Venlafaxine (Effexor) and Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq) – Mechanism of Action | Differences | Psychopharmacology | Clinical Application

Posted on:March 13, 2022
Last Updated: November 10, 2023
Time to read: 17–20 minutes

Venlafaxine (EFFEXOR) is a serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) that is indicated for major depressive disorder (MDD), generalised anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder with or without agoraphobia.

Desvenlafaxine (PRISTIQ) is a synthetic succinate version of venlafaxine’s major active metabolite, although its approval is limited to MDD.

Venlafaxine was the first SNRI to be approved by the US FDA (in 1993), and its novel phenethylamine bicyclic structure is structurally unrelated to other antidepressants. [Warneck et al. 2008]