20 Important Pristiq Facts You Need to Know About (Desvenlafaxine)

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1.) What is Pristiq? Why is it used?

Pristiq’s strength lies in it’s ability mainly to alter mood.

Specifically it is used as a?serotonin?norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).

It is considered an antidepressant medication is most often used in the treatment of major depression and other mood disorders.

It is also sometimes used to treat anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), chronic neuropathic pain, and fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), and for the relief of menopausal symptoms.

14.) Your surgeon or anesthesiologist needs to know that you are taking Pristiq.?if you are having any type of surgery, including oral or dental surgery.

15.) Pristiq may cause false changes in laboratory tests, False-positive urine immunoassay screening tests for phencyclidine (PCP) and amphetamine have been reported in patients taking desvenlafaxine. This is due to lack of specificity of the screening tests. False positive test results may be expected for several days following discontinuation of desvenlafaxine therapy.

16.)?People taking Pristiq may have elevated Blood Pressure.?Patients receiving this medication should have regular monitoring of blood pressure since increases in blood pressure were observed in clinical studies.

17.) Avoid drinking grapefruit juice when taking this medication?as it?can lead to deleterious interactions.

18.) This drug will not cure mood disorders, anxiety or depression. But it will help control the behavior that accompanies these conditions.It usually takes several weeks of antidepressant therapy before they will start to feel better. Do not to stop taking the drug if you do not feel the results right away.

19.) If you have or have ever had?heart disease, diabetes, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, stroke, or seizures you should talk to your doctor about these conditions before you take Pristiq. Desvenlafaxine?may interact with other medications or supplements, including antihistamines, antidepressants, anti-fungal, sleeping pills, HIV medications, high blood pressure medications, and more.

20.) What is the?half-life of Pristiq??Approximately 45% of a single oral dose is eliminated unchanged in urine at 72 hours; approximately 19% of the dose is excreted as the glucuronide metabolite and less than 5% is excreted as the oxidative metabolite (N, O-didesmethylvenlafaxine) in urine. Mean elimination half-life is approximately 11 hours.

2.) Pristiq?works by leveling out certain neurotransmitters

The imbalance among neurotransmitters (norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine) is the cause of depression.

Pristiq prevents the reuptake of serotonin and epinephrine after they have been released (delaying the breaking down and recycling of these neurotransmitters).

So, reduced uptake causes a prolonged effect of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain.

It is 10x More Potent than it’s predecessors?

Pristiq is approximately ten times more potent at inhibiting serotonin uptake than norepinephrine uptake.

This makes it a markedly more effective alternative with lesser drug interactions than standard antidepressants.

3.) It is Massively Popular to Prescribe and a Big Money Maker for Pharma Companies

Pristiq could generate more than $2 billion of annual sales?analysts predicted.

A federal judge granted class-action status to former Wyeth Inc. shareholders who accused the company of misleading them about risks associated with the antidepressant Pristiq.

Wyeth shares lost more than $7.6 billion of market value after U.S. Food and Drug Administration received information about potential serious heart and liver problems associated with use of the drug. Pfizer bought Wyeth in 2009.

Pfizer reported $577 million in revenue from Pristiq in 2011.

If you?re new to Pristiq you likely have some questions about the drug. So let?s dive into the most important information about this drug.

There are a lot of people that use this drug that deserve to understand it better.

Everyone deserves to understand it better.

Let’s help you understand.

4.) General Instruction for Use

Primary use of Pristiq in medicine is in the treatment of major depressive disorder

Normal dose is 50 mg PO once daily

Higher dosages, up to 400 mg/day, have been used but have not been proved to be better. And increased side effects have been reported.

Assess periodically to determine need for continued treatment.

Modifying Dosages

For Renal impaired patients

  • Mild impairment: Dosage adjustment not necessary
  • Moderate impairment: Not to exceed 50 mg once daily
  • Severe impairment: 50 mg every other day
  • Moderate-to-severe renal impairment and end-stage renal disease (ESRD): Do not increase dosing interval
  • Do not administer supplemental dose after hemodialysis

For Hepatic impaired patient

  • Recommended dosage: 50 mg PO once daily; dosages >100 mg/day not recommended.

Best Practices for Administration

Take whole with fluid; do not divide, crush, chew, or dissolve

Take at approximately the same time every day

NOTE: Safety and efficacy not established in Pediatric

5.) Can you Overdose on Pristiq?

The amount of this medication needed to result in an overdose?greatly depends on the individual characteristics of the user.

Body weight, length of use and individual brain chemical balances all factors in.

Among the patients included in the major depressive disorder trials of Pristiq, there were four adults who ingested doses greater than 800 mg of desvenlafaxine (4000 mg [desvenlafaxine alone], 900, 1800 mg and 5200 mg [in combination with other drugs]); all patients recovered.

In addition, a patient?s 11-month-old child accidentally ingested 600 mg of desvenlafaxine, was treated and recovered.

Symptoms that might indicate an overdose has?occurred?include:

  • Changes in level of consciousness (ranging from somnolence to coma)
  • Mydriasis
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Electrocardiogram changes (e.g., prolongation of QT interval, bundle branch block, QRS prolongation)
  • Sinus and ventricular tachycardia
  • Bradycardia
  • Hypotension
  • Rhabdomyolysis
  • Vertigo
  • Liver necrosis
  • Serotonin syndrome

Can an overdose of Pristiq result in death??

Yes, death has been reported with high dosage Pristiq is known to cause death when consumed in excess.

Overdoing a desvenlafaxine medication often results in?serotonin syndrome for the user.

The effects of this syndrome range from mild irritability and accelerated heart rate all the way to fatality. It depends on how much of an overdose it is.

In the event of an expected overdose, you or your loved ones should take immediate action and seek medical help.

Any?noticeable negative side effect is cause for a medical consultation. These and other symptoms might be signs of an allergy, incompatible venlafaxine drug interactions, or other complications and should be addressed as soon as possible.?

Management of Overdose?will vary.

If the overdose was recent, a healthcare provider may give certain medicines or place a tube into the stomach to ?pump the stomach?.

However, once desvenlafaxine has been absorbed into the body, there is no treatment that can remove it quickly as no specific antidotes are known. In managing overdosage, the possibility of multiple drugs is considered.?In these cases, treatment must revolve around supportive care in addressing the symptoms that occur as a result of the overdose. For example, supportive treatment options may include:

  • Fluids through an intravenous line (IV)
  • Seizure medications?or medications for other complications
  • Other treatments based on complications that occur.

6.) Associated Side effects and Risks

a.) Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) shown occur with 50 mg/day dosage at rate higher than seen with placebo:

Very common Side effects (>10% incidence)?

  • Nausea (22-41%)
  • Headache (20-29%)
  • Dry mouth (11-25%)
  • Hyperhidrosis (10-21%)
  • Dizziness (13-16%)
  • Insomnia (9-15%)
  • Constipation (9-14%)
  • Fatigue (7-11%)
  • Diarrhea (5-11%)

Less Common Side effects (1-10% incidence)?

