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BobtheBoulder

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Hi all

 

I have previously been on Effexor, Lexapro and Cymbalta. 

 

It took me 8 weeks to get over the withdrawal symptoms of Cymbalta - awful, awful experience.

 

I have now been on Pristiq for the last 5 years. I have had some excellent psychotherapy this year and have left a toxic marriage so now I am looking at withdrawing of Pristiq. 

 

I was originally on a 100mg dose. When I felt things were good, I dropped it to 50mg so I'd have some increase room. During a severe emotional event this year, my GP wanted me to increase to 150mg. I didn't because I knew the event was the cause, not an underlying increase in my depression.

 

I have started tapering this last week. My doctor wanted me to switch to Prozac because I complained about the side effects I experience with Pristiq (nil libido, anorgasmia, severe bruxism, fatigue/lethargy, weight gain). He told me to do a three day washout before staring the Prozac. By the 2nd day, I was a mess of the usual discontinuation symptoms.

 

I then had a compounding pharmacy make a 25mg does of Pristiq. This has helped enormously. I had mild symptoms the first couple of days but have been on the new dose for 4 days and am feeling pretty good. Libido has increased (yay), sensitivity has increased (yay), energy has increased and bruxism has decreased. So far, no decrease in mood!!!!

 

I've done some reading about the next taper - I'm not sure if I should get a 10mg compounded or just bite the bullet and go cold turkey from hear on in. Any advice welcome.

 

I'd also be interested in hearing from anyone who has had major pushback from their doctor about stopping antidepressants. My GP, while lovely and well meaning, is constantly on about the "90% chance of relapse" after two major depressive episodes. I mean, I get it. He is trying to stop me from suffering needlessly but I really feel like I need to find my new "baseline" after the aforementioned demise of my sh*tty marriage. I'm also off work for three months and I feel like now is the perfect opportunity to at least try to see if I can function without them. Thankfully, my psych is very pro getting off them and is supporting me in this process. 

2012 - Started on 50mg Pristiq 2013 - Increased to 100mg Pristiq in 2012 under Drs orders 

2013 - 2016 Decreased to 50mg Prisiq and increased to 100mg Pristiq as I felt was required. No major withdrawal symptoms noticed.

August 24th 2016 Started tapering from 50mg Pristiq last week, started 3 day washout as doctor wanted me to change to Prozac

Horrible withdrawals from Day 2 - night sweats, nightmares, foggy head, headaches, brain zaps

August 26th 2016 Decided to start tapering of AD altogether instead of switching to Prozac.

Got 25mg of Pristiq compounded. Some withdrawals the first three days but has stabilised as of day 4.

Plan is to taper by 5mg per month if tolerated. If not, will revert to 10% per month formula.

September 24th 2016 - Next taper, down 5mg to 20mg for a month. Pattern seems to be ok on first day of taper, totally rubbish (exhausted, brain zaps, visual processing changes) the next day, a bit rubbish day 3 and then stabilise. Will watch for this pattern in the next taper. Some night sweats two weeks in. Next taper in two weeks. 

October 21st, 2016 - Horrendous fatigue for the last two weeks. Debilitating up to the point of sleeping every day and being physically unable to get out of bed. Pretty concerned about next taper beginning this weekend due to this fatigue. 

October 24th 2016 - Started next taper, down 5mg to 15mg for a month. First day good, second day better than previous month. 

November 27th 2016 - Decided to go cold turkey to 0mg in an effort to be well before the start of uni in Jan 2017. Have been struggling with fatigue, sensory changes (auras etc.) hair-trigger neuro-emotions and general feelings of unwellness. I would not recommend this course of action. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Bob and welcome to SA,

 

You've found the right place for excellent information and support.

 

I'm very pleased to hear that you resisted the docs prompting to increase to 150 mg.  Are you still taking Pristiq?  Or are you switching over to Prozac?

 

Please put your Withdrawal History in Signature.  Details of the last 12-18 months and a summary of anything prior to that is helpful.  Please include ALL drugs, dates, doses and how you decreased/increased.  Please remember to update your signature whenever you make a change so that you signature remains current and can be seen at a glance.  Thank you.

 

I'm going to give you some links to check out:

 

Before you begin tapering what you need to know


About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Symptoms Checklist

 

Tips for tapering off Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)

 

The Prozac switch or "bridging" with Prozac

 

I am tapering Pristiq and attempted to drop from 100 mg to 50 mg.  It was after 3 weeks of foggy head and ending up not being able to type (I am a professional typist) that I researched and found SA.  I updosed to 75 mg and have been tapering using compounded capsules with slow released additive.  My details are in my signature.

