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☼ Geronimo Tapering from Pristiq


Geronimo

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I am a former Effexor user.  Pretty low doses, 75 mg if I recall correctly.  Tapered off that twice without too much difficulty by going to 37.5 then zero.  Had some discontinuation symptoms, principally what I call "brain swoons," but manageable.

 

Later, after having some significant life events, went back on medication, and a new doctor put me on 50 mg of Pristiq.  After being on it for a few years, I started tapering off it on my own, using a methodology that I see is not recommended by the folks here.  I found this forum because I've been having some discontinuation symptoms, including headaches I did not get when I went off Effexor, so I was doing some Internet research to see if I am using the wrong approach.

 

I read that you are not supposed to cut up the pills, so the method I have been trying is to reduce dosage by gradually skipping doses.  I went from taking every day to skipping a pill on the 7th day, then 6th day, then 5th, etc.  I am now taking every other day, and I have been experiencing symptoms at a tolerable but not exactly pleasant level.  I feel OK but have been a bit lethargic and experiencing some headaches and "brain swoons."  My plan had been to move to taking a pill every third, then fourth, then fifth, sixth and seventh day before quitting altogether. 

 

Not sure what I will end up doing at this point.  I have read the entire thread on this topic and might try cutting up the pills, but also should probably see what my doctor recommends, which I did not do when I embarked on this course of action.

 

Thanks for the helpful information, and for allowing me to join this forum.

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Geronimo.

 

Correct, we strongly advise against skipping doses to taper.

 

Tapering Pristiq is difficult, but you have some options, 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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Geronimo, welcome to SA. I suspect that your doctor may advise skipping doses like you have already,

it is what most doctors recommend. Please let us know if your doctor is one of a rare breed that actually 

doesn't recommend skipping doses! 

 

When that doesn't work they then usually go on to say that it isn't working because you need the drug and

will probably need it for life :( . All which they are taught by the pharmaceutical companies. 

Not all doctors are this gullible though and some really do know about AD's and withdrawal, I hope yours

is one of them. Keep us posted won't you? 

**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

Please let us know what your doctor says about tapering Pristiq. Few are informed.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

I'd tell you what I think, but MammaP has said it all for me.  I agree with her completely.

 

Welcome to the forum, Geronimo.

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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  • 1 year later...

New doctor.  He said switch to Effexor 75 mg for 30 days, then Effexor 37.5 mg for 30 days, then stop.  So that is what we are doing. 

 

Switch to Effexor was surprisingly easy.  No symptoms at all from the switch, really, despite the fact that 50 mg of Pristiq is supposed to be equivalent to 150 mg of Effexor.  Maybe feeling a little bit tired, but that's really it.  I'm about a week in now, will report again later. 

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  • Administrator

Good to hear the switch to Effexor worked well. That is one of the ways to go off Pristiq, as described in

Tips for tapering off Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)

 

However, please reconsider that very fast tapering schedule. Read

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

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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New doctor.  He said switch to Effexor 75 mg for 30 days, then Effexor 37.5 mg for 30 days, then stop.  So that is what we are doing. 

 

Geronimo, i sincerely hope that you don't taper like that. 

 

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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  • Administrator

Going on and off drugs stresses your nervous system. You may have unexpected results both taking drugs and going off them from now on.

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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Wow I had no idea that Pristiq 50 mg was equivalent to 150 Effexor.  I have been on Effexor 100 mg before and felt that kind of high.    Good luck to you.

First prescribed antidepressants at age 24, now 40.  First round was about 5 years (Prozac then Effexor).  Second round since 2008.  Zoloft then wellbutrin for 1 year then Pristiq for 6 years.  I reduced from 100 to 50 mg 1 year ago.  Feb 13th began 3 week decrease of every other day.  Last pill March 6, 2015. 

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  • 1 month later...

All going well.  I am now off antidepressant meds entirely.  Last 37.5mg Effexor pill was a few days ago.  I am having discontinuation symptoms like before, but managing fine.  It is annoying, but I believe it will go away, or at least minimize, after a few more days.  I'll come back and post another update after the symptoms are gone entirely.

 

I should add that I have been meditating daily for a few years now, and I think this helps.  It also helps to exercise.  30 minutes of cardio, according to my doctor, produces as much serotonin as 10 mg of Pristiq.

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  • Administrator

How did you go off Effexor?

 

Please do let us know how you're doing.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Given the dates of the posts it looks like he followed the doctor's advice and did one month at 75 and the next at 37.5.  After the second thirty days it would appear that he (sorry -- can't help myself) yelled "Geronimo" and jumped off the Effexor (I have no self-restraint).

 

Geronimo -- I wish you the very best and hope that your have minimal symptoms and fall into the "lucky" camp on this.  Please pay attention to symptoms if they get worse or return so that you could reinstate before it's too late.

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

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Yes, I did one month at 75, one at 37.5, then off.  I'm totally fine, discontinuation symptoms not entirely gone, but they are gradually disappearing.  Quite mild now.

 

I went off the same way last time.  No problems.  Maybe I am lucky . . .

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  • Administrator

What are your symptoms now? When did you notice they were fading?

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...

I get "swoons" rarely, maybe once a week, but I feel like I am back to normal.  The symptoms have declined in frequency and intensity over time.  If you know what the symptoms are, and you just understand and accept that they are what they are, it is not that hard to get through the transition.  Maybe I was just lucky.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

You WERE lucky Geronimo . . . am very happy for you.

 

Blessings ,  

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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  • Administrator

Very happy to hear you're doing better. I added our cheerful "here comes the sun" symbol



to the title of your Intro topic, to show you're recovering.

Please continue to let us know how you're doing. I hope you will add your story to our Recovery Success Stories eventually!

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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