Monday, July 10, 2006

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Effexor Side Effects

The side effects below are side effects of Effexor as well as other antidepressants. The side effect list comes from the pharmaceutical company. The side effect list is quite long but still does not include all side effects.
Side Effects of Psychiatric Medication


_____Dry Mouth - The usual amount of moisture in the mouth is noticeably less.

_____Sweating Increased - A large quantity of perspiration that is medically caused.

CARDIOVASCULAR (Involving the heart and the blood vessels)

_____Palpitation - Unusual and not normal heartbeat, that is sometimes irregular, but rapid and forceful thumping or fluttering. It can be brought on by shock, excitement, exertion, or medical stimulants. A person is normally unaware of his/her heartbeat.

_____Hypertension - is high blood pressure, which is a symptom of disease in the blood vessels leading away from the heart. Hypertension is known as the “silent killer”. The symptoms are usually not obvious, however it can lead to damage to the heart, brain, kidneys and eyes, and can even lead to stroke and kidney failure.

_____Bradycardia - The heart rate is slowed from 72 beats per minute, which is normal, to below 60 beats per minute in an adult.

_____Tachycardia - The heart rate is sped up to above 100 beats per minute in an adult. Normal adult heart rate is 72 beats per minute.

_____ECG Abnormal - A test called an electrocardiogram (ECG) records the activity of the heart. It measures heartbeats as well as the position and size of the heart’s four chambers. It also measures if there is damage to the heart and the effects of drugs or mechanical devices like a pacemaker on the heart. When the test is abnormal this means that one or more of the following are present: heart disease, defects, beating too fast or too slow, disease of the blood vessels leading from the heart or the heart valves, and/or a past or impending heart attack.

_____Flushing - The skin all over the body turns red.

_____Varicose Vein - Unusually swollen veins near the surface of the skin that sometimes appear twisted and knotted, but always enlarged. They are called hemorrhoids when they appear around the rectum. The cause is attributed to hereditary weakness in the veins aggravated by obesity, pregnancy, pressure from standing, aging, etc. Severe cases may develop swelling in the legs, ankles and feet, eczema and/or ulcers in the affected areas.

GASTROINTESTINAL (Involving the stomach and the intestines)

_____Abdominal Cramp/Pain - Sudden, severe, uncontrollable and painful shortening and thickening of the muscles in the belly. The belly includes the stomach as well as the intestines, liver, kidneys, pancreas, spleen, gall bladder, and urinary bladder.

_____Belching - Noisy release of gas from the stomach through the mouth; a burp.

_____Bloating - Swelling of the belly caused by excessive intestinal gas.

_____Constipation - Difficulty in having a bowel movement where the material in the bowels is hard due to a lack of exercise, fluid intake, and roughage in the diet, or due to certain drugs.

_____Diarrhea - Unusually frequent and excessive runny bowel movements that may result in severe dehydration and shock.

_____Dyspepsia - Indigestion. This is the discomfort you experience after eating. It can be heartburn, gas, nausea, a bellyache or bloating.

_____Flatulence - More gas than normal in the digestive organs.

_____Gagging - Involuntary choking and/or involuntary throwing up.

_____Gastritis - A severe irritation of the mucus lining of the stomach either short in duration or lasting for a long period of time.

_____Gastroenteritis - A condition where the membranes of the stomach and intestines are irritated.

_____Gastro Esophageal Reflux - A continuous state where stomach juices flow back into the throat causing acid indigestion and heartburn and possibly injury to the throat.

_____Heartburn - A burning pain in the area of the breastbone caused by stomach juices flowing back up into the throat.

_____Hemorrhoids - Small rounded purplish swollen veins that either bleed, itch or are painful and appear around the anus.

_____Increased Stool Frequency - see “Diarrhea”.

_____Indigestion - Unable to properly consume and absorb food in the digestive tract causing constipation, nausea, stomach ache, gas, swollen belly, pain and general discomfort or sickness.

_____Nausea - Stomach irritation with a queasy sensation similar to motion sickness and a feeling that one is going to vomit.

