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Venlafaxine

Drug Information

Venlafaxine is a drug used to treat depression. It is unrelated to other drugs used to treat depression.

Common brand names:

Effexor, Effexor XR

Summary of Interactions with Vitamins, Herbs, & Foods

Types of interactions: Beneficial Adverse Check

Replenish Depleted Nutrients

  • none

Reduce Side Effects

  • none

Support Medicine

  • none

Reduces Effectiveness

  • none

Potential Negative Interaction

  • Sour Date Nut

    There is one published report of a woman collapsing after taking venlafaxine in combination with the Chinese herbal remedy sour date nut (Ziziphus jujube),1 although she tolerated venlafaxine by itself without side effects. People taking venlafaxine should not take sour date nut.

  • 5-HTP

    Venlafaxine, a potent serotonin reuptake inhibitor, has been associated with several cases of serotonin syndrome.2 , 3 , 4 , 5 5-HTP and L-tryptophan are converted to serotonin in the brain, and taking them with venlafaxine may increase venlafaxine-induced side effects. While no interactions with venlafaxine and 5-HTP or L-tryptophan have been reported, until more is known, people taking venlafaxine are cautioned to avoid 5-HTP or L-tryptophan.

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • L-Tryptophan

    Venlafaxine, a potent serotonin reuptake inhibitor, has been associated with several cases of serotonin syndrome.6 , 7 , 8 , 9 5-HTP and L-tryptophan are converted to serotonin in the brain, and taking them with venlafaxine may increase venlafaxine-induced side effects. While no interactions with venlafaxine and 5-HTP or L-tryptophan have been reported, until more is known, people taking venlafaxine are cautioned to avoid 5-HTP or L-tryptophan.

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • St. John’s Wort

    Although there have been no interactions reported in the medical literature, it is best to avoid using venlafaxine with St. John’s wort unless you are under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional.

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.

Explanation Required 

  • Sodium

    One case was reported of a 79-year-old woman with depression treated with venlafaxine who experienced hyponatremia (abnormally low blood levels of sodium).10 It remains unclear whether this interaction has any but rare ramifications.

The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers’ package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.

References

1. Stewart DE. Venlafaxine and sour date nut. Am J Psychiatry 2004;16:1129–30.

2. Brubacher JR, Hoffman RS, Lurin MJ. Serotonin syndrome from venlafaxine-tranylcypromine interaction. Vet Hum Toxicol 1996;38:358–61.

3. Weiner LA, Smythe M, Cisek J. Serotonin syndrome secondary to phenelzine-venlafaxine interaction. Pharmacotherapy 1998;18:399–403.

4. Bhatara VS, Magnus RD, Paul KL, Preskorn SH. Serotonin syndrome induced by venlafaxine and fluoxetine: a case study in polypharmacy and potential pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic mechanisms. Ann Pharmacother 1998;32:432–6.

5. Diamond S, Pepper BJ, Diamond ML, et al. Serotonin syndrome induced by transitioning from phenelzine to venlafaxine: four patient reports. Neurology 1998;51:274–6.

6. Brubacher JR, Hoffman RS, Lurin MJ. Serotonin syndrome from venlafaxine-tranylcypromine interaction. Vet Hum Toxicol 1996;38:358–61.

7. Weiner LA, Smythe M, Cisek J. Serotonin syndrome secondary to phenelzine-venlafaxine interaction. Pharmacotherapy 1998;18:399–403.

8. Bhatara VS, Magnus RD, Paul KL, Preskorn SH. Serotonin syndrome induced by venlafaxine and fluoxetine: a case study in polypharmacy and potential pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic mechanisms. Ann Pharmacother 1998;32:432–6.

9. Diamond S, Pepper BJ, Diamond ML, et al. Serotonin syndrome induced by transitioning from phenelzine to venlafaxine: four patient reports. Neurology 1998;51:274–6.

10. Ranieri P, Franzoni S, Rozzini R, Trabucchi M. Venlafaxine-induced reset osmostat syndrome: case of a 79-year-old depressed woman. J Geriatr Psychiatry Neurol 1997;10:75–8.

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