Antidepressants: Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine) Side Effects & Withdrawal

December 31, 2012 – People’s Pharmacy

Q. Can you offer me any ideas of how I can ease my withdrawal from Pristiq? My brain is cloudy, I am having brain zaps and I am agitated. I should have never tried it out. Please help!

A. You must let your physician know what is going on. DO NOT stop this antidepressant suddenly. The withdrawal symptoms can be devastating.

Here are some stories to consider:

“I was prescribed Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) four years ago [this drug is somewhat similar to Effexor (venlafaxine) and Cymbalta (duloxetine) in that it works the same way] when Lexapro lost its effectiveness. Pristiq seemed to have no obvious side effects unless I forgot to take it in the morning. By afternoon, I would be experiencing brain zaps and hearing my eyes move. I would see “trails” when moving my eyes. This would go away within hours of taking the missed dose. I then tried to stop the drug myself, because I didn’t want to be on something that has that effect.

“I tried weaning off myself by taking a full dose (100 mg) then 75 mg the next day and alternating for 2 weeks then go down to 75/75. I went crazy after two weeks and had to go back to the original dose. Not only did I have severe suicidal thoughts every 5 minutes, but uncontrolled crying, extreme sluggishness, night sweats (when I could sleep), weight gain, irritability and mood swings. Physically, my blood pressure (which has ALWAYS been 110/78) jumped to 149/101.

“After two weeks of getting back on the drug, all symptoms (including high blood pressure) normalized. I am now under a doctor’s care to switch back to Lexapro (which she says will work again since I have given the drug a rest). She is having me take a full dose of Pristiq one day and then full dose of Lexapro the next day for a week. Then in 2nd week, Pristiq 1 day, then 2 days of Lexapro. She supplemented with Abilify daily. So far, the withdrawal symptoms have been manageable and I am in my 2nd week. I have added weekly acupuncture for the mood swings and am hopeful that I will have my life back.”
A. H.

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“I was put on Pristiq almost a year ago. I got tired of taking this drug and I slowly started weaning myself off of the pills for about a month. As I’m typing this message my brain is shivering and zapping like nobody’s business. When I tried to explain it to my doctor he acted like he didn’t know what I was talking about. In the meantime, I suffer like crazy.”
Oscar

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“I am coming off Pristiq right now. Was on 100 mg a day and my doctor pulled me off it cold turkey. I’ve only taken it for about 2 months, but I feel like I’m going crazy. I have the brain zaps so bad I can barely walk around my house. I’m terrified to drive. This is worse than anything I’ve ever been through, and that includes quitting smoking.”
Laurel

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“I have been on a variety of antidepressants over the past few years for depression and anxiety. My latest prescription is Pristiq 50 mg once a day. I have been on it for 6 months. At first, I did see a difference in my depression and anxiety, but things began to change in the 7th month. I started having side effects from Pristiq. I haven’t had a brain freeze yet, but I have had other symptoms.

“I have had insomnia, headaches, GI upset, elevated cholesterol, blood pressure changes, joint/muscle pain, abnormal swelling all over, fatigue, agitation and ears ringing. From what I have read this is a hard medication to get off. I didn’t realize that this medication was making me sick until I went online and started to look up my symptoms. I really don’t know if I want to continue to take antidepressants if they are going to make me more physically sick.”
Julie

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PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE:

No one should ever discontinue antidepressant medication without medical supervision. As described above in vivid detail, the withdrawal symptoms can be terrible. We are especially concerned now that we see Cymbalta (duloxetine) advertised for arthritis symptoms. We wonder whether physicians are warning patients that getting off such drugs can be challenging (to say the least).

Here are some side effects to be aware of with Pristiq and Cymbalta:

CYMBALTA (DULOXETINE) & PRISTIQ (DESVENLAFAXINE) SIDE EFFECTS:

• Nausea, stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea, decreased appetite, vomiting
• Dizziness, fatigue, sleepiness
• Dry mouth
• Insomnia, anxiety, jitteriness, irritability, tremor
, weird dreams
• Sweating, hot flashes
• Blurred vision
, glaucoma
• Headache
, ringing in ears
• Sexual dysfunction, lowered libido, erection difficulties, lack of orgasm
, abnormal ejaculation
• Liver damage
• Serious skin reactions, rash, hives (requires immediate MD assistance!)
• Glaucoma
• Irregular heart rhythms
• Bleeding problems
• Blood pressure problems
• Interaction with other drugs (leading to serotonin syndrome among other reactions)
• Pneumonia
• Seizures
• Depressed mood, suicidal thoughts and behavior, suicide

Some people never experience such side effects and achieve substantial benefit from medications like desvenlafaxine, duloxetine and venlafaxine. But others find the problems with such drugs overwhelming. The sexual side effects alone can be disconcerting. They are also quite common. You can imagine that dizziness, dry mouth, lack of orgasm and excessive sweating might be enough to drive a person to want to stop such medication. But as you will see below, that can trigger a whole other set of problems.

Doctors have taken to calling this “discontinuation syndrome.” These clinical words do not do justice to what it is like to stop antidepressants like Cymbalta, Effexor (venlafaxine), Paxil (paroxetine), Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) or Zoloft (sertraline) suddenly.

SUDDEN WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS:

• Brain “zaps” (electric shock-like senstations in the brain)
• Dizziness, light-headedness, vertigo, feeling faint
• Headaches
• Anxiety, irritability, hostility
• Nausea, diarrhea, digestive upset
• Tremor, hands shaking, nerve tingles, strange sensations
• Fatigue, tiredness, lack of energy
• Visual disturbances

58 Comments

I was on Effexor for 8 years. I wanted to get off the medication to see if I was depressed anymore. My doctors discouraged this saying I would have to stay on for life…Yikes! Well, I lost my medication on a Friday going all weekend without it until I saw my new doctor on the next Monday….she was fine with me trying to get off. It took about 2 months before I felt I could safely drive and about 6 months for the brain zaps and other symptoms subsided. I really wanted to get off this medication and have been successfully off for 2 years now without any depression! It can be done!!

It must be very painful to spend your professional life as a pharmacologist and then have to write things like this, but please keep it up. I am absolutely astonished and discouraged that our so-called public watchdogs like the FDA continue to let big pharmaceutical companies push drugs like this on trusting doctors and their patients.

Sadly, I have lost faith in my own health care providers because of their refusal to take drug side effects seriously. What is it going to take to wake them up??

I was on venlafaxine/Effexor for over a year as a rest from another antidepressant. My doctor and I agreed it was time to be free of all antidepressant medications and I gradually decreased the dosage over several weeks, actually months, with few or no side effects. If I did start having side effects, I would go back to the previous symptom-free level for a while and then start an even slower decrease. I could not get below 25 mg no matter what pace I tried. I was resigned finally to being tied to this drug permanently.