  • Decreased appetite (5-10%)
  • Anxiety (0-10%)
  • Elevated cholesterol and triglycerides (0-10%)
  • Insomnia (0-10%)
  • Tremor (2-9%)
  • Proteinuria (5-8%)
  • Mydriasis (2-6%)
  • Male sexual dysfunction (0-6%)
  • Anxiety (3-5%)
  • Vertigo (1-5%)
  • Blurred vision (3-4%)
  • Abnormal dreams (2-4%)
  • Urinary hesitation (2-4%)
  • Yawning (1-4%)
  • Feeling jittery (1-3%)
  • Female sexual dysfunction (0-3%)
  • Irritability (2%)
  • Asthenia (1-2%)
  • Nervousness (1-2%)
  • Hot flush (1-2%)
  • Rash (1-2%)
  • Others including abnormal liver function tests, increased blood prolactin, convulsion, syncope, extrapyramidal disorders, musculoskeletal stiffness, depersonalization, hypomania, bruxism, epistaxis, orthostatic hypotension (<2%)

Frequency of following side effects is not defined

  • Ischemic cardiac events in patients with multiple underlying cardiac risk factors
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding, hallucinations, photosensitivity reactions and severe cutaneous reactions (e.g., Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, erythema multiforme) have occurred with other serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviors in adolescents and young adults
  • Hyponatremia
  • Interstitial lung disease and eosinophilic pneumonia
  • Serotonin syndrome
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Narrow-angle glaucoma
  • Activation of mania or hypomania
  • Discontinuance syndrome
  • Seizure
  • Post-marketing Report also shows a greater incidence of Angioedema

b.) Contraindications

  • Do not use if you have hypersensitivity to drug.
  • Coadministration with serotonergic drugs like MAOIs increases risk of serotonin syndrome.
  • Do not use MAOIs concomitantly within 14 days before initiating desvenlafaxine or within 7 days after discontinuing desvenlafaxine.
  • Starting desvenlafaxine in patient being treated with linezolid or IV methylene blue is contraindicated because of increased risk of serotonin syndrome.
  • If linezolid or IV methylene blue must be administered, discontinue desvenlafaxine immediately and monitor for central nervous system (CNS) toxicity; therapy may be resumed 24 hours after last linezolid or methylene blue dose or after 2 weeks of monitoring, whichever comes first.

7.) Can Pristiq Cause People to Feel Sleepy or Drowsy?

Yep, it can. And it often does.

Many people complain about Pristiq making them feel too sleepy to function well.

Pristiq and drowsiness are often known to come together.?

It?s just the nature of this medication to affect parts of the brain which dictate feelings of energy and awareness.?Pristiq can make you extremely drowsy. So know the risks.

Using Pristiq together with alcohol can increase nervous system side effects

These side effects can include dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating.

Some people may also experience impairment in thinking and judgment.

You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with desvenlafaxine.

Do not use more than the recommended dose of desvenlafaxine, and avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medication affects you.

8.) Pristiq and Anxiety

a.)?For some people it is great at reducing anxiety symptoms associated with depression.?Researchers at Wyeth, a company of the Pfizer Group, found in short-term, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials that desvenlafaxine was associated with significantly greater improvement in anxiety symptoms compared with placebo in patients with MDD.


b.) Many others experience new or increased depression from prescribed doses of?Pristiq. This is not uncommon. While some people respond well to the changes in their life caused by Pristiq, the downsides to the drug just don?t mesh well with others.

Pristiq can be great for depression, but if it?s tiring you out and making you feel weak enough that you need an amphetamine just to feel like anything other than apathy, you might want to shop around.

Some young people have thoughts about suicide when taking medicine for a major depressive disorder and other psychiatric disorders.

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.

9.) Pristiq Drug Interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor’s approval.

Some products that may interact with this drug include:

  • Drugs that can cause bleeding/bruising (including antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel, NSAIDs such as ibuprofen/naproxen, “blood thinners” such as dabigatran, warfarin, etc.)
  • Taking MAO inhibitors with this medication may cause a serious (possibly fatal) drug interaction. Avoid taking MAO inhibitors (isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine) during treatment with this medication.
  • Taking other drugs that increase serotonin may increase the risk of serotonin syndrome/toxicity. Examples include street drugs such as MDMA/”ecstasy,” St. John’s wort, certain antidepressants (including other SNRIs such as duloxetine, SSRIs such as fluoxetine/paroxetine), tryptophan, among others.
  • Products that cause drowsiness including alcohol, antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, and narcotic pain relievers (such as codeine).

10.) Pristiq Black Box Warnings

Antidepressants increase risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults (18-24 years) in short-term studies. Increased risk not observed in patients >24 years; slight decrease observed in patients >65 years.

In children and young adults, initiate only if benefits greatly outweigh risks. Monitor closely for changes in behavior, clinical worsening, and suicidal tendencies during initial 1-2 months of therapy and dosage adjustments

Patient?s family should communicate any abrupt behavioral changes to healthcare provider

Worsening behavior and suicidal tendencies that are not part of presenting symptoms may necessitate discontinuance of therapy

Not approved for use in pediatric patients

11.) What?s more common with Pristiq? weight loss or weight gain??

The answer to this question is that it varies.?Weight gain is an increase in body weight. This can be either an increase in muscle mass, fat deposits, or excess fluids such as water. Everybody is different and every reaction to drugs has its own unique flavor. Some people gain weight, some people lose weight, and for others their weight remains neutral. While it doesn’t happen often, people taking Pristiq can gain weight. However, it is actually more likely for a person to lose weight while taking this antidepressant. If weight gain becomes a problem for you during treatment, consult your doctor. He or she can make sure this isn’t being caused by another condition and, if necessary, can switch you to another medication.

a.) Pristiq related weight loss

  • 5-10% of people complained about weight loss after they started this medication. Pristiq, in higher doses, decreased appetite in 10% of people. Meanwhile on placebo only about 2% of people reported a decreased appetite. With decreased appetite, weight is likely to go down. This Weight loss is a common adverse reaction in people taking Pristiq. It seems to occur more often in Pristiq-treated people than in people not taking Pristiq. Another study shows the short-term weight loss associated with Pristiq tends to disappear after six months.
  • Pristiq caused people to lose between 0.9 pounds and 2.4 pounds in three months.At the six month mark, the weight loss seems to have disappeared. It could be that Pristiq causes weight loss during initial treatment and then people gains back the weight.

b.) Pristiq related weight gain

  • Sometimes people gain weight on Pristiq. Because body weight is complex, this could be due to factors other than the drug. In clinical studies, less than 2 percent of people taking Pristiq experienced weight gain.
  • If you are taking Pristiq and weight gain becomes a problem, talk to your healthcare provider. He or she will do a physical exam or run laboratory tests to look for other causes of this, such as certain types of medical conditions.

12.) Withdrawals from Pristiq

(NOTE: Do not reduce or stop your regimen without the doctor?s approval and oversight)

Discontinuation symptoms have been systematically and prospectively evaluated in patients treated with Pristiq during clinical studies in Major Depressive Disorder. Abrupt discontinuation or dose reduction has been associated with the appearance of new symptoms that include dysphoric mood, irritability, agitation, dizziness, sensory disturbances (e.g., paresthesia, such as electric shock sensations), anxiety, confusion, headache, lethargy, emotional liability, insomnia, hypomania, tinnitus, and seizures. While these events are generally self-limiting, there have been reports of serious discontinuation symptoms.

  • A gradual reduction in the dose rather than abrupt cessation is recommended whenever possible. If intolerable symptoms occur following a decrease in the dose or upon discontinuation of treatment, then resuming the previously prescribed dose may be considered.
  • Some doctors will tell you that there are few or no noticeable withdrawal effects from this drug.?To assume that there is no withdrawal effect from a medication that alters brain chemicals and produces a sedative effect?is unprofessional, and unbelievable. They themselves have never taken it before and are likely making assumptions from what they?ve been told by the drug manufacturer.
  • As Pristiq is prescribed for major depressive disorder, and withdrawals when stopping the medication can include mood swings more severe than what they would experience before taking the drug.
  • Because withdrawal from antidepressant medications is?under appreciated, there are few guidelines given to physicians on how to wean patients off such drugs. Sometimes, your doctor may prescribe multiple other medications (i.e., Lexapro or Prozac etc.) to help you wean off. One thing is for sure, tapering is important. It is highly discouraged to stop taking such drugs suddenly.
  • It?s important to note that some of symptoms accompanying withdrawals may be attributable to depression relapse, such as dysphoria, rumination, insomnia, and irritability, whereas other symptoms are more suggestive of withdrawal (e.g., nausea, lightheadedness, muscle twitching).
  • Coming off of small doses of this drug can cause withdrawal symptoms similar to larger doses.?Individuals who are on higher mg doses often know the importance of slow tapering. But those who are on smaller amounts sometimes decide to quit cold turkey because of how little they are consuming. But many people complain of having extreme negative symptoms when dropping even small doses like this.

13.) Pristiq and Pregnancy

a.) Pristiq is pregnancy category C drug. If you are pregnant or become pregnant while taking Pristiq, you should talk to your doctor about alternative treatments for your condition. Pristiq can cause problems in newborns if taken during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

Possible complications, sometimes severe and requiring prolonged hospitalization, respiratory support, enteral nutrition, and other forms of supportive care in neonates exposed to SNRIs or SSRIs late in the third trimester; may arise immediately upon delivery.

