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Generic Name: desvenlafaxine (des VEN la FAX een)
Brand Names: Khedezla, Pristiq
Pristiq is used to treat major depressive disorder in adults. Learn about side effects, interactions and indications.
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Drug Information:
Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) is an antidepressant belonging to a group of drugs called selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Desvenlafaxine affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with depression. Pristiq is used to treat major depressive disorder. Pristiq may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide. Do not use Pristiq within 7 days before or 14 days after you have used an MAO inhibitor, such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, or tranylcypromine. Learn more

Pristiq Side Effects

Pristiq Side Effects

Note: This document contains side effect information about desvenlafaxine. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Pristiq.

In Summary

Common side effects of Pristiq include: constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, insomnia, nausea, decreased appetite, hyperhidrosis, and xerostomia. Other side effects include: anxiety, blurred vision, mydriasis, tremor, vertigo, vomiting, abnormal dreams, chills, and yawning. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to desvenlafaxine: oral tablet extended release


Oral route (Tablet, Extended Release)

Antidepressant use has been associated with an increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults. Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared with placebo in adults beyond age 24, and there was a reduction in risk with antidepressants compared with placebo in adults aged 65 or older. Monitor patients closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior. Desvenlafaxine is not approved for use in pediatric patients.

Oral route (Tablet, Extended Release)

Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults during short-term studies. These studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared with placebo in adults older than 24 years, and there was a reduction in risk with antidepressants compared with placebo in adults aged 65 or older. Monitor patients closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior. Families and caregivers should be advised of the need for close observation and communication with the prescriber. Not approved for use in pediatric patients.

Along with its needed effects, desvenlafaxine (the active ingredient contained in Pristiq) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking desvenlafaxine:

Less common

  • Chills
  • cold sweats
  • confusion
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • fast, pounding, or irregular pulse
  • headache
  • numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
  • shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
  • trouble thinking, speaking, or walking
  • weakness

Incidence not known

  • Blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • blood in the stool or urine
  • chest tightness
  • cough
  • diarrhea
  • dilated or enlarged pupils (black part of the eye)
  • feeling irritated
  • fever
  • hives, itching, or rash
  • hoarseness
  • joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
  • large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • loss of bladder control
  • muscle pain
  • muscle spasm or jerking of all extremities
  • nosebleeds
  • red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • red, irritated eyes
  • red skin
  • seizures
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
  • sudden loss of consciousness
  • swelling of the eyelids, face, lips, hands, or feet
  • talking, feeling, or acting with excitement
  • trouble breathing or swallowing
  • unusual bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting blood

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking desvenlafaxine:

Symptoms of overdose

  • Agitation
  • bloating
  • dark urine
  • feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • irregular heartbeat recurrent
  • light-colored stools
  • muscle cramp or stiffness
  • nausea
  • overactive reflexes
  • poor coordination
  • restlessness
  • seizures
  • sensation of spinning
  • shivering
  • stomach pain
  • vomiting
  • yellow eyes or skin

Some side effects of desvenlafaxine may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Decreased appetite
  • inability to have an orgasm
  • inability to have or keep an erection
  • increased sensitivity of the eyes to light
  • loss of sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  • sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  • sleeplessness

Less common

  • Change in taste
  • continuous ringing, buzzing, or other unexplained noise in the ears
  • decreased weight
  • difficult urination
  • fear or nervousness
  • hearing loss
  • jitteriness
  • lack or loss of strength
  • loss of taste

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to desvenlafaxine: oral tablet extended release


The most commonly reported side effects were nausea, dry mouth, hyperhidrosis, and dizziness.


Very Common (10% or more): Nausea (up to 36%), dry mouth (up to 25%), constipation (up to 14%)

Common (1% to 10%): Diarrhea, vomiting

Rare (less than 0.1%): Acute pancreatitis

Frequency not reported: Gastrointestinal bleeding


Very Common (10% or more): Hyperhidrosis (up to 21%)

Common (1% to 10%): Rash

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Alopecia

Rare (less than 0.1%): Photosensitivity reaction, Stevens-Johnson syndrome

Frequency not reported: Erythema multiforme, severe cutaneous reactions, toxic epidermal necrolysis

Nervous system

Very Common (10% or more): Dizziness (up to 16%), somnolence (up to 12%)

Common (1% to 10%): Disturbance in attention, dysgeusia, headache, paresthesia, tremor, vertigo

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Dyskinesia, extrapyramidal disorder, syncope

Rare (less than 0.1%): Convulsion, dystonia, serotonin syndrome

Frequency not reported: Seizure


Very common (10% or more): Insomnia (up to 15%)

Common (1% to 10%): Abnormal dreams, abnormal orgasm, anorgasmia, anxiety, decreased libido, irritability, nervousness, withdrawal syndrome

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Depersonalization, hypomania

Rare (less than 0.1%): Hallucination, mania

Frequency not reported: Bruxism, discontinuation syndrome, suicidal thoughts


Very Common (10% or more): Erectile dysfunction (up to 11%)

Common (1% to 10%): Delayed ejaculation, ejaculation disorder, ejaculation failure, proteinuria, sexual dysfunction, urinary hesitation

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Urinary retention


Very Common (10% or more): Fatigue (up to 11%)

Common (1% to 10%): Asthenia, chills, feeling jittery, tinnitus


Common (1% to 10%): Decreased appetite, decreased weight, elevated fasting triglycerides, elevated LDL cholesterol, elevated total cholesterol, increased blood cholesterol, increased weight

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Increased blood triglycerides

Rare (less than 0.1%): Hyponatremia


Ischemic cardiac adverse reactions, myocardial ischemia, myocardial infarction, and/or coronary occlusion requiring revascularization usually occurred in patients who had multiple underlying cardiac risk factors.

Common (1% to 10%): Blood pressure increased, hot flush, increased sustained hypertension, orthostatic hypotension, palpitations, tachycardia

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Peripheral coldness

Frequency not reported: Coronary occlusion requiring revascularization, ischemic cardiac adverse reactions, myocardial infarction, myocardial ischemia


Common (1% to 10%): Blurred vision, mydriasis

Frequency not reported: Angle closure glaucoma


Common (1% to 10%): Yawning

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Epistaxis

Frequency not reported: Interstitial lung disease, eosinophilic pneumonia


Common (1% to 10%): Abnormal liver function test


Common (1% to 10%): Musculoskeletal stiffness


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hypersensitivity

Rare (less than 0.1%): Angioedema


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Increased blood prolactin


Frequency not reported: Abnormal bleeding

Editorial References and Review

Medically reviewed by BestRx Medical Team Last updated on 1/1/2020.

Source: Drugs.com Pristiq