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Fireball2014 How do I deal with Pristiq withdrawal now?

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Fireball2014

I am interested in any additional support anyone has to offer in dealing with withdrawal symptoms from Pristiq.

I've been off it for @ 4 weeks & don't know whether I should try to retaper with Prozac which I had been on for a long time without issue.  I am going back to the last psychiatrist who treated me (it was acually my GP who prescribed the Pristiq), & I will be starting treatment with a naturopath.  It seems now that stress really triggers the physical symptoms with me which then, in turn, gets me anxious & overwhelmed.  I have been reading more in this Tapering Forum and it's very helpful information.  But, in truth, I am still scared and have lost my trust in health professionals to take their time & do the right thing for me.  This is really a miserable road to travel...


On SSRI's/SNRI's for @ 25 years, first Prozac 18 years

Took Pristiq last 3 years, had increase in severe migraines

Started tapering Pristiq 100 mg every other day, was ok

Tried Topamax for 2 weeks, but side effects intolerable

Continued taper, able to tolerate 100mg every 4th day

At 6 weeks cut 100mg tab to 50mg & had bad reaction

Only taking 25mg sumatriptan or 0.5mg Ativan as needed

4 weeks later withdrawal worse, where do I go from here?

Stabilizing on 4mg Prozac, NO triptans, NO Ativan

3.6mg hold since June 18

 

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areyouthere

Hi Fireball and welcome!!

 

Have to started a thread in the "introductions" section yet? If not someone will be along to explain that all to you.

 

In answer to your question… you very likely will be advised to reinstate , or start to take a small amount, in order to stop the symptoms and then taper slowly from that amount. Also.. going back to Prozac will likely not be advised but rather what I just said.. reinstating the last AD you were on.

 

Someone with much more expertise than I will pipe up here soon…. and I know they will want to know very specifically what drugs you are currently on and at what dose.

 

You have come to a good place. You will get lots of educated , specific advice. 

 

Do some reading here and here for now.

 

Again. Welcome!!

 

RU


Fall 1995 xanax, zoloft. switched to Serzone

1996- spring 2003serzone/ xanax/ lightbox.

b]Fall 2003- Fall 2004? Lexapro 10 mg. Light box /4 mg. xanax.[/b]

2004 - Fall of 2009 10 mg Lex, 150 mg Wellbutrin XL % 4 mg xanax

November 2009- Sept. 2011 10 mg lex., 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax [/b

Sept.2012- July 2012 20 mg Lex 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax

My mantra " go slow & with the flow "

3/2/13.. Began equal dosing 5 Xs /day xanax, while simultaneously incorporating a 2.5 % drop ( from 3.5 mg/day to 3.4 mg/day)

4/6/13 dropped from 300 mg. Wellbutrin XL to 150 mg. Difficult but DONE! Down to 3.3 mg xanax/ day / 6/10/13 3 mg xanax/day; 7/15/2013 2.88mg xanax/day.

10/ 1/2013...... 2.5 mg xanax… ( switched to tablets again) WOO HOO!!!!!! Holding here… cont. with Lexapro.

1/ 2/2014.. tapered to 18mg ( by weight) of a 26 mg ( by weight) pill of 20 mg tab. lexapro. goal is 13mg (by weight OR 10 mg by ingredient content) and STOPPED. Feeling very down with unbalanced, unpredictable WD symptoms.

1/2/2014- ??? Taking a brain-healing break from tapering anything after actively tapering something for 1.5 years. So… daily doses as of 2/2/2014: 18 mg by weight Lex, 150 mg Well. XL, 2.5 mg xanax, down from 26 mg by weight Lex., 300 mg well. XL, 4 mg xanax in August, 2012. I'll take it. :) 5/8/14 started equivalent dose liquid./ tabs. 5/13/14 1.5 % cut.

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Altostrata

Welcome, Fireball2014.

 

Pristiq withdrawal is a tough one. Have you read this topic http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/876-tips-for-tapering-off-pristiq-desvenlafaxine/

 

As areyouthere said, often a reinstatement of a small dose will stop withdrawal symptoms. But this is difficult with Pristiq because the tablets are so hard to split accurately.

 

My take is you have these options, in order of likelihood they'll help your withdrawal symptoms:

- Have a compounding pharmacy make up capsules of 5mg crushed Pristiq. Because it's crushed, it will not be extended-release. You may need to take it twice a day. (If 5mg is not enough, you can increase by 5mg at a time.)

- Take a low dose of regular Effexor, perhaps 25mg twice a day, then taper off that (you can make a liquid with regular Effexor, you cannot with Effexor XR). Effexor is Pristiq's chemical cousin.

