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  1. 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?
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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 “.
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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".
  11. 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
  12. Hello everybody, First of all, sorry for my poor English. I'll try to write short but correct sentences, so you can understand my case. I'm 21 years old and currently I'm studying Medicine. In 2013 I started psychological treatment for social anxiety (only psychotherapy, without medication). I'm positive that this helped me a lot, but the psychologist thought that I wasn't improving fast enough, so he prescribed me Escitalopram 5 mg/day. I didn't notice any improvement or adverse effect while taking this drug. The summer of 2014, before I started College, was the worst phase of my life. I didn't want to get out of my bedroom, and I only wanted to die. That fall, I visited a psychiatrist for the first time, and he prescribed me Desvenlafaxine 100 mg a day. This drug completely killed my mind. I felt numb, dizzy, emotionally flattened, I had severe memory problems... When the College semester ended (I failed 3 subjects), I withdraw the drug with the help of the psychiatrist. Several months later, I felt better, but I had the feeling that the drug had left some type of "residual damage" in me...I wasn't the same person than I was one year ago, and the memory problems were there. I committed the great mistake of asking another psychiatrist for advice: I wanted to know if the Desvenlafaxine was the culprit of the symptoms I was suffering. The new psychiatrist told me that I was suffering from anxiety and obsessive-like behavior, so he gave me Duloxetine (60 mg/day during the first 3 months, 30 mg/day later) & Alprazolam (0.125 mg. 3 times a day during the 3 first months, once a day later). This time, I got better results than the year before. I felt better, I even obtained A+ in two subjects. When the summer came, I decided to withdraw the drug with the help of my doctor. I suffered a considerable withdrawal syndrome (dizziness,photophobia,tinnitus,swinging mood...It was horrible!). When the College course started, I felt really anxious, I could barely study, so I started taking the Duloxetine & Alprazolam again. However, this time the medication didn't helped anything. I felt worse everyday, so I decided to leave the College for a while and search a good psychotherapist. I found one who is helping me a lot, she encouraged me to withdraw these horrible drugs, so I'm "clean" since December, 2016. I'm going to summarize my drug history and the withdrawal symptoms I'm having: Medication history · March 2014-October 2014: Escitalopram 5 mg/day. · October 2014-July 2015: Desvenlafaxine 100mg/day. · October 2015-July 2016: Duloxetine (Cymbalta) 30 mg/day & Alprazolam (0.125 mg/day). · October 2016-November 2016: Duloxetine (Cymbalta) 30 mg/day & Alprazolam (0.125 mg/day). · 2 and a half months "clean" (since the end of November until today) My withdrawal symptoms · I don't feel anything, I don't enjoy anything in life, my mood is completely flat. I don't enjoy things that I used to enjoy, I have to think "hey, you used to enjoy doing this, so you should be having a good time", but I don't have the "natural" and "automatic" feeling of enjoy. · My memory is not sharp anymore, I have problems remembering what I've done yesterday or some days ago, I have to do great efforts in order to remember things. · I feel mentally slow, I have enormous concentration problems, I feel absolutely useless. That's the summary of my situation. I can't talk about it with anybody (my fathers don't understand what's happening, my girlfriend and friends don't notice any problem and my psychotherapist, although she think I was medicated without reasons and she thinks the two psychiatrists committed malpractice, says that these drugs don't cause any permanent damage and that I mustn't get obsessed with all these symptoms. So, my last hope is this community, while I expect to find people with knowledge of the topic. Is this "damage" permanent? Will I recover my old self? I'm terrified just now, and the idea of not being myself anymore is scaring me a lot...I don't want to live like this, and if this situation don't revert, I'll have to take radical measures. Thank you very much for your time, I hope you can help me with your experiences and knowledge. Best wishes, dav267
