Book review – this book helped me safely titrate off Venlafaxine

I used “the Anti-depressant Solution” myself to help me come off Effexor, one of the most addictive of the anti-depressants with quite unpleasant withdrawal effects. After having problems “cold-turkeying” from the medication, I followed the books recommendations and split my capsules to reduce the dose and then reassembled them, so that I could gradually titrate (reduce the dose) over several weeks. This approach was extremely effective and saved me a lot of pain. I highly recommend this book as a reference and guidebook to anyone going through a similar process.

Joseph Glenmullen, from Harvard Medical School, takes a brave stance in helping patients who have been prescribed antidepressants in ending their treatment. He offers advice to determine when it is safe to stop taking the medication and shows how to come of the medication safely, without experiencing bad side effects.

The author warns that antidepressants are over prescribed, under regulated and terribly misunderstood in their side and withdrawal effects. He highlights the problem that many people want to stop taking their drugs but are needlessly still on them. Patients or their doctors often mistake antidepressant withdrawal for depressive relapse. Even missing a single dose can cause withdrawal symptoms that are very similar to the original problems they had when they started medication. The book offers insight in distinguishing between withdrawal and relapse.

Glenmullen is concerned that many doctors prescribe these highly addictive medications with no understanding of drug “half-lives” (the time it takes the drug to leave your body), which is critical in how long it will take, or how difficult it will be, to come off a medication. He offers doctors and patients a step-by-step guide to wean off these drugs gradually (titration) and painlessly.