_____Polyposis Gastric - Tumors that grow on stems in the lining of the stomach, which usually become cancerous.

_____Swallowing Difficulty - A feeling that food is stuck in the throat or upper chest area and won’t go down, making it difficult to swallow.

_____Toothache - Pain in a tooth above and below the gum line.

_____Vomiting - Involuntarily throwing up the contents of the stomach and usually getting a nauseated, sick feeling just prior to doing so.


_____Allergy - The extreme sensitivity of body tissues triggered by substances in the air, drugs, or foods causing a reaction like sneezing, itching, asthma, hay fever, skin rashes, nausea and/or vomiting.

_____Anaphylaxis - A violent, sudden, and severe drop in blood pressure caused by a re-exposure to a foreign protein or a second dosage of a drug that may be fatal unless emergency treatment is given right away.

_____Asthenia - A physically weak condition.

_____Chest Pains - Severe discomfort in the chest caused by not enough oxygen going to the heart because of narrowing of the blood vessels or spasms.

_____Chills - Appearing pale while cold and shivering; sometimes with a fever.

_____Edema of Extremities - Abnormal swelling of the body’s tissue caused by the collection of fluid.

_____Fall - To suddenly lose your normal standing upright position as if you were shot.

_____Fatigue - Loss of normal strength so as to not be able to do the usual physical and mental activities.

_____Fever - Abnormally high body temperature, the normal being 98 degrees Fahrenheit or 37 degrees Centigrade in humans, which is a symptom of disease or disorder in the body. The body is affected by feeling hot, chilled, sweaty, weak and exhausted. If the fever goes too high, death can result.

_____Hot Flashes - Brief, abnormal enlargement of the blood vessels that causes a sudden heat sensation over the entire body. Women in menopause will sometimes experience this.

_____Influenza-like Symptoms - Demonstrating irritation of the respiratory tract (organs of breathing) such as a cold, sudden fever, aches and pains, as well as feeling weak and seeking bed rest, which is similar to having the flu.

_____Leg Pain - A hurtful sensation in the legs that is caused by excessive stimulation of the nerve endings in the legs and results in extreme discomfort.

_____Malaise - The somewhat unclear feeling of discomfort you get when you start to feel sick.

_____Pain in Limb - Sudden, sharp and uncontrolled leg discomfort.

_____Syncope - A short period of light headedness or unconsciousness (black-out) also known as fainting caused by lack of oxygen to the brain because of an interruption in blood flow to the brain.

_____Tightness of Chest - Mild or sharp discomfort, tightness or pressure in the chest area (anywhere between the throat and belly). The causes can be mild or seriously life-threatening because they include the heart, lungs and surrounding muscles.

(Involving the blood and the clear fluids in the tissues that contain white blood cells)

_____Anemia - A condition where the blood is no longer carrying enough oxygen, so the person looks pale and easily gets dizzy, weak and tired. More severely, a person can end up with an abnormal heart, as well as breathing and digestive difficulties.

_____Bruise - Damage to the skin resulting in a purple-green-yellow skin coloration that’s caused by breaking the blood vessels in the area without breaking the surface of the skin.

_____Nosebleed - Blood loss from the part of the face that holds organs of smell and where the body takes in oxygen.

_____Hematoma - Broken blood vessels that cause a swelling in an area on the body.

_____Lymphadenopathy Cervical - The lymph nodes in the neck, which are part of the body’s immune system, get swollen and enlarged by reacting to the presence of a drug. The swelling is the result of the white blood cells multiplying in order to fight the invasion of the drug.

METABOLIC & NUTRITIONAL (Energy and health)

_____Arthralgia - Sudden sharp nerve pain in one or more joints.

_____Arthropathy - Having joint disease or abnormal joints.

_____Arthritis - Painfully inflamed and swollen joints. The reddened and swollen condition is brought on by a serious injury or shock to the body either from physical or emotional causes.

_____Back Discomfort - Severe physical distress in the area from the neck to the pelvis along the backbone.

_____Bilirubin Increased - Bilirubin is a waste product of the breakdown of old blood cells. Bilirubin is sent to the liver to be made water-soluble so it can be eliminated from the body through emptying the bladder. A drug can interfere with or damage this normal liver function creating liver disease.