  13. Hi there! I am a 30-year-old spitball who's always been extroverted and outgoing, just with a lot of anxiety. About 5 years ago, I experienced a sudden onset of depression for the first time. I've always been anxious, but never depressed so this was new and very scary for me. I had dark thoughts, was questioning what life meant and why any of us should care, etc. I scared myself so bad, I moved home to my parents for two weeks (they live in the same city, 20 min away) because I did not want to be alone with my thoughts. At this time, I started seeing a therapist who referred to me a psychiatrist. One session with the psychiatrist in, she decided I should go on 100mg Pristiq. For the next few years, that's what I took and I felt 100% back to normal. I felt so good, in fact, that I decided I want to cut my daily intake in half to 50mg. I did that, and the weaning was pretty rough. I'm lucky in that I didn't experience "zaps" or "flu-like" symptoms. It was moreso heightened anxiety and constant crying fits, when there was nothing to cry about! I finally came out on the other side and have been on 50mg for the past few years. Now, to current day. As someone who never had a history of legitimate depression and who is in a very different spot in her life now than she was 5 years ago, I've decided I want to get off of Pristiq. Just reading the horror stories about how hard it is to get off it is pushing me to get off of it. This is a scarily strong drug that I don't want in my system anymore. If I go through this tapering and realize I do need some sort of antidepressant down the road, that's fine. But I don't want it to be Pristiq. So starting in July, I began a tapering schedule that is going like this: July-August: 50, 50, 25 (so 25 every third day for a month) August-September: 50, 25, 25 (so 50 every third day for a month) September-October: 25, every day for month October-November: 25 every OTHER day for a month November-December: 25 every third day of the week *I also just started taking 15mg of Deplin 6 days ago to help curb withdrawal side effects and take .5mg of Ativan up to 3x a day if needed The first month was fine. But this second month is turning out to be incredibly hard. For the last two weeks, my anxiety has been elevated immensely. I wake up every day with a pit in my stomach. I've been having dark thoughts. I find it hard to concentrate and am overwhelmed incredibly easily. I am also extremely irritable. This weekend was the worst. Total panic attack and crying breakdown. And today I couldn't go into work. I just want to sleep. This is not me. It never has been. I am a relatively happy, excited, alive person and am struggling very much with this process. I am scared I'll never come out of it, that it doesn't get better, and I will turn into a shell of myself. I just wish I knew when to expect a turnaround. At what point in this tapering does it get better??? I don't want Pristiq to "win"; that is, I don't want to get back on it. Any advice, suggestions, comments, are welcome. Thank you.
  14. Nate

    Nate: Pristiq

    Hi everyone, I take 50mg/day of Pristiq and am looking into eventually tapering off. I've read about switching to Effexor, tapering by going a day without it in a certain time frame reducing more, etc. Just looking at ways to do this and advice. I've been taking it regularly for about 7 years I think and it's kept me stable and generally in a good place. But some side effects like excess sweating and difficulty losing weight are getting me to research different ways to come off of it
