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  1. Frankle WG, et al. Synapse. 2018 An open-label positron emission tomography study to evaluate serotonin transporter occupancy following escalating dosing regimens of (R)-(-)-O-desmethylvenlafaxine and racemic O-desmethylvenlafaxine. Authors Frankle WG1, Robertson B2, Maier G3, Paris J4, Asmonga D4, May M4, Himes ML4, Mason NS5, Mathis CA5, Narendran R4,5. Author information 1 Department of Psychiatry, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, New York. 2 Shire Pharmaceuticals Inc., Lexington, Massachusetts. 3 MaierMetrics and Associates, LLC, Boston, Massachusetts. 4 Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 5 Department of Radiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Citation Synapse. 2018 Mar;72(3). doi: 10.1002/syn.22021. Epub 2017 Dec 13. Links https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29216407. Full text available here (requires membership) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/syn.22021 Abstract SEP-227162 [R(-)-O-desmethylvenlafaxine] is an enantiomer of the venlafaxine metabolite O-desmethylvenlafaxine (ODV, Pristiq™, Wyeth). This study compared the serotonin transporter (SERT) occupancy achieved by SEP-227162 and ODV, at daily doses of 25, 50, 100, and 150 mg using [11 C]DASB positron emission tomography (PET). Sixteen healthy male subjects participated in one of four dose groups (N = 4 per group) during which they were administered two doses of the study drug (SEP-227162 or ODV). For each study drug, total daily doses of 25, 50, 100, and150 mg were studied. Subjects underwent three PET scans with [11 C]DASB. A baseline, off-medication, scan was performed prior to dosing and a [11 C]DASB PET scan was performed after 72 hr at each dose level. [11 C]DASB binding potential (BPND ) was calculated using the simplified reference tissue method. SERT occupancy was calculated as the change in BPND (ΔBPND ) from baseline scan to the on-medication scan relative to the baseline BPND value. SEP-227162 and ODV significantly reduced regional distribution volumes and region BPND values in a dose-dependent manner. Across all doses ODV produced significantly greater SERT occupancy than SEP-227162 (ANOVA F = 21.8, df = 1,23, p < .001). The total daily dose required to provide 50% SERT occupancy was 24.8 mg for SEP-227162 and 14.4 mg for ODV. In vitro data suggests a ratio of 3.3:1 for binding at human SERT for SEP-227162 relative to ODV. Our study suggests a ratio of 1.7:1, highlighting the value of in vivo imaging in the drug development process. PMID 29216407 [Indexed for MEDLINE].
  2. I’ve been on antidepressants since I was 13 diagnosed when I was 13 with depression and anxiety disorder. When I was 18 I was diagnosed with major depression after suicide attempt. At 27 years of age now my new doctor of just one month diagnosed me with bipolar 2, I believe solely on the fact that my mother is bipolar one and she believes I’m “genetically prone” to this disorder My medication history. First it was lexapto, then Prozac then Wellbutrin, then cymbalta and Xanax now tapering off pristiq which I personally find the worse. And now I’m put on lamictal. My doctor seems to think I can withdrawl from my pristiq (100 mg) which I’ve been on throughout a year time span, in “two weeks” and being put on 200 mgs of lamictal it should “ counteract the withdrawal “ . I’ve been out of work for a year (previously a full time teacher”. I feel like I’m losing my mind for lack of better words. I’m so desperate and truly believe big pharmaceutical agencies just want to make money off of me (us) . I’m lost and isolating myself, my life is falling apart, and I’ve never been in a worse mental state than I am now. I’m here for help and reassurance I suppose. Don’t know how much longer I can do this. -Amy
  3. Hi All, Firstly thanks for the excellent site and taking the time to review my post. History is long, so in the interest of time, 20 yrs on SSRI's (i've tried virtually all but had most luck with prozac and lexapro) with a 4 month bout of Remeron (awful w/d not helped by cross taper) and benzo's on/off for 8 years or so. Benzo: I've successfully switched from .5mg of clonazepam/day to 10mg valium and i'm now at 2mg per day. A bit more about this below. SSRI: Was on 20 mg for celexa for the last several months but completely zombified so decided it's finally time to be done with this sh1t I dropped relatively quickly per docs orders with really no impact down to 5mg celexa completely stopping the celexa and valium on May 1. Started 10 mg prozac only May 1, by May 4 really awful DR with anxiety, inability to focus, sleeplesness, headaches. Reinstated 1-2 mg valium which helped a little bit. Yesterday i tested the waters and dropped the prozac down to 5 mg to see if agitation was from that which resulted in bad anxiety, chills,and shaking. Took the other 5 g prozac and an additional 1mg valium which helped a bit. Today slightly better back at 10mg prozac and 2mg valium in the morning. I have a pdoc appointment tomorrow and really don't know what to do and not sure i trust his opinion frankly but do believe he will be fine with what i recommend. I consider these the following my options: 1.) Reinstate celexa at last dose (5mg?), drop prozac entirely after a week or 2, and keep valium, then micro taper off at 10% per 3 weeks or so. 2.) Hold steady on prozac and valium for awhile (how long?) then micro taper 3.) Something else? Any thoughts are much appreciated and i apologize for any incoherence in this post but just got back from work trip and wanted to get this out there for the educated folks to review asap. Many thanks for any input and your time!!! methuselah
