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 Dr-A-Greene Your Own Question

Dr-A-Greene
Dr-A-Greene, Doctor
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 190
Experience:  Clinical and Forensic Psychologist
60381331
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Dr-A-Greene is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

What is the least traumatic way to wean off of Pristiq?

Resolved Question:

What is the least traumatic way to wean off of Pristiq?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr-A-Greene replied 2 years ago.

I can tell by your question that you know that tapering off of Pristiq is the way to go. Since Pristiq is an SNRI, the side effects of going off cold turkey can be quite significant. However, if you are already on a low dose of Pristiq and can't be tapered any further, your psychiatrist may recommend something called "bridging." This is where an SSRI (like prozac) is added to counteract some of the negative effects of going off of the original SNRI. Once the cessation of the drug is concluded, the SSRI will also be discontinued.

However, all of this should be done in coordination with your treatment provider. Trying to wean off on your own or on the advice of clinicians that don't know you and your specific case could be dangerous.

I hope this helps a little.

Thanks,

Dr. G.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

A Family Practice ARNP put me on Pristiq -- I'm not sure I will trust what she tells me about how to get off...She put me on it the first time I saw her, so we don't have a long-standing relationship. I'm on the lowest dose and I've read that the pills should not be cut in half although I've also seen posts on line from people who have split them... I have mild depression and do not want to start with a psychiatrist...I saw the 60 Minutes report suggesting that anti-depressants might not be of much use in mild to moderate depression and I would like to try getting off - they are expensive, have side effects and I'm not sure they're helping... Is Lexapro an SSRI? I assume from your description of bridging that it is easier to get off of an SSRI than an SNRI?

 

Thanks,

Pat

Expert:  Dr-A-Greene replied 2 years ago.

Yes, it is definitely easier to get off an SSRI than an SNRI. The mechanism of action in the body is different for an SNRI (it affects serotonin and norephinephrine) than an SSRI (just serotonin). A regular SSRI is usually the first line of defense for mild to moderate depression and I have to admit that I am a little confused as to why the family practice clinician would have chosen Pristiq. That notwithstanding, I wouldn't cut your dose in half (I've seen that online too). If you are on the lowest dose and your clinician tells you it is safe to discontinue, I would take their advice and do it however they advise you. If you get too many withdrawal effects, they may advise bridging, but I doubt it if you are already at a low dose.

As for what you saw on 60 Minutes, I agree. Most mild depression clears itself within 6 months or so. Unfortunately, a bit of mild depression seems to be part of the human condition from time to time and it hasn't been shown that antidepressants are terribly effective for it. However, as for SSRIs, I am a fan of Lexapro or Celexa (both formularies of the same drug). It doesn't have the side effects that some do and its no trouble to discontinue it. I hope this helps a bit - I wish you luck!

Dr-A-Greene, Doctor
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 190
Experience: Clinical and Forensic Psychologist
Dr-A-Greene and 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