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  1. I want to know how to detox from all the psychiatric drugs that I took in order to make possible for my body not to need to take them anymore and to eliminate all the side effects that the psych drugs gave me. This is all the drugs that I took from psychiatrists: when I was 16 years old I took first paxil and rivotril (clonazepam) for a year and then only epival er (valproate semisodium) for a year and Then when I got 21 I took paxil and rivotril for 6 months. I changed to a 2nd psychiatrist he gave me symbyax (olanzapine and fluoxetine) I was with him for 4 months, then I went with a 3rd shrink that gave me lamictal and abilify for 6 months so then I changed with a 4th doctor which was a "neurologist" who gave me strattera for ADD and told me to go with his partner who is another psychiatrist (5th doctor) who added me sertraline, topamax (topiramate), olanzapine, lamictal, and because of the tachycardia that were produce by this drugs he added inderalici for my tachycardia. So after 7 months with this doctor I went with a 6th doctor that gave me paxil, rivotril, lithium and for my ADD he gave me methylphenidate (commercial name is tradea LP which is similar to Concerta). After 6 months with this doctor I changed to a 7th doctor that gave me sertraline in a very high dose and with this I decided to stop taking that pill a was taking but in a one day span it caused me to have a psychosis that made my father send male nurses to kidnapped and locked into a clinic (like hospitalization), in which the skrink that trated me was the one that treated me when I was 16 and he injected me haldol and gave pills more haldol, biperiden, triazolam and risperdal. I LIVED HELL WITH THESE DRUGS. Then the shrink after he saw that I recover reality, I was super depressed so he gave me citalpram but it didn't work so he gave me paxil and lithium. Then I started coming off meds and now I just take one quarter of a lithium pill every day in the morning. My actual side effects that I want to eliminate are: anxiety, very strong heart palpitaions or beats/beating that cause bad breathing and chest pain, difficulty to take decisions, nausea, extreme itching in my face, head, chest and back, buzz in the ears, difficulty to focus or concentrate, bad short-term memory, and wanting to pee all the time. Thank you very much.
  2. Hi Everyone, I'm pleased to find this forum, but I am sorry that it is for the reason it is. It is amazing how many people are suffering from AD WD, and the symptoms and length of time it can take. I found this site from searching withdrawal symptoms, because today is my 10th day at my lower dose and I have been feeling worse today than at any time since I halved my dosage. Recently I became absolutely miserable about my aches and pains, which were stopping me from doing things around the house and causing sleep problems. I started wondering about them and then remembered that I had had to go off Prozac (about 20 years ago) when I got muscle weakness. St John's Wort also caused similar but not as bad muscle weakness so I stopped that too. I started researching AD symptoms and made (what seems to be) the connection that I have Serotonin Syndrome so I made the decision to reduce my Pristiq from 100 mg to 50 mg. The doctor suggested alternating between 100 & 50 for 2 months, but because the aches and pains are debilitating I decided to see how I went going straight to 50. After a couple of days I did get mild zapping / electric shock sensations, and also headaches for several days at the end of the 1st week. I slept a lot over the first 3 days (and was able to sleep at night). Then I had several nights where I had trouble sleeping. Last night I slept through for the first time. I had several days where I had an upset stomach which I had thought was a tummy bug but I now realise it is possibly from the withdrawal. At this time, I am feeling achy (a bit like the flu), different from being on the higher dose. This surpised me because I had been going well. Thinking back, the first few days I wasn't drinking coffee. Then I started having coffee in the morning again and yesterday I had one at breakfast and then another at lunchtime. What I have read on this site confirms my suspicion that it may be the cause of me not feeling as good as I had so no more coffee for me. Yesterday I decided that I need to started taking more care of my nutrition (I haven't had much of an appetite lately), and what I have read here confirms this. I am taking one day at a time, and I am not making any decision yet as to whether I will go off the Pristiq completely or stay on the 50 mg. At the end of last year I completed a free Government funded online workshop (I'm in Australia) which I found very helpful. Even though I had previously seen a psychologist, had done a lot of reading of books and internet articles and "knew" CBT (which I have nicknamed Change Bad Thinking) I found that doing the workshop (which was over 8 weeks) was very helpful because it was practising the CBT, instead of just knowing it. I'd like to take this opportunity to wish everyone all the best as you deal with whatever you are going through. Unfortunately, that is the hard part. We have to go through it ourselves. Thankfully, though, others can support us. Take care everyone. ChessieCat
  3. Hello Everyone I am new here. This is my first ever post to a form of any kind. I am currently tapering off Pristiq 10 percent per month under the care of my specialist. I was prescribed Pristiq in July/August of 2010 by my GP. Over the years, I have made several failed attempts at stopping the Pristiq as I found the process just too difficult while trying to balance the responsibilities of my career. I resigned from my position in 2016 and have been tapering since November 2016. So far so good, but it has been a long, emotional and isolating process. I still have some struggle every time I reduce my dosage, and it would be great to have the support of others who understand what I am going through. I also hope my journey can be of help to someone else.
