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

Hi everyone! I found this forum after having a really difficult week. My backgroud with Pristiq: have been taking 50mg for almost 1 year. I’m 25, female, and have been taking depression medication (on and off) since I was 16. First, Lexapro, which worked very well, but when I was 18 I quit taking it when I got to college. Jr. year I was prescribed Prozac for PMS agitation. The entire time I was on Prozac I was very impulsive- looking back. With Pristiq, the first couple of months were great. I could tell physically I had more energy and didn’t want to sleep all the time. I felt overall more calm and collected. I felt good and like this might be okay. The first side effect: no sex drive. This has come close to ruining my relationship many times. The second weight loss- I just physically do not get hungry often. Another I believe might be some kind of Attention deficit. I can’t describe it except that it’s extremely hard for me to concentrate at work or finish tasks. Over the last several months, I have noticed a change in myself. One that I can’t put a finger on. I have emotionally “flatlined” like others recall. I have recently found myself becoming more withdrawn and wanting to be alone and not be social. The classic feeling of everyday tasks being too overwhelming is back. Today was the last straw. I do not feel good on this medication anymore. I don’t feel like a human enjoying and processing life as it comes. It’s hard trying to explain how you feel to your significant other when you don’t even know how you feel.
Anyway, I have been completely inspired by everyone’s posts here. I believe I was prescribed this drug because it’s “new” and was supposed to not have many side effects. I hate how I feel on it. I had never heard it was not supposed to be taken long term, but I can see how that’s true. Has anyone else had good results then seemed to have hit a wall and gone the other way?
I want to ween off this medication but I’m scared! I forgot to fill it and went 3 days without it once and I felt so awful making high-risk impulses.
I want to talk to my doctor about weening, but I don’t think she knows much about this drug. Once she suggested I cut it (I have a hard time waking up in the mornings) and obviously you can’t do that.
All I know is I’m done with this medication. Thank you all for your posts.

REPLY
@angiek

SUCCESS STORY HERE!!!

I am on day 11 of being Pristiq free!
After reading the forums, I was overwhelmed with information. I had no idea that this medication was so horrible to stop taking. I had been taking it for well over 5 years. I was having a difficult time with situational depression and then just kept taking it. Life will always have something to throw my way, so I just kept filling the script. I didn’t want to go on another med to get off a med, it just didn’t make sense.

There were so many suggestions on here on what people had tried to do. It’s a travesty of justice that the medical profession doesn’t have accountability when prescribing to have an exit strategy as well. This pill doesn’t come with one.

I tried taking one pill every other day for a few days, then just decided cold turkey was my best option. I informed my husband as well as a coworker of the possible side effects I had read about. I was fully aware that this could be risky, but it motivated me all the more to pull the plug and get it out of my system. Taking one every other day or cutting them seemed to have it’s own realm of problems.

Even after taking for over 5 years, I haven’t had any horrible symptoms as I’ve read other’s experiencing. I haven’t had any brain zaps,dizziness, lack of energy, etc. I believe after reading so many negatives, it helped that I was so determined to make this a positive experience. I also think your brain can trick you into being submissive to letting go of something you think is helping you to not feel depressed. I can’t miss a week of work to lay in bed! I made myself more active also. Spent more time working in my garden, reading during my lunch breaks at the park, etc.

Let me also add for those thinking I have it too easy. My 16 year old daughter just informed me 4 days ago that she’s going to live with her dad. It has been several days of trauma and drama. I made it through it. I’m at work, I’m dealing with it. I’m moving forward. I’m ok. I’m in charge of my life and my body.

Keep in mind that when I read through hundreds of these posts I couldn’t find one person that said they came off this med without horror stories. So, here’s one story…. so far so good. 11 days in and I’m not going back, not ever. My energy level (which I thought Pristiq was helping) is gaining momentum again. Oh yeah…. and these pills will dull sensations in your sex drive…. that comes back too!! BONUS!

I trust in my body and my brain and I listen to what it is telling me. I’m shocked that I’m not having adverse results, but I’m thriving in the success… not looking for the failure.

Good luck everyone. I hope this one small bit of success gives someone else the hope to know there is a way out.

