Want to taper off Pristiq, makes my heart race

Posted by Native Floridian @nativefloridian, Jan 7, 2012

Has anyone successfully tapered off Pristiq? If so, what was your plan? I am considering going off this medicine. I take 50 mg per day and have done so for about 2 years. I understand there are very significant withdrawal symptoms and I would like to stop taking Pristiq because it causes my heart to race when the time release happens. I am afraid this medicine may not be good for the heart because the clinical trials state that anyone with a heart condition was not allowed to take it.

Liked by SHO101, dianenero

@martingala

I was prescribed Pristiq for severe back pain, as the back pain specialist said my physical issues do not explain the severity of my pain. I took 50 mg for a couple of months and had no effects, either good or bad. The Psychiatrist then upped the dose to 100 mg. Good news: my back was better. Bad news: I had to sleep abput 12 hours a day. I was falling asleep during my commute, both morning and evening. The Psychiatrist suggested I taper off the drug. I went down to 50 mg for a few days, and then pondered whether to do one day on and one day off as she suggested. I read this discussion plus others, and decided that a) I didn’t want to have a “rollercoaster” effect on my brain b) I just want to get off the thing. Next week I am testifying in court as an expert witness and the week after that I am going on vacation, so it was now or never. I quit on Saturday. Saturday and Sunday were good. I even got my open water diver certification on the weekend! Come Monday morning…. all hell broke loose in my body. I couldn’t think, I felt dizzy and nauseous, I was sweaty and just overall miserable. I had a nervous breakdown about my son’s contact lenses being lost in the mail. I don’t have meltdowns like that! I also told my boss he was “bitchy” and I replied to a client with a very stupid email. I stayed home from work today (Tuesday), but have to work anyway. My brain feels a bit better and I haven’t had a meltdown. My stomach, however, is completely messed up. It hurts really bad. Fennel tea seems to help calm it down. I am hoping the symptoms get better by tomorrow, since there is no way I can stay home another day. I wish I had never taken this drug. I understand it can do wonders for some people, but the little relief I got for my back pain was not worth it.

Jump to this post

Hi there – I have posted a few times (complaining about the side effects/withdrawal symptoms of Pristiq) – and have finally decided to do something about it and “taper down” from 100mg to 50mg. I saw my doctor last week and he gave me samples of the 50mg (since I have been out of work and currently uninsured). Although the tablets are not supposed to be cut/crushed, he suggested I try that if going straight down to the 50mg was too much. Well I started last Wed (on 50mg) and felt pretty good for a couple days (except for a dull headache). By Saturday night I was feeling pretty “spacey” and lightheaded. By Monday I was in a state of overwhelm (partly because on financial stress), but also noticed that my mood and energy were definitely “low” – so I took another 1/2 of a 50mg. Total meltdown yesterday – so I have incorporated the 1/2 tablet with my 50mg of Pristiq each morning and also started taking 1/2 a xanax twice daily (as prescribed) to help keep me calm. I forced myself up and out of bed today – walked my dog and got some chores done. other than that, I feel like I just want to be left alone (and cancelled on going to my moms for the 4th), with little to no energy and overall feeling achy and blah.
From those of you who have tapered off Pristiq – does this sound normal? And how long does it usually last? I am still confused about how to successfully taper off this drug (even after reading all of the posts). I asked my doctor (somewhat sarcastically) to please ask his pharmaceutical rep how to wean off this drug the next time he/she comes in to see him!
Regarding the post above, please provide an update on how you are doing! Hopefully you are feeling better… and I encourage you 100% in your efforts to get off of Pristiq!

REPLY
@ggmarie

Woo Hoo!! I am finally off Pristiq!!!! I am feeling normal again, the brain zaps have finally subsided to the rare side now (they are caused by your neurotransmitters firing) and I am just downright happy again! I am smiling, laughing and feeling like myself that I was beginning to question if she would ever be back again. All I can say to all of you is it will take time. There will be side effects while your brain is adjusting, and that is why is important to taper. I went from 100mg to 50mg and tapered off for 3 weeks. I had hoped to do it in 2 weeks but too many symptoms. I am hopeful in renewing my life. I never ever thought that this medication would actually start destroying my life. I lost all de sire to be part of life, felt empty and so emotionless. After 3 years I feel myself again. I am smiling again, joined a gym to help get rid of my weight gain. And just working out has made a difference. I really wish the best to all of you and know that it is a struggle. I did it and it was hard but I will NEVER go on a antidepressant again.

