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juanjones: Quitting venlafaxine and starting Zoloft afterwards


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First of thanks a lot for this site! It has helped me a lot.


Im bit worried about my situation and would love to have some guidance.


i quit venlafaxin (efexor) 7 months ago with tapering (should have done slower though). Had it for anout 1,5 years. Didnt have much side effects only about for month or so. Before that I have had different antidepressants trough out years. 


I had started therapy around same time. Therapy started great and we started trauma therapy and emdr. It was a lot. Therapist is pretty sure i have cptsd and trauma has caused lot of anxiety and depression in the past. 

Now its been around 3 months that Im not able to cope well. I dont sleep much, constant anxiety and depression. Doctor and therapist have said I should start antidepressant again atleast for a while and I start to agree with them since my world is really dark place right now and Im falling behind a lot because of this.


I told doctor I dont want venlafaxin since i just quit it and I guess it gave me a bit of hypomania. So he put me on Zoloft. I havent started it yet, but was thinking could venlafaxin still be better option for me? It worked well with my anxiety and depression symptoms.


Anyways I would like to quit antidepressants alltogether as soon as im in better condition. Would it be easier with zoloft i dont have that in my system yet?


I also use ketipinor 25mg for sleeping and concerta 18-35mg for ADD. 

I feel pretty lost and hopeless since I felt that I can finally quit antidepressants, but I cant go on like this much longer.

Any help and tips really apreciated!

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to juanjones: Quitting venlafaxine and starting Zoloft afterwards
  • Moderator

Welcome to SA @juanjones,


we are a site to help people come off antidepressants safely if and when they want that to avoid withdrawal effects. We are not doctors and don't give advice on what medicines to take for depression and what drug cocktail to use. In fact, there is plenty of research out there that shows that antidepressants are no better than placebo Antidepressants and the Placebo Effect - PubMed (nih.gov) and given their severe withdrawal effects from which many of the members here suffer, we cannot, in goon conscience, promote them. It's up to you to choose them or not, of course. 


It is possible that you are having delayed withdrawal effects from the venlafaxine. If that is the case, we find that a small reinstatement of the drugs - 0.5mg or so can take the edge off but it works best if it is done soon after withdrawal and may not always work. If they work, you would take them until your nervous system stabilizes and then taper very slowly. We find that many people with withdrawal are sensitive to drugs and starting a new antidepressant or even other medicines (antibiotics, vit D) or other psychoactive substances can make things worse and that's why we recommend such a small dosage to start. 


About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants


Why taper by 10% of my dosage? - Tapering - Surviving Antidepressants

Why taper? SERT transporter occupancy studies show importance of gradual change in plasma concentration - Tapering - Surviving Antidepressants


Because venlafaxine is such a hard drug to come off of, sometimes reinstatement (a very small dose) of another drug can also relieve withdrawal symptoms - in that case prozac may be an easier one to reinstate. 


If you don't want to reinstate, the only other thing to do is use non-drug techniques to manage emotional symptoms. 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants


You might also need to take it easy with the EMDR for a while. It is hard work and can exacerbate things in the short  term. @hayduke has done it quite intensively and may be able to give some advice on this. 


Hope that you feel better soon. 



Edited by Onmyway

"Nothing so small as a moment is insurmountable, and moments are all that we have. You have survived every trial and tribulation that life has thrown at you up until this very instant. When future troubles come—and they will come—a version of you will be born into that moment that can conquer them, too." - Kevin Koenig 


I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information and recommendations provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 


In the next few weeks I do not have a lot of capacity to respond to questions. If you need a quick answer pls tag or ask other moderators who may want to be tagged. 


Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week (off by 4/14/19- no tapering)

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785, 8/18/22 - 0.59, 12/15/2022 - 0.48, 2/15/22 - 0.43, 25/07/23 - 0.25 (mistake), 6/08/23 - 0.33mg


Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

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