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GC79

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Hi Everyone,

 

I'm new here so thought I'd introduce myself.

 

I've been on the mental health journey since 2007, offically diagnosed with Major Depression.

 

I've never really had any formal triggers that get me down and naturally the symptoms of depression I battle with are usually more physical, but can be thought related too (tired, poor memory, poor concentration, can't be bothered with anything, guilt etc.).

 

I was started on Lexapro in 2011 at 10mg and then increased a few months later to 20mg, I don't remember building up gradually or any side effects of the bump up in dose.

 

In 2014 I checked myself into hospital and was commenced on Pristiq 25mg. I remember tapering off Lexapro over a weekend and starting Prisitq on the monday. While in hospital, for 6/7 weeks I was gradually brought up to 200mg Pristiq, as well as being started on lithium (450mg then 900mg) and Euthyrox (100mcg) to help speed up metabolism and body processes.

 

Once discharged my meds were still tweaked to 300mg Pristiq (+900 lithium, 100 euthyrox) and I have been on them from mid 2014 until recently August 2016.

 

I'm now going to be changing from Pristiq to Effexor.

Initial plan is taper 300mg --> 200mg Pristiq over the weekend then commence 300mg Effexor next week.

So far I'm just experiencing low grade headache (not going away with sleep, water or paracetamol), lethargy and fuzzy vision.

In the past when having accidentally missed a dose of meds or run out, I've experienced headaches, nausea, lethargy, poor vision, need to keep moving (??), electric shock type feelings under my skin and in my brain. I usually just try to sleep until its over or can get some meds.

 

I wonder if anyone else has changed from Pristiq--> Effexor and what worked from them in regards to the swap and limiting withdrawal/new drug ill feelings?

 

Look forward to getting to know some of you  :)

Edited by JanCarol
Highlight drug changes, symptoms, add tags

Dealing with depression on and off since 2007; Medication since 2011; 1 (voluntary) hospital admission in 2014.

2011; 10mg Lexapro
2012/13; 20mg Lexapro

March 2014; Hospitalised for 6/7 weeks and changed to Pristiq, started at 25mg and gradually increased to 200mg. Addition of 450mg Lithium and 100mcg Euthyrox.

Once out of hospital I was increased to 300mg Pristiq and 900mg Lithium where I stayed until recently.

(was also on 12.5 seroquel around then but I stopped that March 2016 because it was making me groggy for 12-15hrs after taking it, regardless of how much sleep I got)

August 2016; Currently exploring the journey from 300mg Pristiq --> 300mg Effexor.

Link to post

GC79 this is your lucky day Well done on finding sa.

Please dont do anything until the moderators come in and give you some critical advise.

 

In the meantime while you wait you might like to check out this thread ..its worth reading

Tips for tapering off Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)

 

Would you be so kind to put all the drugs you are taking in the interaction checker and copy and paste the result into this thread.

https://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.html

 

Glad you found sa.

nz11

 

later ...

goodness thats a large dose of pristiq and the equiv dose of effexor is staggering.

Have you considered making a complaint against your doctor. You might like to make contact with moderator Fresh an aussi and tapering pristiq.

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

Link to post

Hi nz11, thanks for the link!

I've found a bit in tapering to no meds but not a lot switching between similar drugs (venlafaxine/desvenlafaxine).

I wonder whether it's because traditionally experts say you should completely taper off before swapping?

Gc

Dealing with depression on and off since 2007; Medication since 2011; 1 (voluntary) hospital admission in 2014.

2011; 10mg Lexapro
2012/13; 20mg Lexapro

March 2014; Hospitalised for 6/7 weeks and changed to Pristiq, started at 25mg and gradually increased to 200mg. Addition of 450mg Lithium and 100mcg Euthyrox.

Once out of hospital I was increased to 300mg Pristiq and 900mg Lithium where I stayed until recently.

