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seb: not sure of the best method for tapering off Pristiq


seb

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Hi I would like to come off Pristiq.  I have read the forums on tapering off Pristiq and I really cannot make up mind which way to go: (1) Compound chemist - crush tablets into smaller tablets (2) change over to Effexor and slowly taper off (3) bridge with Prozac.   I live in rural Australia and it takes some time (and extra money) for me to organise with a compound chemist in a capitial city to make the smaller Pristiq tablets.  I am worried about Effexor option, that the withdrawal will be worse than Pristiq; however I really like the ability to slowly…slowly taper and I have total control over it – with the ER beads.  I am not sure how I will handle going from a SNRI to a SSRI if I decided to bridge with Prozac.   

1999 Citalopram 20mg 2000 Came off Citalopram 2002 Citalopram 20mg 2003 Came off Citalopram 2007 Citalopram 20mg 2008 Pristiq 50mg 2009 Pristiq 100mg 2014 Pristiq 50mg 19 September 2014 Switch to Effexor 75mg 2019 Effexor and 40mg Endep. 3/1/2021 started a 10% taper with the Effexor .

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Hi Seb

 

I used a compounding chemist to crush into 10mg capsules (it wasn't that expensive - Jeff Ramsey Pharmacy in North Adelaide), they mixed it with a slow release (gel?). But I took the 10mg capsules throughout the day at intervals and it seemed to work ok. I didn't get the brain zaps that I experienced in the past. I weaned slowly down to 40mg for a week, then 30mg for a week etc. I have been off for 6 months but I'm not doing that well so it might not have been slow enough!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Seb, welcome to SA. Pristiq is very tricky to taper as you have discovered! Several members have 

switched to effexor or prozac to taper, the choice is yours.  We have some excellent topics that explain those options.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/876-tips-for-tapering-off-pristiq-desvenlafaxine/

 

Effexor is available in a liquid for easier tapering, and I don't think it would be harder to taper. Pristiq is difficult

because of the tablets being slow release, this means that if you crush them to get your dose you would need to

spread the dose over the day because you would be getting the full dose in one hit. 

 

A compounding pharmacy fpr pristiq is the best option, that takes away errors and messing around counting and

measuring liquid. Believe me those beads are not easy to count! 

 

We recommend tapering no more than 10% of the current dose, with at least 3-4 weeks between cuts. It is slow but

well worth the patience. Go too fast and withdrawal can make life very difficult! 

 

Thank you for putting your history on your signature, that is very helpful 

**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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Thank you Janelee and mammaP for your responses.  Janelee I am sorry to hear you are not travelling so well, I hope you can find something to help you get out of the space you are in at this present time.   I have a questions for you Janelee - over what period did you taper?  You mention you did not get brain zaps - did you experience any other withdrawals?  Did you take supplements while you were withdrawing?  

1999 Citalopram 20mg 2000 Came off Citalopram 2002 Citalopram 20mg 2003 Came off Citalopram 2007 Citalopram 20mg 2008 Pristiq 50mg 2009 Pristiq 100mg 2014 Pristiq 50mg 19 September 2014 Switch to Effexor 75mg 2019 Effexor and 40mg Endep. 3/1/2021 started a 10% taper with the Effexor .

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I am not 100% sure how to post on this website (which I think is the best website I have ever come across when looking up mental health).  If I find random stuff I think is helpful or want to post questions/experiences, do I just continue on this thread?

 

Anyway see below a great link which takes you to an article on supplements for helping depression.  The article is from a website called The Conversation.  It is a great site to get articles written by professionals in their field and recent research updates on mental health. (Note mental health is not the focus, it is just a section on the whole site.)

 

http://theconversation.com/health-check-five-supplements-that-may-help-with-depression-28889

1999 Citalopram 20mg 2000 Came off Citalopram 2002 Citalopram 20mg 2003 Came off Citalopram 2007 Citalopram 20mg 2008 Pristiq 50mg 2009 Pristiq 100mg 2014 Pristiq 50mg 19 September 2014 Switch to Effexor 75mg 2019 Effexor and 40mg Endep. 3/1/2021 started a 10% taper with the Effexor .

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Seb,

Welcome from me too.  This is your thread to track your progress, ask questions about your situation and to communicate with the community, so yes you can keep adding to this thread.

