Jump to content

Endymion: Silly Mistake - Cold Turkey Pristiq - 14 days off them. Illegal in Country


Recommended Posts

Hello Everyone,


I'm writing today currently going through a bit of a panic in my mind at the moment. I want to explain to you a very unique situation I have at present, in as little of words as possible (it's a very long story).


Needless to say, I have relocated to UK from Australia - after living in Australia for 2 years. In the last 6 months, I was taking Pristiq 100mg. At first I was taking 50mg, and then I went upwards to 100mg. 


When i moved to the UK (on December 17th; 2013). I figured I would simply get a doctor and get a new prescription. Wrong... unfortunately, Pristiq is illegal in the UK and was never introduced, as apparently according to the European Union - there was no point in bringing in Pristiq when it was too similar to Effexor. 


Anywho, this means, that I had no choice but to go off cold turkey from Pristiq. The last time I took Pristiq was on December 31st; 2013. 


I told my doctor on the 9th of January, and he said to me he knew nothing about Pristiq and advised me just to be careful and if any problems occur, let him know, I have, and here is my diary thus far.


January 1st - No withdrawal symptoms. Mentally and physically feel fine.

January 2nd - No withdrawal symptoms. Mentally and physically feel fine.

January 3rd - Slight headache, bit dizzy. Feeling quite good, really good actually, almost euphoric. 

January 4th - Brain zaps, as I researched, have begun, and my god, do they annoy me.

January 5th - Brain zaps x 10. Bed ridden. Mood remains fine.

January 6th - 9th - Same as January 5th. 

January 10th - Physical withdrawals complete, seems to be over - no brain zaps, no nothing! Mood remains fine.

January 11th - Mood CRASHES, extremely depressed mood. However, these mood crashes last for at most, a few hours, the most of the day I feel fine.

January 12th - Same as 11th, although the mood crash happens at a different time of the day.

January 13th - Same as 11th.

January 14th - Same as 11th. 


These mood crashes are extreme, and so is the depression, is nothing i have experienced before!! I really do not know what to do. I'm going to call my doctor tomorrow morning (it's 1am here) and explain to him what is going on. However, he know's nothing of Pristiq purely because the UK doesn't happen here.


I would like to stress that the author of this thread - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2614-okb78-pristiq-cold-turkey-for-14-days/



Pretty much explained exactly what I am going through, ironically with the same time effects as hers.


Because I cannot get Pristiq here, I am asking the following


- Should i ask for Effexor, if so - what dosage? And how long until that kicks in and helps me?

- Is this is a sign of discontinuation syndrome on me? 

- Should I alternatively try Prozac, which I have been reading can be a good 'bridging' drug when tapering of medication. If so, what should I take? And given the fact that this is now the 14th day, what should i do in regards to that?

- How long, given the fact that I am 14 days clean off this drug ,should I expect for this to go away?


i really really really would need something done relatively quickly because this is just pure hell for me!


Never in all my life, have i experienced such a whirlpool of emotions coming off this drug. First feeling great, top of the world, new person - to feeling like i am going crazy!!


Please help me, and give me some advise accordingly :(


Kind Regards,


Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Endymion, I'm sorry that you are in this situation, withdrawal is the pits and I feel for you. 

We have a topic on tapering pristiq. It is a very tricky drug to taper so switching to effexor is

an option that many people take.  Some people cross taper onto prozac but it is best done by

reducing pristiq while increasing prozac.  Effexor can be tricky at lower doses but is available

in the UK in liquid form once you get lower. You can also make your own liquid from the 37.5

tablets which are also available in the UK.  Tapering Effexor by counting beads from a capsule

is do-able but a pain in the butt!

I tapered this way and looking back can see that it wasn't really precise enough.  A good digital

micro scale would be well worth buying. If I were to start again I would not count beads, it was

far too fiddly and not precise. Many others do it though and manage! 


Here is the topic on tapering pristiq, which covers switching to effexor. 



And one for tapering effexor




It would help if you could put your med history in your sig line, it will then appear at the bottom of your posts.

Here is how to do that. 


**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



Link to comment
  • Administrator

Welcome, Endymion.


Does your doctor have any experience with Prozac? If so, you might try 10mg.


As I understand the above, you went cold turkey off 100mg Pristiq?


It's hard to estimate a replacement dose of regular Effexor. Your nervous system, while in distress, may have accommodated somewhat to the lack of Pristiq. You might start at regular Effexor 37.5mg twice a day and see if that's enough.

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.

Link to comment

Thankyou the pair of you for the updates, i just want to give you an update for now.


As mentioned before, the physical symptoms have completely gone away. No brain zaps, no nothing. However the mood crashing is STILL there. And it is absolutely horrible, I feel like I am living in literal hell and i literally cannot wait for this to go away.


I've been reading on people's advise and I have decided to take 5-HTP, 50mg x 2 a day (one in morning and one in evening) to help my brain with withdrawal. Has anyone tried that with withdrawal?


Today is exactly 20 days since i last took Pristiq. 


Never in my life... literally never in my life, have I experienced anything like this.


I had no idea what Pristiq has done to my brain - I wish I wish i took a drug that wasn't so addictive to the brain. 


The Doctor keeps telling me 'There isn't much point in giving you another AD because it has been so long now'.


My questions are - FOR ANYONE - Has anyone experienced a sharp drop in mood from doing the withdrawals from pristiq (or any AD) and if so, how long until your mood stabilised?


Really need a hug :(

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Please read this about 5-HTP http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/656-5-htp-5-hydroxytryptophan-and-tryptophan/


See the Symptoms and Self-care forum regarding other symptoms.

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.

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy