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aussiechick life after pristiq


aussiechick

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hello, i am aussie chick and i gave up pristiq monday 21st march, 2016 after being on the drug for nearly 16 months or thereabouts.  i was not told by my doctor who first prescribed it that i would have to be on it for life.  if i had been informed properly i would never have started it in the first place.  how i found out was i went for a new prescription last friday and after asking if there was another drug i could take he said no i would have to stay on this drug and there was no alternative.  well after reading your posts i have realised this is not true. 

 

adamant i would not fill the new prescription i have gone 'cold turkey'.  after missing pills in the past i had a vague idea what i was in for.  tuesday afternoon i started getting the brain zaps.  exactly 17 every 30 minutes if i was lucky as long as i was inactive.  if i simply walked from one end of the house to the next i could quadruple that number.  tuesday night was filled with the worst nightmares.  i was being chased by a madwoman with a knife trying to kill me, then i was surrounded by crocodilian goannas about 5 metres long trying to eat me.  the next day along with the brain zaps my eyes shook with each one coupled with extreme nausea and a huge sensitivity to sound, light and smell complete with the body sweats and chills. that night i think i got around 4 hours sleep. i thought i would have to book myself into a mental hospital i felt that bad.  thursday ended up being the same with vomiting as well as my emotions being right on the edge.   i keep telling myself to be strong. 

 

i read everything i could on my phone with the light intensitiy turned as low as i could get it and ordered vitiman b - 200mg and st. johns wort 4000.  each i take after meals, the st.j in the morning and b6 in the evening.  i made myself fresh mint tea with apple peel and i had dandelion tea in the cupboard so i made that as well.  i made it in the evening and had it the next morning.   i found the mint tea helped enormously even if it may have only been psychologically.  tasted better than i anticipated.   my partner bought for me at my request cold fresh water fish - salmon, fresh juices and salads to help with my recovery.  i am lucky he is away for a week so i can do this on my own.

 

i phoned the local mental help line on the weds morning and was so frustrated by the inadequate help i ended up thanking the woman for not helping and told her i would hang up on her. i was so disgusted.  it took 7 minutes to get someone on line who then plagued me with more questions than i was able to answer with the result that i should go back to the doctor who wasn't prepared to help me with the conclusion that they could be no help whatsoever.  i am so disgusted with their non service that i feel compelled to do something about it when i am in a better physically. 

 

i have been told that 5-htp can also help as well as bitter cherry juice which i have ordered from great britain.  i would be interested to know if anyone has added these to their recovery items.  each day the brain zaps have reduced and i am pleased to say after being on 100mg of pristiq that my recovery has been better than even i expected.  i found nausea relief in my medical kit and after taking two lots of 2 pills each time have found they are too are an enormous help.  after vomiting profusely thursday night i felt like i had to take something additionally to help. 

 

the pristiq did not help as i wished it.  in the 16 months weight gain crept up on me to the extent i am 20kgs heavier than what i was when i first went on it.  heavier than i have ever been in my entire life to the point where i won't go out for fear someone might recognise me.  i am so ashamed.   having always been slim just looking at myself in the mirror disgusts me.  we live an active life and didn't realise the pristiq had made my system sluggish.  i spent the first day - tuesday running back and forth to the bathroom.  i also seem to have retained water ie. look bloatish.  add to that the drug took away the sharpness of my memory and my words would come out back to front not realising it.  friends would laugh and correct me.  so i wasn't able to hear what i was saying.  it was like a verbal dyslexia.  the weight gain made my seemingly under control depression worse.  the longer i was on pristiq the more weight gain i would acquire and the more depressed i would get.  it was a worsening scenario and a path i realised i could not continue upon.  what is it with these drug companies!!!!   seriously.  thankyou for taking the time to read this.  taking the courage to write it is helping enormously. 

i am 48 years of age.  i went back and forth with pristiq dosages over the last 16 months of 50 to 100mg.  last dosage was 100mg.  went cold turkey on the 21st march, 2016.  replaced the drug with vitamin B6 of a night and st. johns wort of a morning.   the brain zaps have reduced significantly to about 10% as i write this.   i supplement this currently with anti nausea pills which i take 2 midday or if its really bad i take two first thing with a cup of hot chocolate.  i have ordered 5-HTP because i have been informed this can help as well as bitter cherry juice.  i drink at least one litre of fresh fruit juice per day with additional minieral water and drink mint with apple juice, the former i grow from my garden. 

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Please take it from me and do NOT go cold turkey. Get your meds and begin a very precise and very slow taper. These drugs are not the same as Tylenol or any other drug, the have changed your brain structure and going cold turkey will send you in to chaos.

