Does Desvenlafaxine help with OCD? (3+ findings)

In this article, we will discuss whether Desvenlafaxine can be used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). We will also discuss some research studies and what other alternative treatment options for OCD are available if Desvenlafaxine fails.

Does Desvenlafaxine help with OCD?

Yes, Desvenlafaxine can be used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Desvenlafaxine is a medication that is sold under the brand name Pristiq and is approved for treating depression and anxiety.

However, it is crucial to know that Desvenlafaxine is not FDA-approved for treating OCD. Its FDA-approved use includes major depressive disorder (MDD) (1).

Desvenlafaxine, a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), exerts its effects by altering the neurotransmitters (serotonin and norepinephrine) in the brain, which results in improving mood and reducing anxiety (2).

Always openly communicate with your healthcare provider to ensure the safe and appropriate treatment for your OCD.

What does research suggest?

There is limited research indicating the use of Desvenlafaxine in treating OCD. However SNRIs, like Duloxetine, Venlafaxine etc, in general, can be used as an off-label treatment for OCD.

One study indicated that SNRIs might cause fewer side effects and could be a good choice if the first medications do not work well for OCD (3).

Another study also indicated that SNRIs such as Venlafaxine may help treat OCD symptoms in certain individuals even if they did not respond to SSRI treatment. However, further research is required (4).

What are the dosage recommendations of Desvenlafaxine for OCD?

Desvenlafaxine can be prescribed as an off-label treatment for OCD. Its dosage depends on the factors like patient’s age and overall health.

Usually, the starting dose is 50mg per day which may be increased up to a maximum of 100mg per day depending on the patient’s response and tolerability.

However, when using medications off-label or for conditions they are not approved for, it is crucial to consult a doctor. They can provide guidance on the proper dosage and overall suitability of the medication.

What are the side effects of Desvenlafaxine when used for OCD?

Desvenlafaxine may cause a number of side effects when used to treat OCD. These include (7):

Common side effects

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Sweating
  • Weight changes
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea

Serious side effects

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Blurred vision
  • Agitation
  • Tremors

It is important to note that individual responses to medications vary and not everyone taking Desvenlafaxine will experience these side effects; but if they do occur, it is important to reach out to your healthcare provider.

They will assess your condition and provide individualized guidance to ensure the safe and effective use of the medication.

What to do if Desvenlafaxine does not help your OCD?

If Desvenlafaxine is not helpful in treating OCD, it is important to reach out to your healthcare provider. They can assess your situation properly and take the best course of action accordingly.

They may initially increase your dosage to see if it works. However, if it does not work, your healthcare provider may gradually discontinue your medication or switch to another antidepressant that is specially used and approved to treat OCD. 

Desvenlafaxine is not an FDA-approved medication for treating OCD. There are other therapies and medications that are FDA-approved to treat OCD.

What medications are approved by the FDA to treat OCD?

The FDA approved the following medications to treat OCD (5,6):

  • Clomipramine for adults and children above 10 years.
  • Paroxetine for adults only.
  • Sertraline for adults and children above 6 years.
  • Fluvoxamine for adults and children above 7 years.

Along with medications CBT/ERP (Cognitive behavioural therapy/Exposure and response prevention) is the first line of treatment for managing OCD symptoms.

Medications mentioned above are used in combination with CBT/ERP for treating OCD symptoms in certain individuals who failed to respond to medications alone.

Your healthcare provider will properly assess your situation and prescribe suitable medications for treating your OCD symptoms.

Final words

Based on my knowledge and research, Desvenlafaxine can be used to treat the symptoms of OCD in certain individuals. However, Desvenlafaxine is not FDA-approved for treating OCD.

Consult your healthcare provider if your OCD symptoms persist while using Desvenlafaxine. They can adjust your dosage or switch you to a more suitable treatment for managing OCD symptoms. 




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