Compare Effexor vs. Pristiq

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Effexor (venlafaxine)

Prescription only

Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine)

Prescription only
Improves mood and helps you relax.

Effexor (venlafaxine) is good for treating depression and anxiety, but it can cause more withdrawal symptoms if you stop suddenly compared to other antidepressants.

3.7/ 5 average rating with 577 reviewsforEffexor
Improves mood.

Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine) is basically the same medication as Effexor, which is cheaper because it's available as a generic.

3.5/ 5 average rating with 196 reviewsforPristiq
Upsides
  • Effexor (venlafaxine) effectively treats depression, anxiety, and panic disorder.
  • Effexor (venlafaxine) causes more sleepiness than other antidepressants, so it's beneficial for people who have trouble sleeping.
  • Effexor (venlafaxine) might work when other antidepressants haven't worked since it affects two chemicals in the brain that impact your mood.
  • Effexor (venlafaxine) has several uses, which may be good for people with multiple conditions.
  • Effexor (venlafaxine) is available in generic, which is cheaper.
  • Effective at relieving symptoms and lowering relapse rates for depression.
  • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
Downsides
  • Effexor (venlafaxine) can cause side effects such as decreased libido and increased blood pressure.
  • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people aged 24 years or younger.
  • Compared to other antidepressants, it's more likely to cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking it and can causes more sleepiness.
  • Similar to Effexor, without any extra benefits in clinical studies.
  • Can cause sexual side effects (usually low libido or the inability to have an orgasm or ejaculate).
  • Not available in generic form, so it's more expensive.
  • Like most antidepressants, can cause higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people age 24 and younger.
  • The first antidepressant you try doesn't always work or it can cause side effects you really don't like. You might need to try a few different medications until you find one that works for you.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Extended release
Price
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Reviews
577 reviews so far
62%
saidit'sworth it
51%
saiditworked well
23%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Effexor (venlafaxine)?

Leave a review
196 reviews so far
53%
saidit'sworth it
49%
saiditworked well
23%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine)?

Leave a review
Side effects
39possible side effects
  • Nausea
    37%
  • Headache
    25%
  • Drowsiness
    23%
  • Dry mouth
    22%
  • Dizziness
    19%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    18%
  • Constipation
    15%
  • Nervousness
    13%
  • Weakness
    12%
  • Sweating
    12%
  • Abnormal ejaculation/orgasm
    12%
  • Loss of appetite
    11%
  • Diarrhea
    8%
  • Infection
    6%
  • Vomiting
    6%
  • Anxiety
    6%
  • Blurred vision
    6%
  • Impotence
    6%
  • Indigestion
    5%
  • Tremor
    5%
  • Abnormal dreams
    4%
  • Chills
    3%
  • Rash
    3%
  • Gas
    3%
  • Stiff muscles
    3%
  • Prickling/burning sensation
    3%
  • Yawn
    3%
  • Increased urination
    3%
  • Chest pain
    2%
  • Trauma
    2%
  • Increased blood pressure
    2%
  • Increased heart rate
    2%
  • Decreased libido
    2%
  • Agitation
    2%
  • Confusion
    2%
  • Thinking abnormal
    2%
  • Changes in taste
    2%
  • Ringing in the ears
    2%
  • Dilation of pupils
    2%
See more detailed side effects
17possible side effects
  • Nausea
    22%
  • Dizziness
    13%
  • Dry mouth
    11%
  • Hyperhidrosis
    10%
  • Constipation
    9%
  • Insomnia
    9%
  • Fatigue
    7%
  • Decreased appetite
    5%
  • Somnolence
    4%
  • Vomiting
    3%
  • Anxiety
    3%
  • Vision blurred
    3%
  • Tremor
    2%
  • Abnormal dreams
    2%
  • Mydriasis
    2%
  • Vertigo
    2%
  • Tinnitus
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • Age 24 years or younger
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Taking tricyclic antidepressants, lithium, tramadol, fentanyl, amphetamines, certain headache medications (triptans), St. John's Wort
  • Withdrawal
    • Stopping Effexor (venlafaxine) suddenly
  • Increased bleeding
    • Taking other blood-thinning drugs (including aspirin, NSAIDs such as Advil, warfarin)
  • Increased blood pressure
    • Bipolar disorder
      • History of bipolar disorder
      • At risk for bipolar disorder
    See more detailed risks and warnings
    • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
      • Age 24 years or younger
    • Serotonin syndrome
      • Using other medications that affect serotonin
    • Withdrawal
      • Stopping Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine) suddenly
    • High blood pressure
      • History of high blood pressure
    • Increased bleeding
      • Taking other blood-thinning drugs
    • Sexual dysfunction
    • Mania
      • History of bipolar disorder
      • At risk for bipolar disorder
    See more detailed risks and warnings