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sjsobota Weaning off of Pristiq


sjsobota

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Hello to all -

 

I've been lurking and reading all of the posts concerning weaning off Pristiq, and I appreciate all the information.  I decided to wean off of Pristiq because 1) I was no longer feeling stable after a year on the medicine, 2) if I missed a day, I was miserable.

 

To help you get an idea of who I am, I fired my previous psychiatrist because he said that when I missed a day of medication (no matter what the reason - illness, forgetfulness, whatever), that I was noncompliant and had no interest in getting better.

 

I prefer to be human, rather than a robot, and understand that any medication that makes me feel that bad if I miss a day is not worth the benefits (if any) it gives.

 

I did a lot of research into weaning off Pristiq, and was not surprised that neither my current physician, psychiatrist, or pharmacist had any ideas that there were issues with discontinuation.  I showed them many sources of information, and my psychiatrist and I decided to go with a tapering (even though you aren't supposed to per the maker's instructions).  Really, how do you taper when the only options are 100, 50, and nothing?

 

I went from 100 (on for over a year) to 50 with little issue.  Stayed on 50 for about six weeks.  Started cutting 50's in half, then quarters and completely discontinued over a six week period (about 1-2 weeks for each step down).  I took my last quarter six days ago.  While I'd had some days during the process that were bad, the day after I took the last quarter was worse, and now six days in it is six times worse. 

 

Symptoms are the usual ones; brain zaps/shivers up to 2/second for hours at a time, sleeplessness, lack of appetite, lack of ability to concentrate (mentally or physically - typing this has taken over three times longer than it should), burning/itching eyes, skin sensitivity, unusually acute hearing (small noises seem very loud).  Worse has been emotional instability - crying jags, hyper irritability. 

 

I have an understanding boss, who has allowed me to work from home when the vertigo gets so bad I can't drive.  I am very lucky in this.  What I haven't been lucky in, however, is mediators - what can I do/take to mitigate the brain zaps and vertigo?

 

I will get through this.  Thank you for reading.

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  • Administrator

Welcome, sjsobota.

 

You've seen our Pristiq tapering topic? http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/876-tips-for-tapering-off-pristiq-desvenlafaxine/

 

Since you have withdrawal symptoms, you might reinstate a quarter-tablet and hold for a while until symptoms go away. Then....like everyone else, you'll have to figure out how to go lower than that. Maybe pulverizing the tablet and taking a partial dose?

 

Do you have any Pristiq left?

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 sjsobota. Sorry you are feeling so bad, doctors don't have a clue how hard it is to stop these drugs

and the drug companies that make them don't know either  :angry: . 

My old psychiatrist said much the same as yours once. I was rushed into hospital after collapsing at home.

They didn't have my anti depressant on the ward and I was 3 days without it. When I told my psychiatrist

about the awful withdrawal symptoms he wrote to my gp and told him I was non compliant with my medication

and missing doses!! I couldn't believe it when my gp asked me about it! 

 

Alto has suggested reinstating  a small dose, listen to what she says because she is the best there is on 

withdrawal! I found fish oil helps with the brain zaps and vertigo,, others have found the same benefit too.

Many supplements can make things worse but fish oil seems to be tolerated by most people in withdrawal.

I hope you can reinstate and stabilise soon and continue with a taper that is better for you and you can 

get on with life without the horrors of withdrawal. 

**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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Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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Thank you - I've spoken to my psychiatrist and am taking 1/8th (!) of a pill. I have to crush them (as you mentioned). Still feeling exhaustion and body aches but brain zaps are a little better.

 

I was starting to feel invisible on the board. I guess I'm not in enough crisis to get many replies. Thank you for your help.

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Altostrata - thank you - I've read the posting many to times and introduced my gp and psychiatrist to it as well. I have plenty of meds left at 1/8th of a 50 mg dose - I think I'll be set for months at this rate :)

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Jemima - thank you. I will look into the fish oils. I've reinstated a 1/8thpill dose and am a little more stable but the brain zaps are frustrating.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I'm glad you are feeling more stable sjsbota and glad you re-instated, it is amazing the difference a tiny amount can make.

It will take time but it is definitely worth taking that time. The brain zaps are awful but they will settle quite quickly too, if not

settles in a few days then Alto might suggest a tiny increase in dose until you are comfortable.

 

You might not get many replies to your topic but believe me you are not invisible. I can understand why you feel that way though,

when you are desperate and crying out for help it can seem such a long time before anyone replies!. Many many people read and don't post, but almost everyone who comes to here are looking for help themselves and are reading posts to find their own answers.

Your intro has had 31 views to now, that is potentially 31 people who might be helped by reading your experience and the advice given so please keep posting .  :)

**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

Very good to hear you're doing better, sjsobota. How are you measuring your 1/8 tablet?

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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Altostrata - not very well  :)

 

I have a pill cutter, and it does very well on round pills, but Pristiq is square. I can just get it from halves to quarters, and am having hit and miss luck on getting the quarters into eighths...when I go to 16ths I'm going to see if my pharmacist can assist in crushing and measuring for me.  They do compounding at the Shoppers near me, so they have scales, etc. that I don't have.

 

The stuff tastes nasty, btw.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Oh yuck I bet it does taste nasty. 

 

You can get a milligram scale on Amazon if you can't find one locally.

 

Please don't take it personally when you don't get replies to your posts. We are all volunteers here and we have busy lives away from this board. I know for me, for example, I might have half an hour or an hour to go on the board, and I will skim the titles of the new people and see if there is someone I think I might be able to help, and then I will check in with one or two of the people I've already been talking to. That leaves a lot of people out! In your case since you're tapering Pristiq I might not pick up on your thread first because I'm not particularly expert on Pristiq.

 

We don't have a huge staff, is what I'm trying to say, so it's not about you.

 

Welcome to the forum.

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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http://www.amazon.com/Portable-Milligram-Digital-Scale-0-001g/dp/B009334WPE

 

this is the one I use...it's not scientific grade, if you can get the pharmacy to do it their scales are much better, but this is better than nothing for sure.

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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Update and thank you. Since starting back onto 1/8th of a 50mg pill, the tremors and some of the anxiety have lessened.

 

I appreciate all the responses and will try some of the suggestions. I am used to being invisible by now - I don't take it as much personally but as a reconfirmation. Sorry - a lot down tonight.

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Thanks for the update Sjsobota, its good to hear that your symptoms have decreased since updosing.

 

Sorry that you are feeling down, hope you feel better soon.

Petu.

 

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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Really bad today. Snapping at husband and yelling at kids. I feel completely worthless. 20 plus years on meds and I worse than when I first started. If I haven't cheered up by now I don't think I will. There's no point in trying any more it hurts too much to see how pathetic and worthless I am.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

hi sjsobota, sorry you are feeling bad, you are not worthless or pathetic you are suffering from withdrawal

and it is horrendous for anyone to go through. You will stabilise and feel better, but it takes time, hopefully

it won't be too long for you. Recovery comes in windows, where you can feel better for a while, and waves,

when symptoms appear again. Read about them here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/82-the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-recovery/.  I hope you are feeling better very soon. 

**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

Perhaps a quarter of a tablet would be better.

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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