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Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2018 Feb 19;14:567-580. doi: 10.2147/NDT.S157708. eCollection 2018.

Drug-drug interactions involving antidepressants: focus on desvenlafaxine.

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Department of Pharmacy, National University of Singapore, Singapore.
Medical Affairs, Pfizer Pte. Ltd., Singapore.
Global Medical Affairs, Asia-Pacific Region, Pfizer, Hong Kong.


Psychiatric and physical conditions often coexist, and there is robust evidence that associates the frequency of depression with single and multiple physical conditions. More than half of patients with depression may have at least one chronic physical condition. Therefore, antidepressants are often used in cotherapy with other medications for the management of both psychiatric and chronic physical illnesses. The risk of drug-drug interactions (DDIs) is augmented by complex polypharmacy regimens and extended periods of treatment required, of which possible outcomes range from tolerability issues to lack of efficacy and serious adverse events. Optimal patient outcomes may be achieved through drug selection with minimal potential for DDIs. Desvenlafaxine is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor approved for the treatment of adults with major depressive disorder. Pharmacokinetic studies of desvenlafaxine have shown a simple metabolic profile unique among antidepressants. This review examines the DDI profiles of antidepressants, particularly desvenlafaxine, in relation to drugs of different therapeutic areas. The summary and comparison of information available is meant to help clinicians in making informed decisions when using desvenlafaxine in patients with depression and comorbid chronic conditions.


comorbidities; depression; desvenlafaxine; pharmacokinetics; polypharmacy

Conflict of interest statement

Disclosure SS and GL are employees of Pfizer, manufacturer of desvenlafaxine. YL underwent indirect patient-care pharmacy training for 3 months at Pfizer, Singapore. The authors report no other conflicts of interest in this work.

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