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Dec 9, 2022

Mental Health

DesvenlafaxineAntidepressantMental Health

Taking Desvenlafaxine for the first time? Here’s How to Get the Best Results

What is Desvenlafaxine?

Desvenlafaxine is a generic prescription medication for Khedezla, which is a part of a drug class known as Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake inhibitors (SNRI).

As the name may already suggest, SNRIs work by blocking the reabsorption (reuptake) of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine, which are chemicals found naturally in your brain that support mental balance.

Learn about the differences between SNRIs and SSRIs (antidepressants).

What is Desvenlafaxine used to treat?

Desvenlafaxine is frequently used to treat the symptoms of major depressive disorder.

Major depressive disorder (clinical depression) is a mental health condition that significantly impairs your quality of life and is characterized by a consistently depressed state or loss of enthusiasm for activities.

Desvenlafaxine is also occasionally used as an off-label (defined as an unapproved use of an FDA-approved medication) to treat hot flashes in postmenopausal women, which may include sudden, intense sensations of heat and sweating that affect women who have gone through menopause. The risks of using this medication for hot flashes should be discussed with your physician.

How is Desvenlafaxine administered?

Typical dose for depression in adults is a 50 mg tablet orally once a day. However, it also comes in dosages ranging between 25 mg–400 mg (25 mg, 50 mg, 100 mg, 400 mg).

Clinical trials have confirmed the efficacy of doses ranging from 50 mg–400 mg daily. Interestingly, studies show that there are no additional benefits at doses higher than 50 mg per day. Side effects and discontinuations of desvenlafaxine were more common at larger doses.

Individuals with moderate to severe hepatic impairment (liver problems, such as liver failure) should take 50 mg daily. Escalating the dose above 100 mg per day is not advised.

Desvenlafaxine should be taken every day at the same time, with or without food, with a glass of water. Take the pill whole; do not chew, break, or crush it.

See why can't crush or split certain medications.

For several weeks, your symptoms might not get better, which is completely normal, it often takes time to see results and get the full benefit of this medication.

Here's what to expect during the first few weeks on an antidepressant medication.

Can I stop taking Desvenlafaxine when I feel better?

Desvenlafaxine should still be taken even if you feel better. Without consulting your physician, do not discontinue using this medication. Your dose will likely be gradually reduced by your physician.

You could develop withdrawal-like symptoms if you abruptly discontinue taking desvenlafaxine:

  • Trembling
  • Tinnitus, otherwise known as ringing and/or buzzing sounds in your ear(s)
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Experiencing abnormal dreams
  • Sweating
  • Changes in your mood, such as belligerent behavior or unusually enthused
  • Experiencing difficulty controlling your emotions

What are the side effects of Desvenlafaxine?

  • Increase heart rate
  • Dilated pupils — This can lead to an episode of narrow open-angle glaucoma
  • Dry mouth
  • Excessive sweating
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness and/or drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Impotence

Inform your physician if you notice any shifts in your sexual function, such as a decrease in desire to have sexual intercourse, difficulty experiencing an orgasm, or issues with erections or ejaculation in men. Many sexual conditions are treatable.

What can interact with Desvenlafaxine?

Black box warnings (the strictest warnings for prescription medications required by the FDA) alert that this drug may cause suicidal ideations, which tend to be very common in those who are depressed or have mental health issues.

  • When first starting a medication to treat depression, some young individuals may experience an increase in suicidal thoughts.
  • Be mindful of any changes in your symptoms or mood. Your loved ones and/or caregivers should keep an eye out for any abrupt changes in your behavior.

Desvenlafaxine should not be taken 7 days prior to or 14 days after taking a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor including phenelzine, isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, or tranylcypromine. There may be a harmful drug interaction.


Prior to taking a Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) which includes aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, Advil, Aleve, and Motrin, talk to your physician. You may bruise or bleed easily if you take an NSAID along with desvenlafaxine.


A blood thinner (such as warfarin, coumadin, or Jantoven) should be mentioned to your physician along with all other medications you are taking.

What happens if I miss a dose?

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless it's almost time for your next dose. In this case, skip the forgotten dose and take the next one at the usual time. Do not take 2 doses together to make up for a missed dose.

Speak With Your Doctor

Desvenlafaxine is relatively considered a safe and effective medication when taken appropriately (as prescribed by your doctor). Talk to your doctor today about using Desvenlafaxine and send your prescription to Marley Drug. Save up to 95% compared to your local pharmacy by using Marley Drug.

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