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Natural Effexor Alternatives

natural effexor alternativesWhen a person is struggling with any of the vast Effexor side effects1,4 or other problems related to this medication, they may consider the viability of Effexor alternatives. Based on our research and direct experience, we know other possibilities exist besides living a lifetime medicated on antidepressant drugs. Do you wish to see a loved one or yourself start living life in a way that resembles the desired self without Effexor side effects?

In many cases, Effexor may not adequately treat symptoms.18 Effexor (venlafaxine) has a very short half-life, approximately 5 hours.19 This means a late or missed dose can cause grievous problems, resulting in time lost at work, injuries and accidents, and other negative consequences.20 Additionally, serious harm to health can occur because of potentially life-threatening Effexor side effects that may occur.4 For all of these reasons, many begin to consider Effexor alternatives that are safer and less intrusive or injurious. The bottom line is if this antidepressant medication is not working as it should or if you are experiencing unwanted side effects, talk with your doctor, or us, about alternatives to Effexor.

Natural Effexor Alternatives Include:

  • Depression and mood swings can be improved by correcting the diet to avoid blood sugar abnormalities.6*
  • Supplement daily meals with fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, or other probiotics that support gut microbiota.42
  • Supplementation with vitamins and nutrients such as extracts of curcumin and saffron, both found in University studies to be equally effective to fluoxetine (Prozak®) in treating symptoms of depression.40
  • Acupuncture, shown to be particularly recommended for treating depression in pregnant women, and improving insomnia in other populations. 43,44
  • Toxins including mercury, lead, cadmium, and molds are notorious for causing psychiatric symptoms.  Get these tested for and cleaned out.22,35-37
  • Sleep deprivation contributes to depression. Try improving sleep with natural methods: acupuncture, massage, melatonin, 5HTP, mineral bath, blackout curtains, keep the room where you sleep at a cool temperature for example.21-24,34,44,45
  • Exercise is therapeutic on many levels, including the release of “feel-good” natural chemicals. Walking in a forest has physiological and psychological health benefits. The mood-lifting benefits of regular exercise are long-lasting according to published research.25,38,41
  • Exposure to sunlight is another readily accessible therapy for depression.26
  • Personal counseling can help resolve issues in life that are causing unwanted symptoms and has been shown to have greater efficacy than medication in published research.39

*Isa Kay writes in The University of Michigan School of Public Health newsletter that eating low glycemic foods such as proteins can help stabilize both blood sugar and moods.

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

Effexor alternatives could help avoid certain problems associated with SNRIs in treatment and based upon our studies offer a better option for addressing mental health issues.

There are a host of possible factors besides an Effexor deficiency that can bring on feelings of depression. There are many medical reasons and life situations that can contribute to depression that our integrative methodologies are designed to discover and treat with Effexor alternatives.

Does Your Diagnosis Require Effexor?

natural alternatives to effexor
We are proud of our longstanding success with our clients, using treatments based on antidepressant alternatives at the center, for a decade and a half. Holistic, natural alternatives to Effexor include natural therapies, counseling, and orthomolecular principles as the fundamental foundation along with naturopathic protocols. These can significantly ease a person’s suffering without additional drugs. Our published evidence demonstrates that by far, our graduates are doing better off drugs than they ever were on them.
When considering Effexor alternatives, especially when you already feel wrecked, can seem like jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Understandable. Many of us felt the same way and felt that we were permanently broken. And we understand being forgotten, misunderstood, and even disowned by the medical community, or our closest friends, and family. The video here shows a woman who was all of those things, and her story should inspire you even if you are suffering from the direst of situations
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Holistic Effexor Alternative Treatment

effexor depression

According to truckloads of medical literature, depression is an extremely common problem in today’s world.27 The term is used to describe a type of mental illness that apparently millions upon millions of people suffer from. There are alternative health practitioners who have looked at the problem closely and are not convinced that we are looking at a mysterious mental illness at all, and that the widened set of symptoms cast by the DSM, echoed by pharmaceutical giants, has netted a wider population than fits the suggested criteria.28 We are looking at an actual problem but we don’t all agree that the best answer will come from a pharmaceutical drug.5,29 Mainstream medicine attempts to treat depression with antidepressant medications. But because they don’t always “work,” and because they also create unwanted side effects of their own,18 many people have begun seeking natural antidepressant alternatives for their depression. Some people may seek alternatives after they have tried traditional depression (drug-based) treatments and have been non-responsive to them or intolerable to side effects. Other people are simply looking for non-chemical, natural ways to treat depression.

