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Tuesday, June 03, 2008 Lucy, Community Member, asks

Q: What is the difference in Effexor and Pristiq?

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Answers (26)
Should have been a doctor, Community Member
9/18/08 11:47am

Actually, Effexor and Pristiq are related but Pristiq is a structurally novel compound.  They have the same active metobolite (which is thought to have the beneficial effects) but Pristiq has succinate salt added to it which allows for a predictable concentration of the medication.  What all this means is that most patients will be able to stay at the starting dose of 50 mg with very good results.  There have been very low incidences of side effects, little to no weight gain and sexual side effecfts don't seem to be an issue either.


The patent on effexor xr is good until 2010 and Pristiq is actually less expensive than effexor xr with a great co-pay program and every improving formulary coverage.


Some patients my be fine staying on Effexor XR but for anyone initiating therapy or someone who experience side effects Pristiq is a really good option.  I know, I switch from 150 Effexor to 50 Pristiq and haven't felt this good in years!

Eloise, Community Member
12/16/09 4:31am

Hi there.  I am currently 24 weeks pregnant (with twins) and I have been taking Effexor XR (300mg) for about 8 years.  My doctor has recommended that I change to Prestiq before the babies are born to avoid more side effects.  However, when I had my first child 18 months ago, I did not see any side effects on him - I did suffer with postnatal depression quite badly but was on top of things in a few months.  One of the side effects that I have from Effexor is a low sex drive which has always been a problem in my marriage.  Will Prestiq improve this and would you try it and see how you react to it or just continue with Effexor?  Thanks very much.

Dan, Community Member
1/18/10 5:52pm

Hi There,

I would not reccomend at all. I am currently going from 300 mg Effexor to Pristiq 100mg, I feel worse seratonin wise , have had crying bouts though but worst of all I am so dizzy after 2 weeks on Pristiq and 1 week of Effexor 300. Iritable, can't think straight and feel like I'm going to fall over every time I move my eyes. Got the shakes and I would hate to think what this change would do to your unborn twins in this late stage of development. Your doctor is WRONG.

Work in Progress, Community Member
4/ 5/13 11:00am

You should not be taking both medications. Please double check with your Dr. There may be some miscommunication on that.

kelli, Community Member
2/ 7/10 9:52pm

i have been on effexor for 6 years now. as far as sex drive, i had none for many years, i have been separated, and since , divorced for 2 years. i do not believe effexor has anything to do with sex drive. my sex life is better than ever, and it has to do with me and my emotional state. without effexor i didnt care about anything, mostly myself. but effexor gave me what i needed to get myself to as close to normal as i can be. marriage can kill sex drive if your not getting what you need, as a woman, emotionally.

Firestar, Community Member
3/ 4/10 10:00pm

I think you hit the nail on the head with that response, emotionally I get nothing from my husband and it is hard to want to have sex with someone you don't have much conversation with. I am thinking of asking the Dr to try effexor because this Pristiq has done nothing at all for me I mean nothing I am the same as I have been for the last year on the couch or wanting to sleep all the time never on time for work good thing my boss thinks he cant live without me lol.

Firestar, Community Member
3/ 4/10 9:55pm

Hi I don't know what to say about this drug I have taken it for 2 months at 50mg and just started taking 100mg but it has done nothing for me I am still not wanting to get off the couch or out of bed to go to work and I love my job and my boss. I used to take prozac for years and that was great but quit working. I noticed that the pills which are time released were both floating in the toilet the other day and not even the color coating had come off, today the same thing Right now I have one in vineager to see how long it takes to disolve even though stomach acid is much more corrosive other than that I have had delayed orgasam and not sex drive but I didn't have that before. At the moment I have no idea where to go from here I need something to put a little colr and hope back in my life. I wish you the best of luck with it.

littlemsmel, Community Member
6/11/10 10:24pm

Please don't take anti-depress went you are pregnant, the side effects are unknown. I know it will be hard for me to go off them when I am pregnant....... Try 5-HTP or St. John;s Wort. Natural.

Lanessa, Community Member
9/22/10 11:27am

DO take it ! and report your results, we can only get accurate care when we have accurate information... AND the irritability in newborns from moms on Effexor is now considered a side effect of drug on baby, but this isn't true! It's the WITHDRAWAL from the med that makes baby that way, I was pregnant AND breastfed 2 kids on it and had zero complications.



Brandie, Community Member
3/15/11 2:58pm

Which med. were u on? I am 8 weeks prego and was on 50mg of Pristiq and now weaned myself to 12mg but cant get completely off it..I heard if taking this medicine in third trimaster that it can cause breathing problems, tremors, birth defects and low birth weight etc....I have been trying to reseach how many babies and women this has happen to while on pristiq in hopes ofsome relief but I am not getting any answers. I just wanna know I am not going to be the cause of my own child birth defects & issues but I cant get off it completely....I just hope, pray and have faith that it will all be ok.


EffectedKate, Community Member
7/21/11 10:16am

For those pregnant and unsure!!! This is just my experience but I hope it can help and provide some insight.


I gave birth in Feb having been on Effexor XR 450mg for 5 years. I saw a psychiatrist who specialized in antenatal treatment and she ensured she got all of the most recent data as we went along. She indicated the whole way that I was going to need to make a choice to balance my welfare and the welfare of my daughter. She said Effexor had some advantages over Prestiq solely because there is longer term data on effects but that it was not advisable to make a complete medication change during pregnancy unless there was little other choice.


Overall the advice was that Effexor and Pristiq are of little to no concern during the first 2 trimesters but that the concern arises in the 3rd trimester due to the discontinuation (or withdrawal) effects the baby would experience when born. Not everyone experiences these effects, and the effects are highly unlikely to be permanent on a child but if the child does experience withdrawal effects it is quite traumatic for both the parents and baby as the baby struggles to get through it. While you will pass the drug to your child by breast-feeding the transfer makes the dose almost non-existant while it does cross the placenta easily - hence the effects at birth.


The psychiatrist warned that there is no easy solution. On one hand I could continue on my meds to ensure I would make it to delivery without killing myself.


One the other hand I could come off completely and roll the dice... hope i would survive it.


The third decision is the one I chose I continued at 450mg until my third trimester. From there I slowly reduced my dose of Effexor and supplemented my emotional state with a small dose of Mirtazipine at the recommendation of my Psychiatrist. In my last week I dropped to just 75mgs of Effexor with full knowledge of the hospital, my partner and my family. They knew they had to keep me safe in that last period and 12 hours after giving birth they started increasing my dose of Effexor until I was eventually back to a level that was helping. It meant I stayed in hospital longer but it was a huge help.


I live in Australia and all this was possible with our strong health system, if your in the states and you dont have these options then I suggest trying to continue as close to this as possible and surround yourself with people who can help you as best as possible.


My daughter had no obvious effects from the Effexor at 75mg and I survived it. Hope this can be of some help...


