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chrisihops -- Pristiq


chrisihops

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My name is Chrisi and I am so grateful that I have found this site! I have been on SSRI/SNRI's on and off for the past 13 years. I was always very nonchalant about taking them and then stopping them, wanting to be without drugs in my system and then feeling major anxiety and going back on another drug with another doctor in another state. (We moved often my husband was in TV news then thus all the anxiety) To be honest I cant even remember them all.. I know there was Paxil, Wellbutrin, Zoloft.. I never took them for more than a year and I never had any problems that I can recall coming off of them.

pristiq was a whole new ball game.. In October 2008 I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer at age 40. I was currently taking Wellbutrin for my anxiety, and when I was diagnosed I quit cold turkey with no problem. I didnt want any drugs in my system.

After going through several surgeries and a round of preventative chemotherapy, I was feeling major anxiety and couldnt shake it, so after resisting for months, my GYN & husband insisted I try this new drug called Pristiq. She explained that it was basically an old drug that had lost its patent and had been tweaked slightly so that it could be rebranded and put back on market under another name as a non generic..Of course she had lots of samples.. I had no idea what I was taking..It worked!! I was alive again.. I felt no side effects from this drug(i thought)and attributed my on going stomach issues to chemotherapy aftermath.

On this drug I felt great mentally but gained 50 lbs, so I felt after 2 plus years that I felt good enough to go off of this. I started tapering from 100 down to 50 and felt a huge difference. Nausea, Muscle and joint pain brain zaps..just to name a few.. I could push through I said to myself & I did.. then I kinda returned to normal. then I went down to 25 and stayed there for 1 month before getting off totally! This is what my GYN told me to do. I called her within a few weeks to say HELP and she offered Prozac and told me to take it for 2 wks, which I did.. This was may 9 2011. Days later..I had terrible Flu-like symptons, Nausea, Joint pain, memory loss, sleep issues (melatonin helped that), twitching, just to name a few for almost 3 months then it subsided. I attributed it to my increase in Omega 3's.(I read several blogs saying that was helpful) I felt great for about 6 wks. Then 2 weeks ago it hit again. Muscle Aches, joint pain in hips mostly and NAUSEA, NAUSEA, NAUSEA

 

I am curently walking around with Sea Bands and just yesterday started taking a supplement called SeaCure that my therapist suggested some time ago.

This is terrible!! I am tired of explaining to friends and family why I am feeling these things. They keep saying "What? How can that be? 5 months later and still feeling it, It has to be something else" Even my Dr raised an eyebrow last time I saw her, although all of my bloodwork was normal ..I keep saying that it didnt start until I starting withdrawing but no one seems to believe me! I am starting to feel like a nut case! And of course I forgot to mention I am hyper-emotional. Anything could bring me down.. I am married with 3 young daughters and I find myself hiding from them so they dont either see me crying or I dont snap at them or seem distant from them.

I am soo tempted to go back on these meds. My PCP and my Therapist are strongly encouraging me to go on Lexaro because they "never heard of anyone having symptoms on that drug"

I feel like no one has a clue!!

I have been reading some of these posts and I am getting more and more frightened.. How could this be? Why is this happening to us?

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  • Administrator

So sorry you're going through this, chrisi. Thank you for joining us.

 

Unfortunately, medicine knows little about withdrawing people from these drugs or treating with withdrawal syndrome afterward. It's a scary and angry-making situation for all of us.

 

The doctor who prescribed you these drugs is poorly informed, as are your PCP and therapist. Doctors don't want to admit it, but there are reports of prolonged withdrawal syndrome all over the Web. You might show them this site.

 

As I understand it, you went down from 100mg Pristiq to 50mg, then switched to Prozac in May? You're on Prozac now?

 

(Pristiq is a form of Effexor, which is notoriously difficult for withdrawal.)