Carefully consider the potential risks and benefits of treatment when used during the third trimester of pregnancy. Consider cautiously tapering dosage during the third trimester prior to delivery.

b.) Nursing while on this drug is not recommended.?Small amounts of the drug are known to be distributed in breast milk. The manufacturers of the drug advise abstaining during nursing.

About Pristiq? ER

The active ingredients in regular tablets are usually released within 15 to 30 minutes of when they are ingested.? Often they are prescribed to be taken three or four times a day.? The active ingredients in extended-release tablets are released over a much longer period of time and are usually taken only once or twice a day.

Pricing Information:

  • Pristiq? ER 100mg 24-hr Tablets:

30-tabs/$152.99 and 90-tabs/$439.99

  • Pristiq? ER 50mg 24-hr Tablets:

30-tabs /$150.98 or 90-tabs/$429.97

This pricing information was updated 02/2014. Actual costs to patients will vary depending on the use of specific retail or mail-order locations and health insurance copays.


Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc., a subsidiary of Pfizer Inc.

Inactive ingredients:?

  • For the 50 mg tablet, hypromellose, microcrystalline cellulose, talc, magnesium stearate and film coating which consists of polyvinyl alcohol, polyethylene glycol, talc, titanium dioxide, and iron oxides.
  • For the 100 mg tablet, hypromellose, microcrystalline cellulose, talc, magnesium stearate, a film coating which consists of polyvinyl alcohol, polyethylene glycol, talc, titanium dioxide, iron oxide and FD&C yellow #6.

Instructions for consumer

  • Take this medication with or without food, usually once daily or as directed by your doctor. Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
  • Do not crush, chew, or dissolve this medication in water. Doing so can release the entire drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Also, do not split the tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing.
  • It is Important to note that patients may notice an inert matrix tablet passing in the stool or via colostomy, and that the active medication has already been absorbed by the time the patient sees the inert matrix tablet.


  • Wyeth Laboratories Inc. Pristiq?(desvenlafaxine succinate) extended-release tablets prescribing information. Philadelphia, PA; 2009 Feb.
  • Wyeth Laboratories, Philadelphia, PA: Personal communication.
  • Deecher, DC; Beyer, CE; Johnston, G; Bray, J; Shah, S; Abou-Gharbia, M; Andree, TH (August 2006). “Desvenlafaxine succinate: A new serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor”. The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 318 (2): 657?665.
  • Morag I, Batash D, Keidar R et al. Paroxetine use throughout pregnancy: does it pose any risk to the neonate??J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 2004; 42:97-100.
  • Haddad PM, Pal BR, Clarke P et al. Neonatal symptoms following maternal paroxetine treatment: serotonin toxicity or paroxetine discontinuation syndrome??J Psychopharmacol. 2005; 19:554-7.
  • Moses-Kolko EL, Bogen D, Perel J et al. Neonatal signs after late in utero exposure to serotonin reuptake inhibitors: literature review and implications for clinical applications.?JAMA. 2005; 292:2372-85.
  • Sanz EJ, De-Las-Cuevas C, Kiuru A et al. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in pregnant women and neonatal withdrawal syndrome: a database analysis.?Lancet. 2005; 365:482-7. [IDIS 527994] [PubMed 15705457]
  • Nordeng H, Lindemann R, Perminov KV et al. Neonatal withdrawal syndrome after in utero exposure to selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors.?Acta Paediatr. 2001; 90:288-91. [PubMed 11332169]
  • Dahl ML, Olhager E, Ahlner J. Paroxetine withdrawal syndrome in a neonate.?Br J Psychiatr. 1997; 171:391-2.
  • Food and Drug Administration. FDA news: FDA proposes new warnings about suicidal thinking, behavior in young adults who take antidepressant medications. Rockville, MD; 2007 May 2. From the FDA web site.
  • Food and Drug Administration. Antidepressant use in children, adolescents, and adults: class revisions to product labeling. Rockville, MD; 2007 May 2.
  • Food and Drug Administration. Revisions to medication guide: antidepressant medicines, depression and other serious mental illnesses and suicidal thoughts or actions. Rockville, MD; 2007 May 2. From the FDA web site.
  • PRODUCT INFORMATION PRISTIQ? desvenlafaxine (as succinate)”. TGA eBusiness Services. Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd. 10 December 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2013

116 thoughts on “20 Important Pristiq Facts You Need to Know About (Desvenlafaxine)”

    1. Susan LEDonne

      Hi I hope you haven’t started taking Pristiq at all. I was on Effexor for years tried to get off a couple of years ago and the withdrawal was so bad after trying an entire summer went back on it. My doctor recently switched me to Pristiq thinking it would be better than the Effexor. I’m now day 3 of withdrawal from Pristiq. It’s poison. I’m so sick I feel like I’m going to die. Just like the Effexor. Read some online posts. Please don’t take this med it never made me feel better to begin with just worse. Now I’m going through hell to get off of it. Sorry I’m rambling. It’s my brain right now. I hope I got to you before you started taking this awful med.

      1. Did you taper off of your meds slowly? I’ve been trying different psychiatric meds for MANY MANY years, including Effexor, Elavil, Prozac, Neurontin (which gave me waking blackouts), Ativan, Klonopin (which I’m currently on still for Anxiety), Adderall (still on this one for ADHD), Amitriptyline, and many many others… and so long as I taper off of them, I don’t have ANY problems with withdrawals. None. Now when I forget/skip doses, or long time ago when I stupidly just STOPPED taking half my meds, yeah… I had some bad withdrawals. There’s a reason why you need to taper off of psych meds and your psych provider can guide you in how to do that properly. If they’re an idiot, you can find out online how to taper off properly. But ALWAYS taper off of psych meds!! Physiological meds usually don’t need tapering but psych meds do.

        1. Oh I’m also on Lamictal for depression and just started Pristiq to hopefully help with my breakthrough Fibromyalgia pain that Lyrica doesn’t control.

          1. I have m.s I take the pristiq it does not help with pain and I have gained like 30 pounds

      2. i for one appreciate your warning. Thank you. My doctor told me to start it the other day and i’ve stopped two days into it because of seeing things like this. What i don’t need is to be dependent on something. What i don’t need is something that will make me feel like death when i want to get off it. And i’m “so glad” for you people who have zero trouble stopping meds but everyBODY is different and i’ve had trouble in that area before and don’t care to repeat. And we ALL know about tapering — or we should. Some meds are truly sickening…….. one of them is neurontin……. go head, read the 100’s of testimonials from suffering people who tried to stop down and were still deathly ill. Many people require detox for neurontin. Stop putting bad info out there that blames the patients. There are loads of toxic, shitty meds out there.

    2. Exsira saved my life. Almost no side effects…. Finally, a normal life!

  1. Ellery Oicle

    I started taking Pristig2 weeks a go and my Doctor stated it may help nerve pain in my mouth… will it in deed help. Thank You.Ellery

    1. Please do not take this drug for ANYTHING. It’s long term side effects are unknown, it’s short term side effects and withdrawal symptoms are nothing short of hell on earth. Please watch the documentary Big Pharma-Big Money on Documentarytube.net it will explain SO much. I have been on Pristiq for over 5 years and I am in the tapering off process to wean off the medicine. DONT EVER go off without weaning!!

      1. GYRO Sandvich

        Yes Drl Sandra
        Documentarytube.net is where I get all doctoral degree too!

  2. I started Pristiq about two weeks ago, since I have had constipation . I having been seeing the Doctor cause I had CMV and my LFT s have been up if my LFTs are already raised should I be taking this drug? Also I have had very painful mouth ulcers.

  3. This is the best information about Pristiq that I have come across.

  4. Miss Havesham

    Do not take. I faught to get my husband back when our family doctor prescribed this on top of the Oxy.
    Only under the advice of a licensed therapist should psychotropic drugs be prescribed. My shoe salesman doesn’t tell me which car to buy. Anxiety and depression are the body’s natural way of saying “system overload” and “you need a reboot.” This means find the virus in your “motherboard” and eliminate it. Most often it is a change of scenery and/or pace that is needed not more of the same with a blinder on.
    I’m so scared for what this drug does that I fear mothers may take it a become numb to loving their children and marriages will become lost to the zombie like effect this drug causes. The withdrawal is comparable to that of heroine even. Pray for my husbands salvation and deliverance from this man made concoction of hell.

