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FinleyDog: hesitantly switching from prozac to pristiq


FinleyDog

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HI, thanks for adding me. 

I have been on SSRI's for the last 20 years. I've tried several different ones and after going through a paxil withdrawal from hell I swore I'd never take anything but prozac ever again. 
Now here I am 5 years on Prozac (blah, drowsy all the time, unmotivated and unempathetic) so,  I made the decision to try switching drugs again because I cannot tolerate my anxiety symptoms and rumination when I am free of them ( though I often wonder if they would eventually balance out I have too many other health issues to deal with one more thing). 

I've been tapering off generic prozac for the last few months from 20mg to 7.5mg, I had stopped altogether about 6 weeks ago and had too many withdrawal symptoms so went back up to 7.5 and then worked my way down to 5mg then last week stopped the 5mg and switched to Pristiq. My eyesight has been blurred, stomach nauseas and upset as well as a constant headache and often feeling drugged, though on some mental level feel much closer to my real self. I realized today after 2 days of bad fatigue that I am going through prozac withdrawal symptoms again,  so I took 5mg of prozac and felt slightly better within the hour or so. But I am not sure how to proceed, as I don't believe I can take both. At least my dr said not to for more than a few days. 

Should I stop the pristiq since I'm only a week in, or slowly continue to taper with my prozac liquid? 🤔

Very Confused. 

 

I so wish I found this forum months ago. I would have done things very different. 

My memory does not serve me well but here is a loose recap. 

 

2000- ? Serafem dose? 

2005-2012 on and off meds zoloft then paxil doses?? 

paxil dose?  was a nightmare to get off so I swore I'd never take anything again tried every natural approach for 18 months. 

 

2016 - present Generic prozac Fluoxetine 10mg, 8mg, 7.5mg, 5mg 

8/23/21 - 8/30/21 50mg Pristiq - 

 

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  • Moderator

Hi FinleyDog, welcome to SA.

 

Please create a signature with dates, dosages and changes of all drugs and supplements you've been taking.  This is to give us a clearer picture of your situation.

 

It sounds like your initial taper was going reasonably well although probably faster than we would generally advise.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Why did you switch to Pristiq?  Your body now has a lot more sudden new jazz to contend with, while your nervous system already will be trying to adapt to your lower dosages of Prozac.  You really want to minimise the number of variables in play to give yourself as much stability as you can.

 

How psychiatric drugs remodel your brain

 

Since it's only been a week, I would be looking at promptly cross tapering back to your previous steady dose of Prozac, at around the same speed as your first cross taper.  At least that way you'd be headed back towards more what your body's been used to instead of setting it a whole bunch of new challenges.  Either way you're probably in for some discomfort until your physiology catches up. 

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

I would then do a long or long-ish hold at that dose of Prozac until I was feeling settled and stable again.  Then consider a straight taper off from there at around 10% as in the link above. 

 

Preparing to taper

 

Tips for tapering off fluoxetine (Prozac)

 

Cheers

I am not a health professional - your actions are your own.  

Please do not seek tapering support via private message

My taper visualised as a graph   |   My intro thread

Backdrop:  2003 10mg olanzapine | 2004 2-3mg risperidone | end 2014 3wks aripiprazole

2015: olanzapine  10 -> 7½ -> 6⅔ -> 5mg  by crude pill cutter

2018:  Mar 5.00mg -> water titrated taper -> Aug2.5mg tablet and hold

Jan 2019 2.50mg water titration -> Jan 2020 1.214  -> Jan 2021 0.44 -> 2 Oct 0.205 ->3 Oct ZERO🥂

"Ask not what you can do for your country, but what your country did to you"  -- KMFDM

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Heyduke 

Thanks so much for the reply ice been anxiously checking this site for advice.

 

I didn't find this site early enough in my journey and just did what the Dr had suggested. So here I am late to the knowledge and suffering.

 

Can you just clarify if you meant to stop the pristiq while going back on my previous dose of prozac or did you mean to take both while my body adjusts? 

 

Thanks and I'll go back and update my meds on the bottom. 

My memory does not serve me well but here is a loose recap. 

 

2000- ? Serafem dose? 

2005-2012 on and off meds zoloft then paxil doses?? 

paxil dose?  was a nightmare to get off so I swore I'd never take anything again tried every natural approach for 18 months. 

 

2016 - present Generic prozac Fluoxetine 10mg, 8mg, 7.5mg, 5mg 

8/23/21 - 8/30/21 50mg Pristiq - 

 

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  • Moderator

Thanks for checking.

 

Yes, I mean if I were you, I would want to do a quick cross taper off the Pristiq and back onto the Prozac, then stabilise.

 

Can you please list the exact dosages of Prozac and Pristiq you've taken each day for the last fortnight?

 

I am not a health professional - your actions are your own.  

Please do not seek tapering support via private message

My taper visualised as a graph   |   My intro thread

Backdrop:  2003 10mg olanzapine | 2004 2-3mg risperidone | end 2014 3wks aripiprazole

2015: olanzapine  10 -> 7½ -> 6⅔ -> 5mg  by crude pill cutter

2018:  Mar 5.00mg -> water titrated taper -> Aug2.5mg tablet and hold

Jan 2019 2.50mg water titration -> Jan 2020 1.214  -> Jan 2021 0.44 -> 2 Oct 0.205 ->3 Oct ZERO🥂

"Ask not what you can do for your country, but what your country did to you"  -- KMFDM

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I can't figure out how to leave a signature. I'm working on it.

 

I was previously taking 5mg liquid prozac. Stopped that and 1 night later started 50mg the lowest dose of pristiq 9 days ago. 

 

2 nights ago I took 5mg of prozac at bed and continued the pristiq in the am. 

Same with last night. 

My pain and numbness subsided but my heaviness and fatigue is really bad.

 

I was trying to get off the prozac due to the tiredness and apathy it caused by my anxiety was so bad coming off it that I assumed I must need it. I also have addisons disease ( I make no cortisol or other hormones) so my Dr thought the pristiq might help with energy. Which it did for the first few days before the prozac withdrawals kicked in again.

 

 

 

My memory does not serve me well but here is a loose recap. 

 

2000- ? Serafem dose? 

2005-2012 on and off meds zoloft then paxil doses?? 

paxil dose?  was a nightmare to get off so I swore I'd never take anything again tried every natural approach for 18 months. 

 

2016 - present Generic prozac Fluoxetine 10mg, 8mg, 7.5mg, 5mg 

8/23/21 - 8/30/21 50mg Pristiq - 

 

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  • Moderator

Thanks for that.  I would maintain the 5mg Prozac you're well used to now.

 

Since you've only taken Pristiq for such a short time I would try half doses (25mg) for two or three days and see how I felt.  You'll have to listen to your body.  It's probably going to be a gritty week or two, but you could also try a smoother ramp of 3/4, 1/2, 1/4 doses over the next few days if that's easy for you.  I think I would want to be off Pristiq within 3-5 days at this stage, maybe 7 if you feel you need to.

 

Once you're more stable again you can look at other approaches to managing fatigue, a lot of people here will have things to say about their experiences with that.

If you look in the top right and click on your screen name and choose Account Settings, you will see you can edit your signature in there.

Edited by hayduke

I am not a health professional - your actions are your own.  

Please do not seek tapering support via private message

My taper visualised as a graph   |   My intro thread

Backdrop:  2003 10mg olanzapine | 2004 2-3mg risperidone | end 2014 3wks aripiprazole

2015: olanzapine  10 -> 7½ -> 6⅔ -> 5mg  by crude pill cutter

2018:  Mar 5.00mg -> water titrated taper -> Aug2.5mg tablet and hold

Jan 2019 2.50mg water titration -> Jan 2020 1.214  -> Jan 2021 0.44 -> 2 Oct 0.205 ->3 Oct ZERO🥂

"Ask not what you can do for your country, but what your country did to you"  -- KMFDM

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pristiq is not meant to be cut. So I'll have to just stop it. 

 

I have a syringe and I know the 5mg mark is 12 lines ( the pharmacist showed me) but can I just decrease each week by 1 line or 2 and not know the actual dose amount as long as I stick to the lines on the syringe and decrease that way? I am so thankful for this site. I only wish I had found it sooner, I would have not started the pristiq at all after seeing how difficult it is to get off. 😪

My memory does not serve me well but here is a loose recap. 

 

2000- ? Serafem dose? 

2005-2012 on and off meds zoloft then paxil doses?? 

paxil dose?  was a nightmare to get off so I swore I'd never take anything again tried every natural approach for 18 months. 

 

2016 - present Generic prozac Fluoxetine 10mg, 8mg, 7.5mg, 5mg 

8/23/21 - 8/30/21 50mg Pristiq - 

 

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  • hayduke changed the title to FinleyDog: hesitantly switching from prozac to pristiq
  • Moderator

I think you're likely to have been quick enough to put the Pristiq back on the shelf without requiring a longer taper.  Although your nervous system's already mid-flight with your prozac taper.

 

Some people seem to do ok with breaking up the tablets.  It is difficult to find definitive information on this, but it appears that doing so will disable the extended-release properties.  That would mean that if you're weighing out the powder from these crushed tablets, you would want to divide your daily dosage into halves taken 12 hrs apart.

 

@FinleyDog I've made an edit to suggest this might work better than a liquid in this case.  Though if you did, the same thing applies.

 

I would try something like a 3/4 dose next.  When that feels ok, you can keep stepping down.  Let us know how you're getting on, and if you need to go slower.

 

A knowledgeable compounding pharmacy might also be a good option if you can get to one next day or so.  Perhaps one of the other mods can advise on that.

 

I would be aiming to get clear of the Pristiq in short order then stabilising as the first thing.  Worry about the Prozac taper later.

 

Fish oil (omega 3, also found in hemp protein powder) and magnesium supplements may help you stay more at ease during this.  I'm very partial to getting my magnesium from epsom salt baths or foot baths.

Edited by hayduke

I am not a health professional - your actions are your own.  

Please do not seek tapering support via private message

My taper visualised as a graph   |   My intro thread

Backdrop:  2003 10mg olanzapine | 2004 2-3mg risperidone | end 2014 3wks aripiprazole

2015: olanzapine  10 -> 7½ -> 6⅔ -> 5mg  by crude pill cutter

2018:  Mar 5.00mg -> water titrated taper -> Aug2.5mg tablet and hold

Jan 2019 2.50mg water titration -> Jan 2020 1.214  -> Jan 2021 0.44 -> 2 Oct 0.205 ->3 Oct ZERO🥂

"Ask not what you can do for your country, but what your country did to you"  -- KMFDM

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I took an Epson salt bath last night and or helped so I took one this am again.

Thanks 

My memory does not serve me well but here is a loose recap. 

 

2000- ? Serafem dose? 

2005-2012 on and off meds zoloft then paxil doses?? 

paxil dose?  was a nightmare to get off so I swore I'd never take anything again tried every natural approach for 18 months. 

 

2016 - present Generic prozac Fluoxetine 10mg, 8mg, 7.5mg, 5mg 

8/23/21 - 8/30/21 50mg Pristiq - 

 

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  • Administrator

Hello, @FinleyDog You've been taking Pristiq only for a week? You can simply stop it.

 

Please add the dosages and dates you started your drugs, including Pristiq, in your signature.

 

Have you communicated your difficulties to your doctor? It's your doctor's responsibility to switch you from one antidepressant to another, it's what he or she gets paid for. Since you are inclined to stay on an antidepressant, if I were you, I'd go back to 7.5mg Prozac, see how you feel, and ask your doctor about what drug to switch to from there. 

 

We don't help with drug switches for therapeutic purposes, only drug bridging to enable tapering. (Pristiq does not enable tapering under any circumstances.)

 

 

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, my doctor was the one switching me to pristiq, and yes she knows of the difficulty. She said I can take both while I wean If I'd like to continue with the switch. But as I am certain you are aware, doctors do not understand that these withdrawals are longer lasting than they suspect. My Doctor originally told me that I could just stop the 10mg cold turkey, since it was the lowest dose, so it just goes to show you that they are clueless. I had been on Prozac for about 5 years, that was clearly too abrupt for me. 

Anyway, I've decided to stop the switch to pristiq, after seeing this site and stay on the prozac until I can safely and slowly wean off of it. I'm hoping that If i do it slowly enough that I won't experience the depression and anxiety that in the past I took as a relapse. But if for some reason I go on something again I will do pristiq next time, because it was giving me energy. 

My memory does not serve me well but here is a loose recap. 

 

2000- ? Serafem dose? 

2005-2012 on and off meds zoloft then paxil doses?? 

paxil dose?  was a nightmare to get off so I swore I'd never take anything again tried every natural approach for 18 months. 

 

2016 - present Generic prozac Fluoxetine 10mg, 8mg, 7.5mg, 5mg 

8/23/21 - 8/30/21 50mg Pristiq - 

 

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Hi.  I do not believe Pristiq was giving you energy.  I would say you were feeling the effect of reducing the Prozac too much at once and the effect of a new drug, Pristiq, on your destabilized nervous system.  I’ve been there.  Many people feel better, more alive, and have more energy a few days after quitting an antidepressant.  
 

For people who are going to experience WD, things tends to go downhill, very far downhill, from there.  They mistake feeling better as evidence that quitting too quickly “worked.”  

 

When the nervous system has experienced the shock of abrupt cessation of an AD, it is very fragile for months or longer.  Using small doses of OTC pain drugs, supplements, etc. is a good idea.  Sometimes, trying a new drug or having alcohol or a new supplement is the straw the breaks the camel’s back.  It’s a good idea to avoid alcohol for at least a few months, take 1/2 doses of Tylenol or any other drugs, avoid surgeries, and ask for non-adrenaline (no epinephrine) numbing agents at the dentist’s office.  When one does try alcohol again, using a very small amount of something weak is best for several months, too.

 

Good luck, Rosetta

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/16629-rosetta-ct-may-2011-too-fast-taper-feb-2017/?page=25

2001-2011 Celexa 10 mg raised to 40 mg then 60 mg over this time period

May 2011 OB Doctor's Cold switch Celexa 60 mg to 10 mg Zoloft sertraline (baby born)

2012-2016 - Doctors raised dose of Zoloft up to 150 mg

2016 - Xanax prescribed - as needed - 0.5 mg about every 3 days (bad reaction)

2016 - Stopped Xanax

Late 2016- Began (too fast) taper of Zoloft

Early 2017 - Trazodone prescribed for bedtime (doseage unknown)

Feb 2017 - Completed taper/stopped Trazodone

Drug free since Feb 2017

2017 - Unisom otc very rarely for sleep

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Thanks for tips. Funny thing I've been having issues tolerating any supplements or medicine for the last several years. And I've been wondering if my body hated the prozac the entire time. It made me tired all day long even though I took it at bed and I (without knowing better) for the last year was taking prozac only a few days a week because my energy was so much better on the days I didn't take it. So perhaps you are correct and it was just the stopping of the prozac that gave me energy. 

My Dr had suggested the pristiq for a few reasons but the 1st being that the noradrenaline part may be better for my energy and that is why I assumed It was that. One thing is for certain and that was I was mkt drowsy all day. Now I look forward to getting off prozac again so that my days aren't filled with wanting to nap. Lol 

I will take things carefully but of course.whem it rains it pours and I have lots of tests coming up for my stomach issues so Its gonna be a uphill battle if there are antibiotics involved.

 

Thanks again! 

My memory does not serve me well but here is a loose recap. 

 

2000- ? Serafem dose? 

2005-2012 on and off meds zoloft then paxil doses?? 

paxil dose?  was a nightmare to get off so I swore I'd never take anything again tried every natural approach for 18 months. 

 

2016 - present Generic prozac Fluoxetine 10mg, 8mg, 7.5mg, 5mg 

8/23/21 - 8/30/21 50mg Pristiq - 

 

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I'm feeling super irritated and just need reassurance that this is from Withdrawal and not relapsing into depression...I really hope this isn't my true self. 

 

My memory does not serve me well but here is a loose recap. 

 

2000- ? Serafem dose? 

2005-2012 on and off meds zoloft then paxil doses?? 

paxil dose?  was a nightmare to get off so I swore I'd never take anything again tried every natural approach for 18 months. 

 

2016 - present Generic prozac Fluoxetine 10mg, 8mg, 7.5mg, 5mg 

8/23/21 - 8/30/21 50mg Pristiq - 

 

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  • Moderator

Previous post moved to your intro topic to keep your history all in one place.  Please post questions and discussion about your situation in this one thread, to avoid confusion and duplication of efforts.  Thank you.  

 

Your drug signature says you were on Pristiq from 8/23/21 to 8/30/21.  Did you just stop taking it, or are you still taking it now?  What are the dates of your prozac tapers?  I just see the dose reductions, but no dates.  I can better answer your question if I know more about your drug history.  Thank you.  

Please do not tag me, unless it is an urgent question about tapering or reinstatement. 

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

Ibuprofen 800 mg, Tylenol 1000 mg, Benadryl 50 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone on occasion, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, 3 PM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, multivitamin, zinc

suppl noon: calcium

suppl supper: calcium

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2 mg

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  • Moderator
7 hours ago, FinleyDog said:

I'm feeling super irritated and just need reassurance that this is from Withdrawal and not relapsing into depression...I really hope this isn't my true self. 

 

 

I'd expect to feel on the tender side for a little while after an excursion onto Pristiq like that.  Especially against the backdrop of your Prozac taper.  This is a good point to just hold at the same Prozac dose for a while until your body can catch up with the changes it's having to process.

There's a lot more info about what's actually happening there, and some ways to help get comfortable with it, in the links in my first reply above.

 

Cheers

 

I am not a health professional - your actions are your own.  

Please do not seek tapering support via private message

My taper visualised as a graph   |   My intro thread

Backdrop:  2003 10mg olanzapine | 2004 2-3mg risperidone | end 2014 3wks aripiprazole

2015: olanzapine  10 -> 7½ -> 6⅔ -> 5mg  by crude pill cutter

2018:  Mar 5.00mg -> water titrated taper -> Aug2.5mg tablet and hold

Jan 2019 2.50mg water titration -> Jan 2020 1.214  -> Jan 2021 0.44 -> 2 Oct 0.205 ->3 Oct ZERO🥂

"Ask not what you can do for your country, but what your country did to you"  -- KMFDM

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