desvenlafaxine (Pristiq, Khedezla)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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SNRIs may increase the effect of warfarin (Coumadin), leading to excessive bleeding. Warfarin therapy should be monitored more frequently in patients who are also taking desvenlafaxine. Combining SNRIs with aspirin, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or other drugs that affect bleeding may increase the likelihood of upper gastrointestinal bleeding.

Ketoconazole (Nizoral, Extina, Xolegel, Kuric) may reduce the breakdown of desvenlafaxine, therefore increasing concentrations of desvenlafaxine in the body and the risk of adverse effects. Desvenlafaxine may reduce the concentration of midazolam (Versed).

PREGNANCY: There are no adequate studies of desvenlafaxine in pregnant women.

NURSING MOTHERS: Desvenlafaxine is secreted in breast milk. Mothers who are taking desvenlafaxine should discuss with their doctor whether to not breastfeed or to discontinue desvenlafaxine.

SIDE EFFECTS: Desvenlafaxine can cause nausea, headaches, anxiety, insomnia, drowsiness, constipation, weakness, dry mouth, sweating, diarrhea,  and loss of appetite. Increased blood pressure can occur and should be monitored. Seizures have been reported. Sexual dysfunction (decreased sex drive and delayed orgasm and ejaculation) has been associated with desvenlafaxine. Desvenlafaxine and other SNRIs may increase the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding.

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