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Desvenlafaxine Side Effects

In Summary

Commonly reported side effects of desvenlafaxine include: constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, insomnia, nausea, decreased appetite, hyperhidrosis, and xerostomia. Other side effects include: anxiety, blurred vision, mydriasis, tremor, vertigo, vomiting, abnormal dreams, chills, and yawning. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to desvenlafaxine: oral tablet extended release

Along with its needed effects, desvenlafaxine 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 while taking desvenlafaxine:

Less common
  • Chills
  • cold sweats
  • confusion
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • fast, pounding, or irregular pulse
  • headache
  • 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
  • weakness
Incidence not known
  • Blistering, peeling, or loose skin
  • blood in the stool or urine
  • chest tightness
  • convulsions (seizures)
  • cough
  • diarrhea
  • dilated or enlarged pupils (black part of the eye)
  • feeling irritated
  • fever
  • hives, itching, or rash
  • hoarseness
  • 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 pain
  • muscle spasm or jerking of all extremities
  • nosebleeds
  • red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • red, irritated eyes
  • red skin
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
  • sudden loss of consciousness
  • swelling of the eyelids, face, lips, hands, or feet
  • talking, feeling, or acting with excitement
  • trouble breathing or swallowing
  • unusual bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting blood

Some side effects of desvenlafaxine 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
  • Bigger, dilated, or enlarged pupils (black part of the eye)
  • decreased appetite
  • inability to have an orgasm
  • inability to have or keep an erection
  • increased sensitivity of the eyes to light
  • loss of sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  • sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  • sleeplessness
Less common
  • Change in taste
  • continuous ringing, buzzing, or other unexplained noise in the ears
  • decreased weight
  • difficult urination
  • fear or nervousness
  • hearing loss
  • increased sensitivity of the eyes to light
  • jitteriness
  • lack or loss of strength
  • loss of taste

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to desvenlafaxine: oral tablet extended release


The most commonly reported side effects were nausea, dry mouth, hyperhidrosis, and dizziness.[Ref]


Very Common (10% or more): Nausea (up to 36%), dry mouth (up to 25%), constipation (up to 14%)
Common (1% to 10%): Diarrhea, vomiting
Rare (less than 0.1%): Acute pancreatitis
Frequency not reported: Gastrointestinal bleeding[Ref]


Very Common (10% or more): Hyperhidrosis (up to 21%)
Common (1% to 10%): Rash
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Alopecia
Rare (less than 0.1%): Photosensitivity reaction, Stevens-Johnson syndrome
Frequency not reported: Erythema multiforme, severe cutaneous reactions, toxic epidermal necrolysis[Ref]

Nervous system

Very Common (10% or more): Dizziness (up to 16%), somnolence (up to 12%)
Common (1% to 10%): Disturbance in attention, dysgeusia, headache, paresthesia, tremor, vertigo
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Dyskinesia, extrapyramidal disorder, syncope
Rare (less than 0.1%): Convulsion, dystonia, serotonin syndrome
Frequency not reported: Seizure[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Insomnia (up to 15%)
Common (1% to 10%): Abnormal dreams, abnormal orgasm, anorgasmia, anxiety, decreased libido, irritability, nervousness, withdrawal syndrome
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Depersonalization, hypomania
Rare (less than 0.1%): Hallucination, mania
Frequency not reported: Bruxism, discontinuation syndrome, suicidal thoughts[Ref]


Very Common (10% or more): Erectile dysfunction (up to 11%)
Common (1% to 10%): Delayed ejaculation, ejaculation disorder, ejaculation failure, proteinuria, sexual dysfunction, urinary hesitation
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Urinary retention[Ref]


Very Common (10% or more): Fatigue (up to 11%)
Common (1% to 10%): Asthenia, chills, feeling jittery, tinnitus[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Decreased appetite, decreased weight, elevated fasting triglycerides, elevated LDL cholesterol, elevated total cholesterol, increased blood cholesterol, increased weight
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Increased blood triglycerides
Rare (less than 0.1%): Hyponatremia[Ref]


Ischemic cardiac adverse reactions, myocardial ischemia, myocardial infarction, and/or coronary occlusion requiring revascularization usually occurred in patients who had multiple underlying cardiac risk factors.[Ref]

Common (1% to 10%): Blood pressure increased, hot flush, increased sustained hypertension, orthostatic hypotension, palpitations, tachycardia
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Peripheral coldness
Frequency not reported: Coronary occlusion requiring revascularization, ischemic cardiac adverse reactions, myocardial infarction, myocardial ischemia[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Blurred vision, mydriasis
Frequency not reported: Angle closure glaucoma[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Yawning
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Epistaxis
Frequency not reported: Interstitial lung disease, eosinophilic pneumonia[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Abnormal liver function test[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Musculoskeletal stiffness[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hypersensitivity
Rare (less than 0.1%): Angioedema[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Increased blood prolactin[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Abnormal bleeding[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)." Wyeth Laboratories, Philadelphia, PA.

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

Some side effects of desvenlafaxine may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.

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