Antidepressants - Venlafaxine Withdrawal

Neuroleptic Nightmare
by Malcolm Hulatt

Stages of Withdrawal Response

Care was taken to calculate the body doses and reduce them slowly in accordance with the Prozac model from a starting point of 2 x 150 mg capsules daily with consolidation at 2 x 75 mg capsules and 1 x 75 mg stages. It was seen that in this case there tended to be three stages of response.

  1. After 2 to 3 days the onset of flu like symptoms which could be quite severe depending on the level of drug reduction.
  2. After 2 to 3 weeks continued improvement and the beginning of more normal behaviour with less impact of the side effects.
  3. After 2 to 3 months full recovery of personality at the end of the process. Presumably there is ongoing recovery and benefit in this time frame at any consolidation level.

These traits above cannot actually be separated from the effect of getting better but in this case eliminating the drugs (from 1.33 times the maximum) were seen as being the vehicle for allowing full recovery supported by complementary activities.