Jump to this post

Hi Ginger,

Just read the info on the link you provided above… I do have frequent muscle spasms (in my neck especially) -and have also noticed that when I lay down at night, I have involuntary leg movements (nothing crazy, just more like a twitching feeling in my legs)… this is all new – and of course agitation is almost always present. Do you think this could be from the Pristiq? My doctor also put me on adderall (after upping my Pristiq from 50-100mg I felt that I had constant brain fog) – the adderall is the only thing now that helps me be productive and focus. I can really see now the impact that this has had on my life – and overall health – and it just makes me so angry that doctors seem to prescribe these AD as a first response rather than a last resort! Anyways, enough venting – feel like it doesn’t do any good and in some ways, I had just become resigned to having to be on this medication (wondering if maybe I really do need it)…. but I didn’t used to – and I don’t think I could say my life is any better now because of it (actually worse as I resigned from a 6 figure job last October and have literally no income since then)… but my goal NOW is to at least start the process and go from 100mg to 50mg (realized that I have gained 35lbs in two years – and am the heaviest I have ever been)! Definitely having some “discontinuation symptoms” – but so far it has been tolerable. As I mentioned above, I have started cutting the 50mg in half and now taking 1 1/2 of the 50mg each day and will probably stay on this for two weeks – and then go to 50? SO frustrating that their is not any concrete information out there on how to get off this stuff! I plan on calling the manufacturer tomorrow to see if they have any suggestions…I will follow up to let you know.
Take care and have a happy Independence Day!!
Karen

REPLY
@alexandraanonymous

I was on pristiq for a year, and 5 days ago my psychiatrist finally took me off of it! i only took 25 mg for a year (with klonopin as an emergency backup in case of sudden anxiety) and throughout the year i learned how to handle situations that i never thought i could handle on my own. i also noticed that i relied on klonopin less and less until i basically never took it anymore.
now that i am allowed to be off, i am so thankful that i was put on it, but realized that i am okay without it now! my mood began depending on myself, and didnt depend on the pill. this was also when i was making a scary transition into college (i am only 18 years old) and i am so glad i could do it.
the only problem i am having now is the withdrawal. my body is strongly affected by changes and i was wondering how long do you estimate it will last?
the first day i felt HORRIBLE. nauseous like i was going to vomit at least 5 times in one day. horrible stomach aches, constipation. it’s day 5 now and i’m feeling slightly better, the only thing is i feel so so dizzy and really don’t have motivation to do anything. i feel somewhat agitated, (not as bad as i did on day 1) my mood currently feels fine (no extreme happiness or sadness) the withdrawal is just very hard for me because i am an active runner and exerciser and i dont want to gain weight or feel sick during a workout.
the symptoms are becoming less harsh, but i still feel very hot, or very cold, somewhat nauseous, and very dizzy, kind of hazy like my head is in the clouds (unfocused)
please reply! its helpful to know someone went through or is going through the same thing i am! thank you!!
p.s. right now i am only taking the 25 mg every other day for a week. doctors orders.

Jump to this post

I have been on Pristiq 100 mg for at least a year and I just stopped taking my medication about 3 or 4 days ago… I have been feeling really anxious and irritable, and I have been feeling SUPER nauseated… I am a runner as well and I run almost every day but I haven’t been running the past 2 days because I have been feeling so nauseous and dizzy. did your doctor tell you it is better to go cold turkey or try and titrate down? I only have two 100mgs left and I don’t really want to break them in half in an attempt to titrate down… I just want to stop feeling so crappy. I just graduated from college too & i am going through that scary real-world transition so I really want to know how long these side effects will last! thanks!

