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Anxiety & withdrawal related central apneas

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Hello all,

Wondering if anyone can provide some guidance advice on an issue I have been experiencing.


Prior to starting my taper, I had occasional central apnea’s where I would stop automatically breathing right as I was falling asleep.  I would then take a breath and resume trying to fall asleep.  Sometimes I’d have a few more before ultimately falling asleep and other times none.  My GP, who does not and has not prescribed any psych meds to me, believes it is likely my anxiety and that seems to have been proven during my taper.  On days and weeks after a drop I have experienced sometimes 5-6 instances of central apnea’s before falling asleep.  On good weeks when everything feels stable or I am in a good window, none whatsoever.  Last night I had a bunch and they are of course very scary.  

Anyone have this experience? Either taper related or not and any suggestions, words of encouragement or tips? 

As an aside, but to confirm, I do not believe these are obstructive apneas, but I have never had a sleep study done.  They seem to follow the symptoms and experiences of central apneas.  


2002-2011: Prozac, Lexapro, Xanax

2011-2018: Pristiq 100mg.  Anxiety well controlled, few side effects.  Life is good.

2019: anxiety hits an all time high. Tried to cross taper Prozac and Pristiq but was not successful.  Took Klonopin and had a hard time coming off.

2020: Pristiq 100mg maintained.  Took Gabapentin for 3 months for herniated disc.  Had a hard time coming off of it and tapered for 9 months finally being free in November 2020.

January 2021: 50mg Pristiq to 43.75.

February 2021: 37.5 using 25mg and half of a 25mg.  Going to start compounding with next drop shortly to go slower.

March 2021: holding at 37.5mg.  Will attempt to reduce by 10% in late March (about 6 weeks from previous drop if things are going well).  Dropped mid-March to 31.25mg.  Felt better in 2-3 days after, then increased symptoms starting day 5.  
April 2021: 25mg.  Felt the best so far during taper, perhaps due to whole dose being a whole pill and keeping things steady.


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