After several months my doctor suggested a new trial – I started on a very low dose of another antidepressant (10 mg) which I had taken successfully in the past, together with the 25 mg of venlafaxine. After a week or so, I started gradually reducing the venlafaxine, while maintaining the other drug. In this way I was able to get completely free of the venlafaxine. It was then fairly easy to get off the other medication, and I have been antidepressant free ever since!

I was on Effexor XR, 75 mg for 9 years. It was prescribed to me for peri-menopausal anxiety and panic attacks. The drug seemed like a miracle at first, but after a couple of years started becoming one long nightmare. I have now been off of Effexor XR for almost two years. I went through hell getting off of this drug, did it mostly on my own w/information I researched on the internet.

Looking back I would recommend to anyone that they get the help of a out-patient or in-patient rehab clinic to help them. These are very addictive drugs!!!

Hang in there! It is possible to get off Pristiq. I was on both Effexor and Pristiq for several years.
I literally cut the pills in 1/3 for 2 weeks, then I took take 1/2 for 2 weeks, last 1/4 for 2 weeks. It took a good solid week to come out of a fog after the last 1/4 pill. It will get better, it just takes time to ween your body off of it.

I’ve commented here on Cymbalta withdrawal before. I would add another symptom which affected me: severe itching, particularly in the scalp area. I pretty much had to manage my withdrawal on my own, because my neurologist (he’d prescribed it for neuropathic pain from Guillain-Barre Syndrome) thought I should keep taking it. I am very glad I tapered off, because before I had quit entirely, I was diagnosed with severe liver damage. It took awhile to convince my gastro-enterologist that it was related to the Cymbalta, and even now I’m not sure he believes me.

My experience with Cymbalta has made me extremely wary of prescription medications, and I always research them as thoroughly as I can before taking them. I was fortunate that my liver has substantially recovered. My recommendation for anyone who gets a new prescription is to ask not only the doctor but also the pharmacist about it. Pharmacists know a heck of a lot more about drugs than doctors do, and (in my experience) don’t appear to suffer from the god complex that leads so many doctors to treat patients as ignorant and unintelligent children who can’t be expected to participate in their own health care decisions. (Oops, sorry, end of rant!) I appreciate People’s Pharmacy greatly for enabling me to make informed choices about my health care.

I am saddened to read so many comments about the dreadful side effects of the antidepressants. Why isn’t the multibillion dollar drug industry held accountable for the terrible side effects of antidepressants.

I had a very tragic event in my family caused by the antidepressant Prozac. In Jan. 2005 my handsome 33 year old son, who was the father of 2 children, committed suicide while taking that despicable drug. Evidently, neither the prescribing doctor nor the pharmacist warned my son that Prozac causes suicidal thoughts but it does and a tragedy occurred that effected several families.

I’m just overwhelmed re all these comments. What a horrible situation to have to take crap like this Prestique. I find myself wondering how darn bad the depression and anxiety would have to be, to make one’s sanity hostage to those meds.

A few months ago I had a (rare) bout of severe anxiety due to specific stressors at that time, and my Dr. tried to convince me to start on an antidepressant and/or (worse!) a bipolar med. I studied up on her every suggestion and discovered horror stories just like the ones above. When I tried to introduce my concerns into the conversation and cited the numerous reports of terrible side effects I found on the web, my Dr. (just like so many other docs) became irritated, saying, “You can find absolutely anything you want on the web… the web doesn’t mean anything at all!”

So… who cares how many people report horrible problems like the ones above? Certainly not the doctors! I refused to start any of those meds, and I’ve been fine ever since.

The only thing that seems to make drug companies or the FDA pay attention to severe drug side effects is multimillion dollar class action lawsuits.

My physicians continue to insist that I take the medication du jour (most recently Cymbalta) to treat my chronic problems. When I refuse because I have educated myself about the potential costs to my health, they don’t accept the information I try to provide them about why these drugs are not a good idea.

Don’t trust physicians for this information. With every new medication you are prescribed, do your homework before agreeing to add it. Use one of the online medication interaction checkers and be sure that you are not going to have problems with the new medication interacting with your current meds. Your family can always try to sue when you lose your life and/or health, but isn’t it best to be your own advocate?

It is almost twelve years now since I lost my sister to suicide because of a bungled medication regimen. Nothing can replace that relationship in my life, but big Pharma considers these losses just the cost of doing business, and most of the time they are not held accountable.

I can understand your frustration. In my opinion, having been around adult family members taking valium and other antidepressants, the key to using these powerful drugs today is to find a doctor who is trained in the use of psychotropic drugs. Then become an informed educated patient/partner with your doctor.

For me, Effexor has been a god-send. I also have ADHD which I can identify symptons of all the way back to as young as I can remember. The same goes for depression which I later learned runs in my family. With both chronic depression and ADHD I was a mess. I tried to hide as much of how I felt all the time because when I was a child, it was thought children did not have depression and ADD/ADHD was an unknown. I was afraid my family would think I was crazy [whatever that meant to them].

Again in my opinion, one should NEVER get off of a med without doctor’s help. These drugs work precisely BECAUSE they are what they are. Regards.

I am starting to understand the importance of being our own “health care advocates”! Doing the research – asking questions and if needed, getting a second opinion. Also looking into “alternative” treatments.

One of the problems that I see with antidepressants – is that doctors seem to be so willing/quick to put a patient on an antidepressant as a first response “solution”. Considering the potential side effects (and that the meds affect our brain chemistry), I think it would make much more sense to do some further testing (on brain chemistry), and make sure the person is supported with nutrition, exercise and counseling.

I switched to Pristiq in 3/2011 (after my teenage son had been prescribed the drug for depression/anxiety). Previously I was on Lexapro for about 5 years (following my divorce). Pristiq was being marketed as a possible solution for pre/post menopausal symptoms – so I thought I would switch over to this “new and improved” brand drug. At that time it was fairly new and there wasn’t much information on possible side effects. I have learned recently that the clinical studies are usually sponsored by the drug companies. Not sure then how objective or realistic they really be…

Started on 50mg Pristiq which seemed to work pretty quickly – and at first seemed to work pretty well. Then it seemed to “wear off” and the side effects started – tired, foggy thinking, blurred vision among other things. I was bumped up to 100 mg and at that point kind of felt numb – and honestly had a hard time getting through each day (and gained close to 30lbs). The most trouble part was that started isolating – wanting to be by myself where before I had always been very much a people person. Not quite sure how I got through last year and by October 2012 I felt like I could no longer keep up with my work responsibilities and resigned from my job (as a local sales manager for a National Insurance Company).

Since then I have been on a “search” to be healthy. I’ve made changes to my diet and exercise and added vitamin D (learned later that I was low -and that this can also cause depression). After missing one day – and having HORRIBLE discontinuation symptoms) – I have realized that it is time for me to get off of Pristiq.

It has been a challenge to say the least. I tried switching to Prozac – that didn’t work. I have tried going from 100- 50mg (the only two doses readily available) and the discontinuation symptoms totally put me out of commission – dizziness, lightheaded, headache, total fogginess, awful brain zaps/shocks and the feeling like I have the flu. Pretty scary stuff.

Pretty scary stuff and each time I have tried to make a change, I end up losing a few days – with at least 1 day in bed completely non functioning. Not the best thing to try and deal with – especially with being a single mom with three boys to take care of and trying to search for a new job.

I have found a holistic MD who I hope will help me to taper off this drug. Tried switching to Prozac and that didn’t work either ( same discontinuation symptoms when I stopped Pristiq). I’m hoping I can taper down in 10 percent increments by getting the RX filled at a compound pharmacy…

And then my goal will be to get my 18 year old son off this drug as well!!

Any possible suggestions and/or “success” stories (of people who have successfully tapered off – and stayed off Pristiq) would be MUCH appreciated. Unfortunately, most of the posts I have found on-line have been from people struggling with side effects and discontinuation symptoms… it would be great to hear that it is possible to become “Pristiq free”!!

Thanks in advance,

Karen

Hi,

I have been on AD for two years now, swapping from lexerpro to efexor after the first year and to pristiq six months later. All seemed to work at first then simply had a numbing effect, no highs or lows just a constant state of numb & irritability.

Every time I see my M.D. to discuss my concerns with the medication the dosage is increased or I’m switched.
Prior to being moved to pristiq from efexor I had started the process of tapering my dose myself. Three days in I saw my M.D. told him my plan and received advice that this was a bad move, so onto pristiq.
Knowing that if I again raise concern I will most likely have my dosage increased or switched out, so…

I’m now 8 day in, cold turkey, and while it is unpleasant I believe the tide is starting to turn.

If there is something that I have taken away form my experience is not to put all my eggs in one basket.

Pristiq has worked for my depression but has caused every side effect you’ve listed from sweating to weight loss to loss of libido to loss of orgasm. I’m on 2- 50mg pills in the morning, but I’m considering to go to 1 pill per day. My diabetes has gotten worse, my blood pressure has gone up but not bad enough for medication but I’m on several Rxs per day for someone only 55 yrs old and I’m tired of it. Please help me with whatever suggestions u might suggest!
Mary

I was on a large lose of endep many years ago and had to take 3 weeks off work to withdraw from it – this was with a weaning program.
After that, I swore I wouldn’t take ad’s ever again.
However, 9 myths ago I was started on lexapro as my mother has cancer and I have a vision impairment and I was struggling. After a few months the lexapro ceased to have any effect and I was put on pristiq the week before Xmas.

By the beginning of the New Year I was feeling back to normal again and very positive. I returned to work (I had to have 6 weeks off before Xmas) and things went really well.

I decided that I was feeling so much better I was able to return to full time work for the first time in 3 years.

At Easter, I decided to stop the Pristiq. Two weeks later and I am still having withdrawal symptoms which have caused me to take 2 days off work.

My anxiety and depression are still ok but I feel so awful that I now worry about slipping back and needing meds again.

I know these meds have a place but I think that Dr’s prescribe them too quickly and without enough knowledge of the side effects and withdrawals.
Please be careful when talking with your doctor and considering commencing any of these medications.

I’ve been on pristiq and seroquel for some time now. I am also on atenolol for tachycardia. Yesterday I suffered a horrible virus….vomiting and diarrhea. This is sending me into withdrawal. It’s terrible. This happens every time I get sick. I’d like to stop these drugs, but I’m scared to do so.

I am currently weaning off Pristiq and looked up various symptoms because I am SO fatigued and feel very foggy, along with a slight headache. I was prescribed this medicine for PMS, and I honestly cannot tell how well it does or doesn’t work. I did notice that my cholesterol and triglyceride levels suddenly increased, to the point where I had to go on an additional med that specifically targets triglycerides.

When I talked to my Doc about this, he could not find any documented side effects of it affecting this, but I am convinced it does. Why the warning about talking to your doctor before starting Pristiq if you have high cholesterol? I also experienced weight gain, decreased sex drive, etc. while taking Pristiq. Either way, I am glad to be getting off this medicine and thank God I was on lowest dose possible.

Been weaning myself off the Pristiq. I have been completely off the Pristiq for 8 days now. This drug is horrible getting off of. I’ve been nauseous, have had brain zaps, my brain feels foggy, having sleep problems now, blood pressure has went up, more anxiety. And I was put on this and klonipin for panic attacks.

Since I have been on Prisyiq my periods have completely stopped. I hate this drug. If I had known it was going to be like this I would have never tried it. How much longer am I going to have to go through this? Doctors don’t tell you the withdrawal symptoms you will have coming off it. And I do think this drug is addicting, I don’t care what the doctors say.

My advice to anyone thinking about taking this drug is don’t do it. It’s horrible coming off of. And I don’t know how much longer this is going to last. If I wasn’t taking my Klonipin I don’t think I could stand it. How can the medical field think this drug can be good for you.

I’m so confused. I’ve been on Zoloft, 100mg, for 8 years. My doctor and I felt that maybe I could get better results by switching to Pristiq as recently I’ve been more down and depressed. I started taking 50mg of Pristiq today, along with my regular dose of Zoloft. I’m very sleepy, dizzy and am having stomach pain.

Maybe I should just stick with Zoloft and try to find a way to work through the depression. I’m kind of scared by the possible side effects of Pristiq. Really the only thing I’ve had a problem with on the Zoloft is with sex drive. Ugh, wish this was easier.

I’m in between medications at the moment, just trying to find one that will work right for me. Firstly I was on 50mg of Zoloft and felt like I had lost control of everything. I then saw my GP and was prescribed 50mg of Pristiq. I was instructed to stop Zoloft for 3 days before starting Pristiq. In those 3 days I had anger outrages both mentally and physically. Then I started to take 50mg of Pristiq and felt as if I was a zombie, I couldn’t sleep at night and also had shaking of my legs intensely every moment I was awake.

Now I am on my second day of switching to a new medication which is not easy. I am feeling emotionally normal except for when I have Brain “Zaps”. I’m contemplating on just starting 60mg of Cymbalta on the third day and hoping it eases these Brain “Zaps”.

Has anyone any advice on how to ease these Brain “Zaps”? as I’m finding it unbearable?

Been off the Pristiq for almost a month now. I’m still having the brain zaps at times but not as bad. I still feel like my brain is foggy. I don’t think the doctors need to be prescribing theses medicines when they have no idea what they medicine is going to do or how a person reacts to it. This is been a horrible experience for me. Thinking about using natural medicine next time. We are just being used as guinea pigs

I have very, very gradually been weaning myself off of pristique for about 3 months and it has been hell. I thought the worst was over but tonight I’m experiencing brain zap, nausea and diarrhea and irritability. I’ve isolated myself from my family so they don’t have to put up with this.
DAMNED drug companies -only out to make a buck!

