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How Long Do Withdrawl Symptoms Last After Coming Off Pristiq


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#1 nc5108

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 12:59 PM

I took Pristiq for a little over a year after my grandfather, and dad passed away 3 monthes apart. At the time I didn't know the effects of grief and tried to avoid what I was going through. After taking pristiq for about a week or two I started to feel much better. My energy level was back up and I could finally consentrate on my work. I thought I had the miracle drug. Then about a year into taking pristiq I started having a lot of anxiety and wild thoughts. Again I tried to avoid the issue but it didn't seem to go away. I was getting tired a lot and just didn't feel like I had when I first started taking the meds. After talking to my family and the doctor I decided to come off the meds. The doctor told me I would have some shakey hands, light headed, headaches and nothing major. The first week I took a 1/2 a pill. That was the easy part. Then started having major anxiety, irational thoughts, racing mind, nausea, couldn't eat or sleep not a very fun week. By the 7th day and after crying daily and dealing with all the other withdrawls I felt a little better. Then came the week of taking a 1/2 a pill every other day. So the first day without It was OK, so I decided not to take any more just to get this over with. Not the worst idea but maybe not the best. The first 2 or 3 days were hard but with a lot of support and PRAYER I got though it (alot of headaches some irratinal thoughts but mainly thoughts of despair that this would never end). The fourth and fifth day I still experienced the side effects but maily the feelings of a roller coaster ride of emotions (I would be in a daze for a while then feel like crying for no aparent reason some anxiety but started to feel like my mind was starting to come back). The seventh day was going pretty well then I great feeling of despair that I was never going to get over this. I cried and prayed and was just scared but after praying and talking to my mom I got though it and the day started to get better. I am now on day 8 and the first day I haven't been at work going though all this. Today I feel like I'm on the other side of this drug. I can still feel some of the side effects and still a little bit of a rollercoaster ride but there is light at the end of the tunnel. I know I am not fully over the effects of this drug but glad to be on the other side of this medication

If I had any advice to give to anyone coming off this drug is first talk to the people closest to you and then talk to you doctor before coming off this medication. If it had not been for my parents, my wife, and the most important the lord I would not have been able to make it. I was never a very religous man but going though this and the loss in my family I have learned the importance of church and the relashonships we have with God and each other. If you have experienced loss in the past I suggest reading a small book called, Experiencing Grief by H. Norman Wright. I hope my experience can help anyone that reads this.

#2 BetterOff

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 02:04 PM

Hello and thanks for your testimony. Indeed its never easy coming off an AD as there *are* the usual withdrawal effects. But do be careful if you notice yourself starting to slip back into depression, try and evaluate yourself each day about are you feeling okay or is the anxiety and depression returning. Pristiq might not have been the medication for you but if you start to slip, then another one might be *the one*. And perhaps pristiq might have been the one if you were right at the level of theraputic but could have needed a slight increase if your brain had developed a resistance to the med. This often happens in that you develope a resistance to a certain AD, but usually it takes years, so I kinda suspect a slight increase might have done the trick. In any case you have to do what you feel is in your best interests of course. I just wanted to make sure you dont find yourself slipping back into anxiety and depression, so do make sure you analyze yourself each day if you are doing okay or backsliding...
Good Luck and hope you can go it alone without any help from an AD, its always great to hear that someone can do it and be successful.
Information supplied on Depression Forums by members should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for medical advice from a health professional or doctor.

#3 scothosw

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 12:32 PM

I started to take pristiq for anxiety, stressed out, anger, loss of interest in activities I used to like. Didn't have many side effects getting used to this drug, maybe some vivid dreams and harder to fall asleep at night. Took the drug for 2 years and although my symptoms were better, I still was not "into living life". The drug sort of tempered or buffered the anxiety in that I just I just didn't get too worked up about things. That also was the same buffering for pleasurable emotions like pride, love, and sense of desire. So I was basically not feeling numb but all emotions were even keeled or buffered from getting too high. I drank alcohol before and during pristiq. Not the point of it was affecting my daily life but probably more than I should of. Three or 4 nights a week I would drink with my wife. I work from home and I wasn't getting much exercise so in last 7 years gained about 50 lbs.

This last January I decided I wanted to be in better physical shape and start to lose some weight as I was about 300lbs at 5 foot 11. I didn't look overly obese as I could carry the weight well but I was fatter than I ever wanted to be. I joined a 10 week program on Jan 3rd. It was 6 days a week for 1 hour and I created myself a new eating lifestyle. I stopped drinking. Within the first 2 weeks I started to feel alive again. Granted, I was 300lbs in a serious workout program so I was having to do alternate exercises but the instructors kept steering me into "giving it all you can". I was so out of shape I almost vomited twice the first week during the workouts.