Please remember you are no good to your child if you don't survive your pregnancy!!!

marie, Community Member
5/ 9/11 4:34pm

my doctor also said it was the difference in the half life, the pristiq is longer so it's preferred

marie, Community Member
5/ 9/11 4:30pm

Well, some people have to take antidepressants, it's not by choice, it's avoiding relapse.  I agree that if you can take the smallest dose you can get away with, but to say go off, you're asking for trouble with some people.   It's one thing to go off it if the worst of your disease is your braining runnign a little fast and you're a little off.  But to go off completely when you have the potential to become suicidal or a bipoloar who needs to have the mood managed, come on wake up smell the roses just because you can don't mean everyone can.

cathy, Community Member
5/ 8/12 2:23pm

I was on effexor xr 225 mg for 13 years. Decided to get off. Weaned myself off with lots of withdrawals, but did it successfully. Full blown bipolar came out of it. Now on seroquil xr 150 mg and just added pristiq xr 50 mg. So, I'm just beginning the process all over again

Sam, Community Member
2/28/12 6:20pm

Effexor has been aroud for over 20 years, and while there an be complications in pregnancy, they are very rare.  For some people antidepressants are absolutely necessary during pregnancy.  As long long as your OB and psychiatrist are working together on your treatment, you can safely medicate.


Please Do NOT take St John's Wort or any other herbal supplements.  They are unregulated and untested.  And for the record, just because something is "natural" doesn't mean it's good for you.  Arsenic is "natural".

joe, Community Member
12/29/10 9:58am

As far as a low sex drive all the serotonin reuptake inhibitors talk about how it does not effect libido...that is all a bunch of marketing BS.  I have been on the sri and the ssri etc.  Yeah there great for depression but as far as sex goes forget it.  What kind of quality of life is that?? Not much.  I mean when you can sit down and watch pornagraphy and it has the same effect as watching Ozzie and Harriett or gunsmoke does on your libido it shore in the hll aint much.  The MAO inhibitors are the way to go...in regards to pristiq and effexor being the same forget it...I tried pristiq and it didnt work.  As far a crying jags go...with bipolars i think it is caused by  the damn anti depressants...when i quit taking them and just take my mood stabalizers i feel okay other wise i will sit in the therapist office and out of the blue start having a crying jag.??? 

Chops, Community Member
2/ 3/10 9:00am

I switched from 150 Effexor to 50 Pristiq and have had no negative effects. I was very concerned as the withdrawal i'd experienced from Effexor was awful; even if I missed one dose i'd feel so dizzy/anxious/upset stomach/electric shock's or brain wobbles....


Saw fantastic new Dr and advised I didn't want to be feeling the way I was then on Effexor, and to eventually reduce to a tiny dose to get off le fex. {was on Effexor since 03} I have grown and learnt many lessons (not from a psychologist) and am happy to say I'm still learning Laughing 


PS. Good Luck

BrainDrain, Community Member
2/25/10 5:04am

Chops, your pre-Pristiq situation looks similar to my current one. Long time on Effexor XR 150 mg with the occassional jump up to 225 (which never seemed to improve anything). Mood never really hit a "high" while on it, and those dizzying, shocky withdrawal effects would hit me later the same day had I missed a dose. Evil stuff. Doc recently suggested I try one of the "new" ones and he had samples of Pristiq and Cipralex (Canadian name for Lexapro). My original (and preferred) thought was to wean off the Effexor while starting the Pristiq (hoping their class similarity could lessen side effects and, if wanting to come off later, lessen the withdrawal nightmare), but Pristiq's product monograph warned not to take if already taking venlafaxine. I assume then you didn't take them concurrently? How gradual a wean off Effexor was it for you and did you have a period then where you overlapped or were med-free?


At the moment I'm on day 10 of Cipralex 10 mg, having decreased Effexor from 225 to 150. Experiencing non-debilitating but still annoying withdrawal effects and will be seeing Dr next week to assess. If you can spare more details of your successful switch to Pristiq, I'd like that ammunition for my meeting. Thanks!

Chops, Community Member
3/ 7/10 6:36pm

Hi ,

I went straight from 150 effexor to 50 Pristiq. I was concerned about not weaning off the effexor but my doctor assured me there would be no problem; and there wasn't. i did not suffer any withdrawals which greatly surprised me. I have been taking 50mg Pristiq for over 2 months now and have not felt any worse, my concentration I believe is getting better and I have made alot of environmental changes, broken up with my boyfriend, moved into new house, changes that have also contributed to feeling better.


I agree with your comments re occasional jump of effexor, at one point a doctor raised to 300mg, i did not notice a change at all, he also whacked in 1000mg of epilim (mood stabiliser) and 300mg of seroquel. I was a zombie, and found it very hard to feel anything. I am not saying meds are bad, they are good if you need them however, many doctors I have had dealings with are a bit too quick to pull out the prescription pad and diagnose you with bullshit.


Take care


let me know how you go


skp, Community Member
9/21/10 9:11am

So how did you switch from effexor to pristiq? Did you take lower doses of pristiq and add pristiq at the same time?

skp, Community Member
9/21/10 9:12am

So how did you switch from effexor to pristiq? Did you take lower doses of pristiq and add pristiq at the same time?

skp, Community Member
9/21/10 9:12am

So how did you switch from effexor to pristiq? Did you take lower doses of pristiq and add pristiq at the same time?

Lanessa, Community Member
9/22/10 11:31am

so did the withdrawal from effexor overlap the beginning of pritiq? how long before cold turkey symptoms end and pristiq takes effect?


rocketo65, Community Member
2/27/11 6:28pm

I was taking effexor for many years all different doeses it worked better than the other 12 prescriptions of anti-depressants.  After going up and down on the doeses I started to experience suicidal thoughts and told my doctor who switched me to prosac.  That did nothing for me so I stopped taking it and went through the motions of a productive life until I was so sick for so long (no insurance either at that point) that I was ready to throw in the towel.  When I finally got insurance again my long time doctor suggested the prestiq.  I had some side effects for about a week and lost 20 lbs (yeah.. gained it back.. boo).  I've been taking it for about a year and my doctor has been supplimenting me with samples when I had trouble with the co-pay.  I recently started a new job and found out when my doctor's rep ran out of samples that my insurance will not cover it.  They told my doctor to put me on Effexor!  My doctor explained to them of my suicidal side effects and they basically told her it was garbage and I wasn't getting any Prestiq.  this is the only thing that has been keeping me healthy for the last year.  My doctor is a peach and has her nurse bugging their drug rep a few times a week but still can't get any samples.  I have been without them for 3 1/2 weeks and I am starting to loose my health and if I keep taking days off for illnesses my job, then I'm back to no job and no insurance.  I HATE THESE INSURANCE COMPANIES THAT THINK THEY CAN PRESCRIBE MEDICATION!  it's going to end up costing more for all the appts and hospital visits than to give me the medicine I need to stay healthy.   Sorry got off point there...  Prestiq rules!

babalou, Community Member
7/21/10 3:55pm

sounds like big pharma PR

Omnipolar, Community Member
1/21/12 9:03pm
Is there less sexual side effects from Prestiqie? Reply
Jolene Noteboom, Community Member
9/ 1/08 1:50am

I was on Effexor xr for 6 years, taking between 225 and 375 mgs a day. The only side effects I ever had were dry mouth and constipation. It worked better for me than any other antidepressant I had ever tried.


7 weeks ago my doctor put me on the 'New Effexor', Pristiq. After taking it for 3 weeks, I was so emotional, I cried over everything. My doctor told me to take two tabs instead of the one. At the end of a week, I called him again. I wasn't crying anymore, but was so aggitated and restless, I was miserable. I've been taking one and a half tabs for 4 days, I'm crying again, but, also, still aggitated and restless.


Effexor never did these things to me, so I don't see how they can be so close together chemically. I'm not taking any tonight, or any other night.


I'm sure it doesn't effect everyone that way.



