FDA OKs New Antidepressant Pristiq

Pristiq Is a Modified Form of the Antidepressant Effexor XR

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March 3, 2008 -- The FDA has approved Pristiq, a new antidepressant that's a modified version of the antidepressant Effexor XR, for the treatment of major depressive disorder in adults.

Pristiq and Effexor XR are made by Wyeth .

Pristiq, which is taken once daily and isn't approved for pediatric patients, will be available in the second quarter of 2008, Wyeth notes.

Pristiq belongs to a class of drugs called serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). According to Wyeth, the FDA approved Pristiq based on four studies in which Pristiq trumped a placebo pill at treating major depressive disorder in adults.

Pristiq has also been studied as a treatment for menopausal hot flashes and night sweats. But so far, the drug has only been approved for depression treatment.