Q. Can you offer me any ideas of how I can ease my withdrawal from Pristiq? My brain is cloudy, I am having brain zaps and I am agitated.

I should have never tried it out. Please help!

A. You must let your physician know what is going on. DO NOT stop this antidepressant suddenly. The withdrawal symptoms can be devastating.

Here are some stories to consider:

“I was prescribed Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) four years ago [this drug is somewhat similar to Effexor (venlafaxine) and Cymbalta (duloxetine) in that it works the same way] when Lexapro lost its effectiveness. Pristiq seemed to have no obvious side effects unless I forgot to take it in the morning. By afternoon, I would be experiencing brain zaps and hearing my eyes move. I would see “trails” when moving my eyes. This would go away within hours of taking the missed dose. I then tried to stop the drug myself, because I didn’t want to be on something that has that effect.

“I tried weaning off myself by taking a full dose (100 mg) then 75 mg the next day and alternating for 2 weeks then go down to 75/75. I went crazy after two weeks and had to go back to the original dose. Not only did I have severe suicidal thoughts every 5 minutes, but uncontrolled crying, extreme sluggishness, night sweats (when I could sleep), weight gain, irritability and mood swings. Physically, my blood pressure (which has ALWAYS been 110/78) jumped to 149/101.

“After two weeks of getting back on the drug, all symptoms (including high blood pressure) normalized. I am now under a doctor’s care to switch back to Lexapro (which she says will work again since I have given the drug a rest). She is having me take a full dose of Pristiq one day and then full dose of Lexapro the next day for a week. Then in 2nd week, Pristiq 1 day, then 2 days of Lexapro. She supplemented with Abilify daily. So far, the withdrawal symptoms have been manageable and I am in my 2nd week. I have added weekly acupuncture for the mood swings and am hopeful that I will have my life back.”–A. H.

“I was put on Pristiq almost a year ago. I got tired of taking this drug and I slowly started weaning myself off of the pills for about a month. As I’m typing this message my brain is shivering and zapping like nobody’s business. When I tried to explain it to my doctor he acted like he didn’t know what I was talking about. In the meantime, I suffer like crazy.”–Oscar

“I am coming off Pristiq right now. Was on 100 mg a day and my doctor pulled me off it cold turkey. I’ve only taken it for about 2 months, but I feel like I’m going crazy. I have the brain zaps so bad I can barely walk around my house. I’m terrified to drive. This is worse than anything I’ve ever been through, and that includes quitting smoking.”–Laurel

“I have been on a variety of antidepressants over the past few years for depression and anxiety. My latest prescription is Pristiq 50 mg once a day. I have been on it for 6 months. At first, I did see a difference in my depression and anxiety, but things began to change in the 7th month. I started having side effects from Pristiq. I haven’t had a brain freeze yet, but I have had other symptoms.

“I have had insomnia, headaches, GI upset, elevated cholesterol, blood pressure changes, joint/muscle pain, abnormal swelling all over, fatigue, agitation and ears ringing. From what I have read this is a hard medication to get off. I didn’t realize that this medication was making me sick until I went online and started to look up my symptoms. I really don’t know if I want to continue to take antidepressants if they are going to make me more physically sick.”–Julie


No one should ever discontinue antidepressant medication without medical supervision. As described above in vivid detail, the withdrawal symptoms can be terrible. We are especially concerned now that we see Cymbalta (duloxetine) advertised for arthritis symptoms. We wonder whether physicians are warning patients that getting off such drugs can be challenging (to say the least).

Here are some side effects to be aware of with Pristiq and Cymbalta:


  • Nausea, stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea, decreased appetite, vomiting
  • Dizziness, fatigue, sleepiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Insomnia, anxiety, jitteriness, irritability, tremor
, weird dreams
  • Sweating, hot flashes
  • Blurred vision
, glaucoma
  • Headache
, ringing in ears
  • Sexual dysfunction, lowered libido, erection difficulties, lack of orgasm
, abnormal ejaculation
  • Liver damage
  • Serious skin reactions, rash, hives (requires immediate MD assistance!)
  • Glaucoma
  • Irregular heart rhythms
  • Bleeding problems
  • Blood pressure problems
  • Interaction with other drugs (leading to serotonin syndrome among other reactions)
  • Pneumonia
  • Seizures
  • Depressed mood, suicidal thoughts and behavior, suicide

Some people never experience such side effects and achieve substantial benefit from medications like desvenlafaxine, duloxetine and venlafaxine. But others find the problems with such drugs overwhelming. The sexual side effects alone can be disconcerting. They are also quite common. You can imagine that dizziness, dry mouth, lack of orgasm and excessive sweating might be enough to drive a person to want to stop such medication. But as you will see below, that can trigger a whole other set of problems.

