Common Questions about PRISTIQ
FDA-approved PRISTIQ (desvenlafaxine) is an effective treatment for depression in adults. Explore the following to find answers to common questions about treatment with PRISTIQ.
PRISTIQ is a prescription medication that’s FDA approved to treat depression in adults. In clinical studies, PRISTIQ has been proven to be an effective treatment for depression in adults.
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.
PRISTIQ is a prescription medication that’s FDA approved to treat depression 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 HAMD-17, 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 works, social life/leisure activities, and family life/home responsibilities.
Everybody responds differently to treatment, so it’s important to give PRISTIQ time to work. It can take several weeks to feel the full benefits of a prescription antidepressant although some people may start to feel better sooner. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have.
*Sheehan Disability Scale (a validated measure of functional impairment) total score for PRISTIQ vs. placebo.
You may experience side effects while taking PRISTIQ. In clinical studies, the most common side effect with PRISTIQ 50 mg was nausea.
Other side effects included dizziness, sweating, constipation, and decreased appetite.
These are not all the possible side effects of PRISTIQ 50 mg. 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.
It may be helpful to know that in an 8-week clinical study with PRISTIQ, people given PRISTIQ and people given placebo (sugar pill) both reported experiencing side effects. A small percentage (4.1%) of people stopped taking PRISTIQ 50 mg due to side effects; a similar percentage (3.8%) of people given placebo also stopped due to side effects.The most common side effects leading to discontinuation were nausea, dizziness, headache, and vomiting.
While people react differently to PRISTIQ, in 8- and 12-week studies there was no clinical difference in weight gain between people who took PRISTIQ 50 mg and those who took placebo (sugar pill). Longer term effect on weight has not been adequately studied.
While people react differently to PRISTIQ, in clinical studies there was a low occurrence of sexual side effects in men and women taking PRISTIQ 50 mg, similar to those who took placebo (sugar pill). Sexual side effects include decreased sex drive, as well as delayed orgasm and ejaculation. Sexual side effects may increase with higher doses.
Most people start with a once-daily 50-mg dose of PRISTIQ (taken with or without food). Your doctor may keep you on your starting dose throughout your treatment. Talk to your doctor about any health conditions you may have, as your dose might be affected.
PRISTIQ should be taken at the same time each day and always swallowed whole, since the tablets are time released.
You should always take PRISTIQ exactly as instructed by your health care professional. Be sure to talk to your doctor about any health conditions you may have, as your dose might be affected.
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.
Before taking PRISTIQ, tell your healthcare professional 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) to avoid serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition; aspirin, NSAID pain relievers, or blood thinners because they may increase the risk of bleeding.
Do not take PRISTIQ with other medicines containing venlafaxine or desvenlafaxine.
PRISTIQ may cause or make some conditions worse, so tell your health care 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.
Until you see how PRISTIQ affects you, you should avoid driving a car or operating machinery. You should avoid drinking alcohol when taking PRISTIQ.
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.
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 health care professional. 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 health care provider may want to decrease your dose slowly to help avoid side effects. Some of these side effects may include:
- Abnormal dreams
- Sleeping problems (insomnia)
Do not stop taking or change the dose of PRISTIQ without talking with your health care provider, even if you feel better.
Stopping an antidepressant medicine suddenly can cause other symptoms. Side effects may occur if PRISTIQ therapy is stopped suddenly. Your health care provider may want to decrease your dose slowly to help avoid these side effects. These side effects may include dizziness, nausea, headache, irritability, problems sleeping, anxiety, abnormal dreams, tiredness, sweating, and diarrhea.
No, there is not a generic equivalent of PRISTIQ currently available.
PRISTIQ was approved by the FDA for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults in February of 2008.