Well tomorrow is my one week transitioning from 100mg Zoloft to 50mg Pristiq. The first day I had extreme dizziness, stomach pain and a headache. Second day dizziness and headache. Seems now I’m just having a little dizziness and only a tiny headache. I’ve been on 100/50. Next week I start a 50/50 schedule.

I’m a little nervous. My appetite has decreased; I’ve lost 4lbs which is great. I need to lose more. Oh and I’ve been sleeping really good. I hope to continue down this same path. My mood has lifted and I’m more engaged in daily activities. Will report back.

I started on 50 mg of pristique after taking effector for several years cause it lost it’s effectiveness so then I went up to 100mg of pristique when my mother was dying and I was in a terrible law suite with my brother who didn’t think I deserved as much as him. This was after my father died. So I was on pristique for several years after my mother’s death and now 3 years later I want to get off pristique so I told my doctor I went down to 50mg a day and continued that for about one month.

Now for about a month I’ve been taking 25mg of pristique but I’m only sleeping 5 to 6 hrs per night and I feel very anxious. I don’t know what to do, I don’t really want to go back to 50mg but I’m afraid of taking 25mg every other day. What was the name of the other antidepessant that you took 10 mg of while you got off the 25 of pristique?

I would really appreciate if you could share that info with me because it sounds like something that would work for me. I’m willing to try if I can eventually get off of both like you did. I’m 60 and I’m afraid of taking medications in case they cause dementia. Also I don’t think I need it anymore. I want to be chemical free. Please help me if you can. Thank you so much, VP

vp has question for ms replied to comment from ms | May 30, 2013 4:28 PM | Reply

I don’t know if you got my question but I wanted to know what medication you used in addition to 25 mg of pristique to get off pristique completely? Thank you, VP

Hi people. Just thought I’d add my two cents. I have been on pristiq for over 2 years and was on a 100 mg a day. At first I felt like it was working but after awhile I ended up feeling slower and not sleeping very well. I went to the doc and he said to stop taking it and to start taking advanza. Big big mistake !!

After 3 days I could not handle the side effects. I immediately started taking it to stop the side effects. Since than I spoke to a person that believes a bit differently in things and he told me to try taking tryptophan he did say that this and snri’s should not be taken together as bad things can happen but I was desperate to try anything.

I have been off pristiq for one week cold turkey and have been taking one tryptophan in the morning and one at lunch. While I still get brain zaps and anger issues on a scale of one to ten I give them a 3 compared to 9 beforehand. I’m not saying they are the cure but they are certainly helping me.

I was in severe pain and went to my doctor who put me on pristique about a month ago, I started getting a dull headache and a sore right eye and nausea I did not really link it with the Pristiq as I had also been started on blood pressure medication at the same time. Yesterday I did not take the medication as I had to have a gastroscopy. Today I felt terrible my head felt like it was enclosed with a tight band and my eye was really painful and I felt really sick in the stomach.

My son said stop taking those tablets they are making your liver unwell. So tonight I thought I will look up the side effects of this drug. What an eye opener this website has been. I have 9 of the listed side effects. I really don’t know whether to go cold turkey because I have only been taking it for 28 days or see my doctor first because I felt really so dreadful tonight I was thinking of taking myself to the emergency ward at the local hospital. However until I read this site I had not realised that the problem was Pristiq.

I knew I was not depressed just exhausted from night after night of being unable to sleep due to pain. I have taken Prozac in the past with no problems so was not expecting this level of side effect as a friend had said how good it was. Wish I had never heard of it.

I have been on an extremely high dose (200mg daily) of Pristiq for about two years now. I have felt for some time
now that it has become ineffective in treating my depression. So I went to the Dr to get off it. I knew that it was a powerful drug and ‘weaning’ would be necessary. Having forgotten to take my tablets on a couple of occasions ( and believe me, if you’ve been on Pristiq you know you learn very quickly to NEVER forget to take them because the nausea, vomiting, dizziness, migraine type symptoms, light sensitivity, shakes etc that you suffer when you miss one dose are very powerful motivation indeed to remember!!) it was an endeavor I was not anticipating. But I’m not an advocate of taking unnecessary medication so off I went.

Dr asked me how many tablets I had left. Just one dose I replied (2 x 100mg tablets). Take one today and one tomorrow he said, then nothing for 4 days. Then he wanted me to try starting on Cymbalta. I was pretty shocked by his ‘prescription’ as I had really expected that the weaning process would have been much more paced and gradual. This really sounded like a cold turkey scenario to me. But who am I to argue? He’s the one with the degrees…

Well skip forward to day 6 sans Pristiq. The hellish roller coaster this week has been I would not wish on my worst enemy. Migraine, extreme light and sound sensitivity, fatigue, extreme nausea, violent mood swings, pits of depression and despair, copious amounts of tears, aching eyes, horrible anxiety, actually physical difficulty with getting oxygen into my lungs (which is really scary to have to struggle so hard to breathe since we kind of all take that ability for granted), suicidal obsession, diarrhea, dizziness , hot and cold flushes, shakiness and trembling… I could go on… I spent two days locked in my bedroom sleeping with the shades drawn tight because the simple act of standing had me reeling with dizziness, gripped by nausea and in actual awful aching body-wracking pain.

The symptoms have eased somewhat at day 6 but am still very light and sound sensitive and am pretty much useless. Trying to concentrate on anything results in headache, nausea, shakiness etc. it’s becoming a marathon effort to share my experience through these damned intrusive detox side effects. I have to say I have developed a healthy empathy for anybody having to suffer through detox! You know, a heroin addict may walk their own path to the detox point but it’s still a cruel cruel thing to suffer.

I actually got on the net today trying to find out how much longer I would be plagued by these withdrawal symptoms. I’m really hoping not too much longer (fingers tightly crossed). My head is getting thicker and fuzzier the longer I persist here and I am starting to struggle with breath and nerves and shakes. I have decided I will not be going back to that Dr. I’m not interested in trading one evil for an equivalent evil.

I’m actually thinking that all things considered, although this week has been absolutely shattering, I am stronger than I thought I was. I’m still here and I’m still fighting! Hope this has made sense. Wish me luck with my continued detox.

Oh and if your Dr suggests Pristiq for you, think hard about it.

Thank you Thank you, all who’ve contributed…I’ve been taking 200mg of pristiq alongside of a cuppla other meds eg Valdoxan, under Dr.s orders. Finally the side effects of all this were too obvious to ignore!!!… so Dr wants me to stop Pristiq so I can ‘try’ Cymbalta… phasing from 200mg to 150mg for a few days, then 100mg fr 10days.

Now I’m taking 50mg for 4 days (today is my 4th). So far symptoms have been bearable but am now struggling to breathe, boy was that scary til I decided to check out others’ experiences here… The dizziness and weird expanding head stuff I could handle, although the falling over consequences hurt… but this breathing issue is Nasty.