_____Decreased Weight - Uncontrolled and measured loss of heaviness or weight.

_____Gout - A severe arthritis condition that is caused by the dumping of a waste product called uric acid into the tissues and joints. It can become worse and cause the body to develop a deformity after going through stages of pain, inflammation, severe tenderness and stiffness.

_____Hepatic Enzymes Increased - An increase in the amount of paired liver proteins that regulate liver processes causing a condition where the liver functions abnormally.

_____Hypercholesterolemia - Too much cholesterol in the blood cells.

_____Hyperglycemia - An unhealthy amount of sugar in the blood.

_____Increased Weight - A concentration and storage of fat in the body accumulating over a period of time caused by unhealthy eating patterns, that can predispose the body to many disorders and diseases.

_____Jaw Pain - The pain due to irritation and swelling of the nerves associated with the mouth area where it opens and closes just in front of the ear. Some of the symptoms are: pain when chewing, headaches, losing your balance, stuffy ears or ringing in the ears and teeth grinding.

_____Jaw Stiffness - The result of squeezing and grinding the teeth while asleep that can cause your teeth to deteriorate as well as the muscles and joints of the jaw.

_____Joint Stiffness - A loss of free motion and easy flexibility where any two bones come together.

_____Muscle Cramp - When muscles contract uncontrollably without warning and do not relax. The muscles of any body organs can cramp.

_____Muscle Stiffness - The tightening of muscles making it difficult to bend.

_____Muscle Weakness - Loss of physical strength.

_____Myalgia - A general widespread pain and tenderness of the muscles.

_____Thirst - A strong, unnatural craving for moisture/water in the mouth and throat.

NERVOUS SYSTEM (Sensory channels)

_____Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - A pinched nerve in the wrist that causes pain, tingling, and numbing.

_____Coordination Abnormal - A lack of normal, harmonious interaction of the parts of the body when it is in motion.

_____Dizziness - Losing one’s balance while feeling unsteady and lightheaded which may lead to fainting.

_____Disequilibrium - Lack of mental and emotional balance.

_____Faintness - A temporary condition where one is likely to go unconscious and fall.
_____Headache - A sharp or dull persistent pain in the head

_____Hyperreflexia - A not normal and involuntary increased response in the tissues connecting the bones to the muscles.

_____Light-Headed Feeling – Uncontrolled and usually brief loss of consciousness caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain.

_____Migraine - Recurring severe head pain usually combined with nausea, vomiting, dizziness, flashes or spots before the eyes, and ringing in the ears

_____Muscle Contractions Involuntary – A spontaneous and uncontrollable tightening reaction of the muscles caused by electrical impulses from the nervous system.

_____Muscular Tone Increased - Uncontrolled and exaggerated muscle tension. Muscles are normally partially tensed and this is what gives us muscle tone.

_____Paresthesia - Burning, prickly, itchy, or tingling skin with no obvious or understood physical cause.

_____Restless Legs - A need to move the legs without any apparent reason. Sometimes there is pain, twitching, jerking, cramping, burning, or a creepy-crawly sensation associated with the movements. It worsens when a person is inactive and can interrupt one’s sleep so one feels the need to move to gain some relief.

_____Shaking - Uncontrolled quivering and trembling as if one is cold and chilled.

_____Sluggishness - Lack of alertness and energy, as well as being slow to respond or perform in life.

_____Tics - A contraction of a muscle causing a repeated movement not under the control of the person usually on the face or limbs.

_____Tremor - A nervous and involuntary vibrating or quivering of the body.

_____Twitching - Sharp, jerky and spastic motion sometimes with a sharp sudden pain.

_____Vertigo - A sensation of dizziness with disorientation and confusion.

Mental and Emotional

_____Aggravated Nervousness - A progressively worsening, irritated and troubled state of mind.

_____Agitation - Suddenly violent and forceful, emotionally disturbed state of mind.

_____Amnesia - Long term or short term, partial or full memory loss created by emotional or physical shock, severe illness, or a blow to the head where the person was caused pain and became unconscious.

_____Anxiety Attack - Sudden and intense feelings of fear, terror, and dread physically creating shortness of breath, sweating, trembling and heart palpitations.