  15. Hi all, I could really use anyone's experience or advice here as i'm in a very fragile mental state. My history I was diagnosed with OCD and severe anxiety in 2011. I was put on SSRI's and they did eliminate my symptoms but it also resulted in several other symptoms such as chronic fatigue and motivation and emotional blunting. I tried cycling through the SSRI's (see history below) to see if I could do better but none of them ended up removing the side effects. In the past I had tried tapering off the antidepressants (usually over the course of a month with no success, I used to get severe brain zaps and anxiety). My history of SSRI/SNRI's are below: 2011-2013 (Lexapro 20mg)2013-2014 (Sertraline 200mg, Prozac 20mg, Luvox 50mg, cycled through with help of psychiatrist, stopped due to other side effects such as sleep issues or anxiety)2014-2016 (Lexapro 20mg then Prozac 20mg)2017 June (Pristiq 50mg)2017 June - Now (Not medicated) My Journey Getting of SSRI/SNRI I have been on SSRI's and SNRI's for a total of 7 years when I decided to go see a wholistic doctor who said he could help me get off anti-depressants using high dose vitamins (Pfieffer technique) (I can provide doses of the vitamins if interested, some of the doses are very high Vitamin b6 250mg, Zinc 75mg etc.) I started the vitamins in May 2017 and was able to slowly stop Pristiq. It did help blocking the withdrawal symptoms (brain zaps). After stopping (and still taking the vitamins) I still felt the effects of the anti depressants (emotional numbing, no sex drive) but I also had no anxiety and no suicidal thoughts (I was unhappy but stable). The anti depressant effects had persisted after I stopped taking them. I thought all was fixed and I had to wait months for the negative side effects to reverse (no sex drive, fatigue). The event that triggered severe symptoms and relapse In July, I went overseas and had several very stressful events (breaking up with girlfriend, anxiety of being in a new country, a death in the family) and it is as if my brain delayed the withdrawal symptoms. It changed me. I now have severe general anxiety and depression (including suicidal thoughts and intense feelings of loneliness). The main symptom that is worrying me is a constant feeling that my perception is restricted/blurred and constantly feel disoriented, it is as if i'm feeling drunk all day and it is hard to process anything, people will talk to me and sometimes nothing registers. This is really worrying me (has anyone heard of anything like this? Is it withdrawal?) It is very hard to get through a day of work. It is okay in the morning and gets progressively worse as the day goes on. I'm not getting brain zaps so i'm not sure if it is withdrawal symptoms but I'm very worried right now. The only thing I can think of is to go back on 10mg Lexapro to see if the anxiety/depression and disorientation disappear. I have tried Omega 3 and it has not resolved the disorientation, I am already taking high dose Magnesium as well. Can anyone provide any information regarding these symptoms and if they have experienced it before? (Especially the drunk and disoriented feeling)? Has anyone had a stressful life event completely change the symptoms they were feeling? I don't know what to do. Thank you, LogicalScout from Sydney
  16. Hi everyone. I've been debating whether I should do this or not but I think it's best. So I had been taking pristiq 50mg since May 2014 when I was diagnosed with PTSD and I took it because well it numbed everything out. I was pretty naive and only now after much closure and comfort I've realised I do not need this medication in my life at all. My doctor well he basically told me take it once every two days and then once every three days and then once every four days and then completely stop. This process lasted about two weeks or just over that. I'm now ten days off of pristiq and well it's not easy. There's a lot of brain fog and confusion. I can't think too much it overwhelms me and I am constantly dizzy and have a persistent headache. The brain zaps are no joke. I tried eating healthy but I just want to vomit. I take stemetil for the nausea. It helps a little. I also take fish oil for some added effect i read about online. All I want to know is when will the brain zaps end ? It really is taking a toll on me. I'm not myself and that gets to me the most.
  17. Im New to this forum. For many years I took 100-150mg sertaline and the only side effect was weight gain. My depression was moderated but not completely gone. Got a New doctor who recommended Pristiq. I've been taking 50mg for about 6 months. It was going fine. Suddenly I'm noticing frequent headaches, trouble remembering and nausea. Also increased anxiety. I'm not functioning and can barely get to the grocery store. I live alone and am scared. I've read about the symptoms of withdrawal and I seem to have all of them, except I have not changed my dose or time of day (night) that I take it. Has anyone else had this happen? I can't get in touch with my doc until 4 days from now.