 

These helped me to understand SA's tapering recommendation of reducing the previous dose by 10% with a holding period of 4-6 weeks which allows the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug:

 

Brain Remodelling (Rhi's Description of Brain Healing)


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

Once we have the details we will be better able to offer suggestions.  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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Hi Chess and thanks for the response.

 

I have updated my signature to include my current dosage and tapering details. The brain remodelling link makes a lot of sense to me and tbh, I am frightened that perhaps my brain has been permanently changed after being on AD for five years. 

 

I guess from all I've read on here that I should look at tapering down to the 10mg. I've also read that the withdrawals may take longer to make themselves known than just the 4 days I've been on the half dose of 25mg. I read that you struggled between the 100g and the 50mg - strangely, I used to make that move quite a lot and it never really seemed to bother me. 

 

I do know that I feel pretty good today so I'm hoping that the 25mg is tolerable. I really want to give this a go. I do have the Prozac 20mg my doctor prescribed me on hand just in case it all goes to hell in a hand basket. 

2012 - Started on 50mg Pristiq 2013 - Increased to 100mg Pristiq in 2012 under Drs orders 

2013 - 2016 Decreased to 50mg Prisiq and increased to 100mg Pristiq as I felt was required. No major withdrawal symptoms noticed.

August 24th 2016 Started tapering from 50mg Pristiq last week, started 3 day washout as doctor wanted me to change to Prozac

Horrible withdrawals from Day 2 - night sweats, nightmares, foggy head, headaches, brain zaps

August 26th 2016 Decided to start tapering of AD altogether instead of switching to Prozac.

Got 25mg of Pristiq compounded. Some withdrawals the first three days but has stabilised as of day 4.

Plan is to taper by 5mg per month if tolerated. If not, will revert to 10% per month formula.

September 24th 2016 - Next taper, down 5mg to 20mg for a month. Pattern seems to be ok on first day of taper, totally rubbish (exhausted, brain zaps, visual processing changes) the next day, a bit rubbish day 3 and then stabilise. Will watch for this pattern in the next taper. Some night sweats two weeks in. Next taper in two weeks. 

October 21st, 2016 - Horrendous fatigue for the last two weeks. Debilitating up to the point of sleeping every day and being physically unable to get out of bed. Pretty concerned about next taper beginning this weekend due to this fatigue. 

October 24th 2016 - Started next taper, down 5mg to 15mg for a month. First day good, second day better than previous month. 

November 27th 2016 - Decided to go cold turkey to 0mg in an effort to be well before the start of uni in Jan 2017. Have been struggling with fatigue, sensory changes (auras etc.) hair-trigger neuro-emotions and general feelings of unwellness. I would not recommend this course of action. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hey Bob -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)
 
Please read the link Chessie posted titled "Why taper by 10% of my dosage?"  If you were to take 10% reductions, your next doses would be 22.5 and 20.25 mg. If the brain remodeling explanation makes sense to you, please consider slower tapering than a jump to 10 mg or a cold turkey from 25 mg. :o  Either of those large dose reductions has a HUGE risk of causing unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

 

You've done well so far with big dose cuts so far, but as dose decreases the impact of cuts increases. Researchers have investigated the relationship between dose and serotonin transporter occupancy and found that it is NOT linear.

 

That study is linked in the first post of the topic linked below. The first SERT occupancy curves are on page 4 of the paper. The research looked at 4 SSRI drugs: fluoxetine, sertraline, citalopram and paroxetine. The researchers also studied the effect of Effexor (venlafaxine) the "parent" drug of Pristiq (desvenlafaxine).

Why taper paper: dose-occupancy curves

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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Thanks Scallywag. I think you're right - I will have to go slower than than. I might try a 5mg drop from here and see how that goes. If the side-effects are too horrendous, I'll try the 10% taper.

2012 - Started on 50mg Pristiq 2013 - Increased to 100mg Pristiq in 2012 under Drs orders 

2013 - 2016 Decreased to 50mg Prisiq and increased to 100mg Pristiq as I felt was required. No major withdrawal symptoms noticed.

August 24th 2016 Started tapering from 50mg Pristiq last week, started 3 day washout as doctor wanted me to change to Prozac

Horrible withdrawals from Day 2 - night sweats, nightmares, foggy head, headaches, brain zaps

August 26th 2016 Decided to start tapering of AD altogether instead of switching to Prozac.

