4.9 mg/dL and 7.7 mg/dL, respectively. Effexor XR treatment for up to 12 weeks and up to 6 months in premarketing placebo-controlled Social Anxiety Disorder trials was associated with mean final on-therapy increases in serum cholesterol concentration of approximately 7.9 mg/dL and 5.6 mg/dL, respectively, compared with mean final decreases of 2.9 and 4.2 mg/dL, respectively, for placebo. Effexor XR treatment for up to 12 weeks in premarketing placebo-controlled panic disorder trials was associated with mean final on-therapy increases in serum cholesterol concentration of approximately 5.8 mg/dL compared with a mean final decrease of 3.7 mg/dL for placebo.

Patients treated with Effexor (immediate-release) for at least 3 months in placebo-controlled 12-month extension trials had a mean final on-therapy increase in total cholesterol of 9.1 mg/dL compared with a decrease of 7.1 mg/dL among placebo-treated patients. This increase was duration dependent over the study period and tended to be greater with higher doses. Clinically relevant increases in serum cholesterol, defined as 1) a final on-therapy increase in serum cholesterol ≥50 mg/dL from baseline and to a value ≥261 mg/dL, or 2) an average on-therapy increase in serum cholesterol ≥50 mg/dL from baseline and to a value ≥261 mg/dL, were recorded in 5.3% of venlafaxine-treated patients and 0.0% of placebo-treated patients.

Serum Triglycerides

Effexor XR was associated with mean final on-therapy increases in fasting serum triglycerides compared with placebo in premarketing clinical studies of SAD and PD up to 12 weeks (pooled data) and 6 months duration (Table 14).

Table 14: Mean Final On-therapy Increases in Triglyceride Concentrations (mg/dL) in Effexor XR Premarketing Studies
Indication
  (Duration)
Effexor XR Placebo

SAD
  (12 weeks)

8.2

0.4

SAD
  (6 months)

11.8

1.8

PD
  (12 weeks)

5.9

0.9

PD
  (6 months)

9.3

0.3

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of Effexor XR. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Body as a whole – Anaphylaxis, angioedema

Cardiovascular system – QT prolongation, ventricular fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia (including torsade de pointes), takotsubo cardiomyopathy

Digestive system – Pancreatitis

Hemic/Lymphatic system – Mucous membrane bleeding [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)], blood dyscrasias (including agranulocytosis, aplastic anemia, neutropenia and pancytopenia), prolonged bleeding time, thrombocytopenia

Metabolic/Nutritional – Hyponatremia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.9)], Syndrome of Inappropriate Antidiuretic Hormone (SIADH) secretion [see Warnings and Precautions (5.9)], abnormal liver function tests, hepatitis, prolactin increased

Musculoskeletal – Rhabdomyolysis

Nervous system – Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)], serotonergic syndrome [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)], delirium, extrapyramidal reactions (including dystonia and dyskinesia), impaired coordination and balance, tardive dyskinesia

Respiratory system – Dyspnea, interstitial lung disease, pulmonary eosinophilia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.12)]

Skin and appendages – Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, erythema multiforme

Special senses – Angle-closure glaucoma [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)]

7 DRUG INTERACTIONS

7.1 Drugs Having Clinically Important Interactions with Effexor XR

Table 15: Clinically Important Drug Interactions with Effexor XR

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOI)

Clinical Impact

The concomitant use of SNRIs, including Effexor XR, with MAOIs increases the risk of serotonin syndrome.

Intervention

Concomitant use of Effexor XR is contraindicated in patients taking MAOIs, including MAOIs such as linezolid or intravenous methylene blue [see Dosage and Administration (2.11), Contraindications (4) and Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

Other Serotonergic Drugs

Clinical Impact

Concomitant use of Effexor XR with other serotonergic drugs increases the risk of serotonin syndrome.

Intervention

Monitor for symptoms of serotonin syndrome when Effexor XR is used concomitantly with other drugs that may affect the serotonergic neurotransmitter systems. If serotonin syndrome occurs, consider discontinuation of Effexor XR and/or concomitant serotonergic drugs [see Dosage and Administration (2.11) and Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

Drugs that Interfere with Hemostasis

Clinical Impact

Concomitant use of Effexor XR with an antiplatelet or anticoagulant drug may potentiate the risk of bleeding. This may be due to the effect of Effexor XR on the release of serotonin by platelets.

Intervention

Closely monitor for bleeding for patients receiving an antiplatelet or anticoagulant drug when Effexor XR is initiated or discontinued [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].

Effect of CYP3A Inhibitors

Clinical Impact

Concomitant use of a CYP3A inhibitor increases the Cmax and AUC of venlafaxine and O-desmethylvenlafaxine (ODV) [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)], which may increase the risk of toxicity of Effexor XR.

Intervention

Consider reducing the dose of Effexor XR.

CYP2D6 Substrates

Clinical Impact

Concomitant use of Effexor XR increases Cmax and AUC of a CYP2D6 substrate, which may increase the risk of toxicity of the CYP2D6 substrate [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

Intervention

Consider reduction in dose of concomitant CYP2D6 substrates.

7.2 Other Drug Interactions with Effexor XR

Central Nervous System (CNS)-Active Drugs

The risk of using venlafaxine concomitantly with other CNS-active drugs (including alcohol) has not been systematically evaluated. Consequently, caution is advised when Effexor XR is taken concomitantly in combination with other CNS-active drugs.

Weight Loss Agents

Concomitant use of Effexor XR and weight loss agents is not recommended. The safety and efficacy of venlafaxine therapy in combination with weight loss agents, including phentermine, have not been established. Effexor XR is not indicated for weight loss alone or in combination with other products.

Laboratory Test Interference

False-positive urine immunoassay screening tests for phencyclidine (PCP) and amphetamine have been reported in patients taking venlafaxine due to lack of specificity of the screening tests. False-positive test results may be expected for several days following discontinuation of venlafaxine therapy. Confirmatory tests, such as gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, will distinguish venlafaxine from PCP and amphetamine.

8 USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS

Pregnancy: Third trimester use may increase risk for symptoms of poor neonatal adaptation (respiratory distress, temperature instability, feeding difficulty, hypotonia, tremor, irritability) in the neonate (8.1).

8.1 Pregnancy

Pregnancy Exposure Registry

There is a pregnancy exposure registry that monitors pregnancy outcomes in women exposed to antidepressants, including Effexor XR, during pregnancy. Healthcare providers are encouraged to register patients by calling the National Pregnancy Registry for Antidepressants at 1-844-405-6185 or visiting online at https://womensmentalhealth.org/clinical-and-research-programs/pregnancyregistry/antidepressants/.

