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 found out on NYE that I am pregnant, and needless to say have been worried about the effects of Pristiq on my pregancy. I attempted to go off cold turkey when I first found out, but the result was disastrous. I then did every other day for a week, and then every third day for another week. Each week, it was a little difficult, but got better and better. I am now on my first week of not taking any (only day 4) and am having a very hard time. The nausea (could be from pregnancy as well, of course) has been bearable, but the dizziness is terrible. I am worried about the coming week(s). I also had very severe anxiety all night last night. For anyone who has tapered off successfully, does this sound like a normal trend? It’s scary, but I feel like I can survive it, as long as I know there is light at the end of the tunnel…

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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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Dear Mrs M, or anyone. I could really use some Help! i am desperate to break the drug cycle could really use help to break away from these meds m
i dont drink or smoke but am on a little bit of left over narcotics and advil to handle
the pain from the spinal fusion probem so complications are on top of the the story….
After I had my child 25years ago,I experienced post partum and they tried me on Prozac and I started getting head aches and losing my vision grayish to grey to blurry dark grey only 1 in 100,000 I think, then same w Zoloft and Paxil plus weight gain ugh. Finally I went onto Effexor going thru all of their incarnations w not major relief in depressionI am in a real difficult place because I have been using 150 milligrams of pritiq for 5-7 years after Ivswitched from Effexor. I also take generic Wellbutrin 600 and my Rx drug company said they would no longer cover the wellbutrin or any more than 100 pristig. I have tried to go of many times before but at my own desire there were catastrophic consequences with deep depression and much suicidal thinking but I always had the drugs to go back on to. Now I am reaching a wall and won’t be able to go back on.In addition I had a failed spinal fusion surgery that only started to show a little bone growth after 1 3/4 years. I am one tired puppy and in physical pain as well as psychological pain and actuall many times thinking about throwing in the towel as I live a lone and my darling son works in Brazil and India. Even though I have lots of friends none of them deal with the physical and mental problems that I have and they are all married. As A result I hide as much as I can so I won’t be a drag. I tried last week to just cut down by 1/3 on the pristiq staying the same on the Wellbutrin and thT kionopin. I still had disastrous results. Doom and gloom and self loathing no motivation and suicidal thoughts. I’m seeing my primary guy today for some suggestions but worry because I and on so many Meds at this point that the thought on going off them is terrifying especially because 7 years ago I lost all of my insurance and went off or everything that was close to a psychotic break. I really lost it so went back on as
soon as I could find an insurance company Thanks for any help
LIZZIEANNE a

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I have been on Pristiq (1st on 50mg then 100mg) since July. Yesterday, I tried to start the every other day withdrawal method because I’m about out & lost my insurance recently. I will never, ever do that again!! Symptoms started midday & got exponentially worse as the day went on…the brain zaps started around 6 pm. Vodka helped but I can’t exactly drink it all day. I will willingly pay $150/mo to stay on it till a decent withdrawal regimen is found.

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Good morning everyone:))…I just want to say that I feel for everyone that is struggling with tapering off their medications. I myself am nearing the end of the first month of weaning myself off pristq. I am thankful for all that have posted and shared their experiences, as I have posted in the past…I have integrated a lot of techniques from all of you and thankfully have survived the worst part of withdrawal. I cannot believe how things are changing for me in regards to how I am feeling for the better. I read a post by an individual that was an artist…and was starting to reclaim his interest in music…I myself am slowly starting to find the pleasure in things I was not sure I would encounter again.Within all the years of taking prisiq daily at 100 mg. I did not notice the change in myself that was happening while trying to heal my depression.I can say the drug did help me through a time I was struggling immensey with depression. ..but over time started to have a reverse effect of me being more disconnected from my feelings…of joy..acomplishment…happiness. .I was not depressed per say..but just lost feelings. .I functioned ok at my job and in daily life..but just seemed to not have the zest. Within the last week I have started to reconnect with some of the joy I have been sort of zombiefied to..:))..i am enjoying intimacy in such a greater degree of intensity…and went skiing the first time in years and forgot what it was like to enjoy some of the sensations I have been missing.I just want to say I want to stay reasonable and practical in managing my depression….and if the time comes be more aware of the repercussions of withdrawal. I had taken numerous meds over the years and never had any real noticeable or unbearable withdrawal issues. So within that was not prepared for the consequences. Thanks again to all that share here..you are a godsend..please hang in there through your difficult time…it can be done and will get better. Please keep the faith:))…Thanks…

Liked by kdecker003

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@aqhagirl

Is it better to cut pill in half and taper off that or cold turkey?

