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Dogmom73: Brain zaps 8 weeks off of Pristiq - Should I start Prozac and taper?

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I've been on and off antidepressants for about ten years. I've been on Prozac, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, and Lexapro. None of them gave me any problems until Wellbutrin. When it was upped to 300 mg I got my first brain zap. My GP gave me a gene test that came back that Pristiq would be the best anti depressant for me. From the minute I started Pristiq it was horrible as if my body was rejecting it but the brain zaps stopped. A few months into Pristiq the brain zaps started again several hours before my dose was due. If I took another dose right then (even though I was hours before my dose) the zaps would stop. Since Pristiq made me physically ill I didn't want to up my dose and told my GP I wanted to wean. She weaned me from 50 mg to 25 mg for two weeks and advised me to stop even though I told her I wanted to go to a compounding pharmacy and wean slower. Well I'm over 8 weeks off of it and I'm still getting hundreds of brain zaps a day when I turn my head or move my eyes. Will this get better or should I get on Prozac and do a wean from there? I really hate the thought of getting on another anti depressant but these zaps are making me feel like I'm losing my mind. I'm taking GABA, fish oil, exercising, getting sunlight, meditating, keeping stress low....everything I can do to make these go away. 

Edited by Emonda
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Posted (edited)

Hi @Dogmom73

welcome to SA. 


The brain zaps are usually the immediate withdrawal, they go away in most people after a few months but in some people can stay longer. They may be followed by protracted withdrawal - most of the descriptions of symptoms here are from protracted withdrawal. We have no way of predicting when they will get better. Some people don't have any symptoms and others suffer for years. 


If you'd like our help, please create a signature. The instructions are in the landing page of SA (where you had the link to create a profile). That page also has lots of other helpful information including about reinstating. Please read those posts carefully. We are only a few volunteers here and rely on people using search for the basic information. We can answer specific more difficult questions. 


To deal with symptoms after a cold turkey or fast taper we recommend reinstating the original drug. Prozac is an option but it has its downsides. Pls search for "prozac bridge" in the Tapering forum. 




Edited by Onmyway

"Nothing so small as a moment is insurmountable, and moments are all that we have. You have survived every trial and tribulation that life has thrown at you up until this very instant. When future troubles come—and they will come—a version of you will be born into that moment that can conquer them, too." - Kevin Koenig 


I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information and recommendations provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 


In the next few weeks I do not have a lot of capacity to respond to questions. If you need a quick answer pls tag or ask other moderators who may want to be tagged. 


Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week (off by 4/14/19- no tapering)

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785, 8/18/22 - 0.59, 12/15/2022 - 0.48, 2/15/22 - 0.43, 25/07/23 - 0.25 (mistake), 6/08/23 - 0.33mg


Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

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  • Emonda changed the title to Dogmom73: Brain zaps 8 weeks off of Pristiq - Should I start Prozac and taper?

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