Weaning Off Pristiq (Thread 227911)

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Kendall Says:

I just wanted to tell all of you trying to get off pristiq, its possible. I was on pristiq for severe panic attacks for 6 months. It saved my life. It gave me a chance to slow down my career, gave me a huge wakeup call. This drug put a cloud over my brain. I was not my happy, fun loving self. I was like a step ford wife. You cant wean off this pill. I was on 50mg. I did every other day for a month. Every third day for two weeks then cold turkey. It really was not so bad. I layer on my couch for three days, cried a bit and watched movies. I'm happily on all holistic medications, no longer a slave to pristiq. If I can beat anxiety, anyone can. My biggest advice.. Exercise. Next, surround yourself with positive people. Three, talk out your problems. Good luck.

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Verwon Says:

Fantastic advice and very glad that you were able to wean off it so successfully.


On the rare occasions I get stressed out and suffer from anxiety, my doctor is fond of reminding me that one of my prescriptions is to go chill out and watch a good comedy!

Are there any questions or comments?

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S Says:

I'm coming off Pristiq now, I was on 50mg for a year and a half, and 100mg for 6 months. I felt okay, but it seemed like the drug was protecting me from being super happy, as well as being super sad, so I decided I'd rather handle my issues armed with the knowledge given to me by my psych and be able to feel higher happy moments again.

I went down from 100mg to 50mg with minimal side-effects. I had the "brain zaps" that weren't painful, more like lapses in thought or stability or something I can't really explain (which was accompanied with a weird split second lapse of hearing too). They only lasted a day though.

Now I've finally come off altogether, but the brain zaps are much more extreme and don't seem to be wearing off as fast. It's day 3 now and it seems to just be getting zappier. Can't wait till it's over!

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Verwon Says:

I know exactly what you are talking about with the 'brain zaps', I experienced them when I was on Zoloft for a few years for my OCD and go off of it.

It took several months for mine to completely wear off, after being on it for several years and going off cold turkey, so even with the taper, you can probably expect yours from the Pristiq to last for a few weeks.


Is there anything else I can help with?

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Kendall Says:

Hi there! My brain zaps got better after 7 days, now one month off and completely gone! My life is so much better now, I'm dealing with my issues by exercising, surrounding myself with awesome people and remembering anxiety disorder isn't so bad. I didn't let it define me, or own me! You can do it, you'll be great and just remember, take it easy and give it seven days for the brain zaps to ease!

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Cheryl Says:

Hi S,
I just read your post on Pristiq and wondewred after you went to 50mg how did you wean from there and since you haven't posted since if the brain zaps and all side effects stopped and when, thanks for the info!

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Kendall Says:

Hi Cheryl,

I started with every other day for one month. It was easy, didn't even notice the change. Then for two weeks I did every third day and that about killed me. The brain zaps and unhappiness about drained me. I made it through two week and decided it was time to stop. I took 5 days off my job, which was really hard because I recently had opened a business.. But I knew it was best. I slept a lot, cried a lot and tried to get out of the house as much as possible after 72 hours because it helped take my mind of the uncomfortableness. After a month the brain zaps went away completely, after 5 days I was back to work. I now work out five days a week, I believe in mediation and positive thinking. I Through away my pills because I wasnt strong enough not to cave. I believe that if you don't give yourself the option to go back to pristiq, your mind is powerful enough to help you through it. Im almost three months off my medication and Im crossing my fingers I never have another panic attack. I'm really not that strong, but I knew if I wanted to be me again, I would have to stop the mind attacking drug pristiq! You can do it. Surround yourself with positive energy, happy thoughts and prepare yourself for the worst 5 days of your life and you will be just fine! I wish you the best!

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Jennifer Says:

I'm following your great advice about getting off pristiq. Exercise, talking...everything I used to do was different on this drug. My weight went way up and so did my blood pressure. I feel sad at times and cry...but a normal sad...because I started taking it after my Mother died. Losing her changed me forever...but I need to grieve. I am strong because of having her as my Mother. As far as anyone taking a medication, you can always go back on it, but you CAN, get off this drug and figure out what you really need to live this amazing life. Give yourself a chance and say "I can do this", through the tears until you feel better. You will feel better.

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Philip Rubin Says:

I'm on day 3 of cold turkey. Getting some zaps. I'm trying to turn the experience from a negative to a positive. I look at the brain zaps as energizing me. Yesterday I let myself relax and slept til 4. A little 420 seems to help. I know the outcome is still unknown but I'm going to give it a shot.