  5. Wow, I think some of us are being a little dramatic. “The withdrawal is comparable to that of heroine”? Please. Everyone’s brain is different. It might be a nightmare for some, but it was an answered prayer for me. I took the GeneSight DNA test (Which I recommend everyone with depression take if you’ve ever felt like your Psychs guinea pig) Licensed or not, most Docs don’t know any better than a shoe salesman what will work for you specifically. The DNA test revealed I’m missing CYP2D6 and a few other enzymes responsible for creating serotonin and metabolizing it. My Psych was about to put me on Prozac again until we got the GeneSight results and it showed I would basically only get side effects. My brain chemistry does not respond to any SSRI’s apparently, and Pristiq was the only listed medication that will work for me. And don’t let anyone tell you Effexor is the same. It might act exactly the same for some people but it’s not the same medication. Don’t be scared of Pristiq. Just do your homework and take that GeneSight test if you don’t want to be risking your life and joy by trial and error.

    1. Nicole Lohman

      Cade –
      Did anyone ever explain to you why on the GeneSight test there is no primary metabolizing enzyme listed for Pristiq? The same is true for Zoloft. I took the test as well – it’s an amazing test. I had a horrible reaction from Zoloft (liver shut down). The test suggests that Pristiq will work well for me, but Pristiq and Zoloft are the two with (-) where it is supposed to say which enzyme they are metabolized on.

      1. I took the GeneSight test and as a result tapered off citalopram and on to Pristiq. So far, I am doing very well on Pristiq. The citalopram simply stopped working, after 8 years. I would encourage psychiatric care and not just your internist or GP for advice.

    2. I couldn’t agree more, Cade! I’m so very sorry about some of the things people have gone through but they need to realize that when it comes to psychotropic drugs, they will work VERY DIFFERENTLY on every single individual because like you were saying, it’s based on our DNA and how our individual bodies break down the chemicals. I, too, got the GeneSight testing and it was SOOO helpful in telling what drugs MY body can break down best, which ones MIGHT work okay, and which ones it will NOT break down well at all! It’s an invaluable tool to my psych provider!

      Each individual person’s body breaks down chemicals differently! That’s why some people are allergic to some meds, and those meds are actually fatal to a rare few people, but to MOST people they are perfectly fine and helpful!

      Just because it was a horrible experience for you or your family member doesn’t mean it will be that way for everyone. Please, share your experience so that we can make an informed decision but please don’t tell us NOT to take it and that it will be poison to us and so on. Because you do not know that. You CAN’T know that!

    3. Above all, before trying a new medication… do some research online. The internet is a wealth of information and can be an invaluable tool if used properly! Just remember to take everything you read with a grain of salt. Not everyone knows what they’re talking about, and there are a lot of people who just want to start crap, and some people who just had a bad experience, etc.

      Make sure you read expert AND user information on NUMEROUS sites and get an OVERALL view and don’t just hone in on the negative viewpoints. Keep your thoughts neutral, like a judge. That’s the best way to find a good, cohesive answer to whatever you’re looking for.

    4. EffexorAddict

      Do you have to be off all ADs prior to the test? I am very interested in learning more about this! Thank you for sharing this info!!!

      1. You can take the GeneSight test while on anti-anxiety & anti-depressant medications.

    5. I just had the genesight DNA test done. It has come back that I should take PRISTIQ 50 mg. I’m comming off 120mg of cymbals as I have started PRISTIQ I’m scared I have gone through so much of this stuff most of my life. I’m 62 years old and I don’t want to be here anymore. But hearing some of these commits gives me a little hope. So I will try a little longer to hang in.

      1. Mark Stanley

        There is hope Pristiq is a good medication. I’m 55 years old . Ihave been taking all different kinds of medication for anxiety and depression over the years. I’ve been on Pristiq for a month now and it has totally changed my outlook on life .it takes time to get in your system but the benefits are worth it. I too had the genetics test done. The best thing anyone could ever do. Recommendation get a genetics test done it’s worth it.

        1. Christina

          How long did it take before you started feeling better? I was in 50 mg for 1 week then switched to 110 mg.. I’m still feeling sad and crying

      2. I’m 65 and am doing great after a month. Had very stubborn depression and anxiety all my life. Effexor was good but not great, and the sweating was awful! Now I want to get out of bed after years of reluctantly arising in late afternoon. I no longer eat massive amounts of bread or pasta. Only problem is falling asleep, but I’m working on getting more active!

      3. Hi Dianna,

        I’m 62 and I’ve been on just about everything and I didn’t want to be her a thousand times throughout my life. But never, never did I feel so empty and void as last summer when I had an existential crisis. Read Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning if you’re in that kind of boat. I’m on Pristiq for a few months now and the combination of the book, a logotherapist and Pristiq life is feeling pretty good.

    6. Mary Lubahn

      I also did the DNA test, prestiq was the med suggedted, so was on 50mg for 8 weeks and felt great, then mania started so dr cut me back to 25 mg. 2 weeks later mania wasn’t subsiding so quit. Off 5 days now, still mania hasn’t let up. Keeping in close contact with my dr. Right now just wait and see, hope to feel better soon, trying not to get down about it yet. Just want to feel normal.

  6. Downtowntiger

    After trying every antidepressant on the market, I will take Pristiq for life. I have no side effects. Lost weight in the beginning but not any more. I am not drowsy during the day. I take 50mg daily. I was hesitant to give this a try but glad I did! It works for me!

    1. TheSphinx

      Hello, same experience as your! Except I cannot sleep without popping a pill! Do you sleep well/ restfully at night?

      1. Julianna

        I’ve been on pristiq for approx 5 years after a horrible sudden change in my life. It took about a year to get adjusted( 100 mg per am) Now , after a lot of changes in my life, I feel like I can taper off but it saved my life!

      2. Nausea and loss of appetite are the side effects that are driving me nuts. Anyone having these?

        1. I have been taking since Nov. 2018 and it is now March 2019. Though it has done wonders for fatigue situations and given me energy which I love, I too have lost appetite. No nausea. But I have no sense of ever being hungry. This is bad since I always used hunger as clue to eat. Now I have to like put on schedule or use an alarm. At first, I found myself going to 4 p.m. or so without eating. Oops. Not healthy.
          First time I ever took an anti-depressant (when it was thyroid and fatigue after a baby, not depression btw) I was insanely nauseous. It faded. Now no anti-depressant makes me nauseous. So I’m wondering if this is first time you have ever to take an anti-depressant?
          I personally also am having little bruises all over body. Only 1% of people get this one. CBC came back weird but platelets fine. Lung issues too which I need to go get checked out because yay that’s another rare side-effect.

          Total segue in different direction: Fascinating fact I think is that most of serotonin in the gut system…..(Most of the body’s serotonin is found in the gut. It is released during digestion in order to stimulate the contraction of the intestines. When foods that irritate the intestines are consumed, the gut releases more serotonin than usual in order to expedite the expulsion of the food. Source: Serotonin Hormone Production & Function in the Body & Gut
          nootriment.com/serotonin-hormone/) This may explain constipation with serotonin medications.
          SOMEDAY, hopefully soon, there will be more mysteries solved as to how all these things relate. Could depression and serotonin problems come from bad or incomplete gut microbes? I feel bad as a mother that when children were young we gave them antibiotics for ear infections all the time and never dreamed of idea of probiotics or replaced the good biotins. Recently afer anti-biotic I thought I had UTI. Nope, within a few day my smart doc thought my gut had been taken over by yeast infection. I thought she was nuts. But one pill cured it all, and I pounded probiotics.

    2. Me too!
      I love this drug! It saved my life. I have not felt so balanced and healthy for many years.
      I experience no side effects – except reduced anxiety and almost nonexistent depression.
      I couldn’t be happier with Pristiq

      1. Ditto, I have been on pristiq for a very long time. no weight gain, no horrible side effects, and I am a diabetic. I was on so many before this where I had major side effects. Do your research, talk to your physician and hopefully you wont have to change again!

