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Dauntless: not dauntless at all


Dauntless

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Hi there, I just came to this site after reading a few comments elsewhere directing those in need of help to come here.

My name is Dauntless, a reference to the way I wish I could be feeling.

I am 18 years of age & have been taking 200mg of pristiq for depression since about 1/4 way through 2012, after taking st johns wort for a short period of time when diagnosed earlier that year.

I'm currently suffering from incredibly severe withdrawal symptoms after tapering down as directed by my doctor- 200 mg to 100mg for two weeks then 50 for two weeks and now nothing at all, starting in early december.

I am can barely remember details about the process or anything much at all for that matter, and have been experiencing pretty much every single symptom imaginable over the last few days.

Particularly, I have been incredibly easily enraged and irritable toward things that would usually not bother me, crying uncontrollably over even the slightest mishaps(such as typos or misclicking things)which happens every 5-10 minutes, unable to sit up due to head spins and mild head zaps and dizziness, sensitivity to all light, strong and regular suicidal thoughts, mild panic attacks, insomnia, feeling hopeless and fatigued, much, much more depressed than ever before to the point where it's borderline crippling, finding it hard to concentrate & am anxious as well- none of these symptoms had I ever experienced before.

After doing a fair bit of reading I've managed to only depress myself further as I've found that with many people these symptoms won't dissipate for months.

My doctor gave me a script for some other med to take shortly after tapering off pristiq the name of which I have forgotten but I don't want to have to rely on antidepressants any more or suffer through this process twice so I have not filled the script and dont plan on doing so.

Is there any sort of light at the end of this tunnel? Its unbearable living like this and I wish I could just stop existing.

If anyone could give me some help I would really appreciate it, whether it be natural remedies for how I'm feeling, advice or words of encouragement.

Thankyou

Took Pristiq for depression: 200mg

from c. 4/2012 to 1/2015 after tapering down as directed by doctor

Suffering from severe withdrawal symptoms

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  • Moderator Emeritus

dauntless, hi. i am really sorry to hear you are experiencing the very typical symptoms of withdrawal. despite your suffering, you sound like you have a good grasp on what is happening to you. i'm sure a moderator will be along soon to welcome you also. i just wanted to say hello and to also say that i was where you are suffering-wise about 2 years ago and i have improved by leaps and bounds. patience is a hardwon ally, but your most valuable one. healing happens. hang in there.

 

dave

1996 - .5mg Ativan as needed, 7.5mg Remeron daily2008 - .5mg Xanax, Ativan discontinued, Remeron continued2012 - .5mg Xanax, .25mg Ativan 3x daily, Remeron continued2/2012 - Jumped from Remeron, continued .5mg Xanax .25mg Ativan 3x daily4/2012 - Began rapid taper of .5mg Xanax .25mg Ativan 3x daily6/2012 - Jumped from Xanax and Ativan, voluntary hospitalization followed7/2012 - 2nd voluntary hospitalization, reinstated Remeron, bumped to 30mg, also given risperidone.8/2012 - discontinued risperidone, tried gabapentin, dicontinued gabapentin, Remeron 30mg continued10/2012 to current - tapered Remeron 10% every 4 to 6 weeks (sometimes more time) using liquid compound12/2014 - 2mg Remeron 1/16/2015 - 1.9mg Remeron 8/1/2015 -1.6mg Remeron - 03/1/2016 - 1.5mg Remeron - 1/2/2017 1.3mg - 5/7/2017 1.2mg - 5/13/2017 - syringe size change - 6/8/2017 - 1.1mg - 7/10/2017 - 1mg - 9/1/2017 - 0.9mg - 10/22/2017 - 0.8mg - 11/22/2017 - 0.7mg - 2/2/2018 - 0.6mg - 3/13/2018 - new compound pharmacy - 5/20/2018 - 0.5mg - 8/31/2018 - 0.4mg - 11/16/2018 - 0.3mg - 12/24/2018 - 0.2mg - 4/1/2019 - 0.1mg - 5/1/2019 - .05mg - 0mg achieved 2019-06-15. ūü§ě

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Hi Dauntless, I'll bump this up - the moderators may have missed it.   Hang in there.

Put on Prothiaden for severe depression in 1989.  Recovered.   Prescribed Paxil for another bout of depression around 2000.   Have been trying to taper ever since but always crash about 2 months after getting to zero.   Because of the crashes, for years I thought that there was something wrong with me.   Then found that the crashes were simply withdrawal.   Now following a maximum of a 10% reduction every month or so and ready to slow down any time I feel any symptoms whatsoever.  Feeling good:).

7th Jan 15 - 3.6mg

28th Jan 15 - 3.2mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Dauntless, welcome to SA. I'm sorry that you are suffering so badly, sadly your story is not unusual here, these drugs are terrible to get off and cause misery for many people.  When did you take the last dose? And did you feel any withdrawal symptoms when tapering?  The only way to stop the withdrawal is to reinstate the drug, stabilise then taper slowly. No one EVER wants to do this, not a single one of us have wanted to reinstate but it can make a difference quite quickly. 