  4. I've been taking Pristiq 100mg (plus 5mg Somit to sleep and 100mg Activigil to wake up) for the past 3 years more or less. I've been trying to quit Pristiq for many months due to HORRIBLE withdrawals whenever I forgot even one pill. I got to down the dose to Pristiq 50mg after enduring two weeks of those horrible withrawals and then they were gone, luckily. Now I'm trying to figure out my next step. There's no Pristiq 25mg where I am from. My psych told me to switch to venlafaxine 75mg three days ago, not the XR, the regular. It has such a short half life that I'm having horrible symptoms as well, even though I'm taking 37,5mg in the morning and 37,5mg in the afternoon. I'm trying to figure out if this is the best way to quit Pristiq. She says I should stay with venlafaxine and taper down from it. I'm worried about feeling awful. I can't function. Should I stay with the venlafaxine or switch back to Pristiq 50mg and figure out something else? Should I bridge with Prozac form Pristiq? Should I stay with venlafaxine and THEN bridge with Prozac? Should I just taper down from venlafaxine? By the way, thank you all for describing so accurately all the discontinuations sympotms of the Pristq- the brain zaps, the headaches, the dizziness, the confusion. What has this done to us? I want out.
  5. Hello all, just found this site and was looking for some advice on tapering off antipsychotic's. It all started about 11 months ago when I was prescribed saphris for depression by my pdoc to augment pristiq, (I know I should have known better). All was fine until about three months in when I started slowly developing anhedonia, just a complete lack of interest in life, it messed up my endocrine system, and destroyed my short term memory. Having successfully quit seroquel cold turkey in the past I thought saphris would be a breeze.... Boy was I wrong, only managed to make it there days in before the overwhelming anxiety (which I've never had before)and insomnia drove me back onto it. After three failed attempts to taper off(lowest dose is 5mg and couldn't cut sublingual wafers any lower), my pdoc suggested switching to 10mg zyprexa for two weeks then stopping that cold turkey, well that was a mess again, had anxiety from hell and insomnia. Again we tried switching over to seroquel which failed.So now I'm back on zyprexa (with a whole new set of side effects)with the plan of tapering off at a rate of -1.25mg every two weeks, currently I'm down to 7.5mg with moderate anxiety, intermittent insomnia and an insatiable appetite. Just wondering if this is too aggressive a taper, I only have tablets available so I'm just relying on cutting them into quarters. Just want off this pharmaceutical merry go round, feel as though I've been lobotomized.
  6. ADMIN NOTE 10 09 17 Lilu wants everyone to know: "Please disregard my initial posts, since my knowledge about the subject of withdrawal was very limited and often wrong. Please follow the administrators' knowledge and advice to properly taper your medication." I would like to know if anyone else has experienced while on Pristiq: I take 50 mg of Pristiq every morning at around 8 am. But despite sleeping for 8 or 9 hours a night, I wake up feeling tired and sleepy with a heavy brain fog that pretty much lasts all day. It does seem to lift at around 3 pm when I find myself suddenly feeling more clear and awake. Sometimes though the sleepiness (somnolence) last all day and I feel like I just can't think clearly. It's as if I'm always slightly buzzed or sedated. Recently I found out that Pristiq reaches it's peak concentration level after 7.5 hours. So I will try to take it at night, and see if I will feel more awake and fog-free in the morning. Also, I guess I should mention that when I forget to take a dose of Pristiq, I start to feel extremely drowsy, just as if I have taken a sedative.
  7. I started taking pristiq some time in June. I started feeling like I wanted to avoid my family and just go out by myself. I never want to cuddle or be intimate with my husband anymore and I all of a sudden want attention from other people. This is extremely out of character for me. I dont know if its the medication or what but its really scaring me. I feel like i could just run away from my life and not look back but I know this isnt me. Has any been in a similat situation??? I'm feeling so helpless.