Jump to this post

I’m so thankful to read a positive about going off of this med. I’ve only been on it 50mg for 10 months but the past 2 months I’ve been flat, blah and nothing is stimulating at all. My DR requested I begin tapering (every other day) the med today (a weekend day). By noon I wasn’t feeling right so I looked up effects of going off Pristiq and found this blog. Needless to say at 1 o’clock I took a pill because of fear of the scary results. I’m going to talk to my DR again Monday about a cold turkey approach. Thanks for the positive post and lending hope that I might have a successful story in a couple of weeks.

REPLY
@skherren

I wnated to share my son’s story with trying to get off Pristiq. We went to the doctor thsi summer to talk to him about weaning my 18 year old son off Pristiq. He had been taking 50 mg for 8 months. He made a plan where he would be off in about a month- starting by alternating one day on and one day off then going to two days off and one on etc. This did not work and we called the doctor to tell him about the terrible withdrawal symptoms he was having. He just told us to continue doing the same thinga dn it would eventually get better. He said it make take more time. Well after 6 weeks we were at 2 days off and one day on Pristiq and the side effects got much worse. I was afraid for him to try to go 3 days off in a row and then take one 50 mg tablet. It just seemed to be confusing his brain. After reading other people’s stories online, I knew he wasn’t alone. I called the drug company and they were no help at all. I called the FDA to talk to them about this. They encoruaged me to file report. They said they had been receiving many complaints but they only way they would take this off the market is if people take the time to file written complaints. I did. WE decided to take his tablets to a compouding pharmacy and see if they could make smaller doses up for him so he could wean off more gradually. The ppharmacist agreed to do this. He ground the 50 mg tablets up and made several smaller doses. He put a chemcial in that made these new doses tiume released. He made doses at a 10% reduction and made 10 -14 days for each dose. This worked very well. Since my son had been going 2 days off and one day on the medicine, we figured he was at 33% of 50 or 16 mg at the time we decided to do this. So the pharmacist made his first dose at 15 mg. This took about 2 weeks to adjust to but the symptoms were much less severe since he was taking a stable dose each day and his body had time to adjust. to it. Then my son went down to 10 mg and he only had to take that 7 days before going to 5 mg. He has taken that 5 days without any problems. He is feeling really good now after haing a terrible summer of horrible withdrawlal symptoms. I really believe he would have never been able to get off this medicine if we had not done gone to the compounding pharmacy .. College was starting for him and he would not have been able to continue with those terrible withdrawls symptoms. He had a full scholarship and this medicine was causing us to think he might not even be able to start this fall. I think if we hadn’t of gone to the compoudning pharmacy we would have probably just gone back to 50 mg so he could function in college.
I just wanted to share our story. If you have a compounding pharmacy available that is the way to go. It is just infuriating that Pfizer will not make the dosages needed to wean off this drug! When I called the FDA I aked them to send me the clinical trial information. The information states that there are withdrawals if you decrease the dosage by 5% or less. They knew this but only made a 50 mg dose and 100 mg dose??? They make a pill that you cannot cut into lower dosages or it will dump in your system?? They are SO liable for all this pain and suffereng people are going through. If anyone wants to start a class action lawsuit, I’m interested .

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I cannot believe I too have fallen victim to a drug company making money with no way out for its patients. I was not familiar with compounding, but there is a compounding pharmacy here in Nashville I am going to call first thing Monday morning! I hate Pristiq. Best wishes to your son!

REPLY
@angiek

SUCCESS STORY HERE!!!

I am on day 11 of being Pristiq free!
After reading the forums, I was overwhelmed with information. I had no idea that this medication was so horrible to stop taking. I had been taking it for well over 5 years. I was having a difficult time with situational depression and then just kept taking it. Life will always have something to throw my way, so I just kept filling the script. I didn’t want to go on another med to get off a med, it just didn’t make sense.

There were so many suggestions on here on what people had tried to do. It’s a travesty of justice that the medical profession doesn’t have accountability when prescribing to have an exit strategy as well. This pill doesn’t come with one.

I tried taking one pill every other day for a few days, then just decided cold turkey was my best option. I informed my husband as well as a coworker of the possible side effects I had read about. I was fully aware that this could be risky, but it motivated me all the more to pull the plug and get it out of my system. Taking one every other day or cutting them seemed to have it’s own realm of problems.

