Treatment of Venlafaxine Discontinuation Symptoms With Ondansetron

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Sir: Discontinuation symptoms that emerge during sudden or gradual discontinuation of serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), such as venlafaxine, have been reported. The short half-life of 5 hours for venlafaxine renders patients vulnerable to nausea, headache, gastric upset, diarrhea, myalgia, and fatigue upon lowering of the dosage. The manufacturer recommends a gradual discontinuation of venlafaxine to avoid the emergence of such symptoms.

J Clin Psychiatry 1998;59(11):621-622 [letter]