Doctors have taken to calling this “discontinuation syndrome.” These clinical words do not do justice to what it is like to stop antidepressants like Cymbalta, Effexor (venlafaxine), Paxil (paroxetine), Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) or Zoloft (sertraline) suddenly.


  • Brain “zaps” (electric shock-like senstations in the brain)
  • Dizziness, light-headedness, vertigo, feeling faint
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety, irritability, hostility
  • Nausea, diarrhea, digestive upset
  • Tremor, hands shaking, nerve tingles, strange sensations
  • Fatigue, tiredness, lack of energy
  • Visual disturbances

So, what is a person to do once started on the antidepressant merry-go-round? Sadly, doctors do not have clear guidelines about how to help patients stop such drugs. There is no clear-cut formula that will work for everyone. Patience is essential, though. This is NOT a do-it-yourself project. You will need help from a knowledgeable health professional. And you will need to take time. For some, a few weeks may be adequate to gradually phase off the drug. For others, it may take many months of very slow dosage reduction.

We offer our Guide to Dealing with Depression. It provides some additional insights into both side effects and withdrawal. It also discusses some other ways of coping with depression. Whatever you do, you will need great support from a health professional who understands the complexity of such medications.

You are also invited to share your experience with these drugs below.

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  1. Michele

    I am sorry I don’t have a success story (yet) to report, but wanted to share my story. I was taking 50 mg Pristiq daily. A naturopath tried to wean me off and told me to cut the pills in half. NO!

    As you know, the Pristiq label says no cutting. They are time release so this give you a big dose al at once. Yikes! I was feeling bad overall, but my BP spiked to 140s/150s over 90/100s.

    I am currently on a BP med for the forst time in my life at age 46. My doctor put me on Pristiq 25 mg and I am in no hurry to wean off of that. This is very scary.

  2. Shauna
    Ft. Worth, TX

    Well I was on Pistiq 100mg for at least 6 months; and then they randomly came out with a generic, which weirdly was almost just as expensive. My doctor gave me this medicine in case I wanted to stop it, because he knows I adjust mine too as I see fit if I do not like some side effects, and he trusts me to do so. Well, after I started the generic, I started waking up with the big toe on my right foot being numb. I didn’t think much of it, but did realize it spread to the other foot, and if I had been lying down too long my whole body would suffer the ‘brain zaps’. I did not know what to even call them until this website.

    I ran out of my medicine a week ago, so I believe I am at the end of day 6 or so. The brain zaps have decreased thankfully, although if I look out the side of my eye it can still happen. Luckily the feeling in my toes came back too! What I’m having an awful time with now is horrible sleep paralysis as I’m trying to fall asleep. It is not a one time thing either, it is multiple times and lasts for minutes. It is sad when you don’t want to try to go to sleep because of what it will do :/ So positives are, the brain zaps are definitely going away! Also I am not running around all the time forgetting what I’m doing and saying to myself ‘I’m loosing my mind’. Also, I have no more numbness in my toes!

    Negatives: Is anyone experiencing this horrible sleep paralysis along with nightmares? I do not know why he recommended this one as an easy one to come off if I wanted. Stay strong everyone, I’m praying for a better tomorrow for everyone struggling with this!

  3. Marie Lou
    Puerto POllensa Mallorca Spain

    I was so horrified by what I have read here I decided to NOT take Pristiq anymore, after only 2 days.

    Obviously my doc lied too- I would not feel bad neither starting or laying off the medicine.

    OK, so I have had a depression for umpteen years, down and listless and no energy.But I have never felt as bad as I have these 2 days of taking Pristic. Days! Surely I can just stop, without getting these awful effects???? or are 2 days enough to feel even more like hell? So glad I found this forum, will try registering. ML80

  4. Gillian

    Hi, My name is Gill, I am presently undergoing, coming off Pristiq. I have been on just about every anti depressant there is. I am diagnosed with bi-polar and depression/anxiety. Recently I was in hospital and came off pristique over 2days, my doctor was going to put me on Cymbalta.

