Does Pristiq cause forgetfulness? (+3 tips)

In this article, we will discuss whether Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine) causes forgetfulness. We will also discuss some research studies and what one should do if this side effect occurs.

Does Pristiq cause forgetfulness?

Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine) can cause forgetfulness, especially during the early course of your treatment. However, it is not a common side effect of this antidepressant and forgetfulness is more commonly linked to mental health conditions that Pristiq can help treat.

It is common for people with depression to forget and be unable to focus on their surroundings. Some people may feel disconnected or numb. They might forget where they are, what they are doing or whom they are talking to.

Pristiq, as an antidepressant, is expected to help with these conditions (1). However, during the early course of treatment with Pristiq, individuals may experience forgetfulness. This happens because it takes time for a person to adjust to Pristiq and the changes it causes in the brain. 

When memory-related side effects occur, they are often mild and temporary. Some people may notice problems with concentration or short-term memory while they are taking Pristiq, but these issues typically resolve when the medication is discontinued or after the body adjusts to it.

What does research suggest?

There is limited research on Pristiq-induced forgetfulness. However, antidepressants in general can cause memory issues when taken for the first time.

One study indicated that antidepressant use in older adults was linked to a higher chance of developing dementia (memory loss) and forgetfulness. The study suggested that doctors, healthcare professionals and caregivers should think about both the good and bad aspects of antidepressants in later life and find the right balance (2).

Prozac-induced forgetfulness is only temporary. Once Pristiq takes full effect and the body adjusts to it, many people find improvement in their ability to focus.

It is also important to note that Pristiq, being an antidepressant, can also help people with forgetfulness associated with depression.

One study indicated that using 50mg/day of Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine) to treat depression might enhance certain aspects of cognitive function, such as memory (3).

What factors can contribute to forgetfulness while taking Pristiq?

Factors contributing to forgetfulness while taking Pristiq include:

Dosage: Higher doses of Pristiq, especially during the early course of your treatment, may increase the likelihood of forgetfulness.

Age: Elderly people may be more susceptible to memory-related side effects while taking Pristiq.

Pre-existing conditions: People with pre-existing memory problems or cognitive impairment may be more vulnerable to forgetfulness while taking Pristiq.

Drug interactions: Interactions of Pristiq with other drugs or supplements you are taking can increase the risk of forgetfulness by the individual.

Duration of use: Individuals taking Pristiq for a long time may be associated with a higher likelihood of forgetfulness.

Diet: Consumption of caffeine and alcohol while taking Pristiq can result in difficulty focusing and forgetfulness.

If you are concerned with forgetfulness while taking Pristiq or other antidepressants like Sertraline, Citalopram, or Escitalopram, it is crucial to report them to your healthcare provider.

What to do if Pristiq is causing forgetfulness?

If Pristiq is affecting your memory directly or indirectly, discuss it with your healthcare provider. They will assess your situation and current symptoms to evaluate whether Pristiq is the main culprit. 

If Pristiq is causing forgetfulness, your healthcare provider may gradually reduce your dose to see if it works for you. If dose reduction is not useful, they may gradually discontinue your medication or switch to another antidepressant with fewer side effects.

However, you do not make any changes to your prescription without consulting your doctor first.

How to manage forgetfulness while taking Pristiq?

Tips to manage forgetfulness while taking Pristiq include:

  • Eating a well-balanced diet rich in vitamins and proteins and ensuring enough sleep to improve the symptoms of forgetfulness.
  • Quit alcohol and caffeine intake to reduce the risk of memory impairment.
  • Physical activity is a great stress reliever and can improve your mood. Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood-lifters. Brisk walking or yoga can improve symptoms of forgetfulness (4).
  • Memory-matching games or playing crossword games can improve your focus. These activities boost your cognitive abilities and keep your mind active (5).
  • Dehydration can affect cognitive abilities. Drinking enough water is essential for overall brain function.

Based on my personal experience and the information available, I have found that Pristiq, an antidepressant, may affect memory in some individuals. While it is not a common side effect, it is essential to be aware of potential memory issues when taking Pristiq.

I suggest consulting a healthcare professional for personalized guidance and treatment plan.


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