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ChessieCat

Hi JanCarol,

 

Thank you for such an encouraging opening paragraph.  I do like helping people.  I've been a (phone & in writing) customer service advisor (Post Settlement Mortgages) so have experience dealing with a wide range of people and their issues.  I also did an online (Open2Study) Intro to Psychology earlier this year which I found very helpful.  

 

and I'm thrilled that you got to us before it got so bad.

Yep, if you’re thrilled, how do you think I feel?!?!?!  Totally relieved.  Especially now that I’m reading more posts.

to "sneak away from the wolf," as I say it.

That’s a good analogy.  I think analogies are good because it is easier to remember.  A picture in your mind rather than words.  Wolves are fantastic creatures, in the wild, but not in my brain, or anyone else’s for that matter.

any reason is a good reason to hold.

I can understand the desire to drop your dose.  For me, it’s more of an excitement over wanting to get this show on the road after finding out the best way to do it BUT I’ve been reading enough to understand that slow and steady will win this race and I agree that it’s not just internal but external things have to be considered as well.  I really feel for the people who are trying to make that final jump.  They must have so many different emotions.

No amount of CBT will relieve the withdrawal symptoms.

And don’t I know that – now!!!  Fresh contacted me after I reinstated telling me she was relieved and explained that she had been very scared for me.  She was trying, in a gentle way, to help me understand that I was in withdrawal.  I realised at the time how she must have felt, and since reading newbies’ intros, I feel the same.  Having been in that situation, I also understand it can be overwhelming, frustrating, and how hard can be to think straight when you first find this site.  And that first reply after your intro, knowing that someone else is there, is such a relief.

I must add - that CBT will help you with coping skills.

I am very thankful that I have the CBT skills.  Those, plus the knowledge of what is happening, have been very helpful.  Sometimes all I say is one word out loud to myself, eg chill, breathe, you’re okay (2 words), settle, relax, focus.  I suppose they are my key words

and oh - are you anywhere near Hornsby?

No, but I have done tai chi before and have some videos.  Haven’t done it for a while, but is amazingly relaxing and focussing.  Having done it has probably helped me with CBT.

I am really happy with my compounder.

Thanks for the info on your compounder.  Fortunately I’ve found one close by who will do 500 colour coded capsules for $75.  He is aware that I am tapering 10% and allowing for 60 day holding periods.  I was planning on sticking with quartering my 100 mg tablets until I taper from 75 mg but it is very hard to get them to cut evenly and that is not good for me.  The convenience of having the capsules and knowing they are accurate will be worth the cost.  One place quoted me $90 for 175 capsules OUCH!


And - from one cat lady to another ....  She was on antidepressants for awhile, too - and now has post-antidepressant stress and anxiety disorder.

I’ve re-read NZ’s post recently, and yes it is brilliant.  At the time I just skimmed over it because I couldn’t think clearly although I did think it was funny.  I just couldn’t get the info out of it.

My cat is a Burmilla (chinchilla X Burmese) and grey/gray too.  She’s just turned 17 and I called her a Little Old Lady yesterday morning.  She’s doing well.  However, my dog (now 13) was from the pound at 4 months old and has “issues” (scared of men, didn’t like the sound of me walking with jeans on, didn’t like going near awnings – she did get 3 ribbons at dog training though – she’s very intelligent, having cattle dog in her).  She was prescribed Clomicalm (Clomipramine) early on (thankfully – I’ve just looked up what it is!!! - I didn’t increase her dose even though at the time I thought she need to be, but I couldn’t afford it).  After it got too expensive for me, I ended up giving her St Johns Wort.  Earlier this year I stopped giving her that (she had trembling back legs, which I thought may be from it, but it is deterioration in her knees, she’s now on shots for that).  She’s been doing really well off the SJW which I had put down to me being calmer (she does pick up on my stress etc) BUT after what I have learned since being here WOW, I feel sorry for what I have put her through.  However, I have learned from experience that we do what we think is best with the knowledge we have at the time, so I am not beating myself up about it.  We were cohorts, without me knowing it.  Occasionally now I give her valium (try not to but sometimes no option – eg night time when I am tired, or if I’m out for the day and bad storms are forecast) as she doesn’t like storms.  She has a thunder shirt too.  I’ve just realised that she hasn’t been reacting as badly with the recent storms.  Possibly because she’s not on the medication, like DUH!  I’m particularly thankful for having my pets over the last 4 years because there were days when I just wouldn’t have left my bed except if necessary.  My dog lets me know when she wants breakfast and the cat meows outside the bedroom door.  After getting my dog I was hoping to do therapy pets with her but she didn’t have the right temperament.