Risk Summary

Available data from published epidemiologic studies on venlafaxine use in pregnant women have not identified a drug-associated risk of major birth defects, miscarriage or adverse fetal outcomes (see Data). Available data from observational studies with venlafaxine have identified a potential increased risk for preeclampsia when used during mid to late pregnancy; exposure to SNRIs near delivery may increase the risk for postpartum hemorrhage (see Clinical Considerations). There are risks associated with untreated depression in pregnancy and poor neonatal adaptation in newborns with exposure to SNRIs, including Effexor XR, during pregnancy (see Clinical Considerations).

In animal studies, there was no evidence of malformations or fetotoxicity following administration of venlafaxine during organogenesis at doses up to 2.5 times (rat) or 4 times (rabbit) the maximum recommended human daily dose on a mg/m2 basis. Postnatal mortality and decreased pup weights were observed following venlafaxine administration to pregnant rats during gestation and lactation at 2.5 times (mg/m2) the maximum human daily dose.

The estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated populations is unknown. All pregnancies have a background risk of birth defect, loss, or other adverse outcomes. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2 to 4% and 15 to 20%, respectively.

Clinical Considerations

Disease-Associated Maternal And/Or Embryo/Fetal Risk

Women who discontinue antidepressants during pregnancy are more likely to experience a relapse of major depression than women who continue antidepressants. This finding is from a prospective, longitudinal study that followed 201 pregnant women with a history of major depression who were euthymic and taking antidepressants at the beginning of pregnancy. Consider the risk of untreated depression when discontinuing or changing treatment with antidepressant medication during pregnancy and postpartum.

Maternal Adverse Reactions

Exposure to venlafaxine in mid to late pregnancy may increase the risk for preeclampsia, and exposure to SNRIs near delivery may increase the risk for postpartum hemorrhage.

Fetal/Neonatal Adverse Reactions

Neonates exposed to SNRIs late in the third trimester have developed complications requiring prolonged hospitalization, respiratory support, and tube feeding. Such complications can arise immediately upon delivery. Reported clinical findings have included respiratory distress, cyanosis, apnea, seizures, temperature instability, feeding difficulty, vomiting, hypoglycemia, hypotonia, hypertonia, hyperreflexia, tremors, jitteriness, irritability, and constant crying. These findings are consistent with either a direct toxic effect of SNRIs or possibly a drug discontinuation syndrome. It should be noted that, in some cases, the clinical picture is consistent with serotonin syndrome [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]. Monitor neonates who were exposed to Effexor XR in the third trimester of pregnancy for drug discontinuation syndrome (see Data).

Data

Human Data

Published epidemiological studies of pregnant women exposed to venlafaxine have not established an increased risk of major birth defects, miscarriage or other adverse developmental outcomes. Methodological limitations may both fail to identify true findings and also identify findings that are not true.

Retrospective cohort studies based on claims data have shown an association between venlafaxine use and preeclampsia, compared to depressed women who did not take an antidepressant during pregnancy. One study that assessed venlafaxine exposure in the second trimester or first half of the third trimester and preeclampsia showed an increased risk compared to unexposed depressed women (adjusted [adj] RR 1.57, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.29–1.91). Preeclampsia was observed at venlafaxine doses equal to or greater than 75 mg per day and a duration of treatment >30 days. Another study that assessed venlafaxine exposure in gestational weeks 10–20 and preeclampsia showed an increased risk at doses equal to or greater than 150 mg per day. Available data are limited by possible outcome misclassification and possible confounding due to depression severity and other confounders.

Retrospective cohort studies based on claims data have suggested an association between venlafaxine use near the time of delivery or through delivery and postpartum hemorrhage. One study showed an increased risk for postpartum hemorrhage when venlafaxine exposure occurred through delivery, compared to unexposed depressed women (adj RR 2.24 [95% CI 1.69–2.97]). There was no increased risk in women who were exposed to venlafaxine earlier in pregnancy. Limitations of this study include possible confounding due to depression severity and other confounders. Another study showed an increased risk for postpartum hemorrhage when SNRI exposure occurred for at least 15 days in in the last month of pregnancy or through delivery, compared to unexposed women (adj RR 1.64–1.76). The results of this study may be confounded by the effects of depression.

Animal Data

Venlafaxine did not cause malformations in offspring of rats or rabbits given doses up to 2.5 times (rat) or 4 times (rabbit) the maximum recommended human daily dose on a mg/m2 basis. However, in rats, there was a decrease in pup weight, an increase in stillborn pups, and an increase in pup deaths during the first 5 days of lactation, when dosing began during pregnancy and continued until weaning. The cause of these deaths is not known. These effects occurred at 2.5 times (mg/m2) the maximum human daily dose. The no effect dose for rat pup mortality was 0.25 times the human dose on a mg/m2 basis.

When desvenlafaxine succinate, the major metabolite of venlafaxine, was administered orally to pregnant rats and rabbits during the period of organogenesis at doses up to 300 mg/kg/day and 75 mg/kg/day, respectively, no fetal malformations were observed. These doses were associated with a plasma exposure (AUC) 19 times (rats) and 0.5 times (rabbits) the AUC exposure at an adult human dose of 100 mg per day. However, fetal weights were decreased and skeletal ossification was delayed in rats in association with maternal toxicity at the highest dose, with an AUC exposure at the no-effect dose that is 4.5-times the AUC exposure at an adult human dose of 100 mg per day.

8.2 Lactation

Risk Summary

Data from published literature report the presence of venlafaxine and its active metabolite in human milk and have not shown adverse reactions in breastfed infants (see Data). There are no data on the effects of venlafaxine on milk production.

The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother's clinical need for Effexor XR and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed child from Effexor XR or from the underlying maternal condition.

Data

In a lactation study conducted in 11 breastfeeding women (at a mean of 20.1 months post-partum) who were taking a mean daily dose of 194.3 mg of venlafaxine and in a lactation study conducted in 6 breastfeeding women who were taking a daily dose of 225 mg to 300 mg of venlafaxine (at a mean of 7 months post-partum), the estimated mean relative infant dose was 8.1 % and 6.4% based on the sum of venlafaxine and its major metabolite, desvenlafaxine. No adverse reactions were seen in the infants.

8.4 Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness of Effexor XR in pediatric patients have not been established.

Two placebo-controlled trials in 766 pediatric patients with MDD and two placebo-controlled trials in 793 pediatric patients with GAD have been conducted with Effexor XR, and the data were not sufficient to support use in pediatric patients.

In the studies conducted in pediatric patients ages 6 to17 years, the occurrence of blood pressure and cholesterol increases was considered to be clinically relevant in pediatric patients and was similar to that observed in adult patients [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3), Adverse Reactions (6.1)]. The following adverse reactions were also observed in pediatric patients: abdominal pain, agitation, dyspepsia, ecchymosis, epistaxis, and myalgia.