Got 25mg of Pristiq compounded. Some withdrawals the first three days but has stabilised as of day 4.

Plan is to taper by 5mg per month if tolerated. If not, will revert to 10% per month formula.

September 24th 2016 - Next taper, down 5mg to 20mg for a month. Pattern seems to be ok on first day of taper, totally rubbish (exhausted, brain zaps, visual processing changes) the next day, a bit rubbish day 3 and then stabilise. Will watch for this pattern in the next taper. Some night sweats two weeks in. Next taper in two weeks. 

October 21st, 2016 - Horrendous fatigue for the last two weeks. Debilitating up to the point of sleeping every day and being physically unable to get out of bed. Pretty concerned about next taper beginning this weekend due to this fatigue. 

October 24th 2016 - Started next taper, down 5mg to 15mg for a month. First day good, second day better than previous month. 

November 27th 2016 - Decided to go cold turkey to 0mg in an effort to be well before the start of uni in Jan 2017. Have been struggling with fatigue, sensory changes (auras etc.) hair-trigger neuro-emotions and general feelings of unwellness. I would not recommend this course of action. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Bob,

 

Thanks for doing your signature.  It would be helpful if you would add DATE into your signature where I have indicated below.

 

What do you mean by "wash out"?  Did you go off Pristiq completely and then reinstate at 25 mg?  If you did, could you please clarify that in your signature.  Having all of this information is important so that we get the full picture.

 

Started on 50mg Pristiq in 2011

Increased to 100mg Pristiq in 2012 under Drs orders

DATE Decreased to 50mg Pristiq when I felt things were travelling well

DATE Started tapering from 50mg Pristiq last week, started 3 day washout as doctor wanted me to change to Prozac

Horrible withdrawals from Day 2 - night sweats, nightmares, foggy head, headaches, brain zaps

DATE Got 25mg of Pristiq compounded and started the next day. Some withdrawals the first three days but has stabilised today (day 4).

I have a month's worth of 25g - not sure if I should get 10mg or 5mg compounded or just go cold turkey from here...

 

 

What you may not realise is that withdrawal symptoms can appear down the track, sometimes 3 to 6 months later.

 

After such a rapid drop from 50 mg, it would be a good idea to hold for at least 4 weeks and then review the situation.  Keeping a daily diary on paper of symptom improvement, worsening or staying the same can be helpful for you to look back on to gauge your progress.  Getting off an AD using the harm reduction method (ie with minimal withdrawal symptoms so that we can live our lives as normally as possible) means throwing out the calendar and listening to our bodies.  And patience.  Patience is a must.

 

As for Prozac:  "I do have the Prozac 20mg my doctor prescribed me on hand just in case it all goes to hell in a hand basket."

 

If you do find that you get unbearable withdrawal symptoms that last more than a day or so I would suggest updosing (by a SMALL amount - DO NOT go back to 50 mg) the Pristiq because that is what you brain has been used to getting.  Symptoms come in Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization so it is not recommended that you updose at the first sign of withdrawal symptom.  It is better to Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable.

 

 

You might get some helpful tips from these:

 

What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?


How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?

 

Many members here find that the lower they get in their dose the slower they need to go.  Please check out the SERT info that Scally gave you.  I found that the more I understood about what is happening, the easier it is to relax and let my brain do what it needs to do.  Your reason for getting off Pristiq was because of the side effects.  You have said that there has been improvement in these so why not slow your taper and do it the better way, not the fastest way.  And I would say most definitely do not cold turkey.

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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Thanks again Chessie. I have amended my signature.

 

By washout, I mean that I had spoken to my GP about the side effects I experience on Pristiq. His plan was to change me to Prozac. You have to have a "washout" (three days of no Pristiq) before starting the new drug.

 

I chose to not follow that path and have decided instead to begin tapering off ADs altogether. My GP is mightily unhappy with me but I have to know if I can live my life without them.

 

I will take your advice and will slow the tapering down from here on in. I am going to attempt 5mg per month and see if that's tolerable. If it's not, I will look at the 10% taper you advise. 

2012 - Started on 50mg Pristiq 2013 - Increased to 100mg Pristiq in 2012 under Drs orders 

2013 - 2016 Decreased to 50mg Prisiq and increased to 100mg Pristiq as I felt was required. No major withdrawal symptoms noticed.

August 24th 2016 Started tapering from 50mg Pristiq last week, started 3 day washout as doctor wanted me to change to Prozac

Horrible withdrawals from Day 2 - night sweats, nightmares, foggy head, headaches, brain zaps

August 26th 2016 Decided to start tapering of AD altogether instead of switching to Prozac.

