The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Venlafaxine HCl ER, a generic version of Wyeth’s antidepressant medication Effexor XR.

Israel-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has been given a 180-day period of marketing exclusivity for the generic capsules. Shipment is expected to begin in July 2010.

Effexor XR is used to treat major depressive disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder and social anxiety disorder.

Pharmaceutical intelligence agency IMS Health estimates that Effexor XR had annual sales of $2.75bn in the US.