Have decided to try and sleep it out… it’s 10:00am… Hope I wake up… if I do, I’ll let you know if sleeping helps.

I went to see my Dr. for panic attacks that were getting more frequent and worse. After trying several types of anti-depressants, I found pristiq to be the one I was able to tolerate the best. The panic attacks stopped altogether, and although I was aware I was not quite myself, I thought it was a good trade-off.

After missing a couple of doses during an unusually busy workweek, the proverbial “lightbulb” came on my head- something that I never knew I was missing. It was like waking up from a coma. I did not realize that slowly over time I had become sort of a zombie.

Now that I am off the med, I feel like I missed 2 years of my life I can never get back. I tapered off pristiq over a one month period. I had relatively mild wd symptoms, disorientation being the worst.

I would say to find a dr. to help you with quitting any anti-depressant. Find one who will listen, maybe even one who prefers other forms of dealing with depression other than drugs. Every person is different, I have read the posts here, definitely see more severe symptoms in some people, not too bad for others. I wish I would have gone with my instincts and avoided starting the medication in the first place-

I have been on a few AntiDepressant meds after severe opiate addiction for over 25 years, I am taking suboxone and pristiq, I do not want the pristiq anymore so I stopped, it’s been 3 days stopping cold turkey and like all the other AD meds I have brain swells and pulsation, skipping eye movements and some body twitching, but the worst is the nausea, even with being on permanent maintenance with suboxone the withdrawal affects are pretty bad, but not as bad as opiate withdrawal, stay as occupied as you can and push through, I don’t know how long these symptoms will last but I am determined to get off, not to mention your sex drive picks up something fierce which is good for your spouse!

Absolutey right about the sex drive. I feel 30 years younger! Or should I say that with the Pritiq and Wellbutrin I felt 30 years older — and I’m already in my 60s! Tough it out is right. I keep as busy as possible but also take half of a low-dose Clonazepam every couple of days. At night I drink wine with dinner and that makes me feel better for a while. I’ve tried drinking earlier in the day, though, but it doesn’t work (especially b/c I’ve never been a daytime drinker; I was just trying it for medicinal purposes). But I’m in week 4 now and haven’t felt better in years. I’m watching for symptoms of depression though; I have only had one acute episode, but many mild ones. But I’ve been on these damned drugs for more than a decade so I have no idea anymore what’s normal. I’ve gained 5 lbs in this past month but am going back to normal eating now and hope that the little bulge will soon go away. In the long run we have to remember that the SSRIs are really only recommended these days for severe depression, yet millions of us continue on them for mild or moderate. The science doesn’t support this. But… what do we do once we get off these horrible things if we find that we are still depressed?

I hav gained over 10 kg in 7 months of taking Pristiq so much for helping loss of appetite I can’t stop eating making me even more depressed!

I hav always been an active person but I hav had no motivation to do hardly anything even daily chores n looking after my three kids as a single mum is overwhelming I tried all the natural stuff first but didn’t quite feel strong enough.

I lost my husband to suicide and bipolar so I needed something now. I regret it so much I’m tearful and irritable snappy at my kids. After reading everyone else’s comments I’m really concerned. I have been cold turkey from Pristq for two days cause long wknd here and I forgot to take it now feel so dizzy n nauseous I can’t move without head spins but I hav to get to a chemist for emergency supply as its father’s day today and the whole family coming over n I’m overwhelmed as I can’t move!!

I hav a baby to look after whose crying and needs me and two other kids I’m yelling at cause they want me to get ready for the ready for the day!!! Do not go cold turkey unless u can suffer in bed with vomit bucket beside u I feel like I’m coming off Heroin or something hot cold sweats brain bout to explode pls be careful not like me!!

I gotta go get emergency supply asap buy its Sunday and nothing open yet arggghh hope I feel better soon cause this sux!!!

Thank goodness I read these posts. After years on the merry go round (100mg a day) over the last few weeks I’ve been reducing Pristiq and stopped 7 days ago and not due to see my doc for another 4 weeks. Trying to describe whats happening in my head to my family was worse than the noises and the rest of the symptoms.

Misery loves company but I’ve got it pretty easy compared to some of the other comments on this site. Good luck and trust yourself and stay strong.

I have been on Pristiq for 5 years now and missed a dose a few weeks back. OMG – it was horrible! Experienced severe brain zaps, confusion, dizziness – it felt like I was losing my mind! I could not get out of bed because I felt like I would fall down. My husband said that I was not making any sense when I spoke. It was really scary. Even more scarier is that I am afraid to get off of this medication because I would not be able to function at work – there is no way! I feel like I am stuck. Who has two weeks to spare so that you can go through the withdrawals – I don’t! Any suggestions on how to successfully get off of this med AND be able to function?

I have been on Pristiq for 3 years and I agree if u forget a tablet – the brain zaps, nausea, dizziness is horrible. I’m seeing a psychologist who will help as I so need to get off these. My doc told me I can’t half these tabs (on 50grams) but I’m so keen to slowly reduced them somehow – has anyone tried this or suggest anything?

I got a generic test where they use a swob to your gums and they send it to the lab where it tells you which drugs are good and which aren’t. After I first starting taking anti-depressant two years ago I was prescribed to Celexa 20 mg. I moved and started seeing a new psychiatrist and she prescribed me Fluxetine 20 mg, and after the first day of taking that I already felt a lot better.

Two weeks later my results came back and the new medicine I was prescribed (Fluxetine) was in the column good but use with caution. The Pristiq was in the good column so she prescribed me 50 mg. Today was the first day I took it and I’ve been having really bad headaches when I cough, I think this might be bad. I’ve read a lot of comments about this drug and they say its really addictive. My brother just died a couple months ago from addiction and I have a very addictive personality so I’m also scared about, please let me know what to do!!!

MY LAST FEW LOGS: 8/27 A few months ago tried getting off pristq, Dr suggested half dose for 2 weeks and then stop and I should be fine. By the third week I was waking up crying so I got back on. I’ve been on it for over 4 years and although it helped, if I ever want to have children I need to get off of it. So new psyc… I expressed how much fear I had over trying to get off of it again… So we upped my wellbutrin, got me on busbar (non addictive anti anxiety) and am now on Prozac. First week just added 10 mg Prozac. Felt Okkk… Then after that 3 days of taking 20 mg Prozac and I felt weird but bearable… So yesterday took half a pristq and felt that weirdness go away and felt normal. Today did the same but ugh… Nausea, uncomfortable!

9/8 I’m still on half a dose of pristq and two prozac. I’m really shocked that its been working so far. I think only thing I’ve noticed that’s super different is that my pms this month is soooo much worse. I’ve always had symptoms of pms but now it magnified but is bearable….

