Medicines & Supplements A to Z > Desvenlafaxine


Last updated on 19/03/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions  |   Tips  |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Desvenlafaxine

CHINESE NAME: 去甲文拉法辛 / 地文拉法辛


DRUG CLASS: Antidepressant; Serotonin / Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor (SNRI)

USED FOR: Major depressive disorder, vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause

OTHER DRUGS IN THE SAME CLASS: Duloxetine, Milnacipran, Venlafaxine

AVAILABLE DOSAGE FORMS: 25mg, 50mg, 100mg (extended-release tablets)

What is Desvenlafaxine for?

Desvenlafaxine belongs to a class of medications called Serotonin / Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor (SNRI). It treats depression by increasing the amount of certain neurotransmitters that correlate with better mood and feelings of satisfaction and calmness. It is also used in menopausal women who experience hot flashes and night sweats.

How to use it?

Desvenlafaxine can be taken orally. 

For depression, the usual dosage is 50 mg once daily. 

For menopause related symptoms, the usual starting dosage is 25-50 mg once daily, then increase gradually up to 150 mg once daily.

What are the side effects of Desvenlafaxine?

Common side effects include dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, constipation, weight loss, lower blood pressure when standing or sitting (orthostatic hypotension), and sleep disturbance. 

Who should not take Desvenlafaxine?

Anyone who has an allergy to Desvenlafaxine or any other components of the formulation.

Pharmacist Tips:

– To lower the chance of feeling dizzy, stand up slowly when you have been sitting or lying down.
– It might take a few weeks for Desvenlafaxine to reach its full effect.
– Do not stop taking Desvenlafaxine suddenly as you may suffer from withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea and dizziness.

Common dosing schedule:
Desvenlafaxine can be taken with or without food.

Swallow the whole tablet. Do not chew, break, crush or dissolve.

Do not drink alcohol as it may worsen your mood and depression.

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.

Some common medications that Desvenlafaxine may interact with:
– Monoamine oxidase inhibitors, e.g. Selegiline, Rasagiline
– Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, e.g. Diclofenac, Ibuprofen)

Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medications, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Desvenlafaxine in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Desvenlafaxine is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Desvenlafaxine in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.