Cindy, Community Member
11/ 3/09 5:54am

It's affecting me the same way. I was on Effexor XR for almost 3yrs and was dropped by insurance and can't afford so my doc gave me a handful of samples of Pristiq. It's been 5 days and I'm not sleeping well, i can't think straight and my eyes almost hurt to look around. I want my effexor back. its a shame that i can't afford it. what a great country we live in. i hope they watch the SAW 6 movie. haha. maybe it will open their eyes. 

ramcam6, Community Member
6/ 8/10 11:50pm

Check effxorxr.com web site they have a $4/prescription offer that is for people without prescription coverage.

Big Nana, Community Member
1/25/13 3:37pm
Go to the Effexor website. You can get a card where you only pay a $4.00 copayment for the med. no strings attached. It's from Pfizer . Reply
KENDALL, Community Member
6/20/10 8:37pm

I have been on Effexor of 5 years....I am trying to get a prescription plan that cover this.  In the interim my doctor gave me Pristig until I am able to afford the Effexor. Like Jolene,  I am experiencing crying alot which I never had on Effexor XR.  I don't like Pristig at all;  am going back on Effexor as soon as I can.



Hstorti, Community Member
4/10/11 11:17am
I have been on Effexor for a few years starting at 250mg and have weaned myself down to 75mg. My doctor wanted me to try Pristiq and said it was the same as Effexor but a much cleaner drug. Well, I've been on it for 10 days and I can't stand the lightheadedness I have every day. Looks like I will be going back on Effexor. Reply
Julie, Community Member
11/29/11 12:06pm

I had the same trouble not affording it and I talked to people regarding the CHEAP rates in Canada.  It takes 2-3 weeks to get it, but they give you 90 days at half of what 1 month costs here.  I was warned that it comes from different places each time and also can look different (different color capsule...), and that it may come from China where standards are different.  With that in mind I went Canadian and have been on Effexor RX for 1 1/2 years and I have ever had a problem.  That's 90 days for about $70.  It's been a God send for me.   Julie



Max, Community Member
2/18/13 3:18pm

What Canadian pharmacy are you using? I have had good luck with DrugWorldCanada.com

Linda, Community Member
6/22/10 12:34pm

I am so glad I read your post. I have been on Pristiq and have been

crying a lot, not understanding why. Did you go back on Effexor?

Linda, Community Member
6/22/10 12:35pm

I am so glad I read your post. I have been on Pristiq and have been

crying a lot, not understanding why. Did you go back on Effexor?

user1010, Community Member
7/ 6/10 3:31pm



Teva Introduces First Generic Effexor XR® Capsules in the United States

jmorrowbel, Community Member
1/12/11 1:07pm

I recently switched to Pristiq from Effexor also, and can definitely tell a difference - more agitated and restless like you, and somewhat more emotional, and my mind is flooded all day long with thoughts of suicide and/or death.


My doctor also told me to double my dose - but I am scared to do that, I'm going to ask to go back to Effexor.  It made me dizzy some days but I think I'll take dizzy over all this other scary emotional stuff!



SarahSmile, Community Member
4/18/11 12:38pm

Wow, I am glad that I am not the only one. I was one Pristiq for about a year. It was a terrible drug. My doctor hyped it for having ''virtually no side effects'', so for the longest time I thought it was just me. I have never, ever been suicidal but had constant thoughts of death and suicide. Felt like I was in a deep dark hole with no way out. I had uncontrollable crying spells and I never felt even a small glimmer of hope. Finally I came to my sences and requested a med change. I was placed on Lexapro and after about 2 weeks I actually saw my future, and saw it brightly. I have not had one suicidal thought since then. I even sent a letter/complaint to FDA. I would never wish that horrible ''Pristique'' year that  endured on anyone.

Angela, Community Member
9/ 9/11 5:06pm

I took Pristiq for the first time a few nights ago (after I asked my doctor to be put back on Effexor XR which had always worked for me, and for which I stupidly weaned myself off of a few onths ago, thinking I didn't need to be medicated anymore). The next morning I awoke with horrible waves of 'fire' sensations on my skin all over, which landed me in the emergency room. THis was just the 50 mg dose too. I'll be starting back on Effexor in a few days and I can't wait. I just hope I can tolerate it this time around. I've always been able to before.

hotE, Community Member
11/22/11 3:41pm

I am so glad I saw your post.  I just switched from effexor 75mg to pritstiq cu_z I started feeling like I was having a heart attack and major anxiety.  Since starting the pristiq I am mean, impatient, emotional, and the scariest part having dreams of people committing suicide so seeing your post makes me feel better.  I am switching back to effexor.



Just Jim, Community Member
4/ 7/11 8:17pm

I also took Pristiq after being on Effexor for Years. I only did it because I got a bunch of free samples and my doctor said "it's the same thing at the molecular level" Feeling good about saving money, I tried it for 6 weeks. What a disaster. May be a different side affect for those on Lithium (which I am) Got super nauseated..and super depressed..It's as different from Effexor as flees are from buffalos. It was UGLY!! Never again....Be careful...Just my experience..

Liz 2011, Community Member
5/ 1/11 8:30pm

I am a qualified health science researcher, experienced in natural therapies prescribing, hypnotherapy, NLP & coaching. I only mention this to put the information I am sharing here into context. 


I had a friend long term on Effexor XR, calmer but became a recluse because she seemed to be losing her memory. She was also on an array of other medication for menopausal symptom. Then treated for early dementia (at 50), brain damage and shock following an accident at work. She'd become worse due to stress at home over time with her daughter as her carer. I suggested she discuss Pristiq with her doctor to increase her noradrenaline and improve "mental energy" in the hope that she might be able to regain her former strength and be able to reconstruct a livable life. 


I experienced a severe financial shock just over 2 months ago. It was the "final straw" in a 6 year struggle to sort out my various stresses resulting from deaths in my family, failed relationships, loss of friends, legal matters and financial changes. I also went through menopause during this, which I barely noticed, and was treated with natural thyroid (not tolerated) and synthetic progesterone (good) for unopposed oestrogen, major weight gain and to assist with chronic hypothyroidism.


I wanted to be able to find solid ground again. I used natural therapies to keep as well as I could, but was increasingly finding I avoided socialising and could only manage within the "safety" of my rural home. The world beyond that felt overwhelming, overstimulating and frightening at times. Diagnosis was PTSD. 


After the last shock I "soldiered on" endeavouring to sort out the financial position and resolve it. Eventually had difficulties working, focusing, eating, sleeping, anxiety, and eventually mental and visual disturbances. After eliminating low blood sugar as possible cause, I decided to stop treating this as something I could "fix" and dropped the mask and discussed my deteriorating psychological and physical state with my counsellor and then my doctor.


Given my history (repeated breakdowns in 1980s) and my previous successful use of Parnate (MAOI) we decided that Pristiq (SNRI) was probably the best option to assist me to deal with financial stress and stay out of hospital (my preference). It felt like I had split into two people: the sensible one who then observed and looked after the one who wanted to do destructive and self-harming and generally act out how some part of me was feeling. It looked like I was very angry but I couldn't actually feel it. It was as if something was surging inside me trying to get out. 


Commenced 50mg Pristiq combined with 10mg Stemital for nausea, normal dose, taken at night so I could adjust to any side effects at night. Overnight most of my symptoms changed and 'psychotic' events virtually stopped. Stemital also eased anxious stomach, and able to tolerate food, even started to feel hungry. Felt sedated, however, unable to concentrate or work on financials. Halved dose of both, better the next day. Continued on half dose of both for a week.


