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Jul 4, 2013 · Want to taper off Pristiq, makes my heart race in Depression & Anxiety

Hi Ginger,

Just read the info on the link you provided above… I do have frequent muscle spasms (in my neck especially) -and have also noticed that when I lay down at night, I have involuntary leg movements (nothing crazy, just more like a twitching feeling in my legs)… this is all new – and of course agitation is almost always present. Do you think this could be from the Pristiq? My doctor also put me on adderall (after upping my Pristiq from 50-100mg I felt that I had constant brain fog) – the adderall is the only thing now that helps me be productive and focus. I can really see now the impact that this has had on my life – and overall health – and it just makes me so angry that doctors seem to prescribe these AD as a first response rather than a last resort! Anyways, enough venting – feel like it doesn’t do any good and in some ways, I had just become resigned to having to be on this medication (wondering if maybe I really do need it)…. but I didn’t used to – and I don’t think I could say my life is any better now because of it (actually worse as I resigned from a 6 figure job last October and have literally no income since then)… but my goal NOW is to at least start the process and go from 100mg to 50mg (realized that I have gained 35lbs in two years – and am the heaviest I have ever been)! Definitely having some “discontinuation symptoms” – but so far it has been tolerable. As I mentioned above, I have started cutting the 50mg in half and now taking 1 1/2 of the 50mg each day and will probably stay on this for two weeks – and then go to 50? SO frustrating that their is not any concrete information out there on how to get off this stuff! I plan on calling the manufacturer tomorrow to see if they have any suggestions…I will follow up to let you know.
Take care and have a happy Independence Day!!

Jul 4, 2013 · Want to taper off Pristiq, makes my heart race in Depression & Anxiety

Hi there – I have posted a few times (complaining about the side effects/withdrawal symptoms of Pristiq) – and have finally decided to do something about it and “taper down” from 100mg to 50mg. I saw my doctor last week and he gave me samples of the 50mg (since I have been out of work and currently uninsured). Although the tablets are not supposed to be cut/crushed, he suggested I try that if going straight down to the 50mg was too much. Well I started last Wed (on 50mg) and felt pretty good for a couple days (except for a dull headache). By Saturday night I was feeling pretty “spacey” and lightheaded. By Monday I was in a state of overwhelm (partly because on financial stress), but also noticed that my mood and energy were definitely “low” – so I took another 1/2 of a 50mg. Total meltdown yesterday – so I have incorporated the 1/2 tablet with my 50mg of Pristiq each morning and also started taking 1/2 a xanax twice daily (as prescribed) to help keep me calm. I forced myself up and out of bed today – walked my dog and got some chores done. other than that, I feel like I just want to be left alone (and cancelled on going to my moms for the 4th), with little to no energy and overall feeling achy and blah.
From those of you who have tapered off Pristiq – does this sound normal? And how long does it usually last? I am still confused about how to successfully taper off this drug (even after reading all of the posts). I asked my doctor (somewhat sarcastically) to please ask his pharmaceutical rep how to wean off this drug the next time he/she comes in to see him!
Regarding the post above, please provide an update on how you are doing! Hopefully you are feeling better… and I encourage you 100% in your efforts to get off of Pristiq!

May 28, 2013 · Want to taper off Pristiq, makes my heart race in Depression & Anxiety

Hi there – yes – I have three boys total. 18, 16 and 12. I know all of this has had an impact on them as well – not to mention the financial difficulty that we are now experiencing since i have been out of work for 6 months. I am just getting started back to work but honestly feel like I am “limping along”. Don’t feel that great physically and kind of numb emotionally, I can honestly look back over the last 2+ years of being on Pristiq (and adderall which I was put on a couple months after being on pristiq due to feeling “foggy” and see/feel that this is not good for me. Of course you could say – well maybe it is just depression – but it would be so nice to know what my “real” normal state would be. I don’t buy the idea of having to stay on an antidepressant for life! I am sure though that it changes the overall chemistry of the brain – just wondering how long it takes to readjust. Thank you for your suggestion and support! Would it be possible to email you directly with a couple other questions? Take care!!

May 28, 2013 · Want to taper off Pristiq, makes my heart race in Depression & Anxiety

Hi there – thank you for your post – and the great info on the supplements! I have started taking the fish oil pills and need to add vitamin D to my regime. Think they both provide a huge support. So good to hear of another success story of someone coming off pristiq – congrats! :)). Do you mind sharing how long you were on this RX, the dosage and your method for tapering down? I have been on 100 mg for almost 2 years now. Have seen a noticeable decline in my overall health – weight gain and my mood. The flatlining described is pretty accurate – and have become very introverted (desire to be my myself) when used to be very extroverted and outgoing. My family has noticed a change in me too. Have tried several times to taper down to 50mg with no success – the symptoms were intolerable and put me out for a few days – hard to do with 3 kids and getting myself back to work. I’ve found a few new tips on here and am gearing myself up to try again. Thanks again!

