Side effects of Pristiq

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.

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@jimhd

@flow65 How long did you stay at 10mg before going up to 25? I've found that it can be just as important to take it slow when you increase the dose as it is to decrease.

How were you today?

Jim

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Hi Jim,
I started on 25mg of Pristiq. My dr prescribed that dosage. As far as my husband and I know the lowest is 25mg. It was once in the ammand once in pm. Can’t remember for how long. Then he put me on 50mg just at night for awhile. I was only on Pristiq for about 6 weeks. It just wasn’t helping. So he supposedly gradually tapered. That’s a hard drug to get off. It’s been about 2 weeks. We’ll see how today goes. I suffered. Thank you for asking.
Flo

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@ayethepan

Hello, Friend. Please talk this over thoroughly with your Doctor before you stop your medication, even if you taper off very slowly. When we read about clinical trials and side-effects virtually all medications will list “horror stories” in short form. And it is not always certain that some of those side-effects were actually due to the medication in question. Of course, you have identified the increased heart rate (tachycardia) yourself. I also suffer from Depression and take a related medication, Cymbalta. Pristiq and Cymbalta are in the same class of anti-depressants. (Effexor, Celexa, and Lexapro are as well.) Another consideration is whether you will be starting a new medication to replace the Pristiq. Often, though it is not always possible, the Physician will order a start of the replacement medication and gradually titrate the new med up as the old med is gradually lowered. I, too, tend to have a high heart rate due to one or more of my medications for depression and some related issues. However, the benefits of my medications (also on Depakote and Xanax) are far too great to discontinue them due to higher heart rate. (Actually, I could probably lower that rate by quiting all caffeine and exercising more.) I appreciate your situation re: the increased pulse occurs as the Pristiq “kicks in.” Your physician may have advice or even a possible treatment to reduce this tachycardia. I hope this is useful. My best to you.

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My Dr is currently doing this.. she wants me off Pristiq and is switching me to Prozac. I have been taking 25 mg for 4 weeks. I am nervous to take both antidepressants in one day but I'm at the lowest dose of Pristiq and I know you can't cut them. I'm torn between just stopping the Pristiq or taking both.

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@heemom935

My Dr is currently doing this.. she wants me off Pristiq and is switching me to Prozac. I have been taking 25 mg for 4 weeks. I am nervous to take both antidepressants in one day but I'm at the lowest dose of Pristiq and I know you can't cut them. I'm torn between just stopping the Pristiq or taking both.

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I was on Pristiq and my dr slowly (supposedly) tapered me off. 13 of pure hell days. I’m so sensitive to meds. My husband and I don’t want to consider another anti depressant. Difficult to get on them and off. Seeing a therapist and still seeing a psychiatrist. He has me on a beta blocker for anxiety. Don’t know next plan. Good luck. Thank you for listening.

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@heemom935

My Dr is currently doing this.. she wants me off Pristiq and is switching me to Prozac. I have been taking 25 mg for 4 weeks. I am nervous to take both antidepressants in one day but I'm at the lowest dose of Pristiq and I know you can't cut them. I'm torn between just stopping the Pristiq or taking both.

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Your physician is giving you his or her best medical guidance. I have had a similar experience changing medications, and the half life of the drugs is pivotal. Do what your physician directs. Please do not start practicing medicine on yourself…

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@elwooodsdad

Your physician is giving you his or her best medical guidance. I have had a similar experience changing medications, and the half life of the drugs is pivotal. Do what your physician directs. Please do not start practicing medicine on yourself…

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I'm weaning off Pristiq by taking the lowest dosage every other day, then every 3rd day. Weaning off causes severe tinnitus.

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@savanti

Hi, you can get off of it, it will take some time, here is what I shared with a support group livng with mental illnesses and depression. You first need to change one thing with everything you do in a day. Meaning stop waking up to doing the same thing each morning, stop doing the same things as you go through the morning, stop doing the same things at lunch, the same for the rest of the day. What this means, you have been living one day to the next with about a 95% repeat of the things you did the day before. So, whats new in your life? What are habits? Habits are things you do without having to think about how to do them. Try to catching yourself doing two things at one time. This also means doing something and also thinking about something not relating to what you are doing. This is a bad habit. *You need to explore your five senses, eat something you have never tried, find new things to smell, listen to something different, engage in new ocnversations, walk away form the same old stuff, reach out to touch all surfaces, feel a flower, feel rough surfaces, feel running water on your hand, find new things to see. What this will do is stimulate your brain helping you to slowly come off your medication with little side effect.
Imagine having a sharp pain, the more you try to feel it, the stronger it will get. But, focusing on something new and different the pain isn’t as bad. By doing new things, by taking risk to try something different while slowly over time reducing your intake of the medication will make it easier to get off of it. >I shared this with the group, four months later, a college girl told us she was able to reduce your med. intake by half and was feeling good enough to start dating again. by the time I left the group she was off her meds.
Change your daily habits. Explore your five senses. Find new things to do which means challenge yourself. Avoid interacting with wasteful conversations or activities which have no value. In the future, know that your brain can porduce any medication, all you need to do is change how you think. Thinking makes the brain produce good and bad chemicals