(was also on 12.5 seroquel around then but I stopped that March 2016 because it was making me groggy for 12-15hrs after taking it, regardless of how much sleep I got)

August 2016; Currently exploring the journey from 300mg Pristiq --> 300mg Effexor.

Link to post

The only experts on this are the Alto and those on this site actually doing it.

 

The thread above is the extent of it.

Those who should know have long ago taken the pharma ghostwriting and scientific misconduct monies and run for the hills.

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

Link to post

Hi GC.  Welcome to SA.  Could you perhaps share a little more of your story . Why were you hospitalized and started on Lithium and Euthryrox ?  What is the reason for wanting to change from Pristiq to Effexor?

 

This is a site for helping to withdraw safely from psych drugs. Is your ultimate aim to gradually taper off ? Are you under a doctor's supervision? Is the changeover his idea ?

You were on 300 mg Pristiq. How much have you tapered already and in what time frame ?

 

Sorry for all the questions but it helps to have all the information, so as to understand concisely and therefore help more effectively.

 

You're probably experiencing withdrawal symptoms as it sounds like you are tapering far too fast. These links give an overview of withdrawal :

What is withdrawal syndrome?

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

Healing from antidepressants. Patterns of recovery/

 

When we have a bit more information we can help with a plan. This is your thread to journal progress and ask more questions. Please have a read of the links. It will help to explain the process more fully.

Ali

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

Link to post

Hi AliG,


I was hospitalised because I was suicidal, and I couldn't really see myself anywhere but gone... so my psychiatrist at the time agreed that hospital was the best idea at least until I was more stable. He changed me onto pristiq because he thought the symptoms I was having would be better treated by an SNRI rather than SSRI. Then through mood / well being surveys and questionnaires over my stay my dosages were changed. It was found that my body metabolized pristiq quite quickly, so I'd feel a benefit from a dosage increase initially but after a day or two my mood and depressive symptoms were back with a vengeance.


As far as I understand I was started on euthyrox to increase my metabolism (which was slowed by my depression) so I felt hungry and had a bit more energy. And the lithium was introduced as a mood stabiliser. Although I don't have bipolar, my psych was noticing pretty rapid shifts in my depressive moods, and my current psych also reckons that a lot of people with severe depression at such a young age are likely experiencing the lows of bipolar, and the highs can occur later in life, so she 's fine with me on it despite my unipolar diagnosis.


 


The reasoning for the switch for pristiq to effexor is that for the last year or so, I've been experiencing depression again (after being stable for over 12mths). And I put it down to stressors in my life ( I just moved across the country) but I haven't been able to shake the bad feelings and how quickly I know I can go from bad but stable to awful and suicidal. 


Efexor is the first choice because the way my psych explained it to me, is that the change over is the quickest/easiest. So I figured I'd try this first because I'm currently trying to juggle work and uni and I don't have many social supports around me. 


So the plan is drop from 300P to 200P over a weekend then on Monday start with 300 effexor. the Dr said it wouldn't be too bad withdrawal wise this way and not too dangerous serotonin-syndrom-wise as the drugs are very similar


 


Down the track I'd love to at least reduce my doses of various meds I'm on, if not wean myself off them completely. But for right now I'm just working on being stable and functioning like a normal human being (so perhaps this isn't the forum for me??).


 


Thanks so much for commenting!


Dealing with depression on and off since 2007; Medication since 2011; 1 (voluntary) hospital admission in 2014.

2011; 10mg Lexapro
2012/13; 20mg Lexapro

March 2014; Hospitalised for 6/7 weeks and changed to Pristiq, started at 25mg and gradually increased to 200mg. Addition of 450mg Lithium and 100mcg Euthyrox.

Once out of hospital I was increased to 300mg Pristiq and 900mg Lithium where I stayed until recently.

(was also on 12.5 seroquel around then but I stopped that March 2016 because it was making me groggy for 12-15hrs after taking it, regardless of how much sleep I got)

August 2016; Currently exploring the journey from 300mg Pristiq --> 300mg Effexor.

