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dsydney: Trying to Survive


dsydney

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Hello.  I am looking for hopeful stories from others who have survived polydrugging from psychiatric drugs for more then 25 years.  I have been pollydrugged for more then 25 years on various psychiatric meds.  I survived a micro benzo taper and have been off for 32 months.  I am still on Pristiq 80 mg now but all hell broke loose about 6 months ago for me.  I am 24/7 suffering.  Mainly deal with inner/outer and mental aka.  I started a taper from Pristiq due to thinking that the med was causing my issues.  I was on the highest dose of Paxil before the Pristiq.  I would love to hear some healing stories from those who were on meds for a long time and went on to heal or get better.  Thank you in advance.

Edited by Gridley

1998-Started on Antidepressants; many different ones until Paxil finally seemed to help

1998-2010-Paxil uppd to max dose of 80 mg

2010-Klonopin 1 mg added

2012-Paxil switched to 100 mg Pristiq

2014-slow microtaper off Klonopin

2018 Klonopin taper complete

Oct 2021-Inner/Mental Akathisia started.  Got worse and worse.

Dec 2021-Start Pristiq taper

May 2021-Struggling with taper and symptoms

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to SA, dysydney.  Congratulations of being benzo-free.

 

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.Just drugs (including which benzo), dates and dosages.

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

Here are a couple of healing stories from the drugs you're concerned with, Pristiq and Paxil.  One of our former moderators, ChessieCat, is almost off Pristiq after many years on the drug. Here's a link to her story and information about her taper.

 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

 

Brassmonkey, one of or moderators, healed from many years on a high dose of Paxil.  Here's a link to his success story.

 

Success stories: Recovery from withdrawal - Surviving ...

 

As for myself, I was on 20mg Lexapro for 16 years and recently completed a 4-year taper to zero and am doing well.  

 

For future reference, we recommend tapering by no more than 10% of current dose every four weeks.  

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

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. 

 

 

 

Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems. Get supplements that are single ingredient (not mixed with other types of supplements).

 

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

 

 

 

 

 
Edited by Gridley

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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  • Gridley changed the title to dsydney: Trying to Survive
  • Moderator Emeritus

I have received and replied to your PM.  Please post questions here in your Introduction topic.

 

Please post the information that you PMed to me here in your Introduction topic so that everyone has the information.

 

As requested by Gridley please create your drug signature.  This allows us to see your drug history at a glance and means that we do not have to read back through your posts to get the information.  Please remember to update it whenever you make a change.

 

Instructions:  Withdrawal History Signature

 

I strongly believe that I experienced mild serotonin syndrome whilst taking 100mg Pristiq.  My diastolic blood pressure rose a lot after going from 50mg Pristiq to 100mg.  There were no other serotonergic drugs involved.  The doctor did not make the connection between the increase in BP and the increase in AD dose and doubled by BP drug.

 

My symptoms:  I would sleep all night and then still have a 2 hour day time sleep most days of the week.  My diastolic blood pressure increased, and I would sometimes feel my heart "flip" or miss a beat, my tinnitus increased badly.  I experienced agitation, anxiety, confusion, trouble concentrating and sweating.  Once my dose got lower the serotonin toxicity symptoms reduced.

* NO LONGER ACTIVE on SA *

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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  • 1 month later...

Hello-I am looking for some thoughts/feedback on my situation.  I have been treated with psych meds since I was 19 years old.  I am now 45 years old....so a very long time.  I was initially started on SSRIs for anxiety.  What I would do to go back to those days!  This all started around 1998 while in college.  I was always prone to anxiety as a child.  No real reason as I had a great childhood/home.  Wish I knew about supplements/allergies/etc then like I do now.  I was given many different types of medications until Paxil was settled on.  From 1998-2010 Paxil was increased until I was at the maximum dose of 80 mgs.  Paxil pooped out on me and 1mg of Klonopin was added.  In 2012 a psychiatrist switched me off Paxil and on to an SNRI called Pristiq.  My dose was immediately moved up to 100 mgs.  I still to this day have no idea why this psychiatrist moved me to an SNRI but I was very trusting back then.  In 2014 Klonopin started to give me some issues.  I had no idea about benzos but quickly learned.  Learned a lot and went into a spiraling downward path when I discovered what had happened to me over the years.  I was lucky enough to get with the right people at the right time who helped me stabilize by starting a very slow microtaper off of Klonopin.  I spent 3 1/2 years microtapering Klonopin and finished in 2018.  I had what is called waves and windows through out my taper and once off.  I felt that healing was happening for me.  28 months off of Klonopin I developed what I now know is called Akathisia.  I had inner/outer and mental symptoms that became horrific.  I thought that perhaps the Pristiq was causing the problem so I started the taper.  Things have not improved but seem to have gotten worse.  It has now been 7 months that I have been like this with no better understanding as to what happened to me.  I have tried the crush and weigh method of cutting Pristiq and got down to 75 mg.  Things have gotten to a point where I can no longer stand to be in my body or my mind and I am looking for some guidance.  In the last week I have gone back to slow release Pristiq at 75 mg.  I have tried so many things to try to stabilize and have had no luck.  I just feel that I am deteriorating even more.  Everyone tells me to go slow on my Pristiq taper but I worry that it is the possible cause of this.  I just have no proof.  

