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Sweetslover71: Pristiq - doing the bare minimum every day


Sweetslover71

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I’m new here and this is my first post so bare with me. I’ve been married for 20 years, have 2 children and run my own business successfully. A couple years into my marriage I had rage and anger issues so I went to my doctor. She recommended I start doing things that make me happy and form some new hobbies. I told her that nothing made me happy so she prescribed Wellbutrin. Here we are 17 years and 5 different medication changes later and I don’t know who I am. My DH told me last night that he doesn’t believe I’ve been in love with him for years and that he can’t live this way anymore. He needs affection and loving feelings from me and I haven’t been able to give that to him...or anyone in a looooong time. I begged him not to leave me and to give me time to figure out what’s wrong with me. I spent hours online last night and found this site. I’m so relieved to know that my medication (currently Pristiq 100 mg once a day) could be the problem. I had an epiphany last night about my life. It occurred to me that in EVERY single aspect of my life I only do the bare minimum. I work just enough hours to pay the bills. I clean the house just enough to make it presentable. I love my husband just enough for him to not leave me. I feed my dog and pet him just enough for him to know he’s wanted. I call my mom in Florida just enough for her to not get mad.  I never have the motivation or care to do more than is necessary to just get by. I used to LOVE cooking and entertaining and throwing parties for family and friends. Now I cook dinner once a week if at all and only entertain family when it’s my turn. I lost myself years ago and I’m afraid to get my hopes up that getting off the meds will save my life. Can this be the answer? Please post similar stories especially if they have happy endings 😔

Currently on Pristiq 100 mg. Started at 50 mg in 2015 and doubled dosage 6 months later. 

Previous meds during 17 years:

Lexapro

Prozac

Wellbutrin

Cymbalta 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Sweetslover71: Pristiq - doing the bare minimum every day
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Sweetslover and welcome to SA,

 

I've been tapering Pristiq from 100mg and am now down to 4mg.  As my dose got lower I started to realise how numb I had been on the higher doses.  There were a couple of times when I realised that my emotions were returning.  Once was when I bought a new car, I was excited but it was a dulled excitement.  About six or so months later, at an even lower dose, I got really excited over something (which actually made me realise that when buying the car it wasn't full excitement).

 

During the last couple of years I have experienced times when I enjoy doing things that I used to love.

 

I'm really pleased that you have found SA before you started reducing your drug.  SA recommends tapering by no more than 10% of the current dose followed by a hold of about 4 weeks to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.  Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Before you begin tapering what you need to know

 

When we taper using this protocol we may experience mild withdrawal symptoms.  However when the drug is taken away too quickly we can get withdrawal symptoms which are more than mild which is a sign that you are tapering too quickly or reducing again too soon.  It is important to listen to your body and symptoms:  Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptoms

 

This topic explains how to get the dose you need.   Tips for tapering off Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)

 

Tapering Calculator - Online

 

 

Please create your drug signature using the following format.   Keep it simple.  NO diagnoses or symptoms please - thank you.

  • details for last 2 years - dates, ALL drugs, doses
  • summary for older than 2 years - just years and drug/s

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

 

This is your own introductions topic where your can ask questions about your own situation and journal your progress.

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  Please DO NOT TAG me -thank you.

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Hi There 

 

I am also coming off Pristiq and now at 12mg. I decided to come off because I was feeling constantly exhausted and sweaty and 'not quite right'. I had a sense of being disconnected from myself and everything around me, but I couldn't put my finger on exactly why I felt that way. I just couldn't figure out what was wrong with me,  and I just dragged myself everywhere.  As the dose has become lower my own emotions started to return. The only thing close to describing the experience is getting a new prescription for glasses and then realizing I couldn't really see properly with the old ones. It was quite a shock to the system. 

 

If you do decide to taper off, I strongly recommend following the advice and protocol on this website. I struggled for 6 years with one failed taper after another as my Doctor had absolutely no clue how to safely taper me off Pristiq. 

 

Best of luck, go slow and treat yourself gently. 

 

A

Current Dose

0.5mcg Clonidine and 1.25 Diazepam PRN for treatment of iatrogenic hypertension. 

2010 .Prescribed Pristiq 100 mg in July by GP

2010 .Reduced to 50mg by splitting and weighing. Held at 50mg

2014. Reduced from 50-35 .Held at 35mg. 

2017. Taper from 35mg commenced using compounded Desvenlafaxine

2018. 23/06 13.5mg. 21/07  12.5mg. 25/08 11.5mg. 09/2018 10mg. 14/11 11mg (updose) 21/11 -12mg (updose)

2019. Still holding at 12mg and stuck. 

2020. January 2019 Prozac Bridge-- Prozac 2.5 to 10mg and

Pristiq 23rd Jan 6mg/ 27th Jan 5mg/ 28th Jan 3mg/ 30 Jan 0

Prozac 6th Feb 9.5mg. Vitamin D3 5000iu with K2

Magnesium Glycinate with Glycine and Passionflower  600mg 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
31 minutes ago, Andie said:

As the dose has become lower my own emotions started to return. The only thing close to describing the experience is getting a new prescription for glasses and then realizing I couldn't really see properly with the old ones.