  4. I started my tapering off yesterday. I've done tapering before but only to prepare for a newer prescription. This time I have decided to taper off of everything. I am feeling the withdrawal symptoms but am determined to muddle through them. I have an appointment with my psychiatrist tomorrow and will tell him what I am doing. It's very scary to me because I don't know what to expect because I've been on something or another for the past 27 years.
  5. ADMIN NOTE moved initial posts from Mission of Surviving Antidepressants Hello. What do you exactly mean "if the symptoms are from and adverse or paradoxical reaction to medication, the medication has to be gradually withdrawn for recovery."? Is three to four months of gradual withdrawel enough? Thats what I did.
  6. PLEASE READ THIS ENTIRE TOPIC BEFORE GOING OFF PRISTIQ. Pristiq comes in insufficient dosages to taper. Do not alternate doses of Pristiq to taper -- this will cause the levels of this medication in your brain to go up and down and is second only to cold-turkey in causing withdrawal symptoms. AND DON'T COLD-TURKEY EITHER!!!!!!!!! To reduce the risk of withdrawal symptoms and post-discontinuation prolonged withdrawal syndrome, as with other psychiatric drugs we recommend reducing Pristiq by 10% per month, calculated on the last dosage. (The amount of the reduction gets progressively smaller.) See Why taper by 10% of my dosage? The official prescribing information from the FDA contains this: However, Pristiq is difficult to taper "at a more gradual rate" as it comes in only 3 dosages: low, average and excessive -- and officially, the tablets cannot be split. PROTEST THIS DANGEROUS DRUG Phone Pfizer, Pristiq's manufacturer, to make a complaint: (800) 438-1985 in the US Pfizer has not provided any specific information on how to taper from a dosage of 25mg Pristiq, the lowest available dosage. They may suggest alternating dosages to taper Pristiq. Don't do this -- it's like playing ping-pong with your brain. File a complaint about the difficulty of tapering off Pristiq -- the range of dosages is inadequate. Also complain to the FDA 1-800-FDA-1088 Mon–Fri between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. EST. Pristiq is Effexor's fancier sibling Pristiq is a drug made of Effexor's (venlafaxine) active metabolite, O-desvenlafaxine. Pristiq is to Effexor as Lexapro is to Celexa -- a tweaked and more powerful isomer molecule. In effect, Pristiq is concentrated Effexor. See http://www.primarypsychiatry.com/aspx/articledetail.aspx?articleid=2464 According to Pfizer http://labeling.pfizer.com/showlabeling.aspx?id=497, Pristiq is available in extended-release tablets of 25mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg; the most common dosage is 50mg. Unlike Effexor, which is metabolized primarily by liver enzyme P450 CYP2D6, Pristiq is metabolized via conjugation and liver enzyme P450 CYP3A4. It attains peak plasma concentrations in about 7.5 hours. As a chemical, before it's put into an extended-release tablet, desvenlafaxine has a half-life of around 11 hours. Pristiq's extended-release formulation According to this paper, the extended-release formulation releases desvenlafaxine over 24 hours. The mean half-life of desvenlafaxine, without the extended-release formulation, is around 11 hours. The extended-release formulation is a monolithic matrix -- it's in the glue that holds the tablet together, not in the coating. I confirmed this in a phone conversation with Pfizer medical information (1-800-438-1985). (Thank you, oaklily, for this information about the matrix formulation.) Rather than a timed-release coating, the coating on the Pristiq tablet is only protective. The extended-release mechanism is part of the tablet matrix, or the glue that holds the tablet together. This is called a monolithic matrix tablet. If the tablet is split, the matrix is damaged and may not reliably be extended-release, depending on the size of the fragments. Larger fragments are more likely to retain some extended-release capability. When the tablet is CRUSHED, the matrix is completely destroyed. The particles should be assumed to have NO extended-release capability. A Pristiq fragment becomes desvenlafaxine, with an 11-hour half life. (Here is a description of the similar matrix formulation for quetiapine XR (Seroquel XR) .) OPTIONS FOR TAPERING PRISTIQ Since medicine knows nothing about tapering Pristiq, the following are all informal suggestions. Try any of them at your own risk. Please let us know how you do by posting in this topic. Cut up Pristiq tablets Despite the warnings not to cut it up, from reports on the Web, cutting up Pristiq tablets does seem to work for some but it makes others ill, possibly because of "dose dumping." According to Pubmed on Desvenlafaxine: "....The extended-release tablet does not dissolve in the stomach after swallowing. It slowly releases the medicine as it passes through your digestive system. You may notice the tablet coating in the stool...." The extended-release mechanism is part of the tablet matrix, or the glue that holds the tablet together. If the matrix is destroyed, the entire dose is released at once or "dumped," instead of being gradually released through the matrix formulation. Without the extended-release matrix, a Pristiq fragment becomes desvenlafaxine, with an 11-hour half life. To avoid "dose dumping" of the entire dose, you might take smaller divided doses of Pristiq, more than once a day, like immediate-release Effexor, to mimic an extended-release dose. Cut-up Pristiq seems to sometimes cause stomach upset, which may be reduced by taking it with food. Now that the 25mg tablet is available, cutting it into quarters gives you the option to taper by 6.25mg