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Pristiq

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

Medically reviewed on March 1, 2018.

What is Pristiq?

Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) is an antidepressant belonging to a group of drugs called selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Desvenlafaxine affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with depression.

Pristiq is used to treat major depressive disorder.

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

Important Information

Do not use Pristiq 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 this medicine without first talking to your doctor.

Before taking this medicine

You should not take Pristiq if you are allergic to desvenlafaxine or venlafaxine (Effexor).

Do not use Pristiq 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 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. Ask your doctor before making any changes in how or when you take your medications.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

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.

Taking Pristiq during late pregnancy may bleeding in the mother or serious medical problems in the newborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.

If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry. This is to track the outcome of the pregnancy and to evaluate any effects of desvenlafaxine on the baby.

It may not be safe to breast-feed a baby while you are using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risks.

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

How should I take Pristiq?

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

Take Pristiq 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 blood pressure will need to be checked often.

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

Some tablets are made with a shell that is not absorbed or melted in the body. Part of the tablet shell may appear in your stool. This is a normal side effect and will not make the medicine less effective.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)

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 Pristiq?

Avoid drinking alcohol.

See also: Pristiq and alcohol (in more detail)

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

Pristiq side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Pristiq: 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:

  • a 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 discomfort, trouble breathing; or

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

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

Common Pristiq side effects 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.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Pristiq?

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

Many drugs (including some over-the-counter medicines and herbal products) can increase your risk of bleeding if you take them with Pristiq, especially:

This list is not complete and many other drugs may affect Pristiq. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Pristiq only for the indication prescribed.

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

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