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Native Floridian (@nativefloridian)

Side effects of Pristiq

Depression & Anxiety | Last Active: May 8 12:25pm | Replies (386)

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This is my 3rd time “withdrawing” from an SNRI I have been on Pristiq 2 times before but both times I switched to Effexor XR & actually w/d from that med in particular the last 2 times.. The first time it happened I was at the E.R. twice in a week & the first time I had no idea what was going on & felt like I was dying.. If I had to describe it in a “general” sense than it would be flu like symptoms except much more intense (severe headaches, nausea, dizziness, dehydration, etc) as far as physical goes & mentally/emotionally the worst experiences of depression & anxiety I have gone through to include panic attacks/shallow breathing/severe insomnia/hot flashes/chills/crying spells/etc.. the 1st w/d when I didnt know what was going on I went to the hospital & kept telling them I felt like something was in my head.. (which of course sounds psychotic to everyone else).. I kept telling them I felt like I was having an extreme case of morning sickness but I wasn’t pregnant & there was no way to ease the pain (ie advil, tums, pepto) nor the anxiety (w/ my klonopin). I had brought a list bc I was afraid that I would forget or leave out a crucial symptom & there was about 20-25 things I listed as wrong with me to include physical/emotionally/mental she looked at me & called it excessive & perhaps I was but as I mentioned before I had no idea what was going on.. they tested me for the flu, pregnancy, I made them do a cat scan bc of the feeling in my head bc I feared maybe I had a tumor or something (IDK! lol).. they did pump me with fluids through an iv bc my bp was 165/122 & my pulse was in the 130’s & they said the iv would “calm me down” needless to say I was very upset bc they were treating me like I needed to be in a straight jacket next door in the mental ward.. the nurse really p’d me off bc it didn’t seem like she was taking me seriously but I know they deal with much more serious things & I was just feeling very vulnerable, helpless, & confused but the iv actually helped me it brought down my bp/pulse & made me feel better so the prognosis at that time was dehydration which I didnt dare argue with bc of the temporary relief I felt & the judgement I already endured. but just 5 days later I was back with an extreme migraine.. I was puking up all the narcotics & once I found that not even there meds were working I knew it had to be something to do w/ symptoms from discontinuing the EXR.. I unfortunately was on it again soon bc I gave up waiting for the w/d to go away.. 6 months later I knew what to expect when I told the dr it wasn’t working & he decided to try me on Lexapro I told him I wasn’t going off cold turkey again so he told me to start taking my dose every other day for 2 weeks (while starting lexapro on the days I didnt take it) & then after 2 weeks to stop it completely.. Unfortunately I couldnt wait that long.. after just 3 days I was having thoughts of suicide bc I was in so much agony & emotional distress.. I would take my dose at night & the next day I would feel great & normal but the nights that I skipped the dose the next day was excruciating.. I decided to just stop it all together bc I didn’t want to wait 2 weeks & still put myself through that bc I had already had enough after a week & wanted to get it over w/ bc you literally cannot function or do anything when you are going through this (me atleast) I am a stay at home mom & have 2 children that need me to take care of them so it wasnt an option to keep anticipating & putting off the inevitable. I read online about someone who had gone through the same transition (EXR to Lexapro & she had doubled up on her dose of Lexapro & it seemed to help the emotional effects atleast & after a few days of completely stopping the med the effects were gone & I was able to do things & take care of my kids again. The only way I was able to sleep during the week & a half of torture was to take theraflu at night bc it has a sedating affect on me & the alcohol in it didn’t hurt either (Im not suggesting that but it was how I coped with my insomnia during that rough time) A man online described the physical pain as it felt like a piece of sheet metal was inside his body & like it was being banged on.. (a good comparison in my book) .. It’s like electric shocks shooting from your stomach to your head & back.. & there is nothing you can do to reduce or alleviate these most unpleasant feelings & sensations. I wouldnt wish any of these things on my worst enemy bc it makes you feel helpless & hopeless .. This time around I am discontinuing Pristiq & last night was my first night of not taking it & I already felt the nausea/dizzy/sheet metal sensation so I am praying for the best.. I know everyone is different so it is hard to say how long it may last for you but I know from what I have read if you quit cold turkey it is usually 1-2 weks before the effects completely wear off but if you taper of course it will be longer bc you are postponing the discontinuation & your effects will probably reduce as your dose reduces.. From my 2 experiences before I know the worst thing I could do is give up (or give in) tapering isn’t an option since I am on the lowest dose already (50mg) & I want to get this over with ASAP so until this gets better I am going to drink lots & lots of water keep hope alive & occasionally take a dose of theraflu to help knock me out on nights I can’t go to sleep bc I would rather be asleep dreaming than awake in pain. God bless you all my prayers are with you & you will make it through just remember it gets better & don’t suffer in silence there are plenty people going through the same thing you are & if you feel like giving up confide in your dr or check into a hospital bc the pain is just temporary & remember you will make it through.. P.S. when my last w/d ended I was extremely thankful to feel “normal” again but even more I started praying even harder for my grandmother who had chemo & radiation therapy & she suffered all day every day with her illness & unfortunately she passed away in July but it comforts my heart & soul to know she is no longer suffering any more & she is in a much better place <3