per step. If you are taking 100mg Pristiq or 50mg Pristiq, you may wish to request part of your prescription be written for 25mg tablets. (For insurance coverage of multiple dosages, your doctor most likely will have to specify taking Pristiq in "divided doses.") You may find you need a precise way to measure your tablet fragments. See Using a digital scale to measure doses As you get down to a low dose, you may wish to switch to Effexor to more precisely control dosage decreases, see below. Reducing from 100mg Pristiq to 50mg Pristiq Drug switches incur additional risk. Before trying a switch to Effexor or Prozac (fluoxetine) from 100mg Pristiq, it's probably wise to go down to 50mg Pristiq first, or 25mg if possible. Combining whole tablets, with their extended-release qualities, with tablet fragments probably makes "dose dumping" less likely or noticeable. You might use a 50mg tablet plus a 25mg tablet plus 3/4 of a 25mg tablet (18.75mg) to make the first reduction to 93.75mg 2nd reduction: a 50mg tablet plus a 25mg tablet plus 2/4 of a 25mg tablet (12.5mg) to go to 87.5mg 3rd reduction: a 50mg tablet plus a 25mg tablet plus 1/4 of a 25mg tablet (6.25mg) to go to 81.25mg 4th reduction: a 50mg tablet plus a 25mg tablet to go to 75mg 5th reduction: a 50mg tablet plus 3/4 of a 25mg tablet (18.75mg) to go to 68.75mg 6th reduction: a 50mg tablet plus 2/4 of a 25mg tablet (12.5mg) to go to 62.5mg 7th reduction: a 50mg tablet plus 1/4 of a 25mg tablet (6.25mg) to go to 56.25mg 8th reduction: a 50mg tablet If withdrawal symptoms occur, some people have found taking an additional fragment of a tablet can smooth the transition from one dosage to another. Another way to get from 100mg to 50mg or 25mg is to combine Pristiq tablets with a liquid made from immediate-release Effexor (see below). Once at 50mg or 25mg, stabilize for a month at least and consider your plan for the next stage of tapering. Use a combination of Pristiq tablets and Effexor liquid Pristiq cannot be made into a liquid, but its close relative immediate-release Effexor (not Effexor XR) can. You may be able to go off Pristiq by taking part of your dose in lower-dose tablets and part in liquid Effexor, gradually converting to all-liquid Effexor as you get to lower dosages. This may offer a convenient and gradual path off Pristiq. Only regular immediate-release Effexor can be made into a liquid (see Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine) ). As immediate-release Effexor has a short half-life and is usually dosed twice a day, you may wish to take the liquid portion of your dosage later in the day. For example, if you are taking 100mg Pristiq, you may wish to take your daily dose as one 50mg tablet and the rest later in the evening as a liquid made from immediate-release Effexor. You can titrate the liquid by 10% of your daily dosage to taper until you get to 50mg. Then you can take a 25mg Pristiq tablet with the rest in a liquid made from immediate-release Effexor. When you get to 25mg Pristiq, you might switch to splitting the tablet and taking the rest in Effexor liquid and so on until you are taking only liquid Effexor. To do this, you will have to request a prescription for Effexor tablets as well as Pristiq from your doctor. Have Pristiq made into smaller dosage capsules by a compounding pharmacy Compounding pharmacies can crush the tablets and put the powder into smaller capsules by weight. Like cutting up tablets or crushing, this destroys the time-release quality, but the compounded method is much more exact. In your body, crushed Pristiq is similar to regular immediate-release Effexor, with an 11-hour half-life. You may wish to have your dose compounded to take twice a day. If you are taking 50mg Pristiq, for example, you would have 60 capsules compounded per month. Each capsule would be 1/2 of 45mg (a 10% reduction of 50mg) or 22.5mg. You would take two capsules per day, once in the morning, and once in the evening. The next month, you would have 60 capsules compounded, each capsule being 1/2 of 40.5mg (a 10% reduction of 45mg) or 20.25mg. And so forth, for each reduction. (According to my compounding pharmacy, they can put in a slow-release additive distributing absorption over 8-10 hours. This is not as long as the Pristiq time-release coating, but at least it's something. Check with your compounding pharmacy about this. See getting-custom-dosages-at-compounding-pharmacies-us-uk-and-elsewhere ) If this does not work, you may wish to switch to Effexor XR and use the bead-counting method. Regular Effexor probably wouldn't be an advantage over Pristiq compounded to custom dosages. Crush Pristiq tablets, weigh powder with a digital scale This is similar to cutting up tablets -- Pristiq is a "do not crush" medication, as it is a time-release drug. The Pristiq powder becomes desvenlafaxine, with an 11-hour half life. If you pulverize the tablet, you might take smaller divided doses of Pristiq, more than once a day, like immediate-release Effexor, to mimic an extended-release dose. In principle, this would be a more precise way of tapering than cutting up tablets: Crush the tablet Make sure the shell fragments are evenly distributed in the powder Weigh the powder for a dose with a digital scale Put the powder into an empty gelatin capsule to make it easier to ingest Peer discussion of this method starts here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/876-tips-for-tapering-off-pristiq-desvenlafaxine/page__view__findpost__p__27417 Switch to Effexor or Effexor XR Note: If you've had an adverse reaction to Effexor before, do NOT switch from Pristiq to Effexor. "Desvenlafaxine (O-desmethylvenlafaxine) is the major active metabolite of venlafaxine." Since the relationship is so