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

I have now been free of Pristique for about 7 weeks and have new benefits all the time. I went for a hearing test and my hearing had actually improved when I was told this it suddenly occurred to me I haven't had vertigo for ages. I sweat it affects you where you have weaknesses. I have tinitus and once had bad labryinthitis and as a kid didn t like spinning and getting dizzy. I think pristique makes your weak spots more vulnerable. Does that sound mad?

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@joannapickford7

I have now been free of Pristique for about 7 weeks and have new benefits all the time. I went for a hearing test and my hearing had actually improved when I was told this it suddenly occurred to me I haven't had vertigo for ages. I sweat it affects you where you have weaknesses. I have tinitus and once had bad labryinthitis and as a kid didn t like spinning and getting dizzy. I think pristique makes your weak spots more vulnerable. Does that sound mad?

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Hi, @joannapickford7. Thanks for sharing the improvements you've seen in your health as you've weaned off of desvenlafaxine (Pristiq). Here is the list of side effects for desvenlafaxine (Pristiq) in a Mayo Clinic article about this medication https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/desvenlafaxine-oral-route/side-effects/drg-20071583.

Does this align with some of the differences you've seen coming off this medication? Are you still feeling the zaps you mentioned before?

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luky06 go to a doctor talk him for change your medicine.be stay well

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I am thankful to find this blog; as my experiences have been very similar. Literally identical experiences, including the past few years bad even while taking it to experiences weaning off.

My doc originally prescribed Pristiq in 2008 for me for hormonal / menopause and/or death of a parent etc. in general to help me. Instead for over 10 years my life changed physically & mentally for the WORSE… this has been a horrific drug as it turned out in every way). Besides all the physical problems (see the lists!) mentally I feel grateful to be alive. I was extremely suicidal. I was soooo much better in life prior to taking this drug.

I have experienced all & every experiences Listed by everyone on this blog. Too long to list.

I feel the pharmaceutical CO should immediately cease in producing this drug and doctor’s – prescribing physicians should NEVER ever prescribe.

Imagine all the medical problems, physical problems, literally ruining lives. Seriously, lives lost
.. In addition … Imagine suicides … families may never know lives lost of a family member due to taking Prestiq and / experiencing withdrawals.

Lives lost taking this drug not to mention suicides w withdrawals.

This drug literally killed me.

Let’s not allow this to happen to anyone.

What shall we all do?

Literally ruined my life, every day, mentally and physically.

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@spring4nix

Hello! It would be great to get an update on your success at ceasing Pristiq. I have been trying to recover from the withdrawal symptoms two weeks now… this may not sound long, but it has been HELL! I experienced nausea, palpitations, loud roaring in my ears that have distinct volume of loud beating to a rhythm, nervous legs, extreme weepiness, cognitive deterioration and feelings of being ‘out of my body’. EVERYONE should be warned the side effects are much more severe in withdrawals than the benefits of administering this drug. Dr.’s should be ashamed at not forewarning the ‘victim’ of this nightmare prior to telling you simply, ‘it works’. It did NOT work for me, so I decided to quit after 6.5 years. It feels as though it may be improving, but I will keep you posted!

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Yes – please keep us posted. It is horrible @ yes agree total Hell. Pristiq has literally stripped me of my mind, previously healthy body and feels like my soul.

I have weaned off. But the damage is done – physically & mentally after 10 years.

I have had due precisely from Pristiq: Cardiac disorders – Tachycardia.
General problems too such as weight increased, liver function test abnormal, blood prolactin increased.
Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders – kegs /nerves shaking at night, many sleepless nights over 10 years ! Overwhelming Musculoskeletal stiffness.
Nervous system disorders –Syncope, convulsion, dystonia.
Psychiatric disorders – Depersonalization, suicidal, etc.
Renal and urinary disorders – Urinary probs, retention, etc. electricity running thru my head. Constant ear ringing.
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders and several trips to the ER.

Relationships with friends & family have definitely been damaged too. Literally effects ability to function at all & to live any type of a normal life.

And the pharmaceutical companies continue to make this horrifi drug and pharmacies make HUGE profits & docs still prescribe?

It’s not if … it’s a matter of when something will happen the same as we’ve all for the most part any way have experienced.

It’s ruining lives.

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@coloradolori

Yes – please keep us posted. It is horrible @ yes agree total Hell. Pristiq has literally stripped me of my mind, previously healthy body and feels like my soul.

I have weaned off. But the damage is done – physically & mentally after 10 years.

