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 took a dose every other day for a month and it has been 2 weeks without. This is the second time I’ve gone off Pristiq in 4 years because I lost my insurance. The worst of the withdrawal symptoms started 2days ago. Restless legs and severe itching, mostly in my feet and it is the worst when I’m trying to fall asleep.

REPLY

Oh this thread has inspired me. I have been on Pristiq for three years after having a breakdown brought on by years of a tramatic marriage/breakup. I was NOT depressed when I had this breakdown. The breakdown basically consisted of a three day panic attack then a trip to the hospital to rule out cardiac etc. then back to family dr. to get meds/plan of action. She prescribed pristiq 50mg and ativan/lorazempam as needed for panic attacks. AFter a few weeks of being homebound and seeing a psycologist and family taking care of me and my son, I started to pull out of it. AFter six weeks I returned to work and everything has been ok since then, three years later I’m sick of taking this damn drug and want my life back. I have put on about 50lbs in three years and have tried numerous times to get the weight off, exercise and strict dieting etc. I would lose a bit but not much, not as much as I think i should have! I am 43 years old and I want to be like I was before this madness started. I’m on blood pressure meds now due to this drug and also cholesterol medication. I am starting tonight my taper. I take my meds before bed so tonight I am NOT going to take my pristiq. Fingers crossed. My thoughts are with everyone who has had the misfortune to become a slave to this drug.

Liked by beconscious

REPLY
@beconscious

Taking 50mg Pristiq for 9 months and began an alternating day taper in February.
Every 14 days I add one more day without a pill. I’m now alternating 3 days off, 1 day on. Taking it each morning. No cutting.

Symptoms are only noticeable on the first decrease/add-on of one day in the taper cycle. Some ‘brain zaps/electric feeling in the brain’. Mostly when changing focus or sudden eye movement. Not fun, but interesting. The goal is to expand to 4 days off, 1 day on until the end of May, then discontinue altogether and observe.

Jump to this post

Now down to 4 days off, 1 day on. Symptoms are diarrhoea and constipation. Also a bit of weird feeling, light confusion at certain moments throughout the day, but no more brain zaps. Thankfully sleep is good in all of this.

REPLY
@whitblank

I have been on pristiq for 2 1/2 yrs. tomorrow I am going to try to quit cold turkey. I have lost interest in things I’ve alway enjoyed, had major weight gain ( mostly in my stomach) and have had hair loss. I have been on some form of AD for 12 yrs. . I want my old life back! Any suggestions on how to get thru the next few weeks?

Jump to this post

Please DO NOT go cold turkey!!! Please remember what your doctor told you about the side effects if you do. I tapered or 2 weeks and though I have had a large majority of side effects that everyone is mentioning here, cold turkey is not the way. This drug changes the chemistry of your brain and it has to have time to adjust. I started this journey with Pristiq 3 years ago and I am feeling just OK, I know that it will all be better and the symptoms will go away. I know that many people feel stuck, similar to addiction, but hang strong. Our doctors need to be more proactive in making sure that their patients are only on this type of drug for a short period of time. Pristiq is not made for long term use and the longer you are on it the harder the withdrawal. I read my booklet again and wish I had spent more time reading it.

Liked by kdecker003

REPLY
@ontariobonnie

Oh this thread has inspired me. I have been on Pristiq for three years after having a breakdown brought on by years of a tramatic marriage/breakup. I was NOT depressed when I had this breakdown. The breakdown basically consisted of a three day panic attack then a trip to the hospital to rule out cardiac etc. then back to family dr. to get meds/plan of action. She prescribed pristiq 50mg and ativan/lorazempam as needed for panic attacks. AFter a few weeks of being homebound and seeing a psycologist and family taking care of me and my son, I started to pull out of it. AFter six weeks I returned to work and everything has been ok since then, three years later I’m sick of taking this damn drug and want my life back. I have put on about 50lbs in three years and have tried numerous times to get the weight off, exercise and strict dieting etc. I would lose a bit but not much, not as much as I think i should have! I am 43 years old and I want to be like I was before this madness started. I’m on blood pressure meds now due to this drug and also cholesterol medication. I am starting tonight my taper. I take my meds before bed so tonight I am NOT going to take my pristiq. Fingers crossed. My thoughts are with everyone who has had the misfortune to become a slave to this drug.

Jump to this post

Well I am now 2 weeks on tapering. Awful drug…I know at the time that my doctor did what he felt was best but I wish he would have taken me off this damn drug long ago. We all have had all of the symptoms listed on the pamphlet. My worst are the brain zaps, headaches, sweating and the dizziness. I totally understand how you feel. I feel at times I lost more after the drug than it did helping me. I also have gained so much weight and now dealing with the withdrawal. Now I am totally off after 2 weeks of tapering. I am dealing with the side effects still but I know that at some point I will feel good again. Best wishes to you…

REPLY
@threegirls15

Has anyone had extreme ITCHING during the weaning off process of pristiq? I am on day 5 of taking 1/2 pill. I have been doing awesome until today!

Jump to this post

Yes..it is a side effect. Also remember the pills are time release, do not cut them.

