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 want to stop taking Pristiq but when I tried to wean myself I had all of the terrible symptoms that you all mention previously. I literally thought that I was dying. So I have a two week supply of Pristiq now & I’m thinking about trying to wean myself off of them again. Do you all think this is an adequate supply to do so?

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@jamilyn

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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The withdrawals are terrible. I was taking Paxil prior to Pristiq and I tried to wean myself off of that & it was bad but not as bad as Pristiq withdrawals.

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I have been on Pristiq since December of 2011 and it has been the best thing for my anxiety/depression. I have currently ran out of it and haven’t filled my script because I pay close to $200 a month for it…my insurance didn’t pay for it. I have been having the same withdrawals…and it is complete HELL. As a mother of 5 childre I do not have time feel this way. In some ways this has made me feel better knowing Im not completely crazy.

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@memae

I have been on Pristiq since December of 2011 and it has been the best thing for my anxiety/depression. I have currently ran out of it and haven’t filled my script because I pay close to $200 a month for it…my insurance didn’t pay for it. I have been having the same withdrawals…and it is complete HELL. As a mother of 5 childre I do not have time feel this way. In some ways this has made me feel better knowing Im not completely crazy.

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I know what you mean. I’m currently enrolled as a full-time student & I definitely don’t have time to feel the horrible withdrawal symptoms. I took half of a tablet last night and so far I feel okay. When I tried to quit cold turkey before I had horrible withdrawal symptoms for about a week that didn’t taper off at all. I hope that you feel better soon! It’s a hard withdrawal.

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I have taken 50 mg pristiq for stress /adrenal fatigue for 8 months. I never felt worse–exhaustion, numb, a sweat factory, 15 pound weight gain. I am weaning myself off! Weeks 1 and 2 I took every other day with no difference, except less tired and achy on off days. Then, I was going to try every 2 days. Day 3 started with no side effects so I continued cold turkey. On day four cold turkey- have gas, sweats, a little vertigo. Waiting for it to get worse….

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YES! I was on the drug for almost 2 years, and a month ago tapered off successfully with little withdrawals. I have been on the drug 2 separate occasions the first time for 6 months and had the worst 2 weeks of withdrawals when I got off of it. My doctor confirmed I am extremely sensitive to the drug and had never seen a patient that had worse withdrawals than me.
My dose was 50mg and I began by skipping days.
Every other day for 2 weeks, then every 2 days for 2 weeks, then every 3 days for 2 weeks, then every 4 days for 2 weeks, then every 5 days for 2 weeks, then 6, then 7. at the end I was taking one every 8 days until I stopped. Never reached 9.
I was able to do this with very little discomfort. And if there was discomfort it was always the first few hours of the day you are skipping. If it ever got extremely uncomfortable I would take the pill and would feel better a few hours later. My withdrawals were dizziness, nauseousness, irritability.

Liked by magber

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I am glad to see other people are going through the same thing as I am. I have taken Pristiq 100mg for about 4 years. For severe PMDD. I have gained so much weight between Prestiq and other meds. I finally got a hysterectomy (its the last resource for PMDD cases) and I feel so much better. I dont really need the med anymore. BUT its been a total HELL to get off of it. The withdrawal symptoms are the worst. I have been just doing it bit by bit for about a month and a half. I am currently taking half a quarter each day for the past week and I still feel soooo sick 🙁 But I don’t want to give up now that I am so close to it. From taking 3 different medications and one shot a moth I am at only one medication (thyroid) and getting off the Prestiq. I never thought I would be able to be off my meds.Thank you for giving me hope and let me know that I can be drug free!