  8. 41 years old. Never before suffered anxiety and depression until I crashed into menopause overnight my world was turned upside down. Tested for every disease imaginable I was bedridden for months before the diagnosis months later of premature menopause. I was put on mirtazapine 30mg for about 8 months. It did nothing for my anxiety or depression. I reached crisis point and was switched to pristiq 50mg in February of this year. I was meant to have two weeks cross over but had such a bad reaction I stopped the mirtazapine after five days. I was seriously ill for two weeks later who knows if that was withdrawal or the pristiq. So I also started on hormone replacement same time as pristiq and was doing so well they told me to wean off the pristiq after being on it for just six weeks. I did two weeks at 50mg two weeks at 25mg and two weeks at 12.5 before stopping for ten days altogether before having to start again due to severe withdrawal. Pdoc says to get a week of 12.5 and a week of 6.25 and go off after two weeks! I saw you posted details of a podcast in Aussie rob purssey I contacted him and I'm 41 years old. Never before suffered anxiety and depression until I crashed into menopause overnight my world was turned upside down. Tested for every disease imaginable I was bedridden for months before the diagnosis months later of premature menopause. I was put on mirtazapine 30mg for about 8 months. It did nothing for my anxiety or depression. I reached crisis point and was switched to pristiq 50mg. I was meant to have two weeks cross over but had such a bad reaction I stopped the mirtazapine after five days. I was seriously ill for two weeks later who knows if that was withdrawal or the pristiq. So I also started on hormone replacement and was doing so well they told me to wean off the pristiq. I did two weeks at 25mg and two weeks at 12.5 before stopping for ten days altogether before having to start again due to severe withdrawal. Pdoc says to get a week of 12.5 and a week of 6.25 and go off after two weeks! I saw you posted details of a pdoc in Aussie rob purssey I contacted him and I'm yet to see him but he suggested not cutting pills and going back to 50mg pristiq and said next step will be 75mg of Effexor. So withdrawals I had both weaning and off were insomnia, sweating all day, nausea, diarrhoea, confusion, no short term memory, suicidal thoughts, periods of great sadness, urge to cry and just generally feeling agitated beyond belief as though my limbs were all filled with concrete. I'm shocked that I've only been on it three months and it's this bad. So is moving to Effexor a better way to wean off in every bodies experience. Thank you
  9. Hi to all, Posted in the "Marriages Destroyed by SSRI SNRI" thread in more detail... Basically I stumbled across this forum after 18 months of increasing changes in our relationship dynamic, culminating in my wife wanting to separate/divorce me over the last few months. We have been married 12 years and have 2 energetic boys aged 3 1/2 and 2. I have reluctantly moved out of our family home due to her demands, and hate every minute of it. Since she went on Pristiq (50 mg) around 6 months ago, the following has happened: - I don't love you anymore / I've not loved you for years / I've never loved you - We're more like flatmates / brother and sister than lovers and partners - I need space to find myself and be free - We don't have anything in common - I want to separate / divorce - She 'developed a crush' / or actually cheated on me with a male friend she was helping train as a personal trainer (evidence suggests it may have been more than just a crush) - Osscilations between wanting to separate and not for utilitarian reasons (not feelings) - Seeing me completely break down in front of her and our children, and literally feeling nothing, nor react at all - She has gone from wearing her heart on her sleeve to being absolutely flat and uncaring towards me, often times being really derisive and rude/argumentative, which is extremely out of character Even prior to that, there was definitely emotional blunting taking place on the Eleva (100 mg) she was taking for the year before the Pristiq. I have somehow convinced her that she should consider the medication as being a factor, and she mentioned wanting to come off them anyway. She has started tapering her dose in order to be completely off them over the next few months. Yeah, so that's why I am here, and am hoping to learn from you all and your experiences. Some of you guys seem really knowledgeable. I wish you all the very best! Dawood
  10. Hi guys, Currently finished my tapering and now into the Withdrawl of pristiq. After spending so much time googling all the symptoms and anecdotes of others I wanted to add to it, in hopes of helping anyone else who'd be in my situation in the future! I think too much time spent reading some of the horror stories (and I feel terrible for those poor souls), really made me so much more anxious than I needed to be. Some background: I was on pristiq 50mg for 5 months, no history of antidepressants or mental illness, until I had a breakdown of sorts due to family tragedy/work stress/love life difficulties and basically just everything at once. I was diagnosed with GAD, put on pristiq (because at the time I could barely leave the house without having a panic attack), and sent to a psychologist for CBT. 5 months later my doc suggested coming off as id done well etc am ready. He gave me a tapering program for 3 weeks - 1st week every second day, 2nd week every third day, 4th week on the fourth day then stop. Tapering: this was for me not as horrible as I made myself believe it would be. I had probably two evenings where I'd feel the brain zaps (it felt more like popping candy sensation than a bolt of electricty, that idea scared the hell out of me lol) and was pretty