desvenlafaxine (Oral route)Pronunciation
Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults with major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders in short-term studies. Short term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24, and there was a reduction in risk with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults aged 65 and older. This risk must be balanced with the clinical need. Monitor patients closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior. Families and caregivers should be advised of the need for close observation and communication with the prescriber. Not approved for use in pediatric patients .
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
- Tablet, Extended Release
Therapeutic Class: Antidepressant
Pharmacologic Class: Serotonin/Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor
Uses For desvenlafaxine
Desvenlafaxine is used to treat depression.
Desvenlafaxine belongs to a group of medicines known as selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRIs). These medicines are thought to work by increasing the activity of chemicals called serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain.
desvenlafaxine is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before Using desvenlafaxine
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For desvenlafaxine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to desvenlafaxine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of desvenlafaxine in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of desvenlafaxine in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney, liver, or heart problems, which may require an adjustment in the dose or extra caution in these patients.
|All Trimesters||C||Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.|
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with Medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking desvenlafaxine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using desvenlafaxine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
- Methylene Blue
Using desvenlafaxine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Antithrombin III Human
- Dermatan Sulfate
- Pentosan Polysulfate Sodium
Using desvenlafaxine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Flufenamic Acid
- Mefenamic Acid
- Niflumic Acid
- Tiaprofenic Acid
Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using desvenlafaxine with any of the following is usually not recommended, but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use desvenlafaxine, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of desvenlafaxine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Bipolar disorder (mental disease with cycles of elation and depression) or
- Bleeding problems or
- High blood pressure, uncontrolled or
- Hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol in the blood) or
- Narrow-angle glaucoma (increased pressure inside the eye) or
- Seizure (convulsions), history of—May make these conditions worse.
- Heart attack, recent or
- Heart disease or
- Stroke, history of—Use with caution. May cause an increase in heart rate and blood pressure.
- Kidney disease or
- Liver disease—You may require a lower dose of this medication. Talk with your doctor if you have concerns.
Proper Use of desvenlafaxine
Take desvenlafaxine only as directed by your doctor to benefit your condition as much as possible. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.
Desvenlafaxine may be taken with or without food, and should be taken at the same time every day.
Swallow the extended-release tablet whole with water. Do not dissolve, crush, break, or chew it.
desvenlafaxine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
The dose of desvenlafaxine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of desvenlafaxine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For mental depression:
- For oral dosage form (extended-release tablets):
- Adults—50 milligrams (mg) once a day. Your doctor may adjust your dose if needed.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For oral dosage form (extended-release tablets):
If you miss a dose of desvenlafaxine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Precautions While Using desvenlafaxine
It is important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits, to allow for changes in your dose and to help reduce any side effects. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects such as increased cholesterol and fats in the blood.
Desvenlafaxine may cause some people to be agitated, irritable, or display other abnormal behaviors. It may also cause some people to have suicidal thoughts and tendencies or to become more depressed. If you, your child, or your caregiver notice any of these side effects, tell your doctor or your child's doctor right away.
Do not stop taking desvenlafaxine without first checking with your doctor. Your doctor may want you to gradually reduce the amount you are taking before stopping it completely to decrease the chance of side effects.
Do not take desvenlafaxine within 2 weeks (14 days) of taking a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor (e.g., isocarboxazid [Marplan®], phenelzine [Nardil®], selegiline [Eldepryl®], or tranylcypromine [Parnate®]). Do not take an MAO inhibitor for at least 7 days after taking desvenlafaxine. Talk to your doctor about this if you have questions.
Make sure your doctor knows about all the other medicines you are using. Desvenlafaxine may cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome or neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS)-like reactions when taken alone or with certain medicines such as linezolid [e.g., Zyvox®], lithium, tryptophan, St. John's Wort, or some pain or migraine medicines (e.g., tramadol [Ultram®], sumatriptan [Imitrex®], zolmitriptan [Zomig®], or rizatriptan [Maxalt®]). Talk with your doctor if you have concerns about this and check with your doctor first before taking any other medicines.
You should not use alcohol while you are taking desvenlafaxine.
Check with your doctor right away if you develop any allergic reactions to desvenlafaxine such as rash, hives, swelling, or difficulty breathing.
desvenlafaxine may cause serious lung problems (e.g., interstitial lung disease, eosinophilic pneumonia). Check with your doctor right away and stop using desvenlafaxine if you have chest discomfort or tightness, a cough, difficult or labored breathing, shortness of breath, or wheezing.
Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using aspirin, NSAIDS (e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen, Advil®, Aleve®, Celebrex®, or Motrin®), or a blood thinner (e.g., warfarin [Coumadin®]). Desvenlafaxine may increase your risk of having bleeding problems, especially when taken with these medicines.
You may need to have your blood pressure and pulse checked before and while you are using desvenlafaxine. If you notice any changes to your blood pressure or pulse rate, call your doctor right away. If you have questions about this, talk to your doctor.
Hyponatremia (low sodium in the blood) may occur while you are using desvenlafaxine. Check with your doctor right away if you have a headache; difficulty concentrating; memory changes; confusion; or weakness and unsteadiness on your feet. Symptoms of a severe hyponatremia include: seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there; fainting; or seizures.
desvenlafaxine may cause some people to become dizzy, lightheaded, drowsy, or less alert than they are normally. Make sure you know how you react to desvenlafaxine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
desvenlafaxine Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:Less common
- fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
- numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
- shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
- trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
- trouble thinking, speaking, or walking
- Actions that are out of control
- bigger, dilated, or enlarged pupils (black part of the eye)
- blood in stool
- blood in urine
- chest tightness
- convulsions (seizures)
- joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
- large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
- loss of bladder control
- muscle spasm or jerking of all extremities
- nose bleeds
- redness of skin
- shortness of breath
- sudden loss of consciousness
- swelling of the eyelids, face, lips, hands, or feet
- talking, feeling, and acting with excitement
- troubled breathing or swallowing
- unusual bruising
- vomiting blood
Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:Symptoms of overdose
- Abdominal or stomach pain
- bloating of the abdomen or stomach
- blurred vision
- burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
- chest pain or discomfort
- dark-colored urine
- difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
- dry mouth
- feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
- increased sweating
- light-colored stools
- muscle cramps, pain, or stiffness
- overactive reflexes
- poor coordination
- sensation of spinning
- slow heartbeat
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- yellow eyes or skin
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:More common
- Decreased appetite
- decreased interest in sexual intercourse
- inability to have or keep an erection
- longer than usual time to ejaculation of semen
- loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
- not able to have an orgasm
- sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
- Change in taste
- change or problem with discharge of semen
- continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in ears
- decreased weight
- difficult urination
- fear or nervousness
- feeling of warmth
- hearing loss
- increased sensitivity of eyes to light
- lack or loss of strength
- loss of taste
- not able to ejaculate semen
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: desvenlafaxine side effects (in more detail)
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