Emotionally felt calmer, the surging and internal rollercoaster of panic stopped. I had the experience of perceiving the split person merged into one. Emotional releases came easily over the next few days and I started to feel my emotions more, and was able to identify how I was feeling. Anger and sadness came up and I released these much more easily. Everything was smoother and less blocked, less traumatic. I was limited, however, to just taking care of myself at home. Even that was improving on a daily basis. If I even looked at the financial documents I wanted to throw up. I felt disgust and distress. I eventually gave up, feeling too fragile to deal with it. All I could do was bundle up the paperwork and hand it to the bookkeeper with apologies. 


Similar to being on Parnate before my thinking was better able to access the knowledge of how to look after myself well. The difference was that this was a much slower onset of relief and recovery, whereas Parnate had "switched on the lights" suddenly 2 hours after the first dose, and also put me at risk of seizures, resulting eventually in hospitalisation. It also required strict eating practices and consequently I had dropped a lot of weight very quickly with hyperactivity, also requiring hospitalisation and eventual medication with first Rhohypnol (didn't work) and then Lithium (dreadful and not tolerated). It was a terrible time as drugs had rough side effects and hospital staff were not trained adequately for patients with "abnormal" responses to medication. 


Still taking at night, went to full dose Pristiq, kept half dose of Stemital, as full dose made breathing feel harder. Daily improvements in coping and capabilities. Mood generally good, if a little nervous about the changes, and of course dealing with the financial shock and nervousness that this might not work for me and that I might still end up in hospital or go mad entirely or end up bankrupt and shamed. My "stuff" was certainly coming up. I talked it through with my counsellor and my GP. 


Switched to morning Pristiq, noted I was not having nausea or light headedness and stopped Stemital half dose. Well tolerated. 


I have continued to improve over the last 5 weeks. I noticed, especially in the early stages, that I caffeine made me feel worse so I avoided that. I had to take the Pristiq at the same time each  morning, discovered from the experience of it wearing off. My head felt like some sort of reconnection work was going on inside, linking up and firing off random memories. I also had a few days of hearing music and the occasional voice speaking to me, which was frightening at the time. That eventually settled down. My doctor explained that I may need a higher dose of Pristiq (100mg) but that Pristiq also takes 6 weeks to plateau. We decided to reassess the 50mg per day dose at 6 weeks, which I am almost up to. 


Knowing how Pristiq works on my brain chemistry I know that it takes time to adjust to the increased levels of serotonin and noradrenaline. Pristiq doesn't "fix" my life - it gives me a better chance at it by ensuring that I have the "raw materials" (neurotransmitters) and a better operating environment so that I deal better with how I feel and make my life work better.


Now I don't have to drink coffee and tea all day to boost up my brain function as I had been doing at times in the past. My body also needs time to adjust to this as well. Most noticeably physical change is my ability to recover more quickly from viruses and infections, my sugar/insulin balance is better, my cortisol and adrenalin levels are normal again, my sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems are more balanced, the IBS has stopped and bowel function is normal and regular at last, I get tired around the same time each night and have to go to bed or my brain seems to shut down. My body is working "for" me now, not "against" me. It feels like the war inside is over.


I am beginning to sleep for longer and without disturbance from nightmares and horror images. These were a feature of the first two weeks and I would wake in fright, unable to go back to sleep. I don't have problems with voices, music or other hallucinations. Nor have I had any seizures with Pristiq to date.


Workwise, over Easter I sat for 2 days and completed 3 months of bookkeeping preparation easily. I can read and retain phone numbers and other information. My head is less scattered. The flow from intended action into actual activity is improving. If I lose focus I can bring back my focus without getting upset with myself. I have also been able to organise and supervise renovation work on a property I own and cope with changes on the fly and make decisions there logically and without stress. Most of all I have hope for doing the future better than I did the past and only wish I had made the decision to get help from my doctor sooner as I could have avoided the financial mess that occurred due to my low grade chronic depression and PTSD.  


Moodwise, if I get to bed early and have sufficient sleep and eat regularly well throughout the day I wake feeling "happy for no reason" and stay that way. This is a big change from the habit of psyching myself up to have happy thoughts and a happier attitude, which requires a lot more energy and is unsustainable. 


Based on my previous adverse experience of psychiatric medicine for a long time I have been opposed to using pharmaceutical mood changers where a natural therapy could be used instead. The improvement in medication is incredible and I was so fortunate that when I needed Pristiq it was available. 


These are only my experiences of the impact that Pristiq has had on my system. Each patient will have their own experience depending on history or circumstances. I hope this will be of assistance to others going through their own experiences with Pristiq and recovery of their health.  

theresa, Community Member
5/ 4/11 3:57pm

Thank you for sharing your experience .It has helped me tremendously .I have just started Pristique after 5 years of 350mg dose of effexor.I went cold turkey and my withdrawl from effexor was terrifying.I was just tired of taking drugs to help me cope.I usr a natural therapy as much as possible.After reading your story it helped me to accept that there is no shame in taking medicine to help me cope.

My internal rollercoaster of panic lessens each day I force myself to get outdoors and I am gradually going further each day.I am confident that this experience will better my life.I just wish time would pass more quickly so I could be looking back on this and not living it.Again thank you I wish I had a friends like you .theresaangelasew@gmail.com

RyanC84, Community Member
10/ 3/12 1:55pm

i am trying to find out as much information on effexor and pristiq for my wife and trying all i can to help her with the withdrawls of coming off the effexor cold turkey and going on 50mg of pristiq, but i have read alot of the these comments and can someone explain to me why 150mg or 225mg of effexor is the same as 50mg of pristiq?? ryancarrigan84@gmail.com anyone can give me tips or info it would be helpful.



treedee72, Community Member
6/20/11 2:24pm

I have been on Effexor for 10 years and thought about switching to Pristiq.  Took it for one week and my family was ready to have me committed.  I wanted to rip everyone's head off.  Not to mention the nausea.  Oh my God what an experience.  I thought not taking the Effexor was bad.  I will gladly take my Effexor.  My family is very happy now.  It makes a difference knowing that others are having the same problem.  Good luck. Katrina

knicname, Community Member
8/31/11 7:15pm

I'm wondering if you could be going thru Effexor withdrawal!  One has to wean off Effexor VERY slowly even if you are substituting it.  You were on a pretty high dose & may not have been put on a high enough dose of Pristiq to compensate for the lose of the Effexor.  I've been on Effexor XR 75mg for a long time (had been on higher dosages). However, when I tried to go down to 37.5mg I started getting "electric shocks"; Headaches; etc. & finally went back to 75mg/  Don't know what I'll do.  I did start Cymbalta (same class as Effexor) because it helps with fibromyalgia.

Maybe your MD can add Wellbutrin XL that has worked very well for me in combo with others. My best to you!

shappy, Community Member
9/18/08 5:13pm

My doctor swears by pristiq.  I have been taking effexor for a couple of years (150 mg currently).  My girlfriend was sick of the side effects so I decided to give it a try.  The physician's assistant said it was fine to switch from one to another.  BAD MOVE.  ANYONE TELLING YOU THAT YOU CAN DO THIS IS LYING OR IGNORANT.  I HAD A TOTAL MELTDOWN WITHIN FOUR DAYS.  WANTED TO KILL MYSELF...ENDED UP IN A CLOSET CRYING FOR NO APPARENT REASON.  I EVEN PISSED THE BED.  I'M A 39 YEAR OLD MAN FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE.  DO NOT GO FROM ONE TO THE OTHER HASTILY.  There is a way to do it safely.  It involves coming off the effexor slowly while introducing Pristiq simultaneously.  I'm not a doctor so I'm not going to say how to do it.  Don't rely on a physician's assistant to tell you how to take medication...get it from a real MD.