- Substitute a low dose of Prozac, such as 5mg. See http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1463-the-prozac-switch-or-bridging-with-prozac/

 

Given you were alternating doses, it's hard to estimate how much of anything would be effective to stop withdrawal symptoms. It's best to start low because 1) if it works, that's less to taper later and 2) your nervous system may be sensitized and react badly to a higher dose.


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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Fireball2014

Thank you Altostrata & areyouthere for welcoming me into the forum and also for the direction & information I so badly need.

 

It seems like it will be basically be a crapshoot as to what I decide to do since I am now actively withdrawing off the Pristiq.

 

1.  I am very apprehensive about putting a spec of Pristiq back into my system because of the severe rx I had when I split a tab & took half.

     Plus, I am sure that Pristiq dramatically increased my migraine headache severity & frequency (submitted a RxISK report on April 30).

2.  I was on Effexor for a very short time when I started perimenopause and stopped it due to blood pressure elevation.

3.  Will Prozac be the answer?  I was on it for @ 18 years and did not have any issues/major side effects with it.

 

Do I go with my gut feeling?  Today I even feel well enough again that I still might be ok NOT reinstating a med.  But my window of opportunity is waning because it'll be about 5 weeks that I've been off Pristiq & I really can't be sure that intolerable symptoms won't keep wacking me in the head...

 

What about tryptophan, 5 HTP, or St. John's Wort since I'm off everything?  Accupuncture?

 

One thing I do know is that I am so very fortunate finding this forum online as well as Beyond Meds & RxISK.

 

I'll let you know how I am feeling...


On SSRI's/SNRI's for @ 25 years, first Prozac 18 years

Took Pristiq last 3 years, had increase in severe migraines

Started tapering Pristiq 100 mg every other day, was ok

Tried Topamax for 2 weeks, but side effects intolerable

Continued taper, able to tolerate 100mg every 4th day

At 6 weeks cut 100mg tab to 50mg & had bad reaction

Only taking 25mg sumatriptan or 0.5mg Ativan as needed

4 weeks later withdrawal worse, where do I go from here?

Stabilizing on 4mg Prozac, NO triptans, NO Ativan

3.6mg hold since June 18

 

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Altostrata

No one can tell you if any of those options is the answer. You are right, a situation like yours is in between a rock and a hard place, with time running out.

 

Various supplements can slightly lessen, but not eliminate, withdrawal symptoms. Acupuncture can be helpful.

 

Many people do better with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

Look in the Symptoms and Self-care forum for other ideas.


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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Fireball2014

No one can tell you if any of those options is the answer. You are right, a situation like yours is in between a rock and a hard place, with time running out.

 

Various supplements can slightly lessen, but not eliminate, withdrawal symptoms. Acupuncture can be helpful.

 

Many people do better with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see

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

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

 

Look in the Symptoms and Self-care forum for other ideas.


On SSRI's/SNRI's for @ 25 years, first Prozac 18 years

Took Pristiq last 3 years, had increase in severe migraines

Started tapering Pristiq 100 mg every other day, was ok

Tried Topamax for 2 weeks, but side effects intolerable

Continued taper, able to tolerate 100mg every 4th day

At 6 weeks cut 100mg tab to 50mg & had bad reaction

Only taking 25mg sumatriptan or 0.5mg Ativan as needed

4 weeks later withdrawal worse, where do I go from here?

Stabilizing on 4mg Prozac, NO triptans, NO Ativan

3.6mg hold since June 18

 

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Fireball2014

2 days to go before I see the doc.  Thanks for the support Alto.  Did work a twelve hour shift today; can't be too bad off...


On SSRI's/SNRI's for @ 25 years, first Prozac 18 years

Took Pristiq last 3 years, had increase in severe migraines

Started tapering Pristiq 100 mg every other day, was ok

Tried Topamax for 2 weeks, but side effects intolerable

Continued taper, able to tolerate 100mg every 4th day

At 6 weeks cut 100mg tab to 50mg & had bad reaction

Only taking 25mg sumatriptan or 0.5mg Ativan as needed

4 weeks later withdrawal worse, where do I go from here?

Stabilizing on 4mg Prozac, NO triptans, NO Ativan

3.6mg hold since June 18

 

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Altostrata

Please let us know if this psychiatrist has a clue about what to do.


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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Fireball2014

Well, a $45 co-pay poorly spent for seeing the psychiatrist today. :(  

1.  He did NOT have a clue as to what to do for me. 

2.  Did not know about compounding pharmacies.

3.  Did not know that liquid Prozac existed; would only offer me 10mg Prozac even after calling up a pharmacy while I was there.

