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dipeshk: Pristiq messed up my life - persistent withdrawal symptoms after stopping (6+ months)


dipeshk

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Hi folks, I took Pristiq (50mg and 100mg) from February through September 2020 (based on my Dr.  recommendation)but I wasn't noticing any positive changes.

In Sept, I (along with my Dr) decided to stop Pristiq and did a 2 week 50mg taper (side by side start a new medication Trentellix). 

 

I noticed after 2 weeks of stopping Pristiq I was getting mild micro seizures / hypnic jerks while trying to sleep with my head shaking / involuntary movement. 

 

Fast forward to February 2021 it still wasnt going away so I tried low dose Effexor and that didn't help either as I was getting essential tremor. 

 

After reading online and my Dr. being of no help, I decided that maybe I need to taper of Pristiq more slowly so I decided to jump back on it again and the Dr. recommended I do 1 day on and 1 day off. However this time I was getting severe insomnia and severe hypnic jerks. I then decided to take it everyday but cut/shave off the tablets instead however the insomnia and jerks persisted. Since the side effects were intolerable this time, I decided to stop taking it completely after March (only 1 month). 

 

It has been now 6+ months after stopping and I still have severe insomnia and frequent hypnic jerks while trying to sleep. Its almost like my brain hasn't adapted to me stopping Pristiq. 

 

I spoke with a psychiatrist and he recommends that I now see a neurologist along with trying Remeron. I initially took Pristiq and various other meds (with no withdrawals) for anxiety, panic attacks and persistent depression. 

 

Any inputs? Am I screwed for life?

Medication History

2019 Lexapro, Cipralex

2020 Jan - Feb Cymbalta

2020 Feb - Nov Pristiq 50mg/100mg

2020 Nov - Dec Trintellix 

2020 December Effexor 37.5mg

2021 March Pristiq 50mg

2022 Jan Lexapro

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  • dipeshk changed the title to dipeshk: Pristiq messed up my life - dealing with persistent withdrawal symptoms after stopping (6+ months)
  • Administrator

Welcome, @dipeshk

 

Tapering an antidepressant by skipping doses is a good way to provoke withdrawal symptoms. It's very probable that you are suffering protracted withdrawal syndrome from going off Pristiq in such an irregular fashion.

 

Your doctor was remiss in recommending this method and then ignoring your withdrawal symptoms. You might find a new doctor.

 

Sometimes taking a very low dose of the same drug again can help relieve withdrawal syndrome. Pristiq is a hard tablet that is difficult to titrate, but venlafaxine (Effexor) is a sibling drug that may substitute.

 

Are you able to get the type of Effexor that is a capsule filled with tiny beads? Even 3 beads may work.

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

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  • 2 months later...

Hi thanks for your reply. I did try effexor 37.5mg but I noticed I get a tremor from it. Would it better to try another SSRI/SNRI to counteract the effects of pristiq withdrawal? 

 

I am afraid of making things worse

Regards

Medication History

2019 Lexapro, Cipralex

2020 Jan - Feb Cymbalta

2020 Feb - Nov Pristiq 50mg/100mg

2020 Nov - Dec Trintellix 

2020 December Effexor 37.5mg

2021 March Pristiq 50mg

2022 Jan Lexapro

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  • Moderator

Hi there dipeshk,

When did you try the 37.5 mg of Effexor?  And then for how long?

 

Could you work on a Signature for us please:

How to summarize your drug history in your signature?

 

Get the dates in there, of these trials you've done.  I'm confused as to whether you just tried Effexor 37.5 mg, or if that was clear back last February.

 

We often have members try reinstatements at doses much less than what you tried.  Here's the topic:

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

Also see:  What is withdrawal syndrome?

                 The windows and waves pattern of stabilization

 

Are you taking anything now?

And how are you doing?  Symptoms now?  Functioning?

 

I assure you, you are not screwed for life dipeshk.  I think you are suffering WD, like most members here and possibly your doctors don't have a clue.

 

Welcome aboard,

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

mmt

 

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/27/2021 at 5:05 PM, manymoretodays said:

Hi there dipeshk,

When did you try the 37.5 mg of Effexor?  And then for how long? (In December 2020 and only for 2 weeks - sorry not February as mentioned in my above post)

 

Could you work on a Signature for us please: (Done)

How to summarize your drug history in your signature?

 

Get the dates in there, of these trials you've done.  I'm confused as to whether you just tried Effexor 37.5 mg, or if that was clear back last February. (Done - I tried the effexor 37.5 back in December for 2 weeks but stopped due to essential tremor)

 

We often have members try reinstatements at doses much less than what you tried.  Here's the topic: (Thanks, I will read the topic. I tried reinstating back in March (every other day) but that made my symptoms worse)

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

Also see:  What is withdrawal syndrome?

                 The windows and waves pattern of stabilization

 

Are you taking anything now? (Lexapro)

And how are you doing?  Symptoms now?  Functioning?

Not doing too good. The hypnic jerks are getting worse and causing me panic attacks. I am not functioning at all due to severe anxiety when trying to sleep. I am having to go on short term disability at work. 

 

I assure you, you are not screwed for life dipeshk.  I think you are suffering WD, like most members here and possibly your doctors don't have a clue.

 

Welcome aboard,

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

mmt

 

 

Medication History

2019 Lexapro, Cipralex

2020 Jan - Feb Cymbalta

2020 Feb - Nov Pristiq 50mg/100mg

2020 Nov - Dec Trintellix 

2020 December Effexor 37.5mg

2021 March Pristiq 50mg

2022 Jan Lexapro

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  • Moderator

Hi dipeshk,

I'm just reading your responses now.  I can get rid of the post that says delete.  I justed copied your responses and that above quote here too.  And then, of course, more questions below the copy with your response.  I put dashed lines where the copy starts and ends.  I'm happy if you just would like to use the option to just do a partial quote, and then answer below it.  Or notify me, when you reply with just answers to questions.  You just use the @ button and then start to type in my full user name, and you'll see my user name and can then click on it.  That's a notification.

Either way.......better than full quote, with answers in there, as I have to pull it down to read everything.......it just get's awkward.

 

---------------------------

 

Hi there dipeshk,

When did you try the 37.5 mg of Effexor?  And then for how long? (In December 2020 and only for 2 weeks - sorry not February as mentioned in my above post)

 

Could you work on a Signature for us please: (Done)

How to summarize your drug history in your signature?

 

Get the dates in there, of these trials you've done.  I'm confused as to whether you just tried Effexor 37.5 mg, or if that was clear back last February. (Done - I tried the effexor 37.5 back in December for 2 weeks but stopped due to essential tremor)

 

We often have members try reinstatements at doses much less than what you tried.  Here's the topic: (Thanks, I will read the topic. I tried reinstating back in March (every other day) but that made my symptoms worse)

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

Also see:  What is withdrawal syndrome?

                 The windows and waves pattern of stabilization

 

Are you taking anything now? (Lexapro)

And how are you doing?  Symptoms now?  Functioning?

Not doing too good. The hypnic jerks are getting worse and causing me panic attacks. I am not functioning at all due to severe anxiety when trying to sleep. I am having to go on short term disability at work. 

 

I assure you, you are not screwed for life dipeshk.  I think you are suffering WD, like most members here and possibly your doctors don't have a clue.

---------------------------------------

Thank you on the signature.  It's not unusual to feel a bit confused and/or cognitively impaired when in WD or even sometimes from adverse effects of drugs too.  Just so you know that.  And also know it gets better too.  It's not permanent, it wasn't for me.......  Keep the hope.

Thank you, and copy that on the Effexor.

What dose of Lexapro are you on now?  When exactly did you start it this month?  Day, date?

Why did you start it?

Has it helped with anything?

 

And oh shoot, on you aren't doing well right now.  How are the essential tremors you mention?

 

Stupid hypnic jerks!!  And panic and severe anxiety.  Decent though, I mean it is, that you at least get short term disability now.  And I'm sure that does add to your distress though too. 

 

I'm going to stop there.  I can help you find some links to symptoms and non-drug coping, if you don't beat me to it, when I get back.

You can go to the Symptoms and Self Care forum, and then plug in say panic or anxiety, right into the top right search box, and then see what comes up.

Or search from your main browser, even when not signed in too......just type in surviving antidepressants.org and then your topic of interest, or symptom.

See how those go for you.

 

And yes, that every other day dosing is never good.  As far as your reinstatement trial, and doing Effexor that way.  Were you then not able to get a capsule with beads of Effexor then, to retry that at a dose much lower than 37.5 mg ?

 

So sorry bud, it's still so very symptomatic for you.  Try try your best to be patient with yourself now, and this process of healing from psych drugs.  I am so hoping you are just on a teeny tiny dose of Lexapro.  As, sometimes........it's just time and patience and the belief in healing that helps the most.  There are not often shortcuts to that once the drugs have harmed.  Just saying, to give you strength now.

 

Best, L, P, H, and G,

mmt

 

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to dipeshk: Pristiq messed up my life - persistent withdrawal symptoms after stopping (6+ months)

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