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Trintellix Withdrawal (vortioxetine)

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

Last Updated on May 5, 2022 by Diane Ridaeus

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

After more than 15 years of helping people recover from troubling symptoms, disappointments, and damage from failed drug treatments, we are still excited every time we help a client break through the tough barriers with ease.

Our clients’ success with Trintellix withdrawal and other holistic treatments are our constant inspiration and motivation every day, to do everything possible to help them achieve their personal wellness goals. We have dedicated our lives to this goal.

adhd medication withdrawal

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Special Note Re: Trintellix Withdrawal

Prescribers may not be able to adequately discern the clinical features of Trintellix withdrawal, though such symptoms are associated with the majority of antidepressants currently on the market. Trintellix withdrawal symptoms can be both physical or psychiatric and are described in a single sentence on the drug label, an incomplete assessment at best.22 Therefore, GPs may mistakenly misdiagnose the situation, resulting in further difficulties. We want you to be fully informed so this does not happen to you.3

What is Trintellix?

Trintellix© is a relatively new serotonergic antidepressant that was approved in 2013 for the treatment of adult major depression disorder. Perhaps because its functional profile and mechanism of action are still unknown, the WHO decided to refer to it as an “other,” “novel,” or “atypical” antidepressant, while the FDA opted to classify Trintellix as an SSRI.1,2 There are both similarities and differences between Trintellix and other depression medicines classified as SSRIs.

Is Trintellix (vortioxetine) hard to get off of?

Symptoms of Trintellix withdrawal will vary from person to person, but a number of common Trintellix withdrawal symptoms have been observed. They can be found described in detail in the section below entitled “What do Trintellix Withdrawal Symptoms Feel Like?” Generally, symptoms of Trintellix withdrawal will begin to appear as early as one day after a missed dose, or up to seven days past, and the withdrawal symptoms will likely be more difficult if the drug was used long-term and at high dosages.2

Abrupt withdrawal from Trintellix or other medications is generally more intensely experienced compared to gradual reduction of dosage over time. Antidepressants manipulate the way certain neurochemicals function or stop functioning over time, and a gradual reduction allows the CNS to gradually adjust back to natural function.3 The process of Trintellix withdrawal can be greatly softened with the additional use of therapeutic aids such as those listed in the section below entitled “Can Trintellix Withdrawal Symptoms be Reduced?” Without helpful therapeutics and gradual Trintellix tapering methods, antidepressant withdrawal syndrome can persist for weeks, months, or even years.4,5

What are the Benefits of Trintellix Withdrawal?

serotonin syndromePrior to Trintellix withdrawal, users often experience nausea, headaches, and other treatment-emergent side effects. After Trintellix withdrawal these will lessen and likely disappear once the drug cessation is complete, or soon after. One rare but troubling side effect of SSRI-type drugs is serotonin syndrome. Serotonin syndrome causes high fever, involuntary muscle spasms, paralysis, tremors, cognitive disorientation, and other reactions. Serotonin syndrome is considered life-threatening and requires immediate ICU or emergency level treatment to save the patient’s life.23 Completing Trintellix withdrawal will ensure this never has the chance to happen to you.

It is advisable to familiarize oneself with possible Trintellix withdrawal manifestations so these don’t lead one to mistakenly assume that they are experiencing recurring mental illness when it is more likely that the reduction is faster than the CNS can keep up with.8 In this case, one should speak to their prescriber about slowing the rate of reduction, or resuming an earlier (higher) dosage until stabilized, and then slowly resuming the tapering process from there.

There are safe holistic remedies for symptoms that antidepressants are selected to treat, but many find that their original symptoms were not satisfactorily eliminated with drug treatment. After Trintellix withdrawal one can safely explore alternative, holistic treatments to ease whatever symptoms led to the prescription in the first place. The benefits include not having to deal with drug side effects while on the journey to wellness and improved mental health.

What Do Trintellix Withdrawal Symptoms Feel Like?

