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Anyone tried Pristiq?

I came off Lexapro 20mg (was not working anymore) and my doctor put me on Pristiq 50mg and xanax. The pristiq is working good but after a couple of months now I am not so sure. I take the Xanax at night because it helps me sleep.
I am a 45 year old male and suffer from GAD and mild deppresion. Should I try something stronger or seek therapy or what? Has anyone else experienced this or on Pristiq? I feel like I am sputtering out here. Any help very much appreciated.
13 Responses
506273 tn?1260142381
I have been on Pristiq (50 mgs) since Aug. 1.  I do have to say that it has helped some.  I am still hopeful that I am just a bit resistant when it comes to meds.  I have done the anti depressant suffle for quite some time. I also take xanax although my dosage is high.  

Good luck,,
Alley
Avatar universal
Pristiq is a drug similar in composition to Wyeth’s existing antidepressant, Effexor XR (which loses its patent protection in 2010, 2 years from now). It is Wyeth’s hope that Pristiq, therefore, will replace Effexor XR in a few years’ time. Why? Because Effexor XR makes $3.8 billion (with a ‘b’) a year in sales.

Pristiq has shown the same level of effectiveness as many other antidepressants on the market today — about a 2 point difference in a depression rating scale, compared with a placebo. This is the same 2 point difference that research last week showed wasn’t all that clinically significant in older new generation antidepressants (SSRIs like Prozac and Paxil).

Strangely enough, lower doses (50mg) of Pristiq proved more effective than higher doses (100mg). I believe this is the first time where a drug company has shown in their own data that less of their drug works better than more of it (at regular dosing levels)!

Pristiq, compared with Effexor XR, should be seen for what it is — an evolution in an existing chemical compound, trying to address some of the concerns with the current drug. Time will tell whether the side effects are more tolerable than those associated with Effexor XR or not. Because unless Wyeth releases the drug at a lower price point than Effexor XR (which is highly unlikely), Pristiq will have to prove itself as more than just another antidepressant.

IMO sometimes the older AD meds work better, although most of them do have a higher occurance of side effect.

Some people are more resistant to AD meds than other. Why this is so is not fully understood.

For example, I responded well (many years ago) to Effexor XR but it's sister drug Cymbalta is almost completly non-effective for me. Who knows why.

If you need something with a bit more punch, may I suggest a Tri-cyclic or Tetra-cyclic AD med? They do seem to work when SSRI and SNRI's fail.

May be worth a shot.

506273 tn?1260142381
Thank you for that info!  I didn't realize the "b" part!!  My dr. did tell me very vague about the Effexor XR and that Pristiq was its cousin.  Now, I will say that when I was on Effexor XR I had horrible leg cramps to the point I couldn't move.  They put me on rls meds.  When I got off the Effexor my leg cramps stopped.  I still have leg tremors, but nothing like before.

Anyway,
Thank you for the infor.
Alley
Avatar universal
One AD drug worth looking into is Nortriptilyne. It's a Tri-cyclic antidepressant that effects both Norephinepherine and Serotonin.

I found it to be very tolerable after ending the Effexor XR and the Nortriptilyne actually was even more effective. I found the side effects to be very tolerable also.

The only catch with it is that it must be taken a bit before bed, because for the first 4 hours after dosage it makes you sleepy, but then the next morning and during the day it has a nice energizing antidepressant effect.

Tri-cyclic actually get a bad rep for no good reason. They can be very effective and the side effects in some cases can be less than with an SNRI like Effexor or pristiq.
Avatar universal
I have been taking pristiq 50 mg since june 08 right after it came out It does great for the depression unless I take any other med such as vitamins which I also need .  It has raised my blood pressure and my cholesterol, I have horrible sweating with it now they want me to take coreg,and pravachol. When I was on effexor I had rls so bad I had to take sinemet to relieve the discomfort.  Has anyone else noticed that if they take other meds when taking pristiq it doesnt work.  I really need my calcium but am afraid to take it because I get depressed again when I do.
Avatar universal
I recently switched from Pristiq to Effexor XR in order to taper down.  50mg of Pristiq=150mg of Effexor.  I found Pristiq did not cause as much low libido as Effexor has for me.  I also didn't gain weight on it.  Same might be true for Effexor for me (who knows?).  

I gained weight on Celexa and felt significantly more blunted emotionally by it.

I think, if Pristiq is only 150mg of Effexor at it's theraputic dose than it may work for some, but if your depression is very severe, it might not be a high enough dose?  Just a thought.  I want to get pregnant soon and plan to be off both these drugs, hence the taper.

Jenny
Avatar universal
I agree because when  was on Effexor XR my theraputic dosage was  300MGs a day.

Pristiq is (Desvenlafaxine) and Effexor is (Venlafaxine) that just goes to show you how much alike the two drugs are. In fact at the molecular level the two drugs are 99% exactly the same active compound.

