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Pristiq Side Effects

Generic Name: desvenlafaxine

Note: This document contains side effect information about desvenlafaxine. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Pristiq.

In Summary

Common side effects of Pristiq 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 (the active ingredient contained in Pristiq) 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, constipation, fatigue, dizziness, headache, insomnia, and hyperhidrosis[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Insomnia
Common (1% to 10%): Anxiety, abnormal dreams, nervousness, decreased libido, anorgasmia, abnormal orgasm
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Depersonalization, hypomania, withdrawal syndrome
Rare (less than 0.1%): Mania, hallucinations
Frequency not reported: Suicidal thoughts, bruxism[Ref]

Nervous system

Very Common (10% or more): Dizziness, headache
Common (1% to 10%): Somnolence, tremor, paraesthesia, dysgeusia, disturbance in attention, tinnitus, vertigo
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Syncope
Rare (less than 0.1%): Convulsion, extrapyramidal disorder
Postmarketing reports: Serotonin syndrome
Frequency not reported: Seizure, dystonia[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Abnormal bleeding[Ref]


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


Common (1% to 10%): Yawning
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Epistaxis
Rare (less than 0.1%): Interstitial lung disease, eosinophilic pneumonia[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Blurred vision, mydriasis[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hypersensitivity
Postmarketing reports: Angioedema[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Palpitations, tachycardia, hot flush
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Orthostatic hypotension, peripheral coldness
Frequency not reported: Elevated blood pressure[Ref]


Very Common (10% or more): Hyperhidrosis
Common (1% to 10%): Rash
Rare (less than 0.1%): Photosensitivity reaction
Postmarketing reports: Stevens-Johnson syndrome, alopecia[Ref]


Very Common (10% or more): Nausea (up to 13%), dry mouth, constipation
Common(1% to 10%): Diarrhea, vomiting[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Erectile dysfunction, delayed ejaculation, ejaculation disorder,
ejaculation failure, anorgasmia, decreased libido, abnormal orgasm, sexual dysfunction[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Abnormal liver function test[Ref]


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


Very Common(10% or more): Fatigue
Common(1% to 10%): Chills, asthenia, feeling jittery, irritability[Ref]


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


Common (1% to 10%): Urinary hesitation
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Proteinuria
Postmarketing reports: Urinary retention[Ref]


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

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

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

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. 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 substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.