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Bovinity: Pristiq Withdrawal after a month


Bovinity

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Hi all,

 

I have been on Pristiq 50 mg since 26 Sep 2021 for 2 solid weeks and then I went on 2 days on and 1 day off for about 1.5 weeks and 1 day on and 1 day off. This was as advised by the psychiatrist. I want to get off the medication and my doctor advised me to just stop. From all that I have read, in these forums, none of the above tapering methods are advised.  The doctor doesn't seem to think I will have any withdrawal.

 

When I did skipping of doses, I I had dull headaches the whole day, dizziness and extreme fatigue.

 

My question is since I have been on Pristiq for such a short period of time, does anyone have a similar experience coming off it?  I do not have access to a compounding pharmacy and the smallest dose available is 50 mg.

 

Thank you.

2 weeks in Jul 2021: Zoloft 50 mg every day. Stopped because of stomach pain and pain went away immediately.

3 weeks in Aug 2021: Remeron. Stopped because of daytime sedation.

3 weeks in Aug/Sep 2021: Off all antidepressants. Felt heightened anxiety and psychiatrist said to try an SNRI.

26 Sep to 12 Oct 2021: Pristiq 50 mg every day.

14 Oct till 25 Oct 2021: Pristiq 50 mg 2 days on/1 day off for 3 rounds and 1 day on/1 day off 2 rounds.

14 Oct 2021 till present: Trazadone 12.5 mg taken nightly for sleep.

 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Bovinity: Pristiq Withdrawal after a month
  • Moderator

Welcome @Bovinity

It is recommended to do a quick taper when you have been on a drug for this short a time, but as you have experienced, it's important not to do so by skipping doses. This can trigger the withdrawal symptoms you have had (headache etc). It is better to cut the pill in half and take half every day than to take it every other day.

 

Did you experience any side effects the first two weeks, before you started skipping doses?

 

To advise you further we ask all members to create a drug history in their signature by following these instructions:

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/24613-how-to-summarize-your-drug-history-in-your-signature/

 

When we have a few more details, we will be in a better position to offer support and suggestions.

These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I have learned, not medical advice.

 

Drug history

2002-2019 Citalopram/Escitalopram, Lamictal
2019 April Escitalopram, quit at 10mg (withdrawal), Oct Escitalopram 10mg reinstated, quit after a few days (adverse reaction)

2019 Oct Lamictal cut from 200mg to 100mg
2019 Dec Lithium 83x2 mg

2020 Aug-Nov Lamictal tapered to 50 mg

2020 Nov 24 Lithium taper started, 30 Jan off Lithium

2021 15. March-31. May Lamictal tapered to 32.5 mg (holding)

2022 10. Jan started taking 25mg+5mg+2mg+0.5 liquid, 22. Jan went back to taking 25mg+5mg+half 5mg

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Hi,

 

Thanks for the advice and I have also added my history to the signature.

 

Sometime in May, an event occurred that triggered a bout of intense insomnia for almost 2 months (June to July 2021).  I barely slept for 2-4 hours per day and I could not function well, go to work and had anxiety about going out. I tried lorazapam for weeks but it didn't help with the sleep (max I achieved as 4 hours).  Eventually GP sent me to a psychiatrist who prescribed Zoloft.  I resisted for a while but eventually succumbed hoping that I could finally get some rest.  Not only did I not sleep, the 2nd week into Zoloft, I had so much stomach pain that I couldn't sleep for 5 straight nights (not a wink).  When I came off it, the stomach pain stopped immediately.

 

The insomnia persisted through into Aug and I went to see a new psychiatrist who gave me remeron.  That literally knocked me out for 3 weeks but the daytime sedation was too bad so we stopped.  For 3 weeks I went antidepressant free and I didn't feel tired and was able to feel my emotions.  However, I also felt very anxious and the doctor who believed that I had GAD started me on Pristiq since the SSRI did not work.  Initially the anxiety went down a little but didn't go away.  However, after 2 weeks, I was emotionally blunted and I really felt that I lacked motivation. I also had headaches and eye pressure; the headaches are more like brain pressure that continued throughout the day.  That's when she suggested that the dosage might be too much and so told me to do the 2 days on and 1 day off.  Within this period, one day I tried cutting the pill in half but it gave me bad stomach ache and I felt nauseous.

 

During this period, I have used half a lorazapam on and off when I feel anxious and it does make me calm.

 

Recently, I found a combination that works for sleep since 14 Oct 2021 - melatonin 3 mg, magnesium, Gaia's Sleep Through & 1/4 tab of trazaodon. Ironically now, I don't worry about sleep anymore. I also take supplements like Omega-3, probiotics, Vit D, Vit B, Vit C, Magnesium to name a few.  I have been taking these for years so it isn't new.

 

I think that I have been misdiagnosed as I believe my symptons are due to hormonal imbalance.  I have seen a specialist and I have low estrogen probably due to perimenopause and have been given HRT.

 

That's my story and thanks so much for listening.

 

 

 

2 weeks in Jul 2021: Zoloft 50 mg every day. Stopped because of stomach pain and pain went away immediately.

3 weeks in Aug 2021: Remeron. Stopped because of daytime sedation.

3 weeks in Aug/Sep 2021: Off all antidepressants. Felt heightened anxiety and psychiatrist said to try an SNRI.

26 Sep to 12 Oct 2021: Pristiq 50 mg every day.

14 Oct till 25 Oct 2021: Pristiq 50 mg 2 days on/1 day off for 3 rounds and 1 day on/1 day off 2 rounds.

14 Oct 2021 till present: Trazadone 12.5 mg taken nightly for sleep.

 

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  • Moderator

Thank you for sharing @Bovinity

This is unfortunately a very common story. We ask for help and get drugs that add to the problem. I'm glad you don't worry about sleep anymore. Be careful with trazodone. It's an antidepressant that can cause withdrawal when coming off. Can you update your signature with the amount of mg trazodone you take? Is it daily? Also lorazepam and mg

 

I don't know much about Pristiq, but I see now it is coated with a time-release coating and therefore shouldn't be cut. This might explain the stomach ache you got. Is 25mg not available where you are? Given the choice between skipping doses or just stopping, I would think it better to just stop.

 

Considering the different drugs you have tried since May, and that anxiety is a common reaction to coming off them, I would assume this is the cause for your anxiety and will resolve itself. Once the brain has had time to readjust from drug exposure. People are often misdiagnosed with GAD, when they are in fact in recovery from exposure to psychiatric drugs.

Edited by Kiasofia

These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I have learned, not medical advice.

 

Drug history

2002-2019 Citalopram/Escitalopram, Lamictal
2019 April Escitalopram, quit at 10mg (withdrawal), Oct Escitalopram 10mg reinstated, quit after a few days (adverse reaction)

2019 Oct Lamictal cut from 200mg to 100mg
2019 Dec Lithium 83x2 mg

2020 Aug-Nov Lamictal tapered to 50 mg

2020 Nov 24 Lithium taper started, 30 Jan off Lithium

2021 15. March-31. May Lamictal tapered to 32.5 mg (holding)

2022 10. Jan started taking 25mg+5mg+2mg+0.5 liquid, 22. Jan went back to taking 25mg+5mg+half 5mg

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Hi thanks for getting back to me. I take 1/4 pill of trazadone to sleep every night.  I took 1/2 a pill on the first day but I found it too sedative but 1/4 pill works. Yes I think I am going to stop completely and deal with the side effects of withdrawal.  Keep my fingers crossed.  I don't know how long it will take my brain to heal??!   I have also started taking gaba and NAC supplements.

2 weeks in Jul 2021: Zoloft 50 mg every day. Stopped because of stomach pain and pain went away immediately.

3 weeks in Aug 2021: Remeron. Stopped because of daytime sedation.

3 weeks in Aug/Sep 2021: Off all antidepressants. Felt heightened anxiety and psychiatrist said to try an SNRI.

26 Sep to 12 Oct 2021: Pristiq 50 mg every day.

14 Oct till 25 Oct 2021: Pristiq 50 mg 2 days on/1 day off for 3 rounds and 1 day on/1 day off 2 rounds.

14 Oct 2021 till present: Trazadone 12.5 mg taken nightly for sleep.

 

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  • Moderator

You have been using Trazodone a short time, so that should be ok. I would also avoid taking lorazepam, if possible. Although it calms anxiety in the short term, it can make it worse in the long term.

 

I wish there was a way of knowing how long each individual persons healing would take. It's just so individual. We advise people to be careful with supplements, since some people find them activating. But many find magnesium and fish oil helpful.

These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I have learned, not medical advice.

 

Drug history

2002-2019 Citalopram/Escitalopram, Lamictal
2019 April Escitalopram, quit at 10mg (withdrawal), Oct Escitalopram 10mg reinstated, quit after a few days (adverse reaction)

2019 Oct Lamictal cut from 200mg to 100mg
2019 Dec Lithium 83x2 mg

2020 Aug-Nov Lamictal tapered to 50 mg

2020 Nov 24 Lithium taper started, 30 Jan off Lithium

2021 15. March-31. May Lamictal tapered to 32.5 mg (holding)

2022 10. Jan started taking 25mg+5mg+2mg+0.5 liquid, 22. Jan went back to taking 25mg+5mg+half 5mg

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Thank you and yes I try not to use lorazapam unless necessary and each time, i take half a tablet and sometimes 1/4. Yes, I am taking magnesium and omega-3 as well.  Thanks again.

