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Author Topic: Going to try to switch from lexapro to pristiq  (Read 2133 times)

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Offline 2sungo

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Re: Going to try to switch from lexapro to pristiq
« Reply #30 on: April 06, 2014, 09:12:55 PM »
Thanks Ian, I will have to remember that.  It was difficult today, even got tearful for a short bit but it went away as it always does.  I think it has exacerbated my health anxiety/ocd tendencies but I did get a hold of my therapist before she leaves, and will call my pdoc tomorrow to keep her appraised of my progress.  I had hoped the month long taper of Lexapro while taking pristiq (50mg) would have avoided having to go thru this but I guess the dose increase means going thru it like it was new or something similar.  I'll keep posting periodically, hopefully one day soon it will be a great report.  And I hope the other folks reading this that are also on Pristiq have some good luck in their futures too. 
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Offline insights

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Re: Going to try to switch from lexapro to pristiq
« Reply #31 on: April 07, 2014, 01:05:10 AM »
but I guess the dose increase means going thru it like it was new or something similar

Unfortunately, dose increases can bring a return of heightened anxiety.  :(

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline 2sungo

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Re: Going to try to switch from lexapro to pristiq
« Reply #32 on: April 07, 2014, 04:20:35 PM »
Yes, the dose increase certainly did, so I went back to 50 today.  My heart was pounding all last night, and most of yesterday at 100 or more bpm, and did so much of this morning too (I take the pristiq when I get up).  Despite my fear of what I may experience going back down, I managed to get to school and did okay, but I felt like crap this morning, both from fatigue (sleep deprivation) and my heart  going too fast.  Got better as the day went on, bp has dropped to acceptable limits, this morning it was too high for me (my bp is usually low, and the diastolic numbers were in the 90s).  Plus I sweated like a pig last night, even while I was totally asleep during a few blessed hours after .5 klonopin my wife told me she was wiping the sweat off my head.  I think the 100 dose is too strong for me, and although clinical experience of some may suggest it does something better, the original company research suggests its no better than 50mg.  When I researched how to get off of it if that becomes necessary (I will give the 50 more time unless my pdoc or symptoms say otherwise) that revealed a Pandora's box of nightmares, seems there is no way to step down on this timed release pill, other than perhaps bridging it with an SSRI like Prozac (which I took once and could not tolerate) or Lexapro (that may be a way out if needed). All the company can come up with is alternating days, but that would seem to cause a yo-yo effect on plasma levels, I would think, and no one seems to know what the timed release half life is, though the chemical itself seems to be about 11 hours I think.   So I am prepared for a rough ride this week as I step down, maybe for a change I will be pleasantly surprised.  My mood is not bad today, mainly because I am angry I had to go thru this and maybe because it does help mood eventually--if only it wouldn't give me a heart attack while I wait.  If the idiots made a 25 mg pill that would be so much more useful to go up than doubling the dose, it shouldn't be such a stark choice.  And of course despite leaving messages with the pdoc, she hasn't  called back yet.   
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Offline insights

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Re: Going to try to switch from lexapro to pristiq
« Reply #33 on: April 07, 2014, 06:29:47 PM »
So I am prepared for a rough ride this week as I step down, maybe for a change I will be pleasantly surprised.

You probably will be as you haven't been at 100mg long enough to trigger withdrawal symptoms. At least not of the chemical variety. The mind variety might be another matter.  :(

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline 2sungo

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Re: Going to try to switch from lexapro to pristiq
« Reply #34 on: April 07, 2014, 08:47:38 PM »
Actually I felt better at the end of the day, minus a slight headache.  The pdoc's receptionist called back, the pdoc wants me to take half of a 15 mg remeron pill before sleep, she had discussed that as one of three possibilities (raise the Pristiq, add on remeron, or add back Lexapro).  So I will try it for tonight, should help with sleep and at such a low dose I truly hope it doesn't have any bad effects.  Of course when I see that they call combos of Pristiq or Effexor with remeron "California rocket fuel" that does cause a tad bit of anxiety, but I think they are talking about larger doses.  It does seem to block a lot of annoying receptors that the SSRIs and SNRIs affect that cause a lot of their side effects, though it does increase appetite, something I don't want to do but again at 7.5 mg I doubt that should be a problem.  Hope this combo works, will report back.
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Offline insights

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Re: Going to try to switch from lexapro to pristiq
« Reply #35 on: April 08, 2014, 12:41:34 AM »
Of course when I see that they call combos of Pristiq or Effexor with remeron "California rocket fuel" that does cause a tad bit of anxiety, but I think they are talking about larger doses.

