In order to reduce the risk of overdose, doctors should limit the amount of the antidepressant Effexor (venlafaxine) they prescribe to patients, drug maker Wyeth and the US Food and Drug Administration said this week.
The caution was issued in response to reports of deaths and serious injuries in patients who overdosed on Effexor. The FDA and Wyeth said most of those incidents occurred in patients who took Effexor with alcohol or other drugs, the Associated Press reported.
In a letter to doctors dated October 17, Wyeth said physicians should prescribe the "smallest quantity of capsules consistent with good patient management." The letter was released Wednesday by the FDA.
The letter noted that the risk of a death from overdose may be greater with Effexor than with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants such as Prozac, Aropax, Zoloft and Lexapro, but may be less than that with older tricyclic antidepressants, the AP reported.
It's unclear whether the increased risk of dying from an overdose of Effexor can be attributed to the drug or to the characteristics of the patients taking the drug, Wyeth said. – (HealthDayNews)
Treatment of depression