 

There is a an incredible amount of quality information here, so look around the whole site and add to discussions if you wish.  If you have a question about a particular symptom or issue, its probably been answered somewhere on the site.  You can find any of our many topics by using Google and typing in "survivingantidepressants.org" followed by whatever thing you wish to search for.

 

 

Anyway see below a great link which takes you to an article on supplements for helping depression. 

 

Please be careful with supplements.

 

"No matter what you read about "natural" supplements or herbs, or even if an alternative practitioner, naturopath, or integrative doctor recommends them, you cannot treat withdrawal syndrome as though it is "natural" depression.

In "natural" depression, your nervous system is normal and it is operating your body properly. In withdrawal syndrome, your nervous system is struggling to get back to normal operation. Don't try to speed this along with anything that may be stimulating, or you may further unbalance it.

SAM-E and other supplements that act on serotonin, including St. John's Wort, are not recommended for people with withdrawal syndrome. They tend to be stimulating in a way that most of us really do not need."

 

Please see Important Topics about Tests, Herbs, Supplements and Treatments for more information.

 

Do stay in touch and let us know what you decide about tapering.

 

Petu.

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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Hi Seb

 

I have just started my taper off Pristiq. After going the skipping route as advised by my dr and pharmacist. Once the w/d symptoms set in I decided to do more research and here I am.

 

I am now cutting, taking 1/2 tablet in the morning and 1/4 in the evening. This was my first day after a few days of taking 3/4 in the morning. I will let you know how I go on this method. If I am out and about I find the symptoms aren't so bad.

 

Good luck!!

Nov 2012 started on pristiq 50 mg

Late Aug 2014 started taper (skipping every 2nd day)

Early Sep 2014 went back to daily dose but 75% (later realised closer to 60%)

13 Oct 14 1/2 of 50mg tablet split 2/3 in morning 1/3 in evening

14 Nov 1/4 50mg once a day

15 Dec 1/8 daily

26 Dec quit

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Thanks Fuzzylogic, I will follow your thread to see how you are going - please post as often as possible as I really want to learn from others who taper from Pristiq.  Earlier this year I dropped from 100mg to 50mg Pristiq and it was a very unpleasant experience.  I was all over the place emotionally.  I had one particularly bad weekend when I was at home alone with my two young children (4 and 6) and I scared my children with my behaviour, just thinking about it now I feel upset.  This is of course my own experience and from reading posts on this website it is amazing how everybody seems to have unique withdrawal experiences. 

 

 

I have decided to swap to Effexor with beads and to remove beads overtime.  I am very frightened of swapping to Effexor; at least when you take Pristiq it is the ‘devil you know’.  The reason I have decided to do this is I am really scared of withdrawal symptoms.  So I am going to give myself four years to taper; I will slowly remove the beads from the capsule over the four years.  I like the idea of the beads, as I can control the tapering and I can do it very slowly.  I have an appointment with my doctor next Thursday.  At this appointment I have need to convince him to swap me from Pristiq to Effexor and I am not sure how receptive he is going to be to this

1999 Citalopram 20mg 2000 Came off Citalopram 2002 Citalopram 20mg 2003 Came off Citalopram 2007 Citalopram 20mg 2008 Pristiq 50mg 2009 Pristiq 100mg 2014 Pristiq 50mg 19 September 2014 Switch to Effexor 75mg 2019 Effexor and 40mg Endep. 3/1/2021 started a 10% taper with the Effexor .

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Hi Seb

 

I've also been all over the place emotionally. I tend to 'lose' it easily. My kids understand that I'm going through withdrawal but it is still hard on them. Have been concentrating on being positive and it is helping. The constant buzz in my ears is driving me mad.

 

I'm interested to know how you go with yr dr and if you switch how it goes. Not sure I want to switch, also going to take it slow.