Aparecida, Community Member
11/25/09 2:40am

Effexor is the worst drug of all to tapper off. It's TERRIBLE. It took me 2 months to go from 300mg to none. While I was on it I had horrible nightmares, blood pressure dropping to 90x54, constipation, sleepness and distraction... and the worse part is that when I tried to get of off it, things were even worse. The withdraw side effects are very probably similar to a street drug. I hated, hated, hated.

I would not be surprised if one day a class law suit comes out on ads asking the classical question: "Have you or you loved one ever taken Effexor? If yes, you may be entitled to compensation. Call our Law Offices at 1800-###-#### and speak to one of our representatives".
Just wait and see. Cry

Aparecida, Community Member
11/25/09 3:32am

I forgot to say... to get off Effexor, I was literally opening up my pills and counting the granules. There's about 80 of them per pill. So, every three days I would remove 5 of them, and gradually I got off that terrible drug.
I told my doctor about my technique (after I was done with it), and he was pleasantly surprised. I guess all he's allowed to do is to tell me to go down in the dosages using either the 37.5, 75 or 150mg pills that are available in the market. We tried that route, but it didn't work. Every time I'd go down in the dosage the side effects were crushing me.CryCryCry

I need to say that this doctor was not the one that prescribed me Effexor... The one that originally prescribed it was not willing to take me out of those meds. Every time I'd got a migraine - due to all the side effects from the drug - he would increase my dosage. What a nightmare!

So I dropped him and started seeing this MD who I am with now. As I hadn't taken antidepressants in my life before, he was shocked that my first MD started me on Effexor.
Anyways, everyone has different sensitivities. I am on Pristiq now - 50mg only. 
My depression is more physical than emotional - and Pristiq is getting me up and going. My sister-in-law is a pharmacist, and she suggested me to take it a couple of hours before going to bed, as I was telling her that the med makes me sleepy. It's convenient to do it this way, since I have to go to bed anyway. In the morning, I wake up right away, and don't feel sluggish.
I don't suggest anyone to get of Effexor without LOTS OF CAUTION: the withdraw messes up the brain serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors levels so badly, that you'd regret it. Tamper it off very, very slowly.
Also, if you decide to go cold turkey and can't keep it up, don't go back to your full dosage. Going out of it and re-starting on the original dosage can cause serotonin syndrome, and that is life threatening.

Aparecida, Community Member
11/25/09 3:41am

"(...) the withdraw messes up the brain serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors levels..."

I meant to say that it messes up the brain's serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake levels. Sorry.

Chops, Community Member
2/ 3/10 9:21am

I'd like to mention my experiences with a very well known and respected Dr .... A........., he was sp happy to up my dose of effex to 300 and also throw in 1000 of epilem and to top the cocktail off; 300 seroquel at night. WTF


his reasoning after talking to me for approx 12 mins is below:

1. you may have bipolar.

2. you definately have BPD.


took his advice as I was in vunerable state and after 2 days I was a walking zombie (working full time also) not so sure my best interests were in hand.

We all know when the black cloud/dog is hovering, but more meds are not always the answer.  (also we all know when a doc prescribes, he gets a lil $ in his pocket) 

Getting rid of time wasters ie; brain rapers and eating well has helped me. 

I am still on 50mg of Pristiq, still have good and bad days but nothing compared to Effexor. I count myself lucky, I really do.

Take care


jmorrowbel, Community Member
1/12/11 1:20pm

I've been seeing the same doctor for 9 years - I really don't think he gives a crap about what is happening in my life - just what drugs can he prescribe to make me feel "good."  I believe a lot of my problem is due to a 28 yr bad marriage (hubby left me 3 times and came back - also made it his mission to make me so miserable at one time that I would divorce him).  Sadly I am still back with him for the sake of the kids but my life is totally out of control - hoarding things, animals, always unhappy and irritable, gained 35 pounds, etc etc  


I've just switched from Effexor (150 mg) to Pristiq (50 mg) due to dizziness and sleeplessness from Effexor.  Right way I had no more dizziness and slept better, but I have very wierd thoughts all day long (death and dying and suicide) and find myself to be irritable.  I am also getting numbers mixed up (so probably more but I just don't notice it).  


I always thought a psy would ask about your life but mine only asks the same questions, reading them from his list.

kelli, Community Member
2/ 7/10 10:07pm

any drug you have to rely on to cope is not good. BUT if you find one that helps you feel somewhat normal then that is GREAT. many people deal with depression for many years and thank god they have come up with many good treatments. everyone is different! no one drug will have the same effect on everyone. after 25 years of deppresion, effexor is the only one that helped me. along with welbutrin, all is finally well in my world. but that isnt to say it will work for anyone else. no one deserves compensation for trying a drug that doesnt help them! wake up! if you have anger issues most likely drugs wont make them go away.

gayl65, Community Member
3/ 6/10 7:50am

I agree everyone is different and a particular drug may not have the same effect on everyone. However, I do not believe anyone on this forum is looking for compensation for trying a drug that didn't help them.


Effexor worked for me when I needed it and for that I am thankful but because of hellish withdrawals I couldn't stop taking it.


Titrate, you say? Good luck with that one, Buddy! I tried that several times and it didn't work. The withdrawal symptoms were so severe I had no choice but to start taking the Effexor again. Wyeth Pharmaceuticals has counted on this to keep patients hooked. This and the fact that there were no warnings issued about withdrawal symptoms when it was prescribed makes them (Wyeth) liable. It is this lack of disclosure they are profitting from and at our expense both monetarily and mentally. Angry? Hell, yeah! Compensation? Damned right, I want compensated!

Caron, Community Member
3/21/10 5:22pm

I have been reading some of the replies on here. I had been on Welbutin and Effexor for about 8 years and found it to be the drugs that worked for my depression. It seems that with some changed that have happened in my life like job lost, new city to live in and husband retired that my meds started to not have the same good effect that they had had. My Dr took me off the Welbutin first and then off the Effexor. I am now on my third day of Pristiq and all the old side effects of tears, no appetite, shakiness and bad sleep has rushed back on to me. If this drug is suppose to be of the same family as Effexor why I wonder is this happening. I am going to stay on this medicine until I see her again in a week and half and then discuss with her . One reason she wanted me off the Welbutin and Effexor was that it can raise your blood pressure however so can this new med  and at my age of 64 my blood pressure has gone up and I take meds to keep it at a controlled level anyhow. I guess like anything else it will take time and I am not that patient I guess.

Harris, Community Member
5/ 4/10 8:07pm

To those of you just starting Pristiq let me tell you my story - I had been taking Celexa and then Lexapro 20mg for over 8 years (sounds like the same Effexor Pristiq story - Lexapro is the new and improved Celexa).  The drug was no longer as effective and added to that I was drinking too much.  I went into rehab, stopped drinking and switched from Lexapro to Pristiq "cold turkey".  About a week into the change I wanted to jump off a bridge - terrible lack of concentration, emotional nightmare, dizzyness, etc - it was not fun.  However, I stuck it out. and now, about six weeks later I feel a little bit better than I did on the Lexapro.  I continue to feel a little better each week.  The short version of my story is that if you're MD will provide some kind of buffer to the "crash" that would be great - but over the longer term I seem to be feeling better. 

littlemsmel, Community Member
6/11/10 10:27pm

totally....it's brutal.....i'm going to try pristiq...hate effexor

steve, Community Member
9/25/10 10:42pm

From what I'm reading here, everyone's response to these drugs is so drastically disparate that I can hardly believe it.

