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Littleredhead

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I found this site while looking for information to wean myself off of Pristiq.  I am trying to understand what it means when a writer says to not alternate the Pristiq to get off it.  My doctor said to start cutting the tablet and take half the tablet for two weeks then she would start me on Citalopram for my depression.  I've begun to wonder if I can get off these types of medicine all together.  I have tried to take the half tablet for three days now and I just get sick to my stomach and vomit.  I tried taking it with food, but that didn't help either.  I started trying to take it every other day for a week, and now this week I am taking it every two days.  The two days off I have dizziness and bad headaches.  I want to stop taking these types of medicine completely because I truly believe that the medicine is causing me more problems than helping.  I have seen a real change in my personality, ie; agitation, really bad anger, sleep problems, weight gain, feeling tired all the time.  I am on a very limited income and cannot afford to go to a compounding pharmacist to further break down the medicine to a smaller dose.  What kind of damage will be done to my nervous system if I just stop taking the drug and try to deal with the withdrawal symptoms?  

Cymbalta 2006-2008

Pristiq Dec. 2008 to present

Starting Effexor this week to wean from Pristiq

11-14-2013 Started Effexor, 50mg in morning, 25mg. in evening.

12-4-2013 cut 25 mg. evening tab in half will stay at two 25 mg. in morning and 1/2  25 mg. tab in evening for 4 weeks.

Goal:  Off all Anti-Depressants in 2014

 

Off Effexor January 30, 2014.  NEVER AGAIN will I allow a doctor to talk me into any medication!

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DON'T STOP THE MEDICINE SUDDENLY!!

It is the worst thing you can do.

Other members with more experience will give advice on how to taper SLOWLY.

4 years aprox. on 150mgs.Effexor for situational major depression.No AD before.
Tapered 150-0mgs in 3 months.

Tapered Quetiapine,Xanax in the last 18 months.NO med of any kind anymore.
First 3 months off acute w/d
Protracted w/d ever since.
Symptoms:Anxiety,anhedonia,insomnia,tinnitus,PSSD

04/13/2014 Awful Relapse.Recovered fairly fast.

3 years and 4 months off.

waves and windows.Very much recovered.

November 2015,health issue.Setback.
 

 

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I would recommend you consider continuing on the medication until you have had time to do some more reading and self-education.

 

It sounds like you have looked at this thread:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/876-tips-for-tapering-off-pristiq-desvenlafaxine/

 

You'll note that Alto suggests that you read the entire thread before beginning to taper Pristiq. Pristiq is a particularly difficult AD to taper because it does not come in a range of doses and is not (as far as I know) available in a liquid form and cannot be dissolved to make your own liquid. 

 

I know the thread is full of technical information but it's very important to try to read through and understand the basic issues. You can post questions in the thread if anything doesn't make sense to you. It's also important to read other peoples' experiences both with tapering Pristiq and with getting off ADs in general. The pharmaceutical companies have not done studies on how to taper off ADs so the only real information we have right now comes from other peoples' experiences.

 

You can get off ADs if you want to, but it's a difficult and lengthy process, and it's very important to take the time to really educate yourself, because most doctors don't really know much about it. (Doctors learn about medicines from the companies that make them, and those companies aren't teaching them about how to get people OFF their very profitable drug$.)

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

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 

 

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

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I agree with Rhi that you should continue the medication until you can come up with a plan for getting off of this particular drug.  The symptoms you describe are withdrawal symptoms.  Given that you have experienced these symptoms already, it is not likely it will get better on your current path.  Withdrawals from antidepressants is not something you can just power through.

 

How long have you been taking the drug every 2 days and what is the dose that you are taking?  It may be that you cannot go back to your original dose depending on how long you've been doing this.  You may need to go to a lower dose of Pristiq and take it daily to stablize your system.

 

One of the items in the thread that Rhi recommended is the idea of switching to Effexor regular or Effexor XR.  Effexor regular or venlafaxine is relatively inexpensive in tablet form and can be dissolved in water to do a rather precise wean.  The benefit of Effexor XR is that you can break open the capsules and remove a few beads to manage your discontinuation off of the med.

 

If you just stop the drug it is likely that you will have prolonged withdrawal.  This can last for months or years.  Unfortunately, the ones we mostly hear about suffer for years.  If you find a way to taper off of the drug you are more likley to be able to minimize the symptoms.

 