Even after taking for over 5 years, I haven’t had any horrible symptoms as I’ve read other’s experiencing. I haven’t had any brain zaps,dizziness, lack of energy, etc. I believe after reading so many negatives, it helped that I was so determined to make this a positive experience. I also think your brain can trick you into being submissive to letting go of something you think is helping you to not feel depressed. I can’t miss a week of work to lay in bed! I made myself more active also. Spent more time working in my garden, reading during my lunch breaks at the park, etc.

Let me also add for those thinking I have it too easy. My 16 year old daughter just informed me 4 days ago that she’s going to live with her dad. It has been several days of trauma and drama. I made it through it. I’m at work, I’m dealing with it. I’m moving forward. I’m ok. I’m in charge of my life and my body.

Keep in mind that when I read through hundreds of these posts I couldn’t find one person that said they came off this med without horror stories. So, here’s one story…. so far so good. 11 days in and I’m not going back, not ever. My energy level (which I thought Pristiq was helping) is gaining momentum again. Oh yeah…. and these pills will dull sensations in your sex drive…. that comes back too!! BONUS!

I trust in my body and my brain and I listen to what it is telling me. I’m shocked that I’m not having adverse results, but I’m thriving in the success… not looking for the failure.

Good luck everyone. I hope this one small bit of success gives someone else the hope to know there is a way out.

Jump to this post

Same here! I posted the most recent reply to the entire blog post at the top. I have been on it about the same time frame you have, and recently I’m emotionally dead. This past week in particular I wake up fine and by the evening I’m a disaster. I can’t gather a thought or explain why I’m irritated. This is not me. I am afraid to talk to my doctor because at one point, she suggested I cut it in half, and clearly that’s a no-no. I have 20 mg Prozac left from last year, but I don’t want to “switch” right away and then wean off that if it isn’t a good idea. No one seems to know since there is no medical standard for tapering. I’m looking into compounding but I’m afraid of what the cost may be. UGH. I hope we both can find a solution. Looking forward to your progress/update soon!

Liked by Libbyroo

REPLY
@angiek

SUCCESS STORY HERE!!!

I am on day 11 of being Pristiq free!
After reading the forums, I was overwhelmed with information. I had no idea that this medication was so horrible to stop taking. I had been taking it for well over 5 years. I was having a difficult time with situational depression and then just kept taking it. Life will always have something to throw my way, so I just kept filling the script. I didn’t want to go on another med to get off a med, it just didn’t make sense.

There were so many suggestions on here on what people had tried to do. It’s a travesty of justice that the medical profession doesn’t have accountability when prescribing to have an exit strategy as well. This pill doesn’t come with one.

I tried taking one pill every other day for a few days, then just decided cold turkey was my best option. I informed my husband as well as a coworker of the possible side effects I had read about. I was fully aware that this could be risky, but it motivated me all the more to pull the plug and get it out of my system. Taking one every other day or cutting them seemed to have it’s own realm of problems.

Even after taking for over 5 years, I haven’t had any horrible symptoms as I’ve read other’s experiencing. I haven’t had any brain zaps,dizziness, lack of energy, etc. I believe after reading so many negatives, it helped that I was so determined to make this a positive experience. I also think your brain can trick you into being submissive to letting go of something you think is helping you to not feel depressed. I can’t miss a week of work to lay in bed! I made myself more active also. Spent more time working in my garden, reading during my lunch breaks at the park, etc.

Let me also add for those thinking I have it too easy. My 16 year old daughter just informed me 4 days ago that she’s going to live with her dad. It has been several days of trauma and drama. I made it through it. I’m at work, I’m dealing with it. I’m moving forward. I’m ok. I’m in charge of my life and my body.

Keep in mind that when I read through hundreds of these posts I couldn’t find one person that said they came off this med without horror stories. So, here’s one story…. so far so good. 11 days in and I’m not going back, not ever. My energy level (which I thought Pristiq was helping) is gaining momentum again. Oh yeah…. and these pills will dull sensations in your sex drive…. that comes back too!! BONUS!

I trust in my body and my brain and I listen to what it is telling me. I’m shocked that I’m not having adverse results, but I’m thriving in the success… not looking for the failure.

Good luck everyone. I hope this one small bit of success gives someone else the hope to know there is a way out.