4.  Said that the withdrawal should be over by now.

5.  Suggested that maybe my depression was coming back again.

6.  Implied that maybe something else was going on with my digestive system.

7.  Stated that psychiatrists are isolated from each other when I asked him what he heard from his colleagues.

 

Positives? :unsure:  

1.  Told me that he never prescribes Pristiq because it is not available in smaller doses (remember my GP prescribed it to me).  BUT HE DID INCREASE MY DOSE & TRY TO ADD ABILIFY.

2.  Did suggest 37.5mg Effexor XR which I refused due to issues with BP elevations when taking it in the past.

3.  Told me that my GP should have started me on 25mg Topamax, not 50mg, too high (glad I dropped it anyway).

4.  Suggested that I call Massachusetts General Hospital & ask to talk to a psychopharmacologist there about my issue.

 

What now?  I am REALLY not interested in dragging my *** to another doc; got a referral from my GP & her reviews were poor.

 

Guess I will be waiting a few weeks to see if withdrawal symptoms fade more ( I will be 8 weeks Pristiq free).

 

Will try to take care of myself with acupuncture & help from a naturopath next week.  Taking various supplements, trying to walk the dogs, do yoga, vaca next week as well...  One symptom that has recently subsided is the generalized pimples I got last week all over my body.  And I will try to view as a positive that I refrain from getting upset much about anything because it makes my body actually respond negatively in physical ways.  

 

All I know is I want to "get back on tracK" & I will be staying away from "western" doctors for awhile...

 

Thanks for listening!


On SSRI's/SNRI's for @ 25 years, first Prozac 18 years

Took Pristiq last 3 years, had increase in severe migraines

Started tapering Pristiq 100 mg every other day, was ok

Tried Topamax for 2 weeks, but side effects intolerable

Continued taper, able to tolerate 100mg every 4th day

At 6 weeks cut 100mg tab to 50mg & had bad reaction

Only taking 25mg sumatriptan or 0.5mg Ativan as needed

4 weeks later withdrawal worse, where do I go from here?

Stabilizing on 4mg Prozac, NO triptans, NO Ativan

3.6mg hold since June 18

 

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Altostrata

You could get the 10mg Prozac and make your own liquid to take a smaller dose.


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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Fireball2014

Of course, Alto!  Hard to think clearly when trying to help the doc understand.  Thanks!


On SSRI's/SNRI's for @ 25 years, first Prozac 18 years

Took Pristiq last 3 years, had increase in severe migraines

Started tapering Pristiq 100 mg every other day, was ok

Tried Topamax for 2 weeks, but side effects intolerable

Continued taper, able to tolerate 100mg every 4th day

At 6 weeks cut 100mg tab to 50mg & had bad reaction

Only taking 25mg sumatriptan or 0.5mg Ativan as needed

4 weeks later withdrawal worse, where do I go from here?

Stabilizing on 4mg Prozac, NO triptans, NO Ativan

3.6mg hold since June 18

 

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Altostrata

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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Fireball2014

Just to quickly update I did get the liquid Prozac to hopefully help with Pristiq withdrawal & started with 5mg today...


On SSRI's/SNRI's for @ 25 years, first Prozac 18 years

Took Pristiq last 3 years, had increase in severe migraines

Started tapering Pristiq 100 mg every other day, was ok

Tried Topamax for 2 weeks, but side effects intolerable

Continued taper, able to tolerate 100mg every 4th day

At 6 weeks cut 100mg tab to 50mg & had bad reaction

Only taking 25mg sumatriptan or 0.5mg Ativan as needed

4 weeks later withdrawal worse, where do I go from here?

Stabilizing on 4mg Prozac, NO triptans, NO Ativan

3.6mg hold since June 18

 

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Altostrata

Very good. Please 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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Fireball2014

Well 6 days into my Prozac 5mg liquid taper for Pristiq withdrawal & I decided not to take it today.

Seemed like it was helping my GI symptoms over the weekend but I got a severe migraine Monday evening  

which really didn't end until overnight last night (comes & goes with me sometimes). 

I feared as with the Pristiq that it may be exacerbating my migraines, however, allergy season is in full bloom here

and I had an aggravation with work Monday as I was starting my vacation. :angry:

I lose so much headway with the migraines because I can't do anything. 

It may be better for me to have the withdrawal symptoms instead (still hard to do anything but work-forced focus there). 

Have people reported migraines with withdrawal?

Gotta go for now but will be back soon...


