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lesserfoe: Tapering off Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)


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Howdy, I've just now been looking at online resources on quitting this drug, and since I've been informed I have to wait three more weeks until an appointment with a psychiatrist to ask a simple question, I'd like to ask y'all about it since y'all seem more knowledgeable about this drug than I ever could be.


This seems quite dangerous, because it is and co-pays are hell, but I've been off this drug cold turkey from 100 mg for a week due to circumstances out of my control (a credit card to pay a co-pay was rejected, and the pharmacy made the sound decision of refusing to notify me until i was expecting my shipment, leaving me about 2 weeks without the drug), and I was wondering if anything's known about how long I could expect to stop suffering the majority of withdrawal symptoms, thus far I've stopped involuntarily white knuckling random things and involuntarily twitching(more like jumping!) and I've stopped cold sweating in bed already.  Honestly the most annoying thing for me is the fact that my damn digestive system can't seem to expel any solids for love or money, which in and of itself is an annoyance at worst.  I still do have an additional week wherein I'm forced to not take anything, and if I can turn this horrid situation entirely out of my control into a great situation where I can stop taking this damn drug it would be great to know that.  Thank y'all in advance!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

lesserfoe: -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)! I've moved your post to an introduction topic just for you in the Introductions Forum so that more people will see your question.  This is YOUR introduction topic -- the place for you to ask questions, record symptoms, share your progress, and connect with other members of the SA community.


I moved your post from the topic Tips for tapering off Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) . Just posting the link here in case you want to get back there quickly! ^_^


It's going to take a while for symptoms from cold-turkey to settle down.  The pharmaceutical manufacturers and most doctors will tell you that "acute discontinuation symptoms" last for 4-6 weeks. Many people have found that they last much, much longer -- that's why this website exists!


Is there any way that you can get access to a prescription?  Any doctor, including a family practitioner, and many nurse practitioners (depends on your state laws) can prescribe medications.  The word "co-pay" suggests that you're dealing with health/pharma insurance issues.  Will your policy allow you to consult another doctor for a psych med? The reason I ask is that the sooner you get back on the medication, the likelier it is that your symptoms will subside. 


We strongly advise against cold-turkey (CT) discontinuation and recommend tapering. You may make it through this CT okay but you won't find out if there are any latent/hidden effects until you experience them. A CT stop can sensitize your CNS (central nervous system) and set you up to be easily triggered should you decide to take or doctors prescribe a new medication.


Please read:

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?.

How your brain responds to psychiatric drugs - aka "Brain remodeling"

Youtube video, 4 minutes: Healing from antidepressants


I hope you'll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation. I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but am glad that you found us.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here

scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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