Jump to this post

Thanks for the reply. I don’t think I’m afraid of brain zaps but I’m terrified of headaches. I’m a past migraine sufferer. I also don’t want to fall back into sleepless nights but I know I have to get off this drug so I can begin living again. Compounding might not be that expensive if you already have the medication. I like that AngieK only did every other day for a few days then cold turkey. If my DR says I can do that then I will and just deal with the side effects. I’ve never been on Prozac but I did wean off Effexor about 5 years ago with only weird ear (tunnel sounds & what felt like congestion). I’d like to be free from anti depressants all together. Pristiq got me thru a very difficult winter which I’m thankful for but if I knew about this whole problem trying to get off of it, I’m not sure if I would’ve said yes to begin with. Have you ever been on Serzone? A friend of mine has been on several different anti depressants & says that this is a tried and true help for her. Keep me updated on your progress also.

REPLY
@angiek

SUCCESS STORY HERE!!!

I am on day 11 of being Pristiq free!
After reading the forums, I was overwhelmed with information. I had no idea that this medication was so horrible to stop taking. I had been taking it for well over 5 years. I was having a difficult time with situational depression and then just kept taking it. Life will always have something to throw my way, so I just kept filling the script. I didn’t want to go on another med to get off a med, it just didn’t make sense.

There were so many suggestions on here on what people had tried to do. It’s a travesty of justice that the medical profession doesn’t have accountability when prescribing to have an exit strategy as well. This pill doesn’t come with one.

I tried taking one pill every other day for a few days, then just decided cold turkey was my best option. I informed my husband as well as a coworker of the possible side effects I had read about. I was fully aware that this could be risky, but it motivated me all the more to pull the plug and get it out of my system. Taking one every other day or cutting them seemed to have it’s own realm of problems.

Even after taking for over 5 years, I haven’t had any horrible symptoms as I’ve read other’s experiencing. I haven’t had any brain zaps,dizziness, lack of energy, etc. I believe after reading so many negatives, it helped that I was so determined to make this a positive experience. I also think your brain can trick you into being submissive to letting go of something you think is helping you to not feel depressed. I can’t miss a week of work to lay in bed! I made myself more active also. Spent more time working in my garden, reading during my lunch breaks at the park, etc.

Let me also add for those thinking I have it too easy. My 16 year old daughter just informed me 4 days ago that she’s going to live with her dad. It has been several days of trauma and drama. I made it through it. I’m at work, I’m dealing with it. I’m moving forward. I’m ok. I’m in charge of my life and my body.

Keep in mind that when I read through hundreds of these posts I couldn’t find one person that said they came off this med without horror stories. So, here’s one story…. so far so good. 11 days in and I’m not going back, not ever. My energy level (which I thought Pristiq was helping) is gaining momentum again. Oh yeah…. and these pills will dull sensations in your sex drive…. that comes back too!! BONUS!

I trust in my body and my brain and I listen to what it is telling me. I’m shocked that I’m not having adverse results, but I’m thriving in the success… not looking for the failure.

Good luck everyone. I hope this one small bit of success gives someone else the hope to know there is a way out.

Jump to this post

So happy for you! I’m going to try today to not take the pristiq for my first day of every other then talk to my DR tomorrow regarding cold turkey in a week or so. Soon to have a life back!!! Thanks for positive post. It really has helped. I know this drug helped me thru a bad winter and I thought at first it was perfect for me but the past 2 months I’ve been flat, no energy, moody with listlessness. I hope to be a success story like you. ;0) To continued success…..cheers.

REPLY

I am getting ready to try and wean. i have been on 50 mg x several years. But now I feel worse than ever. Anger, hysteria, severa mood swings. Total lack of interest in anything.
I hope i can do this. I think if i continue to read all of the honest reactions it will help me tremendously. I have been thru nearly everything i have read from most of you. I praying and believing God will heal my brain!

REPLY

I took Pristiq for about 2.5 weeks (50mg) due to random pains (neck, calf, groin, arm, etc) that nobody could pinpoint a cause for and my doctor believed it to be caused by a combination of depression/hypochondria/anxiety. So he put me on Pristiq. I had swore never to try pills again after attempting Lexapro and Citalopram with no results good or bad, Paxil and Buspar with immediate negative side effects, Lorazepram and Ativan due to dependency and withdrawal difficulties. But I was so frustrated with taking blood tests and x-rays I agreed to try Pristiq. I’d never heard of it and when I initially looked for information it seemed to be one of the more positively accepted and helpful drugs.

