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Off of Effexor and Abilify, on to Pristiq


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Today I just called my Pdoc, and told him that I am eating like a pig since taking Abilify. So he is taking me off of Abilify and Effexor, keeping me on 450 mg of Wellbutrin XL, and starting me on 50 mg of Pristiq, the "blu-ray" of the anti-depressant world. He says he has had great results in prescribing this med over the last 2 months, and he is usually not the kind of guy to go pimping for drug companies (in fact he is pretty harsh on them). So I will see how Pristiq goes, and will post my adventures over the next couple of weeks. I know a lot of people on this board and other boards have been harsh on Wyeth about Pristiq, calling it a marketing ploy, but we shall see how it goes.

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I've been on 5omg of pristiq for about a month and a half now. It's really expensive because it is so new and doesn't have a generic. I've also had some side effects like i've never had with other antidepressants. I don't like it and on my next appointment i'm going to ask if I can go back to wellbutrin.

Pristiq makes me feel like a blank piece of note paper.

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I am starting on Pristiq today and lowering the Seroquel to 400 mg. My pdoc thinks that the Seroquel is making me too tired and wants me to lower it quite a bit. I hope the Pristiq works. I never took Effexor to compare it to Pristiq. The only SSRI I used that worked was Prozac, but that stopped working. All the other SSRI's either did not work or had nasty side-effects. ;)

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Well, one week on Pristiq (hey-that rhymes!), and I am feeling more depressed and tired in the last week. Going off Abilify and Effexor is a little more difficult than I expected. I thought the transition from Effexor to Prisitiq would be a little bit smoother. Oh well, the Pristiq trip has just started, let me give it another week, and see if it poops out like all the other 500 anti-depressants I've tried.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, one week on Pristiq (hey-that rhymes!), and I am feeling more depressed and tired in the last week. Going off Abilify and Effexor is a little more difficult than I expected. I thought the transition from Effexor to Prisitiq would be a little bit smoother. Oh well, the Pristiq trip has just started, let me give it another week, and see if it poops out like all the other 500 anti-depressants I've tried.

I have been on it a week. I wonder how long it takes to get into your system. Feel kind of crappy on it so far

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been on Pristiq for almost 2 weeks, while weaning off Lexapro. (I'm also taking Lamictal.)

For background: I had put on 20+ pounds after adding Lamictal to the Lexapro. Pdoc blames the combo, not the Lamictal. That's why the switch to Pristiq.

I'm not really sure how it's going yet. I thought I was doing well, but I was conscious of the placebo effect... wanting things to improve. Yesterday, I weighed myself to get a baseline to see if the switch has any effect on my weight. I was so demoralized by my current weight that I started to slide into a funk. I had 2 beers with dinner, then went into a major self-loathing episode with a couple of tears shed.

With Pristiq being so new, I really value hearing everyone's experiences.

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My pdoc put me on Pristiq last week, I noticed she had sample packs of it stacked to the ceiling in her office. I read up on it and found that Pristiq is the exact same drug as Effexor, only it uses a different metabolic pathway.

I was unable to sleep for a few days and became weepy from the extreme tiredness, so I called and she now has me on Wellbutrin.

The pharmaceutical company Wyeth, in order to make money, found a way to remarket Effexor by using a different pathway to the brain, but once it gets there it is EXACTLY the same drug, with the same effects as Effexor. This is blatant patent extending!

The reps come to the docs with samples to PUSH PRISTIQ, since Effexors patent is up now- it can become generic, therefore much less expensive. They've made a fortune on Effexor. The patent was up in March, the FDA approved Pristiq in April, and by May it was in every pharmacy in the world.

Wyeth is even trying to get everyone that was on Effexor to switch to Pristiq by offering a 20% discount on Pristiq! They don't want them to stay on Effexor now that it can be generic.

Just thought I'd share.