After 2 weeks into that I felt so good with anxiety, stress, and anger that I decided to start weaning off pristiq. Did every other day for 1week, then did every 3rd day for 2 weeks. I am now on day 10 of no Pristiq and wow, I'm over the hump. Withdrawals were terrible though. Brain zap followed immediately followed by vertigo. Anger bursts followed by feeling like I had ADD. I've quit self medicating before and I thought that was bad. That was NOTHING compared to this drug's withdrawal. I'm still not completely over the side effects but I can function with them now and they get less and less every day. Get good sleep. One of the withdrawals was insomnia, and lack of sleep will amplify the withdrawal symptoms. Vicious cycle. I used Ambien occasionally. One odd thing to note is that the days I ate Turkey breast I felt better. I usually eat something small every 3-4 hours. The times I missed a meal, symptoms were worse. The one day of the week I rest on my workout program, the symptoms were worse supporting the fact that strong exercise releases endorphins. The days I didn't drink enough water my withdrawals were worse too.

The bottom line is right now I feel and perform mentally better than I have in 7 years. Scheduled exercise, balanced nutrition plan, and hydration (1 gallon min a day) has brought me back to life again and helped me get off pristiq and decrease the withdrawal effects. If your going to do exercise, do yourself a favor and join something where a group of you are in class together with an instructor. Some may not have financial means to do this, so find a buddy and set your own workout up in your house. Every exercise I do can be done in a 6 *10 floor area. You don't even need weights to buy, you can buy bands. Turn on some music and pump up the body. Even if you have an injury, there is ALWAYS something you can do to get your heart rate up. Don't say to yourself, I'm too out of shape or too overweight, that's not a medical excuse. Trust me, that was my excuse and my neighbor talked me out of thinking like that.

I know everyone's depression/anxiety issues are unique but one thing that is constant, nutrition and exercise can assist in your therapy if not be the only therapy you need like me.

PM me for a great website to look up all kinds of foods that are healthy. You need to click on FOOD list at the way top to see the listings of all the foods. There are 2 different businesses that hold 10 Week fitness courses in my city. After the "boot camp" you can continue on as an alumni member for a yearly fee. If you live in a city of over 100,000 chances are you have one too, check them out. I did and it's been the best thing I've done in years.

To sum this post up. Pristiq withdrawals are brutal, taper the meds, eat healthy, get proper sleep, drink lots of water, exercise, and expect 1 week of "hard to even function" to 2nd week of getting better day by day.

Edited by lindahurt, 17 February 2011 - 12:53 PM.
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#4 memoi

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 08:14 PM

Hey there,

One of the posters, back in 09' mentioned 'flashes of dizziness' after coming off of Prestiq. I've been having the same exact symptom - almost like little electric impulses - usually 2-3 within a sec and quick (less than a sec) bouts of dizziness after each impulse. I've also felt more clumsy than on average. My reduction period (weening period) was 3 weeks long, 1 pill every other day for a week, followed by 1 pill every 2 days for a week, then just two pills the last week. I took my last pill two weeks ago, but I still get these 'flashes of dizziness' throughout the day (worse at night) - but really no other symptoms (except the increased clumsiness). I get plenty of exercise, I'm not over-weight, I don't smoke and I drink, maybe 3 cups of alcohol a week. I was taking pristiq for, which the Dr. called, stress related panic attacks.

I believe they are related to Prestiq since I would get the exact same symptoms on the days prior to taking the pill during the weening period.

Has anyone else had withdrawal symptoms which have lasted more than 2 weeks? If yes, how long last for?

Thank you

Edit: I just read the above post and the poster called them 'brain zaps' - that's better way to sum up "little electric impulses - usually 2-3 within a sec and quick (less than a sec) bouts of dizziness after each impulse."

Edited by memoi, 25 February 2011 - 08:22 PM.


#5 nogoodusernamesleft

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 06:08 PM

Hi all,

I am only new to this forum and am unsure if I am doing this correctly..but anyway..

I have been on Pristiq for the last 7 months and my doctor has decided to change me to Cipramil, after a period of tapering off. He did not mention anything about the severe withdrawal (discontinuation) effects I am currently experiencing. I thought starting this drug was bad, coming off it is so much worse, I feel like I am living in hell. (And my doctor is conveniently on holidays!!)