tolerable. Before I finished completely, I researched all the natural remedies that might help ease any discomfort. And found a million different opinions.. I settled for fish oil tablets and vitamin B. Kept some ginger tablets and paracetamol on hand in case. Also, the app Headspace I can't recommend enough! Guided meditation has been an absolute life saver for me, and after trying a few different apps out I found this the best for me DAY ONE: Felt normal. I figured because of the tapering, and feeling normal on the first days off during it, today would be no different. Towards the end of the day I started having that throat tickle you get before you get a cold.. and thought great timing to get a cold DAY TWO: Woke up feeling like I had a cold, I had read flu like symptoms to be common in tapering, but I had assumed it would be the more brain fog rather than sneezing and coughing. Anxiety was a bit higher than normal, but I reminded myself to stop looking for symptoms and get on with my day. DAY THREE: Bit of brain fog in the morning, more a nuscance than anything.. managed to get rear ended while driving which really wasn't ideal lol. Was feeling pretty emotional after that but, as anyone would be. Rest of the day was fine, bit sleepy here and there and brain zaps before bed (now I know how they feel, it's easier to ignore them) DAY FOUR: I had read day 4 can be a common time for people to feel the grunt of side effects.. and I was on the war path for most of the day. Not usually an angry person but, Jesus, I was banging pots and pans and swearing. It took me a while to step back and realise I needed to calm down. Meditated, and felt a bit frazzled and went for a walk.. it seemed to help a whole lot DAY FIVE: I'm at the end of day five now, this is the first day without a headache, and first day without any painkillers (yay) brain zaps are still around, and find myself getting a bit teary to songs on the radio but I feel like I might be on the way down the mountain I'll keep updated on my days, I know everyone is different and I feel so so lucky to have gotten off easy so far with side effects. I just want to share a success to try and help balance out the horror
  11. Hi everyone, I am new here, have been on Pristiq for 10 day 50 mgs, feeling spacey and confused...This is my 3rd anxiety episode...had one 5 years ago, when I was able to come off Pristiq during 3 weeks of alternating days gradually. ..but my sleep was OK then...want to reduce Pristiq , but unfortunately I still take 1 tablet Immovane at night, also for 10 days...not sure what to do next, so I could keep my sleep and take less Pristiq...GPsaid to cut in half, but the tablet split in 4 irregular bits....25 mgs not available in Australia...
  12. Moderator note: Link to GregoryReboot's benzo thread - GregoryReboot: Switching from Clonazepam to Diazepam? Hey Everyone. 3 months ago I finished my taper off of SSRIs. The agony I have gone through is well appreciated by this group. That’s why I’m here. There are still days I wonder if I can make it BUT I am also getting to the point though where it is hard to imagine “going back” (on SSRIs). I am getting some “glimmers” of hope. I have good days or even multiple days. I smelled a candle last night and couldn’t believe how rich it smelled. A song with sounds you can “feel”. Beautiful. All my senses were dulled on antidepressants. I didn’t even realize it and had just gotten so used to it. Now I feel things again. Sure sometimes that feels like way too much BUT I’m starting to think it’s worth those bad “waves” to get my brain and emotions back. Having a good day today. Hope you all are too. I’m taking some time off work to get my head back and heal through some of this build up. I’m overwhelmed by my life but am happy to be “back in it”! Any encouragement or wisdom is welcome. One of the lingering symptoms for me is sleep. I am getting better but still waking up too early and restless and racing.
  13. emergingfromhell

    emergingfromhell: Tips

    Hi. I'm HOPEFULLY coming out of what could be called a 7 month mental breakdown induced by antidepressant roulette ....I've read so many of your stories over the last few months (which have been the worst) and they have helped me...so I feel like I should share my experience in case anything in it can help someone else. First is a short version of what happened to me. Below that is a list of specific things that helped me. And below that, I've shared a longer version in case you'd like more details. I'm truly in awe of how behind psychiatry is. No one should have to suffer like this. WHAT HAPPENED TO ME - I was on Wellbutrin and Prozac for a few years - couldn't quite get the balance right (turns out SR and XL were getting messed up so that didn't help). I was always a little too anxious or a little too depressed. It wasn't bad, but could have been better so I thought I'd try something new. First, I got off Wellbutrin CT. Prozac alone was hell - probably bc of Wellbutrin withdrawal. Then I cross tapered Prozac with Pristiq. Pristiq worked for a month then stopped- I was in hell again - probably delayed Prozac withdrawal. Then I added Ability to the Pristiq - horrible side effects. Then I stopped those CT and I took Viibryd. Pristiq/ Ability withdrawal + Viibryd side effects, and after all I'd already been through, worse than hell. I took Klonopin and 10mg Prozac to wean off of that. I started to feel slightly human again. I got back on Wellbutrin and Prozac and felt more human. Then had to wean off the Klonopin - worse than what's worse than hell. Now I'm just on the Wellbutrin and Prozac like I was originally and I finally feel like a person again. What a nightmare - 5 withdrawals in 7 months. Anyway...I've learned some things.... THINGS I'VE LEARNED - Medicine tips: 1. Try to stay consistent with a pharmacy/manufacturer if you're taking