My Dr. gradually tapered my dose, but the side effects are horrible. I am having dizziness, mind zaps, chills, emotional craziness & just real tired of feeling like this. I took my last dose 5 days ago. How much longer will this last?
The bad physical withdrawals should be starting to get better by day five or six depending on the person and your mind set.
Unfortunately it could last another week or so, but since it has already been almost a week the withdrawal effects should gradually lessen. If it really is unbearable you could try the lowest dose of Pristiq and take it every other day for a couple of weeks, then every third day for a couple of weeks before stopping again.
I suggest you contact your doctor and let him know. He can change your dose to fit your needs. However you must let him know !
It will take time. I have been going through the very long withdrawal process over the past 2 months, have been completely off the nasty drug for 23 days, and am STILL having slight withdrawal symptoms (dizzy, mind zaps, headache). I am hoping that they will end soon as I am now on an actual detox program to get rid of the drug. HORRIBLE DRUG with HORRIBLE WITHDRAWAL symptoms... would have been nice to know when I first started taking it. Good luck - look to friends and family for support - take vitamins and eat as healthy as you can. When you think you may be going "crazy"... try not to panic, take a deep breath and know that it's the drug and not you.
1 day 8 hours ago
I have been on Pristiq since June 2012 50mgs daily. I'm on day 4 of quitting cold turkey. First two days I didn't feel any different unti day 3 and 4. Been getting brain zaps all day. They are not to bothersome just don't move your eyes or head around to quick. I did puke yesterday, only because I exercised. Maybe I shouldn't have. I thought the withdrawals would be worse but they are not, thank god. I didn't want to taper off because I felt I would be prolonging the withdrawal symptoms. I didn't want to take a pill for the rest of my life so I quit. My wife says I've changed and that I was distant and wanted me back. I actually got worse when I started taking the pills. I had many anxiety attacks the first three weeks while on it. Oh I forgot to mention, I was on Pristiq for anxiety only not depression. I hope my side of the story about Pristiq helps. Any questions, feel free to ask away.
I know this post is old, however, I hope someone like me who was searching for answers finds this post helpful. I was on Prestiq for four years and have just started tapering off of the drug. I have experienced withdrawals but after a couple of weeks I have found myself drug free and getting stronger! I have found that I like myself and my life so much better without the use of this drug. First and foremost I have used the power of prayer! I do not have the strength to overcome these symptoms alone, but through prayer for each new day, I am overcoming and getting stronger one day at a time. Secondly, eat clean!! Junk creates brain fog and I am learning the power of food. Let me recommend Rick Warren's book "The Daniel Plan" to help get started.
Third, Exercise! I have found that this helps me get each day started! Leslie Sansone's DVD "Walk Strong" can be found at WalMart and is a very doable program that helps to get you moving! I know this sounds simple but with 1) Prayer 2) Proper Diet and 3) Exercise , I am gaining my life back one day at a time! Praise God!
I just wanted to add that I am having brain zaps, I call them Sparkelys, now for 4 years after stopping Pristiq. I can't work anymore they are such a distraction. I was a Sr Business Analyst in Information Technology and concentrating became impossible.
I've been on Pristiq 100mg for 3 years. I was diagnosed with major depression, anxiety and bulimia. Personally, I didn't notice much of a difference while taking it. But when I missed a dose by a day I'd feel extremely hungover and couldn't concentrate. My psychiatrist said something that I took really personally and just didn't want to go back to him, so he stopped prescribing me pristiq. I realized I couldn't get anymore refills with about 3 tablets left. So I cut them in half and took the halves every other day and then cut them in fourths. This was hell, especially during my final week of college. I'd hear my name being called a few times (slight auditory and visual hallucinations...
Extremely freaky) My significant other almost broke up because Of my crazy mood swings, I was having brain zaps all the time, cried at basically anything and everything, binged on so much 'junk food,' and probably gained about ten pounds. Also a few days ago I went out to a restaurant and fainted/passed and wet my pants in the process, it was probably because I was dehydrated but it was extremely scary.. Because I wasn't sure if it tied in with being off of pristiq. I've been off completely for about a week now. I feel a lot better than before, I still get occasional brainZaps, am tired often and am drinking a ton of water. Also I notice I get chills where it feels like my toenails and fingernails are going to fall off.. It feels like my sensory nerves are a little off at times. This is the absolute worse drug to get off of.
I'm so thankful for this support group. I'd like to hear anyone's opinions or related stories... Stick in there everyone.
I don't have a complete answer yet. I started taking the Prestiq (50 mg) two years ago. My doctor prescribed it to give me energy for my Fibromyalgia. I could kick myself in the head for not checking it out. Last summer I started having very bad dizziness, ringing in my ears and nausea. I was sick for almost three months before being diagnosed with Meniere's Disease. I forgot to get the script filled on time in December 2014. It took my doctor three days to get the script to my pharmacy and by then the Meniere's had started. I went to my family doctor and we decided to wean me off the medication. The Meniere's got worse so I had to call my ENT and he had to precribe valium for three days to settle down the dizziness, nausea, and ringing in my ears. It worked. I took the last dose on January 3rd. I have been drinking lots of water with lemon in it to try to keep flushing my body.
