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CautiouslyExcited: Preparing to taper off of Pristiq


CautiouslyExcited

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HellO everyone. I am a 37 year old woman who has been on Pristiq for 6 years. I am going to begin the process of weaning off of Pristiq this Friday. I am taking it for depression, anxiety and panic attacks. pristiq is the one and only antidepressant that I have ever been on. It has actually worked wonders for me but I would like to try to come off of it. I haven't ever tried and I feel like I am at a good place in my life to try. My doctor gave me this tapering plan. I would like to know what thoughts you all have about it.

 

100 mgs to (2) 25 mgs per day for 1 week

(2) 25 mgs to (1) 25 mgs per day for 2 weeks

(1) 25 mgs to nothing

Pristiq:  100 mg  2009-Present   ***Only antidepressant I've ever been on*** 

Beginning tapering process on 5.22.15

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hi, cautiously. welcome to the forum -- you'll find lots of knowledgeable people and good advice here. you're lucky that you have a doc that supports tapering. i don't know about the schedule -- one of the moderators can provide better advice on that. but i've heard tapering pristiq is tricky. you may want to see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/876-tips-for-tapering-off-pristiq-desvenlafaxine/?hl=%2Btips+%2Bpristiq

if you haven't already.

 

good luck and hang in there!

diagnosed with MDD/GAD nov 2013, 6 months following CMV complications post-kidney transplant.  lst zyprexa taper 12 months; /increased paxil to 30 mg; crash nov 2014 w/ suicidal ideation & 10day hospitalization.  2nd zyprexa taper 6 months; crash after 6 weeks; reinstated zyprexa 15mg in 6/15 (both tapers worked well to the 2.5mg dose).  3rd zyprexa taper ... 17mg 3 mos;  15mg 1 mo; 10mg 3 mos, 5 mg 3 mos. 2.5mg caused some decompensating, so back to 3mg and  the 10% redux.  UPDATE: moved to FL in late 2016. found great new psychiatrist who agrees that hubby taking too many meds.  continued zyprexa taper and finally  jumped off at .5mg in 2018.  had terrible insomnia. added seroquel @ 300 mg and then tapered 10% to 12.5mg over 2 years. everything was great until it wasnt; hubby suddenly got very agitated and manic.  hospitalized 2x in early 2020 for "idiopathic secondary mania" and diagnosed as bipolar.  seroquel now back @ 100mg plus depakote @ 2500 mg and trazadone @ 100mg. 

mirtazapine 30 mg 45mg 15mg

ativan .5mg 1x/day, occasionally .5 addl  if needed for sleep 3x/day n now 1x/day

paxil 20 mg 1x/day 

gabapentin 1200 - 1800 mg 2 -3 x/day

immunosuppressive drugs for kidney transplant: sirolimus, tacrolimus, mycophenalate, prednisone, levothyroxin and a whole handful of others

 

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Cautiously Excited.
 
wantmyhubbyback gave you the key information -- our topic about tapering Pristiq. Please read that, and then read

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

Why taper? Paper demonstrates importance of gradual change in plasma concentration

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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Thank you both, wantmyhubbyback and altostrata! I wonder how expensive it is to use a compounding pharmacy in order to create the lower dosages of Pristiq? I guess you just take your Pristiq pills to a compounding pharmacy and ask them to make whatever mg pills you want?

Pristiq:  100 mg  2009-Present   ***Only antidepressant I've ever been on*** 

Beginning tapering process on 5.22.15

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  • Administrator

It's not going to be inexpensive. You'll have to ask a compounding pharmacy.

 

Far less expensive to use Effexor XR, if you can tolerate it.

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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Thanks, Altostrata. I will find one near me and inquire about it. I am a little hesitant in using another anti-depressant to taper. Kind of seems like defeating the purpose but I understand the rational behind the suggestion. I just want this process to be over already. LOL! Thank you so much for your help.

Pristiq:  100 mg  2009-Present   ***Only antidepressant I've ever been on*** 

Beginning tapering process on 5.22.15

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi CautiouslyExcited ,    I'm tapering off Pristiq , using digital scales to accurately weigh dosages.

It's a whole lot cheaper than using a compounding pharmacist , and means I can stay at each level as long as I like ,

rather than being committed to a pre-determined tapering schedule.

 

Best wishes ,  Fresh

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

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

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

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

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

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

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

March 2016 , 21mg

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How do you do that, Fresh? Using your existing pills, break them apart and weigh out your dosage?

Pristiq:  100 mg  2009-Present   ***Only antidepressant I've ever been on*** 

Beginning tapering process on 5.22.15

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Yes , there's a link in the Tapering section called "Tips For Tapering Off Pristiq" that explains it.

Once you get the hang of it it's easy.

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

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

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

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

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

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

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

March 2016 , 21mg

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Thanks, Fresh. I will check that out. So, today is day 2 of my reduced dosage (100 mgs to 50 mgs) and I am pleased and thankful to say that I feel good. The only thing that is different is that I feel the tinest bit foggy in my brain. Other than that, no problems at all.

Pristiq:  100 mg  2009-Present   ***Only antidepressant I've ever been on*** 

Beginning tapering process on 5.22.15

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Please read the threads Altostrata suggested in post 3 above.

 

Cutting your dose by 50% is asking for trouble.  

If you want to see how sick you might get , see post 1 in my thread (Fresh's Fractured Fairytale).

 

Please , avoid this at all costs - doesn't matter how long it takes to get off the pristiq.   Better to stay well and maintain your

life while you're tapering slowly.

 

Your first cut should be 10% of the total dose.

Each tablet has 50mg of active ingredient and weighs 380mg (if they're the same as mine.).

So you want to go down to one whole tablet , and 304mg (total weight) of the second tablet , which is 40mg of active ingredient.

 

:)

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

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

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

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

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

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

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

March 2016 , 21mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi CE, welcome from me too. Fresh is right, cutting 50% is going to lead to a destabilised nervous system and some very unpleasant  symptoms.  Doctors rarely know about tapering and have people taper very fast, then tell them they need the drug because of relapse when it is actually withdrawal. They then reinstate the drug and often increase the dose so they are on a higher dose than originally and tell people they will need it for life. They are not trained in these drugs and rely on the information from the drug reps.  Going very slowly means that your brain can adjust to the lower dose much easier and you can continue to be functional. Pristiq and effexor are notoriously hard to quit and need to be tapered very carefully. 

**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 for this information Fresh aND Mammap. I will read your post Fresh. My RX is for 100mg pills so I cannot split them. How soon do you think I will start feeling withdrawal?

Pristiq:  100 mg  2009-Present   ***Only antidepressant I've ever been on*** 

Beginning tapering process on 5.22.15

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

The pills can be cut, doctors don't recommend it but it is the only way to taper pristiq. Fresh is cutting pills, and we have a member who tapered successfully by cutting them up. You can read Mogfish's success story here..... http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6695-mogfish-successful-taper-directly-off-pristiq-using-cutting-up-method/?hl=mogfish

**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

It seems to be fine to split them.  The lowest dose they come in is 50mg so you need to. This is even recommended on the information

leaflet . . . doesn't make sense , hey?

How were you planning to get the 25mg doses?  

 

You need a pill-cutter and tweezers from the chemist and you'll be good to go.

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

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

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

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

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

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

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

March 2016 , 21mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hey  CE ,  We don't get pristiq in 25mg tabs in Australia - I didn't realize they existed   :blush: .

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

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

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

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

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

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

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

March 2016 , 21mg

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  • Administrator

As far as I know, Pristiq comes in only 50mg and 100mg tablets.

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

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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