On SSRI's/SNRI's for @ 25 years, first Prozac 18 years

Took Pristiq last 3 years, had increase in severe migraines

Started tapering Pristiq 100 mg every other day, was ok

Tried Topamax for 2 weeks, but side effects intolerable

Continued taper, able to tolerate 100mg every 4th day

At 6 weeks cut 100mg tab to 50mg & had bad reaction

Only taking 25mg sumatriptan or 0.5mg Ativan as needed

4 weeks later withdrawal worse, where do I go from here?

Stabilizing on 4mg Prozac, NO triptans, NO Ativan

3.6mg hold since June 18

 

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Altostrata

Yes, people get migraines with withdrawal symptoms.

 

Please reinstate the Prozac right away. I assure you, you do NOT want to tough it out through withdrawal symptoms.

 

You might reinstate Prozac at 4mg, in case 5mg was too much for you.


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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Fireball2014

So I don't want to be stupid again & I took the 4mg of the Prozac.

 

But I am feeling AWFUL; still on & off (mostly on) with the migraines since Monday evening.

 

Don't think I should take more of the triptan and it only provides temporary relief right now anyway, maybe experiencing rebound.

I feel like where I was at in February with the migraines - desperate.

 

I'm just about nonfunctional; I'm lucky I'm off work.  Hope I can gather myself enough over the next 2 days to get ready to go away.

Getting away usually helps my ails but I don't know about this one!

 

Now I wonder if I shouldn't go back on the Pristiq or Effexor but I really do believe Pristiq exacerbated my migraines quite a bit.

 

Thanks for listening Alto.


On SSRI's/SNRI's for @ 25 years, first Prozac 18 years

Took Pristiq last 3 years, had increase in severe migraines

Started tapering Pristiq 100 mg every other day, was ok

Tried Topamax for 2 weeks, but side effects intolerable

Continued taper, able to tolerate 100mg every 4th day

At 6 weeks cut 100mg tab to 50mg & had bad reaction

Only taking 25mg sumatriptan or 0.5mg Ativan as needed

4 weeks later withdrawal worse, where do I go from here?

Stabilizing on 4mg Prozac, NO triptans, NO Ativan

3.6mg hold since June 18

 

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Altostrata

You were taking a triptan with Prozac? How long have you been doing that?


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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Fireball2014

My GP prescribed me a triptan combo after I saw an allergist who told me my headaches were migraines not sinus headaches.

(been a few years?)

I was always on some type of SSRI or SNRI so my GP should have been aware of the risk of med interactions. 

He even prescribed Topamax for the migraines along with me taking Pristiq & the triptan as needed.

I have been taking less & less of the triptan noticing serotonin syndrome-like side effects.

I even told my GP I was experiencing chest pain and he didn't get too excited.

Again, I don't know what my migraines for the past 2&1/2 days were about-maybe allergies-maybe the Prozac taper kicking in.

But I gave up on the triptan today & eventually even though it really didn't feel like it my headache subsided &

right now I am in a window :D just feeling great for awhile...


On SSRI's/SNRI's for @ 25 years, first Prozac 18 years

Took Pristiq last 3 years, had increase in severe migraines

Started tapering Pristiq 100 mg every other day, was ok

Tried Topamax for 2 weeks, but side effects intolerable

Continued taper, able to tolerate 100mg every 4th day

At 6 weeks cut 100mg tab to 50mg & had bad reaction

Only taking 25mg sumatriptan or 0.5mg Ativan as needed

4 weeks later withdrawal worse, where do I go from here?

Stabilizing on 4mg Prozac, NO triptans, NO Ativan

3.6mg hold since June 18

 

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Altostrata

This is how much your GP knows about dangerous drug interactions between triptans and SSRIs http://www.fda.gov/drugs/drugsafety/postmarketdrugsafetyinformationforpatientsandproviders/drugsafetyinformationforheathcareprofessionals/ucm085845.htm

 

You need to see someone else for your migraines.


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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Fireball2014

I am trying to detoxify my system with the help of a naturopath & also going for acupuncture.

Hope this will do the trick because I am not interested in having another doctor prescribe me something else.

I had an MRI which was basically negative.  Sometimes I just think the long term AD's have exacerbated my migraines.

That's why I wondered if starting Prozac as my taper was a problem for me.  But I'm ok right now & will slowly taper when appropriate.


