Major depressive episodes

Active Ingredient: Venlafaxine

Indication for Venlafaxine

Population group: only adults (18 years old or older)
Therapeutic intent: Curative procedure

Treatment of major depressive episodes.

For this indication, competent medicine agencies globally authorize below treatments:

75 mg once daily for 2 weeks and thereafter 75-375 mg once daily


Dosage regimens

Oral, 75 milligrams venlafaxine, once daily, over the duration of 2 weeks. Afterwards, oral, between 75 milligrams venlafaxine and 375 milligrams venlafaxine, once daily. The maximum allowed total dose is 375 milligrams venlafaxine daily.

Detailed description

The recommended starting dose for prolonged-release venlafaxine is 75mg given once daily. Patients not responding to the initial 75 mg/day dose may benefit from dose increases up to a maximum dose of 375mg/day. Dosage increases can be made at intervals of 2 weeks or more. If clinically warranted due to symptom severity, dose increases can be made at more frequent intervals, but not less than 4 days.

Because of the risk of dose-related adverse effects, dose increments should be made only after a clinical evaluation. The lowest effective dose should be maintained. Patients should be treated for a sufficient period of time, usually several months or longer. Treatment should be reassessed regularly on a case-by-case basis. Longer-term treatment may also be appropriate for prevention of recurrence of major depressive episodes (MDE). In most of the cases, the recommended dose in prevention of recurrence of MDE is the same as the one used during the current episode. Antidepressive medicinal products should continue for at least six months following remission.

Use in older people

No specific dose adjustments of venlafaxine are considered necessary based on patient age alone. However, caution should be exercised in treating older people (e.g. due to the possibility of renal impairment, the potential for changes in neurotransmitter sensitivity and affinity occurring with aging). The lowest effective dose should always be used, and patients should be carefully monitored when an increase in the dose is required.

Withdrawal symptoms seen on discontinuation of venlafaxine

Abrupt discontinuation should be avoided. When stopping treatment with venlafaxine, the dose should be gradually reduced over a period of at least one to two weeks in order to reduce the risk of withdrawal reactions. 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 physician may continue decreasing the dose, but at a more gradual rate.

Dosage considerations

It is recommended that venlafaxine be taken with food, at approximately the same time each day.

Active ingredient


Venlafaxine has an antidepressant effect. The mechanism of its action in humans is believed to be associated with its potentiation of neurotransmitter activity in the central nervous system.

Read more about Venlafaxine

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