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This was unhelpful

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Hello! NOBODY should be weaning off this medication without advice from a doctor who knows what they are doing. Going cold turkey on this is DANGEROUS.
This tablet is extended release so It can't be cut and work quite the same. My doctor is kind and looks up stuff she doesn't know. So far my journey is going OK, but I'm still having withdrawal symptoms. I can't imagine going cold turkey bc the symptoms I have are awful.
I was on 50 mg, my doctor switched me to 25 mg for two weeks. Once I tolerated that change ( my side effects were nausea, light brain fog, not as bad as missing a pill. Now I'm on 25 mg every other day for two weeks. Everyday I don't take the pill I have brain fog, nausea, headache, I use the toilet a lot, am sleepy and irritable. Even though I'm a week, in the day I don't take a pill the symptoms are the same. If I can't tolerate this, there are options other than just doing every other day! My doctor said another option is to instead put me on Lexapro and start weaning using Lexapro, and you can cut Lexapro in half too. I may have to write her a message because I'm still trying to live my life and want less side effects while weaning off. It can be a long process!!
Please please do not try to do this yourself. See your doctor, do a telemed visit so you don't have to drive and see them. If your doctor doesn't seem to know that they are doing ask for a referral to someone who does because withdrawal is NOT easy even when doing a proper doctor overseen weaning method. Best of luck everyone!

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@anonymouse

Hello! NOBODY should be weaning off this medication without advice from a doctor who knows what they are doing. Going cold turkey on this is DANGEROUS.
This tablet is extended release so It can't be cut and work quite the same. My doctor is kind and looks up stuff she doesn't know. So far my journey is going OK, but I'm still having withdrawal symptoms. I can't imagine going cold turkey bc the symptoms I have are awful.
I was on 50 mg, my doctor switched me to 25 mg for two weeks. Once I tolerated that change ( my side effects were nausea, light brain fog, not as bad as missing a pill. Now I'm on 25 mg every other day for two weeks. Everyday I don't take the pill I have brain fog, nausea, headache, I use the toilet a lot, am sleepy and irritable. Even though I'm a week, in the day I don't take a pill the symptoms are the same. If I can't tolerate this, there are options other than just doing every other day! My doctor said another option is to instead put me on Lexapro and start weaning using Lexapro, and you can cut Lexapro in half too. I may have to write her a message because I'm still trying to live my life and want less side effects while weaning off. It can be a long process!!
Please please do not try to do this yourself. See your doctor, do a telemed visit so you don't have to drive and see them. If your doctor doesn't seem to know that they are doing ask for a referral to someone who does because withdrawal is NOT easy even when doing a proper doctor overseen weaning method. Best of luck everyone!

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Absolutely do not do this ever with any medication by yourself! My PCP “weaned” me off Valium first and then raised my Pristiq from 100mgs to 150 mgs.In the meantime she insisted that I try Lyrica again and it was the same nightmare as it was the first time I took it. Then she decided that I should go off the Pristiq.When I got down to 75 mgs of Pristiq she decided to add 10 mgs of Prozac to help me wean off the Pristiq. I have changed doctors August 2021 and am trying to get a diagnosis for my chronic pain of various types my body just want nuts two years ago. Between Covid and a doctor who was not particularly concerned I am finally going to be getting the medical testing that I so desperately have needed.Even with little medical treatment (I have many,many medications that I can’t take) I would like to have a diagnosis.
Listen to your body not all doctors should be playing around with your medication without monitoring your progress. I know the horror of withdrawal.
Take care of you always

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I’ve been on Pristiq 100mg for four months. I have zero energy and motivation, a huge appetite, headaches and neck tension. I feel emotionally numb and things that should bother me, don’t. I feel TOO chilled out. My Dr thinks these are my depression symptoms but I feel like they’re side effects from the medicine. I can get 8-10 hours of sleep a night and be completely exhausted all day. I cannot function like this, I have two children I need to keep up with. Does anyone else experience this? I’m hoping I can start weaning off with my Dr support and then get off this medication.

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Hi @cmhall1118 and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. So glad to have you. You'll see that I moved your post to a long standing discussion about Pristiq side effects so that you can meet other people having similar problems. @daliea, @anonymouse, @linamend, and @flow65 perhaps you can share your experience with @cmhall1118

Has your physician offered suggestions of other medications that might be a better fit for you?

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@amandaburnett

Hi @cmhall1118 and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. So glad to have you. You'll see that I moved your post to a long standing discussion about Pristiq side effects so that you can meet other people having similar problems. @daliea, @anonymouse, @linamend, and @flow65 perhaps you can share your experience with @cmhall1118

Has your physician offered suggestions of other medications that might be a better fit for you?

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No. No further suggestions for anything new, just going back on Zoloft (Sertraline). Been a long road of anxiety/PTSD, etc. As we age, it become more difficult to find SSRI/SNRI etc that can be tolerated.

Thanks for putting my post w Pristiq issues! Appreciate that. 👍🏼

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@cmhall1118

I’ve been on Pristiq 100mg for four months. I have zero energy and motivation, a huge appetite, headaches and neck tension. I feel emotionally numb and things that should bother me, don’t. I feel TOO chilled out. My Dr thinks these are my depression symptoms but I feel like they’re side effects from the medicine. I can get 8-10 hours of sleep a night and be completely exhausted all day. I cannot function like this, I have two children I need to keep up with. Does anyone else experience this? I’m hoping I can start weaning off with my Dr support and then get off this medication.

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Hi, I have been taking Pristiq for six years now. My doctor had GeneSight testing done and Pristiq was one of three antidepressants that I can take. I am taking 75mgs. One hundred mgs. I believe is a high dose for Pristiq. Perhaps you need a lower dose. Do not stop taking it on your own,withdrawal is very difficult and could be dangerous. I hope you find the one for you.

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