Effexor is a commonly prescribed medication for psychological issues. When pet parents have to take any type of medication, it’s possible that a pill will drop at some point. And if your dog sees it, he may go right after it and snarf the pill up before you can even say “Effexor.”
But is Effexor toxic to dogs? Can Effexor make your dog sick?
What is Effexor?
Effexor, also called venlafaxine, is an antidepressant medication, which belongs to a group of drugs called selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRIs). The chemicals used in this medication are used to balance the brain chemicals in people who are suffering from depression.
Effexor is used to treat:
- Major depressive disorder
- Anxiety & panic disorder
The medicine works to block the reabsorption of serotonin and norepinephrine. It’s used to balance brain chemicals.
Can dogs ingest Effexor? Is Effexor toxic to dogs?
Effexor Toxicity in Dogs
Effexor is toxic to dogs. This medication can cause moderate to severe symptoms in dogs, which may include:
- Central nervous system stimulation
- Serotonin syndrome (symptoms include CNS sedation or stimulation, vomiting, tremors, seizures, hyperthermia, diarrhea, abdominal pain, dilated pupils).
- Excessive drooling
If your dog is showing any of these symptoms, then be sure to call the vet immediately. This is a medical emergency. Be sure to take the medication packaging with you to the vet’s. The information on the package can be helpful.
Treatment of Effexor Toxicity in Dogs
At the vet’s, they will give your dog a complete physical, along with lab work. The vet may need to pump your dog’s stomach or use gastric lavage to remove the medication. The vet may also conduct neurologic testing on your dog, which means they will test your dog’s reflexes, as well as coordination.
Your canine companion may require an IV, which will provide fluids to rehydrate him and make it easier to certain medications, such as serotonin agonists.
The good news is that your dog, with prompt medical treatment, has a great chance for a full recovery. However, it may take a while for your dog to recover, depending on the number of pills he ingested and the dosage of those pills. In other words, a large number of pills and a larger dose means a higher level of toxicity.
In the future, be sure to keep all medications out of your dog’s reach. This may mean that it will be necessary to store the medicine in a cabinet that’s up high, where your dog can’t gain access to the meds.