Trintellix withdrawal symptoms can manifest in a very wide range of physical and mental phenomena.3,6,7,9,22 Some examples follow:

  • Brain zaps
  • Vertigo or dizziness
  • Changes in appetite
  • Fatigue, lethargy
  • Headaches
  • Loss of balance, unsteady gait
  • Insomnia, nightmares, vivid dreams
  • Sudden emotional lability, extreme mood shifts, such as sudden outbursts of anger, tearfulness
  • Tremors, shaking, shivering
  • Muscle pain, muscle tension, weakness
  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness, agitation
  • Irritability, hostility
  • Aggressive, impulsive behavior
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Hallucinations, visual perception changes/distortions
  • Concentration deficits
  • Runny nose

Can Trintellix Withdrawal Symptoms be Reduced?

There are several strategies that are effective for reducing intense withdrawal reactions, according to medical consensus. In extreme cases such as abruptly stopping Trintellix, or where dose reduction was too great, it may be wise to reinstate the medication to stabilize for a time and then begin or resume a more gradual step-down tapering approach.

Bridge medications and cross-over tapering are two of many possible approaches used at Alternative to Meds Center that may be of benefit to overcome a particularly rough patch more comfortably.

Regarding well-managed Trintellix withdrawal, combining tapering methods with neurotoxin removal is also recommended, done in a supervised setting at the center. As toxins tend to accumulate in adipose (fatty) tissue, toxins that were found in lab testing can be purged from the body in safe and natural ways that do not compromise internal organs.10 Often, it is toxic exposure that mimics mental illness.20,21 Unfortunately, patients are often misdiagnosed as suffering psychiatric symptoms when they are actually manifesting toxic exposures. Testing can dispel any such mystery. This is why we dedicate an entire program segment to deep cleaning the body of toxic accumulations. The cleansing segment of the program is highly popular with our clients who report dramatic relief of original symptoms as well as comfortably easing the overall tapering process.

Orthomolecular medicine, environmental medicine, nebulized glutathione, mineral baths, and many other therapeutic supports are provided to restore balance to the body before, during and after completing Trintellix withdrawal.

Natural Mental Health Without Prescription Drugs

Alternative to Meds Center has been a proponent of what we like to call natural mental health for more than 15 years. The number of prescriptions that are written every day is of great concern since the focus of the medical industry has become obsessively fixated on drug therapy as the first-line treatment given to the vast majority of patients seeking help. For many who find themselves considering Trintellix withdrawal, one of the main reasons for seeking other types of treatment is that the prescription drug did not alleviate their original symptoms. Typically a prescription is written after a brief visit to a doctor, who is rushed, and under time constraints. Certainly, medication has an appropriate place in maintaining physical health. But in general practice, we observe that many short-cuts in the field of mental health have reduced the quality of care, leaving many patients still suffering despite multiple prescriptions and long-term drug treatment. With lab testing and holistic detox and other therapies, we seek to address the root causes of unwanted symptoms, especially where drug therapy has left a person feeling there may be no hope for them.

Trintellix holistic withdrawalCorrection of diet, including proper targeted supplementation, is another important fundamental to our Trintellix withdrawal programs. Nutritional psychiatry is a field of medicine that has seen skyrocketing interest in recent years. One of the basic tenets of this fascinating subject is the well-researched intimate relationship between diet, gut microbial health and a person’s mood, including depression, fatigue, sleep irregularities, cognitive deficits, or other symptoms of psychological distress. Additionally, some research has begun on the microbe-killing effects of prescription medications, similar to the effects of antibiotics on the gut flora. Thankfully, if not ignored, prescription drug damage to the very important gut microbiota can be repaired. Maintaining healthy gut flora is essential to both physical and mental health, and this area of health is therapeutically addressed at Alternative to Meds Center as a vital part of its nutrition and diet correction segments of treatment.11-17

In European and other centers of medical research, exercise has been found to equal or exceed the efficacy of antidepressant medications. Researchers found that physical exercise and physical activity have a stimulating effect on biochemical pathways in the body, and this creates a beneficial effect toward the restoration of the neuronal disturbances that are associated with depression.18

Exciting research has been ongoing for many years on effective herbal remedies that show great promise in alleviating symptoms of depression and other mental health issues, without prescription drugs. These holistic therapeutics are finding an important place in mental health treatment today. Two of these, in particular, hypericum and saffron, have had their antidepressant effects proven in several controlled, randomized trials.19

Trintellix Withdrawal at Alternative to Meds Center

One of our greatest aims is to educate the field which we do in professional training events, where we invite medical doctors of all disciplines to come and learn about alternative mental health treatment options applicable to many of their patients’ needs.

