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Drugs reference index «desvenlafaxine»

desvenlafaxine

Generic Name: desvenlafaxine (des VEN la FAX een)Brand Names: Pristiq

What is desvenlafaxine?

Desvenlafaxine is an antidepressant in a group of drugs called selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Desvenlafaxine affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause depression.

Desvenlafaxine is used to treat major depressive disorder.

Desvenlafaxine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about desvenlafaxine?

Do not take this medication if you are allergic to desvenlafaxine or venlafaxine (Effexor), or if you are also using a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate). You must wait at least 14 days after stopping an MAOI before you can take desvenlafaxine. After you stop taking desvenlafaxine, you must wait at least 7 days before you start taking an MAOI.

You should not take desvenlafaxine together with venlafaxine (Effexor).

You may have thoughts about suicide when you first start taking an antidepressant, especially if you are younger than 24 years old. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits for at least the first 12 weeks of treatment.

Call your doctor at once if you have any new or worsening symptoms 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. Avoid drinking alcohol, which can increase some of the side effects of desvenlafaxine. It may take several weeks or more for your symptoms to improve. For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Do not stop using desvenlafaxine without first talking to your doctor. You may have unpleasant side effects if you stop taking this medication suddenly.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking desvenlafaxine?

Do not take this medication if you are allergic to desvenlafaxine or venlafaxine (Effexor), or if you are also using a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate). You must wait at least 14 days after stopping an MAOI before you can take desvenlafaxine. After you stop taking desvenlafaxine, you must wait at least 7 days before you start taking an MAOI.

You should not take desvenlafaxine together with venlafaxine (Effexor).

If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take desvenlafaxine:

  • bipolar disorder (manic depression);

  • liver disease;
  • kidney disease;
  • heart disease or high blood pressure;

  • a history of stroke;

  • glaucoma;

  • seizures or epilepsy;

  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder; or

  • high cholesterol.

You may have thoughts about suicide when you first start taking an antidepressant, especially if you are younger than 24 years old. Tell your doctor if you have worsening symptoms of depression or suicidal thoughts during the first several weeks of treatment, or whenever your dose is changed.

Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits for at least the first 12 weeks of treatment.

FDA pregnancy category C. Desvenlafaxine may be harmful to an unborn baby, and may cause problems in a newborn baby if the mother takes the medication late in pregnancy (during the third trimester). Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Desvenlafaxine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Do not give this medication to anyone under 18 years old without the advice of a doctor.

How should I take desvenlafaxine?

Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Take this medication with a full glass of water. You may take desvenlafaxine with or without food. Do not crush, chew, break, or dissolve the extended-release tablet. Swallow the pill whole. Breaking or dissolving the pill may cause too much of the drug to be released into the body at one time.

Try to take desvenlafaxine at the same time each day.

The desvenlafaxine tablet is made with a shell that is not absorbed or melted in the body. Therefore, you may see what looks like part of a tablet in your stool. This is a normal side effect of desvenlafaxine and will not make the medication less effective.

It may take several weeks or more for your symptoms to improve. For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Do not stop using desvenlafaxine without first talking to your doctor. You may have unpleasant side effects if you stop taking this medication suddenly. Store desvenlafaxine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

See also: Desvenlafaxine dosage in more detail

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next regularly scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one as directed. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have taken too much of this medication.

Overdose symptoms may include headache, dizziness, agitation, dry mouth, vomiting, diarrhea, fast heart rate, and numbness or tingly feeling.

What should I avoid while taking desvenlafaxine?

Avoid drinking alcohol, which can increase some of the side effects of desvenlafaxine.

Tell your doctor if you regularly use other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures or anxiety). They can add to sleepiness caused by desvenlafaxine.

Desvenlafaxine can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Desvenlafaxine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: skin rash or hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Contact your doctor promptly if you have any of the following side effects, especially if they are new symptoms or if they get worse: mood changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, irritability, agitation, aggressiveness, severe restlessness, mania (mental and/or physical hyperactivity), thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • seizure (convulsions);

  • very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, overactive reflexes;

  • restlessness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination;

  • blurred vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights;

  • cough, chest tightness, trouble breathing;

  • easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums), coughing up blood; or

  • headache, trouble concentrating, memory problems, weakness, confusion, hallucinations, fainting, seizure, shallow breathing or breathing that stops.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • dizziness, drowsiness, tired feeling;

  • dry mouth, loss of appetite;

  • constipation;

  • sleep problems (insomnia);

  • mild headache; or

  • decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Desvenlafaxine Dosing Information

Usual Adult Dose for Depression:

Initial dose: 50 mg orally once daily, with or without food.In clinical studies, doses of 50 to 400 mg/day were shown to be effective, although no additional benefit was demonstrated at doses greater than 50 mg/day and adverse events and discontinuations were more frequent at higher doses.When discontinuing therapy, gradual dose reduction is recommended whenever possible to minimize discontinuation symptoms.Desvenlafaxine should be taken at approximately the same time each day.Tablets must be swallowed whole with fluid and not divided, crushed, chewed, or dissolved.It is generally agreed that acute episodes of major depressive disorder require several months or longer of sustained pharmacologic therapy. However, the longer-term efficacy of desvenlafaxine at doses of 50 mg/day that was effective in short-term, controlled studies has not been studied. Patients should be periodically reassessed to determine the need for continued treatment.

Usual Geriatric Dose for Depression:

Initial dose: 50 mg orally once daily, with or without food.No dosage adjustment is required solely on the basis of age; however, the possibility of reduced renal clearance of desvenlafaxine in an elderly patient should be considered when determining the dose.In clinical studies, doses of 50 to 400 mg/day were shown to be effective, although no additional benefit was demonstrated at doses greater than 50 mg/day and adverse events and discontinuations were more frequent at higher doses.When discontinuing therapy, gradual dose reduction is recommended whenever possible to minimize discontinuation symptoms.Desvenlafaxine should be taken at approximately the same time each day.Tablets must be swallowed whole with fluid and not divided, crushed, chewed, or dissolved.It is generally agreed that acute episodes of major depressive disorder require several months or longer of sustained pharmacologic therapy. However, the longer-term efficacy of desvenlafaxine at doses of 50 mg/day that was effective in short-term, controlled studies has not been studied. Patients should be periodically reassessed to determine the need for continued treatment.

What other drugs will affect desvenlafaxine?

Before using desvenlafaxine, tell your doctor if you regularly use other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold or allergy medicine, sedatives, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures or anxiety). They can add to sleepiness caused by desvenlafaxine.

Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially:

  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin);

  • ketoconazole (Nizoral);

  • linezolid (Zyvox);

  • lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid);

  • midazolam (Versed);

  • sibutramine (Meridia);

  • St. John's wort;

  • tramadol (Ultram);

  • tryptophan (sometimes called L-tryptophan);

  • migraine headache medication such as almotriptan (Axert), frovatriptan (Frova), sumatriptan (Imitrex), naratriptan (Amerge), rizatriptan (Maxalt), or zolmitriptan (Zomig);

  • aspirin or other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), etodolac (Lodine), indomethacin (Indocin), ketoprofen (Orudis), and others; or

  • any other antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil), citalopram (Celexa), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Sinequan), fluoxetine (Prozac), imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), and others.

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with desvenlafaxine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about desvenlafaxine.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. 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 drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.04. Revision Date: 11/17/2009 11:22:30 AM.
  • desvenlafaxine Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Desvenlafaxine Extended-Release Tablets MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Pristiq Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Pristiq Consumer Overview

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