REPLY
@alexandraanonymous

I was on pristiq for a year, and 5 days ago my psychiatrist finally took me off of it! i only took 25 mg for a year (with klonopin as an emergency backup in case of sudden anxiety) and throughout the year i learned how to handle situations that i never thought i could handle on my own. i also noticed that i relied on klonopin less and less until i basically never took it anymore.
now that i am allowed to be off, i am so thankful that i was put on it, but realized that i am okay without it now! my mood began depending on myself, and didnt depend on the pill. this was also when i was making a scary transition into college (i am only 18 years old) and i am so glad i could do it.
the only problem i am having now is the withdrawal. my body is strongly affected by changes and i was wondering how long do you estimate it will last?
the first day i felt HORRIBLE. nauseous like i was going to vomit at least 5 times in one day. horrible stomach aches, constipation. it’s day 5 now and i’m feeling slightly better, the only thing is i feel so so dizzy and really don’t have motivation to do anything. i feel somewhat agitated, (not as bad as i did on day 1) my mood currently feels fine (no extreme happiness or sadness) the withdrawal is just very hard for me because i am an active runner and exerciser and i dont want to gain weight or feel sick during a workout.
the symptoms are becoming less harsh, but i still feel very hot, or very cold, somewhat nauseous, and very dizzy, kind of hazy like my head is in the clouds (unfocused)
please reply! its helpful to know someone went through or is going through the same thing i am! thank you!!
p.s. right now i am only taking the 25 mg every other day for a week. doctors orders.

Jump to this post

Hello!
so you know how they say it takes at least 2-4 weeks for the drug to kick in? thats about how long it takes to completely leave your system as well. i am now completely off, and i finally feel just as i did when i was on the drug.
the 2 weeks however, i did not run, and i do not suggest you do either. you will probably feel irritable and nauseous and all of these side effects (however yours might be increased because i took 1/4 of what you did) but i personally felt a lot better after 2 weeks!
the way my doctor took me off was that i took my regular dose, every other day, for a week, and then i stopped. i personally suggest that you ask your doctor for enough of a prescription to do just what i did, because you are taking a lot more medicine than i did, and if you stop cold turkey, with the symptoms, it could feel worse. i promise you though, it will get better!!
also, im not sure if you do, my psychiatrist suggested that i still see my psychologist, which has helped with the feelings i had during withdrawal and even now. its a lot easier to withdraw when you have someone to talk about it with and who understands what youre talking about, at least thats how it was for me! also, i do yoga every morning which actually helps me release a lot of anxiety i have! here is the link if you would like: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FkDTtQVYtE

if you have any more questions feel free to ask!!! i hope this helped, good luck!!!

REPLY

I have been on Pristiq for about 1.5 years. I am trying to get off of it. I have been tapering off for about 2 1/2 weeks. I have not taken one in three days and I feel awful. I have brain shocks very often. I started having stomach pain yesterday and today I pretty much have to be lying down to not be in pain. I am so thankful for all of these posts. I was able to show my husband so he knows it is real. I also now know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. My doctor had been talking adding Welbutrin (sp?) because I have no motivation to do anything. I don’t want to even do the hobbies that I normally love. But I would rather be drug free. One of the main reasons is because my cholesterol is thru the roof. It went up after I startled taking the drug, even tho ihad lost weight and was exercising. I have even gained all of that weight back. Since being on it, I cannot seem to lose weight despite very rigorous exercise and healthy eating. I just want to be me again. Thanks again. I will post again when I am feeling better and over withdrawals.

Liked by Lars1968

REPLY

I have been on Pristiq for about 6 months. Prior I had lost approximately 50 pounds, I was told Pristiq was the cleanest among anti-depressants and would have no impact on my weight. I gained 25 lbs. Experiencing swelling in my throat, abdomen, causing a pressure under my diaphragm. I could no longer run, because I could not breathe.

After gaining the weight and NO MATTER the good diet choices or exercises (Cardio/Weights) the weight and swelling would not go away! My doctor checked my thyroid..All is well…it took me right back to the Pristq. Although my moods balanced out, the good began to taper and I lost interests in hobbies around me. The bad side effects, that were not suppose to happen, did.

I decided to take myself off. My physician asked what I thought would work, I said possibly Wellbutrin. I stopped taking Pristiq 3 days ago, I am taking 1 tab of Wellbutrin 150 mg a day for 3 days, and then I am to take 1 tab 150 mg 2x a day, after my first three days with no Pristiq.