Talk Therapy as an Effexor Alternative

effexor alternative talk therapyNo matter what the reason is for desiring Effexor alternatives for depression, fortunately, there is a whole host of alternative Effexor options. These can be “stand-alone” or can be used in conjunction with other strategies and alternative therapies. Talk therapies are proven to be very effective alternatives for treating depression. 30 During a talk therapy session, patients are able to gain insight from an objective person and often are able to work through their problems through meaningful verbal exchange with their talk therapist.

Many talk therapy sessions also include homework assignments to practice in the real world between sessions. Talk therapists and behavioral therapists help their patients to learn how they can obtain more satisfaction and reward from their own actions and words, and their lifestyle choices. It can be an enlightening experience to learn how to recognize and undo negative and/or unhealthy behavioral patterns. Changing the contributors to depression can help to lessen their feelings of despondency, dissatisfaction, or hopelessness in their life. And all that without a pill bottle in sight.

Nutrition:  Effexor Alternative with No Side Effects

Depression can also be attributed to a lack of nutrients or deficiencies in certain vitamins that our bodies need to function at their full capability; mentally and physically. Diet can be instrumental in treatment.31 Another aspect of antidepressant alternatives for depression includes natural medicine such as vitamins, herbs, remedies, dietary supplements, minerals, and naturally occurring substances that are healthy for the body and mind. Valerian, Kava, St. Johns Wort, omega-3 essential fatty acids, SAMe (S-adenosyl-L-methionine), vitamin B6 and all the vitamins found in food or that can be supplemented, 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan), extracts of curcumin and saffron, are some of the commonly used supplements used in the natural treatment of depression. Dietary changes, as well as effective supplementation, can provide effective Effexor tapering alternatives.31,32,40

Acupuncture:  Popular Effexor Alternative

Acupuncture is a popular, feel-good, and effective method of therapy for depression. Depression can sometimes be a result of suppressing feelings of sadness, anger, or embarrassment rather than expressing these feelings and letting them go. Acupuncturists use the surface of the body to connect to the inner body and mind to unblock repressed energy that can be contributing to depression. Once this blocked, repressed, negative energy is released; the person may experience relief as these negative energies come up to the surface. Acupuncture sessions usually leave a person feeling elevated in mood, refreshed, and empowered.33,44

Can Drugs Fix the Causes of Depression?

effexor protocols for depressionDrug companies push the idea hard that depression is caused by not taking drugs, not taking enough drugs, and not taking the “right” drugs.3 However, we want to discover root causes and treat them. Alternative therapies for Effexor cover a very broad range of actual causes for depressed mood, chronic anger, and other undesirable symptoms that Effexor is often prescribed to “treat.” We should listen to our symptoms, and treat them in ways that do not lay in further harm, especially to a person whose health is already in a fragile condition. Acupuncture, talk therapy, vitamin/nutritional therapy, and many other Effexor alternatives make effective strategies in treating symptoms of depression without drugs. Additional therapies include aromatherapy, massage therapy, reflexology, yoga, meditation, and exercise. And, we really cannot overemphasize the fact that nutrients can be fundamental in regulating neurochemistry, and how significantly that can benefit mental health naturally.31

There is much to discover about effectively reducing unwanted symptoms, especially without introducing potentially harmful drugs into the picture. When one realizes the possible injurious results of pharmaceutical drugs, natural alternatives become a logical and welcome choice.2

Where drugs have already been introduced and found lacking in efficacy, we can help transition to drug-free, healthy living via natural Effexor withdrawal therapies. We invite you to contact us at Alternative to Meds for more information on how we may be able to guide you or a loved one with Effexor alternatives in improving mental health naturally.