I guess that I've been lucky.  My doctor put me on Effexor XR ten years ago.  He worked me up to 150 mg/day over a period of two months.  I never experience a single side effect while on the meds and they worked great!  However, the withdrawal is pretty lousy.  If I ran out and forgot to get my refill then I would start experiencing withdrawal by the second day.  Withdrawal symptoms would cease within 4 hours of taking a single dose. 

I have seen people here stating that they are not warned about this and that the drug company doesn't inform people of this fact.  THAT IS 100% FALSE.  My doctor warned me when I started taking it 10 years ago that I could not stop it at once and that I would have to be weaned off of it over a period of 6 months or more.  This information was also in the informational packet given to me with every refill from the pharmacy. The people posting here about trying to wean off of it over a month or two really need to check with their doctors about what they are doing.

About a year ago I left my job and was without insurance for some time.  My doctor was good enough to give me free sample packets of Pristiq.  I made the switch straight from 150mg of Effexor to 50mg of Pristiq without needing to wean off of the Effexor because they are supposed to perform the same function and be pretty much the same chemically.  I suffered no ill effects by making this change and continue taking Pristiq at the same dose today.

All in all, no complaints here.

Angie, Community Member
11/ 2/10 9:48pm

I have taken Effexor XR since my dad died in 1996. I take 150mg a day. I have been buying the generic from Canada. They do not work as well as the brand name but the brand is 140.00 for one month versus 70.00 for three months of the generic. My mom wants me to ask the doctor to switch me to Pristiq or something else. When my dad died, the dr tried many different drugs and combinations of drugs to help me. Effexor was the best. It works within hours and as long as I don't miss a dose, I'm fine. If I miss even one, I'm a wreck. Mom has been on Pristiq and it didn't help her but she heard that it was chemically similar or the same so she thought it would help me. I'm scared to change because I don't want to go down that dark path should the Pristiq not work as well or have weird side effects. I never had side effects from the Effexor and I have been on higher doses as well (in the beginning).

AW, Community Member
12/30/08 1:11am

I am a 32 y.o. woman, who is single.  Effexor Xr @ 300mg a day KILLED my libido. Since properly weaning myself off of Effex-no pun intended, and switch 2 Pristiq, I have some semblance of an actual sex drive.  Not having one at my age doesn't do much for my depression or self-esteem.  But, I also have way less side effects too!  It has worked for me in the 6 mo that I have been taking 100mg, 50 mg did not fully help with my severe depression, anxiety/panic disorder, Lupus, Fibromyalgia & lethargy just to name a few...Ha ha ha!  What works for one or some doesn't always mean that it will work for others.  That law applies to most everything we do.  I have tried literally countless anti-depressants and have NEVER experience such a good response than the one I have from Pristiq.  Remember, u are your own health care advocate, not the doctors.  So, though it may be literally h#ll to keep trying and failing then add the insult of going off these drugs, in  the end, it may just be worth it.  I know, I've been battling this for 12 yrs.  Keep your chin up and if your anti isn't working, keep trying.  I really believe that there is something out there for everyone, that's why the drug companies keep developing new drugs, not everyone responds the same.  We're all genetically different; just like some people can eat eggs, dairy and peanuts while other cannot.  Keep trying you may be suprised!

Judith, Community Member
2/27/09 4:34pm

Hi everyboy!Laughing


I have tried just two antidepresants in my whole life. First one, was Lexapro for 3 month, and a month ago my Doc. put me on PRISTIQ. Even I have been depressed for many years (crying for no reason, etc) it was  not to the point of taking antidepresants. Until my personal trainer gave me (Phen Phen) from his point of view to cut down my food cravings, but instead this crap sent me to the hospital after (10 days) taking 1/2 pill daily!.. Anyways I ended up with PANICK ATACKS!! It was a nightmare for 6 whole month! I was getting up to 170 beats per minute (arrithmea) and my blood presure went up very high. I felt dying..Embarassed Since my story it is kind of long I'm going to summerize by saying, EVERY BODY IS DIFFERENT, SO WHAT MAY WORK FOR YOU MAY NOT WORK FOR ME. I've been on PRISTIQ for a month and it is working! The side effects that I have had so far are from stopping the ATIVAN after taking it for almost 2 years. So I think this new product may help many people out there. When taking it just make sure you don't mistakely accuse Pristiq of side effects when could be discontinuation effects from the prior medicine! Keep an eye on that!.


Good luck everyoneWink



nj, Community Member
3/29/09 11:57am

I've tried taking Pristiq 2 different times and both time broke out in a rash around my neck.  The first time I was told it was not the Pristiq but when it happened a second time how could it be anything else?   Is this the same chemical compound as Effexor?  I need an antidepressant but not tolerating any I've tried.  Paxil causes too much weight-gain.

yeahhrightt, Community Member
6/ 9/09 3:51pm

wow so many positive reviews on something so new.. it makes me wonder how many employees are "answering" this question

Aparecida, Community Member
11/25/09 3:37am

That was funny!!! He he Laughing

Well, I guess as time passes by, things tend to get better... at least that is what I hope for.

blisslee, Community Member
7/28/09 1:41am

I'm a 24yr old female who took effexor for 4 years at 150mg, also with the occasional use of ativan, with many side effects. Apparently I'm medication sensitive. I tried earlier this year to change medications. I started with welbutirn 150mg. Felt so sick every day. Went form that to cipralex 10mg a day, then to remron at 15mg, then to welbutrin at 300mg and now pristiq. You can pretty much say Ive been thought the ringer! But still with no sign that I'm getting better I'm completely lost. My anxiety disorder is taking over my life, and with all the doctors Ive seen there really isnt one who's helped me....

dogdog, Community Member
9/ 2/09 4:24pm

I've been on Prestiq for a bit over three months now and at 44 yr's old can finally see my future and stay focused during the day. Love it.

depressed lawyer, Community Member
9/ 3/09 9:37pm

I have been taking Pristiq for the last two months. It makes me sleepy but improves my Libido. I am less depressed but being so tired is not good. Tonight I am tapering off Pristiq and trying Effexor for the first time....here it goes....


fidgetsmum, Community Member
9/ 6/09 12:17am

I have to agree with the answer going off effexor to this - i went from 150 mg of effexor xr to pristiq 50 mg and have had a nagging low level depression with bouts of more depression and crying and inability to handle my emotions that i hadn't had in forever with effexor.  effexor was the first thing that ever worked for me.  so i'm switching back to save myself from this inability to function.  i was actually on the web tonight doing searches to see if anyone else reported what i was experiencing - i'm glad to see i'm not alone (but sorry for your struggles).  back to effexor when it arrives weds.