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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Im sorry I wasnt clear on that.. I went down to 25mg of pristiq and was on that for a very short amount of time, then got off and was on Prozac for a total of 2 wks, then nothing! and have had nothing since May 9, 2011. I am realizing now how I didnt wean correctly. My Dr, didnt have the slightest clue on how to properly wean, and since I hadnt had a problem in the past with the other drugs I went along with it.

Thanks for your response, I am so thankful for this site.

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  • Administrator

When you were on 25mg Pristiq, did you feel normal?

 

Your symptoms now sound like Effexor-Pristiq withdrawal.

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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I wasnt on 25 for too terribly long.. It had to be a few weeks before I stopped and then had the two weeks of prozac..

Do you have any idea of how long these "waves" last? do they become less intense and are there longer periods between waves?

 

any other nausea suggestions? I have fresh ginger drinks in am taking SeaCure and wearing these wristbands..

 

why is nausea a wd symptom?

thank you

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My name is Chrisi and I am so grateful that I have found this site! I have been on SSRI/SNRI's on and off for the past 13 years. I was always very nonchalant about taking them and then stopping them, wanting to be without drugs in my system and then feeling major anxiety and going back on another drug with another doctor in another state. (We moved often my husband was in TV news then thus all the anxiety) To be honest I cant even remember them all.. I know there was Paxil, Wellbutrin, Zoloft.. I never took them for more than a year and I never had any problems that I can recall coming off of them.

pristiq was a whole new ball game.. In October 2008 I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer at age 40. I was currently taking Wellbutrin for my anxiety, and when I was diagnosed I quit cold turkey with no problem. I didnt want any drugs in my system.

After going through several surgeries and a round of preventative chemotherapy, I was feeling major anxiety and couldnt shake it, so after resisting for months, my GYN & husband insisted I try this new drug called Pristiq. She explained that it was basically an old drug that had lost its patent and had been tweaked slightly so that it could be rebranded and put back on market under another name as a non generic..Of course she had lots of samples.. I had no idea what I was taking..It worked!! I was alive again.. I felt no side effects from this drug(i thought)and attributed my on going stomach issues to chemotherapy aftermath.

On this drug I felt great mentally but gained 50 lbs, so I felt after 2 plus years that I felt good enough to go off of this. I started tapering from 100 down to 50 and felt a huge difference. Nausea, Muscle and joint pain brain zaps..just to name a few.. I could push through I said to myself & I did.. then I kinda returned to normal. then I went down to 25 and stayed there for 1 month before getting off totally! This is what my GYN told me to do. I called her within a few weeks to say HELP and she offered Prozac and told me to take it for 2 wks, which I did.. This was may 9 2011. Days later..I had terrible Flu-like symptons, Nausea, Joint pain, memory loss, sleep issues (melatonin helped that), twitching, just to name a few for almost 3 months then it subsided. I attributed it to my increase in Omega 3's.(I read several blogs saying that was helpful) I felt great for about 6 wks. Then 2 weeks ago it hit again. Muscle Aches, joint pain in hips mostly and NAUSEA, NAUSEA, NAUSEA

 

I am curently walking around with Sea Bands and just yesterday started taking a supplement called SeaCure that my therapist suggested some time ago.

This is terrible!! I am tired of explaining to friends and family why I am feeling these things. They keep saying "What? How can that be? 5 months later and still feeling it, It has to be something else" Even my Dr raised an eyebrow last time I saw her, although all of my bloodwork was normal ..I keep saying that it didnt start until I starting withdrawing but no one seems to believe me! I am starting to feel like a nut case! And of course I forgot to mention I am hyper-emotional. Anything could bring me down.. I am married with 3 young daughters and I find myself hiding from them so they dont either see me crying or I dont snap at them or seem distant from them.

I am soo tempted to go back on these meds. My PCP and my Therapist are strongly encouraging me to go on Lexaro because they "never heard of anyone having symptoms on that drug"

I feel like no one has a clue!!

I have been reading some of these posts and I am getting more and more frightened.. How could this be? Why is this happening to us?

