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Dr. Michael
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience:  Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
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I want to know the best way to switch from 150 mg of effexor

Customer Question

I want to know the best way to switch from 150 mg of effexor xr to prozac.....can I start taking the prozac now? I am currently taking 150 mg of effexor every other day and will have no more effexor pills in a week. I have been taking effexor xr for about a year now for depression and anxiety, but want to get off of it due to excessive sweating all the time.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  cathylmft replied 3 years ago.

cathylmft :

Thank you for reaching out...your question is a very good one and I believe I can help you.

cathylmft :

With any psychotropic medication, it is NEVER a good idea to stop 'cold turkey'. This is especially true with Effexor. This medication has been known to be particularly difficult to discontinue due to the withdrawal symptoms, the most common being uncontrollable crying, shaking, and anxiety. If you attempt to just stop taking it, I'm afraid your road will be a difficult one. Although it sounds like it should be fairly simple, it is far from it. Effexor is something that you must titrate off of and you must do so very slowly (MUCH LONGER than one week). Furthermore, introducing another anti-depressant into your system must be done just as carefully. I encourage you to only do so under the care of a psychiatrist. If you aren't already in contact with a qualified psychiatrist, you can visit http://psychiatrists.psychologytoday.com/rms/ and enter your zip code. You will be provided with a list of psychiatrists in your area along with their profile and area(s) of expertise. I suggest that you look for someone who specializes in the treatment of depression.

Customer:

I don't want to do it cold turkey, but because of lack of prescription insurance...I simply cannot afford the medication anymore. I will, however, be able to afford the prozac as it is much less in cost, even without insurance. I understand about the withdrawal symptoms, but after taking the effexor for a year in 2009, I stopped taking it cold turkey because I got pregnant and had no withrawal symptoms whatsoever.

cathylmft :

You are very fortunate to not have had any withdrawal. I hope that you will have the same experience this time. Having your best interests in mind, I must stand by my recommendation that you seek personalized, face-to-face guidance from a psychiatrist in your area.
If you are satisfied with the information I have provided, please click the accept tab on your screen. Or, if you prefer, I can release your question. Another expert here on the site may offer you another option.

Customer:

please relaese my question

Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 3 years ago.
Hello. I believe I can only provide an 'academic' answer to your question, as I am not your doctor and would never 'prescribe' a course of action for you. You should talk this over with your family physician or psychiatrist to find a 'best solution. One approach that some patients find helpful, working with their physician, is to start taking a low dose of Prozac along with their usual dose of Effexor. Then, after about two weeks of taking both Prozac and Effexor, one would gradually taper the Effexor, perhaps cutting the dose in half for a few days to a week, then 1/4, and then take it every other day. If you have no side effects, one could move more quickly with the tapering of the Effexor. Also, some patients find they are able to alternate days of Effexor and Prozac, and after a week or two, just switch to the Prozac completely. Now again, this is academic information you should discuss with your physician, as I'm not prescribing a course of action for you personally.

I hope this information is helpful to you. Please let me know if I have overlooked any aspect of your original question. Please click on the green Accept button at the bottom of the screen. Thanks.
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience: Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
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Dr. Michael
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Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.