What is this medicine?
DESVENLAFAXINE is an antidepressant in a group of drugs called selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Desvenlafaxine affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause depression.
Desvenlafaxine is used to treat major depressive disorder.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
You should not use Desvenlafaxine if you are allergic to desvenlafaxine or venlafaxine (Effexor), or if you are being treated with methylene blue injection.
Do not use Desvenlafaxine if you are taking an MAO inhibitor. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine. You must wait at least 14 days after stopping an MAOI before you can take Desvenlafaxine. After you stop taking this medicine, you must wait at least 7 days before you start taking an MAOI.
To make sure Desvenlafaxine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- bipolar disorder (manic depression);
- liver or kidney disease;
- heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or a history of stroke;
- seizures or epilepsy;
- a history of stroke;
- a bleeding or blood clotting disorder;
- low levels of sodium in your blood; or
- if you are switching to Desvenlafaxine from another antidepressant.
Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking an antidepressant. Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using Desvenlafaxine. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.
FDA pregnancy category C. Desvenlafaxine may cause problems in a newborn baby if the mother takes the medication late in pregnancy (during the third trimester). Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
Desvenlafaxine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Do not give this medication to anyone under 18 years old without the advice of a doctor.
How should I take this medicine?
Take Desvenlafaxine exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
You may take Desvenlafaxine with or without food. Take the medicine at the same time each day.
Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow it whole.
It may take several weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve.
Do not stop using Desvenlafaxine suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to safely stop using this medicine.
Your blood pressure will need to be checked often.
This medication can cause you to have a false positive drug screening test. If you provide a urine sample for drug screening, tell the laboratory staff that you are taking Desvenlafaxine.
What if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What may interact with this medicine?
Taking Desvenlafaxine with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can increase these effects. Ask your doctor before taking Desvenlafaxine with a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety or seizures.
Many drugs can interact with desvenlafaxine. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your medications and any you start or stop using during treatment with Desvenlafaxine, especially:
- any other antidepressant;
- a blood thinner such as warfarin, Coumadin;
- a diuretic or “water pill”;
- St. John’s wort;
- tryptophan (sometimes called L-tryptophan);
- an antibiotic–clarithromycin, telithromycin;
- antifungal medication–itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, voriconazole;
- heart medication–nicardipine, quinidine;
- hepatitis C medications–boceprevir, telaprevir;
- HIV/AIDS medication–atazanavir, delavirdine, fosamprenavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir;
- migraine headache medication–sumatriptan, rizatriptan, and others; or
- pain medication–fentanyl or tramadol.
This list is not complete and many other drugs can interact with Desvenlafaxine. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Give a list of all your medicines to any healthcare provider who treats you.
What should I watch for while taking this medicine?
Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of Desvenlafaxine.
Ask your doctor before taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) for pain, arthritis, fever, or swelling. This includes aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac, indomethacin, meloxicam, and others. Using an NSAID with Desvenlafaxine may cause you to bruise or bleed easily.
Desvenlafaxine may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.
Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Desvenlafaxine can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) when you are outdoors.
What side effects may I notice from this medicine?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Desvenlafaxine: skin rash or hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- seizure (convulsions);
- agitation, hallucinations, fever, fast heart rate, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination;
- blurred vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights;
- cough, chest tightness, trouble breathing;
- easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums), blood in your urine or stools, coughing up blood;
- very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, feeling like you might pass out;
- headache, slurred speech, severe weakness, muscle cramps, feeling unsteady, fainting, shallow breathing (breathing may stop);
- severe skin reaction — fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
Common Desvenlafaxine side effects may include:
- dizziness, drowsiness, anxiety;
- increased sweating;
- mild nausea, loss of appetite, constipation;
- sleep problems (insomnia); or
- decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm.
Where can I keep my medicine?
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.