Can Effexor XR treat night sweats? (3+ management tips)

In this article, we will discuss if Effexor XR can treat night sweats. We will further discuss the causes of night sweats and explore the efficacy of Effexor XR for the treatment of night sweats. What are the potential side effects of Effexor XR?

Can Effexor XR treat night sweats? 

Effexor XR can help you treat night sweats. However, there are reports which show the antiperspirant potential of Effexor XR at low doses, while at higher doses it is associated with increased sweating.

Effexor XR or Venlafaxine extended-release is in a class of drugs known as Selective Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs) prescribed for the treatment of Generalized anxiety, social anxiety and panic disorder (1).

Its off-label use includes the treatment of hot flashes (extreme warmth and sweating) in postmenopausal women and those taking medications for the treatment of breast cancer.

What does research suggest?

A randomized clinical trial compared the efficacy of low-dose estradiol and low-dose Venlafaxine extended-release for the treatment of vasomotor symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats in postmenopausal women.

Results demonstrated Venlafaxine to be an effective non-hormonal treatment for hot flashes and night sweats and can be used as a first-line treatment in women who cannot take hormonal therapy (2). 

In another report, researchers have hypothesized that Venlafaxine at low doses has an antiperspirant action due to its serotonergic effect whereas at high doses above 75 mg increases sweating as a result of its noradrenergic action (3).

What causes night sweats?

Night sweats refer to repeated heavy sweating during your sleep. They may or may not be associated with underlying illness. Common causes of night sweats include:

  • Anxiety
  • Drug addiction
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Menopause
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Sleep disorders
  • Cancer (such as leukaemia, carcinoid tumours)
  • Medications like antidiabetic drugs, hormone therapy, antidepressants (Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa, Effexor) and methadone

How Effexor XR can help with night sweats?

Effexor XR may help to reduce night sweats in the following ways (3):

  • The downregulation of the serotonin receptors in the prefrontal cortex by Effexor can lower serotonin-induced hyperthermia and alleviate sweat production.
  • The alteration of the sensitivity of serotonin receptors in the chronic administration of Venlafaxine can help reduce sweat.

What are the alternative options for night sweat management?

The effect of Effexor XR against sweat secretion may vary from person to person and it may not be a suitable choice for the treatment of night sweats in some individuals. The alternative options for night sweat management include:

  • Seek Medical Attention: In case your drug is increasing your sweat rather than reducing it, you should immediately contact your physician. Your doctor may help you by reducing the dose or by switching you to an alternate medication.


  • Cyproheptadine: helps you to reduce night sweats due to its anti-serotonergic activity. It also helps with antidepressant-induced sweating without affecting their antidepressant efficacy.


  •  Terazosin: belongs to a class of selective alpha-1 adrenergic receptor blockers that can help you relieve day as well as night sweating.


  • Benzotropine: works by inhibiting cholinergic activity and can help you with night sweats within one hour of drug administration.

As per my research analysis, Effexor XR can provide relief in night sweats and can be a good alternative for post-menopausal women who experience hot flashes and cannot take hormonal therapy for the treatment.

However, the effect may vary among individuals and some people may experience increased sweating with Effexor. Therefore, you should always consult your physician before starting this medication. Identifying the underlying cause of night sweats can help you provide the right medication.

In case you observe more sweating with Effexor, you should not stop the medication or reduce the dosage on your own. Abrupt stops can lead to life-threatening withdrawal syndrome.


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MedlinePlus [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US). Venlafaxine; [Updated 2022 Jan 15; cited 2023 Nov 27]. Available from:


Joffe H, Guthrie KA, LaCroix AZ, Reed SD, Ensrud KE, Manson JE, Newton KM, Freeman EW, Anderson GL, Larson JC, Hunt J, Shifren J, Rexrode KM, Caan B, Sternfeld B, Carpenter JS, Cohen L. Low-dose estradiol and the serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor venlafaxine for vasomotor symptoms: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2014 Jul;174(7):1058-66. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.1891. PMID: 24861828; PMCID: PMC4179877. Available from:


Demling J, Beyer S, Kornhuber J. To sweat or not to sweat? A hypothesis on the effects of venlafaxine and SSRIs. Med Hypotheses. 2010 Jan;74(1):155-7. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2009.07.011. Epub 2009 Aug 6. PMID: 19664885.. Available from:

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