Pristiq is an antidepressant from the class of selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). It works the same as other SNRIs by decreasing the absorption of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine and increasing their levels in the brain and body. The increase in these neurotransmitters helps to decrease the symptoms of depression and anxiety. It is a new drug similar to Effexor.
Pristiq is primarily used for the treatment of major depressive disorder. It also can be used to treat generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, menopause and nerve pain. It is often prescribed in drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers for dual diagnosis treatment. It may take weeks before the full effects of the drug are felt.
Pristiq may cause similar side effects to other SNRIs. These include but are not limited to:
- Extreme fatigue
- Insomnia (difficulty sleeping)
- Increased sweating
- Unusual dreams
- Sexual dysfunction in men
Notify your doctor if these side effects do not go away or are severe.
Some less common but more serious side effects of Pristiq use are:
- Stiff muscles
- Difficulty urinating
- Blurred vision
- Feeling impulsive
- Uncontrolled anger or aggression
- Increased depression
If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately.
As with all SNRI antidepressants, many people experience withdrawal symptoms when stopping Pristiq use. Consult with your doctor before stopping using Pristiq as symptoms are decreased by slowly tapering off this medication. While these withdrawal symptoms are not life-threatening, they may be quite uncomfortable. They include:
- Mood changes or anxiety
- Sensitivity to sound
- Irritability or agitation
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- Electric shock sensations
- Insomnia and tiredness
You should never drink alcohol and take Pristiq as the alcohol will worsen its side effects.
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