generic bc that can make you respond differently to the medicine (I think that was a problem with my wellbutrin originally - also XL is smoother than SR and it's important to stay consistent with that as well) 2. Adding Prozac while weaning off an anti-d can really help with withdrawal 3. Wellbutrin can increase the concentration of Prozac in the body if taken together which is important to know when tweaking the dosage 4. Don't CT anything even if you're on something else or getting on something else. 5. Changing is a REAL b**** so only do it if you have to. 6. If you have to take a benzo to help with withdrawal, don't take it everyday or for too long bc you'll have another withdrawal and nothing to help with that one. Anxiety: 1. When panicking, holding ice, getting in a really hot bath, running or doing push ups can be good bc your heart is racing due to a threat it doesn't understand...when you give it a real reason to race and then take it away...your heart feels the threat is removed and will slow down a bit. Plus your mind will focus on that pain instead of on the more painful racing negative thoughts. In some messed up way, it's like a less harmful version of cutting. 2. Lavender oil is very calming, and smell is the only sense with a direct pathway to the amygdala which is the part of your brain associated with mood and emotions. Smells that remind you of happy times work as well. 3. Warm baths helped me more than anything. Increasing body temperature can help regulate mood. Sometimes, putting cold water on for a little helps as well bc that can help circulation and increase oxygen. Switching back and forth can help with the chills/hot flashes that come with withdrawal. 4. After bath, I put towel down on floor and did some stretches to open chest and hips bc that's where we carry a lot of grief. I recommend making it part of a morning routine. 5. Writing affirmations on paper with a pencil or pen can be therapeutic. Find words that resonate with you - simple sentences. It sounds silly, but it actually helped. 6. If people are pissing you off, but you know you shouldn't be confrontational in this state, write them letters that you don't send. 7. Fresh air really helps, even if you just open a window. 8. The mornings are the worst bc of Cortisol. 9. Google Alternate Nostril Breathing and do that for longer than feels comfortable. Also, when taking deep breaths, the exhale should be longer than the inhale and is more important, but if you do it for a really long time, make them equal so you don't get light-headed. 10. There's a good mediation app called "Insight Timer" and another called "Calm". 11. I read a book called "Love Warrior" that was a good distraction and very relatable. If you have stress relating to a toxic relationship, "Women Who Love Too Much" is also a great book. 12. Binge on a Netflix series to distract your mind. The Moth app is good for that also if watching is too hard. 13. Hugging or cuddling releases oxytocin and can really calm stress. Massages obviously help a ton as well. 14. Imagine a happy place in detail - the smells, sounds, textures etc...for a proper amount of time. Get lost there. 15. Talk to yourself and tell yourself the things you wish someone would say to you to calm you down. You'll feel crazy at first, but it helps. 16. People who've had easy experiences don't write on message boards, but there are plenty. So don't get discouraged only reading horror stories on here. They're the worst cases. 17. Focus on today. Making big changes to address the underlying issues that caused the original anxiety and depression are things to consider once you're stable. And whatever in your life is getting messed up bc of the state you're in, focus on fixing those later when you're better as well. Be honest with work, family, friends etc and hope for compassion. In the meantime, think of the next right thing to do and the next breath. One thing at a time, one moment at a time. Everything else will be much less daunting and easier to fix when your biochemistry isn't going haywire...so cut yourself some slack. Nausea: 1. Pepto can help. 2. Chocolate Boost Plus is good for when you're too nauseous to eat but need to keep weight up. Banana and peanut butter smoothies with chocolate protein powder helped me. Whole foods has a bunch of shots, smoothies etc if you can't make them. 3. Pedialite can help with dehydration. 4. Three fingers from your wrist is the pressure point for nausea. 5. Ginger helps more than you'd think. Ginger candies to suck on are good. Despite what people say, I found Ginger Ale made me more nauseous. Loved Ones: 1. It's helpful if other people can make many of the daily small decisions for you bc thinking at all can be really overwhelming. 2. Complicated conversations about politics, business etc should happen in another room. It's important to focus on simple and positive things to help your brain heal 2. Google SSRI withdrawal symptoms and show them to your loved ones so they know what to expect and so they know your behavior is the result of a chemical clusterfuck and is not reflective of a new or old you. 3. Explain to loved ones that if you sense their anxiety about your anxiety or their fear or impatience, you will feel it magnified and it will slow your recovery massively. You need to be around supportive people who will tell you you're going to be ok and keep you calm. That's crucial. From Me to You: This is only temporary. You will get through this and be yourself again, no matter how impossible that seems while you're in it. I know my story isn't very encouraging, but I really believed the new me was going to have to live like that forever, and I really didn't think I'd survive if that was the case. But I did survive and I'm here now - feeling like the old me with a new appreciation for everything, and the hope that what I went through