Welcome!

Thank you.  Better late than never!!! ;)

 

CC
 

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ChessieCat

After a restful day yesterday using my brains, today's been a physical day.  I planned to go out & mow half of the backyard.  When I checked the mower it was half full and I thought (from before the mower was fixed recently) I do the whole back on a tank so I'll start under the clothes hoist and mow until the tank runs out (or until I do).  Well surprise, surprise, I've just finished the whole back.  Not perfectly but pretty good considering.  I didn't use the catcher (I have a mulching attachment) so no lifting required and I even hosed off the mower afterwards.  It took me about an hour but I went at a nice steady pace (instead of my usually vroom vroom gotta get this done!!!).

 

Needless to say I am sitting here sweating at the moment (which isn't unusual, but I've just realised that I wasn't sweating until I finished).  So I'm just waiting to recover a bit before having a shower.

 

I won't be doing anything else physically demanding for the rest of today.  It will be interesting to see how I fare after today's effort.

 

Very pleased with myself!!!

 

CC

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JanCarol

Clomi-calm!  That was the one. 

 

If I were to analyze it in retrospect, I would say that it took her natural fears and amplified them, and made them permanent.  I've thought about a thunder coat but a cat is a different animal to a dog (I'd love to put the dog next door in a thunder coat, as his people leave him out in the storms and he barks his head off in fear), and besides - Piper (that's her name, and she is just "old girl" not quite the Grand Old Lady yet) - doesn't mind storms.  It's that swoosh of jeans (like you said) or a cough or sneeze, or a "wrong thing" (like a piece of clothing on the floor where she doesn't expect to see it).

 

 

 

 Better late than never!!!  ;)

 

While I'm not trying to lose any contests, I am the slowest mod.  It seems it takes me forever to get things read and responded to!  It's that way in real life, too.  If we met for lunch, I would be late - but - that I come at all (I hate leaving the house) means I care about you!

 

Tai Chi!  Jealous!  Probably 4 full pages of my thread are devoted to trying to find a frigging teacher around here.  No luck, either.  Unless I want to kow-tow and apply to a Grandmaster to please "accept me into her school" (when really, I'd like to try a few classes first)

 

You are amazingly productive!  LOL I'm glad to do One Thing A Day (another of my mantras, though I love yours, too)!

 

Take care, and I hope you saw some sun today.

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ten0275

CC, hi.

thank you for stopping by my thread, and for the kind words as well. i appreciate you taking the time to read some of my posts. my withdrawal process, like so many of ours, has certainly been, um, complex. :wacko:

i had a chance to look at your thread as well, and i like the way you are approaching your withdrawal - that is to say, you radiate a certain positive energy despite the challenges before you - and you are being pragmatic and cautious in your decisions. that really does pay dividends at the end of it all. patience and optimism aren't always the easiest to acquire allies, but they sure do help the cause of healing.

 

pristiq is a tricky one. my sister is currently tapering from it. like you, she is being cautious and doing well. it'll all work out.

thanks also for the belated birthday wishes. it's good to be alive, white hairs on the side of my head and all. ha! :D

hang in there CC and keep up the great work!

dave

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Fresh

Hiya CC ,  good to hear you got the compounding sorted.   Pharmacies can be cheeky just like any other

business , so it always pays to shop around.