~ Denise

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Glad to know about Pristiq. Even though it is similar to Effexor, it is possible it may be good for people who aren't responding to Effexor or Cymbalta (The only 2 other SNRIs on the market). Effexor (XR) has done wonders for me but it is nice to know there is something else to try if it happens to stop working eventually. Med changes are scary. ;)

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest vulcantoes

My pdoc put me on Pristiq last week, I noticed she had sample packs of it stacked to the ceiling in her office. I read up on it and found that Pristiq is the exact same drug as Effexor, only it uses a different metabolic pathway.

I was unable to sleep for a few days and became weepy from the extreme tiredness, so I called and she now has me on Wellbutrin.

The pharmaceutical company Wyeth, in order to make money, found a way to remarket Effexor by using a different pathway to the brain, but once it gets there it is EXACTLY the same drug, with the same effects as Effexor. This is blatant patent extending!

The reps come to the docs with samples to PUSH PRISTIQ, since Effexors patent is up now- it can become generic, therefore much less expensive. They've made a fortune on Effexor. The patent was up in March, the FDA approved Pristiq in April, and by May it was in every pharmacy in the world.

Wyeth is even trying to get everyone that was on Effexor to switch to Pristiq by offering a 20% discount on Pristiq! They don't want them to stay on Effexor now that it can be generic.

Just thought I'd share.

~ Denise

Effexor XR has patent protection in the US until 2010...so that means no generics will be available until then.

What no one ever seems to mention is that once a med is available as a generic, your insurance will do its best to force you to switch to the generic. Generics do not go through the same rigorous evaluation from the FDA as brand medication so with a generic you really have no idea what you are getting. I am not sure they go through any testing at all...and they only have to be something like 75% comparable to the brand med. Isn't that reassuring?

I just experienced this force to a generic with the sleep medication Sonata. The generic just became available and my insurance would not pay for the brand the last time I ordered a refill...meaning if I wanted the brand I had to pick up the entire price of the med...no increased copay...I pay full price. How many people could afford brand Effexor at retail prices?

The pharmas have to make a profit and the insurance companies have to make a profit and those of us suffering from Depression are just trying to achieve some kind of normalcy and are stuck in the middle.

The price of medication drives me crazy. Here is an example that would drive anyone crazy. I was diagnosed with hypothroidism when I was a child. Back then the retail price of Synthroid was about $9 for a 90 supply (my parents insurance did not cover medication). Skip ahead 30 years. My copay for a 30 day supply is just under $50. I can't go generic on this one because the "generic equivalent" won't keep my levels normal (this is something measured by blood tests so we know it's the med not being equivalent) so brand med is "medically necessary". At one point it was cheaper for me to purchase a 90 day supply and pay retail than to get 30 and pay my copay. Now there is no financial advantage with that even.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Susan Holcombe

Glad to know about Pristiq. Even though it is similar to Effexor, it is possible it may be good for people who aren't responding to Effexor or Cymbalta (The only 2 other SNRIs on the market). Effexor (XR) has done wonders for me but it is nice to know there is something else to try if it happens to stop working eventually. Med changes are scary. ;)

I HAVE BEEN ON EFFEXOR XR 75MG FOR ABOUT 7 YEARS. I HAVE BEEN TAKING PRISTIQ NOW FOR A WEEK AND WAS FINE UNTIL TODAY. I FEEL LIKE I DID BEFORE WHEN I TRIED TO COME OFF OF EFFEXOR. IS ANYONE ELSE HAVING THESE TERRIBLE SIDE EFFECTS???

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Also just wonderin if anyone has had a terrible stuffy nose with this med. My sinusis are going crazy. Don't know if it is related to the Pristiq or not. It is now about day nine and i am still nauseated and feeling way off balance. This is enought to bring on DEPRESSION!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

CHANGED FROM EFFEXOR TO PRISTIQ, FEEL TERRIBLE JUST LIKE WHEN I WAS TRYING TO COME OFF EFFEXOR BEFORE. ANYONE ELSE FEELING THIS WAY?

