What is Aventyl?
Aventyl is a prescriptional medication that is mainly used to treat major depression in adults. It may be used alone or in combination with other medicines for the same.
What are the uses of Aventyl?
Aventyl belongs to the category of antidepressant medications. It is used for short-term treatment of various depression types.
Aventyl affects certain natural chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) of the brain, regulating the mood. It works by increasing natural chemicals in the brain, which, in turn, helps in maintaining mental balance. Aventyl can be prescribed for the following conditions:
- Post-herpetic neuralgia (the burning, stabbing pains, or aches that may last for months or years after a shingles infection)
- Panic disorders
- Cessation of smoking
The medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your physician or pharmacist for detailed information.
How do you use Aventyl?
- Take this medicine orally, one to four times a day, with or without food, or as prescribed by your physician.
- Take this tablet daily at the same time.
- Follow all the instructions on the prescription label.
- Do not stop taking this medication abruptly without consulting your doctor.
- Do not take it more or less, or take it more than often than prescribed by your doctor.
- Do not stop using it even if you feel well. You may experience withdrawal symptoms such as headache, nausea, and weakness upon stopping Aventyl.
Your physician may start you with a low dose and gradually increase your dose.
If You Miss the Dose
- If you happen to miss a dose of Aventyl, take the missed dose as soon as you remember.
- However, if it is almost time for the next dose, do not take the missed dose and continue with your next scheduled dose.
- Do not take a double dose to compensate for the missed dose.
What are the side-effects and risks of Aventyl?
Like all other medications, Aventyl may cause side effects. Although it is unlikely to happen in everyone, it is important that you are aware of what could be the possible side effects.
Very Common side effects:
- Congested/blocked nose
- Tremors in hands or other body parts
- Weight gain
- Excessive sweating
- Dry mouth
- Irregular heartbeats
- Accommodation disorder of the eyes
Common side effects:
- Strange body movements
- Feeling thirsty
- Urinating problems (increase or decrease in urination)
- Low sodium blood levels
- Disturbed attention
- Decrease in libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Changes in taste
- Heart problem (QT prolongation)
- Tingling in arms or legs
- Blurred vision
- Heart block
- Disturbed coordination
Uncommon side effects:
- Sleep pattern disturbances
- Liver function impairment
- High blood pressure
- Changes in sexual performances
- Worsening of cardiac failure
- Loss of appetite
- Collapse conditions
- Increase in blood pressure
- Increased in eyeball pressure
- Swollen tongue
- Increased in production or outflow of breast milk without breastfeeding
- Tinnitus (ringing in ears)
- Skin rashes
- Swelling of face
Rare side effects:
- Hair loss
- Weight loss
- Mouth or gum problems
- Decrease in appetite
- Confusion states (delirium)
- Abnormal results of the liver function test
- Gynecomastia (enlargement of male breast tissue)
- Increase sensitivity to sunlight
- Heart problems (abnormality in heart rhythms)
- Swelling of salivary glands
- Increase in libido
Very rare side effects:
- Heart muscle diseases
- Increase in eye pressure
- Disorders of peripheral nerves
- Alterations of brain function
- Allergic inflammation of the lung alveoli and the lung tissue
- Abnormal heart rhythm that can lead to sudden cardiac death (so-called torsades de pointes)
- Feeling of inner restlessness and a compelling need to be in constant motion
- Swelling of ankles and, in severe cases of the face & tongue
- Blood disorders may also occur along with changes in blood sugar levels. In severe cases, men may suffer from swelling of breasts & testicles, while women may also notice an increase in breast size and spontaneous lactation. In extreme cases, there may be swelling & damage to liver cells.
An increased risk of bone fractures has been observed in patients taking this medication. In some cases, Aventyl may take a bit longer to work, so if you may have thoughts of killing or harming yourself, contact your physician immediately or go to the hospital straight away. This is not a complete list of side effects, and others may occur. Please consult your doctor to know more about other possible side effects.
Who should not take Aventyl?
Inform your physician if you have the following conditions before starting Aventyl:
- Recently have had a heart attack (myocardial infarction)
- Heart problems such as disturbances in heart rhythm which are seen on an electrocardiogram (ECG), heart block, or coronary artery disease
- Severe liver disease.
- Thyroid gland disorder
- Have surgery planned. It might be necessary to stop the treatment with Aventyl before you are given anesthetics. In the case of acute surgery, the anesthetist should be informed about the treatment of Aventyl.
- Glaucoma (loss of vision due to abnormally high pressure in the eye)
- Diabetes, as you might need an adjustment of your antidiabetic medicine.
- Epilepsy or a history of convulsions or fits
- Difficulty in passing urine
- Pyloric stenosis (narrowing of the gastric outlet) and paralytic ileus (blocked intestine)
- Enlarged prostate
- Bipolar disorder
- Undergoing or going to have electroconvulsive therapy (electric shock)
- Excessive fever (hyperpyrexia)
- Feel suicidal or aggressive
- Feel agitated, overactive, or suffer from schizophrenia
- Heart disease
This medicine should not be used for children and adolescents below 18 years of age.
Talk to your doctor before taking Aventyl if:
- You are taking any other medication, are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning a pregnancy.
- You are allergic to Aventyl or any of its ingredients or have any other allergies.
- You are allergic to any other medication.
- You are taking any other drugs, over-the-counter medicines, herbal products, or nutritional supplements.
Besides, certain medicines may interfere with its working and thus might not be safe to take them together. Some of them are:
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors such as moclobemide, phenelzine, iproniazid, isocarboxazid, nialamide, or tranylcypromine. Even if you have finished taking one of the following MAOIs: phenelzine, iproniazid, isocarboxazid, nialamide, or tranylcypromine, you will need to wait for two weeks before you start taking your Aventyl tablets.
- Valproic acid
- Thyroid Medications
- St. John's Wort (hypericum perforatum) – a herbal remedy used for depression
- Adrenaline, ephedrine, isoprenaline, noradrenaline, phenylephrine, and phenylpropanolamine (these may be present in cough or cold medicine, and some anesthetics)
- Medicine to treat high blood pressure, for example, calcium-channel blockers (e.g., diltiazem and verapamil), guanethidine, betanidine, clonidine reserpine, and methyldopa
- Anticholinergic drugs such as certain medicines to treat Parkinson's disease and gastrointestinal disorders (e.g., atropine, hyoscyamine)
- Oral contraceptives
- Anti-fungal medications such as fluconazole, terbinafine, ketoconazole, and itraconazole
- Pimozide and sertindole
This may not be a comprehensive list, and other drugs may interact with Aventyl. Please inform your doctor if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.
When should you not take Aventyl?
You should not take Aventyl if:
- It has passed the expiry date of the medicine printed on the pack.
- The packaging shows signs of tampering.
- You are lactose intolerant.
Aventyl may cause drowsiness and/or dizziness, especially during the initial treatment phase, affect the ability to carry out normal daily activities. You should not drive or operate machinery or perform jobs requiring you to be alert until these effects wear off.
Ask your doctor about the safe use of alcoholic beverages during your treatment with Aventyl as it can make Aventyl's side effects worse.