close, switching to regular immediate-release Effexor tablets, which you can cut up or make into a liquid, this may be the best way to taper off Pristiq. Because it has a mean half-life of 5 hours, you'd have to take regular Effexor twice a day. Alternatively, you might substitute Effexor XR, which is released gradually like Pristiq and needs to be taken only once a day. You'd have the difficulty of tapering off Effexor or Effexor XR -- themselves notorious for withdrawal difficulties -- but at least you can do that gradually. See Tips for tapering off Effexor and Effexor XR (venlafaxine). According to FDA Prescribing Information for venlafaxine (Effexor), the usual dose of Effexor is 150mg per day. Since 150mg Effexor and 50mg Pristiq are both "normal" dosages of their respective drugs, they may be roughly equivalent. (See discussion of Effexor and Pristiq dosage equivalency starting http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/876-tips-for-tapering-off-pristiq-desvenlafaxine/page__view__findpost__p__42249 ) The psychiatrist who writes the 1boringoldman.com blog reports success in switching one patient from Pristiq to Effexor, then tapering Effexor, here (see comments) Another psychiatrist said when he tried this, the switch from Pristiq to Effexor was "seamless." Dr. Stuart Shipko posts here: Advice from a psychiatric pharmacist I have been corresponding with a professor at a prominent US university pharmacy department. Here is his best guess at how to taper Pristiq (he does not want his name published): Then taper off fluoxetine (Prozac). See Tips for Tapering Prozac Advice from Dr. Stephen Stahl, author of the manual Essential Psychopharmacology In his widely read psychopharmacology manual, eminent psychopharmacologist Stephen Stahl advises titration by crushing the tablets and mixing in fruit juice, see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/876-tips-for-tapering-off-pristiq-desvenlafaxine/page__view__findpost__p__14799 According to our member oaklily, Stahl is wrong. Making a liquid from Pristiq does not work, see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/876-tips-for-tapering-off-pristiq-desvenlafaxine/page__view__findpost__p__24822 Dr. Stahl intends to correct his book, according to this correspondence 09/15-9/16/13 with him: "Bridging" with Prozac or another antidepressant Any drug change incurs additional risk. A switch to Prozac from Pristiq may not work -- they are very different drugs -- or you might have adverse reactions to Prozac. Prozac is regularly used to "bridge" off Effexor. Given that Pristiq is a sibling of Effexor and Effexor XR, it is possible that one can, similarly, use Prozac to withdraw from Pristiq. Attributed to Joseph Glenmullen, the "bridging" technique is described by a doctor here http://www.bipolarworld.net/Phelps/ph_2005/ph1354.htm Read this entire topic before attempting a switch to Prozac: The Prozac switch or "bridging" with Prozac Later, taper off Prozac. At least Prozac comes in a liquid. To do this, consult a doctor knowledgeable about this technique.
  7. I was on antidepressants for about 7 years, always trying to get off them. I have been on Celexa, Abilify, and Pristiq. I retired in December of 2014 so I no longer have job stress. I began tapering off Pristiq after I had only been on it about 2 months. I went down to 50 mg, the smallest tablet there is, then began cutting the tablets in half. When I wanted to reduce to 1/8th of a tablet, I crushed the tablets and used a razor blade to make a line on a mirror, and approximate 1/8th. All of my tapers lasted about 4 weeks until I got down to 1/16th. It was so small, and I had to travel for a funeral, so after two weeks of 1/16 I stopped. It has been 46 days and I feel myself slipping into depression and anxiety. But I am determined to stay off meds. I only take fish oil and Vitamin D. I just want to hear from other people that have survived Pristiq withdrawal. I want to hear success stories. Tell me I can do it! Tell my brain will heal. I run for about 30 minutes every other day and walk on the in between days. Pristiq 100mg/day two months 50mg/day x six weeks 25mg/day x six weeks 12.5 mg/day x six weeks 6.25mg/day x 2weeks Off Pristiq March 23rd, 2015
  8. Hello, Im a 28yo male, from Brazil, and Im desperate! - 2005 start taking Paroxetine 40mg, no big deal, worked quite nice. - 2006 stopped cold turkey, not more than a week with brain zaps and I was fine. - 2007 anxiety and depression came back, like when I wasnt on Paroxetine. - 2007 back to Paroxetine. I was "normal" again. - 2013 depression started again, transitioned to LexaPro 15 + Wellbutrin XL 300 with very few problems, 2 weeks and I was fine. - 2015 dropped Wellbutrin cold turkey without problems. - 04/2017 Transition to Pristiq 50, for five days I took half lexapro pill + half pristiq, the problems started, nausea, headaches, muscle stifness, neck pain, after these 5 days, things were the same... starting feeling miserable =(, I talked to my MD, she said to taper off Pristiq, 25mg for 5 days than 12,5 for five more than, stop taking. First drop and the brain zaps started, insomnia kicked in hard. - 05/12/2017 one week without Pristiq, I cant handle what Im feeling anymore, the zaps are driving me insane, I cant sleep properly, my body and head aches, my concentration is gone. Called my MD and she prescribed me lexotan to help ease the symptons. Still not taking it. I dont know if what Im experiencing is withdrawal from Lexapro or Pristiq, I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO!!, should I go back to Lexapro and try tapering it slowly or should I keep going like I am? I just want to get rid of the freaking zaps! Im quite desperate, sorry for my bad english!
