A Complete Guide to Discontinuing Venlafaxine


Venlafaxine is prescribed by doctors to treat depression, anxiety disorders, and panic disorders. Because venlafaxine is a prescription drug, it’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions for taking it. This also applies to the time that you and your doctor decide together to stop taking the medication. By slowly reducing the dose and relieving any withdrawal symptoms you may be experiencing, you can stop taking venlafaxine.

Reduce your dose

Visit your doctor.

No matter what you do, you should always consult your doctor if you feel you should stop taking venlafaxine. Whether you are feeling better or need to stop taking the pills due to pregnancy or illness, stopping venlafaxine suddenly can have serious consequences. Talking to your doctor can help you make a wise decision about alternative treatments or stopping venlafaxine altogether. Avoid reducing your dose of venlafaxine before speaking to your doctor. Continue to follow the instructions your doctor gave you for prescribing the medication. Explain to your doctor the reasons you want to stop taking venlafaxine. Be absolutely honest in your reasoning so your doctor can choose the best course of treatment for you. There are a variety of reasons to stop venlafaxine, from recovery, to pregnancy or breastfeeding, to drug interactions. Listen carefully to your doctor’s suggestions. Ask questions if you have any, such as about the risks and benefits of stopping the medication and possible alternatives to your doctor’s suggestions. You can always get a second medical opinion if necessary.

Give yourself time

No matter how long you’ve been on venlafaxine, give yourself plenty of time to come off the drug. While it can be tempting to quit abruptly, doing so can create difficult and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that can make you feel worse. Depending on the dose, you should allow anywhere from a week to several months to come off venlafaxine. Based on your medical condition and dosage, your doctor can help you estimate the time it will take you to come off venlafaxine.

Plan your withdrawal.

You need to slowly reduce your dose of venlafaxine. There are no hard and fast rules about how best to go about rehab, other than that you should work with your doctor to personalize it for your body. This means that how quickly and by how much you reduce your dose can vary greatly. That depends on factors like your well-being and your withdrawal symptoms. Talk to your doctor about your rehab plan to see if it’s feasible for you. Give yourself 1 to 2 weeks to come off venlafaxine if you have been on the drug for less than 8 weeks. If you’ve been taking venlafaxine for six to eight months, you should wait at least a week between each dose reduction. Those who are already taking venlafaxine long-term should come off the drug much more slowly. For example, reduce the dose by no more than a quarter every four to six weeks. Write your plan down on a piece of paper or in a notebook where you write other things like your mood or problems you’re struggling with. For example, you could write a schedule that looks like this: “Initial dose: 300 mg; 1st reduction: 225 mg; 2nd reduction: 150 mg; 3rd reduction: 75 mg; 4th reduction: 37.5 mg.

Break your pills.

Once you’ve spoken to your doctor and have a plan, you need to make sure your dose fits your plan. You can either ask your doctor to prescribe you a specially dosed pill, have a pharmacist break the pills, or even break them up yourself using a commercially available pill splitter. If you take a prolonged-release capsule with the active ingredient venlafaxine, you have to switch to regular venlafaxine. This is because prolonged-release capsules release the active ingredient slowly, and breaking the tablet can interfere with the mechanism by which the drug is released. This means that it is possible to overdose as too much is released at once. Purchase a pill splitter at your local pharmacy or medical supply store. Ask a pharmacist or staff member if the product is suitable for breaking your pills.

Watch you

When stopping venlafaxine, it’s important to pay attention to your mood and physical symptoms while tapering the dose. You could even evaluate your well-being once a week. This can alert you to possible problems or that you should come off the drug more slowly. Keep a weekly journal during your withdrawal. Write down your dose and how you are feeling. If you feel good and have few withdrawal symptoms, you can further reduce the dose according to the plan. Remember not to rush your plan to avoid possible withdrawal symptoms. Consider keeping a “mood calendar” for each day of the week. You can rate your mood on a scale of 1-10 on a daily basis to identify problems.

Stop reducing if necessary.

If your symptoms worsen or you experience severe withdrawal symptoms, you should consider stopping the taper. You can always take half or all of your dose again until you feel better. From this point on, you can reduce your dose more slowly.

