Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq) is the active metabolite of Venlafaxine (Effexor). It depends on the person, some may respond better to one and not the other. However, this is a common strategy by drug companies to market drugs with patent exclusivity (i.e. they get to charge an arm and a leg for the "new" brand name drug, regardless of whether it's more effective than the original).
The same idea is true of Celexa (Citalopram). Lexapro (Escitalopram) is just the active metabolite in Celexa. It is possible that one might respond better to one form than another, though.
But, in general, I'd go with the drug that has a generic form, so you don't have to pay hundreds of dollars for the basically same medicine, unless that one specifically is more effective for you.
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