Deepthoughtnikki, Community Member
5/28/12 4:25pm
I am going through a similar experience, I have been on Effexor XR for a few months now and have felt better than I have for a really long time! My dad has been in and out of the ER and ICU with heart problems lately and I started having some anxiety and panic again, so my dr decided to take me cold turkey off Effexor and start me on Prostiq 50 mg. since stopping Effexor 150 a few days ago, I have felt more irritable, less energy, crying one minute then about to rip someone's head off next minute, terrible nightmares at night and now today I have vertigo and really strange sensations when i Move my eyes or head. This is all freaking me out so I took 75 mg Effexor along with 50 Prostiq ( and some Ativan) today. Everytime I move my head or get up out of bed the vertigo starts again. Idk if this is withdrawal from Effexor or side effects of Pristiq? Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thx! Reply
fidgetsmum, Community Member
5/29/12 11:14pm

Go to your doc!! Don't self medicate! It is interesting that a month after the pristiq back to effexor, in Oct 09, i started having vertigo so it could well be related.

shanksmommy, Community Member
10/27/09 4:11pm

I am in the process of switching from effexor to pristiq--I was on prozac for many many years it worked.  Nothing else has.  Menopause on top of all this for a 38 year old female stinks.  I was up to 225 mg of effexor to 150, then to swap to 50 mg of pristiq--feel like I'm going thru withdrawals.  Guess we will see what happens in a few days.  I cry all the time and couldn't find my keys yesterday and I put them on top of the fridge ....didn't even remember picking them up...

ddz57, Community Member
12/11/09 10:17am

So, tell me, why did you stop taking Prozac if it worked for you?  I took Prozac for  many years, and in fact, I credit Prozac for saving my Life!  However, my side effects, ESPECIALLY sexually speaking, caused me and my doctor to reconsider this medication.  I became unable to climax ~ this was really upsetting, both to me and my Life partner.  I now take Pristiq 100mg/day ~ I cry most every day, to the point I think it's normal...I'm a 58-year old post-menopausal woman, and I'm getting sick and tired of the tears...

I did take Effexor for a couple of  years and, man-o-man, getting off that drug is a horrible experience!  I now wish that somehow I could start the whole medication thing over!  I mean, I'm currently taking an expensive medicine and am STILL crying evedry day ~ gr-r-r-r-r... ~ but quite frankly, I'm afraid to stop taking Pristiq, THAT's how bad the experience of withdrawls was from the Effexor...help!!

nursingirl, Community Member
4/ 5/11 10:02am

I have been on Effexor XR for about 4 years after having SEVERE panic and anxiety attacks. I am currently on 150mg.... and I HATE the withdrawal too, BUT all in all, it has worked GREAT for me! One problem right now just in the last year... I almost never have any energy anymore. The pristiq commercial with the toy that you have to "keep winding up"..... that's what I feel like, like I can't function at home without forcing myself to get up.  I don't get it, I've never been like this before. I used to be so energetic and motivated. Have loved my Effexor but tired of always being tired now. Anyone else facing this on Effexor???

Anyone experience this on Effexor and switch to Pristiq and didnt feel like you had to keep "winding yourself up" ??

doris, Community Member
10/10/11 10:15pm

I too was on Effexor for 7 years,  opened the pills and put it in applesauce until I was down to just  a few  everyday, but it was no fun. now on Prisitiq, makes ne terrible hot, for about 4 hours every day, hope it gets better or I will have to get off.

kym, Community Member
11/16/09 12:35am

ive been on Pristiq 50mg for 3 weeks for GAD and depression, and ive never felt so good in my entire life. Ive also never been on anti depressants before either. I was skeptical about all antidepressants, but i finally came around, and i cannot believe ive struggled for 30 years without meds. i cannot compare with any other antidepressants, but i can say that im very happy with Pristiq. this is not a corporate instigated endoresment! hope everyone finds what works for them and good luck:)

Angel, Community Member
6/ 1/10 2:24pm

I hav

Angel, Community Member
6/ 1/10 2:28pm

I have

littlemsmel, Community Member
6/11/10 10:30pm

i'm going to Lucy. I'm currently taking 150 effexor and have just been given 50mg of pristq.......i have side effects form effexor like no libido, dry mouth,i'm still depressed,either really up or really down so it can't hurt to try pristiq. I n my opinion, if you are unhappy with effexor,why not try something else? hope this helps sweetie......you're not alone:}

Aussie Medman, Community Member
7/ 1/10 3:16am

Hi guys and gals, I am 28 years old suffered from depression since i was 17. Over the last 3 years I am suffering from PTSD and servere depression Disorder I have been tryin to find the solution for my issues.

I began on lexapro, Elavil, and then Effexor 75mg and I felt "cured", i felt the best in 10 years, though 12 months later, dose had to be uped to 112.5 then 150mg and the ova last months 225mg.

In the last 12 months i had felt no possitive effect from the dose increases just increased side effects headpressure, shakes, lowered appitie, lowered sex drive, you all know the rest we are all on a similar jurney's.

I attepted to swithch to cybalta 6 months back. My body and brain reacted in a way as if they could not commusicate together proberly

Here are just a few side effects i encounted over the 9 days of transistion, visually and sonic holutions(wiithin dreams aswell as fully consious), sensitivity the light, convoltion, uncontrolable fear and paranoia sweat hot and cold, when i could stand my equalibriam was gone. So my only solution was to go immediatly back on the Efexor and with 5-10 days the sympems had reduced to a point in which I felt in control again.

All this said today I am attempting another transition from 225mg effexor to the base dose 50mg of Pristiq.
As these are both SNRIs and metabilise through threw liver in a very simlar way, So Because of this reason and throughor research I have created a plan to ellimate most if not all negative side effects suffered during this transition.

Day 1 Take my normal 225mg Effexor

Day 2 Reduce dose 150mg Effexor + 50mg Pristiq

Day 3 Reduce dose 112.5mg Effexor + 50mg Pristiq

Day 4 Reduce dose 75mg Effexor + 50mg Prisiq

Day 5 Reduce dose 37.5 Effexor + 50mg Pristiq

Day 6 Now I take my 50mg dose of Pristq everyday


**********************************IMPORTANT TO ALL READER************************************



Try to see this "pill" we take in the morning/night as a health suppliment and incormerate it into a heathy eating and exercise pattern over 3/6/9 months and see what happens. What is 3/6/9 months out of you life if it changes it for the good from then on.  

Love you all my fellow medicated men and women.

P.S. "if any ones tells me ta keep me chin up" I'm gonna knock theres right off theres face:P

Jesejo, Community Member
7/ 1/10 9:32pm

Everyone here should be aware that drugs like Effexor and Pristiq work differently for different people.  What doesn't work for one may the best option for another.  The important thing is to be closely monitored by a Psychiatrist, not a GP or NP, mental illness is their expertise. This is hardly a battle over my anti-depressant is better that yours. If you are looking for feedback from other people chatrooms and blogs are fine, but remember to keep your mind open because your personal expereince may differ drastically.

bepa, Community Member
7/ 4/10 1:17am

Has anyone had side effect of high blood pressure from effexor?  I just switched from effexor to pritiq because of intermittant high blood pressure- blood pressure was up to 164/138 one time. (I'm a 29 yr old woman so this is a real concern that it's the effexor causing this) 

hoping, Community Member
7/31/10 2:26am

im currently on effexor 75mg and don't have a gp or seening anyone on a regular basis to get my med. i went close to a month without it.after the crippling physical side affects passed, i thought i was out of the woods, then the "brain glitches" started,i could not go five min. without the feeling that my brain was short circuiting.Cry i got back on the 75mg by going to the emergency room and ran out for two days and i thought that i would rather be dead than to feel like this because i have missed a couple of doses!. i literally could not function and thought "oh my god this is what like a heroin addict must feel like"!! i am down to 37.5mg and im slowly being weaned off,the thought of needing something so badly just frightens me. Cryim afraid to try pristiq because besides the d-e-s-, all i see is venlafaxine which is generic effexor!for anybody that has had success with either drug,Smilegod bless you and thats so great! for me though this has been a nightmare and i finally have some hope that i can eventually wake up from.

