Save money on generic Effexor (venlafaxine)

Venlafaxine Extended Release (XR) pill—Effexor...

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Paying for medication can be depressing, especially payng for brand-name antidepressants.

But those of you waiting for generic Effexor XR are in luck – finally!  Recently the product has become available in generic form.  (The immediate-release venlafaxine has been available in generic for some time now.)

Current retail pricing for generic Effexor XR is only $10 less ($140 for 30 capsules of 150 mg. versus $150 for name brand), but this will change.  For patients with high co-pays on non-generic medications, this should lower your cost immediately.  For self-pay patients, expect the cost to decrease further with time.

When Effexor first came out, it was available only as immediate-release venlafaxine, which is still available (also generic) and costs less than the extended-release form for an equivalent dose.  The primary reason for the XR (extended-release) version is convenience in dosing.  The immediate-release, short-acting, version must be taken 2 or 3 times daily rather than one.  The price for convenient dosing is increased cost.

However, for a patient taking 150 mg. of Effexor XR daily, the immediate-release form at a dose of 75 mg. twice daily is about $120, or $20 per month less than the XR. 

Lower-income patients without insurance (and not on Medicare) may still be eligible for free brand-name medication.  Check to see if you qualify.

Copyright 2010 Cynthia J. Koelker, MD

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