Got 25mg of Pristiq compounded. Some withdrawals the first three days but has stabilised as of day 4.

Plan is to taper by 5mg per month if tolerated. If not, will revert to 10% per month formula.

September 24th 2016 - Next taper, down 5mg to 20mg for a month. Pattern seems to be ok on first day of taper, totally rubbish (exhausted, brain zaps, visual processing changes) the next day, a bit rubbish day 3 and then stabilise. Will watch for this pattern in the next taper. Some night sweats two weeks in. Next taper in two weeks. 

October 21st, 2016 - Horrendous fatigue for the last two weeks. Debilitating up to the point of sleeping every day and being physically unable to get out of bed. Pretty concerned about next taper beginning this weekend due to this fatigue. 

October 24th 2016 - Started next taper, down 5mg to 15mg for a month. First day good, second day better than previous month. 

November 27th 2016 - Decided to go cold turkey to 0mg in an effort to be well before the start of uni in Jan 2017. Have been struggling with fatigue, sensory changes (auras etc.) hair-trigger neuro-emotions and general feelings of unwellness. I would not recommend this course of action. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

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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I have been receiving quality psychotherapy for the whole of this year and I feel that has helped enormously with my ability to cope with life. I have also found out that I have low morning cortisol levels and am being tested for Addison's Disease later this week. I also left a highly toxic marriage last year. I have also recently taking leave from a stressful job that I was growing to hate. 

 

Between all of these changes, I do believe that my capacity to live me life free of AD is greatly increased. Hence, my wanting to withdraw and see what the new "baseline" is.

2012 - Started on 50mg Pristiq 2013 - Increased to 100mg Pristiq in 2012 under Drs orders 

2013 - 2016 Decreased to 50mg Prisiq and increased to 100mg Pristiq as I felt was required. No major withdrawal symptoms noticed.

August 24th 2016 Started tapering from 50mg Pristiq last week, started 3 day washout as doctor wanted me to change to Prozac

Horrible withdrawals from Day 2 - night sweats, nightmares, foggy head, headaches, brain zaps

August 26th 2016 Decided to start tapering of AD altogether instead of switching to Prozac.

Got 25mg of Pristiq compounded. Some withdrawals the first three days but has stabilised as of day 4.

Plan is to taper by 5mg per month if tolerated. If not, will revert to 10% per month formula.

September 24th 2016 - Next taper, down 5mg to 20mg for a month. Pattern seems to be ok on first day of taper, totally rubbish (exhausted, brain zaps, visual processing changes) the next day, a bit rubbish day 3 and then stabilise. Will watch for this pattern in the next taper. Some night sweats two weeks in. Next taper in two weeks. 

October 21st, 2016 - Horrendous fatigue for the last two weeks. Debilitating up to the point of sleeping every day and being physically unable to get out of bed. Pretty concerned about next taper beginning this weekend due to this fatigue. 

October 24th 2016 - Started next taper, down 5mg to 15mg for a month. First day good, second day better than previous month. 

November 27th 2016 - Decided to go cold turkey to 0mg in an effort to be well before the start of uni in Jan 2017. Have been struggling with fatigue, sensory changes (auras etc.) hair-trigger neuro-emotions and general feelings of unwellness. I would not recommend this course of action. 

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Looks like I spoke too soon. I was feeling wonderful yesterday - great energy, great mood. Today I have the brain zaps and zero energy. :-(

2012 - Started on 50mg Pristiq 2013 - Increased to 100mg Pristiq in 2012 under Drs orders 

2013 - 2016 Decreased to 50mg Prisiq and increased to 100mg Pristiq as I felt was required. No major withdrawal symptoms noticed.

August 24th 2016 Started tapering from 50mg Pristiq last week, started 3 day washout as doctor wanted me to change to Prozac

Horrible withdrawals from Day 2 - night sweats, nightmares, foggy head, headaches, brain zaps

August 26th 2016 Decided to start tapering of AD altogether instead of switching to Prozac.

Got 25mg of Pristiq compounded. Some withdrawals the first three days but has stabilised as of day 4.

Plan is to taper by 5mg per month if tolerated. If not, will revert to 10% per month formula.

September 24th 2016 - Next taper, down 5mg to 20mg for a month. Pattern seems to be ok on first day of taper, totally rubbish (exhausted, brain zaps, visual processing changes) the next day, a bit rubbish day 3 and then stabilise. Will watch for this pattern in the next taper. Some night sweats two weeks in. Next taper in two weeks. 