Although no studies have been designed to primarily assess Effexor XR's impact on the growth, development, and maturation of children and adolescents, the studies that have been done suggest that Effexor XR may adversely affect weight and height [see Warnings and Precautions (5.10, 5.11)]. Decreased appetite and weight loss were observed in placebo-controlled studies of pediatric patients 6 to 17 years.

In pediatric clinical studies, the adverse reaction, suicidal ideation, was observed. Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in pediatric patients [see Boxed Warning, Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

8.5 Geriatric Use

The percentage of patients in clinical studies for Effexor XR for MDD, GAD, SAD, and PD who were 65 years of age or older are shown in Table 16.

Table 16: Percentage (and Number of Patients Studied) of Patients 65 Years of Age and Older by IndicationIn addition, in the premarketing assessment of Effexor (immediate-release), 12% (357/2,897) of patients were ≥ 65 years of age.
Indication Effexor XR

MDD

4 (14/357)

GAD

6 (77/1,381)

SAD

1 (10/819)

PD

2 (16/1,001)

No overall differences in effectiveness or safety were observed between geriatric patients and younger patients, and other reported clinical experience generally has not identified differences in response between the elderly and younger patients. However, greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out. SSRIs and SNRIs, including Effexor XR, have been associated with cases of clinically significant hyponatremia in elderly patients, who may be at greater risk for this adverse event [see Warnings and Precautions (5.9)].

The pharmacokinetics of venlafaxine and ODV are not substantially altered in the elderly [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)] (see Figure 1). No dose adjustment is recommended for the elderly on the basis of age alone, although other clinical circumstances, some of which may be more common in the elderly, such as renal or hepatic impairment, may warrant a dose reduction [see Dosage and Administration (2.8, 2.9)].

8.6 Hepatic Impairment

Dosage adjustment is recommended in patients with mild (Child-Pugh Class A), moderate (Child-Pugh Class B), or severe (Child-Pugh Class C) hepatic impairment or hepatic cirrhosis [see Dosage and Administration (2.8) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

8.7 Renal Impairment

Dosage adjustment is recommended in patients with mild (CLcr= 60–89 mL/min), moderate (CLcr= 30–59 mL/min), or severe (CLcr <30 mL/min) renal impairment, and in patients undergoing hemodialysis [see Dosage and Administration (2.9) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

9 DRUG ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE

9.1 Controlled Substance

Effexor XR contains venlafaxine which is not a controlled substance.

9.2 Abuse

Abuse is the intentional, non-therapeutic use of a drug, even once, for its desirable psychological or physiological effects.

While venlafaxine has not been systematically studied in clinical studies for its potential for abuse, there was no indication of drug-seeking behavior in the clinical studies. However, it is not possible to predict on the basis of premarketing experience the extent to which a CNS-active drug will be misused, diverted, and/or abused once marketed. Consequently, providers should carefully evaluate patients for history of drug abuse and follow such patients closely, observing them for signs of misuse or abuse of venlafaxine (e.g., development of tolerance, incrementation of dose, drug-seeking behavior).

9.3 Dependence

Physical dependence is a state that develops as a result of physiological adaptation in response to repeated drug use, manifested by withdrawal signs and symptoms after abrupt discontinuation or a significant dose reduction of a drug.

In vitro studies revealed that venlafaxine has virtually no affinity for opiate, benzodiazepine, phencyclidine (PCP), or N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptors.

Venlafaxine was not found to have any significant CNS stimulant activity in rodents. In primate drug discrimination studies, venlafaxine showed no significant stimulant or depressant abuse liability.

Discontinuation effects have been reported in patients receiving venlafaxine [see Dosage and Administration (2.10) and Warnings and Precautions (5.7)].

10 OVERDOSAGE

Human Experience

During the premarketing evaluations of Effexor XR (for MDD, GAD, SAD, and PD) and Effexor (for MDD), there were twenty reports of acute overdosage with Effexor (6 and 14 reports in Effexor XR and Effexor patients, respectively), either alone or in combination with other drugs and/or alcohol.

Somnolence was the most commonly reported symptom. Among the other reported symptoms were paresthesia of all four limbs, moderate dizziness, nausea, numb hands and feet, and hot-cold spells 5 days after the overdose. In most cases, no signs or symptoms were associated with overdose. The majority of the reports involved ingestion in which the total dose of venlafaxine taken was estimated to be no more than several-fold higher than the usual therapeutic dose. One patient who ingested 2.75 g of venlafaxine was observed to have two generalized convulsions and a prolongation of QTc to 500 msec, compared with 405 msec at baseline. Mild sinus tachycardia was reported in two of the other patients.

Actions taken to treat the overdose included no treatment, hospitalization and symptomatic treatment, and hospitalization plus treatment with activated charcoal. All patients recovered.

In postmarketing experience, overdose with venlafaxine has occurred predominantly in combination with alcohol and/or other drugs. The most commonly reported events in overdosage include tachycardia, changes in level of consciousness (ranging from somnolence to coma), mydriasis, seizures, and vomiting. Electrocardiogram changes (e.g., prolongation of QT interval, bundle branch block, QRS prolongation), ventricular tachycardia, bradycardia, hypotension, rhabdomyolysis, vertigo, liver necrosis, serotonin syndrome, and death have been reported.

Published retrospective studies report that venlafaxine overdosage may be associated with an increased risk of fatal outcomes compared to that observed with SSRI antidepressant products, but lower than that for tricyclic antidepressants. Epidemiological studies have shown that venlafaxine-treated patients have a higher preexisting burden of suicide risk factors than SSRI-treated patients. The extent to which the finding of an increased risk of fatal outcomes can be attributed to the toxicity of venlafaxine in overdosage, as opposed to some characteristic(s) of venlafaxine-treated patients, is not clear. Prescriptions for Effexor XR should be written for the smallest quantity of capsules consistent with good patient management, in order to reduce the risk of overdose.

Management of Overdosage

No specific antidotes for Effexor XR are known. In managing overdosage, consider the possibility of multiple drug involvement. Consider contacting a Poison Center (1-800-222-1222) or a medical toxicologist for overdosage management recommendations for Effexor XR.

11 DESCRIPTION

Effexor XR is an extended-release capsule for once-a-day oral administration that contains venlafaxine hydrochloride, a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI).

Venlafaxine is designated (R/S)-1-[2-(dimethylamino)-1-(4-methoxyphenyl)ethyl] cyclohexanol hydrochloride or (±)-1-[α- [(dimethylamino)methyl]-p-methoxybenzyl] cyclohexanol hydrochloride and has the empirical formula of C17H27NO2 HCl. Its molecular weight is 313.86. The structural formula is shown as follows:

Chemical Structure

Venlafaxine hydrochloride is a white to off-white crystalline solid, with a solubility of 572 mg/mL in water (adjusted to ionic strength of 0.2 M with sodium chloride). Its octanol:water (0.2 M sodium chloride) partition coefficient is 0.43.

Drug release is controlled by diffusion through the coating membrane on the spheroids and is not pH-dependent. Capsules contain venlafaxine hydrochloride equivalent to 37.5 mg, 75 mg, or 150 mg venlafaxine. Inactive ingredients consist of cellulose, ethylcellulose, gelatin, hypromellose, iron oxide, and titanium dioxide.

Chemical Structure

12 CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

12.1 Mechanism of Action

The mechanism of action of venlafaxine in the treatment of MDD, GAD, SAD, and PD is unclear, but is thought to be related to the potentiation of serotonin and norepinephrine in the central nervous system, through inhibition of their reuptake.

12.2 Pharmacodynamics

In-vitro studies have demonstrated that venlafaxine and its active metabolite, O-desmethylvenlafaxine (ODV), are potent and selective inhibitors of neuronal serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake and weak inhibitors of dopamine reuptake. Venlafaxine and ODV have no significant affinity for muscarinic-cholinergic, H1-histaminergic, or α1-adrenergic receptors in vitro. Pharmacologic activity at these receptors is hypothesized to be associated with the various anticholinergic, sedative, and cardiovascular effects seen with other psychotropic drugs. Venlafaxine and ODV do not possess monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitory activity.

Cardiac Electrophysiology

The effect of venlafaxine on the QT interval was evaluated in a randomized, double-blind, placebo- and positive-controlled three-period crossover thorough QT study in 54 healthy adult subjects. No significant QT prolongation effect of venlafaxine at 450 mg (2 times the maximum recommended dosage) was detected.

12.3 Pharmacokinetics

Venlafaxine and ODV steady-state concentrations are reached within 3 days. Venlafaxine and ODV exhibited linear kinetics over the dosage range of 75 to 450 mg per day (0.33 to 2 times the maximum recommended dosage). Time of administration (AM versus PM) did not affect the pharmacokinetics of venlafaxine and ODV from the 75 mg Effexor XR capsule.

Absorption

Venlafaxine is well absorbed. On the basis of mass balance studies, at least 92% of a single oral dose of venlafaxine is absorbed. The absolute bioavailability of venlafaxine is approximately 45%.

Administration of Effexor XR (150 mg once daily) generally resulted in lower Cmax and later Tmax values than for Effexor administered twice daily (Table 17). When equal daily doses of venlafaxine were administered as either an immediate-release tablet or the extended-release capsule, the exposure to both venlafaxine and ODV was similar for the two treatments, and the fluctuation in plasma concentrations was slightly lower with the Effexor XR capsule. Therefore, Effexor XR provides a slower rate of absorption, but the same extent of absorption compared with the immediate-release tablet.

Table 17: Comparison of Cmax and Tmax Values for Venlafaxine and ODV Following Oral Administration of Effexor XR and Effexor (Immediate-Release)
Venlafaxine ODV
Cmax
(ng/mL)
Tmax
(h)
Cmax
(ng/mL)
Tmax
(h)

Effexor XR (150 mg once daily)

150

5.5

260

9

Effexor (75 mg twice daily)

225

2

290

3

Effect of Food

Food did not affect the bioavailability of venlafaxine or its active metabolite, ODV.

Distribution

Venlafaxine is 27% and ODV is 30% bound to plasma proteins. The apparent volume of distribution at steady-state is 7.5 ± 3.7 L/kg for venlafaxine and 5.7 ± 1.8 L/kg for ODV.

Elimination

Mean ± SD plasma apparent clearance at steady-state is 1.3 ± 0.6 L/h/kg for venlafaxine and 0.4 ± 0.2 L/h/kg for ODV. The apparent elimination half-life is 5 ± 2 hours for venlafaxine and 11 ± 2 hours for ODV.

Metabolism

Following absorption, venlafaxine undergoes extensive presystemic metabolism in the liver, primarily to ODV, but also to N-desmethylvenlafaxine, N,O-didesmethylvenlafaxine, and other minor metabolites. In vitro studies indicate that the formation of ODV is catalyzed by CYP2D6; this has been confirmed in a clinical study showing that patients with low CYP2D6 levels (poor metabolizers) had increased levels of venlafaxine and reduced levels of ODV compared to people with normal CYP2D6 levels (extensive metabolizers) (see Figure 1).

Excretion

Approximately 87% of a venlafaxine dose is recovered in the urine within 48 hours as unchanged venlafaxine (5%), unconjugated ODV (29%), conjugated ODV (26%), or other minor inactive metabolites (27%).

Specific Populations

The effect of intrinsic patient factors on the pharmacokinetics of venlafaxine and its active metabolite ODV is presented in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Pharmacokinetics of Venlafaxine and Active Metabolite O-desmethylvenlafaxine (ODV) in Special Populations
ODV=O-desmethylvenlafaxine; AUC=area under the curve; Cmax=peak plasma concentrations.
* Similar effect is expected with strong CYP2D6 inhibitors.
Figure 1: Pharmacokinetics of Venlafaxine and Active Metabolite O-desmethylvenlafaxine (ODV) in Special Populations
Figure 1
Figure 1

Drug Interaction Studies

Clinical Studies

Effect of Other Drugs on Effexor XR and active metabolite ODV

The effects of other drugs on the exposure of venlafaxine and ODV are summarized in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Effect of Other Drugs on the Pharmacokinetics of Venlafaxine and Active Metabolite O-desmethylvenlafaxine (ODV)
ODV=O-desmethylvenlafaxine; AUC=area under the curve; Cmax=peak plasma concentrations; EM's=extensive metabolizers; PM's=poor metabolizers.
Figure 2: Effect of Other Drugs on the Pharmacokinetics of Venlafaxine and Active Metabolite O-desmethylvenlafaxine (ODV)
Figure 2
Figure 2

Effect of Effexor XR on Other Drugs

The effects of Effexor XR on the exposure of other drugs are summarized in Figure 3.