On SSRI's/SNRI's for @ 25 years, first Prozac 18 years

Took Pristiq last 3 years, had increase in severe migraines

Started tapering Pristiq 100 mg every other day, was ok

Tried Topamax for 2 weeks, but side effects intolerable

Continued taper, able to tolerate 100mg every 4th day

At 6 weeks cut 100mg tab to 50mg & had bad reaction

Only taking 25mg sumatriptan or 0.5mg Ativan as needed

4 weeks later withdrawal worse, where do I go from here?

Stabilizing on 4mg Prozac, NO triptans, NO Ativan

3.6mg hold since June 18

 

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Altostrata

....Sometimes I just think the long term AD's have exacerbated my migraines.

That's why I wondered if starting Prozac as my taper was a problem for me.  But I'm ok right now & will slowly taper when appropriate.

 

 

Yes, this may be true. Please read the link I took the time to provide for you.


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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Fireball2014

Oh, yes I read your links always & over & over again!  I am very fortunate to have found this site as well as a few others.

I could be in dire straits right now if I hadn't.  I'm in the medical field and am so concerned now how MD's do not seem to take

possible med interactions seriously enough.  Even the naturopath was well aware that she couldn't give me anything to help

with depression because I'm on the Prozac taper.  I will never feel again that an MD has enough experience or good judgement

about what he/she prescribes me.  It will be up to me to ask many questions first...


On SSRI's/SNRI's for @ 25 years, first Prozac 18 years

Took Pristiq last 3 years, had increase in severe migraines

Started tapering Pristiq 100 mg every other day, was ok

Tried Topamax for 2 weeks, but side effects intolerable

Continued taper, able to tolerate 100mg every 4th day

At 6 weeks cut 100mg tab to 50mg & had bad reaction

Only taking 25mg sumatriptan or 0.5mg Ativan as needed

4 weeks later withdrawal worse, where do I go from here?

Stabilizing on 4mg Prozac, NO triptans, NO Ativan

3.6mg hold since June 18

 

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mammaP

Hi Fireball, this is such a trying time for you and can understand why you are reluctant to

carry on with the prozac taper but agree with Alto 100% that you do not want to suffer withdrawal

from pristiq!  Being consistent with doses is important so your nervous system can stabilise. 

Hopefully as you taper the side effects will lessen.  I'm glad you feel a bit better now. You will

probably experience windows and waves, when symptoms flare up then die down again. 

 

In case Alto hasn't given you the link, here it is, it is always helpful to understand what is going on

with your body, it's much easier to cope with the waves when you know they will pass. 

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/82-the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-recovery/


**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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Fireball2014

Thank you for your much needed support, mammaP.  I do need to be reminded to hang in there.  Migraines or not I will stay on my 4mg Prozac (5 if needed) until I feel I have stabilized.  There are so many things that can trigger migraines with me anyway.  I am trying to detox somewhat with the help of a naturopath and will continue acupuncture treatments for the migraines.  The migraine I had earlier this week was very strange/different, felt like my brain was morphing or something, like it was remodeling.  And I will refrain from taking the triptan; just have to have a specific plan for dealing with my migraines when I go back to work.  I have to look at the positive side of things to get through this.  Difficult times always come in life; this difficulty is just vastly trickier than most.  I slowly became more debilitated over the past year due to the migraines (just kept up with going to work), then I was desperate for relief, and the choices made about meds by me & my GP were poor ones.  Now I have to tame the desperation of just wanting to be myself & whole!  And also do it without getting stressed out or worried about anything...  I feel lame but gotta get over it to heal.  I will reread your link everytime I am hard on myself about my progress and know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

I need to gather myself to get ready for a 5 day trip with my husband that I have been unable to do anything for so far..

But it should be relaxing and hopefully I won't drive him crazy with my withdrawal issues.

I will connect again in about a week.  Happy trails to all!


On SSRI's/SNRI's for @ 25 years, first Prozac 18 years

Took Pristiq last 3 years, had increase in severe migraines

Started tapering Pristiq 100 mg every other day, was ok

Tried Topamax for 2 weeks, but side effects intolerable

Continued taper, able to tolerate 100mg every 4th day

At 6 weeks cut 100mg tab to 50mg & had bad reaction

Only taking 25mg sumatriptan or 0.5mg Ativan as needed

4 weeks later withdrawal worse, where do I go from here?

Stabilizing on 4mg Prozac, NO triptans, NO Ativan

3.6mg hold since June 18

 

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mammaP

Hope you have some relaxing and fun times away,  look forward to hearing about it  :)


**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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Altostrata

Thank you, Fireball. It can be frustrating sometimes when people don't read the links.