  9. Hello. I am twenty years old and had been on antidepressants since I was ten. From then on through my teenage years, all I knew was I needed to take my medicine . Once I was diagnosed with high-functioning autism, my pediatrician referred me to a neurologist. The neurologist then put me on respiradone and strattera. I don't remember if I had any behavior problems or not, but my neurologist told me I would have to be on medicine for the rest of my life. I stayed on those two meds until I got into high school. My first two years of high school, I couldn't stop crying. I cried day and night. My neurologist put me on celexa. When that didn't work, my neurologist told me he could no longer help me and referred me to a psychiatrist. I saw the new psychiatrist my junior year of high school who told me I had depression and anxiety that needed to be treated. I was taken off respiradone and strattera and put on pristiq and adderall. When pristiq wouldn't work, I was switched back to celexa. So it went on, switching back and forth between antidepressants. There were so many different ones I can't remember many of them. Every time I asked my psychiatrist if the next time it would work, he assured me it would. There was no chance to talk when I saw my psychiatrist. It would result in a new prescription every time. During my senior year, I helplessly slept through every class, sometimes falling out on the floor asleep. I had a good school counselor who allowed me to pass because she knew it was the medicine and I got plenty of sleep. I also cried uncontrollably almost every day in front of everyone and it was very humiliating as I would stir up a lot of attention. My senior pictures of me showed a person with a puffed up and swollen face. I was switched to lexapro again and stayed on it my whole first year of college. Then the crying returned. During my second year, I was switched to Abilify for depression. I still trusted my psychiatrist as he again promised me it would work. Out of all my experiences with antidepressants, there is nothing that could ever have compared to this. As soon as I took the first dose of Abilify, my brain signaled to me something was very, very wrong. I began receiving no sleep. My psychiatrist put me on trazadone for that, but when I took it, my body fell completely limp, my heartbeat slowed down to almost nothing, and I went numb while my body shut itself down. I stopped it after two nights. Meanwhile, with abilify, I began spending all my time obsessing over things I would normally never touch. I believed I was an alien hybrid sent from outer space to save the planet. I also believed the human race are all aliens in disguise. Then I started going mad. I didn't want to be a human anymore. I wanted to be a supernatural creature with otherworldly capabilities. This was all extremely terrifying to me, but I couldn't stop myself. I lost my common sense as I believed these nonsensical theories. My mind was overpowering me with racing thoughts such as these listed. I couldn't think clearly. I was almost always in a state of rage. Reasoning had left me. For reasons I do not remember, I stopped Abilify by myself cold turkey. My psychiatrist had told me before that I never needed to worry about tapering because the antidepressants I took were all in the same family. He never mentioned stopping completely. Withdrawal symptoms didn't show up until a week later. My psychiatrist told me they would last 15 days. They were relatively minor, and I didn't worry much about them. However, nothing could have ever prepared me for the horror I underwent next. Every horror I could have never imagined bestowed me over the course of a month. I received no sleep. I was very lucky if I got one hour. The nights soon got from bad to worse. I developed REM sleep disorder. I was unable to tell the difference between being awake and asleep. As my mind was drifting, I jumped up in the air, screamed, swung at the air, and thrashed violently all over. In addition, my head would suddenly snap up and I would shout melancholy indistinguishable language and suck in sharp breaths. I was aware of everything, but I had no control over it, and it was very disturbing to me. Then came the uncontrollable muscle movements. My lips drew up on the sides, my mouth gaped open, my lips puckered and pouted, my teeth bared, my tongue stuck out, my neck extended, my eyes bulged, my eyebrows rose and lowered, my hands flapped, my arms swung, my knees jerked, my head jerked side to side, and my fingers extended. Shouts, grunts, moans, and gasps escaped my mouth. Several weeks went by as more horrendous symptoms appeared. Every day I was a zombie. I could only do basic human activities. I had no awareness of the passage of time. At night while drifting off, a dark shadowy presence swept over me. I was aware of where I was in real time while drifting, but I sensed a sudden danger. I jumped up alert every time. I heard a voice I believed to be God's telling me why I was like this and what I needed to do. It spoke to me relentlessly for days. When this occurred, an otherworldly and overwhelming sense of peace filled my every being. But it was always soon replaced by a terror so surreal I could not function. During this time, I could "see" my brain and I believed I was in control of what I allowed to be let in. After four days of this, I ordered the voice to "Get out!" It did and did not come back. Right after this, a veil suddenly covered my mind and I was disengaged from reality. I had no sense of where I was and I had no connection with my parents. I was always mad, crying most of the time, and my head was always jerking. I saw my psychiatrist for the last time two months ago. The doctor who had been nice to me all this time suddenly turned mean. He told me he refused to see me unless I got on medicine. By this time, I had found this site and many other websites about withdrawal. I knew I wanted to try living a better life and I was not backing down. I never took the newly prescribed anti psychotic he prescribed me. A week later, my parents, exasperated with how I was doing and on their last straw, called my psychiatrist. My dad told the psychiatrist I had read on the internet how long the withdrawal really is and the doctor spoke with me on the