Karma

2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & .625 mg Xanax

200 mg Gabapentin 2/27/21 - 194.5 mg, 5/28/21 - 183 mg, 8/2/21 - 170 mg, 11/28/21 - 150 mg, 4/19/22 - 122 mg; 8//7/22 - 100 mg
Xanax taper: 3/11/12 - 0.9375 mg, 3/25/12 - 0.875 mg, 4/6/12 - 0.8125 mg, 4/18/12 - 0.75 mg; 1/16 0.6875 mg; at some point 0.625 mg
Effexor taper: 1/29/12 - 40.625 mg, 4/29/12 - 39.875 mg, 5/11/12 - Switched to liquid Effexor, 5/25/12 - 38 mg, 7/6/12 - 35 mg, 8/17/12 - 32 mg, 9/14/12 - 30 mg, 10/19/12 - 28 mg, 11/9/12 - 26 mg, 11/30/12 - 24 mg, 01/14/13 - 22 mg. 02/25/13 - 20.8 mg, 03/18/13 - 19.2 mg, 4/15/13 - 17.6 mg, 8/10/13 - 16.4 mg, 9/7/13 - 15.2 mg, 10/19/13 - 14 mg, 1/15/14 - 13.2 mg, 3/1/2014 - 12.6 mg, 5/4/14 - 12 mg, 8/1/14 - 11.4 mg, 8/29/14 - 10.8 mg; 10/14/14 - 10.2 mg; 12/15/14 - 10 mg, 1/11/15 - 9.5 mg, 2/8/15 - 9 mg, 3/21/15 - 8.5 mg, 5/1/15 - 8 mg, 6/9/15 - 7.5 mg, 7/8/15 - 7 mg, 8/22/15 - 6.5 mg, 10/4/15 - 6 mg; 1/1/16 - 5.6 mg; 2/6/16 - 5.2 mg; 4/9 - 4.8 mg; 7/7 4.5 mg; 10/7 4.25 mg; 11/4 4.0 mg; 11/25 3.8 mg; 4/24 3.6 mg; 5/27 3.4 mg; 7/8 3.2 mg ... 10/18 2.8 mg; 1/18 2.6 mg; 4/7 2.4 mg; 5/26 2.15mg; 8/18 1.85 mg; 10/7 1.7 mg; 12/1 1.45 mg; 3/2 1.2 mg; 5/4 0.90 mg; 6/1 0.80 mg; 6/22 0.65 mg; 08/03 0.50 mg, 08/10 0.45 mg, 10/05 0.325 mg, 11/23 0.2 mg, 12/14 0.15 mg, 12/21 0.125 mg, 02/28 0.03125 mg, 2/15 0.015625 mg, 2/29/20 0.00 mg - OFF Effexor


I am not a medical professional - this is not medical advice. My suggestions are based on personal experience, reading, observation and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Littleredhead.

 

I agree with Rhi and Karma.

 

Please re-read the topic about tapering Pristiq.

 

Since you've stepped down somewhat in dosage, you might be able to get by with a quarter tablet (12.5mg) per day. It's possible this low amount won't irritate your stomach.

 

Skipping doses puts your nervous system under a lot of stress -- that's what those withdrawal symptoms are.

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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I would recommend you consider continuing on the medication until you have had time to do some more reading and self-education.

 

It sounds like you have looked at this thread:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/876-tips-for-tapering-off-pristiq-desvenlafaxine/

 

You'll note that Alto suggests that you read the entire thread before beginning to taper Pristiq. Pristiq is a particularly difficult AD to taper because it does not come in a range of doses and is not (as far as I know) available in a liquid form and cannot be dissolved to make your own liquid. 

 

I know the thread is full of technical information but it's very important to try to read through and understand the basic issues. You can post questions in the thread if anything doesn't make sense to you. It's also important to read other peoples' experiences both with tapering Pristiq and with getting off ADs in general. The pharmaceutical companies have not done studies on how to taper off ADs so the only real information we have right now comes from other peoples' experiences.

 

You can get off ADs if you want to, but it's a difficult and lengthy process, and it's very important to take the time to really educate yourself, because most doctors don't really know much about it. (Doctors learn about medicines from the companies that make them, and those companies aren't teaching them about how to get people OFF their very profitable drug$.)

 

Welcome, Littleredhead.I agree with Rhi and Karma.Please re-read the topic about tapering Pristiq.Since you've stepped down somewhat in dosage, you might be able to get by with a quarter tablet (12.5mg) per day. It's possible this low amount won't irritate your stomach.Skipping doses puts your nervous system under a lot of stress -- that's what those withdrawal symptoms are.

I went back and read more about tapering using the Effexor, and then got a call from my doctor and told her about my difficulty with taking the half tablet of Prestiq, that is, I could not keep it down and vomitted.  I told her about this site and the suggestion of switching me to the Effexor to get off the Prestiq.  She is consulting with another doctor about this and will call me back.  After reading about how Effexor comes in different  doses, I do believe I will be able to finally get off all these types of medicine.  I'm so sick and tired of feeling the way I have for so many years that I am determined to do this.  I did call the drug company and the FDA to register my complaint about this drug.  The drug company was no help what so ever!  The FDA at least listened to me and is sending me a form to fill out about my experience with this drug.  I swear, if I could afford to do so, I would take the drug company to court over what this drug has done to my body.  

Cymbalta 2006-2008

Pristiq Dec. 2008 to present

Starting Effexor this week to wean from Pristiq

11-14-2013 Started Effexor, 50mg in morning, 25mg. in evening.

12-4-2013 cut 25 mg. evening tab in half will stay at two 25 mg. in morning and 1/2  25 mg. tab in evening for 4 weeks.

Goal:  Off all Anti-Depressants in 2014

 

Off Effexor January 30, 2014.  NEVER AGAIN will I allow a doctor to talk me into any medication!