Our day-to-day aim is to help our clients in a nurturing, in-patient setting to regain mental wellness and experience new energy and joie de vivre by using non-pharmacological treatments to resolve issues that result in authentic, sustainable good health. Education is also a fundamental component of our treatment programs so our clients can continue to enjoy their newfound wellness after leaving the program. Truly, knowledge is empowering.

Other treatments offered during Trintellix withdrawal at the center also include:

You can gather more information about the services at the center on our services overview page. Alternative to Meds Center stands apart as a world-class facility using multiple medical and therapeutic disciplines for regaining natural mental health. The center is fully accredited and offers insurance coverage from most major providers. We invite you to contact us today for more information about our exceptional Trintellix withdrawal program.


1. FDA Information Letter “Deptression Medicines” published [online] 11/18/2019 [cited 2022 April 26]

2. Sanchez C, Asin K, Artigas F, “Vortioxetine, a novel antidepressant with multimodal activity: Review of preclinical and clinical data.” Journal of Pharmacology and Therapeutics Vol 145, Jan 2015 p.43-57. [cited 2022 April 26]

3. Siwek M, Chrobak AA, Gorostowicz A, Krupa AJ, Dudek D. Withdrawal Symptoms Following Discontinuation of Vortioxetine-Retrospective Chart ReviewPharmaceuticals (Basel). 2021;14(5):451. Published 2021 May 11. doi:10.3390/ph14050451 [cited 2022 April 26]

4. Warner CH, Bobo W, Warner C, Reid S, Rachal J. Antidepressant discontinuation syndrome. Am Fam Physician. 2006 Aug 1;74(3):449-56. PMID: 16913164. ;cited 2022 April 26]

5. Fava GA, Gatti A, Belaise C, Guidi J, Offidani E. Withdrawal Symptoms after Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor Discontinuation: A Systematic Review. Psychother Psychosom. 2015;84(2):72-81. doi: 10.1159/000370338. Epub 2015 Feb 21. PMID: 25721705. [cited 2022 April 26]

6. Black K, Shea C, Dursun S, Kutcher S. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor discontinuation syndrome: proposed diagnostic criteria. J Psychiatry Neurosci. 2000 May;25(3):255-61. PMID: 10863885; PMCID: PMC1407715. [cited 2022 April 26]

7. Haddad P. Newer antidepressants and the discontinuation syndrome. J Clin Psychiatry. 1997;58 Suppl 7:17-21; discussion 22. PMID: 9219489. [cited 2022 April 26]

8. Lejoyeux M, Adès J. Antidepressant discontinuation: a review of the literature. J Clin Psychiatry. 1997;58 Suppl 7:11-5; discussion 16. PMID: 9219488. [cited 2022 April 26]

9. Siwek M, Chrobak AA, Gorostowicz A, Krupa AJ, Dudek D. Withdrawal Symptoms Following Discontinuation of Vortioxetine-Retrospective Chart Review. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2021 May 11;14(5):451. doi: 10.3390/ph14050451. PMID: 34064611; PMCID: PMC8151377. [cited 2022 April 26]

10. Jackson E, Shoemaker R, Larian N, Cassis L. Adipose Tissue as a Site of Toxin Accumulation [published correction appears in Compr Physiol. 2018 Jun 18;8(3):1251]. Compr Physiol. 2017;7(4):1085-1135. Published 2017 Sep 12. doi:10.1002/cphy.c160038 [cited 2022 April 27]

11. Adan RAH, van der Beek EM, Buitelaar JK, Cryan JF, Hebebrand J, Higgs S, Schellekens H, Dickson SL. Nutritional psychiatry: Towards improving mental health by what you eat. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2019 Dec;29(12):1321-1332. doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2019.10.011. Epub 2019 Nov 14. PMID: 31735529. [cited 2022 April 27]