I am very DIZZY, nauseated, can barely move without feeling like I am on a roller coaster. Hot flashes…I am hoping this will go away soon. Any comments??? How long the dizzy head will remain? If coming off of Pristiq is this debilitating …it is not as clean as I was made to believe. It is VERY potent and I would not recommend it!

I will never take Pristiq EVER!

REPLY
@lars1968

I have been on Pristiq for about 6 months. Prior I had lost approximately 50 pounds, I was told Pristiq was the cleanest among anti-depressants and would have no impact on my weight. I gained 25 lbs. Experiencing swelling in my throat, abdomen, causing a pressure under my diaphragm. I could no longer run, because I could not breathe.

After gaining the weight and NO MATTER the good diet choices or exercises (Cardio/Weights) the weight and swelling would not go away! My doctor checked my thyroid..All is well…it took me right back to the Pristq. Although my moods balanced out, the good began to taper and I lost interests in hobbies around me. The bad side effects, that were not suppose to happen, did.

I decided to take myself off. My physician asked what I thought would work, I said possibly Wellbutrin. I stopped taking Pristiq 3 days ago, I am taking 1 tab of Wellbutrin 150 mg a day for 3 days, and then I am to take 1 tab 150 mg 2x a day, after my first three days with no Pristiq.

I am very DIZZY, nauseated, can barely move without feeling like I am on a roller coaster. Hot flashes…I am hoping this will go away soon. Any comments??? How long the dizzy head will remain? If coming off of Pristiq is this debilitating …it is not as clean as I was made to believe. It is VERY potent and I would not recommend it!

I will never take Pristiq EVER!

Jump to this post

I am having a similar experience though no throat swelling. I was also told that it would have no weight gaining side affects, but I have been having a seriously hard time losing weight. It takes rigorous exercise and serious calorie restriction to have any weight loss success. As soon as I stop, the weight is back ten fold.

I had to quit this drug because my insurance no longer covered it. My Dr said it was ok to quit cold turkey while taking 300mg of Wellbutrin. She said I might feel a little off for a couple days. How wrong she was. I got to work Monday morning after quitting Pristiq that prior Saturday and promptly had a total emotional breakdown. I pulled it together and made it through the work day. My ears were ringing and I felt these crazy “brain zaps” along with crying jags that I did my best to conceal. Worst day of my life!!!!

I called my Dr. and they said they could give me 50mg Pristiq samples to to taper off this way: 50mg daily for 2 two weeks, then 50mg every other day for 4 weeks, all the while continuing 300mg of Wellbutrin daily. I hope to God this works because I can’t afford to be out of commission for any amount of time. I have to function!!! Not just for my responsibility to my job, but as a mom too!

Once I am off Pristiq I will NEVER go it again. It’s a shame because it worked well for my depression. I am also considering handling my depression more naturally. This event has really shaken me. I went off Zoloft with very little side affects. Now I see how powerful these drugs can be and I will always do more research before doing this again.

Please let me know how it is going for you!! Hang in there!

REPLY
@lars1968

I have been on Pristiq for about 6 months. Prior I had lost approximately 50 pounds, I was told Pristiq was the cleanest among anti-depressants and would have no impact on my weight. I gained 25 lbs. Experiencing swelling in my throat, abdomen, causing a pressure under my diaphragm. I could no longer run, because I could not breathe.

After gaining the weight and NO MATTER the good diet choices or exercises (Cardio/Weights) the weight and swelling would not go away! My doctor checked my thyroid..All is well…it took me right back to the Pristq. Although my moods balanced out, the good began to taper and I lost interests in hobbies around me. The bad side effects, that were not suppose to happen, did.

I decided to take myself off. My physician asked what I thought would work, I said possibly Wellbutrin. I stopped taking Pristiq 3 days ago, I am taking 1 tab of Wellbutrin 150 mg a day for 3 days, and then I am to take 1 tab 150 mg 2x a day, after my first three days with no Pristiq.

I am very DIZZY, nauseated, can barely move without feeling like I am on a roller coaster. Hot flashes…I am hoping this will go away soon. Any comments??? How long the dizzy head will remain? If coming off of Pristiq is this debilitating …it is not as clean as I was made to believe. It is VERY potent and I would not recommend it!

