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Desvenlafaxine is used in the treatment of major depression.

How it works

Desvenlafaxine belongs to a class of medications called selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). It acts by increasing the amounts of chemicals (serotonin and norepinephrine) in the brain.

Common side effects

Nightmare, Altered sexual function, Constipation, Dilatation of the pupil of the eye, Dizziness, Dry mouth, Difficulty in urination, Fatigue, Increased sweating, Loss of appetite, Numbness, Tingling sensation, Uncoordinated body movements, Yawning


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Expert advice

  • Do not start or continue desvenlafaxine, in any form if you are allergic to desvenlafaxine or any other ingredients of the medicine.
  • Do not take desvenlafaxine, if you have fever, muscle stiffness or tremor, changes in your mental state like confusion, irritability and extreme agitation (serotonin syndrome or neuroleptic malignant syndrome). 
  • Avoid taking desvenlafaxine, if you have any respiratory problem; seizure or epilepsy; suicidal tendencies; or mania.
  • Do not suddenly withdraw or discontinue therapy.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while taking desvenlafaxine in any form.
  • Do not take this drug, if you are using antidepressants (monoamine oxidase inhibitors) or have been taking them within the previous two weeks.
  • Desvenlafaxine can cause drowsiness and, therefore, caution has to be taken before operating an automobile or machinery or engaging in activities requiring mental alertness and coordination.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is desvenlafaxin same as venlafaxine?
Desvenlafaxine and venlafaxine belongs to same category of drugs with similar action, but their effect may vary upon individual response.
Q. Is desvenlafaxine an addictive?
No, patients should follow the advice of the doctor regarding its use.
Q. Is desvenlafaxine a SSRI/stimulant?
No, desvenlafaxine belongs to class of medication called as selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).
Q. Is desvenlafaxine safe?
Desvenlafaxine is safe, if used at prescribed doses for the prescribed duration as advised by your doctor.
Q. Does desvenlafaxine cause weight gain?
No, desvenlafaxine is not known to cause weight. Consult your doctor if you experience such side effects.

Content on this page was last updated on 18 October, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)