will somehow help someone else. Here's the more detailed version if you think it might provide some useful information - about what NOT to do For a few years, I was on 300 wellbutrin and 40 prozac... I couldn't quite get the balance right for anxiety/depression, and I thought maybe being on just one drug would be a better idea. My doctor suggested I CT the wellbutrin and up my prozac from 40 to 60. I stayed on just Prozac for the month but crashed - fatigue, anxiety, depression - and A LOT of it. I still don't know if that was wellbutrin withdrawal but, in hindsight, I suspect it may have been. I went to a new doctor who suggested I try Pristiq bc my mom does well on Effexor (strong proof that members of the same family tend to do well on the same drugs) and it was the improved version. Also bc I had done well on Cymbalta years earlier, except for the intense fatigue, she thought another SNRI might be good for me. I weaned off Prozac in a couple of weeks while taking the Pristiq. It worked really well for about a month on it's own and then I crashed again - fatigue, anxiety, depression - and A LOT of it. Again, in hindsight, I wonder if the prozac had a delayed withdrawal bc that can happen even though doctors don't acknowledge it much. I raised the Pristiq by 25 for a couple weeks and it didn't help. Studies have shown that increased levels of Pristiq doesn't increase efficacy of the drug...it's just more to get off of later. So I went back down to 50 and my doctor then added 5mg of Ability. I had awful side effects - restlessness, jumping out of my skin, major depersonalization, etc. She suggested Rexulti which has less side effects but isn't covered by insurance and would have been 1k a month so I tried Geodon instead for three days - same class of med, same problems. So I gave up on Pristiq. Stopped CT and started 10mg of Viibryd. That's when things started to get really really bad. I basically compounded Pristiq withdrawal with Viibryd side effects. I eased up over a month to 40mg - the therapeutic dose. I woke up in a panic attack every morning, I couldn't function at all, I could barely talk or eat. I felt terrified and almost catatonic. I took 20mg at 11am and 20mg at 3/4pm, and you have to take it with food which is hell when you're that nauseous. It got a little better after 5/6 pm everyday which was strange. It also got a little better at 40mg in that my good windows would last a little longer but my bad ones were still awful and still lasted for the majority of my day. I added Valium in the morning but didn't want to get addicted so I'd go three days or so then experience increased depression when I stopped. My doctor kept telling me to be patient, that things would turn around, but after two months of feeling like I was dying everyday, unable to function and having suicidal thoughts, I lost any bit of patience I had left. He had also told me that he thought a lot of this was psychological not chemical and that I should spend more time talking to my therapist. Anyone who has been through awful side effects and/or awful withdrawal very much knows the difference between issues that can be resolved by a therapist and issues that need a good psychiatrist. The only thing I needed to talk to a therapist about at the time was the physical pain I was in due to the medicine. I saw another doctor who told me to wean off the Viibryd - that I should be feeling better by that point. I honestly thought I wouldn't make it through another withdrawal period, but the Viibryd was so bad for me that the withdrawal was actually less miserable than the side effects had been. She also told me to take Klonopin .5mg in the morning and at night. My anxiety was way worse in the morning so I took it then, but fortunately, didn't get addicted to the full 1mg a day bc I didn't take it at night. She also added Prozac - 10 up to 20 while I weaned down on Viibryd. After being off of the Viibryd for a little over a week, I needed to figure out what anti-depressant was next. I honestly felt too scared to try anything else so I added 300xl of Wellbutrin to the 20 Prozac - a little less than I was on originally - before I started all the changes. Still not finished - then I had to withdraw from the .5 Klonopin I'd been taking for a month. I cut in half for a week then half of that for 3 days. I suffered terribly that whole time and then for a few days after my last dose. I am writing you from the other side. So...I basically went through all of the hell to circle back to where I started, and I definitely didn't have it in me to get off altogether bc I know adjusting to life without meds after 16 years on them is going to be a bigger task than I have the energy for right now...but I did learn some things....
  14. 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!
  15. I have been taking Pristiq (50mg once a day) for approximately 5 years. It manages my depression fairly well, but I have had side effects of extreme sweating and muscle spasms, and maybe weight gain. I don't know if I would have gained the weight anyway but have gained a lot of weight in that time. I want to stop taking it and was advised by my physician to start tapering off by taking it every other day for 3-4 weeks and then start taking Welbutrin on the off days. I was miserable the whole time - brain zaps, severe headaches, extreme irritability. I tried taking the Welbutrin only one day and was very dizzy and nauseated so did not take it again. My dr recommended I take the Pristiq every 3rd day after 3 weeks but after 5 days I was near a breakdown, physical and emotional. He recommended I go back to my daily 50 mg for now until we figure out what else to do, I am happy to hear there is a 25mg dose because we did not know about that. What is the best way for me to start tapering from the 50 mg tablets from everyone's experience on this site?