 

Lovely to hear things are chugging along nicely.

 

:)

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ChessieCat

JanCarol - I'm trying to clear the backlog of stuff not done over the last 4 or so months.  Just chipping away at as I can.

 

Ten/Dave - thanks for your comments.  I'm one of those people who doesn't like other people to see my "down/negative side".  I tend to withdraw when I am feeling like that.  However, I think I will need to overcome that a bit and post a little bit of the negative, not so much to whinge, but as a record for me to look back on.  I think that might be helpful if I ever reach a really rough/extended bad patch to remember that I got through it the other time, so I can do it again.

 

Fresh - Yes I'm pleased too.  I appreciate your help with that, it made it so much easier.  I've decided to get them straight away because I've found it is hard to get the tablets to cut evenly, and it will be one less thing to be concerned about.  And I will know that I am getting a consistent dose.

 

Update after yesterday's effort - feeling normal today, meaning I don't feel any different physically today that I would have a couple of years ago.  Just normal little bit of stiffness which is to be expected.  I'm hoping to get the front done today.  But I've just had a thought, not to aim for the entire yard to be done, just do what I can.  I may not be okay to do the lot especially having done the back yesterday and if I go out there with the idea of getting it all done, I will be disappointed that I haven't achieved my goal.  Inch worm technique.

 

Sitting here on the computer isn't getting anything done, so I'm off.  Wishing everyone a good day/night.

 

CC 

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ChessieCat

Whilst I was out today I started to feel a tiny bit stressy and realised that when I am at home it is almost non-existent.

 

NEXT WEEK:  I will not have access to the internet next week so may not be posting during that time.  Just thought I would let you know so you don't think I've "disappeared".

 

CC

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ChessieCat

For the record:  started using my compounded capsules today.

 

50 mg tablet + (10 mg x 2) + 5 mg = 75 mg

 

Even though it's been 2 weeks since my reinstatement, getting my capsules has made me feel like I am doing something.

 

Also taking fish oil & magnesium morning and night; B12, iron & Vit D at lunchtime.

 

In a week, plan to reintroduce 1/2 multivitamin every 2nd day & 1/2 calcium every alternate day.  Want to add Vit E in there somewhere too.

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ChessieCat

Update:  Started compounded capsules (50 mg tablet + (10 mg x 2) + 5 mg = 75 mg) yesterday and by the afternoon my arms, back (hip area) and legs feel bad and still like that this morning (no magnesium last night just fish oil).  Can't tell if it's weakness or spasms.  I've taken them again this morning and I'm going off everything else.  Not sure how long this may take to convert but might have to change back to cut 25 mg for a week and try again later.

 

My assumption is that it is the difference in how/when the medication is released.  The capsules (I hope - it was requested) have a slow release additive.

 

Your opinion would be appreciated.  Thanks.  I'll try and log in later tonight.

 

CC

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Fresh

I think you're right CC , it's the difference between slow-release , and the immediate effect of taking tablets

with broken protective coating.

This is temporary , and I think you need to push through it if at all possible.  Remember , it takes 4 days to

get to a steady-state.   You might consider taking a smidge of pristiq dust to see if it relieves the achiness.

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ChessieCat

Hi Fresh,

 

Thanks for your response.

 

I've gone back to cutting tablet this morning due to currently helping out my daughter & SIL with my grandson.

 

I've cut out all unnecessary supplements so just bare bones until things are back to normal with my life.  Just realised that I have been feeling better today than the last couple so I may be right.  Also wondered if I overdid the magnesium so none of that at the moment.

 

Very good tip about taking a bit of dust.  It's things like this that are assisting new taperers.  And as other members have said "we are talking about legal drugs!!!"

 

Edit:  Just had a thought.  I could always cut a 50 mg into 4 and take 1/4 with 50 mg and make up the rest with the capsules.

 

QUESTION:  If I do it that way, how long do you think I should do that before going onto 50 mg & all capsules?

 

CC

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Fresh

That's a good idea , taking half tabs. and half caps. should smooth over the change.

