How do I stop taking Pristiq?
- 15 Jun 2009 by anitsuj
- 23 September 2019
You should never stop taking Pristiq abruptly. If you need to stop taking Pristiq, you should do so under the supervision of your doctor and the dose should be reduced gradually (or by taking less frequently if the dose is one pill a day) to minimize withdrawal symptoms.
The withdrawal symptoms of Pristiq include dizziness, nausea, headache, irritability, insomnia, diarrhea, anxiety, fatigue, abnormal dreams, and sweating. The longer you have been taking Pristiq, the more likely you will be to have any of these symptoms. If any of these symptoms occur and are unbearable, your doctor will increase the dose of Pristiq, then gradually start reducing again. Good luck.
I quit pristiq over about a month to six weeks, after taking it for 3 months. I cut tablets in half, then quarters, taking half for a month, then quarter for two weeks, then quarter every second day for another two weeks. Was fine this way.
After 10 months, I am now looking at beginning pristiq again.
I agree strongly with robo. Never just stop taking Pristiq, or you will have horrible withdrawls from it. You have to taper down from it, like shalloway3 was saying. I did that once, and it was no walk in the park. I ended up missing it and getting back on Pristiq. I'm still taking it. Good luck to you, and take care. Ruth
Stop taking Pristiq very, very carefully especially if coming off 100mg tablets. I believe my doctor has very good professional credentials but he failed to mention the pitfalls of reducing Pristiq dosages to zero. Withdrawal symptoms are accurately described in the patient information so study them carefully and be prepared for the worse case scenario. I came off 100mg much too quickly and have been miserable for a week. I think I'm through the worst withdrawal symptoms but it has been a rocky road getting to this point. I am determined to exhaust all non-prescription treatments for depression before going back to Pristiq because getting off the drug is so difficult. I believe my depression is more of the seasonal variety (SAD) so my first line of defense when daylight decreases will be a lightbox and exercise.
Has anyone had experience with a lightbox? Did you find it helpful? What is a reasonable cost for such a device? Thank you for any insights on managing depression without becoming dependent on medication.
I believe I was a depressed baby! I am a 59 year old married mother of 5 and an RN. I started taking Prozac about 20 years ago. Worked wonders for my depression. About 5 years ago, my depression started getting worse and worse. To make it short, I started going to a nurse practitioner at that time. I have been on SO MANY different meds... alone and in combination with others. A couple of months ago I was on Lamictal, Celexa, Pristiq, Adderall, Ambien and Klonopin (prn)... I'm sure spelling is incorrect on some... but all these at the same time! NOTHING worked over a month or so at most. She kept adding and taking away. These are NOT the only meds she tried. I swear! There were times I thought I was going to die... and could very easily have done just that. After a horrible meltdown one Sunday, I started doing some research. I want to be off meds!! I started looking at ECT. I saw her that week and told her what I wanted.
She took me off everything "cold turkey" except the Pristiq and Ambien. I have started ECT... have had 8 treatments and feel better than I have EVER felt in my whole life... but the problem is Pristiq!!! Withdrawal is horrible!! Was on 50mg a day for 2 1/2 year. Even going one day without is not good, although going to do every other day to start off with. I was NEVER warned about this. Everytime I stand I think my heart is going to explode! I have researched Withdrawal from the drug, and realized that the feeling is very common. I called my pharmacist today, too, for reassurance... otherwise I would have been in ER! I hate this drug! I feel horrible on it, and I know getting off is going to be even worse. Check out ETC. Expensive, but thank GOD my insurance covers it. Good luck!
My doctor adviced me to come off pristiq once I know that I'm pregnant. But he is not sure if its safe for me without pristiq during pregnancy, because it depends on me if there is no anxiety during the pregnancy term. But afraid to come off.
I hope someone who has the same problem advice me.