October 21st, 2016 - Horrendous fatigue for the last two weeks. Debilitating up to the point of sleeping every day and being physically unable to get out of bed. Pretty concerned about next taper beginning this weekend due to this fatigue. 

October 24th 2016 - Started next taper, down 5mg to 15mg for a month. First day good, second day better than previous month. 

November 27th 2016 - Decided to go cold turkey to 0mg in an effort to be well before the start of uni in Jan 2017. Have been struggling with fatigue, sensory changes (auras etc.) hair-trigger neuro-emotions and general feelings of unwellness. I would not recommend this course of action. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Sorry to hear that, but at least you are in the right place, know what is happening and getting the best information available.

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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  • 2 weeks later...

Interesting update:

 

Still on the 25mg of Pristiq. Another week to go before moving onto the 20mg. All discontinuation symptoms have stabilised now.

 

Finally got some results back regarding my adrenals. I don't have Addison's Disease at the moment but could possibly have the start of it. My morning cortisol levels are very low and the ACTH Stim test did raise the level but not enough. I have to see an endocrinologist in a couple of weeks. My GP finally admitted that this could be "contributing" to my depression.

 

Guess what the two main symptoms of Addison's Disease are? Lethargy and Depression. I mean, it may not be just that alone but it frightens me that my GP was all about the AD for life and didn't choose to look any further. My naturopath was the one who initially sent me for cortisol testing.

 

Anyhow, we'll see what happens from here!

2012 - Started on 50mg Pristiq 2013 - Increased to 100mg Pristiq in 2012 under Drs orders 

2013 - 2016 Decreased to 50mg Prisiq and increased to 100mg Pristiq as I felt was required. No major withdrawal symptoms noticed.

August 24th 2016 Started tapering from 50mg Pristiq last week, started 3 day washout as doctor wanted me to change to Prozac

Horrible withdrawals from Day 2 - night sweats, nightmares, foggy head, headaches, brain zaps

August 26th 2016 Decided to start tapering of AD altogether instead of switching to Prozac.

Got 25mg of Pristiq compounded. Some withdrawals the first three days but has stabilised as of day 4.

Plan is to taper by 5mg per month if tolerated. If not, will revert to 10% per month formula.

September 24th 2016 - Next taper, down 5mg to 20mg for a month. Pattern seems to be ok on first day of taper, totally rubbish (exhausted, brain zaps, visual processing changes) the next day, a bit rubbish day 3 and then stabilise. Will watch for this pattern in the next taper. Some night sweats two weeks in. Next taper in two weeks. 

October 21st, 2016 - Horrendous fatigue for the last two weeks. Debilitating up to the point of sleeping every day and being physically unable to get out of bed. Pretty concerned about next taper beginning this weekend due to this fatigue. 

October 24th 2016 - Started next taper, down 5mg to 15mg for a month. First day good, second day better than previous month. 

November 27th 2016 - Decided to go cold turkey to 0mg in an effort to be well before the start of uni in Jan 2017. Have been struggling with fatigue, sensory changes (auras etc.) hair-trigger neuro-emotions and general feelings of unwellness. I would not recommend this course of action. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Bob - Great to hear that your symptoms are stabilizing and possibly weakening! 

 

The CNS (central nervous system) and the endocrine (adrenal, thyroid, pituitary, testes/ovaries, etc.) system are highly interconnected. Some people find that thyroid or adrenal issues improve once they are off a neuroactive drug such as Pristiq or other SSRIs/SNRIs. And some people find that addressing the endocrine issues improves the psychoneurological ones.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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  • 2 weeks later...

About to start my next taper. Things have been going really well. Hallelujah - my libdo has returned! Bruxism is reduced. See what the next leap down brings. Off to the Endo next Tuesday. 

2012 - Started on 50mg Pristiq 2013 - Increased to 100mg Pristiq in 2012 under Drs orders 

2013 - 2016 Decreased to 50mg Prisiq and increased to 100mg Pristiq as I felt was required. No major withdrawal symptoms noticed.

August 24th 2016 Started tapering from 50mg Pristiq last week, started 3 day washout as doctor wanted me to change to Prozac

Horrible withdrawals from Day 2 - night sweats, nightmares, foggy head, headaches, brain zaps

August 26th 2016 Decided to start tapering of AD altogether instead of switching to Prozac.

Got 25mg of Pristiq compounded. Some withdrawals the first three days but has stabilised as of day 4.

Plan is to taper by 5mg per month if tolerated. If not, will revert to 10% per month formula.