Give it at least 4 days , but see how it goes.  You'll be the best judge.  It may get a bit rocky so wait till you can

accommodate that.

Using the "smidge" method can make a huge difference - it did for me.

 

btw , I'm very envious of your coloured capsules . . . mine are so drab   :P   

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ChessieCat

Survived this week taking care of my grandson (1 y 9 m).  Weakness in my back (waist) area has improved, legs feel much better.  Went for a lovely relaxed walk along the beach yesterday (no way I could have done it on any day prior) and felt okay today.  Last night my lower arms ached and I had to take 2 panadol to get to sleep.  Hasn't been as bad today but I can feel it a bit now.  Yesterday I was lifting grandson in and out of car seat and stroller on several occasions so that's what I think aggravated it.

 

Only taking 75 mg Pristiq, blood pressure tablet and 2 x Vit D.

 

Fairly sure it was the magnesium.  I think it was just coincidence that the worst of it happened on the same day as the capsules.  Also, I can recall that last Friday when I lifted the car bonnet it felt extremely heavy - that was before starting on the compounded capsules.

 

Decided I will still ease into the capsules but not until the end of next week.

 

CC

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Julz82

Hello ChessieCat  :)

 

Thank you for welcoming me over on my intro/blog, I am glad to read you had a good day yesterday and do hope that it stays that way for as long as possible!

 

I also have a 17 year-old cat, a tabby named Twinky. She's a little Princess and all human inhabitants of my Mum's house are her servants LOL. Cats absolutely fascinate me, as drugged as I am, they always make me smile, laugh, feel something.

 

And oh, I also agree 100% with your signature: Knowledge is Power... and we do need it with regards to our situation in psychotropic drugs.

 

Kindest Wishes,

Jula xxx 

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ChessieCat

UPDATE:  Woke up this morning feeling like I had been punched all over.  Paracetamol seems to have worked a bit.  Not sure of cause but noting here for reference.  Slept in own bed last night after 3 hour drive.  Had slight pins and needles in shoulders after getting home. 

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Orangecat

Sorry you are not feeling well. Impressed at your resolve to figure out what is causing your symptoms, and to record how you feel! Hope things level out for you.

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ChessieCat

Thank you for your thoughts, Orangecat.

 

Julz, Twinky.  What a lovely name for a cat.  I also have a dog and am very thankful for their company and how they give me a purpose and routine.

 

Just had a funny thought.  My teddy bear (the one I cuddle up with sometimes) his name is Beadwell (he was labelled with his name).  Breaking it up Be AD* Well (*anti-depressant).  His partner's name is Branwyn - WIN!!! Yes!!!  Can't think of anything for the Bran bit yet.

 

UPDATE:  Still only taking 75 mg Pristiq, Vit D, iron and blood pressure tablets.  Been achy, cramped muscles and weakness at least Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and again this morning.

 

I can now understand people questioning "is it the medication or the withdrawal?".

 

Just keep on reminding myself that my brain is healing and hoping that the above won't last much longer.  Thankful for the information I have under my belt.  Definitely helps me cope understanding what is happening.

 

Feeling a bit fuzzy in the head this morning, but could be caused by the 5 days last week and 3 days this week helping with the grandson.  I've rested/slept whenever I could.  Three hour drive home yesterday afternoon and slept well last night.  Feeling a little bit drained and a bit anxious this morning too but recognising it, accepting it and deep breathing to keep under control.  Ears also feel a bit weird, sort of pressure.  In for a hot day and it is already warming up this morning.  It's not even summer!!!

 

Realised how beneficial it is to keep updating here so I can look back on how I am doing.

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Junglechicken

When you feel up to it ,  pop into the Australia room (in the Relationships section).

There's currently a class action law suit being organized for people who have experienced

adverse effects from taking or stopping antidepressants.  Details of who to contact are there.

 

Spot on about holding off a decrease until things are calm.  

A few of us are holding off our next drop until after Christmas . . . something to consider.