Nov 2012 started on pristiq 50 mg

Late Aug 2014 started taper (skipping every 2nd day)

Early Sep 2014 went back to daily dose but 75% (later realised closer to 60%)

13 Oct 14 1/2 of 50mg tablet split 2/3 in morning 1/3 in evening

14 Nov 1/4 50mg once a day

15 Dec 1/8 daily

26 Dec quit

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Hi Seb,

 

You and I have a similar history with antidepressants as I too was on and off cipramil since 1999 as well as a few other antidepressants short term before being switched to Pristiq about about 5 years ago 

 

I have lost it many a time with my now 15 year old daughter whilst being pulled on and off meds and again going through withdrawal. try not to beat yourself up over it, you can't change the past but you can be aware that withdrawal is going to make you more susceptible to "bouts of rage" ( this pretty much sums up what I had) and go really really slow with your taper and keep your loved ones informed of what you are going through so that they can help and support you through this time..... and most importantly be forgiving and kind to yourself.

 

Take as long as you need to taper from the drug, your body will tell you how fast or slow to go.

Going from 100 mg to 50 mg is a huge drop so I'm not surprised you had such an unpleasant experience. hopefully by going slow now you will not have such a horrible experience.

 

You will get wonderful advice, guidance and support from this site.

 

Be reassured that it is possible to come off these drugs completely even though you have been on them for a long time. I was on them for as long as you and i can honestly say that I am in a really good place right now even though i still experience the odd "wave", but these waves are fewer and a lot shorter in duration and for the most part I feel like "me' again....and thats a bloody good feeling to have myself and my life back :)

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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  • Administrator

Welcome, seb.

 

If your doctor is reluctant to switch you to Effexor, I would be interested to hear his or her theory about how to gradually taper Pristiq. Skipping doses is not a good way to taper.

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 wrote in a previous post that I was going to take four years to taper; I was thinking about this today and thought- that is ridiculous.  But when I did the calculations it is probably going to be close to five years based on the 10% taper method.  How I calculated this was as following: I am going to swap to Effexor and reading the different posts on this site to swap 50mg of Pristiq will take 100mg of Effexor.  So based on this (all amounts are as mg):

 

 

Month Initial dose  New dose Drop Month Initial dose New dose  Drop  Month Initial dose  New dose  Drop Month Initial dose  New dose  Drop Month Initial dose  New dose  Drop  YEAR ONE YEAR TWO YEAR THREE YEAR FOUR YEAR FIVE 1 100.0 90.0 10.0 13 28.2 25.4 2.8 25 8.0 7.2 0.8 37 2.3 2.0 0.2 49 0.6 0.6 0.1 2 90.0 81.0 9.0 14 25.4 22.9 2.5 26 7.2 6.5 0.7 38 2.0 1.8 0.2 50 0.6 0.5 0.1 3 81.0 72.9 8.1 15 22.9 20.6 2.3 27 6.5 5.8 0.6 39 1.8 1.6 0.2         4 72.9 65.6 7.3 16 20.6 18.5 2.1 28 5.8 5.2 0.6 40 1.6 1.5 0.2         5 65.6 59.0 6.6 17 18.5 16.7 1.9 29 5.2 4.7 0.5 41 1.5 1.3 0.1         6 59.0 53.1 5.9 18 16.7 15.0 1.7 30 4.7 4.2 0.5 42 1.3 1.2 0.1         7 53.1 47.8 5.3 19 15.0 13.5 1.5 31 4.2 3.8 0.4 43 1.2 1.1 0.1         8 47.8 43.0 4.8 20 13.5 12.2 1.4 32 3.8 3.4 0.4 44 1.1 1.0 0.1         9 43.0 38.7 4.3 21 12.2 10.9 1.2 33 3.4 3.1 0.3 45 1.0 0.9 0.1         10 38.7 34.9 3.9 22 10.9 9.8 1.1 34 3.1 2.8 0.3 46 0.9 0.8 0.1         11 34.9 31.4 3.5 23 9.8 8.9 1.0 35 2.8 2.5 0.3 47 0.8 0.7 0.1         12 31.4 28.2 3.1 24 8.9 8.0 0.9 36 2.5 2.3 0.3 48 0.7 0.6 0.1        

 

Once I get to 0.5 I will start just removing one bead at a time.

 

I realise I might be able to go faster if I have no withdraw symptoms.  However I don’t believe I will be one of the people who will able to come off quickly 

1999 Citalopram 20mg 2000 Came off Citalopram 2002 Citalopram 20mg 2003 Came off Citalopram 2007 Citalopram 20mg 2008 Pristiq 50mg 2009 Pristiq 100mg 2014 Pristiq 50mg 19 September 2014 Switch to Effexor 75mg 2019 Effexor and 40mg Endep. 3/1/2021 started a 10% taper with the Effexor .

