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Drugs & Medications

desvenlafaxine fumarate

WARNINGS:

Antidepressant medications are used to treat a variety of conditions, including depression and other mental/mood disorders. These medications can help prevent suicidal thoughts/attempts and provide other important benefits. However, studies have shown that a small number of people (especially people younger than 25) who take antidepressants for any condition may experience worsening depression, other mental/mood symptoms, or suicidal thoughts/attempts. Therefore, it is very important to talk with the doctor about the risks and benefits of antidepressant medication (especially for people younger than 25), even if treatment is not for a mental/mood condition.

Tell the doctor immediately if you notice worsening depression/other psychiatric conditions, unusual behavior changes (including possible suicidal thoughts/attempts), or other mental/mood changes (including new/worsening anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, irritability, hostile/angry feelings, impulsive actions, severe restlessness, very rapid speech). Be especially watchful for these symptoms when a new antidepressant is started or when the dose is changed.

Who should not take desvenlafaxine fumarate?
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Uses

Desvenlafaxine is used to treat depression. It may improve your mood, feelings of well-being, and energy level. Desvenlafaxine is known as a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI). It works by helping to restore the balance of certain natural substances (serotonin and norepinephrine) in the brain.

OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.

Desvenlafaxine may also be used to relieve nerve pain, anxiety, and panic attacks. It may also be used to treat hot flashes that occur with menopause.

How to use desvenlafaxine fumarate

Read the Medication Guide and, if available, the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start taking desvenlafaxine and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.

Do not crush, chew, or dissolve this medication in water. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Also, do not split the tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing.

To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase. Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time each day.

It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when this drug is suddenly stopped. Also, you may experience symptoms such as mood swings, headache, tiredness, sleep changes, and brief feelings similar to electric shock. To prevent these symptoms while you are stopping treatment with this drug, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details. Report any new or worsening symptoms immediately.

If you are switching from another antidepressant to desvenlafaxine, your doctor should slowly reduce the dose of your old antidepressant to prevent withdrawal reactions from the other antidepressant. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

It may take several weeks before you get the full benefit of this medication. Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.

Side Effects

See also Warning section.

Drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, dry mouth, constipation, loss of appetite, weight loss, blurred vision, nervousness, trouble sleeping, or excessive sweating may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Desvenlafaxine may increase blood pressure. Your blood pressure should be checked regularly while you are taking this medication.

An empty tablet shell may appear in your stool. This effect is harmless because your body has already absorbed the medication.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: severe/pounding headache, shakiness (tremor), decreased interest in sex, changes in sexual ability, easy bruising/bleeding.

Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: chest pain, persistent cough, shortness of breath, black stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, seizures, change in the amount of urine.

This medication may increase serotonin and rarely cause a very serious condition called serotonin syndrome/toxicity. The risk increases if you are also taking other drugs that increase serotonin, so tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take (see Drug Interactions section). Get medical help right away if you develop some of the following symptoms: fast heartbeat, hallucinations, loss of coordination, severe dizziness, severe nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, twitching muscles, unexplained fever, unusual agitation/restlessness.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Precautions

Before taking desvenlafaxine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to venlafaxine; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: personal or family history of psychiatric disorders (such as bipolar/manic-depressive disorder), personal or family history of suicide attempts, bleeding problems, glaucoma, high blood pressure, heart problems (such as chest pain, heart failure, heart attack), history of stroke, high cholesterol, kidney disease, liver disease, seizure disorder, low sodium in the blood (hyponatremia).

This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy or cause blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially dizziness when standing and bleeding. Older adults are also more likely to develop a type of mineral imbalance (hyponatremia), especially if they are also taking "water pills" (diuretics) with this medication. Dizziness and mineral imbalance can increase the risk of falling.

Based on information for a similar drug (venlafaxine), children may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially loss of appetite and weight loss. Monitor height and weight in children who are taking this drug. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may harm an unborn baby. Also, babies born to mothers who have used this drug during the last 3 months of pregnancy may infrequently develop withdrawal symptoms such as feeding/breathing difficulties, seizures, muscle stiffness, or constant crying. If you notice any of these symptoms in your newborn, tell the doctor promptly.

Since untreated depression can be a serious condition, do not stop taking this medication unless directed by your doctor. If you are planning pregnancy, become pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, immediately discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using this medication during pregnancy.

This drug passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Some products that may interact with this drug include: other drugs that can cause bleeding/bruising (including antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel, NSAIDs such as ibuprofen/naproxen, "blood thinners" such as dabigatran/warfarin).

Aspirin can increase the risk of bleeding when used with this medication. However, if your doctor has directed you to take low-dose aspirin for heart attack or stroke prevention (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams a day), you should continue taking it unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

Taking MAO inhibitors with this medication may cause a serious (possibly fatal) drug interaction. Avoid taking MAO inhibitors (isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine) during treatment with this medication. Most MAO inhibitors should also not be taken for two weeks before and at least 7 days after treatment with this medication. Ask your doctor when to start or stop taking this medication.

The risk of serotonin syndrome/toxicity increases if you are also taking other drugs that increase serotonin. Examples include street drugs such as MDMA/"ecstasy," St. John's wort, certain antidepressants (including other SNRIs such as duloxetine, SSRIs such as fluoxetine/paroxetine), tryptophan, among others. The risk of serotonin syndrome/toxicity may be more likely when you start or increase the dose of these drugs.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products that cause drowsiness including alcohol, antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, and narcotic pain relievers (such as codeine).

Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.

Desvenlafaxine is very similar to venlafaxine. Do not use medications containing venlafaxine while using desvenlafaxine.

This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including urine tests for amphetamines), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe drowsiness, seizures, fast/irregular heartbeat.

Notes

Do not share this medication with others.

Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as blood pressure, cholesterol, growth monitoring in children) should be done periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.

Keep all regular medical and psychiatric appointments.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Storage

Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.

Information last revised October 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.

Images

DESVENLAFAXINE FUM ER 50 MG
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imprint
747
DESVENLAFAXINE FUM ER 100 MG
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brick red
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804
DESVENLAFAXINE FUM ER 50 MG

Identification

color
light pink
shape
round
imprint
747
This medicine is a light pink, round, film-coated tablet imprinted with "747".
DESVENLAFAXINE FUM ER 100 MG

Identification

color
brick red
shape
round
imprint
804
This medicine is a brick red, round, film-coated tablet imprinted with "804".

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Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, expect as may be authorized by the applicable terms of use.

CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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