 

:)

Is the class action law suit only open to people in Australia? Anyone know of any others taking place - N.America or Canada?

 

Thanks,

JC

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Fresh

That one is just for Australians Junglechicken.  Go to the Canada thread in the Relationships section for

local news.

 

Chessie , you're doing great.  

 

"I can now understand people questioning "is it the medication or the withdrawal?"

 

 

And there's a third option . . . is it because I overdid it with the exercise / the kids / going out / entertaining ?

I found ( before I cottoned on to the whole ad issue) , there was always a reason for feeling stressed / anxious / depressed when I looked for it. There's usually something going on in our life that we can blame.

Just thought I'd throw this in . . . sometimes it isn't the medication OR the withdrawal.

 

:blink:

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ChessieCat

 

And there's a third option . . . is it because I overdid it with the exercise / the kids / going out / entertaining ?

I found ( before I cottoned on to the whole ad issue) , there was always a reason for feeling stressed / anxious / depressed when I looked for it. There's usually something going on in our life that we can blame.

Just thought I'd throw this in . . . sometimes it isn't the medication OR the withdrawal.

 

:blink:

 

Hi Fresh,

 

I appreciate your comments and agree on the third option.  However, I think in this particular situation it may be a combination of overdoing it + medication or withdrawal.  What I have done over the last week and a half plus the week beforehand planning for the time away has been stressful but I feel that I have handled it well.  I rested whenever I could and slept well each night.  Maybe being in withdrawal raised the bar higher, whereas before it wouldn't have had the effect it is having on me now.  And of course, I'll never know!

 

Starting back on my capsules tomorrow,  will take 50mg + 1/4 of 50 mg + capsules to make up to 75 mg.

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ChessieCat

Just reposting this here so I have it as a reminder:

 

I'm going through some yucky stuff at the moment and had forgotten when I felt good.  Another member posted something on someone's topic and it reminded me about it.  The bad stuff seems to blot out the good stuff and we need to try and remember that we are progressing, even though it may not feel like it.

 

I also believe that having a positive attitude helps our brain to heal because negative thoughts/actions/words/situations stress us, which means our brain is busy trying to deal with them, instead of healing.

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ChessieCat

UPDATE:  Started on 50 mg tablet + all capsules this morning (instead of 1/4 50mg tablet for 2 days).

 

After feeling so sore for so many days, I decided to play detective this morning.  Realised that I haven't been taking my calcium (possibly at least 6 weeks) which I have been taking for years, and also my Vitamin D (had been off it and then re-started a lower dose).  Took my normal dose of each today.  Hoping I've solve the mystery of my soreness (most noticeable in my arms).

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manymoretodays

I hope so too!  Thanks for posting on my introduction Chessie Cat.

 

That's a big drop in the Pristiq though......from 100mg. to 75mg.?????  Why?

 

When in W/D.......something I have learned is........that sometimes the other stuff that I had been taking........needs titration and testing out again as well.  I have to be really careful with my Vit D3 and L-methyl now.......both seem "activating" and sometimes are too much for me.  We become pretty sensitive while our nervous systems attempt to regain balance.

 

p.s.  you Aussie folks rock!!!!!  :)

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ChessieCat

Unfortunately, this Aussie isn't rockin' much at the moment.

 

UPDATE:  Took magnesium and some Staminade (wanted the potassium) late yesterday.  Also started back on fish oil, multivitamin, B12, Vit E today.  The pain was so bad (sore from my shoulder blades to my wrists and legs a bit sore too) thought I'd throw the lot at it.  I know it's not recommended but I figured that it must be something lacking but didn't know what.  Pleased to report that my arms are not as sore as they have been.  Hopefully tomorrow will see more improvement. 

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ChessieCat

UPDATE:  Arms feeling much better today.  Not 100% yet but definite improvement.

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manymoretodays

That's wonderful.  Yes, stress is so hard on us.  I am truly hoping I can find it.........that way of life where stress just is not anymore.  I so want to relax and enjoy this holiday season...........and it's been hard to.