 

 

So the what are your plans? To try another drug? The game will continue, its how it works. I would recommend trying something that is new. I recently started it (see post) and it has helped a lot. Its called transcranial electrical stimulation. If you have insurance, it may cover it. I know some insurance companies do not. I paid out of pocket for mine.

 

I too am currently experiencing joint pain which started when I took effexor (same thing pretty much as pristiq). So there may be a chemical in this formula that has caused us to experience joint issues. This would not be the first antidepressant induced illness. I take tumeric, and it seems to work so far. Its just a big mess with modern medicine. Does anyone really heal? Also, there is evidence that shows antidepressants increase the risk of breast cancer, among other things. Hope you can get off everything and become whole again. I am currently in the process of doing this. I will succeed. I cannot do the whole drug thing any longer.

Various SSRIs/SNRIs 7- 1/2 years

Went Cold Turkey from Celexa 2011, Stayed Off

Psych Drug Free and Loving Life (over 6 years and counting)

 

How I Stay Well: Diet, exercise, meditation, supplements, etc

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Hi Chrisihops. Welcome to the forum! I'm new here too.

 

I have trouble with nausea as well. When Ginger doesn't work I go ahead and take a Zofran or Phenergan I got from my doc. I don't like having to take actual drugs but I can't handle the nausea. It's so debilitating. It doesn't seem to do anything to my nervous system as far as making my symptoms worse. I don't know why w/d causes nausea. I know that nervous system problems can affect the stomach though.

 

I hope you get relief soon.

Taper from Cymbalta, Paxil, Prozac & Antipsychotics finished June 2012.

Xanax 5% Taper - (8/12 - .5 mg) - (9/12 - .45) - (10/12 - .43) - (11/12 - .41) - (12/12 - .38)

My Paxil Website

My Intro

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zepplin 2011 thanks for your reply, I definitely will not take these drugs again.. I also believe that there is a connection between breast cancer and other cancers and these drugs! I will look into this alternate therapy that you mentioned. Thank YOu

 

Shanti thank you for your kind words. I may ask for a scrip for one of those anti nausea meds.. Have you had nausea since the start of wd or has yours come and gone like mine?

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I don't recommend Zofran and especially Phenergan. Just wanted you to know they're available treatments. They're probably not good for the nervous system though. If you're interested in trying Homeopathy, Antimonium Tartaricum 30C is used for nausea.

Taper from Cymbalta, Paxil, Prozac & Antipsychotics finished June 2012.

Xanax 5% Taper - (8/12 - .5 mg) - (9/12 - .45) - (10/12 - .43) - (11/12 - .41) - (12/12 - .38)

My Paxil Website

My Intro

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zepplin 2011 thanks for your reply, I definitely will not take these drugs again.. I also believe that there is a connection between breast cancer and other cancers and these drugs! I will look into this alternate therapy that you mentioned. Thank YOu

 

Shanti thank you for your kind words. I may ask for a scrip for one of those anti nausea meds.. Have you had nausea since the start of wd or has yours come and gone like mine?

 

No, I've had chronic nausea for 2 years, ever since I had a partial colonectomy. Not sure if I spelled it right. I had 6 inches of my colon removed because of a cyst and Diverticulitis. I currently have diverticular disease. But I will say that the withdrawals has made it worse.

Taper from Cymbalta, Paxil, Prozac & Antipsychotics finished June 2012.

Xanax 5% Taper - (8/12 - .5 mg) - (9/12 - .45) - (10/12 - .43) - (11/12 - .41) - (12/12 - .38)

My Paxil Website

My Intro

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  • Administrator

chrisi, when you took Prozac, did it help you?

 

When did your symptoms start after you quit Prozac?

 

Do you have any Prozac left?

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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yes with prozac i felt fine after quit prozac i started full on wd symptoms.. i believe i may have some left..are you suggesting taking it? if yes would it be good to do after 5 months of no drugs?