Link to post

GC.  I'm so sorry for what you have gone through.  Reaching stability is our aim too and we can help you with that.  I'm not sure of your changeover plan  but will check in and get a second opinion and then get back to you.

Ali

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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  • Moderator

Hey GC - I'll try and go as gently as I can, but what we have learned here about the drugs isn't taught many places.  You and I are looking at an elephant, I have other people with me, so I can see the trunk, the ears, the legs and the flank, but you are holding the tail.

 

So when you say:

Lexapro in 2011 at 10mg and then increased a few months later to 20mg

 

Then you say:

In 2014 I checked myself into hospital

and

I was hospitalised because I was suicidal

 

You probably don't see the connection between these two events.  These drugs are not tested in the long term - you and I and millions of others are the largest in vivo lab experiment ever conducted.

 

Lexapro is well known for driving people to suicidal extremes.  This feeling is often attributed to akathisia, described here: Akathisia Nightmare  

 

When a friend tells me s/he is taking the drugs (any of them, really) I suggest that s/he only stay on them for 6 months (since I won't be able to stop him/her from taking them).  The longer you take them, the more risk for adverse events.

 

At 3-5 years, these effects start to come in to play (if you are lucky.  Some people get them after 1 day).  The drugs "poop out" (don't work as well) or you get side effects - which can seem mental/emotional (and therefore "mental illness" is diagnosed, or "relapse," or "drug resistant") as well as physical (restlesseness, breathlessness, fatigue) in nature.

 

So, when someone on 20 mg of Lexapro for 3 years says they went to hospital on a suicidal crash course, I am unsurprised.

 

I am also unsurprised that then, they decided to increase your cocktail.  That's what usually comes next, when drug side effects are "diagnosed" as "life-long conditions."  

 

So - you had a cold switch to Pristiq.  Nice of them to keep you in hospital for 6-7 weeks to do that.  A little unusual, too, you must have been in extreme distress.  I'm sorry for that. 

 

Sure - you were suffering when you first took the drugs.  But how do you know that the suffering wouldn't have resolved in a year on its own?  You don't.  And it is likely that it would.  The drugs work 25-50% of the time (depending on whose studies you believe), and placebo works about the same. (ref:   Kirsch I, Moore TJ, Scoboria A, Nicholls SS: The Emperor’s New Drugs: an analysis of antidepressant medication data submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration. Prevention and Treatment 2002)

 

The reason these drugs work, is because you feel something different while on them.

 

Most depressions resolve when you make the life changes that caused the depression in the first place.  You say you had no stressors, but it doesn't have to be a death, or divorce, or loss of job - it might just be a tough schedule, difficult job, draining relationship, or poor nutrition, or maybe you didn't learn good coping skills while growing up.  But what the long term studies are starting to show is this:  If you want to stay sick, and get sicker the rest of your life, then stay on the drugs.  (ref: Robert Whitaker, Anatomy of an Epidemic).

 

Now, about 2-3 years later you are wanting to switch again, while also on lithium and T3.  You know the next drug, when things go belly up at this point, is either an anti-convulsant (Lyrica, Depakote, Neurontin), or, more likely, an anti-psychotic, (Abilify, Zyprexa, Seroqel).  

 

First, read about Delayed Onset of Withdrawal Symptoms - and notice that you can get symptoms from withdrawal 3, 6,12 months out.  Or longer.

 

And you want to make the change over the weekend?  This is not a "taper," it is a cold switch. (like a cold turkey, only changing drugs instead of going off.)

 

We recommend tapering no more than 10% of current dose per month.  Why taper by 10% of my dosage?   This is the only way we know how to have a symptom free transition from one drug to another.  Or off of a drug.  

 

Yes, Pristiq is "kin" to Effexor, but - 

 

How badly do you want that Effexor?

 

Then, you give your own prognosis of what is to come, by telling us what happens when you decrease your Pristiq:

So far I'm just experiencing low grade headache (not going away with sleep, water or paracetamol), lethargy and fuzzy vision.