.9/24,I’m now on quarter pristq, upped to 30 mg Prozac. Lots of nausea, general uncomfortable feeling. Lack if motivation a lil more anxiety pressure in my head. Thankfully though all bearable. Been easily annoyed. In general all my emotions seem magnified. But to a doable degree. Not like last time I tried getting off of it! I went nuts.

Hi there,

I was on cymbolta 120mg for 2 years than I was getting very severe Anxiety attacks, suicidal thoughts and really bad depression about 2 months ago. So they started getting me off Cymbolta and it was horrible then the Psychiatrist changed me on too Pristiq 50mg 4 weeks ago, what a nightmare!!!, I was worse than ever, I was agitated, crying, very aggressive and my depression was really bad to the point I did not want to get out of bed. I went back to the psychiatrist on Tuesday and she told me to get off pristiq and has given me a script for Lexapro 10mg I start that tomorrow. I have been off pristiq now cold turkey for 3 days and I tell you what it is so horrible the brain zaps, dizziness, nausea, body aches and no sleep it is horrible. I just want to know if anyone has had Lexapro 10 mg before and has it made them feel any better??

Jess

Been on the anti-depressant roller coaster for 15 years. Pristiq was good for me for awhile. I took it for about 6 months, and felt it was better than Effexor. When I stopped Effexor, the withdrawals were so bad, I really thought I was going completely insane. I was successful at stopping Pristiq the first time I took it. I was on it for about 5 months. I got pregnant and went cold-turkey off of it as soon as I found out I was pregnant.

The withdrawl symptoms were very unpleasant. Nausea, swimmy, blurry head, shakes, tremors, and brain zaps. But I managed to press on (going back on any meds was NOT an option, being pregnant). Within 2 weeks of no medicine, I was fine. My depression was back, but it had to be managed by means other than medications. I have learned, over the years of trying different meds and trying to be med-free that the basic self-management of diet, proper sleep, and EXERCISE are the most effective ways to stop feeling depressed. 60 minutes of cardio-vascular exercise each day has been shown to have the same or greater effectiveness in eliminating depression as any of the medications. And a strong network of friends helps a lot.

I don’t have that as much as I would like, as many others that suffer from Major Depression or Bi-polar, we end up on an isolated island because of the times when we are really down and we withdraw from people and social environments. Then we lose or distance friends, and it’s hard to get that back. So, I got really down again, due to some very traumatic life events, and I went back on the Pristiq. It was helping some, but the cost is killing me. So I am on day 2 of quitting the medicine. I feel like crap. but I am still somewhat able to do my job, and take care of my 6 children…yes, I am a single mom with 6 kids.

Sometimes I am weepy or snappy with the kids, but I have learned to reign it in, no matter what. I am not looking forward to days 3 and 4 off the medicine, as this seems to be the height of mental dysfunction, brain fogginess, and fatigue. I am hoping by Monday, the symptoms will resume back to a level where I can function. But I feel for each and every person on here that has been on this ride as well.

Medications have their place, but learning to care for ourselves and manage without the pills is better. It takes time, self-awareness, determination, and willingness to do what it takes to feel well. if more doctors would give a prescription for exercise and 8 hours of sleep a night, combined with avoiding alcohol, eating a healthy diet, and surrounding ourselves with supportive people; then maybe more people would get better, faster. Peace and love to all my fellow-sufferers. There is hope, though. Never give up hope.

I have been on 100mg of Pristiq for about 2 years now, and unfortunately, it isn’t the medication for me as I was still suffering with anxiety and panic attacks.

My doctor and I decided to change medication to 60mg Andepra.

Today is day 4 from changing over from Pristiq to Andepra and if I had of know the side effects of Pristiq, I wouldn’t have gone down that path. My daily symptoms have been;
– nausea,
– lack of appetite
– trembling for hours
– hot flushes
– brain zaps
– tingling in my face and mouth
– feeling helpless
– suicidal thoughts (can I put up with it much longer? Is this what my life is going to be like? Etc)
– scared to be alone.
– bursting out into tears.

It’s just horrible and I feel for anyone who experiences anything like this in their lives. I pray for you/ us all. May God take this evil thing away from us.

Day 1 & 2 were the worst but I think this was because I didn’t expect this. Day 3 & 4, I went back to the doctors to explain and he gave me a beta blocker to get my heart pressure on track. In praying things get better real soon. Please tell me they will and it does? Xxx

I just feel like crying reading all these comments because I’m currently trying to wean off Pristiq and failing badly due to the horrific withdrawal symptoms. I just want it out of my life, I can’t believe I was ever prescribed it.

I’m currently at the end of day 7 pristiq free. I wish I could say I physically feel 100% but I’m getting there and feel fantastic!

This is my detox so far..
Day 1: felt absolutely fine/no different
Day 2: after 16hrs sleep awoke bawling mu eyes out with every emotion searing at once. Dizziness, sweats, nightmares, vision glitches and nausea. By bedtime I prayed that I would live (that’s how terrible I felt, like I may not survive)
Day 3: still teary but then overwhelmed by anger.. I kicked something and almost broke my foot… such rage!
Day 4: slurred speech and vision, bowel interruptions, shivers and shaky
Day 5: woke up starving and need to eat all day (assume to recover from the emotions of the past 4 days), feeling better, able to breathe deeply and calmly, very thirsty, quiet and reflective all day in the sunshine
Day 6: eating double than when on Pristiq (now 5 meals per day), visiting friends, smiling again, drove my car now my vision is better yay! Slept like a baby!
Day 7 today: reflective on how hard this week has been, peacefully happy in the garden, walked the dog, ate heaps, laughed until I cried (wow hadn’t done that in ages, creativity is returning and I can attentively watch my favourite tv program
Tomorrow: CAN ONLY GET BETTER

I haven’t felt this good in ages… to be precise 3 years… that’s how long I was on it. Physically i feel i still have a way to go as detox/withdrawal from any dependent medication is hard on your body as it gives you signs that bits missing it. But the personal satisfaction I feel, the inner joy from knowing I am beating this dependency and will never go back on them ever again by far outweighs any feelings of nausea I may still have.

I can only advocate and encourage you all not to give up. I now believe with a clearer mind and heart that things can only get better and even though its a very hard vice to beat the power of the mind can heal all.

I recommend an essential oil blend called ‘baby calm’ its a blend of rose, lavender and chamomile… a dab on the temples is super soothing. I truly believe this stuff saved my sleep, I was having horribly vivid nightmares waking wet with sweat until I begun using this. I also purchased some relaxation incense and a healing crystal which sits beside my bed to absorb negativity and illness. If your not keen on the ‘hippie’ methods try good old deep breathing, h2o, fresh air, sunshine, pets or people that make you feel inner joy and love.

Chin up everyone if I can do it you can too… believe in yourself not in medication because as I have learned only we can help ourselves. Life is tough at the best of times, consider the time you ‘wasted’ on the meds and what you missed out on… pledge to yourself to be part of life again and love it.