After a week I developed a slightly swollen throat or tonsils which felt like food was getting stuck in my throat. It was very uncomfortable. I stopped taking the Pristiq because I thought it might be a mild allergic reaction (I have no known allergies however). I saw my doctor 5 days later and told her I stopped taking the Pristiq and she said “good,” and wanted to see if the throat issue went away. Granted, it had been 5 days and during this time, I’d had no withdrawal symptoms. That night I had an extremely vivid and frightening dream…I’ve heard you rarely dream in color or can feel, but this was one of the most detailed, vividly colored, and scary dreams and I couldn’t wake up. And I could feel pain and discomfort in the dream. I woke up in a near panic attack.

It’s been another 5 days since then and have had an odd headache, more dreams though not as vivid or frightening, I’ve become almost violently irritable (punched a wall, beat some furniture, and yelled at my pets for about an hour straight), and just now had a bout of possible arrhythmia or very heavy heart beats. So I was on it for about 17 days and off it for 10 days…when can I expect these withdrawal symptoms to end?? They seem to be getting worse and more frightening.

(ALSO, SINCE STOPPING THE PRISTIQ I’VE HAD NO SEX DRIVE AND ALMOST NO ERECTIONS WHICH IS VERY ABNORMAL. IT SEEMS TO BE GETTING SLIGHTLY BETTER EACH DAY BUT STILL, THIS IS VERY SCARY AND TOTALLY NOT WORTH IT.)

REPLY
@angiek

SUCCESS STORY HERE!!!

I am on day 11 of being Pristiq free!
After reading the forums, I was overwhelmed with information. I had no idea that this medication was so horrible to stop taking. I had been taking it for well over 5 years. I was having a difficult time with situational depression and then just kept taking it. Life will always have something to throw my way, so I just kept filling the script. I didn’t want to go on another med to get off a med, it just didn’t make sense.

There were so many suggestions on here on what people had tried to do. It’s a travesty of justice that the medical profession doesn’t have accountability when prescribing to have an exit strategy as well. This pill doesn’t come with one.

I tried taking one pill every other day for a few days, then just decided cold turkey was my best option. I informed my husband as well as a coworker of the possible side effects I had read about. I was fully aware that this could be risky, but it motivated me all the more to pull the plug and get it out of my system. Taking one every other day or cutting them seemed to have it’s own realm of problems.

Even after taking for over 5 years, I haven’t had any horrible symptoms as I’ve read other’s experiencing. I haven’t had any brain zaps,dizziness, lack of energy, etc. I believe after reading so many negatives, it helped that I was so determined to make this a positive experience. I also think your brain can trick you into being submissive to letting go of something you think is helping you to not feel depressed. I can’t miss a week of work to lay in bed! I made myself more active also. Spent more time working in my garden, reading during my lunch breaks at the park, etc.

Let me also add for those thinking I have it too easy. My 16 year old daughter just informed me 4 days ago that she’s going to live with her dad. It has been several days of trauma and drama. I made it through it. I’m at work, I’m dealing with it. I’m moving forward. I’m ok. I’m in charge of my life and my body.

Keep in mind that when I read through hundreds of these posts I couldn’t find one person that said they came off this med without horror stories. So, here’s one story…. so far so good. 11 days in and I’m not going back, not ever. My energy level (which I thought Pristiq was helping) is gaining momentum again. Oh yeah…. and these pills will dull sensations in your sex drive…. that comes back too!! BONUS!

I trust in my body and my brain and I listen to what it is telling me. I’m shocked that I’m not having adverse results, but I’m thriving in the success… not looking for the failure.

Good luck everyone. I hope this one small bit of success gives someone else the hope to know there is a way out.

Jump to this post

Hello again. Another update. 2nd day off pristiq “cold turkey”. First day (yesterday) not too bad for most of the day, then mid evening I had a rip roaring headache (more muscle tension than regular migraine pain). Went to bed earlier than normal after taking Motrin, an ice pack on head and a tiny little bit of bonine (travel sickness med which I took as preventative for sleeplessness & dizziness which I hadn’t exhibited). Slept like a baby with many strange mixed up dreams. Woke up feeling a little groggy (due to the bonine). Absolutely no negative withdrawel symptoms today. Hoping this will continue. Follow up in a couple more days. I did talk to my MD today and was giving the ok for cold turkey only if I’d decided not to return to pristiq again down the road. I said absolutely YES I will never take the med again.