  18. HELP ME PLEASE!! I am now 46. I was on 100mg Pristiq for 4 years. The tapering instructions I was given was reduce to 50mg for 2 weeks, then 50mg eod for 2 weeks then 50 every third day for 2 weeks. When i finished the taper course I had awful withdrawal; diarrhea, sleep problems, restless leg & crawling skin at night, rage (probably mostly due to the issues keeping me from sleeping.) I have been off Pristiq for 18 months now and one symptom has not gone away - diarrhea (daily). No pain or cramps or urgency/racing to the bathroom, just diarrhea every time i do go. I've read symptoms can sometimes last "longer than 18 months". How much longer? *** My question is .... at this point do i keep waiting it out, or should i get back on pristiq 50mg and add in Effexor to taper down in a much slower and more tolerable way?*** Or at 18 months off, are there other ways to boost seratonin and/or dopamine, like supplements, food, etc? I hate turning to the internet for medical advise- I know I'm not qualified to find my own cures but my doctor and now the GI I've been referred to have both dismissed (without 2 seconds of consideration) the connection to Pristiq, In fact the GI after the initial visit is all ready to call it IBS, meaning we don't know why you have diarrhea and we're not going to look any further into it - here's some Immodium you can take for the rest of your life. I don't think either of the doctors are aware of discontinuation syndrome coming to light now and I bet there will be class action suits down the line if there aren't already, I'm scheduled for a colonoscopy next week. I'm mortified that I have to do this, and that I have to waste money on this. Thoughts from any doctors, pharmacists or psychiatrists here? Pleeeeeaaase, and thank you. Vanessa
  19. I've never joined a forum before but I am not sure where else to turn. I am 26 years old and feel like I have dementia. I can barely remember things, skills that I have possessed for years seem foreign to me, I can barely concentrate at work and I can't read a book / retain information to save my life. I wasn't always like this but it seems like whenever I build up a tolerance to whatever meds I am on or try to get off of them completely this is what happens to my brain. I was once off of antidepressants for 9 months about 2 years ago and experienced the same thing. Eventually I couldn't take it anymore and got back on. This time I have been off for 5 months and am struggling deeply. I am wondering if my brain is irreversibly damaged by these drugs and if I'll ever be the same. I wish I had never started down this path. The first 3 years of being on meds were great and then I built up a tolerance. Since then it's been a good year here, 2 bad years there, that kind of pattern until now. I have vowed never to go back to antidepressants that clearly have altered the chemistry of my brain. I don't know how to function without them. I get headaches regularly from stress and can barely function at work. I am not living with my parents anymore so taking too much time off work isn't really an option. I am wondering if anyone else has experienced similar symptoms and more so recovery from these symptoms post antidepressants. Maybe it takes over a year, maybe longer? Is there more I can be doing? Engaging in activities that I enjoy and exercising helps my mood but not these strange dementia symptoms. I have an appointment with a Neurologist in about 2 1/2 months. Not really sure what else I can be doing until then. Not sure if there is more that could be done to speed up this healing process or give me the ability to focus better. Any feedback would be much appreciated.
  20. Hello, I'm Chad. I'm 28, male. History: My current diagnosis' are major depressive disorder, panic disorder with agoraphobia, and social anxiety disorder. I'm on disability, no longer go to college or work. I've been on anti-depressants since 2001 starting with Zoloft. In 2009, returned to a psychiatrist for re-evaluation, switched to various other anti-depressants, finally settling on Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) at 100mg. Also was put on benzodiazepines, with 3 slow taper attempts, I've always ended up reinstating. I've battled addiction with strong painkillers but for me, nothing could compare to the horrors of benzo withdrawal and I was hospitalized at the end of my last taper attempt for making an attempt on my life only to be put back on 4mg of clonazepam inside the facility. I've been on this dosage ever since and have not considered any further taper attempts since. Why Pristiq to Paxil: My quality of life is at a minimum. I'm not suffering from any withdrawal but I'm also not getting any better. Things are incredibly dark for me. I can't imagine anyone else who could hate themselves more than I do. I have a fear of death but also a fear of putting my family in any similar situation that I'm in now if I were to end my own life. That may be the only thing I respect about myself, the willingness to endure in the most harrowing times. Pristiq isn't working anymore so why should I be on it? The first action I took was adding mood stabilizers/anti-psychotics to my cocktail but I didn't tolerate any of