In the past when having accidentally missed a dose of meds or run out, I've experienced headaches, nausea, lethargy, poor vision, need to keep moving (??), electric shock type feelings under my skin and in my brain. I usually just try to sleep until its over or can get some meds.

 

These are what you have to look forward to, on a bigger, more intense, more long term scale.

 

Maybe the Effexor will "cover it."  But  then, in 3 years time, what will you go to next?

 

I'll say it again:

The reason these drugs work, is because you feel something different while on them.  We use Non Drug Techniques for Coping with Emotional Symptoms - exercise, sunlight, sleep, there are many ways to feel something different that don't involve restructuring your brain.  

 

What you are proposing to do - what your doctor is proposing, is very dangerous, destabilising and disruptive.  And  outrageous in the face of the symptoms you've already described.

 

Here are a few more links you can use to understand the way we see that elephant - and see if you can perceive more of what I am talking about here:

 

Intro to Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome

Healing from Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery (by Toxic Antidepressants)

and

Is It Relapse or Withdrawal?

 

Additionally, you might check here to see if any of your "side effects" match up with this list of "common withdrawal and side effects" of these drugs:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2390-dr-joseph-glenmullens-withdrawal-symptom-checklist/

 

If you find there is a lot you are familiar with on that list, then there is a very good chance that your "depression" and "symptoms" have been caused by the drugs.

 

Let me know your thoughts on this.  We don't require that anyone "come off the drugs," that would be infeasible.  But even if you can reduce, or come to understand better how you came to this place - then there is plenty here to help you.

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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Junglechicken

Very well explained JC - thanks.

Dose History: 19 Feb 2014 - Escitalopram 10mg daily June 2015 - Started taper, 5mg every other day July 2015 - 5mg every 2 days August 2015 - 5mg every 3 days September 2015 - 5mg every 4 days Sept 14th - Completed tapering, but at 7 weeks "drug free" I suffered serious WD symptoms as a consequence of "incorrect" tapering. Nov 25 2015 - Re-instated Cipralex @ 2.5mg daily. WD symptoms faded. Held at this dose and experienced "windows and waves". 12 Oct 2017 Reduced dose to 1.25mg. 13 Mar 2018 Reduced dose to 0.625mg (approx.). 16 April 2018 0mg. Windows and waves triggered by stress (IBS/reflux, headaches, sinus issues) Aug 2019 Mirena coil fitted 6 Jan 2020 MAJOR Wave hit 19 months following last dose (protracted WD).  Symptoms listed below Mar 2020 Mirena coil removal.

Therapy: Nov 15th 2016 Re-started therapy Jan 19th 2017 Started CBT Dec 2017 Started listening to Hypnotherapy CD (self-esteem). Nov 2019 Started couples therapy.

Supplements: "Bioglan" Biotic Balance Ultimate Flora 10 billion CFU, live Bacteria, Probiotic, suitable for Vegetarians, with Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium Longum"Pukka" Vitalise a unique blend of 30 energising botanicals.

Diet: 16 April 2018 Detox cleanse / anti-candida for 90 days. Jan 2020 Started "small plate" diet (i.e child size portions).

Exercise: Stretching, Yoga, Pilates, Spinning, Elliptical/upper body workout, walking.