_____Apathy - Complete lack of concern or interest for things that ordinarily would be regarded as important or would normally cause concern.

_____Appetite Decreased - Having a lack of appetite despite the ordinary caloric demands of living with a resulting unintentional loss of weight.

_____Appetite Increased - An unusual hunger causing one to overeat.

_____Auditory Hallucination - Hearing things without the voices or noises being present.

_____Bruxism - Grinding and clenching of teeth while sleeping.

_____Carbohydrate Craving - A drive and craving to eat foods rich in sugar and starches (sweets, snacks and junk foods) that intensifies as the diet becomes more and more unbalanced due to the unbalancing of the proper nutritional requirements of the body.

_____Concentration Impaired - Unable to easily focus your attention for long periods of time.

_____Confusion - Not able to think clearly and understand in order to make a logical decision.

_____Crying Abnormal - Unusual and not normal fits of weeping for short or long periods of time for no apparent reason.

_____Depersonalization - A condition where one has lost a normal sense of personal identity.

_____Depression - A hopeless feeling of failure, loss and sadness that can deteriorate into thoughts of death.

_____Disorientation - A loss of sense of direction, place, time or surroundings as well as mental confusion on personal identity.

_____Dreaming Abnormal - Dreaming that leaves a very clear, detailed picture and impression when awake that can last for a long period of time and sometimes be unpleasant.

_____Emotional Lability - Suddenly breaking out in laughter or crying or doing both without being able to control the outburst of emotion. These episodes are unstable as they are caused by things that normally would not have this effect on an individual.

_____Excitability - Uncontrollably responding to stimuli.

_____Feeling Unreal - The awareness that one has an undesirable emotion like fear but can’t seem to shake off the irrational feeling. For example, feeling like one is going crazy but rationally knowing that it is not true. The quality of this side effect resembles being in a bad dream and not being able to wake up.

_____Forgetfulness - Unable to remember what one ordinarily would remember.

_____Insomnia - Sleeplessness caused by physical stress, mental stress or stimulants such as coffee or medications; it is a condition of being abnormally awake when one would ordinarily be able to fall and remain asleep.

_____Irritability - Abnormally annoyed in response to a stimulus.

_____Jitteriness - Nervous fidgeting without an apparent cause.

_____Lethargy - Mental and physical sluggishness and apathy that can deteriorate into an unconscious state resembling deep sleep. A numbed state of mind.

_____Libido Decreased - An abnormal loss of sexual energy or desire.

_____Panic Reaction - A sudden, overpowering, chaotic and confused mental state of terror resulting in being doubt-ridden often accompanied with hyperventilation and extreme anxiety.

_____Restlessness Aggravated - A constantly worsening troubled state of mind characterized by the person being increasingly nervous, unable to relax and easily angered.

_____Somnolence - Feeling sleepy all the time or having a condition of semi-consciousness.

_____Suicide Attempt - An unsuccessful deliberate attack on one’s own life with the intention of ending it.

_____Suicidal Tendency - Most likely will attempt to kill oneself.

_____Tremulousness Nervous - Very jumpy, shaky, and uneasy while feeling fearful and timid. The condition is characterized by thoughts of dreading the future, involuntary quivering, trembling, and feeling distressed and suddenly upset.

_____Yawning - Involuntary opening of the mouth with deep inhalation of air.


_____Breast Neoplasm - A tumor or cancer, of either of the two milk-secreting organs on the chest of a woman.

_____Menorrhagia - Abnormally heavy menstrual period or a menstrual flow that has continued for an unusually long period of time.

_____Menstrual Cramps - Painful, involuntary uterus contractions that women experience around the time of their menstrual period, sometimes causing pain in the lower back and thighs.

_____Menstrual Disorder - A disturbance or derangement in the normal function of a woman’s menstrual period.

_____Pelvic Inflammation - The reaction of the body to infectious, allergic, or chemical irritation, which in turn causes tissue irritation, injury, or bacterial infection characterized by pain, redness, swelling, and sometimes loss of function. The reaction usually begins in the uterus and spreads to the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and other areas in the hipbone region of the body.

