Compare Pristiq vs. Remeron

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

Pristiq
(Desvenlafaxine)

Remeron
(Mirtazapine)

Improves mood. Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine) is basically the same medication as Effexor, which is cheaper because it's available as a generic.Improves mood. Remeron (Mirtazapine) is okay for treating depression and good for sleep. More likely to cause weight gain than any other antidepressant.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.64Pristiq
Reviews for Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine)
48%
of people say Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine) is worth it
45%
say it works well
25%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Remeron (Mirtazapine)
47%
1% vs. Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine)
42%
3% vs. Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine)
26%
1% vs. Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine)
Side effects
PristiqRemeron
  • Nausea 31%
  • Excessive sweating 17%
  • Dry mouth 16%
  • Dizziness 11%
  • Constipation 10%
  • Impotence 10%
  • Sleep difficulty 9%
  • Decreased appetite 8%
  • Drowsiness 8%
  • Fatigue 7%
More Pristiq side effects »
  • Drowsiness 36%
  • Increased appetite 15%
  • Dry mouth 10%
  • Weight gain 10%
  • Constipation 6%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Muscle weakness 3%
  • Abnormal dreams 3%
  • Flu syndrome 2%
  • Thinking abnormal 2%
More Remeron side effects »
How it works
PristiqRemeron
Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine) is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin and norepinephrine activity in the brain, which regulates mood.Remeron (Mirtazapine) is an atypical antidepressant. It stimulates your body to make certain chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin and norepinephrine, which regulate mood.
Type of medication
PristiqRemeron
Antidepressant
Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI)
Prescription only
Antidepressant
Noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressant
Prescription only
Available as
PristiqRemeron
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
Used for (click to learn more)
PristiqRemeron
How well it works for depression
The free Iodine Start program helps people track how well they are improving, and find the right antidepressant faster.

After 4 weeks using Start and Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine), here’s how much better people feel.

After 4 weeks using Start and Remeron (Mirtazapine), here’s how much better people feel.

Risk factors for serious side effects
PristiqRemeron
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • Stopping Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine) suddenly
  • History of high blood pressure
  • Taking other blood-thinning drugs
    • History of bipolar disorder
    • At risk for bipolar disorder
    Detailed Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine) risks & warnings »
    • Age 24 years or younger
    • Using other medications that affect serotonin
    • History of heart problems
    • History of liver problems
    • Higher dose
    • Alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
        Detailed Remeron (Mirtazapine) risks & warnings »
        Pregnancy category
        PristiqRemeron
        CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

        Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

        See the FDA package insert
        CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

        Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

        See the FDA package insert
        Alcohol
        No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
        Food
        No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
        Kidneys and liver
        No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
        Sex
        • Can cause sexual side effects (usually low libido or the inability to have an orgasm or ejaculate).
        • Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine) can cause lower sex drive or difficulty having an orgasm. If the problem persists after the first 2 to 3 months, you can talk to your doctor about alternative antidepressants or performance-enhancing medications.
        No specific sex-related info.
        Sleep
        • Stopping Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine) suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, anxiety, agitation, flu-like symptoms, trouble sleeping, and dizziness. Withdrawal symptoms usually occur within 3 days of stopping the medication, and go away within 1 to 2 weeks. Work with your doctor to gradually reduce your dose.
        No specific sleep-related info.
        Weight
        No specific weight-related info.
        • More likely to cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) and raise cholesterol than any other antidepressant.
        • Good option for people who are underweight or frail, because it can help you gain weight.
        • Can increase appetite and weight.
        • Remeron (Mirtazapine) can increase appetite and cause you to gain weight.
        Upsides and benefits
        PristiqRemeron
        • 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.
        • Effective at relieving some depression symptoms.
        • Starts to work more quickly than most antidepressants.
        • Might be a good option for people who have insomnia with their depression, because it can make you very sleepy.
        • Good option for people who are underweight or frail, because it can help you gain weight.
        • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
        Downsides and risks
        PristiqRemeron
        • 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.
        • Not as effective as other medications for depression.
        • More sedating than other antidepressants.
        • More likely to cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) and raise cholesterol than any other antidepressant.
        • 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.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        PristiqRemeron
        • Can cause sweating and high blood pressure.
        • Takes 8 to 12 weeks to see full effects on mood.
        • Stop taking slowly to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
        • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
        • Makes you sleepy. Take at bedtime.
        • Can increase appetite and weight.
        • Takes 8 to 12 weeks to see full effects on mood.
        • Stop taking slowly to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
        • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
        Learn more
        More about PristiqSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        More about RemeronSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert