Pristiq Dosage

by on May 16, 2012

Pristiq (desvenlaxafine) is mainly used to treat depression and anxiety disorder, and sometimes as chronic pain treatment for such medical conditions as diabetic neuropathy, migraines, and fibromyalgia. To produce an intended effect, Pristiq is prescribed to patients in various doses, depending on specific factors. 

Standard Adult Pristiq Dosage

The starting dosage for Pristiq for adults is 50 mg once daily to be taken with or without food. This goes for all medical conditions that the drug is intended to treat.

Sometimes, the dose may be increased up to 400mg, although there is no proof that a higher dose can bring more benefits. In fact, taking more than 50 mg per day of Pristiq may be dangerous as it has been associated with effects that are more adverse than therapeutic.

Dosage in the Elderly

Although it is not age itself that is being considered, Pristiq dosage for elderly patients is typically reduced in view of issues regarding renal clearance, or kidneys' ability to clear themselves of a specific compound over a period of time. Reduced renal clearance comes with old age, hence, it is considered important in determining dosage for seniors. A patient with low renal clearance for Pristiq will be prescribed a lower dose than the standard.

Dosage in Children

The use of Pristiq or any other antidepressant by children is strictly prohibited until they are at least 18 years of age. This is due to the increased incidence of suicides and suicide attempts within this age group. It is recommended that children, teenagers and young adults stick to psychotherapy as treatment for depression and anxiety disorder. When the purpose is to treat chronic pain, non-CNS-acting drugs are usually prescribed.

Pristiq and Other Impairments

Renal impairment is one medical condition that requires a reduction in the standard Pristiq dose. Instead of 50 mg taken every day, this frequency will be adjusted to every other day, but only for severe cases.

Another condition is hepatic impairment, or the reduced ability of the liver to metabolize drugs such as Pristiq. Liver conditions may necessitate an adjustment in dosage, depending on the extent of the impairment.


Pristiq cannot be discontinued abruptly, lest the patient experience withdrawal symptoms that can range from mild to severe. Dosage must thus be reduced gradually until medication can come to a full halt. Usually, the 50-mg standard dose will be cut down to 25 mg daily for a week or ten days or reduced to 12.5 mg daily for ten days. It all boils down to the person’s ability to adjust to bodily changes, such as those presented by Pristiq.

Like any other antidepressant, Pristiq should never be taken at a person’s own will. It must be recommended and prescribed by a medical professional if adverse effects are to be avoided. Even dosage adjustments should be handled by a professional alone. Thus, when planning to take or stop taking Pristiq, remember that a single trip to your doctor can be lifesaving.