I hope I can inspire 1 person to keep going with their withdrawal journey because I promise it will get better if you want it to.

Good luck!!

wow, cool info! This is one of those occasions where you suddenly discover you’re not the only one suffering this stuff. I never knew how to describe to others those scary feelings I now know as “brain zaps”. freaky stuff indeed. Thank you everybody for sharing these things, it is so important. I have been on Pristiq 50’s for about two and a half years and suffer if I miss a day. I get unreasonably cranky and tend toward suicidal thoughts. I would like to hear if anybody can get off these things successfully, i.e. with a healthy brain and attitude. Thanks again y’all, stay happy.

lkwest, I like your attitude. I cannot comment on Pristiq, but Cymbalta nearly killed me. And it was hard to wean from, too. I am determined not to get back into the hands of big pharma. I will use herbs.

Lkwest – thanks for your post and everyone else that has posted. Day 7 today and feeling ok but have moments of nausea, dizziness and headaches but I am determined to keep going and wean myself off this drug.

I am in day 5 of coming off pristiq 50mg … I was previously on effexor and given pristiq as a better choice of antidepressant … well I have tried many times to come off this drug, having every single side effect that is listed by others on this site but this time no matter what I’m done … it has basically made me a zombie and I feel like a drug addict …. make sure you know what you are getting into before you take this stuff … the price you pay is dreadful …. thanks to all for the tips on retaining sanity I am pumped to never take this or any other antidepressant again.

I would recommend checking out gentler herbal remedies. Check with the people at your local health food store… maybe they could suggest something that would help. I understand what you’re going through. Cymbalta and withdrawal from it nearly killed me. Never again.

My doctor has taken me off Pristiq 150 mg daily as it has caused my blood pressure to go up considerably.

I have been reducing the drug according to doctor’s instructions and the main symptom of withdrawal is a bad headache and nausea. Also I have feeling again. My mother died recently and I did not cry. I did not feel anything except complete inertia after she died. I’m sure the Pristiq made me very flat. Now I am feeling appropriate emotions. I feel human again. No brain zaps but incredible dreams. Clear dreams with lots of details and I dream all night.

I feel much more motivated now. The Pristiq was very good for controlling depression but I did not have any other feelings. I am now on Mirtazapine 30 mgs day and doing well so far. Only two weeks into reducing meds.

I find it so interesting & helpful to read all of your personal experiences. I’ve been on Pristiq for approx 2 years & only recently realized how numb I’ve become. I’ve also gained about 30 lbs & became so tired – maybe worse than the depressed tired.

I decided I wanted to stop taking Pristiq & researched other people’s stories of coming off the drug. I decided to use a compounding pharmacy to decrease by 10mg every 2 weeks (I was on 50mg/day). The first month of 40mg & 30 mg were fine. Very few side effects, and they only seemed to creep up in the evening. (Shaky, cranky) But today I went down to 20mg & I’m having lots so withdrawal: nausea, exhaustion, cranky-mean, shaky & brain zaps. I hate this feeling & how cranky I am to my family.

However, I’m determined to get through this & get off this drug. I already feel so much more like myself…my sense of humour is coming back, my creativity in my work… There’s a sharpness that’s been missing that is slowly returning.

Best of luck to everyone else – I’ll update when these effects dissipate. Be well.

I am so thankful to have this forum where we all can share-it is good to know I am not the only one going through this!
I started taking ads about 10 years ago: first Lexapro (stopped being effective after 3 years), next Wellbutrin (stopped being effective after 2 years), then finally Pristiq five years ago. I felt I had to start taking something so I could raise my children and keep my marriage together.

I never intended to stay on something for the rest of life – just until the children were grown and my “having it all together” was not so important any more. Well, my last child just left for college; and (as so many have said) I came to realize I have been operating like a zombie for years. Looking back, I cannot say I wish I had never started taking it, because I remember feeling so horrible without it that my only emotion was sadness all the time- I could not enjoy any part of life.

So, I cut the tablets (50mg) in half for 2 weeks, then fourths for 2 weeks. Today I have been Pristiq-free for 2 weeks. The brain zaps have been bad, but someone told me MAGNESIUM MALATE would help & it has. For me, however, the physical withdrawal symptoms have been mild compared to the emotional symptoms. The mood swings are HUGE! I go from peaceful to outraged to hopeless. I am trusting this will pass over time, but does anyone have a time frame reference for me? My doctor has not been much help.

How will I know when the drug is out of my system & be able to determine whether this is just my natural state or a symptom of withdrawal? Remember, none of us started taking this drug just for fun! It was because things were not right when we were taking nothing at all! DOES ANYONE HAVE A TESTIMONY OF BEING DRUG-FREE AND FEELING GREAT? And how long does it take?

Thanks for your post, I decided to go all the way with getting Pristiq out quickly. I want to be free of it. I’m willing to go through some pain, instead of tapering I just want to feel normal, I’m bipolar not really depressed more anxiety ridden.

I really needed your post and it helps, my Dr. said there wouldn’t be w/ds. (don’t believe her) but have ativan, topamax, heck drink some if need be but trying to taper uugh for me just seems like I’ll never get off it.

One year 50 MG
(advice highly appreciated!)
Day one. Headache. Mini breakdown but determined!

I was on Pristiq 50 mg for a year due to anxiety…. One day I realized this drug numbed me and pretty much made me a zombie. However getting off it turned out to be a struggle but it is possible…. I found eating extremely healthy and working out as often as possible helped fast track the withdrawal symptoms…. headaches and dizziness seemed to be the worst. I did quit cold turkey and the symptoms latest for about a month and a half but just try and stay positive and you will get through it…

2 days off pristiq. It’s harder than I thought it was going to be. The withdrawals are terrible. I have cried all day, feel nauseated and foggy. I get this weird numb tingling sensation in my hands. That happened when I started it too. Have been on it for a few years. Not having a lower dose than 50mg makes it near impossible to wean off so I decided to go cold turkey to avoid the rollercoaster of symptoms that come with going on and off. Doing it with my doctor and support of family and friends.

If I can add anything it would be-don’t be a hero and try and do it alone. It’s like coming off any kind of drug and you need supportive people around you. It doesn’t make you any weaker for reaching out for help. All your experiences have been helpful in making this experience for me more real and makes me realise I am not alone and not insane for feeling what I am feeling. Thanks for that. Wish me luck!

If you have been getting off it for 3 months gradually with all these withdrawal effects, why not just stop. Ie., no more drug. Surely you are just dragging the withdrawal out?

I wrote a nice paragraph about my experience, hit the wrong button while proofing it and lost it before it posted. Glad I’m so determined to share my experience as it’s currently occurring and I am truly hoping it can help some other poor soul whose trying to go through the withdrawal process. First off I am Bi-Polar. I take mood stabilizers as well as Pristiq. Began taking the fancy combo of Lithium 900 mg 1xday, Equetro (increased dosage over time. It is a newer drug similar to Tegretol) and finally about 1 year ago we added Pristiq. Didn’t have any trouble with the addition of it. Initial dose was 50mg to start then eventually we went up to 100.

