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

@janetm

I started trying to taper off Pristiq about 4 weeks ago. I was on 150 mg a day for 2 years. I started cutting the pills in half, then quarters. I stopped last week. I still have vivid dream inside of dream ‘dreams’. I feel nauseated all of the time. Hot all of the time even with the a/c on 70. My stomach hurts and always feels full. My joints hurt. When does it stop? Is there any way to get it all out of your system faster??

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Have you completely stopped too or are you still tapering? It all depends on how long you took it, your dosage, & of course your body (which everyones is different).. I stated above that from most of the info I found (on various other sites) most people say about a week some people say about 2 & it is rare but depending on your body it could take more than that (I hope not).. I know I was looking for the same answers last time but I usually just average them up & hope for the average if it lasts past that than it does though but if you want more info I found lots of info googling SNRI withdrawal/ & even more just reading the bad reviews on drugs.com under Pristiq they usually say why they got off the med but even more so what they experience when getting off. I pray you feel better soon <3

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@ajevangelisto

I’m currently in the process of tapering off this horrible drug, and well, I feel HORRIBLE! How long does this last? I was on 100mg Pristiq for the last two years, it did nothing for me but hurt me more. I am tapering off per doctor orders (the same crooked doctor that put me in this mess in the first place), and I feel miserable & scared. I was advised to cut my dosage down by half for two weeks, and then go completely off. I am in day 6 of just cutting my Pristiq dosage in half, and I am having terrible symptoms. I feel like a basket-case. My eyes hurt, it feels like there is so much pressure in them. I am having migraines. I feel weird wah-wah feelings in my ears and head, I’m having weird electrical zaps in my eyes, head, and ears, I can’t sleep at night because I jump awake with horrible leg cramps. I feel probably the worse I have ever felt in my entire life. I am scared for when I completely go off this stuff…I mean if it is this bad already, how much worse is it gonna get before it gets better? Someone please just tell me it gets better!? This drug is evil, I took a stand and want off and am getting off it, but I feel miserable right now! Suggestions anyone??

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yea I completely understand about the eyes it kind of feels like they are really dry but also they feel like very sensitive & a sort of pain when you open & close them.. I think it is much more Neuro related bc of the head & eye problems & it of course is SOO nerve racking lol.. I stated before I tried tapering off but I just wasnt able to bc I wasnt able to get out of bed nor take care of myself or my kids that need me so I completely went off.. It isnt something I suggest for you but I know in my case tapering meant suffering longer & weather the pain/feelings would reduce didnt matter to me I just wanted them gone ASAP & so the sooner I went off the sooner I got better.. Of course I did that with my Klonopin too & read that people can get seizures from suddenly discontinuing that but the long lasting suffering just isnt my thing.. I want it gone now so I am not tapering this time.. but however you decided to do it make sure you dont go through anything alone if you feel suicidal or like giving up than call your dr or go to the hospital or have someone you can trust help you through it bc I know it is by know means easy.. I am not suggesting you do what I say bc I am not a dr but the only way I found relief the 2nd time around (as stated above is when I felt most miserable & suicidal) I took showers/baths or listened to calming music (may or may not help at certain times).. I took theraflu on nights I was in agonizing pain or I felt very vulnerable or restless/anxious (my reasoning is bc I had flu like symptoms so I took something that would help) it may not have helped with every symptom but it had a calming/sedative effect I needed to fall asleep (it has a bit of alcohol in it).. like I said the first time when they “hydrated” my body with iv fluids it made me feel better all day so I definately believe that more fluids- water especially can help.. But the best thing to do is not to lose hope bc there is light at the end of the tunnel.. you will make it through just as I will.. just as I have before & just have others have & will.. While we may not know when exactly we will feel completely normal.. just remember that each day you make it through is a day that you will put behind you & perhaps when you wake up tomorrow you will feel better? if not than maybe the next day.. Even though its extremely hard to keep high spirits in our darkest hours it is when it is most important. I know I was thinking last time I w/d that I would rather be going through child birth again than to experience this agony bc it really does mess up my emotional & mental state as well as my physical.. Just to know that it WILL get better helps me cope. It sounds dumb but when I dealt with this last time I felt extremely proud of myself afterwards for sticking in there & knowing that not many people have the strength to stick it through (whether on their own or with help).. My younger sister has a history of illegal substance use & she has relapsed a few times & when you come off any drug the only way to STOP w/d is to take the drug again but then eventually you will have to stop & deal with it & theres no better time to deal with it than now.. & the biggest difference between other drugs & Pristiq is that we will never relapse on Pristiq not only will we stay as far as we can from the drug but we will remember how hard it was to come off of it & I have warned sooo many people about the w/d of Effexor I just wish I would have known that Pristiq has the same w/d effects. My prayers are with you… & ps. AGAIN it will get better 🙂

