Please consult your physician before taking any medication. Effexor (venlafaxine) is an antidepressant in a group of drugs called selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRIs). Effexor affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause depression. Effexor is used to treat major depressive disorder, anxiety, and panic disorder.... Pronunciation: VEN-la-FAX-een Generic Name: Venlafaxine Brand Name: Effexor XR Antidepressants may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or actions in children, teenagers, and young adults. However, depression and certain other mental problems may also increase the risk of suicide.