  7. My daughter in her late 30’s has just had a liver transplant March 2016. She was on Pristiq. Is this one of the drugs that affected her liver? I suspect it was. I know she felt she was poisoned when the nurse tripled her dose in a hospital. She is still in RPA Sydney in ICU as I type.

  8. ThisWorld

    Do not take it! It is evil, and almost impossible to come off. God help anyone on this drug or anyone who knows anyone on this drug! It should be banned!

    1. I couldn’t disagree more. I am glad there are options for everything

    2. As someone who has now been on this drug for 2 years, I could not disagree more with you. I’ve had ZERO side affects and this drug helped me so much. I’m able to function without anxiety depression. It has saved my life. It has made me a better wife, and more importantly, a better mother. Medications react differently to everyone. Quiet walks, sunshine and yoga don’t work for everyone. Depression and anxiety is an imbalance of the chemicals in your brain. It’s not something you have any control over. I hope everyone is able to get the help they need, whether it be this drug, or something else.

    3. I disagree. My father is elderly and a changed man. He was unresponsive and terribly depressed, but Pristiq has brought the man I know back to our family. I am grateful for that. I also take Pristiq for a few years and it has helped me tremendously with no negative side effects. I think it is an effective drug for anxiety and depression. I plan to take it long term.

    4. You can’t possibly know what is going to not help someone else, just because it didn’t help you, doesn’t mean it wouldn’t help others. Just reading these comments tells you that. We are here to share experiences, hopefully with a little compassion, not someone dictating what we should or shouldn’t use.

  9. I started with 50 mg December 2015. Worked great at first then just stopped. Drowsy all the time, can’t think clear. No motivation to do anything. Just started 100mg. Ready to suffer the withdrawals and quit. No sexual side effects, no constipation, or anything that others experience other than being lithargic all the time. I take tramadol for back pain. Don’t know if that effects me. Tired of this cycle for sure

    1. Theresa Prior

      Please check for Pristiq and Tamadol interactions.

  10. I started on 50mg of Pristiq and increased to 100mg after 4 weeks. My experience has on the whole been very good. No side effects to report.
    However if I drink more than a couple of wines in an evening I find I’m back to depression for the whole of the next day and very tired too.

    1. Hey Papadom,

      I am wondering how many times you have observed the next day depression after drinking?

      Thanks for your help!

    2. Alcohol depletes the build up of pristiq in your brain, and that’s why they say not to drink. Basically it’s like starting all over the day after drinking.

  11. No more Pristiq for me!
    I’ve been on Pristiq for a couple years minimum. I was switched by my doctor from Cymbalta. Now being on Pristiq has never been an issue for me. I say this with one caveat, not to let myself lapse or miss a dose! If this happened, I would immediately feel the effects of dizziness and diarrhea. So of course, anyone taking this knows that to get your script refilled after a few times needs another doctor visit and evaluation. Well I had to recently go out of state as a family crisis just took place. I needed to reschedule my appt for my evaluation two times due to my circumstances. Without making this comment any longer, let’s just summarize that my circumstances were not possible for me to be able to get the adequate amount of Pristiq to make it to my rescheduled appt. in time (by 4 days), so I’ve been out of this in full cold turkey withdrawal. ( Another thing that bites is that while this is NOT a controlled substance, the pharmacy/ medical “Nazis” act as if it is and doles these pills out in like 5 or 10 pills at a time till you make your appt. – and charge you full co pays each time!)
    To say withdrawal from this med is miserable would be vastly understating how bad this is. This is NOT a med you just quit without having the means to be weaned.
    Which leads me to conclude that while taking this was of no concequence to me ( I don’t think my depression was any better or worse on it, frankly), the withdrawals are so horrible that I am not going to continue this medication any further as I have never been an “addict” in the stereotypical view per say, but THIS! THIS feeling makes you feel like an addict needing a “fix” to make be suffering stop. I’m not going to let a little pink pill define my ability to have control over my body. While I’m still dizzy, insomniac, GI plagued, and very emotional right now, I’m almost through this detox and plan on never going through this again! No more Pristiq for me, thank you!

    1. Kimber, how long did it take for the more severe withdrawal side effects to go away? I tapered from 50 to 25mg, and went completely off 4 days ago and am wondering when this awful dizzy feeling and other side effects I’m having will go away. Thx.

      1. How could you possible go down to 25 mg? Pristiq does not sell in that size and the 50 mg pill is supposed not to be divided.

        1. It does in fact come in 25 mg. I was prescribed the 25 mg from the get go. My doctor wanted to start me on the lowest possible dose and 25 is it!

          1. There is a 25mg dose of Pristiq. It’s name brand and comes in a tablet and can be cut in half that way. My doctor tapered me off of 50mg to 25mg and then to 12.5mg which eventually led to 12.5mg every two days and then every three days and now I’m at five days free of it. Withdrawal symptoms are horrible. Upset stomach, diarrhea, acid reflux, dizziness and feeling very anxious but confident that the removal of this from my medication regimen will enhance functioning. I was getting little benefit from it after 2.5 years and we decided to revisit what my baseline is. Cannot wait to find it.

    2. Michelle

      Amen! Same. F this nonsense. The withdrawals are heinous. im on 100mg and decided to stop this medication after being on it for 5 years. Frankly, I’m tired of not having an orgasm. Geez. The withdrawal are awful. Severe electrical shocks are the most manic and mind f*cking. I’m 49 and tired of being on medication. I’ve tapered then decided to stop. Dr? They’re not taking it, so my best info has been from these forums. Don’t ever take Pristiq. There is a Class Action suit because of the discontinuation syndrome. Pristiq is 10x more potent than all the rest. I’m over it!

  12. I’ve been taking Pristiq for about 5 days. I’m not feeling a ton of anxiety but I do have really bad muscle weakness and fatigue, sometimes all day. I’ve done lab work and my thyroid and b12 levels were normal. Is my weakness and dizziness caused by the Pristiq? I know they can be side effects but when I say “all day” I mean it. I’ve been stuck in bed and barely able to move.

    1. Krista Jordan

      Hi Travis,
      Yes, your weakness and dizziness are caused by the Pristiq. However they will go. You are well and truly in the phasing in stage and actually have got off pretty lightly….Mine was that and bad nausea and chronic anxiety for 2-3 weeks. After that time, life should start to improve dramatically. Good luck.

    2. I have been on Pristiq for a year and a half, being prescribed 50 mg a day. On that dose I felt tired and muscle weakness, so I lowered dosis taking it every other day, which worked fine. Circumstances made necessary to adjust to 50 mg about six month ago. At about a same time, I developed changes in digestive function (swelling and disconfort) which was adscribed to the added stress, then possible to waterborne disease and so on, till now, I was told my liver is enlarged (going for exams)!

  13. How can I convince my doctor that non narcotic anti anxiety meds are not enough? I used to be on ativan but they yanked me offof it but it’s the only thing that’sever worked

    1. Dr. Sharon F. Swanson, PsyD, LP

      Dr. Swanson says:
      It is amazing to me to read all of these entries about drugs and not hear anyone mention psychotherapy. I am a Doctoral level Clinical Psychologist and also a person who has had depression for most of her life. I come from a family where depression is rampant along with alcoholism, ADHD, and anxiety disorders. Why only talk about drugs. They do not help you to manage life more effectively and no matter what you take there are so many side effects.

  14. I just startes Prestiq 2 weeks ago, I was switched from cipralex to this. (Been taking SSRI’s for 17 years, shit needed to change, so it was decided that SNRI would be best)
    I have found that my actual anxiety attacks have seemingly subsided/dulled a bit, however the depression im going though is fucking brutal!! I went for a follow up the other day to see how I was doing after the first two weeks. He said obviously it takes time for the drug to come into full affect, usually a month or so.
    But jesus murphy im like debilitatedly depressed. Could this just be everything getting used to the new drugs?
    I had some crazy vertigo for a few days but that went away.