    I read up about Cymbalta and was horrified at what I saw. So I asked if I could come off my anti depressant as a trial, as I actually felt my mood was lifted.

    I have stopped taking Pristique now for two weeks, it is a nightmare. I am irritable,very sweaty, blood pressure has sky rocketed, unfortunately I smoke which doesn’t help. And they think I am hormonal? Maybe I am!

    But I feel drowsy most afternoons and am tempted to take Valium to help me to cope. I get so confused with all the drugs. Who’s telling the truth???

  5. Mary

    I went off cymbalta in 2010 and just happened to be taking Sudafed for sinus problems. I noticed my brain zaps and dizziness went away or were decreased when taking the Sudafed. I talked with my pharmacist at the time and the only concern was having high blood pressure if I took it all the time. I continued to take it if I was at work and like I said it made a world of difference. Hopefully this can help others but ask your doctor first.

  6. Tamara
    Brisbane Australia

    I am four days post my final dose of 50mg Pristiq which I had been tapering off from. Yes these side effects suck and I went searching the web to try and find success stories to give me the power to press on. It’s easy to find people having a tough time coming off the drug but no one seems to write how and WHEN they finally beat it. Sharing that side of your story might actually help others see a light at the end of the tunnel..

  7. Karen
    San Francisco, CA

    I was taking Lexapro but had awful side effects and I didn’t feel any relief from taking it. So, my doctor switched me to Pristiq and I took one pill today but after reading these posts I’m not going to take any more. Can anyone share their success story with an alternative anti-depressant?

  8. Wanda

    Pristiq is a nightmare. I’ve only been on it a month and, like everyone else, I have nauseous stomach and vomiting, sweating is terrible, and don’t want to eat. I want to get off it so I stopped and started to take my old one which is Lexapro. Was in hospital twice for the sweating, sickness and dizziness. They thought it might be my heart but ran a battery of test, and heart looks good. Pristiq shouldn’t be prescribed to any human. I’m scared of the side effects of getting off it but I need to.

  9. Heather

    I chose to switch from Pristiq to Latuda. I haven’t felt like the Pristiq has done much of anything for me, and my husband agrees. I’ve also gained 10lbs since I started taking it about 8 months ago. Prior to the Pristiq, I was on Celexa, but it was making me have issues with separating dreams from reality, and it was really freaking me out. I took 25mg of Pristiq a day for 2 weeks. This week, I’m taking 25mg every other day.

    It is TRULY a struggle. I feel dizzy, foggy and exhausted. My vision seems cloudy. The brain zaps are constant, and sometimes it feels like my entire brain is going “waaah waaaah waaaah”, almost like it’s expanding and contracting (though I know it isn’t). I’m having really stressful, vivid dreams. I’m depressed, hopeless, and easily angered/agitated by my husband and kids. I’m getting nothing done at work. I’m just trying to take it one day at a time, but I definitely feel like crap. I’ll continue taking a pill every other day this week and next week, then I’m supposed to stop taking them and take the Latuda. I’m definitely really nervous about it.

  10. Anthony

    I was only on Pristiq for about 3 weeks, persuaded by my doctor. I didn’t like what it was doing to my moods. Also insomnia and nausea were creeping in. I didn’t think after so little time that coming off these pills would be so debilitating. Intense nausea, dizziness, headaches, weird vivid dreams and brain zaps. Without my wife and my faith I would be really struggling. It’s been six days of complete debilitation. I hope it ends soon, and I can get back to normality.

    • R
      North Carolina

      I think the “weaning off” only extends the issues and difficulty in getting off of it. I am on day 9 of cold turkey….. it has been hell, I will never go back!

  11. shar
    victoria australia

    I told my doctor that I wanted to come off Pristiq. He told me that taking 10 mls of Paxal would help.

    I stopped Pristiq last thursday and started on paxal on Saturday….. I highly recommend that if you want to start pristiq DO NOT ….I started getting panic attacks after the sudden death of my husband ….then 3 mths later the tragic death of my baby grandson…..i am also a carer for a chronically ill daughter so have a lot of stress I found that weight was just creeping on me regardless of the ammount of exercise or the ammount of food i ate…… then their were the aches and muscle pains and in my joints.