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@haj89

Hi, I just wanted to share my experience with Pristiq and withdrawing from it. I took it for almost 18 months and decided I want to stop because I want to have a baby (and an antidepressant-free pregnancy). Although it did give me many side effects, it also helped treat my depression and anxiety.
When I first took the plunge into withdrawal, I thought it would be better for me to go cold turkey. My thinking was along the lines of, “It’ll be really rough for maybe a week and then it’ll all be over, and I’d rather do it this way than suffer for weeks.” Boy was I wrong, I had the absolute worst 4 day experience with nausea, dizziness, crying fits and an unexplainable out-of-body sensation the entire time. It was absolutely horrible and by the end of the 4th day, I had a major panic attack where I couldn’t breathe and my whole body was violently shaking, my teeth were chattering. This went on for about half an hour, I really thought I was gonna die. By the way I was doing all this on my own, without the advice of my doctor. After this incident, I called my doctor and he advised me to restart Pristiq immediately and if I really wanted to stop I needed to do it over several weeks. So I followed his withdrawal regimen. I had a 50mg tablet every other day for 2 weeks then 50mg every third day for 2 weeks. I am currently taking 50mg every fourth day. Tonight is the fourth night and I am due for a dose but I feel absolutely fine. Normally when it gets close to when my dose is due I start feeling the withdrawal symptoms such as dizziness and nausea. But at the moment I feel great! I think maybe I’m done! It’s a great feeling to know that you have accomplished complete withdrawal after going through such a long-winded struggle. Especially when you’re working straight through everything.
I just wanted anybody who is out there and going through the same sort of thing, to know that you have to be persistent and patient. It will get better and you will get there, you’ve got to be strong and keep the ultimate goal in sight.

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Thank you for sharing. I want to get off this awful drug and my doctor said well just quit taking it. I tried that and thought I would die. I will try this regimen.

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My husband was laid off of work in October and because our health insurance ended my normal $30/month pristiq is now $164/month. So, I just didn’t refil it. I am also recovering from surgery and until last night, I thought I must be getting sick when I realized that I haven’t had a pristiq in 3 days. In the past I would get dizzy if I forgot to pu the refill, or what not. I had NO idea that it would make me feel like I was dying. This is awful! What is wrong with the FDAA or our doctors or whoever that they wouldn’t warn us of how truly awful it feels to be without this drug. Has anyone had any success at all with anything at all that helps with the awful side effects of w/d? I did have the pharmecey put 10 pills for me, haven’t gone to pu yet cause my husband has the car, but honestly, I’d probably get in a car crash the way I feel. I’m wodnering though if I should suffer though the w/d and avoid it ever again, but I don’t know if I can take it. We homeschool. That’s not happening while I’m feeling this way.

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I was on Pristiq for 1 year and the first time i tried quitting it was a complete nightmare with all the symptoms that people are taking about, i couldn’t handle it so i went back on it.

But this time it was different; i switched to a healthy diet with lots of veggies, whole grains, fruits, healthy fats & lean meats, started exercising once in the morning and once at night, drank a lot of water, kept myself positive and with good faith in God. And then i decided to go cold turkey off the medicine…and i kid you not… i had 3 terrible days (one of those days was a nightmare and i almost puked from the dizziness but stayed strong knowing it would pass) and THAT WAS IT! after those three terrible days my symptoms have steadily decreased each day and after only 2 weeks they were all absolutely gone.

It has been 2 months now and i am very happy.

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@jamilyn

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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Hi Jami….I only took 2 1/2 tabs and 1 whole tablet….I was THE most nauseated I’ve ever been in my life… went back to my doctor for the 2nd time in a week….he wouldn’t let me go on compazine for the nausea…which helps me much more than the Zofran…he did let me double the Zofran tho… helped a tab bit..not much….I decided last night after reading all these awful stories….I wasn’t going to take my FORTH pill last night….nausea this afternoon hasn’t been as bad…but NONE of my meds like Xanax or the Zofran has worked for me today…. when I read about the OTC Dramamine you mentioned…I sent my husband out for some…. I’m sure hoping this helps me…I’m believing that my withdreawals won’t last but a few days with just 2 of the tabs all together….even with that I had the BURNing hot flashes…. UG! But nausea is the worst….they said it would go away after about 5-6 days… just not buying it…. hope someone else on here can tell me if they took it for a short amount of time how long it took to stop feeling all the side effects… God Bless each and everyone of you… some of these dates are a month or so ago…maybe many of you are doing better….any more tips…send them this way….as I will if I hear of anymore….thanks for the heads up on the Dramamine!!