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Ok ignore the last post I tried to post a cool excel sheet and then I tried to do it as a picture neither worked. 

1999 Citalopram 20mg 2000 Came off Citalopram 2002 Citalopram 20mg 2003 Came off Citalopram 2007 Citalopram 20mg 2008 Pristiq 50mg 2009 Pristiq 100mg 2014 Pristiq 50mg 19 September 2014 Switch to Effexor 75mg 2019 Effexor and 40mg Endep. 3/1/2021 started a 10% taper with the Effexor .

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Hi Seb

 

I see you are going the Effexor route. I am going to be interested in seeing how you go. When do you start? Wow I hope I don't take 5 years to taper, but if that's what it takes then I will have to.

 

Take care

Nov 2012 started on pristiq 50 mg

Late Aug 2014 started taper (skipping every 2nd day)

Early Sep 2014 went back to daily dose but 75% (later realised closer to 60%)

13 Oct 14 1/2 of 50mg tablet split 2/3 in morning 1/3 in evening

14 Nov 1/4 50mg once a day

15 Dec 1/8 daily

26 Dec quit

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Ok went to the doctor yesterday and it did not go well.  The doctor was not happy with swapping to Effexor - he instead suggested I take a month to come off pristiq by cutting the tablet up and then go on Prozac or Agomelatine and while I taper off Pristiq to take Valium.  Even though I tried to explain the taper needs to be slow he eyes kind of glazed over.

 

Anyway today I went to another doctor today– a random one and he gave me a prescription for 75mg Effexor.  This doctor would not give me a repeat on the prescription; he wants me to keep coming back for the prescriptions so he can oversee my taper - he would like me to do it also in one month (I won't be). 

 

When I went and got the prescription filled I asked the chemist if 75mg Effexor was equivalent to 50mg of Pristiq – he said it was.  The chemist then said he did not think it was wise what I was doing and that I would be better to take a Pristiq tablet one day and nothing the next – i.e. alternating.  I tried to explain why this was a bad idea but I could see he was not really listening.  He wanted to know how I was going to taper from Effexor.  I explained the beads and removing them.  He said there were no beads in the tablets – we took apart a capsule and yes there were beads.  He proceeded to get tablets of different doses to check which ones had beads.  So to ensure you get beads you need to make sure you ask for Extended release and only the 75 and 37.5mg doses have beads – the 100mg has two tablets inside the capsule.  

 

So tonight is my first night to take 75mg of Effexor - it fells like I am about to jump off a large cliff and I don't know what is down below.  Wish me luck.   

1999 Citalopram 20mg 2000 Came off Citalopram 2002 Citalopram 20mg 2003 Came off Citalopram 2007 Citalopram 20mg 2008 Pristiq 50mg 2009 Pristiq 100mg 2014 Pristiq 50mg 19 September 2014 Switch to Effexor 75mg 2019 Effexor and 40mg Endep. 3/1/2021 started a 10% taper with the Effexor .

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Hi Seb.

 

Good luck. Glad you held your ground regarding skipping a dose of pristiq, I wish I hadn't gone done that route it took me ages to get my system right.

Keep us posted, am interested in your progress.

Fuzzy

Nov 2012 started on pristiq 50 mg

Late Aug 2014 started taper (skipping every 2nd day)

Early Sep 2014 went back to daily dose but 75% (later realised closer to 60%)

13 Oct 14 1/2 of 50mg tablet split 2/3 in morning 1/3 in evening

14 Nov 1/4 50mg once a day

15 Dec 1/8 daily

26 Dec quit

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  • Administrator

Correct, seb, you need the Effexor XR type if you wish to taper by counting beads.

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 took my first Effexor (75mg) tablet last night and woke up quite a lot.  I had lots of 'angry' dreams and bad stomach aches.  In the morning I had a bad headache, sore jaw (from clenching my teeth) and felt woozy in the head.

 

I have just taken a Nurofen Plus (Codeine 12.8mg & Ibuprofen 200mg) and the headache is gone but still feeling woozy.  Emotionally I feel fine, to be honest I actually feel really good as I feel like I have made a positive step towards coming off antidepressants. 