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Replies to "This is my 3rd time "withdrawing" from an SNRI I have been on Pristiq 2 times..."

thankyouthankyouthankyou! Now I know I’m not crazy,not dying and don’t have a brain tumor or ulcers. My withdrawal has been exacerbated by a raging sinus infection but living in a constant state of anxiety is awful. Good to know there’s an end in sight.

I have been off pristiq for 3 weeks and the symptoms of insomnia, dreams that are insane and freaky, and panic attacks have not gone away. I had to go to hospital for 9days and thought I was better, but I was not. I will have to go back because I can function and black out from lack of sleep and do self destructive things. I have been on it for 7 yrs because of the fear of this occuring so I assume that is why my withdrawl is so long. Are their any meds that ease the pain. Trazidone doesn’t work or make me sleep. Benzos don’t work and I don’t know what to do. The doctors try to tell me I am crazy even after explaining. I hope to find one that can actually listen and help. Please let me know if their is a med to help. I am going crazy. It is all physical at this point, but the symptoms make me nuts!

You don’t always have to take a prescribed medication to get help for symptoms. For your sleep (or non-sleep), try Melatonin. It’s 100% natural and it works wonders, better than any prescribed sleep aid I’ve ever tried. You find it in the vitamin section of any store. I have suffered from Insomnia for almost 20 yrs and I can only take 2.5mg! Trust me, you will sleep like a baby! As for easing your withdrawal symptoms; I have been off Pristiq, cold-turkey, now for 1 week after taking it for only 4 weeks. I am having a hard time right now. I have been reading many boards on how long withdrawal symptoms can last (up to several months – ugh) and what, if anything, we can do to help ease these symptoms. The one thing I keep reading is Dramamine… Dramamine is an over-the-counter antihistamine. It’s used to control motion sickness; nausea, dizziness, vomiting. It seems to work for anyone who tries it. I’m on my way out the door to buy some. It may not be the answer to relieve the withdrawal symptoms 100% but if this Dramamine can help alleviate ANY of the symptoms, I’m all for giving it a go (I’ll be buying the reduced drowsy kind – with 2 teenagers, a 10 yr old, and a husband who acts like he’s 3 yrs old, I can’t be sleeping during the day, lol)! Good luck to you!!

Dear Mrs M, or anyone. I could really use some Help! i am desperate to break the drug cycle could really use help to break away from these meds m
i dont drink or smoke but am on a little bit of left over narcotics and advil to handle
the pain from the spinal fusion probem so complications are on top of the the story….
After I had my child 25years ago,I experienced post partum and they tried me on Prozac and I started getting head aches and losing my vision grayish to grey to blurry dark grey only 1 in 100,000 I think, then same w Zoloft and Paxil plus weight gain ugh. Finally I went onto Effexor going thru all of their incarnations w not major relief in depressionI am in a real difficult place because I have been using 150 milligrams of pritiq for 5-7 years after Ivswitched from Effexor. I also take generic Wellbutrin 600 and my Rx drug company said they would no longer cover the wellbutrin or any more than 100 pristig. I have tried to go of many times before but at my own desire there were catastrophic consequences with deep depression and much suicidal thinking but I always had the drugs to go back on to. Now I am reaching a wall and won’t be able to go back on.In addition I had a failed spinal fusion surgery that only started to show a little bone growth after 1 3/4 years. I am one tired puppy and in physical pain as well as psychological pain and actuall many times thinking about throwing in the towel as I live a lone and my darling son works in Brazil and India. Even though I have lots of friends none of them deal with the physical and mental problems that I have and they are all married. As A result I hide as much as I can so I won’t be a drag. I tried last week to just cut down by 1/3 on the pristiq staying the same on the Wellbutrin and thT kionopin. I still had disastrous results. Doom and gloom and self loathing no motivation and suicidal thoughts. I’m seeing my primary guy today for some suggestions but worry because I and on so many Meds at this point that the thought on going off them is terrifying especially because 7 years ago I lost all of my insurance and went off or everything that was close to a psychotic break. I really lost it so went back on as
soon as I could find an insurance company Thanks for any help

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