Pristiq An Libido- Advice Needed!

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LisaPud Says:

I have been taking Pristiq for about 3 years now due Anxiety attacks. After taking the drug for afew days I had the worst anxiety i'd ever had, i had horrible nightmares, nausea and bad headaches these symptoms completely disapeared by about a month after starting it. After the first month life was great I was back to my normal self, I could eat food again (which was the main reason for my anxiety attacks). For about 2 years it worked great for me with minimal side effects mainly brain ticks if i took the pristiq too late in the day, If i completely forgot the tablet I would be bed ridden the entire next day with terrible brain ticks, headaches and nausea, although 99 percent of the time I felt fine. I fell pregnant with my now 9 month old baby girl and decided to stay on pristiq while I was pregnant becasue i didnt think id be able to handle morning sickness etc without any anti anxiety meds.. She is a very healthy happy baby although she did have withdrawals when she stopped breastfeeding at 6 weeks, she only had one terrible day when she screamed all day which we later realised that she was having withdrawal symptoms. Luckily it didnt last long. I have now decided that it might be time to come off the Pristiq as my Libido is pretty much non existant and it is taking a big toll on my relationship. My plan is to first see my doctor and make a plan of how to come off the Pristiq, I am also going to start taking vitamin B supplements and Id like to give accupuncture a go.. Has anyone else got any ideas on how to make this easier? any feedback on accupuncture or has anyone else had libido issues?? Thanks :)

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Joie Says:

Yes. I have gained some weight and have no interest in sex with my husband. I dont sleep well at night but i am tired all day. Maybe taking my pill in the morning would change that. I dont know, but I do know that I will be getting off pristiq as soon as he gets off cymbalta. We are doing this one at a time so we have each other for support. Sounds like it might be a rough ride for awhile for us. But we are looking forward to finding more natural solutions to our mental health problems.

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Fran Says:

I am so happy that ur bubba is in good health. I too have been taking pristiq for 3 years. In the last 6 months I have been on 100mg as I had a bit of trouble when I tried to wean off the 50mg....? Not quite sure how I ended up on 100? Anyway I am still on 100mg and have just found out I am 3 months pregnant(long story) I want to cut back to 50mg and try and get off completely for the health of the baby, but sounds like there is a chance that even on 50mg bubba will be ok! U have made my day knowing that it has turned out good ! My doctor too thinks that the risks outweigh the benefits of withdrawal, but I want to get off it due to the limited research of birth impacts? What do u think?

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Lisapud Says:

Hi Fran, I am glad my message has helped you :) I wish I had of had some more info on the affects on babies but there wasnt really any info out there. I just had to do what was right for me because if i wasnt on pristiq i wouldnt be eating and definitely wouldnt have coped through my pregnancy! When I stopped breastfeeding I had mastitis really bad and was hospitalised for afew days and was really sick, I had to give up breastfeeding because of the mastitis... because I was so sick we completely forgot about the withdrawal symptoms with my daughter because she wasnt getting my milk anymore so she pretty much came off it cold turkey! (poor girl)! she didnt cry for almost the whole time she was on breast milk (we think she was just kept happy because she was on antidepressants haha) the first time she really cried was the day after I stopped feeding her, she screamed for the whole day any time i stopped moving she would scream.. I had no idea that she was suffering from withdrawals until about a week later when i suddenly realised! luckily she was back to her normal self the next day. She is now ten months and is a happy healthy extremely smart girl! I still havent come off pristiq yet as i have been having a fair bit of anxiety lately and dont think its the right time at the moment.. I hope this helps and good luck with your baby! Being a mum is the best! :)

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Fran Says:

What freakin rough run! U poor thing! I am happy that she did not have many days of withdrawal but u cannot feel bad as like u said (and it's the same for me) u have to do what it right for u too otherwise it has negative impacts on both u and bub. I forgot to write about libido before too. I have not noticed a difference in mine. I actually think that it increased in second trimester. As I started on pristiq I also think it increased cause I started to feel better about my self. This is day 4 of weaning from 100mg to 50 mg. the first 2 days were disgusting with brain zaps shakes anxiety and panic attacks, but by day 3 they have started to ease. I didint alternate between 100 and 50 just started the 50 and pushed through. I really want to make it off the 50 but it's really hard cause u can't cut the tablets. I found quitting smoking cold turkey easier ! Im not a really alternate person, but I have found that visual meditations really help in times of panic attacks! Weird and out there I know, but if u can teach urself to take ur mind elsewhere and slow ur breathing it really helps control the withdrawal anxiety. If ur like me the anxiety was there before the tablets and you need to teach urself to deal with it in other ways if u no longer want to rely on pristiq. Lol I didn't beleive any of that but after many horrible weaning attempts I have found it the only healthy vice. I am also very conscious that mental health can be in ur genetic predisposition ANC u may need medication for ur whole life, and like diabetics and asthmatics, its a medical condition which u need medication for. But if not all aspects of ur life are satisfied on Pristiq then u need to try to wean off or try another medication. I would just say that when and if u chose to wean from Pristiq be ever so gentle with yourself. Be aware that it is very hard and make sure u don't give up if u can't get there on first attempt. I have myself permission to cry and drop the ball for the next few weeks and only focus on eating sleeping and attending work. I wish u all the best with whatever choice make and hope u enjoy watching iur bubba grow up. I am feeling much better about remaining on pristiq now I know that good things can happen. (I am such a worrier) take care x Fran :)

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Jenna Says:


Based on my research, Pristiq, as well as other antidepressants, can cause many sexual side effects- including decreased sex drive. That being said, Pristiq could most definitely be the culprit! I think getting off of Pristiq with the help of your doctor and support of your husband could surely help. If your sex drive doesn't come back after getting off Pristiq- it could be a hormone imbalance. Nonetheless, acupuncture can help with a decreased sex drive so if you do try that- you could be in luck!

I've personally used acupuncture for a nerve in my foot that was causing me pain (the pain mainly came from a cortisone shot that was supposed to help with the nerve- but actually caused skin atrophy)! The acupuncture definitely helped! I've done extensive research on the practice before and I definitely recommend trying it. You may also be interested in acupressure- which is less invasive than acupuncture, because there are no needles involved (even though the needles used with acupuncture are as thin as a strand of hair-so it's not really painful). Acupressure is a therapy that was developed in Asia and dates back 5,000 years. The way it works is by using the fingers to gradually press key healing points, which stimulate the body's natural self-curative abilities. It is considered an ancient healing art. Essential oil aromatherapy may also be beneficial for you. I believe it can even be used in conjunction with acupressure massage to help relieve headaches, anxiety, as well as pain and many other ailments. I am a big essential oil fan and I find that certain ones (like orange, and other citrus oils) really help boost my mood. :)

Also, I noticed that you mentioned B vitamin supplements- so I thought I'd recommend B vitamin patches as opposed to pills. I find the patches to be much more effective since 95% of the vitamins and other active ingredients are delivered straight into the bloodstream- as opposed to getting digested and thrown away (in a sense)!

I hope my reply helps, if you have any more questions/comments please post back!

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Kenny Says:
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You can cut them, I have, just don't take 2 separate peices, the time release is in the matrix not in the covering. I dropped to 50 from 100 or roughly 50 anyhow. They are hard to cut even with a pill cutter. First week was a little diffulcult as u mentioned I cut my half of 100 into half last night, so that puts me at roughly 25s so far so good, I will stabilize here at 25s for a few weeks and if all goes well cut those to12.5 then just keep going till I'm clear.

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Kenny Says:
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Updat Nov the 23rd I have been on the cut 25s since Nov 2nd I am stable on them, was not as bad as comeing from 100 to 50s, my next move is 25 to 12.5 I think I have lost a little bit of weight. I feel great most of the time, but I don't feel like I'm ready to do the 12.5 yet. Maybe next week or week after. I have been on this drug or similar for 6 years so I'm giving my brain a little extra time to adjust.

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Kenny Says:
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Been cutting to 12.5 now for 3 weeks, I started this week of going extra hours from when it was time to take it I'm now at about 30-32 hours between doses. It's not to bad now, it does get bad at about 32 hours but it settles out quick once the 12.5 peice is taken. Main thing now is a headache if sleeping Advil helps a lot .

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