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BCP Cold turkey Pristiq


BCP

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Could anyone please advise on how to overcome cold turkey symptoms from ceasing Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) 50mg/daily x 18 months. I stopped today (well, last dose was 36 hrs ago) and I aside from the physiological symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, dry mouth, shakey hands and arms, I want to know how to live anxiety free and depression free without the meds. Can I retrain my neurotransmitters?

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi BCP, the experts here NEVER advocate cold turkey from anti depressants unless it is 

totally unavoidable. Cold turkey withdrawal is sheer torture and some say even worse than 

quitting heroin. It can go on for years as many people here will tell you. 

The recommended way is to taper slowly, that  way you get off it as pain free as possible. 

A 10% reduction then hold and wait for a month or so, then another 10% is what is recommended.

Doing it this way means your body adjusts as you go and you can feel better and better with each drop.

You can do it so that you hardly notice any withdrawal at all. But cold turkey can be a nightmare! 

 

Staff will be along very soon to advise, I can only say from my own experience and what I've seen here.

A minority of people can quit CT but they are very few and there is no way of knowing if you will be one of them

until withdrawal kicks in, sometimes months later when it can be too late to reinstate. 

 

Sorry to be so blunt, I've just been reading  friends posts and my heart breaks for them, I would hate to see anyone

go through that when it can be avoided. I am one of the lucky ones like yourself who found this site before it

was too late to reinstate after trying to CT myself. I quickly reinstated and have tapered very slowly for 18 months now.

There have been some very rocky times recently but nowhere near the torment some have to endure. 

 

You are in the right place, everyone is very helpful and supportive.   :) It would help staff if you could put your meds history

in your signature, it makes things easier for staff in future, so they don't have to scroll back to the beginning with each post. 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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  • Administrator

Welcome, BCP.

 

There is no quick cure for withdrawal symptoms from cold turkey. They could clear up in a few months or it might take years.

 

Pristiq is tricky to taper, but a rough taper is better than none at all. If I were you, I might reinstate at 3/4 of a tablet and consider the options here for tapering -- see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/876-tips-for-tapering-off-pristiq-desvenlafaxine/

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 BCP, the experts here NEVER advocate cold turkey from anti depressants unless it is totally unavoidable. Cold turkey withdrawal is sheer torture and some say even worse than quitting heroin. It can go on for years as many people here will tell you. The recommended way is to taper slowly, that way you get off it as pain free as possible. A 10% reduction then hold and wait for a month or so, then another 10% is what is recommended.Doing it this way means your body adjusts as you go and you can feel better and better with each drop.You can do it so that you hardly notice any withdrawal at all. But cold turkey can be a nightmare! Staff will be along very soon to advise, I can only say from my own experience and what I've seen here.A minority of people can quit CT but they are very few and there is no way of knowing if you will be one of themuntil withdrawal kicks in, sometimes months later when it can be too late to reinstate. Sorry to be so blunt, I've just been reading friends posts and my heart breaks for them, I would hate to see anyonego through that when it can be avoided. I am one of the lucky ones like yourself who found this site before itwas too late to reinstate after trying to CT myself. I quickly reinstated and have tapered very slowly for 18 months now.There have been some very rocky times recently but nowhere near the torment some have to endure. You are in the right place, everyone is very helpful and supportive. :) It would help staff if you could put your meds historyin your signature, it makes things easier for staff in future, so they don't have to scroll back to the beginning with each post.

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MammaP you're so kind, thankyou for your support. I've read the advice and information on desvenlafaxine regarding CT but I'm just so fed up with being reliant on synthetics. So that's it, I want out and I'm prepared (currently enduring!) for the worst. I want to be able to face situations in life that I can respond positively to, like being invited to a dinner party and attending rather than spend the week in absolute distress over attending and then finally cancelling at last minute. How can I train my body that not everything is a fight or flight response?

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi BCP, just so you know... should you decide WD is more than you bargained for (likely), there is a window for effectively RI or substituting Effexor.  The longer you wait, the more sensitized you will become and after a month it''s a carp shoot as to whether either would result in an improvement.

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Carp shoot...like shooting fish in a barrel? LOL sorry Sky, I couldn't resist...

 

BCP, it's NOT like shooting fish in a barrel, at all.  Of course you want off the drugs ASAP. Everybody does.

 

But drugs that alter neurotransmitters don't just work while they're in you and then quietly go away when you quit taking them. (Would that they did...)

 

The problem is, brains grow and change, and when we mess up their chemistry, they remodel themselves around the new artificial chemistry in such a way that they are now dependent on the drugs, like a plant that grows on a trellis. If you yank the trellis out, it's an ugly picture.  Much better to ramp down the artificial chemistry slowly, giving your brain time to regrow itself back to the "factory settings."

 

There is no known way to "overcome" withdrawal symptoms. For people who are too far out to reinstate and taper appropriately, we recommend reading the Symptoms and Self-Care section for suggestions for coping with them.

 

In your case I think we would all prefer to see you reinstate at a reduced dose and do a sane taper. Please read over the stories in this forum and consider it. Like Skyler says, you have a month or so, maybe a little longer, it varies, I don't know your exact med history.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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