phone. My psychiatrist told me that the withdrawal symptoms I was describing were "all in my head" because the medicine would already be out of my system now six weeks later. He told me I needed to get on medicine right now because "I needed help". He told me my quality of life was not as good without the medicine. I was in another rage episode by this time, and unlike me, I confronted him. I said "Well why are a lot of these the same symptoms I experienced during the so-called withdrawal time?" He said he didn't know and preceded to ask me was I on drugs. I was in disbelief that anyone would ask such a thing. I have not spoken to that psychiatrist since. I am dealing currently with a lot of physical and mental symptoms but none I would describe as severe as that horrible nightmare of a month. (That month just happened to be timed perfectly with my Christmas break.) My mouth, head, and fingers jerk, but never as exaggerated as they were the first month. I dealt with extremely numb fingers, feet, and ankles up until two weeks ago. My ankles at times felt like they were hanging by a single nail. My feet, bluish-green, were so numb and swollen I had no feeling and shooting pains shot up my legs. I was extremely dizzy for so long. My gp told me I have low blood pressure. I started having panic attacks. Anxiety crept over me for no apparent reason. I cried a lot. I felt hopeless. I am dealing with apathy, anhedonia, akathisia, and cognitive problems. My memory has not been well during this whole time. I am not aware; I'm just wherever I am. I have lost perception of sight, hearing, and touch. I do things I'm supposed to do because I know that's what I've always done. I cannot connect feelings to memories; I have to rely on pictures and journals from over the years. I had to look back in my journal to refresh my memory of this whole experience which I happened to write down. I have been disconnected with myself...it was worse in the beginning. I would look at pictures of myself and couldn't connect that it was me. The whole first month of withdrawal my face was so puffed up I thought my skin would fall off. Sometimes things look bigger or smaller than they appear. My thinking ability is limited. I went to my gp again three weeks ago and I was low on vitamin D. I am currently on iron medicine, vitamin d supplements, allergy medicine, and multivitamins. Although the numbness has gone away, I am extremely faint and have weak tremors every day. At night I'm miserably exhausted. My heart is always beating fast and hard. I get chills and my body tenses up. I'm not sure if I should be concerned about any of this. I cold-turkeyed Abilify four months ago. I have managed to keep my grades up in college since then and so far have maintained a perfect attendance. Some days are harder than others, but I try to count my blessings as I've heard stories far worse than my own. I am only beginning to understand what I am dealing with. The last thing I would want is to ever take another antidepressant and hinder this process. I feel like I have a real sense of myself now and I feel more in control. I have no idea how long this will last or if it will ever go away but I try to maintain a positive attitude about it as things slowly get better. I have faced the fact that I can't change my past but I can certainly shape my future. I apologize for the long story. It is difficult to get my thoughts together.
  10. Hi, After reading many many posts, I'm more confused than ever ... I just obtained a prescription to have Pristiq compounded and reduced by 10% of current dose each month in hopes of getting off this beast. After reading some of the posts, it appears that it may not be a good idea to compound this drug because of the extended release properties of the 50mg pill. Is there anyone on this site that has had success tapering off of this drug using a compound pharmacy to do a 10% taper per month? I"m now nervous to get the prescription filled after reading some of the posts. I contacted the compound pharmacy (Guardian Drugs in Toronto, Canada) and they have the same reservations about crushing the extended release tablets as they tell me, that while they can do it, they don't know exactly how the compounded drug with react in my system. In compounding it, the drug will most likely be weaker (by exactly how much they can't say with any accuracy) and therefore she cannot say with any certainty whether or not it will cause withdrawal symptoms which I am desperate to avoid. Tried to taper off about five years ago (second or third try) by cutting the pill and reducing it gradually and had such bad withdrawal symptoms, I thought I was going to go mad so back on the stupid drug I went. The compounding pharmacy offered to call my family doctor and suggest to her that I switch to Effexor (75mg) which she said is equivalent to 50mg of Pristiq. She said that Effexor is much easier to come off of and much easier to compound. She said it didn't sound like my family doctor has much experience with coming off antidepressants (don't think my doctor is alone on this point). She also suggested reducing the Effexor by 5% each month rather than 10% to help avoid withdrawal altogether. She said it is better to taper very gradually and to take as long as possible to get off these drugs. Even a year or more sounded reasonable to her. So I guess my questions are (1) is it feasible/best approach to switch to Effexor to taper or am I just switching to a different beast even more difficult to get off of? (2) should I just get the Pristiq compounded and hope for the best ... ? (3) better suggestions/experience than the above two points? I would really like to get off of Pristiq, have been on anti-depressants far too long and never able to get off of them properly because of the horrific withdrawal symptoms so basically I've been held hostage by a little pill and would like my life back. Tired of feeling flat and not having any real emotions and don't want to Stepford Wife/Walking Dead it anymore. I've been taking 50mg of Pristiq for about 7 years and prior to that was on Effexor extended release 37.5 x 2 for about the same amount of time. Any suggestions from people with experience getting off these drugs would be most welcomed and appreciated. Thank you for reading.