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@ajevangelisto

I’m currently in the process of tapering off this horrible drug, and well, I feel HORRIBLE! How long does this last? I was on 100mg Pristiq for the last two years, it did nothing for me but hurt me more. I am tapering off per doctor orders (the same crooked doctor that put me in this mess in the first place), and I feel miserable & scared. I was advised to cut my dosage down by half for two weeks, and then go completely off. I am in day 6 of just cutting my Pristiq dosage in half, and I am having terrible symptoms. I feel like a basket-case. My eyes hurt, it feels like there is so much pressure in them. I am having migraines. I feel weird wah-wah feelings in my ears and head, I’m having weird electrical zaps in my eyes, head, and ears, I can’t sleep at night because I jump awake with horrible leg cramps. I feel probably the worse I have ever felt in my entire life. I am scared for when I completely go off this stuff…I mean if it is this bad already, how much worse is it gonna get before it gets better? Someone please just tell me it gets better!? This drug is evil, I took a stand and want off and am getting off it, but I feel miserable right now! Suggestions anyone??

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I feel the same way.. Just the w/d effects make you wanna steer clear of them all together.. In fact the only reason I am discontinuing Pristiq (even though I know I still suffer from manic depression) is bc I have been on antidepressants for 6 yrs now (since I was 19 when my son was born).. I dont know who I am any more & I want to give it a try without them & see how bad it really is without them – I used to be soo different I used to have so many friends & socialize & go out & have fun & for the past 3 yrs (since I have been on them nonstop bc I got preg w/ my daughter) I have become agoraphobic/ocd/& I can probably fit every mental health diagnoses except schizo when all it started out as was postpartum depression!.. If I feel depressed after stopping for awhile than I am going to try every natural way of dealing with things that I havent been able to try while on them.. I know meds can save peoples lives but they seemed to have messed mine up so I am very hopeful to find myself again.. 🙂

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@mrsmiller417

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

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

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@suzane

I too was trying to taper off with advice from my Dr. helping me with menopause/hormone issues. She never even heard of it but strongly suggested I wean off slowly. She was unaware of coating/time release issues. Even my Psych who prescribed didn’t know much about tapering off being he only took samples from his Pharma rep. Was and still am having horrible withdrawal symptoms that make it a challenge to work! Logged my experience w/someone at Wyeth/also logged complaint w/FDA. I know this takes a lot of time from your daily duties but I believe it’s worth the effort to make them aware of how Pharma Co’s are making us feel while trying to wean off the scary stuff. Best recommendation is to find a compounding pharmacy as they helped me. Bought a “tablet crusher” from him/he wrote directions (not actual px)to take crushed pill 25mg (was on 50mg)mixed w/juice evry 8 hrs.(3x/day for next 2 weeks. My Psych highly recommended starting on Sam-e right aft my last dose of Pristiq. Thank goodness for this non-traditional pharmacy/this wonderful pharmacist who was gracious enough to help me out!

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Did this approach work?

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I am now Pristiq free. I have been tapering off for a month. It has been a hellish experience. I am glad to say I survived. I do feel the ‘brain snaps’ occasionally and the dreams are still with me. I am 4 days free of the drug. I tapered from 100mg per day to 50mg a day for 15 days then a quarter a day for a 20 days…I am now at day 4 without. I am struggling but I will see this through. I feel better just not being on it….I now know I can do without the drug and intend to find ‘myself’ again. It’s interesting to actually go through this process and weed out the withdrawal symptoms from my actual personality. I wish you all luck and blessings as you go through this horrid experience. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Sherry

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@ajevangelisto

I’m currently in the process of tapering off this horrible drug, and well, I feel HORRIBLE! How long does this last? I was on 100mg Pristiq for the last two years, it did nothing for me but hurt me more. I am tapering off per doctor orders (the same crooked doctor that put me in this mess in the first place), and I feel miserable & scared. I was advised to cut my dosage down by half for two weeks, and then go completely off. I am in day 6 of just cutting my Pristiq dosage in half, and I am having terrible symptoms. I feel like a basket-case. My eyes hurt, it feels like there is so much pressure in them. I am having migraines. I feel weird wah-wah feelings in my ears and head, I’m having weird electrical zaps in my eyes, head, and ears, I can’t sleep at night because I jump awake with horrible leg cramps. I feel probably the worse I have ever felt in my entire life. I am scared for when I completely go off this stuff…I mean if it is this bad already, how much worse is it gonna get before it gets better? Someone please just tell me it gets better!? This drug is evil, I took a stand and want off and am getting off it, but I feel miserable right now! Suggestions anyone??

