Does desvenlafaxine expire? (7+ tips)

In this article, we will discuss whether desvenlafaxine expires. Furthermore, we will talk about the risks of using expired desvenlafaxine, its adverse effects, what to do if expired desvenlafaxine has been taken, and how to store and handle medicines properly. 

Does desvenlafaxine expire?

Yes, desvenlafaxine does expire. The expiry date is mentioned on each container of the medication and this is the last day of the month after which there is no assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the medication. These expiry dates are determined by the manufacturers after conducting stability studies. 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has strictly prohibited the use of expired medications as they may become less potent and due to physical changes after expiration, medicines are degraded and not properly absorbed in the body, hence causing adverse effects (1). 

Desvenlafaxine belongs to the serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) class of antidepressants. Desvenlafaxine, also known as Pristiq, is FDA-approved to treat major depressive disorder (MDD), especially in adult patients. Desvenlafaxine may also be used to treat hot flashes in women during menopause (2).

What are the risks of using expired desvenlafaxine?

The risks associated with using expired desvenlafaxine mainly include less therapeutic benefit. The efficacy of desvenlafaxine is claimed to be at its best when it is used before its expiry date. However, if there are physical changes in the dosage form of desvenlafaxine, it may represent degradation of its constituents (3). 

The use of such degraded chemicals may pose adverse effects. Desvenlafaxine is an antidepressant and it should be used cautiously. Before starting to consume desvenlafaxine, you should make sure that it has a long expiry date, as antidepressants take time to show their complete therapeutic benefits and are used for extended periods (4). 

What adverse effects may desvenlafaxine cause?

Desvenlafaxine may cause the following common adverse effects:

Desvenlafaxine may also cause rare side effects such as:

If you experience any of these side effects after taking an expired desvenlafaxine, please immediately reach out to your healthcare provider. 

What to do if you have taken expired desvenlafaxine?

If you have taken an expired desvenlafaxine, first of all, don’t panic. Be vigilant and look for any unusual symptoms. You may not experience side effects immediately after consuming expired desvenlafaxine, but it is not advisable to take any medicine after its expiry date. 

Desvenlafaxine is available in extended-release tablets, therefore if you have accidentally taken expired desvenlafaxine, which might not be degraded as yet, you will probably not experience any adverse event. If your medicine is expired, it is necessary to discard it safely and get a new desvenlafaxine on prescription (1,6). 

How to ensure proper storage and handling of desvenlafaxine?

To ensure proper storage and handling of desvenlafaxine, you should not take them out of their original packing unnecessarily. Only open the pack when you need to consume the medicine. Always keep desvenlafaxine at room temperature. 

Also, prevent your medication from direct sunlight, moisture, or excess heat as the tablets may start deteriorating when they absorb moisture or are exposed to direct heat, and keep the medicines out of reach of the children. 

Do not use desvenlafaxine if its original packing was damaged. Always check the expiry date before buying or taking a new medicine. If a medicine has a bad odour or decolouration, even if it has time before its expiration, you should not use it, as it may not be kept properly from where you bought it (7).   

In my opinion, desvenlafaxine does expire just like other medications and the use of expired medication is strictly prohibited by the FDA due to the risks associated with it. If you accidentally consume expired desvenlafaxine, be cautious and report to the emergency of you observe any adverse effects. 

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Naseeruddin R, Rosani A, Marwaha R. Desvenlafaxine. 2023 Jul 10. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 30521250. Available from:


Gikonyo D, Gikonyo A, Luvayo D, Ponoth P. Drug expiry debate: the myth and the reality. Afr Health Sci. 2019 Sep;19(3):2737-2739. doi: 10.4314/ahs.v19i3.49. PMID: 32127846; PMCID: PMC7040264. Available from:


Cartwright C, Gibson K, Read J, Cowan O, Dehar T. Long-term antidepressant use: patient perspectives of benefits and adverse effects. Patient Prefer Adherence. 2016 Jul 28;10:1401-7. doi: 10.2147/PPA.S110632. PMID: 27528803; PMCID: PMC4970636. Available from:


Desvenlafaxine-MedlinePlus [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); [Last Revised – 01/15/2022]. Available from:


U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Don’t Be Tempted to Use Expired Medicines [Internet]. Silver Spring (MD): U.S. Food and Drug Administration; 2021 [cited 2023 Jun 20]. Available from:


Storing your medicines-MedlinePlus [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); [Review Date 1/29/2022]. Available from:

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