There is 25 mg dose of Pritiq. I am in the process of coming off Pristique after a few years on doses up to 100 mg. I was on 50 mg and my doctor put me on 25 mg for one month and then Proxac for 10 days. She said this will bring me off Pritiq smoothly.
I know how bad it feels to try to quit this drug. I tried it once and the shocking feelings in my head were terrible.
Check with you Doctor.
Iv been taking Pristiq now for 2-3 years I'm on 100mg,Iv been coming off them.
It's been really hard,I was working today and had to go home.
Dizzy,tightness in my head,anxiety,feeling jittery,irregular heart beats and feeling as if I'm going to just drop to the floor...
My doctor prescribed this drug for depression and anxiety,but honestly they seem now to be the least of my worries. This is horrible!!! I don't want to be reliant on this drug anymore.
I'm decreasing my dosage under the watch of my doctor,am I coming off too quickly? It's been a 2 week proses off doing 100mg 1 day and then the 2nd day 50mg,I was fine though this proses now I'm just on the 50mg once a day.this is when the symptoms became a lot worse... Iv also quit smoking at the same time. Will I be ok? Will these symptoms pass?
I was on 100 mg as well. I stopped pristiq by cutting the pill in half, half again, then stopped. I've been off them now for 8 weeks. I went through the nausea, vomiting, headaches, body pains,I still suffer the brain freeze at times, but a lot better. Never again will I use that drug. It's not safe for human consumption. Be strong, you can get off it, positive thoughts. Good luck everyone.
I was on 400mg pristine for several years, it was the hardest to come off (I was also taking dothiepin, cymbalta and others that I can't even remember). I stopped because the psychiatrist wanted me to start taking Lamictal despite being 90% sure that I will end up in hospital for stevens-johnson syndrome. The others were easy to taper down but as I'd been on such a high dose of pristine for so long it has really taken its toll on me. I went down slowly to 100mg then stayed on that for a few months, then 50mg for a few months (had to go to my gp for a new prescription - do not cut the tablets in half!)
A few days ago I forgot a dose and was crying etc so I thought I may as well stop now if I'm already past the mental breakdown, so I was off it for a few days then accidentally took one 50mg by force of habit and then nothing for the last few days. I feel physically awful though, I am so dizzy I feel drunk all the time. I slept for 14 hours last night and I'm just as tired as I have been for the past few days, which is extremely tired. Not sleepy as such, but like if I close my eyes I have the overwhelming feeling I will fall down and sleep for another 10 hours. It making blinking exhausting.
I'm not sure if this is due to pristiq or something else, I'm hoping its the pristiq as I have a family history of MS and vertigo was my mums first symptom. I am not having "brain zaps" I don't think, lots of other people reported that on other websites.
I have been taking 50mg Pristiq for 3 months. My Psychiatrist put me on it for depression and after Zyprexa was causing me sleeping issues. I was hoping this medicine would help but I have been feeling more depressed and sleeping just as much (12-14hrs). All I do is sleep. I want off of it! I hate it. Plus I don't have insurance so it's $345. How can I get off off it myself? Can I cut it down shortly? Can anyone help?
Very slowly. It's absolutely possible. Please check out dr Kelly brogdan's work. Her book: A mind of one's own. She specializes with medication tapering.
I have been taking Pristiq since the age of 23. I am 31 years old. I have been on the lowest dose (50mg) and have never increased. I always taken my Pristiq consistantly at night. I have tried countless times to get off of it and it was horrible with the discontinuation effects. I have consulted with many pharmacists. My brother-in-law is a pharmacist and my cousin is also a pharmacist. They have commented that this is also one of the most expensive medications for anxiety and depression because of it's special time release capabilities.
I would suggest, if you are looking at going off of it, try it as many times as you can, even if you have to retake it because the withdrawal effects are too much. This medication is about building strength in understanding the withdrawal effects and being prepared to mentally withstand the withdrawal effects. I have tried countless times and I have to say that I am mentally and physically ready. I believe that this medication has helped me in many great ways, but in order to have a baby one day, I cannot be on this medication in fear of birth defects. This medication has done it's job and I am grateful that it exists but not so happy that it will hurt to go off of it.