I will never take Pristiq EVER!

Jump to this post

Thank you so much for your reply to my post. I am on day 4 without Pristiq while taking 150mg Wellbutrin. Not working today because of nausea, dizziness, heat rising to the top of my head, and feel flushed with fever , probably blood pressure. Thank God for a sick leave day! I too realize how poisonous (toxic) prescription drugs can be, even under a physician’s guidance. The side effects were just as bad or worse as the detox symptoms.
I am journaling my symptoms coming off this med to reminded me of the effects and to share with others.

I am hoping for a brighter tomorrow!

I hope all goes we for you. I am looking forward to getting this weight off!!! Exercising again! Breathing better already! Looking forward to running again! Getting rid if the swollen face and stomach region as I had before I began taking Pristiq.

If you have natural remedies I am all for hearing them. At this time I will not go to 300 Wellbutrin because if my fear if meds. Staying with 150 to keep me in “between the ditches” that is all I need for now.

Keep me posted on your success! Wishing you well!!

REPLY
@lars1968

I have been on Pristiq for about 6 months. Prior I had lost approximately 50 pounds, I was told Pristiq was the cleanest among anti-depressants and would have no impact on my weight. I gained 25 lbs. Experiencing swelling in my throat, abdomen, causing a pressure under my diaphragm. I could no longer run, because I could not breathe.

After gaining the weight and NO MATTER the good diet choices or exercises (Cardio/Weights) the weight and swelling would not go away! My doctor checked my thyroid..All is well…it took me right back to the Pristq. Although my moods balanced out, the good began to taper and I lost interests in hobbies around me. The bad side effects, that were not suppose to happen, did.

I decided to take myself off. My physician asked what I thought would work, I said possibly Wellbutrin. I stopped taking Pristiq 3 days ago, I am taking 1 tab of Wellbutrin 150 mg a day for 3 days, and then I am to take 1 tab 150 mg 2x a day, after my first three days with no Pristiq.

I am very DIZZY, nauseated, can barely move without feeling like I am on a roller coaster. Hot flashes…I am hoping this will go away soon. Any comments??? How long the dizzy head will remain? If coming off of Pristiq is this debilitating …it is not as clean as I was made to believe. It is VERY potent and I would not recommend it!

I will never take Pristiq EVER!

Jump to this post

It so great to know others are going through this as well. Did you experience the “brain zaps” along with the dizziness or light headedness? That’s what truly scared me. How is your mental state? Do you feel your side effects have improved after 4 days? I know that’s a lot of questions. Sorry!

Have you heard of 5 HTP? Once I am off Pristiq and Wellbutrin, I think I will give it a try. Along with diet and exercise. I am starting to think a lot of my depression comes from not being happy with myself physically, as well as being overweight. When I am on anti-depressants I care less about eating a ton of calories, not to mention I am just hungrier. Does that make sense???

REPLY
@lars1968

I have been on Pristiq for about 6 months. Prior I had lost approximately 50 pounds, I was told Pristiq was the cleanest among anti-depressants and would have no impact on my weight. I gained 25 lbs. Experiencing swelling in my throat, abdomen, causing a pressure under my diaphragm. I could no longer run, because I could not breathe.

After gaining the weight and NO MATTER the good diet choices or exercises (Cardio/Weights) the weight and swelling would not go away! My doctor checked my thyroid..All is well…it took me right back to the Pristq. Although my moods balanced out, the good began to taper and I lost interests in hobbies around me. The bad side effects, that were not suppose to happen, did.

I decided to take myself off. My physician asked what I thought would work, I said possibly Wellbutrin. I stopped taking Pristiq 3 days ago, I am taking 1 tab of Wellbutrin 150 mg a day for 3 days, and then I am to take 1 tab 150 mg 2x a day, after my first three days with no Pristiq.

I am very DIZZY, nauseated, can barely move without feeling like I am on a roller coaster. Hot flashes…I am hoping this will go away soon. Any comments??? How long the dizzy head will remain? If coming off of Pristiq is this debilitating …it is not as clean as I was made to believe. It is VERY potent and I would not recommend it!

I will never take Pristiq EVER!

