Venlafaxine is one of the most frequently prescribed antidepressants worldwide, despite its toxicity risk in overdose. Furthermore, the molecule has been recently identified at the EU-wide level as one of the novel psychoactive substances.
This paper aims at investigating the potential of misuse, taking into account both the existing literature and the analysis of the misusers’ experiences as described in venlafaxine misuse web reports.
Some people just can’t stop looking for “drug abuse” everywhere, in every patient, in every medication.
A literature search was performed using PubMed, Embase, and Medline. Posts/threads relating to venlafaxine misuse issues were identified through Google® and Yahoo® English-language searches. Resulting websites’ data were then qualitatively assessed, and information was collected on a range of issues, including dosage, drug intake modalities, untoward drug effects, and association with other recreational drugs.
A few literature case reports focusing on venlafaxine as a misusing drug were here identified.
The molecule was here typically ingested or snorted at dosages up to 10–15 times higher than those clinically advised, obtaining MDMA/amphetamine-like stimulant and psychedelic effects.
Polydrug misuse was commonly reported. Venlafaxine appeared to be widely available online for sale.
Physicians should carefully evaluate patients for history of drug dependence and observe them for signs of venlafaxine misuse. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
It looks like chronic pain patients (who are encouraged to use adjuvant medications, like this antidepressant) are now going to be accused of yet more “drug abuse”, this time over their antidepressants.
Will we now be suspected, drug tested, and criminalized over that too?