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Venlafaxine is available only by prescription, and it should be taken under the guidance of a healthcare professional who can monitor its effects and adjust the treatment plan as necessary. Venlafaxine has an ascending dose–antidepressant response curve inconsistent with a single, saturable mechanism of action.
Venlafaxine was initially characterized as an inhibitor of both serotonin (5HT) and norepinephrine (NE) uptake and was therefore termed a “dual uptake inhibitor.”
Healthy male volunteers aged 18 to 45 years received either 75 mg or 375 mg of venlafaxine hydrochloride per day, the 5-HT uptake inhibitor sertraline hydrochloride (50 mg/d), or the NE uptake inhibitor maprotiline hydrochloride (150 mg/d) (n=8 for each of 4 treatment groups).