REPLY
@kcollins719

I took Pristiq for about 2.5 weeks (50mg) due to random pains (neck, calf, groin, arm, etc) that nobody could pinpoint a cause for and my doctor believed it to be caused by a combination of depression/hypochondria/anxiety. So he put me on Pristiq. I had swore never to try pills again after attempting Lexapro and Citalopram with no results good or bad, Paxil and Buspar with immediate negative side effects, Lorazepram and Ativan due to dependency and withdrawal difficulties. But I was so frustrated with taking blood tests and x-rays I agreed to try Pristiq. I’d never heard of it and when I initially looked for information it seemed to be one of the more positively accepted and helpful drugs.

After a week I developed a slightly swollen throat or tonsils which felt like food was getting stuck in my throat. It was very uncomfortable. I stopped taking the Pristiq because I thought it might be a mild allergic reaction (I have no known allergies however). I saw my doctor 5 days later and told her I stopped taking the Pristiq and she said “good,” and wanted to see if the throat issue went away. Granted, it had been 5 days and during this time, I’d had no withdrawal symptoms. That night I had an extremely vivid and frightening dream…I’ve heard you rarely dream in color or can feel, but this was one of the most detailed, vividly colored, and scary dreams and I couldn’t wake up. And I could feel pain and discomfort in the dream. I woke up in a near panic attack.

It’s been another 5 days since then and have had an odd headache, more dreams though not as vivid or frightening, I’ve become almost violently irritable (punched a wall, beat some furniture, and yelled at my pets for about an hour straight), and just now had a bout of possible arrhythmia or very heavy heart beats. So I was on it for about 17 days and off it for 10 days…when can I expect these withdrawal symptoms to end?? They seem to be getting worse and more frightening.

(ALSO, SINCE STOPPING THE PRISTIQ I’VE HAD NO SEX DRIVE AND ALMOST NO ERECTIONS WHICH IS VERY ABNORMAL. IT SEEMS TO BE GETTING SLIGHTLY BETTER EACH DAY BUT STILL, THIS IS VERY SCARY AND TOTALLY NOT WORTH IT.)

Jump to this post

This is my 5th day going cold turkey off pristiq and it has been the most awful experience ever!! The first night I lay awake from 10pm until 3am and then gave up and played on my mac the rest of the night. About 5.30am I had two of the most horrific nightmares I have ever had in my life. Absolutely terrifying, I woke up shaking and crying. Over the last 5 days I have been constantly shaking, headachy, constant brain zaps, crying uncontrollably, fatigued, moody and dizzy. I haven’t felt nausea but I think that’s cos I have a strong stomach….I never get nausea in general.

I am a teacher and today after teaching the morning session I knew I couldn’t go on. I went home sick. My head was absolutly doing me in. Ever since I came home this morning I have been lying in bed unable to get up or doing anything because I’m so, so tired. How long do these symptoms last? I’ve also been lashing out….kicked my couch and punched pillows yesterday….although that wasn’t unusual for me to do on pristiq either….have had a rough life and have needed anger to help get out crap that has been in there for years.

I started pristiq two years ago after 9 years of depression (since i was 15) I was really stubborn and swore I would never take medication. But it got to the point where I was suicidal and going up to two whole nights without any sleep at all. I wasn’t functioning and was literally crying out for help. The best thing pristiq did was give me consistent sleep. I hardly had any problems with insomnia while on it. It did help level out my mood for a while but it also made me really really passive. After a while on it my depression worsened and I started self harming and having suicidal thoughts again. It did not protect me from lows like I got told it would.

A few weeks ago my psychologist almost admitted me to hospital because of the constant suicidal thoughts I was having. I went to see my doctor who told me about a new drug called valdoxan which is apparently a wonder drug for depression, anxiety and insomnia. I jumped straight away and asked if I could change.

My doctor didn’t explain properly how to go about the changeover. She meant that I would slowly ween off pristiq while going on the new one….but I took it as stop pristiq completely and start the new (was on 100mg of pristiq, then was on 50mg for only a week before I stopped it altogether).

So I stopped pristiq last Thursday and started valdoxan Friday night.

While the physical effects have been the most awful I have ever experienced in my life, coming off pristiq has freed me to be myself again. Literally a day after I lowered from 100 to 50, I was bubbly and hyperactive at nights and had more energy and could think more clearly.

