Generic Name: Pristiq Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.


What is Pristiq® (desvenlafaxine) used for?

Pristiq® is an antidepressant in 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.

How should I take Pristiq® (desvenlafaxine)?

Take Pristiq® exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

You may take Pristiq® with or without food. Take the medicine at the same time each day.

Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow it whole.

It may take several weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve.

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often.

Do not stop using Pristiq® suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to safely stop using this medicine.

How do I store Pristiq® (desvenlafaxine)?

Pristiq® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Pristiq® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Pristiq® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Pristiq® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Pristiq® (desvenlafaxine)?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Pristiq® or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

You should not use Pristiq® if you are being treated with linezolid or methylene blue injection.

Do not use Pristiq® if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine. After you stop taking this medicine, you must wait at least 7 days before you start taking an MAOI.

Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking an antidepressant. Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using Pristiq®. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using Pristiq® during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Pristiq®. Pristiq® is pregnancy risk category C, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Pristiq® (desvenlafaxine)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any 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:

  • 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 tightness, trouble breathing
  • High levels of serotonin in the body–agitation, hallucinations, fever, fast heart rate, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination, fainting
  • Low levels of sodium in the body–headache, confusion, slurred speech, severe weakness, vomiting, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady

Common side effects may include:

  • Dizziness, drowsiness, anxiety
  • Increased sweating
  • Mild nausea, decreased appetite, constipation
  • Vision changes
  • Sleep problems (insomnia)
  • Decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.


What drugs may interact with Pristiq® (desvenlafaxine)?

Pristiq® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Products that may interact with this drug are:

  • Any other antidepressant
  • sibutramine
  • John’s wort
  • Tramadol
  • Tryptophan (sometimes called L-tryptophan)
  • Medicine to treat mood disorders, thought disorders, or mental illness–amitriptyline, buspirone, lithium, nortriptyline, and many others
  • Migraine headache medicine – sumatriptan, zolmitriptan, and others
  • Warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven)

Does food or alcohol interact with Pristiq® (desvenlafaxine)?

Pristiq® may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Pristiq® (desvenlafaxine)?

Pristiq® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Health conditions that may interact with this drug are:

  • Bipolar disorder (manic depression)
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or a history of stroke
  • Narrow-angle glaucoma
  • Seizures or epilepsy
  • A bleeding or blood clotting disorder
  • Low levels of sodium in your blood


The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Pristiq® (desvenlafaxine).

What is the dose of Pristiq® (desvenlafaxine) for an adult?

The recommended dose is 50 mg once daily, with or without food.

The 50 mg dose is both a starting dose and the therapeutic dose.

Pristiq® should be taken at approximately the same time each day. Tablets must be swallowed whole with fluid and not divided, crushed, chewed, or dissolved.

What is the dose of Pristiq® (desvenlafaxine) for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is Pristiq® (desvenlafaxine) available?

Pristiq® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Tablet, extended release desvenlafaxine succinate 50mg

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Pristiq®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: August 7, 2017 | Last Modified: September 2, 2017

You might also like