Jump to this post

I am still experiencing dizziness, nausea, and stomach pain. My moods are more like crying spells because I hate being in bed all the time. I like to be active. At this time I am having to lay still and wiping my face with a cool cloth. Fan and A/C blowing for the heat I feel… A sweatshirt close by when I get cold. If I have had a brain zap, I do not know it…. Not sure what they are, but the quick roller coaster rides are frequent with sudden eye movements.
My depression was the same. Overweight and unhappy with my body image. Divorce etc. then I lost weight felt wonderful, just struggling with finances being single, is why I sought assistance. Pristiq was slowly putting me in worse condition.
I hear 7 days will be good! Looking forward to it.
Eating saltine crackers and looking forward to easy diet because the nausea has let up I guess that is where the stomach pain is coming from… Tenseness from nausea.
I have a wonderful family watching me and helping me through this. It means a lot to have that.
I hear the meds get ) in your cells, blood stream so expect time to remedy it . Natural is the best way to battle depression if you possibly can.
Dizzy, crying some, slight headache, now stomach pain… Still experiencing heat rising to my head.
I hope this helps someone!!!! I plan to keep all posted. I hope this answered your questions. Also, I am at home for the next 4 days. I just could not work today.
What is a brain zap?

REPLY
@lars1968

I have been on Pristiq for about 6 months. Prior I had lost approximately 50 pounds, I was told Pristiq was the cleanest among anti-depressants and would have no impact on my weight. I gained 25 lbs. Experiencing swelling in my throat, abdomen, causing a pressure under my diaphragm. I could no longer run, because I could not breathe.

After gaining the weight and NO MATTER the good diet choices or exercises (Cardio/Weights) the weight and swelling would not go away! My doctor checked my thyroid..All is well…it took me right back to the Pristq. Although my moods balanced out, the good began to taper and I lost interests in hobbies around me. The bad side effects, that were not suppose to happen, did.

I decided to take myself off. My physician asked what I thought would work, I said possibly Wellbutrin. I stopped taking Pristiq 3 days ago, I am taking 1 tab of Wellbutrin 150 mg a day for 3 days, and then I am to take 1 tab 150 mg 2x a day, after my first three days with no Pristiq.

I am very DIZZY, nauseated, can barely move without feeling like I am on a roller coaster. Hot flashes…I am hoping this will go away soon. Any comments??? How long the dizzy head will remain? If coming off of Pristiq is this debilitating …it is not as clean as I was made to believe. It is VERY potent and I would not recommend it!

I will never take Pristiq EVER!

Jump to this post

The best way I can describe a brain zap is kind of like an electrical surge in your head. I guess you could describe it as dizziness. It is triggered by sudden eye movement and head turning, then followed by crying jag. Sounds like you are experiencing something similar. I have some vacation time saved up. Might be a good time to use it. Glad you have people around you.

