November 26, 2014
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Drug Factsheets

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Pristiq

(desvenlafaxine)

DIN (Drug Identification Number)

02321092 PRISTIQ 50MG EXTENDED-RELEASE TABLET
02321106 PRISTIQ 100MG EXTENDED-RELEASE TABLET

How does Pristiq work? What will it do for me?

Desvenlafaxine belongs to the class of antidepressant medications known as selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). It is used to treat depression.

It works on the central nervous system (CNS) to elevate mood by increasing the amount of 2 neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) called serotonin and norepinephrine that are available in certain parts of the brain. It may take several weeks before the full benefits of this medication are seen.

This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

How should I use Pristiq?

The recommended starting dose of desvenlafaxine for adults is 50 mg once daily at approximately the same time each day. If necessary, your doctor may increase your dose to a maximum of 100 mg daily.

Desvenlafaxine may be taken with or without food. This medication must be swallowed whole with fluid. Do not divide, crush, chew, or dissolve this medication before swallowing it.

When taking this medication, you may see something in your stool that looks like a tablet. This is the empty shell after the medication has been absorbed by your body.

Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature and keep it out of the reach of children.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.





What form(s) does Pristiq come in?

50 mg
Each light pink, square pyramid extended-release tablet debossed with "W" over "50" on the flat side contains 50 mg of desvenlafaxine. Nonmedicinal ingredients: hypromellose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, talc; film coating: dextrose, maltodextrin, sodium carboxymethylcellulose, stearic acid, iron oxides, and titanium dioxide.

100 mg
Each reddish-orange, square pyramid extended-release tablet debossed with "W" over "100" on the flat side contains 100 mg of desvenlafaxine. Nonmedicinal ingredients: hypromellose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, talc; film coating: dextrose, maltodextrin, sodium carboxymethylcellulose, stearic acid, iron oxides, and titanium dioxide.

Who should NOT take Pristiq?

Do not take desvenlafaxine if you:

  • are allergic to desvenlafaxine, venlafaxine or any ingredients of the medication
  • are currently taking an MAO inhibitor (e.g., phenelzine, tranylcypromine) or have taken one in the last 14 days (MAO inhibitors should not be taken until at least 1 week after stopping treatment with desvenlafaxine)

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Depression Symptom Checker Tool

The Depression Symptom Checker tool can help you learn about depression. Use this tool to create a list of your symptoms and rate how much the symptoms impact your life on a daily basis. The checklist is divided into 6 symptom categories that are associated with depression. You can also learn more about symptoms of depression here.

For each statement choose a number from 0 to 4 that describes the impact on your daily life, where 4 has the highest impact and 0 has no impact:

  • 0 = no impact on daily life/no symptoms
  • 1 = mild impact on daily life
  • 2 = moderate impact on daily life
  • 3 = severe impact on daily life
  • 4 = debilitating impact on daily life

It is important to remember that this is not a “score” but a way to help you communicate how much you feel the symptom impacts your daily life. When you finish you will be able to print out your symptoms and share this information with your doctor. Use the Doctor Discussion Guide to prepare for your doctor’s visit.

Rate how much the following symptoms apply to you.

1. Emotions

Depression can affect anyone at any age, although it most commonly appears between 15 and 45 years of age.

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Visit your doctor with these results, when booking your appointment inform your doctor that you may need extra time to discuss these matters. Getting help for your depression can change your life. Don’t wait- depression is an illness that can, and should be treated.

Thoughts about death or suicide are common in depression, and it’s important to take such thoughts seriously. If you feel like giving up or as if you might hurt yourself, get help immediately: call your doctor, go to the emergency room or call 911.

This tool is adapted with permission from similar content found on www.depressionhurts.ca.


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