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Helena_SAS 02-26-2010 12:49 PM

Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) [SNRI]
Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq) is an antidepressant of the serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor class. The FDA approved the drug for antidepressant use in February 2008, and was to be available in US pharmacies in May 2008.

More info:User ratings/reviews:

Helena_SAS 03-01-2010 12:30 PM

A Lifesaver - eventually
(Copied over from old review system)

Posted by Kelly401
Social Anxiety Background
Social Anxiety runs in our family also avoidance disorder. Her anxiety was recognized at an early age and treatment began in elementary school. Treated somewhat with Celexa. When she started high school all heck broke loose. Two years on various SSRI's, abilify, lamictal, SNRI's, add meds, and psychotherapy. Finally Pristiq worked. She told her doc she was a 2 and now she feels like a 9. I only hope it lasts.

Other Treatments
Buspar 30mg (helps)
Lamictal 200mg (neutral but she doesn't want rock the boat by getting off it. She feels so much better she won't let us change anything)
Nuvigil 100mg for add (helps a little)

Treatment Experience
My daughter has severe social anxiety bordering on avoidance disorder, comorbid depression, and ADD. After two years on various meds suddenly a miracle drug - Pristiq. At first things were rough with increased anxiety and depression but during the 8th week the clouds lifted. My daughter is now happy and social. She even has invited friends over and talks ocassionally on the phone (never thought that would happen!) it is one of those meds you just have to give a longer chance. Side effects: decreased appetite, mild insomnia, headache if dose is skipped. We love Pristiq!

Helena_SAS 03-01-2010 12:30 PM

Pretty Good
(Copied over from old review system)

Posted by jakeforpresident
Treatment Experience
Pristiq was much like Effexor for me, as it speeded me up and gave me a slightly giddy feeling, (unless I'm really depressed.)

It works good for depression but can exacerbate anxiety due to norepinephrine increase.

Overall, and ok drug... better than SSRIs.

Helena_SAS 03-01-2010 12:31 PM

Not much help w/ anxiety
(Copied over from old review system)

Posted by BearFan
Social Anxiety Background
General Anxiety, Depression and some social anxiety

Other Treatments

Treatment Experience
Like its cousin, Effexor, it helped with Depression symptoms, but unlike Effexor, it didn't help anxiety as nearly as much. In fact, I was really wired and had a few anxiety attacks during the treatment. The side effects of Pristiq weren't really that much less than Effexor.

Helena_SAS 03-01-2010 12:31 PM

(Copied over from old review system)

Posted by rossi195
Social Anxiety Background
My son has ADHD & seemed very social as long as the ADHD was untreated. Shortly after he started on stimulant medication (which worked miracles for focus & concentration) was when we began to see him have trouble getting along w/ others & making friends.

Other Treatments

Treatment Experience
Just read about the daughter who had great success with Pristiq for social anxiety disorder...wondering what her effective dosage is. My son changed from Zoloft to Pristiq, & is taking 150 mg. a day. I'm not sure it's helping though.

yesanded 04-10-2010 12:13 AM

After years of trying most every anti-depressant in the world, Pristiq is the one that's finally working for me and not causing me unbearable side-effects.

I've studied the way SSRIs work. I hate to take anything I don't understand, at least in theory. But I admittedly don't know much about norepinephrine. What I can say is that my wife comments often about how much more pleasant my mood is since I started on it. And that's pretty much what I was looking for. It's hard to notice slow changes in yourself, but the wife notices every detail, day-to-day.

It doesn't do much at all, if anything, for the anxiety; the fight-or-flight adrenaline rushes. But I have Trileptal and Ativan for that.

All that's left to do is to gouge my amygdala out of my skull, pull out all the staples and thumb tacks, hose it down a bit, and put it back in.

wrongnumber 05-13-2010 08:02 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Social Anxiety Background
SA since 16, depression since 10.

Treatment Experience
Was on it for a month. I had less SA and depression, but I'm pretty sure I was hypomanic on it - I was chatty / jittery, but that didn't bother me. What bothered me was terrible anti-cholinergic side effects, which led me to stop taking it. Since then, I have not been able to tolerate any snri or ssri again because it triggers the same anti-cholinergic side effects (even though before pristiq I have taken such drugs without problems).

anxiousgirl79 07-02-2010 09:54 AM

Pristiq did not work well for me, as did every other SSRI or SNRI I tried other than Celexa. AND THEN...I found out I did not have Panic Disorder, but instead have Bipolar my experience with Pristiq may be scewed...


MandyC 07-05-2010 01:21 PM

caused severe night sweats, migraine headaches, skin rash, jitteriness...i just can't take SNRI's - all of them do that to me.

kirribilli 08-09-2010 11:20 PM

I have clinical depression, non-melancholic, at least that is the official diagnosis. A subset of this is abnormal social anxiety and the extreme symptoms are paralyzing anxiety panic attacks and avoidance of some social situations.