I have had due precisely from Pristiq: Cardiac disorders – Tachycardia.
General problems too such as weight increased, liver function test abnormal, blood prolactin increased.
Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders – kegs /nerves shaking at night, many sleepless nights over 10 years ! Overwhelming Musculoskeletal stiffness.
Nervous system disorders –Syncope, convulsion, dystonia.
Psychiatric disorders – Depersonalization, suicidal, etc.
Renal and urinary disorders – Urinary probs, retention, etc. electricity running thru my head. Constant ear ringing.
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders and several trips to the ER.

Relationships with friends & family have definitely been damaged too. Literally effects ability to function at all & to live any type of a normal life.

And the pharmaceutical companies continue to make this horrifi drug and pharmacies make HUGE profits & docs still prescribe?

It’s not if … it’s a matter of when something will happen the same as we’ve all for the most part any way have experienced.

It’s ruining lives.

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Hi, @coloradolori – I'd like to add my welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. So sorry to hear about all these effects you are experiencing. You may have noted we have groups with discussions about many of the areas in which you've had health challenges in the group directory https://connect.mayoclinic.org/groups/ where you might meet other members who'd have some input and support to offer you.

Are you now taking something else instead of Pristiq? Are you getting some help with the health issues you mentioned?

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I have been taking 25mg Pristiq for 10 days. Then 50mg for 5 months. Along with only 2.5mg of liquid Lexapro. I am on my 4th day of weaning Pristiq. 25mg. Doctor gave me 30. While raising the Lexapro to 5mg. 10 to start after 10 days. What can I expect after only 5 months? I have Ativan on hand if things get bad. Thanks.

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@jjej

I have been taking 25mg Pristiq for 10 days. Then 50mg for 5 months. Along with only 2.5mg of liquid Lexapro. I am on my 4th day of weaning Pristiq. 25mg. Doctor gave me 30. While raising the Lexapro to 5mg. 10 to start after 10 days. What can I expect after only 5 months? I have Ativan on hand if things get bad. Thanks.

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Hi, @jjej – thanks for sharing about your journey tapering off of desvenlafaxine (Pristiq) thus far while raising the dosage of escitalopram (Lexapro). I've moved your post here so that you could meet many others who have weaned off of desvenlafaxine (Pristiq) and get support and some thoughts on what to expect. Please meet @coloradolori @jakedduck1 @joannapickford7 @heidi28 @lisahoward.

How is your taper going so far? How are you feeling, @jjej?

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@kmunroe

I wanted to post this to help anyone withdrawing or considering withdrawl from pristiq.I was taking 50 mg’s per day for 2 years. I didn’t want to take any drugs anymore. I wanted to “battle” on my own. No judgement – I hated my side effects from the drug. I experienced a signifigant lack of intrests in all things creative, sex, music (i am a life long musician) Also I felt it deadened my ability to be passionate about anything? I never actually “felt” anything while taking the drug? Before I started it I felt absolutely hopeless, if not for my animals I don’t know what I may have done. ok – I decided 6 weeks ago I was getting off this drug. I spoke with my doctor and started to taper. 50 mg everyother day for 10 days, than I cut the pills in half(yes I know NOW there was a time release coating) for 10 days, than cut into quarters (12.5 mg’s for 5 days, now 3 days completely off. IT HAS BEEN VERY DIFFICULT. This drug is a beast. Side effects have included horrible VIVID nightmares of betrayl, weird taste in my mouth, weird smells, weight all over the map, feeling like constant out of body experience, mood swings, despair, insomnia. But – it is getting better every day. There is life after pristiq… I have focussed through all of my symptoms on knowing – it is the withdrawl! NOT ME! Hard to do. But do able. Just know in your core it is the drug NOT YOU losing it. For me – it seems like this drug surpressed my emotions/feelings/issues the moment it got in my system and now i’m dealing with these issues again as I coming off the drug. I admit I am way better suited Now compared to 2 years ago to deal with these things and not everybody will be as “LUCKY” as I am, so just know that. Also, I let everyone close to me know what I was doing for support reasons. If anyone has any questions I would humbly lend advice and support. MY DOCTOR IS COMPLETELY INEPT AND INCOMPETENT RE: PRISTIQ AND ALL MATTERS RELATING TO PRISTIQ! Remember – you are NOT alone. Just reach out…

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Thanks. I gave been on 50mg of Pristiq 5 and a half months. 2.5 of Lexapro, too. I have been weaning off the Pristiq for 7 days by taking 25mg. Upping the Lexapro to 5mg. Stared 10mg today. I have 23 more 25mg of Peistiq to go in the weaning process. Does this sound ok? In day 20: I will have 10 pills left. Should I take every other day? My side effects are more anxiety/Depression/insomnia. Incapable of manual labor for more than 15 minutes. Out of breath and sweating. This is really scaring me. Will this end and then the Lexapro will kick in? Thanks.