Because I’ve recently been experiencing rapid mood swings, (like daily and more severe) and I am aware that persons with Bi-Polar may not do well with being on any Anti-D for an extended amount of time, I became concerned that I was experiencing a condition referred to as “switching”. Rapid mood swings which frankly over the past 15 years I’ve rarely had. Always it came when I was on too many meds, or extended use of an Anti-d, etc. My doc agreed so last Saturday we began the weening process. He didn’t make me aware that there could be side effects. 😦 I was so caught up with preparing for 21 guests for T-giving I thought my aches and pains, mood issues i.e. irritability, outbursts, etc. were due the stress of cleaning, moving a ton of furniture around to accommodate the large group and being on my feet so many hours shopping, prepping and cooking all the food. My poor family thought I was becoming Manic. Oh joy.

I knew if I didn’t reduce my stress I WOULD become manic. I try hard to manage my illness. I’m very proactive after several years of living with it pretty near out of control. After going to bed Thursday night I awoke with pain everywhere! Could not sleep. Finally got up and took something like Motrin. Later that morning I soaked in the tub and stretched and tried to relax all my aching muscles. It really helped. Just my neck was not recovering. Took 3 motrin. No Help. Later on took one Aspirin which did numb the muscle pain a bit.

Woke up today with severe neck muscle pain again. Took two Aspirin but no help. Called my doc who then told me its a withdrawal symptom. GREAT. Thanks for telling me this LAST week. Called my GP as the Psychiatrist could only suggest Aspirin which of course isn’t working on its own. He did suggest warm compresses. Got out the heating pad. It helps. My family doc called back finally and prescribed a muscle relaxer along with 3 Motrin taken 3xday with meals. Just beginning this routine. Very hopeful it will work. Will post tonight or tomorrow with the results. I hope this helps anyone suffering with the aches and severe pains.

I have been taking pristiq for 3 years. I spoke with my doc about discontinuing, and was advised that this is one if the easier antidepressants to purge out of your system. I was told that my age, and “demographic” should take about 2 days to clear out, however it’s been about 2weeks now, and symptoms don’t seem to be subsiding. The symptoms I have experienced are all listed above except one. I wonder if anyone else has experienced a mild case of narcolepsy? I understand that fatigue is a common symptom, but I seem to feel well rested most of the time, but if I’m doing anything “less than stimulating”, I’m out like a light. (Meetings, work, long drives, movies etc..) this is very destructive to someone trying to live a fairly “normal” life.

I’ve tried sleeping more at night, (10-12hrs) but this doesn’t seem to make a difference. As much as I love a good nap, other people in my life, don’t seem to appreciate it when I nod off in mid conversation. My depression seems to be keeping at bay, for now, but I think this might change if I can’t stay awake (meetings, driving,..etc..). I understand that the drugs are not a “cure all”, and they simply help you cope while your body naturally heals from the sickness of depression, however how will my body heal from the medicine? I think that md’s should be better educated on how to explain all possible symptoms, before, during, and after any drug prescription.

This is something that all drug “watchdogs” should monitor. It seems way to easy to acquire any med that you can research. (All you have to do, is ask your doctor).

It is 1:15 am Monday. I wrote Saturday about the terrible aches and pains I was experiencing and my GP’s direction to take Motrin and a muscle relaxer. Pain was better Saturday night, but truly gets worse as the meds are wearing off. I could not sleep tonight despite taking the two and using a heating pad. Was hoping that the symptoms would be much better by now. Seeing my psychiatrist late morning today to discuss.

I have not experienced any of the other terrible withdrawal symptoms that others of you have written or asked about. I feel very fortunate that this is my one and so far only difficulty. I wish each of you the best with your individual circumstances.

When I talked to my for the 2nd time to let him know about the suggestion of a muscle relaxer, etc. from my GP I asked how long the withdrawal symptoms might last. He replied that it is different for everyone, but at most about 2 weeks. I’m halfway to that point. Hope he’s right!!

Thanks for all the posts! It really help me to decide not to take pristiq. I’m supposed to start taking it today but reading all ur posts last night were enough to scared me not to take pristiq. The doctor prescribed me placil for the first time last Nov 1 with inderal10mg as well to avoid my heart raising and I got all the side effects like massive headache, hot flashes, muscles spasm, muscle twitching, tingling sensation all over my body, confusion, raising heartbeat, dizziness and the feeling that I’m gonna die any moment, doctor said it will be gone after a week or 2, I took it Nov 1 and decide to go to the doctor who gave it to me coz my regular gp is on holiday at that moment, I went through hell the whole time I’m taking placil so I said to the doctor to change it coz I’m getting more panic and anxious every time I feel all the side effect coz I haven’t got sick like that before, the last time I got flu or fever when I was 17years old and I’m already 35 now and can’t believe I felt all that from
just a piece of tablet.

So he did ecg test to me and heart is normal, my only problem is I’m having an iron deficiency. The doctor prescribed me xanax (just 1 tablet a day 1 hour before I go to bed) he said it’s really good and no side effects, he told me he didn’t give it to me before coz its addictive, he said I can only take it for just 3 months with inderal10 (3x aday)for my heartbeat. I first took xanax on Nov 21 with inderal still but stop completely the placil. The next day I felt very normal and gave me a good sleep but a bit sleepy in day time too.

Dec 2 I feel a bit different, had headache until now which is come and go, and sometimes shortness of breath but I managed it by doing relaxation exercises, a bit of pins and needles, muscle spasm, muscle aches from my back up to my shoulder and next and sometime up to my jaw, Not sure if this a withdrawl symptoms from my first anti depressant placil so I went to my regular gp yesterday coz shes back and she want me to stop taking the xanax and inderal 10, she said the inderal 10 will make my blood pressure lower and my only problem is my iron so she wants me to continue my iron supplement and she gave me a same of pristiq 50mg for 4weeks.

She said xanax is only like a vallium and the effect is only 4hours but its addictive. I said I’m scared of the side effects and I don’t want to go through that again, she said side effects is only nausea and for 7 days only. But after reading all ur post here guys, especially about the withdrawals of pristiq, I called my gp this morning and let her know that I will cut the xanax tablet into 2 then start taking half every night for 2 weeks without taking the pristiq and lets see how I go, and she said I can do that and lets see, coz I have a feeling that I can manage my anxiety or panic attack and especially if we are trying to have our second baby, I’m 2 weeks off now from placil and just taking xanax so I’m crossing my fingers that all withdrawal symptoms will be gone soon and manage to help my self just in case I have another anxiety attack, good luck to all of u here guys! hope we all feel better soon 🙂 thanks again!!

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