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Pristiq Side Effects

Generic Name: desvenlafaxine

Note: This page contains side effects data for the generic drug desvenlafaxine. It is possible that some of the dosage forms included below 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

As well as its needed effects, desvenlafaxine (the active ingredient contained in Pristiq) may cause unwanted side effects that require medical attention.

Major Side Effects

If any of the following side effects occur while taking desvenlafaxine, check with your doctor immediately:

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

Minor Side Effects

Some desvenlafaxine side effects may not need any medical attention. As your body gets used to the medicine these side effects may disappear. Your health care professional may be able to help you prevent or reduce these side effects, but do check with them if any of the following side effects continue, or if you are concerned 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

It is possible that some side effects of Pristiq may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.

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.