Does Taking Effexor Cause Weight Gain?

Taking Effexor may cause weight gain in some patients. Weight gain is a common side effect of Effexor and other antidepressant medications, and more than half of patients on newer classes of antidepressants report experiencing weight gain.

Share This Post

People who are struggling with symptoms of common mental health conditions like depression or anxiety may be interested in seeking help for their condition.

However, they may be concerned about side effects reported with some of these drugs. 

Antidepressant medications are commonly associated with weight gain regardless of which drug class they belong to, and weight gain is a significant concern for many patients.

While newer classes of antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are less commonly associated with weight gain than older classes of antidepressants like tricyclic antidepressants and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), weight gain can still occur.

SSRI antidepressants include citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft). 

Other examples of SNRIs include duloxetine (Cymbalta) and atomoxetine (Strattera).

Effexor is a popular brand name SNRI that is commonly prescribed by healthcare professionals for the treatment of depression and anxiety symptoms, but does taking Effexor cause weight gain? 

What is Effexor?

Effexor is a brand-name prescription drug that is also available under the generic name, venlafaxine.

Effexor is available in both immediate-release and extended-release formulas; the extended release version of the drug is called Effexor XR. 

The medication was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1993 for the treatment of major depressive disorder, which is sometimes referred to as clinical depression.

effexor weight gain pill image

Effexor is available by prescription only and belongs to a class of drugs called serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), which are a relatively new class of antidepressants that are commonly used to treat mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.

What is Effexor used to treat?

Effexor is approved by the FDA to treat several mental health conditions, including clinical depression (also known as major depressive disorder), generalized anxiety disorder (also known as GAD), and panic disorder.

Effexor can also be prescribed for the treatment of social anxiety disorder and depression associated with bipolar disorder. 

The drug works by acting on the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain, which helps to increase the levels of these important neurotransmitters.

When the balance of serotonin and norepinephrine stabilizes in the brain, patients commonly experience improved mood and reduced symptoms. 

Treatment Options for Depression, Anxiety, and Other Mental Health Ailments

Image Product Features Price
$33/Week for 1st Month – Proven most effective

Medication + Therapy | Cerebral

Medication + Therapy | Cerebral
  • Evaluation, diagnosis, and prescription by a medical provider
  • Weekly video/phone sessions with a licensed therapist
  • Monthly medication delivery (if prescribed)
  • Chat securely with your therapist anytime
  • Regular progress tracking by provider & therapist
  • FSA / HSA eligible

Starting at $33/Week for 1st Month

Start Meds Today
$85/month – A completely digital experience

Online psychiatry evaluation + medication | Hims

Online psychiatry evaluation + medication | Hims
  • No searching for a psychiatrist
  • No waiting rooms
  • Licensed psychiatry providers
  • Evidence-backed medicine
  • Personalized treatment plan
  • Includes Medication cost

$85/month – Includes everything

Start Meds Today
$85/month – A completely digital experience

Online psychiatry evaluation + medication | Hers

Online psychiatry evaluation + medication | Hers
  • No searching for a psychiatrist
  • No waiting rooms
  • Licensed psychiatry providers
  • Evidence-backed medicine
  • Personalized treatment plan
  • Includes Medication cost

$85/month – Includes everything

Start Meds Today
$349/month – Most Effective Treatment Plan

Medication + Therapy | Brightside Health

Medication + Therapy | Brightside Health
  • FDA-approved medication
  • Evidence-based therapy
  • Always see and expert
  • All therapist hold a master's degree or higher
  • 85% of members feel better within 12 weeks
  • HSA/FSA eligible

$349/month – Coupon available. 

Start Meds Today

Does taking Effexor cause weight gain?

Antidepressants have a bad reputation when it comes to causing weight gain, and unfortunately, Effexor is no exception.

Clinical trials have shown that Effexor is commonly associated with weight gain

In one study, more than 55 percent of patients using newer antidepressants, including Effexor, gained weight over the course of treatment that lasted between 6 and 36 months.

More than 40 percent of the study participants gained at least 7 percent or more weight compared to their baseline. 

The study found that Effexor and other antidepressant drugs were associated with significant weight gain. 

Other studies have reported finding similar results, with the majority of SSRIs and SNRIs associated with body weight gain as a common side effect.

This may be caused by an increase in cravings for carbohydrate-rich foods and a slight increase in appetite that adds weight over time. It does not significantly affect blood sugar levels.

Effexor can also cause a drastic decrease in appetite, leading to unhealthy weight loss

What side effects are associated with Effexor?

In addition to causing potential weight gain, Effexor is also associated with a number of other common and less common side effects.  

Common side effects associated with Effexor include:

  • Headache

  • Drowsiness

  • Insomnia

  • Dizziness

  • Weakness 

  • Tremors

  • Dry mouth

  • Nervousness

  • Increased sweating

  • Blurred vision

  • Ejaculation disorder

  • Abnormal ejaculation

  • Increased blood pressure

  • Nausea

  • Constipation 

  • Loss of appetite

  • Weight changes

  • Constipation

Effexor is also associated with side effects that are less common but are potentially serious.

