Call Mon-Sun:
1 (800) 301-3753
Alternative to Meds News & Blog Articles

Desvenlafaxine Tapering

This entry was posted in Antidepressant on by .
Medically Reviewed Fact Checked

Last Updated on August 4, 2022 by Carol Gillette

Alternative to Meds Editorial Team
Medically Reviewed by Dr Samuel Lee MD

There is one serious oversight that has made desvenlafaxine tapering more difficult than it should be. The sad reality is that in general, the medical profession has been discouraged from investigating and evaluating the causes of a person’s depression.

Depression is often a complex issue that can be brought on by a variety of biological and lifestyle factors that do NOT include some sort of medication deficiency. These concepts must be understood for successful desvenlafaxine tapering results and for attaining natural mental health without drugs.

Does Your Diagnosis
Require Desvenlafaxine?

desvenlafaxine tapering
With more than 17 years of experience, Alternative to Meds has developed unique expertise in medication tapering and withdrawal. Using Holistic and Environmental Medicine, we have published evidence showing that over 77% of people discontinuing antidepressant medication and replacing them with a holistic lifestyle perform symptomatically better than they were while medicated.
15 Years Experience by Professionals Who Understand Your Journey.
Up to 87 ½% Long-Term Success Rate.
Click to Call7 Days a Week

  • By completing this form, you will be added to our mailing list. You may opt out at any time.
  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Desvenlafaxine tapering may provide help for those who have been taking this medication for any length of time. Sold as Pristiq© and Khedezia©, desvenlafaxine is classed as an SNRI or serotonin/norepinephrine targeting medication. For many, the side effects have outweighed any benefits. Some of the most common of these adverse reactions include a loss of interest in sex, emotional blunting, brain zaps, nausea, and suicidal thinking. A full list of these can be accessed by reading the FDA label information on desvenlafaxine in full. In particular, please see section 6: Adverse Reactions.1

With so many possible reactions, whether desvenlafaxine was taken for a short time or used long-term, it is clear that a person may have reached a point where stopping desvenlafaxine becomes an urgent health matter. How to get off desvenlafaxine safely, however, is a matter that should be researched well and not done quickly, nor without help and guidance.2

How to Get Off Desvenlafaxine Safely

Guidelines for desvenlafaxine tapering include:
  • Gradual tapering under medical care, allowing adequate rest time between dose adjustments 9
  • Overhaul the diet to include unprocessed and organic foods without chemicals 16
  • Omit sugars, refined carbs, and caffeine, and include adequate protein, fresh fruits, vegetables, omega-e fatty acids, probiotics, prebiotics as well as fermented foods and yogurt to support microbiome health 16,17
  • Gently cleanse neurotoxin accumulations from the body 3-5,9
  • Supplements, herbal remedies, omega-3 fatty acids to support neurochemical repair 10-12
  • Counseling such as CBT for improvements in lifestyle and maintaining self-care 8
  • Non-pharmacological treatments for depression or anxiety including acupuncture, therapeutic massage, exercise, bright light therapy, and others 12-15

More expanded information on the above points can be found below.

Providing a clean diet without preservatives, additives, or toxic chemicals, can also speed up the time needed for a body to adjust to withdrawal from desvenlafaxine or any other medication. Replenishing vitamins and minerals is accomplished most efficiently where testing is used to isolate deficiencies. A person can quite quickly begin to feel the relief that comes from handling such factors. And often, it can provide ACTUAL relief for conditions such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, and other unwanted symptoms. Using these and other proven protocols, desvenlafaxine tapering can be softened considerably, leaving a person in much better overall health, including restoring natural mental health.

Managing Sustained-Release Medication During a Taper

desvenlafaxine taperingOne of the most apparent difficulties with trying to quit desvenlafaxine is that the medication is a timed-release oral tablet. A person who has thought of trying to quit desvenlafaxine may have become puzzled after running into this problem and one may have even felt that getting off desvenlafaxine is just not possible. Please know that help is available to you or your loved one at Alternative to Meds Center. One is choosing natural mental health recovery when considering the option of withdrawal from desvenlafaxine at Alternative to Meds.

