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snuffy trying to go off Pristiq


snuffy

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My Doc told me to alternate. When I said that wasn't good, she told me to delay a couple of hours lengthening the time between doses. I did not try that as I had found this forum before going there.

I have been cutting the 50mg tabs in half and taking them on a 12 hour basis(I know this is not advised but want to get off of this and there is no approved method). Been doing this for about 6 days now and so far no clear adverse reaction, but with life playing it's normal havoc with stress and disappointments, it's somewhat hard to tell if the med is causing my ups and downs or the work/life stress.

I plan to start scraping some powder out of the shells of each half as time goes on to slowly reduce the dosage. I'll try to come back to update.

Good luck to all and thanks Altostrata!

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  • Administrator

You're welcome, snuffy.

 

If you can get an equivalent prescription for regular Effexor to take twice a day, it will cost less and you can make a liquid from it for more precise reductions.

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...

Well after not doing so well with splitting, I bought a scale and started trying to be a bit more accurate in the half doses twice a day. Still had problems and decided to go back to full doses while some work related stresses play out.

I will be talking with my Doc. for one thing to inform her of what I've learned here so she can be better informed about this drug and the terrible idea of alternating days but also to ask for Effexor IR and then taper that down.

Symptoms I had were irritability, mood swings, aching legs.

 

I was wondering about something else around the idea of splitting or crushing this thing. When they created this drug, they intentionally put in a timed release distribution method, presumably to to prevent irritation of the stomach but are we sure that the chemistry is the same when the drug is distributed in the stomach versus the intestines? Just wondering if this could also be causing problems with how people are reacting when trying the split/crush method and may be more reasons for NOT doing that and going with the Prozac or Effexor method instead.

 

Thanks.

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  • Administrator

You have the right idea, snuffy. There is a discussion above of Pristiq being in the stomach.

 

But -- desvenlafaxine is a metabolite (product) of venlafaxine, which is Effexor, and that ends up in the stomach, so the action of Pristiq vs Effexor isn't that far apart.

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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  • 7 months later...

After several unsuccessful attempts to get off Pristiq, I was able to switch to Effexor XR. The plan was 2 weeks of EffexorXR 75mg(2 capsules) a day and then 2 weeks at EffexorXR 37.5mg and then stop. First 2 weeks were fine except for a suspicious daily low grade afternoon migraine. Second 2 weeks also fine with continued low grade afternoon migraine. On the second day after stopping completely(week5), I starting having Brain Zaps, Vertigo and mood swings.

I restarted EffexorXR 37.5mg a day and will now start counting beads to slowly taper off. Is it worth trying to switch to Prozac? Seems people can have side effects getting off of any of these medications.

 

I will cross post this to the tapering Effexor discussion.

Thanks all.

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After several unsuccessful attempts to get off Pristiq, I was able to switch to Effexor XR. The plan was 2 weeks of EffexorXR 75mg(2 capsules) a day and then 2 weeks at EffexorXR 37.5mg and then stop. First 2 weeks were fine except for a suspicious daily low grade afternoon migraine. Second 2 weeks also fine with continued low grade afternoon migraine. On the second day after stopping completely(week5), I starting having Brain Zaps, Vertigo and mood swings.

I restarted EffexorXR 37.5mg a day and will now start counting beads to slowly taper off. Is it worth trying to switch to Prozac? Seems people can have side effects getting off of any of these medications.

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  • Administrator

A direct taper from a drug, if it works for you, is less risky than switching to Prozac.

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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  • Administrator

Thanks, Snuffy.

 

A direct taper from a drug, if it works for you, is less risky than switching to Prozac.

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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  • 10 months later...

 

After several unsuccessful attempts to get off Pristiq, I was able to switch to Effexor XR. The plan was 2 weeks of EffexorXR 75mg(2 capsules) a day and then 2 weeks at EffexorXR 37.5mg and then stop. First 2 weeks were fine except for a suspicious daily low grade afternoon migraine. Second 2 weeks also fine with continued low grade afternoon migraine. On the second day after stopping completely(week5), I starting having Brain Zaps, Vertigo and mood swings.

I restarted EffexorXR 37.5mg a day and will now start counting beads to slowly taper off. Is it worth trying to switch to Prozac? Seems people can have side effects getting off of any of these medications.

 

 

You cut down very fast. It seems most likely to me that it was the rapid reduction that has caused your symptoms, and probably changing to a different drug will not be especially helpful. I would recommend that you not taper any more for four to six weeks until your symptoms settle down, then begin a slow (10%) taper off the 37.5 mg.

 

It seems like everyone hopes to be an exception to the need to taper slowly, and some people are, but you don't know in advance if you will be, and from the symptoms you're getting it doesn't sound like you are. Please be cautious and take care of yourself.

 

Thanks Rhi.

After switching from Pristiq to EffexorXR, I finally tapered off the 37.5mg EffexorXR over about 3 months and I'm totally off everything now for about 6 months. I'm having periodic anxiety/panic attacks that seem to be impacting appetite, digestion and mood swings and are effecting my work. Never had the anxiety/panic attacks in my life so I'm assuming it's probably part of the withdrawal from Effexor. Probably going to have to get back on something to address this but waiting for a callback from the doctor to see what the best options may be.

Also considering switching to a specialist from our family doctor who wants to help but has limited exposure.

The feeling of being weak and pathetic for having this problem is not pleasant. My wife is very supportive and understands the unknowns when dealing with this sort of thing from her own battle with OCD, but thinks I seemed better when I was on Pristiq than I am now and I think she may be right. The main reason I wanted to get off the meds was the feeling that nothing really meant anything at all. So while the meds helped in some ways, it also seemed to take out the joy of life.

