Does Pristiq cause jitters? (11 precautions)

In this article, we will discuss whether Pristiq cause jitters. Furthermore, we will talk about the related research findings, susceptible individuals, what to do if Pristiq-induced jitters persist, and how to ensure safe use of Pristiq. 

Does Pristiq cause jitters?

Pristiq can cause jitters, but it is not a common side effect. Patients taking Pristiq may experience jitters in the initial phase of treatment and jitteriness may subside after a few weeks of treatment as the body adjusts to the antidepressant treatment. 

Pristiq, also known as desvenlafaxine, is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) that is FDA-approved to treat major depressive disorder in adults. Pristiq may also be used to treat hot flashes in women during menopause (1). 

Jitteriness, also known as anxiety syndrome, is characterized by nervousness or restlessness which results in shaking of the body parts. Antidepressants may cause jittery feelings in some individuals when used at higher doses for extended periods (2). 

What does research suggest about Pristiq and jitters?

Research studies suggest that when individuals start taking antidepressants, they may experience jitteriness or anxiety syndrome. These jittery feelings may cause symptoms such as restlessness, insomnia, extreme energy or excitement, intense feelings of fear, or stress.  

Antidepressants causing these jittery feelings may include drugs from different classes such as tricyclic antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, benzodiazepine, or a combination of two antidepressants (3). 

According to another research study, it was found that a higher dose of antidepressant may cause jitteriness or anxiety syndrome within 6 weeks of the treatment. The major risk factor associated with antidepressant-induced jitteriness is a higher dose (4). 

Who is more susceptible to experiencing jitteriness while using Pristiq?

The susceptible individuals who may experience jitteriness while using Pristiq are patients who have a history of mood disorder, major depressive disorder, or bipolar disorder in their family. 

Patients who are sensitive to antidepressants such as Pristiq are more prone to experience jitteriness because of their genetic makeup and physiological responses to the medication. 

Additionally, patients taking Pristiq at higher doses or those whose Pristiq dose has been increased may also have more chances of jittery feelings. The age or sex of the patient is not associated with the incidence of antidepressant-induced jitteriness. 

Some patients may experience jitteriness within the first week of starting antidepressants. According to a clinical trial, half of the participants of the study experienced jitteriness within the first 3 days of the antidepressant treatment (3). 

What to do if Pristiq-induced jitters persist?

If Pristiq-induced jitters persist or worsen, please inform your healthcare provider. They may evaluate your current symptoms, and family or medical history. If you are taking a higher dose of Pristiq, your doctor may consider reducing the dosage gradually and monitor your response afterwards. 

If dose reduction does not help improve your symptoms of jitteriness, your doctor may suggest an alternative treatment to Pristiq such as Effexor or Cymbalta. Strict monitoring is required while prescribing other SNRIs if you experience jitters with one of them. However, it is important to note that not everyone using Pristiq may experience jitters. 

How to ensure safe and effective use of Pristiq?

To ensure the safe and effective use of Pristiq, you should follow the below guidelines: 

  • Inform your doctor if you are allergic to Pristiq before taking it. 
  • Your doctor must be aware of your family or medical history. 
  • You should inform your doctor if you are taking any medicines or supplements. 
  • Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) is an active metabolite of venlafaxine; these two medicines are similar but they should not be taken together. 
  • Avoid using alcohol as it may worsen the side effects of Pristiq. 
  • Pristiq may raise blood pressure, therefore regular monitoring of blood pressure is advised while using Pristiq. 
  • Pristiq may cause drowsiness, so avoid driving or when lying down get up slowly. 
  • Take Pristiq exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. 
  • Do not skip or miss the dose; if a dose is missed, take it as soon as you remember it. 
  • Swallow Pristiq tablet as a whole and do not cut or crush it.
  • Do not suddenly stop taking Pristiq, as abrupt discontinuation may cause withdrawal symptoms

In my opinion, Pristiq may cause jitters, especially in sensitive individuals or when used at higher doses. The symptoms of jitters may include insomnia, shaking of the body, anxiety, restlessness, or extreme feelings of fear or excitement. 

However, jitteriness is not a common adverse effect of Pristiq, but if you experience jitters, please consult your healthcare provider. They may adjust the dose or switch you to an alternative antidepressant if necessary. 

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Sinclair LI, Christmas DM, Hood SD, Potokar JP, Robertson A, Isaac A, Srivastava S, Nutt DJ, Davies SJ. Antidepressant-induced jitteriness/anxiety syndrome: systematic review. Br J Psychiatry. 2009 Jun;194(6):483-90. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.107.048371. PMID: 19478285. Available from:


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