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Samm: Pristiq withdrawal


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I have recently had my pristiq reduced from 150mg once a day to 50mg once every second day. I am experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms such as a feeling of being electrically shocked. I have been on pristiq for the past 5years now and my gp has given me xanax to help but isn't working. 

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I am struggling with the withdrawal symptoms coming off pristiq. I get constant feelings of being zapped with electricity and start crying for no reason. I have been on pristiq for 5 years and my gp has given me xanax but it is not helping with the withdrawal 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Samm: Pristiq withdrawal
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Samm and welcome to SA,


This site exists because the medical profession doesn't understand about withdrawal symptoms and tapering from psychiatric drugs.  Yes you are experiencing withdrawal from reducing your Pristiq too quickly.  Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist. If you have only taken a few doses of Xanax I suggest you don't take any more because you can quickly become dependent on it.  And it can cause problems with interdose withdrawal.


Reinstating/updosing is the only known way to reduce withdrawal symptoms.  Introducing another drug only complicates things.  Please read Post #1 of this topic:  About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms


To help you understand what reducing the dose of a drug can cause I will tell you about my personal experience:   I reduced my Pristiq from 100mg to 50mg, experienced extreme cog fog where even walking took all of my concentration.  At the end of 3 weeks I was unable to type.  I've been a typist for 40+ years so I knew that something was wrong and I had a benchmark.  Thankfully I had joined SA a few days before this happened and they had suggested that I take extra Pristiq.  When this happened I took extra and about 4 hours later I was able to type again and my cog fog was clearing.


So we can suggest a dose we need your drug history.  Please create your drug signature.  Keep it simple - no symptoms or diagnoses just:

  • details for last 2 years - dates, ALL drugs, doses
  • summary for older than 2 years - just years and ALL drugs

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature


Tips for tapering off Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)



Here are some additional helpful links:


Brain Remodelling

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery


Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization


How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?

What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


This is your own introduction topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.


MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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