 

Your migraine tendency is a major complication in going off an antidepressant. Withdrawal can certainly make this worse. Since it's not clear that the Prozac is causing the migraines, my guess is it's best to keep that aspect as stable as possible while you work on controlling other migraine triggers. As I understand it, these can be foods, too, etc and other factors a good naturopath might know about.


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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Fireball2014

Hello Everyone,

 

Checking in quickly after @ 15 days.  Back from vacation last Thursday & just trying hang in there with my job; nursing has become a paperwork nightmare that adds unnecessary stress these days.  Plus, lots of wasted time!  Keeping vacation in mind - it helped me a lot!  Walks on the beach, lots of walking in town, bicycling, trying to eat healthier (watching migraine triggers/detoxing), etc.  Of course I wish I could be on vaca all the time.  Struggled very hard when I got back - lack of focus, overwhelmed, scattered thinking.  I have that "stuck" feeling I had when I first had a major episode of depression @ 25 years ago, & also when I started perimenopause &  severe hot flashes at age 45.  I have to keep asking my husband if I am on the right path & he assures me I am much clearer than a few weeks ago.  I've had 3 appointments with the acupuncturist, taking magnesium, fish oil, a vitamin B complex, vitamin D, ubiquinol, and actually decreasing the calming homeopathic the naturopath gave me to only once a day if that. The acupuncturist says my pulses are still weak; they were actually higher when I started with her.  The withdrawal, the lack of Pristiq (because of the norepinephrine effect) - it will probably take time to build me up again.  I know I truly need more exercise now & think I can handle more, too.  I will be going for a walk with my 2 dogs when I'm done here.  Yesterday I felt that maybe I need to go back on "something again" and I say NO!!!

 

As far as the taper I am holding at 4mg liquid Prozac until June 9th.  My migraines are better; the last headache I had was 1 week ago Friday (which I believe I could attribute to the weather).  This is great for me especially with the stress at work!  I am working hard at not letting anything get to me.  I think all of us going through withdrawal have to work hard on this issue.

 

So my first taper I will try 3.5mg Prozac for another month.  Can't thank you enough Altostrata for your assistance!


On SSRI's/SNRI's for @ 25 years, first Prozac 18 years

Took Pristiq last 3 years, had increase in severe migraines

Started tapering Pristiq 100 mg every other day, was ok

Tried Topamax for 2 weeks, but side effects intolerable

Continued taper, able to tolerate 100mg every 4th day

At 6 weeks cut 100mg tab to 50mg & had bad reaction

Only taking 25mg sumatriptan or 0.5mg Ativan as needed

4 weeks later withdrawal worse, where do I go from here?

Stabilizing on 4mg Prozac, NO triptans, NO Ativan

3.6mg hold since June 18

 

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Rhiannon

Hi Fireball, glad to hear your vacation helped. It's amazing what a difference stress makes to our symptoms. Hospital work can be intense.

 

Just a couple of thoughts reading through your thread and your post above. Personally I think it's too soon for you to start to taper. It's better to wait until the waves and windows have settled down and you've been feeling pretty steady for at least a few weeks, to months. Since you're just back from vacation, you don't really know yet how stable/steady you are. And even now you're having spells where you feel so bad you wonder if you should start a new med. 

 

You haven't been on the low dose Prozac for long and people rarely manage to really stabilize that fast even without having to deal with working.

 

So maybe give it a few more weeks, unless you are just having so much trouble with the headaches that you absolutely feel you have no other choice.

 

Also, a lot of us find that B complex vitamins and sometimes vitamin D are too stimulating in withdrawal. You might want to experiment with not taking those and then adding them in slowly at very low doses, to see how they affect your system. I don't know about the ubiquinol but I would probably do the same with that too. The fewer interacting factors to confuse the picture, the better.


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 

 

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

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Altostrata

Good to hear, Fireball. I agree with Rhi, give your nervous system a long vacation from dosage changes!


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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Fireball2014

;) Thank you Rhi & Alto for reminding me again to GO SLOW with dosage changes!

I have really been doing pretty well since last Saturday & I want to continue on this path.

My last headache was on May 23rd & last migraine episode the 12th-14th; this is a vast improvement for me.

I was getting 2-3 migraines/week while taking Pristiq & probably rebound migraines from the triptan.

I can feel good at least for the fact that I am no longer taking Pristiq, sumatriptan, & Topamax (that I tried for 2 weeks).

I have just backed off on the Vit D for now to see how I do...

Will post again soon...