Figure 3: Effect of Venlafaxine on the Pharmacokinetics Interacting Drugs and their Active Metabolites
AUC=area under the curve; Cmax=peak plasma concentrations; OH=hydroxyl.
* Data for 2-OH desipramine were not plotted to enhance clarity; the fold change and 90% CI for Cmax and AUC of 2-OH desipramine were 6.6 (5.5, 7.9) and 4.4 (3.8, 5.0), respectively.
Note: *Administration of venlafaxine in a stable regimen did not exaggerate the psychomotor and psychometric effects induced by ethanol in these same subjects when they were not receiving venlafaxine.
Figure 3: Effect of Venlafaxine on the Pharmacokinetics Interacting Drugs and their Active Metabolites
Figure 3
Figure 3

13 NONCLINICAL TOXICOLOGY

13.1 Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

Carcinogenesis

Tumors were not increased by venlafaxine treatment in mice or rats. Venlafaxine was given by oral gavage to mice for 18 months at doses up to 120 mg/kg per day, which was 1.7 times the maximum recommended human dose on a mg/m2 basis. Venlafaxine was also given to rats by oral gavage for 24 months at doses up to 120 mg/kg per day. In rats receiving the 120 mg/kg dose, plasma concentrations of venlafaxine at necropsy were 1 times (male rats) and 6 times (female rats) the plasma concentrations of patients receiving the maximum recommended human dose. Plasma levels of the ODV were lower in rats than in patients receiving the maximum recommended dose. ODV, the major human metabolite of venlafaxine, administered by oral gavage to mice and rats for 2 years did not increase the incidence of tumors in either study. Mice received ODV at dosages up to 500/300 mg/kg/day (dosage lowered after 45 weeks of dosing). The exposure at the 300 mg/kg/day dose is 9 times that of a human dose of 225 mg/day. Rats received ODV at dosages up to 300 mg/kg/day (males) or 500 mg/kg/day (females). The exposure at the highest dose is approximately 8 (males) or 11 (females) times that of a human dose of 225 mg/day.

Mutagenesis

Venlafaxine and the major human metabolite, ODV, were not mutagenic in the Ames reverse mutation assay in Salmonella bacteria or the Chinese hamster ovary/HGPRT mammalian cell forward gene mutation assay. Venlafaxine was also not mutagenic or clastogenic in the in vitro BALB/c-3T3 mouse cell transformation assay, the sister chromatid exchange assay in cultured Chinese hamster ovary cells, or in the in vivo chromosomal aberration assay in rat bone marrow. ODV was not clastogenic in the in vitro Chinese hamster ovary cell chromosomal aberration assay or in the in vivo chromosomal aberration assay in rats.

Impairment of Fertility

Reproduction and fertility studies of venlafaxine in rats showed no adverse effects of venlafaxine on male or female fertility at oral doses of up to 2 times the maximum recommended human dose of 225 mg/day on a mg/m2 basis. However, when desvenlafaxine succinate, the major human metabolite of venlafaxine, was administered orally to male and female rats, fertility was reduced at the high dose of 300 mg/kg/day, which is 10 (males) and 19 (females) times the AUC exposure at an adult human dose of 100 mg per day. There was no effect on fertility at 100 mg/kg/day, which is 3 (males) or 5 (females) times the AUC exposure at an adult human dose of 100 mg per day. These studies did not address reversibility of the effect on fertility. The relevance of these findings to humans is not known.

14 CLINICAL STUDIES

14.1 Major Depressive Disorder

The efficacy of Effexor XR (venlafaxine hydrochloride) extended-release capsules as a treatment for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) was established in two placebo-controlled, short-term (8 weeks for study 1; 12 weeks for study 2), flexible-dose studies, with doses starting at 75 mg per day and ranging to 225 mg per day in adult outpatients meeting DSM-III-R or DSM-IV criteria for MDD. In moderately depressed outpatients, the initial dose of venlafaxine was 75 mg per day. In both studies, Effexor XR demonstrated superiority over placebo on the primary efficacy measure defined as change from baseline in the HAM-D-21 total score to the endpoint visit, Effexor XR also demonstrated superiority over placebo on the key secondary efficacy endpoint, the Clinical Global Impressions (CGI) Severity of Illness scale. Examination of gender subsets of the population studied did not reveal any differential responsiveness on the basis of gender.

A 4-week study of inpatients meeting DSM-III-R criteria for MDD with melancholia utilizing Effexor in a range of 150 to 375 mg per day (divided in a three-times-a-day schedule) demonstrated superiority of Effexor over placebo based on the HAM-D-21 total score. The mean dose in completers was 350 mg per day (study 3).

In a longer-term study, adult outpatients with MDD who had responded during an 8-week open-label study on Effexor XR (75, 150, or 225 mg, once daily every morning) were randomized to continuation of their same Effexor XR dose or to placebo, for up to 26 weeks of observation for relapse. Response during the open-label phase was defined as a CGI Severity of Illness item score of ≤3 and a HAM-D-21 total score of ≤10 at the day 56 evaluation. Relapse during the double-blind phase was defined as follows: (1) a reappearance of major depressive disorder as defined by DSM-IV criteria and a CGI Severity of Illness item score of ≥4 (moderately ill), (2) 2 consecutive CGI Severity of Illness item scores of ≥4, or (3) a final CGI Severity of Illness item score of ≥4 for any patient who withdrew from the study for any reason. Patients receiving continued Effexor XR treatment experienced statistically significantly lower relapse rates over the subsequent 26 weeks compared with those receiving placebo (study 4).

In a second longer term trial, adult outpatients with MDD, recurrent type, who had responded (HAM-D-21 total score ≤12 at the day 56 evaluation) and continued to be improved [defined as the following criteria being met for days 56 through 180: (1) no HAM-D-21 total score ≥20; (2) no more than 2 HAM-D-21 total scores >10, and (3) no single CGI Severity of Illness item score ≥4 (moderately ill)] during an initial 26 weeks of treatment on Effexor [100 to 200 mg per day, on a twice daily schedule] were randomized to continuation of their same Effexor dose or to placebo. The follow-up period to observe patients for relapse, defined as a CGI Severity of Illness item score ≥4, was for up to 52 weeks. Patients receiving continued Effexor treatment experienced statistically significantly lower relapse rates over the subsequent 52 weeks compared with those receiving placebo (study 5).

Table 18: Primary Efficacy Results for Studies in Major Depressive Disorder in Adults (Studies 1, 2, 3)
Study Number Treatment Group Primary Efficacy Measure: HAM-D Score
Mean Baseline Score (SD) LS Mean Change from Baseline Placebo Subtracted Difference Difference (drug minus placebo) in least-squares mean change from baseline.
(95%CI)
SD=standard deviation; LS Mean=least-squares mean; CI=confidence interval.

Study 1

Effexor(XR 75–225 mg/day)Doses statistically significantly superior to placebo.

24.5

-11.7

-4.45(-6.66,-2.25)

Placebo

23.6

-7.24

-

Study 2

Effexor(XR 75–225 mg/day)

24.5

-15.11

-6.40(-8.45,-4.34)

Placebo

24.9

-8.71

Study 3

Effexor(IR 150–375 mg/day)

28.2 (0.5)

-14.9

-10.2 (-14.4,-6.0)

Placebo

28.6 (0.6)

-4.7

-

14.2 Generalized Anxiety Disorder

The efficacy of Effexor XR as a treatment for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) was established in two 8-week, placebo-controlled, fixed-dose studies (75 to 225 mg per day), one 6-month, placebo-controlled, flexible-dose study (75 to 225 mg per day), and one 6-month, placebo-controlled, fixed-dose study (37.5, 75, and 150 mg per day) in adult outpatients meeting DSM-IV criteria for GAD.