  15. I’ve been on pristiq for the last 3 years and have had no side effects, it has been a saviour to my sanity and will be on this medication for life if it continues to work as is has done so far.

  16. Inherent Chaos

    I am on Pristiq 100mg @ night
    I sleep very well but I too can’t get out of bed.

    1. Probably to strong, are you taking anything else with it at night, like clonazapam or sleeping pill? Could be to much if you are taking sleep aides or anti anxiety ask with it ask your doctor, cause I know it’s a very powerful drug.

  17. I took pristiq for 9 months to help deal with PTSD, in combination with withdrawing from alcohol, which is a depressant. If anyone is taking an anti-depressant and still drinking alcohol, you are fooling yourself. I dealt with my PTSD and due to a family emergency I had to travel and ran out and I had zero side effects. Two years later I am now taking it for situational depression. 50 mg didn’t even make a dent after six weeks, so I went to 100mg and started feeling the benefits a bit, but still feeling depressed. Now I am trying 150mg and I hope I will feel just that much better. I need it right now. I will check back in in a few weeks to say if the bigger dose is beneficial. EVERYONE IS GOING TO REACT DIFFERENTLY!

  18. I need help. I beg you people to respond. 2 yrs ago i had severe depression, no med worked except this. I thought once depression is gone I will leave this med…i couldnt. The withdtwal symptoms are so horrible that I dont dare to stop it. Insomnia, muscle twitching, irritation, abominal dreams, shock like feeling in brain, burning eyes….and so on. I tapered it to 25 mg from 50 mg but as soon as I stop it, the above symptoms appear. Please, anyone who has successfully withdrawn, share their experience. If i stop this 25 mg dose, how long it will take for these horrible side effects to go ? I can tolerate for few days if i am sure that things will be normal.

    1. try the smaller dose every other day, I am doing that and working. This week tried every 3 days (I was just diagnosed enlarged liver, going for exams, but cant think of a diff cause for it), but not ready yet …(I become intolerant and because of previous experience I know that is first bad symptom, following is muscle pain)

    2. DaisyKat

      Hi John
      I haven’t been on an SSRI or SNRI for many years. But when I wanted to withdraw from one back then I discovered using specific amino acid supplements and one called 5-HTP worked amazingly well. But you cannot use it with your normal dose of meds! Must be reducing meds while using supplement to replace that… I wish I can find the exact protocol but try searching for it by googling “how to taper off antidepressants naturally”. There is a book, The Mood Cure (by Julia Ross) that is all about using amino acids etc…
      Tyrosine, DLPA, 5-HTP are some of the main ones. Best Regards!

    3. DaisyKat

      There is a website called dominate depression. You may find some good info there!

  19. I recently started Pristiq 50mg, its been 1 week, my eye sight has become blurry, i have insomnia and consipation. My jaw and teeth are sore too!! I was taking pill at night but i wasnt sleeping, i switched to taking it in the morning and i have really bad headaches during the day! Will this go away?

  20. Pristiq is the reason I do not trust Psychiatrists. The withdrawal causes brain zaps, fever and lasting dementia. I wish I could sue, but that’s how the news goes.

    Support Cannabis legalization because it’s the only thing that’s ever going to allow you to semblance of a decent life while combating a mental illness. Fuck other people’s kids. Live for yourself and stay healthy for yourself. When it comes to a vote, support Cannabis. I’ve trusted countless psychiatric professionals, and I’ve swallowed countless milligrams of poison between the ages of 12 and 42. However, certain edible strains of medical cannabis (Jack Herrer and Northern Lights, Headband) works wonders. If you’ve wondered why the Arizona prohibition agenda is blocking Cannabis reform. You have no further places to look than the Pharmaceutical companies in Arizona.
    Be safe everyone and don’t believe anything your psychiatrist tells you and end the war on people or the war on Cannabis.

  21. When I say “fuck other people’s kids” I mean this… Whenever you hear something like “what about the kids?” when a politician is in the throws of Reefer Madness. S/He’s actually just covering his ass, holding out their hands for a donation, and you can be sure they’re meeting their dealer after the press conference.

    Weed has never caused an overdose. Legalizing like alcohol will take care of kids under 21 buying the product. Also, parents should watch their kids, lock up their weed, and remind themselves that their kids are under your care, and they are your responsibility.

    Oh yeah, stay away from Pristiq and any other pharmaceutical until it’s as safe as Cannabis. Best wishes to everyone.

  22. I’ve been on Pristiq for two years with great success, however, it slowly stopped working over a period of months. My doctor increased it to 100 mgs about a month ago and while the depression is improving, it’s been replaced by flat out apathy. I can’t be bothered to do much of anything and have disengaged from all the things I used to do. Anyone else have this outcome?

  23. I’m almost exactly right there. Apathy and returning depression. At 150 mg, what now? I’ve heard of others taking up to 300, but I don’t want to overdo anything. -Just want to enjoy my life again. I feel like a spectator in my own life, and even disinterested in THAT. I have a great family and two awesome young ones and I feel like I’m starting to get more robbed of the happiness I deserve. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve suffered from depression for 2 decades now, but that’s why I can feel it’s going south, fast. I’m going to look into that DNA test thing. I was going to try tryptophan and b6 supplements, but afraid of the combo creating serotonin syndrome. As it is, I’m trying to eat a lot more bananas.

    1. Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine)

      I know this was written approximately 2 – 3 years ago. Sorry to hear Pristiq stopped working for you and having to experience some of the adverse effects it ended.up having. I just started Pristiq myself a few days ago and did a lot of research before I decided to take the plunge.

      Hearing of people taking doses higher than 50 mg’s or 100 mg’s of Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine) is a little concerning because on Pfizer’s own website and on the monograph they released — it states that there is No significant benefit in doses administered higher than 50 mg’s (since this is the starting and maintenance dose).

      Hopefully, this information helps some of the individuals taking this medication. Wishing you all the best on your journeys 🙂 !

      1. DaisyKat

        I read the info too about doses higher than 50 mg were not more effective! Why then do prescribers order higher amounts? Are they just in automatic mode because they have always done this with other antidepressants? It is why the consumer must do their own research!

  24. I’ve been on Pristiq for about 3 months now, and it is doing a fantastic job improving my depression. I was just diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia (a facial nerve disorder that is often called the worst pain known to western medicine) and have been fighting constant pain for 4.5 years. The pain, and its impact on my life, has caused the biggest depressive state of my life – and I have been through a few. I am scheduled for surgery (an MVD) on January 11 and one psych I saw told me that Pristiq has antiplatelet effects – like aspirin. Still trying to confirm with my surgeon if I need to stop for the surgery. I don’t want to as it has been very effective, but if I have to, I want to start phasing down ASAP. Has anyone else had surgery and been told you need to stop?

  25. i started taking 50mg a day and im on day 9. I have lost 13 pounds and insomnia and male sexual dysfunction is occuring… im 28 years old and this just doesnt seem to be working… i keep reading to stick it out… i tried effexor as a teenager and i disliked that as well. I am thinking of quitting… i have a doctors appointment in 3 days but as it stands i think im gonna quit cold turkey. im 9 days in and miserable. not suicidal. im just dizzy, my guts are rotten, my penis aint working the same. im honestly a bit scared. sleep has been disturbed… gah!!!

  26. I am tapering off if 50 mg Pristique. Started about 2 weeks ago. Did one pill every other day. Now doing 1 every three days. This is pure hell. I feel so sick. I am thinking of going to the ER. I feel “that” bad.

    My opinion! Don’t take this pill. This is the worst I have ever felt!!!

  27. Started with Effexor XR in 2007 for major depression. Psych switched me to Pristiq ER 50 mg and Bupropion XL 300 mg in 2008. One cannot imagine the euphoria I experienced finally waking each morning without fatigue and an overpowering feeling of dread! Also taking a Temazapam 30 mg every night to overcome insomnia caused by the Pristiq. Still taking same 3 meds every day. At last visit recently, I discussed going off the meds and Psychiatrist advised since I am doing so well I should continue for probably the rest of my life. He has assisted other patients in weaning off their meds when they were insistent, only to have them return later to begin again. Every single one. Since I wouldn’t stop taking insulin if I were diabetic, guess I’ll stay on these meds as long as they work for me!