_____Premenstrual Syndrome - Various physical and mental symptoms commonly experienced by women of childbearing age usually 2 to 7 days before the start of their monthly period. There are over 150 symptoms including eating binges, behavioral changes, moodiness, irritability, fatigue, fluid retention, breast tenderness, headaches, bloating, anxiety, and depression. The symptoms cease shortly after the period begins, and disappear with menopause.

_____Spotting Between Menses - Abnormal bleeding between periods. Unusual spotting between menstrual cycles.

RESPIRATORY SYSTEM (Organs involved in breathing)

_____Asthma - A disease of the breathing system initiated by an allergic reaction or a chemical with repeated attacks of coughing, sticky mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, and a tight feeling in the chest.
The disease can reach a state where it stops a person from exhaling, leading to unconsciousness and death.

_____Breath Shortness - Unnatural breathing using a lot of effort resulting in not enough air taken in by the body.

_____Bronchitis - Inflammation of the two main breathing tubes leading from the windpipe to the lungs. The disease is marked with coughing, a low-grade fever, chest pain, and hoarseness, caused by an allergic reaction.

_____Coughing - A cough is the response to an irritation, such as mucus, that causes the muscles controlling the breathing process to expel air from the lungs suddenly and noisily to keep the air passages free from the irritating material.

_____Laryngitis - Inflammation of the voice box characterized by hoarseness, sore throat, and coughing. It can be caused by straining the voice or exposure to infectious, allergic or chemical irritation.

_____Nasal Congestion - The presence of an abnormal amount of fluid in the nose.

_____Pneumonia Tracheitis - Bacterial infection of the air passageways and lungs that causes redness, swelling and pain in the windpipe. Other symptoms are high fever, chills, pain in the chest, difficulty breathing, and coughing with mucus discharge.

_____Rhinitis - Chemical irritation causing pain, redness and swelling in the mucus membranes of the nose.

_____Sinus Congestion - The mucus-lined areas of the bones in the face that are thought to help warm and moisten air to the nose. These areas become clogged with excess fluid or become infected.

_____Sinus Headache - An abnormal amount of fluid in the hollows of the facial bone structure especially around the nose. This excess fluid creates pressure, causing pain in the head.

_____Sinusitis - The body reacting to chemical irritation causing redness, swelling and pain in the area of the hollows in the facial bones especially around the nose.


_____Neck/Shoulder Pain - Hurtful sensations of the nerve endings caused by damage to the tissues in the neck and shoulder signaling danger of disease.

SKIN and APPENDAGES (Skin, legs and arms)

_____Acne - Eruptions of the oil glands of the skin, especially on the face, marked by pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, bumps, and more severely, by cysts and scarring.

_____Alopecia - The loss of hair, baldness.

_____Eczema - A severe or continuing skin disease marked by redness, crusting and scaling with watery blisters and itching. It is often difficult to treat and will sometimes go away only to reappear again.

_____Dermatitis - Generally irritated skin that can be caused by any of a number of irritating things such as parasites, fungus, bacteria, or foreign substances causing an allergic reaction. It is a general inflammation of the skin.

_____Dry Lips - The lack of normal moisture in the fleshy folds that surround the mouth.

_____Dry Skin - The lack of normal moisture/oils in the surface layer of the body. The skin is the body’s largest organ.

_____Folliculitis - Inflammation of a follicle (small body sac) especially a hair follicle. A hair follicle contains the root of a hair.

_____Furunculosis - Skin boils that show up repeatedly.

_____Lipoma - A tumor of mostly fat cells that is not health endangering.

_____Pruritus - Extreme itching of often-undamaged skin.

_____Rash - A skin eruption or discoloration that may or may not be itching, tingling, burning, or painful. It may be caused by an allergy, a skin irritation or a skin disease.

_____Skin Nodule - A bulge, knob, swelling or outgrowth in the skin that is a mass of tissue or cells.


_____Conjunctivitis - Infection of the membrane that covers the eyeball and lines the eyelid, caused by a virus, allergic reaction, or an irritating chemical. It is characterized by redness, a discharge of fluid and itching.