 

Here is a link to the topic on reinstating. ( The dose you would reinstate at depends on how long you have been off .)

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3079-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-stop-withdrawal-symptoms/

 

What is withdrawal syndrome http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/603-what-is-withdrawal-syndrome/

 

Sadly your doctor didn't have a clue about tapering AD's, here is how we recommend tapering pristiq, you could follow this 

method if you decide to reinstate  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/876-tips-for-tapering-off-pristiq-desvenlafaxine/

**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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Since you have not been off for long, it may be a good idea to reinstate and wait to stabilise.  (Reinstatement is most likely to work when only off the drug for a short time, the more time passes, the less likely it is to work.)  It's hard to say what is the best dose to reinstate at, you may not need to go all the way back to 200mg, maybe try 100mg or 150mg.  Whatever you choose, be sure to take the same dose each day.  Some people feel relief very quickly, but for many it can take several weeks to feel significant improvement, so don't despair if you don't feel better straight away, be patient.  Once stable you can begin a much slower taper, as mammaP has recommended above.

2001‚Äď2002 paroxetine

2003  citalopram

2004-2008  paroxetine (various failed tapers) 
2008  paroxetine slow taper down to

2016  Aug off paroxetine
2016  citalopram May 20mg  Oct 15mg … slow taper down
2018  citalopram 13 Feb 4.6mg 15 Mar 4.4mg 29 Apr 4.2mg 6 Jul 4.1mg 17 Aug 4.0mg  18 Nov 3.8mg
2019  15 Mar 3.6mg  21 May 3.4mg  26 Dec 3.2mg 

2020  19 Feb 3.0mg 19 Jul 2.9mg 16 Sep 2.8mg 25 Oct 2.7mg 23 Oct 2.6mg 24 Dec 2.5mg

2021   29 Aug 2.4mg   15 Nov 2.3mg

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I don't understand, if I can't cold turkey, I can't alternate doses and I can't cut up the pill due to time release coating, what can I do?

I really can't handle this and I know if I go back to my doctor she will reinstate or perhaps come up with something equally ludacris. I just want to be put in a coma until it stops hurting me.

Took Pristiq for depression: 200mg

from c. 4/2012 to 1/2015 after tapering down as directed by doctor

Suffering from severe withdrawal symptoms

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Hang in there, Dauntless! Your plight is real but you will pull through with time!

Feb 7th, 2008 - Prozac at 60mg and Zoloft at 25mg (the end result of five or more years of tinkering trying in vain to reduce my OCD symptoms.) 

Jan 19th, 2010 - Prozac at 60mg and Zoloft at 125mg. By this time I started experiencing muted orgasm and tinnitus. Decided to taper down meds.

May 25th, 2010 - Prozac at 60mg and Zoloft at 37.5mg.

Feb 4th, 2011 - Lexapro at 10mg (after hospital visit during my first withdrawal period. I tapered too fast bit didn't know it at the time.)

Feb 24th, 2011 - Prozac at 40mg with 0.25mg Xanax as needed (Prozac sucks but Lexapro was worse. Lesser of two evils, I guess.) 

Apr 12th, 2012 - Prozac at 60mg and Zoloft at 25mg with Buspar 10mg as needed for sleep (Buspar's the kids' gloves version of Xanax.) 

Jul 18th, 2013 - Prozac still at 60mg (my main B) and no longer taking the Zoloft.)

Mar 5th, 2014 - After months of mounting doubt about the prospects of life-long medication, decided to taper Prozac. Unfortunately, I didn't understand the dangers of SSRI discontinuation syndrome so my taper was only over a period of two months. 

Dec 16th, 2014 - Back on a low dose (20mg) of Prozac to stabilize.

Nov 11th, 2015 - After a nearly year long taper, I took my final 1mg dose of Prozac on my birthday. Finally, I'm SSRI-free. It's a good feeling, though my troubles remain. 

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I have to start back at tafe at the end of the month too, no idea how that's going to work seeing as these symptoms are only getting worse & my course involves sitting at a computer doing repetitive tasks for up to 9hrs a day.

I'm considering not reenrolling and instead just taking the year off. I don't want my studies impacted by this.

I just wish there was some way to get clear cut answers.

Like if I start back on the 50mg will that mean this week of suffering was in vain?

Will I have to wait longer for it to even kick in?

Why did my psych ever think that this was a good idea?

Who in their right mind would think that this drug or any like it could do more good than harm?

Took Pristiq for depression: 200mg

from c. 4/2012 to 1/2015 after tapering down as directed by doctor

Suffering from severe withdrawal symptoms

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What do I do?

Took Pristiq for depression: 200mg

from c. 4/2012 to 1/2015 after tapering down as directed by doctor

Suffering from severe withdrawal symptoms

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

I don't understand, if I can't cold turkey, I can't alternate doses and I can't cut up the pill due to time release coating, what can I do?

