Desvenlafaxine (By mouth)


Desvenlafaxine (des-ven-la-FAX-een)
Treats depression. This medicine is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI).

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.


When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to desvenlafaxine, or if you have used an MAO inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid, phenelzine, selegiline, tranylcypromine, Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, or Parnate® within the past 14 days.

How to Use This Medicine

Long Acting Tablet
  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • You may take this medicine with or without food.
  • It is best to take this medicine at the same time each day.
  • Swallow the extended-release tablet whole with a liquid. Do not dissolve, crush, break, or chew it.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one. Your doctor might ask you to sign some forms to show that you understand this information.
If a dose is missed:
  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
  • Do not take an MAO inhibitor (such as isocarboxazid, phenelzine, selegiline, tranylcypromine, Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, or Parnate®) while you are being treated with this medicine.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using other medicines to treat depression (such as desipramine, fluoxetine, paroxetine, venlafaxine, Celexa®, Effexor®, Lexapro?, Norpramin®, Paxil®, or Zoloft®), medicines to treat migraine headaches (such as eletriptan, sumatriptan, Imitrex®, or Relpax®), pain or arthritis medicine (such as aspirin, ibuprofen, tramadol, Aleve®, Celebrex®, or Ultram®), or a blood thinner (such as warfarin or Coumadin®).
  • Tell your doctor if you are also using ketoconazole (Nizoral®), linezolid (Zyvox®), lithium (Lithane®, Lithobid®, or Eskalith®), midazolam (Versed®), sibutramine (Meridia®), tryptophan supplements, or St. John's wort.
  • Tell your doctor if you are using any medicines that make you sleepy. These include sleeping pills, cold and allergy medicine, narcotic pain relievers, and sedatives.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you have liver disease, kidney disease, heart disease, a history of a recent heart attack, or a history of stroke. Tell your doctor if you have narrow-angle glaucoma, high blood pressure, a history of seizures, bleeding problems, high cholesterol in the blood, low sodium in the blood, or a history of manic episodes (feeling more excited or energetic than usual).
  • For some children, teenagers, and young adults, this medicine can increase thoughts of suicide. Tell your doctor or your child's doctor right away if you or your child start to feel more depressed and have thoughts about hurting yourselves. Report any unusual thoughts or behaviors that trouble you or your child, especially if they are new or are getting worse quickly. Make sure the doctor knows if you or your child have trouble sleeping, get upset easily, have a big increase in energy, or start to act reckless. Also tell the doctor if you or your child have sudden or strong feelings, such as feeling nervous, angry, restless, violent, or scared. Let the doctor know if you, your child, or anyone in your family has bipolar disorder (manic-depressive) or has tried to commit suicide.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
  • Blurred vision or enlarged pupils (black part of eye).
  • Chest pain, cough, or shortness of breath.
  • Confusion, weakness, and muscle twitching.
  • Decrease in how much or how often you urinate.
  • Fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat.
  • Feeling more excited or energetic than usual.
  • Fever or chills.
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet.
  • Seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there.
  • Seizures or tremors.
  • Unusual behavior or thoughts of hurting yourself or others.
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
  • Anxiety, nervousness, trouble sleeping, or unusual dreams.
  • Constipation, diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting.
  • Decreased weight.
  • Dry mouth or loss of taste.
  • Headache.
  • Increased sweating.
  • Loss or appetite.
  • Ringing in your ears.
  • Skin rash.
  • Sleepiness.
  • Tiredness.
  • Trouble having sex.
  • Warmth or redness in your face, neck, arms, or upper chest.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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