How to Wean Off Venlafaxine

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Venlafaxine hydrochloride is an antidepressant medication that is in a drug called Effexor. The generic version of the drug is named after its primary ingredient, venlafaxine. Ceasing to take the drug, as with many antidepressants that take over the production or blocking of neurotransmitters in the brain, can cause side effects such as irritability, dizziness, headache, insomnia, tiredness, confusion and anxiety. Weaning yourself off the drug takes time and isn't easy because of potential withdrawal symptoms, but it is very possible.

Consult your doctor. You should never attempt to wean yourself off of a prescription medication without consulting your doctor. Once you do this, your doctor will prescribe smaller and smaller dosages of venlafaxine until you are down to the smallest possible dose.

Pour a glass of orange juice. Measure how many ounces you pour. Pull apart your capsule of venlafaxine and pour its contents into the juice. Stir. Drink 90 percent of the juice, based on the measurement you made. Do this for one week.

Repeat step two the next week, drinking 80 percent of the juice instead of 90 percent.

Continue this process until you are no longer taking any venlafaxine. Continue to pour your smallest-dose capsule into a glass of juice, reducing your consumption by 10 percent each week until you are no longer drinking any juice. (ref 2)

Tips & Warnings

  • Under no circumstances should you try the "juice bit" process with grapefruit juice. The chemical properties of grapefruit juice can have a dangerous and adverse reaction to the chemical properties of venlafaxine.

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