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After switching from Pristiq to EffexorXR, I finally tapered off the 37.5mg EffexorXR over about 3 months and I'm totally off everything now for about 6 months. I'm having periodic anxiety/panic attacks that seem to be impacting appetite, digestion and mood swings and are effecting my work. Never had the anxiety/panic attacks in my life so I'm assuming it's probably part of the withdrawal from Effexor. Probably going to have to get back on something to address this but waiting for a callback from the doctor to see what the best options may be.

Also considering switching to a specialist from our family doctor who wants to help but has limited exposure.

The feeling of being weak and pathetic for having this problem is not pleasant. My wife is very supportive and understands the unknowns when dealing with this sort of thing from her own battle with OCD, but thinks I seemed better when I was on Pristiq than I am now and I think she may be right. The main reason I wanted to get off the meds was the feeling that nothing really meant anything at all. So while the meds helped in some ways, it also seemed to take out the joy of life.

 

 

Snuffy, how long were you taking meds for?

What has worked best for me for the panic attacks is abdominal breathing, breathing out much slower than in.

It takes time to control, but it's really good.

Best wishes.

1999-2004 citalopram 10 to 20mg with 2-3 withdrawal attempts.
2004 fluvoxamine for 4-5 months aprox. Changed to venlafaxine because of the headaches and dizziness.
2005-March 2014 venlafaxine usually starting on 150mg and coming down to 75 or 37.5. Several withdrawal attempts.
In March 2014 I stopped taking 37.5mg of venlafaxine without tapering.

Went through 5 months of confusion, anxiety, insomnia and desperation. From then I am very slowly recovering, on windows and waves.

Symptoms: muscle stiffness and aches, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, memory loss, inability to concentrate or think straight, difficulty to speak, difficulty to read (improving).

Taking omega3, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E and probiotics.

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After switching from Pristiq to EffexorXR, I finally tapered off the 37.5mg EffexorXR over about 3 months and I'm totally off everything now for about 6 months. I'm having periodic anxiety/panic attacks that seem to be impacting appetite, digestion and mood swings and are effecting my work. Never had the anxiety/panic attacks in my life so I'm assuming it's probably part of the withdrawal from Effexor. Probably going to have to get back on something to address this but waiting for a callback from the doctor to see what the best options may be.

Also considering switching to a specialist from our family doctor who wants to help but has limited exposure.

The feeling of being weak and pathetic for having this problem is not pleasant. My wife is very supportive and understands the unknowns when dealing with this sort of thing from her own battle with OCD, but thinks I seemed better when I was on Pristiq than I am now and I think she may be right. The main reason I wanted to get off the meds was the feeling that nothing really meant anything at all. So while the meds helped in some ways, it also seemed to take out the joy of life.

 

 

Snuffy, how long were you taking meds for?

What has worked best for me for the panic attacks is abdominal breathing, breathing out much slower than in.

It takes time to control, but it's really good.

Best wishes.

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After switching from Pristiq to EffexorXR, I finally tapered off the 37.5mg EffexorXR over about 3 months and I'm totally off everything now for about 6 months. I'm having periodic anxiety/panic attacks that seem to be impacting appetite, digestion and mood swings and are effecting my work. Never had the anxiety/panic attacks in my life so I'm assuming it's probably part of the withdrawal from Effexor. Probably going to have to get back on something to address this but waiting for a callback from the doctor to see what the best options may be.

Also considering switching to a specialist from our family doctor who wants to help but has limited exposure.

The feeling of being weak and pathetic for having this problem is not pleasant. My wife is very supportive and understands the unknowns when dealing with this sort of thing from her own battle with OCD, but thinks I seemed better when I was on Pristiq than I am now and I think she may be right. The main reason I wanted to get off the meds was the feeling that nothing really meant anything at all. So while the meds helped in some ways, it also seemed to take out the joy of life.

 

 

Snuffy, how long were you taking meds for?

What has worked best for me for the panic attacks is abdominal breathing, breathing out much slower than in.

It takes time to control, but it's really good.

Best wishes.

 

Thanks Jose. I will have to try the breathing, The anxiety seems to be so frequent lately. Hard to say how long i was on them. Unlike so many posters here, I didn't keep good records but I'm going to get the records from my doc so I know. My guess would be starting on Celexa about 10 years ago or so, switched to Pristiq for a few years and then switched to EffexorXR last year to make it easier to get off everything.

Thanks again Jose and thanks to the others who have contributed to this site which has helped so many.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

It seems to be a relatively common pattern for people to get through the initial withdrawal off an AD, do pretty well for a few months, then get hit again further out, three to nine months--six months is a very common point for this to happen. This is when people are most at risk for being diagnosed with "relapse" and going back on meds.

 

If you go back on meds, the results are unpredictable, and of course sooner or later you'll probably want off them again and have to go through all of the process all over again. The more times people go off meds and back on them, the more sensitive they become to the meds and to changes in them, so future tapers will need to be more cautious and slow, and it's harder to predict how you'll react both to the med and to changes in it.

 

It's up to you, of course. One suggestion, though. Before making the life-altering decision to go back on meds, get a copy of Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker and read through it. And take at least a couple more weeks and try every kind of lifestyle, nondrug self-care intervention you can think of, just to see if getting through this delayed withdrawal period might be possible.

 

Because if you can get through it without going back on meds, you will succeed at your original goal and you'll save yourself from ending up right back here, or worse, some time in the next few years.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Also: not to say I told you so, but dude, this is why we recommend a slow taper. Just in case you do find yourself here again--next time maybe try it our way...? We didn't just pull this stuff out of the air, we learned it the hard hard hard way, with hundreds (maybe thousands by now) of involuntary guinea pigs.

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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