them well whatsoever. The one I was on the longest with Abilify and I ended up with frightening hand tremors where my psychiatrist at the time called me and told me to stop immediately (cold turkey) and I was put on a drug called Congentin. The tremors went away but I guess that fear was that I could have been developing a potentially permanent side effect called tardive dyskinesia. It also caused weight gain. The other option was to speak to electro-convulsive therapy specialist. I denied twice. MAOIs were ruled out for their dangerous side effect but to be honest, I would have tried an MAOI before ECT. I did try to switch to another SNRI at one point, it was called Cymbalta. Another terrifying experience that I could not handle. Instead of trying to switch to Cymbalta again, I asked my doctor about switching back to an SSRI and asked if that could even work and his reply was something along the lines of "of course..." so I he suggested Prozac or Paxil as I've never tried either and I chose Paxil. The schedule he gave me was: Week 1- 20mg of Paxil w/ 100mg of Pristiq (my normal dosage) Week 2 - 20mg of Paxil w/ 50mg of Pristiq Week 3 - 20mg of Paxil w/ no Pristiq It's rapid and I cannot make cuts with this drug, I cannot dissolve this drug, there is a lower dose of 25mg but for whatever reason, he did not add that to the schedule and changing doses is also a financial issue right now. He only had samples of 50mgs and he gave me those for week 2. I am going to follow this schedule and try to document (journal) it here as coherently as I possibly can. I've also ordered a supplement called Phenibut that could ease anxiety as I feel tolerant to 4mg of clonazepam. I've decided to try the lowest dose and only once a week. I currently live with my mother as I cannot afford housing on disability. She is aware of the situation. Neither of know what could possibly happen but I do know that it could be similar to/ or worse than the transition to Cymbalta that I tried about 5 years ago. I'm terrified but the only place I have to drive to is my next doctor's appt. which is in mid February. The one symptom that worries me most is brain zaps/shocks. I experience them if I miss even a day of Pristiq and they are debilitating, you're not able to do much. So this is day 1. I've taken my first 20mg of Paxil about an hour ago. Please feel free to add your input, comments and I could absolutely use any support or encouragement to get through this. My main goal is to be off all medications one day but unfortunately, it's not such an easy path. I don't know if it's a possibility to do it and live normally either.
  21. I started Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) in August 2014 after yet another tearful visit with my GP. I think he was at a loss to help me after many other discussions, investigations (thyroid, iron, GI, immune), treatment with CBT etc. I was very anxious, especially on waking in the morning and having suicidal thoughts most evenings before falling asleep. I agreed to try an antidepressant and we picked Pristiq almost at random. I initially tried to take it in the morning but the nausea, dizziness and other side effects made me switch to bedtime dosing. In some ways I am equivocal about coming off it, and am considering a switch to Valdoxan (agomelatine) as I feel that I need a safety net giving my genes and current circumstances. Overall in fact, I suspect that most of my mental health problems are a combination of genes (anxious mother, depressive father), long term treatment with corticosteroids for an autoimmune condition (mania/suicidal thoughts at high doses, depression during and after the taper) and general high pressure academic and work environments over the years. N.B I was not on steroid therapy when I commenced the Pristiq. The main driver I have for ceasing Pristiq is the almost paralytic exhausted I am suffering, along with restless legs, that are affecting I assume my sleep but are also manifesting in waves during the day and impeding my ability to work and study. My memory has also been seriously affected, and as a result, so too has my ability digest and retain complex new information and to produce work of a high level. I am also having to work very hard to hide this impediment from my colleagues and supervisor. Further, it has meant a reduction in social life and a huge mental barrier to maintaining an exercise regime which is an important part of my life and recovery. This fatigue is actually the biggest issue I have currently as the psychosocial factors present 2 years ago have long since resolved. Much of that by hard work on my part with mindfulness meditation, changes to nutrition and exercise and moving overseas to take up new opportunities away from some of the old triggers and family dramas. Pristiq is not licensed in the UK and when it was suggested that I switch to venlafaxine XR I discovered that restless legs and REM sleep suppression were listed as side effects for this parent formulation and therefore assume potential for this to also be induced by its metabolite desvenlafaxine. I have now been referred for sleep study as the usual investigations (iron deficiency anaemia, etc,) have drawn a blank. But given