Does Effexor cause nausea on the first day? 

This is a common question among individuals starting this antidepressant medication. It is not uncommon to experience nausea during the initial days of Effexor treatment, as the body needs time to adjust to the medication. 

Nausea is a typical side effect of many antidepressants, and Effexor is no exception. However, the severity and duration of this side effect can vary among individuals, and understanding the factors influencing Effexor-induced nausea can provide valuable insights for patients and healthcare providers.

Does Effexor cause nausea on the first day? 

Yes, Effexor (Venlafaxine) can cause nausea during the first few days of your treatment (1). This usually happens because your body doesn’t recognize the antidepressant and it takes some time to adjust to it. 

People who are switching from one antidepressant to Effexor may not feel nausea, as compared to those who are new to antidepressants in general. These meds are usually a bit heavy on your stomach and this is why most doctors recommend taking them with meals (2). 

What do research studies reveal about Effexor-induced nausea?

There are several research studies indicating that nausea is one of the most common side effects of Effexor. A decade-old research study indicated that Effexor is generally a well-tolerated antidepressant, both immediate-release and extended-release formulations. 

However, the generic drug Venlafaxine can cause nausea, which can be more severe in some people – but it is usually nothing to worry about as the side effect gets better within 2 weeks (1). 

Another research study on the effects of Venlafaxine on major depressive disorder and anxiety indicated that nausea is the most common early side effect of this antidepressant, which does get better with time (3). 

It indicates that you can feel nauseous during the first 2-3 weeks of your treatment with Effexor and there is nothing to be concerned about. However, if your nausea does not get better or becomes unbearable, reach out to your doctor.

What are some factors that can increase the risk of nausea with Effexor?

Several factors can increase the risk of nausea with Effexor. These include:

  • A high initial dose can cause more pronounced side effects. It is always best to start from the lowest effective dose to help your body adjust to the medication with lesser side effects.
  • Nausea is more severe during the early weeks of your treatment with Effexor. The side effect slowly begins to fade away as you adjust to the med.
  • Individual sensitivity to Effexor-induced nausea can cause some people to suffer more.
  • Taking other medications that can cause nausea or interact with Effexor can increase the risk of nausea.
  • Certain medical conditions, such as gastrointestinal disorders or a history of motion sickness, may increase the risk of nausea with Effexor.

What to do to get rid of Effexor-induced nausea? 

Try taking Effexor with food if it causes nausea, as taking it on an empty stomach can increase the risk of gastrointestinal side effects. If your nausea is mild, I recommend not taking any medication for that. 

You can rely on natural ingredients, like peppermint, lemon, and ginger to help you with nausea. However, you can take OTC meds like Pepto-Bismol, Gravol, etc to help reduce the intensity of nausea and for symptomatic relief. 

Early side effects of antidepressants don’t stay and they begin to fade away as your body adjusts. You just need to give your body some time and keep taking your Effexor on time. If your side effect is severe, reach out to your healthcare provider. 

Your doctor may try dose reduction to help you adjust to a lower dose first, which helps with the side effects. Make sure you don’t skip Effexor. If you’re concerned, just head out to your doctor. Don’t make any changes to your prescription on your own. 


In conclusion, Effexor-induced nausea can occur during the first few days of treatment, but it typically improves within a couple of weeks as the body becomes accustomed to the medication. 

For those experiencing severe nausea, consulting a healthcare provider is essential to explore possible dose adjustments or alternative treatment options. It is crucial to adhere to the prescribed treatment plan and seek professional guidance to ensure the safe and effective use of Effexor.

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Cunningham LA. Once-daily venlafaxine extended-release (XR) and venlafaxine immediate release (IR) in outpatients with major depression. Venlafaxine XR 208 Study Group. Ann Clin Psychiatry. 1997 Sep;9(3):157-64.

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