    Incidentally, I’ve had several surgeries (one a lungectomy) and have never had to discontinue these meds. Always tell your doctor ALL the meds you are taking.

  28. This was such a great resource! I too am taking pristiq 50 mg. I have started about 2 and 1/2 months ago. When I first started taking it, I did have some of the rough side effects that included insomnia, loss of appetite, dizziness, sexual dysfunction (which as a 27 yr old woman not being able to orgasm …. is depressing in and of itself. When I told my Dr, he said what? No way this happens in less than 2% of women … lucky me), and my favorite which was the electric shock sensation that I would get 🙂 fun! So naturally, the first time I took it at 25 for 2 weeks, I decided brilliantly that this was not for me and decided to quit cold turkey. If you didn’t catch the sarcasm, I would refrain from quitting cold turkey without the guidance of your health care provider. Of course these side effects suck and many of us, I am sure we would choose to be completely med free; however, 2 weeks is not enough time for your body to adjust to the medication. 2 years later at 27… I no longer was high functioning with my depression and completely collapsed. I looked long and hard at my clean eating, excercising, yoga, counseling going life and decided that I was going to commit to taking whatever I needed for the described period religiously on top of doing all these things to truly make a difference. And guess what… this time around it worked. My plan is to take it for 9 months, but honestly I’m so pleased with the results that I just want to be happy so if this means taking 9 months or 9 years, so be it. I did have again the dizziness (taking this with a well rounded breakfast helped a lot!) loss of appetite (this i didn’t mind), sexual dysfunction, electric shock feeling (gone by week 2) , and insomnia but all have completely diminished by week 3 somewhat. I found that I could orgasm, it just took a little extra work from my loving partner and myself 🙂 And sleep- which is so freaking important for those with depression was disturbed. I did take clonazepam the first 2 weeks any time I truly had anxiety at night and couldn’t sleep; however, I felt that I became too reliant on using that to sleep I decided with my physician this time ( I learned my lesson ) that I wanted to try a holistic route. I use melatonin to sleep and it works… somewhat. My suggestion is if you are a first timer- BE PATIENT. Give yourself enough time to adapt and yes there are side effects to all of these pills which are very unpleasant- but your brain is adjusting. It’s re teaching your brain and body how it should react not just to social interactions but basic primal needs. Give it time. I’m almost at the 3 month mark and am getting out of bed. I laugh. I am not crying every day. I am not contemplating how worthless I am for not getting out of bed… Who knew what was beyond the fog I was living in? Someone else mentioned that they wouldn’t take anti depressants because it was the brains way of letting you know something is wrong…. I have to disagree. Being on an anti depressant is not a choice I used to mask what was going on in my life but to see things clearly. I saw that there wasn’t a magic pill to make me happy. I had to make real time changes with my career, my relationship, and do a lot of work to get here, but the pill helped me be able to handle these decisions without feeling like the world was caving in. So if you are trying any ad and your brand new to it give it time before you switch it up, give yourself goals and realistic expectations of what you want to come out of this, and chill 🙂 you are gonna make it through!

    On another note: refrain from drinking a ton. Keep it to the one to two glass min. Learned this the hard way. Also edibles to sleep are a no go lol don’t do it man…. and if you just got back from an awesome trip in Mexico where life is amazing and have your period and find yourself crying and feeling sad… congrats your human and have feelings on an anti depressant… this too shall pass 🙂

    1. Your post was great – thank you. Day 1, 2 & 3 were fabulous and I was seriously thinking – this is how I should feel! Then day 4, I woke with severe neck pain and my tongue was so big that I couldn’t swallow! It was painful. I was worried that it may be an allergic reaction, so didn’t take my morning tablet, made an appt with my gp then visited my pharmacist for an antihistamine that wouldn’t interact with pristiq – just in case. Pharmacist suggested it may be a side effect, even though it wasn’t a typical side effect…and to speak with my doctor and see what she recommends. I took the antihistamine – but nothing changed. Doc examined me and said it could be a virus as my temp was up, then stay off pristiq and if it goes away, it is likely a side effect, if it doesn’t go away then it is likely a virus. Day 5 today – pain is not too bad, but I am taking 2 ibuprofen and 2 panadol every 4-6hours to manage pain at doctors advice. I can eat today which is a bonus! I am thinking about going back on it and persevering for 2 and a half weeks to see if it goes away. Anyway…great forum.

    2. I will make your orgasm. Your post made me orgasm. Even the period crying part. You are hot.

  29. I LOVE pristiq, and I am a hippie, natural, homeopathic mama. Since I was a child my life has been ruined by my depression and panic attacks. I’ve tried everything and after a suicide attempt, just not being able to do it anymore, i was prescribed pristiq. It changed my life.
    I have extreme guilt about needing a prescription and it triggers me to no end thinking about coming off. I’ve tried and you’re right, for me, it is impossible. Slow wean and all. I would need to switch to something else and do it inpatient. But for now, I have never had a side effect and I am a GREAT mom, living a successful life that I didn’t think I could ever have. I meditate and do yoga daily, but my brain just wasn’t born with all of its chemicals the way they should be. I hope to be at peace with that some day. Good luck all, you are all warriors!

    1. Thank you for posting this. It’s like reading my own thoughts. I took this drug for about three years. They were the most mentally healthy years of my life. I stopped due to guilt and have been trying to work on my spiritual sider fighting major depression and adhd makes it impossible. I need to go back on it but was worried it would effect my ability to meditate. It was great for my sleep though. 💫🙏🏼

  30. Well I have been on Pristq for 4 years, from getting a health diagnosis that changed my life and caused a lot of grief, when I first went on it I took it in the morning and I was so sleepy, then doctor said to switch to night and have insomnia ever since, which makes the depression worse. Then my mom passed away a year ago, more depression and more insomnia on top of insomnia, my doctor knows how this med has reacted on me and we tried sleeping pills worked for a while this was a few years back but I would fall a sleep without knowing I fell asleep it would be in my chair or when I was reading it was insane they were knock ya dead sleeping pills and once out there’s no way of waking me. So weaned of them and it ways a nightmare. Now I’m not sleeping for about 2 years only about 4 hours and that’s at early morning, Pristq is a devil med and I have tried to get off it and almost died felt suicidal had to go back on. My life has been worse since I have been on this drug and no motivation, it worked okay in the beginning but not in the pst 3 years, I don’t recommend it, because to get off it there is no real way to do this, except go on another med and wean off one that has more lower dosages, which I might do, the health diagnosis I got was Type 2 diabetes, and I’m not sure if it has done anything to the diabetes and yes I lost weight going on this med but doctor thinks it was my excercising but I know it was this med that contributed to it because I lost weight very fast which kind of concerned me. So I suffer because of this med to this day. Please look into something else.

  31. If your trying to come off pristq. The problem is you can’t go lower than 25mg. I had a compound pharmacy make mine in 10 and 5mg to help with withdrawals. Hope this helps.

    1. Hi Cathy,
      How long did it take you to come off? What was the original dosage you were on and how exactly did you taper? Do you have any lasting withdrawal symptoms? If the symptoms did clear, how long did it take to feel ?normal.? Was you anxiety and depression worse when you got off pristiq?

  32. Hi, I’ve been taking Pristiq now for almost a year. Stated on 50mg, then upped to 100mg and now taking 150mg and have been for about 6 months. I feel OK, I don’t know if I feel any different to be honest. I guess I’m calmer and less irrational. Hubby could probably disagree 🙂 I sleep fine, I do have raised LFT and a notable concern with low calcium and Vit D levels. Biggest problem I encounter is if I happen to miss a dose, I take in the evening. The next day is OMG, like a hangover from hell. Really nasty stuff. After reading many reviews I am concerned that maybe I shouldn’t be taking 150mg?

