Last Updated on July 20, 2021 by
When 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.
*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.
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.
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.
No 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.
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 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) are some of the commonly used supplements at Alternative to Meds Center for depression. Another example, vitamin B6 is a vitamin that is needed for producing certain chemicals in the brain including serotonin and dopamine.32 Dietary changes, as well as effective supplementation, can provide effective Effexor tapering alternatives.
Acupuncture is a popular, feel-good, and effective method of therapy for depression.33 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.
Drug 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]
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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]
Originally Published Oct 30, 2018 by Lyle Murphy, Founder
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.
Lyle Murphy is the founder of the Alternative to Meds Center, a licensed residential program that helps people overcome dependence on psychiatric medication and addiction issues using holistic and psychotherapeutic methods.