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@offthemed

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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Very interesting story Sherry….this is now December…so, by now, I hope you are TOTALLY back to yourself…. my story is alittle different…..I only took 2 -1/2 tab…then 1 full tab…. doctor switched me to take them at night starting with 4th one instead of morning time…so, I had all day to think about it…. read some posts ….so glad I found this post tho… good info here…..but I just could NOT take that 4th tablet…just couldn’t … figured I’d have a ruff day today or for several days….I sure hope it won’t be for WEEKS with only 3 of them in my system….I am less nauseated , so I am thanking the Good Lord for that… there have been many times through each day that I’ve had to cling to HIM….body just shaking so badly….also, none of my meds worked today …I take Xanax a few times a day and because of the extreme nausea…was taking double the Zofran…NONE of it was working…I was just a shaky mess…. I had NO appetite at ALL…everything I have eaten since this whole Pristiq thing started has been forced… UG! But tonight I did bake sliced potato in foil and put greek yougurt on it and ate a pear with it and a small glass of carrot juice… I’m on a bland diet for the next month …back in mid Sept a NP thought I had H-phlori and put me on 1 normal anitbiotics for 5 days…then two VERY strong antibiotics for the last 5 days… by the second to the last one…i was doubled over and SO naueated ….then later an upper/lower GI….it did show that I had some gastrirtis …but no ulcers…. all this of course has brought on anxiety….that is why my doctor thought the pristiq was what I needed… I had to take Xanax over 20 years ago…and after awhile I knew I was feeling better….and winged myself off it by shaving alittle at a time every few days …Praying for all here… Praying my withdrawals don’t last long….some have said several weeks for even a few days…. I’m praying NOT!!!! God Bless!!

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@jjgh

I was on Pristiq for 1 year and the first time i tried quitting it was a complete nightmare with all the symptoms that people are taking about, i couldn’t handle it so i went back on it.

But this time it was different; i switched to a healthy diet with lots of veggies, whole grains, fruits, healthy fats & lean meats, started exercising once in the morning and once at night, drank a lot of water, kept myself positive and with good faith in God. And then i decided to go cold turkey off the medicine…and i kid you not… i had 3 terrible days (one of those days was a nightmare and i almost puked from the dizziness but stayed strong knowing it would pass) and THAT WAS IT! after those three terrible days my symptoms have steadily decreased each day and after only 2 weeks they were all absolutely gone.

It has been 2 months now and i am very happy.

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SOOOO happy for you JJGH…. you DID IT!!! I am having problems with just the 2,..1/2 tabs and 1 full tab I took…decided NOT to take the 4th tablet last night…but its been a ruff day… praying tomorrow is much better and since I didn’t have tooo much in my system it won’t last the several weeks that some have said that it does…. Like I said,..Happy for you…God Bless!!!

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@magber

I am glad to see other people are going through the same thing as I am. I have taken Pristiq 100mg for about 4 years. For severe PMDD. I have gained so much weight between Prestiq and other meds. I finally got a hysterectomy (its the last resource for PMDD cases) and I feel so much better. I dont really need the med anymore. BUT its been a total HELL to get off of it. The withdrawal symptoms are the worst. I have been just doing it bit by bit for about a month and a half. I am currently taking half a quarter each day for the past week and I still feel soooo sick 🙁 But I don’t want to give up now that I am so close to it. From taking 3 different medications and one shot a moth I am at only one medication (thyroid) and getting off the Prestiq. I never thought I would be able to be off my meds.Thank you for giving me hope and let me know that I can be drug free!

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Magber…will be keeping you in my prayers….I call on the Lord EACH and EVERY day…couldn’t do it without him….after going thorugh all this… I will be PRAYING for many many people I had NO idea that were going through such trials!! God Bless!! Its been a month since you wrote this…. if you see this…let us/me know HOW you are doing with it now!! YOU CAN DO IT!!! Blessings!!

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@magber

I am glad to see other people are going through the same thing as I am. I have taken Pristiq 100mg for about 4 years. For severe PMDD. I have gained so much weight between Prestiq and other meds. I finally got a hysterectomy (its the last resource for PMDD cases) and I feel so much better. I dont really need the med anymore. BUT its been a total HELL to get off of it. The withdrawal symptoms are the worst. I have been just doing it bit by bit for about a month and a half. I am currently taking half a quarter each day for the past week and I still feel soooo sick 🙁 But I don’t want to give up now that I am so close to it. From taking 3 different medications and one shot a moth I am at only one medication (thyroid) and getting off the Prestiq. I never thought I would be able to be off my meds.Thank you for giving me hope and let me know that I can be drug free!

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Thank you! Many blessings to you too and for those who are having it tough. I made it trough and I want to let everyone know that you can doit to! DO NOT GIVE UP!

Liked by Cricket55

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