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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking 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). You must wait at least 14 days after stopping an MAOI before you can take desvenlafaxine. After you stop taking desvenlafaxine, you must wait at least 7 days before you start taking an MAOI.
Do not take desvenlafaxine together with venlafaxine (Effexor).
To make sure you can safely take desvenlafaxine, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
You may have thoughts about suicide when you first start taking an antidepressant, especially if you are younger than 24 years old. Tell your doctor if you have worsening symptoms of depression or suicidal thoughts during the first several weeks of treatment, or whenever your dose is changed.
Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits for at least the first 12 weeks of treatment.
FDA pregnancy category C. Desvenlafaxine may cause problems in a newborn baby if the mother takes the medication late in pregnancy (during the third trimester). Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
Desvenlafaxine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Do not give this medication to anyone under 18 years old without the advice of a doctor.
How should I take desvenlafaxine (Pristiq)?
Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Desvenlafaxine can be taken with or without food. Try to take the medicine at the same time each day.
Do not crush, chew, break, or dissolve the extended-release tablet. Swallow it whole. Breaking the pill may cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.
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.
Do not stop using desvenlafaxine suddenly, or you could have unpleasant symptoms. Ask your doctor how to avoid these symptoms when you stop using desvenlafaxine.
Your blood pressure will need to be checked often. Visit your doctor regularly.
This medication can cause you to have a false positive drug screening test. If you provide a urine sample for drug screening, tell the laboratory staff that you are taking desvenlafaxine.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
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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