1998-Started on Antidepressants; many different ones until Paxil finally seemed to help

1998-2010-Paxil uppd to max dose of 80 mg

2010-Klonopin 1 mg added

2012-Paxil switched to 100 mg Pristiq

2014-slow microtaper off Klonopin

2018 Klonopin taper complete

Oct 2021-Inner/Mental Akathisia started.  Got worse and worse.

Dec 2021-Start Pristiq taper

May 2021-Struggling with taper and symptoms

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  • Administrator

Welcome, @dsydney

 

On 5/20/2021 at 4:03 PM, dsydney said:

In the last week I have gone back to slow release Pristiq at 75 mg.

 

How do you feel taking 75mg Pristiq each day? What is your current daily symptom pattern?

 

Did you ever feel well on Pristiq?

 

Be patients, you can expect stabilization to take weeks or months, not a few days.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Hi..thank you for responding!  I do not get any therapeutic benefit from taking Pristiq.  I actually think it could be harming me.  I have inner/outer and mental akathisia every minute.  It developed 7 months ago before I started the taper off Pristiq and after I was 28 months off of Klonopin.  I thought maybe the akathisia was from becoming tolerant to Pristiq.  Things are really bad and I have had so many tests done to see if it is something else.  While I am off a bit with some things there is nothing that explains the extreme torture.  I am pretty sure that it is caused by meds.  I cant seem to find a way off of the Pristiq.  I am not stabilizing and haven't been since before the taper.  I went back to slow release (take a 50 and a 25 in the a.m.) to try to feel better but don't even know if that is possible.  Especially if it is the cause.  So frightened with what I am experiencing and where I am at mentally.  Been to so many different kinds of doctors who all just scratch their heads.  The last one just wants me to CT Pristiq.  

1998-Started on Antidepressants; many different ones until Paxil finally seemed to help

1998-2010-Paxil uppd to max dose of 80 mg

2010-Klonopin 1 mg added

2012-Paxil switched to 100 mg Pristiq

2014-slow microtaper off Klonopin

2018 Klonopin taper complete

Oct 2021-Inner/Mental Akathisia started.  Got worse and worse.

Dec 2021-Start Pristiq taper

May 2021-Struggling with taper and symptoms

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Almost rata, CheasieCat...have you heard of anyone that successfully CT or fast tapered Pristiq?  I think I am getting sicker and sicker from it and I cant stabilize on the slow taper.  I dont know what to do.   

1998-Started on Antidepressants; many different ones until Paxil finally seemed to help

1998-2010-Paxil uppd to max dose of 80 mg

2010-Klonopin 1 mg added

2012-Paxil switched to 100 mg Pristiq

2014-slow microtaper off Klonopin

2018 Klonopin taper complete

Oct 2021-Inner/Mental Akathisia started.  Got worse and worse.

Dec 2021-Start Pristiq taper

May 2021-Struggling with taper and symptoms

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Does anyone know if tapering strips can be used for Pristiq?

1998-Started on Antidepressants; many different ones until Paxil finally seemed to help

1998-2010-Paxil uppd to max dose of 80 mg

2010-Klonopin 1 mg added

2012-Paxil switched to 100 mg Pristiq

2014-slow microtaper off Klonopin

2018 Klonopin taper complete

Oct 2021-Inner/Mental Akathisia started.  Got worse and worse.

Dec 2021-Start Pristiq taper

May 2021-Struggling with taper and symptoms

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Previous post moved to your intro topic to keep your history all in one place.  Please post questions and discussion about your situation in this one thread, to avoid confusion and duplication of efforts.  Thank you.  

 

Here is a link about tapering strips.  I personally don't know if they can be used for Pristiq.  There several options for tapering - crushing tablets, making a liquid, buying a liquid made by the pharmaceutical company, etc.  Here are some links that can help: 

 

Tapering Strips for Psychiatric Drugs from the Netherlands

 

https://www.taperingstrip.com

 

Here are various ways of tapering off Pristiq: 

 

Tips for Tapering off Pristiq

 

 

Please do not private message me.  Only tag me for urgent questions about tapering and reinstating - thank you.  

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 2010 - 10 mg;  started taper August 2017, recent taper info: Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, multivitamin, zinc

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, extended release vitamin C, melatonin 2 mg

 

Paxil 2002 - 2010, switched to Lexapro 2010 

Trazodone 50 mg. 2002 - 2019, fast tapered in 2019 

Xanax 0.5 mg as needed 2002 - 2019, up to 3x weekly 

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  • 4 months later...