You should be fine...but in case I'm wrong please keep your cell phone handy so you can send us photos from orbit.  :laugh3:

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline 2sungo

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Re: Going to try to switch from lexapro to pristiq
« Reply #36 on: April 08, 2014, 05:20:54 PM »
Good one Ian, but this combo so far hardly seems likely to send someone into orbit, rather I had a nice sleep with vivid dreams last night, the hard part was getting up and managing thru the day. I felt very tired, actually had to resort to green tea to get me going enough to get to school and get thru the day, but still feel out of it even now in late afternoon.  I was able to teach my classes, and it seems to have brought my blood pressure back down and pulse is better, but I do feel a bit lightheaded.  Dry mouth also seems to be a prominent feature too. I also had a few minor zaps around 4 or so in the afternoon.  Feels best to sit or lie down actually.  I assume these effects will pass, I do like the effect at night (my wife was so scared after my summer incident with Sapphris that she watched me go to sleep and told me to wake her if I had to go to the bathroom, she was afraid I would pass out like I did on that wretched poison but no such thing happened).  I hope the grogginess passes soon, if I can make it thru the week there is a week off coming up which buys me more time to normalize if this combo is going to work.  I am hungry, but not enough to eat sugar out of the bag as seems to be the case with some remeron users, and I will be vigilant about watching what I eat, I actually like the loss in weight I have had since this began and it wouldn't hurt to lose about 10 more pounds. 

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Offline 2sungo

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Re: Going to try to switch from lexapro to pristiq
« Reply #37 on: April 09, 2014, 08:56:07 PM »
Another day, started badly after a not so good nights sleep, but I was more clearminded than yesterday, and as the day wore on felt better except for many annoying "zaps" which I assume are from cutting the Pristiq dose back to 50 mg.  No great munchies yet from my small dose of remeron, but it didn't help sleep much last night, though I did not eat anything besides a few almonds for dinner, tonight I ate a more respectable dinner.  Pulse is in the 90s but bp is good, hoping a lessening of anxiety over time will get the pulse back into the low 80s or 70s. Still felt well enough to do some gardening when I got home. 
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Offline insights

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Re: Going to try to switch from lexapro to pristiq
« Reply #38 on: April 09, 2014, 11:37:04 PM »
Pulse is in the 90s but bp is good, hoping a lessening of anxiety over time will get the pulse back into the low 80s or 70s.

IMHO, you need to stop checking this all the time. It doesn't really serve any useful purpose, just panders to and reinforces your anxiety.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline 2sungo

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Re: Going to try to switch from lexapro to pristiq
« Reply #39 on: April 10, 2014, 09:29:08 PM »
Well today I only checked bp and pulse in the morning and was happy with what I found, and the rest of the day went rather well.  Felt the best I have in  a while, was productive at work and spent several hours getting needed gardening done when I got home.  Minimal zaps today, good mood, normal hunger.  No anxiety to speak of either.  Hope this continues....
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Offline 2sungo

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Re: Going to try to switch from lexapro to pristiq
« Reply #40 on: April 13, 2014, 09:08:03 AM »
So far so good, anxiety pretty much non existent, one morning check of bp/pulse shows excellent results (been a while since pulse rates got down into the 70s), sometimes a bit tired, but all in all really good.  Did some gardening work yesterday, very few zaps, no other symptomology that I can recall.  I do get vivid dreams at night though, almost like movies.  Saw my pdoc on Friday, we will keep this regimen for the foreseeable future to see if things stay good.  Sometimes I almost forget to take the klonopin so sometimes I am late, but I will not attempt to go off of it for now, I just want to enjoy the peace and calm without any chance to disrupt it for now. 
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Offline 2sungo

