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Pristiq is an antidepressant medication used to treat major depressive disorder (MDD).

Desvenlafaxine is a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor that increases the availability of serotonin and norepinephrine in your brain. This helps treat symptoms of major depression in adults, including those with resistance to other forms of treatment.

This antidepressant has been found to be effective at treating MDD with minimal occurrence of adverse effects. Pristiq is generally well-tolerated and helpful in managing symptoms in adults.

Uses and Dosage

The dose of Pristiq prescribed will vary depending on the individual being treated. Follow your doctor’s instructions and read packaging labels carefully to ensure the best results.

  • Swallow tablets whole, do not crush or chew
  • Take with or without food
  • Try to take at the same time each day
  • Most adults take 50mg once a day
  • Adults should not take more than 400mg a day
  • Symptoms may take several weeks to improve, continue using Pristiq as directed
  • Do not suddenly stop taking Pristiq to avoid withdrawal symptoms
  • Tell your doctor about any changes you notice in your sexual function
  • Your blood pressure will need regular checkups
  • Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat
  • Keep out of reach from children and pets

Side Effects

Pristiq may cause some side effects to occur while increasing the serotonin and norepinephrine in your brain. Speak with your doctor for more information regarding any symptoms you may encounter when taking desvenlafaxine.

Common Pristiq side effects:

  • Dizziness, drowsiness, anxiety
  • Increased sweating
  • Nausea, decreased appetite, constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Decreased sex drive, impotence, difficulty having an orgasm

Serious Side Effects

Some more serious adverse reactions may occur when taking desvenlafaxine. Stop using Pristiq and contact your doctor right away if you notice any of the following side effects:

  • Seizure
  • Easy bruising or bleeding, blood in your urine or stools, coughing blood
  • Blurred vision, eye pain or swelling, seeing halos around lights
  • Cough, chest discomfort, trouble breathing
  • Low sodium levels (headache, confusion, problems with thinking or memory, weakness, feeling unsteady)

Seek immediate medical attention if you develop signs of serotonin syndrome. These symptoms include agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.

Allergic Reactions

Do not take Pristiq if you are allergic to desvenlafaxine or venlafaxine. If you develop any sign of an allergic reaction, stop using this medication and contact your doctor.

Pristiq allergy symptoms may include:

  • Skin rash, hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat


Use Pristiq at least 7 days before using an MAO inhibitor or wait 14 days afterwards to avoid an adverse drug reaction. These inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, and others.

Some people may experience an increase in suicidal thoughts when first taking antidepressant medication, especially younger patients. Monitor your symptoms and tell your doctor right away if you notice any changes.

Do not suddenly stop taking Pristiq. Consult with your doctor before stopping.

Tell your doctor if you also take stimulant medicine, opioid medicine, herbal products, or medicine for depression, mental illness, Parkinson’s disease, migraines, serious infections, or prevention of nausea and vomiting. A drug interaction could occur that may lead to a serious condition called serotonin syndrome.

To ensure your safety when taking Pristiq, tell your doctor if you have any of the following:

  • Heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or a stroke
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression, suicidal thoughts
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Seizures or epilepsy
  • Sexual problems
  • Lung or breathing problems
  • Bleeding or blood clotting disorder
  • Low sodium levels in your blood

Consult with your doctor before using any other drugs that can make you drowsy with Pristiq because this effect can be worsened. These medications include opioids, sleeping pills, muscle relaxants, or medicine for anxiety or seizures.

Some drugs can increase your risk of bleeding if taken with desvenlafaxine. Tell your doctor about all the medications you take, including over the counter medicine, but especially any of the following:

  • Blood thinners, medicine to prevent blood clots
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and others)

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking Pristiq. The use of antidepressants during late pregnancy may lead to excessive bleeding after giving birth and may cause complications in the baby. However, preventing a relapse of depression is important during this time. Consult with your doctor and do not stop taking Pristiq without their advice.

Breastfeeding while using this medication may not be safe; consult with your doctor to determine the benefits and risks.

Pristiq is not an approved treatment for anyone younger than 18 years of age.

Form and Strength

This antidepressant is available in the form of extended-release tablets.

Pristiq extended-release tablet strengths:

  • 50mg
  • 100mg

The 50 and 100mg Pristiq tablets are available in quantities of 28 and 84 while the 100mg tablets are also available in groups of 100.


What is the difference between SSRIs and SNRIs?

SSRIs inhibit the reuptake of serotonin while SNRIs inhibit this process with both serotonin and norepinephrine. Pristiq uses desvenlafaxine, a SNRI, to increase the availability of both neurotransmitters to help treat symptoms of major depressive disorder. Thanks to its broader inhibitory actions, Pristiq has been found effective at improving treatment-resistant cases.

How quickly does Pristiq work?

Pristiq is absorbed by your body and reaches steady state concentrations within 4 to 5 days of treatment, but it can take several weeks to see its full effects on your symptoms of depression. Some patients feel relief sooner than others but it’s important to continue taking your doses and speak with your doctor.



Additional information

Brand Name:


Scientific Name:


Other Names:

D-Veniz, Desvenlafaxine ER, Pristiq


25mg, 50mg, 100mg

Quantities Available:

28, 30, 84, 90, 100


Extended Release Tablet