Before taking venlafaxine,
tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to venlafaxine, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in venlafaxine tablets or extended-release capsules. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
tell your doctor if you are taking a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor, such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), and tranylcypromine (Parnate), or if you have stopped taking one of these medications within the past 14 days. Your doctor will probably tell you that you should not take venlafaxine. If you stop taking venlafaxine, your doctor will tell you that you should wait at least 7 days before you start to take an MAO inhibitor.
tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, and vitamins you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin); amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone); other antidepressants; cimetidine (Tagamet); clozapine (Clozaril); diuretics ('water pills'); duloxetine (Cymbalta); haloperidol (Haldol); imipramine (Tofranil); indinavir (Crixivan); ketoconazole (Nizoral); linezolid (Zyvox); lithium; medications for anxiety, mental illness, pain, seizures, or weight loss; medications for migraine such as almotriptan (Axert), eletriptan (Relpax), frovatriptan (Frova), naratriptan (Amerge), rizatriptan (Maxalt), sumatriptan (Imitrex), and zolmitriptan (Zomig); methadone (Dolophine); methylene blue; phentermine (Adipex P, Ionamin); ritonavir (Norvir); sedatives; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft); sibutramine (Meridia); sleeping pills; tramadol (Ultram); and tranquilizers. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
tell your doctor what nutritional supplements and herbal products you are taking, especially St. John's wort and tryptophan.
tell your doctor if you have ever used illegal drugs or overused prescription medications. Also tell your doctor if you have recently had a heart attack and if you have or have ever had high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol seizures, or heart, kidney, liver, or thyroid disease.
tell your doctor if you are pregnant, especially if you are in the last few months of your pregnancy, or if you plan to become pregnant or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking venlafaxine, call your doctor. Venlafaxine may cause problems in newborns following delivery if it is taken during the last months of pregnancy.
if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking venlafaxine.
you should know that this medication may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this medication.
you should know that venlafaxine may cause angle-closure glaucoma (a condition where the fluid is suddenly blocked and unable to flow out of the eye causing a quick, severe increase in eye pressure which may lead to a loss of vision). Talk to your doctor about having an eye examination before you start taking this medication. If you have nausea, eye pain, changes in vision, such as seeing colored rings around lights, and swelling or redness in or around the eye, call your doctor or get emergency medical treatment right away.