Pristiq

 

This is for ChessieCat or anyone that can answer this question.  Really struggling to get off of Pristiq.  I made it from 100 mg to 50 mg but csnt seem to figure out my taper or way forward.  I tried the crush and weigh that was suggested as well as the cut and hold that was suggested.  I have not stabilized at all since even before the taper at 100 mg.  I feel that Pristiq has turned on me.  I qm trying to find out if I can make a suspension liquid in some way.  Compounding pharmacy is not an option because military insurance does not cover it.  Just wondering about other options for a taper off this med.  Any help or guidance is so appreciated.  So desperate.  Been holding for 7 weeks and no improvement.  Thank you!!  

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added topic title before merging with intro topic

1998-Started on Antidepressants; many different ones until Paxil finally seemed to help

1998-2010-Paxil uppd to max dose of 80 mg

2010-Klonopin 1 mg added

2012-Paxil switched to 100 mg Pristiq

2014-slow microtaper off Klonopin

2018 Klonopin taper complete

Oct 2021-Inner/Mental Akathisia started.  Got worse and worse.

Dec 2021-Start Pristiq taper

May 2021-Struggling with taper and symptoms

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I have merged 2 Introduction topics and another topic created in a different are of the site.

 

SA works differently to many other forums.  Each member has their own Introduction topic which is the best place to ask questions about your own situation and journal progress.  This keeps your history in one place and means you do not have to repeat your story.

 

This is from your drug signature:

 

Oct 2021-Inner/Mental Akathisia started.  Got worse and worse.

Dec 2021-Start Pristiq taper

May 2021-Struggling with taper and symptoms

 

I think the first two years are supposed to be 2020.  Please check and correct as necessary.  Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

ALSO please add the dates and doses for your Pristiq taper.  We need to be able to see how and when you made the reductions at a glance.  This information is needed so we can assess your current situation and make any suggestions.

 

* NO LONGER ACTIVE on SA *

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

And if you have taken/are taking any other drugs/supplements, please include them in your drug signature.

 

7 hours ago, dsydney said:

Compounding pharmacy is not an option because military insurance does not cover it. 

 

I am on unemployment benefits in Australia and I have had to pay out of pocket to have my Pristiq compounded.  It's taken me 6 years to taper.  It was worth paying the money.  Thankfully the pharmacist told me that even though he was required to state that they expire after 6 months, I have been using mine for 1-2 years with no noticeable issues.  I have posted in my topic and/or the tips topic (below) which doses I would get to make up my needed dose.

 

I suggest you make some enquiries at any convenient compounders to find out exactly how much they charge, even postal ones if nothing local is a reasonable price.  My compounder charged me the minimum amount when I bought my capsules in bulk.  AU$15/100 capsules (and in coloured capsules too, different for different doses!).  Another chemist I asked for a quote charged AU$90/100 capsules.  Huge difference.  There is no way I could have afforded that much.  I think it cost about or less than AU$1,500 for my entire taper.

 

Q:  Are you able to get 25mg Pristiq tablets where you are?  In Australia we can only get 50mg and 100mg here which meant I had to used capsules for most of my taper.

 

Q:  Have you read through the posts in the tips-for-tapering-off-pristiq-desvenlafaxine topic?  I have posted there and in my Intro topic that I discovered earlier this year that I could use the contents of a compounded capsule and make a liquid.  Note that it has to be dosed at least twice a day.  If interdose withdrawal happens (symptoms arise at the same time every day related to when the dose/s taken and wear off before next dose) the three times a day might be needed.  This is because the tablet covers 24 hours but the pure drug of desvenlafaxine has a very short half life.  I think this is also mentioned in the above topic.

 

The contents of a compounded capsule contains fillers and a slow release formula and has to be emptied onto the top of water and left without stirring for about 1 hour.  Then it is mixed well, I shake mine really well, then have to leave it to sit for the froth and bubbles to subside.  This takes 1-2 hours.  Before taking a dose I tip the container twice, then fill and empty the syringe a few times, then expel the air/bubbles from the syringe.

 

So back to your dose situation.  You might consider getting capsules made of smaller doses so you don't waste tablets and you don't have to weigh the doses.  If not you could crush a tablet and weigh (Gemini 20 scale is used by many members of SA) an amount that you could then add to water or take as a powder if you are weighing a larger dose.  I hope that makes sense.

 

tips-for-tapering-off-pristiq-desvenlafaxine

 

using-a-scale-to-weigh-and-measure-doses

 

how-to-make-a-liquid-from-tablets-or-capsules

 

chessiecat-so-im-not-the-only-one-pristiq-desvenlafaxine

* NO LONGER ACTIVE on SA *

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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