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Desvenlafaxine

Generic name: desvenlafaxine [ des-VEN-la-FAX-een ]
Brand names: Khedezla, Pristiq
Dosage forms: oral tablet, extended release ((as base) 100 mg; (as base) 50 mg; 100 mg; 25 mg; 50 mg)
Drug class: Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Nov 1, 2021. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is desvenlafaxine?

Desvenlafaxine is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant.

Desvenlafaxine is used to treat major depressive disorder.

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

Warnings

People with depression or mental illness may have thoughts about suicide. Some young people may have increased suicidal thoughts when first starting a medicine to treat depression. Tell your doctor right away if you have any sudden changes in mood or behavior, or thoughts about suicide.

Do not stop using desvenlafaxine without first asking your doctor.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use desvenlafaxine 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, or tranylcypromine. A dangerous drug interaction could occur.

Tell your doctor if you also use stimulant medicine, opioid medicine, herbal products, or medicine for depression, mental illness, Parkinson's disease, migraine headaches, serious infections, or prevention of nausea and vomiting. An interaction with desvenlafaxine could cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

People with depression or mental illness may have thoughts about suicide. Some young people may have increased suicidal thoughts when first starting a medicine to treat depression. Stay alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Your family or caregivers should also watch for sudden changes in your behavior.

Taking this medicine during pregnancy could harm the baby, but stopping the medicine may not be safe for you. Do not start or stop desvenlafaxine without asking your doctor.

If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry to track the effects of desvenlafaxine on the baby.

Ask a doctor if it is safe to breastfeed while using this medicine.

Not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I take desvenlafaxine?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Take desvenlafaxine with water at the same time each day, with or without food.

Swallow the tablet whole and do not crush, chew, or break it.

Your symptoms may not improve for several weeks.

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often.

Tell your doctor if you have any changes in sexual function, such as loss of interest in sex, trouble having an orgasm, or (in men) problems with erections or ejaculation. Some sexual problems can be treated.

Do not stop using desvenlafaxine suddenly, or you could have unpleasant symptoms (such as agitation, confusion, tingling or electric shock feelings). Ask your doctor before stopping the medicine.

Part of a tablet shell may appear in your stool but this will not make the medicine less effective.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

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 driving or hazardous activity until you know how desvenlafaxine will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.

Ask your doctor before taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, Advil, Aleve, Motrin, and others. Using an NSAID with desvenlafaxine may cause you to bruise or bleed easily.

Avoid drinking alcohol.

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.

Tell your doctor right away if you have new or sudden changes in mood or behavior, including new or worse depression or anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, more active or talkative, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Desvenlafaxine may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • a seizure;

  • 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 discomfort, trouble breathing; or

  • low blood sodium--headache, confusion, problems with thinking or memory, weakness, feeling unsteady.

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 of desvenlafaxine may include:

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

Comments:
-Doses of 10 to 400 mg/day were studied in clinical trials.
-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.
-Efficacy in patients with major depressive disorder was established in 4 short-term and 2 maintenance studies.

Use: Treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD)

What other drugs will affect desvenlafaxine?

Using desvenlafaxine with other drugs that make you drowsy can worsen this effect. Ask your doctor before using opioid medication, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety or seizures.

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially a blood thinner (warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven) or other medicine used to prevents blood clots.

Other drugs may affect desvenlafaxine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use.

Frequently asked questions

Further information

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.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.