  33. Was on Effexor for years for general anxiety disorder which was untreated for most of my 20’s. I was too frightened to tell doctor I was ill for fear of being locked up in a psyche ward. I responded well but my dreams were fucking horrid. I can’t bring myself to describe them but let’s leave to say that one morning I nearly took my life because I could no longer bear the nightmares I was having. I switched to pristiq and now I’m so happy balanced engaged awake and running a successful business. Pristiq saved my life. I’m am about to come off because I’m ready to test the waters without it. Also a diabetes diagnosis means I must come off it. And I think the pristiq has stuffed my liver somewhat which needs further investigation. But I have no regrets as yet about pristiq. I thankful to its creators. I have come off Effexor twice before. Couldn’t move my head because of the electric zap sensation. Pristiq feels easier to come off. Taking it alternate days for a fornight. Then I will stop. Just occasional dizziness where I have to stop and take stock then proceed slowly. so far so good.

    1. You say your diabetic to so what was the reason why you had to come off it, what will happen because your a diabetic being on Pristq

    2. Also what do you mean stuffed your liver sorry don’t understand what you mean.


    was on effexor for 15 yrs 75 mg,, now on prsiq 50mg,, been on for 2 weeks, feeling better but how long to realy click in ???

  35. Does anyone know if you should avoid caffeine whilst on pristiq?

  36. Me and my fiance plan to have a child he takes the desfax desvenlafaxine 100mg 2 tables a day will it affects his sperm asking cause it only talks of ladies and breast-feeding

  37. Michael Hill

    I have struggled with some form of depression and anxiety all my life. I tried almost everything on the market; however, my PDOC recommended Lamictal because she said some people respond to Lamictal when they don’t respond well with other antidepressants. I tried the Lamictal and am up to 150 mg, but didn’t seem to help much. She decided to add Prestiq 50 mg because I took it four years ago and it seemed like it did help, however, I stopped because of the sexual side effects. My question is this, I take it at bedtime and sleep well, but I wake up tired and sleepy with a slight headache in the morning and hot flashes. Is this a normal reaction that will pass with time? I just hope and pray my energy and motivation will return. I’m now trying to decide whether to stop taking it or tough it out a few weeks to see if the side effects will pass. I also started seeing a good psychotherapist this past week, so hopefully one or both will help. Has anyone had similar side effects that passed and start to feel better?

  38. Pristiq worked great for me when a serious relationship ended and sent me into a major funk, It also helped with my ADD ( I do not take anything for that). However it made me exceedingly tired. taking it at bedtime helped considerably but I still need a daily nap (happily I’m retired). However, I also had some counseling and quickly felt better. Soon after taking Pristine I noticed that I had serious bruising on my lower arms and hands. I got terrible purple under the skin blood deposits at the slightest bump against something (even taking groceries out of a bag). Dermatologist said it was a combo of thin skin that was sun damaged and a propensity to bruise easily. I used Rutin and Vitamin C but it didn’t help. Because I was functioning well I slowly went of Pristiq a couple weeks ago but am still having serious bruising problems. There is no mention of bruising in the literature. Although the drug worked this side effect is sufficiently disturbing that I won’t use the med again.

    1. Easy bleeding is a known side effect of Pristiq. That could explain the bruising.

  39. My Dr. Is recommending that I go straight from Effexor 75mg to Prsiq 50mg. Has anyone done this with success?

  40. This has been a very informative forum. Now I know it’s not just me. I have been on Pristiq for 11 years. It was first prescribed for menopause symptoms and helped the hot flashes and mood swings tremendously. Pristiq was first prescribed to me in 25 mg. dose. I was increased to 50 mg. dose about 6 years ago. With aging I believe my symptoms are changing. Terribly tired all the time, I work full-time and enjoy it but, I have become a recluse when at home. Yes, I agree with several of you with jaw pain, shock, muscle twitching, blurred vision towards the end of the day and etc. Seeing the doc in September and hopefully the dosage will be lowered. I surely do not want it increased. Even missing a day can put a person into a whirl spin. Wish now that I would have never started taking this medication.

  41. Donna Davies

    I have been on PRISTIQ for 10 year 150mgs, I have notice in the last year a great hair lost (could be more as I had a lot of it) is it a side effect? Also I think it has slowly stopped working over a period of months. I have a great feeling of empathy, and I don’t feel like doing anything, I stay in my house and sleep , it’s a fight with me, myself ,and I, to go and get food.
    Has this happened to anyone else who has been on it for a LONG time
    Thanks Donna

  42. Hi, I have been on Pristiq for about 3 1/2 weeks now, I have to urinate all the time. Any one else have this problem? This is the only real side effect I have been having. Any suggestions or comments?

  43. Laxapro stopped working so my doc switched me too Pristiq! Has all turn to shit, I wouldn?t recommend this drug to anyone. Ive shut my family out, a 3 year old that doesn?t understand and a 14yo thinks im lazy because i want to just lay in bed. I haven?t been to work for 3 weeks. there?s noway in hell im taking Pristiq and slowing tapering off again!
    Yes it may work for some but the bad reaction out weight the good, and im not just taking my information from this site.
    what I can?t stop thing about, why is the lowest dose 50mg, don?t chew or cut in half! How are we meant to get from 50 to 0mg. And it all comes back to the drug companies and there opportunity to take advantage of the weak! They can do something about it but they won?t, and we are just human drug yo-yos. And once im off this shit im never taking another pill to adjust my mental state.

  44. Does anyone know if taking pristiq can cause emotional numbness? Since starting it, I feel close to nothing. Granted, that is better than feeling sad, and I don?t feel depressed, just more that I feel nothing at all. Is this a side effect that anyone else has experienced?

  45. Maranda Skudlarczyk

    I absolutely highly recommend Pristiq I love it it has helped me so much with my bipolar I have tried a lot of other medications but this one is the best

  46. I?ve been prescribed so many different antidepressants , thank God finally Pristiq came along, it?s been the only antidepressant that has worked for me, I felt as a dark veil had been lifted from me for the first time I felt hope. Well here I am 3 years later in spite of two appeals from my medical doctor & psychiatrist to my UHC insurance they have denied both appeals and refused to cover the name brand Pristiq, they will only cover the generic brand of Pristiq which placed me in the hospital highly suicidal. I?m so frustrated because I feel like I?m back at square one. Since January 1st, I?ve been paying out of pocket in the amount of $346.00, this last denial letter has given me no other alternative but to go off my medication due to expense. I don?t understand how insurances can get away with denying coverage on medication when the doctors stated this is life or death for me. I have suffered from depression my entire life.
    I make to much for assistance, yet just enough to live.

    1. I was just prescribed Generic Prestiq desvenlafaxine. What exactly happened to you ??

  47. I’m on Pristiq and for the first time in 30 years I feel normal! I sleep all night, have energy and enthusiasm and life feels wonderful and positive. I have absolutely no side effects. I’ve tried a few antidepressants over the years but I don’t think SSRI agree with me they make me feel really spacey and numb, hallucinations, racing heart etc however the SNRI is amazing and the awful feeling of gloom has disappeared. We are all different and what suits one person may not be suitable for another.

  48. I’ve been taking Pristiq (generic) since January 2018 – and since last month I’ve been in a mild to moderate depressive state. Has anyone else had this happen? As of this morning, I have little to know motivation and frankly, just want to go back to bed.

  49. TeenIdle

    Pristiq opened up a whole terrifying world that i never thought i would go through. I was on it for 9 months and i noticed i was missing many days from school because of nausea and vomiting. I was eventually diagnosed with Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome. I was 16 almost 17. When i took Pristiq. That year i started to abuse pills, any that i could find. I became an addict for 6 months of my life. It will also be a never ending battle for the rest of my life to stay sober. This drug that i was taking for anxiety, had made me lose so much control of myself that I became an addict, and had complete meltdowns and rages weekly. Pristiq even made me violent at times. I?m 19 now, and the happiest I?ve been in a while, and sober. I?m warning you all to not take this medication. Those side effects are very real, and i wish the pill would be taken off the market.

  50. I have ortho static hypotension as a side effect of Pristiq. Anybody else?

  51. I been on so many meds for MDD since 2005. I just started Pristiq March 1st 2023 and it is doing me good. No gaining weight, stopped my hand movements from taking paxil & wellbutin for years. So far I’m happy with the results.

  52. I started taking Pristiq in April of this year…. My cortisol level is off the chart which has caused my cholesterol levels to increasse as well. Has anyone out there experienced this issue?
    Please advise, thank you in advance.

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