Pristiq Desvanlafaxine Overview
Pristiq Desvanlafaxine is used to treat depression. It may improve your mood, feelings of well-being, and energy level. Desvenlafaxine is known as a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI). It works by helping to restore the balance of certain natural substances (serotonin and norepinephrine) in the brain.
Other uses of Pristiq Desvanlafaxine
This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional. This medication may also be used to treat anxiety and panic attacks. It may also be used to treat hot flashes that occur with menopause.
Pros and cons of Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)
Effective at treating symptoms of depression as well as lowering the likelihood of your depression coming back
Can be taken with or without food
Once-daily dosing makes it easier to remember
Lower-cost generic available
Can help with hot flashes and night sweats during menopause
Can take up to 8 weeks to fully kick in
In rare cases, can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in people age 24 or younger
Can raise your blood pressure
When stopping this medication, must taper dose slowly to avoid withdrawal symptoms
May not be the best medication for people with heart disease
Pharmacist tips for Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)
Like most antidepressants, it could take a couple months to see the full effects of Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) on your mood. It’s possible to experience side effects from Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) before you see an improvement in mood.
Don’t suddenly stop taking Pristiq (desvenlafaxine). Talk to your healthcare provider about how to slowly lower your dose to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) can worsen your depression or cause you to have suicidal thoughts or behavior. Tell your provider if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts while taking this medication.
Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) can cause nausea for some people. If this happens to you, try taking it with food. This can help lessen stomach-related side effects.
Swallow Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) whole. Don’t break, chew, or crush the tablets.
Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) may interfere with your abilities to concentrate and focus, especially when you first start taking it. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
What are the side effects of Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)?
With any medication, there are risks and benefits. Even if the medication is working, you may experience some unwanted side effects.
Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:
- Serotonin syndrome (see risks and warnings for details)
- Suicidal thoughts or behavior
- Increased bleeding
- Low sodium levels in the blood
The following side effects may get better over time as your body gets used to the medication. Let your doctor know immediately if you continue to experience these symptoms or if they worsen over time.
Common side effects
- Trouble sleeping
- Feeling sleepy
- Loss of appetite
- Sexual function problems
Other side effects
- Dry mouth
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Unusual dreams
- Feeling jittery