Link to comment

I agree with Rhi that you should continue the medication until you can come up with a plan for getting off of this particular drug.  The symptoms you describe are withdrawal symptoms.  Given that you have experienced these symptoms already, it is not likely it will get better on your current path.  Withdrawals from antidepressants is not something you can just power through.

 

How long have you been taking the drug every 2 days and what is the dose that you are taking?  It may be that you cannot go back to your original dose depending on how long you've been doing this.  You may need to go to a lower dose of Pristiq and take it daily to stablize your system.

 

One of the items in the thread that Rhi recommended is the idea of switching to Effexor regular or Effexor XR.  Effexor regular or venlafaxine is relatively inexpensive in tablet form and can be dissolved in water to do a rather precise wean.  The benefit of Effexor XR is that you can break open the capsules and remove a few beads to manage your discontinuation off of the med.

 

If you just stop the drug it is likely that you will have prolonged withdrawal.  This can last for months or years.  Unfortunately, the ones we mostly hear about suffer for years.  If you find a way to taper off of the drug you are more likley to be able to minimize the symptoms.

 

Karma

Hello Karma, I've been taking the Prestiq (whole) every other day for one week, then one whole every two days for one week.  I tried this after trying to cut the pill in half and take half a day for three days.  All three days I would vommit within an hour.  I tried taking the half tablet with food to see if that would help, and it didn't.  I spoke to my doctor about an hour ago, and told her about this site and reading about how some people have had their doctor switch them to regular Effexor and then wean from that drug.  She is consulting with another doctor and will call me back, but thinks I might be on the right track with switching.  I sure hope so because I am so tired of feeling like I do.  Many thanks for all the kind replies to my situation.  

Cymbalta 2006-2008

Pristiq Dec. 2008 to present

Starting Effexor this week to wean from Pristiq

11-14-2013 Started Effexor, 50mg in morning, 25mg. in evening.

12-4-2013 cut 25 mg. evening tab in half will stay at two 25 mg. in morning and 1/2  25 mg. tab in evening for 4 weeks.

Goal:  Off all Anti-Depressants in 2014

 

Off Effexor January 30, 2014.  NEVER AGAIN will I allow a doctor to talk me into any medication!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Littleredhead, I am really glad that you have joined us. This is the best place to be when coming off anti depressants,

everyone is very supportive and we are all in it together. Some tapering and some in withdrawal from CT or too fast tapers.

These drugs are life changing for all the wrong reasons! 

**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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Hi Littleredhead, I am really glad that you have joined us. This is the best place to be when coming off anti depressants,

everyone is very supportive and we are all in it together. Some tapering and some in withdrawal from CT or too fast tapers.

These drugs are life changing for all the wrong reasons! 

Hi mamaP, I too am glad I found this site.  I'm closing in on 60 years old now and realize I've spent way to many years in the fog of AD's.  I just got a call from my doctor and she is calling in a prescription of the Effexor 25 mg. for me today.  She wants me to take the Pristiq one day and the Effexor two times a day, 50 mg in the morning and 25  mg in the late afternoon the next day and do that for one week, then switch completely to the Effexor.  We will then start weaning me off the Effexor.  I am so glad I found this site and was able to talk to my doctor with some relative smarts about how bad the Pristiq is.  My doctor has vowed to do more research herself about this particular drug after talking with me about the things I found out about it and told her.  I will come back often to write about how I am doing.  Again, thank you all so much for your valuable input. 

Cymbalta 2006-2008

Pristiq Dec. 2008 to present

Starting Effexor this week to wean from Pristiq

11-14-2013 Started Effexor, 50mg in morning, 25mg. in evening.

12-4-2013 cut 25 mg. evening tab in half will stay at two 25 mg. in morning and 1/2  25 mg. tab in evening for 4 weeks.

Goal:  Off all Anti-Depressants in 2014

 

Off Effexor January 30, 2014.  NEVER AGAIN will I allow a doctor to talk me into any medication!

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  • Administrator

Good that you have a concerned doctor. What kind of doctor is she?

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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Good that you have a concerned doctor. What kind of doctor is she?

Hello again Altrostrata, my doctor is a GP.  She is youngish, only in her 30's but so full of compassion and empathy for what I am going through.  I had at first told her I wanted to try another medicine, but after reading all the info I have about AP's, my gut is telling me to get off of them all together.  She has gone above and beyond to look into this medicine and listens to what I have to tell her about what I have learned.  There is no ego with her, just a wonderful human being.  I pick up my Effexor tomorrow and will start it on Thursday morning.  I'll come back as often as I can to let you know how I'm doing.  

Cymbalta 2006-2008

Pristiq Dec. 2008 to present

Starting Effexor this week to wean from Pristiq

11-14-2013 Started Effexor, 50mg in morning, 25mg. in evening.

12-4-2013 cut 25 mg. evening tab in half will stay at two 25 mg. in morning and 1/2  25 mg. tab in evening for 4 weeks.

Goal:  Off all Anti-Depressants in 2014

 

Off Effexor January 30, 2014.  NEVER AGAIN will I allow a doctor to talk me into any medication!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

It does sound as if you have a real gem of a doctor.