REPLY

So glad to have found this forum. I have been on Pristique since Oct 2012. I started it b/c of perimenopause and several life stressors piling up, culminating when my father passed away. My family has a history of depression and I hated thinking I had it as well. Pristique certainly got me through – felt just numb enough to carry on and I could just drop off to sleep again and not be waking up at 4 o’clock in the morning. And I enjoyed eating, which isn’t always a good thing. I still have little motivation outside of work and difficulty maintaing exercise, but I do it about 3 times a week.
I was taking 50 mg and so are several friends around the same age….with great effects they claim.
I have decided to come off of this for several reasons. I have gained weight and don’t feel good about myself physically and at 50 I need to be more physically conscious, I also have no libido left – but I’m cheeryish? My Mother has been on antidepressants for almost 40 years and has never been able to function without them (which is fine for her, she’s never questioned coming off them). My concern is that at 71, she has had elevated cholesterol, IBS, and arteriosclerosis. The sad part is that she is very active, biking, walking, works out 4x a week and teaches yoga and she eats like a saint. She has not been in a long term relationship for 25 years (I don’t think she misses that part 🙂 BUT I have to wonder if all her physical issues are not directly related to the 40 years of antidepressant use.
I do take depression seriously as my profession is in psychiatric nursing, but I have to wonder about the effectiveness of long term use of antidepressants? There is new work now with neurotherapy showing that altering brain wave function can have very positive effects on the three types of depression. I am trying this myself and even with only four treatments I am noticing differences in my mood, clarity and depressive tendencies.
Some research is now showing that these medications are not effective long term and may even cause rebound depressive symptoms. And that using pharmacological interventions is most effective for people that suffer from the most extreme major depressive disorder. The scary facts are that most research is funded and driven by the pharmaceutical industries so how are we getting the best information when that is the case?
My withdrawal from Pristique has been similar to others here, the dizziness, brain zaps, and a rushes of sensitivity with my feelings. It’s been about 7 days now and I quit cold turkey as I wasn’t on for that long and I was only taking 50mg. I have felt angry and really sad but honestly I hadn’t cried more than twice since October being on Pristique – and I was in some really sad places? I’m not sure that was a positive effect. I’ve cried 3 times this week – I think because of coming off Pristique and my brain readjusting. Life is sad and hard a lot of the time and I hope to have the fortitude and personal relational support to make it through – and maybe with some other methods of treatment like neurotherapy, yoga, breathing and other self-regulating techniques my brain can heal from whatever it’s set up was to begin with. I believe we can change our brains, but not just with cognitive techniques because the symptoms we deal with are in the limbic system and that needs help in gentler, physical ways. For me the jury is still out on pharmaceuticals, I am very skeptical about them for sure where women’s health is concerned.
Heres a couple of resoruces FYI:
CBC Ideas – Rethinking Depression parts 1, 2, 3
Swingle and Associates (Vancouver BC) – have a good website on neurotherapy

Thanks for posting all you brave people and I’ll let you know how long all this annoying zapping goes on for…hugs Sorry this is so long…
EJean

REPLY
@ejean

So glad to have found this forum. I have been on Pristique since Oct 2012. I started it b/c of perimenopause and several life stressors piling up, culminating when my father passed away. My family has a history of depression and I hated thinking I had it as well. Pristique certainly got me through – felt just numb enough to carry on and I could just drop off to sleep again and not be waking up at 4 o’clock in the morning. And I enjoyed eating, which isn’t always a good thing. I still have little motivation outside of work and difficulty maintaing exercise, but I do it about 3 times a week.
I was taking 50 mg and so are several friends around the same age….with great effects they claim.
I have decided to come off of this for several reasons. I have gained weight and don’t feel good about myself physically and at 50 I need to be more physically conscious, I also have no libido left – but I’m cheeryish? My Mother has been on antidepressants for almost 40 years and has never been able to function without them (which is fine for her, she’s never questioned coming off them). My concern is that at 71, she has had elevated cholesterol, IBS, and arteriosclerosis. The sad part is that she is very active, biking, walking, works out 4x a week and teaches yoga and she eats like a saint. She has not been in a long term relationship for 25 years (I don’t think she misses that part 🙂 BUT I have to wonder if all her physical issues are not directly related to the 40 years of antidepressant use.
I do take depression seriously as my profession is in psychiatric nursing, but I have to wonder about the effectiveness of long term use of antidepressants? There is new work now with neurotherapy showing that altering brain wave function can have very positive effects on the three types of depression. I am trying this myself and even with only four treatments I am noticing differences in my mood, clarity and depressive tendencies.
Some research is now showing that these medications are not effective long term and may even cause rebound depressive symptoms. And that using pharmacological interventions is most effective for people that suffer from the most extreme major depressive disorder. The scary facts are that most research is funded and driven by the pharmaceutical industries so how are we getting the best information when that is the case?
My withdrawal from Pristique has been similar to others here, the dizziness, brain zaps, and a rushes of sensitivity with my feelings. It’s been about 7 days now and I quit cold turkey as I wasn’t on for that long and I was only taking 50mg. I have felt angry and really sad but honestly I hadn’t cried more than twice since October being on Pristique – and I was in some really sad places? I’m not sure that was a positive effect. I’ve cried 3 times this week – I think because of coming off Pristique and my brain readjusting. Life is sad and hard a lot of the time and I hope to have the fortitude and personal relational support to make it through – and maybe with some other methods of treatment like neurotherapy, yoga, breathing and other self-regulating techniques my brain can heal from whatever it’s set up was to begin with. I believe we can change our brains, but not just with cognitive techniques because the symptoms we deal with are in the limbic system and that needs help in gentler, physical ways. For me the jury is still out on pharmaceuticals, I am very skeptical about them for sure where women’s health is concerned.
Heres a couple of resoruces FYI:
CBC Ideas – Rethinking Depression parts 1, 2, 3
Swingle and Associates (Vancouver BC) – have a good website on neurotherapy