On SSRI's/SNRI's for @ 25 years, first Prozac 18 years

Took Pristiq last 3 years, had increase in severe migraines

Started tapering Pristiq 100 mg every other day, was ok

Tried Topamax for 2 weeks, but side effects intolerable

Continued taper, able to tolerate 100mg every 4th day

At 6 weeks cut 100mg tab to 50mg & had bad reaction

Only taking 25mg sumatriptan or 0.5mg Ativan as needed

4 weeks later withdrawal worse, where do I go from here?

Stabilizing on 4mg Prozac, NO triptans, NO Ativan

3.6mg hold since June 18

 

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Fireball2014

Hi Everyone,

 

Posting sporadically & hanging in there!  There's so much I would like to say, contemplate, contribute right now - but it's so hard to get out fast enough in words!  I am holding at 4mg Prozac and doing ok.  No tapering until I feel less apathetic.  Hope I have gone down the right path with using Prozac to mitigate withdrawal symptoms from the fast taper from Pristiq.  No turning back now anyway!  My husband reassures me I am doing better.  I do feel more of an improvement myself in my symptoms.  Little by little, steady as she goes.  Have been able to stay focused at work just fine, probably because I don't have the time to let my mind wander and I just want to get through each day unscathed.  It's been terrible at home because I feel like I have ADD and get overwhelmed by all that keeps on NOT getting done.  I get so frustrated that Pristiq caused this "dysthymic dysphoria" in me that continues even though I am no longer taking it.  I just have to forge on until I get better & better.  I continue to take fish oil, magnesium, vitamin B complex (which I feel is not too stimulating for me), and decreased my vitamin D intake; try to eat healthy, get exercise, refrain from stressing at work, and continue acupuncture sessions.  I do wonder if the acupuncture can be too stimulating when the energy is being manipulated?  Has anyone had this experience?

 

Thanks for listening...


On SSRI's/SNRI's for @ 25 years, first Prozac 18 years

Took Pristiq last 3 years, had increase in severe migraines

Started tapering Pristiq 100 mg every other day, was ok

Tried Topamax for 2 weeks, but side effects intolerable

Continued taper, able to tolerate 100mg every 4th day

At 6 weeks cut 100mg tab to 50mg & had bad reaction

Only taking 25mg sumatriptan or 0.5mg Ativan as needed

4 weeks later withdrawal worse, where do I go from here?

Stabilizing on 4mg Prozac, NO triptans, NO Ativan

3.6mg hold since June 18

 

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mogfish

Hi Fireball!

 

Just wanted to say hi and thank you for your encouraging words on my page.

I wish you all the best with your taper and just wanted to say hang in there and listen to the advice that you get on this site. I know as a fellow health care professional that it is hard to accept that the medical profession has completely let us down and would prescribe medications without knowing the full impact and havoc which they can wreak.

I will be honest and say that I am the last person that would ever seek help from an online forum and have heard many a time from the Doctors that I work with and my own GP to stay away from the internet and "DR GOOGLE" ….  yet here I am and I am so very glad that I found this site. The information and advice on here comes from people that have true experience with antidepressant withdrawal and then back it up with evidence based information.  That is the best type of advice in my book.

 

I too would get overwhelmed with the little stressors of day to day yet could function perfectly well at work with the major stressors that we face each day whilst looking after the lives of others! Go figure!! 

 

Fish oil, magnesium and B complex have helped me through my taper and I am a lover of a good sauna so have had those frequently also I was a regular sauna user prior to tapering so just continued and found them to be relaxing and a great way  to assist in Detoxification.

 

If I can give you any advice which I too needed to heed myself , is to turn your nursing brain off a little. Try not to over think the process and try to just go with it a little. You might find that you have days where you are teary, tired, angry, intolerant, irritable, itchy, hungry, not hungry, nauseous, headachy, sleepy, vague etc etc….. you may have days where you feel all of these, one or two of these, or none. Don't think on the days where you are feeling crappy that " Oh no, something is wrong, maybe I have done the wrong thing" Its all just part of the process and for the most part these symptoms will ease with time. Allow your body to heal and recover and give it the time it needs to do so. Never in a million years did I think it would take me more than a year to come off Pristiq, but it did and I am pretty sure that I am one of the lucky ones that could taper relatively quickly. I believe that in tapering slowly I have given myself the best possible chance of staying off antidepressants for good. Fingers, toes and eyeballs crossed!!!