September 24th 2016 - Next taper, down 5mg to 20mg for a month. Pattern seems to be ok on first day of taper, totally rubbish (exhausted, brain zaps, visual processing changes) the next day, a bit rubbish day 3 and then stabilise. Will watch for this pattern in the next taper. Some night sweats two weeks in. Next taper in two weeks. 

October 21st, 2016 - Horrendous fatigue for the last two weeks. Debilitating up to the point of sleeping every day and being physically unable to get out of bed. Pretty concerned about next taper beginning this weekend due to this fatigue. 

October 24th 2016 - Started next taper, down 5mg to 15mg for a month. First day good, second day better than previous month. 

November 27th 2016 - Decided to go cold turkey to 0mg in an effort to be well before the start of uni in Jan 2017. Have been struggling with fatigue, sensory changes (auras etc.) hair-trigger neuro-emotions and general feelings of unwellness. I would not recommend this course of action. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

It's good to read that your symptoms are lifting. Are you keeping notes about your symptoms? If not, it might be a good time to start because the 5 mg decrease is getting to be a larger percentage of your current/previous dose.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Link to comment
  • 3 weeks later...

Hi all,

 

I'm 3/4 of the way through my 20mg taper. Have been exceptionally tired but I still don't have a definitive answer from the endocrinologist about what's going on with my cortisol levels. I do know I don't have Addison's but am still being investigated from secondary adrenal insufficiency. I have found a couple of studies that suggest that SAI is often mis-diagnosed as Major Depressive Disorder. Interesting.

 

I am also having night-sweats which I'm putting down to the withdrawal as well. At least, I hope that's what it is. I can't deal with peri-menopause on top of everything else!

 

Next taper (15mg) starts in two weeks. Will keep you posted. 

2012 - Started on 50mg Pristiq 2013 - Increased to 100mg Pristiq in 2012 under Drs orders 

2013 - 2016 Decreased to 50mg Prisiq and increased to 100mg Pristiq as I felt was required. No major withdrawal symptoms noticed.

August 24th 2016 Started tapering from 50mg Pristiq last week, started 3 day washout as doctor wanted me to change to Prozac

Horrible withdrawals from Day 2 - night sweats, nightmares, foggy head, headaches, brain zaps

August 26th 2016 Decided to start tapering of AD altogether instead of switching to Prozac.

Got 25mg of Pristiq compounded. Some withdrawals the first three days but has stabilised as of day 4.

Plan is to taper by 5mg per month if tolerated. If not, will revert to 10% per month formula.

September 24th 2016 - Next taper, down 5mg to 20mg for a month. Pattern seems to be ok on first day of taper, totally rubbish (exhausted, brain zaps, visual processing changes) the next day, a bit rubbish day 3 and then stabilise. Will watch for this pattern in the next taper. Some night sweats two weeks in. Next taper in two weeks. 

October 21st, 2016 - Horrendous fatigue for the last two weeks. Debilitating up to the point of sleeping every day and being physically unable to get out of bed. Pretty concerned about next taper beginning this weekend due to this fatigue. 

October 24th 2016 - Started next taper, down 5mg to 15mg for a month. First day good, second day better than previous month. 

November 27th 2016 - Decided to go cold turkey to 0mg in an effort to be well before the start of uni in Jan 2017. Have been struggling with fatigue, sensory changes (auras etc.) hair-trigger neuro-emotions and general feelings of unwellness. I would not recommend this course of action. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Those symptoms can be from withdrawal.  See

What is withdrawal syndrome

Glenmullen’s withdrawal symptom list

 

Something I hope you'll consider: Proceeding with another dose reduction, especially a 25% reduction, risks making your symptoms worse.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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I'm so glad this resource is here - if I hadn't read the Withdrawal VS Relapse information, I would be panicking so much more. I have been feeling pretty low the last few weeks but not "emotionally low". Just no interest in anything etc. I did start to think "maybe I can't get off these damn pills after all!". Thankfully, I was able to reassure myself that this is part of the process and is quite common. 

2012 - Started on 50mg Pristiq 2013 - Increased to 100mg Pristiq in 2012 under Drs orders 

2013 - 2016 Decreased to 50mg Prisiq and increased to 100mg Pristiq as I felt was required. No major withdrawal symptoms noticed.

August 24th 2016 Started tapering from 50mg Pristiq last week, started 3 day washout as doctor wanted me to change to Prozac

Horrible withdrawals from Day 2 - night sweats, nightmares, foggy head, headaches, brain zaps

August 26th 2016 Decided to start tapering of AD altogether instead of switching to Prozac.