  11. I would firstly like to say a big thank you to Alto and the other members of this site for the invaluable information and support I have received over the past 18 months whilst withdrawing directly from pristiq. I have been on and off antidepressants for the best part of 16 years with little success with treating my "depression". About 4 years ago I was put on Pristiq after another failed attempt to be free of antidepressant medication. I had a very obvious pattern to my mental and physical health whilst being put on and pulled off sometimes cold turkey from various antidepressants but mostly within the SSRI or SNRI family of meds. But it was only since finding this site and relating to stories on here which then prompted me to get hold of my medical records, that the pattern become blatantly obvious to me. I only wish the doctors treating me could have seen the pattern which was staring them in the face.Time and time again i reported feeling worse on the medications, reporting anxiety, bouts of rage, flushing, shaking, insomnia, sugar cravings and a blood pressure that whilst on 50mg of pristiq required 3 different types of blood pressure medication at once to keep it under control. I am 40 years old, not particularly overweight so found this to be very alarming. I must also add here that I had a severe reaction to effexor several years ago which is why crossing over to effexor was not an option for me About 18 months ago after coming through a difficult relationship breakup for which my doctor wanted to increase my Pristiq to 100mg (which I refused) I decided that the antidepressants were not helping me and probably never did so i wanted off them. My Doctor reluctantly agreed to decrease the dose with a view to cessation at some stage. My doctor was a firm believer that I would need to be on antidepressants for the rest of my life but knew me to be a stubborn patient that would do it my way anyway so she agreed for me to try. I briefly tried my doctors way which we have all heard before of a ridiculously fast taper or one tablet every second day to only end up feeling out of control and miserable which is when I decided to "DR GOOGLE" which led me to this site. So after reading the info on here and with a bit of determination and a pill cutter, I began my Pristiq taper back in February 2013. The method I used this time around was to cut the tablets up. At first I took a half in the morning then a quarter late in the afternoon. I would often end up with a big half and a little half when cutting the pills up so I would take the big halves for a about 2 months then swap to the little halves therefore giving me a smallish dose reduction. I held on each reduction for about 6 to eight weeks and sometimes longer depending on how I was feeling. To try to simply summarise my dosing method which took about 14 months in total…... *Big half in morning quarter in early evening (around 4pm) *Small half in morning and quarter in evening *Small half in morning then 1/8 in evening *big half in morning and evening dose dropped *small half in morning *big quarter in morning *small quarter in morning *Big eighth in morning *small eighth in morning * a nibble of the already tiny tablet ) then i forgot to take a nibble for a few days as I got busy so decided to see how I would go. unfortunately I experienced mild but concerning withdrawal symptoms including "brain zaps" so with advice from Alto I reinstated a tiny nibble exactly one month and one day later.This seemed to do the trick for me and when I attempted to jump off again I was able to do so without any head shocks. I actually stopped the pristiq completely the day before i went in for spinal surgery so I had a rough few weeks with pain and feeling teary all the time but this time around I didn't have the head shocks so persisted with discontinuation. I also wasn't sure if the emotional issues were due to the anaesthetic, pain medications and having way too much time on my hands as i was off work to recuperate. I must also mention that I took fish oil and magnesium and had regular saunas to aid the process but was taking these before tapering anyway so they were not new to my system. I can say now that I am the happiest I have been in a very very long time. I am just over 2 months into a loving and healthy relationship with a man who knows what I have been through and although he doesn't really "understand" as such, he has been very supportive of me and he is a funny bugger so we laugh and laugh when we are together which has been wonderful medicine. I must also add a side effect I have noticed since being pristiq free and that is a , small but noticeable weight loss (probably about 4kg in the first month). I have not been eating differently in fact have been a little naughtier than usual with going out for dinner a little too often and my boyfriend does love his chocolate which it would be unsociable to let him eat it on his own but I no longer crave sugary and fatty foods at night like I used to for years and years whilst on various antidepressants. I am now 3 months and 2 weeks Pristiq free and although I have had an episode a few weeks ago ( the magic 3 month mark!!) of feeling teary and itchy ( my scalp would get very itchy during certain stages of my taper.) I have come through all that and am feeling certain that I have beaten this horrible drug once and for all. So again I will say F@#K YOU PRISTIQ. I WIN ))