 

Welcome to the forum, Litteredhead.  I'm glad you found us.

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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Picked up my Effexor (venlafaxine 25mg) today.  My doctor told me for the first week that I should alternate the Effexor and Pristiq.  Day 1, Effexor, two in the morning and one in the evening, then day two the Prestiq and so on for the first week. Then the second and third week to take no more Pristiq but continue taking  two tabs of Effexor every morning and I tab every evening, then 1 tab in morning and 1 tab in evening for 3 weeks,  then 1 tab every morning for three weeks, and then stop.  I'm wondering if I should come off this drug a little slower than what my doctor has recommended.  My doctor spoke with two other doctor's about my case, and she said they felt this was a good schedule to wean myself.  Any thoughts that anyone else has would be appreciated.  I have never taken Effexor before so am wondering if she came up with this schedule because of that fact???

Cymbalta 2006-2008

Pristiq Dec. 2008 to present

Starting Effexor this week to wean from Pristiq

11-14-2013 Started Effexor, 50mg in morning, 25mg. in evening.

12-4-2013 cut 25 mg. evening tab in half will stay at two 25 mg. in morning and 1/2  25 mg. tab in evening for 4 weeks.

Goal:  Off all Anti-Depressants in 2014

 

Off Effexor January 30, 2014.  NEVER AGAIN will I allow a doctor to talk me into any medication!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

That schedule is WAY, WAY too fast for safety.  Please read these discussions:

 

Tips for Tapering Effexor

 

Why Taper By 10% of My Dose?

 

How To Make A Liquid From Tablets Or Capsules

 

Anyone who has been on any kind of antidepressant for more than a few months needs to follow a slow, careful tapering schedule. Most doctors and other medical personnel are entirely clueless about this.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

You have a very understanding doctor who is keen to help but I agree with Jemima that taper schedule is far too fast.

Sadly it  is the typical tapering schedule advised by doctors. Effexor is much easier to taper than pristiq but  needs

to be tapered slowly. I've been tapering effexor for  going on 2 years and started to feel better in a few weeks after

years of side effects. Prior to that I had tried cold turkey ( nightmare!) and had also tried the doctors' way of tapering,

similar to the schedule you have been given. I was hit by withdrawal and had to go back to full dose. It was  a long time 

before I was brave enough to try again and did some research first before starting a slow taper. It really is the best way to go. 

**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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Love your name....LIttleredhead

 

Pristiq and Effexor take a good amount of time to taper off of.  What the others are telling you is very true.  The slower an longer yo give yourself the better off you will be when you are done.  Alto has provided links for you to help.

 

Good luck and throw out your calendar:)

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1902-nikki-hi-my-rundown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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Love your name....LIttleredhead

 

Pristiq and Effexor take a good amount of time to taper off of.  What the others are telling you is very true.  The slower an longer yo give yourself the better off you will be when you are done.  Alto has provided links for you to help.

 

Good luck and throw out your calendar:)

Hi Nikki, Mammap and Jemima,  Many thanks for your input!  I had read about weaning much slower, and the reasons for doing it the slower way.  I'm going to try a much slower weaning process by cutting the 25 mg. in half and that half in half and go that route instead of going the whole tablet route that the doctors suggested.  I'm still having a bad headache today from my experiment with going every other day with the Pristiq.  My doctor did tell me I could do this at my own pace, and said her time frame was what was suggested by the other two doc's.  As you all know much more about this process than my doc or I, I plan on going slow and steady.  I will check back in for the next few months and let you all know how I am doing.  I appreciate so much all the informative input I've gotten from everyone.  I feel less afraid of this process since finding this website.

Cymbalta 2006-2008

Pristiq Dec. 2008 to present

Starting Effexor this week to wean from Pristiq

11-14-2013 Started Effexor, 50mg in morning, 25mg. in evening.

12-4-2013 cut 25 mg. evening tab in half will stay at two 25 mg. in morning and 1/2  25 mg. tab in evening for 4 weeks.

Goal:  Off all Anti-Depressants in 2014

 

Off Effexor January 30, 2014.  NEVER AGAIN will I allow a doctor to talk me into any medication!

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  • Administrator

In my personal opinion, your plan take half a 25mg tablet makes sense.

Picked up my Effexor (venlafaxine 25mg) today.  My doctor told me for the first week that I should alternate the Effexor and Pristiq.  Day 1, Effexor, two in the morning and one in the evening, then day two the Prestiq and so on for the first week. Then the second and third week to take no more Pristiq but continue taking  two tabs of Effexor every morning and I tab every evening, then 1 tab in morning and 1 tab in evening for 3 weeks,  then 1 tab every morning for three weeks, and then stop.  I'm wondering if I should come off this drug a little slower than what my doctor has recommended.  My doctor spoke with two other doctor's about my case, and she said they felt this was a good schedule to wean myself.  Any thoughts that anyone else has would be appreciated.  I have never taken Effexor before so am wondering if she came up with this schedule because of that fact???

Okay -- Your doctor is attempting to cross-taper you from Pristiq to Effexor. We can give her credit for that, it's the kind way to switch someone from one drug to another. (Having to alternate doses of the drugs, due to the unfortunate characteristics of Pristiq, is a shaky workaround for a cross-taper.)