    I had scans and MRIs that showed nothing, then there was the dullness it was like I was on a 7 second delay as my daughter is very sick I need to have my wits about me, since stopping and start taking Paxil the withdrawal symptoms have dominated my day and night bran Zaps upset tummies sleeplessness today is day 6 the brain zaps have receded and I even felt confidant enough to drive the car…. also the muscle and joint pains stopped within 2 days. Good luck everyone dont forget to ask God for help.

  12. Aidan
    Newcastle, Australia

    I would like to know if anyone has used pot or has any thoughts on using pot to alleviate the withdrawal from Pristiq?

    I was prescribed pristiq 50mg two years ago for depression and stress. A year later I went up to 100mg. And since then I feel worse than when I was on the smaller dose. I’m getting more frequent brain zaps even less than 24hrs since taking a dose. I’m really irritated and constantly snapping at my wife and two younger kids. I’m 31, male, reasonably fit though I don’t exercise and vegetarian. I should not and don’t want to be on this anymore.

    But back to the question. Medicinal marjauna is not available in nsw Australia so I would need to catch up with an old friend, but I would like to know opinions on using it. I think I want to start splitting the tablets each fortnight until I get to zero so maybe pot could help with sleeping and brain zaps??

    • Hannah

      Yes, it helps IMMENSELY. I have been on and off of this medication since it first came out. They upped my dosage to 100mgs a few months ago. I forgot my meds on a 2 day trip out of state and it was as if I just woke up. I started realizing I was so numb to the world, I was just going through the motions of being alive (…work, home, bed, work, home, bed..) I smoke and my anxieties and symptoms completely disappear.

  13. Barbara

    Has anyone else experienced hives when they tapered off Prestiq?


    • Lucy
      Virginia YSA

      I’ve had terrible hives

  14. Lorraine
    okanagan BC

    I was prescribed a prescription for Pristiq today and now that I have read peoples posts, I am not going to take it! thank you for sharing your experiences – you have helped me and others by being honest and taking the time to write down your experiences.

  15. Megan

    My doctor just put me on 50mg per day …. I am suffering really bad mood swings and severe depression … after reading about the brain zaps ect I am really scared to continue with this …. but i feel i have no choice because of my chemical inbalance

  16. Kaine

    These comments have been a very helpful and encouraging read. I’ve been gradually weaning myself off Pristiq with lower doses over the last couple of months, and I’m 3 days into no Pristiq. I thought it was time to move off it, my personal circumstances have improved and I’ve been exercising pretty consistently for the last 6 months.

    However even with the warnings, I wasn’t really prepared for how I would feel after coming off it completely – even going from a low dose to no dose, the side effects feel much much stronger than when I was just lowering the dosage. I have very strong feelings of vertigo and I don’t trust my balance – which is my main concern at the moment as I don’t feel safe exercising. I find it currently difficult to get comfortable lying down initially and when I sleep I have nightmares that are vivid and generally terrifying.

    I thought I would be okay to go to work whilst coming off Pristiq, but I’m not convinced now that I can do it. I’m not sure what I’d do if I did stay home though, because I don’t currently feel very good lying down. Being aware of the side effects and the knowledge that they do go away eventually is a comfort though – I’m very keen to kick this Pristiq habit.

  17. Amanda

    My doctor stopped Pristiq and gave me Zoloft without any titrating down of the Pristiq or titrating up of the Zoloft that was on last Monday this is a week later. I have felt like I’m having a nervous breakdown. Crying, feeling hopeless. Will this subside?

    • Tawny

      How are you doing now?

  18. Annie
    Sydney, Australia

    Did some research on compounding of medications and phoned a nearby compounding pharmacy this morning. The pharmacist said that they will do Pristiq in smaller doses – 40, 30, 25 mg right down to 5mg !! It does cost more for this service: AUD$50 for two weeks supply of 25 mg, for example, but that is great news for people wanting to titrate down from this drug. I would encourage others to check out what is available in their area in terms of getting a custom compounded dose so that the process of getting off Pristiq is not so horrible !! Peace n’love to all.