As of today, January 15th I still have ringing in my ears and the brain zaps that I got when the Meniere's started are still happening. I am going to report all of this to the FDA. I will never take this or any kind of drug like it again. Not only has it caused another disease, but I may never get over the Meniere's because of the Prestiq.
I don't know that's what I want to know.. I am having terrible withdrawal symptoms.. Crying, very bad night sweats, teeth chattering,headaches, stomach pain, heart racing before and in the midst of waking up from a restless night, and the feeling of coming to a stop on an elevator.. I guess that's the brain zaps everyone is calling it.. Im too looking for help, I am having the worse time of my life because of this med.. I will be so happy when its completely out of my system. I started taking it two weeks ago and stopped because my insurance won't pay for it, it has now been two full days since I quit
I've been on Pristiq for the past 2 years (50mg, then 100mg, and 50mg again), and I've gone cold turkey. My dr. says it's not a drug that you're supposed to taper off, neither break the pill or take on alternating days. I had really bad side effects, like excessive night sweat, anorgasmy, loss of libido, mind confusion, nistagm (shaky eyes) and other symptoms.
The treatment was great. I was a little bit distant and less emotional, but on different occasions, when I didn't take the pill in the morning, I'd feel severe side effects.
Cold turkey was going fine, maybe because I didn't forget the pill, so my mind was at ease without the meds. On my sixth day (yesterday) without it, around 5pm, I had a real bad loss of balance, my head was spinning, and a little nausea. It felt like I was high on something else. Had a little trouble to sleep, but I blacked out early and had, again, one of those surreal-extra-real-dreams. In the next morning I was still dizzy, so I took dramamine and the dizziness and drowsiness are under control.
Always remember that every drug acts differently on each person. Side effects and withdrawal will vary. DO NOT interrupt treatment without your dr's approval, and DO NOT take the drug without professional help - if you do, you're only half-helping yourself. :)
I am currently weaning off Pristiq 100. My Dr had me cut my 100s in half and take 1 (50 mg) every day for 2 weeks and then take that half pill every other day for 2 weeks. Wow. I am on the 1st week of every other day and today was the first day I really had a rough time with it. Symptoms include: headache, tiredness, stomach pain, nausea, shaky, crying, cold chills, then hot feelings, dizziness, mind zaps, and overall anxiety. I can't wait for this drug to be out of my system. Good luck to all of you who are in the same boat.
This a related question: I have none of the side effects listed anywhere for Pristiq and it is a miracle drug for my hard-to-treat-lifelong depression. However, recently I have been getting brain zaps even though I take the medication regularly. I just took a second one to ward off mild zaps ( I already had one this morning) and I have a very faint feeling of little zaps still. Am I developing some kind of immunity to this drug? Please, anyone with knowledge of this or with this experience please share. I hate the idea of taking an extra pill just to get rid of zaps.
So guys, to answer this question about splitting pills once and for all... YES you can and should split the pills in order to wean off the medication. My doctor told me in order to do it successfully though, I needed to take a LONG time doing the taper. I was on the 50mg pill daily and she told me to step down to 3/4 (THREE QUARTERS) of that 50mg pill and take that dosage for A MONTH. Then step down to 1/2 (ONE HALF) of a pill and take that dosage for a month. Then step down to 1/4 (ONE QUARTER) of a pill and take that for a month... That's 3 months so far... At that point she said it is important to keep dividing as small as you can. Take that quarter of a pill and split that in half, and take that portion for a month. Take that little portion and divide it in half and take that for a month and so on... She told me that when you get down to these minuscule amounts that I could just bite off a tiny piece.
When I started getting to the smallest sizes... Meaning all the sizes below a quarter of the pill, I would take that dosage for two weeks instead of a month. I just made that call and it worked out for me to do shorter periods of time when I was at that stage. She said that the most important thing is to take a long time and go gradually so your body doesn't notice the decrease as much.
I took this route and I can report that I had no trouble getting off the medication. My only problem is now that I am completely off I am experiencing some anxiety, malaise, a little depression and some other bad things that go along with those symptoms. These are things that I understand will take some time to get over... And that time is different for everyone from what I've heard. Aside from those things I have had none of the other symptoms such as brain zaps, dizziness, etc. that some people are reporting. All I can attribute this to is the very gradual taper that my doc prescribed.
I hope this helps and good luck.
I have been on Pristiq for 1 month after coming off Effexor. I was prescribed 100mg Pristiq and 300mg Wellbutrin. I have been on lexapro, effexor, and Pristiq and none of them work for me the way they should. My doctor told me to begin splitting the pill into 1/4 sizes. I am now taking a 1/4 every other day (if I can make it that long). The withdrawal from Pristiq is like nothing I have ever experienced in my entire life. Dizziness, brain zaps, hand swelling and ringing ears. I can deal with everything except for the dizziness. Now I am on 20mg Adderal in the a.m. and 10mg Adderal in the p.m. and still on the 300mg Wellbutrin and I feel really good. I will NEVER take Pristiq or Effexor again and I will never recommend anyone else try either of them. Pristiq is the most horrific drug that I know of with withdrawal side effects.
Now on the 1/4 every other day I would just love to know how much longer I need to do this and how much longer the brain zaps, ringing ears, and dizziness will last.
- Pristiq Information for Consumers
- Pristiq Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Pristiq (detailed)
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