1999 Citalopram 20mg 2000 Came off Citalopram 2002 Citalopram 20mg 2003 Came off Citalopram 2007 Citalopram 20mg 2008 Pristiq 50mg 2009 Pristiq 100mg 2014 Pristiq 50mg 19 September 2014 Switch to Effexor 75mg 2019 Effexor and 40mg Endep. 3/1/2021 started a 10% taper with the Effexor .

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  • Administrator

Please let us know how the transition is going.

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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Did you clench your teeth on pristiq? Wondering if new or worse now you transitioning?

 

Good in you for taking that step.

Nov 2012 started on pristiq 50 mg

Late Aug 2014 started taper (skipping every 2nd day)

Early Sep 2014 went back to daily dose but 75% (later realised closer to 60%)

13 Oct 14 1/2 of 50mg tablet split 2/3 in morning 1/3 in evening

14 Nov 1/4 50mg once a day

15 Dec 1/8 daily

26 Dec quit

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Today is day 3 on Effexor and I am totally fine - absolutely no issues.  Sleeping well, teeth clenching gone, bad dreams gone.  I will stay on it for a month before I start tapering. 

 

In regard to the teeth clenching - I did not do this on Pristiq but I did do this when I was on Citalopram.  Teeth clenching was the main reason my doctor changed me to pristiq - if only I knew the full story about this AD.  

1999 Citalopram 20mg 2000 Came off Citalopram 2002 Citalopram 20mg 2003 Came off Citalopram 2007 Citalopram 20mg 2008 Pristiq 50mg 2009 Pristiq 100mg 2014 Pristiq 50mg 19 September 2014 Switch to Effexor 75mg 2019 Effexor and 40mg Endep. 3/1/2021 started a 10% taper with the Effexor .

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Great news, sound like you are on the right track.

Nov 2012 started on pristiq 50 mg

Late Aug 2014 started taper (skipping every 2nd day)

Early Sep 2014 went back to daily dose but 75% (later realised closer to 60%)

13 Oct 14 1/2 of 50mg tablet split 2/3 in morning 1/3 in evening

14 Nov 1/4 50mg once a day

15 Dec 1/8 daily

26 Dec quit

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  • Administrator

Thanks for checking in. Please continue to 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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Feeling real yuck in the mornings.  I feel a sense of dread which sits in my chest - it's an old familar feeling that I have not felt for a while. 

1999 Citalopram 20mg 2000 Came off Citalopram 2002 Citalopram 20mg 2003 Came off Citalopram 2007 Citalopram 20mg 2008 Pristiq 50mg 2009 Pristiq 100mg 2014 Pristiq 50mg 19 September 2014 Switch to Effexor 75mg 2019 Effexor and 40mg Endep. 3/1/2021 started a 10% taper with the Effexor .

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Sorry to hear you are feeling bad in the mornings Seb, hopefully it will settle down.

It seems to be going ok except for that?  

 

If you could you update your signature to include the switch to effexor that would be great.

I hope the mornings improve for you, how long do you feel bad for? 

**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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Since my last post I am feeling better in the mornings.

 

I read all the posts on early morning cortisol, which were very helpful.  I decided to make two changes – dramatically cut down on caffeine and increase the amount of carbs I am eating.  I drink around 6 cups of coffee a day (2 in the morning), Pristiq has always make me feel really tired and drinking coffee has been my way of coping with this, however I think it is probably also stimulating cortisol – which I am sensitive to.  As to carbs – last year I dropped the amount of carbs I was eating in an effort to lose weight (put on 10kg since being on Pristiq).  Part of this low carb regime was to not eat any carbs in the morning.  Since reinstating carbs in the morning and reducing caffeine I find I am feeling not as awake during the day however the anxiety feelings have significantly reduced.  I also decided to go camping this weekend in the bush (after reading about the forest bathing) and it was great, made me feel really chilled out even while my kids were yelling at me and generally running amok.

 

I have noticed since switching to 75mg Effexor I am waking 2-3 times during the night (not being able to sleep was the primary reason I went on ADs) - will need to order online some melatonin.

1999 Citalopram 20mg 2000 Came off Citalopram 2002 Citalopram 20mg 2003 Came off Citalopram 2007 Citalopram 20mg 2008 Pristiq 50mg 2009 Pristiq 100mg 2014 Pristiq 50mg 19 September 2014 Switch to Effexor 75mg 2019 Effexor and 40mg Endep. 3/1/2021 started a 10% taper with the Effexor .

