*Do Medical Scientist REALLY understands the mechanism of action ?
Unfortunately the answer is no. Due to the complexity of the brain, medical scientists have yet to uncover the actual mechanism or the connection between norepinephrine, serotonin and depression. What they know is at what dose the drug becomes effective in controlling the depressive state and the side effects of the drug through physical observation. Actual monitoring of how the drug “unknots” the depressive state in the brain remains a mystery.
Antidepressants can be divided into first generation antidepressants such as MAOIs, TCAs, second generation antidepressants; SSRIs and third generation antidepressant SNRIs . Effexor or in prescription name Venlafaxine belongs to the third generation; SNRI group.
SSRIs (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are considered as the current standard of drug treatment. The medical fraternity believes that the cause of depression is due to inadequate amount of serotonin. Serotonin is a “feel good” hormone that is found in the nervous system and is used in the brain to transmit signals between nerve cells. SSRIs work by preventing the reuptake of serotonin in the nerve cells (neurons), thus maintaining higher levels in the system; therefore generating an artificial positive feeling
*Mechanism of Action
Effexor belongs to the SNRIs (Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors) group.
The mechanism of action is similar to the SSRI group whereby higher level of serotonin is achieved through the inhibition of reuptake. However, SNRI also prevent the reuptake of norepinephrine causing a rise in this hormone. The higher level of these hormones are believed to bring about an improvement in depression and anxiety.
*When can I feel a difference?
It may take several weeks before the full beneficial effects of this medication are felt. Best is to consult your physician and discuss with your doctor your feelings and any other unusual symptoms that you face during therapy
A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Effexor has been known to cause mild and temporary side effects such as abnormal dreams, abnormal vision, changes in taste, chills, constipation and diarrhea.
Important Side effects that you CANNOT IGNORE and QUICK MEDICAL ATTENTION NEEDED are:-
+ attempts at suicide or thoughts of suicide
+signs of an allergic reaction with difficulty in breathing, hives, swelling of the face or throat
+ red or purple patches on skin
+swelling of the hands or feet with shortness of breath
+ chest pain+
+ fast or irregular heartbeat
+ muscle pain or weakness
If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of Effexor with your doctor.
*Other uses of Effexor
Effexor is also used to treat the symptoms of anxiety
which can manifest itself as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (social phobia), and panic disorder (panic attacks) with or without a fear of open spaces