Does Pristiq cause acne? 

Does Pristiq cause acne? 

No, Pristiq does not generally cause acne and it is not a common side effect of this antidepressant. However, people respond differently and some may observe newly formed acne or pimples on their skin after starting their treatment within Pristiq. 

It generally isn’t something to be worried about and acne on Pristiq goes away as your body adjusts to the medication. 

What does research suggest?

While Pristiq has been associated with reports of acne as a potential side effect, the research on this specific topic is limited. The exact mechanism by which Pristiq might cause acne is not well understood.

Pristiq is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor that does not affect your skin or cause related side effects (1). Some people, however, could be allergic to Pristiq and develop skin rashes or blisters after consuming the medication. 

Acne, in particular, can have various causes, including hormonal imbalances, increased sebum production, and inflammation of the skin (2,3). It is possible that Pristiq could influence these factors, leading to the development or exacerbation of acne in some individuals. 

However, it is important to note that not everyone who takes Pristiq will experience acne, and the occurrence of acne can vary from person to person. In general, acne is not considered a common side effect of Pristiq and other antidepressants like Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Lexapro, etc.

What to do if Pristiq causes acne? 

Talk to your healthcare provider if Pristiq causes acne. A pimple every now and then is generally common and it’s nothing to be concerned about, as Pristiq does not affect your skin. 

However, if you observe severe and uncontrollable acne, Pristiq is the only medication you take and you have a balanced diet, then it’s best to discuss this with your healthcare provider. 

Your doctor may prescribe you an antibiotic if your acne is severe or a topical ointment to reduce it. It is also important to make sure that you don’t consume foods that trigger your acne or use products that irritate your skin. 

Just drink plenty of water and wash your face with a mild cleanser, and don’t take any other medication with Pristiq without consulting your doctor first. 

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Naseeruddin R, Rosani A, Marwaha R. Desvenlafaxine. 2022 Jul 11. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 30521250.


Beylot C. Mécanismes et causes de l’acné [Mechanisms and causes of acne]. Rev Prat. 2002 Apr 15;52(8):828-30. French. PMID: 12053788.


Sutaria AH, Masood S, Schlessinger J. Acne Vulgaris. 2023 Feb 16. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 29083670.

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