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Chrisi -

 

Welcome. Boy, it does sound like you are going through a lot. I am weaning off of Effexor which is, as I understand, just a different alteration of the same chemical as Pristiq. I read a lot about protracted withdrawl and I am having a hard time even reducing by 2 beads at a time. It is so outrageous that we were given this stuff by Doctors.

 

I have a husband that understands pretty well what I am going through but only because I read everything I find about this to him. He is very patient and even gets that if I am involved with something fun - a "good" stressor - this can take me to my knees emotionally. My daughter and a friend and my grandaughter came to visit last weekend. All good, but monday I had a meltdown and spent a few hours in tears.

 

So, it is possible to get the people we care about to understand and it makes sense to me that you are raw emotionally at times.

 

I hope for the best for you and for all of us. I hope you will continue to post here. We are in the midst of something that many people don't even know exists yet and need all the support we can get.

 

Crocus

xxxx

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yes with prozac i felt fine after quit prozac i started full on wd symptoms.. i believe i may have some left..are you suggesting taking it? if yes would it be good to do after 5 months of no drugs?

 

It may or may not work. You might try 5mg Prozac to see if it helps any. If it does, you can stabilize on that for a while and gradually taper off Prozac.

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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  • 2 weeks later...

thanks im so scared to start drugs again... I am equally scared about the way I feel ...this nausea is making me nuts and my body aches are driving me crazy...no one believes that this could possible be from a drug I quit nearly 6 months ago...how long do you think i would need to stay on the prozac?? I mean how would I know that all the symptoms have gone. I still am confused as to why I am indeed nauseas?

 

im on my wits end.. i feel like a failure even considering going back on Prozac

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  • Administrator

Nausea is a classic withdrawal symptom. Withdrawal affects your autonomic nervous system, which runs all the "automatic" functions in your body, including stomach.

 

If going on a low dose (such as 5mg) of Prozac works, you probably should stay on for a few months and then very slowly taper using Prozac liquid.

 

You might contact Joe Tarantolo, MD Washington, DC for help, see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/988-recommended-doctors-therapists-or-clinics/. If he's not close enough to you, ask him if he can recommend any doctors near you. (And let us know who he recommends.)

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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thank you Alto.. i left a message for Dr joe Tarantolo this morning and I am waiting for the prozac script to be called in... Ill let you know what I find out from the Dr. thank you for your help

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chris;

 

So great that you are out there getting things done to help with your situation. This is not easy to to when you are in the middle of all of these random symptoms.

 

I missed your comment about hip pain the first time I read your intro. That has been a huge problem for me, in fact waking me with the severity of the pain.

 

I look forward to hearing how the small intro of Prozac works for you. Crocus

xxxx

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  • Administrator

Dr. Taratolo is at the ISEPP conference right now. This is the last day.

 

If he hasn't gotten back to you, I might leave another message tomorrow, in case he's gotten so many yours has gotten lost.

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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Alto, Thank you, I will leave another message tomorrow for Dr Tarantolo.

 

well my PCP gave me a 30 day supply of Prozac and told me I need to come see him this week because he has never heard of the Prozac liquid being used.. His nurse gave me a half laugh when I mentioned liquid to her & said she looked it up on her computer and said that it only comes in 20mg so she didnt see the purpose of it. Not thinking that I could take more controlled smaller tapering doses in the liquid. I was feeling vulnerable and just couldnt answer her. I felt bullied.

I got the prozac and am just so nervous to take it now. I am trying to build up the nerve.

 

Crocus the hip pain has gotten a bit better thru chiropractic care Thank you for your kind words.

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  • Administrator

chris, go to your local pharmacy, get a 1mg oral syringe (the tiny one), and show the nurse how you can take less in a liquid.

 

Insist on the liquid. If you absolutely cannot get it, you can mix your own from the Prozac capsule.

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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  • Administrator

Crossing fingers for you, Chris.

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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ALTO should the prozac work immediately? Ive had 2 already and havent felt any difference. I was thinking that it would be immediate?

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  • Administrator

If I were you, I'd give it 4 days. It's good you didn't have a bad reaction right off.