All brand names for desvenlafaxine are sustained-release. Please note that for stopping desvenlafaxine one cannot simply cut the pill into smaller pieces, due to the way the drug is manufactured. With slow-release formulations. it may be possible to make the process of desvenlafaxine tapering easier on the system through a process called “cross-tapering.” But any cross-taper process should only be done under very close monitoring and management by a physician who is familiar with the process, and who has confidence in administering the required steps. Trying to quit desvenlafaxine should be done gradually, under guidance provided by medical caregivers who are familiar with the process.

How to get off desvenlafaxine safely can seem daunting, especially to do on one’s own. Sadly, there seem to be very few general practitioners sufficiently trained and confident enough to assist in tapering antidepressants, let alone cross-tapering desvenlafaxine. Some pharmacies have provided online “calculators” for doctors to use in helping their patients to get off non-sustained release antidepressants, but these don’t apply to a time-release drug. While one must commend pharmacists for recognizing the problem and proactively trying to assist, such a tool offers insufficient help. What is missing would be guidance regarding the many micro-changes a patient may experience on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis. Also, intrinsic differences from one person to another must be considered. In certain cases, cross-tapering under medical care may be a viable alternative to struggling with time-release medication tapering, as mentioned above.

Have Pharmaceutical Companies Supplanted Doctoring?

doctoring vs drugsThere was a time when a doctor would routinely and carefully construct each patient’s profile. It would be based on multiple interviews, assessing symptoms, and rigorously testing for potential causative factors. The doctor would also try to rule out the possibility of certain physical precursors such as dietary deficiencies, pathogens, or physical injury. There may have been other pertinent information that could be gathered and looked over, and this would lead to effective treatment. Treatment did not ALWAYS mean an automatic prescription for a drug. This type of physician care was done within a context of mutual trust and caring for their patients according to the physician’s rigorous training, Hippocratic oath, and practical experience. A doctor’s job was to look for and possibly discover any root causes, and then treat them. And, thankfully, we may be seeing something of a renaissance of this type of doctoring today. A welcome change from what seems like a drug company dictatorship, to be sure.5

Published research papers show that toxic accumulations such as lead and other heavy metals in the body are clearly linked to depression.3-5,9 Therefore, one could predict that more physicians may start testing for such conditions and treat them accordingly. I think we are starting to see this non-drug-based treatment supported a little more frequently, at least by physicians who are keeping abreast of such important current studies.

How Safe are Antidepressants?

Sadly, the field of medicine appears to still be quite saturated with pervasive interference from pharmaceutical drug-makers. Drugs are a necessary “part” of medical treatments, such as antibiotics, antivenoms, insulin, etc. But one can easily witness that the medical industry has become top-heavy with drug-based treatments, many of which remain controversial, yet only minimally tested for safety.

For example, SNRI drugs were tested only very briefly in pre-marketing trials. Even though studies indicated a doubling of suicidality in some age ranges, this did not prevent them from being approved and sold. As other problems continued to come to light post-marketing, many restrictions and warnings had to be placed on drug labels. Some feel these have served to protect sales more than the health of consumers.

A person trying to find out more about antidepressant medications is probably going to run into many conflicting reports, studies, and unanswered questions. Have doctors become too accustomed to repackaging symptoms (like depression) as a disease? How accurate can a diagnosis be when no testing is thoroughly done? There are many questions one could ask about common medical practices of today. One wonders how long it may take for this backdrop of confusion to resolve. Meanwhile, the drug companies seem comfortably poised to remain in business, and well behind the din for some time to come.6

The Alternative to Meds Center Desvenlafaxine Tapering Program

Alternative to Meds Center offers desvenlafaxine alternatives and a desvenlafaxine tapering program that provides 24/7 monitoring and competent, attentive care during the process. Our beautiful inpatient facility has been designed for maximum client comfort. Getting off desvenlafaxine does not have to be a torturous experience. In fact, using our protocols as we approach a landmark 2 decades of resounding success. Clients are often surprised at how mild the process can be. Where indicated, cross-tapering may be a much milder and easier to tolerate option for desvenlafaxine cessation.

testing, detoxing, treatment modalitiesSince it is important to test for and clear toxins from the body, that is one of the first actions to do.3-5,9 Removing these toxic accumulations allows for the normalization of previously compromised systems in the body. All the parts and systems in the body interconnect, including the CNS/neurochemistry, the digestive system, and many other vital parts of a healthy body.

