effects shown. There are many other possible side effects. Ask your pharmacist, doctor or nurse if you are worried about
anything else that you think might be a side effect.
Side effect What is it? What should I do if it happens to me?
ANXIETY Feeling nervous This should go with time. If you are worried, contact your doctor.
CONSTIPATION Feeling "bunged up" inside. You can't
pass a motion or stool.
Eat more fibre e.g. bran, fruit and vegetables. Do more walking. Make
sure you drink plenty of fluid. A mild laxative from a pharmacy might
DIARRHOEA The “runs”, or loose stools This should wear off fairly quickly. If it becomes a problem, contact
your pharmacist or doctor.
DIZZINESS Feeling light headed. This should wear off with time. If it is bad, contact your doctor.
DROWSINESS Feeling sleepy or sluggish. It can last
for a few hours after taking your dose
Don’t drive or use machinery. Ask your doctor if you can take your
venlafaxine at a different time. If you are taking the tablets twice a
day, it may help to change to the slow release capsules.
HEADACHE Your head is pounding and painful. It should be safe to take aspirin or paracetamol.
INSOMNIA Not able to sleep at night If you are worried, contact your doctor.
NAUSEA Feeling sick. Taking each dose with or after food may help. If it is bad, contact your
doctor. Changing to the slow release capsules may help.
SWEATING Sweating more than normal,
especially at night.
If it is bad, see your doctor.
Lack of libido or no interest in sex.
Inability to maintain an erection or
have an orgasm.
Discuss this with your doctor when you next meet.
Things look fuzzy and you can’t focus
Things look fuzzy and you can’t focus properly. See your doctor if you
are worried. You won’t need glasses.
HYPERTENSION High blood pressure This usually only happens if you are taking more than 200mg a day.
HYPOTENSION A low blood pressure. You may feel
faint when you stand up.
Try not to stand up too quickly. If you feel dizzy, don’t drive. This
dizziness is not dangerous
Blotches everywhere on your skin. Stop taking venlafaxine and contact your doctor now.
TREMOR Feeling shaky Contact your doctor now.
VOMITING Being sick If it is bad, contact your doctor. Changing to the slow release
capsules may help.
What about alcohol?
It is officially recommended that people taking venlafaxine should not drink alcohol. This is because both venlafaxine and
alcohol can cause drowsiness. If the two are taken at the same time, severe drowsiness can result. This can lead to falls or
accidents. As well as this, drinking alcohol often makes depression worse. Excessive drinking is especially likely to do this.
Once people are used to taking medication, they can sometimes drink alcohol in small amounts without any harm. Avoid
alcohol altogether for the first one or two months. After this, if you want a drink, try a glass of your normal drink and see
how you feel. If this doesn’t make you feel drowsy, then it is probably OK to drink small amounts. It pays to be very cautious
because alcohol affects people in different ways, especially when they are taking medication.
Don’t stop taking your medication because you fancy a drink at the weekend. If you do drink alcohol, drink only small
amounts. Never drink any alcohol and drive while on venlafaxine. Discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor or
Remember, leaflets like this can only describe some of the effects of medication. You may find other
books or leaflets also useful. If you have access to the internet you may find a lot of information
there as well, but be careful, as internet based information is not always accurate.
2001 United Kingdom Psychiatric Pharmacy Group www.ukppg.org.uk
This leaflet is to help you understand about your medicine. It is not an official manufacturer's Patient Information Leaflet.
For more information call the UKPPG National Telephone Helpline, 11am to 5pm, Monday to Friday on 020 7919 2999 or
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