1. Rubino A, Roskell N, Tennis P, Mines D, Welch S, Andrews E, “Venlafaxine Associated With Increased Risk of Suicide and Attempted Suicide.” The Formulary Watch [Internet] 2007 May 1 [cited 2020 Dec 23]

2. Dixon, K, “US FDA Says Effexor Antidepressant Ad Misleading.” Reuters News, [Internet] 2007 Dec 14 [cited 2020 Dec 23]

3. Hosseini F, Amini F, Mojtaba Y, Ardekani Y, Shariat N, Nadi M, “Double-Blind Randomized Clinical Trial of the Efficacy of Venlafaxine Versus Citalopram in the Treatment of the Acute Phase of Major Depressive Disorder.” Iranian Journal of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences [Internet] 2015 Jun 1 [cited 2020 Dec 23]

4. Mayo Clinic Patient Information, “Venlafaxine (Oral Route) Side Effects.” Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research ]Internet] 2020 Aug 1 [cited 2020 Dec 23]

5. Breggin P, “SSRI and Other Antidepressants Page.” Psychiatric Drug Facts blog [Internet] [cited 2020 Dec 23]

6. Is Your Mood Disorder a Symptom of Unstable Blood Sugar? University of Michigan School of Public Health [online] by Isa Kay October 21, 2019 [cited 2020 Dec 23]

18. The drugs don’t work? antidepressants and the current and future pharmacological management of depression Ther Adv Psychopharmacol. 2012 Oct; 2(5): 179–188. Elizabeth Penncor responding author and Derek K. Tracy [cited 2020 December 23]

19 FDA Label Effexor XR Section 12.3 [Revised Jan 2017] [cited 2020 Dec 23]

20. Campangne D, “Venlafaxine and Serious Withdrawal Symptoms: Warning to Drivers.” MedGenMed [online] 2005 July 6 [cited 2020 Dec 23]

21. Xie Z, Chen F, Li WA, Geng X, Li C, Meng X, Feng Y, Liu W, Yu F. “A review of sleep disorders and melatonin.” Neurol Res. 2017 Jun;39(6):559-565. doi: 10.1080/01616412.2017.1315864. Epub 2017 May 1. PMID: 28460563.[cited 2020 Dec 23]

22. Brown JS Jr. “Psychiatric issues in toxic exposures.” Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2007 Dec;30(4):837-54. doi: 10.1016/j.psc.2007.07.004. PMID: 17938048.[cited 2020 Dec 23]

23. Touret M, Sarda N, Gharib A, Geffard M, Jouvet M. “The role of 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) in the regulation of the sleep/wake cycle in parachlorophenylalanine (p-CPA) pretreated rat: a multiple approach study.” Exp Brain Res. 1991;86(1):117-24. doi: 10.1007/BF00231046. PMID: 1836762.[cited 2020 Dec 23]

24. Carbajo J, Maraver F, “Sulphurous Mineral Waters: New Applications for Health.” Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. [online] April 6, 2017 PMID 28484507 [cited 2020 Dec 23]

25. Mikkelsen K, Stojanovska L, Polenakovic M, Bosevski M, Apostolopoulos V. Exercise and mental health. Maturitas. 2017 Dec;106:48-56. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2017.09.003. Epub 2017 Sep 7. PMID: 29150166.[cited 2020 Dec 23]

26. Knippenberg S, Damoiseaux J, Bol Y, Hupperts R, Taylor BV, Ponsonby AL, Dwyer T, Simpson S, van der Mei IA. Higher levels of reported sun exposure, and not vitamin D status, are associated with less depressive symptoms and fatigue in multiple sclerosis. Acta Neurol Scand. 2014 Feb;129(2):123-31. doi: 10.1111/ane.12155. Epub 2013 Jun 13. PMID: 23763464.[cited 2020 Dec 23]

27. Malhl G, Mann J, “Depression: Summary”  The Lancet [online November 2, 2018] [cited 2020 Dec 23]

28. Horwitz A, “How an Age of Anxiety Became an Age of Depression.” The Milbank Quarterly, March 2010 PMID 20377760 [cited 2020 Dec 23]

29. van der Watt G, Laugharne J, Janca A. “Complementary and alternative medicine in the treatment of anxiety and depression.” Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2008 Jan;21(1):37-42. doi: 10.1097/YCO.0b013e3282f2d814. PMID: 18281839.[cited 2020 Dec 23]