  12. Hi Alto & fellow Survivors, Thought I would update you on my progress. So in July of 2011 I had reduced my Pristiq down to the minimum (50mg). Pristiq, just like it's predecessor Effexor has a very short half life and therefore more intense withdrawal symptoms than the old fashioned Prozac. So I switched to Prozac - the first day I think it was 80mg, then 60mg for a day or so, then 40mg for a few weeks, then down to 20mg. It was at this point I wrote my original post and took Alto's advice to let myself stabilise on the 20mg. This was a very difficult time but I just persisted with it. I was able to get the Prozac in a tablet form under the brand name Lovan which allowed me to slowly reduce down to 5mg over the next 5 months or so. During this time I experienced many days where I was nauseated, would sometimes vomit or feel as if I was about to at any moment, had brain fog, felt anxious, felt depressed, but these symptoms fluctuated and sometimes were way better than others. I began to feel my emotions coming back slowly, which I had not felt in a long time. When I was on Pristiq I was just numb, no good emotions, no extreme emotions, just nothing. I also became a little more outgoing and made friends at school more easily. I was able to keep all my appointments & turn up to class everyday and get assignments done (sometimes i needed extra time and this was granted) despite feeling crappy. However, when I went down to the last 5 mg, my anxiety took a turn for the worse. I started to have increasing intrusive thoughts that were extremely distressing and this made me feel suicidal. I began to exhibit symptoms of OCD, developing obsessions and compulsions (both mental & physical). My therapist did not diagnose me with OCD but she TREATED me for OCD for the next 12 months to help me learn how to manage the distress and anxiety and that is something that has really helped me get by. At one point in around November/December 2011 my Doctor commnced me on Abilify 10mg as he thought was concerned about these thoughts in the contxt of his bipolar diagnosis. He chnaged my diagnosis to Bipolar 1 and interpreted these symptoms as 'verging on psychosis'. My therpaist and myself both disagreed with this as at no point did I ever lose touvh with reality, have thought insertion, broadcasting, thought disorder, ideas of reference, halucinations etc. However the Abilify did lift my mood, decrease my anxiety (not initially but within a few weeks)and help me feel less suicidal, and i was able to finish the schhol semester. But of course I then had to taper off the Abilify (I stopped the Prozac 5 mg as soon as I started the Abilify). I tapered off the Abilify 1/4 of a tablet every week until I was off it by the end of January this year. I was on break from school at the time, and put a lot of effort into looking after myself physically from that point on, more vegetables, more good fats, more fruit, more meat, more exercise, more social contact, and more SLEEP! Since then I have continued to focus on physical health to relieve mood & anxiety symptoms. The big thing that helps me is a walk every day. If I don't do that, I start to get flat. I also put into use every day the skills I learned in therapy to deal with anxiety. I was able to finish my degree in July and have since started working full time in my new profession, so i am off disability, I'm contributing in my own way and feel the rewards of that, and I've been slowly integrating healthy lifestyle choices and making a routine around work. I have to be very careful to stay in a routine as best I can, fit a walk into my day on MOST days, eat fruit and vegies and see my friends every second week or so and get enough sleep. My life to others probably appears very boring at the moment, but I am quite content. I keep up with my chores, am organised, and I have less episodes of feeling depressed, & my anxiety is more managable. I haven't felt those old suicidal feelings for several months now although i still have periods of feeling down, but these are less intense and go away quicker. And I haven't had any symptoms of mania whatsoever. Eventually I hope to be able to start some hobbies (or at least one)and start doing a few extra outings like the movies and theatre etc, but now I feel I just need to focus on the basics of staying well. My friends are amazed that I am my old self again if not better! So that is a success story of sorts. So if you are struggling - persevere. Get the support you need from friends, family, therapists etc to see you through this difficult time. part of coming off meds is learning adaptive techniques of coping with symptoms other than taking medicatiosn, and this isn't easy to do on your own. Take care of your physical health, and be compassionate with yourself. Your brain is amazing and is not doomed to always feeling these effects of psychotropics, It will heal and adpat in time. Mine is still adapting, but I'm a lot better than where I was.
  13. University of British Columbia Pharmaceutical Sciences Student Journal, Volume 3, Issue 1, March 21 2016, pages 31-33. Preparation of Lower Dosages of SNRI Antidepressants to Ameliorate Discontinuation Symptoms: Two Case Studies. Benton Attfield, B.Sc. (Biology), B.Sc. (Pharm) Lori Bonertz, B.Sc. (Pharm) Cory Hermans, B.Sc. (Pharm) Valerie Kantz, Senior Pharmacy Technician. Full text pssj-v03-i01_attfield.pdf Abstract There is a large body of evidence showing that adverse effects experienced with antidepressant treatment ameliorate over time and that disease-state symptoms improve for many patients. However, there is a paucity of information relating to how to stop these medications when a patient’s depression has remitted. Presented here are two cases that demonstrate the role pharmacists play in helping patients discontinue SNRI medications through the preparation of lower strength dosage forms. From the paper:
  14. 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].
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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...
  25. 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.
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