Medical Test Results: 4 Jan 2017 Homeopathic Treatment starts 24 Feb 2017 Started weight loss program 24 Mar 2017 Naturopathic Treatment + anti-Candida diet started due to suspected Candida Related Complex (CRC). DETOXED for 7 weeks to "re-set" gut. April 2017 "Genova Diagnostics" Comprehensive Stool Analysis NEGATIVE; Full Blood Count (Normal) / Blood Cholesterol: 5.6 (Borderline) / Blood Sugar (Normal) / 28 Jun 2017 FSH 8.2 / 14 Nov 2017 FSH 17.7 Dec 2017 Blood Cholesterol: 3.9 (Normal) / Kidney Function (Normal) / Blood Sugar (Normal). December 2017 "Genova Diagnostics" Food panel allergy (bloodwork) analysis - a few "VERY LOW/VL" allergens; Mar 2018 "Genova Diagnostics" SIBO urine analysis: High Level of Yeast/fungal markers found in small intestine but NO SIBO.  April 2018 Thyroid (Normal) / Full Blood Count (Normal) / FSH (Normal). 16 April 2018 Started anti-Candida diet - 3 month protocol.   25 March 2020 All test results "Normal". CRP" 5 mg/L (normal range to 0-5 mg/L).

Symptoms:  Flu-like symptoms, anxiety, anhedonia, sinus headaches right-side (severe), IBS issues/reflux (severe)**, tinnitus, fatigue, inner tremor, nausea, chills/hot flushes, pounding heart, muscular issues including stiff left hip flexor, intense anger, PSSD (ongoing).  **Histhamine intolerance (suspected).

 

Major Life Events: 

Re-located to UK from Canada: Jan 2016

My father died: 5:05pm, Monday 5 Feb 2018 Last Lexapro dose: 16 April 2018 (its now been over a year since I quit ADs)

Moved house: Friday 23rd February 2018  "Divorced" toxic Mother: Monday 26 March 2018 Starting working again: 19 November 2018

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  • Administrator

Welcome, GC.

 

Are you truly taking 300mg Pristiq? And this has been prescribed to you by a doctor?

 

A high dose of Pristiq is 100mg. You are taking 3 times that amount. This is an excessive dose. (In my personal opinion, it is stupid and dangerous.) What does your current doctor think of this dosage? What does he have in mind for an Effexor XR dosage?

 

Have you had any side effects? You are probably a fast metabolizer of desvenlafaxine aka Pristiq. Fast metabolizers run the risk of being overmedicated, as they don't respond to lower doses. However, higher doses can do a lot of damage to the body. Have you had your liver and kidney function checked recently?

 

If you've already decreased to 200mg Pristiq, I would not go back to 300mg. If I were you, I would wait until the withdrawal symptoms dissipate before attempting another decrease.

 

Why does your doctor want to switch you to Effexor?

 

Please put ALL the drugs you take in the Drug Interactions Checker http://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.html
and copy and paste the results in this topic.

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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Hi Altostrata,


 


Yes I'm truly taking 300mg Pristiq. This was prescribed to me by a doctor after starting at 25mg with no benefit and gradually increasing until benefit was discovered. I have since changed doctors (I moved interstate) and she is fine with me on this dose, and has kept me on it since she's known me (approx 16mths). 


From my understanding, through doctors and my own research, the therapeutic dose of Pristiq is 50mg-400mg. While obviously you'd want to be on the lowest dose that works for you, at some point I believe the risks of a suboptimal level of meds on my mental health is more dangerous than the physical issues that could come with high doses for along periods.


 


I get blood tests every few months to determine lithium level, iron levels  as well as liver, kidney and thyroid function, so I am being monitored closely and have been throughout my whole journey (since 2010).


 


My doctor is thinking 300mg Effexor XR (again a high dose, but it is similar to Pristiq). This comes with blood test monitoring and regular dr visits to make sure everything is okay, and things will be tweaked as necessary.


The main reason for the switch is that I currently sleep (10-15hrs) and work, and that's it and I want more out of life. I'm also struggling with memory and concentration (things I used to pride myself on).


 


The only side effects I've noticed are nausea and headaches when I first started a drug or changed the dose. But once I had been on it for a while I didnt notice anything, unless I missed a dose or was late with a dose, in which case I get a headache, brain zaps, eye sensitivity, but again, within an hour of taking my dose, it goes away.


 


Does anyone know of anyone/have any knowledge of Pristiq to Effexor XR WITHOUT tapering down to zero and building back up?


