Pristiq is an oral medication taken by patients to treat depression, because it belongs to a group of drugs called antidepressants, or SNRIs. Basically, it works by affecting specific neurotransmitters in the brain. There are many experts who believe that any imbalances among these important chemicals result in depression and other mood or mental disorders. Pristiq is targeted at norepinephrine and serotonin, because it prevents their reuptake by nerves after their release.
Their uptake is an essential mechanism for removing and terminating basic actions on relevant nerves, their decreased uptake caused by this medication boosts the effects of norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain. Nowadays, you can easily find Pristiq available as standard and extended-release tablets that come in 50 mg and 100 mg. Its use was approved by the FDA in 2008. The most common dose of this medicine is 50 mg taken on a daily basis, both with and without food.
Unwanted Drug Interactions to Be Avoided
Just like other SNRIs, Pristiq shouldn’t be combined with such medications as MAO inhibitors and other pills that work by inhibiting monoamine oxidase because these drug combinations lead to a range of serious side effects, including hypertension, confusion, tremors, coma, hyperactivity and even death. That’s why patients must take 1-2-week intervals between these treatment options to be on a safe side.
Moreover, similar negative reactions may happen when Pristiq is combined with other SSRIs and SNRIs or other drugs that work affecting serotonin levels in the brain. This medication may also increase the effects of Coumadin, thus, causing excessive bleeding. Combining it with NSAIDs and aspirin leads to negative effects, because patients may end up with gastrointestinal bleeding. Ketoconazole may decrease its proper breakdown, thus, resulting in its higher concentrations in the human body and increased risks of having side effects.
List of Serious and Mild Adverse Effects
Like other medications, Pristiq is responsible for causing certain side effects, and the most common ones include the following:
Headaches and nausea;
Insomnia and anxiety;
Drowsiness and unusual weakness;
Constipation and increased sweating;
Dry mouth and diarrhea;
Loss of appetite and allergic reactions.
The good news is that most of these symptoms are mild and rare, so many patients take Pristiq safely. If any of the above-mentioned side effects worsen or persist, you should call your physician as soon as possible. Finally, you need to get emergency medical help if you have any serious side effects, such as hypertension, seizures, easy bleeding and others. Some patients may have certain withdrawal reactions when they stop using Pristiq abruptly. These symptoms include nausea, anxiety, insomnia and nervousness. All antidepressants may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors, especially in kids and teens.