Do Pristiq-induced side effects go away? (+3 factors)

In this article, we will discuss whether Pristiq-induced side effects go away. We will also discuss some research studies and what to do if Pristiq-induced side effects do not disappear.

Do Pristiq-induced side effects go away?

Yes, Pristiq-induced side effects start to go away within a few weeks of your treatment. The side effects produced by Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine) during the early course of your treatment are usually temporary and tend to disappear as your body gets used to the medication.

The intensity of the side effects varies among individuals. Some people may mildly experience them while some may experience them more intensely. It typically takes 3-4 weeks, but some people take much longer to recover from the early side effects of antidepressants.

Make sure you talk to your healthcare provider if your side effects do not go away within 4 weeks.

Pristiq is generally a well-tolerated antidepressant, but it may not work well in every other individual. If Pristiq is causing intolerable side effects in you, it may not be the best choice of antidepressant for you.

Why does Pristiq cause side effects?

Pristiq is an antidepressant which belongs to a class of medications known as serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. It exerts its effect by affecting the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain which helps in regulating mood and emotions (1).

However, when you first start taking the medication, your body may take time to adjust to the altered levels of these neurotransmitters which results in the appearance of certain side effects like nausea, dizziness, drowsiness etc. 

These side effects are temporary, once your body gets used to the medication and the altered levels of neurotransmitters, they disappear on their own. However, it is important to note that every person responds differently to medications. So some people may experience these side effects for a longer time.

Side effects also appear when you stop using the antidepressant as the body has to adjust to the changed levels of neurotransmitters again.

If these side effects become bothersome, reach out to your healthcare provider for individualized guidance and treatment plans.

What does research suggest?

Studies indicated the relationship between Desvenlafaxine and the appearance of early side effects.

One study stated that Desvenlafaxine is typically prescribed at a therapeutic dose of 50 mg per day, and it is often okay to begin this dosage without gradually increasing it. Side effects tend to show up mostly in the initial weak of treatment but usually get better soon after (2).

Another study found that at 50mg daily Pristiq showed similar results in helping people with depression as other similar antidepressants. Taking it more didn’t make it work better but it did cause more problems, so people had to slowly use less before stopping (6).

The usual side effects were trouble sleeping, feeling sleepy, dizziness and feeling sick. Some people also had higher blood pressure that needed attention (6).

Another study indicated that stopping the use of Desvenlafaxine can lead to withdrawal symptoms, whether the treatment duration is short or long-term (3).

What are the side effects of using Pristiq?

The most common side effects associated with the use of Pristiq include (4):

Some less common side effects include:

  • Tremors
  • Tinnitus
  • Agitation

What factors influence Pristiq-induced side effects?

Several factors can influence the severity and duration of side effects caused by Pristiq. These include:

Dosage and duration: The dosage of a medication directly influences its effects. Higher doses may increase the likelihood and intensity of side effects produced by Pristiq. People responding well to the lower doses may experience side effects after dose escalation. With Pristiq, adhering to the prescribed dose is crucial to minimize adverse reactions.

Side effects may evolve over time as the body adjusts to the medication. Initially, some side effects might be more pronounced and diminish as the body becomes used to the drug. Conversely, some side effects might appear after prolonged use.

Age: Age can also affect how a medication behaves in the body. Older adults or younger individuals may metabolize medications differently potentially impacting the occurrence and severity of side effects. Elderly individuals may be more prone to experience Pristiq-induced side effects than younger ones.

Individual susceptibility: Every individual’s body chemistry varies, affecting how they react to medications. Every person is different and responds differently to medications.

Drug interactions: The interaction of Pristiq with other medications can potentially increase the risk of side effects. It is important to inform your healthcare provider about any medications, herbal supplements or substances you are taking to minimise the risk of drug interactions.

What to do if Pristiq causes side effects?

If you suspect that the side effects induced by Pristiq are becoming bothersome, it is important to reach out to your healthcare provider.

Your doctor may initially adjust your dosage to see if it works for you. By lowering the dose the side effects may subside. However, if dose reduction does not work, your doctor may gradually discontinue your medication or may switch to another medication with fewer side effects.

Your healthcare provider might also recommend specific steps to alleviate side effects such as adjusting the timing of your doses or taking the medication with food to alleviate gastrointestinal symptoms etc.

Side effects might be alleviated through lifestyle changes, such as if Pristiq causes sleep disturbances, practising good sleep hygiene might help.  

Always remember not to skip the doses or discontinue the medication on your own as it can result in withdrawal symptoms further worsening your condition (5).

In my view and the knowledge available, the side effects of Pristiq may diminish over time as the body adjusts to the medication, but this varies among individuals. Some side effects might persist despite continued use, requiring discussion with a healthcare provider for appropriate management.

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