Thanks for posting all you brave people and I’ll let you know how long all this annoying zapping goes on for…hugs Sorry this is so long…
EJean

Jump to this post

You sound like you are handling the withdrawal way better than I am. My Dr has me tapering off. Tried cold turkey and I thought I was losing my mind. So now I am taking 50 (down from 100) for 2 weeks, then 50 every other day for 1 month, then 50 every 3 days for one month. Praying this cuts down on the w/d side effects.

As a psychiatric nurse, can you tell me what you think the zapping is all about? It freaked me out.

I have decided to try a more natural approach to treating my depression which is has never been totally debilitating. I am fairly confident that I can treat it by eating well, exercising regularly and losing weight.

Also, can you tell me some more about neurotherapy and how to get access to it?

Thanks so much, EJean!!!!

REPLY
@beconscious

Taking 50mg Pristiq for 9 months and began an alternating day taper in February.
Every 14 days I add one more day without a pill. I’m now alternating 3 days off, 1 day on. Taking it each morning. No cutting.

Symptoms are only noticeable on the first decrease/add-on of one day in the taper cycle. Some ‘brain zaps/electric feeling in the brain’. Mostly when changing focus or sudden eye movement. Not fun, but interesting. The goal is to expand to 4 days off, 1 day on until the end of May, then discontinue altogether and observe.

Jump to this post

Another update. Last week I was beginning to experience anxiety, and then those signs of insomnia picked up. Waking up every 2-3 hours, or not feeling as though I had a good nights rest. Waking up with anxiety, carrying it throughout the day. As the week went on I was having less anxiety in the morning, but it migrated to a feeling of doom, and then wonderful feelings of well-being in the evening. These new feelings of well-being are new, and something I havent felt in several years. The sensation started in my gut, a warm tingly wonderful feeling. I assume serotonin receptors rebuilding there. The general anxiety and doom have left, for now, but today with the intense heat I noticed some fatigue setting in. Have adjusted my workout routine away from heavy lifting to walking only for now. What a ride. The brain zaps and fog have left, and they never seem to occur at the same time as anxiety and doom are present, and so I hope this means I’m just working my way through the various stages of withdrawal.

Liked by Sam'sstory

REPLY
@gunner06

This website has been very informative. I told myself that I would not read anyone’s horror story b/c in turn I will think about the aftermath too much and decide not to wean off of it. I was on 50 mg Zoloft and Xanax for a couple of months due to having two panic attacks (anxiety) about 4 months apart and I felt like a zombie on them. I went from about two months of 50 mgs of Pristiq to 100 mg Pristiq and Klonopin (as needed). Basically been on a med to treat anxiety since February of ’13. I almost wonder if the Klonopin is more addictive than the Pristiq, but I’m in such a fog that it’s hard to tell. I have always resorted to homeopathic remedies, but read that you cannot take St. John’s Wort w/Pristiq as it is almost considered brain poisoning b/c it gives your system too much of a brain boost. I am considering weaning from Pristiq and relying on the Klonopin during the difficult moments. The Pristiq causes such fatigue and I have shallow breathing with it, making it hard to catch my breath or deep breathe. I am involved in yoga and truly enjoy it. Considering accupuncture but not sure if being on the medication while on it will be beneficial. Does anyone know or have any simple advice? Does anyone out there prefer to go the homeopathic route instead that has had any success weaning from this? God bless you all, and know you are not alone. Lean on the Lord as times like this may be His way of saying to depend on Him and His goodness and healing ability. He made us and knows us better than we know ourselves! I appreciate any recommendations….

Jump to this post

This is true. The prescription of AD’s by family doctors should be revisited, and special certification should be required in order to prescribe these. Had I known what I was getting into I never would have filled the prescription to begin with. What a terrible interruption this was to my life.

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.