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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Pristiq

Generic Name: desvenlafaxine (Pronunciation: des VEN la FAX een)

What is desvenlafaxine (Pristiq)?

Desvenlafaxine is an antidepressant in a group of drugs called selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Desvenlafaxine affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause depression.

Desvenlafaxine is used to treat major depressive disorder.

Desvenlafaxine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Pristiq 100 mg

square, orange, imprinted with W 100

Pristiq 50 mg

square, pink, imprinted with W 50

What are the possible side effects of desvenlafaxine (Pristiq)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: skin rash or hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • seizure (convulsions);
  • agitation, hallucinations, fever, fast heart rate, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination;
  • blurred vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights;
  • cough, chest tightness, trouble breathing;
  • easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums), blood in your urine or stools, coughing up blood;
  • very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, feeling like you might pass out;
  • severe skin reaction - fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling;
  • headache, trouble concentrating, memory problems, weakness, feeling unsteady, confusion, hallucinations, fainting, shallow breathing or breathing that stops;

Less serious side effects may include:

  • increased sweating;
  • dizziness, drowsiness;
  • loss of appetite;
  • tightness in your jaw;
  • mild nausea, constipation;
  • sleep problems (insomnia); or
  • decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about desvenlafaxine (Pristiq)?

You should not take this medication if you are allergic to desvenlafaxine or venlafaxine (Effexor), or if you are also using a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate).

Do not take desvenlafaxine together with venlafaxine (Effexor).

You may have thoughts about suicide when you first start taking an antidepressant, especially if you are younger than 24 years old. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits for at least the first 12 weeks of treatment.

Call your doctor at once if you have any new or worsening symptoms such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

It may take several weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after a few weeks of treatment.



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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