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Pristiq Dosage: What Is A Right And Maximum Dose?

Last Updated: April 3, 2024

Authored by Nena Messina, Ph.D.

Reviewed by Dr. Norman Chazin

Pristiq, also known as desvenlafaxine, has different dosage strengths. A desvenlafaxine dosage is indicated in different amounts, depending on age, weight, sex, among other factors, for the management of symptoms related to MDD. This article discusses what patients require to be aware of regarding Pristiq doses, including dosage adjustments for special populations, dosing structures and strengths, how to take the drug, and other important dosing information.

Available Desvenlafaxine Dosage Forms & Strengths

Desvenlafaxine is usually taken orally, with tablets being the main form. The pills have unique, stand-out characteristics and appearance, as they are effectively conspicuous. The Pristiq 25 mg is the smallest pill strength of the drug, while the 100 mg pill is the biggest. 

Desvenlafaxine for oral use is available in the following strengths:

Dosage Color Form Imprint
25 mg tan Square-shaped tablet “W” over “25” on one side
50 mg light pink Square-shaped tablet “W” over “50” on one side
100 mg reddish-orange Square-shaped tablet “W” over “100” on one side

Pristiq Dosage For MDD

With 16% of Americans at risk of suffering from major depressive disorders at some point in their lifetime, the state is one of the most widely recognized mental conditions in the nation. The best and restorative desvenlafaxine dosage for major depressive disorder (MDD) is 50mg that can be taken with or without any food. Furthermore, desvenlafaxine 50mg is the initial dosage prescribed, while the maximum dose of Pristiq is 400mg. The best time to take Pristiq is around a similar time every day, depending on the side effects a patient experiences.

dosage for special populations

Desvenlafaxine Dosage For Special Populations

There are a number of desvenlafaxine dosage adjustments for those patients with specific conditions or age groups.

Renal Impairment

For people with moderate kidney ailment (30 to 50 mL/min), a Pristiq 50mg remedy is the best aggregate that should be endorsed. Those with extreme renal weakness (under 30 mL/min) or at the late phase of renal disease should take a dose of between 25mg and 50mg as the maximum dose of Pristiq. After dialysis, additional doses should not be given to those already taking the drug. Likewise, the dosage should never be increased for people with medium or serious renal impairment.

Hepatic Impairment

There are no desvenlafaxine dosage adjustments for patients with mild hepatic impairment. The recommended Pristiq dosing is 50mg on a daily basis. The dose higher than 100mg daily isn’t advised if the patient has serious hepatic impairment because of possible resulting adverse reactions of the organism.

Geriatric Patients

Patients that are sixty-five years and above can have a reduced clearance of desvenlafaxine from the body. Therefore, this should be considered when recommending the medication. In any case, there is no desvenlafaxine dosage alteration needed that is exclusively associated with the age of a patient.

Can One Cut Pristiq In Half?

No, splitting desvenlafaxine should not be done, since Pristiq pills should be taken entirely. The desvenlafaxine tablets should not be cut in half since doing so removes the time-release covering of the tablets, therefore, allowing a larger dosage amount to be absorbed into the body at a faster rate. Additionally, splitting down a pill does not guarantee an equal distribution of the active ingredient.

Talk to a doctor to bring down the amounts in the event of undesirable side effects. Patients are also advised not to stop taking the desvenlafaxine tablets and should consider tapering to prevent severe desvenlafaxine withdrawal side effects. Moreover, Pristiq alternatives such as Celexa and Zoloft might be recommended if the side effects persist. However, a doctor’s consultation is required in such cases.

What Is The Pristiq LD50 Dose?

Desvenlafaxine has a base deadly dose of 700 mg/kg on rodents. The LD50 test gauges the degree of toxicity of desvenlafaxine dosage on test animals, such as mice and rats. No human research has been conducted.

overdose on Pristiq

Can One Overdose On Pristiq?

Yes, one can indeed experience a desvenlafaxine overdose, especially when the medication is utilized in mix with liquor or other prescription or OTC drugs. Taking a dose that is more than the recommended can similarly result in an overdose, which may prove deadly.

Patients are advised to call their doctor or a local poison center hotline in case of the above symptoms or if they suspect someone has taken more than the recommended desvenlafaxine dose. There isn’t a specific treatment to reverse the effects of an overdose. Therefore, it is advisable not to seek Pristiq euphoria by taking a high dose.

What Patients Should Know When Taking Desvenlafaxine

The main desvenlafaxine dosage form is tablets that come in 25mg, 50mg, and 100mg strengths. These Pristiq pills are different in shapes and hues and are easy to identify. For those on the drug, they can save on Pristiq through patient assistance programs that offer the drug at a discounted price. Pristiq also has adjustments for people who have kidney and liver impairments. Taking a dosage of the medication that is higher than the prescribed maximum dose of Pristiq is not recommended because it may cause death due to an accidental overdose.

Those abusing the medication to accomplish a high should seek professional assistance from rehabilitation centers. The professionals working there provide a high level of care so that addiction treatment passes gradually and with close attention to the personal needs of a patient.

Page Sources

  1. Pristiq: Highlights Of Prescribing Information. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2012/021992s030lbl.pdf.
  2. Lourenco MT, Kennedy SH. Desvenlafaxine in the treatment of major depressive disorder. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment. 2009; 5: 127–136. doi:10.2147/ndt.s3360. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2695227/.

Published on: February 27th, 2024

Updated on: April 3rd, 2024

About Author

Nena Messina, Ph.D.

Nena Messina is a specialist in drug-related domestic violence. She devoted her life to the study of the connection between crime, mental health, and substance abuse. Apart from her work as management at addiction center, Nena regularly takes part in the educational program as a lecturer.

Medically Reviewed by

Dr. Norman Chazin


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