2 weeks in Jul 2021: Zoloft 50 mg every day. Stopped because of stomach pain and pain went away immediately.

3 weeks in Aug 2021: Remeron. Stopped because of daytime sedation.

3 weeks in Aug/Sep 2021: Off all antidepressants. Felt heightened anxiety and psychiatrist said to try an SNRI.

26 Sep to 12 Oct 2021: Pristiq 50 mg every day.

14 Oct till 25 Oct 2021: Pristiq 50 mg 2 days on/1 day off for 3 rounds and 1 day on/1 day off 2 rounds.

14 Oct 2021 till present: Trazadone 12.5 mg taken nightly for sleep.

 

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  • Administrator

Hello, @Bovinity

 

On 10/25/2021 at 3:13 AM, Bovinity said:

My question is since I have been on Pristiq for such a short period of time, does anyone have a similar experience coming off it?

 

Skipping doses of psychiatric drugs is a good way to evoke adverse reactions and withdrawal symptoms.

 

What are the symptoms you have now that you attribute to Pristiq withdrawal?

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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8 hours ago, Altostrata said:

Hello, @Bovinity

 

 

Skipping doses of psychiatric drugs is a good way to evoke adverse reactions and withdrawal symptoms.

 

What are the symptoms you have now that you attribute to Pristiq withdrawal?

Hi, I have brain shivers and headaches, dizziness, muscle tension and stomach discomfort. It comes and goes. I also wake up with unexplainable anxiety but that subsides after taking supplements and going for a cycle. The headaches are the most uncomfortable. This is after 24 days on the drug. I really want it out of my system.

2 weeks in Jul 2021: Zoloft 50 mg every day. Stopped because of stomach pain and pain went away immediately.

3 weeks in Aug 2021: Remeron. Stopped because of daytime sedation.

3 weeks in Aug/Sep 2021: Off all antidepressants. Felt heightened anxiety and psychiatrist said to try an SNRI.

26 Sep to 12 Oct 2021: Pristiq 50 mg every day.

14 Oct till 25 Oct 2021: Pristiq 50 mg 2 days on/1 day off for 3 rounds and 1 day on/1 day off 2 rounds.

14 Oct 2021 till present: Trazadone 12.5 mg taken nightly for sleep.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
14 minutes ago, Bovinity said:

I also wake up with unexplainable anxiety but that subsides after taking supplements

 

Q:  What supplements are you taking before the anxiety subsides?

 

EDITED to make question more specific.

Edited by ChessieCat
reworded question

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq    Post 0 updates start here

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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27 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

 

Q:  What supplements are you taking before the anxiety subsides?

 

EDITED to make question more specific.

Hi,I take supplements like Omega-3, probiotics, Vit D, Vit B, Vit C, Magnesium to name a few. My homeopath started me on NAC and a liquid GABA as well.

2 weeks in Jul 2021: Zoloft 50 mg every day. Stopped because of stomach pain and pain went away immediately.

3 weeks in Aug 2021: Remeron. Stopped because of daytime sedation.

3 weeks in Aug/Sep 2021: Off all antidepressants. Felt heightened anxiety and psychiatrist said to try an SNRI.

26 Sep to 12 Oct 2021: Pristiq 50 mg every day.

14 Oct till 25 Oct 2021: Pristiq 50 mg 2 days on/1 day off for 3 rounds and 1 day on/1 day off 2 rounds.

14 Oct 2021 till present: Trazadone 12.5 mg taken nightly for sleep.

 

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  • Administrator

I am confused, didn't you go off Pristiq? What drugs are you taking now, at what times o'clock and dosages?

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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Hi, I am off pristiq and I'm just taking 1/4 tab 12.5 mg trazadone for sleep every night but I'm thinking of stopping that too soon. Gaba and NAC are supplements.

2 weeks in Jul 2021: Zoloft 50 mg every day. Stopped because of stomach pain and pain went away immediately.

3 weeks in Aug 2021: Remeron. Stopped because of daytime sedation.

3 weeks in Aug/Sep 2021: Off all antidepressants. Felt heightened anxiety and psychiatrist said to try an SNRI.

26 Sep to 12 Oct 2021: Pristiq 50 mg every day.

14 Oct till 25 Oct 2021: Pristiq 50 mg 2 days on/1 day off for 3 rounds and 1 day on/1 day off 2 rounds.

14 Oct 2021 till present: Trazadone 12.5 mg taken nightly for sleep.

 

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