May 28, 2013 · Want to taper off Pristiq, makes my heart race in Depression & Anxiety

Thank you for your post – feedback and encouragement! Good to hear of another person making it through the “discontinuation symptoms” associated with Pristiq – and also that you found them to be tolerable. I wonder if the length of time on the med (and dosage) make a difference? I would imagine so. Please post again and provide an update with how you are feeling/doing off the medication. Best wishes!

May 24, 2013 · Want to taper off Pristiq, makes my heart race in Depression & Anxiety

Thank you SO much for your reply!! This is BY FAR the best website that I have found in regards to help in getting off of Pristiq. And yes, I don’t think the doctors or the pharmacists are able to understand the withdrawal/discontinuation symptoms. It is MUCH much different to read about something vs. actual experiencing it!! The pharmaceutical reps prance in to the doctors office telling them about this latest and greatest new drug – and the doctors hand them out to their patients. WE end up getting to be the guinea pigs!! I also learned recently that the testing done prior to release of a drug is usually sponsored and done through the manufacturers… I am not a conspiracist by any means, but I am starting to feel like there is a major “racket” going on (in our Country in particular) when it comes to pharmaceutical drugs. Just look at the lines at the pharmacies …and all of the TV ADS for new drugs – not to mention the HUGE contributions this industry makes to our national elections. Probably not the smartest thing for me to post this – but at this point, my goal/intention/desire is just to help in waking people up – to be their own health advocates and learn to question something before blindly trusting the advice of a doctor. NOT to say that the antidepressants (and other drugs) do not have their place – they do. I know that the Lexapro helped me get through a very rough patch of time in my life – but I don’t want to have to be on something for the rest of my life! I most definitely feel like a slave to Pristiq! Unfortunately, my oldest son (who is only 18) was put on Pristiq at the same time that I was…he was dealing with some anxiety/depression issues (from the divorce). SO both he and I are in this position… he was going to his girlfriends house last night and had to come back by to make sure he had his dosage – since he knows how awful it is to even miss one dose. My hope and prayer is that once I get myself established again financially – that I will be able to take the time needed to help BOTH of us become Pristiq FREE!!
Thanks again for your post and encouragement! It is SO helpful for me to know that I am not alone in this – and that someone else understand.
Just so I am clear – are you recommending that I try a switch to Effexor (with the Prozac) or to add Prozac while I am tapering off Pristiq? I have heard that idea mentioned before. So great to hear that you were SUCCESSFUL in coming off Pristiq – CONGRATULATIONS to you too!! 🙂 Do you mind if I ask if you are now completely off antidepressants? And how you are feeling? If you were able to lose weight (if you had gained it)? I am the heaviest I have ever been and I feel like the weight won’t budge. Took my size 6, 8’s and 10’s to the consignment shop yesterday. I am barely fitting in my size 12’s but I refuse to buy anything bigger! But the weight is only part of it – I just want to feel like myself again and will continue pushing trough till I do…
Take care and God Bless!

May 23, 2013 · Want to taper off Pristiq, makes my heart race in Depression & Anxiety

couldn’t agree more! I have been VERY vocal to my pharmacist about warning people who are just starting this drug. she seems to think it is not any different than any other antidepressant/anti-anxiety drug but I think she would feel differently (and so would the manufacturers) if they themselves had to experience the horrible “discontinuation symptoms”!! There has actually been a $65 million class action lawsuit filed (against the manufacturers -by the shareholders) and it was not approved by the EU. I am honestly surprised that it has not yet been pulled from the market – that is my hope! But unfortunately, MONEY seems to be the driving factor with the majority of the pharmaceutical companies. I continue to see Pristiq heavily adverstised – including in womens health magazines!!
Not to say that there aren’t drugs that truly help people – but often times they just mask the symptoms – and the side effects are just not worth it.
Wouldn’t it be great if doctors started looking at us like “whole people” – and suggesting lifestyle changes, supplements, exercise, counseling – before starting someone on an antidepressant?? I recently had a doctor tell me that it is now standard practice for returning vets to be given a script for an antidepressant to help reduce the risk for post traumatic stress syndrome. he believes that the increase in these meds are contributing to the rise of suicide among our servicemen and women.
I know I am venting but these are things I believe we should consider. It would be great if there was a way to actually measure the “brain chemistry” – seratonin, dompamine, etc. of someone before prescribing a medication. Now it is just based on symptoms – don’t see how that can be very precise. the silver lining for me in all this is that I have realized how important it is that we are all our own health advocates -and I for one will certainly do my due diligence before ever starting another “daily” medication.

May 23, 2013 · Want to taper off Pristiq, makes my heart race in Depression & Anxiety

I just saw this post – and couldn’t agree more! So is it safe to assume that you are now “Pristiq free”??