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thanks for the update seb, it sounds like you are doing really well.  Many of us find that reducing or cutting out caffeine helps with lowering anxiety.

 

When you wake during the night, are you able to go back to sleep?  Magnesium can be calming and can also help with sleep.  Its best to start slowly to see how you react, see:

 

Magnesium, Nature's Calcium Channel Blocker

 

You may have already seen it, but in case you haven't, here is the link to a topic which contains help for sleep issues:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/604-important-topics-about-symptoms-including-sleep-problems/

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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Hi Seb, sounds like you are travelling well.

 

Sorry about the sleep issues, hope they improve. Not sure I can give up coffee, know I should, hoping the warmer weather will help, so well done for cutting down.

 

Take care

Nov 2012 started on pristiq 50 mg

Late Aug 2014 started taper (skipping every 2nd day)

Early Sep 2014 went back to daily dose but 75% (later realised closer to 60%)

13 Oct 14 1/2 of 50mg tablet split 2/3 in morning 1/3 in evening

14 Nov 1/4 50mg once a day

15 Dec 1/8 daily

26 Dec quit

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  • Administrator

Very happy to hear the switch to Effexor went fairly well.

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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Hi Seb. I'm Oldgator and am starting my Pristiq taper as well. It sounds like you, FuzzyLogic, and I are all kicking Pristiq to the curb. I see you went the Effexor ER route. Are you still taking the 50mg of Pristiq? If not, did you overlap at all with the medicines? I'm so glad Effexor is working for you so far. 

My Introduction

 

I've been on pretty much every antidepressant at some point over the last15 years with nothing that ever works (because it wasn't depression due to a chemical imbalance).

2014

4/1 - Started Pristiq 50mg

4/13 - Pristiq 100mg

9/25 - Have decided to stop Pristiq 100mg. Researching how to withdrawal and am scared to death!

10/2 - 50mg pill plus small 1/4 of 100mg pill in the morning; small quarter of 100mg pill in the evening

10/7 - 50mg pill plus very small 1/4 of 100mg pill in the morning; very small quarter of 100mg pill in the evening

10/9 - 50 mg pill plus 1/4 of 50mg pill in the morning; 1/4 of 50mg pill in the evening

10/15 - 50mg pill plus 1/4 of 50mg pill in the morning; 1/8 of 50mg pill in the evening

 

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Hi Oldgator I didn't taper at all I just stopped taking Pristiq and went straight to Effexor.  The night of the changeover (I take my AD at night) I didn't sleep that well and I had a headache the next day.  I am not sure if this was because of the swap or due to my being very worried about how it would go.  Since the swap I have had absolutely no issues.  You will see from my signature I have now taken out 10 beads, which is a very small drop in dose.  However like you I am scared to death of withdrawals.  I have two young kids I have to look after and I have to operate enough to go to work (where I have no sick leave available).  For me the decision to stop taking ADs is that I feel it is making me feel depressed due to the numbness I feel while I am on it, I have put on heaps of weight (all on my stomach - which makes me look pregnant) and I have zero libido (which I really miss).  I would love to taper really quickly and get off this drug however I am so scared of withdrawals.  I have resigned myself that I will take a long time to do it.  Since I have dropped the 10 beads I have had again no symptoms.  

 

 

The reason I like the Effexor with the beads is that I feel I can control the taper very slowly (I have read there is 228 beads in 75mg of Effexor) and the beads I feel deliver an even dosage as they are still wrapped up in their extended release chemistry.  However in saying all this it was still a very hard decision to make as you can’t know for sure how you will react to Effexor.   I thought if it goes really bad I will just swap back to Pristiq. 

1999 Citalopram 20mg 2000 Came off Citalopram 2002 Citalopram 20mg 2003 Came off Citalopram 2007 Citalopram 20mg 2008 Pristiq 50mg 2009 Pristiq 100mg 2014 Pristiq 50mg 19 September 2014 Switch to Effexor 75mg 2019 Effexor and 40mg Endep. 3/1/2021 started a 10% taper with the Effexor .