At this point, it has now been 36 hours since I stopped taking pristiq and I am unable to go to work or function normally because of these unbearable "brain zaps". I couldn't describe the feeling to my family except as a tingling odd feeling starting in my head and spreading through my body. After a little research I have now discovered these are called "brain zaps" or "electric shock" feelings. I am getting these ALL the time, all day, worse in the afternoons, and it is driving me absolutely INSANE. I don't think I can take this anymore.

I am having the worst sorts of nightmares and racing thoughts, I cannot concentrate on anything and driving is becoming a real issue for me. I have lost my appetite (not a bad thing considering the weight I put whilst using Pristiq). The rational side of me is saying it HAS to get better, but amidst my uncontrollable crying bouts, electrical shocks and increased anxiety, not to mention extreme exhaustion - I am scared that this is all there is.

I am reading these effects can take some time to fade away, it's having the strength to get through it that is my concern.

Has anybody else felt like this and, please, does it get better?

Thanks.

#6 nogoodusernamesleft

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 06:32 PM

Thank you, and I will read more under the Pristiq forum. The best part is, I know I'm not alone! Thanks again.

#7 lindahurt

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 06:34 PM

Hello nogoodusernamesleft,

I'm so sorry that you are really having to endure these side effects but there are others who have been weaned off and experiences differ. I hope that some will share their experiences with you and give you more insight on how long it took them to recover. You might want to take a look through some of the posts under the Pristiq forum to see what other members have already said about Pristiq. Contact your doctor as soon as you can to see if you can take something to temporarily help you endure these symptoms. I wish you the best and hang in there.

We are glad to have you apart of our community. We have wonderful members who don't mind listening and offering support. Please make yourself comfortable and we forward to hearing more from you. Keep us abreast of your progress.

Lindahurt

Hi all
I am only new to this forum and am unsure if I am doing this correctly..but anyway..

I have been on Pristiq for the last 7 months and my doctor has decided to change me to Cipramil, after a period of tapering off. He did not mention anything about the severe withdrawal (discontinuation) effects I am currently experiencing. I thought starting this drug was bad, coming off it is so much worse, I feel like I am living in hell. (And my doctor is conveniently on holidays!!)

At this point, it has now been 36 hours since I stopped taking pristiq and I am unable to go to work or function normally because of these unbearable "brain zaps". I couldn't describe the feeling to my family except as a tingling odd feeling starting in my head and spreading through my body. After a little research I have now discovered these are called "brain zaps" or "electric shock" feelings. I am getting these ALL the time, all day, worse in the afternoons, and it is driving me absolutely INSANE. I don't think I can take this anymore.

I am having the worst sorts of nightmares and racing thoughts, I cannot concentrate on anything and driving is becoming a real issue for me. I have lost my appetite (not a bad thing considering the weight I put whilst using Pristiq). The rational side of me is saying it HAS to get better, but amidst my uncontrollable crying bouts, electrical shocks and increased anxiety, not to mention extreme exhaustion - I am scared that this is all there is.

I am reading these effects can take some time to fade away, it's having the strength to get through it that is my concern.

Has anybody else felt like this and, please, does it get better?

Thanks.


Edited by lindahurt, 01 March 2011 - 06:36 PM.

Even in the most horrific of situations, one's attitude has an enormous role in shaping what happens ~ Viktor Frankl
In you lies the power to choose, to commit - Stephen Convey

 
The kind of person you want to become is greatly influence by your inner decisions, and not from outside influence alone. We can even under adverse circumstances, decide what shall become of us ~ Brian C. Stiller



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#8 Ninja29

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Posted 28 May 2011 - 09:31 AM

I w reading all your comments and I knew exactly wat most of you are saying. I suffer depression n anxiety and for years I never accepted treatment until I was done with it effecting my work n social life. My gp prescribed me with 50mg of prestiq after few months I felt quiet good n noticed an inprovment. After now being on it for more thang 18 mnths I am getting withdrawals even taking the 50mg everyday still. Few weeks ago I ran out n didn't take my daily dose by 11am I was very dizzy, light headed yet my head felt pressure it was unbearable I had to drive myself to get my script just to take the dose. Today I felt exactly the same and I have taken it. I'm very aggitated, light headed n feel just totally out of balance. I need to see my gp ASAP. I hope they may b able to gv me something for the withdrawals as I want to get off this but I am certain that It may heighten my depression n anxiety as it's how I am feeling already! The way I felt bring 5-6hrs off my daily intake was terrible n I'm very concerned how I will cope with withdrawals




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