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Good afternoon…I have tried cutting the pills…and that worked to some degreee…although being that they are time release tablets the pharmacist informed me that the dosage would be less…the drug would assimilate faster…and cause a side effect also…that is the reason its stated on the rx…do not cut..crush…etc…Depending on the mg. You are taking if you can step down in dose without cutting the pill that may be better for you..I cut them in half myself and adjusted to the side effect although it wasn’t pleasant…the things that worked for me may not work for you and vice versa…a good diet and intenal cleansing was a huge part of helping myself…along with cutting the pills..and alternating days when taking the medication…this started slowly by extending the time of day I took them in hrs…and progressing into a half day…full day etc. I also did the internal body cleanse with herbal products…from american botanical society. ..from herbologist richard schultze…you can search online if you may be interested. I certainly wish you the best in getting of this drug:)….cool that you are in the aqha..and are involved in horses:))..my father has been a member for close to 60 years..and always raised horses throughout his life.. Take care and best wishes…:)

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Hi everyone, It’s been two weeks since I have started to taper off. I am cutting my pill in half and half again. That seems to being working with little side effects. Nausea seems to be the only problem. I have started to keep a journal. I have noticed that my energy is coming back and just the feeling of being in the moment. I’m hoping to get back to my hobby which was showing horses. I have done that for 45 yrs. Being on this drug totally took that away from me along with other side effects I walked away from a very important part of my life, I didn’t care. I needed this drug at one point. I just wish The Dr. would have taken the time to read the label and set a time limit on it. I’m glad I found this site. It gave me the courage to try again, this time I will make it. This drug took six years of my life. No more. Good luck everyone.

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I was on the 50 mg Pristiq, and I discussed tapering off with my doc. (It’s important to note that I only use minimum dosages of antidepressants for maintenance, and haven’t suffered a major depressive episode for at least 20 years. It’s quite possible that I don’t need the meds anymore.) Doc recommended against cutting the pills in half, but encouraged me to try taking it on alternate days. He said if I noticed any depressive symptoms, resume daily use. I started tapering off in mid-December, and I’m now taking it every third day. I’ll probably go to once every four days and then stop entirely. I’ve had no ill effects.

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I am trying to come off this horrid drug, I did cut it, but scared I will never come off it

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@bennyboy92

I am trying to come off this horrid drug, I did cut it, but scared I will never come off it

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Don’t give up! At one time or another we all needed this drug. It helped me tremendously. It keep me going for a long time. Now I don’t need it anymore and have discussed this with my Dr. He recommended tapering off every other day but I got real bad headaches doing that so I went back on it for another month. After finding this site, hearing everyone’s story I decided to cut them in half. It has worked so far. Now I am taking a half of a half I will admit I feel a little freaky but it is nothing I can’t or won’t handle. I just want you to know this site helped me and it will help you too. Good Luck.

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@bennyboy92

I am trying to come off this horrid drug, I did cut it, but scared I will never come off it

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I tried cutting a half into a half, but last time I did I got horrid night sweats. I will be frank, I am stopping this bad drug because of the “delayed ejaculation” side effect.

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@bennyboy92

I am trying to come off this horrid drug, I did cut it, but scared I will never come off it

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Well I have been cold turkey for two days. I don’t like it at all. I am feeling very muzzy. (Mentally fuzzy) I will do this!

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@frenchie

I was on the 50 mg Pristiq, and I discussed tapering off with my doc. (It’s important to note that I only use minimum dosages of antidepressants for maintenance, and haven’t suffered a major depressive episode for at least 20 years. It’s quite possible that I don’t need the meds anymore.) Doc recommended against cutting the pills in half, but encouraged me to try taking it on alternate days. He said if I noticed any depressive symptoms, resume daily use. I started tapering off in mid-December, and I’m now taking it every third day. I’ll probably go to once every four days and then stop entirely. I’ve had no ill effects.

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I am doing the exact same thing with cymbalta…..it’s a ruff ride but seems like I am doing better….for three years I thought I had an illness that would last the rest of my life……today I am feeling very normal like myself again..keep up the good work to get off the stuff

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@frenchie

I was on the 50 mg Pristiq, and I discussed tapering off with my doc. (It’s important to note that I only use minimum dosages of antidepressants for maintenance, and haven’t suffered a major depressive episode for at least 20 years. It’s quite possible that I don’t need the meds anymore.) Doc recommended against cutting the pills in half, but encouraged me to try taking it on alternate days. He said if I noticed any depressive symptoms, resume daily use. I started tapering off in mid-December, and I’m now taking it every third day. I’ll probably go to once every four days and then stop entirely. I’ve had no ill effects.

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Good luck! Don’t hesitate to resume if you feel the depression coming back — I sure won’t. I’d rather be on meds for the rest of my life than go back there again, but at the moment, it appears that I might not have to.

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@frenchie

I was on the 50 mg Pristiq, and I discussed tapering off with my doc. (It’s important to note that I only use minimum dosages of antidepressants for maintenance, and haven’t suffered a major depressive episode for at least 20 years. It’s quite possible that I don’t need the meds anymore.) Doc recommended against cutting the pills in half, but encouraged me to try taking it on alternate days. He said if I noticed any depressive symptoms, resume daily use. I started tapering off in mid-December, and I’m now taking it every third day. I’ll probably go to once every four days and then stop entirely. I’ve had no ill effects.

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Thank you…I wish you the best outcome too..so far I will jus say “MAYBE” it will be OK

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@frenchie

I was on the 50 mg Pristiq, and I discussed tapering off with my doc. (It’s important to note that I only use minimum dosages of antidepressants for maintenance, and haven’t suffered a major depressive episode for at least 20 years. It’s quite possible that I don’t need the meds anymore.) Doc recommended against cutting the pills in half, but encouraged me to try taking it on alternate days. He said if I noticed any depressive symptoms, resume daily use. I started tapering off in mid-December, and I’m now taking it every third day. I’ll probably go to once every four days and then stop entirely. I’ve had no ill effects.

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You where right on point……I had to take another pill a few hours ago….I am stuck about what to do at this point..I only had one good day on the hasr out process..wow

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