Nutrition is another pillar of mental health treatment, often overlooked in the rush of a 15-minute doctor visit. According to a tsunami of research over the past 50 years or more, testing for and correcting deficiencies such as vitamins, minerals, and other micro-nutrients, and improving the intake of omega-3 fatty acids and herbal remedies may prove more beneficial than a pocketful of meds.10-12

Adjunctive Therapies During Desvenlafaxine Tapering

Alternative to Meds Center provides a large toolbox of therapies that can assist and even accelerate the healing process during safe and gradual desvenlafaxine tapering. These can be found described in detail on our services overview pages.

Find Out More

There is much more information we would like to share about stopping desvenlafaxine or other medications, safely and comfortably. We would like to provide you with more info about the services offered at Alternative to Meds Center. And, we’d like to enlighten you further on properly done withdrawal from desvenlafaxine.

Please contact us and find out how our desvenlafaxine tapering program may be the exact opportunity you have been searching for.

1. FDA label desvenlafaxine, “Section 6: Adverse Reactions” [cited 2022 July 11]

2. Montgomery SA, Fava M, Padmanabhan SK, Guico-Pabia CJ, Tourian KA. Discontinuation symptoms and taper/poststudy-emergent adverse events with desvenlafaxine treatment for major depressive disorder. Int Clin Psychopharmacol. 2009 Nov;24(6):296-305. doi: 10.1097/YIC.0b013e32832fbb5a. PMID: 19779354.[cited 2022 July 11]

3. Orisakwe OE. The role of lead and cadmium in psychiatry. N Am J Med Sci. 2014 Aug;6(8):370-6. doi: 10.4103/1947-2714.139283. PMID: 25210669; PMCID: PMC4158644.[cited 2022 July 11]

4. Bouchard M,, “Blood Lead Levels and Major Depressive Disorder, Panic Disorder, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder in U.S. Young Adults” US National Library of Medicine [INTERNET] 2009 Dec [cited 2022 July 11]

5. Nguyen HD, Oh H, Hoang NHM, Jo WH, Kim MS. Environmental science and pollution research role of heavy metal concentrations and vitamin intake from food in depression: a national cross-sectional study (2009-2017). Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2022 Jan;29(3):4574-4586. doi: 10.1007/s11356-021-15986-w. Epub 2021 Aug 19. PMID: 34414543; PMCID: PMC8376242.[cited 2022 July 11]

6. Brezis M. Big pharma and health care: unsolvable conflict of interests between private enterprise and public health. Isr J Psychiatry Relat Sci. 2008;45(2):83-9; discussion 90-4. PMID: 18982834. [cited 2022 July 11]

7. Hou WH, Chiang PT, Hsu TY, Chiu SY, Yen YC. Treatment effects of massage therapy in depressed people: a meta-analysis. J Clin Psychiatry. 2010 Jul;71(7):894-901. doi: 10.4088/JCP.09r05009blu. Epub 2010 Mar 23. PMID: 20361919. [cited 2022 July 11]

8. Gautam M, Tripathi A, Deshmukh D, Gaur M. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression. Indian J Psychiatry. 2020 Jan;62(Suppl 2):S223-S229. doi: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_772_19. Epub 2020 Jan 17. PMID: 32055065; PMCID: PMC7001356. [cited 2022 July 11]

9. Berk M, Williams LJ, Andreazza AC, Pasco JA, Dodd S, Jacka FN, Moylan S, Reiner EJ, Magalhaes PV. Pop, heavy metal and the blues: secondary analysis of persistent organic pollutants (POP), heavy metals and depressive symptoms in the NHANES National Epidemiological Survey. BMJ Open. 2014 Jul 18;4(7):e005142. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-005142. PMID: 25037643; PMCID: PMC4120423. [cited 2022 July 11]

10. Lerner PP, Sharony L, Miodownik C. Association between mental disorders, cognitive disturbances and vitamin D serum level: Current state. Clin Nutr ESPEN. 2018 Feb;23:89-102. doi: 10.1016/j.clnesp.2017.11.011. Epub 2017 Dec 23. PMID: 29460820. [cited 2022 July 11]

