Can Pristiq be cut in half? 

Can Pristiq be cut in half? 

No, you shouldn’t cut Pristiq in half. Pristiq is an extended-release formulation of Desvenlafaxine, an antidepressant, and it should be swallowed whole. 

This extended-release formulation is coated with a shell that slowly releases the drug over an extended period of time and you only have to take this antidepressant once daily. 

Risks associated with cutting Pristiq in half

If you cut Pristiq tablets in half, you will end up damaging the controlled-release mechanism of this medication and the entire drug will get released faster and at once. 

This rapidly increases the concentration of Pristiq in your body, which can cause side effects and make your body dependent on the medication(1)

You will start feeling dizzy at the end of the day, which will subside when you take your next dose. This is why you should take the entire tablet at once. If you can’t swallow the tablet whole, talk to your doctor or pharmacist for an alternative dosage form. 

How to take Pristiq properly according to the manufacturers? 

Pfizer, the manufacturing pharmaceutical company of Pristiq, has recommended taking this antidepressant in the following ways(2):

  • Take Pristiq as your healthcare provider as directed. 
  • Do not take a higher dose or take it more often than your doctor has recommended. 
  • Pristiq can be taken at any time of the day. However, make sure to take it at the same time each day. 
  • You can take Pristiq with or without food. If it causes nausea or other GI side effects, it’s preferred to take it with food. 
  • Pristiq should be swallowed whole. It should not be cut, chewed, or crushed. 
  • Do not stop taking Pristiq abruptly. It might take some time to work. Until then it should be taken properly. 
  • You may find a tablet shell in your stool after taking Pristiq. It doesn’t indicate that the tablet has not been absorbed. It’s just the coverage that does not get dissolved in your body. 
  • In case of missing a dose, you can take it as soon as you remember. However, if your next dose is near, it’s best to skip the missed dose and take your next one on time. 
  • In case of an overdose, call your local medical emergency helpline right away. 

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PubChem [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US), National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2004-. PubChem Compound Summary for CID 125017, Desvenlafaxine; [cited 2023 Feb. 22]. Available from:


Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) U.S. Medication Guide”. Pfizer. Available from:

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