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Nimm: history and Pristiq tapering without 25mg tablet


Nimm

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Hi all,

 

I have been lurking this site since June and wrote up a tapering schedule for myself using the Desvenlafaxine tapering thread as a guide.

 

In May I was on 100 mg, and decided to come down as I felt like my energy and motivation was too tied up in the drug, and it was no longer working for me as it had done before. I also had a change of living situation which has given me a more comfortable and much safer space in which to finally do this.

 

My brief history is that I have tried on a few different drugs since I was 17.

 

I had brief stints on lexapro, cymbalta, but experienced impotence, so my GP prescribed me Pristiq in I think 2012, which at the time was a gamechanger. It allowed me to conquer my performance and social anxiety and let me complete my undergraduate degree, and form a lot of new relationships. 

 

I stayed on 50mg for a long time, which I think was really the sweet spot for me, until mid 2016 when I went through a stressful breakup and had my dose upped to 100mg. I stayed on it until January 2017 when I decided to quit cold turkey because I felt fine.

 

What a mistake that was. I was doing well until I experienced a severe panic attack during a uni exam for my Grad Dip in Psychology and ended up dropping out of the course. After that I experienced extreme suicidal ideation, which had never happened to me before, and decided to seek admission to hospital in May 2018. I was there for 3 weeks and completed a full cycle of their inpatient anxiety program, and the psychiatrist put me back on the 100mg dose of Pristiq. Once I  was discharged I did a 1 day a week outgroup program which lasted 4-5 months. They kept trying to eject me from the hospital after the first week but I fought them and insisted I wanted to complete the full cycle as well as the outgroup, and this honestly has made the biggest difference for controlling my anxiety than Pristiq ever did.

 

This year I moved out of home interstate for a Masters degree for the first time, and everything was swell until Covid hit, and due to a number of factors, none of which was influenced by anxiety or depression, I decided to come home. I've had 4 addresses this year, and despite the world being very chaotic, my mental state has been clear, and I am now able coach myself through the disruptive thinking. I also became a bit fed up with becoming a zombie by 8 PM because of the drugs half life, and decided it was time to get off the drug. I didn't tell my GP until I'd hit the 50mg mark last month in September, as I had a hunch which turned out to be correct; she just told me to stagger the dose to every other day and do it over 3 weeks to get down to 0mg. I want to stress she is a fantastic GP and really came through for me to get me a bed in the clinic in 2018,  but I told her I had written up a schedule and done my research on this site and was going to do it my way.

 

I have seen a psychiatrist in the past, but he was happy to no longer see me, and honestly I don't see the need to go back to him now as I feel like every health professional treats coming off ADs as a crap shoot, and I feel like I can do this without seeing him.

 

My schedule since June had been to drop every 2 weeks fortnightly on a Monday, before this I was taking 50 mg in the morning and 50 mg at night:

 

  • 22nd of June = 1 x 50mg in the morning (M), 1 x big half 1/2  + 1 x little quarter 1/4 at night (N)
  • 6th of July = 1 x 50 mg (M), 1 x big 1/2 (N)
  • 20th of July = 1 x 50 mg (M), 1 x little 1/2 (N)
  • 3rd of August = 1 x 50 mg (M), 1 x big 1/4 (N)
  • 17th of August = 1 x 50 mg (M), 1 x little 1/4 (N)
  • I held at this dose until the 14th of September as I was feeling a big groggy and fatigued

 

Symptoms I experienced during this time varied from mild to moderate:

 

  • Fatigue
  • Grogginess in the morning
  • Extra sensitivity to caffeine
  • Mild anxious thinking
  • Visual hallucination (seeing dog out of the corner of my eye but she's not actually there)
  • Auditory hallucination while sleeping (heard a man yelling in my dream and woke up myself up thinking it was real)
  • Moderate lack of motivation
  • Minor brain fuzz and a few zaps
  • Minor nausea

 

  • 14th of September I cut my morning 50mg into 2 halves and took the bigger in the morning the smaller at night
  • 28th of September = 1 x big half (M), 1 x big quarter (N)

 

As of today the 6th of October I am holding here, as the effects of splitting the tablet have hit me like a truck. 

 

  • Within a few days of cutting the tablet I experienced extreme night sweating for about 4 nights before it eased
  • Days of extreme lack of motivation, hard to get off the couch
  • Fatigue, and trouble waking up, I'm sleeping 9+ hours every night
  • Extreme grogginess in the morning, I have to have a berocca to become mentally alert and its not lasting long at all
  • Persistent headache, it feels like the front of my head has ballooned and my eyes always feel heavy
  • Trouble regulating temperature, I'm getting hot and cold a lot, yesterday it was 28 degrees outside and I was walking around in a dressing gown

 

Today is the worst day I've had in ages, I just feel physically crap. My mental state is unaffected in itself, but starting to get a bit run down by all the physical symptoms because I want to do things but its a struggle.

 

I have been cutting the tablets with a pill cutter, as we don't have 25mg doses available in Australia which makes this much harder than it needs to be. The cuttings are a little arbitrary, as I'm trying to do it by eye.

 

I'm going to hold here for a month and see how long this takes to ease, and I might start exploring somewhere to get the drug compounded.

 

 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Nimm: history and Pristiq tapering without 25mg tablet
  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to SA, Nimm.

 

To give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly.  Please include your taper schedule in the signature with your best guess of how many milligrams Pristiq you're taking at each reduction.

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

We recommend tapering by no more than 10% of current dose every four weeks. Pill cutting isn't an ideal way to taper as it's inconsistent and inexact.

I can't really tell how fast you're tapering but given the withdrawal symptoms you're experiencing it appears that you're going too fast.  It might take more than a month for things to settle.  It's best to go by your symptoms rather than a set schedule.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

What is withdrawal syndrome.

 

ChessieCat, one of our moderators who lives in Australia, has been tapering Pristiq using a compounding pharmacy.  I suggest you take a look at her links.

 

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

 

Compounding when you resume your taper would be a good idea.  Here's our link on tapering Pristiq.

 

Tips for tapering off desvenlafaxine (Pristiq)

 

We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker 

 

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) 

 

Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.

 

This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper of 18.75mg Valium 

End 2021  year 1 of Valium taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of Valium taper at 2.75mg 

End 2023 year 3 of Valium taper at 1mg

Jan. 24, 2024: Hold at 1mg and shift to Imipramine taper.

Taper is 95% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan.-Sept. 2016 tapered to 14.4mg  

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5mg and shift to Valium taper

Jan. 24, 2024: Resume Imipramine taper.  Current dose as of May 2: 6.1mg

Taper is 92% complete.  

  

Supplements: multiple, quercetin, omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg, iron, serrapeptase, nattokinase


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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