what I know, it has been an easy decision not to remain on either drug long term. I also strongly suspect that they would ask me to cease taking them before assessing me for other conditions e.g apnoea, narcolepsy etc. Having read the tips for Tapering here on the forum, dug through some of the literature and emailed Pfizer multiple times to no avail I have formulated my strategy as follows. Initially I plan to try taking Pristiq in the morning to assist my sleep to be as refreshing as possible. I can only hope that the side effects (nausea, dizziness) were due to the induction period and will not be present now. Then I will switch to Effexor instant release and taper slowly over 4 months. For the first week I I will alternate days between 50mg Pristiq and 112.5mg (3 x 37.5mg) Effexor, in 8hr divided doses until I am confident that they are equivalent dose wise. My current GP suggested 75mg only, but the pharmacokinetic data indicates that desvenlafaxine is only 55% (half conjugated, half not), so I want to start higher. Once I am confident that this won't be too dramatic a dose change I will stick with Effexor only and taper from there. As soon as I hit 75mg daily dose I will drop the night time dose and consider introducing agomelatine as I have heard good things about it for anxiety and know that there is no discontinuation effect. I will take the second half of the taper as slowly as possible but I really need to get on top of the sleep problems and fatigue as soon as I can, without compromising my mental health or inducing hideous withdrawal. Hopefully as I lower the dose the symptoms of restless legs and crushing fatigue will also recede. If not, I may introduce agomelatine earlier as it has good sleep induction and maintenance properties that could assist. The only other thing I am taking is magnesium as I noticed a reduction in the restless legs after using Epsom salts in the bath and supplementation, again, shows promise for managing anxiety. Tonight is the first night I will skip Pristiq and take the next dose in the morning. I have only missed an evening dose once before and by midday the effects were already noticeable. I hope taking it with breakfast will give a seamless switch. Wish me luck. GPK. Edit. I am also slowly ruining my expensive adolescent orthodontic work with Pristiq induced bruxism. Another good reason to cease.
  22. Hi all. I'm 31 years old and have been on SSRI's and SNRI's for half of my life. After a big diet change and supplementation, I began weening off of Pristiq 50mg due to it being too strong. I have managed to make it down to 6.25 mg that I take every other day. My doctor is of no help as she believes meds are the only way but I can't very well be on Pristiq while trying to get pregnant. My big reason for coming to this site was for advice on kicking off the last 6.25mg. Is it down low enough that I just stop? After I'm done with the Pristiq, Restoril will be my next hurdle.
  23. Hello, I'll try to make this as compact as possible. Personal I have been on anti-depressants for ~ 6 years now. [ come to think of it, it may be longer than 6 years I will have to do some research on that, maybe my doctor can tell me next visit ] I started due to severe depression. Stopped going to work, laid in bed for days/weeks/months. Hopelessness, zero motivation, crying, head throbbing pain, etc, etc, etc... I feel they have numbed my very being by lessening my emotions, clouding my ambitions, allowing me to be content with mediocrity, stifles my creativity, and more. Although I do feel they have "helped" to progress me out of a depressive state, I feel they are not the solution to the real issues in my life. Over these years I have developed as an individual and sought insight and tools for surviving life. I feel I now have the tools I need to overcome my problems that originally led me down a spiral of depression. I want my REAL life back. Lifestyle I am currently living very low stress, eating healthy, and exercising regularly. University student - Stress goes up when assignments are due, and exams time. But I am able to cope. No girlfriend, although I am trying to get out there as I feel this is an important factor in emotional and mental stability. Walk dog daily at the local park, allowing for easy social interaction and good book end and regularity to my day. Healthy eating, Primal blueprint style eating: Meat, fruit, veg, no added sugar ( occasional fortnightly chocolatey treats ), no grains, supplemental vitamins, fish oil, protein shake. Exercise, Cycling 5 times a week low intensity > 1-hour sessions, 1 sprint session, 1 weights session. Unemployed, surviving off government student payments. Although I am seeking casual employment ( somewhere easy like retail or delivery driver ) Drug history Cymbalta ( prescribed due to severe depression, stopped working, laid in bed for days/weeks/months ) - 3 years - I forget the dosage, but I think it was above the initial 'normal' dosage prescribed. Pristiq ( prescribed due to issues with anxiety outweighing straight up depression ) - 100mg 1 year ( no memories of anything wrong transitioning straight from Cymbalta to Pristiq 100) - 150mg 1 year ( upped dose due to severe anxiety