 

However, she's not taking into account that since you've been alternating doses of Pristiq, you're almost out the door regarding Pristiq already -- you're in the second phase of the switch.

 

You should know fairly quickly if substituting a low, constant dose of Effexor is sufficient to quell withdrawal symptoms from alternating 50mg Pristiq.

 

I hope your doctor is warned away from prescribing Pristiq by your experience.

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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In my personal opinion, your plan take half a 25mg tablet makes sense.

Picked up my Effexor (venlafaxine 25mg) today.  My doctor told me for the first week that I should alternate the Effexor and Pristiq.  Day 1, Effexor, two in the morning and one in the evening, then day two the Prestiq and so on for the first week. Then the second and third week to take no more Pristiq but continue taking  two tabs of Effexor every morning and I tab every evening, then 1 tab in morning and 1 tab in evening for 3 weeks,  then 1 tab every morning for three weeks, and then stop.  I'm wondering if I should come off this drug a little slower than what my doctor has recommended.  My doctor spoke with two other doctor's about my case, and she said they felt this was a good schedule to wean myself.  Any thoughts that anyone else has would be appreciated.  I have never taken Effexor before so am wondering if she came up with this schedule because of that fact???

Okay -- Your doctor is attempting to cross-taper you from Pristiq to Effexor. We can give her credit for that, it's the kind way to switch someone from one drug to another. (Having to alternate doses of the drugs, due to the unfortunate characteristics of Pristiq, is a shaky workaround for a cross-taper.)

 

However, she's not taking into account that since you've been alternating doses of Pristiq, you're almost out the door regarding Pristiq already -- you're in the second phase of the switch.

 

You should know fairly quickly if substituting a low, constant dose of Effexor is sufficient to quell withdrawal symptoms from alternating 50mg Pristiq.

 

I hope your doctor is warned away from prescribing Pristiq by your experience.

I agree with your thoughts here Altostrata.  I was thinking today that I felt so much better after taking the 25mg Effexor (took two) this morning, and one more this evening.  I even had to sit at the VA with my husband for three hours waiting to see the ENT doc., He is 2 years out of getting through stage 4 throat cancer, and I was pretty good.  As I was sitting there I was thinking just what you wrote, that I'm kinda out the door already with the Pristiq, so why go back and forth with the two...Good to know I'm in the second phase too, thanks for that.  I do think my doc is becoming really interested in this subject, because she has done a lot of her own research.  I've given her this website and encouraged her to come and read some of the story's of the people here.  From what I've read here I know these doctors only know what the drug reps tell them and they take it at face value and don't question them.  My Mantra is " the poison leaves my body a little every day, and will soon be gone".  I'm so glad I came across this site, I've learned so much, and the members are so caring of one another.  

Cymbalta 2006-2008

Pristiq Dec. 2008 to present

Starting Effexor this week to wean from Pristiq

11-14-2013 Started Effexor, 50mg in morning, 25mg. in evening.

12-4-2013 cut 25 mg. evening tab in half will stay at two 25 mg. in morning and 1/2  25 mg. tab in evening for 4 weeks.

Goal:  Off all Anti-Depressants in 2014

 

Off Effexor January 30, 2014.  NEVER AGAIN will I allow a doctor to talk me into any medication!

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Wonderful. If she learns anything about tapering, you might recommend her in this thread http://tinyurl.com/7cp8l8v

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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Wonderful. If she learns anything about tapering, you might recommend her in this thread http://tinyurl.com/7cp8l8v

Hello Altostrata, I plan on speaking to my doctor about recommending her here to see if she would be comfortable with that.  So far, she has been wonderful to me, and has a very positive attitude about what I am doing.  I want to talk to her a little more to get a better feeling on her views of these drugs, and the drug reps who come and talk to her about them.  What I want to find out is, will she continue doing research on these drugs and come to realize how bad they truly are?  So far, I feel pretty comfortable with her, but want to get a better feeling about her ability to say no to the reps about prescribing these drugs to any patient.  Time will tell.

 

I started on the Effexor on the 12th, and decided to just go with the Effexor alone instead of going back and forth with the Pristiq for the first week as my doctor had suggested.   She did tell me that her instructions were not written in stone and that I should feel free to adjust the instructions to fit my own needs.  I am grateful that she understands this is personal for every person to make the best decision for them and their body.  So far, I seem to be doing alright.  I've still had a slight headache each day, but I do notice that it is not as intense as the day before.  My tinnitus was off the charts when I was going every other day with the Pristiq, but it has settled down quite a bit too.  I did start using magnesium and vitamin E as an added supplement, and I noticed almost immediately that my restless legs were not bothering me anymore, and the muscle pain was much better too.  My good friend who does only holistic medicine, recommended those two supplements right away.  I've also used some ginger tea for my nausea and that helped wonderfully.  I've cut way down on my caffeine intake, both coffee and cokes and am sleeping better.  I found a few CD's with meditation music and play those at night once I get in bed for the night.  The few I have play for a little over an hour, and I find that it helps me to relax a lot and I find that I can fall asleep before the CD is finished playing.  I am still wearing my teeth shield since I am still grinding my teeth, so that has helped me to not wake up with a sore jaw.  I am realize that my thoughts do create my reality, so am keeping my mind away from negative thinking and negative people.  I really am so blessed with wonderful friends and family who are being so helpful to me through this process.  I have also learned so much from reading other people's story's and cannot thank you enough for starting this site.  We get paid on the first of the month, so I will be sending a donation to you for the wonderful work you are doing to inform others about the dangers of these drugs.  

