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Roadie422 off Pristiq


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Hi All,


Here is my two cents: I started on Effexor Xr in 2001 which was fine then the doc switched me to Pristiq in 2006/7 50mg. It had side effects but they went away quick.


I recently decided that I was tired of taking meds and wanted to quit Pristiq. I knew that it would not be fun, based simply on how I reacted to a missed dose. Here's how I did it with 15 pills:


I lowered the frequency of dosage by 1/2days very gradually. I went for 1wk at 50mg every 1.5 days. Side effects were minor, mainly short temper. I then went to a 48hr dosage time. Side effects were slightly more uncomfortable but only on the second day and not nearly as bad as missing a dose. After going to a dose every 3days I started adding a full day, rather than half days, to the step down. It went fine.


You get the idea I think. After I got to dosage every 5 days I only needed to take 2 doses before stopping completely.


Having to only go half a day with any serious symptoms made the process tolerable. It was tedious and has taken over a month. I used the symptoms to determine when I could extend the time between doses.


I have not taken any now for 18days and am "OK". I don't feel like I am back to normal yet though. I occasionally get very anxious, seem to be much more sensitive and have had some trouble sleeping. None of this is enough for me to feel I need to take a pill.


I have read that these symptoms can last up to 6mths and its based on how long one took the Med. Hopefully it will get better.


I have a few helpful hints I picked up. First, caffeine made me feel horrible in the early days of tapering. I reduced caffeine intake to just a little in the mornings. Second, exercise made me feel much much better on bad days. I exercise 4 days a week and on days when I was extending the time between doses it really helped me feel better. Lastly, I was a huge jerk to my wife, mainly because tiny irritations were exaggerated to angry extremes. I apologized a lot.


Overall, the whole experience was pretty crappy. I would love to know when I will feel normal again, without the anxiety or emotional sensitivity. I cried watching Happy Feet with my 2yr old for Petes sake.

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Roadie422.


As you know, that is not the way we would suggest anyone go off Pristiq. But it seemed to work for you so far, and that's good.


At 18 days off, it sounds like you have mild withdrawal symptoms:

I occasionally get very anxious, seem to be much more sensitive and have had some trouble sleeping.

If this gets worse, you may wish to take a small amount of Pristiq (a quarter of a 50mg tablet) or Effexor immediately, take a small dosage consistently for at least several weeks, and taper more gradually from there.

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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