I really can't handle this and I know if I go back to my doctor she will reinstate or perhaps come up with something equally ludacris.

At this point, reinstating is your best option. The time release coatings can make tapering difficult, but don't worry about that for now, we can help you figure out how to taper later, once you've restabilised. The important thing now is to get stable again by taking the same daily dose.

 

Like if I start back on the 50mg will that mean this week of suffering was in vain?

Will I have to wait longer for it to even kick in?

Why did my psych ever think that this was a good idea?

A week of suffering is nothing compared to what can happen with a cold turkey withdrawal. Not trying to scare you, but problems from c/t can continue for months or years. That is why it is a good idea to reinstate if at all possible, and the sooner the better, as the longer you wait, the less likely it is to work.

 

Your psych thought it was a good idea because most doctors are misinformed about withdrawal and don't understand the need for slow tapering. When withdrawal hits, they tell people it is a 'relapse' or return of their original condition and offer reinstatement or switches to other ADs or addition of other meds such as anti-psychotics and mood stabilisers. 

 

Your body has got used to Pristiq over a couple of years and that is what it wants.  The sooner you restart it, the sooner it will kick in and the sooner you will restabilise.  It can take several weeks to feel significant improvement, although some people begin to feel better within a few days, sorry we can't give a precise timeframe.

2001‚Äď2002 paroxetine

2003  citalopram

2004-2008  paroxetine (various failed tapers) 
2008  paroxetine slow taper down to

2016  Aug off paroxetine
2016  citalopram May 20mg  Oct 15mg … slow taper down
2018  citalopram 13 Feb 4.6mg 15 Mar 4.4mg 29 Apr 4.2mg 6 Jul 4.1mg 17 Aug 4.0mg  18 Nov 3.8mg
2019  15 Mar 3.6mg  21 May 3.4mg  26 Dec 3.2mg 

2020  19 Feb 3.0mg 19 Jul 2.9mg 16 Sep 2.8mg 25 Oct 2.7mg 23 Oct 2.6mg 24 Dec 2.5mg

2021   29 Aug 2.4mg   15 Nov 2.3mg

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Back at 50mg, feeling significantly better.

Periodic headaches that force me to go to bed and a fair bit of lightheadedness are all that's happening now.

I hope to try to correctly taper after visiting a doctor who knows their stuff.

Thank you all

<3

Took Pristiq for depression: 200mg

from c. 4/2012 to 1/2015 after tapering down as directed by doctor

Suffering from severe withdrawal symptoms

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Glad you are feeling better Dauntless. Maybe you could see Dr Purssey who is in Australia and on our list of recommended doctors.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/988-recommended-doctors-therapists-or-clinics/page__view__findpost__p__47108

**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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  • 5 years later...

Five years on I am back to bump this thread with a question.. are there any solutions yet? I have been on 50mg since this incident and still suffer withdrawal symptoms as soon as two days without taking pristiq. Have asked a doctor for 25mg but apparently that doesn't exist in Australia? Anyone know someone perhaps in the sydney/central coast area who understands this awful drug?

Took Pristiq for depression: 200mg

from c. 4/2012 to 1/2015 after tapering down as directed by doctor

Suffering from severe withdrawal symptoms

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  • Moderator
6 hours ago, Dauntless said:

Anyone know someone perhaps in the sydney/central coast area who understands this awful drug?

 

ChessieCat, one of our moderators, lives in Sydney and has tapered Pristiq from a high dose down very close to zero using a compounding pharmacy.  She is about as expert as you could want with respect to tapering Pristiq. @ChessieCat

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg 

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Jan. 11, 2022: 5.4mg 

Taper is 71% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg and holding.  

Taper is 80% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Dauntless and welcome back,

 

25mg is not available in Australia.  It is not the pharmaceutical company (I have contacted them about this) but the TGA who have made that ruling.  I am disgusted that it isn't available because the tablet is not supposed to be cut.  But I digress.

 

Yes, it can be compounded.  The lowest dose my compounder will make is 0.125mg.  Smaller doses can be made but it becomes expensive.  You need to request slow release formula to be added.  He will also used different coloured capsules if you wish.  I found this helpful.  Even though they are required to label the bottle with use by 6 months after "manufacture" of the capsules, I have been using them for many months after with no issues.  I've already got my capsules made up for the rest of my taper, which will end in about 12 months.

 

I'm fairly certain that my compounding pharmacist told me that they will send them in the mail.  This is my taper doses and holds:

 

First part of taper

 

Last part of taper

 

When I got to 10mg I started to dose twice a day, taking the smaller amount at night so that if I experienced withdrawal symptoms that it would be whilst I was asleep.

 

However, because I felt so bad at the start of my taper, I may not have recognised that I was experiencing interdose withdrawal when I was only taking my capsule dose once a day in the morning.  In hindsight I should have been split dosing after I got lower than 50mg.

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

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