Antidepressant medications generally are administered prior to any substantial medical investigations or lifestyle interventions, and almost no consideration of what Effexor tapering and withdrawal might look like.
Depression can be the result of impaired hormonal states, deficiency of Vit D, substandard diet, adrenal fatigue, lack of exercise, failed life aspirations, and other factors other than a medication deficiency.
Are you really your Diagnosis?
Alternative to Meds has been primarily invested in medication withdrawal for over 15 years. Using Holistic and Environmental Medicine, we have published evidence demonstrating that over 77% of people discontinuing antidepressant medication and replacing them with a holistic lifestyle perform symptomatically better than they were while medicated.
15 Year Experience by Professionals Who Understand Your Journey.
The antidepressant Effexor was discontinued after 1997 and is now only available in a timed-release version, making the time-release Effexor tapering process somewhat of a more complex process. One of the reasons given for replacing Effexor with the timed-release version, EffexorXR, was to lessen the amount of nausea that Effexor reportedly inflicted upon a very significant percentage of users.
Along with the nausea issue, a five times increase in suicidality rates motivated the FDA to require an update to the black box warning, stipulating that any version of Effexor should not be prescribed to those under the age of 25.2
These and other issues which will be outlined further below may lead to the decision of getting off Effexor treatment and opting for a more natural approach to improving mental health that doesn’t involve antidepressant medications.
How Did the Billion Dollar Antidepressant Industry Come About?
Antidepressants have been around for quite a long time. The industry is a billion-dollar money maker and profits continue to grow every year. Currently the statistics on the use of antidepressants are alarming, with over 12% of the population over the age of 12 taking these pills. Older Americans taking antidepressants number up to 15% or higher, depending on which studies are consulted. As Thomas Insel, the former director of the CDC stated in a 2011 article published by NIMH, “Although depression and anxiety disorders are the primary indications for prescribing antidepressants, doctors have prescribed these medications, generally, “off-label”, to treat chronic pain, menstrual symptoms, low energy, and other maladies, with or without accompanying depressive or anxiety symptoms.”1
Some have posed the question that if antidepressants are supposedly pills designed to treat mental illness, why are 80% of all antidepressants prescribed by practitioners who are not themselves mental health therapists or psychiatrists, and why are they prescribed for so many “off-label” reasons?
There is also a controversy concerning whether antidepressants actually work better than placebo. There are conflicting studies that have attempted to answer these questions, but without coming to any clear conclusions. These and other questions definitely need answering, but for right now perhaps the focus should rest on how to recover. That is of prime importance.
If you have suffered from lack of results and even from compromised health and worsened condition after taking antidepressant medications, one option is to stop antidepressant medication therapy. But for those who have been considering trying to quit Effexor, it has possibly already become clear to you that learning much more about how to quit Effexor, etc., will be necessary in order to be successful in the attempt to regain health in more natural and drug-free ways.
To call sadness or tiredness or grief after a significant loss, etc., mental illness is one puzzling thing. But to then simply drug the patient so their grief or other malady can be ignored or buried completely? How incoherent that is, if the goal is to truly treat/help the patient recover and improve their mental wellness.
Important Things to Know About Stopping Effexor
Though each person’s body is unique, with a wide range of varying responses to prescription drugs, some antidepressants are designed to primarily target the amount of serotonin in the system. Other antidepressant drugs primarily target adrenal hormones, by heightening or dampening the excitatory effects of adrenergic receptors along the CNS pathways. Still other forms of antidepressant drugs will affect another neurochemical called dopamine. Dopamine is known as the “reward” chemical because it stimulates the pleasure centers, enhances response at the reward centers and also affects mood, laughter, and other types of emotional response mechanisms.