REPLY
@ontariobonnie

Oh this thread has inspired me. I have been on Pristiq for three years after having a breakdown brought on by years of a tramatic marriage/breakup. I was NOT depressed when I had this breakdown. The breakdown basically consisted of a three day panic attack then a trip to the hospital to rule out cardiac etc. then back to family dr. to get meds/plan of action. She prescribed pristiq 50mg and ativan/lorazempam as needed for panic attacks. AFter a few weeks of being homebound and seeing a psycologist and family taking care of me and my son, I started to pull out of it. AFter six weeks I returned to work and everything has been ok since then, three years later I’m sick of taking this damn drug and want my life back. I have put on about 50lbs in three years and have tried numerous times to get the weight off, exercise and strict dieting etc. I would lose a bit but not much, not as much as I think i should have! I am 43 years old and I want to be like I was before this madness started. I’m on blood pressure meds now due to this drug and also cholesterol medication. I am starting tonight my taper. I take my meds before bed so tonight I am NOT going to take my pristiq. Fingers crossed. My thoughts are with everyone who has had the misfortune to become a slave to this drug.

Jump to this post

Hi, Well I did it..the worst is over. I stopped cold turkey after reading so many posts and different sites on best way to stop and decided to do cold turkey and I took a week of work. It was BRUTAL for the few days, then slowly it has gotten better, I’m stll having the sweats and the ‘brain shivers’ once in a while, for me the dizziness was the worst. Yesterday I came back to work and it was ok. I stare at a computer all day so after the first half of the day I had to go to a meeting and it was great to get away from the computer for rest of the day! I woke up today feeling almost back to normal..fingers crossed it lasts! how’s it going with you??

REPLY
@bennyboy92

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

Jump to this post

OK so I am doing the same thing as you did and I am on 1/3 of 50mg. I feel a little spacey and unable to clearly articulate myself. Fuzzy head space I guess. Did this go away and how long did it take until you felt normal?

REPLY
@dani

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…

Jump to this post

OK so I am doing the same thing as you did and I am on 1/3 of 50mg. I feel a little spacey and unable to clearly articulate myself. Fuzzy head space I guess. Did this go away and how long did it take until you felt normal?

REPLY
@bonniemac

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.

Jump to this post

OK so I am doing the same thing as you did and I am on 1/3 of 50mg. I feel a little spacey and unable to clearly articulate myself. Fuzzy head space I guess. Did this go away and how long did it take until you felt normal?

REPLY

I am so ready to get off this medication. I am afraid of the side effects though! I have started by extending the time between doses a few hours each day. I am tired of being a slave to this medication. I am also curious to see if this is the cause of my weight gain over the past 2 years.

REPLY

I went on Pristq 2 1/2 years ago because my daughter with Cystic Fibrosis was diagnosed with a very intrusive and hard to get rid of lung bacteria pseudomonis. Pardon the spelling. Well I am working on coming off of the drug and I am really frustrated that the people who make it don’t have a way for us to come off of it. I cut my pills – as directed by my doctor, because there was not a set way from the people who make Pristq to come off of the drug safely. I took 1/2 a pill for 2 weeks and then a 1/4 of a pill for another 2 weeks and the only side effect I suffered from was dizziness from time to time. But it has been 2 weeks since my last 1/4 pill and I STILL have dizziness from time to time. Is there anyone who might know how long it will take for my body to get the drug out of its system?

REPLY
@beconscious

Taking 50mg Pristiq for 9 months and began an alternating day taper in February.
Every 14 days I add one more day without a pill. I’m now alternating 3 days off, 1 day on. Taking it each morning. No cutting.

Symptoms are only noticeable on the first decrease/add-on of one day in the taper cycle. Some ‘brain zaps/electric feeling in the brain’. Mostly when changing focus or sudden eye movement. Not fun, but interesting. The goal is to expand to 4 days off, 1 day on until the end of May, then discontinue altogether and observe.

Jump to this post

Down to every fifth day. On this last drop I’m seeing some more fatigue and over the weekend some real ‘confusion’ out of it sensation. But it cleared up after a few hours.

REPLY

This is a horrible drug. I tapered as much as I could, but skipping days with the last 50mg was causing unbearable side effects so I waited until I could spend 3 straight days in bed coming off. It has now been 2 1/2 weeks and I still get brain zaps with dizziness like nobody’s business. I have been extra emotional because I don’t sleep well. The thing about coming off is that I am more socialable then I have been in over a year. I would never recommend someone going on pristiq. And I wish everyone luck who is trying to get off!

Liked by kdecker003

REPLY
@beconscious

Taking 50mg Pristiq for 9 months and began an alternating day taper in February.
Every 14 days I add one more day without a pill. I’m now alternating 3 days off, 1 day on. Taking it each morning. No cutting.

Symptoms are only noticeable on the first decrease/add-on of one day in the taper cycle. Some ‘brain zaps/electric feeling in the brain’. Mostly when changing focus or sudden eye movement. Not fun, but interesting. The goal is to expand to 4 days off, 1 day on until the end of May, then discontinue altogether and observe.

Jump to this post

I understand tapering, but I feel so bad for you because you are dragging these horrible symptoms out. I hope you start feeling normal soon.

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.