In one 8-week study, Effexor XR demonstrated superiority over placebo for the 75, 150, and 225 mg per day doses as measured by the Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety (HAM-A) total score, both the HAM-A anxiety and tension items, and the Clinical Global Impressions (CGI) scale. However, the 75 and 150 mg per day doses were not as consistently effective as the highest dose (study 1). A second 8-week study evaluating doses of 75 and 150 mg per day and placebo showed that both doses were more effective than placebo on some of these same outcomes; however, the 75 mg per day dose was more consistently effective than the 150 mg per day dose (study 2). A dose-response relationship for effectiveness in GAD was not clearly established in the 75 to 225 mg per day dose range studied.

Two 6-month studies, one evaluating Effexor XR doses of 37.5, 75, and 150 mg per day (study 3) and the other evaluating Effexor XR doses of 75 to 225 mg per day (study 4), showed that daily doses of 75 mg or higher were more effective than placebo on the HAM-A total, both the HAM-A anxiety and tension items, and the CGI scale during 6 months of treatment. While there was also evidence for superiority over placebo for the 37.5 mg per day dose, this dose was not as consistently effective as the higher doses.

Examination of gender subsets of the population studied did not reveal any differential responsiveness on the basis of gender.

Table 19: Primary Efficacy Results for Studies in Generalized Anxiety Disorder in Adults (Studies 1, 2, 3, 4)
Study Number Treatment Group Primary Efficacy Measure: HAM-A Score
Mean Baseline Score (SD) LS Mean Change from Baseline (SE) Doses statistically significantly superior to placebo. Placebo Subtracted Difference Difference (drug minus placebo) in least-squares mean change from baseline. (95% CI)
SD=standard deviation; SE=standard error; LS Mean=least-squares mean; CI=confidence interval.

Study 1

Ven XR 75 mg

24.7

-11.1 (0.95)

-1.5 (-3.8, 0.8)

Ven XR 150 mg

24.5

-11.7 (0.87)

-2.2 (-4.5, 0.1)

Eff XR 225 mg

23.6

-12.1 (0.81)

-2.6 (-4.9, -0.3)

Placebo

24.1

-9.5 (0.85)

Study 2

Ven XR 75 mg

23.7

-10.6 (0.82)

-2.6 (-4.6, -0.5)

Ven XR 150 mg

23.0

-9.8 (0.86)

-1.7 (-3.8, 0.3)

Placebo

23.7

-8.0 (0.73)

Study 3

Ven XR 37.5 mg

26.6 (0.4)

-13.8

-2.8 (-5.1, -0.6)

Ven XR 75 mg

26.3 (0.4)

-15.5

-4.6 (-6.9, -2.3)

Ven XR150 mg

26.3 (0.4)

-16.4

-5.5 (-7.8, -3.1)

Placebo

26.7 (0.5)

-11.0

Study 4

Ven XR 75–225 mg

25.0

-13.4 (0.79)

- 4.7 (-6.6, -2.9)

Placebo

24.9

-8.7 (0.70)

14.3 Social Anxiety Disorder (also known as Social Phobia)

The efficacy of Effexor XR as a treatment for Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) was established in four double-blind, parallel-group, 12-week, multicenter, placebo-controlled, flexible-dose studies (studies 1–4) and one double-blind, parallel-group, 6-month, placebo-controlled, fixed/flexible-dose study, which included doses in a range of 75 to 225 mg per day in adult outpatients meeting DSM-IV criteria for SAD (study 5).

In these five studies, Effexor XR was statistically significantly more effective than placebo on change from baseline to endpoint on the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS) total score. There was no evidence for any greater effectiveness of the 150 to 225 mg per day group compared to the 75 mg per day group in the 6-month study.

Examination of subsets of the population studied did not reveal any differential responsiveness on the basis of gender. There was insufficient information to determine the effect of age or race on outcome in these studies.

Table 20: Primary Efficacy Results for Studies in Social Anxiety Disorder in Adults (Studies 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Study Number Treatment Group Primary Efficacy Measure: LSAS Score
Mean Baseline Score (SD) LS Mean Change from Baseline (SE) Placebo Subtracted Difference Difference (drug minus placebo) in least-squares mean change from baseline (95% CI)
SD: standard deviation; SE: standard error; LS Mean: least-squares mean; CI: confidence interval.

Study 1

Ven XR (75–225 mg)Doses statistically significantly superior to placebo.

91.1

-31.0(2.22)

11.2 (-5.3, -17.1)

Placebo

86.7

-19.9 (2.22)

-

Study 2

Ven XR (75–225 MG)

90.8

-32.8 (2.69)

-10.7 (-3.7,-17.6)

Placebo

87.4

-22.1 (2.66)

-

Study 3

Ven XR (75–225 MG)

83.2

-36.0 (2.35)

-16.9(-22.6, -11.2)

Placebo

83.6

-19.1 (2.40)

-12.7 (-6.5, -19.0)

Study 4

Ven XR (75–225 mg)

86.2

-35.0 (2.64)

-14.6 (-21.8, -7.4)

Placebo

86.1

-22.2 (2.47)

Study 5

Ven XR 75 mg

91.8

-38.1 (3.16)

-14.6 (-21.8, -7.4)

Ven XR (150–225 mg)

86.2

-37.6 (3.05)

-14.1 (-21.3, -6.9)

Placebo

89.3

-23.5 (3.08)

14.4 Panic Disorder

The efficacy of Effexor XR as a treatment for Panic Disorder (PD) was established in two double-blind, 12-week, multicenter, placebo-controlled studies in adult outpatients meeting DSM-IV criteria for PD, with or without agoraphobia. Patients received fixed doses of 75 or 150 mg per day in one study (study 1) and 75 or 225 mg per day in the other study (study 2).

Efficacy was assessed on the basis of outcomes in three variables: (1) percentage of patients free of full-symptom panic attacks on the Panic and Anticipatory Anxiety Scale (PAAS); (2) mean change from baseline to endpoint on the Panic Disorder Severity Scale (PDSS) total score; and (3) percentage of patients rated as responders (much improved or very much improved) on the Clinical Global Impressions (CGI) Improvement scale. In these two studies, Effexor XR was statistically significantly more effective than placebo (for each fixed dose) on all three endpoints, but a dose-response relationship was not clearly established.

Examination of subsets of the population studied did not reveal any differential responsiveness on the basis of gender. There was insufficient information to determine the effect of age or race on outcome in these studies.

