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desvenlafaxine

Pronunciation

Generic Name: desvenlafaxine (des VEN la FAX een)
Brand Name: Khedezla, Pristiq

What is desvenlafaxine?

Desvenlafaxine is a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRIs) antidepressant. Desvenlafaxine affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with depression.

Desvenlafaxine is used to treat major depressive disorder.

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

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

You should not use this medicine if you are being treated with linezolid or methylene blue injection.

Do not use desvenlafaxine within 7 days before or 14 days after you have used an MAO inhibitor, such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, or tranylcypromine.

Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking an antidepressant. Stay alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor.

Do not stop using desvenlafaxine without first talking to your doctor.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking desvenlafaxine?

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to desvenlafaxine or venlafaxine (Effexor).

Do not use desvenlafaxine within 7 days before or 14 days after you have used an MAO inhibitor, such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, or tranylcypromine. A dangerous drug interaction could occur.

Some medicines can interact with desvenlafaxine and cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome. Be sure your doctor knows if you also take opioid medicine, herbal products, or medicine for depression, mental illness, Parkinson's disease, migraine headaches, serious infections, or prevention of nausea and vomiting. Ask your doctor before making any changes in how or when you take your medications.

To make sure desvenlafaxine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or a stroke;

  • bipolar disorder (manic depression);

  • depression, suicidal thoughts;

  • liver or kidney disease;

  • glaucoma;

  • seizures or epilepsy;

  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder; or

  • low levels of sodium in your blood.

Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking an antidepressant. Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.

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. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

Desvenlafaxine is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I take desvenlafaxine?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

You may take desvenlafaxine with or without food. Take the medicine at the same time each day.

Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow it whole.

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often.

It may take several weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed. Do not stop using desvenlafaxine without first talking to your doctor. You may have unpleasant side effects if you stop taking this medicine suddenly.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking desvenlafaxine?

Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase certain side effects of desvenlafaxine.

Ask your doctor before taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) for pain, arthritis, fever, or swelling. This includes aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac, indomethacin, meloxicam, and others. Using an NSAID with desvenlafaxine may cause you to bruise or bleed easily.

Desvenlafaxine may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Desvenlafaxine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have 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:

  • seizure (convulsions);

  • easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums), blood in your urine or stools, coughing up blood;

  • blurred vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights;

  • cough, chest tightness, trouble breathing; or

  • low levels of sodium in the body--headache, confusion, severe weakness, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady, hallucinations.

Seek medical attention right away if you have symptoms of serotonin syndrome, such as: agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

Common side effects may include:

  • dizziness, drowsiness, anxiety;

  • increased sweating;

  • nausea, decreased appetite, 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.

Desvenlafaxine dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Depression:

50 mg orally once a day, with or without food
Maximum dose: 400 mg orally per day

Comments:
-There is no evidence that doses greater than 50 mg per day provide additional benefit.
-Side effects and discontinuations were more common at higher doses.

Use: Treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD)

What other drugs will affect desvenlafaxine?

Taking desvenlafaxine with other drugs that make you sleepy can worsen this effect. Ask your doctor before taking a sleeping pill, narcotic medication, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.

Many drugs can interact with desvenlafaxine. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

  • any other antidepressant;

  • sibutramine;

  • St. John's wort;

  • tramadol;

  • tryptophan (sometimes called L-tryptophan);

  • lithium, or other medicine to treat mood disorders, thought disorders, or mental illness; or

  • migraine headache medicine--sumatriptan, zolmitriptan, and others.

This list is not complete and many other drugs can interact with desvenlafaxine. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Give a list of all your medicines to any healthcare provider who treats you.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about desvenlafaxine.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 8.01.

Date modified: October 13, 2017
Last reviewed: July 11, 2017

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