Does Venlafaxine cause laziness? (+5 prevention)

In this article, we will discuss the effect of Venlafaxine on laziness and lack of motivation. We will look at the impact of Venlafaxine on making the patient tired and lazy. We will also look at the prevention strategies to avoid being lazy while taking Venlafaxine. 

Does Venlafaxine cause laziness?

Venlafaxine may cause laziness. Venlafaxine is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant that is used to energize and uplift mood and alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Venlafaxine is not directly associated with causing laziness in patients. It may take 4-6 weeks to show effects meanwhile it may cause drowsiness, fatigue, tiredness, and laziness when starting, discontinuing, or adjusting the dosage. 

If you are facing such symptoms while taking Venlafaxine, you should contact your healthcare provider. They can help in evaluating the situation and help in managing these side effects associated with Venlafaxine. 

What does research suggest?

Based on the research studies, low doses of Venlafaxine may demonstrate symptoms of mild apathy and fatigue in patients due to more affinity of Venlafaxine for serotonin transporters (1). 

Venlafaxine is an SNRI antidepressant that displays serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibition. The side effects of initial treatment with Venlafaxine are related to serotonin inhibition such as headache, fatigue, laziness, and sexual dysfunction (2).

 Whereas, further side effects with slightly higher doses are related to both serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibition such as dry mouth and night sweats. At higher doses, Venlafaxine also inhibits dopamine reuptake (2).

However, it has been studied that if due to Venlafaxine patients experience laziness, fatigue, and apathy symptoms, with the improvement of other depressive symptoms then their clinicians must continue Venlafaxine treatment with dosage adjustment (1). 

What are the ways to prevent laziness induced by Venlafaxine?

Following are some ways to prevent laziness induced by Venlafaxine (3,4):

  • Take Venlafaxine at night time- If Venlafaxine is causing laziness and sleepiness, try taking this medication at night time so that you get lazy while you are in bed and will wake up fresh. 

This way you will wake up fully energized and avoid Venlafaxine-induced laziness during the day time. Additionally, your daily daytime activities will not be interrupted if you take Venlafaxine at night. 


  • Lifestyle changes- Lifestyle modifications can help in improving overall energy levels. Regular exercise and physical activity can make you feel less fatigued and improve energy and motivation levels. 

You can consider getting stress-management techniques such as mindfulness exercises and yoga which will help prevent laziness due to Venlafaxine. 


  • A healthy diet and hydration- A healthy diet plays an important role in making you feel energetic. Keep yourself well-hydrated and consume healthy nutritious meals to avoid energy crashes. 


  • Avoid alcohol consumption- Venlafaxine along with alcohol suppresses your energy levels and mental alertness. If you take alcohol along with Venlafaxine, it may cause drowsiness and excessive laziness. 


  • Consume caffeine to avoid laziness- If you have taken Venlafaxine during the daytime and it makes you lazy and sleepy, then you can take caffeinated drinks to avoid laziness and increase mental alertness.  

What to do if you have Venlafaxine-associated laziness?

If you suspect severe laziness and tiredness after initiating Venlafaxine therapy, then contact your doctor straight away. You should discuss your health condition and symptoms to prevent such side effects. 

Your healthcare provider should assess your health condition and provide you with adequate treatment. They can adjust your medication dosage or provide you with an appropriate antidepressant that does not cause laziness and make you tired. 

Your doctor should monitor your symptoms and side effects for any underlying condition or a medication reaction that might interfere with Venlafaxine and cause laziness and fatigue. 

Your healthcare provider must consider changing the timing of your medication. If Venlafaxine is the reason for daytime laziness and sleepiness then consider taking it at night time to avoid sleepiness. 


In conclusion, Venlafaxine can be taken to treat anxiety and depression and enhance mood but if it causes laziness, consult your doctor and seek medical intervention. 

Venlafaxine does not commonly cause laziness and tiredness, but symptoms and side effects of antidepressant medications may vary from person to person and affect patients varyingly. 

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Sato S, Sodeyama N, Matsuzaki A, Shiratori Y. Apathy symptoms induced by low-dose venlafaxine: Two cases. Neuropsychopharmacol Rep. 2020 Jun;40(2):196-197. doi: 10.1002/npr2.12104. Epub 2020 Apr 8. PMID: 32267090; PMCID: PMC7722648.


Sansone RA, Sansone LA. Serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors: a pharmacological comparison. Innov Clin Neurosci. 2014 Mar;11(3-4):37-42. PMID: 24800132; PMCID: PMC4008300.


AHFS Patient Medication Information [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc.; c2019. Venlafaxine; [updated 2020 Jun 24; reviewed 2018 Jul 5; cited 2020 Jul 1]; [about 5 p.]. Available from:


Singh D, Saadabadi A. Venlafaxine. [Updated 2022 Oct 10]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from:

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