In a longer term study (study 3), adult outpatients meeting DSM-IV criteria for PD who had responded during a 12-week open phase with Effexor XR (75 to 225 mg per day) were randomly assigned to continue the same Effexor XR dose (75, 150, or 225 mg) or switch to placebo for observation for relapse under double-blind conditions. Response during the open phase was defined as ≤ 1 full-symptom panic attack per week during the last 2 weeks of the open phase and a CGI Improvement score of 1 (very much improved) or 2 (much improved). Relapse during the double-blind phase was defined as having 2 or more full-symptom panic attacks per week for 2 consecutive weeks or having discontinued due to loss of effectiveness as determined by the investigators during the study. Randomized patients were in response status for a mean time of 34 days prior to being randomized. In the randomized phase following the 12-week open-label period, patients receiving continued Effexor XR experienced a statistically significantly longer time to relapse.

Table 21: Primary Efficacy Results for Studies in Panic Disorder in Adults (Studies 1 and 2)
Study Treatment Group Number Primary Efficacy Measure: Whether Free of Full-symptom Panic Attacks
Percent of patients Free of Full symptom panic attack Adjusted Odds Ratio Odds ratio (drug to placebo) in terms of probability of free of full-symptom panic attacks based on logistic regression model. to placebo Adjusted Odds Ratio
95% Confidence Interval
95% CI: 95% confidence interval without adjusting for multiple dose arms.

Study 1

Ven XR 75 mgDoses statistically significantly superior to placebo.

54.1% (85/157)

2. 268

(1.43, 3.59)

Ven XR 150 mg

61.4% (97/158)

3.035

(1.91, 4.82)

Placebo

34.4% (53/154)

--

--

Study 2

Ven XR 75 mg

64.1% (100/156)

2.350

(1.46, 3.78)

Ven XR 225 mg

70.0% (112/160)

2.890

(1.80, 4.64)

Placebo

46.5% (73/157)

--

--

16 HOW SUPPLIED/STORAGE AND HANDLING

Effexor XR® is available as:

  • 37.5 mg, grey cap/peach body with "W" and "Effexor XR" on the cap and "37.5" on the body.NDC 0008-0837-20, bottle of 15 capsules in unit-of-use package.NDC 0008-0837-21, bottle of 30 capsules in unit-of-use package.NDC 0008-0837-22, bottle of 90 capsules in unit-of-use package.NDC 0008-0837-03, carton of 10 Redipak® blister strips of 10 capsules each.
  • 75 mg, peach cap and body with "W" and "Effexor XR" on the cap and "75" on the body.NDC 0008-0833-20, bottle of 15 capsules in unit-of-use package.NDC 0008-0833-21, bottle of 30 capsules in unit-of-use package.NDC 0008-0833-22, bottle of 90 capsules in unit-of-use package. NDC 0008-0833-03, carton of 10 Redipak® blister strips of 10 capsules each.
  • 150 mg, dark orange cap and body with "W" and "Effexor XR" on the cap and "150" on the body.NDC 0008-0836-20, bottle of 15 capsules in unit-of-use package.NDC 0008-0836-21, bottle of 30 capsules in unit-of-use package. NDC 0008-0836-22, bottle of 90 capsules in unit-of-use package.NDC 0008-0836-03, carton of 10 Redipak® blister strips of 10 capsules each.

Store at controlled room temperature, 20° to 25°C (68° to 77°F).

17 PATIENT COUNSELING INFORMATION

Advise the patient to read the FDA-approved patient labeling (Medication Guide).

Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors

Advise patients and caregivers to look for the emergence of suicidality, especially early during treatment and when the dose is adjusted up or down, and instruct them to report such symptoms to the healthcare provider [see Boxed Warning and Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

Concomitant Medication

Instruct patients not to take Effexor XR with an MAOI or within 14 days of stopping an MAOI [see Contraindications (4)].

Serotonin Syndrome

Caution patients about the risk of serotonin syndrome, particularly with the concomitant use of Effexor XR with other serotonergic drugs including triptans, tricyclic antidepressants, fentanyl, lithium, tramadol, tryptophan, buspirone, amphetamines, St. John's Wort, and with drugs that impair metabolism of serotonin (in particular, MAOIs, both those intended to treat psychiatric disorders and also others, such as linezolid). Instruct patients to contact their healthcare provider or report to the emergency room if they experience signs or symptoms of serotonin syndrome [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2) and Drug Interactions (7.1)].

Elevated Blood Pressure

Advise patients that they should have regular monitoring of blood pressure when taking Effexor XR [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].

Increased Risk of Bleeding

Inform patients about the concomitant use of Effexor XR with NSAIDs, aspirin, other antiplatelet drugs, warfarin, or other drugs that affect coagulation because the combined use has been associated with an increased risk of bleeding. Advise patients to inform their health care providers if they are taking or planning to take any prescription or over-the-counter medications that increase the risk of bleeding [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].

Activation of Mania/Hypomania

Advise patients, their families and caregivers to observe for signs of activation of mania/hypomania and instruct them to report such symptoms to the healthcare provider [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)].

Cardiovascular/Cerebrovascular Disease

Caution is advised in administering Effexor XR to patients with cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, or lipid metabolism disorders [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)].

Serum Cholesterol and Triglyceride Elevation

Advise patients that elevations in total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides may occur and that measurement of serum lipids may be considered [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)].

Discontinuation Syndrome

Advise patients not to abruptly stop taking Effexor XR without talking first with their healthcare provider. Patients should be aware that discontinuation effects may occur when stopping Effexor XR and they should monitor for discontinuation symptoms [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7) and Adverse Reactions (6.1)].

Sexual Dysfunction

Advise patients that use of Effexor XR may cause symptoms of sexual dysfunction in both male and female patients. Inform patients that they should discuss any changes in sexual function and potential management strategies with their healthcare provider [see Warnings and Precautions (5.13)].

Interference with Cognitive and Motor Performance

Caution patients about operating hazardous machinery, including automobiles, until they are reasonably certain that Effexor XR therapy does not adversely affect their ability to engage in such activities.

Alcohol

Advise patients to avoid alcohol while taking Effexor XR [see Drug Interactions (7.2)].

Allergic Reactions

Advise patients to notify their healthcare provider if they develop allergic phenomena such as rash, hives, swelling, or difficulty breathing [see Contraindications (4) and Adverse Reactions (6.2)].

Pregnancy

Advise patients to notify their healthcare provider if they become pregnant or intend to become pregnant during treatment with Effexor XR. Advise patients that Effexor XR use during mid to late pregnancy may lead to an increased risk for preeclampsia; use in late pregnancy may lead to an increased risk for postpartum hemorrhage and may increase the risk for neonatal complications requiring prolonged hospitalization, respiratory support, and tube feeding. Advise patients that there is a pregnancy exposure registry that monitors pregnancy outcomes in women exposed to Effexor XR during pregnancy [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)].

Residual Spheroids

Effexor XR contains spheroids, which release the drug slowly into the digestive tract. The insoluble portion of these spheroids is eliminated, and patients may notice spheroids passing in the stool or via colostomy. Patients should be informed that the active medication has already been absorbed by the time the patient sees the spheroids.