In my many trials of going off Pristiq, I was told to take it every second day - I realized this just played pingpong with my brain and I felt horrible. So I took it consistantly again because I was not ready to handle the withdrawal effects. I did this countless times because I was told never to split the medication because it is time release and it would get into my system too quickly and wear off too soon.
I gained courage again and attempted again but this time, with a consistent follow up with a pharmacist that told me that with antianxitey antidepressant medication, it is all about milestones. What is your goal in coming off this medication? The best solution I have come up with this is this medication has served me for the time I needed it, my goal now is that I am feeling ready to see if I can manage with out it. I look at it positively with the goal that I want to be free of any brain stabilizing medication so I can have a healthy baby.
After bouncing around how I am to do this, I decided I will split the medication. At least it is getting into my system, maybe it will wear off, but at least it won't be as bad as not taking it completely. I bought myself a good pill cutter at the pharmacy and I decided to keep taking my medication at night.
Today is day 22 of splitting my 50mg Pristiq. At the beginning I felt a little weird, but it was completely tolerable. I knew it was something I was mentally prepared to deal with. If you are a woman, PMS is a factor you must configure in as well because hormones can play with your brain. Ask yourself this question: are my tears horomonally induced or chemically induced? Keep staying strong that is the key. Keep reminding yourself that it is completely normal the feelings you are feeling.
I am working with the 12-step model of recovery and doing Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. It is a God-send. It is helping my to process and thinking this through.
For anyone reading this - I have been reading forums and journals about how to get off this medication. I felt it was my duty and service to say my journey with Pristiq. I hope it has helped you. Remember that this medication has helped me when I needed it, and I thank it for doing it's job.
I was on 100mg for 4 years. I cut down to 50mg with quite a bit of ease. There were a few sleepless nights and irritability but this passed. I stayed on this dose for a year trying to find the "right time" to get off the medication.
Just over a month ago I ran out of my meds and due to a bit of financial hardship I had to go without for 3 days. This was extremely hard. Mood swings, zaps, nausea, jittery, shakes etc
Once I had the dose I was alright but I used this as a push.
For the past month I have been doing one day on one day off.
The first week was hard but eventually got easier I was able to attend work and just push on.
Now I am going 2 days off one day on. It's slow but I have decreased and don't feel like I need it to survive. It's just a very long process. During this I have avoided alcohol completely kept social calls to a minimum etc the main thing is to ensure there are destructions and to just push through.
I need to see my doctor again to find out how long to do the 2 days off one day on for but I am starting to see light. Hopefully it continues.
Ps. Since taking pristiq have kept the same diet yet ended up with fatty liver - weird coincidence?
I have been taking Pristiq for nearly 2 years and antidepressants for about 20 years. Pristiq worked for a few months but then the side effects began but dr encouraged me to stay on. Almost a year ago I found an Integrative Psychiatrist who is adamant that in most cases drugs are not the answer and are harmful to the body. I agree. I've been tapering off Pristiq 50 by taking 1 every other day for 10 days, then skipping 2 days and now skipping 3. Ive been having the classic withdrawal symptoms (dizziness, tinnitus, bad dreams, brain zaps, cold sweats, etc.) which are like worsened side effects but are gradually becoming less severe. I swear I will never take this drug again. It's brutal. The most helpful thing leading up to stopping it and getting through the withdrawals is mindfulness meditation. You don't have to be of any faith group, you just learn to change your thinking processes.
A good app for learning this practice is called insight timer. They have a wealth of teachers who will guide you at no charge. Also while on Pristiq I was very drowsy and could not function before noon. I am now up and alert at 8:00 thanks to starting to get this drug out of my system. Also I find Tylenol really helps reduce the brain zaps.
- Pristiq Information for Consumers
- Pristiq Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Pristiq (detailed)
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