I did an uneducated cold turkey and am 28 months out, still going through withdrawal waves and Windows and it's avoidable if you do things properly.

Paxil 20mg from 1998-2011 

Paxil 40mg from 2011-2012 while experiencing poopout

October 2013 quit cold turkey

Oct-mid Nov 2013 great window

Late November WD nightmare 

Windows and waves pattern 

Now: 28 months cold turkey...doing decent learning to deal with the windows/waves pattern fighting it every step of the way. 

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I have the same feelings as coldturkmamma above. 22 months out after tapering down fast to zero within a month, I still have unpleasant symptoms. The brain needs time to adapt and heal, which a slow taper would allow for.

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Yes, please learn from our mistakes. 

Paxil 20mg from 1998-2011 

Paxil 40mg from 2011-2012 while experiencing poopout

October 2013 quit cold turkey

Oct-mid Nov 2013 great window

Late November WD nightmare 

Windows and waves pattern 

Now: 28 months cold turkey...doing decent learning to deal with the windows/waves pattern fighting it every step of the way. 

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  • Administrator

Welcome, aussiechick.

 

While yours may yet be a success story, as you are having severe withdrawal symptoms, I have moved your topic to the Introductions forum instead.

 

Please track your progress off Pristiq here.

 

I hope your withdrawal symptoms go away immediately, but we have many people here who went off too fast and suffered for many months or years. Please consider reinstating a tiny amount of Pristiq, such as a quarter tablet, or its sibling, Effexor.

 

After you stabilize for a while, you could taper gradually to go off properly.

 

Please read this for background on tapering Tips for tapering off Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi AussieChick & welcome to SA,

 

I'm more of an AussieHen although I'm not yet classed as a Senior ;)

 

It's really great that you have found this site.  The members are very supportive and encouraging and there is a wealth of excellent information within its pages.

 

Could you Please put your Withdrawal History in Signature or Complete your Signature from Phone or Tablet?  Please include ALL drugs (including St Johns Wort), dates (including year), doses and how you decreased/increased.  Doing this will allow your drug history to be seen at a glance.  It is a good idea to update as you make any changes so it remains current.

 

As you will see from my signature, I am taking Pristiq.  After developing mild serotonin syndrome being on 100 mg I dropped my dose to 50 mg.  For 2 weeks I suffered an extremely foggy head, and this led me to research antidepressant withdrawal symptoms which is how I discovered this site.  When trying to type a post here, I had extreme difficulty typing.  I am a professional typist with high speed and accuracy.  After reading the information that members had given me, I realised that I needed to reinstate some of my Pristiq so I did and within about 4 hours my head was clearing and I was able to type okay again.  I was amazed at the difference in how I felt and how quickly I had felt improvement.  I didn't suffer any brain zaps going from 100 mg to 50 mg, but at other times when I had forgotten to take my tablet, I did get brain zaps.

 

The AD drug changes the brain.  Because of this it is best to reduce the drug slowly so that the brain can adapt to not getting as much of the drug.  This site recommends a 10% taper of the previous dose with a 4 weeks (or longer) holding period to allow the brain to stabilise.  These helped me to understand why this is suggested:

 

Introduction to AD Withdrawal Syndrome

 

Brain Remodelling

 

Video: Healing from Antidepressants: Patterns of Recovery

 

A couple of things that you may not be aware of is that Vit B6 can be activating, which isn't helpful in withdrawal, and St Johns Wort is a natural version of Prozac.

 

Alto has already given you the link to Tips for Tapering Pristiq.  It is possible to cut Pristiq tablets but it can be hard to get them to cut evenly.

 

My suggestion would be that you consider stopping the St Johns Wort and reinstate Pristiq.  About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms.  The idea of reinstating is to reduce the withdrawal symptoms.  You would then stay on that dose for 1-2 months to stabilise and then you could commence a 10% taper Why taper by 10% of my dosage?  Because you have only been off the Pristiq 100 mg for 1 week, I think that you could try taking 75 mg and see how that will help with the symptoms.  Try and take a consistent dose at the same time.  Please note that it takes 4 days for the drug to get to full state in the blood, but you may feel improvement within several hours.

 

I understand that you probably don't want to go back on the drug, but it is the only way known to relieve the withdrawal symptoms.

 

DO NOT take the St Johns Wort if you start taking the Pristiq. 

 

Since my dose has become lower I am starting to feel more like myself old self again.

 

You can use your Intro/Update topic to ask questions and to journal your progress.

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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Please take it from me and do NOT go cold turkey. Get your meds and begin a very precise and very slow taper. These drugs are not the same as Tylenol or any other drug, the have changed your brain structure and going cold turkey will send you in to chaos.