  19. HiHopes62

    I have been on Pristiq 100mg for almost 5 yrs I think. Suddenly my insurance decided to not cover my prescription. I have tried other meds, but had allergic reactions. So needless to say, while waiting on all the appeal paperwork to go through, I ran out and have gone cold turky for 5 days. I have awful sweating, jitters, slight vision distoortions and slight dizziness. Each day gets better. The best thing is that the brain fog is gone, I have more energy and can “feel” again! I realize it will take me some time to get this out of my system. Hope it will get better..

  20. roxanne

    i have stopped taking prestiq for nearly a week . I only weaned off for a week before stopping completely. withdrawal symptoms are maddening. as it’s nearly a week I don’t want to start again. is this sensible. regards Roxanne

    • Andrew

      Good on you.
      I was on Effexor for over 10 years with the dosage slowly increasing over time to have any effectiveness then a shrink put me on Pristiq and the same thing is happening now having to increase dosage to have any effect. In the process my life has deteriorated resulting in the loss of my job and destruction of family life.

      I know that the only time I can reduce my dosage is when I can maintain a good exercise program to force my body to produce its own chemistry. Otherwise I am in a fog and struggle to get going. I hope I can kick this dreadful drug but in the mean time I have been trying to find out if there is a class action here in Australia.

      • Caroline
        Melbourne, Australia

        I would be interested in connecting with anyone who has been at the debilitating impact of being prescribed Pristiq & feels, as I do that we have grounds for a class action.

        I was on 100mg of Pristiq for five years. In that time, my life also imploded. I lost my sense of judgement and my emotional capacity to feel anything. I was so numb I began to socially isolate. This exacerbated my mental health issues to the extent that I just wanted to stop living. The concerns associated with ending up in a state of severe anxiety/agetation/ numbness/insomnia/significant weight gain/ debilitating fatigue/brain fog & muscle pain left me feeling so desperate that I ended up being accepted as an inpatient at a top Private Mental Health Clinic in Melbourne. Once there, my case was reviewed by the Professor of Psychiatry and one of the treating psychiatrists.

        They both failed to advise me of the impacts of going of this drug cold turkey or not nor did they provide me with a manageable treatment plan for detoxing from Pristiq. I feel like I am in purgatory. My muscles are screaming with pain. I have electric like shocks from poor withdrawal plan, I’m discombobulated, hyper anxious and terrified by my dreams as well as by my reality. I could not even find the strength to change my bed sheets today. I am so fatigued, I cannot even find the strength to cut up a piece of fruit!

        I agree with a previous contributor that giving up smoking was a walk in the park compared to this hellish suite of effects.
        It seems entirely unacceptable to find ourselves suffering so severely- without prior warning of the long and short term side effect of using this drug to combat depression. Moreover, it is cruel and irresponsible not to advise consumers before they become dependent on Pristiq of the implications associated with withdrawing from this evil numb inducing drug.

        I am seven weeks in and feel like I’m rotting away due to aforementioned experiences and poor medical advise – in my case, issued via treatment as an in & out patient at a psychiatric clinic.

      • Joanne
        Sydney NSW

        Omg there should be a class action. This is a nightmare. My doctor nagged me to start on it for menopause problems and assured me that I can quit cold turkey when no longer needed…LIAR…HE LIED TO ME. Bloody clerical worker for Pfizer writing out their scripts that’s all he is.

    • lona

      Roxanne, How are you doing now? I am about 1.5 weeks in after going cold turkey because I ran out and didn’t want to pay for prescription again due to cost with deductible renewing. I am curious how your journey has been in recent days. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Ann

    Just to add to my previous post. I went down from 200mgs of Pristiq to 0 in a week. It was ok until I hit the 0 mark and then the emotions went crazy.

    My legs keep cramping badly during the night, I don’t want to sleep because I’m haunted by nightmares every night. I had severe itchiness which let to me bleeding from scratching so much. My tinnitus is worse than usual, the brain zaps are going but I’ve been told it could take months for the symptoms and brain fog to go away.

    Also found out lucky me, I’ve been misdiagnosed for 20 plus years. I’m bi-polar so every time they pumped more anti-d’s into me it make me manic then crash and burn leading to a higher dose of anti-d’s and the cycle continued.