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rose Says:

thank u so much today is my first day off from being on pristiq for a year and half due to panic attacks and depression i switched to vibryd and im going thru terrible withdrawls and new drug side effects thank u bec i feel the same way i cant be happy on pristiq its a cloud on my head and i feel numb so please wish me luck

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Amber Says:

Hi there! Am weaning off Pristiq after 18 months use on 100mg. I have been on 100mg one day and 50mg the next back and forth for about a month (equalling 75mg per day as reccommended by my DR), have been experiencing headaches and extreme tiredness, as well as what I like to call "inner times" where I become really internal almost like I am asleep but I am awake - usually my partner has to point this out to me. I have been told that with Pristiq you just have to take it super slow to get off it, I remember missing a dose over a weekend and I ended up in hospital with severe nausea and vomiting - urgh, anyways, can't wait to b e off it!

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rose Says:

Hi I a a week and half off pristiq and on VIbryd instead and I had a hommorage in my eye and pressure still on my eye it worrys me, and left side of my head above my eyebrow Im worried about this im not sure if its the new drug or withdrawel PLEASE could someone tell me how long it takes for Pristiq withdrawel to stop? I am also anxious too not sure which causes it. I know that Viibryed does not have norephineprine so I am completley wthdrawing but not sure if it be over after 11 days?? Please tell me your experience. THank You

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SDub Says:

I am currently weaning off of Pristiq. This drug is a beast to get off of although this is the first and only AD I've ever been on. I had to start taking it for anxiety 2 years ago and it definitely helped me get through what I need to get over. Now my husband and I want to start a family and I want to do it with no drugs in my system. I started weaning to a pill every 36hrs on May 29. I was just really irritable and I would get dizzy when it was time to take my pill. 2 weeks after I switched to every 48hrs. About 3 days after I switched the dosage I started to feel pretty bad - nauseous, anxious, and dizzy. Then that subsided and I was feeling really good not really noticing the change. Just when 48hrs hit I'd be dizzy and would take my pill, 2-3 hrs later I'd be fine. About 3 weeks into my every 48hrs stint I had a REALLY bad couple of days - lots of crying with despair that this wasn't going to end, extreme nausea, anxiety. Again this lasted for about 3 days and now I feel okay again. I'm planning to do the 48hrs for another 2 weeks or so and then my next best guess is to go to every 60 hrs or as long as I can. I'm doing this really slowly, exercising, talking it out with my Mom & husband...GOD BLESS them both, they have been awesome. I just have to keep telling myself that the feelings of frustration and despair are just side effects of the withdrawal. I have an appt with my doctor Monday to see if she suggests anything different than what she's initially told me to do. If anyone has a success to share please do so! It's encouraging to us going through this process!! Thanks!

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KG Says:


I'm curious what holistics medicine you are using?

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Kendall Says:

I take Gabatone for panic it's a natural calmer. I take nervoheel for sleep and I take something called ER 911 which is a plant based holistic spray for anxierty. I visit a holistic doctor twice a month who performs something called the Neuro Emotional Technique on me. All of this has saved my life.

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rose Says:

hi COuld you please email me i have panic attacks nearly everyday i cant live like this and im off pristiq i dont want to go back on being brain dead please help

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Sick of meds Says:

I need help with this. I been all kinds of meds for 6 years I think. I know the docs. make some money all this stuff, anyway day 5 cold turkey from Pristiq. I cry a lot and I feel now I want to overdose. How long does feeling go on? I call my soon ex doctor to be he call get back on and gave me some nice words too. He said because of this I could die or end up in the hospital anyone please help me.

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Sick of meds Says:

Has anyone help you yet, I know I need help too.K

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Kendall Says:

What is your email?

Editor's note: Per our privacy policy we do not allow individuals to post personal contact information on our discussion threads.

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Anne Says:

I have been on pristiq for about 3 years and am now trying to wean off of it... My dr took me down to 50 mg for two weeks now im supposed to take the 50 mg every other day for two weeks then i suppose its cold turkey. I feel so dizzy and loopy and spacey. I called my Dr. to report this and she "strongly encourages me to get back on the Pristiq everyday" but i really want to get it all out of my system and remember what it feels to live life without medication. Any advice??

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crissy Says:

i feel its rather disheartening that doctors do not tell us that once we are on this medication it will be so bloody hard to get off it.they tell us how great it is and how we will feel better and of course we do at first but then it just over takes us and we are stuck on it --so hard to get off and not relapse and end back on it.how do u tell if u are suffering withdrawals or if u really cant live without it??is there a suggested time frame after going cold turkey as to when u will know if ur going to be able to survive without meds??

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