  16. lyrehs

    lyrehs

    Hi.... Im an Australian Woman, Artist ,Mother,Grandmother (how did that happen so fast). Im in a space/place where I need help and advice but I feel so apathetic everything is a huge effort.Getting my thoughts coherent is so hard. I feel like I have been on medication forever although its only been for 20 of my 56 years.I avoided medicating myself for so long. I have spent so many years of my life completely overwhelmed and enveloped by sadness. I have experienced extreme highs, mania I guess,which in many ways is preferable to mind numbing apathy. I want to feel something.I am an artist but I have no passion for anything anymore.Part of whatever 'condition' I have meant that I always searched out, created highs something to look forward too, something to occupy my mind, to keep me going to keep me distracted. I cant even be bothered doing that,I am tired,so very worn out.I wanted to get off all the pills so I could find out who I am. I want to remember again. I want to be creative and earn more than just enough money to barely get by. From reading advice on this forum I get the impression I should switch back to Effexor as its easier to divide and taper the dose. The worry for me is that I am simply a depressed person who needs to have this awful stuff in her body forever like my Dr says I need. I don't want to be that person and at times I have felt that I could be different but life goes by so very fast. The journey seems so long and I don't want it to be just more of the same, I could not bare it if this is it.I know I am very down at the moment.I need more meds to stabilise myself and then taper slowly.I just cant remember what came first...the chicken or the egg. I may have been miserable before taking medication but I have felt so very bad on it. I never experience anxiety before...I didnt know what it was until Effexor and Pristiq. I am going to copy and paste my signature? I am not sure if it appears all by itself? then again if I don't and it doesn't ........ cheers in advance for reading
  17. sorry for being confused but I am, I just don't want to start off doing the wrong thing. I don't understand about signatures with dosage underneath.Could you give me an example.I looked at peoples names on their posts but often what was written underneath seemed like gobbledeegook? (Australian for nonsense) would I write lyrehs then 35 mg pristiq currently. used to take 375 of effexor??? lyrehs. also what files would I need to attach? and this is not a topic so much as a question that I cannot find an answer to that makes sense to my addled brain.
  18. I've been actively tapering klonopin for over a year now. I have been taking benzodiazepines for the last 26 years...yeah. About five years ago, I tried zoloft. It was amazing, and it helped my anxiety a lot. It helped it so much, that I realized how little tranquilizers were doing for me. Well, I switched because of side effect and for the last year I have been taking Pristiq, with pretty good effects. Last week, I took some migraine medication, called maxalt, and basically caused a mild seretonin syndrome. I stopped the pristiq for a day and my seretonin syndrome symptoms went away, but a whole new bunch of stuff started, which I realized was pristiq withdrawal. I didn't really want to come off the pristiq until I was done getting off the klonopin, but this is how it is going down now. So I've been breaking my pristiq pill up with a pill cutter into fourths, and I now take 1/4th a pill 3X a day. I feel better when I have just taken a dosage and dizziness, nausea, and a loss of balance are my biggest symptoms to date of pristiq withdrawal. I'm really only five days in, so I'm not sure how much worse this may get.
  19. My psychiatrist was treating me this winter for SAD. In April, the weather was improving and I was doing much better. At that time, I was taking 25 mg. Pristiq and 50 mg of Zoloft. I was still having some anxiety episodes two or three times a week(now they don't even seem like a problem) so she decided to decrease my Zoloft from 50 to 25 and at the same time increased my Pristiq from 25 to 50. I had withdrawal symptoms. They weren't fun. After 10 days, when I was still not doing well, she decreased my pristiq to 25 mg. That was two months ago. I have been up and down since then. I found this website and am wondering if I am still having zoloft withdrawal. Because I go back to how I was feeling in April before the decrease in Zoloft. Not sure what to do. I was thinking it was the pristiq because I thought when I noticed I took my med's that an hour or two later I would feel worse(brain numb, blah, bored, no motivation.) But I don't know what that is.I thought it was side effects from the Pristiq(I have been on 25 mg of Pristiq since January. Thanks for any input
  20. Just found these forums. This is 1st Post. I’m about 10 Days into withdrawal from Pristiq and Lexapro. (I’m assuming my “signature “ automatically attaches to this, so I don’t have to go into all the details again?) This has been shocking how hard this is. The worst for me has been the wild mood swings, accompanied by extreme anger and some outbursts. Also, a lot of shouting in the privacy of my car. I feel pretty out of control a lot of the time, with a hair-trigger temper. I used to be somewhat like this before antidepressants. But this is even worse. I’m scaring myself with how quickly I can become over the top angry. Also very anxious. The physical symptoms include one thing I haven’t seen mentioned, so I wonder if anyone has also felt them. It feels like my tongue is tingling, sometimes lips too, and I also get these zippy tingling sensations internally that make me think my heart is racing, but when I check my heart rate, it’s fine. My biggest concern is that I’ll be traveling soon, which always makes me irritable and anxious, so I wonder how I can handle it right now. I do have a small number of Valium, which I almost never take but I have it for fear of flying. Should I just go ahead and take it? Will it help? Or will using it just create more problems? Thanks for “listening “.