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That's so amazing that you haven't had any side effects. Did you ever get the crazy headaches or brain zaps when you went from 100 to 50mg? I also get very angry on Pristiq and feel horrible when that happens. I would think you should stay on the 75mg of Effexor for a few weeks to stabilize first. I have no idea but based on what everyone says, you want to hold at a dose for a few weeks. I totally get rushing and feeling okay and trying to remove a few beads (sounds like something I'd do), I have read so many situations where it was weeks later where they started feeling the true effects of switching medicine and then feeling the effects. I'm glad it's been a smooth transition for you. 

My Introduction

 

I've been on pretty much every antidepressant at some point over the last15 years with nothing that ever works (because it wasn't depression due to a chemical imbalance).

2014

4/1 - Started Pristiq 50mg

4/13 - Pristiq 100mg

9/25 - Have decided to stop Pristiq 100mg. Researching how to withdrawal and am scared to death!

10/2 - 50mg pill plus small 1/4 of 100mg pill in the morning; small quarter of 100mg pill in the evening

10/7 - 50mg pill plus very small 1/4 of 100mg pill in the morning; very small quarter of 100mg pill in the evening

10/9 - 50 mg pill plus 1/4 of 50mg pill in the morning; 1/4 of 50mg pill in the evening

10/15 - 50mg pill plus 1/4 of 50mg pill in the morning; 1/8 of 50mg pill in the evening

 

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  • Administrator

seb. the number of beads in an Effexor XR capsule varies from capsule to capsule. It's a good idea to stay with one manufacturer and one dosage of capsule throughout your taper.

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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Hi Oldgator - very good advice.  

You are right I am getting ahead of myself.  I am feeling no symptoms and so believe everything is OK; however I need to wait it out for a while.  I will hold onto the 10 bead removal for a month.  

 

I was very weepy this morning (I have awful work stuff going on) however I was able to pull myself out of it* and was productive about an hour later.  When I am weepy, angry or having sleep problems, I think is this withdrawal or did I always experience this? So far what I have experienced is stuff that has always been there.

 

In regard to the drop from 100mg to 50mg I did have a lot of rage and was immensely tired all the time.  However I got no brain zaps.  I have never experienced brain zaps but I have experienced body zaps and they were awful.  Before I was on pristiq I had huge sleep issues – woken constantly by my baby daughter who would not sleep at night.  Even when I was on pristiq I would sometimes get very mild body zaps at night when stuff was worrying me.  I have found since being on fish tablets that they have totally gone.  Currently I am having a really stressful time at work and even though I might wake up at night thinking about it – no body zaps while on fish tablets.   

 

Hi Altostrata, thank you for your post.  I did not know that!  So should I be measuring my taper rather than removing a set number of beads?  They are slippery little guys – measuring is going to be hard.

Thanks Seb

 

*Not sure if anybody is interested in this but one way I can sometimes pull myself out of not feeling good is to listen to podcasts.  It requires no effort and if I choose good ones (I love this American Life, Radiolab, Risk, the Moth and Snap Judgement) I get absorbed in the story and feel better after a while.  I have this theory that listening to the story and understanding what is happening requires a different part of my brain to that which is processing unhappy thoughts and thus I can redirect its attention.   I would love to hear from others on their strategies for redirecting your brain.   

1999 Citalopram 20mg 2000 Came off Citalopram 2002 Citalopram 20mg 2003 Came off Citalopram 2007 Citalopram 20mg 2008 Pristiq 50mg 2009 Pristiq 100mg 2014 Pristiq 50mg 19 September 2014 Switch to Effexor 75mg 2019 Effexor and 40mg Endep. 3/1/2021 started a 10% taper with the Effexor .

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  • Administrator

Removing a certain number of beads is a good way to taper, just don't assume it's a definite percentage of the capsule. Please read the Effexor tapering topic 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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Is constipation a withdrawal symptom?  I have no made no other changes in my life other than reducing ADs and I have had terrible constipation. 

1999 Citalopram 20mg 2000 Came off Citalopram 2002 Citalopram 20mg 2003 Came off Citalopram 2007 Citalopram 20mg 2008 Pristiq 50mg 2009 Pristiq 100mg 2014 Pristiq 50mg 19 September 2014 Switch to Effexor 75mg 2019 Effexor and 40mg Endep. 3/1/2021 started a 10% taper with the Effexor .

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to seb: not sure of the best method for tapering off Pristiq

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