I changed from effexor xr 75mg to pristiq 50mg approx 12 days ago and feel like crap! Going to give one more week and then go back to Effexor if I don't feel better.

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  • 1 month later...
Guest oshunbleu87
Today I just called my Pdoc, and told him that I am eating like a pig since taking Abilify. So he is taking me off of Abilify and Effexor, keeping me on 450 mg of Wellbutrin XL, and starting me on 50 mg of Pristiq, the "blu-ray" of the anti-depressant world. He says he has had great results in prescribing this med over the last 2 months, and he is usually not the kind of guy to go pimping for drug companies (in fact he is pretty harsh on them). So I will see how Pristiq goes, and will post my adventures over the next couple of weeks. I know a lot of people on this board and other boards have been harsh on Wyeth about Pristiq, calling it a marketing ploy, but we shall see how it goes.
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Today I just called my Pdoc, and told him that I am eating like a pig since taking Abilify. So he is taking me off of Abilify and Effexor, keeping me on 450 mg of Wellbutrin XL, and starting me on 50 mg of Pristiq, the "blu-ray" of the anti-depressant world. He says he has had great results in prescribing this med over the last 2 months, and he is usually not the kind of guy to go pimping for drug companies (in fact he is pretty harsh on them). So I will see how Pristiq goes, and will post my adventures over the next couple of weeks. I know a lot of people on this board and other boards have been harsh on Wyeth about Pristiq, calling it a marketing ploy, but we shall see how it goes.

Lunksmoo How are you feeling? You and I are on simulair meds, but I take seroquel at night. along with the wellbutrin time release in the morning and clonzapan 2 times a day. Just started the pristiq on top of all that and I'm feeling very anxious.

Did you feel that?

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  • 10 months later...

Glad to know about Pristiq. Even though it is similar to Effexor, it is possible it may be good for people who aren't responding to Effexor or Cymbalta (The only 2 other SNRIs on the market). Effexor (XR) has done wonders for me but it is nice to know there is something else to try if it happens to stop working eventually. Med changes are scary. ;)

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Especially coming of off Effexor...I did this a few months back (cold turkey)...lost my doc and didn't get into a new one to get a refill and just plain ran out. Since I had been feeling so good on the Effexor, I figured I was cured (yeah, yeah, I know..LOL) and could just go off the meds. BAD MOVE..I love effexor, think it worked great, but the withdrawls from it lasted a month...and they were BAD! Brain zaps and the feeling of electric current flowing through my body..It was tough. So tough, that when the depression and anxiety came back (go figure) that I didn't want my new doc to put me back on it. He wanted to, since it seemed to work, but I wanted something different.

I started Pristiq today, and I have to say, I had some side effects pretty quickly, both bad and good...and I hadn't read anything yet, so it's not my mind (not the bad ones anyway). A little nausea and some light diarrhea, like what you might get on an antibiotic, but I felt a lot calmer almost immediately. I pick up my script for Lamictal tomorrow...I sure hope they work!

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  • 4 months later...
Guest jeninoz

Especially coming of off Effexor...I did this a few months back (cold turkey)...lost my doc and didn't get into a new one to get a refill and just plain ran out. Since I had been feeling so good on the Effexor, I figured I was cured (yeah, yeah, I know..LOL) and could just go off the meds. BAD MOVE..I love effexor, think it worked great, but the withdrawls from it lasted a month...and they were BAD! Brain zaps and the feeling of electric current flowing through my body..It was tough. So tough, that when the depression and anxiety came back (go figure) that I didn't want my new doc to put me back on it. He wanted to, since it seemed to work, but I wanted something different.

I started Pristiq today, and I have to say, I had some side effects pretty quickly, both bad and good...and I hadn't read anything yet, so it's not my mind (not the bad ones anyway). A little nausea and some light diarrhea, like what you might get on an antibiotic, but I felt a lot calmer almost immediately. I pick up my script for Lamictal tomorrow...I sure hope they work!

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