Is Effexor 150 mg a high dose? (+1 effects)

In this article, we will discuss if 150 mg of Effexor is considered a high dose. In addition, it also informs about the possible side effects of using 150 mg of Effexor and how they can be overcome.

Is Effexor 150 mg a high dose?

No, Effexor 150 mg is considered as a median dose. The highest dose of Effexor is 375 mg/day which is given to patients with severe depression. Effexor 150 mg is used as a maintenance dose in moderately depressed patients.

The recommended starting dose of Effexor is 75 mg/day in two or three divided doses. Once your body is adjusted to the lower dose of Effexor, your prescriber may increase the dose to 150 mg/day depending upon the tolerability and severity of your depression.

It is important to know that 150 mg Effexor should be taken only on the recommendation of your doctor. You should never increase the dose of antidepressants on your own as it might cause side effects. Your doctor will shift you to 150 mg only if he thinks your body can tolerate this dose.

What are the benefits of 150 mg of Effexor?

Effexor is a dual-acting antidepressant and belongs to the class of selective serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). At doses equal to or less than 150 mg, Effexor primarily inhibits noradrenaline rather than serotonin reuptake (1, 2). 

Before increasing the dose to 150 mg, doctors consider several aspects, including the degree of symptoms, the patient’s general health, and how the drug is working for them. When treating depression, the usual starting dose of Effexor is 75 mg/day. Depending on how the patient responds to the drug and the doctor’s assessment, this dosage may be gradually increased. 

Upward titration may also be considered in situations where a faster onset of therapeutic activity is required. According to recent studies, some patients may get more symptomatic relief from 150 mg of Effexor. Effexor has been especially found beneficial in cases of treatment-resistant depression (3).

Which factor influences the dose of Effexor?

The 150 mg dose of Effexor can be affected by several factors including the patient’s age, weight, medical history, current medication, and any other pre-existing diseases. 

  • Age: Young patients may require a lower dose of Effexorm while older patients might need a greater dosage to get the desired therapeutic effect. However, liver and kidney function should be considered when increasing the dose. 
  • Weight: Depending on the patient’s weight, the dosage of Effexor may need to be changed or adjusted to have the desired effect. A higher body mass may necessitate a higher dosage.
  • Medical history: for patients with mild to moderate liver impairment, a 50% reduction in the total daily dose is required. Similarly, in mild to moderate renal impairment, a 25% reduction in the total daily dose is advised.
  • Other medication: Effexor may interact with certain drugs, which could reduce its effectiveness or raise the possibility of negative side effects. As an example, concomitant administration of Effexor with Abatacept can increase the metabolism of Effexor.

What are the side effects of 150 mg of Effexor?

One case study reported that an increase in the dose of Effexor from 75 mg/day to 150 mg/day caused a patient’s blood pressure to rise to 210/170 mm Hg. The blood pressure went to normal when the drug was discontinued (4). 

Another case study reported the induction of periodic leg movement during sleeping (PLMS) and restless leg syndrome when the patients were administered 150 mg of Effexor (5).

The other reported side effects of 150 mg of Effexor include:

  • Fatigue/ sedation. sleepiness,
  • Nausea,
  • Weight gain,
  • Sleepiness/ sedation,
  • Memory impairment, and
  • Sexual dysfunction.

What should be done in case of side effects?

Depending on the intensity of side effects experienced by the patient, the following interventions can be taken:

  • Fatigue: Fatigue and drowsiness management includes careful evaluation of sleep patterns and counselling the patient on sleep hygiene (such as avoiding daytime napping), change in dosing schedule such as the shift from morning to night time administration, divided dosing, or pharmacological management including psychostimulants.
  • Nausea: nausea induced by Effexor can be treated with histamine 2 antagonists like ranitidine, or proton pump inhibitors such as omeprazole.
  • Weight gain: if weight gain is not responsive to dietary and behavioural changes, then an alternate drug can be selected for the treatment of depression.
  • Sexual dysfunction: sexual dysfunction can be reversed by decreasing the dose of Effexor, and antidote therapy with drugs like psychostimulants, dopamine agonists, norepinephrine agents, and serotonin 2 receptor antagonists.


In this article we discussed if Effexor 150 mg is considered a high dose and when is it prescribed. We have also dicussed the side effects you might have with Effexor 150 mg and how to manage them.

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Stahl SM, Grady MM, Moret C, Briley M. SNRIs: the pharmacology, clinical efficacy, and tolerability in comparison with other classes of antidepressants. CNS spectrums. 2005 Sep;10(9):732-47.


Fulda S, Kloiber S, Dose T, Lucae S, Holsboer F, Schaaf L, Hennings J. Mirtazapine provokes periodic leg movements during sleep in young healthy men. Sleep. 2013 May 1;36(5):661-9.


Thase ME, Friedman ES, Howland RH. Venlafaxine and treatment‐resistant depression. Depression and Anxiety. 2000;12(S1):55-62.;2-X


Kıvrak Y, Güvenç TS, Akbulut N, Yağcı İ, Çığşar G, Gündüz S, Balcı B. Accelerated hypertension after venlafaxine usage. Case Reports in Psychiatry. 2014 Sep 24;2014.


Harrison CL, Ferrier N, Young AH. Tolerability of high-dose venlafaxine in depressed patients. Journal of Psychopharmacology. 2004 Jun;18(2):200-4.

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