 


Thanks,


GC


Dealing with depression on and off since 2007; Medication since 2011; 1 (voluntary) hospital admission in 2014.

2011; 10mg Lexapro
2012/13; 20mg Lexapro

March 2014; Hospitalised for 6/7 weeks and changed to Pristiq, started at 25mg and gradually increased to 200mg. Addition of 450mg Lithium and 100mcg Euthyrox.

Once out of hospital I was increased to 300mg Pristiq and 900mg Lithium where I stayed until recently.

(was also on 12.5 seroquel around then but I stopped that March 2016 because it was making me groggy for 12-15hrs after taking it, regardless of how much sleep I got)

August 2016; Currently exploring the journey from 300mg Pristiq --> 300mg Effexor.

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  • Administrator

As long as you are on an antidepressant for years, you will experience emotional anesthesia or deadening. It is a common side effect of the drugs, particularly if you've been on them for many years. Essentially, your nervous system is at maximal serotonergic downregulation and can't go any further.
 
See
 
Andrews, 2015 Is serotonin an upper or a downer?

Andrews, 2011 Blue again: Perturbational effects of antidepressants...

Katz, 2011 Tachyphylaxis/tolerance to antidepressants...

Amsterdam, 2009 Does tachyphylaxis occur after repeated antidepressant...

El-Mallakh, 2011 Tardive dysphoria: The role of long term antidepressant use...

Price, 2009 Emotional side-effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors...

Opbroek, 2002 Emotional blunting associated with SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction...

Sansone 2010 SSRI-Induced Indifference
 
As you believe that you must take psychiatric drugs -- "therapeutic dose" by the way, is a fiction -- you should ask your doctor about cross-tapering as a way to switch from one to the other. If she doesn't know how to do this and doesn't make the effort of learning how to do it, you need another doctor. It is the safest way to change psychiatric drugs.
 
Examples of cross-tapering: The Prozac switch or "bridging" with Prozac
 
Essential information: 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.

Link to post

The only experts on this are the Alto and those on this site actually doing it.

 

The thread above is the extent of it.

Those who should know have long ago taken the pharma ghostwriting and scientific misconduct monies and run for the hills.

Standing ovation..... 

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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Does anyone know of anyone/have any knowledge of Pristiq to Effexor XR WITHOUT tapering down to zero and building back up?

 

GC, at those high doses, you are playing fiddlesticks with dynamite.  This is your body, are you sure you want to blow it up?

 

I reckon, that you are wanting to switch because you are having "poop out" or "side effects" from the Pristiq.

 

Why do you want this so badly?  What makes you think this is a good idea?  What is the pressure to make this sudden, precipitous move?

 

MOST cross-taper schedules are too fast (my p-doc cross-tapered Effexor with a tricyclic over about 6 weeks, and that was too fast, but bearable.).  THIS cross-taper schedule is, well.  Dangerous and potentially insane.  Especially given the high doses involved.

 

If you read around this site, you will see people suffering, some of whom suffer from a 20% drop, or a cut in half.  Or a taper over 4 months, instead of longer.  A weekend, is a cold turkey switch.  It is not recommended.

 

The best recommendation is to learn to live without the drugs, as you gradually taper off of them.  But you have to choose it.  You are welcome to stay in here and report what happens, if you pursue this course, it would be an excellent cautionary tale for new members who don't understand the costs of these drugs.

 

I hope I am wrong.  I don't wish suffering on anyone.  But it is my wish to prevent suffering which has me suggesting that this course you & your p-doc have chosen - is not a good one.  I don't want anyone else to suffer.

 

Additionally, once you "fall apart," it is much more difficult to put Humpty back together again, than it is to keep him from tumbling to begin with.  

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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I know most the people in here are at the stage in their treatment where they are coming off meds or choosing not to take meds for their conditions.

For me however, my primary goal is to stay 'afloat' enough, using meds and other strategies I've learnt, until I feel ready to decrease and everntually not rely (so heavily) on my medication. Until then my choice is to stick with what is working (imo).

 

If anyone is interested, my swap between pristiq and effexor has so far been okay. The 2 days I dropped from 300mg to 200mg pristiq I had a headache and was very tired, but since Monday (start of 300mg effexor) I haven't noticed any side effects.

I appreciate people's concern regarding my path and I understand it isn't for everyone, however it is what I'm choosing FOR NOW.

Dealing with depression on and off since 2007; Medication since 2011; 1 (voluntary) hospital admission in 2014.

2011; 10mg Lexapro
2012/13; 20mg Lexapro

March 2014; Hospitalised for 6/7 weeks and changed to Pristiq, started at 25mg and gradually increased to 200mg. Addition of 450mg Lithium and 100mcg Euthyrox.

Once out of hospital I was increased to 300mg Pristiq and 900mg Lithium where I stayed until recently.

(was also on 12.5 seroquel around then but I stopped that March 2016 because it was making me groggy for 12-15hrs after taking it, regardless of how much sleep I got)

August 2016; Currently exploring the journey from 300mg Pristiq --> 300mg Effexor.

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> Does anyone know of anyone/have any knowledge of Pristiq to Effexor XR WITHOUT tapering down to zero and building back up?

 

Yes.  see my thread  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/5418-ktp-weaning-from-4yrs-50mg-pristiq/ 

 

Feb 2014 I switched from Pristiq to Effexor XR in order to take advantage of easier dosage control with effexor.  (you can't cut pristiq tabs but you can open effexor capsules and count beads, so it's easier to wean.)

 

IIRC I had no trouble just switching, but I did do a few days of taking more effexor than i needed.  I came out thinking about 125mg effexor = 50mg pristiq, but if i had to do it again I think i'd do 100mgE = 50mgP.  But look around the web for pristiq vs effexor dosage or better desvenlafaxine vs venlafaxine dosage, there's much more info out there than there was in 2014.

 

i can also gladly report I had no new side effects.  

 

[my layman understanding is that they're the same drug, pristiq is the des-isomer of effexor.   (effexor's more likely to cause side effects, it's both isomers)]

 

switching from pristiq to effexor was the easy part of my wean (which was going splendidly well until i got excited and over-reduced in 10/2014, so now it's two pages of what i hope amount to warnings re too-fast weaning, sorry about that part.  

 

good luck!  not a doctor but i stayed at a holiday inn once.

20090810 Dx GeneralAnxietyDisorder & PanicDisorder.  Rx Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) 50mg.  stable, side effects minor but blurry vision, impotence, others. http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/5418-ktp-weaning-from-4yrs-50mg-pristiq/ for more details.  

20140210 switch Pristiq50mg (can't cut them!) to Effexor (venlafaxine, V) same drug but easier dose reduction (and mfr TEVA's beads are handily ~= 1mg ea).  20140218 125mgV  0309 112mg 0401:100mg, 410:75, 0506:70, 0512:65, 0525:56, 0614:37.5, 0620:30, 0624:27, 0630:26, 0706:24, 0724:22, 0801:20, 0804:19, 0808:18, 0813:17, 0818:16, 0819:15, 0821:13, 0903:12, 0911:11, 0918:10, 0921:9, 0927:8, 1001:6, 1021:5, missed a day?, darn, it was going so well, or so I thought.  SEVERE ANXIETY, INSOMNIA. WAY TOO QUICK REDUCTIONS! hindsight: 0813:5%/5days, 0818:6%/5days, 0819:6%/1day, 0821:13%/2days, 0903: 7%/14days, 0911:8%/8days, 0918:9%/7days; 0921:10%/3days, 0927:11%/6days, 1001:25%/3days (still okay!) 1021:16%20days.  guideline is 10%/30days =  i am a self-diagnosed idiot

