Desvenlafaxine is a pharmaceutical used to address depression by managing mood regulation. It enhances the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. This medication is available in extended-release tablet form and is marketed under the brand names Khedezla and Pristiq.

What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They require information about whether you have any of the following conditions:

  • Glaucoma
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Mania or bipolar disorder
  • Suicidal thoughts or a history of previous suicide attempts
  • Any unusual reactions to desvenlafaxine, venlafaxine, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • Pregnancy or attempts to become pregnant
  • Breastfeeding

How should I use this medication?

Take this medication orally with a drink of water, and avoid crushing, cutting, or chewing it. Adhere to the instructions on the prescription label, and consume your doses at regular intervals. Refrain from taking the medication more frequently than prescribed. Do not discontinue this medication suddenly unless advised by your healthcare team, as abrupt cessation may lead to severe side effects or a deterioration of your condition.

Consult your healthcare team regarding the use of this medication in children, as special precautions may be necessary.

A pharmacist will provide you with a specific MedGuide along with each prescription and refill. Take the time to carefully read this information each time.

In the event of an overdose, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately if you believe you have ingested an excessive amount of this medicine.

Note: This medication is intended solely for your use. Refrain from sharing it with others.

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What if I miss a dose?

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it's nearly time for your next scheduled dose, just take that one. Avoid taking double or additional doses to make up for a missed dose.

Pros and Cons of desvenlafaxine succinate


  • Effective in Treating Depression
  • Extended-Release Formulation
  • Regulation of Mood
  • Broad Availability


  • Side Effects
  • Withdrawal Symptoms
  • Interaction with Other Medications

Differences Between desvenlafaxine succinate and duloxitine


Primarily used for the treatment of major depressive disorder.


Approved for the treatment of major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, fibromyalgia, neuropathic pain, and chronic musculoskeletal pain.

Alternative to desvenlafaxine succinate

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)

  • Examples: Phenelzine, tranylcypromine.
  • MAOIs are used less frequently due to dietary restrictions and potential interactions with other medications.

What may interact with this medication?

Avoid taking this medication concurrently with any of the following:

  • Duloxetine
  • Levomilnacipran
  • Linezolid
  • MAOIs (Monoamine oxidase inhibitors) like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
  • Methylene blue (administered intravenously)
  • Milnacipran
  • Venlafaxine

Additionally, this medication may interact with the following substances:

  • Alcohol
  • Amphetamines
  • Aspirin and aspirin-like medications
  • Specific migraine headache medications (almotriptan, eletriptan, frovatriptan, naratriptan, rizatriptan, sumatriptan, zolmitriptan)
  • Dexfenfluramine or fenfluramine
  • Furazolidone
  • Isoniazid
  • Lithium
  • Medications for heart rhythm or blood pressure
  • Medications for treating or preventing blood clots like warfarin, enoxaparin, and dalteparin
  • Methylphenidate
  • Metoclopramide
  • NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), medications for pain and inflammation, such as ibuprofen or naproxen
  • Pentazocine
  • Phentermine
  • Procarbazine
  • Protriptyline
  • Rasagiline
  • Sibutramine
  • St. John's Wort, Hypericum perforatum
  • Tramadol
  • Tryptophan
  • Zolpidem

This list may not encompass all potential interactions. Inform your healthcare provider about all medications, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you are using. Additionally, disclose if you smoke, consume alcohol, or use illicit substances, as these factors may also interact with your medicine.

What should I watch for while using this medication?

Inform your care team if your symptoms do not improve or if they worsen. Attend regular check-ups with your care team to monitor your progress. Since it may take several weeks to observe the full effects of this medication, it is crucial to adhere to your prescribed treatment plan.

Patients and their families should be vigilant for new or worsening thoughts of suicide or depression. Be attentive to sudden changes in emotions, such as increased anxiety, agitation, panic, irritability, hostility, aggression, impulsivity, severe restlessness, excessive excitement, hyperactivity, or difficulties sleeping. If such symptoms occur, especially at the beginning of treatment or following a dosage adjustment, contact your care team promptly.

This medication may elevate blood pressure levels. Consult your care team for guidance on monitoring your blood pressure during its administration.

Be cautious as this medication may induce drowsiness or dizziness. Refrain from driving, operating machinery, or engaging in activities requiring mental alertness until you understand its impact on you. Avoid sudden movements, particularly if you are an older patient, to reduce the risk of dizziness or fainting. Alcohol may interfere with the effectiveness of this medication, so abstain from alcoholic drinks.

Dry mouth may be experienced; alleviate this by chewing sugarless gum, sucking on hard candy, and staying well-hydrated. If the issue persists or becomes severe, contact your care team for assistance.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Report the following side effects to your care team as soon as possible:

  • Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Dry cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Irritability, confusion, fast or irregular heartbeat, muscle stiffness, twitching muscles, sweating, high fever, seizure, chills, vomiting, diarrhea—potential signs of serotonin syndrome
  • Low sodium level—muscle weakness, fatigue, dizziness, headache, confusion
  • Seizures
  • Sudden eye pain or changes in vision, such as blurry vision, seeing halos around lights, or vision loss
  • Thoughts of suicide or self-harm, worsening mood, feelings of depression

While the following side effects usually do not necessitate immediate medical attention, report them to your care team if they persist or become bothersome:

  • Change in sex drive or performance
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Excessive sweating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Trouble sleeping

This list may not encompass all potential side effects. Contact your doctor for medical advice regarding side effects.


It is crucial to prioritize communication with your care team throughout your treatment with this medication. If you experience any allergic reactions, respiratory issues, changes in blood pressure, signs of serotonin syndrome, low sodium levels, seizures, eye-related concerns, or thoughts of self-harm, promptly inform your care team. Additionally, share any persistent or bothersome side effects that may not require immediate attention.

Regular check-ups and open dialogue with your healthcare providers are essential for monitoring your progress, adjusting your treatment plan, and addressing any concerns or changes in your condition. Adhering to the prescribed treatment regimen, even when not immediately observing the full effects, is vital for the success of your therapy.

Remember, your well-being is a collaborative effort, and by staying actively engaged in your healthcare journey, you contribute to a more effective and personalized treatment experience. If in doubt or if you encounter any uncertainties, do not hesitate to reach out to your care team for guidance and support. Your health is paramount, and working together ensures the best possible outcomes for your overall well-being.

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