_____Dry Eyes - Not enough moisture in the eyes.

_____Earache - Pain in the ear.

_____Eye Infection - The invasion of the eye tissue by a bacteria, virus, fungus, etc, causing damage to the tissue, with toxicity. Infection spreading in the body progresses into disease.

_____Eye Irritation - An inflammation of the eye.

_____Metallic Taste - A range of taste impairment from distorted taste to a complete loss of taste.

_____Pupils Dilated - Abnormal expansion of the black circular opening in the center of the eye.

_____Taste Alteration - Abnormal flavor detection in food.

_____Tinnitus - A buzzing, ringing, or whistling sound in one or both ears occurring from the use of certain drugs.

_____Vision Abnormal - Normal images are seen differently by the viewer.

_____Vision Blurred - Eyesight is dim or indistinct and hazy in outline or appearance.

_____Visual Disturbance - Eyesight is interfered with or interrupted. Some disturbances are light sensitivity and the inability to easily distinguish colors.


_____Blood in Urine - Blood is present when one empties the liquid waste product of the kidneys through the bladder by urinating in the toilet, turning the water pink to bright red. Or you could see spots of blood in the water after urinating.

_____Dysuria - Difficult or painful urination.

_____Kidney Stone - Small hard masses of salt deposits that the kidney forms.

_____Urinary Frequency - Having to urinate more often than usual or between unusually short time periods.

_____Urinary Tract Infection - An invasion of bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc., of the system in the body that starts with the kidneys and eliminates urine from the body. If the invasion goes unchecked it can injure tissue and progress into disease.

_____Urinary Urgency - A sudden compelling urge to urinate, accompanied by discomfort in the bladder.

UROGENITAL (Urinary tract and genital structures or functions)

_____Anorgasmia - Failure to experience an orgasm.

_____Ejaculation Disorder - Dysfunction of the discharge of semen during orgasm.

_____Menstrual Disorder - Dysfunction of the discharge during the monthly menstrual cycle.


_____Acute Renal Failure - The kidneys stop functioning properly to excrete waste products.

_____Angioedema - Intense itching and swelling welts on the skin called hives caused by an allergic reaction to internal or external agents. The reaction is common to a food or a drug. Chronic cases can last for a long period of time.

_____Epidermal Necrolysis - An abnormal condition where a large portion of the skin becomes intensely red and peels off like a second-degree burn. Often the symptoms include blistering.

_____Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage - Excessive internal bleeding in the stomach and intestines.

_____Grand Mal Seizures (or Convulsions) - A recurring sudden, violent and involuntary attack of muscle spasms with a loss of consciousness.

_____Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome - A life threatening, rare reaction to an anti-
psychotic drug marked by fever, muscular rigidity, changed mental status, and dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system.

_____Pancreatitis - Chemical irritation with redness, swelling, and pain in the pancreas where digestive enzymes and hormones are secreted.

_____QT Prolongation - A very fast heart rhythm disturbance that is too fast for the heart to beat effectively so the blood to the brain falls, causing a sudden loss of consciousness and may cause sudden cardiac death.

_____Rhabdomyolysis - The breakdown and release of muscle fibers into the circulatory system. Some of the fibers are poisonous to the kidney and frequently result in kidney damage.

_____Serotonin Syndrome - A disorder brought on by excessive levels of serotonin. It is caused by drugs and can be fatal. Symptoms include euphoria, drowsiness, sustained and rapid eye movement, agitation, reflexes overreacting, rapid muscle contractions, abnormal movements of the foot, clumsiness, feeling drunk and dizzy without any intake of alcohol, jaw muscles contracting and relaxing excessively, muscle twitching, high body temperature, rigid body, rotating mental status including confusion and excessive happiness, diarrhea and loss of consciousness.

_____Thrombocytopenia - An abnormal decrease in the number of blood platelets in the circulatory system. A decrease in platelets would cause a decrease in the ability of the blood to clot when necessary.

_____Torsades de Pointes – An unusually rapid heart rhythm starting in the lower heart chambers. If the short bursts of rapid heart rhythm continue for a prolonged period it can degenerate into a more rapid rhythm and can be fatal.