20141103 back to 6mgV, xanax next several days. 1111 insomnia bad, 10mgAmbien slept well. 1112 8mgV no Ambien; miserable. 1113 Ambien+xanax, tough night. 1114 Very Tired. 0.125Xanax, 25mgV at 10, better 10min later. 20141115 37.5mg V +Ambien. miserable month, still insomnia & anxiety. 1214 upped to 75mg V, ate .125Xanax. 1215 37.5mg mornings; force sleep for one week and come back". 20150115 lots of appts lots of chat but we never get to MY agenda = meds discussion.  Upping to 47.5mg mornings (no more xanax-, lunesta-forced sleep) but still anxious.  PAYING BIGTIME FOR TOO-FAST WEANING in OCTOBER 2014!  20150220 50mg V. 20150330 still anxy each am let's try reducing: 45mg V 1/day mornings. 20150511:42mg, 0611:40, 0626:39, 0710:38, 0717:37, 0731:33, 0813:32, 0915:29, 0927:28, 1004:27, 1015:26, 1101:25, 1116:22mg/day.  Still anxiety every morning, this sucks.  20151124 found a shrink who seems to get weaning: 20151125 add 10mg/day Prozac aka fluoxetine F, continue taper V to zero, then taper the F, "easier".  20151203:10mg Prozac=P 19mg V, 1213:10mgP17mgV, daily anx quieter but lurking. 1227:10mgP15mgV, 20160108:10mgP14mgV, 0124:10P13V, 0131:P10,V12. 0215 P10,V11.  0223:P10V10.  0314:P10V9. enjoying relatively quiet brain.  0407 P10V8, 0427P10V7, 0517P10V6, 0611P10V5, 0706P10V4, 0818P10V3, 0921P10V2,  1021P10V1, 20161128Prozac10mgVenlafaxine ZERO, 20170115 still anxious upped Prozac to 20mg/day, better anxiety control... 

20190301 finally stable enough to consider weaning again, started skipping one day / week.

20190501 started skipping every 3rd day so 13.3mg/day average.  several days long 1/2life must be why the docs think of prozac as 'self-tapering' i think it just means longer time between upsetting the cart and seeing apples all over the road.  skipping is bad practice, even with longlife prozac: let's do liquid: 20190902 first day of 13mg via 5ml liquid made from 13 20mg caps in 100ml water.  20190921 12mg same way(7.7%/20days).  20191010 11mg (8.3%/20days) 20191031 10mg (9.1%/20days) 20191124 9mg (10.0%/24 days) 20191213 8.5mg (5.6%/20 days) 20191231 8mg (5.9%/20days) 20200120 hit a wall?  going another 20 days at 8mg, just started Lisinopril for hypertension (caused by prozac withdrawal creating less-than-panic-grade anxiety??) and doubled atorvastatin to 40mg.  Minimizing changes in general and had a semi-panic 4am 1/20... BP still wild. 20200208 back to 9mg daily anxiety starting about 1/18.  

20200212 increase to 10mg prozac cap daily.  anxiety still there but clears within hour of drugs.  20200222 still anxy 2 hrs after 10mg, added another 1mg and mucho better.  20200223 11mg early.  anxious enough to be glad i can actually sit.  will wait another 5 days before adding another milligram. 20200229 12mg prozac still anxious.  20200317 13mgProzac still anxious.  20200610 15mgProzac.  bp under control with Losartan50mg (lisinopril cough dictates change)  

20201028 10am met w Dr S.  to switch back to Venlafaxine XR, take 10mg prozac + 37mg VenlafaxineXR for a month or so.  it takes 4-5 weeks for Effexor to kick in.  
20201116 9am start 10mgProzac,37Venlafaxine,40Statin,25Losartan,81Aspirin.  

20201230 5mgProzac,37Venlafaxine,40Statin,25Losartan,81Aspirin.
20210124 4mgP,37V,40S,25L,81A.  20210213 3.5mgP,37V,40S,25L,81A;  20210306 3mgP,37V,40S,25L,81A  20210328 2.5mgP,37V,40S,25L,81A

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