If you experience any of the following uncommon but potentially serious side effects, you should seek medical attention right away:  

  • Rash

  • Seizures

  • Itching

  • Fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat

  • Unusual bruising or bleeding

  • Chest pain

  • Hives

  • Hallucinations

  • Fever

  • Problems with coordination

  • Trouble breathing or swallowing (may be the result of an allergic reaction)

  • Serotonin syndrome

  • Muscle rigidity

  • Coma

  • Interstitial lung disease (very rare)

Summary

Like other antidepressants, Effexor is commonly associated with weight gain.

More than 50 percent of patients taking antidepressants like Effexor report weight gain while taking their medication.

Other side effects associated with Effexor commonly include drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. Seek medical advice to see if Effexor is right for you. 

Patients who are taking Effexor can save on the cost of their prescription drugs by using a pharmacy discount card from Pharmacists.org.

Sources: 

https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-1836/effexor-oral/details 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25467076/ 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4850471/

Sesame Care

Find the best price for great doctors and specialists

  • Thousands of doctors and specialists
  • $13,000,000+ saved by patients
  • 95% patient satisfaction
  • 4.3 on TrustPilot
     

Popular Destinations

Health

Medication

Telehealth Reviews

Shop

Pharmacist Membership

About Us

Pharmacy Near Me

Recent Articles

Minoxidil

Minoxidil is a vasodilator that relaxes (widens) blood vessels and improves blood flow.

Minoxidil is used to treat severely high blood pressure (hypertension) that is causing symptoms or damaging your vital organs. Minoxidil is usually given together with two other medicines to help prevent serious side effects.

Minoxidil tablets should not be used to promote scalp hair growth. Only the topical form of minoxidil (Rogaine) is recommended for that use.

Read More »

Perceptions of Marijuana and Psychedelics

Let’s take a closer look at how many Americans report using different drugs (including marijuana, LSD, ketamine, and PCP); which drugs they support either recreational and/or therapeutic use of; how important medical research is to their opinions; and how many believe marijuana is a better treatment option than other medications.

Read More »

Share On:

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore

Cerebral Review: Online Depression & Anxiety Treatment

Today, we’re deep diving with a Cerebral review to give you some insider info to help you narrow down your choices.

What are the signs of Depression?

In this article, we will discuss the signs and symptoms of depression as well as some treatment options for this condition.

Can You Use Gabapentin For Anxiety?

While Neurontin is the most common brand name for gabapentin, other forms (such as Horizant and Gralise) may be prescribed depending on the specific

Zoloft and Weight Loss: Everything You Need To Know

When it comes to Zoloft and weight loss, here’s everything you need to know.

What is Zoloft?

If you have been recently diagnosed with depression and are given Zoloft, you may want to know how the medication works, what common side

What is Venlafaxine HCL ER?

Common mental illnesses like major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and panic disorder affect millions of Americans every year. While many different treatment options

Using Prozac With Alcohol: What Are the Risks?

Prozac has become perhaps the most well-known antidepressant in the United States since its approval for the treatment of depression in 1986. Since then,

How Long Does Clonazepam Stay in Your System?

Clonazepam is a popular medication that is most commonly associated with treatment for panic disorder, but the medication was originally developed as a treatment

What is Sertraline and What are the Side Effects?

Sertraline is the generic form of Zoloft, a medication that belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). SSRIs like

Turn On, Tune In, and…. Heal Your Brain? Psychedelics Return as Potential Therapy for Mental Health Disorders

Before they fell out of favor over half a century ago, psychedelic drugs, like psilocybin and LSD, were studied for various psychiatric diseases such

How Long Does Alprazolam Stay in Your System?

Alprazolam is a fast-acting medication, but exactly how long alprazolam stays in your body varies tremendously based on the form of the medication taken,

Paxil vs Zoloft: Differences, Similarities and Which is Better

Paxil and Zoloft are both popular Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved antidepressants that are used to treat a wide range of mental health conditions.

A Supplement for Stress? The Science Behind Adaptogens

Stress is part of all our lives. Adaptogens are a group of herbal supplements studied throughout history as a way to improve the body’s

Does Buspirone Cause Weight Gain?

Many antidepressants can cause weight gain as a side effect. Buspirone may cause an altered appetite as a side effect, which can lead to

Duloxetine Withdrawal: Symptoms, Timeline, and Treatment

Duloxetine withdrawal is very common and well documented, affecting nearly half of all patients. Common withdrawal symptoms include dizziness, headaches, and nausea, and symptoms

Cymbalta vs. Prozac: Comparison Guide

Cymbalta and Prozac are commonly prescribed medications to treat mental health conditions such as major depressive disorder. The medications are similarly effective, although one

How Long Does Ativan Stay in Your System?

Ativan is a commonly prescribed prescription drug that is used by millions of Americans for anxiety, insomnia, and seizure disorders. It is the brand

Why is Mental Health Important?

As the saying goes, “There is no health without mental health,” but why is mental health so important? The reality is that although we

BuSpar: What is it? Uses, Costs, Benefits, and Doses

If you’re one of 40 million American adults suffering from an anxiety disorder or experiencing symptoms of anxiety, you might think that your battle

What are Long-Acting Injectable Antipsychotics? 

Long-acting injectable (LAI) antipsychotics have been shown to prevent psychosis relapse in patients with schizophrenia. To combat poor medication adherence, LAIs are a great