Keep in touch with your doctor.

During the venlafaxine tapering process, it’s important to keep your doctor informed of your progress. Tell your doctor if you experience setbacks or withdrawal symptoms. Your doctor may suggest a new plan or alternative treatments to deal with setbacks you may experience stopping venlafaxine. If you’re having trouble coming off venlafaxine, your doctor may prescribe fluoxetine (Felicium, Floccin, Fluctine, Fluxet…) instead. You can then stop taking it without feeling the withdrawal symptoms.

Alleviate withdrawal symptoms

Recognize the withdrawal symptoms.

People who stop taking venlafaxine have one of the highest rates of withdrawal symptoms. You may or may not experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking venlafaxine, but it’s good to know what symptoms are typical of venlafaxine withdrawal. Ask your doctor for different ways to relieve any of the following symptoms: Anxiety Dizziness Tiredness Headache Very vivid dreams Insomnia Nausea Restlessness Anxiety Shivering Sweating Runny nose Tremors Feeling uneasy or foreboding Muscle pain Stomach problems Flu-like symptoms Depression Suicidal thoughts

Get help immediately.

If you have persistent depression or suicidal thoughts while stopping venlafaxine, call your doctor or go to your local hospital as soon as possible. Doctors can help relieve these symptoms and can prevent you from harming yourself.

Get support.

When you come off venlafaxine, you will need as much support as possible. This can help when dealing with withdrawal symptoms and other side effects that you may experience. Continue to keep your doctor informed of your progress. You might even see a psychologist or psychotherapist while you’re coming off venlafaxine. This can minimize symptoms and also give you new ways to cope. Tell your friends and family that you are stopping venlafaxine and may experience withdrawal symptoms. Educate them about ways they can help you. If necessary, take time off from work. Be honest with your boss about your illness. If you can’t take time off, ask your boss for ways you can still be useful when you’re experiencing withdrawal or recurring symptoms.

stay active

Exercise helps release serotonins, which have powerful antidepressant effects. If you stop taking venlafaxine, you could offset the effects of the drug by exercising regularly. It can also help you cope with withdrawal symptoms and feel good about yourself. Aim for a total of 150 minutes of physical activity per week, or 30 minutes five times a week. Activities like walking, jogging, swimming, or biking can boost your mood. You could also try yoga or Pilates, which not only add to your weekly workout time, but also improve your mood and relax you.

Eat nutritious foods.

You can increase the effects of exercise and sleep by eating a healthy diet. Eating from the five food categories regularly can help keep your blood sugar stable and prevent you from becoming nauseous or developing other stomach problems. Eat foods from the different food groups. Choose a variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains, protein-rich foods, and (if you like) dairy products. Make sure that at least half of every meal consists of vegetables. You could eat foods high in magnesium, which can help control anxiety. A few examples of foods rich in magnesium are: almonds, avocados, spinach, soybeans, black beans, salmon, halibut, oysters, peanuts, quinoa, and brown rice.

Get stress under control.

When you’re under a lot of stress, it’s important to manage it as best you can. Stress can make withdrawal symptoms worse and even trigger anxiety. Avoid stressful situations whenever you can. If they’re unavoidable, get through them by breathing deeply and occasionally apologizing to “go to the bathroom” or “take a phone call.” Even a tiny break can reduce stress. Allow yourself to have regular massages and relax.

Rest as much as possible.

You may experience a variety of withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking venlafaxine. In order to feel good and be able to reduce stress, you also need to rest a lot. This includes maintaining a regular sleep schedule and allowing yourself to take occasional naps to help you feel better. Go to bed at the same time every day and get up at the same time. You should sleep at least seven hours a night. Maintain your bedtime and wake-up time even on weekends to minimize your symptoms. Take 20 to 30 minute naps if necessary. These can refresh you and help reduce withdrawal symptoms.


Avoid stopping venlafaxine on its own. Talk to your doctor before making any changes to your dose. You should also not take any other medications while taking venlafaxine without first checking with your doctor. Keep taking venlafaxine even if you feel better. If you stop taking venlafaxine, you may start feeling sick again.

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