When I stopped completely last week, the physical symptoms have obviously been absolute hell. But I have also noticed that I am feeling hope I never have in years. I am soo ready for withdrawal symptoms to stop! But I have a feeling that pristiq was destroying my spirit.

I also have been through a lot of counselling in the last few years and healing from the emotional trauma of my past which has turned my life around. And I have recently been making some decisions in the way I think and react to situations and experiencing love from God that I never have before….which I believe is pulling me out of some of the depths of depression/darkness/hopelessness.

I think coming off pristiq has stopped the suicidal lows…so far…

But how long do these withdrawal symptoms last? Thankful school holidays are in a few days!!’

REPLY
@kcollins719

I took Pristiq for about 2.5 weeks (50mg) due to random pains (neck, calf, groin, arm, etc) that nobody could pinpoint a cause for and my doctor believed it to be caused by a combination of depression/hypochondria/anxiety. So he put me on Pristiq. I had swore never to try pills again after attempting Lexapro and Citalopram with no results good or bad, Paxil and Buspar with immediate negative side effects, Lorazepram and Ativan due to dependency and withdrawal difficulties. But I was so frustrated with taking blood tests and x-rays I agreed to try Pristiq. I’d never heard of it and when I initially looked for information it seemed to be one of the more positively accepted and helpful drugs.

After a week I developed a slightly swollen throat or tonsils which felt like food was getting stuck in my throat. It was very uncomfortable. I stopped taking the Pristiq because I thought it might be a mild allergic reaction (I have no known allergies however). I saw my doctor 5 days later and told her I stopped taking the Pristiq and she said “good,” and wanted to see if the throat issue went away. Granted, it had been 5 days and during this time, I’d had no withdrawal symptoms. That night I had an extremely vivid and frightening dream…I’ve heard you rarely dream in color or can feel, but this was one of the most detailed, vividly colored, and scary dreams and I couldn’t wake up. And I could feel pain and discomfort in the dream. I woke up in a near panic attack.

It’s been another 5 days since then and have had an odd headache, more dreams though not as vivid or frightening, I’ve become almost violently irritable (punched a wall, beat some furniture, and yelled at my pets for about an hour straight), and just now had a bout of possible arrhythmia or very heavy heart beats. So I was on it for about 17 days and off it for 10 days…when can I expect these withdrawal symptoms to end?? They seem to be getting worse and more frightening.

(ALSO, SINCE STOPPING THE PRISTIQ I’VE HAD NO SEX DRIVE AND ALMOST NO ERECTIONS WHICH IS VERY ABNORMAL. IT SEEMS TO BE GETTING SLIGHTLY BETTER EACH DAY BUT STILL, THIS IS VERY SCARY AND TOTALLY NOT WORTH IT.)

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I wish I knew how long it lasts. I broke down last night and took 50mg hoping it would help me wean off it and stop the arrhythmia from coming back. So far the withdrawal symptoms (erectile dysfunction, irritability, mood swings, etc) are still there but do seem to be getting better. Weaning off Lorazepram was the worst experience but I got through it so I know I can get through this. And you can too Anni. Just know that you are not alone!

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this is my second time to try to wean. i have been on 50 mg x several years. my depression is now worse and i know it is time to get off of the stuff. i am going to wean according to some of the plans outlined by some of the folks recommendations along w the Pristiq website. I am not sure how long symptoms last but someone made a point that it takes approx 3 – 4 weeks to work (feel the benefit) in most cases, so that person suggested maybe the same amount of time for it to get out of your system. My doctor said he can help me so i am going to get with him in a few days just to make sure he and i are on the same page. I know some folks that are weaning that are also excercising, like walking even if only for 5 – 10 minutes, doing a few yoga stretches, etc. but never hesitate to talk w your doctor.
I am going to be praying for all of us that are trying to get off of this med. I am trusting God to heal my brain and let my body work right.

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there is also a good discussion site for the weaning process: medschat.com with a specific Pristiq forum. Some of these people have been successful with weaning off the med.

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@kcollins719

I took Pristiq for about 2.5 weeks (50mg) due to random pains (neck, calf, groin, arm, etc) that nobody could pinpoint a cause for and my doctor believed it to be caused by a combination of depression/hypochondria/anxiety. So he put me on Pristiq. I had swore never to try pills again after attempting Lexapro and Citalopram with no results good or bad, Paxil and Buspar with immediate negative side effects, Lorazepram and Ativan due to dependency and withdrawal difficulties. But I was so frustrated with taking blood tests and x-rays I agreed to try Pristiq. I’d never heard of it and when I initially looked for information it seemed to be one of the more positively accepted and helpful drugs.