Cymbalta 2006-2008

Pristiq Dec. 2008 to present

Starting Effexor this week to wean from Pristiq

11-14-2013 Started Effexor, 50mg in morning, 25mg. in evening.

12-4-2013 cut 25 mg. evening tab in half will stay at two 25 mg. in morning and 1/2  25 mg. tab in evening for 4 weeks.

Goal:  Off all Anti-Depressants in 2014

 

Off Effexor January 30, 2014.  NEVER AGAIN will I allow a doctor to talk me into any medication!

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Thank you so much, lrh. Good to hear you're doing better.

 

Many people do well with fish oil supplements, too, see

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/

 

and our topic on magnesium http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

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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  • 2 weeks later...

Wanted to check in to write about how I'm feeling since switching to Effexor to get off Pristiq.  So far, doing okay.  Started taking fish oil, vitamin e and magnesium to help with the body aches.  I also found that taking epsom salt baths has helped a great deal.  I tend to grind my teeth, so wear an appliance at night to help with that.  I've been on the Effexor for three weeks now, and make my first cut of a 25 mg. tablet on Wednesday.  I've learned to cope with the tinnitus, and the headaches have gotten a little better as long as I remember to drink lots of water.  I also started a juice my sister-in-law told me about to help my body with healing.  I found it at Whole Foods.  It is called Mangosteen.  I drink two ounces of the juice a day.  My sister-in-law tells me it helps to get your body back in balance.  It is a little pricey, but I'm willing to give it a try to help my body heal.  I wanted to thank everyone on the site for their courage in talking about their struggles with AD's, as it helps me to see my issues aren't as bad as some people are having to deal with.  I'm wondering if I should space out my three tablets of Effexor that I take a day?  I will be cutting the evening dose in half and have thought that I should take one 25 mg. tab in the morning and then one in the early afternoon instead of both 25 mg. tabs in the morning.  Then I will be taking half the 25 mg. tab in the evening.  Any comments on this change in taking the Effexor would be appreciated.  I'm just thinking that maybe my body would handle the evening cut better if I spread the other two tabs out a little in the day.  Many thanks for the site.  I sent in a donation today because this site has helped me so much in dealing with getting off the AD.

Cymbalta 2006-2008

Pristiq Dec. 2008 to present

Starting Effexor this week to wean from Pristiq

11-14-2013 Started Effexor, 50mg in morning, 25mg. in evening.

12-4-2013 cut 25 mg. evening tab in half will stay at two 25 mg. in morning and 1/2  25 mg. tab in evening for 4 weeks.

Goal:  Off all Anti-Depressants in 2014

 

Off Effexor January 30, 2014.  NEVER AGAIN will I allow a doctor to talk me into any medication!

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Good to hear from you that the switch to Effexor is going well, LRH.

 

I merged your topics in the Intro forum. Only one Intro topic to a customer -- please add your updates to this topic.

 

Please give yourself more time to get used to the drug change. A 25mg cut in Effexor is too much -- see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/272-tips-for-tapering-off-effexor-and-effexor-xr-venlafaxine/

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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Good to hear from you that the switch to Effexor is going well, LRH.

 

I merged your topics in the Intro forum. Only one Intro topic to a customer -- please add your updates to this topic.

 

Please give yourself more time to get used to the drug change. A 25mg cut in Effexor is too much -- see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/272-tips-for-tapering-off-effexor-and-effexor-xr-venlafaxine/

Hello Altostrata, I'm not cutting a full 25mg. for my evening dose, I'm cutting that 25 mg. tab in half, and that is my new evening dose.  What I was wondering about is if I should spread out the other two 25 mg. tabs throughout the day instead of taking both of the tabs in the morning and then the 3rd one in the evening.  My doctor wanted me to cut the full tablet in the evening, but I told her I'd rather cut that 25 mg. tab in half and just go down a half a tablet at a time.  She said if that makes it more comfortable for me we can do my cutting a little slower.  The fish oil and extra magnesium have helped a great deal.  The muscle pain is much relieved.  Thanks for your reply.

Cymbalta 2006-2008

Pristiq Dec. 2008 to present

Starting Effexor this week to wean from Pristiq

11-14-2013 Started Effexor, 50mg in morning, 25mg. in evening.

12-4-2013 cut 25 mg. evening tab in half will stay at two 25 mg. in morning and 1/2  25 mg. tab in evening for 4 weeks.

Goal:  Off all Anti-Depressants in 2014

 

Off Effexor January 30, 2014.  NEVER AGAIN will I allow a doctor to talk me into any medication!

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  • Administrator

Glad you're feeling better.