hoping, Community Member
7/31/10 2:28am

i was on effexor 75mg and don't have a gp or seening anyone on a regular basis to get my med. i went close to a month without it.after the crippling physical side affects passed, i thought i was out of the woods, then the "brain glitches" started,i could not go five min. without the feeling that my brain was short circuiting.Cry i got back on the 75mg by going to the emergency room and ran out for two days and i thought that i would rather be dead than to feel like this because i have missed a couple of doses!. i literally could not function and thought "oh my god this is what like a heroin addict must feel like"!! i am down to 37.5mg and im slowly being weaned off,the thought of needing something so badly just frightens me. Cryim afraid to try pristiq because besides the d-e-s-, all i see is venlafaxine which is generic effexor!for anybody that has had success with either drug,Smilegod bless you and thats so great! for me though this has been a nightmare and i finally have some hope that i can eventually wake up from.

sparky, Community Member
11/ 6/10 11:02pm

I switched from Effexor to Pristiq about 3 months or so ago. I thought it might be good to try the latest verison, so to speak, and thought that perhaps it would help with my weight (I have always seemed to be holding on to about 20 pounds more then usual) and my sex drive (not amazing). I also loved the idea of not going through huge withdrawl (brain shakes and feeling like you're being dragged around your bed while sleeping, anyone?) if I forgot to take a dose. When I heard about Pristiq, I thought to myself, "finally- they fixed that; sign me up!"...


After a month on Pristiq and more bouts of depression and uncertainty then I had experienced for a quite some time (as well as what I can only call a nervous breakdown day), I was moved up to the double-dose.


Within a few days things seemed to even out a bit. But after a few weeks now, I feel off again.


I still cry alot now. I worry so much more. My anxiety is through the roof. And then suddenly for an hour, I feel ok. And then, it goes away and I'm down again. I once missed a turn-off on a familiar drive and drove for another hour and a half before I realized my mistake. It was like I forgot what I was doing but kept going anyway. I find at times when in conversation that I keep babbling, and say things a bit more hap-hazardly then I mean to. I can hear myself talking, and at times, due to not being clearminded, neither is how I explain a concept or an idea. It's like I am missing the beat that I used to be able to keep to.


Yes, I have a stressful life as a small business owner, however I've noticed lately while journaling that I am panicing over things that I used to be able to handle. I've lost some wieght, which is nice, but I was always naturally skinny (too skinny) before I went on meds a decade or so ago. All my nervous stress seemed to keep fat at bay. Well, I now feel alot like I did back then. Constantly nervous. Worried. Not overly hungry as I've been worrying.


I'm a Christian, so my mindset is that I'm not in this alone. I beleive God gives us disernment to clue in when things aren't well. Well, for me, things aren't great on Pristiq, and I'm going to set up an appointment with my Doctor to go back on Effexor if he agrees that my case warrents it.


If Effexor means weight gain, then I will have to be more active to counter it. If it means a lower sex drive, then when I'm married one day I'll have to deal with it (hellllo, blue pills!). But right now, I'm just not myself, and it is literally scaring me.


I thought going on Pristiq would finally give me the benifit of my meds without the side effects I had encountered before. For me, it doesn't seem to be a good match. I'm really disappointed about that, but I need to stay on track and healthy.


I will post again and update the situation.


adjuster, Community Member
11/30/10 1:23am

I just switched 7 days ago to Pristique started 25 mg. 

 I weaned off Effexor,  months ago,

I am very very drug sensitive so I always start a new drug at about 1/5the the dose. Although the drug companies don't recommend it I always cut the pills (or reduce the contents of capsules) because the initial median recommended doses are way too intrusive for my sensitive system. The down side to this approach is the time it takes to get up to speed and it's a hard transition, It's also hard to discern whether all the side effects are because the dose is too low, or the withdrawl from the old drug. I take the hit upfront and allow gentle introduction to the new drug, and slowly increase the drug every week til I'm up to the desired effect.

So I was up very late cleaning cupboards etc, hyper, then crashed 2 days, fired up brain, forget what I did 4 seconds prior, now very tired, now down to 1/4 dose  ( pill cut to quarters), and want to give it another week or so to settle.

My libido (age60) came back within a few days.

Athough the Ciprolex(10mg) was working re depression, I had no interest in sex.

Now I do. So the jury on cost benefit of Pritique is still out.

Thank you everyone for your comments. I agree its all very individual experience based on each our unique biochemistries.I met a woman who said it took her 3 years of ongoing med attempts to find what was right for her, and now she has, and she has a very rich life.

If you have any comments or relate to my experience re Pristque or any other related transitions to new anti dep meds I'd love to hear from you 

luvlifenow, Community Member
3/14/11 10:58pm

Thanks so much for taking the time to write this.  this is exactly what I needed to know.


marie, Community Member
5/ 9/11 4:37pm

For me the pristiq gets rid of the mood swings I had with the effexor both times I was on the effexor, I'd either be a zombie from too much and even out towards the end of the day or when I needed a high dose of effexor I'd have it run out of my system before the next dose and the pristiq gives me a more even feel, like either I'm a zombie on too much so they know to wean the dose down or feel how I should which is not depressed or if I feel a little worse, increase the dose.  I think it depends on your metabolism.

Tam, Community Member
7/ 1/11 1:07pm

Get the right mix!  My psych. always waited about 3-4 weeks before us evaluating. It takes that long to know!  We went through about 7-8 different mixes before hitting the one that worked.  And this guy is a wizard.  Trial and error stinks, but it seems to be the answer for now.  For me, it was worth it.  Part of my mix is Pristiq.  Just wish it weren't  so expensive.

KY, Community Member
8/20/11 4:17pm

I did not have time to read through what everyone above has written but i wanted to add that about 3 years back I was switched from Effexor to Lexapro and I went through complete hell trying to get off Effexor (anxiety attacks). i was later switched to Pristiq and it has been the most affective anti depressant I have ever taken and I've had them all at some point. I guess this is the opposite of what most others seem to be saying but thats my experience :) Thanks, Ky


beth, Community Member
9/15/11 6:52pm

I took Pristiq for 2 years, and it was a miracle drug for me. However, I unfortunately had immediate sexual side effects (anorgasmia) even on the lowest dose. I have been off of all meds for a year now, and the sexual side effects have disappeared. Unfortunately, the depression is back. I started taking Pristiq again and almost immediately felt better... but the sexual side effects returned immediately, as well. Go figure. After a year without the problems, it's really hard for me to go back- despite the fact that I'm mentally so much better. I am hoping I can find something that gives me the best of both worlds... kind of like a naturally healthy brain. Wouldn't that be nice?!


I understand that pharmaceutical companies are pretty much evil, etc., but it really is true that all of these drugs affect people in vastly different ways. I guess I am relatively lucky that I haven't experience the horror stories that have been listed here. And I am at least thankful I have so many more options than my father or his father or his father's father did...

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By Lucy, Community Member— Last Modified: 05/21/14, First Published: 06/03/08