  22. Katie

    I don’t typically write on these forums but I recently discontinued taking Pristiq and during the first few days free of the medication, I was desperately searching for a hopeful post, which I hardly came by! I was sure that I would spend the next few weeks as miserable as I felt at the time! I was feeling really discouraged and contemplated going back, but was determined to push through, and I did!!

    I was on Pristiq 100mg for almost 2 years and decided that the tough time in my life when I started taking it had passed and it was now time to stop. It was a hard decision that I put off foe months solely because I didn’t want to go through the withdrawals. I began splitting my 100mg into quarters, i know you’re not “supposed” to do this, but I did and didn’t have any issues. I took 3/4 pill (75mg) for 2 weeks then, 1/2 (50mg) for two weeks, then 1/4 for 3 weeks and decided I was ready to stop completely so I did. The first 2-3 days were a piece of cake.

    Only a few brain zaps and dizziness but nothing I couldn’t manage. Day 4-5 were the days I felt the worst! I was dizzy, moody, headache, really sick to my stomach, horrible night sweats and bad dreams, needless to say I hardly slept that week! Lack of sleep may have had a huge part in why I felt so crappy! Days 4 and 5 were the days I searched for hope it wouldn’t last long and never found anything saying it wouldn’t last long. Most of what I found were horror stories!

    That is who I am writing this now. To give hope to anyone needing it! On day 6, it felt like I woke up in a whole different world!! I felt amazing and it was then that I began to realize the foggy cloud Pristiq had held over me for nearly 2 years!! I’m glad the medication was there when I needed it, because there was a time that I REALLY did, but my advice would be not to take it any longer than you NEED to. I’m on day 12 and still feel great! Just remember to tapper of, don’t rush it and remember you won’t feel the withdraws forever!! You can do it! Just hang I there!

    • Andrew

      Yes I was the same. Misdiagnosed but even then I think I could have been better off if I changed my life style rather than going on the spiral I have been down. I have suffered massive muscular cramps from being on Effexor and as a result tore the ligaments in my feet and spent a fortune on physio and massage therapy to overcome it.

    • Rhonda

      Hi thanks for posting and I am amazed at the side effects this drug has. I’ve been wanting to get off it for awhile now as I had worked out it was the drug making me feel suicidual (it’s supposed to help, not encourage). So I’m reducing it each week by days eg miss one day then two until it’s reduced to nil. Reading all the other posts now explains the nightmare sweats tinnitus jitters foggyness I’ve been having. However I don’t understand brain zaps could someone explain this please and thank you for the posts it’s really helped me…

      • Heather

        Are you familiar with 9-volt batteries? The square shaped ones? Have you ever stuck your tongue on the battery and felt the little electric shock it produces? To me, this is what a brain zap feels like.

    • Susan

      Thank you Kate for writing I have had all the withdrawals you have and was getting concerned I am up to day 6 so hopefully I too will wake up good. Susan

    • Joanne
      Sydney Australia

      Thank you so much for this post. It has given me hope to seriously tackle my withdrawal plan. So many horror stories and my previous failed attempts at cold turkey have put me off but I am now going to try again and taper off thanks to your positive post!

    • Tawny

      Thank you Katie! I’m scared to go from 25mg to 0mg. Your post gives me hope!

    • Robyn

      Hi Kate thanks for sharing. I habe been on Anti Depressants for 18 years…I can’t believe it. Changed to Pristique about years….and have many times tried to get off it. I am going into Hospital next week to go cold turkey so scared..but I know I will get there and you have given me hope thankyou.

  23. Ann

    I’ve been on 200 mgs of Pristiq for around 6 years. I was previously on Zoloft and after 10 years it just stopped working. The doctors then tried multiple others before I ended up on Pristiq.

    I know this day was coming and boy has it hit these last 4 days. It seems Pristiq has stopped working, I’m literally going crazy with my thoughts, anxiety, fear, depression. Leg cramps, nausea, brain zaps and I haven’t even started the withdrawal. I’m going into hospital for that and to change back to Zoloft and be reassessed.

    I’m so scared, last time I was in and out of hospital for 6 months of a year and then it still took time to find the correct med. Why are they allowed to give us these meds without any warning of the withdrawal effects? It wasn’t the psych I’m seeing now who put me on this awful drug.

