Does Desvenlafaxine Relax You? (+3 studies)

In this article, we will discuss whether desvenlafaxine relaxes an individual. We will also share the mechanism through which desvenlafaxine causes relaxation and other relevant information. 

Does desvenlafaxine relax you?

Yes, desvenlafaxine can help you feel relaxed. Although it is not specifically prescribed as a relaxation medication, it helps with relaxation because it influences certain neurotransmitters that are involved in the development of anxiety. 

Desvenlafaxine is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) which is an antidepressant and is FDA-approved to treat major depressive disorder (MDD). Antidepressants are also known to improve the symptoms of anxiety. 

Desvenlafaxine can help an individual relax as it improves mood, reduces anxiety, and makes an individual calmer. It is not specifically prescribed for relaxation however it helps with relaxation as it reduces anxiety. 

How does desvenlafaxine relax you?

Desvenlafaxine promotes relaxation as it affects the neurotransmitters which include serotonin and norepinephrine (NE). Desvenlafaxine increases the levels of these neurotransmitters in the body to restore healthy levels (1). 

Serotonin and NE dysfunction are associated with the development of anxiety. Desvenlafaxine reduces anxiety and promotes relaxation in the following ways: 

Increased serotonin: 

Altered serotonin levels have an impact on the development of anxiety. Research has shown that different types of serotonin receptors in the brain have different effects on anxiety (2). 

Studies have shown that both excessive or deficient levels of serotonin in the brain can be involved in the development of anxiety. Neuroimaging studies have shown that reduced serotonin binding is present in some areas of the brain in anxiety disorders (2). 

The serotonin deficit theory suggests that serotonin deficit in specific brain regions facilitates panic (3). It means that an individual with low serotonin is more susceptible to panic and anxiety symptoms. 

Thus, by restoring the healthy levels of serotonin in the brain, desvenlafaxine reduces anxiety and panic behaviors and thus promotes relaxation.

Increased norepinephrine (NE): 

NE deficit is associated with the symptoms of depression like reduction in energy, pleasure, happiness, and interest (2). As desvenlafaxine improves the symptoms of depression, an individual experiences a sense of relaxation and relief. 

What does research suggest? 

Research indicates that 60-90% of depressed patients also present with anxiety symptoms. Antidepressants like Pristiq and escitalopram are known to improve anxiety symptoms in depressed patients (4). 

A six-week comparative study on desvenlafaxine and escitalopram revealed that both drugs reduced anxiety symptoms in depressed patients (4). Thus, an individual taking desvenlafaxine for depression also feels relaxed due to reduced anxiety. 

One study analyzed the results of 9 randomized controlled trials. Patients were treated with desvenlafaxine for 8 weeks. Results revealed that desvenlafaxine was associated with reduced symptoms of anxiety (5). 

Evidence from the literature mentions that although desvenlafaxine is FDA-approved for MDD, it has shown improvement in menopausal symptoms, and the symptoms of pain and anxiety (6). 

Thus, the studies show that desvenlafaxine can help you relax by reducing anxiety symptoms. If you are taking desvenlafaxine for depression, you are likely to feel relaxed and calmer and observe an improvement in your anxiety. 

What are the primary indications for desvenlafaxine? 

Desvenlafaxine is not primarily indicated for relaxation however relaxation is one of its benefits. The major indication of desvenlafaxine is major depressive disorder (MDD). Patients with MDD have a persistent low mood and an inability to feel pleasure (7). 

Desvenlafaxine is an FDA-approved drug for MDD. It is preferred in patients who also have pain disorders. Its efficacy and safety in treating MDD is well-established (7). 

The off-label use of desvenlafaxine includes the management of menopausal hot flashes. It is preferred when estrogen cannot be prescribed to the patients (1). It is also used as an alternative to hormonal therapy to avoid adverse side effects (8).

What are some other ways to relax while taking desvenlafaxine?

Your healthcare provider might prescribe you desvenlafaxine for depression which also helps you to relax. To promote relaxation, you can also use the following techniques to reduce your tension and anxiety (9): 

Box breathing: 

Box breathing is an effective way to relax before, during, or after a stressful event. It involves four steps, each of which lasts for four seconds. The steps include inhaling through the nose, holding the breath, exhaling, and holding the breath. 

Guided imagery:

This technique is based on the fact that our thoughts shape our emotions. It requires the individual to visualize that they are in a calming environment. This distracts them from their intrusive thoughts and creates a deep sense of relaxation. 

Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR):

This technique promotes relaxation by reducing the physical tension associated with anxiety. It requires the individuals to slowly tense and relax their muscles. It is an effective technique to reduce stress and physical tension and promote relaxation. 

In my perspective, desvenlafaxine helps you to relax. Desvenlafaxine is not prescribed as a relaxation medication and it is an antidepressant used to treat MDD. However, it promotes relaxation as it reduces anxiety and improves the symptoms of depression. Desvenlafaxine reduces anxiety by increasing the levels of serotonin and NE in the brain. Studies have shown that desvenlafaxine is effective in reducing the symptoms of anxiety. 

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