 

Exactly.  That's a really good comparison.

 

As my dose got lower I started laughing at things "on the inside" and I would smile and then i started laughing out loud.  I hadn't realised that I hadn't been laughing.  The only way to describe it was that it seemed like too much effect.

 

However, I have noticed it with my daughter who is taking Zoloft.  Very often her response to things is "whatever"  or "meh" and I am sure that most of the time it is because she is numbed by the drug.  People who haven't known her before Zoloft probably think she is just a chilled, laid back person.

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  Please DO NOT TAG me -thank you.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

The idea of tapering is to try and reduce slowly enough so that the brain can adapt as we taper and withdrawal symptoms are only minimal.  It's a harm reduction method.  But it's good to know what is happening so you can be prepared if the withdrawal symptoms increase a bit.

 

Recovery isn't linear it happens in a Windows and Waves Pattern

 

Withdrawal Normal Description


When we take a psychiatric drug, we are adding chemical/s to the brain.  The brain then has to change to adapt to getting the chemical/s.  It might have to change something to do with A and then once that change has been made it affects B so another change has to be made and so on down the line.  It is a chain reaction, a domino effect.

 

The same thing happens when we take the drug away.  That's why it's possible to experience such a vast array of withdrawal symptoms, and they can change, and be of different intensity.

 

are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take

 

These explain it really well:

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

On 8/31/2011 at 5:28 AM, Rhiannon said:

When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay. When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse. SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long.

 

AND

 

On 12/4/2015 at 2:41 AM, apace41 said:

Basically- you have a building where the MAJOR steel structures are trying to be rebuilt at different times - ALL while people are coming and going in the building and attempting to work.

It would be like if the World Trade Center Towers hadn't completely fallen - but had crumbled inside in different places.. Imagine if you were trying to rebuild the tower - WHILE people were coming and going and trying to work in the building!  You'd have to set up a temporary elevator - but when you needed to fix part of that area, you'd have to tear down that elevator and set up a temporary elevator somewhere else. And so on. You'd have to build, work around, then tear down, then build again, then work around, then build... ALL while people are coming and going, ALL while the furniture is being replaced, ALL while the walls are getting repainted... ALL while life is going on INSIDE the building. No doubt it would be chaotic. That is EXACTLY what is happening with windows and waves.  The windows are where the body has "got it right" for a day or so - but then the building shifts and the brain works on something else - and it's chaos again while another temporary pathway is set up to reroute function until repairs are made.  

 

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  Please DO NOT TAG me -thank you.

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It took a long time to get to this place and it will take a long time to recover from the toxicity. I can only pray that my DH doesn’t give up on us in the duration. It’s damn near impossible for me to pretend to have emotions but I’ve got to push myself harder than I ever have to make sure he feels loved and appreciated. Even though he says he doesn’t want me to fake it. That’s all I’m capable of right now though. What a horrible thing to have to admit. 

Currently on Pristiq 100 mg. Started at 50 mg in 2015 and doubled dosage 6 months later. 

Previous meds during 17 years:

Lexapro

Prozac

Wellbutrin

Cymbalta 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Please be aware that most/all marriages have their struggles at times, even when psychiatric drugs aren't involved.  It's just part and parcel of the changes that we go through as individuals and as a couple.

 

Males tend to want to fix things and if they can't fix it they can feel helpless.  Women tend to want to talk about things but we don't expect the partner to fix what is wrong (unless it's a leaking tap or a flat tyre) but we feel better when we talk about something.  My suggestion would be to try and keep to a minimum any complaining about any issues you are experiencing when tapering.  That's not to say that you shouldn't mention things to him and let him know what you are experiencing but it would be a good idea to remind him that you don't expect him to "make things better" but that you need to share what is happening to you.

 

Many members on SA support each other, because only other people who have experienced something similar can truly understand the tapering and withdrawal experience.

 

I think it's important that he understands that it is the drug causing the lack of feelings and not you.  Perhaps getting him to read Your Drug May Be Your Problem by Dr Peter Breggin.

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  Please DO NOT TAG me -thank you.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Here's a good video: 

 

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  Please DO NOT TAG me -thank you.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  Please DO NOT TAG me -thank you.