30. Hoffman S et al., “The Efficacy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A Review of Meta-Analyses.” Cognit Ther Res. 2012 Oct 1; 36(5): 427-440 [online] PMID 23459093 [cited 2020 Dec 23]

31. Low Dog T. “The role of nutrition in mental health.” Altern Ther Health Med. 2010 Mar-Apr;16(2):42-6. PMID: 20232617.[cited 2020 Dec 23]

32. Hvas AM, Juul S, Bech P, Nexø E. “Vitamin B6 level is associated with symptoms of depression.” Psychother Psychosom. 2004 Nov-Dec;73(6):340-3. doi: 10.1159/000080386. PMID: 15479988.[cited 2020 Dec 23]

33. Smith CA, Armour M, Lee MS, Wang LQ, Hay PJ. “Acupuncture for depression.” Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018 Mar 4;3(3):CD004046. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD004046.pub4. PMID: 29502347; PMCID: PMC6494180.[cited 2020 Dec 23]

34.  American Academy of Sleep Medicine Healthy Sleep HabitsUpdated Feb. 9, 2017 [cited 2021 Oct 15]

35. Mold Warriors: Fighting America’s Hidden Health Threat Paperback– April 1, 2005 by Ritchie C. Shoemaker (Author), James Schaller (Author), Patti Schmidt (Author) [cited 2021 Oct 15]

36. Nicholas J. Heyer, Diana Echeverria, Alvah C. Bittner, Jr., Federico M. Farin, Claire C. Garabedian, James S. Woods, Chronic Low-Level Mercury Exposure, BDNF Polymorphism, and Associations with Self-Reported Symptoms and Mood,Toxicological Sciences, Volume 81, Issue 2, October 2004, Pages 354–363. [cited 2021 Oct 15]

37. Orisakwe OE. The role of lead and cadmium in psychiatry.N Am J Med Sci. 2014;6(8):370-376. doi:10.4103/1947-2714.139283. [cited 2021 Oct 15]

38. Craft LL, Perna FM. The Benefits of Exercise for the Clinically Depressed. Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. 2004;6(3):104-111. doi:10.4088/pcc.v06n0301 [cited 2021 Oct 15]

39. CBT Better than Medication For Treating Social Anxiety Disorder.” The Psychiatry Advisor [Internet] 2014 Sep 26 [cited 2021 Oct 15]

40.  Jade, Kathleen ND “Two Natural Antidepressants Found to be as Effective as Prozac” University Health News [INTERNET] 2019 Mar [cited 2021 Oct 15]

41.  Furuyashiki A, Tabuchi K, Norikoshi K, Kobayashi T, Oriyama S. A comparative study of the physiological and psychological effects of forest bathing(Shinrin-yoku) on working age people with and without depressive tendencies. Environ Health Prev Med. 2019 Jun 22;24(1):46. doi: 10.1186/s12199-019-0800-1. PMID: 31228960; PMCID: PMC6589172. [cited 2021 Oct 15]

42.  Foster JA, McVey Neufeld KA. Gut-brain axis: how the microbiome influences anxiety and depression. Trends Neurosci. 2013 May;36(5):305-12. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2013.01.005. Epub 2013 Feb 4. PMID: 23384445.[cited 2021 Oct 15]

43.  Sniezek, D. P., & Siddiqui, I. J. (2013). Acupuncture for Treating Anxiety and Depression in Women: A Clinical Systematic Review.Medical acupuncture, 25(3), 164–172. [cited 2021 Oct 15]

44.  Yeung WF, Yu BY, Yuen JW, Ho JYS, Chung KF, Zhang ZJ, Mak DSY, Suen LK, Ho LM. Semi-Individualized Acupuncture for Insomnia Disorder and Oxidative Stress: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Sham-Controlled Trial. Nat Sci Sleep. 2021 Jul 21;13:1195-1207. doi: 10.2147/NSS.S318874. PMID: 34321944; PMCID: PMC8310926.[cited 2021 Oct 15]

45.  Tang H, Chen Z, Pang J, Mo Q. [Treatment of insomnia with shujing massage therapy: a randomized controlled trial]. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2015 Aug;35(8):816-8. Chinese. PMID: 26571900.[cited 2021 Oct 15]

Originally Published Oct 30, 2018 by Lyle Murphy, Founder

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.

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Effexor Alternatives
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.

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