Effexor is termed an SNRI type of antidepressant. The acronym stands for serotonin, norepinephrine, reuptake inhibitor. Effexor is a drug belonging to a very small group of antidepressants that have been designed to affect not only serotonergic and norepinephrine receptors, but also the adrenalin and dopamine receptors. These natural chemicals and their respective receptors throughout the central nervous system, individually or collectively monitor and regulate many functions in the body, such as:
social behavior, response
fight or flight mechanisms of stress response, i.e adrenalin released causing panic/anxiety
sensation of touch
sensation of taste
sensation of smell
motor functions, i.e. mobility of legs, muscles, joints, etc.
ability of the blood to coagulate
ability to sense pleasure, desire, wanting, etc.
activation/dampening of reward centers
blood flow, circulatory response
urinary and elimination functions
body temperature, sensation of cold, heat
release of glucose
alertness or lack of responsiveness to stimuli
brain fog or clarity of thought
dilation or contraction of air passages including lungs
dilation or contraction of vascular cells, blood vessels, veins, etc.
In fact, there are very few if any areas in the body that these hormones/neurochemicals do not interact with or coordinate, control, stimulate or dampen, and therefore are key in regards to how a body operates and functions properly. This can help to explain why stopping Effexor or any agent that has the capacity to upset or alter these important neurochemicals can be so difficult to manage without proper guidance and help. Virtually every area of the body can be potentially affected in some way, until normalization can occur after getting off Effexor. Yes, it is possible to address and improve mental health in a more natural way in tandem with Effexor tapering protocols and aftercare.
Trying to Quit Effexor Can Allow Focus On Regaining Health
After taking EffexorXR for some weeks or months, or even years, the body and CNS will have self-engineered various ways to adapt to the presence of the drug. This process of the body’s “learned” adaptation is likely a key part of how addiction or dependence gets laid in. The body begins to change how these neurochemicals are produced, processed, distributed, and how they interact with other chemicals, other nutrients, the environment, etc. Conversely, when stopping Effexor these elements of body neurochemistry will begin to be affected again, and without proper preparation, could be thrown into additional confusion, as the body attempts to normalize the various functions that these chemicals regulate.
This is why it is important to follow FDA guidelines and not engage in abrupt withdrawal from Effexor, but to seek and utilize competent help and guidance that will provide an avenue for a slower, safer and much more comfortable Effexor tapering treatment.2 Though not as simple as non timed-release drugs, withdrawal from Effexor timed-release can yet be done in a gradual manner. Programs delivered at the Alternative to Meds Center have been designed to make Effexor tapering treatment a much more humane and tolerable experience. We invite you to contact the center for more specific details on what these steps entail.
At Alternative to Meds Center, the goal is not merely to teach and help the client how to quit Effexor or other drugs, but to learn methods that are most likely to promote natural mental health, without the need to rely on artificially numbing or dampening unwanted symptoms. Nutrients play no small part in healing and normalizing after Effexor cessation, as nutrients are the building blocks to robust neurochemistry and distribution of adequate natural neurotransmitters in a healthy body. Nutrition is best delivered in digestible, nutrient-dense, organic, unprocessed food and supplements as needed, that help restore optimum body and CNS function.
During the process of getting off Effexor, or other prescription drugs, the programs at Alternative to Meds Center utilize a wide range of nutrient-based and numerous other holistic treatments that are designed to provide comfort and gentle health benefits that make trying to quit Effexor as gradual, safe and as tolerable as possible. After withdrawal from Effexor is complete, other treatments are also provided that accelerate the normalizing of neurochemistry. These will improve energy, sleep patterns, mood, etc., and the client can receive the health-optimizing benefits of life coaching, neurotoxin removal, chelation, sauna, mineral baths, and much more.
How to Quit Effexor Safely and Comfortably
Contact Alternative to Meds Center for much more information on how our Effexor tapering protocols have helped thousands of clients to become free of the pain and suffering and unpredictable results of prescription drugs. Find out how it is possible to achieve natural mental health as an exciting and fundamental part of a successful Effexor tapering treatment program, delivered in our warm, nurturing and compassionate residential setting.
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.