  And remember always to BE KIND TO YOURSELF. We spend so much time looking out for the well being of others and then neglect to look after ourselves. I wish you all the best fireball and will be watching your progress and quietly cheering for throughout your journey.


have been on and off antidepressants for 16 years since becoming pregnant with my now 15 year old daughter.
Was put on effexor several years ago and experienced horrible side effects(shakes, vomiting, sweats, chills) about a week into commencing them.
Stopped effexor cold turkey and commenced on cipramil which I stayed on a low dose for many years until I weaned myself off.
A few years ago I was advised to go back on antidepressants and put on Pristiq. Started on 50 mg but experienced insomnia and irritability so halved the dose to 25mg which I tolerated well but didn't do a lot to help with the "depression" so eventually increased dose to 50mg which I was on for about 3 years 
I felt I was ready  to come off the antidepressants so began to wean off them.The method I have used was to cut the tablets up.

At first I took a half in the morning then a quarter late in the afternoon. I would often end up with a big half and a little half when cutting the pills up so I would take the big halves for a about 2 months then swap to the little halves therefore giving me a smallish dose reduction. I held on each reduction for about 6 to eight weeks and sometimes longer depending on how I was feeling.
To try to simply summarise my dosing method……….
*Big half  in morning quarter in early evening (around 4pm) 
*Small half in morning and quarter in evening
*Small half in morning then 1/8 in evening
*big half in morning and evening dose dropped
*small half in morning
*big quarter in morning
*small quarter in morning
*Big eighth in morning
*small eighth in morning
* a nibble of the already tiny tablet :))
This method has proved to be successful for me thus far and as of June 2014 I am more than 2 months completely Pristiq free

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Rhiannon

In response to your question about acupuncture, I believe Narcissus has had a bad reaction to it in the past. Personally I've done fine with it the couple of sessions I've had. I don't know how many other people have tried it, but there may be a thread in Symptoms and Self Care about it, or you could start one; I think it's a good topic and I'd be interested to hear what people have to say.


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 

 

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

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Fireball2014

Thank you Mogfish for your sorely needed support!  Had a good weekend with my hubby & the inlaws but today I took a dive halfway through the day.  It's been since the beginning of Aril that I've been off Pristiq and since May 9 that I've been trying to mitigate withdrawal with the 4mg of Prozac - it's sooo hard!  So hard to be on this rollercoaster.  I have to say that I at least do not want to EVER go back on any psychotropic drug.  Can't risk any more screwing up of the brain!  Well I can hardly think now and have to go to bed & get up for work in the am.  Be back soon...


On SSRI's/SNRI's for @ 25 years, first Prozac 18 years

Took Pristiq last 3 years, had increase in severe migraines

Started tapering Pristiq 100 mg every other day, was ok

Tried Topamax for 2 weeks, but side effects intolerable

Continued taper, able to tolerate 100mg every 4th day

At 6 weeks cut 100mg tab to 50mg & had bad reaction

Only taking 25mg sumatriptan or 0.5mg Ativan as needed

4 weeks later withdrawal worse, where do I go from here?

Stabilizing on 4mg Prozac, NO triptans, NO Ativan

3.6mg hold since June 18

 

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Fireball2014

Hi Everyone!  Checking in for a bit to update my progress.  I have had 6 acupuncture treatments which I believe are helping my withdrawal symptoms and am holding at 3.6mg Prozac.  Don't have any plan to taper down right now.  I have been off Pristiq for about 3 months & on the Prozac for about 7 weeks.  I feel like I am entering a new stage of my antidepressant discontinuation journey.  I guess I am more apathetic, down, stone-faced, unmotivated - what a doc would describe as being depressed and needing meds!  It's what I was always afraid of coming off antidepressants, entering the black hole again.  I could use some encouragement  here for sure.  I know I will not take anything again, I've come too far.  Plus, the migraines I got from being on the meds became intolerable and I started to get tardive dysphoria anyway.  I notice my husband & one of my sister's do not want to deal with or listen to much lately (can't say I blame them).  I was lucky enough to meet up with a cousin at a family gathering that has gone through the same thing and says she is still very apathetic after being off the meds for awhile.  It just helped for me to not feel alone & she encouraged me to hang in there like I did her.  But this really SUCKS!  Any words from the wise?  Could the Prozac be making things worse or is my brain just in the process of readjustment?


On SSRI's/SNRI's for @ 25 years, first Prozac 18 years

Took Pristiq last 3 years, had increase in severe migraines

Started tapering Pristiq 100 mg every other day, was ok

Tried Topamax for 2 weeks, but side effects intolerable

Continued taper, able to tolerate 100mg every 4th day

At 6 weeks cut 100mg tab to 50mg & had bad reaction

Only taking 25mg sumatriptan or 0.5mg Ativan as needed

4 weeks later withdrawal worse, where do I go from here?

Stabilizing on 4mg Prozac, NO triptans, NO Ativan

3.6mg hold since June 18

 

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