Got 25mg of Pristiq compounded. Some withdrawals the first three days but has stabilised as of day 4.

Plan is to taper by 5mg per month if tolerated. If not, will revert to 10% per month formula.

September 24th 2016 - Next taper, down 5mg to 20mg for a month. Pattern seems to be ok on first day of taper, totally rubbish (exhausted, brain zaps, visual processing changes) the next day, a bit rubbish day 3 and then stabilise. Will watch for this pattern in the next taper. Some night sweats two weeks in. Next taper in two weeks. 

October 21st, 2016 - Horrendous fatigue for the last two weeks. Debilitating up to the point of sleeping every day and being physically unable to get out of bed. Pretty concerned about next taper beginning this weekend due to this fatigue. 

October 24th 2016 - Started next taper, down 5mg to 15mg for a month. First day good, second day better than previous month. 

November 27th 2016 - Decided to go cold turkey to 0mg in an effort to be well before the start of uni in Jan 2017. Have been struggling with fatigue, sensory changes (auras etc.) hair-trigger neuro-emotions and general feelings of unwellness. I would not recommend this course of action. 

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HI all

 

I am currently tapering off Pristiq. I am using The Compounding Lab (Albion, Brisbane) to get the dosage I need. I am just about to drop to 15mg at the end of this week.

 

So far, so good. As per my intro post, I'm finding the pattern is: Taper Day 1 - ok, Taper Day 2 - feel like absolute rubbish, Taper Day 3 - feel half and half, Taper Day 4 - feel mostly good and then improve every day from there. I'm dropping 5mg every month - and yes, I know that it is more than recommended on here so YMMV. Currently, this approach is working for me.

 

My question - has anyone else experienced overwhelming fatigue during their taper period? I'm also being checked out for some funky hormone levels which may also be contributing but honestly, the only time I ever remember feeling this constantly tired was the first trimester of my pregnancy. I have a full 8 hours of sleep a night plus 2-3 hours sleep each day and I have no energy or motivation to do anything! I'd be interested to see if anyone else has experienced this.

 

Good luck to us all.

2012 - Started on 50mg Pristiq 2013 - Increased to 100mg Pristiq in 2012 under Drs orders 

2013 - 2016 Decreased to 50mg Prisiq and increased to 100mg Pristiq as I felt was required. No major withdrawal symptoms noticed.

August 24th 2016 Started tapering from 50mg Pristiq last week, started 3 day washout as doctor wanted me to change to Prozac

Horrible withdrawals from Day 2 - night sweats, nightmares, foggy head, headaches, brain zaps

August 26th 2016 Decided to start tapering of AD altogether instead of switching to Prozac.

Got 25mg of Pristiq compounded. Some withdrawals the first three days but has stabilised as of day 4.

Plan is to taper by 5mg per month if tolerated. If not, will revert to 10% per month formula.

September 24th 2016 - Next taper, down 5mg to 20mg for a month. Pattern seems to be ok on first day of taper, totally rubbish (exhausted, brain zaps, visual processing changes) the next day, a bit rubbish day 3 and then stabilise. Will watch for this pattern in the next taper. Some night sweats two weeks in. Next taper in two weeks. 

October 21st, 2016 - Horrendous fatigue for the last two weeks. Debilitating up to the point of sleeping every day and being physically unable to get out of bed. Pretty concerned about next taper beginning this weekend due to this fatigue. 

October 24th 2016 - Started next taper, down 5mg to 15mg for a month. First day good, second day better than previous month. 

November 27th 2016 - Decided to go cold turkey to 0mg in an effort to be well before the start of uni in Jan 2017. Have been struggling with fatigue, sensory changes (auras etc.) hair-trigger neuro-emotions and general feelings of unwellness. I would not recommend this course of action. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I've moved your post to the Introductions Forum so that more people will see your question.

 

Fatigue is a very common withdrawal symptom.  Check for posts about it by doing a google search with these search terms:

site:survivingantidepressants.org fatigue

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Link to comment
  • 1 month later...

So to update:

 

1. I finally have a diagnosis of secondary hypoadrenalism. This could have major implications on my original diagnosis of MDD. I am being treated with replacement hormones (cortisol) and was starting to have more energy. 

