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FDA OKs Generic Antidepressant Effexor

Generic Version May Bring Cost Savings, Says FDA
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Aug. 9, 2006 -- People taking the antidepressant Effexor are getting a generic option.

The FDA yesterday approved the first generic version of Effexor (venlafaxine), a widely used prescription drug for major depression. The generic drug isn't the same as Effexor XR.

Generic drugs often cost less than brand-name drugs, notes Gary Buehler, director of the FDA's Office of Generic Drugs.

Generic venlafaxine "can bring significant savings to millions of Americans diagnosed with [major depressive disorder]," Buehler says, in an FDA news release.

Like all antidepressants, generic venlafaxine will carry a "black box" warning about possible suicide risk in children and teens.

Generic venlafaxine will come in five doses: 25 milligrams, 37.5 milligrams, 50 milligrams, 75 milligrams, and 100 milligrams. Its maker is Teva Pharmaceuticals USA.

Effexor is made by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc. Wyeth is a WebMD sponsor.

SOURCE: News release, FDA.

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