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@lisalucier

Hi, @jjej – thanks for sharing about your journey tapering off of desvenlafaxine (Pristiq) thus far while raising the dosage of escitalopram (Lexapro). I've moved your post here so that you could meet many others who have weaned off of desvenlafaxine (Pristiq) and get support and some thoughts on what to expect. Please meet @coloradolori @jakedduck1 @joannapickford7 @heidi28 @lisahoward.

How is your taper going so far? How are you feeling, @jjej?

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I might simply be focusing on if too much. But. I now have restless legs. I get very sweaty and exhausted with manual labor that normally I really like. I am more nervous and antsy and impatient and even more insomnia. Do you think it is the weaning of generic pristiq or the adjustment to raise of lexapro. Or both. I just want something to work like I hear so many people have success. Thanks.

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@lisalucier

Hi, @coloradolori – I'd like to add my welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. So sorry to hear about all these effects you are experiencing. You may have noted we have groups with discussions about many of the areas in which you've had health challenges in the group directory https://connect.mayoclinic.org/groups/ where you might meet other members who'd have some input and support to offer you.

Are you now taking something else instead of Pristiq? Are you getting some help with the health issues you mentioned?

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Hi. Is anyone else here who experiened the pristiq wean and lexapro rise

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I was taking Pristiq for two years and felt much better so I made the decision to stop. I'm in Canada and the 25mg tablet is not available. My doctor suggested taking Pristiq every two days and see how that went. Well I started February 1, 2019 and took 50mg tablet every second day. I did have some light headedness at times and also these "brain zaps" which I read about online here. I was a bit concerned about them but knowing what they were helped. So after two weeks I made the leap and began taking tablet every third day. On the second day I found the brain zaps to be quite frequent and I didn't sleep that well at night. This repeated itself each time I went without for two days. After about 10 days the zaps have gone and I am sleeping well. I think I will take a tablet every third day for a week or so starting at the end of the month and see how that goes. So far I have been really happy that stopping wasn't a tough as I thought it would be. I've never been one to sit around and worry. I always keep busy, exercise for 30 minutes everyday and keep busy at my two hobbies which are painting and building furniture. The Pristiq really helped during a period of time when I suffered from mild depression. I had no issues for two years and felt it was time to stop. The method I used worked for me and I will update this post after stopping completely which should be in a few weeks. I think the key is to keep busy during the day and not sit around worrying about things that might happen.

Liked by Lisa Lucier, Leonard

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@niceguy

I was taking Pristiq for two years and felt much better so I made the decision to stop. I'm in Canada and the 25mg tablet is not available. My doctor suggested taking Pristiq every two days and see how that went. Well I started February 1, 2019 and took 50mg tablet every second day. I did have some light headedness at times and also these "brain zaps" which I read about online here. I was a bit concerned about them but knowing what they were helped. So after two weeks I made the leap and began taking tablet every third day. On the second day I found the brain zaps to be quite frequent and I didn't sleep that well at night. This repeated itself each time I went without for two days. After about 10 days the zaps have gone and I am sleeping well. I think I will take a tablet every third day for a week or so starting at the end of the month and see how that goes. So far I have been really happy that stopping wasn't a tough as I thought it would be. I've never been one to sit around and worry. I always keep busy, exercise for 30 minutes everyday and keep busy at my two hobbies which are painting and building furniture. The Pristiq really helped during a period of time when I suffered from mild depression. I had no issues for two years and felt it was time to stop. The method I used worked for me and I will update this post after stopping completely which should be in a few weeks. I think the key is to keep busy during the day and not sit around worrying about things that might happen.