 

Keep up the good work ChessieCat!  Effexor(a similar medication to Pristiq) is not a happy memory for me.

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Fresh

Hi CC ,    good to hear the arms are improving.

 

I couldn't follow your post (sorry).  Are you still taking 75mg pristiq , or did you decrease it when you transferred to capsules?

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ChessieCat

Hi MMT & Fresh,

 

Thanks for stopping by.  Arm pain has definitely improved.  Managed to get some grocery shopping done yesterday so forearms were a little bit sore last night but nothing compared to how they had been.  Early morning here now, and they seem to be okay.

 

Still taking 75mg Pristiq.  No plan to drop until after Christmas Day IF I think my brain is ready.  Even though I am, like everyone else, eager to get off them, after reading many posts here, and understanding how ADs have affected my brain, I've definitely decided that I'm going to do it the best way from now on.  It is a massive lesson in patience.  I'm also wondering (and excited to find out) what I will be like once I'm off and how I will handle things.  I've dealt with a lot of stuff and learned a lot of techniques in the last 5 or so years. 

 

Not becoming a health nut but trying to make sure I have a nutritious diet.

 

I hope everyone here is doing okay.  I'm gob-smacked at how many people are going through the nightmare of ADs.

 

CC

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ChessieCat

UPDATE:  Left arm is feeling almost 100%, right forearm is still a bit sore - mousing rsi feeling.

 

Had my script filled today and when I went to pick it up she told me they had given me a generic Pristiq.  It must be fairly recent.  Anyway because of the post here about generics containing different ingredients from the genuine, I asked her to change it for the Pristiq.  I wouldn't have thought twice about it before.

 

Another thing, my employment consultant knows that I am tapering and I have given her this website.  She told me today that she has been telling other people about it, so the word is spreading.

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ChessieCat

UPDATE:  Right arm now feeling much better.  Reread tapering Pristiq - from today taking 50mg tablet + 15mg caps morning & 10mg evening.  Lunch 2 scoops "Strength" + banana --> bedtime hives --> 1 x Polaramine

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oskcajga

Hope your taper goes well!

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KarenB

Hello Chessie,

 

Nice to finally catch up with you in your own thread.  Seems like things are going well for you with slow improvements and feeling more stable.

 

You might have a good reason for it, but I'm just wondering about planning different doses a.m and p.m?  It's only a small difference, but could be another destabilising thing for your CNS.  

 

And also, thanks for your lovely bursts of positivity round this site.

KarenB 

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ChessieCat

Thanks Osk.

 

Hi KarenB, thank you for your comment :):blush:  Yes, you might have a point there.  The reason is that I am taking compounded capsules with slow release additive and saw in the tapering thread:

 

"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."  and  "You would take two capsules per day, once in the morning, and once in the evening."

 

This made me realise that my dose is stronger in the first 8-10 hours and consequently drops down for the next 16 or 14 hours.  I would think that this would be more confusing to my CNS.

 

Thinking back, I was taking broken Pristiq tablets (dumping) prior to that from 17 November and only switched to capsules on 29 November.  I seemed to be doing okay during that period.  However, having a much better understanding of how it all works, makes me think that this would catch up with me eventually.

 

I'd appreciate your opinion on this.

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ChessieCat

UPDATE:  Nearly 5 pm here and my shoulders and arms have started aching.  I took a 10 mg capsule just after 3 pm.  May just be coincidence but decided to go back to taking them all in the morning.

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ChessieCat

UPDATE:  Nearly 6 pm and just realised that shoulders and arms are not aching any more.  Wondering now.

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Fresh

Hey CC ,   the concept of splitting your pristiq dose is only relevant if you're breaking tablets up , because that

affects the absorption rate.

 

There's no need to do that with whole tablets or capsules with time-release additive.

It will be confusing your cns more , as KarenB suggested.  Particularly if you're not dividing the dose evenly . . . 

 

I'd take it once a day and be done with it.  

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