 

As Effexor is known to cause sleeplessness, taking the smaller amount later in the day makes sense.

 

If you get any withdrawal symptoms, you may wish to decrease in smaller amounts.

 

Please look at http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/272-tips-for-tapering-off-effexor-and-effexor-xr-venlafaxine/

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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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello everyone.  Thought I'd write a little about how I'm doing so far with my switch from Pristiq to Effexor.  So far, I am doing pretty well, and am feeling very good about my decision to stop taking the AD.  I am taking my supplements, Fish Oil, a Calcium,Magnesium and Zinc tab that also has vit. D. and Vit. E.  I started going to a yoga class at the YMCA that my husband and I attend, and I've also been meditating and listening to meditation music at night to help me fall asleep.  I take an epsom salt bath about 4 times a week which helps greatly with the muscle aches.  My tinnitus is still with me, but does not seem as loud as it was when I first started.  I do find that I don't have much patience with people, and can get ticked off about things that I used to not even be bothered about.  I'm pretty sure that is a withdrawal symptom.  I find myself counting to 10 a lot so I don't open my mouth and say something I might regret later.  My husband uses marijuana to help him have an appetite and for muscle pain, so I have tried a little of that as well.  Not much, just one or two puffs which just relaxes me and helps my tinnitus quiet down a great deal, and it helps with my body aches as well.  I think anyone wanting to try the marijuana should be careful though as it can cause problems if you take too much.  1 or 2 puffs helps me without making me feel like I did as a teenager smoking way to much.  I am taking two 25 mg. tabs of the Effexor in the morning and half a 25 mg. tab in the afternoon.  I was taking the half tab in the evening but it seemed to be keeping me awake at night so I started taking the half tab around 4 pm and that has helped.  My next cut is in January when I will stop the half tab I take at 4 in the afternoon.  I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and New Year, and that the New Year will be a drug free year for all who wish to be off these AD's.  

Cymbalta 2006-2008

Pristiq Dec. 2008 to present

Starting Effexor this week to wean from Pristiq

11-14-2013 Started Effexor, 50mg in morning, 25mg. in evening.

12-4-2013 cut 25 mg. evening tab in half will stay at two 25 mg. in morning and 1/2  25 mg. tab in evening for 4 weeks.

Goal:  Off all Anti-Depressants in 2014

 

Off Effexor January 30, 2014.  NEVER AGAIN will I allow a doctor to talk me into any medication!

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  • Administrator

And happy holidays to you, LRH.

 

With Effexor, you can taper more gradually than with Pristiq. Please consider doing this to avoid triggering withdrawal symptoms. Dropping 20% of your dosage (a half-tablet) is not necessary. See http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/272-tips-for-tapering-off-effexor-and-effexor-xr-venlafaxine/

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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  • 4 weeks later...

This will be my last post.  I have tapered my Effexor another 1/2 tab. this past week and am doing well.  I am still taking two 25 mg. tabs in the morning and will be tapering another 1/2 tab in another 4 weeks.  I will continue tapering 1/2 tab until I am done.  Many thanks for all the info and help finding the correct way to taper off of Pristiq.  I am not happy with the site not allowing me to change my password after having trouble logging on, and having to get another password from the administrator.  Good luck to everyone working at getting off of anti-depressants.  

Cymbalta 2006-2008

Pristiq Dec. 2008 to present

Starting Effexor this week to wean from Pristiq

11-14-2013 Started Effexor, 50mg in morning, 25mg. in evening.

12-4-2013 cut 25 mg. evening tab in half will stay at two 25 mg. in morning and 1/2  25 mg. tab in evening for 4 weeks.

Goal:  Off all Anti-Depressants in 2014

 

Off Effexor January 30, 2014.  NEVER AGAIN will I allow a doctor to talk me into any medication!

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Sorry for the glitch, Littleredhead. I am sure you can change your password now.

 

Although you may be irritated, please remember any help you've received here.

 

Please do come back and let us know how you are doing. Many people will be interested.

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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  • 5 months later...

Hello Alto and all who read this site.  I thought I would write and let you all know how I am doing.  I stopped taking the last of my poison in January and feel good about finally getting off Effexor.  I'm happy that I'm done with all pharmas, I'm only using supplements now, Fish oil, Magnesium, Garlic, Vit. E, Vit. D.  Still suffering from tinnitus, however it does not seem as loud as it used to.  Still having a lot of muscle aches, and if I go one night without my mouth guard to prevent me from grinding my teeth I wake with horrible headaches.  My patience level is improving, I don't feel like I want to rip everyone's head off so much anymore.  Still counting to ten at times, but have learned from reading comments here on the site that I'm experiencing what many do after stopping this horrible drug.  I have days where I really struggle to even get out of bed, but I decided to be  easy on myself about this and not beat myself up about sometimes wanting to just stay in bed and watch old movies.  I am walking and riding my bike most days unless I am feeling like I just can't do it.  I keep in mind what my central nervous system has gone through and just keep repeating my mantra, "I am better every day".  I have planted a lovely garden and keep myself busy tending to it as that has always been a source of comfort to me.  Something about getting my hands in the dirt makes me feel grounded and happy.  Enjoying all the yummy green beans, radishes, peppers and tomatoes is great too.  I have realized too that since stopping the poison, I have emotions again.  I was talking to my husband a couple of weeks ago and told him I actually can cry again.  I never seemed to have emotions about anything while on the poison, and now I do.  Sometimes I think I cry a little to much, but then I think, "wow, this is so wonderful to feel again".  I'm learning to be a person with emotions again, and it's a little weird feeling.  I suppose when a person's emotions have been shut off for years due to meds, there is a lot of built up stuff inside.  I'm feeling strong enough to look for a part time job, as I think I need to get out of my house more.  I'm not a shut in, I just had been keeping close to home for fear I'd verbally attack someone if they rubbed me the wrong way.  It's a day by day process as I've learned, and I try to be kind to myself and not push myself too far or fast.  One more thing, taking Epson salt baths has helped me so very much and I would encourage others to try this one thing to help with the stress of everyday life.  Love, Light, and Peace to All.