I did an uneducated cold turkey and am 28 months out, still going through withdrawal waves and Windows and it's avoidable if you do things properly.

I am hearing you.  I plan to consult with a new doctor when i get into town.  i live an hour and a half out and i am on my own currently.  I will see about going onto another drug that will let me taper down.  it is not possibe to break a pristiq pill because they are coated with a slow release.  pristiq does not do a lower dose than 50mg which i have at the moment.  if i go back on pristiq now then withdraw will start all open again and i just cannot endure another week of what i went through.  the brain zaps are about 10% what they were but in saying that the hot and cold sweats seem to be more significant or its that i am noticing it more now that the zaps have reduced in intensity.  

i am 48 years of age.  i went back and forth with pristiq dosages over the last 16 months of 50 to 100mg.  last dosage was 100mg.  went cold turkey on the 21st march, 2016.  replaced the drug with vitamin B6 of a night and st. johns wort of a morning.   the brain zaps have reduced significantly to about 10% as i write this.   i supplement this currently with anti nausea pills which i take 2 midday or if its really bad i take two first thing with a cup of hot chocolate.  i have ordered 5-HTP because i have been informed this can help as well as bitter cherry juice.  i drink at least one litre of fresh fruit juice per day with additional minieral water and drink mint with apple juice, the former i grow from my garden. 

Link to comment

Welcome, aussiechick.

 

While yours may yet be a success story, as you are having severe withdrawal symptoms, I have moved your topic to the Introductions forum instead.

 

Please track your progress off Pristiq here.

 

I hope your withdrawal symptoms go away immediately, but we have many people here who went off too fast and suffered for many months or years. Please consider reinstating a tiny amount of Pristiq, such as a quarter tablet, or its sibling, Effexor.

 

After you stabilize for a while, you could taper gradually to go off properly.

 

Please read this for background on tapering Tips for tapering off Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)

thanku for responding to my post.  it helps immensely that others care.  my partner, although sympathetic does not understand fully as he has never been on any medication his entire life.  it makes a difference when you know others have been or are continuing on the same road you are.  in saying that i read as much as i could on the internet before undergoing this.  i needed to know what i was in for. effexor seems to be the alternative to cutting a pill.  when i took a cut pill months and months ago it made me so sick.  vertigo coupled with nausea and dizziness had me horizontal for half a day.  i must have had a full hit of the damn stuff directly.   i am just lucky i have retired early or i couldn't be doing this without taking a leave of absence.  i feel for others who are trying to withdraw and keep a full time job at the same time.   so in light of that i keep telling myself i don't have it that bad. 

i am 48 years of age.  i went back and forth with pristiq dosages over the last 16 months of 50 to 100mg.  last dosage was 100mg.  went cold turkey on the 21st march, 2016.  replaced the drug with vitamin B6 of a night and st. johns wort of a morning.   the brain zaps have reduced significantly to about 10% as i write this.   i supplement this currently with anti nausea pills which i take 2 midday or if its really bad i take two first thing with a cup of hot chocolate.  i have ordered 5-HTP because i have been informed this can help as well as bitter cherry juice.  i drink at least one litre of fresh fruit juice per day with additional minieral water and drink mint with apple juice, the former i grow from my garden. 

Link to comment

Hi AussieChick & welcome to SA,

 

I'm more of an AussieHen although I'm not yet classed as a Senior ;)

 

It's really great that you have found this site.  The members are very supportive and encouraging and there is a wealth of excellent information within its pages.

 

Could you Please put your Withdrawal History in Signature or Complete your Signature from Phone or Tablet?  Please include ALL drugs (including St Johns Wort), dates (including year), doses and how you decreased/increased.  Doing this will allow your drug history to be seen at a glance.  It is a good idea to update as you make any changes so it remains current.

 

As you will see from my signature, I am taking Pristiq.  After developing mild serotonin syndrome being on 100 mg I dropped my dose to 50 mg.  For 2 weeks I suffered an extremely foggy head, and this led me to research antidepressant withdrawal symptoms which is how I discovered this site.  When trying to type a post here, I had extreme difficulty typing.  I am a professional typist with high speed and accuracy.  After reading the information that members had given me, I realised that I needed to reinstate some of my Pristiq so I did and within about 4 hours my head was clearing and I was able to type okay again.  I was amazed at the difference in how I felt and how quickly I had felt improvement.  I didn't suffer any brain zaps going from 100 mg to 50 mg, but at other times when I had forgotten to take my tablet, I did get brain zaps.