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Re: Going to try to switch from lexapro to pristiq
« Reply #41 on: April 22, 2014, 05:38:29 PM »
Another update, so far so good.  I was a bit tired after our week off ended and I had to get up early again, but I didn't mind my week off and had some fun and relaxation, normally since this illness began I would be focused on worrying when I wasn't working, so the combo has helped greatly with anxiety and depression.  I can't say I am really excited back at work but I am fine, nothing out of the normal beyond some fatigue.  I still get vivid dreams, and sometimes may snack more than I should when I get home, but otherwise things are okay and I hope they stay that way.  One day I forgot the 4 oclock dose of .25 klonopin, and seemed none the worse for missing it, though I resumed taking it the next day, don't want to rock the boat till I see how this pans out for a long while.
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Offline 2sungo

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Re: Going to try to switch from lexapro to pristiq
« Reply #42 on: April 24, 2014, 08:13:54 PM »
Ok, so it was bound to happen, today was not such a great day.  I noticed myself feeling more tired and a bit down this week, then last night I had some kind of nightmare in the late hours before I get up, so that kind of didn't help set my mood right for the day.  Was able to work fine but wasn't happy, saw therapist and mentioned it, I guess these things happen and I need to not get worried about it meaning a relapse is imminent.  I did take a tiny bit more of klonopin this evening since I felt anxious and depressed and my bp and pulse (I know, I shouldn't check, but it kind of comes with the territory) were up, but I rationally keep telling myself this was because of my mood state, not something else, especially since it is usually fine.  Its just that I felt so anxiety free for a good stretch after starting the remeron and backing down on the pristiq, but if it doesn't resolve I will ask the pdoc what to do next.  My therapist also has said that recovery is not often a smooth process, there are often setbacks along the way, and I've seen that on this site as well.  And today wasn't a total loss at all, I did what I had to do at work, and could function well, I just don't like the sad or anxious feelings when they appear for no reason, but it also was not a total anxiety attack either, just a fair amount of unease.  Hopefully this too shall pass and I can continue on the road to recovery. 
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Offline insights

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Re: Going to try to switch from lexapro to pristiq
« Reply #43 on: April 24, 2014, 09:28:09 PM »
My therapist also has said that recovery is not often a smooth process, there are often setbacks along the way, and I've seen that on this site as well.

True. Also, even people without anxiety or depression have the odd bad day, or days. Stuff happens. It is all part of the rich tapestry of life.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline 2sungo

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Re: Going to try to switch from lexapro to pristiq
« Reply #44 on: April 26, 2014, 07:15:59 PM »
Well yesterday was a bit better than the day before, minus a short bout of sweating when I was in the dept office, maybe it was hot, maybe I just had to go to the bathroom,  sometimes I can't tell what is a normal reaction and what is not to temperature or intestinal feelings on these meds.  Then today I did not feel so well, took an afternoon nap after going out for a bit for the morning.  I was tired driving back, and more so after eating a light lunch.  Just felt out of sorts this afternoon, a bit anxious, depressed, sort of vague uneasiness feeling, along with a mild headache and some stomach discomfort which the remeron seem to have killed pretty quickly when I first started it.  I spent some time looking thru my journals about the last two times I was sick, and a lot of it seems the same, especially the first time was long (like 2 years or so) and rough, with ups and downs, but eventually it ended and I had years of "normality" though on medicine.  Second time it was a much shorter road to recovery (not easy, but way shorter) also followed by a decade of good times. This time is more like the first time, minus lots of heart palps which seemed to be something that was much more frequent and disturbing at that time.  I also seem to have been more short of breath back then too.  This time I have more sweats at night or at other times, though I can go a long time without them, and when anxious sometimes my upper arms have an unpleasant sort of pins and needles feeling which is distinctly unpleasant.  Also have gone weeks without that but had some this afternoon but its gone now.  Left a message earlier with the pdoc, she wont get it till next week, I wouldn't call her cell unless it was a dire emergency which it is not.  I really did enjoy some nice anxiety free days this time, hope they come back or if we have to tweak something they stick around longer, maybe I am already habituated to the tiny dose of remeron (still fall asleep fine, and still get vivid dreams, but I am definitely not excessively hungry right now).   May tomorrow be a better day.
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