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Sherry

Sherry: 75mg Effexor to 100mg Pristiq -- Suffering, Need Advice

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Sherry

Hello. My husband (of 26 years) has dealt with depression since he was 18. He is 50. For the last 8 years, he was on 100 mg Pristiq and 150 mg Wellbutrin and doing pretty well. (Tried many other things and quit for various reasons.) Only really bad side effect was nightmares. Insurance quit covering Pristiq so he switched to Effexor for four months, first 150 mg then 75 mg. No problem making the switch, but sexual side effects were very bad and he felt a little "fuzzy." So when we got the insurance company to agree to cover Pristiq (long battle), he switched back to 100 mg Pristiq. That was three days ago. He's about to lose it -- off-the-wall angry, tearful, shaking, insomnia. Sexual side effects of Effexor are completely gone, which is great, but doesn't mean much compared with everything else. Why is this happening -- is it Effexor withdrawal or Pristiq side effects? What should his next step be?  Would LOVE some immediate help!

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nz11

Sorry you are in this difficult place Sherry

 

Welcome to sa ...you have found a safe place

 

Sorry no one responded to your post and it has gone onto the second page....thats  very unusual for that to happen.... 

 

Could you please advise when the drop from 150 effexor to 75 effexor happened. Was it 3.5 months ago or 2 weeks ago? Or....

 

im assuming that the 150 wellbutrin is an unchanged constant here.

 

You might like to do a drug sig that would be helpful for the moderators.

 

Was your husband on ads for 32 years? or just the last 8?

 

nz11

There are two views that i see regarding the P: E equiv dose

view 1 . 50mg of pristiq is 150mg effexor

 

view 2 50mg of p is maybe between 75 and 100mg effexor

 

This link is worth checking out

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/876-tips-for-tapering-off-pristiq-desvenlafaxine/


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

 

 

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KarenB

Hello Sherry and welcome to s/a,

 

I'm not surprised you are feeling a bit anxious about how things are panning out.  There's a lot of helpful info on this site, so you should be able to get a bit of a plan sorted out.  Do you know that game called 'Jenga'?  Players take turns pulling out wooden blocks and the tower gets a little wobblier with each turn then eventually falls down.  I liken the effect of psych drugs on a person's Central Nervous System, to Jenga.  Each time a change is made - such as a dose increase/decrease, or a new drug trialed - the CNS gets a little less stable. 

 

Getting stable is the first step.  Right now, it's important not to make any further sudden changes.  NZ asked some good questions, and when we have a little more info, including a signature with all drugs/dates/dosages etc we will be able to help you in more detail. 

 

For now your husband could start taking Fish oil and Magnesium as many people find these useful during withdrawal.   

 

Keep it Simple; Keep it Slow; Keep it Stable

Non-Drug Techniques to cope with emotional symptoms.

Tips for Tapering effexor

Tips for Tapering Pristiq

 

Have a read of those and then come back to this thread to discuss things further. 

Welcome to SA,

Karen


2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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JanCarol

Hey Sherry - the changes they have made to your husband's drugs have been too fast, even in the face of side effects.

 

And now, it looks like - the Pristiq was working until they mucked around and now it has kindled (Limbic Kindling - Hardwiring the Brain for Hypersensitivity ) it is going to be harder to get him stable.

 

Being on 3 antidepressants tells me that they think he is "treatment resistant."  

 

But really "treatment resistant" means that - they give a drug, after the body gets used to it (3-5 years, sometimes sooner or later), new symptoms arise, so they add another drug.  Then, after the body gets used to that drug, they add something else for the symptoms which return or arise - until the drugs are treating the drug effects, not the patient.  "Treatment resistent" is a condition created by doctors and the drugs, not based on anything that is inherent to your husband's biology, genetics, or coping skills.

 

You ask:

Why is this happening -- is it Effexor withdrawal or Pristiq side effects? What should his next step be?  Would LOVE some immediate help!

 

Probably all four.  Pristiq withdrawal (can last up to a year or even more), Effexor startup effects.  Effexor withdrawal (again, can easily last a year), and Pristiq kindling effects (because it worked before doesn't mean it will work again).

 

Sadly, the best thing to do is to not make changes at all until he gets more stable.  There is always a period of adjustment when starting a new drug - 3 weeks to 3 months (roughly).  

 

Our moderator, Rhi, said it like this:

Each time the drugs are switched around--whether they are cut, or increased, or changed to other meds, et cetera--whatever processes have already been happening have to try to stop and go the other direction. (Or maybe a couple of other directions.) 

 

This is not simple. This causes more trauma, more chemical chaos, more damage. Processes that cannot be quickly halted and are already out of control, try to counteract themselves using other processes that are very imperfect as well. (Imagine the LA freeway system if all of a sudden everyone had to stop and go the other direction, but there were no lights and no traffic cops. And everybody's brakes and steering were already kind of busted and unstable to begin with.)

 

So the changes are as traumatic as the drug side effects.

 

Please, keep a record of his symptoms (here is a set of common symptoms, you can print a bunch out and use it to track how he is doing):  Dr. Joseph Glenmullen's Most Common symptoms of Withdrawal

 

Also - as you look at the list, you will see a wide range of symptoms - these drugs affect far more than just the brain - they affect digestion, endocrine, muscles, histamine response - a large number of symptoms.  So when you see him manifesting a new symptom - check the list to see if the symptom is there (in some form), and just remind him:  "It's withdrawal."

 

He is an adult, would it be possible for him to get an account and share his journey here?