  21. Hello Folks, New member here. I was taking 100mg of Pristiq for over 2 years. I had massive weight gain and generally I felt better, so I decided to come off it. I know the official stance is that weight gain shouldn't be possible, but with ME, it was. I exercise and eat healthily and over the duration of 2 years, have gained 30KG's. The drug has helped me though and has served its purpose. I started beginning of October, by going from 100MG to 50MG for 4 weeks, then 25MG for 2 weeks. After reading this forum, I know this may seem too short now, but I want to give it a try none the less. I am now 5 days in, having the typical brain zaps, emotional drainage and aches. I am seeing this through and I hope with the support of this forum, I will be able to better understand whats happening to me. Anyway, hello, and thanks for an awesome forum. James
  22. Hi, SA. Long time lurker jumping in. As it says in signature, I'm still at a very high dose of prisitq and a more reasonable one of seroquel. I don't want to be, but there you go. I don't know if or when I'll get off them, because I'm 21 and juggling studying full time with having a messy head. But I thought I would say hi, because there's no harm in it.
  23. I was on celebs for about 7 years 60mg. It stopped working and I was on 100mg pristine for a year. That also stopped working. The doctor weaned me off pristine and I have been on celexa for two weeks. It does not seem to be having an effect. I am wondering how long it will take to kick in generally. I am miserable.
  24. I've been a lurker on this thread for a long time now. Was on Pristiq 100mg for 5+ years. Was experiencing all sorts of side effects. I started by cutting a small amount of the tablet off. DO NOT do this. It caused very severe symptoms, cold shivers, paranoia were some of them. I went straight from 100mg to 50mg. This was very hard. It took a good two weeks for the withdrawals to soften. These included severe anxiety, OCD like symptoms, brain zaps to name a few. Very nasty. I was impressed how quickly I managed to survive that- so I thought the next reasonable step was to go cold turkey. Surely - 2 weeks of awful stuff and then happy ever after? I was so wrong. I lasted for 2 weeks cold turkey. It was truly harrowing. My existing depression and anxiety symptoms spiraled out of control. This was accompanied by extreme brain zaps, paranioa, OCD like symptoms and cold sweats/shivering. I also experienced awful sexual side effects that were very embarrassing and hard to deal with (premature ejaculation - barely lasting 2 seconds). The severity of all of this peaked at the 2 week mark. It just got too much so I took 50 mg. Within the space of 45 minutes I was totally back to 'normal' again. It was the most bizzare feeling. Since this I have been taking compounded pristiq tablets. I have tapered as follows: 50mg 37.5mg 30mg 25mg 20mg Currently I'm on 20mg. The compounded tablets work very well. They have the "E4M" sustained release additive. The next reduction will be 15mg. I am holding off as I have a few stressful life circumstances to deal with in the near-ish future and would like to wait until things have calmed down a bit. The cost for 100 tablets is $90. I am in Australia by the way. Currently feeling pretty good - my anxiety is a constant battle - the higher dose of Pristiq certainly curbed my anxiety. I thought I should share my experience this site to help anyone else thinking of doing this. It's going to be probably at least a year until I'm actually Pristiq "free".
  25. Great Post, Thank You ! ["How I am coping with depression" by apathetic] Very informed, you know your stuff. I'm new to all of it, but an advid researcher, also very in tune with My body, So I knew all of this.... What I do not Know is, Should I be going from Prestiq 100mg to Effexor as of this past Wk. 7 days 50 mg Prestiq, w/ 37.5 mg Effex. Now, Prestiq every other day for 3 days, Then Stop .Then adding another 37.5 Effex, Not there yet, a few more days. I Am Petrified of Effexor Now !!! After Reading these boards. I had a Very Tragic Event, You wouldn't believe if I told you. Lawyers, traveling back & forth from West coast to East Coast, for the past 20 mons, hardly home, because of the Fight to save someone's life. So clearly Stress off the charts, PTSD Intensive out patient therapy.... My WD so far, Extreme OCD, Hyper as Hell, Can't eat, Haven't Slept in 22 mons, since.... Prestiq is a Nightmare HELL to get off of. I did it once, 4 yrs ago, then had to reinstate after a month. Plus I didn't it myself, Stupid, Cut them in half, Even More Stupid, which caused them to release at triple the forces, causing that extreme Anxiety, I never have suffered with Period, just as a WD symptoms. So Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm SCARED Now... I pray I haven't Already done damage by taking this Effexor in the last 8 days. That's how powerful a drug it apparently is. This I did not know...To Messed up to look into it myself, Not my usual MO, but I'm So out of it, just Not Myself !! I hear Myself Rambling on, instantly Grab My Mouth, to Shut it UP. I KNOW, I'm Acting Like a FREAK Thanx so much 4 your post
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