You might ask why the makers of Effexor would release a drug so much like Effexor. The answer is "Market share" Effexors Patent runs out very soon and the company that makes Effexor wanted a drug just like Effexor to keep Market share and all those billions rolling in.

Effexor XR going to a Generic is a huge finacial loss to the pharm company that made it.
Many people don't know that for the last 6 years Effexor XR was the #1 selling antidepressant in the world and of all time.
Avatar universal
With all my med, I had attributed them to my no libido. :O(   Sometimes my mind seems to crank up, but then mind and body wash it away. After 6 years, it's just something I have learned to deal with, but not very well most of the time. I have to take meds, and finally after 3 years, depression is controlled somewhat, but still have times when it is so bad. I dake to bed for days at a time.My My switched me from Effexor Xr to Pristiq. I was on a month but had to go back to severe headaches. Once back on Effexor , headaches went with the Pristiq.
Avatar universal
I was taking savella 50 mgs twice daily and blood pressure shot up to 180/100 so got off and went on Pristiq 50 mgs and blood pressure shot up to 179/93.Dr put me on blood pressure medicine.I am not convinced that I have high blood preesure.Has anyone had this probelm?
Avatar universal
I have not had the BP issue, but I know that initially Pristiq and Effexor can be stimulating...maybe this could cause it?  Some of the others might know. J
Avatar universal
July/09 I started taking effexor 75mg for anxiety & by Dec/09 was taking 187.5mg(150+37.5). I had already experienced hot flashes as part of menopause but this internal heat was so extreme, sweat would pour off me just getting ready to go to work in the morning & while at work I had a fan on me all the time! Winter here can get to 30 below celcius so why was I that hot all the time! From then up to Nov/09(a year) I visited my dr. to ask why this was happening. He provided no answers or clues. I tried on my own to find answers....tried accupuncture after reading that my chi may have been out of balance which can cause excess internal heat! It seemed to work a little bit but I was getting desperate. I contemplated botox shots along the forehead & hairline but that was costly. I missed 2 summers cause I could absolutely not take the added heat! Finally I asked for a referral to a pyschiatrist who actually told me most women would like to be hot since it could be like a sauna & help keep weight off!! This was not the case for me-didn't he look at me!! No one was taking this seriously! I asked what he thought about me going off effexor to see if that was what was causing this heat. I had read on medhelp about others being very hot & experiencing hyperhydrosis while on effexor.  For 5 weeks I slowly went off effexor.    IT WORKED! No more heat BUT I still needed an anti-deppressant so I after 6 weeks of nothing I went back to the dr. who prescribed pristiq 50 mg! I do know it's very expensive & am thankful I'm covered. For now I'm feeling good & actually have experienced what it feels like to be cold!                        
Avatar universal
I have been on Effexor XR 225 mg since Aug 06. I've had breif stints of taking Effexor XL to prove to new insurance companies that I truely need brand name and the XR version. My copay has risen to $123/ month for the Effexor XR, so my doctor suggested we try Pristiq for the rebates to cut costs. I did as my MD sugessted and alternated 225 to 150 mg x 8 days before begining Pristiq at 50 mg. About 6 to 7 days after making the switch, I had maniac like symptoms (hyperalert, sexual,with a "tingling/buzzing" feeling.)  The symptom were disconcerting, but not all together unpleasant. I wondered if this is how "normal people" felt as I had been the walking dead for so long. Over the next few days the sympoms settled down and I felt like I had interests and energy that have been misiing from my life. Yeah!!! Then day 11, I feel like I'm having a heart attack (I''m a cardiac ICU RN), chest pressure, left sternal pain, pain radiating down my left arm, shortness of breath and unusual belching that doesn't resolve with rest. I'm off to the ER for an overnight of studies, labs, EKGs and a Stress Echo. My chest pain is not cardiac in nature nor a pulmonary embolism. Thankfully I had crediblitity with the Cardiologist and the staff and expain that it may be withdrawl from the Effexor. They had NO CONCEPT how brutel this medicine is to stop. They gave Ativan 1 mg IV and this stopped the pain. Upon dischage I went immediately to my psychiatrist's office and he has continued schedule Ativan twice a day for a week until I see him again for a followup appt. I feel better, I'm one of the lucky ones, but how do I explain to work that I missed work for a medication withdrawl of a psych med. I'll have the same credibility as Charlie Sheen for his "adverse reaction to a medication"
Avatar universal
I took Pristiq for a few months and it didn't do much for me (but, you know, different meds work for different people).

My biggest complaint was actually coming off of the Pristiq.  I had brain zaps for almost a month afterward (and this was with tapering off) to the point that I was getting nauseated because my vision would blur.  I didn't have any side effects while I was on it (other than it doing...nothing).
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