Pristiq is an antidepressant that has gotten a great deal of attention recently thanks to the large advertising campaign for this product. This particular drug is one that is prescribed for people who have depression and the marketing push indicates that the drug itself works on both norepinephrine and serotonin neurotransmitters which put it into a unique class of drug. Prozac for example only works on the serotonin aspect, so Pristiq seems to be a far more comprehensive approach.
However, the same company that produces Pristiq also makes Effexor which is virtually the same type of drug. Effexor has recently become available as a generic which also makes it more affordable, so what are the similarities and differences between these two drugs?
Similarities and Differences
It certainly seems at first that the similarities are such that any differences would be very minor indeed. Because they both come from the same chemical compound, a person who takes Effexor will actually have their body break down the product into Pristiq along with some other chemicals. So in practical terms if you take Effexor, it will become Pristiq in the body at some point.
So, if they are both essentially the same, then why do they both exist? Perhaps because the patent on Pristiq is running out and creating Effexor is a way for a company to extend the patent itself and probably keep their profit margins up. However, there are some differences that exist between the drugs as well.
Just because both will metabolize in roughly the same way does not mean that they are identical in nature. This is because Effexor has other chemicals attached that the body will absorb as well which creates a different effect. However, the extra chemicals of Effexor mean that Pristiq actually has fewer known side effects in general because it contains fewer compounds. For those who might have a reaction to Effexor, Pristiq may be a better alternative.
In fact, Effexor has been known to generate more side effects in those who take the product than those who use Pristiq instead. The extra compounds in Effexor are the main difference and they are a substantial one for those who are suffering. If you are currently taking Pristiq and it is working, then there is no real reason to switch to Effexor unless you can save a considerable amount of money. However, the opposite is true as well for those who are taking Effexor if they are not suffering any side effects and can save money as well, then taking Pristiq is really not a viable option.
Overall, it might be said that the differences are so slight that choosing one over the other may not make much of a difference. So, you might go with Effexor first if only because it is less expensive in its generic form. If you suffer from unwanted side effects, then switching to Pristiq may be the answer. Otherwise, the differences between the two drugs are very slight as your body does break both down in a very similar fashion.