After a week I developed a slightly swollen throat or tonsils which felt like food was getting stuck in my throat. It was very uncomfortable. I stopped taking the Pristiq because I thought it might be a mild allergic reaction (I have no known allergies however). I saw my doctor 5 days later and told her I stopped taking the Pristiq and she said “good,” and wanted to see if the throat issue went away. Granted, it had been 5 days and during this time, I’d had no withdrawal symptoms. That night I had an extremely vivid and frightening dream…I’ve heard you rarely dream in color or can feel, but this was one of the most detailed, vividly colored, and scary dreams and I couldn’t wake up. And I could feel pain and discomfort in the dream. I woke up in a near panic attack.

It’s been another 5 days since then and have had an odd headache, more dreams though not as vivid or frightening, I’ve become almost violently irritable (punched a wall, beat some furniture, and yelled at my pets for about an hour straight), and just now had a bout of possible arrhythmia or very heavy heart beats. So I was on it for about 17 days and off it for 10 days…when can I expect these withdrawal symptoms to end?? They seem to be getting worse and more frightening.

(ALSO, SINCE STOPPING THE PRISTIQ I’VE HAD NO SEX DRIVE AND ALMOST NO ERECTIONS WHICH IS VERY ABNORMAL. IT SEEMS TO BE GETTING SLIGHTLY BETTER EACH DAY BUT STILL, THIS IS VERY SCARY AND TOTALLY NOT WORTH IT.)

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Thanks heaps! Do u know if i Am I supposed to just rest up as I go through this or get out and do stuff and exercise? I have been doing a bit of exercise each day but today feel so feverish and headachy I just went for a walk and have been resting for the rest of the day. I don’t know if that makes the symptoms worse though….lying around.

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@kcollins719

I took Pristiq for about 2.5 weeks (50mg) due to random pains (neck, calf, groin, arm, etc) that nobody could pinpoint a cause for and my doctor believed it to be caused by a combination of depression/hypochondria/anxiety. So he put me on Pristiq. I had swore never to try pills again after attempting Lexapro and Citalopram with no results good or bad, Paxil and Buspar with immediate negative side effects, Lorazepram and Ativan due to dependency and withdrawal difficulties. But I was so frustrated with taking blood tests and x-rays I agreed to try Pristiq. I’d never heard of it and when I initially looked for information it seemed to be one of the more positively accepted and helpful drugs.

After a week I developed a slightly swollen throat or tonsils which felt like food was getting stuck in my throat. It was very uncomfortable. I stopped taking the Pristiq because I thought it might be a mild allergic reaction (I have no known allergies however). I saw my doctor 5 days later and told her I stopped taking the Pristiq and she said “good,” and wanted to see if the throat issue went away. Granted, it had been 5 days and during this time, I’d had no withdrawal symptoms. That night I had an extremely vivid and frightening dream…I’ve heard you rarely dream in color or can feel, but this was one of the most detailed, vividly colored, and scary dreams and I couldn’t wake up. And I could feel pain and discomfort in the dream. I woke up in a near panic attack.

It’s been another 5 days since then and have had an odd headache, more dreams though not as vivid or frightening, I’ve become almost violently irritable (punched a wall, beat some furniture, and yelled at my pets for about an hour straight), and just now had a bout of possible arrhythmia or very heavy heart beats. So I was on it for about 17 days and off it for 10 days…when can I expect these withdrawal symptoms to end?? They seem to be getting worse and more frightening.

(ALSO, SINCE STOPPING THE PRISTIQ I’VE HAD NO SEX DRIVE AND ALMOST NO ERECTIONS WHICH IS VERY ABNORMAL. IT SEEMS TO BE GETTING SLIGHTLY BETTER EACH DAY BUT STILL, THIS IS VERY SCARY AND TOTALLY NOT WORTH IT.)

Jump to this post

Thanks heaps! Do u know if i Am I supposed to just rest up as I go through this or get out and do stuff and exercise? I have been doing a bit of exercise each day but today feel so feverish and headachy I just went for a walk and have been resting for the rest of the day. I don’t know if that makes the symptoms worse though….lying around.

REPLY
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