Cymbalta 2006-2008

Pristiq Dec. 2008 to present

Starting Effexor this week to wean from Pristiq

11-14-2013 Started Effexor, 50mg in morning, 25mg. in evening.

12-4-2013 cut 25 mg. evening tab in half will stay at two 25 mg. in morning and 1/2  25 mg. tab in evening for 4 weeks.

Goal:  Off all Anti-Depressants in 2014

 

Off Effexor January 30, 2014.  NEVER AGAIN will I allow a doctor to talk me into any medication!

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  • Administrator

Thanks for that good news! Please stay in touch and let us know how you're doing. A success story will help a lot of people understand what it takes to heal.

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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Hello again, been having some really rough days for the past week.  Joints, neck and spine feel so tense, grinding my teeth but don't realize I'm doing it until the headache comes on.  Sleep has been tough for the past 6 months.  I've not had a full nights sleep since I can remember.  Get to sleep, wake up 1-2 hours later, lay there trying to get back to sleep for 30 min or more, finally fall off to sleep, then again wake up 1-2 hours later.  I realize that all these issues are related to WD from the Pristiq and Effexor, but at times I am so fed up with it all.  I am taking my supplements and have researched a few more to try, to see if they might help me.  I feel like anxiety is taking over some days, I can't sit still, feel like electricity is running through my body.  Have trouble concentrating on one thing and finishing it, and the tinnitis is with me constantly, which I think does keep me tense.  I take a lot of epsom salt baths, which help for a while with the muscle pain, but then after a couple of hours I'm back to hurting.  Have an appt with my doc next week and have requested a complete blood work up to see what all my levels are.  Am wondering about my adrenal glands.  Feeling pretty hopeless these past few days, as even trying to find a part time job has been a struggle.  Not good with computers, and all places I go tell me to go online and apply.  So, I went online to try and apply for a job at a new Home Goods store that is opening just down the road.  There is no application to fill out about ones job skills, at least one I could find.  All that you end up doing is giving your email and phone number to a bunch of groups that then send you notices of jobs you're not even interested in.  It is so frustrating getting old and out of touch with where the world is going.  I've had to ask my son to help me because I can't figure out how to look for a job anymore. Thinking maybe I better just stop trying to get myself a job as it does nothing but frustrate me and send me into tears of frustration with myself. 

Cymbalta 2006-2008

Pristiq Dec. 2008 to present

Starting Effexor this week to wean from Pristiq

11-14-2013 Started Effexor, 50mg in morning, 25mg. in evening.

12-4-2013 cut 25 mg. evening tab in half will stay at two 25 mg. in morning and 1/2  25 mg. tab in evening for 4 weeks.

Goal:  Off all Anti-Depressants in 2014

 

Off Effexor January 30, 2014.  NEVER AGAIN will I allow a doctor to talk me into any medication!

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  • Administrator

I'm sorry, those symptoms sure sound like withdrawal syndrome.

 

You might get a night guard to protect your teeth and jaw.

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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Hello Alto, I do have a night guard and wear it at night.  Don't really want to wear it all the time though.  Kinda hard to talk with it in.  Just going to try and be more aware of when my jaw is tightening up during the daytime hours.  Wearing it at night has helped me a lot, as i don't wake up with a headache anymore.  Went to dinner at my younger son's home tonight and had a nice visit.  Always great to be around my little grand daughter, as she lifts my spirits.  Going for eye exam tomorrow as hubby thought maybe some of my headaches might be  because of vision.  My prescription has probably changed some as I've noticed I'm straining a little to read things with my current glasses.  Hopefully, a new pair of glasses will help that bit of eye stress. Off to bed now. Peace.

Cymbalta 2006-2008

Pristiq Dec. 2008 to present

Starting Effexor this week to wean from Pristiq

11-14-2013 Started Effexor, 50mg in morning, 25mg. in evening.

12-4-2013 cut 25 mg. evening tab in half will stay at two 25 mg. in morning and 1/2  25 mg. tab in evening for 4 weeks.

Goal:  Off all Anti-Depressants in 2014

 

Off Effexor January 30, 2014.  NEVER AGAIN will I allow a doctor to talk me into any medication!

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  • Administrator

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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