Desvenlafaxine tapering may provide help for those who have been taking this medication for some time and who are experiencing side effects that have perhaps outweighed the benefits that one was hoping for in treatment. Some of the most common of these adverse reactions include sexual dysfunction, commonly accompanied by a loss of interest in sex, emotional blunting, and quite an array of feelings and sensations that can be quite unsettling such as brain zaps, nausea, and suicidal thinking. A full list of these can be accessed by reading the FDA label information in full. In particular, please see section 6: Adverse Reactions. (1)
With so many possible reactions, it is clear that a person may have reached a point where stopping desvenlafaxine becomes an increasingly 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.
Getting off desvenlafaxine safely is definitely possible. However, one most apparent difficulty with trying to quit desvenlafaxine is that the medication is manufactured in 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 may have felt that getting off desvenlafaxine is not even possible. However, there is help available to you or your loved one at the Alternative to Meds Center if you are considering the option of withdrawal from desvenlafaxine.
It is the same for any brand name for desvenlafaxine as they are all 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 it and has confidence in administering the required steps. Trying to quit desvenlafaxine should be done with guidance and help wherever possible.
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 any sort of antidepressant, 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 types of other antidepressants, but these cannot be applied to trying to quit desvenlafaxine due to it being a timed-release SNIR medication. While one must commend pharmacists for recognizing the problem and proactively trying to assist, such a tool offers no help in the way of guidance regarding the many micro-changes a patient may experience on a daily or weekly basis, intrinsic differences from one person to another, and no real option for stopping a timed-release antidepressant such as desvenlafaxine. (2)
There was a time when a doctor would routinely and carefully construct each patient’s profile. It would be based on interviewing the person, assessing their symptoms and testing for potential causative factors. The doctor would also try to rule out the possibility of certain physical precursors such as dietary deficiencies, or pathogens. There may have been other pertinent information which could be gathered and looked over, and this would lead to a treatment. Treatment did not ALWAYS mean a 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 emerging today to that end.
As an example, recent Harvard Medical School publications showed that depression itself is often linked to a deficiency in B12. The US National Library of Medicine has also published papers showing that toxic accumulations such as lead in the body can link to depression. (3) (4) (5) 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.
Sadly, the field of medicine appears to still be quite saturated with what appears to be a pervasive interference from pharmaceutical drug-makers. Drugs are a necessary “part” of medical treatments, such as antibiotics, antivenoms, insulins, etc. But one tends to observe the medical industry has become top-heavy with drug-based treatments, some of which remain controversial and 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 which some feel have served protecting sales more than protecting the health of the patients who were being prescribed them.
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 renaming symptoms (like depression) as a disease? How accurate can a diagnosis be when no testing is 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 behind the din for some time to come.
The Alternative to Meds Center offers 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, and in fact, using our protocols as we have been for a decade and a half, with great 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.
Since it is important to test for and clear toxins from the body, that is one of the first actions to do.(4) (6) Relieving the body of these toxic accumulations allows for normalization to begin 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.
Providing a clean diet, that is, food well-prepared without preservatives, chemicals or additives, can also speed up the time needed for a body to adjust to a withdrawal from desvenlafaxine or any other medication. Replenishing vitamins and minerals where indicated through testing, a person can begin to feel the relief that comes from handling such factors and often provide relief for conditions such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, and others.
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 about the services offered at the Alternative to Meds Center, and how this could make the process of withdrawal from desvelafaxine something to consider for you or your loved one. Please contact us and find out if a desvenlafaxine tapering program at the center may be the opportunity you have been searching for.
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.