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I can’t thank you enough for providing all of this information and your insights. This is a scary slope I’m getting ready to go down and I’m grateful for people like you and for this site to make the transition a little less terrifying. 😙

Currently on Pristiq 100 mg. Started at 50 mg in 2015 and doubled dosage 6 months later. 

Previous meds during 17 years:

Lexapro

Prozac

Wellbutrin

Cymbalta 

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  • 2 weeks later...

hello.  I understand where you are coming from. I am kind of feeling the same way.   between the meds and perimenopause i feel hopeless. but here we are and hopefully we will overcome!

 9/2018- lexapro low dose few days.11/3/2018- zoloft 2 days

11/7/18  - 11/15/18 - Prozac 9 days, from 10 mg for week, to 20

11/16  inpatient put on Lexapro for a few days, Cymbalta, 2 days

11/24-12/8 - gabapentin 100 mg 3xs per day - a very fast taper

1/7 - tbuspar for  three days- blurry vision, jerky eye

1/17/19 - 2/15/19- mirtazapine 15 mg - started taper on 1/30 

2/20/19 gabapentin 600 mg. .  12/20-  taper finished

2/20/19 - seroquel 25 mg current - taken  10 pm

2/20/19- luvox (generic) 25 mg.  4/6/19  to 18.75 mg .held  . Started taper again  1/7/21- 15 mg, 2/7/21- 12.5 mg, 3/7/21 -10 mg, 4/1/21- 9 mg, 5/1/21- 8.1 mg, 5/27/21- updose to 10 mg,  6/21-  in patient updose to 50 mg,  6/25/21- reduce to 10 mg (current) .  9/5- split dose 5mg am/5 mg pm.  9/20- 4 mg am/5 mg pm . 

9/1/21-  took one dose of vistril 50 mg.   

9/1/21-accidental double dose of seroquel- 50 mg 

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  • Mentor

Yes. Antidepressant apathy.

 

Same here. I only realized the cause a few days ago. It's gotten worse the longer I've been on the drugs.

Now: 100 mg Zoloft am, 50 mg Trazodone bedtime.  Daily drug burden decreased from 2050 in 2018 mg to 150 mg 🐢🐢

Zoloft: 5/7/22 cut 12.5 mg 3/20/22 cut 12.5 mg 10/26/21 cut 6 mg 10/17/21 cut 5 mg, 9/17/21 Cut 3 mg,  9/13/21 cut 4 mg, 8/29/21 Cut 2 mg 8/8/21 Cut 3 mg  7/30/21 Zoloft: Converted 25 mg to liquid. Also take 100 mg pill & 25 mg pill=150 mg total
🌞 Feb 28, 2021 0 mg Gapapentin 2021 Gaba each dose 4x/day: Feb 27 7 mg (one dose only), Feb 10, 7 mg, Jan 14 10 mg 2020 Current taper schedule from Aug 30-present: drop 8 mg every 2-3 weeks. Aug 20 31 mg, Aug 18, 33 mg, July 29, 35 mg, July 23 38 mg, July 22 40 mg Jun 24 42 mg, Jun 15 44 mg, Jun 9 48 mg, May 22 50 mg, May 14 54 mg, May 7 56 mg, Apr 16 58 mg, Mar 28 60 mg, Mar 18 62 mg. Feb 26 64 mg. Feb 19, 66 mg. Jan 23, 70 mg. 2019 Dec 19, 72 mg. Nov 14 ,76 mg. Aug 8, 80 mg. Aug 6, 85 mg. Jul 26, 90 mg. Jul 11, 95 mg.

Jul 16 trazodone from 100 to 50 mg.

Jun 17-July 10 Slowly changed gab fr pill to liquid at same dose 100 mg 4x/d.

Apr 24 Stopped klon!!! 🌞 Apr 4  Decreased gaba to 400 mg (100 mg 4x/day)-Apr 4, 2019   0.25 klon March 11  Klonopin .5 mg twice daily, varied dose til Apr 15. Started Klon fast taper 25%, short use

Mar 16, 450 mg gaba 3x/day cut 600 mg--not exact!--updose after learning w/d

Feb 20, 2019 1800 mg gabapentin; MD taper; off 3 days=mvt disorder & autonomic instability. July 2018 temazepam 15 mg 1-2; prn several x/wk til Jan/Feb 2019 when cold turkey, flu illness for months

July 2018 started gabapentin 100 3x/day; titrated up to 1800 mg (600 3x/day)

Buspar, I forget how much, 2 pills a day Jan 2017-July 2018 cold turkey. On Zoloft since maybe 2004? After trying many.

*I speak from my experience. Nothing I say is medical advice. I'm not a doctor.

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