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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  • Administrator

Sigh. Sorry it doesn't seem to be helping.

 

Time to directly address the tummy problems. You might start with some probiotics, such as Enzymedica Digest Gold. Some people are having success with restricted diets such as SCD/GAPS/Paleo Diets

 

A sensitized stomach might need a very, very non-irritating diet to get back to normal. If you've had nausea or diarrhea, you may need to restock the natural bacteria -- that's what you get in the probiotics.

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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thx i have tried all of that as well maybe shud do additional probiotics... question.. if the nausea is caused by issues with nervous system how could any of these remedies really work then? If the nervous symstem is "flawed" and causing this then only repairing/healing nervous system would fix correct?

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  • Administrator

The stomach is connected to the nervous system! There are feedback loops throughout the body and its organs to the nervous system. They act on each other.

 

What we find in dealing with prolonged withdrawal syndrome is that if we lessen discomfort in one area of the body, it inches the whole recovery process forward.

 

Thus, if you're light-sensitive and have anxiety, reducing stimulation from light can reduce anxiety, which helps the nervous system repair, which reduces hypersensitivity to light.

 

Same with the stomach. If balance is off there -- originally from faulty autonomic regulation -- giving it help to rebalance can reduce overall stress and help your brain feel better.

 

It's all connected.

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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alto.... I sincerely thank you for taking the time to guide me through this.

I feel like an anxiety ridden whacko. I know I am giving the impression of desperate nut case. But to be quite honest, I feel that way. To most I am a sucessful, fun-loving, care free, funny modern woman who lives a great full life... I recently spoke to hundreds of women on a panel discussing breast cancer...And thought, wow if they really knew whats was going on..I hide this from all but a few because i get the odd looks, with expressions that say Oh Please thats insane, that couldnt possible be. In a million lifetimes I would have never guessed that I would be corresponding with people on a blog about w/d symptoms and finding such tremendous validation & relief from it.

Thank you for explaing thing so articulately. I appreciate you always responding so quickly

Chrisi

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  • Administrator

Chrisi, thank you for your kind words.

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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  • 3 weeks later...

checking in to say I think the Nausea has subsided.. I am taking the enzymes you suggested and also UDO's probiotics. It started subsiding before I began taking but these supplements cant hurt so I will continue.

the muscle aches are still around on and off.. I dont think its related to waking early because I do seem to get about 6 solid hours sleep most nights.. but usually wake by 4 or 5...And I still get the overwhelming anxious feelings on and off and I feel like hiding in my room alot.. I try not to though..But the worst is that I have started becoming dizzy lately. I dont know if its because I doubled my Melatonin intake or its a new symptom. Scares me though. I cut my Melatonin back down last night and I still feel dizzy today. Dont know how long it takes to leave the system.

I have an appt to go see Dr Tarantolo in DC next Saturday. He so graciously agreed to see me for an hour on a Saturday. I am very grateful for that.

Wishing all a very Happy Thanksgiving

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  • Administrator

That's excellent, chrisi. Good to hear from you.

 

How long has it been since you stopped the 5mg Prozac?

 

Are you taking fish oil? This seems to help with neuro symptoms.

 

When you feel up to it, please post details of your conversation with Dr. Tarantolo, and add a summary of your drug journey in your signature -- instructions here.

 

And a happy Thanksgiving to you, too.

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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stopped the proazc Nov 2nd..be almost 3 wks..only change i made was melatonin... i have been taking large quantities of fish oil for 7 months..

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  • Administrator

Interesting. After taking Prozac for 4 days, 3 weeks would be about 3.5 half-lives, meaning it's just about "washed out" of your system ("wash out" takes 5-7 half-lives).

 

Maybe the tiny bit of Prozac left in your body was helping keep the dizziness at bay.

 

How much melatonin are you taking? Is it helping you sleep? Do you get dizzy only in the morning?

 

Melatonin has a half-life of only a few hours, but some people say they feel a "hang-over" in the morning. Usually it's grogginess.

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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