 

The AD drug changes the brain.  Because of this it is best to reduce the drug slowly so that the brain can adapt to not getting as much of the drug.  This site recommends a 10% taper of the previous dose with a 4 weeks (or longer) holding period to allow the brain to stabilise.  These helped me to understand why this is suggested:

 

Introduction to AD Withdrawal Syndrome

 

Brain Remodelling

 

Video: Healing from Antidepressants: Patterns of Recovery

 

A couple of things that you may not be aware of is that Vit B6 can be activating, which isn't helpful in withdrawal, and St Johns Wort is a natural version of Prozac.

 

Alto has already given you the link to Tips for Tapering Pristiq.  It is possible to cut Pristiq tablets but it can be hard to get them to cut evenly.

 

My suggestion would be that you consider stopping the St Johns Wort and reinstate Pristiq.  About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms.  The idea of reinstating is to reduce the withdrawal symptoms.  You would then stay on that dose for 1-2 months to stabilise and then you could commence a 10% taper Why taper by 10% of my dosage?  Because you have only been off the Pristiq 100 mg for 1 week, I think that you could try taking 75 mg and see how that will help with the symptoms.  Try and take a consistent dose at the same time.  Please note that it takes 4 days for the drug to get to full state in the blood, but you may feel improvement within several hours.

 

I understand that you probably don't want to go back on the drug, but it is the only way known to relieve the withdrawal symptoms.

 

DO NOT take the St Johns Wort if you start taking the Pristiq. 

 

Since my dose has become lower I am starting to feel more like myself old self again.

 

You can use your Intro/Update topic to ask questions and to journal your progress.

 

 

lol.... i should be changing my title to aussie hen... actually i am past the hen stage... thats even worse lol.  aussie boiler?????  i will check out your recommendations thanku

i am 48 years of age.  i went back and forth with pristiq dosages over the last 16 months of 50 to 100mg.  last dosage was 100mg.  went cold turkey on the 21st march, 2016.  replaced the drug with vitamin B6 of a night and st. johns wort of a morning.   the brain zaps have reduced significantly to about 10% as i write this.   i supplement this currently with anti nausea pills which i take 2 midday or if its really bad i take two first thing with a cup of hot chocolate.  i have ordered 5-HTP because i have been informed this can help as well as bitter cherry juice.  i drink at least one litre of fresh fruit juice per day with additional minieral water and drink mint with apple juice, the former i grow from my garden. 

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pauls recovery from anti depressants.  i have found this very illuminating.  i can relate to how he feels now.

 

 

pauls recovery from anti depressants.  i have found this very illuminating.  i can relate to how he feels now. 

i am 48 years of age.  i went back and forth with pristiq dosages over the last 16 months of 50 to 100mg.  last dosage was 100mg.  went cold turkey on the 21st march, 2016.  replaced the drug with vitamin B6 of a night and st. johns wort of a morning.   the brain zaps have reduced significantly to about 10% as i write this.   i supplement this currently with anti nausea pills which i take 2 midday or if its really bad i take two first thing with a cup of hot chocolate.  i have ordered 5-HTP because i have been informed this can help as well as bitter cherry juice.  i drink at least one litre of fresh fruit juice per day with additional minieral water and drink mint with apple juice, the former i grow from my garden. 

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i am 48 years of age.  i went back and forth with pristiq dosages over the last 16 months of 50 to 100mg.  last dosage was 100mg.  went cold turkey on the 21st march, 2016.  replaced the drug with vitamin B6 of a night and st. johns wort of a morning.   the brain zaps have reduced significantly to about 10% as i write this.   i supplement this currently with anti nausea pills which i take 2 midday or if its really bad i take two first thing with a cup of hot chocolate.  i have ordered 5-HTP because i have been informed this can help as well as bitter cherry juice.  i drink at least one litre of fresh fruit juice per day with additional minieral water and drink mint with apple juice, the former i grow from my garden. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi aussie chick , welcome to the site.

 

" effexor seems to be the alternative to cutting a pill. when i took a cut pill months and months

ago it made me so sick. vertigo coupled with nausea and dizziness had me horizontal for half a day."

i must have had a full hit of the damn stuff directly. "

 

It's difficult to reinstate a tiny dose of pristiq because you can't cut them , as you found out.

The AD that is easiest to switch to from pristiq for tapering is effexor. If you were to reinstate

with effexor you would start with perhaps 10 of the tiny beads inside a capsule , and that may be

enough.

 

Have you read the thread on "About Reinstating and Stabilizing to Reduce Withdrawal Symptoms"

here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-reduce-withdrawal-symptoms/

 

bw , Fresh

 

If you click FOLLOW at the top right , you'll receive an email each time someone posts.

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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