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On pristiq for depression. Started getting joint pain and difficulty to walk. Side effect?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
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I am on Pristiq for depression. I started using the drug six months ago. Around the same time, I began having joint pain. First in one shoulder, then the other then my elbows, then my hips and now both of my knees are in pain. Someone told me that the joint pain could be from my cholesterol medication (Tricor) and last evening I read somewhere on the internet that Pristiq causes joint pain. Can you help me? I now use a crutch to walk and I am in severe pain when using my legs. The pain is on both sides of my knees as well as under the knee when I bend them. Please help me. I stopped using Pristiq this morning (100 mg/day) so it is too soon to tell if I will get relief from this pain. Another question is this: do i have to wean off the Pristiq by cutting the pill in half or can I just discontinue it?

Please help me.

Tue, 5 Feb 2013 in Medicines and Side Effects
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 28 minutes later
Thanks for posting your query.
Taking pristique is associated with side effects like bone pain and myalgia. The cholesterol lowering medicines are more likely to be associated with muscle pain rather than joint pains like you are having.
Since you have stopped taking pristique, you can see an improvement in your symptoms over 3-4 weeks. In case you experience the symptoms of depression, then you need to consult your psychiatrist for a suitable alternative.
Simultaneously, it is best to rule out osteoporosis and get your vitamin D 3 levels evaluated to find out any other cause of the joint pains. You can get the appropriate investigations done under the care of your orthopedician.
Before stopping Pristique, it is best to taper off the doses as 50mg/day for a week and then stop to avoid rebound depression.
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: On pristiq for depression. Started getting joint pain and difficulty to walk. Side effect? 10 hours later
I understand what you are saying. However, the pain is at the site of the knee. I do not know if it is actually the joint or the muscles around the knees that is so painful. Is there any validity to my concerns? I have an appointment with my family doctor on Wednesday so he can take a look and my Psychiatrist next week. I am very concerned that they will not be able to help me. If my pain is not joint related but muscles around the joint, what does that mean and what can I do to get relief. I can hardly walk at this point.

Thank You
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 9 hours later
Thanks for writing again.
The pan around the knee with difficulty in weight bearing is likely to be due to a joint related pain. You need to rule out osteoporosis as a possible cause after proper examination.Please do not worry. Your physician will provide you with proper treatment after an examination.
Hope my answer is helpful.
Do accept my answer in case there are no further queries.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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