I tried Paxil; it didn't work; it had bad side effects, too, big weight-gain and a real decline in libido. Xanax didn't work, either. Nor did beta blockers.

But Pristiq -- and I know this sounds like a commercial -- has been a life changer for my depression, at least. My wife is stunned. I wish I had this drug 40 years ago. For social anxiety, however, it has been just a moderate success; I am now at a 6-7; I was a 2-3. The anxiety panic attacks and avoidance feelings also have been subdued by about 50 percent in frequency and intensity. After 15 weeks, the doc upped me from 50 mg to 100 mg to try and improve the social anxiety. That was last week, so it's too soon to tell if that makes a difference.

The side effects are very light -- nothing like Paxil; I have some sleep disturbances; some loss of motivation and focus; some anorgasma; a very slight weight gain, a couple of pounds -- probably from the lower motivation to go to the gym. My only real complaint is I have high blood pressure, and, even with meds to control that, the Pristiq puts me at a close to high, high-normal level. It's something to monitor, and I may have to change my high blood pressure meds or up them, I suspect.

robtyl 11-14-2010 06:36 PM

I don't have depression, but I can certainly vouch for Pristiq working on anxiety!

Side effects are relatively minor; I've been drinking quite heavily with this stuff, and it doesn't seem to interfere with that much at all! Sex drive is practically non-existent :( but with some coaxing, everything still seems to work fine :P

I was involved in a super massive fight involving my whole extended family over plans for Christmas and instead of getting worried, anxious or anything like that, I held my ground and was level-headed! I actually enjoyed the argument :P

So there you go, I have been in a number of different situations now to say I'm convinced this stuff HELPS!

Of course, you still have to put in effort to make it work. It gets rid of the 'fight-or-flight' effect where you panic, and from there you feel confident enough to build up and improve on your ability to speak to others!

As I saw on eBay after a successful transaction: Highly recommended! A+++++ :boogie


robtyl 01-11-2011 04:35 AM

Hmm two months later and I'm posting an update to my results a couple of posts above -_-

I've decided to wean myself off this stuff. It helps with my feelings of nervousness in social situations - not perfect, although I'm only on 50MG (which I understand is the lowest dose). I've been drinking heavily with this stuff and I've been OK with no adverse side effects (N.B. While being on this, it's easy to forget I have a penis :( Sex drive = 0... or even -1).

Otherwise, all seems mostly fine, except I've started to get moderate headaches (around two-three months after beginning Pristiq), mostly at night, when I take the tablets (from reading other sites, it seems almost like the headaches are caused by my brain 'reminding' me it's time for my next dose). Also, I've been getting minor anxiety attacks... the best way I can describe these are the feeling that something dreadful is going to, or is, happening, and that horrible feeling that something is awfully wrong. The feeling comes and goes, but I'm certain I've never felt like this before.

So while the Pristiq has helped with nervousness in social settings (to clarify: It doesn't give me 'energy' to be more sociable, just take the nervousness away), it has given me mild anxiety attacks (if that's what you can call them). Also I have the headaches, which I really don't like... and a loss of energy/motivation.

I've decided to start taking the pills every second day for a week, then every third day in the second week, etc. until I'm taking them maybe once a week and then stop them altogether.

Of course, your mileage may vary. Everyone has different reactions to different medications - while Pristiq helps me in some regards, it causes me problems in others. I guess it's a matter of me trying something else... :/

To anyone reading this: Please don't write this stuff off - some people find it great, it's just a matter of trying what works for you.


AlekParker 01-19-2011 09:20 PM

Anyone else on Pristiq? My doctor is recommending it... I was on Effexor before and didn't mind the withdrawal and I think the effexor worked pretty descently.

losttheforce 01-24-2011 10:11 PM

I just started taking pristiq. No side effects that I have noticed. 50mg a day I am on, Just a question if there is anyone who has been on this drug long term.

Do you still feel you have emotions? (apart from anger)

I only ask because I took lexapro for 2 years and I swear I lost all my emotions. Like I was a real heartless *******.

When I stopped lexapro the emotions all came flooding back (a little too rapidly in some cases) however I rather enjoy them. I was a bit worried about going back on the SSRI's even though this is a SRNI, for a few reasons. Mainly the 1) lack of emotions and 2) how difficult I found it to ejaculate on lexapro.

I am only in the early days of taking pristiq, thus far no side effects in either of these two areas. I am hoping it stays this way.

cwpc 01-25-2011 04:21 PM

I just started this one , on my 4th week at 50 mg . So far it seems to have helped me with my depression . My anxiety has lowered a bit and it has help me put my self out there a bit more . I have found it has lowered my sex drive a bit , if anything its more work to climax . I will give it a few more months and see where it puts me .

