Hello there, tomorrow it will be one month since I've stopped my tapering of Pristiq and I'm doing fine so far. I did it fast in comparison to this site's standards. I don't advocate doing anything that I did, I'm just stating it.
I will start with some background: I started taking Escitalopram on December 2012 for a episode of depression and anxiety I had that year, and used it from that date to october 2015. In 2015 I also used Nortriptyline (Pamelor) along with Escitalopram for 8 months more or less. Then I started using Sertraline from October 2015 to January 2016, and stopped cold turkey.
Four moths later I had unbearable withdrawal symptoms, I don't know if I can call that anxiety but I cound't concentrate, it was a torture.
My doctor thought I had bipolar disorder because of that, and disregarded it as withdrawal symptons and put me on Aripiprazole (Aristab), an atypical antipsychotic. The symptons worsened and I stopped taking it in less than two weeks.
Then he put me back on Sertraline and the symptons decreased but I would still feel that unbearable discomfort, specially on my legs and I felt like a zombie, I couldn't feel anything being on a concert, for example.
After two months back on Sertraline he put me on Pristiq and I haven't felt bad, and those feelings vanished. I was feeling all right but still wasn't feeling like myself. However not as zombie-like than as I was on Sertraline.
From July 2016 to the middle of January 2017 I took 50mg of Pristiq. I decided with my psychiatrist agreement that it was time to stop as I wasn't neither depressed nor anxious anymore. He recommended doing it cold turkey, and no one in the world would change he's mind. I then proceeded to cut the pills and tapered for almost 8 weeks (54 days).
I've tapered off of it this way:
First week I took 3/4 of a pill, the second and third weeks 1/2 of a pill, fourth week 3/8 of a pill, fifth and sixth weeks 1/4 of a pill, seventh week 1/8 and the eighth and last week 1/16 of a pill.
During the tapering period I've felt some symptoms like anxiety, agitation and a hang out like discomfort when I wake up.
After the tapering I started meditating (I went to a 10 day Vipassana meditation retreat the day I stopped), and I had just a little bit of anxiety after the retreat and that hang out like feeling sometimes when I wake up (much more bearable than when I was tapering) and that's it.
I take a magnesium supplement, Lugol's iodine solution at 5%, and I eat only raw vegan food. Currently I'm also supplementing vitamins b12, b1 and b6.
Meditation is much more better than medication.
December 2012 to October 2015: Escitalopram
January 2015 (I think) to October 2015: Nortriptyline (Pamelor)
October 2015 to January 2016: Sertraline (stopped it cold turkey)
April 2016: Aripiprazole (Aristab)
May 2016 to July 2016: Sertraline
July 2016 to January 2017: Pristiq 50 mg
January 2017 to March 2017: tapering off of Pristiq by cutting the pills.
Currently on no psychiatric medication and I intend to stay like that for now on.
Supplements: magnesium chloride, Lugol's iodine solution at 5%, and vitamin b12.