Does Effexor cause acne? (+5 factors)

In this article, we will discuss whether Effexor causes acne, We will also discuss some factors that may contribute to acne while taking Effexor and the management tips for acne.

Does Effexor cause acne?

No, Effexor does not cause acne. However, if you suspect that Effexor may be contributing to acne or worsening an existing skin condition, it’s essential to discuss this with your healthcare provider. They can help determine the cause of your acne and explore potential treatment options or adjust your medication if necessary.

Effexor is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor and antidepressant medication. Effexor increases serotonin and norepinephrine concentration in the brain by blocking their reuptake. It is frequently indicated in the management of various mental health disorders and their associated symptoms such as depression and anxiety disorders (1).

While Effexor is not commonly associated with causing acne as a side effect, it’s important to note that medication effects can vary from person to person.

What does research suggest? 

Effexor is not typically associated with inducing acne as a reported side effect in its official prescribing information. While individual responses to medications can vary, and some individuals may experience skin-related issues while taking Effexor, there is no widely recognized or documented incidence of Effexor directly causing acne (2).

Research suggests that Effexor can sometimes lead to skin-related side effects like parapsoriasis, rash, sun sensitivity, paresthesia, and itching but these are very rare side effects of venlafaxine. However, acne is not reported with venlafaxine use (5).

If an individual does experience acne or skin issues while taking Effexor, it is essential to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the underlying causes and explore appropriate management strategies. 

What factors can contribute to acne problems while taking Effexor? 

Effexor-induced acne is not a widely reported side effect of the medication, and it’s not commonly listed in its official prescribing information. However, some individuals may still experience acne while taking Effexor, and several factors could contribute to this: 

Individual Variation: Individuals react differently to medications. While one person may not experience any skin issues with Effexor, another might develop acne due to their unique response or individual sensitivity to medication.

Hormonal Changes: Effexor affects the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain, which can indirectly affect hormonal regulation. Hormonal imbalances are a common cause of acne. However, these changes are rarely reported by Effexor users.

Stress: Stress and emotional factors can significantly contribute to the development or exacerbation of acne. Effexor is primarily prescribed to manage mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. Therefore, any acne you might be experiencing while taking Effexor is likely a result of the underlying stress and not a direct side effect of Effexor.

Diet and Lifestyle: Poor diet, lack of exercise, and other lifestyle factors can contribute to acne. Some individuals taking Effexor may experience changes in their eating habits or physical activity, which can affect their skin health.

Concomitant Drugs: The use of acne-causing medications with Effexor increases the risk of developing acne during Effexor therapy.

What to do if acne occurs while taking Effexor?

Managing acne while taking Effexor or any other medication should involve a combination of good skincare practices and consultation with your healthcare provider. Here are some steps to consider:

If you notice acne developing or worsening after starting Effexor, consult your healthcare provider. They can evaluate the situation and determine if the medication is the likely cause. They may suggest alternative treatments or adjust your medication if necessary. 

How to manage acne while taking Effexor?

The management of acne during treatment with Effexor can be done by following these recommendations:

  • Consult your healthcare provider if any medication is increasing your acne, so they may provide you with an alternative treatment if necessary.
  • Wash your face with a medicated facewash or cleanser to prevent bacteria on your skin.
  • Use sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
  • Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Stay hydrated by drinking enough water.
  • Get regular exercise to help manage stress and maintain overall health.

Your healthcare provider may prescribe you some medications to treat acne. However, before using any new products ensure they won’t interact negatively with Effexor.

What are the additional common side effects of Effexor?

Effexor is known to have various potential adverse effects, and the prevalence and severity of these side effects can vary from person to person. Common adverse effects of Effexor may include (3):

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • weight changes
  • appetite changes
  • dry mouth
  • headaches
  • fatigue

Which medications can cause acne?

Some medications that are associated with a risk of causing acne as a potential side effect include (4):

  • phenytoin
  • lithium
  • anabolic steroids
  • carbamazepine
  • corticosteroids 
  • isoniazid

If you are concerned about acne related to your medication, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for guidance and potential adjustments to the treatment plan.


In conclusion, based on my knowledge and experience, Effexor does not cause acne. Some individuals may experience acne or skin issues while taking Effexor, possibly due to factors like hormonal changes, stress, or other medication interactions.

It’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider if you suspect Effexor is contributing to acne or worsening an existing skin condition. They can help determine the underlying causes and develop a personalized treatment plan, which may involve adjusting the medication, skincare routines, or other interventions to manage acne effectively.

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