    • Jackie

      Thank you, Ann. Your post has given me some hope. I was on on 50 mg of PRISTIQ for 1 1/2 years which was prescribed for depression due to a terrible time in my life. Prior to that I had taken Celexa for a period of time. At the same time I was under the care of a neurologist for some undiagnosed movement disorder. Every test I have had in connection with this has come back negative.

      I have now realized that Pristiq exacerbated the symptoms terribly. From difficulty walking and balance I actually had some falls, also had lack of coordination, muscle and joint stiffness, eventually slurred speech and bladder incontinence. I am determined to stick it out, as after cutting down the first week to 50 mg. every other day my speech improved. When I finally stopped the drug completely on day three I had no incontinence issues which was absolutely amazing to me, like a miracle. I also slept through the night without having to get up three or four times to P.

      However the withdrawl symptoms of nausea and dizziness are terrible, and I’m hoping they will not last long I am sharing this because these neurological movement disorder symptoms are listed as rare, and I’m sure that other people have maybe experienced them. I am only 58 and thought my future was a nursing home. I now have some hope. I am convinced that my neurological symptoms were a result of Celexa over the years and eventually PRISTIQ. There is actually a website for medication induced movement disorders. I just have to get by the withdrawal. Luckily for me my depression was certainly situational over the years and has been helped by making long overdue changes to my life situation, meditation, diet, and exercise.

  24. Mary
    Hunter Valley nsw.

    Hi I have been on 100mg for a year now and was experiencing side effects so I decided to go to the Doctor to help me get off them,
    He told me to take 50 mg ,that was ok ,now I wanted to come off them all together. He wasn’t happy ,he told me to come off cold turkey or cut them in Half, then I said no,you can’t do that!!

    So, now I’m doing it with the help from my daughter who is a qualified nurse.

    I was taking one 50mg every other day. Wow. I couldn’t trust myself to drive, my head was buzzing, after a couple of weeks, I took one tablet every other two days, (We can’t get the 25mg here in Australia).

    I’m suffering like hell, the depression is back, I have no interest in doing or going anywhere, palpitations, tinnitus is bad, and emotional, sobbing for nothing, crying on the phone, very emotional.

    I’m trying to overcome this awful depressed state and my husband who is a retired scientist, suggest I cut one in half which gives me a two 25mg tablets, that will cover the two days without at a lower dose.

    How you ask?

    Is by emptying a capsule like Panadol casing and insert half the tablet inside it,

    I would like to know why we can’t get the 25 mg here in Australia.
    I am 76 years old and I want to get off them. I have been taking Mega B for about 10 years ,had a knee replacement 4 years ago with no problems. Broke my wrist in a fall no problem getting over it.these Pristiq should not be prescribed to anyone without first been told the terrible withdrawal symptoms.

    • Rhonda

      Hi Mary
      Did the super B help? As I’m in the process of reducing my tablets, these would be the worst antidepressants I’ve ever taken. I don’t feel gps have a understanding of this drug as mine suggested cutting it in half too and this is a no no. Anyhow it’s great to read others posts as I had no idea how bad this drug was

  25. Cara

    I got off Pristiq 50 Novemeber 1st after my visit to Doctor and tapering down. I stopped cold turkey after I left his office. I got some Super B complex and 5-HTB and Dramamine.

    Two days later, I am feeling much better. I take Dramamine for dizziness and brain zaps. Non-drowsy, and got the other two for weight loss and Moods. I will give a update after 7 days, but day two I am better than day one. I still have weird vivid dreams and wake up sweating and dizzy.

    But once I take these, I feel better at work. I was scared to death to come off this stuff because it was bad for me. But I am trying to do everything naturally this time. After gaining 15 pounds too, never in my life I ever gained weight that fast.

    • Jody

      Please do you have a up date for me :(

  26. Cara

    I am on this drug for past six months and it is awful I am suffering high blood pressure, weight gain, brain zaps if I am even late on a hour or so, dizziness, irritable, night sweats, and I am trying to wean off too and going to my doctor tomorrow. I feel so drained as well. I take this in placement of hormones because I had a partial hysterectomy and was on Cymbolta before. I gained 15 pounds that fast too. I am normally tiny. I can’t wait to be off this stuff for good.

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