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WOW! I thought I was the only one with the strange “wah wah” feeling in the head and ears and the snapping sensation! Uuggghhh! It’s so awful I am on 50 mgs of this stuff and have been for two years. I have tried to taper off a couplde of times but cannot take the side effects. If I am even late taking one dose I feel terrible. I want so badly to get this out of my system and feel like a Pristiq prisoner! I am sorry to see so many peaole going through the same thing but at least now I know this is to be expecyed and I am not alone. I am going to consult with a pychiatrist (something I have avoided) and see what the best reccomendation is.

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I am on day 8 without any pristiq and quitting cold turkey …100mg. daily for 6 yrs. It has not been sooo bad. (sounds like I am lucky). However I have some withdrawal symptoms: dizzy, hot flashes. I also seem to have alot more energy-which is a good thing! It was such a pain to get it filled this last time that when it was filled I had not had any for 7 days sooo I no longer want to be dependant on the drug, insurance co., and dr. office. Good luck to all.

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I am so thankful for this site and everyone who posted about their experience with trying to get off pristiq. I am currently on day 4 of quiting cold turkey and started wondering if there was some permanant damage to my brain. I even tried getting ahold of my doctor today and of course she was out and will not be in until Monday. But now that I have read all these post, I am relieved to know that the crazy feelings in my head will go away. And quite honestly I have to admit, I’m thankful that is the only sensation I have had so far. I have to agree with one person who posted that doctors should inform their patients about the withdrawl symptoms before prescribing the medication to anyone. God bless!

Liked by AQHA girl

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Someone Help me. I took Pristiq for a few days cutting the 50mg in half, then i kept forgetting to take them. Now i feel like i have a sinus infection with a lot of pressure in my head, diarrhea, my memory feels foggy and I feel like im gonna pass out at any minute. Could this be happening even though I only took ing for a bout 4 or 5 days and cutting them in half? Please please help

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@mrsmiller417

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

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

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@mrsmiller417

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

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

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I have been off Pristiq (50mg QID) for 7 days today after taking it for only several weeks – cold turkey per my doctor. The withdrawal symptoms I have are so severe, I can barely get out of bed. When I do, I have to steady myself before attempting to walk. I get nauseous, dizzy, light-headed… my mind is foggy and I have a hard time seeing straight, which is making me get headaches from eye-strain. My appetite has increased, which I find odd due to the nausea. I get anxious when I have to drive somewhere, which is every day. My memory is that of an orange. My speech – lol, it’s almost as bad as my typing (which I am continuously hitting ‘backspace’).
I’ve been doing a lot of reading on different boards and websites to find out how long these withdrawal symptoms can last (they can last several months) and to hopefully find something, anything, that can help alleviate, or lesson, these withdrawal symptoms. The one thing that keeps coming up is Dramamine. It’s an OTC (over-the-counter) antihistamine that is commonly used to treat motion sickness and Meniere’s Disease. From everything I have read, Dramamine has helped every person who has tried it. It doesn’t help with ALL the symptoms but if it will help with the nausea and dizziness, I’m trying it!
I can definitely say I will never be going back to this drug, ever! These withdrawals are horrible and I wouldn’t wish them on my worst enemy! Good luck to you all!

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@tyetyebaby

Someone Help me. I took Pristiq for a few days cutting the 50mg in half, then i kept forgetting to take them. Now i feel like i have a sinus infection with a lot of pressure in my head, diarrhea, my memory feels foggy and I feel like im gonna pass out at any minute. Could this be happening even though I only took ing for a bout 4 or 5 days and cutting them in half? Please please help

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Yes, this can most definitely be happening to you. Read my post above. It may help you a bit. Good luck!

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@ajevangelisto

I’m currently in the process of tapering off this horrible drug, and well, I feel HORRIBLE! How long does this last? I was on 100mg Pristiq for the last two years, it did nothing for me but hurt me more. I am tapering off per doctor orders (the same crooked doctor that put me in this mess in the first place), and I feel miserable & scared. I was advised to cut my dosage down by half for two weeks, and then go completely off. I am in day 6 of just cutting my Pristiq dosage in half, and I am having terrible symptoms. I feel like a basket-case. My eyes hurt, it feels like there is so much pressure in them. I am having migraines. I feel weird wah-wah feelings in my ears and head, I’m having weird electrical zaps in my eyes, head, and ears, I can’t sleep at night because I jump awake with horrible leg cramps. I feel probably the worse I have ever felt in my entire life. I am scared for when I completely go off this stuff…I mean if it is this bad already, how much worse is it gonna get before it gets better? Someone please just tell me it gets better!? This drug is evil, I took a stand and want off and am getting off it, but I feel miserable right now! Suggestions anyone??

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Unfortunately, from what I’ve been reading, the withdrawal symptoms can last up to several months. I was on Pristiq for only 3-4 weeks. I quit cold turkey (per my doctor) a week ago and the withdrawal symptoms are the worst I have ever experienced. I hate this drug! Try Dramamine to help with the dizziness and nausea – it seems to help everyone who has tried it.

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