 

Remember too, that the carer's position is draining and thankless.  You need to take care of yourself, too, or you won't be able to take care of him, either.  All of the relaxation techniques we use here - like yoga - will help you, too, as you assist him on his journey.

 

Here's a great place to start.  It's short, easy, and you have no excuse.  Take a break!  The video is just over a minute long:

 


"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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Sherry

Thank you for these wonderful responses! My husband went back to 75mg of Effexor (plus 150 mg Wellbutrin) and has stabilized. From age 22 to age 42, my husband tried lots of antidepressants and quit them all eventually except for Wellbutrin because of either side effects or lack of efficacy. At 42, he wasn't doing well at all and added Pristiq to the Wellbutrin. He was on Pristiq 100 mg (and Wellbutrin 150 mg) for 8 very good years. Then it quit being covered by insurance, so he went from Pristiq 100 mg to Effexor 150 mg in April of this year. He transitioned without much trouble. Just felt mentally foggier, with blurry vision, and bad sexual side effects. He went down to 75 mg Effexor in early August. That helped somewhat with the side effects. Then our insurance company (after many appeals and an external review) agreed to cover Pristiq. So on Wednesday, Sept. 28, he quit the Effexor 75 mg and started 100 mg Pristiq. That's when he went off-the-wall angry and sad. Couldn't sleep, felt sick. Incredibly angry. (All Effexor's sexual side effects disappeared.) So on Sunday, Oct. 2, he went back to the 75 mg Effexor and felt better pretty quickly. Still just a little foggy and sad.

 

I just read Kramer's Ordinarily Well, and I've seen antidepressants work for my husband, so the whole issue is very confusing. I go between wanting to help him get off them and wanting to help him stay on them. And don't know whether to help him get back on Pristiq, because of Effexor's side effects (mental fogginess, blurred vision, sexual dysfunction), or stay on Effexor. Argh.

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scallywag

Effexor is in some ways easier to taper from because the beads allow small dose changes; the immediate release version is water soluble if he wants to switch to liquid and dosing twice/day. With Pristiq, you are limited to manufacturers' tablet sizes, compounding, or cutting the tablet and treating it as an immediate release version. 

 

Since he's made the switch to Effexor, it may be best to stay there rather than risk destabilization of another medication change.  Switches, updoses, "down-doses," and adding a new drug all count as medication changes.


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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nz11

I just read Kramer's Ordinarily Well, and I've seen antidepressants work for my husband, so the whole issue is very confusing.

I havent read this book but i do agree with you it is very confusing....confusing until one discovers the truth and then it becomes very humilating.

 

From what i can see Peter Kramer appears to be a person who defends antidepressants. 

Any highly rated academic taking this stance in all probability has been receiving income from pharmaceutical companies.

Did he have a disclosure of interest statement in the book?

 

This is what wiki revealed on this character

 

Peter D. Kramer (born October 22, 1948), is an American psychiatrist, Marshall Scholar (1970-72) at University College, London (UCL), and faculty member of Brown Medical School specializing in the area of clinical depression. He was born in New York City to Jewish Holocaust survivors.  He considers depression to be a serious illness with tangible physiological effects such as disorganizing the brain and disrupting the functioning of the cardiovascular system. In his work he has criticized society for romanticizing depression in the same way that tuberculosis was once romanticized; these romantic notions involve claims of artistic sensitivity or of genius arising from depression.In his 2005 book Against Depression, he argues that the socio-economic costs of depression are so large and the effects so pervasive that modern societies should aim to eradicate the disease in the same fashion as it did with smallpox.

Kramer's most notable book is Listening to Prozac (1994). This work was grounded in the observation that, treated with antidepressants, some patients reported feeling "better than well." This result led Kramer to consider the feasibility of "cosmetic psychopharmacology," the use of medication in healthy people to induce personality traits that are desired or socially rewarded. In the book, Kramer considers the consequences for medical ethics and critiques the tendency of the culture to reward particular personality styles, namely those characterized by energy and assertiveness

 

Just from reading this i would guarantee this man has been handsomely rewarded by pharma. imo

I see he worked at Brown medical school i wonder if this is the same as Brown university where the infamous Marty Keller used to hang out and did his notorious study 329. Perhaps they worked together....who knows.

 

Glad your DH is now feeling better and is stable. I think that is a good idea from  SW to stay on the effexor. Then when stable start an informed taper. The moderators at sa can walk you through it.

Your DH can get off these drugs but he will need to follow the advice of sa and put aside years to taper safely, and slowly.

 

Would you consider reading two other books?

Anatomy of an epidemic by whitaker, and

Pharmageddon by Healy

 

Family members are often responsible for many staying on these drugs for a long time because of the traumatizing manifestations that surface when people try to get off a family member will think they are being helpful by encouraging them to stay on the drug with statements like' oh you were doing so much better when youtook your medicine' 'You havent stopped taking your medicine again have you ...you take it you need it'. 'MAny people have to take medicine so there is no shame in that'....etc etc....

This is because family nondrugged members cannot concieve or imagine what wdl is like off these drugs and cannot imagine that their loved one has been harmed by a doctor by being  dangerously tapered and sometimes cold turkeyed, never aware of the need to have to taper for many over a period of years. Oblivious to the true addictive brain altering nature of these chemicals. And so the clueless family member will join an ignorant doctor in blaming the person and not the poison. When what was needed was not a prescription by  the doctor till perpetuity (often allowing the doc to get pharma prescribing kickbacks providing an annuity till perpetuity ) but rather a careful taper that goes for years not weeks or days. 


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

 

 

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