How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Steven Olsen Your Own Question

Steven Olsen
Steven Olsen, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1764
Experience:  More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education
45885103
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Steven Olsen is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My son is 16 years old. He has been taking pristiq for about

Resolved Question:

My son is 16 years old. He has been taking pristiq for about 4 months. He started on 50mg for a month then went up to 100mg
for 2.5 months and then back to 50 mg. He wanted to stop taking pristiq because it has made him agitated. He stopped taking it on
Sunday and Tuesday afternoon he was extremely nnauseous, dizzy,
hot flashes, very uncomfortable feeling, brain zaps. He took 50 mg
that day and about an 1.5 hours feeling less uncomfortable but still he is agitated. Then took another 50 mg same time next day. Now it is 44 hours since. What is the best way to come off this drug?
Also, can you take herbal supplements like st johns wort on days
you are not taking it? (or something else to ease the total discomfort
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Steven Olsen replied 3 years ago.

It is unfortunate, but this series of symptoms is a common issue for those on serotonin enhancing medications. Agitation, gastrointestinal symptoms and even the "zaps" (which many pharmaceutical companies deny can occur but in practice often does...) can be symptoms of a too sudden withdrawal.

 

The drug must be carefully titrated only under the guidance of his doctor. Individual responses to this drug vary widely and your son's titration plan will need to be individualized to his situation and biochemistry. What I can say is that these drugs often take several weeks to be titrated and he should not ever just stop taking them.

 

Supplements like SJW are never to be used in conjunction with a medication that impacts serotonin levels. A condition called serotonin syndrome can result and its effects can be life threatening. So, do not take SJW with this or any other anti-depressant.

 

Medications like SJW also take 3-5 weeks to build a response. So, little to no impact will be seen if taken on an as needed basis.

 

Your son will most likely be given medication to ease the transition from his current medication and to eliminate or reduce the side effects. This can be done safely but he will need face to face planning. No "schedule" can be used as we are all very different neurologically. Steven

Steven Olsen, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1764
Experience: More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education
Steven Olsen and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

His doctor is on vacation and he wants to stop taking the drug.

And to be quite frank after this experience I want him off as well. We do not have an appt until 7/19.

Expert:  Steven Olsen replied 3 years ago.

Best practice would be to have him seen by any qualified physician as soon as possible as this is entirely too long to wait. I do understand you urgency. Your son is in discomfort and needs to feel better. However, the risks of sudden withdrawal are very real. I ethically must recommend that he sees someone face to face to develop a titration plan. He can come off the drug, just not suddenly. And, to give him the standard 3/4 then 1/2 then 1/4 then none plan over two weeks may raise risk for him. Reactions to serotonin medications can be significant.

 

If this was my son, even though it would cost to do so, I would have him seen on a urgent basis at an ER or similar facility. That is safest and best for his health. His doctor does not have a referral set up? This is the doctor's obligation to his patients in his absence. Steven

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have a call placed into my doctors referral

i am waiting for a call back

Expert:  Steven Olsen replied 3 years ago.
That would be ideal as your son's records would be (typically) accessible and a plan can be created to take him off this drug. I will say that in the Children's Institute in Pennsylvania experimented with a regime of natural supplements that has been shown to have some success in adolescents with mild depression: 10 mg Zinc, 100 mg Calcium, 100mg Magnesium Glycinate, daily, showed similar effects to low dose pharmaceutical alternatives. It is worth asking about if he wishes to be pharmaceutical free. Not all physicians agree with more holistic choices, but I have become a believer in the last few years after seeing children respond to the regime. Steven
Steven Olsen, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1764
Experience: More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education
Steven Olsen and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr.Keane/2013-8-20_204325_drkeane.64x64.jpg Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5024
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC's Avatar

    Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3733
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrAkiraOlsen/2012-2-20_746_AkiraADpicmain.64x64.jpg Dr. Olsen's Avatar

    Dr. Olsen

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2336
    PsyD Psychologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg Norman M.'s Avatar

    Norman M.

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2193
    UK trained in hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy and have been in private practice. ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), UKCP Registered and ECP.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PsychologyProf/2010-07-15_171248_logos060400409.jpg Dr. Michael's Avatar

    Dr. Michael

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2177
    Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KURTEMMERLING/2010-07-23_215531_just_ask_picture1.jpg Steven Olsen's Avatar

    Steven Olsen

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1727
    More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education