Arisa1536 01-25-2011 09:42 PM


Originally Posted by losttheforce (Post 1754463)
I just started taking pristiq. No side effects that I have noticed. 50mg a day I am on, Just a question if there is anyone who has been on this drug long term.

Do you still feel you have emotions? (apart from anger)

I only ask because I took lexapro for 2 years and I swear I lost all my emotions. Like I was a real heartless *******.

When I stopped lexapro the emotions all came flooding back (a little too rapidly in some cases) however I rather enjoy them. I was a bit worried about going back on the SSRI's even though this is a SRNI, for a few reasons. Mainly the 1) lack of emotions and 2) how difficult I found it to ejaculate on lexapro.

I am only in the early days of taking pristiq, thus far no side effects in either of these two areas. I am hoping it stays this way.

Yeah you are not alone there, i found lexapro stole my emotions i was like a numb zombie on them too
So prisitq sounds very similar to venlafaxine only it has the des in front of it :D

Deadlock 01-28-2011 03:22 PM

Hello everybody. I'm a newbie here but I've been reading several threads on this board for a while. I just left my doctors office and he has prescribed Pristiq for my depression and social anxiety.

I'm somewhat nervous to be on this medication. I've never been on any kind of antidepressants before.

I do have one question though, can you still drink alcohol while on this medication? I don't drink often, but there's times that I have a few drinks with family at least once a week. I just wanted to know if I will have to eliminate drinking altogether or if I could still have a few on occasion.

Thanks for the help.

pegger18636 01-28-2011 07:53 PM

Hey I'm on Pristiq as well, have been since august or september. It took me up to the 200mg dosage though before I started noticing significant improvements. For the first time ever though, I'm noticing some significant improvements in depression and some in anxiety from a medication. There are a decent amount of side effects though. Mostly that I feel a bit out of it or just generally "weird" sometimes, but also I get really hot and then really cold sometimes, cold hands and feet. As far the the sexual side effects go, be aware that they are a very common side effect of all anti depressants. For some people it's a bit of loss of sensation for others it's as bad as not being able to have an orgasm.

As far as the sexual side effects with Pristiq go, they aren't nearly as bad as when I tried Paxil(SSRI) or Celexa(another SNRI like Pristiq). Also my doctor was showing me some study and the % of ppl experiencing the sexual side effects was pretty low on Pristiq lower than most antidepressants. Now that I'm up to a 200mg dose though, they do kind of suck.

It's weird Pristiq is listed as 50-400 mg dosage, but today my doctor told me she thinks we should switch me to Effexor (isomer molecule to Pristiq/ venlafaxine vs dexvenlafaxine) because Pristiq is only documented to be significant in improving peoples symptoms on the 50mg dosage, and once you go past that, there's no more improvement. So why they'd prescribe people up to 400 mg is beyoned me. I'm sure you really wanted to know that haha.

To answer your question, I went and asked the pharmacist a few days ago why my doctor told me not to drink while on this medication. I asked whether it was a matter of liver damage like when you take tylenol and alcohol, or if it was rather an issue of mixing up brain chemicals and rebound anxiety etc.

I didn't get the answer from the pharmacist directly but from the aid and he said the answer was that there is SOME strain on the liver, but the main reason is that the medication added to the booze will make you very very drowsy. A drowziness issue. So basically it's not a good idea to drink alot all the time, but he said a few drinks won't kill you. (Almost the same as whether you're on the medication or not lol.)

It may not be a good idea, but I've been drinking up to 6-8 beers or 7-8 oz 40% alcohol at most on some weekends and haven't really noticed any dangerous side effects or anything, but sometimes I do have a pretty significant amount of rebound anxiety the next day. Everyone is different though.

robtyl 01-29-2011 02:15 AM

Yeh everyone is different...

I'm on 50MG of this stuff - not much, admittedly... I've hit the piss a few times and drunk a LOT... and had no problems - not even drowsiness.

It really depends on the person... if I was you, I'd 'test' yourself out perhaps in private (!), and you can have a rough gauge of how you'll go. Sometimes it's nice to have a couple of beers without having to stress - sometimes it's nice to get completely wasted (it really is!); whichever situation you find yourself in, perhaps trying things out on your own will help you know how to handle yourself.


Deadlock 01-29-2011 11:01 PM

Thanks for the response peggers and robtyl. I don't plan on drinking heavily, just the occasional night when you decide to relax and drink a few. I think for the first weeks 2 weeks or so I'll avoid drinking and then I'll 'test' myself as you guys suggested and see how my body reacts and if theres any bad side effects.

I was just stressing from reading multiple articles and other forums that I'd have to give it up entirely or if I do have a drink I'd be in big trouble.

I haven't started the medication yet. I'll take the first pill in the morning.

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