resulting in quitting internship, inability to attend University properly ) - 100mg 3 months ( travelling really well, although still don't like what i am missing from taking drugs to become a 'functional zombie' Removing dependence Originally I was thinking just get the drug out of my system as quickly as possible. BUT I now know that the drug is not really the problem. The problem is that my body has been altered so much that removing the mechanism (Pristiq) for my body to function in this altered state will be devastating and can have long lasting effects for years. So there goes my plan on not having to take Pristiq during next school semester... I did, however, start the cold turkey process and after experiencing withdrawal symptoms, nothing I haven't experienced from missing a dose, I decided to do a little research on other people's experience with dropping Pristiq. I took 100mg after 10mins reading of other people's experiences and why you should taper, and definitely not go cold turkey especially on Pristiq. I read a few posts about why tapering is important and have decided this is the route I will take. Tapering I need help on a plan on how to taper off Pristiq. I will be seeing my doctor about this soon. But I feel I need a plan to go to her with, otherwise she will simply use the "manufacturers recommended process" which, from what I have read, is BS. She is quite open, and I feel I need to include her in this to ensure a smooth process. I am scared to transition to another drug, as some posts have mentioned Effexor may be easier to taper off than Pristiq due to issues with cutting/crushing of Pristiq's time release capsule to small doses. I will continue reading the forums, but I see the consensus is 90% of current dose until your taking a minuscule amount. I've been on em 6 years what's another year or so as long as I can do it. Questions 1) I stopped Pristiq cold turkey for 2 days, 2 doses of 100mg. After reading this forum, I took 1 does, 100mg, as I now feel cold turkey to be a bad idea. Can I start tapering immediately, tomorow morning, or should I wait and stabilise at 100mg again? If so how long should I wait to start tapering? 2) Is cutting 100mg into 90mg an appropriate method? Or should I be using the smallest pill sizes available to create a tapered dose? ie 50mg + 25mg + 0.6*25mg = 90mg -> 50mg + 25mg + 0.24*25mg = 81mg 3) Is going from the smallest does I can get, may only be 50mg in Australia, to another drug ( eg: Effexor ) the most successful method? 4) It will take me 200 days to get to 50mg doing currentDose-90% every 4 weeks. How do I know If I can increase the interval rate? 5) Tapering to 50 or even 25mg makes sense, sizeable chunks are being taken out each interval, what is the method for less than 25mg? 6) Should I keep a journal post on this forum on my progress and methods used??? Final thoughts I feel a bit frustrated that I am able to drop from 150 to 100mg so easily, no real effects immediately, and zero effects after 1 week. But dropping to 50 mg will take ~ 200 days. Is the thinking that there is such a profound effect from the smallest dose of Pristiq, I think I read 25mg over a short period will affect 80% of serotonin receptors, that the relation is exponential therefore reducing large doses is easy but as the dose gets smaller the effects are relatively greater. Well, it's been over an hour since I popped the little bastard of a pill, and just starting to feel a little better physically, but a little frustrated about the thought of how long this process is going to take Oh well, if this is the way it has to be done. Also, a little relieved that I have other people who have experience to help me with this. I'll do some more reading on the forums, but any links to research papers on withdrawal effects, cold turkey vs standard practice vs tapering method, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for the help!
  24. Hello. My husband (of 26 years) has dealt with depression since he was 18. He is 50. For the last 8 years, he was on 100 mg Pristiq and 150 mg Wellbutrin and doing pretty well. (Tried many other things and quit for various reasons.) Only really bad side effect was nightmares. Insurance quit covering Pristiq so he switched to Effexor for four months, first 150 mg then 75 mg. No problem making the switch, but sexual side effects were very bad and he felt a little "fuzzy." So when we got the insurance company to agree to cover Pristiq (long battle), he switched back to 100 mg Pristiq. That was three days ago. He's about to lose it -- off-the-wall angry, tearful, shaking, insomnia. Sexual side effects of Effexor are completely gone, which is great, but doesn't mean much compared with everything else. Why is this happening -- is it Effexor withdrawal or Pristiq side effects? What should his next step be? Would LOVE some immediate help!
  25. I would like to ask for help on how to get off this drug and not have to many issues.I am in protracted withdrawal from benzo and have come off many other psycho drugs. The doctors in western Australia seem clueless about it all but really happy to write scripts though. I would appreciate all advice and help.
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