Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Your doctor is the best resource for answering specific questions about your treatment, but you can find answers to common questions about PRISTIQ here.

Pick a topic below and select a question to view the answer.


PRISTIQ® (desvenlafaxine) is a prescription medication that is FDA approved for the treatment of major depressive disorder in adults.

PRISTIQ is an effective treatment for depression in adults. It’s proven to relieve the emotional and physical symptoms of depression as measured by the HAM-D17, a commonly used symptom rating scale.

In clinical studies, PRISTIQ 50 mg also helped improve patients' ability to function according to a scale* used to measure how depression disrupts work, social life/leisure activities, and family life/home responsibilities.

*Sheehan Disability Scale (a validated measure of functional impairment) total score for PRISTIQ vs placebo.

Yes, there are generic forms of PRISTIQ available, but you can continue to get the brand you know. Use the PRISTIQ $4 Co-pay Card* to pay as little as $4 per fill, which is similar to the cost of many generics.

*Eligibility required. See details below. Terms and conditions apply.

According to IMS PayerTrak Data, the average co-pay of generic antidepressants, based on Moving Annual Total (MAT) as of January 2017, may range between $5.74 and $58.56.

Does not imply comparable efficacy or safety. Products may have different indications.

PRISTIQ has been available for 8 years. It was FDA approved for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults in February of 2008.

PRISTIQ is in a class of medications known as SNRIs, or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. Serotonin and norepinephrine are chemicals that relay messages from one brain cell to another. PRISTIQ is believed to work by affecting the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain.

When taking PRISTIQ, it’s important to give it time to work. Everybody responds differently to treatment. In general, it can take several weeks to feel the full benefit of a prescription antidepressant, although some people will start to feel better sooner. Give PRISTIQ the time to work.

Don't stop taking PRISTIQ without first talking to your doctor, even if you don't feel results right away. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have.

Do not take PRISTIQ:

  • If you are allergic to desvenlafaxine, venlafaxine, or any of the ingredients in PRISTIQ
  • If you currently take, or have taken within the last 14 days, an MAOI (monoamine oxidase inhibitor) including intravenous methylene blue or the antibiotic linezolid

It is also important to know that you should not take an MAOI within 7 days of stopping PRISTIQ.

PRISTIQ may cause or make some conditions worse, so tell your healthcare professional about all the medical conditions you have or had including:

  • High blood pressure, which should be controlled before you start taking PRISTIQ and monitored regularly
  • Heart problems; high cholesterol or triglyceride levels; a history of stroke; glaucoma or increased eye pressure; kidney or liver problems; or low sodium levels in your blood
  • Bleeding problems
  • Depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • Mania, bipolar disorder, or seizures or convulsions
  • Nursing, pregnancy, or plans to become pregnant. It is not known if PRISTIQ will harm your baby

It’s important to take PRISTIQ as prescribed by your doctor. Remember:

  • PRISTIQ may be taken with or without food
  • Try to take PRISTIQ at the same time each day
  • If you miss a dose, try to take it as soon as you remember. Don’t take 2 doses at the same time
  • Do not stop taking PRISTIQ without talking to your doctor first
  • Talk to your doctor about any health conditions you may have, as your dose might be affected

It’s important to remember, do not take PRISTIQ if you:

  • Currently take, or have taken within the last 14 days, any medicine known as an MAOI (including intravenous methylene blue or the antibiotic linezolid)
    • Allow 7 days after stopping PRISTIQ before starting an MAOI. Taking an MAOI with PRISTIQ can cause serious or even life-threatening side effects
  • Are taking medicines containing venlafaxine or desvenlafaxine

Before taking PRISTIQ, tell your doctor about all prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements you take or plan to take including:

  • Those to treat migraines or psychiatric disorders (including other antidepressants or amphetamines) to avoid serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition
  • Aspirin, NSAID pain relievers, or blood thinners because they may increase the risk of bleeding

Until you see how PRISTIQ affects you, you should avoid driving a car or operating machinery. You should also avoid drinking alcohol when taking PRISTIQ.

If you miss a dose of PRISTIQ you should:

  • Take it as soon as you remember
  • Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose
  • Not try to “make up” for the missed dose by taking two doses at the same time

If you take more PRISTIQ than the amount prescribed, contact your doctor immediately. Do not take more than the prescribed daily amount of PRISTIQ.

In case of an overdose, call your health care professional and/or poison control center (1-800-222-1222) or go to the emergency room right away.

