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Reducing or Coming off Mental Health / Psychiatric Medication

Many people report such side effects from psychiatric medication.

Changing Minds are not clinicians and cannot give advice on tapering and support but can point people in some different directions for self-research and to get clinical advice on as well as share our own personal experience in tapering off antidepressants and other psychotropic medication.

One team member took two years to taper incredibly slowly off Venlafaxine, and in the end literally opened the capsule and removed a few of the tiny pilules every week. The pharmacist was very helpful in pointing out amino acid supplements that would not contraindicate with the medication being tapered from and support the body to more easily cope with side effects as well as start to build its own building blocks. A radical change of diet to a low-histamine/ low inflammatory diet really helped, as well as the introduction of other things to “replace” the puzzle piece that medication held.

We cannot name the supplements that help/ed, lest it be taken as advice without proper consultation, however we can recommend some things to read or research. We recommend, after some self-research to take what you believe you’d like to try into your GP/Prescribing clinician to look into and see if it is appropriate for you.  We encourage self-advocacy as many primary care physicians do not have a lot of knowledge around complementary or alternatives to medication.

  1. Matua Raki’s Guide to reducing or stopping Mental Health Medication – https://www.matuaraki.org.nz/resources/a-guide-to-reducing-or-stopping-mental-health-medication/732
  2. Patrick Holford’s –  optimum nutrition for the mind for proper supplementation and nutritional tweaks for symptoms – https://www.patrickholford.com/books/optimum-nutrition-for-the-mind
  3. Hyla Cass  – the addicted brain and how to break free of antidepressants for advice on tapering  –  https://cassmd.com/books/the-addicted-brain/
  4. Kelly Brogan  – A mind of your own – a women’s psychiatrist with advice on hormonal and physical causes often overlooked – http://kellybroganmd.com/amindofyourown/
  5. RxISK sites guides for particular drug side effects and tapering advice for patients and clinicians – https://rxisk.org/tools/guides/

You are free to pop in and borrow other books from our library or have a chat to one of our staff, here is an article in the Herald from Changing Minds’ CEO in her experience- http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11700382

And our commentary on another Radio New Zealand article around Dr Larsen-Barr’s research on coming of anti-psychotics. https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/318244/people-trying-to-get-off-anti-psychotic-drugs-need-more-help-study

There is also some information here if you need more reading –

http://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/how-to-taper-off-your-antidepressant

http://www.mdedge.com/currentpsychiatry/article/62449/6-safety-rules-tapering-antidepressants

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC181183/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4722507/

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