12. Sarris J, Logan AC, Akbaraly TN, Amminger GP, Balanzá-Martínez V, Freeman MP, Hibbeln J, Matsuoka Y, Mischoulon D, Mizoue T, Nanri A, Nishi D, Ramsey D, Rucklidge JJ, Sanchez-Villegas A, Scholey A, Su KP, Jacka FN; International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research. Nutritional medicine as mainstream in psychiatry. Lancet Psychiatry. 2015 Mar;2(3):271-4. doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(14)00051-0. Epub 2015 Feb 25. PMID: 26359904. [cited 2022 April 27]

13. Grosso G. Nutritional Psychiatry: How Diet Affects Brain through Gut Microbiota. Nutrients. 2021 Apr 14;13(4):1282. doi: 10.3390/nu13041282. PMID: 33919680; PMCID: PMC8070365. [cited 2022 April 27]

14. Ganci M, Suleyman E, Butt H, Ball M. The role of the brain-gut-microbiota axis in psychology: The importance of considering gut microbiota in the development, perpetuation, and treatment of psychological disorders. Brain Behav. 2019 Nov;9(11):e01408. doi: 10.1002/brb3.1408. Epub 2019 Sep 30. PMID: 31568686; PMCID: PMC6851798. [cited 2022 April 27]

15. Halverson T, Alagiakrishnan K. Gut microbes in neurocognitive and mental health disorders. Ann Med. 2020 Dec;52(8):423-443. doi: 10.1080/07853890.2020.1808239. Epub 2020 Aug 31. PMID: 32772900; PMCID: PMC7877977. [cited 2022 April 27]

16. Ait Chait Y, Mottawea W, Tompkins TA, Hammami R. Nutritional and therapeutic approaches for protecting human gut microbiota from psychotropic treatments. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2021 Jun 8;108:110182. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2020.110182. Epub 2020 Nov 21. PMID: 33232785. [cited 2022 April 27]

17. Liang S, Wu X, Hu X, Wang T, Jin F. Recognizing Depression from the Microbiota⁻Gut⁻Brain Axis. Int J Mol Sci. 2018 May 29;19(6):1592. doi: 10.3390/ijms19061592. PMID: 29843470; PMCID: PMC6032096. [cited 2022 April 27]

18. Gultyaeva VV, Zinchenko MI, Uryumtsev DY, Krivoschekov SG, Aftanas LI. Fizicheskaia nagruzka pri lechenii depressii. Fiziologicheskie mekhanizmy [Exercise for depression treatment. Physiological mechanisms]. Zh Nevrol Psikhiatr Im S S Korsakova. 2019;119(7):112-119. Russian. doi: 10.17116/jnevro2019119071112. PMID: 31464298.[cited 2022 April 27]

19. Szafrański T. Leki ziolowe w leczeniu depresji–aktualny stan wiedzy [Herbal remedies in depression–state of the art]. Psychiatr Pol. 2014 Jan-Feb;48(1):59-73. Polish. PMID: 24946435. [cited 2022 April 27]

20. Genuis SJ. Toxic causes of mental illness are overlooked. Neurotoxicology. 2008 Nov;29(6):1147-9. doi: 10.1016/j.neuro.2008.06.005. Epub 2008 Jun 24. PMID: 18621076. [cited 2022 April 27]

21. Genuis SJ. Toxicant exposure and mental health–individual, social, and public health considerations. J Forensic Sci. 2009 Mar;54(2):474-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2008.00973.x. Epub 2009 Jan 31. PMID: 19187449.[cited 2022 April 27]

22. FDA label Trintellix (vortioxetine) [online] [cited 2022 April 27]

23. Simon LV, Keenaghan M. Serotonin Syndrome. [Updated 2022 Feb 4]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482377/ [cited 2022 April 27]


Originally Published April 27, 2022 by Diane Ridaeus


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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Trintellix Withdrawal (vortioxetine)
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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