This product's label may have been updated. For current full prescribing information, please visit www.pfizer.com.

Logo

LAB-0466-22.0

Logo
This Medication was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Revised: 8/2022

MEDICATION GUIDE
EFFEXOR XR (e-fex-or XR)
(venlafaxine extended-release)
capsules

What is the most important information I should know about EFFEXOR XR?
EFFEXOR XR may cause serious side effects, including:

  • Increased risk of suicidal thoughts and actions. EFFEXOR XR and other antidepressant medicines may increase suicidal thoughts and actions in some children, adolescents, and young adults, especially within the first few months of treatment or when the dose is changed. EFFEXOR XR is not for use in children.How can I watch for and try to prevent suicidal thoughts and actions in myself or a family member?Call your healthcare provider or get emergency help right away if you or a family member have any of the following symptoms, especially if they are new, worse, or worry you: Depression or other serious mental illnesses are the most important causes of suicidal thoughts or actions. Pay close attention to any changes, especially sudden changes, in mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings. This is very important when an antidepressant medicine is started or when the dose is changed. Call your healthcare provider right away to report new or sudden changes in mood, behavior, thoughts, or feelings. Keep all follow-up visits with your healthcare provider as scheduled. Call your healthcare provider between visits as needed, especially if you have concerns about symptoms.
  • attempts to commit suicide
  • acting aggressive, being angry, or violent
  • new or worse depression
  • panic attacks
  • new or worse irritability
  • an extreme increase in activity or talking (mania)
  • thoughts about suicide or dying
  • acting on dangerous impulses
  • new or worse anxiety
  • feeling very agitated or restless
  • trouble sleeping
  • other unusual changes in behavior or mood

What is EFFEXOR XR?
EFFEXOR XR is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with:

  • a certain type of depression called Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)
  • Panic Disorder (PD)

It is not known if EFFEXOR XR is safe and effective for use in children.

Do not take EFFEXOR XR if you:

  • are allergic to venlafaxine hydrochloride, desvenlafaxine succinate, or any of the ingredients in EFFEXOR XR. See the end of this Medication Guide for a complete list of ingredients in EFFEXOR XR.
  • take a Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor (MAOI)
  • have stopped taking an MAOI in the last 14 days
  • are being treated with the antibiotic linezolid or intravenous methylene blue

Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you are not sure if you take an MAOI, including MAOIs such as linezolid or intravenous methylene blue.
Do not start taking an MAOI for at least 7 days after you stop treatment with EFFEXOR XR.

Before taking EFFEXOR XR tell your healthcare provider about all your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have, or have a family history of suicide, bipolar disorder, depression, mania or hypomania
  • have high blood pressure
  • have heart problems
  • have cerebrovascular problems or had a stroke
  • have or have had bleeding problems
  • have high pressure in the eye (glaucoma)
  • have high cholesterol or high triglycerides
  • have kidney or liver problems
  • have or had seizures or convulsions
  • have low sodium levels in your blood
  • have lung problems
  • drink alcohol
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. EFFEXOR XR may harm your unborn baby. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risk to you and your unborn baby if you take EFFEXOR XR during pregnancy. Tell your healthcare provider if you become pregnant or think you are pregnant during treatment with EFFEXOR XR. Pregnancy Exposure Registry. There is a pregnancy registry for women who are exposed to EFFEXOR XR during pregnancy. The purpose of the registry is to collect information about the health of you and your baby. If you become pregnant during treatment with EFFEXOR XR, talk to your healthcare provider about registering with the National Pregnancy Registry for Antidepressants. You can register by calling 1-844-405-6185 or by visiting online at https://womensmentalhealth.org/research/pregnancyregistry/antidepressants.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. EFFEXOR XR passes into your breast milk and may harm your baby. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby during treatment with EFFEXOR XR.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
EFFEXOR XR and other medicines may affect each other causing possible serious side effects. EFFEXOR XR may affect the way other medicines work and other medicines may affect the way EFFEXOR XR works.
Especially tell your healthcare provider if you take:

  • medicines to treat migraine headaches known as triptans
  • tricyclic antidepressants
  • fentanyl
  • lithium
  • tramadol
  • tryptophan
  • buspirone
  • amphetamines
  • St. John's Wort
  • phentermine
  • other medicines containing desvenlafaxine or venlafaxine
  • medicines that can affect blood clotting such as aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), warfarin

Ask your healthcare provider if you are not sure if you are taking any of these medicines. Your healthcare provider can tell you if it is safe to take EFFEXOR XR with your other medicines.
Do not start or stop any other medicines during treatment with EFFEXOR XR without first talking to your healthcare provider. Stopping EFFEXOR XR suddenly may cause you to have serious side effects. See, "What are the possible side effects of EFFEXOR XR?"
Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show to your healthcare provider and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.

How should I take EFFEXOR XR?

  • Take EFFEXOR XR exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to. Do not change your dose or stop taking EFFEXOR XR without first talking to your healthcare provider.
  • Your healthcare provider may need to change the dose of EFFEXOR XR until it is the right dose for you.
  • Take EFFEXOR XR 1 time each day with food.
  • EFFEXOR may be taken either in the morning or in the evening, but take it the same way each time.
  • Swallow EFFEXOR XR whole with fluid. Do not divide, crush, chew, or dissolve EFFEXOR XR.
  • If you cannot swallow EFFEXOR XR capsules whole, the EFFEXOR XR capsules may be opened and the entire contents sprinkled on a spoonful of applesauce. Swallow the EFFEXOR XR and applesauce mixture right away without chewing. Follow with a glass of water to make sure you have swallowed all of the EFFEXOR XR pellets.
  • If you take too much EFFEXOR XR, call healthcare provider or poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away.

What should I avoid while taking EFFEXOR XR?

  • Do not drive, or operate heavy machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how EFFEXOR XR affects you. EFFEXOR XR cam make you drowsy.
  • You should not drink alcohol during treatment with EFFEXOR XR. Drinking alcohol during treatment with EFFEXOR XR can increase your risk of having serious side effects.

What are the possible side effects of EFFEXOR XR?
EFFEXOR XR may cause serious side effects, including:

  • See, "What is the most important information I should know about EFFEXOR XR?"
  • Serotonin syndrome. Taking EFFEXOR XR can cause a potentially life-threatening problem called serotonin syndrome. The risk of developing serotonin syndrome is increased when EFFEXOR XR it taken with certain other medicines. See, "Do not take EFFEXOR XR if you:" Stop taking EFFEXOR XR and call your healthcare provider or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away if you have any of the following signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome:
  • agitation
  • confusion
  • fast heartbeat
  • dizziness
  • flushing
  • tremors, stiff muscles, or muscle twitching
  • seizures