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@niceguy
The 11 hour half-life and the quick taper may likely have caused you to became ill and have the zaps. I wouldn’t take this medication on an every other day basis. One day receiving a 100% dose then 0%. I believe our brains want and expect consistency which is one reason why I think a 5-10% taper works best. The brain functions best in a stable environment and
yo-yoing disrupts the balance. You may want to reduce your dose more slowly. You may want to consider increasing the length of time you take each dose to prevent potential problems down the road. Speed is not your friend when stopping this type of medication. Check with your doctor and get their input. Hoping you have an uneventful taper.
Health & happiness,
Jake

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@niceguy

I was taking Pristiq for two years and felt much better so I made the decision to stop. I'm in Canada and the 25mg tablet is not available. My doctor suggested taking Pristiq every two days and see how that went. Well I started February 1, 2019 and took 50mg tablet every second day. I did have some light headedness at times and also these "brain zaps" which I read about online here. I was a bit concerned about them but knowing what they were helped. So after two weeks I made the leap and began taking tablet every third day. On the second day I found the brain zaps to be quite frequent and I didn't sleep that well at night. This repeated itself each time I went without for two days. After about 10 days the zaps have gone and I am sleeping well. I think I will take a tablet every third day for a week or so starting at the end of the month and see how that goes. So far I have been really happy that stopping wasn't a tough as I thought it would be. I've never been one to sit around and worry. I always keep busy, exercise for 30 minutes everyday and keep busy at my two hobbies which are painting and building furniture. The Pristiq really helped during a period of time when I suffered from mild depression. I had no issues for two years and felt it was time to stop. The method I used worked for me and I will update this post after stopping completely which should be in a few weeks. I think the key is to keep busy during the day and not sit around worrying about things that might happen.

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@niceguy I am glad to hear you are off Pristiq!. You give me hope I can successfully wean myself off. For the others out there, I started using Pristiq after my hysterectomy, when my Cymbalta was reacting with other medicines I was also on at the time. I have been on Pristiq since October 2014 (ouch, that's a long time). I started at 50mg (too strong), went to 25mg, back up to 50mg (during a difficult transition and extreme job stresses), then back down to 25mg (left that job). But I had not felt "myself" for a few years, and decided at the end of July to go off it. By the end August I was reluctantly on it again because I began hating who I was even though I was eating right, exercising, and keeping busy outdoors. I was gaining weight and overall felt horrible. In September I decided to think of alternative medications, and I got approved for my medical cannabis card. Now I treat my depression, anxiety, focus, and general overall better health with that, so I started the process of weaning off again. Got to 25mg every other day, but when I tried to increase the days between in December, I had to go back to 25mg every other day (at my family's encouragement) because I became so depressed I was crying and generally so sad when I tried to do three to four days between pills. I couldn't spend the holidays and a special trip we had planned in January like that, so I went back to 25mg every other day for two weeks, then reduced it to 12.5mg for the past few weeks every other day. I want to be off this, so on Sunday I tried three days between pills, and I am agitated, anxious, teary, and extremely bloated feeling and uncomfortable in my own skin. I refuse to give up this time and will wean off this medication once and for all. I will stay on the every three days between pills for another two weeks, then go to half that? or to 12.5mg once a week? Not really sure what to do. I am afraid to go cold turkey because my agitation is affecting me at work with my co-workers and at home with my family.

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@cmadison

@niceguy I am glad to hear you are off Pristiq!. You give me hope I can successfully wean myself off. For the others out there, I started using Pristiq after my hysterectomy, when my Cymbalta was reacting with other medicines I was also on at the time. I have been on Pristiq since October 2014 (ouch, that's a long time). I started at 50mg (too strong), went to 25mg, back up to 50mg (during a difficult transition and extreme job stresses), then back down to 25mg (left that job). But I had not felt "myself" for a few years, and decided at the end of July to go off it. By the end August I was reluctantly on it again because I began hating who I was even though I was eating right, exercising, and keeping busy outdoors. I was gaining weight and overall felt horrible. In September I decided to think of alternative medications, and I got approved for my medical cannabis card. Now I treat my depression, anxiety, focus, and general overall better health with that, so I started the process of weaning off again. Got to 25mg every other day, but when I tried to increase the days between in December, I had to go back to 25mg every other day (at my family's encouragement) because I became so depressed I was crying and generally so sad when I tried to do three to four days between pills. I couldn't spend the holidays and a special trip we had planned in January like that, so I went back to 25mg every other day for two weeks, then reduced it to 12.5mg for the past few weeks every other day. I want to be off this, so on Sunday I tried three days between pills, and I am agitated, anxious, teary, and extremely bloated feeling and uncomfortable in my own skin. I refuse to give up this time and will wean off this medication once and for all. I will stay on the every three days between pills for another two weeks, then go to half that? or to 12.5mg once a week? Not really sure what to do. I am afraid to go cold turkey because my agitation is affecting me at work with my co-workers and at home with my family.

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@nice guy Reread your list and realized you are still on it like myself. Please keep us updated, as I will as well

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