11. Huss M, Völp A, Stauss-Grabo M. Supplementation of polyunsaturated fatty acids, magnesium and zinc in children seeking medical advice for attention-deficit/hyperactivity problems – an observational cohort study. Lipids Health Dis. 2010 Sep 24;9:105. doi: 10.1186/1476-511X-9-105. PMID: 20868469; PMCID: PMC2955638. [cited 2022 July 11]

12. Haller H, Anheyer D, Cramer H, Dobos G. Complementary therapies for clinical depression: an overview of systematic reviews. BMJ Open. 2019 Aug 5;9(8):e028527. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-028527. PMID: 31383703; PMCID: PMC6686993. [cited 2022 July 11]

13. Hou WH, Chiang PT, Hsu TY, Chiu SY, Yen YC. Treatment effects of massage therapy in depressed people: a meta-analysis. J Clin Psychiatry. 2010 Jul;71(7):894-901. doi: 10.4088/JCP.09r05009blu. Epub 2010 Mar 23. PMID: 20361919. [cited 2022 July 11]

14. Errington-Evans N. Acupuncture for anxiety. CNS Neurosci Ther. 2012 Apr;18(4):277-84. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-5949.2011.00254.x. Epub 2011 Jun 7. PMID: 22070429; PMCID: PMC6493505. [cited 2022 July 11]

15. Campbell PD, Miller AM, Woesner ME. Bright Light Therapy: Seasonal Affective Disorder and Beyond. Einstein J Biol Med. 2017;32:E13-E25. PMID: 31528147; PMCID: PMC6746555. [cited 2022 July 11]

16. Ventriglio A, Sancassiani F, Contu MP, Latorre M, Di Slavatore M, Fornaro M, Bhugra D. Mediterranean Diet and its Benefits on Health and Mental Health: A Literature Review. Clin Pract Epidemiol Ment Health. 2020 Jul 30;16(Suppl-1):156-164. doi: 10.2174/1745017902016010156. PMID: 33029192; PMCID: PMC7536728. [cited 2022 July 11]

17. Cryan JF, O’Riordan KJ, Cowan CSM, Sandhu KV, Bastiaanssen TFS, Boehme M, Codagnone MG, Cussotto S, Fulling C, Golubeva AV, Guzzetta KE, Jaggar M, Long-Smith CM, Lyte JM, Martin JA, Molinero-Perez A, Moloney G, Morelli E, Morillas E, O’Connor R, Cruz-Pereira JS, Peterson VL, Rea K, Ritz NL, Sherwin E, Spichak S, Teichman EM, van de Wouw M, Ventura-Silva AP, Wallace-Fitzsimons SE, Hyland N, Clarke G, Dinan TG. The Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis. Physiol Rev. 2019 Oct 1;99(4):1877-2013. doi: 10.1152/physrev.00018.2018. PMID: 31460832. [cited 2022 July 11]

18. Hidaka BH. Depression as a disease of modernity: explanations for increasing prevalence. J Affect Disord. 2012 Nov;140(3):205-14. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2011.12.036. Epub 2012 Jan 12. PMID: 22244375; PMCID: PMC3330161. [cited 2022 July 11]

Originally Published Nov 1, 2019 by Lyle Murphy

This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Samuel Lee

Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente.  He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

Social Profile: LinkedIn

View Bio

Desvenlafaxine Tapering
Medical Disclaimer:
Nothing on this Website is intended to be taken as medical advice. The information provided on the website is intended to encourage, not replace, direct patient-health professional relationships. Always consult with your doctor before altering your medications. Adding nutritional supplements may alter the effect of medication. Any medication changes should be done only after proper evaluation and under medical supervision.

We Accept Most PPO Insurance Plans for Partial Coverage of Fees

Call Now to Verify BlueCross BlueShield Cigna Aetna

Our Success Stories

Medication Withdrawal Success Stories

Can you imagine being free from medications, addictive drugs, and alcohol? This is our goal and we are proving it is possible every day!

Read All StoriesView All Videos