Continue taking PRISTIQ as prescribed by your doctor, even if you’re feeling better. Don’t stop taking your medication without first talking with your doctor. Together, you can determine how long you should continue taking PRISTIQ.

Side effects may occur when stopping PRISTIQ (discontinuation symptoms), especially when therapy is stopped suddenly. Your doctor may want to decrease your dose slowly to help avoid side effects. Some of these side effects may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Abnormal dreams
  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Irritability
  • Sweating
  • Sleeping problems (insomnia)
  • Diarrhea

In clinical studies, the most common side effects with PRISTIQ 50 mg were:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Constipation
  • Decreased appetite

These are not all the possible side effects of PRISTIQ. For a complete list of side effects, please see Section 6 of the full Prescribing Information.

If you’re concerned about side effects, talk to your doctor.

While people react differently to PRISTIQ, clinical studies have shown no significant difference in average weight gain versus placebo.

Side effects may increase at higher doses. Data based on short-term studies and a 6-month phase of a long-term study of patients who responded to PRISTIQ. Individual results may vary.

While people react differently to PRISTIQ, clinical studies have shown that there was a low rate of sexual side effects in men and women taking PRISTIQ 50 mg, similar to those who took a placebo. Sexual side effects include decreased sex drive, as well as delayed orgasm and ejaculation. Side effects may increase with higher doses.

PRISTIQ offers two different ways to get a $4 Co-pay Card and support:

  1. Text Save4 to 37500§ to get the PRISTIQ $4 Co-pay Card and reminders from your pharmacy sent straight to your phone.


  1. Get continued support, motivation, and the PRSITIQ $4 Co-pay Card through The Wind Up program. Sign up
Eligibility required. See details below. Terms and conditions apply.
§Message and data rates may apply.

The $4 Co-pay Card is for anyone taking brand-name PRISTIQ who is 18 or older, purchases it on their own, or gets insurance from their job. You are not eligible if you have insurance through Medicare, Medicaid, or other federal or state healthcare programs. The $4 Co-pay Card is not valid if your private insurance or other health benefit programs reimburse you for the entire cost of PRISTIQ.

The $4 Co-pay Card is only valid in the United States and Puerto Rico. To learn more about who is eligible, please see the full terms and conditions.

You can start using your $4 Co-pay Card once you have a brand-name PRISTIQ prescription.

If you received your $4 Co-pay Card in the mail:

  • You will need to activate it
  • Take your co-pay card to the pharmacy along with your prescription
  • Your pharmacist can keep your $4 Co-pay Card on file for future use

If you received your $4 Co-pay Card online:

  • Print out your $4 Co-pay Card
  • Take your co-pay card to the pharmacy along with your prescription
  • Your pharmacist can keep your $4 Co-pay Card on file for future use
Eligibility required. See details below. Terms and conditions apply.

The PRISTIQ $4 Co-pay Card cannot be used for generic substitutes. Be sure to check that your prescription is for brand-name PRISTIQ to save.

When dropping off your prescription:

  • Request brand-name PRISTIQ and present your $4 Co-pay Card to your pharmacist
  • Ask your pharmacist to note your preference for brand-name PRISTIQ for future fills

When picking up your prescription:

  • Check your receipt and prescription bottle to make sure you received brand-name PRISTIQ and that your Co-pay Card has been applied

To ensure that you get brand-name PRISTIQ, download the Take Action Tool for tips on talking to your doctor and pharmacist.

You can use the $4 Co-pay Card at any participating pharmacy. Use the Pharmacy Finder to find a pharmacy that has accepted the PRISTIQ $4 Co-pay Card near you.

Eligibility required. See details below. Terms and conditions apply.

If you fill your prescription at a new pharmacy, you’ll need to present your co-pay card again.

As long as your insurance is not Medicare, Medicaid, or some other federal or state healthcare program, and this offer is consistent with your insurance, you should be able to use the $4 Co-pay Card with a valid PRISTIQ prescription.

Eligibility required. See details below. Terms and conditions apply.

No. It simply saves you money on your co-pay costs for brand-name PRISTIQ required by your insurance company.

Eligibility required. See details below. Terms and conditions apply.

If you’ve already used your $4 Co-pay Card, your information should be stored in your pharmacy’s computer system, and you won’t need your card. If you lost your card and need a new one, please call 1-855-440-6852.

Yes. Get help staying motivated with the help of Moodivator, a free app designed to help you set manageable goals, turn them into routines, and identify patterns in your mood. It also provides tips and motivation along the way. Download Moodivator onto your iPhone®.