Changing From Lexapro To Pristiq

Question

Asked by Looking 4 help

Changing From Lexapro To Pristiq

Have been on lexapro for 3 years. Just feel numb and have no energy or motivation. MD wants me to change to pristiq. Said to just stop the lexapro and pick up the pristiq since they are related. Anyone tried this successfully?? Did pristiq give back your motivation and energy??

Answer

I've had that same reaction to numerous antidepressants, including lexapro and effexor (virtually the same drug as pristiq) over a fifteen year period. I've stopped them for that reason, but that doesn't mean one of them can't give you the relief you want without numbing you. Lack of energy and motivation could just be symptoms of depression that lexapro can't deal with - no one can say for sure).

Lexapro and pristiq are not that closely related. Pristiq is derived from effexor - in fact, when effexor (generic venlafaxine) enters the bloodstream it turns into pristiq (desvenlafaxine). Both work on serotonin and noreprinephine, two of the neurotransmitters that are supposed to relate to depression. I just mention that because the drug companies seem to be doing more and more of this - marketing a close chemical cousin of a drug with an expired patent as a separate product. Some studies show that pristiq is less effective, for some reason, than effexor - so the European Union has refused to approve it, though obviously the US has given its OK.

Lexapro (escitalopram) works only on serotonin and is closely related to Celexa (citalopram). Apparently, if discontinued abruptly, it can cause dizziness and an odd little electric pulse called a brain shiver. Whether dropping lexapro and immediately starting pristiq would prevent that (since pristiq also works on serotonion as lexapro does), I just don't know.

This is all pretty confusing to a layman, but these drugs have powerful effects on those of us who take them, and I've decided I'd better learn as much as I can about what they do. I'm afraid there are many doctors who keep handing out the latest drug samples in response to drug company publicity rather than going with cheaper generic equivalents.

Best of luck to you.

John

Answered by John Folk-Williams