 

2. I also decided (probably stupidly) to go cold turkey from 15mg to 0mg as each taper has been making me feel unwell. I have a block of uni to attend in January and this strategy was to hopefully be over the worst of it before the start of that. It hasn't been pleasant at all. Terrible fatigue, sensory changes (auras etc.), hair-trigger neuro-emotions, general lack of interest in everything, horrible sadness and feelings of worthlessness and general feeling unwell. I know this was not the recommended approach but I couldn't face another 6 months of feeling so horrible every month so I guess I decided to rip the band-aid off. I would not recommend but the taper to 15mg is making the withdrawal more manageable than when I cold turkeyed from 100mg Cymbalta to nothing. 

 

If anyone has any recommendations or links to ways to help manage my current symptoms, I'd be very grateful to read them.

2012 - Started on 50mg Pristiq 2013 - Increased to 100mg Pristiq in 2012 under Drs orders 

2013 - 2016 Decreased to 50mg Prisiq and increased to 100mg Pristiq as I felt was required. No major withdrawal symptoms noticed.

August 24th 2016 Started tapering from 50mg Pristiq last week, started 3 day washout as doctor wanted me to change to Prozac

Horrible withdrawals from Day 2 - night sweats, nightmares, foggy head, headaches, brain zaps

August 26th 2016 Decided to start tapering of AD altogether instead of switching to Prozac.

Got 25mg of Pristiq compounded. Some withdrawals the first three days but has stabilised as of day 4.

Plan is to taper by 5mg per month if tolerated. If not, will revert to 10% per month formula.

September 24th 2016 - Next taper, down 5mg to 20mg for a month. Pattern seems to be ok on first day of taper, totally rubbish (exhausted, brain zaps, visual processing changes) the next day, a bit rubbish day 3 and then stabilise. Will watch for this pattern in the next taper. Some night sweats two weeks in. Next taper in two weeks. 

October 21st, 2016 - Horrendous fatigue for the last two weeks. Debilitating up to the point of sleeping every day and being physically unable to get out of bed. Pretty concerned about next taper beginning this weekend due to this fatigue. 

October 24th 2016 - Started next taper, down 5mg to 15mg for a month. First day good, second day better than previous month. 

November 27th 2016 - Decided to go cold turkey to 0mg in an effort to be well before the start of uni in Jan 2017. Have been struggling with fatigue, sensory changes (auras etc.) hair-trigger neuro-emotions and general feelings of unwellness. I would not recommend this course of action. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

You can search the site for your symptoms by using

  • the advanced search function, the little wheel or cog next to the search box at the top of each page. 
  • a web search tool (google, bing, duck-duck-go) including site:survivingantidepressants.org as a search term

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Link to comment

Just over two weeks into complete halt of Pristiq. Physical symptoms have gradually waning - a lot less brain zapping, sensory changes have settled. Still fatigued - slept for 14 hours one night. Still require day sleeps most days.

 

Emotional/psychological symptoms have been very bad this last week. Uncontrollable rage, terrible paranoia. These have eased a little in the last day or two. I know recovery is not linear, however, so I imagine this will come and go. 

2012 - Started on 50mg Pristiq 2013 - Increased to 100mg Pristiq in 2012 under Drs orders 

2013 - 2016 Decreased to 50mg Prisiq and increased to 100mg Pristiq as I felt was required. No major withdrawal symptoms noticed.

August 24th 2016 Started tapering from 50mg Pristiq last week, started 3 day washout as doctor wanted me to change to Prozac

Horrible withdrawals from Day 2 - night sweats, nightmares, foggy head, headaches, brain zaps

August 26th 2016 Decided to start tapering of AD altogether instead of switching to Prozac.

Got 25mg of Pristiq compounded. Some withdrawals the first three days but has stabilised as of day 4.

Plan is to taper by 5mg per month if tolerated. If not, will revert to 10% per month formula.

September 24th 2016 - Next taper, down 5mg to 20mg for a month. Pattern seems to be ok on first day of taper, totally rubbish (exhausted, brain zaps, visual processing changes) the next day, a bit rubbish day 3 and then stabilise. Will watch for this pattern in the next taper. Some night sweats two weeks in. Next taper in two weeks. 

October 21st, 2016 - Horrendous fatigue for the last two weeks. Debilitating up to the point of sleeping every day and being physically unable to get out of bed. Pretty concerned about next taper beginning this weekend due to this fatigue. 

October 24th 2016 - Started next taper, down 5mg to 15mg for a month. First day good, second day better than previous month. 

November 27th 2016 - Decided to go cold turkey to 0mg in an effort to be well before the start of uni in Jan 2017. Have been struggling with fatigue, sensory changes (auras etc.) hair-trigger neuro-emotions and general feelings of unwellness. I would not recommend this course of action. 

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